tv The Lead With Jake Tapper CNN November 21, 2013 1:00pm-2:01pm PST
couple years. not sooner than that but in a couple years. i used to think 15, 20 years but we've moved so rapidly. i think it will come sooner than later. >> thank you so much, sir, for joining me. that will do it. let's send you to washington. "the lead" with jake tapper starts right now. you think the iranians are nervously watching television and saying what's all this talk about a nuclear option? i'm jake tapper. this is "the lead." the politics lead. senate democrats hitting the red button, stripping republicans of one of their most powerful weapons in the senate. will the democrats live to regret it? the world lead. iran looking at a nuclear option of a much more literal sort today. secretary of state john kerry claiming a deal is close to roll back iran's nuclear program but we have been hearing that for weeks. also in politics, i must be slipping. we're almost a full minute into the show and i haven't mentioned chris christie's 2016 prospects yet. the new jersey governor becomes the boss of bosses, today taking
over a key leadership role that can only increase his profile and power. good afternoon. i'm jake tapper. welcome to the "the lead," coming to you live from capitol hill in washington, d.c. i want to get to the big news of the day. senate democrats employ the so-called nuclear option. first, it's also a significant day on wall street. let's quickly go to alison kosik on the new york stock exchange. the markets just closed. what's the big news? >> a big milestone for the dow. the dow not just hitting 16,000 for the first time ever, but crossing over it, closing at 16,010. many are pinning this on more signs of an improving labor market. we got a jobless claims report today showing that the number of people filing for unemployment claims fell by 21,000 last week to 323,000. also factor in earnings. it's still earnings season and earnings continue to be generally upbeat. two-thirds of s&p 500 companies have beat estimates in the third quarter so far and also, there
have been a few days of losses in the market so this is also a natural drift higher. you have seen this recent rally, it's really been running. the bulls have been running. in fact, today is the dow's 40th record high this year, 40th. it's up more than 20% this year. it's really an amazing return. you see just how the dow has been rising all year. it hit 14,000, it hit 15,000 and now 16,000, jake, all in one year. >> alison kosik, thank you so much. let's hope there's no bubble there and some of the numbers on the stock exchange start pointing towards more jobs out in the rest of the country. let's turn to the big political story on capitol hill today. we're now living in the aftermath of a nuclear strike, metaphorically speaking. in the politics lead, senate democrats really did it. they changed the rules so now it only takes a simple majority vote of 51 to break a filibuster on executive and judicial rules, what's referred to as the nuclear option.
it went something like this on the senate floor. democrats pulling a strangelove out of frustration over republicans blocking president obama's nominees to an unprecedented degree. today's action did not require both parties turning launch keys. president obama today applauded the move, claiming the obstructionism from the other side has gotten so bad there was little choice. >> today's pattern of obstruction, it just isn't normal. i support the step a majority of senators today took to change the way that washington is doing business. >> that's interesting. you know who might not agree with president obama? senator obama. in 2005, when the republicans were trying to do the same thing as the majority power -- party, to push george w. bush's nominees through. back then it was pronounced nucular option. here's what the president said about that in 2005.
>> when the right of free and open debate is taken away from the minority party and the millions of americans who ask us to be their voice, i fear that the already partisan atmosphere in washington will be poisoned to the point where no one will be able to agree on anything. >> republicans obviously today are furious about this rule change that takes away one of the most powerful weapons in the senate for the minority party, senate minority leader mitch mcconnell reminding his democratic colleagues they might not like this rule change so much if they find themselves in the minority in the future. >> rather than learn from past precedents on judicial nominations, that they themselves set, democrats now want to set another one. i have no doubt that if they do, they will come to regret that one as well. >> you know whom i disagree with, senator mcconnell? senator mcconnell. back in 2005, back then he thought it was a swell idea since his party was in the majority and was sick of
democratic obstructionism. >> the current senate majority intends to do what the majority in the senate has often done, reform senate procedure by a simple majority vote. despite the incredulous protestations of our democratic colleagues, the senate has repeatedly adjusted its rules as circumstances dictate. >> do you like this, where i show a clip from today, then a clip from 2005 where the person says the exact opposite? i could do this for the whole show. there's no end to the clips of senators contradicting their former stances on the nuclear option. ever since control of the senate shifted in 2007. let's bring in cnn senior legal analyst jeffrey toobin in new york and with me, cnn chief congressional correspondent, dana bash. jeff, start with u there's a story that jefferson breakfasting with washington once asked him why he agreed to a senate when they were setting this whole thing up, why did you just now pour that coffee into your saucer before drinking it, washington asked. to cool it, said jefferson. my throat is not made of brass.
