Return to Transcripts main page


Winter Over For Democrats?; George W. Push Paints Putin; Flight 370 Search Goes Underwater; Three Patients To Be Upgraded Today

Aired April 4, 2014 - 07:30   ET


JOHN KING, HOST, CNN'S "INSIDE POLITICS": But let's go inside politics. And driving our day, one hour from now, we get a big report from the government, the latest jobs report. Democrats think politically this could be a good day for them and the end of a very good week for them.

With me to share their reporting and their insights this morning, Juana Summers of Politico, Jonathan Martin of the "New York Times."

Let's lay it out this way. And look, it's only April. The election's in November. But Democrats think the Obamacare numbers were better than expected. If you look at the president's approval rating, which is the biggest driver in a mid-term election year, he was at 39 percent at the State of the Union week. Now he's at 45 percent in the Gallop tracking.

Juana, if they can get a jobs report that says the economy created more than 200,000 last month. Are the Democrats in a better shape, a less bad position than they were a month ago?

JUANA SUMMERS, "POLITICO": Less bad is a really great way to put it. If this number is not good, that puts Democrats in the position having to defend a president who is rather unpopular, a health care law that a lot of voters don't like and the economic recovery. That's not a position you want to be in November. Particularly if you're looking at the landscape. There are a lot of competitive places where, frankly, the president isn't popular. And if you are a Democrat, that's not a spot you want to be and that's not a number record you're going to want to have to defend.

KING: I guess that's the question, is it false hope? The Democrats aren't saying we are going to win this year. But they are thinking if the president can get close to 50, if people feel better about the economy, maybe we lose only five or six House seats, maybe we lose four or five, but keep the Senate.

JONATHAN MARTIN, "THE NEW YORK TIMES": It's all about stemming losses at this point. They know in the Senate they start out down in the bank a couple of seats. It's a matter of how many can they lose and still keep the majority. Nobody believes the House is actually in place at this point anymore. The health care news especially is crucial for this party. Not just because it proves that this law is actually working, it helps Democratic morale. One of the worst numbers for Democrats is that enthusiasm gap and this will help out. KING: All right, so let's move on. That's looking forward to this election climate. Let's look even a little bit more forward potentially to the 2016 political climate. Hillary Clinton, the former secretary of state, was at a forum last night in New York, "Women in the World" with Christine Lagarde, the head of International Monetary Fund.

Tom Freedman of "The New York Times" was the great moderator for this event. Remember about a week or so ago, we were saying Hillary Clinton was saying she was skeptical that the Iranians would get to the finish line in these nuclear negotiations. But listen to her here, if they get there, it's clear she wants a little bit of credit.


HILLARY CLINTON, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE: There is a double standard obviously. We -- we have all either experienced it or at the very least seen it. And I think in many respects, the media is the principal propagator of its persistence.


KING: That was Hillary Clinton there. The wrong bite saying that there is a double standard in the media.

MARTIN: Imagine that, John.

KING: Let's start ladies first with the Iran part of it. She says -- there's a whole chapter in her book about this. I guess that's one of the fascinating questions I have about the book. She knows she's most likely going to run for president. She knows that people are going to scrub her record as secretary of state. On Iran, skepticism at a forum week ago, but here she seems to be saying, if this works, I get some of the credit.

SUMMERS: It's one of the things I've been personally fascinated by. At the same time, you have her successor Secretary of State John Kerry sitting there. I have to wonder how he is feeling about all of this. She does want to be tied to that success. Foreign policy could be a big driving force in the 2016 election. If you're Hillary Clinton, secretary of state her most recent office, you want a piece of that and make sure that voters remember you as somebody who was there in some of the darkest hours, was able to help to move the country ahead.

KING: Is it trying to have it both ways to say I'm skeptical they'll get there, but if they do, they got to the table in part because of me?

MARTIN: But that's politics though, right?


MARTIN: I think it's also the sort of first start of what's going to be a really robust pushback campaign this summer and fall when her book comes out to rebut the notion that it did not have accomplishments. I think she wants to start that process now. KING: You can't really hear the question because the crowd was applauding whether there might somebody be two women presidents, Hillary Clinton of the United States and Christine Lagarde of the European Union. Now let's look backwards a little bit at the George W. Bush Presidential Center this morning, there's a big event. A new exhibit goes on display. George W. Bush's paintings. I talked to him about this when it opened. Listen to him here in a "Today Show" interview with his daughter discussing his new life as an artist.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What do you think their reactions will be?

