Return to Transcripts main page

NEW DAY

Rocking In The New Year; Kerry Headed To Middle East; Pope Francis Celebrates Mass; Barbara Bush Hospitalized; Memorial For School Shooting Victim; Utah Trying To Halt Gay Weddings; Brace For The Cold; Top Legal Stories Of 2014; Debt Ceiling Or Groundhog Day?; New Year, New You!

Aired January 1, 2014 - 06:00   ET

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


CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Oh, good morning. Welcome it a very special edition of NEW DAY. Let's call it "New Year." Shall we? It's January 1st, of course, 6:00 in the east. Happy New Year to you, a warm welcome to all of you as we kick off 2014, can you believe it?

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: I know.

CUOMO: So much to look forward to this year. We'll bring it to you all this morning. We're talking about what's happening in politics. Highly anticipated movies are hitting theaters and what you can expect to see in the tech world.

BOLDUAN: For a lot of people, the start of the New Year means it is time for a new you, from diet to exercise. I'm trying to not be the bearer of bad news here, folks. We're going to share with you tips to get healthy and how to keep it up.

MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: And of course, that brings us to that annual tradition, making a New Year's resolution. We're going to share with you some of ours and look at why some folks can't seem to keep them and why some just refuse to make them in the first place. That would be me.

BOLDUAN: Plus, we'll bring you some of the best must-see moments. We're showing you some of our favorites.

CUOMO: But first, let's get a check of the headlines making news this morning. Let's head over to the news desk.

ANA CABRERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning to you. I'm Ana Cabrera. Happy New Year. Here are your headlines. About 1 million hardy partiers ringing in the New Year in New York's Times Square and Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor pushing that button that dropped the big crystal ball.

Take a look at the celebration in New Orleans. Cold and rain could not keep thousands of revelers from hitting the streets rocking out to oar and the tradition live on in Key West, sushi, the female impersonator headlining this annual shoe drop at the Bourbon Street Pub. A new year brings new hope for peace in the Middle East. Secretary of State John Kerry heading to Jerusalem and Ramallah today. He'll meet with Benjamin Netanyahu and Mahmoud Abbas. He was a proposal to present to these leaders outlining what a final Mideast peace process an agreement might look like. The secretary of state is hoping to negotiate a deal by April.

Overnight, Pope Francis ringing in the New Year by celebrating mass at the Vatican. This hour, he's delivering his New Year's message in several different languages. The pope has an ambitious agenda in 2014. He plans to visit the Holy Land in May with expected stops in Tel Aviv, the West Bank, and Jordan. He is also appointing a special commission to combat clergy sex abuse globally.

A critical ruling on Obamacare from Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor just hours before the stroke of midnight she issued an order temporarily exempting two Catholic Church groups from the contraception mandate in the new health care law. Sotomayor is giving the Obama administration until Friday to respond to her order. New coverage plans kick in today for Americans who signed up for Obamacare. The administration says 2.1 million people have now enrolled. The original target was 3 million.

Former first lady, Barbara Bush, is in a Texas hospital this morning. The 88-year-old is being treated for respiratory related issues according to a family spokesman. CNN's affiliate in Houston says this is connected to early signs of pneumonia. A hospital spokesman says Mrs. Bush is in great spirits. She's been visited by her husband and other family members.

A memorial today for the sole victim of last month's shooting in Colorado, the school shooting we're talking about. The 17-year-old Claire Davis died about a week after she was shot by a fellow student at Arapahoe High School. The memorial event will be held at Denver's National Western Complex today. Governor John Hickenlooper has ordered flags to be lowered to half staff.

Also in Colorado, history-making day, the state becomes the first to allow the sale of recreational marijuana, about 30 stores throughout Colorado will be open for business, 18 of them in Denver. More than 100 additional licenses have been issued by the state. But some of those store owners are waiting to get approval from their local jurisdiction. You must be 21 to buy pot in Colorado. You cannot smoke it in public and there is a hefty fine for anyone caught trying to take it out of state.

Utah is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to stop same-sex marriages in the state while it tries to overturn a judge's ruling that made them legal. Hundreds of same-sex couples have already married in Utah in the week since the federal appeals court declined to halt their weddings. Now the state's appeal to the Supreme Court calls the legal recognition of gay weddings an affront to the people of Utah.

Well, more trouble for Target. The retailer admits that an undisclosed number of gift cards were not activated when they were purchased and this, of course, after Target revealed 40 million debit and credit card accounts of customers of theirs were hacked.

