tv The Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer CNN October 16, 2010 6:00pm-7:00pm EDT
television. to many of us she still is. barbara billingsly, known as june cleaver on leave it to beaver has died. a spokeswoman said she had a long illness and passed away early this morning at her home in santa monica, california. the actress was 94 years old. someone who knows her well is tony dow, he played billingsly's tv son, wally, on leave it to beaver. she joins us on the phone from little rock, arkansas. thank you for joining us. how are you doing? >> how are you? -- day for us. >> where were you when you got the news? >> i was actually -- it was this morning, her son called me and woke me up and said she had passed under 2:00 this morning. and you know, she'd been not feeling well and ill for quite a while. so we knew this was coming but you know, it's always hard to really get yourself ready for it. she was such a part of america.
america's mom. >> listen, i know that you're -- you know, you want to be strong -- i think we're having an issue with tony. tony, can you hear me? >> yeah, i can. >> okay. we can hear you better now. i know you want to put on a good face and good voice, but it has to be tough for you, especially working with her for so many years and really in your formative years as well. talk to me about that process, about working with her, about being her son on television. it must have been amazing. >> well, you know, we worked for six years and we did 39 shows a year so we really worked -- worked every day. you know, pretty much throughout the year. and in the beginning she was -- she wasn't really like a mom to me. she was -- i had my own mom. we had our own families. she was such a wonderful lady. i mean, everybody just thought she was the greatest. you know, she was very -- very -- great sense of humor, very gracious. you know, just amazing.
i learned a lot about how to treat people and how to be from her. then when we did the second show, the second -- we did five years of the new "leave it to beaver beaver" then we were more contemporary. i was in my 30s. we actually became closer as friends and carried on that friendship until now. so it's -- she's a sensational lady. you know, i mean, it's sad to see somebody like that pass, but she had a terrific life and had a wonderful impact on everybody that she knew and even those she didn't know. >> yeah. you know, i think that it's apropos to mention you mentioned her sense of humor. when we saw her make those jokes about i speak jive. she was funny when we saw her in later television shows. she had a wicked sense of humor, didn't she? >> she had a terrific sense of humor and surprising sense of humor. she'd come out with things that would surprise you all the time.
of course, i think she'll be known as the lady who spoke jives on the airplane as much as she'll be known as june cleaver. >> it's almost the same kind of sense of humor as betty white, people from that era. outspoken as well. is there one thing you're going to miss about her the most? or you think about her the most when she comes up in your mind? >> well, i'm going to miss seeing her. we lived reasonably close and we'd spend, i think we spend -- we'd have dinner once every couple months, you know, and her boyfriend at the time, this is a couple years ago, was the fellow who got me interested in doing bronzes and artwork. he'd done some artwork. she was sort of my mentor. we had great evenings, great dinners, great discussions about art. she was always very supportive of my artistic endeavors. and you know, it's just -- you
know, it's like a ray of sunshine. she just always had a smile. she had a positive thing to say. and you know, you're going to miss that. >> you know what i like about the people, many folks from the golden age of television, is that they don't mind being known by the names of their characters. many of the younger people don't want to be, you know, typecast or whatever. you don't mind being called wally. you know, people who are in g l gilligan don't mind being called mary ann or the professor or whatever. she did not mind being called june. >> she was very, very proud of being june cleaver. there's no doubt about it. she -- many times she said the best thing that ever happened for me, best thing in my life, and she really meant it. you know, she was -- she was just happy as a lark being recognized as america's mom. which is great. you know? i don't -- as i grow older i don't mind being called wally. for a while it was hard, you know, when a lot younger and trying to, you know, get myni a
director and stuff. >> now you get it. >> nowadays, plus the fact the beaver show is such an amazing shows. it's been on the air 53 years. it's great. it's the only show that's not been off the air in 50 some years. it's a phenomena, you know? >> tony dow, wally, thank you for allowing us to honor june cleaver, barbara billingsly, best of luck to you. thank you again. >> okay. i appreciate it. thank you for letting me do this. >> all right. straight ahead here on cnn, we're awaiting s ining sarah pa. she's taking the stage at anaheim. you're looking at dana robach do a guitar serenade. california is the center of the spotlight for republicans. big rally there close to the midterm elections. live coverage here on cnn in just moments. also this hour -- >> i'm living with hiv.
