Return to Transcripts main page

New Day

America at Crossroads, Biden Lays Out Stakes for Democracy; Winter Blast Rocking Northeast, Wreaking Havoc on Travel; Flight Delays and Cancelations Pile Up Over Weather, Omicron. Aired 7-7:30a ET

Aired January 07, 2022 - 07:00   ET





VANESSA YURKEVICH, CNN BUSINESS AND POLITICS CORRESPONDENT (voice over): And as omicron sweeps the country, this, silence is what many restaurant owners are facing. Michael Dorf, CEO of City Winery, says he's doing everything to keep the staff he has left, even with less business.

MICHAEL DORF, FOUNDER AND CEO, CITY WINERY: I don't want to afford to lose a single person, and we're still hiring, as ironic as that is.

YURKEVICH: He normally operates with 1,200 employees across his 12 restaurant and music venues.

DORF: We're only up to about 950 around the country.

YURKEVICH: Have you seen people quitting at a higher rate than usual?

DORF: Yes, for sure. We see people quit on the spot.

YURKEVICH: He says he has risen wages to above $15 an hour, and into the 20s for kitchen staff. His labor costs rose to 36 percent of his operating budget but it still may not be enough.

Do you still feel like you're going to find that people are leaving, quitting?

DORF: Yes. I think the hospitality industry is going to be especially challenged because there's a lot of other good high-paying jobs out there.

YURKEVICH: And that's what Ezimako is looking for. Until then, she has moved back in with her parents and is back to school getting her sociology degree while doing gig work part-time. Her hope is that her old industry will transform enough to lure her back.

IFEOMA EZIMAKO, QUIT HER JOB: If they were to offer us one fair wage, $15 with plus tips on top, I would go back. I love illuminating somebody's day, but at the same time, I have a little bit more self- worth now.


YURKEVICH (on camera): Now, it is also important to think about these quits as job hopping. That's why we are seeing on average last year 500,000 jobs added each month to the economy. So, John, two things can be true at the same time. People can be quitting their jobs but then also finding new jobs, higher paying jobs. And that's likely what we're going to see in this jobs report coming up in just about an hour and a half from now. John?

JOHN BERMAN, CNN NEW DAY: Yes. It's something to wrap your head around. But people need to start realize that this is something different that's happening. And we are just beginning to understand the consequences.

Vanessa Yurkevich, thank you so much. YURKEVICH: Thank you.

BERMAN: New Day continues right now.

Welcome to our viewers in the United States and all around the world. It is Friday, January 7th. I'm John Berman with Brianna Keilar.

This morning, not just a former president but a defeated former president, what my sons would call a sick burn. But I don't think that's all that's going on here. I think it's more significant than that. Those words from President Biden as he addressed the nation on the first anniversary of the January 6th insurrection as he delivered what could be one of the most important speeches of his presidency so far.

His remarks laying out the stakes for democracy while strongly condemning the violence and Donald Trump's lies that have weighed on the nation over the last year.


JOE BIDEN, U.S. PRESIDENT: The former president of the United States of America has created and spread a web of lies about the 2020 election. He's done so because he values power over principle, because he sees his own interest is more important than his country's interest.

You can't love your country only when you win.

I will stand in this breach. I will defend this nation. And I will allow no one to place a dagger at the throat of democracy.


BERMAN: Now, President Biden never mentioned Trump by name, but he did say former president more than a dozen times.

Trump did fire back, calling it all political theater. BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN NEW DAY: And new this morning, CNN has learned about what could have been a terrifying close call one year ago. Then Vice President-elect Kamala Harris was inside the Democratic National Committee headquarters who a pipe bomb was discovered outside. This is the image of the bomber who is still, by the way, at large. Harris was evacuated but it now is questions her security on that day. This as the Department of Homeland Security is now warning about increased online threats on extremist platforms here over the last 48 hours, including, again, some lawmakers.

Joining us now is CNN Political Analyst David Gregory and former Chief of Staff First Lady Laura Bush Anita McBride. It's wonderful to have both of you here this morning to give us your opinions on this speech. I wonder, as you watched it, David, to you first, what did you think?

DAVID GREGORY, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, I think it's remarkable for the reasons that you said. I mean, this is a president who is seizing the mantle at a time to say the stakes are just too high not to speak up. A year later, the fact that we are in a worst place in many ways because you have Trump, a political outside figure who has only amassed more power and influence and not less, because Republicans who condemned him that day, who wrote off charges as misinformation, now rally behind him and seek to whitewash or marginalize what happened on January 6th.


