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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Posting Hate; Democrats Fielding Fake Tea Party Candidates?; Dirtiest Races of 2010; laska Senate Race Gets Nasty; Was Cholera Outbreak Preventable in Haiti?
Aired October 27, 2010 - 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: And thanks for watching, everyone.
Tonight: Posting hate online is nothing new, but, tonight, you are going to meet a school official who's been caught doing it red-handed. He's supposed to be protecting kids, kids being bullied. But he mocks kids who have killed themselves because of bullying, and he says he likes it when gay people die.
So, what does this school board bully say now that he's been caught? Well, like a lot of bullies do when confronted, he's now running and hiding. We're "Keeping Them Honest."
Also tonight, something to think about when you step into the voting booth next week and vote for a third-party candidate: Is he or she a legitimate candidate or a just bogus one put on the ballot to help one of the other two? Allegations tonight of fake Tea Party candidates created by Democrats in tight races. Why would they do that? Well, to confuse voters and siphon off votes from Tea Party-backed Republican candidates, say critics.
Tonight, conservative Michael Reagan squares off against a Florida candidate he says is a front for a fake Tea Party.
Plus, which are the out-and-out dirtiest races of 2010? I know it's hard to choose. We have got the lowdown -- and it's pretty low -- on five of them.
We begin, though, tonight, as we always do, "Keeping Them Honest," with an Arkansas public official whose response to the school bullying problem and the rash of suicides by gay kids is that he likes it when gay people die. He said that on his Facebook page. He likes it when gay people die.
Now, if these were just the comments of an everyday person, this wouldn't be news. No doubt plenty of people probably say stuff like that. But these comments were being made by a public official, and not just any official, a school official, elected to the school board in the Midland School District in Eastern Arkansas. In fact, he's the school district vice president.
As with any bully, we think it's important for you to see his face. This is the only picture we could get from his Facebook page. This is the face of the man who says he likes it when gay people die. We think you should know his name as well. It's Clint McCance, Clint McCance. This picture that we showed you is from Facebook. The man with power over kids in Arkansas public schools was apparently ticked off about a nationwide call by activists last Wednesday to wear the color purple in support of gay kids.
Here's some of what he wrote on his Facebook page. And I remind you the words are his, not ours, and the language is offensive.
"Seriously," he wrote, "they want me to wear purple because five queers committed suicide. The only way I'm wearing it is -- for them is if they all commit suicide. I can't believe the people of this world have gotten this stupid."
He goes on -- and what you see is his spelling not ours -- "We're honoring the fact that they sinned and killed themselves -- thereselves because of their sin. Really, people."
Mr. McCance apparently doesn't know or does not care to use the names of the five dead kids he's attacking and mocking. He simply calls them queers, fags.
But these kids do have names, and they have families, and they have friends who are still mourning their loss and will mourn for the rest of their lives. These kids have names. And you should know their names, and so should he.
Tyler Clementi, 19 years old, he jumped off a bridge after his college roommate allegedly streamed live images of him with another male onto the Internet.
Asher Brown, 13 years old, who put a gun to his head and pulled the trigger after what his parents said was years of bullying.
Seth Walsh, a 13-year-old California boy who hung himself after taunts and bullying.
Billy Lucas, a 15-year-old Indiana boy who also hung himself.
And 19-year-old Zach Harrington, who killed himself, it should be noted, after attending a city council meeting in his Oklahoma town where anti -- anti-gay comments were being made.
Now, these are not queers or fags, as Mr. McCance calls them. They are people. They are human beings. They're our fellow citizens.
And when Mr. McCance posted his rant on his Facebook page, half a dozen or so people actually pressed the like button. He also received some positive comments. But others did challenge him. And he responded to their challenges on the comments section with more words.
He said -- quote -- "It pisses me off, though, that we make special purple fag day for them. I like that fags can't procreate. I also enjoy the fact that they often give each other AIDS and die."
Then he wrote this: "I would disown my kids they were gay. They will not be welcome at my home or in my vicinity. I will absolutely run them off. Of course, my kids will know better. My kids will have solid Christian beliefs. See, it infects everyone."
Clint McCance has had more than a day now to apologize for these comments. He's had more than a day to cool down, to reflect and make some sort of public statement. He has said nothing. We have called him. He's not taking our calls.
Now, that often happens with bullies. When you challenge them, when you stand up to them, when you face their anger with rational thought and calm questions, they retreat. They run away. They show their own fear. Sometimes, they even hide behind their parents.
And that's what Clint McCance is doing tonight. His father, Ron, did speak to us on the phone. He told us -- quote -- "I don't know why he said it. All this caught everyone by surprise. He said it was his page, he pulled it, and he got caught up in the moment. This was out of character," Clint McCance's father claims. "I didn't read the blogs or nothing, but I don't know the context of who he was talking to or what led up to that heated moment."
Mr. McCance concluded, saying: "I do defend his right to say what he wants to, but we have all been blind sided. I'm so shocked."
Well, school officials in Arkansas said they are shocked as well. They put out numerous statements saying they don't support what the school official says or believes. They say it doesn't represent the attitudes or beliefs of school officials in this country or the state.
