tv The Lead With Jake Tapper CNN November 5, 2013 1:00pm-2:01pm PST
month. stay classy, ron. >> hey, what are you doing? get out of here! get out of here! >> that's today's "hit play." i'll see you back here this time tomorrow. it is election day. jake tapper on the road in asbury park, new jersey, watching the gubernatorial race closely. "the lead" starts now. greetings from asbury park, new jersey. with all due respect to bruce springsteen, today is about a different boss here in new jersey. i'm jake tapper. this is "the lead." the politics lead. election 2013. what happens today could change the political landscape in hundreds of cities. new york, boston, detroit and many more, all electing new mayors. and we are closely watching two gubernatorial races. one in virginia that could be a weather vane for political winds and the other, in new jersey, here, which could be the crucible for a 2016 white house run for governor christie.
i board the campaign bus to spend the day with him, sitting down for an exclusive behind the scenes interview about everything from obama care to problems plaguing his party to his recent weight loss. and one of christie's potential republican rivals in 2016, senator rand paul of kentucky, once again accused of not keeping his eyes on his own paper. making changes in his office after multiple plagiarism allegations if it will get people to leave him the hell alone, in his words. greetings from asbury park, new jersey on this election day, 2013. i'm here getting exclusive behind the scenes access to governor chris christie and his campaign. we begin with the politics lead. we may not be picking a president today or filling any senate seats but all eyes are on the two gubernatorial races that take place after presidential elections and before the midterms which could cast the tea leaves for both 2014 and 2016. one is in the commonwealth of virginia, where polls show that
voters believe they're choosing between the lesser of two evils. clinton-friendly democrat terry mcauliffe has held a small but consistent lead over tea party favorite ken cuccinelli. both men are viewed unfavorably in the most recent quinnipiac poll. the other closely watched race, of course, is right here in new jersey. governor chris christie is taking on, quick, can you name his democratic opponent? it's state senator barbara bouno. we phrase it that way not to knock her but merely as a reflection of the current polls and the fact that national democrats haven't exactly been bending over backwards to give her a hand. christie is leading by nearly 30% in the quinnipiac poll that just came out yesterday. the governor is a republican in a decidedly blue state. president obama won here last year by 18 points, a landslide tonight could allow him to appeal to his party and say i can do the same thing at the national level if i run for president, appeal to democrats and he's made no secret that a run for the oval office is a possibility. first things first. earlier i boarded christie's bus
to spend the day getting exclusive behind the scenes access to his re-election campaign for governor. it's morning in mendham, new jersey. republican governor chris christie's hometown. and it's decision day across the garden state. the governor expected to handily win another term here, says he knows most voters have already made up their minds about him. >> vote for me, please. there's really nothing else to say. if after four years of me, they don't know me, they haven't been paying attention. >> reporter: we spent the day with the governor as he shook a few final hands and reflected on what the republican party can learn from his campaign. he is polling well here and it's anticipated he may make inroads with traditionally democratic voters, women, minorities. >> you've obviously been talking about this in terms of a lesson for the republican party nationally, not just a new jersey lesson. you're hoping for democrats, independents, women, minorities, groups that the republican party has been struggling with state-wide. >> it's certainly been my goal for the last four years, you know, and i think one of the
mistakes our party has made is that we go six, eight, anyone months before an election and start to talk to groups that haven't normally been, you know, supportive of us and say how about looking at us now, and i think those folks are rightfully suspicious when you do that. so we have been working -- >> african-americans? >> african-americans, hispanics, folks who have not normally been in the republican column. you need to go to those folks for four years and include them in the governing process, and then make your pitch during a campaign as to why what you did as a governor is worthy of their support when you come up for an election. i tried this four years ago and wasn't very successful in attracting those votes, i think in part because they just didn't know who i was and how i would govern. i think we'll do much better this time. >> i notice you went to a town that a few years ago, largely african-american, where i think you got something like 4% of the vote. >> 4.7.
