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Penn State Sex Abuse Case; Second Mile Charity

Aired November 11, 2011 - 19:00   ET


ERIN BURNETT, HOST: Thanks, John. We're on the "Front Line" with Herman Cain. Despite the accusations surrounding him, he's leading. Can he hold the lead?

And baby Lisa Irwin missing for more than a month. Today is her first birthday. Attorney Joe Tacopina comes OUTFRONT to explain what he thinks happened. He's got a very specific person in mind.

And the "Bottom Line" on the Penn State child rape scandal, Joe Paterno out as coach, Assistant Mike McQueary on paid leave, and a super committee has been set up to investigate. That's our hour.

Let's go OUTFRONT.

I'm Erin Burnett and OUTFRONT tonight breaking news, a big day for the markets. The Dow up 260 points just shy of that. All three of the major indexes back in positive territory for the year. The trading volume pretty light. It was Veterans Day, but way better than expected data in terms of American consumer sentiment and some positive political news out of Europe. That will help Greece and Italy. It was enough to encourage investors to buy. It's a big number up end of the week. We wanted to highlight it.

All right it has been six days since Penn State University was rocked by child rape charges involving former Assistant Head Coach Jerry Sandusky. Interim President Rodney Erickson spoke out earlier today and said the university is dealing with the situation.

All right here's the latest. Assistant Coach Mike McQueary, who first reported witnessing the sexual abuse to Coach Joe Paterno in 2002, has been put on paid administrative leave. A special committee has been set up to investigate sexual abuse on campus. Penn State will play football tomorrow as a sign of support against child support -- abuse. And Joe Paterno has hired a lawyer to represent him. This is a big headline late in the day that he actually hired an attorney. Erickson also had this to say about the fired football coach.


RODNEY ERICKSON, PENN STATE INTERIM PRESIDENT: Joe Paterno has left a tremendous legacy at Penn State over many years, and I'm sure that in due course the university will find a way to recognize that, but now is not the right time to get into any specifics on that.

(END VIDEO CLIP) BURNETT: All right. There are a lot of questions, though, out there and we want to answer as many of them as we can tonight. We're going to be covering this through the hour. We have CNN's senior legal analyst -- senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin with us as well as HLN's Mike Galanos and Professor Mike Poorman. He's the professor who runs the Penn State Communications Department, who teaches a class about the media called "Joe Paterno, Communications and the Media".

He started covering Penn State football back in 1979. OK, Jeff Toobin, I want to start with you. Just looking at the headlines that came out late today, you have Rick Solars (ph) is a very well-known respected attorney now confirmed that Joe Paterno has hired an attorney. Why lawyer up?

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: It's the only prudent thing to do. This criminal investigation is probably closer to the beginning than in the end. New witnesses are coming forward. Apparently new victims are coming forward. The attorney general, when she made her announcement, said Joe Paterno wasn't going to be charged. But that doesn't mean he's going to be charged -- he's not going to be charge down the line. Plus, you have the absolute certainty of many civil lawsuits by these victims, by their families. He's going to need a lawyer for those. He's going to keep that lawyer busy. Doesn't mean he did anything wrong, the fact that he hired the lawyer, but he should have a lawyer.

BURNETT: Professor Poorman, what's your take on this after teaching a class, as you have, for all these years about Joe Paterno? Is this going to truly crack, if not permanently ruin a legacy he has worked many decades to build?

PROFESSOR MIKE POORMAN, PENN STATE UNIVERSITY: Well, it's been a crazy week, so I appreciate the thought, but I'm not head of the Communications Department, but I'm working on it. As far as Joe's reputation, obviously crack is a good word. And I think we'll have to wait and see how much it's really going to impact that. And the media obviously will have a huge role in that. Right now, they're trying to find a lot of dings, that's for sure.

BURNETT: All right and I'm curious as to your view, Professor, about one thing that really has stood out. I mean there have been allegations and incidents that have happened right over the past 15, 20 years. But in -- this spring, the grand jury came out with a set of results. They were talking about all these things that Jerry Sandusky was alleged to have done. But no one covered it in the national media. Why?

POORMAN: Why wasn't it covered by the national media?

BURNETT: Yes, what's your thought as to why?

POORMAN: I think -- I think part of why Joe has always liked it here. It's a tough place to get to. Access is really, really difficult whether you're local or national media. And I think Paterno's reputation is so strong that outside of this area, even the national folks in New York and L.A. and across the country, really you know they have bought into that image. And for the most part, that image is true. So you know they didn't think there was fire where there was smoke.

BURNETT: And obviously, it appears that on some level there has been. Mike Galanos, let me ask you what your view is of the big -- one of the big issues of today, which is why Penn State football team is actually going to be playing tomorrow?

