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THE LEAD WITH JAKE TAPPER

Jeb: Bush 43 Is A Top Foreign Policy Adviser; Do Women Campaign Differently Than Men?; CNN Visits North Korean Schools; Women On The Frontline. Aired 4:30-5p ET

Aired May 08, 2015 - 16:30   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: Welcome back to THE LEAD. Now time now for the Politics Lead, political dynasties carry some baggage for Hillary Clinton, her carry-on item is husband of hers, former President Bill Clinton and he's got to pay the bills of paid speeches.

For Jeb Bush perhaps his oversized suitcase includes his president brother and the legacy of his two wars especially one of them. Yet if you listen to what Governor Jeb Bush has said publicly you would think that the former president doesn't necessarily have Jeb's ear when it comes to foreign policy.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are there any other problems that you have with your brother's foreign policy? Any place he made a mistake?

JEB BUSH, POTENTIAL 2016 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'm not going to get into that. Look, that's -- that's not particularly relevant.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TAPPER: Not particularly relevant, but Jeb seems to be telling a different tale behind closed doors. Let's bring in CNN political reporter, Sara Murray.

Sara, good to see you. Welcome to the show. So Governor Bush attended this private Manhattan meeting on Tuesday with all these big donor types. What did he have to say about George W. Bush, his older brother in that meeting?

SARA MURRAY, CNN POLITICAL REPORTER: Governor Bush had caught some flak about his foreign policy advisers and so I think he was trying to reassure this room of Republicans about where he gets his advice on foreign policy.

[16:35:11] In the midst of that he said, named people and then said the person I turn to for advice on foreign policy is George W. Bush.

TAPPER: Interesting. Now this was a room full of Israel, conservative Israel supporters. So perhaps they were seeking some reassurance in that way? MURRAY: I think that they were assured. That is exactly right. This is a crowd of people that they tend to be Bush supporters historically, very hawkish. They were looking for a lot of reassurance particularly on Israel and how Jeb Bush would approach Israel.

And I think that's why he started talking about his brother in that context. Of course, what sounds reassuring to this group of prominent Republicans is not necessarily reassuring to the rest of the American public.

TAPPER: Right. Sara Murray, thanks so much.

I want to bring in former White House communications director under President George W. Bush and author of the new novel "Madam President," which I have read and wrote a blurb for. It's a terrific read. It's the third in the series about President Charlie Cramer, Republican strategist, Nicole Wallace. Thank you so much.

NICOLE WALLACE, AUTHOR, "MADAM PRESIDENT": Thanks for having me.

TAPPER: This is a great book. I'll get to it in a second.

WALLACE: First, respond to --

TAPPER: Exactly, but I know you love them both, both Jeb Bush and George W. Bush. If you were advising Jeb Bush --

WALLACE: Which I am not.

TAPPER: Which you are not. How would you advise him to deal with the George W. Bush thing? You can't really distance yourself from your brother. By the same token, there is a lot of baggage especially when it comes to the war in Iraq?

WALLACE: Yes, well, I think first of all, it's important to note for your viewers the campaign is saying something very different. He was specifically referring to Israel. George W. Bush has long and deep relationships there.

A very strong ally of Israel, which as you know better than anybody is under constant threat in the region. So I think it's an important issue. It's going to be important issue for Hillary Clinton, too.

I don't think Israelis feel that, Israeli/U.S. relations are any other at a high point. So this is going to be a bigger issue in this general election than it has been perhaps in the recent past.

But you know, they are not toddlers, it's not like Jeb Bush needs to call his brother to ask where the bathroom is. The notion you wouldn't ask every former president of both parties for their advice about vital American alliances is ridiculous.

TAPPER: Right. Let's talk about the book so the third in the series. President Charlotte Kramer is the, one of the main characters --

WALLACE: Yes.

TAPPER: -- in the book. There's a lot that happens in this book, but one of the things that happens, gives a big policy speech having to do with abortion, without getting into abortion, I wonder if you think women candidates talk about issues differently than men candidates?

