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Perry's Texas-Sized Job Claims; GOP Candidates Face Crucial Test in Iowa

Aired August 12, 2011 - 22:00   ET


ANDERSON COOPER, HOST: Piers, thanks very much.

Good evening, everyone. It's 10:00 p.m. here in the East Coast in the United States.

We begin tonight with Texas Governor Rick Perry. Tonight, a fund-raiser in Alabama. Tomorrow, his announcement that he's entering the presidential race -- a move that's already shaking up the Republican field and it could spell trouble for candidate Obama.

Part of Governor Perry's pitch to voters is what his supporters call the, quote, "Texas miracle" -- creating jobs in a recession, balancing the Texas budget and standing up to Washington.

But is all of that true? Tonight, we're keeping them honest.

First, the jobs.


GOV. RICK PERRY (R), TEXAS: We created more jobs than any other state in the nation. As a matter of fact, in the last two years, we created almost half of all the jobs created in America.


COOPER: That's Governor Perry yesterday. You're going to hear that a lot in the weeks and months ahead.

We checked with the Bureau of Labor Statistics and his numbers, do, in fact add up. Texas created about 262,000 jobs between the summer of 2009 and now that's out of 524,000 jobs nationwide.

But the Bureau of Labor Statistics says many of those jobs were for the minimum wage -- minimum wage jobs have more than doubled in Texas over the last four years. And also, Texas is creating many jobs in part because the population is growing so fast, up more than 4 million since Rick Perry took office. That means more people buying goods and services and more jobs.

Some of those people boosting the Texas economy come illegally across the border. According to the Texas Association of Business, illegal immigrant labor pumps in about $17 billion a year which in turn also creates more jobs. Another job creating factor is federal stimulus money, either going straight into state and local construction projects, or as it did in the last two years, to cover 97 percent of the state's budget deficit.

Still, in as much as jobs are jobs, Governor Perry is on solid factual grounds with his claim.

Not however on the balance, on the budget balancing, though he was claiming victory on that as recently as yesterday.


PERRY: And that's exactly what we've done in Texas, some very simple but very effective principles of keeping our taxes low and our regulatory climate fair and predictable, legal system that doesn't allow for over-suing and starting out by not spending all the money. We left $6 billion in our rainy day fund in Texas. So, so we've got a decade's worth of experience.


COOPER: He's saying he balanced the state budget while keeping taxes low, without dipping into emergency money. However, he did it by taking big money from Washington. Back in June of 2009, when Governor Perry was signing the state's 2010-2011 budget, Texas was $6.6 billion in the red.

It also had a rainy day fund to cover that shortfall. But instead of using the rainy fund, Texas lawmakers in the Perry administration filled the gap with $6.4 billion of federal stimulus money.

Keeping them honest -- that's how the governor could truthfully say he balanced the budget without touching the rainy day fund. At the same time, though, as he was taking billions in federal money, he was railing against the federal government.

Earlier that year, he even posted a blog headlined "help us turn the tide in Washington and stop these irresponsible bailouts." That post, by the way, went up the same day he requested the federal money.

Here answer the letter he wrote to President Obama, quote, "Please allow this letter to certify we will accept the funds in H.R.1, the stimulus, and use them to promote economic growth and create jobs in a fiscally responsible manner that is in the interest of the Texas taxpayers."

And in that letter, the governor did say he opposed the stimulus, but he took the money. Yet, months later and right up to this day, he continues to speak out against federal money and the state officials who take it.


PERRY: Americans are fed up with Democrats and Republicans who have embraced bailouts, championed so-called stimulus programs and supported big government giveaways.


COOPER: Governor Perry has published a book titled "Fed Up: Our Fight to Save America from Washington." And during that same period, Governor Perry was actually talking openly about the possibility of breaking away from Washington.


PERRY: We've got a great Union. There's absolutely no reason to dissolve. But if Washington continues to thumb their nose at the American people, you know, who knows what might come out of that.

When we came to the nation in 1845, we were a republic, we were a standalone nation. And one of the deals was we can leave anytime we want. So, we're kind of thinking about that again.



COOPER: But two years later, the stimulus funds have dried up and there are no longer billions of federal dollars to help Texas out. Now, last month, Governor Perry signed a new budget, this time with deep spending cuts affecting millions of Texans.

Joining us now, Erick Erickson, editor in chief of He'll be hosting Rick Perry tomorrow at RedState's gathering in Charleston, South Carolina. It will be a fascinating day.

Also, political analyst and Texan, Roland Martin.

And Mimi Swartz, executive editor of "Texas Monthly" magazine.

So, Mimi, you live in Texas have been covering Rick Perry now. Will his jobs claims and his budget claims hold up under campaign scrutiny?

