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Conversation with Representatives Heath Shuler and Mike Simpson; Michael Jackson's Doctor on Trial; Interview with Newt Gingrich; Herman Cain Allegations; Militia Plot Foiled

Aired November 2, 2011 - 19:00   ET


ERIN BURNETT, HOST: Thanks, John. We're on the "Front Line" in Texas tonight; a judge videotaped beating his daughter.

Justin Bieber's baby, I'm sorry, but we cannot resist this one, and the "Bottom Line" on Newt Gingrich, he's gaining ground on other GOP candidates. He weighs in on the race and on Herman Cain.

Let's go OUTFRONT.

I'm Erin Burnett. OUTFRONT tonight, it is getting downright messy. The battle in the Republican race over Herman Cain, a third woman has come forward, with accusations of sexual harassment. The Cain camp is calling this a baseless allegation.

And the finger pointing has gone def con (ph) one. Herman Cain said a Perry adviser leaked the sexual harassment story. The Perry campaign denied that to us. But they mentioned other news articles that highlighted ties between Romney's campaign and the leak.

The Romney campaign has denied it to OUTFRONT. You get the picture. It's ugly. We asked candidate Newt Gingrich what he thought of another campaign leaking this information about Mr. Cain.


NEWT GINGRICH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I have no idea. I'd want to see the evidence but I would say if it turns out that a Republican presidential candidate deliberately went out and created this kind of a story about a fellow candidate that they would pretty rapidly become a pariah among the rest of us and they better fire the people who did it.

I would think that that's the kind of despicable behavior that's the worst possible behavior. We Republicans need to be unified to beat Barack Obama and that kind -- I don't know who did it. I'm not taking Herman's word for it. But if it turns out he's right they had better fire a bunch of people in the next 24 hours or expect all Republicans of every background to turn against him because that's the kind of behavior I find totally repulsive in this political system.


BURNETT: He did not mince words. The story is developing and we're going to have more later in the hour for you, but now back to Speaker Gingrich, and this issue, which really is at the heart of this, of how much these sorts of things are fair game.


BURNETT: Do you think, though, that the question of morality in a presidential candidate is fair and important?

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

BURNETT: Well I think it's fair to say everyone should be focusing on the serious issues, but I guess the question is, what is serious and what isn't? And I guess time will tell on this one with Mr. Cain.


BURNETT: But let me ask you this, the Republican field has had some very nasty fights, at the last CNN debate, Romney and Perry almost came to blows. I don't know what you were thinking out there, but I was thinking fight, fight, fight. I'll be honest; I thought they were literally going to come to blows. They looked so angry.

GINGRICH: No, they weren't coming to blows any more than Obama and Hillary Clinton were about to come to blows at one point in their debates. You know I think -- I didn't think what they did -- that Mitt Romney was very clever in putting his hand on Perry, but that's, look, that's nothing. I mean we're having a serious legitimate series of discussions. We have good candidates. We have different approaches.

I think, frankly, the news media would love and you know this from various leaked stories about planning for the debates, the news media loves covering fights. It doesn't particularly like covering substance which it regards as boring and likely to lose audience. But I think that's overdone. I've tried all I could to get our candidates to focus directly on the main competitor, whose name is Barack Obama. It's not Perry. It's not Romney. It's not you know anybody else.

BURNETT: And let me ask you about Barack Obama, because the past week there's been a big jump. Today the poll ratings came out. He's jumped I believe six or seven percent. He beats all the Republican candidates, including you in any matchup in the latest polls, and I'm curious, because your own polls you've tripled. You were at three percent. You're now at 10 percent, so you've been jumping.

He now beats all of you and I think the reason for that is that the market did really well in October. The economy grew more than people thought and people were a little surprised it wasn't as terrible as they expected it to be. Do you think that the economy needs to get worse? We need a really bad economy in order for any of you to win? GINGRICH: No. No.

BURNETT: Why not?

GINGRICH: I think if you go back and look at Jimmy -- if you look at Jimmy Carter's poll about this same stage he was beating Ronald Reagan by almost 2-1. When people look around at nine percent unemployment, $2 trillion a year deficits, failed government system, radical values, I don't think they're going to want four more years of that kind of policy, and I think he's going to lose badly next year.

BURNETT: (INAUDIBLE) about Rick Perry, this sort of brought a smile to my face. I'm going to show the video of Rick Perry with a postcard in his hand, I think, an idea with which you are very familiar, your economic plan came out in May. You said you wanted a quote, "optional flat tax" that would allow Americans the freedom to choose to file their taxes on a postcard. Obviously your rate was 15 percent instead of his 20. So you think he came in and took that idea from you? I mean it does seem awfully the same --


BURNETT: -- in optionality and the postcard.