even so, we pour our legislation into the senatorial saucer to cool it. are we getting rid of this senatorial saucer? >> well, a little bit of it. i'm trying to think of the appropriate food metaphor to come back with. i was talking to a democratic senator recently about this very subject and i used that metaphor. i said isn't this a risk to the cooling saucer and he said look, the senate has become frozen. it's not that the coffee is cool, it's frozen. we can't get anything done. the filibusters are so out of control that we have to do this. and i think to the surprise of many who follow the senate, because the senate, there are a lot of traditionalists. and this is going to change president obama's legacy almost as much as obama care. >> dana, you were here back in 2005 when you heard some of these people making the exact same arguments as their opponents are now making. what changed, if anything, other than control of power?
>> well, that is a question i asked harry reid,
the democratic leader, who also has one of those old clips not even that long ago, even when he was the leader saying he would never do this. >> i told you we could do it the whole show. >> we could. his answer was that things have changed and that really is the reason why jeff just said there are a lot of senate veterans who are very much opposed to this and he's surprised. i have been, too, just to see the change in the last week. people like dianne feinstein and patrick leahy who were adamantly opposed to taking away the minority's rights who knew, they have been in the other role. they changed because they said enough is enough. that is why you saw the change. look, democrats who are now in the majority have said we get it, we are going to be in the minority one day, we are going to be in the position where we are going to want to filibuster and we won't be able to do it. but they are arguing that they have no choice. obstructionism is so bad that it can't get any worse than it is now. >> jeff, just do a fact check
for us. how much -- how worse is
it now than it was under president bush or president clinton? >> it's worse. i thought the most striking statistic that harry reid used today was one half of all the judicial filibusters in the history of the united states have taken place during barack obama's presidency. that's a lot of filibusters. president obama has had five nominees to the d.c. circuit, the second most important court in the country. four of those have been filibustered. three are likely now to be confirmed as a result of this rules change. but the degree of the use of filibusters has changed. did the democrats use it, absolutely, when president bush was in office. but republicans have used it a lot more. >> i interviewed senator grassley, one of the republicans who has been refusing to allow these three judicial nominees be voted on. he says he just wants to reorganize the judiciary. why not just have a law to reorganize the judiciary instead of blocking nominees?
>> if it was just about that, maybe the democrats would consider engaging in those talks. but you listen to them today, yesterday, about this whole issue, certainly part of it has been the most recent fight over vacancies on the d.c. circuit. but it's much broader than that. it's also the call that reid says he gets from chuck hagel from a plane going abroad saying you have to get me the deputy undersecretary of x, y or z because i need these positions filled and they're not filled. it's much broader than the bench. >> dana bash, jeffrey toobin, thank you so much. democrats have had a lot of fun taking jabs at the tea party's influence with the gop, often questioning how a bunch of newbies could have so much control over the establishment. but today, republican senator john mccain is asking the same question about his democratic counterparts who he says let rookies run the show in this filibuster debate. >> they are governed by these hard over newer members of the
democratic senators who have never been a minority who are primarily driving this issue and they succeeded. they will pay a very, very heavy price for it. >> interestingly, there are in fact 33 democratic senators who have no idea what it's like to be in the minority. they were all elected after 2007. one of them joins me now, colorado senator mike udall. can you understand why republicans see the hypocrisy? i don't have a clip -- good to i don't have a clip because you weren't in the senate. can you understand why republicans say this is hypocritical, democrats were against this tooth and nail in 2005? >> i can understand it but the reality is it has been an unprecedented level of obstruction. i mean, in 2005, they reached a compromise. they put judges on the court. here, we have just hit a wall. there was no compromise, they said they weren't going to fill them, they had a bill to abolish the vacancies on the court.
