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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT

Herman Cain's Pain; War with Iran; Major League Baseball Player Released

Aired November 14, 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" at Penn State tonight, more disturbing details from the child rape scandal to tell you about and Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi resigns. We can't resist telling you why that is a bad thing.

And the "Bottom Line" on Herman Cain, he's dropping in the polls. Who is benefiting? Can Cain recover? Let's go OUTFRONT.

I'm Erin Burnett. OUTFRONT tonight, Herman Cain's pain. We have breaking numbers tonight. Herman Cain dropping 11 points in the past month after four women claimed he sexually harassed them. He's now polling at 14 percent among Republicans, down from 25 percent. That is pain. And his pain was not Mitt Romney's gain. Romney also dropped two percentage points, although he's still in the lead. The man who's getting the game, Newt Gingrich, he is the only candidate up and it is big time.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NEWT GINGRICH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It's better than when I was at four.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE)

GINGRICH: Look, this is the most volatile race of my lifetime.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BURNETT: You can say that again. Gingrich went on to say, who knows what the polls are going to be two months from now. And there's something to that because before there was Cain, there was Rick, who dropped from 32 percent to 12, a drop of 20 percentage points. And before there was Rick, there was Michele. She dropped from 14 to six. Tonight, Herman Cain is betting someone who has known him for 43 years can turn it around for him. That's his wife.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: To hear such graphic allegations and know that that would have been something that was totally disrespectful of her as a woman, and I know that's not the person he is. He totally respects women.

(END VIDEO CLIP) BURNETT: Well, 58 percent of Republican women believe Herman Cain's accusers. So we're going to dig into these numbers. John Avlon joins us, senior columnist for "Newsweek", "Daily Beast", James Carville Democratic strategist from New Orleans tonight and Nancy Pfotenhauer Republican strategist. All right. Thanks to all three of you. Can she do it for him -- talking about Gloria?

JOHN AVLON, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Can Gloria save Herman Cain? This is very different than that Bill and Hillary moment on "60 Minutes". Right now you're seeing a slow motion implosion of Herman Cain's numbers and the gender difference is stark. It is deep. So while he still is doing relatively well in Iowa and that could turn the whole thing around from July -- January 3rd, Herman can is in trouble. The accusations are finally taking their toll.

BURNETT: Would you agree, Nancy?

NANCY PFOTENHAUER, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Unfortunately I do. I mean I think it's because Herman Cain's appeal was because of his integrity and his sincerity. When he was on stage and debating, he wasn't the smoothest person out there but he seemed the most authentic. This particular attack is really a gut shot to him. It's one that is going to be extraordinarily difficult thing to recover from and, unfortunately, the sheer number of women who have come forward have started to tip the scales for other women across the country, saying if that many people have come forward, there must be some truth to it.

BURNETT: And James Carville, there was a meeting today, Herman Cain (INAUDIBLE) an editorial board of a newspaper, he was asked a question on Libya. I have to say, I think he just literally -- his mind is so busy with what is going on and he's so exhausted, I don't think he didn't know the answer to the question. I just think he didn't even hear it. He's not even able to function anymore. This has take answer a real toll on him.

JAMES CARVILLE, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Right. I saw that particular clip and he made Rick Perry look like Henry Kissinger. I mean it was pretty amazing. And you know you're right. I've been through these kinds of things before. They are utterly exhausting. You have no idea what it's like to drop from 25 to 14 --

BURNETT: James, let me just jump in and play it -- let me play it and then let you react to it -- we got it --

CARVILLE: It's painful -- OK.

BURNETT: Yes.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HERMAN CAIN (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: OK. Libya. President Obama supported the uprising, correct? President Obama called for the removal of Gadhafi. Just want to make sure we're talking about the same thing before I say yes, I agree -- I know I didn't agree. I do not agree with the way he handled it for the following reasons. Nope, that's a different one.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BURNETT: He answered the question. I mean James this was different than the Rick Perry thing in a strange way. This was just sort of -- his mind was just not there.

CARVILLE: You know look, as a human being --

BURNETT: Yes --

CARVILLE: In a sense I feel sorry for him. Feel sorry for what he's going through. Again, I know what it feels like.

BURNETT: Yes.

CARVILLE: The man had no business getting in the race for president. He has no business running for president. It's an endeavor that it's just not suited to his skill set and it is kind of painful to watch this happen. But it happened at must and it happened at will and he's not going to be the nominee and he never was going to be the nominee. And you know he said many other things on foreign policy that would indicate that, you know that I would be willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. Maybe he's just exhausted couldn't think of that, but he's demonstrated no depth in this particular area at all.

