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Jeb Bush Talks 2016 Strategy; Washington Wage War; Radar Shows Plane Flew Around Indonesia; Search for Flight 370

Aired April 7, 2014 - 07:30   ET


JULIE PACE, "ASSOCIATED PRESS": And the conversation has really centered on the idea that this is a guy who is electable. And I think that is the message that he was trying to project there. "I am electable. I'm someone who will not have huge ideological lines on every issue."

So he's going to be testing the waters over the next couple of months. This is certainly not a sure thing, but that was a lot of insight into what his message would be if he does choose to run.

JOHN KING, HOST, CNN'S "INSIDE POLITICS": Testing the waters, David. Also wondering what has become quick sand for Republican candidates in recent years, the immigration issue. We know he agrees with his brother that there should be a path to citizenship or legal status for the undocumented. He's obviously was the governor of a big swing state with Latino population. His wife is Latino. Listen to Jeb Bush with this message on immigration.


JEB BUSH (R), FORMER FLORIDA GOVERNOR: Yes, they broke the law, but it's not a felony -- it's an act of love. It's an act of commitment to your family.


KING: John McCain spoke of God's children when they come across the border. His brother, George W. spoke like this, but if you go back to the Republican primaries in recent years, this is where Mitt Romney got into self deporting because of pressure from the right. Can Jeb Bush sell that in Iowa, in South Carolina?

DAVID NAKAMURA, "THE WASHINGTON POST": It's been difficult. He's obviously had a lot of support from Hispanic voters in Florida. That was part of his broad appeal. That's what a lot like about him still among the mainstream Republicans. But I think if you look back even a few years ago, Rick Perry said about, you know, Republicans have to be heartless if you don't appreciate this, troubles of immigrants. That really got him into trouble ahead of his primary a few years ago. For Jeb Bush, this is a tricky line to walk. I think it's interesting that he's doubling down a little bit on that though because he has gotten into some trouble there.

KING: That's the question. Is he big enough to sell it? You can sell change to your party if you're big enough. If people think you're electable or you are just strong enough in the debate. It comes, Julia, at a very interesting time, look, Republicans know at the national presidential level, they have this demographic problem. That if they don't fix it, it will be hard to win the White House, period.

But it comes if you look this morning at the "New York Times," a very well done, expose on deportation under the Obama administration. Where the president has said we're only deporting the illegal immigrants who commit serious crimes. But the "New York Times" says two-thirds of those deported are for minor offenses. Can Republicans step in to that, the dissatisfaction, the complaints of the Latino community and try to turn that?

PACE: Well, there certainly is an opening here. I mean, over the last of couple years, the narrative has really been that Democrats have a lock on the Hispanic vote because of some of the things that Republicans have said and voted for on immigration reform. There's a lot of anger in Hispanic community over deportation. You heard this line about Obama calling him the "deporter-in-chief." That is really kind of taken hold. You hear it a lot on Hispanic media. So there is an opening there. The question is what Republicans do to try to capitalize on that.

KING: Everyone talks about the pressure on Hillary Clinton saying that if she's not going to run she needs to say so sooner rather than later, it's frozen, her apparent campaign, I'll call it that, has frozen all the other Democrats. What about Jeb Bush? If the establishment starts to say it takes a Bush to beat a Clinton, if the establishment says no, what happens?

NAKAMURA: That's a big problem. There's a lot of pressure from the big donors, you see Adelson trying to put his money behind the winner this time. He didn't so well four years ago. So I think the big problem is for Republicans is to try to figure out is Bush the right person. But it's different with Hillary, though, it's not really freezing other Republicans. You have Christy, Scott Walker, Bobby Jindal, there is other potential candidates and strong governors that can really maybe make their own case and I think will.

PACE: It's amazing though that we're talking about trying to get candidates to commit and we are in, what, April of 2014.

KING: Let's put that aside. We'll give them a couple more days. Let's focus on some of the actions this week designed to shape the 2014 midterm campaign. The president will sign a couple of executive orders tomorrow, designed to help people get equal pay. Largely to help women get equal pay. Congress, the Senate wants to vote on that issue. How much of this is about enacting policy changes and how much of this is about telling the Democratic base we're with you, we need you to turn out in November?

