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Does United States Lack Direction?; GOP Candidates Balk At McConnell; No Women Governors in Northeast; Immigration Limbo For Army Vet; The King Of Pop Returns Via Hologram

Aired May 19, 2014 - 07:30   ET



GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: What's happened now in our country and in America's role around the world, in my opinion, of the last five years has been that missing element. No one understands any longer who America stands with or against. No one really understands exactly what we'll stand for and what we are willing to sacrifice to stand up for it.


JOHN KING, CNN HOST, "INSIDE POLITICS": A bit of an outline of a Christie doctrine, if you might, Robert. A criticism of the current president, a Democrat, Barack Obama. But is it not a shot at Rand Paul and a Ted Cruz? This is one of the defining debates?

ROBERT COSTA, "THE WASHINGTON POST": Certainly, John. It's the policy of licking his wounds standing under a bridge in Trenton not looking towards 2016, but with that speech last night, you really see Christie thinking about a comeback right now seeing that Jeb Bush may not run. There is still going to be an opening for that establishment slot. He's taking on Rand Paul's point of view.

KING: Taking on Rand Paul's point of view, going after the incumbent president, Republicans don't like, smart?

JONATHAN MARTIN, "THE NEW YORK TIMES": It's a twofer. As much as Barack Obama, he wants to be this unapologetic intervention in this politics. Someone that's going to stand up bold and strong American foot print around the world. I think in his class, his neck of the woods, it makes sense. When it comes to the grass roots of the party, I think that's a whole other question. That is his bid right there. Talking about himself, and sort of his view in a way that's bigger than bridges over the Hudson River.

KING: We've talked a bit recently about Mitt Romney's role after losing in the national politics. He's playing a role in local politics right now. I want to compliment him. The 82-year-old police chief, the town in New Hampshire where Mitt Romney owns a home. He used the n word describing the president. He said the vial epithet used and confirmed by the commissioner has no place in our community. He should apologize and resign. Do you think he should resign? COSTA: I agree. It's his vacation home, it's a home of sorts for him and we've seen Romney with this minimum wage comment and urging Republicans to index it to inflation with this comment about the Wolfeboro police officer. We see him stepping back slowly and being a guide to Republicans saying if you're going to move forward, you have to appeal to a broad range of people and not make incendiary comments.

KING: Let's move on. A half dozen of big primaries tomorrow. I want to start in Georgia. There's a big Senate race there. Most people expect there will be a runoff on the Republican side. Two candidates will end up in a run off. They talk about taxes. They talk about spending. They talk about America's role in the world, but in a debate, they also talked about this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes or no, if you are elected and if he is re- elected will you support Mitch McConnell in Kentucky as the leader of Republicans in the U.S. Senate?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The answer is no.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The answer is no.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Absolutely not. We need new leadership there.


KING: Mitch McConnell is expected to survive his primary. We'll see what happens in November. Jonathan, what is that? Why are they anti- Mitch?

MARTIN: I was struck by that because you have David Purdue who is one of the favorites in the early poll in terms of in that race, saying he's not going to support Mitch McConnell for a leader? It's posturing for a lot of grassroots conservatives who do not like Mitch McConnell saying he's too conservative to compromise with Democrats here in Washington. What's interesting one of them will get the nomination, one a U.S. senator, and have an opportunity to vote in closed doors.

COSTA: It's so true. Whenever I'm out at a Senate race, they always ask this question almost all of them have evasive comments about Senator McConnell. Who do they always cite as their hero or model, Ted Cruz?

KING: I don't think he's going to be the Republican leader. Pennsylvania is another one of the primary states tomorrow. Jonathan, a front page story today. Very interesting, how difficult it has been in the northeast and industrial states that you think of as liberal. Allyson Schwartz is a candidate running for Pennsylvania governor. She's way behind in the Democratic primary. You point to Massachusetts where not only have they not elected a female governor in the primary, but they don't nominate them. Why? MARTIN: The Democrats in those states historically are grounded in industrial and big city machines. The party lend themselves to male- dominated leadership. Labor is changing. But that is still very strong in the Democratic family. And we've combined the fact that the office of governor carries so many jobs by its very nature it's a job that the old boys don't want to give up very easily. It's striking, frankly for the Democrats, it's embarrassing. They can't break through in flagship states in America.

COSTA: When you look at Allyson Schwartz in the primary, the congresswoman from the Philadelphia suburbs is it because she's a woman she's losing?

MARTIN: It's Philly.

MARTIN: But the real challenge for her is that if Tom Wolf came -- $10 million of his own money on TV. You talk to folks in Philadelphia and they will say privately, they will say she didn't reply soon enough. She waited too long.

KING: Jonathan, Robert, appreciate it you coming. I want you to guys answer this one, is Jeb Bush saying, do as I say or do as I do?


JEB BUSH (R), FORMER FLORIDA GOVERNOR: If you feel inspired to serve your fellow citizens don't let the ugliness of politics keep you from pursuing public office.


BOLDUAN: Appropriate, long-drawn out silence.

KING: Lesson to students or lesson to selves? We'll find out in a few months.

