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New York Digs Out After Monster Storm; Interview with Rand Paul. Aired 7:30-8a ET

Aired January 24, 2016 - 07:30   ET


JUSTIN FINCH, REPORTER, KYW-TV: I know. It's -- we call the tumble -- rather, the terminals here like tumbleweed territories.

[07:30:01] Not many people at all. The others you see here actually working here, we saw a few people who were stranded and sleeping on the chairs. I felt bad. I didn't go over and wake them up and ask them but I'm sure in a few hours they will be waking up to see what is going on here.

CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: All righty. Hey, Justin Finch, thank you so much, with KYW, for bringing us the very latest. We appreciate it.

FINCH: Sure.

PAUL: And again, we're going to keep you apprised of what's happening there.

But as you heard there, Dulles and Reagan Airports are closed today as you heard. Call your carrier. Don't go to the airport unless you can get some good information. Thirty-five hundred more than cancelled flights so far today.

We're back in a moment. Back live to New York in a moment.


PAUL: Well, New York, this morning, does not look like what you would expect to find, especially the streets.

CNN's Chad Myers is roaming the streets right now of New York in a car, I should point out.

The roads are icy and they are very, very narrow because of all the snow that is there. Chad, help us understand. I know you've been watching this storm the last couple of days at a fevered pitch. Now that the snow has stopped falling, there's a sheet of ice underneath all of that snow, isn't there, on the roads?


Yes, it's the first two or three inches of snow that came down, Christi. It got packed down and that's what is the glaze under this nice, good traction that has now been since been shoveled off and been scooped away. So, there's the glaze -- if you see the shine on the shot here, it looks like that should be liquid but, in fact, as we get to it, I can tell you, the car is going to get a little slicky. It is slippery right underneath the car right now. And that is where people are going to be walking.

The streets here, we have moved down a little bit to downtown. We are in the village. The streets are very, very tight. And the cars are snowed in. They are honestly plowed in.

You get one track through there. You have one way streets. You have a one track and you park on one side of the street. Well, the plow always shoves it to the car side instead the other side of the sidewalk side!

And so, all of those cars are completely jammed in! There will be hours of shoveling and we talked about this last night a little bit, how heavy this snow is. And if you're going to be shoveling, please take a break. You're not going to get your car out in 20 minutes and may not be two hours. But we lost three people because of heart attacks last night because they were trying to shovel their driveways.

I know it's the right thing to do but if you're going to try to shovel, you need to take a long break and get your heart rate down because this is a very difficult day.

[07:35:05] Now, we're going to try to get down one of these side streets and get our four-wheel drive going through here. If this was a two-wheel drive vehicle, this would have no chance whatsoever. Going over a little bit of a hump where the snowplow did pull through.

So, here we go. We got around. My wife will know where we are because we just left Christopher Street. Right along that street is her favorite shop in New York City. When we come here, we have to go to the Petite Puppy. The Petite Puppy always have puppy in the window and I want to sing the song my late father used to sing, how much is that doggie in the window.

PAUL: How much is that doggie in the window --

MYERS: And they're running around. It's just an amazing part of New York City. I know everybody wants to go to Times Square but when you're here, get down to the village, get down to Tribeca, get to other locations in the city, where it is just as pretty, and a lot times more of a neighborhood than just a big shopping center.

PAUL: It is so beautiful. Chad, thanks for bringing us to that. Please stay safe to you and the crew there.

Martin Savidge is live where they are clearing some sidewalks and, obviously, some roads there. But we are about two hours and 15 minutes away from a press conference with Governor Cuomo, giving us an update on exactly what happens from this point on, Martin.

MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, there's a lot that still needs to be done. For some answers, we've got Kathryn Garcia joining us on the line. She is the commissioner of sanitation for the city of New York and for people who don't know, the sanitation department that has the job of clearing the streets.

And, Kathryn, thank you for joining us. I have to say your crews have done a tremendous job. They really had a lot they have had to clear, and they seem to have done it well.

But let me ask you, how are things now?


