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Governor Christie Signs Bill Banning Gay Conversion Therapy On Minors; Google Turns Travelers Into "Trekkers"; First On CNN: Prince William Talks Fatherhood; "The Butler" Serves The Competition; Breaking Dumb

Aired August 19, 2013 - 16:30   ET



JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: Welcome back to THE LEAD. I'm Jake Tapper.

The Politics Lead: turning gay teens straight. Not a credible psychotherapy, but some therapists argue they can do it. However, they won't get a chance in New Jersey after a move today by Governor Chris Christie. How will this sit with his fellow Republicans?

The Money Lead. Roads? Where we're going, we don't need roads. Having covered pretty much all the asphalt in the country by now, Google is out to map unchartered territory, and it wants your help.

And in World News, no matter how privileged your life, at some point, you'll have to change a dirty diaper like any new parent. Prince William opening up to CNN about his new life as a dad. He already had practice before taking his son home.

Welcome back to THE LEAD. I'm Jake Tapper. The Politics Lead now. He is a die-hard Springsteen fan, but Chris Christie seems to be channeling Lady Gaga these days, at least in a "baby, I was born this way." The governor of New Jersey just signed into law a bill that bans gay conversion therapy on minors in New Jersey.


GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: I believe the signing statement speaks for itself. I put the signing statement out. I did sign the bill, and I think the statement speaks for itself.


TAPPER: What does the signing statement say? Among other things, it is reaffirmed Christie's personal belief that, quote, "people are born gay and that homosexuality is not a sin."

Well, let's hear what today's political panel makes of all this. Former Clinton White House press secretary Joe Lockhart, Republican analyst and former Bush campaign spokesperson Jennifer Millerwise Dyck, and senior writer for Politico, Maggie Haberman. Jennifer, everyone in Washington is viewing this through the lens of a potential 2016 campaign. What do you think? JENNIFER MILLERWISE DYCK, REPUBLICAN ANALYST: I think that's the only lens anyone is going to look at it through.

TAPPER: Can it hurt him?

DYCK: No, I think this is going to help him. Because the reality is, this is about policy and politics. So policy-wise, he's on the same size as the medical community. And I think most Republicans when they hear about (INAUDIBLE), this sounds like common sense. The politics, he got three big audiences he's got to be worried about: New Jersey, where you have a moderate to left-leaning audience. Soon, he's going to be worried about Republican caucus-goers. Going to be much more conservative. And then at the end, he's going to be worried about those swing voters.

So he's got to hit that fine political line between really not alienating any of those groups, and I think this was a smart position to take on this particular policy.

TAPPER: Joe, what do you make of it? If you were - I know you're a Democrat. But if you were advising Christie, couldn't this be further reasons why Christian conservatives in Iowa might be alienated by him?

JOE LOCKHART, FORMER CLINTON WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Sure. And I think you saw in that sound bite you played his conflict. The statement speaks for itself. It sounds like someone walking down a perp walk saying no comment. I think if you're going to sign it, you should be proud of it and talk about why you signed it.

But I think, you know, he does have to walk this line. And it's very, very hard to see how someone in the center of the Republican party now is going to appeal to those who are most conservative, and they are the primary voters that he'll have to face.

The other piece of this, though, is what we don't know is we often look at these things through the last election lens. We have really moved in this country in the last three or four years, rapidly in the last year on issue of gay marriage and homosexuality as a spiritual issue as opposed to a policy issue. So, I'm not sure it's going to be that big a deal.

TAPPER: One other thing Christie said today, he said compromise is not a dirty word. We had Terry Jeffrey here last week, and he said about Christie like we keep nominating these guys, you know, Mitt Romney, John McCain. These are people who are moderate, these are people who forge compromises with Democrats. Is that going to hurt Christie, things like that, compromise is not a dirty word? Certainly, it's appealing to those of us in D.C. But what about Des Moines?

MAGGIE HABERMAN, POLITICAL WRITER, POLITICO: It's problematic. Actually, I think that's more problematic than what he what he did in terms of signing or vetoing, you know, the ban. I think that is more helpful to him. I think voters who would be turned off in a primary by that issue were not open to Chris Christie already because of all of the other things you've talked about. I think also it's important to note that the party has moved more to the right. So Chris Christie looks more moderate by comparison. He's actually more conservative on a lot of issues than Mitt Romney was. I think you will see his folks pointing to that over and over again. I don't know whether it will sell, but that's their best bet.

