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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Is Governor Romney Rewriting His Political History?
Aired February 10, 2012 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Erin, thanks very much. Good evening, everybody. We begin tonight "Keeping Them Honest."
With the claim that with Mitt Romney is making about his record and what the record really shows. He made it today the conservative political action committee convention in Washington, CPAC, where Gingrich and Santorum have also spoken.
Our question tonight, is Governor Romney trying to rewrite his own political history. This is what Romney said today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I fought against long odds in a deep blue state, but I was a severely conservative Republican governor.
ROMNEY: I understand that the battles that we as conservatives must fight, because I have been on the front lines.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: He says he was a severely conservative Republican governor of Massachusetts. He also said he knows conservatism, because he lived it, vowed to repeal President Obama's health care reform act, defend traditional marriage and de-fund Planned Parenthood. That's his position today.
Now, agree or disagree, it is to use his own word severely conservative. And "Keeping Them Honest," severely conservative does not exactly describe his time as governor Massachusetts. And it surely jives with how he himself was describing himself when he was running for that job. This is Mitt Romney back in 2002 when he, himself, was running for governor.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROMNEY: People realize I'm not a partisan Republican, but moderate and my views are progressive.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Not a partisan, moderate, but progressive views. Here he is in a campaign debate volunteering the moderate and liberal position on abortion rights.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROMNEY: And the chairman stuck a little point in there that is with my views on protecting a woman's right to choose. And I have been clear on that. I will preserve and protect a woman's right to choose and I will be devoted and dedicated to honoring my word in that regard. I will not change any provision of Massachusetts' pro choice law s.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Mitt Romney ten years ago outlining the position on abortion and whether you agree or not, that's a far cry from severely conservative he could argue. The difference between then and now is consistency. He was saying then what he been saying back in 1994 when he was running for the U.S. Senate running against Ted Kennedy as a progressive Republican.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROMNEY: I believe that abortion should be legal in this country. I have since the time that my mom took that position when she ran in 1970 as a U.S. Senate candidate. I believe that since Roe V. Wade has been the law for 20 years, that we should sustain and support it. I was an independent during the time of Reagan-Bush. I'm not trying to return to Reagan-Bush.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Back then Mr. Romney also promised the fight for quote, "Full equality for America's gay and lesbian citizens." That is from the letter to law cabinet Republican, quote, "I'm with you on this stuff," he wrote. "I'll be better than Ted Kennedy."
So, when he said in 2002 he was a moderate with progressive views, people have reason to believe him. Once elected, he also signed a ban on assault weapons that was in 2004. He later signed a health care reform law that is almost identical to President Obama's. It is true that later in his term, he moved significantly to the right on the gun control, same sex-marriage, birth control and more. But even then, the right didn't really see him as all that conservative.
In 2006, when the strongly conservative political magazine "Human Events" put out their choice to the ten most conservative governors, Romney did not make the list. Clearly, Governor Romney's views have changed over the years. And you can agree or disagree with how they have changed, it's not really the issue.
The issue tonight is can him seeming to rewrite his past so he can look better now. A lot to talk about tonight with Democratic Strategist, James Carville and GOP Strategist, Ralph Reed, founder of the Christian coalition, and president of the century strategies.
James, when you hear Mitt Romney describe himself as having been a severely conservative governor, what do you think? JAMES CARVILLE, DEMOCRATIC FUND-RAISER: Well, you know. It is not up to me, but I know that before that audience, when you think of Obama care or Romney care, I don't think it probably went over very well. And if Romney is trying to run as the genuine conservative candidate against Rick Santorum, I don't think that is his winning message asserting people are going to buy that. But, you know, he is a little bit of a tight spot here, so he has the try to make some room, but this is not a smart thing he did because it doesn't sound genuine at all.
COOPER: Ralph, does it sound genuine to you? Do you believe he was a sincerely conservative governor given the few people of the room believe that?
RALPH REED, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Well, I think that his advisers feel strongly and I think he believes, Anderson, that the entire tenure as governor during the course of the campaign has been buffeted by the opponents, by the media, by critics and really been blown down and distilled really solely to the health care plan. And I think he fell. And I think it was a good call that he need to let them know, he cut taxes 19 times. He cuts spending $3 billion. He balanced four budgets. He left $2 billion in a rainy day fund. He left a state that he inherited in a fiscal nightmare, left it with one of the best fiscal situations in the country with unemployment really hovering around four percent. And I think he had every right to make that case.
COOPER: But Ralph, back in I think it was 2002 when he was running. I mean, he went out of his way to say he was not a partisan Republican, that he wasn't, you know, that - he wished -- describing himself as anything but severely conservative back then.
