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Trump Spins Ford Factory News; Carrier Plant Workers Sound Off on Trump; Rep. Tim Ryan Announces Challenge to Pelosi. Aired 6:30-7a ET

Aired November 18, 2016 - 06:30   ET



[06:33:45] JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: This morning, President-elect Donald Trump is taking credit for stopping Ford from moving a plant to Mexico. But new details show it's not that simple.

Chief business correspondent and star of "EARLY START", Christine Romans, here with the details.


Trump taking credit for keeping an entire auto plant from moving to Mexico, a plant that was not moving anyway. Here's what Trump tweeted this morning. Quote, "Just got a call from my good friend, Bill Ford, chairman of Ford, who advised me that he will be keeping the Lincoln plant in Kentucky not Mexico."

Fourteen minutes later, he said this, "I worked hard with Bill Ford to keep the Lincoln plant in Kentucky. I owed it to the great state of Kentucky for their confidence in me."

Now, that plant was never going anywhere. Last year, Ford signed a legally-binding contract with UAW, the United Auto Workers. It would include $700 million of new investments at that plant in Louisville, Kentucky. It would build a new Ford Escape there, the new Escape models there, and it would keep employment near the current level of 4,700 workers.

What might have moved, what might have moved, the small scale production of the Lincoln MKC. They make about 20,000 of these a year, you guys. But it sells a lot more of the escape, 306,000 of these. So, that Louisville plant was going to focus on the Ford Escape and Lincoln was going to go some place else to make room for it.

[06:35:01] Now, Ford confirms it alerted Trump the model would stay in Kentucky a sign that Ford doesn't want to antagonize the president- elect, and this is second time he's taken credit for a Ford decision to keep production in the U.S. He did it last year when the Ford F150 was going to stay in Ohio. But, guys, that was a business decision that was made before Trump was even a candidate.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: OK. But they were going to say there is the bottom line.

ROMANS: This plant was never moving to Mexico. This model might have moved some place else, Mexico or another plant in the United States, the small scale model. This plant was always going to stay in Louisville.

CAMEROTA: Got it. Christine, thank you very much.

So the news that an Indiana air conditioner company Carrier was shutting down its plant and moving to Mexico, taking 1,400 jobs with it, that became a big campaign issue as you'll remember. Then- candidate Donald Trump said he would stop that from happening if he were president.

OK. So fast forward to today, what about that campaign promise?

CNN's Martin Savidge went to Indiana and spoke to Carrier plant workers. He joins us live now.

Good morning, Martin. What did you learn?


Well, there's no question Donald Trump owes his presidency in large part to the success he had getting blue collar votes in especially Rust Belt prone states. But the real question is, and there are hopes now that he's going be president, that his first day on the job he makes their jobs job one.


SAVIDGE (voice-over): Ronald Harden (ph) and Eric Cottonhan will never forget the day it happened.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We were devastated.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Been with the company 16 years of my life and starting all over from trash.

SAVIDGE: Last February, heating and air conditioner giant Carrier shocked employees at this Indiana plant saying in order to stay competitive, it had made a decision.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To move frustration our facility in Indianapolis to Monterrey, Mexico.

SAVIDGE: Fourteen hundred jobs would soon be gone. But the loss quickly became Donald Trump's campaign gain.

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT-ELECT: Carrier air conditioner says they are leaving the United States, 1,400 people, because they're going to build in Mexico.

SAVIDGE: Trump said it wouldn't happen if he was president, part of an effort to tap into blue collar anger and discontent.

(on camera): He mentioned Carrier by name. It wasn't just once. It was many times.

ERIC COTTONHAN, CARRIER EMPLOYEE: And we knew that that was something that America was -- it was happening right now.

SAVIDGE (voice-over): It worked. Trump won thanks in large part to working class votes. Now, at the Sully's Bar and Grill across that street from the Carrier plant, some are hoping Trump keeps his promise.

PATRICK LEAF, CARRIER EMPLOYEE: Exactly. He made a lot of promises to a lot of people.

SAVIDGE: That's because things here have only gotten worse.

(on camera): We're less than a mile from Carrier and this is next door. They make bearings. Last month, the company announced it's moving this facility to Mexico taking away over 300 jobs.

