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End of Tea Party Movement; Reaching Across the Aisle or Table; Clinton, Morsi Seek Peace in Gaza; Doctor Shortage

Aired November 21, 2012 - 10:30   ET


CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: When this press conference gets going, of course we'll bring it to you live. I'm not quite sure why it's taking so long but when it starts we'll bring it to you.

Let's talk a little American politics here in the good old United States.

Todd Akin, Richard Mourdock and now Florida Republican Allen West, the list of Tea Party candidates who suffered defeat in the last election just keeps growing, founders of the Tea Party Movement say their cause is very much alive though but they've been called down for the count since their inception. But now with more key members losing their seats in Congress, are we seeing an end to the Tea Party Movement?

Joining me now Democratic strategist, Robert Zimmerman, and CNN contributor and Republican strategist Ana Navarro. Welcome to you both.



COSTELLO: Nice to be with you. So Ana I will ask you a simple question. Is the Tea Party dead?

NAVARRO: No, I don't think it's dead. Look, I think it had a very good year in 2010. This was not as good a year for the Tea Party, but in politics, everything swings like a pendulum and the pendulum I think for the Republican Party is swinging back to the center, or I hope. I do think that the Tea Party plays an important role. It plays an important role in the Republican Party. We should embrace them. They did a terrific job bringing people out to vote two years ago.

But as Republicans I think it's time we really start taking a look at these primaries. We lost some important races, because we didn't pick the right person out of the primary.


COSTELLO: But wasn't it because of the Tea Party Ana? Wasn't it because of the Tea Party?

(CROSSTALK) NAVARRO: Carol I'm not going to blame the Tea Party for some of the stupid things that Richard Mourdock or Todd Akin said. You know, I don't think that they deserve the blame for that.


ZIMMERMAN: But -- but Ana they in fact were the Tea Party candidates, Richard Mourdock who wants to redefine rape in -- Indiana or for that matter, remember Christine O'Donnell, the Tea Party candidate in Delaware who claimed and read a commercial announcing that she wasn't a witch, because the world was wondering about that issue. Or Sharron Angle in Nevada. In fact the Tea Party candidates really cost the Republican Party the majority in the U.S. Senate.

Now, I would agree with you Ana, the Tea Party has an important grass roots role to play. And I differ with my party when my party tried to denounce them as an Astro turf movement versus a grass roots movement. But the problem is they've been denounced and they've been co-opted by the kooks, by the fringe group. And I think until your party is prepared to recognize that and move the debate to the importance of government and how government can best serve efficiently and economically then I think you're going to be in the same spot in two years.

COSTELLO: OK, well, Bill O'Reilly on his show he said some people -- and Bill O'Reilly actually he's blaming the media for the Tea Party's demise, I guess. Here is what Bill O'Reilly said. Let's listen.


BILL O'REILLY, FOX NEWS HOST: We're now living in a dishonest culture. The media is totally corrupt in this country. It does things that it could never have gotten away with even ten years ago. There are entire media operations that exists solely to promote ideology. Obviously a bad situation that is getting worse.


COSTELLO: You mean like Fox? But I digress. Ana is there a media conspiracy against the Tea Party?

NAVARRO: I don't think so, Carol. I think they are kind of unorganized, unstructured party, a faction of the Republican Party. That's part of their beauty, that they are a grassroots operation, that they are not a structured organization. And I think they do have a role to play. As I said before if they stick to the themes of fiscal responsibility and smaller government, which is why they were born, I think they will continue to be successful.

But again we have to be smart in the primaries and pick candidates that can win general elections. If not, we really are cutting off our nose to spite our face and it's not going to get us back control of the Senate or what we want.

COSTELLO: And I do think you're right Ana. When the Tea Party was born, all it talked about was fiscal responsibility. It actually shunned social issues, saying social issues shouldn't be part of the discussion right now, because that's not the -- those are not the most important issues we have to deal with in that country.

At what point Robert did those social issues start to invade the Tea Party and sort of diminish its strength?

