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Dow Climbs; Interview with Representative Jim Himes; Super Committee Deadline; GOP Polls; John Edwards on Trial

Aired October 27, 2011 - 19:00   ET


ERIN BURNETT, HOST: Thanks, John. We're on the "Front Line" with Herman Cain's main man. He's the guy you see smoking in the ad. Cain is leading in the polls. Can he win?

And Rick Perry has a joke that we cannot resist sharing with you tonight. And the "Bottom Line" on the economy, the markets are way, way up. This is a landmark day. Will it last?

Let's go OUTFRONT.

I'm Erin Burnett. OUTFRONT tonight, whoa, whoa, whoa. I mean it really was one of those days. The markets soared, the Dow up 339 points. Nasdaq and S&P up more than three percent. And there were two big reasons why. One, America defied skeptics with American consumers spending money. The U.S. economy grew 2.5 percent in the third quarter, twice as fast as the prior quarter.

I mean look at it compared to earlier this year. Now 2.5 percent isn't great overall, but it is a lot better than a lot of doomsayers expected. now the other big news was Europe. They made a deal to bail out Greece. Now that deal also not that great. But after 14 summits, any deal was enough to juice the markets and that it did.

October now on track to be the best October for the overall markets since January of 1974. To put that in perspective that was the year "Blazing Saddles" came out.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We must do something about this immediately! Immediately! Immediately!


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I didn't get a harrumph (ph) out of that guy.


BURNETT: Apparently a movie a whole lot of men like. All right, 1974 was also before either CNN or I were born. All right stocks are up. GDP growing, European debt deal, we've got some glimmers of hope here to talk about.

Peter Kenny is a trader at Knight Capital. He spent 20 years on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. So one great day, is that an -- and a great month, I mean which kind of snuck up on us. Are you optimistic?

PETER KENNY, MANAGING DIRECTOR, KNIGHT CAPITAL: I am optimistic and I'm optimistic for several reasons. Both of the points that you mentioned are clearly the drivers, the GDP numbers, the macro economic numbers that we've been getting are both incredibly positive, surprisingly positive given the weakness in some of the sectors of the economy. But also the EU, though as you had mentioned, there's a lot of work to be done.


KENNY: It still takes a lot of risk off the table, particularly for the financials. So on a day like today, you've seen tremendous leadership from the financials. That's a very good indicator that there is still some room left on this move up.

BURNETT: And in terms of this double dip scenario, which is fair to say our economic "Strike Team" had said that you know 17 out of 20 of them, they did not see a double dip. Now we get numbers like this. A lot of Americans still feel like we're in a recession but it doesn't look like we're going to have that double dip so many are dreading. Do you agree?

KENNY: I definitely agree, but I must be honest with you. I was very, very bearish back in April and May. But a number that we see today, 2.5 on the GDP, that is definitely not recessionary. And in fact we've had quite a few quarters now of growth.

BURNETT: All right, well thank you very much, Peter Kenny. Optimism is something we need. The optimism is good because confidence is what will get America and the world growing full steam again. But for the optimism to become reality, 12 people must act, a group of 12 in our nation's capital that's holding America hostage.

That is the super committee charged with cutting America's debt within the next month. They have a choice to be bold and make a difference or be something that Merriam Webster defines as quote, "lacking power" with the example being political eunuchs. And so a group of members of the House wrote a letter saying they want to cut America's debt by $4 trillion.

They wrote in part, quote, "to succeed, all options for mandatory and discretionary spending and revenues must be on the table." Now our understanding OUTFRONT tonight is about 95 people have signed the letter, Democrats and Republicans.

One of them is Congressman Jim Himes, Democrat from Connecticut, member of the House Financial Services Committee. Congressman Hines thanks so much and good to see you.

REP. JIM HIMES (D), CONNECTICUT: Great to be here.

BURNETT: All right, so first of all, how many people have signed on to this letter?

HIMES: Well it's still in motion but we've got close to 100. Democrats and Republican who, as you said, we need to go big and we need to keep everything on the table. That's a pretty big step forward for this Congress.

BURNETT: And that quote that I gave was from a draft of the letter which said all options were mandatory and discretionary spending and revenues must be on the table. That line is still in there, right?

HIMES: That's right. And obviously that's a line that's hard for people in both parties to say, but there are 100 of them now who have said, who have agreed to that language.

BURNETT: So what about this super committee? It's interesting. We had Mr. Camp on last night. There's now a story out of Reuters tonight that Tim Ryan, Democrat on the House Budget Committee says there's broad sentiment in Congress that the U.S. economy will not necessarily suffer from another downgrade from the other two big agencies. Is that broad sentiment in Congress?

HIMES: Yes, I would disagree with that. Look, there's a lot of concern articulated by a lot of us that if there is a failure on the part of the super committee that it just sort of continues the notion around the world that we can't govern ourselves. So I would actually say that there's real fear and in addition to that real fear, of course, if the super committee doesn't fail to come up with a good plan, you've got these automatic cuts that kick in that everybody hates. I mean they're big brutal cuts, so there's a lot of hope -- I'm not going to go so far as to say optimism but a lot of hope that these guys will get a proposal put together.

