tv The Lead With Jake Tapper CNN November 22, 2013 1:00pm-2:01pm PST
she seems like the real deal. anyone who can pull off that kind of up the stage sort of fall down in a beautiful gown, pick herself back up and win that award, pretty awesome. thank you so much. i'm brooke baldwin. thank you for being with me. have a wonderful weekend. "the lead" with jake tapper starts now. two-thirds of the american people cannot tell you where they were on that day 50 years ago because they were only twinkles in their parents' eyes. i'm jake tapper. this is "the lead." the national lead. half a century after jfk was assassinated in dallas, so many americans cannot shake the feeling that we were lied to about who really did it. are you among those who refuse to believe that lee harvey oswald was the lone gunman? the politics lead. he won the office and then survived a recall with an even bigger margin of victory. our guest is wisconsin governor scott walker. is this red governor from a blue state chris christie's worst nightmare? and the pop culture lead. go to your average tween's
bedroom, draft a script, cast gorgeous young people, boom, box office gold. hope you're excited about the "hunger games" sequel this weekend because the formula works and ain't going anywhere. good afternoon. welcome to "the lead." i'm jake tapper. we begin with the national lead. it was exactly 50 years ago today when shots echoed through dealey plaza in dallas, texas. our nation went numb and we woke up to an entirely different world. >> from dallas, texas, the flash apparently official. president kennedy died at 1:00 p.m. central standard time. >> today, ceremonies are taking place across the united states and around the world to mark the 50th anniversary of the assassination of president john fitzgerald kennedy. the flag over the white house was lowered to half staff.
as across the river, the sound of "taps" were heard as arlington national cemetery while the eternal flame burned at jfk's final resting place. this solemn anniversary brought the curious back in droves to the old texas schoolbook depository building and the grassy knoll. we all know the official account by now. lone gunman lee harvey oswald. problem is, a huge number of americans 50 years later still are not buying it. we're releasing brand new cnn/orc polls right now. here's how much people refuse to trust the government's official account because they think the government was involved in some cases. a third of americans believe the cia had a part in the kennedy assassination. nearly a third of people surveyed believe the mafia played a role. remember, this was back in the heyday of organized crime figures. you can't talk jfk conspiracy theories without mentioning the communists.
22% of people believe the soviet union was involved. fewer, 20% believe the cuban government had a role to play, though the cubans certainly weren't happy about the cia assisted bay of pigs invasion in 1961. you might be surprised by this. jfk's vice president, lyndon johnson, who was sworn in as president next to a widow jackie kennedy on air force one 50 years ago today, one in five americans believe that johnson had something to do with the assassination. but on this day, even the conspiracy theorists would do well to reflect on a life, not a death. and on a president who will forever be remembered as the man who took this country on a youthful and seemingly limitless stride into the 1960r chief natt john king is live at dealey plaza. you were at the ceremony marking the moment we lost the president. what's the mood like in dallas today? >> reporter: you know, for many years, this city was shamed by what happened right here. it was known as the city of hate and at this 50th anniversary
ceremony today, dallas tried to turn the page. it was a very respectful ceremony focusing on what you just mentioned, the hopeful aspirations, always forward and future-looking speeches, dreams and legacy of president john f. kennedy. i want to show you, though, if i can, this is a replication, reproduction of the dallas morning news from the morning after. this is what the city of dallas woke up to on the 23rd of november. kennedy slain on dallas street. you just mentioned the conspiracy theories. look at the headline. pro-communist charged with act. that pro-communist, the label put on lee harvey oswald. but here in dealey plaza, very little focus on the tragedy, the horror, the violence of that day. instead, the city deciding to pay much more tribute to the legacy, the histoan david mccullough read from president kennedy's speeches. on that grassy knoll that figures in the conspiracy theories, a new monument unveiled containing a paragraph from the speech jack kennedy was on his way to deliver. he was about a mile away here in dealey plaza from the dallas
