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Chris Christie Reelected Governor of New Jersey; Senate to Hold Hearing on Obamacare Rollout; Is Syria Hiding Some Chemical Weapons?; More Information on New Jersey Shooter; Election Results are In

Aired November 6, 2013 - 07:00   ET


CHRIS CUOMO,CNN ANCHOR: And here in New York City, so-called Bloomberg fatigue paid off big for Bill de Blasio. The city's public advocate becomes the first Democrat to win the race for mayor since 1989.

But back to the big race. The New Jersey race for governor, what it means for Chris Christie. Jake Tapper is live from Asbury Park, New Jersey. Bruce Springsteen's land of hopes and dreams. We're hopefully Jake is going to help us break down. What this could mean for the governor going forward? A beautiful sunrise behind you, Jake, and new day for New Jersey's governor.

JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR, THE LEAD: It is. And although it's clear that the governor said that he was focused on just this race and being re-elected governor here, his possible presidential ambitions were no secret. I spent the day with him yesterday.

All sorts of voters kept coming up to him with joking vice presidential suggestions, including judge Judy. This race as far as Governor Christie sees it was about more than reelection. It was about seeing what the national Republican Party, national Republicans could see about what he's able to do here in terms of winning over traditionally Democratic voters.


TAPPER: I heard criticism from a democrat about you and actually more about the media and the public, which is that if Christie wins in their view, this Democrat's view, it's a triumph of personality over policy. Is that a fair criticism?

GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE, (R) NEW JERSEY: I think that voting is much more visceral. People say, can I trust this person? If you're looking for the candidate you agree with 100 percent of the time, take a look in the mirror, because you're it. You're the only person you agree with 100 percent of the time. And if we demand that of candidates then they'll just lie to you. So I don't think people want that. I think that's why I've gotten some leeway from people in New Jersey about areas where we disagree because at least they know I'm telling the truth.

TAPPER: I was thinking about your style and I was thinking about President Obama earlier today, because the president is trying to explain what he meant in 2009 and 2010 when he said if you like your plan, you can keep your doctor. If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor. Obviously that's not entirely true for millions of Americans. What advice would you give him?

CHRISTIE: Here's what my suggestion would be to him -- don't be so cute. And when you make a mistake, admit it. Listen, if he was mistaken in 2009, 2010 on his understanding of how the law would operate, then just admit it to people. You know what, I said it, I was wrong. I'm sorry. And we're going to try to fix this and make it better. I think people would give any leader in that circumstance a lot of credit for just, you know, owning up to it.

TAPPER: What did you think of President Obama's leadership during the government shutdown?

CHRISTIE: I didn't think he showed much. You know, he kind of was sitting back, letting things happen. I thought it was very political. I think everybody was playing politics, because you're the executive. If you're waiting for Congress to lead, you're going to wait for a long time. The executive needs to lead.


CHRISTIE: Thank you so much.

TAPPER: In the final hours of his reelection campaign, Christie stopped at this diner where I asked him about his personal and highly publicized weight loss battle.

You have a couple people back there talking about you look great. How is your health?

CHRISTIE: I feel really good. We're a little bit more than halfway to my goal in the last eight months. So that's really good. It's a great feeling, and it's hard work. But I feel like for the first time I've got a pathway, which is really nice.


TAPPER: Now, Chris, the case that Christie wants to make to the national Republican audience is one that was very, very impressive in terms of his exit polls. He won women, though he was running against a Democratic woman. He won Democratic leaning counties such as the one near Trenton and Princeton. He won Latino voters. He made inroads with African-Americans, doubling the percentage he got four years ago. He is going to be able to make the case, this is what I can do in a blue state. The question is, is he pure enough as a conservative for the party faithful, Chris?

CUOMO: I'll tell you, it's interesting, Jake. You got a lot out of him. He gave a lot of context and detail to how he feels about matters going forward. He told you about his weight. I finally see a clear path going forward, maybe metaphor for what he sees for his future politically. What does he make, what do you make of the numbers of him versus Hillary in his home state?

TAPPER: Well, I didn't ask him about that because that exit poll hadn't come out before I interviewed him. But I will say that it is a long way to 2016. It is a Democratic state so it's not a huge surprise that there would be people who would say I'll vote for him for governor but I'd rather have Hillary Clinton as my president.

CUOMO: Sounds right, Jake. I have to tell you, it's an important interview to watch. People are measuring him. You covered a lot of ground. An important interview, thanks for bringing it to us this morning, Jake.

