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tv   The Lead With Jake Tapper  CNN  October 7, 2015 1:00pm-2:01pm PDT

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my questions isn't easy. >> and that does it for me. i'm pamela brown. "the lead" with my friend and colleague jake tapper, starts right now. like the sum of all fears, just how close was isis to getting the ingredients for a nuke? i'm jake tapper. this is "the lead." the world lead, the fbi reportedly stopping smugglers from buying nuclear material intended for terrorists. buying it from gangs with ties to russia. the politics lead with the first democratic debate just six days away, right here on cnn, bernie sanders drawing tens of thousands of fans. but why aren't those huge crowds translating into a definitive lead nationwide? the new poll numbers showing that hillary clinton is still the candidate to beat. and the national lead, could everyone in this have been
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saved? the government on the verge of changing the way it's been telling you how to eat for decades. should you in fact be eating more fat to get thin? good afternoon everyone. welcome to "the lead." i'm jake tapper. we begin today with our world lead. and russia upping the military ante in syria. moscow launching a major offensive by land, by air and by sea. targeting what russia claims -- russia claims, are isis strongholds. but what many others believe are other rebel forces fighting the regime of bashar al assad including perhaps some backed by the u.s. russian warplanes bombarding these targets as cruise missiles fired from a warship light up the night sky. defense secretary ash carter declaring today that the u.s. will not cooperate with the russian strategy that is a, quote, tragically flawed strategy. i want to get right to cnn's barbara starr standing by at the pentagon. she has new information about a close call between the russian
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and u.s. aircraft in the skies. barbara. >> indeed, jake. the pentagon going to extraordinary lengths to keep american pilots safe from what they see as very uncertain, very aggressive russians. for the first time u.s. pilots had to divert over syria because a russian fighter jet came within 20 nautical miles according to u.s. officials. two f-16s flying out of insirlk air base were attempting to bomb an isis target when the incident occurred. u.s. officials tell cnn that american pilots are under new strict rules. if russian aircraft come within the 20-mile limit, for their own safety the americans must move away. the u.s. doesn't think the russians will shoot them down, but commanders don't trust russia not to make a mistake. officials tell cnn defense secretary ash carter pressing
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for another round of talks with moscow about managing the skies. >> to protect our air crews and to continue as the coalition intends to do its air campaign unchanged. >> reporter: the incident happened after this, the first meeting between the two sides to discuss air safety. the russians secretly videotaped it all and posted it on youtube. u.s. commanders say they were shocked. carter adamant the u.s. will go no further than technical talks. >> we are not prepared to cooperate in a strategy, which is we explained is flawed. tragically flawed on the russians part. >> reporter: russia also launched naval strikes. four warships in the caspian sea firing 26 missiles into syria hitting 11 targets, according to moscow. u.s. officials say this was the
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first time the russians fired this highly accurate missile in combat. pentagon officials believe it is a direct message to them from moscow, we can fire at you from long distances. and in western syria russia now in ground combat. artillery and rocket launchers pounded targets to backup regime forces of bashar al assad. now, according to the u.s. and turkey, so far the russians hitting few, if any, isis positions. and about that called off air strike, no word yet whether u.s. warplanes were able to circle back. jake. >> barbara starr, thank you so much. joining me now is cnn national security commentator and former republican chairman house of the committee, congressman rogers. how should the u.s. respond to this increased aggression by the russians in syria? >> you know, the first thing that's going to have to happen is we have a strategy on isis. when the united states comes out
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and says your strategy is flawed, we really know what the russians are trying to do. they're trying to push out the secure zone and protect assad's troops. anybody that didn't believe that was going to happen when they started ramping it up hasn't been paying attention. so i think we have to take it in phases. one, you have to make sure that they understand that we're serious. if we in fact are serious about continuing our air campaign, then we need to ramp up what we're willing to do. turning and flying away when they cross that 20-mile mark is not telling them -- sending russia the right message candidly. so put together an isis campaign that is aggressive. we don't have one of those yet. and then circle back with russia and say, listen, this is what we're doing in eastern syria to combat isis. so that we can reset the table for negotiation. right now everything that you see, the missiles flying over iran, iraq to hit syria from the caspian sea, to ramping up ground operations with assad's forces, to the incursions into
