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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Penn State Coach Joe Paterno And President Graham Spanier Were Officially Out Of Job; Republican Debate Result In Michigan; Nancy Grace Voted Off;
Aired November 9, 2011 - 22:59 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ISHA SESAY, CNN ANCHOR: Breaking news tonight: legendary Coach Joe Paterno out of a job at Penn State University. The president of the university also being replaced. That was announced just a short time ago by the university board of trustees. Right now, a closer look at the time line of this scandal and how we got to this point. Jason Carroll has that.
CARROLL (voice-over): The allegations of rape and sexual abuse by Jerry Sandusky stretch back as far as 1994, when he met his first alleged victim, a 10-year-old boy, through his charity for troubled youth, the Second Mile.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is a case about a sexual predator, accused of using his position within the community and the university to prey on numerous young boys for more than a decade.
CARROLL: And at least three times, Sandusky's alleged abuse was seen by or reported to employees at Penn State.
In 1998, at this indoor practice facility, it's alleged that Sandusky inappropriately touched an 11-year-old boy in the shower. The boy's mother reported the incident to university police. That prompted an investigation by the university that included listening in on phone calls of the mother confronting Sandusky.
According to the grand jury report, Sandusky replied, "I was wrong. I wish I could get forgiveness. I know I won't get it from you. I wish I were dead."
Sandusky also admitted the incident to the Pennsylvania Department of public Welfare, saying, "It was wrong." But despite that admission, no charges were filed, and he was simply advised not to shower with children again.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Joe Paterno.
CARROLL: Despite being the one-time heir apparent to head coach Joe Paterno, Sandusky retired the year after this incident but maintained an office and access to university buildings as a professor emeritus at Penn State.
In 2000, at another athletic facility, a janitor allegedly saw Sandusky in the showers, quote, "with a young boy pinned up against the wall, performing oral sex on the boy." The janitor told his immediate supervisor what he saw, but neither man reported the incident to Penn State authorities or law enforcement.
Then in 2002, an alleged incident at the same athletic facility.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Sandusky was seen committing a sexual assault on a young boy of about 10 years of age and was reported to university officials by a graduate assistant who happened to be in the building late one Friday evening.
CARROLL: That graduate assistant, Mike McQueary, reported the incident to Paterno. Exactly what he reported is in dispute.
Paterno said in a statement, "It was obvious that the witness was distraught over what he saw, but he at no time related to me the very specific actions contained in the grand jury report."
"The New York Times" reports that a person familiar with McQuery's version of the conversation said "Paterno was given explicit details of the assault." Paterno's statement goes on to say "because Sandusky was already retired at that point, he referred the matter to University administrators, specifically, Timothy Curley, Penn State's athletic director." He and Gary Schultz, senior VP for finance and business took away Sandusky's locker room keys and banned him from having children in the football building but never reported the incident to law enforcement or child protective services.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Their inaction allowed a child predator to continue to victimize children for many, many years.
CARROLL: In total, Sandusky faces 40 charges tied to sexual assault on eight boys. Curley and Schultz are charged with failing to report abuse and lying to a grand jury. Long time Penn State President Graham Spanier is under melting pressure to resign for his handling of the 2002 incident.
And 84-year-old Joe Paterno announced today he will retire at the end of the season saying in as Statement, "this is a tragedy. It's one of the great sorrows of my life with the benefit of hindsight I wish I had done more."
Jason Carroll, CNN, State College, Pennsylvania.
SESAY: Well, if you're just joining us, breaking news, Coach Joe Paterno and the president of Penn State University have both lost their jobs tonight in the weight of a child sex abuse scandal at the school. The University board of trustees made the announcement less than an hour ago.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
The board of trustees and Graham Spanier has decided that effective immediately, Doctor Spanier is no longer president of the University. In addition, Joe Paterno is no longer the head football coach effective immediately.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SESAY: Well, joining us now, CNN's Jason Carroll and Mike Galanos. If I can start with you, Mike, describe what you're seeing. Set the scene. We still see students, lots of them, milling around.
MIKE GALANOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (via telephone): What's going to happen at Beaver Avenue?
SESAY: Mike, I don't know if you can hear me. Mike Galanos, its Isha here.
GALANOS: Hi Isha, I can hear you.
SESAY: We're going to work to re-establish contact with Mike, clearly some difficulties there. But I want to bring in Jason Carroll and get his take on what's playing out on campus right now.
Jason, what do you make of these scenes that we are looking at?
CARROLL (via telephone): Well, I have to say, over the past few days, there was so much passion, Isha. You know on both sides of these issues. So many students who would air reported Joe Paterno really felt like this was a man that they had looked up to for so many years. I think that's why it's so hard for them to take some of this news.
