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Severe Weathers Affects Part of U.S.; Federal Government Remains Shut Down; Interview with Newt Gingrich; No Recall Issued in Salmonella-Tainted Chicken
Aired October 8, 2013 - 07:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Chris Cuomo, Kate Bolduan, and Michaela Pereira.
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning. Welcome back to NEW DAY. It's Tuesday, October 8th, 7:00 in the east. Brand new this morning, Libya is upping the rhetoric, summoning the U.S. ambassador over that terror raid they're calling the capture of Abu Anas al Libi a kidnapping. This as we learn that heavily armed marines have been moved to a new base, ready to respond to any backlash over the raid. All the details coming up in a live report.
KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: And then we have her story captivated the entire country. Elizabeth Smart was kidnapped from her bedroom when she was 14 years old, forced to endure unimaginable treatment for nine months. Now she is telling her entire story in great detail, not holding back about what she went through. Elizabeth will join us with the incredible details from her new book, "My Story." That's just ahead.
MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: And it's the hottest movie in theaters right now, but is "Gravity" all that realistic? A popular astrophysicist taking to the world of Twitter to poke holes in the film's science. We'll talk to an actual astronaut, though, who spent a whole lot of time in space and space walks and see what he thinks.
CUOMO: But first, the east coast getting blasted by devastating storms, damaging winds, heavy rains knocked out power for thousands of people, triggering massive travel delays from New England to Florida. And in the Midwest, dangerous tornadoes barreling through the northern plains. Let's bring in Indra Petersons tracking all of it. What do we know, Indra?
INDRA PETERSONS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: That was a same system that brought record-breaking snowfall into the Dakotas, eventually moved its way into the Midwest, spawning tornadoes, and then last night it made its way into the northeast, bringing hundreds of reports of damage right along with it.
PETERSONS: A powerful storm hit the east coast Monday with high winds and torrential rain. In Jacksonville, Florida, knee deep water forced residents to use other means of transportation, some helping stranded drivers. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I just got out of the jeep and started pushing. Luckily someone else came up and started helping me.
PETERSONS: The driver flooded with emotion.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There's water in my car, everything is just done. I got caught right there.
PETERSONS: The storm swift but strong left destruction in its path.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All I saw was a cloud of green leaves and then the tree came down.
PETERSONS: Virginia driver William Ledford escaped from his damaged car unscathed. Further up the coast in New Jersey, a man survived a close call inside his home.
FRED FARRA, WITNESSED STORM: The ceiling caved in from the tree. It missed him by six, seven inches.
PETERSONS: The winds so powerful that they knocked out service for thousands of residents up and down the east coast.
LAURA O'CARROLL, WITNESSED STORM: The rain came extremely hard, straight down, went, wow, look at that. Almost immediately everything was just blowing.
PETERSONS: In the aftermath of the storm downed trees littered the streets. Check out this gigantic tree that crashed onto this home.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's crazy. The tree's been around since I was like six-years-old. I can't believe the size of the hole that's in there.
PETERSONS: We'll give you the full forecast as to what's expected next, coming up in a few minutes.
BOLDUAN: All right, Indra, thanks so much for that.
The other big story we're watching out of Washington, the government partially shut down, now in its eighth day. Both president Obama and House Speaker John Boehner are talking about ending it but they're not talking to each other. This while more than half of all Americans in a CNN/ORC poll say the gridlock is causing a crisis and major problems for the country.
And the stakes are even higher for another debate. Will Congress act to raise the nation's debt ceiling before the October 17th deadline? CNN's Brianna Keilar is live at the White House with more. Good morning, Brianna.
BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Kate, good morning to you. Until now, all of these bills that the House and Senate have been shuttling back and forth have had to do with funding the government. That will change today with a bill the Senate is taking up. They're now turning towards trying to avoid a disastrous default. This as we're inching uncomfortably close to the debt ceiling.
KEILAR: Ramping up the pressure on House Republicans, Senate Democrats will introduce a Bill today that would increase the debt ceiling for more than a year. The goal, push this hot potato issue beyond the 2014 midterm elections. The bill has no strings attached, no agreement to change Obamacare, no budgetary bartering.
