tv The Lead With Jake Tapper CNN February 3, 2016 1:00pm-2:01pm PST
responsibility for this. but just stunning, stunning photos. thank you so much for being with me here on cnn. i'm brooke baldwin. definitely stay tuned to the town hall later this evening. meantime "the lead" with jake tapper starts right now. >> thanks, brooke. two nights ago we met gracious, humbled, chastenned donald trump. donald trump gives us the twitter tantrum we were expecting monday night accusing the cruz campaign of a serious charge and calling for a do-over in iowa. what they say tonight could make the difference in new hampshire. hillary clinton and bernie sanders get set to face off in a cnn town hall, and things are not getting any friendlier on that side of the aisle. plus, flint, michigan, residents coming to congress. they have questions, they have rage, and they have hands full
of their own hair. an intense emotional hearing on capitol hill over an imminently preventible tragedy. good afternoon, everyone, welcome to "the lead." i'm jake tapper. our politics lead now, donald trump making an explosive charge against texas senator ted cruz, that cruz cheated his way to victory in iowa, trump says. donald trump firing off yet another twitter tirade this morning saying ted cruz, quote, didn't win iowa, that the texan committed, quote, fraud and there need to be repercussions. sunlen serfaty is in ted cruz today. how is the cruz campaign responding? >> reporter: well, ted cruz initially tried to use humor to downplay this, coining a new phrase calling this a trumper tantrum. but moments ago ted cruz lashed out, a ten-minute rant at donald trump calling him essentially an
immature sore loser. >> what kind of people are we dealing with with these politicians? >> reporter: trump on a new tear against ted cruz. >> he insulted ben carson by doing what he did to ben carson. that was a disgrace. >> reporter: today fanning the flames to the controversy over what last-minute tactics the cruz campaign used in iowa, accused of trying to shift votes away from ben carson to cruz. declaring fraud, trump tweeting that cruz didn't win iowa, he illegally stole it, and calling for cruz's results to be nullified. cruz responding, suggesting trump go back to iowa and join the democrats, still settling their side of the results. at issue after cnn accurately reported that carson was stopping in florida for a few days after his loss before resuming campaigning, the cruz campaign tried to push out its own version to iowa caucus sites, suggesting carson was quitting the race. like this tweet that night from cruz's national co-chair. quote, carson looks like he is
out. iowans need to know before they vote. most will go to cruz i hope. cruz has apologized to ben carson who told jake tapper he thought it was a low blow. >> i think who is responsible for blatant responsible for blatant lying should be dismissed, absolutely. unless, unless that kind of behavior is acceptable in your campaign culture. >> reporter: but today cruz tried to downplay it. >> our political team passed on that public news report. what the team didn't do is there was later a second story where the carson campaign put out a statement saying they were not suspending the campaign. our political team did not forward that second statement to our supporters as well. i was disappointed that an impression had been left that was incomplete. >> reporter: trump's twitter tirade in stark contrast to a new tone he's been adopting. >> we didn't have much of a ground game because i didn't think i was going to be winning.
>> reporter: on the ground in new hampshire, the fielt is intensifying. >> marco rubio came in third place in a caucus state and we're all supposed to bow out? that is just absolutely absurd. >> reporter: with marco rubio the new target number one. >> i hear marco rubio is here. heck, man, he does one event a day. you never see him and he doesn't answer any questions. >> reporter: and today the republican field got a little smaller with two candidates ending their bids. rand paul dropped out this morning and cnn has confirmed that rick santorum will drop out tonight and he does intend to make an endorsement tonight, jake, but no word on yet who. jake. >> sunlen serfaty, thanks so much. let's move now to the democrats. hillary clinton firing back at bernie sanders today for questioning how progressive she really is. sanders is pointing to an interview last year when clinton said she, quote, pleeaded guilt to sort of moderate and center. all this as the two candidates prepare to take the stage
tonight at a cnn town hall, their first joint appearance since clinton eked out a victory in the iowa caucuses. our reporting teams are following both as they campaign across the state. let's begin with brianna keilar who's in derry, new hampshire. hillary clinton said today she just loves new hampshire too much to skip ahead to a state that she may be more likely to win. >> reporter: yeah, that's right. and you'll remember, jake, back in 2008 she pulled out quite the turn-around here, had a surprise win in new hampshire. but looking at the polls and how far behind she is, it might not be impossible for her to do if she can create a moment for herself here in the next few days, but it will be very tough. it's a war of words in new hampshire. bernie sanders sparking the latest debate with this response to a question about whether hillary clinton is a true progressive. >> some days, yes. except when she announces that she is a proud moderate, and then i guess she's not a progressive.
