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CNN NEWSROOM

King-To-Be Is A "George"; Pressure Builds On Anthony Weiner; Obama Kicks Off Economy Debates; Ex-NFL Star In Court On Murder Charge; False Start On Snowden's Release

Aired July 24, 2013 - 14:30   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: Throw it out. Toss it out.

BECKY ANDERSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Take another one.

BALDWIN: Becky Anderson, what a thrilling story to be covering. Here we are three days in a row, bits of royal baby news. I love it. Becky, thank you very much for us from the beautiful Buckingham Palace.

Coming up next, back here at home, the critics are pouncing on Anthony Weiner, calling on him to resign. That includes "The New York Daily News." I will speak live with the editor of the editorial board at the paper. Wait until you hear his reasons on why Weiner should get out of this race.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BALDWIN: Anthony Weiner, former congressman, candidate for New York City mayor, showing no signs of bowing to pressure to get out of the race. Weiner is once again seeking redemption after a sexting scandal. Remember he left Congress two years ago after sending lewd selfies, dirty pictures of himself to young women. It turns out he didn't stop then. He kept right on sending sexuallily explicit pictures and texts to young female fans for at least another year using the pseudonym Carlos Danger.

So just this morning CNN caught up with him, this is just outside his apartment in New York. Watch what he told us.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANTHONY WEINER (D), NEW YORK MAYORAL CANDIDATE: I have posited this whole campaign on a bet. That is at the end of the day citizens are more interested in the challenge they face in their lives than anything that I have done embarrassing in my past. And, you know, I'm -- I'm fine. I've got an amazing wife and child upstairs. I have a comfortable life. This is not about me.

This is about the fact that the middle class, people are struggling to make it in the city. They can't find housing they can afford, jobs with benefits. Their education system isn't -- this is what I try to talk about every single day and there has been a disconnect. Many of you -- many of you have been focused on other things, but when people talk to me on the street they don't want to talk about something in my past. They want to talk about their future.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: Anthony Weiner just this morning. We have also gotten our hands on an article that Weiner's wife, Huma Abedin wrote for the September issue of Harper's Bazaar. This is shortly before this latest scandal broke. It's entitled, "The Good Wife." This is part of what she wrote. Quote, "Quite simply I love my husband, I love my city and I believe in what he wants to do for the people of New York."

Not standing by Anthony Weiner today, two major New York City newspapers. First, "The New York Times," part of their op-ed page today, quote, "The serially evasive Mr. Weiner should take his marital troubles and personal compulsions out of the public eye, away from cameras, off the web and out of the race for mayor of New York City."

And in the "New York Daily News," we have this. Quote, "He is not fit to lead America's premier city. Lacking the dignity and discipline that New York deserves in a mayor. Weiner must recognize that his demons have no place in city hall."

Arthur Browne is the editor of the "New York Daily News" editorial page. Arthur, welcome to you. It's pretty unequivocal here in this piece. You know, Anthony Weiner cannot be mayor. My first question to you is, what is it that bothers you the most? Is it the lies or is it the fact that one year after he left Congress, he was still sexting?

ARTHUR BROWNE, EDITORIAL PAGE EDITOR, "NEW YORK DAILY NEWS": Well, I think you have to look at the totality of the circumstances, the totality of the events, and the totality of the man as she's shown himself to be. Anthony Weiner by his behavior has demonstrated that he does not have the self-control, the judgment, the maturity, the stability or the honesty to be mayor of the city of New York. I think it's just that simple.

BALDWIN: So what do you make of his words that we caught on camera just this morning outside of his apartment saying this isn't about me. This is about New York. This is about the middle class. This is about education. What would you say back to him? BROWNE: Well, let's take him at his word. Why should New York risk getting into city hall a mayor who has shown that he has a tendency to lie when necessary and to engage in conduct that is reckless and immature and damaging. You have to remember that being mayor of the city of New York is an incredibly high pressure job. The stakes are enormous. New York City is the number one terror target. It has got 8.4 million people, all of whom have needs. It's an incredibly demanding job and this person in our view has shown that he is not fit to hold that office based on the totality of his conduct and primarily his honesty.

BALDWIN: When you talk about the people and all the people that New York encompasses and the needs of those people, I have to cite two polls. Let me just be entirely transparent, though, because these were taken before this whole thing came to light. Two polls, sir. First "New York Times," Christine Quinn, this is the New York Democratic mayoral nomination polling, Christine Quinn at the top, 27 percent, Anthony Weiner below her at 18 percent.

And then Quinnipiac has Anthony Weiner at the top of their poll, 25 percent, and the rest lagging behind them. I mean, when you look at the polls and you know there have been many successful political comebacks on both sides of the aisle. You look at Bill Clinton, Mark Sanford most recently. What do you say to people who still support him in New York?

BROWNE: Well, New Yorkers will make their own judgments. Whether the polls remain to be accurate, whether it plays out that way remains to be seen. You have to remember this is a crowded field of people with little name recognition even though they've been on the public scene in New York. Anthony Weiner, by his notoriety, had instant high name recognition. That brought him some advantages in the polls. We'll see what happens. We happen to believe, having met him, having known him, having had direct conversations with him, having been lied to him to our faces, that he's not fit for office.