MIMI SWARTZ, TEXAS MONTHLY: I don't think so. I think when you look at what's happened to the way people live here, our economy's really going to be suffering. Once those budget cuts kick in, I think you're going to see a whole lot more employment maybe in time for the election.

COOPER: Erick, does it sound like there's some double-talk here on stimulus, his perspective on the stimulus and accepting stimulus money?

ERICK ERICKSON, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Yes, I think there is. But I would keep in mind that every governor who is opposed to the stimulus ultimately wound up keeping the money -- in fact, a lot of them did it because of pressure from state legislature or in some cases, I think Texas is one of them, their Democratic delegations that we won't give you money for education unless you take stimulus funding. And Texas was affected by several. So, -- but yes, he's going to have to explain that on the trail. You can expect a Mitt Romney ad coming very soon on this issue.

COOPER: Roland, there have been a lot of new jobs created in Texas. And jobs are the top priority with voters right now.

ROLAND MARTIN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Absolutely. But here's one of the issues and we saw this in 2008 when Senator Obama and Senator Clinton were campaigning in Texas and then had to go to Ohio.

Texas has benefited also from NAFTA. NAFTA is not popular in states like South Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Michigan. And so, he is going to have to also explain that.

But to Erick's point, I think, it's also -- you must also examine that. You can't stand here and talk about, you know, decrying stimulus funds, but you accept them.

Also in Texas, the Republicans control the House and the Senate. So, it's not like Rick Perry actually had to do it. If he wanted to say no to stimulus funds, he could have said so. But he didn't.

COOPER: Is that the case, Mimi?

SWARTZ: I would assume so. I'm just thinking about quality of life here. And again what people are going to really see once reporters start digging into the way life is lived here -- the poor air quality, the poor health care, you know, we're way down at the bottom of all of those things. I hate to see it -- you know, I hate to see Texas dragged through the mud again, but I think that we're in for it.

COOPER: Erick, how strong a candidate do you see Rick Perry, when you look at the Republican field as it now -- as it is now? And who does he most immediately affect by entering?

ERICKSON: I think Rick Perry would probably be a strong candidate. He's going to have to weather a storm probably for the next couple of weeks. So, people understand he is or he's not a paper or a tiger. If they see that he's not, then, yes, I really he'll impact Mitt Romney largely because of the impact on someone like Tim Pawlenty or Michele Bachmann, pulling people away from them.

Mitt Romney seems to be capped out nationally at about a quarter of the Republican primary vote. And if Perry can cause some consolidation, then that pushes Mitt Romney's psychological factor that he's nominee down even further.

COOPER: It's interesting. Roland, you know, you look at the latest poll this week. It puts Rick Perry just five points behind President Obama. It's obviously very early. These polls are just a snapshot.

But should the White House be worried about him?

MARTIN: No, because, I think, frankly, you have to get through the Republican primary first. If you go back to 2004, a generic Democratic candidate was leading President George W. Bush in the polls. We saw what happened in November.

And so, the polls are one thing. You still have to run the race. Remember, former Senator Fred Thompson -- look what happened in 2008. Republicans were in love with him, he crashed and burned.

Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, same thing, they loved him. He crashed and burned.

I don't believe Governor Perry is the same. He will be an active campaigner. But again, he will also pull from, in terms of Tea Party, from Michele Bachmann. Rick Santorum has placed his agenda on social conservatives. Rick Perry pulls from him.

If he's able to craft a strong economic message, he greatly impacts Mitt Romney. So he actually impacts three or four candidates beyond just one candidate.

COOPER: We're going to leave it there. Erick Erickson, Mimi Swartz, thanks so much. Roland Martin, thanks very much. Good to have you all on the program.

You've heard people call Rick Perry "George W. Bush on steroids." I don't if you heard. The reality, though, it's a lot more complicated and the relationship is kind of fascinating.

Take a look. Reportedly, there's been bad blood all around. Jim Acosta has the raw politics tonight.


PERRY: And amen.


PERRY: Amen.

JIM ACOSTA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): For Rick Perry, it's a question that keeps coming up, not whether he's running for president -- but whether he's running from a certain president named George W. Bush.

PERRY: I should call him on his birthday.

ACOSTA: This week, Perry told "TIME" magazine there's no bad blood with the man he replaced as governor from Texas.

PERRY: Not from my perspective and certainly not between George W. Bush and I.

ACOST: But go to YouTube and you'll find a different story. Four years ago, speaking on behalf of Rudy Giuliani's failed campaign in 2008, Perry slammed his predecessor.

PERRY: George Bush was never a fiscal conservative. Never was. Wasn't when he was in Texas.

If Washington won't protect our border, Texas will.

ACOSTA: In his run for re-election in '06, Perry blasted Washington on illegal immigration and clarified in an interview which Washington he meant.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Which Washington are you criticizing, the Republican-controlled Congress or the Republican-controlled White House?

PERRY: All of them.


