Return to Transcripts main page


Christie: Beware Of 2016 Candidates; Biden: '08 Change Failed; New Risks For Cholesterol Drug Niacin; Flight Turbulence On The Rise

Aired July 17, 2014 - 07:30   ET


JOHN BERMAN, CNN GUEST ANCHOR: Thanks so much, Chris. Breaking this morning, Israel reporting the first violation of what was supposed to be a five-hour humanitarian truce. Hamas firing at least three mortars from Gaza into Southern Israel about two hours into the ceasefire. There has been no immediate response from Israel. Both sides had agreed to a U.N. requested break to allow Palestinian civilians in Gaza to stock up on food, water and other supplies.

Happening today, the chairman of the House Committee on Veterans Affairs will present a blueprint for reform following widespread troubles at the VA. Jeff Miller says he is confident the bill will be voted on before the August recess and he's also claiming the VA spied on his investigators when his team went to examine records in Philadelphia two weeks ago.

A life-saving rescue captured on camera. Take a look at this. Eight- year Cleveland police veteran, Ishmael Cantena, can be seen performing CPR on a 2-year-old who fell into a swimming pool and was drowning. The rescue was recorded on his department-issued body camera. Quintana said the ordeal was the scariest thing he's ever been a part of on the force. Thankfully the little boy is doing just fine. Look at that lucky kid.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Boy, you know, one of the things that's amazing, first all amazing how officers jump in a first responder position and do what they have to do and subdue their own emotions, but CPR on a kid is really tricky. You will take the class.

BERMAN: Too much is too bad and press too hard you'll break bones.

CUOMO: You're supposed to do it on their back and when they get older you're allowed to do it on the chest. You saw the woman was breathing in. They say not to do that anymore so what to do with a kid is especially difficult.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: And keep your cool in the middle of what you're supposed to do and what you're going to do in the middle of a crisis.

CUOMO: Really impressive. Most people in that circumstance, you freeze.

BOLDUAN: Thank goodness that little boy is OK.

CUOMO: Thank you for that man's work on that. A lot of politics that means we go "Inside Politics" on NEW DAY with Mr. John King.

JOHN KING, CNN HOST, "INSIDE POLITICS": Good morning, all. Amen to that officer and all the first responders out there. As a parent you watch that and your heart grows, swells with pride. Thank you, guys. Let's get started. A busy day to go inside politics. With me to share their reporting and their insights, Julie Pace of "The Associated Press" and Ron Fournier of "National Journal."

Chris Christie is going to be in Iowa today. Who would have thunk it. Three stops in Iowa for the New Jersey governor. He is raising money for Republicans on ballot this year and is thinking about 2016, fascinating conversation he had yesterday with CNBC's John Harwood. Read it or watch it if you haven't.

Here's what he says, John Hardwood asked him three or four times. Are you running, are you running? And at the end, Chris Christie says, "The fact is you should be aware of people in my opinion who are overanxious to make that decision before they need to. That would indicate to me ambition before wisdom and I don't think that's what you want from the person sitting in the oval office."

Is that a criticism of say a Rand Paul or someone who is out there early who seems to think they are already running? Chris Christie says I'm thinking about it, but I'm not sure just yet.

JULIE PACE, "THE ASSOCIATED PRESS": Perhaps Hillary Clinton. I know, shocking. I think it's a smart tactic from Christie because there is this sense among the public that they are a little wary of people who appear overly ambitious, appear to be seeking power and maybe not seeking the presidency for the right reasons. Obviously though he is going to Iowa. He is doing a lot of things this year that certainly make it look like he's thinking about the presidency. Are those just words there or part of how he really feels?

KING: Part of his public personas, I call them as I see them, won't be rushed into anything. Going to Iowa, a place where Christian conservatives, social conservatives are prominent in the primaries and one of the key suspicions, where is he on gay marriage and what would he do with the hobby lobby ruling? Will we get a flavor of that or is he going to try to keep his head in the 2014 tunnel?

RON FOURNIER, "THE NATIONAL JOURNAL": There's a poll out today that shows his unfavorability ratings in Iowa are among the highest in the Republican field. A lot of work to do there. Christie, like Hillary Clinton, like Rand Paul, a bunch of other folks are running for president right now. The only question is do they keep running a year from now?

KING: A key test for him. His own feeling of how he's doing out there with the grass roots. Let's move on to a guy who was on the ballot in 2008 as the vice presidential nominee, on the ballot in 2012. Some of us think Joe Biden, at least he's exploring 2016 as well. Listen to him here speaking to a progressive organization in Washington. He says go back and remember 2008 was about hope and change. Well, here's Joe Biden's current version.