GINGRICH: No. Look, let's be fair. I took a lot of my 10th Amendment enforcement ideas from Rick Perry. He's been a great governor of Texas and I think he has very good ideas about enforcing the 10th Amendment. It's perfectly fair for him to come in. But I think he got the idea from Steve Forbes. And I'm just delighted that Governor Perry adopted it. I think it's a good thing to do. We'll now debate my 15 percent rate versus his 20 percent but at least we're in the same zone having a good policy discussion.

BURNETT: Now I have to say it and you have -- you're being the statesman, the gentleman here, but let me ask you about that 15 percent because obviously I would imagine there's no way that you would claim it to be revenue neutral.

GINGRICH: No, not even trying to be revenue neutral.

BURNETT: And so --

GINGRICH: What I'm trying to --



GINGRICH: I don't accept -- why would you expect me to accept some Washington insider standard that I think is nonsense? My primary goal is to create jobs. If we create enough jobs at nine percent plus unemployment, if you get -- and by the way if you count underemployment and people dropped out of the workforce, it is 16 or 18 or 19 percent. If you get back to where Reagan was and back to where I was when I left the office as speaker, we were at 4.2 percent unemployment. When Reagan left the office as president, he had cut the unemployment rate by more than half. We created 1,100,000 jobs in September of 1983, that's 10 times the number of jobs Obama created in October of this year. So --

BURNETT: Ronald Reagan though --

GINGRICH: First of all I would argue --


GINGRICH: Go ahead.

BURNETT: I just want to say Ronald Reagan's top marginal tax rate though during his time in office was hovering 50 percent, then when he cut it, it was only to -- well then it got cut to 38.5, so still higher than where we are now.

GINGRICH: That's right, but it was at the time a very dramatic and very deep tax cut which virtually every member of the establishment of both parties was opposed to. One of them even called it voodoo economics. He later on became Reagan's vice president. The fact is it worked. My argument is we will have more people working. They will use less Medicaid, less food stamps, less unemployment, less welfare, less public housing. They will be paying taxes, taking care of their families.

BURNETT: And how much in terms of cuts. I mean I had done the math on Rick Perry's plan at the 20 percent rate, obviously five percentage points above yours and just to hit that, he had a spending cap that you could only spend 18.5 percent of our economy if you were the federal government, so that was an added issue there, but just to his numbers, I would have had to cut $892 billion from the federal budget in one year, just to hit that. So yours would, according to that math be even more. Are you going to be able to get all that amount of cut out of government quickly?

GINGRICH: First of all, you have to start with 18.5 percent of what size GDP? Are you talking about the anemic underperforming Obama virtually depression level GDP or are you talking about a robust, prosperous four percent unemployment GDP? Those are two very big different numbers. You know it depends on what you get a percentage of.

BURNETT: I wanted to ask you something in your economic plan. As you went through things, you said on entitlement programs, I quote, that "you would have fundamental reform of entitlement programs", that's what it says. And I wanted to ask you, would you be willing to say, I am running to be a one-term president because I'm going to slash and I'm going to fix this and I'm going to stand up to special interests, whether they be banks, whether they be seniors and those AARP ads we've been seeing, where there's been an implicit threat that seniors won't vote for anyone who is going to cut Medicare? Would you be willing to say that I care enough that I'll go one term and fix it?

GINGRICH: Why would you assume that fixing all the problems is anti- democratic, small "d" and that people are going to dislike it? I want to run to be a two-term president because we've solved so many of your problems that you're so happy with full employment, you're so happy with our moves to a balanced budget, you're so happy with a better Social Security system, a better Medicare system, a better federal government, that you're thrilled to -- you know, Ronald Reagan carried 49 states for re-election because people actually liked economic growth.

They liked what he was doing. I think the trick is to have better solutions leading to a better future and then people reelect you because you actually provided positive leadership. It's only in Washington that people think you have to punish people into a better future.

BURNETT: Well I have to applaud you for the optimism that you think you can fix it, take the pain, have the growth, make up for it all in time for another election. I like that optimism. Thank you very much, Speaker, appreciate your taking the time this afternoon.

GINGRICH: Thank you.


BURNETT: As you can see the speaker pretty direct, not even trying to argue for revenue neutrality. It would be a very different administration under Newt Gingrich. We're going to talk about what he had to say about Herman Cain. Also still OUTFRONT that poll that shows President Obama's approval rating up almost six percentage points. What is the reason? You heard my view. Our panel weighs in next.

And then four members of a militia group who were planning to attack government buildings and kill civilians, they appeared in court today. We take you there and disturbing video of a Texas judge whipping his daughter. We'll be back.


BURNETT: The number tonight five, cinco (ph). That's how many guns TSA airport screeners find at checkpoints on an average day, according to TSA administrator John Pistole (ph), oh yes, seriously -- oh wait, that's another segment. OK, the most common excuse screeners hear is that the passenger forgot the gun was in his or her bag -- seriously.

OK, earlier in the show, Newt Gingrich was talking tough about the Herman Cain sexual harassment scandal and claims from Herman Cain that one of his former advisers who worked for him six, seven years ago on a Senate campaign and now is an adviser for Rick Perry was responsible for the leak. Now Perry's campaign told us not true.

