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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT

Allegations of Harassment; Interview with Gov. Haley Barbour; Super Committee; Operation Ghosts

Aired October 31, 2011 - 19:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


ERIN BURNETT, HOST: Thanks, John. We're on the "Front Line" with a new crop of college graduates, $1 trillion in debt, but was it a mistake? Is going to college not the best way to get a good job?

And then Kim Kardashian files for divorce. We can't resist this one. You'll see why.

And the "Bottom Line" on Herman Cain. Allegations of sexual harassment have cropped up. Will they derail his meteoric rise?

Let's go OUTFRONT.

I'm OUTFRONT -- Erin Burnett -- OUTFRONT tonight we have some breaking news -- sorry about that. Stocks falling sharply spooked by worries about the European bailout, the Dow down 276 points. European crisis took a bit out of the U.S. markets and also took out a U.S. firm. Former Goldman Sachs chief and New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine's company, MF Global, filed for bankruptcy today. After more than $6 billion in bets on Europe gone bad.

The spook, though, only went so far, because when you look at it over the past month, the Dow industrials up more than 1,000 points for the month of October. That's 9.6 percent, and it's the best since 2002. The S&P 500 up almost 11 percent, its best gain since December of 1991.

Stocks were spooked, fitting, because it is Halloween. And New Jersey Governor Chris Christie told kids to stay home. Yes, he cancelled Halloween for people who lost power. All right. The Republican candidates though seem to be celebrating Halloween because we called every single campaign and figured they must all be out trick or treating tonight with kids or grandkids.

We're not kidding. Only Rick Santorum, the one with trick or treat age kids and Herman Cain showed up to work today. Jon Huntsman tried but a power outage ended his day. Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry are in route to Iowa. Mitt Romney spent the day with his family in Boston. You get the point.

Herman Cain had all the spot lights focused on him on the one day he may have not wanted the attention. In Washington he fought back against allegations of sexual harassment.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HERMAN CAIN (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I have never sexually harassed anyone, and those accusations are totally false.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BURNETT: The GOP front-runner defended himself against a "Politico" report which claims two women accused him of inappropriate behavior during his tenure at the National Restaurant Association in the 1990s. Now, will this derail his meteoric rise in the polls or not? One man whose opinion matters more than almost anyone's is Republican rainmaker and king maker Haley Barbour.

Mississippi governor and former RNC chief is a Republican fund- raising powerhouse. Fund-raising for the Republican Governor's Association doubled when he became chairman in 2009 from 59 million in 2008 to 117 million in 2010, election year. He entertained a presidential run himself and is one of the most sought-after endorsements in the country. Karl Rove recently enlisted Barbour's help to raise money for his super PAC, American Crossroads.

With Barbour's help, the conservative organization is aiming to raise $240 million in 2012, the presidential election year. Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour thanks so much for being with us. We appreciate your taking the time and sir I wanted to start off with this issue about Herman Cain. As you know, earlier he denied the allegations in interviews that are airing tonight on PBS and with Greta Van Susteren he goes on to say he does remember an incident and knows that it was settled, or as he says, quote unquote, "agreed to". Is this going to hurt him?

GOV. HALEY BARBOUR (R), MISSISSIPPI: Well, I'm sure something he doesn't want to be talking about. Whether it hurts him turns out is going to (INAUDIBLE) what the facts really are, in depth. You know, what was the sexual harassment? Was it something that was suggestive or was it actually something worse than that? But it's hard to see -- it's hard to know exactly how it'll turn out, but you do know this. This isn't what Herman Cain wants to be talking about today or any day during his campaign.

BURNETT: No, it sure isn't. And it's interesting, because earlier David Gergen was saying, you know, sometimes delving into people's personal lives seems to go way too far in the modern media era, but that in this case, given that there were settlements with these two women, this does seem to be a fair thing to be pushing harder and harder on. You've met Herman Cain, you know Herman Cain. Do you think the more people push, the more they may find, or not?

BARBOUR: Well, I'm very surprised to hear this. I've never seen any indication of anything like this. I've known him 15 -- well, more than 15 years. I knew him when he was a very successful businessman, as he has been in all of his career from what I can tell. So I was very surprised by this. That being the case, I would be surprised if there's any more to it.

BURNETT: So two weeks ago, I remember this -- I know we called your office to ask you about it. When -- when said if the election were today, your wife said she would vote for Herman Cain. And you had said, I believe, that if it were Herman Cain versus Barack Obama, Cain would, quote, "sweep the south". You still think so?

BARBOUR: Against Barack Obama, yes, ma'am, I do. Look, President Obama's problems around the country are that his policies are bad policies. People think that his policies are making the economy worse, not better. That his policies are going to make health care more expensive and reduce quality. So that sort of problem for Barack Obama is a political problem that's not going to be overcome by somebody else getting smeared. If this is an election like most American presidential elections, it will be a referendum on the president's results, what he's gotten done. And with bad policies, he's had very bad results.

