CNN CNN


 

Return to Transcripts main page

THE LEAD WITH JAKE TAPPER

Jobs Report Underwhelms; Facebook Lifts Ban On Beheading Videos; YouTube Steps In As Music Mecca; Vick Most Hated NFL Player

Aired October 22, 2013 - 16:30   ET

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


JEREMY BASH, FORMER CHIEF OF STAFF, DEFENSE SECY. PANETTA: Well, that's a fair point. I think that's something that we should think about. But I think we should also think about the way these operations are conducted. And that is first of all, they are all on video and that actually promotes accountability. That allows us to take that video and show it to members of congress who oversee these operations.

And every single one of these operations, they have been briefed to our Congress and they have been briefed to those who oversee the operations and they can actually see the video.

The second thing that's important about the way these operations are conducted is that up to the very last moment, they can be called off. And I'm personally aware of operations where a woman or a child has walked into the shot, if you will, and actually the weapon has been diverted.

I don't know any other country, Jake, that would do that. No other country would take that level of care.

Now, this is combat and there have been several hundred operations. Have there been individuals who are not combatants who have been killed? President Obama has acknowledged that there have been but that's not our purpose, that's not our tactic and I think we try to do the best we can to prevent civilian casualties while protecting the United States.

JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: Mustafa, did you want to --

MUSTAFA QADRI, AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL: Yes, look, I mean, the problem again is this issue of we have to trust these people. We don't -- we don't challenge the fact that they are very professional, very mindful, thoughtful people working in these organizations.

But we can't just take the word of people. It's like you said yourself. If someone commits a crime, if someone, say a police officer in the heat of the moment kills someone, there is an investigation. There is -- potentially, it goes to the court. There needs to be that kind of level of accountability.

I agree with you. You know, the U.S. often has very high standards in terms of investigation. You know, the U.S. is the world's superpower. The world looks to the U.S. I come from Pakistan. You know, we are a country which has a lot of law issues. When the U.S. acts this way and people have told me that basically they now associate the conduct of the U.S. with al Qaeda and Taliban, we know there's a significant failure.

Just one other thing. Now, if these video feeds, the intelligence is so good, then there should be nothing to hide in terms of explaining what happened in these killings, other killings that have been investigated by human rights groups. If the U.S. has nothing to hide, then please show us.

TAPPER: All right. Mustafa Qadri from Amnesty International, Jeremy Bash, former chief of staff for the CIA and the Pentagon, thank you so much. We appreciate it. We will continue to cover this story and hope we can have you both back.

Let's check in on our political panel in the green room. Kevin Madden, changing subjects a little bit here, I want to show you the latest ad from one progressive group in Colorado who are trying to convince young people to enroll in Obamacare. Let's put that picture up. There it is. Three bros partying it up with the caption "Keg stands are crazy; not having insurance is crazier." Is that going to work on fraternity brothers out there?

KEVIN MADDEN, CNN POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR: You know, I got to tell you, Jake, having majored in keg stands myself in college, the answer is no. Maybe free beer coozies, that would be a better approach.

TAPPER: All right. Stick around for more of THE LEAD. We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

TAPPER: Welcome back to THE LEAD. The Politics Lead now. Senator Ted Cruz may be rubbing some of his fellow Republicans the wrong way here in Washington, D.C., but back in Texas, he's getting a hero's welcome.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: We all know that if we took on the Washington establishment, the establishment would fight back. And it's going to take time to change Washington, to turn this country around.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We love you, Ted!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TAPPER: It's actually been happening all over the lone star state. On Saturday in San Antonio, Cruz was greeted with a standing o by the Texas Federation of Republican Women.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CRUZ: Having spent the past month up in D.C., it is really great to be back in America. (APPLAUSE AND CHEERING)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TAPPER: So what will this all mean for the party when Ted Cruz comes back to town? Let's bring in the political panel. CNN political commentator and Republican strategist Kevin Madden. President of the Center for American Progress -- which by the way is celebrating its tenth anniversary this week, happy birthday -- Neera Tanden. And the editorial director for "National Journal" Ron Fournier.

So, Kevin, how worried is Republican leadership about Ted Cruz? He is getting bigger than ever out there in Texas where they grow things big.

MADDEN: Well, he is. I think the reason he's getting so much attention right now is there are so many Republican base voters who will reward the person or the movement that is most confrontational when it comes to confronting Obama and what they see as a march to the left.

