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ISIS Prison Destroyed in Iraq; Rubio Defends Skipping 43 Percent of Senate Votes; Paul Ryan Prepares to Ascend to House Speaker; Interview with Anne-Marie Slaughter; Boston Bombing Amputee Donating Prosthetics. Aired 6-7p ET
Aired October 25, 2015 - 18:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[18:01:21] POPPY HARLOW, CNN GUEST HOST: Six o'clock Eastern this Sunday evening, thank you for joining me. I'm Poppy Harlow in New York.
We begin the hour with new video related to last Thursday's rescue of dozens of hostages from an ISIS prison in Iraq. Take a look. This is a coalition air strike destroying that prison, 70 hostages were inside. Reportedly hours away from being executed before Iraqi and American soldiers rescued them.
We're also now seeing really stunning new video of that rescue, reported with a helmet camera.
The mission claimed the life of U.S. Special Operations soldier, Major Sergeant Joshua Wheeler. He is the first American to die in combat in Iraq in nearly four years.
CNN's Nick Paton Walsh has more.
NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Poppy, it is rare but remarkably up-front footage about the secretive world of U.S. Special Forces. And this mission, very close to ISIS, when American forces are not really supposed to be in combat on the ground, revealing quite how close the front line they got.
(voice-over): You are now right inside the jail break that revealed America's changed role in Iraq. They think they're rescuing Kurds from this ISIS jail. But look who staggers out -- terrified Iraqis. Even their eyes lit up by fear caught on the Kurdish soldier's helmet camera.
It's edited, but U.S. officials tell CNN it's genuine. More cells opened, it seems. And the Iraqi soldier and civilian hostages keep coming.
(GUNFIRE) An office, an ISIS flag. More cells. And perhaps a target through the light at the door. Then, a quick close-up, likely of an American commando.
"Don't be afraid," he cries as they search the prisoners. Remember, they were expecting Kurds. Perhaps these men are ISIS, have guns or bombs.
It's the Americans who seem in charge here. The captors' relief palpable. U.S. officials saying they faced imminent execution. It's unclear when before or after this footage the Americans here learned one of their own was gunned down. But their mission went on to rescue 70.
That first combat death since 2011 in Iraq, forcing public acknowledgement American commandos were now boots on the ground.
(on camera): Now, Poppy, in the last few hours, CentCom, American command, have released a video which they say is a cockpit view of an airstrike, once, of course, the American and Kurdish commandos had withdrawn from the compound of an airstrike destroying it. Substantial destruction, and it brings an end to an episode which caused the loss of one American life, Master Sergeant Joshua Wheeler, 39 years old at the time of his death from Oklahoma, a veteran of 14 tours of Afghanistan and Iraq.
A remarkable figure, reminds you really of the depth of involvement the United States have had in Afghanistan and Iraq in what used to be the war on terror and is now the much more complex goal of trying to suppress ISIS while not putting the pull scale of Iraqi boots back on the ground in Iraq.
[18:05:02] With such memories of the Iraq war are still lingering and unpopular with the American public.
But that video providing such an intimate, intimate view of the front- line work the American commandos were involved in -- Poppy.
HARLOW: Absolutely. Nick, thank you very much for that.
As Nick said, Master Sergeant Joshua Wheeler's death has reignited new questions about what exactly is the role of U.S. troops on the ground in Iraq, especially against ISIS?
With me now, David Tafuri, former President Obama campaign foreign policy advisor, former State Department official. Bob Baer is also with us, former CIA operative and CNN's intelligence and security analyst.
Bob, I want your reaction first to the video that we saw. I mean, that was remarkable. It seemed like something out of a movie but it was real. Was this textbook?
BOB BAER, CNN INTELLIGENCE AND SECURITY ANALYST: It was textbook. This is particularly hard. It's a hostage rescue, an assault on a house, which is actually less dangerous. They want to keep people alive. They can't use fragmentation grenades.
Clearly, the training is American. Obviously, there are Americans on the ground helping the Kurds go through this.