Even so, in terms of what Joe Paterno was like and some of the things that he was saying in front of his home, thanking the students for coming out, these types of things that you have to imagine, it's not the type of activity that Joe Paterno would want to see because if you think about the type of man that he is, this is the man that stood for much. He insisted that his athletes have good grades. He set a high standard. He set a high bar.
And so, to see students acting in way that might be rowdy or in some way disrespect the University really goes against what in many ways Joe Paterno stood for, for some 46 years while he was there coaching there at Penn State.
SESAY: Mike, we've established contact with you now. Galanos, what are you seeing now? What are they doing? These students, where are they going?
GALANOS: They are heading to Beaver Avenue and its -- they are flocking to that place. I was just talking to a student just a moment ago and he told me that's what happens. Everyone is flocking to Beaver Avenue because they were behind the pictures that you're looking at, the old main building and all of a sudden they made a dash for it and now they are assembling it at Beaver Avenue.
We are going to head over there to see exactly what is planned or what will happen. I can imagine, Isha that the chance will continue. We want Joe back. Talking about Joe Paterno and just straight up chanting Joe Paterno's name. I mean, every student I've talked to today once again they are in support of him staying on as coach. I don't think any of these students thought this would happen this day, that Joe Paterno, their beloved and legendary coach, would no longer be the head man for the lions at Penn State.
SESAY: And it seems play out, any signs of college officials or college security? I mean give us some insight into that.
GALANOS: You know nothing that I've seen. The social media was really buzzing right before that press conference, urging people stay calm. Maybe some folks have an inkling that the announcement was coming. But -- and also talking about you know, security but we have not seen you know a strong presence. But you know they are out there. And you know that they been through this drill before. I'm sure they are out there as we can hear sirens as we speak, Isha, so they are heading to again, Beaver Avenue where everybody is assembling.
SESAY: Jason, you have been on the story since the beginning. As we see look at the scenes and they see students' out and making their feelings known, you have to wonder what the culture of the school is like. You've spoke to people. What kind of school is this? What is the culture like?
CARROLL: Well, as what you've seen in so many types of schools like this, football is king. And when you think of football, you think of the iconic figure that stands behind it and that is Joe Paterno. This is a man who made that program. You can't talk about that program without talking about, quite frankly, people like Joe Paterno and in the past, Jerry Sandusky.
These are the types of figures that so many athletes are familiar with and have grown up with. And so, when as figure like that is taken out of the equation and not allowed to live in the way that he wants to, there is obviously going to be some people there who are not going to be happy with that decision.
In terms of speaking to some of the players that I've spoke to earlier today, they stood behind the coach, they stood behind his decision to want to finish out the season and then retire but having that last bit taken away, there is going to be some disappointed people there. But having said that, on the other side of this, we also heard from students who thought that he should have been removed a long time ago and not just him but the other school officials as well.
So there was passion on both sides of this issue. But once again, I have to stress the type of rowdy behavior that you see out there, you have to think that someone like a Joe Paterno, who stood for so much in terms of doing the right thing and acting the right way would not approve of this type of activity.
SESAY: I don't know if you know the answer to this, Jason, but do you know when the next college football game with the Nittany Lions is to take place? Because it begs the question, what kind of scenes we're going to see. CARROLL: Well, that's going to be this weekend, the Saturday against Nebraska. So we'll have to see what happens. It's really anyone's guess. But, once again, I think what will happen tomorrow is, you know that the players will have a heart to heart and then perhaps some things will go out with the social media in terms of how to conduct one self. But if anyone is true for what Joe Paterno tried to teach for so many years, it was behaving in a certain way, making good grades and being what a true athlete should be.
SESAY: Jason Carroll, Mike Galanos, stand by. First, I want to bring in CNN senior legal analyst Jeff Toobin. He is on the phone. Jeff, I know that you've been looking at the scenes just as we have. What do you make of the reaction of the news that coach Paterno is out?
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST (via telephone): Well, I would be very careful about judging the overall reaction to his dismissal by looking at a few angry students. The magnitude of this event is simply enormous. People are horrified across the country, not just across Pennsylvania.
So while it's not surprising that there is a group of students who supported Joe Paterno, I would be very careful about drawing any larger conclusions about how much support for him there is. People are horrified across the country about this and as much as Joe Paterno has been a respected figure in college sports, which he certainly has been, this is a much bigger event, than a few protesting students acknowledge.
SESAY: And your thoughts on the board of trustee's decision to remove them effective, Joe Paterno, and Graham Spanier to remove them immediately, the right move, in your opinion?
TOOBIN: Well, you know, since you're asking, I mean, I'm not usually in the business of giving my opinion. I think it was absolutely the right decision. This was a complete collapse, legally, morally, and in every other way by the administration of Penn State University to allow this pedophile to operate with impunity year after year, abusing children in the Penn State locker rooms.