And if the Iowa caucuses were held right now, Ted Cruz would walk away with it. It wouldn't even be a contest. And I don't think that -- receptions like he got down in Texas, all that does is embolden him. He's not - when they talk about this Republican establishment or the Washington establishment, he is thoroughly unconcerned with ingratiating himself with those folks. And I think he's going to continue to do this throughout his term in Congress, his term in the Senate.

TAPPER: Ron, as a practical matter, can you run for president if you have alienated the entire establishment of your party?

RON FOURNIER, EDITORIAL DIRECTOR, "NATIONAL JOURNAL": You can run for president. You can build an e-mail list. You can raise a lot of money. You can get great speaking fees. You can win a primary or two, and you are going to lose. And then you will join a long line of fringe candidates who make a career out of being a fringe candidate. I think that's what Senator Cruz is heading towards.

TAPPER: Neera, are Democrats just licking their chops when they look at this infighting going on?

NEERA TANDEN, PRESIDENT, CENTER FOR AMERICAN PROGRESS: I think Ted Cruz has been remarkably unhelpful to the Republican brand writ large if you look at the last month. The tactic of shutting down the government --

TAPPER: Not in Texas.

TANDEN: Not in Texas, but nationally. I think if you look at independent voters and how they're looking at the Republican Party, the party has taken a huge hit. So, I think the question going forward is are people thinking about the general election down the road, ever, or are they just thinking about the primary? If they're thinking about the primary, Ted Cruz seems to - I'll take Kevin's word that he's a strong voice. I think for a general election, he's obviously alienated and alienating to a lot of independent voters, which is the middle of the country.

TAPPER: Now, there are a lot of Democrats who are talking about the Tea Party and what damage it's wreaked upon the Republican Party. But take a look at this e-mail that Congressman Alan Grayson, a Democrat of Florida, sent to supporters yesterday, comparing the Tea Party to the KKK. Here's the picture. Pretty unforgiveable. We reached out to Grayson. He defended the image, given some of the racist attacks against President Obama.

Ron, is this helpful to the Democratic Party, or is this ultimately something that hurts -- I mean, is this helpful - well, who does this help?

FOURNIER: Whenever we sink this low in politics and draw that kind of analogy, it doesn't help anybody. It's just another example of the zero-sum game in politics. You can't condone that.

MADDEN: It's outrageous. And it is an example that there is -- neither party has a monopoly on extremism and using coarse language inside the political debate.

TANDEN: I mean, I obviously think that is unnecessary and wrong and he should apologize. But you know, there's not an equivalence between one member of Congress and the entire Tea Party and the language and rhetoric that's used. Obviously, rhetoric like that on either side is wrong and should be stopped. But I don't think we should just say the parties are equal and they have equal extremists, et cetera. I think over the last month you have seen that the Republican Party has adopted an agenda -- not as extreme as using anything like this -- but an agenda that's shut down the government over Obamacare is pretty extreme agenda.

MADDEN: Nobody wins with this type of language. And it doesn't do one thing to motivate a persuadable voter out there. This actually keeps the voters who have yet to be persuaded to even participate in it. That's what makes them stay home.

TAPPER: I mean, I'm not saying it's equivalent to anything. It's just a high-profile Democratic congressman who says controversial things and is accusing the Tea Party of being racist. And it comes at a time when the Tea Party is certainly in the news a lot, and Democrats are certainly talking about them being extremists and they are -- the public sees them as extremists.

TANDEN: Let me be the first to say that that -- you know, his language is wrong. He should say sorry for it. I think that that is wrong language, and that everyone in the political process should not condone language like this. Doesn't help anyone that people send out these e-mails and try to raise a lot of money by getting people angry instead of getting them more --

FOURNIER: To Neera's point, the fringe part of the Republican Party right now, there are so many of them doing so many outrageous things -- get out of the way. Let them do that. Let them be the idiots. I don't know why a Democrat would want to get in the way of the Tea Party hurting the Republican Party.

TAPPER: So, I want to play one bit of sound from senator John McCain, who says he's seriously considering running for another term in 2016, when he will turn 80 years old. He talked about it with KFYI A.M. in Phoenix.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: I'm seriously thinking about maybe giving another opportunity for you to vote for or against me in a few years from now. I'm seriously giving that a lot of thought.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

TAPPER: Kevin, surprised at all?