Well, let's hope that's true, for the sake of the kids, gay or not, in that community and in that state.
Joining us now, the man who blew the whistle on all this, Anthony Turner, a graduate of Midland High School who has written a letter to the school board complaining about Clint McCance, also Rosalind Wiseman, a bullying expert, author of "Queen Bees and Wannabes."
Anthony, first of all, did you know him when you went to this school?
ANTHONY TURNER, GRADUATE OF MIDLAND HIGH SCHOOL: Yes. Clint was a couple of years older than I am, a couple of years ahead of me in school. But I knew him. It's a small community, a small town.
So, everyone there pretty much knows everyone -- weren't not close or anything, and I haven't seen or talked to him in years. But I am acquainted with Mr. McCance.
COOPER: And what would -- what did you think when you saw this Facebook posting?
TURNER: Oh, I will tell you, oh, this is something that really struck home with me.
I have never really thought of myself as any kind of activist or anything, but, as I started seeing these Facebook posts from kids -- about kids who have committed suicide because they were bullied and taunted and ridiculed because they were gay, I mean, it -- it really struck home with me, because I have been there, and I have lived through that, actually in the same school district that these Facebook postings from Mr. McCance are coming from.
So, I know what it's like. And it's rough. And so I started posting on my Facebook, encouraging people to take part in the spirit day, to wear purple, to remember the lives of these -- these kids who tragically lost their lives...
TURNER: ... and to -- to stand up to bullying, stop bullying in schools.
And so, you know, it was really near and dear to my heart. And, then, to see his response to that, to see him say, you know, that the only way he would ever participate in such a day is if all queers -- I hate to say the word -- killed themselves, you know, it really struck home with me that -- that something needed to be done.
COOPER: And, I mean, Rosalind, to -- to -- people say this stuff probably online all the time. They hide behind the anonymity of it, but he put his name on it. And he's a school official.
I mean, you're an educator. You work with schools around the country to try to stop bullying. How do you work with a school when the people -- when the guy, at least one guy on the school board, the vice president, is saying this kind of stuff?
ROSALIND WISEMAN, AUTHOR, "QUEEN BEES AND WANNABES: HELPING YOUR DAUGHTER SURVIVE CLIQUES, GOSSIP, BOYFRIENDS, AND THE NEW REALITIES OF GIRL WORLD": Well, I think he reminds me of a kid in seventh grade who says the most obnoxious things, and everybody hates him, and he's just trying to get a reaction.
And -- but he's not in seventh grade. He's a school official. So, what -- you know, people are always -- there's going to always be someone like this.
I think what's really important here is that the people around him, the adults, the school officials, speak out and say, we cannot have this here. Treat him with dignity, but get him off of being responsible in any way for kids.
But the other thing I want to do is, I want to really have a callout to the people who have been talking about the, you know, bullying agendas and all of this. If we're going to have a problem with openly gay teachers, for example, I think we have to have a really big problem with mean, mean school officials, and that people like Focus on the Family or other organizations who are really focused on getting gay people out of the schools, that we have got to say, but you know what, it's not tolerable to have mean people in the schools. It's not tolerable to have mean teachers, because that's, frankly, worse.
What would you rather have? Would you rather have a mean, irresponsible person who is advocating for the suicide of kids, or do you want people who are just trying to be and live in dignity?
COOPER: Anthony, the school officials right now in Arkansas are saying: Look, we can't fire this guy. He's an elected official on to a school board, and there's really not much we can do.
Do you buy that?
TURNER: I will tell you, I'm a real -- really thankful for the It Gets Better campaign, where everybody, you know, from rock stars to the president of the United States has -- has posted online videos telling kids that it gets better, that it's not just high school, that things are better after.
But, you know, I think we really have a responsibility to make sure that it gets better now. Why should students have to wait until they graduate for things to be better?
You know, we need to do something. And if it's the case that -- that the laws are the way they are, the policies are the way they are, and nothing can be done in this particular instance, then that should serve as a wakeup call to -- to all of us that we need to really think about our public policy, and really think about, you know, a situation where hate like this, where -- where this horrible kind of conduct from a -- a board official could be tolerated, and nothing can be done about it.
COOPER: Rosalind, we have talked a lot about bullying over the last, well, years, frankly, on this program, but, you know, we talk about bullies being students. You don't think about bullies as being on the school board for years.
I mean, this isn't some guy who's just -- you know, it's been -- it's been a while he's on the school board. Do you believe that there's nothing that can be done to, you know, make him step down, or...
WISEMAN: I think there's a lot to be done. I think there's a lot to be done.
And, then, this is also about the civic contract that somebody has with -- with the community. And, as a school official, it's even higher. His sacred responsibility is toward the safety of the kids and for the education of the kids.
And so what he's doing is fundamentally anti-child and anti-education. So, the colleagues around him have to be able to say, this cannot stand. And if we don't do that, and if they don't do that, then we lose credibility with our own children. And we have got to be able to stand out and speak out.
COOPER: Anthony, you know, I guess some people would say, well, look, this is a -- a small town. This is just some -- you know, some guy on a school board. What does it really matter? You would say what?
