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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES

Kennedy Car Crash Covered Up?; Rumsfeld Under Fire; Anti- Immigrant Wave Sweeping America?

Aired May 4, 2006 - 22:00   ET

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


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening, everyone.
We begin with breaking news tonight involving allegations of driving under the influence, preferential treatment, and a Kennedy in Congress. Also, Donald Rumsfeld under fire not from generals this time. Today, a civilian went toe to toe with the defense secretary, demanding answers about the war.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ANNOUNCER: Rumsfeld under fire.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You lied!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get out of here.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You lied!

ANNOUNCER: But, along with the heat, cold, hard questions about the case for going to war and the truth.

RAY MCGOVERN, FORMER CIA ANALYST: Come on, these people aren't idiots.

ANNOUNCER: We're checking the facts and "Keeping Them Honest."

Battle on the border. Now comes the backlash. How the marches are mobilizing Americans against illegal immigrants, from the Mexican border to Main Street USA.

And paying the price of immigration at the emergency room -- how illegal immigrant are straining some hospitals to the breaking point.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANNOUNCER: Across the country and around the world, this is ANDERSON COOPER 360.

Live from the CNN Broadcast Center in New York, here's Anderson Cooper.

COOPER: And thanks for joining us this Thursday evening.

We begin tonight with late-breaking developments in a story out of Washington. It has three elements that will trigger memories in older viewers and likely land it in the tabloids for days to come. The story involves a car, allegations of intoxication and special treatment and a Kennedy, in this case, Congressman Patrick Kennedy, son of Senator Ted Kennedy, who was involved in a car wreck early this morning.

Just moments ago, the congressman issued a statement.

CNN's Brian Todd is working the story. He joins us now from Washington.

Brian, what do you know?

BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, here is what we know.

Early this morning, congressional and law enforcement sources tell us that police observed the car driven by Representative Patrick Kennedy hit a barricade on Capitol Hill. All throughout the day, we heard from sources who had spoken tonight officials in contact with the officers on the scene that Representative Kennedy appeared to be intoxicated.

Now, late this evening, Representative Kennedy issued a statement. It's a long statement. I will read some key exerts of it here -- quote -- "Following last series of votes on Wednesday evening, I returned to my home on Capitol Hill and took the prescribed amount of Phenergan and Ambien, which was also prescribed by an attending physician some time ago, and I occasionally take to fall asleep."

He had earlier indicated in the statement that he had gotten a prescription for Phenergan, which is anti-nausea drug, from a physician.

Then he says this in the statement -- quote -- "Some time around 2:45 a.m., I drove the few blocks to the Capitol complex, believing I needed to vote. Apparently, I was disoriented from the medication. At the time, I was involved in a one-car incident in which my car hit the security barrier at the corner of 1st and C Streets Southeast. At no time before the incident did I consume any alcohol" -- that statement issued just late this evening by Representative Patrick Kennedy's office.

Anderson, we have other detail about the police handling of the incident, which my colleague Dana Bash will get into.

COOPER: Brian, appreciate the update.

CNN's Dana Bash is also working the story, as Brian said. She is covering the Capitol Police beat. And she joins me now from Washington.

Dana, what are you hearing?

DANA BASH, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Anderson.

Well, just to sort of put what Congressman Kennedy said into context, when he was talking about specifically the fact that he was not under the influence of alcohol, that is just one of the questions that has been raised by law enforcement officials, who didn't have -- weren't actually on the scene, but had been briefed on the incident, that the congressman did apparently appear intoxicated at that particular incident.

And it is only now, as you just heard from Brian, that the explanation from the congressman is that it was because he was taking a combination of prescription drug medicine, that perhaps that is why he appeared intoxicated.

But what is important to note is that on the scene there was not a Breathalyzer given to him and that he was neither arrested, nor was he actually brought into the station for questioning. He was simply taken to his house. And that is raising a lot of questions here in Washington, Anderson. Why exactly did that happen? What we are told by just -- one top congressional source I spoke to who was briefed on this incident tonight simply said that what happened was, there were beat officers, if you will, on the scene.

One officer actually saw the congressman. And he was in his car, and he was swerving. And he was -- it looked like something was wrong. So, this officer, in his car, followed the congressman and actually was in pursuit for a while, put his lights on, because the congressman didn't stop.

And it was only after he hit the barricade that he was able to talk to him. Then we're told what happened was the lieutenant at the command center was notified about this. He sent two sergeants to the scene. They relieved the two officers who actually first -- had first contact with Congressman Kennedy, and they were told by the higher-up, by the lieutenant, you take care of it.

And the way they took care of it was, they just took him home -- that according to this one senior congressional official I talked to who was briefed, simply said that it was just -- that was just wrong. And that is, there's zero tolerance for that these days. That's sort of the old way of doing things. You see a congressman. It looks maybe funny, and you don't ask questions and you don't do -- go through the appropriate procedure.

The appropriate procedure was not followed. That's why, Anderson, there are two investigations going on right now, one internally, in to what exactly the police did and didn't do and why, and then the investigation into what happened with the congressman is still going on. So, we are going to get more details of that.