That can't happen.

We have got to in this country be able to separate what an outlier event January 6th was, what a singularly dangerous day January 6th was, separate that out from any criticism have about Biden, about liberals, about the progressive agenda. You've got to be able to do that. That's what I think Biden wanted to do and I think there was a big political element. Unfortunately, it's such a partisan environment and he is now stepping up his attack on Trump to disqualify him as a potential political foe in 2024, to remind independent voters what they have rejected about Trumpism. I thought yesterday was significant.

BERMAN: I did too for just that reason. Also I think it is important to note this was a change from Joe Biden. Joe Biden hasn't done this over the last year, really, at all. And as he said in the speech, he said he didn't ask for this breach, Anita, but we will stand in the breach. So, why do you think that now, one year later, is when Joe Biden has chosen to address this so strongly?

ANITA MCBRIDE, FORMER CHIEF OF STAFF TO FIRST LADY LAURA BUSH: Well, I think anniversaries are significant moments in history. And look at how we continue to still recognize December 7th. We recognize September 11th. Because but they are pivotal moments in the country's history, and the president has an opportunity to use a day like that to speak out because people do stop and listen. Because, on a daily basis, as you know, John, the president's voice is heard on any number of things every single day, because every problem in the world comes through his desk. So, he used his podium as president of the United States to really get to the heart of what this, you know, is about. This is about patriotism and the country and not a single person.

KEILAR: You couldn't miss that former Vice President Dick Cheney, Anita, was there yesterday. I mean, and this was -- this were series of events on Capitol Hill that most Republicans ignored. But Dick Cheney made this choice to be there and he brought a message with him. Let's listen.


DICK CHENEY, FMR. U.S. VICE PRESIDENT: It's not a leadership that resembles any of the folks I knew when I was here for ten years.


KEILAR: What did you think, Anita?

MCBRIDE: Well, listen, Dick Cheney, Liz Cheney, particularly Dick Cheney is a person of few words. But when he says something, you do, you stop and listen. And also, remember, he served in that body, he was a congressman for ten years, as vice president, he was president of the Senate. He understands what that institution, what that building means for the country.

And I think -- I want to say one thing to back up what David said earlier about Republicans speaking out or not speaking out. Liz Cheney is definitely one person who is putting it all on the line to speak out. And so to have her father there with her yesterday, I thought that was really important to do.

BERMAN: Yes. I was going to say, David, you and I are old enough to remember when Democrats thought Dick Cheney was Dick Cheney, and Nancy Pelosi embracing him on the House floor last night was something.

David, also, look, you covered George W. Bush for years. We didn't hear from him yesterday. I'm wondering why you thought that happened and what difference it would have made.

GREGORY: Well, look, I think the former president has made a decision that goes way back to when he left office, that he was going to get out of the spotlight, and he meant it. And that's largely been true. I too felt his voice would have been valued during the Trump years, particularly on immigration, where he was right and had a much different approach that's now embraced by Democrats as well.

But I think he feels at this point that he would do more harm than good, that he would fuel a lot of Trump supporters against him. And in many ways, Cheney does as well. I mean, let's be honest. A lot of this kind of Trump ideology was an outgrowth of rejection of the Bush/Cheney years, the response to 9/11. These are political facts.

But Dick Cheney showing up tomorrow was about the fact that he is standing by his daughter in her moment of tremendous political courage. And it's a statement of principle for himself. I mean, I think it cuts deep that a historically conservative figure like Dick Cheney is standing up and saying his party doesn't have sufficient leadership to stand up for constitutional principles.


Democrats thought Dick Cheney was a war criminal, some of them, some of the most progressive, but they would have never accused him of selling out the country and undermining the Constitution. I mean, there would certainly be areas around the use of torture and so forth that would take that on. But in the main, I think they are willing to embrace to say, look, this is somebody who has the political courage to stand up and call out what's going on.

Because think about what we started talking about, the importance of January 6th. Don't believe us. Mitch McConnell stood up on January 6th that night and said his vote to certify the election was the most important he ever cast in his career. That's how important January 6th was to him. And then yesterday, he's saying it's all political theater. I mean, everybody knows that politicians can be hypocrites and can say things that aren't true, but this is pretty appalling.

