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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES

Top Republican Senator Calls For New Direction in Iraq; Alleged Killer of Pregnant Mom Appears in Court

Aired June 25, 2007 - 22:00   ET

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


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening, everyone.
There is breaking news tonight: a stunning defection by a top Republican senator. Richard Lugar is calling for a major change of course in Iraq. He says the so-called surge is destined to fail, this as the administration is clearly hoping to buy more time for its escalation. Tonight, we're "Keeping Them Honest."

We're also following the latest on the murder of Jessie Davis. Bond was set today at $5 million for the policeman charged with killing her and her unborn baby girl. That is Bobby Cutts Jr., the man we saw in court today. The search for Davis ended in the worst possible way. This weekend, her body was found in a park -- the latest just ahead.

Also, the outcry over Vice President Dick Cheney's claim that he's not really part of the executive branch. OK. It kind of raises the question, why, then, did he claim executive privilege in the legal battle over his energy policy task force a while back? A constitutional battle is heating up tonight.

But we begin right now with breaking news, a big blow to the president and his Iraq strategy: Just a few hours ago, Richard Lugar, the top Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, called for a new direction in Iraq, including the removal of U.S. troops.

His words were blunt, his message clear.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. RICHARD LUGAR (R), INDIANA: In my judgment, the costs and risks continuing down the current path outweigh the potential benefits that might be achieved. Persisting indefinitely with the surge strategy will delay policy adjustments that have a better chance of protecting our vital interests over the long term.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: So, here's why those words are so surprising. It's a complete 180 for Senator Lugar. He's supported the president's Iraq policy and the escalation of troops up until tonight. Now, the speech could signal a sea change in the political debate on Iraq.

CNN's Dana Bash joins me now from Washington.

Dana, is Lugar calling for troops to come home? DANA BASH, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, in a way, he's calling for some troops to come home. But, in general, he's saying that troops should essentially be redeployed elsewhere in the Middle East.

But, big picture, this really, Anderson, is a defining moment in the Iraq political debate, because Senator Richard Lugar is one of the most respected, most influential Republican votes -- voices in Congress when it comes to foreign policy. Until now, he's been pretty muted in his public criticism of the president's strategy in Iraq.

And, tonight, what he declared is that the president's strategy to send more troops to Iraq isn't working and must being changed now. And he says, waiting until September to reassess, as the White House has requested, is a mistake, because, he said, the political clock will run out and the debate will deteriorate too much by then.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LUGAR: A course change should happen now, while there is still some possibility of constructing a sustainable bipartisan strategy in Iraq. If the president waits until the presidential election campaign is in full swing, the intensity of confrontation on Iraq is likely to limit the United States' options.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BASH: Now, here's why this is so significant, because Democrats will now say: If you don't believe us when we say the president's Iraq strategy is off the rails, then listen to this thoughtful red- state Republican.

And, for wavering Republicans, which there are many, this gives them political cover to come out in a more robust way and say that they are perhaps against the war.

Other Republicans to date that have done that have been moderates or Republican mavericks. Senator Lugar has a lot of stature and is doing now what many thought, Anderson, someone like him or someone of his ilk would wait until September to do.

And we're told, Anderson, that this is something that Senator Lugar told the president he thought in terms of the policy in a private meeting back in January. That was almost six months ago, but he waited until now to make this claim public that he really wants to change strategy now in Iraq.

COOPER: He was also blasted recently in one of his state's newspapers for basically being silent on Iraq. Clearly, I mean, this is really a big deal.

BASH: It is a big deal. And you're right. It was an editorial in his home state newspaper, saying: Wait a minute. You are the ranking Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and, again, one of the most influential voices on matter like this. So, why are you not saying anything publicly? What his -- an aide I talked to tonight said is that this is something that he's been thinking about doing for some time, for months, really, that this speech, which was very lengthy -- it took a long time just to get the 50 minutes or so of floor time to do it -- took -- took some time to even write. And it's something, if you go through it and read it, it's pretty expansive.

But the bottom line, he is saying, politically, which is what makes it so important, is that the president's strategy in Iraq, sending more troops there, simply is not working; don't wait until September; change the strategy right now.

BASH: Dana Bash, thanks for the reporting.

"Keeping Them Honest" now, Senator Lugar's switch comes at a time when this administration, the White House, clearly seems to be trying to backpedal from the benchmarks it widely touted to win support of the so-called surge in U.S. troops.

Remember, September, that was the month. September, that was supposed to be the deadline for showing progress. We heard it from the president, General Petraeus, and others. Now the message seems to be morphing. The date no longer so certain, at least from the administration.

Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, JANUARY 12, 2007)

ROBERT GATES, SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: I don't think anybody has a definite idea about how long a surge would last. I think, for most of us, in our minds, we're thinking of it as a matter of months, not 18 months or two years.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, APRIL 25, 2007)

MAJOR GENERAL WILLIAM CALDWELL, U.S. ARMY SPOKESMAN, COALITION FORCES IN IRAQ: As General Petraeus has said, some time in late August, early September, he plans to come back and -- and talk to the political leadership in Washington, and give them his honest assessment as to what's possible here in Iraq.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, JUNE 13, 2007)

TONY SNOW, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: What I would suggest is, rather than -- it's sort of a pivotal moment. It's a -- it's the first opportunity to be able to take a look at what happens when you have you got it up and running fully for a period months.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, JUNE 16, 2007) GATES: I think we will be some trends and be able to point in some directions by September. The full impact of the surge is really just beginning to be felt.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: So, it sounds like they are changing the tune.