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nato -- fellow nato country turkey is all calculated by vladimir putin. we need to change that calculus or we're going to get ourselves in some trouble. >> assad has massacred, slaughtered tens of thousands of innocent syrians. is the end game here for russian president vladimir putin really to have assad safely ensconced in power? >> the end game for putin in syria is to maintain influence there. and i have to say he's doing pretty well. so he needs to keep that warm water port in tartus that was a navy base established in the 70s. he needs to continue his arm sales both in syria and iran. and now he's done something pretty clever, jake. he's coordinated tehran, damascus and syria and baghdad in iraq in intelligence sharing operation. and many believe now there's even a possibility of russian troops in south iraq to deal with the syrian issue, invited
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in by baghdad. so that is in putin's interests. that's what we need to understand. it's not really keeping assad in power. it's keeping his influence alive. and that's exactly what he's doing. i think he would cut a deal to get assad out if he felt that that served his long-term interests in the region. >> is there a scenario where you think the u.s. should possibly coordinate air strikes in military operations with the russians against isis? >> i wouldn't do that any time soon. what i would do and i think the secretary of defense is correct, you need deconfliction. you don't want two planes colliding or shooting at each other because there's confusion over a target in eastern syria. but beyond that i wouldn't coordinate. i would show our strength by coming up again by rallying our arab league partners to start pushing a real campaign in eastern syria against isis. if you don't, the russians are going to continue to look at all of this as an opportunity to
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expand their operations there. >> there's a debate right now about whether the united states should be imposing a no-fly zone over syria or over parts of syria. what are the pros and minuses with such a thing? >> i think the pros are certainly pretty clear that it would send a line of which russia couldn't cross, number one. so that you could train so-called moderate rebels if there are any left in eastern syria, to actually get back into the fight. that would be a very helpful thing. so those moderate rebels are being targeted now by both assad forces and with the support of russia. that would be a positive. that would be a big positive. the negative is now you've got to convince turkey to participate in that. that's if you're going to have a no-fly zone it really needs to be along that turkish border. and are they willing to risk the notion that you may have to strike at a russian aircraft that incurs into that no-fly zone? they just signed a deal with
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russia, $1.5 billion for a nuclear reactor built in turkey. they have energy concerns. a lot of energy is imported from russia to turkey. they'd have to make some really difficult decisions. that's the con of it is trying to put that thing together. we do have to have a policy though. and we should have it pretty soon. >> congressman mike rogers, thanks so much. from syria to afghanistan where the aid group doctors without borders is making new demands today for a war crimes investigation into that u.s. air strike that hit a hospital in afghanistan on saturday. that bombing killed at least 12 medical staff and ten patients including three children. this afternoon president obama called the president of doctors without borders to apologize. let's get right to cnn's nic robertson live for us in kabul, afghanistan. nic, what kind of investigation is doctors without borders calling for? and why would that be better than the u.s. investigating itself? >> reporter: what they're asking for is for the international
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humanitarian fact finding commission to be given this task. it's there under the geneva conventions. doctors without borders say the strike is equivalent to a strike at the geneva convention. they want not sort of a legal investigation. they say they want to know what are the rules of engagement? they say they understand the rules of engagement. they put their medical personnel in harm's way to help innocent civilians caught up in conflict. and they do it on the knowledge and understanding of rules of engagement. u.s. rules of engagement, afghan, taliban, whatever they are. they understand and get into it. if the rules of engagement have changed, let's have this investigation. let's put it on the table. we as doctors without borders can say, okay, then maybe we can't go into these situations and operate. or make whatever adjustments it is. the real concern for them is you can have let's look at syria where doctors without borders have hospitals right now. let's say a russian plane hits one of doctors without borders hospital in syria tomorrow and
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the russians say, you know what, we'll investigate that ourselves. doctors without borders are worried that in other conflicts around the world bad actors can now act with impunity and strike their hospitals and say, you know, just write it off and say, well, hey the united states did it. that's why they say they need this independent investigation so everyone sees it's not the united states investigating itself. and that will prevent others trying to get away with that kind of thing. >> all right. nic robertson in kabul. stay safe, my friend. a shocking story. dangerous dirty materials that could contaminate cities at the very least sold to undercover agents posing as bad guys with terrorism ties. who took the bait? we will have the dramatic video of the takedowns next. big day?
