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Is a Minimum Wage Raise Attainable?; GOP Response, Kiss of Death?; Will Congress Move on Gun Control?; Beyonce Reveals Her Private Side; Lebron James Sets Another Record

Aired February 13, 2013 - 09:30   ET



BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The families of Oak Creek and Tucson and Blacksburg and the countless other communities ripped open by gun violence, they deserve a simple vote.


COSTELLO: A lot of you are probably saying why should we care what an accused cold blooded murderer says? Should Dorner's words be even part of our conversation on guns or do they shed light on an issue that continues to divide and confuse many Americans? It's a tough question and uncomfortable but I'm going to ask it anyway. So talk back today: does the Dorner case teach us anything about guns? or tweet me @carolCNN.

Stories we're watching now in the newsroom at 30 minutes past the hour, hundreds of people including students showed up in Waterbury, Connecticut, to help dig out the city's schools from last week's blizzard. Picking up a shovel did earn the workers it $8.25 an hour. Many told our affiliate WFSB they're eager for schools to reopen.

Come April cable giant Comcast expects to own all of NBC Universal. Comcast already owns 51 percent of the media giant and is paying $17 billion for General Electric's 49 percent stake. The latest deal was not expected until next summer. It will give Comcast full ownership of properties including NBC's broadcast and cable networks and universal studios.

Opening bell on Wall Street with the Dow near an all-time high, stocks are poised to open higher. Just about an hour ago we learned retail sales climbed 0.1 percent in January. Ringing the opening bell this morning are representatives of Toronto-based Alamos Gold Incorporated which begins trading today under the symbol AGI. We're back in a minute.


COSTELLO: Political buzz is your rapid-fire look at the best political topics of the day. Three topics, 30 seconds on the clock, playing with us today, Ron Christie, former special assistant to President George W. Bush and Jason Johnson, chief political correspondent for Politic365 and political science professor at Ohio's Hiram college. Welcome to you both. JASON JOHNSON, CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT, POLITIC365: Good morning.


COSTELLO: Honest wages for an honest day's work? That's how President Obama characterized his State of the Union call to boost the minimum wage to $9 an hour. But some small business owners already struggling with the cost of Obamacare may face a bigger cash crunch if the president's plan is approved. The question for you this morning, should the minimum wage be raised? Ron?

CHRISTIE: No, Carol good morning, I don't think it should. If you look at my home state of California it's had a rather crippling effect on employment. You have chronically high unemployment in Los Angeles and San Francisco, why? Because a lot of the impact is disproportionately given to small businesses. Small businesses pass that along to be consumers, it's a loss for the employer, it's a loss for the employee, and I think it will do more harm than good.


JOHNSON: Look, it's a wonderful idea if Barack Obama can magically pay for it. We all think a living wage is reasonable and provided in certain other countries but the more important issue is can he pay for it? If Barack Obama cannot find a way to pay for people making a living wage he shouldn't make those kinds of promises in the State of the Union.

COSTELLO: All right, on to question number two, in one of the most emotional moments of the night, President Obama urged Congress to take action on gun violence.


OBAMA: Hadiya's parents, Nate and Cleo, are in this chamber tonight, along with more than two dozen Americans whose lives have been torn apart by gun violence. They deserve a vote.


Gabby Giffords deserves a vote. The families of Newtown deserve a vote. The families of Aurora deserve a vote. The families of Oak Creek and Tucson and Blacksburg and the countless other communities ripped open by gun violence, they deserve a simple vote.



COSTELLO: All right, it took a while but eventually Republican house speaker John Boehner stood up and he joined in the applause along with other Republicans. So the question, will there be an up or down vote on gun control in Congress? Jason? JOHNSON: Probably not, but there should be. Look, this is part of the new feisty I don't have to run for office again Barack Obama, and he called out the Republicans in Congress, just like he called out the Supreme Court when he was talking about Citizens United. Congress should not be delaying these kinds of issues. Republicans should be proud enough of their policy positions to take the political backlash of voting down these sorts of gun control issues. I think Barack Obama was absolutely right, we're not going to get a vote but we should. The Republicans should stop standing in the way.


CHRISTIE: I agree with Jason. I think this is the feisty president Barack Obama who doesn't have to face the voters again. In that he doesn't have to face the voters again the politicians who do are very leery of having a gun control vote. When the president says Gabby Giffords deserves a vote, Aurora deserves a vote, a vote on what, specifically? What is the president's plan, what does the president propose that his legislation would do to prevent the tragedies? I think he's very much on rhetorical loft and in spirit but minimal on substance. No, I don't think anything will pass the Congress this session.

