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tv   Headliners  MSNBC  May 5, 2019 7:00pm-9:00pm PDT

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risen against the odds. to achieve a level of the american dream. >> these struggles will not be solved in two years or four. it will take our whole lives. but this is the fight for our lives. this is the fight of our lives. could joe biden have defeated donald trump. >> oh, i don't know. >> this is the great what-if. >> i say to democrats and republicans and independents alike, don't sell this country short, folks. >> joe biden has spent a lifetime as a political power player. >> he just had encyclopedic knowledge of foreign policy. >> one thing i know about joe biden, this is a guy i would take on a long patrol. >> he celebrated triumphs. >> i accept your nomination to run and serve with barack obama! >> weathered setbacks. >> you were on the verge of dying, weren't you? >> the hearings caused an incredible backlash.
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>> and endured devastating personal tragedies. >> we can always get another senator but they can't get another father. >> you cannot lose a child and three months later get on the campaign trail. >> this was a tough one. he said beau was his soul. >> he has stepped off the political stage but doesn't hold back when it comes to an unconventional president. >> we are in the battle for this nation. >> i don't think the tombing was ever right for joe biden, but now might be the time. his late entry into the 2020. coming after a number of women said his public conduct with them made them uncomfortable. >> joe biden tonight is grappling with another woman's accusation of unwanted touching. >> does joe biden still have what it takes to make history?
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♪ it's a question people have been asking joe biden for decades. do you think you could go to your grave never having run for president? >> oh, man, you're tough. >> you going to run for president? >> are you going to run? >> is there no scenario in which you could see yourself getting into this race? >> absolutely not? >> i'm not going to run for president. >> i don't know. >> the answer is a lot is at stake and i might. >> you look like you're going to run for president. are you? >> do i regret not being president? yes. >> that's why today i am announcing my candidacy for president of the united states. >> it's an announcement 50 years in the making. taking one more shot at the oval office. >> which democrat as of now poses the greatest threat to donald trump. >> despite a packed democratic field, observers on both sides of the aisle wond per the former vice president is the democrats best chance of taking over the presidency. >> he is an authentic guy.
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which makes him likable. >> he's be a formidable opponent. he has a great standing with the american people. i think people like joe biden. >> there was considerable thinking that he would have been a more formidable candidate than hillary clinton. in 2016. >> if only. a lot of democrats are thinking that. >> the states that put trump over wisconsin. michigan. wisconsin. pennsylvania. where is joe biden from. pennsylvania. do you think he could have won the extra 70,000 votes? >> could joe biden have defeated donald trump? i entoengt >> i don't know. i won't speculate. >> the rust belt, your home territory. >> i don't know. >> regrets? >> no. i just wasn't prepared to do it after i lost my son. >> condolences are pouring in for vice president joe biden and his family, after he announced that his son, beau had lost his battle with brain cancer.
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>> beau did not want his illness to stand in the way of his dad's running. he wanted joe to run, but of course you can't do it. i mean you cannot lose a child and three months later say, oh, yeah, i'm going to get on the campaign trail. you just can't do it. >> after the 2016 election, vice president joe biden became a private citizen. criticizing trump from the sideline. >> instead of using the full might of the executive branch to secure justice and safety for all, the president uses the white house as a literal, literal bully pulpit. >> when the president of the united states stiff-arm and moved and then stood like this, that was the image of america, almost the image of the ugly american. it has such resonance. >> ah, i don't know what i said, ah. >> whether it was making fun of
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a reporter or denigrating women or saying things that would be hurtful, that's against everything joe biden stands for. >> throughout his political career, joe biden made the rights of women one of his signature issues. >> violence against women is a crime, pure and simple. >> if you want to see joe biden emotional, it is going to be on that issue. >> awe you tapes surfaced today. trump is making crude and vulgar comments about women. >> during the 2016 election biden appears outraged by the secretly recorded remarks made by then candidate trump. >> what he said he did and does is a textbook definition of sexual assault. in march 2019. his own public conduct with women comes into question. >> former nevada assemblywoman accused joe biden of inappropriately touching and kissing her without her consent.
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>> three more women came forward. to the "washington post." saying he made them uncomfortable in the past. >> he came forward fairly quickly and said i don't believe that i was inappropriate. but throughout my fire life as a politician, i have been extraordinarily affectionate with my constituents and votes. i give handshakes and hugs. that seems to be a relic of his time as a politician. he's been a senator since he was 29. it's a more direct way of interacting with your constituents. it's harder in this social media era. >> i think joe is joe and everybody who knows him well knows he is always in your space. he connects. he connects not only by being empathetic but also by touching people. >> in a tweet, biden acknowledges social norms are changing. i understand that. and i will be more mindful about respecting personal space in the future. >> i think it will take him fully recognizing how uncomfortable this makes people in order for him to win the nomination.
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>> despite that, biden feels he's the true populist to rally the electorate. and dethrone president trump. >> given his experience, history with the campaign and the presidency of barack obama and given his years of service and his life story, he could be the soul of america in this campaign. i do think the moment could be right for joe biden. >> now, biden wants another chance. to show off the grit he's developed over decades in washington. and the resiliency he's shown in overcoming intense personal setbacks. >> coming up -- >> november 7th we were sitting on top of the world. december 18th our world has collapsed. i have one kid in each branch of the military, but i'm command central. it's so important to us that verizon is supporting military families. when i have a child deployed, having a reliable network means everything. so, when i get a video chat,
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to joe biden --
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the scrappy kid from scranton, who became delaware's favorite son. you were the first decision i made as a nominee, and it was the best. [ cheering and applause ] >> joseph robinette biden jr. is born to a businessman and homemaker in scranton, pennsylvania on november 20, 1942. looking for better opportunities, his parents moved 10-year-old joe and his younger siblings, valerie, james and frank, to delaware. >> there was no sense of entitlement in my family. there was an imperative that we get an education. >> in high school, biden is nicknamed "dash" because of a debilitating stutter. >> they had an all-star football team. everybody signed the winning football, and one guy put dash, dash, dash biden.
