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Shutdown Showdown Over Obamacare; Obama and Clintons Share the Stage; Are E-Cigarettes Dangerous?; Gorilla Behaving Badly; Rookie Loses No Hitter On Last Out

Aired September 25, 2013 - 06:30   ET


KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Let's move now to our political gut check.

Right, as you probably well know, Senator -- take a look. Who's actually on the floor? Because we're watching it live.

Senator Marco Rubio still on the floor, helping out Senator Ted Cruz in his marathon protest against the president's health care law. It's gone through the night and hasn't let up yet. It doesn't look like they're going to stop any time soon.

Cruz has said he will make his argument until he can't stand anymore. So, he found some creative ways to fill the time. Listen here.


SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: You go to the 1940s, Nazi Germany. Look, we saw in Britain, Neville Chamberlain who told the British people, accept the Nazis. Yes, they'll dominate the continent of Europe but that's not our problem. Let's appease them. Why? Because it can't be done. We can't possibly stand against them.


BOLDUAN: All righty.

And John King is here to break it all down.

He also talked about green eggs and ham and a whole lot of other stuff, because you got to fill the time. You can't sit down and you can't stop talking. That's the rule.

JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Do you like green eggs and ham?

BOLDUAN: I do love green eggs and ham.

KING: Where's your Sam I am?

BOLDUAN: Exactly.


BOLDUAN: But when you get past the theatrics of it all, Ted Cruz before he took to the podium, he knew that this wasn't a filibuster in and of itself. He can't stop the vote. It's going to happen at some point today. Maybe that wasn't even the point. He's trying to get attention and he's getting quite a lot of it.

So, has he kind of won already?

KING: That is the question. Does he win by losing?


KING: When they get to the vote later today, there's no question. Senate Democrats with the help of more than enough Republicans, some Republicans who have been alienated will get to this debate, they'll restore the funding for Obamacare and it will go back to the House and that's then we'll see what happens there.

But just look online. Just look at the reaction online, look on Twitter, look on Facebook, look on the conservative blogosphere. Ted Cruz is standing up for people. He's the voice of people who not only don't like the president and don't like his health care plan but they don't like their leadership.

The question is how many of them are there? How much does it grow? Is it a small sliver of the Republican Party that's just vocal or can he, like the Tea Party back in 2010, build on this? Take a protest movement and turn it into a political movement?

That's the big question. He's going to lose when it comes to the votes. Like I said, he has not made a lot of friends in Washington.

However, a couple Republicans, Mike Enzi had to cover the floor yesterday to join him. More of a traditional conservative, but faces a Tea Party-like, conservative challenge from Liz Cheney. You know, Tea Party like conservative challenge from Liz Cheney back home.

So, it's affecting the Republican dynamic a little bit now. The question is, what's the staying going forward?

BOLDUAN: And I think it's kind of interesting when you talk about the people who have joined him on the floor? You have Marco Rubio. You have Rand Paul join him. You have Mike Enzi, who's in a tough reelection battle.

So, they're -- clearly, some of these lawmakers see benefit in taking to the floor and kind of taking on -- planting this flag right along with Ted Cruz.

KING: A lot of them either think it's a good idea or they think they have to do it to keep faith with the most conservative slice of the Republican base. One of Lindsey Graham's Tea Party challengers is back in South Carolina, was tweeting all day yesterday, where's Lindsey Graham? Why hasn't Senator Graham come to the floor to support?

So, either you have people doing it to prove here I am, I'm with Ted Cruz, or others getting criticism for it. Some House members have been saying, we're going to go over and support him. Or send my staff over to be in the gallery for him.

But here's the big question: is it changing votes?


KING: Is it just ginning up support among this conservative base? Gin up fundraising.

BOLDUAN: They are no closer to the solution on the issue of avoiding a government shutdown.

