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Obama's Tough Trip; H.W. Bush Wants Jeb To Run; Officials To Expand Flight Search Zone; Family Reacts To Malaysian Prime Minister

Aired April 25, 2014 - 07:30   ET


CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: All right, so there is a lot going on in the world of politics. Both at home and abroad. And lucky for you we can get deep inside politics on NEW DAY with Mr. John King and there he is. Looking good.

JOHN KING, HOST, CNN'S "INSIDE POLITICS": Good morning to you. Happy Friday, Kate, Chris and Michaela. We'll spend time talking about politics as I'm not going to talk about the Red Sox/Yankees series with you, Mr. Cuomo.

Let's go inside politics this morning and with me to share their reporting and their insights, Maeve Reston of "The Los Angeles Times" and Manu Raju of "Politico." Let's start with the president overseas. Second-term presidents often seek a little bit of refuge in foreign policy especially when things are tough at home as they are for President Obama.

But on this trip he can't negotiate a big trade deal in part because Democrats in Congress don't want to give him a very long leash to have a trade deal with Japan and other Asian partners then because of the agreement between the Palestinian factions, the Middle East peace talks on the verge of collapse.

And listen to the president here conceding as he tries to press Europe to do more today that so far when it comes to Ukraine and Russia sanctions are not working.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: I think it's important for us not to anticipate that the targeted sanctions that we're applying now necessarily solve the problem.


KING: So he goes back to the Europeans today, trying to get more sanctions. There's the specific issue of that. When you step back more broadly the president is having a hard time finding something that works at the moment.

MAEVE RESTON, "THE LOS ANGELES TIMES": Absolutely. That's a pretty bold admission for him to make in the middle of a press conference when he should be there projecting optimism and, you know, saying that they're taking steps that are really going to have some kind of force, but it doesn't seem like Putin is really responding to anything at this point and that the Obama administration just doesn't have a lot of good options right now in terms of stopping everything that's going on in that region.

KING: And that's the key point. They don't have a lot of good options. Number one, Putin is not listening, period. And I'm not sure that he would listen even if the Europeans were fully on board with tougher sanctions. Some in Congress say arm them, but the administration's take is the Ukrainians are not quite ready for something like that? Where do you go next?

MANU RAJU, "POLITICO": Everyone is virtually divided. Right now the president wants to bring the European community on board. But Germany, Italy, they're not sure going the route the president wants to go at this moment. Interesting thing here, John, is that remember when the president ran for re-election, he really leaned pretty hard on his foreign policy as a reason why he should get re-elected.

Iraq, Afghanistan, getting Osama Bin Laden, now going forward, foreign policy has been a black eye in the second term of his presidency. Ukraine being the latest example, but also Syria, questions about Iran, the Mideast peace process. The president is having a tough time on this trip and is clearly showing from his press conference today.

KING: Tough time abroad, tough time at home. The president though, let's give him a little bit of credit here. He acknowledges his relationship with Vladimir Putin has turned south. It wasn't that great to begin with. It's getting even worse. You might remember last week in an interesting exchange, I'll call it interesting, with Edward Snowden, the NSA leaker. Vladimir Putin said he was convinced even though their relationship isn't great that if he were drowning, President Obama would save him. Well, ABC's Jonathan Karl, put the question to the president today.


OBAMA: First of all, I absolutely would save Mr. Putin if he were drowning. I would like to think that if anybody is out there drowning, I'm going to save them. I used to be a pretty good swimmer. I grew up in Hawaii.


KING: Let me start with our pacific coast woman here. I don't know what to make of this. In some ways it's funny and in some ways it's bizarre.

RESTON: It's bizarre and it says a lot about how complicated that relationship is with Putin. Hillary Clinton has also talked a lot about that in recent weeks and you have, you know, the former President Bush's portrait of Putin as well. But I'm glad that our president would save someone who is drowning.

KING: It's good to know if you ever ask him a question that he doesn't like, out there floating, come and save us. He does have that Hawaiian swimming experience. Let's move on to another leader who sometimes has a little bit of trouble. John Boehner is the speaker of the House. We have for months talked about his on again and off again commitment to advancing immigration reform.