MADDEN: Not at all. I think that when you have been in the Senate as long as John McCain has and you have built this distinguished career as he has, he still thinks he has something to give to the process. Particularly now where he feels like he can be somebody who can bridge a lot of these different factions on the Republican Party and the Democrats.

TAPPER: In many ways we have the old John McCain back. He is somebody --

MADDEN: The question will be is can the old John McCain still get elected in Arizona?

TAPPER: We should also point out, because Ron, I know you know Roberta McCain, his mother, who is clearly north of 100 years old.

FOURNIER: Doing great.

TAPPERS: The McCains can live a very, very long time one way or the other. Where do you see John McCain going if he continues to run and is re-elected in 2016 at age 80?

FOURNIER: I'm not convinced he can get elected again. I do think he's got to worry about his right flank.

TAPPER: Really?

FOURNIER: Yes. He can live a long time but he might not get elected.

TAPPER: You think John McCain can be defeated in a primary?

FOURNIER: Oh, certainly. Oh, sure. We have seen very prominent, very able politicians get primaried. Especially on the right.

MADDEN: He has to tack back to the right in the last election.

TAPPER: He sure did. Build the danged fence, I think.

MADDEN: Now he's back in the middle. Can he go right back again and have any trust or credibility? TANDEN: Ted Cruz - I mean, Ted Cruz is like basically attacking John McCain every day for the position he took in ending the government shutdown.

TAPPER: Neera Tanden, Kevin Madden, Ron Fournier, thank you all so much.

Coming up next, if parents needed one more reason to limit their kids' Facebook time, well, they just got it. The social media site is now allowing extremely violent videos, including beheadings. How is Facebook defending that policy?

Plus, who do you think the most hated player in the NFL is? OK, we all know it's Michael Vick. Sorry to Eagles fans. But who's the second most hated? We would ask his fake girlfriend if she were still around. Sports Lead is ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

TAPPER: Welcome back to THE LEAD. The "Money Lead" now, the latest job numbers are, well, nothing to write home about and to show absolutely nothing has changed in Washington since the government shutdown, Democrats and Republicans wasted exactly no time blaming each other.

Employers added 148,000 new jobs last month, that's far lower than what economists had predicted. The White House today blamed the government shutdown for dealing a blow to economic stability. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi more bluntly stated quote, "The Republicans are at fault."

But Speaker John Boehner says look no farther than Obamacare to explain the lackluster job numbers. Nonpartisan economists say the impact of the shutdown actually will not be known until next month's report. They say while the job market has steadily been losing steam, the political bickering, well, is unlikely to help the situation.

You still can't go completely topless in a breast feeding photo on Facebook, but go ahead and post all the videos you want of people having their heads cut off. Facebook has announced its lifting its ban on violent videos including ones showing beheadings on a social network that allows anyone over 13 to have their own page.

It's the reversal of a ban the company put in place in May. Facebook says people should now be able to view and condemn such barbaric acts but is considering a warning system. They even have a world leader weighing in, British Prime Minister David Cameron called it an irresponsible move by Facebook.

Kids, you want to go to George Washington University some day? Well, you will need good grades, decent SAT scores, maybe some extracurriculars and the trust fund might help. Despite claiming to be quote, "need-blind" for years, George Washington University student newspaper, "The Hatchet" is now reporting that up to 10 percent of GW's roughly 22,000 applicants each year are wait listed not because they don't have the grades, but because they can't afford to pay GW's tuition, which is about $47,000 a year.

So what happens to the wait listed applicants? The vast majority get rejection letters and their spots go to wealthier students. We reached out to the university for a comment and were directed to this statement from the school's new senior associate provost, quote, "I believe using the phrase need aware better represents the totality of our practices than the phrase need blind." Nice scoop, "Hatchet" staff.

Coming up in the "Pop Culture Lead," it's launched music careers and brought us this epic rap battle between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, but now YouTube is getting in the award game. We'll look at the nominees, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

TAPPER: Welcome back to THE LEAD. Now it's time for the Pop Culture Lead. Back in my day, when you wanted to keep tabs on the hottest music, you turned to MTV to see which videos were making their world premiere or which ones made the top ten on TRL. Although it still calls itself music television, MTV nowadays is known more for teen moms and jersey shore and that weird internet phenomenon, catfishing.