KING: And some Republicans are actually saying if Ted Cruz goes beyond this today and tries to delay the Senate action even more, that he could hurt the cause, in the sense the later this gets back to the House, the more limited the House Republicans' options are. They would like one more shot at least changing something. If they don't defund the president's health care plan, maybe they'll send it back to the Senate one more time to take away that tax on high-end medical devices or make some other -- to try to make a more modest change to Obamacare to make a political point.

Well, if it gets there too late and you're on the verge of a government shutdown, then, Speaker Boehner has to make a choice, do we keep the government open and carry on for another day? So, there's a lot of internal debate in the Republican Party about this. If nothing else, Ted Cruz is making a national name for himself.

BOLDUAN: That's absolutely right.

So, President Obama is also talking health care. He, along with Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton yesterday, really not just talking health care, really trying to sell the president's health care law.

I want to have our viewers a little bit of how Hillary Clinton introduced Bill Clinton and President Obama.


HILLARY CLINTON, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE: They are both Democrats. They have fabulous daughters. They each married far above themselves.


And they each love our country.


BOLDUAN: Good way of introducing them.

KING: Well, humor works. She's tying herself -- obviously, she ties with her husband. But now, she's back with the president, the current president, two of the most popular national Democrats besides her maybe in this transitional phase of her life.

So, interesting humor always works in politics. But make no mistake, Kate, as secretary of state she didn't get involved in domestic politics. Read the full introduction, she also took a good swipe at the House Republicans. She's back.

BOLDUAN: Yes, dipping her toe or jumping right back in, exactly. We'll see much more of that.

Great to see you, John.

KING: Good to see you.

BOLDUAN: Come to New York more, please.

KING: Sure, why not.

BOLDUAN: He's running away as quickly as possible.

KING: No, I like it here. Are you kidding me? Get a chance to see Chris and Michaela?

BOLDUAN: Exactly, exactly. I miss the old John King.

CUOMO: I don't like it. Shouldn't have said it, John. It's not nice.

BOLDUAN: Good answer.

KING: Not so premium at a premium price.

CUOMO: Fewer discount here.

All right. Coming up on NEW DAY, the makers of electronic cigarettes are under fire. Critics say the devices are dangerous, 40 states are demanding federal action. We're going to tell you why.


BOLDUAN: Let's go around the world now, starting in Rome where former Pope Benedict XVI breaks his silence after staying out of the spotlight, saying now he never tried to cover up child sex abuse in the church.

Atika Shubert explains from London.


ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Pope Emeritus Benedict has broken his cloistered silence, saying that he never covered up for any allegations of child abuse within the Catholic Church. It's just part of an extraordinary letter to an Italian atheist and mathematician engaging in a theological debate. That letter was published in an Italian newspaper "La Republica" and it comes just days after an interview by Pope Francis which suggests that perhaps the Catholic Church is on a PR offensive to rehabilitate its tarnished image.

Back to you, Kate.

(END VIDEO CLIP) BOLDUAN: Atika, thank you so much.

Let's go to South Korea now, where the country's most famous gay couple tied the knot this month. The first same-sex marriage country ever held in that country. It's sparking debate, though, in South Korea, where such marriages are not legally recognized.

CNN's Paula Hancocks has more from Seoul.


PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It was South Korea's first public gay marriage held along this stream in downtown Seoul.

Now, it was purely a symbolic event because gay marriage is not legal in this country. There was also a small protest against the union on the day but the gay couple are hoping that this will now spark a public debate about gay marriage in this conservative Asian country.

Back to you, Kate.


BOLDUAN: All right, Paula, thanks so much.

CUOMO: All right. We'll be talking about e-cigarettes, all right? They are billed as a safer alternative to tobacco unless, of course, they explode in your face.

Complaints of exactly that and other injuries and concerns have pushed attorneys general from 40 states to call on the FDA to regulate.

CNN's Pamela Brown joins with us much more now.

These are rising in popularity, even with young adults. So, they're safety, very important.

PAMELA BROWN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, absolutely. Their popularity is booming among kids, and the big reason is because unlike regular cigarettes, e-cigarettes are not regulated by the FDA. So, some worry that the nicotine in these e-cigarettes isn't the only safety concern, that they're actually exploded on them.


