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New "Pillars Of Creation" Pics Offer Clues On How Stars Formed; Pence On Whether He'd Support Trump Again: "There Might Be Somebody Else I'd Prefer More"; Netflix Star On Sea Urchin Stings & Eating Ants: "I Have Gotten A Little Braver". Aired 9-10p ET

Aired October 20, 2022 - 21:00   ET



ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: He's pleaded not guilty, to the charges.

The news continues. It's time to hand over to Jake Tapper, and CNN TONIGHT.


JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: Thanks, Anderson, really good show.

COOPER: Thanks.

TAPPER: Yes. Good stuff. Appreciate it.


TAPPER: No, it's good. It was good. I like it.

COOPER: Meh, you know!

TAPPER: We try.

COOPER: It was good.

TAPPER: Good stuff! Good stuff.

All right, well, welcome to CNN TONIGHT. I am Jake Tapper in Washington.

Ask not for whom Big Ben tolls. It tolls for Truss. British Prime Minister Liz Truss, today, setting the men's and women's all-time indoor speed record, for duration, as a prime minister. Only 44 days in office! That's not even five Scaramuccis! Her abrupt resignation, earlier today, throws our closest ally, even further, into chaos.

Not that our friends, across the pond, weren't able to find, any humor, in this instability. The Economist magazine, pointedly, wondered which would last longer, Liz Truss' prime ministership, or a perishable head of iceberg lettuce.

A YouTube livestream put this theory to the test, six days ago. And, well, Lettuce Liz is still standing. You know, when folks start invoking salad items, when discussing, how long you're going to last, at your job, at some point, I suppose, it becomes a fait au complet. But let us move on!

How could six weeks go so horribly wrong? Liz Truss' fall from power accelerated, after she introduced Trussonomics, a plan for massive tax cuts, aimed at the wealthiest Britons, so they could create jobs, she said. Essentially, trickle-down economics.

This proposal immediately caused the British economy, to implode. Just the mere suggestion of this plan, send financial markets into a tailspin, drove the country's currency to a record low value, against the American dollar, and pushed mortgage rates, even higher. And this is on top of an already pre-existing deepening cost of living crisis, in the U.K., leaving average citizens, struggling to afford basic day- to-day expenses.

Liz Truss tried to staunch the bleeding. Sacrificial lambs were offered. Ultimately, she apologized and tried to reverse course. But, by then, it was too late. The economy did not keep calm and carry on.

That's quite a lot of damage in a pretty short amount of time! Ultimately, this turmoil was too much, even for her, own Conservative Party. And Liz Truss was shown the door, at Number 10 Downing.

And now, the Conservative Party, they got a real problem. Public support is at an all-time low. If they held an election, tomorrow, they would assuredly get thumped, meaning, the next prime minister should probably think twice, before unpacking those boxes.

The staircase, up to the second floor, at 10 Downing Street, has a picture of every prime minister. I suppose, Truss now gets one. It's weird, to think of her, hanging up there with Churchill and Thatcher.

But I will always remember her, as a resident, of 10 Downing because that was the first time I was ever let inside that building. My team and I went there, just a few weeks ago, to interview Prime Minister Truss. It was her first U.S. interview. And I'm not sure, but it might have also been her last!

I asked her about the fact that our President, Joe Biden, had just said trickle-down economics was a loser.


TAPPER: President Biden is, in essence, saying that he thinks your approach doesn't work.

LIZ TRUSS, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: I don't really accept the premise of - premise of the question at all. But my view is we absolutely need to be incentivizing growth, at what is a very, very difficult time, for the global economy.


TAPPER: How do you say, "I told you so," in British? Anyway, I do wonder how this news is being received today, by Larry the Cat, the Chief Mouser, at 10 Downing, who's preparing to meet his fifth Prime Minister? His killer instincts, we should note, have made him a star!






TAPPER: I mean I was rooting for Larry!

Anyway, despite his reputation, Truss seemed quite fond of Larry.


TAPPER: At Number 10, you're going to be keeping Larry the Cat, as the Chief Mouser. Is that correct?

TRUSS: That is true. Larry's - Larry's position is assured.

TAPPER: He's safe?

TRUSS: And he's doing a great job, although he does spend rather a lot of his time asleep.


TAPPER: Not to be catty. But Larry seemed to know better than to hitch his wagon to that short-timer!

Look, British politics can be brutal. Prime Minister Winston Churchill had just saved the world, in 1945, when he and his party were ousted from power. I mean, he saved the world! That wasn't enough for voters.

A couple of years later, Churchill said, quote, "It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time."


The other prominent form, currently, autocracy and, you bet, President Xi of China and, Putin of Russia, no doubt, are celebrating, the latest example, of how messy democracy is. I mean, the push-pull nature, the fickle public, craven politicians, the conflict and, the tension, it's built in.