REED: Sure. Yes, I don't disagree with that, Anderson. But, you know, look. I have been doing this a long time. James has been doing this a long time. We both had good friends and clients in the case when we have been consultants who get into office and are radicalized or changed or revolved one way or the other once they get into office.
This was an 85 percent democratic legislature. He vetoes bills 800 times, and it is very clear that he changed. While I remain neutral in the race and I'm not advocating anybody for this nomination, I want to let the voters decide. I know Mitt Romney, and I believe that evolution that he had was genuine.
COOPER: James, it is -- I mean, obviously, if President Obama is running against Mitt Romney, they are going to be calling him a flip- flopper.
CARVILLE: Yes. Why would they do that?
COOPER: But hasn't the president, himself, changed his positions on for instance on the super PAC just recently on whether or not to support them?
CARVILLE: Sure. Sure, and people do. You know, and I'm sure that will come out, and, we will see what it is. It is hard to think of something that Mitt Romney has not changed the position on. He is a good family man. You can sure give him credit for that and he's certainly been loyal to the church. But look, that is something that has to be aired out.
Right now, Mitt Romney's problem is, is he's conservative just don't much cost to him. And every time that he turns around, you see this and then you look at what happened in South Carolina. You look what happened the other night.
Look, there's no chance that Santorum or Gingrich can the nominee, we all know that. And -- but they just don't -- the way I -- this is like trying to feed a dog a pill. And the dog keeps spitting up the pill, and eventually they will have to take the Romney pill, but they will spit it up a few more times before they take it. That's my analysis.
COOPER: And Ralph, to James' point, Rick Santorum's team says they have raised $3 million in the last three days and he has taken the number two spot in the Gallup daily tracking poll. Is he the Romney alternative?
REED: Well, I guess, Anderson, I would quote become to what Rick Santorum said when people were writing him off as dead a few weeks ago. He said if you don't like how the race is going, just give it a few days, and it is going to change.
This is my ninth presidential campaign and I have to tell you. I think you - I think you need to interpret this almost on Ouija board at this point. But to James' point about the conservatives, you know being asked to eat the dog food. I would just say that we - you know, we have seen this movie before, so I would caution against free spamming, a still photo in a dynamic motion picture process and suggesting that whoever the nominee is doesn't going to have these folks on board.
CARVILLE: First of all, I didn't say he wasn't and said he didn't like them. I said they are going eventually take the pill. But --
REED: Yes, I agree with that.
CARVILLE: And everybody is -- but no. Rick Santorum is not going to be the nominee of anything. And it is going to be Romney and you are a good Republican, and you are starting to fall in line and hopefully people for your party's sake they follow your lead, Ralph. But show they sure are not queuing up very easily right now. You have the whip them in line down there.
REED: Well, I am not falling in line. I will support whoever the ultimate nominee is. And I would just say that whoever the ultimate nominee is, I think whoever they are is going to be sharpened and made better by this process and just as Barack Obama by the way was a much better candidate than he ever would have been if he had not gone 12 rounds with Hillary Clinton. CARVILLE: And you might find five people I think that Rick Santorum is the political equal of Hillary Clinton, but I would be hard pressed to find them myself.
COOPER: We will talk to them more with the Ralph Reed and James Carville right after the break.
We are going to talk about President Obama's announcement today, dialing back a controversial decision on health insurance, birth control, religious institutions sort of a fire storm on the right. The debate between James and Ralph gets pretty heated it all up. I'll ask them both if the president managed to put out the fire.
Let us know what you think. We are on facebook, Google plus. You can add us to your circles or follows on twitter tonight @andersoncooper.
Later, the slaughter in Syria, destruction is so profound, it is visible from space. We will show you the satellite inventory, but more importantly the destruction on the ground level view. Syrian heavy armor taking aim on a civilian neighborhood.
Let's also check in with Isha. Isha.
ISHA SESAY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson. The man who has spent ten years behind bars of stalking Madonna is under arrest again. We will tell you why. That and much more when "360" continues.
COOPER: Before the break, we were talking to democratic strategist James Carville, and Ralph Reed, founder and chairman of the faith and freedom coalition. We were discussing whether Mitt Romney is trying to paint his record as more conservative than it actually was.
