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NEW DAY

Democrats Near Revolt Over Obamacare?; Navy Ship Arrives In Philippines; Four Marines Killed At Camp Pendleton; Secret Service Shake Up; Cruise Passenger Goes Overboard; "I'm Not Going Anywhere"; Rob Ford's Latest Confession; Honor Your Promise

Aired November 14, 2013 - 06:00   ET

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


(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JAY CARNEY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: No one will be satisfied with the numbers.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: The numbers are in. We now know exactly how many people signed up for Obamacare in the first month and the numbers are not good and neither is the reaction of some Democrats. What are the whispers about a big change in the plan?

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Drug use, drunk driving, erratic behavior. New allegations revealed in court documents about Toronto's mayor, Rob Ford, this, on heels of one of the most public interventions ever.

MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Imagine being offered $3 billion for your technology and turning it down. That's what a 23-year-old CEO did when Facebook tried to buy his company. So, is he crazy or crazy smart? We'll discuss.

CUOMO: Your "NEW DAY" starts right now.

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

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CUOMO: Welcome to "NEW DAY." It's Thursday, November 14th, six o'clock in the east. Senate Democrats are marching to the White House, looking for answers, both to their political fears and for a way to address the millions of Americans who've been dropped by their insurance carriers.

Let's get to Jim Acosta live at the White House where they're still reeling from those low enrollment numbers from this past October. Good morning, Jim.

JIM ACOSTA, CNN NATIONAL POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Chris. That's right. And we may well hear from the president on these discouraging numbers for Obamacare later today in an event he is holding in Cleveland. Meanwhile, the White House after this first rough month for Obamacare appears to be saying they have nowhere to go but up.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ACOSTA (voice-over): It's not just the numbers that are in. For the first month of signups in Obamacare, so are the reviews.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just another day in a series of mess-ups in Obamacare.

ACOSTA: And it's not just Republicans who are giving the October enrollment period a thumbs down.

LANDRIEU: I don't think anyone is satisfied. But you know, the promise of The Affordable Care Act is worth fighting for.

ACOSTA: Of the roughly 100,000 consumers who signed up for Obamacare during October, less than 27,000, about one quarter did so on the federal marketplace on the troubled healthcare.gov website.

KATHLEEN SEBELIUS, HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES SECRETARY: We have every reason to expect more people will enroll.

ACOSTA: A website embattled Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius claims is now improving daily.

SEBELIUS: I'd say first of all, it is running right now, every day people are coming through, every day people are getting enrolled.

ACOSTA: But mark your calendars for November 30th. The White House says it will be working for, quote, "The vast majority of users by the end of the month."

JAY CARNEY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: It is our conviction that we can, with the fixes being implemented reach that goal by November 30th.

ACOSTA: The administration is under pressure to act fast with frantic Democrats rushing to support a bill proposed by Senator Mary Landrieu that would allow Americans to keep their insurance plans, an idea they worry could undermine the whole program.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Does anybody have any idea how much all this is going to cost us in the end? We've spent $600 million already.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ACOSTA: While the president is in Cleveland later today, White House top officials including Chief of Staff Dennis McDonough are expected to head up to Capitol Hill to talk to Senate Democrats about some of these proposals that would allow Americans to keep their insurance plan if they like it. I had a chance to catch up with McDonough in the driveway of the White House yesterday afternoon, after those enrollment numbers came out and asked for reaction. He said he is not satisfied yet -- Kate and Chris.

BOLDUAN: They say they're not surprised that the numbers are low but what are they going to do to fix it now.

ACOSTA: That's right.

BOLDUAN: Let's break down the numbers further, though. Christine Romans is here. Christine, what are you seeing inside the numbers?

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: When you look at the numbers, the administration said they expect 800,000 people to sign up, choose an insurance plan by the end of November. That will be a hard goal to reach. As you know as of November 2nd, 106,185 people have selected a plan. Some Republicans are equating it to putting a plan in their virtual shopping cart without buying. How does this number break down?

When it comes to the state exchanges, 79,391 have selected a plan, any good news for the administration in the numbers? Well, people are interested, apparently in Obamacare. Healthcare.gov had 26.8 million unique visits. The Obama care phone line got over 3.1 million calls. "The Washington Post" reports that in the first month of Romney care, only 123 people signed up, but by the end of the first year, 36,000 total had enrolled.

