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Super Typhoon Haiyan Hits Philippines; Obama Speaks in New Orleans; Miami Dolphins' Martin Tells of Bullying

Aired November 8, 2013 - 13:30   ET


PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It is just impossible for them to be able to get in touch with some of the areas that have been affected. Now, we know that the city of Tacloban, a city of 200,000 people, bore the initial brunt of this super typhoon. We understand that the city is filled with water. It's filled with debris. We don't know the how significant that damage is. We're certainly seeing footage of flooding in many areas. And there's no doubt that there is damage across the area, but until it becomes light, we don't know how bad it is. The military is waiting for a couple of hours more, when the run sizes here in the Philippines and they will be straight up in the air in the helicopters to get that aerial view. So they can figure out where has been hardest hit, who needs the help, what do they need, probably food, water and medicine and the basics. They say ahead of time, the more remote areas they actually brought that basic material to them ahead of time to try and help them.

Of course, the hope is that most people heeded the warnings and most people if they were living by the coast or low-lying areas did evacuate and head to a shelter -- Brianna?

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: Paula Hancocks for us in Manila.

We'll check in with you in the coming hours as we get more information about the damage in the Philippines.

We're waiting for President Obama about to speak in New Orleans. We are told that's going to happen any moment.

But first, let's talk about what he said last night, if we have a chance. That might be his introduction. Last night, he said, I'm sorry. Those are words that many of us say every day. But when a president says he's sorry, it tends to garner a lot more attention. That was the case when President Obama apologized last night for problems with the Affordable Care Act.

It also made us think about some other past presidential apologies.


RICHARD NIXON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I'm sorry I let down my friends. I let down the country. I let down our system of government and the dreams of all those young people that ought to get into government but will think it's all too corrupt.

RONALD REAGAN, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: A few months ago, I told the American people I did not trade arms for hostages. My heart and my best intentions still tell me that's true, but the facts and the evidence tell me it is not.

BILL CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Indeed, I did have a relationship with Miss Lewinsky that was not appropriate. In fact, it was wrong. I misled people, including even my wife. I deeply regret that.


KEILAR: Our chief political analyst, Gloria Borger, joining me now.

You hear that apology. We've heard other ones -- from the vice president was the highest one we heard before. How important was this?

GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: I think a little bit of contrition goes a long way with the American people. I would argue it was a little late in coming because what we've seen is a real shift in the president's language here because, at first -- and you know, you covered this -- he was trying to explain what he really meant during the campaign, and I think they realized at the White House that there was no way explaining away something that he had said what, 30 times?

KEILAR: So many times --


BORGER: Yeah, which is --

KEILAR: -- on camera.

BORGER: If you like your insurance, you keep your insurance. So it was hard to caveat it and explain it and say, well, the regulations didn't work out quite the way we wanted. So he finally had to come out and say, I'm sorry, and now he's got to try and fix it.

KEILAR: OK, that's the thing, the fix. He alluded to this last night.

BORGER: Right.

KEILAR: The real issue for the White House, it seems, are people who like their insurance, now it's canceled. They try to find other insurance on the exchange and it's really much more expensive. What can they do?

BORGER: These are people who have individual policies, not part of a group policy like you and I have here. And it's 5 percent of the American public, but its millions of people.

KEILAR: Millions of people.

BORGER: its millions of people. And my reporting last night on this was that they are looking for some kind of administrative fix because they'd rather not go the legislative route. What they might try and do is what happened in California, for example, where the state said, we want insurance companies to extend these policies through the new year. So they may try and do that state by state.

What's interesting about that, Brianna, is that you find the administration now on the same side as its former enemy, the insurance companies, because they need the insurance companies to make the fix work and to make the marketplace work.

KEILAR: Strange bedfellows.


KEILAR: That happens sometimes in Washington.

BORGER: He had an opportunity to zing them in his interview yesterday, and he did not. He did not.

KEILAR: Let's talk about something the president said yesterday. We've all heard of this tidbit that came out of this new book "Double Down" where the president's re-election team did research to see, hey, if we switched out Joe Biden in 2012 for Hillary Clinton, would this increase his chances of re-election. And this was at a point when his chances of re-election weren't going so well. The president addressed this last night. Let's listen.


PRESIDENT OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: If they had asked me, I would have said there is no way that I'm not running again with Joe Biden because I genuinely believe that he has been one of the best vice presidents in our history. He also happens to be a friend. He also happens to be one of my most important advisors on domestic and foreign policy. I like him. When my back's up against the wall, he has my back.


KEILAR: We're going to listen right now, take a turn and listen to President Obama in New Orleans talking about infrastructure improvements and the economy.