>> reporter: clinton firing back at sanders today. >> so i was a little disappointed, to be honest, yesterday. it was kind of a low blow. >> reporter: presenting a laundry list of her achievements to back up her liberal credentials. >> it was a good day for progressives when i helped to get 8 million kids health care. so i hope we keep it on the issues, because if it's about our records, hey, i'm going to win by a landslide on tuesday. >> reporter: the fight spilling over from the campaign trail onto twitter. clinton writing a 40-year record of progressive results boiled down to some days. the sanders campaign responding with a quote of something clinton said last fall. >> you know, i get accused of being kind of moderate and center. i plead guilty. >> reporter: sanders today highlighting that comment from clinton in an interview with cnn's wolf blitzer saying his rival can't have it both ways. >> some days she says she's a progressive. on that particular day she said
she's a moderate. you can be a moderate, that's fine. but you can't be a moderate and a progressive. >> reporter: as they trade barbs, former president bill clinton also is getting into the mix, making the case that his wife will be the caretaker of president obama's achievements. >> barack obama is not bernie sanders. let's don't play cheap games here. >> reporter: clinton is trailing sanders in new hampshire by 23 points in the latest cnn/wmur poll, and she's attempting to manage expectations, acknowledging she needs to improve her standing, especially among younger voters. >> i'm going to have some work to do to reach out to young voters, maybe first-time voters who have to make a tough decision as they evaluate who should be our president. >> reporter: she's hoping to connect with voters in the granite state at a cnn town hall tonight and at a debate tomorrow night. now, win or lose for hillary clinton, she still has to pay attention to new hampshire, looking towards the general. this is, after all, a swing
state that she will hope to keep or have in her column, jake. >> that's right, iowa as well. brianna keilar, thanks so much. cnn's town hall featuring bernie sanders and hillary clinton begins tonight at 9:00 p.m. eastern right here on cnn. to give us a preview, let's go back to brianna and jeff zeleny who's covering bernie sanders as well. jeff, senator sanders talking to wolf blitzer earlier today saying of clinton, quote, you can't be both a moderate and a progressive. he's not letting this issue go. >> jake, he's not letting it go and is doubling down on twitter. we can barely keep track of all the tweets he is sending out, point out issue by issue of how he believes he's been more progressive than hillary clinton. on the war in iraq he said progressives don't accept millions from wall street. he said he was with gay marriage when it was unpopular, so no question senator sanders is trying to appeal to his masses out there, his internet following and say that he's the
true progressive. it's a bit of a challenge for hillary clinton because she did make that comment back in ohio, saying that she was in fact a moderate. at the time when she said that back in september, we thought is she saying this for the general election, did she misspeak, but it could be an issue here. but new hampshire voters are very familiar with her record. she was here eight years ago and campaigned hard here. but independent voters here are also listening very closely to this. >> she won in new hampshire eight years ago. brianna, clinton noted that new hampshire voters tend to support candidates from neighboring states, like sanders who's from vermont, in primaries. the sanders campaign said that was an insult to the voters of new hampshire, that they take their role very seriously and she wasn't respecting that. does the clinton campain feel like they have to explain what she meant? >> i think they're a little sensitive to it in one way that we're definitely noticing, which is she was scheduled to have a fund-raiser on friday.
