tv NBC 6 Impact with Jackie Nespral NBC February 21, 2016 9:30am-10:00am EST
jackie nespral: making an impact this week, a look back at the brothers to the rescue tragedy, two de making an impact this week, a look back at the brothers to the rescue tragedy who decades after the castro regime shot down two planes and how the founder of the group feels about the trip to the island nation. and the u.s. senate hopeful sitting down with me pitching his plans for florida, what he had to say about his democratic primary opponent. this is nbc 6 impact and i'm your host, jackie nespral. a monumental event and low point in the hostile relations between fidel castro's cuba and the united states. the cuban air farce shooting down of two brothers to the rescue planes on february 24th, 1996, killing four pilots. now two decades later, joining me now on impact to discuss the
to the rescue. >> thank you for having me. >> my pleasure to have you with us. before we talk about the 20th anniversary of the shootdown of the brothers to the rescue planes, we have to address president obama's announcement this past week that he will be traveling to cuba on march 21st and 22nd. congresswoman i'llleana ros-lehtinen ros-lehtinen went on to say, it is a slap in the face to the memory of the brothers the rescue pilots, three u.s. citizens and one u.s. resident who were murdered by the castro regime and those who fled the castro oppression to see air force one land in havana. your t toughts on that, one month from today. >> first of all, i thank ileana ros-lehtinen for having remembered us when most everybody has forgotten of what appened that day. this plan of president obama i
disgusting. it is something that -- it is like going to shake the handss with assassins. these people were terrorists, are terrorists. that was an act of terrorism without any punishment from the u.s. and i find it terribly bad that president of the united states -- goes to cuba to say hello to the people that ordered our demise that day. raul castro, having given the orders for the shootdown. so they're both terrorists. they don't wear any type of -- they are as terrorists as the ones putting bombs all over the world. >> december 17th, 2014, was a pivotal date because that's when the announcement came from
normalization of relations between the u.s. and qrv cuba. since then, both embassies have opened, o in washington and one in havana, secretary of state john kerry also visid the island and now the culmination with a visit from president obama march 21st. but in order for the normalization of relations to happen, there w a trade so to speak. ed a alan gross' freedom and the three known as the cuban five in federal prison were also released. >> -- ignored the judicial powers, ignore edd to the supreme court and wasn't held by any court and just the decision on his own showing what his leanings are.
leans more to the left and to us it is insulting. >> hernandez was serving a double life sentence with no possibility of parole and he was the head of the one that informed them. and yeteven the united states actually facilitated hernandez and wife getting pregnant. >> it is insulting to intelligence of the community here and to the people that they did so much haham. i can't see how the united states that i knew and loved could do a thing like this now. i am very disappointed and kind of not happy, just about anything hapapning relation to cuba coming from the united states government. >> this may be a rhetorical question, do you think real change can come as long as the
>> no, no. the castro brothers have designed a system by which they're safe in power by controlling the people on the island by repression, by fear, by intimidation, by murder. and that is not going to change because they -- very bottom, they're very scared of their position. they know that the people of cuba will want to come together at once against them. they would lose it. and i hope that this has an end soon for the cuban people, but it is never going to come about of any of this negotiations by the government to the u.s. it is unfortunate. >> some people would argue that change is already under way. small changes like internet access to the people of cuba, some cubans already having the opportunity to own businesses. do you disagree --
air force which called for interceptors to go to the place after the plane cross a certain line. >> some of those people involved were convicted. >> who were -- >> the cuban five. >> the cuban five, yes, but i'm talking about the pilots in cuba. most people are instruments. jackie, they're instruments. the real culprits are fidel castro and his brotherer raul, which have not been indicted here. taken to court or anything. even though this is an act of terror and murder against u.s. citizens because those that were killed, two of them were born u.s. citizens. and there was a a third one, was a naturalized citizen who had been two-term veteran of foreign wars of the united states in iran, and the other one is a cuban
>> this is a presidential election year. >> yes. >> president obama will be traveling to cuba on march 21s do you think that no matter what happens in this election that the tide is already in a certain directiononnd it is too late to bring it back no matter what happens as a result of the presidential election? >> the tide -- >> the tide of change between the u.s. and cuba. >> i think president obama has more time to dourther damage to cuba, to the cuban people, to the united states prestige -- >> but if a republican were t t come out as president of the united states, do you think it still would be o late to change the tide of what has happened until this point? >> i don't think so. i think a president withh a resolution, with character, with sufficient valor to confront the cuban governmee that has many
intelligence on everyone in the united states including the members of congress and presidents a a so on, there may come somebody with the guts to act against them and put them on their place. >> let's talal about this week, the 20th anniversary of the shootdown of the brotrs to the rescue planes. your thoughts on what happened, you re there, you witnessed what happened, the atrocity of what happened on that day. your thoughts? >> sadness. sadness, which has been with me for 20 years. i remember those boys just about every day. i know that they knew what they were doing, and we all knew it, and we knew we were taking chances. every te we want close to cuba, but it is hard to forget the kind of persons they were,