BURNETT: CNN is reporting today that John Boehner, talking about those automatic cuts, because they hit in places that nobody wants, massive cuts to defense that Secretary Panetta doesn't want. That John Boehner has said let's take those automatic cuts off because they're bad and he says that will force the committee to act. Now if that's the case, that's very concerning because to me that would mean the committee will do nothing.

HIMES: Yes and look the whole point is that they're very bad. That's why they are there. They are there to make this super committee look like they have got you know some really serious troubles if they don't succeed. So they're bad and they're in law. So John Boehner may have decided that he doesn't like them and that he'd like to do away with them, but they are in law. And they are what is ultimately going to get this super committee to do what it needs to do.

BURNETT: So Jay Carney made a joke today about nine and he was making a joke about the 9-9-9 plan, but just talking about nine being a bad number. But it is the number of approval rating for Congress. OK, so what are you guys going to do about that? What is that Congress doesn't get about the fact that people want something done?

HIMES: Well, yes. And people do want something done, but people also sent a group of 70 freshmen on the Republican side that were pretty uncompromising and have been pretty uncompromising, so I get it. You know people are economically insecure. They're losing their jobs. They're losing their homes.

I understand why they're angry at Congress. They look at the bailouts. They look at you know partisanship and the bickering that occurs. But hey you know what, we got all sent here by more than 50 percent of our constituents and so this is another reason why I think it is so important the super committee get this done because if we get it done, nobody is going to like what gets done. This is -- you know this is tough. It's hard to talk about --

BURNETT: And (INAUDIBLE) looking for four trillion in cuts which is about three time as much as the super committee has to come up with.

HIMES: Yes, but it's also --


HIMES: -- the number that stabilizes the United States debt. Four -- look, if it is not $4 trillion, we'll be back next year or the year after doing this again.

BURNETT: Right and it is the magic number where if you don't get (INAUDIBLE) the downgrades --

HIMES: Maybe.

BURNETT: -- they keep coming.

HIMES: Maybe.

BURNETT: All right. Thanks so much Congressman Himes. Good to see you and appreciate it.

HIMES: Good to see you, Erin.

BURNETT: All right well let's bring in John Avlon, CNN contributor. John, what do you think about the letter? What do you think about what John Boehner had to say? And what do you think about what Tim Ryan had to say?

JOHN AVLON, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well the letter is a major step in the right direction. You've got 100 members of the House from both parties encouraging the super committee to go big and it's not just that. Remember when you spoke to Senator Mark Warner a week ago, he said they're now 40 members of the Senate who are also encouraging the super committee to go big. That tells me there is at least 140 people on Capitol Hill who get it.

They get the first -- the urgency that they should feel about dealing with our deficit and our debt and they're encouraging the super committee to hit that magic four trillion number, which is what S&P called out. Boehner and Ryan, I think that's exactly the wrong message to send because it takes away that urgency.


AVLON: It takes away the sense of real consequence. It's going to focus the minds of people in Congress.

BURNETT: And it's good people like Jim Himes who have worked in the banking industry because he understands that this downgrade is not something to trifle with. I mean if what Tim Ryan, Reuters is reporting is the case, I mean that's very, very concerning. If there is sentiment in Congress that it is OK to get more downgrades. Just keep bringing them on. It doesn't matter. It does matter.

AVLON: It matter enormously and that just -- you know the fact that statement was said shows how much some folks don't want to get it. I mean S&P downgraded because they said of the political brinkmanship. This was a message that was reinforced by Ben Bernanke. This is a self-inflicted wound that we suffered because of that dysfunctional debt ceiling debate we had this summer.

So and everyone has been warned. This is not subtle. Everyone should be clear in their mind about the importance of dealing with our deficit and our debt if you want our country on a long term sound fiscal footing and everybody should.

BURNETT: I mean I have to say, the letter and I know you know these things can fall apart and they were trying to come up with it today. They don't have all the signatures yet, so I know it is still a work in progress. But the fact that you have 95 people that they say have signed Democrats and Republicans, and my understanding is John at this point it is basically half and half. That includes revenues and includes cuts. That word hasn't come out, neither one of them. That's something to applaud because we want the leadership.

AVLON: It is something to applaud. And look I mean hope is not a strategy, but it is a step in the right direction. This formula has been understood. Bowles-Simpson, "Gang of Six", (INAUDIBLE) they've all said that it needs to be done with a combination. Some combination of cuts and revenue increases and that can be done even by lowering rates and closing loopholes.


AVLON: So there's plenty of common ground to be built on here if they can find the political will to be brave, be bold and go big.

BURNETT: All right. Well let's hope that they do. We're fighting for that here --

AVLON: There you go.

BURNETT: Thanks John Avlon.

AVLON: Thank you.

