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$3.7 Billion: Too Much For Border?; Cleveland Convention For GOP; Vet Sues After Denied Burial Plot With Her Wife; David Letterman Walks Out On Joan Rivers

Aired July 9, 2014 - 07:30   ET


JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: To have a surge of border people, more judges to handle this, some other resources to deal with this, but listen here, Bob Goodlatte is the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. They would have to consider this legislation. He says I don't think so.


REP. BOB GOODLATTE (R), VIRGINIA: The $3.7 billion is a slap in the face of the taxpayers of the United States and say, this problem, in my opinion, created by the president of the United States in terms of his lax enforcement of immigration laws that's gotten back to these home countries now saying, well, give me money and I will use it to help them settle even further into this country.


KING: That's a conservative on the House side. Before we get to the discussion, here's a conservative on the Senate side, Tom Coburn, last night on "CROSSFIRE." He also says no.


SEN, TOM COBURN (R), OKLAHOMA: Look, for $8 million you can put them all on a first class seat back to their homes. That's $8 million. That's a first class seat one way to each of their homes.


KING: So the president, Molly, wants $3.7 billion. Tom Coburn says you could solve this with $8 million. They will give him his money in the end, will they not? They at least can see they may disagree with how this started and may disagree with everything the president wants to do, have some disagreement there, but it's a crisis. Are they going to tell the president no money?

MOLLY BALL, "THE ATLANTIC": It's starting to look like this is not going to happen, at least not the way the administration wants to. It's striking. These are a couple of Republicans that you just played. He is not getting a terrible amount of backup from Democrats either. There was not an outpouring of, you know, rallying around their party and rallying around their president.

Julian Castro was on the show just a few minutes ago and he offered a rather tepid defense I thought of what the administration wants to do. It kind of shows you how little political capital Obama has these days. You know, I think there are pitfalls for the Republicans, too, just like they have done with immigration appearing to stonewall absolutely anything that the president wants to do, even in the face of a crisis, but he's not getting a lot of backup on this issue.

KING: And so how does it play out? There's a lack of trust, you know, the comprehensive immigration reform, that idea is dead probably for the rest of the Obama presidency. Jonathan, if everyone agrees that having 50,000, 60,000, 80,000 people at the border in the temporary detention centers or whatever you want to call them is a crisis, is it just -- are we going to have a total lack of political will to figure it out?

JONATHAN MARTIN, "THE NEW YORK TIMES": Very possibly, yes. It wouldn't be the first time in Washington that's happened. As Molly mentioned there's a total breakdown of trust between the Republicans and President Obama, and I think beyond that there's a reluctance to be seen as doing anything at all to sort of enable President Obama or even help him politically in an election year. The combination of the lack of trust and the combination of the fact that we're in an election year I think is a recipe for more gridlock.

KING: Somebody who could help him if he could help him would be a big-state Republican governor on the border, namely Rick Perry. We talked about this yesterday. There's been a little back and forth, political dance between the two leaders. They are actually going to meet. When the president is in Texas today, Rick Perry accepted the president's invitation to come to a private meeting and to sit in on a roundtable discussion about this issue.

Rick Perry wants to run for president again. Can he step outside of that box? Is there any possibility, mark me down as stupidly naive I guess, that these two guys, the president of the United States, a Democrat, the big-state Republican governor of Texas, could walk out of a meeting saying we disagree on these things, however we agree on these two or three things. Is that at all possible in today's America?

BALL: Look, anything is possible. Hope springs eternal obviously. They are having a meeting.

KING: That was a polite way of saying no.

BALL: They are having this meeting, but you know, Rick Perry has always gotten a lot of political mileage out of opposing Washington. That has been his brand since he was elected and especially since the Tea Party came to power and at first, you know, it was very much his brand was I'm the, you know, borderline secessionist Texas governor who is against everything coming out of Washington so to continue that now is not out of step with what he's always been.