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it was because it was j-j-joe biden. >> i was one of the few people exempted from public speaking class because i stuttered so badly. >> knowing what it felt like to be the object of someone's joke or disdain gave him an even greater ability to walk in somebody else's skin and to know how they felt. >> i am today announcing my candidacy -- >> in 1960 john f. kennedy runs for president and inspires 17-year-old biden to consider politics. >> i remember getting out the congressional digest where it lists the biographies of all of the senators and congressmen. everyone was either independently wealthy or a lawyer, and that's when i decided i wanted to go to law school. >> biden wins junior and senior class president, and by high school graduation he has overcome his stutter. >> one of the nuns i had used to tell me that the way to get it
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under control was to sort of get a rhythm to the way you read and the way you spoke, and i memorized a great deal. >> biden begins college at the university of delaware and works as the only white life guard at an all-black pool. >> that was the beginning of his education about the black community. biden would walk the streets, be with folks, protest with folks, go around with us, joke with us like one of us. >> biden goes to syracuse law school in 1965 and marries nelia hunter a year later. when he graduates, biden begins practicing law in delaware. with two sons, beau and hunter, in 1970 biden runs for the newcastle county council. >> he was going for it and so i knew i was going for it with him. >> biden wins the county council seat. two years later after having a third child, naomi, he runs for
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his seat in the u.s. senate. >> i was his campaign manager. my brother, jimmy biden, was the fundraiser. my brother frankie biden was the volunteer coordinator, my mom was the coffee chair. >> biden's opponent is veteran republican senator caleb boggs who has run undefeated for 25 years. >> nobody took us seriously. the press called us "the children's crusade." >> i'll tell you how bad it was. on labor day we had a serious poll come in, boggs 47, biden 19. >> just two months later in one of the biggest upsets in senate history, 29-year-old biden defeats 63-year-old caleb boggs. >> they announced he won, i thought to myself, i will never, ever believe again that something is impossible. >> biden is one of the youngest senators ever elected. just after election day he turns 30, and in december heads to washington. nelia and the children stay home
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to prepare for christmas. >> i was with my brother and we were hiring staff. jimmy biden called and said, come home. i said, we have to go. and we both -- we went home. >> after buying a christmas tree, nelia and the children are in a car accident. in an instant everything changes. >> the two boys were in the back seat of the car and the new baby was in the front seat of the car, and she was hit by a hay truck. >> uh-huh. it was, unfortunately, the most graphic demonstration in the world for me as to how little control one has over their lives and their destiny, how much a
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role fate plays and how vulnerable we all are. >> nelia and the baby had been killed and beau and hunt were in the hospital seriously injured. >> with both sons in the hospital, biden decides to give up his new senate seat. >> i had six or seven senior senators, including republicans, who said, "joe, come down." in retrospect, they saved my sanity. >> one of the senators said, "nelia and the boys and you worked too hard for this, you have to give it a shot." that one got him. >> biden is sworn in next to his sons' hospital beds. >> congratulations, senator. >> thank you. if in six months or so there's a conflict between my being a good father and being a good senator, we can always get another senator but they can't get another father. >> the boys kept him going and he kept going by trying to be a united states senator. >> it sounds like an urban myth,
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but i mean every single day he would take the train back to delaware so that he could read stories to his boys and tuck them in. >> the hour-and-a-half commute each way earns him the nickname amtrak joe. >> our senate hearings sometimes do not begin until 10:30 or 11:00 in the morning. we had to sort of gauge our situation on the basis of joe's train. >> biden dives into his work but says the absence of nelia and naomi was like a companion that never left his side. >> my family held me in place from going over the edge until jill lifted me up and moved me on. >> an advertisement featuring model jill jacobs catches biden's eye at the wilmington airport. >> two nights later frank and jim and my sister val were all going out together for dinner with their dates, and my brother frank said, well, i got just the
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girl for you to meet. >> biden agrees to go, and his date is the exact same girl from the photo. >> i was used to dating guys with jeans and bell bottoms and clogs. when i opened the door there he was in a dark suit and leather shoes, and i thought, "well, you know, this is only going to be one date." we went out on a date and he was really interesting. when he took me to the door to say good night, he shook my hand and i went upstairs and i called my mother and i said, "mom, i finally met a gentleman." >> the boys tell their dad, "you should marry jill." biden agrees and proposes but doesn't get the answer he wants on the first proposal. >> there were absolutely five, but the boys had lost their mother and their sister and i had to be 100% sure that it was going to last till death to us part. >> biden marries jill, who has
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launched a teaching career, and they have a daughter, ashley. as joe's political star rises in washington, he sets his sights on the top seat. coming up -- >> you were on the verge of dying, weren't you? >> yeah. geico makes it easy to get help when you need it. with licensed agents available 24/7. it's not just easy. it's having-a-walrus-in-goal easy! roooaaaar! it's a walrus! ridiculous! yes! nice save, big guy! good job duncan! way to go! [chanting] it's not just easy. it's geico easy. oh, duncan. stay up. no sleepies. the 2019 subaru outback is how safe is the car you're considering?ico easy. an iihs top safety pick plus. the honda cr-v is not.
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and reaches everywhere. this is beyond wifi. this is xfi. simple, easy, awesome. i announce my candidacy for president of the united states of america. >> after 14 years in the senate, 44-year-old joe biden runs for president in 1987. >> senator joseph biden of delaware has raised the most money. >> a lot of things start going right for him. he's giving speeches that are getting a lot of attention. he is known as one of his party's most effective, inspiring orders. >> as biden's campaign gains momentum, a controversial judge named robert bork is nominated to the supreme court. >> robert bork is a lightning rod nomination. he has all sorts of provocative writings on american social issues and democrats react with terror.
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>> as chairman of the judiciary committee, biden will oversee the bork supreme court hearing, while continuing his run for president. amid everything biden starts to get debilitating headaches but works through the pain. >> so the headaches started. it is not like he said, i got a terrible headache. you will just notice he is popping some aspirin. >> during his campaign, biden is inspired by a speech given by british labor party leader neil kinnock and begins referencing it on the trail. >> neil kinnock was telling a personal story about the dignity of working class life, about the potential of building something better for the next generation, about the role government can play in helping families like that, and so he did start making it kind of a staple of his message on the campaign trail. >> almost every major press person in the country had heard me repeatedly attribute that quotation to kinnock. >> could be made of the time -- >> at the iowa state fair,
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democratic presidential candidates debate, biden again quotes kinnock in his closing statement. >> why is it that joe biden is the first in his family ever to go to a university? >> this time biden forgets to attribute the line to kinnock and faces accusations of plagiarism. >> senator, can you clarify any of your comments -- >> it wouldn't have been a problem if he had acknowledged the source of it. >> plagiarism charges dog biden's campaign. >> i concluded that i will stop being a candidate for president of the united states. >> things that were disqualifying back then are no longer disqualifying. >> immediately after ending his presidential campaign, biden walks down the hall and continues presiding over the bork hearing. >> ted kennedy slips him a note and says, i've been there, there's life after this. i think that resonated with biden in that moment, because kennedy had been there. >> after an historic constitutional debate led by
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biden, the senate rejects bork's nomination. as biden presses forward in the senate his severe headaches continue. >> the headaches really got bad after he withdrew from the race. >> and in february of 1988 an aneurism ruptures in joe biden's brain. biden is rushed into emergency surgery. >> you were on the verge of dying, weren't you? >> yeah. >> what did you say to your children? >> in general terms i told them how much i believed in them and what i expected of them if i died. >> i think there's a reason for what happened, and i think that getting out of the race was, quite frankly, a god send. >> it was at that point that i made my peace with the campaign falling apart. in the long-run if he wants to be president i think it will make him a better president. >> after lifesaving surgery biden returns to the senate.
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>> i mean he is a man who really has a lot of strength and fortitude. he just gets up. >> in 1990, troubled by data showing increasing crime against women, he introduces the violence against women act. >> the idea that someone could abuse a woman and not face the full penalty of the law was just an anathema to him. >> it will act as the first time the government will address domestic and sexual violence against women, but it dies in committee. >> when joe biden first introduced it, it was not a subject on the political radar. >> he reintroduces his act in 1991. again, it doesn't make it to the floor for a vote. later that year the issue of sexual harassment makes headlines when clarence thomas is nominated to the supreme court. again, biden will oversee the nomination hearing.
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>> then joe biden's judiciary committee finds out that anita hill says that clarence thomas had sexually harassed her. >> anita hill is called before the judiciary committee. >> he spoke about acts he had seen in pornographic films involving such matters as women having sex with animals and films showing group sex or rape scenes. >> it was the first time that the issue of sexual harassment was being aired like this. >> thomas told me graphically of his own sexual prowess. >> biden is still pushing to get the violence against women act passed. however, he and the all-male panel are criticized for appearing unsympathetic to hill and for not calling other women with similar allegations to testify. >> in fact, he never did ask you to have sex, correct? >> in 1991, sexual harassment was not a common term. i don't think that they understood it from the point of view of victims of sexual harassment.
