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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Election Day: Key Races; The Spoiler Factor; Congressional Staffer Leave Lobby Former Bosses; Report: New SEAL Claims Credit For Bin Laden Kill; Kaci Hickox Breaks Her Silence
Aired November 3, 2014 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, AC360 HOST: And good evening. From the CNN election center in Washington D.C. you're watching a special edition of 360, America's Choice 2014. The states include control of the Senate, the shape of President Obama's final two years in office, potentially who gets on the Supreme Court and a whole lot more. The ultimate outcome on the Senate might not be known though until January. There are so many races that have tightened in just last 48 hours, so many surprises potentially in store, a big night ahead. Let's start things off right now with chief national correspondent John King. Let's look at some of the key races here.
KING: Anderson, let's just remember the Senate is the key battle tomorrow night, 55-45 momentarily at the moment in favor of the Democrats that includes two independents. As we look at the race, if we're going to watch it, let me just get three out of the way right away. Even Democrats can see it. Republicans were likely to pick up Montana, South Dakota and West Virginia that will go through these other 10 races. But that would leave you with 45-45, which underscores the stakes here.
Republicans have late momentum but we'll get some early queues as to whether they -- early clues as to whether they can deliver on that. Number one, Kentucky and Georgia closed at 7:00. Can Mitch McConnell keep his job and our African-Americans and other members of the Democratic base voting in states where the Democrats nominee has pushed the President away? Alison Grimes won't even say in Kentucky for example if she voted for the President.
So get early clues if the Democrats base turning up there. Then 7:30, North Carolina closes again, the same dynamic also a Democratic incumbent at play. 8:00, New Hampshire, power independent voting in this election. In New Hampshire Independents out number Democrats and Republicans. Jeanne Shaheen and Scott Brown are the candidates up in that close race there.
And so these early races will give us a clue to the one big important question, to keep their majority Democrats have to -- when I say hold the blue. The President won New Hampshire twice. He won North Carolina once. He won Iowa and Colorado twice. If the Democrats were to hold their majority they have to win those blue states.
The problem for the Democrats is at the moment, if I give you this scenario their loosing in Colorado, most poll show them loosing in Iowa. These two states in this scenario I have given them to the Democrats, New Hampshire and North Carolina. But the poll in both of those states...
COOPER: Very close.
KING: ... that close at the end. If that played out like that in those first four states I just gave you, you're still at 47-47. Now we have some fun.
COOPER: And I mean this is really all about control of Congress. And how does that shape up?
KING: Control of the Senate, the Democrats need 50. Joe Biden would break the tie if they could get to 50. Republicans needs 51. If this scenario played out, if those four states, New Hampshire and North Carolina, Iowa and Colorado were split and you're at 47-47, then you go through the last half dozen races. Alaska, we could be counting until Wednesday or Thursday here. But Republicans think their going to win this state. Let's see if Democrats can turn out in the rural areas.
Kentucky, I'm going to give it Mitch McConnell. Again, if African- Americans turn out in high numbers maybe, but the late polls seem to break for Mitch McConnell there. This is a race. Democrats again say, "We'll see you on Election Day." But Tom Cotton has lead by a narrow margin consistently in this campaign. Now I've left three on board, right? We're at 50 to 47. That means Republicans would need one more. If they could hold their own in Kansas that would do it. But a lot of Republicans think the independent, there's no Democrat in that race. Greg Orman might win. If he wins he hasn't said which party he'll side with. So leave that one aside.
Look at this potential scenario, 50 Republicans, 47 Democrats. Now this is Republican terrain. Two red states, President Obama's under water in these states. If Democrats could win them both...
KING: ... then they're at 50-49. Greg Orman decides who controls the Senate by making his choice if in this scenario if Republicans could win one of them this would be a big question. Do we get an answer in Georgia tomorrow night? We might. Somebody has to get 50 percent, plus one. Those are the state laws in Georgia and Louisiana.
But if conceivably Michelle Nunn could win there -- I'll just (inaudible) this out of there. If Michelle Nunn could win there, excuse me, and then we come out to here, Louisiana could decide the control of the United States Senate, all the Republicans think their going to get one. So the most likely scenario, maybe we won't know the answer tomorrow night, is the Republican majority? The Democrats still have a very narrow window to hold it because you got 8 or 10 races right now in single digits.
COOPER: And it's possible we may not even know until the beginning of the New Year. KING: There is a possibility that you're at...
COOPER: There's runoffs.
KING: ... 47-48, 49-49. A December runoff, December 6th in Louisiana, January 6th...
COOPER: In Georgia.
KING: ... in Georgia. And again, if Orman wins, he could be sitting there holding his cards as essentially the most powerful man in America, for two months.
