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Breaking Bread and Breaking Gridlock; Did 2014 Election Help Or Hurt Hillary Clinton?; U.S. Strike Believed to Kill Top Bomb Maker; Interview with Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby; The Dangers Facing Health Care Workers

Aired November 7, 2014 - 07:30   ET


CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: All right, speaking of people who aren't necessarily geniuses, we're starting to figure out what's going on in Washington, D.C. At least they're meeting. And you know what, usually John, you know, say they're meeting, so what? That's progress down in Washington. As long as everybody who goes in alive comes out alive, this is going to be a net positive, right?

JOHN KING, CNN HOST, "INSIDE POLITICS": I think if they brought a couple of 2-year-olds and 3-year-olds in the meeting you might actually, you know, increase the likelihood of it. That's not fair, I guess.

Good morning, guys. Let's talk go "Inside Politics" and talk about that very question, big meeting at the White House today. With me this morning to share their reporting and their insights are Lisa Lerer of "Bloomberg" and Ed O'Keefe of the "Washington Post."

So the president is going to sit down today with his friends, the Republican and the Democratic leadership of Congress. To be honest, he doesn't really get along well with either of them. The bigger question at the moment is the Republicans, 16 people, not the small leadership, Ed, you just checked this, 16 people, so all of the expanded leadership at the meeting.

The president is expected very soon to take action on immigration, which could blow up the post-election kumbayah spirit. Listen to John Boehner, the House speaker yesterday. He'll be there, eye to eye with the president today. He said executive action on immigration would be like playing with matches. He said first the president needs to do this.


REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), HOUSE SPEAKER: I've told the president before, he needs to put politics aside and rebuild trust. And rebuilding trust not only with the American people, but with the American people's representatives, here in the United States Congress.


KING: There's distrust, dysfunction, not really good relationships between the president and the two most important people in town right now, Speaker Boehner and the incoming majority leader in the Senate, Mitch McConnell. Is this a charade today? You know, both parties saying we need this picture of unity because the American people want to us get along. But we're really not going to?

LISA LERER, "BLOOMBERG NEWS": John, as you were pointing out, nothing gets done at Thanksgiving dinner. This is an awfully big meeting of the entire dysfunctional family. So I don't think anyone has very high hopes, certainly from this lunch. One area where I think there could be some progress, maybe, that Josh Earnest, the White House spokesman has kind of indicated yesterday, it could be Keystone.

I think the president could end up approving that which, of course, is you know totally stressing out all his environmentalists and his base, a big portion of the Democratic Party. But it's hard to see how a lot gets done, taxes, fiscal issues.

The two sides are still really far apart and now you're moving into 2016, a presidential year and there are an awful lot of people on the Republican side who think they're running for president.

KING: Lisa makes a great point. If the president gives something to the Republicans on any issue, on Keystone, the environmental base goes up. The Republicans might want Medicare or some sort of entitlement reforms, the left. We'll look for Elizabeth Warren to run for the Senate floor.

And then the other calculation in the short-term, the president has promised and promised the Latino community and the representatives that he will act on immigration, David Axelrod, former senior adviser to this president ran both of his campaigns for president, listen to this tweet.

"Immigration bill won a huge bipartisan majority in the Senate. Potus should agree to shelf the executive order for up or down vote in the House. Now Speaker Boehner would have to promise to give the president that up and down vote.

The Senate has passed its bill, but if they don't do it by the end of the year, that Senate bill expires, right. I still remember my fifth grade civics class. So the current Congress would have to do that.

Is there any indication, Speaker Boehner after this election, where he got more seats, but Republicans, who ran against the president would do that?

ED O'KEEFE, "THE WASHINGTON POST": At that news conference, I asked him. If the president were to tell you at this lunch, all right, fine I hear you, I will do it, would you move forward some kind of a bill? He didn't say no.

He started with, I'll talk with our members, but I have always said I want to get this done. He won't get it done before January. So you're right. The whole process would have to start again. That's the last thing Mitch McConnell wants to do in the first few months of the year. The only time that he'll have true momentum and ability to get things done.

KING: Every time John Boehner talked to his members last year about -- he retreated, OK.

LERER: This is a huge legacy issue for the president, of course, a huge legacy issue and the White House wants to be able to say when this is all said and done and the history books are looking back, President Obama did something on health care, did something on the environment and did something on immigration. So it's hard to --

KING: This is the log on the fire, right? Maybe he'll do Keystone, maybe they can get some agreement on trade, maybe an infrastructure bank. Because of those 31 Republican governors wouldn't mind that money.

