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Cruz & Sanders face off on Obamacare; Future of Obamacare; Marine Veteran Turns to Crossfit; Dev Patel Talks about Role in "Lion". Aired 8:30-9a ET

Aired February 8, 2017 - 08:30   ET


[08:30:00] SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: Your own doctor.

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I) VERMONT: Go out and get a really great health insurance program. Oh, you can't do it because you can't afford it. All right, that's what he's saying. Access to what? You want to buy one of Donald Trump's mansions? You have access to do that as well. Oh, you can't afford $5 million for a house? Sorry. Access doesn't mean a damn thing.

SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The duo finding common ground on problems in American health care.

CRUZ: You know who's making out like gangbusters? The insurance companies and those in government whose solution is, let's have even more government control.


CRUZ: This thing isn't working.

TAPPER: Senator Sanders.

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I), VERMONT: You know -- you know I find myself in agreement with Ted. He's right.

MALVEAUX: But disagreeing on solutions.

SANDERS: Let's work together on a Medicare for all, single payer program so we're finally going to get insurance companies -- private insurance companies out of our life.

CRUZ: The answer is, empower you, give you choices, lower prices, lower premiums, lower deductibles.

MALVEAUX: Cruz arguing that proposals to replace Obamacare will continue to protect people with pre-existing conditions, a key tenant of the law.

CRUZ: All of them prohibit insurance companies from cancelling someone because they got sick. They prohibit insurance companies from jacking up the insurance rates because they got sick or injured.

SANDERS: I cannot believe what you just said. It's a direct contradiction to everything you ran for president on.

MALVEAUX: Sanders also giving tough advice for this salon owner feeling restricted by the law.

LARONDA HUNTER, SMALL BUSINESS OWNER: How do I grow my business? How do I employ more Americans without either raising the prices to my customers or lowering wages to my employees?

SANDERS: I'm sorry. I think that in America today everybody should have health care. If you have more than 50 people, yes, you should be providing health insurance.


MALVEAUX: As Republicans are grumbling about how quickly they can repeal Obamacare, President Trump is conceding this week that replacing it is not going to happen immediately as he promised on the campaign trail, but it could take up until next year to complete.

Alisyn. Chris.


CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: All right, this is very helpful. Appreciate it.

So, what is the future of the ACA? Let's get "The Bottom Line" with CNN's senior political commentator and former senior adviser to President Obama, David Axelrod.

There are problems with this plan and there are problems with replacing it. How do you see the future?

DAVID AXELROD, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, look, I think that the Republicans in Congress and the president are confronting the reality that many of us who were there at the beginning know, that the elements of the Affordable Care Act are far more popular than the brand itself. The fact that pre-existing conditions are covered under this law, the fact that kids under 26 can get insurance, the fact that there are no more lifetime caps, so if you get seriously ill, you can't get thrown off your insurance. All of these are popular elements of the plan, and not to mention the 22 million people who have coverage today who didn't before.

And here's the other reality. Many of them are in the states that Donald Trump carried because this law works particularly well for low income working people. So they have a terrible dilemma here because they've promised for six years and President Trump promised on the campaign trail to repeal the Affordable Care Act. But it's very difficult to do that and maintain these popular elements of the plan. So now they're holding this thing in their hands, this finely calibrated machine, and they're realizing, wow, this could explode. And they're trying to figure out how to defuse this. And it's very -- as you point out, very, very complicated.

CAMEROTA: I mean you call it a finely calibrated machine. I think the Republicans would call it a house of cards. And that if you take one piece out, you know, some of the rest of it collapses. And, look, it -- there are --


CAMEROTA: For many people it is going well, but the numbers also suggest that in 39 states the premiums have gone up. Maybe they would have anyway, but that's not what people were promised. So Republicans feel they have to do something. Do you think that there will be any political liability for it not happening on day one as promised, happening maybe two years in, but still people think, well, at least Donald Trump is working on it.

AXELROD: You know, I think that within the base there's restiveness among particularly some of the activists that -- and you heard Ted Cruz express, let's repeal it right away. I think most Republicans have come to the conclusion that the real risk is in moving quickly and, as you suggest, seeing the whole thing collapse or seeing a system that doesn't provide those benefits that the Affordable Care Act provides.