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>> it just seems so incredible to me that you would not only have visited with him twice, i would think that these things, what you described, are so repugnant that you would never have talked to him again. >> nobody was covered with glory, not any of the members of the committee, republican or democrat. >> when we look back, of course we look at joe biden because he was the leader, but the responsibility has to be with the whole group. >> this is a tragedy. the people keep mentioning that. i do apologize to the women of america if they got the wrong impression about how seriously i take the issue of sexual harassment. >> clarence thomas denies all charges of sexual harassment. biden votes against confirming thomas, but the senate sends him to the supreme court. >> the hearings caused an incredible backlash. ended up calling 1992 "the year of the woman."
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there were female candidates who ran for office across the country, saying they were enraged not enough senators believed anita hill. that's where the momentum comes i think to pass the violence against women act. >> biden reintroduces the violence against women act in 1993. >> if we mean to do something about it, do something about it. >> this time it passes and is signed by president clinton. >> the one decision he made to introduce this bill and get it passed has had an incredible effect, multiplier effect across this country. >> it is the legislation he is most proud of, and it continues on to this day. i have met women who have come up to me and said, you know, my sister wouldn't be alive today if it weren't for your husband. >> instead of keeping us at arm's length, vice president biden has decided to say, "i'm going to fight for them." it is impossible to describe unless you have been a survivor. >> doing the violence against women act was the single most significant thing i have ever
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been part of. that's a fact. >> coming up -- >> joe had no interest in running for vice president. luckily denture breath will be the least of his worries. because he uses polident 4 in 1 cleaning system to kill 99.99% of odor causing bacteria. polident. clean. fresh. and confident.
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our top stories national security adviser is deploying the u.s. lincoln carrier group and other assets to send a message to iran. saying the move is in response to a number of troubling indications. he isn't providing details. russian investigators say a yet jet encountered problems in the air before returning to the airport for a fiery emergency landing. 40 people on the plane were killed. back to headliners. joe biden. ♪ standing up for the values protects us better than any barrier we could build between ourselves and the rest of the
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world, because our values are what draws the world to our side. >> as a member of the senate foreign relations committee since his 30s, joe biden has been in a front row seat to u.s. foreign policy. >> he had been involved in foreign affairs of one kind or another his entire adult life, whether it was protesting the vietnam war or working on arms control or being a champion for humanitarian intervention in the balkans. >> he tries to put every policy issue through a prism of people, whether it be military policy, foreign policy or domestic policy, he tries to relate it to people. >> after decades of getting to know the world's leaders, at age 58, in 2001, biden is named chairman of the senate foreign relations committee. >> we served for 30 years together on the foreign relations committee, and joe was really endefatigable with his travels. >> he was well-known in the
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capitals around the world. he knew the prime minister, the president, whatever it might be, the foreign ministers. they were comfortable with him and they would listen to him. >> when he got to know all of these foreign leaders, he came away with a better understanding of who they were and what they had to get out of a negotiation, and you only really can get that honestly if you make friends with these people. it doesn't mean that you may not be adversaries from time to time. >> on september 10, 2001, biden gives a prophetic security warning at the national press club. >> the real threat comes to this country in the hold of a ship, the belly of a plane. >> a day later -- america is attacked. the u.s. goes to war in afghanistan the next month, and iraq two years later. initially biden argues the u.s. should avoid entering the war in iraq.
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>> i do not believe, and never have as you know, believe there's a direct correlation between the threat that comes from al qaeda and international terrorist organizations and saddam hussein. i believe that's a bunch of malarkey. >> ultimately, like most democrats, biden votes in favor of the war. he later says he regrets the vote and is a fierce critic of bush's policies in iraq. >> he had strong views of what was going on in both afghanistan and iraq, and i know that he made those views known to the president. sometime his advice was accepted and sometimes it was not accepted, but he would not hold it back because somebody might not like it. he always was trying to find the solution. >> my friend talks about letting the iraqi political -- >> the way he fights you endears him to you. you can actually oppose somebody and come out of the contest more liked. i think he's been wrong about a lot of stuff on foreign policy,
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but he's very passionate, and he does it in a very respectful way. >> as bush's second term comes to an end, biden eyes another shot at running for president. >> we thought we were the right person at the right time for the right reasons. >> i'm thinking he better run because i want to end that war in iraq. our son was in the military. i really wanted that war to be over in the worst way. >> are you running for president? >> i am running for president. >> and you're going to talk on hillary clinton, barack obama and all other comers? >> i'm going to be joe biden and i'm going to try to be the best biden i can be, if i can, i have a shot, if i can't, i lose. >> what three nations other than iraq represent to you the biggest threat to the united states? >> the biggest threat to the united states is right now north korea. iran not as big a threat but a long-term threat and, quite frankly, the tendency of putin to move in a totalitarian direction. >> every single one of those debates joe biden found himself to get in the mix in a way that showcased knowledge of foreign policy.
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>> biden gets only 1% of the iowa vote and drops out of the race. barack obama wins the nomination and asks biden to be his running mate. >> joe had zero, zero interest in running for vice president. he thought he had a stronger position to influence policy as being chair of foreign relations, and my mom said, "joe, the first african-american president whose policies and principles you have supported your entire life and you're not going to help him because you don't think you want to be vice president? really?" >> i said, how can you not do it. this is a moment in history. think of the things we will be able to accomplish. >> the next vice president of the united states of america -- >> obama presses joe biden to reconsider, and biden says, yes. as long as he could be the last guy in the room. >> joe wanted to be a full partner. the one way to be sure i'm a full partner is i'm the last person in the cabinet room or the oval office.
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>> yes, yes, i accept your nomination to run and serve with barack obama! [ cheering and applause ]. >> obama and biden win the 2008 election, and in 2009 delaware's career senator -- >> i joseph robinette biden jr. do solemnly swear -- >> -- becomes the united states of america's 47th vice president. >> that i will support and defend the constitution of the united states. >> it just felt like joy. it was all, look at the possibilities. >> looking out onto that mall and seeing thousands upon thousands of people, you just didn't want to miss a minute of it. coming up -- >> i could list several things that the vice president had done and the press never saw that. crg for people 50 and older at average risk.
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come on. >> they won't let me. >> they won't let you? >> president obama and vice president biden become one of the closest political partnerships in white house history. >> i'm confident that in their conversations joe told him what he thought ought to be done, but when the president made his decision, i'm also sure that joe biden supported him to the fullest. >> they confided in each other about everything. >> i think it was a surprise to both of them actually about how much they came to actually love one another. >> they had an outlook on the world that was very much a consensus, and because they had that consensus you could then have the vice president playing a more central role.
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>> the first challenge of the obama administration is addressing what is called the greatest global financial crisis of our time. >> instantly the new obama administration is confronted with something that no president since fdr had been confronted with. the economy was melting down. >> we were losing 750,000 jobs a month, we had the banks on verge of collapse. >> biden gets involved, putting his years of experience in the senate to use. >> i have asked vice president biden to lead a tough, unprecedented oversight effort because nobody messes with joe. >> senator mcconnell gets on the senate floor and says, hey, the only person i'm going to deal with is joe biden. >> president obama had two years of senate experience, joe biden had 35. those relationships count when you're passing legislation. >> joe understood sort of what you could and couldn't do, and he was able to work with senator mcconnell in a way i don't think anybody else in the white house could have done it.
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as a result, we avoided a fiscal calamity. >> obama also leans on biden's relationships on issues such as health care and iraq. >> president obama knew that biden brought a kind of rolodex that could be drawn upon to try to help navigate iraqi politics and our relationships. >> biden helps orchestrate a handover of power to the iraqis in 2010, a move that is both celebrated and criticized. >> it is clear to me they wanted to get out and it is an example of where i think they got it wrong. you could can argue bush got it wrong, you can argue i got it wrong, but i think he and obama made a mistake. >> we're not claiming victory. what we're claiming here is that we've done the job our administration set out to do, to end the bleeding, both financially and physically, that this war has caused. >> throughout their administration, obama and biden develop a synchronized approach. >> i think it evolved quite naturally.
