Return to Transcripts main page


57th Inaugural Ceremony Ready for Kickoff; Manti Te'o Denies Involvement in Fake Girlfriend Hoax; Death Toll Rise in Flu Outbreak

Aired January 19, 2013 - 09:00   ET



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Execute the office of the President for the United States faithfully, faithfully the President office -- the president of the United States.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The office of the President of the United States, faithfully.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Eisenhower began his second term as leader not only of America, but all free people.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Preserve, protect and defend the constitution of the United States.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Constitution of the United States.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson and the grief- stricken widow with him takes the presidential oath aboard the jet, which brings him together with the body of the late president back to Washington.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The flag flies at half-staff, the president truly will ask the full Roosevelt cabinet to remain in office.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, help you God.


OBAMA: And so help me God.

CLINTON: So, help me God.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, help you God.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Inquire some things behind you, filled with hope and patriotism.


RANDI KAYE, HOST, CNN SATURDAY MORNING: Good morning everyone, and welcome to a very special edition of CNN SATURDAY MORNING.

It is Saturday January 19th, I'm Randi Kaye, coming to you live from the National Mall in Washington D.C. as we gear up for the 57th Presidential Inauguration.

And all morning, our CNN political team will be bringing you the very latest on all the preparations for the big day and the biggest challenges as well facing President Obama in his second term.

But first, we have some breaking news to tell you about. It involves the on-going hostage crisis in Algeria, involving Americans and other western nationals.

We are learning that the Algerian military has now launched a final assault on Islamist militants holding foreigners captive at a besieged gas facility in the Sahara Desert.

That is according to the official Algerian radio station. It says seven hostages and 11 of their kidnappers have been killed.

Hundreds of people at the facility were taken hostage when a heavily armed militants attacked it on Wednesday.

Algerians special forces carried out a military rescue operation on Thursday. Some 650 people were freed or escaped but at least one American and 11 others have now been killed.

Back here in Washington now, here we are, set up, in the cold on the National Mall. But, guess what? We're not alone.

CNN has reporters spread out across Washington, we're all keeping tabs on preparations for this weekend's big inauguration events.

Let's start with our White House correspondent Dan Lothian, who is trying to keep warm here next to me. Dan, we know that President Obama will be sworn in just before noon tomorrow. What's on his docket today and what about the Vice President as well?

DAN LOTHIAN, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, the President and the Vice President kick off inauguration weekend by taking part in a national service project, along with their families.

The White House not saying specifically what they will be doing. But, back in 2009, the President helped to spruce up a homeless shelter for teens, he also visited with wounded warriors at Walter Reed.

The White House has really been pushing that through, this through social media, trying to encourage people across the country to get engaged not just on this day, but on every day in their communities.

So, this has been going on, on Twitter, on Facebook as well. This is a tradition that the President started four years ago. The hope is that other presidents will continue this in the future.

KAYE: Dan Lothian, thank you very much. Now, let's check in with Shannon Travis. Shannon, what's happening there?

SHANNON TRAVIS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And Randi, in addition to the President and the first family and Vice President Biden, thousands, hundreds of thousands, potentially, of other Americans across the country will also be participating in this day of service.

I'm here at one of the nerve centers here in Washington D.C., where in just about half an hour from now, they're going to kick off this day of service.

Hillary -- excuse me, Chelsea Clinton, the daughter of Hillary and Bill Clinton, she is the coach, she's the chairman, honorary chairman of this, of this commission, of this committee.

Eva Longoria will be here, gospel singer Yolanda Adams, she'll be here performing as well. It's basically centered around a few major things.

I will just list off a few of them. A stress -- a focus on health, education, veterans affairs, faith, family and education. Randi.

KAYE: Shannon Travis, thank you very much. Now, let's bring in Chris Lawrence who's going to look for us at the elaborate security plan in place for the inauguration. Chris, good morning to you.

CHRIS LAWRENCE, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Hey, good morning Randi. We talked to federal officials here and they're telling us right now, there are no credible security threats to disrupt the inauguration.

No credible threats to disrupt the inauguration right now. But, what we're seeing really is in effort to pulling help from all over the country.

This is really become the country pitching in to make sure that this inauguration goes on well. The D.C. police are pulling in another 2,000 to 3,000 officers from around the country to help supplement themselves.

