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CNN This Morning

OSHA: More Airport Workers Suffering Injuries on Tarmac; Today's DOJ Historic Monopoly Trial Against Google gets Underway; Jets Beat Bills in NFL Opener with Overtime Punt Return; Semafor: Republican Candidates Leaning into COVID Panic; Senator McConnell says he still has Time to Decide if he Wants to Run for President on a Third Party. Aired 8:30-9a ET

Aired September 12, 2023 - 08:30   ET




MUNTEAN (voice-over): In February he was taken aback by hand from an Avianca Flight when he slipped. His left leg stuck between the body of the airplane and a baggage loader.

ERNEST TANGA, RAMP WORKER: So when I poured my leg out or sat on a box for about four to five minutes, and it was just my leg the whole leg was burning.

MUNTEAN (voice-over): In a comment to CNN Swissport says the health and safety of our employees is the highest priority and it says it fully complies with all applicable labor regulations. The number of on the job injuries declined and 2020 when traveled during the pandemic cratered, but OSHA figures show as flights picked up injuries quickly returned to and exceeded pre pandemic levels.

Just last week, Massachusetts State Police say a forklift operator at Boston Logan was pinned by a metal beam and killed while he was servicing a JetBlue flight.

SEN. ED MARKEY (D-MA): It is absolutely essential that as we move forward, that we bring these workers out from the shadows.

MUNTEAN (voice-over): U.S. Senator Ed Markey, a Democrat from Massachusetts says his legislation to improve airport service worker pay will lead to less turnover and safer conditions.

MARKEY: The higher the morale, the more likely that safety standards will be, in fact maintain at the highest possible level.

MUNTEAN (voice-over): Airlines have added employees since the pandemic downturn but safety experts say there is intense pressure on contractors to quickly service aircraft with limited staffing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think you need more oversight. You need heftier fines. And you need a recommitment on the part of the air carriers to treat these people fairly.

MUNTEAN: Do you think it's getting less safe?

TANGA: I would say yes, because people keep on doing. One person will do a job of three people.

MUNTEAN (voice-over): Ernest Tanga is still working for Swissport but on light duty. He thinks new protections for workers like him will be a heavy lift, but it could save lives.

TANGA: If things were done the proper way. I think people wouldn't be injured.


MUNTEAN (on camera): We're finding out more about the conditions that these workers are facing in Arizona. About a dozen of them just filed a labor complaint. They say they're forced to work on hot plans, often without air conditioning, and sometimes without water. This is the FAA just put out a safety bulletin reminding airlines to be extra vigilant after these recent incidents, Poppy.

POPPY HARLOW, CNN HOST: Pete, so glad you're keeping a spotlight on all of that thanks very much.

PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN HOST: Well, this morning, the Justice Department and Google set to face off in a historic trial. It's considered to be the biggest antitrust case in decades, and it could have major implications. The case focuses on Google's wildly popular search engine. According to the Justice Department, nearly 90 percent of all searches start with Google.

DOJ alleges that the tech giant has stifled competition and harmed consumers by paying billions of dollars to device manufacturers to be the default search engine on smartphones and computers. Google denies doing anything to illegally restrict competition, maintaining the "people don't use Google because they have to.

They use it because they want to. Joining us now is CNN Media Analyst Sara Fischer. She's also Senior Media Reporter at Axios. Sara, I'm fascinated by this case, because it's been so long since we've seen something this big, but also because the Biden administration has made this type of thing a focal point of their anti-trust agenda, anti- competitive agenda but this is the biggest test by far they've had.

SARA FISCHER, CNN SENIOR MEDIA ANALYST: Absolutely, and the thing to remember, Phil, is that this isn't the only lawsuit that Google is facing from the DOJ. You'll recall that they sued Google earlier this year for its ad tech dominance. And so these lawsuits will play off of each other.

If they go down in one, it's possible that they could go down in another, but you bring up a good point. We have not seen the U.S. government go after it big Tech Company, like this since Microsoft in the late 1990s and by the way, the repeal of that effect of that was huge.

The only reason Google was able to become the behemoth it was today was because the DOJ imposed such strict penalties some were appealed. But that force Microsoft to lose a lot of momentum to Google on things like search and browser. And today they're still fighting to catch up.

HARLOW: Yes, I mean, that was 1998. And it was because of the court ruled against Microsoft in their anti-competitive practices using monopoly power against Netscape, remember that. But these things seem a little bit different this time around, Sara. And I just wonder if you think Google, USV Google will go the way USV Microsoft went.

