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Roads and Bridges "Not Socialism"; Romney to Endorse Scott Brown; Christie Won't Answer SCOTUS Question; Team USA's Epic Finish; Some Restaurants Not Cutting Salt

Aired July 2, 2014 - 07:30   ET



KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back. Let's get down to Washington and "Inside Politics" on NEW DAY with John King. Hi, John.

JOHN KING, CNN HOST, "INSIDE POLITICS": Kate, good morning to you. Remember Washington used to be slow in the summertime but not this year. A lot of politics and let's go inside politics. With me this morning to share their reporting and their insights, Margaret Talev of "Bloomberg News" and Olivier Knox of Yahoo! News.

Let's start with the president yesterday. We often wondered do the presidents really listen to the critics. You know they do when they use their own language back. Here's the president, he is near the Key Bridge in Washington. That connects Washington and Northern Virginia.

He is trying to get Congress to renew the highway funds so that there's some money for infrastructure projects, to build some roads and bridges. The president says what's wrong with that?


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: It's not crazy. It's not socialism. You know, it's not -- well, not the imperial presidency or no laws are broken. We're just building roads and bridges like we've been doing for the last, I don't know, the last 50, 100 years. But so far House Republicans have refused to act on this idea. I haven't heard a good reason why they haven't acted. It's not like they have been busy with other stuff. No, seriously. I mean, they are not doing anything. Why don't they do this?


KING: It's both kind of funny, Margaret, and kind of a window into his frustration.

MARGARET TALEV, "BLOOMBERG NEWS": He is so, so defensive and at the end of his rope with these guys and we hear it all the time. We heard it again yesterday when he walked into his own White House party for the World Cup. He said his main concern was he didn't want to walk in and have Belgium score a goal. Put upon and so frustrated with these Republicans and so frustrated that he's one that gets blamed when nothing happens. That is a really window into his state of mind right now. KING: I love when they say, I don't read the polls or I'm not paying attention to that stuff. I'm just trying to do my job. It's not socialism. It's not the imperial presidency. He seems to be reading very closely at what the Republicans are saying.

OLIVIER KNOX, "YAHOO NEWS": And at one point he invoked Republican House Speaker John Boehner's threat so far not materialized threat to sue him when he says in that exchange at the Francis Scott Key Bridge right before July 4th. I'm going to do these things, and if you don't like it, so sue me.

KING: We'll give you a poll here. A lot of polls will be used fleeting and passing. This one is largely meaningless except it does give you a window into the American people's sentiment at the moment. Who is the worst president since World War II? Quinnipiac decided to ask this question. Well, one-third of Americans say Barack Obama is the worst president since World War II.

His predecessor right behind him, 28 percent George W. Bush, Richard Nixon and Jimmy Carter. Margaret, not the company you want to be in. Again, I suspect in four or six years this will change again because it's the two most recent presidents at the top. People remember them and their partisan opinions and polarizing America jumped out. Does it mean anything?

TALEV: Wow. You think about if you're President Obama, you're trying to shape your legacy and you're up against that where Nixon is like fabulous compared to how you're doing and you don't want that to be how it goes down. He really is sort of struggling how to take the long view without letting the short view trip him up.

I do think it's a question of timing. It's a question of everyone's state of mind. People are so disillusioned with all politicians, including the president, and it really does reflect the nation's partisan split as well. It's a problem for him. Not good numbers to be posted.

KNOX: Right. And at the other end of that spectrum, I think they also asked who is the best president since World War II and those numbers came out slightly better for Barack Obama. That meaningless poll is not all gloom and doom for the president.

KING: Ronald Reagan, by the way, was rated the best followed by Bill Clinton and Jack Kennedy. We'll see.

The return of Mitt Romney today in the state of New Hampshire where he announced his presidential campaign the last cycle. He will endorse his friend and former Massachusetts State legislator, then former Massachusetts senator, now wannabe New Hampshire Senator Scott Brown.