>> that is a secret this man kept from his own church. we're looking at why keeping quiet when having the disease is so common in the african-american community. and see how this man's minister reacted when the truth was revealed. while a body in motion tends to stay in motion. staying active can actually ease arthritis symptoms. but if you have arthritis, staying active can be difficult. prescription celebrex can help relieve arthritis pain so your body can stay in motion. because just one 200mg celebrex a day can provide 24 hour relief for many with arthritis pain and inflammation. plus, in clinical studies, celebrex is proven to improve daily physical function so moving is easier. and celebrex is not a narcotic. when it comes to relieving your arthritis pain, you and your doctor need to balance the benefits with the risks. all prescription nsaids, including celebrex, may increase the chance of heart attack or stroke, which can lead to death. this chance increases if you have heart disease or risk factors such as high blood pressure or when nsaids are taken for long periods.
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all right. let's get you now live. california, anaheim specifically, where republicans are holding a big rally today. and you're looking at a republican there obviously, running against arhett to sanchez, who is the representative in orange county, california. sarah palin is going to speak shortly. we're going to car ar ary it li on cnn. let's talk about your money. your house. maybe still your biggest investment. if you're in danger of losing your home, you may be enjoying some breathing room now. thanks to a freeze on foreclosures by the nation's largest banks. they're looking into whether employees used illegal shortcuts to force a lot of the paperwork
through. as susan candiotti reports, the delay comes with a lot of complications. susan? >> don, many troubled homeowners are breathing a sigh of relief over the foreclosure lease because it buys them more times to stay in their home. others are desperate to get things moving. why? because they've already filed for bankruptcy and the freeze puts them in limbo. >> it's a nightmare. because i didn't expect this. >> reporter: virginia obossy wants to be declared bankrupt. the senior mother of six, a veteran new york grade schoolteacher dug herself into a financial hole she's been trying to fix. after realizing her dream to buy a home five years ago -- for you owning a home means what? >> owning a home meant success for me. >> reporter: three years and a $300,000 mortgage later, her taste of success spiraled out of control. like many other americans at that time, obossy was convinced she should buy a second home as an investment.
a much newer town home in new jersey she'd rent out and would pay for itself. you didn't think you were getting in over your head? >> no. >> reporter: why not. >> i was actually trying to be proud and improve myself, proud of myself and to improve myself. you know? that was the idea to make extra money. >> reporter: what did it turn out to be? >> didn't come true. >> reporter: the renters obossy had been counting on couldn't make their payments, forcing her to file for bankruptcy this summer. >> if i could get this off my back, let them take back the house and leave me alone. >> reporter: the foreclosure freeze put the skids on her bankruptcy. now banks won't touch her second house. >> we were attempting to surrender houses, say, here's the keys, please take it. we want you to sell the property. we want our client's name off the property. 8.675. >> reporter: obossy's bankruptcy attorney said he found
fraudulent lender signatures on her first mortgage. >> it's a computerized signature. >> reporter: followed by two more signatures allegedly by the same person that look nothing alike. until the freeze thaws, obossy cannot pay off her bankruptcy and keep her original mortgage. >> until that happens, we're in limbo. >> reporter: do you think one day you'll be able to solve this? >> i'm hopeful. >> reporter: until then her new jersey home gathers dust and her nerves have seen better days. there's no way of knowing how many bankruptcies are stalled because of the foreclosure freeze. no one's tracking it. obossy's lawyer says the number is growing and growing fast. with no end in sight. don? >> thank you, very much for that, susan. president obama on the east coast, sarah palin out west. and the biggest names in politics are out in force this weekend. just 17 days to go until election day. we'll bring you sarah palin's remarks live in moments. you're looking live at that arena now in anaheim,
personal pricing now on brakes. tell us what you want to pay. we do our best to make that work. deal! my money. my choice. my meineke. back now live to anaheim, california, a republican rally there. john david is his name, he's performing a song called "american heart" at this rally. we're awaiting the arrival of sarah palin. we'll bring it to you live on cnn. we want to talk something serious.
