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Obamacare: Is 6 Million Enough?; Former Staffers "Stupid"; Objects Spotted In New Search Area

Aired March 28, 2014 - 07:30   ET


KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: John King, I don't know. I'm here supporting you. I'm backing you up, John King.

JOHN KING, HOST, CNN'S "INSIDE POLITICS": Welcome back, Kate Bolduan. I need the back. Berman and Michaela have been beating me up all week. We'll get back to you guys in just a minute. Prepare for a little March Madness at the end.

But a busy day driving our "Inside Politics." So let's get right to it with Maggie Haberman of "Politico" and Molly Ball of "The Atlantic." The Obamacare numbers, they get to 6 million, which is not the 7 million they wanted. They've got a couple more days. If you consider where they started, in a disastrous roll out, Molly, let me start with you. Can the administration spin this as a policy success? They have more people in the program than we thought maybe a month or two ago?

MOLLY BALL, "THE ATLANTIC": Yes, they've exceeded our lowered expectations. This is better than a lot of people were expecting after those expectations were lowered after the disastrous roll out. I think the question based on the Democrats I talked to is how hard are they going to sell this, right? Because they have been burned so many times when they wanted to go out and say positive things. Public opinion is so negative and fixed at this point. When we say this week another deadline being pushed back, there was hardly even a sigh. The politics of this, we'll see if they'll change before November, but at this point it feels very fixed.

KING: We still don't know. We know how many signed up, but we don't know how many paid. We don't know the ratio how many of these are older Americans, how many of those younger Americans you need to help the sustainability of the program. But to Molly's point about the politics, can the Democrats have a united message on this when you have Nancy Pelosi saying it's a winning issue, but then the vulnerable Senate Democrats saying we want to still fix it.

MAGGIE HABERMAN, "POLITICO": You're not seeing anything like a unified message coming out of the Democrats so far especially remember the special election in Florida. There was a very split opinion among the Democrats that I was speaking to afterwards about what exactly has happened. You had some pollsters saying, yes, we were able to counter match the messaging and there was a lot of health care talk in that race. But you have other Democrats saying, look, we did try and clearly it wasn't working. There was an opportunity, but we weren't able to do it. They're still finding their way and I don't think you're going to see a whole lot of embracing of it for a while.

KING: And the Republicans think it thrives their base turnout so they'll keep attacking it.

Let's move on to Governor Chris Christie. An attorney hired by Christie and paid for by New Jersey taxpayers released a report yesterday that said the governor based on his investigation knew nothing about the bridgegate, about the closing of those access lanes to the George Washington Bridge. As Governor Christie tries to turn the page, tried to say I'm putting this behind me, he did his first post-bridgegate interview with ABC's Diane Sawyer. Listen to this question about will you change your style.


GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: No. I am what I am. I hear from most people that that's the thing they love the most.

DIANE SAWYER, ABC: What about Iowa?

CHRISTIE: I think they love me in Iowa too, Diane. I've been there a lot. I think they love me there too.


KING: Not so humble?

HABERMAN: That was not really a scaled back, really changed by this whole experience. That report that came out yesterday, even though it was condemned by "The New York Times" editorial board as a whitewash, it was not even -- the personal version that his lawyers put together, it still paints a pretty messy picture of what was going on in his office and a very incomplete one. So this issue is far from over.

KING: The messy picture thing is important because he's a governor. He wants to present himself as a better manager as you go forward. Even if he had no personal role, if it was happening in his office, why didn't he know about it? Molly, one of the interesting things, the attorney in the report trashes one of the key witnesses. His former deputy chief of staff, one of three people who would not be interviewed because they have lawyers telling them don't cooperate with any of the investigations right now.

But one of the things about her, events in her personal life may have had some bearing on her subjective motivations and state of mind. If you have someone very close to your office, who is going to testify we assume to the U.S. attorney and eventually to the New Jersey legislature investigating this, what is the public purpose in trashing her and suggesting she was unstable or she had some personal relationship that caused erratic behavior?

BALL: Well, obviously, if you are the one taking heat for a scandal like this, you want a scapegoat, you want a fall guy. Whether that's the God's honest truth in that report and that's the way it worked out or whether she's being sort of set up as the villain in this situation, it still I think creates this impression that there is someone being scapegoated. So the question is she going to stay lawyered up, is she going to stay quiet, or is she going to protect Christie's reputation or is she going to at some point speak up for herself and try to counter this perception that it was all her fault.

