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GOP Scrambles After "Cantor Quake"; Clarifying "Dead Broke" Comment?; Undocumented Minors Flood Into The U.S.; Trucker Pleads Not Guilty In Tracy Morgan Crash

Aired June 12, 2014 - 07:30   ET


JOHN KING, CNN HOST: Let's just, as we continue the discussion, the one other candidate who we know is Pete Session. He is a congressman from Texas who has a long simmering rivalry with Kevin McCarthy. Kevin McCarthy is from California. Does that help or hurt when Eric Cantor comes out so publicly?

MANU RAJU, "POLITICO": You're seeing already conservatives trying to mobilize behind getting potentially third candidate in. That being Jeb Henson, another Texas Republican. If he does get in, that would split the very sizable Texas Republican vote within the House conference. You know, Kevin McCarthy, is a guy who does have a lot of relationships among Republicans in the House of conference. He does have a significant amount of support.

He's moving very, very aggressively to lock that down. But, John, as you know, these leadership contests, they are secret ballots. They are done behind closed doors. How do you exactly handicap that? It's really up in the air at this point.

KING: So you have the inside game and the outside game. Kevin McCarthy does it the old fashion way, he calls on birthdays. He helps raise money. He shows up at events. He's from California. He's been open in the past to amnesty, the conservatives would call it, immigration legislation. That has either a path to status or potentially a path to citizenship. The Tea Party is saying no. We will consider that essentially, you know, a poke in the eye.

NIA-MALIKA HENDERSON, "THE WASHINGTON POST": We saw this race via referendum on amnesty as Republicans call it, on immigration reform. They want purists. They have been champing at the bit for months and months and months because they want somebody who looks like them in the leadership, and someone from those types of states, right? Because we had -- wow know, the Republicans had a leadership, Ohio, obviously Virginia and California and now they want someone that looks like somebody from a red state. And that's where you get sessions.

KING: They want someone who in their view is more in tune with the grass roots, less friendly to Wall Street. It's not just about immigration. It's elite versus grass roots. What happens? How does this change the ideological, philosophical, legislative perspective of the Republican Party?

So it's interesting on this same day Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky run for president, running for the Republican nomination, on a conference call with reporters says he is not ready to give up on immigration. He says we've been somewhat trapped, the Republican Party, by rhetoric and words and amnesty's a word that has kind of trapped us.

We're trapped in a word that means different things to different people. Before we explore that, it's not every day I can speak this sentence. Rand Paul and President Obama are on the same page. President Obama saying he doesn't want to give up either despite what happened to Eric Cantor, telling a fundraiser in Boston last night, I fundamentally reject, meaning that immigration reform is dead.

I will tell the speaker of the House that he needs to reject that. If you think because of politics you want to maintain a status quo that is broken, you don't belong in Washington. Should Rand Paul and Barack Obama have a beer summit and figure out immigration?

RAJU: It's interesting, Rand Paul's position, but he also supports -- opposes the Senate bill.

HENDERSON: That's right, he voted against it.

RAJU: And he's been kind of making this noise for a while ever since the 2012 election. I remember speaking to him exactly a couple of days after. He is making the same case then. He was saying that we need to legalize or normalize folks who are in this country illegally, but he does not want to do a pathway to citizenship what Democrats are calling for and what their bottom line is in this bill. That's the flash point. That's something that two sides are nowhere near resolving.

KING: And to his fundamental point about being trapped in that word amnesty. He's right. Since George W. Bush tried in 2006 and beyond when he tried do come back to the issue that has been it. There are some Republicans who think anything you do to give status to the 11 million or so undocumented work, some people think anything is amnesty. Some say no, don't give them citizenship, but it's OK for legal status. Others say do the dreamers, the kids who are brought in. That word is the --

HENDERSON: That word is powerful. In some ways he sounded like he was teaching a semiotics class at Brown talking about amnesty, but it has a powerful hold on the base. And I think this goes to -- I mean, we're talking about 2014, but in a lot of ways this is about 2016, right, and the future of the Republican Party of their relationship with Latinos, can they get to a point where they are able to get a sizable share of that community.