So, I think that they -- their -- believe me, Alisyn, they are weighing what the political risks are. They're very aware of the politics of this. If they thought the politics of this were better on the side of moving quickly, they would have moved quickly. They know now that that's not the right way to go.

CUOMO: All right, let's change topics now. Secretary Kelly, he went before a Senate hearing yesterday --

[08:35:05] AXELROD: Yes.

CUOMO: And said he should have rolled it out differently. He should have paused. It should have been --

CAMEROTA: The travel ban.

CUOMO: With the travel ban. Looks like he's jumping on the grenade. How did you see it?

AXELROD: Oh, for sure. It's great to see a valiant old soldier fall on his sword. The fact is that we now know from all the reporting that's been done that General Kelly wasn't fully consulted on this order, was taken by surprise by elements of this order and then was asked to implement this order. And he did the White House a solid yesterday by appearing before this committee and taking responsibility for something for which he wasn't actually responsible.

This was a debacle in terms of this -- the planning and rollout of this order. And one of the reasons was people like General Kelly, General Mattis, the State Department, the Justice Department weren't fully consulted on it.


AXELROD: It was a White House production and it flopped. CAMEROTA: But, still, David, in CYA Washington, D.C., --


CAMEROTA: There was something refreshing about seeing somebody say, the buck stops here.

AXELROD: Oh, absolutely.

CAMEROTA: It was my responsibility (ph).

AXELROD: It was very admirable.


AXELROD: It was very -- very, very admirable. I was really impressed by that. I'm sure the president -- if the president has any sense, he'd be impressed by it, too, because Kelly took the hit for something that he wasn't responsible for to protect the White House from the blame. And, you know, that's part of the military ethic that he brings, that Mattis brings. And it's one of the reasons why there was some enthusiasm about their nominations to homeland security, to defense. So it was an interesting -- I thought, you know, it was lost in the shuffle of a very tumultuous day, but I thought it was a really interesting insight into who this guy is.

CUOMO: Ax, give us a quick bottom line on the perception versus reality with Democrats obstructing these same nominees that you're talking about right now. Is this working for them?

AXELROD: Well, they didn't obstruct those nominees. I think everybody --

CUOMO: Right, but there are a whole list of them that we could put up right now that haven't gotten votes.

AXELROD: Everybody knows it's -- it's very clear, and Betsy DeVos proves it, that all these nominees are going to get confirmed. And it seems to me what Democrats are trying to do is slow down the process and shine a spotlight on some of the deficiencies they see in these nominees. I'm as concerned as anybody about this kind of pattern of mutually assured destruction that Democrats and Republicans in Washington are locked in, but it's understandable given the relatively few levers they have that Democrats are doing what they're doing.

And Senator McConnell isn't in the strongest position as Congressman Himes pointed out in your last half hour. He's not in the strongest position to lecture people on process given what happened in the last eight years. And particularly egregious to Democrats is the way he handled the nomination or didn't handle the nomination of Merrick Garland, a highly qualified guy, to the Supreme Court.

So there's a lot of raw feeling and there's no doubt that's some of it and the Democratic base is demanding it. But I think it's also a useful exercise for them in terms of shining a light on people like Betsy DeVos, who had a very lackluster hearing and has dubious credentials for the office that she's now assumed.

CAMEROTA: David Axelrod, thank you for "The Bottom Line."

AXELROD: OK, guys. Nice to see you.

CAMEROTA: So we have an Oscar nominee in studio this morning. Dev Patel is up for best supporting actor for his role --

CUOMO: There he is.

CAMEROTA: In the film "Lion." This incredible story and how it is true and how it inspired him, next.


[08:42:19] CAMEROTA: Time now for the "Five Things to Know for Your New Day."

Number one, the senate is expected to vote on attorney general nominee Jeff Sessions tonight. The vote comes after Republican leaders formally silenced Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren was impugning a colleague.

