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Six Men in Custody in Ortiz Shooting; DNC Announcing Debate Lineup; Clashes between Protesters and Police in China. Aired 9:30- 10a

Aired June 13, 2019 - 09:30   ET



[09:34:31] JIM SCIUTTO, CNN ANCHOR: Six men are now in custody in the Dominican Republic connected to the shooting of Boston Red Sox legend David Ortiz. National police say the suspects were offered about $7,800 to carry out a hit on Ortiz, to kill him. A seventh suspect is still on the run. Dominican police have also released shocking new surveillance video. Look at this. It makes it even clearer the moment when this shooter came up and shot Ortiz right in the back in a crowded restaurant.

The big question still lingers, why? What was the motive here?

[09:35:00] CNN correspondent Patrick Oppmann is live in Santa Domingo in morning.

Patrick, what do we know and police -- are police saying anything about why Ortiz was targeted?

PATRICK OPPMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Police say they do not know why, that they will continue to investigate, and that while they have the greatest respect for David, "Big Papi," Ortiz, that they're not covering anything up here, it's still early days in the investigation. But they are increasingly painting a portrait of a very well-conceived hit that did fail, but involved a lot of people, a lot of different moving parts. That surveillance video shows cars allegedly used by some of these suspects parked in the area of the shooting. Then you see the motorcycle come in, stop. It appears that the getaway driver of the motorcycle and the alleged shooter get out, get in the cars, talk with the people who apparently put them up to this hit and then they get out and go in. And, as you said, the video is just incredible. David Ortiz there drinking with friends and then all of a sudden chaos as the shooter comes in and shoots him in the back and then tries to escape on foot.

The shooter is in custody, as is the getaway driver, the alleged getaway driver, and four other people. And police say they're not done. There's at least one other suspect at large. And you mentioned earlier that these suspects got a little less than $8,000. That's all together. You know, by our math, if you split it up equally, they were paid a little over $1,000 each to kill a baseball star known around the world who made millions of dollars. It just, once again, reinforces what many people here have told us about how violence -- how much violence there is in this country and how cheap life can be sometimes.

SCIUTTO: Yes, that is quite a price tag for a human life.

He's lucky to be alive as you look at that video. What's the latest briefly on his condition?

OPPMANN: Latest on his condition is he's up and walking. He really has made the beginning of an incredible recovery, despite all the surgeries he had here in the Dominican Republic, having his intestines -- part of his intestines removed. Obviously questions as well to David Ortiz about why people here would have put together such a complicated hit against his life, but his family at this point is asking for privacy.

SCIUTTO: Patrick Oppmann, good to have you on the story. Thanks very much.

The first 2020 Democratic debate is going to be a crowded one, but who will be left off the stage in Miami? The candidates have just minutes left to prove they belong.


[09:41:52] SCIUTTO: This morning we are waiting for official word on which Democratic presidential hopefuls we invited to the first primary debate just a couple of weeks from now. These 20 candidates, that's right, 20, have met the polling and donor requirements, putting them on one of two debate stages in Miami. Those who will most likely not make the stage, Montana Governor Steve Bullock, Miramar, Florida, Mayor Wayne Messam, and Massachusetts Congressman Seth Moulton.

Joining me now to discuss this and all things 2020, Alex Burns. He's a CNN political analyst, as well as national political correspondent for "The New York Times."

Alex, good to have you.

So if a candidate doesn't make it on this crowded debate stage, do they still have a shot in the primary?

ALEX BURNS, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Look, I think in a -- in a field this big, the difference between -- between being one of, you know, the ten relatively anonymous people on stage and being the 11th guy who's not on stage is maybe not as decisive as it would have been in past elections if you were looking at an eight-candidate field and two people were left out and they're mostly pretty well-known people.

But, look, for somebody like a Seth Moulton or a Steve Bullock, who has, you know, an interesting resume, a relatively clear and distinct message and won't get the chance to deliver it on national television, yes, that is definitely a blow to their campaign.

SCIUTTO: Are the -- I mean you have these rules, 65,000 unique donors, at least 1 percent in a couple of polls, are there -- is there any criticism that the DNC rules are too tough to make it to that stage? BURNS: There's definitely a lot of criticism among the candidates. Not

all of them will say it publically, that the rules are kind of arbitrary, right, that you're setting these thresholds that, you know, you've had all these candidates competing to get to that 65,000 donor threshold, often by spending money on FaceBook ads just to try to get more people to give $1 apiece, which is not really a constructive activity for a campaign over the long term.


BURNS: But, you know, from the DNC's perspective, and frankly from the perspective of some of the better known candidates in this race, you've got to set some kind of threshold, right? There is a little -- something a little bit silly about saying, we'll have 10 -- ten candidates on stage each night but we won't have 11. But if you are an Elizabeth Warren, a Kamala Harris, a Pete Buttigieg, it is just an enormous sort of structural missed opportunity here that you're going to be on stage with a bunch of people who will eat up most of the time and probably don't have much of a shot in the race.

SCIUTTO: Right. And they're just about to up those. They're going to start to up the requirements as you move forward.

Another topic, Bernie Sanders really doubling down on his political philosophy of Democratic socialism. Have a listen to his comments and I want to ask for your reaction.


SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We must recognize that in the 21st century, in the wealthiest country in the history of the world, economic rights are human rights. And that is what I mean by Democratic socialism.


SCIUTTO: OK. Fine. That's what he means by it. But is that a smart political catch phrase, socialism, when people associate socialism with a lot of other things beyond what he's talking about here.

BURNS: Well, I think what you're really seeing here with Bernie Sanders is that some of the slogans and themes that helped him break through in 2016 have really kind of become liabilities four years later. That you have a lot of his ideas have caught on more broadly. You have pretty mainstream Democrats endorsing Medicare for all. They're not saying socialism, though. Even very liberal candidates in this race aren't saying socialism.