Let's check the forecast this morning. It is a cold start to the New Year especially for the Eastern United States and the Midwest. Currently 24 in New York, 21 in Boston. Overnight temps dipped below 20 degrees in Chicago. Look at Minneapolis, negative 6 right now. We could see a major snowstorm hit the Midwest and the northeast, Thursday into Friday. So we're watching that winter advisories are also in effect from Kansas to New York. Those are your headlines. I'm Ana Cabrera. Again, happy New Year.

CUOMO: From same-sex marriage to recreational marijuana, 2013 was a banner year in the courts, but 2014 promises to be even more banner. Joining us now with the top legal stories we'll be talking about in the New Year, CNN senior legal analyst, former prosecutor, Ladies and Gentlemen, Mr. Jeffrey Toobin. Good morning.

BOLDUAN: We need a round of applause, everyone. All right, so what do you think will be the big legal issues in 2014? Start us off.

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Well, same-sex marriage is going to continue to be a big issue. One thing to keep an eye on is in America people move and there are lots of same-sex couples in states where it's legal who are going to move to states where it's not legal. That's just the way Americans live.

What happens when they want to get divorced? Who gets custody of the children? How are their legal rights dealt with in those states? Those cases will start to work their way through the federal courts and those might be the cases that lead to same-sex marriage taking place in the whole country.

BOLDUAN: They're building off the two big cases before the Supreme Court this past year.

TOOBIN: Yes, correct. Also, the people who object to same-sex marriage on religious grounds are going to say, we don't want to do -- we don't want to do the wedding photographs because we object to it on religious grounds. How will the courts deal with that? Is that discrimination that the courts will allow or is it religious freedom that they'll allow?

PEREIRA: Let's bring out your crystal ball. 2014. Health care, do you think this will play into 201 in a big way?

TOOBIN: You know, certainly, again, the religious dimension is going to be important. There's a big case in the Supreme Court about the hobby --

PEREIRA: Hobby lobby.

TOOBIN: You know, you can tell I'm not a crafty guy. I don't spend a lot of time at hobby lobby. I have to admit.

CUOMO: It's been a long night for the Toobs.

TOOBIN: They say they have a religious objection to meeting the requirement of Obamacare, which says you have to provide birth control, all forms of birth control to women. They say that some forms they will not subsidize. That's going to be a big case and in all sorts of religious objections to the birth control component of Obamacare. It's a huge law. There are lots of complexities. Certainly lots of cases will be in the courts about Obamacare, but sort of the underlying law has been approved and that's not going anywhere.

CUOMO: Mich said crystal ball. This is low-hanging fruit. Putting that requirement that all forms of contraception have to be covered, it screams out for a challenge.

TOOBIN: It certainly does. The law does have an exception for religious institutions, like the Catholic Church does not have to pay for contraception for their employees' insurance. The question is what about private businesses, for-profit businesses? My guess is the conservatives on the Supreme Court will say they don't have to provide that insurance.

BOLDUAN: All of this happening in an election year. This has been a big issue. You can describe a war on women, depending on what side. This is one of the main issues that Democrats took on saying that Republicans had a war on women when they took on this issue.

TOOBIN: You know, the politics of it, I think, are complicated and difficult to shake out because, you know, President Obama in the 2012 campaign made a big embrace in Planned Parenthood. We believe in women's health. A lot of people especially Catholic voters who tend to be swing voters say we don't want to be told what to do when it comes to matters that are covered by the church doctrine. I don't know how the politics of this shake out completely.

BOLDUAN: As we now added to the big stories of 2014 in terms of legal challenges is the NSA --

TOOBIN: Right.

BOLDUAN: The administration's spying program and Edward Snowden. I mean, that's really almost two different stories in terms of legal --

TOOBIN: It is and just at the end of 2013, you had a federal district judge in Washington declare the biggest secret program unconstitutional. Frankly, a surprise to me, I did not think any judge was going to do that and this was not some crazy liberal judge. This is a George W. Bush appointee. So the Obama administration is really under pressure from two directions on this law.

One, you have now a court saying it's unconstitutional and also again, at the end of 2013, you had these high tech executives coming in and saying, you know, we don't want to have to do this. We don't want to have to spy on our own customers. We want you to fix the law. So how that shakes out is going to be an increasing question and what happens to Snowden --

CUOMO: What happens to Snowden? TOOBIN: You know, I think he stays in Russia. I don't think any country that is remotely interested in getting along with the United States like Brazil.

CUOMO: Do you think it softens -- as we have more and more -- forget about this -- but this one judge making this ruling. I think there is enough fourth amendment jurist prudence out there that challenges --

TOOBIN: I agree.

