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STARTING POINT WITH SOLEDAD O'BRIEN

President Heads to Capitol Hill; Gwyneth Says "No Carbs for my Kids"; Jillian Michaels: "Slim for Life"

Aired March 13, 2013 - 08:30   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


HOWARD KURTZ, ANCHOR, CNN "RELIABLE SOURCES." Here, it's just encased in secrecy and we don't know what to do.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: It only makes it that much more interesting. It makes you want to know more.

SOLEDAD O'BRIEN, CNN ANCHOR: And of course they have that floor in the Sistine Chapel that blocks out any technology. So you couldn't, even if you were able to sneak in some kind of technology. They have -- you know.

LAUREN ASHBURN, CONTRIBUTOR, THE DAILY BEAST: Can you imagine a cardinal, 79 years old, sneaking in a little video camera?

(LAUGHTER)

Leaking it on Twitter?

BRUCE FEILER, AUTHOR, "THE SECRETS OF HAPPY FAMILIES": For centuries, the Catholic Church is a defined culture. The fact that it's now counterculture by being so old fashioned turns out to be a great advantage in this hyper quick age.

O'BRIEN: It was so interesting to watch when those pictures came out of the black smoke come outing and we're trying to figure out, was it black, was it gray? Was it --

(CROSSTALK)

It was all very, very -- you know, it looked -- you sort of saw something like that. It's white, and it's gray again and black to see really the reaction of the crowd to also try to determine, you know, what was happening there?

BERMAN: People want to be there for that moment.

KURTZ: Even if the new Pope is selected, they're extraordinarily tightlipped. We don't get the reconstruction of, you know, how somebody won on the fixed ballot.

O'BRIEN: Yes. They don't break it down for us. It's not like political breakthrough and analysis. Let's get right to John.

ASHBURN: In the 1200s when -- in the 1200s where it took them 2 1/2 years. (LAUGHTER) O'BRIEN: Yes. And they get bread and water and wine, and that was it.

ASHBURN: Media budget would explode.

(LAUGHTER)

O'BRIEN: Could you imagine?

John Berman has got a look at some other stories making news this morning for us.

BERMAN: Thanks, Soledad.

Well, this case is drawing national attention. It unfolded right on social media. This morning two high school football stars in Steubenville, Ohio, go on trial for rape. Prosecutors claimed Mali'k Richmond and Trent Mays, both 16, sexually assaulted a teenage girl at a party last summer. Prosecutors claimed the girl was intoxicated. Defense lawyers believe there was consent.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BRIAN DUNCAN, ATTORNEY FOR TRENT MAYS: It's our position that, you know, rape did not occur. I mean, we believe that the truth is going to come out at this trial. And the truth of the matter is is that our client, Trent Mays, did not rape this young lady.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: That case is now being heard in juvenile court, it will be today.

A frantic search for a teacher who vanished in New Orleans nearly two weeks ago. Twenty-six-year-old Terrilynn Monnette from Long Beach, California, was with friends in a bar March 2nd to celebrate her nomination as Teacher of the Year. She has not been seen or heard from since that night. And just a few minutes ago, we heard really heartbreaking words from her mother, making this tearful plea.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

I just want them to know to please bring my baby back home to me. Please. This is very hard. It's very hard. Can you -- I can't sleep at night. I can't sleep at night. I can't eat, I keep thinking about my child and where she could be. I just want her back. So, please, if you are listening and you're watching this, please bring Terrilynn home. Please. That's all I want. I want her home.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: So hard to hear. Our thoughts definitely with that family.

Police say Monnette had been drinking and said she was going to nap in her car right before she disappeared. Private 1st Class Bradley Manning, in his own words. Manning is being court-martialed for providing classified information to the WikiLeaks Web site, the biggest such leak in U.S. history. Now recording is not allowed in military courts but the Freedom of the Press Foundation has posted audio of Manning reading a statement in court on its Web site. Apparently they snuck it out.

Here he admits to leaky video from a 2007 airstrike in Baghdad that killed eight men and wounded two children.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PVT. 1ST CLASS BRADLEY MANNING: I saved a copy of the video on my workstation, at the time I placed the video and the Rules of Engagement Information onto my personal laptop. On about 21, February 2010, I used the WLO submission form and uploaded the documents.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: Manning pleaded guilty in military court to 10 criminal charges and misusing classified material, but he denied aiding the enemy.

So these mosquitoes, they just might as well be on steroids. Twenty times its normal size, they feed day and night and they sting through clothing. And the experts say they will be calling Florida home this summer. We're told that a bite from one of these supersized mosquitoes, it feels like a poke from a knife. Entomologists blamed last year's tropical storms for this invasion. Enjoy that, Florida. San traps --

O'BRIEN: Can we go back to that for me?