Now, whatever you conclude, he is been trying in this campaign to stake out the conservative high ground. He is been speaking out against the Obama administration's decision to require religiously affiliated employers to include contraceptive coverage in their employee health care plan. Today, President Obama retreated someone laying-out a compromise.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITES STATES: Women will still have access to free preventative care that includes contraceptive services no matter where they work. So, that core principle remains. But, if a woman's employer is a charity or a hospital that has a religious objection to providing contraceptive services as part of the health plan, the insurance company and not the hospital, not the charity will be required to reach out and offer the woman contraceptive carefree of charge without co-pays and without hassles.
(END VIDEO CLIP) COOPER: Well, both Planned Parenthood, and the catholic health association gave this new version the blessing and the conference of catholic bishops called it a step in the right direction, but they would reserve their opinion for now.
I asked Ralph Reed whether he thinks it's enough to diffuse the controversy.
REED: I think they are deluding themselves. I mean first of all, I think the political damage which is been almost incalculable as eruptible. I think that what it showed unfortunately for the White House, Anderson, is it revealed that they would have liked to have done. Number one, number two and pulled back the curtain of what Obama care might look like in a second Obama administration, that is number one.
Number two, I think we need to wait for the actual language of the ruling, but it is getting a mixed reception at best, and here is why. Because it is basically a government edict that is instead of telling the religious organization that they have to provide the funds unilaterally to fund something that is morally objectionable, they have now shifted the mandate to the insurance company.
Well now, how does the insurance company get the money to provide the mandate? They are going to get it from the religious employer. So, it still objectionable. It certainly an improvement but I don't think it is going to solve their political problem.
CARVILLE: Can I say two words, Terri Schiavo. This is an overreach, and first of all, Rick Santorum's death set against contraception. All you got to do is looked at as most of these people. I think that this is the kind of thing -- first of all, and also birth control pills don't cost insurance companies money. They gladly will give it to people, because it saves so much of their long term. That's not even a cost.
REED: Especially told by the government.
CARVILLE: And 98 percent - 98 percent of catholic women use birth control. There's house bill of 28 states that already mandate this. There's no one said anything about it. And they came - they look reasonable. They came to a conclusion today. And I actually disagree - I think if anything in the long run, they will be slightly helped by this. I think that the Terri Schiavo over reach was one of the first things that show that caused the Republican to lose house in 2006. I think its board-based support for contraceptive in this country.
REED: When --
CARVILLE: Although, Rick Santorum doesn't support it.
REED: Look. I think it is nice to try to save the subject to Terri Schiavo. But what happened here is that this was such a mushroom cloud that you had people bike Joe Biden and Bill Daily leaking they had advised against it. The White House basically was driving under the furniture and if it were such a great thing, why did Obama himself feel like he had to walk into the White House briefing room and walk it back. This thing was a political disaster for this administration and white catholic voters by the way, show 15 points Republican in the last three years.
CARVILLE: Ralph. Ralph.
CARVILLE: Let me explain it to you. He looks reasonable in the thing. People like the idea of having contraception in this country. And the thing that he now comes and says, OK, we fixed it. Just the long range implications of this if anything is going to be favorable to the president. I think he came out just looking very reasonable. Twenty eight states have mandated it before. No one said anything.
REED: James, James, those 28 states don't require religious organizations to provide insurance under penalty of a fine. That is apples and oranges.
CARVILLE: Well, the religious institutions who were providing this before, but the president compromised. And I come back to the point that birth control pills drive health care costs down. But it is the people who are so adamantly opposed --
REED: James, contraception is widely and fully available to women all across the country, and if they cannot afford it, it is subsidized under title ten.
CARVILLE: No, no, no, no. Santorum wants to overturn Grantham (ph) versus Connecticut.
REED: You said two minutes ago he should not be the nominee. Who are you running against?
CARVILLE: I did.
REED: Well, why are you bringing it up?
CARVILLE: Well, do you support --
REED: And what we are saying is the position --
CARVILLE: Ralph, do you support --
REED: I do. Yes, I do.
CARVILLE: And your position.
REED: Are you doing a George Stephanopoulos now? We are going to debate contraception? This is not about contraception.
CARVILLE: Sure it is.
REED: This is about whether or not a religious organization is going to be forced to do something that they find morally repugnant and against their conscious including by the way, the morning-after pill in aborted patients and various medicines that will induce abortion.
REED: For you to not understand, for you not to understand that, that forcing them to violate the conscious is a violation of the first amendment right shows how tone deaf --
CARVILLE: You know what? You know what? You know what? Remember, when you losing an argument, don't try to talk down to me, you are losing the argument. The president came across being reasonable.
REED: And if we are losing the argument, why did he capitulate?
CARVILLE: Well, again, excuse me for speaking while you are interrupting, Ralph, but part of being a good Christian is having the other person have a say so.
