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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT

Interview with Representative Charles Boustany; America Going Broke; Obama's Voter Base; Veterans Caught up in California Shortfall

Aired July 11, 2012 - 19:00   ET

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


TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: OUTFRONT next the House passes a bill for the 33rd time that has absolutely no shot of going anywhere. One lawmaker says he has a solution to fix Congress, but is it really a solution or just another no-go gimmick? We're going to ask him.

Mitt Romney gets booed in front of a large audience. Was this a miscalculation on his part to even take the stage?

And the Pentagon releases a report saying Iran is dramatically upping the capability of some of its conventional weapons. Let's go OUTFRONT.

Good evening. I'm Tom Foreman filling in for Erin Burnett. OUTFRONT tonight, fiddling in Washington while bankruptcy burns across the nation. San Bernardino, California, is the latest American town this evening unable to pay its bills. The math San Bernardino is $46 million in debt. They've already made drastic cuts in employees and services. And the city according to the "Los Angeles Times" has only $150,000 in the bank. That's it. Residents are coming unhinged as you might imagine saying, why wasn't this calamity headed off at the pass?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What about two years ago when they took $10 million from the employees? What were they doing then? So now the city is forced basically to file bankruptcy because they have this tremendous amount of debt over their head.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

FOREMAN: In the last 14 days, two other towns near Los Angeles have gone into bankruptcy. Other places across the country have done the same or tried to in Idaho, Alabama, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, dozens of other local and state governments have made dramatic cuts just to try to stay solvent while they wait for the economic recovery to help with terrible budget shortfalls. And yet while this is happening Congress spent today arguing once again about health care reform, holding a symbolic vote to repeal Obamacare which no one, no one thought would pass, even the Republicans who pushed to it the floor. And by that, I mean pass in terms of making any real difference. And just to put in it perspective, this was the 33rd time Congress has voted to repeal or defund the health care law.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) REP. GERALD CONNOLLY (D), VIRGINIA: Instead of focusing on jobs, which they claimed in the last election was their focus Republicans are creating a sense of deja vu all over again on the floor by staging a repeat of the health care reform.

REP. ERIC CANTOR (R), VIRGINIA: We on this side of the aisle care about the health care of the American people. That's why we're here. That's why I brought this bill forward, along with and on behalf of my colleagues.

REP. ROSA DELAURO (D), CONNECTICUT: Welcome to Groundhog Day in the House of Representatives.

REP. TOM PRICE (R), GEORGIA: As a physician, one of the tenets of medicine is first, do no harm. Sadly, the president's law does real harm.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

FOREMAN: We are joined now by one of the Republicans who backed that vote today, Congressman Charles Boustany. Congressman thanks for being here, but listen I have all the respect in the world for your party having the right to oppose this law, to try to overturn this law, to take whatever steps you want to on that front. But everyone knew today this was a show vote. Why on earth do you take part in such a thing?

REP. CHARLES BOUSTANY (R), LOUISIANA: Well in the aftermath of the Supreme Court ruling where it's very clear that this is a massive tax hike that's going to hit every part of the American economy, 21 new taxes hitting every part of our economy in light of the fact that we have 41 straight months of high unemployment at eight percent or higher and very sluggish economic growth, businesses are telling us that they're having a hard time hiring because of the specter of this tax hike.

FOREMAN: OK, I get -- listen, I get that and there's a legitimate argument. I get that, but why not hold a press conference on the steps of the Congress and say all of that instead of taking time in Congress doing something which your party has been equally critical of Democrats for doing when they have held showboats (ph)? Why don't you guys stand up and say we're done with the showboating? Things in this country are simply too dire for a bunch of dog and pony shows.

BOUSTANY: Well clearly, we need to do a lot of things to help grow this economy to tackle the debt. And in the House we've passed a number of votes that will promote energy production, it will promote job growth, and yet these votes are just basically not taken up by the Senate. We have a Senate that's doing nothing right now. That's the key point.

And so we're going to keep doing what we have to do in the House to try to move this economy forward, to give some certainty to the American people who are struggling right now with high unemployment, a very sluggish economic growth situation. They want to see action. We're trying in the House and we're going to keep putting pressure on the Senate.

