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tv   Crossfire  CNN  May 20, 2014 3:30pm-4:01pm PDT

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adam, how long do you envision this transition process regarding the clippers ownership taking? >> well, under our constitution, he has until next tuesday to respond to our charge and then a hearing will take place the following tuesday on june 3rd, most likely here in new york. i envision once we move through that process, that we will then put the team in order, presumably, we will hire an investment banker and we will conduct an orderly process. and we also have a fiduciary obligation to the sterlings to ensure we sell it for the highest possible price and no doubt it's an incredibly valuable asset. >> two more questions. >> adam, what are the right words to describe your feelings that you're getting all the questions about donald sterling and not why we're here or the nba playoffs, that he's dominating coverage of your
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league? >> it's a great question, scott, and it's hard for me to put in words sometimes. i mean, especially as i said earlier, that we're coming off some of the best playoffs in certainly my memory. and your question makes me think of kevin durant's mvp speech. i hope if anybody hasn't seen it, go to and watch it, but i remember at one point kevin durant says, really in addressing his mother, who was sitting in the audience at the end of the speech, i'm paraphrasing, i think, but he said something like, you know, mom, we weren't supposed to be here, you know, the deck was stacked against us, and even -- i get choked up a little bit remembering and watching him give that speech, and i think kevin durant as our most valuable player embodies what this league is all about, and frankly, mr. sterling doesn't. and so it's not just the performances on the court that
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it's a distraction from, and i think what made this moment bigger than basketball, certainly for everybody involved in the league, and that moment being that recording, was that it did come from within, that under david stern and commissioners that came before him, barriers were broken with this league, and i think they are -- for those who say it's a slippery slope and, my god, what happens to the next player or the next owner who does something wrong, i only say there's something particular about race issues when it comes to sports, and maybe the nba in particular. i mean, it's no secret, we have a league that majority of the players are african-american, the vast majority of the owners are not, but it's as a galtarian an institution as it is anywhere, at least that i know of, and i look at the track record in terms of hiring of coaches, general managers, front
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office personnel, even increasingly in the ownership ranks, i think it's -- you know, it's beyond anger. it's sort of what i said earlier, certain sadness, and you feel it. it's almost a malaise around the league. that's what i sense when i first met with the clippers. it was something deeper than anger. it was something -- again, it's that so many of our players, and listening to kevin durant, you know, who had experienced discrimination in their lives, you know, we're not a post-racial society, but at least within the boundaries of my authority, you know, i feel an obligation to protect the people who are within this league, and so that's my reaction. >> we'll take our last question up front on the right. >> commissioner, you've talked about continuing to grow the game globally. does the league have any plans to play any exhibition or preseason games in australia in
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the future? >> you know, no specific plans, but we're looking at it. australia has been a terrific market. >> all right, there he is, adam silver, commissioner of the nba, now moving on to other nba-related issues, but you heard him make a very passionate statement on what's going on in the aftermath of the donald sterling scandal. let's get a quick thought from our panelists, rachel, first to you. what did you make of adam silver's very poignant comments? >> yeah, i was struck by the fact he used the phrase, "it's something deeper than anger." that tells you how far he'll go to make sure this sale happens and it also tells you a little bit about where the league is right now and sort of how far we've come. i think it's pretty impressive. >> very impressive, indeed. jeffrey? >> june 3rd donald sterling is gone unless a court intervenes, and the clock is ticking. >> don lemon, wrap it up. >> i think adam silver gets it. for anyone who is sitting there in america and you may be siding with donald sterling for any
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particular reason, this man gets it. he spoke to the heart of america. most americans, and not to businesspeople saying this guy's business shouldn't be taken away from him. he spoke to the heart of america. he gets it, he's doing the right thing, and let's hope donald sterling hears him. >> you got to give the new commissioner a lot, a lot of credit for the way he's handled this crisis in the nba. don, see you back 10:00 p.m. eastern, don will have a special program. much more on this story, certainly, coming up. thanks very much. we're also following another breaking story. it's election day in six states. cnn's complete coverage of these critical primaries. i'll be here, along with our political team. we're going to bring you the results as they come in and the reaction, a special edition of "crossfire" starts right now. tonight on "crossfire," america's choice 2014. crucial primaries in a half dozen states.