REED: Go ahead.
CARVILLE: Thank you. I think that what we are seeing here is the president being reasonable, and I think what we are seeing here is what we have, and the idea that this costs money is not what the facts are.
Birth control pills actually save on health care costs. And this is what is becoming -- and the president comes across as being reasonable, the damage of this is a, is if anything I think slightly helpful to him in the long run.
COOPER: Ralph, I give you the final thought and then we have to leave it.
REED: Well, from the policy standpoint, it is a fig leaf and they took the gun that they head pointed at the catholic bishops and they are now pointing it out to the insurance companies, and it shows what a government over rage Obamacare really is and why to this day, it does not poll over 30 percent.
And from a political standpoint, the catholic vote in swing among white Catholics and swing states like Ohio, Michigan, Florida, New Mexico, Iowa is bleeding like a stuck pig on this administration and that is a major problem and that's why they felt like I have walk it back.
CARVILLE: Well, that is why the president is up six points in the last poll, because the Catholics are bleeding.
REED: We will see what happened in the general election.
REED: it's not about contraception. It's about religious liberty, James.
COOPER: James Carville.
CARVILLE: And 98 percent of Catholics take birth control.
COOPER: Leave it there, guys. Appreciate it. Thank you.
REED: OK. Thank you.
COOPER: They sure smile a lot for two guys who disagree so much.
Earlier tonight, we showed you Mitt Romney's big moment at CPAC. Newt Gingrich has big moment came by his wife, Callista. For days, he stayed silent and apparently is over. She introduced her husband today at the conservative gathering. Mrs. Gingrich told the crowd, there are three things that people don't know about her husband. He is a committed golfer, he loves books and there's this. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CALLISTA GINGRICH, NEWT GINGRICH'S WIFE: Newt is also very supportive. When I sing at the Basilica at the national shrine or play my French horn with the city of fair fax band, he is right there listening. I am personally grateful for his wisdom in not trying to sing as a candidate. He knows his limitations.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Callista Gingrich basically stepping out front to introduce her husband as Ann Romney has been doing too much success on the campaign trail. According to Gingrich campaign, we will see more of Callista Gingrich in the coming days, hearing more from her saying she brings out the husband's softer side - there's the term of the campaign used, keep in mind. She also had been his mistress for six years. This is his third marriage and there had been some concern and in some quarters about what impact of her taking a more visible role in her husband's campaign might actually have. Would it increase some resentment?
Clearly, the belief is that Newt Gingrich has a problem with the female voters. We have seen it in the last several primaries and caucuses.
Question tonight is, can Callista Gingrich help change that? Here is Randi Kaye with an up-close look at Callista Gingrich.
RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): On most Sundays, Callista Gingrich sings in her church choir. But it was not until recently that she found her voice on the campaign trail.
CALLISTA GINGRICH: Let's give a warm welcome to my husband and best friend, Newt Gingrich.
KAYE: Still moments like that are rare. Getting anywhere close to Callista on the campaign trail is challenging to say the least.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Back up. No cameras and sit down. You are like 8-year-olds again.
KAYE: Are they trying to keep Callista away from the reporters?
KAREN OLSON, CALLISTA GINGRICH'S FRIEND: I am not aware that they are trying to.
KAYE: Yet, when we wanted to interview Callista, the campaign said no, but agreed to let us speak with Karen Olson, Callista's friend since the second grade.
Growing up, Olson recalls, Callista was a cheerleader. They played piano together and attended college in Iowa where Callista majored in music. Callista practiced six hours a day. She graduated cum laude in 1988.
After college, Callista moved to Washington, D.C. to work as a clerk with the house agriculture committee. In 1993, Callista began a six-year affair with Newt Gingrich who at the time was speaker of the house and on his second marriage.
Did she talk to you about meeting Newt or dating Newt?
OLSON: Well, you know, yes. We knew about it, but she didn't say a lot about it.
KAYE: Did you ever offer her advice?
OLSON: No, you want the best for your friend. You don't want to see them get hurt, and having a high profile relationship, you know, it is just that we were concerned.
KAYE: Was she concerned do you think?
OLSON: I think so.
KAYE: Callista and Newt married in 2000, but the affair still dogs them today on the campaign trail. After Newt's second wife told the media he had wanted a quote open marriage, they ran into this question in Florida.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: And just to clarify, I wanted to see if you all are in an open marriage?
CALLISTA GINGRICH: No.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: No.
KAYE: How do you think that she handled that sort of thing being pressed in tough situations or getting hard questions out there?
OLSON: Well, publicly, I think that she handles it very well, but privately, it can't be easy.