The FBI will be helping the Secret Service, who is running the overall security effort. But the big difference this year will be the crowd.

Last time, nearly 1.8 million visitors descended on the city. This time the crowd could be maybe a third of that, 600,000 or so, and that means some big changes.

The biggest of which probably is the fact that the bridges, which feed into the city from Virginia, will most likely be open for traffic. So, a lot easier to get around this time, but the eyes in the sky and all around will still be watching.

There are very few places you can walk around the Mall right now that a camera somewhere, some place, is not going to be watching you. Randi.

KAYE: Chris Lawrence, thank you very much. And our thanks to all of our reporters on this story this morning. Now, let's check in with Victor Blackwell, who is back in studio in Atlanta. Victor?

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN: Thank you, Randi. Let's go this Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o and his fake girlfriend, this whole hoax controversy.

Te'o spoke with "Espn" last night. It's his first interview since the story broke, that his supposedly dead girlfriend never really existed. Te'o says, he had no part in the hoax and he says he was a victim.

He also told "Espn" that that a man named Ronaiah Tuiasosopo admitted to being behind the hoax. Now, CNN hasn't confirmed Tuiasosopo's involvement, we went to his home in California, but the person there would not comment.

Staying with sports, you know the other big sports story the world is talking about, that's the stunning two-part interview with Oprah Winfrey.

Lance Armstrong confessed to using banned substances since the mid '90s, and says it was his 13-year-old son who made him want to come clean.

Armstrong teared up just a bit when he recalled telling his son that he should not defend his record anymore, but rather respond with apologies.

Armstrong also called leaving the board of his Livestrong Foundation his, "lowest point". Now, let's get back to Randi in Washington, tell us who she's got lined up.

Let's find out who is with Randi. Randi?

KAYE: All right, thanks, Victor. Well, I'm not far from where Dr. Martin Luther King gave his historic "I have a dream" speech back in 1963 right here on the National Mall. And in just moments from now, I'm going to be joined by Clarence Jones. He's a close, personal friend of MLK and a contributor on that very speech.

And he'll tell us what he wants to see from President Obama's speech, his inaugural speech coming up on Monday.


MARTIN LUTHER KING JUNIOR: Let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.




KING: I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation.


KAYE: The first words of Dr. Martin Luther King's unforgettable and historic "I have a dream speech" given right here on the Washington Mall in 1963.

The speech marked a turning point in the civil rights movement. And tomorrow on the very day the country set aside to honor Dr. King, Barack Obama, America's first African-American president, will take the oath of office for the second time.

I'm joined now by Dr. Clarence B. Jones, a close friend of Dr. King and a speech writer who contributed to the "I have a dream" speech. Good morning to you.


KAYE: So nice to have you here.

JONES: My honor.

KAYE: On set with us, I'm curious what it means for you to be back here on the National Mall, about to see history again.

JONES: Well, there's so much said about the 50th anniversary. The 50th anniversary, what it means to me is that it brings back some memories of 50 years ago.

The "I have a dream", the speech, the march on Washington would probably would not have occurred but for the demonstrations in Birmingham, Alabama.

The key to understanding the history before the "I have a dream" speech and the march on Washington is Birmingham, Alabama. Because that's what turned -- that's what's elevated the conscience of the nation.

It's almost -- I was thinking about -- it was America seeing young African-American boys and girls being slammed up against the wall by fire-hoses, and bitten by police dogs.

Those who were participating in Dr. King's effort to desegregate Birmingham, Alabama. That raised the question nationally as to what kind of country are we?

And so what Dr. King and others, other people in the civil rights movement did in organizing the march was simply built upon the victories, the limited victories in Birmingham.

But wanted to come together to validate what had been achieved, but also to raise the national conscience.

And so I think of Birmingham, Alabama, very much like Obama, President Obama is dealing with the question of gun violence and so forth.

And it's because of Dr. King, he raised the question to the nation. We are a nation better than this.

KAYE: And that was right here --

JONES: Right here --

KAYE: On this Mall. What does the timing mean to you? Certainly as we were speaking just before we came out of the commercial break, Dr. King would have turned '84 on Monday.

Certainly some interesting timing here as well.

JONES: Yes. He was two years older than me. I just turned 82 the week before. What it really -- what it really means, the confluence of the commemoration of his 84th birthday and the President's second inaugural.

