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Des Moines Register Endorsements; NYC Travel Ban; New Jersey Flooding; Diverted Turkish Airline Landed Safely. Aired 6:30-7a

Aired January 24, 2016 - 06:30   ET



CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: He said his supporters would stay loyal even if he shot someone in a busy street.


DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: My people are so smart. And you know what else they say about my people at the polls? They say I have the most loyal people. Did you ever see that? Where I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn't lose any voters. OK? It's like incredible.


PAUL: Although you can kind of hear people laughing in the background there.

With just one week until the nation's first caucuses in Iowa, "The Des Moines Register" has given its coveted presidential endorsement Republican senator, Marco Rubio and Democrat, Hillary Clinton. Notably the paper interviewed every major 2016 candidate with the exceptions of Republican front-runner Donald Trump and Ted Cruz who both declined.

So, let's talk about this with Jason Johnson, politics editor at the "" And I want to start with those endorsements.

First of all, how much do they mean in today's race? Things have changed. The landscape of politics has changed.

JASON JOHNSON, POLITICAL SCIENCE PROFESSOR: Yes, Christi. It doesn't -- it doesn't weigh that much. They have only been doing it since '88 so it's not like we have got some long history that they like picked John Kennedy or something like that.

And usually only about four times in the last six elections has the person that the "Des Moines Register" gave their endorsement to actually ended up being the nominee. So, it may help internally. It may make your people feel enthusiastic. It may bring in more money but it doesn't guarantee you're going to win the nomination. It doesn't even guarantee you're even going to win Iowa.

PAUL: But it's interesting that both Cruz and Trump declined that interview. JOHNSON: Yes, because that's an indicator that they understand or they believe they understand there's an anti-establishment feeling in the Republican caucus.

PAUL: That's what I'm wondering.

JOHNSON: Yes. So, why do I need to do this endorsement? I'm with the real people, I don't need this newspaper.

PAUL: OK. I got you.

Let's move on here to Mr. Bloomberg saying that he is looking at a possible run, telling "The New York Times" in a report this morning he is just so frustrated with what he has seen out there, that he feels compelled to at least look into this.


PAUL: If he gets into the race, battle of the billionaires. Is that what it would become? Because he has got a lot more money than Trump. I mean, Trump is out there saying I have all of this money and I can self fund. He has got nine times the money that Trump has according to "Forbes."

JOHNSON: That is true.

Look, Michael Bloomberg has got a ton of money. He's connected to a network. But I don't know. Maybe this is what happens when you're like stir crazy and you're trapped in your house with the snow because he has done this before. I don't think he has got much of a chance of actually entering this race.

And here is the key. Most of what he said in interviews is he would get involved if it was Trump versus Bernie Sanders. Two candidates who are polar opposites, who he thinks will polarize the country. If it ended up being Marco Rubio and Hillary Clinton, I don't think Michael Bloomberg gets involved.

PAUL: Well -- but maybe he doesn't. Maybe he's not really there to win. Maybe he's -- there is a strategy here to shake things up because let's face it. Even if he got in the race...


PAUL: ... I've heard -- in fact, "The New York Times" today has this report that they talked to Ed Rendell...


PAUL: ... the former governor of Pennsylvania and lifelong Democrat. He said, I would consider voting for him.


PAUL: How would that shake it up? Would it hurt Dems? Would it hurt Republicans more? Can you (INAUDIBLE)? JOHNSON: Well, I think it depends who the candidate is. If Donald trump is running I think definitely Michael Bloomberg takes away from him.


JOHNSON: If Hillary Clinton is running I think he can take away from her. If it was Hillary versus Donald I think he takes away from both of them. But I think at the end -- first off it's really difficult to run as a third-party candidate. He really doesn't necessarily have a name that people outside of the tri-state area in New York or the media necessarily know one way or another. And he would really have a really long (INAUDIBLE).

But I would say this. Nobody gets into a presidential race just to prove a point. He would be in it to win it but he would be spending all of that money and try to get on the ballot in all 50 states.