Perry's communication instructor gave us a statement saying quote, "no one of our campaign was involved in this story in any way. Any claim to the contrary is patently false. The first we learned of it was when we read the story in 'Politico'." Then Perry staffers directed us to articles which linked Mitt Romney to the National Restaurant Association. Romney's people suffice it to say told us give me a break. No way, we didn't do it. All right, who did it and does it matter? John Avlon is here to weigh in on all of this. It does matter, doesn't it because now you've got a third allegation that has -- that Herman Cain was dismissing?

JOHN AVLON, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: This story is proliferating on at least three fronts right now. It's amazing, right? First of all, you've got a third woman coming forward. "The Washington Post" printing an AP story of a third woman speaking anonymously saying she worked at the Restaurant Association in the late 1990s and was harassed as well but did not file suit.

Second of all, we've got this back and forth of the Cain campaign and the Perry campaign. Right now Herman Cain himself accusing a former staffer on his 2004 Georgia Senate campaign, Curt Anderson (ph), who now works for Perry, saying he -- Anderson (ph) discussed this during that Senate campaign and he felt Anderson (ph) is the source of the leak. Again, Perry campaign denying it and then a third person --


AVLON: A guy named Chris Wilson (ph) who our own Gloria Borger spoke to on the phone, an Oklahoma based pollster who worked -- said he witnessed Cain harassing a woman or acting inappropriately at a Crystal City (ph) restaurant in the late 1990s as well. He now also doing work for a political action committee supporting Perry. So again, you've got this story is evolving in real time right now, but it's getting uglier.

BURNETT: It is getting uglier and perhaps unfairly, who knows, right, we'll see. But interesting "ABC News" is reporting tonight -- I just wanted to pull this out -- that they actually looked into the women saying that you know Herman Cain had suggested at least one of the women was a poor worker -- I'm reading an "ABC News" report -- but their investigation found both of the women that we know about from the National Restaurant Association have gone on to successful careers in and around government.

AVLON: Yes. What we have here is look, everyone is entitled to presumption of innocence, but we have what appears to be a pattern and it's not corresponding with certainly Mr. Cain's initial version of events and that's of course how this has gotten out of control. He keeps changing his story and now it's a clash between the campaigns. But this is the real problem is that Cain denied this outright and now it appears that he was discussing it with one of his close campaign advisers back in 2004 when he was running for the Senate in Georgia.

BURNETT: The man he's now accusing. All right, let's bring in Democratic strategist Jamal Simmons into this conversation and GOP strategist Karen Hanretty. Thanks to both of you.


BURNETT: So what do you think? What is your bottom line Karen? I mean who -- this isn't going away any time soon.

KAREN HANRETTY, GOP STRATEGIST: Nope. BURNETT: I think anyone who thought this would blow over quickly it hasn't. Could this dramatically change the field in your view?

HANRETTY: Sure it could change the field. You know and there are additional developments to this story. I mean you've just gone through a lot of process which I'm not sure is terribly relevant about who leaked what when but you've got an attorney for one of the women who is actually meeting with the Restaurant Association attorney tomorrow, and asking if they will lift essentially the gag order.

You know and so if women come out and start talking we're going to have a he said/she said and this is probably going to drag on through the weekend. This is not good for Herman Cain and it's not good for a lot of the people who have been defending Herman Cain saying oh this is just a witch hunt and this is just race-baiting by the media and liberals and all of the other. They're saying it makes everyone look bad. It's making all of the GOP candidates look bad right now.

BURNETT: Well and it would be interesting, though, if what Newt Gingrich said actually happened, we find out who did the leak, John Avlon, and Rick Perry or Mitt Romney, if it came from their campaigns, big if, said you know what, you're fired.

AVLON: Yes, if there's that's kind of accountability, I will be shocked because the likelihood is the candidate --


AVLON: -- themselves probably doesn't even know about this kind of (INAUDIBLE) research. It's usually done at the level below the candidate.

BURNETT: Right, right, which is a fair point. All right, Jamal let me ask you though because in the backdrop here is that six percentage point jump in approval ratings for President Barack Obama. That is big. It's a dramatic jump. It's a quick jump. Seems to me it has something to do with some of the positive economic news that we've had recently. What do you think?

JAMAL SIMMONS, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: I'm sure the economic news has something to do it, but I also think what we're seeing is a very different President Obama over the last few weeks than we've seen over the last couple of years. The president has been out very consistently every day, every week, talking about his jobs plan, talking about why we can't wait, passing individual executive orders, to actually improve people's lives on a variety of fronts and Americans more than anything else, they really respond to strong leadership and I think over the last few weeks he's been displaying a very strong form of leadership that people are responding to and we can see that develop going further, I think you'll see those poll numbers stay up.

