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THE LEAD WITH JAKE TAPPER
Battle Over Confederate Flag Continues; Trump In Second Place Among GOP Primary Voters; Obamacare Upheld By Supreme Court; Seth Rogen On Family's Fight With Alzheimer's. Aired 4:30-5p ET
Aired June 25, 2015 - 16:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
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ALINA MACHADO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): -- that has followed continues to have national implications. And tomorrow, it will take another turn when the president heads to Charleston to deliver the eulogy at Reverend Pinckney's funeral.
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MACHADO: Now we've learned a large bipartisan delegation from Washington will be traveling to Charleston for the funeral tomorrow. The president himself is helping prepare this eulogy. His main focus will be on the nine lives lost here.
But the White House has not ruled out the possibility that the president could potentially talk about some of these issues that have come to the forefront in light of the tragedy --Jake.
JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: Alina Machado, thank you so much. We continue to keep a close eye on this. This is the live look, of course, inside the courtroom in Plattsburg and any minute now, we keep being told, the arraignment will begin for a second prison worker charged with the escape of two inmates. We'll bring that to you live as soon as it happens. First we'll take this quick break.
[16:35:01] TAPPER: Welcome back to THE LEAD. You're looking at pictures from earlier. We're expecting an arraignment of that prison guard, Gene Palmer. It turns out the judge came out while we were in commercial and said that everything is going to be pushed to Monday. So let us move on. We will obviously bring that to you on Monday.
Our Politics Lead today, another day, another good poll if your last name is Trump. On Tuesday one poll showed the Donald rising to second place among New Hampshire Republican primary voters. On Wednesday yet another poll showed him in second place nationally among Republicans.
In 30 minutes or so, CNN will release its new poll. What will that say? Now granted Trump starts the race with name recognition. Trump is plastered all over buildings and billboards and board rooms and of course, synonymous with what else? But is Donald Trump's run for the White House motivated by
political ambition or is it just yet another publicity stunt? In an interview that will run Sunday on "STATE OF THE UNION" here on CNN, I sat down with the real estate mogul and I asked him is this about the future or about the franchise.
TAPPER: Some people look at you running for president and say this is just about ego. It's just about getting his brand out there. He wrote a best-selling book, a real estate magnet, a very high rated TV show. He loves to be in the spotlight, but he's not really running for president. What's your message for those people?
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: My message is that they're wrong. It's something that I've looked at over the years, I looked at it very seriously as you know four years ago. In a way I wished I didn't because I thought Mitt would have done a better job. Something happened to him, he choked.
Pure and simple, something happened to him. He should have won. That was an election that should have been won and he didn't do it, and I've been thinking about it seriously over the last period of time and I've decided I'm going to do it.
TAPPER: And you're in it to win it, you're serious?
TRUMP: I'm in it to win it. Look, I give up a lot. I give up hundreds of millions of dollars in deals and potential, you know, things that I do. In all fairness, I don't want it to sound trivial, NBC renewed "The Apprentice" because we made a great season last season.
They would love me not to be doing this I will tell you right now. The top people come to my office and say, please. I'm not doing it because of this. I can't do it. I'm not allowed to do it. Essentially legally I'm not allowed to do it.
But the -- I give up "The Apprentice." These politicians, Jake, I see them all the time. I'm with them now. They run. They lose. They win. They don't lose anything. They help themselves. I'm giving up hundreds of millions of dollars.
Forget about what it costs, that's peanuts. The cheapest part is what it costs to do it. I'm giving up hundreds of millions of dollars to do this. I'm giving up a prime time television show. I'm giving that up to do this. It's not a sure thing that I can tell you.
I'm not a politician, but I speak honestly. I will not let China rip us off any longer. I will take back jobs from all of these places that are killing us, including Mexico, who I have great respect for, but including Mexico. I will make our country great again. I'll tell you that.
I'm in it to win it. That doesn't mean I'm going to win it. It's a very different candidacy. It's a very different kind of a person. I'm a little blunt.