TAPPER: I want to talk about a story that you wrote about. "The New York Times" followed your lead, we were quick to note last week about Hillary Clinton, formally moving into the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Foundation in midtown Manhattan and amping up her role in the charity. On Friday, former President Clinton defended his foundation amid reports by Politico and "The New York Times" that it had run up deficits and been mismanaged. On the group's Web site, the former president wrote, quote, "For 2012, the reported deficit of $8 million is incorrect and was based on unaudited number included in our 2012 annual report. When the audited financials are released, they will show a surplus," it goes on like that.

Joe, very defensive about a New York Times and Politico story that ultimately, while interesting to a lot of people, was not exactly -- it was a little complicated for television.



TAPPER: Is that a fair way to put it? We tried to talk him out of it last week. It was very complicated.

LOCKHART: We're all on TV here, so we're not good at complicated. But listen, I think the people want to know if they donate money to something that the money is being used wisely. I think after that story, after the stories, that he had an obligation to say hey, here's how it works.

I think the thing to remember one, is he's doing lots of great work around the world. There are five million people who've gotten AIDS drugs because he was able to use his leverage with drug companies, governments, to get that done. The list goes on and on.

The second thing is, he's not Bill Gates. He's not Warren Buffett. He didn't get into the NGO business as a rich person who was just putting his money. He has to raise money. So I think it's very important that when you're out raising money that people know this is what the money is being used for. And there were things -- listen, the foundation grew faster that I think he ever thought it could, and they took steps a years ago to fix that. I think Chelsea Clinton gets a lot of credit for coming in and say we need to be adults and have a process here and all of that. I give her credit for that.

But this is exactly what that was. It was --

TAPPER: Reassuring donors.

LOCKHART: Reassuring donors. Sure. TAPPER: Jennifer, you read the story. We only have about 45 seconds left. You read the story. Liability for the Clintons? Does it remind people, like, oh, the Clintons. There's another side of them that we haven't talked about in a few years?

DYCK: Well, clearly, people are going to try to remind voters about the things they didn't like about the Clinton White House years. So, this is just an example of that. And I think a lot of people do look at them as a package deal. And so the reality is, I think President Clinton is going to bring a lot of assets, and I'm sure that's exactly what her campaign is going to be looking at. But he also has a tendency to step in it sometimes. And when he does, it's going to splatter on Mrs. Clinton.

TAPPER: Final word because it was your big scoop. What surprised you the most when you were reporting that story? What was the shocker for you?

HABERMAN: There is really not actually a bomb shell, right? I mean, essentially, what is being pushed is sort of what Joe was just talking about, which is that Chelsea Clinton is coming in to clean this up. This is a new phase. I think what is most surprising, honestly, is that there's a three-person board. It is Bruce Lindsey, Terry McAuliffe, and Chelsea Clinton. That's really tiny -

TAPPER: Tiny. Very small.

HABERMAN: (INAUDIBLE) that much money. And it now wants to raise a $250 million endowment. That has to grow.

TAPPER: Also a lot of money. Thank you so much, Maggie Haberman, Joe Lockhart and Jennifer Millerwise Dyck. Appreciate it. Wonderful as always.

Coming up in the Money Lead, 57,000 kids are about to be told they cannot go to preschool anymore. Why?

And "The Butler" just mopped the floor with the box office competition, and its success could be thanks to Sunday sermons. We'll explain why in our Pop Lead coming up.


TAPPER: Welcome back to THE LEAD. I'm Jake Tapper.

Now it's time for the Money Lead. The Obama administration warned of dire consequences if sequestration or forced spending cuts took effect last spring. While the worst predictions such as four-hour long security lines at the airport did not live up to the hype, we have learned that for tens of thousands of preschool children, one doomsday prediction has come true. Head Start says it will have to cut more than 57,000 children from its program due to those federal budget cuts. This is after Head Start took steps to trim the budget, including pay cuts for workers. Head Start is, of course, an early childhood development program for low-income families. About one million children are enrolled nationwide. If someone can hack the page of the guy who created Facebook, what makes you think your super interesting status update about sitting in traffic can't get hacked, too? A Palestinian man out to prove Facebook's vulnerabilities found the perfect way to get the company's attention. He hacked Facebook CEO's Mark Zuckerberg's page. The man says he tried to reach out to the company about its security flaws, but the message never got through. So, he hacked into Zuckerberg's page and left a message directly on his wall about the hole. Facebook security team says after seeing the message, it fixed the flaw. No word whether the hacker will be rewarded with Candy Crush points.

