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Chris Christie's Landslide; Sebelius to Testify on Obamacare; Coming Clean; A Pattern Of Abuse?

Aired November 6, 2013 - 08:00   ET


CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Plus, there is more to the alleged bullying involving Miami Dolphins lineman Richie Incognito. His first public comments since being accused and his teammate, fellow offensive lineman Jonathan Martin, leaving the team as a result. Will the back story, if true, change your opinion?

MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: And the people versus Martin MacNeill, the state wrapping up its case with prosecutors, three prison inmates to help convince jurors the doctor killed his wife so that he could be with his mistress. We'll bring you up-to-date.

CUOMO: All right. We're going to start, though, with the election of 2013, two big races for governor, that matter today, and maybe even more one and two years from today.

Athena Jones is live in Arlington, Virginia, with the details on two big wins, one Republican, the other Democrat.

Good morning, Athena.


It was down to the wire for Terry McAuliffe here in Virginia, and it was heavily Democratic counties like this one, Arlington County, that helped put him over the edge in this traditionally red state.

Meanwhile, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie easily won re-election in the traditionally blue state of New Jersey.

And so, the piece was very -- the race was very, very close until the very end here in Virginia. It was the voting count for heavily Democratic counties like this one, also Fairfax County, Terry McAuliffe won this country, Arlington, by about 71 percent, and won in Fairfax county by the high 50s, just under 60 percent.

And this is Washington, D.C., suburb, so these are counties that often go heavily Democratic.

But the race was closer than expected because of the shutdown and Obamacare, and the race was tightening towards the end. Let's hear more from the story now.


JONES (voice-over): Christie put his audience on notice. GOVERNOR CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: How about this New Jersey?

JONES: And those listening in Washington as well.

CHRISTIE: I did not seek a second term to do small things. I sought a second term to finish the job. Now, watch me do it.

JONES: Christie defeated State Senator Barbara Buono, his re-election in a traditionally blue state fueling more speculation that Christie will make a presidential run in 2016.

CHRISTIE: I want to promise you tonight, I will not let anyone, anything, any political party, any governmental entity or any force get in between me and the completion of my mission.

JONES: Making clear that his mission is to ensure that everyone in his state fully recovers from Superstorm Sandy. Christie drew criticism in the wake of the storm from some Republicans for working alongside President Obama. Those same critics also question whether Christie is conservative enough. Christie said he has no plans to stop working across the aisle if it helps him meet his goals.

CHRISTIE: We stand here tonight showing that it is possible to put doing your job first, to put working together first, to fight for what you believe in yet still stand by your principles and get something done for the people who elected you.

JONES: In the battleground state of Virginia, a very different picture, Democrats scoring a big victory in a bruising governor's race. Former DNC Chairman Terry McAuliffe beat the Tea Party favorite, Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli by less than 60,000 votes.

GOVERNOR-ELECT TERRY MCAULIFFE (D), VIRGINIA: I know this has been a hard- fought race. I think every single person in Virginia is glad that the TV ads are now over.

JONES: Obama won the traditionally Republican state in both 2008 and 2012. If Hillary Clinton decides to make a run, McAuliffe will be a big ally to help her carry the state.

And voters elected new mayors in several cities. Bill de Blasio becomes the first Democrat elected to lead New York City in more than two decades.

MAYOR-ELECT BILL DE BLASIO (D), NEW YORK CITY: Make no mistake, the people of this city have chosen a progressive path.


JONES: Elsewhere, financially troubled Detroit elected its first white mayor in 40 years and Boston elevated a state lawmaker to replace its long standing mayor -- Chris, Kate.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Athena, thank you so much for that.

So if you like it, you can keep it -- that's a simple promise made early and often by President Obama as it relates to Obamacare. But the White House is learning there's not much simplicity when it comes to health care. That promise is now becoming a pretty big liability.

Let's go straight to CNN's senior White House correspondent Brianna Keilar with more on this. Good morning, Brianna.

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Kate, good morning to you. This is the promise that most Americans can probably -- we recite from memory, "If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor. If you like your plan, you can keep your plan."

Well, President Obama has added a bit of a twist to that here this week, sort of a huge caveat, I guess you could say, that what we said was you could keep it if it hasn't changed since the law is passed.

