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CNN NEWSROOM

Midwest Will Become Icy as Temperatures Warm Over Weekend; Howard Schultz Path to Winning May Run Through Blue States; Foxconn Construction of Wisconsin Factory Likely to Shift to Technology Hub; Roger Goodell Acknowledges Several Days of Conversations Followed Bad NFC Call. Sean Payton Ate Ice Cream for Three Days Following Bad NFC Call. Aired 10:30-11a ET

Aired January 31, 2019 - 10:30   ET

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


POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR, NEWSROOM: All right. So at least 11 people have died as these bitter-cold temperatures sweep across the Midwest. More than 200 million people are in the path of this brutal arctic freeze.

JIM SCIUTTO, CNN ANCHOR, NEWSROOM: Nearly 10 percent of the country dipping 20 degrees below zero. Chicago, colder than parts of Antarctica. And Alaska, CNN meteorologist Chad Myers is tracking the extreme cold.

Chad, I mean, it's amazing. We're talking about temperatures you see at the top of Everest or at the North Pole. In folks (ph) -- where millions of Americans live. What's going to happen next?

CHAD MYERS, CNN WEATHER CORRESPONDENT: The polar jet stream is going to break off and we will warm up by the weekend. And this is just one little piece of a jetstream that is coming down from the North Pole and is taking all of this air and shoving it in our face.

Thirty-six below right now is the wind chill factor in Chicago. Take a look at this picture on the other side of the screen. This is what Chicago looked like about an hour ago.

Now, we've allowed our reporter and photographer to go inside and warm up for, you know, 10 minutes, whatever. It is so brutally cold there. This is the steam coming off the lake and blowing at Chicago, and, boy, it has been very, very cold there. And snow on the other side of the lake as well.

So, now, let's get to it. We're going to warm up a little bit. By later on this afternoon, in Chicago you're going to feel like a balmy 11 below zero. Tomorrow, not as cold in the morning, where we're in the 30 below. We're only going to be three below tomorrow morning.

So, yes, the warmth is coming. But it's not going to be without some problems when it does begin to warm up. By Friday it's going to feel like eight. But then this major warm-up is going to try to happen.

Well, you can't go from minus-30 to 30 without something bad happening in the meeting. And when this happens, we're going to get humidity in the air. The humidity is going to stick the roads, and all of a sudden there's going to be another flash-freeze because the roads won't have time to warm up by the time this drizzle and mist comes into our forecast.

One below for Chicago for tomorrow. The normal high is 32. Forty-one by Saturday afternoon.

And here it comes. This is the forecast radar with rain here. This is Saturday afternoon, somewhere on the -- in that ballpark. That's when it's going to begin to rain.

Poppy and Jim, the temperature of the road is going to be five. If it rains and the roads are five --

HARLOW: Yes.

MYERS: -- get an idea of what's going to happen there, Saturday afternoon, across the upper Great Lakes. It's going to be an ice rink.

HARLOW: Uh-ph.

SCIUTTO: Thank you, Chad, for brightening up our day --

HARLOW: Right.

SCIUTTO: -- this was fantastic.

(LAUGHTER)

SCIUTTO: Wow, that could be dangerous.

HARLOW: Stay off the roads, yes, that day. All right.

SCIUTTO: Coming up next, this man has Democrats squirming and this time it is not Donald Trump. It is the former CEO of Starbucks, Howard Schultz. He says that he will not play a spoiler role in the 2020 election, but will voters buy that?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[10:37:23] HARLOW: Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz is digging in against Democrats who say that he'd spoil the 2020 election if he ran for president as an independent.

One voter last night in Arizona said this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Ralph Nader. I heard the same exact thing from him, and we got President George Bush.

(APPLAUSE)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Just keep that in mind.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCIUTTO: She said that after Schultz promised that his possible run as an independent would not help re-elect Donald Trump. A few hours later, he told our colleague Anderson Cooper this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HOWARD SCHULTZ, FORMER CEO, STARBUCKS CORPORATION: There are millions of lifelong Republicans who are not interested in re-electing Donald Trump, but are not going to vote for a left-leaning progressive Democratic nominee. What I really want to do is provide a better choice.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HARLOW: Joining us now, conservative blogger Mary Katharine Ham; former campaign manager for Hillary Clinton, Robby Mook.