COOPER: All right, let's watch for it. John King, thanks very much. As John mentioned there is a good reason we maybe up all night tomorrow. And a lot of the country, they wake up on Wednesday not knowing who controls the Senate. In a words some spoilers and we're now in that from Jim Sciutto.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: William Jefferson Clinton.
JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Tomorrow's election may seem all about Democrats and Republicans. But control of the Senate may come down o an Independent and two Libertarians. Here in Kansas, Millionaire businessman Greg Orman is an independent running neck and neck with Republican Pat Roberts, a 34 year GOP Capitol Hill Veteran. No Democrat is competing here. Orman has coyly avoided saying which party he'll caucus with if he wins. But he does have a message resonating this year with voters from both parties.
GREG ORMAN, KANSAS: Washington is broken, we all know it. I believe we can have another American Century if we elect problem solvers not extreme partisans.
SCIUTTO: Orman may sound a lot like this woman in Georgia.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Republicans and Democrats have failed us with the same old broken promises for decades.
SCIUTTO: Despite big names on both sides there Democrats Michelle Nunn, daughter of former Senator Sam Nunn and Republican David Perdue, cousin of a former governor, it is little know Libertarian Amanda Swafford shaking up this race, where Democrats have a shot at picking up a Republicans seat.
She's only polling in the single digits but that could be enough to force a runoff in a state requiring 50 percent to win. A runoff means this race and the question of Senate control may not be settled until January.
Then there's North Carolina, another race too close to call. Libertarian Sean Haugh is a political novice, a pizza delivery man who's made a name for himself with folksy ads recorded in his campaign manager's basement. HAUGH: Howdy, I'm Sean Haugh, Libertarian for U.S. Senate here in North Carolina in 2014. And we need to stop all war and stop spending more money than we have.
SCIUTTO: His stand on legalizing marijuana has lit up the unusual campaign slogan. Get Haugh, get High.
Female: Get Haugh, get high.
SCIUTTO: Like Swafford (ph) in Georgia Haugh is polling in the single digits. But enough to steal support from the major party candidates. The question is he still for more from Republicans Thom Tillis or Democrats incumbent Kay Hagan.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Despite the most creative slogan there Get Haugh, get high. Jim Sciutto joins us now form Overland Park, Kansas tonight. I mean it seems like for some of these third party candidates their popularity comes really out of frustration with the Republicans and Democrats.
SCIUTTO: No question, frustration, even anger at dysfunction in Washington. It make sense. I think all of us have felt at some time. The thing is though these races by and large still are dominated by the major party candidates. So the ultimate math is it about nine out of 10 incumbents will still win.
Though you speak the candidates here in Kansas and you both sides seeing something in their favor. Orman's people and on the independent side, they say they are seeing voters energized by that frustration. People who wouldn't normally vote in midterm elections coming out for an independent. But you speak to Republican campaign for Pat Roberts and they say that they are seeing strength from Republicans at their frustration, their anger at President Obama, two very powerful forces in this particular election year. And those about evening out right now. This one is a dead heat.
COOPER: All right, Jim Sciutto, thanks very much. A lot to watch for. Let's bring in the panel, Democratic strategist and CNN Political Commentator Paul Begala, Chief Political Analyst Gloria Borger, GOP Consultant Alex Castellanos, Cornell Belcher a Democratic Strategist, both CNN political commentators. Paul, are there likely any surprises tomorrow night?
PAUL BEGALA, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: There's certainly. I mean no, it's a guarantee. This is what's great about this business is that stuff happens like if we work not on basic cable, I'd use a different phrase. So we cant -- I can't predict it and, you know, they use to pay me a lot of money to run these campaigns. But to predict them, I don't have a very good crystal ball at all. I mean, we could be here all night tomorrow night.
GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes.
COOPER: Alex, what are you watching in particular? What most interest you tomorrow night?
ALEX CASTELLANOS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Oh gosh, I think there are going to be surprises because people want to flee from a Democratic Party but they want to go to a Republican Party. That's a lot of tension, so yes, there are going to be some surprises. The race I'm watching is Colorado, because there there's a different kind of Republican, a new Republican, Cory Gardner. It turns out well it legal for Republicans to run and smile.
BORGER: He does smile.
CASTELLANOS: He's an optimist. He's got a vision for future where we maybe seeing the next generation of Republican coming to being this election. Colorado is the one I'm watching.
COOPER: Cornell, how about you?
CORNELL BELCHER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I'm watching the vote turns. I mean early vote Democrats have done an outstanding job early vote. He's got a message in 380, some million voter contacts or, you know, 60 better than 2010. So Democrats have actually sort of got the idea that we can't have 2010 again so we have to contact the voters. We got to pull our voters out. You're see it in North Carolina. You see it in Georgia, in Georgia we're 25 percent of the early voters are drop off voters. Voters who hadn't been participating in these midterm elections before.