BURNETT: Governor Barbour, I wanted to ask you about Mitt Romney. And as you know, even though he's -- either tied with Herman Cain in some polls, ahead in some, slightly behind in others, he is seen as the man to beat by the White House. But everyone keeps saying, well, we like Mitt Romney, we don't love Mitt Romney. Why is he having such a hard time connecting with conservatives, with the Tea Party? You know Mississippi you can answer this question, perhaps better than anyone else. What's Mitt's problem?

BARBOUR: Well, first of all, I think the idea that Mitt being at 25 percent of the polls and not growing a lot is not necessarily the indication of a problem. I think what's going on is that millions and millions of Republicans are looking to see who is the Republican candidate that has the best chance of beating Obama? Normally at this stage, Republican voters are saying, who is the candidate I like the most? Who is the candidate that I'm most in agreement with? But I think a lot of times this time we are seeing Republicans say, "I want to make sure my party nominates the person who has got the best chance to beat Barack Obama, because our country has to have a change."

Romney being probably the best-known person when we started, probably is the person that gets the least look right now, that people are looking at the ones they don't know very much about. And that may explain how you've had kind of skyrocketing polls for Michele Bachmann that came and went for Rick Perry, that came and went, or for Herman Cain. I think voters are looking over this field, because they think it is so -- such an important, critical election to America's future.

BURNETT: I know a man that you liked quite a bit, Chris Christie, Republican governor of New Jersey, obviously, did not jump into the race and then quickly endorsed Mitt Romney. Your endorsement matters a lot, because you raise money, because you listen to what you say. Are you endorsing Mitt Romney tonight?

BARBOUR: I'm not endorsing anybody here and I have said since soon after I made the decision not to run myself that I didn't intend to endorse anybody for the nomination. That is still my position. I didn't endorse anybody in 2008. I'm going to do everything I can do from now until next November to elect a new Republican president to replace President Obama. But I don't intend to get involved in the nomination contest.

BURNETT: All right. Well, Haley Barbour, it's a pleasure to talk to you again, sir, and we'll talk to you again soon. BARBOUR: Thanks, Erin. Thanks for having me. Congratulations on your show.

BURNETT: All right. Thank you, sir. Appreciate it.

And now I want to bring in Jeff Toobin, our senior legal analyst, Kevin Madden, the campaign spokesperson for Mitt Romney in 2008 and John Avlon. OK, we've got a lot to talk about. And I want to talk about what Governor Barbour just said about the election. But I want to start with Herman Cain.

Jeff, it's interesting. First he denied then he remembered more. As the day goes on, he remembers even more. How much more is there to this Herman Cain sexual harassment situation?

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Well, he better hope there is something more to it, because it's currently a disaster. What we have are two facts. One, that there was an accusation of sexual harassment by two women. We know fact two, that money was paid to these two women. Now he denies it.

Well you know what, that's not good enough. This is a guy who is running for president of the United States. This is a very serious accusation. He has got to get in front of the story somehow and explain why it's not a real story, because it will pursue him. It will destroy his candidacy if he doesn't.

BURNETT: If he doesn't come out --

TOOBIN: And you notice what Governor Barbour said.

BURNETT: Yes.

TOOBIN: He was very careful to say there needed to be more facts that come out.

BURNETT: Yes.

TOOBIN: So I mean he who is a good barometer of where sort of the center of the Republican Party is. He's not happy with today's answers.

BURNETT: No, he's not. Although he did make a point of saying I have known him for 15 years, you know personal character, he vouched for him.

(CROSSTALK)

BURNETT: But you're right, yes.

JOHN AVLON, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: He said he would be surprised if there wasn't any more to this. But Jeff is right. Look, this is political communications 101. You get ahead of the story. You get all the facts out because it's rarely the crime and politics usually to cover up, so he's got a situation right now where all these allegations are out there, but they've been getting calls for 10 days before this became public and they did not get ahead of their story and they seemed flat-footed when they responded.

BURNETT: Kevin, what does Mitt Romney do to take advantage of this situation? I would imagine he doesn't have to touch this with a 50-foot pole, but how does he take advantage of the fact that all the focus on Cain right now is about something that has nothing to do with being president?

KEVIN MADDEN, ROMNEY CAMPAIGN SPOKESPERSON IN 2008: Well look, I mean the question you have to ask yourself, if you're any opposing campaign, is what do the American people care most about? The American people care most about the economy. That's the reason that Herman Cain had an ascent in the polls, because he has talked about his 9-9-9 plan in a very simple, very unvarnished way and it directly addressed some of the concerns that many people have about the government and have about the economy.

So any campaign, Governor Romney's, anybody else in this campaign, they have to focus very acutely on what they're going to do to put the American economy back on track, what they're going to do to create jobs. And how, with those arguments, they can beat Barack Obama in a general election.

BURNETT: Yes. John Avlon, what does Herman Cain do right now? Does he stand up and have a press conference and say, I'm going to put it all out on the table. I know that I clearly was not direct about it to begin with, nor transparent, but does that -- is that smart or bad politics?

