tv The Lead With Jake Tapper CNN November 3, 2015 1:00pm-2:01pm PST
dennis hastert gone. thank you so much for us on capitol hill on tuesday. thank you so much for being with me. i'm brooke baldwin in new york. send it to washington. "the lead" with jake tapper starts now. thanks, brooke. investigators zeroing in right now on a flash. strange noises. "the lead" starts right now. black boxes today reportedly beginning to tell the story of a doomed flight with 224, 225, children. a new clue moments ago raising even more questions. dr. ben carson and his surgeon hands tightening their grip on the gop race. as donald trump sells his book and says being president just isn't carson's thing. plus -- pot in the heartland. ohio voters going to the polls right now to vote on legalizing recreational marijuana as critics argue the law could
create a cartel making a kingpin out of a pop music and reality tv star. good afternoon, breaking news in our world lead now russian nud agencies recording bodies of victims in the bounded metrojet crash show no signs that they were killed by a bomb. the crash killed 224 people, 25 of the victims were children. let's go right to cnn pentagon correspondent barbara starr. what are we learning? >> news agencies in russia reporting no signs of blast entries, no signs of explosives from their unnamed sources. now, investigators in the field in sinai are finishing up field work today, turning attention now to the voice and data recorders to see what else they can learn. >> reporter: investigators examine the wreckage of the russian metrojet airbus, looking for clues about what brought the
plane down, killing all 224 on board. before the plane crashed, a u.s. military satellite detected a burst of heat, consistent with an explosion. the satellite detected the heat flash while the plane was still in flight. raising a number of possibilities about what may have happened. ranging from mechanical failure to a bomb on board. >> we're interested in understanding exactly what happened. so we've offered them -- offered them our advice and any resources that they would find useful in conducting that investigation. >> reporter: the airline denying it could have been caused by mechanical failure. >> translator: there are no such faults like engine failure or system failure, no combination of systems failure that could lead to a plane breaking up in the air. >> reporter: russia's interfax agency citing unnamed source says cockpit voice recording reveals nonstandard emergency that happened instantly.
investigators are now looking closely at passenger manifest, what was in the cargo hold, and the identities of anyone who had access to the aircraft and could have tampered with it, or planted a bomb. airport insider threat.assic - they would come in, they would either pay off or subvert the ground crews that maintain the airplanes, and use them or put their own people in place and move a device, potentially, tonight a plane. >> reporter: but mechanical or structural failure, also possible. aviation experts say it's too soon to jump to conclusions. >> pan am 103, brought down by a terror of the bomb, it took weeks to fine the pieces that had the plastic explosive residue on it and it took months to test it out. so it's too early to say it can't be terrorism, but at this point, taking lessons of twa 800 it looks mechanical until proven
otherwise. >> one of the reasons the u.s. wants to know what happened to the airliner is to figure out what steps need to be taken to continue to keep american's skies safe. >> thank you so much. matthew chance in st. petersburg, russia, live where devastated families are now planning for funerals for their loved ones. it's a heartbreaking situation, 25 children among the dead. >> reporter: that's right, four days since that catastrophe, you can see the scene behind me, flowers being laid. there are still people coming out -- it's midnight local time, remember -- people coming to pay respects to lay flowers and light candles in memory of the loss of those children, 24 lives. you know, i said to you before, russia is no stranger to airline disasters, it's had lots of them over the past 10, 20 years but this has really touched people, struck a chord, because it was a tourist flight, filled with families, 25 children, as you mentioned. also lots of couples that left
their children here in st. petersburg and that's created a generation, a group of orphans as well. so it's something that's really being seen as a national tragedy in this country. over the course of the past few hours, there's been an announcement on sunday, coming up, there will be a big memorial here in st. petersburg at a cathedral here. that's going to happen. funeral arrangements not set, still in the process of identifying bodies, coming back on airplanes from sharm el sheikh from the past 48 hours. 19 passengers identified so far but of course still a long way to go. >> matthew chance, thank you so much. joining me now, aviation safety expert, a former member of the national transportation safety board, also with me here in studio, a former faa chief of staff. john, let me start with you, russia now reporting that the bodies in this crash show no signsexplosive.