You can imagine Republican critics are seizing on this. It's very likely that this is going to come up today on Capitol Hill when Kathleen Sebelius before the Senate Finance Committee. It is led by Democrats, but we expect she'll be getting some tough questions from both sides as well and probably press for those enrollment numbers, those mid-month enrollment numbers we're expecting to come out next week.

Meantime, President Obama is heading to Dallas today. He'll be visiting with volunteers who are enrolling folks in Obamacare. We also expect that he will ding Republicans, specifically Texas Governor Rick Perry, for blocking the expansion of Medicaid under, as part of Obamacare in his state -- Chris.

CUOMO: All right. Brianna, thank you very much.

Let's talk about the specific issue Obamacare and figure out what it means going forward in general elections.

We have with Mr. Bill Burton, former deputy White House press secretary for President Obama. He also cofounded the super PAC Priorities USA Action, is the executive vice president and managing director of the Global Strategy Group.

Bill, you're very busy. Thank you for being able to join us this morning.

BILL BURTON, GLOBAL STRATEGY GROUP: Good morning. Thank you for having me.

CUOMO: All right. Let's deal with this specific, OK?

This language about what plan you can keep and what plan you can't does smack of what Chris Christie describes it as, being too cute. Your take?

BURTON: I don't think it was a matter of being too cute. There's no doubt there was some communications issues. And the way that this was going to unfold for Americans who had subpar or bad plans perhaps wasn't as clear as it could have been, but I think that now that we are entering a phase where people are getting insurance, people who couldn't get it before are signing up. People with preexisting conditions and were blocked from getting insurance are getting insurance, and everybody's insurance is going to get better as a result.

And ultimately, the cost curve is going to go down for rising health care costs. So it is a net positive for the American people, but there are clearly some communication issues that still need to be addressed.

CUOMO: Right. Because you're not able to get to the message that you just gave me there because you keep messing with this one thing that seems increasingly inaccurate. So the president keeps saying it; now he qualifies it. Nobody can move past it.

Don't you have to suck it up at some point and say, 'Look you may not get to keep it. You may not get to have your doctor.' Forget about if the law changed or the same, it's too confusing -- here is the real deal I overstated it? Is it time to suck it up?

BURTON: Well, I -- like I said, I clearly think there are some ways this can be communicated better. It's no small issue to say if an insurance company changes your plan, that's going to have an impact on whether or not you can keep the plan you have. Your plan is changing,

And so, yes, it may be getting better, yes, the costs may change, but overall, people are going to have better access to more health care and this is going to be a great thing for the country and all the people who are able to participate.

CUOMO: And yet, let's look at Virginia, because what happened in Virginia means that this issue matters and when you say you can keep your plan and you can't, because the law change, can mean for a lot of people, maybe millions of people that the plan that you want you can no longer have because it doesn't meet the legal standard, so you're not going to get to keep it, you're going to have to get a new plan, which may cover more but it's going to cost more, you may not like it, too bad.

That has to be communicated and hasn't.

BURTON: Well, Chris, you're right if you look at Virginia that this issue does matter. It is something people are thinking about. If you look at the exit polls out of Virginia last night, voters in Virginia were basically split on whether or not they supported it or opposed it.

But ultimately, the majority of Americans want it to work and that's what I think Republicans don't get, and at a time when voters are angry at Washington what was different last night is that that anger is dissipated between the two parties. It's not all focused on the president's party, and it's not all taken out on his party at the polls.

And that I think is what Republicans are missing about what happened last night. Democrats won because they were fighting for the things that matter for middle-class Americans. Republicans lost because they got caught up in this ideological fight that Americans don't want to have.


BURTON: They want to have functioning health care system in this country not just the same old partisan bickering in Washington.

CUOMO: I'll take that last point, though, because I wonder what the message is coming out of the state. It looks like Cuccinelli had the right issue, that people don't get Obamacare, worried it's going to be too expensive, and maybe they don't have the idea of suffering a little more for the betterment of others. And yet, maybe what saved the Democrat there, or maybe what you should look at is tactics, that those who felt that the tactics employed by Republicans were too harsh, too extreme really voted Cuccinelli down and wound up lifting McAuliffe just enough to win.

