CNN CNN


 

Return to Transcripts main page

ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT

Interview with Kent Conrad; Dems Drop Millionaire Surtax; Ron Paul Tops Iowa Recent Poll

Aired December 14, 2011 - 19:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


ERIN BURNETT, HOST: Thanks, John. Payroll jackpot? Breaking news on the payroll tax cut and the Millionaires tax tonight.

Also, a gang of five Republicans say they're going to stop some of the $1.2 trillion in automatic cuts from the super committee. We have got all of our antennas waving around like crazy.

And living with a pedophile. A woman married to a predator speaks out on the Jerry Sandusky case. Let's go OUT FRONT.

I'm Erin Burnett, OUT FRONT tonight, breaking news with a big move in Washington.

In a major concession, the president and leading Democrats will drop a surtax on millionaires as the way to pay for the payroll tax cut extension. This is a huge step in breaking the impasse that threatened the tax cut and may have shut the government down again. Here is the bottom line.

The Ds and Rs each fought for one big thing this payroll tax battle and that is a nonstarter for the other side. It was the surtax for the Democrats and the keystone pipeline for the Republicans. Now whether you love or hate either one of those ideas, the fact was this, both were deal breakers. We've been saying this all week. And compromise really isn't that hard.

Here's the decent proposal we've been putting out there as an example. Extend the tax cut for those making less than $75,000. That costs about $48 billion. But you can pay for it by charging more to mortgage lenders and more to millionaires for Medicare. It actually comes out even. And there's a lot of different pieces to this puzzle that will work. We are getting closer to a deal. The DEMS dropping the millionaire surtax, Republicans also seem to be moving. Here is tea party senator Paul OUT FRONT.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. RON PAUL (R), KENTUCKY: They want to separate it, separate it out and we'll make it a separate vote. We won't make it contingent on it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BURNETT: That was a headline. So do we have a deal? Something to celebrate in Washington? Senator Kent Conrad is a Democrat from North Dakota, also chairman of the Senate budget committee and a member of the gang of six budget cutters.

Senator Conrad, great to have you with us tonight. And -- I don't know, I sort of feel positive. Little butterflies in my stomach that you all might be moving towards a deal. Are you?

SEN. KENT CONRAD (D), NORTH DAKOTA: I think we are. And hallelujah if we are able to do it and do it in a way that's timely. Look, we all know that it is critically important for the economy to extend the payroll tax cut. It is critically important for the economy to extend unemployment benefits. The challenge, of course, is paying for it all. And I do think we're moving closer.

BURNETT: And how then will it be paid for? Obviously with Democrats and the president dropping this millionaire surtax as a way to pay for it, that's a major concession. And I know Republicans have put a few ways out there, some of which Democrats appear to agree with like the mortgage lenders being charged more, perhaps even means testing Medicare. Do you think that we'll see some of those things in this and it will be fully paid for or not?

CONRAD: I do. I think another idea that some have floated late this afternoon was to use some of the savings on war funding as part of the offset, congressional budget office has said they would score those savings because we will be spending less than is there, than is in their projections on work costs going forward because, of course, troops are coming home. So, that might be part of a package as well.

The thing that is a little disconcerting is that Republicans in the Senate don't want to vote on the plan from Republicans in the house. And apparently one reason they don't want to is because they don't have many votes in their own caucus for that plan and perhaps part of the reason is it cuts three million people from unemployment assistance.

So, that would be a pretty tough message to send especially at Christmastime, the three million Americans who don't have jobs would lose their unemployment benefits.

BURNETT: Let me ask you something about the war funding. It seems to me, and maybe I'm being too cynical. So tell me if I am. That people are using the we have more money in the budget than we need for war funding to pay for a lot of different things. We're kind of double, triple, quadruple counting that money.

CONRAD: Well, that certainly could happen, Erin. You're wise to be skeptical. Look, in all the groups I've been part of, the fiscal commission, the group of six, we did not use war funding as an offset for anything. But the fact is there's about $700 billion there that is in the so-called baseline used by the congressional budget office to estimate what costs will be to the government that we now know will not be expended or at least it's highly unlikely that money will be expended. So there's at least some share of that is available for offset. BURNETT: All right. So let me ask you this. The Senate Republicans communicate -- Senate Republican communication, sorry sir, sent an e-mail to our team and they quote you in it. They're talking about this, "more and more d me s for the pipeline," talking about the keystone pipeline, part of it has already gone through your state.

They say, and quoting you, Senator Kent Conrad, quote, "I personally think the pipeline is absolutely in the national interest." Will you vote for that pipeline or do Republicans need to pull it out of any final deal in order to get the payroll tax done?

