Return to Transcripts main page
THE LEAD WITH JAKE TAPPER
Plotting Against The Tea Party; Obama Thanks "Responsible Republicans"; Video Released On Kenya Mall Attack; Glitches Plague Obamacare Rollout; NFL Pink Sales Under Scrutiny; Own Stock In Your Favorite Player
Aired October 17, 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 HOST: That he might be driving up no votes by even putting his blessing on the deal.
DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. And I think the bigger problem today, now that the sun is up is that they saw the remarks that he made this morning as equally not helpful.
TAPPER: Responsible Republicans, that line?
BASH: Well, not just that, that, but also really a lecture. They saw it as a classic Obama lecture, not an olive branch, not a time to sort of stay let's take a breath, unite. I've also talked to some Republicans who say we deserve it. He deserves 24 hours to gloat because they feel like this was such a bad strategy and again, these are Republicans talking.
But I really do think that just in talking to several Republicans today, who have some clout in the House caucus, that the irony of this is that this might actually break the dam and it might make it easier for them, the people who call themselves pragmatic Republicans in the House caucus, to work along party lines and give Boehner the power to work across party lines.
Because he fought the good fight and he's got the trust now of people who maybe didn't trust him before and now see that it was not a good idea to do what he did.
TAPPER: Joe, where do you see this going?
JOE LOCKHART, FORMER CLINTON WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: I agree, there is an opportunity here. I mean, John Boehner is still speaker today. I think if you had asked the question two or three weeks ago if he made the Republican Party walk the plank and break the Hastert rule and side with Democrats, I think a lot of people thought he would be putting his speakership on the line and he did and is still speaker today.
If you look at the last time we did this, 1995, look at 1996, a period of really important legislative accomplishments, bipartisan, Democrats on welfare reform, health care, raising the minimum wage --
TAPPER: Balanced budgets. LOCKHART: Yes, balanced budgets. So we have the possibility here, there still is a fight that has to be resolved within the caucus because even today, it's not clear what lessons were learned within the Republican Party. We're going to find that out.
TAPPER: Governor, final thought?
TIM PAWLENTY, PRESIDENT AND CEO, FINANCIAL SERVICES ROUNDTABLE: Well, there's a number of lessons learned. One is when you bluff and your bluff gets called and you don't have the cards, it's embarrassing. Number two, if you're going to negotiate a put a stake in the ground and say I'll do something dramatic unless X happens and you don't do something dramatic, again, it doesn't look so good.
The Republican Party is going to go through a sorting out process but keep in mind, the energy and I think the media misunderstands is at the grassroots level, leans now libertarian, leans --
TAPPER: But rather than putting labels on people, saying look, it's the crazy group, x, y or z or the tea party this or libertarians that, why don't we just talk about the issues. One of their main concerns, as in artfully as they sometimes present it, is what are we going to do about these structural spending problems?
That's not a crazy proposition. That is not a crazy question. It's a legitimate question. Instead of throwing labels around, let's talk about the issues and what really needs to get fixed.
TAPPER: All right. Governor, Joe, Dana, thank you so much. We really appreciate it.
Coming up, the White House still won't tell us how many people have enrolled in Obamacare through their web site, healthcare.gov. Now those numbers are trickling in from other sources. We have the latest figures in the bumpy rollout.
And he was heading for a meeting with the prince when officials showed up at his door. How Wimbledon champ, Andy Murray's weird day almost made him late. Stay with us.
TAPPER: Welcome back to THE LEAD. In our World Lead, when terrorists attacked the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya last month the only way to understand what happened was from the stories of survivors. CNN has obtained access to some of the mall surveillance video. Much of what we are about to show you is graphic, frightening and painful to watch. It is not suitable for children. Remove them from the room right now.
We are reporting on the videos because there are few opportunities for the public to fully understand the horror inflicted by terrorists, to see the depravity of the attackers and how these killers showed no hesitation about ending life. We have been going through hours and hours of this video and share these terrifying images from the first moments of the attack.
CNN's Nima Elbagir has been going through hours and hours of this video and shares these terrifying images from the first moments of the attack.
NIMA ELBAGIR, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Shoppers at Westgate Mall. This is the scene moments before the al Shabaab attack. Suddenly, men, women and children begin to run for their lives. This man on the floor thought he had found safety. Wounded, he gathers the strength to try and crawl for help. Another gunman returns without mercy.
The security cameras spotted two other attackers making their way to the top parking lot, walking towards the children's cooking competition held there. Just beyond the camera's view, they open fire. This edited silent video obtained by CNN shows what happened during the attack in Nairobi on September 21st.
As the attackers go through the mall, you see people desperate, trying to run and crawl to safety as bullets streak by. A body on the floor gets barely a glance, and another bullet. This is only a fraction of the surveillance video recorded during this day, most of it too horrifying to broadcast.
In the supermarket, the hostage roundup has begun. A mother and her two children push an injured child in a shopping cart. A teenage girl follows her hands in the air. She's bloody. A gunman points the way.