BERMAN: David Gregory, Anita McBride, Happy New Year to both of you.

MCBRIDE: Happy New Year. Thank you.

BERMAN: Happening now, this winter storm causing some big disruptions today and tomorrow across the northeast. These are live pictures from the greatest city on earth, Boston, Massachusetts. More than a foot of snow expected in some areas. Travel, work and school all going to be affected.

Let's go to Meteorologist Chad Myers. Chad, look at that.

CHAD MYERS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: It's coming down. I have been watching the radar out of Boston now for the past three hours, and it has looked just like that for three solid hours, two to three inches of snow per hour, and there is indication that it's stopping any time soon. Look what happened yesterday though across parts of West Virginia, Kentucky. Nashville picked up over six inches of snow. Your normal yearly total of snow is 3.8. So, you have already broken for the year average.

Here, it's still snowing across anywhere from Maine down through Woonsocket, as far south is Atlantic City. There is snow again on the boardwalk for the second time in a week. And then back up to the north in these darker colors, this is where we are seeing that very heavy snow falling from the sky in very large flakes. Here is what 8:00 looks like, still snowing, obviously.

By 10:00, the snow is over for New York City but it's still snowing in Boston. And we move you ahead to about 2:00, we will see most of that again move out to the ocean. By afternoon, even for tonight, we're seeing snow streamers across the great lakes with lake-effect snow there, but the snow for the northeast will be over. Still another probably six to eight inches on top of what you see there in Boston. John, again, Woonsocket, all the way down, even across Long Island seeing heavy snow right now.

BERMAN: My wife always asks me, why do you always seem to be at work when we need to snow blow the driveway? Why are you always gone? I always have to do it. It just works out that way, Chad. Thank you very much.

MYERS: You bet.

KEILAR: You mow a mean lawn though, Berman, I will say.

Airlines still canceling and delaying flights by the thousands after two weeks of disruptions. Today, almost 2,000 more U.S. flights are already canceled amid a winter storm and coronavirus staffing shortages.

CNN's Pete Muntean live for us at Reagan National Airport with more. I think Berman had to like crawl home to New York yesterday, Pete. This has just been kind of nuts, all of these cancelations that we have seen.

PETE MUNTEAN, CNN AVIATION CORRESPONDENT: It's so true, Brianna. The cancelations today nationwide have already exceeded the total number we saw for the full day yesterday. Just look at the latest numbers from FlightAware. 2,200 cancelations nationwide already today, another 400 flights delayed.

Travelers really cannot catch a break here because the airlines get catch a break. They say, winter weather, sure, has been a huge factor in these cancelations, but, really, the big issue is that so many workers are calling out sick because they have been exposed to or infected with coronavirus.

Look at the airline-by airline breakdown. Southwest, really the top offender, it's canceled about in one in every five flights for the last few days. It is now incentivizing flight attendants by offering them double pay if they pick up extra shifts through the end of this month has become such an issue at Alaska Airlines, that it's now trimming its schedule by about 10 percent for the rest of the month. That airline has canceled about 16 percent of its flights for the last few weeks.

Look at these numbers in total. Since Christmas Eve, two weeks ago, airlines have canceled a total of 25,000 flights. But the good news here, though, Brianna, this now the time that we are through the holidays that airline travel goes down a little bit. There's still 1.5 million people a day flying.

KEILAR: Yes. I mean, just the anecdotal stories, I think, that we're all hearing from friends and the inconveniences. This is touching so many people. Pete, thanks for the report.

A pathetic new low for Ted Cruz, a U.S. senator trying to take back something that he said not because it was untrue but because a T.V. host got mad at him. We roll the tape next.

BERMAN: Plus, the New York district attorney who says he will not prosecute certain crimes, he joins us to respond to the backlash.


And Pope Francis blasting couples who choose dogs and cats over kids.


BERMAN: So, this morning, as much of right-wing media mocks the anniversary of January 6th, one thing they seem to ignore, their role in it all.

CNN's Tom Foreman joins us with a look at this. Good morning, Tom.

TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, John. You wonder why these Republican leaders won't stand up for the truth in all of this. It's because so many of their followers are living in a world where truth and facts and honesty are constantly taking a back seat to defending Donald Trump. And nowhere is that more true than on conservative media.