One of the reasons he can't do it is because Tea Party conservatives don't want to do it at all, but a lot of Boehner's friends in the House Republican conference didn't want to do it a month or two ago because they were worried if they cast that tough vote they might get a primary challenge at home.

Well, Speaker Boehner was home campaigning yesterday at a town hall. Memo to the leader, the speaker, probably not the way you want to talk about your colleagues.


REPRESENTATIVE JOHN BOEHNER (R), HOUSE SPEAKER: But here's the attitude. Don't make me do this. This is too hard.


KING: Again, it's funny. We like to see humor in our politicians. However, a lot of people, a lot of conservatives now circulating petitions saying let's try to beat him in a primary or let's strip him of his job. That's not going to help.

RAJU: No, it's not. Boehner knows he's going to run away with this primary. He's going to win this primary. Probably going to hold on to the speakership, too. There will be a vocal, very minority of the minority trying to get rid of him, but there's not the support to get rid of him from the speakership. It's interesting because in Washington Boehner blamed the president for the reason why they're not moving forward with immigration reform. But privately he knows it's caucus that won't let him more forward with immigration reform and clearly he's made that clear back home.

RESTON: It's also just a much more defiant tone that we are hearing from Boehner and from McConnell a few weeks ago saying, you know, that he was going to crush his Republican opponents as they went after him. And so maybe we are seeing sort of a party that feels strengthened and not as much threatened by the Tea Party even if they can't accomplish some of those goals like immigration that they've been trying to get to for such a long time.

KING: I would love to be a fly on the wall when Boehner returns the first meeting next Tuesday when they're back in town of all the House Republicans. That will be a fun one. See how much baby talk goes on in that room. Here's another interesting one. You've heard Jeb Bush, the former Florida governor, he is thinking at run for president and he likes to make jokes in public because his mom, Barbara Bush, has said repeatedly enough.

We've had enough Bush presidents. She thinks we've had enough Clinton presidents too. But Barbara Bush, mom, says no. Listen here, Neil Bush, Jeb's brother, talking with CNN's Gloria Borger says dad has a different opinion.


NEIL BUSH: If you ask dad the same question, should Jeb run, he would say yes.


KING: So Barbara Bush says no. George H.W. Bush, the former president says yes. If you're Jeb Bush you just call it a draw and move on? Who do you listen to?

RESTON: Who do you think has the most power in that family, right? I would say Barbara. But obviously this is a really fun talking point for Jeb as he tries to deflect questions about whether he will run while he's obviously thinking much more seriously about it and getting a lot of courting from donors on that front. But, you know, it's a nice that his father at least is on his side if he doesn't have his mom, right?

KING: I think it's been pretty evident for some time that former President Bush, H.W. Bush 41 wants his second son to run for president, but to have Neil talking about it publicly and openly, they feel in the family to counter mom.

RAJU: That's right. They want the perception that there is actually a push to get him to run. I think that there is a significant push within the family. The question for Jeb will always be, does he have the stomach for it. That was the question, well, when he was considering running for the Senate and decided not to do it and let Marco Rubio open the door for him. I don't think he knows that yet.

RESTON: Certainly it will come down to his wife who has expressed a lot of reservations about that.

KING: That's another -- a few more private meetings we would like to be flies on the wall. Maeve and Manu, thanks for coming.

As we get back to New York, we like to play it light sometimes as we end our little segment. A little foreign policy analysis you might call it of the Obama administration this week from Jimmy Fallon.


JIMMY FALLON, HOST, "THE TONIGHT SHOW": President Obama visited a science museum where he actually played soccer with a robot. Yes. Biden is negotiating with the prime minister in Ukraine and Obama is playing soccer with a robot like the White House version of "Freaky Friday."


KING: That's just our inside politics version of "Freaky Friday," Kate, Chris, and Michaela.

BOLDUAN: That's not fair. He can walk and chew gum at the same time, right?

KING: Do you want to get into the business, you've got to be willing to take the barbs from the comedians. That's a good thing.

BOLDUAN: That's true and Fallon does a good job.

CUOMO: That's the least of what you have to deal with when you get in the business. That's why Mama Bush is worried about having her sons exposed to it. I know that family dynamic. I thought when the robot kicked the ball back to the president I thought somebody was going shoot the robot. See his reaction? Whoa.