So maybe you got saved by tactics not than substance. Maybe the left does have to look more what they're doing with the law and get to the table and fix, no?

BURTON: I actually think in almost every campaign, tactics matter and they can matter right around the margins. This is the place where Governor-elect McAuliffe won by about three point. And that's outside of the margin, where just tactics can matter. I think leadership matters. Your principles matter.

Ken Cuccinelli ran as a very conservative right wing candidate and it's something that the people of Virginia rejected. And even when he tried to make the issue Obamacare, folks in Virginia still picked Terry McAuliffe. If you win by one point or ten points it's still a win and Virginians chose the guy who said let's support Obamacare, let's fix it, but let's focus on issues in Virginia that matter to Virginians, not that panoply of right wing issues people don't want to have the same old fights anymore.

CUOMO: Well, we'll see what happens, because new round of fights coming. Bill Burton, appreciate the perspective. Thanks for joining us on NEW DAY.

BURTON: Thanks for having me, Chris.

CUOMO: A lot of other news, so let's get to Michaela -- Mick.

PEREIRA: All right, Chris.

Here are your headlines at this hour.

As first reported on CNN, classified intelligence indicates the Syrian government may be looking to secretly keep some of its chemical weapons stockpile. In the meantime, a peace conference to end the civil war is being delayed. Diplomats from the U.S., Russia and the United Nations failed to agree on a date. A blast in Damascus today is said to have killed eight people.

Two Oklahoma inmates who escaped through a prison shower ceiling are back behind bars, James Mendonca and Triston Cheadle were picked up at a home not far from the prison. They were part of a group of four inmates, who made a clean getaway last month climbing up through a shower and through a pipe way and out in an unlocked door. Dylan Ray Three Irons and Prime Brown were found just days later less than 20 miles away.

In Connecticut a hearing may determine whether Kennedy cousin Michael Skakel will be released from prison. Skakel is awaiting new trial. His conviction for the 1975 murder of Martha Moxley was overturned last month. The judge who threw out the verdict will preside over today's hearing as prosecutors made their case to keep Skakel behind bars.

New concern over testosterone treatment. A Veterans Affairs study cites the link between medications to treat low "T" and heart attack, stroke and even death. Researchers found older men taking testosterone have a 29 percent greater health risk. Now, this is the second major study to suggest a public health danger associated with taking low "T" supplements.

A bold, new ad campaign for breast cancer awareness, look at this, a bald Mona Lisa. The Italian company says it is designed to show there is dignity in fighting the disease and the value of your life does not change just because you are battling cancer. A full roll-out of the campaign will start in the coming months.

BOLDUAN: Very interesting take. I like that.

CUOMO: Which makes me laugh.

Karen Maginnis is in for Indra Petersons with a check of the forecast.


We're looking at the potential for some delays not today, but into tomorrow across the northeastern corridor from Washington, D.C., into New York, Philadelphia, Boston because of the wet weather taking place across the Great Lakes extending down into the Midwest. Some places behind this weather system have already seen two to five inches of snowfall.

On top of the rainfall, gusty winds expected coming out of the West and Northwest, blowing in, in some instances as much as 40 miles an hour.

Here is the weather system right now an area of low pressure situated across the Great Lakes, frontal system draped to the South with plenty of gulf moisture coming out ahead of it, but we'll see those temperatures fairly mild today but then by Thursday here comes that wet weather, cold temperatures through the Great Lakes and those temperatures running about five to ten degrees below where they should be.

So, watch us tomorrow, we'll tell you about what happens in that Northeast, as we see the low visibility, the rain chances go up, we could see about a half an inch, maybe as much as an inch of wet weather expect there had. Back to you guys.

BOLDUAN: All right. Karen, thanks so much for that update.

Coming up next on NEW DAY, he finally admits to using crack cocaine but now, can Toronto Mayor Rob Ford ride out the storm as he wants and stay on the job?

CUOMO: And the question, did Richie Incognito bully Jonathan Martin because somebody told him to? He's speaking out as we're getting stunning new developments, may change how you see this story. Stick with us.


