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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Can Hillary Stop Obama?; John McCain and Conservative Radio Talk Show Hosts
Aired February 27, 2008 - 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.
Tonight, the race for the Democratic nomination. Where does Hillary Clinton go from here? We will show you the latest from the campaign trail. Barack Obama facing a taste of the hits he will be taking if he's the nominee. Some rough stuff today. How is he handling it? We will examine that.
Also, John McCain landing a clean punch on Senator Obama, then taking a counterpunch to the chin. We will tell you about that.
We will also look at Rush Limbaugh and others targeting him today after he smacked down another right-wing talk show host for talking trash about Obama. Will McCain cane win votes in the middle by taking on the extremes?
And, later, Roger Clemens, he told lawmakers he never used steroids or human growth hormone, HGH. Now those same Democratic and Republican lawmakers are saying, we don't believe you. They're asking the Justice Department to investigate.
We begin tonight with Hillary Clinton's rocky road to the Democratic nomination and some explosive opening shots today in the general election campaign between Barack Obama and John McCain. Of course, that is jumping the gun, but it never stopped anyone in politics before, certainly not pollsters.
Take a look at this. A new "L.A. Times" poll shows John McCain in a statistical tie with Senator Obama in a hypothetical November matchup. Senator Clinton trails McCain by six points in the same poll. For now, though, Senators Obama and Clinton have to deal with each other first.
Today saw a new endorsement for Barack Obama which represented a big setback for Senator Clinton.
Details on all of that from CNN's Candy Crowley.
CANDY CROWLEY, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In a political and personal blow to Hillary Clinton, Congressman John Lewis, civil rights legend, and early Clinton supporter, is jumping ship.
REP. JOHN LEWIS (D), GEORGIA: This man, this senator, Barack Obama, somehow, in some way has been able to emerge, to carry the hopes and dreams and aspiration of millions of people.
CROWLEY: Noting his Georgia district voted for Obama, Lewis said, "Something is happening in America, something some of us did not see coming."
SEN. HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON (D-NY), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Continuing our focus on jobs, which is the key here.
CROWLEY: The news comes as Clinton tries to steady her campaign in the most critical days of her presidential bid. She relentlessly talks problems, policies and plans to solve them, shuttling from Texas to Ohio and back again. Her game plan? Focus voters on the states.
H. CLINTON: What I feel is happening is that people are turning toward the big questions that they should have to answer in this campaign. Who can be the best commander in chief we want in the White House answering the phone at 3:00 a.m.? Who will be the best steward of the economy?
CROWLEY: Behind the scenes, the campaign is trying to stop the slow bleed. Top Clinton supporters are urging high-profile politics eying Obama to hold off.
During three weeks this month, he spent nearly $4 million in ads, almost twice as much as she has. A fund-raising plea was put out under Bill Clinton's name. "Let's show the Obama campaign," it read, "that they can't win this race just by throwing more money at it."
It does not help her cause that John McCain is tuning up for a general campaign in a way that suggests he expects Obama will be his opponent. Flashing his foreign policy credentials, McCain is mocking Obama for saying, after U.S. forces are withdrawal drawn, he would send them back if al Qaeda resurges and Iraq is in chaos.
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R-AZ), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I have some news. Al Qaeda is in Iraq. Al Qaeda -- it's called al Qaeda in Iraq. And, my friends, they wouldn't -- if we left, they wouldn't be establishing a base. They wouldn't be establishing a base. They would be taking a country, and I'm not going to allow that to happen, my friends. I will not surrender.
CROWLEY: Without offering a direct answer, Obama, nonetheless, is happy to have this discussion.
SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D-IL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I have some news for John McCain. And that is that there was no such thing as al Qaeda in Iraq until George Bush and John McCain decided to invade Iraq.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
CROWLEY: It is a fall preview of a story not yet written. Camp Clinton argues and polls support the idea that she could well win both Ohio and Texas this Tuesday, two big states, one pivotal race, and so little time.
COOPER: So little time, indeed.
Candy, you mentioned in the piece that the Lewis endorsement is a personal, psychological and political blow to Hillary Clinton. Easy to see how it's personal. Why potentially psychologically and politically damaging?
CROWLEY: Well, politically, it could start the flow. John Lewis himself said, I think, if other people see me, they think, OK, I can climb aboard this, too.
And, psychologically, here's the Clinton campaign. It's struggling to find some terra firm politically. And it loses, really, what has been a major endorsement. I mean, this is a huge guy, not just in the African-American community, but in the civil rights community at large. So, it is a big loss, and it comes at a time when the Clinton campaign didn't need another punch.
COOPER: What John Lewis went through and persevered and did in the civil rights movement is truly heroic in the history of this country.
The state of mind, though, in the Clinton camp, how are they reacting to this idea that is gaining steam, no doubt about it, that they're -- they're really one loss away from leaving the race?
CROWLEY: Well they're reacting to it by saying, listen, you know, take a look at these polls. If we win Ohio, if we win Texas, we will be back in it.
But I have to tell you, there was a really interesting interview yesterday that Hillary Clinton did with the Christian Broadcasting Network. And she talked a little bit about Obama. And it was a little bit to what John Lewis got to, some sort of -- she just seemed mystified as to what was going on here.
She called Obama a phenomenon. She said this is about him, and, you know, who he is, and seemed not to be able to kind of put this in place. And I think John Lewis is exactly right. I think neither the Clinton campaign, nor John Lewis, nor, frankly, about 95 percent of journalists understood the power that a campaign like Obama's would have, that kind of subterranean urge by Americans for something different.
