Return to Transcripts main page


Congressman Waxman's Exit Opens Political Field For The Ritzy California District; Interview With EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy; FBI Manhunt For "Armed And Dangerous" American; Apple Shoots Up Fortune 500 List

Aired June 2, 2014 - 16:30   ET



In the politics lead, the hills are alive with the sound of political discord. Beverly Hills -- I mean, Congressman Henry Waxman, who represents Beverly Hills, Malibu, Bel Air and more, along with donors who give millions to the Democratic Party, well, he's calling it quits after 40 years and that's opened up a wild battle for tomorrow's primary with celebrities taking sides.


TAPPER (voice-over): This congressional seat has been taken for 40 years. So when Congressman Henry Waxman announced he was retiring, it became a mad scramble to replace him with 18 candidates crawling, jumping, pouncing out of the woodwork. And given that the district represents everywhere from sunny Santa Monica to (INAUDIBLE) Beverly Hills, there are some interesting candidates.

BRENT ROSKE, FORMER CANDIDATE: People ask me, are you serious about this? I say, you're damn right. I am serious about this. My name's on the shirt.

TAPPER: Such as independent Brent Roske, a Hollywood director. He was the man behind the Web series "Chasing the Hill." He lives on a yacht, scored a coveted endorsement from David Hasselhoff. But Roske recently recently bowed out and endorsed independent candidate Marianne Williamson, who says she's running to return power to the people of her district.

MARIANNE WILLIAMSON, CANDIDATE: We're a representative democracy. It is the people of the United States --

TAPPER: You may already know Williamson as a best-selling self-help author to the stars.

EVA LONGORIA, ACTRESS: Marianne has the tools -

TAPPER: Former "Desperate Housewives" star and Democratic gadfly Eva Longoria is backing her.

DEEPAK CHOPRA, SPIRITUAL AUTHOR: I support her candidacy.

TAPPER: So is spiritual guru Deepak Chopra. (MUSIC PLAYING)

TAPPER: Williamson even has an original campaign song from Alanis Morissette. Isn't it ironic? No, not particularly. It's just Beverly Hills.

MATT MILLER, CANDIDATE: We have our own song that you may have seen.


TAPPER: Matt Miller, a sometimes political panelist on "The Lead," worked in the Clinton White House and was a public radio host of "Left, Right and Center." Miller says he wants to bring a progressive agenda to Washington with common-sense solutions.

MILLER: I got the L.A. Times' endorsement the other day.

TAPPER: After all, celebrities and the rich and famous need a voice in Congress, too. That is what a representational democracy is all about.

MILLER: Look at a district that actually has elected for 40 years one of the most accomplished, serious, and unglamorous senior legislatures in the country like Henry Waxman. It kind of puts the lie to the East Coast snark (INAUDIBLE).

TAPPER: Quick fact check here. Henry Waxman is unglamorous. True.

WILLIAMSON: People can laugh and people can make fun of. But even the people laughing to make fun know full well we're a very serious place on the planet. We're about very serious business.

TAPPER: Voters will head to the polls on June 3rd in an open primary. The top two vote getters of the 16 still standing, regardless of party, will face off in a runoff on election day.


TAPPER: Coming up next, the Obama administration's big new push. But even some of his fellow Democrats are blasting the plan. Why are they joining with Republicans to criticize President Obama?

Plus, it's usually when Apple announces its newest, must-have product. Did Tim Cook give Apple lovers what we are all hoping for today?


TAPPER: Welcome back to THE LEAD. I'm Jake Tapper. Now time now for the National Lead. The Washington air is thick with controversy today over the Obama's administration plan to bypass Congress and force American power plants to slash their carbon dioxide emissions in the name of fighting climate change. The aim is to cut CO2 emissions by 30 percent from 2005 levels by the year 2030. Coal-powered plants will be hit the hardest because they emit more carbon than other plants. But despite Republicans and many coal-country Democrats arguing the contrary, the head of the EPA still insists this seismic shift will not hurt our economy.


TAPPER: And EPA administrator Gina McCarthy joins me now. Administrator McCarthny, thanks so much for joining us.