what does that suggest to you? is that dispositive, does that necessarily mean there wasn't a bomb on board? >> well, it means there was no bomb in the general area where those bodies that have been but it's still early to make any determinations. for example, if there was a device in the cargo compartment, the rear cargo compartment, enough to take the tail off the plane, you may not find residue of that on the bodies. so it's just one clue in many before we get to the answers in this. >> michael, let's talk about what's being described as uncharacteristic sound captured on the cockpit voice recorder what happen does that mean? what could it be. >> may have problem in translation in terms of what that means. it's clearly out of protocol, the flight crew knows how to respond to certain emergencies, clearly something catastrophic, whether a bomb, whether a cargo
hold or something would cause that. the bigger issue, and john pointed this out, we are at day one in this. it's interesting, it's ironic, in mh-370 and others we count find the black boxes, the plane. maui have black boxes, fuselage, and bodies and yet we have an investigation. the question is, who's leading the investigation in real terms? we have too many chefs in the kitchen. russians, the egyptians, french, german, because of airbus, maybe the united states would come in. but until we have a fidelity in the information being provided, jake, we could be back in a situation of each day hearing new reports of leads that can't be grounded in data. >> john, investigators won't speculate what caused the sudden sound. would there be more significant evidence if it were definitely a bomb? >> not necessarily. not necessarily. you know it may not have been a very large device, but it was enough to cause the airplane to
break itself apart in flight. you know, the twa event that was off long island, when that fuel tank exploded, and we used that word rather loosely, but when the event happened inside the fuel tank, it didn't blow the airplane apart but it broke the back of the airplaning and then the air lobes took the plane down. >> a u.s. military satellite detected a heat flash from the plane. what could cause that? >> well, let's go back to what john was just talking about, twa flight 800, we spent several years tracing clues that naval intelligence had seen a flash, people spent two years on conspiracy theories as opposed to the ntsb investigation, the flash could be caused by the center fuel tank exploding. it's so early to go down a path. the danger is to overlook clues. it's kind of conclusion searching for data. we have to have data before we draw conclusions. >> john, the tail section was
among separated pieces of the plane. is that an area that investigation -- investigators you think should zero in on since it's near the cargo area? >> well, no question. and some of the videos that you showed earlier a minute ago, it clearly shows them looking at point where the tail separated from the rest of the airplane. that is critical area. you want to know the mechanics how that happened, how was the metal pulled apart? what direction did the force come to pull the metal part? that's an area that will receive a lot of attention. >> michael, i assume airport security in shar mel shake egypt is not like the united states. how loose is it. >> it's a big economic interest in the resort area for the russians and egyptians. in fact, airport security in terms of bomb detection equipment, they're not bad. they have fairly state-of-the-art equipment. but we know nothing but protocol, nothing like we do here about the tsa screeners, what they look for, how they're
done. so airport security there, absolutely has to be looked at. the question would be are all of the parties in the investigation willing to take an honest look at all of those kinds of things given what's at stake in terms of tourism travel and economics. >> john, how many -- john, many of the bodies found in the sinai peninsula were found in seat belts, strapped into the seats or something like that, close to it. does that indicate anything? >> well, that certainly indicate an event that happened rather quickly. so they were still in their seats, still strapped in, only 20 odd minutes into the flight. so they were probably not up and around yet. they were just getting comfortable. into the crew's altitude of the airplane. i would expect most of them to be belted. >> all right. tragic story. john, michael, thank you so much for your insights. national lead, you're stuck
going through body scanners at the airport but of course the big question, do they even work? a government watch dog now saying, just hours ago, the tsa doesn't really know if they're effective, that story next. if i want to go up... hello. if i want to go down... noo... but then if i want to come back again... yes. it's perfect. now that we've added adjustable base my favorite part is to be able to lift your legs up a little bit, lift the head up a little bit, and it feels like i'm just cradled. i love the adjustable bed because i love it when i'm watching tv. and there you have it. (vo) and now through december 1st save hundreds on select tempur-pedic mattresses and adjustable bases. change your sleep. change your life. change to tempur-pedic. and i had a gentleman i wasstop me and ask me ifom, you ki made his dinner.esidents
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i'm jake tapper. the agency that leaves you shoeless, beltless, aggravated. it's spent billions of your dollars and probed deeper into your privacy, trying to prevent the next terrorist attack in the sky. today, an inspector general slammed the transportation security administration in front of congress saying, there are still many weak links in tsa screening. cnn aviation correspondent rene marsh live at reagan national
airport outside d.c. a blistering, blistering testimony. >> reporter: jake, aside from the department of homeland security's inspector general, there was another government watchdog group, the government accountability office. and the gao told congress, many, not all, but many of tsa's screening methods in weeding out terrorists at airports, they're questioning how effective is it, and the reason why they're raising that question is because they say that tsa themselves, they have not taken the time to analyze deeply their own process to determine, is that we're doing at the nation's airports working towards our mission, which is essentially to weed out every bad guy who shows up? take a listen to what they said at the hearing earlier this morning. >> tsa definitely is aware of the importance of ensuring their programs are effective.
