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The Lead with Jake Tapper
Obama Mocks Walker For Remarks About Vampires & Werewolves; CNN Poll: Warnock Narrowly Leads Walker In G.A. Senate Election; Democrats Approve Biden Proposal To Change Primary Calendar; U.S. Takes On The Netherlands Tomorrow In First Knockout Round; Is The American Public Becoming More Interested In Soccer?; Twitter Suspends Rapper Kanye West After He Tweeted Star Of David With A Swastika Inside; Nex Mexico Offers Free Childcare For Qualifying Families. Aired 5-6p ET
Aired December 02, 2022 - 17:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The suggestion by President Biden yesterday that he would consider speaking to President Putin of Russia to bring an end to the war, to the need in Ukraine desperately for missile defenses, particularly the Patriot missile defense system. But first of all, we started talking about that, it's a very strange, very disturbing series of letters that have been received by Ukrainian embassies across Europe. The foreign minister, Dmytro Kuleba, will explain.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DMYTRO KULEBA, UKRAINIAN FOREIGN MINISTER: Well, it started with an explosion and the Embassy of Ukrainian Spain. But what followed was -- this explosion was more weird, and I will even say sick, because we started receiving letters with eyes, animal eyes, cut off.
CHANCE: Animal eyes.
KULEBA: Animal eyes, yes. In some cases -- in one case, it's most probably an eye of a cow and an eye of a pig in another case.
CHANCE: Let me ask you, who do you suspect? Who does Ukraine suspect of being behind this?
KULEBA: Well, of course, I feel tempted to say -- to name Russia straightaway, because first of all, you have to answer the question, who benefits from that? And it's definitely this campaign is aimed at solving fear and terrorizing Ukrainian diplomats.
CHANCE: Your infrastructure of the country has been attacked repeatedly by Russian missiles. You've got an anti-aircraft system that is straining to overcome those incoming attacks. How concerned are you that this country will be unable to survive the winter unless patriot missile systems from the United States are deployed to this country? KULEBA: I'm not concerned at all, we will survive. I do not have any single doubt that we will get through this winter. The question is, what will be the price of getting through this winter? And definitely having patriots, having other advanced air defense systems, having them delivered in Ukraine within weeks, not months, will dramatically lower the price and will allow us to defend our cities and I'll critical energy infrastructure.
CHANCE: Are you concerned that the approval for those patriots has not been given yet?
KULEBA: Well, patriot has became a symbol. The, you know, this is a U.S. technology. But now time has come to make decisions. So we are having this discussion. And yes, I will not conceal that it will be a huge help. It would really help us to defend the country, and to minimize the price we are paying for surviving during the winter.
CHANCE: You heard President Biden yesterday in a press conference with the with the French leader, suggesting that he would be prepared to sit down and speak with President Putin of Russia to try and find a negotiated end to this conflict. How did that make you feel as a Ukrainian that the American president was suggesting that he would be open to that conversation?
KULEBA: Well, I think you missed one point from President Biden's remark because he said that this can only happen if Putin is ready to withdraw from Ukraine. And this is a very important detail. Because if any leader of the world is ready just to sit down with Putin and talk behind our back, that is a problem. But if the condition for the conversation is the withdrawal of Russian army from Ukraine and restoration of our territorial integrity, we are fine with that.
CHANCE: Do you believe there is any possibility? Finally, the final question, do you believe there is any possibility at this stage, any sign of the green shoots of a peace process? Is there anything that gives you hope on that front?
KULEBA: No, as we are anticipating another massive missile attack by Russia. And the goal of this attack is to kind of bring total destruction to our energy system. I don't think countries behave like this if they want, genuinely, want peace. And as long as Putin prefers war, will prefer to fight and defeat him on the battleground.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHANCE: Well, Jake, as the country braces itself for that potential further missile strikes that the former minister was talking to me about then. It's been revealed by the defense ministry that some of the missiles that Russia was firing at the country are actually dummy missiles. What that means is they're cruise missiles that are capable of carrying nuclear warheads, but the warheads had been removed and just the missiles with nothing on the front of them, no explosives at all are being fired partly to confuse and to exhaust the missile defense systems in the country. You know, and so you know, that's something that's another thing that the Ukrainians are having to contend with, Jake. [17:05:18]
JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: All right, Matthew Chance, thank you so much. Fascinating interview.
