Return to Transcripts main page


Perry The 10th GOP Presidential Candidate; Santorum Makes Second Bid For GOP Nomination; Drugstore Giant Denies Wrongdoing; Candidate Says U.S. Should Use Metric System. Aired 4:30-5p ET

Aired June 4, 2015 - 16:30   ET


JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: I'm Jake Tapper. Our other National Lead today, police now investigating a cluster of shootings in Colorado that they say they fear could be the work of a serial sniper. Late last night police found the body of a 65-year-old man on the sidewalk. He had been shot and killed.

Now authorities say they are picking through evidence trying to see if there's a connection between that man's killer and the person police think murdered another man and fired a round into a woman's neck.

I want to get right to our Ana Cabrera. She is live in Centennial, Colorado. Ana, you talked to a spokesman from the Loveland's Police Department. What did he have to say?

ANA CABRERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: At this point, they don't have a direct link from this last shooting that happened to the other shootings that they've been investigating in that same region, but they aren't ruling anything out. It's still early in the investigation.

What we do know is the 65-year-old and the most recent shooting, was found about 11:00 last night in a neighborhood where there are businesses. There are some houses and a passerby spotted the man lying on the ground. He was bleeding and called police.

Now when emergency responders got to him, they realized he has been shot. He eventually succumbed to those injuries. The circumstances around his death are still very much unclear, but they have reached out.

The local investigators have reached out to this task force that's already investigating those two other shootings you mentioned, the death of a Windsor, Colorado, bicyclist who was shot and killed while riding his bike to work one day about a month ago.

And just a few weeks before that, there was the shooting involving Corey Ramiro, who was shot in the neck while she was driving on to Interstate 25, which is the main north/south thoroughfare here in Colorado.

All of these shootings happening in the same region within about a six-week time period. Of course, in those two shootings they have now linked through some kind of evidence that they've gathered from both crime scenes, there's definitely concern that there may be a serial sniper out there -- Jake.

TAPPER: All right, Ana Cabrera in Colorado, thank you so much.

The Politics Lead, Rick Perry feeling the heat. The former Texas governor is now the 10th Republican candidate to officially jump into the race for president, his second chance at a White House run. Can he recover from his stumbling speeches in that big, oops, moment of 2012? That's next.



TAPPER: Welcome back to THE LEAD. Time now for the Politics Lead, forget about too many cooks. The Republican presidential field is starting to look more like an episode of "Hell's Kitchen." The latest to sharpen his knives and join the commander-in-chief cook-off, a cast-off from the 2012 season, is former Texas Governor Rick Perry.

CNN chief congressional correspondent, Dana Bash, has been covering all the candidates and would-be candidates for months already.

Now Dana, in 2012, Perry's campaign was something of a gaffe Olympics. He says because of his painful back surgery and the medication he took as result. What are does he say he needs to do differently this time around beyond not having back surgery again?

DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: He needs to show that he is a different kind of person. He really started doing that today. He gave a pretty strong, rousing speech, to show on the fence voters and donors he's got it under control this time, but you know that saying? Don't let him see you sweat? Whoever made that up, never gave a speech in the Texas heat.


RICK PERRY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I am running for the presidency of the United States of America!

BASH (voice-over): Rick Perry's reason for running, leadership. His experience is the longest serving governor in Texas history.

PERRY: I have dealt with crises after crises from the disintegration of the space shuttle to Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Ike, to the crisis at the border and the first diagnosis of Ebola in America.

BASH: On the economy, he struck a populist note.

PERRY: There's something wrong when the Dow is near record highs and businesses on Main Street can't even get a loan.

BASH: On national security, criticism of the current president.

PERRY: No decision has done more harm than the president's withdrawal of American troops from Iraq. BASH: Perry's run is a true test of America's capacity for second chances. His late entry into the 2012 White House race went quickly from great hope to punch line.

PERRY: The education -- the -- the -- I -- commerce, and let's see -- I can't, the third one. I can't. Sorry. Oops.

BASH: He blames that and other embarrassing moments on medication for back pain and being unprepared. Since then, he's been studying hard, both on policy and performance, even working with a former head of the royal Shakespeare Theater.

(on camera): Why did you choose that?

PERRY: I guess so my hamlet would come out right when I decided to quote Hamlet on the stage.

BASH: I'm guessing also, too, avoid an oops moment.

PERRY: That would be preferable.

BASH (voice-over): Today Perry's oops moment wasn't what he forgot to say, but what his staff forgot to bring, air conditioning. Perry was sweating profusely inside this sweltering airplane hangar which stole the show on social media.

ANITA PERRY, RICK PERRY'S WIFE: Welcome and thank you to a hot hangar on June the 4th.