I see the power wheel(ph) between what brought Dr. King to prominence in Birmingham, Alabama, in which he sought to raise the consciousness of the nation about the end of racial segregation.

And particularly against the background of all the things that happened in Birmingham, we got to remember.

I mean, on the 15th of September, four little girls lost their lives in the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church. You had violence.

KAYE: Right.

JONES: You had Fred Shuttlesworth that was beaten so many times. So, the question that both happened in Birmingham and it's now happening tomorrow whenever the inauguration occurs.

It presents the question to the nation, are we a nation that's better than what happened to the children in Sandy Hook? Or are we a nation better than what we saw 50 years ago in Birmingham, Alabama?

So, the question is, just as someone so eloquently stated, they're killing our babies. But that was sort of the turning point.

KAYE: What do you want to hear from the President on Monday when he gives his inaugural speech?

JONES: What I --

KAYE: What you need to hear?

JONES: What I want to hear him, I want to hear him have an extension of what was, I call it, political program when he got the Biden recommendations.

Essentially, I want him to have a non-violent 'call to arms', and say to the nation that I am taking this oath of office, commemorating the 84th birthday of the American apostle of non-violence.

And I think that we as a nation can do no less to summon the better angels of ourselves to, at this time, at this place, to rededicate ourselves irrevocably to non-violent conflict resolution --

KAYE: I know that Terry --

JONES: Where violence is the choice of gun and violence is not a rational option.

KAYE: I know that --

JONES: That's the best way we can honor that extraordinary man.

KAYE: And just very quickly, the President will be taking the oath, using two Bibles on Monday --

JONES: Right.

KAYE: One of them will be Martin Luther King's travel Bible. And what does that mean to you?

JONES: Well, it's a -- I did not know that. It means that the President is a wise man. I've seen that Bible in his briefcase. I saw that Bible in Dr. King's briefcase many times.

If he's going to, if he's going to take the oath of office on that Bible, then it reinforces what I said. You can't take the oath on that Bible unless you're going to rededicate the nation to America's apostle of non-violence.

Which means that you have to elevate -- yes immigration is important, yes, all these other important, the debt ceiling is important, but at the end of the day, we have to -- you have to say to the nation, we are better than what occurred at Sandy Hook.

We are better than what occurred in --

KAYE: Yes --

JONES: Birmingham, Alabama in 1963.

KAYE: Clarence Jones, so nice to have you here.

JONES: Thank you. It's my honor.

KAYE: Thank you very much.

JONES: Thank you.

KAYE: Up next, a closer look at what the next four years may hold, the issues and the expectations as well. We'll be back from the National Mall.


KAYE: President Obama's second term officially starts this weekend. The public inauguration celebration is Monday, but this morning we're looking past the oath of office to the next four years.

The issues, the plans and the prospects. And joining me now here in Washington is CNN contributor, Maria Cardona and in New York, Amy Holmes, anchor of "Real News" on "TheBlaze".

All right, so, we asked you both to give us your top three issues for the next four years. Maria, we're going to look at yours first. One is economic growth and job creation.

Two, is dealing with the debt, and number three is immigration. So, let's go through them quickly. Give me your thoughts on those.

MARIA CARDONA, POLITICAL PUNDIT: So, I think first of all, clearly, everyone's focus is still job creation. Because this is the number one issue and it has been for a long time, for a lot of those Americans who are still out of work.

The second thing is that goes hand-in-hand with the debt and the deficit. And while Republicans love to think that Obama is not focused on the debt and deficit, doesn't want to do anything about it, that is absolutely not the case.

He has said from the very beginning that it is a big priority but that we need to do it in a balanced way so that we don't hurt those that are most vulnerable.

And the third is immigration. We've seen after this election, the Latino community, the Latino vote, it's a big reason why this President was re-elected.

He owes them that, it has been a priority for him. He's going to find a way to get it done and hopefully Republicans understand if they want a chance to getting to the White House any time in the next four years, eight years, a generation, they're going to have to do something on immigration. KAYE: All right, so, Amy, Maria's number three is your number one, which is immigration. Number two is Obamacare and number three, a mystery scandal.

So, Amy, let's talk about immigration, first, although I'm dying to get to that scandal.