KAYE: Early on, Callista made headlines when stuffers accused her of undermining her husband's campaign, pulling him off of the campaign trail to go on a luxury cruise to (inaudible), and to appear at Callista's book signing for her new book featuring Ellis the elephant.
CALLISTA GINGRICH: Hi. I'm Callista Gingrich and this is my friend, Ellis the elephant.
KAYE: And despite the sagging poll numbers Newt skipped town again last fall to attend his wife's French horn performance. All that, on top of the uproar over the couples' $500,000 credit line at the jewelry store tiffany and company.
Callista grew up an only child in a blue collar family in the small town of Whitehall, Wisconsin. Her mother, a secretary, named her after the wife of a bank president she had once worked for. Callista's middle name is Louise, so her family calls her Calli Lou.
Money was so tight growing up, Callista's mother used to sew her daughter's clothes by hand. These days, Callista is always well- dressed, brightly colored fitted suits and pearls.
Newt's campaign spokesman, R.C. Hammond told the "New Yorker" quote, "I don't think she owns a pair of jeans. And her perfectly blond hair has caused such a stir that there is a facebook page devoted to it. Late night comedians poke fun too.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I got to have Callista here
KAYE: That probably made Callista chuckle, Olson says, because she likes to laugh. The couple's favorite movie is "the hangover." A comedy, Newt says, they watched seven times.
Callista, her friend says, is trying to loosen up on the campaign trail too, to let voters know before it is too late that there is more to her than what the headlines suggest.
Randi Kaye, CNN. Atlanta.
COOPER: Well, we will see if in fact we see more of her taking a vocal role on the campaign trail.
We go to Syria next where sadly the death toll climbs higher everyday and there's new evidence that the government is conducting an organized military campaign against its own people, if you needed more evidence, and new satellite images and videos from the ground. We're "Keeping Them Honest."
Also, a scary sight of a school bus catches fire and no one was hurt thankfully. Thanks to the quick action of one person. Details ahead.
COOPER: "Keeping Them Honest," there is new evidence tonight confirming that Syria despite constant denials is conducting an organized systematic comprehensive military campaign against its own people.
Another 110 people killed today according to the activist groups and you can even see the destruction in Homs from space. The State Department tonight releasing satellite photos according to the presentation. This one shows rocket launchers aimed at Homs.
This one is said to be an artillery placement, again, pointing at Homs, which has seen heavy shelling in the last week. This next satellite photo shows the city itself plumes of smoke rising from burning building in Baba Amor and across the city, that's a particular neighborhood in the city.
Robert Ford, America's ambassador to Syria released this image. We know who is shelling Homs, he said, it is the government, which is why he says, he posted it. As we received that photo, there was fresh evidence from ground level of the sheer brutality.
These are main battle tanks firing their big guns and pouring artillery into the neighborhoods. There is a Syrian resistance now, but it is armed mainly with clash and cuffs and RPGs. What you see here regular army tanks in formation following orders to fire into neighborhood.
On back streets meantime, smaller armoured personnel carriers are being used as anti-personnel weapons. Ambassador Ford tonight is comparing what's happening there to the destruction of Hama in 1982 that killed thousand by Bashar Al-Assad's father.
There is fighting in Hama tonight too, a deadly assault in a gathering also in Aaleppo. As we said, opposition forces are fighting back. This video claims to show free Syrian fighters attacking a police station in Homs.
You can hear the small arms fire with little exception of what this free Syrian army so called is armed with. President Bashar Al- Assad has the army. The army has heavy artillery. He's using it by and large and people who can't fight back -- many case even hide very well.
We're following a number of other stories tonight. Isha is back with the "360 Bulletin" -- Isha.
ISHA SESAY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, a guilty plea in a plot to kill President Obama of a 21-year-old man who is a native of Uzbekistan who lives in Alabama. Prosecutors say he admitted to a plan hatched last summer to assassinate the president. He faces up to 15 years in prison.
The Italian cruise ship disaster has prompted a change in safety drills aboard ships. Passenger safety drills must now be conducted before ships leave port.
The old rule required instruction within 24 hours of passengers boarding the ship. At least 16 people died in the disaster and 16 others are still missing.
A man who served 10 years in prison for stalking Madonna was arrested again today. Robert Dewey Hoskins escaped from a southern California mental health facility last week. He is required by court order to remain there for treatment until August.
And look at this frightening video, a school bus engulfed in flames in Charlotte, North Carolina, and Anderson, what makes the story more compelling is that the bus driver smelled smoke.