BASH: Flanking Perry throughout his speech, Texas military heroes like "Lone Survivor" Navy SEAL, Marcus Latrell and his twin brother, not to mention of widow of "American Sniper" Chris Kyle.

PERRY: When I think of Taya Kyle, I think of a brave woman who carries not just the lofty burden of Chris' legacy.


BASH: Now Perry invited those guests not only because they're friends also to highlight his own military service. He was a pilot in the Air Force, and Perry brings something unusual to the presidential field.

He's a candidate with a pending indictment against him for abuse of power. Once his aides and even some Democrats call purely political, but it is unresolved.

Jake, it's sitting in a Texas court of appeals waiting for a decision on whether or not it's going to be thrown out as of course his lawyers want it to be.

TAPPER: I know he is going to be your guest on Sunday on "STATE OF THE UNION." Dana Bash, thank you so much.

BASH: Thank you.

TAPPER: Like Governor Perry and Secretary Clinton, another contender taking a second bite at the presidential apple, this time it's former Republican senator from the great keystone state, Rick Santorum joining me now.

Senator, thanks so much as always for being here. I've asked you during the break and I'll ask you again so everybody else can hear, how is your daughter doing?

[16:40:09] RICK SANTORUM (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, she's doing great. Thank you. She just celebrated her 7th birthday and got a great clean bill of health from doctors this month. We're feeling really great about things. Thank you for asking and thank everybody for their prayers for her.

TAPPER: She's a miracle child. We are always thinking about her.

SANTORUM: She is, thank you.

TAPPER: Now you've noted that you appeared in the online magazine of ISIS showing a picture under the label, the Catholic crusader along with a quote. There was earlier this week as you know an apparent ISIS-inspired plot to behead Pamela Geller this week. Are you taking any extra security steps?

SANTORUM: We always have security with us on our -- you know, all of the campaign events. I mean, we -- we take ISIS as a serious threat to this country and to anybody that stands up against them, and so you know, one of the things I've said from the very beginning.

That this, these Jihadists mean business, and they want to destroy this country. They are -- they are recruiting people because we are not defeating them.

As they continue to expand ground, they can call for more and more recruits, saying that they are being successful and in taking on the great Satan of the United States.

So one of the things that's very high on my agenda is to try to speak loudly to try to convince this president and the Congress to take this threat more seriously, and do something to stop ISIS from expanding and winning territory and start pushing them back and defeating them.

TAPPER: To do what, sir? What should the U.S. do to defeat ISIS that we're not doing right now?

SANTORUM: Well, if you look at the reports that came out of Centcom, we are flying about 14 to 20 missions a day dropping ordinance in only about a third of the cases. So we are doing almost nothing by air anymore.

Compare that to the gulf war flying 800 to 1,000 sorties a day. Barely enough troops there's to provide support for that air campaign. We're not arming the Kurds. We're not helping the Jordanians.

Heck, the Egyptians would like to enter into the fray and help more, and we're not even providing them the aircraft and other types of materials that we promised them under existing treaties.

So it's not like we're doing a whole heck of a lot to help those who want to fight and we aren't doing much of ourselves to bring the fight to ISIS. We have a lot to do if we decide to get serious about this war.

TAPPER: Let's talk about presidential politics, if you would. I know you say you're not higher in the polls now because you've been out earning a living for the last three years instead of being on TV all the time.

You also note that in January 2012, you were at only 4 percent in the national polls and then you went on to win the Iowa caucuses. But there has been some analysis of the difference.

You were doing just fine even in the January 2012 poll with two crucial constituencies to your victory in Iowa, white Evangelicals and self-declared conservatives and now you have much more competition just among white Evangelical votes right now.

You're tied for 10th. How are you going to compete in this very crowded primary where there is more competition for those groups?

SANTORUM: Well, if the election was tomorrow I'd be concerned about it, but the election isn't tomorrow. The election is in eight months. We're going to have a lot of campaigning in between then. Most of the folks who are getting into the field have that new car smell, if you will.

I mean, people are interested in the new models that are on the showroom and getting a lot of attention. But like everything else, once you start looking at the sticker and you start looking at all of the things that are in these models you say, well, now that one's not for me.

The folks, folks in Iowa and across this country looking are in that kind of mode now. I don't think you're seeing too many people committed. A lot of movement and not very many people -- look, 90 percent of the Republican voters aren't for any one candidate.

That tells you that this is a pretty fluid situation with 16 people in and we feel very confident that our strategy of spending a lot of time in the early primary states.

We have a great message that talks about the importance of having someone with leader on national security experience and who has ideas to be able to make our country safe and who has experience in that area.

And secondly, someone who's going to put people back to work, particularly those in America who have not seen the opportunities under this president, frankly for quite some time.

