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NASCAR Driver Shows off Ft. Lauderdale; Terror Concerns at Winter Olympics; Ex-College Player Suing NCAA for Pay; Bieber Charged with DUI, Resisting Arrest

Aired January 24, 2014 - 10:30   ET


CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: One high profile -- one high profile Republican, Mike Huckabee, is not helping the party's push to attract more women voters. We'll discuss his "libido, Uncle Sugar" comments next.

Also ahead athletes, friends and family all heading to Russia but along with the excitement of the Olympic Games some apprehension over the threat of a terror attack. We'll talk to mom of one athlete who says she is going to Sochi.

But first, the Daytona 500 is right around the corner. And for NASCAR driver, Brian Vickers, it will be his second comeback a second bout with blood clots forced Vickers out of the car in October but now he's healthy and he is ready to go. Probably because much of his recovery time was spent in one of his favorite off track retreats South Florida.


BRIAN VICKERS, NASCAR DRIVER: Hi, I'm Brian Vickers, I'm a NASCAR driver. Fort Lauderdale is my city. We're here at Yolo's in Fort Lauderdale. It actually stands for You Only Live Once, which I find to be a great name. You know I like Yolo's, obviously the food first and foremost being in Fr. Lauderdale it's good to have an open indoor/outdoor kind of atmosphere. And Yolo's really has that.

Now we're sitting here at the Ft. Lauderdale beach. This is the wave wall it's one of the things that make the Ft. Lauderdale boardwalk unique. You see a lot of people out here running on the boardwalk or riding bikes on bike paths, they are doing activities on the beach, swimming in the ocean. It's a great place to really stay healthy and stay active, especially when you are traveling on the road or if you live here.

Now, we're at Coconuts, one of my favorite places. It's a great place for a little 5:00 happy hour. It's a place you can go to. It's not really a tourist spot at all. It is kind of tucked away. I love coming here on the boat and just kind of nice slow cruise and sign off just going to the bar, and sitting outside here somewhere and just having a nice cocktail with friends when I'm at home when off-season not on the road. And it's a great place to wrap the day up.



COSTELLO: One high profile Republican Mike Huckabee is not helping the party's push to attract more women voters. Huckabee normally a gifted speaker muddled his argument against mandated birth control and sparked an Uncle Sugar storm. He made his remarks at the RNC's winter meetings.


MIKE HUCKABEE (R), FORMERE ARKANSAS GOVERNOR: If the Democrats want to insult women of America by making them believe that they are helpless without Uncle Sugar coming in and providing for them a prescription each month for birth control because they cannot control their libido or their reproductive system without the help of the government, then so be it.


COSTELLO: Of course Democrats are quite gleeful about this. With me talk about this, is Amy Holmes, conservative commentator and anchor at and Jess McIntosh, communications director for Emily's List and abortion rights group supporting Democratic female candidates. Welcome to both of you.


AMY HOLMES, CONSERVATIVE COMMENTATOR: Good to be with you this Friday morning.

COSTELLO: Yes well I'm glad to have you both. To be clear Mr. Huckabee was not saying he thought women had uncontrollable libidos. He said Democrats make women believe they have uncontrollable sex drives and they need birth controls. So Democrats pounced as I said but -- but Amy does this comment really have legs?

HOLMES: Well I think what he was trying to get at is this idea that Democrats make women's issues gyno-centric, as a pro-choice independent conservatives, I am frustrated by this narrow band width when it comes to women's issues. We care about the economy, we care about jobs, we care about terrorism and defending our country. And there is a much wider panoply of issues that women care about and want to address beyond just our ovaries.

COSTELLO: So he was actually trying to say that the Republicans shouldn't talk so much about social issues. But -- but what he said he just kind of like -- he put the focus back on social issues, didn't he, Jess?