And he's brought that to the surface. And I think it really is a cause of wonderment at this point to the Clinton campaign and, frankly, a lot of other people.
COOPER: I'm shocked that include journalists in on that mystification.
CROWLEY: Some journalists, I said.
COOPER: Candy, thanks very much.
COOPER: Now conservative talk radio's war on John McCain, and vice versa.
Senator McCain amped it up yesterday -- we talked about it on the program -- slapping down a Cincinnati talk show host who took some harsh shots at Barack Obama at a McCain event.
Well, today, Rush Limbaugh and others fired back. The question tonight, is it going to hurt McCain with conservative voters in November more than it helps him with moderates?
More on that from CNN's John King.
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R-AZ), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The reason why I had to repudiate that was because it was a campaign event.
JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): It is war now. And words are Bill Cunningham's weapon of choice.
BILL CUNNINGHAM, CONSERVATIVE RADIO HOST: And I'm saying to John McCain, I'm done with you. I may not vote for Hillary, but I'm sure as hell not going to vote for Juan Pablo McCain, who wants to give amnesty to millions of illegals.
KING: The conservative radio host says it will be this way from now until November...
CUNNINGHAM: John McCain is finding it impossible to connect with conservatives because of what he did to me yesterday.
KING: ... unless Senator McCain apologizes for condemning Cunningham and a whole lot more.
CUNNINGHAM: He would have to apologize for McCain/Feingold, apologize for McCain/Kennedy, apologize for McCain/Lieberman, apologize for shutting down Gitmo, apologize for opposing the Bush tax cuts, say he's sorry, he made a mistake, and then I might consider it.
KING: Campaigning in Texas, the senator was in no mood to apologize, saying Cunningham is free to say whatever he wants on the radio, but not at an official McCain campaign event.
MCCAIN: Americans want a respectful campaign. And they will get it from me. KING: War with conservative talk radio is anything but helpful. And Rush Limbaugh quickly took Cunningham's side, mocking McCain's apology.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "THE RUSH LIMBAUGH SHOW")
RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: I'm sorry. It's uncalled for. It's uncalled for in American politics. It's not going to happen.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: The best McCain can do is try to turn the dustup to his advantage.
MCCAIN: I will always do what I believe is right, no matter what the political consequences are.
KING: At issue is Cunningham's warmup act at McCain's Tuesday Cincinnati rally.
CUNNINGHAM: Because now we have a hack Chicago-style Daley politician...
And maybe start covering Barack Hussein Obama...
KING: Cunningham is a local legend, invited by local Republicans who know he's a magnet for controversy.
MAGGIE NAFZIGER, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, HAMILTON COUNTY REPUBLICAN PARTY: You're playing with a little bit of fire, but at the same time, I don't think anyone expected the comments.
KING: The immediate frustration for Republican activists like Maggie Nafziger...
NAFZIGER: The story doesn't cover a damn word that McCain said.
KING: ... headlines about the controversy, not about McCain's political message. The longer-term worry is the impact among conservatives who already doubt McCain. Cincinnati is critical to Republican chances in close Ohio campaigns. And, while, on Tuesday, Republicans called Cunningham a critical player, the clear goal Wednesday was to play down the potential damage.
NAFZIGER: I don't think that hurt Senator McCain at all. I mean, he is a conservative. He's clearly, by far, the most conservative in the race. So, I don't think Bill Cunningham's comments will hurt Senator McCain at all.
KING: Bill Cunningham thinks his voice does matter.
CUNNINGHAM: McCain should lose this election, and then the Democrat win.
KING: He has 250 days to prove it. John King, CNN, Cincinnati.
COOPER: We shall see.
More on the "Raw Politics" from our panel, CNN senior political analyst David Gergen, former Mitt Romney senior staffer Bay Buchanan, and Roland Martin, who is both a CNN contributor and a radio talk show host.
Bay, are you surprised the backlash against McCain has been so severe and continues now? It seems like kind of a new front in it.
BAY BUCHANAN, PRESIDENT, AMERICAN CAUSE: No, I'm not the least bit surprised.
I was astounded the press didn't pick it up yesterday. As soon as John McCain stepped out there and took a position he did not have to do -- he did not have to go after Cunningham at all. He could say, listen, the man is a good man. I appreciate his support. He says things that I don't always agree with, but that's part of the American way, anything like that.
But, instead, what he did is, he went out of his way and went after Cunningham. It was a message to conservatives: I want you with me, but don't expect me to be with you.
It didn't surprise me at all.
COOPER: Bay, do you think that he -- he seemed to be trying to turn that into a positive today by saying, look, I say what I think and I do things which I -- may not be politically in my best interest, but which I think are the right things to do. Isn't that a principle he can run on?
BUCHANAN: Well, it is. It's something that he says he's been doing for a number of years.
But, then, doesn't that, Anderson, give conservative an opening to say, listen, we have got to do what we think is right, and we're going to stand -- we have got to be -- you have taught us how to be mavericks and it's time for us to be mavericks now?
The key here is, it's something that McCain didn't have to do. He did not have to offend conservatives. He did not have to go and take on Cunningham, a man that went out on a limb to endorse him, to help him in that state, whose own listeners, I'm sure, would have taken him on for doing it. But he went to try to help McCain. And does McCain do? He cuts him loose as soon as there's any kind of problem. It's -- he tells us he's never going to be with us.
