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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT
Hundreds Of Cars Stranded In North Carolina; 100 Plus Million Affected By "Catastrophic" Storm; Justice Thomas: U.S. Too Sensitive About Race; Ganging Up On Google
Aired February 12, 2014 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: Next, breaking news, more than 100 million Americans feeling the wrath of a catastrophic winter storm, snow and ice wreaking havoc on the southeast where the dangerous storm is headed next because it is not leaving the coast.
Senator Rand Paul sues the president today. He's OUTFRONT to explain why.
And are Americans ready to forgive Paula Deen for using the "n" word? One investor thinks so to the tune of 100 million bucks. Is he throwing that money away? Let's go OUTFRONT.
Good evening, everyone. I'm Erin Burnett. OUTFRONT tonight, we begin with breaking news, a deadly winter storm gaining strength affecting right now more than 100 million Americans. It is being called historic by the National Weather Service. Sleet, snow, ice, rain creating dangerous conditions across the entire southeast and the storm is moving very quickly up the coast.
It's incredible how many cities are going to be affected. Yes, palm trees, too. Snow and ice in Tennessee, Georgia, and the Carolinas have nearly shut down entire states. More than half the flights in and out of Atlanta's Hartsfield Airport, the busiest in the United States, are canceled. The total for today and tomorrow are about 6,500 flights.
Nearly half a million homes are without power tonight and at least nine deaths are being blamed on the storm. Take a look at the conditions in Raleigh, North Carolina, today. Hundreds of cars stranded skidding off the road. Obviously they're not used to driving in those conditions. There also aren't the machines needed to clean the roads. You don't have the plows. You don't have the ice scrapers.
The treacherous conditions got worse throughout the day and it's not going to get better any time soon. In the next few hours as darkness has fallen, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, New York, and Boston, almost every major city in the northeast will be affected. State emergency centers and shelters being activated up and down the coast.
Hundreds of National Guard troops being mobilized to address the storm. We have this covered from all angles tonight. Ed Lavandera is in our rolling vehicle in Atlanta. Chad Myers in the Severe Weather Center and David Mattingly is in Charlotte, North Carolina, which is where we begin and where so many of the horrible pictures have been coming out throughout the day, David, where you are.
People stranded on highways sort of reminiscent of what happened in Atlanta just a week ago. What are you seeing there tonight?
DAVID MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, talking just a few minutes ago to a spokesman from the state highway department, they say that the traffic in Raleigh is beginning to move. It's moving slowly, but it is moving. They do have the National Guard on standby to make sure that they are available to go out and rescue anybody who might be stranded in that line of cars.
But at this time their goal, they say, is to make sure that no one out there has to spend the night in their car like they did in Atlanta. Unlike Atlanta though, the good news tonight is that gridlock that we saw earlier, the cars are now slowly moving and the plows are starting to make some progress there. They're also towing away those cars that are blocking some of the progress.
So things are slowly getting back on track here, but people are way overdue getting home. Here in charlotte officials in the city just recently told us that they're not having any major problems. It's pretty much a ghost town here. Right now this storm is living up to its billing it seems as the storm of the decade.
MATTINGLY (voice-over): Throughout the day, entire cities slowed to a crawl. The National Guard responded from Alabama to the Carolinas providing aid and shelter. In Charlotte, snow fell so fast streets were covered in minutes, not hours. The city is expecting as much as 10 inches of snow and bracing for the ice that's predicted overnight.
GOVERNOR PAT MCCRORY, NORTH CAROLINA: Do the common sense things, we know it's coming. Take the precautions right now. Do not wait. If you wait, that means you're going to take action which puts our emergency operations people lives at risk.
MATTINGLY: And in spite of days of warning, too many motorists waited too late to travel. Some wiping out, others stuck in long, slow moving lines.
GOVERNOR NATHAN DEAL, GEORGIA: We're not kidding. We're not just crying wolf. It is serious business.
MATTINGLY: Conditions in Atlanta look much different than two weeks ago when just two inches of snow brought the city to a standstill. Highways that looked like parking lots then were now empty. At the world's busiest airport, planes were busy waiting, and more than 3,000 flights were canceled nationwide. As the storm moves up the east coast, the biggest concern becomes power outages. Across the southeast, over 450,000 are without power. Thousands in Georgia and there are no promises of a quick fix.
AARON STRICKLAND, GEORGIA POWER EMERGENCY OPERATIONS CHIEF: We're looking at possibility of hundreds of thousands of outages so this could be a long duration.
MATTINGLY: All it takes is a quarter of an inch of ice to bring down power lines and Atlanta may see three times that much by tomorrow morning.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There's no way you can deal with ice. I don't care what Yankees say, you can't drive in ice.
