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NEW DAY

Divide In The Recovery; Putin Under Pressure; Children Paralyzed By Mystery Illness; Report: Iran Selling Weapons To Iraq; Bible In Pocket Saves Driver From Bullets; Bill Clinton Campaigns In Kentucky; Fierce Battle For Kentucky Senate; Ted Nugent Speaks Out After Apology; Blind Killer Gets Guns Back

Aired February 25, 2014 - 07:30   ET

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


KEVIN O'LEARY, JUDGE, ABC'S "SHARK TANK": What we've done in America is we've made our jobs so expensive that companies have done the right thing for themselves and they've moved their jobs offshore.

What we should be focusing on now is not the big companies anymore. If you want to create jobs in America, we need to focus on the 23 million small businesses that traditionally do 50 percent of the sales in this country.

We've stopped looking at them. When we want to create economic policy, let's talk to a man or a woman who is running a business of five employees that we want to create two or three or four new jobs times 23 million. That's how we save America.

We've made it very hard for them in the last few years to do that. It's our own fault and our own policies that we suffer this unemployment we have now because big companies have figured out how to solve themselves.

It's the small ones that can't escape the laws of the head winds that we have in policies both at a local, state, and federal level. Time to free them to create jobs in a mass.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Do you have one piece of advice that you give someone who wants to be the next Kevin O'Leary or simply wants to be a small business to survive? You have these pitches come to you on "Shark Tank," on the show, what's your -- what's the key to success? Is there one thing that you see is a common denominator?

O'LEARY: It's not the pursuit of money or being greedy, it's the pursuit of freedom. What does it mean to be rich in America, you're free that's what it means. To do what you wish, to send your children where you want, to not pick up the phone if you don't want to and to give money to those who deserve more.

That's freedom and the pursuit of freedom is what creates a great economy and what made this company great in the first place and every entrepreneur knows that. I think we've lost a little bit of that in the last few years.

We have actually vilified what made us great. We've got to turn that back. We need this think about America in terms of jobs and creating new business opportunities for small business. That's what we have to do now.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Small businesses definitely drive new hires in the country right now. It's a little bit of a myth. People think it's the big companies. It's actually the small ones. You meant to say country. You said this company great, was that for audience slip?

O'LEARY: It could be because think about it this way, what's the biggest business in America, it is America. We need to start treating it way that like a company so we can provide for everybody.

CUOMO: Thank you very much for joining us. Good luck on the show. Mr. Wonderful, you don't get a better nickname than that.

Coming up on NEW DAY, this could finally be stand your grounds moment to have gone too far. A blind Florida man has a gun legally, uses it to shoot his friend and gets off using stand your ground and of course, gets the gun back. We'll tell you the whole story and see if it makes sense to you.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back to "new day." let's take a look at your headlines. We'll begin in Ukraine. The interim president, Alexander Turchynov is expected to appoint a unity government today. Ousted President Viktor Yanukovych wanted on a warrant for mass murder is still on the run.

And Russian President Vladimir Putin is feeling pressure from the west to not over react over the Ukraine. The U.S. warning it would be a mistake to intervene militarily.

A mysterious polio-like illness has doctors baffled in California. As many as two dozen children have already been stricken. All of them paralyzed in one or more limbs. Health experts say there's little chance those children will recover. Each of the victims report suffering cold like symptoms before the paralysis set in.

Iran may be breaking a U.N. weapons embargo. According to documents seen by Reuters, Tehran has signed a deal to sell nearly $200 million worth of arms and ammunition to Iraq. The agreement apparently reached in November after the Iraqi government lobbied the U.S. for more weapons.

Well, perhaps it was divine intervention. A bus driver in Ohio says his bible saved him from a brutal attack. The 49-year-old Ricky Wagner was assaulted by three men in a seemingly random attack in Daytona. Wagner was stabbed and shot at three times.

Two shots to his chest did not penetrate because they were stopped by a bible he had in his pocket. Luckily he did not suffer any other life threatening injuries in that attack, a bit of a miracle there -- Kate.

BOLDUAN: Thanks, Michaela. Talk about a big day in what many see as the most closely watched Senate race of the midterms. It's in Kentucky. Bill Clinton is making his first stop there on the 2014 campaign trail traveling to the state to support the Democrat who wants Mitch McConnell's Senate seat.

