tv The Lead With Jake Tapper CNN February 27, 2014 1:00pm-2:01pm PST
this is what the president's been outlining here in a very crowded room here in the east room of the white house. and as he said, this is as important as any other issue, any other initiative he has worked on thus far in the oval office. i'm brooke baldwin. thank you so much for being with me. we'll see you back here tomorrow. in the meantime, "the lead with jake tapper" starts right now. >> and we can do it together. president obama may insist that the u.s. is not in a chess game with russia but vladimir putin sure is moving a lot of pieces around the board. i'm jake tapper. this is "the lead." the world lead. a russian warship is docking in cuba. russian flags flying at pre-ukrainian government posts. we'll ask john mccain if putin is planning something and thumbing his nose at the u.s. all at once? the national lead. it's going to be hard to coueas
count the calories on the food that we buy. but will we change what we shove into our mouths one bit. and a foreign government may be snooping on your hard drive and what have they found other than selfies? president obama speaking at the white house right now and we'll come back with "the lead" when he is done. >> well, feel free to stand up. [ applause ] to help young boys at risk of dropping out of school. today is serves thousands of students in dozens of schools. as mayor of new york, mayor bloomberg, michael bloomberg, who is here today, started a young man initiative for
african-american and latino boys because he understood, in order for america to compete, we need to make it easier for all of our young people to do well in the classroom and find a job after they graduate. a bipartisan group of mayors across the country. senator mike lee, a leader of the tea party, has been working with senator dick durbin, a democrat from my home state of illinois, to reduce disparities in our criminal system that have hit the african-american and latino communities just as hard. so i want to thank everybody who has been doing incredible work. many of the people who are here today, including members of congress who, you know, have been focused on this and are moving the needle in their communities and around the country. they understand that giving every young person who is willing to work hard a shot at opportunity should not be a
partisan issue. yes, we need to train our workers, invest in our schools, make college more affordable and government has a role to play and, yes, we need to encourage fathers to stay around and remove the barriers to marriage and talk about things openly like responsibility, faith, and community. in the words of dr. king, it is not either/or. it is both/and. and, you know, if i can -- if i can persuade sharpton and o'reilly to be in the same meeting, then it means that -- then it means that there are people of good faith who want to get some stuff done, even if we don't have agree on everything and that's our focus. while there may not be much of an appetite in congress for sweeping new programs or major new initiatives right now, we all know we can't wait.
and so the good news is, folks in the private sector who now how important boosting the achievement of young men and color to this country are ready to step up. today, i'm pleased to announce that some of the most forward looking foundations of america are looking to invest at least $200 million over the next five years on top of the 150 million that they've already invested to test which strategies are working for our kids and expand them in cities across the country. [ applause ] many of these folks have been on the front lines for this fight for a long time. they are joined by business leaders and entrepreneurs to support this effort as well. and my administration is going to do its part. today, after my remarks are done, i'm going to pen this
presidential memorandum directing the federal government not to spend more money but to do things smarter to determine what we can do right now to improve the odds for boys and young men of color and make sure our agencies are working more effectively with each other, with those businesses, with those philanthropies to implement solutions. and part of what makes this initiative so promising is that we actually know what works and we know when it works. and what do i mean by that? over the years we've identified key moments in a life of a boy or a young man of color that will more often than not determine whether he succeeds or falls through the cracks. we know the data. we know the statistics. and if we can focus on those key moments, those life-changing points in their lives, you can have a big impact.