And, you know, with no one doing anything about it, and you know we are only now learning apparently how many victims this guy had and the fact that Joe Paterno and other administrators had information about his pedophilia and his sexual assault and didn't report it to police is, frankly, a moral monstrosity, as far as I'm concerned. And I think the idea that he could again have appeared on the side lines for Penn State would have been appalling.
SESAY: And a number of investigations, if they haven't got it under way, we'll get going shortly, including the department of education investigation, Jeff?
TOOBIN: Well, I mean, the investigations are only beginning. And, yes, the department of investigation will proceed and, yes, the attorney general of Pennsylvania who brought the charges against Sandusky, the former coach and the two administrators, that investigation is proceeding and they are apparently getting more victims all the time.
But it's not even over with those. There are going to be many civil lawsuits filed against Penn State University charging negligence and worse and allowing these assaults to go on. I mean, I would not be surprised to see Penn State certainly sued for many millions of dollars. But I wouldn't be surprised if they -- if they paid some settlements because they are not going to want to have trials about what the administration did not do in reaction to these sorts of terrible, terrible disclosures.
SESAY: Jeff, stand by for us. I appreciate the insight. I want to bring in Andy Staples who covers college football for sports illustrated.
Andy. Thanks for joining us. Jeff Toobin made a point, an important point that maybe not to characterizing the scenes that are being played out there at Pen State as being indicative of overwhelming support for Joe Paterno. Do you agree with that?
ANDY STAPLES, WRITER, SPORTS ILLUSTRATED (via telephone): I was in college once. I did stupid stuff. I've been watching the pictures you guys have been sending. I got to be honest, they are just happy to be on TV. I don't think they are all that mad about it.
SESAY: So you think that the motivation is just to be on TV to let off some steam, as it were? I mean --
STAPLES: When you're 19, 20 years old and a bunch of other 19, 20-year-olds are running around screaming, you'll probably start running around scream with them, too.
SESAY: What are your thoughts on the news that Joe Paterno is to be removed from his position effectively immediately?
STAPLES: They did what they had to do. There was no way that they could let him coach on Saturday. To do that would be passionately endorsing what happened. And what happened was someone told Joe Paterno that he saw a grown man molest a young boy in a shower and Joe Paterno, nobody did anything about it, and Joe Paterno, the most powerful man on campus or a tough man in town, didn't follow up on it, didn't do anything about it. Neither did the athletic director. Neither did the vice president of the school. Neither did the president of the school and they are all without jobs now and that's the way it should be.
SESAY: Andy, stand by for us. Mike, if I can go back to you and to the live pictures, what are you seeing right now?
GALANOS: Right now we saw fireworks being shot off. Again, they are heading to an area -- I talked to a couple of students. Basically, they are going to rally. They are going to chant. That will continue. They are going to hear their voices heard.
But again, we saw a few fireworks. Its a few blocks away from where we are now. We are going to head to that area in a moment for that. so that we can tell you at this point.
SESAY: What about his point that Andy Staples just made, that his view is that some of these kids out there, it's not about Joe Paterno. It's just about you know being young and I don't know full of adrenalin and wanting to be on TV? The students you've spoken to, what do they say about the reasons for being out there?
GALANOS: Well, I can't discount that. I'm sure that there is some of that. The students I did talk to, they were all in support of Joe Paterno and to that point, yes, we're talking about you know young students and to them, Penn State is Joe Paterno and they are going to stick by him. I think he's almost a father or grandfatherly figure. He's an 84-year-old man on the job for six seasons. He is Penn State. So, certainly they are going to be in support of him. I don't know how many read the grand jury report and things like that. So, take that into account.
And I think outside the walls of this school and outside of State College, obviously things change in the debate about Joe Paterno and change quickly. I saw a facebook poll on HLN that said that 73 percent said that he should go and go now. That wasn't the case from what the people I talked today though, Isha, here in the State College.
SESAY: Indeed. And Jason, as we want to keep reminding our viewers, you have been on the story from the very beginning, speaking to a lot of people there at Penn State University. I mean what do they say to you about the way forward and how they rebuild from this?
CARROLL: Well, I think this is what we're going to see here. I think we're going to have the sort of flashes of anger that Paterno has been forced out. But I think once that dies down, the story is then going to shift to what's Jeffrey Toobin was talking about. And that is back to Jerry Sandusky and his victims.
You know, Isha, I spoke to a source close to the investigation. He told me that the police tip line has received more than a dozen calls since Tuesday from more people who say that they too were victimized by Jerry Sandusky.
Now, as you know, so far, he's been charged with assaulting - sexual assaulting eight boys. But that number, according to the attorney general, they expect that number to grow simply because this man for such a long period of time had access to young boys very easily and so, its - in their opinions that more victims would come forward. And that is what we're starting to see.