BURNETT: It did seem like he was exhausted, as you said, on a human level. But let me ask you about this whole issue because it does lead to the issue of how people behave in their personal lives. How relevant it is to Americans. When you look at the Republican women, 58 percent of them believe the accusers; it had me thinking about morality and now the surge of Newt Gingrich, so I asked Newt Gingrich when he came on this show about 10 days ago whether morality was relevant for a president. And here's what he said to say.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GINGRICH: No, I don't think it's that important. I think -- but I think it's a question of whether you're talking about the totality of his life or you go back and dredge things up. I think there's a desire in the Washington Press Corps to cover gossip over policy as often as possible. Just look at the Twitter thing a couple of months ago with Congressman Weiner, which was a stupid thing for him to do and a sign he was a stupid person, but that covered a lot more time and attention than did all sorts of public policy issues that are vastly more important to the lives of the American people.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BURNETT: All right, John Avlon, he had a point there but interesting that he said morality shouldn't matter.

AVLON: Yes. I mean he began with a triple negative, too, which I'm not even sure where that comes out, but it indicates he's kind of off his game on this. Look, he's right. Sex scandals suck up too much oxygen --

BURNETT: That's correct.

AVLON: -- but he's also being defensive because he knows he's living in a glass House and when you start going up in the polls, people start throwing rocks and you're already starting to see that.

BURNETT: James Carville, what do you think about this whole question about morality and the body of a person as opposed to a specific incident, which again given what you went through in the Clinton White House, it's something you thought a lot about.

CARVILLE: Well I think people look at it I think to some extent they saw President Clinton and they saw somebody of enormous ability and he got all this stuff with him. He was -- is to this day remains enormously popular.

BURNETT: Yes.

CARVILLE: In the instance of other people of less talent it probably, you know sticks more. But I mean Speaker Gingrich is getting ready to find out how much it matters because once you're in that position, I guarantee you that the Karl Roves of the world are getting ready to tee up on him. He's going to get the full treatment here.

BURNETT: And that full treatment is downright vile, sometimes fair, often just (INAUDIBLE) vile.

(CROSSTALK)

BURNETT: Nancy, what do you think, though, we were talking before about Michele Bachmann was at the top --

PFOTENHAUER: Right.

BURNETT: Rick Perry was at the top. Herman Cain was at the top. Could Newt Gingrich stay at the top or is there still a chance for someone like Jon Huntsman?

PFOTENHAUER: I'm not sure that there's a chance for Jon Huntsman but I will say the Republican primary voters are going through our version of speed dating, so it's kind of -- it's not even flavor of the month. It's like flavor of the week, for goodness sakes. And it's probably somewhat indicative of a lack of warmth in their response to Romney. But I don't think the American electorate cares too much -- they don't want to fall in love.

Right now they want someone competent on the economy. And I think it's important to remember historically that incumbents are not beaten by opponents. They defeat themselves. And right now, President Obama, he's looking at some pretty terrible economic numbers, net job loss of three million, give or take, and if the economy turns around, it's going to be a very different horse race. But if these numbers stay bad, I think he's beatable and I think Romney could definitely do it. Gingrich if he gets an organization might be able to.

BURNETT: Wow. All right. I didn't even think you'd go that far. John Avlon, before we go I've got to ask you about health care.

AVLON: Yes.

BURNETT: Was this a move of political genius by the president to push it in front of the court now? He gets a decision. The American people now poll show like the mandate for insurance.

AVLON: That's right.

BURNETT: So if he loses, he gets the people like him. If he wins, he wins.

AVLON: Well they decide to play off (ph) (INAUDIBLE) bring it on and I do think it's a smart move for the reasons you just said. If this gets struck down, and the most powerful person in America in this election is Justice Kennedy. All of a sudden I think it will create a lot of enthusiasm among his base. But either way it's off the table. Either it's a matter of settled law before the election or he -- or they have to go back to the drawing board which could simulate the base. But this is a -- this is going to be one of the driving themes of the next couple of months.

BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much to all three of you. We appreciate it. By the way, the president now talking about Obama Cares is the way he's playing it off of it. His opponents say Obamacare. He says Obama Cares.

BURNETT: Hey. All right.

(CROSSTALK)

BURNETT: Still OUTFRONT, two Republican candidates say they will be open to -- get this -- military strikes against Iran. Well, we do the numbers on this show. How much will it really cost America to go to war with Iran?

And Major League Baseball player Wilson Ramos kidnapped and released within 48 hours in a gunfight. Reporter who spoke him joins us and Ilan Grapel, an American accused of spying for Israel spent time in an Egyptian jail this summer. He comes OUTFRONT with his story.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BURNETT: The number tonight, 1.3, that's how many billions of dollars shy California is from its budget target. That's important because if the projected shortfall is over $1 billion at the end of the year California has automatic cuts to higher education and some social services. Pretty similar to the deadline the super committee is facing. They have to cut 1.2 trillion in spending cuts by next week or hit (ph) America. It depends which is important because tonight there is talk of war you can't ignore. Two Republican candidates telling the world they are not scared of taking military action against Iran.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: If after all of the work we have done there is nothing else we can do besides take military action, then, of course, you take military action. It is unacceptable for Iran to have a nuclear weapon. We will not allow Iran to have a nuclear weapon.

