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tv   The Lead With Jake Tapper  CNN  September 10, 2014 1:00pm-2:01pm PDT

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alison kosik, cnn, new york. >> allison, thank you so much. i appreciate it. i'm brooke baldwin. thanks for being with me today. i'll see you back here tomorrow. to washington we go. jake tapper, "the lead" starts right now. from we don't have a strategy to here's the strategy. what will president obama say this evening? i'm jake tapper, this is "the lead". >> the the politics lead. prime time president. mr. obama finally sharing the with the american people the plan to destroy isis. we have the advanced word on what he's going to say in just a few hours. it's been a month since police gunned down michael brown in ferguson, missouri. demonstrators are launching a potentially protest this hour to shut down a major highway there. >> and the sports lead. it's not necessarily a lifetime ban after ray rice was caught on camera punching the woman who was now his wife.
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he could return to the nfl says commissioner roger goodell who is provoking outrage in his own right. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ >> good afternoon, everyone. welcome to "the lead." we of course, will begin with the politics lead today. we are approaching a critical moment in the precedence of barack obama in which he will ask the american people to sign on to what is essentially another war. at 9:00 p.m. eastern this evening on the eve of the 13th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. the president's face will be on televisions throughout the nation and he'll be laying out his strategy, we are told, to quote, degrade and ultimately control isis, those jihadist terrorists who have seized pieces of iraq and syria. the president must decide whether to extend the air strikes on isis targets in iraq which have been going on for a month now. he must also decide how to approach isis in neighboring syria where the u.s. has been so far hands off. the president does not necessarily need to convince
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americans to step up the fight against isis. our recent polling shows wide support for that and what he does need to do is convince the american people that his strategy is the right one and the correct one because two-thirs of the people we polled does not think he has a clear hand in mind and after he stated 13 days ago that at the time he didn't have a comprehensive plan for isis especially in syria. let's get to white house correspondent, michelle kosinski. how is the president going to characterize the fight against isis this evening? >> reporter: it certainly seems like the u.s. is at war with isis. there's even debate here among members of the white house press over what to call this thing and it is an operation. it doesn't have a name, at least not yet and that even underscores some of the lack of clarity we've seen in all of this at times so tonight, prime time is the president's chance to spell it all out to the american public and to the world.
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the u.s. struck isis in iraq today. more than 150 air strikes so far on a nearly daily basis and tonight the president is prepared to take that fight into syria, but not necessarily just yet. he spent his day meeting with his national security team polling members of congress and king of saudi arabia. his speech includes what are the risks and what are the priorities and he will present his strategy and much of what the white house has explained with next steps contingent upon building regional and international coalitions. secretary of state kerry is in the middle east today doing that. >> this is the fight that the iraqi people must win and it is also a fight that the rest of the world needs to win with them. >> the president is also expected to talk about proposals moving forward. the white house said in a statement he has the authority he needs to take advantage against isil in accordance with the mission he will lay out in his address, but we now know he
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has asked congress for additional authorization for half a billion dollars and the authority for the military to on equip and train elements of the moderate syrian opposition. it was one year ago today that president obama announced this in prime time. >> it is in the national security interest of the united states to respond to the assad regime's use of chemical weapons through a targeted, military strike j but then things changed on the ground and there wasn't an appetite in congress to vote about it which the president uponed and there were no air strikes. today former vice president dick cheney blasted obama's actions calling him disengaged. >> president obama seems willfully blind to one of the key facts about the post-9/11 security apparatus. it is not self-sustaining. those programs and policies must be kept strong and current. >> reporter: senate majority leader harry reid which agrees withquip and train
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has this response. >> i would be careful with the advice they take from dick cheney. he is more responsible than anyone else for the worst foreign policy decision, the invasion of iraq. >> reporter: how much of this syria peace, these preparations and moving forward will make its way into the speech tonight. there is support and bipartisan support that the actions the president upwants it to take an what are the plans and it seems what everyone is looking for tonight, jake, is more clarity. >> all rid. michelle kosinski, thank you very much. let's talk with tommy vittor, he's national spokesman for the obama white house and fenway strategies and communications and pr agency. and s.e. cupp and our chief national correspondent jim sciutto. tommy, i want to start with you, obviously. president obama has a couple of
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imperatives here. he wants to stop these horrific terrorist devices and he wants to avoid getting caught up in what occasionally affects the beltway and war fever. if you were advising him what would you tell him to do? what would the strategy be? >> i think what he has to make clear tonight is that the easy part of this will be the military action. the easy part will be our incredible capable military hitting targets and taking out isis members. the long game will be what's hard. it will require political developments, governance and a capacity building operation that will last over time and so making that case and explaining how hard this is and how complex this is is important and also cleaning up the no-strategy statement which was a bad sound bite, but i think, you know, tonight's speech will make clear that he does have a strategy and he will lay it out. >> s.e., obviously today is about communication and you laid this out in your column today. who does the president need to be talking to today.
