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Paul Ryan, Cut Obamacare; TSA Pressured to Keep Ban on Knives; Should Republicans be Cooler?; Tiger Cruises to Win at Doral

Aired March 11, 2013 - 09:30   ET


CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: 30 past the hour, you hear the opening bell ringing on Wall Street. Investors are watching the Dow to see if it will take a break from last week's record breaking rally 37 a rally. Alison Kosik is live at the New York stock exchange. Good morning.

ALISON KOSIK, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Carol. After four record breaking days on the Dow, it looks like stocks will take a breather today. And though the trend is still likely that the Dow will go higher in the short term, you may wind up seeing the market under some pressure today.

Stocks are coming up quite the solid week. Look at the Dow, it's gained every day last week, each of the major averages gaining more than 2 percent for the week. Already this year the major averages are up 7 percent to 10 percent. This week the market is looking for more evidence of signs of strength in the economy. They're going to be looking to how consumers are holding up, are they spending money? Wednesday is going to be a key day, because we're going to be getting the government's take on retail sales. And there's going to be a lot of attention paid on this because everybody wants to see if the increased payroll tax, the delayed tax refunds, and higher gas prices are keeping consumers from spending money.

COSTELLO: Alison Kosik reporting live from the New York stock exchange.

North Korea's army declares the armistice agreement ending the Korean War invalid. That's according to a state newspaper. This comes as South Korea and the United States begin military exercises. The drill scheduled to last two months. And involve 3,000 U.S. troops. North Korea calls the drills an open declaration of war and threatens military action.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Shield your eyes, shield your eyes.


COSTELLO: Wow. That was dramatic pictures of a fire and explosion in Harrison, New Jersey. Firefighters were called to a fire at an apartment building when that explosion occurred. Five firefighters reportedly injured. None of them seriously. One did have extensive cuts from flying glass, though. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COSTELLO: "Political Buzz," your rapid fire look at the best political topics of the day. Three topics, 30 seconds on the clock. Playing with us today, CNN contributor and senior writer for ESPN, L.Z. Granderson and CNN contributor and analyst for "The Blaze," Will Cain. Welcome, gentlemen.


COSTELLO: Good morning. You don't sound very energetic, but I'm sure you'll pep it up after this first question.


L.Z. GRANDERSON, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: We were springing ahead.

COSTELLO: I understand. It really messes with your brain or something.

Up first, Congressman Paul Ryan, you remember him, don't you? The Wisconsin representative was thrust into the national political stage after Mitt Romney tapped him to be his running mate. The man with the budget plan described by fellow Republicans as bold in part for its cuts to entitlements. Now Ryan is back with a brand new budget. One that takes aim at an issue that continues to be the thorn in the side of some Republicans. Obamacare.


CHRIS WALLACE, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Are you saying that as part of your budget, you would repeal you assume the repeal of Obamacare?


WALLACE: Well, that's not going to happen.

RYAN: Well, we believe it should. That's the point. This is what budgeting is all about, Chris. It's about making tough choices to fix our country's problems.


COSTELLO: Of course, House Speaker John Boehner also a Republican famously said President Obama's reelection meant his health care program was quote "the law of the land." So our question, should Republicans stop fighting Obamacare? Will.

CAIN: No. Look, Republicans want to be on the right side of history on this deal and Obamacare advocates can point out or suggest it's going to be deficit neutral, but do you think the government planners, because the CBO wasn't until 1974, but do you think the government planners in 1969 thought Medicare was going to be some kind of big budget suck that pulled us into endless deficits and debt? No, they didn't. The political reality is that Paul Ryan is not going to be able to accomplish an Obamacare repeal at least until 2017, and who projects that far out? This fight will happen on the state level. It's governors opting out of Medicaid expansion through Obamacare and it's happened in 17, north of 17 states now.

COSTELLO: Maybe 18. But you're right. Somewhere 17 or 18. L.Z?

GRANDERSON: Paul is an interesting character to me because here is a person who if you look back at the 2012 election didn't win the district that he was voting in, which means he didn't secure his neighborhood for the Romney ticket. And I think part of the reason why is this rationale. He's presenting these budgets that he knows will not get anywhere. How do you actually build any level of credibility if you keep proposing these ideas that don't have any legitimacy? Is Obamacare a perfect law? Absolutely not. And they should continue to tweak it to make it better. But this notion of repealling, with as Will said, a 2017 game plan that's just ridiculous.

COSTELLO: Okay, next question. The TSA's decision to allow some small knives on planes starting next month, sparking shock and outrage and now New York Senator Chuck Schumer is demanding the TSA change its mind.