this is probably the most important court in the nation except for the supreme court, handling all the administrative rulings, regulatory rulings, major issues that the administration puts out there. so this, we reached this unprecedented level of obstruction and so we had to break through this. but i think this is returning to the constitution. the constitution has super majorities in five places, not on advice and consent. that's what we're supposed to do on judges, that's what we're supposed to do on executive -- >> the constitution says the house and senate get to make their own rules when it comes to this sort of thing. is senator mccain right when he says that newbies like yourself are the ones driving this? the ones pushing this? >> nothing happens in the senate unless every senator signs on. in this case, we had 52 senators who said they were going to opt for changing the rules with regard to these nominees and it happened. and each of them thought it through. we had some very senior senators
say, you know, enough is enough. we've got to change the rules. >> let's just talk philosophy now, when it comes to minority rights. do you think that the minority should ever be able to block a nominee unless there is some huge problem with that nominee? generally speaking, unless there is -- like the john tower nomination way back when, when there was allegations of malfeasance and the like. do you think the senate, it's their job to basically rubber-stamp and let the administration have whoever they want unless there's a glaring horrific error? >> not at all. i think what our role is is to step out there, advise and const, a if we don't believe the person's qualified, if there's some real serious problem, vote against them. you remember bork. he wasn't filibustered, he was voted down. people like scalia, everybody says there will be more scalias.
he passed unanimously. ruth bader ginsburg passed with just three votes against her, 96-3. so the issue really is advice and consent, not with super majorities. right now we have the tyranny of the minority. that's what we've taken care of. >> this is from mitch mcconnell's office. vast majority of obama nominees confirmed, almost 1600. that's a lot of nominees who have been confirmed. that's what senator mcconnell -- >> you know the chart i would put up here? i would put up the filibusters since the beginning of the country -- >> i will do that for -- >> 50%, 50% of them in four and a half years. four and a half years. >> you can see it's a significant number of nominees have been approved by the senate. >> nominees have been approved but we reached a critical point there. there was blockage and we had to break through and overrule the tyranny of the minority and really, this is going to be good for the country. we are going to be able to let
the president have his team in place. any president, democrat or republican, is entitled to have their team in place. >> senator udall, thanks for being here. appreciate it. good luck to you. when we come back, we will continue our coverage of the blowup today in washington. did republicans underestimate just how far democrats would go and what do republicans do now? plus, don't think all this talk of a possible deal with iran means its supreme leader is softening his stance on israel. today he called israel a rabid dog. will that derail a potential deal? ♪ (train horn) vo: wherever our trains go, the economy comes to life. norfolk southern. one line, infinite possibilities.
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>> it's time to change. it's time to change the senate before this institution becomes obsolete. >> under the old rules it took 60 votes to break a filibuster. the new move allows filibusters of most nominees to be stopped with 51 votes. republicans are crying foul. >> i think what we really need is an anti-bullying ordinance in the senate. now we've got a big bully, harry reid says he's just going to make new rules. >> senator dan coates joins me now. senator, you think this is all a distraction, that the democrats are just -- they just want to change the subject. what do you mean? >> if i were a democrat knowing two weeks of going back home in front of the people, i'm not sure they are going to think that the constituents are going to be asking about judge nominations. they'll be asking a lot about obama care. >> i don't think this changes that. people will still be -- >> i don't think it does either. i think they are desperate for something, they call it nuclear war. they want us to send missiles
back the other way. we're not going to do that. what's on the minds of the people is the rollout of this obama care and the fear people have of losing their doctor, of paying double premiums, not -- having their policies canceled. that's what's on people's minds. this is purely a distraction. now, it's an important distraction from the standpoint that it breaks 225 years of history. this is not what the founding fathers envisioned. they wanted the senate to be a place where things cool down and you could get to consensus. it's advise and consent. the democrats have said we don't want your advice or consent. there's no compromise here and it's outrageous but we're not going to fall through the trap of getting into war with them on this right now, when the american people are focused on obama care and these guys and gals here need to go home and explain is this law really the best thing for us. >> so i had a chart for your democratic colleague, senator udall. and i got -- i should give credit, the ideas for these charts came from chris silizza
of the "washington post." these are filibusters of executive nominees. look at this. bush, when you were in the senate in the '80s, bush, zero, clinton nine, bush seven. obama, 27. projected for his second term, 45. >> first of all, they're not filibusters. people think of somebody standing on the floor stopping everything for 20 years while they talk. >> i understand. but requiring 60 votes -- requiring 60 votes to proceed to vote on the person. we're just using the jargon so people at home understand. >> it's designed for the rights of the minority. most of the significant majority of democrats voted for this have never been in the minority. >> i get that. but this is a lot of obstructionism. a lot of blocking of nominees. >> there have been 215 judicial appointments brought before the senate. only two have been denied by republicans. this is all about nothing. i don't know why they're doing
this except to shove it down our throat just like they did obama care in 2009-2010. stick it down your throat, we got the power, you have nothing to say about it. take it, live with it. >> you were ambassador to germany in 2005 so i didn't have one of these nifty clips of you saying the exact opposite. will you commit right now that if you guys, if the republicans take back the seat, you will return things to the way they were a day ago? >> if i was majority leader or minority leader, i could make that statement but i will be one of many who think that this is a sacred power given to members of the senate so the minority has a say in something. the minority didn't have a say in obama care in 2009-2010. look what's rolled out here. now the minority's not going to have a say -- >> republicans helped draft that legislation. i don't want to get into a whole thing. republicans did help draft that legislation even if they didn't vote for it. be that as it may -- in the senate they did. >> tried to put a lot of amendments in that were turned down by the democrats. not one republican voted for that law. >> fair enough.
