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EARLY START

Shocker in Virginia; Oregon High School Shooting

Aired June 11, 2014 - 05:29   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN HOST: The Tea Party is back. Shocking the country by taking out House Majority Leader Eric Cantor. This major upset causing a commotion in Washington this morning. The victory could end up reshaping how the GOP moves forward in Congress. We're breaking it all down live for you.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN HOST: A deadly school shooting sends students running for safety. A gunman storming his high school campus. We'll tell you everything new we're learning this morning just ahead.

ROMANS: Donald Sterling on the record exclusively to CNN about his fight to keep the L.A. Clippers and what he thinks about those who say he's mentally incapacitated. That's ahead.

Welcome back to EARLY START. I'm Christine Romans.

BERMAN: I'm John Berman, 31 minutes past the hour.

This morning, Washington is reeling, and that is no overstatement. A political earthquake that really few saw coming. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor defeated by Tea Party-backed candidate David Brat in their Virginia Republican primary race. Brat's a college economics professor. He kept telling voters that Cantor was out of touch with conservative values and he wound up defeating the number two House Republican by --

ROMANS: Wow.

BERMAN: -- a little bit more than 11 points despite being outspent 26 to 1. $5 million.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DAVE BRAT (R), VIRGINIA CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE: The reason we won this campaign is there's just one reason and that's because dollars do not vote, you do.

(CHEERS)

This campaign was basic American values and virtues right from the beginning. And the basic premise is power belongs to the people and that's what we're going to do.

REP. ERIC CANTOR (R-VA), HOUSE MAJORITY LEADER: It's disappointing, sure. But I believe in this country, I believe there's opportunity around the next corner for all of us. So I look forward to continuing to fight with all of you for the things that we believe in for the conservative cause because those solutions of ours are the answer to the problems that so many people are facing today.

Thank you, all, very, very much.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: As we said, this is sending shockwaves through Washington, throughout the country this morning, has so many implications. The man believed to be John Boehner's successor as House speaker, perhaps soon, he is out and this could mean the Tea Party is back.

ROMANS: Let's go to Washington and bring in CNN politics executive editor Mark Preston.

Mark, what happened here and what is the immediate effect of this election?

MARK PRESTON, CNN POLITICS EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR: Well, Christine, certainly money I think can buy you happiness, but it can't always buy you a victory. Certainly when it comes to politics. What we saw here is Eric Cantor was a little too late to try to reconnect with his district, which by the way, is only about an hour south of where we sit here in Washington, D.C. It's from the Richmond suburbs. The northern Richmond suburbs. But what has happened is that Eric Cantor thought that he was going to win.

He was in Washington yesterday, he was at a news conference. His internal polling showed that he would easily win reelection.

ROMANS: Wow.

PRESTON: However, you can't always trust polling. And in this case, his polling was wrong.

I have to tell you, Dave Brat, the next congressman from Virginia, he will very, very likely win in November. He, himself, Christine and John, is just as surprised that he won this morning.

BERMAN: So, Mark, I know there are a lot of people around the country looking at this saying, you know, it's a House race in Virginia. What does it mean to me? This has potentially major implications for key legislation.

PRESTON: Right. No question. Listen, national implications. We're talking about the loss of one congressional seat. But what we're seeing here is what is going to happen over the next couple of years with President Obama's agenda.

John, I think you're talking about immigration reform. That is the issue that Dave Brat tried to hammer Eric Cantor within the past few months. He tried to say that, in fact, Eric Cantor was too liberal on the issue that is aligning himself with Barack Obama on that issue. And I think that we'll have to see how this plays over the next couple of days. But certainly, that is one issue that we think why Eric Cantor might have lost. And really, what is going to happen to that issue in Congress. Is

that issue now dead? Because you will see Republicans now, perhaps, retrench, not be so willing to compromise on that issue as well as conservative Democrats who are running for reelection.

ROMANS: Well, just a few days ago, Mark. Just a few days ago, a senior administration official told John and I that they were confident, they were feeling more confident about immigration reform as one of the final things of the president's agenda over the next couple of years. This really changes everything.

This is also at the same time the president's getting an awful lot of grief about these images and stories of these young children who are being shipped from Texas to Arizona because we don't have any place to put them and we have such a broken immigration policy. This whole immigration thing has really come apart in the last few days.

