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Christie to Deliver Critical Address; Obamacare Enrollment Woes; Water Flows Again in West Virginia; Pilot Lands at Wrong Airport; Hostage Standoff In Denver; Hillary Clinton's "Hit List"

Aired January 14, 2014 - 08:00   ET


CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: And there's information about how the governor spent Sandy relief funds. Christie takes it all on in a major speech today.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Caught on camera. The dramatic moment this woman is taken hostage at a 7/11 store when police take out the suspect with her just inches away. We hear from her this morning.

CUOMO: The wrong turn. Pilots that landed at the wrong airport are grounded with the government investigating. And we take you inside pilot's training.

How could they get it so wrong?

Your NEW DAY continues right now.


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

BOLDUAN: Good morning. And welcome back to NEW DAY. It's 8:00 in the East.

In just a few hours, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie will try to regain his political footing when he delivers a critical State of the State Address. He's expected to bring up and at least discuss in brief the political scandal that involves his former aides.

And now, there are new claims of political payback and a federal investigation in the story CNN broke right here on NEW DAY, whether Christie missed that millions of dollars from a Hurricane Sandy Relief Fund on tourism commercials he and his family starred in.

CNN's Erin McPike is following all these developments from Trenton for us.

Good morning, Erin.


The real purpose of this speech is for Chris Christie to lay out his vision of what he wants to accomplish in the next year. But now, this growing series of scandals may tarnish his national image. And today, he'll try to turn the page while the spotlight is on him.


MCPIKE (voice-over): In the midst of weathering a full blown political super storm, Chris Christie will discuss the bridge closure scandal when he delivers his annual "State of State Address" this afternoon. This will be the first time the popular New Jersey governor is in front of cameras since his marathon apology last week.

GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: I am soul searching on this, but what I also want the people of New Jersey to know is that this is the exception, not the rule.

MCPIKE: But it's not just bridgegate anymore. On Monday, CNN revealed the new storm clouds forming over the brightest spot in his governorship, his response to Superstorm Sandy.

CHRISTIE: Because we're stronger than the storm.

UNIDENTIFIED GIRL: You bet we are.

MCPIKE: Democratic Congressman Frank Pallone thinks these tourism ads that promote the whole Christie family might be a misuse of the federal relief funds given to help New Jersey recover from Sandy.

REP. FRANK PALLONE (D), NEW JERSEY: I think there's extra money that was spent on the ads to put him on the air during a campaign that could be used for other purposes for Sandy relief.

MCPIKE: Federal auditors are probing those allegations though Christie's office dismissed the revelation as conveniently timed and added the Obama administration approved the effort.

Another possible incident of retribution, Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop, a Democrat, considered endorsing Christie for re-election last year, but then declined to do so on July 18th.

Over the next few days, Christie appointees canceled upcoming meetings with him leading Fulop to write an e-mail to a former Port Authority official, Bill Baroni, who had since resigned.

In the e-mail obtained by CNN, he wrote in part, "I am not sure if it is a coincidence that your office canceled the meeting several weeks back that seemed to be simultaneous to other political conversations elsewhere that were happening. Prior to that, you were always very responsive and I sincerely hope the two issues are not related."

And there's more on the scandal that started it all, the lane closures to the George Washington Bridge last fall.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I do think laws have been broken.

MCPIKE: New Jersey Assemblyman John Wisniewski will lead a brand new special committee forming today that will utilize a special council to investigate Christie's key staffers and the governor himself. The committee will have subpoena power and intends to call on fired deputy chief of staff, Bridget Ann Kelly and Bill Stepien, Christie's long time, trusted political advisor.


MCPIKE: Now, there are two polls out from yesterday we want to tell you about. A Pew Research poll says that 60 percent of American voters say their opinion of him is unchanged since the scandal. However, a Monmouth University poll says the approval rating has dropped about 6 percent this the last few weeks. But, of course, the onslaught of Democratic attacks is just beginning -- Chris.

CUOMO: All right. Erin McPike, thank you.

Obamacare is back in the news. For the first time, we're getting the break down of Obamacare enrollment. Here you have 2.2 million sign ups, OK?

Now, let's break it down a little bit, 24 percent are young adults -- 2.2 million is good. Twenty-four percent young adults are not so good.

Why? Well, the target rate was 40 percent young adults. Young adults matter because they are healthy, which means they are cheaper to insure, which means if you have a lot of them in the poll, what does it do? Brings down the cost for the rest of us, the old people like me.