So, I think the story is going to start to shift. I think it's been focused on Paterno because once again, he is some ways the face of Penn State football. But then it's going to get back to what the story should really be about because it's not, at the ends of the day, about football. It's about young boys that were victimized, sexually assaulted, allegedly by Jerry Sandusky.
And that is what the story is going to get back to. And according to attorney general office source that I spoke to, more victims are starting to come forward.
Yes. And tomorrow the conversation is going to be about the scenes that are playing out right now in these late hours and just really, I would imagine a great amount of debate there at Penn State.
CARROLL: Absolutely, without question. The debate is something well, look, in a college campus, it's all about today. And I think people will talk about was the right decision made, was it made quick enough. These are the type of things that will continue to go on and probably throughout the weekend since simply because you do have a game coming up and it's a big football school.
But once again, even Paterno said himself yesterday in front of his home, his son Scott echoing the same thoughts, which is their thoughts were for the people who may have been victimized by Jerry Sandusky and that is what he wanted to people who showed up at his home asking for him to stay to think about and pray for.
SESAY: Indeed. All of our thoughts and prayers. Jason Carroll and Mike Galanos, Andy Staples covers college football for sports illustrated and CNN senior legal analyst, Jeffrey Toobin. Our thanks to all of you.
Stay with us. Our own Anderson Cooper has an interview with Doctor Phil McGraw about all of this, all this taken place at Penn State University. We will be right back.
SESAY: More now on the breaking news from Penn State University, just announced a short time ago the University's president and legendary head football coach no longer have jobs in the wake of the child abuse scandal. The board of trustees announced that President Graham Spanier will be replaced and Coach Joe Paterno is being removed from his position effective immediately.
Early, Paterno had plans retire at the end of the season, saying he was devastated by the developments in the case. Grieve for the children and their families and prayed for their comfort and relieve. Stunning development in this scandal so many allegations against former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky. Earlier, Anderson spoke with Dr. Phil McGraw.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Dr. Phil, I find this so stunning. And I guess the thing that shocks me most of all, I mean one is used to hearing about you know depraved people doing horrible things, but the fact that numerous people actually witnessed Sandusky allegedly sexually assaulting these boys, raping these boys in a public space in the shower room. But none of them stepped in to stop the assault as they were actually talking place and didn't seem to really follow up beyond maybe an initial reporting to a supervisor and in one case to Paterno.
DR. PHIL MCGRAW, HOST, "THE DR. PHIL SHOW": Well, Anderson, that's really disturbing at a couple of levels. You know, one of the things we know about children that are molested is that we are groomed for this. And whether it's through intimidation or whatever it might be, they don't have a voice. They don't have the ability to step up and stop what's going on.
And when you have people in a position where they do have a voice, they do have power that know what's going on, even see what's going on and they don't stop it, how do you go home and have dinner when you've walked past something like that and leave a child in harm's way? And then when it does get reported and people don't act on it, it makes you wonder, OK, they've got one agenda and they're going to pursue that at the cost of whatever. And when you're throwing children under the bus, leaving them isolated and alone, that is just the most repugnant thing you can imagine.
COOPER: Before the break, we heard from a man, who says when he was an adolescent. Jerry Sandusky repeatedly placed his hand on his leg. This happened multiple times over several years. Other boys who were victimized by Sandusky say it began with similar inappropriate touching. And if the allegations are true, this guy sounds like a serial predator.
MCGRAW: Well, what we know, Anderson, is when you have a child molester, it is not a typical. It's not unusual at all for them to have 40 or 50 victims during their life. And they'll go until they've gotten caught and sometimes after they've been caught and then released.
So if you see someone like that with a child, you've got to assume that there may be dozens of other victims. And so if you don't act, not only do you not help that child but you leave others in harm's way. And you wonder how many children were impacted after someone actually witnessed this and they were victimized because somebody didn't step up and do the right thing. And that is so institutionally inconsistent with Penn State and the message they put out.
COOPER: It also, you know, puts a question mark unfortunately over a lot of good folks who are working with kids and kids in, you know, in precarious situations, kids in need, kids who don't have access to a lot of resources. And the guy who formed a charity which was supposed to help kids in need, and now you wonder was the whole idea of his charity so he could get access to vulnerable kids.
MCGRAW: Well, it may very well be. And here's the thing. And this is going to be very disturbing to talk about. But, look, we just need to talk about this. The truth is that stranger danger only comprises about 10 percent of the assaults that take place on children, sexual molestation. In 90 percent of the circumstances, it is someone that is known to them.
And let me tell you who can be the most dangerous. It's the predator that understands that there is an at-risk child, maybe a single mother, maybe a mother and father that are both working and they're stressed, and so they step up and say, hey, let me lend a hand, let me help, let them be in my activity here or let me come and take care of them so that the sad fact is we have to look the hardest at those that reach out to impact our children. And that's so tragic, because most of those people are just good folks that truly want to help.