she was actually heading to boston and she was going to not only fund raise, not only leave new hampshire to turn her attention to that, but also it was going to be hosted by a wall street bigwig. and we saw, right, in iowa where hillary clinton left for a day to go to philadelphia, same thing, a big finance bigwig hosting an event, and bernie sanders had this line that i thought really resonated with some of his followers. he said, frankly, i'd rather be here with you. so he was able to twofold ding her, i thought. one on wall street, two on, look, here i am, putting in the time with you guys and she isn't. i will say she's made this argument and her campaign has -- they song it the songus effect, paul sotsongas won here but it' different now. we're right here in the days before the new hampshire primary. >> mitt romney won and john
kerry won. anyway, thank you so much. appreciate it. he's focusing most of his time and money trying to convince new hampshire voters that he is the anti-trump candidate, but with marco rubio's momentum out of iowa, can jeb bush pull off a granite state surprise? we'll ask him live, next. in new york state, we believe tomorrow starts today. all across the state the economy is growing, with creative new business incentives, and the lowest taxes in decades, attracting the talent and companies of tomorrow. like in the hudson valley, with world class biotech.
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welcome back to "the lead." i'm jake tapper. his logo has an exclamation mark but the results in iowa might make that more of a question mark. still, in the middle of placing sixth in the iowa caucus, the former florida governor, jeb bush, made a muhammed ali-like vow to surprise the world in new hampshire. so will jeb bush shake up the race? will new hampshire revive his campaign? let's talk about it with the man himself, republican presidential candidate, former florida governor, jeb bush. governor bush, thanks for joining us. >> great being with you, jake. i never thought i was muhammed ali, but i'll take it. >> so, senator lindsey graham endorsed you. he's been stumping for you on the campaign trail.
he told "the new york times" this. quote, if rubio beats jeb badly in new hampshire, jeb is toast. is that right? >> that's not going to happen. we're doing great. jennifer horn, the chairman of the republican party here, said we have the best operation here. there was a poll that came out today that showed me in second place and there have been other polls that show that as well. i think we're moving forward. the town hall meetings i'm having have good, sizeable crowds, energized. people are signing up to go get five other people to vote for me. that's how you win it in new hampshire. you win it by working hard. i'm not taking it for granted, for sure. >> there's this establishment lane of candidates, pundits say, you, governor kasich, marco rubio, governor christie. chris christie said he has a lot of respect for you but the new hampshire race is between him and marco rubio and everybody knows it. your response?
>> i love chris christie. he's a great campaigner, a good friend and an effective governor but the race has been wide open. the idea that it's between him and marco rubio, that's just the way politics works. we're working hard. and so is chris. you know, i admire that. but i'm working really hard and my message of having a proven conservative record of accomplishment matches up pretty well against senator cruz and senator rubio who have nothing in their background that can suggest they can make a tough decision. they might be able to do it but there's nothing in their past that suggests they can lead. they might be able to lead, but how do you know? we've had eight years now of barack obama who was not experienced either, and he's created greater divides in our country and our country is languishing now. >> what's the toughest decision you've ever had to make? >> i've made a ton of decisions that were tough. how to deal with eight hurricanes and four tropical storms in 16 months. leading the state through what would have been an unmitigated