And what about that other form of government, the one that is supposed to be the definition of stability, especially in the U.K., monarchy? Well, I got some bad news, on that front too. Queen Elizabeth the Second, who's final Royal Engagement, was meeting the new prime minister, Liz Truss? She has gone. So, for the first time, in seven decades, there's a new monarch in town, King Charles. But his popularity lags behind his mom's, and there is major uncertainty, about whether he can unite his own family, much less His kingdom.

Prince Harry's new memoir, is already dividing the country, and it hasn't even been published. An upcoming Netflix show will highlight the lives of Harry and his wife, Meghan Markle, and self-imposed exile, in California. Man! Season 20 of "The Crown" is going to be lit!

But what happened today, at 10 Downing, is about something much bigger than the drama of Buckingham Palace, or the career demise of Liz Truss. The U.K. remains America's closest friend, in the world. And it's not just our history that has shared. Our futures could be as well.

Consider this. A divisive policy, based on nationalism, poo pooed disdainfully, by elites, succeeds at the ballot box, surprisingly, heralded by a brash politician, with a unique hairstyle. I'm talking about Brexit of course, the 2016 vote, of the U.K., to leave the European Union, which predated and predicted our own vote, for disruption, later that year.

So, is there anything we can learn, from our loss of Truss? A wise friend of mine, in the U.K., a longtime government official, allegiant to neither Labor nor Tory, says both of these parties, are too focused, on only attempting to appeal to their base. Hence, far-left former Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn and, he said, Boris Johnson, and Liz Truss, selected by members of parliament, with apparently little thought, about popular support.

The lessons, for the U.S., are about what happens, whether the lunatics, on the far left, or the far right, take over their parties, here. The right of the Tory party, they've been calling the shots, since Brexit. And frankly, it's been a slow-motion car crash.

The lesson? Find compromise, appeal to the middle, because this chasm, between the extremes? It leads to the paralysis that we see, in the U.K., today, or, as they say, "When you take the Tube, Mind the Gap!"

Now, we're going to go far, far away, after the break, and leave the politics bit, behind, and take you to the Pillars of Creation. A stunning and surreal new look, at where the stars are born, literally, courtesy of the new Webb Space Telescope. Its engineer, from NASA, is here, to explain just what we're seeing here. Stay with us.



TAPPER: One of the most stunning and, in a way, inexplicable stories, of the week, involves these incredible images, captured by the James Webb Space Telescope. We're told these pictures show newly-formed stars, in a region, called the Pillars of Creation.

These images are stunning. But if you're anything like me, you have no idea what we're looking at here! So, let's bring in Mike Menzel, NASA Mission Systems Engineer, for the James Webb Telescope, to tell us what this is.

Mike, thanks so much, for being here. Welcome.


TAPPER: So, first of all, let me say, we knew that the Pillars of Creation existed, because the Hubble Telescope, about 30 years ago, picked up these images. Obviously, a much sharper, clearer picture, today. What is this? What am I looking at here?

MENZEL: This is a vast cloud of gas and space. It's about 6,500 light years away from us. The cloud itself is maybe around 10 light years in size. And what you're seeing is an area where vast amounts of stars are being born.

Outside of the field of this, there are stars that have already been born, very hot stars that are actually now evaporating the cloud that they were born in. And so, that evaporation is peeling away the layers of gas, and leaving the most dense layers there. And those dense layers are what you see there, as the Pillars of Creation. Now they were nicknamed that because inside these pillars, stars are still being born.

And this latest image, from the James Webb Space Telescope, has some very fascinating things in it. The red areas that the astronomers have described as looking like lava are actually new stars that have just been born, and they're actually spewing out gas, and what we call jets. And that's what you're seeing here. You didn't see those on the Hubble image.


MENZEL: Because the infrared wavelengths that James Webb was looking at were not detected by the Hubble Space Telescope.

TAPPER: It's incredible! I know you're particularly interested, in this.


TAPPER: It's called the Deep Field. This is inside the Pillars of Creation?

MENZEL: No. This is an--

TAPPER: This is separate? OK.

MENZEL: This, entirely different area.

TAPPER: And what is this?

MENZEL: Now, we're looking outside of our galaxy. The Pillars of Creation are inside our Milky Way, a vast city of stars, in the universe. This looks at other galaxies, in our universe. And it's a cluster of galaxies, right here, in the center. That's about 4 billion light years away from us.

TAPPER: Wait. Which ones are galaxies?


MENZEL: Well, just about every dot you see in here is a galaxy.

TAPPER: Every dot here is a galaxy?

MENZEL: Every dot. Every--

TAPPER: So, the Milky Way galaxy is one galaxy?

MENZEL: That's right.

TAPPER: And every dot one, is a different galaxy?

MENZEL: And each galaxy has about 100 billion to about 300 billion stars in it. So, you're looking at cities of about hundreds of billions of stars. This particular area, here, is a big, big cluster of galaxies.