Mitt Romney will be up in New Hampshire to endorse Scott Brown. When Mitt Romney was Massachusetts governor, Scott Brown was a member of the Massachusetts legislature. So a big endorsement there. Brown is hoping to win the Republican nomination, to run against the Democratic incumbent, Jean Shaheen. Despite a big take, well behind in the most recent polls to Jeanne Shaheen and this makes Harry Reid laugh. "Huffington Post" interviewing Harry Reid and Republicans have a chance to take back the Senate. The "Huffington Post" says to Leader Reid, are you nervous that Republicans expanding to Colorado, Michigan and New Hampshire, that will take away Democratic money from places like Arkansas.

Reid says, New Hampshire? They would like to think so, was the response, and from Harry Reid a classic -- why Olivier, does he not like Scott Brown?

KNOX: Gosh, know, as my colleague has documented, first of all, Harry Reid is the master of the Washington insult. He is very good at this. Scott Brown is the aggregate of polling in New Hampshire is that he's about 10 points behind Jeanne Shaheen. Even with a big fundraising haul and polls that will narrow, much better off with Romney's support in New Hampshire than he was with Romney's support in Massachusetts a couple years ago.

KING: That's a great point there. Remember, when Scott Brown came in, he took what was Ted Kennedy's seat when Ted Kennedy passed away and complicated things in the Senate and that's why Harry Reid's like I really doesn't want him back.

TALEV: Look, for Scott Brown and for Mitt Romney, New Hampshire is a place of resurrection, a different place than Massachusetts was. Obama won in New Hampshire, not nearly by as much in Massachusetts and for Brown trying to lock up this primary, get your fundraising and get your primary up to full steam. Move on. That's good news, but how far it takes him in the general elections.

KING: That broadens the map for Republicans but that one there looks very iffy. Chris Christie is most likely to run for the Republican nomination for presidency in 2016. Remember the Supreme Court just issued a huge decision, the Hobby Lobby decision about contraceptive coverage within the president's health care. You would think a leading Republican thinking about running for president would be ready to answer a question for or against the Supreme Court ruling. Listen.


GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: Why should I give an opinion on whether they are right or wrong? At the end of the day, they did what they did. That's now the law of the land unless people in the elected branches try to change it. This is the way you get bogged down in those things.


KING: This is the way you get bogged down in those things. He wants to be president. If he's going to be running in a Republican primary, I can see him on the stage in Iowa, doesn't clean this up before then, Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Rick Santorum tripping over themselves to have a debate with Chris Christie over this.

KNOX: He won't escape this question. He can escape it on morning TV, but he can't escape it in a primary race. Gosh, not like the president has any impact on shaping -- right. He can't get away with this. They will have to find an answer to that question.

KING: Is this the northeast governor in the state of New Jersey that the coverage might be popular, but in Iowa you have Christian conservatives that think this is a landmark great decision.

TALEV: He's prosecutor. Not like he's never considered a legal opinion on anything and he's always been really interesting on the contraceptive debate and he was saying I really don't think this should become a predominant issue in the presidential race and wanted to buy himself enough time to figure out where to put his finger on the scale.

KING: Buy himself some time. Got to be ready for that. When the court issues a big situation, you might know next time you're on television, get asked about that. Leadership, leadership. Nobody likes to write a check to the United States Treasury, but President Obama wrote a check to the U.S. Treasury. He promised to contribute back to the government a portion of his salary from the time of the government shutdown, and you can see $20,000, the president gives that back. I guess, good for him for keeping the promise, right?

TALEV: It's all free points for him. Good positive coverage, doesn't cost him that much money. Won't make a dent remotely in anything or have any impact on the status of the U.S. economy or the debt, but, you know, he can say he's doing it and it sets a bar for other politicians to follow.

KNOX: Yes. I agree. If he hadn't done it, certainly would have been a PR disaster for the White House. I agree with Margaret. I guess, there aren't ash trays anymore. I don't know how many Pentagon hammers that will buy.

KING: Two, maybe. Margaret, thanks. As we get back to you, Kate and Michaela, I know you miss Mr. Cuomo. He was very closely watching the World Cup yesterday. The president, look we have video of the president stopping by a party at the White House. As Margaret noted a little nervous when he came in that the other guys would score, but this tells you everybody, I was watching in my office trying to do a little bit of work. Everybody. Everybody watched the game. Too bad they came up a little short.

BOLDUAN: There's nothing partisan about that.