MATTINGLY: And the mayor of Charlotte issuing an emergency declaration a little bit earlier this evening. That means that they will be accepting funds from the state and federal level to help them pay for all of this mess -- Erin.
BURNETT: All right, David Mattingly, thank you very much. So many of those images, you know, David talking about how Atlanta just a couple of weeks ago was paralyzed by a mere 2.6 inches of snow, almost no snow. They took no chances there. Schools and offices were closed in advance as he pointed out, the highways empty as opposed to last time where people spent 24 hours sitting in freezing cars waiting for aid and assistance.
What we'll show you, a complete and ghost town, obviously much better than the alternative, but sort of an eerie sight. Makes you think of a horror movie. That's what it was a couple of weeks ago on January 28th. Ed Lavandera though is in Atlanta tonight with the latest. Ed, I know you've been driving around looking at things. I mean, it is an eerie picture to see those interstates just empty.
ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's a far cry from what you mentioned what we saw two weeks ago. It doesn't take much for things to really kind of get into a messy situation. We just finished driving up the hill. What we've seen in the last 20 minutes, about a dozen cars or so slip and slide. Some of them having to come back around and drive the roads.
The conditions here at night as you can look out into these intersections that we're driving around in now, as the sleet and freezing rain continues to fall, these conditions will only worsen in the hours ahead so it's going to take quite a bit of time for these roads to be cleared up. The good news is, Erin, that people have heeded the warnings and they've stayed off of the roadways.
That has I think made the situation a lot more manageable, especially for the emergency crews, the power line crews that we've seen working throughout many neighborhoods here in the Atlanta and the Northern Georgia area. Like I say, it doesn't take much and that slope that we just drove up a moment ago, there was a handful of cars and the front two cars couldn't get up the hill.
Before you knew it there was just a back log of cars slipping back down the hill having to turn back around and go against traffic. That's when these situations get very dangerous very quickly and so, you know, even now that darkness has settled here across Atlanta, this is even more important to heed the warnings to stay off the roadways because visibility is very low and that freezing rain continues to fall and these roads have really become treacherous.
BURNETT: All right, well, Ed, thank you very much. It may sound very strange to say this but it seems like it could be a blessing in disguise, what happened to Atlanta two weeks ago as awful as that was. Not only it was Atlanta ready, but all these other cities saw the horrific debacle for people, public relations nightmare and maybe got ready and were more prepared this time.
Look, a 100 million people will be affected by this storm as it's just beginning. It's not moving out to sea, it's moving right up along the coast. Our meteorologist, Chad Myers is tracking the storm from the Severe Weather Center and he is OUTFRONT. I mean, Chad, how bad is it going to get?
CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Well, it's still icing in Atlanta. It has been icing now since 2:00 in the morning, but that's the difference, Erin, is that the storm, the last one that paralyzed the city, started at 2:00 p.m. So people were already out doing things and they got caught off guard. At 2:00 a.m., you're not doing anything except sleeping.
So people woke up and went, I am not going out in that, and they didn't. Completely different situation happened. The situation that Atlanta had is now happening right now in Raleigh-Durham because it started snowing at noon. People were already out doing things. That snow is moving up towards D.C. It's already snowing in Richmond, snowing in Hampton roads right along Virginia Beach and icing all the way down here.
Our David Mattingly right here in Charlotte, going to get freezing rain, sleet all night. Really more sleet. Now sleet is frozen by the time it hits the ground. It hurts you when it hits you. Freezing rain is liquid when it hits the ground and it freezes on contact. Freezing rain is always more dangerous than sleet. You can get some traction on sleet. There will be a big snow event all the way up and down I-95.
I'm drawing that line literally that's until about here. That's I-95. If you are east of I-95, you don't get much. If you are west of I-95, you get a lot. Some spots 10 to 12 inches and right along that is where that transition is going to be because the low itself is going to go right up the coast.
So the closer you are to the low, the warmer the air will be. It will be warm through here, but it will be cold back here. That's where all the snow is going to be. Talking about Raleigh a little bit ago, still seeing delays in Raleigh. That's what Raleigh's traffic looks like. That spot on 640, that is what the cars look like right now. Those are all taillights.
They're not moving yet. They're trying. They're getting some traction. Once you get one car to stop on a hill, you can't get that momentum for the car behind and it goes downhill kind cup from there.
BURNETT: All right, Chad, thank you very much. Pretty incredible, the manmade line of I-95. I don't know what to read into that but there you go, an act of nature.
Still to come, Rand Paul says he's suing the president on your behalf. Is this a stunt or the real deal? Well, the Senator Rand Paul OUTFRONT to answer the questions.