Just a week ago, on the Sunday talk show circuit, General David Petraeus said that September would provide a snapshot -- that's the word he used, a snapshot -- of the situation in Iraq and the success of the surge, a Polaroid, not a portrait, in other words.

With those words in mind, I'm joined now by former presidential adviser David Gergen in Boston and CNN's Michael Ware, "Keeping Them Honest."

Michael, first of all, just this timeline. September clearly was the date, months and months ago, many -- we were hearing on this side of the Atlantic about when we would know. What are you hearing on the ground there from military officials? Do they already feel like they know how it's going?

MICHAEL WARE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: No.

In fact, indeed, Anderson, it's quite the opposite. I mean, here on the ground, since the beginning of this -- of the announcement of the surge, since the first deployment of the troops, since General Petraeus and his top-ranking commanders began dealing with the journalists, with the media on the issue of the surge, they have been downplaying the notion of September.

They have been highlighting how illusory September really is. I mean, remember, bear in mind the surge troops have only now just arrived, within the last couple of weeks. The surge troops have only now just begun their first massive operation, indeed, the largest operation involving U.S. forces since the invasion itself.

So, in many regards, the surge has only now just begun. So, they have been saying from the beginning, you have got to wait for the troops to get there. You have got to give them time to act. And then we're going to sit back and wait for the consequences to flow. So, they have been saying, September, best guess, all we will be able to say is if the strategy is on track or not, not whether it's worked or not.

So, basically, Dave -- General Petraeus is going to have so many different pieces of data, so many different opinions flying into him, he's just going to be on gut instinct, quite frankly, come September.

COOPER: David Gergen, does it seem to you as if this administration, though, is trying to backpedal on this September date?

DAVID GERGEN, FORMER PRESIDENTIAL ADVISER: Sure. They have been trying to downplay its significance to buy themselves more time. The snapshot idea, you know, we will give you a snapshot and a part of a moving picture is obviously intended to give them more time, until the spring, if they can get that.

But the speech by Senator Lugar tonight is a dramatic break with the administration. Dick Lugar has been a pillar of the foreign policy establishment in this country now for a couple of decades, one of the most respected members on either side of the aisle. His voice carries enormous weight. And what he's basically saying, Anderson, it's not a question just of whether the surge may work in the short term or not.

He's basically saying, given the political fragmentation in Iraq, given the fact that the surge will take a long time, regardless, and given the fact that the politics in this country prevent us for staying for the long haul, we have to face up to the reality that, if we hang in there, it's going to diminish us as a world power on all sorts of other fronts. It's really going to diminish our national security, so that we have to change course in order to preserve our strength as a great power.

He's not saying simply -- this is not simply about the surge. It's an agonizing speech, which he's obviously been thinking about a long time, that breaks dramatically with where the administration is. It's -- it has the same kind of weight as the Iraq Study Group, in the sense it comes from such a person of stature that it really begins to -- it does change the discourse.

COOPER: Michael, this September benchmark was designed to give the Iraqis cover for reconciling political differences. The whole idea of this so-called surge, or escalation, which is basically what it is, was to improve the security situation, so there could be political progress.

Have they made any political progress at this point?

WARE: No.

We know that they have stalled. And, to be honest, here on the ground, there's absolutely no real expectation that this so-called Maliki government, because, indeed, it really isn't a government -- it's just a patchwork of opposing militias, almost none of whom are loyal to Prime Minister Maliki -- were ever going to meet these benchmarks.

Even if Prime Minister Maliki sincerely wants reconciliation or to achieve political gains on any of the other key fronts, he honestly doesn't have the power to deliver. So, the concept that the surge would buy him time, yes, that's certainly the way it was sold. But, honestly, in realpolitik, there's very little chance of that.

And the surge is one thing in achieving whatever goals it is set out to achieve. Whether America can win the war overall is a totally different question.

As a very senior officer said to me just the other day, it's time for America to start dumbing down its notion of success in Iraq, because the picture people have back home just simply is not going to achieve. Nonetheless, pulling out is going to be such a disservice to U.S. foreign policy and national interests for generations to come, it's simply not an option.

COOPER: And, David, for this administration, there is no plan B.

GERGEN: That's exactly right.

And when you look at Senator Lugar's speech, he's not saying, let's pull out. He's saying, let's downside. And that's moving toward, in effect, a plan B. And you can talk to people privately in the administration -- I have in the last -- in recent days -- there are serious people inside who are beginning to think, yes, we do have to think through a plan B.