AVLON: He needs to get all the information out there quickly. He has a reservoir of good will. He seems like an authentic person, a likeable guy, so there is a reservoir of goodwill he can draw on as long as he gets out ahead of the story. And then I think part of the issue is, is that as one of the rising front-runners, he's got a target on his back. So people are trying to attack him and he can say look, this is part of the dirty mud slinging (INAUDIBLE).

TOOBIN: I mean this is going to be complicated for him because the defendant in this case, if it would have been a case in this settlement, was the National Restaurant Association, which he doesn't work for anymore. They have the paperwork on this case.

BURNETT: Whether it was sealed --

TOOBIN: Who knows whether he has -- what he has anymore. I mean, he's got to tell the story in a comprehensible way, but he himself may not have all the material to work with. But he has got to say more than he's saying now because this is ridiculous.

BURNETT: As I wrap it up, I will say Judy Woodruff was just saying that the settlement was five figures, which would mean it would max out at --

TOOBIN: Ninety-nine thousand --

(CROSSTALK)

BURNETT: Ninety-nine thousand, nine hundred, ninety-nine dollars and I'm just saying --

TOOBIN: That's not a lot of money. No and it may be that this was just -- no, by lawsuit standards, that's not a lot of money. But and so it may be that this was just a nuisance settlement. But if that's the case, someone has got to say it in a convincing way.

BURNETT: All right, thanks to all three. Appreciate it. John, Jeff, Kevin.

OUTFRONT next, the super committee charged with solving America's debt crisis, but all 12 members have taken money from lobbyists since they got their job. "Operation Ghost Stories", it sounds like a spooky spy novel, but it is the true story and we're going to tell you all the details.

And a year-and-a-half since 7-year-old Kyron Horman (ph) disappeared. Where is he?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BURNETT: The number tonight, nine billion. That is how many colonels of candy corn are produced every year. According to the National Confectioners Association, it's enough to circle the moon 21 times. And Halloween is a big night everywhere, but in New York City, 50 to 60,000 people participate in the Village Halloween Parade every year. You see it getting ready. It's always raucous. It's fun, I guess. But, man, candy corn that stuff has got to be part of the reason health care costs are rising in America.

OK, now seriously, solving America's debt crisis. If Washington can do that, confidence, growth, jobs will follow. The high-profile super committee, six Republicans and six Democrats, were appointed to find at least $1.2 trillion in cuts to the deficit. But at the same time, since the committee was formed in mid August, every member, except for one, has taken lobbyists' money. And the one took it and gave it back. We asked CNN's Deb Feyerick to investigate. So Deb, what did you find when you looked at the money?

DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well it's so interesting, because at face value it really does appear to be a conflict of interest. You know you're taking this money from political action committees, from these special interest groups, basically. And this is all going on while they're negotiating $1 trillion in debt savings. Whether it's taxes or entitlements, publicly, at least everything is on the table and that makes the 12-member super committee, very powerful, but also extremely tight-lipped, even with their own staffs, and that's according to political watchers who say nobody is talking about what's on the table, what's being cut.

Some groups have called for a moratorium on donations, others for total transparency when dealing with any special interest group or lobbyists, but bottom line let's take a look at the money. Within six weeks of being appointed, 11 of the 12 committee members took in contributions totaling more than $300,000. On the Republican side, Congressman Dave Camp from Michigan took in the most with 90 grand. His colleague also from Michigan, Fred Upton, took $36,000, while the others took in about 22,000 or less.

The Democrats, well, they didn't do too badly either. Representative Xavier Becerra from California took in more than $38,000, while James Clyburn from South Carolina took in over $36,000. The others took in 29 grand or less. Now, Senate -- now the senator, Patty Murray's donations, they're still being calculated. But right now, only Senator John Kerry said he's not raising any money during this period.

And other people that we did get comments from said, well, the money that they got was money they had gotten before they were appointed to the committee. Now side by side here's how it looks. Republican super committee members took in more than $181,000 in a six-week period. Democrats took in more than $121,000. The next figures do not come out until January. It's going to be after the decisions are made.

Donors who gave $10,000 or more to super committee members include giants of oil, health care, entertainment, including Chevron, Pfizer, the National Beer Wholesalers Association, Walt Disney and Federal Express. And, of course, passing the hat among business executives can mean $5,000 more per individual, so there's really a lot at stake. And, you know, this is fund-raising season.

And while this may look like it's sort of a drop in the bucket, 90,000, 25,000, to you and I it's a lot. But when you're talking about these campaigns, 10, 20, $30 million to run some races, clearly you know it's not that much still. The payout could come in January and nobody knows exactly what's on the table and that's what's so frustrating. Folks I spoke to today say it keeps changing day after day, so nobody can follow what --

BURNETT: How much money, who is going where, and whether it's linked to do this for me or scratch my back on the super committee, all right --

FEYERICK: Exactly.

BURNETT: Deb, thank you very much. We appreciate it.

As we continue to ask that super committee to please step up and do something by that date, it's not a deadline that America can afford they miss.

