Return to Transcripts main page

AT THIS HOUR WITH BERMAN AND MICHAELA

One Dead in Crane Collapse in New York City; Bush's Mother And Brother Get Behind Him; N.H. Newspaper Goes After Rubio; Snowstorm Keeps Trump out of New Hampshire. Aired 11:30-12p ET

Aired February 5, 2016 - 11:30   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

[11:30:00] BILL DE BLASIO, (D), NEW YORK CITY MAYOR: Our hearts go out to the families of the individual who has been lost and to all those who have been injured. We're concerned obviously for everyone who lives and works in the area to make sure they'll be safe. The immediate concern relates to the fact that there has been gas leaks as a result of this incident. The crane was being lowered into the secure position and the construction workers were blocking off the area, so the danger to people on the street was lessened. Thank God we didn't have more injuries and we didn't lose more people.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: We are going to go to Miguel Marquez who is live at scene.

Any word why this happened? What caused this? I know the weather has been rough today.

MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The wind is high. It was snowing very heavily today, and all those factors may have something to do it.

This was a very, very big crane but it was a crawler crane, not one connected to a building. You can't actually see it. It's down that street and goes all the way down the block where it fell. Lots of police and fire on scene here still. This is a crane that was 565 feet long. They had just added an extension to it. It could handle weights up to 330 tons.

When they were lowering the crane this morning because the winds were high, about 20 miles per hour, the company that runs the crane says, at 25 miles per hour, they have to go into safety mode. They were lowering the crane into the safety mode, said the mayor, when it collapsed. One of those photographs that you can see, you can see a car clearly underneath that crane. One of the people who was killed was in a parked car. It's not clear that that was the car where that individual was killed. But just a massive problem out here.

The people in the neighborhood said it felt like an earthquake. They could literally feel the ground move. It sounded extraordinarily loud.

Four buildings were damaged as the crane came down. They have that block closed off right now and they'll try to figure out how to get that crane up and out. It's going to take several days before they'll be able to do that -- John, Kate?

BERMAN: Miguel Marquez, down in lower Manhattan.

Our thoughts go out to the people affected by that. Terrible picture.

Thanks, Miguel.

Back on the campaign trail, some familiar faces throwing their weight behind Jeb Bush, his mother, and even his brother. Will the family strategy pay off? A little history could be a guide.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Also ahead, New Hampshire's paper of record hitting Marco Rubio and hitting him hard just days ahead of the crucial primary will there. We'll tell you what the paper said. The executive editor of the paper will be joining us live.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[11:36:56] BOLDUAN: New this morning, the "New Hampshire Union Leader," the newspaper of record there, mocks Marco Rubio as the flavor of the week and ridicules the, quote, "fawning stories of how the Republican establishment seeks to coalesce behind him."

BERMAN: One man who could take a little fawning is Jeb Bush. Fawn away, he's probably thinking. And now the former Florida governor, who needs a big showing, and is bringing out big names so support him, namely mom and brother.

Joining us to talk about this Ron Bonjean, a long-time political operative in Congress; and CNN political commentator, Jeffrey Lord, who was also the political director for Ronald Reagan. He's a Donald Trump supporter.

Ron, let me ask you about the Bush Family Robinson. Bush bringing out his mother. And now a super PAC ad airing in South Carolina.

Let's look at a little bit of Barbara Bush on the trail with her son Jeb yesterday.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARBARA BUSH, FORMER FIRST LADY OF THE UNITED STATES & MOTHER OF JEB BUSH: Jeb is the nicest, wisest, most caring, loyal -- he's not a bragger.

(LAUGHTER)

BUSH: We don't allow that.

(LAUGHTER)

BUSH: But he's decent and honest. He's everything we need in a president.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: Talk to me about the risk/reward here, Ron. This is a guy who won't even put his last name on his bumper sticker, but now he's bring in his mom to campaign for him.

