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Rubio: Scientists Wrong On Climate; Biden Blames Clinton White House; Donald Sterling Breaks His Silence; Rolling Boulder Stops Inches From Church

Aired May 12, 2014 - 07:30   ET



CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back to NEW DAY. It is time for "Inside Politics" on NEW DAY with a man known as John King.


CUOMO: Happy Monday to you, handsome.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Happy Monday to you, Kate, your Pacers killed the Wizards last night.

BOLDUAN: Thank you.

KING: There you go. You guys can celebrate that while we go "Inside Politics." With me this morning to share reporting and their insights, Molly Ball of "The Atlantic" and Jonathan Martin of the "New York Times."

Let's start with Marco Rubio. He is trying to reset himself. Remember he was going to run for president and had a little bump with conservatives over his views on immigration. Listen to him here talking to ABC's Jonathan Karl talking about if I run for president, one thing I will not do is also seek re-election for Senate at the same time.


SENATOR MARCO RUBIO (R), FLORIDA: I believe if you run for president. If you don't run for president with some eject button in the cockpit that allows you in the ramp if it doesn't work out.


KING: A bit of a shot at Senator Rand Paul who is trying to get a law passed to Kentucky that allows him to seek the nomination if it doesn't work, you run for re-election. Does that matter?

MOLLY BALL, "THE ATLANTIC": Yes. I mean, I think it's a sign that he's getting in the fray here. This proxy war -- not a proxy war, but the battle is heating up there. There's no doubt who he was talking about there. Everybody knows about that the situation in Kentucky. He is saying, look, if I do this, I'm going to be all in.

KING: It's courage, right, Rand? If you're going to run, don't have a backup.

JONATHAN MARTIN, "NEW YORK TIMES": Rubio is probably out, he's probably not going to be a U.S. senator in 2017 regardless of what happens. His folks see a few scenarios. They see winning the presidency. They see V.P. and they also though talk about this much, but they also see the possibility that he does not run for re-election and he comes back down the road to run for president after making some money. He has young kids. It wouldn't be the worst thing in the world if '16 doesn't work out that he'll come back.

KING: Another thing he said in that interview is that I'm going to read it to you here, "I do not believe that human activity is causing these dramatic changes to our climate, the way these scientists are portraying it. That helps him with the Republican base, Molly? If he is the Republican nominee for president, does that -- that puts him at odds with about what -- 50, 60 percent of Americans?

BALL: Well, you know, the polling is interesting on climate change. It depends a lot on how you ask the question. This is not something that Rubio hasn't said before. He has taken this position before and of course, he is going to be mocked and ridiculed by Democrats and liberals as some kind of denier who doesn't believe the scientists. Regardless of how he parse his words, that's what he's saying, I don't believe what the scientists are saying, but as you say, this is where the majority of the Republican base is on this issue.

MARTIN: And also, the business community, yesterday, they're saying how can he be for immigration reform, but also saying that climate change isn't real? Because one of them is important in the business community. And the other, it doesn't really matter very much. This is not a voting issue. Certainly, it's not for the Republican primary and for a lot of folks, it's not even on the general.

KING: And even Republican expects if they are the nominee, they will be running against Hillary Clinton on the Democratic side. Here is Marco Rubio, he says she deserves an "f" as secretary of state.


RUBIO: I'm sure she's going to go on bragging about her time in the State Department. She is also going to be held accountable for its failures. Whether it's the fail reset with Russia or the failure in Benghazi that actually cost lives. You look at the diplomacy that was pursuant in her time in the State Department, it has failed everywhere in the world. Here's what I would say if she's going to run on her record as secretary of state, she's also going to have to answer for its massive failure.


KING: Pretty direct there head on.

BALL: Well, Rubio has been trying to carve out this place for himself in the potential Republican primary field as the foreign policy expert and that does obviously give him an opening against Hillary who has had trouble defining her legacy as secretary of state. And will have to answer for that in a way that she hasn't yet when and if she gets in.

And so you see him positioning himself, you know, Rand Paul also has taken a lot of direct shots at Hillary to position himself as the best potential competitor for her. But Rubio is coming from a very different place on foreign policy and trying to make the case from a hawkish point of view.

KING: More McCainesque.

MARTIN: Absolutely.