So in many areas, things are going very well. We know that we have more work to do and particularly in Queens and in certain pockets of some of the other boroughs. A lot of our smaller roads still need to be cleared and they have very heavy snow on them, so we are going to have to go in with the plows and front-end loaders.

That is the focus for today and we have done well so far, but we need to stay focused because there's a lot still to do.

One of the things that is going to be challenging for us today, as people dig out and put snow back into the street, it can become impassible for a two-wheel car.

SAVIDGE: Well, what are you asking people to do? What are you warning or what are you asking for the public to do to continue to help?

GARCIA: The other challenge we are having is we have a lot of pedestrians walking in the street, which is dangerous, both for them and for our plow operators. We would like you to stay focused on doing your sidewalks, but not putting it back into the street, just clearing a wide enough path for people to get through so the pedestrians can move safely.

To the extent that you don't have to be moving around the city, it would be very helpful to the crews to make sure that we have as little traffic as possible.

SAVIDGE: And then we talk about all of the snow that is piled up on the side. Of course, it to be pushed somewhere. Now begins the process of actually lifting it and transporting it away?

GARCIA: So, in some cases, we will do some -- what is called piling and hauling of snow, depending on what the geography is. In the other cases, it will be that we do -- we will allow the sun to take over, which I'm hopeful, with the temperatures rising, will allow us to see some melt-offs.

SAVIDGE: Right. The sun is doing just that as it's rising up now. It should be above freezing I think at some point today.

And, lastly, tomorrow, Monday, back to work for a lot of folks. What is that commute likely to look like?

GARCIA: So, our focus on the overnight will be making sure we have gotten into all of the little routes but also be refocused on re- icing. We intend to try to make it so that we can move safely, but it will still be a slow-go. It is a lot of snow out there. I'd say it's still dangerous conditions to try and be driving in the city.

So, we would discourage that and I'm very hopeful that the MTA will be back operating by the time we get to rush hour tomorrow.

SAVIDGE: All right. And again, hopefully, the sun and warmer temperatures will go a long way to assist you well.

Kathryn Garcia, thank you very much for joining us once again, giving us an update on the work that your crews have been doing now for over 48 hours. Very long periods, long stretches, but we are getting it through it.

GARCIA: Yes, they're on it, though.

SAVIDGE: Yes, the light is at the end of the tunnel and we are starting to see it. Thank you very much.

Christi, back to you.

PAUL: All righty. Thank you, Martin.

Listen, there is some political news this morning as well. Will Michael Bloomberg get in the running for president?

[07:40:00] "The Des Moines Register" has announced its endorsements and we are talking about. Plus, what happened in Kentucky yesterday in the middle of this blizzard. We are talking about it with Rand Paul.

Stay close. He is up with us next.


PAUL: We're just about 15 minutes away from high tide in New Jersey, about two hours from hearing from Governor Cuomo about what's happening in the blizzard aftermath and we're going to keep you posted on all of that this morning.

But there is some breaking political news we need to talk about. With just a week now until the nation's first caucuses in Iowa, "The Des Moines Register" has given its coveted presidential endorsement to Republican Senator Marco Rubio and Democrat Hillary Clinton.

Now, the paper interviewed every major candidate for 2016, with the exception the GOP frontrunner, Donald Trump and Ted Cruz. The reason? They both declined.

And speaking of Donald Trump, he is feeling so confident about his presidential campaign that yesterday, 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. You know what else they say about my people? 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.


C. PAUL: Sources telling CNN the former mayor of New York, Michael Bloomberg, meanwhile, is seriously considering a possible presidential run. They say he would run as an independent candidate if this happens and he is looking to make a decision sometime in March.

So, in this race for the White House, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul is trying to break in to the top tier of Republican primary candidates. A new CNN poll out of New Hampshire shows the senator with some uptick in support. A lot of people wondering, is time running out, though, for some of these candidates who might be in single digits right now?

Well, Republican presidential candidate, Senator Paul Rand -- Rand Paul, excuse me, is joining us now.

Thank you so much. I want to say, first off, to everybody that always asks me -- we are not related. I get that question often.