1 in every 16 black men will contract hiv in their lifetimes according to health officials. for black women, it's 1 in 30. the virus is too common in the black community, and yet it's considered a stigma to broach the subject. soledad o'brien introduces us to one man who is daring to try. >> reporter: two illnesses threaten jeffrey gavin. his church knows only about one. >> i have what's called morfans syndrome. that makes me very tall. i'm constantly in pain. >> reporter: he feels compelled to tell his pastor, buster, the rest of his story. >> i'm living with hiv. >> in the name of jesus. >> reporter: jay gavin as his friends know him found out he was hiv positive four years ago. he's never mentioned it in church, keeping that kind of a secret is common in the african-american community. >> if the average person in this church knew how many people they
interacted with in this church who were hiv positive, it would be scandalous. >> reporter: the cdc says it's the stigma in the african-american community that's putting many blacks at higher risk of contracting the disease. nearly half the people living with hiv in the united states are african-american. gavin is gay and contracted hiv from sex, but the message he wants to send to his community is anyone can get it. >> how you doing, man? >> thank you so much. >> thank you for this. >> reporter: you look so relieved. >> i am. i want to shout for joy. because i see the avenue that this is leading to. >> reporter: gavin sees himself as an ambassador, leading open discussions. but his pastor has a more
tempered response. >> whether or not he is a symbol of something that can be healthy for the church and inspiring for people who are hiv positive, i think that remains to be seen. >> reporter: regardless of the outcome, gavin says he'll keep pushing. reporting for "in america," soledad a buyon, summerset, new jersey. don't miss qul almighty debt" premieres next thursday october 21st 9:00 p.m. eastern on cnn. multistate marijuana sting ensnares dozens of suspects including the founder of jay-z's record. live in california, we're going to get to the republican rally there. you're looking at andrew breitbart at the podium. sarah palin coming up shortly. sorry i'm late fellas.
[ evan ] ah it's cool. ah... ah. ah. ah. ah. ah. ah. ah. ah. ah! ah! whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, what is that? how come my dap wasn't like that? huh? it's just an "us" thing. yeah, it's a little something we do. who else is in this so-called "us"? man, i don't know. there's a lot of us. [ chuckles ] ask your friends what it's like to be part of a group that's 40 million strong.
welcome back, everyone. now live in anaheim, california, there's andrew breitbart. before the break. i knew he was coming up, i couldn't see it clearly here. the guy before the break was not him. that is andrew breitbart there. we know about him. coming up here, to speak in a little bit, michael steele and of course sarah palin. we'll carry sarah palin's remarks live. she's going to speak in a few minutes from california now. you're going to see it live here.
i want to check in with jessica yellin, she is in that room in anaheim. this is called the victory 2010 or 2010, as they might say, sprint to the finish. and it is. what should we expect to see? >> reporter: hi, don. there's a lot of enthusiasm in this room. as you can tell. there are at least 1,500 people here fired up to elect republicans not just for statewide office but also for the man opposing loretta sanchez, who bill clinton was campaigning for yesterday. this room is determined to throw her out as effort to take her out of the house. breitbart is speaking now and had biting words for the media and for the democrats in general. many of the speakers already have called for the repeal of obama care as they call it, lower taxes, taking back as one person called it taking back the deficit. i think they mean chopping the deficit. of course, michael steele.