So, the question becomes: are they on pace? Is this OK? Will the deadline really affect what happens? Do we know enough to even know?

Senior medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen is at the CNN Center, breaking it down for us.

Elizabeth, to you, what do these numbers mean?

ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: You know, what these numbers mean to me is that -- you know, people are really hoping that young people and healthy sign up between now and the end of open enrollment, which is the end of March.

If they don't and the percentage stays low, that could be a problem. The insurance companies went in to this, with certain expectations -- about the number of young people and the number of healthy people they were going to get. If they get too many older people and too many sick people, that throws everything off financially and we might see premiums go up.

CUOMO: I understand the logic of your point. As you know, I have a hard time feeling sorry for the insurance companies because I think they study the actuarial tables and know the age and the rate better than anybody. But you're right. They may have to adjust.

But the bigger question for me is this -- I feel like a lot of things about the ACA wind up being -- seen as a surprise when they should not be. Is it a surprise that young people are not signing up at the rate of old people?

COHEN: You know, I think we can only answer that question at the end of March, at the end of open enrollment. And here's why -- you know, the administration said, look, we're hoping for 40 percent of the pool to be under 35. But they also knew young people tend to sign up late. Young people in other experiences to put things off until the end, that's what happened in Massachusetts.

So, if at the end of March, Chris, you and I talking, and it's still only, you know, 20 percent to 25 percent young people, that's going to be a problem. And I think they will be surprised.

CUOMO: Right. It's going to have to adjust cost. But the idea that they sign up late, that was expected.

COHEN: Correct.

CUOMO: So, we shouldn't jump on that. But we'll have to see eventually after the deadline, what the pricing is. And then we'll be able to assess better and hopefully not just complain about the situation but find ways for people in D.C. to make it better.

Elizabeth, I will enlist your efforts that the time.

COHEN: Yes, Chris. You and I will have a date at the end of March.

CUOMO: Thank you. Look forward to that.


BOLDUAN: Thanks, Chris.

The water is finally starting to flow once again in parts of West Virginia. Downtown Charleston is one area where officials have begun to lift the tap water ban we've been talking about so much. It's happening on a zone by zone basis in nine counties affected by last week's chemical spill.

Nearly two dozen lawsuits have been filed.

Alexandra Field has the very latest from Charleston.

Good morning.


In light of those suits, a judge has now issued an order barring Freedom Industries, the company which owns that tank, from disposing of and or altering in any way anything that could be used as evidence as those cases move forward.

That as the effort to bring clean water here in West Virginia continues. A "do not use" ban has been lifted for about 100,000 people now. But still, there are around 200,000 people who are waiting for clean water. A team of federal investigators from Washington, D.C. has now arrived in Charleston, West Virginia. They could spend a couple of weeks here, along with looking at the facility itself and learning what they can about the chemical that was spilled.

They say they will also dig into the inspection history. Over the weekend, the state's Department of Environmental Protection says inspectors last looked at the plant back in 1991 when it was under different ownership and operated for a completely different purpose.

But the DEP now says that according to its records, the inspector was on site in 2010 to investigate the report of an odor at the time. The inspector found nothing. And we're learning that in 2012, the DEP says inspectors looked at the plant to determine whether or not it needed additional permits. They decided it did not need new permit. At that time, the tank was not inspected -- Chris.

CUOMO: Tank was not inspected. I have to tell you, given the situation, the duration, amount of people exposed, I feel there should be more outrage.

Alexandra, thank you for the reporting.

Also new this morning, two veteran Southwest Airline pilots are grounded after a rookie mistake. They missed, you'll remember, their Missouri airport by seven miles on Sunday. The pilots did, however, slam on the brakes when they realized they were on a shorter run way. That was critical.

So in 2014, how easy is it to land on the wrong run way?

Pamela Brown took matters into her own hands, got into a flight simulator to find out. We need an answer to this.

PAMELA BROWN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, we do. I learned a lot. And I have a whole new respect for pilots after getting into this flight simulator, I have to say.

So, we did -- we wanted to see what was like for these pilots trying to make a visual landing at night. And I learned how much precision it takes, about how much multitasking goes on inside the cockpit, right before a landing, and also, how difficult it is to tell which run way is the correct one without the help of a navigation system.


CAPTAIN: Rest assured that we're safe and sound here.

BROWN (voice-over): That's the announcement 124 passengers on Southwest flight 4013 heard from the cockpit, shortly after landing at the wrong airport.