MIKE GALANOS, ANCHOR, HLN: Erin and the president, Rodney Erickson, somewhat addressed that. That was a question that came to him and you got the feeling there that was a discussion of whether or not they should continue to play football. But as the press conference went on, it sounded like OK football is going to be a way for us to move forward. And the world is going to be watching. Really urged the students to say hey let's act to show Penn State is strong. Obviously a lot different from what we saw the mayhem in the streets just a few nights ago.

BURNETT: Mike Galanos, do you know where Jerry Sandusky is? Obviously, he posted bail.

GALANOS: You know I talked to somebody who actually knows him and spoke to him, but this was a couple of weeks ago, pre-scandal. Said he saw him at the grocery store. Never would have thought anything was coming down the pike. But since that time, all we heard that he is in hiding and has not been seen, that I know of, anyway, Erin. I'll just speak for some of the sources I've talked to.

BURNETT: Jeff Toobin --

TOOBIN: I don't understand why this guy is out on bail frankly.

BURNETT: Well that's what I wanted to ask you. Why would that be --

TOOBIN: I mean if you look at the standards for what judges think about, risk of flight and danger to the community. I mean if I were Jerry Sandusky, I'd be looking to get out of dodge. I mean given the magnitude of these crimes, I mean you know it's a very weird world where Conrad Murray is detained and --

BURNETT: And not allowed to go.

TOOBIN: -- and not allowed to go and Sandusky can go anywhere he wants, see -- he's been ordered to keep away from kids, but I mean he obviously -- that doesn't have much impact on it.

BURNETT: No, clearly it doesn't. Well let me ask you, what do think the punishment will be?


BURNETT: Hold on one second. What will the punishment be, Jeff?

TOOBIN: If he's convicted?


TOOBIN: He'll never get out of jail --


TOOBIN: Life. Yes, he's a 67-year-old man. This is a very serious crime, to say the least.


TOOBIN: He'll never get out of prison, another reason why he shouldn't be out on bail.

BURNETT: Yes. Well right. Mike Galanos, was that you that was jumping in or Professor Poorman?


POORMAN: Erin, he is out and about in dodge. There have been a lot of reports in the past two days from people I know, very credible reports. He's been seen a lot of places in town.

BURNETT: That is amazing in and of itself.

POORMAN: It's astounding.

BURNETT: I can't believe that. It is astounding.

POORMAN: It's incredible.

BURNETT: How many people do you think --

POORMAN: I think it goes to the heart -- goes to the heart of his mindset about this whole thing.

BURNETT: Jeff Toobin, how many people do you think will go to jail here? As we have been, you know reporting there are at least people who saw these explicit and horrible sexual acts or were directly told about them by people who saw them.

TOOBIN: Only three people have been charged so far, Sandusky, who is going to prison forever if he's convicted --


TOOBIN: The two administrators, the athletic director and the vice president those are very unusual crimes, particularly the crime of failure to report. Not a lot of people go to prison for that. They are also charged with perjury. I imagine given the magnitude of this case they would go to prison if they're convicted, but they are -- I think it's a close question. As for anyone else, you know, I just think it's too soon to tell.

BURNETT: Mike Galanos, I'm curious about the security situation on campus given that there was some violence the other night, given that there's debate over whether they should play. What is it like there?

GALANOS: Well they've told us, Erin that they've beefed up security for the game. Again everybody is saying let's not act like what we saw, those wild students a few nights ago. But yes, security is beefed up. We do not know what kind of atmosphere it's going to be. And I've talked to people who are going to the game and they say it's just going to be weird. A different atmosphere as they go to this game, I mean how will people respond? Football is the backdrop, but after this scandal, who knows?

BURNETT: All right. Well gentlemen thanks very much to all three of you. We appreciate it.

And OUTFRONT next, the Second Mile Foundation. That's the non- profit organization serving the youth where Jerry Sandusky met his alleged victims. An honorary board member of that group is NFL Hall of Famer Franco Harris. You met him earlier this week on our program. He is with us again tonight.

And former NHL player Sheldon Kennedy, a victim of abuse himself, joins us to talk about these children and what happens to them next. We're also going to be talking about some big questions with Mike McQueary, the guy who saw what happened in the locker room, the explicit sexual act. He's only been put on paid administrative leave. Is that right or not? We talk about that.

And it's been more than a month since the disappearance of Lisa Irwin. That is the baby who turned 1 year old today, who's missing in Missouri. Are we closer to finding her? Attorney Joe Tacopina comes OUTFRONT.


BURNETT: The number tonight, 53. That's how many millions of dollars the Penn State football team made in profits last year. It is a pretty big number, and it has to be because those profits pay for other sports at Penn State like fencing, volleyball, and a whole lot of others. When you look at all the sports at the end of the day Penn State's Athletic Department only made $32 million from its teams last year, so you can see that's really all football.

OK, it's frightening to think that Jerry Sandusky found many of his victims in a place that was set up to be a safe haven for underprivileged boys. The Second Mile charity was established in 1977. Sandusky was an integral part from the very beginning. This is him talking about the goals of the organization.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We thought if we could help a handful of kids, we would do that and then the staff and people have looked at the resources we had, at the needs that existed and grown and reached out and touched so many kids.