trade mart. he was supposed to speak to a luncheon as part of his campaign swing through texas. part of that speech, very hopeful and forward-looking, now inscribed in a stone plaque on that grassy knoll. you can see they are breaking down now but about 5,000 people here for the ceremony. the weather complicating things a bit but a very solemn ceremony as this city tried to pay tribute to the president and essentially tried to, if you will, burnish its own reputation and move past some of the pain that people here say not only in the days after the assassination but for years and decades after the assassination. jake? >> chief national correspondent john king. thank you so much. i wasn't alive the day jfk was assassinated and based on a little something i like to call math, i bet a lot of you were not, either. the atlantic's the wire has calculated that only about a third of the u.s. population was on this planet the day he died, but for two veteran journalists, that day launched their careers in many ways and forever changed their lives. bob schieffer was a young reporter at the ft. worth-star telegram. now he's an emmy winning
correspondent and host of cbs' "face the nation." jim leher went on to launch the award-winning show "news hour" on pbs, even recently writing a fictional novel about the jfk assassination. i got the opportunity to sit down with these two legendary reporters about their experiences 50 years ago. thanks so much for coming in. it's so great to have you here on this solemn day. bob, you were at the ft. worth star telegram and jim, you were at the dallas times herald. the basis of your latest novel, "top down" is a conversation that you had with the secret service agent that morning? >> right. had to do with the bubble top. the bubble top was up and the bubble top was not bulletproof. it was plexiglass, designed solely for weather situations, to keep the kennedys from getting wet in case it rained. it had rained that morning so they had the bubble top up but it cleared. a secret service agent made the decision to take the bubble top down. that was in complete accordance
with the orders of the president. he always wanted the bubble top down unless it was a weather emergency because he didn't want people saying oh, my god, there's the president under glass. so he did make a mistake. but my novel, this guy has guilt feelings because he thinks it might have saved his life if he had -- kennedy's life if the bubble top had stayed up. >> bob, you told me the story once. your brother is the one that told you kennedy had been shot. >> yes. i was asleep, because i worked the late shift. i was the night police reporter at the star telegram, so when all of this happened in dallas, i was still asleep. he woke me up and said you better get up and get to the office, the president's been shot. i did, i was in a total fog. i got up, got dressed. i hadn't been assigned to cover the story, i was pretty upset about it. went down to the office and was just trying to help out answering the phones on the city desk and of all things, a woman calls in and says is there anybody there who can give me a ride to dallas. i almost hung up the phone and i
said lady, you know, we don't run a taxi here, besides, the president's been shot. she said yes, i heard it on the radio. i think my son is the one they've arrested. so i wrote down her address very quickly. another reporter and i went out to the west side of ft. worth. there she stood on the curb, lee harvey oswald's mother. and she immediately began talking about the impact it would have on her. i mean, the president had not been dead two hours and she was saying no one will feel sorry for me, they will give money to my son's wife, they will forget about the mother and i'll starve to death. for her it was some sort of all about money. some of the things she said were so bizarre that i didn't put them in the story. i thought how would you feel if your son had been arrested for something like this. on reflection, i should have. i think we would have gotten a better picture earlier of exactly who lee harvey oswald was. >> you went up to lee harvey oswald and questioned him.
