tv The Lead With Jake Tapper CNN October 31, 2013 1:00pm-2:01pm PDT
one. facebook owns that. they are going to snap chat. twitter as well. facebook does have a problem with holding on to teenagers. they have to work on that. >> thank you very much. there is the closing bell. thank you very much for watching me. see you back here tomorrow. "the lead" with jake tapper starts right now. so i had this great idea to dress up as the obama care website for halloween but it turns out the costume won't be ready until the end of november. i'm jake tapper. this is "the lead." the world lead. syria, remember syria? the country the u.s. came this close to attacking? after concluding the assad regime gassed its own people? now a watchdog says syria has destroyed or disabled all its chemical weapons facilities. can we trust that? the national lead. local police called it a freak accident but the parents of kendrick johnson suspected foul play. now after cnn joined their quest for answers, the feds are stepping in. and the sports lead.
much to the relief of their wives and girlfriends, the red sox can finally shave today. how the city of boston plans to keep the party going now that the sox are champs again. good afternoon. welcome to "the lead." i'm jake tapper. we begin with the world lead today. syria still a war-torn nightmare in which tens if not hundreds of people are killed every day but if you believe a report released today, at least it won't be with any new chemical weapons, which is what the u.s. government really seems to care about. remember these scenes from august 21st, when the u.s. says the syrian regime gassed its own people in an effort to push back rebel forces in the damascus suburbs? u.s. officials estimated more than 1400 people, many of them children, were killed in that attack. well, now the organization for the prohibition of chemical weapons or opcw which is overseeing syria's disarmament says the regime of bashar al assad has destroyed or disabled all of its declared chemical
weapons production and mixing facilities. deadline to finish that process is tomorrow. again, we're talking about the facilities, not the existing cache of chemical weapons. two sites were too dangerous to go to and all chemical weapons at those sites have been reported to have been played under seal. next deadline is november 15th, when a plan has to be agreed to destroy the stockpile. the timetable was set up after much public vacillation on the part of the u.s. in august and september that israel which has little reason to trust syria still carried out an air strike on a syrian military base today, according to an obama administration official. the target, missiles and other equipment that israel feared would fall into the hands of hezbollah, the lebanon based shiite political party that the u.s. state department classifies as a terrorist organization. let's bring in senator bob menendez of new jersey, chair of the foreign relations committee which just held a hearing a few hours ago on the situation in syria.
senator, good to see you. thanks for coming in. we appreciate it. this is obviously a good sign if true that 21 out of 23 syrian chemical weapons facilities have been destroyed or rendered inoperable but how can we be sure that that's it, that these are the only facilities? >> well, that's exactly the question i asked of the state department today, because public reports indicated that we believed there were 45 sites or so in syria, so while this is certainly much welcome that the 21 sites and the machinery to produce chemical weapons have been destroyed, we need access to all of the sites as well as ultimately a conclusion as to how do we get rid of the chemicals that exist, and how do they get destroyed. so good news to some extent, but still a lot more work to be done in access to all the sites we ourselves through our intelligence determined exist and which we need access to. >> what about the chemical
weapons themselves, the stockpiles? how concerned are you that the watchdog will actually be able to monitor all of those? >> well, this is going to depend upon access and this is the next stage of what we want this organization to do and the world needs to follow through on, through the security council. and it is my hope that they'll have access to that but at the same time that we're riveted on chemical weapons, which of course is a great national security interest of the united states, i must be honest with you, the day's hearing left me bewildered about that this government does not have a strategy as to syria. it seems that we're having meetings about how we get to meetings in geneva while syria's becoming the somalia of the middle east and attracting an all-star cast of violent extremists. and it's beyond my imagination that at this stage, we don't have a comprehensive plan to try
to get syria into a different track when we have all of the consequences to the region, to our allies, and to our own national security because of syria ultimately becoming a breeding ground for terrorists. >> have you conveyed that? those are very strong words from you, especially as an obama supporter and democrat. have you conveyed that directly to dr. rice, the national security advisor, or secretary of state john kerry in terms of your concern that there really isn't any sort of coherent strategy? >> well, i was waiting for this hearing to see whether i would hear anything that would indicate to me we had ambassador ford, who is a tremendous public servant, but whose testimony along with the assistant secretary of state in charge of the chemical weapons element and our a.i.d. administrator in terms of humanitarian issues for which there is great work being done in that regard, but the reality is i heard no comprehensive cohesive strategy,
so i will shortly after i leave your program, going to be meeting with secretary kerry on iran. i intend to also pursue him on syria, because this is not acceptable. the committee acted in a way that gave the administration back in may the wherewithal to try to help the opposition in syria and also gave them the power that i think got us to this more successful point on chemical weapons by the authorization of military force at the time, which was critical to being able to negotiate with the russians to move forward on the chemical weapons, but that doesn't stop the underlying massacre that is taking place and the consequences to the entire region. >> let's turn to another place where there are horrific massacres going on, iraq. president obama is meeting with the iraqi prime minister, where he's expected to ask for military aid in combatting al qaeda driven violence in iraq. you were one of the senators, bipartisan group to send a letter to president obama this week.
