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THE LEAD WITH JAKE TAPPER

Technical Glitch Halts Nasdaq Trading; Rubio Heads To Hollywood; Yahoo! Beats Google In Web Traffic In July; "The Best Bang For The Buck"; Ashton Kutcher Wins Over GOP; Aussie's "Hearts Bleed" After Shooting; Nixon's Comments On Blacks, Jews

Aired August 22, 2013 - 16:30   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back to THE LEAD.

Now, it's time for the money lead. If only the IT people could just unplug the machine and plug it back in again. That works wonders at my home, but apparently, not on Wall Street. A technical glitch shut down the NASDAQ today and stopped trading for more than three hours, just this afternoon. Big stocks like Apple, Microsoft, frozen. Things got back up and running around 3:30 Eastern and the Nasdaq finished up 38 points. Market officials say the problem was with a security system. They're not getting too specific. The market is so automated now that one hiccup can crash everything. The last time Wall Street experienced technical difficulties like this was last year during Facebook's bumpy IPO, remember that?

Yesterday on the show, we referred to Google as our overlords. But is this really becoming the age of Yahoo!? New figures show that Yahoo's web site had more U.S. web traffic than Google last month. That hasn't happened in over two years. Now there are reports that Yahoo! is in talks to pair up with Four Square. You know, that app where you share where you're eating or hanging out because all your friends are dying to know where you are every waking moment. This all happened under the leadership of CEO Marissa Meyer, shown here in a photo shoot with "Vogue" magazine. She took over the reigns just last year. So is Meyer bringing Yahoo to the top of the herd?

Let's bring in Jessi Hempel, she is senior writer for "Fortune" magazine. Jesse, thanks for being here. How big a deal is this claim of Yahoo! having more traffic here in the U.S.?

JESSI HEMPEL, SENIOR TECH WRITER, "FORTUNE" MAGAZINE: Well, it's certainly a big deal, particularly for Yahoo! because you'll remember when Marissa took over the job as CEO about a year and a month ago, Yahoo! was nowhere. It had really been lost. Jake, it's important to talk about what this is not, in order to understand it. These figures suggest that Yahoo! had a really good month in July and that it was more popular than Google on desktops in the United States. Now, we know that increasingly people are surfing the web from their mobile devices and surfing the wood all over the world. Google, if you use the word overlord, it's safe a word to use when you're thinking about the broader context here.

TAPPER: So they're picking and choosing. HEMPEL: It's a big deal, Jake. I don't want to suggest that it's not. Because it suggests that Yahoo! is coming back and I think anybody who signed up for a Yahoo! e-mail account back in 2002 and then wondered for the last ten years why Yahoo! started getting worse and worse and worse is excited to see maybe the Yahoo! experience might be coming back.

TAPPER: How much this much do we credit to the new CEO, Marissa Meyer?

HEMPEL: I would say all of it. Marissa's strength is product and she's a real leader. And Yahoo! was a company in search of a new leader. She got there and began aggressive acquiring and focusing the team there. I think we're beginning to see the outcome of that now.

TAPPER: Thank you very much, Jessi Hempel. Great stuff.

Coming up on THE LEAD, as college costs soar, President Obama puts his foot down. But will the government ranking system really change anything?

And fresh off a meeting with billionaire Mark Zuckerberg, Senator Marco Rubio heads to Beverly Hills to ask for a little of that Hollywood cash. Can the Republican senator be able to pull in the money his Democratic rivals do?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

TAPPER: Welcome back to THE LEAD. It's time for the Politics Lead. So long summer vacation, hello astronomical tuition rates. With students across the country preparing to head back to school, President Obama is out on a bus tour addressing the problem of weighty college loans and the rising price of higher education. His new plan is to create a government rating system that ranks colleges and universities, not in terms of the best places to party.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: What we want to do is rate them on who's offering the best value so students and taxpayers get a bigger bang for their buck.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TAPPER: Ultimately with congressional approval, the White House wants to link those ratings to financial aid, a move the administration hopes to make happen by 2013 and congressional approval being key there. CNN's Chris Cuomo, the anchor of "NEW DAY" is out on the road with the president in Syracuse, New York, will be interviewing him about all of this and more tonight to air tomorrow morning.