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the president tends to be reflective and he would like to hear from all sides. the tendency is if people know the president wants to go in one direction, everybody goes in that direction. it was helpful to have the vice president willing to say, look, this is what i think and let people debate with him. it worked. >> what the president wanted him to do was to help him get his head around a problem, what are the assumptions, what are the premises, what are the implications. biden would raise a question that nobody wanted on the table raised. >> biden becomes the highest-ranking white house official to endorse marriage equality, publicly supporting it before president obama. >> men marrying men, women marrying women and heterosexual men and women marrying one another are entitled to the same exact rights. >> they talked about it a lot. it wasn't a surprise to president obama that the vice president felt that way. the timing was a little surprising to us, but i think it just came up naturally in an interview. he was asked a direct question
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and he answered it. >> in 2012, obama and biden are re-elected to a second term. the thrill of the win is short-lived. >> right after the reelection, of course, we have the terrible tragedy of sandy hook elementary school, and president obama asked vice president biden to lead our effort to try to get the most sensible legislation through to keep guns out of the wrong hands. >> we now belong to a lousy club, a lousy, stinking club where -- where as a parent, for whatever reason you have a child predecease you. >> in the end we failed, and that was a huge disappointment for both of them, and for all of us. >> biden's personal touch endears him to colleagues. >> i remember seeing a note basically telling people that if
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they missed birthday parties or recitals that he would be mad, that he didn't want people to use their work at the white house as an excuse not to spend time with one's family because of how precious it is. >> when we were in iraq one time he found out that it was my daughter's birthday, and we were in the middle of baghdad and he ended up calling my daughter from iraq and wishing her a happy birthday. >> when my first daughter was born, you know, he taught me the irish lullaby i still sing to this day to each one of my kids, they request it, they know it word for word. >> when my father died the vice president called up and he said, "i'm going to come see you." i thought, sometime in the next few days. well, he came right up. and he grabbed me by the shoulders and he looked me in the face and he said, "it will get better." and it just meant so much to me that he would do that for me. >> i could list several things that the vice president had done with wounded warriors, with
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people that were sick, of friends that he called that were struggling, of parents that he called of children that had died, and the press never saw that. >> he's been through such tragedy in his life, and you recognize what other people are going through, whether it is illness or loss. they know that he understands their pain. >> when the biden family is shattered again on may 30, 2015 by the death of beau, who served as delaware's attorney general, the people biden has touched rally around him. >> i immediately went to vice president biden's house and stayed with him. there was a spot where he and beau would always sit and talk. and he just wanted me to walk out there with him. we probably sat there for 30 minutes, didn't say a word. you could only feel that -- the loss that he felt. >> president obama gives the
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eulogy at beau's funeral. >> what a great inheritance than to be part of a family that passes on the values of what it means to be a great parent, tha means to be a great parent, that passes on the values what it means to be a true citizen, that passes on the values what it means to give back fully and freely, without expecting anything in return. that's what our country was built on. >> before he passed away, bo had asked his dad to make him a promise. >> he said, promise me, dad, promise me you will be okay, meaning we will all stick together, we will all be here. >> what motivates joe, if you want to honor bo, keep doing things bo believes in and he believes in, just an unusual man
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if you don't love joe biden, it is time for some serious introspection. >> as president obama's second term winds down, vice president biden receives tributeses from senate colleagues from many relationships from both sides of the aisle. >> we have been friends for 40 years since i was a navy senate liaison and used to carry your bags on trusted trips. >> you've been a friend and trusted partner and it's been an honor to serve with you. >> president obama honors biden with the highest civilian award in the united states. >> i am pleased to award our
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nation's highest civilian honor, the presidential medal of freedom. >> the internet explodes with a series of meetings about biden and obama's bromance. >> they're funny. he think there's funny, too. he's always able to laugh at himself. i'll never forget when "the onion" had that superimposed figure of him washing a trans am, in shorts. he said, that's a trans am. i'm a corvette guy. >> reporter: before leaving office, the corvette guy races general colin powell on cnbc's jay leno's garage. >> go ahead, go ahead! >> i would let him get out in front of me just briefly and then i'd floor mine and beat him
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to the finish point. but, jay leno did not show that last five seconds. so it looks like we're both turning and coming back and we're even. we weren't even. i was about to beat his butt. don't let him tell you anything else. >> my name is joe biden. i'll be vice president of the united states for 48 more hours. i'm here today to issue a call to action. >> after watching the 2017 handover to the trump administration, biden begins life as a private citizen. >> back on amtrak! >> the election is over. donald trump is president and i'm disappointed, to state the obvious. >> he forms a pact called "american possibilities," ostensibly to support democratic candidates. >> you have know up and vote. >> after 36 years in the senate,
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eight years in the white house and a lifetime of service, the question remain -- >> who is the person you actually think could beat donald trump. there's one name and you know who it is. it's joe biden. >> it's about time we lifted our headses up. get the hell up and take back the country. >> while it seems like half the democratic party is running for president in 2020, joe biden vaults to the polls. the potential campaign appears to stutter before it starts when in march 2019, two women say he touches theme inappropriately. >> he leans down, and plants a kiss on the top of my head. >> biden is very touchy-feely and this is the first time women said this makes me uncomfortable. >> my bias is clear in terms of joe biden. i think he's one of the most
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decent people i ever met. i don't believe for a second he meant to do anything wrong. from my point of view, joe has been the same, kind, he's joe. >> just this morning, former vice president joe biden joins the crowded democratic race. >> he is officially in. >> bind decides he can weather the accusations and at 76 years old vows that he has one more campaign in him. >> if we give donald trump eight more years in the white house he will fundamentally alter this nation. i cannot stand by and watch that happen. >> biden is a centrist and he needs to appeal to them. that's who they lost to in 2016. he's increasingly being pulled to the left by people like warren and sanders. he also is a known quantity within the democratic party. >> i think the question a lot of younger progressive voters are
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going to be asking is we cannot go back to 2008 or 2009 through 2017. that's done. what else you got? >> 70 is the new 50 and age is nothing but a number. having been in the second spot for eight years and having served so long in the senate he knows exactly what it takes to be president. >> one thing i know about joe biden comes to me from my military background, something we say about people when we believe they are the best of breed and you can trust them. that is, this is a guy i would take on a long patrol. >> he's sort of an inspiration to people in my business, that you can be for the progressive agenda, in this case, and still do business with people like me. if you asked me an example of somebody a young person would want to emulate, it would be joe biden. >> he lost his wife, you get up.
