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Senators Unveil Bipartisan Immigration Deal; Clinton, Obama Trade Praise; Ice Creates Difficult Driving Conditions; New "Checkout Fees"; Woods Up Six Strokes at Torrey Pines

Aired January 28, 2013 - 09:30   ET



CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning. Thank you so much for being with us.

Stories we're watching right now in THE NEWSROOM at 30 minutes past the hour:

Opening bell on Wall Street, futures up this morning as investors saw better than expected earnings from manufacturing giant Caterpillar. Ringing the opening bell this morning, distinguished representatives from Peru in honor of the third annual Peru Day. Now you know.

There are new developments this morning in that horrifying nightclub fire in Brazil. We've now learned police have arrested one of the club's owners and two members of the band that were using fireworks in their show. More than 230 people died in the inferno, nearly half of them college students from a nearby campus.

One day before President Obama kicks off his push for immigration reform in Las Vegas, a group of Democratic and Republican senators, including Marco Rubio, are unveiling their own. The bipartisan plan offers a path to residency, even citizenship, for millions of immigrants who are in the United States illegally. It also calls for an employment verification system that prevents identity theft and would add hiring of unauthorized workers in the future.

For the past four years, President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have shared the world stage and a few laughs, but laughs were few and far between when both were running for president.


THEN-SENATOR BARACK OBAMA (D), ILLINOIS: While I was working on those streets, you were a corporate lawyer sitting on the board of Walmart.

THEN-SENATOR HILLARY CLINTON (D), NEW YORK: You were practicing law and representing your contributors Rezko in his slum landlord business in inner city Chicago.


COSTELLO: Ouch, ouch, ouch. What a difference an election makes. President Obama, of course, he won the nomination. Clinton won his confidence. And now the president has nothing but praise for the woman who could someday succeed him in the Oval Office.


OBAMA: I consider Hillary a strong friend.

CLINTON: I mean, very warm, close.

OBAMA: Hillary will go down as one of the finest secretary of states we've had.

CLINTON: This has been just an extraordinary opportunity to work with him as a partner and friend.

OBAMA: It has been a great collaboration over the last four years. I'm going to miss her.


COSTELLO: OK. So what do we make of this?

Brianna Keilar is at the White House. Are they frenemies, or are they really truly friends?

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: I don't know, Carol. It looked like a love fest to me as well, but at one point I was watching, I was fascinated as Secretary Clinton was talking. She sort of reached over, and I thought that she touched President Obama on the wrist the way you might casually do with a friend.

So I don't think that they're frenemies. It seems they had genuine affection for each other as they talked about politics, as they talked about their rivalry, yes, and also 2016.


OBAMA: I consider Hillary a strong friend.

CLINTON: I mean, very warm, close -- I think there's a sense of understanding that, you know, sometimes it doesn't take words because we have similar views.

KEILAR (voice-over): Rewind five years to their bruising primary battle.

OBAMA: You're likable enough, Hillary.

CLINTON: Thank you.

I'm here. He's not.

OBAMA: Well, I can't tell who I'm running against sometimes.

STEVE KROFT, CBS NEWS: How long did it take you to get over that? OBAMA: It didn't take us long as I think people will perceive it.

KEILAR: It took longer for their staffs, not to mention --

CLINTON: I think spouses take it much harder. You know, in a way --

OBAMA: Yes, no doubt.

KEILAR: 2016 came up. The president laughed off a question about endorsing Clinton.

OBAMA: I was literally inaugurated --


OBAMA: -- four days ago.


OBAMA: And you're talking about elections four years from now.

KEILAR: And the secretary sidestepped.

CLINTON: And I don't think, you know, either he or I can make predictions about what's going to happen tomorrow or the next year.

KEILAR: Clinton, who recently suffered a concussion and blood clot and has been wearing glasses for double vision, answered a question about her health.