FISCHER: We don't expect Google to be broken up. No anti-trust expert thinks that likely this will be some sort of settlement with a payment or remedy that they have to change their practices in some way or another. And the reason is Poppy this is not the same type of structure as when the DOJ went after Microsoft in the late 1990s.

Microsoft at that point had very little competition. If you take a look at the search ad market, even though Google is very dominant in terms of actual search browser usage, the search ad market has kind of become a little bit more competitive. You think about Apple getting into search advertising, Amazon has a huge search ads business.


Yahoo is trying to get back into it TikTok social media firms and so it is a very different landscape.


FISCHER: I do expect there to be lost momentum for Google but not a breakup.

HARLOW: Yes. And I do want to note that their defense is people use. They've been saying people use Google because they want to not because they have to.

MATTINGLY: It'd be interesting to see.

FISCHER: Absolutely.

MATTINGLY: Sara Fischer, we want to get to the charter cable agreement. I think there we need more time to talk about that. That's missing right now. So I'm going to say please come back tomorrow because we're out of time right now, but this deal and with ramifications and repercussions going forward.


MATTINGLY: We have to dig into this. I appreciate your time as always. We'll get into that later this week.

FISCHER: Thank you.

MATTINGLY: Well, Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers carted off the field with an injury just minutes into the game what it means for the season. Legendary sports broadcaster Bob Costas will join us next. HARLOW: You're also looking those are live pictures right now, "This Morning". The sun is up over Pennsylvania and the search continues for an escape murderer who's been on the run for 13 days now. Police say he is armed now possibly with a rifle. We'll get an update from officials in less than an hour you'll see that live right here on CNN stay with us.


MATTINGLY: It was a thrilling finish to the first NFL game of the Jets season. New York Jets rookie Xavier Gibson running back a punt for a touchdown in overtime completing a huge comeback, but on a very bittersweet night for the Jets. Jets fans, a much anticipated season for this long struggling franchise guys, I didn't write long struggling somebody else did.

HARLOW: You know that our teams here are all --

MATTINGLY: -- most of them. Jimmy I'm much OK -- . But it was at least expected to be an electric start. Aaron Rodgers, running onto the field for the first time in a Jets uniform carrying the American flag commemorating 9/11, the crowd is going absolutely wild with that.


Just four plays Rodgers went down as carted off the field after suffering an ankle looks to be an Achilles injury. The Jets coach Robert Solow said he believes that Rodgers did suffer that

As for plays, Rodgers went down as carted off the field after suffering an ankle looks to be an Achilles injury. The Jets Coach Robert Solow said he believes that Rodgers did suffer that Achilles injury and that it's "not good" and see it there, joining us now, CNN Contributor Bob Costas.

Bob, I think everybody had a hard time with this Jets fans or not, I knew the extent to which this had kind of spread when my wife texted me this morning and said, I'm really sad about Aaron Rodgers. She doesn't really care about the Jets or Aaron Rodgers. But explain this moment and kind of what it means?

BOB COSTAS, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, you know, long suffering really does sum it up. The Jets have only been to the Super Bowl once they wanted in January of 1969. Their quarterback was one of the most glamorous people in all the sports, Broadway Joe Namath.

Joe Nemeth is 80 that's, how long it's been. And in most of the years since they didn't even come close to the Super Bowl. But they have a good defense. They were disappointed in the number one draft choice of a couple of years ago, Zach Wilson had to come in and play after Rodgers was hurt last night.

So they go and get Aaron Rodgers, truly one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time, and that electrified their entire offseason. He's a tremendous presence. They're going to be terrific this year. That's what everybody thinks. And then on the fourth play of the game, he suffers this injury.

X rays were negative, but they're almost certain that an MRI which will happen later today, probably later this morning that an MRI will confirm that he has a torn Achilles, which means that he's out for the entire season. Best case scenario, slim chance, an ankle sprain, and then he'd still miss several games.

The irony of this if there is one, and as Joe Buck put it, you had the call that he had last night on ESPN, he put it perfectly he said this is the definition of a Pyrrhic victory, a victory that comes at an almost unacceptable cost. And who is the hero at the end of the game.

In contrast to Aaron Rodgers, a marquee name, here's Xavier Gibson, who played college ball at Stephen F. Austin in Texas wasn't even drafted at all signed as a free agent and it was a big deal on the HBO show Hard Knocks when they told him that he had made the team.

He's a Cinderella story. So the big glamour guy is out. And the Cinderella story wins the game. So at least momentarily, there's jubilation in jet land. But there's a lot of apprehension about what happens next.