Well it is called "Operation Ghost Stories" but has nothing to do with Halloween, just happened to happen coincidentally today. It's the name of the decade-long FBI sting operation which brought down 10 Russian spies, including the bombshell who got all the attention, Anna Chapman. Now all 10 were deported back to Russia last year and the FBI today released thousands of documents, videos and photographs detailing the spy ring.

In one surveillance clip Anna Chapman can be seen with an undercover FBI agent who was posing as an employee of the Russian Consulate. The newly released evidence has all of the markings of a spy novel set during the Cold War, only these agents were real and current. Paul Callan is a former prosecutor and contributor here at CNN and he's OUTFRONT tonight to break it all down -- Paul, great to see you.

PAUL CALLAN, CNN LEGAL CONTRIBUTOR: Nice being with you, Erin.

BURNETT: So why did suddenly we get all this information? The press had filed a Freedom of Information Act saying hey we want to see all these pictures; we want to see all this video. Are you surprised the government actually forked it over?

CALLAN: Yes, I'm really stunned and it seems so orchestrated. I mean, it's "Operation Ghost Stories" being released on Halloween. You know normally the government vigorously opposes freedom of information requests like this. I mean this is a spy case; there are intelligence sources involved theoretically. There are exceptions under the Freedom of Information Act that the government could have used to prevent release, so I'm very surprised Erin.

BURNETT: And some of these things we had -- I'm looking down here -- spies passing cash for information in a train station, we had that, a meeting in a coffee shop. Does this compromise our law enforcement in terms of where they are, where they're hovering, what they're looking for, the kinds of places they have under surveillance?

CALLAN: Well I know the, you know the redhead that's gotten such press --

BURNETT: The bombshell.

CALLAN: It was a Starbucks I think she was surveilled (ph) in. I don't think anything has been compromised in that respect. Obviously, these are public places for the most part.

BURNETT: Yes.

CALLAN: And I think spies know that, you know, they're being watched. And if they're going to be watched, they're going to be watched in a public place.

BURNETT: What could the government motive for doing this without a fight be?

CALLAN: Well I think that this entire case has been publicized to embarrass the Russians. You know Putin has been very aggressively anti-American, and we pick up 10 spies, and we ended up trading them, by the way, only for four American spies. And now they're very openly living in Russia, which you never see in espionage cases. So I think it sounds like the Department of Justice and the Obama administration is rubbing the Russians' face in this. How easy it was to catch them, and you know something, the videos are humiliating.

BURNETT: Yes.

CALLAN: I mean they're professional spies. They're espionage operatives and they're nailed so easily by the Obama administration, so -- BURNETT: There's nothing worse than looking like an incompetent spy.

CALLAN: It is --

BURNETT: All right.

CALLAN: And so instead of using the Freedom of Information Act to protect our sources, we humiliate the Russians, sounds political, Erin.

BURNETT: All right, well Paul Callan, thank you very much.

"Operation Ghost Story" for a reason he says and still OUTFRONT, one of the suicide bombers responsible for a terror attack in Somalia this weekend is from Minnesota, another example of home-grown terrorism.

And then how important is a college degree? Author Michael Ellsberg (ph) says you know what, not worth it. And Kim Kardashian is getting divorced. We can't resist looking back at all 72 days of her marriage.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BURNETT: And now a story we can't resist tonight. They said it wouldn't last, and they were right. After 72 days of marriage, Kim Kardashian has filed for divorce from her husband, Kris Humphries, citing irreconcilable differences, that's usually what is cited. She released this statement. Quote, "after careful consideration, I have decided to end my marriage. I hope everyone understands this was not an easy decision. I had hoped this was forever but sometimes things don't work out as planned. We remain friends."

Well there were of course a few highlights during this couple's short run together. Their wedding was aired as a two-day special on the "E" network and they renewed their vows on "Ellen" and they made about $18 million on their wedding which works out to, this is a pretty good day rate, $250,000 per day that they were together. Now, of course, there may be some sadness out there today.

According to photos found on BuzzFeed.com, dozens of people showed up at the Kardashian store Dash for an impromptu vigil with signs and candles, some of them with their phone numbers, "hey Kim, please call." But we're going to try to stay positive tonight and celebrate the good times. It wasn't the shortest celebrity marriage ever. And in honor of their 72 days, we can't resist playing our favorite scene from the 2005 comedy, "Wedding Crashers".

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

(MUSIC)

Mario Lopez and Ali Landry, two weeks.

(MUSIC) Drew Barrymore and Jeremy Thomas, 19 days.

(MUSIC)

Cher and Gregg Allman, nine days.

(MUSIC)

Chris Kattan and Sunshine Tutt, eight weeks.

(MUSIC)

Kid Rock and Pamela Anderson, four months.

(MUSIC)

Eddie Murphy and Tracey Edmonds, two weeks.

(MUSIC)

Dennis Rodman and Carmen Electra, nine days.

(MUSIC)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BURNETT: Now, what is she going to do with the $2 million engagement ring? We don't know about that, but we want to. We just couldn't resist.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BURNETT: Still OUTFRONT the "OUTFRONT 5", spooky speech.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Gold is good. If they print any more money over there in Washington, the gold is going to be good.