CLINTON: Oh, it's great. It's great. Now, you know, I have some lingering effects from falling on my head and having the blood clot. But, you know, the doctors tell me that it will all recede. So, thankfully, I'm looking forward to being at full speed.


KEILAR: And we got another close look, Carol, at the president this weekend. He did an interview with "The New Republic." He was asked about gun violence. He was asked if he ever shot a gun, he said yes. In fact, at Camp David with guests, he goes skeet shooting all the time. Although he mentioned his daughters don't participate in that.

He was also asked about football, a topic that I know all the parents talk about because of the repetitive concussion that have caused lasting medical conditions. And he said he'd have to think long and hard, if he had a son, about letting him play football -- Carol.

COSTELLO: Interesting. Brianna Keilar reporting live for us at the White House.

We're going to talk more about the president's and Hillary Clinton's joint appearance on "60 Minutes."

L.Z. Granderson is a CNN contributor and an ESPN analyst.

And Will Cain is a CNN contributor. He also contributes to

Welcome, gentlemen.



COSTELLO: Good morning.

So, I'm wondering, it's so unusual, two high powered Democrats appearing on television together talking about stuff. I mean, what was it about really, do you think, L.Z.?

GRANDERSON: It was a campaign ad essentially, you know? And perhaps of it a not-so-subtle message to Joe Biden, his V.P., that perhaps he shouldn't run because it is a primary that features both Clinton and yourself, my vote, my endorsement, my direction for the country will be to vote for Hillary Clinton, not you.

I saw both those things in the interview. I didn't see very much policy talk. It was a love fest. I just think it was important that the last thing on tape of those two next to each other wasn't the debates that we saw earlier, but actually this love fest.

COSTELLO: Well, speaking of love fests -- and, Will Cain, I'm sure you'll agree with me. During the Benghazi hearings, Democrat after Democrat after Democrat expressed their love for Hillary Clinton. So, is this sort of a well thought-out plan on the Democratic side to prepare the way for 2016?

CAIN: Well, L.Z.'s certainly suggesting, that, and I think it's hard to rebut that, that end message people are gleaning from this.

First, though, look, it's interesting you bring up Benghazi, because there's really no loser, there's no risk in this interview, right? President Obama and Hillary Clinton would do this because it reflects well on both of them. They're both negotiating. They're standing on a position of a lot of goodwill.

President Obama just won an election, had just -- had a rosy inauguration. Hillary Clinton, as you said, is revered by every Democrat. It's kind of like a lollapalooza of politics. It elevates them both.

That being said, I will take President Obama at some level of face value that he is thanking Hillary Clinton. She's not just any secretary of state. She's high profile.

But I got to say, I mean, yes, there's probably some four-letter words being uttered from Joe Biden's residence last night.

COSTELLO: Maybe so.


COSTELLO: Let's talk about Hillary Clinton's tenure as secretary of state. Steve Kroft from "60 Minutes", he pressed Hillary Clinton about her tenure, and she wasn't able to point out any huge, giant policy changes, L.Z.

GRANDERSON: No. But you know what, to be quite honest, I really can't think of any policy change that's come from a secretary of state in the last few. I don't think it's as high profile of a position to the American people as it is to those within this junket of politics and those who cover it.

So it is difficult to really pinpoint one significant thing she has done or her predecessors. With that being said, though, I will give her credit for an amazing speech that she delivered equating, you know, the rights of lesbian, gay, transgender people with human rights. When she delivered that speech, it went viral, and she was given heaps and heaps of praise from people in her base.

So, if there's anything, at least in the past year, besides Benghazi and the concussion, that people can remember, I think it was that speech.

COSTELLO: Well, oddly, that was not mentioned on FOX News when Brit Hume did his piece on Hillary Clinton. He said Clinton did what she said supposed to do but didn't go above and beyond.

He said, quote, "She has certainly been industrious. She has visited 112 countries. Her conduct as secretary of state has been highly dignified. She does her homework. There have been no gaffes or blunders. So I think she has been a capable and hard working secretary of state, but I think the case for her being a great secretary of state is exceedingly weak."