CONRAD: Look, I don't think the keystone pipeline should stand in the way of doing things that are critically important for the economy of the United States. And I personally believe the keystone pipeline is in the national interest if, if, it is able to be rerouted through Nebraska so it does not threaten the aquifer. That is the critical issue.

I have been assured by colleagues they have no intention of preventing the state of Nebraska from rerouting that pipeline to protect those very sensitive sources of water. And so, if that's done I don't see a reason for the keystone pipeline to stand in the way of critically important measures for this economy.

BURNETT: One final question before we go, and we're going to talk about this later on the show, some in the Senate are trying to roll back those automatic cuts. The super committee failed in making cuts there were automatic cuts. They want to roll some back.

Obviously, in your role as budget chairman and you are not running for, for re-election, you're in a real power position here to push through some sort of a grand bargain that would require a majority vote and not be subject to filibuster. Will you do that?

CONRAD: I'm trying my level best. In fact, I'm leaving here to go to a dinner with like-minded colleagues to discuss what a package might look like. So, I have not given up on what I think is one of the key priorities for this country which is to face up to our debt threat. We are borrowing 40 cents of every dollar we spend. Revenue is the lowest it's been in 60 years as a share of our national income. Spending is the highest it's been in 60 years as a share of our national income. Clearly we need to act.

BURNETT: All right. Thank you so much, Senator Conrad. We appreciate it.

CONRAD: You bet.

BURNETT: Now, let's bring in David Gergen, senior political analyst.

Sir David, do you feel butterflies in your stomach? Are we getting close or not yet?

DAVID GERGEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: It seems we're getting close, and it's very encouraging news for an awful lot of people. It will help the economy to extend the payroll tax cut.

What has surprised me, Erin, is that the Democrats have seemed to have blinked here. I think this is going to be read by dropping a millionaire surtax that was something the president insisted on early on, something the Democrats insisted on, and now they seem to be dropping it.

The question to me is what are they getting in return from the Republicans for doing that? It's not clear what they're getting. But, overall, good news for the country if they get this done and don't go through a government shutdown this weekend.

BURNETT: And what about what we were talking about at the end of the interview there with Senator Conrad, this issue about the super failure of the super committee and now we have this $1.2 trillion in automatic cuts that some are going to try to roll back part of those. He says, look, he's not up for re-election, we are on a budget committee, he could push for a real sort of a grand bargain. Do you think that it might happen, or is that just way, way, way too hindsight?

GERGEN: I don't think it's time to get butterflies over the (inaudible), Erin. It's way too early. The chances are extraordinarily unlikely we'll get a grand bargain while this Congress is in session. We're going to be darned lucky to get one in the next congress. So it could happen but let me go back to a couple of things.

This whole effort to trim back the cuts that are planned, the president has promised he would veto that. They have to come up with some substitute that is reasonable and the one thing that they should not come up with, and I was surprised that it's even being a part of this discussion, is to use the unplanned funding for the war as an offset.

BURNETT: Yes.

GERGEN: That you know and I know that's a gimmick. Senator Conrad knows that's a gimmick. That's why they didn't put it in the sense of bowl. They it not put it in the gang of six. It's a Mickey mouse deal. And I just hope they don't use that to pay for the payroll tax cut extension.

BURNETT: I really hope not, too, because that would just be frustrating. Well, thanks very much, David Gergen. David will be here with us as we count down to the wire on that deal.

Next, Ron Paul's surprise, three weeks until Iowa and he is surging. Guess who he is tied with. There could be an upset.

Also, up in arms. Iran responds to what you heard Dick Cheney say on this show about America's top secret drum.

And, abducted by a cyber predator. The family of a missing teenage girl speaks to us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BURNETT: Coca-cola today said it will pay about a billion dollars for a 50 percent stake in Saudi soft drink producer Algon industries. The investment is part of the $5 billion coke plans to invest in the Middle East and North Africa over the next decade. Coke is really everywhere. Actually in more than 200 countries to be exact which brings to us tonight's number, 58. That's the number of years it took coca-cola to sell one billion gallons of its syrup. It was founded in 1886 and Coke didn't hit the billion gallon mark until 1944. Since then they picked up the pace. Coke now sells a billion gallons every six months. No company and no country has ever had what it takes to beat the real thing.

All right. It's been a big day in politics. Ron Paul rising in the polls in Iowa tied with Mitt Romney and nipping at Newt's heels. Mitt Romney raking in the cash having breakfast, lunch and dinner to get wall street money. He did all that today. He's at dinner right now with Steven Schwartzman.

