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New York Gov. Cuomo Bans Flavored E-Cigarettes Amid Vape Crackdown; Felicity Huffman Sentenced To 14 Days In Jail In College Admissions Scandal; Is This The End Of The Republican Party As We Know It? Aired 7:30-8a ET

Aired September 16, 2019 - 07:30   ET




JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: This morning, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo not waiting for the Trump administration to follow through on its proposed ban of flavored e-cigarettes. The governor issued an emergency executive action cracking down on the sale and marketing of flavored e-cigarettes to kids and teens.

CNN chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta joins us to explain how this ban would work -- Sanjay.


You know, first of all, I just want to clarify that there's two issues when people are hearing about vaping in the news lately. One has to do with this mystery illness that investigators are still looking into and we'll talk about that in a second.

What this ban really has to do on flavorings -- all flavorings, except for tobacco and menthol -- is to try and prevent or decrease kids from using it. That's the big concern.

Kids are using -- vaping in larger numbers than ever before. Nearly 30 percent of high-schoolers now vaping. One of the concerns is that these flavorings are driving that and on-ramping these kids to vaping and possibly making them more likely to smoke combustibles later in life. So that's what this is all about.

Take a look at the numbers there. We were making good progress John with regard to youth smoking overall. There was that steady downward line.

No question, everybody knows this now in the country, what has happened over the last couple of years. The number of kids who now vape and smoke versus just smoke a few years ago has close to doubled, John. So that's what this ban is all about.

BERMAN: And first of all, a) thank you very much for establishing a distinction between these two separate stories dealing with vaping because I think the distinction is very important.


BERMAN: B), when we're talking about the ban on flavored e- cigarettes, any sense of how effective that will be in slowing the growth among teenagers using them?

GUPTA: Well, you know, there's organizations that already have come out and said look, we don't think that this goes far enough to basically address the concern you're trying to address -- kids who are now vaping that otherwise would never have vaped -- never have smoked anything.

The American Lung Association, for example, they've really seized on this idea of which flavorings, including menthol -- why is the menthol still being allowed here?

They released this statement. I think we have it here. It says it's going to drive our kids to "use menthol-flavored products in even greater numbers." So that's their concern.


You know, the governor -- Gov. Cuomo was on -- you know, he was doing interviews talking about this. I want you to hear a little bit of how he put it.


GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D-NY): We allow tobacco and menthol because menthol -- there is data that says people who smoke menthol cigarettes --


CUOMO: -- need menthol products --

WHITFIELD: A substitute.

CUOMO: -- in vaping --


CUOMO: -- for vaping to be effective for them to get off cigarettes.

WHITFIELD: I got you, all right.

CUOMO: This is a limited population. I hear that argument.


CUOMO: Our Department of Health is continuing to review menthol but we may very well also ban menthol because young people are also attracted to menthol.



GUPTA: This is evolving, John. I mean, you know, one thing about this story -- and I've covered a lot of stories -- this is unfolding real time so you're hearing even from the governor.

Look, we're still collecting data. Maybe menthol's going to be on the list. This is -- you know, the next couple of weeks this will evolve even more.

BERMAN: All right, now to the vaping-related illnesses, which is a separate part --

GUPTA: That's right.

BERMAN: -- of this story. Any closer to establishing what's causing it?

GUPTA: Well, they know what the preponderance of the investigation shows so far but it's not a complete investigation. So there's these -- you know, hundreds of people who've gotten sick. By the way, if you've seen the numbers go down it's because they're no longer counting possible illnesses, just probable and diagnosed illnesses. So they've still got to finish that investigation.

But the preponderance looks like it's some sort of THC oil that people are putting in -- using in their vaporizers. That oil may have a compound and it's vitamin E acetate. This is more information you want to know first thing in the morning.

The point is that they've got to basically find out what do all these hundreds of people have in common? Vaping, yes. What was it that they were vaping? OK, these are the products. Is there a single product that sort of comes to the top of the list and within that product is there a particular compound that's of concern?

They're part-way through that investigation. They've still got some work to do, John.

BERMAN: All right, Sanjay. Again, thank you for being on this story for us.

GUPTA: Thank you.

BERMAN: We'll look forward to speaking again very soon.


ERICA HILL, CNN ANCHOR: Jail time for Felicity Huffman for her part in the college admissions scandal. What could her sentence mean for other parents fighting those charges?