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welcome back to "the lead." also in the world lead today, it sounds like the very worst case scenario as imagined by tom clancy. but in this case it's very real. the fbi now telling cnn that its agents helped stop the sale between apparently some unsavory characters of radioactive material that theoretically could have been used to make a bomb. one takedown captured in dramatic video. the u.s. helping in sting operations that pursued smuggl r smuggle smugglers. the plan according to one eastern european government, sell that to nuclear extremist groups such as isis with intentions to target westerners. the associated press first reported the sting operations, the site of the stings moldova just south of ukraine with an apparent black market for dirty bomb material. pamela brown has been working her sources to learn more about these operations. pamela, what have you learn snd. >> we have learned that this has long been a concern, jake, for
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fbi officials because there's so many radioactive materials in that part of eastern europe. there's a black market as you point out. and we're learning tonight that the fbi has actually prevented some of those potentially dirty bomb making materials being sold on the black market in eastern europe from falling into the hands of terrorists. and now police video from february is taking us behind the scenes of one of those sting operations. this man was arrested in the former soviet republic of moldova in february, allegedly trying to sell this radioactive substance, cesium 135, a material that could be used in a dirty bomb. the police video was first obtained by the associated press. stings like this utilized undercover operatives posing as middlemen for potential terror organizations. >> the sellers were trying to negotiate deals worth millions of dollars. so a terrorist group that's got billions is certainly willing to
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pay that for material that could terrorize or shut down a city. >> reporter: moldova authorities tell cnn they worked with the fbi to foil at least three plots to smuggle radioactive material since 2010. in 2014 seven people were arrested in the country for allegedly smuggling uranium. >> we have to be very concerned about this region of the world. it really is a transit and a gateway by which smugglers can transit material through moldova to other regions. >> reporter: moldova's close proximity to russia where nuclear and radioactive material could be potentially obtained makes the selling of the illicit substances big business for criminal organizations. >> we've had hundreds of smuggling incidents. most of these have fallen flat mainly because while the supply is there, the demand hasn't been there. what you're worried about with isis is this is a state group that could actually do it, a global recruiting mechanism, lots of money, lots of
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resources. if they make that hookup, game's over. >> reporter: and officials say there's no indication that isis is actually successfully bought these materials from eastern europe. and it would be extremely difficult for it to do so. that could be one reason. but jake, one official i spoke to today put it this way. he said if isis wanted to build a dirty bomb today, it could because it already has so many materials at its disposal where it is right now. >> a lot of unsavory characters in eastern europe where all these materials are. pamela brown, thank you so much. in our politics lead, hillary clinton not just firing off at republicans today but also bernie sanders. is she starting to feel the burn? plus, both marco rubio and jeb bush dismissing a new poll showing donald trump with a big lead in their home sunshine state. trump is using it as an opportunity to blast both men.
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♪ sleep train ♪ your ticket to a better night's sleep ♪ welcome back to "the lead." time for politics lead. the calls for vice president joe biden to run for president are getting louder. his personal deliberations have been a public exercise in agony and ambivalence. the vice president expressing doubts he would be able to recover from the death of his son beau in may. in the meantime the cad reof consultants and political friends and fans urging him to throw his hat in the ring today released a television spot punctuated by a simple plea. run, joe. i want to get right to cnn political correspondent brianna keilar. brianna, as speculations swirls around the president, his would-be chief rival hillary
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clinton has just broken with president obama on yet another issue. tell us. >> that's right, jake. she broke with the president. and she really broke with herself too because she heralded this trade deal the transpacific partnership as the gold deal when she was secretary of state. she just came out and told pbs she is against -- that she is against this deal. this comes as she campaigns to the left of bernie sanders on guns. and as she's recently announced her opposition to the keystone xl pipeline, really undercutting the president who hasn't announced a decision on it. it's a sign she's worried enough about bernie sanders' appeal to liberals to take multiple positions against the president. >> oh, didn't she do a great job? >> reporter: hillary clinton upbeat in iowa as a new poll shows her ahead of bernie sanders and joe biden in florida, ohio and pennsylvania. she hit republicans. >> we have to take them on on their basic philosophy, which would set the country back.