KING: And he has a press conference today. I assume he's going to be asked about the tone here. Do you want to attack someone who work for you even if it's all true? Why do you attack her before you get to the end of the investigation?

HABERMAN: And if we are being candid, there is a perception from that report that was created that as Molly says, look, it could be that this is true, but they didn't interview this woman. They didn't interview the very small handful of people who they say are responsible. She is depicted as an angry, dispirited person who came out of a messy relationship and was lashing back. That's very tough language and I think he is going to get us a lot of questions about that.

KING: Let's move on to an interesting comment from Joe Biden. That sentence has been spoken many times over the last several years, an interesting comment from Joe Biden. He was addressing the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. This remark became known as #planetbiden on the Twitter-verse, because he talked about how the president had put him in charge of the hemisphere. I get what the vice president is trying to say here. We'll talk about that in a minute, but is this the right way to say it?


JOE BIDEN, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: You know, 11 million people living in the shadows, I believe they're already American citizens. Teddy Roosevelt said it better, he said, Americanism is not a question of birthplace or creed or a line of descent. It's a question of principles, idealism and character. These people are just waiting. Waiting for a chance to be able to contribute fully. By that standard, 11 million undocumented aliens are already Americans in my view.


KING: Again, I get the point. That these people are here. You are not going to round them up and throw them out. They are contributing to their communities. They have jobs. They are going to church, their kids go to school. But in a midterm election year where you know those words, American citizens connected to the undocumented, fire up the conservative base, is that the right way to put it?

HABERMAN: Probably not. And I don't think it was done by design. Joe Biden being Joe Biden and this was of concerned for Democrats. One of the pluses of Joe Biden is that he's very real and very authentic, but sometimes that tends to veer in the wrong direction.

BALL: Well, I mean, at this point, I think we see everything Joe Biden says through the lens of this caricature, right? So even if he said something that wasn't a guess and of course, it's a gap because he said something that was literally untrue there, they are not American citizens. But he also got his message out in a way that like this is sort of nothing VP speech duty. It is not going to get on CNN if he didn't make it. So maybe it fires up the conservative base. Maybe a lot of Hispanic voters also get to hear the message and say, yes, I feel like he's on my side.

KING: Looking for anything in particular, we get the third wave of these Clinton presidential documents today. Looking at the history of Bill Clinton, but to whether there is anything in there that could affect Hillary Clinton in 2016.

HABERMAN: Based on what we're going to see today, I don't think there's going to be anything as revealing as that first round where you have memos written by her press staff, which were very interesting and were applicable in a contemporaneous way. But I think this is always interesting. We'll see.

KING: Interesting for historians and guys like me who have great hair. Were you looking for anything in particular?

BALL: Not looking for anything in particular, but I think we are going to continue to go through these documents with a fine-toothed comb because, you know, Hillary is still out there as potential candidate.

KING: Molly, Maggie, thanks for coming in early on a Friday morning. Back to you guys in New York. You have Kate back. She's a big March Madness fan. Mr. Berman, we talked about this the other day, Mitch McConnell's opponent buying some time tonight. Kentucky playing Louisville. We think a lot of people in the state might be watching that game. His opponents running this little ad.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: March Madness in Kentucky. Commitment, courage, you got to love it. Even if your team is already out of the tournament.


KING: Mark Levin trying to take advantage of a Mitch McConnell mistake there. We'll see how that one plays out. All politics remains local.

BOLDUAN: That's right. I'll be watching the Michigan game because I have Michigan as taking it all.

BERMAN: Are you still in first place?

BOLDUAN: I was in first place until I went to sleep. This is proof that you should never go to sleep, John King, because now Chad Myers has moved ahead and you are getting closer. You are on my tail.

KING: I'm a sleeper. I come up late.

BOLDUAN: But you finish strong. John, great to see you.

MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: I have a whole house load of people coming to by house tonight. Kentucky, Louisville game, it's on.

BERMAN: All right.

BOLDUAN: Who do you have winning?

BERMAN: I have Michigan State.