there's some talk by republicans that well, if we get the majority next year, in 2014, in the midterms, we won't even -- we won't keep it just 51 votes for judicial nominees and for executive nominations. maybe we'll do it for legislation, too. that would be a step backward as well, right? that would be bad. >> well, it would. i don't think that decision can be made now. first of all, we don't have the majority, in order to make that. we'll see what the 2014 elections bring. but secondly, i think looking at the tradition of the senate and the role of the senate, we need to do the responsible thing. >> before i let you go, i want to get your thoughts on a couple foreign policy questions going on. let's just do iran because i only have a minute. your thoughts on the potential deal with iran, lessening some of the sanctions in exchange for concessions from iran on their nuclear program. >> the administration has it backwards. iran has been in pursuit of nuclear weapons for nearly a decade. they ought to be the ones to cease first and then we give
them some relief on that. rather than we give you the money first, we give you -- we drop the sanctions or lessen the sanctions first, then we'll trust you to go forward. we have been through that before with north korea. >> north korea. right. >> in 1994. that was supposed to be verified. the north koreans cheated. i don't trust the iranians to do -- honor that result but for sure, they need to take the first step, not us. they're the ones that are pursuing the weapons. they're the ones who are going against all the u.n. resolutions and the world -- >> you oppose it. >> i absolutely oppose it. i think it's very bad negotiating on our part. another desperate way to get out of a difficult dilemma and avoid making a hard choice. >> senator dan coats, thank you so much. appreciate it. good luck to you. when we come back, where does he find the time? governor chris christie adds a new job to his resume and is being asked how it could help him in 2016. plus an 85-year-old man is grabbed from his plane by north korean officials and his family has not heard from him since. why is he being held?
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is there a springsteen song that i can use to talk about running the republican governors association? anyone? all right. well, anyway, new jersey governor chris christie has more to handle now. he's officially taking over as chairman of the republican governors association, a job that's been used in the past as a launching pad for presidential campaigns. he'll be the enforcer in a high profile face nationwide for 36 midterm gubernatorial contests including some in key presidential proving grounds. cnn political reporter at the republican governors meeting in scottsdale, arizona. peter? >> reporter: as we speak, republican governors are voting chris christie, the new jersey governor, into the chairmanship of the republican governors association. this is a plum job that will allow cristie to travel the country, going to all the key states, iowa, new hampshire, florida, south carolina, where there are going to be governors races on the ballots. he will get on tv, he will meet activists and importantly, a ton
of cash flows through the rga. they have $150 million budget for next year. he will be on the phone with some of the party's top donors, the people who will be key players in a presidential year. christie dismissed all of this 2016 speculation earlier today in a press conference and said the focus was on 2014. take a listen to what he had to say. >> we have 36 races. we have 20 incumbent governors up in 2014 and i think any one of us in our individual capacity or many of us as leaders of this organization, the executive committee, start thinking about 2016 at our own peril but worse, at the peril of our colleagues. >> reporter: christie and his team will not say this, but christie aggressively campaigned behind the scenes to take over the rga job because he knows just how big of a deal it is. he even out-muscled louisiana governor bobby jindal for the post with a round of behind the scenes phone calls to other governors, campaigning for the job. but it's important to note that
chairing the rga does not translate automatically to the white house. just ask former rga chairman rick perry and mitt romney. jake? we also just learned another ex-governor slipped into that exclusive luncheon today, former president george w. bush, who has to go great lengths to stay out of politics since leaving office. we're told he took part in a two-hour q & a session, telling the governors the best breeding ground for presidents are the governors. when we come back, his son says it was the trip of a lifetime for his father, a tour of north korea. why was the korean war veteran pulled off a plane and where is he now? plus, as the u.s. and iran continue talks, the supreme leader of iran takes a not so subtle dig at israel. stay with us. ♪
