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Interview With Bernie Madoff's Former Attorney; Tea Party Express President Calls on Bachmann to Drop Out; The Hunt for Saif Gadhafi

Aired October 28, 2011 - 19:00   ET



We're on the frontline with Bernie Madoff tonight. His family talking to the press in a full-court press. Why? His former attorney comes OUT FRONT.

It's just a few days until Halloween. We were up to some mischief today and we can't resist sharing it with you.

And the bottom line on the Tea Party. How much sway do they really holdover the GOP? Answers, let's go OUT FRONT.

I'm Erin Burnett. OUT FRONT on a Friday night.

The most shaky Republican race since 1964. Six different candidates have led in the national polls so far this year. It's amazing to think about it. But there is a big reason for it, the Tea Party. A CNN poll shows that the Republican Party is literally split- down the middle.

Half of them support the Tea Party or are active members. Well, 49, 51, some call that a mandate. I call that a split. The Tea Party, thought, is really the Tea Parties. Christina Boterri, the spokeswoman for the National Tea Party Federation told OUT FRONT there are at least 5,000 Tea Party groups. There is no national umbrella group and no one manifesto.

Case in point, Michele Bachmann. One Tea Party support group called on her to quit the presidential race today. The other tea partiers have endorsed her. Minnesota congresswoman responded to the call for her to quit on THE SITUATION ROOM earlier with Wolf.


MICHELLE BACHMANN, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It certainly isn't a blow to my campaign because I've had nonstop support coming out of the woodwork from Tea Partiers all across the country.


BURNETT: So lots of groups, lots and lots and lots, which means a lot of fighting. But when you add up the numbers, the bottom line is power. The Tea Party is half the Republican Party. Joining us to talk about it tonight, Sal Russo from the Tea Party Express.

Sal, thanks very much for being with us. We appreciate your taking the time to be with us.


BURNETT: So what is your view of this -- the breaks that are happening within the Tea Party, which I know is a broad definition. But you have one group calling for Michele Bachmann to step down, others supporting her. Do you support her?

RUSSO: I think you said it very correctly. Contrary to some of the impressions, the Tea Party Movement is an extraordinarily broad based movement. That's the reason we won more Republican state legislative races since 1928, more Republican congressmen since 1948. It has to be broad based, and it is.

So there's a divergence of opinion. Some of the groups have social policies, some have foreign policies. But I think the one unifying theme of all the Tea Parties is that they are opposed to the increasing size and intrusiveness and cost of the federal government. And they want to se economic programs advanced by the candidates that will foster economic growth and job creation.

So on that score, I think really all 10 of the of Republican candidates have done very well as far as the Tea Party is concerned. And, you know, contrary to that poll that you recited saying the party is 50/50, I think when you hold somebody to say do you belong to this group or that group, it narrows it down. I think what you find is an overwhelming number of Republicans, and frankly, Americans, agree with what I say is the basic premise of the Tea Party, is that the excessive spending and the gigantic skyrocketing national debt is unsustainable.

BURNETT: Late me just clarify for viewers that that 49-51 was reflective of people who either identified themselves as active Tea Party members, or the support of the concept.

But let me ask you this, because Ron Brownstein was on our program last night, a pollster at "The National Journal". And he was saying that among the half of the party that did not identify with the Tea Party, Mitt Romney is a very clear lead. And he has been all the way through.

But on the Tea Party side of things, Mitt Romney has not gotten traction, 10 to 18 percent of that group all the way through. He hasn't been building. It's Herman Cain who is the front-runner. And not significantly so, but is the front-runner among the Tea Party people who define themselves as Tea Party. Do you think at some point you've got to come behind one person?

RUSSO: Well, I think that could happen. We've been polling our members for several months now. And what we have found is that every couple of weeks, the leadership changes. It started off the Newt Gingrich was ahead. Then Newt -- then Mitt Romney pulled ahead and then when Herman Cain had the good South Carolina debate, he pulled ahead. And then Michele Bachmann did really well in the New Hampshire debate, she pulled ahead. Then Perry got in the race, he pulled ahead. And then Cain had the straw poll victory in Florida. And now he's ahead.

So I think what that tells you is that people are in the Tea Party movement as well as Americans generally are testing out these candidates trying them out, seeing how they sound and how they feel about them. And so it's moving around. There's not a consensus. Which is why I think it's silly to tell anybody to get out of the race. Let's keep them all in the race and hear what they have to say. We're in serious economic problems. We need some good answers.

BURNETT: I want to bring in Ned Ryun, who is on the phone.

Ned, I know you were going to be with us in person rushing to get to a studio. Ned Ryun, for those watching CNN all day, the man who asked Michele Bachmann to step down, the president of American Majority, which is another Tea Party affiliated group.

Ned, thanks for being with us. Why did you taking this stand against Michele Bachmann today?