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>> it's ironic. isis has done a lot of the dirty work for the president in convincing the the american people of its poetence e of convincing congress and for the most part a bipartisan fashion that the president needs to act and convincing our international allies that it's time to do something. so the president doesn't need to go out to any out with sweeping, soaring rhetoric and a call to arms. as tommy said he needs to be pretty specific and that doesn't mean televising exactly what to do and when, but he needs to address some of the vague strategies he's outlined in the past. he wants us to on work more with local governments. which governments? we're not interested in nation building so there aren't too many great governments in the neighborhood. what kind of air strikes are we talking about? who are we arming? why does he suddenly trust people with arms that he didn't before. so he needs to get pretty detailed. >> the moderate syrian rebels. >> jim, this is a president who is president and no small part because he opposed the war in
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iraq and now he is essentially and you can call it anything you want and he is starting another war in iraq. >> he's calling the nation to war today and the president not only posed the war in iraq and he's been reluctant to use military action in other cases and so he's got to explain what changed and whether it's the hawks or the doves, what changed. why is isis a threat today and not just a regional threat or j.v. team. why will military action will make a difference? this does not have a muilitary solution. why indeed did the moderate syrian rebels pose the potential to be an ally in this fight where in the past he's called it a fantasy that arming them in the past would have made a difference, and i think he also has to explain to the american people how long are they in this for as he calls the nation to war? what are the costs going to be? and this is a conversation that the u.s. as a country never had before the iraq invasion. what's the endgame? what is the cost going to be?
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and will that cost in blood and treasure. >> and he's talking about the things he will not do. he has to be more specific about how far he's prepared to any. not just how long we need to maybe be there or who we need. how far are you prepared to go? that's what the american people need to get conditioned for. they need to be prepared for that. >> tommy, jim mentioned this, but it wasn't long ago, and i think it was just a month or so ago that president obama talked about the idea of arming the moderate syrians, rebels, as a fairytale was the term he used. obviously in january he referred to isis as jv, he denied it, but the transcript makes it pretty clear he was talking about isis. what changed? was isis different then than it is now? are the rebels so much stronger today than they were a month ago? >> yeah, this is why this is so
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complicated. when we were talking about arming the moderate opposition was arming assad and if arming was a panacea, assad would be in gone and good guys would be in power and we'd be in a different place and now we're fighting arc sad's enemy and this is a cesspool of a region with a lot of complex alliances. so i think what has changed is that isis has gained territory, they've gained momentum and they've gained equipment and that needs to be arrested immediately and i think what has also changed is the iraq -- the iraqis have gotten rid of maliki and he said he wouldn't intervene to save maliki until there was some sort of political combination that's allowed him to move forward and they'll need to open the anner chur and need to hit target ins syria and for reasons beyond force protection. >> i of the to ask you because we only have a couple of minutes left, do you think the president -- the president obviously feels like he doesn't need to get a war authorization,
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but do you think he should? jack kingston, the republican congressman from georgia, had a very interesting quote in "the new york times" yesterday saying there should be a vote and he said, quote, a lot of of people would like to stand on the side line and say just bomb the place and tell us about it later. it'sa an election year upon. rep reps don't want to change anything. we like the path we're on now. we can denounce it if it goes bad and praise it if it goes well and ask what took him so long. amazing quote, but he's calling for a vote. >> right. we should saddle up and say where you stand. >> now is not the time for either the president or congress to be worried about political cover and what happens in 2014 or 2016 when someone has to explain this to their constituents at home. i don't think the president needs congressional authority. politically it would be smart for him to ask for and congress cannot shirk their duties to go to vote on this. >> are you know anying the the president to say anything tonight about one of the reasons
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why the national security experts are so afraid of isis, the idea that they have so many members who have either american passports or european passports who can easily get into the united states? >> absolutely. he has to because this gets at the threat. he has to explain to the american people why isis is a threat to u.s. national security and he has to clarify the point that is it a regional threat today or is it a threat to the u.s. homeland today. you've heard both in effect to u.s. officials and he has to explain that to let people know how immediate the threat is and why the u.s. has to act now. >> thank you. great conversation. >>up, the direct msp to the flight, plus, a very serious ted cruz warning about what he calls a dangerous democratic senate proposal that could, he says, make "saturday night live" political skits illegal.