CNN's Erin McPike is in Louisville with much more on this race. Erin, of course, he's not only facing a Democrat, but he's first got to get through his primary.

ERIN MCPIKE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, he does have that primary challenge, but it is gridlock in Washington that has made him so unpopular here in Kentucky in recent years. That's giving Democrats this rare pickup opportunity down south.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MCPIKE (voice-over): Mitch McConnell is leading the charge got sweep Senate Democrats from power in this year's midterm elections.

SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY), SENATE MINORITY LEADER: These people need to be stopped and a good way to stop them is to make me the majority leader of the United States Senate this November.

MCPIKE: But he has to win re-election first and that may prove harder than the past four times he's done it.

MCCONNELL: Kentucky now is thought of maybe not a deep red state, but reddish.

MCPIKE: Now remember him, Bill Clinton carried the typically red blue grass state in both of his presidential elections in the '90s. He campaigned against McConnell in the tougher than expected race in 2008. Today, he's making his first big stop on the 2014 trail.

BILL CLINTON, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: We have on got to have more people willing to reach across the aisle.

MCPIKE: Campaigning for the Democrats 35-year old star recruit.

ALISON GRIMES, U.S. SENATOR CANDIDATE: I'm Alison Grimes and with your help I will be the next United States senator from Kentucky.

MCPIKE: Grimes is secretary of state and was an attorney in Lexington. Her father, Jerry Landergan, chaired the Kentucky Democratic Party twice and has a relationship with Bill Clinton spanning three decades. Candidate Grimes is leaning heavily on the Clintons and sought their advice getting into the race.

Before he gets a clear shot at the Democrats, McConnell must defeat Tea Party-backed challenger, Matt Bevin in the state's GOP primary. The far right has been the thorn in McConnell's side both at home and in Washington with Ted Cruz's maneuvers causing problems, like shutting down the government for 16 days.

MCCONNELL: We've had some differences over tactics, but all's well that ends well.

MCPIKE: Even though Bevin and Grimes may be trouble, they've been warned. McConnell has a reputation as a ruthless campaigner.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

MCPIKE: But polls show that this race is very close and of course, Bill Clinton wouldn't stick his neck out for just anyone, but on top of that, Grimes father had a catering business, still does, and he catered some of Clinton's inaugural events in 1993. As we know, loyalty is something very valuable to the Clintons -- Kate and Chris.

BOLDUAN: We've heard about it and we're seeing it now. Absolutely. Erin, thanks very much. A race we must all watch very closely.

CUOMO: All right, coming up on NEW DAY, we'll give it the heading things must change, question mark? We're going to bring on conservative Ben Ferguson to debate whether Ted Nugent is the bottom when it comes to political discourse and that it must change.

And a blind man is allowed to own a gun, uses it, shoots somebody and gets off withstand your ground. Is it time for that law to change. We'll debate. You decide.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CUOMO: Welcome back. We have two hot button issues to debate here -- with you this morning. But first, Ted Nugent, he gives this bizarre interview last night. It's bizarre that's objectively true. He is with CNN's Erin Burnett.

He's explaining his comments most notably where he called President Obama a subhuman mongrel. Did he apologize? That's become a big question.

He did the first interview with CNN political commentator, Mr. Ben Ferguson last week -- wanted to press him about how real the apology was. Take a listen to what Erin said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TED NUGENT, MUSICIAN: 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?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CUOMO: She said, yes, I do. She wanted it to be a clean apology. It doesn't really seems like -- she didn't feel like she got that. Let's bring in Ben Ferguson right now joining us from Dalls. Ben, thank you very much. Appreciate you being here.

BEN FERGUSON, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Morning.

CUOMO: Let's forget the apology for a second and here's why. Can you apologize for this? It wasn't an accident. You say it all the time. You use it to inflame your rhetoric. It's really not about an apology, is it?

FERGUSON: Well, in the words of Ted Nugent, I don't think in history since he's been above the child level has he apologized pretty much publicly for anything. So for Ted Nugent, yes, he would say this is an apology. I've pressed him and said, are you apologizing to the president? He said yes.