Is that fair, Will?

CAIN: I think it's fair. But history will judge those things over the long term. That's a fair assessment. She is -- those adjectives that Brit Hume chose were very good. Look -- dignified, industrious.

The main thing people can tell you about when asked about Hillary Clinton's stewardship as secretary of state, is how much she's traveled, right? I mean, the average American might be able to say, yes, she's visited "x" amount of countries, she's been constantly on an airplane, she's worked hard.

But as you just asked L.Z., what has that amounted to any kind of shift in direction or policy difference in secretary of state? I don't know that we can put our finger on anything.

COSTELLO: L.Z. Granderson, Will Cain -- thanks for the interesting discussion as always.

CAIN: Thanks.

GRANDERSON: Thank you.

COSTELLO: Thanks. Think twice before paying with plastic. Stores were 40 states now charging you a so-called checkout fee. We'll tell you where and how much it might cost you.


COSTELLO: Forty-three minutes past the hour. Time to check our top stories.

One day before President Obama kicks off his push for immigration reform in Las Vegas, a group of Democratic and Republican senators, including Marco Rubio, are unveiling theirs. The bipartisan plan offers a path to residency, even citizenship for millions of immigrants who are in United States illegally. It also calls for an employment verification system that prevents identity theft and would end the hiring of unauthorized workers in the future.

A Michigan state trooper has said he cannot believe anyone survived a two-car crash that left a front half of one car on the side of the road. The other half the car was found in the woods. Troopers are investigating the cause of the crash but they say, miraculously, no one was seriously hurt.

In Australia, a dramatic rescue when raging floodwater trapped a young child and two women inside their truck. To protect the child, the two women stuffed the child inside a duffel bag that rescuers then airlifted to a chopper. The women then followed.

Australia has been hammered in the last few days with rains and wind from cyclone Oswald. Reports say at least three people have died.

Icy conditions around Minneapolis continue to cause oh a lot of problems for drivers. Take a look at that. If that's not bad enough, drivers also had to deal with patchy fog. More snow moves in today, and then bitter, bitter cold.

Jennifer Delgado is in the weather center. We're talking 40 degrees below normal.

JENNIFER DELGADO, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Yes. By the end of the week temperatures once again are going to dip below average. In some parts we're talking minus the teens. We'll get to that in just a moment. We're going to show you what's happening right now on the radar. Notice you can still see, still dealing with some rain as well as some freezing rain moving through parts of Pennsylvania as well into New York.

But the temperatures have been slowly rising and that's good news because in most areas those temperatures are going to be above freezing by late this morning. And you can see for New York as well as into Philadelphia and down to areas, including Norfolk, the warm air is winning out and really changing all that precipitation over to rain.

But of course, when you're talking about a warm up, when you're in the middle of winter, we're going to see a clash of two air masses. Now notice for today, for Dallas, a high of 75. For Washington, D.C., 43. Well, good things are happening. We're going to warm up. We're going to say good-bye to that chill just only temporarily.

As we go through Tuesday, 56 for Washington. And then Kansas City, 56. Well, notice, when that cold air comes through, we're going to see the potential for severe storms to set up. By Wednesday, a high of only minus eight degrees for Bismarck and we're talking even colder than that in some locations by Thursday. But on a serious note, for tomorrow, we're going to be looking at a line of storms developing, as it moves over towards the east. Tuesday into Wednesday. We are going to look at a chance for some of these storms to produce isolated tornadoes along with damaging winds.

Certainly, this is going to be an interesting feature to watch, and then the other cool down comes. Carol, just when you thought you were warming up, it comes right back and gets you.

COSTELLO: It does.

Jennifer Delgado, many thanks.

A checkout fee to use your credit card, how much is it, and why do we have to pay it? Alison Kosik has all the answers for you.