you can boost the odds for more of our kids. first of all, we know that during the first three years of life, a child born into a low-income family hears 30 million fewer words than a child born into a well-off family. and everybody knows, babies are sponges. they just soak that up. a 30 million more deficit is hard to make up. and if a black or latino kid isn't ready for kindergarten, he's half as likely to finish middle school with strong academic and social skills. so by giving our kids access to high-quality early education and by helping parents get the cools they need to help their children succeed, we can give more kids a better shot at the career they are capable of and the life that will make us all better off. that's point number one, right
at the beginning. point number two, if a child can't read well by the time he's in third grade, he's four times less likely to graduate from high school by age 19 than one who can. and if he happens to be poor, he's six times less likely to graduate. so by boosting reading levels, we can help more of our kids make the grade. keep on advancing. reach that day that so many parents dream of coming close and then you start tearing up and that's when they are walking across that stage holding that diploma. number three, we know that latino kids are almost twice as likely as white kids to be suspended from school. black kids are nearly four times as likely and if a student has been suspended even once by the time they are in ninth grade, they are twice as likely to drop out. now, that's why my administration has been working
with schools on intolerance. not because teachers or add minute straight fors should have to put up with bad behavior but they could modify bad behavior that leads to good behavior as opposed to bad behavior out of school. we can make classrooms good places for learning for everybody without jeopardizing a child's future. [ applause ] and by building on that work, we can keep more of our young men where they belong in the classroom, learning, growing, gaining the skills that they need to succeed. number four, we know that students of color are far more likely than classmates to find themselves in trouble with the law. if a student gets arrested, he's almost twice as likely to drop out of school. by making sure that our criminal justice system doesn't just function as a pipeline for
under-funded schools to over crowded jails, we can help young men of color stay out of prison. stay out of jail. and that means, then, they are more likely to be employable and to invest in their own families and to pass on a legacy of love and hope. and finally, we know young black men are twice as likely as white men to be disconnected, not in school, not in work. we've got to reconnect them. we've got to give more of these young men access to mentors. we've got to continue to encourage positive fatherhood and pathways to apply for college or a job. we can help lay a foundation for a career and a family and a better life. in the discussion before we came in, general powell talked about the fact that there are going to be some kids who just don't have a family at home that are
functional no matter how hard we try but just an adult, any adult who is paying attention can make a difference. any adult who cares can make a difference. magic was talking about being in a school in chicago and rather than going to the school, he brought the school to the company, allstate was doing the work and then suddenly just that one conversation meant these young men saw something different. a world opened up for them. it doesn't take that much. but it takes more than we are doing now. and that's what my brother's keeper is all about, helping more of our young people stay on track, providing the support that they need to think more broadly about their future, building on what works, when it works in those critical
life-changing moments. and when i say, by the way, building on what works, it means looking at the evidence of what works. there's a lot of programs out there that sound good, are well-intentioned, well-inspired but they are not actually having an impact. we don't have enough money or time or resources to invest in things that don't work, so we've got to be pretty hard-headed to say, if something's not working, let's stop doing it. let's do things that work. and we shouldn't care whether it was the democratic program or a republican program or faith-based program or -- if it works, we should support it. if it doesn't, we shouldn't. all the time recognizing that my neighbor's child is my child. that each of us has an obligation to give every child the same chance this country gave so many of us. so, in closing, let me just say this. none of this is going to be easy.
this is not a one-year proposition. it's not a two-year proposition. it's going to take time. we're dealing with complicated issues that run deep in our history, run deep in our society, and are entrenched in our minds. and addressing these issues will have to be a two-way bargain because no matter how much the community chips in, it's ultimately going to be up to these young men and all the young men who are out there and seize the responsibility for their own lives. [ applause ] and that's why i want to close by speaking directly to the young men who are here today and all the boys and young men who are watching at home. part of my message, part of our
message in this initiative is, no excuses. government and private sector and philanthropy and all of the faith communities, we all have a responsibility to help you with the tools you need. we've got to help you knock down some of the barriers that you experience. that's what we're here for. but you've got responsibilities, too. and i know you can meet the challenge. pean many of you already are, if you make the effort. it may be hard, but you will have to reject the cynicism that says the circumstances of your birth or society's lingering injustices define you and your future. it will take courage but you will have to tune out the naysayers who say the deck is stacked against you, you might as well give up or settle into the stereotype. it's not going to happen