MENZEL: And behind it, well, this cluster of galaxies is very, very massive. And light from galaxies, much farther away from that is passing through its gravity field, and actually bending to form these arcs. Those arcs are distorted views of galaxies much farther away.

TAPPER: You mean like, like this arc, kind of like that?

MENZEL: That's correct.

TAPPER: Or like this one here?

MENZEL: That's correct.


MENZEL: That's called gravitational lensing. And it's actually a dramatic proof of what Albert Einstein said. Gravity is space that's bent. Light travels through space. And, as it travels through space, it bends too.

So, the gravity of these galaxies are distorting the images of galaxies much, much farther away. But the thing I really love, about this image?


MENZEL: I can tell you, when my wife first saw it, she looked at me, and she said, "It looks like Hubble."


MENZEL: And the truth is it does.


MENZEL: It does look like Hubble. The Hubble picture that looks like this, took 14 days. James Webb did that in 12 hours.

TAPPER: 12 hours? Incredible!

And tell us about Stephan's Quintet. Is this also outside of the Milky Way Galaxy?

MENZEL: It is. This is a group of five galaxies, four of them, which are interacting. It's about--

TAPPER: One, two, three, four?

MENZEL: Well, it is one, two, three, four, five, it's actually five galaxies.


MENZEL: That's why it's called a quintet. This guy, over here, just happens to be in a line of sight. He's not involved with the other four.


MENZEL: The other four galaxies are actually merging together, and their gravities are interacting with each other. And as their gravities interact, you get places, where they kind of compact or make shockwaves that compact the gas. And when you compact the gas, you start forming new stars, and places we call star birth.

It's believed that a lot of galaxies, like the Milky Way, and galaxies that we know today that are close to us, we came to be, as small galaxies, and the early Universe interacted, merged together and formed the big galaxies that we see.

TAPPER: It's unbelievable! Now, this is the - these are called the Cosmic Cliffs. This is also outside the Milky Way galaxy?

MENZEL: No. This is within our Milky Way.

TAPPER: This is inside, OK.

MENZEL: This is--

TAPPER: And what is this?

MENZEL: Well, this is an area, much like the Pillars of Creation. In fact, the physics of this is very similar to the Pillars of Creation. Stars have been born, and are being born, in this cloud. The stars outside the field are evaporating the clouds. And you can almost see a Pillar of Creation, starting here. That's a dense part that's evaporating slower than the rest. Stars are being born, in this - in these Cosmic Cliffs, as we speak.

TAPPER: And all these dots are stars?

MENZEL: They're stars. And this one is about 7,000 light years away. It's in our own Milky Way galaxy.

TAPPER: If I go back to the Pillars of Creation, do we know where this is, in the Pillars of Creation? Or is it not in--

MENZEL: No, no, it's a separate cloud.

TAPPER: It's a separate cloud?

MENZEL: It's a completely separate cloud.

TAPPER: It's not part of the Pillars of Creation?

MENZEL: Right.


Now, this is interesting. This is the rings of Neptune. Now, we always knew, even when I was a little boy, we always knew Neptune had rings. So what's the significance of this?

MENZEL: Well, I don't - I'm not sure you knew, as a little boy that Neptune had rings.

TAPPER: No? Or maybe I--

MENZEL: Astronomers, in the early - in the 1800s, they--

TAPPER: Oh, no, I'm sorry. I'm thinking - I'm thinking of Saturn.

MENZEL: It's in Saturn.

TAPPER: I'm thinking of Saturn.

MENZEL: And that's why I love this--

TAPPER: I apologize.

MENZEL: That's why I love this picture so much.


MENZEL: Astronomers, in the 1800s, suspected Neptune might have had a ring. Astronomers suspected it. But it wasn't confirmed until Voyager 2 imaged it. But the rings were very pathetic. They're very dark, and very thin. And they're not much to talk about--

TAPPER: Right.

MENZEL: --in the visible light. But when I saw this image, it struck me. I had a very visceral reaction to this, because it looks like Saturn.


MENZEL: It shows--

TAPPER: That's why I was confused!

MENZEL: It is. And in the infrared wavelengths, these rings of Neptune, which we knew were there, since Voyager 2, now stand out beautifully. I mean, I was standing next to a planetary astronomer, when we first saw it. And we both had just visceral reactions to this, like, "Look at that! Oh, my God! Look at that!"

TAPPER: What are rings?

MENZEL: They're dust. They're dust that's orbiting the planet. There are two theories of them. One, people used to think that maybe, in the case of Saturn, which we still think, the rings were a moon that might have got too close, and got destroyed. Another theory is that, hey, these are places, where a moon might have tried to form, but there's just never got - never finished the job. So, these are rings of a, billions and billions of dust particles.

TAPPER: All right, so I'm going to freelance a little, and say, I don't know if you're a religious man, and it has nothing - it's none of my business. But when you look at this, does it make you think there has to be some force out there that we can't comprehend, other than just science happening?


