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New Proposal on Border Crisis; Governors Don't Want Border Kids; Governor Chris Christie to Iowa; Theme Park Investigation; Tracy Morgan Speaks Out After Crash

Aired July 15, 2014 - 07:30   ET



MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: We've got the five things you need to know for your NEW DAY. At number one, breaking news, overnight, Israel accepted the terms of an Egyptian proposed ceasefire with Hamas militants, but Hamas rejects the proposal and has fired at least 35 rockets at Israel this morning despite mounting casualties in Gaza.

At least 15 are dead after a Moscow subway train derailed. Emergency officials say more than 100 others were injured. Some 50 of them reportedly fighting for their lives. One survivor remains in a badly wrecked car, and a rescue is under way at this hour.

New this morning, Secretary of State John Kerry says there are very real gaps between Iran and the west in negotiations over Iran's nuclear program. Negotiators have until Sunday to reach a deal.

The DEA launching an investigation into the alleged abuse painkillers and other prescription drugs in the NFL. It stems in part from a class action suit filed by hundreds of former NFL players.

The home field advantage in the World Series is at stake, but tonight all-star game in Minneapolis is expected to be a bit of a Derek Jeter love fest. It's the 14th and final all-star game for the retiring Yankee great.

We always update those five things to know so be sure to visit for the very latest -- Chris.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: All right, Mich, it is time to get "Inside Politics" on NEW DAY with Mr. John King. John, good to have you.

JOHN KING, CNN HOST, "INSIDE POLITICS": Chris, Kate, Michaela, good morning to you. A very busy day inside politics. Let's get right to it. With me to share their reporting and their insights, CNN's Peter Hamby and Jonathan Martin of the "New York Times."

Let's start with Congress beginning to work its way. There has been a lot of people are saying, no, the president won't get his nearly $4 billion that he wants for the border crisis, but we do have a House working group with this proposal today, a bipartisan group, a conservative Democrat Henry Cuellar and conservative Republican Senator John Cornyn working on their own bill. It looks like Congress at least will put something together and we'll see if the administration can it work out. But as we saw, the first plane load went back yesterday to Honduras. The administration is trying to send a signal these children will not be allowed to stay, but a lot of governors are saying if this strikes on for months, not in my backyard. Let's listen to Terry Branstad, Iowa Republican at the National Governors' Conference saying I have some empathy, but --


GOV. TERRY BRANSTAD (R), IOWA: I do have empathy for these kids, and I want to make -- but I also don't want to send a signal that send your kids to America illegally.


KING: That's a Republican governor of Iowa there, Terry Branstad, a long serving Republican governor. But Democrats are saying pretty much the same thing, John Hickenlooper, a friend of the president, had a beer with him last week. He is the Democratic governor of Colorado. He says our citizens already feel burdened by all kinds of challenges. They don't want see another burden come into their state.

However we deal with the humanitarian aspects of this, we have to do it in the most cost-effective way as possible and Peter, even in Maryland, where Governor Martin Umali has said, you know, wait a minute, he's gone to the left of Hillary Clinton. He said you can't run these kids away.

A look at this photo that was in the "Washington Post", spray painted on a potential temporary detention center in Maryland. It's an abandoned Army reserve facility, no illegals here. You have a lot of not in my backyard as we start to see whether Congress will give the president at least some of what he wants.

PETER HAMBY, CNN NATIONAL POLITICAL REPORTER: Yes, I mean, especially for Branstad and Hickenlooper, both of whom are up for re-election and swingy states really don't want to deal with this. I mean, this is really tough. Look, as far as the House bill, it's hard to see this going far among Democrats, both in the House and Senate and frankly with the White House. I know that Cuellar is a Democrat, but he's a conservative Democrat and a thorn in the side of the Obama administration so they are going to have to try to find some middle ground.

KING: But for the president to get most of the money he wants, Jonathan, he's going to have to give Republicans more what have they want because they control the House and they have enough votes in the Senate to tie things up. How much liberal backlash does he risk by negotiating with the Republicans?

JONATHAN MARTIN, "THE NEW YORK TIMES": I think definitely some, but I think that the pragmatists in his caucus will understand that the GOP is not going to give him a blank check. There will have to be some back and forth and some compromise here, but it is striking though to watch the politicians who are up for re-election this year. I was at the governors' conference and all of those who face the voters this fall, regardless of what state they from, Dan Malloy of Connecticut, an emphatically blue state was much more sort of vague when it came to this issue than Martin O'Malley who is not running for re-election, who is eyeing the liberal primary at his party national in 2016.