TAPPER: So the president is going it alone here, to a degree. Even Democratic senator Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, the chair of the Senate committee on Energy and Natural Resources, who's up for re-election this year, she says that it should be Congress and not the EPA setting these emission standards. Why can't the White House even get the Democrats on board here?

MCCARTHY: Well, I think we have to see -- have people get a chance to take a look at this proposal because, really, it represents action that we need to take to protect public health. But it offers flexibility to the states. And I am sure, as someone who has worked for the states for the years, that states will have an ability to reduce their carbon pollution in a way that's going to be practical and affordable, that is entirely consistent with the diverse with the energy supply, that will grow jobs and help them grow their economies.

TAPPER: But isn't the whole reason you have this proposal because you can't get anything through Congress on this? And not just the Republican house but also the Democratic-controlled Senate?

MCCARTHY: Jake, the reason we're doing this is to protect the public health of our kids and to protect the next generation and to keep our community safe. We're doing this because Congress did pass the Clean Air Act. And the Clean Air Act is perfectly appropriate. In fact, it's our responsibility at EPA to manage dangerous pollution.

That's what carbon is. We regulate every other type of pollutant from these power plants, including all of the toxics: mercury, arsenic. But the one we don't it's carbon. And it is time to do that now that we know how dangerous a changing climate is and now costly inaction can be.

TAPPER: And you know that those in coal-producing states are very wary of this new proposal. Democrat and Kentucky Senate candidate Alison Lundengren Grimes, she calls this a war on coal. Take a listen.


ALISON GRIMES (D), KENTUCKY SENATE CANDIDATE: I don't agree with the president's war on coal. I will fight to make sure that coal has a long-term place in our national energy policy. That we actually have the funding to implement clean coal technology, and we restore coal to its rightful place as a prime American export.

(END VIDEO CLIP) TAPPER: That's a Democrat. What's your message to people in states like Kentucky?

MCCARTHY: Well, she may be happy to know that if you look at this proposal in what it does for coal is it actually generates investments in coal. It allows states to choose to make them more efficient. And it actually projects that coal is going to remain a significant source of energy generation, even in 2030.

So we agree that with an all-of-the-above strategy. We know we have to accommodate a diverse energy mix. The only thing that EPA did was to identify opportunities to work with states to finds plans that make sense for them in their own energy supplies. That doesn't matter whether whether you're a heavy coal or a heavy natural gas. There are opportunities for you that we can work on together. And that's the challenge with this rule.

TAPPER: Speaking of the all-of-the-above energy strategy, we've been waiting for the president to make a decision about the Keystone Pipeline for years now. It seems obvious that he's waiting until after the midterms. What is the official explanation for the holdup?

MCCARTHY: Well, the official explanation is the correct one, which is that there is a question about the exact layout of the pipeline, and he's already asked the agencies to be prepared when decisions get made to clarify that to submit our comments. And we're ready to do that. But it really wouldn't be appropriate or consistent with the way the law acts to ask us to make a comment without having that pipeline route defined. But we're looking forward to that, and we know the state will make a decision when all of the facts are there for them to make it.

TAPPER: The administrator of the Environmental Protection Administration, Gina McCarthy, thanks so much for joining us.

MCCARTHY: Great to be here, Jake, thanks.


TAPPER: When we come back, a frantic manhunt after explosive materials allegedly found in a San Francisco apartment. Now the FBI wants to know why the man living there is missing and what he was up to.

Plus, a surprise at the box office this weekend as two blockbusters battle it out for the top spot. Did the lukewarm reviews for the new Angelina Jolie movie affect ticket sales?


TAPPER: Welcome to THE LEAD, in national news, what if you found out that your neighbor had explosive material in his apartment and no one knew where he was. Well, that's what residents of one San Francisco are dealing with right now and the FBI is on a manhunt for Ryan Kelly Chamberlain calling him, quote, "armed and dangerous." So why did he have this material and how worried should the public be? Joining me now is Mary Ellen O'Toole, she was a senior FBI profiler and worked on the uni-bomber in 2002 Olympic bombing cases. Mary Ellen, good to see you as always. As a profiler, how does one determine motive to call somebody armed and dangerous?

MARY ELLEN O'TOOLE, FORMER SENIOR FBI PROFILER: Well, if you just look at the elements of this case, he's got explosives or explosive materials in his residence and that's a very congested area in San Francisco. So just by default, those explosives could become volatile and go off and kill, if not hurt, other people.