BARACK OBAMA, (D) PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I cannot do that under the threat if Republicans don't get 100 percent of their way they're going to either shut down the government or they are going to default on America's debt.
KEILAR: The president still says he won't bargain with the country's ability to pay its bills.
REP. JOHN BOEHNER, (R) HOUSE SPEAKER: The president's refusal to negotiate is hurting our economy and putting our country at risk.
KEILAR: House Speaker John Boehner insists a debt ceiling increase without some concessions from the White House will never get past his Republicans. He says the same about a government funding bill, though Democrats question that.
HARRY REID, (D-NV) SENATE MAJORITY LEADER: One sure fire way to find out whether the bill would pass is to have a vote on it.
KEILAR: Only one thing is for certain -- Americans are not impressed, especially with Republicans. In a new CNN/ORC international poll, 63 percent of those surveyed blame the GOP for the shutdown, 57 percent point the finger at Democrats, and 53 percent hold President Obama accountable.
Eight days into the partial government shutdown, nine days from breaching the debt ceiling, here are some ways this could all play out. Perhaps a long-term proposal like what the Senate is taking up. If that doesn't fly, there could be a short-term measure to buy time, or both sides could keep talking past each other until the U.S. defaults, and there's bipartisan agreement that would be an economic disaster.
KEILAR: Now, we are already set up for a cliff-hanger. While we may see the first procedural vote on the Senate debt ceiling bill on Saturday, we may not see a final vote until Wednesday. One day before we're scheduled to hit the debt ceiling. Chris and Kate?
CUOMO: All right, Brianna, thank you very much.
Joining us now for more is the co-host of CNN's "CROSSFIRE," former speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich. Sir, always a pleasure. Thank you for being here. NEWT GINGRICH, HOST, "CNN'S CROSSFIRE": Great to be with you.
CUOMO: So let's get to brass tacks here. Do you think if there were a vote it would pass right now?
GINGRICH: Probably not.
CUOMO: You don't think it would?
GINGRICH: No. In fact four of the Republicans that the media had been counting on said we're not going to split with Boehner.
CUOMO: So this is Democrat hype?
GINGRICH: Sure. The Democrats, while they don't want to talk about how many senators would vote for the veterans administration, clean national park, a lot of the bills Harry Reid is blocking because most of his Democrats would vote for them if they were brought up.
CUOMO: Do you believe the Democrats are more anxious to reopen the government than the Republicans?
GINGRICH: Oh, sure. Of course they are. Look, the Democrats would love to have the Republicans surrender. They'd love to spend the money they want to. They would love to change nothing because they're in charge. But that's perfectly understandable. It's just not how our system works.
CUOMO: What does it mean when you reflect the intentions on to the polls where people believe this is a crisis, that this is a real problem? They're blaming both, to be fair. A little bit more for Republicans, but that does mean you're not on the side of the people.
GINGRICH: First of all, this is Republican people get elected every two years to the House and every six years to the Senate. This is not October of 2014. There's a long time to go.
I also believe that if you look at the polls, this initiative truly bothered Obama. There was a piece for CNN.com this morning that said compared to my experience in '95-'96, he's taking a much deeper hit than Bill Clinton did. And that's because he keeps saying I will not negotiate. Every time you look up while doing "CROSSFIRE" and you see "I will not negotiate," he's driving a message home to the American people that they think is nuts. They think a president's job is to get in a room and get things done, not to make speeches and attack somebody.
CUOMO: Do you think the American people look at this situation they think it's the president who is being too extreme and not the conservative faction?
GINGRICH: I think they think everybody is. That's a huge loss for Obama because six weeks ago they would have been on his side.
CUOMO: All right, so politics aside, because at the end of the day, you know me pretty well, I don't care about that part as much. What seems to be of concern is the absolute effect on people that we have as we move into the debt ceiling. You've been through shutdowns. You understand them. You're not in panic mode. But you never -- you threatened but never blew a deadline on a debt ceiling. What is your counsel to your party?
GINGRICH: First of all, my counsel to the whole country is we will not default.
CUOMO: Are you sure?
GINGRICH: Absolutely. That's not going to happen.
CUOMO: What if they blow the deadline?