Plus, controversial comments by Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, is America more racist now than in the 1960s.
And a sinkhole swallows eight cars at the National Corvette Museum and it's all caught on camera.
BURNETT: Are Americans too sensitive about race? Well, that's what Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas thinks. The high court's only African-American jurist quoted a controversy yesterday at a Florida college by saying, I want to quote him, "My sadness is that we are probably today more race and difference conscious than I was in the 1960s when I went to school. Rarely did the issue of race come up. Now name a day it doesn't come up. The worst things that have been done to me and the worst things that have been said about me are by northern liberal elites, not by the people of Savannah, Georgia," of course where he grew up.
Joining me now, CNN commentator, Michaela Angela Davis, and conservative blogger, Crystal Wright. All right. This is a pretty fascinating conversation. Michaela, let me start with you. Does he have a point that -- and by the way, he's written in books before about horrible things that happened to him based on race when he was younger. So, this does seem a bit different than that in terms of his perspective. But does he have a point?
MICHAELA ANGELA DAVIS, CNN COMMENTATOR: You know, I think he may have used a word that we're being too simplistic about race. I think we're not being smart versus sensitive. So, I think with Clarence Thomas, he's looking at things through his prism. But I think -- I see his point by thinking that we're having the same conversations over and over again and they tend to be simplistic and quite literally and figuratively in black and white.
And we have to have a little bit more complexed nuanced conversations about race. So, I think he's hearing the same things over and over again.
BURNETT: So, Crystal, what's your point of view. You agree with the justice and explain exactly why?
CRYSTAL WRIGHT, CONSERVATIVE BLOGGER: Well, and I also agree with Michaela. I think that too many people have been marginalized in our conversations about race. And whether you're White or Black, particularly, White Americans don't feel comfortable like Michaela and I having a conversation about race. But where I think the president -- I'm sorry, not the president -- where I think Justice Thomas is correct is that we don't even know what racism is anymore because everybody's so quick to hunt down people and turn something into racism where it might not be racism. And it reminds me of a book that I think everybody should look at and read by Shelby Steele called "Dream Deferred," and he writes a lot about this. And what Shelby Steele writes about in the book is he says during the civil rights movement or era when Justice Thomas grew up, you had Blacks like my parents fighting to end racism.
Now, fast forward to over the last 30 years since 1964, you have Blacks who are fighting to make sure racism stays alive and well like Cornel West, Al Sharpton, Reverend Jesse Jackson, who are making a living off of going out, hunting down people and organizations and saying, oh, you're racist.
WRIGHT: -- that's the kiss of death.
BURNETT: A lot of people put Clarence Thomas, you know, in that category on the other side.
BURNETT: And they say, oh, look, you know, these are the people who are just apologists and then they say there isn't racism. They obviously aren't really Black.
DAVIS: Well, there again lies the simplicity of it, right? We're not talking about systemic racism. We're not talking about institutionalized racism. We're not talking about PTSD with homeland terrorism. So, what we're doing is we're trying to make it very, again, very simple. And, in the 1960s, most people were afraid to talk about racism. It's very dangerous to compare what was happening in the civil rights movement to now.
And we've been very quiet until this administration has sort of like pressed the pause button on our conversation about race. America is changing by 2043. White folks are going to be in the minority. So, we have to talk about it in complex targeted ways.
BURNETT: But are people using race and it's being used politically, too. So, here's what Harry Reid said about the president. "It's been obvious they are doing everything they can to make him fail." He was talking about Republicans. "And I hope, I hope and I say this seriously, it's based on substance and not the fact that he's an African-American."
BURNETT: What kind of comment is that? I mean, I'm not saying people don't go after the president because they don't like him because he's Black. Some people do, but that's a pretty aggressive thing for Harry Reid to say, isn't it?
DAVIS: -- on both sides, Erin. I think there is a machine that helps to keep this race conversation going because people are getting paid for it, people are tuning in for it, and it helps to keep it simple. It's the complicated, hard conversations that we need to have continuously and repetitiously. And I think that it's just -- I think both sides benefit on keeping these simple one-sided, better/worse, he's racist/he's not.
And I think -- you know and I rarely agree with Crystal, but I do think that there is a machine in place that wants to keep this race conversation going because there are people benefiting from it.
BURNETT: All right. Final word to you, Crystal. What about things like Donald Trump? You know, he questions whether the president was born in the United States. Some people say that to even raise that point is a very racist thing.
WRIGHT: Well, but what about it, Erin? I mean, why are you -- I mean, Donald Trump has a right to raise an opinion about whether the president was born in the United States, but I don't think you would be saying that about him if he was White.
BURNETT: I mean, I don't want to get into a birther conversation --
WRIGHT: OK, but wait a minute.