TAPPER: Of course, Chris. Thank you.

CUOMO: Beautiful morning behind Jake as well. You can get a lot more of the interview we were just sampling there, Jake every day on at 4:00 p.m., "THE LEAD" right here on CNN.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: And here's a line you've hear quite often -- if like it, you can keep it, a simple big but promise made early and often by President Obama, a promise that should have come with an asterisk we're not learning and it's adding to the damage control facing the White House over Obamacare. Let's get straight to CNN's senior White House correspondent Brianna Keilar with more on the continued fallout from that one line, Brianna.

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Hi, there, Kate. And a lot going on when it comes to Obamacare as we are inching closer to the release of that enrollment data. We're expecting that to come next week. And today, it is the Senate's turn to hear from HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.


KEILAR: When Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius testifies before the Senate finance committee today she'll get tough questions, even from Democrats, like Chairman Max Baucus. This is what he told Sebelius in April.

SEN. MAX BAUCUS, (D) MONTANA: I tell you, I just see a huge train wreck coming down.

KEILAR: He may resist saying "I told you so," but Republicans surely will not.

Tuesday on Capitol Hill, the Obama administration finally made public how many people they are currently aiming to enroll in Obamacare.

MARILYN TAVENNER, CMS ADMINISTRATOR: I think that we were looking at between October and November, I think that number was I want to say around 800,000.

KEILAR: That's the goal. Officials say 700,000 have signed up, though firm numbers won't be released until midmonth.

REP. DAVE CAMP, (R) MICHIGAN: How do you not know how many people have enrolled?

TAVENNER: Chairman Camp we'll have those numbers available mid- November.

KEILAR: Not soon enough for Republicans. Dave Camp, the chairman of that committee, issued a subpoena demanding data by this Friday. The administration seems unlikely to comply. And now President Obama is dealing with another health care headache, his own promise.

BARACK OBAMA, (D) PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: If you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan.

KEILAR: It has run into reality, policy cancellations for many on the individual insurance market. Now he's saying this.

OBAMA: If you have or had one of these plans before the Affordable Care Act came into law and you really like that plan, what we said was you could keep it if it hasn't changed since the law has passed.

KEILAR: A huge caveat tacked on to the promise we heard for years now.

OBAMA: If you like your health care plan, you'll be able to keep your health care plan, period.

KEILAR: Critics have seized on the change.

SEN. LAMAR ALEXANDER, (R) TENNESSEE: The new promise is, if you want health care, go find it on a website that the administration says won't be working properly until the end of November.


KEILAR: And President Obama is expected to hit Republicans, specifically Texas governor Rick Perry who has blocked an expansion of Medicaid in his state under Obamacare as President Obama heads to Dallas today where he will be meeting with volunteers who are working to enroll Americans in Obamacare, Chris and Kate.

BOLDUAN: As you mentioned, another big day for the secretary of health and human services today on Capitol Hill, Brianna.

KEILAR: That's right.

BOLDUAN: Thanks so much. Michaela?

MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: Let's take a look at the other headlines making news right now. The Egyptian government's ban on the Muslim Brotherhood will stay in effect for now. A court has thrown out an appeal that would allow the political group to return. The party of ousted president Mohamed Morsi had its assets frozen and was prohibited from taking part in any political activities earlier this year.

I want to show you some pictures out of West Texas. An 18-wheeler out of control taking out a bridge, and a second big rig slammed into the bridge debris. No reports of injuries, but crews will be working for white a while to get this mess cleaned up. The FAA announcing some new rules for pilot training to avoid and recover from airplane stalls that can lead to crashes. This all stems from the fatal crash of an airline plane in Buffalo back in 2009. That crash killing 50 people. Officials says it's the biggest change in pilot training in the past 20 years.

Illinois becoming the latest state to approve same-sex marriage. Lawmakers voted in favor of the change yesterday after extensive lobbying from both sides. Governor Pat Quinn says he intends to sign the bill which is expected to take effect June 1st. Illinois joins 14 other states and the District of Columbia in legalizing same-sex marriage.

KEILAR: An attempted robbery thwarted by an ax-wielding victim. The victim was asleep in her California home when an intruder tried to steal her watch right off her arm. She awoken and immediately reached for the ax beside her bed. She happens to be a former ax-throwing competitor by the way. Yes. The startled robber, a 22-year-old fled, and was later arrested by police. He certainly picked on the wrong victim.