ROLAND MARTIN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Oh, Bay, come on.
COOPER: David, how do you see this playing out long term? I mean, is this something McCain is going to face, you know, obviously six months from now?
DAVID GERGEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, it's -- you know, just a week ago, the conservative talk show hosts were rallying to McCain over "The New York Times" story, and now this.
This is going to be a very, very uneasy, tense marriage, isn't it, between John McCain and the radio talk show hosts.
COOPER: It's going to be -- it's like a Britney Spears marriage. It lasts like a day.
GERGEN: Well, and I have to tell you, I think Bay Buchanan is right, that it's the -- you know, he's got a bit of a flashy temper. We all know that that can flash. And he takes strong stands.
So, he's -- he came down hard. I -- I -- we have seen Republican presidents in the past -- Ronald Reagan didn't always agree with the talk show hosts, and nor did George H.W. Bush, nor did George W. Bush. But they all managed to stay out of fights with them, which I think is a wise way to go.
So, I think this is -- there's a real tension and a contradiction between -- in his campaign, just as there is in the Obama campaign. In his campaign, the contradiction is between John McCain trying to bring the conservatives with him and at the same time rallying the independents with his maverick status.
COOPER: Yes. I mean, Roland, shouldn't they kind of know what they were getting into? I mean, this guy, Cunningham, is well known, I guess, in the area.
MARTIN: You know, Anderson, let me cut to the chase.
Cunningham was like a spoiled brat. And if my dad or my mom saw me acting that way, they probably would have spanked my behind for embarrassing them in public. OK?
As a radio talk show host, if somebody invites you, you know how to act. It's not your radio show. And you know what? It's not about you. It's about the candidate. It's about him.
And, so, McCain had to do that because of how he behaved. He behaved like a spoiled child. And all these conservative talk show hosts, what they want to do is just be rabid and just go on and on and on. What they need to understand is by saying, well, you know what, I'm not going to vote for him, let the Democrats have it, the conservatives are sitting one vote away from a Supreme Court majority.
COOPER: There are a rabid liberal radio show hosts as well.
MARTIN: Well, they are.
COOPER: It seems to be the nature of the beast.
MARTIN: They are. But know how to behave in public.
MARTIN: The conservatives are sitting one vote away from a majority in the Supreme Court.
So, you mean to tell me that they're going to act like children and sacrifice that because he wants to put them down and put them in their place? He should have been put in his place.
COOPER: We're going to more on this after the break and more on what is going on the Democratic side. we will have from our panel in just a moment.
You can get in on the conversation as well. I'm blogging, as always, during the broadcast. So is Erica Hill. Go to CNN.com/360, although I think she's just logging in right now.
COOPER: Up ahead: putting a new campaign face on Bill Clinton, a kinder, gentler one. Where's he been? Is it working? We will look at that.
And, later, the company Web site boasts that no one gets you closer to sharks in the wild, close enough, it turns out, at least to get killed in one case -- a diver fatally bitten. And the allegations are flying about a tour operator that some say was a tragedy waiting to happen. But is the biggest danger in all this maybe to the sharks?
We will explain that and more -- ahead on 360.
MCCAIN: I have some news. Al Qaeda is in Iraq. Al Qaeda -- it's called al Qaeda in Iraq.
OBAMA: I have some news for John McCain. And that is that there was no such thing as al Qaeda in Iraq until George Bush and John McCain decided to invade Iraq.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: That was the punch and counterpunch on al Qaeda in Iraq that we saw today on the campaign trail between McCain and Obama, no doubt a preview of what's going to be happening, well, if they are the nominees from here on in.
We're back with our panel, David Gergen, Bay Buchanan, and Roland Martin.
Bay, it was interesting to hear Obama -- and I'm not sure if this is the first time he's done it -- but basically say George Bush and John McCain got us into the war in Iraq.
Clearly, you know, they're kind of dancing around each other, beginnings of what this argument is going to look like. If you're advising John McCain, how do you use Iraq against Obama?
BUCHANAN: What he has to do -- and -- and you have already seen signs of this -- is to make certain you paint him as somebody that wants to surrender in Iraq, that he wants to put up that white -- that white flag, and then ask America, are we ready to surrender? Look at all the good things that are going on. We're making enormous success over there.
And here we have got this guy wants to be president and pull us out of there precipitously. And I don't think America is ready to surrender. And I think they very feel good about things in the direction of Iraq right now. So, I think he could have a winning issue there.
COOPER: David, how do you see this issue playing out, I mean, toe to toe, Obama against McCain on national security, especially in Iraq, probably the one issue which might highlight the starkest contrast between the two of them?
But I do think Bay is right on the general area. And that is John McCain is going to go after Barack Obama as sort of the George McGovern of 1972. That's what Richard Nixon did with McGovern: You're going to surrender in Vietnam. It's an unpopular war, but you're going to surrender. You're going to pull us back out.
And, as you know, Nixon rolled up a landslide. A big difference here. Barack Obama is very good at the thrust and parry of politics. He turned that line right back on John McCain today and got a roar out of that crowd.
BUCHANAN: He sure did.
GERGEN: He's going to -- you know, this is going to be a rock em sock em campaign, with people looking forward to the backing-and- forthing, because it's turning -- we have had a campaign mostly about personalities so far, because it's intraparty, and we have just been looking at minor differences among the candidates.
But between the Democrats and the Republicans, there are fundamentally different world views about how we go from here -- where we go from here.