And president Obama's unfavorable rating is at an all-time high. But he could still crush Newt in a general election. John Avlon is with us, contributor here. Rich Galen is a Republican strategist, and Tim Punke is a democratic strategist.

Alright, get your horses ready. Let's start with Mitt Romney in New York city. We have some pictures of him coming and going. Three fund-raisers. I mean, well, probably everyone else ate but, you know, it's probably like a wedding. He doesn't get to eat a lot in this whole fund raiser.

Alright, $2,500 a person. John Whitehead from Goldman Sachs, Jimmy Lee from J.P. Morgan, and Steve Schwartzman from Black Stone. I understand that the lunch today was Jon Avlon, half a million dollars SRO, as someone in the room sent to me, standing room only. Before it ends though, will this help him?

JOHN AVLON, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Look, Romney's great strength is money and organization. And money matters down the stretch especially if we've a long drawn out primary flight. But the flip side to that is that he seems like he's Mr. one percent and that creates its own vulnerabilities among the conservatives.

BURNETT: And Rich Galen, let me ask you about that. The DNC -- there was great irony on this. The DNC hired an airplane today. Yes, the DNC using a gas donations to the DNC, to fly over New York city with a message that says -- if you can see it there, are you the 10k bet for Mitt Romney, right. Bet you 10k Romney is out of touch, sorry. I need glasses.

There's something ironic about that he is out of touch of the DNC hired a private plane to fly that over New York City. But, you get the point. Is this going to hurt him, Rich?

RICH GALEN, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: No. You go where the money is. It's like robbing banks. You rob banks because that's where they keep the money. You go to New York and you go to Hollywood because that's where the money is and it just makes sense. I mean, you're not going to raise enough to fund the presidential campaign, you know, going to target. I mean, you have to go where people can write big checks and the president does that. We whine about it and Romney does it and they whine about it and that's part of the game. But the fact is its only newsworthy for the second that it's going on and then everybody goes on to whatever is going to happen next.

BURNETT: And interesting Tim Punke, looking at the numbers which we do look at and they tell an interesting tale so far this election. Mitt Romney has raised more money from wall street than President Obama, $3.8 million to President Obama's $1.8 million. But last time around in 2008 -- this is pretty stunning. President Obama raised $15 million from wall street. I mean, wall street gives money to everybody.

TIM PUNKE, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Yes, they give money to everybody. You know, I think the point of the fund-raiser today, that it is really terrible timing for Mitt Romney I think. He couldn't have picked the worst day to go. It comes right on the heels of the Iowa debate where he made the $10,000 bet. It comes on a hill the two weeks of a really bad polling. And it really kind of continues this caricature of Mitt Romney as somebody who is just out of touch with middle America and the middle class so bad timing for him certainly.

BURNETT: Alright, let's go on to Ron Paul rising in the polls. Here's what he said to reporters about his raise today.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RON PAUL (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: And one thing is characteristic about our campaign is when people join our campaign they rarely leave. They're real solid, determined supporters. They understand what the message is about and agree with that. So I think it's a very good sign and I think in political terms it means that we're probably peaking at the right time.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BURNETT: Well, the Paulites are certainly loyal. I mean, even when he's not running in the middle of President Obama's term, the Paulites are out fighting. Rich, does he have a shot?

GALEN: Yes. I mean, I think it's possible trending toward probable in Iowa. The thing we've always said about Ron Paul is his support is very deep. And it's as wide as a quarter. Now, it's clearly getting wider and wider, and I think what he's doing at least in Iowa is tapping into the anti-government, anti-incumbent sentiment that we saw in 2010. We see in the occupy wall street. We see, you know, everywhere. And he's beginning to crystallize that vote. How long it will go, we'll see. But, I think he has a real shot in Iowa.

AVLON: Yes. I mean, I'll tell you, I think Ron Paul is the real wild card in Iowa. I was out there this weekend and picked up "the Ron Paul family cookbook" which is part of his charm offensive now.

But, let me tell you, Ron Paul supporters are not just devoted, they are growing. His message has largely been vindicated in the last four years since he first ran and his support isn't going anywhere. So, no one should count Ron Paul out of this. It could end up being a big surprise with huge implications across the rest.

BURNETT: Alright, thanks so much to all three. Appreciate it.

GALEN: Anytime.

BURNETT: Well, apparently Iran watches OUT FRONT. A member of Iran's parliament has responded to our interview with former Vice President Dick Cheney about the top-secret stealth U.S. drone that went down in Iran.