PERRY: And the fact of the matter is everyone is complicit in not addressing this issue.

MARTIN FROST (D), FORMER TEXAS CONGRESSMAN: Rick Perry is willing to say and do whatever is required and if it means throwing George Bush under the bus, he'll do it.

ACOSTA: Former Texas Congressman Democrat Martin Frost says if Perry has a Bush problem --

PERRY: Football, cotton, barbecue, it's a great time of the year.

ACOSTA: It's that he's too much like him.

FROST: If you close your eyes and listen to Governor Perry, he sounds like Governor Bush.


FROST: He drops his Gs, has some of the same word choice so they sound very much alike.

ACOSTA: Is all of that authentic?

FROST: I think it's authentic.

ACOSTA: They both grew up in West Texas. Both have ranches. Perry grew up on one in the tiny town of Pan Creek. Bush has Crawford. Texas political experts say that may explain why Perry has worked so hard to step out of Bush's shadow.

PERYY: I don't think there's anything wrong with respectfully disagreeing with someone I highly admire. I love George Bush. I think he's a great president and I support him.

ACOSTA: He's also governed to the right of Bush. Slashing state budget and courting tea party Republicans.

JAMES HENSON, UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS: All of that was an effort to rebrand, if you will, Texas as Rick Perry's Texas rather than George W. Bush's Texas. Looking forward to a possible campaign clearly Governor Perry is going to need distance from President Bush.

ACOSTA: Perry isn't the only one doing the distancing, when Perry ran for re-election last year, Bush's father and his vice president both supported Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison in what was a bitter primary challenge.

ARI LEISCHER, FMR BUSH PRESS SECRETARY: I think in the stuff level there is a certain tension between some of the Texas staffers for George W. Bush and Governor Perry's staffers.

ACOSTA: But former Bush Press Secretary Ari Fleischer says that there's no scandal in Perry wanting to be his own man.

FLEISCHER: Part of running for office is establishing your identity, sometimes it means you reinforce that which came before you and sometimes you differ, I suspect we'll see both of those with Governor Perry.

ACOSTA (on camera): In his speech Perry is expected to tout his economic record but Democrats in the state point out that record has never been tested on a national stage. That process has just begun.

Jim Acosta, CNN, Charleston, South Carolina.


COOPER: Let us know what you think on face book or follow me on Twitter @andersoncooper. I'll be tweeting tonight.

Up next, the first big test for GOP candidates tomorrow, some of the most interests moments from the debate last night as well plus Sarah Palin showing up in Iowa for the straw poll.

The question is: is she now just seeking publicity or does she have a reason to be there?

Candy Crowley and John King join me in a moment.

And later, the latest from Syria, the resistance not backing down even in the face of truly staggering brutality, now kidnapping children to punish their parents who protest.


COOPER: Dramatic video from today.

First, let's checked in with Isha Sesay -- Isha.

ISHA SESAY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, polygamist leader Warren Jeffs is now in prison serving a life sentence for having sex with minors. We'll play some of the tape evidence that sent him there. It's quite frankly chilling. That's not the half of it. You'll hear from ex-followers as they explain how he became a cult- like leader, bill a harem and still worship by his followers today. That and much more when "360" continues.


COOPER: I'm laughing because we have a funny "Ridiculist" at end of the program tonight. I'm sorry, it's on my mind.

The first big event to the presidential campaign gets under way tomorrow, the Ames Straw Poll in the Campus of Iowa State University.

Now, Republicans from all across the state expect to weigh in, the vote is nonbinding obviously but influential especially in weeding out the more marginal candidates.

Front runner Mitt Romney is not taking part nor of course Rick Perry nor is Sarah Palin who is not even a candidate and may not be at all a candidate but she is in Iowa.

Surprise, making the rounds today at the state fair in Des Moines where she was asked if she'll be on the ballot for 2012. She said she doesn't yet know.

She and Rick Perry were also the two biggest figures making themselves felt last night at the GOP debate last night in Ames. In case you missed it here it is again boiled down to that about a minute or so of key moments.


REP. MICHEL BACHMANN, MINNESOTA: People are looking for a champion. They want someone who has been fighting.

FORMER GOV. TIM PAWLENTY (R), MINNESOTA: It's an indisputable fact that in Congress, her record of accomplishment and results is nonexistent.

BACHMANN: When you were governor in Minnesota, you implemented cap and trade in our state. You said the era of small government was over. That sounds a lot more like Barack Obama if you ask me.

HERMAN CAIN, FMR CEO, GODFATHER'S PIZZA: America's got to learn how to take a joke.

MITT ROMNEY, FMR MASSACHUSETTS GOVERNOR: Look I'm not going to eat Barack Obama's dog food, all right? What he served up was not what I would have done if I had been president of the United States.

NEWT GINGRICH, FMR HOUSE SPEAKER: Four-point-two percent unemployment. That's my credential.