BURNETT: Sandusky remained a part of Second Mile until 2008, even though the charity learned there were allegations of abuse in 2002. NFL Hall of Famer Franco Harris played football for Sandusky at Penn State. He's been an honorary board member of Second Mile for more than a decade. He's OUTFRONT with us tonight. I know we talked to you earlier this week, Franco, so thanks again for coming back on. And there's a lot I want to ask you.


BURNETT: But first, just to explain, when you say honorary board member what did that mean your actual involvement was? Did you actually have to go to meetings? Were you aware, for example, of what happened in 2002 or in 2008 when the charity said that Mr. Sandusky could not spend time with the children?

HARRIS: As an honorary board member, it's usually just by name only. You don't go to any board meetings. You're listed on their letterhead so donors and people who give money and hopefully kids could see it to build up the PR for that charity. But there is no involvement in management or on any board that makes any decisions.

BURNETT: Do you, looking back on it now say, feel differently just about how boards work? I mean I can understand how having your name on it would help kids (INAUDIBLE) more donors give, but obviously I'm sure at this point you also feel a little bit strange about it.

HARRIS: Well, it still comes as a shock to us about Jerry. He reached far and wide and people that were very, very close to him just had no clue and when you work hard to get involved with programs that help kids there's some things that you can do. There are some things you can't control. We all believed in what Jerry was doing.

I mean, the Second Mile is a great program. And it helps thousands and thousands of kids a year. And it has changed a lot of lives. But unfortunately, we did have a predator that you talked about earlier. And it's very unfortunate that this organization was -- was -- that is part of this.

BURNETT: Franco, you had talked with me earlier this week about Joe Paterno before -- actually the night, but earlier in the night that he was -- that he lost his position as head coach. And you defended him that night saying you thought that he should be able to stay on. Obviously within hours he was removed. How do you feel now? Do you think it's the right decision given that now we've learned he heard such an explicit rendition of what happened in the shower with the rape of the 10-year-old boy and did not go to police?

HARRIS: Well, I'm still upset about the decision. I thought it was --


HARRIS: -- you know it was an easy and convenient decision on many fronts. When you look at what happened -- and we talked about what happened many times where Joe did his legal duty. Like the grand jury is a legal entity. Like it's not a moral entity and Mike and Joe did their legal requirement. And I stand by that. He did the right thing. And the big question now is going to be, you know, have they ever found that 10-year-old boy? Because when they go to case -- when they go to court that's going to be a tough situation there. And so we're hoping that people will come forward in this case.

BURNETT: All right. Well Franco, thank you very much. And for those of you watching, there have been reports that a lot of other people have been calling law enforcement in Pennsylvania with reports of other abuse, but we still have the eight boys right now that have formally been involved.

Former NHL player Sheldon Kennedy was abused from the age of 14 to 19 by his youth hockey coach. He came forward with his story in 1996. He's an advocate against sexual abuse. And he joins us again tonight as well. Sheldon, thanks very much to you. As we have learned more today, do you think that so far the school is doing the right thing or not?

SHELDON KENNEDY, FORMER NHL PLAYER: Well absolutely. I think they had to take a stand, Erin. They had to, you know get rid of anybody that had any type of involvement with this. And my thing is, is that they've got an opportunity to, you know take a negative situation and really turn it into a positive situation because I think that's what their expectation is. I mean, they have the ability now to reach out and help millions of kids in the country.

BURNETT: Sheldon, how many kids do you think are involved? You know I know last night when we were talking, Martha Coakley who had prosecuted Catholic priests up in Boston had said usually when you have an abuser, it's hundreds. You've gone through this in the context of highly competitive sports, being abused by a coach. What do you think is possible here?

KENNEDY: Well, I know that in my case, in the investigation, the police figured there was anywhere from 75 to 150 kids and -- in their investigation. And I know that the FBI studies say that the average pedophile affects over 100 kids before they're caught, if they're caught. So I think if we look at this situation, I think that we could be in the hundreds. You know, the odds of all of them coming forward are probably not great, but there will be more. I'm positive and I'm thinking that because of this case, there's going to be more victims coming forward across the country, which is a good thing.

BURNETT: Yes, it is a good thing. All right, well thank you very much, Sheldon Kennedy, for being with us again.

KENNEDY: Yes, thank you, Erin. I appreciate it.

BURNETT: OK, a new poll has Herman Cain leading the GOP despite the controversy surrounding his campaign and sexual harassment. We're going to talk about that and the unlikely and amazing number two.

And then Italy close to passing an austerity package. Is this really the end of Silvio Berlusconi? And seriously, what's the way to get good press? Write it yourself.


BURNETT: So we cover a lot of serious stories, but this one is more seriously. For two years, the "Deseret Connect", a freelance news service in Utah published a dozen stories written by a reporter named Richard Burwash. Now the stories, which were eventually picked up and published by the "Oquirrh (ph) Times", the "Deseret News" and even Utah's focused on West Valley City, Utah and quoted the city's mayor, Mike Winder. There's just one problem.