Now to Russia, clear signs that Putin's economy is struggling under the squeeze of sanctions from the west as the west hopes economic pain will ultimately push Putin and push Russians to question their leaders so called special military operation in Ukraine. CNN's Fred Pleitgen is in Moscow right now, where the typically bright holiday season is noticeably dimmer this year.
(BEGIN VIDEO TAPE)
FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice- over): As Moscow lights up for the holiday season, the festive mood is dampened by a dose of melancholy, as there seems no end in sight to what the Kremlin calls its special military operation in Ukraine.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): I think the operation is not going too well to put it mildly, because there are many losses on our side.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): I don't know what the goal of the operation is, but it's not reaching it.
PLEITGEN (voice-over): After Russian forces were forced to retreat from large parts of north eastern and southern Ukraine, many here don't even want to talk about what's happening on the battlefield.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): To this question, I don't know what to say.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): This is a provocative question, I don't want to answer it.
PLEITGEN (voice-over): Even after the Kremlin ordered a partial mobilization drafting around 300,000 Russians between September and early November, gains have been hard to come by for Moscow's forces in Ukraine. Still, many Russians say they trust their leadership's decision making.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): As far as the military operation goes, I can only say one thing, that it is underway. And that I should not comment on because we all support our president of the Russian Federation.
PLEITGEN (voice-over): And Russian President Vladimir Putin is asking for more support and patience, promising things will turn around.
PRES. VLADIMIR PUTIN, RUSSIA: We as all of you here rightfully said, we must achieve our goals and we will achieve them in the end.
PLEITGEN (voice-over): But increasing numbers of boarded up shops show Russia's economy is running out of steam as sanctions bite and some goods are becoming scarce. UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Of course many things we've grown used to buying have disappeared, but life goes on. We have to adjust somehow.
PLEITGEN (voice-over): Economic experts Sergey Zhavoronkov tells me he fears the economic woes could lead to wider discontent.
SERGEY ZHAVORONKOV, SENIOR RESEARCHER, GAIDAR INSTITUTE FOR ECONOMIC POLICY (through translator): It is a known effect, a short victorious war may provoke enthusiasm. But if the war last endlessly, does not lead to the desired outcome, comes disappointment.
PLEITGEN (voice-over): For now, the lights remain bright in Moscow, even as the dark clouds of economic uncertainty loom over the Russian capital.
(END VIDEO TAPE)
PLEITGEN: And you know, Jake, that's one of the things that people tell us gets to them the most, it's that uncertainty. What's going to be an a month in two months or in three months? Are people still going to have a job? And certainly a lot of them say that right now, as far as the economy is concerned, they really don't see a light at the end of the tunnel because they believe these sanctions are going to stay in place for a very long time.
Now, Vladimir Putin has said he believes that the economy here will continue to stabilize. But of course, he also says that Russia's combat operations in Ukraine are going to continue until he's achieved all his goals. Jake.
TAPPER: All right, Fred Pleitgen in Moscow, thank you so much for that report.
Former President Barack Obama is on the campaign trail in Georgia to the Senate run off and he's got jokes.
Then, he survived treading water for 20 hours after falling off a cruise ship and now he's sharing his story.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When it started going -- getting back towards night time, again, the water start getting colder. At that time, I thought, you know, how much longer am I going to have to be out here?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: In our politics lead in just four days, the last election of the 2022 cycle comes to a close. This is the runoff between incumbent Democratic Senator Raphael Warnock and Republican challenger and football star Herschel Walker, both of whom are rallying supporters today. CNN's Dianne Gallagher is live in Atlanta polling locations.
Dianne, this is the last day for early voting. Tell us what you're seeing.
DIANNE GALLAGHER, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. I think you can see for yourself here this long lines and it kind of looks like this across the state of Georgia right now. I've talked to people who've waited two even three hours for this final day to get their votes cast in this runoff election between the incumbent Senator Raphael, Warnock and Republican Herschel Walker.
Now as of Thursday, just under 1.5 million Georgians had already cast their ballots. But Gabriel Sterling, the chief executive -- the Chief Operating Officer of the Secretary of State's office here tweeted that right now they're on pace to break that single daily vote record for early voting, which was actually set earlier this week. Now, I do want to caution that even though they're setting daily records, they're actually still running behind and overall votes from the 2021 runoff likely due to the compressed four week runoff period and just five days of mandatory voting.