CUOMO: Welcome back to "NEW DAY". Hope your morning is going well, certainly better than the mayor of Toronto, because he's saying two things that just don't usually go together: he has smoked cracked, and he'll stay the leader of that city. CNN's Paula Newton reports.


MAYOR ROB FORD, TORONTO: These allegations are ridiculous --

PAULA NEWTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): After months of boldfaced denials.

FORD: I did not use crack cocaine nor am I an addict of crack cocaine.

NEWTON: Toronto mayor, Rob Ford's confession was as riveting as it was blunt.

FORD: Yes, I have smoked crack cocaine.


FORD: But no -- do I -- am I an addict? No. Have I tried it? Probably in one of my drunken stupors probably approximately about a year ago.

NEWTON: And there it was. The sorted truth that this mayor could no longer outrun, months of secret police surveillance of Ford was made public last week in connection with the arrest of the mayor's friend and part-time driver. Sandro Lisi faces drug offenses as well as extortion portion charges. But police say, so far, the mayor isn't charged with anything.

Police did confirm that they had the video, the one that allegedly shows Mayor Ford smoking crack cocaine from a pipe, and Mayor Ford says he wants to see it.

FORD: I want everyone in the city to see this tape. I'd like to see this tape. I don't even recall there being a tape or a video. And I know that. So, I want to see the state that I was in.

NEWTON: But now, Mayor Ford says he's put it all out there. He's looking for forgiveness.

FORD: I have nothing left to hide. I embarrassed everyone in the city. And I will be forever sorry.

NEWTON: He had a lot to say, except the words "I'm stepping down."

FORD: I was elected to do a job, and that's exactly what I'm going to continue doing.

NEWTON: He intends to run for mayor again next fall.

Paula Newton, CNN, Toronto.


BOLDUAN: All right. Paula, thank you so much for that. We're now hearing from Miami Dolphin lineman suspended this week for what he allegedly did to a teammate. Well, now, some say Richie Incognito has a pattern of abusive behavior that goes back years. Here's John Zarrella with more.


JOHN ZARRELLA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Leaving a doctor's office, Richie Incognito had little to say about the firestorm over allegations he bullied a Miami Dolphins teammate.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm just trying to weather the storm right now, and this will pass.

ZARRELLA: In his first comment about the controversy he was calm, even tempered.


ZARRELLA: A far cry from the shirtless Richie Incognito screaming racial slurs and profanities at a South Florida bar.


ZARRELLA: He prances around the table, at one point, he hugs fellow Dolphin, Mike Pouncey, who seemed unfazed by the slurs. Incognito's representatives would not comment, but what you see here is an example says former Dolphin, Channing Crowder, of what likely happened in the team locker room.

CHANNING CROWDER, FORMER MIAMI DOLPHINS LINEBACKER: There's nobody there to tell him what's too far. There's no other alpha males to stop him and he's running crazy.

ZARRELLA: Crowder, now a radio talk show host in Miami, played with Incognito. Crowder says strong personalities on those Dolphin teams kept him under control until now. The NFL is investigating whether Incognito bullied another player, Jonathan Martin, into leaving the team. Incognito's reputation goes all the way back to his college days a decade ago. He was suspended twice at Nebraska and dismissed at Oregon. Tony Dungy who was then the coach of the Indianapolis Colts says Incognito was not on his draft board in 2005.

TONY DUNGY, FORMER HEAD COACH, INDIANAPOLIS COLTS: We had the category DNDC, do not draft because of character. Richie Incognito was in that category for us.

ZARRELLA: Controversy follows incognito. Last year on a Miami radio show, he talked about getting then rookie quarterback, Ryan Tannehill to buy him and Pouncey jet skis.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is how it works. You're going to buy us a gift because we protect his butt.

ZARRELLA: But here's the irony. If either Incognito or Martin ever play again, Crowder believes it's martin who will be shunned by teammates.

CROWDER: He goes to NFL team the word "snitch" will be thrown around regularly. You made a fellow frat member, as we are a frat, you made him lose his job.

ZARRELLA: John Zarrella, CNN, Miami.


CUOMO: More facts. Now, does it change your opinion? Tweet us, let us know, use #NEWDAY.

