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Republican Establishment Strikes Back; U.S. Military Advisers Arrive in Iraq; 3-D Mammograms May Detect More Breast Cancer

Aired June 25, 2014 - 08:00   ET



KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning and welcome to NEW DAY once again. It is June 25th, 8:00 in the east.

Two veterans of Washington's political wars survived the primary challenges, or did they?

Six-term Mississippi Senator Thad Cochran narrowly defeated Chris McDaniel in the Republican primary runoff but McDaniel may not be giving up the fight yet.

And in New York, 84-year-old incumbent Charlie Rangel declared victory himself in a Democratic House race, but his opponent is refusing to concede at this point.

Chief congressional correspondent Dana Bash is live in Jackson, Mississippi.

Tell me, Dana, what happened down in Mississippi last night?

DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: So many things unusual with this race. It's hard to know where to start, Kate. But let's just start with how many people came out for the runoff last night -- 60,000 more people voted in the runoff than in the primary. That is incredibly unusual.

What is even more unusual is that it wasn't just the people in the party.


CHRIS MCDANIEL (R), MISSISSIPPI SENATORIAL CANDIDATE: So much for bold colors. So much for principle.

BASH (voice-over): A nasty finish to a tough race. Mississippi Tea Party candidate Chris McDaniel with a not so conciliatory speech after losing in a close race to incumbent Senator Thad Cochran.

MCDANIEL: There is something a bit strange, there is something a bit unusual about a Republican primary that's decided by liberal Democrats.

SEN. THAD COCHRAN (R), MISSISSIPPI: Thank you all for being here to help celebrate a great victory. This is your victory.

BASH: Cochran, who trailed McDaniel in the Republican primary June 3rd, spent in the primary spent the past three weeks courting voters outside the GOP base, including African-Americans, pointing to federal funds he secured throughout his 36 years in the Senate.

(on camera): And to those who say you know what, you have been reelected time and time again, your opponent says it's just too much. You've been there too long.

COCHRAN: Well, I the choice the people have made freely and openly.

BASH: In the largely African-American precinct we visited, turnout was up three times than the primary and higher elsewhere. Who did you vote for?


BASH: Have you ever voted in a Republican primary before?


MCDANIEL: I guess they can take consolation in the fact that they did something tonight by once again compromising, by once again reaching across the aisle, by once again abandoning the conservative movement.

BASH (voice-over): Conservative and African-American groups sent observers to the polls fearing impropriety from the other side, which did not materialize. In the end, it was just over 6,000 votes that separated the two.

COCHRAN: We all have a right to be proud of our state tonight. Thank you very much. Thank you for this wonderful honor.


BASH: Now, 6,000 votes it's actually a little bit more than that, Kate and Chris, is much bigger than the primary, much, much bigger and certainly makes it look pretty hard for Chris McDaniel to wage any kind of challenge to these results, but it doesn't mean he's not going to try. I guess it was just a few hours ago before we went to bed, McDaniel aide said to me when I asked is he going to challenge this in the courts? "Stay tuned."

CUOMO: It is time to analyze, scrutinize and hypothesize.

Dana, stay with us for that and let's also bring in Errol Louis, CNN political commentator, anchor for New York 1's "Inside City Hall."

Let me drag you into the analysis side of this. He's upset because he lost a Republican primary because of Democratic voters maybe. Maybe it was just more voters overall. I say he should be angry. It's supposed to be intraparty. This doesn't seem right.

ERROL LOUIS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, I mean, but these are the rules. If you didn't like it, the time to fight that would have been when they made it other than the closed primary. You have an open primary which is basically sort of a mini-general election, this is what you're going to get. It creates a different dynamic.

I think the lawmakers in their wisdom stayed to set up Mississippi for a particular reason for this reason to keep out the extremists, the people who are going to run on a platform of keeping people apart. So, Cochran, if he wins will be a vindication of that system and what kind of politics it leads to remains to be seen.