OBAMA: And in so many ways, this port is representative of what ports all around the country do. They help to keep our economy going -- moving products, moving people, making sure that businesses are working. You've got corn and wheat coming down from my home state of Illinois, down the river, ending up here and going all around the world. It's part of the reason why we've been able to increase exports so rapidly, is because we've got some of the best natural resources and waterways and facilities in the world.

Now, growing our economy, creating new jobs, helping middle class families regain a sense of stability and security so they can find good jobs and make sure that their kids are doing even better than they did, that's always been what America's about. But for too many people, that sense that you can make it here if you try, that sense has been slipping away. And my driving focus has been to restore that sense of security. And it should be Washington's focus, regardless of party. That's what everybody in Washington should be thinking about every day.

So today, I want to just offer a couple ideas what we could do right now together that would help our economy right now. The good news is, over the past 44 months, our businesses have created 7.8 million new jobs since I took office. We've cut the deficits in half.


OBAMA: That's right. By the way, you wouldn't know this sometimes listening to folks on TV --


-- but the deficits are going down. They're not going up. They've been cut in half.


OBAMA: And they are -- they keep on going down. Over the past three years, health care costs have risen at the slowest pace on record. Exports are up. The housing market is up. The American auto industry is roaring back. So we've got a lot of good things to build on, but we've got a lot more work to do.

And what we should start doing, the first thing we should do, is stop doing things that undermine our businesses and our economy over the past few years, this constant cycle of manufactured crises and self- inflicted wounds that have been coming out of Washington. For example, we learned yesterday that, over the summer, our economy grew at its fastest pace in a year. That's the good news. The bad news is that the very day the economic quarter ended, some folks in Washington decided to shut down the government and threatened to default on America's obligations for first time in more than 200 years. It's like the gears of our economy, every time they are just about to take off, suddenly, somebody taps the brakes and says, not so fast.



OBAMA: Now, our businesses are resilient. We've got great workers. So as a consequence, we added about 200,000 new jobs last month, but there's no question that the shutdown harmed our jobs market. The unemployment rate still ticked up. And we don't yet know all the data for this final quarter of the year, but it could be down because of what happened in Washington. Now, that makes no sense. These self- inflicted wounds don't have to happen. They should not happen again. We should not be injuring ourselves every few months. We should be investing in ourselves. We should be building, not tearing things down. Rather than refighting the same old battles again and again and again, we should be fighting to make sure everybody who works hard in America, and hard right here in New Orleans, that they have a chance to get ahead. That's what we should be focused on.

(APPLAUSE) OBAMA: Which brings me to one of the reasons I'm here at this port. One of the things we should be focused on is helping more businesses sell more products to the rest of the world. And the only way those products get out is through facilities like this. Right now, exports are one of the brightest spots in our economy thanks, in part, to new trade deals we signed with countries like Panama and Columbia and South Korea. We now export more goods and services than ever before. That means jobs right here in the United States of America. Last year, every $1 billion --

KEILAR: All right, President Obama is there in the port of New Orleans talking about ports, roads, airports, U.S. exports, infrastructure spending.

And really, Gloria, our chief political analyst, it's kind of like anything but Obamacare.

BORGER: Anything but Obamacare.


He had some good jobs numbers today.

KEILAR: We heard him touting them.


BORGER: -- that he can talk about. And he wants to get back to talking about the economy being on an upward swing and infrastructure, which he's trying to build and --

KEILAR: And dinging Republicans for the shutdown --

BORGER: For the shutdown and --

KEILAR: -- on the way of it being even better.

BORGER: And the budget and automatic spending cuts. He's gearing up for that fight. But, of course, obviously, the one fight he's not talking about is the health care and the website and all the problems related to that.

KEILAR: So a welcome break.

BORGER: Which are a nightmare for him, by the way. Yeah.

KEILAR: Definitely, for his whole administration. So a welcome breaking from Obamacare.

But before I let you go, I want to ask you about the endorsement of Joe Biden that we heard from President Obama.

BORGER: Oh, yeah. Yeah.

3: Because there was this book that said his team looked into what it would do to replace Biden with Hillary Clinton in 2012. The president, a very strong endorsement of Joe Biden.

BORGER: Very strong endorsement. Look, I think these two men have a very good relationship. I think Joe Biden drives him a little crazy some of the time because he's got a big mouth, as you know.

KEILAR: Big personality.

BORGER: Yeah. He drove him crazy when he got out front on the question of gay marriage before the president. I also heard in the answer to that question a real frustration from the president, like, they don't tell me anything. We've heard this. He didn't know about the website crashing. He didn't know they were polling on Joe Biden. Nor should he, by the way, know they were polling on Joe Biden. But when he heard about it, and when people talked about it, and it appeared in a book, you can just imagine the conversation the president had to have with Joe Biden, because I'm sure Joe Biden was on the ceiling, upset about it. And he had to kind of talk him down and say, I didn't know, nor would I ever do that. I don't believe he would have, by the way. I think the president enjoys having Joe Biden around and considers him valuable.

