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Outpouring Around the Globe Remembers Mandela; Ice Storm Hits Midwest; Interview with Charlie Rangel

Aired December 6, 2013 - 07:00   ET

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


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

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning, welcome back to "NEW DAY". It's Friday, December 6th, 7:00 in the east. Two major stories for you this morning. We're going to get to the major winter storm that's brewing in the south. It's already canceling flights and making a mess of roads.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: But first, of course, the world is mourning the loss of Nelson Mandela, passing away last night at the age of 95. If the reaction following his death proves anything, his life was long but his legacy will last forever.

CUOMO: And what that legacy is, is also, we're starting to see through the celebration of it. Of course there is sorrow at this sad news but the man who liberated, who birthed a free country, there is singing and dancing for the spirit of that memory. It's been going on outside his home throughout the night as they learn of the loss of the man they knew as Madiba. We'll cover Mandela's death all around the world this morning. Let's bring in Johannesburg with Robyn Curnow. Robyn?

ROBYN CURNOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Everybody in the country is paying their respects, saying good bye in their own, very personal way. There's another great South African, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who is at this moment on television giving a very anguished, it sounds like a lament, employing, asking South Africans what is beginning to happen to us now that our father has died? He's urging South Africans to make sure Mandela's dream is not betrayed. He says South Africans of all races owe it to him.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CURNOW: It was an announcement heart around the world.

PRESIDENT JACOB ZUMA, SOUTH AFRICA: Fellow South Africans, our beloved Nelson Mandela, the founding president of our democratic nation, has departed.

CURNOW: After a long battle against a recurring lung infection and a lifetime spent fighting for freedom and equality, Nelson Mandela died at 8:50 p.m. Thursday night inside his Johannesburg home.

ZUMA: Our nation has lost its greatest son. Our people have lost a father.

CURNOW: Mandela's family stood by his side until the very end.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Love live Madiba, Nelson Mandela! Love live the spirit of South African people! Long live!

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Long live!

CURNOW: His people, rushing to his old house, others flooding the streets outside his final resting place, some even in pajamas, celebrating his life, despite the announcement made just before midnight, hundreds singing his anti-apartheid rallying cry, "Nelson Mandela, Nelson Mandela, there's no one like you."

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Gave hope to the world.

CURNOW: This morning, Archbishop Desmond Tutu leading his church in Capetown and those around the world in prayer for Mandela.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you for the gift of Madiba. Thank you for watching him.

CURNOW: Today South Africans paid tribute to "father," as they call him, with makeshift memorials. December the 5th now marks the day of South Africa's deepest sorrow, but it's also a day that the country's president said should mark their greatest determination to continue Nelson Mandela's legacy.

ZUMA: To live as Madiba has lived, to strive as he has strived, and to not rest until we have realized his vision of a truly united South Africa.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CURNOW: Outside Mandela's house, the place where he passed away late Thursday night, we've already heard from an ordinary South African who went there, and his words, just as powerful as Archbishop Desmond Tutu. He said "I'm humbled by this man who united us. I feel as if I've lost a part of my body, but my tears are of joy because he's resting in peace."

BOLDUAN: Honoring his legacy in South Africa today, and that will continue. Robyn, thank you so much for that.

And also the reaction to Nelson Mandela's death is coming in from all over the globe where he was revered by so many. Shortly after he was released from prison Mandela paid a visit to Harlem here in New York City, and that is where we find Don Lemon this morning with much more. Good morning, Don.

DON LEMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning to you, Kate. And you can see, there's a tribute in lights on the marquee of the world famous Apollo Theater. Nelson Mandela felt a real kinship to New York City but especially to Harlem. This is where many people if they leave Africa they come here to live. There's a place not far from where I am that's called little Africa. Many South Africans came here and called this home, escaping apartheid. It was one of the first places, as you said, he came to visit after he left prison in 1990. And this is one of the first places to pay tribute to him.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

LEMON: From the White House to Buckingham Palace, the entire world remembers a man who changed it forever.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He taught us world peace. He taught us how to love.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I thought he was a great man because he kept his people from rising up after they gained their freedom.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He has empowered each and every one of us.