but at the end of the day for gao it comes down to a simple question which is, does the program work and how do you know? >> what have we done to address immediate challenges, retrained the front line workforce. should i start with the junior most person in the organization standing on a screening line and i think about what it mean for that individual to do their job effectively. >> so here are some of the issues the office has with the agency. they say that tsa has not evaluated the effectiveness of new screening technologies, they also say tsa has no consistent performance measures for its secure flights program, which is essentially a program that allows them to match passengers' names against terror watch lists. and, lastly, the gachlt o says has failed to use data to identify possibilities other areas to improve and strengthen
the system. jake, we should point out, you heard from the tsa head, he says that he has retrained all of his front line workers to address some of these issues but he's also pushing back. he pointed out that, every day tsa finds firearms at airport security checkpoints, just last week found a record number of firearms. so they do know there's work to be done but didn't want the point to be missed that they have prevented a lot of weapons from getting through airport security. >> a lot of bottles of shampoo. hank you so much. politics lead, donald trump telling one of his republican rivals that it's time to drop out of the race. is a new poll making trump nervous? plus, why one former reality star is closely watching the polls in ohio. will a vote to legalize marijuana make him millions? my constipation and belly pain
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welcome back to "the lead." let's do some politics now. little politics lead. dr. ben carson might speak very softly but there is nothing low key about his standing in polls these days. a new nbc news/"wall street journal" poll showing carson resting away the top spot away from donald trump, and this is a big caveat, this poll was conducted almost entirely before last week's republican debate. we've seen that these debates do have an impact on the rate. so it's unclear this poll is an accurate snapshot where the race is right now. cnn national political reporter sara murray is in new york
covering donald trump who leads in key state polls including new hampshire. donald trump has a new book out today. >> he does have a new book out today. while he was in new york, to release the books to sign books, he couldn't help but taking some shots at his opponents from immigration stance to energy levels. >> reporter: ben carson tightening his grip on his front-runner status. 29% of gop voters nationwide support carson in the latest nbc news/"wall street journal" poll. a six-point lead over donald trump. >> our strength is in our unity and we need to stop listening to the purveyors of division. we're waying to make us think there's a war going on with everything. >> reporter: taken together, two outsiders dominate the field, drawing 52% support. >> if you add ben and myself we beating everybody by a lot, the big story. >> reporter: carson's gains coming as he travels the country promoting his book. not to be outdone, trump celebrated his own book release
today and took a swipe at the man on top of the polls. >> he's a different kind of a person. my book is very hard hitting. you look at ben, he's very weak on immigration and wanted to get rid of medicare. >> reporter: another rival, trump predicted jeb bush doesn't have what it takes to win white house. >> can jeb make a comeback? i think it's going to be very hard. >> reporter: said it's time for some gop opponents to give up the fight. do you think it's time for some of the republicans in the field to drp out? >> if a person has been campaigning for four or five months and they're at zero or one or two percent, they should get out. >> go back if i can -- >> reporter: with the candidates at odds with each other, how to move forward, president obama is mocking the entire field. >> if you can't handle those guys, you know, i don't think that chinese and russians are going to be too worried about you. >> reporter: trump complains, it's the democrats that have it