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what's really on voters' minds? >> tough call. >> are they telling republicans keep moving to the right? >> not much difference between the tea party and average conservative republican. >> on the left, van jones. on the right, s.e. cupp. in the "crossfire." brad woodhouse, a democratic strategist and david bossy, a republican strategist. what messages are voters sending today? which party has the edge? tonight on "crossfire." welcome to "crossfire." >> in the "crossfire" tonight, a pair of top strategists from both parties. today's primaries really aren't what democrats hope they'll be. what they are is the beginning of a two-year referendum on president obama and the democrats' agenda. tonight and over the course of
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2014, we'll learn if democrats will pay a price for obamacare, a muddled economic agenda, and out of control government bureaucracy. so take notes, hillary, you're going to get a glimpse of the issues you'll run on and away from in 2016. >> here we go. first of all, we actually agree on something, it is not a fight between moderate republicans and tea party republicans, because there are no moderate republicans. tea party have taken over the entire republican party. before we get into it and bring in our guests, the first votes are starting to come in tonight. let's go back to wolf and get the latest results. >> thanks very much. this is the most important night so far in the midterm election year, voters in six states across all the continental u.s. time zones, they are having their say tonight. tonight's results will be the clearest indication yet about whether a huge republican wave is sweeping towards washington or whether democrats can cling on and control the senate this year and the white house in
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2016. here in washington, joined by john king. he's over at the magic wall. but let's begin our coverage right now, chief congressional correspondent dana bash in kentucky, one of the biggest political dramas playing out tonight. was he speaking more broadly, just in an individual race, what's the latest there? >> he was speaking about his individual race, but it goes a lot deeper than that. it is personal for him and it is, obviously, about the broader idea of control of the senate. he, and i've watched him, covering him for the last four years, has been kicking himself is probably putting it mildly, the way he's regretted the fact that in 2010 and 2012 he felt that they lost the ability to take control of the senate because there were challenges from the right against some of his colleagues, friends, and some of the candidates he backed and some of those conservatives who won, went on to lose in the
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general election and that robbed him of the ability to be a majority leader. he has worked very hard over the past many months, spent a lot of money, and did some things that maybe some may raise eyebrows at to make sure he beat back his own republican challenger to make him go forward and not only win this re-election, but he hopes the majority leader in november. >> all right. dana, stand by. we're going to get back to you. the results are going to be coming in starting very, very soon. let's bring in john king taking a closer look. this is a big night in politics. >> big night because it's the first big primary night of a midterm election year. 36 senate seats in play. 16 we're watching right now. even democrats privately concede republicans are likely to concede the house. 36 races in play. republicans need a net gain of six to take control of the senate. these are the 16 races we view as very competitive or potentially competitive and this
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gives it away. if they are highlighted in blue, you see oregon, montana, we come across, michigan, iowa, louisiana, arkansas, new hampshire, if you see them highlighted in blue, that means democratic incumbent. republican incumbent. tells you everything you need to know about who's on defense. republicans defending only two. in the primaries tonight, we talk about the states up, key senate primary in oregon, tea party house establishment race here in idaho, but these are the two big ones, kentucky and georgia tonight. these are two seats democrats think they have a slight chance to take. to the race you were talking about with dana, obviously, mitch mcconnell, he's a five-term senator. he wants to be the republican majority leader if they get the plus six. to do that, he has to defeat matt bevin tonight. everybody down there, even the bevin campaign concedes mcconnell is well ahead. then he'd have a race against