BACHMANN: I need to respond to that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I underhand. You have the next question -- you have the next --

GINGRICH: I'd love to see the rest of tonight's debate asking us about what we would do to lead an America whose president has failed to lead instead of playing Mickey Mouse games.


COOPER: Tomorrow, the straw poll which again could be a make or break for the candidates. Just before air time, I spoke with Candy Crowley who is in Iowa and John King who will be heading there for the weekend.


COOPER: So, John, winning the straw poll -- I mean, it can give a candidate momentum. It can boost fundraising but doesn't predict necessary future success. Mitt Romney won it back in 2007 and lost the Iowa caucus. So what is tomorrow really about?

JOHN KING, ANCHOR, "JOHN KING. USA": It has no official role Anderson in the nominating process. It plays out some what like a circus act but the straw poll has a history of sending some well regarded candidates to the sidelines.

If you're somebody like Rick Santorum, the former senator from Pennsylvania, he told Candy Crowley today if he's not in the top five he's probably done. Why? If you're trying to get your footing, you are trying to line up activists. You're trying to let a fund-raising -- even though this event doesn't count, a lot of people are going to look at it and see, will you be viable down the road.

COOPER: So, Candy, Santorum said that to you. I mean, I guess it's really judged as a candidate's strength the turnout there, the kind of resources they can put into this event.

CANDY CROWLEY, ANCHOR, "STATE OF THE UNION": Exactly. It measures organizational skills, yes -- but it also sort of tests your fundraising ability because listen, let's say Tim Pawlenty, he spent $1 million in this. This is a very important moment for Tim Pawlenty.

Rick Santorum doesn't have that kind of money. So, he's been using shoe leather. I mean, he said, look, we've bought some tickets for some people but we can sync as $30 a ticket, you're talking about a pretty big state and trying to bring people on buses down here.

So, candidates -- you know, usually supply the tickets, supply the bus transportation, supply the food when they get down here, and that takes a pretty well-heeled candidate.

COOPER: And John for Pawlenty, I mean Iowa is really I guess make or break. He went after Michele Bachmann last night at the debates. She's obviously been leading in the polls and turned the place some already said.


PAWLENTY: She got a record of misstating and making false statements. So, that's another example of that list. She says that she's fighting for these things. She fought for less government spending. We got a lot more. She led the effort against Obamacare, we got Obamacare.

She led the effort against TARP, we got TARP. She said she got titanium spine, it's not her spine we're about, it a record of result. If that's your view of effective leadership with results, please, stop, because you're killing us.


COOPER: So, what kind of showing does Pawlenty need to have tomorrow in order to remain viable?

KING: You know, the motto of Minnesota is Minnesota nice that was a little Minnesota spice.

Look, Congressman Bachmann is from Governor Pawlenty's home state -- she's under his skin because she ahead of him in the polls in Iowa. As you know, he's from neighboring Minnesota. He is organized probably on the ground as well as if not better than anybody in Iowa if you talk to the expert out there.

Governor Pawlenty would like to win. He really needs to win, if he comes in second or third it better be close to the top or else the money is going to dry out.

COOPER: You know, it seems it's interesting to see Sarah Palin showing up trying to create a buzz in Iowa. At a certain point, unless she's declared candidate, I mean, doesn't she start to look like she's just chasing cameras?

CROWLEY: Sure. And we may have passed that point, yes. I mean, listen, we certainly that is already out there. She did the same thing a couple of months ago, sort of raining on Mitt Romney's announcement that he was going to run in New Hampshire while she was taking a bus tour -- sort of up the east coast so this is the sort of thing that she's done.

She does attract the cameras. It was a mad scene here when she showed up in Iowa today at this Iowa state fair.

She says listen, you know, I'm not, someone asked her that very question, are you just trying to get the attention, trying to draw attention from them and she basically said you guys are here, go away, go find somebody else, which we're not likely to do as she knows.

COOPER: So, John, Newt Gingrich's campaign has obviously been full of messes, been limping along campaign his entire staff you know leaving. He was asked about it last night, really a fascinating moment.

Let's watch.


CHRIS WALLACE, FOX NEWS: How do you respond to people who say that your campaign has been a mess so far? GINGRICH: Well, let me say first of all, Chris, that I took seriously Bret's injunction to put aside the talking points and I wish you would put aside the gotcha questions.


COOPER: Gotcha question is so just I mean that term, Sarah Palin uses that term when you when you just ask basic questions -- that wasn't a gotcha question. I mean, Newt Gingrich cannot have been surprised to have been asked about his imploding campaign.

KING: He was not surprised but he was clearly irritated. It's not a gotcha question if you want to be the chief executive of the United States, you're accountable for your campaign and when your staff resigns. That thus reflects on the chief executive.