easy. >> hillary clinton, no tough questions. i mean, why didn't they ask about bill, why didn't they ask about all of the different things. hillary hat only softballs all night long. it was like. here, hillary, hit this one over the park. >> reporter: now you see there, donald trump going after the democrats for the debates. one thing that we should point out, it was president obama, hillary clinton, and john edwards who decided to skip a fox news debate in 2007. so it's clear this works on both sides of the aisle. >> sarah, did trump have anything to say about the flap over the debates? >> reporter: yeah, there's been a back and forth where the republicans got together, decided to make their demands and then it was trump's campaign who said he was going to go it alone, negotiate directly with networks. today he brushed this all aside. he basically said give me a podium, we'll debate. we're seeing a number of republicans who don't want this to be used as a weakness against them. they want to make it look like
they're tough, prepared, ready for anything. >> thanks so much. jeb can fix it, is supposed to be punctuated with an exclamation point. jeb! but sagging poll numbers and deflated debate performances have made jeb bush's bid for the republican nomination the biggest question mark of the 2016 race. the poll found 52% of republican voters saying they won't even consider voting for governor bush. cnn's jamie gangel sat down with bush in south carolina. she asked him about senator marco rubio and donald trump. here's some of that interview. >> marco rubio, he's rising in the polls. your former protege, in the debate you went after him for missing votes but he hit back and some people think he got the better of the moment. was it a mistake to attack him on that. >> here's my point. people that are serving need to show up and work, period, over
and out. >> i just think people need to show up and work. >> donald trump, he just called marco rubio a lightweight and he said, vladimir putin would eat him for lunch. you think that's fair? >> no, it not fair. marco's a capable guy, talented poll significance. here's what i think. i think i'm the best qualified to be president. >> but is marco rubio ready? >> i'm the best qualified guy to be president. >> you're not going to answer the question. >> if you're comparing me to donald trump, i'm better qualified to be president. >> you can see the whole interview with jeb bush tonight on "the situation room" with wolf blitzer starting at 5:00 p.m. eastern after this show. hillary clinton speaking right now at a rally in iowa. she's trouncing bernie sanders in the latest national poll. but it's not all rosy in clinton land. that story, next. >> thank you. it's the best club i've ever been in, i can tell you that. ib.
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degree, certification did. >> welcome back to "the lead." politics lead. that is hillary clinton taking questions from voters in coralville, iowa, a brand-new poll out today, mrs. clinton has a razor's edge lead in new hampshire over vermont senator bernie sanders. nationwide, however, she's stomping him. let's get right to cnn seen your washington correspondent jeff zeleny who is trailing clinton today. the nationwide trend is great for clinton but, as you know, state by state polls, much more competitive, are far more important. >> reporter: no question, jake. the state by state polls are more important because, of course, primary elections are run state by state. it's not a national campaign until the general election campaign. but those iowa caucuses are just 90 days away. that's why secretary clinton is right behind me here doing an organizing event, talking to a few hundred voters or so in the eastern part of iowa, just outside iowa city in coralville,
trying to reach out to voters getting her all of them signed up on her team. though she's in iowa she's thinking about new hampshire. her team is pleased by i knew poll showing that she's three point as head of senator bernie sanders. now, of course, that's inside the margin of error but it's a reversal of how her fortunes looked about a month or so ago. so that is on the heels of these national polls that show her with a lead, jake, 30 points or so in the "wall street journal"/nbc poll. but it is state by state polls that give some hope to them that they are, you know, going along here three months before the iowa caucuses they are still having to work for it here. it's far, far, far too early to write bernie sanders off or martin o'malley, who is also campaigning here as well. >> it looks as though clinton is consolidating her base but sanders still has a lot of things going for him as well? >> reporter: he sure does. he has the energy and the enthusiasm, really inside this democratic party, on his side.