PACE: Well, these are things that I believe the president believes in as a policy matter. But this is about politics right now. They know in the White House when they talk about women's issues, particularly paycheck fairness, kitchen table issues as it relates to women they get a bump. You're going to hear about this at the White House this week and you're going to hear about it probably every week between now and the midterm elections.

KING: Can Republicans block these things? You'll have the unemployment insurance vote in the Senate, that will go over to the House. The House at the moment, the Republican leadership doesn't have a plan to take that up, either they don't like it or they don't think it's paid for. When you have the equal pay and the fairness arguments as Democrats say, the Republicans say you're meddling in the market place for the most part or we did part of this with the lead better act. Can the Republicans keep saying no to this? Do we have any worries that the constant Democratic pressure might actually influence voters?

NAKAMURA: I think in some case maybe, but I think they will keep saying no in a lot of cases because of their base as well. On unemployment insurance, it's something that they've been working on now for several months. It doesn't seem likely that's going to get through, frankly. I think for Democrats, they probably see a win-win. Obviously that gets through as part of the president's agenda. If it doesn't, it's a good wedge issue for them maybe going to the fall.

KING: And on "State of the Union," this week, the former speaker and now the Democratic leader in the House, Nancy Pelosi continuing this. We talked about equal pay and unemployment insurance. Nancy Pelosi also believes the Democrats can make political hay of the Republican budget?


REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), MINORITY LEADER: I call it the ideological manifesto of the Republican Party. It is a budget that takes us so into the past.


KING: Social cuts she's talking about. Medicare changes in the Paul Ryan budget. But Democrats made this argument in 2010, they made it in 2012. They're still in the minority. Do they think this is about driving fundraising and driving the base or do they think in the 35 or 40 competitive House districts in the country this works?

PACE: The one thing we keep hearing from Democrats is that this midterm election is going to be about trying to get the base out. The base doesn't show up in a lot of midterms. You're going to see the party rallying around anything that can be a wedge issue. Whether women paycheck fairness issues. Whether it is the Ryan budget, but on the flip side, Republicans think that the Ryan budget or something in that form is also a good wedge issue for that. You're really seeing the parties pull apart here. We're not talking about issues that are bipartisan anymore.

KING: David, help me understand this with Nancy Pelosi when it comes to the issue of enhance interrogation and frustration with the CIA and in her view, one person from the prior administration.


PELOSI: I do believe that during the Bush/Cheney administration, that Vice President Cheney set a tone and attitude for the CIA.

KING: She really believed one guy in the White House got the CIA to do whatever controversial stuff?

NAKAMURA: That is the argument for her to make to sort of inflame all of the people's concerns and bad feelings about some of the Bush era tactics. This is something this report is coming up next few weeks, probably made public. She's going to try to pin that on that administration. The Bush's sort of reinventing themselves to pin that back and remind people that the president has made changes in this area, maybe not as much as people want but some.

KING: David Nakamura, Julie Pace, appreciate you coming in. Guys, the end, a humorous note, a tip of the hat to the president and first lady as we watch politics this week, we do know at mid-week they will go down to Fort Hood for that memorial service after the tragedy last week.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Unfortunately, it's the last time that the president will return to Fort Hood since he had to be there last time for the very same reason.

CUOMO: And important to do it. This one has not gotten the coverage in 2009. There are good reasons for that and bad reasons. So it's important that it gets shown at least the same official respect. Appreciate you pointing that out. Another good segment from you, my brother. I'll see you tomorrow. No, good-bye? That's all right.

Coming up on NEW DAY, was Flight 370 intentionally trying to avoid radar detection? New information on the flight path and shocking new questions. Why was the plane thrown that way? Do they know? Can they know? We're going to give you what they're saying and we're going to test it coming up.


CUOMO: Welcome back to NEW DAY. Good morning to you. Breaking overnight, an Australian naval ship carrying American gear picked up two signals consistent with those that come from black boxes known as pings. Meanwhile, stunning news from a senior Malaysian official. He tells CNN the jet may have been purposely flying a route around Indonesia designed to avoid radar. How can they know that? What is the best evidence of this? Is there any?

Joining us now is CNN law enforcement analyst and former FB assistant director, Nr. Tom Fuentes as well as David Soucie. He is a CNN safety analyst and author of "Why Planes Crash." H is also a former FAA inspector.