So I announced on a factory floor a week ago, to talk about creating jobs, for folks and the 74 percent of Americans who don't have a college degree and want to live the American dream like everybody else. That's what we're going to be focused on.

TAPPER: You were asked by Philadelphia radio host, Tom Giordano (ph), about Pope Francis expected encyclical climate change. You are a devote Catholic and you said, quote, "The church has gotten it wrong a few times in Science.

I think we are probably better off leaving science to the scientists and focus on what we're really good on, meaning the church, which is theology and morality.

I think in terms of leaving science to the scientists, I think a lot of people would agree with you. So why not take the overwhelming majority of scientists at their word and take seriously that humans are contributing to climate change with potentially disastrous results?

[06:45:02] SANTORUM: Well, I would say this -- that there are a lot of scientists who believe that. There are a lot of scientists who don't. And I think it's important that we take very measured responses, and some of the responses are being proposed actually do very, very little to combat the problem.

And exact an enormous cost on American citizens, particularly, for those of us who would like to see manufacturing come forward again and be a major source of wealth and opportunities for the folks in America, who are not succeeding right now.

Any type of additional restrictions based on CO2 emissions would have a devastating effect on the two industries that are essential for that, which is our energy industry and our manufacturing industry.

So there are real consequences to stepping forward and doing something when, number one, the question, there's still a question about the science, and even more, even if you follow through with some of these proposals being put forward, they have a devastating impact.

But very -- devastating impact on jobs but very little benefit to the climate, that's -- that's the balancing act that we have to look at.

TAPPER: All right, former Senator Rick Santorum, thank you. We appreciate you coming on. I'll be taking over on "STATE OF THE UNION" on the 14th. We hope to have you on that show and we'll see you on the campaign trail.

SANTORUM: I look forward to it. Thanks so much.

Did one of the country's largest drug store chains have a system of discrimination? Four ex-CVS employees say, you bet and they hope to prove it in court. Their lawyer will join us next in the Money Lead.

And the Buried Lead, what if the U.S. finally switched to the metric system, a huge economic benefit, or a miscalculated headache? America has a history of fighting the masses on this one, but a presidential candidate is pushing it.



TAPPER: Welcome back to THE LEAD. I'm Jake Tapper. Topping our Money Lead today, allegations of systemic racial discrimination is being made against the pharmacy giant, CVS.

In a class action lawsuit filed in New York, four former store detectives who worked in the CVS Loss Prevention Department in Manhattan and Queens claimed that they were told by supervisors to profile black and Latino shoppers because, in their view, they were more likely to steal.

When the store detectives complained to management at CVS, they say they were subjected to, quote, "unlawful retaliation" and they eventually left the company.

Joining me to talk about this case is the plaintiffs' attorney, David Gottlieb. David, thanks so much for being here. What do your clients say they were instructed to do exactly?

DAVID GOTTLIEB, PLAINTIFFS' ATTORNEY IN CVS SUIT: Well, let me start, Jake, thank you for having me on. We represent four store detectives at CVS and they alleged that during the course of their employment, they were instructed. They were directed, expressly and in no uncertain terms to target and profile black and Hispanic shoppers.

TAPPER: Now, you alleged in the complaint that CVS intentionally targets and racially profiles black and Hispanic shoppers based on the highly discriminatory and ill-founded institutional belief that these minority customers are criminals and thieves.

That sentence in the lawsuit suggests this is a pattern of practices at CVS stores across the country. Do you have evidence to suggest that?

GUTLEY: Yes, Jake. So our clients worked at various stores throughout New York City, mostly in Manhattan and Queens, and what's important to understand about this case is that our clients were directed to racially profile not by one or not by two rogue actors.

This was -- this policy was perpetrated by multiple managers and supervisors, not only until their loss prevention department, but also by many store managers at the particular stores where they might be stationed for any particular day.

So there were many, many people across CVS up and down management who were perpetrating this racial profiling agenda.

TAPPER: How were your clients retaliated against?

GOTTLIEB: Well, another thing that's important to understand is that not only are our clients claiming that they and all loss prevention agents in the New York area were forced to engage in racial profiling, but that they themselves were discriminated against.

The same people who were instructing them and directing them to racially profile were calling them racial slurs, using discriminatory and offensive language towards them. All of our clients complained to HR, complained to their managers, to a variety of different places, and after that, the discriminatory treatment only increased.

There was increased scrutiny on their work and what's most important is that nothing was done to change the situation. These practices were not remedied in any way.

TAPPER: Let me read this from CVS, they, of course, deny the allegations and they tell CNN, quote, "CVS Health has firm non- discrimination policies that it rigorously enforces. We serve all communities and we do not tolerate any policy or practice that discriminates against any group," unquote. What evidence do you have to prove your case beyond the testimony of your clients?