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is generally about as welcoming to americans as mordor is to hobbits unless you're dennis rodman. so meryl newman must have been happy after he got permission to join an organized tour of the country. now newman's vacation has become an indefinite stay. he is a korean war veteran and is being held by north korea and it's not really clear why. his son tells cnn that newman was pulled off a plane in pyongyang that was bound for china on october 26th. newman's family has not heard from him since. the u.s. state department is trying to resolve the situation through north korea's top ally, china. in other world news, secretary of state john kerry says now is the best chance in more than a decade to roll back iran's nuclear program but we have been hearing a deal is close for two weeks and negotiations in geneva, switzerland seemed to stumble again today despite that optimism. still no deal. what's the hangup? here to discuss, robin wright, middle east analyst for the woodrow wilson center and david sanger, chief washington
correspondent for the "new york times." we have a lot of negotiations going on in geneva but it's not just in geneva, right? >> that's right. you have to think of this as three negotiations going on simultaneously. there is the european negotiation, european and united states and russia and china with iran. that's the one in geneva. there is a debate inside iran in which the moderates led by president rouhani and the chief negotiator who is in geneva are dealing with the hardliners, including the iranian revolutionary guard. then there's another debate going on and another deal will have to be brokered right back here between the white house and those in congress who want to add on additional sanctions at a time that president obama says hold up, let's let this process work out. >> robin, there were some really ugly words from the supreme leader of iran today about israel. we don't have to repeat them but they weren't nice.
you, on the other hand, you know the foreign minister. you've known him for awhile. how serious are the iranians about wanting some sort of actual peace and to contain whatever nuclear weapon program they may have, and should we just ignore what's said? is that just for domestic consumption? >> he was referring actually to one specific israeli official, the prime minister. that doesn't make it any less despicable but the foreign minister actually is an interesting character because he went to the university of denver and had many of the same professors as condoleezza rice did. he spans the cultures and i think understands this is a moment, and he has been the guiding force behind pushing for a deal. iran needs a deal like never before. the value of its currency is gone, has been cut by over half. its oil exports have also been cut by more than half. they have an enormous incentive. everyone knew that today was going to be the tough day of negotiations. the hope is that tomorrow, that you get the kind of breakthrough
that will allow john kerry to go back to geneva, the foreign minister from the permanent members of the u.n. to come back, announce we finally have a deal with iran that will open the way six months down the road to solve this problem. i would be surprised, i think, if we don't get a deal. >> really. >>eah. >> another big story obviously is in afghanistan right now, where it looks like there is a treaty of some sort that is finally taking shape. it still has to be voted on and approved by the loya jirga, right? that still has to happen. i just had to make sure it didn't happen in the last half hour. >> if it has, i'm not aware. >> what is the u.s. talking about when it comes to forces? what forces are we still going to have in country after 2014. >> if the plan went live and there is supposed to be an afghan election in between that could of course upend some of this, the thought is there would be 8,000, 10,000 american and
nato trainers and some other nations as well who would keep trying to get the afghan forces up to where they need to be. the interesting question is how long would the americans stay beyond 2014. the agreement as it is put together right now goes on until 2024 and beyond. but the white house has been pretty clear that they're not envisioning having american forces there through 2024 which the forces first entered afghanistan right after 9/11. by 2024, they will have been there, if they stay that long, for 23 years. pretty remarkable. >> incredible. one part of the deal, there was all this back and forth, is obama going to apologize to the afghans for some of the actions that have taken place. samantha power, the u.n. -- u.s. ambassador to the united nations, today was asked about this and said we have been very clear, we have nothing to apologize for. but here is samantha power in
2003 speaking more theoretically about the u.s. apologizing. >> it's the tendency of states as you could argue that on some level, it is also of individuals not to look back and not to reckon with what we've done wrong. we have to look at ourselves. slavery would similarly probably be cathartic to apologize for. we have never done that. only the japanese americans got an apology. >> of course, what the american troops have done in afghanistan cannot be compared, even the worst things that have happened by errant troops here and there, accidents that have happened, can't be compared to slavery or genocide. still, i think there are observers and people who were fans of ambassador power in her previous life as an academic who heard her say we have nothing to apologize for and wondered what happened. >> well, it reflects in some ways on the difference between being out of power and affiliated with a nongovernment organization and suddenly being thrust into being one of the primary faces and defenders of a foreign policy. i think officially, the u.s.
