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SCOTUS Money Is Free Speech; Big Papi's Selfie Truth; Cost Of The Flight 370 Search; Three Dead, 16 Injured In Fort Hood Shooting;

Aired April 3, 2014 - 07:30   ET


JOHN KING, HOST, CNN'S "INSIDE POLITICS": OK, this is a brand new Quinnipiac poll out this morning we could show people that this is not an approval rating. It's more of a thermometer. How do you feel about a candidate, do you view this person as hot or cold. Chris Christie was number one in January. He was the hottest politician in America when he had 55.5 degrees on this survey. He's fallen to ninth now. That tells you one thing. We just note for the context.

Elizabeth Warren is the new senator for Massachusetts, liberal favorite is now number one. Hillary Clinton number two. What does that tell you, the Chris Christie January he's top, now he's ninth.

JULIE PACE, "ASSOCIATED PRESS": I think it tells you people are paying attention to this bridge scandal. I think the toughest thing for Christie is that, you know, for those of us in Washington and on the east coast, we know Chris Christie, we know the story. People in other parts of the country hadn't known him as well.

This was supposed to be a period of time, leading the RGA, when he going to be building a national profile, introducing himself to a lot of Americans who didn't know his story. And what they're hearing is bridge-gate not his reputation as being bipartisan and being a fighter. I think that's what you're seeing reflected in some of these numbers.

KING: We'll see if Chris Christie can recover from that. It is still early. It's only 2014. He is thinking about 2016.

Let's move on, the president hit the road yesterday. First, he was at the White House calling about the new Obamacare numbers, but then he hit the road, he wanted to talk about the economy. He's in Michigan saying we should raise the minimum wage, but also trying to turn the page to make 2014 less about his healthcare plan and more about the Republican budget. Listen.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: If this all sounds familiar it should be familiar because it was their economic plan in the 2012 campaign, it was their economic plan in 2010. It's like that movie "Groundhog Day" except it's not funny.


KING: This is what you would expect him to do. Find something on the Republican side to criticize and try to rally the Democratic base to try win over independent voters. Do they believe it can work or is it just their best play?

PACE: It's a little bit of both. I mean, this is their best play heading into November, but this is also a message that worked for Obama in the 2012 election. He talked about how Ryan's budget is a throwback to 2012. Well, that's a throwback to Obama's re-election message. And so they think that if they can cast Republicans as protectors of the rich and Democrats as the party that's looking out for the middle class that they have a chance. There's a lot that goes into the election beyond that message, but I do think that they see that as a potentially winning argument for Democrats.

KING: Part of the president's challenge here, Ron, when you're president at 40-something in the polls is to keep your energy level every day because Democrats will rise or fall with his approval rating. We saw him at the health care event. He was energetic campaigning there. Is this real? Is he suddenly a happier warrior or is this what I might call faux mojo?

RON FOURNIER, "NATIONAL JOURNAL": I don't think it's -- I think right now it's faux mojo. He had a good dig. Congratulations for hitting the number, but you're right. He's going to improve his base by mocking Republicans and that's a word that was in a lot of headlines today, but he's not going to help himself in independence or soft Republicans. Mocking the other side is not how you build a coalition. It's not how you improve your numbers beyond your base. So I don't -- long term, I don't know if this is a really good thing --

PACE: The biggest concern for the White House and Democrats in this midterm is getting that base out.

KING: The question is, will we see him. He was in Michigan again. He was just there a few weeks ago too. Will we see him delivering this message in West Virginia, Arkansas, South Dakota, Montana, Alaska?

Let's move on. A big Supreme Court decision yesterday. A lot of people complain about all the money in politics especially after Citizens United, which blew out some spending caps. A lot a whole lot of money. Another decision yesterday for the Supreme Court essentially saying free speech means you can spend almost whatever you want on campaigns.

Chief Justice Roberts put it this way, if the first amendment protects flag burning, funeral protest and Nazi parades, it surely protects political campaign speech despite popular opposition. So more money in campaigns, what does this mean in the short term?

FOURNIER: In the short term, it means not only more money, which doesn't trouble me personally, money is part of politics. It's more money that's going to be hidden. Going to these third-party groups that don't have to disclose their donors. We don't know who is being influenced and why. I think we're moving quickly to the point where even Democrats now have to look at the old Republican idea. That the Republicans are now running from, which is OK, if you want to be the senator from Tobacco, fine. You can take all the money you want, but it's instantly transparent. It should disclosed on the internet. So if you are the senator of the Koch brothers, fine. But everybody knows about it as soon as you take that money.