you wrote quote, we encourage you to step up our counterterrorism support for iraq. it is in our national security interest to enhance the effectiveness of iraq security forces, especially through greater intelligence sharing. have you heard back from the white house since you and your fellow senators sent that letter? >> we have not. but i did get an opportunity to meet with prime minister malaki and that letter spoke to the necessity of the prime minister to take bolder political steps within iraq to have less of a sectarian government and a more inclusive government with shia and kurds in power sharing and in resources and in weapons alone, or even the sharing of intelligence, it's not going to solve some of the fundamental challenges that we believe in that bipartisan group is creating part of the attraction by al qaeda acceptance in
elements of iraq because ultimately, if you find yourself in the shia or kurd community and you feel air not part of this new national government and participation, then you ultimately feel not only marginalized but open to susceptibility of the arguments that al qaeda will make to you. so yes, we want to help the iraqis have the intelligence and resources to fight al qaeda but we need them to help themselves in a political process that creates a more open and inclusive iraq if we're going to ultimately meet this challenge. >> finally, senator, some of your republican colleagues such as senators graham and mccain are threatening to hold up obama administration nominations such as janet yellin, nominee to be fed chair, until they are able to get more information on benghazi, hear specifically directly from survivors. why not let survivors testify? >> well, look, benghazi has had
the most exhaustive set of documents, hearings. in our own committee, we held several hearings on benghazi both in a classified setting so every question could be asked without the concern of certain intelligence information getting out, in a public setting. we had it with former secretary clinton. we've had questions raised with secretary kerry. at some point, it becomes a question of do you want to hold on to the issue or do you want to get to the truth. the truth is, i think what has been shared with the committee both publicly and privately and in other forums, and i'm not sure what continues to be the goal of some of our colleagues in this regard. >> do you -- i covered that story a lot when it broke and i was a white house correspondent. one of the things that struck me was there were many, many officials on the ground in libya, diplomatic officials, security officials, who wanted more security in libya and the state department ignored them,
ignored their requests, and i have never understood why that was, and i haven't seen any real accountability for those who denied those requests. i know there are a lot of conspiracy theories about benghazi that are ludicrous but that is a very real problem, what happened there in terms of security requests being denied. why do you think they were denied security? >> well, it will take a long time to go through all the elements but i will say this. there was clearly some informational process in terms of upward information that did not work well. i think there was some look at the intelligence in a way that didn't look at it in terms of specifics towards an imminent threat that maybe should have looked at the entire environment in libya to make the analysis for what was or not a threat. that has created changes at the state department where there is a clear line not only of
authority, but a person for high risk, high threat posts that directly has a lot of power going directly to the undersecretary of state. the undersecretary of state, wendy sherman, is intimately involved in this process. that's one step away from the secretary. so the experiences of benghazi have ultimately created a new order that will, i hope, both in terms of the analysis of intelligence, looking at intelligence in a different way, and having a clear line of communication that can be used expeditiously, will ultimately meet our challenges in a challenging global environment where terrorism is a constant threat. one of the things we need to do is to pass the embassy security bill that has elements of this that passed through the committee on a bipartisan basis. we need to get that passed in the senate as well. >> senator bob menendez, democrat of new jersey, you just got a new colleague today. senator cory booker sworn in. thank you so much for joining us. we appreciate it. coming up next on "the lead" a mysterious death in a high school gym.
