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The Morning After; Impact Your World; Martin MacNeill Murder Trial; "Pandora's Promise"

Aired November 6, 2013 - 08:30   ET

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


CANDY CROWLEY, HOST, CNN'S "STATE OF THE UNION": 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 in name 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 - it is the -- his working with Democrats that has given conservative Republicans some pause. But I have to tell you that I don't think I've ever covered a race in the primary season that didn't come down to electability. And last night was my big old, oh, speaking of electability, I got women, I got minorities, I -- you know that kind of thing.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: It also speaks to his presidential aspirations, the fact that he is sensitive to those labels at this point, conservative or moderate.

CROWLEY: Exactly.

BOLDUAN: Another person who has presidential aspirations in 2016, Rand Paul. I want to get your take on kind of what's happened over the - really the - just the last week. He's taking a lot of heat for some plagiarism that has been uncovered in past speeches and he was asked about this by Wolf yesterday. Take a listen to what he said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SENATOR RAND PAUL (R), KENTUCKY: I never have intentionally ever presented anyone's ideas as my own or tried to pass off anything. Did we make mistakes? Yes. I'm the first to admit that I'm imperfect. But at the same time, I do get offended when people are trying to cast aspersions on my character because I'm honest. I've never try to mislead people.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BOLDUAN: He makes a good point. He also says that he thinks he's being held to a different standard than others. What do you make of it?

CROWLEY: I think it's good to get it out early. I think he's handled it well in the sense of, 'OK, it's my shop. I'm responsible for what goes on in here.' Let's remember Vice President Biden had a whole plagiarism thing going on when he ran for -

BOLDUAN: Good point.

CROWLEY: You know, the Senate, as well as for vice president and for president. So this, too, shall pass. I'm not sure this is a different standard. This is clearly, things were lifted off Wikipedia and other places by whoever's writing his speeches, if that's - if this is what the story is. I think this passes.

Rand Paul has been, I think, pretty smart in positioning himself. He does not have the lightning that a Ted Cruz has, which means he's not attracting like bad stuff either. He's very popular in the libertarian wing of the Republican Party and acceptable. He's working with Mitch McConnell. So he's got inroads in the establishment. So I think this is a blip for him, but -- and he's probably lucky it happened in, you know, the course of elections and other things going on.

BOLDUAN: And one maybe silver lining he can take from it is, people are looking at him closely.

CROWLEY: Yes.

BOLDUAN: So people care, and people are going to be looking into it. Just a little taste of what's to come if he does -

CROWLEY: Welcome to the big leagues, yes.

BOLDUAN: Exactly. Great to see you, Candy.

CROWLEY: Good to see you, Kate.

BOLDUAN: Thank you so much.

Of course you want to check - you can check out Candy every weekend with "State of the Union" Sunday mornings.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: All right, so let's go from these potential candidates, men who say they want to help others, to someone who is actually helping already, impacting his world. Gary Sinise has made helping veterans part of his calling. Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

GARY SINISE, ACTOR, "FORREST GUMP": Thought I'd try out my sea legs.

TOM HANKS, ACTOR, "FORREST GUMP": But you ain't got no legs, Lieutenant Dan.

CUOMO (voice-over): Long before Gary Sinise played Vietnam Veteran Lieutenant Dan in "Forrest Gump," he was a passionate supporter of the military.

SINISE: Well, I have a long history with working with veterans starting with the relationships that I have in my own personal family. My dad was -- served in the Navy. My two uncles were in World War II. My grandfather served in World War I.

CUOMO: With the success of "Forrest Gump," wounded veterans began to identify with Sinise.

SINISE: How many veterans we got here tonight?

CUOMO: He formed the Lieutenant Dan Band and has entertained troops around the world with the USO. The actor says his call to action became very clear after 9/11.

SINISE: When our men and women started deploying to Iraq and Afghanistan, they started getting hurt and killed. Having Vietnam veterans in my family, it was very troubling to think that our men and women would come home to a nation that didn't appreciate them.

CUOMO: So he started his own charity dedicated to veterans. The Gary Sinise Foundation helps build customized homes for the severely wounded and helps vets find civilian careers.

SINISE: I have met hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of wounded veterans who continue to not let their circumstance get them down. Countless Lieutenant Dans out there that inspire me every day.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CUOMO: Well said. Well said.

BOLDUAN: Good stuff.

All right, coming up next on NEW DAY, the mistress back on the stand in the murder trial of Utah doctor, Martin MacNeill. He's charged with drugging and killing his wife to be with her, the mistress. Is this the testimony prosecutors hope will bring them a guilty verdict? The latest in this blockbuster case, coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BOLDUAN: Welcome back to NEW DAY, everyone.