BURNETT: And still OUTFRONT the latest on the six animals which had survived last week's slaughter in Ohio. Where are they now? They moved today and former presidential candidate John Edwards on trial for his part in the sex scandal that derailed his career. And did you hear the one about Rick Perry? We can't resist telling you our favorite joke of the day. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BURNETT: The number tonight, 2,983,824,379. That is how many gallons of gas you can buy with ExxonMobil's third quarter profit of 10.3 billion. A lot -- OK -- a lot of work and money goes into a gallon of gas. ExxonMobil has a hand in almost all of it. Seventy- seven percent of the money you pay at a gallon of gas actually goes towards crude oil and refining. The government of course takes the tax out of that. But speaking of taxes, ExxonMobil pays a lot of them. According to S&P Capital IQ, the effective rate, tax rate on ExxonMobil in 2010 was 40.7. Yes, that is almost six percentage points above the statutory rate.

All right, we wanted to start this segment by playing the song "I want you to you want me" by Cheap Trick, but our rights and clearances people said no, although no doubt there is no problem with that terrible singing because that did not violate anything. The point is that Mitt Romney really wants Tea Party love, but so far they have not supported him.

It's been kind of anybody but Mitt Romney for the Tea Party. Ron Brownstein is editorial director of "The National Journal", senior political analyst for CNN. Ron, good to have you with us --


BURNETT: I know you've been looking at all the fine print in every single poll out there. The recent CNN polls in early states and have an inside track on Tea Party support. So you say the race has become two races on parallel tracks. What do you mean?

RON BROWNSTEIN, CNN SR. POLITICAL ANALYST: Absolutely. I can take your blazing saddle reference and raise you back to Dr. Strangelove because you have to go back to 1964 to see a Republican race that has been as volatile as this the year before the vote. Six different candidates have led in national polls this year. As I said, you go back to Barry Goldwater and Nelson Rockefeller to see anything like that.

And one of the reasons why the race is so volatile is because it is clearly evolving along two separate tracks. In your CNN polling, about half of the party identifies as supporters of the Tea Party. The other half of the Republican electorate say they are either neutral or opposed to the Tea Party and these two groups are moving in very different ways. The non-Tea Party side of the party, they are moving pretty steadily toward Mitt Romney.

He was at 16 or 18 percent with them in your polling in August and early September, up to 24 percent in late September, 35 percent now. Meanwhile on the other side of the party he's stuck at around 17, 18 percent with that Tea Party side.


BROWNSTEIN: Most of them don't want him but they've been bouncing around. Early on, Michele Bachmann had a spike with them. Then Rick Perry over the summer was polling at about 35, 36 percent with the Tea Party --

BURNETT: Are they going to Cain now?

BROWNSTEIN: And now Herman Cain -- Perry has collapsed at 10 percent. Cain is at 39 percent. It is hard to imagine that is exactly where the wheel will stop turning with that side of the party.

BURNETT: OK. If Mitt Romney does not get the Tea Party, does it matter? Can he still win the nomination and potentially the election?

BROWNSTEIN: Well, I think he can win the nomination without the Tea Party. If no one can consolidate that side of the party as well as he is consolidating his side of the party. If you look at your state by state polls at this point, you know he is up to 30 percent in Iowa, 39 percent in Florida, 27 percent in South Carolina, and 40 percent in New Hampshire, roughly among the non-Tea Party side of the party.

And if he can build on that and there is -- no one can consolidate the Tea Party side, he can be in effect (INAUDIBLE) plurality nominee. There may never be a majority that affirmatively wants to nominate Mitt Romney but that won't matter if no one can consolidate that majority and it fragments among several candidates.

BURNETT: It will be interesting. We'll see where they go and vote regardless of whether they love him or not. All right thanks very much, Ron. Good to see you, sir.

BROWNSTEIN: Thank you.

BURNETT: Today a federal judge refused to throw out the criminal case against John Edwards, in case you have forgotten, the disgraced former presidential candidate. Now Edwards will face charges of violating campaign finance laws by using nearly $1 million to hide an affair with Rielle Hunter and his child with her as you see there. Jeff Toobin is CNN legal analyst --

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: And I'm just sitting here were you even alive when Cheap Trick sang, "I want you to want me"? I mean that is an old reference. I don't think you were.

BURNETT: I don't know the exact year, but I may not have been.

TOOBIN: I don't think so. Not "Blazing Saddles" either. OK, I'm sorry --

BURNETT: No, not "Blazing Saddles" --


BURNETT: Although I have been told I must watch it this weekend order.


BURNETT: OK, so this John Edwards, he admits spending money to hide the affair. Is this a slam-dunk case --

TOOBIN: It's just a very weird criminal case because the facts are largely not in dispute. John Edwards was near the end of his presidential campaign. The disclosure started to come out that he had this child with Rielle Hunter. Two of his big supporters, Fred Barren (ph) and Bunny Melon (ph) put up nearly $1 million that goes through intermediaries and goes to Rielle Hunter, basically to cover her living expenses and keep her quiet.


TOOBIN: So the question is and that's -- everybody agrees that happened. The question is, is that an illegal campaign contribution, as the government says, or is it simply friends helping out a friend in trouble?

BURNETT: OK. So now he's pretty confident he can win this, because if I am right here, he had a chance to plead to a misdemeanor. He had a chance to take, what was it, just a few months (INAUDIBLE) and he said no and now there is a whole lot more at stake.