And she got six elementary school children safely off of the bus just moments before it blew up, scary pictures.
COOPER: Thank goodness nobody was injured. Isha, thanks. We are going to check in with you again a little bit later on.
Up next, former Penn State Football Coach Jerry Sandusky is in court pleading for more freedom while he awaits trial on child sex abuse charges.
Prosecutors fired back saying he shouldn't be allowed to have a house party while under house arrest. Courtroom drama tonight in "Crime and Punishment."
Plus, rumors of spreading that North Korea's new leader is dead. Tell you what the U.S. officials are saying in response. We'll be right back.
COOPER: In "Crime and Punishment" tonight, former Penn State Football Coach Jerry Sandusky took the stand today in court today requested more freedoms while he awaits trial on sex abuse charges.
Sandusky says his 11 minor grand children are upset that they can't see him. He wants more visits with them. Prosecutors blasted the requests saying that Sandusky shouldn't be allowed to treat his house arrest like a house party.
Another sticking point is whether Sandusky should be allowed to use his back porch. Prosecutors are saying no. Video shot by a neighbor shows Sandusky has been using the porch, which borders an elementary school playground.
Prosecutors say teachers and neighbors -- grave concerns if Sandusky is allowed outside his home. Sandusky as you know faces 52 criminal accounts of alleged sexual misconduct with several boys over 15 years. He has pleaded not guilty to these charges.
The scandal led to the removal of Penn State's president, the head football coach Joe Paterno who died last month. Two other administrators are awaiting trial on charges they lied to the grand jury investigating the allegation. Sandusky talked to the media outside of the courthouse today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JERRY SANDUSKY, FORMER PENN STATE ASSISTANT FOOTBALL COACH: Generally, I just want to say that I don't have a lot of resources, but what I do have is some people who will pour their heart and soul into defending me, and I'm grateful for them. I'm grateful for the people who have stood beside me and given me the opportunity to at some point in time to reach out and express feelings.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Our Jason Carroll was in court today. He joins us now with more. So Sandusky asked the court to loosen restrictions on his bail conditions, specifically, what does he want?
JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, under his bail condition, Anderson, he is not allowed to have contact with anyone under the age of 18. So effectively, that means he cannot see his grandchildren.
Obviously, he now wants to see that changed. Today, earlier in court, the defense presented evidence from Sandusky's children saying they, too, believe that the conditions of the bail should be changed, and Sandusky should be allowed to see his grandchildren.
And just as you said earlier today, Sandusky came outside of the courthouse. He talked about the frustration about that particular condition of his house arrest. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SANDUSKY: Friends who call me and who want to be with me, who want to see me, and I have to say no, I can't, and they ask why, so I asked Joe why. That's why he brought it up.
Well, when I had a wife who came home after visiting with grandchildren or who is sitting there when grandchildren call my birthday, and they asked to talk to me, and she has to tell them that they can't, I'm sensitive to that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: You know, neighbors, as I said have also expressed concerns about Sandusky living so close to a schoolyard.
COOPER: What's been the reaction from Sandusky?
CARROLL: Well, Sandusky obviously disagrees with what they are saying, and you heard him refer to Joe in that sound bite that was just played there. That is Joe Amendola. That's his defense attorney.
And they don't have a problem with that video being entered into evidence because Joe Amendola says my client wasn't doing anything wrong in that video. He was out on his back porch, which he is allowed to do under the conditions of his bail.
He was simply giving his dog some sort of treat. As you know, his house does border a school. That has a lot of the neighbors who are upset saying they are uncomfortable given the allegations with Sandusky being so close to a school.
Having said that, Sandusky said these neighbors that he once called friends and he talked about that when he was outside the courthouse earlier this afternoon.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SANDUSKY: I have associated with thousands of young people over the years, and now all of the sudden, OK, because of allegations and perceptions that have tried to have been created of me, now I can't take our dog on my deck and throw out biscuits to him.
Now, all of the sudden, these people turn on me when they've been in my home with their kids when they have attended birthday parties and they have been on that deck, when their kids have been playing in my yard, and when their kids have been sled riding when they have asked to sled ride in our home.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARROLL: And Anderson, this is the first time that we have heard Jerry Sandusky speaking this way to the media. For the prosecution's point of view, they say we don't want to hear about Sandusky's complaints.
They say that house arrest is something that is a privilege and that it is not a house party. They also say that his house has not been safe for children for 15 years, and it is certainly not safe now. They say that none of the conditions should be changed. The judge is going to make a ruling on this or at least is expected to, Anderson, on Monday.
COOPER: What has his demeanor been like in court?