KING: I was just saying that Michelle Kosinski's piece earlier in the show, Tom Harkin, the senator from Iowa, a Democrat but he is retiring, he is very much out there saying why are we treating these kids like cattle?

Let's move on, you just mentioned, Terry Branstad, will get some help later this week from Chris Christie. Chris Christie is the governor of New Jersey, a Republican. He is also the chairman of the Republican Governors Association. He is going out to raise some money to help Branstad campaign.

When he gets to Iowa, you might remember it's first on the presidential calendar. Chris Christie thinking about running in 2016. A conservative group running a modest campaign saying don't trust Chris Christie as a president because he appoints liberal judges.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Chris Christie promised to change New Jersey's liberal Supreme Court, five openings later, no change. Instead a liberal Democrat for chief justice, tell Chris Christie our country needs judges who respect the rule of law.


KING: Jonathan, it's a very modest investment, but it tells us, we've seen the Rick Perry and Rand Paul back and forth. The 2016 is well under way.

MARTIN: Absolutely, and Christie has got a real wall of opposition among activist conservatives, and the folks who are airing that are real hardliners and Christie is not from their wing of the party. This is one of his big challenges is not only does he have a home state scandal but in some ways even bigger than that, the more structural challenge.

The party has become a really pure conservative party in the Obama era and that's not who Chris Christie is. He's more of a sort of can do pragmatist, a huge challenge for Christie especially in a state like Iowa dominated by the right.

HAMBY: One other dynamic. One of the tropes of Republican presidential campaigns at this point is that there's a wing of the Republican Party. Look, Robert Gibbs famously poked the professional right, who is committed to attacking whoever the perceived squish moderate. Christie is filling that space. If someone else popped up, they would probably ding him.

KING: Interesting to see, this footnote as we move on from Chris Christie, he signed an executive order saying they will look at the common core, education standards Christie embraced and Jeb Bush embraced, could be an opportunity for Chris Christie to reach out to the right if he moves away from the common core standards.

You mentioned there is a left and there is a right. You are Shepherdstown, New Virginia, yesterday with the new darling of the left, Elizabeth Warren, from the blue state, Massachusetts. Remembering Michael Dukakis was from there. John Kerry was from there. Republicans would say that Romney was there.

Natalie Tenant is the Secretary of State. She faces a huge uphill race to keep that seat in Democratic hands. Who does she call on, Elizabeth Warren? Listen to this.


SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D), MASSACHUSETTS: The way I see this, Citibank, Goldman Sachs, all those other guys on Wall Street, they have got plenty of folks in the United States Senate who are willing to work on their side. We need some more people willing to work on the side of American families.


KING: You're in the room, Peter Hamby, what's she like on the trail in what has become a red state. Used to be a reliably blue state, West Virginia, how did she play?

HAMBY: Natalie Tenant is down by 10 points and who better to bring in to fire them up? She was really good in the room. I mean, this room was half empty, and then it started to fill up and all a sudden it was standing room, had to bring in extra chairs. Very good in a campaign setting framing these sort of progressive liberal issues as middle class issues, social security, Medicare, which are very big issues obviously in West Virginia, students loans, minimum wage, and the crowd ate it up. They ate up. They really, really liked her. She is much more talented frankly than I thought she would be in a campaign setting.

KING: And Natalie said I'm glad she's here, with her on minimum wage and social security but not on coal.

MARTIN: That's tough. When you get beyond and talking about environmental issues and cultural issues that's where Democrats have had challenges in those kind of states recent years and the Republicans want to maximize the separation on that kind of an issue. I'll tell you what, I don't understand why Republicans don't appreciate Warren's talents more when it comes to the economic issues, especially in this moment that we're in right now. It's very compelling message, and she is as much of an Okie as she is from Harvard yard. Not somebody that is sort of Brahmin and if you watch her on the stump she has some skills.

HAMBY: She doesn't come off as this Cambridge intellectual, very folksy and at the end of the speech this, woman also from Oklahoma, rushed up and gave her a hug. I'm also from Oklahoma. Does have a genuine rapport with audiences.