And in Colorado you are seeing a larger expanded electorate there. That's what I'm watching.
COOPER: Is there a particular issue for those voters?
BELCHER: a lot of it really is about touching. I worked for a guy named Howard Dana. He use to a -- half of the job is just showing up. I think in 2010 we didn't do a very job of reaching out and touching our voters. Republicans always do a good job of reaching out and working their base. We hadn't done as good a job opening this year. It makes the difference.
COOPER: In the age of Ebola, are you allowed to touch? Would you do that?
BORGER: But, you know, I look at these races and I that the Democrats are kind of rerunning 2012. You know, you talk about Colorado.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's pretty good.
BORGER: They're going -- well now that their going to after the constituencies without Obama, right? So they're going after women. Women's issues have been, you know, women's health issues have a huge campaign issue to the point where their calling Senator Udall, Senator Uterus because he spends all -- his talking about.
COOPER: Because it's been like a single issue for him, yeah.
BORGER: Single issue and its back fired. It's really back fired. So we're going to look at that tomorrow night.
CASTELLANOS: I think that's going to be a key thing to watch tomorrow night because who would have thought that with, you know, the economy stagnant, the world on fire, all these huge problems and it would be Democrats saying, "Little women don't worry, you're pretty head to about anything other than gender issues."
Well making them just that narrow and that small and appeal when your problems are so large, I think could be demeaning and insulting and I think it may come back to bite them in a fashion now.
BELCHER: But, you know, issues are important, you know, going back to Colorado they said the same thing about Bennett. And Bennett wasn't going to win in Colorado last time around. Bennett won on Colorado...
BORGER: I think their a little more nervous.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Wrong year.
COOPER: You talked recently to Vice President Biden.
BORGER: I did.
COOPER: You know, he ask me about -- I mean no matter who wins, the White House still has to deal with them next year.
BORGER: Yes, first of all he is saying the Democrats are going to win the internal optimist and that's what he has to say. But I did ask him about, "OK, let's take that scenario if you don't want to think about that the Republicans win control of the Congress. What then would the White House do?" So take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BORGER: What if that were to be the case?
JOE BIDEN, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, I don't think it will change anything in terms of what we -- what we're about. We know we have to get done the last two years, and quite frankly, going into 2016 the Republicans have to make a decision whether they're in control or not in control, are they're going to begin to allow things to happen, or are they going to continue to be obstructionists? And I think they're going to choose to get things done.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BORGER: I think that's being a little optimistic. But what his, you know, what he's trying to do...
BEGALA: I want a case of what's he's drinking.
BORGER: Yes, right. But he's trying to do is saying, "OK, we're the ones who are going to compromise. We're going to put up that olive branch. I think the Republicans (inaudible), right."
COOPER: If the Senate does go to the Republicans who gets the blame? BEGALA: Well the President will.
BEGALA: It's his Presidency.
COOPER: Not Harry Reid? President Obama.
BEGALA: Right, here's the central problem Democrats have. Two years ago President Obama got 53 percent. Today he's at 45 in our poll but that includes places like New York and California which don't really have Senate races this year, right? So in the contested seats his lucky to hit 40, which means roughly one out of four people who voted for him are now disenchanted. That's the problem.
I look I love to rail about the Tea Party and their horrible and all that. That's not what's killing me right now. What's killing my side is that a whole lot of Democratic base is very depressed. It's disappointing the President.
BORGER: And independent voters.
COOPER: Cornell, I mean, you look at this stuff, what is the disappointment based on?
BELCHER: Well see I'm not going to be in complete agreement with my friend here. Look, it's a pots on their houses. You can't take outside the context of the reality that we live in where Republicans -- you know who the most unpopular people right are? Republicans in Congress, even less popular than Democrats. The context here is...
BORGER: No one is popular though.
BELCHER: The context here also when you look back at Reagan and you look back at Clinton, there wasn't a 20 point gap differential between their disapproval and that of Congress. You have that now. So no, the President's numbers aren't great. But it's a pox on all -- it's a pox on all their houses, right now?
BEGALA: Yes, but the guy in charge, the guy who lifted the country's hopes up, the guys everyone invested in including the Democrats base, young people, millennial are walking away from the President. That's Barrack Obama.
BELCHER: They're walking away from politics.
CASTELLANOS: Those people on CNN wearing those hazmat suits, some of them are Medical Professionals protecting us from Ebola. But a lot of them are democratic candidates who are protecting themselves from a visit by their president. The guy is a political hazard.
BELCHER: If in fact we hold in New Hampshire, if in fact we hold in North Carolina then I want the President to be -- to take the responsibility. It was President Obama, was the reason why we held these seats. And you can't have it both ways. If he can have all the blame that he can't -- but if we hold these well then President Obama -- is it President Obama's fault that withheld these seats?
