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Skier Lindsey Vonn Airlifted After Crash; Reinventing the Republicans; Governor Chris Christie Takes on Letterman; Dow Back Over 14,000; Trekkies Get Ready

Aired February 5, 2013 - 10:30   ET



CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: And good morning. I'm Carol Costello. Thank you so much for joining us.

And we have a bit more to tell you about on our breaking news of the morning about Lindsey Vonn, the best Olympic skier, the best skier, really, in the world. We are learning she has been air lifted to a hospital after a serious crash, she was competing in world championships in Austria.

There are no immediate details on her condition, but we do know she was air lifted to the hospital and German media is reporting that she suffered a knee or a shin injury.

CNN's Don Riddell is here to tell us any more, you know, information that you might have.

DON RIDDELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, we don't know too much at the moment. I mean, I have watched the video of the crash, which hopefully we can bring to our viewers shortly. It did not look good at all. She was competing in the world championships, as you've just said. She landed very awkwardly after a jump and almost immediately her ski came off and she went flying down the mountain. We know that she was treated for around about 12 minutes at the site before she was air lifted to the hospital.


RIDDELL: So there is a lot of speculation that she may have broken her leg or at the very least injured her leg. We saw quite a lot of pictures of the other skiers who are reacting to the crash and they were clearly in shock. Lindsey Vonn is not only a very good skier, and a very well respected skier, but she's very popular. Everybody likes her and she is great for the sport.

And it has to be said, this has been just a ridiculously bad season for Lindsey Vonn. You may have reported earlier that she had to take a few months off through illness. She has recently got divorced. She admitted in a magazine interview earlier this season that she previously had been battling depression. She is even rumored to be dating Tiger Woods, would you believe, although she has denied that.

COSTELLO: Wow. RIDDELL: So there are always a lot of headlines around Lindsey Vonn. This has not been a good season for her. This was a very, very big race for her today. She would have wanted to compete. But we're also learning that it was a very difficult day for the skiers because they had to repeatedly postpone the skiing because of thick fog on the mountain side today. And they were actually pretty close to getting to a point where they were just going to call it off for the whole day.

But they obviously decided that it was good enough to go. But maybe that may have played into some of this, as well you know, when athletes are kind of kept waiting a long time it can --


COSTELLO: Well, can you describe it all -- this happened in Austria, right?


COSTELLO: On a huge mountain, I'm assuming. And you say the fog set in. Can you -- can you describe the course for us?

RIDDELL: Well, I mean it was the Super G. I can tell you that was the race they were competing in, the Super Grand Slalom. You know, the pictures I saw were clear conditions at the time. I wouldn't say that the conditions were bad. But clearly when you have been kept waiting and you think you can go and then you are not going, and you see -- you this -- this is hard for an athlete. You just want to get going, and you want to compete. I'm just speculating that this may have been a factor, but I mean --


COSTELLO: And I can't overstate how important Lindsey Vonn is to the sport of skiing. I mean, she is an amazingly talented skier.

RIDDELL: Absolutely right. I mean, four world championships where she's been the overall champion four times. She's an Olympic gold medalist. It doesn't hurt that she is good looking. She's a pin up girl for the sport. Everybody knows who Lindsey Vonn is. A lot of people will be very concerned right now.

COSTELLO: Thanks, Don.


COSTELLO: I know you'll keep us updated.

All right, let's turn to politics now. You know, approval ratings for Congress are low, low, low. But for Republicans, they are scary low. According to a CBS News/"New York Times" poll, 73 percent of Americans do not approve of the way congressional Republicans are doing their jobs.

So time to pivot. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor is about hold a press conference on massaging the Republican message. Cantor talked with CNN congressional correspondent Dana Bash two hours ago.


REP. ERIC CANTOR (R-VA), MAJORITY LEADER: What I think is that there is a lot of lessons to be learned from the last election. And you know frankly, there are a lot of moms and dads out there that are hurting right now. A lot of working people are having a real struggle getting through the month. And to many millions of Americans are out of work. And I think what we all need to do is to focus on how we're going to make life work for those people again.


COSTELLO: OK. Eric Cantor massaging the message. So let's talk about that with our contributors, Maria Cardona a Democratic strategist and Alex Castellanos a Republican consultant. So welcome to you both.



COSTELLO: Good morning. So Alex, you can massage the message. But it's the same message. Does it matter?

CASTELLANOS: Well, actually, it's a very different approach. It's not just words. You know, Republicans understand that they were the party of no. And they were running against Democrats, the party of more from government.

Now, actually, government doesn't seem to be working very well. $16 trillion in debt, education, health care, our financial shape as a country doesn't seem to be doing too well. But when you don't have anything to offer competitively to say "Hey, we're going to go to a better place, you don't win elections."

So I think Republicans are remembering that you know Moses didn't say "Hey, let's go to the desert". Moses said "Let's go to the promised land." Why are we here? It's to lead people to a better place. And that's what you're going to see, I think.


COSTELLO: OK, so you think --

CASTELLANOS: What is it that is going to take us to a better place?