BOLDUAN: So, Dana, of course, the question is, on a runoff especially, what is the big takeaway? What's the message that you think Republicans are taking from this race when they wake up this morning? I would argue maybe Brett Favre is the deciding factor.


CUOMO: The Favre factor.

BASH: The Favre factor, he could be. What's really interesting about him, just as a side note, is that obviously he's famous and has a lot of input here because he's a famous quarterback and he's a native son, but also has come back to the state and he's been a teacher, a coach here. So the whole question about education, which has been a big one here, federal funding for that, which Thad Cochran has promoted, that fed into that.

But in terms of the national takeaway, the people who helped Thad Cochran win are people who have an eye to the national Republican Party, the Barbour family, Haley Barbour, the former governor of the state, two of his nephews, one was involved in the campaign, another ran the super PAC here. They have all said in various forms that they are hoping that this would be a model for the party to grow on a national level.

Whether that's really transferable is a question that we don't know yet because Thad Cochran, historically for 30 years has been somebody who has reached out. McDaniel is right, he has reached out across the aisle, he has compromised and he has specifically reached out to Democrats in this state. He's considered himself a senator for everybody in the state no matter the party and in this open primary, that helped him tremendously.

CUOMO: The Republicans need to be more like Democrats to win going on a national level.

BOLDUAN: I don't think that's what Republicans are going to take from this.

CUOMO: No, not at all.

They're saying, Dana, let me get one word from the ground. McDaniel is saying, I'm not going to concede. I may sue, but I'm not going to concede. How farfetched is that, that he can sue and win in this situation?

BASH: It depends what evidence they can find. Chris, you're a lawyer. You know this a lot better than I.

But the law is here that two things, one is, if you voted in the Democratic primary, you're not allowed to run -- to vote in the runoff and I personally saw with my own two eyes three people turned away the at the polling station where we were for that very reason. So the question is whether if they found somebody who did that, if that's grounds for suing.

The other is a lot less possible to enforce which is, if you vote in the Republican primary and intend to vote for the Democrat in the general election, that's not legal, but federal judges have said it's really very difficult to enforce. If they can somehow find a way to combat that, who knows.

But I talked to McDaniel on Monday about this issue and insists he believes it's illegal. It's clear there were things churning already for them to figure out a way to challenge this if they need to.

BOLDUAN: Dana is on the ground for us in Mississippi. Dana, great reporting as always. Thank you so much.

I want to ask you, Errol, about also, what is going on in New York? Charlie Rangel, a lot of people talking about the changing demographics of his district.

What's the rule? What's the big takeaway here?

LOUIS: Well, the big takeaway here is that an incumbent who has been there for 22 terms, not years, terms, so 44 years in office, wanted two more and he happened to be in a district where there is demographic change, where what had once been sort of the central seed or Central Harlem was the basis of the seat and it was an overwhelmingly black district is now majority Latino and not just Puerto Ricans.

BOLDUAN: Should he change his strategy or did he just run a bit of a different campaign?

CUOMO: Ran harder.

LOUIS: He ran the same campaign and did it a little bit more energetically. The district, although largely black, also always had a large Puerto Rican component to it. Now, there are Dominicans, there are Mexicans, it's a much more diverse district in a lot of ways. He gets it as far as how you play ethnic politics in that part of New York. So, he just did it very energetically. He twisted lots of arms, he called in lots of favors. He shook lots of hands.

And it looks like he squeaked out a victory just under 2,000 votes separate the two of them. On the other hand, you know, almost all of the affidavit ballots and the overseas ballot also come in, in the next week.

BOLDUAN: A little bit we'll see but not so much.

LOUIS: Exactly. CUOMO: That's why you guys called it early. We're waiting on call it but I get your rationale.

LOUIS: Unless every one goes to the challenger, it looks like Rangel has been reelected.

COUMO: So, let me ask you about some other New Yorkers -- Hillary Clinton, she said some things during the book tour whether she's well off, or not well off and it's spawned this out of touch, not out of touch.

BOLDUAN: Tone deaf.

CUOMO: So, Bill Clinton comes out, do we want to play this or explain it? This is what the former president had to say in defense of his wife.