SEN. CHUCH SCHUMER, (D) NEW YORK: It looks dangerous and it is dangerous. This can kill someone.


COSTELLO: And it's really dark in that room. Just one problem with Schumer's demo (ph) with that knife. That particular knife will not be allowed on board under the TSA's new knife rules partly because it appears to have a razor blade, a blade that is still banned. In fairness though, who can really understand what's allowed and not allowed on planes these days? Our question, should knives be allowed on planes?

GRANDERSON: No. Simple as that. No. And not so much as me wondering whether or not someone will try to kill someone or take over a plane or hijack a plane. It's a simple matter of the fact is I was just in the airport. The TSA is barely hanging on trying to manage shampoo and shaving cream. You're asking them now to measure the size of knives and whether or not they can be held in a certain position as well as baseball bats, as well as golf clubs? It's too much. Too taxing. They're barely hanging on as it is.


CAIN: Okay, well I know how to make it easier. I'll quote the previous head the TSA. He said you ought to be able to take on battle axes and machetes, as well. Here's what's interesting. This is the insightful thing you can learn about this. What's the point of the TSA? What's the point of all the regulations? It's not to prevent acts of violence. Those can be done with fists and blunt objects. It's not to protect human beings from hurting each other on the plane. It's top protect against human beings using the plane as a weapon or to blow up the entire plane. His point, the previous head of the TSA is focus on bombs. Quit with the sharp objects. People can do each other harm. Focus on bombs. Interesting. What's the purpose of the TSA?

COSTELLO: Okay. We'll ponder that all day today, all the rest of the day.

CAIN: It is an all day question.

COSTELLO: It is, it's truly an all day question.

Now to our buzzer beater.

GRANDERSON: TSA: Tony's (ph) stupid agency.

COSTELLO: Aw geez. That was low. To our buzzer beater now. 20 seconds on the clock. Newt Gingrich has some advice for his party. Loosen up. The former Republican presidential candidate saying if asked, he would go on the hit show "The Celebrity Apprentice" because Republicans would be, quote, "so much better off and relaxed in shows like that and be interesting." New York Congressman also a Republican Peter King seemed to be taking Gingrich's advice to heart heading to the boxing ring.



COSTELLO: I hope we get to see him fight. The 68-year-old sparring at an exhibition match this weekend, entering the ring to the fight song from Notre Dame where he attended. Spokesman says King is a big boxing fan and has been training for nine years. King called the event a great experience. Our question, is Newt Gingrich right, are Republicans too uptight?

GRANDERSON: I have never in my adult life voted for a politician because they were cool. Cool may be good in terms of getting media coverage, it may be cool in terms of getting magazine covers, but no rational person votes for a politician because they are cool. So this notion that the Republicans need to be less uptight and more cool perhaps they would win the popular vote is silly. Why don't you just work on policy that the majority of American people can buy into, stop being hypocrites and stop presenting a less diverse reality of America. You're not going to be cool, but you can be a prospective (ph).


CAIN: So much to impact here. First of all, I'm not sure celebrity apprentice is the way to establish yourself as cool. Second, are Republican politicians somehow anti-cool, are they too uptight? As compared to what, Debbie Wasserman Schultz? All these cool Democratic politicians? If you're asking if Republicans or conservatives in the country across the world are too uptight, I would question your perception. Whoever is asking the question, are conservatives across this country perceived to be uncool? I would suggest get around a bit.

COSTELLO: L.Z. Granderson, Will Cain, many thanks for playing with us today. We'll be right back.


COSTELLO: At 45 minutes past the hour, time to check our top stories. Tomorrow 115 Catholic cardinals will cast their first vote for the next pope. Red curtains now hang from the central balcony at St. Peter's Basilica. That's where the new pope will be announced and then make his very first appearance. New York cardinal Timothy Dolan is among the dozen or so leading candidates.

Venezuelans will go to the polls April 14th to elect a new president to replace the late Hugo Chavez. Candidates include Vice President Nicolas Maduro who is on the left of your screen. Maduro is the interim President. Opposition leader Enrique Capriles will also be on the ballot. He lost to Chavez in October.

Heavy snow still causing travel problems across parts of Iowa this morning dozens of cars slid off icy roads and into ditches in the western areas of the state. Storm moving in to Michigan now is expected to dump about a half foot of snow in the region by this afternoon.

Did you watch "Saturday Night Live"? Justin Timberlake in that taping thing. Well it was so funny and so was Justin Timberlake, he helped "Saturday Night Live" draw its biggest audience in 14 months. The singer joins a small group of people who have actually hosted the show five times. We have to show you a sample.


JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE, SINGER: Just get beat gang, go vegetarian, hey, eat some kale, it's so much fun, veg out the move say cheese, break out.

Baby unmeal, unmeal, brown rice baby, unmeal, unmeal.

We found out, I wish I had some glow sticks


COSTELLO: I swear I could watch that all day. I laughed so hard. SNL grabbed its biggest audience since basketball great Charles Barkley hosted in January 2012.

Back to reality now. "Talk Back" question for you, will the Obama charm offensive work? or tweet me at @carolCNN. Your responses next.


COSTELLO: "Talk Back" question for you today. "Will the Obama charm offensive work?"

This from Pete, "I don't care. Both sides need to get the job done. You don't have to get along, but you must respect each other and do your job." This from Richard, "I hope so but I'm not holding my breath. My beloved GOP has been taken over by ego and hubris-laden folks who care more about dogma than governance."

This from Rick, "Charm offensive? And why call it that? It implies the President is being inherently dishonest. Like it's not something he normally is capable of."

And this from Evan. "He needs to start leading and stop trying to make the GOP look like a group of Bond villains. These trips should have started four years ago."

Please, continue the conversation. Or tweet me @carolCNN.

Remember the old Tiger Woods? The man who dominated golf, the guy who made championship red a very popular color? Well, he's back.


COSTELLO: Tiger Woods roars again with a win at Doral. He may not be ranked number one, but he sure played like the best golfer in the whole entire world this weekend. Joe Carter has more in this morning's Bleacher Report.

JOE CARTER, BLEACHER REPORT: Hi, Carol. Yes last year if you remember at this same tournament Tiger had to withdraw because of an injury he had in his Achilles. There was a concern after that tournament that he'd never get his golf game back again. Well, in the last year he sure roared back. He has five wins, most of any golfer in the world.

Of course this year he started out a win at Torrey Pines and then again yesterday with a big win at Doral both of those really dominating wins for him. And to think he's got two of his favorite golf courses ahead of him in Bay Hill and in the Masters.


TIGER WOODS, PROFESSIONAL GOLFER: That's how I know I can play. That's the thing. And -- and be able to bring it out a couple times so far this year and then able to close and get the Ws on top of that. That's nice. Any time that I can win, you know, prior to Augusta, it -- it's always feels good.


CARTER: All right. Let's talk a little basketball now. The Miami Heat won their 18th straight last night by beating the Indiana Pacers by 14 points. I mean, what's up with the Pacers? I thought they had Miami's number this year. What happened to the number one defense in the NBA?

Lebron James had one of his quietest nights offensively, but it didn't matter, because Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade, Mario Chalmers they all had great games scoring 20 points or more. Miami does go for their 19th win in a row, I should say, tomorrow night against the Atlanta Hawks.

Well, Liberty University, no doubt they are this year's ultimate Cinderella story. They just made the NCAA tournament despite having 20 losses this season. Now they started out the year losing their first eight games but then they got hot when it counted the most. Yesterday they won their conference tournament, the big south, which, of course, gives them an automatic bid into the big dance.

Great video, look at the pine marten, I haven't looked up what a pine marten is but it's a little weasel. This is at a professional soccer game in Switzerland. The pine martens blue and so one player actually catches it, Carol. But watch, it does not like to be caught. Don't mess with the pine marten, so it bites the player out of the finger. They had to get out the antiseptic.

You know this is a scary situation. So they asked the goalkeeper, hey, you come over, you got the gloves on and pick up this pine marten and bring him to safety. Because we want to make a point here, he was safe. He was not harmed during this entire escapade. Really cute video.

So of course, for all your entertaining sports news, including how the United States pulled out a win over Canada yesterday at the World Baseball Classic, you can check out

Carol, welcome back, I know you had a great time last week in Lakeland, Florida enjoying your Detroit Tigers and spring training. It was good stuff you had for us.

COSTELLO: I have more fantastic stuff to -- fantastic stuff to come, too. I also interviewed Prince Fielder and I won't give it away, but that interview will air later this week.

CARTER: Oh good.

COSTELLO: And he said some surprising things that you would not expect.


CARTER: You called him the biggest arm in baseball right?

COSTELLO: Oh my God he had big arms. They were like the size of both of my legs together. Joe Carter, many thanks.

CARTER: You bet.

COSTELLO: The next hour of CNN NEWSROOM after a quick break.


COSTELLO: Happening now in the NEWSROOM, six teenagers killed in a car crash. Police say they were speeding and should not have been driving that SUV.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We got to come together out here as a community because we can't just lose each other like this.