Number two, a federal appeals court could rule on President Trump's travel ban. Government lawyers facing tough questions as judges ask whether the ban unfairly targets people based on religion.

A state of emergency declared in Louisiana after seven tornadoes ripped through the state. The community in eastern New Orleans completely destroyed, as you can see on your screen. No deaths were reported.

Iran pulling a rocket from a launch pad east of Tehran. A U.S. defense officially telling CNN the rocket is believed to be, quote, "dual use" and may be used in ballistic missiles.

The Vienna Zoo showing off these panda twins. Oh my gosh -- celebrating their six month birthday. The brother and sister showed off climbing trees and snugging with each other. They're super cute. Thank goodness Chris isn't here to impugn their character.

For more on the "Five Things to Know," go to for the latest.

Well, one of this year's Oscar nominees sharing an incredible story. Dev Patel stars in "Lion." We'll talk about the movie and so much more.

But first, a Marine veteran almost died after she contracted a flesh eating bacteria in 2015. Despite multiple amputations, she's in the gym and lifting almost her own body weight. Here's her story in "Turning Points."


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: All right, chest up. Let's go. CINDY MARTINEZ: I'm Cindy Martinez, a Marine veteran and cross fit


Before I got sick, I was working full time. I am a mother and wife.

One day I woke up and at first it just felt like a little ache in my shoulder blade area. I was diagnosed with necrotizing fasciitis, which is also known as flesh eating bacteria. I do not know how I contracted the bacteria.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She became septic. And so her life was now in danger.

MARTINEZ: The medications to keep me alive is what caused my limbs to be compromised.

My amputations are both legs below the knee, my right arm above the elbow and all of my fingers on my left hand have some type of amputation. It's a hard thing. They're gone and they're not coming back.

After being in the hospital setting and rehab for four months, when you're home by yourself, that can take a toll on you. So I thought, well, let me see if Cross Fit could be something I could do. I could barely lift five pounds. Today, I can dead lift up to 95 pounds.

[08:45:12] Working out has really changed my outlook on life. I did the Marine Corps Marathon in 2016. It was emotional because just the year prior I was in a hospital bed.

Whatever challenge it is, there's a positive in everything.



ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: The Oscar nominated film "Lion" is based on the true story of Saroo Brierley who got lost on a train at age five. The movie stars Dev Patel as Brierley. Take a look.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE, ACTRESS, "LION": Saroo, you need to face reality.

DEV PATEL, ACTOR, "LION": What do you mean reality? Do you have any idea what it's like knowing my real brother and mother spent every day of their lives looking for me? Huh? How every day my real brother screams my name. Can you imagine the pain they must be in not knowing where I am? Huh? Twenty-five years, (INAUDIBLE), 25!


[08:50:21] CAMEROTA: Patel's performance has earned him an Oscar nod for best supporting actor. He is only the third actor of Indian decent to be nominated for an Oscar.

Dev Patel joins us now.

Great to have you here in studio.

DEV PATEL, ACTOR, "LION": Thank you. Thanks for having me.

CAMEROTA: What a mind-blowing movie. I mean this little five-year-old falls asleep on a train and wakes up 2,000 miles away from his home and his mother and his siblings.


CAMEROTA: And he, of course, has no money. He has no cell phone, of course. He has no --

PATEL: Real education, really.

CAMEROTA: Right, to tell people who he is.

PATEL: Yes. He didn't know his family name. He didn't even know the actual name of his mother. He just called her ami (ph), which in English translates to "mom."

CAMEROTA: Oh my goodness.

PATEL: So he was left on the streets to fend for himself, and kind of goes through a very horrendous ordeal before he's given a second chance at life and is adopted out to Australia.

CAMEROTA: But he remembers. He has flashes and he remembers that he had this other life. And then he sets off on this incredible endeavor to find that other life. And, I mean, it's not a spoiler for you to tell us, how did he do that?

PATEL: Well, at the time it was ground break new technology, but he used this app, Google Earth, which we're all very used to now. But he used that to scour these pixels and basically search every corner of India to try and find his birth mother.

CAMEROTA: That is so incredible.