Peter Burwash (ph) was actually Mayor Mike Winder, seriously. The mayor was so worried that the press about his city was negative that he invented a fake persona to write positive stories. During the two years he lived a double life, the mayor sent e-mails as Richard Burwash, posed as him on the phone, even let his sister write one of the stories. Now representatives for the duped newspapers said all of Winder's articles were factually accurate except for the byline and the fact that of course they spun a positive image without fail.

The newspapers didn't realize the truth until the mayor's conscience got the best of him and he fessed up. Mike Winder has been suggested as a possible candidate for Salt Lake County mayor in next year's election. Yes, that's a promotion. And earlier this year, he introduced a new transparency standard for his city's government, seriously.

And in case you were wondering, that photo supposedly of Richard Burwash, it turns out the mayor found it on Google Images. It belongs to Peter Burwash, not Richard. Peter is a Canadian coach and motivational speaker. Peter is the author of about 10 books about tennis and as far as we can tell Mayor Mike Winder didn't write any of them, seriously.

All right when we come back we're going to talk more and get a live report from Penn State as everyone is getting ready for the big name tomorrow, find out the very latest and also talk to a reporter there about the big question as to whether Penn State football should be sanctioned. Only one other school in American history has ever had to lose a year of football. Should Penn State be the second?

And we're going to talk about the unlikely number two in the presidential election and baby Lisa Irwin turned one today. We're going to talk to the family's high-powered attorney. We'll be back.


BURNETT: 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".

First up, federal investigators are looking into the potential safety of lithium ion batteries. Now these are the batteries which power electric cars like the Chevy Volt and the Nissan Leaf. Investigators became concerned after a battery in a Chevy Volt caught fire three weeks after a crash test. Now here's the thing. Despite all the advertising and the celebrities saying it's cool to drive these cars, we looked at the numbers, and it just doesn't seem to be the truth. GM has sold 5,000 Volts. Nissan, 8,000 Leafs, less than one percent of those companies' total sales.

Number two, the man just picked to lead an independent investigation into the handling of the war debt has quit. A senior Pentagon official told CNN tonight this should not affect the probe. Richard Carmona, a former U.S. surgeon general, stepped down so he could run for an Arizona Senate seat. The Defense Department hasn't said who will now lead this crucial investigation into mismanagement including missing body parts at a mortuary at Dover Air Force Base.

Number three, as we predicted earlier this week "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3" is on its way to setting an entertainment industry record. Activision, the maker of the game, announced 6.5 million games were sold in the first 24 hours. Video game analysts told us the game could sell 20 million by the end of the year, 20 million games equals more than $1 billion in revenue, which would be a record.

And number four: OUTFRONT has learned that President Obama called the co-chairs of the super committee today telling them a deal must be reached. Democratic Senator Patty Murray and Republican Representative Jeb Hensarling both received separate phone calls from the president. We're told Mr. Obama told them each side must make hard choices.

The committee of 12 has 12 days to agree on how to cut $1.2 trillion from the deficit. It's lucky 12-12-12 on 11-11-11.

OK, it's been 98 days since the U.S. lost its top credit rating. What are we doing to get it back? If you did not know, this is amazing. Colleges have debt and are rated by the credit rating agency, too.

Penn State has debt. And the child rape scandal at Penn State has caused Moody's to put the university's debt on review for potential downgrade, saying it will monitor the reputational and financial effects of the events there. If the school's debt is downgraded, it will have to borrow money at a higher cost. That feeds all the way through to things like tuition.

At this hour, students at Penn State are getting ready for a vigil of the victims of the child rape scandal, which has rocked the university. Even though head coach Joe Paterno has been fired, the school still has a football game to play tomorrow against Nebraska.

For some perspective on the game, the football program, and the culture of impunity that led to this point, we're joined from State College, Pennsylvania, by Andy Staples, college football writer for "Sports Illustrated."

Andy, really appreciate you taking the time.

I wanted to ask you, I guess, a question first of all about the mood and what you're sensing there. Obviously, there was violence earlier this week. Now everyone is saying play this game in honor of child abuse victims.

What's the feeling on campus right now?

ANDY STAPLES, SPORTS ILLUSTRATED: It's weird. You know, I cover a big game pretty much every week. There's the same number of people in town. There's the same type of stuff going on. It's just kind of a different mood.

For example, I was in Tuscaloosa last week before the Alabama-LSU game. The place was absolutely buzzing. Everyone was having a great time.

Here, it's just a little different. People are quieter, maybe a little more somber. They're just trying to take in everything that's happened. And people really, kind of, don't know how to react.

BURNETT: What is your reaction to a couple of the big headlines? We're asking some of these questions that are just hanging out there.

