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Newtown Six Months Later; Here Comes Hillary; "You'd Look Like A Total Wuss"; Abortion Battle Rages On The Hill; Putin On The Ritz; Rupert Murdoch Divorcing Third Wife

Aired June 13, 2013 - 16:30   ET



JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: Welcome back to THE LEAD. In other national news, tomorrow marks six months since Adam Lanza killed his mother and then drove to Sandy Hook Elementary School and killed 26 innocent victims, 20 of them young children. The anniversary is reigniting efforts on both sides of the gun debate.

"Mayors Against Illegal Guns" is holding rallies all over the country targeting politicians who have blocked efforts to restrict gun purchases. The NRA is firing back with an ad attacking a man who the gun rights group once considered one of their own, West Virginia Democrat and Senator Joe Manchin, and about gun enthusiast and life member of the NRA for his bill that would have expanded background checks conclude gun shows and internet sales.

That ad was released the same day Manchin met with Newtown families at the capital. President Obama also met with the families this afternoon. One of those parents in that group was Mark Barden, father of 7-year-old Newtown victim Daniel Barden. I spoke to Barden about his son and his new mission.

Mark, thank you so much for being here. Before I start asking you about policy questions, how are you doing? How is your wife and your other two children, how are they doing?

MARK BARDEN, FATHER OF NEWTOWN VICTIM DANIEL BARDEN: We're just trying to get through every minute of the day a minute at a time. James and Natalie are a constant source of strength for us and I hope we can be that for them as well. They're immersed in their school activities, music, sports. We're just trying to maintain our family unit to the best of our ability and to be as present as we can for them.

TAPPER: It was a very moving "Washington Post" story about your family. One of the things that were in the report was the fact that you're keeping a journal with your memories of your son. Tell us about that.

BARDEN: My 20-year-old niece actually brought that to me and I thought it was just a great idea. She said "this is for you to keep some memories of Daniel." And as I get farther away from my time with Daniel, it's important as I think of our little routines and all the little things that we used to do, just trying to keep a log of that. So in 10 years or 20 years or however far down the road, I'll just have a memory, a log of all of that wonderful, silly little stuff we used to do.

TAPPER: A grand event happened this week, almost an ugly milestone for the six-month milestone that you're commemorating, you're honoring. In Santa Monica, California, another person with reported mental health issues got hold of another gun and killed innocent people. I know that Sandy Hook promise, your group, has talked about further restrictions on guns in terms of high capacity magazines, in terms of what are called assault weapons, semiautomatic rifles. What else?

BARDEN: We're looking at a broad spectrum of components that, you know, what gets a person to the point where they can do that much damage and harm to other people? And where do you start? You go all the way back to when they were kids in school. So we're looking at mental health issues and intervention programs that can be implemented, social connectivity, cultural change and then, yes, legislation.

TAPPER: I know some mental health advocates are disappointed with the president for not pushing for more funding for community mental health centers. Is that an area that your group is involved in lobbying for?

BARDEN: Yes, it is. And just for us personally, my niece has started this Facebook web site in Daniel's honor called "What Would Daniel Do," and it's about that kind of thinking, that kind of philosophy, go talk to the kid sitting alone, which Daniel was known for that. And we want to move that "What Would Daniel Do" Facebook site into more of a foundation where it can reach more people and do more good, more than just a Facebook site.

TAPPER: And as I've said and as the reason you're here in Washington, it will be six months since the tragedy on Friday. What would you like those Americans watching at home to do on the six-month anniversary?

BARDEN: We just want to keep the conversation going, you know, we can't forget what happened. We'll never forget what happened but we want to make sure that the awareness is there. You know, when you talk about things like the Manchin-Toomey background check expansion that failed to come out of the Senate and poll after poll after poll indicates 90 percent of Americans agree with that because it just makes good sense, we need those people to speak up. We need them to make their voices heard. They're being outshouted by that small minority of people that don't agree with that for whatever reason.

TAPPER: I think it is a beautiful sentiment, the "What Would Daniel Do," the idea of teaching children and teenagers to go talk to the loners in the recess, during recess or in the lunch hall or whatever in Daniel's name. Well, we are so sorry that you've suffered this great loss, but we're honored that you're here today. Thank you.

BARDEN: Thank you for having me.

TAPPER: Coming up on the "Politics Lead," you must have known that you have not heard the last of Hillary Clinton. Her approval points have taken a dip since leaving office, but she's drawn back into the public eye by her two biggest supporters now, Bill and Chelsea.

Plus Russian President Vladimir Putin has so many talents we lost count. But today we learned one more. He speaks English with a little bit of his native accent. Why is he ditching his native language?


TAPPER: Welcome back to THE LEAD. I'm Jake Tapper. Now time for the "Politics Lead," it takes a lot of moxie to try and share the spotlight with former President Bill Clinton, but these days his wife doesn't just share the spotlight, she steals it.

Today Hillary Clinton launched into a new era of her post State Department career at the Clinton Global Initiative gathering in Chicago. She revealed that a mission that was once the mission of her husband is about to become, in the immortal words of sly stone, a family affair.

THE LEAD's Erin McPike joins us from Chicago now with more -- Erin.