CUOMO: I think there is a lot of coverage of this in the courts before, but we'll see what happens. That is the nice thing about year, we could see things play out, but with Snowden as more is done to criticize the program and the administration starts to move to address those criticism. Can you make the argument that Snowden becomes less important as a bad guy, which is the way you set up right now.

TOOBIN: You can make that argument, but when you have a federal government that has had to spend tens maybe even hundreds of millions of dollars re-doing their -- their technology because of the security breaches that Snowden has -- caused I don't think there is anyway there is going to be any flexibility -- cutting him any sort of deal to get back. That one I'm pretty sure of.

BOLDUAN: And on that case, the claiming case, do you think it is inevitable that it makes it to the Supreme Court.

TOOBIN: Probably, especially if there are other courts that try indifferently. A pretty much guarantee of Supreme Court consideration is when you have courts with different conclusions. If you have other judges --

CUOMO: Big circuits at play.

TOOBIN: Yes, and the D.C. circuit -- in this case, the claiming case will go to the D.C. Circuit. This is how the politics plays into it. There are two new judges on the D.C. Circuit. Two Obama appointees who may play a role in this --

CUOMO: The irony, the Republicans finally allowing appointees and they may have wound up appointing the judges that wind up working against them in this all-important case.

BOLDUAN: Fasten your seat belts for 2014.

TOOBIN: I'm ready.

CUOMO: That crazy, kooky thing called law.

BOLDUAN: Happy New Year, Jeff.

TOOBIN: Happy New Year to you all.

BOLDUAN: Coming up next on NEW YEAR, the year ahead in politics. Things the budget compromise put an end to the partisan bickering? Think again. There's a major battle coming in just weeks and even more is at stake.

CUOMO: The 2013 was a great year but got to have winners. What did the top five must-see moments?

PEREIRA: There are some good ones.

CUOMO: We'll show you our favorites.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BOLDUAN: Welcome back to NEW DAY.

Let's start now with our political gut check of the morning. Coming up this year in Washington, we've got the closely watched midterm elections and a looming debt ceiling fight. So what can you expect?

CNN political analyst and executive editor of "The Daily Beast", John Avlon, is here, to break it down for us.

JOHN AVLON, THE DAILY BEAST: Good morning.

BOLDUAN: So big political stories coming in the New Year. And, of course, it's midterm elections, as I like to say. Through the lens through which we have to view every story when this midterm year. So, what do you think?

AVLON: Yes. Happy New Year. It's an election year. It's debt and taxes. We're back. It's going to be election.

This is -- it's going to affect every fact on Capitol Hill. This is a fundamental fallacy of people in politics saying, we'll just wait until next year to get it done. In an election year, it is infinitely more difficult to get anything done, and yet, there are these non- optional fights. Both parties looking at real pressure in taking control of the various houses of Congress, Democrats in the Senate, Republicans in the House.

BOLDUAN: Let's talk about the balance of power, then let's get to the issues.

But where -- how does the balance of power look right now? What is it, Democrats, Republicans need a net gain of six in the Senate? How is it looking? Is it possible for either party?

AVLON: Look, both parties are within striking distance, and both parties will be playing some defense to hold on to their lead. My guess is the margins will shrink. Right now, Democrats are under real pressure. These three Southern Democrats, Kay Hagan, North Carolina, Mark Pryor, Arkansas, and Mary Landrieu out in Louisiana, both, all real targets in red states with Democratic senators.

So, Republicans see those as big pickup opportunities. They're going to be putting a lot of money and effort into demonizing those Democrats in the South.

On the Republican side of the aisle, the Tea Party wave has crested. And even though Republicans have a built-in advantage because of the rigged system of redistricting that allowed them to kind of build up their lead in the House, Democrats can't really pick up swing seats. So the Republicans will be looking to hold on to their lead, 17-seat margin. So, it's a longer haul. But, you know, some Democrats in a more optimistic mode will tell you, we've got a shot at that.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Sometimes, though, your fringe groups are just the first ring in a storm. You think about Occupy. You think about the Tea Party. You know, we are in 2014, but there was a lot of violence at the end of 2013 that hurt both parties.

It makes me wonder, did they use that ammo too soon? And they can't go into straight obstruction mode again because it cost both already.

AVLON: That's a great and important point. I mean, you know, the Republicans definitely feel the scars of that shutdown strategy. They were dragged into by the activist groups who are pumping basically just a fool's gold saying we can shut down the government benefit politically.