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you lose your kids, get up. people say things about you, you get over it and get up. >> i've always always said that joe would make a great president, and i haven't changed. president, and i haven't changed. it was a while wind romance. >> he professed his love in a poem. >> a wonderful life. there was the mansion in chicago, yacht in the mediterranean and vacations anywhere they wanted to go. >> you look beautiful, look really really beautiful. >> a successful surgeon. his practice pulled in a staggering million dollars a month. >> he would go on these spending sprees. he had three drivers on call. >> but, then, on one of those exotic trips together the doctor
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disappeared. >> was there a note of any kind? >> nothing. >> leaving behind his wife, his yacht and some very angry people. >> he is a very evil person. >> what had he done? >> that was the worst night of my life. >> what could his wife do now? >> i think he bought about $500,000 worth of diamonds before he left. >> where did the diamonds go? >> with him, i suppose. >> who was this wealthy man of mystery living in the italian alps. >> i don't think they have any idea what's going to happen. >> welcome to "the great escape." >> welcome. i'm craig melvin. dr. mark weinberger seemed to have it all, thriving medical practice and strong marriage and globe trotting lifestyle. but the successful surgeon was hiding a secret from his medical staff and adoring wife. there was a malpractice suit and a death and then the doctor
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vanished sparking an international manhunt and family's fight for justice. >> it had all the makings of a perfect fantasy. the perfect husband, away with his perfect wife for her 30th birthday in the picture perfect gre greek islands. the weather was perfect. the accommodations aboard their fully staffed 80 foot yacht perfect. it was late september 2004 and with her mother and a few close girlfriends along to help the golden couple celebrate, michelle weinberger had every reason to believe she was living a perfectly charmed life with the man of her dreams. then, as if suddenly doused with cold water her dream ended. >> when i woke up in the morning at 7 a.m. a.with a horrible feeling in my stomach he wasn't there next to me. i put my hand on his side of the bed and remember feeling it
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empty. >> michelle says she sprung from the bed and ran around calling for her husband, mark, no answer. >> the captain said he went jogging. i start jogging all down looking for him and i had this horrible feeling which continued the rest of that day. >> there was plenty of time to think in those anxious hours. was he injured? kidnapped? was their guilded lifestyle about to end in tragedy. >> i really believed he was my soulmate and he believed that too. he was the kindest most gentle man i had ever met. >> really a prince charming? >> absolutely. >> the night before he vanished, mark seemed so happy posing for a dinnertime picture with michelle and a friend. now, he was gone. by mid-afternoon, michelle was ball of nerves.
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clearly he was not out jogging as the captain said that morning. she demanded answers. >> the captain said, i will tell you because you're on the brink of having a nervous breakdown. i want you to know he bought some kind of present for you in town and took a jet to paris to finish the present and will come back by the end of the day before the sun goes down. >> that story didn't surprise michelle. for the past few days mark had been acting like a man planning something. >> he was always running and doing something. i was kind of like, this is our vacation, time to spend together. i would rather not have some big fabulous present and have you lay with me by the pool and not be sneaking around. >> what did he say? >> he said, you never want to trust me about surprises. you need to trust me, this is going to be huge. >> if michelle knew anything about her husband, he was a born romantic who went all out for
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special occasions. it had only been five years since fate brought mark weinberger into her life, changing it in ways unimaginable at the time. it all began with a ladies night out at a chicago bar. >> i saw him at a bar. he was out with his friend who had recently gotten divorced. we just started talking. we hit it off. i thought he was really intriguing. >> she was michelle kramer back then, a 25-year-old college student from a blue collar family, still living with her folks. mark weinberger, 11 years older, was already a very successful ear, nose and throat doctor. >> we were bonding about medicine because i had just gotten through doing a stint in neuroscience at the university of chicago. we were just making jokes about the medical millew. he was very funny. >> you hit it off right off the bat?
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>> right. we went out to dinner. it was on a thursday and i spent thursday, friday, saturday and sunday with him and by monday i was enamored and smitten. >> reporter: within month, michelle moved out of her parents' home and into his townhouse in chicago. the whirlwind was on. for a girl whose father was a pipe fitter, this was head turning stuff. >> i want to say this is the best vacation ever. i love you. >> her new love was a philosophy poetry writing renaissance man. >> he swept me off my feet. >> you had an unbelievable life. >> i did. it was so romantic when i met him it was awesome and things got exponentially outrageous as time went on.
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>> outrageously good. >> for instance instead of simply popping the question to michelle, mark flew her to rome and had a driver meet her at the piazza and presented her with an enormous ring while a group of m minstrals he hired were clapping. >> i was crying and it was a beautiful moment. >> their wedding was a three act. it was held purposely for allowing michelle's father who was dying of cancer, to walk her down the aisle. next, there was a lavish blessing ceremony in the 12th century villa on italy's coast and mark flew in a dozen guests from the states and then he topped it off by renting the field museum and inviting more
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guests for the reception there. those were the memories that kept running through michelle's mind as she and mark waited for mark to return. when the sun set that night and mark had not returned as the captain had promised, michelle knew something was horribly wrong. but what? no reports of accident involving mark, no signs of foul play, no ransom note, only questions. >> was there a note of any kind? >> nothing. no message, nothing. >> i went through the boat like a crazy person tearing everything up looking for something. the only two things i found was a thousand euros and my passport in a drawer. >> after 24 hours of watching an historical michelle suffer, the yachts captain gave her a number for a greek cell phone mark had been secretly using ever since they had been on the yacht. michelle had no idea what would happen when she dialed that number but she was desperate to hear her husband's voice.
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>> he answered rather happily, like 5:00 a.m. he said, hello. and i was in shock. i said, hello. and then he fumbled with the phone and hung up. >> did he know it was you on the phone? >> oh, yeah. >> how did that feel? >> i was -- i was devastated. i felt like somebody punched me in the stomach. i couldn't understand why he would do that. >> as it turned out, michelle's husband had, as promised, given her a huge surprise all right. he deserted her, for reasons she did not yet understand, michelle would have to return home alone. she knew her life as she had been living it was over. what she didn't know was the devastation her husband left behind went deeper than her own personal agony, and that the twisted tale of the run away doctor would eventually lead to one of the unlikeliest places on
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earth. >> where was the doctor and why had he abandoned his wife and his incredibly profitable medical practice. coming up. >> in a good week, how much money do you think he was taking in? >> he was bringing in about a million dollars a month. >> when "the great escape" continues. contin ues. stopping drivers from: liking. selfie-ing. and whatever this is. available to the public... never. smartdogs are not the answer. but geico has a simple tip. turn on "do not disturb while driving" mode. brought to you by geico. essential for the cactus, but maybe not for people with rheumatoid arthritis. because there are options. like an "unjection™". xeljanz xr. a once-daily pill for adults with moderate to severe ra for whom methotrexate did not work well enough.
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welcome back. michelle weinberger had been living large with her wealthy husband, surgeon, mark weinberger. that came to an abrupt end when he vanished from her life without a note or explanation. why had the doctor abandoned the woman he professed to love? could his disappearance be somehow tied to his multi-million dollar medical practice? the picturesque greek isles where dr. mark weinberger deserted his wife in september
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2004 are half a world away from the rust belt region of indiana where he made his fortune. mark weinberger was not from indiana. he didn't grow up on hoop dreams or the hope of a union job. in fact, he didn't even live here. according to pulitzer prize winning writer buzz who wrote this story, mark weinberger was a nerdy kid from a wealthy new york suburb who was driven by sibling rivalry to outshine his brothers. >> mark figured, the way to be the apple of my parents' eye is to do well in school. he did very well at scarsdale high. frs he went to the university of pennsylvania, then went to ucla medical school where he thrived. >> he could have established his ear nose and throat medical practice anywhere, but in 1996 he chose merrillville, indiana. it was close enough to chicago that he could live there and have chauffeurs drive him to his office every day. but most important, he could
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count on the air pollution in northwest indiana to provide a steady stream of patients with sinus problems. >> in northwest indiana where you're breathing in the pollution, you've got high pollen and extreme changes in temperature, it's not unusual to see a high degree of patients who suffer from sinus problems. >> suzette dennington, weinberger's top medical assistant worked closely with him day in and day out. >> he was an excellent physician. >> what do you think motivated him? >> his desire to be the best at what he did. >> in 2000, weinberger began aggressively advertising himself as a sinus specialist. he billed himself as dr. nose and his practice grew rapidly. >> we could see 40 to 50 patients on an office day. out of those, 10 to 16 would be new patients. >> how many surgeries was he performing? >> on an average, within 15 to 22 a week. >> 15 to 22 surgeries, one man, every week. >> yes.