crisis had i not responded. dealing with fighting the teachers union to create the first, the second and third statewide voucher programs. taking on the public unions where we eliminated career civil service protection, reduced the government workforce but did it in a way that wasn't punitive, but it was the right way. we created 1.3 million jobs. i've got a record, a record of accomplishment, and people in florida respect it. >> donald trump tweeted today that he thinks ted cruz, quote, stole the iowa caucuses, that he cheated, that he committed fraud. the references are apparently to those cruz mailers that say voter violation on them that voter didn't commit any violation as well as cruz staffers falsely suggesting that cnn and other media were reporting ben carson was dropping out when no one was reporting carson was dropping out. carson demanded that cruz fire staffers responsible. what do you make of this all? >> well, what i first make of it
is that donald trump lost and he better get used to it, because it may happen more often than once. he lost. he talks about how he's going to win everything. he didn't win this one, and ted cruz gets credit for winning the iowa caucuses. but now the reset button has been pushed. we're in new hampshire now. look, i just think it's more important to focus on what people in the granite state care about right now, and what they care about is someone with detailed plans to fix the mess in washington and it resonates when you give them detailed plans to fix it. they don't care about the process that much but they want their hopes lifted by conservative principles being applied the right way to fix the culture and fix how we tax and regulate and all the other issues that make people feel like the future is not going to be bright. >> carson also said that how a person conducts his life or campaign is an indication of who he is. i understand you're saying that you don't think this issue resonates much with voters about what ted cruz did, his campaign tactics. but do you think that there are
opponents of yours whose conduct in this campaign maybe says some not-so-flattering things about them? >> well, donald trump for starters who has insulted women, hispanics, p.o.w.s, disabled people. he certainly conducts himself in a way that isn't becoming of being president of the united states. i would say that that's the case. look, politics is not bean bag. there's give and take. our records will be scrutinized. marco rubio, his pac has an ad attacking me right now. you don't see me boohooing, it's the way it works. you've got to get out there and earn it. >> let's talk about an ad that you have out now. it's a two-minute ad airing in new hampshire that goes right at donald trump and how he's conducting himself. let's take a few seconds to watch a
snippet. >> i could stand in the middle of fifth avenue and shoot somebody and i wouldn't lose any voters, okay? >> i'm sick and tired of politicians that find ways to disparage people to make
themselves look strong. it is not strong to insult women. >> the ad is long, obviously, it talks about donald trump going after women, donald trump going after p.o.w.s, donald trump making fun of the disabled. i did find it kind of interesting that you didn't mention the one group, muslims, that trump has suggested should be barred from entering the united states. why didn't you mention them? >> i do mention it on the stump all the time, that we should be respectful of people of the muslim faith. americans that are patriotic that are of the muslim faith are just as american as i am, and i do that all the time, jake. i'm not sure why in that rif it was not mentioned but i bring it up all the time. it also makes it harder for us to have the foreign policy to destroy isis when you say you're going to ban muslims who you need to rely on to create a coalition to defeat isis and
bring about stability in syria so we can be kept safe. >> between your campaign and your super pac, you have invested almost $34 million in ads just in new hampshire. that's more than double any other candidate. we haven't seen any huge result for that in the polls yet. although you say some of them have you in second place. do you think it's going to push you over the top or a strong second place showing will be good enough? >> i'm not in charge of what the expectations are, that's y'all's job. i'm just going to work my tail off between now and tuesday and make the case that we need someone with a steady hand, someone who can be commander in chief and have the backs of the armed forces, someone who has big ideas to change direction as it relates to the economy. that's what i'm doing each and every day and having a blast doing it.