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>> reporter: and she tried to set herself apart from sanders whose moderate record on guns reflects his home state of vermont. >> we need to stand up to the nra and the gun manufacturers who are behind all of this intimidation and political -- opposition to anything that will work. >> reporter: the clinton campaign is also worried the vice president might get into the race. >> there should be universal mandatory voting. >> reporter: at a latino voting event biden sounded a lot like a candidate slamming republicans. >> people are depressed. and the message i have for you guys is these guys don't remotely speak for america. >> reporter: as he weighs a candidacy, the draft biden super pac is out with a new tv ad. >> things can change in a heartbeat. i know. six weeks after my election my whole world was altered forever.
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>> reporter: josh alcorn is a senior adviser to the pac. >> the point is to tell a story of joe biden that people outside of delaware may not know. it's a story of his overcoming personal tragedy, gaining this enormous empathy for people who've suffered. and then it offers his hopeful vision, optimistic vision for america. >> reporter: one source close to the vice president says there will be a family conversation this weekend that could determine whether he gets in the race. but biden's pathway to victory is uncertain at best with the democratic establishment firmly behind clinton. >> boston, thank you! >> reporter: and the democratic grassroots enthusiasm backing sanders. sanders is of course against the transpacific partnership. he has been for some time against this huge trade deal that is really the center piece of president obama's pivot to asia.
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clinton now opposing it as well, jake. you can really add it to the list where she's broken with the president on the syrian no-fly zone calling for repeals a tax that pays for a big chunk of obamacare. >> as you know breaking with herself n herself. brianna keilar, thank you so much. you can watch the first democratic presidential debate here on cnn. coverage starting at 8:30 p.m. eastern. anderson cooper moderating. we'll see you there. donald trump gloating today over his new poll numbers saying, quote, we're killing everyone. it's his numbers in florida that has him especially happy as he's up big against both marco rubio and jeb bush in their home sunshine state. that story next.
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welcome back to "the lead." home field advantage means very little when it comes to the race for republican presidential nomination. new polls showing the state of the race in three battleground
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territories this morning in ohio, pennsylvania and in florida. and numbers indicate being from a state does not give the candidates any leg up with republican voters, at least not right now. john kasich from ohio, rick santorum from pennsylvania, marco rubio and jeb bush from florida all glancing upwards at one mr. donald j. trump. cnn's athena jones standing by in waterloo, iowa, where trump held a rally at the building behind you. athena, in an interview governor bush saying today his greatest weakness is his impatience. it's hard to imagine he and his campaign are not impatient about his inability to gain traction even in the sunshine state. >> reporter: that's right. hi, jake. i mean, the bush campaign says this race is going to be a marathon or a triathlon, not a sprint. still, bush can't feel good saying he's trailing trump by so much in a state where he was governor for eight years. trump of course is touting these latest numbers. donald trump celebrating in iowa
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today. >> we're way ahead of everybody. >> reporter: as a new quinnipiac poll shows him leading the republican field in three key states, ohio, pennsylvania and florida. >> i'm delighted to be here. >> reporter: ben carson coming in second. but it was trump's standing in florida that really had him gloating today. >> florida, i was at 21, i went up to 28. we're killing everybody. and don't forget you have a sitting senator and an ex-governor in florida. >> reporter: he bests both senator marco rubio and former governor jeb bush by double digits in their home state. the same goes for ohio governor john kasich. >> i don't know, maybe there's a mistake. because actually the governor of ohio is a quality guy. and he's doing a good job. but we're beating everybody by a lot in ohio. >> reporter: the new numbers come as bush campaigned down the road in iowa today trying to make headway into key early voting state where he is badly trailing the leaders. he downplayed the latest numbers.