i can tell you, when you walk into his headquarters, talk to his volunteers, they are fired up. they're going to stick with him. they're very loyal. the clinton campaigns though have to do more events like this, they know this is not a cake walk. >> all right. jeff zeleny in coralville, iowa, with hillary clinton. thank you so much. let's chew over everything, 2016 with former press secretary for president obama's 2012 campaign and former campaign manager for mitt romney's campaign katie packer. happy birthday. >> thank you. >> ben, let me start with this. hillary clinton showing new strength in the polls when it comes to democrats. but among all voters, and presuming she gets the nomination, she only has a 40% approval rating. and just 27% of all voters think she's honest and trustworthy. right now looking at these numbers she's on a good track to get the nomination and then, bang, trouble. >> i don't know if i agree with
that. look, president obama's favorability rating was under water for much of the 2012 presidential campaign but winning on a key question, who will fight for people like you? and that's a question that hillary clinton has been winning on all along. the republicans, in terms of party approval rating have a 20% defic deficit. this might look like a revere referendum but it's going to turn into a choice between hillary clinton and the other candidate. >> katie, speaking of president obamaing take a listen to the president at a democratic fund-raiser in new york this week. >> have you noticed that every one of these candidates say, obama's weak, you know, putin's kicking sand in his face. when i talk to putin, he's going to straighten out. just looking at him, he's going to be -- and then it turns out they can't handle a bunch of
cnbc moderators. on the debate. >> obviously, pleasing the democratic crowd there. but your reaction? >> well, first of all, i don't think that putin's ever been stronger than he has been today under the president and that's something the republican candidates are responding to. i don't think the issue is republicans can't handle these debate moderators. i think they're frustrated that these debate moderators don't understand their role. their role isn't to make a name for themselves. their role to is distill the issues so republicans can decide who their standard bearer's going to be. that's the point of debates in a primary. it's a different role in the general election. but that's the frustration. they're trying to work that out and i expect we'll see good debates moving forward. >> ben, i assume you thought -- >> some of the debates have been fantastic. >> ben, let me ask you, sara murray brought it up earlier, democrats boycotted the fox news channel/congressional black caucus debate in 2007.
so a lot of republicans are out there saying, you know, this isn't just about republicans not liking moderators. democrats didn't like the idea of fox news channel doing a debate in '07. >> look, there's always a debate over debates. what's happening on the republican side with the debates right now, though, that the republican party just isn't unified, and the debates have looked like a food fight. there's a big disagreement over foreign policy, anti-establishment candidates doing very well in the republican side right now and i think some of the institutional forces in the party are frankly getting worried whether or not the primary's doing damage to the republicans overall in the general election. >> katie, take a listen to donald trump this morning talking about jeb bush. >> look, jeb is a nice guy. he's a stiff. he's a nice guy. he doesn't have a chance, all right. he ought to do what walker did -- >> drop out? >> absolutely. he's got money but the money's not going to do. he's been branded as a low
energy person. i don't know. >> by who? >> i can't imagine. but look, jeb is not a man that's going to make it, okay. he's wasting his time. he's wasting a lot of money. >> obviously donald trump has a bias there, running against him. but i have heard some establishment republican figures say, they have increasingly a difficult time seeing a path for jeb. >> well, i think that jeb does have a very difficult path. you know, i have heard repeatedly from people who like the bush family, support the bush family, they're not sure there should be another bush. i hear that talking to republican primary voted that have high regard for jeb. i think jeb is trying to hit the reset button. i wish donald trump would get out of the race himself and decide to be a political commentator, was sort of what he seems to enjoy doing. he doesn't have any other message but what the other candidates' weaknesses are. i haven't heard him articulate a plan. i'm not sure he should be telling other candidate what to do when he doesn't have a vision