GEORGE W. BUSH, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: I think they're going to be, wow, George Bush is a painter. I'm sure when they heard that, I look forward to seeing the stick figure he painted of me.


KING: There you see the Vladimir Putin image right there.

MARTIN: It's a very severe picture.

SUMMERS: I don't think I could do any better. Don't hand me a paint brush, please.

KING: As a politician, he always benefited from extremely low expectations. He would say people constantly underestimated him. What do you think of the post-presidency life of George W. Bush, the artist?

MARTIN: Well, my colleague, Peter Baker, has a great story today about this season of rehabilitation for past presidents, right? All kinds of presidents are having a second look now for a variety of reasons. For this president, it is because he found a new life as a painter. It is rich because to wrap on George W. Bush as this guy an uncultured cowboy. Here he is working in oil. How about that?

KING: I remember on a trip. He was in and out in 45 minutes. I was like that's impossible. Does it help his image? Most on the conversation about George W. Bush is about the Iraq war and the wartime presidency. Is this is kinder, gentler, George W. Bush?

SUMMERS: I think it's really interesting the way that he is taking control of his own image, you know, these aren't paintings of landscapes and bowls of fruit, and things like that. We did see more interesting paintings come out of him. I'm engaged and doing this my own way. I think it's really fascinating that he's chosen to come out in this way. He's actually drawing attention to this thing that he is doing in his off hours.

KING: I want to give the former president some credit. I hope Democrats who maybe didn't like his presidency will as well for something he said yesterday. He said he thinks it's important that we stop calling it PTSD, disorder. If you call it a disorder, you're discouraging the veterans from getting the help they need, telling them there's something wrong with them. I think we should give him credit for that and help the wounded warriors.

As we get back to New York, here is my question, did you ever show up at the wrong office?

SUMMERS: Not recently.

KING: Ever shown up at the wrong office going to work today?

MARTIN: Occasionally.

KING: Here we go, guys, Senator Dan Coates, member of the United States Senate, let me just let it play out.


SENATOR DAN COATES (R), INDIANA: I'm at the wrong hearing.


COATES: I've got the right room number, but the wrong hearing. I saw some familiar faces.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I hope it's not a precursor of what may --


KING: Senator Dan Coates, Republican of Indiana.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: We're not known for our sense of direction, I'll just say. At least he's an honest man. That's also a quality of people from Indiana. When he realized he was at the wrong committee, he left.

KING: Transparent there. Maybe he needs to follow Michaela's advice and have a little vacation.

BOLDUAN: They take plenty of vacation as we all know on Capitol Hill, though. I'm so glad you talked about that moment. I have been wanting to talk about that all morning.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: At least he was trying to work.

BOLDUAN: There you go. We're looking at the positive side of things here on NEW DAY Friday. Thank you, John. Great segment. Great to see you. Have a great weekend.

CUOMO: Let's take a little break. When we come back, a new phase of the search for Flight 370 now underway. Pinger locater is now in the water. We're going to hear from the U.S. Navy commander who is in charge of the high tech device.

BOLDUAN: And also ahead after Wednesday's shooting at Fort Hood, we're going to check in on those who were injured. We're going to take you to the hospital where they're being treated.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back to NEW DAY. The underwater phase of the search for Flight 370 began this morning. Pinger locaters are in the water with search teams hoping to detect a signal from that missing jetliner's black box. One of the devices belongs to the U.S. Navy. Joining us by phone now from Australia is Captain Mark Matthews. He is in charge of that towed pinger locater or the TPL and the Navy's Blue Fin 21 operations. Good to speak to you, Captain?

CAPTAIN MARK MATTHEWS (via telephone): Nice to speak with you.

PEREIRA: We've been hearing a lot, Captain, of this being like a search for a needle in the hay stack and the importance of finding the haystack before we look for the needle. Essentially this TPL is like looking for the needle correct?

MATTHEWS: That's correct. It's designed to hear the pings on the black boxes.