Also, there is videotape of this. Apparently, one of the buildings, there was a camera -- unclear whether we will actually see this, but there is videotape of this incident somewhere.

COOPER: Dana Bash, stand by with us.

Lou Cannon is on the phone. He's the president of the D.C. Fraternal Order of Police. And, Dana, I want you to listen in. And we will talk about a little bit what Lou is talking about as well.

Lou, appreciate you being with us.

I understand your union delivered a letter yesterday to the acting Capitol Police chief, protesting the handling of the matter. What is your problem with the way it was handled?

LOUIS CANNON, PRESIDENT, D.C. FRATERNAL ORDER OF POLICE: Well, what was actually delivered today, just to be clear of that, I mean, the labor committee that represents Capitol Police wants to ensure, number one, that the officers are permitted to do their job without interference.

And, number two, if in fact there were any irregularities or involvement from management, that that is looked at and that, if there -- determined that there was some, that those managers be disciplined.

COOPER: You had said, and been quoted as saying earlier, that officers on the scene said that the congressman appeared intoxicated. Would that -- I mean, the congressman's statement saying he had taken Ambien and another drug, would that possibly result in him appearing intoxicated, even though alcohol, he says, was not involved?

CANNON: Well, you know, just based on the statement that you -- the statement that was released, it would certainly -- you know, medication can sometimes give the appearance that a person's intoxicated, which would be all the more reason why you would want to do a Breathalyzer on the scene, to make that determination.

So, the decision not to take a Breathalyzer at that time certainly has -- you know, raises issues. And, if you're not intoxicated, why wouldn't you want it?

COOPER: Is it standard operating procedure to take a Breathalyzer of anyone in an incident like this?

CANNON: Any time there's an accident and there's suspected -- you would normally do a field sobriety test.

And you could either do a roadside breath test, or take somebody in and do a Breathalyzer test on them to determine the level of content that's there, which you would need for later prosecution. You don't always have to have that, but it is certainly helpful to have that.

COOPER: Lou, appreciate you joining us.

Dana, anything jump out at you in what Lou is saying?

BASH: Well, one thing that's just -- that is interesting or sort of noteworthy, just in terms in the way this unfolded today, Anderson, was that we got word of this some time in the mid-afternoon, I would say.

And it wasn't until maybe around 6:00, 5:00 or 6:00, that we got, actually, an initial statement from the congressman's office, just simply saying that he was in a car accident. And that was -- that was virtually it, and that he was -- he was not intoxicated. It wasn't until really just about 45 minutes ago that we got this lengthy explanation that he was taking these prescription drugs, this combination of prescription drugs, that perhaps caused him to be disoriented and to get into his car and crash it, essentially.

So, it took a long time. I can tell you they were huddled in his office. His staff was huddled in his office all day long, all night long. And it wasn't for hours until we actually got this explanation that he was just taking this medication.

COOPER: Dana Bash, appreciate your reporting.

Brian Todd as well, and Lou Cannon, for joining us. Thanks.

Now we move on to the confrontation between Defense Secretary Rumsfeld and a retired CIA veteran on the facts that were used to make a case for the war in Iraq. It happened today at a speech Mr. Bush was giving in Atlanta -- I'm sorry -- Mr. Rumsfeld was giving in Atlanta -- to what he had every reason to believe would be a friendly crowd.

Instead, he was heckled repeatedly. More importantly, he was challenged on his facts and on his words.

Here's senior national correspondent John Roberts.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JOHN ROBERTS, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The secretary of defense is used to controversy and attacks on all sides. But today, in Atlanta, he took more incoming than we have ever seen, a full-on verbal assault by opponents of the Iraq war, who showed up to see him speak.

The first volley came from a woman who brought a banner, accusing Rumsfeld of war crimes.

(BOOING)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (INAUDIBLE) nuclear war in Iraq!

ROBERTS: As most protesters are, in a full of administration- friendly folks, she lost her banner and was quickly led out.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We don't want to hear it.

DONALD RUMSFELD, SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: Good for you, Sergeant York.

ROBERTS: The next attack came a short five minutes late, another woman with another banner, accusing Rumsfeld of lying.

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You lied.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get out of here.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You lied that Iraq's oil would pay for the war! You lied about everything!

ROBERTS: But this one, the secretary just couldn't let go.

RUMSFELD: You know, that charge is frequently leveled against the president for one reason or another, and it is so wrong and so unfair and so destructive of a free system, where people need to trust each other and government.

ROBERTS: In truth, Rumsfeld never said Iraq's oil would pay for the war. But his then-deputy, Paul Wolfowitz, did say it would pay for the aftermath.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PAUL WOLFOWITZ, DEPUTY DEFENSE SECRETARY: We're dealing with a country that can really finance its own reconstruction, and relatively soon.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROBERTS: Hecklers, like the one who stood with his back to the secretary during the speech, couldn't rattle a man with Rumsfeld's steel.