JOE BIDEN, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Look, folks, this is within our power to change. Everybody says because we tried, you know, in '08 it didn't happen it's not possible. Wrong. We've gone through these periods before, we've gone through these periods.


KING: You can read that, Ron Fournier, as persistence, we'll keep trying or you can read it, yes, well, all right, we failed.

FOURNIER: There must be a clip after that where he says, I'm just kidding. He -- he basically conceded the original sin of the Obama presidency, which is we promised to at least start changing Washington and we failed, and later on what he does say there is we can change things if we're the drivers of the change. Who has been driving the last five and a half years? It was a really bad moment for the White House.

KING: You think a really bad moment and they say this is the appeal of Joe Biden, calls them like he sees it, a straight shooter. Can't like that.

PACE: Sure. They like it when he's straight shooter saying things that help him, but don't like it when he's saying things that essentially that the White House has failed in changing Washington. This is why it would be so difficult for Joe Biden to run for president because he would be running for president as an active part of this administration, for someone like Hillary Clinton, she obviously has ties to the administration, but she would have left and been gone for the whole second term. She can at least put some actual distance. Biden can't do that.

KING: She would get more distance, but something else the vice president said in that same speech, remember, he forced the president's hand. He went public with his support of same-sex marriage and accelerated the process within the White House so President Obama had to say me, too. Secretary Clinton didn't say that until she left.

She was at the State Department and wasn't the place to do it, didn't announce it until she was after government and listen to Joe Biden saying, you know, I was out front here, folks.


BIDEN: I've been hanging around enough to know the American people are usually way ahead of the leaders. The American people are usually way ahead of the leaders.


KING: Is he trying to make a point there?

FOURNIER: Yes. First all, he's right. He was ahead of the rest of the Democratic Party on this issue. He was on the right side of history before anybody else, and he did push Barack Obama out further than the president wanted to be. But what he's trying to do here tactically is have some distance between himself and the president.

Just like Hillary Clinton yesterday also talked about how we haven't been selling our foreign policy and American's vision around the country like we should. Well, that's a shot at the president, who is job is didn't make that sale.

PACE: While he can do that on gay marriage, he can do it because the president eventually followed along, Democrats eventually followed along. Imagine him in, you know, 2016 talking about a foreign policy crisis that's happening and coming out there publicly saying, well, I feel like we should do this. People would say why aren't you getting the president to do that? You're the vice president. That will be a lot trickier.

KING: We know there's been some disagreements between the two on that. We'll watch that. A fascinating controversy, divide in the Democratic Party right now as the president tries to navigate we think his key obstacle is House Republicans, but the president is trying to navigate what to do about this crisis at the border and he is getting a lot of heat from the liberal base and also a flip-flop from Nancy Pelosi.

Just last week she said changing that 2008 law, the law that requires if you don't come from Mexico, so these kids are from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, they are guaranteed a legal process. Republicans say we need to change that law to send them home quicker. Last week Nancy Pelosi said it's not a deal breaker and now she says not so much of a hurry to change the law. What's happening?

PACE: A lot of pressure from the immigration reform activists, a lot pressure from the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. They don't want the administration to be looking for policies that essentially speed up deportations and send these kids back to countries that are extremely violent and the White House really wants that as a solution, that that's the only way to deal with the magnitude of this crisis.

FOURNIER: This president is really in a tough political and policy position. Think about it. On one hand we can't let all of the world's troubled children into our borders. We don't even have enough space for that. On the other hand, if there was any other place in the world where there was tens of thousands of children flooding across the border.

We would do two things as a country, one, expect the country and the nearest border to take those kids in and we'd be passing the plate at church to send money out of our pockets to help these kids. This is on our border and it's making it a lot more complicated for the president and for us as we try to figure out what is the right thing to do.

KING: It's a legitimately difficult policy issue and now it's caught up in mid-term politics as well with a lot of Democrats saying, let's not anger our own base, our liberal base because we need them come November.

FOURNIER: Did you see the poll out yesterday, "Washington Post"/ABC poll showing 52 percent of Hispanic voters don't like how the president is handling this. That's his base. He needs those people out in November.