CARROLL: Well, that is another interesting point, because even before he got into court as he was heading in, we saw him laughing with some of the security guards bringing him in.
And then when he was testifying about a particular legal point here in the courtroom today, he was smiling at different points, and I think a lot of the courtroom observers were wondering why he had this particular type of demeanor.
And it is up for interpretation, it could be a nervous reaction to a stressful situation. Joe Amendola simply tells us this is the nature of this man's character and really not the read anything into it -- Anderson.
COOPER: All right, Jason. Appreciate the reporting. More of the legal find out, joining me now is CNN's legal analyst and former federal prosecutor, Sunny Hostin and criminal defense attorney, Mark Geragos.
Mark, what do you make of this? I mean, Sandusky wanting to be allowed to see his grandchildren. Should he be allowed to see them given the charges he is facing?
MARK GERAGOS, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Of course, he should be allowed to see the grandchildren and what I make of this is a lot of nonsense. You know, the thing that people need to remember is that we still have a constitution.
And under the constitution, you are still presumed innocent apparently in spite of the fact that you have already been lynched in the media or surrounding your house. And the fact is that he is on house arrest.
He was not going into the elementary school. Somebody was taking a video of him through a fence. This whole thing is just nothing more than part of the hysteria that is surrounds allegations like this. And I use the word allegations, because, remember, he has not been convicted of anything.
COOPER: And Sunny, you say you are shocked though that he is even asking for this.
SUNNY HOSTIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: I am shocked. Bottom line is that he was given a gift, the gift of house arrest. I mean, compare that and contrast that to Mark Burton in California, the teacher accused of sexual misconduct who is sitting in jail on $23 million worth of bail.
Jerry Sandusky charged with 52 counts of child sex abuse and abusing ten victims over 15 years got $250,000 bail and sitting in his home and now, hanging out, outside. It is unbelievable, Anderson.
COOPER: Sunny, if Sandusky was in prison right now awaiting trial, his grandkids would be allowed to visit him there, wouldn't they?
HOSTIN: Yes, but that is very different. We are talking about guards being there. We're talking about a very sterile environment. I mean, having them come to his home, the location where many of these allegations are said to have occurred, I think it is just extraordinary.
I mean, it is so ridiculous in my view, because when people are convict of sex offenses they are not allowed to be within 300 yards of a school, and he lives within 100 yards of a school. That is ridiculous.
GERAGOS: Sunny, you used the key can word here, when people are convicted. I know that you want to move away from that mettlesome thing called a trial or proof beyond a reasonable doubt. He has not been convicted. Until he's convicted, he is presumed innocent.
HOSTIN: He has been indicted of 52 counts.
GERAGOS: Can I tell you something, Sunny, how many times did you go in front of a grand jury and not get an indictment. You could indict Anderson right now for bad taste in front of any grand jury. All you have to do is ask him for it.
HOSTIN: There is no evidence against him.
COOPER: Wait, can I say something?
GERAGOS: You could be clearly, Anderson, but clearly, one of the horrible things about the grand jury system in America is that anybody can be indicted for anything. In an indictment is meaningless. It was originally designed to protect the public.
HOSTIN: Well, it is phony. We have seen some of the grand jury testimony, and it is evidence against this man, and 52 counts.
COOPER: But Sunny, we have not seen really grand jury testimony. We've seen a summation of grand jury testimony, right?
HOSTIN: That is accurate, but we have also seen McQueary, one of the witnesses in the case in court be steadfast in his testimony, and I think it was extremely compelling. And so to say that --
GERAGOS: Steadfast in what, telling three different stories?
HOSTIN: I mean, that's just disingenuous. It's really I think intellectually dishonest.
GERAGOS: McQueary was in a different proceeding. McQueary was not steadfast. McQueary told three different stories and McQueary is hardly going to be the linchpin of this case. That is my prediction, but I am still going to go back to the first thing.
We still have a constitution. You are still presumed innocent. These are his grandkids as long as he is innocent, there should not be any conceivable reason so why he should be prevented from seeing them.
Or the other part of this is they requested that he be able to investigate his case along with his lawyers. So what is the matter with that?
COOPER: Mary, you are saying, because it is his own grandchildren, that makes the difference. You would not be arguing if he wanted to volunteer at a school, for instance, that would not be appropriate?
GERAGOS: No, it would clearly not be appropriate. They will not ask for that. That the impact. The lawyer and it never in a million years is going to ask for that when he is facing these charges.