NED RYUN, PRESIDENT, AMERICAN MAJORITY: Erin, first of all, thank you for having me. Yeah, we're in crazy traffic here in New Orleans.

The reason I wrote this post was really an observation that the Tea Party Movement always has been, and hopefully always will be, very focused on how do we fix the economy, how do we get jobs? How do we get government back to its limited role? That's the focus. That's the purpose. That's where the movement started.

As an evangelical who is deeply pro-life, I understand the social issues, but somebody driving social issues that doesn't have the substantive stands and contributions on how to solve our economic problems. First of all, is not going to go anywhere-and first of all is not really adding much meaningful to the debate. I think at some point, it's going to begin to damage and confuse people and dilute the Tea Party message. That was really the whole purpose of why I wrote that post.

BURNETT: Well, I appreciate it. Thanks, very much for calling in so we could get you in this segment, Ned. Because we really did want to hear from you. We appreciate it.

Ned Ryun and Sal Russo there.

Interesting that someone who is a self-identified evangelical, he doesn't want those issues to dominate, he wants it to be the economy. Well, a split Tea Party and a split GOP are potentially problems for my next guest. Reince Priebus is the chairman of the Republican National Committee, the Tea Party a major force.

Setting your party's agenda, sir. Obviously, having trouble coalescing. As I think that interview just showed. Does that worry you when it comes to a national election where your party's split in half?

REINCE PRIEBUS, CHAIRMAN, REPUBLICAN NATIONAL COMMITTEE: No, it doesn't because I think-and you know, and I agree with Sal. I don't think anything's split at all. You the have a party here that has multiple candidates running for president, and you're going to have some people supporting one over the other. That doesn't mean that there isn't complete unanimity in the fact that we need to save this country from a president who seems to have a love affair with the man in the mirror and the sound of his own voice, without actually following through with any promises.

While we may be picking our horse so to speak and having a debate amongst each other, certainly we're going to have a uniform and a direction in this party, that is in one direction, which is to put a Republican in the White House.

BURNETT: I'm just curious Reince, because when you look at the Mitt Romney numbers, the half of the party that doesn't identify itself as a Tea Party supporter or active member-and I hear your point they'll all come together-but they that don't identify themselves that way right now are behind Romney. Within the other half of the Tea Party, they're not in love with the guy. Are you confident if he's the nominee you'll get them to go to the poll.

PRIEBUS: I think if you look at Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, and you go back four years ago, you had two people that fought each other all the way through the end of June. And guess what, it was pretty good for the Democratic Party. I really believe that, Erin. I mean, I think having the debate within your party over a new direction for America-which is what we're having in our party, and I think of a lot of independents are involved with it-is really the same kind of debate, although much different issues than what was happening in 2008 among the Democrats.

So, we're having that debate. I think it's its healthy for our party, healthy for America. Listen, if you want to keep going the same way we have been for the past four years, then Americans will stick with Barack Obama. But I happen to think that's a pretty miserable place to be and most Americans agree with me. And that's why I think we're going to be ultimately successful in 2012.

BURNETT: Let me ask you this in terms of money. How much money is it going to cost you to do it, Reince? You have President Obama at $89.4 million raised. Romney as the front-runner, or tied for the front-runner, $32.2 million. And the man that is essentially tied with him, according to my calculations, has about $8 million raised. How much is it going to cost you?

PRIEBUS: I think it's going to come down to issues. I think it is going to cost a lot of money. I think the Republican National Committee, along with the candidate, when we get a nominee, and do some joint fund-raising agreements together like the DNC and Barack Obama are doing. And we're raising a good amount of money and our net dollars are very high and we're very competitive. But the fact is, it's going to be expensive. We've got a president who's in love with campaigning. I hate to keep -- I'm not trying to continue to do this, but look, we've got a president who is more interested in raising money and being president than he is putting Americans back to work. Guess what? Here's the deal. I think most Americans are tired of it. They're tired of the speeches. They are tired of the pageantry and want to go a different direction, Erin. We're going to give them that different direction next year.

BURNETT: Thanks very much for taking the time to join us. I know some agree with you and some do not. But we're going to be talking about it with James Carville.

PRIEBUS: Most do, that's the good thing.

BURNETT: Well, you have got to see it that way if you're in your seat.

Thanks very much. Appreciate it, Reince.

It's been more than a week since Gadhafi died but his son Saif is still on the run. What is Libya doing to find him?

An 8-year-old autistic boy was lost in a Virginia woods for six days, found today curled up in the fetal position, but the doctor who treated him, coming OUT FRONT with the exclusive details.

Sometimes it is fun to be bad. Actually, it's often fun to be bad. We can't resist telling you what we did today. Yeah, Anderson. We're talking about you.