And I really wanted to ask you about Mike McQueary, obviously, who is now on administrative leave. The school had said while they couldn't even ensure his security if he were to coach tomorrow. He is the one, though, who saw the graphic rape in 2002 by Jerry Sandusky, of what he described at the time of about a 10-year-old boy. Mike McQueary is on paid leave.

Do you think that's -- what are you hearing in terms of reaction to that? Is that the right thing? Should he have been completely fired?

STAPLES: Well, everybody wants him to be completely fired. You look at what he did. He basically ran away and ran it up the flag pole. And when nothing happened, he didn't do anything.


STAPLES: He saw the guy again and again and again and again and didn't do anything. But Penn State's interim president said today that there are some complexities, was the word he used, with the firing of Mike McQueary. My guess would be he may be protected by a whistleblower law in Pennsylvania. There maybe a situation where they're worried about exposing Penn State to another lawsuit.

It's an interesting deal because, obviously, they're going to get sued by the families of these victims. You think, what's another lawsuit? Throw it on the pile. But this is -- this is a weird one because Mike McQueary knows a lot.

And one thing they may also be considering is, if he gets fired, he may go blab to the media and that could get really interesting then.

BURNETT: Well, it's amazing to me that in the state of Pennsylvania, it is not a crime to not report child abuse to the authorities, which hopefully is something that's going to change as a result of this.

Andy, before we go, there's only been one other time I believe in American history that a football program has been shut down. That was because of violations of NCAA laws at SMU.

What about shutting down the Penn State football program to make a point about being quiet and covering things up? Is that something anyone is talking about?

STAPLES: I don't think that would solve anything.

Some people have mentioned it, but it's just crazy to think about -- first of all, these players had nothing to do with that. You know, this is 100-something kids that are just going to school. They were in middle school when the McQueary-Sandusky incident happened. They were in elementary school when the 1998 investigation into Sandusky happened. They had nothing to do this.

So, don't punish them. Don't punish the alumni and fans who take so much joy out of this.

You know, and also, economically, Penn State football might fall into the too big to fail category. Last year, they reported to the federal government that they made $72 million in revenue from football. This is a huge revenue generator for that athletic department.

BURNETT: All right. Well, thank you very much, Andy. We appreciate it.

It's a huge revenue generator, as he said. Compare that number of revenue of $72 million to the overall gifts to the Penn State endowment last year, only $170 million. So, it just gives you a sense of perspective.

All right. We're now going to our political play of the day, a look beyond the stand and inside the strategy of the presidential campaign war rooms. Now, we are lucky because the John Avlon that used to be here every night worked inside the Rudy Giuliani presidential campaign.


BURNETT: Saw the war room there. I'm sure there's a lot of war going on.

ALVON: There was.

BURNETT: All right. It's been a wild week for Herman Cain. So, he was accused of sexual harassment. But when the dust has settle, he's leading. He's raised a lot of money.

So, what do you think?

AVLON: He's raised over $2 million since these allegations came out. It's an amazing example of a play we're going to call it foul and flop.

BURNETT: Foul and flop.

AVLON: Foul and flop -- you see it in sports a lot. You see a player commits a flagrant foul and then flops on the ground. They play the victim card.

Well, in sports, they're going for points. But in politics, they're going for money. They're going for fundraising. Big numbers and it's proving very effective.

Herman Cain raised almost as much money since these allegations came out as he did in the entire last quarter. You go on the web right now in and type in Herman Cain sexual harassment, you get an ad that comes up saying the truth about Herman Cain and a plea to donate. That's one example of the foul and flop.

BURNETT: That is -- that's pretty amazing. What are some recent precedents for this play? He's not the first to play the card.

AVLON: He's not. All the good political play had precedents. Here are two classics from recent history. Remember Joe Wilson, South Carolina congressman who shouted "you lie" at President Obama during the joint session of Congress?


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The reforms I'm proposing would not apply to those who are here illegally.



AVLON: Harsh moment.

BURNETT: The only thing that eclipse is maybe the look on Nancy Pelosi's face. But, OK.

AVLON: Epically bad moment. He apologizes. He's admonished by his fellow colleagues.

But something happens. In 48 hours, Joe Wilson raises $1 million. He puts up an ad saying Joe's under attack. Help him fight back. It's a great example. He's making money off this thing.

Hall of Fame, example, we've got to give credit where credit is due: Michele Bachmann. She's built a political career off irresponsible statements, saying that President Obama is bringing tyranny to the nation, slaving the country, running a gangster government, a thugocracy.

BURNETT: Thugocracy, yes.

AVLON: Well, those statements were so effective in the last congressional cycle, she raised $13.5 million off them online, more than any other congressman.

So that is an example of how you play this sort of sick new twist on politics where you throw a flagrant foul and make a lot of money of it online.

BURNETT: All right. We're going to talk about it when we continue. John Avlon is staying with us.

An amazing how throwing a foul, playing the victim -- you know, I think all of us at some point did that. Oh, you know -- all right, hoping that someone else will get the yellow card. OK. You turn a profit.