PEREIRA: So that end, it seems because we haven't located that haystack, is it too soon to have this kind of great technology in the search? Are we ahead of ourselves here?

MATTHEWS: Not really. I wouldn't say it's too soon. I'd say that right now is the appropriate time to put this system in the water based on the information we know. OK. The -- the search area that's been identified is completely reliant upon the handshakes that occurred with the Inmarsat satellites and the aircraft. So based on calculations performed by the Australian Transportation Safety Board and the Australian Maritime Safety Authority supported by a slew of other organizations and corporations to do these estimates, they've kind of predicted where they think the aircraft was tracking right before it was lost. So that --

PEREIRA: This is the 250-kilometer track, I understand, within that 84,000 nautical square mile area of the search zone, correct?

MATTHEWS: That's correct. What we've done is gone ahead and positioned the ships along that track. And the Australian defense vessel "Ocean Shield" with the towed ping locater is going to track down the course that we think that the aircraft was on at the time of loss. Am I confident it will work? It's better than searching nowhere. It's the best information we have right now. Certainly, I'd like to see some surface debris so that we can kind of also confirm or add confidence to the areas that we're searching in.

PEREIRA: Obviously, the air support is looking for visually spotted debris. Also, we know satellites are being adjusted to look at that area so we can find that debris as well. I think there is concern about the fact that the search area has moved several times. We've been told that it's a reanalysis of data. You still say, though, that you're hopeful. Are you confident that this mystery will be solved?

MATTHEWS: I can't be confident yet. There's too -- certainly too many unknowns. I will tell you though that if the pingers are working and within range of the towed pinger locator, we will detect it. It's a -- you know, the specific frequency we're looking for and a repetitive signal every second. It's something that we're not going to have a false report on. It's something that we're going to hear if it's active.

However, there's -- there is other concerns I have. One, we haven't gotten confirming information to say that, yes, we're looking in the right area. Two, there's always the chance that the pingers themselves have been damaged and are not emitting like in the case with Air France Flight 447.

PEREIRA: Sure and we recognize those concerns along with you. Add to that the urgency we know it's day 28 of the search we've been told. Estimates between 30 to 45 days on the batteries of those pingers is about the life expectancy. We're getting close to the wire here, sir.

MATTHEWS: That's certainly correct. But the tow pinger locator is the device you want right now because it has a much greater detection range than what the next search item would be, which is a site scan sonar system.

PEREIRA: An important tool in this multi-national effort to find this missing jetliner. Captain Mark Matthews, thank you so much for speaking to us and giving us an understanding of just exactly what that technologies capabilities are and also some of its limitations.

MATTHEWS: You're welcome, Michaela.

PEREIRA: All right, back to you, guys.

BOLDUAN: Coming up next on NEW DAY, an update on those injured in Wednesday's shooting at Fort Hood. We're going to talk to a trauma surgeon who has been treating some of these victims to see just how they're doing today.


BOLDUAN: Welcome back to NEW DAY. Investigators are continuing to search for answers in this week's shooting rampage at Fort Hood. Three people died at the base when an Army specialist opened fire. Sixteen people were injured and rushed to local hospitals. Dr. Matthew Davis is the doctor of trauma at Scott and White Memorial Hospital where he has been treating some of those wounded. He is kind enough to take the time to be joining us this morning. I know you're very busy, Doctor. So thank you very much for taking the time.


BOLDUAN: Of course. You originally received nine patients is my understanding. Can you give us an update on their conditions?

DAVIS: Right. So we had nine patients show up here originally. We've been very fortunate. Six of the -- five of those have actually gone home now. Six will go home this morning. He stayed late last night due to some testing that went a little bit late. We have three others that have been listed in serious condition. We're upgrading them this morning to fair condition.

Clear to say they're still in the ICU and they have a long road ahead of them, but they've been stable. One of them is off the ventilator and one is expected to come off the ventilator this morning. So they are doing actually a lot better.

BOLDUAN: While we of course have to be cautious, that is wonderful news. Those three, as I understand, were listed in critical condition, updated to serious, and now as you are saying updated further to fair condition. Can you describe kind of the range of the injuries that these patients have faced?