CUOTO: It's hard to tell whether he was giving that red meat about free expression, the hobby lobby reference there. The idea that you should serve and run for office.

BOLDUAN: One thing for sure, every time he speaks, we'll be looking for hints.

KING: What would we do if they answered now so keep us waiting?

CUOMO: We should start discussing his health at his age immediately.

BOLDUAN: Thanks, John, not old and very healthy.

CUOMO: And handsome.

BOLDUAN: That goes without saying. Coming up next on NEW DAY, he risks his life for our country. Now a Vietnam veteran is in limbo after finding out he was not a U.S. citizen. We are going to tell you how applying for a passport changed his life forever. CUOMO: It's what everyone is talking about, the king of pop rocked the stage last night at the Billboard Music Awards. Obviously, he wasn't there five years after his death. Was Michael Jackson, a hologram, is it a history making performance? Check it out.


CUOMO: Welcome back to NEW DAY. So, he spent most of his life serving his country. He was in Vietnam. He was a federal prison guard. The problem is, technically, this isn't this country. At least that's what he's being told by the government. After 50 years, Mario Hernandez just found out he's not technically a citizen. Even though he passed numerous background checks and voted for years. He's in limbo with immigration still reviewing his case.

So he wants to get out in front of it and tell his story. So with us is Mario Hernandez and his attorney, Elizabeth Ricci. Thank you to both of you for being here. This is the back story. Tell me if I got it right, Mr. Hernandez. You emigrated here from Cuba with your family when you were 9 years old. There's a special process with Cuba where you go through different phases of getting the ability to get citizenship, but they require paperwork. You didn't fill out that paperwork, do I have it right?

MARIO HERNANDEZ, U.S. SAYS HE IS NOT A CITIZEN: Yes, sir, you're correct. I filled it out now. But when I went into the service I was taken in front of an immigration judge, which showed now I know was the parole paperwork. And he basically gave me the information that, you know, changed my name. I'm from a Latin country where you use your mother's name and father's name. And shorten it out. And that's when he told me, I went in, and then I took the oath. And I left California for a train and here I am, 50 years later. And I am a Vietnam-area vet, so let's get that correct, please.

CUOMO: And you volunteered in 1975, one of the hottest periods in that war where really only those of the strongest conviction were getting involved, right?

HERNANDEZ: Yes, sir. I've always felt that I'm here to serve this country. They gave me an opportunity to come here. We came with nothing with the clothes on our back when we came here to the United States. And we've been very fortunate that we have worked hard to get ahead. Our children have been educated. My wife and I have worked very hard to raise upstanding citizens of the United States of America, which is something that I owe myself personally a lot. I didn't join to become a citizen. I joined because I wanted to serve and I feel it is my duty to protect this country. That gave me the opportunity.

CUOMO: Now, I can tell that this is weighing on your heart. The things that we say to call ourselves Americans, you check every box. You served your country. You risked your life. You worked for the government. You raised your family, you worked hard and you pay taxes. Now, they're telling you, maybe, that you don't belong. What does that do to you inside? HERNANDEZ: I feel like I've been punched in the stomach, but I've also felt like the carpet's been pulled from underneath my feet. It's something that we hold ourselves to a higher standard and we tell our children -- I have two children. I've always taught them you that need to do right. Educate yourself and then go forward. And bring something to the people that you -- what you believe in, in yourself. That you can do better. Than his mother and I, our children, my wife and I did.

CUOMO: How do you feel in terms what this does to you emotionally that now people in your life or around you may look at you differently or somehow feel that you're not who you've been all these years?

HERNANDEZ: I feel like I've been betrayed. But I've also betrayed other people who have betrayed my trust. As you can see, I'm at a loss for words. It's something that I've never lacked. It's been tough. I hardly can face my friends. When I see them on the street, I try to avoid them. It hurts.

CUOMO: Miss Ricci, let me bring you in here. Mario used the term "parole." that's not an art. It's a term where there were different phases of allowed citizenship, yes?

ELIZABETH RICCI, ATTORNEY, RAMBANA AND RICCI: Right. Thank you for pointing that out. Cubans who enter the United States they receive a Cuban parole document. Has nothing to do with the term in a general sense. That document allowed him to have a social security number and driver license. Allowed him to be here legally. It's also something that you can use indefinitely or having for one year, allows the Cuban who holds it for file for permanent residency as a springboard to citizenship. And obviously that didn't happen to him, he's been a parolee unbeknownst to him his entire life.

CUOMO: He was vetted by the military. He was vetted by the federal government. He was working in a corrections department for years and years every other agency that takes a piece of us has looked at him and overlooked this. What do you think about immigration putting another standard on him?

RICCI: Well, the law is clear on the matter and the law is clear if you served during a designated period of hostility, which Vietnam was, you can jump straight from a parolee to naturalization which we hope for in the coming days. He's also eligible because he's made significant contributions to national security. He supervised Timothy McVeigh and other individuals. He supervised and rescued people from a burning bus. He's able to be naturalized right away. The law is clear on that.

CUOMO: Is there any chance this goes the wrong way?