BOLDUAN: That robber had no idea what he was walking into. I'm glad she's OK.

CUOMO: Who needs a gun when you have an ax next to your bed. Very nice.

Let's get a check of the weather. Karen Maginnis in for Indra Petersons.

KAREN MAGINNIS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: All right, good morning, everybody. We are looking at wet weather in Detroit, also Chicago, extending down to St. Louis. So what does that have to do with the I- 95 corridor? You're just 12 to 24 hours away from many some of this wet weather moving in your vicinity.

A couple of areas of low pressure right along this frontal system, the wet weather out ahead of it. For New York, extending down towards Washington, D.C. and into Charlotte, I think for the most part, that rainfall will be half inch to about an inch. There could be locally heavier amounts.

Area of low pressure and that vigorous frontal system making its way towards the east, behind it much colder air. So temperatures running five to 10 degrees below where they should be for this time of year. As we look at the precipitation forecast, as I mentioned, could be heavy in spots. The further south you go, tapping moisture, one to two inches possible along the I-95 corridor. If you're headed to the airports, be careful tomorrow. It may be slow going. We'll talk about some of those airport delays coming up then. Back to you guys.

BOLDUAN: Thanks so much, Karen. Coming up next on NEW DAY, is Syria really coming clean on its stockpile of chemical weapons? New U.S. intelligence suggests the answer is no. We're live with important new details, just ahead. CUOMO: Plus, the text message received too late, "I'm going away for a very long time. You want my car?" That and more emerging about the 20-year-old New Jersey mall shooter. We'll bring you the very latest.


BOLDUAN: Welcome back to NEW DAY, everyone. New classified U.S. intelligence suggests Syria might not be trying - might be trying to secretly hide some of its chemical weapons. CNN's Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr is in Washington with the very latest details. Some great reporting by you, Barbara. What's the latest?

BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Well, Kate, should anybody have believed Bashar al Assad in the first place? Maybe not. There's new classified intelligence being reviewed at the highest levels of the administration that indicates Assad may be trying to hide some of his chemical weapons stockpile.

A U.S. official familiar with the information tells me, I just want to quote, he says "there are various threads of information that would shake our confidence. They've done things recent that suggest Syria is not ready to get rid of all their chemical weapons."

Why might Assad be doing this? Well, Israel is next door with nuclear weapons. Assad needs a power hedge inside his own regime to show he's tough against the Israelis. The belief is that is that may be why he is up to this. What does the U.S. do if they catch him dead to rights trying to hold on to some chemical stockpiles? Do you go back to the Russians, try and get the Russians to help? Still, no political appetite of course for military action. This puts the administration potentially in a real box. Chris?

CUOMO: Barbara, a story that cannot be ignored. Thank you for staying on it, as will we.

That mall in New Jersey where a gunman opened fire is reopening today, as the family and friends of the shooter are speaking out. They're talking about what may have been the 20-year-od's cry for help just moments before he went into the mall. CNN's Alexandra Field is here with that. Good morning.

ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Chris, good morning. Police have said that Richard Shoop left a note indicating that the end was near and now his closest friends are saying that in the days and hours before his death, they received a series of text messages. Looking back, they only wish they had been able to read more into some of the messages.


FIELD: Cell phone video captures the mayhem inside the Garden State Plaza Mall as hundreds of shoppers ran for their lives after shots rang out Monday night. Everyone escaped unharmed except for the gunman, 20-year-old Richard Shoop, who took his own life. The suspect's brother is expressing the family's grief. KEVIN SHOOP, BROTHER OF RICHARD SHOOP: This was something that none of us saw coming. We're not sure exactly what caused him to do this and we're -- I mean, we're all devastated.

FIELD: As police continue to comb surveillance video for clues, those closest to Shoop are wondering why he went on this suicide mission.

JORDAN CONAHAN, FRIEND OF RICHARD SHOOP: He texted me Sunday night saying I need to talk to you. It's very important. I was asleep already.

FIELD: That was the last time Jordan Conahan heard from his best friend. Around the same time, Shoop was sending similar messages to Bonnie Benedict. Monday at 1:35AM he writes, "hey I need to tell you something really important. Call me." Then, "I'm going away for a really long time. Do you want to have my car?"

By 12:15 Monday afternoon, there's this, "I'm either going to go away for a long time, die, or make a run for it." And at 5:55 in the evening, Bonnie gets one last message. "Sorry."