The Kurds -- this is not the kind of fighting they do, so we're very intimately involved in this raid. I am assuming other ones as well.
HARLOW: I want you both to listen to what former British Prime Minister Tony Blair said apologizing for mistakes made in the war in Iraq. He sat down for an exclusive one-on-one with Fareed Zakaria.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FAREED ZAKARIA, CNN HOST, "FAREED ZAKARIA GPS": Given that Saddam Hussein did not prove to have weapons of mass destruction, was the decision to enter Iraq and topple his regime a mistake?
TONY BLAIR, FORMER BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: You know, whenever I'm asked this, I can say that I apologize for the fact that the intelligence we received was wrong, because even though he had used chemical weapons extensively against his own people, against others, the program and the form that we thought it was did not exist in the way that we thought. So I can apologize for that.
I can also apologize, by the way, for some of the mistakes in planning and certainly our mistake in our understanding of what would happen once you remove the regime. But I find it hard to apologize for removing Saddam. I think even from today, in 2015, it is better that he is not there than he is there.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HARLOW: David, obviously some disagree with that. Some agree with him. What lessons looking forward, especially when it comes to Libya, when it comes to Syria, can be learned from that?
DAVID TAFURI, FORMER OBAMA CAMPAIGN FOREIGN POLICY ADVISOR: Well, those are very thoughtful comments from Blair. Clearly, he is torn about that decision. It was a tough decision, and I think he makes clear that he did it, they did it under false pretenses or at least with a misunderstanding of what the intelligence was really telling them. He is also right that Saddam Hussein did need to be removed, but perhaps in a different way, with more thought put into it, with more coalition partners going in with us.
But take that to today. Now, we see that the U.S. presence has to grow again in Iraq and it really does have it in order to take care of this ISIS threat. We see as a result of this raid that you just reported on that the U.S. forces are working very cooperatively and productively with the Peshmerga/Kurdish forces.
And so, this raid was a real success. It shows how the U.S. and forces on the ground can work together to be successful against ISIS. I think we can hope to see some more of that, planned-out raids that are successful, and more cooperation and training provided with the forces on the ground, particularly the Kurdish forces.
HARLOW: What about, Bob, when it comes to Syria? And you look at the potential power vacuum there, right? What lessons can be learned from the toppling of other dictators, the ousting of other dictators when it comes to Assad in Syria?
BAER: Well, exactly, Poppy. It's the day after. Nobody had any idea what would happen in Iraq or in Syria, obviously. We have been able to recognize various groups to differentiate between them. We really have terrible intelligence, both in Iraq and Syria.
And, by the way, Blair -- he is being a little bit disingenuous. I worked with the British for many, many years. In every exchange, we all agreed that our intelligence on Saddam Hussein was very bad and that, while we needed to get rid of him, we never trusted the intelligence about weapons of mass destruction.
And I don't know why that didn't filter up to the prime minister's office. That's a question I would have asked him.
HARLOW: Bob Baer, David Tafuri, thank you both very much. I wish we had a whole lot more time. We'll have you both on against soon.
Coming up next, to politics. Marco Rubio would like a new job. He would like to be the president of the United States. But some critics coming out now and saying as senator, he is not doing his current job with not exactly a great record when it comes to showing up for votes in the Senate this year.
[18:10:00] We'll talk about that next.
HARLOW: In the race for the White House, Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio defending his call for federal workers to be fired if they're not doing their jobs. He himself, though, has missed the most votes in the Senate this year, 43 percent, in fact.
He did sit down exclusively with CNN's Jamie Gangel on "STATE OF THE UNION" today. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R-FL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I can tell you that in the history of presidential politics, people, when they have been running for politics in the Senate, they've missed votes. And I'm not missing votes because I'm on vacation. JAMIE GANGEL, CNN SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT: But this many votes?
RUBIO: Actually, this is lower than what other people have missed. I'm running for president so that the votes they take in the Senate are actually meaningful again. A lot of the votes won't mean anything. They're not going to pass and even if they did, the president would veto it.