(voice-over): Local union leader Chuck Jones says even though he didn't vote for Trump, he's still hopeful when president, Trump will come through.

(on camera): You expect him to live by what he said on the campaign --

CHUCK JONES, LOCAL UNION LEADER: My expectation is for him to live up to what he promised.

SAVIDGE: They voted for Donald Trump believing it could save their job.

JONES: Correct.

SAVIDGE (voice-over): Mike Fugate is one of them. A life long Democrat, he voted for Trump. But his answers surprised me.

(on camera): Do you believe that Donald Trump can stop that place from closing?

MIKE FUGATE, CARRIER EMPLOYEE: I don't believe he's going to stop that one. Maybe in the future, you know, nobody knows what the future is.

SAVIDGE: Why not that one, though? Why couldn't you stop that one?

FUGATE: Corporate greed, plain and simple.

SAVIDGE (voice-over): Paul Role also voted for Trump and he does have hope. Sort of.

PAUL ROLE, CARRIER EMPLOYEE: I try to be optimistic but realistic at the same time.

SAVIDGE (on camera): What does that mean?

ROLE: Hopefully, he can save some of the jobs. Because I don't think -- if they send just half the jobs, they can make more money, which is all they are after.


CAMEROTA: Martin, so interesting to hear from those folks. They feeling that the dust has settled. Do they feel help remorse voting for him, are they still happy, was it a gamble? Where are they?

SAVIDGE: They believe and they know it was a gamble voting for Donald Trump, because remember, these are not just blue collar workers, they are union blue collar workers. And most of them would say billionaire is, well, not really a union kind of guy.

With that said, they like his business savvy. They believe that could be beneficial. And they also are hopeful all of that talk he made about bringing jobs back and about saving their jobs, keeping them in America, that he really meant it.

But there is that voice in the back of their heads that does whisper to them every now and votes. Maybe he was only after our votes. The real test, though, comes the day that Trump becomes president.

CAMEROTA: Martin, thanks so much for sharing all of that with us. Great reporting.

BERMAN: All right.

[06:40:00] So, did super Cam just save the season for the defending NFC champion Carolina Panthers? Wow. Details in the "Bleacher Report" next.


BERMAN: College football playoff picture gets clearer this morning, or messier if you're a Louisville fan.

Coy Wire has more on this morning's "Bleacher Report" live from Knoxville, Tennessee, home of the Volunteers.

Coy, what are you doing there?

COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: I'm living the life, John. I'm here at University of Tennessee where the Vols have a big SEC clash with Missouri tomorrow.

Darlene and Drew of Tennessee setting up since yesterday, they do it right here. I don't know about how they do it in Harvard, John. But Tennessee brings it.

Now, let's get you caught up. College football action last night, huge upset Louisville getting upset by Houston, and Cardinals quarterback Lamar Jackson had a rough night. He may no longer be a lock for this year's Heisman Trophy. Cougars came out swinging. All the bounces going Houston's way.

The Cougs offense a barrage of offense, 31 unanswered points in the first half. [06:45:04] But how about that defense? They sacked Jackson 11 times running for his life the entire game. Houston wins 36-10, knocking Louisville clear out of the playoff picture.

How about Thursday night football action in the NFL, Panthers in a must-win situation versus the Saints. Cam Newton may have lost his mind wearing pre-game cleats with a mullet on the back. Look at this gorgeous throw, finding Ted for his first touchdown, touch of the season, incredible catch. Incredible.

Now, there was some bad news for the Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly carted off the field in tears, in the fourth quarter after this. He was diagnosed with a concussion. Panthers would hold on for the 23-20 win. But Luke Kuechly, incredible guy off and on the field. We wish him the best in his recovery.

Back to you, Alisyn.

CAMEROTA: Absolutely, Coy. Thanks so much for all of that.

So, the political stage is set for a challenge to Nancy Pelosi's long time leadership of House Democrats. Our panel weighs on that, next.


[06:50:19] CAMEROTA: House Democrats are still reeling from last week's stunning losses and trying to regroup and refocus on their new political reality. So, their path forward could involve new leadership.

Let's bring back our political panel to discuss. We have Errol Louis, Jason Johnson and David Gregory.

David, I'll start with you. Tim Ryan, Congressman Tim Ryan has thrown his hat in the ring. Is Nancy Pelosi's leadership in trouble?