MENZEL: Well, it certainly brings out that - brings out - it should bring that out in people, whether or not they believe it or not. To watch the forces of the universe actually act to create stars has to give you some kind of reaction.

TAPPER: And it also makes me think that it is the height of arrogance to think that we are the only life anywhere in this vast complex of so many galaxies.

MENZEL: I wouldn't disagree with you!

TAPPER: Oh, this is just so much fun! Mike Menzel, thank you so much.

MENZEL: Thank you.

TAPPER: I really appreciate it.

If aliens are looking back at us, through that comic dust, they're probably wondering, "What on earth is wrong with those carbon-based life forms? Why are they so hell-bent on lying, cheating winning at all costs? Is this where civilized behavior, in these multiple galaxies goes to die?"

Well, aliens? That is a good point! And that is something we Earthlings, especially we, here, in the United States, need to address. And we will do so, next.



TAPPER: Maybe I'm remembering wrong, but I feel like playing by the rules and winning honorably used to matter in this country. It seems quaint, but I feel like it did.

This is on my mind right now, because District Court Judge David Carter examined a bunch of emails, from Trump attorney, John Eastman. Eastman, you might remember, offered these bizarre theories, and fraudulent plots, to help Trump hold on to the presidency, after Joe Biden won.

Anyway, Judge Carter says that these Eastman documents show that Trump knew his claims, about alleged voter fraud, specifically, in Fulton County, Georgia, were false. And Carter says they, quote, "Demonstrate an effort by President Trump and his attorneys to press false claims in federal court for the purpose of delaying the January 6 vote," unquote.

He goes on to say, "The emails show that President Trump knew that the specific numbers of voter fraud were wrong, but continued to tout those numbers, both in court and to the public," unquote.

Basically, the judge is saying, Trump wasn't deluded, or misinformed, about the 2020 election loss. He was lying. And that goes to state of mind, which means Judge Carter says, quote, "The court finds that these emails are sufficiently related to and in furtherance of a conspiracy to defraud the United States," unquote.

But this isn't about Trump. I mean, it is. But not just about him. I'm struck at how pervasive, the idea of winning at all costs, has become, in America.

There are so many cheating scandals it's hard to keep track of them all. You got guys cheating, in fishing contests, hiding weights in walleye.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We got weights in fish!


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get the (bleep) out of here (bleep)!


TAPPER: There are allegations of cheating in the world of chess. They're made by Norwegian World Champion, Magnus Carlsen, against 19- year-old American Grandmaster Hans Niemann, the fellow Grandmaster jokingly suggesting that Niemann may be used vibrating beads, on his person, to get secret information, and suggestions, for his moves. Niemann denies it. Just today, he filed a $100 million defamation suit, against Carlsen.

But then again, I mean, it's chess! They literally shake hands before every match.

There was even a cheating scandal in this year's Fat Bear Week contest. That's when Alaska's Katmai National Park holds an online contest, for wildlife enthusiasts, to go online, and vote for their favorite bear, as the bears pack on the pounds, for the winter.

But this year, there was an online attempt, to spam the vote total, though it was caught in the semifinal round. I mean, the Fat Bear Contest? Is nothing sacred?

There was a time, in this country, when the message we taught our kids was that things such as sportsmanship mattered. Although I don't know how convincing that argument might be, to the average kid who, this week, is watching the major league baseball playoffs, where the Astros are up one game against the Yankees, for the American League Division Championship.

Does anyone else remember, it was only two years ago, when Major League Baseball determined that the Astros cheated, they broke the rules, they used a camera system, to determine the signs that, a catcher was making, to the pitcher. They did that in 2017, the Astros. By the way, just coincidentally, a year that the Astros won the World Series!

Or maybe these kids are watching quarterback, Tom Brady, who has deftly avoided accountability, even better than he's avoided tackles.

After Deflategate, where Brady was accused of playing with balls, purposely deflated, to make them easier, to grip and throw and catch, the response from even some of the all-time greats was this!


JOE MONTANA, NFL HALL OF FAME QUARTERBACK: They always say, "If you ain't - if you ain't cheating you ain't trying!"


TAPPER: Say it ain't so, Joe!

Maybe it's time, we step back, and get a little less of Vince Lombardi's "Winning isn't everything; It's the only thing," mentality, and a little more of John Wooden's, "The true test of a man's character is what he does when no one is watching." But then again, they named the Super Bowl trophy after Lombardi!

Let's turn now to someone, who accepted the math, and the reality, of his fate, back in 2016, former presidential candidate, Jeb Bush. He's on a new kind of campaign.


Does the man, once known as the "Education governor" have any winning ideas, for turning our school systems around, in this post-COVID distress period? And what does Jeb Bush think about today's Republican Party? That's when CNN TONIGHT returns.