>> yes, at the police station. they wanted the news people to see that oswald had been hurt a little bit on his face when he had been arrested, and they wanted to make sure the cops weren't roughing him up. he walked down the hallway and i was right there. i said did you kill the president. and he said i didn't kill anybody. and i mean, there were cops on both sides. i'm not suggesting he just walked down the hallway. they were taking him to another office to continue the interrogation. i wrote that down on my notebook, misspelled his name, you know. i had it something like len howard oswald, all that kind of stuff. and i did write down "i didn't kill anybody." now i can't find the notebook but that's neither here nor there. >> did you realize at that moment that we were almost at an inflection point in the nation, that nothing would ever be the same afterwards? >> we had never seen anything like this. television had never covered a story the way they covered this, wall to wall, but hanging over this was the uncertainty, what
does this mean. is this beginning a world war iii, you know, ft. worth, there was a big strategic air command base there. we knew if there was a nuclear war, we would be among the first targets for the soviet missles. so hanging over this great tragedy that was unfolding before our eyes was this great uncertainty about what is going to happen next. >> at the police station, stimulaometime late in the day, say, it was a mob scene. i happened to walk by, milling through the crowd like everybody, and there was a guy standing there, my recollection is he was an fbi agent. he was just standing there. just as i walked by, he said to me and to anybody listening, he said things will never be the same, will they. and i stopped for a minute and said, just shook my head, and i realized that's exactly right. it's not just the news media. it's everything changed. we all became aware of the
fragility of it all and we as reporters, we as americans, we as citizens of the world, if they can kill the president of the united states, one guy with three rounds in 15 seconds, changed the course of history, my god, what else could they change. what else could they do. we had lived kind of a charmed life as americans up til then. that charmed life ended on november 22nd, 1963. >> two men for whom i have such admiration and respect. thank you so much for being here, for coming and telling your story. we turn now to some live images. one former massachusetts senator honoring another right now. secretary of state john kerry visiting president john f. kennedy's grave site at arlington national cemetery before heading to a meeting in geneva on iran's nuclear program, happening just seconds ago. in case you missed it, tonight you can watch the film "the assassination of president kennedy" at 10:00 p.m. eastern on cnn. coming up on "the lead," we continue our coverage of the 50th anniversary of john f. kennedy's death.
later i speak to a secret service agent in dallas that day who for decades blamed himself for not doing more to save the man he was sworn to protect. he's come to the defense of chris christie but is he secretly hoping to run against him in 2016? could scott walker be his biggest challenger in 2016? we'll have a chat about that. ♪ morning, turtle. ♪ my friends are all around me ♪ my friends, they do surround me ♪ ♪ i hope this never ends ♪ and we'll be the best of friends ♪ [ male announcer ] the 2014 chevrolet traverse... all set? all set. [ male announcer ] ...with three rows of spacious seating for up to eight. imagine that. chevrolet. find new roads. i started part-time, now i'm a manager.n. my employer matches my charitable giving. really. i get bonuses even working part-time.
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the politics lead now. he's a fast rising gop star, a tea party favorite and at one point was perhaps the most controversial man in madison, wisconsin. that's fair. governor scott walker made a name for himself by taking on public employees unions and facing down crowds like this one in the state capital. the war that erupted there three years ago was credited with launching the occupy movement in some ways. it was fought over walker's plan to strip away unions' collective bargaining powers. despite the coverage, he was victorious and has written about the experience in "unintimidated, a governor's story and a nation's challenge." governor scott walker joins me now. congratulations on the book.
was that a fair description? take issue with anything? >> no. the interesting thing, among many interesting things in the book, we talk about obama/walker voters in the end. there were literally one of six voters in my state who voted for me who planned to vote for barack obama which politically doesn't make a lot of sense. >> in the recall? >> in the recall they voted for me, then they were planning a few months later in 2012 to vote for the president, which we talk about in the book, the reasons for that. because in both cases, to that middle undecided voter, we made the case based on leadership and they were hungry for it. >> let's talk about something you have been outspoken about recently, the affordable care act, obama care. you don't care for it. you think it's bad but in your home state, you are trying to do your own health care reform, badger care, and critics have said that you're trying to have it both ways because one of the ways you make badger care work is by having 80,000 people currently on medicaid go into obama care. so what do you say to critics
who say you can't have it both ways, you are either for or against it but you can't be against it while you're using it? >> that's just not accurate. what i point out is obviously i fought this every step of the way, ran against it twice, empowered my attorney general to join the federal lawsuit, did not take the state exchange, deferred to the federal exchange and didn't take the medicaid expansion. but what i did was not take the false choice offered to us out of the federal government. it was either some states took the money, the medicaid expansion, and with it, the financial risk that now becomes even more apparent for a federal government that can't deeven do website. other states did take it and left their people out in the cold. what we did was transition people into the marketplace which includes a federal exchange option for those at the lower end of the income and for the first time in our state's history, we cover everyone living in poverty will be covered under medicaid. if there's an alternative in the future, that would be a better way of serving the people. >> obviously you are probably best known nationally for the
showdown with the employee unions, public sector unions in wisconsin. this in your book, this is how you describe the throngs of protesters that descended upon the capitol three years ago. quote, the odor of unwashed humanity wafted through the hallways. people were smoking pot inside the capitol. there were so many sleeping bags, inflatable mattresses and tents that our staff joked about how many protest babies there would be in nine months' time. now, i know that a lot of these protesters were hostile to you and you detail the many threats you got, but that's not all the protesters and i have to say, sometimes the tone i would hear three years ago and even in this book sounds a bit disdainful. i wonder if looking back, you feel that there's anything you could have done different when it comes to tone and speaking to these individuals -- >> there's no doubt about it. not so much the tone for the protesters. there's probably nothing i could have done or said, particularly for those who came in from other states. originally it was people from wisconsin. two weeks in we started seeing buses in from chicago, and we didn't just have to guess.