FOREMAN: Congressman, again, I mean all respect here, but this is an action. What this was today was a vote that was meant to be a PR stunt just like the Democrats have done votes that are PR stunts. And I talk to voters all over this country, Democrat, Republican and independent, and every time either party does this, their view of Congress drops lower and lower and lower. Don't you want to fix that?

BOUSTANY: Well, I do. And I'm intent on providing good solutions to the many problems that families are facing. And I can tell you on the health care law in particular, I'm deeply concerned as a physician with over 30 years clinical experience as to what's going to happen with this in terms of cost to family, dealing with ever- rising premiums. We're dealing with higher cost to the taxpayer.

The Congressional Budget Office has already come up with revised figures showing a much higher cost to the taxpayer on this bill. We've got many, many problems with this, including significant interference with the doctor/patient relationship. And so I'm very happy to point out as often as I possibly can in every possible venue the flaws in this health care law --

FOREMAN: All right let me ask you about one other thing, Congressman. You introduced some legislation today to try to penalize financially Congress members who don't show up for votes. Do you think that thing is going to pass?

BOUSTANY: Well, I'm going to push to bring to it the forefront and ask the leadership to consider it. You know the bottom line here is that we have an obligation to our constituents. And when Congress is in session and votes are being held, roll call votes, meaning we're being recorded as having voted yes or no, I think it's important to be there to vote.

And unless you have some extenuating circumstances, such as an illness or a family illness where it's a legitimate excuse, if you're not showing up to vote and you're going off to political functions and fund-raising, I don't think that's serving our constituents well. And I think there are members of Congress who are doing that and I want to put a stop to it.

FOREMAN: I think there are plenty of voters who might agree with you on that. Listen, Congressman Boustany, thanks so much for being here. We really appreciate it.

BOUSTANY: Thank you.

FOREMAN: Joining me now is John Avlon who has been taking Congress to task over this very issue time and time again. Listen John, I appreciate the congressman coming on and talking, but in the end these are, as I said, dog and pony shows.

JOHN AVLON, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: That's right.

FOREMAN: Both sides do it all the time. What ought Congress to be doing right now? What could they be doing right now that would actually help the people in California and Idaho and Alabama and Pennsylvania?

AVLON: Let's lay out three things that Congress could be doing instead of this dog and pony kabuki, 33 votes (INAUDIBLE). One, there's a new small business jobs bill. It would provide tax relief to incentivize new hires. One study estimates it could lead to as much as a million new jobs.

FOREMAN: And both parties are saying we want to help small business --

AVLON: Both parties -- both parties will pray at that altar because it makes good sense. Small business has been squeezed, but guess what, in this case, this bill should be a no-brainer, it's getting caught up in the Bush tax cut debate, so it seems to be held hostage right now again to partisan politics where Congress could take action and pass something that might help people get jobs this year.

FOREMAN: Give me two more quickly.

AVLON: Two more -- second, U.S. Post Office, people know it's basically -- it's losing billions of dollars a year. This is something people feel and touch every day. The Senate passed a bill to reform and restructure the Post Office. It's sitting in the House. They're doing 33rd health care vote instead of trying to save the Post Office. That is something that would make a real difference in people's lives.

Final thing, Tom, final thing, let's just look at cyber security. (INAUDIBLE) 2,000 percent increase in attempted cyber attacks against our critical infrastructure, $80 million from global banks. We can't wait for a digital Pearl Harbor. There's a bipartisan bill ready to go in the Senate. Let's move it forward. This is an economic and a national security issue. These things are just a couple of examples, some of the commonsense reforms that could go through Congress if they put progress over politics which we see over and over again, which is why people are sick to death of Congress right now.

FOREMAN: I know -- I know -- I know people don't like -- they talk about false equivalency. You know the Republicans want to say it's more the Democrats' fault. The Democrats want to say it's more the Republicans' fault, but this kind of gridlock that we're talking about now, no matter who may be more at fault, can't be happening without both parties taking part in it.

AVLON: That's right. We've had divided government in the past. This is dysfunctional government, all the accomplishments the Reagan administration and others (INAUDIBLE) divided government. Get it together, folks. Keep your eye on the ball, work for the American people.

