Return to Transcripts main page


JFK "X" Marks Removed; Gettysburg Address Anniversary; Word Of The Year: "Selfie"; Cheney Family Feud; Jeb Bush 2016?; Voices Of Victims; Alec Baldwin: King Of Controversy?; The Rest Of The Story

Aired November 19, 2013 - 07:30   ET


MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR:. As we approach the 50th anniversary of JFK's assassination, the white Xs in Dealey Plaza that marked the approximate spots where he was shot are being removed. Dallas city officials say they are resurfacing the street to remove trip hazards ahead of an influx of visitors. And add the Xs are not official city markers. However, organizers of Friday's commemoration events say they want be the focus to be Kennedy's life and not how he died.

Today marks the 150th anniversary of President Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg address. An elaborate celebration is planned today including a re-enactment of the famed speech at Soldiers National Cemetery. Thousands are expected to be in attendance. One notable absence at the event, President Obama, instead, Interior Secretary Sally Jewel will be on hand for the event.

We've all probably done it at some point. Cell phone in hand, good hair day, so important self portrait or "selfie," for any of you on social media. The word "selfie," victory, selfie has been declared word of the year by the Oxford Dictionary. Such a sign of the times, don't you think? Editors define the term as a photograph taken of one self and uploaded to social media web site.

You do them at home. I'm talking to you. You're doing it right now, aren't you? Somebody did, right in front of the TV. You know they did.

KATE BOLDUAN: Might as well.

CHRIS CUOMO: Now you'll get it tweeted to you.

BOLDUAN: Post it.

Now two big political stories we're following today, the Cheney sisters' public dispute over same-sex marriage is heating up. Their parents have weighed in, coming to the defense of daughter, Liz.

Jeb Bush sounding a lot like a presidential candidate in his remarks here in New York City last night at the 92nd Street Y. Let's talk about it all. Joining us, CNN political commentator and Republican strategist, Ana Navarro as well as the politics editor of "Business Insider," Josh Barro. Good morning.

ANA NAVARRO, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Selfie -- if the pope can do it, anybody can do it. PEREIRA: Right, exactly.

BOLDUAN: Pope approved. Let's talk about the Cheneys, very unpope- like. It should be, I would argue, a private family matter that has become very public, all of their own doing. What do you make of it?

NAVARRO: I think they would argue the same thing. I think it's painful. We all have either been part of or know of family feuds, they're painful enough in private. I think it's that much more painful when it's in public. It's rather sad. This is an internal battle playing out all over America where there are gay relatives, gay friends. People who want to say I love them, but having a hard time accepting their lifestyle. Frankly it's hard to reconcile. Telling somebody I love you, you are my sister, your family and your kids, but I don't accept the structure of marriage that you are engaged in.

BOLDUAN: What do you think about this? It has to be a calculation of Vice President Cheney coming out defending Liz Cheney on this.

JOSH BARRO, POLITICS EDITOR, "BUSINESS INSIDER": Well, I think the former vice president's statement was very carefully worded. It was saying this has always been Liz's position on same-sex marriage. Dick Cheney is in favor of same-sex marriage. But I actually don't think this is a repeat of the story we're typically seeing in families across the country with people having difficulty with acceptance.

It sounds like Liz has actually been generally quite supportive of her sister and her family and was saying in 2009, you know, we have been clear in our family. We think freedom means freedom for everybody. When Dick Cheney says that, he means he's for gay marriage. Now Liz is running in the Senate in Wyoming. So that I think is why she had difficulty. I suspect deep down she doesn't have any personal problem.

CUOMO: Which makes it even weirder on one level because you get it, there's some optics of politics going on here about how she had to be perceived as a candidate, to get certain conservative groups behind her. But listen, growing up in a political family you don't do this. The family never gets out in public and talks about what's going on.

NAVARRO: I think it's so counterproductive. Look, whomever may oppose gay marriage probably also opposes family drama and I have seen no instances in politics where family drama actually leads to good things.

CUOMO: You can't squash it. Family is family. Doesn't matter how much power you may have.

PEREIRA: Can I throw a dissenting thought on this? Dan Savage on Twitter, this is a quote, "Odds that Mary's pretending to be angry to help Liz get elected, Mary's anger makes Liz's opposition less sincere, personally costly," just saying.

NAVARRO: Did you read what Mary's wife said?

CUOMO: Yes. NAVARRO: Honey, that's -- that's no facade. That's not a pretend. That's for real.

CUOMO: That's real.