BURNETT: And interesting, John, what we have seen for the Republicans, to Karen's point, we've seen fund-raising up. Newt Gingrich you're going to hear, broke some news here on OUTFRONT in a few minutes about his fund-raising but he, Herman Cain and others have in the past few days as this broke jumped.

AVLON: Absolutely. We're coming down the stretch. People are paying attention and especially conservatives, supporters are rallying around their candidates. But you want to know why Obama is up; I think partly you're right. It's the economy, but it's two other things. The Libya effect, people seeing the president as commander in chief that that gamble paid off big time and second, it's chaos in the Republican field. When there's this level of mud slinging in- fighting, it's this bad in between Republicans two people benefit, first is President Obama by comparison and the second is probably Mitt Romney who stays above the fray.

BURNETT: All right --

SIMMONS: And Erin you know we talked about Herman Cain and I just want to say one more thing --


SIMMONS: It's time for him to show a little bit of leadership here, too. He's kind of playing liberal on some race issues. Now he's blaming Perry for maybe having linked it, blamed "Politico" for -- he's known about this for years. He knew about it when he got into this race. He's got to accept some responsibility for his own behavior.

BURNETT: All right. Thanks to all three of you. Appreciate you taking the time.


BURNETT: Now four men appeared in a Georgia courtroom today, charged with concocting a plot to attack government buildings and workers. Now prosecutors say the men, who range in age from 65 to 73 years old, that might surprise you right there, but apparently they intended to use explosives and a highly poisonous biological agent to kill people. Federal officials say the group is home grown, part of a Georgia militia group. CNN's George Howell joined us just before the show began and I asked him what he knows about these men right now.


GEORGE HOWELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well Erin as you mentioned, first of all and most interesting they are older suspects. In fact in court today we saw three of them cupping their ears a bit to hear the judge better. These men allegedly hated the government and had a plan to kill a lot of people. Investigators say that plan included buying ammunition and explosives and producing the deadly toxin ricin (ph), and spreading it on highways in U.S. cities, including Newark, New Jersey, Washington, D.C., and Atlanta, Georgia.

BURNETT: And highways would indicate a lot of casualties. One of the men charged in the plot apparently said the following about human targets. Quote, "I'd say the first ones that need to die is the ones in the government buildings." Do you know what government offices were actually threatened or their feeling about casualties given what you just said about highways in New Jersey?

HOWELL: Well Erin from what we can tell from reading these affidavits on the four men their plan was to kill indiscriminately. We do know that the plan and again according to this information was to target the IRS building and the ATF building in Atlanta.

BURNETT: Wow, that's just shocking. So how was the plot allegedly finally cracked?

HOWELL: You know all along confidential informants were following the actions of these men. They were tipping off investigators and when it got to a point when the men were ready to purchase the ammunition, to purchase the explosives, that is when we're told investigators stepped in.

BURNETT: All right, well George, thank you very much. (INAUDIBLE) keep following this for us. Thanks again.


OK, OUTFRONT next, 100 members of Congress calling on the super committee to not be eunuchs and the office of a French magazine published a picture of the prophet Muhammad (ph). It was firebombed. And Justin Bieber, I'm sorry we cannot resist covering this story next.


BURNETT: A story we can't resist now. We don't usually talk about Justin Bieber on this show, but he's been impossible to avoid. Bieber is everywhere. There are Bieber dolls, a Bieber fragrance, and a touchable body lotion called "Someday". Yes. If you believe one of Bieber's fans someday was one day last year when he did more than just touch. Because she's alleging her 3-month-old son is his.

Now the fan claims she had sex with Bieber back stage after one of his shows and is asking him to take a paternity test. Bieber denies the claims and you know what? We believe him. After all, his voice just changed, instead of piling on like everyone else, we cannot resist celebrating his music and merchandise.





BURNETT: All right.

Up next, can Congress pressure the super committee to make a deal in time?

And why were the offices of a French magazine firebombed today? There was an attack. We're going to tell you about it. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ERIN BURNETT, HOST: We start the second half of our show with stories we care about. We focus on our own reporting, do the work -- and find the OUTFRONT 5.

And first tonight, Newt Gingrich, I asked him what should happen if another campaign leaked the sexual harassment allegations about Herman Cain. Here's what he said.


NEWT GINGRICH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I have no idea. I'd want to see the evidence. But I would say if it turns out that a Republican presidential candidate deliberately went out and created this kind of a story about a fellow candidate, that they would pretty rapidly become a pariah among the rest of us and they'd better fire the people who did it.


BURNETT: Gingrich also made some news about his own fund-raising.


GINGRICH: Monday, we raised I think about $125,000. We raised more than that on Tuesday. We actually raised about 50 percent more on Monday and Tuesday than we raised in all the month of July. It's continuing again today. I think over 2,200 people have donated in the last 48 hours, just from all over the country.


BURNETT: A 48-hour total.

Number two, a federal jury found Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout guilty today of conspiracy to kill Americans and other weapons charges. Now, Bout was accused of selling guns and missiles to al Qaeda, the Taliban, and other terrorist groups.