PAUL: OK. And you don't think it's possible?

JOHNSON: I don't think it's possible.

PAUL: All right. Well, we will wait and see. Because like he said is going to make a decision in March so we don't even know if it's going to happen.

But Donald Trump -- we were -- we were laughing when we saw the sound bite. And I'm laughing just because you never know what is going to come out of the man's mouth. But I thought, is this not the craziest thing we have heard yet? That he could shoot somebody in the middle of Fifth Avenue and he wouldn't lose -- he wouldn't lose a voter. And you say, it's not that crazy.

JOHNSON: No, no.

PAUL: Really?

JOHNSON: Not the grand scheme of things that Donald trump has said. It maybe -- I don't know this is his response to New York values. I don't know (INAUDIBLE). I think -- I think it's really inappropriate to say. I think it's really -- it's really offensive to say in the context of San Bernardino and some of the other violence we have seen, but, you know, he was using a metaphor. He was just making a point. He was like -- look you've got -- and he was complimenting his audience.

So I don't think this nearly comes in comparison to saying, I'm going to build a wall or I think John McCain isn't a war hero or, you know, Mexicans might be rapists. So, in scale of things that Donald Trump has said -- I don't know. This only gets like a yellow flag.

PAUL: His supporters are really that staunchly behind him.


PAUL: As are Bernie Sanders, aren't they? JOHNSON: Yes, yes. I would say probably even the polling shows the

most loyal supporters out there they are Bernie Sanders people, they're Donald Trump people. After that, believe it or not it would actually be Rand Paul -- Rand Paul and then it will be Hillary Clinton. So, there is an intensity out there.

Again, we never know if that is going to translate into caucusing because caucuses are different than primaries.

PAUL: Right.

JOHNSON: So, that's what trump is really banking on now.


PAUL: So, we have this Democratic debate too or this town hall coming up tomorrow night at 9:00 p.m. with O'Malley and Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. What do you think they are going to be hit with from Iowans? Because Iowans are going to get a chance to say something to them and what do we need to see from each of them to help move them up a little bit?

JOHNSON: Well look, at this point Bernie Sanders -- thank goodness, no longer has to answer the question of, can you win this thing? Right? He has made it clear that he is actually competitive.

Bernie Sanders has to convince people that he can accomplish what he's talking about. He said a lot of things. I'm going to make college tuition free. I'm going to do this. I'm going to do that. People are going to say, hey, how are you going to pay for it? How are you going to get it done?

With Hillary Clinton people have to be convinced, look, I may like you, Hillary, can I trust you? Do I think the --

PAUL: It's still the trust factor?

JOHNSON: It's always in the trust factor.

PAUL: But it's still the likeability factor too with her.

JOHNSON: But I think those things are lame. I think if you like her, you trust her. If you don't like her, you never believed her and you never believed a Clinton any way.

PAUL: It makes -- it makes a lot of sense. Jason Johnson, thank you so much.

JOHNSON: Thank you, Christi.

PAUL: So, glad to have you here.

Now listen, New York has shut down, the show went on for "Saturday night live." And after Sarah Palin endorsed Donald Trump last week, you know, there was no guessing who was going to make a special appearance on the show. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TINA FEY, COMEDIAN, "SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE": I'm here because we Americans are struggling, So many of us have lost our jobs at the factory or reality shows about Alaska, and we have seen our own children targeted by the police for no reason other than they committed some crimes. We turn on the news every morning and are shocked to see we are not even on it because we have been replaced by immigrants like Geraldo Rivera.

DARRELL HAMMOND, COMEDIAN, "SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE": She's fun. She just says whatever she wants. It's like her mouth starts diving before her brain gets in the car.


PAUL: Jason is sitting here shaking his head. He doesn't know what to say.