he's articulated for the country himself. >> ben, i'm constantly asked by people, you don't think donald trump's going to get the gom nation? my response is always, why not. >> i think that's a very good point. combine trump's numbers and carson's numbers they've been above 50% for the entire primary. and so, you know, jeb and rubio have been down at 10%. you have to take these candidates seriously. it's a couple months before the caucuses now. >> no i don't see a reason. but let me ask you, you worked on the obama campaign especially on the re-election strategy. donald trump has a point there arc among many, he really brand jeb bush. he's an expert brander not only of himself but he branded jeb bush low energy. i think that has hurt him. >> i think it sticks. look if we look at 2012 campaign, i think that we effectively branded mitt rom r
romney. >> -- no offense. >> -- his values early in the race fighting the primary campaign and that had a big impact on perceptions of the voters in the general. we don't have a primary to worry about so we could focus on 2011. >> thank you for the reminder. >> katie what do you think about jeb bush, his attack on marco rubio for missing senate votes? i think there are a lot of jeb fans who thought, oh, he just diminishes himself and why would you punch down at marco rubio, your protege as opposed to going after carson and trump. >> i got into trouble with friends in bush world last time i talked about this, when i said it's a bogus issue. i think candidates -- >> missing votes. >> the missing votes thing. all of the candidates missed something that's part of their day job when they decide to run for the next office. you know, president obama was sort of the champion at missing votes when he was running and he didn't pay a price with voters. i think it's a silly strategy to
be continually focusing on that. you know i think this race is about tomorrow and it's about moving forward. and i think that voters are going to look to candidates that articulate that. i think its and a mistake for jeb to do that but i think he's recognized his mistake and he's trying to hit the reset button and try to turn things around and we'll see if he's able to do that. >> all right. thank you both. happy birthday to you, katie. drug kingpins in ohio? voters in the buckeye state could legalize marijuana today. if they do, a select few, including a former boy band member, could make millions. plus -- the pope might have been treated like a rock star on his u.s. visit but a new finding about the fastest growing group when it comes religion in this country, that story ahead.
races including a closely fought bat until kentucky, constitutional amendments, and ballot measures, including one in ohio on the legalization of marijuana. let's get right to cnn's stephanie elam. recreational marijuana is legal in four states and washington, d.c. what makes this vote in ohio notable other than the apparent endorsement of an ex-boy bander? >> reporter: jake, there's more than just a couple of people with famous names who want ohioans to vote to legalize marijuana today. while pushing their measure, there's another issue on the ballot, built to block legalization, even if legalization passes. it's a bit of a confusing showdown in the buckeye state. >> reporter: it's all about the green in ohio today. the growing, smoking, and spending kind and it's the cash causing controversy. voters can say yes to legalizing medical and recreational marijuana at the same time.
in ohio, it's called issue three. but if they do, commercial growing rights would go to just ten predetermined farms owned by, you guessed it investors in the campaign to legalize the cash crop. >> i'm nick lachey, ohio is my home and i care very deeply about the people here. >> reporter: music star nick lachey, frostee rucker, fashion designer na net lepore and president william taft's great-great grand nephews have a financial stake in the game. >> by no means do we share in all of the profits. like i said, there will be competition, winners, losers. >> reporter: also those in the middle, ohioans who want to legalize marijuana but don't want the green to line the pockets of so few. the man behind the campaign to bring legal pot smoking to the swing state says it could never pass without big budget backers. >> groups of investors have the ability to fund campaign, spend $25 million.
you can't pass it with nickels and dimes and you can't pass it by wishful thinking. >> reporter: if it does pass, other growers will be allowed to join in after four years. vote could set the precedent for potential play to pay politics. up for votes six other states next year. ohio would join four other states and district of columbia to legalize recreational using including allowance for personal plants. however, governor kasich is not on board. >> sending mixed signals to kids by drugs is a disaster. >> reporter: mixed signals may be what keeps legal marijuana and investors out of ohio. opponents of issue 3 can vote for issue 2, anti-monopoly countermeasure designed to defeat issue 3. if both pass, the courts may have to decide whether the state goes to pot or not. now normally if two conflicting amendments pass in ohio the state's constitution says one with most votes will become law.