HARLOW: Totally just thinking about all the folks who didn't draft him what they're thinking this morning. Bob, Achilles Terra fits that has any and I know, I have been informed by those who know a lot more about this than I that some basketball players Kobe came back after that. Have any football professional football players come back after that at full strength?

COSTAS: -- are some I don't know what the percentages are? Injury and then among those who sustained that injury, how many of them came back to play well, but I think that it's possible a football player is different than a basketball player. There's a lot more up and down for a guy like the late great Kobe Bryant than there would be for Aaron Rodgers.

But still, you have to push off to have authority in your throws. So there's a question mark hanging over Aaron Rodgers.

MATTINGLY: Bob, I have to ask because the formulation of 7000 different memes of Tom Brady in Jets uniforms last night, going through social media, we saw them back into patriot's jersey to be honored at the stadium. What are we thinking? Is it possible?

COSTAS: I guess nothing is impossible. But Tom is flatly said that that itch to play which got the better of him a couple of times, is gone away now. And he said a couple of days ago, obviously looks like he's in shape for a normal human. He's in shape. But he says that he's not really in game shape.

But that's the natural place people would think of because other than Peyton Manning, who's been out a much longer period of time, who would match the glamour and the resume of Aaron Rodgers other than Tom Brady

HARLOW: Yes. Did John Berman put you up to that, though?

MATTINGLY: No. I mean, it's --

HARLOW: Bob Costas.

MATTINGLY: Thank you, my friend.

HARLOW: So nice to have you. Thank you. All right, COVID regulations becoming a big talking point among some Republicans heading into 2024. We've got some really interesting new reporting on that ahead.

MATTINGLY: And we're continuing to monitor this 13 day manhunt in Pennsylvania Police now say the escape murder is armed after reports of a violent confrontation with a homeowner. You're awaiting a news conference in the next hour. Stay with us. We'll be right back.



MATTINGLY: At the same time, we've seen an uptick in COVID cases across the United States Republican presidential hopefuls hoping to capitalize on an isolated COVID guidance as a new target for their campaign -- .


DONALD TRUMP, 45TH U.S. PRESIDENT: The left wings lunatics are trying very hard to bring back COVID lock downs and mandates with all of their sudden fear mongering about the new variants that are coming gee whiz you know what else is coming and election.

NIKKI HALEY, FORMER GOVERNOR: Parents can decide whether they want their children to go to school when there's a possible outbreak or not. But don't sit there and massive backup.

GOV. RON DESANTIS: I can tell you here in Florida. We did not and we will not let allow the dystopian visions of paranoid hypochondriacs control our health policies, let alone our state.


MATTINGLY: Joining us now a Political Video Reporter for The Washington Post Joyce Koh, Semafor Politics Reporter, Shelby Talcott and CNN Senior Legal Analyst Elie Honig. And Shelby, I want to start with you on this issue because you got some new reporting on this were about a focus group that you had access to Republicans going down this path, why?


SHELBY TALCOTT, POLITICS REPORTER OF SEMAFOR: Yes, it's really interesting, because we have seen isolated examples of some of these COVID restrictions coming back but that's the key word they're isolated. But I think that they viewed the last COVID pandemic as ultimately positive for them because so many people were frustrated with the lock downs. And so this time around, this was breaking points, Focus Group. It was commissioned by the political podcast breaking points, and this time around they're bringing it back because so many voters are fearful that they're going to fall back into the 2020 COVID pandemic lockdowns.

Now, what I found really interesting about this focus group was 5 out of 8 believed that there was something called a pandemic, which is an unfounded claim that COVID lockdowns are connected to, you know, democratic attempts to rig the election. And despite that, Trump still came out on top, which indicates to me that, you know, the Ron DeSantis his major thing has been COVID lock downs.

You know, I did XYZ when I was Governor and so you I've proven leadership that's not really resonating with them. They still think Trump is best to handle an alleged pandemic, which again, there's no evidence that's going on. But that is a whole separate conversation.

MATTINGLY: This for clarity sake, the President in 2020. When the lockdowns for instance, who is that again?

TALCOTT: Was Donald Trump.

MATTINGLY: That's fascinating.


MATTINGLY: I don't understand it. It's just like disconnect of it. I don't really get it. It's like he can just say things no one cares about reality sometimes. Why are you staring at me like?

ELIE HONIG, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: I'm just listening -- one thing that we did see in the courts when it came to these COVID restrictions, vaccine mandates and maximum restrictions is they really started to get struck down pretty instantly by the courts.


HONIG: Yes, I mean, Supreme Court, but also the intermediate.


