tv CNN Newsroom With Carol Costello CNN March 23, 2015 7:00am-8:01am PDT
...and check your connection status... ♪ ♪ ...anytime, anywhere. ♪ ♪ [ dog growls ] ♪ ♪ oh. so you're protesting? ♪ ♪ okay. [ male announcer ] introducing xfinity my account. available on any device. happening now, kicking off the 2016 campaign for ted cruz. can the tea party star outshine the other contenders and an isis hit list targeting u.s. service members. what the military is doing to keep them safe. a millionaire accused of murder back in court. how his attorney is making the case to get him out of jail. let's talk. live in the "cnn newsroom."
good morning. i'm carol costello. thank you so much for joining me. just minutes from now, we'll hear from republican senator ted cruz on the presidential campaign he formally launched overnight. he's about to speak at liberty university the conservative christian school in lynchburg, virginia. he began his campaign with a simple tweet announcing "i'm running for president." cruz is the first official candidate for next year's race and will face long odds and a crowded field. here's the campaign video he unveiled overnight. >> it's a time for truth. a time to rise to the challenge as americans have always done. i believe in america and her people. i believe we can stand up and restore our promise. it's going to take a new generation of courageous
conservatives to help make america great again. i'm ready to stand with you to lead the fight. >> our senior washington correspondent is in liberty to join us with more. why wouldn't cruz announce his campaign in his home state of texas? >> reporter: carol, there are 10,000 reasons why. those are the 10,000 students of liberty university who are filing into this basketball arena right now. you can see them behind me. you can see this crowd warming up. this is the message that senator cruz wants to send. he'll talk about that he's trying to appeal to a new generation of conservatives and establish himself against the establishment. ted cruz has been in washington only two years. he's trying to fill the vacuum here by eeg the first candidate out of the box. he definitely faces long odds. he definitely faces an upzilhill
challenge. he picked this spot here so it would look for a made for television rally complete with students and others. it's hard not to draw comparisons when barack obama drew crowds like this. that's why senator crews is here. this may be the easiest day of his campaign. he's facing a dozen other republican challengers but by getting in the race first, he gets a head start. >> we'll get back to you in just a second. thanks so much. for now hillary clinton remains on the sidelines but very much in the spotlight. clinton has two public appearances today and there's a lot of speculation these could be her last speeches before she announces her own presidential run. clinton for her part is not revealing her plans. if she does run, she's likely to face a thin field of fellow democrats for her party's nomination. cruz on the other hand could face a dozen fellow republicans.
u.s. troops on edge after a hacking group allegedly linked to isis publishes the names, addresses and photos of 100 service members. fbi and pentagon officials now investigating this apparent hit list. despite questions over the credibility of the threat affected service members are being contacted by the military. let's learn more from pamela brown. good morning. >> good morning to you, carol. as you point out, the fbi, department of defense, investigating the legitimacy of this group. the information of u.s. troops is out there that could inspire an isis sympathizer to target them here in the u.s. officials are taking this very seriously notifying all of the 100 or so u.s. troops on this purported hit list. here's what happened. a group calling itself the islamic state hacking organization posted a file online over the weekend calling for beheadings and attacks in the u.s. of these military personnel. it included their pictures and
purported addresses. at least some of that information was already public we understand reportedly taken from facebook and the white pages. dod and fbi have asked troops to scrub their social media pages of any personal information for months now because of intelligence suggesting isis was using the internet to target victims, particularly the military. here's what former house intelligence chairman mike rogers had to say this morning on "new day." >> this is the new cultural age of everything goes up on social media and you have access to everything about everyone. that makes it a little more dangerous. even though the group isn't known, the fact that they can go out on what is public information and pull it together to try to inspire some danger is dangerous for hundred people on the list but dangerous for those people who are vocal and open about trying to make sure that their opinions are heard on isis and other challenges around the