Now Iran has said it's been able to control the RQ-170 sentinel. There are only about a dozen of those in the entire American fleet. It's part of the CIA's reconnaissance mission. Today, Kasim Jalali (ph), a member of the national security and foreign policy commission in Iran told the Iranian student news agency, quote, "the Islamic republic of Iran which possesses the capability to bring down the super advanced spy drone can give a crushing response and cut off the hands of anyone who wants to violate its air, Navy, and land borders."

He was explicitly responding to something former Vice President Dick Cheney said on this show two days ago when he gave his advice to President Obama on how he should have handled the drone situation.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DICK CHENEY, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITES STATES OF AMERICA: The right response to that would have been to go in immediately after it had gone down and destroy it. You can do that from the air. You can do that with a quick air strike and, in effect, make it impossible for them to benefit from having captured that drone.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BURNETT: It is believed that Iran will or already has shared this technology from the American drone with China. That's former secretary of defense William Cohen said on this show.

Well, ahead the mandatory defense cuts. The five Republican senators really have a way of avoiding them.

Plus, showing love for the camel. They deserve an image makeover.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BURNETT: It wouldn't be hump day without the camel report. According to a U.N. study released today the world's camel population is in serious decline. Since the mid-1990s, and these are stunning numbers, Pakistan's camel population down 20 percent, Somalia down by half, and Saudi Arabia, where they adore the camel, is down 39 percent. People don't seem to care even though this is a sign of serious environmental problems. Maybe because people think camels are aggressive and they spit. But you know what, that's not true. And camels need an image makeover.

So to help, we teamed up with someone who has worked with them for more than 40 years, the director the Bronx Zoo, Jim Breheny.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BURNETT: What it s it about camels that makes you love them?

JIM BREHENY, DIRECTOR, BRONX ZOO: I think everything that people like about cats, you say the same thing about camels, they're independent, they have an attitude. They're not terribly willing to please.

They like to play tricks sometimes on the people who are working with them so if you have a new person that starts working with them, they'll kind of take advantage of somebody, the fact that somebody is new. You can tell if a camel is in good shape really by touching the hump and if it's firm and not saggy then they have plenty of food and water.

BURNETT: Like these guys.

BREHENY: Like these guys. Camels can spit and kick if they're not treated well or if they feel threatened but most of the time if you're really good with them and they are use d to you and they're used to being handled, then they'll be fine.

BURNETT: You collect memorabilia?

BREHENY: Yes. I do. I collect camels.

BURNETT: How many do you have?

BREHENY: Probably about 400.

BURNETT: 400? Like little guys?

BREHENY: All different.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BURNETT: Nobody understands our endless love for camels like Lionel Richie and Diana Ross.

All right. Well, here it is. This is Google's new phone. This comes out tomorrow. Tested it. We reviewed it and we asked Google's chairman, Eric Schmidt, about it. Our exclusive interview next. This is actually pretty cool, it makes a little noise.

And without a trace, an Oregon teenager vanishes. Was she abducted by an older man that she met online? Her parents are up next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) BURNETT: We start the second half of our show with stories we care about where we focus on our own reporting, do the work, and find the OUT FRONT five.

Number one, big news in Washington tonight. Democrats dropping the surtax on millionaires as a way to pay for the payroll tax cut extension. This is a huge step in breaking the impact to threaten the tax cuts and may have shut the government down again.

The Ds and Rs each fought for one big thing in this battle that was a nonstarter for the other side. That surtax for the Democrats and the Keystone pipeline for the Republicans.

Whether you love or hate either idea, the fact is both were deal breakers, and the Democrats just dropped theirs. Will the Republicans follow suit? We'll be watching.

Number two, the mayor of a Connecticut town wants to give illegal immigrants the right to vote. OUTFRONT has learned that New Haven Mayor John DeStefano wants to ask the state legislature to give all residents, legal or illegal, the right to vote in municipal elections. The mayor has argued illegal immigrants pay taxes through rent and send their children to city schools, so they should be allowed to vote.

Number three, OPEC agreed today to maintain its current level of oil production, 30 million barrels a day. At this hour, oil prices are down $5 following that announcement. That puts it below $100 a barrel. An oil analyst told us if oil praises stay about where they are, gas prices at the pump could drop between 10 cents and 25 cents a gallon.

Now, OPEC didn't say how much oil each of the countries would produce.

Number four, the highly anticipated Samsung Galaxy Nexus goes on sale tomorrow. Here it is. That little bloop noise. The phone runs on the Google's new Android operating system, which Google calls ice cream sandwich.

We let our digital producer Mark Joyella, a die hard iPhone fan, played this phone.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MARK JOYELLA, OUTFRONT DIGITAL PRODUCER: I'm an iPhone guy but I will admit I do like this phone. Take a look. This is the Google phone. Big screen, very easy to hang on to, and it's easy to operate. Very much like an iPhone. You just scroll through. It's all touch screen.