His point was I know I'm on the end here. I know I'm not one of the front-runners. I know I'm going to get three maybe four questions. Why don't you ask me about the economy and tax cuts and the debt or Afghanistan or America's place in the world?

So, that's his frustration as a candidate who is struggling. And you could see his frustration last night. It was a strong performance but he is being squeezed out -- I think largely just because he is yesterday's news to many Republicans.

COOPER: Candy Crowley, John King, thanks very much.

KING: Thank you.


COOPER: Still ahead: Syria erupting, tens of thousands of protester reportedly taking to the streets. Government security forces firing at them. We have some remarkable video. Some protesters calling for President Bashar al-Assad's death. They're now kidnapping the children to punish the parents who are protesting.

I'll talk to human rights activist who is monitoring the situation.

Also, crime and punishment tonight -- the audio tapes that brought some jurors to tears in Warren Jeffs sexual assault trial. They've just been released, they are incredibly disturbing. This is Warren Jeffs talking to girls, some of them under-age minors about pleasuring him. Here's some of what he said.


WAREN JEFFS, POLYGAMIST LEADER, FLDS: You ladies don't know how men out in the world are.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're glad we don't know.



COOPER: Syria's government renewed its crackdown today, basically thumbing its nose at the international out cry. Hama were military troops patrol earlier this week and cities across the country, plain clothed security forces, thugs reportedly opened fire to break-up anti-government protest after Friday prayers, very aggressively today. This video was allegedly shot in Harasta, Damascus suburb, shows chaos after gun fire breaks out.






COOPER: There was violence in also Aleppo, which is Syria's second largest city. That's striking because support for President Bashar al-Assad has been strong there and the streets have been mostly peaceful.

A warning this video about to show you is not easy to watch. Reportedly shot in Aleppo. Protesters under fire as they carry an injured man from the street.





COOPER: Fifteen people reportedly killed in Syria today. CNN can't verify those reports or the video we've shown you because we're not allowed to be inside the country. We'd like to be but we're not allowed by the government.

Some else that was striking today. Some protesters are now demanding that Assad not only resign but some are calling for his death.

Earlier I spoke with Wissam Tarif, a human rights activist.


COOPER: Wissam, another Friday, sadly another day of violence. But what really stunning to me is that even though with all the cracks down we have seen for months and the brutal really truly violating a large number of deaths just last week, the fact so many Syrians are still risking their lives to protest -- I just find it stunning.

WISSAM TARIF, HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVIST (via telephone): It is astonishing. The Protesters are determined. The Protesters are not going back to their homes. The regime has used all and different ways of brutality, Anderson.

We have seen children today and there are also being arrested. They have shot of people who while leaving mosques. They have in some areas, seized mosques and did not allow protesters to go into prayers. And we have to keep in mind, as you all know what happened in Hama just during the last week.

We're talking about a massive number of casualties. In one day, we have documented 109 people killed, and those whom we know about, but there's a lot which we didn't get out of Hama because of the communication problem.

COOPER: And -- and you mentioned it briefly but I -- I'm hearing that security forces are trying different tactics today, more aggressive tactics, basically attacking crowds immediately as they come out of the mosque and even you say arresting kids. Why are they now arresting kids in greater numbers?

TARIF: Well, they have used every way of brutality they know and they know plenty, they have 48 years of practice. We have (INAUDIBLE) on to last week 2998 people who are (INAUDIBLE) whose families do not know anything about their destiny and the as the (INAUDIBLE) did not stop protestors from taking the streets. Now, they are using more brutal tactics. We see them kidnapping the children for some reason that the fathers or the brothers or a family member has participated in the protests or has been engaged -- actively engaged in organizing a protest and supporting the democratic movement in Syria.

This is a different stage of brutality and it's very severe. Now, I was not talking about adults who have disappeared. Now we're talking about children.

COOPER: Would it be an important step for the United States to finally say Assad has to step down, Assad has to go, because they haven't been willing to -- to go that far yet.

TARIF: Well, they should. They should. The United States has a strategic interest in this region. They have a interest -- a strategic interest in Syria. This regime is pushing the country towards a civil war. We have to keep in mind that the protestors have been taking all this brutality for the last five months and people are getting angry and people feel that they need to defend their property, their family, their children and at a certain point this will not continue to be as peaceful as it is and there is no political will from the opposition to (INAUDIBLE) the rights of the protestors.

There is a high level of awareness in the street that they want this to continue peaceful but at the end of the day with increased brutality and the increased violence, no one can guarantee how things can end. Therefore, it is very important for the United States to call on al-Assad to step down, for the European Union to do the same and, most importantly, for the European Union to stop financing this cruel -- this cruel brutality and killing by stop buying the fuel from the Syrian regime. COOPER: Well, just the strength -- the strength that people have continued to come out on the streets and demand dignity, demand the dignity that they deserve and have lived without for so long is -- it's -- it's stunning to see it and inspiring. Wissam Tarif, I appreciate you joining us. Thank you.