KING: That's the question. If we are going to have more money, will we get more transparency?


PACE: You would think that's the ultimate goal of this because you are going to end up in a situation where you have, you know, just a small number of people that can really max out and hit this amount of money. What kind of influence do they get not only in presidential elections, but now in midterm elections in donating to the campaigns and the committees? I think that if you don't add in more transparency then we're heading down a pretty troubling path.

KING: A lot of people think this is great for the fundraising community. He says now the politicians are going to keep coming for us. We can't say now everyone's maxed out. We can't raise more money. They said that politicians are just keep coming, keeping asking.

Let's move on to the nation's big controversy. Was it demeaning to the president that a marketing ploy for David Ortiz. We are not in Massachusetts. You cannot criticize David Ortiz in Massachusetts. It's unconstitutional. But here --

FOURNIER: Let us do it at this table?

KING: Say what you wish. He takes this selfie with the president at the Red Sox celebration and it turns out he has a marketing deal from Samsung. Are they mad at the White House, Julie? Do they feel the president was sort of snuck it into this?

PACE: Well, there are a lot of Red Sox fans in the White House so I think they're torn between their loyalty to the Red Sox and the president. They say he didn't know it was part of a marketing ploy. That he was just taking this selfie. I think that any time you add in something like this that creates a distraction, it becomes a bit of an annoyance for the White House. I mean, I personally think that, you know, it's a little uncouth to pull the president into something like that.

KING: It's just a spontaneous moment. Yes, I also have this marketing deal. I was at the AP when the first cell phone came out. It didn't have a camera in it. As we get back to you guys in New York, you know, Sarah Palin gets a lot of criticism. Here's one thing that we can say for sure. She is funny. Watch this.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What are you doing calling me?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, I heard that back in 2008 you predicted that I would invade Ukraine. Is this true?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I once invaded country called you bet you Vlad.


MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: A little known country.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: I actually think that was Fallon being funny, J.K. He's a great impersonator. What he doesn't impersonate is being a Red Sox fan.

KING: I was trying to move on.

PEREIRA: I hear them laughing.

CUOMO: Here's why, Big Papi taking a selfie is not news. You have to stop bringing it up. It's over, J. OK.

KING: OK. We won last night. We're back on the winning ways. Focus on the records now.

CUOMO: That game's on dispute. They actually lost 18-6. I'll talk to you later, John. Thanks for being on. See you tomorrow.

Coming up on NEW DAY, we are learning more about the soldier who opened fire at Fort Hood including his history of mental health problems. We're also going to track the status of those 16 injured. Some of them are critically injured. You're going to hear from the trauma surgeon who operated on some of them and hopefully, they'll be recovering.

PEREIRA: And also finding Flight 370 isn't only complicated and time consuming. We also know it is a very expensive endeavor. The sky- high cost of unlocking that mystery ahead.


PEREIRA: Welcome back. The search for Flight 370 is unprecedented in its scope. It's also likely to be the most expensive investigation in history and this is just the search phase. Still the recovery phase haven't even begun and it carries an ever larger price tag.

Chief business correspondent and "EARLY START" co-anchor, Christine Romans is here to crunch some of the numbers with us. We know not any of the data is going to be figured out for quite a while, for several months. But in terms of the stuff we do now on a daily basis, give us an idea of how much this is costing.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: They say basically everyone is just paying their own freight here, each country, 21 nations, 80 ships, 61 aircrafts. What's so interesting to me about this, originally a lot of this was coming out of military training budget. So imagine all these militaries are doing training missions with this equipment. Not necessarily real live maneuvers. PEREIRA: They're getting a chance to do it now.

ROMANS: They are doing that now. Some of it is humanitarian budget and some of it like right now for the U.S. is going right into the Navy operational budget.

PEREIRA: How much are they contributing because we know they've earmarked money for this?

ROMANS: They've earmarked about 4 million, 3.2 was spent between March 2nd and March 24th. One source in the military telling us in general the rule of thumb here, they're looking about $100,000 a day. Some of these aircraft that we are deploying are $10,000 an hour. Depending on how many aircrafts are up and what the conditions are, that could change these numbers.

PEREIRA: And that's hard too, when you are ready, you're on standby and the weather doesn't cooperate and deploy. So let's talk about it because we know the U.S. is just one of the multi nation effort that's taking part.

ROMANS: Here's sort of the big seven, right, Australia, New Zealand, United States, Japan, China, South Korea, Malaysia. The Australians really taking the lead right now because the search is centered off of Perth, off of its own coast. And again the Australian prime minister saying basically everyone is paying their own way here. These are the seven key players at the moment.

