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Frigid Cold Slaps Eastern Half of U.S.; GOP the Stupid Party?; Matt Damon Lampoons "Jimmy Kimmel Show"; Manti Te'o Speaks Out About Hoax

Aired January 25, 2013 - 09:00   ET


SOLEDAD O'BRIEN, CNN ANCHOR: And also, remember the Darth Vader Volkswagen ad? Sneak peek at the ads for this year's Super Bowl.

"CNN NEWSROOM" with Carol Costello begins right now.

Hey, Carol. Good morning.


Happening now in the NEWSROOM, the elephant in the room. Conservatives in Charlotte with a sweeping message of change.


GOV. BOBBY JINDAL (R), LOUISIANA: We've got to stop being the stupid party. We must quit big. We are not the party of big business, big banks, big Wall Street bailouts, big corporate loopholes or big anything.


COSTELLO: Governor Bobby Jindal and the importance of messaging.

An historic moment. The first U.S. president to support same-sex marriage in his inaugural address. This morning the head of the Gay and Lesbian Task Force is here to talk Obama, Defense of Marriage Act and gays in the workplace.

Plus this.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hey, babe, I'm just calling to say good night, I love you.


COSTELLO: The voice. Hear the late-night voicemails that landed Manti Te'o in Katie Couric's chair and the question that has everyone talking this morning.


KATIE COURIC, ABC NEWS: Are you gay? MANTI TE'O, NOTRE DAME LINEBACKER: No, far from it, far from that.


COSTELLO: The hoax, the dead girlfriend, and the interview you got to see. Plus this.


KATHLEEN TURNER, ACTOR, WAR OF THE ROSES: When I watch you eat, when I look at you lately, I just want to smash your face in.



COSTELLO: You know her from "War of the Roses", "Body Heat" or "Romancing the Stone", this morning, Kathleen Turner sits down and talks not about her films but about guns.

NEWSROOM starts now.

Good morning to you. Happy Friday. I'm Carol Costello. We start with an arctic blast, plunging south, bringing with it ice, snow, and varying degrees of misery to millions. This morning many are waking up to plunging temperatures and the hard bite of winter.

Fountains in much of the eastern United States frozen this morning and here's why. The 20s reaching as far south as South Carolina and Georgia, for many an abrupt end to what has been so far pretty darned mild winter.

CNN meteorologist Jennifer Delgado is in Nashville where shivering southerners are also bracing for the threat of ice. And Alexandra Steele is in the Weather Center with the big picture.

But, Jennifer, let's start with you. Good morning.

JENNIFER DELGADO, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Good morning, Carol. You said mild winter but right now it certainly -- it doesn't feel so mild. We are dealing with the cold rain in Nashville and we've only had one report of really any ice accumulation, roughly about one-tenth and that was in the county that we're in right now in Nashville.

Right now we are live and reporting from the Tennessee Department of Transportation. You can still see a lot of action under way. They're trying to get more salt on the road because those overpasses and elevated roadways, of course, could still freeze over. Now this shouldn't come as a surprise after such a wild weather week.


DELGADO (voice-over): Frigid temperatures and record-breaking wind chills continue to plague much of the country.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's terrible. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's freezing cold.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's freezing out here, man.

DELGADO: And now freezing rain and ice in Tennessee. Crews armed with salt trucks are at the ready.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We have 32 counties here in the middle Tennessee area that FIAT will be keeping an eye on. We will have enough people here to make sure that the roads are ready for rush hour in the morning.

DELGADO: Relentless freezing rain in Salt Lake City forced all of the runways at the city's international airport to close Thursday. Some parts of the Great lakes picked up between two and three feet of lake- effect snow this week, which led to this pile-up in Ohio.

In New Hampshire, brutal sub-zero wind chills continue to plummet, precautions under way at Pat's Peak Sky Area to help keep workers and patrons safe.

JONI AUBIN, PAT'S PEAK: We give them hand warmers and foot warmers, we rotate them out a little more frequently and we do allow them to come into their huts for -- that are warmed up for breaks.

DELGADO: And in the Midwest a stubborn warehouse fire that started on Tuesday night rekindled again in Bridgeport, Illinois, leaving the structure looking like, well, a massive igloo.

It's actually so cold in Minnesota pipes froze, leading to this ice rink melting.

SCOTT RIOPELLE, CROOKSTON SPORTS ARENA: Everything runs through a condenser outside and that started slushing up on us so we couldn't get rid of the heat to keep cooling.