a boy found rolled up in a gym mat, dead. it's ruled an accident. the family is calling it a coverup by the police. now investigators are reopening the kendrick johnson case and his parents are going to tell us what they think really happened. plus, ted cruz, senator ted cruz's father caught on camera saying president obama should quote, go back to kenya. huh? what does the republican senator have to say about it? ♪ norfolk southern what's your function? ♪
♪ hooking up the country helping business run ♪ ♪ build! we're investing big to keep our country in the lead. ♪ load! we keep moving to deliver what you need. and that means growth, lots of cargo going all around the globe. cars and parts, fuel and steel, peas and rice, hey that's nice! ♪ norfolk southern what's your function? ♪ ♪ helping this big country move ahead as one ♪ ♪ norfolk southern how's that function? ♪ help the gulf when we made recover and learn the gulf, bp from what happened
so we could be a better, safer energy company. i can tell you - safety is at the heart of everything we do. we've added cutting-edge technology, like a new deepwater well cap and a state-of-the-art monitoring center, where experts watch over all drilling activity twenty-four-seven. and we're sharing what we've learned, so we can all produce energy more safely. our commitment has never been stronger. i started part-time, now i'm a manager.n. my employer matches my charitable giving. really. i get bonuses even working part-time. where i work, over 400 people are promoted every day. healthcare starting under $40 a month. i got education benefits. i work at walmart. i'm a pharmacist.
sales associate. i manage produce. i work in logistics. there's more to walmart than you think. vo: opportunity. that's the real walmart. he was a matted messiley in a small cage. ng day. so that was our first task, was getting him to wellness. without angie's list, i don't know if we could have found all the services we needed for our riley. from contractors and doctors to dog sitters and landscapers, you can find it all on angie's list. we found riley at the shelter, and found everything he needed at angie's list. join today at angieslist.com i wanted to ask you a couple questions.card. i've got nothing to hide. my bill's due today and i haven't paid yet. you can pay up 'til midnight online or by phone the day it's due. got a witness to verify that? just you. you called me. ok, that checks out. at discover, we treat you like you'd treat you. get the it card with payment flexibility.
so you want to drive more safely? of smart. stop eating. take deep breaths. avoid bad weather. [ whispers ] get eight hours. ♪ [ shouts over music ] turn it down! and, of course, talk to farmers. hi. hi. ♪ we are farmers bum - pa - dum, bum - bum - bum - bum ♪ welcome back to "the lead." in the national lead, it's a mystery that tormented a georgia family for nearly a year. how did their 17-year-old son die in what should have been the safety of his school? his bloody body was found rolled up inside a gym mat. well, the parents of kendrick johnson have been relentless in their quest for answers, ever since his death back in january. just hours ago, the u.s. attorney in georgia agreed to launch a federal investigation. >> my objective is to discover the truth, and i believe that can only be done by gathering
all of the evidence and relevant information surrounding mr. johnson's death. >> now, the sheriff's department has said all along that johnson's death was a freak accident, that there was no evidence of foul play, but the teen's parents think their son was murdered and that the school and sheriff's office are guilty of a coverup. the family launched its own investigation and found blood smears on a wall near where johnson's body was found. a private pathologist hired by the family found evidence of a blow to the side of his neck. these discrepancies have led some experts to question the official explanation that kendrick had suffocated reaching for a sneaker. cnn has been covering every angle of this story from the start and we managed to get access to surveillance video from the school the day of johnson's death. the video shows him in a hallway and entering the gym, where other students are playing basketball. but none of the released images show the moment he died. still, johnson's parents say they're hopeful that with the feds now getting involved, a fresh pair of eyes will uncover
what really happened and joining us now from tallahassee, florida are kenneth and jacqueline johnson, kendrick's parents, along with the family's attorney. thank you all for joining us. mr. and mrs. johnson, we are so sorry for your loss. kenneth johnson, i would like to start with you. what's your reaction to the u.s. attorney general's decision to reopen your son's case? >> well, we're happy that a fresh pair of eyes is starting to look at kendrick's case, and we're just waiting on the truth to really come out. >> jacqueline, why do you believe that the school or the sheriff's office or anyone would attempt to cover up or at the very least, not try to get to the bottom of the circumstances behind your son's death? >> i don't know. that's what we're trying to find out. that's why we're trying to get to the truth. i have no idea. >> do you think race played a role at all in how the initial investigation into kendrick's death was handled?
