tv NBC Nightly News NBC October 16, 2010 6:30pm-7:00pm EDT
crunch time on the campaign trail. president obama going all out for desperatelyeeded votes. tonight both parties are calling out the big guns. back to the mine. on this first weekend of freedom, is the strain starting to show? sudden impact. >> i've never told this story to anyone. >> tonight that city councilman tells us what's happened since he went public with his private pain. and america's mom. she wil always be known as june cleaver. tonight, remembering barbara cleaver. tonight, remembering barbara billingly.
captions paid for by nbc-univsal television good evening. the last time weaw this much of barack obama on the campaign trail he was writing a promise of change to the white house. now just 17 days i the midterm elections and facing a weak and slowly changing economy, the president is on the road again tonight, desperate trying to turn back what democrats fear could be a republican tide. early voting has already begun in some places, and underscoring just how important the stakes are, both sides have brought out their big-name stars on this critical weekend. nbc's savannah guthrie joins us from the white house. good evening. >> reporter: good evening to you, lester. the president has started what amounts to wall-to-wall campaigning, eight states over the next eight days. and if you look at the map, it's clear democrats are on defse. >> are you fired up? >> reporter: the president today
in what is usually reliable democratic territory. trying to reinvigorate the party faithful in massachusetts. >> don't let 'em tell you that change isn't possible. don't let them take this country ckward because we did not have the conviction to fit. >> reporter: but even in a friendly audience, the president was interrupted today byids protesrs and fired back with a swipe at republicans. >> and if they win in congress, they will cut aids funding right here in the united states of america and all across the world. reporter: in a tough climate for democrats, the president is taking nothing for granted. ♪ >> reporter: traveling even to places where the party is doing ll like delaware on friday. >> don't let them convince you that we have not made progress. we have made progress. >> reporter: in a final frenzied campaign push, today candidates from coast to coast were calling out the party big guns.
rudy giuliani presented hopeful marco rubio in florida. >> we can win. >> reporter: john mccain for california senate candidate rly fiorina. >> you have more potential than any place on earth. >> reporter: bill clinton campaigning for his old rival, jerry brown, in california. early votin started today in nevada where the race for senate is campaign 2010 in a nutshell, the powerful washington insider, senator harry reid, fending off a fierce challenge fromea party candidate sharon angle. the president will travel west again this week trying to hold on to california and shington. if democrats can keep tse senate seats, they'll keep control of the senate. but with unemployment stuck at 9.6% and republicans out-fundraising democrats, there are few plays left in the playbook. >> the the fundamentals of this race are not going to change in the next two week. and the fundamentals clearly favor the republicans. >> reporter: part of the democrats' final-hour push, first lady michelle obama, who
de her 2010 debut you this week. >> this is officially my second day campaigning. >> reporter: tomorrow she'll be joined by her husband for their first joint campaign rally in two years. with about two weeks to go, republicans are very optimistic they'll retake the house. the senate is a longer shot. for democrats it all comes down to turnout, especially of those so-called obama-surge voters. the first-time voters in 2008, largely young people and african-americans. and that is why, lester, we see the president hitting the campaign trail so hard. >> savannah guthrie, thanks. and for more on this important political weekend, we're joined by cnbc's chief washington correspondent, john harwood. john, has the president found his voice? an effective message to do some good for endangered democrats? >> what's wt he's found, lester, is the fight in this campaign. it's no longer just barack obama and democrats trying to defend themselves by going around the country even i these friendly areas. he can be aggressive rhetorically and say here's what we've done, but here's what republicans will do if they come
back to power. that's what democrats need to stir up voters. so can barack obama change fundamentally the dynamic of the race and public unhappiness about the economy? absolutely not. but can he energize democrats and pull out voters to make a difference in races -- it borrow a phrase from the 2008 campaign? >> yes, he can. >> what are the expectations at the white house? is the focus on simply hanging on to the senate? >> well, that's the backstop. and when you see him going to places like nevada for harry reid, california for barbara boxer, where i was the last couple of days, washington for pattymurray, defending those democratic seats, that's trying to draw a line. they've done the same thing in house races, the democratic party has, by cutting loose some members who are not competitive. husbanding their resources for some sort of line, trying to defend a 218-seat majory. democrats will tell you privately it's likely that they lose the house, but it's not impossible. strategist told me they have a