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>> and you've worked in this business a long time. i mean, how busy is that compared to your average surgeon? >> huge. >> dennington said patients who walked woo swineberger's clinic with anything from breathing problems to bad headaches were told that his sinus surgeries were an alternative to taking medications every day and had a 95% success rate. >> his technique was incredible. i've done sinus surgeries for 18 years. never saw the technique that he used, and it was the benefit to the patients was amazing. >> weinberger's business model it seemed was based on the three-word slogan of salesmen everywhere -- volume, volume, volume. >> i think he measured a certain amount of his worth by how many procedures he was doing. >> of course, the fact that nearly all of weinberger's patients seemed to have the same problem and required the exact same surgery greatly simplified things. >> deviated septum and polyps.
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>> deviated septum and polyps. >> deviated septum and polyps. >> deviated septum and polyps. >> what did the doctor recommend? >> surgery immediately. >> surgery. >> surgery asap. >> as consistent as these former patients say weinberger was with his diagnosis, suzette dennington said he was quite flexible when billing insurance companies. >> it all depended on the amount the insurance company was willing to pay. it could be anywhere from $1500 to $16,000 per procedure. >> as much as $16,000 per procedure, 15 to 20 procedures a week. >> correct. >> in a good week, how much money do you think he took in? >> i do know that at one point for the entire business he was bringing in about $1 million a month. >> even a man with expensive taste, such as mark weinberger, could live large on a cash flow like that. and according to writer buzz
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bissinger, he did. at home, there were uniformed maids, a personal trainer and masseuse. >> he would go on these spending sprees. he lived in a $2.5 million condominium. he had three drivers on call by limo. >> who could have known in those first blissful days, as the music played and champagne flowed, how it would all end. certainly not mark weinberger's new bride, michelle. >> a northwest indiana doctor is apparently on the run tonight and he's left behind serious legal trouble. >> in the weeks and months after her husband left her in greece, michelle was bound and determined to find out why her husband had abandoned her. coming up -- lying low, living large. >> he had apparently packed two suitcases full of water
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filtration systems and language tapes. i think he bought about maybe $500,000 worth of diamonds before he left. >> $500,000? >> uh-huh. >> and where did the diamonds go? >> with him, i suppose. i didn't find out anything about diamonds until after he had left. >> when "the great escape" continues. escape" continues. for people 50 and older colat average honey have you seen my glasses? i've always had a knack for finding things... colon cancer, to be exact. and i find it noninvasively... no need for time off or special prep. it all starts here... you collect your sample, and cologuard uses the dna in your stool to find 92% of colon cancers. you can always count on me to know where to look. oh, i found them! i can do this test now! ask your doctor if cologuard is right for you. covered by medicare and most major insurers.
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in the weeks after her husband had abandoned her in greece, michelle examined every memory she had of mark weinberger. >> she's the hostess and she's the mostest. >> turning each unreliable fragment in her mind as if seeing scenes from her life for the first time. >> i have marky all to myself. yeah, markey. he acts like i'm holding him as a prisoner. >> none of it made sense to michelle. hadn't they had it all? money, youth, happiness.
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what on earth, she wondered, could have caused him just to chuck it all, without a note of explanation. >> november 1st was our three-year anniversary and a bit of a turning point for me. but prior to that i still believed wholeheartedly that he was going to send for me. and if he sent for me, i would have went with him. >> really? >> i would have, yes. and that day came and went with no phone call, no letter, nothing. and that made me realize that i needed to take care of myself and try to get back on my own two feet. >> mark was still alive. she knew that because, even though she hadn't heard from him since that brief phone call in greece, credit card statements were still coming in to their home in chicago. >> he's going to the biggest fashion houses across france and buying clothing and he's at casinos. >> and you're back and you can't even pay the water bill. >> right. and i'm sitting there crying every night listening to our songs, you know, mourning his
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loss and he's in the south of france. >> his credit card tally in the south of france alone added up to more than $50,000. since there's no law against disappearing, michelle couldn't really go to the authorities. it seemed the only people even interested in finding mark weinberger were his creditors. but michelle wouldn't give up. on more than one occasion, michelle flew to europe in hopes of tracking down and confronting her husband. >> just me and a pair of handcuffs. i brought handcuffs because i figured if he saw me he might, like, be freaked out. i just wanted an explanation. >> she even came close once, arriving at a paris hotel just a day after weinberger had checked out. but back home she still faced a growing pile of unpaid bills. mark had never allowed her to see the bills before or even have her own checking account.
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>> it's almost laughable in a way when i get faxes from banks saying i owe $3.5 million because i don't even have a concept in my head of what $3 million is. >> eventually, michelle learned that mark weinberger had left her $6 million in debt. we first met michelle in february 2005. five months after her husband had vanished. at that time, michelle's home was in foreclosure and she had realized she had no choice but to file for divorce. >> i don't know how ready i am to say that i'm filing for divorce but financially it's a necessity right now so it's something that has to be done in order to try to separate myself from the debt that he's accrued. >> in october 2005, a little over a year after her husband literally jumped ship, michelle filed for bankruptcy. >> the person that i fell in love with, the person that i knew for five years, that person
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certainly was a soul mate and a best friend to me. this person who would leave behind such devastation in his wake, i don't know who he is. >> with the benefit of 20/20 hindsight, michelle told us she should have seen the signs of trouble coming. mark was sometimes distant. he could be rude, even abusive to people he deemed his social inferiors. but the summer of 2004, a few months before mark disappeared, seemed to be the real turning point. michelle was pregnant. >> both of us could not have been happier at that moment. those good feelings lasted for a couple weeks. and then i had to go to hawaii for an apa conference that i was presenting at. >> presenting at the american psychological conference that
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july was a prestigious honor for a grad student like michelle. even though mark begged her not to go, she went anyway. >> and things started to change while i was in hawaii. he called me and said lawyers were claiming that he was doing unnecessary surgery and he was afraid it was going to become a class action suit, at which point he jumps ten steps ahead and assumes that his insurance company would settle, his medical license would be taken away and everything would be destroyed. >> so his life is flashing before his eyes. >> uh-huh. >> one of those former patients now had terminal cancer, and she was suing him for not diagnosing it sooner. michelle says that for mark the malpractice suit was more than just a blemish on his reputation. it was a blow to his vanity. and though michelle assured him of her love and support, she said she could feel her husband pulling away. >> i knew he was stressed out about the lawsuits, but i really believed in my heart it was something we could fight against.
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>> a few weeks later, it was michelle who was devastated and needed support when she suffered a miscarriage and had to be hospitalized. >> and he promised, he swore that he would be there before i went under anesthesia. and he insisted that he had to go into his office to take care of some things, and he didn't show up. and i was shocked. >> whatever mark weinberger was doing in the office those days was also a mystery to employees like suzette dennington, weinberger's top medical assistant at the sinus clinic. >> he started to be one of the first people in the office and last people to leave every day. >> what was he doing in his office? >> i don't know. the door was closed. it was very quiet. we would have to knock on the door and let him know that there was another patient ready to be seen. he definitely withdrew. >> suzette says that wasn't the only strange thing going on that summer. suddenly, shipments of camping
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gear began arriving at the weinberger clinic. >> one of his treatment rooms in one wing of the building was full of camping equipment. i really didn't see him as being much of a camper. >> he's more four seasons hotel type. >> right. but he was almost frantically packing it up. >> what kinds of equipment did he have? >> there were several backpacks. there were just bags that were stuffed with things that you couldn't see. >> and then there were the strange men with thick european accents that some employees reported seeing coming into the office with briefcases to meet privately with weinberger. michelle later learned those men were diamond dealers from new york. >> i think he bought about maybe $500,000 worth of diamonds before he left. >> $500,000? >> uh-huh. >> and where did the diamonds go? >> with him, i suppose. i didn't find out anything about diamonds until after he had left. >> diamonds, light, fungible,
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untraceable, just the kind of tip that's found in a book michelle discovered among mark's things after he left. michelle came to see that her husband had been planning his vanishing act for months. >> he had apparently packed two huge suitcases full of water filtration systems, gps equipment, language tapes. all types of bizarre things, and he shipped one of the bags to kahn and another bag to athens. >> a meticulous plan, perfectly executed, though even in hindsight michelle now remembered how nervous he had been on the day they flew to greece. >> he was yelling at everybody and he's, like, i have to make this flight. >> i'm like, we're not late, we're not going to miss the flight. he was just completely uncontrollable in the airport. >> oddly enough, even knowing her husband had deliberately deceived, humiliated and abandoned her, michelle continued to defend him.