But, in an extraordinary piece of public theater, Ray McGovern, who claimed to be a former CIA analyst, took Rumsfeld on mano a mano over prewar claims Iraq had weapons of mass destruction.

MCGOVERN: You said you knew where they were.

RUMSFELD: I did not. I said I knew where suspect sites were, and we were just...

MCGOVERN: You said you knew where they were near Tikrit, near Baghdad, and north, east, south and west of there. Those are your words.

RUMSFELD: My words -- my words were that -- no, no, no wait a minute, wait a minute. Let him stay one second. Just a second.

MCGOVERN: This is America, huh?

(APPLAUSE)

ROBERTS: And, in America, we fact-check. And we found that, in an appearance on ABC's "This Week" three years ago, Rumsfeld did say those words.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "THIS WEEK," MARCH 30, 2003)

RUMSFELD: We know where they are. They're in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad and east, west, south and north somewhat.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROBERTS: With what appeared to be the facts on his side, McGovern kept going, an exchange that lasted a full two minutes and 35 seconds.

MCGOVERN: I would just like an honest answer.

RUMSFELD: I'm giving it to you.

MCGOVERN: We're talking about lies and your allegation that there was bulletproof evidence of ties between al Qaeda and Iraq. Was that a lie or were you misled?

(CROSSTALK)

ROBERTS: Hold on. Did Rumsfeld ever say bulletproof? According to "The New York Times," he did, September 27, 2002, in Atlanta.

And, a month later, he admitted saying it. But, a year after that, he told the National Press Club, bulletproof? Not me.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You said about a year ago that there was bulletproof evidence that Saddam Hussein -- of links between Saddam Hussein and the September 11 attacks. When will the American public see that sort of evidence?

RUMSFELD: I did not say that.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK.

(CROSSTALK)

RUMSFELD: And whoever said I said it is wrong.

(LAUGHTER)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROBERTS: But back to the action in Atlanta.

RUMSFELD: Zarqawi was in Baghdad during the prewar period. That is a fact.

MCGOVERN: Zarqawi? He was in the north of Iraq in a place where Saddam Hussein had no rule. That's also ...

RUMSFELD: He was also in Baghdad.

MCGOVERN: Yes, when he needed to go to the hospital. Come on, these people aren't idiots. They know the story.

RUMSFELD: You are -- let me -- let me give you an example. It's easy for you to make a charge, but why do you think that the men and women in uniform, every day, when they came out of Kuwait and went into Iraq, put on chemical weapon protective suits? Because they liked the style?

(LAUGHTER)

(APPLAUSE)

RUMSFELD: They honestly believed that there were chemical weapons. Saddam Hussein had used chemical weapons on his own people previously. He'd used them on his neighbor, the Iranians. And they believed he had those weapons. We believed he had those weapons.

MCGOVERN: That is what we call a non sequitur. It doesn't matter what the troops believe. It matters what you believe.

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think, Mr. Secretary, the debate is over. We have other questions, in courtesy to the audience.

(APPLAUSE)

ROBERTS: And, with that, they declared an end to the face-off. But, unlike the other opponents of the war, McGovern took his seat and remained quiet through the rest the speech.

John Roberts, CNN, Washington.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Well, the man who challenged Secretary Rumsfeld was well informed, as any former CIA analyst would be. We will talk to Ray McGovern about his agenda and what he thought of the secretary's response to his questions.

Plus, Republicans divided over illegal immigrations. Some want all illegals evicted. Others call for a different plan -- at stake in the pivotal Latino vote. We will examine the Bush strategy ahead.

Also, the backlash over Monday's protests -- a look at the intensifying anger over illegal immigrants -- when 360 continues.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: More now on the man who confronted Secretary Rumsfeld today.

Ray McGovern is his name. He spent 27 years at CIA, serving under presidents from John F. Kennedy to the first President Bush. He was an analyst. He's been an outspoken critic of the Bush administration, a co-founder of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, a group that's critical of the way the Bush administration used intelligence in the run-up to the war in Iraq.

I spoke about with Mr. McGovern earlier tonight about what Secretary Rumsfeld now thinks about the case he made for the war.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) COOPER: Do you think he still believes that there were WMD?

MCGOVERN: I think still is the wrong word there.

(CROSSTALK)

COOPER: You don't think he ever believed it?

MCGOVERN: No.

It's very clear that this was a very cynical attempt to do what they wanted to do, namely, make war on Iraq, and that they decided to do that shortly after 9/11.

And when my former colleague Paul Pillar, who was the most senior national intelligence officer for the Middle East and for counterterrorism, when he says, as he did just yesterday, that there was an organized campaign of manipulation of the intelligence to prove a tie between Iraq and al Qaeda, the objective, of course, to make the American people think that Saddam Hussein has something to do with 9/11, when Pillar comes out with that information, then I think we need to make sure the American people know that we knew at that time there was no such tie. And what Don Rumsfeld said at that time was that the evidence was bulletproof.

COOPER: And the bulletproof quote comes from a "New York Times" article. That was back in September 28 of -- of 2002. He didn't answer or respond to the bulletproof question at first.