MCINTOSH: Yes that's exactly what he did. I mean these kinds of comments just show women that Republicans clearly don't understand them. They also don't respect them. Amy is absolutely right. Women want their politicians, their leaders, their elected officials to be focused on the issues that matter in their day to day lives. And I think that's the real contrast that you're seeing now between the parties. This wasn't the first time a Republican has said something very odd about women and birth control suggesting that women take it, because they can't control themselves. You had the foster freeze comments about back in his days about the gals as between their legs.


HOLMES: That's not what he was saying.

MCINTOSH: You had Rush Limbaugh's attacks on Sandra Fluke. This is part of a major pattern of the Republican Party. And it's deeply offensive to women. That's why they are turning out in droves for Democrats.

COSTELLO: Amy, why then bring the issue of birth control up? It seems to be a losing issue for the Republican Party. Most women are in favor of taking birth control. And -- and some polls show that most American women don't mind that the insurance companies have to pay for birth control.

HOLMES: Well I think it's important to point out that women voters are not a monolith. And in fact married women with children do tend to vote Republican. I would tend to disagree with my fellow guest those were not and still have to these remarks. That is a complete mischaracterization as was the initial reporting on Mr. Huckabee's remarks.

But it's the Obama administration that's putting the focus on free birth control for women as if that's the only thing that we care about. Once again I think the Republicans appeal to women on a number of issues the Democrats always want to bring the focus back to our reproductive systems. We're more than what happens you know with our insights.

COSTELLO: I just can't believe we are still talking about birth control in 2014. It's just weird to me, Jess.

MCINTOSH: Yes absolutely. You know the up-side to this weird focus on birth control in 2014, is that a lot of women across the country are becoming engaged politically when it wasn't necessarily on the front burner. I think a lot of younger women especially thought that these debates, if there were birth control debates were long over.

So seeing how focused the Republican Party has been on denying women access to basic healthcare including birth control and how condescending they have been when talking about whether or not birth control should be covered like other medications. And please remember 58 percent of women take birth control for non-contraceptive purposes. And the women who take it for contraceptive purposes aren't doing anything wrong.

Women understand this and they hear these debates and it's getting them engaged in the political process. They are starting to wake up and tune in and pay more attention. We saw them come out in really big numbers in 2012. We saw it again in 2013. Virginia governor's race, I think -- I think even more are getting -- are getting engaged in 2014. I think it's going to be a big year for women's issues clearly. And it's a -- it's going to be about women's voters too.

COSTELLO: But Amy, like you said, I really think the Republican Party won't kind of not talk so much about social issues in 2014 and 2016. Am I right?

HOLMES: We're looking at these midterm elections, I think it's going to be a referendum on Obamacare. It's failures both in its roll out it's failures as a health care reform for the American system with all these folks who are losing their health insurance coverage. We're seeing the -- in fact Medicaid is driving up emergency room visits and costs with the health care system.

But I do want to get back to this idea that birth control is the number one issue for women. It simply isn't. It's Democrats that are trying to frame it that way.

You saw it going into the 2012 election with the Democrats saying, hey, listen, women, we're going to give you free birth control. Come vote for us. And as Republicans who were saying to women, we know that you care about a lot more things than just that. So I really have to object to this mischaracterization of the Republican agenda.

COSTELLO: Well Amy -- Amy I will say it's not so much --it's not so much birth control, per se. It's how we're talking about the issue that bothers some women. And I think that's -- you know Mike Huckabee meant well.

HOLMES: All of the women who went to the Washington -- who went to Washington, D.C. just this week to march for life. These are pro-life women. We don't hear their voices today on CNN talking about that. Instead, we are talking about Mike Huckabee.

And again, as I say I'm pro-choice and I respect that there are women on the other side of this issue who feel passionately, fervently. And Republicans -- some Republicans represent that point of view. A lot of Democrats however don't. And they are not willing to talk to those women.

COSTELLO: Amy Holmes, Jess McIntosh, thank you -- thank you both for the interesting conversation. I appreciate it.


