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Public Theater, Private Talks; Senator Jim DeMint Leaving the Senate; Apple Will Make Macs in the U.S.

Aired December 6, 2012 - 10:30   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: Even at the expense of going off the fiscal -- even -- even at the expense of going off the fiscal cliff because if we do that taxes will go up on middle class Americans to the tune of $2,000 plus.

REP. STEVE ISRAEL (D), NEW YORK: And my whole point is we can put the brakes on the fiscal cliff. We don't have to go off the fiscal cliff. Republicans say let's cut taxes at least for the first $250,000. Democrats say that. Let's agree and pass what we can agree on. And where we can't agree, we can have those debates later on. But we have a responsibility to middle class families and small businesses to give them certainty.

I think the figure ought to be higher than $250,000. I personally think it should reflect the cost of living in high cost areas like Long Island. But I am not going to tell my constituents who make less than $250,000 that they're going to lose out because I believe that it should be $350,000 or $400,000. Let's pass what we can agree on and we can all agree on at least $250,000 and then debate what we cannot agree on.

COSTELLO: Something you know about the negotiations themselves seems a little unusual to me. It seems that House Republicans are dealing directly with President Obama and sort of skipping over their Democratic counterparts like what are you guys doing?

ISRAEL: Look, everybody needs to get into a room. There's no question about it. And I don't care whether you are negotiating a baseball contract or you're negotiating a solution to -- to this fiscal cliff. We've got to get an agreement that -- that is -- is balanced, that is fair to both sides and I think at the end of the day, both sides will walk away a little -- a little unhappy. That's what a good negotiation does.

I am willing to compromise. But -- but we needed somebody to compromise with. And most importantly bottom line is bottom line. The math has to add up. The Republican proposal is based on the old Washington equation that two plus two equals whatever you want it to be. That's not how it works. Even in Washington two plus two has to equal four and we need to get to a resolution that reduces the deficit by about $4 trillion and we can do it in a fair and balanced and bold way.

COSTELLO: Congressman Israel, thank you so much for joining us this morning. ISRAEL: Thanks Carol.

COSTELLO: All right.

Just in to CNN, we have confirmed Senator Jim DeMint a powerful Republican will step down from his Senate seat as of December 31st. He's from South Carolina. He's the leading member of the Tea Party. He'll take over the head of the Heritage Foundation.

CNN's Dana Bash live on Capitol Hill with more. Why did Senator DeMint decide to step down?

DANA BASH, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: You know I'm trying to get more information from his aides right now and maybe I'll be able to find him in the hallways here. It's certainly is in some ways a bit of a surprise because DeMint has felt that he's been able to be effective here in Congress because he has been kind of an unabashed conservative very, very willing to push his own leadership in ways that often times they don't want to be pushed with regard to deficit reduction, with regard to really strict fiscal policy.

That is by far his number one issue. I can tell you he's also really angered Republican leaders over the past two election cycles by raising millions of dollars, a lot of money, for Republican candidates who the quote, unquote "establishment" thought that were less able to win in -- in the general election.

So -- but he is a purist. He's an anti-tax, anti-government purist. And it does seem that he's kind of you know had it here. He wouldn't be the only one to say that they -- that they don't feel that they can get enough done from the inside and it's probably better to go to the outside. But we're going to try to get more information on exactly why he's making this decision.

Not just to leave to go to the conservative Heritage Foundation but to leave before his term is up.

COSTELLO: Interesting. Ok so Dana stay right there because I want you to comment on this next story.

The New Jersey Governor he made it clear he won't play politics when it comes to his beleaguered state. Superstorm Sandy did a number on New Jersey and the Governor is in Washington this morning, Chris Christie is in Washington this morning, to ask FEMA for cash as in Christie wants the feds to pick up 100 percent of the tab, perhaps unusual from a fiscal conservative who once said this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: Because the American people no longer believe that this is a place where only their willingness to work hard and to act with honor and integrity and ingenuity determines their success in life. Then we'll have a bunch of people sitting on a couch waiting for their next government check.