ERIN MCPIKE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Jake, Clinton's advisers billed the speech as one of policy over politics, but there's no question that the big star here was a very relaxed Hillary Clinton.


MCPIKE (voice-over): Post-presidential Clinton world has itself a brand new headliner -- Hillary Clinton.

HILLARY CLINTON (D), FORMER U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: It is such a pleasure to be here in Chicago participating as a private citizen, as a co-host of CGI and as a representative of what we are officially renaming the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation.

MCPIKE: Mrs. Clinton's debut speech for the Clinton Global Initiative in Chicago this morning showcased a whole new Hillary.

HILLARY CLINTON: After visiting 112 nations over four years, I'm still jet lagged.

MCPIKE: Fresh off the launch of a brand new Twitter account, her profile says her future role is TBD. The political world is abuzz over a potential race for the White House in 2016.

HILLARY CLINTON: I will be focused on applying lessons learned from around the world and building new partnerships across our entire portfolio, but particularly in three broad areas that have been close to my heart my entire adult life.

MCPIKE: That new focus could bolster her domestic policy credentials ahead of another run for national office. The last member of the family to hold the job seems more than willing to share the spotlight. BILL CLINTON, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: I learned all about NGO work from Hillary when we were going out. She was already active in many kinds of non-governmental activities and she was when I was governor of Arkansas both in our state, in America and around the world.

MCPIKE: In some ways Hillary's coming out is also a passing of the torch from classic bubba.

BILL CLINTON: As I move into my dotage, my job will be to fund people who know what they're doing.

MCPIKE: For all the celebrities and CEOs here, there was still no doubt Hillary was the draw. As she settles in at CGI, she told the crowd something big was coming.

HILLARY CLINTON: We'll have an exciting announcement tomorrow.


MCPIKE: Now, Chelsea Clinton is also taking on a much bigger role here. President Bill Clinton said this morning that Chelsea is doing about half of her time traveling on behalf of CGI and she's about to take to the stage to moderate a panel here, too -- Jake.

TAPPER: Erin McPike in Chicago, thank you so much.

Coming up on THE LEAD, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama might be friends, but that hasn't stop former President Bill Clinton from privately, at least, speaking his mind. Why is he suggesting that President Obama risks looking like a, quote, "wuss?"

Plus it seems like true love. After all she saved him from a pie in the face, but now Rupert Murdoch is filing for divorce from his wife, Wendy. So what's in the pre-nup?


TAPPER: Welcome back to THE LEAD. Now time for the "Politics Lead." We've been told in the past that chemical weapons were indeed used in Syria, but it wasn't clear who fired them and who was on the receiving end. Now we know courtesy of the "New York Times," which is now reporting Syrian forces used chemical weapons on Syrian rebels citing U.S. and European officials officially concluding that. More to come on that.

But let's bring in our panel, CNN chief political analyst Gloria Borger, CNN contributor and Democratic strategist Hilary Rosen and CNN contributor and former senior adviser to Mitt Romney, Kevin Madden.

This Syria news fills into something I already wanted to ask you, guys, about, which is that behind closed doors Bill Clinton had some rather interesting things to say about President Obama contemplating military action in Syria. According to "Politico" speaking last night at an event with John McCain, clinton repeatedly said, it would be lame to blame a lack of intervention in Syria on opposition in polls or among members of Congress. And he said, quote, "if you refuse to act and you cause a calamity, the one thing you cannot say when all the eggs have been broken is my God, two years ago, there was a poll that said 80 percent of you were against it. You'd look like a total wuss and you would be." Now I'm not going to ask you, Kevin, to define what a wuss is, but although this is the first time I've ever heard a president use the term. That's some pretty tough talk from President Clinton towards President Obama.

KEVIN MADDEN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Yes, and it's a little bit like a school kid taunt, but in this case, you know, Bill Clinton whether it's with, you know, diplomatic audiences or with Hill audiences and political audiences in general, he's seen as like the cool kid on the schoolyard. He's not somebody who you want going out there and shaping perceptions. People look to him for his opinions.

He's not someone you want to go out shaping your opinions in a negative way. The president has been very cautious here. I think he's going to continue to have a lot of folks who have experience on these issues continue to question whether or not that caution was the right approach as a result.

GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: You know, this was allegedly an off-the-record session in which he was sitting with John McCain, who is, of course, for arming the Syrian rebels -- you know about those off-the-record sessions?

TAPPER: But somebody recorded it and gave it to "Politico" so she was able to report it directly.

BORGER: I think what he was speaking as a president emeritus saying, you know what? You can't look polls and so what if Congress isn't with you on it, which is easy to do if you're not president anymore, but looking at it through the prism of 2016, we know that his wife, Hillary Clinton, was for arming the rebels in some limited way last summer and that got stopped in its tracks. She was on the side of General Petraeus and Leon Panetta, that's got stopped in its tracks. The question you ask is, is he speaking for her?

MADDEN: And who was he standing next to when he was there?

BORGER: John McCain.