COSTELLO: You say it's more than words. But I mean, I heard him talking about working people. I didn't hear him say job creators. But I didn't hear a solution.

CASTELLANOS: Well sure. You're going to hear a lot more of that not only today but beginning today forward. For example, Cantor is going to talk about equal opportunity in education. Instead of letting the child follow the money in this country, let the money follow our kids. There are two great parents here in Washington, Michelle and Barack Obama, they chose the best school for their daughters. Republicans think every parent should have that right it doesn't matter what your last name is, it doesn't matter where you came from, why shouldn't parents be able to choose the best school for their kids. And that would transform our educational system. That's a new idea.

But it's an idea that's consistent with who we are as Republicans and what we believe. Look we've had a ton of failure in education from the old top down political approach that the Democrats advanced. Let's try something different.

COSTELLO: OK, Maria, I do want to get your perspective. But -- but we have to show Chris Christie on Letterman. Because he's a new kind of Republican, he's the guy who can talk to the working person, and they believe him. And one of the reasons that people embrace Chris Christie in New Jersey is because he has a sense of humor.

So let's take a look at him on Letterman last night.


DAVID LETTERMAN, TALK SHOW HOST: I've made jokes about you, not just one or two, not just ongoing here and there, intermittent. But --

GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: I didn't know this was going to be this long.


COSTELLO: Maria, I'm not suggesting that Eric Cantor eat a doughnut on national television, I'm not suggesting that. But I mean, a little levity would help right instead of all of this doom and gloom that you hear from Republicans.

CARDONA: Yes. I think that's right, Carol. And so I think the point that the reason -- one of the reasons why Chris Christie connects is because he actually does talk about the reality of what is going on in this country with people's lives.

I commend Leader Cantor for actually trying to change the message. But the problem is that they don't just need to change the talk. They need to change their walk. And they are doing it on immigration for example. They knew that they couldn't continue the same outdated policies on immigration or they would continue to receive shellackings at the polls. That applies with the role of government and Alex just talked about this and I think this is important, the majority of Americans don't think that the government is the boogie man, is the bad guy. They might think that the government is maybe a little bit too big, that there is too much spending, President Obama will agree with that.

But it's how do you make government work for the people. And I did hear those words from -- from Leader Cantor, the problem is going to be if they're going to walk -- if they're go to talk that talk, they're going to have to walk that walk. But it does seem to me something that they need to absolutely take a serious look at.

COSTELLO: OK. so Alex, just a brief word about immigration. I just interviewed a conservative Republican who is on that particular committee whose going to decide what the legislation should say. And he talked about border security. And it sounded a lot like the argument we heard pre-election.

CASTELLANOS: Well I think one of the things Republicans are learning is that our top down Republican approach is no better than the Democrats' top down approach. In other words, Washington doesn't seem to have the answer on immigration. What you are seeing is look, the federal government's job is to enforce the border, protect the country, great.

But if you are in a state, if you are in Louisiana or Mississippi, really you should decide how many workers you need, how many immigrants you want to come re-nourish your economy. You know we're running low on people in the United States. We are not reproducing enough. But when states start to compete for talent, for labor, then businesses want to go to the states that offers them the most opportunity, and all of a sudden you value immigration, that's the bottom up approach that I think you're going to see Republicans support, while Democrats, I think, and unfortunately I think too many Republicans are still stuck on the old top down approach.

So there's some change coming on immigration that's going to value immigrants again, and what they can contribute to this economy.

COSTELLO: Alex Castellanos --


CARDONA: Let me -- Carol -- Carol, just very quickly, if I could just say to Alex, that the Democrats' approach and the President's approach and the reason why he won, it wasn't a top down or a bottom up, it was middle class out. And that's why the majority of Americans think that the Democrats and this president understand the middle class.

Hopefully Leader Cantor will help Republicans follow that path.

CASTELLANOS: Not so much.

COSTELLO: Alex and Maria, thanks so much. I've to go. Thank you so much.

CARDONA: Thank you.

COSTELLO: Trekkies, if you are anxiously awaiting the new "Star Trek" film to be released. Well, your wait won't be as long. A.J. Hammer has the scoop.


COSTELLO: Oh, it's a busy morning. Buckle your seatbelts, because guess what? The DOW is now over 14,000. Just by a little tiny bit. So it goes back and forth and back and forth; a couple of days ago it was down a couple hundred points and then it went back up. Who can explain it?

Well, Alison Kosik will later.

But I just thought you should know for -- oh she's ready. Alison, it's like magic, you're here.

ALISON KOSIK, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Poof. See, you ask and you shall receive. Yes.

So we are on that DOW 14,000 watch, because you remember the DOW hit 14,000 on Friday, and then we saw that sell off on Monday. Well guess what we're seeing a nice rebound for stocks in the first few hours of the trading day. The Dow has been hitting that 14,000 mark. It's been pulling back a bit, so it's kind of doing that flirting thing again.

And a couple of things that are moving the markets, first of all Dell has agreed to go private. That is giving some oomph for a lack of a better word to just the overall market putting investors in a pretty good mood.