CASTELLANOS: I love the Democratic campaign.
BORGER: Well going to hear from him by the way.
CASTELLANOS: Things are going great. Let's keep polling 60 percent of the (inaudible) were on the wrong track.
COOPER: We're going to take a quick break. Coming up next, remember the Kissing Congressman, the married who wasn't kissing his wife. He's just one candidate, a (inaudible) candidate who cross the line one way or another including a few convicted felons on the ballot tomorrow. They're story is next.
COOPER: Welcome back. Here's a question that may leave you maybe a little bit cynical about your choice of candidates tomorrow. Perhaps you'll end up feeling lucky at the high quality candidates you happen to have depending on where you live. Here's a question what do a felon and adulterer, an alleged fraudster and a guy accused of sexual harassment have in common? The answer and you probably saw this coming, they all want to be members of Congress. What's more, almost all of them have a shot at getting elected tomorrow. More on why and who those characters are from CNN Chris Frates.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRIS FRATES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The candidate's maybe a better fit for a soap opera than a ballot. There's the House candidate from California who's accused of sexually harassing a campaign staffer and the New York Congressman Federally indicted on tax fraud and then there's the duo from the bayou, the kissing Congressman and an example-governor turned ex-con.
DAVID WASSERMAN, U.S. HOUSE EDITOR, THE COOK POLITICAL REPORT: 2014 is a great year for bad boys of Congress. Its unusual in the sense that we've rarely seen this many members who are in trouble personally or legally with strong chances to win re-elections.
EDWIN EDWARDS: Welcome to South Louisiana.
FRATES: After serving almost nine year in prison after an extortion conviction Edwin Edwards is back in Louisiana. He was elected to four terms as Democratic Governor using such colorful campaigns slogan as vote for the crook. It's important.
EDWARDS: My God is not finished with me.
FRATES: But this time around he has a tougher race as a Democrat running in a district Romney won two to one in the 2012 Presidential Race. Also in Louisiana, Vance McAllister better known as the Kissing Congressman. After getting caught on tape making out with his scheduler McAllister dropped his re-election bid only to jump back into the race a few months later with his wife by his side.
VANCE MCALLISTER: And I'm blessed to have a husband who owns up to his mistakes.
FRATES: In California a candidate Carl DeMaio faces serious charges of sexual harassment as first reported by CNN.
TODD BOSNICH, FORMER DEMAIO CAMPAIGN STAFFER: He reached over into my lap and grabbed my crotch. And I flipped out.
FRATES: DeMaio denies the allegations saying his accuser broke into his campaign office after he was fired, though no charges were filed. Even after weeks of bad headlines DeMaio's race is still neck in neck.
CARL DEMAIO: We're going to fight tooth and nail until I am fully exonerated.
FRATES: New York Congressman Michael Grimm who set file charges next month, that include perjury, obstruction of justice and tax evasion is pulling slightly ahead of his opponent. Despite a serious lack of enter personal skills.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Inaudible).
FRATES: Despite that he won Rudy Giuliani's endorsement.
RUDY GIULIANI: Thank you.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you.
FRATES: Political expert say increased partisanship means that candidates baggage off and matter less than whether they a D or an R after their name.
WASSERMAN: As long as you're wearing the right color jersey in your district. It doesn't matter if you're going to be wearing a jumpsuit in a couple months. You still have a shot at winning your seat in congress.
FRATES: Chris Reyes, CNN Washington.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Well that just a congressional candidates in Rhode Island, a two times ex-convict named Vincent "Buddy" Cianci is running mayor in Providence. Actually he's running to become mayor again. He left office twice, the first time after pleading no contest to assault charges. The on a federal racketeering conviction actually talk about appeal shall we say color political figures, Paul Begala and Alex Castellanos. I mean its...
BEGALA: Why us?
COOPER: Well, you guys, you know.
BEGALA: Do alter (ph) boys here.
CASTELLANOS: Clearly being a thief or sexual harassers to step up being a congressman. So...
COOPER: Well, I mean, what do you -- is it unusual prop for this year or is it...
BEGALA: It seems like it. And I mean we should we take it seriously, you know, but, you know, this goes back to the finding Mark Dwayne (ph) said that there was no distinctly native class of criminal in America, expects of course the Congress in United States.
And so, it is kind of amazing, it really is. But we look at -- people always I'm glad living in Washington and raising my children here. Wasn't such a terrible place. So actually it's a great place. It's the people you send here who suck. But we have a lovely community and nice parks and monuments and it is people they send that I have problem with.
CASTELLANOS: The problem with democracy is we elect people just like us. A very representative, it actually works. And sandal doesn't usually beat politicians.