BERMAN: Yes.

(LAUGHTER)

O'BRIEN: Before you move. So only in Florida?

BERMAN: Seems that they're down south. That's where they'll mostly -- hopefully they don't move north.

O'BRIEN: And they're -- so they must be this -- it's like a wasp.

BERMAN: About the size of a quarter.

KURTZ: Can you take them on a plane? Under the new TSA rules or not like a knife themselves?

O'BRIEN: Gosh. It's crazy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE) onion.

O'BRIEN: It really does, doesn't it?

BERMAN: I just sounds awful, frankly. All right. San traps, trees, water, and sinkholes. The game of golf just got a lot tougher on one course in Waterloo, Illinois. Forty- three-year-old Mark Mihal was playing the 14th pole of the (INAUDIBLE) Golf Course Friday when a sinkhole swallowed him up in the middle of a fairway. He plunged 18 feet into darkness of mud. He instantly knew he was in a lot of trouble.

Earlier on "STARTING POINT" he told us all about this in his buddies when they jumped in to help.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MARK MIHAL, FELL ITO GOLF COURSE SINKHOLE: At first I just -- I actually thought about the poor family in Florida, it's been on the news a lot. The sinkhole issue down there, and then just darkness, just hoping to land on something, sometime soon and something hopefully not hard.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: Mihal suffered a dislocated shoulder. You know, geologists in the area said he had better odds of winning the lottery than falling in that silkhole.

O'BRIEN: I bet he wished --

BERMAN: Yes, the lottery.

O'BRIEN: The lottery.

KURTZ: Cause that would have been a lot better.

O'BRIEN: Right. Given the option, pick the lottery.

So let's talk politics, shall we? It's day two of the charm offensive. The president heading to Capitol Hill again to meet with lawmakers. Yesterday he met with Democrats over lunch, today, it's the House Republicans who just yesterday unveiled a budget that would sharply cut spending. They claim it would balance the budget in 10 years. It's a goal that the president disagreed with last night.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: My goal is not to chase a balanced budget just for the sake of balance. My goal is, how do we grow the economy, put people back to work, and if we do that, we're going to be bringing in more revenue, if we've controlled spending and we've got a smart entitlement package, then potentially what you have is balance, but it's not balance on the backs of, you know, the poor, the elderly, students who need student loans, families who've got disabled kids. That's not the right way to balance our budget.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O'BRIEN: Congressman Tom Price is a Republican from Georgia. He's the vice chairman of the Budget Committee. He'll be in that meeting with the president today.

Nice to see you, sir. Thank you for talk to us.

REP. TOM PRICE (R), GEORGIA: Hey, Soledad. Good to be with you again. Thank you.

O'BRIEN: They called it a charm offensive. And the "National Journal", as you well know, quoted a White House source who said this. "This is a joke, we're wasting the president's time and hours. I hope you all in the media are happy because we're doing it for you."

That's a senior White House official. Then a little bit later Jay Carney stepped back from that and said that that White House official was not speaking accurately. But do you think it's a waste of time? Do you think that the charm offensive is actually, you know, kind of disingenuous?

PRICE: Well, we hope not. The fact of the matter is in order to solve the big challenges that we have, there has to be trust. There has to be trust on both sides. So we -- we will welcome the president to the Capitol today, look forward to what he has to say. But it's got -- this has to be more than just one step and so I'm hopeful that this is the first step in a long process of getting together and working together to find the common ground so that we can solve the incredible challenges that we have in this country.

O'BRIEN: What would you like him to say in this first step? What would you feel good about if he laid it out for you today?

PRICE: Well, I hope it's just that. The policy differences are real and they're not going to be solved by one meeting. But I hope that what the president says is that I understand that Republicans have the majority in the House. It's clear that we need to get together and find the common ground to solve challenges, and this is the beginning of an ongoing process, as opposed to just checking the box as that reporter apparently thought it was going to be.

O'BRIEN: You heard what the president said in a little clip we played coming in.

PRICE: Yes.

O'BRIEN: He said he doesn't want balance for the sake of balance. That actually, you know, the wrong kinds of cuts that would be hurtful to people would be a problem. What do you make of what he told? I think it was George Stephanopoulos that he was talking to.

PRICE: Yes, well, it's -- we believe it's important to balance not the how -- how you get balance, but the why? Why is it important to balance? Well, it's important to get our budge in balance so that means that Washington doesn't spend more money than it takes in. Just like families can't, and just like businesses across this country can't.