NAVARRO: It cut deep. They've got children. I can see where it would be, look, don't tread on me, don't use me as a subject. As a candidate she needs to cut off any conversation about her sister. When they bring up her sister, look, my sister's life is private.

BOLDUAN: Liz didn't make this part of the campaign. She was asked about it on Fox News. This was brought to her.

BARRO: She made it part of the campaign by publicly taking a position that was hurtful to her sister. I think her sister feels like, look, Dick Cheney was able in 2004 to avoid taking a position against same- sex marriage at significant political cost within the Republican Party. Her sister in 2013 wasn't able to do that. I think she was offended by that. I don't buy the Dan Savidge thing. If this is a scheme to make Liz Cheney look like an appealing social conservative, it's a really dumb scheme that will not work.

BOLDUAN: It may backfire.

BARRO: She's down like 40 points in the polls in this race.

NAVARRO: That's the sad thing. These two sisters are going through this very public fight --

CUOMO: For nothing.

NAVARRO: In all likelihood, Mike Enzi is going to continue being the senator from Wyoming.

BOLDUAN: Right. Good point. Let's talk about Jeb.


BOLDUAN: Is he sounding presidential-esque? What's your take?

NAVARRO: You know, I think he's thinking about this more than meets the naked eye. He may kill me for saying this, but I heard him lately talk about what the factors that go into his thinking.

BOLDUAN: What are those factors?

NAVARRO: I'll tell you what they're not.

CUOMO: Can I win? Can I win? Can I win?

NAVARRO: We're not talking about Andrew Cuomo's perspective.

NAVARRO: He has said that the factors about whether he will do it as family. He's been married for 39 years and 10 months. Can this be a full partnership and joyfulness of doing it? Does he have the fire in the belly does he want to do it? What wouldn't be factors is who is else running.

CUOMO: Come on.

NAVARRO: You know something, I almost get the feeling that, you know, and I promote this.


NAVARRO: It's important to have a voice like Jeb's in a Republican primary because he brings a temperate, pragmatic conservatism to the table. That's with one of the interesting things last night. The moderator called him a moderate. He pushed back hard. When you take a look at Jeb Bush's -- he said, why are you calling me a moderate? I'm a conservative, a practicing conservative, not a talking one. I will put my record up against anyone in Congress.

BARRO: Yes. I think the key thing is you said there is that it's important to have his voice there. I think Jeb is a policy guy. I think he wants to influence the discussion on immigration and education issues. It's helpful for people to think you might run for president if you want them to listen to you and read your book and think about what you have to say on this stuff. I don't think he's going to end up running. I don't think he can win. I think he knows he can't win.

BOLDUAN: Are Jeb Bush and Chris Christie too much alike?

BARRO: I think Chris Christie is visibly lining up a lot of the big money supporters on the east coast that Jeb would need to make that run. There's only really room for the one establishment candidate in the Romney slot. I think Chris Christie is working very hard to occupy that and has gotten a head start out ahead of Jeb Bush and also to an extend ahead of Scott Walker.

CUOMO: I actually think that Jeb probably has some deeper roots into money and support than you're assuming right now. I think the basic analysis is right. At the end of the day, he has to think about whether or not he can win, because of the marriage, how important his family is, because of the direction he's taken his life.

NAVARRO: The family issue is huge. I will tell you, around this table, I think I may be the only Republican bundler. There are a lot of donors who like Chris Christie, but see Jeb Bush as a more complete package. I can tell you for myself --

CUOMO: That doesn't shock me.

NAVARRO: I am going like a plus men's store this cycle, I'm either going big or tall.

PEREIRA: She did not make that comparison.

BOLDUAN: Was it the day after the election we were sitting around a table all talking about what's next, where do we go? You said I'm starting my campaign to get Jeb Bush to run right then. I remember us having that conversation. NAVARRO: That was early. I don't want to remember that. Can we skip over that one?

BOLDUAN: We can skip that. I recall some things from our conversation. Great to see you guys.

CUOMO: Coming up on NEW DAY, Alec Baldwin, not running for the president, not yet. He's on the defensive over accusations he used an anti-gay slur. Will he really retire to stay out of the public eye? Should he be thrown out of the public eye? We are going to tell you what he is saying and the reaction.


CUOMO: Welcome back to NEW DAY. You've seen the pictures of the devastation in the Midwest. We want to make sure you hear the voices of the people affected as well. Yesterday, we introduced you to a very special man, you're looking at him there. His name is Steve Bucher. He was doing his best to keep perspective in a positive outlook after his home was destroyed. He thought he was going to die.