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(male announcer) today's the day to ask your doctor about levemir® flextouch. covered by nearly all health insurance and medicare plans. >> welcome back to "the lead." i'm jake tapper and we'll continue with the world lead. just hours from now we'll hear the president's plan what is being called the most well-funded terrorist organization the world has ever seen by some. so what will the plan look like some could this spiral into a new, full-blown war for the united states? will congress and the american people stand behind president obama's strategy? let's bring in senator amy klobuchar, democrat of minnesota. senator, thanks so much for joining us. i'm sure you're in the same situation president obama is, you don't want to prey into the war fever that infects the beltway every few years. at the same time, these
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terrorists from isis are horrific and do pose a threat to the region. what do you want to hear from the president tonight? >> i think this is a great opportunity for the president to lay out a clear, national security strategy for the country to show why we have to continue and expand these air strikes into syria. i know this first hand in my state. we literally have isis recruiting young men in our state and they're doing it mostly over social media and we've literally had one of them be killed. he went over and he knew what he was doing and he joined a terrorist organization, but we've -- there are also reports that they have others there. i've met with our law enforcement this weekend. i talked to our u.s. attorney and they're clearly working with the somali community. we are proud of our somali community. we have 80 to 100,000 in minnesota and half of the somalis that are in the country and we've been able to work with them effectively and to go after these cases of suicide bombings
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of al shabab in sand we've been able to indict. and we're doing the same thing here, but, of course, the best way to stop the recruiting is to stop isil. >> when you were referring to there are others you meant that there are others in had syria and iraq. you didn't mean that they were in minnesota or did you some. >> no. clearly, we've heard about them being recruited and going overseas and they're trying to stop them from going overseas, but this can lead to all kinds of concerns for our own homeland security. that's why i think it's really important that the president lay out that national security as well as the work that he's doing to work with other countries. i thought it was really positive news that the secretary-general of the arab league asked all 22 countries in the arab league to provide not just political support for this effort, but military support. we know we can't do this alone and that's what we need to hear
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tonight as well as what the limits are, this action and why it is necessary. you're right, jake. americans went through a lot. i personally didn't think we should go into iraq, but because of of that, when you have an evil like this, when you have a clear case when you have a terrorist group that is spreading beyond one country, that is beheading innocent journalists and raping women, selling them, we have to make a clear case and the president has to do that tonight. >> in terms of the military strategy, how long are you willing to commit to americans fighting in iraq and potentially syria? would you agree to only a short-term operation? is this something that you would give open-ended support for? >> first of all, we will hear from the president tonight and we will be thoroughly briefed tomorrow and i think it's important to know the facts as a former prosecutor before you ray out what you think should happen. i support this idea that we need to train the moderate syrian forces. i went to jordan and turkey with
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senat senator jil gillibrand and hoeven and we made that case and that's the first thing congress needs to do under title 10 is to make sure we're authorizing that equipment and that would be a very concrete thing that we can do that i don't need to be briefed to know having been in the area. >> senator, let me ask you about the moderate syrian rebels. a month ago president obama told "the new york times" about arming the rebels, quote, with respect to syria, the notion that arming the rebels would have made a difference has always been a fantasy. that's what president obama called it just a few weeks ago, but what's changed in the last four weeks that makes arming the moderates in syria now such a good idea. >> first of all, i had thought that this is something we need to look at as well as a no-fly zone over a year ago, but the fact that the president is reconsidering it, and looking at equipment, i think that's something we all want to hear about tonight and something