COOPER: Yes. It's going to be fascinating. Roland, Congressman John Lewis made it official today -- we talked about this before -- switching his support from Clinton to Obama. What kind of an impact does that have, not only on the morale in the Clinton camp, but -- but on the Obama campaign and those who might come to support it?
MARTIN: Well, it's very difficult for the Clintons, because, frankly, they were trying to keep Lewis from making this announcement. He is extremely close to former President Bill Clinton, very close to Senator Hillary Clinton.
But here's the key, why John Lewis did this. Because his district went 3-1 for Obama. Also, last week, a 30-year-old pastor announced that he's going to challenge John Lewis in his congressional race. I can tell you, I have talked to several members of Congress who are African-American. And they are concerned that those who supported Clinton, that they're going to have challengers when it comes to the next election.
So, the last thing they want to do is to go against their constituents. And, so, from Obama's standpoint, what this does is force other people to say, wait a minute, if this guy is picking up a John Lewis, who was an ardent supporter of Clinton, we may want to reconsider this. Clinton has to win both states on March 4. She must win Texas and Ohio.
If she only wins Ohio and loses Texas, or wins Texas and loses Ohio, you're going to see more superdelegates move. They're going to John Lewis' lead.
COOPER: David, what about that? If she wins one state, doesn't win the other, does she stay in it?
GERGEN: There will be huge pressure on her to get out if she -- and she's going to have a very hard time raising money if she loses a state next week, one of the big two states. So, I think, fundamentally, she's got to win both.
And, right now, you know, it looks like it's going to be very, very hard for her to win in Texas, especially win on the delegate side. She's still holding that lead in Ohio, but it continues to chip away day by day.
BUCHANAN: Yes. And...
COOPER: Bay, do you agree with that? If she loses one state, she's out?
BUCHANAN: I think she is, because I think, going -- what my colleague just said is, you will start to see the superdelegates to start moving away, because they don't want a contested convention. They know that that's not good politics.
And, so, I think you will see more and more superdelegates start to split, leaving a clear indication to Hillary that she cannot do it now, and it's time to get out.
COOPER: It just gets more and more interesting.
Bay Buchanan, David Gergen, Roland Martin, thank you all. Interesting perspectives.
MARTIN: Thank you.
GERGEN: Thank you.
COOPER: Check out the 360 blog for David Gergen's post on last night's Democratic debate. It's a great conversation you can join at CNN.com/360.
We will have more politics ahead.
Does Bill Clinton have a new role in his wife's campaign, and is it enough to make a difference before primaries less than a week away? That's coming up.
But, first, Erica Hill joins us with a 360 bulletin -- Erica.
ERICA HILL, HEADLINE NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Hello there.
HILL: Nice haircut, by the way.
COOPER: Nice hair -- oh, well, thank you.
HILL: We start off actually with a very serious story.
Family and friends and fans tonight remembering William F. Buckley, one of the founders of the modern conservative movement. He died today at his home in Connecticut. Buckley was, of course, best known as the founder and editor of "The National Review." He also authored, though, more than 50 books, many of them spy novels. William F. Buckley was 82.
Police in Los Angeles on the hunt tonight for a gunman who fired into a crowd at a bus stop, seven people wounded, two of them critically. Police believe the gunman was in fact targeting one of the injured.
And a pilot fired for a "Top Gun"-like stunt at a Boeing factory, at the Boeing factory in Everett, Washington. The senior Cathay Pacific pilot did a low flyby with the newly delivered 777, but his bosses, Anderson, not impressed.
COOPER: What was he -- that -- that should be a "What was he thinking"? That is just moronic.
HILL: Moronic, excellent word choice.
COOPER: And, you know, you complimented me on my haircut.
HILL: I did.
COOPER: And I sensed some sarcasm in your comment.
HILL: No, no, no, none at all.
COOPER: Oh, no, I -- you can deny it all you will.
COOPER: I know you have recently just had your hair done, but I think we have a picture of you right about a week ago.
COOPER: Yes. Yes.
HILL: No wonder they were telling me to tell you again.
COOPER: Yes. There you go.
COOPER: So, mock away, Erica Hill.
HILL: Never gets old, does?
COOPER: Mock away.
HILL: I'm comfortable with it.
HILL: I brought the picture in once years ago. So, it's fine.
COOPER: All right.
Stay right there. "What Were They Thinking?" is next. A campus emergency drill -- this is unbelievable -- causes chaos and anger, went so bad, counseling is actually being offered to students and faculty because of this drill. We will tell you what went down.
And, later, the evolving role of Bill Clinton on the campaign trail. He's now less visible, to say the least, and a lot quieter. Is it helping Hillary?
We will look at that when 360 continues.
COOPER: Time for our segment now "What Were They Thinking?"
Some scary moments, Erica, for students at Elizabeth City State University in North Carolina. Last Friday, an armed man burst into a classroom, threatening to kill students and the professor. But it turns out it was all part of an emergency drill, a drill that a lot of students...
COOPER: ... yes, and faculty say they didn't know anything about.
The professor in the classroom says that felt so real, he was prepared to die. Now, school officials claim that they sent e-mails and text messages warning of the upcoming test. Those students say those messages were not clear. Keep in mind, this drill came just days after a gunman killed five people and himself at Northern Illinois University. So...
HILL: That's really -- that's really the kicker there, too, I think.
HILL: I mean, it underscores that event, tells you, wow, we need to do a drill, but maybe you should wait a little bit longer.