GINGRICH: And I agree entirely with Governor Romney. You have to take whatever steps are necessary to break its capacity to have a nuclear weapon.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BURNETT: Israel's threat has threatened attacks, of course, but it is the United States of America, which ultimately would have to pull the trigger, and what a trigger it would be. We ran the numbers. A first strike and that's just targeting a few high value military sites from the air could cost up to $1 billion. You say that's not bad, right?

Well the real costs start piling up when Iran does what it would do if we did that, which is retaliate. Iran could target oil terminals in the Gulf. They could mine the Strait of Hormuz. That's just a couple of options. Here's one scenario.

If the United States has to keep troops in Iraq and Afghanistan due to Iran meddling there, that could cost $900,000 per troop per year. And if it ever went so far as to actually try to overthrow the Iranian regime, it would require 100,000 ground troops at a cost of about $90 billion a year. Yes, that's another Iraq-Afghanistan.

And this is just the financial cost. You can't forget the human cost, which would be high. General Wesley Clark, former NATO supreme allied commander, senior fellow of the Berkley Center at UCLA joins us now. Thanks so much for being with us, sir, really appreciate it. What do you make of all this talk recently about ratcheting up actions in Iran?

(CROSSTALK)

GEN. WESLEY CLARK, FMR. NATO SUPREME ALLIED COMMANDER: Well, I think that Iran is a dangerous power. I think it's a hedge monistic (ph) power. It would like to have greater control of the Middle East. It is a threat to the nations in the Middle East. And as the president said, if it had nuclear weapons it could be a threat to the United States as well.

BURNETT: Do you think that the United States can stop Iran from maintaining those nuclear weapons through diplomacy, especially given with all these sanctions that we have. I was in Iran a few months ago. They seem to get plenty of what they need, in part, from well places like China.

CLARK: If the United States could bring China and Russia to bear, if we really went after the sanctions in the toughest possible way, if we're willing to impact Iran's ability to deal in oil, then I think it's possible that sanctions could have a decisive impact. I think sanctions are already having an impact. I think there's no question that we've made it tougher on the Iranian regime, but it's clear that the Iranian regime seems determined to move ahead.

BURNETT: One thing that amazed me when I was there was that the most common bill in Iran has the nuclear symbol emblazoned on it and everyone we talked to there seem to very much support a program, for whatever reason, you know from a public relations point of view. So does that mean that this really becomes inevitable? That the people there are willing to make the sacrifices that are needed to pursue a full nuclear program?

CLARK: Well, Iran has sold this as a national pride and national achievement for nuclear energy, not for nuclear weapons. They are continuing to deny their nuclear weapons program but, of course, the indications are that they are pursing it. I think their president has had a very strong and proactive policy in this. I think he's been very tough minded on it. He's offered diplomacy. He's offered dialogue. He's gone for tough sanctions. He said no options off the table. And I think that what you're seeing is that we're approaching a decision point with respect to Iran. But it's a little bit difficult for me when I watch the dialogue going back and forth --

BURNETT: Yes.

CLARK: -- that no one has any better answer to this than our president has right now.

BURNETT: General Clark, do you think that America could go to war in Iran right now if we needed to? Because there are plenty out there who say we can't. The military is over extended. We have cuts hitting our military that the bluff of the United States could be called, if military force in Iran were required. We just -- we don't have what it takes.

CLARK: Well, we wouldn't be going into Iran to occupy Iran. There is no requirement to do that. We would go in with some -- I think some fairly significant strikes. I don't think they would be limited just to the Iranian nuclear facilities, but they made much broader strikes against Iran's military and industrial complex and its ability to retaliate. Now, ultimately, do we know the Iranians have a worldwide terrorist network? We know they would attempt to respond using terror, but I think that the overwhelming power of the United States would be very, very effective against Iran's conventional and unconventional military capabilities, especially in the Persian Gulf and in Iran.

BURNETT: All right, General Clark thanks so much for joining us. We appreciate it.

CLARK: Thank you.

BURNETT: Well a Major League baseball player was kidnapped, rescued, gunfight 48 hours. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WILSON RAMOS, MLB PLAYER RESCUED AFTER KIDNAPPING (through translator): Where they were holding me captive was a very remote place, basically a jungle and see I was praying to God to bring me home safely to my family.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BURNETT: That's 24-year-old Wilson Ramos swiped by gunmen from his Venezuela home on Wednesday night, thrown into an SUV, brought to a mountainous region 60 miles away. He's the catcher for the Washington Nationals team and he thought he would never see his family again, but then security forces swooped in and a dramatic fire fight rescued him. Eleven people now detained, five of them Colombian citizens. Jesse Sanchez talked to Wilson Ramos about 12 hours after his release, a reporter with MLB.com. I mean this is just an incredible story. How was he when you talked to him and what did he say about what happened in that ordeal and the firefight?