BALDWIN: Final question, and that is about his wife, Huma Abedin, standing by her man. This is part of what you wrote in this piece. "Whatever Abedin's motivations, whether he is drawing on the love she proclaims for Weiner or speaking out of shared ambition it is simply wrong for Weiner to exploit a private relationship about which the public knows nothing as evidence of his worthiness for public office."

Goes on. "That Weiner is perfectly willing to take advantage either of Abedin's trust or of a partnership of ambition is perfectly clear from their joint interview with 'People.'" That interview happened in the midst of when this sexting was going on.

Final question, is it wrong for voters to see his wife, speaking in that news conference yesterday, saying, proclaiming her forgiveness. They've been working on this, clearly. Should they be taking her endorsement into consideration?

BROWNE: Well, the voters can take whatever they feel is relevant into consideration. Our view is that Mr. Weiner and Huma Abedin have a private relationship. That's theirs. She made her judgment. She's placed her faith in the man to whom she's already married. Our view was that New Yorkers would make a mistake in placing their faith in a man to whom they view -- they've yet to get hitched.

BALDWIN: Arthur Browne, the editor of the "New York Daily News" editorial board, we appreciate your time, sir. Thank you very much.

Just a short time ago, President Obama delivering a speech on his plan to inject economic life into the middle class and he challenged the Republicans directly. Coming up next, let's talk to a Republican, to a senator. Get his response next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK0

BALDWIN: Since the president's re-election we have had Sandy Hook and his failed push for gun control. We have had so-called scandals. We've had the push for immigration reform, crises overseas. So you might be asking where did the economy go as an issue? It's the be all and end all, right?

We're here to tell you today, the president's here to tell you, it is back. Just a short time ago, President Obama came out swinging in his first round of a fight that is likely to last until Christmas. The White House is calling it a major address on behalf of America's vast but wavering middle class. Here was the president just last hour in Knox College, Galesburg, Illinois.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: When middle class families have less to spend, guess what? Businesses have fewer consumers. When wealth concentrates at the very top, it can inflate unstable bubbles that threaten the economy. When the rungs on the ladder of opportunity go farther and farther apart, it undermines the very essence of America. That idea that if you -- if you work hard, you can make it here.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: So that is the first in a series of speeches about jobs, about wages, education, owning a home, maybe retiring, the American dream. From the other party, the Republicans, you have Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell calling it a quote/unquote, "rerun."

So joining me now from Capitol Hill is Senate Republican Richard Shelby of Alabama. Senator, nice to see you. Welcome.

SEN. RICHARD SHELBY (R), ALABAMA: Thank you, Brooke.

BALDWIN: The president very clearly challenged your party in this hour long speech. Challenged the Republicans directly as we look ahead to the fall, to this inevitable fight over the debt ceiling. What's your response to that?

SHELBY: Well, I think the president should challenge himself first. He's got a record now in his fifth year of really no real job growth in this country. I don't believe -- we've heard most of the stale arguments that the president talked about today. We've heard it for five years, but there's got to be accountability. There are over 20 million people in this country unemployed or underemployed right now.

The president's economic policies have failed. His health care policy is under attack and should be. His mostly taxes and regulation. Then he wants to know what's wrong with the economy. Then he makes a speech in Illinois. We've heard most of it before. I believe the American people can see through most of that.

BALDWIN: As far as jobs in the president's tenure so far we know the economy was teetering right around when he was elected with the recession. It could have gone in one direction. The jobs have grown. The unemployment has improved. The president did say he will lay out ideas on jobs, on education, housing, retirement, you know, the American dream, but he says he wants your ideas as well. Here he was.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) PRESIDENT OBAMA: What are your ideas? If you're willing to work with me to strengthen American manufacturing and rebuild this country's infrastructure, let's go. If you've got better ideas to bring down the cost of college for working families, let's hear them.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: Senator Shelby, I just want to pose that same question to you. What are your ideas?

SHELBY: Well, my ideas, I think, are much better than the president's and I have advocated structural tax reform in this country for a long time. And the president, I would think he would start listening but he's not. He's always saying, well, let's tax the people who do well. What we need is structural tax reform to create conditions for this country where people will invest so they'll have confidence in the country, confidence in the tax system, confidence in the regulatory system.

This administration has been about -- always about more taxes and more regulations. That's not what creates jobs in this country. That's not what brings foreign direct investment. My state of Alabama has benefited from foreign direct investment. Look at airbus. The president has nothing to do with that. Not to my knowledge. We've got a good workforce. We've got a good engineering school in Mobile, Alabama.

We have the right to work laws. What we need is structural reform, not more rhetoric. That's what the president is going around the country, he's a good politician. He's talking what people want to hear, but he's not doing what needs to be done to create jobs.

BALDWIN: Senator Richard Shelby, Republican from Alabama, appreciate it, Senator, very much.

SHELBY: Thank you.