WRIGHT: Take a step back. I mean, I'm a Black woman and I can have this conversation. I'm just saying if he was Black, I doubt that you would be having the same reaction. And let's this goes back to what Michaela said. We need to start having a complex conversation about race. Clarence Thomas started that. He grew up in, you know, an era where he was -- his race was impugned as a Black man.
My parents grew up in that era. My father was the only Black male to integrate his medical school class when he went to dental school, and he helped the White kids study. They got better grades than him, but he didn't let that hold him back. What I'm saying is, I think we're having a dishonest conversation about race. I think a lot of people are making a lot of money off of calling people racist.
And it's like the big, you know, shame shakedown that's going on. So, when racism really occurs, which we know it still happens, I've been a victim of racism, we don't really see it. So, I mean, I think that's honest.
DAVIS: If in new day, we have to have a new conversation.
WRIGHT: Right, exactly.
BURNETT: It's all about pointing the finger so many times than when it really does happen, people don't pay attention. So --
BURNETT: All right. Well, thanks to both of you. Appreciate it.
In OUT FRONT next, Paula Deen attempting a comeback. Is $75 million, is that good? She worth it? You think she should come back?
And what made comedian, John Oliver, say this?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN OLIVER, COMEDIAN: You no longer are the underdogs. It's very important that you realize that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Ganging up on Google? All right. Well, just last night, comedian, John Oliver, was the latest to take a jab at the tech giant for creating what some in San Francisco say is a painful divide between the have and have-nots. So, first, Oliver took issue with the topic we've covered on this show which is the plush and private shuttle buses that are using public bus stops to transport Google and other tech workers to their offices in Silicon Valley.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OLIVER: You're no longer the underdogs. It's very important that you realize that. You're not the scrappy people that people get behind. It used to be people who worked in the tech industry were emotional shut-ins who you could root for. Now, those days are gone. You're pissing off an entire city, not just with what you do at work but how you get to work.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Oliver also went after the high salaries paid to the tech employees which have caused rent prices to skyrocket.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OLIVER: You're being accused of over- gentrifying a city that was already the most expensive city to live in. That's not mathematically possible. You're gentrifying something that was already gentrify three times before you. You can't gentrify it anymore without going full circle and turning this into a (EXPLETIVE DELETED) hole.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: John Oliver is far from the only one with that opinion. There have been weeks of protests in San Francisco over this very issue. So, is all anger at Google, this bashing fair? Mediate, Joe Concha is out front. So, Joe, here's a thing. You got people on the left is an irony on this who are angry that Google is cutting down the number of cars commuting on the road.
All right. I'm just saying. You can make jokes on this from every side. Google has pointed this out, though, that their buses, these buses which are apparently causing so much problems are the equivalent of taking 4,000 cars off the road. That's their side of it. What do you think about this? Is this fair to pick on them for these buses?
JOE CONCHA, MEDIATE: You know what Google can do, they could take their 48,000 employees and they can go to, I don't know, India, right? New Delhi would be more than happy to take all of those buses and all of those employees and all of that work in. You know, Google, they have, what, 60 billion in revenue last year.
CONCHA: And they're choosing to take some of that money and give it back to their employees by making their commute to work better. By the way, making the environment better. And now, we're actually seeing Occupy Wall Street 2.0 except it's more militant. There are actually protesters going to the homes of Google employees, ringing on their doorbells.
One guy, they actually went there and scared the hell out of my son. And they're there for 45 minutes. They're putting flyers up the -- neighborhoods saying, this guy works at Google. He's part of the problem and they're blocking this guy from going to work. It makes no sense to me.
BURNETT: Here's the thing that I'm confused about, too. This bussing, by the way, happens everywhere. So, there are plenty of companies that work outside New York. I mean, they will have buses and vans (ph) come through. And they'll actually use the public stops probably because they're not allowed to. But people say, oh, Google using the public bus stops is bad.
They're doing that so that they're not creating traffic by creating all sorts of other stops. So, it sort of seems like no matter what they do, they're going to get picked on.
CONCHA: And now, these protests, Erin are spreading to Seattle with Microsoft employees. It just happened yesterday.
BURNETT: Who also get bussed to headquarters --
CONCHA: Right. They employ 100,000 people, right? Also billions in revenue, also good for the economy. These protesters might want to find another hobby like, I don't know, getting a job because they seem to have a lot of time on their hands and wreaking havoc all over the city. And it makes no sense. You're basically taking people that are saying, look, I'm working hard.
I'm earning a good paycheck. And now, oh, right, yes. Rents are going to go up, but that's capitalism. That's people succeeding. And if that is going to raise rent, then what do these protesters want exactly for rents to come back down? By nobody working? I don't understand what the message is, Erin.