No, 16-day shutdown hurt Republicans, they know that. That's one of the things that drove Paul Ryan to make a deal with Patty Murray. They didn't want to go through this again.

But we've got a debt ceiling fight looming in February. So watch out, folks, we're going to go through that all over again.

BOLDUAN: And don't -- and Republicans think they're on very different footing when it comes to the debt ceiling fight. They believe, I mean, even Mitch McConnell said you can get the president's attention to start trying to talk about, cutting here, cutting there, tackling some of our deficit and debt issues.

Do you think that argument is going to work?

AVLON: I wouldn't hold your breath on it, and here's why: yes, Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell are both saying that we're going to fight over the debt ceiling basically as a way to coral conservatives to support the budget deal that just happened. Here's the problem: where's the leverage?

The president also said he's no longer going to play this game of having the full faith and credit of the United States held hostage for political purposes, for institutional reasons.

BOLDUAN: So does he just inherently end this fight when you're talking about holding something up, he has the upper hand?

AVLON: Yes. You know, politically, if Republicans want to run towards this clip, the problem is we're all hanging in the balance. But the president said he's not going to negotiate over the full faith and credit.

And here's where the budget deal cuts both ways. Because it didn't go through a grand bargain, what's the incentive for both sides negotiating on something big? Where is that room? Especially in an election year.

So, watch out, February is when the debt ceiling --

BOLDUAN: Election year.

CUOMO: Popular will. First of all, you know you've got a false end here.

AVLON: Popular --

CUOMO: Because I'm big on it, I'm big on it and here's why.

AVLON: Me, too.

CUOMO: Here's why. They know now, people know, this debt ceiling is just to pay for things already spent. So, the whole idea is we're going to limit how much we can spend doesn't make sense to people anymore. They're savvied and I don't believe the president can stand on his it's not negotiable thing anymore.

I think the Democrats have to negotiate on everything.

AVLON: Look, I think two things. First of all, the president has a credibility gap based on the healthcare.gov stuff. So, he's in a less strong position. But I would not bet, unfortunately, even though people should realize the debt ceiling is refusing to pay a credit card bill and saying you're being fiscally responsible --

BOLDUAN: They're saying their narrative, though, Republicans. They're saying it's an opportunity to refocus attention.

AVLON: Well, remember also, the deficit is going down. The debt is still a big problem. I'm just saying all the forces are aligned to have another major impasse and nobody looks good in that. And again, the economy hangs in the balance.

If our political leaders are going to play chicken because they think it plays well with the base, which they tend to do, watch out. We're going to be here again, and sooner than you think.

BOLDUAN: So President Obama also a big political story of 2014; 2013, a little rough for him.

AVLON: Yes, a little bit.

BOLDUAN: As John King has been saying recently, he's like, who knows how many in terms of his legislative agenda in 2013, what does he -- what can he do, what does he need to do in 2014 to turn it around or are Republicans going to keep gaining ground on him?

AVLON: Well, look, I mean, one of the big questions is the open question of immigration. Republicans realize that they have a problem, that they can't be seen as doing nothing. But the base is hostile to immigration reform. Will the liberation of John Boehner calling out these conservative groups lead him to do what he knows is right politically? CUOMO: And there's an opening to piecemeal movement now in immigration, which there wasn't before.

AVLON: There is an opening.

BOLDUAN: There's definitely an opening.

AVLON: So that is one of the biggest questions. Both parties realized politically there's more to gain in passing immigration reform in whatever form.

BOLDUAN: But in an election year in I don't have the hope it would happen.

AVLON: Yes, but watch out. You know, Lindsey Graham and other Republicans have been clear on this. If Republicans are seen as stonewalling immigration reform, definitely, they are dooming themselves to electoral deficits, that fundamental diversity deficits is going to get bigger and bigger.

So, the question is, will long-term strategy prevail or will that short term fealty to the base dominate? Immigration reform is the big open question here.

CUOMO: So a new year, new hopes. I believe they have learned a lesson. If they go obstructionist, one thing will be guaranteed, these midterms will have no turnout.

No turnout scares the Republicans, scares the Democrats in certain jurisdictions as well.

BOLDUAN: What scares Republicans most is being primaried from the right.

AVLON: That's exactly right.

CUOMO: But that's been somewhat -- that took a big blow from Mr. Boehner, thank you to him.

AVLON: Well, possibly -- keep hope alive, Chris. I love where you're coming from. But Mitch McConnell is getting primaried from the right. And one of the things to watch this year is how, Mitch McConnell's Kentucky primary ends up affecting national policy. Republicans are terrified of that low prime rate and fight for the right.