If he takes bold action on immigration reform by executive action, really, I'm not saying you know the president has made the promise, but the reaction among Republicans is going to be, forget about it.

O'KEEFE: Absolutely. Another real quick point about this lunch, as soon as we got out on Capitol Hill that it was the full slate of 16, the four big leaders and their deputies, everyone said forget about it. Nobody at home right now should be thinking that anything productive will happen at this lunch.

This is all about the photograph and the images of them meeting together to try to suggest to the American people that they're trying to do something.

KING: One of the questions, it is sad actually. They should try to build some trust, just try? Let's show the pictures of the four principals, put them up on the screen. You will have Boehner, McConnell, Pelosi and Reid.

Every time there's been a meeting like this in the past ten years or by the time we're done, anyway with this Congress. It will be ten years, regardless of who's president, and their titles have changed in this group. Nancy Pelosi was speaker once.

It's been these four. Is this part of the problem? No disrespect to any of their service, but is this part of the problem that at some point if the town's not working, maybe you need to change the leaders?

O'KEEFE: That's a question we need to start asking next week when the rank and file come back because having talked to a few of them. They've hinted that's part of the problem, in both parties, especially now among Democrats because once again their ranks are diminished.

But I think you will start to see a lot more of them, especially among the young ambitious group of House Democrats, who have come in the last two to four years, who clearly are from a different generation.

They pledge allegiance to them because they helped put them in office, but there's a sense that this old cast, who have been around as long as the Supreme Court justices perhaps need to move on.

KING: And part of the calculation for Leader Pelosi has been she thinks if she stays until 2016, there will be this big Hillary Clinton victory in the presidential race and maybe she'll get to be speaker again. The Republicans had a good night on the House side, too, so that math is iffy. That math is Hillary Clinton would have to have huge coattails or whoever the Democratic nominee is.

You write a fascinating piece and this is a big debate in Camp Clinton. She campaigned in Kentucky, Alison Grimes lost. She campaigned in Iowa, Bruce Braley lost. She campaigned in North Carolina, Kay Hagan lost. It's not Hillary Clinton's fault.

But she did give her brand to those candidates. They didn't do that well. Was 2014 and more Republicans in Washington, is that good for Hillary Clinton or bad for Hillary Clinton.

LERER: I think it's a mixed bag. It's full of good and bad. I think in some ways it's good, right, because you have a Republican- controlled Congress and that makes it really easy for Secretary Clinton to run against Washington because it's the opposite party.

She can say look, these guys are not, she can draw a very sharp contrast and I think it also makes it easier to separate herself from the president because everyone seems to agree in both parties that President Obama's, you know, bad approval ratings have played a serious role in, you know, Democrats' failure in these midterms.

So it makes it easier to draw those two contrasts. I think it puts a lot more pressure on her. The party, everyone is stressed out in the Democratic Party. They're trying to unpack why this happened.

And a lot of them are turning to Hillary as someone that could come and save them and that's a rough position to be in. You never want to have expectations too high before you announce.

KING: Is she not the leader of the party now? A lot of Democrats, whether it's fair or unfair, right or wrong. A lot of the congressional Democrats, Democrats out in the country blame the president. They've blamed the president.

They thought it was a bad enough year, anyway, he said I'm not on the ballot but my policies are. That was in every Republican ad. Is she not de facto? There would be no loyalty to the president.

We saw this happen to George W. Bush after the 2006 midterms, where Democrats, he asked them to say good morning and they wouldn't talk back to him.

O'KEEFE: Yes. I think she is in the sense if not the leader, she's certainly the leader in waiting and part of why she is a winner after all this is because so many other Democrats lost, and because other Democrats had ties to people who lost, she is now essentially it. And it's very difficult especially for someone from the left to challenge her at all.

LERER: She's going to have to come out like the president did and give her explanation for why this happened. That's going to be a fascinating moment. Think it's one everyone is waiting to see.

KING: A lot of people suggesting maybe she should speed up her time table and let us know definitively quickly. Lisa, Ed, thanks for coming in.

Alisyn, Chris, and Michaela, as we get back to you in New York, it's a fascinating time. We don't want to play Debby Downer here and say nothing will get done. The president who he is, the leaders who are they are and the think the voters are asking them to have a DNA transplant to change how they behave. I'm a skeptic.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Change is possible. Don't give up, John King.

KING: All right.

CAMEROTA: We'll see. I'm sure today is going to be the dawn of a new era in Washington.

KING: Love your optimism.