TAPPER: Google has found a way to help you take vacation photos that other people would actually want to see. It's called Google Trekking and the images you capture will be used to expand Google's Street View database. We're not talking images of the corner store near grandma's house, but places where cars and even satellites can't get.



TAPPER (voice-over): No matter where you're traveling on vacation this summer, chances are Google has already been there.


TAPPER: Driving through, taking pictures and peering in from outer space.

But now, the omnipresent tech company is taking its cameras even further with this...


TAPPER: It's called the Google Trekker. And this summer, it's going where cars and satellites just cannot get to -- from the bottom of the Grand Canyon to the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.

SOUFI ESMAEILZADEH, PARTNER DEVELOPMENT MANAGER, GOOGLE MAPS: The cars wouldn't allow us to go everywhere that we wanted to go.

TAPPER (on camera): Like here.


TAPPER: You can't drive here on -- between the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument.

(voice-over): On this day, Matt, a full-time trekker, is mapping the National Mall. While he was at it, I spoke with Soufi Esmaeilzadeh. She's a partner development manager for Google Maps.

(on camera): You want the whole world accessible as -- or at least as much as you can get?

ESMAEILZADEH: As much as we can get. I mean that's our goal. TAPPER (voice-over): This June, Google launched a pilot program to get more imagery for less money, inviting third parties like tourism boards and non-profits to work as explorers. All you have to do is fill out the application online, tell Google what new ground you want to cover and hope for a phone call.

ESMAEILZADEH: It allows users to discover places in the world that they may never have the opportunity to go to. Our goal is to build the most comprehensive map.

TAPPER: The Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau was among the first to sign up, helping Google get better images of its off-the-beaten- track beaches. But as Google knows, some places, like this blob in the Netherlands, or this oddly blurred patch in Russia, well, they're not as welcoming as Lincoln is.

(on camera): How do you take in the concerns for national security, for privacy?

ESMAEILZADEH: Um-hmm. So the places that we go, we do go to public places that we can access. We also go to places that do require permissions to come. And so we work closely with our partners to ensure that we get the right permissions and place to come. And we also work with them to know which are the areas that they want us to capture versus which are the areas that may be more sensitive.

TAPPER: Some of the parts of the White House grounds, those 18 acres, are not as crisp as other parts.

ESMAEILZADEH: We actually do our blurring based on user feedback that we've received. Interestingly enough, we've actually done a 360 degree image we collect of the interior of the White House.

TAPPER (voice-over): As I said, they're everywhere. And I wanted to know what they're seeing.

(on camera): Yes, it's comfortable having this enormous alien on my back.

(voice-over): Yes, this was a bit different from my regular camera.

(on camera): It's 40 pounds on your back.

(voice-over): So for now, I'll leave the rest of the trek to the professionals.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The eighth eight. (ph)


TAPPER: The footage of the National Mall will not be available for a few months. It has to be sent back to the Google campus in California where all the still images are stitched together to create the 360 degree views we all know and love.

Coming up on THE LEAD, one day he will be king, but for now Prince George is acting like every other newborn on the planet and Prince William is telling our own Max Foster about what it's like to be his dad.

Plus why were so many die-hard "Breaking Bad" fans calling 911 last night? Our pop lead is ahead.


TAPPER: Welcome back to THE LEAD. He may be third to the throne, but it's clear Prince George is already calling the shots at the Royal palace. For the first time since the Royal baby's much anticipated arrival, Prince William is now opening up about his newborn son and all the joys and royal pains of being a new in dad.

He sat down with CNN's Royal correspondent Max Foster at Kensington Palace for a one-on-one to talk about fatherhood and that moment when he and his wife brought their son out of the hospital and into a media frenzy.


PRINCE WILLIAM: I think more shock and dauntingness is the feeling I felt. The thing is I think I was on such a high anyway and so was Katherine about George that really we were happy to show him off to whoever wanted to see him. As any parent knows, you're only too happy to show off your child and proclaim he's the best looking or best everything.