But we are seeing interesting numbers here. A new CNN poll that just came out today shows the race is still extremely tight with Senator Warnock leading Herschel Walker 52 percent to 48 percent. But it's still within the margin of error there. So again, a very tight race.
Looking at new information we have from catalyst here, those voters who are coming right now 40 percent of black voters who voted in November have already returned to the polls, that's greater than the share of white voters who have returned to the polls already. That's again, through Thursday, that's just 30 percent.
In talking to Democrats they say they're heartened by seeing these lines even though they wish people were not waiting in these long lines. But Republicans say they believe that election day on Tuesday, Jake, is going to be when their base turns out to vote for Walker.
TAPPER: All right, Dianne Gallagher in Atlanta, Georgia, thank you so much.
And be sure to join us on Tuesday for Election Night in America. That's the Georgia Senate run off. Our coverage will begin at 4:00 p.m. Eastern and will run until we have a winner.
Let's discuss. Nia, let me start with you. So former President Barack Obama has been in Georgia even if Joe Biden, President Biden has not been asked --
NIA-MALIKA HENDERSON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Right.
TAPPER: -- to join, neither has former President Trump. And Obama took in his remarks some aim at Walker for some bizarre comments that Walker made recently about vampires and werewolves that I can't really explain. But here's Obama making light of it. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Since the last time I was here Mr. Walker has been talking about issues that are of great importance to the people of Georgia. Like whether it's better to be a vampire or a werewolf.
In case you're wondering, by the way, Mr. Walker decided he wanted to be a werewolf, which is great. As far as I'm concerned, he can be anything he wants to be, except for a United States Senator.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: He went on to say that, you know, the question about whether it's better to be a vampire or werewolf is kind of great debate you have when you're seven years old.
TAPPER: Is that effective, do you think?
HENDERSON: Well, listen, it actually dovetails pretty nicely with some ads that are running on the air in Georgia showing focus group voters listening to gibberish, essentially, from Herschel Walker, in wondering about his qualifications, wondering about what he's talking about. It's a fairly effective ad. So I think this is just doubling down on some of the concerns that voters have about Herschel Walker.
If you look at the data, Republicans are pretty much in lockstep behind him. His problem is with Independent voters, right? In our poll, Warnock is getting 61 percent of Independent voters to Walker's 36 percent. That is not where you want to be going into Tuesday. So I think that's where you have Obama really highlighting what's troubling for voters anyway when they look at Herschel Walker.
TAPPER: And Scott in that same poll, among -- its 50 -- put it up if we can, 52 percent support Warnock 48 percent Walker, that is within the margin of error. Although it does suggest a lead for Warnock among black voters were Republicans hoped Herschel Walker would help them make some gains, Warnock leads 96 percent to Herschel Walker's 3 percent. Do you think this race is slipped away?
SCOTT JENNINGS, FORMER SPECIAL ASSISTANT TO PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: I think Herschel has an uphill battle. I mean, he obviously got fewer votes on Election Day. And the point you made about Independent voters, obviously, this was the great story of the midterm overall for Republicans, Independent voters siding with Democrats despite their misgivings about Biden in his policies, that probably hasn't changed over the last four weeks. How you would beat that is if you could somehow dramatically enhance Republican turnout, which is why it's good that Governor Brian Kemp is out with a shoulder to the wheel for Walker, and he's alone his operation to the turnout effort there for Republicans. So, that's what you have to hope for.
This Independent number to me, is the most troubling issue for the party right now overall. And that you've got a Democratic party that's, you know, not all that popular, why can't you attract people who are unhappy with them? And you know, this playing out again in Georgia.
TAPPER: And also just to state the obvious, I mean, campaigns and candidates matter. Raphael Warnock has run a pretty perfect campaign, stayed on message, stayed as moderate as he can, even though he's very progressive. His message has been moderate. And Herschel Walker's candidacy has been problematic.
MARIANNA SOTOMAYOR, CONGRESSIONAL REPORTER, "THE WASHINGTON POST": Yes, that's right. And what Democrats are trying to focus on, like to your point, they really are trying to drive home. Look at the differences, they couldn't be starker.