BEGALA: It doesn't.
CASTELLANOS: Wilbur Mills fell in the title pool with a stripper named Fanne Foxe was re-elected after that. Howie Long was caught selling state land upon the LSU football team. He said I'm the official thief of LSU go (inaudible). He was -- re-elected again. Scandal, why? Because it's not about me, the voter at all.
COOPER: So is it how somebody handles the sandal that's critical in terms whether they survive?
CASTELLANOS: People don't have very high standards for politicians these days. And they worried more about their money than money politicians maybe putting in their pocket. That just been the history, sandal usually doesn't beat politicians.
COOPER: I mean you look at in Louisiana which, you know, I want to love say Louisiana you got, you know.
CASTELLANOS: It's the state art.
COOPER: You got two very colorful candidates right there.
BEGALA: Right but that part of the culture. I do, I think in Louisiana you could liberal you can be conservative. You cannot be boring. Now if the same Edwin Edwards, the former governor who's got to very slim chance. He could make runoff certainly for that congressional seat, but his out of prison now, if you were running in, you know, Wisconsin, Minnesota no chance...
BEGALA: ... there's a different political culture there. And God bless Louisiana, you know, I mean.
CASTELLANOS: They've always had a colorful figures, I guess part of it is you have to be big enough to gather that public attention. So I figure your not entirely perfect, but in Louisiana, wasn't it Edwin Edwards who said "The only have in common with David Duke. I'm also a wizard beneath the sheets."
BEGALA: Right. (inaudible).
CASTELLANOS: They have a high tolerance per colorful characters.
COOPER: But it's also interesting that the so called kissing congressmen who drop out and then a couple months later to decided to come back into us.
CASTELLANOS: Well, here's the secret, politicians don't run for office, they run against each other. One of them has to win.
COOPER: All right. Well, we'll see who wins tomorrow night. Alex Castellanos, Paul Begala, thanks very much. A lot ahead to night.
Breaking News a navy SEAL reportedly stepping forward saying he is the one who killed Osama bin Laden. Tonight there's a lot of blow back about that from the pentagon another SEALS about ahead.
COOPER: Welcome back keep among us tonight with what could be called another example of congress for sale. CNN senior investigative correspondent Drew Griffin has done extensive reporting on this. The legal but kind of squishy symbiosis between lobbyist and members of congress. Sometimes they go on a fancy (inaudible) occasion together. Sometimes they go rush weekend retreats. But they don't even have to lead Washington for evidence of this important mix of the money and politics.
Tonight Drew takes us to a private fund raiser that shows how there are many congressional offices that are revolving doors for lobbyist.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DREW GRIFFEN, CNN SENIOR INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT: You can come to this town just about any day of the week, morning, noon or night and find these fundraisers everywhere, which is what we decided to do tonight, literally killing time. We found a doozy of a fund raiser for somebody who might know but played hard to get.
Here's the fund raisers invite for none other than Nancy Pelosi former speaker of the house and now its Democratic leader. And there were quite a few people, a dozen listed as sponsors. Remember that it's going to get interested.
Just like the interesting way the restaurant and Pelosi staff would try to keep us from seeing what was going on. It would take place at the very public Rosa Mexicana restaurant in D.C. a cocktail reception. But this would not be a public event. A $500 donation is needed to get you in the door.
And as we stood out front, waiters began covering up those glass doors with table cloth preventing us from peeking inside. And though the donors and lobbyist and some politicians would all be arriving through the very public front door. It was our in terrific in turn with an iPhone who caught Nancy Pelosi surrounded by staff and security slipping into a side entrance, heading down a long hallway of an office building and entering the restaurant through a kitchen.
Why all the secrecy? Let's do a little fact check out those 12 names of people serving as Nancy Pelosi's host for the evening. All of them are former staffers, advisors or aids to Nancy Pelosi and all but one of them now work as a lobbyist, a few examples Micaela Fernandez now the chief D.C. lobbyist for Walmart, Howard Moon, lobbyist for the drug company Amgen and Cindy Jiminez, Cindy Jimenez, lobbyist for United Technologies.
We reached out to all of them procurement. Nobody responded.
SHEILA KRUMHOLZ, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, CENTER FOR RESPONSIBLE POLITICS: It used to be that a physician as a senior staffer on Capital Hill or in a congressional committee would be the pinnacle of one's career.
Now, it's more typical that a staffer will come in, do their instants in member's office or on committee and hightail it to Case Street where they collect much, much bigger paycheck at a really young age.
GRIFFIN: The Center for Responsible Politics keeps track of all these revolving door lobbyist. People who work on Capital Hill, learned the trades sort of speak and graduate to the more lucrative field of lobbying their former bosses. And this lobbying university is turning out lots, and lots of graduates.