BURNETT: Halloween on hold.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You have power. Be happy about that, and don't leave the house.

BURNETT: Child mystery.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are investigators any closer to finding a suspect?

BURNETT: All this OUTFRONT in our second half.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BURNETT: Second half of our show begins with stories we care about, where we focus on our own reporting, do the work, and find the OUTFRONT 5. Number one tonight, GOP front-runner Herman Cain fighting back against allegations of sexual harassment. Earlier, I spoke with Republican reign and king maker Governor Haley Barbour of Mississippi.

He told OUTFRONT, "I am very surprised to hear this. I knew him for over 15 years and I would be surprised if there was more to it." The governor is a powerful player in the GOP but he did not offer to endorse another candidate or Mr. Cain.

Number two: MF Global, a financial firm led by former New Jersey governor and Goldman Sachs CEO Jon Corzine filed for bankruptcy today. The firm filed after bad bets on Europe helped put it $39.7 billion in the red.

Right now, it doesn't look like Corzine will get a golden parachute. Brian Foley of Brian Foley & Company ran the numbers. He said that Corzine had more than $11 million in stock options but right now, they're worth zero, along with the rest of the company. Cash compensation is skinny going forward, although he did get a cash bonus this year of $1.25 million.

Number three, power out tonight still for 2 million customers along the East Coast. Connecticut, the hardest hit with 63,000 customers powerless. Connecticut Light and Power told OUTFRONT some parts of the state could be in the dark a week from today.

And in New Jersey, there are more than 300,000 outages, with several of those people being on our staff. Obviously, one of whom wrote that line.

Number four, the Department of Transportation has launched an investigation into a JetBlue flight that spent eight hours on the tarmac because of the snowstorm. Under recent DOT regulations, airlines must let passengers off the plane after three hours -- obviously violated here.

And we did the research and found out JetBlue could face a fine of $3.5 million for just that plane's delay. JetBlue said they wanted to deplane sooner but issues at Bradley Airport in part prevented them from doing so.

And it has been 87 days since the U.S. lost its top credit rating. What are we doing to get it back? Not enough.

Today, the U.S. Treasury said it will borrow another $305 billion this quarter and another $541 billion in the first three months of 2012.

Well, it looks like an American from Minnesota is one of the suicide bombers responsible for a weekend terror attack in Somalia. The FBI says Americans are actively involved in al-Shabaab, an Islamic extremist group. According to my sources in the U.S. government, Americans of Somali descent are significant fundraisers for al- Shabaab.

Eric Schmitt is a terrorism correspondent for the "New York Times" and co-author of "Counterstrike: The Untold Story of America's Secret Campaign Against Al Qaeda."

Eric, a pleasure to see you tonight.

And, you know, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta told me a few weeks ago his biggest worry was a home-grown suicide bomber who trained oversees, comes back, and bombs a subway in the United States. Al- Shabaab is effectively recruiting American citizens who could do just that, aren't they?

ERIC SCHMITT, TERROR CORRESPONDENT, NY TIMES: That's what law enforcement officials are doing. Al-Shabaab started as homegrown Islamic insurgency in Somalia but it's expanded and grown closer to al Qaeda in recent years and expanded its ambitions, including a suicide bombing being carried out in Uganda last year. Al-Shabaab is sometimes called the Somali Taliban because they chop off the hands of thieves, they stone adulterers, they even yank out people's teeth because they believe gold fillings are un-Islamic.

So, what's happened here, you have a number of individuals, about 30 or so Americans, that have gone to Somalia in recent years, some of them attracted by videos, online videos appealing to them to come fight in Somalia and the concern is, as you'd noted Erin, is that some of those individuals may come back to the United States and carry their fight here.

BURNETT: Why, Eric, have they been so successful in recruiting from America? I know a lot of communities are in the Midwest, but also in terms of fund-raising from the United States, which is something, you know, I've been told they have been pretty successful at doing.

SCHMITT: That's right. There are about 14 individuals last year and Somalis here in the United States arrested and charged with providing material support and funds and other support to Shabaab and Somalia.

They're basically supporting a nationalistic movement in Somalia. Al Shabaab controls much of southern Somalia, although they had some setbacks recently in the capital of Mogadishu. But this campaign has attracted the young people, many young men in particular, in places like Minneapolis where there is a large Somalia-American community to come fight in Somalia.

The concern here of law enforcement officials is that the Shabaab is teaming up and getting closer to the al Qaeda branch in Yemen, and that is the same branch of al Qaeda that was responsible for these the called underpants bomber in 2009 and the printer cartridge plot in 2010.

BURNETT: Wow. Well, all right. Well, Eric Schmitt, thank you very much. Something obviously to keep a close eye on. Eric covers this very closely. We'll be talking to him in the future.

Pretty frightening these people live here, train there and have American passports. And we can all imagine how that could end. Thanks again, Eric. SCHMITT: Thanks, Erin.

BURNETT: Halloween is not just time for ghosts, goblins and a chance to scare young ones. It's also a good time to talk about the tricks and treats of politics.