Tina Fey returning again as Sarah Palin, poking fun at the former Alaska governor. And we should point out the Alaska governor does get a kick out of this. She has said publicly, she is even -- as you can see here, Tina Fey, decked out in that sparkly sweater that social media went so crazy about. But I have to tell you if I am not looking at the screen and I'm just hearing her, I almost think it's Sarah Palin for a second. She is that good.

JOHNSON: She does an excellent job. I don't know why she stole Jon Snow's outfit from "Game of Thrones."


JOHNSON: That's a big (INAUDIBLE) but --

PAUL: We have all made pretty bad fashion choices. I've been there too. I admit it.


PAUL: Not quite like that but we have all done it. Thank you so much again, Jason, for playing around.

JOHNSON: Thank you.

PAUL: Hey, listen. We have a programming note for you next hour. We're going to be joined by presidential candidate Rand Paul who Jason was talking about here as well.

We're going to ask the Kentucky senator, first of all, how he is handling the blizzard in his state because we know there was some big problems there yesterday. And then talk more about the Iowa caucuses coming up.

A programming note for you too. Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton, Martin O'Malley faces voters in Des Moines, Iowa in a live CNN Democratic Presidential Town Hall. Chris Cuomo moderating. The final pitch here for all the candidates before the first votes are cast. And a unique opportunity for Iowans themselves to ask questions of the three Democrats. It is Monday night, 9:00 p.m. Eastern live only here on CNN.

GOP presidential Candidate Jeb Bush is on "STATE OF THE UNION" with Jake Tapper this morning at 9:00 a.m. Eastern here as well.




BRANDON MOORE, HERRING MOTOR COMPANY: It's been crazy. It's just been one after another truck stuck. It's just nonstop. And it just -- all (ph) seem like we are getting anywhere to be honest but we are, eventually.

SUZY JENSEN, STUCK DRIVER: This is horrible. We have been stuck in the truck for 13 1/2 hours and still counting. And when you only get very little food and water and stuff and people are asking back and forth what they have and people are sharing what they have, that's very kind. And the truckers, especially the trucker families, they all look out for each other and everybody else.


PAUL: It is good to know, isn't it, to hear something like that? The National Guard really helped get traffic moving again on the Pennsylvania turnpike there but what a nightmare for these people. We are talking about 500 vehicles stuck on Friday and among them were more than 300 students and chaperone stranded on a bus from a Catholic high school. And they were bundled up on that turnpike for more than 20 hours.

Take a look at some of these pictures we have coming in and people couldn't stay in their cars. At one point they had to get out. The group was heading home after from participating in the March for Life Rally in Washington and apparently even half the time are holding mass on the road there.

Well it has been 20 minutes now until the travel ban is supposed to be lifted in New York City. Martin Savidge is live for us there. We know the city crews are clearing sidewalks and it's helped to get people out of there and we are seeing a very different picture of you today than we did yesterday.

SAVIDGE: Definitely. I mean, yesterday, you couldn't even see any of the background behind us. And now it's crystal clear. The sun is just starting to come up so it's going to be a beautiful very sunny day so wear your glasses. But it is not a day things where things are going to go right back to normal. That's the thing that people have to understand.

Yes, the travel ban is going to be lifted but, remember, many of these streets here are very difficult. The sidewalks in a lot of places are closed so you're going to have cars and people sharing the same roadways -- much more narrow roadways I should point out because of the heavy drifts that were created as a result of the plowing that has been going nonstop. So, it should be a beautiful day but it's definitely not going to be a normal day.

The other thing we are very concerned about now as we approach the 8:00 hour is the circumstance on the coast. Because, again, they are expecting another round of tidal flooding. Hopefully, not as bad but the potential is still there even though the storm is a thousand miles away it's having an impact. Boris Sanchez continues to following things for us there in New Jersey.

Boris, how is it going?

BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Martin. The wind continues to pick up here. It's definitely coming into this bay behind us. Yesterday, we watched as this water very quickly, within the span of about an hour, came up over the edge of this bay and into this neighborhood rushing through.