WALLACE: Yes, yes. You and I know each other well enough. That's one of my fantasies, frankly. This book is really, it's about this moment in our politics, still broken, such a put-off to so many people.

Part of the reason that I think women could be one of the solutions to this low point in how appealing politics is to people is that we put people off. There's no tolerance anymore for saying, I may be pro- life.

But I understand that you're pro-choice from the most noble part of your belief system, or I agree, I believe something very different, disagree with you whether the Iraq war was worth it.

But let's join hands and do something important and lasting for military families. No one hears or sees any of that and I do think that women are uniquely suited to bring out more of that in politics.

TAPPER: That's interesting. There are two women presidential candidates right now, Carly Fiorina, the former Hewlett-Packard CEO and of course, former secretary of state, Hillary Clinton.

There is something I've been thinking about a lot when it comes to either one of those candidates, but to be frank, more Hillary because she's much more likely to get her party's nomination.

WALLACE: Sure. Misleading -- Carly at this point is very much a long shot.

TAPPER: But here's the question -- I think that there will probably be a lot of women even moderate women, even Republican women, who go into that voting booth assuming Hillary Clinton's on the ticket, and feel compelled to vote for her because it is so historic, 43 men have been president.

No woman has and even if she positions her presumably as something of a moderate, they might do that. I've asked a bunch of Republicans, don't you think that assuming your candidate's a male, should be extra consideration to putting a woman on the ticket, Republicans hate that identity politics thing, but I think it's beyond that.

WALLACE: Democrats do, too. Look the results of the 2008 primary? You would have to think more women would walk into the voting booth, I like them both, but I think it's time for a woman. Democrats didn't do it when put to the test in 2008.

So I think time and time again voters have rejected identity politics. I think what's different now is that while President Obama promised and end to childish things, that's not what has come to pass. I think the opportunity Hillary Clinton has and Carly has, frankly, talk about issues where we know we cannot reach consensus. You can't convince someone pro-choice, be pro-life, but maybe we can talk about it.

[16:40:04] It's certainly the fantasy I play with the novels. Maybe we can start talking about these things in a way that lets everyone at least stay at the table and finish their meal.

TAPPER: So former President Clinton, so far, a huge political asset.

WALLACE: For sure.

TAPPER: So far --

WALLACE: You know all my former bosses call him a friend now.

TAPPER: Right, exactly, but so far especially because of the Clinton Foundation.

WALLACE: Right.

TAPPER: He's been a little bit more of a problem for the campaign than a help. That will no doubt change in the coming months, but they talked about how he would play a smaller role in this campaign than in 2008. That doesn't seem to have happened yet.

WALLACE: And I don't know if he's capable of it. You know, I think we'll find out frankly in the next few months where the country really is. I think we live in a country that swings from center right to center left, that's how elections are determined.

We're also going to find out if Bill Clinton has the constitution to be the dimmer light in the Clinton orbit and I'm just as interested in the answer to that question as the first.

TAPPER: I want to play a little sound from Secretary Clinton earlier this week where she talks about immigration.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HILLARY CLINTON (D), 2016 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We can't wait any longer for a path to full and equal citizenship. When they talk about league status, that is code for second class status.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TAPPER: What do you make of that? A lot of Republicans seem to call that extreme, but I've heard other observers say she -- she's sending a general election message and putting Republicans like Rubio and Jeb in a box?

WALLACE: Well, George W. Bush calmed it a path to legal citizenship after the borders were secure once and for all and the law of the land, law enforcement. When George W. Bush tried to accomplish it with Congress in 2006 and 2005, that was part of the package, it didn't pass.

I mean, the problem with what Clinton is suggesting there are Republicans in the debate. Marco Rubio has been in the fight trying to get something done. I don't think she's going to succeed in putting Marco Rubio in a box.

But I think the next question for her, how do you do it? Her own party wasn't willing to go along with George W. Bush or frankly President Obama.

If there's one policy problem that has been a failure of both president bush's years and President Obama's years it's the task of doing something about illegal immigration and doing nothing is probably not a possibility for either party.

TAPPER: The book is "Madam President: A Novel." third in a series. You're going to sign this for me before you leave.

