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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT
Wisconsin Recall Election; Low Profile in Wisconsin; Interview with Senator Rand Paul; Incredible Cost to a Church
Aired June 5, 2012 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ERIN BURNETT, HOST: OUTFRONT next breaking news exit polls just out in Wisconsin tell us we are in for -- well hold on because we have got the news in seconds. And then Senator Rand Paul OUTFRONT to tell us why America must make a bold move right now to prevent a key CIA informant's death. And then the cannibal murder suspect, body parts apparently still could be in the mail. Let's go OUTFRONT.
Good evening everyone. I'm Erin Burnett. OUTFRONT tonight the breaking news; we are getting exit polls from Wisconsin where Republican Governor Scott Walker is fighting to keep his job in what likely is the most expensive recall election in American history. The results of the election will say a heck of a lot about how the state and the country is going to go in November and that, of course, is the $64 trillion question. John King at the "Magic Wall" with the exit poll numbers and John, what can you tell us is crossing right now?
JOHN KING, HOST, "JOHN KING USA": Could be the $80 million question, Erin. Let's take a look at the early results. They are fascinating. They tell us number one we are going to be up late tonight. This is a very, very close race when we look at the exit poll. Number two remember what started all of this -- a big fight over the Republican Governor Scott Walker's efforts to restrict collective bargaining rights, to get union members to pay more for their health care, pay more for their pensions.
That's what started all of this, so our union members dominating the vote today. Significantly influencing the vote, interesting question, 32 percent of the voters in the recall election say someone in their household is a union member. Thirty-two percent, that is up. It was in the 20s in the 2010 election where Walker became governor. So this tells you number one the labor unions are getting the turnout out. Now we've seen other data suggesting Republican voters, too, more wealthy voters and older voters are coming out in higher levels than 2010, but that is a number that has the Democrats, the union forces happy, higher union household turnout than in the 2010 election.
Here is something, Erin, you've talked about this a lot this week, the enormous -- some would say obnoxious amounts of money being spent on this race, a lot of outside money, a lot of big checks coming in and yet despite all that money to influence people with those late TV ads only three percent of the people who voted today decided today. Only four percent decided in the last few days. Only five percent decided during the month of May, so there's 12 percent who decided shall we say latish. Eighty-eight percent, nearly nine in 10 voters decided before the month of May so there were tens of millions of dollars spent on TV ads that didn't sway most of the people in this very polarized environment, Erin. A little more data we'll look at real quick. Number one here is -- this is a grumpy electorate that is mad at all the politicians. Fifty percent of the voters in Wisconsin today say they have an unfavorable view of the Republican Party, 47 percent favorable. You might think that slight difference bodes well for the Democrats, right?
Well sorry, view of the Democratic Party 50 percent unfavorable, 40 percent unfavorable, identical. So in the state that has been polarized by these fights we have a very, very close election. The exit poll data is fascinating when you look at the incomes, when you look at the breakdowns, when you look ahead to the presidential election. But the one bottom line, Erin, we know a lot of money spent and it is very, very close.
BURNETT: It is amazing. A lot of money spent and as you say, only three percent of people decided today. Talk about a low rate of return on your money. I mean hey, you know I mean I know it's not an investment in the traditional sense. But all right thanks to John King. He's keeping watch on those exit polls, some pretty fascinating results. And a lot of you might say hey I am not surprised. I hate all those guys, too. Let's kick all the bums out. Well it looks like they agree with you in Wisconsin.
All right, but one person who has kept a pretty low profile is President Barack Obama on this particular case. Weeks of radio silence broken late last night when he tweeted "it's Election Day in Wisconsin tomorrow and I'm standing by Tom Barrett. He'd make an outstanding governor. B.O."
The worst initials ever, not a speech on a photo op, just a tweet. The RNC chairman, meanwhile pouncing "bold tweet from the president who wouldn't actually campaign with him or step foot in Wisconsin." Should President Obama have done more to help the Democratic candidate or was it better to steer clear of this lightning rod race in a swing state that he needs to win in November and frankly has almost always gone Democratic.
We ask the OUTFRONT "Political Strike Team" to weigh in on that crucial question. Our team of political reporters and independent analysts -- everyone on this is an identified "I" like 40 percent of the country -- they are going to be breaking down issues for us through the election. Seventy percent of them said no the president should not have campaigned for Barrett in Wisconsin. He made the right call. Thirty percent said he made a mistake by staying home.
John Avlon joins us. Paul Begala and David Frum, so we've got an "I", an "R", and a "D", but obviously John Avlon, you are the "I". You're on the "Strike Team". Did he make a mistake or not? Were you in the 70 or the 30?
JOHN AVLON, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: I was in the 70. Look when an election is this close I think it's fine for the president -- you want to do everything you can. That said the president could have polarized the electorate even further. The big question for me is why the DNC didn't play even harder. They -- right now Walker seems to have out-raised Barrett seven to one. When it's this close every vote counts. You don't want to leave anything in the locker room, but putting the president out may have been too risky a move.