JESSE SANCHEZ, REPORTER WHO INTERVIEWED KIDNAPPED BASEBALL PLAYER: Hi, Erin. Thank you for having me on. Wilson was a little bit -- obviously he was really relieved. All he talked about was how it was like a movie. The gunfight, at the end to rescue him, being taken at knifepoint and you know the guys put their arm around his neck, threw him in a car. It happened in broad daylight, tons of family everywhere. I mean it is like the wildest and craziest story I've ever covered and probably one of the most dangerous things that you know happens in Latin America.

BURNETT: What happened during the firefight that he told you?

SANCHEZ: So he said that -- I mean he said he was on the bed, he heard fire, and it was the authorities -- he looked out the window -- it was the authorities and the kidnappers were shooting at each other. He said this fight lasted for probably 15 minutes. He hid under the bed. He was praying.

He was crying. He didn't know what was going to happen. And then after about 15 minutes, you know, the commandos, the government authorities rushed into through the House. They were yelling Wilson, Wilson, are you here, Wilson? And he was like I'm here. I'm here. And you know they just kind of -- they were united and they brought him back to his family.

BURNETT: An amazing story. All right, well thanks so much. We appreciate your taking the time to share that with us.

SANCHEZ: Thank you.

BURNETT: And still OUTFRONT disturbing details from the Penn State child rape scandal. We have some new details tonight. We're going to have that for you in just a couple of moments.

And a woman whose son died while she was jaywalking has been convicted of homicide but she's now appealing. And the Berlusconi era comes to an end. We cannot resist looking for the new Silvio.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BURNETT: And now a story we can't resist because it's a very sad day at OUTFRONT and that's because on Saturday Silvio Berlusconi, our favorite punching bag, officially resigned as prime minister of Italy. No one enjoyed his crazy antics mare than we did. He was our own personal class clown, a kid in school you just knew was going to end up in juvie. That was Silvio. Only instead of juvie it was a bunga- bunga sex party. And the worst part is that Italy replaced him with this guy, Mario Monti. He's an economist.

He graduated from Yale. He served as an antitrust trust commissioner for the European Union. So far he appears pretty boring. But we'll be happily surprised, Mario. He may be good for Italy but he's been terrible for us. So we pride ourselves in being a positive show, a show of ideas. So we have looked past Italy's new prime minister and on to others for Silvio's replacement. And we think these three world leaders might have what it takes to be our new favorite class clowns.

Number three, Prince Albert of Monaco, he throws lavish parties, hangs out with celebrities, even appeared as a character in the "Facebook" movie.

Number two, Kim Jong-il, all right, where do we even begin with this guy? He was hilarious in that puppet movie, but he allegedly has a thing for Swedish ladies of the evening. And, of course, there is number one.

Yes, Vladimir Putin, there are so many reasons we cannot resist him. He is a crazed sportsman. He doesn't own shirts and best of all he just released this commercial to encourage Russians to vote.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

(MUSIC/SONG)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BURNETT: Guess that's what a Russian election is like. He just couldn't resist and neither could we.

All right, OUTFRONT in our second half, American Airlines, the first airline to be fined for delays. We have the numbers.

And the head of a charity connected to the Penn State rape scandal forced to resign.

Ilan Grapel, an American accused of spying, spent time in an Egyptian jail this summer, comes OUTFRONT.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) BURNETT: We start the second half of our show with stories we care about, we focus on our own reporting, do the work and find the OUTFRONT 5.

Number one tonight: talk of war no one can ignore. Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich both say a military action might be necessary to stop Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon. But what could war costs?

We ran the numbers at OUTFRONT. The first strike to just hit a few military sites could cost up to $1 billion. The real costs, though, pile up after that. It could cost up to $90 billion a year to overthrow the Iranian regime. The cost, $1 million per troop per year.

Number two: billionaire investor Warren Buffett taking a $10.7 billion stake in IBM. There are a few investors who look forward to seeing what the oracle of Omaha is buying and try to emulate his style -- I should satisfy eight investors, many investors. We looked through his filing and he's taking stakes in Visa and CBS and Intel, boosting his position in Dollar General and Wells Fargo and sold Johnson & Johnson and Kraft.

Number three: American Airlines became the first airline to be fined under the federal tarmac delay rule. The $900,000 fine comes from a May incident at Chicago O'Hare where 15 American Eagle flights spent more than three hours on the tarmac. Federal tarmac rule took effect in May 2010. We crunch the numbers on that, since that time, 54 violations have been reported -- the majority in just the past few months.