The prosecution's case against Utah doctor, Martin MacNeill, is drawing to a close with a familiar face back on the witness stand. MacNeill is charged with drugging and killing his wife to be with his mistress. CNN's Ted Rowlands has more.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

TED ROWLANDS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Prosecutors plan to wrap their case against Dr. Martin MacNeill today, but first they're bringing back his girlfriend, Gypsy Willis, who they say is the reason the doctor killed his wife, 50-year-old Michele MacNeill, in April 2007. Willis, who Dr. MacNeill hired as the family nanny just days after his wife's death, admitted they were having an affair, testifying she even took semi-nude selfies in front of a mirror to sext MacNeill the day after Michele died.

GYPSY WILLIS, MARTIN MACNEILL'S ALLEGED MISTRESS: Exposing my back. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As if exposing below your back as well?

WILLIS: There was one picture where it is a little bit suggestive.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's showing your buttocks?

WILLIS: Yes.

ROWLANDS: On Tuesday, three federal prison inmates took the stand for the prosecution, their identities kept secret so they wouldn't be labeled as snitches.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I've seen snitches get killed. I've seen snitches get stabbed. I've seen snitches get isolated. I've seen snitches get raped.

ROWLANDS: The inmates met MacNeill, who they call "doc," while he was serving time for fraud for lying to investigators after his wife's death. One said he got to know MacNeill in the chicken coop, an 18-man cell, and that MacNeill told him he'd never be convicted.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He was like, 'No, I didn't murder my - my wife. If I did, they don't have any evidence.'

ROWLANDS: Another inmate claimed MacNeill used the "b" word when talking about his wife.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So I said, 'Well, did you do it?' He said the (EXPLETIVE DELETED) drowned.

RANDY SPENCER, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: You understand that - that by informing on somebody while you're in prison has the potential to reduce your sentence, correct?

ROWLANDS: MacNeill's defense tried attacking the credibility of the inmates' testimony by insinuating they could get something in return for helping prosecutors, which they denied.

JARED PERKINS, PROSECUTOR: Why are you here?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Because I got something to say and it's the truth.

ROWLANDS: Two more inmates are set to testify before Gypsy Willis, when court resumes this morning, then it is on to the defense case, which is expected to be short. In fact, the jury could start deliberating Dr. MacNeill's fate by the end of the week.

Ted Rowlands, CNN, Provo, Utah.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CUOMO: All right, ladies and gentlemen, you just saw it. It was supposed to be the knockout punch. But did it miss its mark?

Let's bring in Danny Cevallos, criminal defense attorney, CNN legal analyst, and Mr. Vinnie Politan, host of HLN's "After Dark" and former prosecutor and having been ducking me, feigning being on vacation because you didn't want to defend this case as prosecutorial proxy. But now you will, Mr. Politan. Thanks to both of you.

You bring in inmates, two, three and four and they don't get it done, Vinnie. They don't even say he told them that he killed his wife. What are you doing?

VINNIE POLITAN, HOST, HLN'S "AFTER DARK": I'm going to bring Gypsy back. I'm going to bring back the mistress and try to finish, you know, with an exclamation point. Yes, I think it was one, two, three strikes you're out with those three witnesses. Did not help. A I don't like calling inmates because they don't have credibility. The bottom line is, they just don't have it and I don't like to taint my case with it. But it is what it is. Gypsy's back on the stand today, Chris.

CUOMO: Not even a my goodness, he's going to rely on snitches, get stitches.

Danny Cevallos you look comfortable, too comfortable, and you shouldn't be because inmate number one is coming on and he's going to say that your client told him that he killed his wife. How do you handle that?

DANNY CEVALLOS, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Yes, inmate number one, this is probably someone that the prosecution before has said is such a detriment to society that we're going to put him in prison. But, jury, just on this one issue, we want you to believe him. And, oh, by the way, all this benefit that they're talking about, the state prosecutor doesn't have any jurisdiction over the Federal Bureau of Prisons. There is a benefit there somewhere. These guys don't testify out of the goodness of their heart. And that is why snitches have been attacked as so inherently unreliable. They would do anything to get out.

CUOMO: All right, but they're not always unreliable and they can be telling the truth about certain things. They may be believed, especially by a jury desperate, potentially, to believe something that helps them make a decision of guilty on this man. And so, Vinnie Politan, what do you do with Gypsy Willis? What do you do with your remaining time to help push your burden?