TAPPER: But the FBI says, as far as they know, Chamberlain has not made any threats so there's no threat to public safety that they know of. Can you square that for us? I mean, armed and dangerous and yet there's no threat to the public?

O'TOOLE: Well, it is confusing, but what they are saying is that he has not made any verbal threats, a manifesto or an alleged suicide note was just released and in that note there were no direct threats, but you don't just look for somebody to tell you that they are going to do something harmful. His behavior in and of itself, just having explosives in a congested area, is on its own merit is potentially very dangerous.

TAPPER: As we mentioned, you've worked on some bombing cases, the uni-bomber case, of course. How do you deal with a missing person who might have explosives? I imagine it might be different than somebody who might have a gun.

O'TOOLE: Well, what happens is they put out an all-points bulletin throughout the United States. All of law enforcement, local, state, and federal, will be on the lookout for this person. If they stop him, if they stop the car, what they'll do is certainly they are going to approach him with a lot of caution because of the explosives component.

TAPPER: What does that mean a lot of caution? Everybody will be far away behind, get out of the car?

O'TOOLE: They will have everyone standing back, get out of the car, they will have dogs. They'll probably stop the car and hopefully it will be in an area where they can bring in, you know, even remote devices so that they can make sure that before a human being approaches that car, they know that there are no explosives in it.

TAPPER: Is it legal to possess explosive materials?

O'TOOLE: It depends on what it is. But most of the time, no. All the prosecutor has to be able to show is that there are components and that the person is aware that those components, number one are illegal and capable if put together causing an explosion.

TAPPER: Game this out for us. Based on what you know about him, the FBI is trying to track him down, he worked in sports marketing. You said he's not a professional fugitive, obviously. How difficult is it going to be to find him, do you think? O'TOOLE: Well, he's not a professional fugitive. So when you have an all-points bulletin put out by the FBI, so law enforcement from the east to the west coast is looking for you, he's not used to that. He's not going to know how to act. In addition to that, it does appear he could be suicidal. So those two things together, it will be resolved, that is, if he's just about ready to take his own life.

TAPPER: And the FBI has asked for the public help in this. How can the public help?

O'TOOLE: Well, they put out descriptors of this person, information about his car. So they are asking for the public to be alert as they are driving up and down 101 out in California. They see somebody, say, over by the beach area, somebody that is by themselves and matches that description. They want everybody to be looking for this person.

TAPPER: Mary Ellen O'Toole, former senior FBI profiler, thank you so much. Appreciate it.

Look who popped in. I didn't even know you were there.

WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST, "THE SITUATION ROOM": Just walked in. Snuck right in.

TAPPER: You're like a panther.

BLITZER: Very quiet.

TAPPER: So what you got coming on "THE SITUATION ROOM?"

BLITZER: We have a lot more coming up on the Bowe Bergdahl. We have the president's deputy national security advisor, Tony Blinken, will join us. The House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers will join us as well, a very different perspective. He's not sure that what the president did was lawful. So Tony Blinken thinks it was lawful. We'll get a good discussion going.

TAPPER: Interesting, Wolf Blitzer. "THE SITUATION ROOM," that's in 10 minutes. Thanks, Wolf.

When we come back, the most talked about list in business, the Fortune 500. So which company made the top of the list and what was the biggest surprise? You'll find out next.


TAPPER: Welcome back to THE LEAD. I'm Jake Tapper. The Money Lead now. Apple's CEO Tim Cook, where is my iWatch already? It was the company's big development conference today instead they got a new operating system and a virtual cameo from Dr. Dre. Ever since Cook took over the giant tech, Apple has had fewer and fewer of these flashy innovations and the company is more profitable than ever.

This year for the first time, Apple cracked the top five of the Fortune 500 list of the world's most valuable companies joining the likes of Walmart and energy power house, ExxonMobil. Here now to talk about the Fortune 500 issue, assistant managing editor for "Fortune" magazine, Leigh Gallagher. Good to see you, Lee.


TAPPER: So top five, Walmart for the second straight year, ExxonMobil, Chevron, Berkshire Hathaway, but the real story is Apple at number five. I guess innovation isn't everything.