LEMON: Nelson Mandela, a man who spent 27 years behind bars, now eulogized by presidents and monarchs. In Washington, flags at the White House were lowered to half-staff. President Obama spoke of the man who inspired him.

BARACK OBAMA, (D) PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We've lost one of the most influential, courageous, and profoundly good human beings that any of us will share time with on this earth.

LEMON: President Clinton, "I will never forget my friend, Madiba." President Bush, "He was a man of tremendous moral courage who changed the course of history in this country." President Carter, "His passion for freedom and justice created new hope for generations of oppressed people worldwide."

In cities across the nation, people coming together to honor the man who has become a global symbol for justice and humanity. A trusting tribute lights the marquee in Harlem at the Apollo Theater in Harlem, where Mandela visited on his first trip to the U.S. in 1990.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He came to the state office building, drew about 200,000 people out here that day. And those struggles that we have here in the United States, he was very familiar with and they were going through the same in South Africa.

LEMON: News of his death traveled swiftly around the world. Prince William and Kate Middleton heard the news while attending the premiere of the film "Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom."

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's tragic news. We are reminded how extraordinary Nelson Mandela was.

LEMON: Across the globe world leaders reflected on the legacy Nelson Mandela leaves behind. At the United Nations, silence, and the remembrance of his enormous impact.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No one did more in our time to advance the values and aspirations of the United Nations. Nelson Mandela showed what is possible for our world and within each one of us, if we believe.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

LEMON: The marquee behind me says "In memory of Nelson Mandela. He changed our world." I want to show you the marquee when he visited here back in 1990. It was him and his wife, Winnie Mandela. It says "Mr. And Mrs. Mandela, welcome home. We love you. We love you. We love you." It says "Welcome home" again because many South Africans find a home here in Harlem. And today a tribute to the newspapers here -- by the newspapers here in New York City. This is "The Daily News." It says "Farewell, dear friend, the world mourns the death of South Africa's giant." Kate, Chris?

BOLDUAN: Some beautiful headlines we're seen on many newspapers this morning. Thank you so much, Don.

CUOMO: Remember how he changed this country when he came in 1990. The T-shirts, power to the people. He was a very extraordinary man, and as a result he'll have an extraordinary farewell. We expect it to last for 10 days.

And the first public event will happen on Monday when Mandela will receive a memorial service in Johannesburg's soccer stadium. Some heads of state are likely to attend, including President Obama. Starting Tuesday, there will be three days of lying in state in Pretoria. On day 10 dozens of heads of state are expected for his funeral and afterwards, of course, we will be buried.

BOLDUAN: And we're going to have much more on the life and legacy of Nelson Mandela throughout the show. As a leader he was inspiring, but he also had quite a sense of humor. You'll hear from him in his own words, and we're also going to hear from those who knew him well and interviewed him often.

CUOMO: We have another major story as well this morning, a massive ice storm barreling down on millions right now. It's shaping up to be the worst ice storm in years. Already, thousands are in the dark, trees are down, wrecks are piling up on dangerous ice slicked roads. The problem is it's just the beginning. We'll be live along the path of the storm for you this morning. Let's get to meteorologist Indra Petersons who finds the storm in Memphis. Indra, what's going on there?

INDRA PETERSONS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Right now in Memphis we're just ahead of this system. We're still talking about what it looks like, about half an edge of ice that is expected to be moving into this region. So a category three ice storm could be making its way here. We're talking about anywhere from Indiana, southern Illinois all the way back through Texas. They've already seen rain, sleet, ice and dangerous snow.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

PETERSONS: A potentially catastrophic ice storm blanketed the nation's midsection overnight.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is the sixth time I've had to stop and get the ice off of there. PETERSONS: Treacherous roadways and large-scale power outages forced Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Tennessee officials to declare a state of emergency. Northeast Arkansas now frozen by up to an inch of ice and wet snow, leaving many without power. An outage, officials say, that could last for up to a week. Temperatures are expected to stay below freezing for many days.

This icy mixture of snow, sleet, and freezing rain caused multiple rollovers in Arkansas, including this seven-car pileup in Washington County. And in Oklahoma, the driver of this truck lost control on an icy bridge and plummeted into a lake.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's real slick. The roads are -- you go to stop, you slide. I tried to get up the hill and couldn't make it up the hill. Best thing to do is stay home today.