KINZIE BARLOW, MOTHER OF BURN VICTIM: He was screaming and he was saying, mom, get me, get me.

BROWN (voice-over): It's an image of her 3-year-old son Connor, Kinzie Barlow will never forget.

BARLOW: Seeing your child on fire and them screaming is definitely pretty terrifying.

BROWN: The culprit, according to Barlow, her e-cigarette. She said she was charging it in her car when suddenly -- UNIDENTIFIED KID: I'm on fire!

BARLOW: A big bang, a flash, there's smoke everywhere. I heard Connor screaming in the back seat.

BROWN: Connor suffered first and second degree burns but is expected to make a full recovery, though safety experts say the incident is troubling.

LYNN SCHOFIELD, PROVO. LT. FIRE MARSHAL: Catastrophic failure of the device. Fortunately, only minor burns but painful burns.

BROWN: And it's not the first of its kind. This woman in Georgia says her e-cigarette exploded inside her home while it was charging.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It took the house up. I screamed.

BROWN: CNN obtained three additional safety complaints from the FDA since 2009, related to e-cigarette explosions.

THOMAS KIKLAS, CO-FOUNDER, TOBACCO VAPOR ELECTRONIC CIGARETTE ASSN.: You look at the preponderance and the percentages, and with the electronic cigarette with three that I'm aware of almost over a billion charges, if you go a year, year and a half. I don't think the numbers begat the worry.

BROWN: E-cigarette sales are poised to rake in $1.7 billion from an estimated 4 million users. And research shows the battery powered nicotine-laced devices are skyrocketing in popularity among children. Unlike regular cigarettes, they're not regulated.

BARLOW: I won't ever get another one of those. I have several friends that use them. I told them I would throw it away.


BROWN: An official with the FDA tells CNN that e-cigarettes, along with other tobacco products, will be regulated on the federal level and a proposal could come as soon as October or even sooner. In the meantime, it's up to the states to regulate their use.

As you mentioned, Chris, 40 attorneys general sent a letter to the FDA, urging them to regulate these e-cigarettes, the same way they do with regular cigarettes and other tobacco products. So, we'll see if that happens. But again, they're saying the proposal could come as soon as October.

BOLDUAN: I remarkable, the popularity. This really has taken off recently.

CUOMO: Yes, there's nothing as hard as quitting smoking. So, people are desperate for something that is supposed to be easier.

BROWN: Right. Yes, a lot of people started it because they are trying to kick the habit of regular cigarettes. Now, they're turning to this. In fact, there's been a decline in smoking regular cigarettes. And you're seeing the popularity of these go up. So, interesting. Thank you.

BOLDUAN: Pamela, thank you.

Coming up next on NEW DAY, Bono channeling Bill Clinton. The U2 front man cracking up the crowd with his impersonation of the former president. So, did he nail it?

MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: And you may have pondered this question. How exactly do you deal with a 400-pound gorilla that doesn't know how to treat the ladies? You put him in therapy. The plight of Patrick the chauvinistic primate when NEW DAY continues.


PEREIRA: We're playing the best music for this --


CUOMO: Welcome back to NEW DAY. An attitude re-adjustment for a sexist gorilla. The 400-pound male is headed to therapy. Patrick is his name. He spent 18 years at the Dallas Zoo. His keepers call him Beautiful.

PEREIRA: He is. Look at him.

CUOMO: Intelligent, an outgoing towards humans. Other primates, not so much, especially females. So, this is the kind of story that immediately brings in one of the smartest people I know, "Early Start" anchor, John Berman, with unique primate perspective.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You thought you had problems. You thought you had problems.


BERMAN: I'm not talking about me, Ms. Kate. I'm talking about the primate. Eighteen-year-old Patrick on the move from the Dallas Zoo because he has behavioral problems. Now, Chris, you call them sexist. That might be up for interpretation. It turns out he just doesn't get along well with the female gorillas. So, he's being sent to a new home that specializes in gorilla therapy. There is such a thing.