COOPER: Yes. Yes. And you're sitting in a classroom. Suddenly, a guy bursts in with a gun? I mean, it just doesn't seem like a good idea.
COOPER: Grief counselors were at Elizabeth City State University yesterday apparently for the students traumatized by the drill.
What were they thinking?
Still ahead tonight, a lot of cover. Who's telling the truth? Congress is not convinced it's Roger Clemens. The Justice Department is now being asked to investigate whether the star pitcher lied under oath. That happened the .
And a kindler, gentler Bill Clinton hitting the trail, no more attacks, no more finger-waving. We have got the "Raw Politics" behind the new approach.
First, Erica is here again with 360.
HILL: Indeed, I am.
Arnold Schwarzenegger joking with President Bush and first lady Laura Bush after a state dinner for the nation's governors.
The caption winner from Kay (ph) on our staff: "Yes, Mr. President, Anderson's Coop -- Anderson's -- Anderson Cooper's bicep is in fact that big."
It's -- I mean, here in the studio, it's -- it's rough. (LAUGHTER)
HILL: See, I can't even speak. Just, yes, those guns, A.C.
COOPER: Yes, well.
COOPER: If you think you can do better, go to CNN.com/360. Send us your submission. We will announce the winner at the end of the program.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BILL CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This is a one-man, one-vote country. And I'm amazed nobody like you ever -- you should be offended by this. You think that one person's vote should count five times as much as another?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think...
B. CLINTON: We had nothing to do with that lawsuit.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I understand.
B. CLINTON: I read about it in the newspaper.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Bill Clinton, that was him angry about allegations of campaign legal dirty tricks back in Nevada in January. He was certainly a lot more front and center back then. Remember that, letting loose on reporters, lecturing on presidential politics, calling Barack Obama's opposition to the Iraq war a fairy tale?
Well, these days, there is a much different former President Clinton on the campaign trail, much more low-key and reined in by his wife's campaign staff. Did somebody tell Bill Clinton to chill?
Joe Johns has that.
B. CLINTON: ... I think
JOE JOHNS, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): When Bill Clinton speaks these days on the campaign trail, it's all about what you don't hear.
B. CLINTON: So, if you want to fix it, Hillary is your only choice for president.
JOHNS: No attacks, nothing risky.
B. CLINTON: God bless you. We need your help.
JOHNS: Call it Bill Clinton 2.0, a kinder, gentler former president.
JULIAN EPSTEIN, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: The president realizes that, he is such a media attraction, that, no matter what he says, they will make controversy out of that, and that can become a distraction.
JOHNS: What happened? At the beginning of the campaign, Clinton insiders say the former president decided to go directly after Barack Obama on the Iraq war.
B. CLINTON: You said, in 2004, there was no difference between and you George Bush on the war, and you took that speech you're now running on off your Web site in 2004. And there's no difference in your voting record and Hillary's ever since.
Give me a break.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
B. CLINTON: This whole thing is the biggest fairy tale I have ever seen.
JOHNS: But, by the time they got to South Carolina, that fairy tale sound bite came back to haunt him.
(on camera): The fairy tale was Obama'S claim to have consistently opposed the war. But people heard it as a comment on Obama himself. And it touched a raw nerve, especially among African- Americans.
(voice-over): More South Carolina Democrats who said Bill Clinton was a factor in their vote voted for Barack Obama. And Bill Clinton took himself off the firing line.
B. CLINTON: Whenever I defend her, I, A, risk being misquoted and, B, risk being the story. This is her campaign and her presidency and her decisions. And, so, even if I win an argument with another candidate, it's not the right thing to do.
JOHNS: Since then, he's been sticking more closely to the script. This is from today.
B. CLINTON: If you think there was a real difference in the '90s and this decade and you'd like somebody who will do even better in the future, you should vote for her. She's your change maker.
JOHNS: Notice the difference? Is it working? Hard to tell. But with the campaign now struggling, some wish Bill Clinton was back drawing contrasts.
JULIAN EPSTEIN, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: I think the president could be very, very effective in drawing the distinctions between her and Barack Obama. She needs to do that. President Clinton, I think, needs to do that and will do that if she gets past the March 4 primary.
JOHNS: It's clearly time to pull out all the stops. But for now, it seems, Mr. Clinton isn't one of them.
Joe Johns, CNN, Washington.
COOPER: Straight ahead, The Rocket under fire. Roger Clemens, steroid denier. Problem is, the Democratic and Republican heads of the congressional committee he appeared before don't seem to believe him. They're pushing the Justice Department to investigate. We've got all the angles.
And later, is it a case of putting tourists in the middle of a shark feeding frenzy? It sounds like it. A diver died, but not everyone agrees on who's to blame. We'll talk to experts on both sides of the tragedy when 360 continues.
COOPER: Of course, Roger Clemens on the right, raising his hand, swearing to tell the truth before members of Congress. Now the pitcher, one of the greatest of all time, testified that he never, never took performance-enhancing drugs like steroids or HGH, human growth hormone. That's what he said.
Now, lawmakers suspect it was a pack of lies. Today House members asked the Justice Department to determine if Clemens committed perjury.
As for the 45-year-old pitcher, he says he wants to get on with baseball. But this is not going away.
CNN's David Mattingly has the latest developments.
DAVID MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Roger Clemens looked Congress straight in the eye and proclaimed his innocence.
ROGER CLEMENS, PROFESSIONAL BASEBALL PLAYER: Let me be clear. I have never taken steroids or HGH.