they had their signs, their banners -- >> sure. they were from other unions in other states. right. >> new york, d.c., nevada. for the people of my state, no doubt about it. i actually talk in this book, this is not a campaign book in the sense that it's all wonderful. there are some pretty big insights about things we did wrong. one of them was even though i talked about getting a contribution from employees during the campaign, after the election was over i stopped talking about it. one of the mistakes i made was in january of 2011 i was so eager to fix things, i just went out and took action without talking about it. most politicians, whether in state or federal office, just talk about things but never fix them. what i learned in rets perspecti retrospect, you have to do both. i think it would have been a different outcome. >> you pledged 250,000 new jobs would be created by the end of your first term. you are not even up to 90,000 yet. >> about 100,000 per the latest -- >> but you're not going to create another 150,000 in the
next year. that's a promise you will probably not be able to meet. >> by 2015, although put it in context. the reason i did that was under my predecessor democrat, the state lost almost 134,000 jobs. what i saw were not just jobs, not just statistics, i saw real people in real house holds with real families in real communities who were hurting. >> you acknowledge you will probably not be able to make that? >> my goal is by 2015, so not later this year, not later next year but by 2015, our goal is still to help the people of the state create 250,000 jobs. >> can you pledge if re-elected next year, you will serve all four years? because there's a lot of people around you who say they want you to run for president. >> you know, my focus has been not once but twice running for governor. i'm going to run again. that's what my focus is. >> you can't pledge that -- >> i never make promises. my promises are not about the time i serve but what i will do in office. i have been very clear with it which again is why i think there were so many people who voted for me and a few months later voted for barack obama, because we both made promises. very different political views
but both made promise. >> stick around. i know the folks from "crossfire" have some questions for you. we will see you back here in "crossfire" at 6:30 p.m. eastern. thank you so much. good to see you. coming up on "the lead," secretary of state john kerry rushes to geneva. on what was supposed to be the last day of negotiations with iran after decades of silence. did these talks produce a deal?