CAMEROTA: Yes, thank you. You'll be reporting on that at 12:35 no doubt. Make sure to tune in this Sunday at 8:30 a.m. Eastern when John King and his "INSIDE POLITICS" panel will break results of the Republican wave that won the Senate as well as how the 2014 midterms will decide the fate of the 2016 candidates. Tune in for that. Also make sure to tune in this Sunday again, and you'll see John King --

CUOMO: Keep going with it. They won't notice.

CAMEROTA: We hope you'll watch John King this Sunday, did I mention that? It just keeps rolling.

CUOMO: That promo is so important it was in the teleprompter three times. I was going to say thrice.

CAMEROTA: I hope you will watch John King, did I mention that?

CUOMO: I'll take this one.

CAMEROTA: The record is skipping today.

CUOMO: This Sunday at 8:30 in the -- no, there's been a major attack on the Khorasan Group and here's what we're hearing. That it may have taken out who could be the most skilled bomb-maker.

I'm qualifying it because we don't know exactly whether or not the target was attained. We'll bring in the Pentagon spokesman. He is going to talk to us about these airstrikes.

And also what's going on with these Navy SEALs who are claiming to have killed Osama Bin Laden? Is there something bigger brewing with special operations?

CAMEROTA: Plus this brutal attack caught on tape, the shocking rampage, highlighting workplace dangers at hospitals. This video you have to see.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) CUOMO: We have new information for you in the war against ISIS. A U.S. airstrike in Syria appears to have killed a key French jihadist. This man is a core part of al Qaeda. Not just here in Syria, but in Pakistan.

They believe he was helping to construct bombs designed to get smuggled on to U.S.-bound planes. Here's the thing, there's a lot of concern about the toxic message he spread before he was taken out.

We don't really know for sure whether he was taken out. So let's bring in from Washington, Rear Admiral John Kirby, the Pentagon press secretary.

Admiral, always a pleasure, thank you for joining us on NEW DAY. What can you tell us? Did you get this bad guy?

REAR ADMIRAL JOHN KIRBY, PENTAGON PRESS SECRETARY: We still don't know, Chris. We're still assessing the results of those strikes. We know that the strikes successfully hit some facilities that were used by the Khorasan Group as well as one vehicle.

We also believe that there were Khorasan Group casualties as a result of these strikes. We're still trying to figure out exactly who and how many.

CUOMO: We care, the U.S. cares about Khorasan because you believe that they are planning attacks that will be in the U.S. and that's why they're primary interest going on. This man David Drugeon -- are you confident that he may have been there? Are you confident that he was worth the strike?

KIRBY: We're still not confident exactly who we hit and who these casualties are. So I won't get ahead of an assessment process right now. But to your point, we certainly know about this individual. We know how dangerous he is.

And we know what his intentions were and we know what his capabilities were. Very skilled, very deadly in terms of helping develop and fashion bombs. So certainly this individual is of interest to us, there's no question about that. As are all leadership and members of the Khorasan Group.

CUOMO: All right. Now to the policy side of what's going on with this war. President Obama sending a letter to Iran Supremes' leader, Ayatollah Khamenei last month pointing out shared interests, this will be highly controversial. What does it mean from a military planning perspective?

KIRBY: Well, I won't speak to this alleged letter. I don't have any knowledge of that. What I can tell you is that we aren't coordinating with Iran in this effort against ISIL from a military perspective. We haven't been. We have no plans to do that.

Our message to Iran has been the same from the beginning of this conflict and that is -- just like every other partner or every other neighbor in the region that is contributing to this effort that we don't want them to do anything that would just further inflame sectarian tensions.

And most of the 60 nations that we're operating with and cooperating with have the same goals and objectives, that's not always clear with Iran. We're not coordinating with them.

We're not communicating with them from a military perspective. And we would urge Iran and Iran's leaders to try not to inflame sectarian tensions inside Iraq.

CUOMO: All right, so we don't know what the letter is about yet. But we can assume that the president is not looking for a new pen pal. So we'll have to hear about what comes out of the White House on that.

Let me ask you about something that's more in your bailiwick. Let's going on with the Navy SEALs? These guys are writing books. They are coming out, taking credit.

Now obviously one of the reasons that Americans embrace them is because of what they're about, their code. What is the concern about this for you?

KIRBY: Let's try, when we talk about this, to remember who these men are and how special they are. How skilled and capable and how critical they have been in the last 13 years of war against insurgents and terrorists all over the world. They're the best of the best.

All our special operators are and we value and we certainly are grateful for their service and their courage. There's a code in that community that you don't talk about what you do.

And you don't try to get financial gain off of your operations and so it's disappointing that some have, have sought to do that. I won't speak to the specifics on this some of these things are as you know, still being investigated.