BURNETT: All right. Joe, thank you very much. You're raising some really interesting questions about this issue that, as he said, is gathering steam. More and more people finding out about it.
Still to come, Rand Paul says he's suing the president for you. So, tonight, he's OUT FRONT to answer the hard questions as to why.
Plus, a lawyer killed after a package delivered to his home explodes. A major clue found near the bomb.
And eight cars at the Corvette Museum sucked into the ground. We have the dramatic video of the moment it happened.
BURNETT: Welcome back to the second half of OUTFRONT.
A Tennessee town terrified to check the mail tonight after a retired lawyer opened a package and it exploded, killing him. Authorities have recovered a note they believe was attached to the package. But those who knew 74-year-old John Zester (ph) and his wife who was seriously injured in the blast said they have no idea why the couple would have been targeted. The long lawyer specialized in bankruptcy and living trusts. Investigators are trying to figure out who delivered the package.
Well, a freak of nature, a 40-foot sinkhole opened up in Kentucky today and this one was caught on camera. I mean, just look at this. This is in the middle of the National Corvette Museum. You'd think like zoning and things would have been done. No, the middle of the museum, all of a sudden the floor opens up. Eight Corvettes were damaged after falling into the sinkhole 30 feet deep.
Museum officials learned something was wrong when motion detectors set off the security alarm. Now, officials are still trying to figure out how much damage was caused to the museum and the cars. One of them was a 1992 model, that was the 1 millionth Corvette ever made. We're told that car alone could have been worth $1 million.
Rand Paul versus Barack H. Obama, not a political race. Well, not entirely. But the name of the lawsuit filed today by the Republican senator against the president of the United States and other national security officials. Senator Paul and a class action lawsuit says he's trying to stop the National Security Agency's gathering telephone data. He is the not the first to file suit against a sitting president, and not the first to sue over the surveillance program, but he is the most recognizable to do so and in a moment, we're going to talk directly to the senator about his suit.
But, first, Dana Bash has more on the senator himself.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Rand Paul likes to describe attending an early Tea Party meeting and deciding to run for Senate.
SEN. RAND PAUL (R), KENTUCKY: I got started running as part of the Tea Party movement in 2010 because I was unhappy with Republicans.
BASH: The ophthalmologist was an outsider, exactly what the times required when Paul rode the Tea Party wave into the Senate in 2010.
PAUL: We've come to take our government back.
BASH: But he was no stranger to politics.
PAUL: Please welcome, my father, Ron Paul.
BASH: The son of an original outsider, Ron Paul, who shook things up on the presidential campaign trail.
In many ways, Rand Paul is the ideological heir apparent to the anti-interventionist libertarian movement his father spent decades building. He was in the Senate just a few months when he sought us out to rail against his own party leaders for not allowing a vote on changes he wanted to the Patriot Act.
(on camera): As you know, this is unusual around here for a Republican freshman senator to come on and really lash out at his own leadership. Why are you doing that?
PAUL: I'm disappointed. I'm disappointed that they don't want to allow debate.
BASH (voice-over): Last year, he waged a Senate filibuster against the use of drones.
PAUL: I will speak until I can no longer speak.
BASH: He went 13 hours, surprising leaders in both parties.
(on camera): Did they know you were going to do this?
PAUL: No. In fact, we didn't know we were going to do it that day.
BASH (voice-over): A precursor against President Obama over NSA spying. Paul doesn't try to hide his presidential ambition. This moment with Hillary Clinton, classic.
PAUL: I've been president at the time and I found that you did not read the cables from Benghazi, you did not read the cables from Ambassador Stevens, I would have relieved you of your post.
BASH: But he's also gotten in trouble that could haunt him, plagiarizing, more than once.
PAUL: You know, I never have intentionally ever presented anyone's ideas as my own or tried to pass off anything.
BASH: Still, he has the attention of conservative activists.
KEITH APPELL, CONSERVATIVE ACTIVIST: He's establishing a persona that we haven't seen very much in the Republican Party -- stand up to the Obama administration and actually prevail.
BASH: Dana Bash, CNN, Washington.
BURNETT: And the Republican Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky joins me now.
Senator, the Obama administration responded to your lawsuit today. They said, look, they're confident the program is legal. They say -- there are, quote, "15 previous judges have previously found it legal."
So, why is your lawsuit going to be different?
PAUL: Well, the interesting thing is the 15 judges found it in secret to be legal with only the government's argument being presented. Many people who follow jurisprudence and legal history will tell you that the truth is achieved by having a lawyer on both sides in an open court. So, we are going to try to have a decision whether the Fourth Amendment applies to our phone records, in an open court, the Supreme Court.