wholesome can-americans that they would -- they would make proud any family that would have had amongst them, but some people have tried to deny them the fact that they were real patriots, they were really evolved into what they were doing, the rescue of cuban -- which was the main purpose of brothers to the rescue you this is your book. this is going to be coming out in spanish. >> it is in spanish. we have them in english and spanish. this is coming right now. it was designed to come@ at the 20th anniversary for the young people that don't know what happens 20 years ago and others that have forgotten what happened and should ow about it. >> keep the memory alive. thank you for joining us. >> thank you, jackie. thank you very much. >> my pleasure. still to come on "impact", the establishment democratic candidate for the u.s. senate is
with alan grayson and papaick murphy battling it out for the nomination. joining me now to discu the state of the race, representative patrick murphy. congressman, thank yofor joining us here. >> thank you for having me. i appreciate it. >> it is my pleasure. so you represent district 18, which is part of palm beach -- >> and martin and st. lu. >> you were born in miami. >> in the florida keys. i'm a conch. >> you were raised in miami? >> raised in miami, live in ft. lauderdale, lived in jupiter. i went to middle school, high school and college in heimmiami. >> how have you seen it change? >> the growth. i remember growing up on kindle heading west and you got to the turnpike, there was nothing left of the land. now it is sprawling. just the growth in miami, the diversity, of course, but it is it has become a real city of energy and enthusiasm and people from all over the world. i read a stat recently that over 100 languages are being spoken at any given time in miami. and that's beautiful.
>> that's what makes miami, our country, so great is that sort of diversity and fun city to be in. >> why do you think now was the time for you to take that step to run for senate? >> i enjoyed my time in the congress. my two terms in the congress and feel like we e ve been able to get a lot done for my swint constituents, helping seniors, veterans, our environment. but i believeve can get a lot more done for the state of florida and the issues i c ce about and i think the issues a lot of the votersrs care about by being in the senate. i think there is more of an opportunity to sit downwith folk on the other side of the aisle, find some common ground and movehe ball forward and i feel like our country is attz a tipping point now and whether it is the disappearing middle class, and the investment i think we need to make in education, in infrastructure, protecting programs like social secury and medicare, you know, being a cpa , i'm a big advocate of tax reform, but believe we better start talking real
and as i'm sure you've seen and national geographic recently had miami as the number one city in the whole world to be impacted by climate change. we better have that conversation. i hope to spearhead that in the united states senate and think we can be a very strong voice and hope for the best senator the state has ever seen. >> that has been your biggest accomplishment as congressman? >> i think we have been able to help so many of our constituents, so many seniors. i represent the third most senior diststct in the country. yet i'm one of the youngest members and been able to b bng home $2 billion of sources for our environment for the everglades to help clean the water, to help divert -- it has been heading out to the st. lucy, killing what is the most biologically diverse estuary in the whole country, helping to bring home the resources, helping to find common ground on so many different issues. i'm a big supporter of getting our fiscal house in order and as able to start a freshman bipartisan group getting about 50% of the freshman class
agree, where we can actually find some compromise, put forward a bill cled the save act where we identified $479 billion of wasteful, duplicative and fraudulent government spending, ended up getting a few of those -- a pieces of the bill passed and making some real progress there. >> you're running as a democrat. >> yes. >> you used to be a republican. you're actually supported mitt romney. >> yes. >> why the change? why the switch? >> i grew up in a household an my dad is a republican, whwh i first registered to vote as a teenager, i looked at my dad, my best friend and mentor and said, if he's a republican, i gueses i am too. the more i started paying attention to what was being discussed eded and what was happepeng and when the iraq war really, you know, happened and took off, i feltwe were being lied to as a country. and really started payi attention to the issues, started paying attention to what was being discusse as i matured and thre through my business career started focusing and really
republican party has gone so far to the right, been really hijacked by the tea party, and not a party that i align with. i uld consider myself u< fiscally responsible, socially more progressive. and i was raised in a household, always about the candidate, never one party, or the other. so, you know, not oly did i decide to change parties, but i does something about it and ran against alan west and what turned out to be one of the most expensive congressional races in history, and won in a very close race. and, you know, have been a strong advocate of, you know, strong believer. and a woman's right to choose, you know, and marriage equality. believe c cmate change is real. i'm not going to deny it like so many friends on the other side of the aisle because we can see the impacts all over the stae. i would consider myself someone that really wants tofind common ground. >> sounds like you would be considered a moderate? >> you know, i guess it depends
the definition of a moderate is. most people you seem to talk to call themsees moderate when you dig to the dishissues, sometimes that might vary. >> let's turn to your race. alan grayson is one of your opponents s opponents. there are certain allegations against him now. you say he should resign. do you stand behind that? >> based on front page of the new york times, last week a writer with two pulitzer prizes put the story out there, and some pretty, you know, tough accusations and it looks to me to be backed up by some pretty serious evidence. and, you know, congressman grayson has spent so much time, you know, out there and in his career bashing, you know, wll street, carried interests in these tax loopholes and hedgeh! funds but it turns out he's a hedge fund manager himself taking advantage of tax loopholes. >> he has denied any wrongdoing.