RAJU: To add to that, it's so toxic for 2016 still. I talk to Marco Rubio yesterday about this and he does not want to move forward on a comprehensive bill next Congress. He was the author of this comprehensive bill. I'm not sure even if Rand Paul is talking about it very highly right now about doing something. I'm not sure exactly --

HENDERSON: What does this mean for Jeb Bush?

KING: It helps them hold control of the House, but it hurts them if they don't deal with this demographic problem. It's hard to see them viable at the presidential level, which gets us to the candidate who could benefit from that, if the Republicans don't solve the Latino issue. Hillary Clinton, but yesterday she was in Chicago with her old friend, sometimes, you know, a little bit of a prickly relationship with Rahm Emanuel, who is a senior adviser to her husband when he was president. Now he's the mayor of Chicago. He was helping her with what we'll say a little clean-up on aisle two.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As I've been reading a lot about the kickoff for the book tour, Hillary, dead broke, really?

HILLARY CLINTON, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE: That may have not been the most artful way of saying that, you know, bill and I have gone through a lot of different phases in our lives. That was then. This is now.


KING: One of the big tests of a politician is how do you clean things up when you make a mistake. She was off, I would say, on dead broke in the first interview. Is she fixing it?

HENDERSON: She is fixing it. You know, and there Rahm Emanuel helping her fix it there. A bit of a gimme on his part. I think people don't expect people who run for president to be poor, to be middle class. Most of the folks who have run for president and won have come from very prominent families, rich families, left the White House rich and come into the White House rich.

So, yes, I think she's going to have this problem as people look at Elizabeth Warren, this whole idea of populism, of how intact with the middle class is. She made that faux pas before when she said she hadn't driven in years. She has Secret Service protection --

KING: A little rusty.

HENDERSON: -- a little rusty exactly.

KING: But she'll clean it up. Manu Raju, Nia-Malika Henderson, thanks for coming in. As we close tonight you know you've made it when you lake the late night comics. Well, Dave Brat, the guy who beat Eric Cantor, not once but twice. Listen.


CONAN O'BRIEN, HOST, "CONAN": A big story. Tea Party candidate, you probably heard this, won Virginia's Republican primary mostly on his anti-immigration stance. Yes, his first plan is to change the state's slogan from Virginia is for lovers to Virginia is for lovers who habla ingles.

STEPHEN COLBERT, HOST, "THE COLBERT REPORT": Viewers on rate my has noted that he's total eye candy. He is so charming you forget to be mad at him and, at least he's hot. Yes, he is. I mean, I wouldn't kick him out of bed for kicking Mexicans out of the country.

Dave Brats, Andy Warholm moment, we see what he makes of it from here. He can get jokes on late nights' comics he's going to have to come up with better answers though about the minimum wage and Syria, and things like that.

BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: He said, no, I need to come back with you once I thought about it.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: He said I don't have a well something --

BALDWIN: Well thought out answer.

KING: He is an economics professor.

CUOMO: Well, it's complicated. Minimum wage.

KING: Yes or no.

CUOMO: It's not about economics, is it?

KING: Should we have a federal minimum wage? Yes or no. Sort of the question.

BALDWIN: He's got to get ready. It's going to get tougher.

CUOMO: Dr. Milton Wolf would say it's those type of personal attacks, John King, the American people don't want anymore. What the people want is for me to attack you.

KING: Democracy is grand.

BALDWIN: John King, thank you.

CUOMO: Coming up on NEW DAY, there is a new surge of undocumented kids from Central America coming across the border. This is the real immigration problem. Not the politics, the reality. What's going to happen to them? We're told that they're being well taken care of and now reports are coming out that that's not the truth. We're taking you to the border towns to hear from some of the kids. See how they're being kept. You decide for yourself.