don't short me, jake. 4.7% of the vote. >> but even with what's anticipated to be a comfortable margin of victory, christie has some campaigning to do so we joined him on the final leg of his new jersey bus tour. i asked him about the new language president obama used last night to describe the "if you like your health care you can keep your health care" promise from 2009. >> what we said was you could keep it, if it hasn't changed since the law's passed. >> the president's trying to explain what he meant in 2009 and 2010 when he said if you like your plan, you can keep your plan. if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor. obviously that's not entirely true for millions of americans. it might be minority but it's still not true. >> right. >> what advice would you give him? >> here's what my suggestion would be to him. don't be so cute. and when you make a mistake, admit it. listen, if it was a mistake in 2009, if he was mistaken in 2009-2010 on his understanding
of how the law would operate, then just admit it to people. say you know what, i said it, i was wrong. i'm sorry. and we're going to try to fix this and make it better. i think people would give any leader in that circumstance a lot of credit for just owning up to it instead of now trying to -- like don't lawyer it. people don't like lawyers. i'm a lawyer. they don't like them. don't lawyer it. when i saw that this morning, i saw it this morning for the first time, and i thought he's lawyering it. that's barack obama the lawyer, not the leader. people want leaders, not lawyers. >> so you think he should just, i misspoke in 2009 or misunderstood? >> yeah. yeah. you know, i'm assuming that's the case, because it's pretty clear that what he said is not true. and i think if what happened was he had a certain understanding what the law would do and it turns out he was wrong, just admit you were wrong. i absolutely believe that when you tell people the truth, even if they disagree with it, or you
admit you made a mistake, we're a pretty forgiving people in this country. and i think people would say okay, then fix it, mr. president. then he's got to follow through and fix it. >> the national implications for the party. your party has been something of in a trouble spot right now. dick cheney told me last week the republican party is in trouble, it needs new candidates. he was obviously plugging his daughter, but what do you think national republicans should look at when they look at this race versus virginia? >> listen, i don't know about versus virginia because we don't know what's going to happen in virginia yet. >> we know it will be a struggle. >> it will be a tight race as compared to here. listen, i think the party's got to focus on winning again. sometimes i feel like our party cares more about winning the argument than they care about winning elections. if you don't win election, you can't govern. if you can't govern, you can't change the direction of a state like we've done in new jersey. so you know, i don't -- one, i think we need to get ourself refocused on that. secondly, i think sometimes we
forget the candidates matter. it's not just about a checklist of issues. it's also about how a person presents themselves as a candidate, how they articulate their view on things and how they react to situations. people make judgments based on all those things. >> it's interesting you say that. i heard a criticism from a democrat about you and actually more about the media and the public, which is that if christie wins in their view, this democrat's view, it's a triumph of personality over policy, meaning people in this state tend to disagree with you on a lot of issues but will re-elect you because they like your style. is that a fair criticism? >> no. it's why they're losing, because they think that that's the way people make decisions. what i was implying in the last answer, they think that people go down a checklist of issues like a pro and con and they draw a line in the middle of the sheet and say if there's more
checks for this person than for that person, then that's the person i vote for. that's not the way people vote, in my experience. i think that voting is much more visceral. people say i trust this person. do they lead, do they tell me the truth, they look at the issues, too, but that analysis from that democrat is just like as if people are robots, they just check a list. they don't do that. i think if we win tonight, it will be, i believe, an affirmation of leadership in that you don't have to agree with the candidate 100% of the time. i say this to folks in town hall meetings all the time. you vote for the candidate you agree with 100% of the time, go home and look in the mirror because you're it. you're the only person you agree with 100% of the time. if we demand that of candidates, know what they'll do? they'll just lie to you. they'll figure you want to hear that and lie to you and go do something else. that's why i've gotten some leeway from people in new jersey about areas where we disagree, because at least they know i'm telling the truth. >> one part of your style, i
thought this was interesting, is that there was a poll of new jersey residents that suggested that i think like 75% thought of you as a fighter versus 25% who thought you were a bully. that seems to suggest that people agree with your take on your style, but there are incidents where there was a teacher that you had some words with the other day, where i wonder if you ever have second thoughts about how you handle something because even at the end of the day, even if you believe hey, i'm standing up against the teachers unions and fighting for the students and fighting for the teachers themselves, the photograph of this big strong governor berating a poor little teacher as some might see it, i know you don't see it that way, could be counterproductive to what you want to achieve. >> two things. first is that whole incident as an incident was mischaracterized and overdramatized by the teacher who belongs to a portion of the teachers union --
