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STARTING POINT WITH SOLEDAD O'BRIEN

Congress Faces Gun and Immigration Bills; "42" the Magic Number; Interview with Matthew Hussey on "Ready to Love"; Unconventional Model Casey Legler

Aired April 15, 2013 - 08:30   ET

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


(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back to STARTING POINT on this Monday morning. I'm John Berman.

BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning, I'm Brooke Baldwin. Thanks for being with us here.

A new take this morning in this ongoing debate over guns in this country. Are people in other countries concerned about the proliferation of guns in America? Well, CNN's Jill Dougherty is traveling with the Secretary of State John Kerry in Japan, and she put that question to him.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOHN KERRY, SECRETARY OF STATE: we had an interesting discussion why fewer students are coming to, particularly from Japan, to study in the United States. And one of the responses I got from our officials, from conversations with parents here, is that they're actually scared. They think they're not safe in the United States, and so they don't come.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: Kerry says that officials tell him that Japanese feel safe in their own country because guns are not readily available.

BERMAN: And, you know, gun control is really just one of the hot topics on Capitol Hill this week. It is a huge week in Washington. Immigration reform also on the table. A vote is expected Wednesday on gun legislation. Meanwhile, Senator Rubio in the so-called Gang of Eight, they unleash their 1,000-page immigration reform bill tomorrow.

BALDWIN: Here with their wise political insights on this early Monday are the Macks, Mary Bono Mack, former Repbulican Congresswoman from California, and Connie Mack, former Republican Congressman from Florida. Good morning.

CONNIE MACK (R), FMR. FLORIDA CONGRESSMAN: Good morning, good morning.

BALDWIN: As we look ahead to Wednesday, and the vote for gun control and this expansion on background checks, this sort of brokered deal compromise from Senators Toomey and Manchin, I feel like there's sort of two storylines we can talk about this morning. It's the should we just at least be encouraged that there's compromise happening, that there are items now that are getting to the floor, A, or B, the fact that it may not get the votes to pass? Where do we go?

CONNIE MACK: Well, I think that this is how the Senate is supposed to work, having discussions, people getting together to try to solve problems. I don't think at the end of the day this bill -- it may pass the Senate and I think when you have Senator McCain saying he's in-cleared to support it, I think he's going to try to help it. So when you get that, I think it will pass. But in the House it will be another issue altogether. So it's a lot of hurdles still to go over to get this bill passed.

BERMAN: In the Senate, estimates it will take anywhere from six to seven Republican votes to pass the measure because some Democrats will vote against it.

You know, Mary, you're often considered a moderate Republican. Some of these Republicans in the Senate right now who are on the fence, what kind of pressure are they under from both sides?

MARY BONO MACK (R), FMR. CALIFORNIA CONGRESSWOMAN: Well, that's a great question. Not only pressure from both sides, but pressure from people back home and people from victims of shootings. I think that right now there's definitely an emotional argument out there.

I'm encouraged to see the leadership that is coming out of both of the senators. I think it's a great place to start. You know, the sausage making process of making laws is something the American people generally hate, but in this instance I think it's a great leadership that they're both showing. And is it moves through the process, picking up somebody like a Connie Mack who would be very conservative or a moderate like me, there are different ways they have to do it, different ways to go about it. But I think the American people should be proud that these two senators have put themselves out there and put forward a plan.

BALDWIN: But it's one thing to be proud; it's another though when we all remember what happened in December in Newtown, right? And there was this sort of scent (ph), and this momentum, and now if this was the only sliver of a possibility that could pass when it comes to gun legislation here, I mean, this could be it. This could not happen and it could be nothing.

MARY BONO MACK: Go ahead, Connie.

CONNIE MACK: No, go ahead.

MARY BONO MACK: Thank you, dear. It doesn't happen like that at home. Trust me.

But I have another sort of viewpoint on this and I've been talking a lot about the mental health side of what happens in our schools. I know that, you know, long ago go we were talking about that. Imagine being a lawmaker and supporting this bill and truly saying to this constituents this is going to stop the problem. And God forbid if another shooting happens, lawmakers are going to have to look back and say was this the right vote? Did we do the right thing and did we go far enough?

CONNIE MACK: And let me add this, as I've said before, I wouldn't -- if I were still in the position to vote, I would not support this legislation. I think that it's going to be difficult, like I said, once -- if it does pass the Senate to then move and pass in the House. I'm one that doesn't believe that we should be expanding and having the government in a position to have a registry, if that's where this thing goes, and I'm very concerned about that. I don't think the federal government should own that kind of information.