COSTELLO: "ID please" is not just for police officers anymore. Today Facebook and Instagram will be asking for ID as well. Users who've been abruptly locked out of their accounts are being asked to identify themselves by uploading images of their drivers' licenses. Many users thought it was a scam, but CNN reports the requests are legitimate.

Of course, there's little comfort to some users who are very worried about identity theft.

It's called a checkout fee. And it means that if you pay with plastic and almost every state in America you're going to get hit with it. Alison Kosik is at the New York Stock Exchange. So what is this and how much is it?

ALISON KOSIK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Ok let me start from the beginning with this, Carol. This -- it actually stems from a $7 billion settlement that happened over the summer between the people who issue the credit cards and millions of retailers. And in this settlement, it basically settled allegations that Visa, Master Card and some big banks were fixing what's known as "swipe fees". And that's the fee that businesses pay credit card issuers to process those transactions.

So with this settlement credit card companies said, listen, we'll temporarily reduce the fees but the fact remains that someone still needs to pay it. And hey, it could be you. Because merchants are now legally permitted to pass along that cost to consumers and it winds up usually be about 1.5 percent to three percent of your total purchase. Now they will be able -- you will be able to so it on your receipt as a line item if you are charged that fee. But here's the thing with this. Most businesses -- they don't want to push this on to the consumer. They recognize how sensitive we are to these types of changes and they could risk losing shoppers in an already competitive environment. But if they don't charge it, Carol, stores have to absorb it themselves and that cuts into profit margins, especially if you're a mom and pop place -- Carol.

COSTELLO: Well ok. So it's somehow indicated on your sales receipt, right?

KOSIK: Right, exactly.

COSTELLO: But a lot of people don't check that. So if the stores choose to charge this fee, do they have to tell you by law? I mean fact to face tell you.

KOSIK: Yes well, that's the thing. They do have to tell you. So what they have to do, they must post the sign telling you that they're going to ahead and add a surcharge when you use your credit card to make a purchase. But they don't have to tell you exactly how much it is until the sale is already made.

Now, keep in mind, though, this isn't legal everywhere. Actually ten states in the U.S., they don't allow the surcharges. We're going to throw up a screen here to show you -- they include states like California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida and others. There is one way to get around this though. You can use your debit card because processing fees don't apply there.

Now the good news is experts don't expect these surcharges to catch on. Because I even heard it in your voice, Carol, it would cause too much outrage, can you imagine? I'm not paying that three percent. No way.

COSTELLO: I would be one of the loudest voices, frankly.

KOSIK: I know you would.

COSTELLO: Alison -- I know. Alison Kosik, thanks so much.

More evidence Tiger Woods owns Torrey Pines. He holds a huge lead with just 11 holes to play.


COSTELLO: Tiger Woods is running away with the Farmers Insurance Open. Tiger leads the fog-delayed tournament at Torrey Pines in California by six, count them, six strokes and he has just 11 holes to play later today. The other golfers chasing Tiger has this gaudy stat pulling against him. Tiger is 38-2 with lead going into the final round. And Tiger has won seven times at Torrey Pines.

Could Tiger's success at this tournament be a sign he is on his way back to the top of the golf world? Well as they in cliche land "time will tell". The Boston Celtics are hoping to break a losing streak playing the Miami Heat yesterday. They won the game but suffered a loss anyway. Team star point guard Rajon Rondo out for the season after suffering a torn ACL. Rondo actually injured it in a game on Friday night. The team doctor sent him to the hospital for tests just before Sunday's game. Some of Rondo's teammates did not learn about the severity of the injury until long after fans found out about it on the Internet.

A scary crash at the X Games sent spectators scrambling. Jackson Strong tried to do a midair flip on a snowmobile. Oh, but he -- he couldn't quite grab it. The snowmobile took off towards fans, breaking through a barrier. ESPN reported one fan had to be taken off on a stretcher but was later released to his father. Luckily he sustained only minor injuries. Wow.

That's a look at sports this hour. The next hour of CNN NEWSROOM after a short break.