He does have qualifiers of he is upset about this country, where it is, the president of the United States of America and things going on. So Ted Nugent, apology sure, for a politician, maybe not. For a pastor or somebody else, maybe not, but for Ted Nugent, I think this is the best you're going to get.

CUOMO: Now, why I am I making him relevant. People will debate all day whether or not you should be giving him the time. I don't think it's a legitimate question. Of course, he's news worthy. The question becomes now, what does he mean? I submit that this has gone too far. Ted Nugent is not the only one.

But, yes, the position on Benghazi, yes, the position about the direction of the company. Many people feel the way he does to be sure, Ben, but you can't debate it this way. You can't bring ugliness into it because you are killing not only the strength of your position.

But the nature of the discourse and this should be the bottom and we should draw a line right now. Your take.

FERGUSON: No, I agree with you. I even think Ted Nugent, as we talked about this during the interview, I said, look are you going to stop using this because it seems to be marginalizing the opinion.

And he said, yes, I'm going to stick more to the issues and not to the name calling. He also talked to Erin about that last night. I think what this really is, is for everyone else who has been watching this.

The big take away is, can you debate politics without getting personal and nasty and the answer is we should be. I think both sides can learn from this and realize you can have a grand debate over issues like Benghazi.

But as soon as you start using things like subhuman mongrel or any other name calling, that you're stupid or an idiot or incompetent, that is when we lose, I think, trying to move forward on these issues.

I bet you money, moving forward when it comes specifically that politics. Ted Nugent will probably never say things like this again. I think he's learned from that. He also told me I'll never use the terminology subhuman mongrel ever again.

He, like many others, did not realize the historical context of it. Even the president of the United States of America use the word mongrel on the --

CUOMO: His context -- I know he used it. I heard the tape. I watched the clip. He meant it in a completely different context. We both know subhuman mongrel doesn't pass the smell test. We both know it. Let's leave alone. Let's get to Abbott. Abbott says I have no regrets being with Nugent. I believe that's over the line. I think you should call him out as somebody who endorses his beliefs and opinions and say, how dare you say you that you have no regrets from being with a guy who just said what he said about the president of the United States. I think the line has been crossed.

FERGUSON: I think the lines crossed, but I also think you have a thing called loyalty. I mean, for goodness sakes, the president of the United States of America was loyal to Susan Rice when she lied to the American people over Benghazi, benched her for over a year and finally put her back out there on Sunday morning.

There's something to the effect of loyalty here. I think Greg Abbott was being loyal here on the campaign trail, didn't know these comments existed. The same way the president was loyal to Susan Rice.

CUOMO: It's not the same thing.

FERGUSON: He benched her for an entire year.

CUOMO: It's not the same thing. You're not loyal to somebody. You're not being a good friend. When they do something that is ugly, destructive and mean spirited and you support them. That's not loyalty. We both know that.

FERGUSON: Chris, you had Susan rice came out and lied about four Americans dying on the anniversary of 9/11 and insulted those who died and their families by giving them a fake story about protestors. I would say it's pretty close to the same thing --

CUOMO: It's wrong.

FERGUSON: You want to be lied to?

CUOMO: No. Absolutely not. The situation should be investigated. It should be straight. It's a legitimate issue to go after Hillary Clinton with. I don't disagree with any of that.

However, it is different than using an insult to motivate an argument. I think we got to draw the line. I think we got to move past it. I don't think it is loyalty. I think what Abbott did is wrong. And I think that's the discussion to have.

Stop explaining it. Stop excusing it. Say it's wrong and move on and call it out when we see it. I think it's the only answer.

FERGUSON: I -- I agree with you on that and I think it's one thing that we all have to learn from this on both side is that the name calling in politics only tunes people out I think to the true issues affecting people, whether it be in Texas or Colorado or California or any other state.

And I think you have to start dealing more with issues. I think that's the real take away here is when you talk about these things and when you surround yourself with people, make sure they are not throwing out names. I think that's what Ted said last night.

CUOMO: OK. So let's put that to bed now. Let's make that pledge. We do this a lot and going to do it more. The game has got to change. It's gone too far. Not just Ted. There's too many Teds out there.