Number four: Boeing getting the largest deal in its history. Emirates buying 50 of the company's 777 in a deal that worth $18 billion. We spoke to Ken (INAUDIBLE) Securities who told us that these order ports to points to Boeing being an advantage over its competition. Who is its competition? Well, Airbus. And it's been a battle between the two that's been especially fierce lately now that Boeing has started delivering the 787 Dreamliner.

Of course, the Airbus still has the 8380 which is, well, a heck of a lot bigger.

All right. It has been 101 days -- it was a very sad day landmark over the weekend, we went triple digits on this count. We lost our top credit rating 101 days ago.

What are we doing to get it back? Well, the deficit committee is working on it. It's got nine days to come up with at least $1.2 trillion worth of spending cuts. Come on, you guys can do it.

All right. As the fallout from the Penn State rape case continues to grow, the man at the center of it all is speaking. Former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, who is charged with sexually abusing eight boys, gave an interview to NBC's Bob Costas.

Now, NBC tweeted out the following quotes from Sandusky. It's what he said. He said to Bob Costas, quote, "I'm innocent of these charges." Quote, "I'm not a pedophile." Quote, "I have horsed around, showered, touched, without sexual intent." And, quote, "I shouldn't have showered with those kids."

Sara Ganim is a reporter for the "Patriot-News" and is covering the story in State College.

Sarah, what's your reaction as to what you just heard that Jerry Sandusky said in this interview to Bob Costas, quote, "I am not a pedophile"?

SARA GANIM, REPORTER, THE PATRIOT NEWS: Well, his attorney told us several days ago that he admits that, you know, there was a touching situation with some of these boys, that they misunderstood what he was doing, that it was horseplay, that was it messing around. They're all playing around and it was all in good faith.

As far as the other two, much more serious sets of charges in this indictment, where children have alleged that there was a prolonged period of abuse, very adult-like acts, more like a relationship, that he flat out denies. And I think he reiterated that tonight in that interview.

BURNETT: All right. So I guess we'll hear his case later on, perhaps, on how touching could be OK.

But let me ask you this, Sara, because you were one of the first to break this story and you have been covering it all the way through. Today, Jack Raykovitz lost his job. He, of course, was the CEO of the Second Mile charity. He had been there for 28 years of service.

What can you tell us about how much farther you think this could go in terms of how many more people are going to lose their jobs or perhaps be subject to indictments?

GANIM: Well, you know, it's hard to tell because it's very early. But I'll tell you this, there are now four ongoing investigations resulting from those charges that were filed just about a week ago. There's the attorney general's criminal investigation, the state Department of Education is looking into what Penn State's involvement might have been.

Penn State is conducting its own internal review and now, the Second Mile is saying that they're going to do an internal review. And that's going to be led by the former Philadelphia prosecutor, former Philadelphia district attorney, Lynne Abraham, who is obviously a prosecutor.

So, I think, you know, the scope of this, how far-reaching it will be, and how long this is going to last, how many people might lose their jobs, I mean, that's far into the future. I think that that remains to be scene.

BURNETT: All right. Sarah, thank you very much. Appreciate your time.

Still sort of shocked by, quote, "I have horsed around, showered, touched but no sexual intent." Just shocking statements there.

Well, the allegations of sex abuse against Penn State's former assistant football coach have been called to arms for lawmakers across the state and around the country. As we told you on Friday, Pennsylvania law requires individuals to report abuse to a superior but not necessarily to law enforcement authorities, which is something Governor Tom Corbett admitted is an issue with David Gregory this weekend.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOV. TOM CORBETT (R), PENNSYLVANIA: Should the law be changed? Absolutely. I know that members of both parties, Republican and Democrats, have already introduced measures to make that change.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BURNETT: One of the lawmakers looking to change that law is State Senator Wayne Fontana. He's OUTFRONT tonight.

And, Senator, thanks very much for being with us. Appreciate it.

In fact, you've been trying to change this law, if I'm correct, since 2005, right?

WAYNE FONTANA (D), STATE SENATOR PENNSYLVANIA: That's right, Erin. I introduced this bill about 6 1/2 years ago, one of the first bills I introduced when I was elected to the Senate. And I've been reintroducing it every session since.

BURNETT: Can you explain why the hesitation, why it would be OK to report to your superior and not to law enforcement authorities? I mean, why doesn't it pass this law? I mean, I'm sure it will this year. But why hasn't it before?

FONTANA: Well, I think that there was a lot of hesitation because of issues that were raised by different groups with concerns about people bringing charges against teachers, for example, that weren't legitimate, maybe just because they didn't like them or they gave them a bad grade, that sort of thing. There were issues about confidentiality, immunity -- those types of things.