however a legislature-sponsored amendment like issue 2 goes into effect immediately. a citizen sponsored one, 3, would take effect 30 days after the election. some believe, jake, this decision will come from a court of law. >> stephanie, has there been polling? any idea how close the vote might be? >> reporter: right, when it comes to legalization in ohio, it looks like it's a really close vote to make. whether or not both of these issues pass, that's still unclear. >> all right. stephanie elam, thank you so much. other national news, a story we brought you yesterday, 43 chipotle eateries shut down after two dozen came down with e. coli. now the number is going up. officials have confirmed at least 37 cases now across oregon and washington state. most infect ate at the popular chain chipotle some time during the past two weeks. but officials have no clue which
ingredient in the smorgasbord of options could be getting people sick. a lot of stuff to test, as you know, if you've ever eaten at a chipotle. one woman has sued over her illness. she ate a burrito bowl and contracted the virus. the woman is seeking $75,000 in damages. wolf blitzer's here with a preview of "the situation room." wolf, russia's reporting breaking news, bodies in the plane crash in egypt show no evidence of a bombing. talking more about the investigation with congressman adam kinsinger and senator testimony cain. >> what's going on in syria, u.s. introducing ground forces, only 50, special operations forces. he says the united states, that congress has to authorize this that there has to be formal legislation, giving the president the authority to step up this war against isis in iraq and syria. we'll talk about than talk about what's going on with the investigation, the mystery surrounding the plane crash. adam kinsinger will be serving
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welcome back to "the lead." our buried lead now. the most numerous and most powerful religion voting bloc in republican politics, evangelical christians. but the religion group that dominates the democratic party these days isn't a religious group at all. a new pew resent study out today for which researchers spoke with 35,000 americans found nones, people who belong to no organized religion or are agnostic or atheist, nones account for 28% of democrats.
let's talk about this study with pew's associate director of research, gregory smith. greg, it's a fascinating study. so many things to talk about. but i find it astounding that the democratic party's biggest reli religious group is people who reject religion. how did the democratic party get to the place. >> the nones are growing within the public as a whole. in fact, the fastest growing religious group in the united states, almost a quarter of all adults in the united states say they have no religion. they're growing among both parties but especially among democrats. now more numerous than catholics, members of the historically black protestant tradition, more numerous than main line protestants within the democratic coalition. a big change. >> the american people, by and large, without question, a people of faith, more so than other comparable industrialized nations. but, we are becoming less and less religious as a public, why?
>> exactly right. it's important to keep in mind that by any measure the united states is still a nation of believers, but we're seeing small but significant declines in the number who believe in god, the number who pray regularly, number who attend religious services with regularity. a big part of driving that, behind these trends, is generational replacement. you have older cohorts, baby boomers, members of the silent generation, who are beginning to pass away, whose numbers are beginning to dwindle, and they're being replaced by new generation of young people especially millennials far less religious than elders have been before them. >> i'm generation-x and a imagine a lot of my generation were nones when younger. but we got old somewhere started to becoming more church going and religious but that's not what happens happening with millenniums? >> it doesn't seem to be. as people get older they become
more religious in certain ways, more prayerful, attend religious services. but importantly they don't become any more likely to identify with a religious faith and in these data, we're not seeing much evidence millennials have moved in the last seven years. the oldest group of millennials may be less religious than than when we did a study in 2007. >> we are becoming less religious connected with the great her acceptance of gays and lesbians that you also measure in the study? >> there's a lot of people who think that's a big part of what's going on, that the conservatism of many religious groups, when it comes to issues like homosexuality has driven some people away from religion and that's consistent with what you see if you look at the political profile of religious nones, much more liberal than people who are affiliated with a religion, particularly conservative christians and more
accepting of homosexuality. >> that's none n-o-n-e-s, not the other kind. i turn you over to wolf blitzer next door in "the situation room." >> happening now, midair explosion, cnn is learning a satellite detected a heat flash moments before a russian airliner broke apart and crashed on the sinai peninsula. with a missile all but ruled out, was it on board? was a bomb on board that brought down the plane. terror connection? threats against russia by the head of al qaeda calling for attacks in an ominous new message. was the plane disaster a terror attack? backing assad, russia insisting tonight its position on syrian dictator al assad has not changed but earlier a foreign ministry spokeswoman said keeping him in