>> well, certainly you have to consider race as a factor, but i don't think that that's the end-all in terms of trying to understand why this case was handled in the way that it was. we believe that certainly if there is a coverup, it is a coverup for somebody and not a nobody. so who this person might be or who the individuals might be is a mystery at this point, and we are hoping that the investigation that the federal government will now actively get going will help to uncover the truth in that regard. >> just to follow up, do you have any suspicions or you just have this mystery and you're trying to figure out why there wasn't this due diligence done, in your opinion?
>> well, over the now going on ten months that i have been involved in this case, we have received bits and pieces of information from various sources within the community. you have to understand that valdosta is a small community and that there's no such thing as a secret. so while we have our ideas as to who may have been involved, we have not received this information in such a way that you could say that it is completely reliable. we do intend to pursue our investigation through the use of a coroner's inquest. we hope that in this process, the various individuals will be subpoenaed and compelled to give testimony, and give us the information that the family has been in search of for so long.
>> benjamin crump, we know you worked closely with the parents of trayvon martin to pursue justice for their son. do you intend to pursue a civil rights case in kendrick johnson's case regardless of the outcome of the federal investigation? >> we certainly plan to explore all possible legal remedies to hold those individuals accountable who killed kendrick johnson and those who covered up for those individuals, because make no mistake about it, his parents never accepted this explanation that he climbed into a wrestling mat, got stuck and died. it flew in the face of all common sense, logic and the laws of physics. what's more likely to have happened, he was murdered and there's been some conspiracy to cover up the truth here. this is a murder mystery and we will get to the bottom of it. >> kenneth, tell us what the past ten months have been like for you and your family as you've dealt with the grieving process and also tried to pursue justice.
>> well, it's been hard for the last ten months. you know, me and my wife haven't worked since january, since this happened to kendrick. we've just been trying to move forward. we've been on the corner protesting for six days a week, for the last six months now, and it's just been hard, you know. we just gave up everything to fight for justice for our son. we've just been fighting, fighting. we just gave up everything. >> of course, behind this all, there was a young man of immense promise, kendrick. i want to give you the final word, jacqueline. tell us about kendrick. what should people at home who are watching right now, what should they know about him? >> well, kendrick was a nice young man. he was the son every parent dreamed to have. kendrick never been in trouble
with the law. he had never been in trouble at school. he just was a great child. he had one incident with a young man at school, but kendrick was a great child. any parent would have loved to have a child like kendrick johnson. >> jacqueline, the same question? >> he was an athlete. he was funny. he always did little silly things. he was the life of our house. >> our thoughts and prayers are with you. jacqueline and kenneth johnson and the rest of you, thank you so much for joining us. we hope you find justice and we hope you find peace. >> thank you. within the past hour, we have received a statement from the sheriff's department reacting to the u.s. attorney's decision to reopen the johnson case. it reads in part, while the sheriff has every confidence that his office's investigation was handled with the necessary diligence to assure that all leads were examined and exhausted, he welcomes the u.s.