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>> he was an excellent doctor. that's why it really infuriated me to see his name dragged through the mud. >> the real culprits, michelle felt, were former patients egged on by greedy lawyers who were suing him for malpractice. >> i think it's a bit opportunistic, but that's the state of our legal system in this country. that's what doctors have to face every day. >> how can you stand up for him now? >> because i know how much he cared about his patients. in the end, i think that he was a very scared man. >> had it actually been one of those patients who caused mark weinberger to flee, forfeiting all he worked for? michelle was sure of it. she had often heard mark mention the name of one of his former patients in the weeks and months before he left. a woman with terminal cancer. coming up -- >> she had a cough that wouldn't go away, sore throat,
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hoarseness. these are things that a first year medical student would recognize as signs and symptoms of throat cancer or laryngeal cancer. weinberger didn't pay attention. >> when "the great escape continues." continues. oh, could you, uh, make me a burger? -poof -- you're a burger. [ laughter ] -everyone acts like their parents. -you have a tattoo. -yes. -fun. do you not work? -so, what kind of mower you got, seth? -i don't know. some kid comes over. we pay him to do it. -but it's not all bad. someone even showed us how we can save money by bundling home and auto with progressive. progressive can't protect you from becoming your parents. but we can protect your home and auto. progressive can't protect you from becoming your parents. there areand the best.s... which egg tastes more farm-fresh and delicious? only eggland's best. with more vitamins d and e and 25% less saturated fat? only eggland's best. better taste, better nutrition, better eggs. you wouldn't accept an incomplete job from any one else. why accept it from your allergy pills?
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i'm dara brown, our top stories. the u.s. is sending a bomber group to send a message to iran. john bolton said any attack on its interests or allies will be met with unrelenting force. a silicone plant burst into flames friday night with nine workers inside. investigators are still trying to determine the cause of the explosion. now, back to "dateline." now, ba" >> welcome back to "dateline
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extra." michelle weinberger's life had been with her prince charming and then he abandoned her and after being hit with a malpractice suit. what was it that caused mark to give up that good life for a life on the run. >> in winters, where dr. mark weinberg practices medicine usually have all the luster of cotton. but in late december, it was another blue sky caribbean holiday. >> gorgeous. >> it's a beautiful day here. >> it's perhaps good that the happy couple couldn't see the future on a day such as this because there was so much unhappiness ahead. in three years, he would be on the run, somewhere in europe, and she would be alone,
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brokenhearted and bankrupt. of course, they had no way of seeing any of this coming, not here, not on this night. >> new year's eve 2002. i've never been so happy in my whole life. this is my dream. >> but far to the north in indiana, one of dr. weinberger's patients, phyllis barnes could clearly see her future was looking grim. >> my sister went through hell. >> phyllis' sister peggy hood says phyllis' road through hell began three months earlier when she went to see dr. weinberger. >> she had trouble catching her breath. she seemed to have sort of cold-like systems or bronchitis. she just seemed rundown. >> you thought it might be allergies or a cold. >> yeah. >> it could have been a number of things. her voice was raspy. she had a sore throat. but perhaps the most troubling symptom for phyllis, a lifelong smoker, was that she had recently begun coughing up blood.
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>> i believe when she went to dr. weinberger she told him she was a smoker. i don't think she tried to hide that from anybody. >> how did she find out about mark weinberger? >> i believe one of her co-workers may have seen billboards. >> the nose doctor? >> uh-huh. >> in hindsight, going to the self-proclaimed nose doctor may have been a mistake. but since phyllis had a long history of sinus problems, seeking out a sinus specialist for her breathing problem seemed logical. >> the first time i heard about him was when she called me. she was going to have sinus surgery and she needed a ride to and from the surgery. >> dr. weinberger's diagnosis? sinusitis, nasal polyps, deviated septum, all problems he told phyllis that could be cured with surgery. >> did your sister get better after the surgery? >> no. she got progressively worse after the surgery. >> by thanksgiving, just six weeks after her surgery with weinberger, phyllis barnes was
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gasping for breath. repeated follow-up visits to weinberger's clinic brought no relief. her family feared she might have pneumonia. >> i had to call the ambulance one night to have her taken to the emergency room because she couldn't breathe. >> shawn barnes, phyllis' daughter, was only 16 at the time. >> she did end up pulling through, but it was a hard time to get through. >> within days of leaving the emergency room, phyllis was again gasping for breath. so in december 2001 she turned to another ear nose and throat doctor for relief. the new doctor immediately suspected something serious. her breathing was ragged and a large lump was visible on the side of her neck. >> he called me on my cell phone and he said he had just seen my sister and he felt that she had possibly advanced cancer, and he had scheduled her for a biopsy.
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>> that biopsy quickly confirmed the doctor's hunch. at 47, phyllis barnes had stage four throat cancer. >> honey, i hope you find something worthwhile to do today. >> a lifelong do-it-yourselfer, phyllis barnes was now facing the biggest recovery and rehab project of her life. >> daniel, do not say they're doing that to me. >> phyllis first came to northwest indiana from her native mississippi in the late '70s after college. >> i'm busy. >> but i love you, phyllis! >> oh, good. >> her sister peggy was already here and it was here that she met her husband, daniel barnes, started a family, and began a career in social work, helping displaced steelworkers. >> it was a government agency that tried to help place people who had lost their jobs in this area. and she really liked that.
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>> a big part of that job involved public speaking. but by the time mark weinberger was popping champagne corks in the caribbean that new year's eve, that part of phyllis' career was over. surgeons had taken drastic action to fight the advanced cancer in her throat. >> she ended up losing her voice box. and it was a very disfiguring surgery. but i think she felt like, you know, after all she had gone through that she was going to be okay. >> and so phyllis barnes soldiered on. there was the usual litany of chemo and radiation treatments, but phyllis also underwent additional throat surgeries and volunteered for experimental treatments. >> she suffered in silence. i think she kept a lot of what she was going through to herself. >> family members admit phyllis' cigarette use was probably a factor, but those who watched
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phyllis withering away wondered if dr. weinberger might have missed a chance to catch phyllis' cancer early, which cost her valuable time. >> regardless of why she got cancer, or how she got cancer or where she got cancer, she should have been able to go to a doctor and expect a certain quality of treatment that she didn't get. >> in late 2002, perhaps sensing time was not on her side, phyllis barnes hired personal injury lawyer ken allen to sue dr. weinberger for negligence and malpractice. >> phyllis had the classic signs and symptoms of throat cancer. she was a smoker for many years. she had a cough that wouldn't go away, sore throat, hoarseness. these are things that a first year medical student would recognize as signs and symptoms of throat cancer or laryngeal cancer. weinberger didn't pay attention.