BALDWIN: Also ahead, CNN's original new series "The Sixties" returns tonight at 9:00 p.m. And it looks back at the day that changed American history really forever, the JFK assassination. Here's your "Sixties" minutes.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The president has been hit.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: John F. Kennedy died at approximately 1:00 today.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The whole world is harmed because of his loss.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: America was a different place on the day before John F. Kennedy was killed. The assassination changed the trajectory of the '60s.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I remember November 22nd as long as I live.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Lee Harvey Oswald is arrested.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you kill the president?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I have not been charge with that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Lee Harvey Oswald has been shot.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Information concerning the cause of the death of your president has been withheld from you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Story has been suppressed. Witnesses have been killed. We have a right to know who killed our president and why he died.

ANNOUNCER: "The Sixties" tonight at 9:00 on CNN.



BALDWIN: Got to see this piece here. New developments this morning from Arizona where we are hearing from some of the undocumented miners flooding into the southwest after crossing the border illegally from Central America. Thousands illegal immigrants, mostly children, are being held in these centers all across the southwest creating this massive problem for local and federal officials. As Gary Tuchman found out, it is a problem with increasing urgency and no easy solution.


GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): They came without their parents. Children from Honduras, traveling into Guatemala, Mexico, crossing into the Rio Grand and just now arriving in Texas. This girl said she made the dangerous journey because she wants to see her parents in Austin.

Another child saying that the journey was frightening. Unaccompanied children crossing the Mexican border is not new. What's different now though is that the numbers have dramatically increased and almost all of them are coming not from Mexico, but from Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador.

CHRIS CABRERA, NATIONAL BORDER PATROL COUNCIL UNION LEADER: They know once we get to the station they're going to get the paperwork and set free into the United States.

TUCHMAN: But it's a bit more complicated than that. Each child's family background in the U.S. is investigated before they can be set free. So what's being done is the hundreds and hundreds of children who have arrived since Memorial Day are being transported to the U.S. Border Patrol Station in Arizona where they are temporarily living. This picture from a local radio station shows many children sleeping with thermal blankets. Many of them are then being transferred to military facilities from California, Texas, and Oklahoma while their family ties get examined.

Also arriving across the border in huge numbers mothers and small children. Ruth Gonzales is from Guatemala. She left her country and her daughter's first birthday on May 30th arriving in Arizona 11 days later. She gave her life savings to a coyote to make the journey.

(on camera): How much money did you pay? It's $6,000.

(voice-over): Mothers with their children are treated differently than unaccompanied children. Ruth and many other mothers who also took blesses hiked through the desert for days are dropped off by the border patrol at the Tucson, Arizona Greyhound Station. Surprisingly to many are told they can travel to their family members and stay in the U.S. for now provided they register after they arrive where their families are.

These mothers had never left Guatemala before. They don't speak English and now they are navigating multi-day bus trips to various points of the U.S. with almost no idea what direction they are traveling and how far they are traveling. In a nation that is far larger than many of them knew.

Ruth is going to Washington, D.C. to be with her brother. She left her parents behind. She says her baby has been vomiting.

(on camera): Hard to smile?

(voice-over): She says it's very much difficult to smile and she's very sad. So why has she done this? Well, all the immigrants we talk to say the same thing, they say they're scared to stay in their home countries. A lot of violence. Ruth says she doesn't want her daughter growing up with the violence.

Ruth declares she is happy to be here. And then the Greyhound bus arrives. The first stop will be El Paso, then there will be two more stops. After 80 hours of traveling, she and her baby will be in Washington. Living with her brother in limbo in America. Gary Tuchman, CNN, Tucson, Arizona.


BALDWIN: You know, no matter how you feel about immigration it's just to think of these young -- these kids alone, you know, crossing the border, heading through Honduras, cross into the U.S., dangerous.

MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: Very dangerous and fearful. You can imagine separated from their family, trying to figure out what to do, where to go, who to trust. It's frightening.

CUOMO: And good for Gary Tuchman taking the time to do that story. It matters. People are making these kids political pawns and we're getting reports that the conditions aren't great. There are allegations of abuse. You have to take care of children. That's what this country is about. No matter what. You've got to figure it out. I'm not saying you don't have to stop the hemorrhaging of people coming in and enforce the law, but you can't use the kids as pawns, can't do it.

Coming up on NEW DAY, the truck driver accused of causing the deadly accident that injured comedian, Tracy Morgan, gets his day in court. We're going to tell you what's going on in that case. There are developments for you. Stay with us.