TOOBIN: Right. I mean it's really a remarkable thing that he turned down this plea deal because he would probably not even to go prison at all. But he wasn't guaranteed no prison and he wasn't guaranteed that he could keep his law license. And apparently those are the big sticking points in the plea negotiations, keeping the law license and prison. And he and his lawyers, legal team led by Abby Lowell (ph), they think look they have a pretty good case here. I don't know. I mean it's very weird. They might.

BURNETT: But if he loses, how long does he to go jail? How much money does he pay --

TOOBIN: Very -- I mean she -- he's not going to go to jail for a long time for this case. I would be surprised if he got a year, but he would lose his law license, which is of course a big deal. His political career is over. We know that.

BURNETT: Well --

TOOBIN: But he's in his mid 50s. I mean he's got to make a living and he really wants to be a lawyer. He was a very talented and popular lawyer in his day.

BURNETT: Can he get a jury that is untainted --


BURNETT: I mean people have strong opinions about this guy --

TOOBIN: Well that -- I mean look everybody hates this guy because of what he did because of, you know his wife was dying of cancer, we all know the story.

BURNETT: Yes. TOOBIN: The problem is the case is not really about that. It's about campaign finance laws. And the question is will people's hostility to him carry over to this fairly arcane technical crime. And will they just say look we hate this guy. We're going to convict him or will they look at the facts and say, this isn't why we are mad at him. It is just irrelevant.

BURNETT: All right.

TOOBIN: I don't know.

BURNETT: Jeff Toobin, it's going to be interesting --

TOOBIN: It will be an interesting --

BURNETT: I'm very curious just to --

TOOBIN: Indeed.

BURNETT: To see what kind of treatment people get. All right, Jeff Toobin, thanks again. Good to see you, sir.

TOOBIN: Good to see you.

BURNETT: And OUTFRONT next, Herman Cain. He doesn't have really any endorsements and he doesn't have kind of a formal base of support but he is leading in the polls and that is the bottom line. His campaign staff, are they able to hold it together? Well guess what? The guy in charge (INAUDIBLE) that guy, he's coming on this show.

And Rick Perry has a joke to tell us and we can't resist sharing it with you and the six animals that survived last week's slaughter in Ohio. Will they be returned to the owner's widow?


BURNETT: And now a story we can't resist. Rick Perry was in the news today, backtracking on comments he made about the president's birth certificate. Earlier in the week, he said, quote "I don't know. I don't have a definitive answer. It's a good issue to keep alive. I don't have a clue about where the president and what this birth certificate says." Not a pretty definitive but today he change his tune when he said quote "I don't think I was expressing doubts. I was just having some fun with Donald Trump."

He's just the latest candidate saying something controversial one day and then saying they were just joking or kidding the next. But I say if these really are jokes and not just candidates flip flopping, we should celebrate them as jokes and so we have with this new product. And we can't resist playing our first commercial for this product right now.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They're wild. They're wacky. They're downright hilarious. KTELL (ph) International presents political punch lines, 25 of the funniest lines from politics' zaniest characters.

REP. MICHELE BACHMANN (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: And I don't know how much God has to do to get the attention of the politicians, we had an earthquake --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Some of these infamous routines are almost impossible to find anywhere at any price.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Have you officially responded to Elizabeth Warren's comment about how she didn't take her clothes off?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now they're all here on one outstanding DVD.

GOV. RICK PERRY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: He came in the Union in 1845. One of the issues was that we would be able to leave if we decided to do that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Laugh along with Governor of Texas Rick Perry or Herman Cain.

HERMAN CAIN (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Barbwire on the top, it's going to be electrocuted -- electrified. And there's going to be a sign on the other side that says it will kill you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And all Americans would be forced, forced at gunpoint no less, to listen to every David Barton (ph) message.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you're the kind of person who likes the funniest jokes by the funniest politicians, you will just love KTELL's (ph) political punch lines. Hilarious bits on one rib tickling DVD, just 9.99. How much was that Herman Cain?

CAIN: Nine, nine, nine.



BURNETT: We just couldn't resist.

Still OUTFRONT the "OutFront 5", animal fight.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We received a letter from the Department of Agriculture, placing these animals under quarantine; this now will not allow Marian Thompson (ph) to retrieve the animals.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: These events are so tragic.

BURNETT: Questions for kids.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Keeping their faces out there in the public is something that is critical in helping to bring children home.

BURNETT: This smoking man. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: America's has never seen a candidate like Herman Cain.


BURNETT: All this OUTFRONT in our second half.



BURNETT: We start the second half of our show with stories we care about, where we focus on our own reporting, do the work and find the "OutFront 5". Up first, Nayef bin Abdul Aziz has been named the new crown prince of Saudi Arabia. He is about 78 years old. He is tightly allied with the religious clerics in Saudi Arabia, the Wahhabists. He is known for opposing allowing women to drive.

An oil analyst told OUTFRONT if King Abdullah dies and Prince Nayef takes over, and emphasized his allegiance to those clerics, oil could jump as much as $20 a barrel.

Number two: severe flooding and mudslides in northern Italy have left at least six dead. CNN crews on the ground say conditions are improving in coastal towns hammered by days of rain.