>> badass teachers or something? >> you said it. if i said it, it would be part of my style. are there times i wish i would have said something? sure. and i don't think there's anybody in life, particularly somebody in public life and on camera most of the time who ever says oh, i said everything perfectly just the way i wanted to say it. but what i think people see in me is that i'm genuine. i am who i am. that sometimes is going to include things that i wish i could take back. and i don't apologize for things that i said. but they never have to wonder what i'm thinking and they don't have to wonder whether i'm really being myself or whether i'm being, you know, focus group tested. i don't think anybody wonders about that. >> if you were to look ahead, i can't help but think about this new book "double down." i don't want to get into all the details. i know you haven't read the book. it seems very clear when you submitted information, confidential information to the
romney campaign when they were considering you for vice president, somebody violated that trust and gave information to the authors of this book. there will be time later for you to address all those issues but i wonder what you think about that, about the fact that you trusted these people and one of them clearly betrayed you. >> it's very disappointing. and it was the first thing, when it came to light a few months ago that it had been leaked, you know, mitt called me right away and i could tell he was really embarrassed and outraged about it. and i think that's the kind of reaction that the person in charge should have. so i'm really disappointed that folks would do that. i think it is a complete violation of trust of me and the spirit within which i entered that process, which was, you know, beth myers couldn't have
been clearer with me and mitt, when they both spoke with me, that only a few people have access to this and it will all be returned to you afterwards, and no one will have an extra copy and it will never get out. you know, now, there's nothing in there that i have any huge problem with, all right, but it is a violation of trust and it seems to only happen to me. >> coming up, we're waiting to hear from toronto mayor rob ford, who just admitted he smoked crack in a drunken stupor. awkward. what will he say next? we'll bring his comments to you coming up. first, more of my exclusive interview with governor chris christie. he will talk more about president obama's leadership and he tells me how the diet is going. stay with us. honestly, i'm a little old fashioned. i love chalk and erasers. but change is coming. all my students have the brand new surface. it has the new windows and comes with office, has a real keyboard, so they can do real work. they can use bing smartsearch to find anything in the world... or last night's assignment. and the battery lasts and lasts, so after school they can skype, play games,
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today, although he has not officially been re-elected to a second term, four more years in the governor's mansion seem at least according to polls almost inevitable for christie, so much so the media focus hasn't been so much on this election, but one that will take place a few years from now. the presidential race, in 2016. >> even though he's asking voters here in new jersey for four more years as governor, many suspect governor christie's sights are already set on a 2016 presidential bid. christie insists he's focused on this one campaign for now for governor, but he has taken steps to address some of the questions that might nag a presidential hopeful. such as his health. he recently had lap band surgery to help control his weight. how do you feel? how is your health? >> i feel really good. you know, we're a little bit more than halfway to my goal, in the last eight months, so that's really good. i sleep better. i mean, the biggest difference for me, i didn't feel badly at
my previous weight, but i didn't realize how poorly i slept. >> woke up a lot? >> yeah, i woke up a lot during the night. just didn't get a lot of continuous sleep. i sleep a lot better. really bad news for my staff because i have more energy which they didn't think was possible. >> you're halfway to your goal? >> little more than halfway to my goal in eight months. i'm really happy about that. it's a great feeling and you know, it's hard work but i feel like for the first time in 25 years, i feel like i've got a pathway which is really nice. really nice not to be as frustrated as i was before. >> the governor says he's got plenty to tackle in his second term here. the star-ledger had an interesting endorsement of you. >> yeah. >> it was an endorsement. it was an endorsement. >> yeah. oh, yeah. >> it said you're one of the most gifted politicians of its time. what do you want to achieve in the second term? they faulted you for not achieving as much as they had
hoped. what do you want to achieve in your second term? >> i think first i want to get income taxes reduced in the state. it was one of the few things i laid out as an agenda item in the first term that we didn't get done. secondly, there are more things to do on property taxes. in terms of allowing for shared services and civil service reform, to allow localities to manage better, to be able to control their costs. third, education reform. i want to have an opportunity for scholarships like they have in florida where kids in failing districts have the opportunity to leave that school district and go to a private or parochial school. also like to see us do more on teacher tenure reform. we have done a lot. i would like to do a little more. also increase merit pay across the state. i think that's important for our future. >> a lot on education. >> yeah. i think it's really important. i don't, you know, in this race, we have 200 failing schools in new jersey, ajudged failing by the department of education. my opponent in this race said that's not a bad percentage. i said that sounds like somebody