TURNER: I would say that I'm from a small town. And, you know, it's rough for gay kids and kids who are different in general, no matter where they are. But, in larger communities, in larger areas, you know, there are -- there are gay groups for students. There are PFLAG. There are -- there -- there's an alternate perspective telling them, you know, that -- that it's OK to be who you are.
In these small communities, there's -- there's nothing. You know, there -- this is the kind of thing that they often hear. And so we have a responsibility to -- to tell kids everywhere, in rural -- in rural communities across the country, throughout the world, that there are people out here, out there that care about them, and that this kind of thing is not going to be tolerated anymore, that people are going to stand up for -- for their rights.
It's not just about Pleasant Plains, Arkansas, which I love dearly, but it's -- it's about small communities and large communities, communities in general across the country. Kids need to know that people care.
COOPER: And I don't want to paint small communities with a broad brush. My dad's from a small down in -- in Mississippi, and the people there are fantastic.
COOPER: This man does not represent -- clearly, all the other school officials are, you know, making very public statements in Arkansas, saying -- Arkansas, saying, this man does not represent our thoughts.
But this man is on the school board, Rosalind. Where do you think -- I mean, do you think he will step down? Do you think he will make comments? Do bullies, when you confront them, when you call them out, what do you -- you know, he's running behind -- he's hiding behind his dad right now at this point.
WISEMAN: Well, this is what I think. I think that he has got to be a man and step down, because he did something that was not honorable, and that he really was anti-child, and he betrayed the children that he was responsible for.
But the other thing I really want to say is that we have got to get people who are talking about this, you know, anti-bullying education, and say, we don't want certain people in our schools, or we just want to talk about gay issues in ways of, you know, not really -- you know, sort of skirting around the issue, that we have got to get these people to say, we don't tolerate those people as well. We don't tolerate hatred, because what it -- otherwise, what happens is, there's this public feeling of that we can't hold accountable people who need to be held accountable.
So, I'm asking the people in his community to say, with dignity, you cannot be a part of helping and being a part of our child -- of our children's communities. You just can't do it.
COOPER: Well, we continue our invitation to Mr. McCance to come on this program. We would like to hear his perspective.
Rosalind Wiseman, Anthony Turner, appreciate both of you being on with us. Thank you.
COOPER: Let us know what you think. The live chat is up and running at AC360.com.
Up next: Is this candidate for real? Critics say he's a member of a bogus Tea Party propped up by Democrats to take away Republican votes. He says he's a Reagan Republican. We're going to talk to him and Michael Reagan. They square off.
And later: Which are the dirtiest campaigns in the country? We have got the five -- well, the five most attention-getting ones when we continue.
We will be right back.
COOPER: We are getting down to the wire, six days to go.
We have got the newest poll numbers in some of the tightest races. Want to give you a quick rundown, new CNN/"TIME"/Opinion Research numbers. Take a look.
California Senate race, Democrat Barbara Boxer leading Carly Fiorina 50 percent to 45 percent, close in such a heavily Democratic state. In the governor's race, Jerry Brown leading Republican Meg Whitman 51 percent to 44 percent. Ms. Whitman has spent nearly $150 million so far in that campaign.
In the Colorado Senate race, the experts won't even hazard a guess. It is that close, Republican Ken Buck over incumbent Michael Bennet, statistically a dead heat, also probably one of our five dirtiest races tonight. Tom Foreman is going to have details on that in a moment.
Over in Nevada, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is now six points behind Republican Sharron -- Sharron Angle. And, in Kentucky, Republican and Tea Party favorite Rand Paul has opened a seven-point margin on Jack Conway after those Aqua Buddha ads running by Conway apparently not doing the job he thought they would.
Some races around the country are so close, that a third-party candidate taking even a few percent of the vote could tip the balance. Picture, you know, Ralph Nader in 2000 presidential election.
What is really interesting right now is that a number of Tea Party candidates who have made it on to ballots in various states or tried to make it on to ballots as third-party candidates are being accused of actually being Democratic plants, posing as Tea Party candidates, when in fact they're only in the race to draw votes away from Republican candidates who are also Tea Party favorites. Listen to what Michael Steele, who is head of the RNC, recently said, accusing Democrat Alan Grayson of backing fake Tea Party candidates in Florida. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHAEL STEELE, CHAIRMAN, REPUBLICAN NATIONAL COMMITTEE: I'm here to make it very clear, stop your perpetrating. Stop your faking.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
STEELE: Stop your pretending.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
STEELE: Mr. Grayson, you are no friend to Tea Party.
STEELE: And, therefore, all these little fake Tea Parties that he's backing and supporting need to step it down and step away and step out of the way.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
STEELE: We're not playing that game. We're not fooled.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Well, Congressman Grayson locked in a tight race with Republican Daniel Webster. Also on the battle is a woman named Peg Dunmire, who is running on the Tea Party ballot line.
Many Republicans and Tea Party supporters say the entity incorporated as the Florida Tea Party is basically a front. One of the co-founders of the Tea Party in Florida serves as a -- as -- on two business advisory boards set up by Mr. Grayson, and that the man's son interned last year for the Democratic congressman.