There's hope of an increase in the enrollment rate. It's a 26-week open enrollment period. Health care economists expect the big, big push to come late but the website problems have really been bad pr for the whole process. You have 48 million people uninsured, these kinds of numbers, very small in the whole global number of people who need health insurance -- guys.

BOLDUAN: All right, Christine, thank you. You have a website problem, you have cancellation problems. They have more problems than non-problems at the moment. Thanks so much. Michaela, what's going on?

MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: We want to bring you up to date on the relief efforts arriving in the Philippines. The "USS George Washington" has arrived with 80 aircrafts and 5,000 sailors to help in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan. Let's hope the arrival will help speed up food and water to the people. There's looting in hard-hit areas and is dragging on with people looking to survive.

An investigation is under way into an incident that killed four Marines at Camp Pendleton in Southern California. They were doing maintenance on a range used for live fire exercises, referred to as Zulu Black. It is possible that an unexploded ordnance detonated.

Two supervisors under allegation for alleged sexual misconduct. The internal investigation started back in may after a senior supervisor allegedly tried to re-enter a woman's room after leaving a bullet from his service weapon behind. That led to a search of his Blackberry. Sexually suggestive e-mails were apparently written to a female employee.

A search is underway in the Pacific for a missing cruise ship passenger. Princess Cruises says closed-circuit TV shows an American woman intentionally going overboard. The coast guard is helping with the search about 700 miles northeast of Hawaii. The Grand Princess was in its third day of a 2-week round-trip cruise from San Francisco to Hawaii.

Alec Baldwin's alleged stalker led away in handcuffs. Genevieve Sabourin was held in contempt Wednesday after repeated outbursts during her trial. She later testified. She faces aggravated harassment charges. She claimed they were lovers while Baldwin denies there was a relationship, testifying Tuesday they went to lunch once with a mutual friend back in 2000, really heated exchanges there. We followed it yesterday. We'll bring you up to date later in the show.

CUOMO: Can't wait for that. Let's get over to Indra Petersons. Other than the political storm clouds gathering over the nation's capital, what do you see out there?

INDRA PETERSONS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: The last few hours of cold are this morning. After this, everything is going to feel a lot better as we are going to be warming up. Nonetheless, it is cold right now. New York City is just barely above the freezing mark at 33. Pittsburgh in the 20s, Detroit, right now you're in the 20s. It's actually warmer in Minneapolis right now than it is for many of us in the Ohio Valley and the east coast.

This will quickly change, though. Keep in mind, into the south, same thing. Look at these numbers and the 20s and temperatures below freezing, Atlanta, 30 degrees right now. With that, yes, we have freeze warnings this morning. But again, it should be the last day they this. The reason for it is the dome of high pressure, bringing the cold arctic air. It is making its way offshore today.

So with that we pull in all the warm air from the gulf and the temperatures will rebound pretty nicely. A good 10, almost 15 degrees warmer that we saw yesterday especially into the northeast and yes, even into the south, things are going to feel a lot better for you.

Here's what we're talking about temperature wise, we're looking for 30s is what we saw yesterday for the high in New York City. Yesterday was 39. Today we're going back to the 50s. That's the big change here. Cincinnati also seeing 50s, Atlanta also feeling better, 58 degrees, I think I'll make more friends out there today.

Other changes, not a big one, yes, since we're pulling some of the stuff out of the gulf, we're pulling moisture out of the gulf. We'll see light showers around the gulf, nothing major. I love this. No one can complain, everyone is warmer and dry for the most part. Good day, guys.

BOLDUAN: Warm and dry.

PETERSONS: Perfect.

BOLDUAN: All right, coming up next on NEW DAY, explosive new allegations against Toronto's embattled mayor, Rob Ford, including accusations of escorts in city hall.

CUOMO: And what do you think, $3 billion. That's what we offer for your company. We're Facebook. We have tons of cake and you say nope and you're just 23 years old. We'll tell you about this CEO who is holding out for more. What does he own, anyway?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BOLDUAN: Welcome back to "NEW DAY". Explosive new allegations coming to light this morning about embattled Toronto Mayor Rob Ford on the same day the city council voted to ask him to take a leave of absence, court documents revealed Ford's pattern of drug abuse and abusive behavior -- drug use and abusive behavior. CNN's Paula Newton is joining us from Toronto with much more on this. Good morning, Paula.