What would it look like? Well, we might -- if we downsize to, say, 75,000 troops, we might put one large group, one contingent in the north, to make sure the north doesn't erupt, a Kurdish area, another in the south. And Baghdad would probably be -- you know, we would be -- we would get off the streets of Baghdad, and it would probably become another Beirut, to the extent that it already isn't there. Michael knows that so well.

But I -- I -- I think all the signs now point even more heavily tonight that the military -- our U.S. military on the ground does -- do not think that they can come back and report in September that this has been an astonishing success. This was all along was a Hail Mary pass. And it's -- we are -- and what Senator Lugar is saying is, let's wake up to reality and get ready for that. Let's not get into a precipitous withdrawal come September, October.

COOPER: A big development tonight.

David Gergen, appreciate it. Michael Ware, as well, thank you very much, guys.

Another battle for the White House tonight -- the executive branch of government, now, you would think that would include more than just the president. That's what we all learned in history books, at least the vice president's office, not to mention all the other top officials working in and around the White House.

But hang on. Vice President Dick Cheney says, no, he should not be included in the executive branch, at least not when it comes to disclosing how many documents the government classifies to keep them out of the public eye.

This is the same Vice President Cheney who claimed executive privilege to void having to tell Americans who participated in his energy policy task force. A contradiction?

Well, it's creating a big uproar on the Hill tonight, and the White House is scrambling to explain the vice president's claim.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

QUESTION: Can we come back to Vice President Cheney again...

DANA PERINO, WHITE HOUSE DEPUTY PRESS SECRETARY: Sure. QUESTION: ... and the argument that he's not part of the executive branch? Does the president believe he's part of the executive branch?

PERINO: Look, I think that that is an interesting constitutional question. I will see if can I get more from the vice president's office to see if they -- how they connected the two.

ED HENRY, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: So, also, though, you mentioned a moment ago that the vice president gets his paycheck from the Senate.

PERINO: Yes.

HENRY: Does the White House then also believe he should get funding for the vice president's office from the legislative branch, instead of from the executive branch?

PERINO: I don't know.

Look, I'm not a legal scholar. And there's plenty of them that you can find in Washington, D.C.

Look, you can try to call his office and try to get more information.

I would ask you to call over at the Justice Department.

I don't know why he made the arguments that he did, but I...

QUESTION: Apparently it wasn't so clear to them.

PERINO: It might not have been clear to them.

QUESTION: it's a little surreal -- I mean, how is it possible that...

(CROSSTALK)

PERINO: You're telling me.

QUESTION: Well...

(LAUGHTER)

QUESTION: ... that you can't give an opinion about whether the vice president is part of the executive branch or not?

PERINO: Look, all I know is that...

QUESTION: It's a little bit like somebody saying, "I don't know if this is my wife or not."

(LAUGHTER)

PERINO: I think it's a little bit more complicated than that. (END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: Well, clearly a difficult day for the White House, trying to explain themselves.

Joining me now is CNN White House correspondent Ed Henry.

We just heard the White House basically struggling to explain the vice president's decision. The briefing was bizarre. We just saw you there.

What is going on here?

HENRY: Well, I think what's really going on is that the vice president doesn't want any scrutiny. We have known that for a long time. He doesn't want the press prying around. He doesn't want the Congress prying around.

And, so, he crafted this legal argument that, on its face, is absurd; let's face it. I mean, Republicans privately admit that. But what's going on is that the White House, rather than saying, you know what, that doesn't really make sense, let's correct that, let's move forward, let's find a different way, instead, they don't like to admit mistakes.

They dig in deeper and deeper. And we have seen it happen on Iraq, as you have been talking about for the last 10 minutes. We have seen it on Alberto Gonzales, as well. And rather than saying, you know what? There was a mistake made, let's move on, they dig in deeper and deeper -- Anderson.

COOPER: Is the vice president basically just trying to buy time, though?

HENRY: He is trying to buy time, mostly from this Congress, that, all of a sudden, is sending subpoenas the way of the White House.

And -- and the vice president realizes that, if he starts giving some information here, he's going to have to start giving even more information down the road.

But what's really interesting is that, today, the president invited some presidential scholars, high school students to the White House. And, before this meeting, CNN has learned, these high school students approached the president and handed him a letter signed by 50 of these high school students, saying, we want you to make sure that torture is not going on, to make sure that detainees are being treated properly.

And we're told that the president said: I can assure you that detainees are not being tortured. We respect human rights.

But it was quite a moment that high school students were moved to confront the president face to face. And, when you read this four-part series in "The Washington Post" day after day, very senior people, like Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice, were afraid to stand up to Vice President Cheney over the last few years, and say, wait a second, this is not the right strategy. But, yet, high school students are not afraid to do that -- Anderson.

COOPER: Remarkable developments. Ed Henry, appreciate it. Thanks.

HENRY: Thank you.

COOPER: Up next: the murder case that is grabbing the headlines now in the hands of a judge.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER (voice-over): Showdown in court between the cop accused of killing his ex-girlfriend and unborn child and the victim's mother, who wants justice.

PATTY PORTER, MOTHER OF JESSIE DAVIS: Absolutely, I wanted him to see me.

QUESTION: And did he look at you?