KING: One of the reasons Rubio has a bit of a resurgence, Jonathan, is because a lot that donor class and the establishment class, they are worried about Rand Paul. They think of him as Rand Paul's son, libertarian.

MARTIN: And what Rand Paul would say is that he actually has some space between his views on foreign policy and Hillary Clinton on the left on some foreign policies. Whereas, if Rubio are at least on policy with that. Friday night, speaking to Republicans, Rubio said that Hillary would represent going back to the past, a not so veiled reference to her age, you know, Marco, himself turns 43 this month. You're starting to see there the beginning of generational play.

KING: We're going to be take you what we love to do "Inside Politics," behind closed-doors. This is Joe Biden speaking at a Democratic event. CNN's Peer Hamby getting from three sources in the room. Joe Biden is talking at a closed-door fundraiser. He is in South Carolina and he says that this middle class divide, the economic issues, the wage gap did not begin during the George W. Bush term, but quote, "in the later years of the Clinton administration." So a criticism of Bill Clinton, is that also an implicit criticism of Hillary Clinton who might be his rival?

BALL: Well, it's funny, because this is a case that then Senator Barack Obama made against Hillary Clinton back in '08. You had this a case, that, you know, we all remember the '90s as peace and prosperity. They actually weren't so great. This sort of economic unravelling began. You know, Biden in public settings makes the same sort of argument for like the blue color economic populist strain.

But it does give him a potential opening as he sees it, I think. The problem for him, it's a hard case to make when he's been part of the Obama administration and that's the economic record that he's going to have to fight.

BALL: But he's in South Carolina with that speech. He dropped by an Iowa reception in town last week and people have talked -- seem get the feeling from him he's trying to tell them he's going to run even if she does.

MARTIN: The news about Joe Biden, he goes to the local chamber of commerce event here in D.C. Stopped by Jim Clyburn's book party, the congressman from South Carolina, giving a speech, raises money for the Democratic Party, all the stuff that Hillary Clinton is not doing right now, Joe Biden is doing. Is he doing it because he's going to run or is he doing it because he wants to be positioned in case she doesn't run?

KING: Help me with this one, Lady and Gentleman, a new CNN poll out over the weekend, this is a message to Republicans who keep saying we are going to repeal, repeal. Well, a majority of Americans don't want repeal of the affordable care act. Look at this one, leave it alone, 12 percent. Make some changes, 49 percent, 61 percent of Americans say leave it alone or amend it. Not what you see there, 18 percent saying repeal and replace, 20 percent say fully repeal. However, Molly, even though the Democrats say, 61 percent say leave it, only 12 percent of Americans think of this law as a success?

BALL: Well, and you know, when you asked the question, what do you want to do going forward, yes, not a lot of people are with the Republican position that we need to get rid of it entirely. It's still the case that voters don't like the law and they're mad at people. Who they're mad at is the Democrats. They want to hold someone accountable and so I think the Republicans still have that going for them even if Democrats are looking at polls like this and say, see, this is our argument people don't just want to get rid of the law.

MARTIN: Here's what explains both of those numbers. You see a rising number of people who say it has no impact on me, which is to say, they don't see it as some smashing success, but it's not also adversely impacting their own life. People are saying at the same time don't repeal it.

KING: And quickly before we go, Democrats have a big decision to make, whether to join this select committee on Benghazi. A leading member of the Democratic leadership in the House saying, we're not sure we think the Republicans are being partisan here.


REPRESENTATIVE XAVIER BECERRA (D), CALIFORNIA: We've always said we're ready to participate. We have oversight ability in Congress. What we don't want to see is reckless use of taxpayer money to do these witch hunts.


KING: Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic leader wants a one-on-one meeting with the speaker of the House, John Boehner to see if they can work this out. Otherwise, the Democrats have a big decision on whether or not to boycott. That's all the time we have this morning. Molly, Jonathan, thanks for coming in.

Kate, Chris, and Michaela, back to you in New York. That's a tough one for the Democrats. Do you take part in this committee so you can count to the Republicans or do you say it's all politics and boycott it, but then they have the stage to themselves?

BOLDUAN: I say, and I don't have a say on it at all. You cannot win the game if you're not on the court, on the field, or you pick the sports metaphor. But you should be there to make your point. CUOMO: I don't even think it's an option. I think it is silly talk. I think Pelosi and Boehner need to do that thing where you stand behind the other one and you fall backwards?