And, to your point about the midterms, I mean, Democrats are feeling pretty good after their own surprise. They thought that they were going to do so much worse, not just in the Senate, but definitely on the House, they thought they were going to get more or less obliterated there.
So the fact that I've been talking to a number of House Democrats in particular, they say, you know, a lot of these attackers that Republicans have been really launching of saying, oh, my gosh, just Democrats, just like Nancy Pelosi, and just like Joe Biden, there is an incumbency factor that helps that these people who have been there and, you know, talk to a lot of their constituents, constituents are able to say, all right, I know this person is very progressive or liberal, but they're not just like, you know, the far right candidate or the far left candidate. That, I think, something that even Republicans are talking about right now. Who are we and how can we attract that middle, to your point.
JENNINGS: I was talking to a Republican last night, he said something very short, very profound, his view on the midterm was, voters said, we just want normal people of good character.
JENNINGS: That's it. That was the whole message. And you know, and that -- we'll see if the party can learn this lesson, you know, after this race and going into the next cycle. But short sentence, but pretty profound, I think.
TAPPER: Well, I think one of the problems, one of the obvious problems has been Donald Trump has picked a number of candidates and chased out people like Geoff Duncan, the outgoing lieutenant governor. He, I think, would have been a strong statewide candidate, Republican candidate, but he basically he's now a CNN contributor. And Trump picked Herschel Walker, just like he picked Blake Masters and Dr. Oz and Doug Mastriano, et cetera, et cetera. And these are candidates who have fealty to Donald Trump, but they're not winners.
ASHLEY ALLISON, FORMER NATIONAL COALITIONS DIRECTOR FOR BIDEN-HARRIS 2020: No, and neither is Donald Trump. He's lost his reelection bid as well. I think the one thing on Georgia is they picked Herschel Walker thinking that black folks would vote for Herschel Walker because he was black. But black voters are smarter than that, and they vote for candidates that actually know how to have comprehensive sentences, understand policy, and don't have some of the compromising issues that Herschel Walker's campaign has really surfaced about him and also maybe somebody who actually has residency in the state that they're running in.
And I think Donald Trump, you know, he isn't going into Georgia because he doesn't have that special effect in that state. He lost the state in 2020. And he is a big problem for your party, he is a big problem for America. And I think Warnock will pull this out.
TAPPER: Biden is not going to Georgia, either, to be fair.
ALLISON: But Obama is there.
TAPPER: But Obama is there. So, let's talk about Georgia for a second, because Georgia in this -- I don't want people to think this is inside baseball, but this is about the Democrats nominating schedule. Georgia is going to be moving up in the Democratic presidential primary. The DNC this afternoon has approved President Biden's proposal to drastically reshape the calendar. South Carolina will be first then followed -- that'll be followed by Nevada and New Hampshire, then Georgia, then Michigan, that's -- if Iowa goes along with it. And you know, if I know, Iowans, they're not going to go along with it.
HENDERSON: Yes. Listen, I'm from South Carolina, South Carolina isn't first in a lot of lists. And it looks like you know, I was texting a Democrat about this and I said, you know, South Carolina is going to be first and they texted back job security. Meaning for Joe Biden. You know, this is good for him.
He -- obviously South Carolina is the state that he was able to pull it out. He ran the table and the other southern states as well. I think it's also good for Kamala Harris, should she want to run in 2028 or beyond or Warnock if he wants to run in 2028 or beyond. I think sends the signal to Democratic presidential hopefuls if they have to be very strong among African American voters, which are the base of the Democratic Party.
TAPPER: It is -- I mean, it's a reward to South Carolina from the President who is only president because he won in South Carolina.
SOTOMAYOR: Absolutely. I mean, the person who's winning here is the kingmaker himself, Jim Clyburn, who helped basically say, you know what, I'm delivering South Carolina for you, Joe Biden. And at the time, I was embedded on his campaign. And I mean, the moment you hit South Carolina, it was just completely different.
Even Nevada as well. And the reason why, at the time, when a lot of people were saying, oh, my gosh, Biden's going down, even the campaign was saying, just wait until we get to places where, you know, there is more diversity. And that's really what this is about.