BOLDUAN: Really the robot looks like a cute small kind of child --

CUOMO: Until it kicks the ball at the president and then you see all the guys with their hands.

KING: Red Sox could use that robot. They keep dropping the baseball.

CUOMO: I'm still Boston strong.

BOLDUAN: I thought you weren't going to bring this up, John. Thank God it's April.

CUOMO: Especially with my Yankees being just such dastardly cheaters. That's why I'm wearing black.

BOLDUAN: I didn't know he could bring in dastardly on a Friday and I like it. John, have a great weekend. Finally you've come around to it.

PEREIRA: A little pine tar right here today.

BOLDUAN: You should have done that.

CUOMO: Tomorrow.

BOLDUAN: Missed opportunity again.

Coming up next on NEW DAY, the current under water search for Flight 370 is nearing its close in this focused search area that they had, but with only a small piece of it remaining and no leads. Officials say they could expand the area even further. We're going to show you how big it could actually get.


KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back to NEW DAY once again. This morning, we have learned that the search for Flight 370 is set to expand. Now that the Bluefin is nearly done with its underwater search area that focused search area they had set for it. Crews are hoping to find evidence of the plane in this final stretch, but it's turning out to be a major challenge, this final stretch, for the Bluefin.

Let's talk about that and what it could look like going forward with CNN meteorologist, Chad Myers. Chad, there's a lot to discuss with what they're facing now and also the what's next. Let's talk about what the Bluefin is up against right now. They say they finished 95 percent of this search area. It's a six-mile radius around the second ping, 5 percent to go, what about this last 5 percent is going to be so challenging? We've got this animation to help us.

CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: It's shallower than where we were on the north side. That's something good because this Bluefin doesn't really have that great depth problem. We're at 17,000 feet on the north part of the pings. We're at now 13,000 feet deep. This is really great coverage with the Bluefin right now. But it's a little bit more topographic. A few more bumps for things to hide in so the Bluefin has to do a nice job moving around these bumps to try to see it.

And it doesn't even know -- this is not realtime in is not a video game where somebody up on top of the ship is looking at everything. They have to bring this thing back up, download all the data, and then look at it. We wish it was realtime but it's not.

BOLDUAN: With the different topography comes a lot of challenges. David Gallo was talking about there is a concern with some -- if you dip into the canyon, if you will, that you can really damage the Bluefin. And you wouldn't know until obviously you came back up. With this last 5 percent, with the challenge -- the fact that topography is more of a challenge, that to me says it's more time consuming.

MYERS: Right. Let's think about this. If we have a dot, the ping, the strong ping, we went six miles around it in a radius around it. That's 120 square miles. Other pings in other places. That's the rub. They all weren't clustered. They were 15 miles apart from north to south. We don't have one ping, we have a number of them and we have to make this circle bigger and bigger.

BOLDUAN: Let's show that. Let's talk about the challenges of what the next phase could be if that last 5 percent doesn't bear fruit. We've got the four pings and why the four pings? Everyone wants to know. It could be refraction of sound on the water.

MYERS: It has to be.

BOLDUAN: Has to be. You don't have four black boxes to be picking up. So if we go from a six-mile radius, we're now talking about a much larger area that they could possibly search. How long could that take?

MYERS: We are talking about the size of Los Angeles. We're talking about the square footage of Los Angeles proper, 484 square miles. This thing does about eight to ten square miles a day. Do the math. That's 50 days just on the expanded search.

BOLDUAN: Correct me if I'm wrong. This search that we've done in the six-mile radius, 120 square miles, right? That's taken about a week and a half to search effectively.

MYERS: Right.

BOLDUAN: I'm not going to do the math, but it's going to take a whole lot more time to search the size of Los Angeles.

MYERS: If -- of course, ten miles per day, 480 square miles to cover, that's 48 days.

BOLDUAN: And the terrain continues to change.

MYERS: And the problem is when we go farther north, it gets deeper and deeper. We are 18,000 feet farther up and the Bluefin can't look down that far. It can't get down that far with good resolution.

BOLDUAN: And that is the suggestion that the area adjacent would be more north. Why they're very likely going to need different technology to help out. OK, so, if this doesn't work we go to search the size of Los Angeles. If that doesn't work, we hesitate to even talk about that because that is down the road. There is a suggestion that they start searching the entire southern arc that we've been looking at.