GALLAGHER: Innovation will do it. You know, this list is about scale more than anything else. We've seen Apple just grow and grow and grow. If you think about it, it wasn't that long ago that the company was in the 200s. As recently as 2006, 2007, and then it started a steady climb up. It was in the 100s, 70s, it was 35 a couple of years ago. Last year it was 6 and now it's 5.

The other significant thing about Apple in relation to this list is it is always one of the top two or three companies when it comes to profits. Its revenues are one thing but it's always the first or second most profitable company on the list. This year, it's the third. So that's something else. Apple is still making money and even though it showed a decline in its growth this year for the first time in about a decade.

TAPPER: But no new gadgets and they are still going like gangbusters. Why? Because the products are just so desired?

GALLAGHER: They are. I mean, look, how many Apple products do you have? I have God only knows. I mean, it's --

TAPPER: I have 30 right here on the set.

GALLAGHER: Exactly. Me, too. But you know, I think we are seeing Apple start to have -- look, it's got some competition on the smartphone front. Certainly it needs to figure out a music -- a streaming -- a strategy. That's why it has acquired Beets, as far as we know. You know, the whole download model with iTunes that it completely pioneered, things change really quickly. We are all starting to do something different. So Apple has to keep up with the times. That's what it's trying to do but it's still enormous.

TAPPER: Other tech companies are rising on the list as well, but not one in particular. A little company called Yahoo!

GALLAGHER: Yes, so the tech company, as we know, tech is a huge engine of growth. Amazon, Apple, Google, Microsoft, Facebook all rising a lot on the list this year. But Yahoo! actually falls off this year. You know, Yahoo! was 492 last year. It wasn't like this was a huge unexpected thing for Yahoo!, its revenues are not what the other companies are, aren't enough to make minimum this year. But all of the other tech companies, Facebook was brand-new to the list last year and this year jumped up 141 spots so that's significant.

TAPPER: Wow, this list, of course, dates back to 1955. General Motors has ranked first 36 times. They were the second ranked company as recently as 2003. They are slipping. They are number seven. Do you think GM is sliding out of the top ten eventually?

GALLAGHER: You know, it's funny. I mean, first of all, it's just staggering if we think back decades ago, GM really commandeered this list and it commandeered U.S. business. So as goes GM, so goes the nation. That was the expression and it really was true. Times have changed and it's number seven now. It was number seven last year as well. The big question, what is going to happen now as it deals with the recall crisis?

So far the company even reported first quarter profits not too long ago were up 7 percent. So far it hasn't really impacted sales. Our data is based on last year before the crisis began or before it became public. So we'll just have to see next year. Will it fallout of the top ten? I don't know. It takes a lot.

When you're talking about these hundreds of billions of dollars, it takes a lot to move the needle. You lose the sort of perspective a little bit. Two billion seems like a rounding error when you work on the 500 enough.

TAPPER: Fortune's Lee Gallagher, thanks as always. Great to see you.

GALLAGHER: Thanks so much, Jake. You too.

TAPPER: Turning to the Pop Culture Lead, believe it or not, the biggest villain that the X-Men are facing is a Disney creation from 1959. Spawning a thousand cast the spell variations in today's headlines. "Maleficent," Disney's live action retelling of "Sleeping Beauty" from the mean lady's perspective starring Angelina Jolie and a pair of prosthetic cheekbones.

Well, that film ruled the Box Office this weekend taking in $70 million. X-Men, Days of Future Past dropped to sizable 64 percent in its second weekend to land in second place. It's been rumored for months, now it's official, the upcoming "Star Wars" episode 7 title to be announced later.

It's classing it up a bit by adding new Oscar winter Lupita Nyongo to the cast. She won the Oscar for best supporting actress in March, of course, for her searing turn in the best picture winner "12 Years of Slave."

Her new role is a mystery, but it seems whoever she is playing will join an illustrious list of black characters in the "Star Wars" film, including Mace Windu -- actually, that's it. So thank you, Lupita, for giving fans one more reason to hope that the new sequel won't suck.

That's it for THE LEAD. I'm Jake Tapper. I now turn you over to Wolf Blitzer in "THE SITUATION ROOM."

BLITZER: Jake, thanks very much.