Return to Transcripts main page


Carnival Triumph Headed to United States; How Will the Other Side Respond to State of the Union Address Tonight?; Grammys Crasher Gets Onstage; Senate Gun Control Hearing Starts Soon; Buzzer Beater Bounces In

Aired February 12, 2013 - 09:30   ET


JOHN ZARELLA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It is, Carnival says, moving under tug tow at about six knots and get there sometime on Thursday, probably early Thursday, so it made more sense, Carnival decided, to go there. As you were saying, Carol, the conditions onboard (ph) the Triumph certainly not good at all. We talked to one passenger on the ship, and she was telling us the crew is doing a good job, they're getting fruit, cereal, hot coffee but most of the people are sleeping outside. They took their mattresses outside to sleep outside. The raw sewage smell in the hallway is terrible as well and the toilets are not working in most parts of the ship, so you can imagine how bad it is. We talked to a man whose wife is on the cruise ship. Here is what he had to say.


BRENT NUTT, WIFE AND SISTERS-IN-LAW ON CARNIVAL TRIUMPH: Now, they are able to use restroom facilities, but she said the water pipes on the ship are breaking and that toilets are overflowing and there's feces all over the floor and the horrendous odor that's on the ship. She says that the odor is so bad that people are getting sick and they're throwing up everywhere and stuff.


ZARELLA: So Carnival is saying that the toilets are working, as he said, in some parts of the ship in public areas. Some elevators are working, they're on some auxiliary power, and folks can take showers although the water is cold, there's no hot water and they do have plenty of food on board, a couple other Carnival cruise ships pulled up alongside yesterday and transferred more food supplies, Carol, over to the Carnival Triumph and it is also being escorted in, we are told the United States coast guard telling us one of its cutters will stay alongside the Triumph as it makes this journey back to the port in Mobile, Alabama. Carol?

CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: I heard that Carnival is only reimbursing these people for the cost of the cruise. Is that true?

ZARELLA: They are reimbursing them the cost of the cruise, they have also credited them for anything on board except for what they may have lost in the casino, they're not crediting them for that and they are giving them a cruise equal to whatever the cost was of this cruise, should they decide in the future to take another Carnival cruise they'll get that and of course they'll get their air fare paid back to whatever city they are going to.

COSTELLO: Oh, geez, man, I'd be eager to take another cruise after that experience. John Zarrella, thanks so much.


COSTELLO: Political buzz is your rapid-fire look at the best political topics of the day, three topics, 30 seconds on the clock. Playing today Democratic strategist and former communications chair for the DNC, Maria Cardona and CNN contributor and Republican strategist, Ana Navarro, welcome to you both.

Good morning.

The big event almost here, President Obama delivers his State of the Union address tonight and White House sources tell CNN the president's economic message to Republicans can probably be summed up in one phrase, if you don't get it done, I will. Question, will the State of the Union further divide us? Ana?

ANA NAVARRO, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: I hope not, but I think a lot depends on the tone, on the content of what he says. I think he has had a lot of bravado, a lot of aggressiveness in the last few outings he's had. It would be helpful if he were able to focus on some of the common ground and work on the art of the possible, not continue the antagonism because if it's either my way or the highway, he's going to get a big no way.


MARIA CARDONA, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: I think that it all depends on who you ask, Carol. The fact of the matter is that the majority of the American people are with this president on the majority of the issues that he's going to be talking about tonight. On fiscal issues, the American people agree it should be done in a balanced manner, on immigration, on sensible gun control, on rights for gays and lesbians, all of these are the issues that were his themes during the inaugural. I think tonight will you see more detail on that and the focus is yes, Congress get it done. That's what the American people want so if people think if Republicans think that it's divided it's what Americans want.

COSTELLO: Okay, next question. The Republicans are making this big push to redefine themselves. They want to become more inclusive, kinder, gentler and then Ted Nugent shows up. Texas Republican Congressman Steve Stockman inviting Nugent to tonight's address saying he speaks for Americans who, quote, "understand how the second amendment protects freedom and stops crime. Ah, but Nugent puts it in his own terms.