But Herman Cain has come out still on the top of the latest CBS poll. If you take a look here, Cain still at 18 percent. Undecided, though, 17 percent. That, perhaps, is equally as important, that so many of the Republicans are still undecided or say 14 percent want someone else. OK.

That's one key thing. One is Cain (INAUDIBLE). Two is people don't like anybody in the field.

And three is Newt Gingrich is now tied with Mitt Romney for second place. That's amazing. They're in full force mode.

The Gingrich campaign just sent an e-mail I just got here tonight saying, guess what, biggest fundraising day ever was after the debate this week.

So, there you have it.

Let's bring in Bob Shrum, longtime Democratic strategist. And also joining us tonight, Erick Erickson, editor of, joining us from Atlanta.

OK. Good to have both of you

So, Erick, let me start with you. The poll taken after the allegations surfaced, but it was still a few days ago. Can Cain still sustain this lead?

ERICK ERICKSON, REDSTATE.COM: No, I don't think he can. In fact, I've been on the phone this afternoon with people who work directly for Herman begging me to -- I'm close to Herman (INAUDIBLE) in Atlanta. Begging me or people I know to try to have an intervention with him to fire some of his staff. These people who are working for him say they're making it worse.

His polling has gone down. Interestingly, if you take the average of the polling over the past three weeks, you've seen Gingrich and even Perry start going back up as Cain's going down.

But the biggest shocker is that Mitt Romney has still flat lined. He's doing frozen in the polls. He's the most consistent thing in the past year.

BURNETT: And, Bob Shrum, let me ask you about that. What about this rise of Newt Gingrich?

BOB SHRUM, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Look, they've been look for the un-Romney for a long time. And Erick wrote a blog the other day that I think was -- I wouldn't agree with him on issues, but completely right in its analysis of Romney, that he's not authentically conservative. He's out there trying to become president according to a business plan. Doesn't seem to believe in anything but himself.

So, Newt Gingrich is the next up as the un-Romney. Now, Republican pros, some of whom I know and talk to, tell me that they're terrified of the thought of him being the nominee. They think he's a sure loser.


SHRUM: But, you know, this is going to go on for a little while. I think in the end, it is Romney. I think Erick was right about that with he wrote it. I think it is Romney.

But, you know, Romney's getting collateral damage in this process. Not only are conservatives resisting him, but there's a new PPP poll in Ohio. As he goes through this process, people in the general electorate are coming to doubt his authenticity. He now has 28 favorable and a 48 unfavorable in Ohio. And you can't win an election with that.


AVLON: That's a serious implication. Now, on top of the 25 percent ceiling that Mitt Romney's got, he can't seem to break above it.

That said, you really look at this poll. First of all, it's amazing Herman Cain is still on top, but his numbers have been cut in half among women. Not surprising.

BURNETT: That's right.

AVLON: But an indication of problems to come.

BURNETT: Twenty-eight percent just a few weeks ago. Now 15 percent. Plunge.

AVLON: That's right. That's a plunge. That is a sign of things to come.

Mitt Romney's numbers going down too inexplicably as Newt Gingrich rises. But you know what's going to happen tonight, as Newt gets stronger, all the other campaigns are going to do, with Herman Cain, going to release the hounds.

BURNETT: Erick, Rick Santorum is the only one who hasn't had a surge, right?

ERICKSON: Yes, he's probably not going to. I can tell you, in the past 48 hours, I've umpteen emails of ample research on Newt Gingrich already.

BURNETT: It's unfortunately what happens.

All right. Thanks to all three. Appreciate it.

And now, let's check in with Anderson.

What do you have tonight, A.C.?

ANDERSON COOPER, HOST, "A.C. 360": Erin, we're keeping them honest tonight on "360." We're going to keep up with the latest on the Penn State and child sex abuse scandal. I have an interview with a psychologist who, right now, is helping the young man known as victim number one -- the young man who was really heroic in coming forward, who started this whole investigation. We're going to dig deeper into who knew what when, as more signs of potential cover up emerge.

Plus, the bloodshed in Syria is escalating. New reports the government forces killing at least two dozen civilians just today. We're going to speak with incredibly brave man inside the country who says this is the first time in his adult life, in his entire life, that he's been able to hear his own voice speaking freely.

And it's been 10 months since Arizona Congresswoman Gabby Giffords was shot in the head by a lone gunman. Since that time, she's made major strides in her recovery. Tonight, new information about her health. Dr. Sanjay Gupta joins us for that.

Those stories and tonight's "Ridiculist" at the top of the hour, Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Thanks, Anderson. See you then.

And still OUTFRONT tonight, Italy's austerity package going to pass. Does this mean Silvio Berlusconi is really going to leave us?

And then, it's been more than a month since baby Lisa Irwin disappeared from her Missouri home. Today is her first birthday. Her attorney Joe Tacopina comes OUTFRONT to explain what he thinks happened. He's got somebody in mind.