the sometimes controversial head of the rnc who is known, himself, for making gaffes but always being lively and interesting. and sarah palin. sarah palin spoke yesterday, don, and took on president obama for his attacks on the chamber of commerce. i wouldn't be surprised if we hear that from her again and a larger message of rallying the troops to go and elect republicans in november, don. >> uh-huh. as we said, democrats -- you said democrats had a big day in california as well. the president is across the country. he's in massachusetts. listen, yesterday as i was speaking to you there was another big name and i'm not talking about the first lady, because she's out there as well. former president bill clinton out speaking and for someone -- really who's sort of his rival, they didn't get along. he was out stomping for him. >> reporter: bygones were bygones last night. jerry brown and bill clinton shared a stage. it's something about a decade ago, two decades ago you would
have never thought. because they were the bitterest of rivals. they ran against each other in 1992 and it became a personal animus between the two of them. jerry brown is running to be democratic governor of this state. bill clinton is out to support democrats and they stood on the same stage. they heaped praise on one another. it was seriously a love fest. it was sort of shocking. and they even embraced. we were all looking for the body language. they hugged and the president gave brown a rousing endorsement. again, he's the one in that tight race with ebay ceo meg whitman who's put $19 million of her own money in this. president clinton doing what he does to turn out the vote for democrats. >> as you said, bygones be bygones. take it easy. i don't want you to start losing your voice like the president. we're going to give you a break here. we'll come back. jessica yellin in anaheim, california. thanks, jessica. we're going to continue to
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swiffer cleans better, or your money back. ♪ she blinded me with science all right. there he is. the sometimes controversial head of the rnc, i think that is accurate to say. nonetheless michael steele speaking now in anaheim, california. really just sort of doing the thank yous and introducing people. as you know, any time he speaks
in front of a crowd that is cheering him on like this, he is going to say something that you will find interesting. i am sure. after michael steele speaks you're going to hear sarah palin. she's going to be speaking at that same rally. for those of you just joining us, this rally is called victory 2010 sprint to the finish rally. out in california. and it is republicans gathering themselves and strategizing with just 17 days before the election. michael steele speaking. let's listen in now. >> you helped inspire this moment. thank you all, so much. god bless your effort. and so what we want to do to help a few brothers out and sisters in congress, if you want to fire nancy pelosi, ladies and gentlemen -- and i know you do. but if you want to fire nancy pelosi, you must first hire van
tran to the united states congress. right now, my friends, we're at 38. we need to get to 39 to get that majority. and van is that person. he's that catalyst. so we need your energy. we need that passion that has been a part of this fight for so long. the grassroots of our party, the grassroots nationally have been so important to helping us get ourselves back on our feet. to say no to deficit spending, no to more debt, no to government control of businesses, no to government control of our affairs. you have been the reason why we are here today, but you can't slow down. you can't stop. it is going to take an enormous grassroots effort over the next 2 1/2 weeks to get the job done.
right? because that's what is going to be required. i want to thank mayor pringle and our local officials who are on the frontline. where is the mayor? there you are. mayor, thank you so much for allowing us to play in your backyard today. but it is -- it is what we do at the local level. you know, we're grassroots, folks. we're all about the right here in front of us. we're about laying down that foundation and growing. planting those seeds and growing. and that's what this fight boils down to. if you're a little bit nervous about what you got to do over the next few weeks, we understand. look around. there are a few folks here who want to help you buck up a little bit. you're going to have to walk out f this hall and get to work. you're going to have to walk out this hall and get uncomfortable with yourselves. i'm tired of a republican party that is comfortable with talking to itself. i want you, you want, we need a
republican party, republican leadership that's going to go across this state where you're going to win by talking to people, engaging people, inviting them to our party, inviting them to be with us. inviting them to be a part of our leadership. that's how we win. this leadership, this leadership on this stage needs a republican party that understands not just the basic stuff but is prepared to do the hard stuff. an and over the past year that's exactly what we've done. you know what's one of the hardest things to do in politics? is to shut up and listen. and we've watched, we've watched this administration and nancy pelosi and harry reid -- like james brown said, talking loud
and saying nothing. where is -- where is the strategy to empower small business owners? where is the strategy to allow our kids to afford school? where is the strategy to strengthen our communities? where is the strategy to defend our borders and protect our nation? where is the strategy? where is it? i guess it's sitting on somebody's table in washington, d.c., but you -- or a teleprompter. but you all know where the strategy first started. it started at your kitchen table. it started over a year ago when a few of you got together and started talking about what it means to be an american. that you felt that those values were being stripped away slow l
but stripped away nonetheless. that you thought it was important to begin to organize yourself, to say to one neighbor to another, it's time to bring our kind of change to the table. and thus a tea party was formed. so let me -- let me clear up any confusion that may be out there that's being sewed by the other side. there is no struggle, rift, fight, between those who claim the banner of the tea party and those who are in the republican party. we work together. we're working together. we're working together to defeat obama, reid and pelosi.