overnight, but you're going to have to set goals and you're going to have to work for those goals. nothing will be given to you. the world is tough out there. and there's a lot of competition for jobs and college positions and everybody has to work hard. but i know you guys can succeed. we've got young men up here who are starting to make those good choices because somebody stepped in and gave them a sense of how they might go about it. and i know it can work because of men like maurice owens who is here today. i want to tell a story real quick. when mo was 4 years old, he moved with his mom from south carolina to the bronx. his mom didn't have a lot of money and they lived in a tough neighborhood. the crime was high. a lot of young men ended up in jail or worse, but she knew the
importance of education. so she got mo into the best elementary school that she could find. and every morning she'd put him on a bus, every night she welcomed him when he came home. she took the initiative, she eventually found a sponsorship program that allowed mo to attend a good high school and while many of his friends got into trouble, some of it pretty serious, mo just kept getting on the bus and kept working hard and reaching for something better and he has some adults in his life who were willing to give him advice and help him along the way and he ended up going to college and serving his country in the army and air force. and today mo works in the white house, just two doors down from the oval office as the special assistant to my chief of staff. [ applause ]
and -- and mo never misses a chance to tell kids who grew up just like he did that if he can make it, they can, too. mo and his mom are here today. so i want to thank them both for this incredible experience. stand up, mo, and show off your mom there. [ applause ] good job. [ applause ] so mo didn't make excuses. his mom had high expectations. america needs more citizens like mo. we need more young men like christian. we will beat the odds. we feed to give every child, no
matter what they look like, where they live, a chance to reach their full potential. because if we do, if we help these wonderful young men become better husbands and fathers and well-educated hard-working good citizens, then not only will they contribute to the growth and prosperity of their children, they will pass the lessons on to their children, on to their grandchildren. we'll start a different cycle. and this country will be richer and stronger for it for generations to come. so let's get going. thank you. god bless you. god bless the united states of america. [ applause ] >> we've been watching a special speech from the white house, president obama revealing new details of my brother's keeper which will invest $200 million in businesses and nonprofits to
try to offer more opportunities to young black and hispanic men. the trayvon martin case, president obama spoke out about it. what does that have to do with my brother's keeper? he ordered his staff, specifically in the wake of the trayvon martin shooting, today trayvon's parents were there in the audience. let's talk about this with gloria borger and jim acosta. there was a compelling story that i wrote about president obama at a father 's day meetin with a bunch of fatherless men who came to the oval office. he had been working with them. the program is called b.a.m., becoming a man. they all signed a father's day card for him and handed it to him. they said they never signed a father's day card because they don't have fathers. president obama said he had never signed a father's day card
either. that really is the root of a lot of the problems here. >> it is. and i think this is kind of the most emotional, raw, real president obama that you'll ever see. i mean, this is -- this is someone who clearly identifies with these young men who don't have a father, who feel kind of left out there alone and he had a very clear message to them, which is, no excuses, set goals, work hard. this is a president who once compared himself to trayvon, you know. >> he said, if i had a son -- >> sorry. if i had a son, he would look like trayvon. he said, look, i'm like you. i made my excuses. i sold myself short when i was your age. he talked about the young man on the president's staff. so i think this is something, when you look at the president, he's saying, look, i'm you. i was you.
and here am i and what can i do for you other than to tell you, you can be like me? i mean, it's sort of the ultimate role modeling that we can ever see. >> and our senior white house correspondent jim askcosta on t north lawn of the white house, president obama has been criticized from many members of the african-american community to not do more about black unemployment, black teenage unemployment, which i believe is more than 35%. he is wading into these issues perhaps slowly but this is definitely a second-term move by him. >> and interesting that you mentioned that, jake, because white house press secretary jay carney was asked about this during the briefing and he made a point by saying that the president has worked on this issue throughout his presidency, not just in the second term. so they are sensitive to that criticism. but i have to agree with gloria. this was one of the most emotional moments that we've