So leave it to YouTube to pick up where music video channels left off. It's now not only the go-to place to see your favorite artists, but to learn about new ones and to further solidify itself as the new Mecca for music lovers. YouTube is hosting its first ever music awards show, where fans pick the winners.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

TAPPER (voice-over): It's the only reason anyone knows what Charlie did to his brother.

UNIDENTIFIED CHILD: Charlie bit me.

TAPPER: And for more than one billion, billion with a "b," users, it was the perfect way to learn Gangnam style. Talking about YouTube, of course, and now that it's captured the world's attention, the 8-year- old company has decided to host an awards show.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You decide who wins. It's all about you, the fans. This is a night for you.

TAPPER: The first ever YouTube Music Awards will be hosted by actor, Jason Schwartzman on November 3rd in New York City.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm hosting the YouTube Music Awards.

TAPPER: Why music you might ask? Well, because for the web site that launched Justin Bieber, music videos are gold.

MIKE SHIELDS, DIGITAL EDITOR, ADWEEK: A few years ago, the music video seemed like it was dead. MTV hasn't played them in years. YouTube really fostered a second generation of music video artists. You can argue that YouTube has really saved the art form, reinvented music videos.

TAPPER: Last night, nominees in six categories were announced, including viral videos from boy bands One Direction and Taylor Swift for artist of the year. But fan remixes also have a category, with nominees like this version of Taylor Swift's hit by a group called "Walk Off The Earth."

As for the awards shows musical guests, YouTube has abandoned its legions of hair brush hopefuls to stick with the mainstream acts that up its click count. Such as Lady Gaga whose newest video amassed more than 66 million views in its first six weeks on the site.

Eminem will be there, too, likely performing his 38 million click hit berserk and to keep its street cred intact, Indi favorite Arcade Fire will round out the lineup. The Grammys and MTV seem to have covered this territory with their own attention grabbers, but YouTube is trying to aim wider.

Taped performances by artists in Seoul, Moscow, London and Rio will precede YouTube's 90-minute live event in New York. And Spike Jones, who music video fans might know best for directing the beastie boys' pre-YouTube hit "Sabotage" will be calling all the shots.

SHIELDS: For the average person, YouTube is about short hits. YouTube is trying to create a different kind of use here, trying to get you to sit around for an hour and a half to watch an event. That's different than sitting around watching the Grammys on TV.

TAPPER: Need I even say, YouTube is planning to stream the entire event live online.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The play button from YouTube. I got one for real.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

TAPPER: Nominees were determined by their level of fan engagement and the amount of tweets, shares, views and comments garnered by the video.

Sorry, "Parks and Rec" fans, but the tiny fictional town is about to experience a different kind of government shutdown. NBC is pulling the sitcom for the rest of the year effective immediately. Starting this week it will be replaced by episodes of the voice and a Halloween show. Back-to-back episodes of the show will air in November, but then it's off the air again until next year. NBC has not revealed what the lineup change is about but there is speculation that the show is not drawing enough viewers to lead into the new Thursday night comedy "Sean Saves The World."

The Sports Lead now, he's been out of prison for more than four years, but don't think that means for a second Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick is out of the doghouse. According to "Forbes" magazine, he still tops the list as one of the NFL's most hated players. Vick spent 19 months behind bars for his admitted role in a dog fighting ring even though he's back in the league and getting new endorsement deals. More than half the respondents to a recent poll say they just plain don't like him. Also topping the list, San Diego Chargers rookie Manti Te'O, whose biggest blunder, of course, was falling for a fake girlfriend, then tried to cover it up.

Rounding out the top three, Detroit Lions lineman, Indonakong Suh, who is not only known for putting his foot in the mouth, but into the groin and shoulders of his opponents.

One personal note for me today if you would permit me a momentary indulgence, last year I wrote a book "The Outpost" about a doomed combat outpost in Afghanistan viciously attacked in October 2009. Since the publication of the book last November, two of the troops from that battle have been awarded the Medal of Honor.

We told you their stories on the show and on this network. Today, the publisher is releasing the paperback version of the book, which includes some new material, including behind the scenes stories about the two and their medals of honor. If you have a chance, I would be honored if you would check it out. Some of the proceeds are going to military charities picked out by troops who served.

Make sure to follow me on Twitter @jaketapper and also @theleadcnn. And check out our show page at cnn.com/thelead for video, blogs and extra. That's it for THE LEAD. I'm Jake Tapper. I now turn you over to Wolf Blitzer in "THE SITUATION ROOM" -- Wolf.