BURNETT: The number tonight, 600,000. That's the number of Facebook logons that are compromised each and every day. Now, that sounds like a lot. You know what? It is. But if you look at it like this, it is only 0.6 percent of total daily logins.

Facebook is the world's largest social network with over 750 million users. Despite the rise of Google Plus. To help store the all that data, Facebooking is a set of three, 300,000 square-foot buildings in Sweden, just south of the Arctic Circle. The cold air will help keep the company's servers cool. They say it is going to save it millions and millions of dollars.

By the way, when you look at where all the money goes, and energy, look at the storage. It is CISCO and Facebook, that is actually where you see the big gas guzzlers.

All right. Now back to politics. Let's bring in James Carville, Democratic Strategist David Frum, CNN Contributor John Avlon, contributor as well.

OK, great to see all three of you on a Friday night.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you. BURNETT: You start laughing, Mr. Carville. You hear the Tea Party conversation we had? We had a coup the of the 5,000 groups on including the guy who said Michele Bachmann get out. What do you think?

JAMES CARVILLE, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: I cannot believe what I'm watching over there. You watch the debates and then you watch the Tea Party splitting. It's really hilarious. Then the chairman of the Republican National Committee talking about Obama and pageantry and look at himself in the mirror. I don't know where these talking points are coming from.

BURNETT: You don't need to pay for pay per view boxing anymore, do you?

CARVILLE: I really don't. I'm mystified but sort of gratified, in one sense, that all this is going on. As a Democrat, it's really kind of fun to watch here.

BURNETT: All right. John Avlon, what is your take? Are they going to coalesce? I know they say the don't need to, but they do. Will they?

JOHN AVLON, CNN POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR: They do. But this is going to be a long process. The reality is Mitt Romney, the presumptive nominee, is not getting support from the Tea Parties, or evangelicals. That's a big deal. The rest of the field is very fractured.

Here you've got the most conservative crowd running for president of the Republican Party in modern history and the conservatives don't coalesce around one candidate. That is a long-term problem that makes people like James Carville very happy.

BURNETT: Let me bring in Mr. Frum here. It probably doesn't make quite as happy. David, I want to quote to you from the George Will column that is going to be running this weekend, about Mitt Romney.

Where he says, quite, "Romney supposedly the Republicans' most electable next November is a recidivist reviser"-that is an unusual alliteration-"of his principles who is not only becoming less electable, he might damage GOP chances of capturing the Senate."

That is harsh.

DAVID FRUM, CNN POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR: The first question is, which of the candidates on the stage would make the best president. From my point of view as a Republican, it's just incontestable. Romney can do the job and almost nobody else on the stage could do the job.

What I think is sort of sad and sorry about the Tea Party activists, as you say the party is split down the middle. Someone like me, I'm in the non-Tea Party half and I'm quite content with Romney. If the other half cannot agree on one person, they will lose. Even though they have half the numbers. It's undisciplined and irresponsible of them not to coalesce. Yet, as you saw in that interview, there is something going on in that movement. Something as self-evident as hey, you know, one half of the party has one candidate and the other half of the party has half a dozen candidates. We can tell how this is going to come out. They can't say something like that because the very idea of responsible leadership is so anathema, they can't even apply it to themselves.

BURNETT: That's an interesting point.

AVLON: But when you have someone like George Will, one of the wise men in the Republican Party and the conservative movement, come out that the hard against Romney, that is a real party for Mitt Romney's campaign. You have the Reagan revolution as being potentially handed over to someone who probably said he wasn't a Republican during the Reagan years. And someone who is the opposite of a conviction politician. That is a real problem for him in terms of coalescing the party.

BURNETT: David, it was interesting, you heard Ned Ryun, the man who said Michelle Bachmann should quit. I thought it was fascinating how he said I'm an evangelical, I believe in these social issues, but do not want them to dominate the campaign at all. That's just smart politics, the economy is what voters care about, but partly it could be a sense that the Republican base needs -- is realizing that social issues aren't going to be enough.

FRUM: I think that's a big part of it. I think what he was doing was being connected to the real world of coalition politics. You can't get -- look, when somebody like me says I looked at it and Mitt Romney seems like best of show, that doesn't mean perfect, that doesn't mean ideal. That doesn't mean I expect to agree with him about everything.

The art of -- along with political leadership, you need political followership. Some willingness to draw your own priorities to choose from the best of the available options, no the to let the better be the enemy of the good. And if you don't do that, you're not doing politics, you're doing protest.

BURNETT: James Carville, I'm curious. You heard me talking to Reince Priebus about the money. Obviously, the president has raised a whole lot more than Republican front-runner Mitt Romney. But obviously we all saw the story today in "The New York Times" that is Mr. Obama who said he would eschew lobbyists and all of this money, 15 of his, quote/ unquote, bundlers have raised $5 million. Is that going to hurt him at all?