Right now as you can see it's maybe a half a foot or so away from the bay but we are still roughly about an hour away from real high tide. And that's when yesterday because of the full moon partly, it came over and into this neighborhood. We spoke to a gentleman that was working at a business here, at a bar, at Maynard's, he told us that the damage was minimal to the bar but there was still water inside. Mostly the damage, though, is on the roads where there was ice and debris scattered across. You can see there is not much snow here and it's interesting. Some roads are much lower than others. There is -- there is a big variance in elevation here in Margate City.


Some roads clear like this one. Others ones submerged. Down the street from here, on Ventnor Avenue, we were looking at other businesses that had water go inside. We would be interested in going there later today and seeing how they are doing because they had sandbags outside their doors and the sandbags really didn't do much. So, as we wait for high tide, we also wait for the winds to shift around noon today. Several flood watches are set to expire and hopefully they have seen the last of this flood.

SAVIDGE: And I'm wondering, Boris, is this one of those sort of seasonal communities? In other words a lot of people in the summertime, not many people this time of the year?

SANCHEZ: That's exactly how it is, Martin.

There were very few people that came out yesterday at the peak of this flood just to check out how things were going. For the most part their summer homes that are in this area or apartments that are set up for summertime, not necessarily an area that is populated right now. Further north in Atlantic City, there are many more people out there but that is certainly at a high elevation so they didn't really see any flooding there. They did see more snow than we saw here in Margate City though.

SAVIDGE: And the authorities there. Have you seen them out and about? I mean, are they sort of patrolling or keeping people apprised of what may happen?

SANCHEZ: Certainly. There was a police cruiser that passed by earlier this morning. Yesterday, though, they were passing by every 20 minutes or so. They even asked us before the water came over, you guys know that this area floods, right? Because they wanted us to be aware and try to get out of the way before the water came over, but they have been rotating around the area and trying to make sure that people are not only aware that the area floods, but also that there is much space between them and the water once, in case high tide hits and it does go over, they can get out of way.

SAVIDGE: Right. And we saw yesterday with your reporting just how quickly that can happen. Hopefully, not a repeat today but we will stay in touch just to be absolutely sure.

Governor Chris Christie will be updating the flooding situation later in our program. And also Andrew Cuomo, the governor of New York, is expected to hold a news conference around 9:45. So one is 9:45 and the others around 10:00 a.m. respectively. And we will be standing by to bring that information to you because there is still a lot of stuff that people need to know, including the fact of transportation. It's not normal. Life is not normal. Just yet but we are getting there.

PAUL: Yes, Martin. People at the airports are certainly finding that to be true today as well, as we are getting some not so good information from that. We will keep people updated.

Thank you, Martin, so much. As he was mentioning, state officials really trying to keep everybody informed this morning. They are still working it seems nonstop.

New York City expected to lift its travel ban in about ten minutes now, which means cars and buses can get back on the road. We will make sure that that -- we don't get any other news that negates that. We are also going to hear, as Martin said, from Governor Andrew Cuomo in just a couple of hours. He is scheduled to speak this morning on the snow's impact and where they are going to go from here, what needs to be done.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie holding his own briefing as Martin said around 10:00 a.m. and he is expected to address that flooding that could hit the state again as we watch in about an hour and a half, that high tide starts to come in and what it's going to do to the Jersey shore.

We are back in a moment.



PAUL: So, I don't know if you heard about this but a bride in Philadelphia, she didn't let something like a little blizzard keep her from getting to altar on time. Christen Donovan also didn't imagine a walk on the aisle would be on live TV but a reporter from a television station in Philly was there to capture it.


VITTORIA WOODILL, "CBS 3" REPORTER: What are you most excited about, do you think?


WOODILL: I know we have been sitting out here but you have your primpers in the back. You're ready to go. I mean, you're going to be glistening by the time you get to the altar.

DONOVAN: Well, we are ready to go.

WOODILL: You're ready to go. All right.

I don't want to hold you back any longer but I wish you the best. Girls maybe we should pick up here dress and prop her up. Dad, are you grabbing the arm here?