world. >> reporter: cnn heard from the army's criminal investigation division working with the fbi and the marine corps spokesman who say they notified all of the people in person. those service members named there. there is skepticism about this group. i can tell you, carol, just from what i learned talking to isis officials is sympathizers around the world are increasingly taking on hacking roles. even though they may not be directly affiliated with isis they may be inspired to hack based on isis propaganda. >> so this group got the information from social media. any move on the military part to say to service members maybe it's not a good idea to have a facebook account? >> reporter: absolutely. for months now we know the fbi has been teaming up with the department of defense trying to get this message out to service members sending out joint intelligence bulletins saying please don't put any personal identifiable information on your
social media pages and this was stemming from the fact that there was intelligence indicating that isis and isis sympathizers were trying to glean information from social media pages in order to sort of compile this data base of u.s. service members and in fact i remember in december there was information and intelligence so this has been going on for quite some time. >> pamela brown reporting live from washington. thank you. today the new afghan president is on his first official visit to washington. he's not entirely in line with the white house. many white house officials see him more cooperative than his predecessor. in particular he's open to a continued u.s. military presence in afghanistan and he's going to put his house in order. michelle kosinski is live at the white house with more. >> reporter: u.s. officials see
this as a sea change. a new chapter in the relationship between the u.s. and afghanistan. the question is afghanistan going to be an effective partner long-term to keep that country from falling prey to forces of terror and just becoming another hotbed of terrorism in the region and posing a threat to the u.s. afghanistan has pledged so far this new government to fight terror and stabilize the country and to work with its neighbors and to increase human rights and fight corruption and on and on and on. the u.s. is saying that's wonderful but are you going to make this happen really? >> on december 31st, 2014 what's the legacy? the legacy is now proud of our
security forces that our special forces worked shoulder to shoulder with you are carrying the mission. we're not going to be a burden. we do not now ask what the united states can do for us. we want to say what afghanistan will do for itself and for the world. and that means we're going to put our house in order. >> reporter: president obama wants to get u.s. troops out of there with just a small force there to help afghanistan soldiers et cetera after 2017 a negligible number. the president is hearing from people within the pentagon that drawing down troops to what the president wants at this point may not be enough. the troop numbers are being
rethought to keep more there longer. about 10,000. that's down from a high of nearly 100,000 remember while this war was going on. what's also being rethought is possibly keeping more of those troops there for a longer period of time possibly after 2017. we're waiting to see if there are announcements on that this week carol. >> michelle kosinski reporting live from the white house. thanks so much. still to come in the "newsroom," the millionaire real estate heir accused of murder heads back to court for a detention hearing. why robert durst's attorney says his client needs to be freed from jail.
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robert durst is stepping out of his jail cell this morning. the accused killer is heading to court for a detention hearing. the judge will hear matters regarding the millionaire's health. durst's attorney says he needs to be in a hospital setting citing serious medical conditions. jean casarez is live in new orleans with more. good morning jean. >> reporter: good morning, carol. robert durst has been housed an hour outside of new orleans. it's in a mental and physical health ward at a correctional center. he's being brought back here because in just an hour there will be another hearing. he's not been taken to los angeles yet to face those murder
charges. today's hearing is on local louisiana charges that came about last tuesday, which would be a convicted felon in possession of a weapon. this is a detention hearing whether or not he should get bail. it's a constitutional issue. the defense is saying we don't expect him to get bail. what's interesting here is his medical conditions. first of all hydrocephalis is what they are saying. a shunt has been inserted under his scalp allowing for fluid drainage. he had cancer of the esophagus and cervical surgery. if the defense wants to assert that he's not a danger to the community and there's no risk of flight he may bring that up. i think what's interesting is are they going to at all discuss
issues that they have with the arrest here in new orleans and the warrant out of los angeles. >> all right. i know you'll keep us posted. jean casarez reporting live this morning. thanks so much. still to come in the "newsroom," republican ted cruz minutes away from launching his 2016 presidential run. why today? and why at liberty university? we'll break it down for you next. nobody told us to expect it... intercourse that's painful due to menopausal changes it's not likely to go away on its own. so let's do something about it. premarin vaginal cream can help it provides estrogens to help rebuild vaginal tissue and make intercourse more comfortable. premarin vaginal cream treats vaginal changes due to menopause and moderate-to-severe painful intercourse caused by these changes. don't use it if you've had unusual bleeding breast or uterine cancer blood clots, liver problems, stroke or heart attack, are allergic to any of its