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the democratic secretary of state, allison grimes. the most recent polls show it to be a dead heat. this race will be a target through november. mcconnell's last race, he got 53% against a businessman who spent a lot of money on this race. that's back in 2008. this is why mitch mcconnell thinks for all the talk of a close race, it won't be close in november. midterm elections are about the president. what you'll hear from mcconnell is this election in november is as much about obama as alison grimes, but on this big night, let's see if he can crush his tea party challenger. we'll watch the margin in that race and learn how much healing he has to do internally in the republican party. >> turnout in a midterm election year, that's a huge issue we're going to have to see, assuming he wins tonight, mcconnell, the turnout for democrats, how enthusiastic they are in november and the turnout for
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republicans, especially if the tea party loses tonight, will they really turn out for mcconnell? >> excellent point. it's not exactly a place you expect president obama to be welcomed because he faired so poorly. >> we're waiting for the first results. let's go back to s.e. and van. they are in the "crossfire." >> thanks wolf. we'll get back to you in a bit. but right now in the "crossfire," we have democratic strategist brad woodhouse and republican strategist david bossy. let's start with you. the media's got this 100% wrong, right? this is not moderates versus tea party. the tea party has taken over the entire republican party, don't you agree? >> well, van, really it is -- look, the conservative movement's been around a long time, since barry goldwater. the tea party movement is nothing more than that as an outgrowth. it truly is. when i was a youngster, i would have been called a tea partier
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back when i was a young man. >> tea party has a specific brand and it's terrible. 29%. >> branded by folks like you. >> i didn't make up the name tea party, i think you did that. 29% favorability is not very good. isn't it bad now even moderate republicans, so-called, have adopted this tea party extremism on every issue. don't you think that's terrible for the republican party? >> let me agree with you. all of this is well and good. we all got to spend a lot of time on various topics, but these primaries are a side show. as you said, tea party has taken over the republican party. what republican incumbents learned is they better run and govern like the tea party. >> like the conservatives -- >> i'll give you three quick examples, mitch mcconnell hid under a desk while ted cruz shut the government down, eric cantor will not cross the tea party caucus in the house to put
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immigration reform on the floor, even though it will help in the long-term, and in 2011, john boehner turned over his cojones to the tea party and never got them back. >> i know democrats really want to make this about an inter-party fight between the republicans and the tea party, because 2014 is not going to be pretty for you guys, i have to say. you thought that banging on about raising the minimum wage was going to be this magic elixir. it's not been delivering the enthusiasm you wanted and today "the new york times" points out obama's core constituencies are hurting the most in obama's economy. these are the people obama democrats need to turn out. so he's not only failing democrats at the kitchen table, but he's failing you guys at the polls. how frustrated are you guys? >> well, first of all, i'm not frustrated. the president has put forward an agenda. it's the tea party that's stopped the agenda.
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>> the american people disagree with the agenda. >> let me stop you there. i want you to talk about democrats. democrats are complaining that president obama has not adequately conditioned the environment to run on an economic platform that works. >> i'm with democrats all the time and i haven't heard that complaint. i think the president has put forward a plan. this is a midterm election and we've all worked on it or covered them. these come down to candidates and races in states. >> and turnout. >> every race is going to be different. every candidate is going to treat that race different. >> what it is is about turnout, excitement of the base. so if our tea party base, if the conservative movement is excited to turn out in november to vote against barack obama's candidates, we welcome barack obama in every race. >> if you want to -- >> we want to make a referendum on barack obama. >> this is what the republicans have, what the republicans have done, co-oped the tea party,
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allowed the koch brothers. >> you guys -- >> koch brothers will spend more to elect republicans than the nrcc and nrsc combined. >> you don't think it's a mistake to go after tea partiers and koch republicans instead of delivering your own economic message? >> you talk about somebody that didn't have a message -- >> hold on, folks, we're going to come back. first we want you at home to weigh in on today's fire back question, have tea party candidates made the republican party stronger or weaker? we want you in on this. reply stronger or weaker using #crossfire. latest from wolf in just a minute.