DELGADO: And, Carol, as I said earlier, it's 3 degrees right now in Nashville so it's a little too warm for any freezing rain out there but certainly people still need to be cautious out there, and you know what, earlier I didn't have these gloves on. They call them the candy cane or candy striper gloves, it's jut so cold, Carol. Anything to help and luckily my producer gave them to me. I don't have gloves, I don't have hats, I don't have anything like that.


COSTELLO: That's because you're a southerner, you got to learn. You know that guy behind you --


COSTELLO: -- that's digging the salt he was doing doughnuts behind your live shot earlier.


DELGADO: We had doughnuts, too, Carol. They -- they treated us pretty good here.


COSTELLO: I didn't mean that kind of doughnut, but Jennifer, thank you.

Now let's answer the big question. How is this belated arrival of winter going to impact you? So let's check in with meteorologist Alexandra Steele.

Good morning.


Carol, the doughnuts you're talking about, those really won't be done in Nashville but really the ice bull's eye where they could be doing doughnuts on the roads because of the ice is east of that, east of Tennessee and east of Kentucky. That is the bull's eye between about a quarter and a half an inch of ice.

So here's the big picture. Not a lot of moisture. Arctic air, check. It's in place. There's not a lot of moisture. You can see here's the snow, Chicago hasn't seen an inch of snow since last February 24th, around Chicago picking up about three-quarters of an inch. We'll have to see if we have it at O'Hare, at the airport where the official -- inch could be taken.

This is all pushing eastward, Chicago is a done deal, it is light in nature. But again here in Kentucky and Tennessee what you're going to see here, these are all the ice reports that are just beginning to come in.

Let me show you one, and again it's eastern Kentucky and Tennessee and this is kind of indicative of what we're seeing. Ice accumulation about a tenth of an inch, but the description by county reports on I- 26 ice covered and a tractor trailer in the ditch. So even with a tenth of an inch of ice certainly it is problematic on the roads.

And so these are the ice reports we're seeing. Here is the timeline of it, Carol. We're going to watch this move by this afternoon, ice moves toward Asheville where they will see some ice, and believe it or not, it will be a quick-hitting snowmaker in Washington, D.C., by about 5:00 to 10:00 tonight, one to two inches.

Carol, in New York City, maybe about a one-inch snow, quick hitter it is just today but trouble wise here is where that ice storm warning is, in eastern Kentucky and Tennessee through tonight at 6:00.

COSTELLO: All right. We'll consider ourselves warned. Alexandra, thanks.

"We've got to stop being the stupid party," strong words from one of the young stars of the GOP. Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal is calling out his colleagues saying they have to stop insulting the intelligence of voters.


JINDAL: We've got to stop being the stupid party. And I'm serious, it's time for a new Republican Party that talks like adults. It's time for us to articulate our plans and our visions for America in real terms.

It's no secret we had a number of Republicans that damaged the brand this year with offensive and bizarre comments. I'm here to say we've had enough of that. We must quit big. We are not the party of big business, big banks, big Wall Street bailouts, big corporate loopholes or big anything.

We must not be the party that simply protects the well-offs so they can keep their toys. We've got to be the party that shows all Americans how they can thrive. We're the party whose ideals will help the middle class and help more folks join the middle class.


COSTELLO: CNN political director Mark Preston is in Charlotte. He attended the RNC's Winter Meeting, and Anna Navarro is a Republican strategist and CNN contributor, who's counseled Republicans on minority outreach.

But I want to start with you, Mark. Jindal calls Republicans stupid, says they've lost their compass of conservatism, and don't much like minorities or at least they don't show minorities they like them.

If I'm a Republican I might say hey, Governor Jindal, who made you Mr. Reformer?

MARK PRESTON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL DIRECTOR: And, Carol, if you're a conservative you might say to Bobby Jindal, you're absolutely right in your comments. Now that speech given last night here at the Republican National Committee Winter Meeting in many ways might have been a call to arms for conservatives to fight back against the big government in Washington.

At the same time as we heard Bobby Jindal say just a few seconds ago, Republicans need to be smarter in what they say and in their rhetoric, having candidates out there talking about legitimate rape, offensive comments like that, also its harsh rhetoric on immigration is not going to help the Republican Party certainly as we move forward and as we head into the 2016 presidential race, Bobby Jindal might actually be looking to run -- Carol.