TAPPER: Just a little.
TRUMP: But you know what? Maybe that's what we need. We have to take it back. We have to take our country back.
TAPPER: Joining me to talk about the race for the White House is conservative talk show giant, Hugh Hewitt, he is out with a new book, titled, "The Queen, The Epic Ambition of Hillary Clinton and the Coming of a Second Clinton Era."
Hugh, it's so nice to see you again. Thanks for joining me. I have so many things I want to ask you about including your book, of course, but first let me get your reaction to a couple things. First of all, Donald Trump, he is now second in the polls nationally, second in the polls in New Hampshire. What do you make of this?
HUGH HEWITT, HOST, "THE HUGH HEWITT SHOW": I make he really is running. I talked to him on my radio show on Monday. You'll talk to him on Sunday. He's going to try to win Iowa. He's actually hired staff on the ground there. He really is running.
But the polls show Jeb Bush has got a narrow lead at the top and they're all bunched at 20 percent or lower. So who can beat Hillary Clinton is going to be the number one question of the minds of Republicans, especially after the Obamacare decision today.
Donald Trump has to prove that he's conversant with that and that he can beat Hillary. I don't know he can do that.
TAPPER: I want to talk about Hillary and your book, but you mentioned the Obamacare decision. Your reaction?
HEWITT: I'm disappointed. I would have been with the dissent, but I think Randy Barnett as a Georgetown law professor who wrote a great piece at SCOTUS blog in which he said the chief justice's position is reasonable. It's important for conservatives to remember that and not to go on a frenzy of chief justice bashing.
Because there's this principle constitutional law that I've been teaching for years at various school of law, Chapman law, which you try and preserve a statute, and you try and to the statute's work. The chief buys that. I'm with Scalia's dissent.
[16:40:04] But I think the most important thing is it hurts Hillary. She now has this anchor of Obamacare around her neck. They cannot blame any of the rising premiums, the enormous deductibles, the lack of doctors on any Republican, and every Republican gets a free swing at Hillary who after all is the grandmother of Obamacare.
Hillarycare came first, Obamacare came second, and she tweeted out her enthusiastic applause for the court's decision today, but I think in the back room at Team Hillary, they're not so happy about this. TAPPER: So let's talk about Hillary Clinton and your book "The Queen." I think anybody who is not a fan of Hillary Clinton will enjoy it very much. Even fans might find the writing lively, let us say. You have said that you think she's likely to win the presidency. Your book is full of advice for her, not all tongue and cheek, some of it very seriously.
Do you see her -- I don't think, she's read the book necessarily, but do you see any evidence that she's taking any of your suggestions seriously?
HEWITT: Yes, the fourth suggestion she's already taken which is to campaign on a blanket amnesty leading the citizenship. She's very far out on a ledge there. I haven't seen her endorse the defense buildup, embrace energy. I don't expect her to do that until Bernie Sanders is locked in a cabin somewhere not challenging her from the left.
Once she's done with the challenge from him, I believe she'll move decisively to the right, run against the Electoral College and some of the other stuff. The patty power odds from Ireland, Jake, put Hillary Clinton at a 10-11 favorite. That's a prohibitive favorite.
The closest Republican is Jeb Bush at 7-1. We'll have to run a fairly perfect campaign. It's possible to beat her. I hope we beat her. I'm doing everything I can to take things off the table via "The Queen." But as the queen points out, she's got some formidable advantages.
TAPPER: And if I may, having read the book, it's not full amnesty. It's also full amnesty followed by a huge wall on the border, a wall or fence, whatever you want to put it. I just want to prove to you that I read the book. What are you telling Republicans --
HEWITT: You did.
TAPPER: When I was on your show, you read my book. I wanted to be sure, turnabout. What are you telling Republicans is the best way to defeat her? How do you go after her? She does seem to have so many institutional advantages.
HEWITT: I think they have to lean on the server, the server, the server and the night of Benghazi. Not because of what happened, but what happened that night. She left the State Department at 1:00 a.m. in the morning. She folded up like a lawn chair.