Let's get back to Indra Petersons. She's in Washington, Illinois. Indra, you went back and found Steve Bucher and he let you see what he was dealing with, right?

PETERSONS: Yes, exactly, Chris. It only took a few minutes of speaking to Steve, you and I both have this experience, to see how inspiring his story was. I mean, he literally had so many inspirational words of encouragement considering he just lost everything. We are talking about a two-story house, completely levelled down to the ground.

I want to set this picture here for you, Steve told me he had just come home from his wife from a trip to Indianapolis. They were unaware of the weather, the severe weather threat that was out there yesterday. He went ahead and made some spaghetti. His wife was in the bath. They heard the sirens and literally had seconds to escape with their lives from this EF-4 tornado.


PETERSONS: Is that your car?



BUCHER: This was entrance from the garage into the house. This was our dining room. Obviously they put this floor down extremely well. It's all still here. This was the entrance to the house right here.

PETERSONS: Unbelievable.

BUCHER: You know, I wasn't so much thinking about the sounds and all of that as much as thinking, you know, this very well could be the end of things. We're right in the middle of an absolute calamity here. My wife said she would just -- that's all she could hear, this deafening roar. I guess more when it started creaking and then cracking with boards obviously breaking and the house being completely ripped apart. You live long enough and you gain perspective, I guess.

PETERSONS: I have to say, perspective. You have amazing outlook on this entire situation.

BUCHER: We'll get through this. We've lost a daughter to cancer. That was way tougher than this. Way tougher than this. This is stuff. That was a real important part of our hearts and lives. The only important thing I had in this house walked out of it with me.

PETERSONS: What was that?

BUCHER: My wife.


PETERSONS: You know, it's so hard to even tell, where we were standing and you saw the floor boards that was the bottom level of this two-story house that was made of brick and concrete and literally nothing was left. You hear all of his encouragement really to not only himself and his neighbors, everyone is coming together.

I wanted to let you know, he had the most inspiring story. He said all of his 11 grand children were expected to come in town for the holidays in about two weeks. They were going to celebrate early on Thanksgiving. He said I'm going to run a generator and bring a Christmas tree right there. They're still going to come.

CUOMO: It really is. Indra, thank you for tracking him down. Thank you for spending the time with him because he really does deliver a message everybody needs to hear. Appreciate it.

PETERSONS: Midwest spirit.

CUOMO: Nobody knows how cold it is better than you, Indra. So thank you for being out there for us.

There's a lot going on in the world, covering lots of different things, but to come out of disaster with a sense of what really matters in the world, he's a special guy.

PEREIRA: It's not what happens to you, it's how you handle it that's a true test of character.

Speaking of character, let's turn to this. Controversy just seems to follow actor, Alec Baldwin. His latest issue involves an alleged gay slur that put his talk show in jeopardy and has his daughter coming to his defense. Nischelle Turner has been following the latest Baldwin drama. Bring us up to date.

NISCHELLE TURNER, CNN ENTERTAINMENT CORRESPONDENT: It's never a dull moment when you're talking about Alec. Drama maybe a good description for the heralded comedic actor who now says because of this latest mess, he's even rethinking his professional future. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

TURNER (voice-over): Alec Baldwin now threatening to leave show business for good, amid growing outrage at his alleged use of a gay slur against a photographer.

ALEC BALDWIN, ACTOR: You're in my way.


BALDWIN: You're in my way.

TURNER: His talk show on MSNBC has been suspended for two weeks, but many say that's not good enough, calling for it to be canceled.

BRIAN BALTHAZAR, EDITOR, POPGOESTHEWEEK.COM: I think for a long time, Alec has ridden on this wave of his anger management issues being part of his stick, part of being cute. He's kind of incorporated it into his character in a way, and one has to wonder how long that can last?

TURNER: Baldwin responding to the backlash on Twitter and in a blog on "Huffington Post." He says the status of his show remains in jeopardy. He has apologized for the angry outburst, but he continues to deny using a gay slur. Writing, acoustic analysis proves the word is fat head, fat head.

He is also not backing down from slamming the paparazzi. Now threatening to leave the entertainment business once and for all saying if quitting the television business, the movie business, the theater, any component of entertainment is necessary in order to bring safety and peace to my family, then that is an easy decision.