PATEL: It's pretty out there. It's a crazy pitch. And to think that this actually happened, it really is -- it's beautiful.

CAMEROTA: Yes, to think that it actually happened is, you know, every parent's, obviously, nightmare. And it is mind-blowing. But the other crazy thing about it is that you somehow managed -- and I mean everybody, part of the movie, to turn it from this individual astonishing story to a universal story. What are the universal themes?

PATEL: Well I think, yes, it -- really the script does the talking for you. It is about -- at its core it's about unification. It's about people coming together and it's abbot love and family and a love that can transcend continents, borders and race, all of those beautiful messages that, you know, are very important to be putting out to the world right now.

CAMEROTA: And as the actor, I know that you interacted with the real person.


CAMEROTA: The real Saroo. What is he like?

PATEL: He's so -- he's such a beautiful man. I didn't get the opportunity to meet him when I first started filming because, in fact, I shot the end of the movie first. I don't want to give anything away. But when we went to Tasmania, we were shooting in a place called Hobart (ph), which was minutes away from his home and --

CAMEROTA: Because he was adopted, I should say --


CAMEROTA: By an Australian family. So not only did he leave -- he find -- wake up 2,000 miles away from his home, he then was adopted and moved to a different continent --

PATEL: Exactly.

CAMEROTA: To Australia. And there you are with the real Saroo.

PATEL: There he is. And he's -- he's just so incredible. I felt like I'd known him already because I'd been prepping for this role for eight months. So I'd kind of done this pilgrimage in his shoes, going around India, traveling the trains, visiting the orphanage that he was put in. And he's just a very spiritually connected, soulful young man.

CAMEROTA: And not scared by his experience of this yearning and this displacement?

PATEL: You know, scarred would not be the word, but I -- without having to give any of the plot away, if you do see the film, you'll see there's a lot of it -- of coming to terms with certain situations in his life and it's still evolving. But as a whole, he's a very happy individual. Yes.

CAMEROTA: It's hard not to sort of see the overarching themes of our political world in this movie, particularly unification, particularly the immigrant experience. Is it right that you were returning on a flight to the U.S. as the travel ban -- President Trump's travel ban was being imposed and implemented?

PATEL: Ys, I was kind of shooting in a very remote location in India and I arrived to go straight into this award season hoopla and was, you know, received news of all this -- what was happening in the world, in the real world, at that time. And it was quite overwhelming. Very sad. And, you know, it's kind of a -- a strange situation when you're walking a red carpet and at the same time people are out marching the streets because of so much strife in the air. So quite confronting.

CAMEROTA: And did you see anything at the airport? Was it -- was there -- was it clogged to get back into this country?

PATEL: No, no, not when I arrived in. But as soon as I started working was when the real marching began.

[08:55:05] CAMEROTA: And as someone of Indian descent, what were raised in London?


CAMEROTA: Yes. So what are your thoughts on whether or not this is important for national security?

PATEL: Well, I'm -- I'm -- I'm, you know, I'm not an American, so I tread very carefully when I say this. But I'm a product of immigrants, you know, and, you know, parents who came from Nairobi and Kenya and moved to London and raised these two children and have been nothing but, you know, in service of the country they live in and are completely proud to be British. And I think, you know, the idea of, you know, accepting people, you know, and that kind of unity that I talk about in this film is so important. And this -- the divisive nature of it is kind of -- it terrifies me in a way.

CAMEROTA: Well, the Oscars are two weeks away.


CAMEROTA: Wishing you the best of luck.

PATEL: Thank you.

CAMEROTA: The movie again is "Lion." What a remarkable movie and a remarkable performance.

Dev, thanks so much for being here with us.

PATEL: Thank you. Thank you.

CAMEROTA: Great to talk to you.

All right, time now for CNN "Newsroom" with Poppy Harlow right after this short break. See you tomorrow.


[08:59:58] POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning, everyone. I'm Poppy Harlow. John Berman has the day off. Thank you so much for joining us.

A busy morning and potentially a critical day for the Trump administration. At any moment the president is set to speak to the National Sheriff's Association. The group supports his plans to crack down on border security.