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welcome back to "the lead." time for the world lead. it is a clear sign that an agreement could be close on iran's nuclear program. we just learned secretary of state john kerry, who we just saw at the kennedy grave site a few minutes ago, is now headed to geneva to join the negotiations. diplomats from key members of the u.n. security council have been meeting with iranian leaders to hash out a plan that would shut down at least part of iran's nuclear program. in return, world powers would ease up on some of the sanctions that have crippled the country's economy. joining me now with more on what kerry's trip means and how soon a possible deal could be reached, our cnn chief national security correspondent, jim sciutto, who is in geneva along with foreign affairs reporter,
elise, right next to me. so john kerry is now coming. what does that mean in terms of how close we are to a deal? >> reporter: well, you now have the two giants of these negotiations coming here, kerry arriving tomorrow, the russian foreign minister, sergay lavrov, touched down a couple hours ago. you really get the sense they wouldn't come unless they were close. in fact, we are hearing they are coming to close this deal, not just to show up. it fits with the optimism i have been hearing from both sides, from the iranian side, from western officials all day. that said, u.s. officials telling us that there are still gaps to be narrowed which has been their favorite phrase of these negotiations. you get the sense kerry is coming to finalize closing those gaps, not just coming for the photo op. >> can kerry make a difference? he's not here apparently, according to jim, not there just to sign on the line that is dotted. there is actually still problems. >> he certainly seems to think he has and that's often the case with john kerry, that he likes that personal diplomacy. he thinks that he can go and he
can close the deal and what aides are saying is that yes, he wouldn't be traveling if he didn't think that him sitting down, we're told he wants to go line by line with the iranian foreign minister on the other delegations on the agreement, that he thinks it could come to a close. also, the foreign minister is leading the delegation, the iranian foreign minister. if there is a deal, he wants the other foreign ministers there with him to announce it. >> jim, what are the real gaps right now between the two sides? f quickly, if you could. >> reporter: i have been told there are several but the key one really is how explicitly they delineate iran's right to enrich. the iranians want it written down on paper. u.s. officials have been saying for a couple weeks they don't recognize the right to enrich but maybe there's a way there can be some diplomatic ambiguity, and i think that's been one of the difficulties here is finding how the language of this interim agreement keeps both sides happy on that. >> speaking of happy, israel not happy. they don't like this deal.
what happens now with israel and congress and the white house? >> okay. that's one of the key reasons why they want to get a deal this weekend. because congress has said we'll give you a little bit of time and won't put any more sanctions against iran but if they come back from recess in early december, no deal, they are going to start to put on sanctions. when it comes to israel, there is an open rift between israel and the u.s. prime minister netanyahu says he cannot accept a deal. president obama going ahead with the deal over his objections. after this deal is done, secretary kerry planning to definitely say he wants to be traveling to israel to be talking about it. >> just in time for hanukkah. thank you both so much. coming up next on "the lead," it's essential for the success ever obama care. young healthy americans need to sign up. are they? plus, it's a costly hollywood challenge, turning a huge bestselling novel into a blockbuster at the box office. are "hunger games" fans happy with the sequel?
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welcome back to "the lead." in politics news, more tweaks, patches and straight up changes to the rollout of the affordable care act which democrats not so long ago were quick to describe as settled law before you had to sign up by december 15th in order to have a health insurance policy beginning on january 1st. the obama administration today pushed that sign-up deadline back to december 23rd. that's also pushing back the start of the next open enrollment period from october 15th, 2014 to november 15th, 2014, which is conveniently after the midterm elections. the numbers for the first month of obama care enrollments were dismal, especially through the federal healthcare.gov website and critics were quick to call it obama's waterloo although it might be more accurate to call it his water world, a pricey fiasco that left millions unsatisfied. i want to bring in tom foreman. tom, much of the obama care model hinges on mandating that younger, healthier people get
into the insurance system. is that happening? >> well, from the beginning, we have known that no matter how many people sign up for obama care, a substantial number have to be as you say, young and healthy. they have to put more money into the insurance pool than they take out, and the data we have so far suggests that part of the equation is not particularly going very well. we only have detailed information from five states right now but let's take a look. california, which has seen a big surge this week in the number of people establishing accounts, about 10,000 a day, is nonetheless only seeing about 23% of that young healthy demographic. washington state up here, same thing, 23%. kentucky, touted as one of the most successful state programs, has only 19% in the young healthy category. connecticut has the same percentage and maryland has 27%. so so far, there's not one state out there that's showing a robust response by the young,