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>> last time who was winning in october four years ago? >> reporter: rubio campaigning in new hampshire echoed his former mentor. >> well, don't really matter very much. polls are polls. what's going to matter is what voters are ready to do in early february. and that's what we're aiming toward. >> the fiscal irresponsibility -- >> reporter: and while carson is rising in the polls, he's also facing questions over his comments in the aftermath of last week's community college shooting in oregon. >> not only would i probably not cooperate with them, i would not just stand there and let them shoot me. i would say, hey, guys, everybody attack him. he may shoot me but he can't get us all. >> reporter: today he suggested the media was trying to twist his remarks. >> we're living in a culture now where you have a group of people who just sit there -- they don't try to listen to what you're saying. they're just trying to find a defect so that they can cause more division. >> reporter: despite carson being on his heels in the polls, trump took to twitter to defend
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him, writing ben carson was speaking in general terms as to what he would do if confronted with a gunman. and was not criticizing the victims. not fair. a different approach for trump who often uses the platform to poke his rivals. now trump and carson have been holding their fire against one another in recent days. trump even said recently that he'd tap carson for a cabinet position if he wins. jake. >> athena jones in waterloo, thank you so much. let's talk about all of this with cnn political commentator and contributing editor for the atlantic peter binard and ana navarro. thanks to both for being here. i have to say, ana, why is donald trump -- you're a floridian. why -- how is donald trump killing -- he's right, killing jeb bush and marco rubio in the sunshine state? >> heatstroke? >> every republican in florida
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has heatstroke? >> no, look, i think that the donald trump phenomenon now has lasted for several months. you can't deny there's an underlying and constant message there. one is we don't like politics as usual. we want an outsider. we want somebody that does not represent the dysfunction of washington. and two is we are worried, we are frustrated, there's a lot of dysfunction, we feel angst, anger. i think both things need to be taken into consideration by every candidate who is running. let's also remember that jeb and marco there's a lot of overlap there. there's a lot of people in florida, like me, who know and like both of them. and when you put both their numbers together, you know, you're almost at the same level as trump. >> that's some creative accounting. but peter, let me ask you. jeb bush in response said, well, who was in first place in florida four years ago? and i said to ana who was it and she said herman cain.
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this is not the same thing. the donald trump phenomenon is not the same as michele bachmann, herman cain, things that happened four years ago. >> no. tapping into something deeper. the republican party at elite level is pro globalization, pro immigration and pro good relationship with china, good relationship with japan. the republican party at its base, especially among non-college educated voters is anti-globalization. they're anti-immigration in a big way. and they're very, very skeptical of free trade with china. this is the gap that trump has exploited. >> and let's talk about jeb bush and marco rubio. jeb bush was his mentor, marco rubio his protege. good friends. but there has been an edge recently. they have been going after each other. take a listen to what governor bush had to say just the other day. >> we had a president that the american people supported based on kind of betting on the come. betting on the fact he was an eloquent guy and no blue states, red states, the united states
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and hope and change. and had nothing in his background that would suggest he could lead. and i think this time it's important for republicans to elect someone who can make a pretty compelling case that they know what they're going to do and they've done it. and that's my lane, man. >> that's my lane, man. and then jeb bush said this earlier today i should say and added while rubio does have more experience than president obama, that threshold was a very low bar. why go after rubio? >> because they're competing for the same job. okay. they're friends -- >> but are they competing for the same voters? >> i think there's a lot of overlap between jeb and marco. and particularly in places like florida. they are friends. but the bottom line is they're not in the playground playing a game of patty cake. they are competing to be the leader of the free worl. and there is going to be competition. it's only going to get i suspect more fears as you get closer to the florida primary in particular which is for all the
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marbles. and it makes all the sense in the world for both jeb and marco to highlight what they bring. jeb brings experience. marco brings a new generation. you're going to see both make those arguments. >> let's turn to the democrats now. there was a surprise appearance by vice president joe biden, peter, at a fundraiser for the latino victory project last night. and he really went off on republicans and hispanics. take a listen. >> in everybody's face. people walked in like literally down because of the beating, the beating hispanics are taking at the hands of the republican caucus -- i mean republican presidential race. people are depressed. and the message i have for you guys is these guys don't remotely speak for america. the american people are so much better. >> the beating the latino voters
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are taking at the hands of republican presidential candidates. does that cross a line, you think? >> well, look, i think the way donald trump certainly has talked about mexican immigrants as rapists is despicable and thing they're talking about birthright citizenship is also despicable. but i think what you're seeing is one of biden's core problems. people are not happy with hillary clinton because she's too control, right? biden has the opposite problem. and he has had that for a very, very long time. the closer he comes to running, the more people are going to focus on that. >> what do you make of the ad today? the one showed from people trying to draft him to run for president telling his very compelling story, but some people found it over the line. >> honestly i thought it was awful. if joe biden wants to run for president, he has to lay out a message that is different from bernie sanders and different than hillary clinton. we've been musing about this now for two months. there's no message except for the fact he's had tragedy in his life. the tragedy is awful, but that's not a message to run for president on. >> if you scope the right side of your screen there's just six days until we see hillary
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clinton and bernie sanders on the same stage in the first democratic debate. this is a very important moment for the vermont senator. what do you think voters want to see from sanders on tuesday? >> if he can hold his own, what his policies are, if he can beat a general election, and also if he can create enthusiasm. is he capable of having a sense of humor? who is bernie sanders? i think for a lot of us he is a senator from a small state. for a lot of us we're just now beginning to get a taste of bernie sanders. this is going to be a very large platform for him. how does he do? >> ana navarro, peter, thank you so much. appreciate it. international lead for decades we've been told that a low fat diet is best. but now the rules are changing again. are full fat foods actually healthier? plus, ann romney says her husband would be in first place if he were running this time around. so does mitt romney regret his decisions? we'll talk to ann romney coming up.