CAPTAIN: Thanks again for your patience. Again, I apologize.

BROWN: Now, the NTSB is investigating what went wrong.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They saw the airport, they assumed it was the right airport. It's clear they weren't scanning all of the available instruments to them.

BROWN: Airport officials say air traffic control at Missouri's Branson airport made contact with the pilot shortly before the plane was scheduled to land. Branson air traffic control doesn't have radar, not uncommon at smaller airports. So, they couldn't monitor where the plane was.

The pilots had landed at Taney airport, radioing controllers at Branson to alert them of the mistake about seven miles from their intended destination.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The fact that they were only six and a half miles apart and there was just a couple of degrees of difference for the orientation of the runway, that adds to the confusion.

BROWN: The plane landed on a much shorter runway than it was supposed to, nearly half the size. Passengers on board say they could feel the brakes slam, only to find out later their plane stopped around 500 feet short of a steep drop.

No one was hurt, but flight experts say the outcome could have been much worse if they had been on a different, older plane.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If they didn't get the plane stopped and press those brakes as hard as they did, the plane would have gone off the end of the runway, down an embankment, most likely broke apart and burned.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As you can see over here, we're about five points nautical miles away from the airport.

BROWN: To get a firsthand look at the challenges pilots face during visual landings at night, we went inside this flight simulator at the Academy of Aviation.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You would just have to rely on your co-pilot, rely on all the instruments that you have in airplanes to land this airplane.

BROWN: We also saw how a pilot could have trouble picking out the correct runway in the distance.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Me being a pilot flying, I'm looking outside to see where is my runway?

BROWN: But you see two blinking lights over here, so how would you know which one's your runway?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So visually, it's hard to tell, but using the system as a backup, we can see which runway we're using. We can use the system to help us to analyze which runway's the correct runway and which -- possibly which airport to -- we're landing at.


BROWN: And flight experts say wrong landings happen more frequently than we think, because a lot of small airports look alike. But often, we don't find out because incidents like that typically don't involve a commercial jet with passengers.

Now, this week, the NTSB will analyze a flight data recorder, cockpit voice recorder as well from the Southwest plane and interview the crew. In a statement, Southwest says the pilots have a combined tenure of 26 years with the company. As you mentioned, they are on paid leave, pending investigation.

CUOMO: I have this great thing in my car called GPS. You put in the addresses of where you want to go and it takes you.

BOLDUAN: Do not compare the car to plane.


BOLDUAN: Yes, every pilot out there wants to punch you in the face right now.

CUOMO: Bring it on.

BROWN: But you make a fair point, Mary Schiavo, the flight expert, said that this plane, Boeing 737, had a GPS similar to what you have in a Lexus. She believes the pilots weren't taking advantage of the tools available to them. So --

BOLDUAN: Reserving judgment until the investigation is over. Thanks, Pamela.

BROWN: Yes, that's smart.

BOLDUAN: Let's get over to John Berman before Chris puts his foot in his mouth further, in for Michaela.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: That's what I'm here for.

Happening today, a Senate hearing on the future NSA surveillance program. Members of a White House committee will be sharing their restrictions for restraining or shutting down the spy operations. President Barack Obama is expected to announce his decision about NSA reforms on Friday.

New developments in the deadly movie theater shooting near Tampa, Florida. Police arresting a 71-year-old retired police officer who they say fatally shot another moviegoer. Witnesses say it started as an argument over the man texting in the theater. Police say the victim's wife was also wounded in the shooting.

A renewed push for the break in the Madeleine McCann case, the little girl you remember vanished nearly seven years ago while on vacation with her family in Portugal. She was just 3 years old. Now, British police have asked Portuguese police for permission to interview three alleged burglars suspected in a rush of break-ins at that time.

Happening, with heavy security in place, Egyptians vote on the constitution that would ban religious parties and place more power in the hands of Egypt's military. Ousted President Mohamed Morsy's Muslim Brotherhood, which was just declared a terrorist organization has called for a boycott of this vote.

Just before the polls opened, a bomb did explode near Cairo courtroom used to collate the ballots. No injuries or claim of responsibility yesterday.

And finally, the Pope is auctions off the holy hog. The motorcycle that could be up to $20,000. I feel like I have to go to convention now. Harley gave the bike to Pope Francis last June, in celebration of the company's 110th anniversary. We're told it rides like a dream.