And it is Veterans Day. Forty thousands troops are going to be coming to America from Iraq by the end of the year. We're going to talk about a foundation set up to help them get jobs.


BURNETT: We do this at the same time every night, our "Outer Circle" -- we reach out to our sources around the world.

And tonight, we begin in Syria where activists say 37 people have been killed by security forces in another bloody day of crackdowns. The Arab League is expected hold an emergency needing tomorrow. Ben Wedeman is in Cairo, the location of tomorrow's meeting. Ben, could the Arab League help put an end to the violence in Syria?


Now, nine days ago, the Arab League did get Syria to sign on to an action plan to diffuse the crisis, but little has been done to actually implement it. Today, dozens of people were killed around Syria. The action plan seems to have faded into complete irrelevance.

And it's also important to keep one thing in mind. The Arab League is composed of dictatorships, which themselves would be loathe to implement the kind of reforms they're asking of the Syrians.

If there is any light at the end of the Syrian tunnel, it's not going to come from the Arab League -- Erin.

BURNETT: All right, Ben.

Well, next to Italy. Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi supposedly will resign tomorrow once the austerity measure has passed.

Matthew Chance is in Rome.

Matthew, what will Italy be like without Berlusconi at the helm?

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Erin, it may look a little less colorful place. And that's by no means a bad thing. Silvio Berlusconi has been a controversial Italian prime minister, to say the least, dogged by sex scandals and legal battles. And he's been divisive in his political life, people either love him or hate him.

Italy is now facing a prolonged period of austerity vote, with the government of relatively gray technocrats steering through this post-Berlusconi times -- Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Thank you.

And now to the United Kingdom where not this famous wedding dress, but another dress of the duchess of Windsor is making headlines for what it might have concealed. Hmmm.

Max Foster is in London.

What's fueling the chatter about a possible pregnancy now, Max?

MAX FOSTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Erin, this latest round of speculation comes from an event last night where the duchess was wearing a Grecian-style dress. There's lots of loss fabric and you just couldn't tell if she was showing or not, which frustrated the pregnancy royal watchers. But certainly nothing substantive to says she's pregnant right now -- Erin.

BURNETT: That poor girl. All right. Thank you very much. Well, baby Lisa Irwin, the Missouri infant missing since October 4th, turns one today. But there is no celebrating because her whereabouts are still unknown.

Last night, her half brothers age 6 and 8 were interviewed by child counselors for the second time in five weeks. Meanwhile, attorneys for baby Lisa's parents, Deborah Bradley and Jeremy Irwin, say they have been unfairly targeted as suspects.

Just before the show, I spoke with their attorney, Joe Tacopina. And I asked him where the case stands now and whether he thinks the baby is still alive.


JOE TACOPINA, ATTORNEY FOR BABY LISA'S PARENTS: Deborah and Jeremy believe that Lisa is still alive. The fact that they haven't found one shred of evidence, no blood, no DNA, no anything, and they've searched repeatedly dozens and dozens of times in the vicinity of the home, you know, maybe there's some home. That's what I have to hold on to. That's what they're holding on to.

So, yes, they believe Lisa is still alive. We're hopeful this is one of those cases that turn up with a happy resolution.

BURNETT: And I want to ask you exactly what you have a theory of perhaps might have happened or something we need to look into.

TACOPINA: You know, what it is, is there's evidence that's out there, plenty of it. And investigators are feeding us information. Our investigators have uncovered things. Witnesses have come forward.

And if you look at this one individual, this individual called Tanko. He goes by Jersey.

BURNETT: He's a repairman.

TACOPINA: A repairman.

BURNETT: Stayed in the neighborhood.

TACOPINA: Often homeless, stayed in the neighborhood. Sometimes a drifter. But 11:30 that night, this individual Jersey got off of work within three blocks of the Irwin resident. At 11:57 that night, well after Deborah was asleep, the house was dark, Deborah's cell phone, which goes missing with baby Lisa makes a call to Megan Wright, the woman we see on TV with the pink hair.

BURNETT: The girlfriend of Jersey.

TACOPINA: Well, we come to find she's the on again/off again girlfriend of Jersey. This call is made to Megan Wright at 11:57.

Now, Deborah doesn't know Megan Wright. Megan Wright doesn't know Deborah. We've checked Deborah's cell phone from inception.

BURNETT: She's never called that number.

TACOPINA: Her cell phone never called Megan Wright cell phone ever before. So, 11:57 that night, 25 minutes, 30 minutes after Jersey is off of work, it calls Megan Wright's cell phone. Fifteen minutes after that, two independent witnesses, a husband and wife couple driving, identify an individual who has characteristics similar to Jersey, OK, this individual, Jersey, carrying a baby with a diaper on.

At 2:00, we see this grainy gas station video of an individual --

BURNETT: Some of you are viewers may be familiar with. We'll show it to you again. There's a man that you can see on the side that we've shown there, right, that's what you're referring to, correct?