COSTELLO: Still to come in the NEWSROOM a former college basketball star now in another court Ed O'Bannon -- remember him. Well he's suing the NCAA after seeing himself in a video game.


COSTELLO: We're two weeks out of the opening ceremonies for the Olympics in Sochi. And while athletes are busy packing their bags the State Department is warning them to keep that team USA gear to a minimum saying that wearing USA swag outside of the Olympic Village could put athlete's personal safety at risk.

Even Olympian Michael Phelps says his mom is nervous about the games. Here's what the athlete had to say.


MICHAEL PHELPS, OLYMPIC GOLD MEDAL WINNER: When I was talking to my mother the other day, she was saying how nervous she was to go over because she didn't know what was going to happen. And you know as an athlete, we don't notice anything. We are there to represent our country.


COSTELLO: Joining us now to talk about this is Lisa Cervantes. Her son, Kyle Carl, is skating for the U.S. Olympic team and she will be attending the games in Sochi, Russia. Welcome.


COSTELLO: So when do you -- when do you leave?

CERVANTES: I leave February 10th. Yes.

COSTELLO: You have to be excited. And --

CERVANTES: I am -- I'm incredibly excited. It's a chance of a lifetime to be able to brag about your son so openly and just to share in his joy. He's worked many years.

COSTELLO: He's a speed skater. We have some pictures of him. And he looks awesome.

CERVANTES: Yes, yes he is a cutie.

COSTELLO: He is a cutie. So are you a little apprehensive too?

CERVANTES: I don't think I'm apprehensive. I think I'm aware is a better word. You know, in this day and age, we have to be aware of everything that is going on around us. Whether you are at Wal-Mart, another country -- I mean really, it is just kind of the world we live in now.

I want to say I am not going to allow terrorists to steal my joy, you know. Our tickets are booked and our hotel, we made the deposit on yesterday. And we're going.

COSTELLO: Did Kyle ever say to you, "Mom, I don't think you should go"?

CERVANTES: No. He has said that he is, you know, like concerned. He has got concerns but he has never said, "No, I think you should just stay home."

COSTELLO: And he never had second thoughts about competing?

CERVANTES: Absolutely not. Absolutely not. COSTELLO: I know the U.S. ski team has provided its own security. Are there any security measures in place for the speeding skating team?

CERVANTES: Yes, I believe so with all of them -- with all the teams they're all really -- I want to say kind of cocooned in with the Olympic village and security. They -- for lack of a better word like bodyguards, you know, they have people watching their backs, which is really good.

Now we're staying on the outside of the Olympic Village, so I've been reassured that the police presence and the military presence is going to be at an all-time high.

COSTELLO: Who told you that?

CERVANTES: Actually, the man who we're doing our hotel through is --

COSTELLO: So the travel agency told you that.

CERVANTES: Yes, yes, it's kind of the travel agency. He is a one-man show kind of thing. He was from Sochi. So he knows -- he speaks actually very good English as well as Russian. And so he knows all the ins and outs and everything that's going on over there.

COSTELLO: Now will Kyle ever leave Olympic Village or has he been instructed to stay?

CERVANTES: He hasn't shared that with me, really.

I would imagine that they are staying, you know. That they're not going to go wondering out exploring the countryside of Russia.

COSTELLO: Is there just a little part of you wondering why Sochi with all of its problems was chosen to host the Olympics?

CERVANTES: I do, I do. I can't lie. I said it several times that I'm not exactly sure how this country got the bid. Just in and of the fact that you can't land large aircraft there. So like flying out, I have four different flights to go, four different legs to get to Sochi. It is not easily accessible. It is kind of remote. There is not a whole lot there.

COSTELLO: That's where the fear comes in. You are going to have to take -- what -- a train or a bus from Moscow to Sochi. That's really the most nerve-racking part.

CERVANTES: Right, yes, absolutely. I feel vulnerable.

COSTELLO: Are you traveling with other Olympic parents?


COSTELLO: Just you.