TAPPER: The 2022 midterm election is just 19 days away. But former Vice President Mike Pence's response, about 2024, is what has Washington, D.C., buzzing, tonight. Take a listen.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If Donald Trump is the Republican nominee for president in 2024, will you vote for him?


MIKE PENCE, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, there might be somebody else I'd prefer more.



TAPPER: Vice President Pence talking, obliquely, perhaps modestly, about himself, running for president.

I still have to say, I find his restraint, a thing to behold, given the whole "Hang Mike Pence!" thing, which we've now learned, Trump was saying privately that maybe the mob had a point.


In any case, 2024 is on. Let's talk about this and much, much more, including some of the issues that will be important, in 2024. Former Governor of Florida, and former Republican presidential candidate, Jeb Bush.

Governor, so good to see you again. Thank you so much for being here. I know you want to talk about education. I'll get there in one sec.

But the Vice President, Pence, he seems to think there's room for a traditional, dare I say, sane Republican, in the 2024 race, for president. And that's who you tried to be, in the 2016 presidential election.

Do you think there's room? Would the Republican base look to someone other than Donald Trump?

JEB BUSH, (R) FORMER FLORIDA GOVERNOR, (R) 2016 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I think so. Yes. I think Vice President Pence will make his case, to primary voters. My guess is he's running. I don't know that for a fact. But he's certainly well-qualified to do it. He's earned that position, as have others.

And my guess is - I don't know this for a fact. I'm not a great pundit on these matters. But my guess is that there'll be a yearning for A, a new generation of leadership, in our country, in 2024, and B, candidates that are focused on the future, not necessarily, the grievances of the past.

So, whether or not the former President runs or not, I have no clue. But he'll be formidable. But there'll be other candidates that will be able to make their case for sure.

TAPPER: The current Florida governor, Ron DeSantis, is in that new generation. He will be the first Gen X president. He's a rising star, in the Republican Party, in Florida, and nationwide. He seems to also be signaling, he might run for president. Would you support him if he ran?

BUSH: I, well, I'm not going to get involved in a primary, but I - before we even get to the end of this election cycle.

But I can tell you, he's done a great job as governor. He's governed very effectively. His response to the Pandemic, I think, was extraordinarily good. His education policies are solid. He's made a real commitment to protecting the water resources and the natural environment of our state.

He's kept the legislature in line. He's done the things that I admire, as governor. And he also has a strong appeal, outside the state, because he's tackled these cultural issues that have pretty broad appeal, in the Republican mindset, right now.

TAPPER: So, let's talk about some of the issues, you just raised, with regarding Governor DeSantis, education and COVID.

Because, the latest National Assessment of Educational Progress, often called the Nation's Report Card, showed student test scores, plummeted, in math, and reading, after the Pandemic, to levels we haven't seen in decades.

That dramatic drop is attributed, in large part, to the Pandemic, where schools were shut down, learning went virtual, because of various policies, the fear of kids getting sick, fear of teachers getting sick.

What are your thoughts on this? How long will it take to get our kids back on track?

BUSH: Well, if we put the proper resources behind new policies, and we actually faithfully implement the policies that we know work, we can overcome these big learning gaps, particularly with low-income kids, Jake.

This is - this is - we've always had this challenge, in our country, of lower-income kids, struggling, with education outcomes, compared to more affluent students. And it's gotten worse. And the NAEP results that will come out, on Monday, will probably show really, awful, an awful, awful situation.

So, what should we do? Empower parents, to make choices, for their kids. Give them the power to choose Public and Private options, as exists in Florida, Arizona, and other places. Give them transparency, to know where their kids stand.

Most parents think their kids are all doing fantastic. But the reality is the NAEP scores will show, I think, that the number of kids that are proficient are way too low.

TAPPER: I have to say, I'm surprised that there hasn't been a national conversation, about the damage done to kids, because of these school closures, and the virtual learning, and everything.

Because, I mean, I'm not saying that there should be a national do- over. But we can't just pretend that fifth graders, who are now seventh graders, that that didn't happen, you know? Like, I feel like there should be - and not with a blame game. Look, it happened. People did it. It was criticized, the school closures, the virtual learning, et cetera. But here we are. There needs to be like a--

BUSH: Yes.

TAPPER: --like a bipartisan movement, you know?

BUSH: No, I agree. And I think what happens, in Washington? And it seems like, our policy, and our politics, is all D.C.-focused. What happens is that everything gets hyper-politicized. And so, schools opening or not becomes a political issue, rather than recognizing, mistakes may have been made. It was a really difficult time. But let's try to solve problems now.


And there is a bipartisan consensus, outside of Washington, of what needs to be done. Democratic governors and Republican governors alike, many of them are abandoning the whole language notion, for reading, and focusing on the science of reading.

And there's a lot of efforts, to use this - the money, not all the COVID money's been spent, to be able to develop strategies, to empower parents, to make more choices, about how you overcome these big gaps, and the learning loss that took place.

