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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT

Health Care Mandate: Penalty or Tax?; China Trade Vital to Swing States; Romney's $100M Cash Haul; Man Found Not Guilty in Priest Beating; Yasser Arafat Poisoning Suspected; Anniversary of Casey Anthony's Acquittal

Aired July 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, CNN ANCHOR: OUTFRONT next. Both President Obama and Mitt Romney are slamming China. Do the attacks add up?

And a judge sets a $1 million bond for George Zimmerman. Will the man charged with killing Trayvon Martin be walking out of jail soon?

And a lifeguard fired for saving a swimmer. Tonight that lifeguard and the president of the company that fired him both OUTFRONT. That's coming up.

Well, good evening, everyone. I'm Erin Burnett.

And OUTFRONT tonight the Chinese boogeyman. Here we go again. When they aren't blasting each other on who has lost more jobs or fired more people, Mitt Romney and Barack Obama slam China.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Day one. President Romney stands up to China. Demands a level playing field for our businesses and workers.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BURNETT: Just today, to kick off his bus tour, the president played the China card, too.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Just this morning, my administration took a new action to hold China accountable for unfair trade practices that harm American automakers.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

OBAMA: And let me tell you something. Americans aren't afraid to compete. We believe in competition.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BURNETT: Now the president is referring to Chinese tariffs on American-made cars. Now that apparently those tariffs have raised costs between 2 and 21 percent. But you know what's amazing about, when you look at the numbers the claim doesn't really add up. In fact look at Gm sales in China. In the month of May, they were up 21 percent from last year. So far this year GM has sold a record 1.2 million cars in China. That's more than in the United States.

And the real untold story here isn't really about Chinese tariffs on U.S. cars. It's how much China is helping America's economy.

So let's start with Ohio where the president was today. Exports from Ohio to China are worth $2.7 billion. That makes China Ohio's big third biggest export market and the top sector is machinery. Half a billion dollars worth of American-made machines sold to China from Ohio. This is according to the U.S. China Business Council.

And Ohio is, obviously, a crucial swing state but it's not the only one with the story. Look at Pennsylvania. The next stop on President Obama's tour, China is Pennsylvania's second biggest export market. $3.5 billion a year come from China to Pennsylvania. Chemicals, machinery and minerals are the reasons.

Virginia, another swing state, China is number two in exports. Colorado, another swing, it's third. Those states export hundreds of millions of dollars worth of machinery and computers to China.

You get the point. And so our question tonight is, should we be biting a hand that feeds us?

OUTFRONT tonight, Stephanie Cutter, President Obama's deputy campaign manager. I talked to her a few moments ago and I started by asking her why the president is going after China.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

STEPHANIE CUTTER, OBAMA DEPUTY CAMPAIGN MANAGER: Well, Erin, you know that your comment on biting the hand that feeds you, you know, we do trade a lot with China and we want to continue trading with China, but we want a level-playing field and we want a level-playing field for U.S. companies and U.S. workers, and that's what today was about.

China has been imposing, you know, unfair tariffs on U.S. autos being sold in China. The president stood up and said no, and he files a case. And he's taking action and is holding them accountable.

So that's what today was about. We want to trade with China, we want to increase our trade with China, we want to sell more autos over there, but need to ensure that there's a continued level-playing field.

BURNETT: What about, though, that statistics that General Motors seems to be doing pretty amazingly in China without extra help. They have sold more cars in China that in the United States this year. It's a record for them. And even the "Detroit News" reports that any Chinese person who can afford a GM car is already a very wealthy person but these tariffs may not make the decision between buying the car or not buying the car.

So does that mean that this is really politics?

CUTTER: Well, that's -- well, that doesn't mean that we shouldn't do it.

(LAUGHTER)

CUTTER: You know? If another country is imposing unfair tariffs on American products, that's an unlevel playing field for our goods and services, then the president is going to take action. The United States is going to take action. It doesn't mean just because our products are doing well in that country that we shouldn't take action. Imagine if we didn't have those tariffs on those automobiles.

I'm sure GM would like to keep some of that money. The American people would like to keep some of that money. So this is about creating a level-playing field.

BURNETT: And, Stephanie, let me ask you about the money here. Obviously, there's been a lot of talk about that phone call the president made from Air Force One to donors earlier this week. The Romney campaign and Republican National Committee came out just a few moments ago and said look, we've raised at least $100 million in the month of June.

Are you guys going to be anywhere close?

CUTTER: Well, we'll put out our figures when we are ready, when we're done adding up the numbers, but it's no secret why the Romney campaign put their money out today. They are trying to change a very bad story line on themselves. And that story line is that Governor Romney and his campaign have flip-flopped on his own health care policies, his health -- his position on the president's health care law, but also his position on his own health care law in Massachusetts.

BURNETT: The issue of tax?

CUTTER: So they're claiming to -- to change a bad story line. I don't blame them if I were on their side, I probably would do the same thing.