course, what else would he say, right? you lookat the evidence, i mean, he basically admitted it in an e-mail and the new york times you see where he said, he basically admitted guilt saying, if i closed down my hedge fund, i will be admitting guilt. that is, you know, clear as day that he is guilty of this. and his whole team basically quit on him last year because of this hedge fund. so this is an individual that is basically saying to everybody, do as i say, but don't pay attention to my actions. and it is that soror of nonsense that the voters are so tired of. you look at the approval rating of washington, d.c., and you look at why they're so, you know, distrusting, it is individuals like this that to me any public servant has one obligation, right, and that's to serve the pubc, to be honest, to do your job, not be makin money in the hedge fund in the cayman islands. i think he needs to close down his hedge fund and i think he needs to disclose who his
in and explain to voters why in the world you put a hedge fund in the cayman islands if you're not trying to evade taxes. >> let's talk about the other side of the aisle, lieutenant governor is also v vng for the seat. what is your take? >> i haven't spent a ton of time with him. we met at a couple of different eveves, spent more time with the two members of congress that running for theseat, trying to get to know them. one of the first things i did when i got elected to the congress was try to sit down with folks throughout, you know, the state of florida to get to know their issues and see how we uld work together and if there is common ground. nd with the lieutenant governor, haven't had a real opportunity to sit down and get to know him. >> okay, let's move on to the district that many in the nation are looking at, district 26. hat. you're supporting joe garcia.
together in the congress. he's a friend of mine. and, you know,ecently helped him launch his campaign. >> okay. so you're saying that you would support him? >> i'm going to let the race play out. and i don't really know annette as well. joe was instrumental early on when i first got elected, helping me find republican counterparts so we could start this bipartisan group, trying to solve problems. he was very helpful with some of the accomplishments we had and bringing money home to help fund some of the everglades restoration and was always an advocate. we had some things we were able to really work on, and i think move the ball forward on. so he launched his campaign and i'm sitting with him as a congress helping him get off the_aee ground. >> you went to the university of miami. what did you think of the hiring rick as the head coach for the football team? >> i'm excited. i want the program to be back to where it was. my freshman year, you know, we won. so i thought, heck, this is
to have this career in college and hopefully continue winning the championships, and, of course, the program has gone down. but i think we can rebuild it. it is something to be proud of. and the school, and, of course, the academics are what matter the most and president shalala did a great job there raising the bar. >> congressman, thank you for joining us. good luck to you. >> thank you very much. still to come, our lighter look at politics as bernie sanders votete goes all out to get his message across to his neighbors. that's coming up next. thers moving... and there's moving with move free ultra. it has triple-action support for your joints, cartilage and bones. and unlike the big osteo-bi flex pills, it's all in one tiny pill. move free ultra.
[ ] >>finally this morning, our lighter look at politics as a finally this morning, our lighter look at politics as a northern california homeowner goes to the extreme to make sure everyone in his neighborhood near oakland knows who he is supporting in the race for the white house. check it out. >> it is bold and big and it gets people's attention and makes people talk and think and go home and go, why did he do that? bernie sanders is the most honest politician in the history ofpolitics. he's the only candidate telling the truth, only candidate trying to save the environment, and fix our economy. and i'll be dammed if i'm going to sit at home and let somebody else make that decision for me. people, you know, honking and waving, support. my friend who lives down the street who wants to vote for donald trump thinks i'm crazy. and i think he's crazy.
supporter if i've ever seen one. darren wilkerson said many of his neighbors honked and waved support for his dramatic display and there you have the display in its full capacity. thank you so much for watching nbc 6 impact. we're looking to bring you the stories that impact you and your comnity. if you have a story idea, send me a tweet @jackienbc "meet the press" is next. we'll see you next week.
(donkey sound) (elephant sound) thers a big difference between making noise, (tapping sound) and making sense. (elephant sound) (donkey sound) when it comes to social
security, we need more than lip service. our next president needs a real plan to keep social security strong. (elephant noise) hey candidates. enough talk.
this sunday morning, another big win for donald trump, now the undisputed republican front-run sgler it's tough. it's nasty. it's mean. 's vicious. it's beautiful. >> but republicans believe it's a three-man race as marco rubio and ted cruz vie to become the chief trump challenger. >> and the 21st century conservative movement is the son of a bar tender and a maid from cuba. meanwhile, the bush dynasty comes to an official end. >> tonight, i am suspending my campaign. >> trump, rubio and cruz all join me this morning. plus, hillary clinton gets the win she so desperately needed in nevada. >> some may have doubted s, but we never doubted each other. >> while bernie sanders loses in the first state with a diverse electorate.