who never sent their kid to one of those schools. to me, until we get that number down to a very small statistically insignificant number, then we are failing those kids. when you're governor, what you realize is all those kids are your kids. so that's why there is so much of my emphasis on that. >> you have been talking about super storm sandy and recovery as more than just your job, as a mission. >> yeah. >> you've even compared it on a level to the mission that a soldier in battle, not that you're comparing the heroism but the idea of how it's something in your soul. >> yep. >> explain that. >> well, i mean, hard to explain unless you were here and saw it. but when you see that level of destruction and loss and suffering, and people look to you to be the person to try to spearhead the effort to get their lives back to normal, to restore some of their heart,
then it's bigger than a job. not like you forget about that when you go home at 6:00 or 7:00 at night. it's with me every day. those images of those people and their suffering and their loss are with me every day. so to finish that is not a job. it's a mission because it's sacred. there's something really important about normalcy in life. it gives people the ability to be able to achieve, to be able to love, to be able to give to others if they have normalcy in their own lives. that's why it's such a sacred thing. i want to try to restore that to folks. it's not just something that's another thing with tax cuts and education reform. it's a mission to get that done. >> what did you think of president obama's leadership during the government shutdown? >> i didn't think he showed much. he kind of was sitting back, letting things happen. i thought it was very political. i think everybody was playing politics, the president, the senate democrats, the house
republicans, everybody was playing politics and not worrying about actually accomplishing something. >> it was the house republicans, though, that forced the shutdown. >> well, i mean, you can have a different perspective on that. the house republicans think there should have been things that could have been done by the senate democrats that they could have reasonably agreed to and sent to the president. point is, everybody knew this was coming. this is like that car crash that you see coming from three miles away. everybody knew these dates and that they were coming. that's where i think the president failed the most. i think it was incumbent upon him to get everybody in a room over a period of time and to be able to get to a settlement on this thing before it crashed into the bridge abutment, you know? that's i think his biggest failing in this, because you're the executive. if you're waiting for congress to lead, you will wait for a long time. the executive needs to lead. >> are you a tea partier? are you a tea party republican? >> i'll tell you something, i think there are elements of the tea party that are republicans at their best.
limited government, in favor of individual liberty and freedom, tough on government spending, questioning taxes and whether you need to expand or grow them. i think the core of the tea party movement as i understand it i think is very consistent with good conservative republicanism. now, what happens is when some folks use that movement, use that theory just to try to enhance themselves politically, sometimes that movement can then get perverted, and so listen, there's a lot of principles about the tea party that i agree with and have governed in new jersey in a way that's consistent with a lot of that, but you know, some of the stuff that's happened of late down in washington i think is not even consistent with what a lot of the real folks who started the tea party movement would agree with. >> i don't know what you're talking about. >> just the idea that you don't try to, you know, for instance,
on the sequester, we're actually succeeding as a movement in reducing government spending on the domestic side pretty significantly. but there's no acknowledgment of that by some folks in the washington establishment. i think we should have been talking more about that. it's a real accomplishment by our party to try to reduce spending in that way and what we should do is now move to the entitlement side to start to work on that side as well. then we can really look towards tax reform and other things that are consistent with what a lot of folks who call themselves members of the tea party want to see happen in washington. >> a lot of tea partiers i have heard from think you're what they call a rhino, republican in name only. >> i know. listen, that's some folks who will say if you ever say anything nice about a democrat, you're a rino. they can call me whatever they want. i don't really care. my view is let people judge me by my record. i'm a guy who has cut taxes $2.3 billion in the state.
our budget in fiscal 2014 spends less than jon corzine's in fiscal 2008. we have reformed teacher tenure, reformed pension benefits to make folks pay more for their pensions and to lose the cost of living adjustments. i mean, you know, if they did that stuff in washington, they would be having a parade for the washington republicans. so they can call me whatever they want to call me. you look at my record, i think most people objectively look at my record as we were talking about before when we were outside, it's a solid conservative record and for goodness' sakes, almost everybody has been called a rino now. if you weren't in favor of the government shutdown you're a rino. i don't pay any attention to that. >> you never won more than what is it, 48%? >> i was just short of 49% four years ago. yeah. >> i think the last republican governor to break 50% is tom kean. >> the last republican state-wide was george bush 41.