PAULA NEWTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Kate. You know, this is from a man who said he had nothing to hide. Clearly, even in speaking to the mayor earlier in the day, he knew the other shoe was about to drop on him and his behavior outside of the mayor's office.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Allegations have come forward of driving drunk.

NEWTON (voice-over): Never a dull moment at city hall as the mayor of Toronto faces fresh allegations of drug use, drunk driving and maybe even escorts.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Be careful what you write.

NEWTON: That was his comeback after court documents revealed accusations of a sordid night of binge drinking and drugs detailed in interview with his staff, all this after an inquisition that became a public flogging.

MAYOR ROB FORD, TORONTO: You're answering, but you don't want to hear my answers.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Actually, you're not being truthful.

NEWTON: Ford made confession after confession.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Have you purchased illegal drugs in the last two years?

FORD: Yes, I have.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you.

NEWTON: This from one of his allies.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. Mayor, do you recognize there are few of us that really do want to help you?

NEWTON: But Ford denies being a drug addict.

FORD: The reason I drank or did drugs was not because of stress. It was out of sheer stupidity. That's all it was. I'm not going to blame something. I'm not going to use an excuse or a cop out. I take full responsibility for my mistakes. I don't know what else I can say. NEWTON: At one point, Ford introduced a motion calling for all city council members to be tested for drugs and alcohol.

FORD: I don't want to move this motion, but I have to move this motion. That city council direct all members of council -- the only thing that can prove, at least to clear me, I'm not going to start pinpointing people because I think we all know stories about each other here. If you're willing to lash out at the mayor in a public forum like this, then you should do a blood test yourself.

NEWTON: It didn't matter what he said. Fellow counselors voted overwhelmingly for the mayor to take a leave. The truth is the vote didn't matter either. No one can legally force the mayor to quit.

FORD: I know I've done a great job running the city, saving taxpayers money and putting us on the right path. I'm going to continue doing that. There's nothing else to say, guys. I really f'd up and that's it.

NEWTON: Doug Ford, the mayor's big brother says, he's staying put.

(on camera): When the mayor said I smoked crack cocaine, what kind of an example is that?

DOUG FORD, MAYOR ROB FORD'S BROTHER: It's not a good example. It's not and he's admitted it. There's going to be a point in life that you have to say we accept his apology, time will tell. The people will decide.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Has something come out that you're planning to sue about?

(END VIDEOTAPE)

NEWTON: As you can see, Kate, the mayor himself still basically saying that although he doesn't have anything to hide that he himself has at times been so inebriated that he can't say for sure, Kate, his big brother, Doug telling me, he doesn't know exactly what other allegations police may be disclosing in the coming days in court -- Kate.

CUOMO: All right, Paula, that's what really matters, not so much what he says, but what the proof is. Let's bring in investigative editor and senior reporter for the "Toronto Star," Mr. Kevin Donovan. Kevin, thank you for joining us.

KEVIN DONOVAN, INVESTIGATIVE EDITOR, "TORONTO STAR": Good morning.

CUOMO: Are we looking at political misconduct or is there clear proof of addiction and out-of-control behavior? What do you know from the record and the documents?

DONOVAN: Well, the police have amassed a fair number of pieces of information from former staff of Mayor Ford, showing addiction, drinking and driving, allegations of cocaine use in restaurants, misogynist behavior towards a female security guard -- a tremendous record that may be quite embarrassing to Mayor Ford and to his family.

BOLDUAN: Now, despite all the allegations, the mayor hasn't been charged with anything. From what you can see and are hearing from inside the police force, is there more?

DONOVAN: Well, the police are still investigating, as is the "Toronto Star" which started this many months ago. The next thing that will happen in this story, related to the police, there is another chunk of this large document, which is a search warrant document, which we're fighting to obtain. And that relates to wiretaps, which are not normally disclosed in Canada unless with a judge's authority.

We don't know what's on these wiretaps but there's a big chunk of this document that indicates that the police had wiretapped surveillance on people around Ford. The question for us, is Mayor Ford caught on the wiretap saying anything and what does he say?

CUOMO: You know, obviously, we're in the U.S. observing this going on in Canada. And, usually, the police move quickly here, even on public officials when there's these types of allegations. So we're watching this process unfold.