P. PORTER: Yes, he did.

COOPER: Tonight: new details on the murder of Jessie Davis and her baby.

(SENATOR EDWARD KENNEDY SINGING)

Plus: a singing senator -- tonight, raw music in "Raw Politics." We will explain when 360 continues.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

P. PORTER: Blake is doing as well as could be expected for a 2- and-a-half-year-old whose mom is not coming home.

QUESTION: Does he understand that?

P. PORTER: No. We -- we tell him that his mom's with Jesus in heaven. And he still asks for her. And he calls her. He has a brief -- an old cell phone, and he calls her and talks to her.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: A very difficult day for Patricia Porter, the mother of Jessie Davis.

The weekend began with hope that Jessie and her unborn child, Chloe, would be found alive. Tonight, we know that both are dead. Their remains were buried in a shallow grave.

We also know Davis' ex-boyfriend, a married cop, is charged with their murders. And he's not the only one under arrest.

There are new developments in the case, new details of the crime, the evidence, and a rumored confession, all as the victim's family stares down the alleged killer in court.

CNN's Jason Carroll has the latest.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The State of Ohio vs. Bobby Lee Cutts Jr.

JASON CARROLL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Bobby Cutts Jr. made his first appearance in court since being charged with murdering his former girlfriend, Jessie Davis, and her unborn child. She had been nine months pregnant.

Jessie Davis' mother stood throughout the hearing and looked Cutts straight in the eye. She wanted to make sure he knew she was there.

PATTY PORTER, MOTHER OF JESSIE DAVIS: I believe my whole life has prepared me for this moment. And I'm not sitting down when I see Bobby Cutts.

QUESTION: Patty, what was going through your mind when he walked into the courtroom?

P. PORTER: I -- I can't really verbalize the things that were going through my mind. But I wanted to make sure that he knew that I was there.

CARROLL: A friend of Cutts, Myisha Ferrell, was charged with obstruction of justice. Davis' mother stood also throughout Ferrell's appearance and looked her in the eye. Cutts and Ferrell were arrested this weekend, after investigators found Davis' body in a park. A source close to the investigation tells CNN it was Cutts who led investigators to Davis' body.

Cutts says he's innocent. His attorney refused to comment on rumors that Cutts confessed.

BRADLEY IAMS, ATTORNEY FOR BOBBY CUTTS: I'm not going to talk about the evidence.

CARROLL: Investigators say Ferrell is a high school friend of Cutts and is unemployed. Cutts' attorney declined to say whether they have been romantically involved. Authorities searched her home, but still have not revealed what they found.

Davis' mother said her daughter did not know Ferrell. She also says Cutts is not the man she thought she knew.

P. PORTER: We knew Bobby Cutts up to a certain day in this. And, from that day on, we did not know him at all.

CARROLL: The Davises say they came to court seeking not vengeance, but justice for their daughter, who they say has been portrayed unfairly.

P. PORTER: The only way I can -- can -- can see this is if you would go to a trash yard, and you would see garbage and rubbish and trash. And then you look around and you see this little pink cashmere sweater on top of it, and you go, what is that doing there? People who know her know what a wonderful person that she was.

CARROLL (on camera): Bail for Ferrell set at half-a-million dollars, for Cutts, $5 million. Both are expected in court next week, but autopsy results, which could reveal how Jessie Davis was killed, not expected for weeks.

Jason Carroll, CNN, Canton, Ohio.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Just a few days ago, Bobby Cutts Jr., of course, was free, and he was talking. Some of what he said is on tape, and we have it. It was given during a lengthy interview with Todd Porter, a reporter for "The Canton Repository."

I spoke with Todd Porter earlier.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Todd, you conducted the only interview that Bobby Cutts Jr. has done. I want to listen to some of what he told you. Let's play that.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

TODD PORTER, "CANTON REPOSITORY": Do you believe Jessie will be found alive?

BOBBY CUTTS JR., DEFENDANT: Hopefully, she will be found alive.

T. PORTER: Bobby, did you have anything to do at all with the disappearance of Jessie?

CUTTS: No, I didn't.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

COOPER: What did he tell you about what happened? What was his story then?

T. PORTER: Well, he didn't really -- he didn't at all expand on those answers at all. Talking about a timeline or an alibi were questions that were off limits.

COOPER: What do we know as fact, in terms of what he has told authorities? Do we know anything? T. PORTER: We don't know anything about what he has told authorities, other than -- what we know as fact is, he's charged with two counts of murder, and a high school friend of his is charged with obstructing justice right now.

I can tell you, within the last hour-and-a-half, CantonRep.com, what we're reporting is, on Thursday morning, the day that Jessie Davis is to have -- alleged to have gone missing and murdered in her home, according to police documents, Mr. Cutts was supposed to meet with a local high school football coach very close to his house.

That meeting was supposed to take place at 9:00 a.m. He showed up 90 minutes late. He was meeting about perhaps getting a promotion from an eighth grade coaching job to a freshmen coaching job. And I'm told by a source close to Mr. Cutts that he never would have missed that meeting or been late for that meeting, because coaching football was something that he adored. It was something that was very important to him.