PEREIRA: One has to wonder compared to others because there's been a lot of comparisons made to Air France. How much is this costing comparatively?

ROMANS: So this is now, when you look at those countries I just mentioned, $21 million a month is the rule of thumb if you're looking at what sort of the U.S., what the U.S. is paying, assuming everyone else is. You think compare that, 21 million a month depending on how long this takes. Air France 447, 50 million --

PEREIRA: That went on for two years.

ROMANS: Yes. TWA Flight 800, 40 million, this is one of the longest NTSB investigations in history. And Swiss air 111, this was I think in 1998 in Canada, 39 million there. It took them years to find that aircraft. This gives you an idea of what the total cost ends up being.

PEREIRA: Granted, like you said this is coming out of military and humanitarian budgets.

ROMANS: And operating expenses.

PEREIRA: One has to wonder what all of this, after litigation, lawsuits, et cetera, what is this going to mean for Malaysia Airlines? Is this going to impact them? Are they going to be looking at bankruptcy here? ROMANS: Well, solvency is an issue because they've been losing money for several years, right? We don't know what the burden will be on Malaysia Airlines in particular. But one thing to think off is that there is a national -- Malaysia Airlines, the government funds much of it. It has 20,000 employees.

PEREIRA: Big employer.

ROMANS: It has been losing money. Malaysia will always want to have an airline. So the sovereign wealth fund, the big pot of money that the government has to invest in companies, many people think it will never let it go under. The government would never let it go under or it would rebrand it if there is a big loss in booking --


ROMANS: And there's a kind of an image problem, they will rebrand it but Malaysia will always have --

PEREIRA: Part of the problem is, depending on what the outcome of the investigation is confidence in the airline safety, right?

ROMANS: And liability and there's a criminal probe right now.

PEREIRA: All stuff down the line. Now we got to find the plane. We got to find debris. Christine Romans, thanks so much -- Chris.

COUMO: All right, Mich, going to take a break here on NEW DAY. When we come back, more on the mass shooting at Fort Hood. Sixteen injured, three critically. We are going to speak with a trauma surgeon who operated on some of the victims to find out what's going on with them. Hopefully they're going to return to their families.


CUOMO: Welcome back. There are a lot of unanswered questions this morning after an army specialist killed three people and injured 16 others before taking his own life when confronted by a female military police officer. Three of the victims are still in critical condition. We have Dr. Matt Davis, a trauma surgeon on the phone. He is at Scott and White Hospital. He operated on some of the victims. He is joining us now. Doctor, can you hear us?

DR. MATT DAVIS, SCOTT AND WHITE HOSPITAL (via telephone): Yes, I can. Good morning.

CUOMO: Thank you for joining us. We know you're very busy there and it's a developing situation, but we want to focus on the people who were affected here and make sure they are being OK. What have you seen so far?

DAVIS: As you probably are aware, we've seen a total of nine patients here at our hospital. Three we've listed in critical condition. The other six are in serious condition although I anticipated this morning as we make our team rounds, they will likely be upgraded to fair condition. They've all been doing relatively well overnight. CUOMO: That's great. Those were critically injured. How is it looking for them going forward?

DAVIS: Well, I think there's some questions left to be answered. Two of them will require further surgery. One is requiring more diagnostic testing this morning before we can make determinate prognostics about those patients.

CUOMO: Are you aware if they are all soldiers or some civilians?

DAVIS: My impression is they are all soldiers. I've been told that they all are, yes.

CUOMO: The kinds of injuries that you're seeing, close range? They look like intentional shots, more random gunfire? What do you think happened?

DAVIS: I'm not a forensic pathologist, so describing those kind of details may be a little bit difficult, but I will tell you these were destructive gunshot wounds from a high caliber weapon. Obviously, these were impacting different parts of the body. We had some that were fairly mild, superficial-type injuries, including extremities graze-type wounds and then we had also others that were clearly life threatening involving vital structures such as the neck, the chest, the abdomen, things of that nature.

CUOMO: Were many of them shot multiple times?

DAVIS: From my best ability to tell, and again, I don't claim to be forensics, most of these suffered from one single gunshot wound apiece. Some of them had multiple different injury and exit wounds due to the trajectory of the bullet. That will have to be left to police to determine that exactly.

CUOMO: They believe this was a very powerful handgun that was used so obviously that's going to complicate the situation. How long have the surgeries been? How involved has this been for you?