attorney's further review of the case. coming up on "the lead," two retail giants going for each other's throats. but can walmart really compete with amazon's online dominance? i'll ask walmart's ceo next. plus, the obama administration turning to the private sector to help fix the debacle with healthcare.gov. so who's on the i.t. team? ♪ norfolk southern what's your function? ♪
♪ hooking up the country helping business run ♪ ♪ trains! they haul everything, safely and on time. ♪ tracks! they connect the factories built along the lines. and that means jobs, lots of people, making lots and lots of things. let's get your business rolling now, everybody sing. ♪ norfolk southern what's your function? ♪ ♪ helping this big country move ahead as one ♪ ♪ norfolk southern how's that function? ♪
female narrator: the mattress price wars are ending soon the mattress price wars are ending soon at sleep train. we've challenged the manufacturers to offer even lower prices. now it's posturepedic versus beautyrest with big savings of up to $400 off. serta icomfort and tempur-pedic go head-to-head with three years' interest-free financing, plus free same-day delivery, setup, and removal of your old set. when brands compete, you save. mattress price wars ends soon at sleep train. ♪ your ticket to a better night's sleep ♪
welcome back to "the lead." in our money lead today, there may be no more controversial american megacompany than walmart. vilified by democrats and labor unions for low wages and in their view, an anti-worker attitude, walmart nonetheless thrives as the biggest private employer in the u.s. the company is mindful of its reputation in these attacks and recently committed to buying $50 billion in u.s.-made goods over the next ten years and to outreach to hire veterans, efforts we thought were worth exploring. joining me now is bill simon, president and ceo of walmart u.s. thank you so much for being here. we appreciate it. >> great to be with you. >> so in may, you announced an
initiative to hire 100,000 veterans over the next five years. >> that's right. >> how's that going? >> it's going really well. we announced actually that we would offer a job to any honorably discharged veteran within his or her 12 months off active duty, anyone who wants a job can come to walmart and we'll give them a job. if you served your country you shouldn't have to fight for a job. >> at any store? >> we'll find the right spot for them. >> you also committed to buying more u.s.-made products. i know that's a challenge because they are often cheaper abroad. how's that working? >> the economics of that are changing fundamentally from what existed several decades ago. the transportation and labor components are making manufacturing certain categories very, very viable in the u.s. and the opportunity is once in a generation for us to reestablish some manufacturing in the u.s. we've had great success since we announced that initiative and began that rollout in august. we have been able to make several announcements that have totaled 1600 jobs.
we have several hundred active projects under way where manufacturers are looking at the right geographies in the u.s. to place facilities. >> walmart's the largest private sector employer in the u.s. >> that's right. >> so how is the healthcare.gov obama care rollout affecting your employees? >> we've had several years to prepare for it, and the health care benefits we offer our associates already exceeded the minimum requirements substantially exceeded the requirements of the new health care law, so the implementation cost impacted us slightly but they're already built into our base and our people haven't had an impact of it because they have health care offering that exceeded that. >> aren't there a number of i guess they would be part-time associates who would qualify for medicaid because they don't have insurance? >> you know, their part-time status would suggest they have benefits from some other place. many of them, part-time workers, this is a second job. we have a very large group of
retired people who work for us as well and then we have a very large group of young people who are still on their parents' benefits. >> one of the things you're doing and getting some notice for is on the spot promotions, going around to different stores around the country promoting 25,000 employees. i know you've taken a little heat for that. people suggesting that you're doing that to distract from the controversy over walmart's wages. tell me about the program and whether or not the criticism's fair, in your view. >> our company promotes 160,000 people a year, over 400 a day at stores and clubs and distribution centers all around the country. we're proud of that. we're proud of our jobs. at any given time, we have 15,000 or so openings in a work force of over -- well over a million people. it's not difficult to get in. with 160,000 promotions a year it's not difficult to get promoted, either. we're a company of opportunity. we wanted to take the opportunity to stand up and tell our associates that we're proud of them and promote them very
publicly. >> obviously a lot of controversy about walmart wages. do you think that walmart pays people enough to live on? >> our pay is in the top half of what retail offers, what our industry offers. we'r proud of the opportunity that we provide people. our company gives people the chance to start and work their way through the organization. our folks can very quickly move from an entry level position into a more supervisory hourly role into a department manager role and into an assistant manager role. our management team, our assistant managers, start around $55,000 a year and our store managers average about $170,000 a year. so it's a good opportunity. they're good jobs and the progression that we see has caused people to stay with us. we have over 300,000 that have been with us for ten years or more. >> you have become something of a whipping boy for democrats and labor organizations, though. >> you know, every good organization has its set of critics. as we move forward, we take a
look at what we have, opportunities to improve on, and we move forward. >> i want to move on to one other question which has to do with a wells fargo analyst recently said amazon is the walmart of the post-2000 period. do you think that walmart waited too long to try to compete with the amazons out there? >> you know, it's a great question. amazon's a terrific competitor but we compete with terrific competitors all across the world in lots of different channels. amazon has built themselves a customer base and a niche based on service and assortment that is very impressive. we're moving in that direction from an e-commerce perspective as well. we believe the opportunity to be successful is in the convergence of physical and digital retail and we have the opportunity to do that in a way that nobody else can. amazon has an online presence that's very strong but our footprint in the u.s. of 4,000 stores and around the world of 10,000 stores provides us product already in the customers' zip code, already in
their neighborhood. if we can connect those physical locations with the digital world, we think there's a really, really good opportunity. >> bill simon, president and ceo of walmart u.s., thanks for coming in. we appreciate it. let's check in with our green room. molly ball, ross douthat, tracy seffel. senator cory booker was sworn in today. while a lot of friends and family showed up, we couldn't help but notice not a lot of senators did. dana bash estimates there were only about a dozen democratic senators and a few republican ones. this is right before the senate was supposed to vote. what do you think? is this hazing the newbie? >> it's a big mistake. we know about cory booker's penchant for heroism, pulling people out of burning buildings, saving kittens from trees, that kind of thing. if something goes wrong at the capitol, those 15 senators, he's getting them out alive. everybody else, who knows. they're on their own. >> very nice. got to think ahead when it comes to cory booker. he's like underdog, always there. we appreciate it. the political panel is next. life's an adventure when you're with her.