But thank you so much, Senator, for being with us.

[07:45:01] We appreciate it.


C. PAUL: I wanted to ask you real quickly before we get into the politics of things, we were looking at Kentucky yesterday and that was a big story. There was a 35-mile stretch of cars, buses and trucks, at a standstill and they were stuck there, some of them, more than 20 hours. And we talked to somebody from the state police there who said this is a problematic area. It's mountainous. It gets icy.

Just kind of wondering how does a 35-mile backup like that happen if you know that this is a problematic region?

R. PAUL: Well, you know, we have had trouble when big snows come to Kentucky. Just last year -- you know, I have a son at the University of Kentucky that is pretty close to there. Last year, my wife was taking my son to school and the same thing happened and they were on the road for ten hours. So, some of it we need to expand our roads.

You know, our highway trust fund is about $15 billion short in the United States. I've been working to try to bring American profit home and allow some of that to go into infrastructure. I've met against a wall in Washington where it's hard to get anything done. They say we want to do overall tax reform.

But I have a tax plan to bring American profit at home and tax a small amount and put it into roads so we could avoid problems like this.

C. PAUL: All righty. Well, we certainly wish everybody well there. I know there's a lot of recovery to be done in the next couple of days with all of the snow that fell and the ice.

But let's talk politics here, because let's talk, first, about the news that former Mayor Michael Bloomberg may be revisiting a possible run for the presidency. If he gets into the race, who do you think it's going to affect more, Democrats or Republicans?

R. PAUL: You know, I think it may affect both, but I think it's showing some of the weakness of some of the front runners and may be good for some of the candidacies like myself. I think Bloomberg sees Clinton on one side and possible criminal charges. On the other side, he sees a bombastic Trump that alienates large segments of the population, Hispanics, women, et cetera.

So, I think it has an opportunity for some of us under dogs. And one of the interesting things is we think the polls are wildly inaccurate. In Kentucky, you know, in the governor's race, they were off 13 points in a two two-way race.

We think the polls are underestimating particular our candidacy because we have a lot of young voters. Because I'm opposed to the government collecting your phone records and doing this mass surveillance tape, a lot of young people agree with me on that and we think they with will do well with the college student and young 20s and 30s age group voters.

C. PAUL: Well, and the polls are significant here too, because a lot of times up to this point, they have been helping decide who makes the stage in some of these debates. You know, FOX News debate on Thursday. I know you had to sit that one out. If you make the stage this next time around, what are you going to do to be more distinctive, do you think, to really be able to get out there?

R. PAUL: You know, I think I do have a unique message. I'm the one saying I don't want the sand to glow in the Middle East. I want to protect America. I want to protect us from ISIS but I also don't want to send a half a million troops back into the Middle East. I think that when we toppled secular regimes or secular dictators over there, we've gotten more chaos, and we've gotten more of the rise of the radical Islam.

You know, I'm also the one candidate who doesn't want the government to collect all of your phone records. I think I'm also the only fiscal conservative on the stage because I'm willing to say you have to hold the line on all spending. Almost everyone else on the stage wants to dramatically increase military spending, but that is equally as bad as increasing domestic welfare spending, because the two together are what are causing us to have such an enormous national debt that I think the number one threat to our national security now is actually our debt. I'm actually the only one, I think, that would hold the line.

C. PAUL: All right. Hopefully, you will make that stage and we will hear more about that, obviously. Speaking of being distinctive, let's look at this again what Donald Trump said yesterday that has a lot of people talking today.


DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: My people are so smart. You know what else they say about my people? 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.


C. PAUL: All right. I want to get your reaction to that.

R. PAUL: Where to start?

C. PAUL: Besides the chuckle, I know.

R. PAUL: You know, where to start?

No. I think sometimes narcissists have delusions. Ands I think he's almost to the point of being delusional about his own power. But what I worry about that is, there is a distinct American tradition I represent that says too much power gravitating into the hands of anyone is a mistake, Republican or Democrat. So, we believe in a presidency limited by the Constitution.