And the reason that it's important for government to do so is that it creates greater growth, greater opportunity, more security for individuals, more growth in the economy so that jobs can be created. More opportunity for young people to find jobs, 50 percent of the young people getting out of college today can't find a job in their area of expertise. That's just wrong and we need to get the economy thriving again.

And then for seniors, we need to make certain that we save and strengthen and secure the safety net programs, Medicare especially which is on track right now under current law, the president's plan apparently to go broke within 10 years.

(CROSSTALK)

So we believe there are positive ways to make this happen.

O'BRIEN: But that the why. And forgive me interrupting you, sir, but that's the why. And we heard from the president was the how actually. I mean, as much as you say the house not that important, to some degree it sounds like what the president is saying is the how is everything that balancing for the sake of balancing is going to be on the backs of the same list of people that you just mentioned, students, and elderly, and poor people, so that's actually problematic.

PRICE: Yes, as the president hasn't brought his budget to Congress yet this year. You're supposed to do it on February 4th. We look forward to seeing it. But his last budget spent $46 trillion. In the next 10 years. Our budget spends $41 trillion in the next 10 years. Hardly draconian reductions this is a slower growth of spending so that we can get the balance.

Clearly there is waste in Washington --

KURTZ : Congressman --

PRICE: The American people can't stop that.

KURTZ : Congressman, it's Howard Kurtz. Let's talk about your budget for a second.

PRICE: Hey, Howard.

KURTZ : The ones that you are pushing with Paul Ryan. It's hard to regard it as a serious policy document because it includes the repeal of Obamacare. Every member of your family knows that's not going to happen. So it's basically a political statement. Right?

PRICE: Now, this is a vision. This is what we believe ought to be the priorities for the country. No, we believe this ought to be the priorities for the country and we don't believe that the president's healthcare law is wise from a healthy --

(CROSSTALK)

KURTZ : But we have had that battle. It was upheld by the Supreme Court. There was an election in which Barack Obama was re-elected. You don't seriously believe that the Congress is going to repeal Obamacare, do you?

PRICE: Howard, costs are going up for healthcare, access is being diminished. Quality is being diminished. There are American people are going to tolerate this. Legally there's a better way and that's what we put in our budget, a better way to save and strengthen and secure Medicare. A better way to provide state flexibility for Medicaid and a better way to provide health coverage for the American people.

That's what we believe. That's our vision. That's the starting point. We look forward to the Senate budget. They haven't done one in four years, they're going to do one this year, thanks goodness. We look forward to that and then we look forward to finding the common ground to move forward.

O'BRIEN: I love when someone throws a name the name of my show. STARTING POINT. Right into their answer.

Congressman, let me ask you a question where some conservatives are very annoyed in this particular budget Is not necessarily even the repeal of Obamacare. They're mad that you're keeping the $624 dollars in tax increases that came of our the fiscal cliff deal.

What about that?

PRICE: Well, we believe that tax reform ought to occur and so we get a pro-growth tax policy, so that we get the economy rolling again. And we're going to charge the Ways and Means Committee with doing that. They've come out with some white papers that provide a construct for that and that what we're excited about, excited about making sure that we bring down tax rates for individuals and for businesses. We have the highest business corporate rate in the industrialized world.

That doesn't create jobs for anybody. In fact that's a disincentive for job creation. So there's wonderful reforms, positive reforms, to get our economy rolling again and get jobs being created again within the House Republican budget. We look forward to the debate that's going to come.

O'BRIEN: Congressman Tom Price joining us morning. Nice to see you, sir. Thank you for time.

PRICE: Thanks, Soledad.

O'BRIEN: You bet.

Still ahead this morning on STARTING POINT, actress Gwyneth Paltrow has kind of an interesting and kind of controversial rule for her children. No carbs. No carbs? Like none? You know how hard it is? No carbs? Come to talk about that.

Also we're going to talk with Jillian Michaels about if that's healthy at all, she's written a new book. She's from "The Biggest Loser of course." Her new book is called "Slim for Life." Got some tips from her book. She's ahead. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O'BRIEN: The actress Gwyneth Paltrow was known as much for her starring roles as some her quirky diet has admitted to keeping her kids away from carbohydrates. She's got a new cookbook "It's All Good" is the name of the cookbook and she said that her family, which includes her eight-year-old daughter Apple and her six-year-old son Moses don't eat pasta, don't eat bread, don't eat rice, don't eat other carbs. She says the decision was based on the fact that everybody in her house is gluten and dairy intolerant.