(END VIDEO CLIP) COSTELLO: Times are different now. Dana, Governor Christie he's asking the government for a pretty big check today. Will he get it?

BASH: Unclear. That really is the -- maybe you can say the nearly $38 billion question, maybe more. In fact, I just want to put on the screen some of the numbers that we're talking about. Chris Christie has asked generally for about $37 billion almost $38 billion. There you see $36.8 billion and from New York, the Governor there he was here earlier this week asking for $42 billion.

And Carol there have been reports that the administration will maybe send up a request for emergency spending, a so-called supplemental request as soon as this week for somewhere in the range of $50 billion which wouldn't even come close to what these two governors asking for in a combined way.

Chris Christie is going to first go to the White House in fact those might be pictures right now of him walking in there, there you go and to meet with very important people there including the chief of staff to the White House. But then he is going to come here. I am told that he is going to first meet with the two Democratic senators from his home state of New Jersey to talk strategy and then he's going to meet with maybe the most important person he could talk to in Washington and that is his fellow Republican who is the Speaker of the House, John Boehner.

Why is that going to be the most important? Because he is going to be the most important person to convince that you can open up the purse strings. The very, very tight purse strings here these days to give the Governor this kind of cash needed, he says, to help the victims of Sandy.

COSTELLO: That's right because the House of Representatives says to vote for those funds from FEMA to be released to the state of New Jersey. That tiny bit of time while you were away Dana, you managed to pick up some new information about Senator DeMint stepping down. You are one amazing woman.

So what did you find out?

BASH: Modern technology really is a blessing sometimes. That's right. As we were talking I got an e-mail from Senator DeMint's office explaining at least in part the answer to your question which is why would he be leaving and he says that he is not leaving the fight. He says he decided to join the Heritage Foundation at a time when the conservative movement needs strong leadership in what he calls the battle of ideas and he says no organization is better equipped to lead that fight and he thinks his experience in public office as well as the private sector has helped him there.

And he says that he -- speaking to constituents and I'm bringing this obviously on the fly that he says that he has told them time and time again that being in the Senate was never going to be his career. He came to Congress as what he called a citizen legislator and he's always determined to be that and so that's why he's going to continue that fight. And obviously there's a Republican Governor in South Carolina who will appoint his -- his -- his next -- the next senator --

(CROSSTALK)

COSTELLO: Successor. Right.

BASH: And successor, thank you. And so in terms of the balance of power it shouldn't change anything. But certainly it will be as we mentioned before a very important, a very powerful conservative voice within the halls of Congress that won't be here anymore.

COSTELLO: Dana Bash, great job as usual. Thank you so much.

BASH: Thank you.

COSTELLO: Did your favorite bands, did they get nominated or snubbed? We're talking Grammys with Kareen Wynter.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COSTELLO: The singer with amazing hair. That man has some thick hair. That's what I think of every time I see him. It's that time of year when we hand out awards for the songs you couldn't get away from. Of course we're talking about the Grammys nominees were announced with an all-star concert.

Kareen Wynter keeping track of it all for us in Los Angeles. Good morning, Kareen.

KAREEN WYNTER, CNN ENTERTAINMENT CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Carol. And everyone wants to know who took home the most -- who got the most nominations rather.

COSTELLO: Yes.

WYNTER: And you know that's kind of an interesting question because last night's Grammy nomination show/concert because as you saw there was a performance, well six different artists they received six nominations each. How about that, it's such an impressive list.

We're talking about Kanye West. We're talking about Jay Z, Frank Ocean, Mumford & Sons, Dan Auerbach, the Black Keys, and Fun, the group you just heard. It looks like Fun is poised to have one of the biggest night at the awards however because they are -- they are nominated for Record of the Year, Album of the Year, Best New Artist and Song of the Year, which are the biggest categories of the night.

