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Christie's Traffic Scandal; Fallout from Gates' Book; Shoelace- Gate; Priced Out Of The Super Bowl

Aired January 9, 2014 - 06:30   ET


CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Erin McPike has more from Trenton, New Jersey.


ERIN MCPIKE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Governor Christie's brash Jersey-style thrust him into the spotlight.

GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: You have numbnuts.

MCPIKE: He's got a swagger ready to take on any challenger.

CHRISTIE: We're New Jersey. We still fight. We still yell, but when he fight, we fight for those things that really matter.

Thank you all very much and I'm sorry for the idiot over there.

It's the people who raise their voices and yell and scream like you that are dividing this country.

MCPIKE: And at times, challenges himself -- and his own party.

When Superstorm Sandy devastated parts of his state on the eve of the 2012 presidential election, the Republican governor praised the Democratic president when he visited.

CHRISTIE: I cannot think the president enough for his personal concern, the compassion for our state and for the people of our state.

MCPIKE: He later broadsided Republicans in the House for staling on a Sandy relief funding bill.

CHRISTIE: It is why the American people hate Congress.

MCPIKE: And just this week, Christie held an event bucking conservatives on immigration, celebrating a law allowing undocumented students to get in-state tuition at New Jersey colleges.

Christie hasn't been shy about his presidential ambitions, so much so he was criticized for talking too much about himself and too little about Mitt Romney in his Republican National Convention speech.

CHRISTIE: You see, Mr. President, real leaders don't follow polls, real leaders change polls. MCPIKE: Despite his self-promotion and always being ready for a fight, he knows he stepped on toes.

CHRISTIE: Listen, are there times I wish I wouldn't have said something? Sure. What I think people see in me is that I'm genuine. I am who I am.


KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: All right. Erin, thank you so much for that.

So, Governor Christie's scandal is making national news. It's not a surprise when you hear everything that is involved and the allegations at play. But not every network is covering it the same it seems.

FOX News didn't mention the story until mid-afternoon yesterday, long after other networks were taking it on.

Let's bring in Brian Stelter for more details on this. He's CNN senior media correspondent and the host of "RELIABLE SOURCES".

Good morning, Brian.


BOLDUAN: So, when you look at this. I mean, there's good reason everyone is talking about the story when you start reading some of those e-mails and text messages that went back a forth.


BOLDUAN: But a lot of people, and a lot of people do watch FOX News. They're watching FOX News yesterday afternoon weren't really hearing anything about it.

STELTER: And, of course, liberal blogs that monitored FOX News noticed this and wondered why is FOX News ignoring the story?

Later in the day, FOX started to cover it. There was a segment for about 5 minutes at 9:00 p.m. But that was -- there were so many fewer mentions of the story on FOX. That it got people wondering what was going on.

And the reason why people are so curious is because Roger Ailes, the chairman of FOX News, has in the past tried to enlist Chris Christie to run for president. He has been said to be a big fan of Chris Christie. So, people sometimes watch FOX News, people like me at least, observers watch FOX News to see -- to read the tea leaves and to wonder is FOX avoiding the story to help Chris Christie. Maybe we'll see today if they take it more seriously or not.

BOLDUAN: And it also comes at the same time as that book about FOX News is about to come out where it talks about that Ailes is deeply involved in Republican politics. STELTER: Yes. It really puts him -- it really presents him as a Republican king maker, even though he denies many of the allegations in the book. It has lots of stories about him trying to enlist presidential candidates like Chris Christie. Chris Christie, of course, turned him and everybody else down in 2012. But with 2016 on the horizon, FOX News is an important place for Republicans to hear about these candidates. If they don't hear a lot about the scandal, they may not take it as seriously.