And during the six years, we vetted all that. We worked through all of those issues and we have a bill I believe now that's been properly been vetted and had -- and dealt with all those types of issues and a bill that's ready to roll.

BURNETT: And how does it deal with those issues? Because separate from the egregiousness of the case that we're talking about right now, it would seem that if you say to a --that a teacher or someone who deals with children, raped a child, even if it ends up not being true, you most likely have done irreparable damage to that person's reputation.

FONTANA: Well, that's true. But as we investigated this law from the beginning, it held school employees to a different standard than everyone else. And that's what the issue. We wanted the standard to be the same, regardless of who the perpetrator was or is, regardless of the offense, whether it's a physical or sexual abuse of children, it should be very clear how it's reported and how it's investigated.

And that was the intent all along of our bill, to make that clear and vote everybody to the same standards.

BURNETT: How would your bill punish someone like a Joe Paterno, if this happened now, where he told his superior, but did not tell law enforcement authorities? If you violate the law, if your bill passes, what's the punishment?

FONTANA: Well, actually, the scope or the focus of this bill would be more to the graduate assistant. If 549, if Senate Bill 549, which is my bill was law, that graduate assistant --

BURNETT: Mike McQueary.

FONTANA: Mike -- there would be no question that he would have to report what he had seen to a law enforcement agency and/or a child protection service. So, it wouldn't even have gotten to the next person. Even though he could have -- you know, reported to his administrator, they wouldn't have been on the hook to actually call the law enforcement. He would have had to have done it. And that's -- that would have changed the whole domino effect of this investigation.

BURNETT: It would have. Well, thank you very much, Senator. We appreciate it. And good luck with your bill. It's about time.

FONTANA: I thank you.

BURNETT: And now, let's check in with Anderson.

Anderson, what's coming up on "A.C. 360" tonight?

ANDERSON COOPER, HOST, "A.C. 360": We have more on the Jerry Sandusky story ahead, starting with breaking news only on "360" -- with dozens of charges stacked against the Penn State's former head football coach. You're going to hear for the first time on camera, the outline of a defense strategy.

Tonight, our interview with Jerry Sandusky's attorney, including how he downplays eyewitness testimony, including this explanation for showering with young kids. The attorney says, quote, about Sandusky, quote, "He is a jock for anybody who's ever played sports, you take showers after work out," explaining why he was showering with a child.

Also tonight, raw politics, Herman Cain caught on camera with an incredibly awkward and rambling explanation for his position on Libya. We'll play it for you. It's going to -- well, you'll see how you feel about it.

Also, our political panel and the latest poll results with a new name challenging Mitt Romney now at the top. Ari Fleischer, Paul Begala joined us tonight on that.

And tonight's "Ridiculist," Erin, at the top of the hour.

BURNETT: Thank you, Anderson. Looking forward to it.

And still OUTFRONT, a woman convicted of homicide, the jaywalking death of her child, appeals the decision.

And Ilan Grapel, the Israeli American who was jailed in Egypt on charges of spying, comes OUTFRONT with his story.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

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

And tonight, we begin in Syria where President Bashar al-Assad is facing new pressure to leave, this time from the king of Jordan. King Abdullah says if he were the Syrian leader, he would step down.

Rima Maktabi is following the story from Abu Dhabi tonight.

Rima, how significant is the king of Jordan statement?

RIMA MAKTABI, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Erin, this statement by the king of Jordan is very significant. First, because it's coming from an Arab leader and addressing another Arab leader. And second, because Jordan is a neighboring country to Syria. This comes only two days after the Arab League suspended the membership of Syria. So, we can see that the international community is moving to stop the bloodshed in Syria -- Erin.

BURNETT: Thank you, Rima.

And now to Germany, where police have arrested two suspected members of a neo-Nazi terrorist cell involved in killing at least 10 people. Frederik Pleitgen is in Berlin.

Fred, what's the story?

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Erin, German authorities are calling this the worst act of neo-Nazi terrorism here in this country since the end of World War II. Now, apparently, this group was active for about 15 years and in that time killed at least 10 people, most ever them ethnic Turks and Greeks. They also killed one German police officer and are apparently responsible for several bombings as well.

Now, meanwhile, German authorities have managed to raid the house that these people were in. They discovered a lot of evidence there and also a video where the group admits to a lot of the crimes -- Erin.

BURNETT: Thank you, Fred.

And now to France where Dominique Strauss-Kahn has been requested for a second time to be questioned by police investigating alleged prostitution ring after he was linked to the case by the French media.

Jim Bittermann is in Paris tonight. Jim, why is DSK reaching out?