But I'll have an attorney there -- I'll have the former attorney general of Virginia defending me. In most of the decisions they're referring to, there was no defense and there was no attorney.
BURNETT: All right. Obviously, you're talking about Ken Cuccinelli. He's a former attorney general of Virginia.
Let me ask you this, Senator, I'm looking at the lawsuit now, and, look, I was hesitant to bring this up. The District of Columbia, right off the top, is misspelled wrong. There's no L in there. And I know that seems like maybe I just want to get it out there, it's a spelling typo but, still, it is right at the top.
I read it further and this caught my attention when you're talking about you're standing personally to bring this case. It says defendants have without legitimate basis collective, stored, retained, and periodically searched telephone metadata he made or received since at least May 2006 and the defendants continue to do so.
So, let me ask you about that. This is crucial. You have to prove that to bring this case. The NSA collects 20 percent or less of all American phone calls.
So, do you have a proof that all of your calls, 100 percent of yours, are in that piece of the pie?
PAUL: You know, the question of standing is sort of a complete legal question. And the attorneys will have to sort that out. And there have been a reports in the "Wall Street Journal" saying that. But there have also been some reports saying that all of Verizon's calls were collected, all of AT&T's calls were collected.
The actual decision on legal standing, I'm just not someone who will be able to make that determination. But there already have been several people have gotten into court and have been received for standing. So, I don't -- our lawyers don't believe that standing will be a difficult argument.
BURNETT: All right. So, let me ask you this. CNN's senior legal analyst, Jeffrey Toobin, you know about him as well -- he talked about that issue and the class itself that you're claiming. Here's how he phrased his issue.
"Senator Paul does not have a legal standing, which the courts require, and no court will accept the class action with millions of plaintiffs."
So, I know you're saying, you know, you dispute the issue on standing. But what about the issue of class? I mean, I'm just looking out there. I did some quick work today, right? Walmart, the biggest employee discrimination case in American history, 1.5 million plaintiffs. Obviously, the Visa/MasterCard could have been better.
But you say, you're looking at, according to this page eight, 300 million people.
PAUL: Well, see, here's the whole point and what we're trying to bring to the American people, is that this warrant is so generalized. A single warrant is being applied to everybody who has a cell phone and really everybody that has a land line, too. Everybody who has a phone connection, they're saying a single warrant can apply to everyone. That sounds to us like a general warrant.
The Fourth Amendment says that the warrant should be specific to the individual. You're telling me a single warrant can apply to everybody that has an AT&T phone call. That sounds like it does go against what our Founding Fathers intended in the Fourth Amendment. I think we will be heard and I think we have a strong argument.
Things are complicated as with regard to how big a class is. We didn't define the class. This is defined by the arrogance of the government that has decided that the Fourth Amendment really allows a warrant to be written for everybody's phone records. It shows the enormity and the egregiousness of really the government's intrusion.
BURNETT: All right. Let me ask you one other thing before we go and that is 2016. Obviously, the Democratic front-runner right now is Hillary Clinton. Now, you've been aggressive against Bill Clinton multiple times lately, talking about an affair with Monica Lewinsky, calling him a sexual predator.
I just wanted to ask you about this because yesterday, Karl Rove, obviously, the former chief political strategist for President George W. Bush said, "Frankly, Rand Paul is spending a lot of time talking about the mistakes of Bill Clinton doesn't look like a big agenda for the future of the country. I'm not certain again that beating up on Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky is a particularly good thing to strengthen your skills."
What do you say to Karl Rove?
PAUL: Well, I have this terrible habit, when people ask me a question, I usually respond. What's interesting about this is people have said, what a -- some people come up to me and say, hey, what a great strategy. He deserves it. Other people come to me and say, why are you beating this dead horse that's 20 years old? And nobody really realize this situation of his. People keep asking me this question so I keep answering the question.
I think that hypocrisy should be pointed out and I think when people claim to say they are for women's rights, particularly in the workplace, and yet they seem to be a purveyor of some sort of troglodyte kind of message to women. I think that really that's hypocrisy and ought to be pointed out.
But it's not me bringing it up. You all keep asking me questions, when you all quit asking me questions, I'll quit bringing the Clintons up.
BURNETT: The thing is, though, when that came up with the C- Span, I mean, you brought it up. And you and I had actually talked about it. I was looking at the tape, Senator, for it, because you and I had a conversation in the context of the whole war on women. It turned out it was off camera.
But you brought this up to me a few months ago. I mean, this is something you've been thinking about, right? Let's just be honest.