CERVANTES: No. Actually my daughter -- my youngest daughter, she is 22. She has done a lot of international travel. She has been to kind of remote places. She was a missionary. So she has been to kind of remote areas and such. So she is my bodyguard.

COSTELLO: She's going to have your back. Exactly. Well, good luck to Kyle.

CERVANTES: Thank you.

COSTELLO: We'll be watching.

CERVANTES: Thank you, yes.

COSTELLO: Thank you so much for coming in, Lisa. We appreciate it.

CERVANTES: Thank you for having me.

COSTELLO: Good to have you here.

College athletes must sign a waiver which signs over the right of their images to the NCAA -- a small price to pay right? Ed O'Bannon doesn't think so. O'Bannon was a power forward on UCLA's 1995 national championship basketball team. After seeing himself in a video game years after his college career, he got angry, not just for him but for other former college athletes. So he is now suing the NCAA.

CNN's Ted Rowlands joins me with that story. Good morning Ted.

TED ROWLANDS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning Carol. And that lawsuit has gained a lot of traction over the years. And many believe that Ed O'Bannon this former college stand-out may end up changing the game forever.


ROWLANDS (voice over): For most sports fans, Ed O'Bannon is the UCLA MVP who almost 20 years ago won a college basketball national championship. It was a night and a feeling he says he will never forget.

ED O'BANNON, FORMER UCLA BASKETBALL PLAYER: The UCLA faithful was going crazy. There was a numbing feeling. I couldn't feel my legs. I couldn't feel -- it was surreal.

ROWLANDS: Now, O'Bannon sells cars at a Toyota dealership in Henderson, Nevada and helps coach his son's high school basketball team.

He is also the plaintiff in a multibillion dollar lawsuit that could change college sports forever.

(on camera): What is it that you want?

O'BANNON: I want to right a wrong.

ROWLANDS (voice over): O'Bannon thinks Division 1 football and basketball players, who help bring in millions, should be paid. He filed his suit in 2009 after seeing himself in a video game. Since then, his case has picked up so much momentum that many believe the NCAA may eventually be forced to come up with a way to compensate players. Opponents say, if you do that, you are going to lose fans.

O'BANNON: I don't think so. I think the initial shock will hurt possibly. I think change in my opinion, is inevitable.

ROWLANDS (on camera): How much of this is about you making money?

O'BANNON: None whatsoever. Me, personally, no I don't care to make anything. I never got into this to make money. Things need to change.

ROWLANDS (voice over): O'Bannon acknowledges college athletes are getting paid in the form of scholarships. But he argues they are pushed to win, not to graduate.

O'BANNON: A lot of guys don't have anything to show for their effort when they go to school because they put everything into that particular craft. And once it is done, life kind of chews them up and spits them out.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: With the ninth pick in the 1995 NBA draft. The New Jersey Nets select Ed O'Bannon from UCLA.

ROWLANDS (voice over): O'Bannon was drafted after college by the New Jersey Nets and signed a $3.9 million contract. While his NBA career turned out to be short, he says the money he saved helped him transition back into the real world, something many college athletes struggle with.

(on camera): Are you a good coach?

O'BANNON: I don't know that I am a good coach. I try and stay out of the way as much as possible.

ROWLANDS (voice over): O'Bannon says he is not sure how much or even how many athletes should be paid. That, he says, can be ironed out. And regardless of the outcome, he is proud of his lawsuit.

O'BANNON: My basketball career was a lot of fun but this here is more impactful. And I am very proud to be a part of it. I'm not going to ruin college sports -- college sports is changing. The rules need to change. The game is evolving. The players are evolving. The rules need to also need to do the same -- plain and simple.


ROWLANDS: Now, Carol, a lot of people disagree with Ed O'Bannon including the NCAA. They issued a statement to us, a lengthy one, which basically pointed out that 430,000 student athletes are funded each year by the NCAA and 96 percent of the money they make goes back to the schools.