DAVIS: Sure. These three patients have suffered the most grave injuries of the ones that have come to Scott and White. The injuries have been to the spine, the neck and the abdomen in each of those patients.

BOLDUAN: And I know you'll be careful when I ask you this and I want to be careful as well. Do you expect at this point, can you say you expect a full recovery or at least that they're through the woods and you think these injuries are no longer life threatening?

DAVIS: I don't believe anything is life threatening right now. We have issues with long-term disability, perhaps, in one or two of the patients. A little bit of time before we'll be able to tell that for sure. I will say they've all been improving. That's been encouraging to see. I think that one of them for sure will go on to have a full physical recovery. As we mentioned previously, we're concerned certainly with the emotional and mental status going forward here with such a traumatic event.

BOLDUAN: I don't think that can be overstated, what they're going to be dealing with for years to come. In terms of I guess also the emotional recovery, what kind of physical rehabilitation and recovery do you see for these patients? How long of a road do they have?

DAVIS: Well, these three patients will have the longer road of all of the ones that have been here in terms of their physical rehabilitation. That will begin here in the hospital, their physical therapy services, their occupational services and may continue even in an out-patient rehabilitation setting for a couple of them. The Army has some built-in resources for that as well.

We will be tapping into those avenues as we move forward and then we'll also need to engage, as we mentioned, in spiritual support and through the form of the Army chaplains and psychiatric support systems as well for treatment of such a traumatic stress type disorder.

BOLDUAN: Doctor, I can only imagine the conversations, if at all, have been brief with these patients. Have the patients told you anything in your conversations with them about what happened, what they saw?

DAVIS: Yes. I think they've mentioned very brief things to me. I've had small bits of story. You know, I know they've been speaking more thoroughly with the military police and the investigators from the military. You know, what I've heard is that it was in the workplace and it was a very sudden thing. Just a very shocking moment for all of them and I think clearly very terrifying.

The young men and women that I've spoken with it seems as they began to come out of the initial hours of this became somewhat emotional. This is a very difficult thing to have to live through. I'm certain they're reliving it during their waking and sleeping hours right now.

BOLDUAN: No one would ever imagine that this would happen in their workplace, and no one could ever imagine that this would happen twice in their workplace. What did -- what was your first thought? You were there in 2009 during the 2009 shooting massacre at Fort Hood. What was your first thought when you heard then this week that you were going to be receiving patients from another mass shooting at Fort Hood?

DAVIS: Well, a little bit of disbelief, I think. We weren't -- whenever I first started to get the phone calls about this, you know, you don't know this is something that's just being reported or if it's actually real. When it became more real we were just kind of in shock that something like this could happen again, especially this level of magnitude with this many people involved.

You know, that kind of shock and disbelief, and it quickly turns into resolve to get the job done whenever the patients show up. We have a great team here. Great docs at Darnell. The paramedics did a great job in the field and I'm proud of the surgeons and nurses that I work with who turned to some resolve and got these patients taken care of quickly.

BOLDUAN: One final question, from these two experiences that your staff has had to deal with, are they similar in the injuries, where the injuries are in these patients, or is this something different about the patients that you're dealing with in this shooting versus in 2009?

DAVIS: What I can say about that, I think when you have a mass shooting of this kind of nature or of the one in 2009, types of bullet wounds are difficult to really categorize or describe really because people are moving, they're running. It's a very chaotic scene. You know, so unless you have a true trained professional marksman, there are going to be bullet wounds all over. It's just kind of random firing.

From my experience, I'm not obviously a military or police investigator, but they tend to be random. They were different caliber bullets from the previous episode compared to the one we had this week. Both are destructive and we certainly saw some very grave injuries from both.

BOLDUAN: We can just look at the positive right now, that the patients that you're working with are improving as we speak. Dr. Matthew Davis, thank you so much for your time. A long road ahead for everyone in that community, but I know everyone will want to thank you for your hard work. Thank you so much -- Chris. CUOMO: Good news. We've got to take it where we find it in that Fort Hood situation. Let's take a break now. When we come back on NEW DAY, the search for Flight 370 moves underwater. The pinger locator now searching for any sign of the plane. We're going to take you live to Australia and bring you the very latest.