BILL CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT: It is factually true that we were several million dollars in debt. Everybody now assumes that what happened in the intervening years was automatic. I'm shocked that it's happened. I'm shocked that people still want me to come give talks and so I'm grateful she's not out of touch and she advocated and worked as a senator for things that were good for ordinary people.


CUOMO: I felt that it was a cheap shot saying when she said the we pay ordinary income tax like a lot of people who are very fortunate, I felt it was a cheap shot to say she meant that she wasn't really well off.

But in general, the idea that she's out of touch, do you think this was an effective defense?

LOUIS: Well, first of all, the guy was going to have to defend his life. We married people understand this is what you have to do, right? But I do think there is a sort of a bit of a blind spot there. I mean, when President Clinton says oh, I'm shocked that people want to pay me lots of money, this is a guy who has done I don't know how many multimillion-dollar fund-raisers in his career. I think he gets it.

BOLDUAN: But also a bit of a blind spot for voters if they think that anyone that's going to be elected president isn't wealthy in today's day and age.

LOUIS: Well, that's right. Look. The amount of extreme wealth at the upper end of the spectrum I think is not really understood by a lot of people, and I can understand from the Clinton's point of view that they are merely millionaires who pay a lot of income and they earn the money and pay out half of it in taxes.

BOLDUAN: What is wrong with making money? LOUIS: That's very different from their well-healed friends who own

corporations and own stocks and own mansions and jets and so forth. You know, within the upper 1 percent of the income distribution and the wealth distribution, certainly those at the bottom end of the 1 percent are millionaires and they're doing pretty well by everybody's standards, but they look upward at what some of the billionaires are doing and the centamillionaires are doing and it's a different kind of a lifestyle.

CUOMO: That's why the politician running for major office but has no connections to anybody who is really wealthy or any corporation is going to raise their money themselves is liked by so many. What is her name again?

They don't exist, this person, they don't exist.

BOLDUAN: They can't win -- yes, all right. Errol, great to see you. Thank you so much.

LOUIS: Thank you.

All right. Let's turn now to the other big story making news, to the crisis in Iraq this morning.

Iraqi officials say 57 civilians have been killed by air strikes carried out by Syrian war planes in the Anbar province, this as more U.S. personnel arrive to help slow the ISIS surge. Ninety military advisers are joining 40 others who are already in Iraq to guide the military, but as the U.S. deploys more help, ISIS on growing. The U.S. now estimates 10,000 militants in Iraq and Syria with more joining the fight.

Lot to discuss. Let's get to Barbara Starr who is breaking the news for us live from the Pentagon -- Barbara.


You talk about the fight in Anbar in Iraq close to the Syrian border, western Iraq. This is the border that now is so contentious, virtually erased by the fighting. So what did we have? We have now 130 U.S. military advisers on the ground, several more, about another 50 expected to arrive in the coming days to assess the situation, but ISIS already putting their mark on what the situation is right now, about 10,000 fighters spread out between Iraq and Syria, about 7,000 on the Syrian side, about 3,000 or more inside of Iraq, about 5,000 foreign fighters.

Why are those numbers so important? Because this is the capability that the U.S. may have to address. Right now, the U.S. military advisers are focused on Baghdad. Their primary goal is to make sure they understand what ISIS is up to and whether ISIS has a plan to make a rub for Baghdad and could they get it? Will the Iraqi forces hold up against any ISIS onslaught onto Baghdad?

That's one of the top concerns. If it gets to the point where president Obama were to order air strikes and no decision has been made about that, what the U.S. has assembled in the region can get that job done, officials say. They have ships. They have planes, and they are now conducting about 30 reconnaissance flights a day over Iraq to collect more intelligence about ISIS -- Michaela.

PEREIRA: All right. Barbara, thanks for the rundown of what's happening there right now. Of course, CNN will continue to monitor the ongoing situation in Iraq.

Right now, let's give you more of your headlines, though.