And it was true when you would go very rarely did he ever go outside of Iowa, New Hampshire. But when he did, the crowds were bigger, they were younger, they looked different than -- and Democrats are making this point, Iowa, New Hampshire, smaller group of people, they're whiter and they're older, they don't decide.
ALLISON: But this debate hasn't just started, this has been something that has been going on --
TAPPER: Oh, for decades.
ALLISON: -- for a very long time.
ALLISON: Because it talks about representation, the Democratic Party is about the big coalition. And if you start in two states to try and pick the leader of your party that are predominantly white and don't really represent the diversity of the country, it doesn't really fare well.
Now, I will say, I don't know if Obama becomes the nominee if --
ALLISON: -- you start in South Carolina --
ALLISON: -- because of some of the institutions of the Clintons. But this is what I think the Democratic Party will -- you'll see because we now have this changing of the guard with White House leadership, right? And Jim Clyburn is an institution in our party. Can candidates show up in a state like South Carolina and break out of some of this long term institutions in some of these states like Michigan or South Carolina.
TAPPER: I will say this, and quickly if you could, I mean, I understand all the reasons for it, but like Iowa allows an individual to go because it's smaller and really campaign the way that Obama did, you don't need to have the richest campaign. That's going to change now.
JENNINGS: Yes. You've had individuals go to Iowa and make big splashes. You've also had people go to Iowa and make big splashes and totally flame out.
JENNINGS: And so -- but let's just all remember, the reason they're falling down the list here is because of the abject embarrassment they caused in their primary last time around. I mean it was really --
JENNINGS: -- crazy what happened there. And you know, we got to do better than that.
TAPPER: All right. Thanks to one and all. Have a great weekend.
Everything is on the line for the men's soccer team as it prepares to play the Netherlands in the knockout round. Will the U.S. star player be back on the field? Stick around?
TAPPER: In our sports lead now, can the U.S. Men's National Soccer Team continue its World Cup run? Well, we're going to find out tomorrow when the team takes on the Netherlands in the first knockout match of the tournament in Doha Qatar. Joining us down to this guess whether the U.S. can pull it off is ESPN Sports Commentator Patrick McEnroe.
Patrick, great to see you. The Netherlands, for viewers who are not familiar with World Cup soccer, Netherlands is considered one of the top teams in the world. But as the head coach of the U.S. Men's National Team put it today, the knockout stage must be played strategically. Explain to us what that means.
PATRICK MCENROE, ESPN TENNIS COMMENTATOR: Well, I think that, you know, as you said, The Netherlands has a great history, they've been to three World Cup finals, but they've never won one. And if you said to me, Jake, at the beginning of the tournament, who's the stronger team, England or the Netherlands, I would have said England. And the U.S. outplayed them, it was a draw.
But the U.S. team, you know, for many years Jake, they had a lot of will in their game. You know, we've been this far before in the World Cup. We've actually been even one round further to the quarterfinals years ago. But now when I watch this team -- and I'm no soccer expert, but I'm a huge fan of the game having traveled the world playing tennis --I see that they have not only the will but they have tremendous skill, soccer skill.
Even the coach from Iran, who's Portuguese said, this U.S. team has gone from being a soccer team to being a football team. Meaning, they know how to play the game. So I think they go in against the Netherlands definitely as the underdog and the Netherlands despite winning their group, Jake, I don't think they look that great. They didn't look dominant.
This is a team that I think is ripe for an upset. And I think this young U.S. team, one of the youngest teams in the tournament is ready to do that. The question is, Christian Pulisic, who's our star player who scored the goal against Iran, sacrificed his body in doing so, how much will he be able to give the U.S. team tomorrow?
They say he's ready to go. He's going to play. But he got a really bad hit there in the pelvic area. My suspicion, Jake, is that he'll be able to play maybe half the game. Is that enough to get a gold for the U.S.? And then can we hang on if we do get the lead? Because I don't think we can last as long as this Dutch team who has a lot of experience, some great young players themselves, and much more experienced in these big time matches.
TAPPER: So it sounds like you're saying you don't think the team can rely on Pulisic, that maybe he can play, maybe he can't, they shouldn't count on him.