PRESTON: It certainly has. And look, we're in a new day at this point because everything that happened last night is going to change the scope and the direction of what's going to happen over the next couple of months heading into November, immigration front and center is going to be one of those issues that you have to expect will be pushed back to the back burner. But even the greater implications is what is the Obama administration going to try to get Congress to agree to?

Certainly, next few months if not in the last two years of President Obama's presidency. Look, he wasn't that popular with the House Republicans. He wasn't -- he didn't have an ally there. But what we see now is we'll see the Tea Party types in Congress feel emboldened and perhaps they will try to push back even more against President Obama.

BERMAN: I think the fair question, Mark, is can the White House get Congress to agree to anything over the next two years?

Mark Preston in Washington, thanks so much for being with us.

PRESTON: Thanks, guys.

ROMANS: All right. Tears and heartache in a Portland, Oregon, suburb this morning just a day after a student armed with a rifle opened fire at the local high school leaving two young people dead and a teacher injured.

This is just the latest incident of gun violence, leaving a quiet Columbia River community simply shattered.

We hear more this morning from Sara Sidner.

SARA SIDNER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The community here is trying to regain its strength. Trying to be strong for the family of Emilio Hoffman. He died in the shooting. The 14-year-old freshman was at the school inside of a locker room when he was shot and killed by the shooter. Now this is the vigil that hundreds of students and parents have shown

up, including the family of Emilio Hoffman. They are here and they have been weeping. But all of these people are just trying to remember who he was.

We spoke with someone who knew him quite well saying that he was a great kid, and that anyone would've been honored to have been around him.

What we can also tell you is that the sheriff's department has said that he and the shooter are the only two people who have been killed in this incident. A teacher and coach has been wounded but is expected to survive. He was grazed by a bullet.

We can also tell you that the sheriff's department will release more information throughout the morning.

We also managed to talk with someone who was at the school when it all happened sitting outside a gymnasium when the shooting started.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BRANDON BLOCK, STUDENT: We heard a lot of loud bangs and at first we didn't even jump. We thought it was like fireworks or something. And we see one of the teachers run out of the building with more shots, like the sound going off. And he kept running right by us. And then right after that another teacher came out asking if she heard -- if we heard fireworks, and we said it was Mr. Rispler. And then we -- I went in to look at where he was running from and there were just other students standing around asking what happened. So it was all kind of, you know, fast.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SIDNER: John and Christine, this community is reeling from yet another school shooting.

ROMANS: And yet another school shooting. This one in Oregon, reviving the conversation, the debate around reforming America's gun laws.

Senate majority leader Harry Reid says he will revisit a bipartisan background check bill that failed to pass last spring. President Obama taking up the issue during a tumblr chat Tuesday at the White House.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We're the only -- we're the only developed country on earth where this happens. And it happens now once a week. And it's a one-day story. There's no place else like this.

I am prepared to work with anybody, including responsible sportsmen and gun owners to craft some solutions, but right now, it's not even possible to get even the mildest restrictions through Congress. And that's -- we should be ashamed of that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: Reid has said if the Senate can break the 60-vote threshold for the filibuster, the chamber will take the legislation back up.

Time for an EARLY START on your money this morning. European stocks are down. Airline stocks are taking a big hit. The German carrier Lufthansa announced a surprise profit warning. Futures also pointing lower, stocks barely budged yesterday, but I'm proud to report the Dow did manage another record. That makes four record days in a row. The S&P 500 broke its five-day winning streak closing down slightly.

So even with stocks at record highs, half the country's not invested in the stock market. And a new report finds America's middle class is far from the richest in the world. Americans' median wealth is about $45,000. That puts its 19th behind Japan, Canada and most of western Europe.

It's another case of one America, two economies, the top 1 percent doing very, very well. Income equality is growing. And we always thought the rest of the world has implemented strategies and trade policies to try to become that middle class that America once was. Interesting that America's middle class is so far down the list.

BERMAN: Indeed.

All right. A defiant Donald Sterling slamming NBA officials as a band of hypocrites and bullies for trying to force him to sell the L.A. Clippers. In a written statement that's exclusive to CNN Sterling says the league should examine its own discriminatory practices instead of trying to take away his personal property.

Sterling is suing the NBA for $1 billion. And now he has refused to consent to a deal brokered by his wife Shelly to sell the Clippers to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer for a record $2 billion.

