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The Olympics' Triumphant Trio; Ted Nugent Speaks Out; Fast Food Breakfast Battle

Aired February 25, 2014 - 06:30   ET


CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: CNN exclusive for you this morning. Ted Nugent speaking out to Erin Burnett. The combative rocker under fire, of course, for calling President Obama a subhuman mongrel. Nugent has campaigned with Texas attorney general Greg Abbott who's running for governor.

Now Abbott said Monday, despite everything that's transpired, he has no regrets about appearing with Ted Nugent. As for the rocker, he gave what many called a back-handed at best apology for the comments. Take a look and listen.


ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR, ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT: I want to get straight to this question of whether you apologized or not. A lot of people still say you didn't apologize. Did you mean it?

TED NUGENT, MUSICIAN/ACTIVIST: Erin, come on. You've got this English language down really well. I bet you understand when the question is, do you apologize, and I answer yes. You don't really have to ask that question again, do you?

BURNETT: I want to understand why you used the word "mongrel" when you did.

NUGENT: I'll tell you, I've been a cop in Lake County, Michigan, since 1982 thereabouts. I conduct federal raids with the DEA and ATF and the U.S. Marshalls and the FBI and Texas Rangers and the heroes of law enforcement. And we're re-arresting fugitive felons who are let out of their cages after murdering and raping and molesting children, carjacking.

We keep going after these guys. The adrenaline is something like you'll never experience. I hope you never have to experience it. But when we're done with these kinds of raids, we get together, and our hearts are broken that we have to face these monsters, and we call them mongrels, we call bad people who are destroying our neighborhoods mongrels. I knew of no racial reference.

BURNETT: Let me ask you about something else you said about the president, though, since you're saying there was nothing racial about it. I'm hoping you can explain a certain word here in that same conversation that I played for you where you used subhuman mongrel, you also said this.


NUGENT: A lot of people call that inflammatory speech but it's your job to protects Americans then you ask, you look into the television cameras and say, what difference does it make that I failed in my job to provide failed security and we have four dead Americans? What difference does that make? Not to a chimpanzee or to Hillary Clinton, I guess it doesn't matter.


BURNETT: Chimpanzee?

NUGENT: Yes, Erin, I appreciate you playing that. Do you really think that I reference any race as a primate? I call my buddies in my band chimpanzees when they miss a good guitar lick.

Come on, give me a break on that. I referenced no racial overtones there whatsoever. I was referencing people who would look in the camera when there's four dead Americans in Benghazi and refuse to be accountable and say what difference does it make?

In fact my whole life is dedicated to my black heroes, my black musical heroes, and you know that. I have no -- not a racist bone in my body. That's the -- the Saul Alinsky propaganda ministry running amuck like your goofball friend Paul Begala who --

BURNETT: Well, I --

NUGENT: -- claims that my -- I'm a has-been. I just celebrated my 50th greatest tour.

BURNETT: Ted, I know one thing.

NUGENT: Fifty years, number one guitar player in Detroit last year.

BURNETT: I know one thing.

NUGENT: I'm a black guitar player from Detroit. Get over it.

BURNETT: All I know is that if I called the president who is a black president a chimpanzee I would and should be fired because it is a racist thing to say.

NUGENT: I didn't call the -- I didn't call the president --

BURNETT: Well, then who were you referring to?

NUGENT: Never called the president a chimpanzee.

BURNETT: Not to a chimpanzee or Hillary Clinton.

NUGENT: Never -- not tried to. You think -- you think I --

BURNETT: Who's the chimpanzee? NUGENT: You think I hesitate -- people who support that it doesn't matter four Americans are dead.

BURNETT: People who looked into the television camera and said what -- I mean the people you're referring to.

Well, I will leave it to our viewer to decide whether that was a direct reference to the president or not. I wanted to ask you something that obviously is personal to me as well, and that is that this isn't just about the president in terms of the things that you say and how you say them and the tone that you have for your base people.

Women, in particular, here's some of the things -- words you've used to describe Hillary Clinton. I obviously can't say them on this program, but they include the toxic C word, worthless bitch and two- bit whore. These are all things you've used to describe her.

And my issue is, whether you agree with her politics or not, there are people who listen to you and care deeply about what you say.

How can they not be offended by terms like that?

NUGENT: Well, Erin, I have a very important advisory board. I've got nine wonderful kids and 11 grandkids. They're telling me over the years, dad, honey, quit calling people names. So I'm stopping calling people names.

BURNETT: Are you going to say that you're never going to call people names again?