COSTELLO: Wow, you guys are doubters this morning. Finally the president can be a tough act to follow for the person tapped to give the state of the union response. Ask Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal whose 2009 appearance was panned by Republicans as amateurish, simplistic and childish. And then there's Michele Bachmann. Oh you remember this - her technical difficulties two years ago led to that awkward off camera glance and last night Marco Rubio, it was a bottle of water. Everybody went oh, my goodness. For his part, Rubio's laughing it all telling "Good Morning America" I needed water. What am I going to do? The question for you two is the State of the Union response the kiss of death for up and coming politicians, Ron?

CHRISTIE: No, I don't think so. The most widely televised event in the United States is the super bowl, the next widely most attended event on television is the State of the Union. Marco Rubio was reading a teleprompter. He decided he wanted to stop and have a sip of water. Big deal. It's not a graveyard for him. He's the bright star for the Republican future. Give the guy a break.


JOHNSON: It's the political kiss of death, like I said it's like being the drummer in Spinal Tap it doesn't helping people's careers and if you look at the State of the Unions over the last 30 years only three times has the person who has given the rebuttal gotten anywhere, Bill Clinton, Bob Dole and Paul Ryan. If I were Marco Rubio I would have passed on this. It doesn't kill him 2016 but Watergate is going to be remembered. "Saturday Night Live" is licking their chops right now.

COSTELLO: You're not kidding. Thanks so both of you. Hiram College political science professor Jason Johnson, and Ron Christie former special assistant to President George W. Bush.

CHRISTIE: Pleasure, thank you.

JOHNSON: You're welcome.

COSTELLO: Beyonce like you have never seen her before revealing personal details about her life in a new documentary.


BPYONCE KNOWLES, SINGER: It was hard to relive some of those things, but I felt like I had a story to tell and hopefully it will inspire a lot of people.


COSTELLO: And who shows up at the premiere? Oprah. Hear what she has to say.


COSTELLO: Fame, fortune, beauty, it seems like Beyonce has it all. She does. Anyway, she doesn't think so. She wants you to know she struggles just like you.


KNOWLES: People see celebrities and they have money and fame, but I'm a human being. I cry. I get scared. I get nervous, just like everyone else. Power is not given to you. You have to take it.


COSTELLO: But it's so much nicer when you can dry your tears with money, isn't it? I'm being so catty this morning. Anyway, I heard Nischelle Turner are laughing about this.


COSTELLO: I couldn't help it.


COSTELLO: Okay, tell us about this documentary "Life is But a Dream."

TURNER: Well it was quite a night on the red carpet for Beyonce, Carol. This film she's releasing in part made up from her video diaries and by all accounts, it does reveal a different side of her. Listen to what she told us last night at the New York premiere.


KNOWLES: I've learned so much about myself and it's interesting that all of the mistakes and wonderful things in her life they all connect. And being able to sit down and watch the past three or four years and edit them together. It was hard to relive some of those things, but I felt like I had a story to tell and hopefully it will inspire a lot of people. (END VIDEO CLIP)

TURNER: One of those people that she hopes it inspires is her 1-year- old daughter, Blue Ivy, because she says she did this film Carol in part as a tribute to her daughter.

COSTELLO: And there was someone else on the red carpet along with Beyonce and that would be Oprah.

TURNER: I know, right, talk about a power couple. Our New York team says that it was really a scene when Oprah came out to the carpet and the news spread that she was going to talk to the press about the movie.

Now Oprah and Beyonce just wrapped up an interview that will be broadcast this weekend on Oprah's OWN Network. She wasn't talking about that interview, though. She was talking about the documentary.


OPRAH WINFREY, TALK SHOW HOST: What she did was access that power in a way we have never seen anybody do. She opened herself up. She let us see her vulnerable side. She became for us not just this mythical goddess Beyonce.


WINFREY: She became, you know I said to her, she became a real woman to me.


TURNER: And that's really interesting that she says that because one of the things that Beyonce -- well, because one of the things she apparently talked about in this film, Carol, is the miscarriage that she suffered before she became pregnant with Blue Ivy. and that's something that we heard Jay-Z rap about it in a song once but we've never heard Beyonce talk about this so it's really showing her vulnerable side which you have to say you never see that from Beyonce in the public.