You asked, basically -- you reiterated the bulletproof and said that he had indicted there was bulletproof evidence of a link between al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein's government. He then came back to it, though, and said, well, it's a fact that Zarqawi was in Iraq. And you pointed out that he -- well, what did you say then?

MCGOVERN: Well, you know, I was so glad that he disingenuously offered that, because Zarqawi was not under any al Qaeda or Saddam Hussein control. He was in the northern part of Iraq, where no one held sway, not Saddam Hussein, certainly not al Qaeda. And, so, to adduce Zarqawi as a link with al Qaeda was disingenuous...

(CROSSTALK)

COOPER: He did then go on to say, well, he was also in Baghdad. And you pointed out, yes, when he went to the hospital.

MCGOVERN: Yes, right. Baghdad was where the best hospital was when he needed treatment.

See, Rumsfeld is -- is above the fray. And he believes that the audience, and most of the audience there today, of course, was -- fits this mold -- they won't question him on these things. Who knows these details? Well, we know them. Why? Because it was our profession to follow such details.

And we used to be able to apply our techniques and our tradecraft to foreign leaders. And it's ironic in the extreme that we need to do media analysis and leadership studies on our own leaders to find out whether they're telling the truth or they're telling lies.

COOPER: In your first question, you asked him essentially about the bulletproof quote and about his -- the -- making a linkage between al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein's government.

MCGOVERN: Yes.

COOPER: And you say, was that a lie or were you misled? Did that come from somewhere else?

Later on, you just categorize it outright as a lie.

MCGOVERN: Yes.

COOPER: I mean, there are those who say, well, look, there was -- well, not on the al Qaeda thing, but, on WMD, there were plenty of administrations in past and plenty of people in Congress and elsewhere in other intelligence services who believed there were WMD in Iraq.

MCGOVERN: Yes. The WMD issue is separate and distinct from this.

COOPER: Yes, of course.

MCGOVERN: The WMD thing was a matter of the vice president forcing the head of CIA to acquiesce in what the vice president wanted the administration to say.

Now, the vice president visited CIA headquarters 10 times. People ask me, is that unusual? I say, no, it's not unusual. That's unprecedented.

COOPER: How can you prove, though, a lie?

I mean, you're -- you're -- you're alleging an intent to mislead, a belief that they knew there were no WMD, that they knew Saddam wasn't really an imminent threat, and they chose to go to war anyway, and they -- they faked, they manipulated, they hand-picked intelligence.

Others will argue, you know, they -- maybe they -- you know, they believed they had it, and -- and so they looked for the intelligence that matched their belief, but -- but that they actually did believe it?

MCGOVERN: Thanks for that question, because we now have documentary proof that the president knew there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq well before the invasion.

We have the minutes of his discussions with Tony Blair, the British prime minister, on the 31st of January 2003, where the president says, there really -- really aren't any weapons of mass destruction to be found, but we need some way to make this war. Maybe -- yes, that's a good idea. Maybe we will paint one of our U-2s with U.N. colors and hope that it gets shot down, or maybe we will get a defector out that will attest to the presence of weapons of mass destruction. Or there's an outside chance we can just assassinate Saddam Hussein.

That's on the record. The British vouch for that. We also have the Downing Street memos, where the head of British intelligence came back from consultations with George Tenet in July of 2002 and said the intelligence and the facts are being fixed around the policy.

The evidence on ties between Saddam Hussein and 9/11, OK, that's what we're really talking about; 69 percent of the American people believed that Saddam Hussein had something to do with 9/11 when we went to war with Iraq. That was exactly what the administration wanted.

COOPER: As you look back on what happened today, I mean, this isn't like every day in your life, and were you nervous? I mean, when you stood up and started speaking back to the defense secretary, that's not an easy thing to do. There are a lot of reporters who haven't done that. Were you nervous?

MCGOVERN: Well, I spent almost five years briefing vice presidents, secretaries of defense, secretaries of state, chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and national security advisers.

So, in a way, I'm used to it. I guess I'm also Irish, and I get angry when people tell lies, especially when lots of people die because of those lies. So, I think the experience and the anger sort of superseded whatever nervousness I may have had. And I hope that my -- my remarks were articulate enough, so that people understood what I was trying to say.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Well, that was Ray McGovern, the man who confronted Secretary of Donald Rumsfeld today in a speech.

Just days after the marches, President Bush is walking a very fine line himself, courting Latino voters, while fighting off a rebellion on immigration within his own party. We will see how he's doing. We will talk to former presidential adviser David Gergen.

Also, illegal immigrants putting hospitals in the brink.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When people delay or postpone care, they often end up sicker, and, as a result, end up in hospitals, where they may be more costly to care for than had we cared for their condition early on.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: Coming up, the battle over health care for illegal immigrants. We are "Keeping Them Honest" -- when 360 continues.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Just another quick late development in the story we began the program with tonight, the car crash in Washington, an allegation of intoxication, and Congressman Patrick Kennedy, Democrat from Rhode Island, son of Senator Ted Kennedy.