CUOMO: Anymore so than MSNBC is an important place for the left. And if they support the cause of the left, they protect the left, they advocate against FOX News? I mean, haven't we seen that it really is the right is represented by FOX and the left is represented by MSNBC. And they do battle under the guise of it being media --

STELTER: I do think that's increasingly true. It's a lot more true than it was, say, five years ago. At MSNBC, you mentioned, you know, you've got to give Rachel Maddow credit. She was one of the first national television personalities to take this bridge story seriously. She was pushing at hard at it because she was curious about whether Chris Christie was involved.

CUOMO: And because she attacks the right as often as possible.

STELTER: It was a story that was ready made for her and for MSNBC. Now, it's pretty clear that there was a story there. But she was one of the first to pay attention to it.

MICHAELE PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: Speaking about the story -- what I find fascinating is the fact that this was a local angle, a local story by a local reporter in a local paper, yet it has much bigger ramifications.

STELTER: Right. You really got to get credit to the "Bergen Record" here. The traffic reporter -- and by the way, who even knew this local newspaper had a traffic column. I think it's really telling about how important traffic around New York and New Jersey that they have a print newspaper column about the traffic.

You know, this is -- it's one of the reasons why this story is resonating. But he was curious about why this delay happened. He was writing about it in September. He kept following up, following up, following up. And he was right to be digging.

He found a story here that's become national news. It really reminds us how important it is to have a strong local press.

PEREIRA: Absolutely.

CUOMO: Also, they have some there. This started as a kind of big bundle of allegations that frankly --

STELTER: Right, and nine times out of ten there's nothing there.

CUOMO: Frankly, not enough to take to Chris Christie. If you go with Chris Christie, be ready for a fight. Now that they have these e- mails, this just got real.


STELTER: People sort of suspect this about politicians sometimes. We rarely see the e-mails that prove the pettiness, the prove the vindictiveness.

BOLDUAN: Well, and people make wild allegations on cable news all the time about various topics, right, that are unfounded. And this is why people waited until this.

STELTER: Absolutely. And of course, it's one of the few things that affects everybody. Traffic affects everybody. Forget whether you're in New York or New Jersey, this feels like it could affect you. People are going to wonder, next week or next month, if they're stuck in the traffic jam, is it -- can I blame my governor for this, can I blame my mayor for this?

CUOMO: Here it comes.

BOLDUAN: Thanks, Brian. Great to see you.

STELTER: Thank you.

PEREIRA: All right. Let's take a look at our latest headlines.

We start with this breaking overnight, an apology now from former NBA star Dennis Rodman for that outburst. During an interview right here on NEW DAY: Rodman was in North Korea. In a statement, Rodman says he was stressed and had been drinking. He specifically apologized to the family of Kenneth Bae, the American being held in North Korea, saying at this point he should know better than to make political statements.

New today, the State Department about to slap a terrorist designation on the Libyan groups e suspected of carrying out the 2012 attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi by naming the group Ansar al-Sharia. The U.S. is making its fist public accusation of responsibility for that incident. State Department officials also singling out a former Guantanamo detainee as the leader of the group. He was transferred from U.S. hands into Libya's custody in 2007.

Some surprising new developments in the condition of the California girl declared brain dead after a tonsillectomy. The lawyer for Jahi McMath's family says the girl is improving after two proceeding, adding that the little girl should have gotten that treatment a month ago. The attorney for the family also said he and the girl's uncle have gotten death threats in the wake of this case.

A toddler is now in protected custody after a shocking video showing him getting berated with obscene language from adult's service. Even more shocking, the diapered child kind of gives as good as he gets. The police officers union in Omaha, Nebraska, is drawing fire from the police chief, the ACLU and African-American leaders for posting that video on its website. The union says it posted the video in order to educate the public. I want to show you really amazing rescue caught on firefighter's GoPro camera. Portland fire and police say the man that was pinned under a car stuck on railroad tracks by lifting the vehicle with their own hands. Apparently the car had reported hit a guardrail, spun onto the tracks. They had to act fast, these first responders. Apparently, a freight train was close by. Fortunately, the train operator had been advised in time. That man was sent to the hospital. No word on his condition.