NUGENT: Live on ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT, CNN. Ted Nugent, "Remember the Alamo," February 24th, 2014, I'm not going to call people names anymore. However, I have a little escape clause here, because when I'm on stage, singing "Wang Dang Sweet Poontang", would you give me permission to go overboard on occasion? Please tell me you will.

BURNETT: I think that to me, I mean, you're trying to make slightly light of these but to me these things are not light at all because in a country that you talk about --


NUGENT: No, these are very -- no, I'm not making light. Very serious. Very serious.

BURNETT: To (INAUDIBLE) and create more polarization is a horrible thing to do.

NUGENT: I agree. You're right. My children, my brothers, my sister and my wonderful wife Shemane have told me that over and over. And I think at the tender age of 65, I think you're absolutely correct.


CUOMO: I think the last part is important. The discussion we've been having while we're watching it.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: I'm very torn on this.

CUOMO: Right.

BOLDUAN: You know I am.

CUOMO: Is because --

BOLDUAN: Because I -- he is relevant because someone who is running for governor brought him on stage and campaigned with him. So he is part of the political conversation unfortunately. However, I am very hesitant to give more airtime to crazy.

MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: Well, I'm with you because I feel like it's not as though it's part of the -- I was just going to say the positive discourse. It's politics for god sakes. So, you know, it's kind of crazy making to begin with. But it just -- to me, it seems like noise and I wonder about it, too. I wonder about giving him the opportunity to make that kind of noise.

BOLDUAN: More fuel to the fire.

PEREIRA: I don't know.

BOLDUAN: You make a good point about the sanitizing effect of shining a spotlight on it.

CUOMO: Yes. I believe in covering these things, I believe in covering it even more. I don't believe in hiding from things and the situations.

PEREIRA: No, it's not hiding, though. It's more -- it's more just adding further fuel to the fire.

CUOMO: I -- yes, I think it's -- I don't think there is a clear outcome when you view these things.

BOLDUAN: Well, that's true. That's true.

CUOMO: And I think that's part of our job. And you expose what Nugent did because it was past the line no matter where you want to draw it.

PEREIRA: Way out of line.

CUOMO: And here's the problem. His positions are widely held, how he feels about Benghazi, many people do. Gun rights, many people do. But when you put it into these terms and you start using personal attacks.


CUOMO: And you start playing to the ugliness, you have ruined the debate --

BOLDUAN: I am calling -- I'm not calling those political positions crazy.

CUOMO: But that's why we need to do it.

BOLDUAN: I'm calling the message. Right.

CUOMO: We do it because -- absolutely. But you have to show how he delivers the message because then people who share his position don't just adopt the rhetoric as well. And that's why I want to expose it --

BOLDUAN: One hopes.

CUOMO: -- is because we need to realize that it's time to change. Erin grabbed it very perfectly there at the end. He's trying to make light of it. It's not a damn joke. It has to get better. He's not the only one. Ted Nugent isn't the face of the problem. But it's something that has to be covered and discussed.

And that's why we're doing it and we'll do it more with Ben Ferguson, the man that Nugent originally went to, to give this half apology and see what his take is on it as someone who has his pulse -- the finger on the pulse conservative.

BOLDUAN: Yes, I'm very interested to hear what Ben has to say about this because I continue to be torn. And I know that's like being Switzerland, but it's not. I'm legitimately torn.

CUOMO: No. No. This is complicated stuff.


Let's take another break to continue considering that.

Breakfast isn't the latest front in the high-stakes fight for your fast food dollar. Now Taco Bell is getting in on the action with a waffle taco. Yummy or not so yummy?

CUOMO: There is not controversy to that. It must be eaten.


And champions in Sochi. Three American men who brought style to the slopes, winning gold, silver and bronze. They include us --

BOLDUAN: Wake up, gentlemen. Wake up.

CUOMO: They're here live. The ladies' heads are snapping. Gus Kenworthy who saved adorable puppies is here from Russia as well. The puppy -- who's cuter? The guys or the puppies?


CUOMO: More controversy. Hello, fellas.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) PEREIRA: This is a good discussion for this hour of the morning. The fast food breakfast wars are heating up. Remember this scene from the movie "Big Daddy" starring Adam Sandler?


ADAM SANDLER, ACTOR, "BIG DADDY": We'll take hotcake and sausage.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Sorry, sir, we stopped serving breakfast.

SANDLER: What are you talking about. We're four seconds late.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, you're 30 minutes and four seconds late. We stop serving breakfast at 10:30.