TARIF: Thank you Anderson.

COOPER: A lot more happening around the country and the world tonight. Isha Sesay is back with the 360 News and Business Bulletin, Isha?

ISHA SESAY, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Anderson, in Britain, accused rioters are being hauled into court, many in special overnight sessions, more than 1900 people have been arrested in connection with this week's violence and looting, about half have been charged.

A Federal Appeals Court in Atlanta has found a key provision of the healthcare reform law passed last year unconstitutional. The court said forcing Americans to buy health insurance or pay a fine exceeds federal authority. The decision conflicts with another Federal Appeals Court ruling and virtually insures that the case will end up before the Supreme Court.

A relatively quiet end to one of Wall Street's most volatile weeks ever. The Dow posted its second gain in a row, climbing 126 points and NASDAC and S&P 500 also posted modest gains. And, Anderson, in Ottawa, Canada, 18 assembly plant workers who chipped in for a lottery ticket tonight collected their $7 million check. They found out they won two days ago, the same day that 10 of them received layoff notices. They'll each pocket nearly $400,000. You know, that's my big concern f I was to win the lottery, would I want to come into work the next day.

COOPER: Oh, what are you saying?

SESAY: I'm just -- what -- I thought about it for about 20 seconds and I decided nothing would come between us, our evenings together.

COOPER: Oh, I don't believe you but I appreciate it.

SESAY: Well, you know.

COOPER: What else are you going to say? Isha, we'll have you back in a moment. Oh, actually, let's take a look at this shot. Apparently, it's Dance Friday. I discovered this on YouTube. Clearly, I wouldn't know about this. This guy was probably the sideshow at an outdoor concert, checking him out. His moves are ...

SESAY: His moves are ...

COOPER: Oh. Oh. He went there. Oh yes.

SESAY: Yes he did.


SESAY: Yes. Do it. Yes.

COOPER: Wow, he's feeling it. I mean, he's feeling the music. Sometimes when he closes his eyes, you can just feel the music.

SESAY: Ok, I'll give you that. That's pretty impressive. But, I'll see your dancing middle-aged man and I'll raise you a dancing grandpa. We have featured him before but, oh yes, you're going to love those moves.

COOPER: Oh, just let -- let the music play.

SESAY: Yes, that's right. Check out the moves, the attitude, and he's working it. We don't know whether the kids you see there are his grandchildren but we like the fact that they're completely indifferent.

COOPER: Let's just say I pray to God that they're his grandchildren.

SESAY: I think they're really just appalled. They're like, really?

COOPER: Oh, I hope those aren't some neighbor kids that he called into his apartment to -- to show off his dance moves to. Who do you think those kids are? Kids come in here.

SESAY: See what I can do.

COOPER: Get the kids from apartment 2B. They love it. They love it when I dance.

SESAY: Well, he's shaking his -- his (INAUDIBLE), let's just say that.


SESAY: We're still having problems with this English thing.


SESAY: Later on in the show I'll give you another lesson.

COOPER: Ok. Thank you. Yes.

SESAY: Ok. You're welcome.

COOPER: If you don't win the lottery in between now. More to come tonight. Serious stuff including key evidence in the prosecution of polygamist sex leader Warren Jeffs, the audio tapes that were played in the court, it really shocked the jurors, Jeffs instructing a group of underage girls, some of them as young as 12, on how to have sex with him. We've been reporting on this guy's manipulative behavior for years now but actually hear -- to hear these tapes it's really stunning. We'll play a lot of them for you. I just want to play you a little bit right here.


WARREN JEFFS, POLYGAMIST LEADER: You have to know how to be excited sexually and to be exciting, to administer that comfort and strength. And you have to be able to assist each other. No one just stands around. Everyone assists.


COOPER: Also tonight, Casey Anthony ordered back to Florida. She was acquitted obviously of murdering her daughter but today a judge rules she must serve a year of probation. We'll explain why when we continue.


COOPER: Crime and punishment tonight. Chilling new audio tapes from the polygamist sect leader Warren Jeffs, tapes prosecutors say depict the so-called prophet or self-described prophet training young girls to have sex with him. We're talking very young girls. Jeffs called these girls his spiritual wives, groups of girls, some of them as young as 12-13 years old trained to assist each other in satisfying his own personal desires, presumably in the church's so-called temple beds. You're seeing those pictures right there.

The 55-year-old is now a convicted child rapist. A Texas jury convicted him just last week, sentenced to life in prison for the sexual assault of a 12-year-old plus 20 years for the same crime against another girl who is just 15. The tapes you are about to hear were key to that conviction. Some of them brought jurors to tears. We want to warn you, they may be too disturbing for some viewers, particularly kids. Here's Warren Jeffs in his own words.