But the Vatican is not saying if the pontiff ever took the bike for a spin. The money raised will go to a Catholic charity --

CUOMO: What did you say it will go for?

BERMAN: Twenty grand.

CUOMO: You are nuts. You are more off than the pilots.

I think it's going for 10, 20, 30 times that. If the pontiff even touched it, just the notion it is his motorcycle.

BERMAN: We will follow this important story and get back to you with what it goes for.

BOLDUAN: Pending further investigation.

CUOMO: What do you think seriously? How much -- they gave it to the pope. You think it's going 20 grand? That's barely what they go for.

BOLDUAN: -- did the pope take a ride? I think he --



CUOMO: What do you think? Tweet us, please -- some science to it. Indra Petersons, if you were to look at the angles of this situation, what do we see barometrically?

INDRA PETERSONS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: No question they'll bragging (ph) right. I'm with you 100 percent. if It's worth 20,000 grand, it is definitely going to --


PETERSONS: That's a one-time event, you guys. You mark it.


All right. Let's take look at what's going on across the country right now. Very easy to see. Still seeing through showers along the eastern seaboard. This is actually water vapor satellite. I wanted to show you all the cold air that's starting to dive down again from Canada and then notice how dry it is again out west. So, these are the things we're going to be talking about. Let's talk about the first one first, that is the rain.

Notice there are a series of cold fronts here. First low today making its way up the east coast, giving showers throughout the day today, making its way offshore tonight. You get a little bit of a break tomorrow only to have the east coast see more rain again by Wednesday. Now, thanks to another low forming and another cold front.

Behind that, here we go again, number three, another clipper makes its way across. Pretty moisture start (ph), though. So, it just kind of bringing more of that cold air and it will be just a hint of a chance of some light snow, add it all up together, very light rain amounts, one to two inches from all pre-systems in the northeast.

A little bit more, yes, southeast, you get like two to three inches. The big winner, always, again, out towards the lakes. Look at almost blizzard conditions expected, anywhere from six to ten inches of snow expected around Green Bay today.

So we'll be watching for that not to mention strong winds. Remember the jet stream where the airplanes fly -- the jet stream today coming all the way down through Dakotas, even to Nebraska, very strong winds expected for them.

Winds continue to be the story especially out west. That's where they have the fire danger very critical -- January, February is like the only time you get rain. They have no foreseeable rain in the future. Very bad conditions in Santa Ana really enhancing that fire -- even saying it because in west coast you say it, someone lights a fire or sees (ph) the problem.

BOLDUAN: Thanks, Indra.

CUOMO: Coming up on NEW DAY, a hostage taker uses a woman as a human shield in Denver. This ends in an amazing way that you will want to see.


CUOMO: Welcome back to NEW DAY. A terrifying hostage situation in Denver caught on camera, and we want to warn you, some of it is graphic. A suspect was using a woman as a human shield. After an hour of negotiations failed, police opened fire. "Early Start" anchor, John Berman, here to tell us how this ended.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Such a scary scene, you know? And it all started playing out when police got a phone call about someone acting suspiciously. What transpired when they got there, anything but ordinary and it forced the police to act decisively.


BERMAN (voice-over): The video is dramatic and hard to watch. It all came down to a split second decision by police to take the shot.


BERMAN: With that single gunshot, a dramatic hostage situation finally came to an end. The victim who was held captive for more than an hour grateful to be alive.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was terrifying. It was stressful. And I don't wish it on my enemy.

BERMAN: It all started Monday morning when police say the victim walked into the store to make a delivery when she was suddenly snatched by the suspect. One employee forced to hide in the freezer.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was about to go in there. And I was like, I'm glad I didn't. The next thing you know, they said, some dude in a gray shirt, whatever, sweater, had a girl gun to the back of her head.

BERMAN: The victim said she did talk with her attacker during the ordeal, but she gave no details.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you have conversations with the individual? Did you know?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I did, but I don't want to go into all that.

BERMAN: Officers negotiated with the suspect for about an hour before he came out using the hostage as a shield. As the SWAT team assembles, police urge the suspect to surrender, but he refuses.

ROBERT WHITE, DENVER POLICE CHIEF: He did attempt to drag the female back in the store. Out of fear for the female safety, one of our officers fired one shot striking the individual.

BERMAN: The suspect is now listed in critical condition. The victim later returned to the scene and thanked the officers who saved her life.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Great job. I got out alive. So, I guess, they did.