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we'll be briefed on, what the intelligence is that led him to that position. i think that is the number one thing that congress needs to do. as for a longer action that we're talking about, clearly, the president is not talking about combat troops on the ground and if this is a lengthy engagement, i think congress should look at and is going to look at having this come before congress, but what we want to do is carefully consider that language. we certainly learned a lesson in iraq, and i support the president doing these air strikes as soon as possible in iraq and in syria, making sure that we are training and giving the equipment to those moderate forces that are in syria and moving on from there if this is an expanded conflict, working with our allies and after we get the briefing to figure out what kind of force beyond the air strikes if we'll go for prolonged conflict would be necessary, and yes, i do think that type of prolonged conflict should come to congress. >> all right. senator amy klobuchar, you
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anticipated my last question. >> very good. coming up. >> a month later, and protesters in ferguson, missouri fed up over the lack of charges in the killing of the unarmed teenager. they tried to close down a major highway. we'll go there live next. >> plus roger goodell, the nfl commissioner admitting mistakes and sticking to his story that nobody in the nfl saw the tape of ray rice knocking out his then fiance, now wife, my guest, a former nfl player. well, he is not buying it. ♪ turn around
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welcome back to "the lead." you are looking at live pictures right now from missouri. it's our national lead. it's been more than a month since a white police officer shot and killed unarmed black teen michael brown and protesters plan to block and shut down an interstate highway and they're calling for the arrest of the officer involved among other demands. last night residents disrupted a
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city council meeting and called on members to resign. that meeting had been meant to address their concerns and implement judicial reforms. let's bring in cnn's ted rowlands where protesters are starting to gather. despite the talk of healing post ferguson, a town as though the area is still something of a tinderbox. >> yeah. absolutely, jake, and if you look at this situation that is just developing right now it has all of the ingredients of more trouble here in ferguson. you see the police presence here, there are literally hundreds of police officers, state police, local and county police officers and protesters, as you mentioned. the plan for the proest testers was to come down here and shut down interstate 70 which runs just below here and we're basically on an overpass. on either side, the police have established a perimeter and are not allowing protesters to go past and now the protesters are coming right up to the edge. they've been instructed that if they get too close to the off
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ramp they will be arrested. so par we haven't seen any arrests and just within the last five minutes you can feel the anger and the anxiety starting to develop. so we'll see what happens in the next few moments and the hours to come, but the plan is to get to i-70 and shut this interstate down and the police say there's no way that they are going to let that happen. >> ted, they're protesting among other things the fact that there have no charges brought yet against officer darren wilson. we were told some time ago that the grand jury wouldn't be finished until october. what's the status so far of that grand jury investigation? >> reporter: well, the same status has been going on for the last two weeks, jake, the local county district attorney is presenting evidence to that grand jury and there's also the if ed ral investigation which is ongoing and we don't expect results from that possibly for months, but we do expect something possible fret grand jury within the next few weeks and at some point in october and
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that's what the major chances we're hearing here today. these people say they want justice and they want that grand jury to come back with charges against officer wilson, but you can see, jake, right now it is a very tense situation and the last thing they need here in ferguson. >> all right. ted rowlands, thank you so much and we'll stay abreast of that situation. coming up, he's suspended indefinite indefinitely, but that does not mean he's out for good. why the nfl commissioner will not rule out the chance that ray rice could return to the league. that's coming up income opinion t than real teeth. they're about ten times softer and have surface pores where bacteria can multiply. polident kills 99.99% of odor-causing bacteria and helps dissolve stains. for a cleaner, fresher, brighter denture everyday.