Super human strength almost to lift that up. I know, amazing.

BOLDUAN: That is amazing.

CUOMO: Thanks for that.

Coming up on NEW DAY, shock by that. How often do you see men lift a car?

The Obama administration rush to go the defense of the president's war policy and Vice President Biden after scathing criticisms from Robert Gates in his upcoming memoir. More on the fallout and a live report just ahead.

BOLDUAN: Plus the price of a Super Bowl ticket, people will pay anything, right? Not so much. One fan is suing the NFL saying they've made it impossible for the average fan to attend the big game.


CUOMO: Welcome back.

New developments in Washington. The new memoir by Robert Gates has the White House scrambling. The former defense secretary questions president's war leadership and skewers vice President Biden.

The White House is now trying to respond, trying to skirt even more controversy. And, you know, the book isn't even out yet.

Senior White House correspondent Jim Acosta is live with more.

What has them so worried?

JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, there's a lot in that brook to be worried about, Chris. And we should point out that the White House has been cautious, almost delicate in its response to the book from Robert Gates while at the same time thanking the former defense secretary for his service. They are politely disagreeing with his assessments, especially when they come to Vice President Joe Biden.


ACOSTA (voice-over): How's this for an opening line?

JAY CARNEY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Read any good books lately?


ACOSTA: It was a warm and fuzzy attempt to soften some of the razor sharp criticisms leveled by former Defense Secretary Robert Gates in his new tell-all book, "Duty". The White House press secretary Jay Carney said, that's what the president expected when he hired Gates, a hold-over from the Bush administration to join his team.

CARNEY: When you pick a team of rivals, you do so in part because you expect competing points of view and competing opinions.

ACOSTA: Carney gently batted down the sharpest headlines from Gate's book, that questioned Vice President Biden's command of foreign policy.

CARNEY: He has been an excellent counselor and an advisor to the president, for the past five years.

ACOSTA: And the president's commitment to the war in Afghanistan. Carney presented excerpts from the memoir, praising Mr. Obama's decision to draw down U.S. forces there.

CARNEY: "I believe Obama was right in each of these decisions." That's from the book.

ACOSTA: In another part of the book, Gates said he saw the president make decisions opposed by his political advisors, or that would be unpopular with Democrats.

Retired general and Democrat Wesley Clark believes Gates is just trying to get a lot off his chest.

GEN. WESLEY CLARK, U.S. ARMY (RET): I do think it has to be taken with a certain grain of salt, in the sense that when he makes comments about the president, for example, he doesn't know what the president's attitude really is.

ACOSTA: There's still no response from the commander in chief. The White House did allow photographers rare access to a private lunch between the president and Biden, but denied it was a show of support.

CARNEY: I don't think anybody who has covered us or knows the president and the vice president knows how this White House functions, has any doubt about the president's faith in Vice President Biden.

ACOSTA: Reporters however were not permitted into the room, drawing questions about access.

CARNEY: This president has answered more questions from the free and independent press, or at least as many as his immediate predecessors.


ACOSTA: Now, a former senior administration official told CNN that some of the criticism in Gates' book directed at the president in related to his handling and his dealings with senior military officials, appears to date back to the early years of the Obama administration, and may have something to do with speculation that former General David Petraeus was thinking about running for president, you remember that, back in 2012.

As for the president, he appears to be moving on later today. He meets with members of Congress on another simmering controversy and that is the surveillance activities over at the NSA -- Chris and Kate.

BOLDUAN: All right. Jim, thank you. Many excited to hear from Bob Gates, himself, when he decides to come up and start talking about his book. Thank you so much, Jim.

Let's get back over to Indra. It's feeling a little warmer, so bring the good news.