BURNETT: But, again, I know you won't give me an exact number but I know you've been frustrated in saying they're raising more than money than you all are. $100 million is a big round number. It is going to be bigger than yours for June, right?

CUTTER: Well, Erin, I'm not going to forecast what our money is. Certainly $100 million is a lot of money. It's not uncommon for the challenger to outraise the incumbent just after it becomes the nominee. I worked for John Kerry in 2004. And we outraised George Bush for the first two months that we were the nominee. But we're going to continue fighting, building our grassroots support, building our low-dollar fund donors to ensure that as many people as possible are contributing to this campaign.

And, you know, one thing to keep in mind about that $100 million, we'll never know who raised that money. We will never know who Mitt Romney's bundlers are. We know one of them, Mr. Dimond, who resigned from Barclays last week, is a bundler for Mitt Romney, but we don't know how many more like him are out there. We don't know where this money came from.

BURNETT: Right.

CUTTER: So that's one thing to keep in mind when he puts his $100 million out there.

BURNETT: All right. That's true. Although I guess you guys have your Corzines, they have their diamonds. Big money could always be problematic.

CUTTER: We release our bundlers.

BURNETT: Yes.

CUTTER: We release our bundlers. We're completely transparent on it, as most candidates have done. Mitt Romney plays by a different set of rules and keeps his bundlers secret like a lot of other things that he keeps secret.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BURNETT: All right, that was Stephanie Cutter, of course deputy campaign manager for the president's campaign.

John Avlon is here with me now.

This issue of China is so complicated. Both Romney and the president, China bashing is an easy thing to do.

JOHN AVLON, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: That's right.

BURNETT: But it's really a bad thing to do.

AVLON: Well, it doesn't add up.

BURNETT: Yes.

AVLON: Which is the point of the deconstructive at the top. Look, it is -- bashing China is a very effective ad campaign technique especially in states like Ohio. In the 2010 cycle we saw a surprising number of ads using China as shorthand brings anxiety about America's place in the world, the problems of deficit and debt. The feeling that maybe -- American manufacturing isn't what it once was, despite the fact we've had sort of a mini-resurgence in manufacturing this country until the last month. But so it is an effective boogeyman politically.

BURNETT: Right.

AVLON: But it doesn't add up if you look at the bottom line numbers. I spoke to the mayor of Toledo tonight where Air Force One sat down today. And I asked him, what do you make of this? How does China play? He said, well, listen, I've been to China three times. He said, you know, China --

BURNETT: And it wasn't vacation time. AVLON: And it wasn't a vacation. It was not a beach trip. It was a pure economic outreach. He said members of my administration have been there more. So despite the fact Toledo has actually had a success story in economic resurgence because of automotive manufacturing. And he says look, we'd like to have a level -- more level-playing field. But bottom line, he doesn't see China as adversarial at all. He sees it as a key to economic growth, which helps his city turn deficits into surpluses.

BURNETT: Right. And I think a lot of this is politics coming into the election.

A follow-up, though, on the money raising.

AVLON: Yes.

BURNETT: I think it was pretty clear there from what Stephanie Cutter said, they're not going to come anywhere close. Although you were saying interesting in the point that when John Kerry was running he outraised George W. Bush at the time.

AVLON: That was a fascinating counterpoint. She's got credibility to give it because she did work for Kerry at that time.

BURNETT: Yes.

AVLON: But you definitely are seeing the Republican Party, there are gripes, there's -- but the party is uniting around Mitt Romney and especially on the back of the Supreme Court nomination where they raised a huge amount of money in 24 hours. He's gotten a big boost. It does sound like she's adjusting expectations downward.

BURNETT: For sure.

AVLON: She's not going to take that bait. But it sounds like Mitt Romney is going to have a $100 million month with RNC money. And that's not counting super PACs. And the president may be facing a deficit in the short term. We know this is going to be a billion- dollar election. This is going to be big money.

BURNETT: Right. Big money on both sides.

AVLON: Big money on both sides.

BURNETT: The bundler comment was important.

AVLON: That's right.

BURNETT: I mean it's easy to easy to say, oh, you know, some guy who is in trouble who runs a bank is bundling for the other guy.

AVLON: Yes.

BURNETT: The problem is you had a guy like that on your side, too. I mean the bundlers tend to be very wealthy and very connected. Often Wall Street people. AVLON: Exactly. And as you pointed out, you know, neither party has a monopoly on virtue or vice.

(LAUGHTER)

AVLON: For every dime in there is a Corzine, as you said.

BURNETT: For every dime in there's a Corzine. All right, thanks very much to John Avlon. We appreciate it.

And we're going to talk about a big turn, one of his biggest allies turning on Mitt Romney tonight. That's coming up. But OUTFRONT, breaking news. A verdict in the case of a man who beat up the priest that he says abused him nearly three decades ago.