GINGRICH: It's irresponsible of Jack Lew, secretary of the treasury, to success that he can't manage this. We've had this experience in the past. The treasury has lots of assets. They can go for months by juggling things. So we're not going to default. That's not going to happen.
CUOMO: Even if you blow the deadline, you're not worried?
GINGRICH: No. From 1953 on under general, now president Eisenhower, we have fought over the debt ceiling. For 60 years we've done this. Eisenhower wanted a debt ceiling increase, a bipartisan group of senators said no. It took him a year to get it. We gradually got better at doing it. Some of the biggest changes in spending have come under the debt ceiling. And I don't understand why people give credit to this idea that this is new or different or that it's rationale for Harry Reid or Barack Obama to say I will not negotiate.
CUOMO: Our economy is flimsy, the markets are very sensitive. We saw in 2011 with a relatively inconsequential credit move, you have the market tank 2,000 points. It took some time to sustain. Times are different now. If you mess with it, you can't control it in D.C.
GINGRICH: Which is why the president ought to be getting off his high horse, sitting in a room, bringing in the Congressional leadership, and acting like he's part of the constitution, he's not above it.
CUOMO: But should you reinforce the idea that you don't want to mess with this, you guys down in D.C., don't do this, it could be very bad?
GINGRICH: What do you mean by mess with it? Should they add amendments to it? Absolutely. So they find a way to get to an agreement and act like adults, absolutely.
CUOMO: But don't mess with the debt ceiling. Don't you believe --
GINGRICH: In the worst case they could pass a two-week extension and keep fighting. What I object to deeply both as an American citizen, as a conservative and former speaker of the House, is this notion that we somehow owe the president bowing to him and doing things on his terms with no negotiations. I think this is a terrible idea.
CUOMO: We had Ben Wepner (ph) on the show the other day. I just want to see if you agree with his theory. When you were there, always there had been rights, ideological differences. But at the end of the day both sides knew that they had to work for government and they respected government, but that that has changed, that this new faction of the Republican Party does not respect the existence of government. And if they don't see negotiation as why they were they put in office, they were there to fix even if it means break. Do you agree with that assessment?
GINGRICH: No. When I was speaker of the House, we had at least 40 members who were deeply, deeply hurt that we agreed to reopen the government when Senator Dole decided we fought long enough, at least 40 members. So I think that part is not unusual.
What's unusual is when Clinton was president, we talked virtually every day. We met almost every day. This president, he calls John Boehner and says, his opening line, I will not negotiate. How do you -- what's the point of the phone call? I think Obama and inability to be leader and his inability to talk with the congressional leadership and his absolute ignorance of the constitution is, I think, breathtaking in an incumbent president.
CUOMO: If you had to fill in the "but for" -- but for the president, you think this wouldn't have happened?
GINGRICH: This is great irony. If the president negotiated, Boehner would be under more pressure because Boehner would now be trying to figure out a deal. It's easier for Boehner to say, look, the president won't call me. I'm doing the best I can. It doesn't hurt Boehner in his conference to have Harry Reid attack him and Barack Obama attack him. It just strengthens Boehner.
CUOMO: Newt Gingrich, thank you for the perspective has always.
GINGRICH: Thank you.
CUOMO: Michaela, over to you for the headlines.
PEREIRA: Let's take a look at those. Just in to CNN, the 2013 Nobel Prize for physics awarded just moments ago to two scientists for their work confirming the existence of Higgs-Boson, or the so-called "god particles." Francois Englert and Peter Higgs independently predicted the existence of the fundamental particle that explains the existence of mass.
The government shutdown has not stopped Social Security checks but hitting the debt limit could. The Obama administration says benefits for millions of Americans could be put on hold if the borrowing limit isn't increased. The Social Security Administration is working with the treasury department, which helps determine how to handle payments if the debt ceiling is not raised.
A fourth motorcyclist has been arrested in connection with the beating of an SUV driver in New York City. And 29-year-old Craig Wright is charged with gang assault and unlawful imprisonment. Police say the video shows Wright punching and kicking the driver after he was dragged from the vehicle. Two off-duty undercover cops riding with the bikers are now being questioned. One reportedly didn't come forward for days for fear that his cover would be blown.