There have been allegations he received preferential treatment. Just moments ago, the congressman left the office. Cameras were there. And he had this to say.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. PATRICK KENNEDY (D), RHODE ISLAND: I never asked for any preferential treatment.

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) you think you received (OFF-MIKE)

KENNEDY: That's up for the police to decide. And I'm going to cooperate fully with them.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: And there you go, Congressman Patrick Kennedy, just moments ago.

Well, until the immigration issue erupted, many pundits had been hailing the Republicans' decades-long success at attracting Latino voters. Now, the president faces a dilemma, how to keep Latino happy on immigration, without alienating his more conservative base.

Today, at a day-early White House event to commemorate Cinco de Mayo, Mr. Bush tried to do just that.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Our nation does not have to choose between being a compassionate society and a lawful society. So, I support strengthening our borders and I support a temporary-worker program that would match willing workers with American employers.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: The president's position is at odds with many in his own party, who want a much tougher stand against illegals already in this country.

Here's CNN's John King.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

(APPLAUSE)

JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): When the politicians get involved, Cinco de Mayo is as much a competition as it is a celebration. BUSH: Mexican-Americans have made our nation more vibrant and more hopeful. (SPEAKING SPANISH)

KING: The political power and potential political power of the country's fast-growing Latino population is front and center in the emotional debate over whether to put millions illegally in the United States on a path to legal status.

Simple math tells you why both political parties are watching so close. Latinos cast just 2 percent of the votes for president in 1992, 8 percent in 2004.

TERRY JEFFREY, EDITOR, "HUMAN EVENTS": Where 150,000 votes in Ohio or a few hundred votes in Florida can decide the outcome of who is going to be in the White House in 2008 or 2012.

KING: Mr. Bush has made outreach a priority, with success, winning 44 percent of the Latino vote in 2004, up from 35 percent in 2000. But his opposition to a new Spanish-language version of the national anthem has alienated some Latinos.

BUSH: And I think people who want to be a citizen of this country ought to learn English, and they ought to learn to sing the national anthem in English.

KING: The first lady has a more nuanced take: Anyone wanting citizenship should learn the anthem in English, but, then, as long as it's done respectfully:

LAURA BUSH, FIRST LADY: I don't think there's anything wrong with singing it in Spanish.

KING: Some see political calculation, the first lady taking a softer line, while the president tries to placate conservatives angry at his support for giving illegals guest-worker status.

JEFFREY: This is a way he can get a few brownie points without actually doing any about changing his policy position.

KING: Even Latinos disappointed with Mr. Bush worry the anthem debate is a distraction.

GABRIELA LEMUS, HISPANIC ACTIVIST: Symbolism is -- is kind of overtaking substance around what we really need to be addressing, which is comprehensive immigration reform. * JOHN KING, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT -- a distraction.

GABRIELA LEMUS, HISPANIC ACTIVIST: Symbolism is kind of overtaking substance around what we really need to be addressing which is comprehensive immigration reform.

KING: Many conservatives who oppose Mr. Bush's guest worker program argue emphasizing faith and values, not immigration policy is a better political strategy. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Most Latino voters in this country and actually most Latino illegal aliens in this country are Roman Catholic. I think the key swing vote in national elections of this point in our history is in fact the Catholic vote.

KING: Latino activists are quick to say immigration policy alone won't decide the competition.

LEMUS: Latinos are not just a one-issue group. We're concerned about many things, we're concerned about the status of education. We're concerned about the prices of gas.

KING: But they also say the immigration fight has taught them valuable organizing lessons and the politicians best take notice. John King, CNN, Washington.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Joining us now David Gergen an adviser to several presidents, he joins us now from Boston. David thanks for being with us. You believe the president's support of a guest worker program is sound politically but he hasn't taken on a strong enough leadership role. Does he have the political capital any more to lead on the issue?

DAVID GERGEN, FORMER WHITE HOUSE ADVISER: Yes, I do believe that Anderson and the way he gains political power and gains political capital, rebuilds his stock is to be more forceful and bolder on both immigration, where he's got a reasonable position and on energy. I think if he were to come out with all flags flying and not be as muted as he is on immigration. His position is reasonable, but right now you know he's going backward with the Latino community because his own party is opposing him and because he has not been a strong champion of his own bill.

COOPER: Well, I mean, the president I guess on one hand he has to mobilize conservatives come midterm elections to get out the vote. How does he do that while still reaching out to Latino voters? Are they mutually exclusive?

GERGEN: Well I think that's why he's in a very tense, cross pressured situation. Where he is right now, as you just reported he got over 40 percent of the Latino vote in the 2004 election improving his performance over 2000. He has been terrific in the Latino community. But now there is a poll released today by the Celinda Lake with the Latino Policy Coalition that says his support level among Latinos is down to 23 percent. And the Latino community preferences for voting in this November's election with regard to the council representatives 50 percent for republicans, 21 percent for republicans. That's a -- 50 percent for democrats, 21 percent for republicans. That's a big slide for republicans.