Plus do claims of an assassination using Polonium ad up?

And on the anniversary of the Casey Anthony verdict, her lawyer makes a startling revelation.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BURNETT: And we have breaking news tonight. The man who beat a priest that he said molested him has been acquitted. Forty-four-year- old William Lynch claimed he was a victim of sexual abuse nearly three decades ago. Now it's interesting the charge had paid him money although the priest was never convicted. He was found not guilty of one count of assault and one count of elder abuse for hitting that priest who is now in an elder home.

Casey Wian has been on this story for OUTFRONT and he's live from Los Angeles now.

So, Casey, I guess that -- what is the bottom line here?

CASEY WIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The bottom line is that William Lynch, 44-year-old William Lynch who alleges that he and his younger brother were molested by this Catholic priest at a camp back in the 1970s, this Father William Lindner, is now going to be a free man. He was facing up to four years in prison for walking into the retirement home where the priest is living in the Bay Area of California, claiming that he had some news to deliver to the priest about a sick relative and then beating the priest up, according to prosecutors.

Now, William Lynch always admitted during the trial that he did in fact hit the priest a couple of times. He said it was provoked by the fact that the priest refused to sign a confession that he was the abuser of Lynch and his younger brother. He also said during testimony that the priest leered at him and it reminded him of the abuse when he was a child.

Now what we should point out is that although Reverend Lindner was never convicted of any kind of child abuse, he -- the Catholic Church did pay out more than $1 million to alleged victims of his abuse over the years. Now Lynch's defense attorney during the trial tried to make the point that the wrong man was on the stand here and the wrong man was being prosecuted because Father Lindner lives very comfortably these days in a retirement home.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PAT HARRIS, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Society is the victim in all this. Society is a victim because there's a man sitting up there at Los Gatos who is a rapist and who molest children and he's allowed to go free. Society is the victim here.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WIAN: Now as for lynch, we don't know if prosecutors are going to re- file a misdemeanor charge against him. The jury did deadlock on that count. The judge threw it out but there is the possibility that the prosecution could re-file that case, though it seems at this point, Erin, very unlikely.

We also reached out to that retirement home where the priest lives to see if we could get some comment from Father Lindner about this case. They have not gotten back to us at this point -- Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Well, Casey, thank you very much.

And now our second story OUTFRONT. Poison. Was Yasser Arafat murdered with Polonium? The former Palestine Liberation Organization leader's widow is asking for his body to be exhumed and autopsied after an investigation by Al-Jazeera found traces of radioactive Polonium on his toothbrush and his clothes.

Now if Arafat was assassinated, who did it and how easy is it to assassinate someone with this? This isn't the first time it's happened if, indeed, it did just happen to Yasser Arafat.

Bob Baer is a former CIA operative who is writing a book on assassinations. He's OUTFRONT from Irvine, California, tonight.

Bob, great to see you. Polonium 210, the same poison that was used to kill the Russian spy, Alexander Litvinenko, two years ago after Yasser Arafat died. At this point is the evidence so strong in the Arafat case that Polonium could have been to blame?

BOB BAER, FORMER CIA OPERATIVE: Well, it was a Swiss laboratory that found it on the toothbrush and this Polonium is not found in nature like this. It's very curious to me and it's fairly good evidence but we're going to have to dig Arafat up to find that out for true, and they will find it in his bones or in his flesh.

BURNETT: And that's because of the radioactivity? The half-life? I mean it would still be -- would still be -- you'd be able to figure it out, right?

BAER: My understanding is that doesn't go away. It will be in the corpse if, in fact, he were assassinated. And Erin, I've got to say that if he was assassinated this is a momentous event. The West Bank and Gaza are on the verge of a second or third anti-Fatah.

BURNETT: Yes.

BAER: This could tip over politics in that part of the world.

BURNETT: It is pretty incredible to contemplate. But let me ask you this, Bob, to your point, Bob, given that his illness back in 2004, he died in a Paris hospital, was mysterious, his decline was very swift. Why didn't no one think of this or ask these questions at that time? I mean I'm thinking of the Russian spy who died two years later. Everyone knew right away that there was something amiss.

BAER: Well, I think the British Forensics Services are very good. And they are the first ones that opened up the possibility of surreptitious poisoning like this. So I think once they discovered this method of killing people, it was an obvious clue that you could look into Arafat's death.

So, I mean, it's -- the -- you know, the Palestinians wouldn't have necessarily looked for this when he died nor would the French. But, you know, they are catching up with this.

BURNETT: So Polonium 210, I mean, how common is this? How easy is it to get? I mean, how shocked are you to hear that it could be used in assassinations like this? I mean is it -- is it, I guess, more common than we would all think?

BAER: It's much more common. This can be obtained, it can be extracted from common materials, photographic materials, for instance.

BURNETT: Wow.

BAER: Normally, I think the Russians got this out of a laboratory in Russia but it's not impossible that someone local in either in Israel or Palestine came up with this method and poisoned Arafat.