And if Patrick wasn't already depressed enough, just wait until you see who his replacement is.


BERMAN (voice-over): This is Patrick. He's a bit of a loner. The 430-pound western low land gorilla has been characterized as anxious, even troubled. The zoo officials say Patrick gets along fine with humans but tends to go all ape on the ladies. Once biting a female gorilla and sneering at another.

So, now, Patrick is leaving behind his bachelor pad at the Dallas Zoo and being moved to the Riverbank Zoo in South Carolina where they will work to re-socialize it. JOHN DAVIS, MAMMAL CURAOR, RIVERBANKS ZOO: He will have visual or site of other gorillas. He will smell them. He can vocalize back and forth with them. And that in itself will be quite stimulating for him.

BERMAN: Patrick troubles stem back to his childhood. Born at the Bronx Zoo in 1990, his mother abandoned him. He was raised by humans at the Toronto Zoo until he was five, which could be a reason why he's anti-social around other gorillas.

DAVIS: Male gorillas are obviously territorial and are certainly assertive in their behavior and their nature. Their behavior profiles and their history are always unique and different. And that's what we find intriguing about him.

BERMAN: Not to give Patrick more of a complex, but his replacement at the Dallas Zoo is pretty impressive.


BERMAN: Zola the gorilla break dances. Yes, that's right. Break dances. He's being brought in to take Patrick's place in Dallas. Won't you be depressed, too?


BERMAN (on-camera): I mean, obviously the break dancing gorilla is going to do great with the ladies. So, poor Patrick is suffering, you know, in South Carolina saying what did I do wrong? What did I do wrong? Now, seriously, the Dallas Zoo says they will miss Patrick very much. He's been there for 18 years.

And actually, all the people who care for him really seem to love him. And the people at the Riverbank Zoo where he's being sent, they're very excited to have him and they look forward to working with him on the attitude adjustment.

BOLDUAN: You know, I feel for the guy.


BOLDUAN: Right. We all have behavioral problems, I would argue.

CUOMO: He's got to evolve. That's just --

BERMAN: Don't we all?


BERMAN: Don't we all?

PEREIRA: Well, you know, I see your gorilla and I raise you a bono. Are you ready for this?

BERMAN: Fantastic. PEREIRA: Must-see moment. Here we go. Bono, a triple threat. He's no dancing gorilla. He's not only a rock star and an activist, he's also an impersonator. U2 frontman taking part in a panel discussion at the Clinton Global Initiative in New York when he brought down the house with this spot-on impersonation of the president (INAUDIBLE).


BONO, SINGER, ACTIVIST: He walked into the oval office. I thought it was a member of his own road crew. It wasn't really --


PEREIRA: It's really good. I had my doubts, but it's really good. And President Clinton thoroughly amused telling the panel I really -- I must be really easy to make fun of, took it in great humor. Spot on.

BERMAN: Impressive.

PEREIRA: It is impressive.


BERMAN: What if like Bono did, like this is not a rebel song in the voice of Bill Clinton? That will be the best --


PEREIRA: Matchup that we see --


BOLDUAN: All right. Coming up next on NEW DAY, Iran's new president causing quite a stir with his remarks before the U.N. General Assembly. And in a very new CNN interview, he says Iran does not want nuclear weapons. But, can President Rouhani back up those words with action?

Texas senator, Ted Cruz, continues his protest against Obamacare right now. Who's on the floor? Senator Marco Rubio is giving him a brief break. But they can't stop a Senate vote. So, what is Cruz trying to accomplish? Good question. We'll give you an answer.


CUOMO: You know why they say it ain't over till it's over?


CUOMO: Because it ain't. For the third time this season a pitcher lost a no-hitter with two outs in the ninth inning. This time, it happened to St. Louis Cardinals Rookie, Wacha -- what's his name, Michael Wacha. Isn't that right, Andy Scholes? Did I get his name right?

ANDY SCHOLES, BLEACHER REPORT: You did get his name right.

CUOMO: Good. Begin the Bleacher Report.