The situation is so bad that several towns can only be reached by boat. The towns also lacked power and drinking water. Official are calling in the military to help.

Number three: Ponzi schemer Bernard Madoff told ABC's Barbara Walters, the hardest part of prison is not seeing his family and knowing they hate him. That is a good conversation came out a day after Bernard's wife Ruth told CBS that they both had attempted suicide.

OUTFRONT spoke with Madoff's attorney, Ira Sorkin, who said he knew of the attempt but still believes Ruth was unaware of the Ponzi scheme until the arrest in December of 2008.

Number four: countdown to a debt deal. Nearly 100 representatives signed on to a letter urging the 12-member super committee to cut $4 trillion from the deficit. Nearly three times as much as they are required to.

Earlier, I talked to a congressman who signed it, Democrat Jim Himes from Connecticut. He told OUTFRONT there's a lot of concern in Congress about the possibility of the super committee failing. He said the threat of automatic cuts are the only thing that are forcing the committee to get the job done.

Well, they need to get the job done because more downgrades could be coming. It has been 83 days since the U.S. lost its top credit rating. What are we doing to get it back? Super committee, we need you. Well, the latest poll from FOX News has Herman Cain leading in -- leading Mitt Romney on a national poll. Romney is at 24 percent -- at 24 percent -- Cain is at 24 percent, Romney is at 20 percent. Make sure you can see it there. It's up there on the screen.

Many are still wondering, though, how Herman Cain continues to have such momentum. And is his campaign for real? After all, Mr. Cain was in Arkansas today doing a book tour and he hasn't been in New Hampshire since August 20th.

At the center of Mr. Cain's unconventional run for the GOP nomination is Mark Block, who is OUTFRONT with us tonight.

Mark, pardon the pun. People will see your face and they'll get it. Many are saying this campaign is a bit of smoke and mirrors.

When are you going to get serious about the early states? Why is Mr. Cain in Arkansas right now?

MARK BLOCK, CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER, FRIENDS OF HERMAN CAIN: He's actually in Arkansas campaigning, Erin. He's not on a book tour.

We are serious about the early states. We've been in Iowa as many times as the other candidates other, than one. We have operations in Iowa and New Hampshire and South Carolina and Florida, and other states. We're very serious about it.

And it's interesting that the news this week has been about the message that I delivered to our activists and happened to be smoking at the end of it. That seemed to have taken over some of the airwaves this week. But Mr. Cain is out there, he's talking about his economic plan, 9-9-9 is resonating and it is resonating with Main Street America, Erin -- just like I think the YouTube video which has gone viral, which I'm being told has been seen by over 3 million people has resonated also with mainstream.

Herman Cain is a man of the people. I can see now that you're playing --

BURNETT: I'm playing it. Yes. I'm playing it.

BLOCK: You're playing it.

He's a man of the people. Kind of like what I was talking about with the ad. It resonated with the VFW people in Iowa and other people across the country.

BURNETT: So I want to ask you about that ad. Obviously, you're explaining why you did it. You've done these ads that have come out on YouTube. They go viral. Lots and lots of people see them.

We actually looked at your hits on YouTube versus the other candidates. And while it's pretty obvious that you're getting the buzz and they are not. We're looking at it. As you said, nearly a million viewers, according to what we saw. But look at Mitt Romney and Rick Perry. Are you proud of the ad? What about the smoking part? I mean, I would imagine you're just -- I mean, are you a chain smoker? You smoke regularly so this is just who you are?

BLOCK: The people that work for me and have worked for me all my career had that, just let Block be Block. Like if you know what I tell Mr. Cain before he goes to a debate. I said, Herman, just be Herman. And that's me.

I mean, I don't condone smoking. I wouldn't encourage anybody to do it, but it's my choice. And it's kind of joke on the campaign trail -- especially with reporters now that try to find me. If they go outside of a hotel during a break, I'm usually there with my iPhone and a cup of coffee and a cigarette.

So, it's just Block being Block, just like we let Herman be Herman.

BURNETT: So, your campaign had raised the money had raised a little more than $5 million through September 30th. Mr. Cain was on the show and he said he would send out a press release to this current numbers because that was right, and the quarter ended before the big surge in the polls. And, you know, he indicated you guys were raising a lot more money.

The press release isn't out yet. But can you tell us how much you've raised since the beginning of the month?

BLOCK: It's over $3 million. I think that one of the interesting metrics, and we follow a lot of metrics, including how many times the YouTube is viewed.

But at this Florida straw polls is an example. We had about 30,000 donors. We're all over 65,000 -- so we've actually doubled in a little over a month. And that's what we're seeing in our grassroots activism growth and obviously in the YouTube thing.

One of the things that I think we've done better than the other candidates is use the new technology that's out there. We call at this time digital media. Whether it's twitter or if you've been following Twitter in the last half-hour, I said I was coming on your show. And that's traveling around, and really capitalizing on all the new technology that's out there.

Plus, the retail politics. And I think when this is all said and done, you will see that we have one of the most strongest, widespread and deep grassroots organizations all across America.