WOODILL: OK. I'll come around here. I have to tell you guys, we watched the groom and the groomsmen came in earlier. They looked amazing, but not as good as the bride. Look at this gorgeous dress.

We are live from St. John the Evangelist Roman Catholic Church. And if you're watching right now, you're watching Christen Donovan taking her steps to the altar live on "CBS 3" in a blizzard! In a blizzard, you guys!


PAUL: And we wish them the very best of luck on their new life together. All right.

One of the hash tags trending on Twitter during the height of the blizzard was #poordale. So, you know the school and business closings that you see at the bottom of screen during winter. Well, a business at High Point, North Carolina (ph) announced that it was closing and decided to play a trick on one of its employees at the same time. The closing read, Metal Works of high Point closed today; Dale to work normal hours. Viewers quickly came to Dale's defense with a #poordale.

The company kept up the joke, updating the closing on Saturday with the announcement Metal Works closed tomorrow; Dale one hour delay. (INAUDIBLE) sleeping a little bit. Maybe someday we'll actually see who Dale is.

And look at this! An excited panda at the Smithsonian's National Zoo tumbling and playing in the snow. Tian Tian, the 275 pound panda woke up to find his enclosure full of snow and he did not mind one bit as you can see. He is becoming one of the biggest online celebrities to emerge from this blizzard, in fact. Dogs, animals, kids. You just can't get enough of them on screen a lot of times, can we? And this is so, so good. So you just wish we could all do that and not be so cold?

And speaking of animals. This is from Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania. Gale (ph) Wilson (INAUDIBLE) shot this video of her horse -- horses. Look at them frolicking in nearly two feet of snow, kicking up their hooves there. It is a beautiful, beautiful sight.

Thank you to all the people who've been posting things that are inspiring and beautiful and give us a completely different view of this blizzard as opposed to some of the really treacherous things that we have seen. It's good to know. We will be right back.



ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

PAUL: We've got some breaking news to bring you right now.

A Turkish airlines flight that started in Houston and was going to Istanbul has landed safely after being diverted to Ireland. The plane was diverted after reports that there was a suspicious package on board.

CNN's Peter Taggart is joining us via phone. Peter, what do you know about this package and any perceived threat?

PETER TAGGART, CNN CONTRIBUTOR (via phone): Well, the details are just coming in, but what we have confirmed is that the flight has been diverted and, yes, it has landed safely en route from Houston, Texas, to Istanbul in Turkey as you say.

Irish Police have confirmed some details. Just in the past few minutes what they are saying (ph) that (ph) there was a note was on board. Now, there are reports that it was a bomb threat. Police are not confirming that at this stage but what they do say is that it was sinister enough to divert. So police say their officers are at the scene, that they will be speaking to people on board and that is all we know at the moment.

PAUL: I don't know -- I don't know that you're right there, but I was reading that this plane was pulled over to an isolated part of the airport and at that point, in Shannon, surrounded by emergency vehicles. What do you know about what is happening there at this moment?

TAGGART: Well, absolutely. That would be standard procedure in something like this. If that happens, it would be taken away from other parts of the airport and, yes, the emergency services are at the scene and they are ready to act. (INAUDIBLE) Irish police are saying that there are incidents like this, that they don't know what actually is at the bottom of it, if there is anything, if there is a bomb, but certainly if there is they will find out (ph).

PAUL: And will they -- how will they move from this point forward? They, obviously, get everybody off of that plane. Do they take -- are there dogs that get on to that plane? What is the process for trying to really examine the inside of that plain?

TAGGART: Well absolutely they will do their utmost. With (ph) the police they are not giving details -- specific details, obviously, because it is a security alert. They are keeping their card very close to their chest but what they say is that they will do their absolute utmost to establish, as quickly as possible, what is happening and people will be safe. The plane has landed safely and, at the moment, they will do their utmost to see what is happening.


PAUL: Interesting. All right.