And his family's backing him, his daughter, Ireland, supporting him on Twitter saying for someone who's battled with anger management issues my dad has grown tremendously. The same daughter who Baldwin left his now infamous voicemail for back in 2007 --

BALDWIN: You have humiliated me for the last time. You have a rude, thoughtless little pig, OK?


TURNER: Now Alec has said that he is not sure what's going to happen with his show. Again, it has been suspended for this week and next week, but he is of all things, guys, we say a lot of things about Alec Baldwin. He has a clear voice and clear view. In person, he's a very charismatic person so it's really an interesting dichotomy of vast things that he is going through right now.

BOLDUAN: Let's just see what happens. Thanks, Nischelle.

CUOMO: Under a tremendous amount of scrutiny as well.


CUOMO: The man does nothing we don't hear about. TURNER: That is true.

CUOMO: Coming up on NEW DAY, there is talk of a sequel to "It's a Wonderful Life." How do you feel about that? We all love the movie, but should the classic be left alone? We'll discuss.



UNIDENTIFIED CHILD: Look, Daddy. Teacher says every time a bell rings, an angel gets his wings.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's right. That's right. That a boy, Clarence.


PEREIRA: I just love that film. It is a clip from the holiday classic "It's A Wonderful Life," but now Jimmy Stewart's 1946 Oscar- nominated film getting a sequel? It's called "It's A Wonderful Life: The Rest Of The Story." Nischelle Turner is back with more. I'm afraid. You understand my fear, right?

TURNER: I just want to leave Paul Harvey's "The Rest Of The Story." This was the story that I was talking about all day yesterday. Would you touch an untouchable and try to make it better? That's the question here. Basically what's going to happen with this sequel of "It's A Wonderful Life" is it's going to pick up with Jimmy Stewart, his grandson, who is also named George Bailey.

And it's going to take him through his life and actually show how much better off the world would be if he hasn't in it, which is the reverse of what the original "It's A Wonderful Life" is. A lot of people are saying I don't know if you should touch this.

CUOMO: Are they trying to do a "wicked?"

TURNER: Yes. Good point.

CUOMO: You know, "Wizard of Oz" has its own story and "Wicked" is where the wicked witch actually gets framed. Not to give it away.

TURNER: Isn't it a situation where you think some things are untouchable?

PEREIRA: Can we talk about Hollywood's track records with sequels?

TURNER: Right.

PEREIRA: Can I mention "Basic Instinct 2," "Blues Brothers 2000," "Blair Witch 2."

BOLDUAN: "Blair Witch 1" does not go into the category --

PEREIRA: They garnered pretty decent box offices and, you know -- CUOMO: Which this did not.

TURNER: I know.

PEREIRA: At the time, that's true.

TURNER: Right, it didn't. What's going on here, too, this film is slated, number one, to be released next holiday season.

PEREIRA: We don't have to worry about this year?

TURNER: In 2014.

BOLDUAN: I'm excited about it.

TURNER: Some people are like you, Kate. Some people are saying, why not? Let's do the rest of the story. One of the people, Carolyn Grimes, who played Zuzu Bailey, every time a bell rings -- she will be in the sequel and come back as an angel and show George Bailey kind of life without him. She's very excited about this. She came out yesterday and said I think there should be a sequel. I want to know the rest of the story. I want to tell the rest of the story.

PEREIRA: Who directs it, right?

TURNER: Right.

PEREIRA: That will tell what kind of deft hand is at the helm.

TURNER: Reached out to the older cast members, the ones that are still living, reached out to them to kind of reprise the roles in the film, but here is the interesting thing too, the budget for this film, $25 million to $35 million, which is not a lot of money. Technically will be considered an Indy film. What will they get from it? What will it look like?

PEREIRA: I implore you, do right by it.

TURNER: I like Kate's outlook. She is very optimistic.

PEREIRA: I'm a classic film buff, though. I'm nervous.

CUOMO: We're optimistic. We're nervous.

BOLDUAN: We're in the news, obviously. Thanks, Nischelle.

Coming up next on NEW DAY, from dancing on a corner to knocking over a council woman, we'll bring you the latest on Toronto Mayor Rob Ford's latest outrageous behavior and what it means for his future, next.


CUOMO: Twin bombings, nearly two dozen people killed in explosions outside Iran's embassy in Beirut. Who is behind it? We'll bring you breaking details. BOLDUAN: Outright war, Toronto's mayor, Rob Ford stripped of his power and vowing revenge from dancing to plowing into people. We'll bring you the wild confrontation with his city council.

PEREIRA: Fatal game. It's called the knock out game.