KEILAR: And they met the next morning, I think --

BORGER: Yeah. Oh, yeah.

KEILAR: -- after the book came out. So you can imagine that meeting to assuage his sort of concerns or upset.

BORGER: Let me just say, if your Joe Biden and you read that and you had had to talk to the press for six months about how that wasn't going to occur and it was not in the president's mind and he was never considering replacing you with Hillary Clinton, and then, suddenly, you read in the book they bellowed about it, would you be upset.

KEILAR: And embarrassed, quite frankly.

BORGER: Exactly.

KEILAR: Gloria Borger, thank you so much.


KEILAR: A pleasure.

And we're going to be talking about the Miami Dolphins player who allegedly was bullied by teammates. He's telling his story, but only through his attorney, and he says it was actually worse than reported. We'll go live to Miami.


KEILAR: Jonathan Martin, the Miami Dolphins player who left the team over alleged bullying, is putting out his side of the story through his attorney. Here's part of the state: "Jonathan endured harassment that went far beyond the traditional locker-room hazing. He attempted to befriend the same teammates who subjected him to the abuse with the hope that doing so would end the harassment. Despite his love for football, Jonathan left the Dolphins. He will fully cooperate with the NFL investigation."


RICHIE INCOGNITO, MIAMI DOLPHINS PLAYER ACCUSED OF HARASSMENT: You know, I'm just trying to weather the storm right now and this pass. You know.


KEILAR: That is Richie Incognito, the man accused of being Martin's chief tormentor. He has been suspended. Martin has not returned.

John Zarrella is with us from Miami.

John, tell us, is Martin considering a lawsuit here?

JOHN ZARRELLA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Brianna, that is certainly a possibility anytime you hire an attorney and when you have the NFL investigating. But we haven't heard that that's actually in the works at this point in time.

Now, of course, you know, Wednesday, out at Dolphins training camp, the players were all very chatty with their opinions about the situation, about Incognito and Martin. The coaches have not been talkative at all, as you might expect. But yesterday, out at training camp, the players really had had enough. They didn't want to talk anymore about anything but football.


ZARRELLA (voice-over): Richie Incognito's locker, his clothes hanging neatly, quite a contrast to the mess -- and how else do you put it -- caused by the Incognito, Jonathan Martin bullying scandal.

Thursday, Joe Philbin was back in front of the microphones wanting to talk to Tampa Bay, the opponent Monday night, nothing else.

JOE PHILBIN, MIAMI DOLPHINS COACH: Any comments we would make at this time would be a disservice to the process about to take place.

ZARRELLA: In the locker room, most players had had enough of it too.

UNIDENTIFIED MIAMI DOLPHINS PLAYER: Only time we have to deal with this is when the media asks us questions.

ZARRELLA: When asked, how does the locker room stay together with al this distraction, people outside of the football world don't get it.


ZARRELLA: OK, we get that.

Players who would talk were still trying to make sense of it all.

KYLE MILLER, MIAMI DOLPHINS TIGHT END: It gets to the point where you can't differentiate between what's facts and what's opinions.

ZARRELLA: What's been most puzzling is the relationship between Incognito and Martin that has begun to emerge. Can we really believe they were best friends, as some have said? Two men from very different backgrounds and experiences: Martin, a Stanford grad who talked of attending Harvard Law, a quiet guy, from all accounts; and Incognito, perhaps the polar opposite, a man who, at least one time, apparently thought nothing of screaming racial slurs and using vulgar language publicly.


ZARRELLA: The player voted twice by his peers one of the dirtiest guys in the game.

TYSON CLABO, MIAMI DOLPHINS OFFENSIVE TACKLE: What is perceived is Richie is this psychopath, racist maniac. And the reality is Richie was a pretty good teammate. And Richie and Jonathan Martin are friends.

ZARRELLA: Players even saying they hung out together off and field and on it. They played together on the left side of Miami's offensive line, protecting the franchise quarterback's blind side.

So were they friends, enemies? Did Martin hang with Incognito because he was afraid not to? In time, we'll know. Just not right now.


ZARRELLA: Now, we're not going to get any response from the Dolphin players today on the latest accusations coming out of the Martin camp, and that's because they have an off day today. No coaches, no players available to the media. And that's because they will be playing on Monday night in Tampa -- Brianna.

KEILAR: All right, John, thank you so much.

We're going to head now back to New Orleans where President Obama has started talking about Obamacare.

OBAMA: -- a decade ago, and we want those trends to continue.