BERMAN (on-camera): She did get out alive. Lucky to walk away there. Amazing that she's talking about it so quickly after. No word yet on criminal charges on what they will be against the hostage taker.

BOLDUAN: Inches from that bullet. Thanks, John.

Going to take a break. Coming up next on NEW DAY, an upcoming book about Hillary Clinton details major political drama. They call her 2008 "Hit List" and at least one of her then traitors may surprise you.


BERMAN: Welcome back everyone. Time now for the five things you need to know for your day. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BERMAN (voice-over): New Jersey Governor, Chris Christie, a high stakes moment for him today. He is expected to bring up the Bridgegate scandal in his state of the state address this afternoon.

President Obama responding publicly for the first time to criticism leveled by former defense secretary, Robert Gates, in his memoir. Gates questioned his military leadership. But the president says they did get it right in Afghanistan.

The Senate judiciary committee is holding a hearing today on NSA surveillance. The White House advisory panel on the matter will testify ahead of the president's Friday announcement on changes to the NSA.

Secretary of state, John Kerry, meeting his counterpart at the Vatican this morning. Kerry and the pope's aid holding talks on the on the Middle East peace process, poverty, and humanitarian issues. The secretary heads to Kuwait next.

And a glimmer of hope for 1.3 million Americans who've lost their long term unemployment benefits. The Senate had the late attest vote until today in order to discuss a compromise plan to restore those benefits.


BERMAN (on-camera): We are always updating the five things you need to know. So, go to for the latest.

CUOMO: All right. Thanks, J.B.

This is a good one. It's being called Hillary's "Hit List." According to a new book by Politico's Jonathan Allen and Hill's Amie Parnes, when Hillary ended her 2008 presidential bid, campaign staffers kept an enemy's list of Democrats who endorsed Barack Obama. The list ranked fellow Democrats from one to seven with seven reserved for the worst kind of traitor.

That list of seven included current secretary of state, John Kerry, and the late Ted Kennedy. We've got to discuss this. Let's bring in Democratic strategists and CNN political commentary Paul Begala, and Ana Navarro, CNN political commentator and Republican strategist. Thank you.

Paul Begala, my question to you is, why did you Clintonistas do this?


CUOMO: Did you keep this naughty and nice list and was I on it? That's what I want to know.


PAUL BEGALA, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, first, of course, I didn't work in Hillary's campaign. I supported her. I donated to her. I voted for her, but I didn't work in the campaign. So, I can't give you like the inside scoop. My guest is, this was the list of super delegates. As you know, Chris, in the Democratic Party, we have -- I don't even like the system, but we let some of the big shots get extra power at the convention by making them super delegates.

They're mostly members of Congress. I don't like that system, but my party has it. My guess is the campaign was tracking that. Now, I actually committed journalism here. I don't do this for a living, but I looked at that list. I knew a whole bunch of those people. So, I contacted several of them. And my favorite was Congressman Rob Andrews from New Jersey where they knew about (INAUDIBLE).

Here's what he told me. First of, he said, you know, I hope -- he wants to support Hillary if she runs. He says all these lovely things, but in his e-mail, he cited two acts of retribution, because there were none sited. The 3,200-word article, not a single act of vengeance is even alleged.

Here's what's Congressman Andrew says, "Well, they did two things to me. President Clinton sent me a personally autographed copy of his book back to work and Hillary wrote me a personal note of congratulations after my re-election and she posed for a personal photo with my daughter at the 2012 inaugural. These people are ruthless," writes Congressman Andrews. I've talked to Congressman Chris Van Hollen --

CUOMO: You ain't a journalist. You ain't a journalist, Begala. You're trying to --

BEGALA: But I actually contacted these people. Why didn't the people who wrote this book which may will be a fine book. They're reputable journalists. I don't mean to like trash (ph) them entirely.

BOLDUAN: They are good journalist.

BEGALA: Why didn't they contact these people in the list and say, hey, it's been five years, has there been any retribution to you? Because I bet you, they'll hear what I heard which is, no. Are you crazy?


BOLDUAN: Well, Ana, when you look at it, I mean, let's all be honest, we may not call it a hit list but we all kind of -- don't we all keep a running tab of people that have done us favors and have also maybe not done us favors.


BOLDUAN: John Berman is on my hit list.


BOLDUAN: So be careful. You know, don't we -- we might not write it down, but don't - Democrat and Republican alike, is this a surprise to you?