MCENROE: Well, I think they're counting on him to come out. Give them some an emotional burst of energy. And hopefully, he's good enough, as I said, to play a half that the pain -- you know, look, he's going to take some legal painkillers, Jake. Trust me when I tell you this before the game because it's just, you know, he got hit real hard in the pelvic area.
So if he can give you 45, maybe 60 minutes. And here's who I think could be the key guy, Jake. Gio Reyna, who's 20 years of age who's only played nine minutes in this tournament, and before this tournament started this World Cup event, he was rated the third best under 23-year-old player in the world, OK, coming into this World Cup.
It's a little peculiar why he hasn't played that much. Of course, we have a great midfield. We have great players in the midfield. We don't have that great striker that some of the big countries has, they have, but maybe it's Gio Reyna gets his opportunity because of the Pulisic injury. And who knows? Maybe he's the guy.
I'm telling you right now, Jake. I'm feeling it. You see, I've got the trophies behind me to try to inspire the team. One nil for the U.S. We move on and wouldn't you love to see the U.S. against Argentina in the quarterfinals and Lionel Messi, that would be something.
TAPPER: All right, from your lips to God's ears. Patrick McEnroe, thank you so much for joining us. Really appreciate it.
One question that seems to come up every time there's a World Cup is, is the American public finally truly interested in soccer? There's an old saying, soccer is the sport of the future in America, and always will be.
Here to break down the data for us and how the public feels about this all is CNN's Harry Enten. Harry, what have you found?
HARRY ENTEN, CNN SENIOR DATA REPORTER: Yes, I mean, look, let's take a look at the ratings, right, the highest rated Men's World Cup soccer matches. We have a new number one, the USA versus England earlier this year got 15.5 million, that beat the all-time record, at least in United States broadcast in English, which was 14.5 million back all the way back in 1900 to '94.
It's not so surprising to me that we, in fact, saw higher ratings. Why? Because take a look at this long-term trend. Favorite sport to watch, soccer. 2022, it's 8 percent. Now that might not seem like a large figure. But look where it was back in 1900 and '92. It was just 1 percent and back 32 years before that, it was 0 percent. So support for soccer, people liking to watch the sport is clearly going up in America.
TAPPER: You always like the trends as a poll guy. So you also notice that when it comes to the fans of tomorrow, a lot more young people are into soccer than old folks such as myself, especially compared to America's favorite sport.
ENTEN: Yes, that's exactly right. So let's look at high school soccer participation rates, right? So let's go back to 1981 to 1982, was about 213,000. Go to 2001 to 2002, 635,000. Now look at the latest year, look at that. We're all the way up to 813,000, that's a nearly quadruple where we were just 40 years ago.
And take a look at here, this sort of high school football versus soccer. This is how many more high school players are there in football than soccer. Back in 1981 to '82, there was 750,000 -- 715,000 more football players and soccer players, it dropped to 421,000 20 years ago, then look in the last year. Look at that. Yes, football still has the edge, but it's just 217,000.
So the edge that football has has been shrinking, shrinking, shrinking, maybe soon enough soccer might actually overtake it.
TAPPER: Yes, and I can think of as a parent. One of the reasons why I bet it is, which is I bet a lot of parents are discouraging their kids from playing football. Is that right?
ENTEN: Yes. So take a look here at this poll question. Feel comfortable letting your child play given the safety concerns. 86 percent of parents feel comfortable having their kids play soccer. Look at football, though, it's just a bare majority at 51 percent. There are a lot of parents who are not comfortable with their kids playing football and so there's deciding, hey, maybe we should give football a chance instead.
TAPPER: Football. All right. Thank you so much, Harry Enten.
ENTEN: Thank you.
TAPPER: Good to see you.
Why Kanye West's latest antisemitic rant is so dangerous? That's next.
TAPPER: In our politics lead, the Twitter account for the Rapper Ye, better known as Kanye West, has been suspended after he tweeted a disgusting image of the Star of David with a swastika inside. The tweet follows a series of antisemitic ramblings from Kanye West in recent months and comes on the same day he gave an interview to far- right conspiracy theorist Alex Jones during which Ye expressed his love for Adolf Hitler.