FOREMAN (voice over): The roar of the riot was still echoing when right-wing media started rewriting the story.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I do not know Trump supporters that have ever demonstrated violence.

LAURA INGRAHAM, FOX NEWS HOST: And there are some reports that Antifa sympathizers may have been sprinkled throughout the crowd.

SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS HOST: There's always bad actors that will infiltrate large crowds.

FOREMAN: And in the year since, those efforts have persisted through repeated and utterly unproven claims. First, that it was mainly a peaceful protest. More than 700 who stormed the Capitol have been charged, dozens of police injured, some people died, and yet viewers of right-wing media are pushed toward a very different take.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The vast majority, nice people came from around the country to simply support a man they loved.

FOREMAN: Second, right-wing hosts have insisted these were not Trump fans, never mind the chants, the flags, and the sworn testimony to the contrary from participants.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I see video of people going in that are in all black gear. They do not look like Trump supporters to me. You can't even identify them.

FOREMAN: Right-wing commentators have kept promoting conspiracy theories that the uprising was work of Antifa or undercover federal agents. RUDY GIULIANI, FORMER PERSONAL LAWYER TO PRESIDENT TRUMP: (INAUDIBLE) 26 Antifa members were tasked with making that -- look, it should have been a peaceful protest, a riot.

FOREMAN: And, third, they have framed this as a reasonable, even necessary response by frustrated voters. A new study of podcasts hosted by the late Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Steve Bannon leading up to the insurrection found more than 50 percent endorsing unsubstantiated allegations of voter fraud or related claims, the big lie that Trump won, and it continues.

STEVE BANNON, HOST, THE WAR ROOM PODCAST: Elections have consequences. Stolen elections have catastrophic consequence and that's what we are seeing this country right now. And we need your blood to boil. We need to be in a situation you're not going to back down, okay?

FOREMAN: And through it all, right-wing media figures have dismissed virtually every credible attempt to investigate.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They're not interested in what happened. They want to hang Donald Trump.


FOREMAN (on camera): All of society makes a big deal about how these lies are spreading on social media, through Facebook, in Twitter and places like that. But a study out of the University of Chicago study said, when you look at these millions of people who consider themselves part of the sort of insurrection class, when asked what their primary sources of information are, they say Fox, Newsmax, OAN, agencies that are out there with a lot of people looking at this information and agreeing to not put forward legitimate conservative stances but instead this pack of lies which, in many ways, eclipse their arguments that they might really be able to make. John?

BERMAN: It really does. Tom Foreman, thank you for that.

FOREMAN: You're welcome.

KEILAR: Something of note happened the past two nights on Fox, perhaps not that unusual considering what we just saw in Tom's report, but it began when Senator Ted Cruz described the events of January 6th from the site of the infamous day.


SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX): We are approaching a solemn anniversary this week and it is an anniversary of a violent terrorist attack on the Capitol where we saw the men and women of law enforcement demonstrate incredible courage, incredible bravery, risk their lives to defend the women and men who serve in this Capitol.


KEILAR: Straightforward, nothing crazy about that comment, Ted Cruz just saying what is. And yet no way was Fox's chief propagandist going to let it stand.


TUCKER CARLSON, FOX NEWS HOST: Of all the things that January 6 was, it was definitely not a violent terrorist attack. It wasn't an insurrection. Was it a riot, sure? It was not a violent terrorist attack. Sorry. So, why are you telling us that it was, Ted Cruz? Why are none of your Republican friends, who are supposed to be representing us and all the people who have been arrested during this purge saying anything? What the hell is going on here?


KEILAR: Tucker Carlson mad that an elected official won't peddle the lies that he does. So, last night, he had Cruz on, not so that Cruz could enlighten him to reality, but so that the two could go night swimming in Tucker's cesspool of B.S. and Cruz could self-flagellate before millions.


CARLSON: You called this a terror attack when, by no definition was it a terror attack. That's a lie. You told that lie on purpose. And I'm wondering why you did?

CRUZ: Well, Tucker, thank you for having me on.

CARLSON: Of course.

CRUZ: When you aired episode last night, I sent you a text shortly thereafter and said, listen, I would like to go on. Because the way I phrased things yesterday, it was sloppy and it was frankly dumb.


CARLSON: I don't buy that. Whoa, whoa, whoa. I don't buy that. Look, I have known you a long time since before you went to the senate. You were a Supreme Court contender. You take words seriously as any man who's ever served in the Senate. And every word -- you repeated that phrase. I do not believe that you used that accidentally. I just don't.