BOLDUAN: Everybody took a break at 4:00 yesterday.

PEREIRA: I ran to the TV because I was 9 minutes late.

BOLDUAN: And then I didn't get up, John, until 6:30 or something when it was over? I mean, my God, I was glued to the TV.

PEREIRA: Well done, Team USA. BOLDUAN: Thanks, John. Thanks, Olivier. Great to see you guys. Coming up next on NEW DAY, some restaurants have cut the salt, but which ones are the worst offenders? Nutritional information for all of us. Let's get back to Brazil and Chris.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: One of the reasons I have a 1 on my chest is that U.S. soccer has made the USA one nation under one team. Listen to this. A poll out says 42 percent of people 18 to 29 followed the World Cup closely. You know what that means? U.S. soccer has arrived. We're going to take you deep into what made the match last night and what will make soccer going forward. Stay with us.


CUOMO: Boy, to see Tim Howard in person last night, what a treat. Yes, Belgium took the U.S. 2-1, they move on. The U.S. does not, but he was the man of the match for many good reasons, 16 of them, probably more like 50 good reasons. He had 16 saves. That's a World Cup record, but boy, what a performance. The U.S. team probably overperforming in this tournament, but don't take my word for it.

Let's bring in an expert, Mr. Jimmy Conrad, former U.S. player himself, host on "Kick TV." Jimmy jam, my man. Good to have you joining us from Rio. What did you see as being the difference between the two sides last night?

JIMMY CONRAD, HOST, KICKTV: Well, it's a real thin line between success and failure at a World Cup and Belgium took their chances and we didn't. We had plenty of times when we could have hit the back of the net. The free kick at the end could have tied it, which would have been incredibly exciting come back from 2-0 in extra time. Belgium made the plays and we didn't and now our World Cup dream is over.

CUOMO: Fair criticism that the U.S. big names did not show up on the offensive side certainly, but the dream being over, come now, Jimmy. You know that the dream is about the future, and it seems lick that dream is well in hand, no?

CONRAD: The future is bright. We have a lot of good young players. Deandre Yedlin stepped up and performed and Julian Green, first shot in a World Cup and he scores so I'm very excited about our prospects in the World Cup in 2018 in Russia. But I want to encourage everybody at home who is watching doesn't let the World Cup fever go away. Go out and support your local MLS team. Breeding ground for our next generation, and that's where everything has to happen so go out and support MLS.

CUOMO: Well, I pushed Tim Howard hard. We'll have the interview coming up a little later on the show here about staying with the U.S. team. He's, of course, playing for Everton over in the premier league. Maybe he comes to MLS afterwards. Let's talk about him. He is one of the reasons I have a big 1 on my chest this morning. That's his number, of course. What did you think during the match? Did you think he was having a special game? CONRAD: There's no question, and more often than not Tim Howard does have special games, and that's what we need to have success at the international level, but this is kind of a message to the U.S. government. I don't know what Tim Howard ate at lunch, but I think that's what we should be feeding our kids at school from here on out. I mean, the guy was incredible, making saves, keeps us in the game and having a performance that people are going to remember for a long time.

CUOMO: And one soccer point on it. I was reading some analysis that what made it so special was that so many of the Belgian shots were naked, that they had beaten the defense so that they were in situations where they should have been able to take the goalkeeper yet they didn't. Is that accurate?

CONRAD: No, that's very accurate and kind of the negative side of Tim Howard's performance is he had to make so many saves. Hopefully in the future when we're in a world cup, we're not having to rely on him to bail us out of situations and that our defense is sound and compact, and we have the back line. These are guys that are going to be in Russia in 2018 in four years. They will learn from these experiences and will be even better then.

CUOMO: Jimmy Conrad, as a former U.S. player yourself, comment on this significance in the culture change of the U.S. as they see soccer. A poll out this morning, 42 percent of people 18 to 29 followed this World Cup closely in the U.S. What does that mean to you?

CONRAD: It means a lot, and I think it's showing the growth of the sport in the country. We could argue that baseball, our favorite pastime, grew up in the radio age. We could argue that American football and basketball grew up in the TV age when people want to consume their sports by watching TV, and now I think soccer is growing up in the digital age so that poll is just a reflection of that.