and it always has been. but your erectile dysfunction - it could be a question of blood flow. cialis tadalafil for daily use helps you be ready anytime the moment's right. you can be more confident in your ability to be ready. and the same cialis is the only daily ed tablet approved to treat ed and symptoms of bph, like needing to go frequently or urgently. tell your doctor about all your medical conditions and medications, and ask if your heart is healthy enough for sexual activity. do not take cialis if you take nitrates for chest pain, as this may cause an unsafe drop in blood pressure. do not drink alcohol in excess with cialis. side effects may include headache, upset stomach, delayed backache or muscle ache. to avoid long-term injury, seek immediate medical help for an erection lasting more than 4 hours. if you have any sudden decrease or loss in hearing or vision,
medicare open enrollment. of year again. time to compare plans and costs. you don't have to make changes. but it never hurts to see if you can find better coverage, save money, or both. and check out the preventive benefits you get after the health care law. open enrollment ends december 7th. so now's the time. visit medicare.gov or call 1-800-medicare welcome back to "the lead." this just in for the politics lead. after the obama administration reportedly said thanks but no thanks to help from amazon and
microsoft to fix healthcare.gov, the centers for medicare and medicaid services is revealing some of the big guns they're bringing in to help, including a site reliability engineer who is currently on leave from google and personnel from other tech companies like red hat and oracle. the site is back to normal as in normally terrible, awful. after crashing again yesterday. the administration has vowed to get it working smoothly by the end of november. now let's move on to our political panel. fathers often play prominent roles for politicians, whether it's dynastic dads like george h.w. bush or prescott bush or joe kennedy or the fathers that color the inspirational family stories so common on the campaign trail. ted cruz's dad, pastor rafael cruz is of the latter variety, staple of the tea party favorite stump speech and is the texas senator's personal symbol of the american dream. what do you do as a politician when your dad says something
like this. >> we need to send barack obama back to chicago. i'd like to send him back to kenya. >> back to kenya? what? a spokesman for senator cruz told mother jones magazine, the left-leaning magazine that broke the story, quote, these selective quotes taken out of context mischaracterize the substance of pastor cruz's message. pastor cruz does not speak for the senator. joining me now to talk about it, "new york times" op-ed columnist ross douthat, tracy seffel and writer for the atlantic, molly ball. ross, first of all, i think it's fair to say we all have dads and we all have moms and maybe they don't always represent what we actually think. but pastor cruz is a big part of senator cruz's message and who he is. >> yeah. i mean, this is actually, that specific line is a sort of specific issue, but if you look at the kind of sermons and
quasi-stump speeches pastor cruz has been giving for awhile now, it was pretty obvious that he is and will continue to be a controversial figure. it's a little bit like if jeremiah wright had been actually barack obama's father in 2008. it takes the sort of right factor and ups it quite a bit. i guess it's just going to be interesting to see how ted cruz handles it. >> tracy, those comments, would you care to characterize them? >> well, he seemed to have more energy than his son, who last friday night spoke in iowa at a big republican gathering and was one of the most listless and vacant speakers that -- >> you were there? you were at a republican event in iowa? >> i've got sources. >> okay. so he's a little more peppy. molly, that's just racism. president obama should go back to kenya? >> well, i think the problem with the figure of rafael cruz
is not so much for ted cruz specifically but for the sort of tea party constituency that has made him a hero, because it serves to underscore this perception that they're motivated primarily by personal antipathy to president obama and there is a fringe that believes in birtherism and conservative thinkers like ross have been saying they have to create distance from that fringe if they want to start talking to the middle of the electorate more. >> on the other hand, if you're a politician, you can say why are you attacking my poor aged father. i can see, you know, parents get a pass sometimes when it comes -- >> right, i think the issue for ted cruz is as you suggested at the beginning, that his dad has been part of his stump speech, part of his inspirational story and his dad is a public figure in his own right. he is a sought-after speaker on sort of tea party and a certain strain of evangelical christian speaking circuits. so it isn't as simple as saying