COSTELLO: It sure sounds that way, doesn't it? Jindal also talked about minority outreach. Let's listen to that.


JINDAL: We must reject identity politics. Now there's this old notion that ours should be a color blind society. It is the right one. And we should pursue that idea with vigor. Identity politics is corrosive to the great American melting pot and we must reject it. We must reject the notion that demography is destiny. The pathetic and simplistic notion that skin pigmentation dictates voter behavior.

We must treat all, all people as individuals rather than members of special interest groups.


COSTELLO: Anna, you've worked with Republicans on minority outreach. Jindal also said Republicans have to convince minorities they like them. Ouch.

ANA NAVARRO, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: And he knows from where he speaks, Carol. Look at him. He's a minority himself and I can tell you that anybody that is a minority right now in the Republican Party, whether it's Bobby Jindal, whether it's somebody like me, whether it's a voter, it is hard. It has been very painful to hear some of this harsh rhetoric and Bobby Jindal is doing exactly the right thing. He's got every right to do it.

He's the chair of the Republican Governors Association, he's an elected Republican leader, he's a minority who has felt this in his own skin and he has got the responsibility and the duty to tell other Republicans we've got to shift course here. We've got to change the tone. We've got to change the message. We've got to change the way we talk. We cannot continue saying stupid things that antagonize whole blocks of voters.

We can't continue talking about rape, we can't continue saying hostile things towards immigrants.

COSTELLO: There seems to be, well, there is a split in the Republican Party right now, so how many do you think, Ana, are on Jindal's side and how many are on the other?

NAVARRO: I think there's a lot more on Jindal's side. I think there's a lot more on the rational right side than meets the eye. What happens, Carol, is that there's really a handful of folks who say crazy things, who say offensive things, and the media narrative is that that is what defines the brand. But that's not true. I was just at the Republican retreat -- House retreat and I was -- I felt very comforted at the amount of very good, decent public servants that are there to do the right thing for the voters and the right thing for the party and the country, and that are worried about the party branding and growing the party.

Now I get it, listen, you can say something crazy in Sioux City, Iowa, and you're still going to get elected, if you say something offensive toward Hispanics. But I'm telling you these people are hearing from their colleagues that it's hurting them and that it's hurting the party in general, it's hurting the Republican brand.

COSTELLO: Ana Navarro, Mark Preston, thanks so much.

One of the NFL's most outspoken players wants to use the sports' biggest gang to push two very social agendas. Brendan Ayanbadejo is working with a marriage equality advocate to figure out how to harness the further surrounding the Super Bowl to further the causes of same- sex marriage and anti-bullying.

Ayanbadejo is a linebacker for the Baltimore Ravens. And the AFC representative in the gang. But this is not the first time he's trekked into this social arena. He's been a staunch supporter of gay rights for years.


BRENDAN AYANBADEJO, RAVENS LINEBACKER: For me personally, I just see it as a human rights issue. It's not gay rights. It's just equal rights. It's just human rights, and whether it's suffrage or, you know, go back to slavery or segregation, gay rights, it's all the same thing to me. I've gotten a lot of scrutiny. I'm officially known as the ambassador, the gay ambassador.


COSTELLO: In the Ravens locker room that's what he's talking about.

In September, a Maryland state representative called out Ayanbadejo for his support and of same-sex marriage. And one of the team the team's owner to stop him from commenting on such issues. The team refused.

Imagine you're the parents of both Super Bowl head coaches. Who do you root for? Jack and Jackie Harbaugh have that problem right now. Older son John coaches the Baltimore Ravens while younger son Jim coaches the San Francisco 49ers, and when their parents spoke to the media, it was John who had fun with it.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Our next question comes from John from Baltimore. Your line is open.

JOHN, CALLER: Yes, question from Baltimore, is it true that both of you liked Jim better than John?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I do not. John Harbaugh.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That John Harbaugh?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Or was there a John?



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey, mom -- mom was ready to come right through this phone. I'm so happy that Joanie recognized your voice. (LAUGHTER)


COSTELLO: He pranked his parents during a radio broadcast. During the conference championships the Harbaugh parents watch the games alone in their Wisconsin home.

Another prank everyone is talking about is the takeover of the "Jimmy Kimmel Show" by Matt Damon. Now if you don't know the joke Matt Damon has been invited to be a guest on Kimmel's show many, many times and each time he's been bumped because Kimmel ran out of time. But Damon has proved that revenge is indeed sweet.