On the back, there's a textured surface which I kind of like, but I will admit I dropped this phone twice. It could be operator error or maybe not.

(END VIDEO CLIP) BURNETT: Hmm, I was wondering why it wasn't working right. I'm just kidding.

All right. Here is what the Google chairman Eric Schmidt said about the phone.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ERIC SCHMIDT, EXECUTIVE CHAIRMAN, GOOGLE: What's neat about it is the phone is really connected to a million computers on the wireless broadband network, so it can do translation. It can answer all sorts of questions that you care about. It really is sort of your alter ego.

BURNETT: And it can do it in a way that the iPhone or the BlackBerry operating system can't?

SCHMIDT: It's more secure. It's faster. It's more scalable. Today, the iPhone has more applications, but we're quickly surpassing them.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BURNETT: And I still have my beloved.

All right. We still have more of our explosive interview with Eric Schmidt tomorrow night. The first time there were cameras in this Google office.

Well, it has been 131 days since America lost its top credit rating. What are we doing to get it back? We all know the super committee did not do its part. And tonight, we can report that there are a growing number of senators who want to put some of those automatic cuts on hold.

Marco Rubio of Florida, Jon Kyl of Arizona, and Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire today joined with John McCain and Lindsey Graham. The group of five planning to put legislation on the table that will stop half of the $1.2 trillion in automatic cuts coming our way, thanks to the super committee's failure.

Why? Well, they say the defense cuts of $600 billion are too much.

Now a lot of defense experts agree with that verdict, although Reagan, for example, cut far more from defense on a percentage basis. But if Congress stops the $600 billion in defense cuts, they have to get that money from somewhere else. We know the super committee couldn't do that and this group of five hasn't figured out the cuts either.

John Avlon is here.

So, the president has said he will veto anybody who tries to roll back those automatic cuts. They're going to try. JOHN AVLON, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: They're going to try to weasel out of this deal and it's got deficit hawks fired up and they should be because this was the whole deal. Of course, the cuts were painful. That was the point.

And the fact that Jon Kyl, who was on the super committee is now leading this charge to weasel out of the implications, that makes it all the more disgusting, because if you really care about deficits and debt, you don't just demagogue during campaign time. You deal with them.

And they had a chance to come up with an alternative plan and they failed. So, Republicans have to deal with defense cuts and Democrats have to deal with domestic discretionary cuts.

And if the Republicans weasel out of their side, the whole thing goes and we're deeper in the hole in terms of the deficit and debt.

BURNETT: And it brings us to the point, let's assume, and, by the way, we asked them all to come on tonight and one of them, I'm not going to point fingers because, you know, said we don't yet know what those -- where else the money is going to come from, but we're working on it.

But here's my question. If they're working on it, it's not coming from defense. It's going to come from areas Democrats want, which means you're not going to get a deal, because you didn't get it in the super committee and God knows the pressure was on them.

AVLON: And they had the opportunity and they failed. So, guess what? Failure has consequences.

Now, look, they could actually go big and reason together and come up with a new grand bargain and avoid the sequestration that way. This doesn't take place, take effect until 2013.

BURNETT: Right.

AVLON: Now, there are certain Hail Mary pass to that, but every time we've had the outline of a grand bargain, it's fallen apart.

BURNETT: Here is Kent Conrad earlier. He came OUTFRONT. We asked him. He's not running for re-election, as you pointed out, he's in charge of the budget committee. You can put something forward that just could get a simple majority, no filibuster.

Could he get a grand bargain? Here's what he said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. KENT CONRAD (D), NORTH DAKOTA: I'm trying my level best. In fact, I'm leaving here to go to dinner like-minded colleagues to discuss what a package might look like. So, I have not given up on what I think is one of the key priorities for this country which is to face up to our debt threat. We are borrowing 40 cents of every dollar we spend. Revenue is the lowest it's been in 60 years as a share of our national income. Spending is the highest it's been in 60 years as a share of our national income.

BURNETT: Yes.

CONRAD: Clearly, we need to act.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

AVLON: Look, keep hope alive. Remember, we had a gang of 150 congressmen who were urging the super committee to go big, not just $1.2 trillion but $4 trillion. So, there is a path as the senator laid out.

Because he's chairman of the budget committee, theoretically, he could put forward a gang of six budget some time early next year and it wouldn't be subject to filibuster rules. It could go with a simple majority. So, maybe that's one way to actually go big. Deal with the deficit and debt in a meaningful way.