There is a question about, you know, since he's been making so much noise about this border issue, will he try to appear constructive based on this meeting, and -- you know, I don't think it benefits him to come out and just say nothing could be done. MARTIN: I actually think Perry would have more incentive to strike some kind of a deal with Obama if Perry, himself, was running for re- election this year in Texas. Obviously the pressing issues in Texas on the border itself. He's more incentivized, Perry is, to oppose Obama.

KING: You mentioned, his national ambition so working could become the next Republican nominee. A long way to go before we get to that point. Were Rick Perry were to be next Republican nominee or whoever wins, they will accept their nomination, it appears not in Dallas, which was one of the finalists, Rick Perry, could have had a home state convention

Instead the convention will be in Cleveland, Ohio, unless it hits a hiccup here. Now no Republican has won the presidency in modern times without winning Ohio. We say that every four years and for good reason, because it happens to be true and that President Obama won Ohio twice and the Republicans don't have the White House. Why else? Why would the Republicans say Ohio over reliably red Texas?

BALL: Look, we always make too much of the politics surrounding conventions. The first thing --

KING: So true.

BALL: But the first priority when you're scheduling a convention is about hotel rooms and donors, where logistically can you hold a convention and that's important to the convention bid. Of course, there's politics to it and it definitely was a calculation on the part of the RNC that Texas was not a good look, the national brand too much about the cowboy, Tea Party deep red state thing and Ohio, where you've got John Kasich who has tacked way to the middle.

Where you've got Rob Portman who is also carved out a brand as something of a moderate, this is a swing state, as you mentioned, this is a better context for Republicans to try to be seen in.

MARTIN: I had a member of the Site Selection Committee tell me yesterday that every question we need a yes on the answer was yes. So I think to Molly's point, it's the combination of logistically they could do it, had the hotel rooms and the money and new shiny arena. They could do that.

Plus you add on there's no big downside politically to having it there. Denver, we have legal marijuana or Phoenix where you've got 110 degrees or Texas where you've got heat plus the politics, there's no downside there. In fact, politically there's an upside. It's the consummate swing state. Molly is right, we are so consumed with it and it's forgotten so fast.

KING: You raised this long time ago, you are the first one to write the story about Pat Roberts, the senior senator from Kansas, having some trouble because he spends all of his time, lives in Washington and stays on a friend's couch back home. His opponent is trying to make hay of if you did not hear that, that was, you want to hit at this? You know, Colorado has these new laws, there are certain things. I don't know.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You did not answer the question, why don't you live here though?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Every time I get an opponent, I mean, every time I get a chance, I'm home.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's Senator Pat Roberts, he doesn't live in Kansas anymore.


KING: Paging Dr. Freud, every time, I get an opponent, I mean, every time I get a change, I go home. Is Milton Wolf, the man running against him, is he strong enough to beat Pat Roberts after yet another mistake by Senator Roberts?

MARTIN: That's the question here. So far he has not proven strong enough to attract the support and money of outside groups, (inaudible) Chris McDaniel got Mississippi, which has proved to be a problem for -- he has not be on the year challenging Roberts because he's got the money. But this is one more opportunity that Wolf has to show the groups in D.C. who could write those checks. Look Roberts is vulnerable given a shot.

KING: A remarkable blunder there. We want to take you in closing. Everyone in New York, get ready. The president of the United States is on the road, mainly trying to raise money, but you want to get out to play a little bit. The president went out to a bar last night, you get surprised, we all do this, right? We get surprised by somebody in a horse head, yes. That gets surprised. The president is out on the street here, then he goes out to the governor of Colorado, decided the president, he should have a beer.

That's always good. It's good for the photos. They play a little pole, right, just little recreation. A gorilla fist bump, if you don't talk to the guy in the horse head, you should fist bump the guy in the gorilla hat. And then because we are in Colorado, I guess, this is your one in real moment, listen.

KING: If you did not hear that, that was, you want a hit of this? You know, Colorado has these new laws where there are certain things --

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: We were actually playing around, thinking we should have a caption contest with the horse head picture. That is way too much fun especially being in Denver.

KING: At least the guy, the gorilla and the horsehead guy may have had a hit of that. Just guessing.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Listen closely several times. The president never said no.