CARVILLE: Who's going to attack him for it? Certainly not Romney.

But it does. Look, I think people will understand what happens with-you know, the reason we have high (UNINTELLIGIBLE) cars, the reason we have, you know, pollution and the reason we have income inequality is because polluters and pollutocrats (ph) and providers, provide the money for campaigns. I think people understand that at some level. Is it fair? Yes, the White House says that they don't let lobbyists on the premises, and things like that. But there's great cynicism out there about the fact that money and politics. I have to tell you. I think people are on to something. There is a connection.

BURNETT: Yes, final word, John.

AVLON: Look, when President Obama is going to try to run against official Washington and he's getting in bed with bundlers and trying to raise $1 billion, you're going to get a very compromised candidate. It's hard to harness the anger that is against, right now, big government and big business, if you are in bed to that degree.

BURNETT: That is an interesting point. Well, thanks so much to all three of you. Please have a wonderful weekend and mischief night.

All right. OUT FRONT next, an eight-year-old autistic boy found after spending six days alone and lost in the woods. The doctor who treated him coming OUT FRONT exclusively.

And the latest in the search for Baby Lisa. As we told you, the police where is supposed to question her brothers today but they didn't. Why not?

And people in the building were not happy today. We can't resist telling you what the OUT FRONT outlaws did to deserve it.


BURNETT: And now a story we can't resist. Mischief night. Hell night, devil's night. Whatever you might call it, it's the night before Halloween when kids across the nation play pranks on their unsuspecting neighbors. Toilet paper, eggs, shaving cream, all of it. Since our next show is on Halloween night, for us tonight is mischief night. So we couldn't resist doing this.




BURNETT: He's not here?

Oh, shoot. He doesn't have any markers, does he? Yeah, a Sharpie will do. Thanks, appreciate it.


BURNETT: We just couldn't resist, Anderson.

(voice over): Still OUT FRONT, the OUT FRONT FIVE.

The house of Madoff.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was a very ugly family tragedy playing out here.

BURNETT: Rising threat.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There is another big concern. The highest tide is coming within the next 24 hours.

BURNETT: His long trip home.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's a story ultimately about how we went through all of that, but survived it. And ultimately got to a point of reconciliation and forgiveness.

BURNETT: All this still OUT FRONT in our second Friday half.


BURNETT: We start the second half of our show with stories we care about where we focus on our own reporting the "OUR FRONT FIVE".

No. 1, there were reports Bank Of America might scale back its plan to charge a $5 debit card fee. A person familiar with the bank's plan told OUT FRONT, though, the fee is not going away. It just won't affect as many people. Still it is a move and it comes after JP Morgan Chase, Citigroup and U.S. Bancorp recently said they will not be imposing a monthly fee.

Number two: a strong 6.9 magnitude earthquake hit Peru this afternoon. The U.S. Geological Survey reported the quake hit about 30 miles south of Ica. However, there appears to be no reports of major damage. There has not been a tsunami warning issued. Traders telling OUTFRONT they are closely watching the situation because Peru is the number one silver producer in the world and number two in copper.

Number three for us: Thailand bracing for more floodwaters that could hit in the next 12 hours. Sara Sidner is in Bangkok and she told us there is already three to five feet of standing water in the city and when high tide hits Saturday afternoon, waters could go as high as 13 feet. The fear now is the water could cross over defenses along the Chao Phraya River and its canals causing even more damage.

Number four: Adele, the Grammy Award-winning singer, canceling tour dates and public events for the rest of the year in order to have surgery on her throat. The British singer had previously canceled tour dates in America due to hemorrhage of her vocal cord.

Her album "21" has been number one on the Billboard charts for 13 weeks. That is one of the longest reign ever by a woman. It has sold 4 million copies and it is the best selling album in digital history.

And it has been 84 days since America lost its top credit rating. What are we doing to get it back?

Well, the debt supercommittee working on keeping us from another downgrade hopefully will step up to the plate. Today, a group of 200 business associations signed a letter telling the commission not just to do a deal but to go well beyond the $1.2 trillion they've been mandated to cut from our debt.

Well, it's a Madoff media blitz. There have been three major TV interviews recently, two books, and countless newspapers articles. The coverage is a coming out of sorts for Bernie Madoff's wife, Ruth, his son Andrew and daughter-in-law Stephanie. Madoff himself gave a two-hour off camera interview from prison in North Carolina.

Now, the books, which are expected to be best sellers, could bring in a lot of money to the authors. Madoff's $50 billion Ponzi scheme, of course, the largest in history, came to a crashing halt in 2008. As of today, only about $10 billion have been recovered.