But it's -- but it does violate a code of ethics that this community holds dear. And 99 percent of them live by that code. Again, the motivations that drive individuals to do this are for them to speak to.

But our biggest concern outside this living by the code is that we don't unnecessarily divulge classified information, operational security kind of information to the American people.

CUOMO: Understood. Admiral John Kirby, always appreciate the perspective here on NEW DAY.

KIRBY: Thanks very much.

CUOMO: All right, Alisyn.

CAMEROTA: All right, Chris, here's this terrifying attack we've been showing you all morning. It was caught on camera. This happened inside a hospital. What caused this patient to go on a brutal rampage against the nurses? We'll tell you the story behind this video.


MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: There's some stunning video that really serves as a reminder of just how dangerous it can be to work in health care. A patient went on a rampage swinging a metal rod at nurses, injuring several of them.


PEREIRA (voice-over): In just seconds the very people who help heal suddenly need help of their own inside this Minnesota hospital. The disturbing incident caught on camera after a patient apparently removed a bar from the side of his hospital bed.

The 68-year-old Charles Logan storms the St. John's Hospital nurses station around 2:00 a.m. Sunday swinging wildly. Nurses running toward the exit. One woman here even tries to secure the doors, but Logan barrels through.

The bar held high above his head, hurling it down right on one nurse's back and then another, repeatedly striking two nurses that are left helpless. Once the patient made his way outside the police had a hard time subduing him.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The taser was ineffective. In other words it did not connect to the man.

PEREIRA: Officers finally tackling Logan to the ground, but not before he injuries four nurses, one reportedly suffering a collapsed lung.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That kind of thing can happen. It happens all the time.

PEREIRA: This brutal rampage highlights the dangers health care workers face every day.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We've heard stories of primarily nurses who have been hit or spit on or punched.

PEREIRA: A survey from the International Health Care Security and Safety Foundation says 60 percent of workplace assaults occur in health care facilities. For these nurses, running this sanctuary for the sick has come at a cost.


PEREIRA: Logan died just moments after he was taken into police custody. An autopsy has been ordered to try and determine the cause of death. It's unclear right now what exactly prompted this assault on those nurses. A lot of questions here.

CAMEROTA: You just don't think a nurse as being on the front lines until you really see something like that.

PEREIRA: Truly. CAMEROTA: Thanks, Michaela. All right, well, you all know Anthony Bourdain for traveling around the world. His adventures and cuisine, but this time he's actually speaking close to home. He's heading back to where it all began with his first job in the kitchen in Massachusetts.


ANTHONY BOURDAIN, CNN HOST, "PARTS UNKNOWN" (voice-over): Many of the old places and people now are gone, but the Lobster Pot is still going strong, all these years later and still has what I want and need, the essentials.

My friends worked in the kitchen, starting the tradition. The cooking work was noble toil. At that point, I never intended a career as a chef.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's great to be a cook.

BOURDAIN: I was getting to that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is homemade Portuguese kale soup made on the premises.

BOURDAIN: It's been a long time, thank you.


BOURDAIN: Portuguese soup, a p-town version of Caldo Verde, just what I remembered, kale, fiery red chorizo, kidney beans, potato. I missed you badly. That's what I loved about the food here, the Portuguese thing.

Dishes like this stuffed cod crusted with ground Portuguese sausage, bread crumbs, stuffed with scallop and crab, sherry red sauce.

I haven't been working for a while, you was a deadbeat, scarfing off everybody else and play comes home from work, our dishwasher didn't show up today, you're our new dishwasher.

I didn't take it off for 30 years. I wake up, all of us go on the beach, hang out until 2:00, 3:00.


BOURDAIN: Roll into work, work all night, drinking, getting high, drilling out food, you got all the food you wanted, all the liquor you wanted.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All the sex you wanted.

BOURDAIN: All the sex you wanted.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: True, it was fun. We had a great time.

BOURDAIN: It was still an essential part of the economy. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was a lot of fun, believe me, I remember.


CAMEROTA: That sounds like fun.

PEREIRA: And delicious.

CUOMO: And still an essential part of the economy. That was the exclamation point on that list of activities, very nice.

You're not going to want to miss it, of course. We all want to watch it, Anthony Bourdain, "PARTS UNKNOWN" in Massachusetts, Sunday night, 9:00 Eastern only on CNN.

CAMEROTA: Provincetown even better. Meanwhile, President Obama is meeting with new leaders of Congress today after days of posturing and threats. Can the president and the Republicans actually find any middle ground?

Plus this chilling new video showing ISIS fighters laughing about buying and selling girls as sex slaves, it's the latest example of the terrorist group's savagery. We'll examine whether anything is being done to save these women.