PETERSONS: In Illinois, vehicles slide right off the highways as accumulation of sleet and ice reached as high as a quarter inch in southern counties. In the sky, hundreds of flights canceled Thursday and more expected for Friday as the winter storm warning span from Texas to eastern Ohio. It could be the worst ice storm to hit the region since 1994, which caused over $3 billion in damage.

And it's not just the ice. The National Weather Service says this massive arctic air mass is dropping temps 10 to 30 degrees below normal, leaving millions of people to battle a dangerously bitter cold into the weekend.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

PETERSONS: Well, this storm is definitely approaching. We just in the last few minutes here started to feel the rain coming down. That line in the system approaching very quickly in the next few hours. We're supposed to switch over from rain to freezing rain. We're talking about the potential of a category three ice storm here into Memphis, just north of us, catastrophic ice storm, a category five, the highest level possible in Jonesboro, Arkansas. This is the concern.

We have 20,000 people coming into Memphis tonight for the marathon, the St. Jude's Marathon tomorrow morning. The ice warning means they do not want you on the roads. It looks like a lot of people will be commuting in and out of the city and that is just a dangerous thought.

BOLDUAN: It sure seems like these storms are coming in at the worst times this winter. Thank you so much, Indra.

The ice pellets are falling hard in Dallas this morning, paralyzing the city and much of north Texas, actually. Schools are closed, businesses shuttered, the roads a dangerous mess. Temperatures plummeted from 80 degrees on Wednesday to below freezing this morning. CNN's Alina Machado is in Dallas with the trouble this monster storm is bringing there. Good morning, Alina.

ALINA MACHADO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning. That's a good way of putting it. It is a monster storm. And just to give you a sense of how much ice we're talking about, take a look at this chair. It is frozen, covered in ice. And the roads, those are slushy and slippery, and that's expected to be quite a mess this morning.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MACHADO: Heightened alert in north Texas as it sits in the path of what could be one of the worst ice storms to hit the U.S. in years. Sleet started falling in Denton County late Thursday, slushy surfaces slowing traffic, reports of up to a half inch of sleet and ice, accumulating on bridges and overpasses making them more treacherous. Denton police responding to more than 50 vehicle wrecks and calls for assistance in an eight-hour span.

In Dallas, dozens of salt trucks and employees are on standby, ready to treat dangerous road conditions.

DENNIS WARE, INTERIM DIRECTOR, DEPARTMENT OF STREET SERVICES: We stand ready as the city of Dallas to address the ice and hazards that might come.

MACHADO: The threat serious enough to cause the cancellation of Saturday's holiday parade for the first time in its 26-year history. Classes at the Dallas independent school district, one of the largest in the state, are also canceled Friday. And on Thursday, flight cancellations started popping up on departure boards inside Dallas-Ft. Worth International Airport, the hub for American airlines. American alone nixed nearly 500 flights ahead of the storm.

You took an earlier flight.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Out of Las Vegas, yes.

MACHADO: Because of the weather?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Because of the weather.

They're comparing it to what happened to us about three years ago.

MACHADO: That's what happened during Super Bowl week back in 2011 after a winter storm slammed the area and brought the city to a standstill. Residents now are bracing for what could be yet another wintry mess.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Probably pack it in for the worst and hopefully try to keep safe.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

MACHADO: Now, this is a live look at the road conditions here. You can see traffic is moving slowly this morning. It is expected to continue this way throughout the day. And power outages here continue to rise, the number of power outages. More than 100,000 people are waking up today, Michaela, without any power.

PERERIA: Well, isn't that the case? Prepare for the worst and hope for the best. Alina Machado, thank you so much for that . Let's take a look at your other headlines at this hour.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

PEREIRA (voice-over): President Obama says it is time to reform the NSA. Speaking with MSNBC, the president called for new measures to give Americans more confidence in the organization. The NSA, as you know, has been rocked by multiple leaks, revealing numerous surveillance programs, including one targeting U.S. citizens. The president did not specify what those reforms could be.

A drive-by shooting has killed an American teacher in Benghazi. Ronald Thomas Smith was in Libya teaching chemistry. His shooting comes days after al Qaeda called for Libyans to attack U.S. interests as revenge for October's capture for a terror suspect in Tripoli. American officials are pushing authorities in Libya for a vigorous investigation.