POLITAN: Two things. One, you've got to - you've got to tell -- have her give her own alibi. Every night on "After Dark" we have our in studio jury and there's at least two every night that think Gypsy did it. That could be happening in Utah. You got to get her up there to give her alibi for the time of the murder and then have her again talk about their plans for the future, how he proposed to her and they were going to spend the rest of their lives together, and not downplay it but play it that she was moving into the house to become the new Mrs. Dr. Martin MacNeill.

CUOMO: Your tie matches your eyes, and yet I am uncompelled, Vinnie Politan, which takes me back to you, Danny Cevallos, and why are you putting on three witnesses? Why are you putting on a case here?

CEVALLOS: Well, you have to put on some case to refute. I think one of the biggest things you have to do is defuse the testimony about what MacNeill did at the scene of the incident. I think once you raise some doubt in that area, because he appeared to act very suspicious for a doctor, I think that's what they're going to attack. They also may or may not choose to attack the science and whether or not he could have lifted her out of the tub. But, overall, they don't need to call too many witnesses.

CUOMO: But what about one other thing that Vinnie hasn't brought up yet, because I'm too busy joking about his tie. They may bring up another forensic expert who says that what happened in the bathtub doesn't square with anything that your client said. Could that be enough, Danny? You worried about that?

CEVALLOS: They could. They could. But ultimately the science is on the defense's side. Three medical examiners for the prosecution have testified that this individual may have died from cardiac arrhythmia. That is a pretty good situation. So they -- like I said, they don't need and they shouldn't risk putting on too much evidence that could be subject to attack.

CUOMO: Let me ask you something, Vinnie Politan. At this point, having followed this, this is the crescendo. These are the big moments now. The defense case will be somewhat of an afterthought you have to believe. What do you think the chance is that they've made the case that the doctor is a murder, comma, not just a bad man?

POLITAN: If this jury applies common sense to all the circumstances, this is a guilty verdict. If they're going to get hung up on the science, because you don't need the science, it's not an element of the crime, what you need to do is look at all the circumstances. If they look at the total picture on what he was doing and why he was doing it, it leads to a murder conviction here.

CUOMO: Danny Cevallos, dare I say you begin your final point with a "my goodness."

CEVALLOS: My goodness, Mr. Politan. And I'll tell you why. You know, you always hear prosecutors talking about, look at the whole picture. Look at the whole picture. That is code for, why don't you drag in the fact that you don't like this guy and use that to influence your final decision. A prosecutor would want them to look at the whole picture because this guy is a cad. He's bad news. But that doesn't mean he killed his wife and I don't think the prosecution, respectfully to Mr. Politan, has made their case.

CUOMO: Danny Cevallos, Vinnie Politan thank you very much for your perspective. Vinnie you went on vacation, and you hurt my feelings so I came at you. That's the way it works. Thanks for the perspective today. A big day in trial we look forward to more analysis -- Kate.

BOLDUAN: Moral of the story do not take vacation unless Chris approves it.

Coming up next on "NEW DAY," it's a controversial new CNN film "PANDORA'S PROMISE: EXPLORING THE FUTURE OF NUCLEAR POWER. " It airs Thursday night right here on CNN. And we're going to dig into the issue, provocative questions when we come back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BOLDUAN: Welcome back to "NEW DAY" everyone.

Nuclear energy is a fiercely debated topic and there is a major development this week. Four of the world's top environmentalists have written an open letter calling for more nuclear power they say it's the only way to reverse climate change. This comes as a new CNN film "Pandora's Promise" that supports nuclear energy is set to premiere on Thursday night.

We wanted to talk about those -- to talk about both sides of this debate. Let's do just that. With us now is Oscar nominated documentary filmmaker and the director of "Pandora's Promise" Robert Stone, as well as Michael Brune, the executive director of the Sierra Club. Gentlemen it's great to see you. Thanks so much for coming in.

ROBERT STONE, DIRECTOR, "PANDORA'S PROMISE": Great to be here thank you.

BOLDUAN: Of course.

MICHAEL BRUNE, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, SIERRA CLUB: Hi, Kate.

BOLDUAN: Hi there. Robert first to you why take on this topic? It's controversial. It's provocative. People are very stuck in their positions. Why did you want to take it on?

STONE: Well, I'd just become increasingly alarmed over the last decade or so that everything that we environmentalists have tried to do to tackle climate change has failed and we need nuclear energy, advanced better nuclear energy in order to power a developing world that's -- where energy use is skyrocketing and to stop putting CO2 into the atmosphere.

BOLDUAN: Now Michael, I know you very much disagree with that. The Web site of Sierra -- Sierra Club website calling it "Pandora's False Promises". Why?