Bernie Madoff's former attorney Ira Sorkin came OUTFRONT tonight, along with Diana Henriques, senior writer for "The New York Times." I spoke to them right before the show begun about the media blitz. Diana told me she actually e-mailed with Madoff himself this week.


DIANA HENRIQUES, SENIOR WRITER, NEW YORK TIMES: He told me that although his psychologist told him not to watch the interview that Stephanie did on television, did he watch it. In an e-mail he sent on Monday, he said, "It was as painful as I expected. I cannot find fault with what she said about me or the hate she expressed. I certainly am guilty of causing Mark's death."

So obviously, it hit home to him. He is always the spider at the middle of the web. He is the ghost at the feast because he was the man who hit the dominos and sent all of these lives shattering.

BURNETT: Does it surprise you they're all doing books at the same time? Does it surprise you they're doing them at all? What's your take on this? Obviously, I would emphasize you're the former attorney for Bernard Madoff.

IRA SORKIN, FORMER ATTORNEY FOR BERNIE MADOFF: I suspect that because there has been a great run to see who can get to interview him and there has been pressure from all sources as Diana well knows from every media outlet, electronic, print, to interview him -- somebody got to him and now, everyone is trying to, as we say, front run, which is a securities term, to get there first.

So, I think that's what it's doing. It's a ripple effect.

BURNETT: Diana, how much money is at stake here? I'm wondering. And a lot of viewers would be wondering, given that a lot of money -- there's a lot of victims out there. Where do the proceeds from the books go?

SORKIN: Well, you should know that neither of the people who stand to profit directly from these books, that would be Laurie Sandell, the author of the book that's coming out on Monday and Stephanie Madoff Mack herself whose book is already out. Neither of them are the subject of any allegations of wrongdoings. They are, you know, completely free to profit from this book as any author is free to profit from their book. BURNETT: Ike, you've spent -- you were involved here years to think about this to delve into it. What's your view at this point as to what Ruth Madoff knew?

SORKIN: I am convinced -- and that's supported by the government that has investigated her for two and a half years, almost three years -- that she was unaware of what happened. There have been no charges leveled against her. And, quite frankly, and I think this is a point that needs to be made, we've been asked as lawyers why some of my contemporaries, why he pled guilty when he did.


SORKIN: Rather than wait, hang out, not be incarcerated, in effect game the system. And I think it's important to note that he pleaded guilty when he did as early as he could to take the pressure off his wife and children.

BURNETT: How much money are we going to get back? Some have said that in terms of Ponzi schemes, you know, Vicky Ward from "Vanity Fair" said on the show that the lawyer said if you're able to get money back from the banks that did business with Madoff, they could get near $50 billion back. That seemed like a very high number relative to the $8 billion to $10 billion that they've been able to find.

How much will victims eventually see?

SORKIN: Well, it's going to be some guess work. Although the trustee has already gotten about $11 billion actually, Erin, and is able, we think, eventually to be able to distribute that. If he's able to distribute that to the people who have out of pocket cash losses, they will see a recovery in excess of 55 cents on the dollar. And historically, that is amazing for Ponzi schemes.

BURNETT: Quickly, before we go, can Bernard Madoff write a book himself?

SORKIN: He can but he won't get the proceeds because of the Son of Sam --

BURNETT: He could give them to the victims.

SORKIN: The Son of Sam law is going to prohibit him from gaining anything from his own publication.

BURNETT: All right. Well, thanks so much to both of you. Ike, Diana, appreciate it.


SORKIN: Thank you.


BURNETT: It's been eight days since Moammar Gadhafi died a brutal death. The favorite son Saif al-Islam, who is expected to succeed his father, is still on the run. The International Criminal Court in The Hague has a warrant for his arrest. Today, they said they're negotiating with intermediaries for his surrender, but it is unclear who those people might be.

In fact, no one actually knows where Saif is.

Benjamin Barber was a long time adviser to Saif when he was known as a reformer in the country. He's now a distinguished senior fellow at the policy center, Demos.

Wonderful to see you, sir. Appreciate it.

Not a lot of people know Saif as well as you do. And I wanted to start with where you think he might be right now.

BENJAMIN BARBER, POLITICAL THEORIST: I suspect he's in the southern Sahara going as fast as he can for the Mali or the Niger border having watched what happened to his father and to Mutassim who were captured alive but within an hour had died brutal deaths at the hands of angry militiamen. I think he wants to get out of the country knowing that if he's caught, he probably won't get out alive.

BURNETT: So, I know he's being protected by the Tuareg, the nomadic people who still live in the Sahara. Is he going to hide when he gets across? Niger, of course, one of his brothers is there, or would he turn himself in?

BARBER: I think he will turn himself in because I think he has a story to tell to the International Criminal Court that will both help explain where he comes from and where he was in the seven years before the insurgency but also helps explain where a number of the people in the insurgency come from. And I think one of the reasons he wants out is that's a story some of the National Transitional Council don't want told.