PEREIRA: I know. I've lived that myself. That was back in 1999. But could McDonald's whose egg McMuffin is the undisputed king of breakfast finally be considering to end the madness and extend their breakfast hours?

Also Taco Bell entering the fray with a brand new breakfast item.

BOLDUAN: Look at that.

PEREIRA: Chris, behold the Waffle Taco.

CUOMO: It had not weakness.


BOLDUAN: Other than it might be a little messy.

PEREIRA: Let's bring in CNN chief business correspondent -- let's talk --

BOLDUAN: That might be the only reason --

PEREIRA: Let's go backwards because this week we can't even focus while you talk waffle taco.


PEREIRA: This is -- they're coming into the breakfast world. It's a big deal for Taco Bell.

ROMANS: They are. They are. And this is a high-margin part of the business. And Taco Bell wants to make a run for the border, make a run for the breakfast border and get you some really cool stuff called the all-in-one a.m. crunch wrap which sounds like an all-in-one a.m. crunch wrap.

PEREIRA: (INAUDIBLE) surprise. ROMANS: And this waffle taco among other things.

CUOMO: It has no weakness.

ROMANS: These little -- some cinnamon bites which I think are already available. And so they want to really try to get into this space, even in their press release I think smacking down McDonald's, when they say, after years of the same old thing.


ROMANS: We think people are going to love our stuff. The same old thing, of course, is a reference to McDonald's.

PEREIRA: McDonald's.

ROMANS: Which is the king.

PEREIRA: Which is the king and it's --

CUOMO: And McLittle.

PEREIRA: It's surprising that they haven't had more competition. I don't why.

CUOMO: Crazy talk.


BOLDUAN: In full disclosure, I am -- I'll use the word. I am obsessed with breakfast sandwiches. And I love them all.

PEREIRA: Is there any help for her that she could get McDonald's earlier?

ROMANS: I don't know. There's been a lot of talk --

PEREIRA: Past tense or later?

ROMANS: -- they'd consider. They thought the very beginnings we're told of thinking about maybe expanding the -- the time for breakfast at McDonald's.

BOLDUAN: 10:30? Come on.

ROMANS: But the company says, they're not testing it, there are no plans to do it right now. And here's why.

CUOMO: One of the best reasons to go to a diner.

ROMANS: Yes, but they only have so much griddle space.

BOLDUAN: I concur.

ROMANS: Right? They only have so much griddle space and they make a lot of money on their lunches, too. And they're not going to be doing hamburgers and the egg McMuffin at the same time.


ROMANS: The egg McMuffin is the undisputed king.

CUOMO: Not anymore.

BOLDUAN: Do you remember -- do you remember the bagel?

CUOMO: Not anymore, I'll tell you that.

BOLDUAN: The bagel, they're like bagel sandwiches at Burger King?

CUOMO: Yes. Those are good. A little tough to eat, though.


PEREIRA: Do a breakfast run for these two?

ROMANS: Wendy's got --

PEREIRA: I feel like they maybe haven't eaten.

ROMANS: And Subway you can get breakfast until 11 so clearly there is a market there and millenials --

PEREIRA: Waffles, sausage, egg --

ROMANS: Millenials want to eat breakfast like into the afternoon so there is a market there.

BOLDUAN: There is a market there.

CUOMO: Taco Bell should put nacho cheese on the waffle taco.

PEREIRA: Thanks for trying to focus and do that.

BOLDUAN: And then you cross the line.

CUOMO: No, I'll tell you, it's good.

ROMANS: I just have to say for the record I've never done a vision story with so much enthusiasm from these anchors.


CUOMO: Waffle taco has no weakness.

BOLDUAN: We were here and then you ran over the line.

PEREIRA: I don't even know what to say.

CUOMO: Tweet me.

BOLDUAN: Tweet me, hashtag one and bring it here, thank you.


CUOMO: It's a little low.

All right. Now back to the news.

BOLDUAN: So hungry right now.

CUOMO: Back to the weather, back to someone who would never eat any of the things that we were just discussing.

PEREIRA: No, she wouldn't.

BOLDUAN: She would not.

CUOMO: Meteorologist Indra Petersons keeps her diet as pure as her weather.

What do we know?

INDRA PETERSONS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: As long as you think that, I'm fooling someone. That's all I care about.

Breakfast burritos, by the way, you guys forgot about breakfast burritos. Yum. See, I just thought you'd (INAUDIBLE).

BOLDUAN: That's a whole other spectrum.