ZIMMERMAN: Well you know it's an interesting point, I think what really transpired in this past election is we had a real debate about the relevance of government. And as -- and I think the public voted, in fact vote -- by significant numbers they recognized the success of the automotive bailout under the Obama administration. They saw the importance of the federal government in the wake of this -- of this Superstorm Sandy that hit the north east. They certainly have seen the importance in the debate of Medicare and Social Security but the relevance it has for so many millions of American's lives.

So as a consequence I think people recognize that government does have an important role. The Tea Party played an important -- played a very important position in terms of fostering the debate and creating an important debate. But what happens is when you have -- when you -- when you cower in front of the fringe politics which you saw the Republican Party do to the politics of homophobia, the politics of discrimination against women, the politics of basically assault upon people's personal freedoms.

When you see the Republican Party cower to that then in fact you're going to see the Tea Party be co-opted by the fringe groups which is what you saw by the candidates that were chosen.

COSTELLO: OK, so that lasts nicely into this Rush Limbaugh quote. You know Allen West lost in Florida finally, a Tea Party candidate and many people might call him as an extremist right? So Rush Limbaugh said, quote, "Democrats moved heaven and earth to defeat African- American Mia Love, African-American Allen West and replace them with white men. So the hypocrisy is rich they're not about diversity, they're all about liberalism," Anna.


NAVARRO: Well, I -- I don't agree with that statement I think that's completely wrong. Look, they are not -- the DNC the Democrats were not going after Allen West because he was black, they weren't going after Mia Love because she was black. They were going after them because they were Republican, and the point of this game is to have as many of the people of your party of able to -- to get elected so that you can have the majority and then control the agenda and get things done.

ZIMMERMAN: I give Ana a lot of credit --

NAVARRO: And so I don't agree with that all.


ZIMMERMAN: I give Ana -- I give Ana, I say I give Ana --

NAVARRO: Go ahead I'm not going to interrupt you if you're giving me credit.

ZIMMERMAN: I'm trying to praise you Ana. Exactly I'm saying I'm giving you credit, because you're standing up to Rush Limbaugh when the leadership of your own party refuses to do so. I mean let's be clear, Rush Limbaugh is the Larry Flint of talk radio, because there's always a market for filth and exploitation, which is what he excels in.

The difference is Rush Limbaugh is an individual that the Republican Party leadership curries favors with, they seek to appear on his programs. And as long as you cater to that kind of extremism and exploitation, the Republican Party will always be an isolated and fringe party.

Let's also look at the facts, I mean, in the new Congress coming up under Congressman Steve Israel's leadership, you've never had more diversity in the Democratic caucus and less diversity in the Republican caucus.

For example 61 African-American Democrats serving in the House versus I think it's -- I think one African-American in the Republican Congress or for that matter 60 women versus in the Democratic caucus versus 20 women serving in the Republican caucus. And if you look at the youth and energy in the Democratic caucus, I think the Republicans have the caterers' meals on wheels.

COSTELLO: Well all I can say is it's a good thing that you're eating Thanksgiving dinner separately.

Ana Navarro --

ZIMMERMAN: But we're grateful for each other and for you.

COSTELLO: Thank you so much. Robert Zimmerman thanks so much for being with us.

NAVARRO: And happy Thanksgiving to everybody.

ZIMMERMAN: Absolutely.

COSTELLO: Absolutely, happy turkey day. Thanks to both of you.

NAVARRO: Let's give -- let's give thanks the election is over and we're not in a recount mode.

COSTELLO: Amen, sister.

We're wrapping up the political conversation today, but if you think you know, talking about the latest election tomorrow, if you're thinking about talking about the latest election tomorrow during the Thanksgiving Day feast, you might want to think again. Why one psychologist says that could be a recipe for disaster.

We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) COSTELLO: Oh the holidays they start out with such high hopes, you know families coming together and eating lots of delicious food, but for some of us all that family time can lead to fights and big ones. And after a long divisive election the tensions around your holiday table may be even stronger.

Joining me now from New York is clinical psychologist Jeff Gardere. Hi Dr. Jeff.

DR. JEFF GARDERE, CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST: It's so good to see you Carol.

COSTELLO: OK, so more than two weeks later some Americans are still very upset about the outcome of the election, but you have some advice, so let's go through it.