DAVIS: Well, we've had some help with getting these patients kind of set up really well from our colleagues at the army hospital on Fort Hood. We spent two to three hours in surgery with one last night and about an hour and a half with another. We had to do procedures on others in the night last night, throughout the overnight period. And we're ongoing evaluation of the assessment of those patients this morning. So it's been a busy evening.

CUOMO: What you are experiencing in terms of the families? How are they holding up? How are you and your team holding up?

DAVIS: The families are doing fairly well. We've been able to make contact with the majority of the soldiers' families that are here. Some of these soldiers serve far from their original home and there are a couple we have not been able to immediately contact family, but we're working with our chaplain services as well as the army to try to establish contact and let loved ones know how they are doing. I will say that the families seemed to be holding up relatively well. They were obviously somewhat emotional and relieved to see their loved ones and even when they were critically injured, they were happy to be by their side. Our staff are holding up fairly well. This is -- we're at level one trauma center. We're used to being busy and taking care of seriously injured patients.

So this is a little bit unusual for us in terms of just the nature of this type of event, but we have the multiple physicians and nurses who were trained to do this and I'm proud of the way the team has worked.

CUOMO: We're hearing the same. How many surgeries do you think you are looking at going forward for these injured men and women?

DAVIS: I know we have at least -- the two that were operated on last night will at least require one further operation apiece and then there is the possibility of a couple of others that may require surgery. One specifically we're looking at more this morning in terms of further evaluation and diagnostic testing and once we have some better understanding there. We'll be able to decide whether that's going to need an operation or can be manage without an operation.

CUOMO: People are going to be keeping them and you, those treating them in their thoughts and prayers. How long are we looking at in terms of a time horizon before we know how many are going to make it through this?

DAVIS: Yes, I think the next 24 hours are really critical especially for those couple that I mentioned that are in fairly serious condition. We will have a better idea after we take our multidisciplinary team rounds this morning. I think that the next 24 hours will be fairly telling.

Overall right now, I think the majority of the ones we've had here are going to do OK. We clearly are going to have some physical scars and emotional scars going forward and we'll have to work with some of our long-term professionals that help with PTSD and those type of issues as we go forward from here.

CUOMO: Dr. Matt Davis. You make a very important point. You're going to save them there, but the healing is going to go on long after there. The irony that fighting men and women have to deal with PTSD for what happens here at home on base. It's just terrible. But thankfully they had you so save them this time and hopefully they will make it home.

Dr. Davis, thank you very much for joining us. We know you're very busy. Good luck going forward.

DAVIS: My pleasure, thank you very much.

PEREIRA: Great news that some of those that were critical may be after rounds this morning as the doctor was saying may be upgraded to fair condition.

CUOMO: Many who were serious are being upgraded to fair. The critical, he believes, 24 hours, very important, but this was a high- powered weapon. Some of them shot at close range.

PEREIRA: Certainly keep them in your thoughts and prayers.

Next up, we are going to have more on that Fort Hood shooting yesterday. We'll head back to Killeen, Texas, where that community surrounding the military bases once again left hurting. We'll speak with Killeen's mayor, Daniel Corbin, coming up.



CUOMO (voice-over): Breaking news. Tragedy at Fort Hood. A soldier opens fire on colleagues killing three, wounding 16 before killing himself.

PRESIDENT OBAMA: We're heartbroken that something like this might have happened again.

CUOMO: The shooting an echo of the massacre at the same base in 2009. How did this happen again?

UNIDENTIFIED CALLER: We have multiple gunshot victims.

CUOMO: We hear from those who survived. Plus what we know about the shooter's past. His history of mental illness. His time served in Iraq.


PEREIRA: Plus new this morning, the search for Flight 370 shifts again. Crews looking west now for any sign of the plane. But now a key piece of equipment meant to track the flight's data recorder is delayed. Will it arrive before the batteries run out?

CUOMO: Your NEW DAY continues right now.

Good morning. Welcome back to NEW DAY. It's Thursday, April 3rd, now 8:00 in the east. Kate is sick. Mich and I are here together. We have to tell you some sobering news. The words not again from a Fort Hood soldier after the second shooting in less than five years at the Texas Army base. The gunman identified as an army specialist opening fire late Wednesday afternoon.

He killed three service members, injured 16 others before taking his own life when confronted by a female military police officer. New information about the gunman and the mental health challenges he faced in a moment. First, George Howell live from Fort Hood, Texas -- George.

GEORGE HOWELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Chris, good morning. You said it there. They dealt with this sort of thing here before at Fort Hood. Yesterday they had to deal with again.