And whether they continue to stand up to the activist groups s going to be one of the open question to watch in this coming year.

BOLDUAN: Yes, that definitely is one of the big races to watch.

AVLON: A hundred percent.

BOLDUAN: Thank you, John.

AVLON: A lot of fun, guys.

BOLDUAN: Happy New Year.

AVLON: Happy New Year.

CUOMO: Coming up on NEW DAY, can you guess what the number one new year's resolution is? You don't have to guess because we've got the answer and we have tips on how to keep it.

BOLDUAN: And bet you can't guess what our resolutions are. Here are the hints of mine. It involves time and expanding my cultural knowledge.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BOLDUAN: I thought I was going to --

CUOMO: I need a new chair for 2014.

BOLDUAN: You need some oil on that chair --

CUOMO: Welcome back to a special edition of NEW DAY. It's January 1st, start of 2014, 2014.

Coming up, we're going to talk about how you can get in shape this year.

But first, we're going to give you a check of the headlines, let's head over to the news desk.

ANA CABRERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hello, again. I'm Ana Cabrera. Happy New Year.

Here are your headlines:

One million people braving bitter cold temperatures in Times Square to ring in 2014. What a party there.

And take a look at Dubai. An incredible pyrotechnic show officially setting a Guinness World Record for the largest fireworks display ever.

Starting today, the Boy Scouts of America will accept openly gay members for the first time in its 103-year history. Until now, members who came were forced to leave the organization. Not surprisingly, the new policies are controversy. Some churches even severing ties with the Scouts.

Millions of college football fans, of course, kicking off the New Year on the couch, the Gator Bowl starts at noon eastern, Nebraska takes on Georgia and it's Wisconsin and South Carolina and the Capital One Bowl. Iowa versus LSU in the Outback Bowl, Stanford against Michigan State in the Rose Bowl.

Also, Central Florida meets Baylor in the Fiesta Bowl and history will be made during the Rose Bowl parade at Pasadena when an openly gay couple gets married on a float.

Those are your headlines on this New Year. I'm Ana Cabrera.

MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back to NEW DAY.

And, you know, it is not just a new day, it is a brand new year. So, why not a new you? And what better way to get healthy than by giving your diet and exercise routine a bit of a restart, a reset, an overhaul?

Dr. Jennifer Caudle is assistant professor at Rowan University, and she has come with her top four tips to help you keep your weight lose resolutions.

It's the number -- weight loss is the biggest resolution that people make, right?

DR. JENNIFER CAUDLE, ROWAN UNIVERSITY: A lot of people have that resolution in the New Year. And honestly, I think it's not a bad idea to have that, right?

PEREIRA: Why not reset?

CAUDLE: You know what, why not? And so many people in this country, we often talk about the obesity epidemic. If there's time to get started it's definitely in the New Year.

PEREIRA: But you have to be realistic. How do we do that?

CAUDLE: Well, it's really important to be realistic. And you talk about that.

I think one of the first things to keep in mine, is that this -- weight loss is not going to be or really shouldn't be a quick fix, OK? Studies actually showed that losing weight, one to two pounds per week, slow and study, people who do that, it's a lifestyle change.

They tend to keep off weight much better than those who do extreme or drastic measures and lose a lot of weights. So the first thing is be realistic and understand. This is not going to be an overnight process. I think it's one of the most frustrating things. But that's really, really important.

CUOMO: Diet, the word means every day. That's people don't want. People want to get it all done at once and think it's going to stay off. Well, they're kidding themselves.

CAUDLE: Right. Sometimes they are. And I think it's also important to have a plan.

A lot of people just wake up on the brand new, you know, January 1st and say, ah, this is the day. I'm going to lose some weight. But they have no idea about how they're going to approach that.

So you really want to think about how you want to do that. It may include a nutritionist, your physician, maybe even a trainer. There's lots of options. BOLDUAN: One thing that's become very popular, and I hear a lot of people talking about it, are these cleanses. Will you please finally tell me --

(LAUGHTER)

PEREIRA: To cleanse or not to cleanse.

BOLDUAN: Do they have any benefit? I'm afraid of them.

CAUDLE: OK. I'll tell you what I feel. I'm not a fan of any extreme form of weight loss, OK? And many different types of weight loss, especially the extreme diets and things like cleanses can actually have adverse effects, OK?

I'm not a fan of cleanses, no. And I don't think they're wise to do. Weight loss is really about what you put in, calories in, versus calories out.