Bonnie says she saw Shoop Monday morning, but never responded to the texts that came later that day.

BONNIE BENEDICT, FRIEND OF RICHARD SHOOP: He was just like really lonely and I feel like maybe that was his cry out for help.

FIELD: Benedict and Conahan say Shoop had also told them he was in trouble with the law. Police say Shoop was a known drug user. Authorities say Shoop randomly fired at least six shots inside the mall with a gun he had stolen from his brother.

K. SHOOP: He just sadly decided to make an act of -- an act of, I guess, self-indulgence by taking his own life publicly.

FIELD: Police say Shoop entered the mall dressed in black and wearing a motorcycle helmet. They believe he was motivated by suicide or dying at the hands of police. In the days before his death, Shoop's closest friends say he just didn't seem himself.

CONAHAN: He was getting real paranoid about everything. He thought cops were following him.

FIELD: On Monday afternoon he sent Bonnie this message, "cops have been watching my house for the past four days now. I only have maybe one more day before they come for me." His friends now wish they had somehow reached out to him.

CONAHAN: The signs were there, yes. It makes sense. It's just someone that you never, ever in a million years would think would be the one to do this. You know, he's always so happy and positive.


FIELD: Shoop worked at a local pizzeria. His bosses tell me that he was a responsible employee, but three days before his death he just stopped showing up for work. They also say they had started to notice some changes in his personality. Again, signs that are only adding up after the fact. Chris, Kate?

BOLDUAN: Yeah, I mean, as you were indicating, his friends say he didn't seem right in the days leading up. You never think your friend could do something like this.

FIELD: They didn't expect it from this kid. They say he reached out to friends. He was friendly with other people. He had a lot of people in that inner circle. While he was saying things looking back that do seem alarming, again, they didn't expect it from him, Kate.

BOLDUAN: Thanks so much, Alexandra. Great to see you.

CUOMO: So hard for the family. You know, he got the easy way out of this. For them, they're going to have to live with this legacy. Very tough for them.

BOLDUAN: Coming up next on NEW DAY, a simple promise that started back in 2009 is turning into the president's big headache in 2013. Is Obamacare turning into his "read my lips" moment? We're having that debate, coming up.

CUOMO: The story of justice denied? Plus, we'll hear more from Michele Knight, captive for 11 years, opening up about the horror she experienced. What can we learn from what she went through? What will ever make it right? That's coming up.


BOLDUAN: Welcome back to NEW DAY, everyone. Let's get you caught up on the results from the big election. Chris Christie, the big winner New Jersey re-elected for another term by more than 20 points.

And Virginia's new governor is Democrat, Terry McAuliffe. He beat Tea Party-backed attorney general Ken Cuccinelli by a surprisingly slim margin.

Plus, new mayors have been elected in Detroit and Boston. Martin Walsh will take over in Massachusetts largest city. He's a legislator and labor activist.

And in Detroit, Mike Duggan, a former prosecutor and hospital executive, is set to become the city's first white mayor in nearly 40 years. Chris?

CUOMO: All right. Let's dig into these results with two very strong political commentators. From the right, Will Cain, who's also a columnist from The Blaze and for the left, Marc Lamont Hill who's also the host of Huff Post Live. Great to have you both. Here.


CUOMO: One of these two -- let's stick with Virginia and New Jersey, shall we? We'll begin with Virginia because it's race as metaphor. Will, let's start with you. What do you take as the message of why Terry McAuliffe won? What happened there?

WILL CAIN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, I don't know that the story, Chris, is why Terry McAuliffe won, but why he won by so little. I sat here yesterday and I told Kate that I think Virginia is about Virginia. It's about scandal, it's about two conflicted personalities that aren't very popular.

Here's the story to me. It got so close late last night. What was the final, several thousand votes, 15,000 votes, 1 percentage point. Why did Ken Cuccinelli get so close? And the answer to that is easy: it's Obamacare. Because we saw the polls in Virginia switch, what, in the last week, in the last moments. Cuccinelli picked up. Why did that happen? Because he banged on Obamacare over and over. If I'm a Democratic candidate across this nation, I'm very nervous about a year of Republicans talking about Obamacare.

CUOMO: However, and speak to this professor, there was also something seen in the numbers in Virginia that they may have the right issue. The way they went about it was very wrong. Those who felt that voted Cuccinelli down in a big way. So, what does that mean for your side?