Now, also a member of the Florida Tea Party is a guy named Randy Wilkinson, who is a candidate in another tight congressional race. He denies being any kind of stalking horse for Democrats, and he's going to join us in a moment.
As for Congressman Grayson, here's what he told Randi Kaye when asked about the allegations that he helped back up and set up the Florida Tea Party, which, as we said, is on the ballot.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. ALAN GRAYSON (D), FLORIDA: You know, you know, the -- the same people who believe that are the people who also believe that Barack Obama was born in Kenya.
You know, there are some people who just have this conspiracy mentality. They don't want to know anything about the facts. They come up with the most bizarre conceptions that you can imagine, and then they try to spread them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: This is not just a Florida controversy either. In Michigan, two local Democratic officials resigned after being linked to a bogus Tea Party. Nationwide, a number of Democrats have openly supported third-party candidates in tight races.
And there's nothing new there. Both sides have done it over the years. What appears different this time, if true -- and it's hotly disputed -- is going beyond just supporting third parties, and actually creating them.
Conservative radio host Michael Reagan joins us now. He's chairman of The Reagan Group and recently taped a robocall speaking out against Mr. Wilkinson, in support of the -- Wilkinson's Republican challenger, Dennis Ross, who has the support of many Tea Party activists.
Also joining us is Tea Party candidate Randy Wilkinson.
Appreciate both of you being on.
COOPER: Michael, Randy Wilkinson was a local Republican official. He says he's a conservative, got into politics, motivated by your dad, President Ronald Reagan.
What proof do you have Mr. Wilkinson is a candidate for a fake Tea Party?
MICHAEL REAGAN, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Well, the proof that I do have is that Doug Guetzloe -- Doug Guetzloe, who, by the way, has already been found guilty of fraud in campaigns -- gets together with his attorney, Fred O'Neal, back in December of last year.
In December of last year, he puts together a committee to form the Tea Party. I refer to it as the fake Tea Party, because it's not supported by anybody in the Tea Party movement. All of a sudden, now we find...
COOPER: But they're both Republican.
REAGAN: Well, wait a minute. But you asked me a question. I'm answering the question.
The question is now where does Randy Wilkinson fit in? Guetzloe goes to Randy Wilkinson and asks him to run in the Florida 12th as a member of the newly formed Tea Party from December of 2009.
It's interesting. In March of 2010, that committee was absolutely dissolved. And why he is -- the reason he is there is to siphon off votes from Dennis Ross, so, indeed, the Democrat wins it.
COOPER: Randy, what about that? I mean, you -- is your group a real Tea Party group? RANDY WILKINSON, FLORIDA CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE: Yes, it is. And the polls that...
COOPER: But how come then so many -- how -- how come so many Tea Party activists are saying it's bogus?
WILKINSON: Well, I -- there is -- the Tea Party is a roots movement.
I think you have the FreedomWorks group. You have Dick Armey's group. You have the Tea Party Express. You know, I started a Tea Party. I started my own Tea Party on April 15 of 2009, when it really broke out. And we had about 500 people show up in Bartow out of nowhere. And I have been in a 9/12 group.
I think that -- that the Republicans are just panicking.
COOPER: Do you worry that you're siphoning votes, though -- you worry that you're siphoning votes from the Republican candidate, and it's going to basically help the Democrat?
WILKINSON: The only polls that have been taken are showing that I'm actually taking more independent and Democrat votes than Republican.
REAGAN: Anderson -- Anderson, he's getting his money from Democrats, not from Republicans at all.
In fact, Congressman -- I believe it was Grayson, Alan Grayson, just a couple of districts over, put $20,000 up to Doug Guetzloe to Brian to, in fact, run a survey to see if indeed -- if votes were in fact...
REAGAN: Wait a minute -- if votes were in fact siphoned off, could the Democrat win in fact here?
If he was a true Reagan, he would support the nominee of the party.
COOPER: Michael, all along, from the beginning of the Tea Party, everybody has said, look, there's no central Tea Party leaders.
COOPER: It's -- it's -- you have people who used to be Democrats. You have people who are Democrats. You have people who are independents. It's a big -- it's a big tent with a lot of people with different perspectives. So, why shouldn't there be somebody who, you know, forms a Tea Party and -- and -- and runs, if that's what they want to do?
COOPER: Isn't that the core of the Tea Party belief? REAGAN: ... I think what they're trying to do -- Anderson, I think what's happening here is trickery. It's in fact let's put on the ballot someone who has Tea Party next to him and make people believe that they're somehow a member of the Tea Party.
They're not. That's why you don't see Dick Armey, Mike Reagan, Sarah Palin, Newt Gingrich or any of us supporting Mr. Wilkinson, because we know that he's not a member of that movement.
COOPER: Randy, there are those activists who say, look, you used to be a Democrat, and then you switched to the Republican Party.
WILKINSON: I switched to the Republican Party when Ronald Reagan was in office. He's the one that convinced me to switch.
I think, if you polled Tea Partiers, they would, by and large, support me. Now, their organizations are run fairly dictatorially by some people that are -- you know, have the ear of the Republican leaders. And I think the -- the danger is the Tea Party is going to be co- opted.