But embedded in that group are the predators, because they're the ones that reach out and offer what seems like help when, in fact, they're targeting your child. And that makes it real tough for a p a parent to know who to trust.
COOPER: Yes. So, I mean what's your advice for parents on what they should be looking out for?
MCGRAW: Well, one of the things you've got to look out for, if somebody is coming and offering to be involved with your child and help your child, you need to do a background check on him. You need to know. Don't just take the fact that they seem to be credible, that they tell a good game, that they have a seemingly credible organization. You need to take the time to really do a background check.
And if you've got somebody that is overly interested in your child and particularly if they know too much about their music, too much about their video games, too much about what interests those kids, if you've got a 40-year-old man who knows too much about what 5- and 6-year-old children are interested in and focused on, that's a warning sign.
If you've got someone that is too relating too much to a teen and focused on what they're turned on by, what they're interested in, what their passions are, that might just be somebody that really relates well to kids, but it may be somebody that has learned their currency in order that they can get next to them and create a bond of trust.
COOPER: Yes. Dr. Phil McGraw, appreciate it. Thanks.
MCGRAW: Anderson, thank you.
SESAY: Coming up, tonight's Republican debate in Michigan. The focus was the economy but the sexual harassment allegation against Herman Cain also came up with the very strong reaction from the audience so the panels weigh in next.
Also ahead, more politics. Senator Rand Paul says that President Obama is not interested in getting a budget deal from the congressional super committee, only in getting re-elected. We're keeping them honest. That and much more when "360" continues.
SESAY: CNBC Republican debate just wrapped up in suburban Detroit Michigan just a short time ago. The focus, the economy. But since it was the first debate since four women came forward with sexual harassment allegations against Herman Cain, everyone was wondering, would that issue come up and how would it be received.
Well, the answer came early on in the debate. Take a look.
MARIA BARTIROMO, CNBC DEBATE MODERATOR: In recent days, we have learned that four different women have accused you of inappropriate behavior. Here we're focusing on character and judgment. You've been a CEO.
HERMAN CAIN (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Yes.
BARTIROMO: You know that shareholders are reluctant to hire a CEO where there are character issues. Why should the American people hire a president if they feel there are character issues?
CAIN: The American people deserve better than someone being trialed in the court of public opinion based on unfounded accusations.
JOHN HARWOOD, CNBC DEBATE MODERATOR: Governor Romney, when you when you were in capital, you purchased a lot of companies. You could fire the CEO and the management team or you could keep them. Would you keep the CEO? Are you persuaded by what Mister Cain has said? Would you keep him on if you had bought his company?
MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I -- look. Look. Herman Cain is the person to respond to these questions. He just did. The people in this room and across the country can make their own assessment, I haven't.
SESAY: Now, joins us live in Washington, CNN Political Contributor and Democratic Strategist Paul Begala, also in Washington, CNN contributor and former Bush speechwriter, David Frum, editor of frumforum.com and in Cincinnati, Ken Blackwell, senior fellow at the Family Research Council and former Ohio secretary of State.
Good evening, gentlemen. David Frum, if I can start with you, before I get to the Herman Cain issue, there was a gasp by Rick Perry he couldn't named three agencies of the federal government that he wanted to eliminate even though he vowed to eliminate precisely that number. And some are calling this potentially a fatal blunder to his campaign. What's your reaction?
DAVID FRUM, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, it was agonizing thing to watch. The any one spoken that public has been through something like it before but never in front of so many eyes. It was painful but it - but it was painful because it exacted pain.
Rick Perry has been in trouble for a long time. There's a question of whether he's mentally up to the job of moving to the national level from the state level. I think his detractors saw what they feared. I think his contributors are going to be very discouraged.
SESAY: Ken Blackwell, what was your reaction to this blunder?
KEN BLACKWELL, FORMER OHIO SECRETARY OF STATE: I think it was a stumble. I don't think it was fatal.
SESAY: Stumble but not fatal? Considering his performances in the past debates, he needed a good performance, right?
BLACKWELL: I think he, in this debate, in total, he did - he did just fine. Did he present easy target for those who want you tube but score the stumble? Yes. But you know look, Rick Perry is in this for the long haul. He has the money. He has the determination. He has the organization. And there will be no more debates.
SESAY: Alright, Paul, you saw in the cut that we played, the top of the segment that there were some revoke remembers so they wouldn't say, didn't appreciate the moderator asking Herman Cain about the sexual allegations.
Let me ask you this, do you take that as a signal that the larger Republican electorate doesn't want to see Mister Cain further questioned about all of this?
PAUL BEGALA, CNN POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR: Well, it was hard to tell. The audience at a later point cheered when Congressman Rand Paul from Texas called for abolishing all student loans and that's really not a proposition for polling. I doubt if it's important for Republicans. But I let my Republican friends speak to that.