MATTINGLY: But after hours of Capitol Hill testimony and contrary statements from Clemens's own trainer, Brian McNamee, committee chairman Henry Waxman could only reach one conclusion.
REP. HENRY WAXMAN (D-CA), CHAIRMAN, OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE: It's impossible to believe this is a simple misunderstanding. Someone isn't telling the truth.
MATTINGLY: So Congress is calling the cops. In this letter to the U.S. attorney general, Waxman wants Clemens investigated to see if he committed perjury and made knowingly false statements.
If the Justice Department decides to get involved, former federal prosecutor Preston Burton says the questioning of Roger Clemens' credibility has only just begun.
PRESTON BURTON, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: It's an extremely serious matter. He -- if the Justice Department pursues this matter, and I believe they're going to have to, he is in for additional scrutiny, additional attacks on his credibility, and potentially criminal charges that could subject him to a term of imprisonment.
MATTINGLY (on camera): But why investigate Clemens for perjury and not trainer McNamee? That decision apparently has a lot to do with the testimony of fellow pitcher and Clemens' friend, Andy Pettitte.
(voice-over) Pettitte and another former Clemens teammate, Chuck Knoblauch, say McNamee was telling the truth when he said he injected them with human growth hormone.
In a letter to fellow Democrats, Chairman Waxman said, "There is little reason to believe that Mr. McNamee would provide truthful testimony about Mr. Pettitte and Mr. Knoblauch, but false testimony about Mr. Clemens."
RUSTY HARDIN, ROGER CLEMENS' ATTORNEY: The one thing we do know is, we will ultimate -- whether it is in civil court alone or civil and criminal court together, be facing what we conclude, what we believe is, the only reliable lie detector test, and that is a jury.
MATTINGLY: Clemens' attorney, Rusty Hardin, says they knew this would happen and says they look forward to an investigation that is out of public view. He says Clemens will continue to fight what he calls these false allegations with every ounce of strength he has.
David Mattingly, CNN, Atlanta.
COOPER: Well, charges are serious, no doubt about it. But where's the proof he lied and what's the penalty if he did?
Joining us for insight is anchor of "In Session" on TruTV, Lisa Bloom. So what -- what does this mean? I mean, he goes to Congress. They say he lied. What happens?
LISA BLOOM, ANCHOR, TRUTV'S "IN SESSION": Well, now there has to be an investigation, which the Justice Department may be opening up. So it could be a he said, he said, he said case.
The question is, is there hard evidence? Is there DNA evidence? Do the syringes and the vials that have been turned over by McNamee, do they have some kind of fingerprints on them, some DNA evidence on them linking them to Clemens? And if so, does he have a defense for that?
COOPER: So the stuff that McNamee said he saved, those syringes, that will be key to the case?
BLOOM: I think it will be. But the argument and the response is that he had this stuff all the time. There was time for tampering, and maybe they were used for a legitimate purpose, like B-12 injections.
COOPER: Because otherwise, it just boils down to he said, he said.
BLOOM: He said, he said, he said. Right, because there's also Pettitte, who says that Clemens told him...
COOPER: And for his wife who says it, as well.
BLOOM: So I mean, right. It's going to go back and forth. Perjury investigations are rare. Perjury conventions are even rarer. But they do happen. Look at Scooter Libby. Look at Martha Stewart. I mean, she was convicted of lying to investigators, very similar term. It does happen, especially against high-profile figures lying to authorities. Authorities try to make an example out of them. That could be what's going on here.
COOPER: What do you think the likelihood that charges will be brought?
BLOOM: I think the likelihood is high. But there seems to be a real sense that something has to be done. I think a lot of people do feel Roger Clemens is lying. Don't ask me why Congress is investigating this in a time of war.
COOPER: It's an important issue.
BLOOM: When the economy is taking -- why the Justice Department needs to be -- you know, taking time with this, but a lot of people feel strongly about it.
COOPER: And in terms of the timing on it, I mean, how long would an investigation take?
BLOOM: Well, it could take years. I mean, it really could. They have to go through all of these investigations. The other big question I have, though, is why did Roger Clemens, who's ably represented by counsel, volunteer to give sworn testimony under oath when he knew everybody was coming after him? If they couldn't get him for the steroids, they'd get him for the lying. They'd get him for the perjury. Surely he knew that. Surely his counsel advised him of that. But he decided, "I'm going to go, raise my right hand, swear to tell the truth anyway."
COOPER: Could it mean he's innocent?
BLOOM: It could mean he's innocent. But you know, as you point out, it's a he said, he said, he said, she said case. And you've got three people lined up against you. It might be very hard for him to establish his innocence.
COOPER: All right. Lisa Bloom, "In Session," TruTV. Thanks, Lisa. Appreciate it.
Up next, a deadly adventure. A man dies on a tour that lets people swim up close with hungry sharks. A lot of people said this is a tragedy waiting to happen. Others say it's just a freak accident. You can decide. We have different opinions coming up.
Also ahead, a former police officer convicted of killing a pregnant girlfriend learns his fate. You're watching 360. Stay tuned.
COOPER: A remarkable sight off Palm Beach, Florida. Sharks, thousands of them, swarming very close to the shore. The sharks do this every year, part of a mating/feeding frenzy of sorts. Swimmers are being encouraged, obviously, to avoid going in the water. Makes sense there.
But there's more to the story. Erica joins us again with details -- Erica.