Arms trade expert Rachel Stohl told OUTFRONT that selling illegal weapons is too profitable, the little fear of prosecution for people like Viktor Bout to disappear. Bout, the so-called "Merchant of Death," faces life in prison. There are many more where he came from.

Number three: we're learning more about MF Global CEO Jon Corzine's pay package. We told you earlier that Corzine probably isn't going to get a golden parachute simply because his stock price is zero. But what he did get was $383,000 in lawyers bills paid for by the company that's now bankrupt.

Brian Foley of Brian Foley & Company told us that number will pale in comparison to the legal fees he's incurring from now on.

Number four, the Federal Reserve keeping the interest rates near zero. That's what the economists we spoke to were expecting. In a press conference, which he now gives, Chairman Ben Bernanke described the economic growth as frustratingly slow but we want to highlight what he said that was positive.


BEN BERNANKE, FEDERAL RESERVE CHAIRMAN: Looking further ahead, economic growth is expected to pick up somewhat as a result of improving financial conditions, strengthening consumer and business confidence, and the continuation of a highly accommodative stance of monetary policy.


BURNETT: We'll see how much progress the Fed is making on unemployment. The jobs report comes Friday, that's big.

Well, so is this. It's been 89 days since the U.S. lost its top credit rating. What are we doing to get it back?

Well, we can get it back and fast if the super committee has the guts to do its job. It is not too late. They got even more pressure today when a group of 100 congressmen signed the letter we first told you about here on OUTFRONT on Friday, which called for more than three times more cuts than the $1.2 trillion the super committee has to find.

Now, it took a few days to get the signatures, but today, the names were out, 60 Democrats and 40 Republicans. They asked the super committee to, quote, "put everything on the table." Yes, that includes tax increases and spending cuts.

If the super committee doesn't act, America could get another downgrade and lose the world's confidence.

Two congressmen who led that letter are OUTFRONT tonight, Representative Mike Simpson of Idaho and Representative Heath Shuler of North Carolina.

And, gentlemen, thanks so much for being here. It's a pleasure to see a Democrat and Republican side by side. You don't look like you got the cooties, what was supposed to hurt there.

But, Representative Shuler, I want to start with you. You got 100 signatures out of 435 members of Congress. How many people did you ask to sign?

REP. HEATH SHULER (D), NORTH CAROLINA: Well, actually we spent a few days to ask on the House floor and I spent time on the Republican side, and so, Mike actually spent some time on the Democrat side. And we were trying to collectively together in a bipartisan way get as many members as we possibly can.

We have 100 now, even after the letter went out today members were calling our offices asking if they could be on the letter, so we'll increase the number day by day. And even those who didn't sign the letter they were in favor of what we were trying to do, is to make a bipartisan way to put pressure on the super committee, but also let them know that we're there behind them.

BURNETT: So you have 23 percent of Congress on board. Now, I don't want to throw a wet blanket because we're excited about this letter. But that's not enough to get it to pass if you had some deal out of the super committee. So, when you say 100, is that a barometer of success or gosh, it's only 23 percent, that's sad.

REP. MIKE SIMPSON (R), IDAHO: Well, I would tell you that getting 100 members of Congress to do anything together is pretty hard to do. And we've only been at this for about a week trying to get these signatures and I think it's remarkable that we got 100 signatures to sign a letter that said, put everything on the table.

There were Republicans that were obviously nervous about the revenue aspect of it, there were Democrats that were obviously nervous about the mandatory spending provision of it, but yet I think every member of Congress knows that something's got to be done and it's got to be done in a big way. But the $1.2 trillion isn't going to cut it.

BURNETT: No, it definitely isn't, not even close when it comes to downgrades.

And, Representative Simpson, I wanted to just to ask you this, because it's obviously, it's one thing to say you're going to reduce debt. It's another to do it. And you said today it was really risky for people in your party, for Republicans to sign anything that mentions revenue, translation, tax increases.


BURNETT: Representative Shuler said he was prepared to lose his seat to get this done. Are you willing to do that, too?

SIMPSON: Well, I think everybody that signed that letter is putting their seat at risk because there are going to be people that misinterpret what you're trying to do or don't feel like you ought to be looking at everything. There are people obviously that don't want to raise taxes, don't want to increase revenues, and people don't think we need any reforms to the mandatory spending, the Medicare and Social Security.

But the reality is, is you cannot get to $4 trillion and we'd like to see it even go higher -- but you cannot get to $4 trillion by just looking at one-half of the equation. You have to look at everything, and that's what we're encouraging the super committee to do.

BURNETT: I wanted to ask all of you this, it's a very simple, kind of to make a point to people, that this isn't that complicated if everything is on the table. We did some math.

And I just want to throw it out to both of you if. If you let the Bush tax cuts expire for everyone, revenue goes up by $2.8 trillion over 10 years. So that's 50 percent of the deal, and then you do $2.8 trillion of spending cuts on the other side, entitlements, you get a total of $5.6 trillion. That would solve the problem. That's big.