The Senator for Responsible Politics was Nancy Pelosi's office is having launched the careers of 29 lobbyist.
KRUMHOLZ: That's exactly why they're hired by Case Street to convert that expertise on an issue into legislative influence for a particular company or organization.
GRIFFIN: According to the center, Pelosi doesn't even rank in the top 10 of politicians who have revolving doors with the lobbying business. The all time leader is Former Senator Ted Kennedy with 61 people who bounced between lobbying and being part of his staff. Former Senator Hillary Clinton ranked second out of 51. The rest of the top 10 all from the senate and five are Democrats, five are Republicans.
So, if everybody does it and it's perfectly legal, why hide it. That's what we wanted to ask Congresswoman Pelosi on this rainy Tuesday night outside Rosa Mexicano. So we waited until she came up that back way through the kitchen down that hallway for a rather brief interview.
Nancy Pelosi, how are you?
NANCY PELOSI: Good.
GRIFFIN: Interesting fundraising tonight.
PELOSI: It wasn't great.
GRIFFIN: Your alumni from the staff seem to be hosting it for you.
PELOSI: The family affair.
GRIFFIN: Critics of too much money in politics couldn't have said it better themselves.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COPPER: It's a family affair. It really seems to be. Drew joins me live. So it's $500 to get in the door of that event. Where is does that money go exactly? Do we know?
GRIFFIN: This money goes to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee of which Pelosi has taken in charge of and really her main job in Washington is for raising money for her Democratic Party. Republicans do this too. But just today Anderson, Nancy Pelosi and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee released this state in taunting her ability to raise money.
$100 million, more than a $100 million in this election cycle, she is going to 750 fund raising or campaigning events. Since 1992, she has raised -- I think 2002 as I should say, she's raising more than $460 million. It is clear from all of our reporting that the main job of these people in congress is to raise money for themselves or other candidates and it's all consuming.
COOPER: Wow, Drew Griffin, thanks very much really I appreciate. If you got a tip for Drew, the CNN investigation scene, you got the cnn.com/investigate. We love to hear from you.
Up next, the question is who killed Osama bin Laden. The breaking news tonight, how much controversy a Navy SEAL has reported claim the credit is causing. Details on that ahead.
COOPER: To an earlier telling (inaudible) to Esquire magazine where the SEAL team member remained anonymous. What's interesting about it is that it differs from the one other public version of what exactly happened inside the compound including who is specifically took the shot that killed Bin Laden. More now on both accounts from Brian Todd.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: They spent about 40 minutes on the ground, but it was what happened in a crucial few seconds that's now in dispute among the Navy SEALs who killed Osama bin laden.
Recently a former SEAL, identifying himself only as the shooter, told "Esquire" magazine he was the man who fired the kill shots.
This animation lays out his description to Esquire. Three SEALs move to the third floor of the compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. After the point man intercepts two women in the hallway, the shooter moves into a bedroom.
By his account there's a gun within bin Laden's reach. As he tells Phil Bronstein in "Esquire," the shooter fires three rounds at bin Laden.
PHIL BRONSTEIN, CENTER FOR INVESTIGATIVE REPORTING: And he shot him once in the forehead and another time in the forehead and he was going down. And then a third time in the forehead when he was at the foot of his bed, obviously probably already dead.
TODD: But another SEAL who's part of SEAL Team 6, which executed the raid, now tells CNN national security analyst Peter Bergen this.
PETER BERGEN, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: The account in the Esquire piece is inaccurate. It was not the shooter that's described in that article who killed bin Laden. It was, in fact, the point man who fired the first -- shot at Osama bin laden and hit him in the head.
TODD: This animation shows that version.
The SEAL tells Bergen, three men up the stairs. The point man fires from the area of the stairs as bin Laden's peering out the door of the bedroom. That's the first shot that hits him.
Bin Laden's gravely wounded. The point man bundles the two women aside.
BERGEN: And then two SEALs came in, one of them the shooter, and finished bin Laden off on the floor.
TODD: That's consistent with the account of former SEAL, Matt Bissonette, who wrote the book, "No Easy Day," under the pseudonym, Mark Owen.
Bissonette was one of the three SEALs on that third floor with bin Laden. Here's what he told CBS's "60 Minutes."
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So after Osama bin laden is wounded, he's still moving, you shot him twice?
MATT BISSONETTE, FORMER NAVY SEAL: A handful of times.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A handful of times and the SEAL in the stack behind you also shot Osama bin Laden and at that point his body was still?
TODD: Why should we believe the SEAL who spoke to you and Bissonette and not the guy who spoke to Esquire who was also right there?
BERGEN: You know, I did a little bit of digging around with President's former SEAL Team Six members and they say that, on balance, they found Bissonette to be a more credible person than the shooter in Esquire.