CRUZ: So, Tucker, as a result of my sloppy phrasing, it has caused a lot of people to misunderstand what I meant.


KEILAR: Well, we will get to the groveling in a moment. But, first, Cruz's claim that his words were spontaneous and sloppy, actually, they were accurate, but perhaps more importantly here, consistent with what he said right after the attack.

A year ago, as he was misreading the degree to which his party was committed to Trump, he said, quote, the attack at the Capitol was a despicable act of terrorism and shocking assault on our democratic system. The Department of Justice should vigorously prosecute everyone who was involved in these brazen acts of violence. And yet last night, Cruz rushed to the misinformation mother ship faster than he did to Cancun during a deep freeze in his state to bend the knee before Tucker Carlson, even though the Fox host isn't a serious or even believable person.

We know that. Cruz knows that. Carlson himself knows that, or at least the lawyers who represented him in court do. They defended him successfully, mind you, in a slander case in 2020. The judge, a Trump appointee, recapping their case, quote, Fox persuasively argues that given Mr. Carlson's reputation, any reasonable viewer, quote, arrives with an appropriate amount of skepticism about the statement he makes. The Fox lawyers had, again, successfully argued that the, quote, general tenor of the show should then inform a viewer that Carlson is not stating actual facts about the topics he discusses and is instead engaging in exaggeration and non-literal commentary. Official verdict, he's full of it. He's just one right-wing cable's most elite professionally aggrieved bullshit artists.

The problem is that Carlson's viewers actually believe him. They're not in on the joke. They're not in on a joke that Tucker Carlson is in on, that he is a joke.

Elsewhere on Fox entertainment television, they didn't like how Vice President Kamala Harris said that January 6th will be added to the list of dates in American history that will live in infamy.


GREG GUTFELD, FOX ENTERTAINMENT HOST: They're trying to turn it into Pearl Harbor. They're trying to turn into 9/11.

BILL BENNETT, FORMER EDUCATION SECRETARY: When I heard Kamala Harris first compared January 6th to 9/11 and Pearl Harbor, that's ridiculous. It's an abomination.

ARI FLEISCHER, FORMER WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: It is ridiculous to compare January 6th to either of those days.

REP. JIM JORDAN (R-OH): The most disgusting part of the day was what you reference in your monologue, where the vice president of the United States says this is -- January 6th was the equivalent to Pearl Harbor.

GUTFELD: What a goofball.


KEILAR: Because, after all, these are hosts with deep knowledge of days that will live in infamy.


GUTFELD: Take that, arsonists. We are live here on Fox square. Yesterday, a cowardly Christmas creep burned down our all-American Christmas tree.

JUDGE JEANINE PIRRO, FOX T.V. HOST: We knew that we couldn't let it stop us. We knew that we wouldn't be deterred.

GUTFELD: We now want to welcome our first guest of the evening, Fox News Contributor Reverend Jacques DeGraff.

REV. JACQUES DEGRAFF, FOX T.V. HOST: 80 years ago this week, they tried to extinguish the darkness in a place called Pearl Harbor.


KEILAR: Oh, yes, you heard that right. Let's play that one more time.


DEGRAFF: 80 years ago this week they tried to extinguish the darkness in a place called Pearl Harbor.


KEILAR: When it comes to hypocrites, there's always tape.

BERMAN: Can I just say one more thing about Ted Cruz there?


BERMAN: It is like 7:28 A.M. Ted Cruz, do you know where your spine is? I thought he handled it better in Game of Thrones when he was Theon Greyjoy to Ramsey Bolton there. Honestly, that was like Reek. It was watching Reek in Game of Thrones there, how he was addressing him. The power structure there, oh, I was so uncomfortable, I was so uncomfortable watching that.

KEILAR: That is such an apt metaphor.

BERMAN: Yes. Well, if the shoe fits or the codpiece fits.

KEILAR: I don't know. I think that, you know, Tucker Carlson will be picking his teeth this morning with Ted Cruz's spine is sort of what I think.

A New York district attorney says he won't prosecute crimes like resisting arrest. Is that telling criminals that they can then get away with it? We're going to ask him, next.

BERMAN: A mysterious January 6th pipe bomber. Was Kamala Harris the intended target?