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welcome back to "the lead." the national lead, the u.s. dietary guideline started back
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in 1908 with our old friend the food pyramid. and then suddenly it was a plate changed in 2010 when the guidelines were last updated. now those guidelines are apparently approaching their sell by date. so today the house agriculture committee took a look at the proposed changes. and, well, some of those previous recommendations may have gone, shall we say sour. curdling in the carton. joining me is michael moss, author of salt, sugar, fat, how the food giants hooked us. michael, thanks so much for being here. first of all, what changes are they talking about here? >> probably the biggest change actually is sugar. they're cracking down on sugar, recommending no more than 10% of the total calories that we take which frankly last time i checked was not much more than a soda per day. which is fine if you don't like cereal or ice cream or anything else. sugar is still sort of the big bogey man in the dietary guidelines. but other ones are cut back on
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salt, watch your fats, not too much of the bad fat. eat more vegetables. and calories. the big thing that's changed since 1980, not the guide liebs but us. we've been getting fatter. one in two americans now has some disease associated with bad eating, two-thirds of adults are either overweight or obese, one-third of kids. that's the problem this group has been wrestling with. >> so what does it matter this recommendations if the food pyramid came out in 1980 and the plate came out in 2010, do these decisions that the government makes really have any sort of impact on our lives? >> the last time i looked at it i came away really skeptical because they put out guidelines, 500-page report gets boiled down to something. and the food giants really shape much of our eating habits go back to what they've done. which is to create products that maximize the allure and get us not just to like them but to want more and more of them. and i think that's what drives our eating habits and our bad habits much more than the guidelines and pushback from the
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government can ever resolve. >> the government's been pushing us away as a society from whole milk. and for that reason low fat milk has soared. it used to be tough to find skim mill m and now it's front and center. are recommendations changing from that? >> if you've looked careful they've always distinguished between good fats, nonsaturated bad fads. >> like a good fat is like an avocado. >> avocado -- >> bad fat is doritos. >> right. always sort of encourage us to focus on the good fats. okay with some bad but keep those to a minimum and watch that balance. there are some people out there who are convinced that a high fat diet is going to save us. i'm a little skeptical because there's pushback from other scientists who say it's really about calories. not the fat. but we'll see. >> and there's always in terms of this debate the usda, department of agriculture, rejected a panel suggestion that people should be urged to eat
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less meat because of the environmental toll it takes to feed and raise animals for slaughter. >> yeah. >> this was an expert panel of doctors and scientists. why did the usda reject it? >> that was the real big change in these guidelines the sustainability thing. look, we're going to have 9 billion people on this earth before too long. and there's no way we can feed that population with a meat-based diet. i think it's influence of the meat industry. look, these guidelines are being run by the usda as well as the health and human resources department. and it's a very powerful industry. it's hard to sort of push back. and it's hard for them to accept people should be eating less meat and not more. >> michael moss, thank you so much. great to see you in person. when we come back, ann romney will tell me what it felt like the day she was diagnosed with ms. and she says there's a positive sign to her living and fighting this disease. my interview with ann romney next.