>> so every poll has you leading significantly. what will you be happy with? >> well, breaking that record. i mean, christie whitman was elected governor twice and never broke 50%. nobody since 1988 has had a five in front of their name in a statewide race. >> no republican. >> no republican has. right. so to me, always this race has been to at least get to 50% plus one, then anything above that is gravy. so i'll be really happy with that, because that's a historical achievement. in 25 years, no one's done that in new jersey. i will be happy with that. i suspect we may do better than that and if we do, every point we do better above that will make me even happier tonight. so if we go way above that, i will be really happy. but that's always been my goal is to break that record, and i hoped to do that four years ago and we didn't. i want to try to get that done tonight. >> great. thank you.
toronto mayor rob ford is speaking after finally coming clean about smoking crack. let's listen in. >> what i have gone through. i know what i did was wrong and admitting it was the most difficult and embarrassing thing i have ever had to do. folks, i have nothing left to hide. i would do anything, absolutely anything, to change the past. but the past is the past and we must move forward.
know i have let you down and i can't do anything else but apologi apologize, and apologize, and i'm so sorry. i know, i know i have to regain your trust and your confidence. i love my job. i love my job, i love this city, love saving taxpayers money. i love being your mayor. there is important work that we must advance and important decisions that must be made. for the sake of the taxpayers of
this great city, for the sake of the taxpayers, we must get back to work immediately. we must keep toronto moving forward. i was elected to do a job and that's exactly what i'm going to continue to do. in 2010, i made a commitment to toronto voters. i have delivered on that commitment and i will continue to deliver on that commitment of saving taxpayers money. but they have a choice.
in canada, rob ford, who recently admitted smoking crack cocaine while in office. he blamed it in no small part on drunken binges, if that's any sort of excuse. let's bring in cnn's political director in washington, and mark, can any politician anywhere bounce back from an admission like this with just a simple apology? i was surprised. i thought he was leading up to a resignation but he said no, let's go back to work. >> you know, a defiant mayor, rob ford, who denied smoking crack until police acknowledged it late last week after a drug investigation. we have seen this happen before, although it takes some time to rehabilitate yourself here in washington, d.c., we saw marion barry back in 1990, the mayor of washington, d.c., arrested for doing the same thing. he did make a political comeback in 2004 to serve on the city
council here in washington, d.c. and continues to do so. however, i don't know if bob ford can actually survive this scandal, major scandal up in canada, and you have to say is he smart at this point to put it in the hands of voters and will there still be pressure building up for him to have to step down. >> we have been covering this story for several months. it started when local newspaper and gawker watched the videotape, mayor ford of course was denying it as you say. the police got their hands on it yesterday as part of a prosecution or investigation into extortion. the police said, mark, that they did not have enough from the videotape to charge the mayor. they couldn't prove presumably what he was smoking. why -- what would the strategy be of admitting something that he did not have to admit? he really feels like by admitting it, he can move on even though it's an admission of smoking crack cocaine? >> i just think the evidence at this point, jake, was mounting
to a point where you actually have the police say that what was -- had been seen seemed to be consistent with smoking crack cocaine. the bottom line is at some point, you have to say mea culpa. voters tend to be a forgiving kind. i think ford decided at this point he had to give in, he had to throw himself on the sword, he had to ask for forgiveness. for him to continue to deny it publicly would not be the smartest political thing to do. the question remains can he survive, will there be pressure from the city council and from voters for him to resign and i believe we will see that pressure continue to mount. >> all right. mark preston, thank you so much. when we come back, it's his book that surely made for awkward conversations among obama and romney insiders this week. so what other bombshells have you not yet heard about? i will talk to one of the authors of "double down" next. customer erin swenson ordered shoes from us online
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make his speech, whether he gets good news or bad news. just a year ago, both president obama and mitt romney were in the same situation as chris christie, waiting for the polls to close, the votes to be counted and a winner declared. of course, we all know how that turned out, spoiler alert, obama won. but what we did not know was all the behind the scenes drama like how president obama's mock debate performance, his rehearsals were described by one of his debate coaches as creepy, according to the coach, and it led to an intervention. it's all in our latest lead read out today, the book is called "double down, game change 2012." the book's co-author john heilman joins me from new york. mark halperin i believe will be on anderson cooper later today. thanks so much for being here. i spoke with governor christie, who said it was disappointing that his vetting process, some of the documents were leaked to you. how do you know when you're writing a book like this whether or not sources are trying to settle scores?