AMY HOLMES, THEBLAZE TV: Good morning. It's so great to see that view behind you, I used to have a view down the Mall at my old job.

Working for the senate majority leader and when I worked for Bill Frist and George Bush was president, they tried to get immigration reform done, unfortunately that didn't happen.

Actually, with -- because of a lot of democratic pushback, they didn't want to tackle that issue. I agree with Maria that immigration is going to be very central on the President's agenda the next four years as well as the Republican agenda.

Both because it's the right thing to do, it is a pressing issue and also because of the electoral pressure that both parties have to tackle this directly.

Number two, Obamacare. We are only now seeing sort of the fallout and consequences of that legislation.

There are lawsuits all around -- dozens of lawsuits actually, against the administration on Obamacare when it comes to religious liberty.

We're seeing health care premiums are already sky rocketing. So, we have yet to really see the -- as they say, the consequences of Obamacare and I think we're going to see Republicans tackling that in the next four years.

And finally, last, mystery scandal.

KAYE: Scandals, we're waiting, we're both waiting here.

HOLMES: Well, none of us know, none of us know yet, but we do know that second terms for presidents often embroil presidents in scandal.

Ronald Reagan had Iran-Contra, President Clinton had Monica Lewinsky, an impeachment, George Bush had Scooter Libby, I'm partial to sex scandals.

I think those are a lot fine, Ken Starr's report has to be the most riveting government document ever published. Obviously, I don't, would never hope for that for our president.

I hope that nothing like that would ever consume his presidency. However, we do know that second terms are often a grab bag of Congressional investigations.

KAYE: Yes, so how much time, Maria, do you think the President is really going to have to focus on whichever issues and whatever order you want to look at them, minus the scandals, we hope? But, how much time will he have to really get anything done?

CARDONA: Not a lot, because, we're already seeing a lot of movement and talk about the 2014 mid terms and about how difficult this going to be for either Republicans to do what they need to do on immigration, for example.

Because the people in their districts don't want it. We're already seeing a lot of talk about how some of these issues will be difficult for Democrats in red states who want to keep their seats in the Senate.

So, the President needs to do this now and Republicans would be smart to do a lot of this now, so they can move on to those elections. And then, after that, we're going to be focusing on the 2016 elections, so --

KAYE: Already.

CARDONA: There's not a whole lot of time. But, I think Republicans understand this, Randi, and there's a poll that just came out where the approval rating for Republicans is completely upside down.

And so they know that if they want to fix that approval rating and prove to Americans that they do have their back, the middle class especially, that was a big focus in this election.

And the big reason why Republicans lost as well. Then they're going to want to work with this President to get something done.

KAYE: Very quickly, Amy, your final thought. Just 20 seconds.

HOLMES: Final thought that, you know, I love the American democratic process. We had an election, we have a president. We have leaders who work every day in that building behind you.

And I think Monday is a day of celebration for our country.

KAYE: Well said. Amy Holmes, Maria Cardona, thank you very much.

HOLMES: Thank you so much.

CARDONA: Thank you.

KAYE: Next hour, President Obama is kicking off his second term by demanding action on guns, but will Congress listen? We'll have that and much more from our special live coverage of the 57th presidential inauguration.


BLACKWELL: Let's take a look at some of the other stories in the news. The flu has killed nine more children in the past week, that makes now 29 pediatric deaths this season.

The number of elderly people hospitalized with flu-like illnesses also has spiked. That's according to the Centers for Disease Control. Thirty states now report high levels of the flu.

It's increasing because that's six more than last week and for the first time, California is on the list. We could see some big crowds at gun stores today.

Gun rights advocates and some conservative groups are calling today gun appreciation day. They're urging people to show up at gun stores and gun ranges all across the country to show their support for owning guns.

They're upset about President Obama's efforts to boost gun control measures after last month's shooting at Sandy Hook. Let's go back to Randi now in Washington.

KAYE: And I have good news, Victor, things are warming up here on the Mall. That's the good news, probably about 40, almost 50 degrees maybe out here.

It's going to be a lovely day here in Washington and all over the U.S., as you mention, it's the national day of service.

And in our next hour, we are going to tag along, actually, with Vice President Joe Biden and his wife, Jill Biden, as they attend today's events.

Well, I'll see you back here in 30 minutes. "YOUR BOTTOM LINE" starts right now.