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AT THIS HOUR WITH BERMAN AND MICHAELA
Trump Prepares for War as Election Year Arrives; Tonya Couch Under Arrest in L.A.; New York Man Arrested New Year's Terrorist Plot; Security Heightened for Bowl Games; CNN Film Documentary on Steve Jobs Airs. Aired 11:30-12p ET
Aired December 31, 2015 - 11:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[11:30:00] BOB BECKEL, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: But I couldn't find Donald Trump organizers. A lot of people for him but not the kind that go to caucuses.
JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Charmaine, we learned Jeb Bush is canceling ads in Iowa and South Carolina and applying ground forces, sending people from his Miami headquarters, sending them to the key early states. My question to you over the next months, make a prediction, will that make a difference?
CHARMAINE YOEST, CEO, AMERICANS UNITED FOR LIFE & FORMER SENIOR ADVISOR, MIKE HUCKABEE 2008 CAMPAIGN: It's interesting we started with the war analogy because the question is whether or not all this real intensity or heat we're seeing on the GOP side turns into mutually assured destruction. How much does it take down the whole field? Jeb Bush is hanging on by a thread. It's smart to focus on the ground game. In politics, there are some immutable laws that never change. You have your air war and ground game. Right now, it's clear that Trump is winning the air war. Jeb Bush and, frankly, others in the field have to focus on whether or not they can actually get people to vote. That's what's going to matter at the end of the day. We still have five more weeks to see how this air war and ground war interaction ends up turning out. Donald Trump knowing throwing red meat at his people, saying I'm ready to go to war for you, is what resonates with them. That kind of passion is what gets people to turn out. So, there's this tension here where people are saying, he won't get people to turn out but I'm not entirely certain that's true.
BECKEL: One thing about that, in Iowa, it's probably more true than New Hampshire where the polls are open for 12 hours. First of all, I'm going to make a prediction for you. There will be an upset in New Hampshire. New Hampshire always throws a wrench in it. I suspect Cruz will win Iowa. You can tell Trump thinks he's coming in second because he's playing the expectation game about coming in second. He needs to win in Ham. He probably will but somebody in that tier is going to surprise us. There will be three people surviving in Iowa and three or four surviving in New Hampshire.
BERMAN: Bold prediction. A bold prediction from Bob.
I want to go way inside baseball. One of the things we've seen over the last few days is Chris Christie going back to Iowa. There's this sort of under-the-radar establishment battle, if you will, between Chris Christie, Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio and John Kasich, if you want to include him. It may be just because of what Bob's talking about. They want one of those tickets out of Iowa so that they can do with in New Hampshire. Maybe Chris Christie wants to have a better than expected performance there. Is that possible?
YOEST: Anything's possible. It comes down to this opportunity to be under the radar, particularly in Iowa when you're talking about caucusing and having real human interaction, people trading behind the scenes and saying, give me this vote here and really, that's what makes Iowa so unique. A lot of people don't necessarily tune into the fact that Iowa is a very different kind of voting place than, say, New Hampshire where the rules are much more strict and you're just voting one-on-one instead of negotiating among people.
BECKEL: Independents can vote in New Hampshire and Democrats can cross over and vote in the primary, which may well happen. Iowa's Trump support is blue-color support. They don't usually vote in the caucus. Christie, that's a very good point, John, they need to score there, because if they come in, in 2 percent or 3 percent -- I ran a presidential campaign in Iowa. We won 50 percent of the Iowa caucus goes. Gary Hart came in second with 15 and beat us I New Hampshire.
BERMAN: They matter, expectations outperforming. Expectation matters even more.
BECKEL: Absolutely. Absolutely.
BERMAN: Bob Beckel, Charmaine Yoest, great to have you with us.
YOEST: Great to be here.
BERMAN: We'll have you back in 2016 to see how many predictions came true.
YOEST: Thanks, John. Happy New Year.
BERMAN: We do have some breaking news involving the affluenza fugitives. The mother, who is back in the United States, she was just officially charged. We'll have details next.
[11:37:20] BERMAN: Breaking news. CNN just learning that the mother of the so-called affluenza teenager, Ethan Couch, Tonya Couch, is her name, she has been charged with hindering the apprehensive of a felon. She came back to the United States overnight. She arrived in Los Angeles. She's in the custody of the Los Angeles Police Department. You can see pictures of them arriving. She's held on $1 million bond. We're joined by CNN legal analyst, Paul Callan.