BURNETT: And Paul was that -- do you think the verdict on the president's side was you know what don't risk the hit. The hit is worse than the benefit.
PAUL BEGALA, CNN POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR: My guess is that was the assessment. You know President Obama didn't get where he is by being risk diverse so (ph) and I think they made the wrong call. He needed to go in there. I don't think it would have been outcome determinative. Let me be clear. But there was no -- it is already polarized believe me when you are spending 50, 60, $80 million in a state it is polarized.
But for his own good I would have gone in there, not because of Wisconsin. Wisconsin is not a swing state. He's going to win it in November. He won by 14 last time. Even now he is leading by eight in the Marquette University poll that shows Walker ahead, but it shows the president winning the state by eight. That's not the issue.
It's that when somebody stands with you, you stand with them. This is like raw politics 101 (INAUDIBLE) politics so that he can look at members of the House and Senate and other governors and say look when this guy's back was up against the wall I stood there for him even if he can't save him. This guy Tom Barrett -- and by the way, Barrett when he was mayor of Milwaukee endorsed Senator Obama against Senator Clinton in that primary. There's a loyalty thing here. This is an easy call and I frankly think my friends in the White House made the wrong one.
BURNETT: Interesting and David Frum what is your take? I mean I guess I'm kind of curious taking a step back, David. Everyone talks about oh this state could never go Republican. They say the same thing about a state like New Jersey, but both of these states elected Republican governors and there are others like it too. I mean there is sort of a little confusion on that, if you'd elect a Republican governor why not?
DAVID FRUM, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well if this president hankers to play in state politics he's going to have a lot of opportunities. Because what's happening in Wisconsin is ghost of Christmas future especially if and when the economy begins to recover. Every state has huge reckonings to do with these promises they have made public employees in better times, promises that are going to impossible to fulfill, the pensions and for health care.
And there are going to be fights like this in state after state over the next decade, over the next generation. And the states are going to face this agony. Do they provide services now or do they pay for the pensions of the people provided services before cannibalizing services now. As I said, if the president wants to join that fight there are going to be opportunities in California. There are going to be a lot of opportunities and a lot of places. This is coming to a state near you.
AVLON: And Erin, that's why -- exactly why this is such a closely watched fight. It's so high stakes because whoever comes out ahead (INAUDIBLE) all the votes are count it's going to be read as a mandate. It's either going to embolden more Republican governors to try to deal with their budget deficits by taking on their union or it's going to be as a warning shot. But let's remember the reason we are here --
AVLON: -- at this very rare place where a recall occurs -- only happened three times -- two times successfully in the past century -- is because Governor Walker made a classic mistake of overreach and that promotes a back lash --
BURNETT: Right. Didn't work --
AVLON: -- classic cycle.
BURNETT: Unlike Chris Christie who we pointed out --
AVLON: That's right.
BURNETT: -- also took on the unions, but did so in a more collaborative --
AVLON: Yes, Mitch Daniels did it. Chris Christie did it.
AVLON: He didn't need to be so polarizing as he did and he's paying that price tonight with this recall vote.
BURNETT: And John, let me just show you three weeks ago the president -- the Obama campaign laid out several paths to victory, right. This is -- everyone loves to play the numbers game and we love it because we love to talk about whether things add up. But here is the thing on Wisconsin -- does it add up. Every plan the president laid out showed Wisconsin in blue. Today they released an updated map that showed Wisconsin in blue and today they released an updated map that showed Wisconsin as a tossup. Now why did they do that, John Avlon? To show we can win anyway or because they may be a little nervous and want to look like oh hey we knew it might happen anyway. It's not a big --
AVLON: I think some clever expectations adjustment the night before. It kind of -- it inoculates them if it doesn't go their way.
BURNETT: If they lose, right.
AVLON: But I would love to hear what Paul Begala has been hearing from his friends about that.
BURNETT: Yes, Paul, is Wisconsin a tossup?
BEGALA: No. It's not.
BEGALA: It's just not. I mean look you pay me to tell the truth here and I can pretend that it is and this has augurs ill or well for the president in November. It doesn't. It is five months away. It's a state -- the only time -- the last time it went Republican was in Ronald Reagan's landslide and with all respect to Mitt Romney he ain't Ronald Reagan and if it goes for Mitt Romney it may be a landslide for him and it's not.
BURNETT: Anytime someone says with all respect I get scared. You know --
BURNETT: Don't take it personally but --
BEGALA: New Jersey has a Republican governor. It's not a swing state. It's going to go for Obama. Arkansas has a Democratic governor. It is not a swing state. It's going for Mitt Romney.
BEGALA: These presidential level races in states like Wisconsin sort themselves out I think very early and President Obama is going to win Wisconsin I think not by 14 like he did, but by at least five.
BURNETT: All right. With all due respect I've got to hit pause on the conversation.