BURNETT: And obviously you bring up Israel. I mean that would be the assumption that Israel would have done this. You know, in your CIA hat on is that more likely than -- an alternative which is that someone planted it now at a later date to try to cause a problem with the peace process, that this -- maybe on the other side, not the Israel side?

BAER: You know, I think that's too Machiavellian.

BURNETT: Yes.

(LAUGHTER)

BAER: I think if in fact let's -- this is sheer speculation at this point. If, in fact, he was assassinated, the assassins probably didn't count on getting caught. This stuff is very hard to detect, Polonium, and if it hasn't been for the Litvinenko case, no one would have suspected this. But like I said we have to really have to wait. I mean -- and the culprit could have been Israel, it could have been other Palestinians. We just don't know and frankly, I don't think we ever will know.

BURNETT: Pretty -- pretty incredible thing. Well, thank you very much, Bob. We appreciate it. As we said he's working on a book about assassinations so he knows more about this than anyone.

Well, not guilty. That's what Casey Anthony heard a year ago. So where is she now?

And fired for saving a life. The lifeguard and his boss together OUTFRONT.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BURNETT: Our third story OUTFRONT. Exactly one year after Casey Anthony was acquitted in the murder of her 2-year-old daughter Caylee. Her former attorney, Jose Baez, is speaking out. In his new book, Baez says he seriously thought about having Anthony plead guilty to a lesser charge to avoid the death penalty. But he said Anthony insisted she had nothing to do with her daughter's death.

Now a year later, a look at the trial that made Casey Anthony a household name.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We, the jury, find the defendant not guilty so say we all. Not guilty. Not guilty.

MIKE GALANOS, HLN CORRESPONDENT: With those words, the person once described as the most hated woman in America was let loose, declared not guilty of murdering her 2-year-old daughter Caylee. But many people did not agree with the verdict. Sparking massive protests and hundreds of threats on Casey's life.

So Casey disappeared. The "New People" magazine on stands now reveals Casey's hideout. A two-bedroom home in West Palm Beach where she waits out the remainder of her probation. She lives looking over her shoulder, says a friend. Though she still manages to step out to a local pub.

Casey lives with a dog. A roommate. And has reconnected with her mom, Cindy Anthony. In fact, the two share a morbid pact. They wear necklaces carrying the ashes of little Caylee Marie.

CASEY ANTHONY, ACQUITTED OF DAUGHTER'S MURDER: We're extremely excited that I'll be able to Skype and obviously keep a video log.

GALANOS: Casey surfaced briefly in a series of video diaries linked to YouTube. She reportedly trolls Twitter for any mention of her name. She also obsesses about celebs like Kim Kardashian and friends say Casey considers herself a celebrity. She cut ties with Jose Baez, the Florida lawyer who masterminded her defense, and he thinks Casey isn't well.

Regardless of whether you think Casey did anything wrong, Baez tells "People" magazine, she needs professional help. But "People" says Casey quit her grief counseling after only a few months and now she's focused on building a new life. She's learning Spanish online and plans to travel abroad and she may still hope to land a book deal worth millions.

She relishes the fact that she's a villainess, a friend tells the magazine, and though Casey believes she can convince the world she's innocent, so far publishers aren't biting.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BURNETT: Pretty amazing. That was HLN's Mike Galanos reporting.

Well, George Zimmerman was granted bond but his attorney says Zimmerman won't be walking free any time soon because he needs the public's help to raise the money.

The dollars and cents and chaos in the Romney campaign. One of his biggest defenders turns on him.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BURNETT: We start the second half of our show with stories we care about where we focus on our reporting from the front lines.

Well, today the U.N. threatened sanctions against Islamic extremists fighters in the north of Mali, but refused to back sending in troops. Al Qaeda-linked militants have taken control of an area bigger than Texas in Mali's north. The U.N. tells OUTFRONT there are more than 100,000 refugees fleeing the country and now there are reports of a cholera outbreak and Gao, a town in northern Mali that militants have surrounded, according to media reports in the region, with land mines.

The United States is about to open the floodgates and reinstate aid to Pakistan. Governor officials tell us that the U.S. is going to repay about $1.1 billion as part of a military program that reimburses Pakistan for so-called counterterrorism efforts. We are told the Pentagon will first talk about -- talk with Congress. They can do this without their approval but they could run into a problem in the Senate, where just in March, a panel voted to withhold aid to Pakistan. And that cut was made in protest to Pakistan's decision to jail the doctor who helped the CIA find and kill Osama bin Laden.

And now to China where the country's central bank cut interest rates for the second time in a month, and this is really an incredible development, everyone. Top of the show we talked how crucial China is in to the U.S. That's why you have to care about this. Gordon Chang, an expert on China American relations told us there's now panic in Beijing, his word.