Chris, tell us more about this plan. I know college tuition is a big issue for you that you cover all the time on "NEW DAY." Can Mr. Cuomo hear me? Apparently, we're having some technical difficulties. Chris, can you hear me? We lost Chris Cuomo. We'll come back to Chris Cuomo. And if we don't, you should watch his interview with President Obama tomorrow morning. We have him now.

CHRIS CUOMO, ANCHOR, CNN'S "NEW DAY": The main message is about college affordability. But the message is as much about congress as it is about college. Why? There are two big prongs about the plan. The first is to make colleges --

TAPPER: All right, we're having some technical difficulties. Upstate New York sometimes brings the worst in our satellite servers. Coming up next, call it an inconvenient analogy -- we're going to go right to the panel now. At this point, everyone knows how former Vice President Al Gore feels about climate change, but some were a little taken aback by what he thinks of those who disagree with him.

In an interview with the "Washington Post," Gore compared people he describes as climate deniers with, quote, "an alcoholic father who flies into a rage every time a subject is mentioned so everybody avoids the elephant in the room to keep the peace." That comment has some temperatures rising.

Let's bring in our panel, Dana Milbank, columnist for the "Washington Post," Carly Fiorina, former chairman and CEO of Hewlett-Packard and Olivier Knox, White House correspondent for Yahoo! News. I want to read more of what Gore had to say about the Climate Change Movement, quote, "I remember as a boy when the conversation on civil rights was won in the south, the same thing happened on apartheid, the same thing on the nuclear arms race, the same this evening happened in an earlier era with abolition. Carly, is this hurting or helping him?

CARLY FIORINA, FORMER SENIOR ECONOMIC ADVISER TO SENATOR MCCAIN: I think his name calling is hurting and I think Al Gore is hurting things now. I think there are many people who suspect this is more about Al Gore than it is about global warming. I think anybody who is serious about global warming needs to be complete and factual in their assessment, which is to say all of the scientists agree this is going to take a sustained global effort costing trillions of dollars. There is no silver bullets are there is no perfect solution. We have to have a rational conversation with the American people about what this actually will take. So far I don't think we are and I don't think Al Gore has been helping us have this conversation.

TAPPER: Mr. Milbank?

DANA MILBANK, COLUMNIST, "THE WASHINGTON POST": Well, there are many things that Al Gore does that makes me want to sigh.

TAPPER: That's an old school reference.

MILBANK: That's very old. In his defense, he's not killing the effort on global warming because it's dead already. I see no movement at all in terms of legislation here in Washington and I think people are in a way pivoting towards forget about trying to stop the thing, it's already too late, people are starting to pivot tow towards trying to fix it.

TAPPER: Are you optimistic, Olivia? Do you think something -- the way that Mr. Gore is about whether or not something will happen in Congress, can anything get through?

OLIVIER KNOX, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, "YAHOO NEWS": We're going to know a lot more about that in September. There's a House committee on mega climate. They're invited everybody area that touches something on climate change and global change.

TAPPER: Carly, where do you come down on the subject? I remember this being a point of contention when you ran against Senator Barbara Boxer. You said something about you were focused on jobs and Boxer was focused on the weather. Do you believe man is causing climate change?

FIORINA: Well, I think it is a distinct possibility, although there are a minority of scientists who do not believe it's the case. Let's say it real. It's also true that the scientific community is in agreement that a single state acting alone will have no difference. A single country acting alone will make no difference. That the best way to make a difference is to get the two biggest act so for those people who believe it's true and I'm willing to stipulate for the sake of argument --

TAPPER: Are you one of them?