Kenyan authorities say they closely watched the security cameras as the attack was happening. The hostage takers are spotted on the phone. Authorities believe they are receiving instructions from outside the mall.
Here, one of them even appears to look for surveillance cameras. Only four attackers are seen in the video. There are long periods of time where they appear almost relaxed. At one point, the attackers take turns for prayers.
Elsewhere in a mall restaurant, a western man, gun in hand in what appears to be a plain clothed Kenyan police officer take position to try to protect the staff and customers cowering behind the counter. This was just the first day of what would become a four-day nightmare for Kenya. Nima Elbagir, CNN, Nairobi.
TAPPER: Incredible reporting from Nima Elbagir, one small piece of good news in this. The mother pushing the shopping cart and all the children seen with her in the surveillance video, including the teenage girl, were released by the terrorists.
Wolf Blitzer is here from "THE SITUATION ROOM." Wolf, you and I have covered a lot of terrorist attacks before. This is shocking video. WOLF BLITZER, HOST, CNN'S "THE SITUATION ROOM": Because it's shocking to all of us here in the United States, because it looks like any mall that you could go to Montgomery Mall outside of Washington or Potomac City Mall or any mall in the D.C. area or anyplace, it looks like a mall in the United States.
You just think you're going there in the afternoon, young kids are there, you're doing some shopping and all of a sudden, terrorists come in and start killing people. And you immediately start worrying could what happened in Nairobi at that beautiful mall happen at a mall here in the United States.
TAPPER: Unfortunately, it could. Tell us what you have coming up on "THE SITUATION ROOM."
BLITZER: We will be following up on this day after the government reopens. Good news, people are going back to work. They are going to get paid. Stuff that's really important is going to be done. The National Institutes of Health right outside of Washington, 80 percent of the folks who were working on infectious diseases, were furloughed, furloughed. And it's good that they're back at work, but are we going to go through it again in January.
TAPPER: Wolf Blitzer, we will look forward to that. Thank you so much.
When we come back, a technological hiccup or major failure? The Obamacare rollout is being called a train wreck by critics. So how does the man who helped plan the launch explain the issues? Coming up.
TAPPER: Welcome back to THE LEAD. I'm Jake Tapper. In other national news, the word glitch has been used by the White House to explain the difficulties Americans have had accessing the centrepiece of the affordable care act, Obamacare, healthcare.gov. Glitch, glitch doesn't quite capture the frustrations of the consumers who have spent hours upon hours to no avail trying to register for health insurance, which they are now mandated to have.
The administration says the site has had 17 million unique visitors since it went live on October 1st, but White House officials refuse to say how many of those folks have actually succeeded in signing up for health insurance. They won't give those numbers until the middle of next month. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius acknowledged that the rollout has not been ideal.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KATHLEEN SEBELIUS, SECRETARY OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES: I'll be the first to tell you that the website launch was rockier than we would have liked.
(END VIDEO CLIP) TAPPER: Joining me now is Gail Wilensky, former Medicare director during the George H.W. Bush administration, also a board member of United Health Group and Aneesh Chopra, former chief technology officer for the Obama White House. Welcome to both of you.
Aneesh, I want to start with you. The Obama campaign and the Obama administration are so well known for being on the cutting edge of technology. Your job did not exist at the White House before you had it, yet the biggest rollout of something that requires expertise when it comes to the web, and it is not going well, to say the least.
Why didn't he use people like you, people like the people who ran his data mining and internet during the campaign and what exactly is going wrong?
ANEESH CHOPRA, FORMER WHITE HOUSE CHIEF TECHNOLOGY OFFICER: Well, let me begin, I'm very confident there's a great group of people working this issue right now. Look, the nature of the problem --
TAPPER: I'm not, by the way.
CHOPRA: That's fair. Fair enough. Look, the nature of the problem is relatively well-defined. They expected about 60,000 people to sign up for an account at roughly the exact same time. That's a lot of people. They ended up getting about 250,000 people signing up for an account at the exact same time. That significant increase essentially overwhelmed the system leading to the glitches.
The good news is we're not inventing a new form of physics. We're simply addressing the problem that's been identified. They are looking to find ways to expand that capacity at that account creation step. It will be resolved over the next several weeks. I'm very confident of that. Hopefully, this will be a footnote in the challenges when we look back on the process.
TAPPER: Gail, this problem is not limited to the federal exchanges. Some states have set up their own Obamacare web sites and people have had trouble logging on. What do you think is going on?
GAIL WILENSKY, ECONOMIST: Well, I want to make a slight addendum to what Aneesh just said. There clearly was a volume issue. It would be great if that were the only problem that's been uncovered at least according to a lot of other I.T., independent I.T. experts, it's been software issues in addition to not knowing what the volume was going to be.
There is also a policy decision. The administration made early on that has incredibly increased the burden on the system. Normally, if you want to go online and buy something, you can browse anonymously, decide whether or not you are interested and then go through the process of providing personal information.
The administration made the decision that they didn't want people to look at options unless they also had the subsidy that they would receive available to them, they were afraid of sticker shock.