TED NUGENT, CELEBRITY: Would you leave us the hell alone? T

hese are all legal guns and I'm going to see that they remain legal, because they're all good. If Barack Obama becomes the president in November again I will either be dead or in jail by this time next year.


COSTELLO: Second question, is Ted Nugent a Republican re-branding nightmare, Maria?

CARDONA: Ah, yes. The Republicans need to fire whatever marketing firm they hired for this re-branding if they think Ted Nugent is going to get it done. He absolutely represents I think the worst of the extremes in this country especially on the right, and that is exactly what the majority, I think, the majority of sensible Republicans think they don't need, so I would say fire that marketing firm, fire Ted Nugent and focus on more sensible solutions and more sensible rhetoric.


NAVARRO: Look, you know, obviously Ted Nugent is not part of any re- branding or re-marketing. He is a U.S. citizen, he is an American citizen who has the right to speak, who has the right to freedom of speech. I may not agree with everything he says but I will fight to the death for his right to say it. What we're looking for in the Republican party, what I hope, for is a tent big enough from there's room for the Ted Nugents and also for people who do see some space to close down loopholes, to pass universal background checks on guns. So we need to, you know, we need to listen to all Americans and there are an important section of America that believes what Ted Nugent does.

COSTELLO: Okay, finally last question. Nugent actually is not only a guest at tonight's State of the Union, he tells the "New York Times" he'll be holding a news conference afterwards and going to take questions. Memo to Marco Rubio and Rand Paul bring your A game. And I say that because Rubio will give the Republican response to Obama's speech, and Rand Paul will give the Tea Party response. So the question for you this morning: who would you rather watch after the State of the Union? Rubio, Paul or Nugent? Ana?

NAVARRO: Well, you know, I'll be watching my hometown senator, I will be watching Marco Rubio, he'll be the one not wearing the cowboy hat or funny facial hair going on, he'll be giving the official Republican response. You talk to Ted Nugent was the Republican party's nightmare, no, is he the media's darling, he's a quotable guy. He is entertaining and colorful.

COSTELLO: No doubt about that. Maria?

CARDONA: I actually will be focused on Marco Rubio. I think he will be giving the serious response to the State of the Union but if you're looking purely for entertainment Carol, for that train wreck I can't look away type of feeling, then certainly I think Ted Nugent is the person to watch tonight.

COSTELLO: Ladies, thank you for playing. Ana Navarro, Maria Cardona. I'm sure you remember this scene from the Grammys as Adele went up to accept the award someone else was on stage had no business being there. Who the heck was that guy? A.J. Hammer knows.


COSTELLO: So if you're weirdly clever enough to crash the Grammys and weirdly clever enough to get up on stage next to Adele as she's accepting her Grammy for the night and you even give a little acceptance speech of your own, police don't think that's weirdly clever. They think it's illegal and charge you with a crime which they have. A.J. Hammer is in New York to tell us more.

A.J. HAMMER CNN ENTERTAINMENT CORRESPONDENT: Carol, I was lamenting to a friend the other day the Grammys don't seem to have party -crashers and political speeches anymore so as scary as it it is, it's also refreshing. Lot of people were watching, some 25 million people, but not many saw what was going on and realized it.

Take a look. Adele getting the Grammy for best pop solo, from Jennifer Lopez and Pit Bull, she's saying hello to people, talking to Rihanna, everything is fine and when Adele goes and makes her way to the stage a Ukranian television host decided to join in on the fun and get on there as well.

You can hear him talking over her music as she was taking the stage and then as Adele comes into frame the only person who really seems to notice what was going on or something out of sorts and is put off by the crasher is J Lo who sort of gestures for the guy to get lost.

It's over so quickly most people kind of missed it, and in real time it looks like a regular glitch that might happen on live TV. Somebody going up when they don't think they should.