COOPER: Randy, do you worry, though, that you're being used by Democrats, by people who don't want to see the Republican challenger elected, and therefore maybe they're donating money to you or clearly want to, you know, help you as much as they can in this race because they don't think you can actually win, but they do think you will do damage and confuse people at the ballot box, because they will see Tea Party on there and maybe vote for you?
WILKINSON: Well, all the literature that is coming out today -- here's a couple pieces today that came out from the Democrat. She's more worried about me than she is the Republican.
REAGAN: The issue is, you are a member of a fake party and you are trying to run as a member of a fake party to trick your people into voting for you and taking the election away from a Republican and letting a Democrat win in Florida on November 2.
WILKINSON: Oh, well, the Republican...
REAGAN: That's what you're a member of.
WILKINSON: The -- the Republican -- the Republican is another Republican in name only. He's been for tax increases.
COOPER: OK, I have got to leave it there, guys.
WILKINSON: He's for the Taj Mahal that is a $48 million boondoggle in Tallahassee that was done in the...
COOPER: Randy Wilkinson, I appreciate your...
WILKINSON: ... dark of night. So...
COOPER: I appreciate your time, Randy.
WILKINSON: Thank you very much. Thank you.
COOPER: Michael Reagan as well, thank you very much.
REAGAN: Thank you, Anderson.
WILKINSON: And, Michael, thank you very much. I appreciate your service. Thank you.
COOPER: Well, up next tonight, "Raw Politics" down and dirty, some of the dirtiest races we're following.
And later: the monster storm battering a big chunk of the country, some pretty remarkable pictures from the middle of it ahead on the program.
COOPER: Well, every election cycle has dirty races, and this one is certainly no different. Take the California Senate race.
Carly Fiorina, the Republican today, called her Democratic opponent, Barbara Boxer, a hypocrite. She claims she took contributions from Cisco Systems. The Fiorina campaign also accuses Cisco of sending jobs overseas. It's a clear swipe at -- at one of Boxer's main campaign -- campaign themes. Boxer has accused Fiorina over and over again of outsourcing jobs when she was CEO of Hewlett-Packard.
Then there's the Senate race in Nevada, of course, Democrat Harry Reid saying electing Sharron Angle would be a disaster, Angle questioning Harry Reid's manhood at one point.
Tom Foreman tonight takes a look at some of the other nasty races -- Tom.
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's unbelievable out there, Anderson. Let's stalk with a massive scrum in the nation's largest state, Alaska, where it's all Miller, McAdams and Murkowski, oh, my. They're going at each other like bears up there.
Joe Miller, the Republican contender, has been sharply criticized for hiding details about past misconduct and lying in a previous job. which documents now show he admitted.
Remember that video of his security detail grabbing a reporter and handcuffing that reporter? Well, now it appears those were active- duty soldiers, and the Army is investigating that, too. So it just goes on and on and own.
The incumbent, Lisa Murkowski, whom he beat for the Republican nomination, is now running as an independent. And she looked at that initial lie, and she questioned his integrity. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) LISA MURKOWSKI (I), ALASKA SENATE CANDIDATE: What would your instructors, what would your classmates at West Point say about how well you have lived up to your code of honor?
JOE MILLER (R), ALASKA SENATE CANDIDATE: If you know any West Point guys you know those are fighting words there.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FOREMAN: So Sarah Palin has issued her own statement, saying, "I find it astonishing that a sitting U.S. senator from Alaska would challenge the honor of a decorated combat veteran." Said a lot more, but that's one of the things.
The Democrat, Scott McAdams, seems right now very happy to sit on the fight -- on the side and watch this fight on the right play out, Anderson, in case maybe it pays out to his...
COOPER: No doubt. Just watch the other two fight. There's a Senate race in Colorado, also, clearly one of the dirtiest, right?
FOREMAN: Yes. That's another one. I mean, really, it's hard to pick the dirtiest, because there's so many in the country now.
Tea-Party-backed Republican Ken Buck has ripped into Michael Bennet as a White House yes-man. And he's had some help in this process. We've talked some here on this show about Karl Rove's new group, American Crossroads. Well, they put an ad out there. They've poured a lot of money in there, some of it from undisclosed sources, to take on this opposition to Ken Buck. Look at this ad.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Bennet voted to spend an average $2.5 billion per day on things like the failed pork stimulus and Obama care. Now Bennet is outraged.
SEN. MICHAEL BENNET (D), COLORADO: Absolutely nothing to show for it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Senator, we are outraged. You have wasted our money.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FOREMAN: Bennet has seized on a number of statements by -- by Buck that he suggests maybe that he doesn't believe in separation of church and state. Buck says he does, but nonetheless, it looks like this brawl is going to go absolutely down to the wire out there.
COOPER: Yes. Well, also down to the wire in Kentucky. I mean, it's been fascinating to watch. We just showed that poll that shows Jack Conway now behind Rand Paul after running that series of ads about Aqua Buddha. Certainly, that's a whole new term in the political dictionary.
FOREMAN: Yes, and in religion, too. It has been a complete brawl out there in the Kentucky Derby.