PETERSONS: All right. Well, here's the bad news. Here's what no one is happy about today. It is these cold temperatures. And we noticed with the wind chill what it feels like there. Temperatures in single digits. Indianapolis 6, Chicago feels like 9 below. So, yes, we have wind chill advisories out there this morning. And unfortunately, this cold is here to stay. And it's going to be lasting.

Look at the highs even as we go through the afternoon. Chicago only expecting a high of 20. That's a good 20 degrees below normal. Notice Minneapolis is almost 30 below. Even in the northeast, 10, 15 below.

What is the problem? This guy, this dome of high pressures sinking air, coming from the pole and spreading all the way down to the south and look what a chunk of the country is taking.

That's how many of us are cold and are going to be staying cold over the next several days. Now, yes, there's a little bit of energy out there. You can see a little bit around the Ohio Valley to northeast and also in the southeast. So, what are we talking about? Some flurries of snow, not a lot northeast under an inch down to the southeast maybe about an inch or two of snow or I should say rain down to the southeast. But records really, I'm with you. Sorry --


(LAUGHTER) BOLDUAN: Did any of that anything related to food?



PETERSONS: But I brought it back, right?


BOLDUAN: Thanks, Indra.


BOLDUAN: Coming up next on NEW DAY, they hit the slopes in style, get it in Sochi. Three Olympic champions who took every medal in their event, including one who's made saving puppies now his cause. They're here with the medals and their stories, coming up.

CUOMO: Did he bring a dog?


BOLDUAN: That's right, people. Welcome back to NEW DAY. We are calling them the slope-style boys, even if you didn't want to be called that. Three Olympians claiming up in Sochi taking every medal in their slope-style skiing event, but it's what they're doing off the podium that is also getting these boys -- getting a lot of attention, including rescuing adorable stray puppies from Russia. One of them. And we've got a lot more to talk about.

So, let's get to it. Joss Christensen, Gus Kenworthy, and Nick Goepper are here with us. Welcome, guys.


BOLDUAN: Look at this medal. We had a gold. We've had a silver and a bronze but not all together on the set yet. So, this is a big moment for us. Are you guys getting used to this yet?


JOSS CHRISTENSEN, GOLD MEDALIST: It's really cool. Yes. Starting to --

BOLDUAN: Starting to set in?


NICK GOEPPER, BRONZE MEDALIST: We've been here in in New York City doing this type of stuff for the last seven days. So, we're definitely --

CUOMO: You always sit in this order of, you know --

(CROSSTALK) GUS KENWORTHY, SILVER MEDALIST: Yes. Either we'll go like first, second, third or like --


CUOMO: Is it affecting the friendship like, you know, it's like the order of speaking and everything else, who has to pay? Is it like carrying through or no?

KENWORTHY: Joss just pays for everything.


BOLDUAN: That's the responsibility of winning gold, I guess, huh?


PEREIRA: So, the three of you seem really tight now. probably partly due to the time in Sochi. Did you get time together beforehand, training, getting ready for the Olympics, prepping or were you off all in your own different corners?

CHRISTENSEN: For the most part, we were always in the same general area, skiing the same resorts, and

PEREIRA: I like the that.

CHRISTENSEN: All the contests coming into the season --



CHRISTENSEN: So, we spent a lot of time with each other. I mean, Gus and I have known each other since we're 12.

PEREIRA: Really?

CHRISTENSEN: And I've known Nick -- we've known for the past like five years.

CUOMO: You two look like you could be brothers --


CUOMO: -- the two of you. Now, one of the things we've been noticing. One is that America just dominated this event and I want to get your take on why. But also, it does seem different, you know, competitive athletes, especially at the Olympic level. There's usually a lot of tension. You know, they want everybody to do well, perform their best, but they're not buddies.

There seems to be a different culture among the boarders and, you know, the slope-style, the more creative skiers. So, what's your take on those two things? GOEPPER: I think it kind of goes along just with the culture, the action sports culture in itself. I mean, skateboarding, snowboarding, skiing, we're all kind of founded on that, like, brotherhood, and we're all just friends. And we all -- each of us inspire each other to do more like stylish rounds and work on different tricks. And it's cool to watch each other as much as it is to do contest and, you know, try and win.

PEREIRA: But is there a little bit of like sort of good humored competition between the three of you?

KENWORTHY: Kind of. There's definitely like a little bit of tension between maybe like certain people more so than others. Like, it's definitely there's a lot of camaraderie. Everyone so --

CUOMO: Why do you guys dominate in the U.S. in this event? Is it because --

KENWORTHY: Because our mountains are the best.


KENWORTHY: I mean, the guys that are from other countries, they're super talented, too, but they come to the U.S. to train and --

PEREIRA: Interesting.