President Obama meanwhile could be facing a lawsuit from House Speaker John Boehner. He is taking issue with the president's use of executive action. The president has used it to push initiatives without approval from a bitterly divided Congress. Republicans argue Obama is breaching his constitutional power.

The homeland security chief is headed to Arizona today, Jeh Johnson will tour border patrol facilities, the very one struggling to keep up with the crush of child immigrants. Thousands of unaccompanied minors have been caught crossing since last October, most from Central America.

This Sunday, a programming note for you at 9:00 p.m. Eastern, CNN films presents "Documented", the story of Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Jose Antonio Vargas, who's also an undocumented immigrant.

A settlement in another church abuse scandal, the Seattle archdiocese will pay over $12 million in a suit claiming repeated sexual abuse at two schools run by the Order of Christian Brothers. The 30 men who brought the suit ranged in age from 42 to 68. They say the archdiocese failed to protect them from known abusers.

I thought there was no biting in soccer. Someone should probably tell that to Uruguay's Luis Suarez, nicknamed the Hannibal. Cameras caught him chomping on the shoulder of an opponent in their World Cup match against Italy.

Not the first time he sunk his teeth into an opponent in the field of play. Suarez is now facing suspension. That very well could keep him out of the rest of the World Cup tournament.

What will Uruguay do?

BOLDUAN: Question that Uruguay never thought they'd have to ask, what do we do with b a player who bites people?

CUOMO: He's called the Cannibal. It's over.

BOLDUAN: There is such dramatic --

CUOMO: I don't know about the guy Ramirez, the Italian guy is running around screaming "my shoulder, my shoulder" and Ramirez is trying to push his jersey back up.

BOLDUAN: That's nothing. Just a little cream.

CUOMO: Like a novella on the grass. Very good, very good.

BOLDUAN: Coming up next on NEW DAY, are 3-D mammograms a better way to detect breast cancer? Dr. Sanjay Gupta is joining us to talk about why not everyone agrees on the technology.

CUOMO: Now, here's a story you want to come to see. We always talk about what could have been done to stop it, an alleged school bombing was stopped in the nick of time. How did authorities do it? What did they learn about this kid?

We have information for you just in a moment.


BOLDUAN: This morning, a new study suggests 3-D mammograms may be better at detecting breast cancer than regular scans. The study published in the "Journal of the American Medical Association" found 3D scans turned up 15 percent fewer false alarms, but medical experts are questioning the expensive technology and how much radiation it uses.

Let's get over to CNN's chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, for a bit of a truth check on this.


BOLDUAN: Good morning, Sanjay.

What do you make of it? What does it do? How is it different?

GUPTA: You know, this type of technology has been around for some time. It is exactly what it sounds like.

You get a three-dimensional sort of image as opposed to a two- dimensional image which is what the standard is right now, this sort of digital mammography.

You can take a look at the images, the newer sort of technologies on the right of your screen there, and it may be hard to tell if you're not used to looking at mammograms but it's easier on the right side part of the screen to find certain abnormalities, and that's sort of the key. This is a screening test.

So, what they found is they studied this over time, they followed about half a million women, half of them got the standard mammography. The other half got the 3D mammography, plus the standard. The women who got both, they were more likely to weed out things that were not cancer, and more likely to find things that were cancer. Those are the two things you want and that's what prompted the study.

BOLDUAN: It says it turns up 15 percent fewer false alarms. We've talked about this previously, the false positives is a big criticism that a lot of the medical community has for why so many people are getting screened, it's turning up more false positives, creating more of a problem, unnecessary problem for many women. But the new study says it is better. Is there a downside?

GUPTA: You know, I think the biggest -- there's a couple of downsides. One is you get more radiation right now the way this is done and that's not a small concern. You know, you are getting that dose of radiation every year, that could potentially be a concern.

It's also more expensive, about four times more expensive than mammography and that's always when you're measuring public health sort of risks, something you want to take into account.

But I think the biggest thing, Kate, and this is a more nuanced issue, it's not just about finding cancers early. It's about finding cancers that are going to misbehave and cause a real problem.

Not all cancers do. How do you find the ones that are problematic?