But the fact remains that as he stated, everybody has turned on him. He has his family as his support network. Why in the world are you supposed to take away his family as well because he's been charged with something and not convicted? COOPER: Well, Sunny, shouldn't it be up to the family, I mean, parents of these kids? He is the grandfather and his children, and these grandchildren's parents, shouldn't it be up to them whether or not they want their dad to spend time with their kids?
HOSTIN: Well, Anderson, I think it is significant then to note that one of the mothers of the children doesn't want her three children around Jerry Sandusky. And so there is certain opposition within the family to have him around them. That is a smart mother. That is a smart mother.
GERAGOS: And don't take them over. Well, it is a mother who believes in the hysteria.
HOSTIN: I can't imagine that Jerry Sandusky given the position that he is in wants to be outside looking at children and wants to visit his grandchildren. He needs to be preparing for trial and clearing his name as if that is going to happen.
GERAGOS: He was not peering through the fence looking at children.
HOSTIN: Neighbors are saying that he was peering.
COOPER: Let him finish, Sunny, and then you can finish. Mark, you're saying, he was not staring at the kids with binoculars.
GERAGOS: He was not doing anything un-torrid. You've got the video. Thank God we have the video. Otherwise, somebody would be alleging that there was some kind of lewd conduct out there.
Everybody needs a real deep breath. These are allegations and not tested by cross examination in a courtroom. Why don't we wait to see what actually happens in a courtroom before we draw and quarter this guy.
COOPER: Well, Sunny, just on a final thought. Sandusky's defense team wants a local jury for the trial. It is interesting that a lot of, you know, defense teams ask for jurors who are not local. Why do you think they want a local jury?
HOSTIN: Well, I think it is extraordinary and clear that Jerry Sandusky's team thinks that maybe the reputation of Jerry Sandusky will help him in a court of law.
COOPER: Mark, do you agree with that?
GERAGOS: Well, it is, and the one thing I will agree with sunny is that it is extraordinary that the defense is asking for a local jury, and I think the reason for that is that they figure that only place they are going to get a shot at presumption of innocence is a community that is not going to be caught up in this witch hunt.
That frankly I think drove Joe Paterno to his death and I think that that is the reason they did it and they're asking for it. Frankly, if the attorney general thinks that the charges are so strong.
If they think this is such a compelling case, why do they want to bus jurors in from the out outlying jurisdictions? What are they afraid of?
HOSTIN: They want a fair trial.
COOPER: Sunny Hostin and Mark Geragos, guys, thank you very much. We're out of time with this one.
A new honor coming up for former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords and it's coming from the U.S. Navy.
Also, a fugitive captured in Missouri, fled all the way from Great Britain and when you hear the charges that he is fleeing from, you can see why authorities are so glad he is now in custody. We'll be right back.
COOPER: Let's check in some other stories we are following. Isha is back with the "360 Bulletin" -- Isha.
SESAY: Anderson, a post on China's version of Twitter has set off a rumor that North Korea's new young leader, Kim Jung-Un was assassinated in Beijing. A senior U.S. official says U.S. intelligence has been looking into the rumor for more than a week, and finds no evidence that it is true.
President Obama signed former Congresswoman's Gabrielle Giffords' last piece of legislation into law today. The law intends to crack down on the use of ultra light aircraft in drug smuggling. Giffords was on hand today as a future Navy ship was named after her. The "USS Gabrielle Giffords" will be built in Mobile, Alabama.
For the first time this year, the Dow, S&P and the Nasdaq, all posted a loss for the week. The Dow is down 90 points today, 0.5 percent for the week.
And a British fugitive who was found in Missouri this week was charged with illegal firearms possession in federal court today. Edward John Mayer is suspected of stealing more than $1.5 million of an armored van in England 19 years ago. Anderson, U.S. officials say they are not sure how long he has been in Missouri.
COOPER: Interesting stuff. Isha, thanks. We will be right back.
COOPER: We ran out of time for "The Ridiculist" tonight with so many people yelling and indicting me that we ran out of time. So let's do a quick shot. Isha is back for that. Isha, may I present a snoring door mouse.
SESAY: Where did you find this? COOPER: It was posted on YouTube described as a door mouse in a type of hibernation state, and they spend up to three-quarters of their life asleep, you must know this and ask for donations --
SESAY: Because of door mouse?
COOPER: No, because you are from Britain. Are there door mouse everywhere in the U.K., Isha?
SESAY: No, there is no infestation of door mice.
COOPER: I would love a door mouse. This is so adorable thing I've seen.
SESAY: That is how I imagine you snoring, cutely like that.
COOPER: Really? Kind of -- all right, got to go. See you later, bye-bye. "PIERS MORGAN" starts now.