FIORINA: Probably. When the bulk of scientific evidence comes down on that side I'm prepared to say, yes, we're probably having an impact. But then let's being realistic about what it takes. My view is the Obama administration, the best thing they could do is not to get all hung up on whether a pipeline is contributing to global warming, but instead to engage in a sustained conversation with the nation of China about what it is we're going to do. And, second, to encourage innovation to solve this problem because ultimately it's not by shutting down oil that we're going to solve a problem, it's by innovation. It won't be wind turbines that solve it either.

TAPPER: The three of us have been in the White House press corps and have covered international summits where the White House goes under Bush and Obama, trying to do something, get China or India, the other partner they have difficulty with and finding them even more recalcitrant than house Republicans. But Carly has a point the United States can't do it alone.

MILBANK: No. I think this is a clear sign that Carly's out of politics because she's making complete sense right now.

FIORINA: Come on, Dana, I said all the same thing during my campaign.

MILBANK: I'm teasing you, you were always sensible. That's not what we're hearing on the Hill. Al Gore was maybe hyperbolic about the alcoholics. International conference, they can't agree on bicycle sharing. We're not going to get anywhere on that.

TAPPER: Marco Rubio is headed to Hollywood for a fundraiser. A meeting with Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. I think a lot of people hear Marco Rubio is going to Beverly Hills to raise money, isn't that liberal Democratic --

KNOX: Not necessarily so. He's likely going to be running for president in 2016 and he's going to need money to do it.

TAPPER: Dana, Rubio was one of the first Tea Party candidates, the former speaker of the Florida House, got elected to the Senate from Florida and this is not a Tea Party --

MILBANK: I'm sure the Beverly Hills Tea Party is ecstatic about this.

TAPPER: That's actually a tea party, really old rich ladies drinking tea.

FIORINA: Let's watch our stereotypes here, guys.

TAPPER: Then what would we talk about?

MILBANK: What's happening is important. Marco Rubio, they're basically hanging him in effigy in the Tea Party right now. Literally at a rally that I went to, as if he's President Obama, but he is pivoting in a way. He's representing what's left of the mainstream establishment of Republicans. He's a deft fundraiser and savvy politician. Now this isn't going to help him a lot in Republican primaries, but the fact he could bring in the bucks and have a broad appeal, this could definitely help.

TAPPER: Miss Fiorina, very briefly, you know some of these people actually were fundraisers for you for your race. Are these, you know, rock ribbed conservative Republicans or are these more what might be called a squish Republicans. People who are liberal on social issues, but just don't want their taxes raised?

FIORINA: Yes, there are some splits, but it's not quite as dramatic as the media would like it to be. There a lot of Republicans in California who will welcome Marco Rubio with open arms. Some of them are what you would call rock rib conservatives and some are more moderate, but I think they understand that Marco Rubio has the opportunity to appeal to the conservative wing of the party and he is pivotal in immigration reform and they want immigration reform.

TAPPER: All right, fantastic. Carly Fiorina, Dana Milbank, Olivier Knox, thank you.

Coming up on THE LEAD, conservative Republicans having a political bromance with Demi Moore's ex. Ashton Kutcher is not exactly Clint Eastwood or Ted Nugent so how did that happen?

And in the Buried Lead, newly released tapes show President Richard Nixon was ahead of his time, but not in a good way. That's coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

TAPPER: Welcome back to THE LEAD. Now it's time for our Pop Culture Lead. He's a member of the Hollywood elite who once blamed Republicans for the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. His post movie rolls include a stoner, an assassin, and a sex-crazed drifter. Yet somehow, Ashton Kutcher is the new darling of the most conservative wing of the GOP. Don't worry this is not the result of some butterfly effect phenomenon. No one traveled back in time and transformed "dude, where's my car" in a good movie. It turns out the GOP's sudden Team Kutcher attitude has something to do with a speech he gave at, of all places, the Teen Choice Awards.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MITT ROMNEY: A record is real and take hard work.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The value of hard work --

TAPPER (voice-over): Hard work, effort, a favorite conservative applause line.