BOLDUAN: Excellent point, John Berman.

KING: Berman starts another conspiracy. Here we go.

BOLDUAN: "The Huffington Post" in politics there are always a few naysayers around. Thanks, John. They tried.

BERMAN: There's a main line publication there, get it? Never mind.

BOLDUAN: Moving on, coming up next on NEW DAY, a battle is brewing in Idaho. A gay veteran is suing after she was denied burial next to her late wife. This morning she's speaking out to us about the case.

BERMAN: Plus, why did David Letterman walk out during his interview with Joan Rivers? We'll tell you what happened.


BOLDUAN: Madeline Taylor, a U.S. Navy veteran who served the country for six years during the Vietnam War, she's been rejected from one of the nation's veterans cemetery. State officials say it's currently against Idaho law to allow her to be buried with the ashes of her late wife. Now Taylor is fighting back, launching a lawsuit so she can do just that, be buried in her home state next to her wife.

Madeline Taylor and her attorney, Deborah Ferguson, they are joining us now via Skype. Madeline, thanks very much for coming in. These are always very difficult issues to discuss, even if there isn't a legal matter -- a legal matter involved. Your wife, she passed last year. Couples always have this discussion of when we go, how we want to be buried and end of life issues like this. I'm sure you had that kind of discussion. What were her wishes?


BOLDUAN: What were your wishes? What did you decide?

TAYLOR: We both wanted to be cremated and put into a hole somewhere, and -- and the veteran cemetery seemed like the best place to go for constant care, beautiful place, by the way.

BOLDUAN: So you show up at the cemetery office trying to make advanced plans for your burial, and what did they say to you?

TAYLOR: They said no.

BOLDUAN: What went through your mind?

TAYLOR: I had no idea that a veterans cemetery was ruled by state laws. I thought it was federal, and I charged in there.

BOLDUAN: What went through your mind when they said that to you, essentially saying sorry, you're out of luck?

TAYLOR: They carefully explained the state laws, and I decided we just had to change those state laws. BOLDUAN: Why is this cemetery, why is being in Idaho in this cemetery, why is it important to you? Why not -- some will look at this and say why not go to a federal cemetery, which currently would allow you to be interred along with your law?

TAYLOR: There are no federal cemeteries in Idaho at all, so that's -- the veterans cemetery here is a state-run facility, and my family is all here. I have two brothers, two sisters and their kids and their grandkids all here in the area.

BOLDUAN: And you're dealing with some serious health issues yourself, which just drives home the point that time is of the essence.

TAYLOR: Right.

BOLDUAN: What are you dealing with and what does this mean for you?

TAYLOR: I just had a stent put in up in Seattle, and that's got me thinking I better get moving.

BOLDUAN: What do you make of all of this? You seem pretty -- you seem very upbeat about kind of the prospects of this and facing this. What do you make of it?

TAYLOR: Well, it's going to happen whether I -- I would rather have it happen in my lifetime. Otherwise, my pastor's got my ashes and she will sit there waiting for them to change the law.

BOLDUAN: Where is this confidence coming from?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Your personality.

TAYLOR: My personality, that's right. I'm a very persistent person. I'm persistent, stubborn and optimistic.

BOLDUAN: Yes. Debra, what do you make of kind of the legal situation and the battle you guys are facing going forward? As we know, time is of the essence for Madelynn. How quickly do you think we'll have a decision on this?

DEBORAH A. FERGUSON, MADELYNN TAYLOR'S ATTORNEY: Well, I think Madelynn's case is a very vivid illustration of why these discriminatory laws have to be struck down, and so we want to move forward, you know, as quickly as possible to get a ruling that would allow Madelynn's ashes to be interned with her spouses upon her death.

BOLDUAN: Madelynn have you considered the what if, what you'll do or what your wishes will be if you don't win this challenge and it doesn't go in your favor?

TAYLOR: We've already set up a system for my pastor to take care of our ashes until they do change the law, and then they will go in there. They will go in, whether we get the law changed now or later.