As you mentioned there, Democrat Jack Conway gave us this weird, sort of Mad Hatter interpretation of some old college prank that Rand Paul was involved in. And he presented this as evidence that he really isn't strong in his religious beliefs and that he worshipped some kind of unknown deity named Aqua Buddha, which I had never heard of before.
Paul says he's a solid Christian, but this Tea-Party-backed Republican has faced other questions after that video we've all seen in the past few days, where some of his supporters surrounded and knocked to the ground this liberal activist who showed up. They took her wig, and they stepped on her.
Paul said there's no cause for that, Anderson, so I guess he's safely on the "let's not knock our opponents to the ground" plank at this point.
COOPER: And that guy also says he's owed an apology...
COOPER: ... from the woman he kept on the ground with his foot.
FOREMAN: The whole thing is all about control out there.
COOPER: What about -- what about the -- McMahon in Connecticut?
FOREMAN: Well, this is one we've been following all along. Linda McMahon, the Republican, is part of the family that owns WWE. Yes, the TV wrestling empire.
Her opponent, Democrat Richard Blumenthal, came under fire for speeches in which he suggested that he fought in Vietnam. He didn't. He was in the Marine Reserve here in the States. He said it was a misstatement that he cleared up later. She called it a lie.
Nonetheless, Democratic supporters of Blumenthal, meanwhile, have tried to tar McMahon over debts and injuries in pro wrestling. They've howled about a one-time joint program between WWE and "Girls Gone Wild." And the latest was a court fight over whether state election officials can stop people from wearing WWE clothing to the polling places. Right now the courts say, no, wrestle on. So I guess that's what they're going to do.
COOPER: All right. Tom, thanks.
We're joined right now by Alex Castellanos, CNN political contributor and Republican consultant, and Cornell Belcher, a Democratic strategist and the Obama campaign pollster in 2008.
So Cornell, this new study out from Wesleyan University. I wonder what you thought about it. It says that Democrats are much more likely to use personal attacks in their ads than Republicans this time, something like one in three Democrat ads using them. A, do you think that's true, and if it is true, why? CORNELL BELCHER, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Well, a couple things. One is, here's a truth about, I mean, not political spin aside, as a pure -- as a pollster. We don't like negative advertising, but negative information tends to move voters in ways that positive information doesn't. Any pollster I know...
COOPER: Right. Negative ads work.
BELCHER: They absolutely work. And if I want to move my opponents' numbers, I'm contesting a whole battery of possible attacks on them. And guess what? The attack that moves the vote I need to move those independent or those swing voters, that's what I'm putting in an advertisement. That's what I'm putting in advertising.
So when Democrats have their backs up against the wall with a Republican sort of, you know, history says it's going to be a Republican year, and Democrats have their backs up against the wall, we shouldn't be surprised that we -- from our party we're using tactics, just like Republicans have used in the past, that say, here's how we move our numbers. This is how we move our numbers.
And actually arguably, when you look at sort of what's going on around the country, when all these races are tightening, it's actually effective. I know we don't like it, but the truth of the matter is these negative advertisements work.
COOPER: Also, Alex, is another part of this that -- that a lot of Democrats are running against candidates, maybe, who don't have a track record that they can attack, so they're kind of going more for personal stuff, whereas some Republicans can, you know -- I mean, you run on the Democrat's track record, obviously, which is not very popular right now.
ALEX CASTELLANOS, CNN POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR: Well, I think that's certainly part of it, Anderson, but I think it's even bigger than that.
If you're a Republican candidate this year, you benefit from the wave. You know, a national revolt against Washington, that Washington's spending too much; it's dominated by one party; it's not listening to anyone. So your job is to -- that's almost the Gulf Stream. If you're a Republican, your job is to keep your boat in that Gulf Stream.
If you're a Democrat, your job is the opposite. Disconnect from the national wave. Get out of that Gulf Stream. How do you do that? You do that by attacking your opponent personally, not about big national issues, but character, local issues, and personal attacks. That's why the Democrat strategy this year, and you know, effectively so, as Cornell pointed out, is attack personally. The Republican strategy is big national issues.
COOPER: Cornell, I'm amazed at, watching the Meg Whitman race against Jerry Brown that she has spent $150 million and is still so far behind in the polls. What race for you is sort of one of the most interesting, that you're watching? BELCHER: Well, I certainly wish I was a consultant on that race with that amount of spending going on. But I think that's an interesting race. But also I think races where, clearly, the Tea Party has come in and made it a competitive race where, arguably, they shouldn't have.
I mean, look, Delaware had all been written off to Republicans as part of how they were going to take back the Senate. But all of a sudden, you had the Tea Party inquisition come in and, all of a sudden, Delaware, it's going to be a Democratic seat.
Connecticut, Republicans thought they had a good shot of taking Connecticut, but all of a sudden, that's looking less than so. And even in Kentucky, where you have a race that is either, you know, the Republican up one or two points or it's either a tossup, again, you have a candidate there that I would argue sort of is a Tea-Party- backed candidate that has some out-of-the-mainstream positioning there that makes a state like Kentucky, which is a solidly red state. I mean, Democrats shouldn't be...
COOPER: The latest poll that we just had -- the latest poll we just had showed Rand Paul up, I think it was by six at least.