KING: We want to know who is our backup. If we call in sick, who is going to fill in for us? Well, George W. Bush had to call in not sick but recovering. He just had some replacement knee surgery. He was supposed to give a speech to a financial group today so they had to scramble to find somebody at the last minute and who did they get? Look at Maggie Haberman, our friend on "Politico" today reporting Hillary Clinton. She's new to this paid speaking circuit. Just got to be funny if you're George W. Bush and home getting ready to go back on the mountain bike. I step aside and they go for her?

PACE: I don't get the impression that Hillary Clinton will talk to any audience that is willing to hear from her at this point. It doesn't really matter if its universities, insurance groups, doctors.

KING: Ameriprice, it's financial group. Elizabeth Warren might say she's the Wall Street lady. Elizabeth Warren is not running. On that note Conan O'Brien seems to note, ladies and gentlemen in, New York, Hillary Clinton gives speeches for money.


CONAN O'BRIEN: Hillary Clinton in the news. Some people are still critical of Hillary Clinton because of her speaking fee which is very high. The University of Buffalo reportedly paid Hillary Clinton $275,000 to speak, yes. Apparently Joe Biden got $300,000 not to speak.


KING: Boda-bing boda-boom.

BOLDUAN: He can't get a break, man. He can't get a break.

KING: He can't, but, you know, it is the life of Joe Biden.

BOLDUAN: That's right. He also sets himself up quite a bit.

CUOMO: He's got to be vice president of the United States. Some would call that a break.

KING: Not a bad gig.

CUOMO: Not a bad gig.

All right, thank you very much, sir. See you tomorrow.

Coming up on NEW DAY right now, a popular heart health drug may be risky. If you or someone you know is on it, you better listen up. The drug is niacin, and Dr. Sanjay Gupta is going to be here and will tell us what we need to know. BOLDUAN: Plus, there's been a sharp rise in the amount of severe turbulence in the skies. You probably know this without me even telling you this. Dozens of passengers reporting injuries. One correspondent goes on a flight to see why.


BERMAN: We have new information this morning about some serious side effects from the popular prescription form of niacin. This is a type of "B" vitamin, niacin widely used for cholesterol problems and general heart health, but now doctors are saying it might be too risky for routine use. Got to pay attention to this.

Chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, joins us this morning to shed some light on this. What is it, 700,000 prescriptions of niacin written each month in the U.S., hundreds of millions of dollars, and now we hear it may be harmful?

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. This is really interesting and will make a lot of waves because people have relied on this medication for a long time for their cholesterol levels, to lower the bad cholesterol and raise the good cholesterol, and I'll point out hardly anything we know out there is good at raising good cholesterol. Not any other medications out there which is why this was so popular.

These are two trials that are actually going on simultaneously, and big trials, following patients for a long time and just what you said, John. It didn't do what they thought it was going to do. It did lower cholesterol levels, but it did not seem to reduce heart attacks and all the vascular events, which is what people really hope for.

BOLDUAN: So is it risky?

GUPTA: And there are risks. We've known there are risks for some time but we said, look, you know, the benefits may outweigh the risks. A lot of people would experience flushing, and this sounds like a small thing, but actually pretty significant. People could pass out but also increasing the likelihood of a GI, gastrointestinal bleeding problems, all sorts of different things. Those are still there. They were still there in this trial. Just didn't have the benefits.

CUOMO: You're saying medicine, I thought it was just a vitamin.

GUPTA: It is a vitamin, but they have been able to take this, and they have added things to it to try to reduce some of the side effects and make it absorb more easily in the body so there's a form that comes as a prescription form.

BERMAN: Is it all kinds though now at issue?

GUPTA: Nothing seems to work here, and this is pretty condemning stuff with regard. The over-the-counter, just vitamin form of it, when you added the other medications to lower the side effect profile, when you enhance it in any way that you could, it just didn't seem to have the benefits. Now, there may be certain groups of people who are just the highest risk, you know. They are really at high risk. They can't take normal cholesterol-lowering medications. Maybe there's still a small benefit for them, but that's not the vast majority of the 700,000 people.

BOLDUAN: Aren't a lot of people sitting down right now this morning and that's part of their probably daily routine is to take it. Should they not take it today?

GUPTA: Talk to their doctor other so there's no other high-risk category. Most of the people hated that medication because it caused that flushing.

BOLDUAN: Because of the side effects.

GUPTA: It was really uncomfortable medication to take so in some ways a lot of people will be saying thank you for not making me take this medication anymore, and it doesn't have the benefit.

CUOMO: You said something that's very interesting, that there was no connection between the cholesterol and heart disease. I keep reading that more and more.

BERMAN: Right.