we're working together to elect van tran, carly fiorina, meg whitman. we're working together as americans, as andrew said, as the song said, and as you feel it in your heart every day, we have not lost sense of who we are as a people, we have not lost sense of our responsibilities as a nation. we understand that constitution says something. it grounds us. and this fight is about restoring that. we have a generation now that owes a debt to us. and that's unfortunate because we were given prosperity by the greatest generation. now, what are we to do for the next generation? >> michael steele speaking in anaheim, california, and giving a really rousing speech there.
back now to the republican rally in california and michael steele. >> tells us when what have i do done today re-elect the men and women in congress who represent us so well, what have i done today to elect a new leadership. what have i done today, what have i done today to restore the faith of the people of california in our party and our leadership and our principles. what effort have i made. keep that card some place where you see it every day and ask yourself when you do, what have
i done to make that headline come true. the number one, on november 3rd you wake up and see that headline, you're going to know you've had a hand in transforming this party, the state, the country. folks, you are about to take us from just being the grand old party here in california to the great opportunity party here in america. you are taking us to a whole other level and you see that. as a -- reagan's always here, baby. always right here. but the second reason and perhaps probably the most important for many of us is that whatever chris matthews feels running up his leg that day, we know it won't be good. think about how you're going to
engage. when you do, we will be -- ronald reagan said when asked how the cold war would end, we win, they lose. final point. final point. final point. on wednesday, november 3rd, you'll look back and on tuesday, november 2nd, you will do the very things that are going to be required for us to not just win an election, but most importantly, to have the people of california win and to have the pelosi-reid-obama government lose and lose big. thank you very much, folks. thank you for your leadership. thank you for your hard work. let's get in this fight and do it right. thank you. thank you. >> the chairman of the republican national committee,
michael steele, giving a speech there. this is a rallying cry to get republicans out to the polls to vote on november 2nd and he said that is your duty. at the beginning, he said he was tired of republicans being complacent and not speaking their mind. with the tea party, he said there is no rift, no struggle, no fight and republicans, they all have the same mission. then made a joke saying that nancy pelosi, harry reid weren't listening to people. he said one of the first rules in politics is that you should listen instead of talk. he said they were talking loud and saying nothing, referring to an old james brown song, then made a clip about obama and his telepromter. it's called victory 2010, the sprint to the finish. up next, sarah palin is going to be speaking at this event as well and we're going to carry her speech live and you know when michael steele speaks, as i
said to you before when i introduced him, it's always interesting. he's probably going to say something continue verse yal and tick people off. and sarah palin as well no doubt. and she will -- i think she'll probably make a reference to writing something on her hand. standing by is our national correspondent, jessica yellin. jessica, what did he say? there we go. stand by. stand by. there's sarah palin taking the stage now and that's what that thunderous aploplause is for. they're calling this the victory 2010 speech to the finish. probably going to do some thank yous, then rally the troops in california.
>> thank you so much. thanks, michael. it is so good to be here. don't you love your freedom? it is so good to be here. like we're walking on sunshine, doesn't it? in here. hey, there is no way i'm not going to love a state when you enter your borders and look at your flag and see em blazened a mama grizzly. at least i think it's a mama grizzly. great to be in the golden state. positive change is just right around the corner and california, you have a clear choice this year and really, some of us on the outside, looks like it's a pretty -- choice. you can either vote for the status quo, the mask we're in, you can vote for more taxes, more government overreach, more
regulations and more unemployment or you can vote for real change, positive change, for we the people. it can start here in california! vote november 2nd. choices you have to put california in all of america to work. it's really pretty simple. you've got some simple choices, california. i know you're going to make the right choices come november 2nd, because you've done it before. thanks to you and the golden state, you brought us our american hero, ronald reagan. you did it before. i wish he was around right about now. what this great country needs to get back on track is that reagan common sense, the time tested truths he applied. reagan common sense solutions. lower taxes. smarter, smaller government. less