And, Mary Katharine, I totally undersold you there. Conservative blogger, you are that and so much else. So thank you -- thank you for being here --

MARY KATHARINE HAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: All good (ph).

HARLOW: -- and apologies on that. And so I will start with you. Here's my read, having just interviewed Schultz this week and having covered him for a decade and asked him, more than a dozen times, if he's going to run for president.

I think he runs -- if he sees a path, if it is Elizabeth Warren or one of the more progressive liberal Democrats --

HAM: Right.

HARLOW: -- OK? I am not convinced that he runs if it is a Mayor Bloomberg or Joe Biden that gets in this race and looks like they would have the nomination. What's your over-under on this?

HAM: Yes. I think you're not far off there because he is a business guy, right? If there's a gap in the market -- and often, our two- party system leaves a gap in the market --

HARLOW: Yes.

HAM: -- unfortunately, that independent candidate often can't make much of a difference other than being the spoiler, right? I think he might jump in at that point.

And, look, there is a lot of room in the center to run, depending -- you know, it depends what you can actually do with that, but I think Democrats are right to be a little bit worried because many in the base want a more, like, very far-left, I think, candidate -- or progressive candidate. And so there is a lot of room there.

They're getting out early to try to say, like, "Hey, hey, hey, man, get back in your lane." And I think that's not a terrible move because I think he could pose a danger in certain states, and draw votes away.

SCIUTTO: Let me ask you, Robby Mook, because you're a data guy. And I asked Harry Enten this question earlier in the week. You know, is the data clear on Ralph Nader or Ross Perot? You know, in '92, '96, that independents draw more from one party than another.

I mean, is it clear to you that Howard Schultz would necessarily draw more Democrats or more Republican voters away?

[10:40:04] ROBBY MOOK, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes, well I'm concerned on two levels. First of all, if you -- if you look at the electoral college math -- and that's ultimately what matters here -- sometimes people get confused on votes versus electoral college.

The places where an independent candidate like Schultz can win electoral votes, those are blue states. You know, they're places like New York or New Hampshire, New England, California. He's not going to be taking electoral votes from red states. I haven't heard anybody argue that that's even possible.

So, sure, he can point to voters he's talked to who are telling him that they're going to support him, but the electoral math is just a disaster for Democrats on this one.

But secondly, what concerns me actually more than any of this is the substance of his argument right now. He's not presenting a new message. He's not presenting the alternative that he's alluding to.

You know, when he's been asked about policy specifics, he's either been vague or just confusing. And in the process of doing so, he's criticizing Democrats. That clip you just played, he doesn't indict Donald Trump. He indicts the Democratic Party. And so I have a real --

HARLOW: He did --

MOOK: -- question about what his mission here really is.

HARLOW: He did plenty of indicting Donald Trump. He called him "despicable" in my interview with him.

And when I pressed him, Mary Katharine, for specifics, say, on tax policy -- because he doesn't like Elizabeth Warren's plan and he doesn't like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's plan -- I said, "Would you raise corporate taxes significantly?"

And he said, "Well, I don't think 21 percent is the right rate for corporate taxes, so that gives you some indication of what I would do." But he kept saying, "I'm not running yet so I'm not laying out my policies --

HAM: Right.

HARLOW: -- "yet," Mary Katharine. What do you think?

HAM: Yes, I mean, if he becomes a factor, he would have to be specific, just as everyone who becomes a factor is.

But I do think independent candidates are often unencumbered by sort of having to pretend about the numbers. And when you get into specifics with them, like, I think there is a different message here than either party, in the fact that he's actually talking about the debt and he's talking about the fact that Medicare for all, you actually have to pay for and it's extremely hard to do that -- it's not impossible -- without a loss of quality.

And those are things that are worth talking about. And he's a guy who doesn't have to cover those things up. I think it is a differentiating message. It's a real rain-on-the-garden-party move, which is what independent candidates are often about. But I kind of like the honesty of that part of it.

SCIUTTO: Before we go, Robby Mook, just looking at the broader Democratic field. George Will in the "Washington Post" --

HARLOW: Yes.

SCIUTTO: -- he points towards Amy Klobuchar, in part because it's his argument, and others, that the path to winning would be through Midwestern states, and Amy Klobuchar -- and others -- do, Sherrod Brown.

But I'm curious, is that a strength that you're looking for in a Democratic candidate?