Let's bring in former Florida Congressman Ted Deutch, who's now the CEO of the American Jewish Committee. Congressman, what was your reaction to Ye praising Hitler? TED DEUTCH, CEO, AMERICAN JEWISH COMMITTEE: Well, I was as disgusted as every person should have been, Jake. We thought that Kanye hit rock bottom at least as far as his antisemitism goes when he was kicked off Twitter previously for his rants. But this outburst, the image that he posted praising Hitler, Nazis expressing love for them, it is dangerous. And it comes at the end of a very challenging week for the Jewish community where it feels like we're being bombarded with antisemitism every single day.
TAPPER: Yes, this comes of course after former President Trump dined with both Ye and another notorious anti-Semite Nick Fuentes at Mar-a- Lago. And Trump has yet to condemn the views of either Ye, or Fuentes.
DEUTCH: Well, that's right. And there was some reporting this week that the former president thought that this would blow over. He thought that the former president of United States hosting rabid anti- Semites and Holocaust deniers would somehow cease to matter. And I joined with the chorus of Democrats and Republicans, including his former vice president, who have called on Donald Trump to apologize to condemn this.
It doesn't -- antisemitism doesn't go away, it festers. And it leads to more and it empowers the kind of -- the kinds of vicious anti- Semites that too often have taken action. We've seen that time and time again, so much so that the Jewish community in America, just as the Jewish community in Europe right now is terrified.
You talk to the people here, Jake, and I've been meeting with the Jewish communities in France and in Greece, and they're -- they've been experiencing this antisemitism for two decades. And they're horrified now by what they see in the United States, as much as the -- our own community in the United States is. This is an enormous challenge. We must come together to fight this Jew hatred.
TAPPER: So just for -- you're in Athens, Greece right now. The -- why is it dangerous? Because the contrary argument might be, Kanye West is just an entertainer, just a singer. Nick Fuentes is just --
TAPPER: -- whatever he is, a person of no importance or influence. And these are words, they're not deeds. What's your response to that? Why do you think it's dangerous?
DEUTCH: Well, I appreciate that, because words can lead to deeds. Because it's the -- if you look at the words that have been published by killers, time and again, in America, the killer who went to Tree of Life synagogue, expressed his virulent antisemitism, clearly, when a social media influencer with tens of millions of followers posts this kind of horrific hate, it sits out there.
If it's not taken down, if he's not shut off of Twitter or social media, and it feeds a long history that has done such damage to the Jewish community. Over time, Jews have been -- they've been attacked, they've been run out of countries. Obviously -- they've been expelled from countries obviously, the Holocaust in which 6 million Jews were killed is the worst example of where antisemitism can lead, but it often leads to violence.
That's why that's exactly why this issue is so serious. And it's not just the Jewish community when there is antisemitism present, there's a bigger problem in society. That's why AJC is called for a societal response and our call to action against antisemitism. It's why we put out translate hate at translatehate.org. So people can understand just what the words that they think aren't that powerful, have led to over centuries and, in fact, millennia.
TAPPER: All right, former Congressman, now CEO of the American Jewish Congress Ted Deutch, thank you so much. Appreciate it.
Coming up, a look at one state's groundbreaking program providing all needy families within its borders with free child care. Stay with us.
TAPPER: In our national lead right now, American families spend an average of $10,000 a year on childcare, $10,000. But one state just ease the financial burden for some parents. New Mexico voters recently voted yes to make a program that offers free childcare in that state permanent. And as CNN's Rene Marsh reports for us now, even families making a decent amount of money are eligible.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, thank you. OK.
RENE MARSH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Alicia Fout, a mom of three was forced to make some tough decisions before New Mexico became the first state to offer free childcare to the majority of its population this May.
ALICIA FOUT, NEW MEXICO MOM RECEIVING FREE CHILDCARE: I learned, you know, which bills I could forego every other month to keep up with the financial needs of our children.
MARSH (voice-over): Nationwide, the average cost of childcare for families has outpaced the rate of inflation in 2021. Childcare sucked up 30 percent of Fout's monthly income. The financial stress not lost on her eight-year-old son.
FOUT: He remembers struggling and mom going to food banks and going to these charity places to have assistance to pay for the bills. He was worried about how much something would cost.
MARSH (voice-over): She found a temporary solution in a New Mexico pilot program that provides free childcare.
FOUT: Good job. Thank you. Now, wash your hands.