obviously somebody would do that if they were trying to hurt governor christie, or does it even matter, the truth is what the truth is? >> well, jake, first of all, thanks for having me on. i'm not sure how many times you made the joke so far today that you're live from asbury park but i'm happy to see you that you're live from asbury park. we did 500 interviews for this book with more than 300 people. mark and i have both been in the business for a pretty long time. there are clearly people who have agendas, they cut in every different possible direction and ultimately, our job is to sort through people's agendas and try to get at what's true. in the end, i think your last part of your question is what really matters, the question of what actually happened and what didn't happen. in the case of governor christie and the vetting report, as you know, we quoted extensively from the final vetting report as it was written and so in some sense, the motivation of the source or sources of that document is kind of irrelevant. it's on paper what the vetting committee was concerned about
and what its worries were about governor christie's, the unanswered questions from his vet, the matters that were in the public record but not widely known in the national political or press corps, and that they conveyed to governor romney those concerns. governor romney pulled the plug the next day and that is the fact of what happened. i think in some sense it speaks for itself. >> one of the things i found so surprising, we touched on this in my show yesterday, is in your first book with mark, "game change," bestseller, hbo peabody awards, emmys, there was not a lot about president obama in the book. the obama campaign first of all wasn't as interesting as the mccain campaign but also, i don't think they cooperated as much. i was stunned at how much obama aides shared with you to the detriment of in some cases, president obama, vice president biden, former president bill clinton. were you surprised that they talked so much more this time?
>> you know, i never like to take exception to the question but if you go back and look at "game change" the vast majority of the book was about the democratic nomination fight between barack obama and hillary clinton. there was very little relatively speaking in terms of page quantity, there wasn't nearly as much about the republican race or sarah palin as there was about the obama and clinton campaign. >> i guess i just mean there weren't as many skeletons is what i mean. >> well, there were some pretty interesting material but we're here today to talk about "double down." we got a high degree of cooperation from people inside the white house, from people in president obama's re-election committee in chicago. we also got a wide degree of cooperation from all the republican candidates and from governor romney staff. governor romney encouraged his people, as did -- governor romney encouraged his people to cooperate with us and though the white house was very helpful throughout, you know, we also had the benefit of time in this case. we both, mark and i both cover the white house on a regular basis so that book "game change"
was turned around in a year and a half. we had three years to work on this one. over the course of time, we were able to get pretty far inside. we're pretty proud of that. i don't think there were people in the white house who were setting out obviously to make the president look bad, but one of the jobs of reporting as i said before is to kind of get at the truth. when you're talking to enough people, eventually the truth comes -- starts to make itself known and sometimes that's not totally flattering but in some cases, it is humanizing for a president that for a lot of people still remains a kind of distant and somewhat remote figure. >> incredible stuff in the book. john, thanks so much. congratulations to you and mark on the book. i'm sure it's bound for the bestseller list. next, could a nail-biter election battle in alabama tell us everything we need to know about the state of the republican party? we'll take a look at why some key state races are getting national attention. plus, if imitation is the highest form of flattery, it seems rand paul has been busy flattering writers all over the country. hear about the latest plagiarism claims against the senator and how he responded today.
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welcome back to "the lead." live in asbury park, new jersey, where i have been getting exclusive access to governor chris christie's re-election campaign. there are also mayoral elections happening from miami beach to seattle today. in new york city, he was the man who helped the city weather the aftermath of the attacks after 9/11, the financial collapse, hurricane sandy, and all those sodas that come in cups you could wear as helmets. today voters head to the polls to replace mayor mike bloomberg. according to the latest polls, bill de blasio is set to clobber joe lhota. some of the polls have him up by more than 40 points. the race could decide the future of new york city's controversial stop and frisk policy. its supporters say the policy has driven down crime. its critics, including de blasio, say police are unfairly targeting minorities. there's an old school versus new
school showdown going on in alabama that could give us the first glimpse into what kind of impact, if any, the government shutdown has had on the tea party brand. tea party candidate dean young is taking on a favorite among the gop establishment, bradley burn, in a house special election. it's a smaller race but could have huge implications in the battle for the stooul of the republican party. young is considered quite a hardliner even by tea party standards. he has not received the backing of national tea party groups like freedom works or the tea party express. still, early polls show the candidates in a neck and neck race. exit polling in colorado could come down to counting the number of discarded red vines bags outside each precinct. voters will weigh in on a plan to tax the sale of marijuana by 15%. the money would be put towards school construction and enforcement of marijuana related laws. the measure has the support of some of the same groups that backed legalizing weed in the state to begin with but some opponents say the tax is too
high, especially when compared to so-called sin taxes on things like alcohol. coming up next, lifting lines from news articles or a wikipedia page is often enough to get a freshman booted from college. what will allegations of plagiarism mean for the political future of kentucky republican senator rand paul? stay with us. ♪ 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? ♪ explaining my moderate to severe so there i was again, chronic plaque psoriasis to another new stylist. it was a total embarrassment. and not the kind of attention i wanted.