BRUNE: Well, look. You know while Robert has been working on this film the world has passed him by in the nuclear power industry by the price of solar has dropped by more than 75 percent in the last four years. The price of wind has dropped by more than 50 percent in the last four years and so what's happening in the U.S. is that we're beginning to displace coal fired power plants with clean energy.

The United States has reduced its greenhouse gas emissions more than any other country in the last five years. In fact, we've reduced our greenhouse gas pollution to the levels not seen since 1992. And the reason for that is that we're accumulating huge inventories of clean energy and so this film you know it's a good infomercial for the nuclear power industry but it's not really relevant in today's electricity markets.

BOLDUAN: What do you say to that Robert? STONE: That's absolutely not true. What's displacing coal is natural gas, not renewables. It would be nice if wind and solar was displacing coal it's simply not true.

BOLDUAN: Now Michael, let me ask you a quick question, why not consider their position especially when you have this letter coming out from environmentalists that said in part that "there's no credible path to climate stabilization that doesn't include nuclear." What do you say?

BRUNE: I think we all have the same goal that we want to create a society where our emissions are stabilized, where we're not plunging our country and the planet into severe storms or droughts or wildfires, so we have to look at whatever solutions will actually work to solve the problem. And there's a whole range of different energy choices, from fossil fuels to nuclear power, solar, wind, geothermal, et cetera.

Robert didn't invite a single wind advocate or a single solar advocate into his studio on his film because nuclear power can't even compete in the marketplace for ideas.

BOLDUAN: Robert, respond to that. Are you drowning out the other voices that oppose your view on this?

STONE: No.

BOLDUAN: What about the big elephant in the room, the safety issue? You don't have to look much further back than Fukushima to know the concerns with nuclear power.

STONE: Look, nobody in the film, myself or the climate scientists who wrote that letter, are advocating building 1970s era nuclear reactors. We are excited about the next generation reactors that can be produced in factories on assembly lines with passive safety with the physics of them prevent them from meltdowns and this kind of thing and they consume their own waste.

BOLDUAN: The debate clearly does not end here today but it actually is a very interesting debate and you both raise very provocative questions.

We'll have leave it here. Robert Stone, Michael Brune, great to see both of you. Thank you very much for coming in and talking about it.

STONE: Thank you very much.

BRUNE: Thanks, Kate.

BOLDUAN: No question -- provocative questions and a provocative documentary. "PANDORA'S PROMISE" premieres this Thursday, November 7th at 9:00 p.m.

Chris back to you.

CUOMO: All right thanks Kate. Coming up in "The Good Stuff", what does a fresh coat of paint, new plumbs and kitchen cabinets mean? It means everything to one World War II vet.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CUOMO: John Cougar has it right. Time for "The Good Stuff", the greatest generation, we owe them a debt that is sometimes overlooked. Now Sam Patterson, 93 years young, World War II veteran, he's lived in the same house in South Florida for some 60 years. And after all that time, of course, Florida weather, Sam's house needed a lot of work, but of course Sam's not the type to ask for help.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SAM PATTERSON, WORLD WAR II VETERAN: I just don't want to be a burden to nobody. It needed it, I know, bad, besides the paint, the sinks and the bathroom and all, you know.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CUOMO: But you're not a burden. You're a blessing to your family and all those that you helped keep free. And luckily there was a group of volunteers that recognized that and so they brought in a crew 30 strong, including members of the Miami Dolphins.

By the time they were through, new plumbing, fresh paint, whole new bathroom, and coming soon, a new roof. The guys who volunteered say they got more out of it than the house or Sam did.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LOUSAKA POLITE, FOUNDER, MIAMI DOLPHINS: It was a blast, man. Honestly it was humbling for me just because, I mean, I feel like giving your time is one of the most important things you can do.

PATTERSON: You don't have no idea what it feels like. It's hard to explain -- renewed my faith in human nature.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CUOMO: Oh, boy. And of course Sam is a reminder of our faith in the greatest generation, and it's so nice of people to reach out and do the right thing, the good stuff.

MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: Well done. Way to go.

BOLDUAN: That's it for us today. Time now for Carol Costello and "CNN NEWSROOM".

CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: Hi Kate. Have a great day, everyone. "NEWSROOM" starts now.

Happening now in the "NEWSROOM," election night is over, and a new era is just beginning. A landslide victory for Democrats in New York City, Bill de Blasio and his family celebrate with a smack down, the de Blasio signature dance.

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

COSTELLO: Oh, but get ready for a tax hike, New York City. Plus, Virginia elects a new governor.