I thought Mister Cain handled it almost as well as you could. He didn't get into any more specifics, which I think was wise. He just sort of blankly said that again, it wasn't true. The audience did lift him up a bit. And I thought that Governor Romney who was asked to comment on it and did a smart thing. No. No. It's for Mister Cain to answer it. Not me.
SESAY: And David, were you surprised by the fact that Mitt Romney didn't take the opportunity to go after Herman Cain?
FRUM: I'm not at all surprised by it. Why would you step in to the middle of that? And by the way, it's also the right thing to do. There's a lot about this that is unknown and it's not all allegations. There are two settlements. We know about that. Money was paid.
But it's not something that another candidate needs to get in the way of. It's between this candidate and the voters. I think to your earlier question, I think it will matter. Half of Republicans are women and the other half, the other half that is men. I mean I have my daughter who is starting her first paid job this year. She's 20. I look at this -- this kind of story with a pretty flinty eye. I think there probably a lot of Republicans in the male half of the party that feel the same way.
SESAY: And Blackwell, you saw Mitt Romney standing aside and not taking advantage of the opening to go after Herman Cain. But if Herman Cain's poll numbers remain strong and these allegations remain in the news, will that change? Will they change that strategy and go after this issue?
BLACKWELL: Well, I think when you look at the -- two of the first three States in particular, South Carolina and Iowa, I think the voters of those states will sort this thing out and the other candidates don't have the need or nor is it smart for them to go on the attack. The voters are pretty smart. They take the measure of all of the candidates, their character, their policies and you know Herman Cain will work through the scrutiny of the voters.
SESAY: Alright, let's focus a little bit more on Mitt Romney.
David, Mitt Romney was pressed on his perceived flip flop on the government bailout in the auto industry. I want to play a bit of his answer. Take a look and then we'll discuss.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROMNEY: John, I care about this State and about the auto industry like I guess no one else on this stage having been born and raised here, watched my parents make their life here. I was here in the 1950s and 1960s when Detroit and Michigan was the pride of the nation. I've seen this industry and I've seen this State go through tough times. I think people understand that I'm a man of steadiness and constancy. I don't think you're going to find someone with more of those attributes than I do. I've been married to the same woman for 25 -- excuse me. I'll get in trouble. For 42 years.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SESAY: Note that, you want to get wrong. Aside from the gaffe about his wife, I mean how did he handle all this? I mean it's a central criticism of Mitt Romney that as a politician he one that shifts with the political winds?
FRUM: Well, I don't think it's a quite fair criticism, especially on this point. I mean he there he is on the stage in Michigan and he defended bankruptcy for the automakers. That takes some nerve. He also has a different position on what you do about the automakers, which are not central to the whole world financial system and the banking system that went into crisis in October of 2008.
The manage bankruptcy is something you did talk about for a long time. And I think some of the questions about the flip-flopping occur because Mitt Romney is trying to hold on to some more new ones positions in a base party that is clamoring for bread meat. He doesn't want end this protocol career by telling the audience that they are wrong but clearly there are important differences between him and some of these primary voters and he has to walk a line if he is to be an effective nominee and effective president.
SESAY: Gentlemen, we have to leave it there. Paul Begala, David Frum, Ken Blackwell, thank you to you all. Thanks for joining us. Still ahead on "360," big drama on Capitol Hill, Republican Senator Rand Paul accuses the Democrats of refusing to talk about deficit reduction. He says the president doesn't care about anything other than being re-elected. Democrats say they didn't walk out of talks. We'll get to the bottom of the controversy.
Also ahead, what Doctor Conrad Murray said about Michael Jackson as he waited for the jury to decide his fate?
COOPER: In raw politics, there was never much a meeting of minds between Democrats and Republicans these days especially on the issue of debt reduction, but the bipartisan super committee was supposed to be different -- both parties working together to find a solution.
Unfortunately, they can't even agree on what's going on in their meetings. Republican Rand Paul who is not a member of the super committee went on FOX News on Sean Hannity's radio show with what we considered a scoop that committee Democrats had walked out, refusing to negotiate.
(BEGIN VIDE CLIP)
SEN. RAND PAUL (R), KENTUCKY: I have news straight from sources close to the super committee that the Democrats have walked away from the table and they're refusing to talk with the Republicans about a deal. They will not counter any offers and basically there's an impasse and it's starting to look like they don't want any deal at all.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Democrats, on the other hand, say they haven't walked away from anything and called Paul's Statement, quote," absolutely ridiculous." Earlier I had a chance to speak with Senator Rand Paul about his controversial statements.
COOPER: Senator Paul, you said today that the Democrats on the super committee have walked away from the table or you'd heard they walked away from the table. Our reporters on the Hill haven't heard that version of the events. The Democrats are flat out denying it.