well, it's just my dad, he said something i don't agree with it and so on. i think the issue for cruz going into 2016, where we sort of assume that he's planning to run for president, is figuring out if he needs to have a sort of quiet conversation with his dad about maybe stepping back from public speaking for two years or eight years, as the case may be. >> tracy, i want to put up the latest polling on president obama's approval rating which has dropped five points since earlier this month. jay carney was asked about it and here's what mr. carney had to say. >> everybody gets hurt when there's dysfunction in washington. i think it's accurate to say that the dynamic has proven worse for republicans because i think it became so starkly clear by the actions they took that they were responsible for what happened but everybody gets hurt. >> am i to understand that president obama's bad poll numbers are the republicans' fault, too? is that actually what he's saying? >> well --
>> because he doesn't think president obama is part of the dysfunction. >> i think he said that everybody is suffering at this point. but what i want to point out is what i think is the problem for democrats, and i can say this i think very objectively, that the problem that we're going to see these numbers falling because the dysfunction is going to be shorthanded. people are going to associate this dysfunction with a broken website. that's not a good situation for the president to have such a trivial label attached to what is such a more macro dysfunctional environment that we're in. but because there is such a broad misunderstanding or lack going to be implemented, what it will bring, it all gets shorthanded or cliff's notes back to broken website. who wants a broken website. of course numbers are going to go down. >> all right. thank you all so much. appreciate it. coming up next, she vowed to fight childhood obesity with her let's move campaign but is the
time for the buried lead, stories that aren't getting enough attention. more than 47 million americans rely on food stamps but starting tomorrow, they may notice a good chunk of their benefits have been wiped out, just as the holiday season rolls in. it's partly because of a vote congress took three years ago. that vote reversed a temporary increase in benefits which was put in place at the height of the recession. since 2008, the number of people who rely on the supplemental nutrition assistance program, also called s.n.a.p., has increased dramatically. more than 21 million people have been added to the program. one in four of all u.s. children live in a home that gets food stamps and so do more than 900,000 veterans. republicans largely voted against extending the increase in food stamp benefits but here's an interesting twist. the white house is also to blame
for some of the program cuts. president obama borrowed money from s.n.a.p. to pay for a portion of the first lady's anti-obesity campaign and he was perhaps naively counting on congress to refund the money he took away. cnn's rosa flores has more. >> reporter: it sounded like a great idea when it was launched. a program aimed in part at making school lunches healthier. >> we're determined to finally take on one of the most serious threats to their future and that's the epidemic of childhood obesity. >> reporter: but to fund that war on obesity, the white house borrowed money from the war on hunger. >> some of the funding comes from rolling back a temporary increase in food stamp benefits or s.n.a.p. as it's now called starting in the fall of 2013. >> reporter: that's now, when the s.n.a.p. program runs out of money from the 2009 american recovery and reinvestment act. >> after these cuts, the average
benefit per person per meal will be $1.40. >> reporter: the cuts impact 47 million americans including 22 million children on food stamps and nine million elderly or seriously disabled people. like katherine mckinnon, who went from grandma to a single mother of three when her daughter died. each month, she gets $358 in food stamps to feed a family of four. about $4 a meal in a city where a box of cereal at her local store is $4.50. she sells cans to make ends meet. >> no matter how people look at you, keep your head up. >> reporter: the president said he would negotiate more funding with congress, but negotiating with congress right now seems unlikely. >> i know a number of members of congress have expressed concerns about this offset being included in the bill and i'm committed to working with them to restore these funds in the future. >> reporter: his gamble even upset some congressional democrats.