BERMAN: With the time we have left, I want to switch to immigration here because your Florida colleague, Senator Marco Rubio, was out in force this weekend, appearing on seven Sunday talk shows really in support of this immigration bill being put forth by the so-called Gang of Eight. Let's just listen quickly to what he said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R), FLORIDA: My job in the Senate is not just to give speeches and do interviews, it's to solve problems. And anyone who thinks that what we have now on immigration is not a problem is fooling themselves. What we have in place today is de facto amnesty. What we have in place today is not good for anyone except human traffickers and people who are hiring illegal aliens and paying them less than American workers. These are the only people benefiting from the system that exists today. It's bad for everybody else.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: It was a passionate defense of his proposal and the Gang of Eight proposal. He insists it's not amnesty. Is it?

CONNIE MACK: I don't think it is and, look, we wouldn't be in this position if it wasn't for somebody like Marco Rubio. He comes from a place and can speak to this issue better than any other person in the Senate, better than any other Republican. He's got a lot of credibility and when he says it's not amnesty and we're going to secure the border and e-verify, and he can articulate the issues in the way that he does, I don't think it's amnesty. And I think there's a lot of people -- he should be getting more support from the right on his effort on this immigration legislation.

BALDWIN: OK, we'll leave it there. Congressman, Congresswoman, thank you very much.

MARY BONO MACK: Thank you.

BALDWIN: Appreciate it.

Developing this morning, search and rescue teams in Washington state's Cascade Mountains are hoping to resume the search for a missing hiker who was buried by this massive avalanche just this past Saturday. The search for 60-year-old Mitch Hungate was suspended yesterday because of rough conditions on this mountain. His wife and sister, though, they are keeping vigil nearby.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHERYL HUNGATE, MISSING HIKER'S SISTER: He was my best friend and my brother. He was always there for me. He had the kindest heart.

MARILYNN HUNGATE, MISSING HIKER'S WIFE: I feel his heartbeat. I know he's with me.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: The avalanche on Granite Mountain was the first of two avalanches Saturday in the Cascades. The second on nearby Red Mountain killed a female hiker.

BERMAN: A French gangster makes a spectacular prison break and this morning there is a manhunt across Europe to try to track him down. Police in Northern France, in the Northern French city of Lille, say Redoine Faid blasted his way out of prison on Saturday. They don't know how he got the explosives. Faid, I should say, gained criminal fame hijacking armored trucks and now he is on the loose in Europe somewhere, and again there is this manhunt to chase him down.

BALDWIN: They don't know how he got the explosives to this prison. It wasn't a super max prison but he left no trace, had a getaway car, torched the getaway car. Stunning story. Interpol want him found.

Rescuers near Big Sur, California, fighting 12-foot seas and 30-mile- an-hour winds to pluck these four people out of a life raft. This was Saturday. They were forced onto the raft after their tugboat sank. Apparently it went down so fast they didn't even have time to get their cold water gear. All four survivors are OK.

BERMAN: There are some concerns over a possible meningitis outbreak this morning among gay men. This after a young lawyer in Los Angeles died suddenly of a lethal strain. Twenty-two cases have been reported in New York City, seven of them fatal. L.A. County officials have not determined if the 33-year-old was infected with the same strain that killed the men in New York. The AIDS Health Care Foundation is offering free vaccinations in the Los Angeles area for those who believe they might be at risk.

BALDWIN: And a study released this morning shows mixed results when it comes to young drivers and the use of those electronic devices. Three quarters of drivers in the age range between 16 and 21, they say they have switched off the devices while driving because of peer pressure, because all the public service campaigns. But 95 percent admit that when they're alone and behind the wheel, they're texting, they're talking on the phone, even watching videos while behind the wheel. So peer pressure helps, but driving alone, not so much.

BERMAN: That's interesting. So "42" was the magic number at the box office this weekend. The Jackie Robinson film was the number one movie in America, taking in $27.3 million. That's the best opening ever for a baseball film. And today Major Leaguers everywhere, they will be wearing 42 on their uniforms as a part of baseball's annual Jackie Robinson Day celebration. Today marks 66 years since Robinson made his debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers, breaking baseball's color barrier.