All right still OUTFRONT Senator Rand Paul; he wants to make a big change in American policy that is going to affect the country with nuclear weapons and mayhem. And did President Clinton go rogue yet again? He just said something about the Bush tax cuts and you know what, it doesn't add up. And what goes through the mind of a cannibal -- that story still OUTFRONT.
BURNETT: Our second story OUTFRONT, American officials today confirmed that al Qaeda's number two leader, Abu Yahya Al-Libi is dead. It's the most significant kill since U.S. Navy SEALs killed Osama bin Laden and it was done by an American drone. The drone attack also killed at least 14 other suspected militants and of course it's just the latest incident to strain an already antagonistic relationship between the U.S. and Pakistan.
Now this is an amazing number. Over the past decade the U.S. government has given Pakistan more than $23 billion in aid, but has that money added up to anything? The latest slap to America came today from a council of Pakistani religious leaders who called for the death penalty in the case of a CIA informant who helped American SEALs find bin Laden. Dr. Shakil Afridi stood trial for treason and now he's sentenced to 33 years in jail and as I said maybe even the death penalty for helping the United States of America.
Senator Rand Paul introduced legislation calling for an end to all American aid to Pakistan in protest of the Afridi situation and just a few moments ago I asked him why the Americans left this informant of Pakistan considering that he was so important to our finding and killing Osama bin Laden.
SEN. RAND PAUL (R), KENTUCKY: You know I'm a little perplexed by it also. I don't have any inside information on this but I have read reports that say he was offered the ability to leave and didn't take it. Sometimes it's complicated if you don't get to go with all of your family do you go by yourself. You know we've been through this in Egypt where some of them escape and have gone back for trial because they're worried about their family still being there.
I don't know the details but I do have a lot of sympathy for Dr. Afridi. I am a physician also. We're about the same age and I think it was particularly brave of him to help us get bin Laden. We had offered a $25 million reward and now we're giving money to a country that's keeping him in prison for 33 years. To me it makes no sense.
BURNETT: And about the cuts I wanted to understand exactly where you stood on that. And obviously you want them to be halted until Pakistan changes how it is handling the U.S. or for 33 years, the same length as his sentence. But you know the president of the United States is also extremely frustrated with Pakistan. He halted -- he's cut aid by about 50 percent because of his frustrations with the government and how it has openly worked against the United States and so many of our counter terrorism efforts. Why isn't that enough?
PAUL: Well, you know I think what we need to do and if the president negotiated from a point of strength, if he told the Pakistani government you are not getting one red cent more unless you free Dr. Afridi, I think he would be released tomorrow. If you tell them you are going to cut three percent of next year's budget and by the way, we're going to keep spending the 500 million we haven't given you so far I think that looks pretty weak and they kind of laugh at us and say yes we will cash our welfare check and we'll keep doing whatever we want. So I think if you want to influence their behavior at the very least you should tell them you are not getting anymore unless you do behave.
BURNETT: I understand that but what happens in the interim. I mean you're dealing with an impoverished country where yes I've been there, the anti-American sentiment is a bit overwhelming and they have got -- they have got nukes. I mean just abandoning it all --
PAUL: Yes I don't think --
BURNETT: -- don't we put ourselves more at risk?
PAUL: I think very little of U.S. taxpayer money actually helps anyone who is impoverished in the country. The history of foreign aid throughout Africa and throughout most of the world has been rich autocratic leaders stealing the money. Mubarak was a great example in Egypt. He allegedly stole and was worth billions and billions of dollars, U.S. taxpayer dollars that he just skimmed off the top. I think Pakistan is no different. I think the average ordinary Pakistani never sees any of that American money.
BURNETT: Bottom line is though do you think we can work this out with Pakistan? Every single example of what's happened just seems to be an example of failure for them to support or work with this country. Some of it partially, you know just be honest, is America's fault. But that seems to be consistent whether it is George W. Bush or Barack Obama.
PAUL: I think both parties. What I would say is that people understand negotiation from strength and if you say you are not going to give them anymore aid I think all of a sudden their ears will perk up and I think we would get results. If you say you're going to cut their aid by three percent not this year but next year I think they're going to say so what and you're going to get nothing. When I threatened to remove aid from Egypt within two weeks 16 Americans were released. So I think if you threaten to be significant, to significantly change policy in a way that would affect their pocketbook I think they would sit up and take notice.
BURNETT: And I want to turn topics tonight because it is a very big night obviously here at home. Would a Scott Walker victory, you know a Republican in Wisconsin who -- you know the whole recall is based on fighting unions and taking them on, that victory does that embolden you in Washington to say let's go more for cuts on pensions, on Medicare, on entitlements? Is that how you take it as a mandate for you in Washington?