Before the first rate cut in June, China had not cut interest rates in three years. Even with the global financial crisis. So everyone thinks that economy is growing at 8 percent but Chang says that China leaders fear the economy is settling in at zero growth. That would be devastating for the United States and for Europe.

Today, by the way, the European Central Bank cut its interest rate to its lowest level ever in a desperate hope to spark growth there.

Well, Aimee Copeland, the young woman, who won a battle with flesh eating bacteria, had her first full day of rehab. Her father Andy told us that she is doing awesome. The 24-year-old is learning how to maneuver in a wheelchair and do day-to-day tasks. Doctors had to amputate Aimee's hands and one of her legs and her other foot.

Meanwhile, her father met today with a construction company that's going to begin work on make the Copeland's home ready for Aimee to come home once she is done rehab and starting to learn how to work with her prosthetics limbs.

Well, it's been 336 days since the United States lost its top credit rating. What are we doing to get it back? Well, today, 30-year mortgage rates hit new record lows. So, now, it cost 3.26 percent for an average 30-year fixed rate mortgage rate. That is stupendous.

Just a year ago, everyone, that mortgage rate was 4.6 percent. So, as of now, the United States may have terrible finances but people would rather lend to the U.S. than say Europe, where things are even worse. So, for now, that operative being now, that means cheaper borrowing rates here.

And now our fourth story OUTFRONT: "The Wall Street Journal" has turned on Mitt Romney. In a scathing editorial today, the conservative paper takes aim at the Republican candidate's shifting position on the health care law writing, quote, "The campaign insular staff and strategy are slowly squandering a historic opportunity."

Reihan Salam joins me, along with Roland Martin.

And, Reihan, I've seen this before, "The Wall Street Journal" has been critical of Mitt Romney before. But today was a really damming editorial. It criticized him for the way he's handled health care. It says you're about to do it again on the Obama's campaign allegations about outsourcing and you need to basically get rid of the Boston voice and shake the whole thing up.

REIHAN SALAM, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: I think that there are some elements are on target. It really is true that the Romney campaign right now seems to be rattled now that momentum seems to have shifted back to the president.

On the other hand, I think that Mitt Romney and Fehrnstrom were right in the first place to say, we agree.

BURNETT: Fehrnstrom, Eric Fehrnstrom, his chief adviser?

SALAM: Exactly.

We agree with the conservative justices who said this is not, in fact, a tax -- and the idea that you just accept whatever a majority says seems very strange given that conservative Republicans have been critical of a lot of majority Supreme Court decisions in the past.

What Romney I believe was trying to do -- BURNETT: Like Roe v. Wade, they don't accept it.

SALAM: Indeed. Indeed. So, I think what the campaign was trying to do was move the conversation back to the economy and away from an issue that is really not the core issue of the campaign.

Every day you're not talking about unemployment and the economy is a day that's good for President Obama and the home team.

BURNETT: Roland, you know, this also comes on the heels, of course, of Rupert Murdoch, whose company owns "Wall Street Journal", personally being extremely critical of Mitt Romney and demanding staffing changes. So, I mean, I guess you could call it a pile on, but a lot of people seem to agree.

ROLAND MARTIN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Look, one of the reasons they are so critical of Mitt Romney right now is because health care has been the albatross around his neck for quite some time. Part of the Romney camp's problem is that they are so desperate to try to defend what did he in Massachusetts as opposed to go on the attack with what President Obama is doing with a national health care.

So I think that -- basically, if you're able to simplify the argument, you cannot try to make a nuance argument on an issue like this when your support is simply want clear explanation in terms what's going on. That's the fault there. So they keep saying, no, what we did is a penalty. What Obama is doing is a tax, and we agree with the conservative justices.

So you're sitting here going, dude, make up your mind! That is what I call a schizophrenic frankly communication strategy.

BURNETT: Reihan, I do have to say, there is one thing. This whole penalty versus tax -- I understand it's a serious distinction but for people paying attention to this, it does kind of make your eyes glaze over. I mean, it is what it is. Called it what you want to call it but it's politics.

SALAM: There's two guys on the Democratic ticket, Barack Obama and Joe Biden. Both of them were people in 2000 had said that the individual mandate is not a good idea. It's not going to work politically.

BURNETT: Because they wanted universal health care. They want --

SALAM: Well, actually, Barack Obama had a nuance position. He was certainly, I mean, he said in the past that he favored single payer perhaps in a perfect world. But in that race, he was the one who is running to the right of Hillary Clinton and John Edwards who both favored a mandate.

You know, it's a nuance discussion on that side, too, but it's certainly true that health care should not be the focus of the election if you're Mitt Romney.

BURNETT: Should Romney shake up his staff? SALAM: Look, I think if you look at how these guys have handled, they dispatch to all of their rivals in a systemic way during the Republican primaries and I think they can do that again. I think that what happens here -- the reason why they had this flip on July Fourth, let's remember, a day when people weren't paying attention, is because they wanted to move this out of the kind of the conservative zone where people are complaining and upset about it and just want to bury it. And I think refocus on the economy if they can.