[07:41:26] BERMAN: Actress Felicity Huffman, the first parent sentenced in the

nationwide college admissions scandal. She received 14 days in prison after pleading guilty to paying to rig her daughter's SAT scores.

So what does that -- what does 14 days mean for actress Lori Loughlin, who pleaded not guilty and now faces a trial?

Joining us now, Michael Smerconish, host of CNN's "SMERCONISH."

So, Smerc, if you're Lori Loughlin -- if you're any of these other defendants charged in this -- and you see Felicity Huffman getting 14 days -- and I know 14 days is not nothing, but it's also not particularly significant -- what are you thinking this morning?

MICHAEL SMERCONISH, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR, CNN HOST, "SMERCONISH": So, to quote the late, great Al Davis, owner of the Oakland Raiders, "Just win, baby."

Because short of winning at trial, you're going to jail. You take a plea, you're going to jail. If you're convicted, you're going to jail. Your only hope at his juncture is to win at trial.

They have to be nervous looking at this case. And I don't want to limit or deemphasize any of them but it was $15,000 when, in fact, the next case is $500,000.

So I think if you're Lori Loughlin and her husband, you've got to be awfully nervous and reconsidering the deal that, presumably, you passed up.

HILL: Well, and we should point out, too, not just is there this huge disparity in terms of the amount, as you pointed out, but there are also -- you know, what they are accused of doing -- Lori Loughlin and her husband, Mossimo Giannulli, in terms of this went beyond rigging a child's SAT scores. And so that, too.

And as you point out, there was a deal offered from what we understand. Prosecutors said, as they often do, if you don't take this, this is as good as it's going to get.

Do you think there's any chance at this point that they would try to get a plea or they -- is the sense that they are just bent on taking this to trial?

SMERCONISH: I think the power has now shifted to the prosecution's side of the table. And I don't know that ignorance, if that's their defense, is going to be sufficient because Erica, the legal issue here is did they know that money was being used for an illicit or unlawful purpose? And from the outside looking in, it would seem like there's a pretty strong case against them.

HILL: And even in the phone records that are in the complaint, in at least one them it certainly comes across that way. Oh yes, I remember -- I'm paraphrasing here -- what I'm supposed to say if somebody asks me about the money. BERMAN: But, Smerc, I am curious because 14 days doesn't seem like a lot. And I know that what Felicity Huffman was charged with or pleaded to was a lot less in theory than Lori Loughlin and other defendants, but it's a light sentence.

So do you think other folks could look at this and say hey, we can maybe get off fairly easy here with not much jail time and let's just get this over with?

SMERCONISH: You know, it's interesting that you say that because 14 days at what will be some type of a minimum security facility doesn't seem like a great deal.

I happen to think that the serious punishment in all of these cases is taking place right now. It's the fact that we're having this conversation on an international cable outlet and the damage to reputation, in my view, far exceeds whatever the time will be for any of them.

BERMAN: So, Michael, also on your show this weekend, a discussion that I'm fascinated with, which has to do with college athletes and should they be paid or receive some compensation?

I think people need to understand the distinction here. In most cases, no one's talking about a salary per se, but in some cases they're talking about should college athletes be allowed to earn money when the school uses their likeness or a company uses their likeness to make money.


California just passed a measure on this, awaiting the signature of the governor there.

Where do you stand on this?

SMERCONISH: So, I like to frame it as should college athletes -- and I'm speaking of D1 athletes in elite programs -- should they be paid more because those who are scholarship students really already are getting paid -- paid in the form of their education. And I think it's unclear whether they should be salaried.

But the California case to which you reference is different.

And I think what brings it home is the Ed O'Bannon case from the 1990s. Here was a UCLA standout whose likeness was then used by EA Sports in a video game. And it's uncanny when you look at him in real life -- you know, number 31 for UCLA -- versus how he was depicted in the video game.

He was never paid a dime for that. That case was litigated through the federal courts and there was a split verdict at the outset -- at the outcome of it.

But this is what California is addressing. They're saying if you take the name, if you take the image, if you take the likeness of an exceptional athlete, then they should share in that. And I think they're on the right path.

Now, it's going to be fraught with difficulty because if you're a blue chip athlete being recruited out of high school, where are you going to want to play in the state of California because you think your jersey is going to be in demand? So, the disparity then between 49 states and California -- we really need a national standard.

HILL: And it's interesting, too. I was fascinated with what Tim Tebow had to say about this. I just want to play that sound for folks who may not have heard it.