Now, we've had this problem on the website. I'm not happy about that. But we're working overtime to make sure that it gets fixed because, right now, we've put in place a system, a marketplace, where people can get affordable health care plans. I promise you, nobody has been more frustrated. I wanted to go in and fix it myself, but I don't write code, so --


But every American with a pre-existing condition who has been waiting for the day they could be covered just like anybody else --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you. OBAMA: -- for folks who couldn't afford to buy their own insurance because they don't get it on the job, we're going to fix the website because the insurance plans are there. They are good, and millions of Americans are already finding they'll gain better coverage for less cost and it's the right thing to do.


OBAMA: I know health care is controversial, so, you know, there's only going to be so much support we get on that, on a bipartisan basis, until it's working really well, and then they're going to stop calling it Obamacare.


They're going to call it something else.



OBAMA: One thing, though. I was talking to your mayor and governor about, though, is a separate issue. One thick the Affordable Care Act does is allow states to expand Medicaid to cover more citizens. And --


OBAMA: Here in Louisiana, here in Louisiana, that benefited about 265,000 people. And already, you have seen states -- Arkansas is covered -- taken this up and they're covering almost 14 percent of their uninsured. Republican governors in states like Ohio, Nevada, Arizona, they are doing it, too. Oregon has already reduced -- has already reduced the number of uninsured by about 10 percent.

And you know, some of these folks oppose Obamacare. But they did support helping their citizens who can't get coverage. So we want to work with everybody, mayor, governor, insurance -- whoever it is that wants to work with us here in Louisiana, to make sure that even, if you don't support the overall plan, let's at least go ahead and make sure that the folks who don't have health insurance right now can get it through an expanded Medicaid. And let's make sure we do that.


OBAMA: It's the right thing to do.


OBAMA: You know, one of the reasons to do it is -- I have said this before. Sometimes people don't fully appreciate it. We already pay for the health care of people who don't have health insurance. We just pay for the most expensive version, which is when they go to the emergency room.

(SHOUTING) OBAMA: Because what happens is the hospitals have to take sick folk. They're not just going to leave them on the streets. But people who are sick, they wait until the very last minute, it's much more expensive to treat them. Hospitals have to figure out how to get their money back, which means they jack up costs for everybody who does have health insurance by about $1,000 per family. So as a consequence, what happens is you're already paying a hidden tax for a broken health care system. Community hospitals struggle to care for the uninsured who can't pay their bills when they get sick. So it's the right thing to do for the health of our economies as a whole. It is a practical, pragmatic reason to do it. It has nothing to do with politics or ideology. The more states that are working together, Democrats and Republicans, the better off we're going to be.

So bottom line is, New Orleans, we can work together to do these things because we've done them before. We did not become the greatest nation on earth just by chance, just by accident. We had some advantages -- really nice real estate here in the United States. But what we also had were people who despite their differences -- and we come from everywhere and look different and have different traditions. We understand that this country works best when we're working together. And we decided to do what was necessary for our businesses and our families to succeed. If we did it in the past, we can do it again.


OBAMA: So let's make it easier for more businesses to expand and grow and sell more goods made in America and the rest of the world. Let's make sure we have the best roads and ports and bridges and schools. Let's make sure our young people are getting a great education. Let's give everybody a chance to get ahead, not just a few of the top, but everybody. Because if we do that --


OBAMA: -- if we help our businesses grow and our communities thrive and our children to reach a little higher, then the economy is going to grow faster. We'll rebuild our middle class stronger. The American dream will be real and achievable, not just for a few, but for everybody, not just today, but for decades to come. That's what we're fighting for. That's what you're all about here at this port and here in New Orleans. And I'm looking forward to working with you to make sure we keep that up, all right?

Thank you. God bless you.


OBAMA: God bless you.


KEILAR: President Obama there in New Orleans.

That is it for me. I will be back at 5:00 eastern on "The Situation Room."

We're going to continue to watch this as he works the rope line here. But you heard President Obama there, really trying to explain the need for Obamacare, really defending it. Of course, as his administration is mired in this situation right now, where the website that is the main portal for a lot of Americans to get insurance isn't working.

So as I said, we'll be right back here at 5:00 eastern in "The Situation Room."

NEWSROOM continues with Kyra Phillips after a quick break.


KYRA PHILLIPS, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, everyone. I'm Kyra Phillips, in for Brooke Baldwin.

Right now, we're tracking perhaps the most powerful storm ever to make landfall. Super Typhoon Haiyan has made history and devoured parts of the Philippines.




PHILLIPS: It is stronger than a category 5 hurricane with wind gusts up to 235 miles per hour. And at this point, it's impossible to know how many people have even been killed. We confirm at least three deaths. Seven people injured. But a state-run news agency is now reported around 20 people have drowned since the storm surge. This super typhoon is more than 300 miles wide. That's about the distance from Boston to Philadelphia.