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. >> welcome back to "the lead." sports lead now.
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. baltimore ravens' ray rice ad t admitted to the nfl that he had knocked out his fiance in a casino elevator, why then, did it take seeing video of the assault to find out if something horrible had happened and that was one of the questions posed to roger goodell amid calls to his resingation that. he spoke to norah o'donnell. he was also asked whether anyone in the league had seen this disturbing video before the website tmz released it earlier this week. >> no one in the nfl, to my knowledge, and i've been asked that same question and the answer to that is no. we were not granted that. we were told that that was not something we would have access to, and on multiple occasions we asked for it and on multiple occasions we were told no.
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>> you know there are people that are saying that they just don't buy that that no one in the nfl had seen this tape. >> well, that's a fact and i think it's a fact united states bah the criminal justice system and law enforcement were following the laws and doing what they needed to do to make sure that they followed the criminal activity. this is an ongoing criminal investigation. >> of course, and i'm just spitballing here, but the nfl could have tried what tmz did and aggressively pursued the tape directly from the casino, but that's just me. i'm a different breed of cat. baltimore ravens' owner steve biscotti acknowledged as much in a letter to fans. >> seeing that video changed everything we should have seen it earlier. we should have pursued our own investigation more vigorously, we didn't and we were wrong, end quote. joining me now is chris cluey, a former punter for the minnesota vikings. chris, first, i want to get your reaction to what nfl commissioner roger goodell said that no one in the nfl saw the
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tape of ray rice hitting his then fiance, now wife, until it was released by tmz earlier this week. do you buy that? >> no, i don't buy that simply because the nfl is an organization and roger goodell has shown that as commissioner he will stop at nothing to find out all of the facts in a case and render judgment on that case. but with something like this where they knew ray rice was in a casino. they knew there was video evidence and they knew ray rice and his attorney had evidence i don't think there is foe way he doesn't watch that and takes it into account and deciding what the punishment should be. >> i want to get your reaction to another part of norah o'donnell's interview with goodell, to talk about why it took seeing this tape before he came down really hard on rice. take a listen. >> when we met with ray rice and his representatives it was ambiguous about what actually happened. >> but what was ambiguous about her laying unconscious on the
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floor being dragged out by her feet some. >> there was nothing ambiguous about that. that was the result that we saw. we did not know what led up to that. we did not know the details of that. we asked for that on several occasions. it was unacceptable in and of itself what we saw in the first tape and that's why we took action. albeit, insufficient action and we acknowledge that. we took responsibility for that. i did, personally, and i take responsibility for that now. >> so i find that all very confusing, chris, maybe you have a goodell to english and lengthish to goodell dictionary you can use, but can you explain what exactly he's saying there? >> well, i think this is another case of prevarication. i think this is something that, um, goodell did know exactly what happened in that elevator because it was widely reported by many sports outlets that ray rice told the commissioner and the ravens exactly what had happened. he described to them the incidents that were in the
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elevator. you can find that on a multitude of stories online dating back to when this first became a story and for goodell to say it was ambiguous. well, no. it wasn't ambiguous, you know exactly what happened because ray rice told you what happened and you said he told you what happened and to back peddle away from that now is more fumbling at an issue that the will nfl doesn't know how to address and they should know how to address because it's a very important issue. >> the commissioner was asked whether ray rice would be allowed to play again and he said it was possible. >> what do you think? should he get a second chance? >> i think everyone deserves a second chance. i think the nfl is all about redemption stories, but you have to show that you've truly changed and one example i know a lot of people will use is that of michael vick. michael vick did his time. he was rehabilitated and now he works actively to help put an end to violence against animals and if ray rice shows that he can truly change who he is and
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change that type of behavior and serve as a role model i think he does deserve a second chance, but from the actions that he's shown so far it doesn't look like he's interested in that, he's been more interested in covering up what happened so he can keep his job to keep getting paid. >> there have been a lot of calls for roger goodell to resign. where do you stand on that? >> i think if it turns out, if we're able to prove that roger goodell did see the tape and just either brushed it aside or didn't take it into account that laying the suspension on ray rice, the initial two-game suspension, i think he should resign because this is a very important issue and it's an issue that the nfl has been struggling with over the years. there is a big problem with domestic violence and abuse within the nfl from its players and it's something that when you give a guy a slap on the wrist, when there are no consequences to hitting your partner or, you know, abusing your partner, well, then guys are going to keep doing it because they have no reason not to.