FOREMAN: And as we said the economy just keeps burning the whole time. John Avlon thanks so much for being here.

OUTFRONT next, one of our guests thinks Mitt Romney knew -- knew he was going to be booed at the NAACP Conference and he thinks it was part of a plan. Why would a state spend more than $100 million to build nursing homes for our veterans only to have them sit unused? That certainly does not add up.

And the world's longest funeral may be finally coming to a close. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'm going to eliminate every nonessential expensive program I can find. That includes Obamacare and I'm going to work to reform and save --

(AUDIENCE BOOING)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

FOREMAN: There you hear it. Our second story OUTFRONT, boos for Mitt Romney when he tells the NAACP he wants to repeal Obamacare. But if you think that puts him on the defense, think again.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

FOREMAN: Romney is rolling out a new ad with his son, Craig, who speaks Spanish asking Hispanic voters to give his dad a chance. The conservative group American Crossroads is slamming President Obama for unemployment among women and the Republican National Committee continues its furious assault over jobs that have gone overseas.

African-Americans, Hispanics, women, working class folks this is clearly a broad attack on President Obama's base trying to make him defend his advantage among those voters. OUTFRONT tonight, Marc Lamont Hill, David front -- Frum, and Ruben Navarrette. Let me start with you, Marc. The chances of Mitt Romney winning any of these groups would be slim?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Slim to none.

FOREMAN: Slim to none.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.

FOREMAN: Slim to none, but he doesn't have to win.

(CROSSTALK)

FOREMAN: All he has to do is make some of these people in these various groups start thinking twice about whether or not Barack Obama has really helped them and make them feel like not going to vote this fall. MARC LAMONT HILL, PROFESSOR, COLUMBIA UNIV.: Right. He wants to help de-energize the base. That's the best he can do. He also needs to show independent voters that he's not some radical wing-nut who wants to alienate black voters. He's not going to get more than five percent of the black vote just like John McCain, but he can make some headway --

FOREMAN: Do you think he made any headway? I mean he --

(CROSSTALK)

HILL: Getting booed is not a good sign.

FOREMAN: Yes, but that was part of it. He got applauded in other parts of it. For example, when he talked about chartered schools, when he said this is a way of helping people, when he talked about taking on unions when they stand in the way of schools getting better he got applauded for that.

HILL: People rarely vote on education reform and the charter school thing, the voucher thing are things that President Obama has been somewhat ambivalent on. Most Democrats and Republicans actually don't (INAUDIBLE) disagree on education (INAUDIBLE) largely because they don't know much about them, so I don't think that will be a deciding factor. The stuff that he did draw boos from were health care and the personal attacks on the president, both of which not only made him look unstatesmanly (ph), but also alienate black voters. I don't think he got one vote in the house that night.

FOREMAN: Well let's go to David Frum right now because David, you said -- you tweeted "if I were a political cynic -- and you are, by the way -- I'd wonder whether the Romney campaign wanted to be booed at the NAACP." All right explain yourself.

DAVID FRUM, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well in fact Mitt Romney was on FOX Business Channel this afternoon and said he expected to be booed. So they put things in there they knew were likely to draw a negative response and they omitted (ph) to say a lot of things that could have elicited a positive response. Black America has been hit very hard by this grinding recession.

And although there's going to be a lot of emotional commitment to the president, to really go into what this recession has meant for black America, not only in terms of the catastrophe in the private economy, but the black middle class and professional class heavily represented the NAACP, is heavily reliant on public sector employment, especially at the state and local level where the layoffs have been most intense. That visual you showed of Mitt Romney being booed it's not a very nice visual, but there are also a lot of people in the Republican base, people who are the people who like Mitt Romney least, who may be energized in their turn by that --

FOREMAN: All right, all right, maybe.

(CROSSTALK) FOREMAN: (INAUDIBLE) Let's look at the unemployment. You get the cynical award tonight, David. Let's look at the unemployment for June. I want to look at this graphic here -- white unemployment, 7.4 percent, black unemployment, 14.4 percent, Hispanic unemployment, 11 percent. Ruben, jump in here. Same question I was asking a minute ago to Marc here. Do you think in any way that the message from Mitt Romney if he attacks all these groups and says what has this president done for you, he can dampen their enthusiasm?