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welcome back to "crossfire" and cnn's coverage of america's
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choice. and even though it's may, happy halloween because the tea party's dragging republicans so far to the right that it's scaring me. >> the orange tie. >> hence the orange tie. >> before we can continue our debate, first, let's get the latest results from the primaries from wolf blitzer. go ahead, wolf. >> you guys are having way too much fun over there, van, s.e. voters are picking candidates for this fall's election. we're getting our first results coming in very early from kentucky. take a look. 1% of the vote is in. mitch mcconnell as expected, he is doing well. 61% of the vote to 35% for the tea party favorite, matt bevin. for almost 5,000 votes for mitch mcconnell alone. it just went up 6600 to 3200 for matt bevin. at the top of the hours, the polls will also close in georgia where the scramble for a senate seat is attracting nationwide attention. kentucky is one thing. georgia is another important skate today. >> a more crowded republican primary in the state of georgia.
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you see some of the candidates here. because of that we're likely to get a runoff between the top two. earlier in the year democrats were hoping and hoping and hoping that phil gingrey or paul broun would win this nomination. they do, the democrats do that these congressmen are so far to the right that they could win this red state in the general election. at the moment, it looks like the two people who make the runoff will be businessman david purdue and jack kingston there are no liberal or moderate republicans on the screen. jack kingston has the endorsement of the chamber of commerce. karen handle has been running third in the polls. backed by sarah palin. if she could get into the runoff, it would change the dynamic. at the moment, it looks like these two candidates and the establishment is okay with either one. they would face up against michelle nunn. the name seem familiar? her dad was the democratic candidate for georgia for quite some time. democrats believe they have a chance here. but she has not run statewide before. she is new as a candidate for public office. and just in the past week, she
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has made two statements that you might call wolf, unforced errors. let's listen to. this we'll talk about it on the other side. >> we need accountability. we need to make sure there is congressional oversight of this issue. i defer to the president's judgment about the leadership that will be necessary to ensure that accountability. >> would you have voted for the affordable care act? >> so at the time that the affordable health care act was passed, i was working for points of light. i wish we had more people who tried to architect a bipartisan legislation. >> is that a yes or no? >> i think it's impossible to look back retrospectively and what would you have done when you were there? >> great question. if you're running for office in 2014, you have to have a yes or no answer, would you have voted for obama care. she didn't have one there. that first sound bite was in a debate. it was about whether eric shinseki would stay on at department of veterans affairs. georgia has a lot of veterans, a lot of military bases. deferring to the president in
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state where he is very unpopular, not the right thing for a candidate to do. michelle nunn making a couple of unforced errors makes republicans more confident they'll keep georgia. >> karen handle gets the nomination two, women would be the candidates for senator. saxby chambliss giving up his seat in georgia. thank you very much. stay with us throughout the night. we'll get all the latest results. let's get back into the "crossfire" right now with van and s.e. >> thanks, wolf. we're back with brad woodhouse and david bosse. maybe we were ahead of the curve on minimum wage. you guys on obama care, you keep banging the drum on that. let me ask you a question. >> i think you know why we do. >> let me ask you a question. you have bill mcintyre, who the poster for john mccain. he says in the general election going for full repeal is actually a loser. aren't you guys in danger of overshooting on obamacare, overshooting on benghazi and being like 98 and blowing it because you're out of touch with
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the american people? >> no. i think that's a great buildup. but we're going run against obamacare and run against barack obama. that's going to be the difference in this election cycle. and we're welcoming it. >> one question. are you going to call for full repeal? you have a republican pulse for saying full repeal is a loser. people want to fix it, not repeal it. >> you have candidates like nunn all across the country who are going to run from barack obama and can't answer a simple question whether they would vote for his signature, his landmark legislation, obamacare. he is going to cripple them. he is an anchor around their necks. >> one more time. are you for full repeal or not? because you know that full repeal is a loser, and you guys are way out of place. >> we're happy -- >> fully repeal, and we're happy to fix where it needs to be fixed. >> that wasn't an answer. >> destroying health care for 300 million americans by giving it to seven million americans is a losing effort on your part. >> brad, clearly, the problem for democrats isn't that republicans are going to run too hard against obamacare.