BOLDUAN: The success exercise.

CUOMO: Yes. They just have to make sure they have a mattress on the ground.

BOLDUAN: Exactly. Thanks, John King. We'll see you soon.

Coming up next on NEW DAY, in a CNN exclusive, L.A. Clippers owner, Donald Sterling, says he's sorry, but says he was also baited into making those racist remarks. Will his apology convince the other NBA owners to let him keep his team? He'll do anything.

Also ahead, a church pastor credits divine intervention for stopping a massage boulder from rolling right into his church, stopping just inches before hitting it. We'll talk to that pastor live.



DONALD STERLING: I love my league. I love my partner. Am I entitled to one mistake? It's a terrible mistake, and I'll never do it again.


BOLDUAN: Welcome back to NEW DAY. That is Donald Sterling finally speaking out in an exclusive interview with CNN's Anderson Cooper. The L.A. Clippers owner is apologizing as you heard for his racist rant that led to a lifetime ban from the NBA. He says he was wrong, but he also thinks he should be allowed another chance. This as the NBA continues their attempts to force him so sell the team replacing him with an interim CEO for the Clippers.

Let's discuss, Sean Gregory is here, senior writer for "Time" magazine covering sports and Malik Rose, analyst for Comcast Sportsnet. He is also, of course, a two-time NBA champion. Hello again to both of you. So Malik, you've heard the interview. You've heard portions of it. The full interview will air on Anderson Cooper tonight, but I wanted to get your take.

What you hear, we've been waiting to hear from this man. We've been waiting to hear if he will apologize and what he will say. We have now heard it, does this change anything?

MALIK ROSE, ANALYST, COMCAST SPORTSNET PHILADELPHIA: Actually, it doesn't, what it does, it kind of make what is he said initially even worse. This was built up to be an apology. He's coming out saying he's sorry, once you hear the interview, you hear everything except that. The guy is spewing the same venom as he had before. This is just another step in the PR ploy by the Sterlings.

BOLDUAN: Sean, does it change anything for the NBA's position do you think?

SEAN GREGORY, SENIOR WRITER, "TIME": Not really. The one thing he said that was kind of unbelievable, I don't believe she made me say this. It's like nobody made you say anything. It's like a fifth grade excuse. It makes him look worse in a way. He's trying, it's one mistake, that's fine. But the whole, she made me do it, to me, that's ridiculous.

BOLDUAN: Is it possible, Malik, he could be doing himself more harm than good? Can he harm himself anymore, we begin to wonder.

ROSE: I think he has. Sean hit it on the head, it's not an apology. It's just something that makes it sound worse. He didn't even apologize to Magic Johnson, in fact, he exacerbated the situation by pointing the finger at Magic Johnson saying that, you know, he's the one that hasn't done anything for the minority communities when in fact, Magic has employed people in the minority communities.

Opened up a multitude of businesses in the minority communities and stood at the right hand of President Reagan and led the charge to educate Americans about the virus that's still decimating minority communities today. That apology is shocking.

BOLDUAN: Let's continue that conversation about the Magic Johnson remark, but first let's remind viewers what Donald Sterling said about Magic Johnson. Listen to this.


STERLING: What am I going to say? Has he done everything he can do to help minorities? I don't think so. But I'll say it. I'll say it, you know, he's great.


BOLDUAN: But what is he trying to get at?

GREGORY: He's saying that he's not a good role model for young people. To say he's not a good role model for young people in Los Angeles, he's saying two different things in the same conversation. He doesn't seem competent. He's contradicting himself. The NBA is looking at it as we can't have this man owning one of our franchises. It's a total rational reaction.

BOLDUAN: Go ahead, Malik.

ROSE: If you hear him tonight on Anderson's show, he insinuated that Magic could be the person who leaked the videos, he and V. Stiviano. He did that along with saying that Magic Johnson didn't do anything for the black communities. I went through a list of things that he has done. Maybe if Magic Johnson had paid the local chapter of the NAACP for the lifetime achievement awards in the eyes of Donald Sterling maybe that would be doing something for the black and the minority community in America.

BOLDUAN: What is he trying to -- what is his -- we know he would like to keep the team. We know we would like to be welcomed back. What is he going for here, though? I don't see any gain in taking on Magic Johnson in this interview.