CUOMO: With eggs, OK. That -- I was reading you don't want to eat the eggs, yellows have cholesterol in there. Is there a connection for sure between eating cholesterol foods like eggs and getting heart disease?

GUPTA: I think the idea that if you eat foods like that and you raise your cholesterol, there is evidence that it increases your risk of heart disease. What we don't seem to know the way that we lower it, using medications, using things like niacin, if that makes a difference. If we can say eat whatever you want, take these medications, lower your cholesterol, it all comes back down to baseline, there's increasing evidence that's not true.

BERMAN: Right.

GUPTA: You can't just lower your cholesterol using these medications and have it be like you never ate those foods in the first place. We don't know why. These medications work in all sorts of different ways, some block the liver from making as much cholesterol. Some absorb cholesterol. A lot of your gut, do it in all sorts of different ways and with regards to niacin it doesn't make a difference and it could be problematic.

BOLDUAN: A hugely important message then this morning.

GUPTA: I think so. Within the world of cardiology and I have a risk of heart disease in my family, people are throwing medications you all the time even if you're at risk of things, and a lot of people will be paying attention to this.

BOLDUAN: And they should. Sanjay, thank you. It's great to see you.

GUPTA: You too. Thank you.

BOLDUAN: Coming up next on NEW DAY, flight turbulence is on the rise. Probably felt it yourself causing more and more injuries to passengers. We'll take a look at what's behind why it seems like there's so much more turbulence in the sky.


BOLDUAN: If you've flown recently and felt it has become a bumpier and bumpier ride you're probably right. There has been a rise in the number of incidents in the skies. More planes hitting violent patches of turbulence, causing injuries and just as important causing a lot of fear in passengers, so what's behind the increase? Is it tangible? George Howell got a surprising answer.


GEORGE HOWELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): At least 20 passengers injured, two of them seriously are hitting severe turbulence on a South African flight from Johannesburg to Hongkong. The shaking so violent at times some passengers hit their heads.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Flying smoothly and I think we hit an air pocket because we just bounced about three times.

HOWELL: In fact, it's becoming more and more common in the skies lately. In April, 12 passengers suffered injuries from a United Airlines plane after the flight experienced turbulence according to the FAA. And online, you can find several examples of passengers hitting bumpy air. I even experienced the discomfort of sudden drops in flight recently from takeoff to touchdown.

(on camera): We're flying from Austin to Chicago and it's one of the bumpiest flights I've been on ever. What do you think?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My stomach actually physically hurts from the flight being so choppy.

HOWELL (voice-over): A recent study suggests we could see more air turbulence in the future as a result of climate change.

DR. PAUL WILLIAMS, ATMOSPHERIC SCIENTIST: We'll never be able to say one particular person's flight experience which was bumpy has been caused by climate change, of course we can't. What we can say is as the climate changes the odds of encountering turbulence on your flight are increasing.

HOWELL: Williams says climate change is not only heating up the bottom part of the atmosphere, but increased carbon dioxide levels are changing the temperatures and wind speeds in the jet stream. His research focuses in on transatlantic flights and predicts the frequency of reported clear air turbulence will double by mid-century and increase in intensity of the shaking by 10 percent to 40 percent, a rough, new reality for passengers.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Every flight I get on gets choppier and choppier. It's been prevalent lately in the last month of flying.

HOWELL: Best to buckle up for a bumpy ride. George Howell, CNN, Chicago.


BOLDUAN: For a long time I was one of the people when the seat belt sign went off, I would keep it off. Not anymore, not at all anymore because you never know when it's going to come. We have seen that more often, the turbulence comes out of nowhere.

CUOMO: Do you think it is climate change or do you think it is more air traffic?

BERMAN: I think all contributes to it. Don't you think?

CUOMO: I don't know. I think it's the air traffic. I think, I don't know anything about climate change, but I feel there are so many more planes in the air, and a little bit we pay attention to it also. I think that's, often comes out, no? You like saying --

BOLDUAN: You're just having a conversation. I'm sitting here.

CUOMO: You are saying --

BOLDUAN: You buckle up. I'm safe. The rest of you are not.

CUOMO: That's what you're saying. We were trying to explain the condition, you were just taking care of yourself. That's all right. You can go that way.

BOLDUAN: Got to on this show.

CUOMO: Coming up on NEW DAY, a period of calm shattered, what's happening in the Middle East. Hamas ending a humanitarian pause, firing mortars into Israel. So we will be live on the ground with the latest.