Hindering the apprehension. It's a serious charge.
PAUL CALLAN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: A very serious charge. It's a felony. There's prison time involved and it could be substantial prison time.
BERMAN: She's been charged in the United States. He's still in Mexico. We know from his case, he was convicted as a juvenile a few years ago in the United States. He violated probation as a juvenile. The punishment he can get here is actually pretty light. The most he can face is 120 days. She could be the one who gets punished the most for the shenanigans.
CALLAN: That's the irony. She comes back after having helped him flee to Mexico and she's facing the serious jail time in the case. What colossal bad judgment. Here he is, he gets a slap on the wrist for killing four human beings. He's on probation. She helps him, allegedly, to leave the country and sets off this whole inferno and he remains behind in Mexico. She must have been involved in that decision. She's the mother. She's got the money. Why did they leave him behind in Mexico to fight extradition? Very interesting case.
BERMAN: She'll have a hard case to prove she wasn't involved in that as well.
Paul Callan, thank you for being with us.
More breaking news. We're getting word an American has been charged with plotting a New Year's attack against civilians. New details just coming in on that, next.
[11:42:50] BERMAN: Breaking news just into CNN. A New York man has been charged with planning to attack a restaurant in Rochester. This is a New Year's Eve attack we're just learning about right now.
Our Evan Perez is here with details.
Evan, what do we know?
EVAN PEREZ, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: John, this case illustrates the reach of ISIS and also the big concern that people in law enforcement have on this New Year's Eve. Even in places you might not expect. This is in Rochester, New York. He's 25 years old and he was in touch with an ISIS member overseas who was directing him to carry out this attack. It allegedly involved attacking a bar and restaurant on New Year's Eve, tonight, with bombs and knives, perhaps kidnapping somebody with his get away. This is a man with mental health and criminal history in New York. He's served five years for robbery. This plot was really being concocted with an FBI informant who's been working undercover. Got paid $19,000 over the past years to cooperate with the FBI. That's part of this investigation as well. I'll read you one little part from the FBI criminal complaint in which he is recorded -- Lachemann (ph) is recorded saying to this informant to take a life. I don't have a problem with that. According to the FBI, he reported a video yesterday on his cell phone swearing allegiance to ISIS before he was due to carry out this attack.
BERMAN: This is obviously something they've had their eyes on for a long time.
BERMAN: With this arrest we're just learning about right now. A man who wanted to do some kind of terror attack on New Year's Eve. Interesting information. Of course, with the concerns going on right now about security.
Evan Perez, thank you so much.
Security is heightened all over the country this New Year's eve, especially at places where there are a lot of people gathering, including the college football playoffs, the bowl games. That's a picture of the Cotton Bowl right now. Fans there and at the Orange Bowl tonight, they can expect to see a greater police presence. Security certainly will be ramped up.
CNN's Andy Scholes is live in Arlington, Texas, where Alabama and Michigan State play tonight.
[11:45:03] ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Hey, John. In light of the new terror warnings in L.A., New York, and Washington, D.C., officials are planning to beef up security for these big college football games over the next 48 hours.
Here in Arlington, Texas, ever since the Paris attacks, they've increased many security measures at AT&T stadium. They now have vapor-sniffing dogs that walk around the crowds with SWAT officers. They added more law enforcement, which includes undercover officers that walk around looking for suspicious activity.
At the Rose Bowl activities tomorrow in Pasadena, California, more than two dozen federal agencies are joining forces with police to increase security there.
At the big Rose Bowl Parade, extra security, bomb-sniffing dogs and radiation detection devices.
We're here at the Cotton Bowl, the coaching match-up, Nick Saban taking on Mark Dantonio. Saban once coached for Michigan State from 1995 to 1999. He hired Dantonio as defensive back coach. Dantonio became the head coach of Michigan State and has turned Michigan State into a national power. These two coaches have the utmost admiration for one another.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NICK SABAN, ALABAMA HEAD COACH: He's obviously blossomed into a fantastic job in terms of what he's done at Michigan State right now. And I think the world should recognize what a great job he's done.