BALDWIN: Coming up, former NFL star Aaron Hernandez back in court this afternoon on that murder charge. All of this as we get word prosecutors are also presenting evidence to could tie Hernandez to another two murders. Find out what happened in court moments ago in Massachusetts, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BALDWIN: Wrapping up just a little bit ago in Atleboro, Massachusetts, former New England Patriots star Aaron Hernandez was in court for a probable cause hearing in his first degree murder case. This was him arriving just a short time ago. We know the prosecution issued a continuance of that hearing on specifically that. That didn't happen. What does this mean? We'll get to it in a second.

The prosecutors trying to lay out evidence here against this former NFL star in the death of his friend, Odin Lloyd, back in mid-June. We also learned just a short time ago, a Suffolk County Grand Jury is looking into the double homicide of two men in Boston last July. A source tells CNN prosecutors are presenting evidence that could tie Hernandez to those shootings.

Let me bring in our criminal defense attorney, Darren Kavinoky. So the probable cause hearing didn't happen. Continuance happened. What does that mean?

DARREN KAVINOKY, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: So a probable cause hearing, it's like a mini trial, but it takes place just in front of the judge. There's no jury there, but live witnesses come in and testify and are subject to cross-examination. And the judge ultimately decides whether or not there's enough evidence to allow the case to go forward. It's a safeguard in the system. It's one of the most important events outside of a jury trial but --

BALDWIN: That didn't happen.

KAVINOKY: It did not happen instead we've got a continuance. What that likely means is that the prosecution, instead of going forward to that preliminary hearing, that probable cause hearing, they'll take their case to a grand jury that's going to decide after listening to witnesses whether the case can go forward. What that means is that Aaron Hernandez and his defense team may never get a chance to cross examine those people until they're doing it live in realtime at a jury trial.

BALDWIN: Then add the other layer to this which is that double murder in Boston from a year ago.

KAVINOKY: Right.

BALDWIN: That he now apparently is being possibly linked to and that evidence has been going to this grand jury as part of this whole thing.

KAVINOKY: Absolutely. An ultimately what this means, to distil it all down, not a good day for Aaron Hernandez. Things are not going well. It was murder case number one that, of course, led investigators to this other double homicide case. This is going to end -- if you're a trial junky like me, you know, you're just -- you're just loving it.

BALDWIN: Cameras are allowed in Massachusetts.

KAVINOKY: Of course. Being excited about a murder case is wrong, Brooke, I don't want to be right.

BALDWIN: Darren Kavinoky, thank you very much. We'll be talking a lot about Aaron Hernandez in the future.

Meantime, we're keeping an eye on the stock market. Another big name gets ready to tell us how it's doing. As I look over my shoulder it is down 40 points, 15,527 there. Social media giant Facebook set to report its second quarter earnings after the market's close today in just about 60 minutes from now. Investors are waiting to see whether Facebook is making significant gains in the race to pro profit from its presence on smartphones and tablets. We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BALDWIN: Well, we had a false start this morning concerning Edward Snowden, the admitted leaker of America's state secrets. Reports from overseas suggested that Snowden had gotten a temporary pass to leave that airport in Moscow where he's now been stuck for the better part of a month. Those reports turned out to be false, Snowden, still at the airport. Remember, the U.S. government revoked his passport, thwarting Snowden's plans to bolt to South America.

Phil Black with us from Moscow. Phil, as I understand this, Snowden was hoping today to get this immigration document to allow him to get out of there, out of the airport. What he got instead was a change of clothes and a copy of "Crime and Punishment." What?

PHIL BLACK, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Brooke, what happened was that as you know, Snowden has applied for temporary asylum in this country. His lawyer believes that as part of that, he's eligible to get documents to allow him to leave the airport, officially enter Russia and wait here while that application is being considered. His lawyer had hoped to present those documents to him today, but they didn't happen. He had no real explanation why.

He just says this is an unprecedented case. It's taking a big longer than he thought it should have. As a result, wasn't able to present those documents, wasn't able to improve his quality of life dramatically has he would like, no doubt, instead, simply presented him with a change of clothes and some classic Russian literature to pass the time in the airport instead -- Brooke.

BALDWIN: We know that Snowden's lawyer says the Russians told him, you know, look, it's a complicated case, going to take a while to grant permission to leave the airport. At this point, Phil, would the Russians still have any kind of incentive to keep him under wraps? Are they dragging this out maybe on purpose?

BLACK: Well, we know that Russia doesn't want to send Snowden back as the United States wants. They've said that. We know they also are worried about relations with the United States. President Putin says that's more important than this case. There are two key moments that are likely to trigger an angry response from the U.S. one is if Snowden walks from this airport.

The second is if Russia does grant him some sort of official protection, some sort of official asylum as he has asked for. While Russia is in no rush to help the U.S., to jump to their bidding if you like and send Snowden home, they're clearly not in any rush to aggravate the United States either by giving Snowden two of these things he so clearly very much wants -- Brooke.

BALDWIN: Phil Black in Moscow. Phil, thank you.