Problems in the place where the NSA has planned to store a whole lot of information has been collecting. Officials say a series of electrical meltdowns have kept them from using computers at its new billion-dollar data storage center in Utah. It's unclear what exactly is causing the problem, but the power surges have destroyed hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of equipment.
Prince William showing out impressive footwork. Check it out. Before the first ever competitive football match at Buckingham Palace. He joined members of the queen's household team in a training session on a specially prepared pitch. That match marking the 150th anniversary of the U.K. Football Association, of which Prince William is the president.
Football, of course, because I don't want the jets fan to get upset, or soccer as we call it here.
BOLDUAN: There you go. Thanks, Michaela.
We told you about the strong storms on the east coast overnight. But now let's get straight back to Indra for the rest of your forecast this morning.
PETERSONS: You definitely see this line of storms as it made its way across yesterday. Look at these. Every single one of the dots you see showing up is a report of damage as the storm made its way across, so definitely a powerful system. Good thing now it is offshore in the northeast.
The big thing you're going to see though is this huge temperature drop now that the cold front has made its way through.
I wanted to give you the reference point. So no, this is not today's forecast, this is what it felt like yesterday ahead of the front.
So yesterday, we had some 70s and 80s. Philadelphia, in fact, was 80 degrees yesterday. Now that the cold front pushes through, you can see those temperatures drop down into upper 60s and low 70s. This is actually the average temperature we should be seeing this time of year.
We continue to filter in the cool air over the next several days. We see the temperatures drop from above average down to below average. Low 60s in the mix, even frost advisories in the morning, a chill out there.
Otherwise in the southeast, you'll notice we have seen a low start to form. With that, moisture pulls in off of the Gulf. That's going to make its way up the coastline, so look for 2 to 4 inches of rain in the Carolinas. Eventually it makes its way up into the northeast by the end of the week.
BOLDUAN: Thanks, Indra.
CUOMO: We'll take a quick break here. Coming up, what made Navy SEALs pull back on a mission to capture an al Qaeda operative. We have the answer for you, and it may surprise you.
BOLDUAN: And a salmonella outbreak is affecting hundreds of people in more than a dozen states. Are food safety officials prepared to handle outbreaks like this now that the government is partially shut down?
BOLDUAN: Welcome back. We have some new developments this morning after at capture of a terror suspect in Libya. Two hundred U.S. Marines are on the move to a naval base in Italy, putting them closer to the embassy in Libya in the event of security issues and a need for them to move in. Noting just last year, the deadly attack on the diplomatic post in Benghazi left four Americans dead, as you well remember.
We also are learning more about another mission in Somalia targeting the suspected terrorist leader. CNN's Barbara Starr is at the Pentagon with more. A lot of moving parts this morning, Barbara.
BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely, Kate. Good morning. That information just in to CNN. The Marines are on the move as a precaution to be closer to Libya if trouble breaks out. But some after-action reports are coming in that show us new details about both of those commando raids.
STARR (voice-over): In southern Somalia, it quickly became the most dangerous mission for SEAL Team 6 since they killed Osama bin Laden, according to one senior U.S. military official. The mission: to secretly enter a hostile town, capture and bring back alive a man known as Ikrima, a top operative in al Shabaab, the Somali-based al Qaeda affiliate. A man the U.S. believes is planning more attacks.
But after the SEALs make their way to their target, a heavily defended seaside villa, they are spotted. A massive firefight breaks out as more and more militants gather. The SEALs cannot capture the target, they abort the mission.
A top Pentagon official insists the SEALs were not run off by al Shabaab fighters.
GEORGE LITTLE, PENTAGON PRESS SECRETARY: Military personnel who were on this objective during the raid literally went to the doorstep of this al Shabaab terrorist and discovered that there were civilians in the surrounding area.
STARR: A military source says the SEALs also report they saw children at the compound, another factor in ending the raid.
And he says there are other U.S. forces nearby to respond if the fight had grown worse.
We are also getting a clearer picture of the mission in Libya. In Tripoli, Army Delta Force commandos in four vehicles surround Abu Anas al Libi, a senior al Qaeda operative, while he is still in his car. His son shows us the vehicle, shattered glass from smashed in windows, the only evidence of a very different capture mission that was successful and over in moments.