First, you say set ground rules at the dinner table. What do you mean by that?

GARDERE: Well, letting your guests know before they even get to your home, that of course, you welcome political discussion, that's really what family dinners, Thanksgiving dinners seem to be about these days because of all of the political upheaval going on and, of course, the recent election and the conflicts with the Israelis and the Palestinians.

So people are going to talk about that, but by setting the ground rules, you're letting people know right away what is expected of them and what it is that they can and cannot do.

COSTELLO: OK, so I see some of them beside you. No foul language.

GARDERE: No foul language, now people Carol, you know, people are going to say well this is a ridiculous bleep situation, that's OK, that's part of political discussion but you can't use cusswords aimed at one another or calling someone stupid or idiotic. That just does not work.

Secondly I think it's important that people understand that it's OK to raise their voices, but not to scream at one another, and, of course, you have to listen to what other people have to say. It shouldn't be about winning points Carol it should be about sharing ideas --

COSTELLO: Oh common, Jeff, I love winning points. That's my modus operandi, my whole family is like that. That's the problem. We want to win.

GARDERE: Well, you know what really winning is? Winning -- winning is about sharing knowledge and being able to learn something at the table. You can be very strong in your political opinion but it's also important that you listen to other folks and come out of it with a more of an IQ and EQ, emotional intelligence.

COSTELLO: OK, so you also suggest like -- like Democrat/Republican -- Democrat/Republican mixing them up at the dinner table. That could be dangerous. GARDERE: That's right.

Well, I would rather you do that, strategically placing people instead of putting three Democrats, three Republicans, and three Tea Partiers. You want to put them maybe at another table, don't get me started. But the point is that you don't want people grouped up so that they feel that they can gang up on someone else.

I want people to reach across the aisle -- oops, I mean the table. The more you do that, the more people are bound to listen to one other and say, you know what; I didn't think about that.

COSTELLO: Well, I hear you, Dr. Jeff. but my mother and I have one simple rule -- we do not talk politics, period. That seems to make --

GARDERE: Well, good luck on that.

COSTELLO: Dr. Jeff, thanks so much. We appreciate the advice.

GARDERE: My pleasure, thank you.

COSTELLO: We'll be right back.

COSTELLO: 46 minutes past the hour. Checking our top stories now.

A convicted serial killer told his family he killed O.J. Simpson's ex- wife Nicole and Ron Goldman in 1994. Glen Rogers is on death row in Florida. His claims are featured in the new documentary, "My Brother, the Serial Killer". O.J. Simpson was acquitted of the murders, but found liable in a civil wrongful death trial.

Chaos erupts at a Newark, New Jersey city council meeting. Yes, those are dozens of people rushing the stage. They were angry when Mayor Cory Booker cast the deciding vote to fill a vacant seat with one of his long-time allies. A police officer reportedly had to use pepper spray to calm down the crowd. At least one man was arrested on assault charges.

The FDA has approved a new type of seasonal flu vaccine. This one could be made within weeks instead of several months. It's made by growing the vaccine in animal cells instead of chicken eggs. The FDA says the quicker manufacturing will help in the case of a flu pandemic.


ROVENIA BROCK, NUTRITIONIST: Roasted turkey is a great healthy protein option, But adding a lot of salt and butter can diminish its healthy benefit. So I have a super savory seasoning for you that's fat and sodium free.

Here's what I want you to do. Take fresh herbs like rosemary, thyme and basil, and sage, and stuff on the turkey just under the top layer of skin. Fresh lemon juice -- a squeeze of fresh lemon juice., Finally take some fresh garlic. And rub that all over your bird. Together these will all give you with uber-nutritious turkey and delicious bird. I'll be back for seconds if they're anything like the folks at my house. Oh, yes, they're coming back.



COSTELLO: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Egypt's President Mohamed Morsi now meeting in Cairo working on a truce between Hamas and Israel to stop that bloody conflict that started eight days ago now.

Reza Sayah joins us live. We saw the photo op, it's apparently going on forever, but what's going on right now with these talks, Reza?