Also we got an economic report on service sector activity in January that met expectations; earnings are also back in focus. So there's a little more for investors to sort of guide them on their way back to 14,000 -- Carol.

COSTELLO: All right, Alison Kosik, thanks so much. We're going to take a quick break, we'll be back with much more. Stick around.

KOSIK: Thank you.


COSTELLO: All right.

We have a bit more information on the great American skier Lindsey Vonn. She was terribly injured in a fall on a mountain in Austria during the world championships. You see her being air lifted to the hospital earlier this morning. Hospital officials say she has a complex knee injury. And her injuries are not life threatening.

But that complex knee injury -- that doesn't bode well for the rest of Lindsey Vonn's season, it probably means she won't make it into the Olympics because that was part of why she was competing in the world championships today. Hospital officials are going to hold -- I think a news conference in about ten minutes and of course when that happens, we'll bring any new information we can.

On to other news, on to entertainment, actually. A new twist on an old sci-fi favorite.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's a five-year mission to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations. To boldly go where no man has gone before. (END VIDEO CLIP)

COSTELLO: If you are ready to go where no one has gone before, a new app will allow Star Trek fans who are excited for the upcoming movie, the new movie, well, if you have this app, you can get a sneak peek. "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT" host A.J. Hammer has all of the details. I want that app right now.

A.J. HAMMER, HLN HOST, "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT":: Well, I'm going to tell you what you get out of this because this is a great promotional stunt which builds off of "Star Trek's" Super Bowl ad. Trekkies everywhere rejoiced when the ad for "Star Trek Into Darkness" hit the air. This was a little bit of what the ad looked like. Let's roll that.




HAMMER: So at the end of the spot they broke the news that if you download the Star Trek movie app, you can be among the very first people to see the film. Because if you have the app, Carol, you have the chance to unlock movie tickets for a show two days ahead of the film scheduled release. Plus get an extended look at the commercial we just saw -- Carol. And you will get to attend Star Trek Academy. May not be for everybody. But what a great marketing tie-in. To you I say live long and prosper.

COSTELLO: Star Trek Academy. I was thinking I wanted that inception horn sound to be my ring tone. Wouldn't that be great?

HAMMER: I think that's a great choice.

COSTELLO: That sounds fun. A.J. Hammer, thanks so much.

HAMMER: You got it.

COSTELLO: For the latest entertainment headlines watch A.J. tonight on "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT" 11:00 p.m. Eastern on HLN.

50 minutes past the hour, time to check our top stories.

President Obama pushing immigration reform today, he'll meet with leaders of labor unions and progressive groups like the NAACP, separately he will meet in the afternoon with a dozen business leaders, including those from Goldman Sachs, Yahoo and Coca-Cola.

King Richard III's newly discovered skull has been used to recreate or actually create this 3-d model of his face. In this comparison image you can see the bust on the right it's pretty darn similar to Richard's painted portrait on the left. Isn't that strange how that happened. DNA tests confirm that human remains found under a parking lot in Britain are those of the king.

Officials at the Boy Scouts of America headquarters in Dallas, Texas have a lot of reading today. A group of scouts and leaders delivered more -- delivered 1.4 million signatures on lots and lots of petitions. They are hoping the organization will vote this week, actually Wednesday, to end the national policy banning gays.

That's our Talk Back question today: Should the Boy Scouts of America lift its ban on gays? It's been a heated conversation. Your responses next.


COSTELLO: All right. This is Baltimore, Maryland -- downtown Baltimore -- and all of these people are awaiting this big parade that is supposed to start any minute honoring the Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens. The only problem is the Ravens have been caught in traffic and they're going to be late. So they have to wait a little tiny bit longer.

Makes sense, because there was a new poll out today saying the Washington area was the most congested in the nation. So very, very soon, Joe Flacco and Ray Lewis will be in those convertibles riding on down Baltimore street, so all those people can share. We'll keep you posted.

That brings us actually to our last segment of the day our "Talk Back" question. The question today: Should the Boy Scouts of America lift its ban on gays?

This from Keith, "Are blacks banned? Anyone gay or straight who only sees themselves defined by the sex they have is an idiot. It's time for all religious and private institutions to accept all people."

This from Mark, "Being black or Hispanic has absolutely nothing to do with being gay. The right to be treated as a human being does not compare with being able to sleep with the same sex. I love how narrow minded people can't understand the difference between civil rights and gay rights."

This from Wanda, "What if the straight scout leader was a swinger? What if that straight scout leader or has a porn collection, the size of Texas all morally unacceptable to some. Alissa says as a straight woman I'm definitely not attracted to every man I meet, I don't understand why that concept is difficult to grasp."

And this from Anika, "Gay people are not dangerous people. They are just people. They just see true love in a different way. Gay is not a disease. It's not contagious."

Please keep the conversation going: and thanks, as always, for your comments.

Thank you for joining me today. I'm Carol Costello. CNN NEWSROOM with Ashleigh Banfield after a break.