MARC LAMONT HILL, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I think it means we have to keep a focus on the way in which Republican extremism is their death knell. I mean, really, as long as there's a moderate Republican, Democrats are vulnerable on the Obamacare issue. Cuccinelli lost ultimately because he was too extreme. And I also think it's a reminder to Democrats that we can't say the Tea Party is gone. So many people are comfortable saying the death of the Tea Party, the death of the Tea Party. We saw last night that there's still a fight to be had.

CUOMO: Now, Newt Gingrich was on the show talking about his book and the juxtaposition, Newt Gingrich, one of the best-known, hard warriors of politics is saying you have better ideas, guys, you got to be positive. Now, what do you think that message translates into when you look at Virginia? Cuccinelli could have won, but he didn't, and people who thought he was harsh really voted him down. What's the message for the Republicans in that?

CAIN: The message for Republicans, I hate to be repetitive, is bang on Obamacare. Marc's wrong --

CUOMO: How do you bang on it? Do you just say it sucks, it sucks, it sucks?


CAIN: No, you don't have to. It's being exposed itself. Kathleen Sebelius will be before Senate again today --

CUOMO: What about a better idea.


CAIN: You have to have a better idea. Now, Chris, you and I have had this conversation several times. The problem with presenting a solution is we're so knee deep in the government involvement in health care, that solutions are going to be antagonistic to Republican ideals.

We believe the free market will bring cheaper health care to Americans. That means we must unwind the government's involvement. That will be very, very difficult. I don't know. Very honestly, I don't know how you propose a solution to Obamacare at this point.

HILL: There really isn't one. And I think that horse is out of the barn, as I said before. I don't think you can start talking about unwinding government with regard to --

CAIN: Medicare is what, 50 percent of the health care market you had on Obamacare? Another 15 percent. It will be very difficult. Republicans have presented ideas. Health savings accounts. These kinds of things inject market forces back into health care. They're not going to be as appealing, Chris, to voters as pre-existing conditions, we're going to give you health insurance anyway. It's not as appealing --

CUOMO: Do you think you guys are worried if they beat you without a plan? Do you think they can beat you without a plan in the next set of elections?

HILL: I don't think they can win without a plan because I think once this blows over 00 two months ago people would have said Syria is a deal breaker. People would have said Benghazi's a deal breaker. Now people are saying health care is a deal breaker. The way the news cycle moves, in three months people aren't going to be talking about it, if the problems are fixed. If the problems aren't fixed, everybody on this side is done.

CAIN: Let me ask you a question: if that race in Virginia were next week and not this week, would Ken Cuccinelli have won?

HILL: Absolutely not.

CAIN: Another week of Obamacare news, Ken Cuccinelli doesn't win that race?

HILL: Absolutely no not. Part of why that election turned out the way - I let you talk about that. I ignored the point.



HILL: Part of what happened is because we decided, crowned him the winner and there were a lot of those who didn't turn out. If people thought he was vulnerable, more voters would have turned out on the left.

CAIN: That's nonsense.

HILL: That's absolutely not nonsense. Many people didn't show up. CUOMO: Leave it as impasse. Let's go to Chris Christie, he wins women, 55 percent or better. Wins Latinos. Gets a significant percentage of blacks in a state where usually goes heavy blue, now he wins it, the whole map is him. Are you afraid?

HILL: Not at all. I'm afraid of Chris Christie, yes. I think Chris Christie is an incredible candidate. If I were a Republican. he'd be the guy I want. He's the guy I'm scared of. I'm not scared of him taking the female vote, I'm not scared of him taking the minority vote because in a national election, whoever's coming up on the Democratic side, and it will probably be Hillary Clinton, will have that vote on lock. I'm not worried about that at all.

CUOMO: Do you think he can beat Hillary?

CAIN: Yes, I do think he can beat Hillary, and I think Marc should be afraid of Chris Christie. I don't know that Chris Christie has provided a model for generic Republicans to follow. I think, as you said just a moment ago, this is about the man. This is a compelling personality who knows how to win over voters. You should be afraid of Christie. I don't know that he's proved enough to model for other Republicans.

HILL: He's definitely a model for other Republicans. He shows what happens when you're moderate. Again, extremism isn't working. Republicans want somebody at this point who can win an election, no somebody who's an ideological (INAUDIBLE)

CAIN: He's got personality, not moderation.

CUOMO: But, he may be the man. And I think he thinks he is.


CUOMO: And that's an important part.