But they're up against some really, really tough competition, Carol, including Frank Ocean, who was nominated for Record and Album of the Year as well as for Best New Artist. The Grammys as you know they usually reward artists with huge hits. Carly Rae Jepsen's "Call Me Maybe" are in two nominations. So people are talking today about two huge snubs. Can you guess who they are? Can you guess? Can you guess?

COSTELLO: Oh man, I am so --

WYNTER: I'm putting you on the spot.

COSTELLO: No I can't guess. I'm out of it. Or Psy.

WYNTER: I wasn't able to guess too. And "Gangnam Style", they didn't get any nominations for one of the biggest songs to hit the world this year and those catchy events.

COSTELLO: Seriously they're surprised by that.

WYNTER: They -- well, you know, you saw it everywhere, Carol. You really did. And another one, another one, a big one for you. Justin Bieber, he got the brush off. Justin Bieber didn't get any nominations either. So guess what? His manager took to Twitter to say the Grammy boards blew it. How do you miss those two? The Biebs and Psy they weren't every year. But there you go.

COSTELLO: Alas they'll have to wait until next year and come up to try --

WYNTER: Excuse me. Terrible cough.

COSTELLO: Are you OK? OK, so tell us about the movie "Lincoln". It's getting a special screening in the Senate?

WYNTER: Well, the Senate is the latest branch of the government scheduling a special screening of "Lincoln." And reports that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, he was setting up a screening on the floor of the Senate we've reached out to -- to everyone involved here. And while one of our sources have confirmed, Carol, that there is now a special Senate screening scheduled for December 19th.

We're also being told that there are still some details they are figuring out at this stage but we don't know if it will actually happen inside the Capitol building. This is at least the third time now that "Lincoln" is getting a special political screening. The President held a screening at the White House with the cast and director Stephen Spielberg and Republican Representative Kevin McCarthy. He also held a special screening for some GOP House members.

So I think in the film, the 13th Amendment abolishing slavery passes with less discussion than we've been having about the fiscal cliff but compromise, compromise. Maybe this will inspire our leaders to kind of reach a middle ground here. We'll have to see. We'll have to see.

COSTELLO: If anyone can do it, Daniel Day-Lewis can do it. I'll let you go get a drink of water.

WYNTER: Oh yes.

COSTELLO: Thanks, Kareen.

For the latest entertainment headlines, watch "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT" at 11:00 Eastern on HLN.

Your next Apple computer could be made right here in the good old USA. We'll have the latest in a shift in Apple manufacturing.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COSTELLO: News from Apple on exactly where it will manufacture the popular iMac computer. Maribel Aber has been following the story. So tell us.

MARIBEL ABER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Carol. Well, Tim Cook did an interview with NBC that is surprising a lot of people. Apple already does some work here in the U.S. But Cook alluded to the fact that more American jobs could be coming. Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TIM COOK, CEO, APPLE: You know, this iPhone as a matter of fact, the engine in here is made in America and not only are the engines here made in America but engines are made in America that are exported. The glass on this phone is made in Kentucky. So we've been working for years on doing more and more in the United States. Next year we will do one of our existing Mac lines in the United States.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ABER: So Cook confirmed to CNN Apple will be spending $100 million to shift assembly from China to the U.S. But you know what, Carol, frankly, that's a drop in the bucket for a company of its size. So it's really hard to say right now if that means expanding current operations or even building out brand new ones.

Apple has taken a lot of criticism for its relationship with Fox Con in China so bringing back jobs here would certainly take at least a little bit of heat off -- Carol.

COSTELLO: Yes. Well, the news comes at an interesting time too because the company's stock is down quite a bit right now. It's fallen in the last couple days, right?

ABER: You've got that right, Carol. You know Apple shares -- well, they were down before and now trading up a bit here about almost 1.5 percent trading at $547. The company hit an all-time high above 700 just this fall but since then it's really been a tough run for the stock. The big tumble came Wednesday when shares of gadget giant slid more than 6 percent.