Since that time she's been engaged in massive cover-up. The server that she had was a national security breach of the first order. The reason I think Carly Fiorina is taking off, Jake, is that because unlike the other candidates, when you read "The Queen" you know that I didn't think Carly was really get much traction.
But she has because she's been hitting Mrs. Clinton on the fact that maintaining the server like the OPM hack was a very bad thing for national security, something that she has to answer and eventually she has to sit down with you and all the other Sunday show hosts and answer tough questions about why did she put her own political interests ahead of those of the country.
I don't think she can sustain tough questions. I think the Republican Party ought to stay all focused on her, her server, Hillarycare leading to Obamacare and the fact that she had a catastrophic tenure as the Department of State leads.
She only mentioned that barely in her big announcement at Roosevelt Island. That's where the Republicans have to stay is focused on her, not Chief Justice Roberts, but on Hillary Clinton and the need to not have another eight years of wildly disastrous executive leadership.
TAPPER: Obviously, there are a lot of people especially those who work for the Hillary Clinton campaign, who disagree with everything you are saying. Let me just put a flag there and we'll have somebody come back and defend her at some later point.
Moving on to Republican politics, you believe that Senator Ted Cruz and/or Senator Marco Rubio, they are the candidates, they are the Republicans in the best position to defeat her, assuming she wins the nomination?
HEWITT: Well, to be very careful, I think Ted Cruz is in the best position right now to run the board, meaning that the rules set up best for him. What Reince Priebus did was set up a very orderly system. He brought order out of chaos with the debates, et cetera.
But I really think her worst nightmare is Marco Rubio, her, but Ted Cruz is the best debater in the bunch. My advice in the book is if Cruz is the nominee because he does get that momentum, not to debate him. He didn't win nine Supreme Court arguments by accident, Jake.
But Marco Rubio probably matches up best against her. At this point, we'll see a lot in the course of conversation with the candidates. I'm talking to Jeb Bush tomorrow, for example. We'll see if any of them make the case that they're best positioned to beat Hillary. That's the person that will get nominated by the Republicans.
TAPPER: You and I, of course, are going to work together at that second Republican debate at the Reagan Library. I'm looking forward to that very much. Hugh Hewitt, thank you for joining me. I really appreciate it.
You can catch my full interview with Donald Trump on "STATE OF THE UNION" this Sunday at 9:00 a.m. and noon right here at CNN. And let me also say, I want to hear from you, bring your questions about "STATE OF THE UNION" or THE LEAD or if you just want to talk about this weird mug that I have, join me online for a Facebook Q&A tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. Eastern. That's facebook.com/jaketapper.
[16:45:13] Coming up the Pop Lead, the real life drama for comedian, Seth Rogen, Alzheimer's now taking a huge toll on the actor and his family. How the comedian and his wife are trying to take control of the disease with no cure. And also the Money Lead, as if grocery prices weren't high
enough, now it's Whole Foods accused of overcharging you at the register and not just by a couple of cents. Stay with us.
[16:50:05] TAPPER: Welcome back to THE LEAD. The Pop Culture Lead, a daunting task for any musician, 151 shows, but for Glen Campbell, the Rhinestone Cowboy, being able to take the stage was nothing short of stunning.
Before his last tour doctors diagnosed him with Alzheimer's disease. That tour ending struggle, all documented in the new CNN film "Glen Campbell, I'll Be Me."
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Glen, last time at the Rhinaman, you sometimes forgot what key it was, but you can always remember the melody.
GLEN CAMPBELL: I can't answer that, but I can do it. It's amazing. Sometimes I don't want to do it.
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TAPPER: Here now to talk about Alzheimer's and the film "Glen Campbell, I'll be me," actor, Seth Rogen and his lovely wife, Lauren Miller Rogen, both are founders of "Hilarity for Charity." Seth, Lauren, thanks for being here.