PAUL: Well see I see none of it that I am jumping up and down to do. I see it the things we have to do. For example, Social Security, I don't see it as my mandate to say I want to make everybody wait longer to get Social Security. I see it as something I have to do to save the system because we had the huge population of baby boomers. We are living longer. There are now about 2.5 workers, maybe three workers for every retiree and the system is $6 trillion in the hole, so it's not that I see it as a mandate to get what I want. It is that I see it that we have to do this or Social Security will drown under a mountain of debt.
BURNETT: And Senator, are you ready for a grand bargain? You and I have talked before and you've talked about your support for say means testing of Medicare where millions would contribute more or get less in benefits. Are you similarly also for closing loopholes in the overall tax system that would end up with the wealthier in this country paying more? It would be an effective tax increase even though of course you'd get the political point of saying oh well maybe your rate went down. Are you for that?
PAUL: I'm for a simple tax code, very simple. In fact my budget, my five-year balanced budget has one rate, 17 percent for corporate, 17 percent for private and has almost no deductions. You'd fill it out on one page and then there wouldn't be any special deductions. There would be no individuals paying no taxes and there'd be no companies paying no taxes, but there also would be no companies paying 35 percent income tax which is twice what the rest of the world is paying. We are losing companies overseas because we are the highest tax rate in the world right now, so that has to come down in order for us to compete internationally.
BURNETT: Intellectually though and this is an important intellectual point, you are all right with some people all in, they may end up paying more than they are paying now, but you'd get a simpler tax code and a simpler rate but they could pay more --
PAUL: Absolutely -- absolutely.
BURNETT: All right, well thank you so much, Senator Paul. It was good to see you.
PAUL: Thanks, Erin.
BURNETT: Important point there. Many, many in the Tea Party people coming on this show and saying they are willing on the Tea Party side to have people pay more, the wealthiest in this country. We should be able to get a grand bargain.
Ahead OUTFRONT a reverend in an American church made a bold decision and it has cost him dearly. We have a special report OUTFRONT.
And just in, more body parts sent through the mail and we'll literally just getting information on this right now crossing. Authorities are talking about a possible connection to the man accused of murdering a student with an ice pick. That's OUTFRONT.
BURNETT: Our third story OUTFRONT the incredible cost of supporting same sex marriage. A church leader in Minnesota spoke out publicly seven years ago in support of gay couples in what he felt is their right to marry. He was ahead of his time in terms of a national debate. It was just after Massachusetts became the first state in the country to legalize gay marriage. But Reverend Oliver White never expected what happened next. His predominantly black congregation abandoned him for speaking his mind. And now Reverend White is on the verge of losing his church. We sent our David Mattingly OUTFRONT to Minnesota to find out if the reverend now regrets what he said.
DAVID MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The Grace Community United Church of Christ in St Paul Minnesota has seen better days, the empty pews signs of a congregation shattered by a single issue.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Categorically they said I cannot be a part of a church that accepts same-sex marriage.
MATTINGLY: Reverend Oliver White voted in favor of accepting same sex marriage at the 2005 national meeting of the United Church of Christ. The vote was historic, the fallout immediate. White lost two-thirds of his predominantly African-American congregation.
REV. OLIVER WHITE, GRACE COMMUNITY CHURCH OF CHRIST: They thought I was a heretic, that I was not leading them to Christ.
MATTINGLY: Seven years later White's congregation still has not come back. I was invited to watch what could be the last service before the church closes its doors for good. What I saw was a far cry from the days when the seats were full.
(on camera): Started just a few minutes ago. There were only about 20 people in the pews. A few people have come in since then but more than half of the people attending today are visitors.
(voice-over): The church is now in financial ruin. The few members that still remain say they couldn't overcome a stigma.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It is hush, hush you don't talk about it.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Right.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If you are gay you are wrong and it is very much, very prevalent in the black church that you do not talk about it.
MATTINGLY (on camera): You pray about this a lot?
WHITE: Every day.
MATTINGLY: What do you pray for right now?
WHITE: Two hundred thousand dollars.
MATTINGLY (voice-over): Two hundred thousand dollars, that's what White says will keep his church afloat but he has just a few days left to raise it.
WHITE: Two dollars.
MATTINGLY (on camera): Two dollars.
MATTINGLY (voice-over): Little miracles arrive in the mail every day, donations along with words of encouragement and at times temptation.
MATTINGLY (on camera): This man was going to pay all of your bills.
MATTINGLY: All your worries will be gone.
WHITE: All my worries will be gone.
MATTINGLY: All you had to do was what?
WHITE: Renounce, renounce what I have been saying and come back to God, as he said.
MATTINGLY: Did you think about it?
WHITE: Well, maybe for one-tenth of a second.
MATTINGLY (voice-over): Better to be a heretic in the eyes of many of his fellow Christians than he says to preach what he believes is a lie.
David Mattingly, CNN, Minneapolis, Minnesota.
BURNETT: Whatever you feel about that issue, you got to applaud someone who stands with their convictions. And still affront -- still OURFRONT Bill Clinton affronting some in his own party at it again butting heads with the president. And reports of quote "love letters" in Jerry Sandusky's Penn State child rape case.