CUOMO: Welcome back to NEW DAY. Not guilty. That's the plea from the truck driver in the crash that critically injured Tracy Morgan and left another comedian dead. The 35-year-old Kevin Roper was arranged Wednesday in New Jersey as there are fresh questions about how much sleep he got before getting behind the wheel. Investigators are looking at another potential factor in the crash as well.

So let's bring in CNN's Nischelle Turner. Developments in this story? What do we know?

NISCHELLE TURNER, CNN ENTERTAINMENT CORRESPONDENT: There's a report this morning by the Associated Press that says the NTSB is looking into how long Kevin Roper's commute is since his home base is in Georgia, but he drives a lot in Delaware. Now, yesterday, for the first time, he faced a judge.


TURNER (voice-over): Walmart truck driver, Kevin Roper, facing charges in court Wednesday for his role in a deadly collision with the limo van carrying actor and comedian, Tracy Morgan, and his entourage.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Kevin Roper is charged with one count of vehicular homicide. He is additionally being charged with assault by auto.

TURNER: Pleading not guilty on all charges, Roper is accused of operating his tractor trailer recklessly and going without sleep for more than 24 hours, a key factor that has become the center of the investigation into the accident that killed comedian, James McNair, and badly injured Morgan who remains in critical but stable condition.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It happened so fast.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Sounded like metal?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Metal crunching. It was awful.

TURNER: Comedian, Harris Stanton is a friend of Morgan's who was hurt in the crash. Walking away with a broken wrist and bruised ankle.

HARRIS STANTON, it happened so fast and when it stopped, Tracy's on top of me. I didn't see anyone else. Just metal. I could see stars from outside because the top was ripped open. TURNER: A spokesperson for Walmart said roper didn't break any rules. He's now out after posting $50,000 bond.

SUNNY HOSTIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Federal regulations make it very clear that truck drivers, long haul truck drivers have to get sleep. They really should be sleeping for at least or get a break for 10 hours and they are not supposed to drive more than 11 hours during a 14-hour period.

TRACY MORGAN, ACTOR: I'm Tracy Morgan.

TURNER: Some note that because one of the victims is famous truck safety rules are now being pushed to the forefront.

HOSTIN: Celebrity really is no matter here. We're talking about four victims and in any case like this involving death and assault, regardless of the victim, a prosecutor is going to hold that person responsible.


TURNER: Now, if you remember when this first happened, I told you guys that Tracy Morgan was working on a new sitcom for FX with the producers of "It's always sunny in Philadelphia." Well, yesterday a spokesperson for the network told CNN the only thing they're concerned about now is Tracy's health and recovery, but they said at the point that he's recovered and ready to go back to work, his show will be waiting for him so that's a little good news.

BALDWIN: How's he doing? Improving?

TURNER: Still critical but stable and the information we are getting from his rep is, they said, listen. We have been giving you updates, but now what we want to pull back a little bit and we'll give updates when there's something to update. So what we know is critical but stable.

BALDWIN: Thank you so much.

Coming up next here on NEW DAY, Donald Sterling, lashing out at the NBA vowing to fight the "for sale" of the L.A. Clippers. The real question, does he have any chance whatsoever of winning? His attorney joins us live.

CUOMO: And you have to start focusing on Iraq again. Radical Islamists are controlling its second largest city. Promising to take more. The obvious question -- what's the U.S. going to do? The government there is calling for air strikes from the United States. We have the Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby giving us the latest.


CUOMO: The battle for Iraq is raging at this hour. Militants vowing to take Baghdad and now the Iraqi government is asking for U.S. help. We have the Pentagon's top spokesman joining us live. How far is the U.S. willing to go? BALDWIN: Also ahead, taking it to a jury. The Donald Sterling saga now set to go to court. His wife claiming he is not mentally fit to make decisions about the team. His lawyer's firing back. He is live this hour.

PEREIRA: The fallout. Eric Cantor's ouster still sending shockwaves to the political universe. Was it a fluke or sign of things to come? The GOP wrestling with those questions this morning.

CUOMO: Your NEW DAY continues right now.