Is that something, Congressman Shuler, that you think should be on the table?

SHULER: I think it all can be on the table and on the revenue side, you can lower the rate, and broaden the base and you actually gain that much revenue in addition to the savings that you can have in Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.

SIMPSON: We didn't want to get into the specifics of how to do it. What we're saying is, everything's got to be on the table. We're willing to look at everything and we're willing to make a tough vote that it's going to take. And I don't care what that committee comes out with. It is going to be some difficult votes.

BURNETT: It is and we applaud and are rooting for both of you to get it done and get a whole lot more signatures. So, thanks to both of you, Congressman Shuler and Simpson for being with us.

SIMPSON: Thank you, Erin.

SHULER: Thank you, Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Next, a Texas judge videotaped beating his disabled daughter. We have the disturbing details and what is going to happen to the father.

And then a French magazine bombed literally over its cover. We'll show you what was on the cover that caused the attack.

And then we're going to talk about some -- well, I don't know, wearing a shirt that says "I'm a pervert." When would you do that?

We'll be back.


BURNETT: We do this at the same time every night, our "Outer Circle," where we check our sources around the world.

And first tonight to Paris, where the offices of a French magazine were fire bombed today. This was the same day it was expected to publish this controversial cover of the Prophet Mohammed. Now, we blurred it because of obvious reasons, but it shows a bearded cartoon figure, also turbaned.

Monita Rajpal has been following the story.

And, Monita, what happened today?

MONITA RAJPAL, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Erin, the issue was going to have on its cover a bearded and turbaned cartoon figure of the Prophet Mohammed saying, quote, "100 lashes if you are not charged with laughter." Now, the magazine, "Charlie Hebdo," was to publish what they called a special Arab Spring edition entitled "Sharia Hebdo" which would be what they described as a mock celebration of the Islamist party that won Tunisia's elections, as well as the Libya transitional government saying they will use Islamic law in their country. Now, the cartoonists said they were trying to provoke discussion and was not meant to offend. The office was bombed 1:00 a.m. local time and an investigation is under way -- Erin.

BURNETT: Monita, thank you.

And now to London, after losing a court battle stay in the U.K., WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is headed to Sweden to face questions about sex charges.

Nima Elbaghir, will he try to appeal?

NIMA ELBAGHIR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Erin, he seems to be nearing the end of the road in his fight against extradition. A British high court judge has ruled against his appeal, and more damningly for Assange rules against Assange's assertion that the allegations against him were unfair and inaccurate. The court has now given Assange three weeks to come up with an argument based on a wider public significance for his desire to remain in the country. If he doesn't achieve that, then within 10 days of that date, Assange could be back in Sweden facing prosecutors there, Erin.

BURNETT: We're watching this. All right. Thanks so much, Nima.

And now back to France where Becky Anderson is following the G-20 summit in Cannes.

Now, European leaders held an emergency session today to talk about the complete debacle with the Greek debt crisis.

Becky, what do leaders want?

BECKY ANDERSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Erin, clarity, coordination, coherency, that is what the world wants to see from leaders here at this G-20 summit. That is not what they're getting. What the world needs at this point is some action on sustainable growth and on jobs creation. Nearly every part of the world needs that, we're not getting it as of yet.

Meeting officially kicked off Thursday. Let's see what we get then -- Erin.

BURNETT: Thank you very much, Becky.

Well, it's a disturbing video that's gone viral. And we want to warn you, the video we're about to show you is difficult to watch. We had trouble watching it. In it you see William Adams, a county judge in Texas, whipping his disabled 16-year-old daughter, Hillary, as a punishment, she says, for downloading music and games on the Internet.




W. ADAMS: Bend over that bed. Bend over the bed.


W. ADAMS: Bend over the bed.

H. ADAMS: Stop. Stop.

W. ADAMS: Bend over the bed. I'm going to keep hitting you on your legs. Lay down or I'll spank your (EXPLETIVE DELETED) face.


BURNETT: All right. This video was taken in 2004. It was posted on YouTube just a couple of days ago by the girl there, Hillary Adams.

After receiving hundreds of complaints, Aransas County issued a statement saying, quote, "Aransas county is aware of the video posted on YouTube regarding the County Court at Law Judge William Adams, and the matter is now under review by the police department."

Now, Texas station KRIS caught up with Judge William Adams today and he admitted to the incident.


W. ADAMS: In my mind, I haven't done anything wrong after disciplining my child after she was caught stealing. And I did lose my temper. But I've since apologized. It looks worse than it is. There is a story. It will come out in due time, OK?

REPORTER: So, you do acknowledge that's you in the video?

W. ADAMS: Yes, absolutely. It's me.


BURNETT: Paul Callan is a criminal defense attorney and a legal contributor for us. He's OUTFRONT tonight.

What do you think?