seen from president obama. he called this no drama but it was drama from his childhood, growing up without a father, experimenting with dope. he talked about that during his remarks and interesting to note, jake, that this is basically the limit of what the president can do in the second term. a lot of his agenda is not going to get passed on capitol hill. he signs an executive order directing the administration to find out what works, what doesn't work when it comes to at-risk youth and this is a part of his convening authority, bringing together like-minded individuals to advance his agenda. jake? >> and someone who covers these issues a lot for cnn is our own don lemon. tell us what you've seen that has surprised you. >> reporter: well, i'm actually glad the president finally said it. as you said, i've been covering these issues and i get emotional about them because it's important to me as a young, black man. and i talk about these things, get a lot of criticism for them but the president finally,
finally said something that has been the elephant in the room for a long time. and especially among african-americans. yes, we know there's institutional racism. we know there is systematic racism and we need to do something about that. but there is also personal responsibility. that he talked about with these young men saying, ultimately, i can get all of the philanthropic help for you, all of the money in the world for you but none of it matters unless, unless you do it. you cannot make any more excuses. you have to do what the young man mo did that he introduced at the end -- just before he signed this memorandum. you have to get on that bus every day, no matter what your circumstances. if you live in the bronx, you may live in compton, whatever it is, you have to do it. but i'm glad he said as well that young black men, or young men of color end up at the
bottom of the wrung, for whatever reason, racism, the dad may not be in the home, they may not have money. whatever it is, it may be their own fault because they don't do the work. but whatever it is, that it needed to be addressed. and he is addressing it. and finally, i think that he is passionate about this particular issue. he mentioned trayvon martin. his parents are in the room. jordan davis' parents are in the room. he's passionate about this and by taking this on as an initiative, as he has promised to do, even beyond his presidency, he can take the politics out of it and doesn't have to worry about some conservative or a bigot or racist saying, hey, why don't you do things for white people? you are the president of everybody. we get that. he's the president of everybody but he also has a responsibility as a black man to help that from which he came and that's the black community and the people
who helped get him in the office and who stood by him the most and the people who will lose the most if he doesn't do that, if he doesn't help young, black men, they will lose the most because who knows when we will have someone like a president obama, another man of kol mcolo the white house who understands the plight of being black and in america. it was the most candid i've seen the president for a while, except for back in july when he spoke during the whole ordeal with trayvon martin and with george zimmerman. i have to say, though, i think that changed him and i also think that meeting with these young men in chicago changed him as well. because he said, i sat there and i saw myself in them. and you heard him in the press conference now saying, and i told them, i got high. i would get high and i didn't --
regardless of the circumstances, i didn't know the circumstances of how it would be a detriment to me. i didn't always take my schoolwork, you know, as seriously as i should have. and i think what struck him is that he had never really spent any time with his father. and when those kids from b.a.m., that organization in chicago, the one that christian is from, the one who introduced him, those men came to the white house. he met with them in february in chicago. they came back around father's day. and the kids went out and bought the president a father's day card. and they signed it. and they said -- one of them said to them -- or many of them said, i had never signed a father's day card in my life. and the president said, i had never signed a father 's day cad in my life as well. that was a moment for him. that's why he's making it an initiative. >> let's listen to some of the remarks that president obama made that you're talking about.
>> i explained to them that when i was their age, i was a lot like them. i didn't have a dad in the house. and i was angry about it even though i didn't necessarily realize it at the time. i made bad choices. i got high without always thinking about the harm. i didn't always take school as seriously as i should have. i made excuses. sometimes i sold myself short. >> don, i have heard some criticism from african-americans, specifically some academics in the african-american community who say, this is a nice speech, mentoring is fine, but a lot more needs to be done to help the people in the underclass, whether african-american, hispanic, or white. >> i've heard that. and i hear people when you talk about these issues and you're honest about them, people will
call the president and say he's doing the respectability in politics. maybe the president -- maybe it was a little too late. maybe he was a day late. but he's definitely not a dollar short if he's going to do what he says he's going to do. you take it where you can get it. fine, go ahead, criticize the president. maybe he should have done more. maybe he was constrained in ways that most of us don't understand because we're not sitting behind a desk. we're not in that seat so we don't know. so i'm going to reserve my criticism of him for now. i have done that before in my reporting. i've talked about the issues. everything that the president said today, i have said on the air and have gotten criticized for it and i've been called an uncle tom and a sellout and i don't understand racism and i'm not black anymore. ridiculous things. who cares. i would tell those academics to shut up. what my parents used to say is, my dad who was not an educated man, who had a high school education, he would call them