"National Journal" is quoting a Republican aide saying a Democratic senator suggested a time-out. That's not walking away. Are you sure they walked away?
PAUL: Well, you know, I get most of my information from watching Chuck Schumer on the cable news networks, and it sounds like this morning he's saying that we won't negotiate and the negotiations are breaking down. So I think it's probably safe to say that we are at an impasse.
But, you know, they say the walls have ears. I think the walls also have whispers, and the whispers I'm hearing are that the Democrats have walked away from the table and they're unwilling to really try to honestly reach a compromise. It's made me think, because I see the president always on the campaign trail now, and I see him really liking to beat up on a Congress that's not doing anything. My suspicion is maybe the president doesn't want a deal, that maybe he sees his campaign to benefit by not having a deal.
COOPER: But you actually said something similar to that earlier today on -- I think it was on Sean Hannity's program. It was a pretty bold statement of what you said. I want to play that for our viewers and ask you about it.
PAUL: I think the president's calculation here is that it helps his campaign not to have a deal. So I don't think he cares at all about what this will do to people's retirement accounts on November 23rd, November 24th, if the stock market plummets, the president doesn't care about your retirement account. He cares only about his election and any deal will not be good for his election.
COOPER: It's a pretty tough statement to say that the president doesn't care about people's 401(k) s. Do you really believe that?
PAUL: You know, I suspect that we're getting to that point because everything is about his campaign now. I'll give you an example. If you wanted to work with me, would you call me stupid?
The president on the campaign trail is saying Republicans are too stupid to understand his jobs program so he's breaking it up into pieces. You know there are stick and the carrot to diplomacy. If he wants to work with us, he should call us and talk to us. We have actually parts of our jobs bill which we introduced today, the Republicans' jobs bill that both sides could agree to. But do you think -- the rhetoric doesn't help. For him to call us too stupid to understand his plan isn't getting us any closer to a deal.
COOPER: The CBO report this week made it clear a cuts-only approach is not going to get a jobs bill done. We talked to a lot of Republicans. They won't even consider revenue increases though.
PAUL: But you know a lot of people are talking about getting rid of loopholes and reductions. Precisely what the president wants. He's saying we won't compromise, and many reports are coming out from the super committee. We have been.
COOPER: You think it's enough -- just to getting --
PAUL: Plan after plan. You know they've been meeting for two months, and Republicans have offered to close loopholes repeatedly. That is on the table. But the Democrats are backing away from the table, and the word I got was late last evening walking away from the table and saying, you know, we don't have any more discussion now. We're not going to counter that. They're just not coming towards us while we are trying to come towards them.
COOPER: And for you, you say that's all about politics on the democratic side. PAUL: I worry that it is. I mean, you've seen the president on the campaign trail. There's a lot of bashing of Republicans for being too stupid to understand his jobs plan. There's a lot of bashing of millionaires and billionaires and Republicans won't do anything with his jobs bill.
We have a jobs bill, too. If you're going to compromise, he needs to come and look at our jobs bill. Call me up. I'm down the street from him. Call me up, sit down with me, and let's work out a compromise on a jobs bill and we can pass something.
He's not doing that. He's on the campaign trail all the time bashing us. He needs to be in Washington calling up -- didn't have to be me but it could be other Republican leaders. He should come over and sit down with Mitch McConnell or he should come over sit down with John Cornyn (ph) or other leaders and say this part of the jobs plan that I have, could you agree to this if we did this.
COOPER: Tim Geithner did that.
PAUL: Instead it's all or nothing.
COOPER: Tim Geithner did that before going to Europe. He sat down with McConnell and according to reports McConnell said essentially what you said, that Democrats don't really want to make a deal, that the president wants this stuff to fail. And Geithner said no, that's not true, we've put forward a number of plans.
PAUL: Yes, but when you hear him on the campaign trail he says we won't pass his jobs plan. I mean the vice president says we're responsible for rape and murder because we won't pass their jobs plan. That's the kind of rhetoric you know people are saying we're not going to compromise, that inflammatory gets us nowhere.
I will endeavor reasonable discussion. I have a very good discussion with the president one-on-one and I personally said I would work with him. And I still stand by that. I will work with the president. I will work with him to find middle ground. But it doesn't help if he's calling us names on the campaign trail all the time.
COOPER: Senator Rand Paul, appreciate your time, sir. Thank you.
PAUL: Thank you.
COOPER: Well, keep in mind you heard Senator Paul claimed that President Obama called Republicans stupid. Well, I did some checking. We could found actually no evidence that he ever called them that.
However, in talking about his jobs plan and how Congress was voting on it in pieces, he did say, maybe they, quote, "maybe they" he mean the GOP, "couldn't understand the whole thing all at once." No mention of the word, stupid, though the implication is there. Still ahead, new developments in the Herman Cain sexual harassment scandal, including information that contradict Cain's claim and he doesn't remember ever meeting one of his accusers.