But this search to weasel out of the defense cuts just takes us down a slippery slope of higher debt, higher deficits and faith in Congress is reaching even lower. I mean, these folks, you'd think the 9 percent approval rating would wake them up? Apparently not.

BURNETT: Nine percent, I think you exaggerate. I think it's 8 percent, right?

AVLON: Well --

BURNETT: I mean, you know, not to split hairs.

AVLON: Single digits, and it ain't to good.

BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, John Avlon.

Well, we're going to be watching very closely especially if something like this gets put out on the table while everyone is busy looking at New Hampshire and Iowa. We're going to be looking.

All right. In Oregon tonight, a mother's plea for their missing daughter. Kyrsten Roth is 15. She was with her mother at home on the night of December 3rd. But in the morning she was gone.

Her mother believes Kyrsten is the victim of a cyber predator whom she says used the Internet to lure her daughter away.

Kyrsten's parents believe that she is in danger.

D.J. and Michelle Roth join us from Portland, Oregon, tonight.

Thanks so much to both of you for being with us.

Michelle, can you tell us what happened? MICHELLE ROTH, KYRSTEN'S MOTHER: Well, we didn't have any kind of argument or fight. We had a really good day. We went grocery shopping, Christmas shopping. We came home. We had dinner.

She said, go ahead and go to bed and I'll put the groceries away. And I said, OK, sounds good. I went to bed.

And in the morning, she was gone.

BURNETT: And, D.J., you have looked at her phone records and it a appeared from what you found, right, that she had been communicating with, in touch with, an older man, right, that you did not know?

DJ ROTH, KYRSTEN'S FATHER: That's correct.

BURNETT: And can you tell us anymore? You know, had she ever talked about him? Did anyone else know about this? How much -- how much have you been able to find out about him?

M. ROTH: Well, she had -- I had heard her mention this guy and she had told me that he was a kid that went to school with her that was 16. And I later found out that was a lie and he was actually from California and he was somewhere around 22, age 22.

BURNETT: And you think this is possibly that she went -- and, again, my question to you is do you have any feeling as to whether if she's with him, she would have gone by her own choice or perhaps have been abducted?

M. ROTH: I think that she may have gone with him willingly under false pretense. I feel that she's been lured away from her home by this man. She left in her pajamas. She didn't take anything with her. This was obviously not planned.

And I just think she has fallen victim to an older man who knows what to say and what she wants to hear, and she's very vulnerable and naive. And I feel like she's in danger out there.

BURNETT: D.J., you have been frustrated with the police reaction so far?

D.J. ROTH: I think the police are doing what they can. It's just a frustrating situation all around. It's not frustrated with who is doing what and who is not doing what because it's a frustrating situation as a parent. So, I'm just frustrated with the whole situation really.

BURNETT: Michelle, it's got to be just so difficult now to have a daughter that age. You're saying your relationship with her was good, but they do have so many opportunities now with the Internet, with cell phones, with smart phones. You can't monitor everybody they're talking to or what they're doing.

D.J. ROTH: Right, it's pretty impossible to stop the Internet. There's always a way that they can get on there whether it's through a phone or a library or a friend or home. So, it's pretty unstoppable. BURNETT: All right, well, thanks very much to both of you for coming on the show and hopefully somewhere Kyrsten may be watching and will contact you, and this will have a good and quick ending. Thanks to both.

M. ROTH: Thanks for having us.

BURNETT: And now, let's check in with Anderson Cooper. He's got a look at what's coming up on "A.C. 360."

Hello, Anderson.

ANDERSON COOPER, HOST, "A.C. 360": Hey, Erin. We're keeping them honest tonight.

A beating and a death weeks apart, and this man, Robert Champion, might still be alive if Florida A&M had done more to curb a history of hazing in its band program -- hazing that weeks before Robert died sent a freshman clarinet player to the hospital with blood clots and a broken leg.

CNN's Jason Carroll went on campus looking for answers. We'll have that tonight.

Also, breaking news out of Washington, a deal in the works to get a payroll tax cut done. The price Democrats would back away from their line in the sand position to hike taxes on millionaires. A live report from D.C. ahead.

And in crime and punishment tonight, a new twist in a bizarre case of a serial killer's rampage discovered by accident.

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

BURNETT: All right. Anderson, looking forward to all of that.

And up next, this: married to a child molester. One woman tells her story of her husband's secret life and when she found out.

Plus, shocking connection. The link between your cell phone, whether it's this one or this one or an iPhone, and crimes against humanity.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

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

And tonight, we begin in Egypt where the second round of parliamentary elections were held today. Islamists claimed victory in the first round that took place earlier.

Ian Lee is in Cairo.

And, Iran, are the Islamist candidates expected to do well in this round?