They say, "As a membership association, our members do not support the professionalization of college athletes as it would destroy the model of athletics that provides abundant opportunities both on and off the field to hundreds of thousands of student athletes each year. The NCAA will continue the preserve the collegiate model and defense factually and legally claims."

The Ed O'Bannon lawsuit is scheduled to take place this summer. A lot of people will be watching.

COSTELLO: Ted Rowlands, many thanks to you.

The 56th Annual Grammy Awards are this Sunday. Of course, that's Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, both up for seven nominations this year including album of the year.


COSTELLO: And Super Bowl half-time performer, Bruno Mars, could add another Grammy to his awards cabinet. His hit song, "Locked Out of Heaven" is up for this year's record of the year. The president of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences says this year's winners may surprise people, since the awards are chosen by the artists themselves and not solely based on album sales.

Still to come in the "NEWSROOM", not one single Grammy nomination for Justin Bieber but he is still grabbing headlines for all the wrong reasons. A look at the circus surrounding his latest brush with the law -- next.


COSTELLO: You know, you've made it once you become the subject of a question on "Jeopardy".


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: "Scandal" for $800.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In 2013, Rob Ford, mayor of this fourth largest city in North America first said he smoked weed, not crack and then he adds, OK, crack too.




COSTELLO: Of course, having a question on "Jeopardy" doesn't mean you are powerful. Most of Ford's powers as mayor were stripped by the city council late last year because of his crack use.

Justin Bieber is out on $2,500 bond after his arrest Thursday for DUI and resisting arrest. From tweets to TV coverage you could not escape the minute by minute analysis up until the moment he triumphantly waved to his fans as he was released from jail.

Here is Jeanne Moos.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In his jail jumpsuit, Justin Bieber faced the music and we don't mean his own.


WHOOPI GOLDBERG, TV HOST: Baby, this is the biggest mistake you could make.

MOOS: At 19, his first mug shot. Anchors alternated between analyzing his expression.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's smiling from ear to ear.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, I wouldn't be smiling if I were you, young Justin Drew Bieber.

MOOS: And analyzing his hair.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Look at that hair. I mean really.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: His hair looks spectacular.

MOOS: Reminiscent of young Frank Sinatra when he was arrested for adultery in 1938.

One joker tweeted, "The Justin Bieber mug shots are in and they're incredible."

The press wanted more than a mug shot. Photographers clung desperately to police station gates.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We love you Justin.

MOOS: They rested their cameras on their heads, got yelled at by police.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hey. Get off the frigging car.

MOOS: They peered through jail house chain link fencing.

And when Bieber was freed they finally got a decent shot when he momentarily perched on top of an SUV.

Remind you of anyone? Say, Michael Jackson waving after pleading not guilty to charges of child molestation?

Bieber sped off, leaving photographers in his dust.

(on camera): And then there's the minor matter of how to refer to the pop star.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. We have to talk about Biebs.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Police say the Biebs friends --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, he was apparently with the Biebs this morning.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. Bieber, you are charged with the following.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What's going on with Justin?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, I would say Justin Timberlake, if he decides --


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Justin Bieber. Please.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Timberlake's a great guy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I apologize, Timberlake.

MOOS (voice-over): Online jokes like this circulated, caption photo of Justin Bieber being arrested. The arrest and mug shot will have the impersonators mugging -- from "SNL" to Jimmy Fallon.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm Justin Bieber and I'm going to reflect for a minute if that's cool with you.

MOOS: But will the real Justin Bieber reflect on his downward spiral? While we obsess about his hair or PhotoShop his makeup? At least his mug shot didn't look like Nick Nolte's.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What kind of volumizer that Justin Bieber uses in his hair. Because a lot of us go through great lengths to try to get that sort of height.

MOOS: Height? Seems like a new low.

Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.


COSTELLO: Thanks for joining me today. I'm Carol Costello. "LEGAL VIEW" with Ashleigh Banfield starts now.