TODD: Brain Todd, CNN Washington.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: And Peter Bergen is the author of Manhunt, The Ten-year Search for Bin Laden from 9/11 to Abbottabad. And I spoke to him in our last hour.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: This really does against the whole ethos of the SEALs not to discuss, not to go into the details of an operation like this.
BERGEN: Sure but I guess the counter argument is that that quite a lot of senior officials who have talked about this or have written books about him. We just have a book from CIA Director Leon Panetta who of course was critical to the planning of this in which he gets into some of this.
So I think that I'm not trying to defend what is happened here, but I think if a defense was to be made it would be, "Hey other people have to talked about this." Now, of course, as you say Anderson, in the community particularly in the SEAL Team Six group, you know, there is great unhappiness about anybody coming forward and talking about it in any detail.
COOPER: And you have talked to people, I understand, in the SEAL community who cast out about what this guy is saying.
BERGEN: We'll never get to know what happened that night. The compound is now demolished. It was a very difficult night to know what was going on. There was no moon, there was no electricity. People were wearing night vision gaggles, there was a fire fight. The whole thing took about, you know, at most 15 minutes. There was a helicopter crash. I mean it was a deeply confusing situation.
Certainly, I think the kind of consensus is that there is a point man who shot the kill shot for Bin Laden. That person is by all accounts not going to identify himself. But there have been two now people who are have identified themselves, one with the pseudonym, another who is supposedly going to come on Fox and out of himself with his real name.
And I think that there is quite a little unhappiness particularly about this new person. His account is very heroic. It is doesn't really matched with what we don't know about what happened that night which is that there was a shot and that it wasn't one person taking bin Laden down as he reach for his weapon as this new presence seems to be suggesting.
COOPER: I also understand that some of your resources inside the SEALS told you that this person has sort of been bragging about this in local bars. BERGEN: Yes, and apparently he was demoted from the Red Squandering which was squandering that did the raid. He was sort of, you know, because he was being too public rather earlier on. So, you know, there's a quite a lot of unhappiness. I think that as the story develops, I think you're going to see a lot of push back on this guy's account of what happened that night.
COOPER: Do we know why he is coming forward? I mean...
BERGEN: I really don't Anderson, because I think he has put himself in a great deal of legal jeopardy. Think of what happened to (inaudible) Mark Owen, who is...
COOPER: I mean he -- but he just -- he does have a book he is selling.
BERGEN: No, that's right. But I mean, you know, he is -- it's puzzling. I don't want to impugn motive here. It's puzzling because he has put himself and I think a fair amount of legal jeopardy to go and be part of a documentary on Fox in which he takes credit for the killing of Bin Laden.
COOPER: Right, they're also in confidentially (inaudible).
BERGEN: Yes, they signed on disclosure agreements and I mean it's blinding the obvious if you're joining these communities. I mean the mare naming this guy, I mean his actual identify is supposed to be covered up. Forget about any details of the raid that he might produce.
So, you know, this is -- there is supposed to be account of silence and, you know, he seems through decided to go outside of it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Well, let's see what happen with that. Coming up next, a nurse who does not have Ebola, was also determined and uptake on two governors who want to confine her, the quarantine. Kaci Hickox speaks out.
COOPER: Welcome back. Some of the unlikely issues have made an impact on the 2014 campaign including what to do about the Ebola virus where they quarantine anyone who comes home after carrying for Ebola patients in West Africa.
Well, today Kaci Hickox, the nurse who has been a central figure on the quarantine debate, cut a deal with authorities in her home state of Maine. It permits her travel freely in public while require her to monitor her health closely and runs to the 10th of this month. It's by an improvement over the 10th that she has confined to after she landed in Newark Airport in the way back from volunteering in West Africa.
Since then, she has been sharply critical in New Jersey's Governor Chris Christie and Paul LePage, the governor of Maine. I spoke to Kaci earlier this evening.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: So Kaci, you've now reached agreement with the state even though you're allowed to go wherever you want. You say you're not going to go into town. You won't go into crowded public places. Explain why that is? Why did you make that decision?
KACI HICKOX, NURSE WHO FOUGHT QUARANTINE: You know, the truth is I completely understand that this town has been through a lot and there still a lot of fears and misinformation out there. I think we need to start addressing those issues, but it's also true that I only moved here to Fort Knox Maine in August. So you know, there are a lot of people who don't know. I'm still an outsider and I just sort of want to respect to their wishes. But I really hope that one day in the near future I could come back from an Ebola assignment and walk into the grocery store and people would smile and say, "Hi".
COOPER: Can you explain why you fought the way you did? Because there a lot of people and, you know, I got tweets from a lot of people saying, "Well look, out of abundance of caution, people are afraid. You should just stay in your house. You should just agree to be quarantined." Why did you fight, not just one governor but two?