But to ignore it, we do it, at our peril. Because imagine, if you're in fourth grade, right now, and you've had two years, where you haven't - there hasn't been an assessment? There hasn't been any diagnostic work done? And you're starting to have to do science and social studies and math? And you can't read? How the heck is that child going to be able to progress?


BUSH: And those learning losses will grow and grow and grow. I mean, who's marching in the streets for these kids?


BUSH: Who's expressing outrage? And that's what, I hope the NAEP results, because I'm pretty sure they're going to be ugly, I hope that they end up being a catalyst to do a lot more than what we're doing today.

TAPPER: Yes. I've said it a million times. The adults of this country have been failing the children of this country.

I want to ask you, because you talked about Governor DeSantis, taking on cultural issues that have appeal, in the Republican Party, beyond just Florida.

Florida has a new law in effect that also impacts kids' education in school. It's called the "Individual Freedom" measure. It's commonly referred to as the Stop WOKE Act. It prohibits teaching that one ethnic group is inherently racist, and should feel guilty, for past actions, committed by others.

Your mission, as a governor, in Florida, was to improve the education system. I don't know exactly how these rules are being enforced. But do you have any concern that these restrictions could have a chilling effect on teachers just having honest conversations, about civil rights, or slavery, or anything else?

BUSH: Well, I think there's a - there's certainly a middle ground on this. I don't think it has been implemented. I don't know what the enforceability is. I do know that Governor DeSantis has expanded parental choice, has put a lot of money, in the budget, for literacy- based efforts. And that's where I support him.

These cultural issues generate an enormous amount of interest, because there are problems, for sure. But some of this is making a political point, to push back against wokeness, in general. And how it's implemented? We'll see.

TAPPER: All right, former Governor Jeb Bush, always good to have you on. Please don't be a stranger. Come back. We want to talk more about education, and you're a good person, with whom, to do it. So, thank you so much for being with us.

BUSH: Thank you, Jake.

TAPPER: From Jeb, we'll turn to Phil. Somebody Feed Phil! Sitcom creator and traveling foodie, Phil Rosenthal, joins me, to talk about his new book, and the new season, of his hit show. Stay with us.



TAPPER: If you're one of the millions of fans, of the hit TV show, "Everybody Loves Raymond," you obviously know Ray Romano.

But the name I really want you to know is Phil Rosenthal. Phil is the guy, who created that hit show. And Rosenthal has a new book, out this week. It's called "Somebody Feed Phil," the same name, of his hit travel food show, on Netflix, now in its sixth season.






TAPPER: Phil Rosenthal joins me now.

Phil, so good to see you again.

P. ROSENTHAL: Nice seeing you, Jake.

TAPPER: You doing all right?

P. ROSENTHAL: Yes, I'm great.

TAPPER: You seem--

P. ROSENTHAL: Happy to be here.

TAPPER: You seem great!

So, in the first episode, you go to my hometown, Philly. When I think of Philly, I think of cheesesteaks.


TAPPER: I think of soft pretzels with mustard.


TAPPER: I think of Water ice, what we call Italian ice.

P. ROSENTHAL: Water ice. Water ice.

TAPPER: Water ice. Water ice.


TAPPER: But you found a much more impressive culinary fare there?

P. ROSENTHAL: I'm here to tell people that Philly is now one of the best food cities in the world. I'm not kidding.

TAPPER: Really?


TAPPER: In the world?

P. ROSENTHAL: Oh, yes. There's a Thai place, I don't know, if you know, called Kalaya.


P. ROSENTHAL: Esquire magazine picked it as the best new restaurant, in America, last year. Yes.


P. ROSENTHAL: There's great chefs. You know, Michael Solomonov from Zahav?

TAPPER: I know Solomonov. He does the Hobbit's, amazing, yes.

P. ROSENTHAL: Amazing. And he's got Laser Wolf, too, and a few other places. He's got - he's like a kingpin, in Philly. There's Marc Vetri's Empire is there, you know, he is with Vetri and Fiorella. He's there - these are amazing chefs. I'm telling you, it's not just cheesesteaks and hoagies.

TAPPER: And hoagies. I forgot the - I forgot the hoagies. And thank you for pronouncing it the correct way. I appreciate it.

P. ROSENTHAL: I'm married to Philadelphian!

TAPPER: No, I know. I know.

So, this season, you went diving, for sea urchins, in Croatia.


TAPPER: And you rode, in a race car, for the first time, in Austin.


TAPPER: Let's start with the sea urchins.

P. ROSENTHAL: OK. My brother is the producer of the show.


P. ROSENTHAL: And so, he thinks, it's a great show, when I hurt myself. And so, we - he sent me underwater, in Croatia, diving for sea urchins.

TAPPER: To eat them?

P. ROSENTHAL: To eat them, to gather them, to be eaten.

TAPPER: And did you eat them?