BURNETT: You just used the words flip which leads to flop, unfortunately. Roland, I want to get one more thing in here before we run out of time. I want to play a sound bite for you who think is the biggest fighter and biggest asset in Mitt Romney's campaign. I'm bias but here it is.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANN ROMNEY, MITT ROMNEY'S WIFE: It makes you recognize that they are going to do everything they can to destroy Mitt. So, you know, they are trying to portray him in a light that is just completely wrong.

REPORTER: Why? Why is that?

ROMNEY: Well, it's politics, isn't it sad? And, you know, I think early on, we heard what their strategy was. It was kill Romney.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BURNETT: Roland, I say I'm biased because she is a woman but she always seems to be fighting back. Why isn't he the one fighting back? Why is it Ann?

MARTIN: First of all, it has nothing to do with the fact you're a woman. Look. I believe that Michelle Obama was then-Senator Obama's biggest asset and frankly she is -- she can explain his accomplishments even better than he can on the campaign trail. And so, I think you do have to properly deploy Ann Romney or Michelle Obama.

But what you don't want to do is put them in a position where they, frankly, are the chief communications surrogate. You also have got to have strong people who have been politician, who have been governors, who have been senators out there.

Romney's problem is that him -- Romney, as well as Fehrnstrom and his own advisers, they are the ones trying to draw the conversation. Let the other people who are good at this do it for you, not you or your team.

BURNETT: All right. Thanks very much to both of you. We appreciate it.

Now, George Zimmerman has been grand bail again, but this time the cost of freedom is $1 million and some extra restrictions which include Zimmerman cannot maintain a bank account. He cannot be on airport property. And he cannot apply for or have a passport. He's also got a curfew for 12 hours a day and can't drink alcohol. He is charged with second-degree murder in the February 26th shooting death of Trayvon Martin.

Judge Lester revoked Zimmerman's initial bond of $150,000 last month when he learned that Zimmerman and his wife misled the court over that money that they had raised online for their defense.

Benjamin Crump is an attorney for Trayvon Martin's family, and Paul Callan is a CNN legal contributor. And they are both OUTFRON tonight.

It is good to see you.

Benjamin, are you feeling -- are you feeling good about this or are you concerned that he will successful raise -- as he is trying to do again online -- what appears to be the $100,000 needed to go free?

BENJAMIN CRUMP, ATTORNEY FOR TRAYVON MARTIN'S FAMILY: Well, Erin, Trayvon's parents -- and I'm here speaking on their behalf, would rather that the killer of their unarmed son remain in jail until the trial. However, they respect the court's order and the fact that the judge sent a very strong message in his order.

BURNETT: So -- so -- are you -- I guess let me bring you in, Paul Callan, before I ask the follow-up I want to ask there. I just want to confirm. Our understanding is Florida precedent would be put 10 percent down if you can raise a hundred thousand dollars, he would be able to go free.

PAUL CALLAN, CNN LEGAL CONTRIBUTOR: Yes. Actually, only $85,000 because you already put down $15,000 for the original bond. So, if he raises another $85,000 -- but he's got to post collateral for the remainder so that the entire million dollars is collateralized. So somebody has got to put up a house or a few houses to be the collateral for the bond.

BURNETT: Benjamin Crump, do you think George Zimmerman's attorney Mark O'Mara said he is seeking donations to cover the cost of the bond. Now, obviously, this whole issue of donations is at the heart of why this is even happening because it's money that George Zimmerman had raised online, that he didn't disclose and caused the last one to be revoked. But they are raising money again now.

Do you think that's fair in this world of social media is so central to this case on both sides or is it inappropriate?

CRUMP: Well, Erin, I think Judge Lester put in his order the money that he raised was found money. It is a situation where he wants to have Zimmerman have to put up his own money or his family's own property, so there won't be any flight risk. He ruled that based on the circumstances, the hiding of the passport, the hiding of the money, that it was substantial scheme possibly for a flight risk and that was very real. The judge saw what everybody in America saw and heard when they listened to those jailhouse recordings when he was orchestrating this scheme.

So we have a system in place that assist people if they can't afford representation, so I don't think George Zimmerman will be treated any different from any other person charged with a crime in the state of Florida.

BURNETT: Do you think, Paul, that it's appropriate to raise money for defense online? I mean, this sort of seems to be -- this is something we are hearing more and more about. Not just in this case but, obviously, most publicly in this case.

CALLAN: Well, I think it's appropriate. Frankly if George Zimmerman were a wealthy person, he would be able to raise the money to bail himself out.

BURNETT: Good point.

CALLAN: The Florida Constitution has a very strong position in favor of reasonable bail conditions as does the U.S. Constitution. So, where you get the money is not really the issue. It's whether you're going to return for trial, that should be the issue.