JIMMY KIMMEL, HOST, JIMMY KIMMEL SHOW: Sincere apologies to Matt Damon, we ran out of time for him tonight. We'll get him on the air again soon.

Matt Damon, apologies, we ran out of time. Apologies to Matt Damon we ran out of time. I want to apologize to Matt Damon. We ran out of time for him. Matt Damon. Matt Damon. The extremely over-rated Matt Damon. We ran out of time.

DAMON: We ran out of time. We rant out of time. We ran out of time. It's pretty funny and it's pretty funny.


Look at him over there. Look at Jimmy over there with the gag in his mouth. You've never been funnier, my friend.

Now I am going to be making a few changes tonight. Please welcome legendary actor, Andy Garcia.


Are you prepared to be my faithful sidekick?

ANDY GARCIA, ACTOR: See, I brought my taser.

DAMON: What do you -- come on, man.


DAMON: Come on.

AFFLECK: Forget it, Matt, I couldn't do it to Jimmy.

DAMON: So you've never done this show. You've never done it --


DAMON: Why not?

KIDMAN: He's just, he's not classy.

DAMON: Unlike Nicole, you've had the burden of being on this show, you know with you know who hosting a couple of times.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I have no recollection of that.

DAMON: Do you want to be on "Jimmy Kimmel Live"?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't know, is like Jimmy in there?

DAMON: No, no, no, Jimmy's not hosting it. I am.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, yes. Well, yes, of course. Of course, yes.

DAMON: Jimmy, is there anything you want to say before we wrap things up? Wait, I'm sorry, we're out of time. Good night, everybody.


CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: Oh, it just makes me love Matt Damon even more. We thought you needed to laugh this Friday and you got to admit that was funny.

The American Chicken Council responds to reports of an impending chicken wing shortage for the Super Bowl. Will fans be singing the blues in buffalo and around the nation?


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

The former mayor of Detroit is going back to jail. Kwame Kilpatrick is serving three days after being accused of 14 parole violations. Kilpatrick who's on parole after a conviction for obstruction of justice is currently on trial for public corruption.

A sheriff's deputy in Florida is recovering after he was dragged by a moving car. The driver was a shoplifting suspect. The whole thing caught on dash cam. Affiliate WKMG reports the deputy was treated for a head injury and then he went right back to work. The suspect is being held in jail without bond.

Mark Zuckerberg apparently likes New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. The Facebook founder is planning to host a fund-raiser for the Republican rising star. Silicon Valley is typically known for leaning left but Zuckerberg and his wife reportedly like the Christie's position on education.

In money news this morning, banks are chopping branches by the thousands. Overall, almost 2,300 branches closed last year, only 1,200 opened. That's the highest net loss since 2005. The cuts designed to save money, banks are encouraging customers to shift to online and mobile banking.

Note to Chicken Little: the sky is not falling. There will not be a chicken shortage for the Super Bowl. In fact, the American Chicken Council says there is poultry a-plenty to provide for the 1.2 billion chicken wing portions that Americans will eat next weekend. The group is trying to walk back reports that wings might fly off the shelves before the big game, but I would still get to the grocery store a little early.

Manti Te'o admits he was not forthcoming but he says he never lied. The Notre Dame linebacker told Katie Couric he was the victim of an online hoax, duped about a girlfriend who never existed but who actually spoke to him over the phone.

And for evidence, Te'o brought voicemails to the Katie show.



LENNAY KEKUA, ALLEGED FICTIONAL GIRLFRIEND: Hi, I'm just letting you know I got here and I'm getting ready for my first session and I just want to call to keep you posted. I miss you. I love you. Bye.


MANTI TE'O, NOTRE DAME LINEBACKER: Doesn't that sound like a girl?


TE'O: Sounds like a girl, doesn't it? Yes.

COURIC: Here's an emotional one she left accusing you, she was angry at you. She's accusing you of having someone else in your room. Let's listen to that.


KEKUA: I don't know who answered your phone and I don't care. I swear on my life I'm trying -- you made it clear what you want. Take care.



COSTELLO: CNN's George Howell has been following the story and those voice mail messages might have actually been left by a guy. This is -- I mean, this is creepy.

GEORGE HOWELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's got a lot of people scratching their heads, yes?

COSTELLO: Yes, more than once.