DAVID GREGORY, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: I think it's considered a long shot bid but probably something that a lot of Democrats think is worth testing.

Look, you've heard from Bernie Sanders and others talking about the need for Democrats to go in a new direction, to really take stock of this loss. And I think with not just the loss of the presidency, but both Houses of Congress as well, the governorships around the country, there's is going to be this testing of whether there's a new way for the party to go.

But I think there will be a lot of stalwarts in the party who see Nancy Pelosi as a very effective minority leader and potential speaker again, depending upon how these first two years go when activism, fundraising and mobilization becomes really important against a new Trump presidency and Nancy Pelosi has a lot of experience doing all of that.

BERMAN: You know, Tim Ryan's point is there has to be a new way because the current way isn't working. We're getting shellacked in election after election. Listen to what he said.


REP. TIM RYAN (D), OHIO: We're at the lowest number of state and federal officials since Reconstruction. We have the lowest number in our caucus since 1929. And we've lost over 60 seats since 2010. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and you keep getting the same results. So, time to move on, I think.


BERMAN: That's Congressman Ryan to our own Manu Raju. You know, Tim Ryan is the walking representation of what Democrats haven't been able to reach. White working class voters in these swing states. He's from outside Youngstown, in Ohio.

JASON JOHNSON, THEROOT.COM: Yes. And I'm biased. I've met him before. He's a salt of the earth guy. He's fantastic. His district was right next to my school. I've actually had people interned for him.

He understands what Middle America is talking about. And also it's interesting. He's the last man standing of that sort of early 30s group. It was him and Kendrick Meek and Debbie Wasserman Schultz who thought they would change the Democratic Party in 2006. He's the last one standing.

I think it would be a great change in the Democratic Party. I don't know if he'll win, but they should listen to him.

CAMEROTA: Is now the moment for change, the long shot?

ERROL LOUIS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Now is the moment for a discussion about change, because Jason is right, they came in their early 30s. Nancy Pelosi is 76. Are we going wait for her to sort of turn 78 and then maybe they gain a few more seats and then --

CAMEROTA: About her age. I mean , if she's effective she's effective, 76 or 78.

LOUIS: Well, see they are raising questions about effectiveness. This is the quintessential practical business. You lose four straight elections. If it was sports or any other endeavor, you'd say, you know what, four successive loss, these are folks who will see a decade of their careers basically in the minority, and they don't see any reason why they should be all that patient.

CAMEROTA: David, before I let you answer, let me play for you what -- how she justifies her existence. Listen to Nancy Pelosi.


REP. NANCY PELOSI (D), HOUSE MINORITY LEADER: In 2005 and 2006 I orchestrated the take back of the House of Representatives. When President Clinton was president, the Republicans took the house. President Bush was president, the Democrats took the House. When President Obama was president, the Republicans took the House.

So, we have an opportunity, it doesn't mean any guarantee but means we'll do very hard work. So, I hope to have -- I'm very proud to have the opportunity. I know how to do it to get it done.


CAMEROTA: What do you think, David?

GREGORY: Yes. I mean, look, there's no question she does know how to do it. But I think to Jason's point, part of the appeal is to find a new way for the party, a new palette of issues, new communication to try to make headway and it's very difficult in the House, in particular if you look at all the gerrymandering of the districts round the country, this is where you get the rural split in our demographics and our politics. So it becomes more difficult to effect change in the House versus the Senate.

BERMAN: Look, as Omar said in the "Wire", you come with the king, you better not miss. So, Tim Ryan --

GREGORY: I love "Wire" references. Way to go, Berman.

BERMAN: You know, Tim Ryan better get there, because Nancy Pelosi is one person left in Washington who can count votes, and she's good at it. And if there's anyone who can wrangle support, it's her.

Let's talk about President Obama who thought he would be the savior for the Democrat Party and usher in decades of Democratic rule.

[06:55:01] It didn't happen that way. But he's been going around the world right now talking a lot about sort of the future and sort of expanding on his post-election comments on Donald Trump.

And yesterday in Berlin standing next to Angela Merkel, he talked about his tone a little bit. Let's listen.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: What I said to him was that what may work in generating enthusiasm or passion during elections maybe different than what will work in terms of unifying the country and gaining the trust even of those who didn't support him. And he's indicated his willingness to -- his understanding of that.