(END VIDEO CLIP) HARLOW: CNN senior political analyst, former adviser to four presidents, David Gergen here with his thoughts. I mean. When you look at him, he is not the only person in the Senate running for presidency. You've got Bernie Sanders, you've got Rand Paul. They've each missed fewer than ten votes.
What do you make of his response that they're not meaningful? Because looking at some of them, he missed some of the private hearings when -- in the critical stage of the Iran talks. He missed a vote on the Export/Import Bank's future. He missed a cloture vote for the continued funding of Planned Parenthood. But says these aren't meaningful.
DAVID GERGEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Poppy, this story is growing more important because, in the last week or two or three, a growing number of Republicans have wondered out loud, is Marco Rubio the right guy to lead the party because we can't seem to bring down Donald Trump any other way. Jeb Bush is faltering. Some of the people they thought, Walker, is out of the race.
So, as eyes turn to Rubio, here he has this worst voting record. I thought Jamie Gangel was asked the right question of him and that is, hey, wait a minute, you said this last week, if federal workers don't show up in their jobs, they ought to be fired if they're not doing their jobs.
[18:15:07] HARLOW: Right.
GERGEN: Well, the last time I looked, people got paid to be senator to show up in the Senate. Yes, this has been done in the past. But not a great answer. And he also said -- voting in the Senate is not the most important thing I do. Constituent services is the most important thing I do.
I'm sorry. That's not why we send people to the Senate. Yes, we want them to do good constituent services. Most of all we ask for their judgment and leadership on addressing the big issues of our day.
HARLOW: I want your take also on Donald Trump, also a guest on "STATE OF THE UNION" with Jake Tapper this morning. He talked about how he would be the best unifier of force for bipartisanship. Here's how he put it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You know, a lot of people think, well, I am a tough guy. I actually think I'm a really nice person. But some people say, oh, he is tough. I'm going to unify. This country is totally divided. Barack Obama has divided this country unbelievably.
And it's all -- it's all hatred. What can I tell you? I have never seen anything like it.
Now, I am going to unify the country. And sometimes I'll say that and people say, well -- but the people that know me -- and I'm talking about some of the biggest people in the world who call up and say, it's right. I have seen it.
You know, one of the big knocks on me was that over the years I have gotten along with Democrats and I've gotten along with Republicans. And I said, that's a good thing. As a businessman, I had an obligation to do that. To myself, my company, my families, to my employees. I get along with everybody. I will be a great unifier for our country.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HARLOW: Do you think that that will resonate with voters, David, given the fact that he has been criticizing almost everyone else that has been running against him in both parties?
GERGEN: It's a good question. And, look, he is a great marketer. He is still ahead. Even though he slipped behind in Iowa, he is ahead everywhere else. So, we have to take him seriously.
I am glad to hear him talking about unifying. But, you know, ask a lot of Hispanics in this country if he is a unifier, if that's what they see. They are running -- most are running in the other direction. Ask women in this country if they think he is a great unifier after some of the things he has said in the past few weeks.
So, I think he's got a problem and he's going to have to demonstrate it through more than just a talk show. He's going to have to go out and he's going to get on a consistent theme and give us better information about what he'd do.
HARLOW: But you say a problem, David, but we're not seeing it in the polls. You say it's a problem, but the polls don't show that.
GERGEN: Well, increasingly, you know, it's not only a question of whether he can win the nomination. I think he does now have a serious possibility of winning the nomination.
But increasingly, he's now going to be compared against Hillary Clinton and -- because she is now the pronounced frontrunner in the Democratic Party. The Democratic Party is starting to unify around its candidate.
So, you know, in that sense, I think a lot of people will see, if she can run a campaign as Joe Biden urged her to do seeing the Republicans as adversaries and not enemies, you know, she may be able to present an argument that she can do a good job, a better job of unifying. She was -- as a senator, she worked across the aisle.