Coming up on NEW DAY, what does Chris Christie's monster re-election victory say about his political future? Is he the man to bring bipartisanship back to Washington? We'll explain.

BOLDUAN: Plus, Utah prosecutors are wrapping up their case against Dr. Martin MacNeill and counting on the testimony of prison inmates to help convince a jury MacNeill killed his wife. Our legal experts weigh in.


MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: All right. It is that time for the five things you need to know for your NEW DAY.


PEREIRA: At number one, reelected Governor Chris Christie cruises to victory in New Jersey, a possible precursor to a 2016 presidential run. In Virginia, Democrat Terry McAuliffe defeated Ken Cuccinelli to become that state's new governor.

Health and Human Services secretary, Kathleen Sebelius, going before a Senate panel this morning. She'll be asked about the Obamacare website debacle. Newly released documents show the site had even more problems than first reported. New U.S. intelligence first reported by CNN that Syria may not be looking to declare and destroy its entire stockpile of chemical weapons. Officials say they're trying to confirm that and figure out if everything has been turned over.

The brother of New Jersey mall shooter, Richard Shoop, says the 20- year-old didn't plan to hurt anyone but himself. Shoop's body was found inside the mall hours after he opened fire.

And at number five, federal officials say the plane that crashed at Nashville's International Airport without anyone noticing for hours was not even supposed to be in the U.S. Flight plans show that the pilot was only set to travel within Canada.

We're always updating those five things to know, so be sure to go to for the very latest -- Kate?


BOLDUAN: Thanks, Michaela.

As Michaela mentioned, the big win for Republican, Chris Christie, in the blue state of New Jersey and a closer race than predicted in Virginia, but what more do these results tell us about the larger races around the corner, the big Cahuna (ph) coming up, the host of "State of the Union," CNNs chief political correspondent as well, Candy Crowley, in studio this morning. Hey, Candy.


BOLDUAN: Late night for you but thank you for coming in.

CROWLEY: Absolutely.

BOLDUAN: So, when you look at specifically New Jersey and Virginia, is there one big message that you think the parties are taking from these results?

CROWLEY: To a certain extent, the parties take out of it what they want that will propel them forward. I think one of the things we learned sort of separately in Virginia is that Obamacare, the Affordable Care Act, makes a difference, because Cuccinelli was double digits behind. This was a much closer race in Virginia.

The Democrat won, McAuliffe, but he had an enormous money advantage. He had Bill and Hillary Clinton coming in. He had everything going in his favor, and yet, it was down to three or four points. Why? Because at the end, Cuccinelli went after Obamacare, very powerful. I think Chris Christie is sort of a one-off in terms of message. The message is Chris Christie is a big player, watch for him in 2016.

BOLDUAN: His brand works for him.

CROWLEY: His brand works for him and there's a place for him in the 2016 race should he so choose. And certainly, he's keeping his options open. BOLDUAN: That's what I wanted to ask you about. Alex Castellano said last night that his speech was not an acceptance speech, it was an announcement speech last night. Is there any doubt in that anymore?

CROWLEY: Well, I think in some ways it's a little bit like Hillary Clinton, that maybe in his mind he hasn't put a period on "I will run," but he's widely keeping his options open. Certainly, when he looks in the camera and says, "Washington ought to look at New Jersey and see how well we do things," that's kind of the big old hint.

And let's remember, he's now going to head up the Republican Governor's Association, which means he can travel, oh, just about anywhere.

BOLDUAN: And not have to make any excuse for it. That's part of the job.

CROWLEY: Exactly.

BOLDUAN: He said something interesting yesterday. He was really pushing back at any suggestion that he is a moderate when he was talking to Jake Tapper saying I'm a conservative. Is he or isn't he? Why does it matter?

CROWLEY: Well, it matters in the sense that the Republican Party is now seeing a split of the two factions, the Tea Parties and the moderates or the RINOs, Republican named only as the conservatives like to call them. Chris Christie, like most smart politicians, don't like labels. He has an argument that he's a conservative. He's fiscally conservative. He is anti-abortion. He has done in social issues he's conservative.

So he's got an argument to make. I think what -- it is the -- his working with Democrats that has given conservative Republicans some pause.