healthy, those folks who are so much needed. >> as you point out, that's only a few states. do we have any idea how that fits into the bigger picture, all 50 states and the district of columbia? >> yeah, because we are getting a clearer sense of the bigger picture. the congressional budget office established this idea that you would need seven million people in the program by march for this thing to really work. right now, so far in terms of people who have actually signed up for an insurance policy, that goal is a long way off. they are only at about 3% down here. that target group has now completed the process so this is really quite small. it's not necessarily dreadful, though. because it was expected that early sign-ups would go very slowly and would ramp up later on and the very website problems you have talked about a great deal on this show and all our other shows, have certainly contributed to the slow response. maybe there will be a big surge later. but let's go back to this question of the young. on that front, this is actually more important than the total number. of this number, there's a target
of 38% that needs to be reached for the math of all this to work. you have to have 38% of the people here young and healthy and right now, if you take all the states and average it out, you are at only 21.6%. these are the numbers that the white house has to look at very closely because even if you get four million signed up or 12 million signed up, if this number does not work out, you got a problem. >> tom foreman, thanks. let's bring in our political panel. editor in chief of the hot line for national journal, josh krassar, cnn chief congressional correspondent dana bash and chief political analyst, gloria borger. these are not good numbers. math is hard, but these are not good numbers. do you think going into the midterm elections which were starting to be looked at right now, any issue will mean as much as obama care and whether it's working or not? >> no. there's no issue that's going to touch it. obviously it's the issue particularly since so far, it's not working. republicans are going to focus
on it and i think that there is a secondary issue now, which is abuse of power, which is going to be a part of their campaign litany because of the whole nuclear option thing. >> from the republicans accusing democrats. >> accusing democrats of abuse of power. what the obama care plays into is this notion of the government doesn't work. and we're right about the size of government, say the republicans, and this president is somebody who believes the government can solve all our problems and we know that's not the case and you shouldn't trust the government with your health care and these democrats can't be trusted because they're abusing their majority. >> is there any empirical evidence that obama care will hurt a candidate? we saw varied mixed results in virginia with the governor's race. how do you think it's going to affect the races and is there any evidence to prove it will go one way or the other? >> it should have a significant impact on the senate landscape which is being fought in these red conservative states. mary landrieu's poll numbers, she's under water in her
approval rating for a poll that came out today. she could possibly lose to a republican even though she's looked in very good shape a month or two ago. al franken came out for an individual mandate bill this afternoon because he looked like he was in pretty good shape in a blue state like minnesota but his poll numbers have taken a plunge. any democrat in a swing state, especially those in the red states, arkansas, louisiana, alaska, they will have to really be concerned about their political future and when they start distancing themselves a little more from the health care law. >> dana, yesterday we did the show from capitol hill and senator dan coats, republican from indiana, said that he thought the whole thing, the whole filibuster reform and all that, bringing it down from 51 votes for the president's nominees, that was all just trying to change the subject. the truth of the matter is, i don't hear anybody talking about it today. >> well, in part because the senate's gone for two weeks which i think democrats may be lucky about. but -- >> they do still have mouths. >> they have mouths and they somehow know how to find the microphone, wherever they are. but to your point, you're right,
they're not talking about it right now. we'll see what happens, the ramifications when you get to big legislation, if they actually bring up legislation, much less bills to fund the government but sort of their basic function. i think the point that he was making and you all are making about obama care is key, because as much as republicans are angry and calling it a power grab and washington run amok, they -- the biggest message that they have is that they're trying to change the subject from obama care and they want to keep the subject on obama care for the reasons you all just said. >> by the way, they want to change the subject from the shutdown because the shutdown over defunding obama care didn't exactly do well for them. so they were down, now they're up, and they want to talk about the problems that the president has had with obama care rather than this notion of defunding without replacing. that's what the democrats are going to be talking about is okay, you want to get rid of it, could you kind of tell us exactly what you want to replace it with. >> i thought that after the
election, there would be a big move potentially for immigration reform. we haven't really seen it. a few days ago, i thought that speaker boehner had basically killed it with a stake through its heart, but then he said this. >> the american people are skeptical of big comprehensive bills and frankly, they should be. the only way to make sure immigration reform works this time is to address these complicated issues one step at a time. >> that sounds more optimistic than the last comment he had made about this. it sounds like they might actually try to do something. >> seems like he was throwing an olive branch out just like the president did this week but boy, he has such a conservative caucus. you talk to any of the folks who gave him such a hard time with the government shutdown, gave him a hard time on immigration before, i just don't see the votes being there. i don't think republicans want to have this divisive fight over immigration internally when they have the health care issue. >> that's why he threw it out, because the president did throw out an olive branch.