educated fools. he would say, some people are born with a lot of smarts and they can get all of these degrees but they don't have commonsense. so now that we are here in this particular place where the president has decided that he's going to do something about it, let's meet him where he is and push him to do do more or to keep his promise and stop criticizing him because what is done is done. he didn't do it then. in your estimation, he's doing it now. so help him and praise him rather than criticizing him. >> don, one of the things -- and i want to get gloria borger and jim acosta in on this. yes, president obama has talked about these issues before. specifically on father's day for years he's gone before black churches and talked about the importance of a father in young african-american families, especially in urban environments. but i think it's inescapable that he was more retiscent on these issues in the first term
than in the second term. again, there are reasons for that and you don't want to be seen as the african-american president. you want to be seen as the president of the united states but i think we are seeing a certain freedom that the president is expressing today in terms of what he wants to talk about, don. >> reporter: are you talking to me? >> yeah. >> reporter: jake, he is the african-american president. he's an african-american president. he's a president of all people but, again, he has a responsibility as president to help everyone but he is a black man. and as i said, he understands the issues that we as african-americans face more than any other president that we have had they used to call bill clinton the first black president just for fun but, yes, i think he has more of a freedom. listen, in his first term he didn't do that much about gay rights and gay marriage and it
started to happen in the second term. he had to prove himself in the beginning. he had probably more criticism than most presidents because when you are the first of anything, there is a bigger responsibility put on you. he's a spectacle in a way. everyone is being looking to hit him and everyone is looking to punch him and i understand that. as journalists, you weigh whether you should -- how much you should criticize the president because he's black or what have you but then you have to do it because ultimately you're a journalist. he gets it from all ends. he gets it from every one. now that he's in his second term five years in, he's thinking about his legacy and realizes that he must do something on this particular issue and you know what, i believe him. >> right. >> reporter: i believe him when it comes to this particular issue. everyone has to hold him to it. journalists, black people, hispanic, white people, we all must hold him to this because it's an issue for the country,
not just for one democrat graph particular in the country. >> don lemon after president obama's remarks, i want to thank don and of course gloria borger and jim acosta. i want to go to senator john mccain. we were going to talk about a lot of issues dealing with ukraine and russia. first, senator mccain, i know that you are somebody that -- you and i have have talked about this, about your education as a white man from arizona in learning more about the african-american community during your 2000 presidential run, during your 2008 presidential run. i wonder if you have any thoughts today about president obama's address? >> well, i think it's an excellent initiative and obviously the president is deeply committed to it and it's very praiseworthy. look, i was in the united states navy. we had a very large percentage, i'm happy to say, of african-americans. the issues are not new to me. and i certainly don't agree with the assessment that president obama came to office with the
adversary media. but i certainly do agree that this is a cause that he is deeply committed to and i think he can make a difference. >> all right. let's turn to foreign affairs. as we speak, senator, there is a russian warship docked about 200 miles from miami florida at a port in havana, in communist cuba. it's loaded with giant military guns and anti-aircraft missiles. there's been no official explanation for what this russian ship is doing there. and, of course, in southern ukraine today, dozens of armed men stormed regional government buildings, including the parliament there and raised russian flags. the interim government is clashing with the ukrainians in the streets there. what do you think putin is up to? >> i think he's up to trying to
preserve his absolute commitment and ambition of maintaining ukraine as the part of the russian empire. we don't seem to understand that putin is a kgb colonel who believes in the russian empire. that's why invaded georgia and the crown jewel of that is the ukraine. i have said all along, i don't believe he's going quietly and i don't believe he's going to invade. by the way, the warship in cuba is sort of just a little saber rattling. but what's really concerning now is particularly crimea but also eastern ukraine and crimea is the naval base which he does not want to lose and i believe that what is happening now is they are creating unrest. he's not going to send troops in ala hungary. his people and special forces
are in there causing unrest and i think he would -- he will take further steps in order to achieve a goal of at least a maintaining control of parts of the eastern ukraine and especially crimea and i believe that he's intent on it and we need to have a very strong statement about the unak accept built. >> he said i consider myself lawful head of the government on the will of the ukrainian citizens. if russia is giving yanukovych security, do you consider that an escalation on their part? >> not particularly. putin and yanukovych did not get along very well. by the way, it really shows