MYERS: Do we even want to approach that?

BOLDUAN: That's the size of Massachusetts, right?

MYERS: Right. And let me do the math on that one. You're talking about 11,000 square miles. If you want to do a nice arc, if we have to do a nice arc, ten square miles a day, that's 1,110 days to search the whole arc.

BOLDUAN: That 4.5 percent is the animation of the size of the Los Angeles portion fitting within the Massachusetts portion.

MYERS: Let's hope we find it before that.

BOLDUAN: That tells it. We have to find a strategy before that because that's not a search area that seems a good use of resources.

MYERS: Absolutely right.

BOLDUAN: Chad, thank you so much -- Chris.

CUOMO: All right, thank you very much, Kate. Coming up on NEW DAY, Malaysia's prime minister responding to tough questions from CNN. Does he know what happened on this plane? Is there a good reason for keeping information from the families? You'll get to hear his answers and response from a man whose wife was aboard the flight.


MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back to NEW DAY. Overnight another sign of how angry the families of Flight 370 are. A massive sit-in at the Malaysian Embassy in Beijing. The families demanding more answers from authorities as to what happened to the plane. This comes as Malaysia's prime minister tells CNN exclusively that he will release preliminary reports on the investigation next week. Is that enough?

Shandreka Sharma's family have gone without answers for more than six weeks now. Joining us is Shandreka's husband to give us his reaction to the prime minister's comments. Good to see you, Mr. Noreen, we understand it's in the afternoon there. Thank you so much for joining us on NEW DAY. We'll talk about the prime minister in a second.

But first of all, sir, I understand your family is dealing with this in various ways. Your mother-in-law feels her daughter is going to return home. Your daughter is struggling to figure out if she goes back to college and rebuild her life. Sir, how are you managing?

K.S. NARENDRAN, HUSBAND OF MH370 PASSENGER: Personally for myself, at a loosened for quite some time now. The weight has in some sense been difficult.

PEREIRA: Prime Minister Razak said admittedly we made mistakes, there were shortcomings. I have to imagine that is a tough thing to hear.

NARENDRAN: Yes, it is. We've known this for quite a while now. I'm happy he has taken the trouble to speak out on this. One can hope this is the beginning of the next few weeks where we can see a lot more transparency, a lot more directness.

PEREIRA: I want to ask you about the prime minister stopping short of saying that the plane is lost. He said -- he insists he's refusing to do that out of respect for the families. Does that feel respectful to you?

NARENDRAN: As much as I am upset and angry, it's not easy to remain angry. When a man is attempting to in a sense open up and to be able to speak about things he has not spoken thus far, I'm willing to listen to him. At the same time, we have to understand the families believe 45 more days is not a very long period. To come to a conclusion or declaration that the plane is lost is, from the family's perspective, a little premature. I'm happy that he's beginning to listen to that argument.

PEREIRA: Before we lose you, I know your wife works for the support of fish workers traveling to a U.N. conference. Can you tell us a little more about your wife, Shandreka.

NARENDRAN: They're telling me there's not much time. She was a fantastic person. Again, the difficulty is to refer to her in the past tense, even today after 45 days. That's a struggle that I go through day after day each time I meet people. She was a warm, compassionate person. A lot of her work and life has been to in a sense bring about a certain betterment for groups, which has traditionally and historically been dealt a raw deal.

PEREIRA: I think you said it beautifully. She sounds like my kind of lady. Thank you so much for sharing your wife and her story with us and sharing your perspective on this ongoing investigation. Our thoughts are with you, my friend. You be well, OK?

NARENDRAN: Thank you so much. Thanks for having me on your show. Thank you.

PEREIRA: Absolutely. Chris, it's so important for us to put faces on those names. They're not just all of these 200 and something passengers aboard Flight 370. They're loved ones.

CUOMO: That's true. We've got these 293 families thinking about them. We keep talking about how long the search can go on. The process for them is going to be so much longer, especially if their loved ones never come home. Thanks for doing that, Mich.

Coming up on NEW DAY, a Nevada rancher who became a conservative hero over his land rights battle with the government is under fire for making rationally charged remarks. How will he defend his position when put to the test on NEW DAY. We'll see.