And, as a matter of fact, Anderson, in that interview that I conducted with him, he spoke about coaching football and how much that meant to him. He did -- ultimately did not get the job, because he showed up late, and he -- something just wasn't right about him, what I'm told by school officials there.

COOPER: A source close to the investigation has told CNN that Cutts helped police find Davis' body. Have you heard that?

T. PORTER: I have heard that as well. That's -- it's unconfirmed at this point, but it does make sense, because the search was going on in Stark County on Saturday. The search was called off. And well away from the search, about 40 miles away from the search, is where Jessie Davis' body was found.

COOPER: I want to play just another excerpt from your interview with Cutts. This one is about his personal life. Let's listen.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

T. PORTER: Do you understand why people or how people are viewing and portraying you? You're a married man who has fathered one child and expecting a second with another woman. Do you understand, you know, where people are coming from with all that?

CUTTS: I mean, I understand that. But everyone has problems. And, like, me and my wife, I mean, we're still married, but we weren't together. And things happened when we weren't together. So...

(END AUDIO CLIP)

COOPER: Cutts was obviously married, as he talks about. He was involved with Jessie Davis.

And, then, this Myisha Ferrell, who was in court today, what do we know about their relationship? T. PORTER: The only thing I know about their relationship is, they were high school friends. She doesn't typically fit the profile for, you know, a woman that -- that Mr. Cutts dated.

COOPER: So, as far -- all we know is that they were high school friends. But, clearly, authorities believe she -- she played some role in what transpired?

T. PORTER: Well, she's charged with obstructing justice. And, right now, what that means is, she's impeded their investigation in some fashion, in -- as it relates to being forthcoming with information or truthfulness.

COOPER: Why do you think he talked to you? I mean, why did he do an interview with you?

T. PORTER: Well, I knew Mr. Cutts. I first met him about three- and-a-half years ago, when he played for a local minor league indoor football team. And did I a story on him about the local police officer who worked the midnight shift who was playing football on his off days for the local minor league football team, the indoor football team, for about $200 a game.

COOPER: So, he clearly knew you, perhaps felt comfortable with you. Did -- in that interview, did you feel he was trying to convince you or convince listeners of something?

T. PORTER: I don't know if he was trying to convince me or listeners. It would really be speculation on my -- and conjecture on my part to try and read, you know, what was in his mind for doing the interview.

I can tell you that, during the interview, he looked like a man who was emotionally drained and physically tired.

COOPER: Todd porter, you have been all over this. We appreciate it. And thanks for talking with us.

T. PORTER: Anderson, thank you for having me.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Well, we came across some disturbing statistics for tonight's "Raw Data."

According to a 2005 report by "The American Journal of Public Health," murder is one of the leading causes of death for pregnant women. From 1991 to 1999, 617 pregnant women were murdered in America. That accounts for 31 percent of all pregnancy deaths during the time period. Fifty-six percent of the victims were shot to death.

Now here's Kiran Chetry with what's coming up tomorrow on "AMERICAN MORNING."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) KIRAN CHETRY, CO-HOST, "AMERICAN MORNING": Anderson, doctors aren't yet ready to call it an addiction like alcoholism, but how do you know if you or your kids are spending a dangerous amount of time playing video games? How much is too much, or does it depend on what kind of game you're playing?

Well, we have the bottom line for you tomorrow on "AMERICAN MORNING," beginning at 6:00 a.m. Eastern -- Anderson, back to you.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: Well, still to come: New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg says he's not running for president, but, tonight, we know what kind of impact he could have if he entered the race -- a new poll in "Raw Politics."

Plus, Tammy Duckworth, a war hero who lost both her legs in Iraq, now facing a new battle, because her husband is heading off to war -- the story when 360 continues.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LEO SAYER, SINGER (singing): You make me feel like dancing. I want to dance the night away

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: Ah, yes. Bringing back memories of rainbow suspenders and "Happy Days" lunchboxes. That is the 1970s AM classic, "You Make Me Feel Like Dancing".

Joy in Chicago, one of our viewers, thought it would be a great theme for 360's campaign coverage, even though, Joy, we made it clear in the rules that music from Leo Sayer, Journey or Sheena Easton were not allowed. Although I think I did say Leo Sayer was maybe all right (ph), so we'll let this slide.

We have gotten a ton of response from viewers suggesting different campaign songs. You can just go to CNN.com/360. Hit us with your best shot, so to speak.

As for our political coverage, we have the latest tonight on the race, a big court ruling, even a little singing. CNN's Tom Foreman has the "Raw Politics".

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, with summer just starting out, no one is hotter in the presidential decathlon than the guy who is pole vaulting. He's still not in the race, but New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg is rocketing upward.

Our latest CNN numbers, hot off the griddle, show Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Rudy Giuliani pretty much even, but in a three-way race, an independent Bloomberg polls a hefty 17 percent.

The "Raw Politics" perspective, that's about what Ross Perot got, and almost half of America doesn't even know who Bloomberg is, yet.

Mitt Romney knows where the money is: in his back pocket. He's leading the dollar chase for Republicans but admits for the second time he's going to give money to his own campaign.

MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It is a nightmare. It is a nightmare.

FOREMAN: Romney says he's just got to do it to get his name out there, even as he comes under blistering attacks for being a flip- flopper on issues. But he's got a personal fortune of at least $190 million, so the check is probably good.

Some quick hits. Campaign finance reform? Ha! Under the steering of John McCain, Congress passed a law to restrict commercials by special interest groups who want to affect the election, but now the Supreme Court says can't do it. Cuts into free speech. Expect a barrage of such ads as a result.

Free speech at a gay pride parade in San Francisco. Elizabeth Edwards says she's fine with gay marriage. Her husband John, however, says he's against it.

And shine up the Grammy for best foreign language recording. The big man from Massachusetts, Senator Ted Kennedy, on Spanish radio.

SEN. EDWARD KENNEDY (D), MASSACHUSETTS: (singing in Spanish)

FOREMAN: OK. One more item. The annual congressional baseball game is kicking off summer. Here's the Democrats against the Republicans and, as a courtesy, both sides say they'll look the other way when bases are stolen -- Anderson.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Tom, thanks.

More on Iraq from Erica Hill. She joins us with the "360 Bulletin" and some of the other stories we're following -- Erica.

ERICA HILL, HEADLINE NEWS ANCHOR: Anderson, a suicide bomb attack at a busy Baghdad hotel has killed at least 12 people. Most of the victims are Sunni and Shiite tribal leaders. They were at the Mansour Hotel for talks on Iraqi reconciliation.

Near Lake Tahoe, California, fire crews beefing up their air and ground assault against a huge wildfire. The blaze has already scorched 2,400 acres, destroyed at least 240 homes and other buildings. Investigators are trying to figure out if it is arson or if the fire was accidentally set.

And here's what you've been waiting breathlessly for, Anderson. Your favorite jailbird -- stress on the bird there -- could be flying free as early as overnight tonight.

That's right. She who must not be named says she's learned her lesson. She's going to change her ways. We're going to find out exactly what that means Wednesday night when she is scheduled to give her first post-jail TV interview to our own Larry King. It happens Wednesday, of course, right here on CNN at 9 Eastern. I know you're going to tune in right?

COOPER: I'm going to tune in, because I follow it. So I'll certainly be watching it. And no money was exchanged.

HILL: That's right. Because we don't pay for interviews.

COOPER: That's right. Those other guys were going to pay, like it was first $100,000 and then it went up to a million.

HILL: A million? I mean, that would almost make you want to go to jail. But not totally, just almost.

COOPER: Yes.

HILL: Yes. How about we move on to "What Were They Thinking?" What do you think?

COOPER: How about that?

HILL: OK. Great idea.

So anyway, I've been asking that question about this next story since the first time I read it. The guy who is suing for his pants, wanting $54 million. He cut it down to only a couple of million, suing the dry cleaners who he claims lost his pants.

Well, that Washington, D.C., judge who filed the lawsuit today, whatever he was thinking, probably thinking of a little something else tonight after a judge threw the lawsuit out today, ordered him to pay the dry cleaners' court costs.

But get this: that's only going to amount to about $1,000. Their legal bills, though, $100,000. They're still going to try to get him to pay their attorney fees.

But how about that bill? Talk about taking the cleaners to the cleaners.

COOPER: Well, you know, I'm glad this story is over, because then no more puns. No more, like, you know, cheesy anchor person puns. Like they got taken to the cleaners. They got...

HILL: We got it all buttoned up today.

COOPER: I didn't think of that one.

HILL: Well.

COOPER: He sued the pants off you. HILL: Oh, he's on fire tonight, that Cooper.

COOPER: That's right.

HILL: All right.

COOPER: Stay classy, San Diego. See you.

Got to love Ron Burgundy.

Don't miss the day's headlines in "Raw Politics" with the new 360 daily podcast. You don't need no stinking iPod. You can watch it on your computer: CNN.com/AC360podcast. Did you get that? Or get it from the iTunes podcast store, where it's a top download.

Next, a war hero's new CNN worry. She lost both her legs in Iraq, and now her husband is heading to the war zone.

Also, these stories.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER (voice-over): A manmade environmental crisis.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is the worst erosion you'll see anywhere on the planet.

COOPER: One of the world's most spectacular islands vanishing from a "Planet in Peril" when 360 continues.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: Tammy Duckworth, you might remember, a double amputee from the Iraq war. Her helicopter was shot down in 2004, and she lost both her legs. Later, she ran for Congress, losing by less than 3 percent of the vote.

Well, now Duckworth faces another loss. Her husband is heading to the war zone in just days. We were there when she said good-bye. Here's 360 M.D. Sanjay Gupta.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The farewell parade playing out in small towns across America. Young men and women marching off to war.

In Delvin, Illinois, Iraq war veteran Tammy Duckworth watches the troops go by. She lost both legs in Iraq and now worries she may lose something even more precious: her husband, Bryan Bowlsbey.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're moving out.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're moving out.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're moving out. GUPTA: Today he's the one heading to the danger zone.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They're coming right by us.

GUPTA: In November 2004 Tammy's tour in Iraq came to a tragic end.