HILARY ROSEN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: It's a little unfair, though, of President Clinton to say that President Obama isn't doing what -- being more aggressive because of polls because that's not really the case. It's actually kind of complicated what you do and how can you get there, but --

TAPPER: As Clinton knows from not intervening in Rwanda.

ROSEN: That's right.

TAPPER: It took a long time for the Balkan intervention.

ROSEN: And sometimes they're valid and sometimes they aren't. But it is interesting going forward who was one of the officials in the Clinton administration when he made what he now calls his biggest foreign policy regret in not intervening in Rwanda --

TAPPER: Susan Rice.

ROSEN: Who will be President Obama's national security adviser coming up. It will be interesting to see if we have this shuttle shift. Bill Clinton I think is also always good at riding a wave of policy. When things move, he know when is they're moving and I think they were kind of already moving anyway.

TAPPER: I want to turn to some controversy on the Hill this week. During a how judiciary hearing on a bill, Representative Trent Franks of Arizona said he opposes an exemption for rape victims for abortion, or seeking abortion because, quote, "The incidents of rape resulting in pregnancy are very low." That's not a medical fact and I'm not sure where he gets that information, but that was something that a lot of liberals and Democrats jumped upon.

And then today House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi ripped into a reporter from the "Weekly Standard" who was asking her about the same bill framing the debate in terms of Dr. Kermit Goznell from Philadelphia. If we have that sound, let's play Nancy Pelosi.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What is the moral difference between what Dr. Gosnell did to a baby born alive at 23 weeks and aborting her moments before birth?

REPRESENTATIVE NANCY PELOSI (D), HOUSE DEMOCRATIC LEADER: You're probably enjoying that question a lot I can see you savoring it. But let me just tell you this -- let me just tell you this, what was done in Philadelphia was reprehensible and everybody condemned it. For them to decide to disrespect a judgment a woman makes about her reproductive health is reprehensible.


TAPPER: Hilary?

ROSEN: You know, the Republicans thought they had this big sort of gotcha moment with this terrible murderer in Philadelphia, which is completely irrelevant. And the farther down the road they go on this, as a political analyst for Democrats, great, keep going down that road because President Obama won women by, you know, over 11 points in this last election.

We're trying to figure out what our value add is going to be as we go into 2014. House Republicans, go at it. Keep saying stupid things about women and, you know, we're going to do better. But as a woman I just find it offensive and frustrating that we cannot seem to get men who are in policy making positions to understand how personal this feels when you hear elected officials talk that way.

MADDEN: I think it's a real big mistake for Republicans to allow ourselves to get baited into having this debate through the lens of something like rape. I mean, rape is a terrible, horrible crime. Do not try to talk about it in any other term other than that. And when you talk about why you're pro-life and what your pro-life beliefs are, talk about it not in terms of statistics or what you believe some doctor told you.

Instead talk about why you believe the sanctity of life is an important public policy position. I think that's the big mistakes. Democrats and I think the media will always be aligned with a more pro-choice viewpoint. The standard is up higher for us.

TAPPER: Gloria?

BORGER: I just looked at Nancy Pelosi is a politician and I'll say she's stuck to what she wanted to -- she dodged the question. She talked about the Republican Party and said there you go again and it worked for her.

TAPPER: Kevin Madden, Hilary Rosen, Gloria Borger, thank you so much.

Coming up, horseback rider, judo master and scuba diver and now Russian President Vladimir Putin is just showing off by speaking English. So what did he have to say?


TAPPER: Welcome back to THE LEAD. Now time for the "World Lead," Russian President Vladimir Putin is always so smooth, so polished, so Magnum PI with a Kremlin twist unless of course he's trying to speak English. Putin rarely abandons his native tongue in public, but he decided why not pull out the stops to help Russia score the 2020 World Expo.


PRESIDENT VLADIMIR PUTIN, RUSSIA: In all this time Russia has not hosted the world expo, not once. The time has come to change this. So we submit our bid to host the World Expo 2020.


TAPPER: We will soon know if his plea paid off. A host city for the 2020 expo should be selected later this year.

He owns some of the world's most hellacious newspapers known for poking fun at celebrities' splits with crass headlines. You have to wonder how Rupert Murdoch would want those same papers to cover the news that he and his wife, Wendy Deng, are calling it quits. The May December romance between 82-year-old Murdoch and 44-year-old Deng lasted 14 years and we all thought it would last, especially after this famous stand by your man moment. Remember when Deng put the move on a man in a pie throwing effort?

Time now for the "Buried Lead," that's what we call stories that are not getting a lot of play. We are paying witness to a remarkable first in this country's history. New census data showed for the first time the number of white people who died in the U.S. outnumbered those born. Census experts predict this is the start of a trend that will make whites the minority race by 2043.

Immigration and high birth rates among Hispanics are playing a large role in reshaping the country's racial makeup. A demographer from the Brookings Institution said the report shows the importance of recognizing how young minorities will be key to keeping the labor force and economy strong.

Make sure to follow me on Twitter @jaketapper and also @theleadcnn. And check out our show page at for video, blogs, extras and more. That's it for THE LEAD. I'm Jake Tapper. I turn you now over to my good friend, Brianna Keilar, she is in "THE SITUATION ROOM" today -- Brianna.