JIM BITTERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Erin, Dominique Strauss-Kahn is essentially saying through his lawyers that he's had it for weeks now. Almost every day, there's been new accounts in the press about his involvement in the prostitution ring up in the city of Lille, about him splitting with his wife, about all sorts of things. Now, he says his lawyers are going to pursue injustice anyone who spreads those kinds of rumors -- Erin.

BURNETT: Thank you, Jim.

Well, Herman Cain wasn't exactly on his game. He stumbled when "The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel" asked him about Libya. And we showed it to you earlier in the show. Too me, I think it's a case of an exhausted man who -- well, just had a brain fart. Well, Cain has a good sense of humor about showing, people showing that moment in the media, and at a tailgate meeting tonight in Green Bay, Wisconsin, here's what he had to say.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HERMAN CAIN (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I mean, they asked me a question about Libya and I paused so I could gather my thoughts. You know, it's really complementary when people start documenting my pauses. You know, it's one thing to document every word. It was a pause. That's all it was. Good grief.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BURNETT: It was a long pause.

All right. In a case that has drawn national attention, Georgia mother Raquel Nelson was convicted last July of vehicular homicide. Now, today, her lawyer, Steven Sadow, filed an appeal to drop all charges.

The controversial case sparked its share of protests after an all-white jury convicted the young African-American woman of homicide. She wasn't driving the car.

Nelson's son, A.J. Newman, was truck and killed by a hit and run driver in April 2010. She got off the bus with him and her two daughters. Now, rather than walk 3/10 of a mile to a crosswalk, she had packages with her, as well as her children, she tried to cross the street to her apartment building right where the bus let her off.

A hit and run driver admitted he'd been drinking, twice convicted on hit and run charges, hit and killed the child.

An unusual case has caused some to ask if it is one of black versus white, rich versus poor, or even ones of those who drive versus those who are forced to rely on public transportation.

Joining us now is CNN legal contributor Paul Callan.

This is -- this is a tough story. What do you make of the case just as it stands, especially given that this is a situation where you don't have crosswalks and you have busy roads in poor neighborhoods?

PAUL CALLAN, CNN LEGAL CONTRIBUTOR: Oh, this is a brutal case. And, you know, you hope that prosecutors use their commonsense when deciding whether to charge a serious crime like this. Here's this poor young mother who has lost her son, her 4-year-old son run over by a hit-and-run driver and they charged her with vehicular homicide because she wasn't crossing at the crosswalk.

I think it's an outrageous abuse of prosecutorial discretion and I just don't know what they are thinking in that prosecutor's office.

BURNETT: Do you think as -- and obviously, I'm now asking you to comment on another case. But do you think there is something to be said here for the racism that's being alleged by some, white jury/black woman?

CALLAN: You know, it wasn't all white jury. She is African American. To me, it's more carism than racism and I'll tell you why.

The Georgia suburbs are built for the automobile. You know, they are big roads. They are fast roads. No crosswalks, minimal crosswalks. And she's someone who is poor. She relies on public transportation.

BURNETT: Doesn't have a car.

CALLAN: Doesn't have a car. She gets off the bus with her three children. They were at Wal-Mart and a pizza place earlier in the evening. They missed the bus. They got home late. And she's forced to cross the street.

She'd have to walk half a mile up and back to find a crosswalk because the roads are built that way. So she crosses the highway and this horrible, horrible accident happens. Now, she's charged with vehicular homicide. It's really terrible.

BURNETT: So, she is appealing now to get her record clear. But she takes on the risk that this all comes back again.

CALLAN: Well, there's a major risk because she was convicted already and the judge then came to her and said, listen, I'll give you probation if you just accept the conviction, and she's now saying, no, I'm not taking the probation. I want to have an appeal on the case.

And I can understand why. Can you imagine she loses her son? She's going to go through the rest of her life with a vehicular homicide on her record indicating she killed her own son? How does she explain that when she applies for a job?

I understand why she's taking the appeal here.

BURNETT: What discretion does a judge have in laymen's terms? If you have a case like this and the judge were to say, you know what, I just think what the jury did was wrong? What discretion do they have?

CALLAN: Judges do have the right to throw a charge out completely if the charge was not proven. And I think in this case, one could argue that the Georgia statute, vehicular homicide would require her to be using a vehicle in some way.

She's not using a vehicle. She's crossing the road. So, to be charged under the statute is very unusual. So, I think the judge could have dismissed the whole thing and we would have been done with it. And I suspect eventually, an appellant court will throw it out.

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

CALLAN: Nice being with you.

BURNETT: All right. Well, up next, an American accused of being a spy, spent time in jail this summer and now comes OUTFRONT.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BURNETT: Imagine being held in isolation against your will in a foreign country for months. Ilan Grapel didn't have to imagine it, it actually happened while he was in Egypt this past summer.