TAMMY DUCKWORTH, DISABLED IRAQ WAR VETERAN: I just hear the tap, tap, tap, and I remember a big orange fireball in my face.

GUPTA: Her helicopter had been hit by a rocket-propelled grenade.

DUCKWORTH: I don't remember my physical feelings, other than absolute frustration that the pedals of the aircraft were not responding to me pushing on them.

GUPTA (on camera): The pedals weren't responding. Why? You know now.

DUCKWORTH: Yes. I didn't have any legs.

GUPTA (voice-over): But tragedy brought a new sense of purpose.

DUCKWORTH: My name is Tammy Duckworth, and I'm here today to fight for my country.

GUPTA: She ran for Congress.

DUCKWORTH: The policy-makers have failed us. We should focus our military resources on pursuing the terrorists who attacked our country and on capturing Osama bin Laden. Instead, President Bush and his top advisors decided to invade Iraq.

GUPTA: She fell less than 5,000 votes short of a win, her husband Bryan by her side. And she conceded the tight election.

DUCKWORTH: It's OK. We put up a tough fight, folks.

GUPTA: On this day a loss is more personal.

DUCKWORTH: I'm going to miss you.

BRYAN BOWLSBEY, TAMMY DUCKWORTH'S HUSBAND: I'll going to miss you, too, babe.

GUPTA (on camera): You just had this thing happen, this awful thing happen to you over there. You must worry that something like this might happen to him.

DUCKWORTH: I am worried. I am worried and, you know, we're planning for him not making it home.

GUPTA: You planned for that?

DUCKWORTH: We're planning for him being killed. He's going to be doing one of the most dangerous things you can do, which is running convoys.

GUPTA: You're planning for your husband to be killed?

DUCKWORTH: Yes, and then that's the worst case. And then we'll pray that he doesn't get hurt and he gets to come home.

GUPTA (voice-over): Brian is torn between caring for his disabled wife at home and serving his country overseas. The weight of his emotion clear. When we asked him if he ever considered staying back with Tammy.

BOWLSBEY: I won't say that it never crossed my mind, but I just -- I can't. It's just not -- I mean, there would be -- no. That's just not -- not what we do, so -- when I look left and right at the -- at everybody else in the battalion formation with me, they're all needed here.

GUPTA: Bryan has fought 19 years in the Army National Guard but has never deployed until now.

BOWLSBEY: It was unexpected that it would happen this year is the only -- the only wildcard in the whole thing. Kind of makes you -- OK, I thought I had an extra year to get the house ready.

GUPTA: He spent the last few months preparing their home so Tammy can be more self-sufficient.

BOWLSBEY: But on this day, Bryan must leave his wife behind.

DUCKWORTH: I'm just going to miss him. I'm just going to miss, you know, my best friend. But he's under orders to come home. I'm the household commander at this point, and he's under orders to come home. So he'd be disobeying a direct order, and I do outrank him by a few months, so...

GUPTA: Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN, Washington.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Well, ahead on 360, a place unlike any other on earth. So many animals you probably haven't seen before, and they are very much in trouble. We'll take you there in our "Planet in Peril" series, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Madagascar is the fourth largest island in the world with a wildlife and a landscape unlike anything else on earth. But one day, however, much of it may exist only in memories in history books. That's because the forests and the animals are under threat from human consumption. We're going to show it to you tonight.

Our "Planet in Peril" series continues with wildlife biologist Jeff Corwin's bird's eye view of an island on the edge.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) JEFF CORWIN, WILDLIFE BIOLOGIST (voice-over): From the air, it becomes very clear that humanity has had a devastating impact on the biological wonders unique to Madagascar.

(on camera) Unfortunately, Madagascar is disappearing. Today, in the 21st Century, less than 10 percent of the original pristine habitat that remains to support all this life. Again, 90 plus percent of what lives here is only found in Madagascar, and it is quickly disappearing.

It is one of the finest -- and that's a profound way to put it -- way of illustrating how our planet is in peril.

(voice-over) What was once a lush rainforest teeming with wildlife is now just a barren landscape.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is all -- look at this stuff.

CORWIN: The primary cause, unsustainable agriculture.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Getting very, very short-term slash and burn agriculture. You cut down a forest, you burn it. You get crops for two or three years, and then you move to the next patch of forest.

CORWIN: But not only are these forests key to the survival of wildlife, they also provide stability for the landscape.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is the worst erosion you'll see anywhere on the planet.

CORWIN: Without these forests, the soil just literally melts away, not only making it useless for agriculture but uninhabitable for human beings, as well.

(on camera) You can see the massive flow of fill to this river. It is literally like a coffee-colored vein of death, as the life that was once locked up within this forest is washed away into oblivion.

(voice-over) But despite this environmental catastrophe, Madagascar is far from a lost cause.

UNIDENTIIED MALE: You may think that in a country that's lost 90 percent of its original natural vegetation, where all that remains is packed into an area about twice about the size of the state of New Jersey.

And yet every time one of our rapid assessment program expeditions goes out, we find literally dozens of those species, everything from insects all the way up to new species of primates.