position is clearly that after investing the lives of american troops, billions of dollars in aid and military equipment and so forth, that the u.s. has done all it can to help democratize, get rid of the taliban, open up society, bring women back into the educational system and so forth. on that level it has nothing to apologize for, that its actions are defensive but clearly the issue of what powers troops are allowed to have on the ground and what immunity they have has been an issue that haunts us everywhere we've been since world war ii. it was the critical issue that forced us really out of iraq. the iraqis didn't want us. we couldn't come to an agreement. it is the issue in iran that led to the revolution over the same issue. >> thank you both so much. great discussion. really appreciate it. coming up, could punching the button on the nuclear option in the senate have just launched a political cold war between democrats and republicans? we'll ask our political panel. and he's asking for forgiveness after getting caught buying cocaine but democrats are
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welcome back to "the lead." coming to you live from capitol hill. in politics news, how many insurers have taken president obama up on his rule change that will allow policies canceled under the affordable care act to be extended for a year? remember when he did that a week ago because so many were angry that his, if you like your health plan, you can keep your health plan wasn't true, necessarily. at least seven insurance companies say they plan to extend canceled policies although some are waiting for the final okay from the states they're in but some states, including new york and massachusetts, they are refusing extensions. 20 states have yet to make any decision about it at all, leaving manyeople wondering where that leaves them in all this. okay, we know. calling it the nuclear option may sound more than a little heavy-handed but while the rule change we just witnessed in the senate is no cold war, a chill is now whipping through the halls of congress, at least that's what senator john mccain just told dana bash. >> there's a chill. >> reporter: they're not reaching out to the democrats that you worked with --
>> i reached out to them for the last two weeks, i've reached out to them. i spent an hour in harry reid's office. i've reached until my arm aches. >> let's bring in our panel. margaret carlson, michael warren and michael len. let's get a quick reaction about today's news. bad decision by harry reid, understandable? what do you think? >> harry reid's thinking was that whatever republicans are going to do now cannot be worse than what they have been doing. e republican view is one thing is a certainty. everyone here will agree republicans one day will be in the majority. in the meantime, they are talking about the slippery slope, saying that now democrats might apply this to legislation. the house is saying if any legislation comes over that was passed with the simple majority it will be automatically dead on arrival. >> republicans seem very frustrated but they had the exact opposite position eight years ago when they were in the
majority. >> that's right. you can always go back and forth, showing what they said back then and what they say now. >> how do they defend it? >> i don't think they are going to. i don't think the plan is, if mitch mcconnell is majority leader in 2015, is to roll this back. this has changed things. i don't think the democrats are going to regret this at all. i think if they can get some more liberal judicial nominees through because of this rule change, whatever happens with the politics of this, their agenda is more secure through the courts. so i don't think they will regret this at all if republicans get back in power. >> what do you think, margaret? is this a day democrats will come to rue or is this much ado about nothing? >> i would say more ado than we think with the word nuclear. if you want to keep your legislative filibuster, you keep your legislative filibuster. when people who aren't us look at this, they will think no big deal, just basically judges, that's not such a big thing. but the word describing it makes
it sound bigger and you know, it's always where you're sitting. in 2005, republicans wanted it. now democrats want it. but i don't think you can get much more dysfunctional than the senate and the congress is now. so john mccain complaining is no big deal. >> did you want to -- >> just real quick, looking at your graphic, i like the big chill better. i think we should rebrand it right here. >> you're looking at the map right there. okay. so let's turn to the other big story of the last 48 hours, congressman trey radel, republican of florida, who was busted in dupont circle buying an eight-ball of cocaine. i understand he just checked himself into rehab. >> a news alert was just posted saying that congressman checked in for counseling, his people have told congress they expect him to be away at least for the rest of the year, but jake, as i talk to people up here, there's
a lot of people up here that think he could well survive. i had thought you plead guilty to buying cocaine from a d.e.a. agent, come on. what we're hearing at the capitol today is he's well liked, he's saying it's an addiction. if there's nothing else out there, if another shoe doesn't drop, amazingly, he's probably going to keep his office. >> what about the hypocrisy angle? is it just a fact that he supported a provision to require that people who receive food stamps be drug tested. house minority leader nancy pelosi was recently asked about this, and this is what she had to say. >> it's really interesting, right soon on the heels, that date on the heels of the republicans voting to make sure that everybody who had access to food stamps was drug tested. it's like what? >> hypocrisy is rarely enough to do you in. look at all the conservative republicans who have done things
against what they say. >> you're talking about affairs. >> yeah. yeah. yeah. >> you can be more specific on this show. >> wait. this is not g-rated. i forgot. this is jake tapper. >> this is cable news. >> but it's out of the playbook of politicians. you check into rehab and you've really got a lot of room. because people like that. it's the sort of jim baker thing where you get a lot of sympathy. it's now an addiction. he can fix it. he comes out clean slate. >> let me read this to you and get your reaction. this is his statement today. we all heard the press conference last night. today i checked myself into a facility to seek treatment and counseling. it is my hope through this process i will come out a better man, i will work hard to gain back the trust and support of my constituents, friends and most importantly, my family. how is he handling this post, you know, not pre-purchasing cocaine, but in the last 48 hours? how has he handled this in washington crisis mode? >> i don't know. to me, it's entirely bizarre that he's still a congressman.