[09:45:09] BURNS: And so for Democrats who are Democratic primary voters who are concerned about which candidate can win the general election, suddenly Bernie Sanders no longer this long short insurgent running against Hillary Clinton, has to go out of his way to try to explain to people pretty defensively, you know, look, it may sound like, you know, Cuba or Russia, but that's not what I'm about, right? He didn't spend a lot of time on that four years ago.

SCIUTTO: Right. And it was special circumstances then because he was really the only challenger to Hillary Clinton then. Now you have a much -- you have a much broader field.

But does it give an opportunity to Trump to tag all Democrats, because he's using this opportunity as socialists and that's why we've got to sort of stem that tide?

BURNS: Well, it puts the onus on the other Democrats to essentially say whether they're with Bernie Sanders or whether they have some other idea. That certainly -- anybody who comes out of this primary who's not Bernie Sanders is going to have to do that in the general election. Someone like Joe Biden, it's very obvious that this guy isn't a socialist, isn't even a Democratic socialist, right? Other candidates, there's a range of comfort levels with distinguishing themselves very clearly from Bernie Sanders. You have heard certainly Elizabeth Warren say, I'm a capitalist, he's not. You have heard some of the longer shot candidates, like John Hickenlooper, come out and directly attack Bernie Sanders and say this is outside the mainstream.


BURNS: There are other candidates who have not really picked a side yet and we will see, over the next, you know, couple months and maybe year and a half how aggressive the Republicans are, how successful the Trump campaign is at painting all Democrats with this brush.

SCIUTTO: Yes. And you have to think that some of those candidates are going to be asked on that debate stage whether they like that label, support that line.

BURNS: Exactly.

SCIUTTO: Alex Burns, thanks very much.

Protesters and police are facing off again in Hong Kong and the legislature is in a lockdown following violent clashes. It's a tense moment there. China cracking down. We'll have more coming up.


[09:51:21] SCIUTTO: Eighty-one people have now been injured in Hong Kong during more clashes and standoffs between police and protesters. It's gotten violent. Just look at those pictures there. Eleven people so far have been arrested. The violence pushing lawmakers to postpone the reading of a controversial bill that would allow China to extradite people from Hong Kong. The concern is it would be used to punish political critics and dissidents.

CNN international correspondent Matt Rivers, he is in Hong Kong with more.

Tell us what you're seeing there today. I mean it's been remarkable to see these protests continue in the face of not just the police presence but the very real threat of punishment by the Chinese government.

MATT RIVERS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely. And we've seen protesters get punished in the past, Jim. So it's certainly brave for a lot of these protesters to be out and about.

Thankfully, compared to 24 hours ago, it's been a much calmer day here in Hong Kong. It was -- you know, 24 hours ago that I was standing behind a police line with dozens of officers in full riot gear with teargas canisters at the ready and 100 meters down the road there were thousands of protesters. I watched a standoff for about six hours, and there was serious concern that that was going to really get ugly if the police decided to move in. But you saw at some point protesters make the collective decision around midnight to say, you know what, we're going to disperse and we're going to take this fight for another day. And what I think that did was really avoid a very, very tense situation getting even worse. Police also backed down.

And that led us into today, which was really just more of a reckoning about what happened yesterday, really a chaotic 24 hours in Hong Kong. Police are saying they were relatively restrained. They shot 150 teargas canisters they say because they were forced to. But protesters, Jim, would say that it was overreach, they overreacted. And there are a lot of videos floating around in Hong Kong today showing that police were engaged in, you know, some sort of brutality.

SCIUTTO: Yes, no question. We saw some pictures there, too, of the people wearing the surgical masks, which I understand is in part because of teargas but also to hide their faces.


SCIUTTO: China has great facial recognition technology to track these people down, punish them at a later date.

What is happening with this law? I mean it's been delayed for now, in part because the protests have successfully encircled the legislative council there. But is there any indication that Hong Kong will withdraw the law, or is it going to go forward?

RIVERS: No, there's no indication that they're going to withdraw. This is just a temporary delay. We don't know when they're going to debate it next, but it will be as soon as Monday, which is why you're hearing protest groups already calling for a large march here on Sunday. And it could be reminiscent of what kicked all this off last Sunday, a million people in the streets. And also another rally outside of the legislative council building on Monday because presumably that's the next time this debate will start.

I think, generally, most people assume that at some point this bill will eventually get passed. But protesters are not taking this lying down. And so, for now, maybe it's the eye of the storm, Jim, but next week things could certainly kick off again.

SCIUTTO: And China will have the power to take people off the streets of Hong Kong, which should be, by agreement -- an international agreement, have its own laws and so on. Matt Rivers in Hong Kong, thanks very much.

It is a scare, 1,300 feet up in the air, as a ledge at one of the world's tallest buildings cracks right under visitors' feet. Imagine being there when that happens.

[09:54:35] And, communities across America are facing a toxic manmade crisis. W. Kamau Bell is in Philadelphia to find out how your zip code impacts your health and learn what to do if you think your child and family are at risk. An all-new "United Shades of America" Sunday night at 10:00 Eastern here on CNN.


SCIUTTO: If you are already afraid of heights, this certainly won't help. Visitors to Chicago's Willis Tower Sky Deck got a huge scare Monday when the protective layer covering the glass floor cracked into thousands of pieces. Officials say the protective coating is designed to prevent scratching, and it did exactly what it was supposed to do. They insist, however, that no one was in danger, that this was not structural. The sightseeing attraction extends from the 103rd floor of the tower and draws about 1.5 million visitors a year.

[10:00:03] That would scare me.