BURNETT: We start the second half of our show with stories we care about, where we focus with our reporting from the front lines.
First, Syria expelling diplomats from 11 countries including this one. If you recall last week, lots of countries expelled Syrian diplomats, nanny, nanny, boo, boo.
CNN's Arwa Damon says most of these countries had already shut down their embassies or withdrawn their ambassadors. The diplomatic efforts obviously have not worked as well. The effort I think in Syria. U.N. officials say the Syrian government will let the U.N. in to deliver humanitarian aid. We shall see if that actually happens.
Well, there will be no more junk food ads on Walt Disney's children networks. Based on Disney's guidelines, advertising for the McDonald's happy meals will no longer be seen on the Disney Channel, Disney XD, Disney Jr., Radio Disney, Disney's own Web sites, geared towards families. The policy will be fully in effect by 2015. This is courageous and amazing. We applaud it.
ABC spokes woman told CNN she couldn't say how much of Disney's advertising could be affected by the ban in effect, standing by your convictions.
California's controversial Proposition 8 which defined marriage as only between a man and a woman might be headed to the Supreme Court. Back in February, a panel of three judges ruled that Prop 8 was unconstitutional. So supporters of the measure might have a larger panel to hear the case. That request though denied. Now, the parties in the case have 90 days to appeal to the Supreme Court. Our legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin says he bet the campaign is over, the Supreme Court will not review it, marriage will remain for now between and a woman in California.
And a senior U.S. official told the IAEA that there is an apparent cleanup at Iran's crucial Parchin facility. We have been telling you about this. This is a site Iranian officials have denied IAEA investigators entry to. It caused Robert Wood, head of the U.S. mission to the International Atomic Energy Agency to pose this question: If Iran has nothing to hide, why would you deny access to Parchin? Well, according to one former Iranian official who spoke today, it's part of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad strategy.
In an excerpt from his book "Iranian Nuclear Crisis," Sayed Hossein Mousavian, the former spokesman for Iran's nuclear programs, said, "I had the opportunity to hear directly about Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's foreign policy strategy, which was the most radical position I had ever heard from an Iranian politician since the revolution. He told me in clear terms that he did not care about the IAEA resolutions nor the possible referral of the nuclear piles in the U.N. Security Council, nor sanctions, nor the positions of the international community toward Iran, or about relations with Western countries".
Well, it has been 306 days since the U.S. lost its top credit rating. What are we doing to get it back?
Well, here's a real rain on your optimistic parade if you were feeling good. The CBO, Congressional Budget Office, says the United States debt will be twice the size of our economy in 25 years, if current tax and spending policies remain in place.
Which brings me to our fourth story OUTFRONT: a very unlikely man has come out in favor of keeping tax strategies in place for now. President Clinton, though, dropping what's fair to say is a bomb on President Obama, saying the U.S. economy is currently in a recession and predicting that Congress should renew the Bush era tax cuts. He said tonight, quote, "I don't have any problem with extending all of it now, including the current spending level."
John Avlon is with us, Reihan Salam and Paul Begala is back.
Paul, let me just start with you. This is a real shot across the bow, because sure he went on to say down the line we need to get rid of the tax cuts. And, by the way, he talked about this with Tom Brokaw a week ago. He wants the tax rates for everyone to go back to his old rates. But to say that they should be extended for everyone, including the wealthiest Americans at the end of this year, is impossible to spin that's in line with President Obama. Am I crazy? PAUL BEGALA, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: It's also impossible to spin it as a big deal. It's the same thing he's been saying, I should point out, for a long time. He would say -- this is what his position is: we don't want to have the huge fiscal cliff that we're going to fall off of in December. So, let's kick the can -- as Washington always does -- for a couple of weeks, push it to 2013, and then put a reasonable deal together.
What President Clinton has said for 21 years now that wealthy people should pay more, and in fact, he wants, as you point out, to go back to the rates that wealthy people paid under the Clinton economy, 39 percent, when, of course, America was a socialist paradise, we had Che Guevara and the $20 bill.
It's all the same position he's always had. The slight difference I think in tactics from the White House is I think the White House wants to stand firm in December. The president is saying -- former President Clinton saying, let's kick this to 2013. To me, it is not a big difference.
BURNETT: OK. Now, you make a very good case there and that's a very good spin, and perhaps you're right.
But, Reihan, I have to say, given what I have heard out there about the position here and the president saying the wealthiest need to pay more as a matter of fairness. This president has not seemed to indicate in any way that any period of time it would be acceptable for those tax cuts to be extended for the wealthy.
REIHAN SALAM, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: This has been a central message of his campaign. The Buffett Rule has been the central part of his campaign.
I think that there is another interesting wrinkle to this however. So, President Clinton wants to restore the Clinton era tax rates for all households. And it's important to remember that actually those middle income tax rates, President Obama has pledged to extend those permanently.