BOLDUAN: OK. That's good. All right, we'll continue this fight later.

Coming up next on NEW DAY, we're going to continue the big news we've been following all morning. New objects cited in the new search area where teams are looking for that missing Malaysia Airliner. Will churning seas and rough weather continue to be challenging as they race to yet another location in the ocean? We're going to track it all for you.


BERMAN: Back to the new developing news. New on the mystery surrounding Flight 370, new objects spotted in the new search zone. The question is, will the weather hold up and let ships reach this potential debris because so far, the bad conditions have hampered the search efforts and made it really, really tough. Here to walk us through all that is Jennifer Gray. She's in for Indra Petersons this week. Jennifer, one of the things we talked about with the old search zone with fierce currents. This new search zone about 700 miles away, what's the difference?

JENNIFER GRAY, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Yes, it's very different actually because in the old surf zone, you're in the strongest current in the world. So 25 miles a day, possibility with the debris moving. Now with this new search zone, you don't really have that driving force. You're drifting around. You have the random eddies that go every which way. So it's not quite as scientific. And you also have to account for the storms. So really the driving force is going to be the eddies and you are going to have those storms move through that we've seen so often and so you are going to have really strong winds, really high seas. So it's a little less scientific there.

BERMAN: Let's talk about the wind because again down there in the south, in the old search zone, that area in green, the winds are in the roaring 40s, fierce, fierce, gail winds. Up here, the winds aren't so bad.

GRAY: Yes, the farther north you go, the better it gets. You're not down there where it's consistently very, very bad. This is still a really wild ocean. You're going to have those days where the winds are going to be gusting 20, 30 miles per hour. If you look here, we have a forecast for the next 24 hours. You can see the winds, 10 to 20 miles per hour. Not quite as bad. We do have a storm system that we're going to watch pull through by the end of the weekend, but over the next couple of days, I think they're going to have a window where it's going to be a little bit better out there for them.

BERMAN: The challenge not nearly as high where they are searching now compared to where they were before. Of course, it doesn't mean the debris is there or not there. The last issue has been the clouds. The search planes that have been flying in that old search zone. They were turning back. They couldn't see anything. How does that compared to where things are now?

GRAY: Well, you're still going to have clouds where you are now, of course. So it's going to be a challenge. You're just going to have to find that window where you can find the skies that are clear. It's such a gamble. It's not only challenging for the aircraft. The satellites. These things aren't fixed. They're orbiting, the earth is spinning. So you basically have one shot. The time of day where it paints a picture is 10:30 p.m. our time, 10:30 a.m. over there.

So what we did is we took our satellite imagery that can forecast out for a couple of days. When I push this button, it's going to push, bam. That's when it will be painting a picture in this part of the world tomorrow morning doesn't look good.

BERMAN: No. There's clouds. Covered with clouds, which means that if you're expecting any clear satellite pictures from this search area tomorrow, it doesn't seem likely.

GRAY: It is so frustrating because when you have clouds like this, forget about it. You have to wait another 24 hours before it's going to paint a picture right there again.

BERMAN: They will have the ships out there tomorrow and of course, that could be cloudy for the ships. The currents not as strong. They may have an easier time. Jennifer Gray, great to have you here laying this all out for us. Appreciate it -- Michaela.

PEREIRA: All right, John, next up on NEW DAY, there's new information out this morning about just how fast the missing Malaysian airplane was flying. That clue could help them find objects in the new search area. What the speed tell us about the plane's fate. We'll take a look at that next.


PEREIRA: Welcome back. Breaking news on the Flight 370 mystery. Objects have now been spotted by aircraft in the new search zone. Overnight this new search zone came because radar data and aircraft assumptions led to the conclusion that the aircraft was traveling faster than previously estimated before dropping off radar. This leading investigators to a new search location 700 miles northeast of the previous focus from this week.

So why has the search area shifted so dramatically? Here to break it down CNN aviation analyst and contributor to Slate, Jeff Wise. Good to have you here. Let's jump into it. I want to read what the Australian Prime Minister Safety Authority announced about the shift in the plane search focus. Based on radar analysis indicating the aircraft was traveling faster than previously estimated resulting in an increased fuel usage and reducing the possible distance the aircraft traveled south into the Indian Ocean. What does that mean?