how can a republican speaker whose party lost so big in the last election not say at least that he's trying, at least say he's trying. we know they're not going to do it this year. next year, election year, probably not. but you said we didn't see a lot of movement. we actually did see movement in the senate. >> in the senate. >> and, and look what happened. marco rubio got completely trounced by the base. and attacked by the base, because of the fact that he pushed it. >> here's where the big government argument comes in. if you want to say okay, we have to secure the border first, who's going to secure the border? government. do you trust government to do it? not so much. >> thank you so much. great sound effect. thank you so much. when we come back, he ran toward the car as jackie kennedy famously crawled on to the back of the limousine. for years, this secret service agent felt guilty for not doing more. so what ultimately gave him some peace? we'll hear directly from him. plus, one musician tries to make the world happy with a
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welcome back to "the lead." there are so many iconic images from that horrific period that began 50 years ago today with that crack of an assassin's rifle. john f. kennedy jr.'s heartwrenching salute at his father's casket. lbj being sworn in on air force one next to mrs. kennedy still wearing her blood-stained suit. then of course, this one. behind me. the suddenly tragically widowed jackie kennedy and a secret service agent scrambling to protect her. earlier this week, i had the rare honor of moderating a panel at the newseum, clint hill, who that day ran towards the target. i want you to meet him. here he is explaining to me what happened when he first heard the shots. >> i got on the back of the car by myself and on mrs. kennedy. well, i grabbed ahold of the hand hold, had my foot up on the
rear bumper platform and the driver hit the gas. when he did that, i came off and slipped, and i had to run two or three more steps before i could get back up there. in that time frame, mrs. kennedy came up on the trunk. she was trying to grab some of that material that came out of the president's head. she was trying to pull it back. she didn't even realize i was there. so i got ahold of her and put her in the back seat and when i did that, the president's body fell farther to his left with his head in her lap, and the right side of his face was up but i could see his eyes were fixed and i could see through that hole in his skull. most of that brain matter was gone in that area. so i assumed it was a fatal wound. i turned and i gave a thumbs down to the other agents to let them know how serious it was. >> it's obviously still very close to the surface for you. i'm wondering if the emotion you feel, if you forgive me for even prying into this, if the emotion
you feel is because of the tragedy of the day, because of guilt which i do not think you should feel, or because of the trauma of the event or just a combination of everything. >> i didn't really think about it too much because i was so busy for a number of years until they gave me a desk job. then i had a chance to think and that's when it really started to get to me. i had the sense that we had a responsibility to protect the president that day and we failed. there isn't any question about that. because he was dead. and i felt a sense of guilt because of all the agents working that day, i was the only one who had a chance to do anything. the way everything developed, the way all the other agents were positioned, i was the only one who had a chance to get to the car or do anything, and i couldn't get there fast enough. and it really ate at me and bothered me a great deal.
i finally just pretty much lived in my basement with a big bottle of scotch and a bunch of secrets for about six years. finally a doctor came to me and said you've got a choice to make, live or die, because you're in the dying process. so i quit all of that, started to get back in shape and by 1990, i went back to dallas. i walked the streets of dealey plaza, houston street, went up into the texas school book depository, went up to the sixth floor, looked out the window, checked all the angles, the weather, everything i could think of. i finally came to the realization that he had all the advantages that day. we didn't have any. and i did everything i could. i couldn't have done any more than i did. >> you can watch the film "the assassination of president kennedy" tonight at 10:00 p.m. on cnn. coming up next, she was a relatively unknown actress when she landed the role of a
lifetime. now critics are raving about jennifer lawrence' performance in the "hunger games" sequel. ♪ ♪ here we are, me and you ♪ on the road ♪ and we know that it goes on and on ♪ [ female announcer ] you're the boss of your life. in charge of making memories and keeping promises. ask your financial professional how lincoln financial can help you take charge of your future. ♪ ♪ oh, oh, all the way ♪ oh, oh
welcome back to "the lead." the pop culture lead now. let the games begin at the box office. "catching fire" the sequel to the "hunger games" movie opened last night. it's on pace to clobber the competition this weekend, already raking in an estimated $25 million. that's not really a surprise, given the recent trend in hollywood where movies like "the hunger games" are quenching the appetite of a very loyal audience, teenagers. >> too many dwarfs in my dining room as it is. >> vampires. arrow-wielding heroins. it seems the odds are ever in their favor at the box office.