BOLDUAN: Definitely are persistent. We see that in your nature. I think this is probably not only on this very issue. Madelynn Taylor and Deborah Ferguson, thank you very much for your time. Please keep us updated on the progress of your case.

TAYLOR: Thank you very much.

BOLDUAN: Thanks for your time.

Coming up next though on NEW DAY, exiting stage left. David Letterman storms off the set during his interview with Joan Rivers. What happened? We're going to tell you.


BERMAN: Free morning concert on NEW DAY.

MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back to NEW DAY. Over the weekend, Joan Rivers making headlines, she stormed out of a CNN interview with our Fredricka Whitfield when she was asked about wearing fur on the cover of her new book.


JOAN RIVERS, ACTRESS: Years ago I worked for animal rights. Stop it with -- and you do this and you're mean and you're that. You are not the one to interview a person who does humor, sorry.


PEREIRA: And she stormed off. Joan's reaction raise suspicion that it was a publicity stunt to promote her new book. Last night on David Letterman she revealed why she stormed off the set and Letterman's response is fantastic.


DAVID LETTERMAN: So I was watching the CNN thing.


LETTERMAN: And you got -- the woman was interviewing you, what was the woman's name?

RIVERS: I don't know.

LETTERMAN: And you felt that she was being --

RIVERS: Very judgmental, very nasty.

LETTERMAN: Negative. It was like my wedding night.


PEREIRA: There's a certain level of judgmental and nasty that is ironic there. Letterman walks off, storms off in a huff or you know, just for fun, because you know, humor begets humor.

BOLDUAN: She takes over the show. We do know her name, Fredricka Whitfield. PEREIRA: Our Fredricka Whitfield who is one of the most delightful people we all know, nothing judgmental or caustic about her.

BERMAN: There was nothing biting, cruel or mean about Fred's interview. Joan Rivers is a hilarious and brilliant performer and has been for a long, long time. I think comedians have a little bit of thicker skin.


BOLDUAN: I think we find many of them do not have such a thick skin. Joan Rivers of all people, she can dish it out, right?

PEREIRA: Can she take it, is the question.

BOLDUAN: If you dish it out, you should be able to take it.

PEREIRA: She said she was nasty and judgmental. Joan's show talks to this, the things she says about the actresses, Gwyneth Paltrow, et cetera, et cetera, are pretty biting, just saying. Just saying.

BOLDUAN: What about the idea that this was completely an act for her?

PEREIRA: I looked at it. I don't think it was.

BERMAN: I think she lost control and decided she was going to storm out. The whole thing was strange to me. What was awesome was Letterman last night. I thought that was a brilliant handling of the situation by both Dave and Joan Rivers there.

BOLDUAN: I don't know what to do with this so I'm going to walk out and she hijacks the segment and starts interviewing the crowd. What have you got?

BERMAN: If it works for her and gets a lot of positive publicity that's something I might consider.

BOLDUAN: Storming out of the show?

BERMAN: Sure if it works it works.

BOLDUAN: You're going to storm out on your own interviews.

BERMAN: If they're getting mean to you. Like Tuesday? Yes, I'll storm out.

BOLDUAN: We're going to get into the family issues in a little bit.

PEREIRA: I heart you JB.

BOLDUAN: So you know, the entire interview with Fredricka Whitfield is up on so you can see and judge yourself. Hands to yourselves, kids, hands to yourselves.

Coming up next on NEW DAY, crisis at the border. President Obama meeting with Texas Governor Rick Perry today. The president requests billions of dollars from Congress to fix the immediate crisis at the border, will it be enough? Republican Senator John Cornyn of Texas will join us to discuss.

BERMAN: Plus he's the man behind some of Hollywood's biggest, best, funniest films. Rob Reiner talks about his latest project and some of his most notable films like "The Princess Bride."


BOLDUAN: A lone star meeting. President Obama set to meet with the Texas governor today. The focus? The crisis at the border, with billions of dollars on the line, is the president doing enough to address the immigration crisis, and how will Congress respond?

BERMAN: Deadly violence. Hundreds of rockets and missiles soaring between Israel and Gaza as the Mideast violence continues to escalate.