HOWELL: But you have to look at it like this. There are all of these different elements. There were the pictures. There's the online identity, there's the voice that we heard -- everything that it took to create this fake girlfriend that Te'o said he really believed to be real, even after, Carol, she died, died of cancer and then came back to life.

So, you know, he says that he didn't realize that he'd been duped until he got a call from a person that he met very briefly, a Ronaiah Tuiasosopo, this is a person he met very briefly. But Tuiasosopo apparently admitted to be part of the hoax. Now, we've not heard anything from Tuiasosopo, a public statement admitting any connection to this.

But listen to this again, there was one exchange after hearing one of these voice mails that Katie Couric, a point she made. Let's listen.



LENNAY: But I just wanted to say I love you and good night, and I'll be OK tonight. I'll do my best. Yes, so get your rest and I'll talk to you tomorrow. I love you so much, hun. Sweet dreams.


COURIC: You have no idea who the voice on the other end of the phone was, for all those months.

TE'O: Yes.

COURIC: Do you think Ronaiah could have been playing the role of Lennay? Do you think that might have been a man on the other end of the phone?

TE'O: Well, it didn't sound like a man, it sounded, sounded like a woman. But if he somehow made that voice, that's incredible. That's incredible talent.


HOWELL: So, Carol, that's your question. That's your point. You know, was that a man, was that Ronaiah Tuiasosopo? I don't know.

COSTELLO: What was the takeaway from the interview? It got emotional at times, and Te'o's parents were there. They cried. And when you look at his face, you realize how young he really is.

HOWELL: You know, it's one of those things where, was this the sort of thing where he wanted to believe something so badly that he would believe anything, because -- there were signs he admitted, Carol, there were signs, first of all, when he would try to see his girlfriend, she wouldn't be available. When they would try to Facetime she could see him, but he couldn't see her. So there were definitely signs throughout the course of this thing that would have led a person to believe, hey, what's going on here.

But, you know, he says he believed that was a real legitimate person, his girlfriend.

COSTELLO: So does the story end now? Is it over? I mean, he'll go to the draft and some NFL people will pick him up.

HOWELL: Lots of people will be talking about the story. So, you know, how that affects him in the draft, we will soon see.

COSTELLO: Yes, we will. George Howell, thank you very much.


COSTELLO: Super Bowl and politics. One Baltimore Raven wants to use the media frenzy surrounding the Super Bowl to send a message about gay rights and bullying? Should the Super Bowl be politicized, though? It's our talk back question today.


COSTELLO: Now is your chance to talk back on one of the stories for the day. The question for you this morning: should the Super Bowl be politicized?

The Super Bowl, it's one of the few events that capture the nation's undivided attention. Last year, some 111 million people watched, that's roughly a third of the population.

One of this year's Super Bowl players, Brendan Ayanbadejo of the Baltimore Ravens wants to seize the media frenzy to push for gay equality, an issue he's been passionate about for years.


BRANDON AYANBADEJO, BALTIMORE RAVENS: For me, personally, I just see it as a human rights issue. It's not gay rights. It's equal rights. It's just human rights. And, whether it's suffrage or, you know, go back to slavery or segregation, gay rights, it's all the same thing to me. I've gotten a lot of scrutiny. I'm officially known as the ambassador, the gay ambassador.


COSTELLO: Yes, on Ravens team. Ayanbadeyo told "The New York Times'" Frank Bruni if the Ravens win the Super Bowl, his dream is not to go to Disney World but to, quote, "go on Ellen."

Here's what he said, "That's my ultimate goal after the Super Bowl, to go on Ellen's show, to be dancing with her, to bust a move with her," end quote.

This isn't the first time the Super Bowl has been used as a political platform. Three years ago, football star Tim Tebow and his mom appeared in an anti-abortion ad during the Super Bowl.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I call him my miracle baby. He almost didn't make it into this world. I can remember so many times when I almost lost him. It was so hard.

Well, he's all grown up now and I still worry about his health. You know with all our family's been through, you have to be tough.

Timmy, I'm trying to tell our story here.

TIM TEBOW, NFL STAR: Sorry about that, mom.


COSTELLO: There are surely those who will say can't we kick back and watch the game, take a three-hour break from things like politics, religion and the culture wars? And let the biggest controversy about Super Bowl be something simple, like whether Beyonce is lip syncing during the halftime show.

Talkback question for you today: should the super bowl be politicized?,, or tweet me @carolCNN.