Gentlemen, better title for your book, David Soucie, should be why are they saying this when it comes to Flight 370 in the investigation thereof? I am very skeptical what they say about the turn around the hub of Indonesia. David, let's start with you. Why do they know it went that way? Let's start with that.

DAVID SOUCIE, CNN SAFETY ANALYST: Well, they're basing it on some information from radar. Primary radar, not secondary radar, I understand so it's not telling the -- the radar does not say this is Flight 370. It says there's an aircraft out there. You're right to be skeptical of it. I am, as well. The report comes from someone who is not the radar operator. It's coming from not where the radar originated.

So all of this information, I'm getting more and more skeptical about, but this one in particular because it is primary radar, it's not going to give you exactly which aircraft it is. It's just pings that happened and you only get those pings with a certain -- so to draw them together and make that determination it's specifically that aircraft, I'm not finding a whole lot of confidence in that myself.

CUOMO: The good news is, at least they have better confirmation of why they believe the plane went that way, which leads you down to the Southern Indian Ocean, which is where they're searching, which is where they coordinated these pings. So at least it seems that type of data circumstantially is lining up.

Mr. Fuentes, when we look at the why here, of course it's a big gray area, of course, they're speculating, but let's start with just the basic notion of now feeling strongly that this plane was flown by human hand on this route. Do you feel confident with that?

TOM FUENTES, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Chris, I agree with your skepticism. The Malaysian authorities, the very first week said that when they announce that they were going to search the pilots' homes and remove the computers. They said it was because we believed the plane was flown by human hands off its northbound course to Beijing to go westward. That's something that the Malaysians had figured from day one.

In this current situation of the plane went around Indonesia to avoid radar. Miles O'Brien is correct, there's no black box in the pilots' heads that's going to tell you that was the intention, even if that's what they did.

The other reason that I have, these airspaces, again, on the assumption it was being flown by human hands. These are busy airspace information the middle of the night, unlike U.S. Airports. I flew in and out of Asia as recently as a couple of months ago, in and out of Bangkok, Singapore, Jakarta, they fly at night, because that's when they land in the daytime n Europe or other places.

So a pilot, an experienced pilot, would know that this is crowded airspace, tried to avoid collisions with other airport or going into other airport control areas so that could also be a reason. Also on the assumption if they flew directly over Indonesia and land space, although we don't know that positively, they might be shot down.

One of these countries might actually be awake with their defense radars and do something about an aircraft presenting a hostile profile. Another reason to fly north would be just that, if they were flying toward Indonesia and then veered parallel to the coastline and looped around it, then it would present a less hostile dot in the sky to the Indonesian authorities. I'm skeptical of anybody claiming to know why something happened in this situation.

CUOMO: As an FBI mentor taught me many years ago, when you have many possibilities that are equal, that means you have no probability. I think that's what they're dealing with now. They have a million reasons. David, would a pilot know what the outer limit was of this type of domestic radar of some 200 miles or so? And if you were trying to avoid radar, isn't it about your altitude and not your breadth of expanse away from it?

SOUCIE: Yes, absolutely. The lower you get, the term "flying under the radar" is a real thing. The lower you get to altitude, the more you'd be able to avoid radar. Anybody pilot would know that. As far as why they're saying that, there's no black box in someone's head, trying to figure that out, who knows why. But it makes sense if they are trying to avoid being shot down or going over a hostile area. Most pilots wouldn't think that in those terms, commercial pilots.

CUOMO: You look at the plus/minus sign. The plus is we now know that Indonesia wasn't lying when it said it didn't pick up anything on its radar. That leads us from the cooperation, anybody would do that if they have good information. Americans would do that. At least we know Indonesia is telling the truth.

On the minus side, these families want real information. There is no reason for any kind of baseless speculation, they've had enough already. I just don't know how it serves the investigative purposes to go down this road of speculation. Where does it get them, Tom?

FUENTES: Chris, over the last few months, I've seen people directly not involved in the area they're talking about, but people giving information on the periphery of it. We saw this with the report that the pilot -- you know, what the wife was saying, that turned out not to be true. There have been other circumstances like that.