TACOPINA: And the police and FBI have looked at it. It's a man going from the gas station into a wooded area. Within the vicinity of that gas station, a dumpster is put on fire at about 2:15, 2:30 a.m. In the dumpster they recover some burnt clothes. Those burnt clothes, by the way, they show it to Deborah Bradley, Lisa's mom, during the interrogation of her.

That spot, by the way, that green dumpster we're looking at, a month earlier, Megan Wright's car was set on fire there the day after she broke up with Jersey. Not too far from that location, at about 4:00, 4:10 a.m., Mike Thompson, a third independent witness identifies a man matching the physical characteristics of Jersey carrying a baby with a diaper on.

Now, is it really that difficult to understand what's going on here?

BURNETT: So why is your version -- I mean, obviously you lay it out. That's your point of view, it seems very clear.

TACOPINA: By the way, Erin, that's the witnesses. It's not my version. It's witnesses, videotapes, it's phone records.

BURNETT: So what does the Kansas City Police Department said to you when you come and lay this out?

TACOPINA: OK, we'll look at everything. I mean, you know, they have not -- the problem is, you know, I'm not a criminal defense attorney in this case. I mean, I am a victim's advocate attorney. I represent two parents who had their child abducted, OK?

For some reason from Jump Street, some of the initial interrogation from the KCPD, not necessarily the FBI, but the Kansas City Police Department accused Deborah within the first hour.

BURNETT: Well, they indicated that she wasn't cooperating or being as cooperating.

TACOPINA: No, no, within the first hour, Erin. They actually said to her, you know, we know you did this as she's on the floor trembling, "Please, find my baby," they start accusing her of murder. The last time -- and by the way, not cooperative, she spoke to them five times, a total of about 19 hours, Erin, answered every question, 19 hours. What other questions -- she has nothing to add as to what happened to Lisa. She doesn't know.

BURNETT: All right. Joe, thanks very much.

TACOPINA: OK, Erin. Thank you.


BURNETT: So, today is Veterans Day and we are joined by two men who are really making a difference helping disabled vets find jobs. We'll be back.


BURNETT: On this Veterans Day, we're thinking about the troops, especially those who come home disabled. And there's a special foundation called Wall Street Warfighters, which was founded by the financial services firm Drexel Hamilton, to help those vets find really good jobs.

I spoke earlier to Cal Quinn and Jon Arnold, two vets who now work there and went through the program. And I asked them how it works and why it was started.


CAL QUINN, GRADUATE OF WALL STREET WARFIGHTERS FOUNDATION: This is really about veterans helping themselves, right, and that's what we teach you in the military. It's mission-driven, mission-oriented, drive through the wall, complete the mission.

For us, the mission is employment of disabled veterans, a group who has an unemployment rate about twice that of the national average, right? A group who is ever growing with the conflict that we're currently in.

About one in four veterans who have served since 9/11 are service disabled. That's a pretty stark number, especially given the contrast, which is 13 percent historically. So, we're yielding twice as many disabled veterans in this conflict than any other point in our military history.


QUINN: This is about facilitating meaningful employment for disabled veterans. It's one thing to give a veteran the capacity to take home a paycheck so they can provide for the families. It's something much more to allow them to bring home their dignity with that paycheck, right, so that they know they have earned their paycheck. That's what we're trying to do specifically in the financial services industry.


BURNETT: And did you ever think you'd now be going through a program like this and working on Wall Street?

ARNOLD: No, actually I never did. It's pretty incredible.

BURNETT: So tell me, when you were injured, how did you make the decision to come to this? How did you even find out about a program like this?

ARNOLD: Funny story. I was at a job event in San Antonio and I ran into a friend of mine who we served -- we were in the hospital together. He's a fellow amputee and I saw him behind the table as one of the employers. It said Wall Street Warfighters on the top and I had no idea what it was, I had never heard of it.

I sat down and started talking to him. We caught up and he said, hey, this sounds like a program that might fit you. You get to go out and you get introduced to the entire finance industry. Is it something you'd be interested in?

So it sounded interesting. Headed up to the Wall Street Warfighters and now I'm here with Cal.

BURNETT: And what did you learn? I mean, it was a program of a couple of months, right?

ARNOLD: In three phases. The first phase is kind of introduction and orientation, so we visited some of the larger firms, you saw the trading desk, and the Federal Reserve -- just all the different little aspects. There's also licensing. So when we come out of the program, we're completely -- we are fully licensed to start.

And the third phase is employment where the Warfighters actually help us schedule our interviews and interview at different firms and get hired.

BURNETT: Well, congratulations on stepping up and doing it and congratulations to you, a real pleasure to meet you, Jon.

ARNOLD: Thank you so much.

BURNETT: All right. Thanks, Cal.


BURNETT: All right. Next week in this space, you're going to see some neat guests. Ilan Grapel, the U.S. student held for being a spy in Egypt, our special guest. Plus, an American woman who spent time in a billionaire's harem. Don't miss it.

Anderson starts now.