STARR: Now, CNN has learned that both Delta Force and SEAL Team 6 did practice and rehearse those missions, of course, in the days and weeks before they went into those two countries. As they were even gathering intelligence and surveying their targets but clearly the SEALs did not anticipate the level of opposition in encountering civilians and children. Michaela?
PEREIRA: Barbara, Starr, thank you for that.
California poultry producer Foster Farms now saying that it's working with federal health officials after being identified as the likely source of a salmonella outbreak. Hundreds of people in some 18 states have gotten sick so far. All of this happening while food safety workers stay home because of the partial government shutdown.
Senior medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen is following the outbreak for us. Tell us, Elizabeth, what you know about this outbreak. What is being done, where is it and who's being affected?
ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: It's mostly in California, but it's 278 people who've become ill in 18 states. Now, Michaela, this is usually the part I say to you, if you have this chicken with these lot numbers which we're going to show you in a second, you should throw it away or take it back to the store. In fact that's not what Foster Farms is saying. Here's what they say on their website: "no recall is in effect, products are safe to consume if properly handled and fully cooked."
So Foster Farms says go ahead and eat it if you cook it thoroughly and handle it properly, but I'll leave it up to our viewers to decide if they want to do that.
PEREIRA: You can imagine folks will make a certain choice. They don't want to take a risk. We just saw a tweet from the CDC director, Tom Frieden talking about the fact that he's had 68 percent, almost 9,000 of his people in the department furloughed. So, who's left to manage this kind of outbreak? How do they handle this now given the furlough?
COHEN: It's always handled sort of between USDA and also CDC. But CDC are the folks who take a look at the type of salmonella, is it coming from one product, could it be coming from another? They do that in conjunction with state health departments. The big question is have they been hampered in this investigation because of the furloughs? It's really impossible to say. I mean, Dr. Frieden from the CDC does say "we are less safe." That's pretty strong. He seems to be saying that perhaps things have been slowed down, but we just don't know. Could they have identified this product earlier if there hadn't been a furlough? We just don't know.
PEREIRA: He's even saying he's losing sleep about the concern.
PEREIRA: Elizabeth Cohen, thanks so much. We'll be watching it. Folks will have to take the best precaution these can.
COHEN: That's right.
PEREIRA: Chris, Kate?
CUOMO: Coming up on NEW DAY, did the NFL ignore mounting evidence about concussions? There's a new documentary out. It suggests the league knew for years about the dangers and did nothing. We'll tell you about it. You decide.
BOLDUAN: And she endured what she calls nine months of hell. Elizabeth Smart opening up in startling new detail about her kidnapping, the torture she endured, the rescue, and her life now, dedicated to inspiring and helping others. She is going to be joining us, ahead.
PEREIRA: Welcome back to NEW DAY, it is Tuesday, October 8th. Let's give you a look at your top headlines beginning with a big cleanup underway this morning following a line of severe storms that pounded the northeast and mid-Atlantic states. Heavy rain, high winds, toppling trees, bringing down power lines, leaving all sorts of people -- thousands in the dark for a time. Forecasters say it's remnants of tropical storm Karen.
Day eight of the partial government shutdown, nine days until we reach the debt ceiling. Senate Democrats set to introduce a long-term $1 trillion debt limit increase. They also say they may be willing to settle on a short term deal.
A new CNN/ORC poll show 63 percent of people blame Republicans for the log jam while 57 percent blame Democrats, and 53 percent blame the president.
Violence and bloodshed spiraling out of control in Egypt; at least nine Egyptian soldiers and police officers reportedly killed in two separate attacks by rebel forces Monday. Six soldiers gunned down by rebel forces as they sat in a car at a checkpoint near the Suez Canal.
In the south Sinai, three officers killed, dozens of people injured when a car bomb exploded near a state security building.
An appeals court ruling in favor of an Ohio hospital that's trying to force a 10-year-old Amish girl with leukemia to resume chemotherapy treatment. Without that treatment, doctors say Sarah Hershberger will die. Her favor - her parents favor using homeopathic remedies instead.