So this -- the rebellion in his own party, his refusal to really take on the rebels but to sort of you know -- he states his position but it's no where near as forceful as his position for example on Iraq where everybody knows where he stands on Iraq. There's no surprise about that. But here on this issue much of the country's not hearing it because he's been a little bit -- he'd been so cautious about not coming out forcefully to get a bill in the senate and then trying to make it do it in the house.

What's happening is on the house side you've got conservatives who believe this is basically an issue about law and order and that these people have come in unlawfully, this question about values and there are many people in the house, on the conservative side who do feel that if they weaken on this issue, so to speak, if they become -- are more pro guest worker program or citizenship program the way McCain and Kennedy are for example in the senate, they may face a primary on their right in the coming election. So they've got -- they're feeling pressure, too. This is only -- this is the kind of issue classically, Anderson that a president must weigh into and to break the logjam. This cannot be done by congress, it has to be done by a president calling people in and forcing a compromise.

COOPER: And I don't want to sound too cynical but I mean do the democrats benefit most politically from just standing back, I mean from the fact not having anything done and then they can say, well look this is a do nothing congress?

GERGEN: I'm afraid that there are a lot of democrats who now believe it's better to have an issue than to have a bill. You know to keep this out there, to keep the Latino community whipped up and to bring Latinos back. You'll remember, and every republican in California remembers this, when Pete Wilson got himself on the wrong side of an issue about immigration and illegals in California with the proposition out there a few years ago, he was a republican governor, got himself on the wrong side. And the Latino backlash put democrats in statewide office across that state, the republican party has not yet fully recovered from that.

COOPER: Interesting. David Gergen, thanks for joining us, appreciate it.

GERGEN: Thanks Anderson.

COOPER: So when it comes to seeking Latino votes candidates have their work cut out for them. Here's the raw data. According to the Pew Hispanic Center only 39 percent of Latinos are eligible to vote either because they're too young or because they're not U.S. citizens. That is compared to 76 percent of Caucasians and 65 percent of African-Americans who are eligible to vote. And fewer than half of the 16 million eligible Latino voters actually voted in the 2004 general election.

It is an ill effect of illegal immigration, emergency rooms overburdened as many illegal immigrants get practically free medical care. Some say a new law will change that. Tonight we're checking the facts and "Keeping Them Honest".

Plus a backlash spurred by Monday's massive pro-immigration demonstrations. For those who want to get tough on illegal immigrants the huge crowds that turned out were a major wake-up call. We'll talk to some of them next on 360. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: There are about 43 million people without health insurance in America. And a report in the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons suggests that at least 25 percent of those people are illegal immigrants. Most get free medical care but that could soon be changing under a new law. That is the idea at least that some say won't work out that way. 360 MD Sanjay Gupta tonight, checking the facts and "Keeping Them Honest".

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Araceli has been coming to this clinic since she first arrived in the United States seven years ago. It is here that she was first diagnosed as anemic, not having enough red blood cells. That was probably causing her dizzy spells. The doctors took good care of her and today, she brought her daughters, Rachel and Ashley. Here, Araceli is a typical patient. Like 95 percent of the people who come here, she has no insurance and no citizenship. She crossed the Rio Grande River and found her way to Atlanta illegally.

ARACELI, ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT (through translator): I am undocumented. Life here is difficult. But it's thanks to these clinics that we can come to visit a doctor because otherwise it's very costly for us to visit certain doctors.

GUPTA: As illegal immigrants Araceli and her two young daughters don't qualify for Medicaid. They rely almost entirely on the generosity of the St. Joseph's Clinic. They do pay what they can, but it isn't much.

DR. WILLIAM REEVES, ST. JOSEPH'S MERCY CARE SERVICES: A lot of our patients are uninsured. So a combination of whatever resources they have and whatever we can offer.

GUPTA: Last year it cost around a million dollars to run this clinic. Less than a third came back in patient billing. It's a business model for bankruptcy. And this is just one example. At least 9 million people are uninsured and undocumented. Many of them don't pay taxes into the system that provides their health care. Still, in the United States emergency treatment is available to all people, regardless of immigration status, regardless of insurance status, regardless of whether they can pay.

DIANE ROWLAND, KAISER FAMILY FOUNDATION: An immigrant coming in from passing out in a classroom or in a work situation may be stabilized in the E.R. However, if that individual needs chemotherapy or ongoing treatment, they are unlikely to be able to get that.

GUPTA: Things are about to get harder for people like Araceli. As things stand now, an illegal immigrant does not have to provide any documentation to qualify for Medicaid. But as of July 1st all immigrants will have to provide proof of citizenship, something Araceli may never be able to do. Republican Congressman Charlie Norwood of Georgia, a former dentist, co-sponsored the new provision. In a statement given to CNN today he says, "Far too many of the current flood of illegal immigrants are swamping America's social safety net. These lawbreakers demand cradle-to-grave free comprehensive health care, gained through fraud, and paid for by American taxpayers." The Congressional Budget Office estimates the law will save the government $220 million over 5 years and $735 million over 10 years. Tom Andrews, the president of St. Joseph's Clinic thinks it's immoral for hospitals to turn their back on illegal immigrants.