BURNETT: And let's talk about the choice that he made. Some say had he played his cards differently, he could be running a more reformed Libya. But there was a moment when he had to choose. You said he made the Michael Corleone choice.

BARBER: By that, I mean for seven years, he was a hero of young reformers and young secularists in Libya. He went to London. He got his PhD. at the London School of Economics. There's been controversy about the PhD, but the committee that's about to report I think will report out that it was a straight work that he did himself.

He was involved in a lot of industrial and oil deals, but he was also involved in civic reform, giving out computers to schools, starting two independent newspapers, because there had been no free press. He said in 2007, there is no free press. Don't pay any attention to what my father said. There is no free press.

He acted for a number of years as the leading edge of the reform movement, and in that reform movement, Mr. Jalil, who was the justice minister in the Gadhafi government, and now the chairman of the council, and Mr. Jibril, who was an economics professor brought in by Saif to work first with him on the development council and then became economic minister, both of them were part of his reform team before the insurgency happens.

BURNETT: So, that will be the case he will make. But as you said, there was a moment when the he had to choose to go with his father or to go against. And he chose family and tribe.

BARBER: The Arab saying is family first, clan second -- tribe first, country and principle last. And though I think he was a principled young man, he made the choice for family. He made the choice like Michael Corleone to defend his father, whether or not he was involved in actually military action the way his brothers Mutassim and Khamis, both dead now were --


BARBER: -- we do not know.

BURNETT: And that, of course, will be a matter for The Hague. Well, thank you very much, Benjamin Barber. We appreciate it. We'll be following that international manhunt and we'll find out what happens to Saif Gadhafi.

But, now, let's check in with Anderson Cooper.

ANDERON COOPER, HOST, "ANDERSON COOPER 360": Erin, thanks very much.

We're keeping them honest tonight on "360." Candidate Obama drew a clear line in the sand. No lobbyists would be part of his administration. Well, President Obama is finding the line a bit more blurred. We're going to dig deeper on the campaign money machine which technically is keeping lobbyists out of the White House. We're keeping them honest.

Also, ahead, new developments in the case of Robyn Gardner, the American woman missing in Aruba, presumed dead. A hearing today keeps her travel partner Gary Giordano in custody. We'll tell you why.

Also, the results of a DNA test on blood found on Robyn Gardner's towel and a disturbing tabloid report that Gardner may have been buried alive. We'll see if that's true or if we can knock it down.

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

BURNETT: All right. Anderson, is your studio clean in? I heard that you just came in a couple minutes ago. So, you didn't see something we showed people.

COOPER: I understand that yes, you had some fun on our set.


COOPER: What's funny is because I actually have put sand in your gas tank. So --

BURNETT: Oh, really? OK.

COOPER: Enjoy getting home tonight.

BURNETT: Thanks for that.

COOPER: Bye-bye.

BURNETT: All right. Hmm. OK. OK.


BURNETT: OK. Well, lucky I'm going to a good news story. After six days lost in the Virginia woods, an 8-year-old autistic boy was found safe and sound. The doctor who is treating him comes OUTFRONT exclusively next.

And then Baby Lisa. The police had hoped to talk to her brothers today. It did not happen. We'll tell you why not.


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

And tonight, to Syria, where protesters are calling for a no-fly zone.

Arwa Damon is in Beirut.

And, Arwa, would a no-fly zone even work there?

ARWA DAMON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Erin, the Syrian dynamics are very different to those that existed in Libya when that no-fly zone went into place. When it comes to Syria, there is no chunk of territory that the opposition controls and there is no clear and defined frontline. And perhaps most importantly, there is no consensus amongst the international community as to how to approach this uprising in Syria. But activists are saying that right now, Assad regime has left them with no choice but to call for this course of action -- Erin.

BURNETT: Arwa, thank you.

And now to Britain where the government announced new succession laws.

Max Foster is in London.

And, Max, what does this mean for the royal family?

MAX FOSTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Erin, this doesn't affect the current royal family, but it could change things if Prince William and Catherine have a child. Imagine they have a daughter first. That daughter will only become queen if she doesn't have a brother. If she has a brother, the brother will become king. It's fundamentally sexist.

Also, under the new rules, that queen, that princess could marry a Catholic. That's unheard of in British history, a Catholic living in Buckingham Palace -- Erin.

BURNETT: Well, I'm just glad the girl could, you know, get the rights.

Well, in an interview scheduled for today with baby Lisa's two half-brothers was scrapped. We told you that it would happen today. But police hoped to have child specialists sit down with the 6 and 8- year-old brothers of the baby to see what the boys might be able to tell them about the night she disappeared. They also wanted to collect DNA samples.

Jim Spellman is in Kansas City tonight.