PETERSONS: OK. And it's only going to get better. That's the good news. We're looking at the jet stream lifting out. So, things are improving. Notice that's what the temperatures were like yesterday. Now, let's kind of step you up to what we're looking for as we get through the weekend. So much better. We're talking about temperatures in the mid-50s, even some 60s expected in the northeast like places like D.C.

So, let's take it kind of day by day here. We'll show you what we're expecting today. Remember, the cold air is going back. It's retreating to the pole. So, still, a little bit below normal closer towards the north. So, yes, Chicago still below normal today. Check out the southeast, though. Starting to see normal temperatures. It is tomorrow when you really start to see that change. The temperature is going to rebound quickly. And by the weekend, 20 degrees above normal.

Just remember, yes, it is above normal, but it doesn't mean we are without rain. Yes, about an inch and a half into the northeast down to the southeast. So, notice, pacific northwest getting good five inches of rain. So, some heavy rains, maybe some flooding for them, but still, warm for everybody and that is the take away.

BOLDUAN: Back to normal. It's quickly how we were so below normal and quickly back to normal.


PEREIRA: And you know what's also interesting is you watched her dress, it matches the maps.



PEREIRA: You had a cold dress on, cold maps.

PETERSONS: They say it's what you feel. They do, right? CUOMO: How cool would it be if the dress became the map?


PETERSONS: It's called a green screen. You wear green, it would be.


CUOMO: That is the next level. It'd be very hard to point out here --


CUOMO: That's the next wave of new media.



CUOMO: It's a good idea. Tweet me about it.

All right. So, we have a guy who's suing the NFL for pricing out Joe Fan, claiming they can't possibly afford a Super Bowl ticket. He says it's not just wrong, it's illegal. We're going to tell you what the league has to say about it.


CUOMO: The baseball hall of fame welcomed three new members to their prestigious club yesterday. But often, the call to the halls about who didn't get in. And once again, the biggest names from the steroids era were shut out. Let's bring in Andy Scholes with this morning's "Bleacher Report." What did you see and not see? How about Don Mattingly not getting in? What? All right. But let's talk about what you know.

ANDY SCHOLES, BLEACHER REPORT: Yes. Lots of big snubs yesterday, Chris. But it was a big day for Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, and Frank Thomas, they were all easily voted in to baseball's hall of fame as expected, but once again, the mega stars from the steroids era like Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, and Mark McGwire, they all fell way short of the votes they needed to get in, and they actually lost votes since last year, and it's looking less and less likely that these guys will ever get into baseball's hall of fame.

All right. Trending on today, the NBA fined J.R. Smith $50,000 on Wednesday for once again trying to untie an opponent's shoe. Now, Smith actually did untie Shawn Marion's shoe during a free throw on Sunday. He was warned after that, then after trying to do it again Tuesday night, the NBA slapped him with a fine.

Smith has apologized for his actions, but the Knicks, they're poorly (ph) fed up with his act. They're now trying to trade him. $50,000. I don't think he's going to be trying to untie anymore shoes. It's got to be the most expensive prank ever.

BOLDUAN: On what planet do you think that you're not going to get caught for that?

CUOMO: On what planet --


CUOMO: What planet does it become worth 50 grand, Andy? I mean, come on. You know, who knew -- first of all, we don't even know -- JB's here, Berman's here, he's like which foul shot was it? Was it the first or the second? If it's the first --

SCHOLES: No, it was the second.

CUOMO: The second?

SCHOLES: That's bad. That's bad.

BOLDUAN: It's bad on the first, too.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: No. First, he can tie it before it's a joke, right? The first he can tie it before the second. The second, he's interfering with the game, and I agree with --

BOLDUAN: Agree to disagree.

PEREIRA: I might have pulled that move in high school once. Only once, though.

CUOMO: Unless --

BOLDUAN: Don't hold it against --


PEREIRA: They really --


PEREIRA: OK. We're going to move from basketball to foot football. If you're looking to score some of those Super Bowl tickets, you're going to have to dig real deep. The average cost, can you believe this? Close to $3,500 dollars. Too rich for one New Jersey businessman. He is now suing the NFL for pricing out average fans.