i wish it was a little sunnier here, but today has been a rainy day, but it's been fantastic to be able to campaign amongst people who really take it seriously. >> right to rise, the main super pac backing your campaign, spent
a lot of money attacking marco rubio, your former protege. do you worry that they're doing the work of the democrats in some ways bringing down someone in your party who pundits feel could be competitive for the nomination? >> new york cio, not at all. you think it's tough right now? wait until hillary clinton's hit machine hits the nominee. this is bean bag compared to what's likely going to happen if she wins. she has no compelling positive message. she's going to scrape the bark off the republican nominee. everybody ought to be getting ready for it. and marco has an ad, his super pac has an ad attacking me. you're not seeing me crying crocodile tears about it. that's just the way it is. >> i want to play something you said monday night. let's roll that tape. >> it's all been written, we're all like actors in a play. the narrative, you know, of the play. i'm part of the establishment because i am barbara bush's son. >> you are barbara bush's son, we fact checked that, it's true. we've heard all this cycle -- >> finally, i got politifacted
correct low. >> we've heard how angry republicans are and how they resent the establishment. is it possible, you know politics so much is about timing, is it possible that you're not the right candidate for this moment for these angry voters this election cycle? >> here's what i know to be true. if i'm part of the establishment because my dad was the president, my brother was the president and one of the most popular women in america, barbara bush, is my mom, yeah, i am. but i disrupted, when i had a chance to govern and serve, i disrupted things and i can do it in washington, d.c. that's my message and that's what i'm going to keep fighting for. yeah, my mom is manage to help me out. that is fantastic. it would be weird if she didn't. >> "the tampa bay times" talked to a voter who added this caveat, i don't want to waste a vote if he's not going win or has no chance.
what's your message to voters out there in new hampshire who like you but are worried that you can't go the distance and they don't want to waste their vote. >> i actually called that person up and asked for her vote and i got it. so you've just got to be -- show dogged determination each and every day to campaign hard, to show your heart, to show your passion, to show that you're committed. this is not about me and shouldn't be about any of the presidential candidates and their ambition. it ought to be that 63% of americans can't pay for a car repair more than 500 bucks. people are living paycheck to paycheck. when i share that passion that we can fix this, people seem to be moving toward my cause. i'm not going to be deterred by all of the punditry around all this because most people don't care about that. >> governor bush, thank you. best of luck to you and we'll see you on the campaign trail, i hope. >> you'll be welcomed by all granite staters i'm sure when you come up here soon. >> all right, thanks, governor. >> thank you. it's a strip of land in the
middle of a farm in syria and now we're getting a firsthand look at the runway that is key in the u.s. fight against isis. that story next. plus, explosive emotions on the hill as congress tries to get answers about that poisoned water in flint, michigan. one resident literally losing her hair after she showered in the toxic water. we'll bring that to you, next. if you misplace your discover card, you can use freeze it to prevent new purchases on your account in seconds. and once you find it, you can switch it right on again. ♪ you're back! freeze it, only from discover. get it at discover.com. my man, lemme guess who you're wearing... everyone's lookin' red carpet ready. toenail fungus!? whaaat?!? fight it! with jublia. jublia is a prescription medicine... ...used to treat toenail fungus.
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in kurdish controlled syria to help step up the battle to try to defeat and destroy the terrorist group. joining me live from erbil, iraq, is clarissa ward. clarissa, take us through what you saw. >> reporter: well, that's right, jake. essentially as the u.s. has been ratcheting up its presence on the ground, we know 50 u.s. special forces troops are in country. they have been looking and exploring other ways to take the fight to isis beyond just air strikes and they're also working very hard to enhance their strategic alliance with the kurdish ypg fighters on the ground. take a look. this place doesn't exist, according to the u.s. defense department. but behind that berm of freshly dug earth, a small agricultural air strip is being turned into something very different. a military airfield just 100 miles from isis positions.
satellite photos show the work that has been done here in recent months. so you can see behind me they're working to extend the runway so that larger planes could land here, and the advantage of this site is that it's well secured inside kurdish territory, so it could be used to supply u.s. special forces deployed here in syria. we were escorted away from the airfield as soon as we were spotted. told it was a military zone. it's another example of the u.s.' growing military footprint in this remote corner of northern syria, and its deepening relationship with syrian kurdish fighters, known as the ypg. in an abandoned apartment building closer to the front line, we were given access to the ypg's joint operations room. it is a modest setup.