I think that Donald Trump believes in no limits to power as long as it's coming to him. That's very, very worrisome to us. And I think conservatives across the country should be alarmed at his candidacy, because I don't think he's a real conservative.

[07:50:01] I think he's pulling the wool over eyes, and I think we'll be sorry that he'll be the consummate deal maker and he'll be worse than anything we've got in Washington. You'll just wait.

C. PAUL: The one thing that he does say that is true, up to this point that we see, is he is leading in the polls. He is polling in.

R. PAUL: Let's see how the polling actually goes when we actually have real voters. We think the polls are wildly inaccurate, and we'll see what happens when people show up to vote.

C. PAUL: All righty. Thank you so much, Senator Rand Paul, for taking time for us this morning. Good to have you here.

R. PAUL: Thank you.

C. PAUL: Absolutely.

And we do want to give you a programming note, too, since we're talking politics. Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton, and Martin O'Malley are facing voters in Des Moines, Iowa, in a live CNN Democratic presidential town hall. Chris Cuomo is moderating it. It is the final pitch for all the candidates before the votes are cast, and a real unique opportunities for Iowans because they'll ask questions of the three Democrats. That is tomorrow night 9:00 p.m. Eastern, live right here on CNN. GOP presidential candidate Jeb Bush, meanwhile, is on "STATE OF THE

UNION" with Jake Tapper this morning. That's at 9:00 a.m. Eastern, right here.


PAUL: Fifty-three minutes past the hour.

And officials may have discovered another piece of Malaysian Airlines Flight 370. A fisherman found a large piece of curved metal. He found this in the southern Thai coast Friday. The Thai civil aviation department is dispatching air accident investigators to that site tomorrow.

Malaysian's transport minister said it's too early to speculate as to whether the debris is from the missing plane but MH370, remember, disappeared off radar in 2014 when it was flying from Malaysia to Beijing. There were 239 people on board. Another piece of debris was found last year on Reunion Island.

A Turkish Airlines flight from Houston to Istanbul had to be diverted to Ireland because of a bomb alert. The plane landed safely in Ireland. It was moved to an isolated part of the airport. All passenger and crew disembarked. reported there was a written bomb threat sound on that plane. So, the crew informed the operation center who then alerted authorities. We'll have a live report next hour about how that's panning out.

[07:55:03] Also, the U.S. Geological Survey says that 7.1 magnitude earthquake hit Alaska this morning. The epicenter hit the Cook Inlet, about 160 miles from Anchorage. No tsunami with this, primarily, because it was about 50e miles deep. But Anchorage police tweeted there were no reports of major damage or injury following the earthquake, thankfully.

I want to pop some pictures up. You tell me, have you seen these three men? Local and federal authorities are looking for them in California. They are inmates who escaped from the Orange County jail Friday night.

The man in the middle is accused of murder. The man to the left accused of torture and kidnapping. And the man on the right facing charges of attempted murder. Anyone with information should call 911.

Our next hour of NEW DAY is starting after this quick break. Stay close.


PAUL: We are just shy of 8:00 a.m. here on this Sunday morning. I'm so grateful for your company. I'm Christi Paul.

I want to talk about the aftermath. What people are waking up to this morning. Take a look at the pictures out of New York. A live look at Manhattan.

Look how narrow the streets are and how buried the cars are on the side of the road. Few cars and buses were out there, but there is heavy, heavy ice and snow that is keeping a lot of people at home. It's pretty to look at, maybe not so pretty to try to drive through.

Martin Savidge is joining us from One Columbus Circle near Central Park.

And, Martin, I know we're about a hour and 45 minutes away from hearing from Governor Cuomo in regards to where New York goes from here and possibly -- hopefully updates on the airports. We know about 70 percent of the flights at La Guardia this morning are cancelled.

SAVIDGE: Right. A lot of problems when it comes to transportation. That's still -- even though the travel ban has been lifted, getting around on the streets is difficult. Flying -- I would definitely check with the airlines before you even venture near an airport. And on top of that, the rail service.