John Avlon is with us.

And I've just got to say, John, you know, we did call all of the campaigns today and it was an unusual day. Usually one or the other is off. It was like they were all off, but Herman Cain.

JOHN AVLON, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Yes, when did Halloween become a political holiday?

BURNETT: It seems that they were. And like I said only Rick Santorum had little kids to take trick or treating.

So, you were writing about Arizona Governor Jan Brewer today in "The Daily Beast." What did she do and would you call it a trick or treat in politics?

AVLON: We're giving this a political dirty trick. It's actually unprecedented. Arizona Governor Jan Brewer is threatening to impeach her entire independent redistricting commission. These are the folks, two Democrats, two Republicans and independent, tasked with coming up with nonpartisan lines for how a congressman in state legislative can run. But what she's done is she didn't like what they came back with, wasn't in favor of her party so she is threatening to impeach the whole bunch.

Unprecedented power grab. That's a political dirty trick.

BURNETT: Wow.

AVLON: Yes.

BURNETT: OK. Do you have any treats?

AVLON: I'm not going to let you get away without a treat. Absolutely. We've got some treats. You know, it's a big night for parties. People like to go out and have a good Halloween party.

But you don't usually get -- orange tie -- you don't usually get a presidential candidate loose and goofy, how they might look after hours. But Texas Governor Rick Perry gave us a glimpse maybe of just that Friday night at a fund raiser in Manchester, New Hampshire.

This clip has been going viral. Let's take a quick listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOV. RICK PERRY (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'm with her. Write your checks. Gold is good.

If you've got any in the backyard -- because, you know, if they print anymore money over there in Washington, the gold is going to be good. And she will take it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

AVLON: I'm just saying, he might have a sponsorship deal if this whole presidential thing works out. That guy can hustle some gold.

BURNETT: Wow. I would love to see, since they all took the day off, if anyone is going to show up in a Halloween costume.

AVLON: I think you get extra points if you show up for Halloween and you're a presidential candidate.

BURNETT: I would think they should. All right. Thanks very much.

And people -- that's good for likability. Depending on the costume you choose.

AVLON: That's true.

BURNETT: All right. Now, let's check in with Anderson Cooper with a look at what's coming up on "A.C. 360".

Hey, Anderson.

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

We're keeping them honest tonight on "360." More on the sexual harassment allegations threatening to derail Herman Cain. The Republican presidential candidate on the counteroffensive today. We'll play sound bites and let you hear how his story changed little by little throughout the day.

We'll also speak with Jon Martin who broke the story for Politico. And our political panel of Ari Fleischer and Paul Begala.

Also, up close tonight, this was never supposed to happen -- stranded for hour after hour, out of food, out of water, and the bathroom off limits. It happened to passengers aboard a plane. You'll hear the pilot of the diverted flight 504 pleading with airport personnel to help get his passengers off the plane. They were unbelievably close to the jet way. They were there for many, many hours.

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

BURNETT: I'm just amazed they don't just open the door and say, you know what? Let's put the chutes out, let's end this. I mean, hell on earth. All right. Thanks very much, Anderson. See you in a few.

Well, in today's "Outer Circle" -- Pope Benedict started using a rolling platform to get around. Is it a sign of a more serious condition? And it's been a year and five months since 7-year-old Kyron Horman disappeared from outside his school in Portland, Oregon. Have we gotten any closer to finding him?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BURNETT: We do this at the same time every night. Our "Outer Circle," where we reach out to our sources around the world. And tonight, we begin in Afghanistan, where Afghan officials suggested today that an infamous insurgent group is responsible for killing 13 in the suicide bombing of a NATO convoy.

Nick Paton Walsh is in Kabul tonight. And, Nick, who are officials blaming?

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Erin, a key development today. The Afghan interior ministry spokesman saying that their preliminary evidence suggests the notorious Haqqani insurgent network were behind the blast on Saturday. Haqqani is vitally important, because U.S. officials claim they have a safe haven and technical assistance from Pakistan's intelligence services, something which Pakistan denies. But this will put the scrutiny on Pakistan for the days ahead, key meetings between Afghan and Pakistani officials happening just tomorrow in Istanbul -- Erin.

BURNETT: Nick, thank you.

And now to Libya, the official end to the self-month-long NATO air strike campaign comes at midnight.

Matthew Chance is in Tripoli. I guess it means it's just past.

Matthew, is there talk of NATO playing a security role from here on?

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Erin, well, firstly, NATO has made it quite clear that its Libyan intervention is well and truly over. Any further military assistance must be negotiated separately. Indeed, there's word the U.S. may continue to patrol the skies over this country beyond the NATO deadline.

And Libya has huge challenges ahead, potential for conflict, other security challenges. The new Libyan authorities may have to work very hard indeed to impose their will -- Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much.

And now to London, that's where Max Foster is weighing in on the health of Pope Benedict XVI. He recently started using a rolling platform to get around.

And, Max, is there word about the, quote-unquote, "pope mobile" is a sign of something much more serious?