The American law student with dual Israeli citizenship was detained in Egypt in June and accused of spying for Israel. He appeared on the cover of Egyptian newspapers shortly after his arrest. In October, yes, five months, the American government helped the Israelis negotiate his release in exchange for 25 Egyptians being held in an Israeli jail.

Ilan is OUTFRONT tonight for his first television interview.

And, Ilan, I'm so curious to hear your story, especially given all the changes and people trying to figure out what's going to happen in places like Egypt, and who is going to be in the government, what kind of governments these are going to be.

So, tell us, first, your story. You're in law school at Emory and you end up in Egypt. How come?

ILAN GRAPEL, HELD CAPTIVE IN EGYPT FOR 5 MONTHS: I was in Egypt on a public interest grant, which makes it more ironic because I was there to help the Arab world in particular, to help refugees repatriate to America. In the end, I became accused of working against the Arab world with espionage charges.

For me, it was the perfect opportunity to be involved in the Arab world, international law, and it was also cheap rent, which is good for a student so --

BURNETT: And you were staying -- and you'd only been there for a few days -- staying at a hostel. You had had a run-in with somebody that you filed a police report. So, they were aware you were there. GRAPEL: It was intentional. I thought to get off of the radar, I thought to my advantage to be up front and I was teaching Hebrew, I was telling people I was from Israel in order to refute all possible suspicion that I was possibly a spy. I realize that the Arab world is very conspiratorial and thought that it might be a possibility --

BURNETT: You would be so blatant.

GRAPEL: A person who carries an Israeli passport is probably not a spy.

BURNETT: OK. A fair point, but a lot of people, when we were talking to people in Israel today, they said, wouldn't people in Israel tell you not to go? That at this point, given the tension in Egypt and the concern about the treaty and just tension about Israelis in general, that it just wasn't smart to go in first place? Did you ever think about it that way?

GRAPEL: I knew if something were to happen, there would be many detractors. But I thought it is in the interest of Israel to have people interacting with Arab people, I don't think you could set up a wall. It's easy to point to the bad, which happened, but I also had many good stories where people were defending me beforehand, where people befriending me, taking me out to eat, offering me to drink coffee. That was part of the suspicion that people didn't understand, the prosecutor didn't understand.

BURNETT: So, they realized you were there, all right? And then, one night, you wake up in your hostel with how many men in your room?

GRAPEL: There were about 30 men in civilian clothing barge into the room. They ask me my nationality which I understood what they were looking at. I had my two passports in the hostel. In many ways, I wasn't --

BURNETT: What did you say, Israeli or American?

GRAPEL: I said American Israeli to get everything out in the open. They said, come with us. I thought it was about the police report I filed. So, I was being escorted to the police station. I quickly found out when they put on the handcuffs that that was not the issue --

BURNETT: So, this was a police report of a dispute with someone over a bill, right? You thought --

(CROSSTALK)

BURNETT: OK. All right. I just want people to understand it wasn't about espionage or anything like that.

OK. So then you go in and you're blindfolded --

GRAPEL: They took me downstairs. I see the unmarked van which is a bad sign in any country.

BURNETT: Yes.

GRAPEL: And then I was blindfolded, put in the van and I was taken to the prosecutor's office where the interrogations began.

BURNETT: And did they ever torture you?

GRAPEL: They did not torture me. Solitary confinement, some could consider five months as a form of torture, mental torture. And it's a perfect torture because I show up physically fit to the consular visits, but for 14 days a week, I'm pacing in my room.

BURNETT: Look, it's a terrible thing that happened to you. Some critics, though, would say, look, Ilan, to get you out to make up for this that happened, which -- even if it was unfair, people would say what were you thinking? Twenty, you know, Egyptians were freed from Israeli jails -- 25 people for you. Does that make you feel at all upset or guilty?

GRAPEL: I mean, upset that I released 25 miscreants on my behalf. I understand that Egypt needed something to show their people. When they took me, they thought I would be the panacea for everything that was wrong in their society, from the internal strife towards the high birth rate, and that I was accused of seducing women regularly.

BURNETT: Right, that was on the charges.

GRAPEL: That was one of the charges.

So, they actually needed something to show their people. And when they realized they made a mistake, the only thing they could do was -- I don't think they particularly cared about themselves, but they wanted to show their people that they released people from the Israeli regime. I understand I was a necessary part of the diplomacy. And a lot of things happened diplomatically.

BURNETT: All right. Well, Ilan, thank you so much. I really appreciate you taking the time to come OUTFRONT and tell your story.

GRAPEL: Thank you.

BURNETT: All right. Ilan will be going back to law school for his semester starting in January at Emory.

All right. Well, tomorrow on BURNETT, Jon Medved, the CEO of Vringo, it's a ringtones company. Well, he's going to tell us how to save the American entrepreneur.

Right now, it's time for "A.C. 360."