TOM ANDREWS, ST. JOSEPH'S MERCY CARE SERVICES: These are people in our community, they are our community. We need to take care of them.

GUPTA: Other experts say the bill may simply be short sighted and end up costing taxpayers even more.

ROWLAND: When people delay or postpone care they often end up sicker and as a result end up in hospitals where they may be more costly to care for than had we cared for their condition early on.

GUPTA: As for Araceli and her daughters, without this clinic, it is not likely they could find the simple health care they really need. And that is one of those nagging issues at the center of the immigration debate. Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN, Atlanta.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Well they are more angry than ever about illegal immigration and they're mobilizing. Some are calling it a full fledge backlash inspired by Monday's massive demonstrations. Coming up, how and where the backlash is unfolding.

Plus on the front lines of the battle against illegal immigration, we'll meet some Americans who are taking matters into their own hands. Building their own fence. They want you to help. All that when 360 continues.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Monday's massive demonstrations across the country clearly energized immigrants and their supporters but they also seemed to mobilize the very people who want to get tough on illegal immigrants. The backlash is unfolding at the grassroots level where activists are vowing to influence congress and local lawmakers with a potent threat, their votes. Here's CNN'S Tom Foreman with the battle on the border.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

TOM FOREMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The backlash for Phil Jones began when he took his teenage daughter to a 7-Eleven. He says he pulled into a crowd of illegal immigrants looking for day labor work.

PHIL JONES, HELP SAVE HERNDON: So as we're sitting here there were people surrounding the whole car, trying to get into the door. One opens the door and jumps in the backseat.

FOREMAN: He says when he indicated he had no job they made obscene gestures. So when Phil heard his town council was planning a permanent center for day laborers, he began organizing the political opposition. And this week three local politicians who supported the center were voted out of office.

JONES: People may say in certain circles that it's a small victory. It's a huge victory that we're able to topple a political structure that was not responsive to obeying the federal and state laws of this country.

FOREMAN: A broad-based nationwide voter backlash appears to have been spurred by the immigrant protests earlier this week.

We ain't going nowhere. We ain't going nowhere, baby!

FOREMAN: Grassroots groups and elected officials who oppose the immigrants' rights movement say e-mails and phone calls are pouring in for their cause.

STEPHEN EICHLER, MINUTEMAN PROJECT: We will not tolerate open borders. We will not tolerate our nation to be invaded. And we will not tolerate inaction on Capitol Hill!

FOREMAN: A group calling itself the Minutemen has started a coast-to-coast campaign convinced that immigrant marches have Americans worried about rising militancy among illegals, who are demanding that the United States give them more rights.

FREDDIE RICHARDSON, MINUTEMAN SUPPORTER: The very fact that they put their foot on American soil illegally is a felony and the government is not doing anything about it.

FOREMAN: In many ways this dispute comes down to basic human nature and mathematics. Yes, there may be 10, 15, even 20 million illegal immigrants in this country. But there are close to 300 million legal residents and many of them don't like being told what to do, especially by illegal guests. And they say politicians better pay attention.

JONES: If they look at what the people are saying, we do not want illegal aliens.

FOREMAN: After all, as the election here demonstrated, legal residents can do something no illegal immigrant has a right to -- they can vote. Tom Foreman, CNN, Herndon, Virginia.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Well coming up we'll take you on the border with one group of Minutemen. We'll take a trip with the volunteers who say they are protecting America from illegal immigrants, that's coming up on 360.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) COOPER: In a moment our shot of the day. But first, Erica Hill from "Headline News" join us with some of the business news we're following. Erica?

ERICA HILL, CNN ANCHOR: Hey Anderson we'll start off with stocks surging today as investors welcomed good news on earnings, oil prices and retail sales. The Dow rose nearly 39 points to close at just over 11,438, its highest close in more than six years. The S&P 500 gained more than 4. The NASDAQ tacked on nearly 20 points.

And next are the oil prices that helped fuel the rally for the second straight day, the price of U.S. crude oil fell more than $2 a barrel, closing below $70 at $69.94. And analysts say the plunge was tied to government data that show gasoline supplies grew last week, reversing two months of declines.

And a little shakeup at the top of Forbes annual list of the best places for business and careers. Albuquerque, New Mexico, moving up from fifth to first place. And number two, Raleigh, North Carolina, followed by Houston, Boise, Idaho, which slipped from number one. And then rounding out the top five, Knoxville, Tennessee, which was 17th last year. Three regions fell out of the top ten, Atlanta, the Washington, D.C. Northern Virginia region and Austin, Texas. Anderson.

COOPER: Erica have you seen the shot of the day?

HILL: I haven't seen the shot of the day.

COOPER: The shot is everyone should know by now is our favorite image or video of the day. Erica stick around. Here it is. A goat trying for reasons we don't know to break into an elementary school in Texas. See, it's literally butting heads. The surveillance cameras capture the fellow, he butted heads with the glass door. Perseverance finally paid off though. Check it out. There, the goat broke into the school. See, Erica Hill perseverance does pay.