BALDWIN: OK, here we go, Berman. This is our cutest story of day. You have these two little boys in Oregon; they're already best buddies. But their bond is even stronger now because one saved the other from this severe allergic reaction to tree nuts. Sullivan Moore accidentally took a bite of a classmate's snack thinking it was just chocolate. Alas, it was Nutella. So that is when Branson Dool (ph) sprang into action.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIIP)

SULLIVAN MOORE: He knew I was like this.

PATTI MOORE, SULLIVAN'S MOTHER: A hero, I guess, is really the only word that can describe that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: Oh my gosh, precious. Branson read the jar's label, figured out what was going on, told the teacher to give Sullivan the medicine he need. The school honored him during an assembly.

BERMAN: Yeah, they did. Look at those kids.

BALDWIN: Look at that little tie. He's like, yes, my little buddy saved my life, possibly. Thank you.

BERMAN: Good for them. Love seeing that.

All right, ahead on STARTING POINT, he is one of the matchmakers on the new show, "Ready for Love". Mathew Hussey is next with key dating advice and the eight words to get a man's attention.

BALDWIN: Stay tuned for that. Then take a look at this model, who is the talk of the fashion world. Would you believe this is a woman? We're going to talk to Casey Legler, the first female model who was signed to model as a man.

Thirty eight minutes past the hour, you're watching STARTING POINT.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ALISON KOSIK, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Welcome back. I'm Alison Kosik in for Christine Romans, Minding Your Business this morning. Dow futures are down about 50 points and oil prices are dropping to $89 a barrel. Investors are looking past upbeat earnings from Citigroup. Instead, they're focusing on a new report showing China's economy is slowing. China is gorwing at a 7.7 percent annual pace. That's down from last year and is weaker than expected. But look at how that compares to the U.S. -- much higher. As one of our biggest trading partners, this has big implications for U.S. companies.

A bidding war for Sprint Nextel. Dish Network is bidding $25 billion for the phone company. The problem is Sprint agreed last fall to sell a majority stake to Softbank, a Japanese tech company, for $20 billion. A deal could position Sprint as a competitor, a stronger a competitor, against AT&T and Verizon. And for Dish, it could allow them to offer customers TV, Internet and phone bundled together. We're watching shares of Sprint surging 14 percent in premarket tradings.

Talk of the iPhone 6 heating up and the best indicator of whether or not Apple is coming out with something new -- if hiring picks up at Apple's manufacturers. "The Wall Street Journal" says that's exactly what's happening. Since the end of March, Foxconn in China has hired about 10,000 assembly line workers per week. The additions are at Foxconn's main iPhone production facility. There has talk Apple is coming out with a new iPhone in the next few months.

I can't believe they're look to replace -- I just got my iPhone 5. It's already going to be a door stop.

BALDWIN: I'm behind in the dark ages with a 4.

BERMAN: I'm going to get in line right now over at the Apple store.

KOSIK: Save me a spot.

BALDWIN: Thank you, Alison.

It is the latest relationship show, "Ready for Love," part reality, part game show. Three matchmakers are enlisted to find the perfect mate for three guys looking for love.

BERMAN: Or love, as we like to say. One of those dating experts is Matthew Hussey, who first started coaching singles in his native Great Britain. Hussey not only gives advice on the show; he gives it in his new book, which is called, "Get the Guy: Learn Secrets of the Male Mind to Find the Love You Deserve.:

Now, we have a lot of secrets, let me tell you that. Christine Romans and I had a chance to talk with Hussey, who shared his dating advice.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BERMAN: Tell us about the show. In the show, you're in competition with other matchmakers.

MATTHEW HUSSEY, NEW SHOW, "READY TO LOVE": You know what, there is a friendly competition about it, but it's not focused on the competition. Because ultimately we're playing with real people's lives and these guys, we want them to end happy and we want the women that end up with them to be happy. So I'm certainly not going, to at the end of the day, push one of my women to be with a guy who, you know, maybe is better off with a woman from one of the other matchmakers.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: Right. To get the guy, what is your number one piece of advice? Play hard to get? That's the old classic advice.

HUSSEY: Yes, hard to get doesn't work. It never has actually.

ROMANS: Then why do so many women do it?

HUSSEY: Because it has the illusion of working in the short term. I talk about this in the book. The idea behind hard to get is make him chase you. But a really confident guy doesn't see a woman who is cold, aloof and distant and go, "I must have her." He thinks, "I want someone who is happy and who wants to be with me."

BERMAN: Is there a trick or are there tricks to getting a guy's attention?