one in three chance of holding on to the side. that's what they're pursuing. >> thank you. with all eyes on the white house and elections, press secretary robert gibbs will be david gregory's exclusive gue on tomorrow morning's "meet the press." also on tomorrow's program, the colorado senate debate. after ten weeks in forced seclusion, 2,000 feet below ground, those rescued chilean miners are experiencing their first weekend of freedom, adjusting to the double-sided coin of sudden fame, opportunity, and shattered privacy. and for one of the men, taking an, emotional journey back to th place that nearly took his life. kerry sanders remains in chile and joins us with the latest. kerry? >> reporter: well, good evening, lester. today se of the miners began what will become part of their new routine -- going to the clinic where today dtors checked on their eyesight to ke sure it's acclimating to the sunlight okay, as well as adjusting some of their medication. this as the men themselves are woing on their emotions.
jose enriquez with his family returned to the san jose mine toda the 54-year-old is the first to tour where his family camped for 70 days as he was trapped in the earth. he says, "it's a joy to be free." [ applause ] l lorenzio avalos says he can't hug his son enough. their first embrace after 70 days trapped under ground was as tearful for those wching as it was for the avalos family. another wife had a bab while her husband was trapped, a little girl named hope. how will he live his lifenow? "to the maximum, to the maximum," he says, "everything i didn't do before i'm going to do now." as the miners finally return home, so, too, are the rescue teams who helped pull it off. like american jeff hart, who made it home toenver today.
he was at the drill's controls when it finally punched through some of the hardest rock on earth. that set the stage for 22 hours, 34 minutes, and 56 seconds of dramatic back-to-back rescues. >> absolutely a fairytale come true because it actually worked out. >> reporter: doctors here in chile report some of the men are having problems sleeping. waking up confused, thinking they're still trapped. >> they are going to have a very hard time from the psychological point of view. they've hado adapt to a new life. reporter: a new life in the spotlight can be difficult for some. >> they need to share the stories amongst themselves because the miners will be their own best support group now and forever. [ applause ] >> reporter: their survival story is for sale, and in chile tonight, se of the miners are scduled to be guests on a popular talk show. the stage isow set for that
talk show tonight. but as they prepare to go on, some of the miners are angry at the media for digging into their backgrounds and publishing their medical records with some embarrassing details. lester? >> kerry sanders in chile tonight. thank you. meanwhile in china tonight where the mining industry is considered the most dangerous in the world, 16 men are trapped underground and 21 are dead after a gas explosion. tons of coal dust are ming it hard for rescuers to reach the miners. an astounding 2,600 people were killed i mining accidents last year alone. the u.s had two separate warnings about one of the plotters involved in the deadly terrorist attack in mumbai, india, in 2008. the warnings in 2005 and 27 came from the wives of a pakistani american man, dav davidhedavid headley, who admitted to planning the attacks. the warn was too general to put
him on a watch list. the second warning, we're told, was never passed along to the fbi from a u.s. embassy in islamabad. in fran the idea of having to work longer and put off retirement is bringing huge numbers of people to the streets in protest. this time almost a million people are making their voices heard. we get more now. >> reporter: in paris, people took to the streets, smashing windows, throwingflares, and scuffling with the police. hundreds of thousands of people poured out to protest against government plans to raise the age of retirement to 62. the impact of these demos has been felt primarily in public transportation. and now because oil refinery workerare on strike, there is little fuel at france's main airport, charles de gaulle. planes need fuel to fly, and so some flights have had to be grounded. drivers and businesses worried about gas shortages were being urged not to panic as a day of street rallies continued. these strikes again the