She writes this, "Sometimes when my family is not eating pasta, or processed grains like white rice, we're left with a specific hunger that comes with avoiding carbs." You know the kids are so young and originally I didn't realize that they were all gluten intolerant. So that makes a lot of sense actually.

ASHBURN: But her name is Apple and she can't eat fruit?

O'BRIEN: That's -- that's an interesting connection.

KURTZ: Is carbs a realistic way to live? How long can you keep that up?

ASHBURN: No absolutely not realistic.

O'BRIEN: You don't even know if we can eat zero carb.

ASHBURN: You're saying that society is black and white. You don't eat all of this all the time.

(CROSSTALK)

O'BRIEN: She's cutting out pasta bread, rice. I mean, some of those things are very processed. They are not necessarily healthy, I can't wait to talk to Jillian Michaels about this. She knows all about -- I am off on a limb here. But she would be able to fill us in. Because some of these stuff are very processed and to get a kid away from eating processed food would not inherently be a bad thing --

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Without hot dogs, without grilled cheese, no clue for my house.

(CROSSTALK)

ASHBURN: How do they feel about chicken nuggets.

KURTZ: But then they would go the fridge and they eat cupcakes you know. How do you keep them?

O'BRIEN: No, they don't. If they are gluten intolerant they certainly don't or they really regret it later.

ASHBURN: It's a hard way to do it.

BRUCE FEILER, AUTHOR, "THE SECRETS OF A HAPPY FAMILIES": I was on a very intense diet the last six months and I have seven-year-old twins and I said don't let the hard in the house, I mean I live in fear as the father of daughters of introducing food, body image issues. To me it's a massive fear.

O'BRIEN: Does that apply to processed food is bad for you? So guess what? Bleached flour, probably avoiding that, is not such a bad thing.

FEILER: Right.

O'BRIEN; And guess what? Pasta that's made of white flour, probably not a bad thing to be not eating that. I don't think I have a problem with that.

ASBURN: I have a hard time making things --

(CROSSTALK)

O'BRIEN: You just like pasta.

ASHBURN: I love Italian food. What can I say?

O'BRIEN: You just don't like the --

(CROSSTALK)

ASHBURN: I just want to eat it.

KURTZ: Then you should eat it.

O'BRIEN: All right, well speaking of diet talk, we're going to be chatting with celebrity trainer Jillian Michaels. She's known for being kind of hard core when it comes to getting folks in shape. She's got a new book which is called "Slim for Life". Some really interesting tips in that. She's up next.

Hi, Jillian, nice to see you.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O'BRIEN: Well Jillian Michaels known as the ultimate tough love trainer and we've seen the tough. She's been on 11 seasons of NBC's "The Biggest Loser" aggressively pushing contestants to lose weight, to get in shape. Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JILLIAN MICHAELS, : The only way are you coming off this damn treadmill is if you die off. Go, go, go, go, go, go. And every time you want to quit, you think about your father who's about to drop dead on the treadmill. Go, go.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O'BRIEN: Oh, my God. You scare me.

(CROSSTALK)

MICHAELS: That's like a five-year-old clip. Wow.

O'BRIEN: Eleven seasons.

MICHAELS: Yes.

O'BRIEN: I didn't realize you have been on that it's amazing. Your new book is called "Slim for Life". And I love this book. Because one of the things that you do is you sort of give tips in terms of value. For example, over food. Like what is the -- what is the best thing you can possibly do? Throw up some of those that you give three points to. Three points is the highest. For food you say don't skip meals, and you say, say it loud.

MICHAELS: No kidding.

O'BRIEN: No, get rid of that, on whatever is on the screen. Follow me. There you go. Because I have mine right here. So don't skip meals. That's kind of a basic -- but you say there's a real reason behind why you shouldn't skip meals. And you shouldn't graze at the same time.

MICHAELS: Exactly. You don't want to be eating throughout the day and the whole small meals throughout the day thing is an absolute myth. That keeps your insulin surging all day long, which is terrible for weight loss and when you skip meals, you become overly hungry. The magic rule is four by four. Four meals, every four hours, four times a day.

O'BRIEN: Say it loud.

MICHAELS: This has just been actually a one-point tip. And what I want you to do when you're having that moment in the middle of the night and you go to the pantry again, say it out loud. I am actually five more cookies at this moment in time.

O'BRIEN: Why does that help? Because I think that would just --

MICHAELS: No, it shifts. It actually helps you shift from that impulsive part of the brain to a part of your brain more about reason and logic. It creates a pause and it gets you to question your behaviors and think things through.

KURTZ: I would do better if you would come yell at me when I'm going to the refrigerator.

MICHAELS: I don't know. You may not feel that way that I point out.