PAUL: No, answer questions, purely and simply. When David Gregory asked me that question on the Sunday morning program, I had no idea what he was going to ask me. And he was prepared. He knew what he was going to ask me but it wasn't like we got together and compared notes and said, hey, let's go after the hypocrisy of Bill Clinton.
But I think it is fair game. You know, he is a politician. He is a big fundraiser for the Democrats. He's in my state this week raising money for the Democrats.
And so, if you're going to take his money, really you ought to explain whether you agree or disagree with his treatment in the workplace. And I think it's a big issue. And, you know, there were many feminists at the time who think he got a walk on something as important as the safety of women in the workplace.
So, no, I think it's at issue but, you know, it's not like I'm bringing it up. If you want to talk about it, I've got time. I'll talk about it.
BURNETT: All right. Our thanks to Rand Paul.
OUTFRONT next, Paula Deen raises tens of thousands of dollars in comeback money. So is America ready for her return? The N-word.
And a Westminster winner has been crowned. Cute or, I don't know? Well, we're going to show you the dog best in show. That's coming up.
BURNETT: Every night, we take a look outside the day's top stories for something we call the OUTFRONT "Outtake". And tonight, hot girls in bikinis.
Around this time every year, the highly anticipated "Sports Illustrated" swimsuit issue hits the stand. The special issue this year celebrated the 50 anniversary. And let me tell you, 2014's model is drop dead gorgeous. And by that, we mean she doesn't have a pulse. Barbie.
Yes, Barbie is in the cover of the swimsuit issue, a first for this Wisconsin girl. The cover line, "The doll that started it all."
And as you can imagine, there is outrage. One mommy blog has this headline. Quote, "The Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue will feature Barbie, so your daughter can feel bad, too."
Sure, she is long legs and will only weigh 7 1/4 ounces. And we all know her 3 1/4 inch waist and 5-inch bust are nowhere near realistic proportions. Not to mention the fact that she's plastic.
But, hey, blogger, if Barbie makes your daughter feel bad, how about these cover girls? With any imperfections cured with air brush or digital edit, modern technology could do a lot for Barbie. I mean, look at her sideways because she would look curveless straight on. And she had to wear a one-piece, because gosh, she probably has a roll. Yes. The too perfect Barbie is totally unimpressive by the modern "S.I." standards.
She may have started it all, but is Barbie more real than modern real life models?
Well, after taking some heat, Paula Deen is ready to get back into the kitchen. The celerity chef is teaming up with a private investor to grow her celebrity business. A reported $17 million one that took a major hit last year after she admitted to using the "N" word. But will Deen's comeback be a success?
OUTFRONT, Michael Paul, a reputation management consultant, and Mel Robbins, a talk show radio host.
Great to have you both with us.
Mike, let me start with you. Everybody loves a comeback story in the United States. But this is somebody, and this is somebody who is beloved, all right? But she used the "N" word. People were really angry about it.
Can she come back? MIKE PAUL, CRISIS MANAGEMENT CONSULTANT: She can come back and she's going to have some loyal customers who are going to stick with her through thick and thin, and that's what marketing is all about.
But, and a big but, when you use the "N" word, you are thrown into a racial controversy that won't go away that quickly. And people are going to be utilizing that not from just as a competitive advantage with somebody else being in the business, who does something similar to other chefs, for example. It will be those who have an action to grind on the issue that is using her to utilize the "N" word for civil rights issue --
PAUL: -- for discrimination, there are civil groups that might jump in and there are going to be all of those who have never liked her going to use that as an excuse to pound her.
BURNETT: So, Mel, let me ask you because -- you know, her comeback and some of this putting $75 million to $100 million behind this. This is serious money. She was dropped by the Food Network, Sears, Home Depot, J.C. Penney and QVC, among others, upcoming cook book was canceled. I mean, this was a serious, serious running for the hills.
So, if this is going to work, companies like that have to come back and endorse her. And given what he just said, is there any way that's going to happen?
MEL ROBBINS, RADIO HOST: Absolutely. I think its' already happening. I mean, first of all, you've got to under that even in the wake of a controversy, Erin, her book sales soared. She's had standing ovations everywhere she goes. She sold out two cruises and has 19 million loyal Twitter followers.
If she puts her head down and gets back to what people love her for, which is cooking she's going to be just fine. I also think everybody needs to remember that she was taken to taken for something she said two decades ago. If you turn on the radio today and listen to "Holy Grail" (ph) you're going to hear Jay-Z say the same word nine times on your radio. So the case that was --
BURNETT: Jay-Z happens to be back.
ROBBINS: The genesis of this was dismissed.
PAUL: Really? Come on.
ROBBINS: Really, come on.
PAUL: Number one, it's not just from issues that were more than two decades ago. If you look through the entire case, and yes, it got thrown out.