KENWORTHY: -- competition. So, I think that --

GOEPPER: And our sport's been primarily based in North America for the last ten years. And like, some of the biggest contest like the X- games and the D-Tour (ph) are held in the U.S. every year.

BOLDUAN: You mentioned inspiring. And individually, you guys are amazing on -- on the slopes. But you each off the slopes you have also amazing stories to talk about. We'll get to your dating issues in a second. But Joss, I was reading about your story. And it breaks your heart and warms your heart at the very same time. You lost your father last year. And then to come and win these games, to honor your dad, who is really, as I understand, is a big reason why you got into skiing.


BOLDUAN: What did it all mean in that moment when you pulled off the gold?

CHRISTENSEN: I mean, yes, just for me to make it to the Olympics is huge.


CHRISTENSEN: My family and my mom and dad have been the biggest supporters and number one. So, when our support got into the infix (ph), my dad sat me down and said, "hey, I'm confident you're going to make it, that I'm going to be the first spectator there in the stands watching you when Russia happens." So, it was a huge goal for me to make it over there this year. It almost didn't happen. And -- so, for me, it was huge and I was so excited to be able to represent the U.S. and be on the first slope-style team.

And, today, the contest came along, and I just wanted to go in thinking positively and knowing my dad was there with me and just try to ski my best. I hope I made him proud.

BOLDUAN: I can assure you of that.

PEREIRA: You made so many. You know, that gold is even more powerful because of that connection, that story. And he was right there watching. We know that.

CHRISTENSEN: Yes. I know he's jumping still.

BOLDUAN: Absolutely.

PEREIRA: We got to talk about the dogs. When they arrive. Are they all spoken for?

KENWORTHY: Yes. They're all spoken for. They're coming in a few days. My friend that actually showed me the dogs, he was out there doing some media stuff. His name is Robin. He's still out there. And, he changes flight. So, he's staying there until the dogs are ready to come home and he'll fly back with them.

CUOMO: How long's the quarantine?

KENWORTHY: They didn't actually have to have quarantine. They just had all their inoculations, their vaccinations, the deworm. They had all these different things. They have to be done and they usually require a bit of time like ten days after doing that like they can leave. So --

BOLDUAN: People fall in love with that story over here. People could not get enough of you and the dogs. Even Miley Cyrus falling in love with you as well.

CUOMO: Might not have been just the dogs.


BOLDUAN: Speaking of that, where did the hash tag, "I want to date Nick" come about, my friend?


BOLDUAN: You really have a hard time finding girls?


CUOMO: Is that why you started the hash tag?



GOEPPER: Right after the games, we all started getting a lot of attention on social media. And, Valentine's Day was the very next day. And so, that was one. We were doing all our media stuff and I thought it'd just be kind of fun to have a little fun with it. And we were actually -- "The Today Show" started that hash tag, and it caught on. All these girls are submitting all these really cool and creative entries like pictures and videos --

BOLDUAN: You don't know if Joss is behind half of them.


BOLDUAN: He's like sending you tweets --



CUOMO: The good news is you got a lot of attention. The bad news is it's all from him.


GOEPPER: -- better guy than Joss.



BOLDUAN: Congratulations. Thank you for waking up early and coming in. It's a pleasure meeting you guys.


CUOMO: Enjoy it. Don't let them get you caught up in what comes next. Enjoy it. This is huge. It's more than 99 percent of athletes will ever achieve in their lives. And you've done it already.

BOLDUAN: I'm sure you're tired of these medals already. You can leave them here.

CUOMO: You made the country proud, boys.


PEREIRA: -- what you're using for.

CUOMO: And good luck with doggies. As you go forward with that, you find ways. If you want to keep helping, let us know, because we want to help you out with that as well, all right?

BOLDUAN: Great to meet you, guys.

(CROSSTALK) CUOMO: Coming up on NEW DAY, should women -- here's a question for you -- with a genetic risk for ovarian and breast cancer have their ovaries removed in their mid-30s. Sounds extreme, right? But a new study is causing a lot of controversy about it. Dr. Sanjay Gupta's here to weigh in and clear it up.


CUOMO: Good morning. Welcome back to NEW DAY. It's Tuesday, February 25th, seven o'clock in the east now. And we're going to start with our news blast. That's the most news that you can get anywhere. You ready? Of course, you are.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This country is divided.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is about the Ukrainian people and their future.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Her left arm suddenly stopped moving.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The prognosis that we've seen, so far, is not good.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: People have been persecuted religiously.