RUBEN NAVARRETTE, CNN.COM CONTRIBUTOR: Oh absolutely. He can dampen their enthusiasm. I agree with Marc. He's not going to be able to turn them against Barack Obama but he can get them from turning out. He can prevent them from turning out. There's a great sense of ambivalence I think in many communities and a touch of it in the African-American community about the fact that while they personally like this president and support him, they really wish he had been more in their corner on a variety of issues.

And you mentioned one of them, not just black unemployment across the board, but specifically black unemployment among teenagers, among young African-Americans and how incredibly bad that's been, north of 30 percent. So I think a lot of people are supportive of the individual, but they don't much like his policies and frankly when you get down to it, a lot of those liberals on the left and the coalition you mentioned earlier they think he's been far too conservative, too inclined to cave into Congress and to Republicans in Congress. And all things considered they wish he had handled things differently.

FOREMAN: We're running a little short here, Marc. What are you thinking?

HILL: I totally disagree. I don't -- I'm not convinced that black people or anyone (INAUDIBLE) black people are disappointed in President Obama's policies. I don't think that's true and there's no study to suggest that. Are some people on the radical left disappointed that he wasn't radical enough? Absolutely, but that's an energized base and they're going to vote for the lesser of two evils. I happen to think President Obama was too far to the middle, but I'm still going to vote for him because he's the best option I have.

FOREMAN: David Frum, what does President Obama need to say right now if he wants to somehow block this message from Mitt Romney who's clearly trying to upset his base?

FRUM: It's past the point of saying anything. There has been an economic debacle and terrible economic pain. Words are not going to convince anybody, especially after this summer's repeated bad news. We seem to get bad news every summer. And this summer, we've had more bad news. The people who the president needs, they know what's going on without a word spoken by any politician.

FOREMAN: Well Ruben, as you know, we all have to sacrifice in this time of need. We're out of time.

(CROSSTALK) FOREMAN: So you lost your last comment. That's one I owe you next time. All right, thanks Ruben, David, and Marc, all of you for being here. We appreciate it.

Up next, California spends more than $100 million on a new facility for our veterans, so why is no one moving in?

And new information tonight about the much-anticipated report on Penn State's handling of Jerry Sandusky's --

(AUDIO GAP)

FOREMAN: -- scandal. That's coming up. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

FOREMAN: Our third story OUTFRONT, we started this evening with the latest town going bankrupt out in California, but another victim of the economy caught our eye today too because it directly affects our nation's veterans. California has a budget shortfall of $15.7 billion yet spent a quarter billion in state and federal funds to build two new state-of-the-art nursing homes for veterans. Good plan. Problem is the state can't come up with enough money to run the places. So now no one can move in and the state is spending a fortune maintaining empty buildings. Our Casey Wian went for a look in Westwood, California.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We were hit by an aircraft in this left number one engine and we were shot down.

CASEY WIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Eighty-nine-year-old World War II veteran Rudy Giannoni was shot down over Germany. He spent 11 brutal months as a prisoner of war.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE)

WIAN: Now he wants a safe place to spend his remaining days near family in Fresno, California, where a brand-new 300-bedroom veteran's home was completed in April, but it sits empty. Because of California's budget crisis it will stay that way until at least October 2013. In the meantime, hundreds of veterans wait to get in.

RUDY GIANNONI, AIR FORCE VETERAN: There are veterans out there that are in a lot worse shape than I'm in that should be going into that home right now.

WIAN: The home cost $159 million to build, split roughly 60/40 between the federal government and California.

(on camera): One hundred and fifty-nine million dollars will buy you a very nice facility. Here, there's a general store but there's nothing on the shelves. Next door is a barbershop where no one's cutting hair. And just like with the state of California, there's no money in the bank -- (voice-over): -- and no residents. This year the state only budgeted enough money for a skeleton maintenance crew and a handful of staff at Fresno.

J.P. TREMBLAY, CA DEPT. OF VETERANS AFFAIRS: (INAUDIBLE) the administration and the legislature understands their frustrations, but understand too though that what the legislature and the governor were dealing with was a $16 billion deficit.