the "hunger games" franchise launches its second film at target audiences this weekend. odds are it will be a bull's eye. but these supernatural and fantasy worlds aren't in and of themselves thought to be the recipe for success. the strategy for winning the hollywood games is to focus on y.a. books, as in young adult novels. step one, take a popular one. trilogies preferred. where teens overcome hardships. step two, cast the film with naturally smoldering young talent. step three, watch the money roll in. >> when she or he loves something, they go all in. the hunger games fans see the movie two, three, four times. they buy the dvd on the first day. they watch it online. they tell friends about it. >> need proof beyond the "hunger games" template? take a look at "harry potter."
"twilight." or nearly everything peter jackson directed. as in any plan, the challenge is in the execution so to speak. >> we're still talking about the movie business where there are more flops than hits. there have been plenty of movies that didn't work. for the sequels, when you've had one success, can't let people down or they will turn away. they have other options. >> authors' imaginations after all don't have budget constraints but making this arena for the big screen cost around $140 million. after all, hogwarts wasn't built in a day. these projects aren't just an investment of money but of time as well. from first book to final curtain call, "harry potter" took 14 years. filming "lord of the rings" lasted more than a decade. so in some cases, actors are dedicating half their lives to a single story line. as are fans. >> people who are harry potter fans, by the end you saw people who were in college who felt they had grown up with harry potter and were maybe 12 when he
was 12 and now are about 20 when he's 20. >> diehard or newbie, fan frenzy never gets old for film executives. all combined, harry, bella and others have earned movie studios more than $11 billion in their young lives. that doesn't include this weekend's bounty. so horror flicks, rom-comes, give it your best shot. for this game, victory favors the young. the first installment in the franchise earned more than $150 million in its opening weekend alone. that's the third largest opening of any movie in the u.s. in 1983, michael jackson revolutionized music videos with his mini movie for the song "thriller." 30 years later, one hip-hop star has upped the ante. the new video for the song "happy" is not only 24 hours long but its innovative nature goes far beyond watching a guy
turn into a werewolf. it's an interactive video that lets you click through to different lip-synced scenes. it took about 400 people performing the four-minute song to account for the 24 hours of nonstop happiness. the video also includes cameos from celebrities like steve carell, jimmy kimmel. you can find the song on the soundtrack for "despicable me." there are purists who appreciate a simpler time when videos came on tv and special effects meant lighting, lighting something on fire. you will be happy to know the 1986 bon jovi hit "living on a prayer" has experienced a sudden resurgence on the charts. the song returned to our pop culture lexicon after this video featuring some guy singing his heart out to the tune at a celtics game went viral thanks to the renewed interest, "living
on a prayer" is now at 25 on the billboard charts thanks to this guy. adding to the weirdness, the dancing celtics fan video has been around for four years but for some reason, it picked up steam in recent weeks. that's something to do with the celtics picking up steam. that's it for "the lead." i'm jake tapper. i turn you over to wolf blitzer in "the situation room." happening now, america's top diplomat now rushing off to geneva at the last minute. does it mean a deal on iran's nuclear program is imminent? also, the nation pauses to remember one of its darkest days. exactly 50 years after the assassination of president john f. kennedy. plus, the controversy over using cell phones on airplanes. a proposed rule change sparking furious debate. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." we're following potentially ma