Now Shelly Sterling is going to court today to try to expedite a hearing to confirm her authority to sell the team. Complicated.

ROMANS: I'll say it again, there are a lot of lawyers on every side of this. Every side of this. Cottage industry in the end. In the Clippers.

All right. Powerful storms, toppling trees, flooding roads, leaving thousands in the dark this morning, and this is not over yet, folks. Indra Petersons is tracking who needs to be on alert today. We got her right after the break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ROMANS: Millions of Americans in the south and all along the East Coast face the threat of severe weather today. That's the map. Check it out. Dangerous thunderstorms, flooding possible from the Gulf Coast up to New York. The northern plains and look at the western Great Lakes also facing potentially damaging storms today. BERMAN: Thousands of customers without power in southern Kentucky, a

late afternoon thunderstorm packing with powerful winds taking up power lines, trees, several homes reportedly damaged. Luckily, no serious injuries.

ROMANS: A lot of rain in central Maryland triggering dangerous flash floods. The college park area hit especially hard. Homes and highways are flooded and there could be some delays on the trains this morning. So get ready for that icky commute.

BERMAN: Severe storms and check that out. Some pretty impressive lightning in central Georgia. Wow. Where 60-mile-an-hour winds and a tornado warning had thousands taking cover last night. My goodness. More severe weather is expected in that area today and tomorrow. Just keeps going on and on.

ROMANS: I know. Indra Petersons is looking at your forecast for you this morning.

Hi, Indra.

INDRA PETERSONS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Yes. It kind of sounds like that. We're still talking about severe weather out there again today. Even some big metro areas, we're going talk places like D.C. out towards Pittsburgh. But the big thing everyone is really talking about is how hot and humid it is.

Look at these temperatures as you're waking up, D.C. right now, 75 degrees. Let's throw in that humidity factor at 84 percent, and no wonder a lot of people are saying they're not sleeping. It is muggy especially in these overnight hours. But even as you go through the afternoon we're still keep that humidity up there 60 percent, 70 percent. So yes, today behind the warm front, Pittsburgh, D.C., looking for the threat for severe thunderstorms.

Large hail especially if you go through the late afternoon even though the overnight hours tonight. That's when you'll notice that huge change of course across the plains, still looking for that severe weather threat there, as well.

What does it look like right now? Yes, it's rainy. There are thunderstorms, it's already there. But don't worry, you're going to see a little bit of a break throughout the late morning, but again, it is expected to return overnight tonight. And then that'll be the story day after day. We're still going to watch a couple of systems kind of make their way through. So really all the way through about Friday. At least in the northeast, the mid-Atlantic, we'll be talking about the threat for showers, the weekend, though, looks like last weekend, pretty good in the northwest. Nice and dry and beautiful.

ROMANS: Fantastic.

BERMAN: We got to get to the weekend, though.

PETERSONS: Right?

BERMAN: It's only Wednesday.

PETERSONS: It's only Wednesday, right? It's kind of brutal.

BERMAN: All right. The weekend is coming, though. That's our headline this morning.

ROMANS: Thanks, Indra.

BERMAN: Let's take a look at what's coming up on "NEW DAY." Chris Cuomo joins us.

ROMANS: Hi, Chris.

BERMAN: Happy hump day, Mr. Cuomo.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR, NEW DAY: Thank you very much, JB. I don't know how you mean that but I'll just let it go.

(LAUGHTER)

Christine Romans, always a pleasure.

I tell you, I am just like you guys, I couldn't go to sleep last night. I'm not talking about the Spurs and the Heat, although that was an important game, but the House Majority Leader Eric Cantor losing? It's only happened like once before, and that was in a general election not a primary. And he loses to a guy nobody had really heard of. An economics professor, last name Brat, but the Tea Party, this means they are back. They took out a big target.

We're going to take you all through what it means, not just for the GOP, but for immigration policy because you will remember Eric Cantor had a little bit of leeway from his party standards in terms of dealing with the administration on immigration. Issue came back to haunt him in this election in his own home district? What does it mean now going forward?

A lot of discussion to have on it. You cannot underestimate how big this is happening and how surprising it was to everyone also.

New questions this morning about the deal to free Bowe Bergdahl. A congressman, his name is Adam Schiff. He says he's seen the wording for himself about what kind of guarantees there are. And guess what he says? No guarantees that these Taliban prisoners can be kept from returning to the fight. So we're going to talk to him this morning and give you all the headlines.