TIM TEBOW, FORMER NFL/COLLEGE ATHLETE, HEISMAN TROPHY WINNER: We live in a selfish culture where it's all about us, but we're just adding and piling it onto that where it changes what's special about college football.


TEBOW: We turn it into the NFL where who has the most money, that's where you go.


HILL: You know, which is similar to what you're saying. You could ultimately see a bunch of athletes look at California as being the best option because of that law, not necessarily the overall impact of their time as a college athlete, which I thought was an interesting take.

SMERCONISH: Well, and listen, you know what else, Erica, is interesting about Tebow is that he points out that back in his day in Florida, his jersey was one of the hottest in the country. So you would think if there were anyone who'd have an ax to grind it would be him saying I should have benefitted from all those years.

Again, I'm not rendering a verdict as to whether we should be paying these athletes. But in those exceptional cases where your likeness is being utilized, yes, I think they've got an ownership stake in their own identity. And in those instances maybe we don't pay them instantly. Maybe it gets put in a trust and when their education is concluded then they can tap that money.

But I think it's fundamentally unfair for a guy like O'Bannon not to have benefitted and for people to have profited on his likeness.

BERMAN: Michael Smerconish, it is a fascinating issue. We're going to be speaking to some people --


BERMAN: -- who are involved in trying to craft some of the new laws around it in our next hour.

All right, thanks, Michael. So, what will the lasting impact of the Trump presidency be on the Republican Party? A new book predicts the GOP will never be the same. That's next.



BERMAN: A new book says the 2020 election could be the last for the Republican Party as we know it.

Quote, "It ends with the death of the Republican Party while the survivors work to recreate the part of Lincoln relevant for our times. It ends with the Democratic Party liberated from the nation's suffocating polarization to use government to advance the public good, as the country used to expect."

The author of "RIP GOP: How the New America is Dooming the Republicans" joins me now -- Stanley Greenberg. He is a former polling adviser to President Clinton and candidate Hillary Clinton --


BERMAN: -- in the 2016 campaign, so people need to take that into perspective when we're discussing this.

Stanley, what do you mean --


BERMAN: -- that the Republican Party will end as we know it?

GREENBERG: Right, and thank you for doing this.

But also, thank you for emphasizing that point because what's different here is I'm not just talking about a big election. I think -- I think what happened going into 2016 is Donald Trump took over the Tea Party base of the party, allied it with the evangelicals, and took the party to a very extreme end -- and it was only half the party. The other half of the party actually was not with him at that -- at that point.

But when I woke up the day after the Women's March and began writing every day, this book, what I said is what I believe is Donald Trump's election will speed the defeat of the Republican Party because of his dominance by the Tea Party and evangelicals, which won't consider compromise, won't consider a multicultural America part of our future.

And I also thought it would speed up the resistance and also people's consciousness of what they believe and their values, and all of that has happened. So you -- you know, you see in the Republican Party one that's gotten worse.

He now has 70 percent that are with him -- anti-immigrant, pro-life, observant, that dominate the party -- anti-government that dominate the party. But they're driving out everybody else -- driving them away, both within his own party and Independents, but also Democrats being consolidated as well.

And also, affecting people's beliefs -- and above all, on immigration, which has become -- we've gone from half the country thinking it helps to two-thirds.

BERMAN: It's -- I'm glad that you brought up the subject of beliefs here because I want to make clear, you're not just talking about the demographic shifts --

GREENBERG: Absolutely.

BERMAN: -- that have been predicted by some --


BERMAN: -- for generations.

GREENBERG: You know, I was probably feeling guilt -- I'll be honest. I was -- I made the -- I made the argument for the rising American electorate but I always thought it had to be organized and you had to respond to their needs.

But I do believe the Hillary Clinton campaign believed in that theory of the case and it's part of why they made some of the mistakes they did.


But what -- right -- but what I think has happened is we have the -- we have the demographic changes. But you have -- you also have organization and engagement, consolidation of Democrats, and real changes in people's beliefs in what's happened with Trump.

BERMAN: How does that inform then how the Democrats should select their nominee and what that nominee should run on? And I'm going to put up p. 603 here because if you think Donald Trump has exploded the party --


BERMAN: -- you think the Democrats need to do more than just run against Donald Trump.

You write, "The Clinton speeches and the campaign ads hit Donald Trump for the racist and hateful things he said about various groups and his disrespect for women. But my research and experience showed the campaign also needed to let voters know of the big economic changes and reforms Clinton's election would bring."