BERMAN: To me, it seems President Obama is working through this, like a lot of Democrats are right now, and he's torn, Jason, between -- he's so grateful to George W. Bush how he left office and how quiet he was in criticism afterwards, and he desperately wants to do that. But at the same time, he's got this other voice saying, you know, I've got to try to either influence Donald Trump or make clear where I have issues.

JOHNSON: This is the challenge that he's got. You know, Barack Obama is a patriot. He wants to see the country do well. Even if it's not under the candidate he supported, he wants America to do well. But he's got sincere concerns about how Trump is going to do the job.

And I think part of this tour just isn't President Obama saying goodbye, he's got to calm our allies. Germany is the one nation he's the most popular foreign leader in Germany. They love him over there. He's got to tell them, look, you got to work with this guy. We can't have our economy tank and that's a difficult challenge for him for the next couple of weeks.

CAMEROTA: Why is he saying the challenges while he's over in Germany and when he was here, he said, we had an excellent conversation?

LOUIS: Well, I mean, he's going to say what he has to say where he is. This is like any other president on his way out the door, he's concerned about legacy. This particular president, because of his history-making candidacy and presidency, was kind of talking legacy from day one, right? This is the kind of conversation he slips into.

But, you know, to go back to the other conversation in part, there's a part of his politic legacy is that the Democrats were flat on their back during the Obama presidency in a way we haven't seen in decades, and it's going to take at that long time for them to repair and rebuild. And, you know, he doesn't want to own that. We don't like to talk about it. But it's a part of sort of the cold reality of this stuff.

So, yeah, he can talk to Germany about unity and so forth, but how did it work out under his presidency? It didn't work very well at all.

BERMAN: He keeps bragging about his approval ratings. He keeps bragging about his approval ratings wherever he goes. I think if you're a Democrat right now, you're looking at saying, yeah, what did that get us? The answer is not so much.

Gentlemen, thanks so much for being with us. Appreciate it.

CAMEROTA: Coming up, we'll be speaking with Congressman Tim Ryan about his challenge to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi coming up very shortly.

BERMAN: All right. We are following a lot of news this morning, so let's get to it.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: General Flynn will serve President Trump very, very well.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You got to look for somebody that will tame the impulsive nature of Donald Trump. I'm not sure that's what you get with General Flynn.

OBAMA: My hope is, he does not simply take it a real politic approach.

MITT ROMNEY (R), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Donald Trump is a phony, a fraud.

KELLYANNE CONWAY, TRUMP SENIOR ADVISER: We have to take the counsel of many different people, rivals, allies.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mitt Romney is an extremely smart guy, looking at him as a candidate is the right thing to do.

PELOSI: We have a responsibility to find common ground but to stand our ground when we can't.

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (D), VERMONT: It's time for a new direction for the Democratic Party.

ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Chris Cuomo and Alisyn Camerota.


CAMEROTA: Good morning, everyone. Welcome to your NEW DAY. Chris is off this morning. John Berman joins me here.

Great to have you.

BERMAN: Good to be here.

CAMEROTA: Happy Friday.

A fiery former army general is poised to become the nation's next national security adviser. President-elect Trump offering the post to his loyal supporter, Lieutenant General Michael Flynn and this morning some of Flynn's previous comments are already coming under criticism.

BERMAN: So, the Flynn news was expected by many. But not so expected, the Trump-Romney summit. Mitt Romney who called the president-elect a fraud and a phony, and really did seem to mean it, he's paying a visit to Donald Trump this weekend in New Jersey and there's speculation by all sides involved here that they could discuss the possibility of Mitt Romney working for Donald Trump, serving as secretary of state.

CNN covering every angle of the transition. We're going to start with Sunlen Serfaty outside Trump Tower in Manhattan -- Sunlen.


Donald Trump calling for a two hour meeting with his entire transition team today here at Trump Tower, where he'll likely review some of the top choice for these key cabinet position posts and, John, making big moves meantime with his first staffing appointment, which has already causing some controversy.


SERFATY (voice-over): President-elect Donald Trump offering Lieutenant General Michael Flynn the role of national security adviser, according to a transition official. LT. GEN. FLYNN (RET), U.S. ARMY: We must regain our ability to truly

crush our enemies.