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minutes from now, ted cruz will face the media and people he hopes will send him to the white house as he launches his bid for president. you can see ted cruz moving through the crowd there. liberty university in virginia has been a key stop for republicans looking to shore up shore among conservative christians. cnn is covering cruz's announcement from all angles. our senior correspondent is at liberty university and joining me from washington john king peter hamby, democratic strategist and former dnc communication chair karen finney and communication director dan holler. thanks to all of you. jeff let's start with you. quickly set the stage for us. >> carol, senator cruz is on stage right now as you can see. he just came in to a cheering
crowd of some 10,000 students. he says he's going to talk about the promise of america. he's trying to reach out to conservatives but he wants to kick-start this campaign to take up this vacuum left before the other republicans get into the race. >> john, cruz skipped an exploratory committee to announce his candidacy first. >> senator cruz is a tea party favorite. the republican base loves him because he says let's repeal obamacare. fights most of the president's appointees and fights speaker boehner and mitch mcconnell quite a bit. look at the numbers over the years. ted cruz came to washington a couple years ago and when we asked republicans who they want as their presidential nominee, he's down at 4% below people like rick santorum and dr. ben
carson. so he made a calculation. he knows rand paul is getting in on april 7th. marco rubio the week after that. jeb bush is raising a ton of money. scott walker is moving up in the polls. ted cruz things it was time to shake up the race and get out and change the dynamic. biggest challenge is republican base loves him. he's viewed as someone that fights and he has to convince them that he's a president. >> let's see if he's doing that right now. let's dip into his speech. [ applause ] >> imagine a teenage boy, not much younger than many of you here today. growing up in cuba. jet black hair. skinny as a rail.
involves in student council and yet cuba was not at a peaceful time. the dictator was corrupt. he was oppressive. and this teenage boy joins a revolution. he joins a revolution and begins fighting with other teenagers teenagers to free cuba from the dictator. this boy at age 17 finds himself thrown in prison. finds himself tortured and beaten. at age 18 he flees cuba and comes to america. imagine for a second the hope in
his art as he rode that ferryboat across to key west and got on a greyhound bus to head to austin, texas. to begin working washing dishes making 50 cents an hour. coming to the one land on earth that has welcomed so many millions but may dad came to america in 1957. he could not have imagined what lay in store for him. imagine a young married couple living together in the 1970s, neither one of them has a personal relationship with jesus. they have a little boy, and they're both drinking far too
much. they're living a fast life. when i was three, my father decided to leave my mother and me. we were living in calgary at the time. he got on a plane and he flew back to texas. and he decided he didn't want to be married anymore. he didn't want to be a father to his 3-year-old son. and yet when he was in houston, a friend a colleague from the oil and gas business invited him to a bible study. invited him to a baptist church and there my father gave his life to jesus christ. [ applause ] and god transformed his heart
and he drove to the airport and bought a plane ticket and he flew back to be with my mother and me. there are people who wonder if faith is real. i can tell you in my family there's not a second of doubt because were it not for the transformative love of jesus christ i would have been saved and i would have been raised by a single mom without my father in the household. imagine another little girl living in africa in kenya, nigeria, it's a diverse crowd.
coming back to california where her parents raised her at the central coast. she starts a small business when she's in grade school baking bread. she calls it heidi's bakery. she and her brother compete baking bread. they bake thousands of loafs of bread and they sell it to people who come to pick apples. she goes on to a career in business excelling and rising to the highest pinnacles and then
heidi becomes my wife and my very best friend in the world. [ applause ] heidi becomes an incredible mom to our two precious little girls, caroline and kathryn, the joyce and loves of our life. imagine another teenage boy being raised in houston hearing stories from his dad about prison and torture in cuba. hearing stories about how fragile liberty is.