PAUL CALLAN, CNN LEGAL CONTRIBUTOR: Well, you know, when your producer called me about this, I was stunned when I looked at this video. It's unwatchable after four or five minutes.

BURNETT: It gets worse after what we showed there.

CALLAN: You just have to turn it off.

My initial reaction was charge him with a crime, disbar him as an attorney and throw him off the bench. I think that's the feeling that most people would have. This guy is a family court judge. What is he doing on the bench?

But when I started researching it, Erin, it's going to be a much harder situation than you might think. BURNETT: Why is that?

CALLAN: One, criminal charges, very, very difficult because there's a statute of limitations, and this happened six years ago. And you can't tell from the video if she sustained a physical injury, which is usually required to make out a felony charge. So, it's probably a form of child endangerment. Prosecutors are looking at that and going of a real hard time bringing criminal charges.

That leaves then -- will he be disbarred as an attorney? Maybe.

BURNETT: Can you disbar without being convicted or having those charges?

CALLAN: Very, very difficult, and that is into the last issue, can you throw him off the bench? Yes, I think you can do that. He's a family court judge. This shows incredibly bad character and bad judgment.

BURNETT: Which means -- I mean, just to interrupt you -- family court judge means you are constantly making decisions on

CALLAN: Custody.

BURNETT: -- what is the line between discipline and abuse.

CALLAN: Exactly. Exactly.

But the one other thing that's going to be problematic for those who look at this tape and actually get sick because this guy has done this horrible thing to his disabled daughter is that, in Texas, there's a substantial number of people who think corporal punishment is warranted, and there's probably no law that absolutely bans it.

So, this thing is going to get very complicated.

BURNETT: This gets into the spanking debate. I mean, this was not spanking, right, but that's kind of what you're saying? People have --

CALLAN: Well, it's a form of spanking. I mean, people who -- not like yourself -- but who can remember life in the '50s and early '60s --

BURNETT: Oh, it went on much longer than that. Of course. Yes.

CALLAN: -- people used to spank their kids with a belt. Dad used to take a belt out sometimes. Not in my case, my younger brothers maybe but not me. In any event, I used to talk my way out of it.

But the bottom line on it is we don't count it today. And I think even in Texas, even if you believe in spanking occasionally, when you look at that tape, that's child abuse and she's disabled. She has -- she has a disability, cerebral palsy supposedly.

And so, I think she was abused. It is child endangerment. Only question, has the statute of limitations run? I'm sure we'll hear from Texas prosecutors soon on that.

BURNETT: We will and hopefully hear more from William Adams. He says there's more I think everyone wants to hear it.

CALLAN: I'd like to hear he's resigning from the bench. That's what I would like to hear.

BURNETT: Maybe that would be. All right. Paul, thank you very much. Good to see you as always.

Well, the jury hasn't even heard the closing arguments in the case against Michael Jackson's doctor. But already there are rumors circulating, yes, everyone, about a book deal and a documentary for Dr. Conrad Murray.

Now, Murray is charged with involuntary manslaughter. He faces up to four years in prison if he is found guilty, although as we pointed out, it may be possible for him to serve actual jail time even if guilty. The jury is expected to get the case tomorrow in Los Angeles.

Our Ted Rowlands, as you know, has been in the courtroom every single day.

And, Ted, what is the latest -- documentary book deal?

TED ROWLANDS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, nobody wants to talk about it, Erin, but clearly there's something going on here. There's an author that sits in court every day behind Conrad Murray next to his mother and he's been there for pretty much the duration of the trial. And then there have been swirling rumors about a documentary deal that possibly or may have been inked. But nobody would talk about it on the record, not the defense attorneys and not any media outlets.

BURNETT: Interesting that you say there's been an author sitting there. I didn't know that. That does add something to the story.

But, Ted, what happens if so, if not found guilty, obviously, he could write the book and do whatever he wanted to do. But if he's found guilty, would he be able to profit off a book, or anything else?

ROWLANDS: Well, if he closes the deal before a verdict, let's say they did it, they pre-loaded it and he was paid for the rights to a movie and a book, then the transaction would have already transpired before any guilty verdict. And as long as he spent the money, he's got four attorneys he has to pay, I don't think that they could get that money at all.

BURNETT: Interesting.

OK, closing arguments begin tomorrow, as we said, it was dark today, but around noon, any indication of how long that will go?

ROWLANDS: Well, the judge is going to start with jury instructions expected to last about an hour, maybe an hour and a half, and then the prosecution gets an unlimited closing argument, the defense gets their argument, and then the prosecution gets to go again. So, the idea that the jury will have any time to actually deliberate tomorrow -- probably not. I suspect they'll start deliberations on Friday.

BURNETT: All right. Ted, we'll talk to you then. Thank you.

RWOLANDS: You bet.

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

Anderson, what do you have for us?