a 21-year-old and his colleagues talk to their men on the battlefield. using newly provided tablets, they pass on enemy locations to a coalition command center from where air strikes can be launched. right now this is the front line of hasika, he says. our comrades there have seen the movement of two enemy fighters so we sent this message along with their coordinants to the general command room. when there are heavy clashes, the operations room moves to the front lines. immediately after the strikes, he and his men rush in to make sure that the right targets have been hit. >> who taught you how to use this? >> reporter: he tells us a group of foreigners and americans trained his commanders, who in turn trained him and his comrad comrades. in the skies and on the ground in syria, the u.s. is deepening
its commitment to the battle against isis. and it is not just the u.s., jake. less than 50 miles from that air strip, there are reports that the russians are also bolstering their military presence significantly, certainly northern syria becoming a more crowded neighborhood. jake. >> clarissa ward live in iraq for us. thanks so much, stay safe. the terror threat in europe is higher than it's ever been. is the u.s. doing enough to stop isis from bringing that terror here? we'll talk to a chief critic against president obama's war against isis, next. toto the nation's capitalut to support an important cause that can change the way you live for years to come.
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i'm jake tapper. let's twin our world lead. critics of the obama administration strategy say not enough is being done to defeat and destroy the terrorist group, that the rules of engagement are too restrictive, they say, and more punishing air strikes need to be leveled against the self-proclaimed caliphate. joining me is one of those critics, martha mcsally of arizona. she serves on the homeland security and armed services committees. >> thanks for having me. >> the plan now is multi-pronged, taking out isis targets, oil infrastructure, and a train and advise role with iraqi security forces. is that enough to destroy and defeat isis? >> new york city it's n-- no, i. the caliphate was declared two years ago. we've been using air strikes
over 18 months. if you look at their head of their headquarters, their centers of gravity, their financing, their leadership is all in syria and we are averaging six strike sorties a day in syria. it's very gradualistic allowing them opportunity to regroup. it's a strength that isis is a state but it's also a weakness. they're acting like a state, let's treat them like a state. we're having this mindset of counterinsurgency and rules of engagement are ridiculous and we're allowing them to finance and export terror like we've seen them do with now a presence in over 19 countries. i've long been saying we should have unleashed air power. we still can unleash air power to go after their command and control, their logistics. certainly more against the oil infrastructure. they didn't even start striking that until a couple months ago. >> let's talk about the rules of engagement. the big dilemma is if you go at them harder, you run the risk of
killing innocent civilians. >> right. >> currently the chairman of the joint chiefs says the u.s. is striking the right balance. you obviously disagree. >> look, we've never targeted civilians. the law of armed conflict is clear. >> obviously, unleashing them, changing the rules of engagement runs the risk of killing -- >> but if we have legitimate targets, like the oil infrastructure, we know at least a million dollars a day was funding their terror. terrorizing and killing civilians, not just in iraq and syria, but exporting it to europe, to america through their social media campaign, the momentum that they have shown. so by us not using our military power for all it brings to the fight early on, to crush and defeat them, we're actually allowing them to continue to kill civilians themselves. so we just follow the laws of armed conflict. when we have a legitimate target, we do everything. >> you're saying more innocent civilians are being killed by isis. >> yes, by us not doing anything, by our inaction.
it looks like they're taking on american air power and they're winning, which actually adds to their momentum. we've got 30,000 individuals that have traveled from over 100 countries to join the fight. we've got homegrown extremism so we've got to unleash air power in a much more potent way. >> i want to talk about the hearing that you held today about letting in syrian refugees. the obama administration, as you know, says that it can take up to two years for these refugees to get in. they go through a major vetting process, including by biographic, biometric information. is it comprehensive enough? >> no, it's not and we've had some classified briefings looking back at the san bernardino case and exploitation of the k-1 fiancee visa program and we had officials from many different departments in front of us today. when they talk about social media, it's not being used across the board. i mean we've got parents who obviously are checking social media. we've got employers who check social media before they hire someone but we don't have the u.s. government using social
media as a routine way to address whether someone should come to this country, through all the visa processes that we've had. clearly we've had people slip through and they're acting at the speed of bureaucracy while isis is acting at the speed of broadband. >> representative mcsally, thanks for coming in. the news about one 2016 candidate that you will only see on cnn, but will it make a difference in the race for the white house? stay with us. perfect driving record. >>perfect.