But Carol, the thing is there's really no clear explanation as to why. Some analysts are saying it's because of chatter that some firms raised their margin requirements on the stock and just to backtrack what that means. It's harder for investors to borrow money in order to buy it.

Others are saying it's because, you know, unlike so many other companies, Apple isn't paying out special dividends to its investors to beat the fiscal cliff. And there's that news that Nokia had partnered with a Chinese mobile company that's yet to strike a deal with Apple. And that's just naming a few of the possible share movers out there -- Carol. COSTELLO: Interesting. Maribel Aber, thanks so much.

"Talk Back" question for you today: Are you prepared if the nation goes off the fiscal cliff? Your responses next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COSTELLO: Just about 53 minutes past the hour. Time to check our top stories.

A sad ending to a month-long search for two missing cousins. Family members say the bodies of eight-year-old Elizabeth Collins and 10- year-old Lyric Cook were found by hunters in a wooded area. The two girls were last seen in July when they left for a bike ride.

University of Colorado released almost 4,000 e-mails sent or received by James Holmes. He's accused of killing 12 people during a "Batman" movie in Aurora. And a new report from affiliate KMGH says a doctor was so concerned about Holmes six weeks before the shooting but he didn't have him held for a mental evaluation because Holmes was withdrawing from schools.

In money news, today some analysts are saying Citigroup's move to cut 11,000 jobs may not be enough to succeed. Even though the bank shares jumped 7 percent after investors heard about the massive layoffs, some critics say it needs more restructuring. The bank says it is improving efficiency.

And in sports, Kobe Bryant is now a member of an elite group -- the 30,000-point club. The Lakers' guard passed the NBA milestone with this basket against New Orleans last night. Bryant joins Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem, Abdul Jabbar, Karl Malone and Michael Jordan as the only players to pass the 30,000 point-mark. At 34 years, 104 days, Kobe is the youngest ever to do it.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COSTELLO: The people and personalities that grabbed our attention in 2012 have run the gamut from famous, powerful and controversial . Now we want your input to choose "The Most Intriguing of 2012". Go to CNN.com/intriguing to cast your vote for the "Top Ten Most Intriguing People of 2012". CNN will reveal your selections on air and online on Monday, December 24th.

Let's face it. It's easy to give in to food cravings when you're traveling. There are ways to fight temptation and eat healthy on the road. In today's "Daily Dose", nutritionist and author Rovenia Brock, talk about her the grab and go guide to eating fast food.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROVENIA BROCK, NUTRITIONIST: It is possible to choose healthy in the fast food lane but it takes planning. When in doubt, think like a child. Order small sizes like single burgers rather than double or triple burgers and megameals. Salads are ok but don't be fooled. Adding creamy dressings, bacon, croutons and cheese will pile on the categories. If you really want a treat, have a single cone of plain frozen yogurt. No sundae. End of the day your best beverage is water. Nature's champagne. It's calorie and sugar free.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COSTELLO: All right. Your responses to our "Talk Back" question: Are you prepared if the nation goes off the fiscal cliff?

This from Clair: "No, I'm retired on a fixed income. And setting up my school loan payments; after accomplishing a life-long education goal, I now wonder if it was a mistake."

This from Amanda: "My paycheck is already stretched enough right. So I cannot afford to go off a fiscal cliff. I'm already cutting down on expenditures including Christmas and other expenses."

And this from Gary: "Yes, I'm prepared to get passport and start looking for a new country. Stick a fork in it; we're just about done." Are you listening lawmakers and President Obama?

Facebook.com/CarolCNN if you would like to continue the conversation. Thanks for the responses. I appreciate them.

I appreciate you for watching us this morning. I'm Carol Costello.

CNN NEWSROOM continues right now with Ashleigh Banfield.