BURNETT: And, Benjamin Crump, do you still believe that George Zimmerman is a flight risk?

CRUMP: Well, I think it's not as important what I believe, it's what the court believes and the court concluded that he was. And we don't object to people donating money to his legal defense team, for him to get a good representation. Attorney O'Mara has a hard job and he's going to need money.

BURNETT: Right. I mean, I guess you could do it too, right? I mean, why not?

CRUMP: Well, at this point, it's a obvious situation that Trayvon Martin and his family has been -- the Zimmerman team has raised three times as much as Trayvon Martin's family and so, that's a conversation that we have to have in greater society.

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

Paul Callan, thanks to you as well.

And still OUTFRONT, a move for the student who almost died when a chimp attacked him. And the lifeguard who was fired for saving a life is OUTFRONT to tell his tale.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BURNETT: And we're back with tonight's "Outer Circle", where we reach out to our sources around the world.

We start tonight in South Africa, a Texas graduate student mauled by two chimpanzees at the Jane Goodall Institute Chimpanzee Eden, was moved to a new hospital in Johannesburg today. Friends have set up a Web site to raise money for Andy Oberle's recovery. They have brought in more than $20,000 so far.

Nkepile Mabuse is in Johannesburg tonight and I asked her how Oberle is doing and why he changed hospitals.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NKEPILE MABUSE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Erin, officially, we are not being told why Andy Oberle was moved from Mediclinic in Nelspruit, Malangania (ph) where he was attacked, to Millpark Hospital here in Johannesburg. But we can only assume one of the reasons is better medical care. Millpark is one of the best hospitals here in South Africa. International icon Nelson Mandela is often treated here when he is ill.

Another reason, Erin, could be privacy. We understand that at some point Andrew Oberle's parents wanted the media removed from the premises of the previous hospital and here at Millpark, they are not even confirming that he is there.

As far as we know, he still is in a stable condition. Hospital officials saying he wouldn't have been moved if it wasn't safe enough for them to do so -- Erin.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BURNETT: All right. Now, our thanks to Nkepile.

And now to France where investigators presented their final report today on Air France Flight 447. That's the flight you recall that crashed into the Atlantic and was on its way from Brazil to France three years ago this month. All 228 people on board died and the report blames a series of pilot errors. Richard Quest told me what those were.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RICHARD QUEST, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Erin, the report is more than 200 pages long. It goes into great detail about what happened and why.

At the heart of it is technical fault, the speed sensor and the way the pilot flying, the youngest and most inexperienced responded to it. It was those actions which ultimately doomed the plane, because time and again what is clear is a lack of training, a lack of education, and a lack of cockpit culture.

Frankly, should have the more senior members of the crew flying the plane after the incident took place. This will be a seminal incident, one where the aviation industry, the airlines, the pilots themselves, everybody has to rethink what they are doing to make flying that little bit safer -- Erin.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BURNETT: All right. Our Richard Quest who covers aviation.

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

Hey, Anderson. ANDERSON COOPER, "A.C. 360": Hey, Erin. We're keeping them honest tonight in the program. It's a type of story explains why so many Americans think so little of Congress. While the mortgage meltdown was costing homeowners tens of millions of dollars, some lawmakers are getting sweetheart deals like lower rates and VIP customer service on their home mortgages.

And it wasn't just members of Congress, Democrats and Republicans, it was also their staffers. It was all about access and influence according to a three-year investigation by the House Oversight Committee that was released today.

We are going to speak with Congressman Jason Chaffetz who was on that committee. It's really shocking stuff.

Also, ahead, celebrity news sites are buzzing over Katie Holmes' decision to file for divorce from Tom Cruise after 5 1/2 years of marriage, a question a lot of folks are asking is did Scientology play a role in the actress' to end her marriage? Tom Foreman has that story.

All that plus the "Ridiculist" and a whole lot more at the top of the hour -- Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Anderson, see you in just a minute. Looking forward to it.

And now, our fifth story OUTFRONT. The lifeguard who lost his job because he sprinted into the water and saved a swimmer. The country has been talking about this story the past two days and it all happened on Monday, about 20 miles from Miami.

Tomas Lopez was on duty on one of Hallandale, Florida's two public beaches. And earlier today, I asked him what happened when he found out someone was drowning outside of his coverage zone.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

TOMAS LOPEZ, FIRED FOR SAVING SOMEONE'S LIFE: I radioed them and all of the lifeguards and told them I'm going for a rescue. It's outside of the zone. It's outside -- it's south of us. So I started going.

My manager has told me, don't go. You go back to your tower. Get back to your tower. I told him I'm not going back.

So, I was running a while and I still didn't see the guys and kept noticed them splashing around. By the time I got to the water two other guests had finally got to him and started dragging him in. I then was in the water already and I grabbed him under the -- under his arms and under his feet and we carried him out of the water.