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record this. voila. remotes, come out from the cushions, you are back! the x1 voice remote is here. welcome back to "the lead." the republican race in new hampshire is a bare-knuckled brawl. some aren't even sticking around for the fight. rick santorum, rand paul, they're dropping out. donald trump is trying to show he can shake off that iowa black eye but the stakes might be higher for the four other candidates vying to be the antidote to trump and cruz. there are four guys in the so-called establishment lane, marco rubio, jeb bush, chris christie, john kasich. for them it's beat up all the other guys in that lane so any edge counts, including endorsements. joining me now, republican senator from pennsylvania, pat toomey. senator, you looked long and
hard at all these candidates. which one do you think should be the republican nominee? >> last week i called marco rubio and said, marco, i want to help you any way that i can. i'm endorsing his candidacy and am very optimistic about his prospects. >> why him? why is he better than, say, cruz? >> we face a huge national security crisis, obviously emanating from the middle east. there is tension all around the world. i think marco has demonstrated a clear understanding. he's done the hard work, he's very knowledgeable, thoughtful, he's a smart guy. he's demonstrated the leadership. domestically i think sometimes we have a crisis of confidence, and marco has an extraordinary ability, i think, to communicate and to inspire people. i think he's going to be a really strong leader. >> jeb bush earlier in the show said that ted cruz and marco rubio have never really made a tough decision in their lives. i notice that you didn't say anything about any tough decisions he's ever had to make. >> well, i think he has made some tough decisions.
i think marco's leadership in trying to make sure we would retain the abilities that the nsa had to keep us safe was an important voice and he was on the right side of that. i think he's been a very important leader on foreign policy generally. look, he's got a history of this. he was elected to lead the house of representatives in florida. took on the establishment in florida when there was a republican governor who wasn't really a republican governor. >> charlie crist. >> that's right, that's right. marco has consistently i think been a solid, thoughtful, conservative leader. >> let me ask you a question because you are one of four incumbent republican senators who the establishment, the republican establishment talks about when they express concerns about either donald trump or ted cruz being on the top of the ticket, because you are in a battleground state, pennsylvania, and you are up for re-election. the other one would be portman in ohio, kelly ayotte in new hampshire and there are a new others. but in any case, are you worried -- i understand you like
rubio because you like rubio. but are you worried about ted cruz or donald trump at the top of the ticket? would that hurt you in your re-election contest? >> i honestly don't think it's possible to know the answer to that question at this point, because the dynamics are very different for those two candidates. what kind of down ballot effect they would have is not really knowable right now. now, i will say i think marco rubio is the strongest candidate to go up against hillary clinton. i think the contrast is terrific, especially on national security issues. i think he'll do extremely well in pennsylvania, as he will across the country. but my real motivation is i think he's going to be a really good president. >> now, you disagreed with marco rubio on the immigration issue, the gang of eight. you disagreed with that bill. that's a bill that has a lot of conservatives very concerned about him. >> yeah. i did disagree. i voted against the gang of eight bill. but as you know, marco has come to the conclusion that that's not the right way to go forward. so we're in agreement now on how to go forward. i think many of the other candidates in this field have
also changed their minds over various aspects of immigration because it's a tough, complicated, difficult topic. but i think marco is absolutely right. he understands nothing can happen until we convince the american people we have security on our borders and we can keep dangerous people out of this country. marco understands that, and that's -- he's and right. >> all right, senator pat toomey from the great commonwealth of pennsylvania, thanks so much. really appreciate it. a bombshell dropped about flint's poison water as one resident told congress the state tried to silence an epa whistleblower. that shocking story coming up next. (bear growls)