Carol, the "Hollywood Reporter" deserves credit for catching the story and following up on it. The crasher has put himself in the story before, he made headlines last spring for kissing Will Smith as he made his way down a red carpet in Moscow so for his efforts, the Grammys were not a good place for him to do this. He spent the night in jail, charged with trespassing, although perhaps more fitting punishment might have been to let J Lo have at him. She looked pretty angry.

Also I should point out, according to the "Hollywood Reporter" Carol, he crashed the entire show without a credential or a ticket and actually wound up sitting in the second row just behind Justin Timberlake and Jessica Beal in Adam Levine of Maroon 5's seat. Which is pretty amazing and a little scary that he actually got on stage and security was heightened over the weekend as well.

COSTELLO: I was going to say there's a serial killer on the loose and there was supposed to be heightened security at the Grammys and some guy gets in without credentials and make his way on stage. That's scary.

HAMMER: Yeah, it's really scary and I'm sure they'll look heavily into this. We have the Oscars coming up in a week and a half, and that is a tight security situation, they're not going to let something like this happen, so I think they're going to have to learn from this guy.

COSTELLO: Yeah. A.J. Hammer, thanks.

Gabby Giffords making another emotional plea to Congress, we'll show you the new ad released just ahead of today's second Senate hearing on gun control.


COSTELLO: Forty-six minutes past the hour. Time to check our "Top Stories".

A prisoner is on the loose after stabbing a Miami-Dade County police officer near Dallas, Texas. That officer is in stable condition. He and another officer were driving the prisoner to Las Vegas after flying into Dallas. They'd taken him off the plane because he was disrupting the flight, they stopped at the store, one officer went inside, and that's when the prisoner overpowered the other officer and stabbed him and then fled. I hope you caught all that.

Tugboats now towing a disabled Carnival Cruise ship that had been adrift in the Gulf of Mexico to Mobile, Alabama. The carnival "Triumph" lost power after a fire in the engine room on Sunday. Passengers are safe but there are problems with food, running water and electricity and passengers say there is sewage everywhere because many bathrooms do not work.

Fat Tuesday could become a soggy day for revelers in New Orleans. Mardi Gras is wrapping up today and there's a risk of showers for the final parade. Thousands of people have been lining up in the streets taking part in this annual celebration.

Wrestling in the Olympics now has an uncertain future. The International Olympic Committee's executive board will recommend dropping wrestling from the summer games. Wrestling now joins baseball, karate and several other sports that must ask for inclusion in the 2020 Olympic Games.

The senate's second hearing on gun control expected to begin in just about 15 minutes and former Representative Gabrielle Giffords is wasting no time lobbying for gun control in her new ad. Check it out.


GABRIELLE GIFFORDS (D), FORMER CONGRESSWOMAN OF ARIZONA: We have a problem where we shop, where we pray, where our children go to school, but there are solutions we can agree on, even gun owners like us. Take it from me, Congress must act. Let's get this done.


COSTELLO: Let's head to Washington and Joe Johns. Joe, you know I know it's an important issue but I feel like there have been hundreds of senate hearings on gun control and -- and we always hear the same things.

JOE JOHNS, CNN CRIME AND JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, that is true and we're going to hear a lot of the same things probably today. We're going to hear from a woman whose brother, a Chicago police officer, was fatally shot in 2010 and from another woman whose parents were killed in a massacre in a Texas restaurant in 1991, but she has said she favors concealed carry laws anyway.

The other witnesses at this hearing are legal experts including Harvard Law professor Lawrence Tribe so not very likely that we're going to see the kind of emotional testimony we saw at the last hearing here on Capitol Hill -- Carol.

COSTELLO: Yes and Vice President Joe Biden he's held a series of meetings across the country on gun control.

JOHNS: That's right and his major message has been that whatever it is the administration wants, they are really not going to be in conflict with the Second Amendment. This is something of course that firearms owners across the country really cared dearly about.

We also have to say there will be -- tonight at the President's State of the Union address more than 100 victims of gun violence and their families in the audience. So that's certainly going to be sending a message, the White House and gun control advocates in Congress are actually going to spend a lot of this day on public relations offensive.