government's pension reform have massive public support. >> if we actually ever find wo, we'll have to work until we're 70. >> reporter: the key btle is between the french president and the unions. nichololas sarkozy is hoping th strikers will reach breaking point. the unions are hoping to break him with 70% of the public support. today's protest is not the last. the next round is on tuesday, the last big push before the midweek vote on pension reform. >> we could in the very next few days see not only social unrest in the streets. we could see an escalation here, but we could also see fuel shortages certainly in air travel, continued strikes in railways and tubes. >> repter: and then there is the garbage piled up high, uncollected for a fourth day in a row. and with another strike due in three days, it will be a while before thing get back to normal. nbc news, london. back here at the home, word
came late today that an icon of american television, everybody's sitcom mom, had died. june cleaver wasn't barbara billingsley's only role, but it's the one millions of baby-boomers will always remember. ♪ >> "leave it to beaver." >> she will always be remembered as america's favorite mom. >> hi, beaver. how was the party? >> as june cleaver, the kind and caring stay-at-home mom to a pair of precocious boys on "leave it to beaver," barbara billingsley was a perfect fit. her own two ss said she was pretty much the image of mrs. cleaver in real life. doing "leave it to beav," six-year television run beginning in 1967, billingsley's character was always there to gently but firmly nurture wally and beaver through the ups and wns of childhood. billingsley began acting when she herself was just a child, and her tv career spanned five decades. >> stewardess? i speak jive.
>> reporter: after eave it to beaver," billingsley resurfaced in 1980 in a hilarious cameo as an elderly passenger in the comedy satire "airplane." billingsley and a "leave it to beaver" cast reunited numerous times over the years. while her association with that one role, billingsley admitted, made it hard for her to do other things, e once said, "as far as i'm concerned, it's been an honor." barbara billingsley died at her home in santa monica, california. she was 94 still ahead, as "nightly news" continues this saturday, his moving message to young people went viral. tonight more from the city councilman who went public with a secret he'd never tol anyone. and later, an extraordinary roadtrip that's making a difference. ♪ ♪ ♪
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>> reporter: in a crowded city council chamber with cameras rolling, ft. worth city councilman, joel burns, spoke out. >> that the numous suicides in recent days have upset me so much. >> reporter: the 41-year-old shared photos of teenagers who had recently ten their lives. kids taunted by bullies becse they were perceived as gay. then -- >> coming out was painl. >> reporter: joel burns revealed his story. >> one day wn i was in the ninth grade, just starting high school, i was cornered after school by some older kids who roughed me up. they said that i was a faggot and that i should die and go to hell where i belonged. >> reporter: burns wanted to shed light on the dark moments of his life to help gay teens struggling with theirs. >> the story's for the young peop who might be holding tt gun tonight or the rope or the pi bottle. >> reporter: recently the texas city councilman said he'd seen too many troubling headlines. news like the suicide of rutgers college student ter clemente
who jumped off a bridge after his roommate allegedly outed him on line. burns himself contemplad suicide when he was 13 a still-painful memory. tuesday he described with difficulty a recent conversation with his father. >> "joel, i'm so grab you're here today -- glad you're here today." let me say back to my da "i am, too, dad. i am, too." >> reporter: for 12 minutes, burns spoke from the heart. but his audience was much bger than just the city council chambers. on youtube there's been more than a million hits in less than a week. >> i've received over 18,000 emails. and it certainly ronated with a lot of people in ways i never possibly imagined. >> reporter: a journey through life that has reached the masses. >> to those who are feeling very alone tonight, please know that
i understand how you feel. that things will get easier. please stick around to make those happy memories for yourself. >> reporter: burns was given a standing ovation, but all he wants is to make an impact on young lives. nbc news, los angeles. >> the couilman had a lot more to say,nd we ve put his entire city council statement as well as our interview on our web site, nightly.msnbc.com. up next, the money guru susie oromon. let's take a look at the stats. mini has more than double the fiber and whole grain... making him a great contender in this bout... against mid-morning hunger. honey nut cheerios is coming in a little short. you've got more whole grain in your little finger! let's get ready for breakfaaaaaaaaaast! ( ding, cheering, ringing ) keeping you full and focused with more than double the fiber and whole grain...