JEFFS: You have to know how to be excited sexually and to be exciting, to administer that comfort and strength. And you have to be able to assist each other. No one just stands around. Everyone assists. And you have to be prepared to be trained to do this, against the time I would need your help, the Lord's help through you. So, listen carefully as the Lord intended that my ladies, all of my ladies, be trained.


COOPER: There's more. Listen to how Jeffs tries to explain to women and girls why his sexual needs have to be met.


JEFFS: Now, I reveal to you that the Lord has required of me and this family that the fullness of the Law of Sarah is for quorums of wives to be with me, to assist me, to be a comfort. Yes, even physically. Where more than one woman is with me at a time.


COOPER: This guy's a complete hypocrite on top of everything else because what he was preaching to his -- to the men in his congregation was completely different than the message he was giving to these women who he wanted to -- to have sex with. Portions not yet released of these tapes are far worse, recorded what many in the courtroom say sounded like Jeffs having sex with at least one girl. Elissa Wall is former member of Jeffs' sect, the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. She joins me now along with Carolyn Jessop, also a former member and author of two books about her experiences in the church, Escape and Triumph. Thanks both for being with us.

Carolyn, the -- the young girl at the heart of this trial, she was actually your step-daughter, correct?

CAROLYN JESSOP, AUTHOR: That's correct Anderson.

COOPER: And when you hear these tapes, I mean, what do you think?

JESSOP: It's heartbreaking. It's absolutely heartbreaking. Warren had so much power over these young girls' lives, they grew up from the time they were 3 or 4 years old hearing his voice being played in the home all the time. He released upwards of 1000 tapes of training into the community and a lot of what's on these tapes is the same -- it's a lot of the same types of verbiage, it's a lot of the same types of things that they're already conditioned to listen to. So, of course they're going to pay attention and believe what he's saying.

COOPER: And -- and Elissa, I mean, for you these tapes have obviously got to be incredibly disturbing.

ELISSA WALL, FORMER MEMBER, FLDS: Yes it is and it's hard for me to hear these tapes. It's very much the same tone in which he is going about it as he did with me and coaching me to go back to the husband that I didn't want to be with and go back and be that submissive wife and do as I was told to do.

COOPER: What was he telling the men in the congregation about having sex with their wives?

JESSOP: Sex was absolutely taboo, even if you were married. A man was to only have sex with his wife for the purpose of a procreation or fathering a child with her. Unless there was extreme other circumstances it was not considered ok. He was never to have sex with her if she was pregnant, if she was nursing a baby so she could not conceive he shouldn't have sex with her. There were all kinds of rules and regulations.

COOPER: And Elissa, I mean, as creepy as these tapes are, Warren Jeffs, I mean, to me, doesn't sound very charismatic. Did -- did you find him to be charismatic?

WALL: We grew up since the tender age of a toddler hearing his voice, constantly hearing it on tapes, in school, in every facet of our life, hearing that monotone almost it -- just -- that -- that voice and so, even though he doesn't sound charismatic, it was so much a part of our indoctrination that it was charismatic to us.

COOPER: In -- in parts of these tapes Jeffs gives girls explicit instructions on how they should present themselves, literally groom themselves for him. I just want to play part of that.


JEFFS: You always come in my area already showered, already ready, in case you're called to assist. This is a training of words, with some works, to break down your false traditions. I repeat to you, this is not to be known.


COOPER: He's saying, Carolyn, this is not to be known. Did other people in the compound know what was going on between Jeffs and these -- these girls?

JESSOP: Unfortunately, I'm afraid that many of them did. People in the FLDS do talk to each other when they're instructed not to and, unfortunately, there are people that were involved in these crimes that when I learned of their involvement I was shocked that they would be involved.

COOPER: Elissa, you testified against Jeffs in the first trial. The ruling was overturned. With this conviction now and with Jeffs sentenced to life in prison, do you feel like you've gotten a measure of justice?

WALL: In a sense, yes. I do feel like there is a measure of justice for a lot of people who have been heavily involved in this and have sacrificed so much to see him come to justice. If I could describe in a sense that really describes how I felt, it would be similar to that of a feeling of coming up for air after being under water for such a long time, much longer than anticipated.

COOPER: And, yet, as you know, and as you work now about and against there are still so many -- I mean, even if Jeffs goes away for life, there are still so many people who are in these communities and women, in particular, and girls who are going to be growing up in these communities with -- with seemingly no way out.

JESSOP: We have a very big problem with that and one of the biggest issues that I have the most concern with personally is that -- is the education. The children coming out now are coming out functionally illiterate, they're coming out with no life skills, they're coming out with extreme trauma from literally being held in their homes as like captives.

COOPER: Carolyn Jessop, I appreciate you coming on tonight and Elissa Wall as well. Thank you so much.

JESSOP: Yes, thanks for having us. WALL: Thank you.