So, I think he's got some work to do to make this clear. Not to say he can't succeed but he's got to bear down and be consistent and really push it.
HARLOW: Yes. Whoever it is, let's hope that there is a unifier in chief. We've heard a lot of presidents in the past --
GERGEN: Wouldn't it be good, Poppy?
HARLOW: Let's hope it happens.
David Gergen, thank you, my friend. Appreciate it.
GERGEN: Thanks, Poppy. It's good to talk to you again.
HARLOW: Coming up next: Ben Carson not holding back on a woman's right to choose, comparing abortion to slavery in an interview today. Is this too extreme, or will it help him win the Republican nomination? Next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANTHONY BOURDAIN, "PARTS UNKNOWN": It's a very misunderstood country. For instance, did you know that, you know, Christianity was in Ethiopia like before Europe? That it's no the arid desert. That it's, in fact, mostly green. That there is a construction boom going on here that rivals China and Dubai?
It's a country filled with great cooks, great music. Ethiopia is absolutely unique, little understood. We're looking to shed a little light.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[18:23:48] HARLOW: Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson says he would like to see Roe versus Wade overturned and abortion made illegal in nearly all cases in this country. He then compared it to slavery.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. BEN CARSON (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: During slavery, and I know that's one of those words you're not supposed to say but I am saying it. During slavery, a lot of the slave owners thought that they had the right to do whatever they wanted to that slave, anything that they chose to do. And, you know, what if the abolitionists had said, "You know, I don't believe in slavery, I think it's wrong, but you guys do whatever you want to do"?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HARLOW: Carson also did say that abortion should not be allowed in cases of rape and incest. He did say he may make an exception, though, if the mother's life is at risk.
Joining me now to talk about this and more, Ben Ferguson and Marc Lamont Hill.
Gentlemen, thank you for being here.
Let me start with you, Ben. Looking at what Carson said in that interview on "Meet the Press" this morning. Does he risk alienating female voters or other Republican voters who may be more sort of centrist when it comes to some of these social issues?
[18:25:00] BEN FERGUSON, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, anytime you take a strong stance on a moral issue, you risk alienating someone. But I think what you have here is Ben Carson saying I am going to be true to myself and what I believe as a doctor. There are going to be many people that support him and back him on this one.
I think his point is that you should stand up foreign an unborn life that cannot defend itself. That's his position. There are going to be a lot of people that agree with him. Obviously, there's going to be a lot of people who disagree with him, but I don't think this is going to hurt him in any way.
The people who find this offensive or can't stand what he said, let's be honest, they weren't going to vote for Ben Carson anyway. They were going to vote for Hillary Clinton. So, I don't think, if anything here, I think he actually gains points from people that say, stand up for unborn children who cannot defend themselves.
HARLOW: I want you -- I want you both also to listen to this. This is some sound from the same interview where he talked about his past. And I think it struck -- it was surprising to a lot of people. Roll it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CARSON: As a teenager, I would go after people with rocks and bricks and baseball bats and hammers. And, of course, many people know the story, when I was 14 and I tried to stab someone. And fortunately, you know, my life has been changed and I am a very different person now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HARLOW: I think it's interesting, Marc. We heard him say that. Last month we heard him talk about being held up by gunpoint in the Popeye's restaurant years and years ago when he was resident. What do you make of these admissions about his past, his personal life that are coming out now?
MARC LAMONT HILL, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: First, I want to respond to what Ben said. He gives the impression -- Ben Ferguson. That there is somehow this either/or position where you either are voting for Hillary Clinton and you're team abortion, or you're voting for Ben Carson and you have no nuanced position on this.
There are plenty of people who are going to make their decision who may actually be against abortion but believe that we should be able to get them in the case of incest or rape. And Ben Carson said I may consider it. He didn't say it was definite. He said I may consider it if a woman may die because of it.
That's a fairly extreme position. It's to the right of many people in his own party. I think it will be tough.