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welcome back to "the lead." in politics lead, life after an intense race for the white house while taking on an even more personal challenge, ann romney was close to becoming first lady. in the fall of 2012 she stood on stage with her husband mitt romney as he conceded his republican bid for president to barack obama. that campaign season took dedication and strength. ann romney has been battling multiple sclerosis for nearly two decades. she knows from strength. the disease effects her brain and spinal cord. that diagnosis has impacted her life, marriage and faith. and also the influence behind her new book titled "in this together, my story." it's our lead read today. ann romney talked to me about ha and also weighed in on the current race for the white house. we have heard in tweets from you and your husband, mitt romney, concern expressed about some of
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the tone and tenor from the republican side of the race. you write in your book politics is like a, quote, cage fight but only bloodier. is this getting too far? >> if you think about what our objective is with any politics, it's to help people. and to be there to work with people. if we cannot even have a respectful dialogue, how do we expect to have a respectful dialogue in the house to get bills done? how do we expect to have a respectful dialogue in the world if we cannot talk and speak with dignity? and i do get upset when i see these things. i don't like it at all. >> stew stevens was here the other day, and he told me mitt is very, very happy but he thinks if mitt were running right now he'd be winning. what do you think? >> i think i'd agree with that. >> yeah. >> i do. >> any regrets that he's not running? >> none. >> none.
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>> no. >> he's around all the time now. >> i love it. we're having a great time. >> let's talk about your book "in this together." very, very moving. focuses on some of the challenges you face and continue to face after your diagnosis with multiple sclerosis. there are many very moving scenes, but the one that sticks with me is you and mitt are in the neurologists office. >> right. >> and he's doing all these tests. and it's obvious that you're not doing well. >> yeah. i'm failing everything. it's like you're falling out of the sky and you have no parachute. you're so confused by it all. you're so worried. and then you get the diagnosis. mitt and i cried. we held each other and cried. because we knew it was not a good diagnosis. but then mitt said something interesting. he said, ann, we're in this together. we'll be okay as long as it's not fatal. and that's the title of the book, in this together. but i want this title to be --
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it's not just the story about me. it's we're all in this together. all of us are going to go through a point in our life that will bring a life event will bring us to our knees. and really be humbling. and difficult. i think we have to be aware that all of us will have those burdens and care for each other. >> it was very tough for you, write a number of times, you needed help. sometimes you needed help walking, dealing with your family because you couldn't get out of bed. >> it's humbling. the hardest part of having an illness is it stripped me of my identity. it basically left me with nothing. and it was mitt that came to my rescue again. and he said i don't love you because you make dinner. i love you because who you are. and that's all that was left of me, was who i was. but i am now grateful for those lessons. i didn't like them. >> you talk very openly about your battle with depression after the diagnosis. and you say that you wish you had gotten a disease that would
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kill you quickly as opposed to over decades. >> well, i'm not proud of that but i wanted to be honest in the book. i wanted people to understand that i've been through this. and i think it's pretty common for people to become very depressed. i was pretty defeated for a while. it took me a while to crawl out of that hole. >> faith is very important to you and your husband. how do you explain this in the context of your faith? why would a just and loving god do this to you, a mom of five strapping young men with grand kids? somebody who's tried to do good in this life. >> right. things happen. and i think god loves us, but he doesn't protect us from pain. and through pain is where we have our greatest growth. and so i never question my faith. hopefully through hard things comes beautiful things at the end where we can help others and lift others up. >> our thanks to ann romney for that interview.
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again, her book is called "in this together" my story. and our best thoughts and wishes with her and mitt romney. that's it for "the lead." i'm jake tapper. i turn you over to one mr. wolf blitzer who is in a place i like to call "the situation room." happening now, breaking news. air space showdown. u.s. aircraft forced to back off after a close encounter with a russian jet fighter over syria. as russian ships fire dozens of missiles from nearly 1,000 miles away. is vladimir putin now calling the shots in the war zone? dirty bomb sting. smugglers in a former soviet republic try to sell radioactive material to what they think are terrorists. we're learning how the fbi helped foil those plots. but can isis still get its hands on nukes? terrorist trucks. you've seen them in all the isis videos packed with fighters and grisling with heavy weapons. but now the u.s. is asking toyota how did isis getts