HILL: We touched on this briefly tonight last night, Anderson. But some more details tonight. We're learning that about 50 miles away from Palm Beach, there are also sharks gathering but for a different sort of feeding frenzy.
This is one that's actually organized by divers who want to get in the water with these predators. In fact, they even pay for that privilege. But one man recently paid with his life.
HILL (voice-over): A close encounter with a killer. These divers, using a cage, get within inches of great white sharks. But for some shark enthusiasts, the only way to experience the sensation is a cageless dive.
ROB STEWART, MARINE BIOLOGIST: Diving with sharks underwater is an amazing experience. You get to see firsthand that these animals are not menacing predators of people, that they're, in fact, you know, beautiful, magnificent animals that are essential for all life on earth.
HILL: To attract the predators, the sea is baited with fish parts, a process called chumming. It can be the thrill of a lifetime, but last Sunday, that thrill turned deadly.
Markus Groh, an Austrian attorney, was bitten by a shark during a cageless dive off of the Bahamas. He bled to death. Groh was on an expedition with a Florida-based company Jim Abernathy Scuba Adventures.
It's Web site boasts, "Jim Abernathy can assure you the very best up close encounters. We are in our fifth season and the shark action has never been better!" It says divers will see bull sharks, tiger sharks and hammerheads. It's not clear what type of shark attacked the victim, but Neil Watson, president of the Bahamas Diving Association, says last year he urged Abernathy and others to stop cageless dives involving dangerous species of sharks, including bull and hammerheads.
Watson, who actually runs cageless dives himself, but according to him, with less dangerous kinds of sharks, told CNN, quote, "I've always said it wasn't a matter of time whether something like this would happen; it was when."
Reached by phone, Abernathy told us he has no comment at this time.
HILL: And so, Anderson, just to be clear to people at home who are wondering, the practice was actually outlawed in Florida in 2001, but the businesses run out of there. The boats, though, are taken to Bahamian waters. So that's why this actually happened in the Bahamas, where it is still technically legal.
COOPER: It's really fascinating. The question, of course, could the death have been avoided? And should shark dives where there are no cages be banned?
Rob Stewart is a shark photographer and documentary filmmaker. We just heard from him in Erica's report. And George Burgess is the director of shark research at the University of Florida. Both joining me earlier.
COOPER: Rob, you've been out with Mr. Abernathy before on a dive, I think, back in December was the last time. How did they feed the sharks on the dive you were on?
STEWART: They bring bait crates down, milk crates full of fish and fish parts, and basically go straight from the bottom. There's usually someone who's in charge of the bait crate. And they sort of set all the tourists up, I guess, in a stadium, sort of, so that the tourists are all facing the man in charge of the bait crate. And they feed the sharks that way.
COOPER: Because on their Web site, Rob, they say that, quote, "We're going to be chumming the waters with fish and fish parts." Were they chumming when you were there?
STEWART: Yes, THEY DID. What they did when I was there was they were putting bait over the side of the boat in crates. So they weren't actually pouring, you know, fish blood or horse blood or anything like that, like they do with white sharks, but had bait crates sitting over the side of the boat, trying to attract the sharks.
COOPER: George, what do you think might have gone wrong here? I mean, obviously, we don't know the details, but what raises your -- your concern?
GEORGE BURGESS, DIRECTOR OF SHARK RESEARCH, UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA: Well, my -- my concern would be that the types of sharks involved. Obviously, in somewhat deeper water, along the edge of the Gulf Stream, you're going to be attracting different sharks. And some of those sharks, such as the tiger shark, which are advertised as one of the focus of the dives, are well known as -- as aggressive sharks towards human beings.
COOPER: And chumming waters, I mean, putting fish and fish parts in the water, is that inherently dangerous, George?
BURGESS: Chumming is a good way, of course, to attract sharks. Sharks have great sense of smell and taste. And so it's a very effective means of attracting these animals to an area.
COOPER: Rob, what do you think might have gone wrong here?
STEWART: I think, you know, as bad as it is, I think this is a terrible accident. I mean, this is the first time in recorded history that anyone died from a shark diving, you know, operation.
I think what happened was, you know, clearly the shark was going to try to get the bait that actually attracted it to the area. You know, there was some commotion under water, the sand was stirred up and the shark bit at the bait crate, trying to get the fish, and ended up with the guy's calf instead.
COOPER: George, why are these dives outlawed in some places in the United States like in Florida?
BURGESS: One of the concerns, of course, is the habituation of the sharks. The sharks get used to being fed by humans. They lose their natural tendency to be careful around humans, to be a little scared.
COOPER: Rob, why not have a cage on a dive like this?
STEWART: The cages aren't really that necessary. And dive operations like this, their aim is to get people, you know, as close as they possibly can to these animals.
COOPER: You actually think it has a positive impact on sharks? George was talking about the dangers of habituating the sharks and sort of changing their behavior, their feeding patterns. You say, what, it educates people about the reality of sharks and therefore is good for sharks?
STEWART: Absolutely. I think shark diving tourism is one of the best things for shark populations around the world. So, you know, we're in a situation right now -- you know, an elephant falls to (UNINTELLIGIBLE) in Africa, and the world goes crazy. But 100 million sharks die a year and nobody notice, nobody cares.
COOPER: Well, George, what about that argument? I mean, is a dive like this something which is important to protect sharks long- term?
BURGESS: The shark feeding attractions are sort of a double- edged sword. Clearly many, many people are getting out to see sharks in the natural world, which obviously is good for -- for these people to learn more about sharks and what they're really all about.