MAX FOSTER, CNN ROYAL CORRESPONDENT: You were comfortable there.

PRINCE WILLIAM: Yes. It's not something I'm comfortable doing, but it's something I'm required to do. I think it's nice that people want to see George. I'm just glad he wasn't screaming his head off the whole way through.

FOSTER: That moment you came out with the car seat, we had some warning you might be doing that. Fathers around the planet will be cursing you for doing it so easily.

PRINCE WILLIAM: Believe me, it wasn't my first time. I know there's been speculation about that. I had to practice. I was terrified it was going to fall off or wasn't going to close properly so I had practiced before.

FOSTER: When are you going back to work?

PRINCE WILLIAM: As you might know, I'm looking forward to getting back to sleep. He's rather a rascal. He either reminds me of me or my brother. He does like to have his nappy change.

FOSTER: Did you do his first nappy?

PRINCE WILLIAM: Badge of honor. I had every midwife staring at me going you do it, you do it. He's growing quite quickly. He's a little fighter. He wriggles around a lot, doesn't want to get in his seat that much. FOSTER: So you're up a lot at night.

PRINCE WILLIAM: Not as much as Katherine but he's doing great. I would like to sleep more and not change his nappy as much.


TAPPER: And Max Foster, joins us now live from New York. Max, great story. Did you get the sense from speaking with him that the reality of fatherhood is still settling for the prince?

FOSTER: Yes, absolutely. He was exhausted. He was emotional. You know, he was still very elated. This sort of mood, you'll recognize it, Jake, after your first child. You're still addressing really what it means to you, how you've changed. And I think, you know, it's apparent that he is doing everything himself with his wife. They are not using their army of staff. He's a hands-on dad so he's getting a sense of fatherhood like anyone else would feel it.

TAPPER: I do want to ask you about another royal story making headlines. There was this shocking report involving Princess Diana. Some media outlets are claiming her death in 1997 was no accident, that she was killed by elite British soldiers. I never know how seriously take reports from some of the tabloids overseas. What can you tell bus this report and how is the palace responding?

FOSTER: No response from the palace. But there was a big inquest, a huge investigation and they concluded there was no conspiracy theory here. It was the photographers and the driver to blame. But there have been conspiracy theories ever since that haven't been investigated. What's important this time around is that the police are looking at it so they do think they could potentially be something in it. So people may be dismissive of this as a conspiracy idea but actually the police are looking at it so we do have to take it seriously.

TAPPER: Thanks so much. Congratulations on your interview. If you want to catch more of max foster's interview, check into a special CNN documentary, "Prince William's Passion, New Father, New Hope" it airs Sunday, September 15th at 10:00 p.m. Eastern right here on CNN.

Coming up next, sure, "The Butler" has an all-star cast but was it one marketing ploy that pushed it to the lead at the Box Office this weekend?


TAPPER: Welcome back to THE LEAD. It's time for the pop culture lead. It's a film inspired by the life of a man who served eight sitting presidents in its opening weekend "The Butler" cleaned house. The film came in at number one, raking in $25 million. A lot of its success is credited not only to early Oscar buzz, but to a big push within African-American churches. The filmmakers made special trailers targeting African-American faith-based groups, which include scripture passages and inspirational quotes from the cast and crew. Also debuting at the Box Office last weekend, "Kick Ass 2," but the movie did quite not live up to its name, came in third place with $19 million in earnings. If there was any doubt left that "Breaking Bad" is not as addictive as the crystal meth, this should settle it. Apparently people in Connecticut started calling 911 when their cable went out while watching "Breaking Bad" last night.

The show returned the week before with a record 5.9 million viewers apparently not all of them geniuses. The Fairfield Police Department posted a reminder on Facebook that 911 is only for emergencies. A dramatic story does not count on one on basic cable. Some even reached now to their state senator.

So never was a story of more woe than this of Juliet and her Romeo. A Broadway version of "Romeo and Juliet" is making headlines for injecting race into the classic Shakespearian drama. The musical "West Side Story" did that 50 years ago, but they didn't have Orlando Bloom as Romoe. The play opens in September.

That's it for THE LEAD. I'm Jake Tapper. I now turn you over to Brianna Keilar in "THE SITUATION ROOM." She is filling in for Wolf Blitzer. Ms. Keilar, take it away.