WIAN: State officials say regulatory hurdles are part of the problem. This veteran's home in west LA was completed two years ago.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE)

WIAN: Eighty-four veterans including Steve Rosmarin (ph) and Millie Taylor (ph) have moved in, but 300 rooms remain empty.

MILLIE TAYLOR, NAVY VETERAN: I think it's too bad because there's got to be -- there's a lot of waste in the government.

TREMBLAY: These are not like hotels. You don't open up the door and fill them with the residents. These are long-term care health care facilities that require specific equipment, specifically trained and specially trained professionals.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You have to hire people, you have to train people, and that story gets old after a while.

WIAN: Korean War veteran and activist Charlie Waters (ph) has been pushing for the Fresno home for 11 years.

CHARLIE WATERS, WAR VETERAN: They don't give a damn. If they did, they'd take care of their people.

TREMBLAY: These facilities will open. They are opening. The commitment is being kept.

WIAN: The plan is to move eight veterans a month into the Fresno home starting next October. The question is will that be too late for vets like Rudy Giannoni?

(END VIDEOTAPE)

FOREMAN: Casey, this just seems outrageous. I mean I've heard part of the explanation there. But ultimately, how do state officials defend having fallen into this trap, building such a place and not being able to pay for it?

WIAN: Tom, what they're saying is this is actually a victory for the veterans because as we mentioned, California has a serious budget deficit. They had to cut $8 billion in discretionary spending out of the budget this year. And according to the California Department of Veterans Affairs, money to maintain facilities like this and to prepare them to begin to accept residents is one of the only areas of the state budget that was actually spared from cuts. The veterans say they're tired of waiting, though, Tom. FOREMAN: Casey Wian, such a story. Thanks so much for joining us from California tonight.

A new Pentagon report says Iran's missiles are getting more powerful and deadly. Now is that a real threat or is it just saber- rattling? We're going to sort that out.

And an investigation will release a report tomorrow on the Jerry Sandusky scandal at Penn State. Tonight, our Susan Candiotti has a few details as to what might be in it and there are indications that officials knew more than they admitted.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

FOREMAN: Welcome back to our second half OUTFRONT. And we start by focusing on some of our own reporting from the front lines, various stories.

The president of Florida A&M University is stepping down more than seven months after a drum major from the university band died in the hazing incident. James Ammons' resignation will be official this fall. He held the position for five years and made no reference to the incident in which the 26-year-old Robert Champion after being badly beaten during a hazing ritual on the band's bus.

In a statement to OUTFRONT, Champion's family says, "We have always held the belief that the rampant culture of hazing found at FAMU would not and could not be eradicated without some major housecleaning of those who turned a blind eye to the problem."

The captain of the Costa Concordia, the cruise ship that hit a bed of rocks off Tuscan coast and capsized, killing 32 people, is breaking his silent. Francesco Schettino said the accident was no banal and there was no breakdown in communication when it occurred. An Italian judge lifted Schettino's arrest house last week. He's accused of manslaughter, causing a shipwreck and abandoning ship although there's still passengers and crew aboard.

Crews have just begun trying to move that ship, which could take over a year to complete. It's a big job.

I want to follow up on the story about corn from last night. It's worse than we told you. Today, the USDA forecasts corn crops will average just 146 bushels per acre. That's down 20 bushels from its June prediction.

And it's all because of the weather. According to NOAA, the last 12 months have been the hottest on record, making this the worst season for crops since 1988. The USDA has declared over 1,000 counties in 26 states has natural disaster areas. Agency also announced measures to help farmers in those areas to get some things like lowering the interest rates on energy loans.

It has been 342 days since the U.S. lost its top credit rating. And as we also asked, what are we doing to get it back? Today, we got the minutes from the latest Fed meeting. They show some officials think more step might be needed for the Federal Reserve to help the economy. We'll see how that plays out.

Our fourth story OUTFRONT: a report declassified just today from the Pentagon warns that Iran is improving the killing power of its ballistic missiles. The Pentagon also says the country could be ready to test an intercontinental missile by 2015.

The report about Iran's military might comes as country is increasingly flexing its power in the face of U.S. and E.U. sanctions most strict to date. Iran's already threatened to close down the vital Strait of Hormuz shipping lane.