Now, as far as the other thing about him having bats and knives and stabbing someone or attempting to stab someone when he was a teenager, I don't know what he is trying to prove here. I guess he's trying to offer a conversion narrative of how extraordinary his life is and how amazing America is. I'm not saying it's not true, although it's hard to imagine someone like Ben Carson -- I'm very angry. I'm going to hurt you now.
I can't imagine him as a gangster. I find it more bizarre why he's telling us these stories on the campaign trail.
HARLOW: Ben --
FERGUSON: Here is my thing. Ben Carson, the fact that you have a hard time believing he wasn't like this as a kid, I think it's a really awkward narrative implying somehow that he wasn't some street kid that may have gotten in trouble. We should celebrate when someone comes out and says this is who I was when I was younger, and I've changed and became a neurosurgeon. I have applied myself in life and I have done something with myself.
That should be celebrated. He should be a role model for African- American young people who may be in the same position he was in as a child.
You shouldn't mock it or say I don't believe you because you're so successful and calm now. That's a pretty awesome story, Marc. And we should celebrate it.
HARLOW: All right. Ben, Marc, stay with me. I got to get a commercial break in. You will be with us next.
We're going to talk about the fact that Congressman Paul Ryan may just be the next speaker of the House. Why he could be tested with a potential crisis as soon as he is sworn in.
Also, which presidential candidate was reportedly just asked to leave the Amtrak quiet car today after complaints were other passengers and why. We'll talk about that next.
[18:31:45] HARLOW: The woman behind the wheel of a car that crashed into a crowd at an Oklahoma State University Homecoming Parade yesterday is now charged with driving under the influence. 25-year- old Adacia Chambers will likely appear in a courtroom tomorrow. She could face even more charges. Four people, including a 2-year-old child, are dead after they were struck by the car. Of the 47 others injured, 17 are still in the hospital. One of them is in critical condition. That is 60-year-old Leo Schmidt. His stepson spoke at a news conference earlier today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARK MCNITT, STEPSON OF LEO SCHMITZ: Yes, I apologize. We're still in our clothes from yesterday. It's been -- it's been a crazy 24 hours. But, you know, the OU Medical Center really has helped out and not to say the least, you know, best doctors around. And everybody kept a cool head and I think Leo and the rest of the families and children are in the best hands that can be.
We have some medical folks in our family, and they're kind of interpreting the medical jargon and, like I said, it's starting to sound better, for sure. And so it's good to have family and, you know, today we're all Oklahoman.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HARLOW: We will be right back.
[18:36:59] HARLOW: After repeatedly saying he is not interested, Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan is now poised to potentially become the next speaker of the House. Lawmakers vote on that this week.
He only agreed to run after giving his Republican colleagues including hardliners in the House Freedom Caucus a powerful ultimatum. Unite behind him or he walks. In the end he managed to lock up support from all the party factions he looks like he needs. The question is, will it last with major deadlines looming on the budget deal and raising the debt ceiling in just days.
Let's bring our CNN political commentators again, Ben Ferguson and Marc Lamont Hill for more on this.
Thank you, gentlemen for being here.
Ben, what do you make of this strategy for Ryan to speak so bluntly to conservatives in the House, you know, the same conservatives who, by the way, helped force out the current speaker, John Boehner. Is it a smart strategy long term?
FERGUSON: I think it's a smart strategy for now. I don't know if it's a smart strategy per se long term. But ultimately you know Paul Ryan understands you've got to be able to count. And the faster he can get this vote the better off he's going to be probably because that -- you know, the longer and more time you have the more you have behind-the-scenes deals and things going on, that's part of what got Kevin McCarthy in trouble.
I do think for many of the conservatives I talk to on Capitol Hill, they're much happier with Paul Ryan than they would have been with Kevin. They're much happier with the way that he is able to talk to -- you know, to conservatives and new members. They also say he has a lot of respect for people that come to Washington unlike some in the old guard. Many in the old guard pretty much said you're new to Washington, sit in the back of the room, shut up and we don't care about your ideas, we don't care what you have to say.