HILL: Perseverance, there you go.

COOPER: There we go.

HILL: Oh, I like the brain. Are those donkeys or goats?

COOPER: I'm not sure -- there we go.

HILL: We know that is -- I read, though he saw his reflection so he was trying, he was butting heads with his reflection, thinking another male goat.

COOPER: I -- the goat then roamed around the school in the cafeteria for a while, was finally caught, put into a cage, made to write "I'm very bad" hundreds of time on the blackboard. Thank you, thank you. I'll be here all week, try the veal. Actually did you see how the goat ended up?

HILL: I didn't. COOPER: Do we have that picture? There it is. Goat curry.

HILL: Oh, no.

COOPER: Actually, no, but --

HILL: I hope not.

COOPER: You never know.

HILL: Enjoy your vegetarian dinner tonight Anderson.

COOPER: Erica Hill, thanks very much. No goats were harmed in the making of the goat curry, I'm told.

Every day around the clock illegal immigrants make a run for the border. Most who are caught will be deported and will likely try again of course. But those who are caught in Arizona may not be so lucky. They have to deal with a rebel sheriff and his posse of thousands. CNN's Peter Viles has more on that controversial policy and patrols in a story that first aired on CNN'S "Lou Dobbs Tonight."

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

PETER VILES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A perk walk you won't see anywhere else, illegal aliens arrested for allegedly agreeing to be smuggled into America and making the mistake of passing through Maricopa County, Arizona.

SHERIFF JOE ARPAIO, MARICOPA COUNTY, ARIZONA: I'm trying get a message out to all the illegals from Mexico to stay out of this county.

VILES: Maverick sheriff Joe Arpaio believes Arizona's new anti- smuggling law applies not just to coyotes, but to the illegal aliens they transport.

ARPAIO: It's interpreted by the county attorney that those that are in conspiracy with the smuggler can also be locked up. I'm the only law enforcement agency doing it.

VILES: And doing it his way using some of his vast posse of 3,000 volunteers to patrol the desert. This volunteer helped round up nine illegals and two alleged smugglers Tuesday morning.

ANDREW RAMSAMMY, VOLUNTEER DEPUTY: When you get a phone call at 4:00 in the morning from the sheriff, you respond.

VILES: Arpaio's deputies have jailed 120 illegals this year and this sheriff does not believe in catch and release.

ARPAIO: It's a felony, 1 1/2 years to 3 years in prison if convicted. So it's not a misdemeanor. I could very easily turn these people over to immigration, they get a free ride back to Mexico. Right now they're getting a free ride to the jail.

VILES: Jail space is not a problem. Arpaio is the sheriff who built a tent city of jail cells.

RUSSELL PEARCE, (R) ARIZONA STATE HOUSE: The message has to be loud and clear. We're not taking it any more. You enter this country illegally, you're going to be arrested, you're going to be deported.

VILES: It's likely though the county will face a legal challenge in its use of the new law. At the state level, it is being used only to target the smuggler. The sheriff bristled at the suggestion his posse is somehow similar to "The Minutemen" saying his volunteer posse undergoes extensive professional training and is sworn in under the Arizona state constitution. Peter Viles for CNN, Los Angeles.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: That story first aired on "Lou Dobbs Tonight" where you can often watch reports of course on broken borders and illegal immigration. "Lou Dobbs Tonight" airs at 6:00 P.M. eastern.

The Pentagon launches a smear campaign against a key target in the war on terror. Safe to say it's not the image Abu Musab Al Zarqawi wants the world to see. The most-wanted man in Iraq having trouble working his own gun.

Plus, Zacarias Moussaoui sentenced today, he was told he would die in isolation. We'll put you inside the emotional scenes of court when 360 continues.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: And good evening again. Tonight breaking news, a Kennedy involved in a car crash. Accusations of being under the influence and receiving special treatment by police. That's coming up. We'll also have this.

ANNOUNCER: Showdown.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MCGOVERN: You lied.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANNOUNCER: Donald Rumsfeld confronted about the war. A former CIA analyst who knows the truth wouldn't back down.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MCGOVERN: Come on, these people aren't idiots.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANNOUNCER: And battle over the border. Those huge immigration protests now the backlash. A growing divide over illegal immigration. Across the country and around the world this is ANDERSON COOPER 360. Live from the CNN Broadcast Center in New York, here's Anderson Cooper. COOPER: And we begin tonight with late breaking developments in a story out of Washington involving a car, allegations of intoxication and a Kennedy. In this case, Congressman Patrick Kennedy, son of Senator Ted Kennedy, who was involved in a car wreck at the capitol this morning. Tonight the congressman issued a statement and spoke briefly to reporters. CNN's Dana Bash is working the story, joins us now with the latest. Dana?

DANA BASH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well Anderson it was about 3:00 this morning that Patrick Kennedy crashed his car into a security barrier near the capitol. This afternoon, top law enforcement officials who were not there but briefed on the incident told us that officers on the scene said he appeared to be intoxicated.

TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com

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