HICKOX: You know, I mean I think coming back to the Newark airport and seeing complete chaos and this organization and no leadership, was a really frustrating sight to see. And when policies are put in place and sort of the policy aren't organize well and staff aren't trained well, it just a scary situation.
But of course the biggest reason that I thought is because I, you know, felt so much fear and confusion and I imagined what my fellow aid workers were going to feel if they came back to the same situation. And the more I thought about the fact that these polities are being made by politicians really not the experts in the field, the more I felt like I had no choice but to fight back.
COOPER: When Governor Christie says that it was abundance of caution. It was motivating him. You don't buy that?
HICKOX: I don't buy that at all, you know, again whenever we're making policies, especially something as extreme as quarantine. In the history of using quarantine in public health, you know, this is something that has to be really considered it's an extreme policy and there is no science behind it with this disease. We know the Ebola has not transmitted as easily as many other disease. And that self monitoring and even an enhance version which is what most state in the U.S. are going to know this direct active monitoring where the help department is more involved. These will work.
COOPER: The thing I don't understand, your partner, your boyfriend is a nursing student at the University of Maine. And I understand he is still staying away from his school's campus. The university is saying it's voluntary. Is that in fact the case? Because I would think of all places that would understand that I mean first all, your not sick, you not contagious, so his certainly not sick and certainly not contagious. So why does he have to stay away from a nursing school. I would think of all the people that understand that. The people at nursing school would understand.
HICKOX: Yeah, I mean I think this is, you know, an even deeper level of this issue that these quarantine policies are not only going to affect the aid worker returning but it's going to end up affecting their entire families. What if I had children and my, you know, child's elementary school decided to say "Well, we don't what your kid coming back because their going to have contacts with you." You know, again it's not base on any science of evidence but it's scary.
I can't comment too much directly about my partner specifically. But the dean of academic affairs of the school, you know, went on national TV and said that Ted wasn't going to be allowed to go school. And this is the exact example of how when we flame the fear instead of really facing it, then we all lose. And again, you know, I think we have to be very careful about allowing our rights to be taking away really base on hysteria instead of science.
COOPER: What effect do you hope your fight will have for other aid workers when they come back either through how their treated to the airport of by politicians or how they decide to react a demands for quarantines?
HICKOX: Yeah, I mean I think the fight is not over even in the state of Maine, you know, my courts rolling is just for my case, the state of Maine policy that was written on the 28th of this month -- of last month, sorry, still says that anyone who has had contact with the patient in West Africa will be put under in home quarantine. So, the battle is not over and I think all of the state and I'd like to see more leadership at the national level as well, you know, we really need evidence base policies and these (inaudible) reactions, you know, there just not being well fought out.
COOPER: Kaci, I really appreciate all you've done for many, many years, for a lot of people overseas and all around the world. Thank you so much for talking to us.
HICKOX: Thank you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Coming next, the clock ticking toward Election Day. I'll ask our political panel about the one thing that they'll be looking for tomorrow night, next.
COOPER: Back with political panel for some final thoughts on Election Day eve. Democratic Strategies Paul Begala and Cornel Belcher and Republican consultant Alex Castellanos.
Paul what's the big thing you're going to look for tomorrow night?
BEGALA: African-American turnout, a lot of people are betting that African-American won't turnout, a lot of States have put barriers into the vote that disadvantage minority communities. Will they overcome that?
BELCHER: I'm looking at -- I know something we're not covering here but it's really important in most of these states, the governor races. And across the country from Michigan to Kansas you have republican governors on the ropes. This is all about Obama, why are there more Republican governor in troubled than Democrats (inaudible).
COOPER: Why do you think that it?
BELCHER: Because their doing a bad job of governing.
CASTELLANOS: Two things, Charlie Baker could be the next governor, a Republican in Massachusetts. And if so he can become a national rock star. But also do Republicans thinks that their ideas and principles are good for more than saying no to everything. Colorado, there's optimistic positive Republican, could be the future of Republican Party.
COOPER: So are you interested in government races? I mean or do you...
BEGALA: Terribly the most important to me, Kansas. The blood red state, Romney won by 22 points. The Republican governor there is on the rope. He had no major scandal, his done what republican say they want, he's cut taxes enormously and cut spending. Turns out people in Kansas don't like that very much because the spending is schools. And the taxes many people believe been catches for rich folks. Sam Brownback like the governor Kansas is on the ropes, that's unimaginable to me in a blood red state like that.
COOPER: All right, glad to watch for it. Paul Begala thanks, Alex Castellanos, Cornell Belcher as well, be sure to join us tomorrow night for our special election night coverage. CNN tonight starts now.