Paul Ryan has always been very kind to new members of Congress, Tea Party members and others. And I think that's playing to his advantage here. HARLOW: Marc, one of his conditions for running, we know this is a
job he didn't want, is that he would not give up his family time. But it's interesting because you've got some Democrats and others, even independents, slamming him over this. You heard Elizabeth Warren tweeted after he said he wouldn't give up family time. This, let's pull that up. She said, "That's why Dems are fighting for paid sick time, family leave and schedules that work. Bills your party repeatedly blocks." Also saying, "Time should not be a privilege reserved for the speaker of the House. You deserve it and so does everyone else."
You know, it's interesting because he did not support a bill that was co-sponsored by New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand that would have created this national fund to help paid -- pay for paid family leave and medical leave, this insurance program with tax dollars. What do you make of this? I mean, does Elizabeth Warren have a point here?
HILL: All right. Yes. Absolutely. The first thing I'll say is I never try to beat up a congressman or woman rhetorically for vetoing a particular bill or voting on a particular bill because bills are often complicated. And there are often other things attached to them.
HILL: So it's never that simple. But in general Paul Ryan has opposed these policies. In general, the Republican Party has opposed this legislation. I applauded Paul Ryan very publicly for saying look, I'm going to prioritize health care and family care over work. I think that's important.
[18:40:04] But you can't just do it for yourself. You've got to do it for all the American people. Whether you work in a factory for 10 bucks an hour or whether you're making $50 million a year as the CEO of that factory, unfortunately, in America. You both deserve time to be able to take care of your family. You both deserve to have time to take care of your family. That's what living wages are about. And so it is hypocritical for Paul Ryan to push it on the one hand for himself and not for others.
On a larger scheme here, I think Paul Ryan might be positioned much better than McCarthy or others to unite his party. He's smart, he's careful, he's respected. The only problem is, will he unite them around issues that are in the best interest of everyday people or will he continue the Republican onslaught on the vulnerable and the poor. And also on a divisive agenda that doesn't get anything done.
FERGUSON: And let's be clear, Poppy.
HARLOW: Go ahead, Ben.
FERGUSON: One of the things that Paul Ryan was asking for was he's saying, I am not going to be a speaker that's going to be here 24/7. And I think most Americans are probably OK with that. He wasn't talking about leave of absence time. He was saying that if you want me to be speaker, I'm not going to be Boehner where I'm here all the time, we're having all these special sessions.
I think most people want Congress to go to Washington, do their job and what they're supposed to be doing is going back to their districts and actually talking to the constituents. I think most people would like their congressmen to be home more so they actually listen to them more instead of just sitting in Washington making laws. So from my perspective, the less time that congressmen are in Washington the better off we'd probably all are because they're actually going be listening to us instead of passing bills that we don't care about.
HARLOW: Well, Marc, we also need them in Washington.
FERGUSON: They've been there plenty.
HILL: I mean, the problem is Congress has done so little I think the bar has shifted a bit. But no, we do need them in Washington. We need them -- particularly the speaker of the House. We need them to be present and available. We need them not just doing backdoor deals and negotiating and pushing people to make moves that they otherwise wouldn't wait. But we need them to the face of the Congress, to be the face of their party, to be the standard bearer of sorts, particularly when they don't have a president in the White House of their party.
I think that's very important. So if I'm a Republican, I'm cool with Paul Ryan spending weekends with his family. I'm cool with him not being John Boehner. Who would want that? But at the same time he can't err on the other extreme here and become the vacation or even the stay-at-home --
FERGUSON: And I don't think -- Paul Ryan has been accused of a lot of things.
HARLOW: I don't think that's going to happen. I have to leave it there.
FERGUSON: Paul Ryan is not going to be one just to go on vacation.
HARLOW: I have to leave it there. Ben, Marc, thank you both. Have a great week. Appreciate it.
HILL: Thank you.
FERGUSON: Thanks, Poppy.