So, actually, President Obama and President Clinton have not seen eye to eye for a fight long time.
SALAM: And the interesting question is, will President Obama stick with that pledge to extend the middle income tax cuts if he is reelected or will he do what Peter Orszag, his former OMB director, and what President Clinton want him to do, which is to return to Clinton levels for everyone, including the middle class. And my guess is his views are more in line with president Clinton's on that front as well.
BURNETT: OK. They maybe, but, John Avlon, it's not what he says. It's not what he says again and again and again. It's not with his surrogates. It's not what he says. JOHN AVLON, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: No, it's not. I think the worst President Clinton can be accused of is under cutting the administration's negotiating strategy big time. But take a big step back, let's be honest. We are talking about this because it feeds into a narrative based on statements where there seems to be daylight philosophically or otherwise between President Clinton and President Obama. And so, there is a bit of a media attraction of the bright, shiny object.
The point Clinton is trying to make is there are economic storm clouds and now is not the time to destabilize things further. And now, still a focus on a grand bargain. I think it's fascinating, right, that we are having this massive debate allegedly about socialism and economic freedom about the top tax rate because, as you said, there is broad agreement at least between the Obama administration right now and Congress, on the majority of the Bush tax cuts.
BURNETT: OK. But, Paul, let me ask you this question, because at least rhetorically, the president has not been saying what Bill Clinton is saying especially when it comes to the middle class tax cuts and I would argue even with the wealthy. It has been clear that they not go up right away. And he wouldn't allow anything else.
So, what is the strategy for Bill Clinton to come out and say this?
BEGALA: It's what he believes. He's not a wind up doll. He supports President Obama.
BURNETT: But he's out there talking a lot lately saying things that don't really go along with the president's message.
BEGALA: But he is a citizen of the United States now. This is what's wonderful thing I think for him about a former president, he supports President Obama. I do think the Republicans make a mistake if they keep elevating President Clinton. I mean, the same guying who are tries to impeach him are saying he is the greatest president ever. I mean, you are late to the party guys.
But as you elevate, as the Romney elevates, and the Republicans elevate President Clinton, you watch. That hammer is going to drop in the fall. He's going to stand up there as he says to his friends that President Obama has the right ideas. He's got the ideas that will get the economy moving and Mitt Romney does not.
So, I think it's great as a Clinton guy and an Obama guy to elevate President Clinton more and more as the arbiter of economic stewardship.
BURNETT: Fair point, although, Reihan, to most Americans, taxes are crucial and central. The Bush tax cuts and your position on that are central to who you are, how you govern and how to get out of this mess.
SALAM: I think that's absolutely right. But I also think that Paul -- I definitely take Paul's point. But, look, I think that President Clinton is making a number of statements that seem very, very awkward.
On one level, he's trying to be a good soldier. On the other hand, he just keeps saying things like Mitt Romney is pretty well qualified, he had a sterling business record. That, gosh, let me take Speaker John Boehner's position --
BURNETT: He is probably qualified for the job.
SALAM: The thing is that you can actually drive a wedge between them quite straightforwardly because, look, there are a lot of Republicans voted for Clinton in '92 and '96. And it's very important for Republicans to win some of those voters back.
Now, it's true that, you know, Clinton is going to say other things --
AVLON: That's why this, quote, "Republican love affair" with Bill Clinton is another hammer waiting to drop. You know, this is look, he is not a paid staffer and I think the point he's making is, look, you don't have to demonize people personally in order to disagree with him politically. And that's actually the message we could use a lot more of.
BURNETT: Right. I got to say, Paul Begala, you won it with the impeachment. The same people who wanted to impeach him are now for him. And you know what? Revenge is best served cold. It's been a long time since that happened.
All right. Thanks to all.
All right. We have breaking news. ABC News is reporting on what could be bombshell evidence in the Jerry Sandusky child rape trial. ABC reporting that, quote, "victim number four" and I want to be very careful here, that we're talking about one victim, will testify and provide what's described as handwritten love letters that he received from Jerry Sandusky.
The network also reports that the victim who is now 28 years old will testify about expensive gifts like golf clubs that were given to him by the former Penn State assistant football coach. Nine jurors have been seated for the trial.
Our legal contributor Paul Callan is OUTFRONT tonight.
Paul, how surprised are you at these revelations? I mean, the whole case is disturbing and upsetting to anybody who hears about the allegations. But the fact that there are actual love letters for some reason is even more so.
PAUL CALLAN, CNN LEGAL CONTRIBUTOR: Well, it is disturbing because everything that he is charged with is just sort of this creepy behavior that makes everybody uncomfortable just talking about it. I'm not surprised because if prosecutors are correct in saying that he abused as many as 10 young boys and they say they have supporting evidence, this is exactly the kind of evidence we are going to see throughout the trial.