RICCI: Yes. And I'm prepared him for that. We are looking at going for a second interview on Wednesday. And are hopeful that we walk out of there with a naturalization certificate. But I have prepared him for the possibility of arrest by immigration and customs enforcement. He has held himself out as a citizen for the last 50 years. And he's registered to vote and voted. And those are deportable offenses. Ironically, we can't deport him to Cuba, but he could be arrested. Or worst case scenario, held indefinitely. We're hoping that the worse for him it would be an order of supervision. But we're hoping for the former scenario with all our hearts.

CUOMO: He voted and paid taxes and now he may get arrested. Mario, I know this is anguish for you and your family. Miss Ricci, please keep us informed what happens in this case. Mr. Hernandez, you know how to get us. Let us know if this goes the wrong way, let us know if this goes the right way. We're going to stay on this. I promise you that. Good luck.

HERNANDEZ: Thank you. Appreciate that.

CUOMO: I'll tell you, Kate, we got to have rules but sometimes, the system does not make sense. This is one to follow up on.

BOLDUAN: You are absolutely right, Chris.

Let's take a break. Coming up next on NEW DAY, Michael Jackson's signature moves captivating audiences. Once again, the mixed review on bringing the king pop via hologram back to life, honouring a legend or a little unsettling. We are going to talk about music legends and their holograms.


PEREIRA: For those of you who didn't have your first cup of coffee yet, no, you're not seeing things. That was Michael Jackson on the stage at the Billboard Music Awards via hologram. Making classic moves nearly five years after his death. A little controversy here. Bonnie Fuller is the president and editor-in-chief of First off, what was your take? Did you like it? Were you there?

BONNIE FULLER, PRESIDENT AND EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, HOLLYWOODLIFE.COM: I absolutely loved it. I wasn't there, but I had a team from Hollywood Life on the red carpet and in the audience. The audience reaction was just incredible. You could hear people roaring. First they were stupefied and then they were jumping up and clapping.

BOLDUAN: What part of it? Was it how ludicrous, the host of the show last night, how he introduced it. He simply said live from the MGM Grand Michael Jackson. Not, by the way, it's just a hologram, guys. Don't freak out.

FULLER: It looked live.

BOLDUAN: Even from the audience?

FULLER: Yes. There were 16 live dancers. They were mixing live action with this hologram. They had a special stage constructed just for this performance.

PEREIRA: Which shows how far they've come with these holograms since Elvis Presley and Celine Dion on "American Idol." Instead of a cloud and a ghostly shape appear, it looked as if he was on stage. The question is should they just because they can?

FULLER: Absolutely.

PEREIRA: You think so?

FULLER: I think so. I think Michael Jackson would love this. He loved spectacular performances. He loved to shock in a good way. I think he would think this is fantastic to have his music and his image out there.

CUOMO: What's the pushback other than the intellectual property thing that cropped up, but that's a legal issue? What's the pushback, you respect the dead and once you're gone, you're gone. What's the other side?

FULLER: The other side is some people think it was creepy. Our polls were that 86 percent of our audience loved it. I've seen polls where a lot of people thought it was just weird and creepy.

BOLDUAN: Does it go to kind of the treatment, how it's handled, that it would kind of -- if the line is crossed on creepy or celebratory?

FULLER: I think that's a really good point, if it was something that felt exploitive? In this case it felt like a total celebration. There was Michael. He was wearing an outfit from his "Dangerous" days. He did sing this song. It was recorded in 1991. It's not like they tried to have somebody else recreate his voice.

BOLDUAN: But someone recreated his moves, there was someone doing the dance moves and the hologram played on top of it.

PEREIRA: Just a newer version of when Natalie Cole sang with her dad. This is the newer version. I guess you could look at it that way.

FULLER: Exactly. The thing is, they started work on this apparently six months ago and were inventing the technology to do it. They actually worked with the choreographers that Michael Jackson worked with for many years.

CUOMO: That wasn't Jackson dancing?

PEREIRA: No. They had a performer dancing using his moves and then they had his image on top.

CUOMO: That's why he looked a little meatier than I remember.

BOLDUAN: Has there been any reaction from the Jackson family?

FULLER: They were really supportive of it. The estate thought it was fantastic. The estate is fully behind this. Why wouldn't Michael Jackson's family love it? His estate has gained $600 million since he passed away.

PEREIRA: I was going to say, another song from his album, "Love Never Felt So Good" with J.T., Justin Timberlake is out. People are still enjoying his music. It's as though he's here. CUOMO: Kate makes a good point. How much is too much? Do you think there's a tour with M.J. to push his album --

FULLER: That would be very interesting. He does have a new album out this week, "Escape" and it's number one on the chart so --

BOLDUAN: Probably fits into the category of genius marketing tactic.

PEREIRA: Bonnie Fuller,, thanks so much.

CUOMO: Coming up on NEW DAY, we do have breaking news for you, the U.S. is charging Chinese officials with cyber espionage. We have all the details in just a moment.

BOLDUAN: Growing fears over that deadly MERS virus transferring between two people in United States. Could it spread further? That's what health officials are looking into.