KING: It's going to be interesting to watch as we get through the summer, post-Labor Day, get yourself a calendar of the 14 Senate races, get a the stump she has some skills.

HAMBY: She doesn't come off as this Cambridge intellectual, very folksy and at the end of the speech this, woman also from Oklahoma, rushed up and gave her a hug. I'm also from Oklahoma. Does have a genuine rapport with audiences. Jonathan, Peter, thanks for coming in this morning. As we get back to Chris, Michaela and Kate in New York, I want to join -- I'm a Rex Sox fan.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: That's good. Even John King can.

KING: A class act.

CUOMO: It transcends the loyalty of team. Appreciate it. Even have red in my tie today, you see?

BOLDUAN: Thanks, John.

Coming up next on NEW DAY," accused sexual predators working at some of the country's most popular theme parks. We're going to talk with a local sheriff about a stunning CNN investigation. That's ahead.


CUOMO: Welcome back. Well, it is hard to find someone with kids who doesn't know the joy of seeing your children just go bananas at a theme park. Well, in a CNN exclusive investigation, something is revealed, and it's a real risk. Predators in the park. At least 35 Disney employees have been arrested since 2006 on accusations of sex crimes involving children.

Employees from Universal Studios and SeaWorld have also been arrested, but you need to know this. None of the cases so far involve children or teens visiting the parks, but there were two cases of possession of child pornography on Disney property, so the question is obvious. What is being done to keep our kids safe?

Joining us now is Sheriff Grady Judd from Polk County, Florida and that is where some of these perpetrators were arrested. Sheriff, thanks for joining us and we know you take this very seriously. Let's get the right context in large part our theme parks are safe. So the question becomes what is your concern in this situation?

SHERIFF GRADY JUDD, POLK COUNT, FLORIDA: Well, Chris, we know there are child predators, and you remember the bank robber, they asked Willie why he robbed banks. He said that's where the money, is so why do child predators want to work around children? Well, they do that at theme parks, in schools, and do you know what? The Congress has tied our folks' hands.

You know, the theme parks, the schools can't do polygraphs to check the backgrounds or we would have more opportunity to discover the proclivity of the child predator which is really a monster that's after our children. I'm going to go after them with a vengeance to protect our children, and we need to do that nationwide, but the theme parks, the schools need help.

CUOMO: Sheriff, first is if you don't have a prior on your record, it's going to be very tough for an employer to know what's going on. You suggest a solution of a polygraph. Do you have any proof that a polygraph is effective in flagging somebody as a pedophile?

JUDD: It's another tool, Chris. We can use polygraph's and we do before we hire a law enforcement officer. The officer who is going to guard your business and come into your home at night if there's a problem has to pass a polygraph, but the teach their teaches your elementary and middle schoolchildren doesn't have to take a polygraph. The person that's going to be dealing with your children at a theme park can't take a polygraph. It is against federal law.


JUDD: And that's why Congress has to act to give us another tool.

CUOMO: But we don't know who they until we've arrested them. Disney if given the tools could do a background and see if they have for conduct, they don't' have the tools because it's against the law? Why is it allowed in some businesses and not others?

JUDD: Well, it's allowed in law enforcement, but it's not allowed in private businesses.

CUOMO: It's not allowed in schools, and Congress set that law in motion several years ago, and you can see the after effect. We've got predators that want to be close to the children so they move near to and work near children in schools and also in theme marks.

JUDD: We're aware of that threat. The question is how many are effectively getting in? Disney put those arrested on unpaid leave pending the outcome. Case and non-of the men supposedly work there now. Do you accept as the right conduct from Disney?

CUOMO: I think Disney has to and has demonstrated that they are effective in reacting to arrest, but we don't know who they are until we've arrested them. Disney, if given the tools, could do a background and see if they have a proclivity for deviant conduct. They don't have the tools because it's against the law. But we all have to work together to protect our children. They are our most important resource.

JUDD: That's why at this agency we go after predators all the time.

CUOMO: Look, that's going to get nothing but applause from people in your constituency and hard to argue against it, but I will have to offer up this one push point, that you know, liberties matter just as much, you know, whether it's the safety of your child or it's the safety and sanctity of your own rights. People have criticized you saying, you know, you've got these guys under surveillance.

You've tried some stings on them and even the guys who didn't go for your sting operation, you've kept them under surveillance, and the question becomes entrapment. How do you justify your practices with these individuals?