You'll see letters. You'll see -- you may hear about telephone calls. There are going to be all kinds of things that are going to come out that we don't know about at this point in time.
BURNETT: And -- I mean, do you get the feeling if this is the case and there were love letters to victim four? I mean, you dealt with these sorts of cases, I -- would this be something you would assume then happen in multiple of these?
CALLAN: Well, you would think so because a grown man sending a handwritten love letter to a teenager is highly unusual behavior. I would think if he did it with one, he might have done it with others.
What I really find to be odd is this victim, this victim, described as victim number four in the indictment, who is now well into his 20s, he saved the letter apparently. How does he still have the letter and how many other alleged victims would still have letters? Or would they have destroyed him. These are questions that will have to be answered. And you'll se an aggressive defense saying maybe it is a forgery or doesn't make sense that somebody would save such a letter.
BURNETT: I'm turn on that. I could see wanting to get rid of it or keeping it for the same reasons that some might get rid of it.
But how easy is it to prove whether a letter like that is real?
CALLAN: If they have a letter in Jerry Sandusky's handwriting it will be difficult to prove it is a fraud. You will have handwriting experts to date the ink that was used. There are variety of forensic techniques that can be used to substantiate.
That would leave them then with the only defense which is kind of the defense they started with in the bizarre television interviews we saw, which is that this is how Jerry Sandusky acts around boys horsing around in the shower, and it's normal and he'll try to say sending a letter like this is normal. So, that's their default position. I have my doubts that a jury will buy it but we have to see.
BURNETT: It's certainly one thing I think with middle ground, it's not normal what else might have happened for the court.
Thanks to Paul.
And OUTFRONT, Canadian authorities just announced a couple of moments ago that they have confirmed more body parts were sent through the mail. Does this have anything to do with the man accused of murdering a man with an ice pick and sending pieces to people including the prime minister?
And certainly, happier news. A Piers Morgan Queen Elizabeth sighting on OUTFRONT.
BURNETT: We're back. Tonight's "Outer Circle" -- where we reach out to sources around the world.
And tonight, we go to Great Britain. President Obama sent his congratulations to Queen Elizabeth II today, as she marked the end of his diamond jubilee celebration.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PIERS MORGAN, CNN HOST: Erin, it's been an amazing day here in London, here in Buckingham Palace obviously, you can see from the backdrop. It's been a very special moment for the queen and for we here subjects. For 60 years, this woman has reigned in Great Britain. She has been a global figure, one of the most famous people in the whole of the world celebrating a unique.
Let give you one diamond jubilee before, it was Queen Victoria. It was really in our lifetime and it was really -- it lived up to every expectation. We had extraordinary flight pass by World War II planes, the procession, the horse-drawn carriages coming out the Mall, led by the household cavalry.
The rain held off enough for us to see the queen in all her glory and up here on the balcony with a small number of the royals, Charles and Camilla, Harry and William and Kate. And it was a streamlined rock star royal celebration following four days of great events.
I felt very proud and excited to be here. I hope you enjoyed it, too.
(END VDIEO CLIP)
BURNETT: I did enjoy it and I loved watching Piers so much in his element.
All right. Now, let's check in with John King. He's in for Anderson Cooper with a look at what's on "A.C. 360". Hey, John.
JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: A little more than an hour waiting for Wisconsin voters to decide whether to recall Governor Walker. It's a state election with huge national implications. I'm joined by Paul Begala and Ari Fleischer.
And keeping them honest tonight jobs and the economy, easily the top issue for voters this November. The Romney campaign is calling out the president for results or lack of them for his watch.
Well, here's the Obama campaign's counter-attack. What about Governor Romney's record in Massachusetts? We'll talk numbers and strategy with Romney campaign adviser Carrie Hilly.
Also, a few forgotten lyrics in a concert Sheryl Crow joked about it, blaming it on her age. But it turns out she had a brain tumor.
Chief medical correspondent and practicing brain surgeon, Sanjay Gupta, has been in touch with the singer. More on her condition, ahead on "360".
All at the top of the hour, Erin.
BURNETT: All right. Looking forward to seeing a few moments, John.
And now our fifth story OUTFRONT: just in a few moments ago, Vancouver police investigating whether two new packages containing human body parts are connected to the dismemberment killing of a Montreal college student. Authorities say the packages were received at two separate schools today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WARREN LEMCKE, VANCOUVER POLICE DEPUTY CHIEF: The first package containing what appeared to be a human hand was opened by staff at Falls Creek Elementary School after 1:00 p.m. today. Another package containing what appeared to be a human foot was found by staff at St. George's School later this afternoon.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Luka Magnotta is the Canadian porn star suspected of murdering the Montreal college student with an ice pick and dismembering his body. He could be extradited to Canada within the week. He was captured yesterday at a cafe in Berlin where he had spent an hour online, Googling and reading stories about himself.
Magnotta is suspected of mailing body parts to prominent officials also. He's also accused of videotaping the grisly murder and posting it on the Web.