BLOCK: We have organizations in all 50 states, Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Well, thank you very much. Appreciate your taking the time to join us and giving us your thoughts. We'll see again, sir.

BLOCK: Thank you.

BURNETT: Well, the six surviving wild animals from last week's massacre in Ohio are now under quarantine. That's what zookeeper told their owner when she showed up to reclaim them.

Now, Thompson is the widow of Terry Thompson, the game keeper who triggered a panic last week when he released 56 animals into the community and then killed himself. Faced with the lions, tigers and wolves and not having the ability to tranquilize them, police had to shoot and kill 49 of them. They believe another, a monkey, perhaps, was eaten.

But they captured six. Three leopards, two primates and a grizzly bear and immediately sent them to the zoo. Now, Marian Thompson wants her animals back.

Jack Hanna is the director emeritus of the Columbus Zoo. He also worked with the police last week to round up the freed animals. He joins us now from Charleston, South Carolina.

Good to have you with us, sir.

And let me just ask but this. What was the basis of quarantine? Are there legitimate health concerns or is this a legal maneuver to keep Marian Thompson from getting the animals back?

JACK HANNA, COLUMBUS ZOO: Again, I was in New York doing some shows. I'm in Charleston now. The point is I found out about 5:30 this morning, we got a fax late last night saying she was coming to get her animal at 2:00 today. Now, you can imagine, that took me by surprise continuing what we went through less than a week ago.

Remember, any animal that comes to the Columbus Zoo, American Zoological and Aquarium Association requires the 222 zoos in this country and aquariums, any animal that goes from one zoo to the other. And these are by they incredible accreditations we have. There's incredible inspection.

So, whenever we transfer animals, animals go into quarantine. We're not about to bring animals from that filthy or horrid mess out there into our zoo without going to quarantine. Whether it's the state, federal government, who it is, we have our own rules in our zoo.

Therefore, they were put into quarantine. Now --

BURNETT: How bad of shape are these animals in in were they malnourished? Can you tell us more?

HANNA: Some of them were somewhat thin but they looked OK. Right now, they're eating well now, they look well, we have enrichment programs for 'em. And, of course, I don't know how long the quarantine will be, because remember something, we can't put them down right when they come to the zoo because they've already been put down to come to the zoo. Maybe there's herpes b. Someone said that some of the primates, I'm not a veterinarian, carried herpes B. So, the first thing when they called me, I said you have to call the state of Ohio.

As I told Mrs. Thompson that last Wednesday when all heck broke loose, she said I want my children, I want my children. I'm not going to take my children to the zoo. I said, ma'am. Right now, we have a lot of problems here as you can see.


HANNA: We have people going up trying to take a carcass from your house last night. We had a dead lion in the back of somebody's car. We arrested those people and I didn't know what would happen in her house that night. I said please let me take them to the zoo. Obviously, you own the animals, but they have to go zoo now until legal things can be worked out.

I never thought in less than a week, she would come back and say she's going to take them to. Where are you taking them? I don't know. Now they're going back there. Are you kidding me? Going back there and think could happen after last week what happened?

And then, of course, I called the state and the state said they can't go anywhere because of quarantine. I don't know how the ramification. I was in New York so I don't know how this all took place. I just know they were calling me back every five minutes telling me what happened.

BURNETT: What is your sense of her? I'm sorry to interrupt you. But I just want to ask you, Jack, what's your sense of her? I know you said she calls them her children. It seems like you had a good conversation with here.

You were obviously surprised by her moving out to get them back. What is your perception of her as a person?

HANNA: Well, now I'm getting concerned. At first obviously, you have a love for an animal. If that's the case, she had this love, why would they be keep in horrid conditions like that? You don't like an animal and keep them in a filthy mess like that.

Now, the other question, I didn't get to ask her. If her husband obviously got out of prison and she left her husband, who was taking care of those animals the past year? Someone said she hadn't been taking care of them that much. I don't know if she was there.


HANNA: So, if you can imagine if you love something, how come all of a sudden you want these creatures back after what happened? It doesn't make sense. I'll be finding this out in the next few days.

But irregardless of that, those animals aren't going anywhere right now because we have valuable collection in our zoo. BURNETT: All right. Well, Jack, thank you very much. And hopefully, you'll be back with us to tell us what you do know. Thanks again.

HANNA: Thank you.

BURNETT: And now, let's check with Anderson Cooper with a look what's coming up on "A.C. 360."

Hey, Anderson.

ANDERSON COOPER, HOST, "A.C. 360": Hey, Erin.

Yes. Tonight, keeping them honest -- Rick Perry's debate denial. The Texas governor said he may not participate in future debates and is essentially blaming his plummeting poll numbers on the debate process, saying they're rigged for conflict meant to tear down the candidates. Ahead, we'll play you sound from Rick Perry at those debates, debunking those claims. Keeping them honest.

Also ahead, the occupy Wall Street movement. Protesters are rallying to bring awareness to the growing wealth gap in this country, targeting the top 1 percent of wage earners. But what do they want from 1 percenters? Tonight, we'll show you where a 1 percent Wall Street strategist confronts them with that very question. We'll also talk to Cornel West about the demonstrations.