So we're going to see a lot about this and the question is just how confrontational the president will be in his speech. Not clear at all that he's going to draw a bright line for Republicans in the Congress.

COSTELLO: We'll see, Joe Johns reporting live from Washington.

Someone else is going to be in attendance at the State of the Union, Ted Nugent. So our "Talk Back" question today, "Should Ted Nugent attend the State of the Union?" or tweet me @CarolCNN. Your responses next.


COSTELLO: "Talk Back" question today, "Should Ted Nugent attend the State of the Union?"

This from Tim, "He's an American citizen, he has just as much of a right to be there as anyone else."

From Laura, "No, the man made threats against the President and was interviewed by the Secret Service he's not a patriot he's a loon."

This from Josh, "As a Democrat, I welcome it, because it makes the gun control issue seem that much more important when you look at him being a representative for the Republicans and the NRA."

This from Ronald, "Ted Nugent should not be allowed to go. He stated we should march in there and cut their heads off. That sounds like treason to me."

And this from John, "Absolutely, Mr. Nugent has a right to his opinion, even if he gets dragged out kicking and screaming because of this."

Keep the conversation going. or tweet me @carolCNN.

Fashion week comes to the NBA. Goodbye tank tops, hello sleeves, one team goes for a brand new look.


COSTELLO: A high school basketball player could be changing the game when it comes to buzz beaters, because she sank what might have been the best shot ever. Jared Greenberg joins us with today's Bleacher Report.

JARED GREENBERG, BLEACHER REPORT: Yes Carol, she is just a junior at high school and she has created a buzz on the Internet possibly the most remarkable basketball shot we've ever seen, Anna Olsen getting the biggest fortuitous bounce in the history of the sport.

Late third quarter watch closely. Olsen from three quarter court needing a miracle. Olsen, it bounces, and then you bet you rolling in. That is some serious girl power. You think she just got a few new Facebook friends and Twitter followers, remarkable shot by Anna.

The Golden State Warriors are making a fashion statement ignore the blinding neon yellow the Warriors want you to focus on the sleeves. The first NBA team to stray from the traditional tank top, they say the new t-shirt jerseys are also 26 percent lighter. Golden State will debut the sleeves on February 22nd. No word yet if the new look will be seen at any New York City fashions shows.

Michael Vick isn't going anywhere. The Eagles quarterback has agreed to restructure his contract to stay in Philadelphia. Vick will now play on a one year-deal reports say he could be giving up as much as $9 million. However, should Vick stay healthy that's the key and post big numbers, he could cash in next off season on the free agent market.

Newly signed Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Francisco Liriano also lost some money. However not by choice, of all the holidays to startle his kids Liriano picked Christmas. And now it's going to cost him nearly $13 million. Liriano broke his non-pitching arm while doing an un-St. Nick like thing. He won't be able to take the mound for the Pirates until May.

For more on that and everything else happening in the sports world we invite to you log on to So Carol, it has to beg the question, if Liriano was willing to startle his kids on Christmas what will he do on few months from now on April Fool's day.

COSTELLO: That's a good question. I just feel sorry for Pirates fans because come on. GREENBERG: They've had enough bad luck of the years. They don't need something like this to happen.

COSTELLO: Exactly. Jared, thank you. The next hour of CNN NEWSROOM starts now.

Happening now in the NEWSROOM, an ex-cop accused of serial murder. So why do some see Christopher Dorner as a vigilante hero?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: LAPD's relationship with the black community could only be described as a state of war.


COSTELLO: Plus North Korea detonating a nuclear test that is quote, half the size of Hiroshima. President Obama wants swift action while the United Nations convenes an emergency meeting.

And Ted Nugent -- leaving his guns at home and State of the Union bound. The outspoken rocker said he'd either be dead or in jail, if President Obama was re-elected.


TED NUGENT, SINGER: Our President, Attorney General, our Vice President, Hillary Clinton, they are criminals. They are criminals.


COSTELLO: The NRA board members sitting just feet from victims of gun violence at the State of the Union. NEWSROOM starts now.