JEFF WISE, CNN AVIATION ANALYST: Right, confusing language. Very confusing language. I want to sort of slow down and explain what that really means.


WISE: They're saying it has an increased fuel burn at the beginning. Meaning it had less fuel when it disappeared from radar. There's two time points I want to talk about. At 2:22 a.m., this is when the plane disappears from radar up around the western part of Malaysia.


WISE: At 8:11 a.m., six hours later, it winds up on an arc because of this ping data.

PEREIRA: Southern corridor that we've been focused on.

WISE: Right. So this is --

PEREIRA: Sure. Go ahead.

WISE: It's very inaccurate, but basically we know it wound up somewhere along the line.

PEREIRA: I'll change colors for you.

WISE: OK, it started out at a point and it wound up somewhere on this arc. Now where on the arc did it wind up? If you plug into the equation an initial assumption about how fast it was going, you get a different point on this line.


WISE: So basically what we had assumed was it was going 450 knots and it wound up around here. This is the 450 knot point.


WISE: And then you drift and you wind up somewhere over here. That's why they were looking over here.

PEREIRA: That's what led to this search area?

WISE: Right. What they're saying today is --

PEREIRA: Let's give you a new color.

WISE: Because we know its initial fuel load and greater fuel burn, we think it was burning less fuel. It was probably going slower. If you plug in the numbers, you wind up getting a shorter route that takes you from that point to another point around, again, this is where my bad chart drawing skills come in.

PEREIRA: That's OK. WISE: This is the 400-knot point. It winds up here instead of here. The gist of it is, the slower that plane was going, the further northeast it was going to wind up.

PEREIRA: But when we hear this notion of it being slower, one would think it would be dramatically by half, a third, that's only the difference of 50. Is that enough to dramatically -- 700 miles northeast --

WISE: This is a big arc. It could be -- if it could be anywhere on that southern arc, you're talking about thousands of miles. Huge, very daunting. It's possible this plane could have been going as slow as 250 knots which would have put it way up to Indonesia, next to Sumatra. We're assuming hopefully it was only a slight, you know, speed difference, which is giving us something barely -- this is still a huge area. It's all based on assumption. A lot of assumptions embedded in this analysis.

PEREIRA: They're saying that this is new -- this is new analysis of the data.

WISE: New assumption basically, which is giving us a new output.

PEREIRA: You don't have a lot of faith in this?

WISE: Well, it turns out that this search area that the prime minister of Australia said before parliament, this is our best credible lead, that turned out not to be a very useful lead at all. It turned out to be incorrect. We established the debris isn't there. That's useful to an extent, but we don't really know on what basis they decided to choose this.

PEREIRA: So, OK, let's go with the idea that the search area here is obviously where they're still focusing.

WISE: Right.

PEREIRA: In fact, we know that the New Zealand Air Force spotted something from a plane. They're going to analyze the imagery taken from there.

WISE: Sure.

PEREIRA: By tomorrow we should get the results from that, what was netted?


PEREIRA: Your thought is don't discount this or are you saying don't discount everything?

WISE: I'm saying we can pretty well discount this. We searched this very well. On the contrary, I would say the reverse. We've learned that if you see a whole bunch of stuff in the ocean, doesn't mean it's an airplane.


WISE: So we have to treat all of these reports with floating debris with caution.

PEREIRA: All right, Jeff Wise as always, thanks so much.

WISE: My pleasure.


BOLDUAN: Coming up next on NEW DAY, as Michaela was just talking about new objects spotted in the new search zone in the Southern Indian Ocean. Could this be debris from Flight 370? We'll be headed back to Perth with the very latest on the search effort.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This new such area can still be consistent with the potential objects identified by previous satellite images.


BOLDUAN: Breaking news, the search area moved. In a major turnaround, the Australians now saying Flight 370 flew faster than they previously thought and didn't go as far.

BERMAN: Officials calling it a credible new lead. An international fleet now searching the water at this hour amid new questions as to why this new information is only coming out now. We examine it all with our experts.

PEREIRA: Dramatic rescue. A baby saved from the mudslide in a daring move. We're going to hear from the man who saved him as we learn more about the treacherous search and recovery mission.

BOLDUAN: Your NEW DAY continues right now.