HARLOW: Coming up next you will hear from a woman who worked at the State Department, now a CEO who says we need men much more in this conversation about work-life balance and, quote, unquote, having it all. Anne-Marie Slaughter with me next.
[18:46:51] HARLOW: In today's "American Opportunity," the debate over having it all for parents across this country.
Anne-Marie Slaughter's 2012 article in "The Atlantic" called "Why Women Still Can't Have It All" certainly made waves and headlines around the world. Well, now she's followed it up with a new book, "Unfinished Business." I sat down with her in Washington, D.C. at the Fortune's Most Powerful Women Summit.
HARLOW: In your new book "Unfinished Business" you argue that despite America's unlocking the talents of women in a way few nations can match we are losing women. What does "losing women" mean?
ANNE-MARIE SLAUGHTER, PRESIDENT AND CEO, NEW AMERICA: So we are losing the talent of women who are extremely well educated, who are actually outpacing boys in college and graduate school, who come into the workforce and are doing wonderfully and whose -- their first five to 10 years of their career look just like men. And then once they start having children or for some of them they're caring for their own parents, they start to fall off.
And losing women means we're losing their talent. As they have children and discover they want to work differently, more flexibly, in ways that allow them to make room for care, the workplace typically forces them to make a choice between advancing in their careers and caring for others. And what happens then is that they're shut out and we as a country, and individual businesses, are losing their talent.
But also the investment that those corporations made in them. But even more fundamentally, I was raised to think my father's work was much more important than my mother's.
HARLOW: Yes. And actually just recently you've changed your mind on that.
SLAUGHTER: Yes. That was really part of the -- you know, the evolution for this book is that I now look at my parents, and I would have said my father is a lawyer. I would have told you my mother is a professional artist and a very talented one. I would not have told you she was a homemaker for 20 years. And now I look at her and say, wait a minute. She created our family.
HARLOW: You argue that the fate of women's careers in this country, and families, is not within their control. That is so hard for a lot of us to stomach.
SLAUGHTER: Yes. So this is part of the hardest -- the hardest thing for me about kind of being the bearer of this message. What I am saying to people is, life is unpredictable. And that -- you know, you can try really hard, you can get -- you can do everything right, and you can still have what happened to me. A kid who had a rocky adolescence. And that's pretty mild on the scheme of things, right?
You can have a child with special needs. Your husband can get sick or your wife. Your parents can suddenly need care. Your marriage can dissolve. So my point is, it's very easy to hit a tipping point and to suddenly find that that carefully constructed work-family, you know, balance or fit that you relied on suddenly you tip over it. And that when that happens, that doesn't mean that you are out of the game or shouldn't mean that you are out of the game.
So I'm telling young women, I know you want to believe you can control your life. But that's not actually the way it is. And at the very least, think about the possibility and plan for the possibility that, you know, you'll be a very different person at 35 and 45.
[18:50:12] HARLOW: There's also an economic argument to be made here. And you talk about until men and women stand up equally for care, meaning care of the family, care of the child if you have a child, care of the home, et cetera, men and women will never be equal but you add on to that, America as a whole will never be as competitive as it ought to be.
SLAUGHTER: Yes. So in part I think people have not been making the case on the numbers and that's now changing. As a nation, we are losing GDP because we're not using women's talents to the fullest, but equally, and this is part that I didn't know, if we don't invest in our children, and that means allowing parents to care for them and that also means having quality, affordable daycare, we are literally condemning the next generation of Americans to being less than they can be because those first five years of a child's life, you're not just teaching the kid stuff, you are actually shaping his or her brain.
You are determining what he or she can learn for the rest of his or her life. And that means as a competiveness matter we should be saying, hey, you know, care particularly for children but also for elders, but for children, that's a national priority. That's a national security issue. That's a competiveness issue.
HARLOW: You have two teenage sons.
SLAUGHTER: I do.
HARLOW: Who have grown up in their teenage years with you very much in the spotlight on this issue. I am interested in how that has shaped them.