RON BONJEAN, POLITICAL OPERATIVE & REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: The reward is that he needs to bring out his family and pull out all the stops right now. He's done in the polls. We're not sure where it's going in New Hampshire. We're hearing a lot of names above him, and to bring in the family that has been in the American consciousness for years if not decades, is probably a smart thing to do. If your mom is saying nice things about, that might be able to help. These people, his families are trying to connect with voters in a way that maybe Jeb Bush can't. The risk is that those folks who want something new, you know, are continue to not be convinced about this and are going to move forward looking at other alternatives because they're used to the Bush family and the Bush dynasty.

However, I think it's a smart idea. Bring out your family and have them say nice things, especially if they're famous. And who doesn't like Barbara Bush? Everyone in America likes her, the nicest lady ever. Why not do something like that?

BOLDUAN: So, let's talk about your guy, Jeffrey. Who is this Donald Trump that we're seeing today?

(LAUGHTER)

Over and over again I hear from you that you defended him at every turn saying let Trump be Trump. This is what people like about him, but who is this man who doesn't care about the back and forth with Ted Cruz? He doesn't even want to say Cruz's name. He wants to focus on the people of New Hampshire. What's going on here?

JEFFREY LORD, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I think it's called the primary on Tuesday.

(LAUGHTER)

BOLDUAN: Really?

[11:10:00] LORD: This is what candidates do. First of all, I mean, all of this tussling and hassling, this is what these people are supposed to do. I'm not a fan of it, but point of fact, if you're going to be president of the United States, you have to go after the other guy. That's with everyone is doing. That's what all the others are doing.

The other day I Googled their individual names with the word "liar." What I came up with is just about everybody else has called everybody else a liar. This is what they do. Now is the time to focus on New Hampshire. Donald Trump sat down yesterday I think in a coffee shop with Anderson Cooper and a batch of New Hampshire people. It was interesting to watch. I think they got to know the real guy. And I could see over his shoulder, as he was talking, I could see people nodding their heads. It was interesting to watch. BERMAN: I'm not sure --

(CROSSTALK)

BOLDUAN: Jeffrey Lord admitting that Donald Trump is a politician now.

BERMAN: I don't think politicians say there's a constitutional crisis about Iowa voting in the morning and then in the afternoon say I don't care about Iowa anymore.

(LAUGHTER)

Ron, I quickly want to talk about Saturday night and the debate. I'm interested in Rubio. The last few days some of the other candidates have been saying a lot of stuff about Senator Rubio. Boy in the bubble. You know, day care. The "Union Leader" saying he just got out of day care.

(CROSSTALK)

BERMAN: I'm curious how you think this plays out on the debate stage Saturday night. Who swings hardest?

BONJEAN: He's in the middle. He is rising in the polls. I do think that Trump and Ted Cruz are going to go after him. Chris Christie has been trying to nail him by calling him the boy in the bubble. I mean, he is rising in the polls. The prediction markets have him growing. They had him growing substantially. I can see why, because he is looking like the consensus establishment candidate that people are beginning to thinking about rallying behind.

(CROSSTALK)

BERMAN: But he couldn't figure out why. Though he could even say --

BONJEAN: That's exactly right.

BOLDUAN: Santorum didn't know why he supported him.

BONJEAN: He should have talked about how Marco Rubio has is helping to dismantle Obamacare and is great on -- very successful on taking it to Hezbollah and all these things he's done. I was surprised at that. He should have done his homework, no question.

(LAUGHTER)

BOLDUAN: All right. Ron Bonjean, Jeffrey Lord, great to see you both. Thanks, guys.

BONJEAN: Thank you.

LORD: Hey, Kate, my motto is the royal family's motor, "Keep calm and carry on."

BERMAN: Clearly, that's Donald Trump's motto, yes. BOLDUAN: Calm? We don't do calm in cable news. Get off the TV.

(LAUGHTER)

BERMAN: Donald Trump has believed in that for exactly 10 minutes.

(LAUGHTER)

We'll see how long it lasts.

Anyway, Donald Trump says he is moving on from Iowa's results. He wants to focus on New Hampshire. There's only one problem with that. He says he's stuck in New York. Details, next.

BERMAN: That's not New Hampshire.

Plus, ahead for us still, the editor of the New Hampshire newspaper that just served up a brutal assessment of Rubio, he's going to be joining us live.

We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[11:46:55] BERMAN: New this morning, Donald Trump may be onto New Hampshire metaphorically but, literally there is one problem, Trump's campaign says he's stuck in New York.