Lauren, as you know, Seth has been on this show before to talk about the reason that you're here, the fact that your mother, Adele, has Alzheimer's. One of the things Seth kept saying is like it's nothing like they portray in movies or TV. That is such a sanitized version.
LAUREN MILLER ROGEN, CO-FOUNDER, HILARITY FOR CHARITY: Yes. It's interesting the way it's been portrayed is about this mild level of confusion. I feel like still Alice changed that conversation in an amazing way. The journey that we've seen my mom go through is very different.
I mean, she was diagnosed at 55. We saw symptoms years before that. At 63, which she is now, she is completely fully advanced and needs 24/7 care. She hasn't walked in a couple years. She hasn't talked in a couple years.
You know, she needs to be fed, changed, dressed, groomed, 100 percent care, and it's a really devastating extreme disease that I think a lot of people really aren't sure the reality of it.
TAPPER: My grandfather had Alzheimer's before he passed. It didn't happen until he was in his 90s which is, of course, a bit different than hitting somebody earlier in their life. Seth, it must be very, very frustrating to see this happen to your mother-in-law and also to see the pain it causes your wife. SETH ROGEN, CO-FOUNDER, HILARITY FOR CHARITY: Yes. I mean, it's truly unbelievably sad, and there's not a lot of hope associated with it. I mean, I had no idea going in to this experience that I now live in, but there's no treatment for Alzheimer's. There's no cure. There's nothing to slow the progression of the disease in any way, shape or form.
It's pretty much a long slow death sentence, which is the last thing you want. It's what it is in a lot of ways and there's -- and that's really what made us want to try to do something in our personal lives to feel like we had some control over a situation that we really have absolutely zero control over.
TAPPER: Lauren, how do you deal with it? We see in the film that Glen Campbell somehow is able to remember his songs. Sometimes he forgets he played a tune and starts singing the same one after he hit the notes. He's still not as advanced as your mother is. How do you get through it and how do you survive that pain?
LAUREN MILLER-ROGEN: You know, it's been a long journey. It's been nine years since my mom was diagnosed. In the beginning, on her end she felt a lot of shame. There was a lot of stigma always assigned to Alzheimer's. She didn't want us to tell anyone. I couldn't talk about it.
She didn't want me to tell my friends or even some family members. I definitely got pretty dark and went to a very depressed place and leaned a lot on this one who was amazing. I'm so lucky to have him and a supportive family. I have a wonderful therapist.
What's turned things around is doing Hilarity for Charity, it's what Seth just said, it's feeling like we have some sort of control over something we have no control over. Taking charge of any situation that brings you sadness, and even if we can't help my mom, I feel like we're helping the bigger picture, that's given me a lot of hope in a place where I didn't have a lot.
TAPPER: Seth Rogen and Lauren Miller-Rogen, your charity again, Hilarity for Charity, Google it and get involved. Thank you for sharing your story with us.
SETH ROGEN: Thank you so much for having us.
TAPPER: Be sure not to miss CNN films presents "Glen Campbell, I'll Be Me." It's a portrait of the "Rhinestone Cowboy's last try, at Sunday night at 9:00 Eastern.
The Money Lead, shopping for organic cage-free, grass-fed, gluten-free, it's expensive enough, but is one trendy super market jacking up prices even more? Stay with us.
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CRISTINA ALESCI, CNN MONEY CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): -- were seen. Whole Foods is facing millions of dollars in fines for allegedly overcharging customers right here in New York City.
So how did it come to that conclusion, well, the agency investigated 80 different types of prepackaged food and found every last one had the wrong weight from 80 cents for pecan panko to almost $15 on coconut shrimp.
Now the weight difference was large enough on most of these items to actually violate federal laws. Whole Foods of course responded saying it disagreed with the city's findings. It said the agency had not yet provided evidence to back up its claims, but instead took this issue to the media to coerce Whole Foods.
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Now, for how this will all play out, we'll have to keep history in mind here, Whole Foods paid almost $800,000 in fines last year for similar charges in California -- Jake.
TAPPER: Cristina Alesci, thanks so much. That's it for THE LEAD.