CUOMO: Well, we know this. Streets all over the country last night were filled with boys and girls playing soccer and dreaming of being the next Tim Howard or Jimmy Conrad, you never know. Thank you for the analysis. Look forward to seeing you on Kick TV. Appreciate you being on NEW DAY this morning.

CONRAD: Thank you so much.

CUOMO: All right, our thanks to Jimmy. You heard him talking about Tim Howard. How about you hear from the man himself. He's everywhere in the U.S. media, but he was on NEW DAY first this morning. Do you think he'll stay with the team? What is he going to do now? He's going to give you an answer that will surprise you, I guarantee you that. It's up in a little bit. Stay with us. Number 1, still number 1. Still believe.

BOLDUAN: You still believe. You're never going to stop believing, just like the Journey song says. Thanks, Chris. We'll get back to you in a second. Coming up next on NEW DAY, major restaurant chains can't shake the salt habit, it appears. Some have actually increased the sodium in the meals and it's hurting your health. We'll break down the startling new report ahead.


PEREIRA: Thank you for tuning in to NEW DAY. We want to talk about some restaurant chains that are kind of having trouble saying hold the salt. It's affecting your health. Major report by the Center For Science and The Public Interest criticizes KFC, Jack in the Box, and Red Lobster saying that sodium content in their food is up, but some other big chains are getting some promise from them.

Senior medical correspondent, Elizabeth Cohen, is here to breakdown the good, the bad and the ugly. Good morning, first of all. Talk to us about the best and worst offenders on this list.

ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Some restaurants are doing great, McDonald's for example, Subway, they've done a great job getting some of the sodium out of their meals. However, some restaurants have actually put more salt in some of their meals. So let's look at what some of those are. For example, at Jack in the Box, their hamburgers salt went up 26 percent from 2009 to 2013 in their hamburgers, exactly, and the KFC grilled drumstick, the salt went up 45 percent. They're supposed to put less in. Tater tots at Sonic, 84 percent salt increase.

PEREIRA: Wait a second! What is this about? Given all that we know, Elizabeth, why on earth when the push has been to take salt out of our food, why on earth are they putting more in 84 percent more?

COHEN: That's right, Michaela. The push has been there because salt is bad for your blood pressure. It's bad for your heart, all sorts of things. We asked the National Restaurant Association about this, and this is what they had to say. They said "Across our highly diverse industry, restaurants are actively engaged in efforts to provide consumers with lower sodium options. Efforts to lower sodium are impacted by consumer preference and limited technology." Look at that consumer preference. I think what I hear them saying is people like salt and buy food that's salty.

PEREIRA: But the foods were already salty and considered well above our daily limits. We're supposed to only have 1500 milligrams of salt a day?

COHEN: That's exactly right. Most are supposed to have 1500 milligrams of salt a day. Remember that number because now look at this meal from Sonic, chicken Tater Tots and a drink, 3,780 milligrams of salt. You are getting, Michaela, in one meal more than twice as much salt as you're supposed to be getting in the entire day.

PEREIRA: Two days' worth.

COHEN: Two and a half times as much, right, exactly. PEREIRA: Bottom line, because you can't tell how much salt is in. What you can do you told me this, go on to the web site and sometimes they'll have the ingredients, you can see the sodium levels on their menu items right there, and it's a good way to stay informed.

COHEN: It is. Lot of us go to the same restaurants over and over again so if you do, go to their web site, see their sodium content and then you know.

PEREIRA: Or just treat fastfood as a treat and not a regular thing that's another. Elizabeth Cohen, thanks for walking us through it -- Kate.

BOLDUAN: All right, coming up next on NEW DAY, all eyes on Arthur. Will the tropical storm turn into a hurricane in time, just in time for the summer -- one of the summer's biggest holidays? We'll track that as well, but we're also going to be heading back down to Brazil where Chris is.

CUOMO: Why do I have a one on my chest? Well, in part because it is the number Tim Howard wore last night, he was the man of the match, despite a losing effort from the U.S. What does that mean? It means he made history with his play. You're going to hear from him yourself coming up. What will he say about what he does next? Is he going to stay with the U.S.? Answers ahead.