MOOK: Well, I think the core strength for a Democratic candidate is the ability to drive message. You know, a real challenge that we had in 2016 was that Donald Trump decided what was on the news every day, through his antics.

And so I'm a little bit less interested in somebody's race or gender or where they're from. I'm much more interested in, can they drive their own narrative and tell their own story? That's what's going to raise them the money they need. That's what's going to raise them the people and the volunteers that they need.

And you think about a state like Minnesota, caucus state, you know, that's all about intensity and turnout. That absolutely could be Amy Klobuchar. But I think there are a lot of other candidates as well.

But I think it's -- I wouldn't discus so much on somebody's demographics, and more on what they have to say and whether they can --

HARLOW: But it's --

MOOK: -- you know, get that to punch out.

HARLOW: I hear you.

And, Mary Katharine, just to put a button on it quickly here, you know, she is not in the Abolish ICE camp, for example. She is not in the Medicaid -- Medicare for all camp, for example. So policy-wise, there, might she be a better bet for the Democratic Party and in general?

HAM: Well, here -- so here's the other -- here's the flip side of this. A lot of Democrats, a lot of progressives, I think rightly, are worried about Howard Schultz and his message because they want a more progressive candidate.

But the flip side of this is that he could actually push some Democrats and more progressive candidates --

HARLOW: Yes.

HAM: -- into having a bit more of a centrist message --

HARLOW: Right.

HAM: -- and some more centrist policies. Or pick the party -- push the party into picking someone who might run better in those Midwestern states, and that is something you need, to go up against Donald Trump.

SCIUTTO: Yes.

HAM: That's just the bottom line.

HARLOW: Yes. Really interesting, guys. Thank you.

Mary Katharine, nice to have you.

Robby, we appreciate it --

MOOK: Thanks.

HARLOW: -- as always.

[10:44:21] So, remember when President Trump not just said, but went to Wisconsin last year, promising these thousands of factory jobs there? This is about a Foxconn plant there, and a lot of it seems to be crumbling. We're going to have a live report on the ground ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is CNN, the most-trusted name in news.

HARLOW: All right. So, welcome back. President Trump's promise to put factory workers back to work in Wisconsin seems to be going south, or at least a little bit sideways.

Taiwanese electronics giant Foxconn has nixed its plans to invest $10 billion in a high-tech manufacturing factory there. Instead, they're going to recruit researchers and engineers to turn the location into what they're calling a technology hub.

We'll get into what that means in a minute, and how the community's responding, but here's what the president said last year when he actually went to Mount Pleasant, Wisconsin for the groundbreaking.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I want to wish you good luck and congratulations on truly one of the eighth wonder -- I think we can say, this is -- we can say, the eighth wonder of the world. This is the eighth wonder of the world. But this is something so special --

(END VIDEO CLIP)

[10:49:58] HARLOW: The eighth wonder of the world. It was quite a promise.

Joining me now is WDJT reporter Brendan Cullerton from Milwaukee. He's been covering this story, talking to the people who live in that community.

I remember that day so well. So the eighth wonder of the world, not so much anymore. What is actually going to happen, from what you're learning on the ground?

BRENDAN CULLERTON, WDJT-TV REPORTER: Well, it's unclear. Foxconn keeps kind of changing the story, little by little. And, you know, the people down there, I was -- I was out talking to community members yesterday about this news.

They were kind of disappointed, hearing that, you know, some of these blue-collar jobs which Racine, Wisconsin is -- it's a blue-collar city, according to a lot of the people that I was talking out there with yesterday. But they wanted those blue-collar jobs. It's now looking like they might be a little more tech-based, a little more engineering jobs.

HARLOW: So their concern is that some of the people that were counting on those jobs may not have the skills to get the jobs that will actually be available?

CULLERTON: That is a concern out there. And, you know, a lot of people out there are still very supportive of this project. They want --

HARLOW: OK.

CULLERTON: -- the business. They're still -- a lot of people there, it's -- remember, it's a Republican area. This was Paul Ryan's congressional district. A lot of them are supportive of the president. And they're saying, you know, "Bring the business here."

But on the other hand, a lot of the people are saying, "You know, I have a lot of family members who were hoping to get in on these jobs, hoping to get in on a more kind of factory, assembly line job" --

HARLOW: Yes.