P. ROSENTHAL: Well, sure. That's the point.

TAPPER: I had one once at the--


TAPPER: --at an embassy.

P. ROSENTHAL: It's not for everybody!


TAPPER: And it was not - it was - I did not enjoy it.

P. ROSENTHAL: Not as delightful as it should be.

TAPPER: It was like - it was like brine. It was like silts.


TAPPER: It was not - It was like a mouthful of ocean. That's what it tasted like.

P. ROSENTHAL: When it's great, it's this beautiful silky I - there was a Japanese master sushi man, in Los Angeles, who said "It's like ice cream."



TAPPER: Is that what how you found it?

P. ROSENTHAL: No! But it's a very, very good, when it's good. You might have had the one that turned. But anyway, you put on protective gloves, go to sea urchins--

TAPPER: I don't want to risk it, with the turning of the urchins, which is a great title, for your next book, by the way. But you were saying? Go ahead. With the gloves?

P. ROSENTHAL: I get protective gloves. I take the - just any way to pick them up. No, you just scoop them up. I go to pick them up. The spines go right through my glove--


P. ROSENTHAL: --into my hand. And it's not just the one spine that you see. The spines have tiny, like almost microscopic barbs.

TAPPER: The spine has spikes, OK.

P. ROSENTHAL: And so, the next part of our show is a nurse, taking out that. My brother's laughing, thinks it's great.

TAPPER: He thinks it's great?

P. ROSENTHAL: That's not the worst thing. The worst thing was the Formula One track, in Austin.

TAPPER: Tell me about that.

[21:50:00] P. ROSENTHAL: I went, in the car, a Ferrari, with a racecar driver, 187 miles an hour. Have you ever done anything like that?

TAPPER: No, no, no, no.

P. ROSENTHAL: Don't do it.

TAPPER: I would never - it never would occur to me.

P. ROSENTHAL: We see it--

TAPPER: What am I? Paul Newman? No, I mean it's not--

P. ROSENTHAL: A little!

But you go, you see it on the TV, it looks like it's fast. But it looks smooth.


P. ROSENTHAL: It is anything but smooth. I compare it to being in multiple car accidents. So, it's a horrible thing.

TAPPER: It sounds like a horrible thing.


TAPPER: It seems like it would be a horrible thing. Your brother, he's - just let me guess. He's your younger brother?

P. ROSENTHAL: That's right.

TAPPER: Yes! This, see, I knew it, because he's enjoying it! Because I have a younger brother! And he's enjoying--

P. ROSENTHAL: And he's enjoying--

TAPPER: He's enjoying your suffering.

P. ROSENTHAL: That's exactly right.

TAPPER: He's enjoying calling you out.

P. ROSENTHAL: I think that's it. And I must say, he's onto something, because the people seem to enjoy it too.

TAPPER: Right. No, I'm not saying - I'm not saying he's not wise, I'm not saying, he's not right. But I just wanted to get to the heart of it.

P. ROSENTHAL: He's pretty, yes.

TAPPER: No, no, he's - and I've talked to him. He's a very nice guy.

So, you have said that you feel like - you think of yourself as Anthony Bourdain, if-- P. ROSENTHAL: He was afraid of everything.

TAPPER: If Anthony Bourdain was afraid of everything.


TAPPER: So, you - but it's not just that right, where the whole point is to like, make yourself face and do it, right?


TAPPER: That--

P. ROSENTHAL: Or at least have a brother who makes you face and do it.

TAPPER: Right.

P. ROSENTHAL: I do have to say that in the six seasons? Now we're in our sixth season.


P. ROSENTHAL: I have gotten a little braver. I have eaten bugs.


P. ROSENTHAL: Have you?

TAPPER: I mean, not intentionally.

P. ROSENTHAL: You want? I have - I mean, what's not intentionally?

TAPPER: What is evolved is obviously the racecar driving was your--


TAPPER: --one of your least favorite things.


TAPPER: What's been the craziest thing you've done?

P. ROSENTHAL: That's it. Well, I guess, I ate 1,000-year-old egg in Hong Kong. It's not really 1,000. It just tastes that way. They bury it in lime and ash. They coat it, and then it kind of hard-boils, on the ground, for like a month or two. And I didn't know this.

I was in the hot pot restaurant. You're supposed to take a little sliver of this, and add it to the hot pot. I had these half hard- boiled eggs on the table. The white is a brownish yellow, and the yolk is a bluish green.

And the person with me, she was a little skittish. She didn't want to do it. So, I took the whole thing, and I said "Oh, come on!" and I popped it in my mouth, because I'm hilarious! And I turned every shade of that egg. And if you listen, you can hear someone laughing, off screen, my brother. And I thought I was going to die.

TAPPER: And did it cause you any serious? I mean, did you throw up? Did you? Was there anything that?

P. ROSENTHAL: How much do you want to know?

TAPPER: I guess you know what? Let's just move on to the next question. What is the biggest surprise you've had? Something that you ate that you actually thought you're going to hate and you actually enjoyed it, and would have it again, even without a camera, and your brother, there?