Those stories and tonight's "Ridiculist" at the top of the hour -- Erin.

BURNETT: OK. Anderson, looking forward to it as always.

And OUTFRONT next, we head to England to find out about Kate Middleton's scar.

And the latest developments in the baby Lisa case. What do her brothers know about her disappearance.


BURNETT: We do this at the same time around every night, our "Outer Circle" -- where we reach out to our sources around the world.

Tonight, to Thailand, floodwaters still rising there. Sara Sidner is in Bangkok.

And, Sara, is there anything the government can do to stop it?


SARA SIDNER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Erin, your question was answered by officials here in Bangkok today. The head of the flood relief operations command said it is no longer possible to stop the water from coming into this city. And that means that much of Bangkok will be flooded. How high those floods will go, nobody really knows. But the prime minister is saying between 10 centimeters which is four inches, and one meter which is three feet, is expected in the next few hours. And, of course, you have the residents -- the residents having to deal with waist high water. Their homes in some parts of the city now washed away and hundreds of people have been killed in these floods, Erin.


BURNETT: All right, Sara, thank you.

Next to Turkey, the death toll from sun's quake continues to rise and it has been rising sharply. Now, 535 dead, at least 2,300 injured. That number also doubling.

Andrew Finkel is in Istanbul tonight.

Andrew, the rescue effort -- have they given up yet?


ANDREW FINKEL, JOURNALIST: Erin, the rescue efforts are now turning into a relief operation against exposure. It's really very cold out there. And with thousands of houses destroyed, people are desperate for shelter.

But there is at least one piece of good news. A young man in the town studying for his university examinations was rescued from the rubble alive. He was pulled out after 100 hours and flown to the Van hospital. At least there may be some hope he'll get to university after all, Erin.


BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Andrew.

We go now to London where St. James Palace is responding to this. A picture of Kate Middleton, as you can see there, which shows what appears to be a scar on the left side of her head.

Becky Anderson is in London.

Becky, this is something that got the palace's attention. What are they saying?


BECKY ANDERSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Erin, there is no argument. The duchess of Cambridge looked absolutely stunning when she undertook her first solo engagement. But her swept back hairdo revealed what looked like a three-inch scar.

Now, the British papers were awash with speculation about how she got it. The spokesperson for St. James Palace did confirm, the scar was the result of a childhood operation, but gave no further details, saying this was a private matter -- Erin.


BURNETT: All right. Thank you. Obviously, people are very curious about that.

All right. Well, was Michael Jackson addicted to Demerol? That was the focus of testimony in the Conrad Murray trial today. An addiction specialist for the defense took stand.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What are the things that you see in these medical records which cause you to believe that?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Six weeks of very frequent high dose use, I believe, would result in opioid dependence in any of us.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You would consider this very high use.



BURNETT: That's right. Conrad Murray's team wants to prove that Jackson was heavily addicted to the opiate Demerol. They say it was withdrawal from the powerful pain killer which caused his insomnia. And that, then, in a desperate attempt to get to sleep, he became, well, he started using Propofol. Jackson gave himself that final fail dose of Propofol that officials say killed him.

Ted Rowlands is following the case and joins us now from L.A.

Obviously, Ted, important to the defense is the argument that Michael Jackson gave himself that fatal dose. But I'm curious as to if Dr. Murray was Jackson's physician, wouldn't he know about Demerol and the high dose, and therefore the whole risk of Propofol to begin with?

TED ROWLANDS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, no, because he was getting it from another doctor, Beverly Hills doctor, Dr. Arnold Klein. And that was the testimony today. They went through Klein's medical records even dating back before Murray was on board.

BURNETT: So, why hasn't Dr. Klein been called to testify or will he be?

ROWLANDS: He won't be. The defense would love to have him on there. They've had him as sort of this theme throughout their argument and throughout the trial. The judge has ruled that Klein will not take the stand.

BURNETT: And do we know why at all?

ROWLANDS: Because there was no Demerol in Jackson's body when he died. So the Demerol use was not a direct cause of death, according to the judge. The defense would argue it differently, but the judge made that ruling a long time ago and the defense has to live with it.

BURNETT: OK. How do they respond to the claim that Jackson may have self-administered the Propofol? Even if the defense can prove that he did, does that let Murray off the hook? To be able to tell which dose was the fatal dose, I guess.

ROWLANDS: Right. No, what the prosecution has done is sort of a plan B, to argue that it doesn't mat here gave him the fatal, it was Dr. Murray that brought the dangerous drug in to Jackson's bedroom. He should be held accountable. He was the doctor.

BURNETT: All right. Thanks very much, Ted. We'll talk to you tomorrow.

All right. Can Lisa Irwin's older brothers shed some light on what happened to their 11-month-old baby sister? The police and FBI are hoping that. They're going to be sitting the 6 and 8-year-old boys down tomorrow to question them about the night Lisa disappeared about a month ago. They've only been questioned once on the first day.

Elizabeth Smart, who's abducted from her bedroom in June 2002 found nine months later thanks in part to her little sister Mary Katherine.

Well, I spoke to their father Ed right before the show. He's been through this and he told me that the interview with the boys he thinks could actually lead to new and important information.