Also ahead, what Doctor Conrad Murray said about Michael Jackson as he waited to the jury to decide his fate?
And how could you break our heart like that? That's right America, all you voted our friend Nancy Grace off "Dancing with the stars"? With this found in the Ridiculist.
COOPER: Let's check back with Isha with 360 Bulletin. Isha.
SESAY: Anderson, a new angle on one part of Herman Cain's latest accusers' story. After Sharon Bialek went public Monday accusing Cain of groping her 14 years ago, Cain said that he didn't remember meeting her and didn't recognize her name.
Now Chicago radio hosts tell CNN that she saw Bialek and Cain talking about a tea party event just last month. The radio host says she couldn't hear the conversation.
Meanwhile, the attorney for another Cain accuser, Karen Kraushaar, says that may be a joint press conference by several of the women. The attorney says so far they haven't made contact with the two women who stayed anonymous, but they hope they have the courage to come forward.
A new interview with Doctor Conrad Murray will air on the "Today" show tomorrow and Friday. Murray spoke with the show before he was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in Michael Jackson's death. In the interview, Murray maintained his innocence.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: Is it your theory that he woke up and then would somehow in the two minutes you were gone injected himself, gave himself lidocaine (ph) so he wouldn't feel the burn? I mean, is that your theory?
CONRAD MURRAY, CONVICTED OF INVOLUNTARY MANSLAUGHTER: What do you think?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: What do you think?
MURRAY: Something happened when I was not in that room.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: So you believe its Michael Jackson's fault that he died.
MURRAY: Nothing that I gave Michael should have ended his life.
(END VIDEO CLIP) SESAY: And Eddie Murphy won't host the Academy Awards after all. The announcement came one day after the show's producer, Bret Ratliff, quit. Of course, Ratliff resigned over an anti-gay remark he made. Bret and Murphy work together in the new movie "Tower Heist."
COOPER: And Nancy Grace gets the boost from "Dancing with the Stars." And the judges and voters, the whole she-bang end up on the ridiculist.
COOPER: Time now for the ridiculist. And tonight, we're adding the "Dancing with the Stars" judges, the voters, basically the entire system, checks and balances on that show. Because somehow, and I don't know how HLN's own Nancy Grace has gotten as they say "the boot."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE ANNOUNCER: On this eighth week of competition, the couple who will be eliminated just one week shy of the semifinals is -- Nancy and Tristan.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Yep. Came down to her versus Rob Kardashian. Rob is a Kardashian who isn't Kim or the other one or that other one or those two younger two.
Let's just say there is a somewhat loose definition of stars sometimes on "Dancing with the Stars." So Nancy made it a full eight weeks in the competition, which is amazing. It is a heartbreaker to be sure. Because from the very first week she top mamboed right into our hearts and then like a really tiny, super feisty, very in nonnative dancing comet, she was gone. But taking the loss gracefully, Nancy says she's just happy to have made it as far as she did.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NANCY GRACE, HOST, NANCY GRACE SHOW: I am so proud, but I really cannot take the credit. You know what? It's been all Tristan from the get-go.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: That's very sweet, giving a little nod to her dancing partner, Tristan there. Here's what Nancy had to say later in the evening about what the journey -- for some reason they all call it a journey -- has meant to her.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: The most important thing I'll take away is a new love in my heart, and that would be Tristan, because we -- don't get crazy -- we have worked together seven days a week for a long time now. And contrary to the way we were depicted, we -- I actually love Tristan very much. So I'm taking away a new best friend.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: She really likes that Tristan. Nancy also thanked her fans and the people who voted for her every week.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: Thank you for voting for us and for getting to know Tristan. And hopefully you'll have many more seasons to know him. And I'll see you on the air.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Nancy, geez. Enough with the Tristan talk already. I mean its Tristan this, it's Tristan that.
Let's talk about -- about you, Nancy, because I happen to think the "Dancing with the Stars" judges and the voters, the whole system failed and failed miserably. This verdict was wrong. You know, friends, I'm suddenly starting to understand why Nancy gets so fired up on her HLN show. Can we take a caller or something? No callers? OK.
OK. All right, well, in any case, the verdict was wrong. Justice did not prevail, but in the end, I like to think in a way Nancy won. And you know what? We all won. Who would have thought we'd ever get a chance to see Nancy Grace do a cartwheel? Zowie. What other forum would lead to a nationwide debate on what exactly happened when Nancy had that wardrobe malfunction? I personally, I am going to miss Nancy emailing me every single week asking me to vote for her multiple times. True story.
So, friends, even though in this case the justice system has failed, we still have to trust that it's the best system going on the "Ridiculist."
That does it for us. We'll see you again at 10:00 p.m. Eastern tonight. Thanks for watching. "PIERS MORGAN" starts now.