And, Jim, can you tell us why the meeting was canceled and whether or not it be rescheduled?

JIM SPELLMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The defense team that have assembled around the mother Deborah Bradley say it's been postponed. They'll try to do it sometime next week. It's a huge setback for investigators. They haven't spoken to these boys since the night that baby Lisa disappeared. They say they're vital to getting information about where she may be. Also, they need that DNA to eliminate it from a lot of DNA that they gathered during a large search last week.

They're really hitting a roadblock and it's mainly around this divide between the family that doesn't want to talk to the police and the police who say they need to talk to them to advance the investigation.

BURNETT: All right. And a quick question, the attorney, the local attorney Cyndy Short, who had been working for the family is no longer representing them as of today. Do you know why?

SPELLMAN: No, we don't know why. She sort of sent a very terse one-sentence out this morning saying she's no longer working with the family. There's been so much chaos, Erin, coming from this group of lawyers and investigators around the family. This is just the latest thing.

Almost every day, there's some sort of drama like this coming from them. While, meanwhile, baby Lisa is still missing over three weeks now.

BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Jim. We appreciate it.

We'll get more on this over the weekend, we hope.

An 8-year-old autistic boy was missing for nearly six days. But this story has a good ending. He was found alive. Robert Wood, Jr. wandered away from his family while on a hike in Virginia on Sunday. He was found at a quarry about a mile away, thousands of volunteers searched for him. He does not speak. That made the effort more complicated.

A volunteer found him. He was taken to an area hospital for evaluation.

Dr. Christopher Waleben has treated him and he's with us tonight.

And, sir, it's got to be a pretty wonderful ending to the story.

DR. CHRISTOPHER WALEBEN, CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL OF RICHMOND: Yes, it was very heartwarming from the moment we received a phone call that we were getting him by one of our local med flight helicopters, knowing that he was going to be coming to our E.R. for treatment.

BURNETT: And so, what was his exact condition when he came in? We had seen than he was found in the fetal position curled up in the quarry.

WALEBEN: Correct. When we received him in the emergency department around 3:00 p.m., he was awake. Alert. Surprisingly, very interactive, was excited to see his mother, was smiling every time he saw her. He did have some signs and symptoms consistent with cold exposure and we did a pretty thorough medical investigation to make sure we were treating all of his medical problems adequately.

BURNETT: And how did he survive on his own, knowing that he's autistic and it seems pretty severely so, given as you've said, he doesn't speak?

WALEBEN: Correct. You know, it's an amazing story that he was able to survive for that amount of time on his own. And we really are appreciative of all the volunteers who are out looking for him and helping to bring him safely to us today.

BURNETT: So, how long will he be in the hospital, and is he going to be A-OK?

WALEBEN: Yes, I can't go into specifics regarding his medical diagnoses and his treatment plan right now. But he'll definitely be in the hospital for a short period of time. And as I said, we're conducting tests and making sure that we're addressing all of his immediate medical needs.

BURNETT: And would you just as -- so many people are so focused on autism, the rise of autism. How autistic is he?

WALEBEN: It's, you know, difficult to address that due to being his medical condition. However, he is non-verbal. However, we treat him just like we treat any other trauma patient that were to come to our level one trauma center, making sure he gets the appropriate head to toe examination and medical condition up front.

BURNETT: All right. Well, thank you very much, Dr. Waleben. We appreciate it.

WALEBEN: Thank you.

BURNETT: Wonderful ending as people were tracking that.

WALEBEN: Thank you.

BURNETT: Well, Mark Whitaker had a long trip home. The author of this terrific new book OUTFRONT, next.


BURNETT: And those are live fireworks in Lower Manhattan over the Statue of Liberty. It is her 125th birthday. That's a great show, before the snow tomorrow.

All right. Well, we're ending the week talking to the boss, Mark Whitaker. He's thinking, OK, are you kidding me? Executive vice president and managing editor of CNN Worldwide, that is his day job. But in his spare time, he wrote a new book called "My Long Trip Home: A Family Memoir," chronicling his life growing up in a biracial family.

And, Mark, it's a really great read. It reads like a novel. We were just talking about it.

But how it all started was, as you write in the book, you woke up a Saturday morning after Thanksgiving and said I'm going to write a book.

MARK WHITAKER, EXECUTIVE VP AND MANAGING EDITOR, CNN WORLDWIDE: Yes. Well, my dad had passed away exactly a year to the day before that. And you know, I knew that there was a fascinating story of my parents, this interracial couple, met in the 1950s.

My dad was a student. My mother was a teacher. It was illicit in that way as well. They both came from these interesting worlds.

He came from black Pittsburgh. His parents were undertakers.

My mother had grown up in France. Her parents were -- her father was a French Protestant pastor who had helped hide thousands of Jews from the Nazis during the war.