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it's as david pointed out and as we heard from john king that your candidates don't even know how to talk about it. michelle nunn is one. we heard natalie tenet of west virginia also was not able to answer whether she would vote for it. alison grimes in kentucky couldn't say whether she thought obamacare should be delayed or not. isn't that your real problem, that there is a confusing mixed message from democrats on whether obamacare is a net positive or a net negative? >> no, i don't think that's the problem. i think the problem for republicans and the problem for the tea party is that obamacare has worked. the problem for them is eight million people signed up. >> we're not confused about obamacare. >> the problem for them is they're not going to be able to do as mcintyre said this full repeal is going to overshoot the runway. this benghazi investigation is going to overshoot the runway. >> that's not what i asked, though. isn't this going to be a problem when your candidates don't know how to talk about obamacare and it's only may of 2014? >> i would say this, s.e.
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it's only may of 2014. >> oh, so they're going get better at it. okay. >> six months. every day the experience with obamacare is improving. the statistics are improving. >> but they seemed really convincing. >> they're getting worse. more people are having higher premiums. more people are losing -- >> i don't want to have -- that's not true. >> more premiums have gone up. people are losing their health care. you all know it. but you just won't be honest about it. you will not be honest about it. i know, 300 million people disagree. >> hold on, hold on. >> it's a big night. >> it's a big night. we're passionate. i get that. but let's stay with these races. you want to talk about obamacare? >> sure. >> what about this medicaid blockade where you have republican governors refusing to let people who were too poor for boom carrie, too rich for medicaid see doctors. and you have republicans running for office who are even afraid to touch the issue because they know this is going to be a local issue. and when you localize obamacare in places like kentucky, in
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places like arkansas, you guys lose. what about this medicaid blockade? ? >> let's have barack obama go to kentucky and make that exact argument. we welcome him. i would love for him to stand next to his candidate, okay, grimes and i would love for him and his candidate to articulate why that would be good for kentuckians. and that will never happen. >> you're losing on health care policy here because it has been good for kentucky. >> no. >> let's see what the voters of kentucky say. >> it's been popular. they've expanded medicaid there. where they haven't expanded medicaid, republican governors are in trouble. rick scott in florida. tom corbett in pennsylvania. they're in trouble in part because they haven't taken the medicaid problems. and they're leaving -- here is the other thing, david. forget the politics here. they're just leaving millions of people without health care. how do you feel about that? >> okay. >> you guys go right to it. you can't help yourself. the world is going to come to an end.
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obamacare fixed it. obamacare created as many problems as it fixed. >> okay, we got to go, guys. let's check back on our fireback results have. tea party candidates made the republican party stronger or weaker? right now 19% of you say stronger. 81% say weaker. what do you guys think of the results real quick? in a word? >> weaker. >> weaker. stronger i'm imagining. >> the poll results are based on who is watching cnn. that's what it is. >> but seriously. the tea party that has very bad name recognition right now, do you think when you have boehner saying if you vote for the tea party, you're voting for public debt, does it hurt you in the general election? yes nor. >> no. >> you're laying all of this on the tea party when the republicans dominate in 2014? >> you're going have to come back here and thank the tea party for the victories. >> wait. i want to thank you and you right now brad woodhouse and david bosse.
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the debate will continue online at >> stay with cnn for election updates throughout the night. join us tomorrow for another edition of "crossfire." "erin burnett outfront" starts right now. next, a quote, eminent and substantial danger of radiation leak at a u.s. nuclear facility. plus, one of the biggest bands in rock 'n roll history facing a lawsuit tonight. did led zeppelin steal their most famous song? and toxic jerky treats made in china led to more than a thousand dog deaths. let's go "outfront." good evening. i'm brianna keilar in for erin burnett. breaking news in the