His name is Josh Finkleman (ph). He claims the league is withholding tickets to drive up prices. Now, he wants them to pay up. We've got John Berman on the case.

BERMAN: So, how much would you pay to sit in a freezing cold temperatures off of exit 16W and the Jersey turnpike (ph). Doesn't that sound awesome? That sounds awesome, doesn't it? People like Jay here and a lot of other people would like to be able to do that. They'd like to be able to afford seeing the Super Bowl in person next month, but they can't. It's just too expensive.

And now, one fan is becoming something of a sports hero, taking on the big money of the big game. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BERMAN (voice-over): It's packed with super star athletes, super charge performances, and it promises super high television ratings. But if you're looking for a seat inside New Jersey's MetLife stadium --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The average fan, the true fan really can't afford to go to the game and enjoy it. They have to watch it at home.

BERMAN: The average Super Bowl ticket price has risen by $200 in the past five years, but that's just face value. Tickets for Super Bowl XLVIII are once again soaring into the thousands via secondary markets like Stub Hub and Ticket Exchange. One fan, Josh Finkleman (ph), is so upset, he's suing the NFL after shelling out $4,000 for two tickets. Much higher than face value.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think all the corporate big wigs are taking all the tickets.

BERMAN: His lawsuit claims the league's violated New Jersey's consumer fraud act by only releasing a meager one percent of these tickets to the general public through a lottery system, leaving the majority of ticket susceptible to enormous price gouging.

JOEY JACKSON, HLN LEGAL ANALYST: So with demand being so intense and the supply, right, being so low, obviously you have this gouging that comes about and it becomes very problematic for the common fan who wants to go to the game.

BERMAN: According to the NFL, roughly 75 percent of tickets are given now to individual teams who in turn are supposed to sell a percentage at face value to fans. But the lawsuit says alleges teams instead offer them in large part to resellers who grossly inflate the price.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think more people should have access to the tickets.

BERMAN: The lawsuit claims one such reseller packaged their tickets for a whopping $19,000.


BERMAN (on-camera): So, in a statement to CNN, "The NFL claims Super Bowl ticket distribution process has been in existence for years and is well-documented. We are confident it is in compliance with all applicable laws."

PEREIRA: (INAUDIBLE) right for the fans.

BERMAN: You have to shell out a lot of cash to go to that game.

BOLDUAN: I'm already starting to cry.


BERMAN: At home, a lot easier --

PEREIRA: -- your snacks are better.

BOLDUAN: All right. The thing about that is that you showed video of Andrew Luck and his awesome touchdown. So, in good part (ph) about that.

CUOMO: Moving on, coming up on NEW DAY, the latest on the scandal surrounding New Jersey governor, Chris Christie. It is real now. We have to know what did he know, when did he know it. We're going to talk to a long-time Democratic critic of Christie for his take on the situation.

BOLDUAN: Also ahead, Dennis Rodman apologizes for his outrageous and bizarre outburst on NEW DAY. We'll get the reaction from the wife of one of the players who joined Rodman in North Korea and talk to her about why her husband wanted to go.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For those that are responsible for this most heinous act, they can no longer be in positions of power in government.

CUOMO: When will the governor speak? Growing pressure on Chris Christie to answer allegations he choked traffic to one city deliberately. Hearings to be held today. New reports lives were even put at risk. His critics are digging in for a fight.

BOLDUAN: Breaking overnight, Dennis Rodman apologizes. What he's blaming for his bizarre interview right here on NEW DAY. He even says sorry to Chris Cuomo. New this hour, the wife of one of his teammates speaks out live.

PEREIRA: The battle for pay. A new study on just why men make more money than women that will have everyone talking. It's not the reason you think.

CUOMO: Your NEW DAY starts right now.

ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Chris Cuomo, Kate Bolduan, and Michaela Pereira.