GREGORY: It's the worst PR move you can ever make, of all players to go after in the NBA. Not just Magic Johnson -- but you don't go after Magic Johnson, when you're trying to keep your team is Los Angeles. It's beyond bizarre to me.

BOLDUAN: Also, Shelly Sterling speaking out to Barbara Walters. Malik, in that interview, she says that she believes Donald Sterling is suffering from the early onset of dementia, while that is, of course, extremely sad. What does that change in this scenario?

ROSE: Well, if it's true, of course, it's sad. You know, we'll have sympathy for him I guess there. I have a grandmother that's in her early stages of dementia. It's a sad, sad situation. But I don't think that is the situation here. This is my personal opinion.


ROSE: And, again, if it's true, again, it's sad. But I think it's just another step in the PR ploy by the Sterlings to slow the sale or, you know, thwart the sale of the efforts of the NBA to make them force to sell their team. As well as gain public sympathy from, you know, people that heard the tape.

BOLDUAN: That is interesting because she keeps trying to distance herself in anything she says through her attorney or this interview, distance herself from Donald Sterling. But many people are wondering with all of this timing are they actually working together which we won't know. Malik Rose, Sean, great to see you. Thanks, guys.

A reminder, Anderson Cooper will be joining us at the top of the hour with much more of the Sterling interview and the full exclusive sit down will air tonight on "AC360" and that of course, is at 8 p.m. -- Chris.

CUOMO: All right, coming up on NEW DAY, Lord, show us a sign and then a huge boulder rolls out of control and comes within inches of destroying a church. It all happens on camera. We'll speak with the pastor of that church as he explain it is reason in his mind for this close call.


MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back to NEW DAY. Is it a case of divine intervention or pure coincidence? Take a look and you be the judge. Watch as an enormous rolling boulder comes just inches from smashing onto a Massachusetts church. That bolder was set loose at a nearby construction project.

Joining us is the pastor of that church, Pastor Rick Leclair of Grace Ministries. Pastor, good morning to you. Quite a Friday you guys had.

PASTOR RICK LECLAIR, GRACE MINISTRIES CHURCH: Good morning. Thanks for having me.

PEREIRA: First of all, this construction project is going on next door to your church, Grace Ministries. What happened to set this boulder loose?

LECLAIR: Well, the boulder was part of a blast that was taking place to widen the driveway. If you see the video, you can almost envision that boulder being almost shot out of a gun. It wasn't just a rock that rolled. It was part of a blast that was controlled with 10,000- pound blasting mats, probably about 15 of them in place. The video more or less speaks for itself.

PEREIRA: It really does. It's just inches from the building. Your son shot the video? Why were you shooting video? Was it because you were watching the construction project going on.

LECLAIR: We knew the blast was about to take place. They sound a horn and they sound like three horns, then 5 minutes later they sound two and then the explosion takes place a minute later. We were all expecting it and looking forward to it. The interesting thing is that boulder was so heavy that, if it ever went through the wall of the church, and it had so much momentum, it was moving so fast. In order for it to stop, it had -- from my perspective, it had to have been divine -- I could just picture the angel's hand just reaching over and saying that's far enough.

PEREIRA: Not this church. This is the other thing I want to point out. Your church happens to serve thousands of people from your food bank, and that work would have been destroyed and stopped. Maybe there was some divine intervention keeping that rock from rolling.

LECLAIR: Can you imagine trying to get a 20-ton rock out of the basement of your church? It would have ended up in the basement. When it went through the wall, it would have went through the floor.

PEREIRA: Did you incorporate the rock somehow into your sermon on Sunday?

LECLAIR: How did you know that?

PEREIRA: I felt like you might have. Pastor Rick Leclair, thank you so much for joining us and sharing this extraordinary moment. Tell your son he might have a future in filmography or camera work.

LECLAIR: Thank you.

PEREIRA: Rick Leclair, we appreciate it -- Chris, Kate, my goodness. Not even a foot away.

CUOMO: Whatever it means, it was good fortune and certainly something for the pastor to talk about with his congregation, that's for sure. Great interview, Mich.

Coming up on NEW DAY, another interview that you will only see here on CNN, Donald Sterling. He says he's sorry. He also claims he was set up. Wait until you hear the choice words he has for Magic Johnson. Anderson Cooper, the man who landed the interview, here to discuss his exclusive next.