MARSH (voice-over): She now has an extra $370 per month. But what the state's temporary funding for the program set to expire next June. A permanent solution came during the 2022 election. When 70 percent of voters in New Mexico, one of the poorest states that consistently ranked among the worst for child wellbeing, approved a constitutional amendment to fund early childhood care using a portion of the state's windfall from oil and gas production revenue, New Mexico is now the first state to guarantee early childhood care as a constitutional right.
GOV. MICHELLE LUJAN GRISHAM (D), NEW MEXICO: We're going to fully fund child care for every new Mexican.
MARSH (voice-over): A willing governor, state lawmakers and determined child advocates were the blueprint for providing free childcare for families making up to 400 percent of the federal poverty line. That's about $111,000 for a family of four.
ELIZABETH GROGINSKY, SECRETARY, NM EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION AND CARE DEPT. What New Mexico has done means that it's possible in many states.
MARSH (voice-over): For 12 years, child advocacy groups use the wide range of tactics to get permanent funding for child care enshrined in the state's constitution.
AMBER WALLIN, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, NEW MEXICO VOICES FOR CHILDREN: It was years worth of op eds and blogs to raise public awareness. It was working with policymakers to educate and to have them understand just how important these early childhood years are. And then when it came down to it, it was really hundreds of thousands of contacts with voters.
MARSH (voice-over): Fout says her son no longer worries about money and is excelling in school and she has since gotten a job promotion with higher pay. Something she said she didn't strive for before because a bigger salary meant less subsidies and higher childcare costs.
MARSH: Well, Congress must give the final sign off before the state of New Mexico makes changes to their state constitution. We did reach out to New Mexico Senator Martin Heinrich and he says he's very hopeful that this will get across the line. The hope is that this will all pass and be approved by Congress by the end of this session, Jake.
TAPPER: Yes. If men had babies, this would be free. This would have been free centuries ago.
TAPPER: All right, Rene Marsh, thank you so much. Good to see you again.
In our politics lead, the chief of staff for New York Attorney General Letitia James has resigned amid allegations of sexual harassment, that's according to The New York Times. Time says that Ibrahim Khan was accused of inappropriate touching and unwanted kissing.
A spokesman for the New York Attorney General's Office say's, quote, "The Office of Attorney General has protocols in place to thoroughly investigate any allegation of misconduct. The Office takes these matters with the utmost seriousness and this situation is no different. An independent impartial investigation was conducted and the employee has since resigned."
Khan did not immediately respond to CNN's requests for comment. The New York Times reports that Khan was working for Attorney General James when her office investigated sexual harassment allegations against then Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo which, of course, ended with Cuomo's resignation, among other reverberations.
He fell off a cruise ship and stayed afloat for 20 hours in shark infested */waters before being rescued. Now he is sharing his story. Stay with us.
TAPPER: And finally, maybe we should call this our faith lead. The man who fell off a cruise ship last month and spent about 20 hours in water is known to be shark infested and was finally rescued by a passing tanker ship, told his story on ABC's Good Morning America earlier today. James Michael Grimes says he was not drunk but he does not remember falling off the ship.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAMES GRIMES, FELL OFF CRUISE SHIP: I came to regain consciousness, I was in the water with no boat insight.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: Remember the part about shark infested waters?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GRIMES: I was swimming in one direction and I looked around and I've seen it at the corner of my eye. And it came up on me really quick. And I went under and I could see it. And it wasn't a shark, I don't believe, but it had more like a flat mouth and it came up and bumped for my legs and I kicked it with the other leg. It scared me (INAUDIBLE) was.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: Grimes says he is forever changed by the horrific experience.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GRIMES: The fall didn't kill me. You know, sea creatures didn't eat me. I felt like I was meant to get out of there.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: We're glad he got out. Be sure to tune in this Sunday to CNN's State of the Union. I'm going to be talking to Democratic Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown plus incoming Republican Congressman Mike Lawler from New York, that's at 9:00 a.m. and noon Eastern.
Until then, you can follow me on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at JakeTapper. You can tweet the show at TheLeadCNN. If you ever miss an episode of the show, you can listen to THE LEAD from whence you get your podcast. Our coverage continues now with Alex Marquardt, who's in "THE SITUATION ROOM" in for Wolf Blitzer. See a Sunday morning.