Unfortunately, a habituated shark swimming in circles around a chum ball is doing anything but acting natural.
COOPER: Rob Stewart, we appreciate your perspective. And George Burgess, as well. Thank you both very much.
BURGESS: Glad to be with you.
COOPER: Remarkable pictures.
Up next, a jury decides whether a former police officer convicted of killing his pregnant lover will live or die.
And how Michael Jackson may have saved his Neverland Ranch from foreclosure, when 360 continues.
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OZZY OSBOURNE, MUSICIAN: Hi, I'm Ozzy Osbourne. Live from CNN's Warner Center in New York, this is ANDERSON COOPER 360. And now, yee- haw, Anderson!
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COOPER: Michael Douglas is shaking in his boots that NBC's going to let him go and Ozzy is going to get hired from them. You can't have Ozzy Osbourne. We've got him.
That's from the audition for the Voice of 360. We'll have another new audition tomorrow night. You can see Ozzy, Fran Drescher and peak at the latest voice at our Web site: CNN.com/360.
It's almost time for our "Shot of the Day." Back by popular demand. Da-da-da-da. It's the dancing inmates of the Philippines, and they have some new moves.
First Erica Hill joins us again with the "360 News and Business Bulletin" -- Erica.
HILL: Yes, Anderson, former police officer Bobby Cutts Jr. sentenced today to life in prison for killing his girlfriend and their unborn daughter. An Ohio judge ordered Cutts to serve two consecutive terms. That means the 30-year-old will not be eligible for parole for 57 years.
New warnings from Fed chairman Ben Bernanke today about the nation's economic prospects. Bernanke told Capitol Hill lawmakers worry about rising inflation could complicate attempts to stimulate the economy. That's news (ph). Bernanke also warned of further declines in both the housing and the labor markets.
And some last-minute help for Michael Jackson. The King of Pop was facing foreclosure of his Neverland Ranch. But a Jackson insider tells CNN he's got a new loan. The estate was actually scheduled for a public auction on March 19, because Jackson owes $24.5 million on the property. Yes.
COOPER: I imagine -- I sort of like to imagine, like sort of, you know, a crying clown walking around all by himself at Neverland.
HILL: I think that's probably what it's down to at this point. And, like, a gate.
COOPER: Just one clown left? You think that's it?
HILL: Yes. One clown and, like, a gate from the merry-go-round kind of in the wind creaking and rusty.
COOPER: And the little man in the little railroad hat, the only one on the choo-choo.
HILL: And he walks like this (ph).
COOPER: That's how I see it.
Time now, Erica, for our "Beat 360" picture. You know how it works. We put a picture on the 360 blog, ask viewers to come up with a caption for it that's better than one of ours.
HILL: Tough to beat this one, though, because we have, of course, Governor Schwarzenegger, the president and the first lady at the state dinner for America's governors on Sunday. The staff pick from Kay (ph): "Yes, Mr. President"...
COOPER: Where's the picture?
HILL: There it is. "Anderson Cooper's bicep is that big." You want to show the people at home, AC? No?
So here's our viewer winner.
COOPER: Moving along. Nothing to see here.
HILL: Sara (ph) wrote in and said, "What am I doing wrong, Laura? I'm The Terminator, and I still can't get Maria to vote Republican."
That's pretty good. Got to say. Not bad.
COOPER: You can check out other ideas at CNN.com/360blog. And feel free to play along, won't you?
"The Shot" is next on 360. Felons on the dance floor. The dancing prisoners of the Philippines return with a hip-hop anthem. The moves, the music.
HILL: Life is good.
COOPER: Well, I don't know about that. Interesting. But...
HILL: For us to watch it, I mean.
COOPER: Yes, from afar. We'll be right back.
COOPER: Time now for "The Shot," Erica. Guess who's back in business? That's right: our favorite dancing prisoners, the inmates of a Philippine jail, where every gesture is choreographed. This is their new show-stopper. The tune is by the hip-hop group Soulja Boy. I don't need to tell Erica that. The song is called "Crank that, Soulja Boy."
With a nice sampling of M.C. Hammer, "You Can't Touch This," not a bad mix. Let's listen in. This is what Lou Dobbs like to play in his office.
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HILL: They need to be wearing Hammer pants. That would really make it.
COOPER: Yes. As for the prisoners, I'll give them an 8.5.
HILL: Do you?
HILL: I'm always impressed at how organized and well choreographed they are.
COOPER: A lot of time. A lot of time.
HILL: But then again, I guess if you're a prisoner, you don't have a choice. They do.
Of course, it's not the first time that they've performed, shown us their stuff, as you mentioned. And so, let's bring back "Thriller." There it is. The original. This is what really brought the world in.
HILL: It's a thriller, all right. What's the other one? Don't we have a third one, or is it just the two?
COOPER: I think they had a whole bunch. I read that they tried to take the act on the road to perform at some local ceremony, but it was deemed a security risk.
HILL: I bet (ph).
COOPER: They should go on the road.
If you see some remarkable video, dancing prisoners or not, tell us about it, CNN.com/360. Go there to get just about everything else.
That's -- what else have we got coming up? OK. The Clinton/Obama race. Can she come back after new developments? Very smooth, Cooper. Very smooth. After new developments tonight and her debate performance last night. We'll look at that.
And John McCain's battle of the airwaves. Can taking on Rush Limbaugh and the rest of the talk radio group win him votes in November? That and much more, next on 360.
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