GOTTLIEB: Well, I'm happy you raised that quote, Jake, because one thing that's interesting about it is, you know, CVS certainly has, you know, the best PR firm money can buy, I'm sure, and even though they may have a policy not to discriminate.

And a policy to tolerate people of all races, CVS has not denied the allegations of the complaint, at least as far as I've seen. And they may have a policy, a written policy not to discriminate and not to engage in racial profiling.

But all four of our clients worked in loss prevention they have direct knowledge of the policies and practices that were in place. All four of them corroborate the same thing that was going on.

The racial profiling was taking place within CVS' stores and we believe additional people will come forward, both employees and witnesses will come forward and further corroborate their allegations.

[16:55:05] TAPPER: New York Attorney Eric Schneider reached an agreement Macy's and Barney's last year as I'm sure you know with similar allegations and that agreement included reforms for eliminating racial profiling. Is that the goal here?

GOTTLIEB: Well, I'd say there is -- Jake, our firm is actually involved in the Macy's case as well, but there are two components of what we're trying to accomplish here. One is injunctive relief.

With this lawsuit we can have a court order that CVS change its practices, change its policies, so that racial profiling and discrimination is eradicated from the way they conduct their business. That's one component.

The other component is monetary damages. We would be asking a jury in this case to award punitive damages, damages to send a message not only to CVS, but really to all employers and all retailers throughout the country that racial profiling and discrimination is not acceptable.

TAPPER: All right, David Gottlieb, thank you so much. We appreciate your time.

The National Lead now, Chandra Levy's disappearance gripped the nation and now her convicted killer will get a do-over, a re-trial. Ingmar Guandik (ph) is currently serving a 60-year prison sentence for killing the 24-year-old government intern.

His public defenders have been pushing for a retrial since 2013. They claim that a key witness, a former cellmate, gave false testimony to prosecutors.

Levy's disappearance held the nation's attention in the weeks before the 9/11 attacks after she was romantically linked to then Congressman Gary Condit, a Democrat from California. Condit was ultimately ruled out as a suspect.

Turning to our Buried Lead, there are a lot of major hot button issues in the race for the White House. There is immigration, ISIS, Obamacare, to name a few off the top of my head.

But last night, former Rhode Island Senator Lincoln Chafee, who is seeking the Democratic presidential nomination, added a new and surprising issue to the mix.


LINCOLN CHAFEE (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Here's a bold and abrasive internationalism. Let's join the rest of the world and go metric.


TAPPER: Going metric, miles become kilometers, Fahrenheit becomes Celsius, and gallons of gasoline could be measured in liters. Is this idea really all that farfetched?

Let's get right to CNN's Tom Foreman. Tom, Chafee suggested there might be an economic benefit for the U.S. in this. How?

TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Nobody's ever really been able to comprehensively nail down the numbers. A study in the '90s that suggested going metric would cost a lot of money. Changing traffic signs alone would cost $420 million.

NASA once estimated changing a single space shuttle to metric would cost around $370 million, and yet whatever the cost, some insists the change would be totally worth it.


FOREMAN (voice-over): If Eminem was a fan of the metric plan, his "Eight Mile Road" might have been 12.9 kilometers and some folks would love that because they think making America metric is a great idea.

CHAFEE: Earlier I said let's be bold. He is a bold embrace of internationalism. Let's join the rest of the world and go metric. FOREMAN: To be sure, only the United States, Liberia and Myanmar have not officially adopted the metric standard, and the U.S. Metric Association, yes, there is such a thing, says being among the outliers costs real money.

We have to convert, repackage and re-label products for trade. Research and technology are constantly straddling the metric American fence, and, well, it's just confusing.

In 1999, NASA literally lost a $125 million Mars orbiter in space because of a mismatch between American units of measurement and the more commonly used metric standards.

Of course, we've tried to change. In the '70s, the White House starting with President Ford pushed for a makeover under the Metric Conversion Act. President Carter also championed the system. It didn't hurt that he was a runner since road races are routinely measured in kilometers.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Running to win this morning?

PRESIDENT CARTER: I'm running to finish.

FOREMAN: And soon soda, gasoline and more was being sold by the liter. Federal contracts went metric, too, but commerce was trumped by culture. Some people were clearly not ready to watch football on a 91 meter field, or measure American babies in centimeters.

And although President Reagan signed an act designating the metric system as the preferred system of measurement, he later shut the program down, unwilling to touch it with a ten-foot pole.


FOREMAN: And you can convert 10-foot pole to metric on your own because we are in America. We don't do that here.

TAPPER: Tom Foreman, thanks so much. That's it for THE LEAD. I am Jake Tapper turning you over to Wolf Blitzer in "THE SITUATION ROOM" just a few meters away. Thanks for watching.