The heads of the House and Senate Budget Committees will work through the weekend to hammer out a spending plan. They are trying to beat a December 13 deadline and head off yet another government shutdown.

Congressman Paul Ryan and Senator Patty Murray are putting together a trillion dollar package for next year and are said to be only a few billion dollars apart in savings.

A cracked windshield forced a New Orleans bound flight to return to Orlando. A local TV station says Southwest pilot noticed this crack on the outer part of the windshield Thursday and turned back. The plane landed safely. The passengers were placed on another airplane.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(on-camera): In just about an hour, the government will release it's November jobs report. Economists expect 185,000 workers were added to the nation's payrolls. The October report registered 204,000 hires.

This uptick in hiring may not necessarily be a good thing for investors. Trying to figure out if the Fed will end its stimulus measures. We'll bring you those numbers live at 8:30 eastern this morning. And those are your headlines at this hour, guys.

BOLDUAN: Thank you. Thank you.

PEREIRA: You're very welcome.

BOLDUAN: Coming up next on "NEW DAY", we have much more on the weather making its way east. We're gonna tell you which states will get the hardest hit and how you may have to adjust travel plans unfortunately this weekend.

CUOMO: And of course we continue to look back at the life of Nelson Mandela. New York Congressman Charles Rangel helped welcome Mandela to Harlem in 1990. He's going to join us next. He got great stories.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) NELSON MANDELA: We are happy with the heroes among our own people. (inaudible) But ways (ph) determined struggle to bring an end to the crime against humanity.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

PEREIRA: Welcome back to "NEW DAY". we are celebrating the extraordinary life and legacy of Nelson Mandela this morning, a man whose work to end apartheid in South Africa inspired his nation and inspired the world.

Joining us now, Representative Charlie Rangel, the Democrat from New York and from Washington, CNN political commentator and Democratic strategist Donna Brazile. Also with us, CNN chief national correspondent John King. He was in the room 20 years ago when Mandela was inaugurated as president of South Africa. We thank you all for joining us to share your recollections and time with Mandela.

We'll start with you, Congressman. I'm curious, as a man, as a politician, tell me about the impact he had on you after meeting him.

REP. CHARLIE RANGEL (D)-NY: Wow, no one has presented the question as personal as you have. As a kid, I'm embarrassed to admit I knew very little about Africa.

If you wanted to insult a black kid, a colored kid, a Negro kid, you killed him African because the world, including the United States, had allowed us to believe that Africa was so underdeveloped, that the world had an attitude that they were inferior people as opposed to the Europeans.

When Nelson Mandela became a world leader and was on television and people of African descent, not only in the United States but throughout the world could not possibly identify with a country. Mr. Cuomo identifies with Italy (inaudible). Our history has just been torn apart and substituted with this inferiority.

But when Nelson Mandela spoke, even in the British tilt that we would learn to respect, and he spoke to the world in terms of peace, even though he had the power. And so many little black kids would say, 'Mommy, he looks like me, doesn't he?'

I don't know how God could have blessed us in trying to instantly take away any ideas of inferiority in bringing a saint with all of the qualities that we expected in all of our leaders, including the pope, and to share him with all of us. So it was a real personal thing, of course, in meeting him. My wife would say she doesn't ever remember me being speechless. But --

(LAUGHTER)

PEREIRA: That was the moment.

RANGEL: I was so awed I couldn't believe it. God spent a lot of time on Nelson Mandela.

PEREIRA: What a beautiful sentiment.

Donna, I want to bring you into this as well. We know you also had the opportunity to meet the great South Africa leader. I'd love your insight, having spent time with him. Give us insight that maybe we might not know about the man.

DONNA BRAZILE, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, I was very, very young, as Congressman Rangel knows. I was just fortunate as a young activist to be a part of so much history, working with civil rights leaders like Reverend Jesse Jackson, Coretta Scott King, John Lewis, and, of course, Eleanor Holmes Norton. It was Walter Fountroy, Eleanor Holmes Norton, Mary Frances Berry, the former commissioner of the U.S. Civil Rights Commission, EEOC, and Randall Robinson with TransAfrica.