BOLDUAN: That's not good.

CNN's M.J. Lee is in Manchester, New Hampshire.

M.J., weather is the reason, but what now?

We might have a technical issue.

M.J., can you hear us?

BERMAN: M.J. is not hearing us.

Clearly --

M.J. LEE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: John and Kate, I'm having a hard time hearing you but I want to talk about you about what happened this morning with Donald Trump's campaign. At the last minute, he has had to cancel his campaign event in Londonderry because of a snow storm hitting the east coast. As you can see behind me, the snow is coming down hard. We learned this morning that Donald Trump, rather than stay overnight in New Hampshire last night, he returned home to New York City. And now the campaign says because of weather issues, and because of airport closures, he is going to be unable to make this event in New Hampshire.

Now, I want to emphasize that these are really not great optics with Donald Trump coming just four days before the New Hampshire primary race here. This event was the one event he had planned in New Hampshire for today. He's essentially missing out on a whole day of campaigning in this state. And, of course, you saw Donald Trump wanting to ramp up his campaign schedule here after his loss in Iowa, planning more town halls, planning more campaign stops in general. But the fact that he went back to New York instead of staying here, again, not great optics.

But the campaign is emphasizing that Trump will be back, and he will be campaigning in the state of New Hampshire both Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday.

BOLDUAN: All right. M.J. Lee, thanks so much. If you can hear us, if you can't, thanks anyway. M.J., we appreciate it.

Let's continue the conversation with the executive editor of the "New Hampshire Union Leader, Trent Spiner." He's joining us now.

Trent, can you hear us?

TRENT SPINER, EXECUTIVE EDITOR, NEW HAMPSHIRE UNION LEADER: Yeah. You know, I think it's interesting this Trump isn't here today. He was here yesterday. It was a beautiful day, in the 50s. And we have very nice hotels here in Manchester.

(LAUGHTER)

BOLDUAN: Do you think him not being here -- it has to do with weather. Do you think him not being in New Hampshire today, do you think this is going to hurt him?

SPINER: I think it's going to be -- yes, I think it's going to hurt him. I know it's snowing a little bit, but we're getting between one and three inches. In New Hampshire, that's nothing. And people wanted to come out and see him today. I think he did, like M.J. was saying, really need to ramp up his on the ground campaign here in New Hampshire. He has not done that before yesterday. Yes, I think it's absolutely going to hurt him here.

BERMAN: Just to be clear --

(CROSSTALK)

BERMAN: I just want to make clear to the viewers --

SPINER: He makes fun of other candidates who --

BERMAN: He does. He makes fun of other candidates who aren't in certain places and other players.

To be clear, the "Union Leader," not a fan of Donald Trump, has endorsed Chris Christie. I want to make sure our viewers are aware of that. Not that it taints your view, but I want to make sure our viewers know.

You mentioned the ground game in New Hampshire. How much does the ground game matter in New Hampshire? I've been talking to strategists on both sides. Some say, yes, you need to be able to identify with voters to get them to the polls. Others are saying New Hampshire, when you have Independents who decide at the last minute, there's no way to be able to identify people to get them to the polls easily.

[11:50:17] SPINER: That's absolutely right. You know, I'm glad you brought up the "Union Leader" endorsement. Our publisher endorsed Chris Christie. If you just look at the facts of how important the ground game is here in New Hampshire, a lot of people have not started paying attention until the Iowa caucuses. So a lot of people are going to spend this week, you know, finding some time in their busy schedules to go out and see, physically see, all the candidates, and the fact that Donald Trump is missing today, I think, that is pretty critical.

BOLDUAN: What do you think about Hillary Clinton? She's going to be leaving New Hampshire on Sunday to go to Flint, Michigan. What does that tell you?

SPINER: You know, I think it's interesting to see that some of the candidates aren't here. You know, with Hillary Clinton I think a lot of people already have seen her a lot. She spent a lot of time here, and she's done a lot of the retail politicking that New Hampshire, Granite Staters really expect. I kind of understand that.