GREENBERG: Right. No, you're right. Thanks -- you know, thanks for talking about that because, you know, every -- you know, every presidential candidate and almost every leader I know wants to run on the economy. They think the economy is great. But we're -- you know, since the financial crisis -- and I don't want to use curse words as Democratic candidates are starting to do now. The economy is such a struggle for people and working people, which is the majority of the electorate.

And presidential candidate after candidate talk about the progress. President Obama did, Hillary Clinton as a candidate, President Trump -- they all keep talking about this economy, but it's a struggle.

And what really -- people really believe is that people with big money, campaign money, rigged government to work for them, they struggle with skyrocketing health care costs and other things. And that is like -- that demand for political change is at the heart of it.

BERMAN: Well, the government is rigged, the economy is rigged is actually a message that Donald Trump has tried to use variations of.

GREENBERG: Yes, and if you -- if you look at the 2016 election, Bernie Sanders did well in that context, as did Trump, and now you see some movement obviously for Warren with that kind of message.

BERMAN: All right, I want to put up the map -- your 2020 election prediction map here.

GREENBERG: Yes, right.

BERMAN: And I want people to notice you have the Democrats winning in North Carolina, you have the Democrats winning in Georgia, you have the Democrats winning in Iowa and Ohio.


BERMAN: And not to mention, Florida also.


BERMAN: Those are states that the Democrats did not win last time.


BERMAN: What evidence do you see that all of a sudden the Democrats can win in Georgia?

GREENBERG: Well, what I think is you're going to see a big election. What you saw was a 10-point swing in 2018 that was replicated in the North Carolina race. But every trend is moving away from the Republicans, which says more and more territory will be in play.

We have Republicans pulling off of him. We have about 10 percent of Democrats voting for a -- Republicans voting for a Democrat.

You've got a big shift on people wanting activist government. We have a big shift on anti-Trump feelings amongst Democrats.

So, yes, over 90 percent of Republicans approve of Trump -- over 80 percent. Over 90 percent of Democrats strongly disapprove. So you have a 20-point gap in disapproval now, which is the biggest we've ever had between Democrats and Republicans on intensity.

Trump is only getting two percent of Democrats regardless of candidate. And so you're seeing that kind of consolidation with the big kind of --

BERMAN: Let me ask you -- we've got -- we've got 20 --


BERMAN: -- second left.

How would Democrats blow this? How could Democrats blow this?

GREENBERG: Democrats need to represent hard-working middle-class. Working people pulled off from Trump in the '18 election that's not quite observed. That's why I don't worry as much about what happens in these others states because the working-class women have been pulling back from Trump and they are now competitive for them.

They've got to represent working people and they've got to fight a system that's rigged.

BERMAN: Stanley Greenberg. The book is "RIP GOP." Thanks for coming on and talking about the numbers. Great to see you.

GREENBERG: Thank you for doing it.

BERMAN: And thank you to our international viewers for watching. For you, "CNN NEWSROOM WITH MAX FOSTER" is next.

For our U.S. viewers, the biggest strike in the auto industry in more than a decade. We're going to speak live with a key union negotiator. NEW DAY continues right now.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Houthis -- those Yemini rebels -- said they launched 10 drones potentially putting at risk about a 20th of the world's oil supply.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The senior administration official said this attack likely originated in Iran or Iraq.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Iran has heard Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's statement that this was them and they've responded, saying this is a maximum deceit.

STRIKING UNITED AUTO WORKERS (Chanting): We are the union!

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're ready to strike. We're going to do what we have to do.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The two sides have been negotiating since July. This would be the first time that a U.S. auto union has walked out since 2007.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: G.M. is saying that they are offering a very fair and strong contract.

TERRY DITTES, VICE PRESIDENT, UNITED AUTO WORKERS, GENERAL MOTORS: This is our last resort. What we're asking of General Motors is simple and fair.


ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Alisyn Camerota and John Berman.

BERMAN: All right, good morning and welcome to your NEW DAY. It is Monday, September 16th. It's 8:00 in the East.

Alisyn is off. Erica Hill joins me this morning. Great to have you here.

HILL: Nice to be with you on a busy Monday.

BERMAN: Yes, it is.

We begin with breaking news. Nearly 50,000 United Auto Workers now on strike against General Motors. The workers on the picket line after contract talks broke down over the weekend. The strike is affecting more than 50 G.M. facilities across the United States.

The Union and G.M. are set to go back to the negotiating table in about two hours. We're going to.