MAX FOSTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Erin, I think what's worrying people is that we haven't really seen this platform since it was last used by John Paul II. And that was in his later years, when he (ph) was very poorly. The current pontiff is 84 years old.

But the Vatican had this to say about the platform. This is just not to tire him. Nothing else should be read about the interstate of his health -- which is good, they say, Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much.

Testimony got heated today in the case against Dr. Conrad Murray. Prosecutors cross examined defense expert Dr. Paul White and asked if he knew why Dr. Murray failed to tell paramedics or anyone else that he had given Michael Jackson Propofol.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: At UCLA, when the emergency room doctors specifically asked him what had taken place, is that your testimony, that that again was a detail that was overlooked?

DR. PAUL WHITE, DEFENSE WITNESS: Well, it was obviously overlooked. He didn't tell them.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, not obviously. It could also be a lie, correct? Correct? That's another option.

WHITE: If you say so. I guess, yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's another option, correct?

WHITE: It's an option, yes.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BURNETT: Ted Rowlands was in the courtroom and has the latest on the case.

I wanted to ask you about that, Ted. But I know you've just learned something about Conrad Murray himself?

TED ROWLANDS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, yes. After the end of court, just a few minutes ago, Erin, the judge asked Conrad Murray, hey, are you going to testify or not? And Murray surprised everybody by saying "I haven't made up my mind yet judge." So, the judge basically, in essence, said, well, you better hurry up and he's given Murray until 8:30 Pacific Time cloudy time tomorrow to decide yea or nay if he's going to take the stand in his own defense.

I think everybody thought he just wasn't going to, and was going to answer no.

BURNETT: Yes.

ROWLAND: But, yes, he threw a ringer in there.

BURNETT: And was anything -- do you think had to do with the sound bite we just heard, which obviously seems pretty damning for Dr. Conrad Murray on that cross-examination?

ROWLANDS: Yes, David Walgren, the prosecutor, is immensely talented. And he made a lot of good points today during his cross examination. But I do think that Dr. Paul White was able to stand up on the main thing the defense wants here, and that is that alternative theory on specifically how Michael Jackson died, with a self-imposed syringe-full of Propofol. So, I don't think that had much to do with that decision by Murray or lack of decision.

BURNETT: So, how much longer do you think this goes? I know you said that the judge had said, hey, Dr. Murray, you need to make a decision by tomorrow in terms of testifying. Jurors were told this would end by the end of the week, though.

Do you think this now looks like it could go longer?

ROWLANDS: Yes, absolutely. Now, we're looking at maybe going all the way through this week, possibly into next week. And I can tell you this watching these jurors, they are not happy about it. On Friday, when the judge dismissed them early, one juror actually crossed his arm and rolled his eyes. They're getting tired, I think.

So, we'll find out tomorrow about Murray. If he doesn't take the stand, we'll be done by the end of the week.

BURNETT: All right. Well, Ted, we'll be talking to you. Thank you.

ROWLANDS: OK.

BURNETT: Well, it's been a year and almost five minutes since 7- year-old Kyron Horman disappeared from outside his elementary school in Portland, Oregon. His stepmother, Terri Horman, was the last person to see him and remains a person of interest in the investigation. Despite thousands of tips, hundreds of volunteers, the case remains unsolved.

But Kyron's father, Kaine, refuses to give up hope.

I spoke to him earlier about the case, and the latest efforts to locate his son.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KAINE HORMAN, FATHER OF KYRON HORMAN: The latest we had some searching going on in the neighborhoods where we feel that he could have been traveling through the day of his disappearance. Those searches did not yield any clues that we're aware of at this point in time. They also didn't locate him either.

So, that was pretty much the latest, I think, that that was wrapping up in mid to late September. We've got some things that are still going on through the legal system that have been relatively slow but progressing. And, of course, there's the investigation aspect of it. BURNETT: And are investigators any closer, from your understanding, to finding a suspect or have they ruled anybody out at this point, that they had been looking at?

HORMAN: Well, I know that there's been a lot of work done to go through everyone that was at the school that day and get as many people ruled out as possible. I don't know that I have the absolute latest status on that. I think they were still going through some interviews with some people there, had dwindled down quite a bit.

So, as far as we know, we have one person who's still a significant person of interest as far as the investigation's concerned because of the inability to rule her out. But I think there's one other person, possibly two at this point in time, that we just are not able to get any information or cooperation from. So there are still areas of focus.

BURNETT: So, there are areas of focus on a few people. Obviously, the person to whom they're referring, Terri, you're technically still married to her. And I know the whole story. It's a terrible one for you. She was involved in a murder for hire plot against you.

How are you handling that situation?

HORMAN: To be honest with you, I'm not. Kyron's the priority. And that's where we continue to put all our effort and energy into. It's just something that's still on the table.

It's difficult because I think that everyone wants to see justice served. We're just trying to take a good methodical approach to make sure we don't move on anything too soon.

The difficulty with the divorce, the murder for hire and then Kyron's investigation is they're all linked together. And that by pushing one forward too soon could potentially damage the other. Kyron's case is being the most important.