MARK DANTONIO, MICHIGAN STATE HEAD COACH: Coach Saban has had great success and frankly, a lot of what I do is patterned from what I learned from him.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHOLES: Obviously, Nick Saban has a big coaching tree and he's faced many of his assistants. In all of those games, including one against Dantonio, Saban is 8-0. He's never lost. The teacher always beats the pupil. We'll have to see at Cotton Bowl, Alabama/Michigan State, 8:00 kickoff.
BERMAN: I'm looking forward to these games. I love the college football playoffs.
Andy Scholes, thank you so much. Happy New Year to you.
SCHOLES: You, too.
BERMAN: New this morning, President Obama is no George Costanza, but maybe almost. The president appeared with Jerry Seinfeld in the season premier "Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee." Here's a look.
JERRY SEINFELD, COMEDIAN: We're going to run out for a quick coffee. We'll be right back.
UNIDENTIFIED GUARD: I'm sorry, it's not possible.
SEINFELD: I do this little show "Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee."
UNIDENTIFIED GUARD: You're a comedian with the president going nowhere. Back it up.
SEINFELD: Yes, sir.
Don't you think every American child is a president fan? You grow up loving the president.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I do really well with the zero to eight demographic.
SEINFELD: Oh, really?
OBAMA: Yeah. They love me. Partly because my ears are big and I look a little like a cartoon character.
This is called a beast. It's a caddie basically on a tank frame.
SEINFELD: Oh, my god.
OBAMA: Yeah, see. So, I could pull a nuclear submarine right here.
SEINFELD: I don't have that. OBAMA: It's a cool feature. Plus, seat warmers. So between the
nuclear submarine thing and --
OBAMA: That's standard.
SEINFELD: That's standard everywhere now, yeah.
This I like. I'm going to get that.
OBAMA: You can't have that.
SEINFELD: How many world leaders do you think are just completely out of their mind?
OBAMA: A pretty sizeable percent.
SEINFELD: Some of these people, you must meet them, you can chat them and you see them in the eyes, you look them in the eyes and you go, oh, this guy's gone.
OBAMA: Well, and part of what happens is these guys, I think the longer they stay in office, the more likely that is to happen.
SEINFELD: You talk to the guy to let us out. Just say, I'm the president and they have good coffee.
OBAMA: Hey, Darrell, can you open this up?
UNIDENTIFIED GUARD: Sorry. I can't allow it.
OBAMA: That's unbelievable. Golly.
I knew that wouldn't work.
SEINFELD: You didn't sell it.
BERMAN: You didn't sell it.
Let's bring in Chris Witherspoon, the entertainment editor for thegrio.com.
I think the advantages of being a lame-duck president, you lose some of your authority, people don't listen to you anymore.
BERMAN: But you can do things with Jerry Seinfeld.
CHRIS WITHERSPOON, ENTERTAINMENT EDITOR, THEGRIP.COM: I think is a great to kick off his last official year in office. It's brilliant and I think Obama throughout his terms or his years in office, he's really gravitated to what's going to hit on social media. He's been strategic, which shows, which comedians, like Ellen. This is another moment. For Seinfeld, this show's been on for seven seasons. This is the first time we're really talking about this show in a big way. We're on CNN talking about it. It's kind of, you know, for getting to be able to see inside the White House and getting to see President Obama driving. I've never seen him drive ever. Ever.
WITHERSPOON: It might be his first time driving in seven years.
[11:50:21] BERMAN: Doesn't get any better than being on this show here, clearly.
BERMAN: I haven't seen President Obama drive ever. He probably doesn't get to do it very much at all. To me, it looked like he was doing this just because he wanted to do it and have a good time. He doesn't get anything politically out of this.
WITHERSPOON: He seemed so natural. His guard is down. To me, that's what made Obama so electable. He's like a friend. I think anybody who wants to run for president, Clinton, Trump, they might want to pick up some clues from him and begin to engage on shows like this. This show will be huge. This moment is a huge hit on Twitter already. And that's going to be the folks -- or those folks are the folks that should be voting, you know.
BERMAN: Like he said some world leaders are out of his mind, I don't think he was kidding.
WITHERSPOON: I don't think he was. I don't think he was.
BERMAN: That's pretty interesting.
Chris Witherspoon, thank you for being with us. Appreciate it.
BERMAN: Coming up for us, Steve Jobs, a hero to so many but a villain to some. A new CNN Film shows the messy side of his life, both at work and at home. Very first publicist joins us next.