BELCHER: Well, I think -- but here's the thing. But here's the thing. This shouldn't even be a race. I mean, and by the way, when you look at the polling for the last two weeks, you know, that race has been -- has been tight, either tossup or within the margin of error. That latest poll is interesting, but however, again, this is a race where -- where a Tea Party candidate has made this a competitive race for Democrats. And I think you're seeing that across the country.
And on the election day, when they fail to take back the Senate, I think they're going to look to DeMint and the Tea Party and have some -- some problems with that.
COOPER: Alex, I want to hear what you have to say about that but also your favorite races, but go ahead.
CASTELLANOS: Well, I think the most interesting races to me -- there's so many this year -- but California. The fact that the president and the first lady, the final week of the campaign, have been campaigning in places like Illinois and California shows you that this quarterback Obama has been pushed back to his own ten yard line. They shouldn't be in those places. They should be in the Democratic bag.
You know, if George Bush, for example, had been campaigning the final week of his campaign in Utah and his home state of Texas, what would we think? We'd think it was going to be a pretty bad Republican year.
COOPER: Do you think Rand Paul is going to win, no doubt, in Kentucky?
CASTELLANOS: Well, I think the Aqua Buddha ad backfired.
CASTELLANOS: I think that race had tightened up, but you know, voters are so smart, Anderson. The American people, this democracy thing actually works and works pretty well. They're a good jury. And when they see someone reach too far, they figure that politician is -- is trying to really benefit himself instead of doing something in their benefit. I think Conway blew...
COOPER: Will the stomping incident matter at all?
CASTELLANOS: I think the stomping that's going to matter is the one Jack Conway is going to get.
COOPER: All right. Alex, good to have you on. Cornell Belcher, good to have you on, first time. Thanks for being with us.
Still ahead, the death toll from Haiti's cholera outbreak nearing 300 right now. Life-saving medical supplies, some of them unused right now. Three sixty Sanjay Gupta is on the ground and "Keeping Them Honest."
Also ahead, a man arrested for allegedly plotting to blow up subway stations in Washington, D.C. New details coming up.
COOPER: In Haiti, the death toll from cholera is now at least 292, with more than 4,000 confirmed cases. Medical teams working around the clock, trying to treat the sick. They're hoping to keep the disease from reaching the camps in Port-au-Prince where hundreds of thousands of people now live in squalid conditions.
The question is, was this preventable? It certainly was predicted. "Keeping Them Honest" for us tonight is 360 M.D. Sanjay Gupta, who joins us now from Haiti.
Sanjay, was this preventable?
SANJAY GUPTA, CNN MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: I think almost completely it was preventable. Even if there was a case, it was preventable that it became so many cases and, obviously, so many deaths.
And this may surprise you, Anderson, considering how much time you spent down here and talked to folks. What I heard is that people felt blindsided by what happened, because they -- cholera hasn't been in this country for many decades. So despite all the warnings, despite all the predictions, as you mentioned, they were still blindsided. It took too long to get supplies to people who needed it.
And as we found out, Anderson, that problem is ongoing.
GUPTA (voice-over): How could this have happened? That's what Julie Santos wants to know.
JULIE SANTOS, MEDICAL RELIEF WORKER: You have someone there, someone here. Let's connect the dots.
GUPTA: She's talking about trying to contain the outbreak of cholera. Hundreds have died, thousands still in need of treatment. This is where you're told to come get supplies. You arrive here, and if there's patients waiting, what happens?
SANTOS: Well, there are patients waiting.
GUPTA (on camera): There's patients waiting for these supplies?
SANTOS: We're sending them out to the hospitals out in St. Mark.
GUPTA (voice-over): Where patients are literally begging for hydration, clean water, the cheapest of supplies. And yet medical relief worker Julie Santos still waits for hours for her paperwork to be approved before she can get the supplies.
(on camera) How can that happen, that all that life-saving supplies could be in there and people, so many people, hundreds of people still died?
SANTOS: I don't know. I mean, I don't understand. I'm -- I'm at a loss. Really. I'm trying to figure out why. I can't really get a straight answer.
GUPTA: I wanted to try and understand myself. From this warehouse, a World Health Organization facility has a large stockpile supply here in Haiti.
(on camera) What people have been waiting for, for hours outside and days in hospitals is this. Pallets of I.V. fluids. Literally life- saving stuff to treat these patients of cholera, thousands of them. But it's not just that pallet. You take a look at this whole warehouse, full, despite what's happening here in Haiti.
CHRISTIAN MORALES, PAN AM HEALTH ORGANIZATION/WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION: If we send everything that we have here today, tomorrow we cannot answer for 800,000 cases.
GUPTA (voice-over): Christian Morales has the enormous task of helping figure out who gets supplies and when.
(on camera) Explain to me again how you see supplies here from July of this year, which was before the outbreak?
MORALES: Because, why do you want to send it out before the outbreak?
GUPTA: Why wouldn't you want to send it out after the outbreak?
(voice-over) We never did get a good explanation. What we saw was hydration salts, I.V. fluids still sitting in the warehouse.
(on camera) Why didn't it go fast enough?