So, we're really doing everything we can to build the box of that case and make sure that we find him first, and then be able to hold people accountable and everything else will follow. So, right now, it's pretty much in the holding pattern.

BURNETT: Right. We're glad to play a small part if we can. So thanks so much. Kaine, appreciate it.

HORMAN: Thank you. Again, thank you for your help. We appreciate it.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BURNETT: Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg -- none of them went to college. How important is a college degree to your future success? Michael Ellsberg comes out front to share his controversial findings.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BURNETT: So, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, student debt will eclipse $1 trillion by the end of this year, which is more than America's credit card debt, and while we all are aware that that's a problem at this incident point. The average debt for a new college grad is somewhere between $22,000 and $28,000. And the unemployment rate for college graduates is higher than the rest of the country.

Michael Ellsberg says a college degree -- I mean, from recent college graduates -- won't lead to a successful career. He's written the book "The Education of Millionaires: It's Not What You Think and It's Not Too Late."

All right. So, we're told in a lot of statistics you see, a college degree means a better job or a higher paying job. It's something that you should just categorically want.

MICHAEL ELLSBERG, AUTHOR, THE EDUCATION OF MILLIONAIRES: Right.

BURNETT: But I'm wrong?

ELLSBERG: That is true if you want to go into a traditional profession. If you want to go -- become a doctor or lawyer, then you need to get it.

BURNETT: Because it's required, right?

ELLSBERG: It's required. You may not even learn anything relevant to that, but you have to do it.

If you want to start a business or become an entrepreneur or self-employed, I think it's almost entirely irrelevant and it's basically money down the toilet.

BURNETT: Money down the toilet. How do you really feel?

OK. In your book, you spent time with a lot of people who did just that and became incredibly wealthy. One of them, Sean Parker, investor in Facebook, founder of Napster, played by Justin Timberlake in "The Social Network."

What did you find out from Sean?

ELLSBERG: Sean didn't even go to college. He's not even a dropout. And he just taught himself. And that's really want my book is about. I went and interviewed people who taught themselves how to create thing, how to start businesses, how to make an economically valuable impact.

And so, he found that what he needed to learn, he could just teach himself. And really, with the Internet is a game changer on this one. Now, anyone who is 15 can log on and find what they need to learn and learn it on the Internet.

BURNETT: So, does this work just for people who are geniuses and incredibly motivated? Because, you know, we gave the example of Steve Jobs.

ELLSBERG: Right.

BURNETT: I mean, these guys got into Harvard and dropped out because they were too smart. I mean, they're not the run of the mill entrepreneur.

ELLSBERG: But I'll tell you, most of the people in that book that you're holding right there were told by their teachers that they were dunces and morons, and they didn't really prove themselves until they got out of the academic system.

So, our nation has this system where we judge kids by one standard, and that is academics. And that is one standard, but there's also -- can you start a business? Can you sell things? Can you create things? Are you innovative?

And kids who do well in that are told that they're stupid just because they don't -- they're not great in academics.

BURNETT: And we're not just talking about people who have gone into the technology industry, which I think is important, because when you talk about people that you spent time with, Treasure Island on the Las Vegas Strip.

ELLSBERG: Right.

BURNETT: That's a business, that's a guy who --

ELLSBERG: Exactly. There's a gentleman I interviewed. His name is Phillip Ruffin. He dropped out of college to start a hamburger stand. He built that up, was owning gas stations and convenience stores. He just kept building it up and up. Now, he's a billionaire. He owns Treasure Island on the Las Vegas Strip.

BURNETT: So, on the back of your book, one of the people who wrote one of yours -- we call blurbs in our industry.

ELLSBERG: Yes.

BURNETT: Peter Thiel. And it caught my attention. He's the co- founder of PayPal, first outside investor in Facebook, ridiculously wealthy.

ELLSBERG: Yes.

BURNETT: Very public in saying college is a waste of time. Most people don't need it. Not just to make regular money but even for regular jobs.

And you spent time with people who he is paying to not go to college. What did you find out from them? Who are these kids?

ELLSBERG: So, I actually mentor now a young man called Dale Stevens who is 19. He's getting, you know, $5,000, $10,000 speaking gigs. He just got a book deal. He's a very bright young man. And he found that he didn't need this educational track to go out and make his way. I think that far more kids are being sold on this student loan scam essentially that is contributing to that trillion dollar figure you just mentioned.

It's -- I mean, these people call themselves educators, but they're really salesmen. They're salesmen for debt. And they're salesmen for creating a generation of not indentured servant, but indentured students. That's what we have now, is a generation of indentured students.

BURNETT: All right. Well, Mike, thank you very much. I really appreciate it. It's a really interesting book "The Education of Millionaires."

And thanks so much for being with us. We want to let you know that this week is a special week for us as we continue interviewing all the presidential contenders and asking them the tough questions. We're going to be talking with Newt Gingrich on Wednesday. We'll look forward to that.

We'll see you tomorrow.

And, first, "ANDERSON COOPER 360" starts now.