OUTFRONT tonight: CNN's Pentagon correspondent Chris Lawrence joins us.

Chris, let me ask you about this.

Spider Marks, General Spider Marks is also joining us to talk about this.

Chris, let me ask you about hits to begin. How seriously do we take this? Is this a genuine threat to the United States or to our allies or to whom?

CHRIS LAWRENCE, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's potentially very scary, Tom. No doubt about it. But that 2015 date has to be caveated by the fact that first, Iran would have to get some technical assistance from other countries, which they have in the past and then that 2015 would be test-firing the missile. That's not necessarily successfully test-firing the missile or being able to attach a payload to it -- in other words, a warhead or something like that. But it does show significant progress on the part of the Iranians.

FOREMAN: Yes. You know, I want to bring up a graphic here, if we can. They've had a mixed bag like with the Shabab-3 missile, which had about 900-mile range. And this new Ashura missile which they're to do.

If you look at this, you see roughly how far they could theoretically reach with some of these missiles.

Spider, come in here on this. This business of launching a missile over a great distance with a nuclear warhead on top, first of all, miniaturizing the warhead, getting the missile to behave properly, it is a real threat but it's also a real challenge.

GEN. JAMES "SPIDER" MARKS, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: It's absolutely a real technical challenge, but you're exactly correct. What you see with Iran right now is two parallel paths that they're going down.

One is the weaponization of a nuclear capability, the enrichment program that they have ongoing, whether they can continue to enrich and reach the level of enrichment that would allow it to be weaponized. Then you have to miniaturize it and you have to weaponize it, you have to be able to stick it on top of a rocket. And that thing has to be able to go a sufficient distance. And it needs to get where you intend it to go.

The Shabab is liquid fueled. The Ashura, which is the longer range, about 1,500 miles, is the solid -- is the very first solid fuel.

So, they have to get all -- as Chris indicated -- they've got to get all this correct in order to even work this thing into a test.

Now, what we're talking about is a ballistic missile test. They have not married up the nuclear weaponized nuclear capability nor do we know that they have that. However, the indicators are very strong that they're moving down an inexorable path to that capability.

FOREMAN: And, Chris, you mentioned their relationships with China and Russia and North Korea, people like that, particularly North Korea who's very happy to ship things out, although their missiles haven't been doing so well lately.

That really is the key here, isn't it? Watching those connections and seeing how much help they're getting? Because Iran alone doesn't seem capable of delivering this.

LAWRENCE: Yes. Tom, basically Iran, Pakistan and north Korea have been sort of on the same track, sharing a lot of the similar technology.

One of the things that really jumped out to me on this report is, (a), the development of that medium-range missile. You know, they could go, you know, maybe 1,300 miles or so. That could hit significant targets in Europe, giving Iran possibly more political leverage in a crisis.

Also, they've got -- they're developing a weapon system that can detect ships at sea and maneuver in the air to better hit those ships. The U.S. has two carrier groups in the region right now. They just added more mine sweepers to that area.

So, that's another big capability that the Iranians seem to be progressing with.

FOREMAN: And, General, if you'll come back in for a second, Spider. The simple truth is, this is sort of an inexorable march by folks like Iran. And my guess is that one day, someday, somehow, yes, our ships at sea are going to have to be ready for this and our allies will have to be ready -- because if you can't hit your foe, you hit his friends.

MARKS: Absolutely. And, you know, Tom, the deal is right now, with the Fifth Fleet, which has been in Bahrain for years, its primary mission is to provide a presence, diplomatic presence, as well as certainly a very strong military presence there in the Gulf and elsewhere in the Indian Ocean.

So, the ability of Iran right now is they can reach out and touch U.S. capabilities throughout the region. We know that. They know that. And I would tell you that our U.S. capabilities right now to detect -- to identify, detect and target the development of these capabilities is pronounced as anything you would ever see. So, we'll be able to stay ahead of the indicators that they are progressing down the path.

And our U.S. military is prepared day and night right now to counterman these capabilities.

FOREMAN: All right. General Spider Marks, thank you as always.

Chris Lawrence, I think we can talk about it a lot more and I have a feeling we will in the future. Thanks for being here.