COOPER: Well, we just sent our Gary Tuchman into some of the strongholds of the FLDS sect, places where the majority of people, even after this conviction, even after hearing these tapes, that they've heard them still consider Warren Jeffs their prophet. We're going to show you his report on Monday.

Up next tonight, new developments in the disappearance of an American woman in Aruba. According to Robin Gardner's friend she disappeared while snorkeling more than a week ago. So, why is that guy no longer talking to the police? Also, Casey Anthony, acquitted of murder and today a judge ordered her back to Florida. The felony conviction that Anthony cannot escape when we continue. Also, the ridiculous, definitely going to make you laugh, makes me crack up every time I see it. It involves a cat who, well, kind of looks like me. Be right back.


SESAY: I'm Isha Sesay, back to Anderson in a moment but first a 360 News and Business Bulletin. In Aruba, the man detained in the disappearance of an American woman will appear in court Monday. Gary Giordano was arrested August 5th, three days after 35-year-old Robin Gardner went missing near Baby Beach. Giordano told police she vanished while she was snorkeling but is no longer cooperating with the investigation.

A Florida judge today ordered Casey Anthony to serve 1 year of supervised probation. She has to return to Orlando to start serving that probation no later than noon on August 26th. Anthony was acquitted last month of murdering her daughter, Caylee, was convicted in 2010 of felony check fraud.

The Dougherty gang faces new charges tonight, a second Colorado county has filed attempted murder and assault charges after the siblings fired an AK47 at police during a high speed car chase Wednesday. The trio, also accused of bank robbery in Georgia and attempted murder in Florida.

And, in Ohio, a driver accidentally yanked a gas pump off its base yesterday. Luckily, fast-thinking attendants kept the place from blowing sky high. The customer later returned to apologize and, remarkably, the station owner wrote the whole thing off as just one of those things. That's the latest, now back to Anderson.

COOPER: Separated at birth from a cat? The feline that thinks he's my doppelganger (INAUDIBLE) animal want to be is so absurd they've landed on tonight's Ridiculist.


COOPER: All right, time now for the Ridiculist. And, tonight, we're adding this cat who apparently thinks he looks like me. We saw this -- it does sort of look like me -- we saw this on a blog called It's part of the popular I Can Has Cheeseburger web site and, yes, I'm now going after defenseless animals on the Ridiculist. Consider yourself on notice Bo Obama, back with you cat with a lot of nerve. I don't know who you are or where you're from or whether you were heretofore unaware of my steely blue eyes but you and I have nothing in common.

I mean, yes, I once peed on the floor but, who hasn't in Wolf Blitzer's billiard room? I get that you want to make a name for yourself and my, my, isn't it convenient, interesting timing what with the ramp up in publicity for my upcoming daytime talk show, check your local listings or go to And, along you come cat with your white hair and aloof facial expression. Nice try. We're nothing alike. Just ask my staff. They'll tell you, I'm not at all aloof on the days that I allow them to make eye contact.

And, by the way cat, don't you -- don't think that I don't know that there's a whole group of you wannabes out there. You've gotten a lot of coverage,, the New York Daily News, well done cat. But, spread the word to all your friends I'm on to your scam. I spotted this alpaca who, like Rhianna, knows there's sex in the air but doesn't care because she loves the smell of it.

And, let's be honest, that alpaca looks like it might be a bit of a freak in the barn if you know what I'm saying. Then there's that horse. You know the one I mean, the one who looks like actor and noted Donald Trump political supporter, Gary Busey. You might be interested to know, cat, that Mr. Busey was nominated for an Academy Award in the late 70s and, well, more recently was on a reality show with Star Jones and that naked guy from Survivor.

Not everyone looks scary though. Here's Modern Family's Eric Stonestreet. Frankly, I think he and that dog should be in those depressing SPCA commercials. Watch out Sarah McLachlan, your days making us feel guilty might be numbered. But, I digress, cat. You see, the reason that I'm onto your scam is that, well, I've seen it right here on CNN. Perhaps the most famous animal celebrity combination -- sorry -- let's see that again. That makes me giggle every time. The most famous animal celebrity combination of them all, Larry King and this monkey. Curious George, you're on with Bill Maher. What's your question? The monkey for the hour.

A more uncanny resemblance I have not seen. I don't even know who's who, left or right, I don't know. Speaking of the 9 p.m. host on CNN, there's Piers Morgan who resembles, well, never mind. You know, cat, I don't mind -- I don't know what you -- what you say. If I haven't gotten through to you -- I don't know what to say. If I haven't gotten through to you now, all I can say is watch your step. You and your posse don't want to anger me and you sure don't want to anger Wilford Brimley. In the meantime, enjoy the first of your nine lives on the Ridiculist.

That does it for 360. Thanks for watching. John King USA starts now. See you Monday.