So, the question that they're really going to need to answer is despite all the potential advantages here, does it make a difference? Do women live longer? Are there dangerous cancers found earlier and does it, you know, add to survival.

We don't know the answer to that yet. It's a difficult standard for these screening tests to meet, but that's what they're trying to find.

BOLDUAN: What would your recommendation be? What type of patient is this a better option for?

GUPTA: I would say this, and just looking at the images and looking at the technology, if you're a woman who has had mammograms in the past, and you hear the mammograms aren't very good, you have particularly dense breasts for example. You may be a better candidate for 3D mammography. Also, if you had 3D breast surgery, it may be a better option for you.

Eventually, we talked about it could become a wider screening test but for now that's what I would tell my family members and I think what a lot of oncologists tell their patients.

BOLDUAN: I think when it comes to breast cancer, the more options that you have, because every patient is different, I think that sounds like a good thing, Sanjay.

GUPTA: Yes, I think so. There's a lot of messages back and forth, abandon screening tests, don't worry about them. I think that's the wrong message. I mean, I still think, as a general finding of some of the cancers early is making a big difference, we need to find out which ones are going to misbehave over time.

BOLDUAN: Sanjay Gupta -- thanks, Sanjay. Great to see you.

GUPTA: Anytime. Thank you.

BOLDUAN: An important, stick with me, Sanjay. Sanjay is going to be talking to former "Good Morning America" co-host Joan Lunden about this big issue, her own struggle with breast cancer, her own breast cancer diagnosis. That's going to be on "SANJAY GUPTA, M.D." Be sure to watch this Saturday, 4:30 p.m. and Sunday at 7:30 a.m. Eastern only on CNN, of course.

And, Sanjay, you're pulling double duty, you also have our "Human Factor" of the week.

GUPTA: Yes, you know, excited about this story, incredible video you may have seen of a man who was playing guitar while he was having brain surgery. It was incredible video. It went viral last year. His name is Brad Carter. He hoped that procedure would cure his debilitating tremors. Unfortunately, they wouldn't quit but neither did Carter.

Here is his story.


GUPTA (voice-over): Brad Carter is an actor. He's been on shows like "True Detective", "CSI". And he's also starred in this viral video -- playing guitar while undergoing deep brain stimulation.

What led Carter to the operating room, a condition called the central tremor.

BRAD CARTER, ACTOR: The slower I try to play, the harder is becomes.

GUPTA: For years before that diagnosis, he was told nothing could be done. Carter spent years being misdiagnosed. Meanwhile, tremors began affecting his ability to act and play music. Deep brain stimulation was his best chance.

CARTER: As scary as that is, I'm going to take that chance rather than keep living my life in misery.

GUPTA: And get this -- weeks after the viral video, Carter's tremor came back. He had to prepare for yet another brain surgery.

CARTER: Still tremors, but you got to admit it's a lot better.

GUPTA: The second surgery did work. Perseverance, fighting to be well, overcoming, led to this, an album, due out this fall.

CARTER: I think I've got something that's going to be really -- I'm going to be really proud of.

GUPTA: Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN, reporting.


GUPTA: Yes, I just love watching that video and it's incredible you see a guy playing guitar in the operating room but that's part of how the surgeons are getting feedback in how much of an impact they're making on his tremor. The string and the guitar are hooked up to the accelerometers and movement indicators as well. It wasn't just listening to how good the music was, it sounded good, but how much was he having a tremor while he was playing. It was amazing, amazing video.

BOLDUAN: Unbelievable and unbelievable his perseverance going through two of the treatments like that, Sanjay. That you bringing for us. That was amazing.

GUPTA: You got it.

CUOMO: I remember, that was like a scene in the movie in "Robocop" or "Silence of the Lambs", you feel that could never happen in real life. Now, sure enough, now, it's part of modern medicine.

Coming up on NEW DAY, a Minnesota teenager plots to bomb his school. The police stop him at the last moment. How did they do it, what does it show about what else can be done around the country, and what went wrong with this kid? Answers ahead.