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if that's in their mindset, then they're going to keep anything. that's something that as goodell as commissioner of the game and overseer of the game his job is to protect the shield and that's not protecting the shield. >> always a pleasure talking to you. >> no problem. thanks for having me on. >> he's been criticized from day one for his lack of innovation. so will his new apple watch bring steve cook out of steve jobs' shadow. if there was a bill like the one before, tina fey might have gone to jail for saying she being see russia from her house or at least according to one republican senator.
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>> welcome back to "the lead." the money lead now. the rumors proved to be true. yesterday's apple ceo tim cook sent ripples through the tech world laying out the can company's new product plan, bigger and even bigger iphones
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and the company's first-ever wearable device. the apple watch for a mere $349 you will be able to text, check email, answer calls and improve your workout all from the comfort of your very own wrist. this marks apple's first new device since the ipad in 2010 and it's the first time we got a look at what post-steve jobs apple can achieve. so is this a comeback for the popular company and did it ever really leave in joining me is new york times technology writer. good to see you as always. critics of the apple watch say there's no need for it. it's too expensive and i have everything i need on my iphone right here. why would anyone want an apple watch? >> yeah, i mean, so the argument for this device is it may free you a little bit from the distractions of your phone. so you may be able to kind of glance at your watch and get quick information from it it it rather than spend ten seconds taking the watch out of your pocket and logging in and
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looking at your email, you can just go through your email very quickly on your watch. so that doesn't sound like a big deal, but i think over the course of the day it might add up to a device that people find helpful. of course, this is the thing that always comes up when apple comes out with a new device. people say it it doesn't do enough and it's tooec pensive. usually over time those critics are proven wrong. >> sure enough. >> apple is back and better than ever. you write that's the headline. what about this announcement gave you -- made you so bullish? >> yeah, so, i mean i think the big question about tim cook's apple was whether it could make something completely new and whether whatever it made would be kind of as ground breaking as the stuff that apple produced when steve jobs was ceo and i think basically they answered that question yesterday, and i think that, you know, the watch from what i saw was a ground
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breaking new device. it remains to be seen if people will like it, but, you know, it has a really interesting user interface. the watch dial is used in an interesting way, and i think that they have, you know, made a really good-looking watch which is something more than can be said for a lot of other devices out there. i think at least on that score they've done a good job. >> you talk about ground breaking and all of these big apple products, the ipod, the iphone and the ipad and now the apple watch, they're called ground breaking and innovative, as you know and have written before. all of them are versions of products that existed and mp3 players and cell phones, what is the difference with apple products? >> i think what usually -- apple usually comes into the market when there are lots of other devices out there that do things, but they don't do them well. so we saw this with the ipod. there were music players before, but they just weren't very good.