JUDD: Chris, thank you for that question. I've been waiting all morning for it. You know, when we put an advertisement on a social media and say, I'm 13 years old and someone comes there and says, I want to have sex, you know, that's not entrapment and the law says that. The only ones that are screaming about entrapment are the perverts and the predators doing this. You know what? I've not had one mother or father complain to me about putting a sexual predator in jail, not yet. The people -- and that's the people who count to me.

CUOMO: And obviously, and I know you know -- you know you need to balance the rights of the individuals involved and make sure you make a strong case and the unfortunate thing, as you know very well, sheriff, and as I learned over the years covering the issue, jail often isn't enough. You can't fix an illness just with jail time. We got a lot of work do in this area. Thank you for taking it on and let us know how it goes and how we can help in the media.

JUDD: Chris, you, CNN and Kyra Phillips have been wonderful. You have brought this to the attention of the nation and we will work together to protect our children and protect individual rights as well.

CUOMO: Sheriff, thank you very much -- Kate.

BOLDUAN: All right, coming up next on NEW DAY, actor, Tracy Morgan talking for the first time since his very serious car crash. Why he is now suing Wal-Mart over the highway wreck?


BOLDUAN: Just weeks after a deadly car accident left him in critical condition, comedian, Tracy Morgan speaking out for the first time and also gearing up for a court battle with Wal-Mart suing over the New Jersey turnpike wreck that killed one of his friends. CNN's Nischelle Turner is here with more, speaking out for the very first time.

NISCHELLE TURNER, CNN ENTERTAINMENT CORRESPONDENT: Happy to report a little good news in this story, we have reported so much tragedy in it. Tracy Morgan so many of his friends and fans were concerned for him. It was heart warming to see him with that trademark grin on his face.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How you doing, Tracy? You look good, man.

TURNER (voice-over): An upbeat Tracy Morgan, flashing a peace sign and a huge smile as he speaks out for the first time since the horrific accident that nearly killed him. The comedian appeared in good spirits Monday morning, moving gingerly and leaning on a walker as he got into a car at his New Jersey home. Greeting applause from reporters, Morgan rolled down the passenger side window thanking everyone for the outpouring of support. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How you feeling, Tracy?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You look great.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You look great, man.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just wondering how you're doing.

TRACY MORGAN, COMEDIAN: Thank you very much. I appreciate it.

TURNER: The "30 Rock" star and former "Saturday Night Live" cast member now recovering at home after his limousine van was rear ended by a speeding Wal-Mart tractor trailer on June 7th. Morgan spent two weeks in critical condition at a hospital before being moved to a rehab facility for three weeks. He suffered a number of serious injuries, including several cracked ribs a broken nose and a severely broken leg.

Morgan is now suing Wal-Mart, contending the retail giant was negligent and their driver fell asleep at the wheel. A criminal complaint says that driver, Kevin Roper, hadn't slept in a period in excess of 24 hours before the crash that injured four and killed Morgan's friend, comedian, James McNair, known as Jimmy Mack.

Roper is charged with vehicular homicide for operating a vehicle recklessly and assault by auto to those he injured. He has pleaded not guilty. Wal-Mart has called the crash a terrible tragedy. They say they're cooperating with the investigation and are, quote, "committed to doing the right thing for all involved."


TURNER: Now, as you just saw there in the video, it does look he's still working at it, it looks like Tracy may be making some progress. It is unclear exactly how long his recovery will be, but he is healthy enough to continue rehabbing his injuries at home with an, aggressive outpatient program.

Now, his friend, Ardie Fuqua, has been released from his rehab facility. Good news on both of those fronts. Kevin roper, though, could face up to ten years if jail if he is convicted for his role in this accident. His next court appearance has not yet been scheduled. Guys, you saw, looks like Tracy lost a little bit of weight, but so good to see him grinning and really trying to make some strides forward.

BOLDUAN: Try and crack that smile.

TURNER: Yes, exactly.

CUOMO: Sure he's got a long road in front of him.

TURNER: You could you tell. Yeah. Yeah.

CUOMO: I know you will stay on it. Let's take a break here on NEW DAY. Hopes for a cease-fire over Gaza are fading fast. Israel agreed to the terms early this morning, but Hamas remains defiant and is launching more rockets, at least overnight. We are live with the latest developments.