So, what goes on in the mind of someone who even considers doing such a thing.
Dr. Michael Welner is a forensic psychiatrist who developed the depravity scale.
You're OUTFRONT tonight. And good to see you. Appreciate it.
What does go through the mind of somebody who could do this?
DR. MICHAEL WELNER, FORENSIC PSYCHIATRIST: I think what divisions this crime from another dismemberment you might hear of is that the aim is shock. Targeting a political entity knowing that the media would jump all over that, give it attention. Uploading a horrible, grisly, shocking, painful torture so that others could view the spectacle of somebody being tortured.
It's carrying out a crime. It's criminal exhibitionism in order to gather an audience. So the motivation of attention-seeking is entirely consistent with somebody who's been carrying himself out as a public figure and who wants to be seen. As Luke when that's not even his given name, it's a persona that he's after.
But what he's after is shocking and having us talk about him. And that's an important thing to keep in mind. How should we be talking about him? Should we talk about him as a porn star? Or should we talk about him as a sexual deviant who went from necrophilia to sadist?
WELNER: That's more of a factual description.
BURNETT: It is a factual description. It sounds like we're throwing in adjectives just because, but all of this is what we saw and alleged this man did. But is this something that given what we've seen would be consistent with somebody who had done this only once? I mean, now that there's more body parts, I mean, the question is he linked, we don't know. But is this something that someone will do only once? If you are capable of this, this is not something you would have done many times, you could be a serial killer.
WELNER: If he was uploading animal cruelty, it was to gain attention. It wasn't just animal cruelty for cruelty's sake --
BURNETT: You're referring to the kittens torturing.
WELNER: That's right. This is a fascination. And so, there's some level of fantasy and practice and some fixation on violence.
But again, the idea of trying to escalate for shock value his own persona into something that could become a man we talk about, that's really what he has organized himself around. And that tied into his fascination and violence makes him very much similar to people who carry out crimes for seeking notoriety -- the mass shooters, the people like the waters who target the congressmen. It's nothing to do with political affiliation, it's because it's a celebrity next door, like Andrew Cunanan who would target Gianni Versace, then we would be talking about him on the news. He should be remembered as a pervert without these flattering pictures, because otherwise people inspired by that won't emulate.
BURNETT: So, let's talk about him, obviously, we know he was a porn star. He was a paid escort. People who knew him when he was younger described him as odd. I don't know what you can read into that, but they say he was raised by a domineering grandmother. I mean, what's the profile you can pull together about this person?
WELNER: Well, there are many millions of people who were raised by domineering parents and they don't go out and carry shocking extreme violence for attention-seeking. The profile is, this is a social phenomenon. It's very important. This is a psychiatric phenomenon, it's a social phenomenon where shock and violence yields attention and notoriety. Until it gets extinguished you get people like this character who figure out a way to do something no one's done before.
BURNETT: To get attention.
WELNER: Well, because again, why would you send a hand to the elementary school? Because if you send it to the corner store, nobody will be talking about it in New York and all over the world. But if you send it to an elementary school, people will be talking about it because they're mortified. It's a violence exhibitionism the same way a person might expose themselves to view the shock and the reaction of others. And that's what he's after. Only, it's a different kind of perversion.
BURNETT: On the depravity scale, what's the scale? One to 10 or something? I mean, is he as bad as it is?
WELNER: It's not so much a scale. It's the grotesque suffering he caused this very tragic victim. Yet, at the same time, the idea of carrying out a crime in order to show off. If we don't repulse this by remembering him for example, the way we did Khalid Sheik Mohammed with the image he just got out of bed, then he gets to be glorified and others follow in his footsteps. We have to distinguish it and how we discuss it now.
BURNETT: All right. Well, thank you very much. Appreciate it.
And still ahead, something that will never happen again while you're alive. But it's OUTFRONT of course.
BURNETT: Something historic has begun. Around 6:00 p.m. Eastern Time the planet Venus started going past the sun. It's called the transit of Venus. You can see it on the sun. A little dot.
It's a big deal because it's so rare. Transits come in pair. The last pair in the 1800s. The next not until 2117. And the first recorded one, 1639.
For the next 200 years, scientists studied these intently. Explorers got involved. Captain Cook in 1769 went to Tahiti just to witness the transit. Tahiti, where I saw a solar eclipse.
It was an epic journey at the time which is why historians have called transit spotting the Apollo programming of the 18th century.
Venus' influence on how we see the universe continues today in a different way. Venus is the brightest of all the planets which is one of the reasons why no single object has been misinterpreted as a flying saucer, UFO more often than Venus. It's fooled pilots, police and even former President Jimmy Carter. Muffon, the largest privately funded UFO research organization in the world, says they get 500 reports of sightings every month, 95 percent can be explained away by Venus. But what about the 5 percent, everybody? We're believers.
Thanks for joining.
"A.C. 360" starts now.