ROBBINS: Mike, it was dismissed. The discrimination claims were dismissed. PAUL: Mel, we're talking about the court of public opinion now. Not an attorney, OK? So, we're talking about branding. We're talking about reputation. And one of the biggest things that was said in that case is there were employees that were there working for Paula Deen who had to tolerate the jokes and the nonsense around the n word in a culture that was uncomfortable.
That is still something that could be going on today. And that's something that is a fair question to be asked of her today as well.
BURNETT: Mel, it's interesting --
ROBBINS: It might just be. You're right, mike. It might just be.
BURNETT: Go ahead.
ROBBINS: If you take the example of somebody like Michael Vick, Don Imus, Tiger Woods, I mean, we can go on and on and on of people that have really screwed up and America and sponsors have come back to the table.
PAUL: I'm one of the top crisis PR people in the world. The bottom line is they didn't say the n word. It wasn't a racist issue. Yes, you could talk about Michael Vick and Tiger Woods. Those dent deal with racism.
ROBBINS: Don Imus, racial issue. Don Imus, racial issue.
PAUL: Yes, Don Imus is a racial issue. Don Imus isn't Paula Deen and let's see how she handles it. He had an excellent mea culpa that eventually came out. She's still running for the hills.
BURNETT: What's your analysis, Mike --
ROBBINS: I don't think she's running for the hills at all.
BURNETT: But what's your analysis on those two things? Don Imus obviously said the words nappy-headed hoes, she use the N word. Are those equivalent? Is one worse in the court of public opinion? What's your analysis on -- those equal things?
PAUL: It's not matter of whether they're equal things. It's about how do you deal with it when that happens. If someone's message is, I is who I is, and look what happened to my family.
BURNETT: Well, that's what she said, right.
PAUL: Don Imus didn't do that. Don Imus eventually came out and said, you know what, I made a big mistake. I fully apologize. When he's asked about it on a regular basis, he continues to say that.
Paula Deen is comfortable around your audience and family. She's not on your show right now talking about this. I think there are big issues because she's not comfortable with the issue. BURNETT: Mel, maybe the thing is she doesn't need those people. She's comfortable with the base that she has, and that base doesn't care about this.
PAUL: We'll see when she approaches major media.
ROBBINS: I think Mike's analysis is exactly right in terms of the apology. The first one was terrible, the second one was not that great, the third one was way better. She certainly seemed very sincere and very sorry.
And I think you're right, Erin. She has a strong customer base and fan base. That's why somebody's putting $75 million into her because they'll support her.
PAUL: When you have a situation like this, the rule is you don't just give an apology once. You have to be comfortable to deal with it on a daily basis. That's the issue.
BURNETT: You got to eat humble pie day in and day out.
All right. Well, thanks to both of you. We appreciate it. And we do want your feedback on this whether you think she can succeed or not, $75 million, is that a smart bet?
OUTFRONT next, the Westminster dog show -- there's the winner. And we have more.
BURNETT: The Westminster dog show came to an end last night. The best in show was crowned. In case you missed it, here's the entire two-day competition.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The annual event's long history dates back to the late 1800s. With each passing year, its legacy grows, growing even more venerable, esteemed, admired, loved.
Tonight, for the 138th time, a champion will be named best in show.
And there you see before you the long-time announcer here at Westminster, Mike Lafave who introduced close to 100 dogs.
UNIDENTIIFED MALE: This is German short-haired pointer. Nova Scotia (INAUDIBLE) retriever. Wire-haired pointing (INAUDIBLE). English setter. Irish setter. Irish red and white setter. Spaniel. Black cocker spaniel. Ashcove (ph) cocker spaniel. Party color cocker spaniel. This is (INAUDIBLE), Vizsla, boxer, dog, dog, do.
Introducing the seven group winners competing for best in show.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Beautiful outstanding lineup.
Best of show this evening -- is the wire-foxed terrier.
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
BURNETT: He's so ugly he's cute. Best in show. Sky is going on a media blitz this week making an appearance at the Empire State Building, enjoying a free meal at a New York restaurant called Sardi's (ph). She's going to be a spoiled pooch.
Which brings us to tonight's number: $55.5 billion. According to the American Pet Products Association, that's how much money Americans spent on their pets last year. In one year.
Yes, that number is mostly about dogs. And it includes everything from all those -- what is that? See, that is abuse.
All right. Anyway, clothing -- yes, even we're beer. You can go to a dog barkery, I mean bakery. Last year Americans spent only $10 billion on movies. Yes, five times more money on their pets.
Please stop with the clothes for the little ones. They may look cute, but honestly they have pride! They do!
Thanks so much for joining us. Anderson starts now.