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they were hard to use. that's true also of the iphone and the tablet computer and the ipad. basically what they do is they kind of reduce the complexity and they do that by making the hardware look good and by making the use are interface, making it work very well in a way that's intuitive to people and you don't have to learn about it and i think that's what they've done for the watch, too and there are lots of other watches and most don't look very good and they're hard to use and that's sort of what they've tried to solve with this one. >> all right, well, i haven't bought it yet. i'm not yet convinced about the watch. farhad, good to see you, as always. the other big news, u2 announced they're dropping a new album. they're pairing up with apple and nothing new where bono taught us how to count to 14 in spanish and there's the black and red special edition ipod that bore the band's name. so when bono, the edge and the
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two other guys hit the stage to perform cuts from their new album it wasn't an entirely surprising surprise. they said the new album was free. every single person with an itunes account can log on right now and download all 11 tracks without paying one penny. u2 is twisting and turning away from music's newest way of doing business. billboard says because the album is free none of those downloads will count on the charts. instead u2 is betting on gaining a few new fans to help pack stadiums and arenas. the last tour grossed over $700 million. so it's the new paradigm. still ahead, making snl political sketches illegal? one republican senator warns that voting for a particular bill in the senate would do just that, but he says he's not going to do it, not going to do it. >> military victory centuries ago in a part of the world where today --
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>> welcome back to "the lead." the pop culture lead now. imagine in america where a presidential impersonation such as any of these would suddenly become illegal. >> none of us want war in that whole area out over well, but as commander in chief i'm ever cognizant of my authority to launch a full-scale or give death there on the desert sand. probably won't, but then again, i might. >> so you ask, in what brave newer wellian world would snl become outlaws for mocking those in office. ted cruz said that would be the outcome if the democrats new proposal for campaign finance reform would become law. the amend am bill is designed to give congress greater authority to regulate campaign contributions from corporations
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after the supreme court's citizens united ruling. it's an idea that cruz claims could potentially affect free speech and it it uses the example of nbc home of "saturday night live". >> who can forget in 2008 "saturday night live's" wickedly funny characterization of the republican vice presidential nominee sarah palin? lorne michaels could be put in jail under this amendment. >> now some might say there is something almost criminally funny about tina fey as the former alaska governor. >> i'm going rogue right now so keep your voices down. we've got a bunch of these -- >> but is cruz's claim true? cnn senior legal analyst jeffrey toobin joins me now. explain the argument is trying to make here and fact check it for us. >> okay. citizens united, one of the
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things the supreme court said was that corporations have first amendment rights and a lot of people were outraged about that. this amendment doesn't really address that. everyone agrees, in fact, that corporations do have first amendment rights. it's why nbc can parody presidential candidates. it's why cnn can get the access that we need to do reporting. what -- what cruz, i think, is trying to cleverly tie together is limiting campaign contributions which is what this is really about and this other issue of whether corporations have first amendment rights which he is correct, they do, and they should have. >> so is he right or wrong and what does it have to do with "saturday night live"? >> i think he is wrong. what he's saying is that if corporations didn't have first amendment rights congress could pass a law criminalizing satire
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of politicians. this amendment has nothing to do with whether corporations have first amendment rights. this amendment is simply about restoring the old status quo about campaign contributions, but i do think ted cruz makes a good point when he reminds us that it is necessary for a free society that not just individuals, but corporations, have the right to free speech. so i think his point is legitimate in the abstract, but it it really has very little, if anything to do with the constitutional amendment that congress -- that the senate is debating. and what exactly be, this that they're pushing, what would it do? >> it would give congress the authority that it used to have before the citizens united decision in 2010. it would have -- congress would again have the authority to limit campaign contributions by
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corporations, continue to limit them by individuals, eliminate super pacs and basically go back to the regulatory system that we had in the 1970s, '80s and '90s in this country. it really was not a dramatic change in the law and i think people should be aware that this amendment has virtually no chance of passage. it requires three-quarters of the states to ratify it and it's not even going on get through the senate with two-thirds of a vote, but it is a useful subject to discuss and democrats think it's helpful and that's why harry reid has it on the floor the in the election season and he will help democratic candidates and obviously, it's a nonstarter in the house and as you point out the senate and it would have to go to all of the states. >> harry reid and the democrats think this limiting campaign contributions is a cause that most people support, and i think by and large that's right, but
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this is a vehicle that is clearly going nowhere, but it is one that reid and the democrats think will on gin up not just their base, but middle-class popular support, the old-fashioned good government types who are the people who had been behind campaign finance regulation for a hundred years. >> jeffrey toobin, thanks so much. i'm jake tapper and i now turn you over to wolf blitzer and he's next door in "the situation room". >> thanks, jake. happening now, war against isis. president obama addresses the nation tonight to lay out the strategy for destroying the brutal islamist terror group. that could mean u.s. airstrikes in syria. we'll get a full preview of his battle plan. isis terror plan, a captured laptop may spell out a strategy for mass attacks include biological warfare with a deadly germ that once killed millions of people. >> an insider's


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