CULLERTON: -- and those don't seem to be coming like they thought they once were. HARLOW: But you got a statement -- as I understand it, right? -- from

Racine County. That's really significant because it seems to indicate that they still believe that 13,000 jobs are coming to this location. Is that right?

CULLERTON: It is. I got a statement not only from Racine County, but from Foxconn themselves, that they remain committed to these 13,000 jobs. So part of it is -- and that's part of what talking to people down there is about, is you're getting conflicting reports from, you know, these outlets in Japan, talking to a Taiwanese company --

HARLOW: Right.

CULLERTON: -- on the business side. And we're kind of getting different news here in Wisconsin. So part of it is the uncertainty that the people around here are dealing with --

HARLOW: Yes.

CULLERTON: -- what is going to happen? We're hearing two sides, kind of.

HARLOW: Of course.

CULLERTON: But -- but, yes, Foxconn and the country reiterated yesterday that 13,000 jobs should be coming to the area. What those jobs are remains unclear.

HARLOW: And that's another question, right? It (ph) may differ in the promise that was made. Brendan, great reporting. Brendan Cullerton, thank you for being with us this morning. Keep us posted, OK?

CULLERTON: Thank you.

SCIUTTO: That's a big disappointment for that community, no question.

HARLOW: Huge, if that happens. Yes.

SCIUTTO: Still ahead, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell breaks his silent on the controversial -- he might just call it "bad" -- no call from the NFC championship game. We'll have more in just a bit.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[10:57:31] SCIUTTO: Three days to kickoff, and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, finally breaking his silence on the blown call in the NFC championship game that cost the Saints their trip to the Super Bowl.

HARLOW: Andy Scholes is live in Atlanta with more.

It's kind of amazing that he, like, didn't have to answer any questions about it until now.

ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: And that's -- everyone was like, "What took so long to hear something -- HARLOW: Right.

SCHOLES: -- "from Roger Goodell about this blown call?" And, you know, it took to his annual State of the League address for Roger Goodell to say, you know, he understands the frustration of Saints fans, and that the league will look into expanding instant replay in the off season so that this kind of no-call doesn't happen again. But Goodell basically said, you know, it boiled down to, "The game is officiated by humans and there are going to be mistakes."

But that big question of why Goodell never addressed this call, and he remained silent, didn't say anything to the fans after that blown no- call. Why did that happen? Well, Goodell was asked that and he just brushed the question off, saying, "Well, the league did address it right after the game."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROGER GOODELL, COMMISSIONER, NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE: We addressed this immediately after the game. We spoke to the coach. The coach announced the conversation, and the fact that this play should have been called. And we had several conversations with those clubs and other officials over the next several days. That's our process.

We understand the disappointment of the Saints fans, the organization and the players. And we understand that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHOLES: Now, President Trump also weighing in on the Saints' misery, telling "The Daily Caller" he feels badly for the fans in Louisiana, calling it, quote, "Maybe the worst call I've ever seen."

And for the first time since that devastating loss, Saints Head Coach Sean Payton, meeting with the media in New Orleans. And he said, well, he had a rough few days, following that game.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEAN PAYTON, HEAD COACH, NEW ORLEANS SAINTS: After the game, for two to three days, much like normal people, I sat, probably didn't come out of my room. I ate Jeni's (ph) ice cream and watched Netflix for three straight days.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHOLES: I don't know about you guys, but, you know, eating ice cream and watching Netflix for three straight days sounds like a nice three- day weekend.

SCIUTTO: Yes, it sounds -- that's my therapy --

(CROSSTALK)

SCIUTTO: -- I don't know about yours, Netflix and ice cream.

HARLOW: I mean, I feel so sorry for him. I like -- I love -- I don't even know him, and I love him now that he was so candid about that.

SCHOLES: That's a genuine response, right?

HARLOW: Yes.

SCIUTTO: Yes.

HARLOW: It totally was. All right.

[11:00:00] SCIUTTO: Got to be tough for him to watch the game this weekend, too.

(CROSSTALK)

SCIUTTO: Andy Scholes, thanks very much.

SCHOLES: All right.

HARLOW: All right, Andy, we'll see you tomorrow.

Thank you all for being with us. We'll see you here tomorrow morning. I'm Poppy Harlow.

SCIUTTO: And I'm Jim Sciutto.

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