WALLACE: Come visit us on "The View."

TAPPER: Anytime. You know I love those lovely ladies.

When we come back, a rare look at the lives of children inside North Korea, Schools where individuality is shunned and even recess is critiqued. Our exclusive report from inside the hermit kingdom, next.

Plus an unusual sight over Washington earlier today. Skies filled with planes. Not just any planes, World War II era bombers and fighters, that's coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[16:46:52]

TAPPER: Welcome back to THE LEAD. I'm Jake Tapper. An exclusive and rare look inside the mysterious hermit kingdom tops our World Lead today. Little is known about the inner workings of North Korean society and it's secretive leader, Kim Jong Un, demanding unconditional loyalty and horrific human rights abuse Iran.

How does the government indoctrinate that, a reverence for a dictator that forces his people to suffer and starve? CNN's Will Ripley has been recently given extraordinary access to the country and to a school in the country's capital Pyongyang and filed this eye-opening report.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The North Korean education system is designed to turn out discipline, devoted citizens, with a heavy focus on the group over the individual, and above all else, devotion to their supreme leader.

(voice-over): If they didn't look so young -- you might not believe they're first graders. By the time they reach elementary school, Pyongyang students have typically learned their country's most sacred lesson, shedding the individualism of youth for the collectivism of North Korean society, and most importantly, loyalty to the leader.

(on camera): What do you want to be when you grow up? I'd like to be a journalist, she says, so I can spread the greatness of the Marshall King Jong Un throughout the world.

You'll find the same photos of the late leaders in every classroom and every home, and the same level of discipline throughout. Even outdoor exercises critiqued. Classes are praised for moving in unison.

These Pyongyang orphans will practice for hours until their routine is perfect. Demands are even more rigorous at the international football school.

North Korean athletes are expected to be the best in the world. All students get free uniforms provided by the state, even at the prestigious Kim Il-Sung University.

(on camera): How much is the tuition to come to university?

YU YE JI, UNIVERSITY STUDENT: There's no tuition fee.

RIPLEY: It's free?

YU YE JI: Yes, it is free.

RIPLEY: There are a lot of students who would really like that, I think.

YU YE JI: I mean, all of them actually study -- we don't even know the meaning of tuition fee. We just know it by books.

RIPLEY (voice-over): The main focus at the university level is science and technology. North Korea strives to be strong and modern, but only a rare few can access the internet.

(on camera): Have you ever been on Facebook?

YU YE JI: Facebook? What -- what is --

RIPLEY: Never heard of Facebook?

YU YE JI: No.

RIPLEY: For all the discipline, there are brief moments when kids can act like kids. At least until it's time to go back to class.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

RIPLEY: North Korean students are now required to finish the 12th grade and all are eligible to apply for university, although the entrance exams are highly competitive. North Korea teaches its own version of history and current affairs.

[16:50:02] It's one of the reasons why access to the outside world here is so tightly controlled. Will Ripley, CNN, Pyongyang, North Korea. TAPPER: And our thanks to Will Ripley for that exclusive report. Wolf Blitzer is here now with a preview of "THE SITUATION ROOM." I know you've been to Pyongyang. Will is doing great coverage.

WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST, "THE SITUATION ROOM": Amazing they've given him that access.

TAPPER: It's very strange. Tell us about your show? Talking to House Foreign Affairs Chairman Ed Royce?

BLITZER: You know, there are a lot of issues on the agenda especially now that the U.S. military bases here in the United States are going a little higher state of alert because of ISIS, maybe because of what happened over the weekend in Texas. We go in-depth on that.

Also there is a lot of controversy going on now. Should the U.S. supply weapons directly to the Kurds? U.S. allies in northern Iraq or should those weapons funneled through Baghdad?

A lot of members of Congress want to send them directly, but elements especially Shiite radicals in Iraq now saying if the U.S. were to do that, this legislation were to be passed, they would start attacking what they call U.S. interests in Iraq. So it's a big subject we're going to get in depth on that as well.

It sounds great. Wolf Blitzer, thank you so much. Good to see you as always. "THE SITUATION ROOM" is on in 9 minutes. We'll be watching.