HONIG: Really, very low success rate. So it's interesting to hear I honestly didn't even realize that these restrictions were starting to come back. Are we going to see people challenging them again? And if so I think they're going to have success.

MATTINGLY: Are they've no, I think this is the big question.


MATTINGLY: You're getting this thing reporting. This isn't some widespread effort to do you see, like different a couple school districts here and there. And clarify this for me if I'm wrong. I'm interested, you know, as well, but this isn't some widespread effort. I haven't heard anything from Biden administration officials about some sweeping effort, right?

TALCOTT: No, it is not a widespread effort. There are isolated incidents. And that's what these 2024 Republican candidates are talking about on the trail. They're using these isolated incidents and suggesting, however indirectly, that, you know, we will not go back to major lock downs.

JOYCE KOH, POLITICAL VIDEO REPORTER OF THE WASHINGTON POST: And you still are hearing from voters on the trail, like when I'm out in Iowa, talking to voters DeSantis supporters that I've spoken to do use this as a reason why they are supporting him. You know, the way that he handled the COVID pandemic in Florida is something that they approve of and would like to see him in leadership.

HARLOW: We talked about Joe Manchin. Aaron did a great interview with Joe Manchin last night, and I just want to play part of that and get your take --


SEN. JOE MANCHIN (D-WV): To my State of West Virginia, the filing dates don't even start until January of next year. So there's no urgency for me. I've got so much to do in front of me right now to get done, and to prevent bad things from happening. And once you'd be coming, announced candidate for anything, you become a target.

I might be a suspected target now in so many different arenas, but still yet I have the ability to sit down with my Democrat and Republican friends and not be a threat to either one of them.


HARLOW: Her question obviously was, you know, are you going to run on the No Labels third party ticket or a third party ticket? He has been such a thorn in the side of the Biden administration on a number of issues and that interview just left? It was so illuminating, because it was like he might do this? What do you think?

KOH: It's interesting when you look at this from both sides of the issues, so you hear Democrat and Republican senators, saying this could be bad for Biden, if he runs, because, you know, they're both democrats, he would be running against the incumbent, technically.

But then on the other side, I mean, no Democrat in the Senate has aligned himself more closely with Trump during the Trump administration, voting with him on issues and legislation that Trump championed and really wanted to get across the finish line. And so there's a lot of crossover there with Trump voters and what could be imagined supporters.

Now, locally in West Virginia, they're obviously both very popular politicians. But and this is also you know, one of the things that we're seeing in the presidential race with DeSantis is like, if you are popular within your state, that doesn't necessarily mean that you're going to be popular nationally.

So I think that's the big question, but it could be you know, it could shake things up in the general.


MATTINGLY: Joyce, can I ask you about Tommy Tuberville, the Alabama Senator Republican has long had a hold on has been locking up the Senate by requiring to go through the entire Senate process? I'm not going to go through the procedural --

KOH: Yes --

MATTINGLY: I don't have that much time left. What's been fascinating is go through August he comes back has not budged at all has made very clear to not just Democrats, but his Republican colleagues not moving at all? How does this end at this point?

KOH: I mean, this is why people are frustrated with Washington, one senator can hold up 300 plus nominations, and by the end of the year, it could be double that up to 850 nominations. These are top generals and admirals in the military across every single Defense Department division, you know our Army, Marines Air Force.

MATTINGLY: Yes, each branch and this --

KOH: Each branch, yes. How does it end? I mean, the option is either he lifts his hold, or what the armed services chair has said is that it would take 84 days to get through every single nomination if they were to vote on each individual person, which just does not seem likely or efficient use of time.

HARLOW: And there are no legal pathways to press him. This is about -- it rules of the Senate --

HONIG: Right I mean, when you all political power in other non- military settings. If there was a hold on this, the President could appoint acting, right? We've seen acting AGS Acting Deputy AGS and DOJ and on deadline but I believe it's different you all would know best in with the military, you can acting --

HARLOW: Yes --

MATTINGLY: And it's why there are four chiefs yet are currently unfilled, the Marine Corps Commandant and the Navy Chief as well. And so it's an open question and it's one that you think even Tommy Tuberville acknowledged he didn't have the answer too because he thought he could just extend in perpetuity which is great.

HARLOW: But then -- told them he can't.

MATTINGLY: Yes, and that's what Manu does.

HARLOW: Alright thank you guys.

MATTINGLY: As always, guys we appreciate it. As always we are waiting a press conference in Chester County, Pennsylvania is this man hunt for an escaped killer enters day 13. Stay with us CNN "News Central" starts right after this break. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)