But let me ask you this. It seems too clear what the situation is. We're calling that meeting yesterday an intervention. That's the word we're using for it. I mean, is the feeling there you have legitimate questions about whether or not this man has problems that need treatment or is it about how you get him to get help for the treatment? What's the dialogue you're having up there?

DONOVAN: Well, the dialogue is certainly that, that he needs treatment. That's what person around him say. It's something we have heard since he joined the mayor's office three years ago. He's had a number of situations that he has been called out publicly for doing something that anybody else would think is related to addiction and then later on he apologizes and tries to move on.

His family has said he has a weight problem. His brother suggested maybe he should just drink in the basement. These are evidence of watchers say, of a family and mayor in denial.

BOLDUAN: And the vote yesterday, as Paula Newton says, didn't have any teeth. I mean, was it anything more than just a spectacle yesterday? Short of criminal charges against the mayor, is there any way that the community can get him out of office?

DONOVAN: Well, yes, criminal charges and a conviction would do it, but that should it come, would be quite a ways off because the wheels of justice tend to turn quite slowly.

Tomorrow, Friday, at city council, they are going to vote to strip some of his powers. For example, if there's an emergency in Toronto, he would not be able to delegate, have authority on that. He would also -- remove his powers, they say, to get rid of people on his executive council.

So they seem to be trying to shrink his powers. There's no rule in Toronto that allows them to actually show him the door.

CUOMO: You know, as odd as it is to watch the media up there and the politicians good (ph) after this like it's just another scandal, there's some interesting poll numbers that shows the acceptance of maybe not of the politicians, the society up there of addiction, 60 percent say he needs help and should take a leave and do that. And they also say that if he were to do that, he would win re-election.

What does that mean to you?

DONOVAN: Well, Mayor Ford has a very large body of support that he refers to as Ford Nation. He has massive parties for them once or twice a year. They are stalwart supporters. It's a bedrock for him. I think it's about 30 percent.

And what we saw in the last election, there was not a viable candidate that came forward that could attack him. He runs on a record of, he says, of saving a billion dollars of taxpayers' money. We've shown in the pages of the "Toronto Star" that that's not true. He keeps saying it.

And with these simple messages every time he repeats them, he gets at least -- shores up his bedrock of support and perhaps even increases it.

CUOMO: All right. Appreciate the reporting from you. Please, come back to us as the story moves forward. We're going to be following it.

BOLDUAN: Yes.

DONOVAN: Thank you. Good morning.

CUOMO: You know, look, as we all know in these situations, even the family -- the weird thing about this, we've seen situations like this, they just never play out in public. When someone is confronted about their addiction, they deny it, they said you're the one with the problem. The family has a hard time with it, we're just seeing it all play out in public.

BOLDUAN: Never seen anything like this play out in public, that's for sure.

CUOMO: What do you think? Am I totally off? What should happen here? Tweet us, use #newday.

BOLDUAN: Coming up next on NEW DAY, the USS George Washington finally arriving in the typhoon-ravaged Philippines.

The big challenge now, getting food and water to thousands of survivors who've been stranded for nearly seven days now.

CUOMO: It looks like Democrats are hoping a lack of political backbone is covered by Obamacare, because they are scrambling to heal themselves from the roll-out fiasco. The question this morning, can President Obama fix the mess? Can he get his people in line? (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BOLDUAN: Welcome back to NEW DAY.

It's time now for our political gut check of the morning.

Growing dissent between President Obama and Democrats over the disastrous roll-out of Obamacare and dismal enrollment numbers that were just out. The House is facing a vote tomorrow that takes on the president's broken promise that Americans can keep their insurance plans if they like them. And a growing number of Democrats are indicating they may back the GOP bill.

CNN's chief national correspondent John King is here as always.

Good morning, John.

JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Good morning.

BOLDUAN: As you've said all along, that's what I was thinking this morning, what the president need to do is ensure that more Democrats did not revolt. It seems that they're running out of time.

KING: They are running out of time. That's the political question, stop the revolt. The way to stop the revolt is to prove you've dealt with the policy problems. The administration hasn't done that yet.

So you have proposals put forward by the Republicans in the House. There are proposals in the Senate to deal with what they believe are the biggest problems. The idea he said if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor. If you like your plan, I don't you can keep that plan, period.

So the House is going to act on legislation and House Democrats are saying, 'Mr. President, help us, give us a lifeline, prove to us you're going to deal with this, so we don't have to support a Republican bill to change your legislation.'