On this other one. You had me on this other topic. I've got to go back. I have a stronger position now. Blind man has a gun. You make arguments about why blind people ought to be able to have guns. I felt that was like inherently counter intuitive.

But in truth federal law doesn't mention having site in order to have a gun and some states allow it explicitly that if you can see, if you're sight impaired you can still have a gun. This guy has a gun, uses it to shoot a guy in the chest. The guy's girlfriend says he doesn't need to do it.

He says he did. The guy was rushing him even though he can't see so how does he know the guy was rushing him, but he winds up getting stand your ground immunity for it. Is this the case looking at combination of facts of who had the gun?

The woman said it wasn't supposed to happen and the guy gets immunity without even a vetting of the facts except for that one hearing. Is it time to reconsider the value of stand your ground and keeping duty of retreat out of analysis? Is it time to rethink it, Ben?

FERGUSON: I don't think so because one thing is you have a motive from the woman who says her good friend was shot. You have an issue there of perspective. The other thing is, I trust law enforcement and prosecutors to look at the law and decide truly if your life was in danger.

They know the facts of the case, they're the ones that investigate and choose to charge the crime or not. Look at the case with Dunn. Stand your ground law didn't help him that much. They still charged him with crimes. He's going to prison the rest of his life.

CUOMO: But he didn't get the homicide.

FERGUSON: In my opinion that's a life sentence.

CUOMO: Let me tell you why. Feel free to disagree. He doesn't get a verdict on the homicide because when you look at law, it takes away the duty of retreat. Takes away making violence the last option in dealing with the situation. You don't have to do it anymore.

You get to stay there and make a subjective judgment you need to deal with the force coming at you to defend yourself. When you take out duty of retreat, you start rewarding bad decisions. That's my concern.

FERGUSON: He also -- he didn't retreat when he started shooting up the car. The question was on the first shot when there was a confrontation, was there a reason to stand your ground? Did he have fear for his life? The jury was deadlocked on that issue. The other shots were clear purposely, obviously stand your ground law could not apply. When someone is putting a car in reverse and going away, stand your ground law did not help him, did not apply to him. That's the why he's going to prison the rest of his life.

I look at the core back to this blind man. In the situation he was in, I have to trust the police looked at this and thought he was in fear for his life and should be able to protect himself especially when you're blind.

Once someone gets hands on you I don't when you're blind, you're out of option here. They took that into consideration. You have someone angry, lost someone they care about. They were shot for goodness sake.

The woman says it was not fair to use the gun. There's a perspective difference there. Police get to look at it objectively. I think they did the right thing.

CUOMO: But also they were handcuffed by the witness testimony. There was compromise by the witness that backed up the idea it wasn't reasonable. What bangs around in my head is this law has gotten to the point where the police have to take the word of a blind man of what was going on in the situation and it passes legal muster to justify a killing. It confuses me.

FERGUSON: Here's the thing. A blind person is can be one of the biggest victims in life no matter what it is because they can't see. I don't think that should be able to be used against him. I think we should have protections to make sure that when they talk it has weight and it's not you're blind and you can't really tell me what happened because you can't see. I don't think that would be fair either.

CUOMO: Well, unless it goes down to what you were able to see in the situation. That's why there is a little confusion, but I agree with you about protecting the rights of those who have challenges with their sight. We have to stay with stand your ground. I've got to go Ben. Thank you for being with us as always. Let's continue on Twitter. All right, always great to see you, Ben Ferguson.

FERGUSON: Thanks.

CUOMO: To you as well. Let's continue the discussions on Twitter, #newday. You know how to get me @chriscuomo - Kate.

BOLDUAN: Thanks, Chris. Coming up next, a scary deck collapse in Indiana leaving dozens injured. Why this is coming out now and what the family on that deck wants.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CUOMO: Coming up on NEW DAY, medical mystery in California. Listen to this. As many as two dozen kids paralyzed by a polio-like disease. They don't think it's polio, but what is it? It is going to spread further. We have Dr. Sanjay Gupta with everything you need to know. BOLDUAN: Also ahead, two kids in an epic spelling bee lasting five hours until the judges run out of words. These amazing spellers are going to be joining us live.

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