incredible depth of corruption. i'm sure that putin realizes that yanukovych would probably never be accepted by the ukrainian people. but at the same time, he's giving some sanctuary. watch eastern ukraine and particularly the capital of crimea and the area around the naval base there. by the way, they arrested a former deputy prime minister yesterday and they are throwing him in jail. sochi is over. the crackdowns begin. >> there's been a lot of talk about the cold war returning. secretary of state john kerry just yesterday said this is not east/west. it's not rocky 4. president obama said last week, this is not a cold war era chess board. but talking about the cold war as much as they have in a way brings attention to it. do you think this is a new cold war? should the administration do something different than what they are doing? >> well, i've always believed that this administration was
incredible naive about putin. the reset button, tell vladimir i'll be more flexible when i'm re-elected. it's, as i said at the beginning of the conversation, who we are dealing with. he views it as a semicold war in that he wants the russian empire restored and that means the near abroad of which the crown jewel is the ukraine. when you look at a map, you can certainly understand that and he certainly doesn't want to give up the naval base because that would be in danger. the next move he may make is restricting some of the energy supplies and we need to help the ukraine quickly and we need to get them money quickly and we need to have the imf agreement done as quickly as possible so that the people of ukraine will have a brighter future than the one they've got now. >> senator john mccain, thank you. and thank you for your patience. >> thank you, jake. >> talk to you soon. coming up on "the lead," the
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welcome back to "the lead." the national lead, bet you can't just eat 15. be honest. when was the last time you stopped yourself at 1 ounce of potato chips or put the cap back on your soda after enjoying just your 12-ounce allotment of this 20-ounce soda? here are the differences that you could see at the grocery store. calorie counts in a shame enduesing bigger and bolder fopt and it will account for what
people eat in one serving. but in a country where more than one-third of people are struggling with obesity, can labels really change the way we eat? joining me now is dr. james hamblin. all right. let's walk through these new rules. this is, according to current rules, how many servings of soda? >> so that's two servings, as you would think of it normally. under the new regulation, that would be one serving. >> so the idea is to reflect what people actually consume? >> exactly. so that will have a bigger number of calories but at the same time it's saying that's one serving so that might sort of condone drinking more soda. >> that's interesting. and we don't have specific rules on this, but as of right now, this is how many servings of potato chips? >> that's three. and the law says that the fda should regulate the servings in a way that people actually consume food, not just based on some arbitrary standard. >> okay.
well, when i was a younger man and go out and eat stuff like this, i would eat this. i would not split this with two friends. >> so i don't know where the serving size line will come down on something like that. probably not that big but a lot of things are going to be bigger than they were previously. the standards are based on what we ate in the '70s and '80s. >> we were lean ner. >> things were smaller. >> ice cream serving size will change. now it's half a cup. it's going to be a full cup, which is what people eat at the bare minimum. so the fda statement in their press release says, by law serving sizes must be based on what they are actually eating, not what they should be eating. and some people say, maybe it's condoning bigger samples. >> these are not
recommendations. this is based on what we eat. you see a number and you get an idea of what you're putting into your body but it does not say that's the ideal thing you should be putting into your body. >> the difference between added sugar, for instance, this orange juice has a lot of sugar but it's naturally occurring and pepsi does not. why is that important? >> some studies have said that the average american gets about 300 calories of added sugar every single day. so if you can be more conscious of that, try to cut back on 300 extra calories, that's a big dent in the obesity epidemic that costs us $340 million a year. that's also an incentive for food companies not to add more sugar. >> and calories from fat, that is something that i used to look at. i still do. they are not going to have calories from fat? >> in the '80s and '90s, fat was the big, bad thing and now we
know there's such a broad spectrum of what fat is. some of it is great. poly unsaturated fats, the omega 3 fatty acids are some of the best fat that you can eat. >> where do you get that from? >> nuts and almonds and fish. >> those are fine? >> one of the best things that you can possibly eat and then you have the trans fats which are chemically produced and not naturally occurring and they were just added to nutrition labels a few years ago and they are one of the worst things that you can eat. putting under fat, they are breaking down the fats that you are getting. >> bottom line, are these new labels good generally, or are you going to reserve judgment? >> i think it's good. it's not radical. some people would want more but it's going to be good. the food industry is going to put less sugar into their food,
ideally, and people are going to take more note of it. >> thank you, dr. hamblin. appreciate it. a rabbi who once said that a stfer officially pissed him off. don't blame me. that's his language. not mine. i can download anything i want. [ girl ] seriously? that's a lot of music. seriously. that's insane. and it's 15 bucks a month for the family. seriously? that's a lot of gold rope. seriously, that's a signature look.