P. ROSENTHAL: I had an ant, in Japan, an ant. It came in the salad. And when an ant, comes in the salad, you think, "Ooh, the restaurant has a problem. Maybe they should call"--

TAPPER: Yes. Call the health inspector!



P. ROSENTHAL: But no, the person with me said these ants tastes like lemon. I said, "Oh, in that case, could I have some lemon?"


P. ROSENTHAL: And they said, "No, you should really try it."

TAPPER: Try the ant.

P. ROSENTHAL: And it took all the courage, I could muster, to put this thing, in my mouth. And damn, if it didn't taste like somebody put a lemon drop on my tongue!

TAPPER: It was good?

P. ROSENTHAL: It was really good. And I was like, like a great Lemon drop, not just the lemon. I said, "OK, so you base these lemons?" They said, "No. This ant, not every ant, but this particular ant, from this part of the woods, in this part of Japan, tastes like a lemon." I don't know who found it. Hungry guy!

TAPPER: Right.

P. ROSENTHAL: But it's good.

TAPPER: All right, lemon ants!

We should also note that this season also features a touching tribute--


TAPPER: --to your late parents, Max and Helen, who--


TAPPER: --as everybody, who watches the show knows were frequent guests on the show.


TAPPER: And this tribute is it's very sweet. Let's watch a bit of that tribute.


HELEN ROSENTHAL, PHIL ROSENTHAL'S MOTHER: I love to see you dancing the tango. That was my favorite.

P. ROSENTHAL: That was the most frightening thing I've done on the show so far.

H. ROSENTHAL: You look terrific.

MAX ROSENTHAL, PHIL ROSENTHAL'S FATHER: Yes, but you danced a little bit klutzy.

H. ROSENTHAL: No he didn't! No he didn't!

M. ROSENTHAL: Stick to what you do best, your gab - gift for gab. Forget the dancing!

H. ROSENTHAL: No, don't forget it. I think you did very well. I don't agree with him.

M. ROSENTHAL: OK. Because she's not a good dancer!


TAPPER: So, the show is very funny. This is - this is different. It's moving. Why was it important, for you, to include?

P. ROSENTHAL: They were the best part of the show.


P. ROSENTHAL: I mean, I was alone in - and it's just obvious. I say in the tribute. I think people sat through my crap, just to get to them. They were the best part. They were always - you know, listen? I come from sitcom world, right? So, you're looking for funny characters that can recur.

TAPPER: Right.

P. ROSENTHAL: I happen to have them in their house. So, there they were. So, I would Skype with them. And they would always deliver, always. My brother and I would marvel at the fact like it's a - they're like a miracle. They're--

TAPPER: They inspired.

P. ROSENTHAL: They're inadvertent.


TAPPER: They inspired "Everybody Loves Raymond," right? I mean, that's--

P. ROSENTHAL: Absolutely.

TAPPER: They were the source material for that.

P. ROSENTHAL: Absolutely right. How lucky am I?


P. ROSENTHAL: To have that family? I had a friend, who would write sitcoms. He would go home, and yell at his parents, "How can't you be crazy like Phil's parents?" Yes. They were the - I owe everything to them.


P. ROSENTHAL: So, this tribute, I mean, Netflix very generously let me do this. But I owe everything to them. I am so happy to have been their son. And they were so happy that my brother, and I, who fought like idiots, when we were children--


P. ROSENTHAL: --now work together, and that we're happy. It gave them, nachas, as they say.


P. ROSENTHAL: And they just, they had great lives. My mom, unfortunately, passed from ALS. So, the proceeds from my book--

TAPPER: The book is - let me just hold it up here, "Somebody Feed Phil," the book.


TAPPER: Which, by the way, has some of the most requested recipes from the first four seasons.

P. ROSENTHAL: Yes, 60!

TAPPER: 60 recipes.


TAPPER: So, people, who want, and the proceeds go to?

P. ROSENTHAL: Yes. My share of the proceeds are going to ALS, Yes. TAPPER: Well, may their memories be a blessing.

P. ROSENTHAL: Thank you, sir.

TAPPER: And it's so good to see you again.

P. ROSENTHAL: I love seeing you.

TAPPER: And just so people know?


TAPPER: Like this is season six, Netflix, like?

P. ROSENTHAL: It's on right now.

TAPPER: To get to season one is a big deal. Netflix likes to end shows at season two! They're big in end - like you have to be a big deal to make it to six on Netflix. So mazel tov!

All, right, it's so good to see you, Phil. Thank you so much.

P. ROSENTHAL: Love you, Jake. Thank you.

TAPPER: Phil's book is available right now. Go check it out.

We'll be right back.


TAPPER: And thank you so much, for joining us, tonight. You can follow me, on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and the TikTok, @jaketapper.