beginning to study the united states constitution learning about the incredible protections we have in this country that protect the god given liberty of every american. experiencing challenges at home. the mid 1980s oil prices crater and his parents' business go bankrupt. heading off to school over 1,000 miles away from home at a place where he knew nobody. where he was alone and scared. his parents going through bankruptcy meant there was no financial support at home so at the age of 17 he went to get two jobs to help pay his way through school. he took over $100,000 in school
loans. loans i suspect a lot of y'all can relate to. loans that i'll point out i just paid off a few years ago. [ applause ] these are all of our stories. these are who we are as americans. and yet for so many americans the promise of america seems more and more distant. what's the promise of america? the idea that the revolutionary idea that this country was founded upon which is that our rights don't come from man. they come from god almighty.
and purpose of the constitution as thomas jefferson put it is to serve as chains to bind the mischief of government. [ applause ] the incredible opportunity of the american dream. what has enabled millions of people from all over the world to come to america with nothing and to achieve anything. and then the american exceptionalism that made this nation a voice for freedom in the world. a shiny city on the hill. that's the promise of america. that is what makes this nation in indispensable and unique nation
in the history of the world and yet so many fear that that promise is today unattainable. so many fear it is slipping away from our hands. i want to talk to you this morning about reigniting the promise of america. 240 years ago on this very day, a 38-year-old lawyer named patrick henry stood up just a hundred miles from here in richmond virginia and said "give me liberty or give me death."
i want to ask each of you to imagine, imagine millions of courageous conservatives across america rising up together to say in unison we demand our liberty. [ applause ] today roughly half of born again christians aren't voting. they're staying home. imagine instead millions of people of faith all across america coming out to the polls and voting our values. [ applause ] today millions of young people are scared worried about the future worried what the future
will hold. imagine millions of young people coming together and standing together saying we will stand for liberty. [ applause ] think just how different the world would be. imagine instead of economic stagnation booming economic growth. instead of small businesses going out of business in record numbers imagine small businesses growing and prospering. imagine young people coming out of school with four five six job offers.
imagine innovation thriving on the internet as government regulators and tax collectors are kept at bay and more and more opportunity is created. imagine america finally becoming energy self-sufficient as millions and millions of high paying jobs are created. [ applause ] five years ago today the president signed obama care into law. within hours liberty university went to court filing a lawsuit to stop that failed law. [ applause ]
instead of the joblessness, instead of millions forced into part-time work instead of the millions who have lost their health insurance, lost their doctors and face skyrocketing health insurance premiums imagine in 2017 a new president signing legislation repealing every word of obamacare. of you and your doctor and makes health insurance personal and
affordable. [ applause ] instead of a tax code that crushes innovation that imposes burdens on families struggling to make ends meet imagine a simple flat tax that lets every american fill out his or her taxes on a postcard. imagine abolishing the irs. [ applause ] instead of the lawlessness and the president's unconstitutional
executive amnesty, imagine a president that finally, finally, finally secures the borders. [ applause ] and imagine a legal immigration system that welcomes and celebrates those who come to achieve the american dream. [ applause ] instead of a federal government that wages an assault on our religious liberty, that goes after hobby lobby, that goes after the little sisters of the poor that goes after liberty university imagine a federal government that stands for the first amendment rights of every american. [ applause ]
instead of a federal government that works to undermine our value, imagine a federal government that works to defend the sanctity of human life. [ applause ] and to uphold the sacrament of marriage. instead of a government that seeks to ban our ammunition imagine a federal government that protects the right to keep and bear arms of all law abiding americans.