ANDERSON COOPER, HOST, "A.C. 360": We have more on the breaking news tonight on "360" -- a third woman speaking out alleging sexual harassment by Herman Cain. Meanwhile, the Perry and Romney campaigns are engaging in a war of words on who is responsible for the leak. And the Cain campaign getting testy when reporters tried to get answers.

We're going to try to sort it all out with our political panel, James Carville, Gloria Borger and others join us. Keeping them honest.

Also tonight, on "Crime and Punishment," a bizarre story from an Amish community in Ohio. These the five Amish men have all been arrested on kidnapping and burglary charges. Authorities say they attacked other Amish men, cut off their beards to intimidate them and send a message. We'll tell you why, ahead.

And a story truly shocking we can't show you the video right now, we will during the program, a Texas man, a family judge violently whipping his teenaged daughter. We're going to show you a small portion of the video ahead and how that judge may now be brought to justice. The judge himself is defending himself, saying it wasn't as bad as it appeared on the tape.

All that ahead and the "Ridiculist" at the top of the hour, Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Thanks very much, Anderson.

OUTFRONT next, we are going to talk about when translations go terribly, terribly, terribly wrong. Think a t-shirt that says "I'm pervert" but you think says "I'm cool."

We'll be back.


BURNETT: When we were in China in August, we saw this sign at a restaurant advertising civilized dining, pure homeland. And our staff found this apron in a store here in the United States. The back says "(INAUDIBLE) makes you clean beautiful and more fashionale." And the front says "close relations between family members."

Not always a good thing. OK. But the mangling of Chinese to English is sometimes "Chinglish," and it's the name of a new Broadway play by David Henry Hwang who joins us tonight.

David, great to see you.


BURNETT: So, those signs are funny. Obviously, you have seen them over the years, too, and you used some of them in the play.

HWANG: Yes. One of my favorite ones is a sign for handicapped restaurants that say deformed man's toilet and I saw that in Shanghai and that made its way into the play.

BURNETT: I heard them laughing.

But there's something a little American-centric in terms of making fun of how they translate when -- I think it's safe to say -- very few Americans even make an effort to speak Chinese at all. Is that something you worried about and making fun of them, but they're not getting a chance to go the other way around?

HWANG: I think we are trying to be even handed in the play. I mean, one of the first things the lead character says if you're an American, you probably don't speak a single F-ing foreign language.


HWANG: And then in America, we don't even try to make bilingual signs and there's several instances we used in the plays of attempts of Westerners to use Chinese --

BURNETT: This is my favorite part.

HWANG: -- the t-shirt is "I am pervert" Or something.

BURNETT: I am prevent, yes. And when he was trying to say I love you.

Now, you were born here, right?

HWANG: Yes, in Los Angeles.

BURNETT: Your parents are immigrants. Did you grow up speaking Chinese?

HWANG: I actually don't speak Chinese, so I'm just as guilty as any other American. I took Mandarin for a couple of years in college and every now and then I hire tutor, but essentially, my Mandarin, it's really lousy.

BURNETT: So one of the fun things watching the play I noticed was that your audience was very mixed. I mean, I didn't know what to expect. But you had, obviously, Americans. You had people that could either be Chinese American or pure Chinese.

Is that what your goal was, to try to bring all those people together or does that surprise you that that's what's happening? HWANG: We get Caucasian Americans -- you know, non-Chinese Americans, Chinese Americans and Chinese and they all laugh together.


HWANG: And that there is -- it is not like we're making fun more of one group than the other. It's more like we're laughing at our common syllables (ph).

BURNETT: Americans, though, are afraid of China in a lot of ways. It's seen as a threat. Maybe a country we can't do without, but maybe a lot of Americans wish that they could. Did you have a bigger goal in this play in terms of changing how people see essentially the next -- the dueling superpowers?

HWANG: Yes. I mean, I think it's really easy for Chinese to reduce Americans and for Americans to reduce China to a sort of monolithic, two-dimensional image. And, in fact, everybody's more complex than that. And the Chinese feel over there sometimes feel like, oh, the Americans are so smart and they got us to buy all their debt and, you know, we'll never be that smart. And Americans sometimes feel, oh, the Chinese are so smart, they manipulate their currency and we'll never be that smart.

And, you know, what it takes is the fact we're going to be two important powers and we need to be able to cooperate or else nobody's going to move forward.

BURNETT: All right. Well, I think we can all agree on that -- at least on this show.


BURNETT: All right. Well, David, thanks so much. Great to see you. And thanks for coming. Good luck with the play.

All right. Tomorrow, Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn comes OUTFRONT. He is in the vaunted "game of six" -- Republicans and Democrats who say they're going to work together and cut the American debt and get our rating back. He comes OUTFRONT tomorrow with his big idea and to put some pressure on the "group of 12" that we are obsessed with on this program, a group that must take action, super committee.

Please, please super committee, step up. Be heroes. Don't be that.

"ANDERSON COOPER 360" starts in just a couple of seconds. Thanks so much as always for watching OUTFRONT.