IRAN LEE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Erin, as Egypt's second round of parliamentary elections move into greater Cairo's poor neighborhoods and the country's rural areas, we expect Islamic groups to make larger gains, especially the Muslim Brotherhood who won nearly 40 percent of the first round vote. Now, while this has many people happy, there are some who are terrified. One man said he fears the country is going to the dogs.

But the big question is, whoever wins, will they be able to save Egypt from the brink of bankruptcy? Erin?

BURNETT: Ian, thank you. And now we go to Spain where there was a new court hearing for a young woman alleging that Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, one of the richest men in the world, raped her on a yacht docked off a Spanish island of Ibiza in 2008. The prince's attorney says he wasn't in the country at the time. Someone else tried to impersonate him.

Al Goodman is in Madrid.

And, Al, where does this leave the investigation?

AL GOODMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Erin, a lawyer for the fashion model says she maintained her accusation on Wednesday under tough questioning from a prosecutor who wanted to clear up some things from her earlier testimony. The woman, who is a dual Spanish and German citizen still alleges the Saudi prince raped her on that yacht.

The prince was not in court, but his aides issued a new statement reiterating his innocence and blasting her claims as inconsistent and unsubstantiated. The prince has not been formally charged, but the court would like him to answer some questions, too -- Erin.

BURNETT: All right, thank you.

And now, we go to Belgium where investigators have found another victim of the Nordine Amrani man who launched a grenade and gun rampage that left five people dead and 130 people injured yesterday.

Nic Robertson is in Liege tonight.

Nic, do we know his motive?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Erin, investigators say they don't know why this man turned killer. He was a hardened criminal, had done time in jail for drugs and gun crimes. He once held a gun license. He was under suspicion of sexual harassment, almost rape.

We are told he began his killing spree by shooting a cleaner in the head in the shed where he grew his cannabis, large amounts of cannabis. And then he's killing spree behind me in the market before shooting himself in the head.

There was no suicide message the police were able to find so far. The only thing they can say is that they think he must have just gone insane -- Erin.

BURNETT: Shocked and dismayed. That's how Dottie Sandusky says she feels after learning her husband Jerry was charged with sexually abusing boys. She vows to prove he's innocent.

But after 45 years of marriage, raising six adopted children together, is Dottie Sandusky capable of making an objective decision about her husband's guilt or innocence?

Darlene Ellison is someone who would know. She was married to a pedophile for more than a decade and she had no idea. She is OUTFRONT with us tonight.

And, Darlene, thank you so much for coming out and talking about this issue, which is so awkward and horrible for people to talk about but everybody wants to hear your point of view.

If Jerry Sandusky did do these things, is it possible his wife of 45 years didn't know?

DARLENE ELLISON, AUTHOR, "THE PREDATOR NEXT DOOR": It's absolutely possible she did not know. Right now, I think the statements we're hearing released her husband's attorney are statements of support and I believe that's because the defense needs those statements of support from his family right now.

BURNETT: Anything I guess to support his character. I mean, the accusations, though, of course have been numerous now, 12 boys or more and extremely descriptive, some of them.

When you first learned, what's your sense how long it could take if indeed this happened in the case for her to come out of denial?

ELLISON: You know, in our particular case we were recently divorced. We've been married for 10 and 1/2 years. It was all very recent, kind of working through that issue. And I was still, when I walked in and the FBI informed me what was going on, I was in denial. And this is a guy that I was already upset with because I wasn't sure why we had gotten divorce but, boy, we'd gotten one. And so, I was in denial.

And for so many reasons that had nothing to do with that person but the fact that if this is true, you know, what does this mean for my children who were then 8 and 10? If this is true, people are going to wonder, what's wrong with me? If this is true, how did I not know?

And so, there were so many, if this is true, I can't go there.

BURNETT: And let me ask you how it did happen. I know, by the way, that you have never in any way accused your ex-husband of abusing your own children. But how did he pull it of in the 10 years you were married in a way that you didn't have any idea?

ELLISON: You know, I think these guys -- I say guys because a majority of these perpetrators we're talking about are male, but, you know, he created with us, in our particular situation, he created this bubble, this facade. So any of the activities that we knew of and there are some we'll never know about, but those activities were had outside of the home, outside of our community.

And he, like what we're seeing with Jerry Sandusky and the Second Mile and mentor and that type of thing -- you know, my ex-husband was part of an organization called NAMBLA, North American Man-Boy Love Association.

And, again, here you have this organization where mentoring group, support each other. We mentor young boys. There is really nothing wrong here. We're there for these boys. And so, a lot of it was under that facade.

These are good looking, charming, volunteers in the community, giving back in the community, that's who they are.