We know if a Malaysian official is reporting this type of thing, how close is that official really to knowing what they're thinking on the inside. And this does not seem like the kind of speculation that investigators would make and just throw out there, you're right, because of the families and other reasons not to do that.

CUOMO: Right. So, Tom, David, thank you for putting your intelligence to it. Yes, the pressure emotionally and practically is to want answers but the job is to test it because there is no reason going down a false --- it doesn't help anybody. Thank you to both of those gentlemen -- Kate.

BOLDUAN: Coming up next on NEW DAY, we've been talking about talking about the tracking these signals detected by pinger locators in the Southern Indian Ocean. But what do we know about the technology they're using. We're going to break it down with a top aviation analyst coming up.


MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: Breaking overnight in the search for Flight 370, the signals detected by pinger locaters are consistent with aircraft black boxes. What do we know about the pinger locaters used by the Chinese and Australian ship "Ocean Shield?" And big question, what happens now? CNN aviation analyst and contributor, Jeff Wise is here. You're here to discuss all these possibilities.


PEREIRA: The location that these signals were detected, are you as optimistic as authorities in Australia are that this could be what we're looking for?

WISE: I would say guardedly optimistic because we have to remember that this approach is a very long-shot approach. The chances of finding something by acoustic ping without narrowing down the search area with surface debris is very small. As authorities say, miracles happen.

PEREIRA: Miracles do happen. So let's compare and contrast the Chinese pinger locater as opposed to what's being used on board the "Ocean Shield." It's a tow locater. Compare and contrast for us.

WISE: Very different technologies, what the Chinese are using is a system designed to be held by divers, so very shallow water. You sort of aim it in the direction that you think the ping might be located. It's very directional.

PEREIRA: So in a situation like this, that's a little risky to be using that for such a gigantic area?

WISE: Right. The manufacturers have told me it's barely -- operating right at the range of what is possible. It's only remotely possible that they could find a signal located so far down.

PEREIRA: Compare that to the one being used, the U.S. technology on board the "Ocean Shield."

WISE: Much more sophisticated technology.


WISE: So this is something pulled behind a ship. It operates way down deep in the water. It's got these wings, so it's almost operating like a telescope mirror, gathering the sound so it can detect a much fainter signal. Further down in the water. It's much more sophisticated.

PEREIRA: At 20,000 feet.

WISE: This is a lot better bet.

PEREIRA: Moving on to what are the reasons pointing us to believe that these pings are likely the wreckage?

WISE: So first of all, the frequency does not occur in nature. This is not something that a whale can make the sound.

PEREIRA: Water can play tricks on you a little bit.

WISE: On the other hand, it noisy under water. I would take this against the argument of the validity of the pings. There are two separate events. Obviously the plane can't be in two different places. This shows us there can be false positives.

PEREIRA: You say you usually know a ping when you hear one.

WISE: Right. As we've said earlier, it doesn't sound like a whale.

PEREIRA: We, of course, know that the right search area, we believe --

WISE: We don't know why they thought this area was the most likely place to find the plane, but it is in that area. So we'd conform with that.

PEREIRA: Big search effort going on, nine military planes, three civil planes, 14 ships. We know the "Ocean Shield" is continuing its own area. "HMS Echo" is en route and we know that it's going to be able to provide its sonar technology to get pictures like this underneath the water, correct?

WISE: This is a ship that's really designed to do this kind of thing. It's designed to look into the water and try that to locate things.

PEREIRA: Of course, they get the Blue Fin 21 after they can tell that that is the wreckage. They'll send this underwater autonomous vehicle down to capture more images, correct?

WISE: When we get proof, it's going to come from this. This is a machine, it looks like a torpedo. It goes under the water, up and down around the underwater ridges. It's very sophisticated. It can stay for over a whole day. It's chugging along. It's painting a picture with sound, but it looks just like -- when it's processed, it looks like a picture you take from a spy satellite.

PEREIRA: But we are not there yet.

WISE: We are not there yet.

PEREIRA: Jeff Wise, thanks so much. We appreciate it -- Kate.

BOLDUAN: All right, Michaela, thank you. Coming up next on NEW DAY, officials are calling these pings the most promising lead yet in the search for Flight 370, so what happens next? We'll take you live to Australia.