And the White House has not yet said how the president is going to deal with this. I checked with a senior administration official who said, quote, "We're working on it." And I said, "Are you going to do this administratively? Do you need help from Congress?" All I got was "wait".

Well, I'm not on the ballot next year, so I can wait. Democrats are very, very impatient. They're saying, "No, Mr. President, we need to fix this fast."

CUOMO: We're on the ballot every day, John. Every day we're on the ballot. You know, I -- I don't get something about this. So help me out with it.

I felt like I knew this was going to happen. I felt like when they were selling us Obamacare, they were saying, oh, and by the way, the whole key are these young people who are healthy and they have to buy into the plans, and they're going to cost them money and there are penalties.

You know, how much of the 5 percent are these people and are the Democrats frozen by the politics right now instead of arguing the case?

KING: I think they're frozen by the politics. I think that's a great point. But they're frozen by the politics because of what the president said repeatedly. He didn't say it once. He didn't say it back when they were debating the bill in 2009. He said it from when they were debating, when they passed the bill, through the reelection campaign. And he said it empathetically without that caveat. He said, "period."

If he said a small percentage will have to change, then we'd be in a different political environment right now.

So, you have the policy problems, which are now causing a huge political issue for the president. And until -- unless he gives the Democrats, the fellow Democrats a clear path out, they'll suggest it for him. As you can see, that's pretty messy.

BOLDUAN: Isn't the policy -- put the politics aside for a second. The policy problem, as Chris is alluding to, is a real one. They need a pool of people to make the insurance plans for the sick and the people who would normally have a much higher premium to make it more affordable. That's a real policy problem.

How I wonder are they going to be able to fix with this such little time left. It sounds like you're asking for more trouble. When you pull one thread, doesn't the whole thing start falling apart?

KING: Well, that is part of the problem. Look, from a policy standpoint, you need people to sign up, that's what keeps the cost down. You need healthy people in the pool. That's what helps you offset the cost of dealing with people who actually have serious illnesses.

And one of the issues here is the young people, you know, if they logged on in the first place, remember, the president said this would be like booking an airline ticket or logging on to Facebook. He said it may be easy.

Many people may have tried and decided never mind. The challenge now from a policy standpoint is over time, convincing those people, and there's the threat of the penalty out there, that you have to sign up eventually. So, again, over the long-term horizon whether they have to extend the deadline or wave the penalty for a few months, the administration says it's still confident they will get there eventually.

But they're starting from way behind. Now, they're way under their own numbers. And now, they're in this environment where Republicans are saying this is not only proof they couldn't build a website, it's proof the program is flawed. You have Democrats starting to worry, some panicked. And you get into this political environment where it gets unpredictable. The president has to show them how he's going to chart a path out and he hasn't done that yet.

CUOMO: Why isn't it as simple as saying we have to find out how many of these 5 percent are people who shouldn't be able to keep their plans, as opposed to people who just bought substandard plans, and the law changed and they need to buy up and then extend the deadline? What's the cost of extending the deadline?

KING: Well, the cost of extending the deadline is if you open the door to Congress making changes, how many other changes will they try to make? And to your other point, again, if the administration essentially in writing the regulations was trying to get rid of what they believe to be substandard plans, if they go back now and say never mind you can keep them, what does that do? And then, how many changes do you make?

So it's the domino effect. In this political environment where the president's numbers are in the 30s, where he's in the end of the first year of his second term, Democrats are starting to worry about themselves, not about him. If you make one change, the question is do you have to make two, three, four or six or eight?

BOLDUAN: Yes, I mean, with all that in mind, today is the make or break day, the White House, the administration to say something to offer Democrats some cover. So, that vote tomorrow in the House will be a tough one that will stick with House Democrats in the next election.

KING: You're absolutely right. Remember, that's on the Republican House. There are senate Democrat watching, too. The Democrats control the Senate. They have the responsibility there. The ones on the ballot next year, Kate, you know it from wandering the halls, they get jittery.

BOLDUAN: Yes, jittery, not a good way to be.

KING: I'm being polite.

BOLDUAN: You're so polite. Thank you so much.

CUOMO: Kate was listening to Macklemore this morning, you know, the rapper. And he has a line in his song, "change the game, don't let the game change you." The Democrats need to listen.