SLAUGHTER: Yes. It's interesting, so I tell this story that about a year after my article came out and there was all this attention, and my son -- the son I wrote about was getting back on the right track in high school and so he reads something about Syria and he comes home and says, mom, mom, if you'd stayed in the State Department, could you have saved Syria? And it was like the first moment he realized that maybe this tradeoff, you know, had global consequences.
And I assured him, no, I could not have saved Syria, but they've actually been pretty proud of this whole thing. They knew I was a role model before, but they understand that this is a debate that will affect their lives and as boys that's another thing that changed between the articles and the book, is I say we have to raise our boys differently, so, you know, I would say they're being raised to be lead parents as much as they are to be breadwinners and they're proud of that.
HARLOW: Anne-Marie Slaughter, thank you very much for that interview.
Coming up next, Heather Abbott lost her leg in the Boston marathon bombing. She has turned that tragedy into hope and help for others who have lost a limb. That story when we return.
[18:56:40] HARLOW: Finally tonight, "The Number." Tonight's number is 500. That is how many Americans lose a limb each day according to the CDC. There are almost two million people living with limb loss right now in the United States.
Two and a half years ago Heather Abbott's life changed in an instant. She lost her leg when a bomb exploded at the finish line of the Boston marathon. And we have been following her journey to recovery for the last two years. Tonight more on that journey.
She started the Heather Abbott Foundation to help pay for human- looking prosthetics for other amputees and she said so much about her recovery is being able to feel like herself again and that includes walking in those high heels.
This week her foundation gave away their first prosthetic to a 26- year-old woman who said it will let her do something that she has never been before able to do.
CNN's senior photojournalist Bob Crowley captured the incredible moment on camera.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HEATHER ABBOTT, BOSTON BOMBING SURVIVOR: After I hopped in at the last half mile with the woman who saved me from the bombing, I crossed the finish line with her wearing this leg which was pretty amazing.
Well, I'm wearing my high-heel leg. I also have a cosmetic leg that I use for flat shoes. An insurance typically only covers one and they're extremely expensive. Over the last couple years I've met other amputees who weren't as fortunate so it was really important to me to help as many other amputees get what I got.
I can't wait. I'm so excited.
Today we're giving our very first prosthetic device out.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I am the very proud recipient of the first prosthetic leg from the Heather Abbott Foundation. She is donating a high-heel prosthetic to me. I met Heather about right after I had my amputation done.
ABBOTT: You have to get boots that have a zipper.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I never knew anybody who had been through what I'd been through before.
ABBOTT: There she is.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I've never been able to wear high heels before.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How much taller do you feel?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I feel very tall. I can see more. I feel like in general heels make you feel taller, they make you stand taller, they make you feel more confident.
ABBOTT: I don't think I was doing this amazing when I put them on for the first time.
Some people have found it insignificant to be concerned about high heels when you're an amputee. But I know for me, it was really important. It was part of who I was, it was part of being a woman and it was something that I didn't want to have to give up.
Hopefully we'll be making it happen for a lot of other people as well.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's going to open up a whole new life for me, I think.
ABBOTT: It means a lot to me to be able help another person the way the I was help, also to make people aware of the cost of prosthetic devices and hopefully make some changes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HARLOW: Well, a study by Johns Hopkins found the total lifetime cost of a traumatic amputation is more than half a million dollars. Heather's next donation will be a running leg for an 8-year-old girl. If you want to help, just go to heatherabbottfoundation.org.
And before we go tonight, a farewell to one of the most important members of our team here at CNN. Our copy editor, Rob Harper, he has worked at CNN for 22 years. He's moving on to do amazing things, and he was a voice of wisdom and patience for our team. I guarantee you there is no kinder person out there.
We're going to miss you so much, Rob. Thank you for all you have done for all of us.
[19:00:01] I' Poppy Harlow in New York. Three hours of "ANTHONY BOURDAIN: PARTS UNKNOWN" coming up next. Have a great week.