>> i did not want to do that. this was -- these were bad choices to make. >> reporter: mckinnon already supplements food stamps by eating two meals a day at a soup kitchen. a senate version of the next farm bill which funds food stamps proposes cutting nearly $4 billion more over ten years. the one in the house cuts $39 billion more. >> we need to reform the food stamp program with better policies. i'm not so much concerned about the planned spending that will be reduced as is getting policies that promote work and dignity. >> reporter: for katherine mckinnon, it's just about making ends meet. >> i learned how to survive. >> reporter: rosa flores, cnn, new york. >> this week a bipartisan group of senators and members of the house started working together on a bill that would be seen as a compromise on food stamp cuts, but it's expected to face plenty of resistance among rank and file republicans in the house. this just in.
police in new york city can resume their controversial stop and frisk program after a federal appeals court slapped a stay on an earlier ruling from a district judge who said the police unlawfully targeted people who were walking while black or hispanic. there will be a new hearing on the issue overseen by a new randomly selected judge on march 14th. coming up on "the lead," hoping that halloween costume you bought online really is one of a kind? well, if you're dressing up as a twerking mouse, you might be disappointed. stay with us. ingeniously uses radar to alert you to possible collision threats. and in certain situations it can apply the brakes. introducing the all-new 2014 chevrolet impala with available crash imminent braking. always looking forward. while watching your back. and recently the 2013 chevrolet impala received the j.d. power award for highest ranked large car in initial quality. that's american ingenuity, to find new roads.
medicare part d plan did you know that if you enroll in a where walmart is a preferred pharmacy, you could save up to 80% on your co-pays over other pharmacies? this could lower your prescription co-pays to as low as a dollar so you can enjoy the things that really matter. and now that we're a preferred pharmacy for many national plans, it's never been easier to save. choose any plan where walmart is a preferred pharmacy provider by logging on to walmart.com/rxplans now through december 7th. save money. live better. walmart.
welcome back to "the lead." of course, we have to do the sports lead and what a difference a millenium makes. there was a time, youngsters, before the beards and big papi when the only names you would hear about boston baseball were the curse of the bambino and bill bucknor. now as the city of boston readies duck boats for their third world series parade in less than a decade, a new generation of red sox nation who don't even know bucky dent's middle name has been spoiled with success. the sox got to celebrate a title on fenway park soil for the first time since 1918, when a svelte babe ruth was in left
field. a fitting celebration for a team that ran with the rally cry of boston strong after the horrific marathon bombings. in a touching scene earlier this morning, some fans even kneeled down and kissed the finish line, no doubt remembering many sox fans who were wounded on that day. if not lost. time for the real buried lead. get it? because it's halloween? buried? moving along, it was the sight that gave a fright to parents and people with eyeballs everywhere. miley cyrus and her outrageous vma getup. turns out plenty of you will be yelling twerk or tweet tonight because miley's look is the top-selling costume of the year, according to the spirit halloween costume change. it's been spotted on celebrities such as paris hilton and kelly ripa. last year's look was far less disturbing, when the avengers' characters owned the night. in 2010, revelers carved out their stake in halloween fun by
wearing tributes to lady gaga's meat dress. it wouldn't be halloween without good old-fashioned pet humiliation. we are spending big money while allowing our pugs to dress like bumblebees. the national retail federation says on average, u.s. pet owners will spend $330 million on halloween costumes this year but that's nothing compared to what we'll spend on pet-friendly halloween candy and other goodies. the number shoots up to an estimated $6.9 billion. to my dog winston, if you thought that number would shame me out of putting you in a k costume this year, i'm sorry, pal. looks like you're in for another rough halloween night. get it? before we go, earlier this week we brought you a story about the history of "mad" magazine. we neglected to say it was owned by time warner, my apologies. we regret the error. happy halloween, everyone.
if any trick or treaters see this cop and perp out there, please do not call for backup. that will be me and my son trick or treating with my daughter and wife. i now turn you over to wolf blitzer. it's not our news aide dressed as wolf blitzer. he's the real wolf blitzer in a place called "the situation room." happening now, tech giants coming to the rescue of the obama care website as its ongoing failures take a toll on the president's poll numbers. also, why won't the white house let congress hear from some survivors of the deadly terror attack on the u.s. mission in benghazi? and a huge turnaround by the faa. a new rule will change the way almost all of us fly. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." they are some of the biggest names in tech. google, oracle, red hat. we just learned that dozens of