instead of a government that seizes your e-mails and your cell phones imagine a federal government that protected the privacy rights of every american. instead of a federal government that seeks to dictate school curriculum through common core, imagine repealing every word of common core. imagine embracing school choice as the civil rights issue of the
next generation. that every single child regardless of race regardless of ethnicity or wealth or zip code, every child in america has a right to a quality education. and that's true from all of the above whether it's public schools or charter schools or private schools or christian schools are parochial schools or homeschools, every child instead of a president who boycotts prime minister netanyahu. imagine a president who stands unapologetically with the nation of israel.
will defeat islamic radical terrorists -- [ applause ] and we will call it by its name. [ applause ] we will defend the united states of america. all of these seem difficult. to some they may seem unimaginable. yet if you look at the history of our country, imagine in 1775 and we were sitting there in richmond listening to patrick henry say give me liberty or give me death, imagine in 1776 and we were watching the 54 signers of the declaration of
independence stand together and pledge their lives and fortunes and their sacred honor. to igniting the promise of america. imagine it was 1777 and we were watching general washington as he lost battle after battle after battle in freezing cold as soldiers without shoes were dying fighting for freedom against the most powerful army in the world. that too seemed unimaginable. imagine it's 1933 and we were listening to president franklin roosevelt tell america at the time of crushing depression and time of a gathering storm abroad that we have nothing to fear but fear itself.
imagine it's 1979 and you and i were listening to ronald reagan. [ applause ] and he was telling us that we would cut the top marginal tax rate from 70% down to 28%. that we would go from crushing stagnation to booming economic growth to millions being lifted out of prosperity and abundance and the day he was sworn in our hostages who were languishing in iran would be released. and that within a decade we would win the cold war and tear the berlin wall to the ground. that would have seemed unimaginable and yet with the
grace of god that's exactly what happened. from the dawn of this country at every stage, america has enjoyed god's blessing. over and over again when we face impossible odds the american people rose to the challenge. comparing to that repealing obamacare and abolishing the irs ain't all that tough. the power of the american people when we rise up and stand for liberty knows no bounds. [ applause ]
if you're ready to join a grassroots army across this nation coming together and standing for liberty, i'm going to ask you to break a rule here today and to take out your cell phones. and to text the word constitution to the number 337 33733. god's blessing has been on america from the very beginning of this nation. i believe god isn't done with america yet.
time to reclaim the constitution of the united states. [ applause ] i am honored to stand with each and every one of you courageous conservatives as we come together to reclaim the promise of america, to reclaim the mandate, the hope and opportunity for our children and our children's children we stand together for liberty.
this is our fight. the answer will not come from washington. it will come from men and women across this country. from people of faith, from lovers of liberty. from people who respect the constitution. it will only come as it has come at every other time of challenge in this country when the american people stand together and say we will get back to the principles that have made this country great. we will get back and restore that shining city on a hill that is the united states of america. thank you and god bless you. [ applause ] >> we're going to break away. you heard ted cruz indeed running for president. he wants to be president of the united states in 2016. our cnn senior washington correspondent is at the speech.
in many ways he was preaching to the choir, correct? most students sounded receptive. when the camera panned to the audience some students didn't seem to energetic. were they required to be here or did they come voluntarily? >> reporter: the students were required to be here. so they routeinely get speakers passing through here. some i talked to were not aware that he was coming. senator cruz is more interested in the picture that it sent. he believes he can take the group of people to build this presidential movement. of course that's very much an open question. what struck me carol, was he was really going against the establishment lane. he didn't mention the word jeb bush. that was who he was going after.