She's very much controlled. So to see her kind of let it all out will be really interesting.

COSTELLO: Ok I'm going to go see the documentary on your recommendation, Nischelle Turner.

TURNER: All right, Carol. Dry the tears.

COSTELLO: Thanks so much.

TURNER: Dry those tears with money.

COSTELLO: With my money.

2,700 dogs competed in the Westminster Kennel Dog Club you know that show thing. We'll tell you which pooch was named top banana.


COSTELLO: It is 50 minutes past the hour, time to check our "Top Stories".

We're getting our first live pictures in this morning from KABC, chopper shots of that burned-out cabin in the mountains of California. Authorities believe Christopher Dorner barricaded himself inside a cabin which was eventually somehow set on fire. will take days to confirm that a charred body found inside that cabin is indeed Christopher Dorner.

Dorner had vowed deadly vengeance for his 2008 firing and is accused of killing two police officers and the daughter of a retired officer and her fiance.

You can say it in German, Dutch, English or Spanish because this year's top winner at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show understands them all. Banana Joe is a black Affenpinscher. He won Best in Show last night at the premier canine event, it was his 86th Best in Show title and his last event. Joe's handler said he's heading home to the Netherlands to retire.

Dolls for girls? Trucks for boys? Not so fast. Toy makers are recasting their top sellers to appeal to kids and parents across traditional gender lines. Recent additions to toy store aisles include a hot pink Nerf gun, pastel-colored Legos and a construction- themed Barbie. Why does everything girly have to be pink? I'm just asking.

There's a new man keeping watch over the Staples Center. Meet Will Ferrell, actor, comedian and now security guard.


COSTELLO: "Talk Back" question this morning, "Does the Dorner case teach us anything about guns?"

This from Jeff. "No, it took a human being to fire them. An evil, revengeful, spiteful man and criminal."

This from Lauren "Regardless of what Dorner said his actions confirmed we need stricter laws on guns so people crazy like him can't obtain assault guns and others with such ease."

This one from Nick, "The one thing we should learn from the Dorner case, is that it's not guns that are dangerous it's the people behind them."

This from Trisha, "Yes, it does teach us but no matter how many innocent lives are lost idiots will always like guns and want them."

And this from Dan, "What Dorner did was not about guns, Dorner just chose to use guns to deal with his problems."

Keep the conversation going More of your comments after the break.


COSTELLO: In the NBA there is no one hotter right now than King James. Oh, but Prince Fielder, he becomes larger than life. Joe Carter here with Bleacher Report.

JOE CARTER, BLEACHER REPORT: Hi, good morning, Carol. Yes Erik Spoelstra the head coach of the Miami Heat said Lebron James is making this greatness thing look easy, he's rolling right now and so are the Miami Heat. Last night they beat the Portland Trailblazers to win their sixth game in a row. Lebron scored 30 points again.

Over these last six wins he's put together a historic performance in six games scoring at least 30 points while making at least 60 percent of his shots. He is the first player in NBA history to be that efficient and that consistent over that six-game stretch.


LEBRON JAMES, MIAMI HEAT: For me to be in the record books by myself with such a stat, any stat, it's big time and it's a -- you know, it's a tribute to not only, you know, myself -- I don't care about myself, but my teammates are allowing me to do that and my coaching staff put me in a position to succeed and I just try to go out and do it.


CARTER: Prince Fielder he's a big dude, tips the scale at 275 so it's only fitting that he would be on the world's largest baseball card, the Topps Trading Card company unveiled that at tiger spring training, the massive card measures 90 feet by 60 feet.

Comedian Will Ferrell he is known for doing just about anything for a laugh and at the Lakers game night he was dressed as a security guard and red jacket and all. He even booted a fan from the game. Shaquille O'Neal was the fan of course, he played along with Ferrell's good funny antics. He is currently shooting "Anchor Man II" that's why he's sporting a huge mustache but I do not think it's a scene for the movie because the name tag on his name tag is not Ron Burgundy it's actually a name that I cannot repeat and you can find out that on the Internet if you want to know. For all your entertaining sports news Carol, go to I can't repeat in front of the show.

COSTELLO: I knew you wouldn't say the name, I knew you wouldn't say the name Joe Carter.

CARTER: I wouldn't have a job tomorrow.

COSTELLO: You would, too. Oh go on the Internet and find out. Joe, thank you very much, Joe Carter. I'm still laughing about it.

Next hour of CNN NEWSROOM starts now.