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welcome back to "the lead" live from asbury park, new jersey, where we have been getting some exclusive behind the scenes access to governor chris christie's re-election campaign. meanwhile, back in washington today, senator rand paul, republican of kentucky, another possible 2016 presidential hopeful, announced he is restructuring his office and he's not talking about moving the furniture in that case. the changes to his staffing come after yet another accusation of plagiarism as buzz feed.com reports, he allegedly lifted lines from this piece written by dan stewart who back in september wrote an op-ed that contained sentences such as quote, by design, mandatory sentencing laws take discretion away from prosecutors and judges
so as to impose harsh sentences regardless of circumstances. those exact same words with the exact same punctuation were then published under rand paul's name just six days later. i want to bring in buzz feed political reporter andrew kozinski who spotted this duplication as well as some others. thanks for coming in. congratulations on the scoops. paul says he's restructuring his office as a result of these allegations and others. that would lead one to believe that he's possibly blaming staffers for these instances of alleged plagiarism as opposed to blaming himself. is that your read of that? >> i think he's actually sort of maybe protecting his staffers. he said before on this week that a lot of people and a lot of different voices went into all the speeches so i think he's sort of defending his office and it doesn't look like anyone's going to be let go. >> how many allegations are we now talking about? i know you've reported on at
least, at least two. how many are there? rachel maddow did another. how many in total? >> rachel maddow reported on him copying lines from a movie. we reported on him copying from "stand and delivered" and three occasions from a heritage report. he had plagiarized in the op-ed you had talked about and we also reported he plagiarized just this morning in a forbes article. >> so we saw accusations of plagiarism really, really hurt vice president joe biden's run for the white house back in 1988. you might be too young to remember that. but i remember it very vividly. he got hammered. he was chased out of the race in 2008. however, then senator obama faced accusations of lifting lines from massachusetts
governor duval patrick. do you think paul is going to be able to bounce back as obama did, or is this going to hurt him like it hurt biden? >> you know, we can't really remember anything that happened two minutes ago in politics, let alone three years from now in the 2016 election. i don't really think this is going to hurt paul, especially because we're not really seeing, you know, getting flak from republicans for this. democrats and journalists noticed he has been plagiarizing but i don't think he will really have to answer for this fully until you have sort of the republican base making an issue with paul. and maybe people will do that in a republican primary but right now, paul has sort of either side-stepped the issue -- he hasn't totally taken accountability just yet. >> no, he's blamed it on hacks and haters. hacks and haters he said to george stephanopoulos. >> ahe challenged me to a duel, hypothetically.
>> do you think you would be able to win such a duel? are you handy with a musket? >> i never miss. >> how easy is it to spot repetition like this? >> it's not really that hard, when you search through the speeches. there is the pattern of writing that's sort of in paul's voice and then you'll see when they are maybe writing about something that -- using like facts or maybe the tone has changed a little bit and it's pretty easy to search that and come up with something else. >> do you think paul's whole body of work is going to be sifted through for any similarities to other people's? >> you know, i think the book is pretty serious but the publisher didn't care. the publisher said, he said in the back that he didn't, you know, he didn't individually research each case and i think with the op-eds, if we find it in his op-eds, it's going to be an instance where these outlets
are going to say -- are going to be upset that paul plagiarized and wrote in their outlet. i think people are going to look through the whole body of work, especially people who might be concerned that paul plagiarized when he wrote for their specific publication. >> all right. thank you so much for coming in. senator rand paul will join wolf blitzer in the next hour of cnn. you should stay tuned for that. i will be back at 11:00 p.m. eastern or 8:00 p.m. pacific with a live special on the election results from across the country. for now, that is it for "the lead." i'm jake tapper. turning you over to wolf blitzer in "the situation room." thanks for watching. happening now, new documents from inside the obama care war room reveal administration concerns about more problems beyond a broken website. americans on edge after the latest high profile shooting incident. a gunman opening fire in a crowded shopping mall.