BURNETT: And was there ever a moment when you hesitated and said it's outside my area of the beach. There's so many people in the water in my area, I shouldn't go? Or it was just instinctual for you?

LOPEZ: It was probably instinctual for me. I could have probably thought about that a little. But at the same time we are trained to -- when something of an emergency happens, the other guards on the other stands are supposed to watch your water.

BURNETT: And there were other guards, right, watching your area, so it wasn't as if you left all the people that you were hired to protect unattended, right?

LOPEZ: No. Even the Jeff Ellis Company stated at no point was my water unattended.

BURNETT: So, Tomas, let me ask you a question. Obviously you lost your job. Were you surprised, first of all, when that happened, that they went through and did that?

LOPEZ: A little. They made it very clear beforehand that we will lose our job if we did violate this rule. But I wasn't going to let that stop me, you know? A stupid rule over someone's life. It's a pretty obvious choice, you know?

BURNETT: Not everyone would have made it and I know a lot of people have been really impressed with you stepping up and doing such an amazing thing. I know I'm going to surprise you a little bit here, but I wanted to bring in Jeff Ellis. We have him with us, Tomas. He is, of course, the man who runs the company and there he is. So you're both on together.

So, Jeff, let me ask you. I know you weren't the one on the beach that day that made the decision, but did you approve of the decision that it was the right thing to do to let Tomas go?

JEFF ELLIS, PRESIDENT, JEFF ELLIS MANAGEMENT: No, I was not aware of the decision until two days later when I talked with an area manager who let me know what had happened.

Clearly, he should not have been terminated for what had occurred. I know that he has tried to do the right thing. He and I had an opportunity to discuss this earlier this afternoon, and I am now aware of all of the details after completing a formal review of what occurred. As a result of that, we have offered his job back to him.

BURNETT: And, Tomas, what do you say to that?

LOPEZ: I really am humbled by your apology, again, and everything that was said. It's nothing against the company in general, it's just I'm going to move on to the next stage of my life and just continue to do my schooling and move on with everything. I really appreciate the opportunity, though.

BURNETT: And, Tomas, why? Why not take that job back?

LOPEZ: It's something I'd rather just get behind me and continue on with everything that I have for me.

BURNETT: Jeff, what's your response to that? That's got to be frustrating to hear. ELLIS: Everything that I know about Tomas since we got involved in this event on Tuesday afternoon has led me to believe that he was a good employee and our staff should not have taken the action that they did. We've certainly learned a lesson from this, and we will use it as a training tool in the future on how to approach these sorts of circumstances and make sure that we get all the facts before we react and make a decision.

This also applies to all of the other employees that were involved in the event. We have extended invitations for all of them to come back. And in particular, Tomas, I would hope that he would at least finish the summer with us. I think that would be a welcome on behalf of all of the folks that were associated with this matter.

BURNETT: Well, Tomas, you would be the hero lifeguard. You'd be the celebrity of the beach.

LOPEZ: I don't have it in me any more honestly after everything that's happened. Like I said, I really do appreciate it, it's just -- I just don't want to go back.

BURNETT: Do you think policies should change?

LOPEZ: To watch our guarded beach was our priority, but we do train and we do have moments when we do not watch our water and another guard does watch our water, so I believe that the policy could be modified for other guards to watch the water when we go to the unguarded area.

ELLIS: We also are going to revisit the entire policy with the city, which mutually agreed on it in the first place.

BURNETT: All right. Well, thanks very much to both of you. We appreciate your taking the time and coming on together and both of you being so gracious. Thanks.

ELLIS: Thank you.

LOPEZ: Thank you.

BURNETT: Well, two lifeguards were fired for saying they'd do the same thing as Tomas. At least four others quit in protest. But as you heard from the president of the company that employed them, they can have their jobs back if they still want them. Although you heard from Tomas' point of view, he absolutely does not and he told us he's probably going to work for his uncle closer to home to save money for college.

Next, a whole new side of robots. A side that frankly would not be decent to look at if it were on a human body. OUTFRONT next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BURNETT: So here we are at the bottom of the show. No buts about it, this is the craziest thing I've seen today. A Japanese graduate student named Nobohiro Takahashi (ph) has invented the world's first robotic buttocks. It's named Shiri and made of silicon. The robo butt reacts to a user's touch, stroke or slap and can quiver in fear.

Basically what it does is measure the kind of touch it's receiving through a microphone implanted in the skin. Now, this has been called an important step towards fully functional robots at home and at work -- which brings us to tonight's number: 18.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there will be 18 percent fewer automotive jobs by 2018. How can that be so when car production is expected to increase over that time? Part of the answer is robots. They are eliminating the need for human workers. So the robo butt could mean robots get even more human skills. Meaning they do more jobs and react the way humans react when slap in that part of their body. That'd be interesting to see.

But while the robo butti s pretty fascinating, it might not we something to celebrate.

"A.C. 360" starts now.