he was trying to appeal to the evangelical lane of this big republican primary field. some students may not have been that into it. they were required to be here. this is the world's largest christian university. it's like attending class if you will. a long speech from ted cruz and we heard what his campaign is going to be all about. >> all right. i want to go to dan now, communication director for heritage action for america. did ted cruz accomplish what he set out to do? >> i think so. i think what you saw from ted cruz and what you'll see from a scott walker or marco rubio and others is they are trying to paint an optimistic vision for the future of the country. even more than that they are saying the republican party is what the republican party has traditional been about. he's trying to bring the republican party back to where it's been strongest and that has appeal not only in a republican primary but heading into a
general election as well. >> so you were mentioning before that ted cruz's support among tea party members has slipped. will this help? >> it's a powerful speech. he gave conservative base a long list of things they wanted to hear. he tried to unite the evangelical lead of the party with lower taxes wing of the party and be strong on national security wing of the party. powerful presentation. as jeff noted, he talked about border security. a debate among republicans about that and went after common core and education standards that jeb bush supported. this is a rallying cry. the challenge is it's a crowded space. rick santorum plans to run again. governor huckabee is likely to run again. marco rubio wants a piece of that space. rick perry wants a piece of that space. jeb bush wants a piece of it. scott walker. it's a crowded field right now. challenge for senator cruz and one of the reasons he decided to get ahead of everyone else is to be the breakaway candidate and
raise more money. that's why he wanted kids to text that number. you text that number you're on his list. then you get fund-raising appeals and the like. he's trying to break away in a crowded field where at the moment he's lagging. one challenge is proving he's a candidate for president, not just for ted cruz rand paul gets in two weeks and marco rubio after that republicans for six years have said look at president obama. a freshman senator. he wasn't ready to be president. my question is will the republican electorate when you have a governor walker governor bush governor perry, maybe governor kasich will the republican electorate go to a freshman senator after many people in their party spent the last six years saying that was a mistake? >> peter, i want to ask you that very question. cruz is a freshman senator. there were questions about his birth certificate because he was born in canada. it certainly does sound like familiar criticism. >> he renounced his canadian
citizenship actually. we've been talking about this poll that only 4% of republicans are supporting him in polls right now. most poles are irrelevant. there's been other polls that ask are you open to supporting him? that number climbs to 40%. he's still in the game in the conservative lane for the republican nomination. but it can't be stressed enough how many sort of structural challenges are facing ted cruz as he mounts this campaign. one thing working in his favor is if you look at the primary states the way the calendar is currently constructed, there are a lot of southern conservative states that are going to be voting in march and early in march including his home state of texas and even though rick perry is in the race ted cruz is the darling of texas republicans, so if if if he can win iowa he could catch some early mojo but no republican since barry goldwater, no insurgent has won the republican nomination without the support of the party
establishment. the party establishment puts its blessing on certain candidates and those that they don't like don't get to be the nominee. that's the way it's worked for the last 40 years. so that's a real problem for him. there's something in the founding myth of ted cruz he took on the gop establishment and won running against the lieutenant governor at the time in a republican primary. that's a different state. texas republican party is all in and no ego. it was easy for him to win. running against the national republican establishment is a different challenge. >> let's talk about independent voters. one thing ted cruz said during his speech is our rights come from god and not man. if you head to twitter this morning, you'll find that some people weren't so pleased with that. you'll also find tweets that
read -- i'll give you one. "science we don't need no sticking science." here's another tweet. "i'm make government small enough to fit into your bedroom or a woman's uterus." are democrats underestimating cruz though possibly? >> i don't think so. i mean i think as peter was just talking about, people recognize that he was not the establishment candidate when he ran for the senate in texas. he actually didn't just win but he built his own base of support so that he was in the position where he didn't need the republican senatorial campaign committee's money and that was a key thing. he had his own base and own money for a good period of time. that i think makes him someone worth watching and paying attention to. the challenge i think that he will have and we talked about the tweets that certainly
recognize where some of the questions will come and that is he will likely move the republican party farther to the right. he has said some very extreme things. some of those statements he's going to have to answer for, and as other republicans get into the race they're going to have to decide where are they on some of those issues and again that could move the party farther to the right, which in a primary that may work. kben again, knowing you have to go to a general election and that you have independent voters that may be the place where it's problematic for him because he has to make an argument as john was saying can he be presidential? he doesn't have much of a record to run on. his record in texas as solicitor general will become more important. let's hope he has answers for the things he did there. >> all right. we'll see. thanks to all of you. i appreciate you being here with
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