Coming up hours ago, restricted air space over Washington was full of World War II era fighters and bombers. Why one made a sudden emergency landing. That's next.

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[16:55:40]

TAPPER: Welcome back to THE LEAD. Look at these pictures -- incredible.

More than two dozen World War II era aircrafts flying over the monuments here in Washington, D.C. today marking the 70th anniversary of the allied victory in Europe in World War II.

CNN even got a seat on the B-25 bomber. Our producer said it was kind of like being in a flying lawn chair. The aircraft flew in formations, recounting major battles. Hundreds of World War II veterans were there on hand to take it all in.

There was one slight detour for one plane. Take a look. This one's making an emergency landing at Washington's Reagan National Airport after detecting a hydraulic problem.

Luckily everyone onboard was safe. Everything went fine after the landing. Thanks to all those veterans as we remember their service and sacrifice and what they did for the world in World War II. How things have changed in the last 70 years, the battle of the bug and Normandy, our boys who took the hill and stormed the beach. Today, the combat ban on women serving in the front lines has been essentially obliterated.

That is in part because of an extraordinary group of women who head into front lines in Afghanistan in 2010. Their story is told in the new book "Ashley's War."

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

TAPPER (voice-over): Under the cover of darkness, elite special operations forces choppered out to a front line draw in sand. Ever changing, the mission, neutralize the enemy and minimize collateral damage.

In 2010, Special Forces put out a call to the entire army, the National Guard and reserves looking for new team members. The band of brothers were looking for sisters.

GAYLE TZEMACH LEMMON, AUTHOR, "ASHLEY'S WAR": This was a pilot program while the combat ban was still on that said, female soldiers, be part of history. Support special operations on the battlefield in Afghanistan.

TAPPER: The program would draw the best and baddest women in the army called cultural support teams. Author Gayle Tzemach Lemmon tells their story in her new book "Ashley's War."

LEMMON: Male special operations soldeiers couldn't enter women's compounds and rooms. A lot of information and security that wasn't being getting done because there weren't women there, female soldiers to interact with the women in the house.

TAPPER (on camera): There are sorts of like little loopholes where women actually get to the front lines not necessarily as, quote/unquote, "front line combat soldiers?" They can be military police. They can be doctors, nurses but this was specifically special operations?

LEMMON: This team of women out every night alongside rangers and other special operations teams officially attached to those teams not assigned to them. That's how it was actually entirely legal.

TAPPER: First Lieutenant Ashley White in the first class to answer the call.

LEMMON: She was the kind of person who would do something spectacular and kind of look down on the ground, shuffle away, not because that she didn't know what she done was great but because she felt no need to talk about it, and all she saw the opportunity to do her job and her job well.

TAPPER (voice-over): For six weeks, Ashley and her team endured brutal training, mentally and physically. CNN at the time was given rare access. CAPT. ANNIE YU KLEIMAN, CULTURAL SUPPORT TEAM MEMBER: We've got a bunch of strong, capable awesome women who can take any challenge that -- that's thrown at us.

TAPPER: As soon as the training wrapped, White and her teammates shipped out.

LEMMON: By the summer of 2011, they were seeing the kind of combat fewer than 5 percent of the entire military seas alongside fighters of special operations on the battlefields in Afghanistan. They were out there every night running off the bird, boarding the bird, going to the compound, making sure women and children were away from what was happening, searching, questioning, making sure people's lives were saved as they could be.

TAPPER: The women would even take off their helmets to show the Afghan women and children that they were women and were there to keep them safe. On any given night an ordinary mission could turn extraordinary.

While at an insurgent's compound one night, a soldier stepped on a daisy chained IED triggering a massive explosion that took the life of Ashley White and two other rangers.

(on camera): Did they see themselves, these women, as trailblazers?

LEMMON: They saw themselves as soldiers who wanted to do the best job they could with the finest fighters they could be around on a mission that deeply mattered to them.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

TAPPER: That's it for THE LEAD. I'm Jake Tapper. Turning you over to Wolf Blitzer in "THE SITUATION ROOM". Wolf?