REZA SAYAH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well much of the world Carol is eager to see if Washington can step in and stop the fighting between the Palestinians and the Israelis or if Washington can band together with Cairo and pull off some sort of cease fire. And all eyes right now are on the U.S. and Egypt as U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is in Cairo. She just wrapped up a meeting with Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi.

The President's office here in Cairo told us that they met for a good one hour and a half. That's a pretty lengthy meeting when it comes to diplomatic meetings. It tells you that they discussing a very important matter. Usually in these conflicts when the Palestinians and Israelis start fighting, Washington wants to be viewed as playing a key role, but in this particular clash it's been Egypt that's come to the forefront as the lead peacemaker.

They obviously have strong ties with Hamas. And they also have a relationship with Israel. They have come out and explicitly said that they want to maintain their peace treaty with Israel. Even with the optimism yesterday, we haven't seen a ceasefire, but the diplomatic efforts continue now with Cairo and Washington apparently banding together -- Carol.

COSTELLO: Reza Sayah, thanks so much and again if Hillary Clinton or Mohamed Morsi begin speaking, we'll bring in those comments to you live.

Controversial federal health care means millions more Americans will have access to doctors. One big problem with that, there may be not enough doctors.


COSTELLO: The (inaudible) drug culture of yesteryear has created what some doctors call a hidden crisis -- lack of access to mental health care. CNN's Casey Wian reports as part of our week-long series "Age against the Machine".


CASEY WIAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): George Haupt's rheumatoid arthritis pain was manageable. He had an active job in the Las Vegas food service industry until one day last year. GEORGE HAUPT, ARTHRITIS PATIENT: All of a sudden one morning when I woke up, it was like I thought I had a stroke or something. My feet, my knees, my hands, I couldn't get out of the bed. I wasn't able to even dress myself.

WIAN: He called his arthritis doctor, but the office was closed. Haupt didn't know his doctor was semi-retired only seeing patients three days a week.

HAUPT: I was told there's only five places to go in Vegas, and I tried three other ones, and the waiting period was three to four months.

WIAN: A trip to the ER provided little relief.

HAUPT: Three times in the last year where I couldn't get out of bed for two days, three days, I actually prayed that I wouldn't live and that's for me was the low point.

WIAN: It's a growing problem for baby boomers.

Yes, for Dr. Forman. We are booking now into mid January.

WIAN: they need care more often but doctors themselves are aging and retiring, and medical schools aren't producing enough replacements to keep pace.

(on camera): By 2020 the United States faces a projected shortage of nearly 92,000 doctors according to the Association of Medical Colleges. That's seven times worse than the shortage that existed just two years ago.

DR. MITCHELL FORMAN, DEAN, TOURO UNIVERSITY, NEVADA: The access to health care is clearly affected. People wait longer to see their physicians for everyday kinds of illnesses. Those illnesses get worse and then by the time you see a physician, you might need to be admitted to a hospital.

WIAN (voice-over): And it might put your life in jeopardy. Margo Johnson had a stroke last year linked to a rare autoimmune disease. She was referred to Dr. Foreman, a specialist.

MARGO JOHNSON, STROKE PATIENT: It was four or five months down the road before Dr. Foreman could see me, and even with my neurologist's intervention he was only able to move it up a week.

WIAN (on camera): That had to be kind of scary.

JOHNSON: Yes, I could have died.

WIAN (voice-over): Margo is improving thanks to proper treatment, so is George but their doctor says the shortage of physicians is likely to worsen partly because of the 2010 health care reform law which will expand insurance coverage to tens of millions of Americans.

FORMAN: You're going to have a large number of individuals who now have health care insurance. Who is going to take care of them?

WIAN: The law provides funding for physician residency programs to help ease the coming shortage, but for some baby boomers, that prescription may come too late.

Casey Wian, CNN, Henderson, Nevada.


COSTELLO: I'm Carol Costello, thank you so much for joining me today.

CNN NEWSROOM with Wolf Blitzer continues right now.

WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Wolf Blitzer. We're live in Jerusalem right now. We'd like to welcome our viewers in the United States and around the world. It's day eight of the Israeli campaign to try to put a stop to rocket fire from Gaza, not only is there no ceasefire between the Israelis and Hamas militants, terror returns to the streets of Tel Aviv.