SCHOLES: Yes. Poor Michael Wacha. It was just his ninth career start. He was about this close to throwing a no-hitter, but unfortunately, luck was not on his side. Ryan Zimmerman, he was the last batter (ph) between Wacha and the history book, and he's going to hit this chopper right over to Wacha's head.

Charging Pete Kozma bare-handed it, but the throw pulls Matt Adams just off the bag. The crowd at Busch Stadium was stunned, but they did give Wacha a huge ovation as he came off the field.

Well, fans waited for hours outside Yankees Stadium last night to get their hands on a Mariano Rivera bobblehead. The first 18,000 through the gates were supposed to receive the bouncy figurines, but there was one problem, they weren't there to start the game. The bobbleheads didn't arrive until the third inning and fans received a voucher when they came in.

They had to make their way through another long line during the game to secure the Rivera bobblehead. Guys, they interviewed much fans out there. They said it was chaos. They were afraid mobs were going to break out because, of course, everyone wants it. The little bouncy Mariano Rivera figurine as, of course, his last season.

BOLDUAN: And of course, they should get their Mariano Rivera bobblehead. Best laid plans (ph). Oops. Thanks, Andy.

CUOMO: All right. Wacha.

BOLDUAN: You got it. I didn't know it. So, couldn't help you.

You hear the music. You know, it's time for the "Rock Block," a quick round up of the stories you'll be talking about today. First up, Michaela.

PEREIRA: All right. Let's go, Kate. Let's take a look in the papers starting with "The Washington Post." A coalition of safety groups renewing their push to require rear-view cameras in cars saying would save about a hundred lives per year.

In "USA Today," a mystery Willie Nelson giant stuff armadillo stolen after New York show. The critters are beloved mascot for Nelson's band. He's asking for help on Facebook in help tracking it down.

Time now for Christine Romans with your business news.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: A scary warning from the treasury secretary. Jack Lew says Wall Street is not taking the debt ceiling battle seriously enough. Maybe we're seeing the move shift a little. The Dow is down 342 points in the last four sessions.

328, remember that number. Brand new details from the government on just what Americans will pay in health care premiums. $328 a month for a mid-tier health insurance plan when Obamacare exchanges open for enrollment next week.

Indra Petersons has the weather.

INDRA PETERSONS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Yes. And today is actually nice. And even if I'm saying that, we know it's going to be pretty good out there. A little chilly still in the morning hours. New York about 53 but even better will be these afternoon highs. Look at all of the 70s. D.C., I think, is going to be the big winner today coming in at 77 degrees. Pretty much everyone above average. So, gorgeous.

BOLDUAN: All right. We'll take it. Thanks, Indra.

We're now at the top of the hour which means it's time for the top news.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Those who have opposed the idea of universal health care have been trying to scare and discourage people from getting a good deal.

CUOMO: Talk, talk, talk. Senator Ted Cruz goes all day and all night trying to defund Obamacare, but is his tactic doing anything except pushing the government closer to a shutdown?

BOLDUAN: Promising peace. Iran's new president addresses the United Nations with a dramatically different tone than his predecessor, but did he snub the U.S. by mixing a meeting with President Obama.

PEREIRA: Zero tolerance gone too far? Two seventh graders suspended for playing with air soft guns in their own yard. Did the school overstep its jurisdiction or are they just keeping kids safe?

CUOMO: Your NEW DAY starts right now.

ANNOUNCER: What you need to know --

OBAMA: Conciliatory words will have to be matched by actions that are transparent and verifiable.

ANNOUNCER: What you just have to see --


ANNOUNCER: this is NEW DAY with Chris Cuomo, Kate Bolduan, and Michaela Pereira.


BOLDUAN: Good morning and welcome back to NEW DAY. It is Wednesday, September 25th, seven o'clock in the east. We are watching some high political drama playing out this morning. Senator Ted Cruz of Texas still at it. This is a live look at the Senate floor. He spent the night right there on the Senator floor railing against funding the president's health care law as part of a deal to keep the government from shutting down.