I was just a kid back during those days. They were organizing protests outside the South African embassy. My job was to help find and identify people who would get arrested, to keep the movement alive. It was a very tremendous moment and opportunity. But later I had an opportunity, working on a Clinton/Gore campaign and Nelson Mandela, after visiting Harlem in the 1990s, wanted to come to the inaugural of Bill Clinton.

He had great affection and respect and admiration for Bill and Hillary Clinton. And I was an advanced person back during those days. And I helped to escort him around. And, of course, my good friend, Yolanda (ph), who was in that picture, it was a great moment.

And later I had an opportunity to go to South Africa and to Mibia (ph) and other places to help train the political parties, to train workers, to help train the volunteers who would conduct the first multiracial elections in South Africa.

He was authentic. He was a giant. He was -- you know, when you were around him, you felt very special. He was joyful. He had a sense of humor, but there was this dignity about him, this strength about him. And I will always remember his grace and his courage.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: And to Donna's point, John, I want to bring you in. She talks about him being a giant. The headlines today -- this is one of those days when you are really looking at the headlines -- "USA Today" saying the "death of a giant". You were there when Nelson Mandela was inaugurated in 1994. You've also covered many world events, but you will never forget that moment. Why?

JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF CORRESPONDENT: Professionally, it was the most powerful thing I've ever seen in my life. I can say professionally because I carve out a special spot for my children. But in terms of witnessing an event, if you just think of the day of inauguration, I was there covering -- U.S. Vice President Al Gore led the U.S. delegation. And I was there covering that. So we're maybe 80 yards away. The ceremony was outside in what they call the union building, the parliament building. And it was the most dramatic, powerful moment of South African military brass, white generals in the whitest dress uniforms you will ever see walking up to Nelson Mandela and essentially handing over the keys of power in South Africa with a who's who of world leaders in the courtyard outside.

Al Gore was there with the U.S. delegation, the first lady, Hillary Rodham Clinton at the time was there as part of the delegation, a large member of the black caucus and the like African-American leaders from this country. But Fidel Castro there, still healthy in those days. Gadhafi there. Some African leaders who were viewed as rogue leaders by the United States, but from all over the world. And tears -- tears in the face of these strong and powerful men and women.

And then after the ceremony, I remember I lingered. I picked this up. This was given out to the VIPs. And this was in the front row. I picked up three that people left behind. You can't see it too well, but it's the day of stamp, a special stamp for President Mandela.

And remember, this was a new country, a new national anthem and a new flag -- special stamps for that as well. So we scooped up a couple of these, those of us who lingered behind, because they were left by the VIP guests. But I walked back to the hotel, and you walk down a hill and there were parklands (ph) and there are poor people and you're going through, and never ever have I seen such tears of joy. The people who had nothing, absolutely nothing, suddenly had everything.

RANGEL: Can I add to that?

KING: Please.

RANGEL: I was there with First Lady Hillary Clinton, and as the president stood on center stage, next to him was the warden, the prison guard that he had forgiven after 27 years incarcerated. And as he stood there, the air blackened with the South African Air Force zooming over him.

And I saw for the first time in my life white kids and black kids hugging each other with happiness and their parents crying and hugging each other, the kids not even knowing that there was a problem before Nelson Mandela. And I tell you that there wasn't a dry eye there. I don't know what everyone was thinking, but I would say thank God this man was sent to us, because whatever he did in life, everybody could put themselves in that position and wonder, 'could I do that?' And that's the bar that he set for all of us.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Congressman, quickly tell us before we let you go, one of the things that makes Nelson Mandela special, just one, is the affect he would have on people when he'd met them with what he knew about them and how he was about them. So when you meet him, not only does he know who you are, but he refers to you in an interesting way that was, of course, politically significant. Tell us the story.

RANGEL: Well, in 1987 I was successful in getting what they called the Rangel Amendment passed. This allowed the companies, the American firms that were in South Africa, they paid their taxes to South Africa and they deduct it from their tax liability here. We said that it was no deduction. Dan Mosenkowski (ph) was the chairman. And we signed that as an effort to stop apartheid. And it passed. And I never thought I would ever see Nelson Mandela.

And when I saw him, and people introduced me, he says, "Yes, I know him."