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welcome back to "the lead". i'm jake tapper. it's now time for the politics lead. so did you hear the line about rabbi, a top governor christie aide? it's no laughing matter. david wildstein, who at the time was a top executive at the port authority in newark, new jersey, sent bridget anne kelly a photo that included a rabbi that says, he has officially pissed me off and kelly said, we cannot cause
traffic problems in front of his house, can we? flights to tel-aviv all mysteriously delayed. it's not clear why they were upset back in 2012. wildstein and kelly, who no longer wo longer work for christie agreed it was time to cause some traffic problems in ft. lee. the bridge was closed for nearly a week turning parts of north jersey into a parking lot. allegedly, as retribution, after the ft. lee governor refused to enforce governor christie for re-election. kelly said, "i feel badly about the kids" and wildstein said, they are the children of buono voters. christie said he did not know about the scheme until yesterday when it ended in a radio
interview and dismissed it as a distraction. >> you folks are the only people at the moment who are asking me about this. >> uh-huh. >> i've been to two town halls in the last two weeks and there has not been one question on it. not one. i will be damned if i let this get in the way of doing my real job. >> wildstein resigned and kelly was fired in january by governor christie. the investigation continues. when we come back, he's the producer behind survivor and "shark tank" but is mark burnett's goal really attainable? the movie that he says a billion people will see. that's next. soriasis to another new stylist. it was a total embarrassment. and not the kind of attention i wanted. so i had a serious talk with my dermatologist about my treatment options. this time, she prescribed humira-adalimumab. humira helps to clear the surface of my skin by actually working inside my body. in clinical trials, most adults with moderate
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with scenes taken from the miniseries "the bible". >> it has begun. >> peter! turn the other cheek. >> turn the other cheek. box office analysts can't really give an estimate of how well the film will do because it's hard to analyze the performance of faith-based performers. joining me are the producers of "son of god," mark burnett and roma downey. mark, you've sold this to churches. there's more than $4 million in advanced ticket sales. tell people, why should they go see this film if they've already seen the miniseries. >> this starts with john looking
back and establishing this awful tyranny of roman rule. this is a political thriller. it has special effects from the gladiator and it's a big, big feature film that you can see in your community. it's great. >> roma, i have to ask. it must be the most difficult thing i think to play jesus but to play the mother of jesus i think would be a little daunting. how did you go about it? >> yeah. you know, i have loved jesus all my life but i've never really considered what it would be like to be his mother before, what she must have been feeling watching her son die in such a way. i'm a mother myself. so all i needed to do was bring a mother's heart to feel as a mother, to see through a mother's eyes. >> roma, the narrative structure of the film takes out the
temptation of christ from the film the miniseries was criticized by some because they believed the actor playing satan bore a resemblance to a certain u.s. president. do you worry that you sacrifice too much of story in an effort to avoid that controversy? >> no. i think it became such a distraction and raised such a level of hatefulness enwhethwhe movie was always intended to share the story of jesus. the movie is epic. it he will its the story of jesus' life from his birth to the resurrection and we can tell that audiences are really impacted by it. >> i know there has been praise for the movie. the fim. 's website notes that this is the first major film since "passion of the cite" that brought in $611 million worldwide but it was also very criticized. you worked with jewish groups to
make sure that nonchristian groups were not offended. >> the last thick yng you want o is not be sensitive. we've worked with evangelical groups and jewish groups and accomplished nearly all of them without hurting the story or just were very sensitive and one example is being clear that jesus was jewish as were all of the disciples including after he was taken from the cross and laid in the tomb. so several things that are very clear and accurate. >> last question, mark, you made a career, obviously, out of being a reality show guru. those shows are a little rougher around the edges than the religious-theme films. "survivor," "apprentice." is there anything unchristian
about that attitude in reality tv? >> the catch phrase is i am the way of the truth and the life. it's a great catch phrase in "son of god". >> best of luck with the film. >> thank you so much. that's it for "the lead." i'm jake tapper. wolf blitzer is right next door in "the situation room." >> jake, thanks very much. happening now, my brother's keeper. emotion running deep at the white house as president obama launches his most personal program aimed at giving young minority men a chance at success. troops go on high alert, young gunmen seize parliament and it causes echos of the cold war. plus, uncensored messages cause more outrage over the so-called bridgegate scandal. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room."