A lot of controversy going on, John and Christine. So we'll take it apart for you here on "NEW DAY." But what a day in politics, huh?

BERMAN: I got to tell you. Thanks so much, Chris. Looking forward to it.

ROMANS: All right. Could what's in your fridge be contributing to breast cancer? A new and important warning for women right after the break. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BERMAN: All right. Welcome back. We're learning more about the friendly fire incident that left five Americans dead in Afghanistan. Officials say a coalition jet called in to fend off a surprise Taliban attack accidentally bombed the troops as they conducted a security operation in advance of this weekend's presidential runoff.

We've now learned the identities of four of the five fallen soldiers. Among them 19-year-old Private Aaron Toppen. He's being remembered for his unrelenting patriotism and bravery.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Aaron was a sweet kid. Well-mannered, respectful, polite and humble. His parents and family instilled in him a strong sense of loyalty and class.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: Our hearts go out to all of those families. Toppen had just deployed in March. 2,328 Americans have been killed in Afghanistan since 2001. An Afghan soldier was also killed in that incident which is now under investigation.

ROMANS: All right. The truck driver charged in the fatal crash that critically injured comedian Tracy Morgan is due in court today. 35- year-old Kevin Roper will be arraigned on charges of vehicular homicide and assault by auto. Morgan and three others were injured and comedian James McNair was killed in that crash. Officials say Roper had been awake for 24 consecutive hours. His employer Wal-Mart denies he broke any rules. Morgan remains in critical, but stable condition.

BERMAN: A Harvard study has found what could be a link between breast cancer in women and red meat. Researchers studied more than 88,000 women for 20 years and found about .5 percent more cases of breast cancer among the women who ate the most red meat. That's six or more servings a day. That sounds like a lot. The study does not rule out the possibility that other factors could explain this higher rate of breast cancer.

ROMANS: Six or more servings of red meat a day?

BERMAN: Again, this is one of those studies that's got an eye-popping headline there. I think everyone should take a look at it to find out what's underneath.

ROMANS: My unscientific advice on all of these is moderation, moderation, moderation.

BERMAN: Yes. But the hamburgers are good.

ROMANS: I know. Six a day? You eat six hamburgers a day? That's actually making me really hungry.

(LAUGHTER)

All right. Airlines making big changes to frequent flier plans. It's not how far you fly anymore, but how much money is spent. This is good for the big spenders, you know, the big corporate titans who go at the last minute to a trip to London. It's not good for me who gets the cheapest ticket I possibly can and plans ahead. I'm going to have the details on ones who's going to be road warriors next.

BERMAN: It's all about me.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ROMANS: Welcome back. Brand new on "CNN MONEY" this morning. Most people think the richest Americans should pay more taxes. According to a new "CNN MONEY" poll, 55 percent think the top 1 percent should pay more, 25 percent think they pay the right amount, 19 percent say they pay too much.

The top 1 percent brought home 19 percent of all income last year and paid 35 percent of all federal income taxes. Many faced higher tax bills last year because of measures in the fiscal cliff deal and the Affordable Care Act.

United Airlines making some big changes to its frequent flier program, folks. Right now, rewards are based on the number of miles traveled. Frequent flier miles. Right? But going forward they'll be based on the cost of the flight, the dollars you spend, not the miles you fly. That's going to benefit the big spenders, people who buy last-minute flights and first class seats. It's not good news for price conscious fliers. Others carriers like JetBlue and Southwest have already made the switch to rewards based on flight cost.

BERMAN: We turn out the lights, the party's over. We can finally say the golden era of frequent flier travel is over, correct?

ROMANS: For the frugal fliers you're in trouble. But for those -- you know, the big spending corporate fliers, it's going to be -- it's going to be good for you.

BERMAN: Glad the rich people are getting extra perks.

ROMANS: Or the people who work too much.

BERMAN: That, too.

All right. On that cherry note, "NEW DAY" starts right now.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CANTOR: It's disappointing, sure. But I believe in this country.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Breaking overnight, political earthquake. Eric Cantor, one of the most powerful Republicans in Congress in a shocking loss to a Tea Party upstart. The GOP establishment is just reeling this morning. We'll take you through the very latest.

BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: Also ahead, not again. Another school shooting. A beloved freshman killed. We have new details for you on the gunman and how he was finally stopped as an angry President Obama lashes out.