TAPPER: Let's get Aneesh to response to that.
CHOPRA: Maybe a friendly amendment back to Gail. Let me make this very clear. At the same time the administration launched healthcare.gov, within a day, they had a website called data.healthcare.gov that would allow anyone in the private sector, media organization, non-profit, to take the raw file of every plan and every price and present it to the American people as open information.
There was nothing about that was meant to be hidden. So that information was made available. Now, the government itself on healthcare.gov obviously primarily was about making sure that the right person was given the right information and I will also say, as soon as this criticism had come out, it didn't even take a day or two, you can today anonymously shop on healthcare.gov, kind of reflecting this nimble response.
TAPPER: The administration is refusing to give the numbers of how many people have signed up, how many people are enrolled. Originally they said they didn't have the data. Now they seem to have it, they just don't want to share it until the middle of November. That seems to suggest that very few people are enrolling and they are waiting for the number to increase.
CHOPRA: Look, the commitment was there on transparency. A lot of information is available at data.healthcare.gov and you will see the numbers every month as have been committed. Take a look at the "The Washington Post" yesterday did a study looking at some of these Nielsen-like services on the internet based on what was reported in "The Post" over one million accounts have been created.
Seven million people were anticipated to buy health insurance through the exchanges. If a million on the federal site have already set up the account, that's a pretty big number in just the first week or two.
TAPPER: We don't know that yet, though.
CHOPRA: Not officially but that had been reported.
TAPPER: Gail, some Republicans, including Senator Pat Roberts of Kansas, who has had a somewhat friendly relationship with the secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen sebelius, a former governor from that state, are now calling for her resignation because of the failure of this web site to perform up to I think everybody's expectations, including President Obama's. Do you think that she should resign?
WILENSKY: I think it's premature to have a decision of that nature. If it turns out it is harder and longer to fix the technical issues that have plagued the federal exchange than now is clear, it would be comparable in the private sector to having a very major botched rollup of the most important activity and entity undertaking. If not resigning, some serious reduction in stature and status would normally accompany that kind of a botched rollup.
TAPPER: All right, Gail Wilensky, Aneesh Chopra, thank you so much. Coming up next, players wearing pink in support of breast cancer, but is the NFL putting its money where its mouth is? New questions about just how much the league is giving to the American Cancer Society from sales of its pink merchandise. That's coming up.
TAPPER: The sports lead now. If you've watched any NFL games the past couple weeks, you may have noticed players sporting gloves and shoes that look like they were ripped out of Barbie's closet. The league is pushing pink throughout October, not just on the field but with its merchandising to increase breast cancer awareness, and to raise money for the American Cancer Society.
But some eyebrows have been raised over the question of just how much of the proceeds actually make their way to the American Cancer Society. Here's the breakdown. If an NFL pink product sells for $100, half of that wholesale value will go to the retailer, so that's 50 bucks. The NFL then takes 25 percent royalty fee from the retailer, which means the league gets $12.50. Then of that $12.50, 90 percent goes to the American Cancer Society, which in this scenario would be a total of $11.25.
The American Cancer Society says 100 percent of the proceeds it gets from the NFL is used for grant programs that provide outreach and cancer screenings for women nationwide and while that may sound like chump change compared to the hundred bucks, the non-profit says it gets an invaluable amount of exposure through its partnership with the NFL.
Pretty soon a bullish stock market might refer to the number of people who own shares of Chicago Bull Derrick Rose. A brokerage company is now offering fans a way to literally invest in their favorite players on Wall Street. Fantex Brokerage is rolling out the initial public offering for Houston Texans running back Arian Foster, who will get $10 million from the company in exchange for a 20 percent stake in his future earnings, including contracts and endorsements. That's up for grabs.
As creepy as that may sound to buy a piece of an athlete, this isn't the first time it's happened. Sugar Ray Leonard and golfer Rich Beame have also offered investors a chance to buy shares of their brands.
The queen waits for no one. But the Duke of Cambridge was left looking at his wristwatch by Wimbledon champion, Andy Murray, who won this year's championship at the Old England Club, nearly missed his appointment with Prince William today. Murray was about to take off for Buckingham Palace when drug testers showed up at his doorstep asking for, yes, a sample.
Thankfully, Murray made it and got this pic with the family in front of the palace. He and the prince are said to have chatted for about 50 seconds and they must have been speed talking because they covered everything from the tennis player's recent back surgery to William's subpar penmanship. That's it for THE LEAD. I'm Jake Tapper. I now turn you over to Wolf Blitzer in "THE SITUATION ROOM." I will be back here again 4:00 p.m. Eastern, 1:00 p.m. Pacific -- Wolf.
BLITZER: Jake, thanks very much. Happening now --
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: There's no good reason why we can't govern responsibly despite our differences without lurching from manufactured crisis to manufactured crisis.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: The federal government is now open, but President Obama says if it's going to stay open, there needs to be a lot more cooperation here in Washington. So can Congress get its act together before the next deadline?