[11:54:58] BERMAN: This Sunday at 9:00 p.m. eastern, CNN's going to air "Steve Jobs, The Man and the Machine." This is a pretty controversial documentary from CNN Films, about Jobs and his visionary influence on modern culture. That vision took hold to an extent in the mid-'80s with the revolutionary rollout of the Macintosh personal computer.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One of the things Steve thought was important was this is where all the signatures are. There are all the people, the original group that actually signed the machine. There's Steve Jobs right in the middle. My name is over here.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why did you do that?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Because the people that worked on it consider themselves and I certainly consider themselves artists. These are the people that under different circumstances would be painters and poets but because of that time that we lived in, this new medium has appeared in which to express ones self to one's fellow species and that's a medium of computing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BERMAN: Andrea Cunningham is a marketing guru who helped jobs bring the Macintosh into the world in 1984.
Andy, thank you so much for being with us.
This documentary, this film, is fascinating because it talks about the innovation, everything that he brought to our culture. But it also talks about what a lot of people say is another side of Steve Jobs, a tough side, a not so nice side. Do you think there are those complicated sides to Steve Jobs?
ANDREA CUNNINGHAM, MARKETING SPECIALIST: Hey, thanks for having me. Yes, of course. Many complicated sides to Steve Jobs. He was very challenging and very difficult. But his brilliance and his vision for changing the world I think overtook anything that could possibly be seen as negative. Now, a lot of people have trouble working with him, but if you could do it, then you could change the world with him. That was incredibly gratifying.
BERMAN: You were with him for a long time. You saw him develop over many years. Did he change his outlook? Did he change his approach?
CUNNINGHAM: Yes, I think he did. I think those of us who worked with him in the 80s, I think he was more difficult, less mature. By the time the '90s and 2000s rolled around, he turned into a more mature person. I don't know if he was easier to work with, but he was more mature and a much more experienced CEO.
BERMAN: It's interesting, I was reading a story, you know, toward the end of his life we saw Steve Jobs, very public figure. We heard him on the Apple stage twice a year rolling out big products. I don't think he was afraid of any camera. Yet, when you were rolling out the Macintosh, I think it was, you were running the P.R. You wouldn't let him go on David Letterman essentially because you didn't think he could handle David Letterman.
(LAUGHTER) CUNNINGHAM: Yes, that was back in the day when David Letterman wasn't as nice as he turned out to be later. But yes, I don't think Steve was ready for dealing with David Letterman. I think David Letterman might have really given him a difficult time and I didn't want him to be in that position. And he doesn't like cameras. He never liked cameras.
BERMAN: What could have gone wrong though? I'm just curious. Because, again, I think the idea of Steve Jobs hiding or needing to be kept under wraps is something that doesn't seem like the Steve Jobs we came to know. What were you nervous about?
CUNNINGHAM: Well, it's -- it's that David Letterman had a very biting tongue, if you remember, back in the day. And I felt he would have used that with Steve. And that would have created some anger on the Steve Jobs side and a little battle may have ensued and I didn't think that was a good plan for Steve's image. He had no problem with us turning that down at all. So that was the right thing to do.
BERMAN: The Big Brother ad from 1984 is one so many people remember. You know, the Macintosh that you were unveiling, it didn't turn out in some ways to be the Macintosh that we all came to use, did it?
CUNNINGHAM: No, it was actually a failure in the first year or so. It was a failure. And if it weren't for the Apple 2 and the rest of Apple, the company may have gone out of business. So I think we have everybody at Apple to thank for the ultimate success of the Mac. But Steve made the changes that were required to make to make it a marketable product. There was a lot of buzz about it, so it was able to catch on some time after it was launched. Yes, you're right, it was not a success immediately.
BERMAN: At first, the computer for the rest of us, meaning the common man, but it turned into a computer for the best of us, sort of an elite device people used at home.
Andrea Cunningham, you saw much. Thank you so much for sharing with us today.
CUNNINGHAM: Thanks a lot. Thanks for having me.
BERMAN: You do not want to miss Alex Sydney's look at the real story of Steve Jobs, "Steve Jobs, The Man and the Machine," a CNN Film, airing Sunday night, 9:00 p.m. eastern, right here on CNN.
CNN's New Year's coverage begins with Anderson Cooper and Kathy Griffin, 8:00 p.m. Be here for that.
Thanks for joining us AT THIS HOUR. "Legal View" starts right now.
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