HUSSEY: Yes.

ROMANS: Like what?

HUSSEY: I'd say technique rather than trick, but there are ways. There are eight words that immediately get a guy attracted.

ROMANS: OK, which ones can you say on TV in the morning?

(CROSSTALK)

HUSSEY: So you go up to a guy and you say, "I could really use your help with something." Now, as soon as you say that to guy, two instincts are set off in guy -- provide and protect. Because as soon as you say, "I could really use your help with something," a guy, he's thinking, "Anything. You give me a task and I'll do it, because I'm now the knight in shining armor."

So you then follow up, let's say you were in a coffee shop, and you said, "Can you hold my coat for me for two seconds while I give these drinks to my friends?" No guy is going to go, "No." OK, so then you give your drinks to your friends, you come back, you take your coat, and you say, "Thank you so much. How's your day going anyway?"

BERMAN: So, you know, I've been a guy for a long time. You make it sound very simple.

HUSSEY: Well, we have our ways of being simple. You know but -- here's the thing. People want to be liked. People want to be talked to. And especially by someone who is charming. And I think we live in an age where so many people have lost the art of charm.

ROMANS: You're not a big fan of traditional dinner and a movie. Why?

HUSSEY: The movie/dinner date is -- it doesn't set itself up for real connection. Here is the thing we're already nervous on a date.

ROMANS: Right.

HUSSEY: What makes you more nervous is sitting face to face like this. Because now if there is an awkward silence, where do we look? What makes you even more nervous is eating in front of each other.

BERMAN: Just showing my teeth -- (CROSSTALK)

HUSSEY: Right exactly so the best thing you can do, go sit at the bar in a restaurant. Sit side by side because now you're close, you have proximity.

ROMANS: Right.

HUSSEY: It's easier to touch and be tactile side by side rather than face to face. And you can actually if there's an awkward silence, you're just people watching.

ROMANS: We can use this on the set actually probably if we ever need this -- awkward silences. You can fill them, I can look away.

BERMAN: What about the whole making the first move thing?

HUSSEY: Yes making the first move -- some of the women say to me I can't make the first move, I'm old fashioned. And I say you're not old fashioned then.

ROMANS: Right.

HUSSEY: Because women have been making the first move for a long time.

BERMAN: There's been a lot of relationship books out there. Why is your approach different?

HUSSEY: Before I even started this process, I coached 10,000 guys in their love lives.

ROMANS: Wow.

HUSSEY: So I have -- I'm pretty much the only person in the world who has been able to take all of that experience from guys, because it's not enough for me to say I'm a guy, therefore I know guys. It's like saying you're a woman, so you know women. It doesn't work like that.

But having coached 10,000 of them I've created a mosaic of the way guys think, why they do the things they do? Women can read this book to find answers to questions like why didn't he call back, why won't he commit, how do I change those things. How do I actually get more from the men in my life. And it really empowers women in that way.

ROMANS: What's your analysis of Berman?

BERMAN: Oh, come on.

ROMANS: If you were coaching Berman out there --

BERMAN: I'd be 10,001 he stopped at 10,000.

HUSSEY: He's good, he's got the results.

ROMANS: I know you're right, you're absolutely right. BERMAN: Right, I've got the right, I put a ring on it.

ROMANS: I have two beautiful children. But you always have to work on it every day Berman.

BERMAN: Yes thanks I appreciate it.

ROMANS: You never forget, you never forget --

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BERMAN: I picked up some key insights on the male mind there.

BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: As a dude, do you concur?

BERMAN: And he's very handsome and charming and he's got the accent there so I tend to listen to anyone with an accent, you know, he sounds coordinated.

BALDWIN: We'll talk to Mrs. Berman about that.

Ahead on STARTING POINT she's the first female model signed to pose as a man. Casey Legler joins us live next in the studio.

BERMAN: She's here right now.

BALDWIN: Good morning.

BERMAN: Welcome.

BALDWIN: STARTING POINT is back after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BERMAN: Welcome back, everyone.

So Casey Legler was hired last summer by the Ford Models Agency as a male model for designer men's wear. No big deal, right? But guess what Legler is a woman. And the fashion world says the first to be signed exclusively as a male model.

BALDWIN: And Casey joins us this morning. Good morning.

CASEY LEGLER, MODEL: Hi, good morning.

BALDWIN: It's a wild story. I read about it some time ago. So just take us back though because you have this photographer buddy, right.