CORWIN: Conservationists and research biologists are just scratching the surface of trying to understand the diverse wildlife that exists here. In fact, in just the past 13 years, they have discovered nearly 50 new species of Madagascar's endemic primate, the lemur. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So if you lose one of these little patches, it's much more significant than if you lose a patch of forest virtually anywhere else in the world.

CORWIN: For Madagascar time, is just simply running out.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The impact of this is far-reaching and long term, and it's absolutely critical now that we prevent more of this from happening and that we invest a relatively little amount to ensure that the remaining forest is protected.

Otherwise, the entire country is going to wind up looking like this. And really over the long haul, it's going to be impossible to support human life, as well.

CORWIN: Jeff Corwin, Maroantsetra (ph), Madagascar.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: The deforestation is remarkable.

The "Shot of the Day" is coming up, an ugly dog that is having, well, a very good day.

Plus, will Rosie O'Donnell go from talk show host to game show host. Erica Hill will come on down, next on 360.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Coming up, our "Shot of the Day". We've got to warn you, we're talking ugly here, very, very, ugly. But in the end also kind of ugly cute, maybe. Maybe not so much.

Erica Hill joins us again with the "360 Bulletin" -- Erica.

HILL: Anderson, Al Qaeda's No. 2 man voicing support for Hamas. It comes in a message posted on Islamist web sites. Ayman al-Zawahiri calling on fellow Muslims to back Hamas leaders who took control of Gaza two weeks ago.

And in another Middle East development, Hamas has released an audio tape of this video of its own, this one said to be a statement from an Israeli soldier who's been held captive now for a year. The Hamas -- Hamas called the message a signal to Israel that the group wants to resume negotiations for the release of Palestinian prisoners in exchange for the Israeli soldier.

The Supreme Court today handing down a defeat to a former Alaska high school student. He claimed his free speech rights were violated after he was suspended for a banner that read "Bong Hits 4 Jesus". He had it at a school event.

The justices ruled those schools can prohibit some acts of student expression.

And the price might have been right, but Rosie O'Donnell says the location is all wrong. So she's out of the running now to replace Bob Barker as host of "The Price is Right".

Rosie says she has always loved the show but doesn't need the money and doesn't want to move her family to L.A., where the show is filmed.

Would have been a good gig.

COOPER: What are you going to do?

HILL: It happens. So the Showcase Showdown moves on.

COOPER: Moves on. Who will it be next?

Time for "The Shot of the Day". Get ready for ugly. We're talking really ugly. This dog Elwood.

HILL: Whoa.

COOPER: Yes. Stand back. It is official: Elwood was crowned the world's ugliest dog at a county fair in northern California.

HILL: Does Elwood's tongue always stick out like that?

COOPER: Yes, apparently so.

HILL: It really adds a little something to Elwood.

COOPER: Elwood is a 2-year-old crested -- Chinese crusted and Chihuahua mix. He's got a little Mohawk. Got the bug eyes and the long wagging tongue.

I've got to tell you, it was a toss-up between this ugly dog contest and this ugly dog.

HILL: How about this guy? Crazy.

COOPER: Yes. Real charmer, this one. He's a Utah prison inmate who escaped today while out for a medical appointment. During the escape he allegedly shot a corrections officer to death with the guard's own gun. He was recaptured, thankfully, about an hour later inside a fast food restaurant. But, you know...

HILL: Just wild. And apparently he, like, stole a car on a highway, stopped the car, forced the people out, took the SUV.

COOPER: Yes.

HILL: Allegedly.

COOPER: And he's got -- he's got swastikas tattooed on his scalp. How big of a moron can you possibly be?

HILL: Yes. Well, skinhead.

COOPER: All right. There you go. We want you to send us your "Shot" ideas. If you see some amazing videos or pictures, tell us about it: CNN.com/360. We'll put some of your best clips on the air.

And mark your calendar. Starting next month, presidential candidates are going to have to ask your questions at the CNN/YouTube debates. I hope you've heard about this.

The Democrats face off July 23, Republicans on September 17. I'm hosting the first one. If I don't screw up too badly, I don't know. We'll see about the second one.

This is actually your chance to get the candidate' attention. To learn more, head to CNN.com/YouTubeDebates.

Just ahead, more on the breaking news tonight, a surprise from a top Republican who now says we need to go in a new direction in Iraq. Why he said it and what this could mean for the president's strategy when 360 continues.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Breaking news tonight, a stunning break in ranks by a top Republican senator. Richard Lugar is calling for a major change of course in Iraq. He says the so-called surge is destined to fail. This as the administration is clearly hoping to buy more time for its escalation. Tonight, we're "Keeping Them Honest.

We're also following the latest on the murder of Jessie Davis. Bond was set today at $5 million for that man, Bobby Cutts Jr., the policeman charged with killing her and her unborn baby girl.

A friend of Cutts is also charged with obstructing justice.

The search for Davis ended in the worst possible way this weekend. Her body found in a park. We'll have the latest tonight.

Also vice president Dick Cheney claiming that he's not really part of the executive branch.

TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.voxant.com

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