is there no shame anymore? >> no. there isn't. >> he's captured by a d.e.a. agent. the hypocrisy thing is a little overblown. there is an idealogical point, you know, for his position on that issue. it's a bit of a red herring for nancy pelosi to say he's a hypocrite for this. but thinking about he's got a young kid, got young kids, got a wife, and he's supposed to be up here upholding the law and he's breaking the law in such a terrible way. >> we also have to see if the wife, you know, appears in pictures and sticks by him. >> just to answer your question about is there no shame, no. there is no shame. just so you know. >> you're so young, you wouldn't know. >> if he really has these problems, has a kid, a wife, the last thing he needs to do is be up here doing that job. >> he should be with them. interesting. thank you all so much for being here. coming up, what do a formal model, two goats and a diaper have in common? they all just turned up together in jose canseco's car.
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welcome back to "the lead." live on capitol hill. we want to catch you up on some other stories making news today. first in pop culture, finders keepers, losers weepers. sure, that works if we're talking about two kids fighting over a ball at the playground. when it comes to hundreds of nazi-looted paintings, not so much. german investigators found more than 1400 works of art in the home of an 80-year-old during a tax investigation. they think most of the artwork was stolen by the nazis from jewish art collectors but he says he's not giving anything back voluntarily. he says the paintings were handed down to him by his father and so they belong to him. he insists his dad only took the works of art to keep them out of the hands of the russians after world war ii. german authorities decided to give in to international demands to release a list of the stolen paintings in the hopes of reconnecting them with their rightful owners. now for the sports lead.
he survived not one but two plane crashes, both tragedies took away the very people he hoped to have by his side when he finally fulfilled his dreams of playing college basketball. despite all that, not to mention years of emotional and physical recovery, michigan basketball recruit austin hatch says his faith is stronger than ever. he learned that he will be a part of the 2014 recruit class for the prestigious college team. the plane crashes he survived claimed the lives of his mother, father and two siblings. hatch also had to relearn how to walk and talk. he says that although he may never be good enough to actually play for the team, he's excited just to be part of the michigan basketball family. he says major league baseball made him the scape goat for steroids. well, takes one to know one, jose canseco. the former slugger was pulled over by the cops yesterday with his girlfriend in a car full of goats. canseco even tweeted this picture as proof. if you look closely, one of the goats is apparently wearing a diaper. you thought canseco couldn't top wearing a miniskirt in season five of "the surreal life."
he says the animals are part of a fainting goat adventure documentary he's producing. of course. of course. that's it for "the lead." i'm jake tapper. i turn you over to wolf blitzer in "the situation room." happening now, the senate goes nuclear. >> everyone knows what is going on is absolutely unfair and wrong. >> they will pay a very, very heavy price for it. >> senate democrats break with tradition and impose a so-called nuclear option to defeat gop stalling tactics on nominations. republicans say democrats are breaking the rules and warn the move will come back to haunt them. shocking new remarks from iran's supreme leader. do his words threaten a proposed international deal to slow iran's nuclear program? and george zimmerman's estranged wife says she has doubts about what really happened the night trayvon martin was killed. i'm wolf blitzer. yo