MORALES: They -- they -- I think in every operation like this, you can do things better. And there's a lot of lessons to be taken from this. And the country needs to be prepared for what is coming, because the likelihood of spreading of this epidemic is very high.
GUPTA (voice-over): That's something we heard over and over. This epidemic is by no means over.
(on camera) The thousands of people who are saved is -- is a great success story. But hundreds of people have died, and they would say, "Look, I don't understand how all these organizations could have supplies, and hundreds of people still died." And you would say what?
MORALES: Well, again, we have given away to everyone who has come here to us for supplies.
GUPTA (voice-over): But not on this day for Julie Santos. Her paperwork was never approved. And no one could ever tell her why not. She leaves the warehouse empty-handed.
COOPER: So I mean, I guess, Sanjay, they would be saying, "Well, look, the fear is, you know, cholera coming to the camps where hundreds of thousands of people are in Port-au-Prince. And then they're going to need those supplies which are in Port-au-Prince to be there, not to have been sent out to somewhere in the countryside." I'm just -- I'm trying to come up with an explanation.
You're hearing that cholera could actually increase this week. Why is that?
GUPTA: Well, to your first point, you're absolutely right. I mean, you've got to sort of predict these things, and you've got to anticipate. So you can't send all your supplies and you'd be left with none, should something else happen.
But keep in mind, Anderson, an important thing here. We're not talking about some sophisticated medical technology. We're not talking about expensive drugs or expensive diagnostics. We're talking about saline solution and 50-cent packets of rehydration salts.
So when it comes to -- you know, cholera is a disease that, if it's not treated, you die, and if you treat it, you can be perfectly fine. These are cheap, life-saving supplies. So your point is a good one, but this -- this, they can do, even in large numbers, all over the country.
As far as why it may increase in numbers still, is because you may not know, but a lot of people who get cholera actually don't get sick. But they're still carriers of the bacteria. So they go around the country. They can come to a city like Port-au-Prince, and the bacteria can come with them. And then a week later, two weeks later, all of a sudden, you get another outbreak. That's exactly what they're worried about here, and that's why some of those supplies are still in the warehouse.
COOPER: I had no idea about that, you could be a carrier without actually showing any signs for it. That's obviously an incredibly ominous thing. Sanjay, I'm glad you're there. Appreciate the report. Thank you. Stay safe.
Still ahead, a monster storm system moving east hammers states from Mississippi to New Jersey. We're going to show you the worst of it ahead.
And later tonight, Richard Heene, remember him? He crashed into our lives with the whole balloon hoax and a little boy named -- what was he, the Balloon Boy, Falcon Heene? Well, he's back with a brand-new invention that he's trying to sell.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RICHARD HEENE, WOULD-BE ENTREPRENEUR: Now that's a bear scratch. That is a bear scratch. Ahh!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Following a number of stories tonight. Joe Johns has the "360 News & Business Bulletin" -- Joe.
JOE JOHNS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, the extreme weather that slammed the Midwest yesterday has moved east. Tornado watches and warnings were posted today from Mississippi to New Jersey. Twisters may have touched down in Maryland, Virginia and North Carolina. High winds and rains knocked down trees and power lines and caused airport delays in several cities.
A Virginia man is in custody, accused of plotting to bomb Washington area metro stations. Investigators say Farooque Ahmed thought he was working with members of al Qaeda, but it was the FBI instead.
And a new audiotape allegedly from Osama bin Laden, the most wanted terrorist, condemns France for its plans to ban burkas. And it warns it to remove French troops from Afghanistan. A counterterrorism official says French authorities are taking the tape very seriously.
A mixed day on Wall Street. The Dow fell 43 points; the NASDAQ added five. The S&P lost three. Investors are concerned the Federal Reserve is not doing enough to stimulate the economy.
And the toilet paper industry is going green. Kimberly Clark has developed Scott Naturals tube-free toilet paper. Every last piece of the roll will be usable, since it will not be glued to a cardboard tube.
Sounds like too much information.
COOPER: Yes, exactly.
All right. So John, I know you're excited to hear this. Richard Heene is back. That's right. He's got a new product. You may recall, of course, Richard Heene, Science Detective, is the man behind last year's Balloon Boy hoax with his son, Falcon, who was not in the balloon. Anyway, here's what he's now doing.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HEENE: The secret is in this natural, textured wood and all these tiny knots. It gives you a deep, deep, penetrating scratch. Oh, man, this thing feels good. This is strong. Oh. Oh, God.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JOHNS: That's so random.
COOPER: There you go. It's a $20 Bear Scratch backscratcher. It attaches to the corner of walls. Frankly, who wouldn't want to have that hanging in your living room so you can just rub your back and get all that flesh off your back and fall on the floor?
JOHNS: I need one. I absolutely need one.
That's really random.
COOPER: Yes. It is. It's very random, indeed. I kind of wish we hadn't put up the -- the Web site address, because I don't really want to necessarily give the Bear Scratch more, you know, customers.
Joe, I guess if it's good enough for bears, though, well...
JOHNS: It's 15 minutes of infamy, I think.
COOPER: Joe, thanks very much.
Some serious stuff coming up at the top of the hour. A school bully posting hate online. This bully is not a student. He is vice president of the school board.