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job scares, the housing market depressed, a business spending is slow. so we asked one of the leading money experts, suze orman, what about this sobing reality. here's whas going on in my opinion in the united states of america. the rich are getting richer, the poor are getting orer, and the middle class is disappearing. so there's highway now into poverty, and i'm not even sure if there is a roadway out anymore. the rlity for retirees is a very bleak one. their interest rates have decreased on their retirement income from 5% to possibly 1% or 2%. there is no cost of living increase for the past two years on social security. so they are in a situation where their expenses are increasing, their income is decreasing. nobody wants to hirehem because they're older -- oh, they are stuck right now, i feel very b for them. entrepreneurs need to stepping up to the plate, starting smallbusinesses,
creating things here. but here's the sad thing -- banks are not giving small businesswners the loa that they need to create the businesses to hire the people to change what's happening in the united states. you need to live below your means, but within your needs. it just might be that reality is you're not ever going to own a home and you're goingo rent. but you it's worth it to you because you want to sleep at night. you don't want to be slave to payments that you can't afford. you're not going to real estate skyrket any time soon if ever again. you're not going to see all the jobs come back overnight if ever. i'm so sorry to say. so you have to look at things differently. what are the small things that would make you happy? so when youook at life that way, you just might find small is better than large. >> there's much more with suze orman tonight a every saturday night on cnbc. when we come back here tonight, making a difference on
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finally tonight, our "making a difference" report tonight it's about a man who's filled with yearning for adventure, and he's making it possible to for others to share hishrills on a bicycle built for two. he's scheduled to end a cross country journey here in new york city this weekend. here's nbc's peter alexander. i'm crossing the equator solo. >> reporter: dominic gill is
never one to turn down a roadtrip. >> woohoo! >> reporter: his latest journey, a geling cross country bike ride. but he's not alone. >> i feel like i'm settling comfortably. >> reporter: what gill cls an inclusive adventure. using a custom tandem bike for customers with a variety of disabilities a front row seat across america. >> i look at some of the people on the front of the bike, and the level to which they go to overcome obstacles is absolutely incredible. [ cheers ] >> reporter: among his companions, 22 yoerld carlos churasez, legally blind his birth. his leg, 450 miles from las vegas to salt lake city. >> i loved every minute of it. meeting new people, new surprises around every corner. >> it is a nice ride through here. >> reporter: jimmy sing sell an iraq war vet with two purple hearts and a traumatic brain injury. and 59-year-old kelly lane, on ard from south dakotto minneapolis, despite a battle with parkinson's. >> this is the last long bike
ride'll ever have. >> reporter: gill is documenting the entire journey, the dom and ernie trip, friend from a previous ride. the two planned the trip together, but he lost his battle with a disease. ll will have traveled 4,300 miles over 3 1/2 months. ten companions, four flat tires. but just a single mission, one goal. and that's to inspire people, able bodied or otherwise, to push the envelope a little bit. >> bingo. >> reporte riding shotgun for the last leg from pittsburgh to neyork city, amy threatt, multiple sclerosis has limited her able to wal but not ride. >> i do hope people will look at this and say, wow, that's really an amazing thing that those people did. >> reporter: i can do it, too. >> i can do it, too. >> reporter: one man's unique
adventure proving you don't have to be defined by your disability. peter alexander, nbc news, lewisburg, pennsylvania. that's "nbc nightly news" for this saturday. i'm lester holt reporting from new york. i'll see you tomorrow on "today," then back here tomorrow evening. "today," then back here tomorrow evening. good night. -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com