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>> there's my daughter, chanda. i'm the youngest, phillies and my husband couldn't come down. >> the soft, southern voice that had once been phyllis' calling card was gone. >> my co-workers are so used to me talking like this that people are always going to give me a look like, what's basically wrong with you? >> in a video deposition given shortly after the lawsuit was filed, phyllis spoke in a flat, robotic voice about her cancer and her struggle to live a normal life. >> some days i have to suction out my lungs if they're congested. >> the stakes could not have been higher. shawn, phyllis' only child, had recently lost her father to cancer. now she seemed destined to become an orphan, phyllis told her lawyer her daughter's welfare was her concern. >> i am my daughter's only surviving parent. >> i want to make sure she goes to school. >> on september 16, 2004, almost
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exactly one year after that deposition was recorded, phyllis barnes died, surrounded by her family. as it happened, that was just two days before dr. weinberger and his wife left the united states for the greek islands, the great escape he had been planning for three months was about to begin. and right on his heels, a family and a lawyer seeking justice. coming up -- >> he knew, having killed someone, that it was not something he could easily sweep under the rug. it really is evil, and he needs -- he deserves to be punished. >> when "the great escape" continues. if these industrial plants had technology that captured carbon like trees we could help lower emissions. carbon capture is important technology - and experts agree.
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it was said should have been found earlier and then his cancer took her life. he hoped -- >> doctor mark weinberger was never shy about telling the people of northwest indiana who he was and what he was about. and neither is ken allen, a man who was weinberger's chief nemesis before he vanished and later became one of his most persistent pursuers. >> he knew he was mutilating patients to bill the insurance companies for surgeries that weren't necessary. it really is evil, and he needs -- he deserves to be punished. >> ken allen, you'll remember, is the lawyer phyllis barnes hired to sue weinberger. in court documents, allen alleges that weinberger misdiagnosed phyllis' trouble breathing and gave her a surgery
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for sinus she didn't need, while missing the advanced throat cans the heart eventually killed her. >> he needs to understand it wasn't just the insurance companies that were harmed. it was people. lives were destroyed. people were hurt. >> phyllis barnes, it turns out, was just the tip of the iceberg. once mark weinberger fled, malpractice complaints began flooding in to lawyers like ken allen. among those new clients were kayla thomas and her mother valerie. in 2003, 8-year-old kayla began having headaches so severe they caused vomiting and extreme sensitivity to light. valerie said she decided to take kayla to dr. weinberger after seeing one of his billboards touting sinus surgery as a cure for headaches. >> i took her to his office. they did a cat scan and they said she had a deviated septum
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and polyps and he could make her headache free for the rest of her life if she had immediate surgery. >> how quickly did it happen? >> within two weeks. >> how is she? >> valerie says it wasn't until she took kayla to see specialists at the university of chicago medical center that she finally discovered the cause of kayla's misery. >> they did a cat scan as well of her head, and they told us that evening that there was a tumor there. >> and what was that night like? >> that was the worst night of my life. >> though the tumor turned out to be noncancerous, it was growing. surgeons told the thomases kayla would need immediate brain surgery to reduce the pressure in her head. >> and kayla, do you understand what the doctor said? >> i didn't understand most of it, but some of it like i would have to have surgery and then how i would have to be taken care of afterward i understood. >> but there was a problem. valerie says the university of
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chicago doctors told her scar tissue from the weinberger sinus surgery prevented them from removing more than 5% to 10% of the tumor. >> her neurosurgeon, neurologist and endocrinologist and all said, why? they said, a 9-year-old doesn't have polyps that need to be removed. >> in time, more than 350 of weinberger's former patients would join in lawsuits against him while he was lounging in the cafes and casinos of europe. almost all of them accused him of the same things, misdiagnosing real problems and performing unnecessary surgeries. >> mark weinberger ran a surgery mill. he saw up to 100 patients or more a day. he did 100 or 150 surgeries a month. and he made a lot of money. >> how do you see 100 patients in a day? >> you give every patient the same diagnosis and you give every patient the same prescription --
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surgery. >> 18 months after he had vanished, a federal grand jury indicted weinberger in absentia on 22 counts of health care fraud. by now, the state of indiana had revoked his license. and his sinus clinic had been sold off to settle outstanding debts. the fbi had issued a warrant for his arrest. but weinberger's ex-wife smishl sa michelle says it was clear to her little effort was made to find him. >> the fbi has a huge list of people they're looking for. there's terrorists on the list. here is a white collar criminal who just is hiding out in europe, and they made it clear to me that he wasn't their number one priority. >> coming up, a first class fugitive on a mission to keep his whereabouts a secret. >> and he arrived how? >> with a driver we were told. >> when "the great escape" continues.
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welcome back. indiana dr. mark weinberger was on the lam. he had been accused of medical malpractice and fled the country. then a federal grand jury indicted him in absentia. and there was one attorney who was especially determined to find mark and bring him to justice. but where in the world to begin looking? though the fbi posted its arrest warrant with interpol an international police organization, mark weinberger was for all intents and purposes out of sight and out of mind, but not in northwest indiana. >> he needs to be held to account, more than that he needs to be punished. and it's my job to do that. >> for ken allen, the weinberger case felt personal. this was his backyard. and though he may not look like a working class hero in his tailored suits, ken allen says
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his father was a steel worker, like many of weinberger's former patients. in fact, allen says he worked in the mills himself as a teenager. that's him behind the wedding mask. >> a lot of my colleagues as lawyers somehow think they morph into something different once they get a law degree and all of that. and i know who i am. i knew where i came from, and i don't forget that. >> though hard to prove, ken allen believes his lawsuit on behalf of phyllis barnes and her subsequent death are what caused mark weinberger to flee. >> weinberger realized at that juncture that his gig was up. he knew, having killed someone, that it was not something he could easily sweep under the rug. >> and so, with prosecutorial zeal, this personal injury attorney hired private investigators to chase down rumored sightings of mark weinberger. in china. israel.
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and france. >> it was almost like sightings of elvis because we would get tips or leads that we'd follow up on to a blind alley. >> but it was in this remote corner of italy, not far from the swiss border, that our story takes its most intriguing turn. two years after mark weinberger slipped off that yacht in the greek islands, a mysterious american rolled into the alpine village of courmayeur, making a lasting impression with his money. courmayeur crouches in the mont blanc, europe's highest peak on italy's side of the border with switzerland. it's quaint and remote. wealthy tourists are drawn to
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the slopes for the skiing in winter and mountain climbing in warmer months. at night, they fill the local bars, cafes and restaurants, all of it providing the perfect cover for anyone who wants to live well without standing out. call it st. moritz without the glitz. do you forget how spectacular this is when you live here? >> you can't. you can't because it's very, very spectacular. very spectacular. >> lieutenant colonel guido davida of the italian state police. >> you know everyone. >> no. everyone knows me. >> according to davida, it was in late 2006 at the beginning of another winter ski season that a certain high-rolling stranger rolled in to courmayeur. >> and he arrived how? >> in a large limousine with a driver we're told. >> first class. >> very first class. very first class. >> locals say the stranger appeared to be an american. he kept to himself, mostly. >> he was also described as a nice man, very quiet man. >> did he cause problems here? >> no.
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>> sometimes he disappeared for months at a time. later police suspected the stranger may have had business to transact on the other side ever the mountains in switzerland. >> he went to a couple of time to swiss. >> to switzerland. >> yes. also by bicycle. >> yes. >> do you think he had bank accounts there? >> yes. >> coming up, a fugitive comes in from the cold. >> i would live here. i would live here. >> when the great escape continues. inues. ♪ goin' down the only road i've ever known ♪ ♪ like a drifter i was-- ♪ born to walk alone! keep goin' man! you got it! if you ride, you get it. ♪ here i go again geico motorcycle.


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