it's gotten squarer. over the years. brighter. bigger. it's gotten thinner. even curvier. but what's next? for all binge watchers. movie geeks. sports freaks. x1 from xfinity will change the way you experience tv. in flint, michigan, there remains so many questions and not enough answers, so today congress held a hearing to find out how decisions were made to led to 100,000 people in flint
being exposed to lead-poisoned water. >> i want the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. >> some flint residents were there today holding bottles filled with the dirty water. one woman even holding clumps of her own hair that fell out while using the toxic water. some key officials from michigan were not at today's hearing. those people will be looked into by the fbi, which is investigating whether any laws were broken. let's talk to cnn correspondent sara ganum. what did we learn today? >> there was so much emotion at that hearing today. you saw those pictures. i took them of the people that i thought were the most jarring, most emotional and passionate. they were shedding tears at times, cheering during the hearing. some telling me they're just so happy that someone is finally listening to them. at the hearing the new director of the michigan department of environmental quality admitted that mistakes were made,
regulations weren't followed, but that was not nearly enough for lawmakers who are clearly angry over the seemingly lax response to this health crisis. a bombshell on capitol hill. the flint mother at the heart of the water crisis testifying that the state of michigan tried to silence an epa whistleblower. lee ann walters told the house oversight committee that an official with the michigan department of environmental quality bragged to her that a leaked memo from an epa researcher was being, quote, handled, telling her -- >> that his report was flawed and that there would be no final report. >> reporter: that report was written by miguel del toro, the epa researcher who tested the water in her home in 2015. the resulting memo was leaked in june, showing the water in her home was more than twice the level of hazardous waste. the epa sat on this memo for months and now we're learning through walters' testimony that the state tried to suppress it
too. >> this was the ultimate betrayal for the citizens. >> reporter: cnn has reached out to the michigan department of environmental quality for comment. >> why would they be paying for water that they can't use that is poisoning them. that's not american. >> reporter: today's often heated hearing was about the people who were not there as much as it was about the people who were there. chairman chaffetz kicked off with strong words for darnell early who declined to testify. >> we're calling on the u.s. marshals to hunt him down and give him that subpoena. >> reporter: early is not the only person the committee wants to hear from. they are inviting michigan governor rick snyder to testify too. >> can anybody tell me why the governor of michigan is not here today? because he's hiding. that's what's happening. >> reporter: and those who did
show up were chastised for being less than forthcoming. the chairman of the committee pushing to know why the epa waited months to act on that del toro memo. >> why wasn't that made public? >> i don't know the answer to that question. i think that they -- >> you can't come to a hearing before congress and be in charge of water quality for the epa and not know the answer to that question. >> reporter: as the oversight committee continues to pursue answers to questions that have plagued flint residents for almost two years, one glaring truth came out of today's hearing. >> we cannot guarantee at this point in time the water is safe to drink. >> reporter: now, the committee is expecting a full, unredacted batch of e-mails from the epa by friday which will show the level of involvement of epa officials in keeping this issue from becoming public. jake, the other thing too here is that several congressmen brought up this issue of funding and whether or not the state is doing enough. whether or not governor rick snyder is doing enough. bringing up things like how many pr firms have been hired to
handle this crisis. representative dan kildee saying it appears they're treating this more as a public relations crisis than they are a public health crisis, and that's something that the people are very aware of too. >> thank you very much. be sure to follow me on twitter and facebook. that's it for "the lead." turning it over to wolf blitzer in "the situation room." happening now, trumper tantrum. that's how senator ted cruz describes donald trump today in what's become an all-out war. and now dr. ben carson is being drawn into the fray. trump throws away his subdued tone accusing cruz of stealing the iowa caucuses. cruz is heaping insults on trump's claim and now carson is chiming in as well. progressive enough? just hours before tonight's town hall, a bit of a personal fighter roughs over what hillary clinton stands for. senator bernie sanders says she's only progressive on