SARAH PALIN: Values, hard work.

TAPPER: And a classic mantra for success, recently championed by Ashton Kutcher.

ASHTON KUTCHER: And I never quit my job until I had my next job.

TAPPER: The Hollywood star gave this speech at the Nickelodeon Teen Choice Awards earlier this month.

KUTCHER: So opportunities look a lot like work.

TAPPER: And to some viewers his words looked a lot like a golden ticket to the GOP's good side, cue Rush Limbaugh.

RUSH LIMBAUGH: What he said could have been written by me.

TAPPER: And Glen Beck on "The Blaze."

GLEN BECK: What's he's saying is the American position.

TAPPER: Sarah Palin put this tribute to Kutcher on her Facebook page. Are we being punked? Kutcher, the truck are hat trend setter who created "Punked," he's best known for cranks and his role as Kelso on that 70s show. He reigns as primetime's highest paid actor. Unfortunately, for his newest fans, Kutcher gave $50,000 of those earnings to Democratic campaigns last year. But that's not all. The Iowa native who separated from Demi Moore is also a successful investor. His backing of new tech startups has reaped rewards.

KUTCHER: I try to invest in companies that solve problems for real people.

TAPPER: In 2011, Kutcher starred A grade investments. His other business, catalyst, is a media content creator and wound up on fast company's top ten companies. This year alone, he's earned $24 million according to Forbes and it's only August. So maybe we should all listen up.

KUTCHER: I've never had a job in my life that I was better than. I was always just lucky to have a job.

TAPPER: Study up, work hard, good advice, whether you're liberal or conservative. (END VIDEOTAPE)

TAPPER: The cheerleading on Kutcher's behalf comes at a good time for the actor. His latest movie based on the Apple co-founder Steve Jobs just bombed at the Box Office so he could probably use a little moral support.

It wasn't a matter of if but a matter of when "Law & Order" would do its take on the Trayvon Martin case, but in classic SVU fashion, there's a twist. And Cybil Shepard will be in episodes that will tackle issues of race head on and there will be references to New York's controversial stop & frisk policy.

Coming up next, he was once admonished for feeding Bill Clinton illegal foods and now admissions he lied to the president about what he was really eating.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

TAPPER: Welcome back to THE LEAD. In more national news, they allegedly shot and killed an Australian student because they were bored. Now we're learning that before that bizarre shooting, 15-year- old suspect James Edwards said on Twitter that he and his friends were, quote, "ready to take some lives" and said, quote, "90 percent of white people are nasty" and in a video, he's seen showing off a rifle.

The victim was a 23-year-old baseball player living in Oklahoma. I will talk to the Australian ambassador to the United States in the 6:00 p.m. Eastern hour about these troubling new details.

In the Buried Lead, the Nixon presidential library has released the last set of his White House audiotapes. We start with a dubious little gem in 1973. Here's Nixon on black people governing Jamaica.

But, wait, there's more. He was also afraid Jews would cause problems with an upcoming summit in the Soviet Union.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PRESIDENT NIXON: It's going to be the worst thing that could happen, if they torpedo the summit, it might go down for other things.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TAPPER: Interesting note about that one, talking to Henry Kissinger -- who is Jewish?

Believe it or not, out there someone was even slicker than Slick Willy in the White House, the presidential chef. Marty Mangiello tells "The Washington Post" he used to sneak healthy alternatives for cream and cheese into low-fat meals. He once got called out by then First Lady Hillary Clinton for serving her husband too many fatty foods. If you think it's bad for a chef to deceive a sitting president, to that I say it depends on what the meaning of is. That's it for THE LEAD. I'll be back at 6 p.m., but I turn you over to Jessica Yellin, who is filling in for Wolf Blitzer in "THE SITUATION ROOM" -- Jessica.