O'BRIEN: When it comes to exercise you have a couple of tips to get in the top level. Consistency is key. Of all the studies that you read, is that really the thing that will keep you losing weight?

MICHAELS: With weight loss, absolutely. Being consistent with your diet program, with your exercise regimen is what's going to get you results. If you start a fad diet for a month, and it's not sustainable, of course, you're going to go back to the old way. And you're going to put the weight back on and then some. So you want to find a program and that's the point of this book is they're simple, manageable tips that you can be consistent with. No deprivation.

O'BRIEN: You say. Remodel your muscles.

MICHAELS: Yes.

O'BRIEN: That sounds like plastic surgery.

MICHAELS: Yes, well --

O'BRIEN: Wait a minute, I think I can do that.

MICHAELS: -- no with none of the cost. So that's the good news. The idea is that the way you work out, you can work out for a half an hour and get just as good results, if not better as though you were in the gym for an hour. It's how you train. So it's about using techniques like high intensity interval training, combinations lifts where you're working your upper and lower body at the same time. Working in an elevated heart rate 85 percent of your max during that half an hour.

O'BRIEN: Be youthful while are you doing it.

MICHAELS: Exactly.

O'BRIEN: Can we ask you about Gwyneth Paltrow because we were chatting about her just a moment ago.

MICHAELS: Oh sure.

O'BRIEN: I'm not sure the degree to which she is cutting all carbs out, or she's just cutting some of the processed ones like some, you know, bread and rice and things like that.

Is that a smart idea for kids who are seen to be gluten intolerant?

MICHAELS: If a child is gluten intolerant, that means they have Celiac's (ph) disease. This is yet another trend. I sort of clear up all these myths in the book. Most of us are not actually gluten intolerant. We don't have Celiac's disease. It's another diet fad.

And the reality is that gluten, foods with gluten -- I'm sorry without gluten have less fiber, more calories and less nutrients, so unless you have Celiac's disease, you don't need to be worrying about gluten. That's 100 percent not true.

FEILER: I want to ask you a question about sugar. I have -- true morning TV confessions, I've lost 30 pounds in the last seven months.

MICHAELS: Congratulations.

FEILER: We were talking about cancer earlier. I did it as a post chemo anti-inflammatory diet. I cut out grain of all kind not just gluten, starch, sugar, milk, and yogurt. But I want to ask you about the sugar because there's a ton of research now that sugar is very toxic. And I think most of the weight I lost, I didn't do it for that reason, though I'm happy to have the weight off, was because of the sugar. Is this a thing where you can say if I'm going to cut one thing out of my diet, it should be sugar?

MICHAELS: No. I would never, ever do that. That is the worst thing you can do, simply because it's not manageable. You're not going to go the rest of your life without a bite of brownie or a cookie.

O'BRIEN: I have a candy bar every morning. It works.

MICHAELS: Here's the rule. Here's what I want you to do. Sugar in moderation is ok. So the rule, I have a book called the "80/20 Rule". 20 percent of the time, have a piece of pizza, have a cookie. 80 percent of the time, make the better food choice. If you gave it up, would it be healthy for you? Ok fine. Is it sustainable? I highly doubt it.

O'BRIEN: I want to ask just a quick question. Can you be skinny and not work out?

MICHAELS: Absolutely. But you might not be healthy.

O'BRIEN: Good answer. Nice to have you. The book is called -- you are the only person who has ever said that -- "Slim for Life". Jillian Michaels, nice to have you with us. Real pleasure.

MICHAELS: Thank you so much. I appreciate it.

O'BRIEN: We have to take a break. We're back in a moment.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O'BRIEN: We only have time for Bruce Feiler to end our morning with "End Point". What have you got?

FEILER: When Jillian sat down, I was saying that my new book "The Secret of Happy Families" is next to hers on the bestseller. And one of the things I learned from looking at happy families for many years is what's the key? To try. To take small steps and accumulate small wins.

And that's why I was thinking about the diet. When I first learned I had to go on this diet, I was shocked and horrified. And giving up all these things, I didn't think it was possible, but once I started, my body kicked in, it became self-reinforcing.

O'BRIEN: You were able to do it. Nice to have all you guys this morning. Thank you for talking with us. We appreciate it.

KURTZ: Nice to be here.

O'BRIEN: You want to stay tuned for special coverage of the papal conclave. Two votes remain this afternoon 12:30, 2:00 p.m. Eastern. Anderson Cooper and Chris Cuomo begin special coverage live from Rome at 11:00 Eastern right here on CNN.

CNN NEWSROOM with Carol Costello begins right now.