So there was a lot of kind of interesting history.

BURNETT: That sounds like a novel.

WHITAKER: Yes. But there was a lot of messiness, too, after my parents got divorced, a lot of unhappiness, depression. My mother's part as she tried to raise two boys on her own. My father became an alcoholic, lost a lot of jobs.

You know, so -- you know, I never -- you know, people told me, you know, you should write this story someday. But I couldn't quite bring myself to do it. And yet, a year after my father died, I just woke up in the middle of the night and said I want to try to do this.

BURNETT: And how long did it take to you write it? WHITAKER: It took about a year and a half in all. And I started writing from memory the way people do conventional memoirs. But I realized after a certain point there were a lot of things I didn't know. There are a lot of secrets -- things that had been hidden, gaps when my father wasn't in my life that I didn't know about.

And I started reporting. And it was really the reporting that got me going and made me obsessed as I started to piece together the puzzle of their lives.

BURNETT: So you look at the front cover, and you've got your black father, your white mother, and you. And, obviously, it brings to mind Barack Obama.

But some of the stories in the book about race were amazing. You talk about in the '50s. But your father warned you, a black man should never get lippy with a police officer. Your mother was almost denied tenure at Swarthmore because she was married to a black man.

And then you had this story about your father bought the camera he couldn't afford with color because when you were born he wanted to take pictures of you go from light color to dark color.


BURNETT: So how important was race in your childhood and your identity?

WHITAKER: Well, you know, I sort of grew up in two worlds. You know, I kind of largely white world of sort of academia where my parents were. But then there was the black world of Pittsburgh, where we went when I was a small child and where my mother even after my parents got divorced and I wasn't in contact with my father, she would still bring us several times a year back to visit, visit Pittsburgh.

So -- but, you know, in those days it's interesting now that, you know, with a biracial president and all these athletes and singers who are biracial, and sort of cool. I felt completely alien at the time. I mean, you know, sort of the idea that that was, you know, going to be something that was going to be commonplace just wasn't sort of --

BURNETT: You didn't feel at home in both. You felt sort of alien --

WHITAKER: Well, you know, I didn't really think about it. It was really later when I became -- and I write about this in the book, that, you know, I became a teenager and went to college and so forth, there's all these pressures to sort of self-define as where you -- were you black?

Well, you know, the fact is in our history, you know, if you're a little bit black, you're all black. You know, I mean, that's sort of been the tradition, you know? So and that's always what my father told me, is that look, you know, you're black. And, you know, you have to understand the tradition. BURNETT: I'm curious, when you mention this and then you've got Barack Obama and -- race is a topic in a way it has never been before. I don't know. I'm curious whether you think for better or for worse. Because there's Barack Obama who's biracial and now there's Herman Cain, who's black.


BURNETT: And Cain has made comments about race and African- Americans being pressured to vote Democratic. And I'm curious whether you think the conversation right now about race is good or bad.

WHITAKER: Well, look, I mean, the positive thing about Herman Cain is it just shows there are all these different ways to be black. People don't think there's only one way to be black. And that's one thing that my father always told me.

Although one of the interesting things to me about Herman Cain is that I think one of the reasons people on the right are connecting with him is that in an era where both on the right and now on the left with "Occupy Wall Street," you have these groups that are incredibly sort of fed up with kind of the establishment, traditional politics, and so forth -- it's hard when you're just another white man and another white politician to kind of suggest that you're not somehow part of that establishment that screwed things up so badly.

So I think people are looking for different kinds of people, and I think he's benefiting from that.

BURNETT: And what about you? You said when you were born -- this whole thing with the camera -- but you came out purple is I think how you described it.

WHITAKER: Like most babies.

BURNETT: You were purple. But it was because you broke your collarbone, which you said -- and what you went through in those first couple days no doubt set your, quote, "capacity for stoicism."

WHITAKER: Yes. Well, the fact is that I had to be quite stoic after my parents got divorced. And I was very unhappy. I worshiped my dad as a kid. I found out in the course of reporting how much I worshiped him from some of my mother's letters and so forth.

I wanted to live with him after they split up. He had moved to a cool bungalow in Venice beach, you know, back in the day in the '60s, you know, leading the bachelor life. And he just wasn't prepared to, you know, have a child in his life. I became very overweight as -- and I became much more introverted.

But one of the things that I sort of realized in reporting this book is how once I became an adult, even though I kind of thought I was doing everything on my own, I was getting back more in touch with some of, you know, the qualities of being outgoing and sort of connected to the world that actually I'd first learned from my father.

BURNETT: All right. Well, Mark Whitaker, thanks so much. We appreciate it.


BURNETT: It does read like a novel. So whether you like fiction or non-fiction, everyone, check out Mark's book.

Thanks so much. Have a great weekend.

Anderson Cooper starts now.