About the Show

Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

On the Next Episode of The Lead

Journalists Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward on the death of legendary news editor Ben Bradlee.

Journalists Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward on the death of legendary news editor Ben Bradlee.

national lead

October 8th, 2013
11:29 PM ET

Sen. Johnson: Americans need to know the truth about nation's spending

Eight days into the government shutdown, and there is still no compromise, or viable political solution from Washington. But one thing the political parties have produced is plenty of mean-spirited rhetoric.

The latest ad from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, slapped together a personal dig against House Speaker John Boehner, calling him "chicken," and "spineless."

The argument from President Barack Obama, and other lawmakers, is that passing a spending bill and raising the debt ceiling are not crazy things for Congress to do.

"He's also saying do all those things, and I'll sit down and negotiate seriously with you, which he's never done," said Senator Ron Johnson, R-Wisconsin.
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national lead

October 8th, 2013
11:15 PM ET

Tea party-backed senator: Shutting down the government 'wasn't the best strategy'

Tea party-supported Senator Ron Johnson, R-Wisconsin, is staunchly against Obamacare. But he said tying the defunding or delay of Obamacare to the funding of the government, which effectively led to the government shutdown, may not have been the best approach.

"It probably wasn't the best strategy to employ," said Johnson.

Republicans made an argument on Obamacare, and promised the country something they actually could not deliver – defunding the president's signature legislation.

"From my standpoint, I didn't think defunding Obamacare was achievable," said Johnson, who is a member of the Senate Budget Committee. "In order to defund Obamacare you needed five Democrat senators to switch their positions, and they haven't done that."
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sports lead

October 8th, 2013
06:54 PM ET

Oneida Indian Nation on NFL's Washington Redskins: The 'R word' is a racial slur

There is growing support to change the name of NFL sports team the Washington Redskins.

"I've got to say if I were the owner of that team, and I knew that there was a name of my team, even if it had a storied history, that was offending a sizable group of people, I would think about changing it," President Barack Obama said in an interview with the Associated Press Saturday.

The president's statement "certainly adds momentum to this issue, and is the first sitting president to take on that issue. I think it's certainly something that is significant and historic," said Ray Halbritter, Oneida Indian Nation representative and vocal leader against the Redskins name.

But team owner Dan Snyder has said repeatedly that he will never change the name, and according to The Washington Post's Roger Goodell, Snyder is under no pressure to do so.

"History is littered with people who have vowed never to change something – slavery, immigration, women's rights," said Halbritter. "One thing that's really great about this country is when many people speak out, change can happen."
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money lead

October 8th, 2013
06:19 PM ET

Experts: Don't mess with the debt limit

If lawmakers do not vote to raise the debt ceiling in less than ten days, the U.S. will run out of cash to pay its bills, including interest it already owes debt holders. But some Republicans are arguing that the October 17 deadline to raise the debt ceiling is exaggerated.

Economists disagree.
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politics lead

October 8th, 2013
05:59 PM ET

Analysis: Boehner is looking for an escape hatch

House Speaker John Boehner gave something of a history lesson Tuesday, saying it is not unusual for debt limit votes to be accompanied by legislation.

"There's going to be a negotiation here," Boehner said. "We can't raise the debt ceiling without doing something about what's driving it to borrow more money and live beyond our means."

"A month ago, this all started with Ted Cruz, and 30 or 40 tea party House members saying we are going to shut down the government and not raise the debt ceiling unless they repeal Obamacare. And all of a sudden they Speaker is talking about run away spending and other budgets – what is it exactly they're doing?" said CNN political contributor and Democratic strategist Hilary Rosen.
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