I think it's a really difficult call for all these campaigns. A lot of them are looking past New Hampshire and trying to figure out what their national strategy will be. And so I think it's difficult for them to figure out just how much time to spend on the ground to make sure they're doing the right thing here in New Hampshire versus, you know, their national strategy.

BERMAN: Big debate tomorrow night. How much movement do you expect to see after that debate?

SPINER: Oh, that debate is going to be huge. I think that the Republican candidates are really going to take the gloves off. I think this is their last chance. This is their final pitch to New Hampshire voters. I think a lot of people are going to be watching, and they're going to be making up their minds after that debate. I think that where you are going to see -- are you going to see Trump and Cruz really going at it, and then I think the big question is how many tickets will there be out of New Hampshire? Definitely, three. The question is whether there will be four. If you have a strong Kasich finish, Rubio finish, Christie, Bush, all of those people are going to be fighting for spots, maybe two, maybe three, maybe four. I think if you see one of those people finish in second place, beating Ted Cruz, or if Donald Trump comes in sending place here, I think that's really going to shift the race.

BOLDUAN: You mentioned John Kasich. He has spent more time there than any other Republican candidate. We will see very soon if that pays off, and I'm sure he could probably make that point in the debate coming up.

Trent, great to see you. Thank you so much.

SPINER: Thank you. BOLDUAN: Coming up for us, we have breaking news. Moments from now, President Obama is getting ready to deliver a statement on the economy. This comes after a positive jobs report was released this morning. What will the president have to say? We're going to bring that to you live.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[11:57:27] BOLDUAN: It's almost here. Yes, I'm talking about the New Hampshire primary, but also the Super Bowl. Super Bowl 50, the Denver Broncos versus the Carolina Panthers this Sunday.

BERMAN: Peyton Manning playing in what could be his last game ever. The likely MVP Cam Newton hoping to win his first Super Bowl ring.

Andy Scholes joins us live from San Francisco from Super Bowl city with what to watch for during the game.

Andy, I hear it all comes down to turnout.

ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: It's all -- what was that, John?

BERMAN: That's OK. Tell us about the game.

(LAUGHTER)

SCHOLES: OK. You know, this game we were talking about the legend, Peyton Manning, versus the rising star, Cam Newton. It's been quite the week for Cam Newton. He was the big story on Sunday when the Panthers arrived here rocking those gold and white and black zebra- print Versace skinny jeans. This is his first Super Bowl, first time he has had to go through the gauntlet that is Super Bowl week. On Monday, on "Media Day," he was all smiles, but by Thursday, well, Cam had become fed up with answering the same questions 1,000 times.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CAM NEWTON, CAROLINA PANTHERS PLAYER: I'm sorry if I'm bland, but I've been asked that question thousands of times.

Why are you wearing jeans with shoes?

(LAUGHTER)

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: What has your relationship with Greg Olson meant to you?

NEWTON: Meant a lot.

If I see an article talking about my sandals and socks, that would be new.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHOLES: An estimated $4.2 billion is expected to be wagered on the Super Bowl by Americans according to the American gaming association, and that number actually comes from all the silly prop bets you can make on this game. Of course, the Super Bowl in the bay area this year. You can actually bet on whether or not there will be an earthquake during the Super Bowl. It takes 56-1. There is a stipulation, though. It has to be at least 2.0 in magnitude and happen within 50 miles of Levi Stadium. Some other prop bets you can make, you can actually bet whether or not Jim Nance and Bill Sims (ph) get into an argument during the broadcast. For some reason, that only pays 4-1, which seems like a long number to me, and speaking of prop bets, how often will they mention dabbing. That likely will end up going over.

Of course, we'll have much more on the Super Bowl this weekend. Kickoff by the day, a CNN and "Bleacher Report" special is going to air tomorrow afternoon, 2:30 eastern. Chris Cuomo and Dan Merino going to get us ready for the game on Sunday -- Guys?

BOLDUAN: What about bets on Omaha? Are we still betting --

(CROSSTALK)

BERMAN: Omaha, Omaha.

(CROSSTALK)

SCHOLES: If you can think of a bet, guys, it's there. You can bet on it.

(LAUGHTER)

BERMAN: We're betting on you.

Andy Scholes, thank you so much, in San Francisco. We appreciate it.