ED SMART, FATHER OF ELIZABETH SMART: In Mary Katherine's case, in the end, that's what saved Elizabeth. I mean, it was her remembrance of this person and, you know, whether the boys heard anything or saw anything, you know, I guess we don't know exactly what the police have received as far as information of what they might or might not know.

But I certainly think checking that over at this point is an important thing to do.

BURNETT: How likely is it that they'll get valuable information? I mean, it's a lot of time to go by with children as young as they are and there's been a lot of information and perhaps, you know, tainting of their memory that could have happened.

SMART: You know, and I think that's a concern because in Mary Katherine's case, the thing that the law enforcement really did was to sequester Mary Katherine and tell us, you know, please don't expose her to a lot of information about what's happened and potentially in the future Mary Katherine can come forward and give some pertinent information that she may have, you know, forgotten.

And so -- and in the end, you know, one night, Mary Katherine came in, said, dad, I think I know who it is. Well, she hadn't known who it was for the past four or five months, so that was a big breakthrough. So, you know, you just don't know but I think at this point in time the -- you know, the parents, everyone has got to feel everything that can be done must be done. And you can't fail to overturn every possible stone in the path.

BURNETT: And I know you follow these missing cases very closely, have reached out to families who have been going through this. Have you considered reaching out to this family, to baby Lisa's family?

SMART: You know, I haven't had an opportunity of talking with them. I would be more than happy to. You know, this is -- these events are so tragic, you know, I can't help but think of this Jesse Shockley down in Phoenix who went missing after having played in her front yard.

And all of these cases really deserve attention from everybody because it is the public that will most likely help to bring these children home.

BURNETT: All right. Well, thank you very much, sir. I hope you'll stay in touch with us as you decide what to do in this case. We all hope as a baby so little, that she's still found alive. Thanks again.

SMART: You know, absolutely. We certainly hope that she is, and, you know, God bless her family.


BURNETT: OUTFRONT -- when we come back, Greece's economy in serious trouble but their royal family is not so much.



PRINCE PAVLOS OF GREECE: We are in serious trouble but if we get rid of this fat and try to put ourselves back online again, it could be incredible what happens in the future.


BURNETT: That was Prince Pavlos of Greece, reacting to the Euro zone plan to help with Greek debt. Who is the Prince Pavlos, you said?

Well, we know this. He has a gorgeous family. Wife Marie Chantal, and their grace the covers of magazines, "Vanity Fair" and "Town and Countries" worldwide. They live in a 18th century mansion in London full of paintings by the likes of (INAUDIBLE) which cost millions and millions of dollars and, yes, they do vacation in Greece.

Vicky Ward is investigative reporter with "Vanity Fair."

A lot of people think with all of the crisis in Greece and austerity wouldn't know there's a, quote-unquote, "a crown prince," never mind that he would come out and comment on it today. Who is this person?

VICKY WARD, INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER, VANITY FAIR: Great question, Erin. Crown Prince Pavlos of Greece is the son of the late -- still alive, King Constantine who was forced out of Greece, Erin, many years ago. So, in fact, Prince Pavlos and the Greeks, quote-unquote, "royal family" were only allowed back in to Greece a few years ago so he's that Greek.

BURNETT: OK. Now -- but, I have seen in magazines his wife Marie Chantal saying they love going there, they go there all the time, especially for the summer.

WARD: Well, as of recently.

BURNETT: As of recently, since they were allowed. So, what -- why do you think, all of a sudden, he's never talked.

WARD: No. In fact, I have spoke to friends in London where they live. Apparently, their house is very done up already for Halloween in a way that no one else's house is done up. They're surprised that he gave this interview.

He's very careful, really not to talk about his relationship with his country although it's obviously very close. But I don't think one friend did say to me I don't think we're going to be seeing his face on the drachma any time soon. We don't think he's making that kind of statement.

BURNETT: Well, there could be a drachma coming back which is a separate -- let me ask you, though, because they obviously are a gorgeous family and then she became a princess, but she is -- I believe -- American, right?

WARD: She gave up her citizenship in 2011.

BURNETT: She just gave it up?

WARD: Yes.

BURNETT: But the money in this family comes from who?

WARD: Duty-free, an American --

BURNETT: From her?

WARD: -- duty-free heiress. It's the princess and the pauper.

BURNETT: The princess and the pauper. And her dowry and the wedding there was how much?

WARD: Her dowry -- oh, well, her father's a billionaire. The dress was $220,000, Valentino, half of the European royals went, and the whole thing was arranged, Erin, by a bunch of Greek shipping magnate who wanted to make sure that their long lost Greek family was no longer so poor. BURNETT: Well, they are not and they are -- you know, beautiful family. Interesting to see what happened. Honestly, I saw that interview and I said, I just have to find out more about him.

All right. Well, Vicki Ward, thank you very much -- knows all about it. All right. Thanks as always.

All right, everyone. Have a wonderful night. Thanks so much, as always for watching OUTFRONT.

It is time for "ANDERSON COOPER 360" and it starts in five, four, three, two -- go Anderson.