BURNETT: And one thing that amazed me reading your story and you've written a book about this, was I guess in a sense, for lack of a better word, Darlene, the institutionalization of this sort of activity in our society. I mean, you found out that your husband had pedophilia news letters and things like that.

ELLISON: Correct. Yes, there's an organization. There's a Web site. People think it's a joke. It's not.

I mean, the FBI spent time and money -- a lot of money -- to do an undercover operation for 18 months of this organization. It exists. And it's probably not the only one that's out there.

BURNETT: It's really just amazing. Well, thank you so much for sharing your story, Darlene.

ELLISON: Thank you for having me.

BURNETT: Coming up, is your cell phone paying for a war and rape? What you need to know and may not believe.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BURNETT: You probably heard of conflict diamonds. But we're going to talk now about conflict electronics. It's true that some of the minerals are that are in every cell phone, every laptop, every kitchen appliance link us to crimes against humanity.

These crimes are happening in the war torn Democratic Republic of the Congo -- one of the biggest genocides since World War II, home to a violent and contested election right now and home to some of the richest mineral deposits on this planet. The minerals fund that war and conflict in which rape is a weapon.

Actor and activist Robin Wright who stars in "Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" which opens this month has joined forces with Project Enough to try to fight that violence and raise awareness for all of us who use these.

I asked her earlier why the mission is so important. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ROBIN WRIGHT, ACTOR AND ACTIVIST: This is a weapon of war, rape. And when I heard that those two in combination were directly linked to us as consumers of these minerals that come out of the Congo and that the women were the victims. I just was sort of tying it all together. It became a domino.

BURNETT: A lot of the minerals, you know, people may not be familiar with them. It's coltan or cobalt. But they go into your iPhone, to your smart phone.

And these companies, even if they have good intentions, aren't able to tell you -- well, my minerals came from this mine versus that mine. Even now.

WRIGHT: Exactly. I think that the agenda should be to put the pressure on the electronics companies to clean up the elicit trades. It's the same exact scenario as blood diamonds. Dolphins save tuna. Go for the kids.

BURNETT: Right.

WRIGHT: You know, it's that generation. And if they can raise the awareness high enough, Apple does something, great. They go in and they get auditors on the ground protecting the people of the villages that are being dismantled by the militia and raping and pillaging and, for, what, so we can like tax and stuff?

I mean, that disgusted me when I thought we need people, we need awareness. We need people to be educated. And that's what our campaign is about.

BURNETT: I want to just play a sound bite of a woman of something she said, Mama Hillary. Obviously, Hillary Clinton. Here she is.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): Mama Hillary Clinton, I think this is no secret to you that we have been -- our wealth is being plundered and that's why we're being raped. So, please, can you deliver on your promises to bring peace in this region?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BURNETT: It's pretty amazing when you see the face like that.

WRIGHT: And the hope still that they have. And these women have lost their husbands, the patriarch of the family. Most of the time, the children have been abducted and they're drugged and recruited as an army member at age 8. And they're left with nothing.

BURNETT: And you're talking about, you know, these big electronics companies, Apple, companies like that, getting young people to, you know, vote with your money. Vote with what you buy. Get the companies to change.

But you're also doing something in Washington, too, right?

WRIGHT: Yes. I went there following my trip to Congo. We made a little documentary. I wrote an op-ed stating these facts. Just -- can Hillary Clinton, wouldn't that be ideal, can you maybe convene the parties? Get those people in a room somehow or raise enough pressure for them to see. We mean business.

BURNETT: Right. That's what's happening in Congo now, when we look at the pictures, elections that don't appear to be fair, don't appear to be going the way the people want and when they don't, you see more rape, you see more murder. You see more violence.

WRIGHT: Personally, that's why I will never give up this fight. It is our responsibility. I'm ready to do a march, Martin Luther King-style with the women. Let's go. Get on the streets. Go to the big man and say this has to stop.

BURNETT: All right. Robin Wright, thank you so much.

WRIGHT: Appreciate you very much.

BURNETT: Appreciate you taking the time.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BURNETT: All right. Pretty amazing and a story we've been covering for a long time, but it's still there and all those phones.

Well, tomorrow, we're really excited about our interview with Google's Eric Schmidt. Google, as you know, 95 percent of the world's search. But they also do a whole lot of other things. You know, wind farms and searching.

And this is the first time that cameras were ever allowed in their New York headquarters. We walked through. We saw everything. We're going to share it all with you tomorrow with our exclusive interview with Eric Schmidt. OUTFRONT tomorrow night.

In the meantime, have a great one.

"ANDERSON COOPER 360" starts now.