LEGLER: Yes.

BALDWIN: So you're posing -- you're posing for a news magazine.

LEGLER: That's right.

BALDWIN: And he takes some pictures of you.

LEGLER: Yes.

BALDWIN: And Ford Agency says let's sign you up.

LEGLER: Yes. That's what happened.

BALDWIN: But -- but -- but not just you know Ford comes to you and says let's have you model as a man.

LEGLER: Yes.

BALDWIN: Should they explain why?

LEGLER: No what actually happened is Cass was shooting for (INAUDIBLE) as you said she showed the photographs to her friend Emily Novak who is my agent, and Emily was like who is this person. And Cass said this is my friend Casey. Are you interested. And I came in and we talked very briefly and then they signed me within the day.

BERMAN: And they had no problem with it, just did it immediately, didn't care man, woman?

LEGLER: I don't think it was that they didn't care. I just think that it was -- I mean they saw me walk in and they're actually -- she obviously belongs on our men's board, you know.

BERMAN: When you're modeling as a man, what's going through your head? Is this a performance art that you're doing?

(CROSSTALK)

LEGLER: Yes, sure. So my background is art-making so I have this whole body of work and I was also a professional athlete. So I have always used my body to kind of be the narrative to carry the narrative of what I'm doing. And so in a way this modeling is just kind of an extension of that. And so when I'm modeling men's clothes, it's actually pretty easy for me. When I'm modeling women's clothes, I think it's closer to the performance is what happens. Because that's definitely so much more involved and there is the vogueing and the this and the that and the makeup and --

BALDWIN: The whole thing.

LEGLER: The whole thing, yes.

BALDWIN: Reading about you, though, growing up, you swam in the Olympics in Atlanta. You were an athlete, 6'2". I had read that you wanted to wear -- you would have preferred being on the side of the pool in a tutu. My question would be, did you grow up sort of dressing more girly or not?

LEGLER: I think that's a great question. I wore all of my clothes actually all at the same time and my preference was definitely for like more theatrical -- not even theatrical clothes. I mean I really was in love with tutus so kind of the long like "Swan Lake" tutu experience.

BALDWIN: Wow.

LEGLER: Yes.

BALDWIN: Do you still dress that way ever?

LEGLER: Yes, sure. I have a tutu.

BERMAN: I mean who doesn't really?

LEGLER: That's what I'm saying. Everyone should have a tutu.

BALDWIN: You're a model.

BERMAN: Who knows? Tutus aside, what do you think this says about beauty and gender?

LEGLER: I think that that's also a good question. I think I'd like to submit here that I think what is more interesting maybe is what it says about how we celebrate difference. And this just happens to be one of the places where that's happening, you know, that I get to kind of celebrate masculinity and femininity. I happen to be able to do both.

It also makes me someone like Brittney Griner who is an amazing, amazing magical basketball player.

BERMAN: Baylor University.

LEGLER: Yes, you know, and I think that -- I think that this in the fashion world is just more about -- it's just an example of what's happening maybe in a larger sphere just about kind of celebrating excellence in whatever package that comes in.

BALDWIN: I have to ask, when you're walking in for a shoot and there are other guys, male models, they're like who is she?

LEGLER: No, they're awesome. Yes, they're really great. They're totally amazing awesome. They don't even blink an eye.

BERMAN: Casey Legler, so nice to meet you.

LEGLER: It's really nice to meet you, too. Thanks a lot.

BALDWIN: Good luck. Good luck.

BERMAN: STARTING POINT back in a moment.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BERMAN: All right welcome back everyone.

So have you seen this? Does it make you want to ship your pants?

BALDWIN: Thank you for clarifying that. We're talking about K-Mart's new viral ad for their online services. I pretty much talk to the 10- year-old in every single one of us. But Does it go too far for a laugh? Listen for yourself.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You can ship your pants right here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you hear that? I can ship my pants for free.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Wow, I just may ship my pants.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, ship your pants. Billy, you can ship your pants, too.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I can't wait to ship my pants, Dad.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I just shipped my pants and it's very convenient.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Very convenient.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I just shipped my drawers.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: There really is nothing left to say after that.

That is all for STARTING POINT everyone. I'm John Berman. That's Brooke Baldwin.

Tomorrow on STARTING POINT, we're talking with singer Nick Lachey and we're talking about new music and fatherhood. Meanwhile, "NEWSROOM" with Carol Costello begins right now.