New information tonight about a much-anticipated report on Penn State's handling of the Jerry Sandusky child abuse scandal. That report is to be released by a former FBI chief tomorrow morning. It will be about 200 pages long, expected to focus on Penn State officials and the university's culture.

Leaked e-mails that were read to CNN indicate high-ranking officials at the school knew about a 2001 shower incident involving a boy and Sandusky, but never reported it to outside authorities.

Also an op-ed written by former Penn State football coach Joe Paterno a month before he died was released today. Paterno wrote, "This is not a football scandal and should not be treated as one, it is not an academic scandal and does not in any way tarnish the hard- earned and well-deserved academic reputation of Penn State."

OUTFRONT tonight: Susan Candiotti in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, what are you hearing, Susan?

SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Tom. This is going to be an interesting report. Let's remind people how it came about. It was last November when Penn State's board of trustees hired former FBI Director Louis Freeh to conduct this internal investigation. And it should be no-holds-barred.

Now, two key things they're looking at is what could be done in the future to prevent other children from being sexually abused on that campus. Two key things we're going to be looking at, an incident that happened back in 1998 involving Jerry Sandusky and a little boy that was investigated by local police but the local district attorney did not prosecute. And then abruptly the next year, Jerry Sandusky retires and a couple of years after that, lo and behold, he is apparently involved in another 2001 famous -- by now famous shower incident involving Sandusky and a little boy.

So, a lot to be learned through this report.

FOREMAN: A lot of this still swirling around the question of what Joe Paterno, the famous coach, knew or didn't know. The Paterno family came out with a very strong statement. They said, "Joe Paterno did not cover up for Jerry Sandusky. Joe Paterno did not know that Jerry Sandusky was a pedophile. Joe Paterno did not act in any way to prevent a proper investigation of Jerry Sandusky. To claim otherwise is a distortion of the truth." Is there any hint that this report is going to say that that statement is false?

CANDIOTTI: We don't know. It's unclear.

What we do know is this, in one of those purported e-mails that was leaked to us, read to CNN, that we broke that story exclusively, we know that Joe Paterno is referred to in one of those purported e- mails, written by one of the officials who had talked about having a plan to contact child welfare authorities and then after he said he spoke with Joe, that plan changed.

What Joe Paterno may have said, we don't know. We don't know whether that will be addressed in this report. But as you said, the family continues to insist that Joe Paterno did not interfere with this investigation. Let's see whether Louis Freeh goes there.

FOREMAN: All right. Susan Candiotti, we know you'll stay on the case. Thanks so much.

Still OUTFRONT, are you mad at the government, are you mad about your state in life, you're made about your paycheck? James Carville is probably talking about you.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JAMES CARVILLE, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: These are people that had pneumonia and got run over by a pick-up truck.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

FOREMAN: Yes, the middle class.

And a man is cleaning out his grandparents' house when he makes a priceless discovery. Well, actually, there is a price. It is astronomical.

Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

FOREMAN: Hey, we have some breaking news on a congressman. Representative Jesse Jackson, Jr., lots of speculation on the past few days over Jackson's health since he unexpectedly announced a leave of absence from Congress last month.

Let's go to our own, Kate Bolduan, right now live in Washington who has an explanation.

So, what's going on here, Kate?

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hey there, Tom.

Yes, we're finally getting some more detail on this real mystery that's been surrounding the congressman's absence from Congress. We've not -- we're hearing now for the first time that the congressman is being treated for a mood disorder. A congressman's office just issuing the statement just really moments ago from the congressman's doctor's office.

I'll read you the brief statement says and this is coming from Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr.'s doctors.

It says, "The congressman is receiving intensive medical treatment at a residential treatment facility for a mood disorder. He's responding positively to treatment and is expected to make a full recovery."

The congressman's chief of staff, Rick Bryant, he goes on to actually say in the statement that we received that the rumors that really have been flying, Tom, surrounding what's really going on with the congressman here, they really wanted to put them to rest, saying that any rumors about the congressman being treated for alcohol or substance abuse, those rumors are not true.

So, really, finally getting some clarity, some disclosure here on what's been going on with the congressman. A lot of concern on Capitol Hill. But also there's been really mounting pressure for the congressman and his family to come forward and give more detail of what he's facing and suffering with because he has been out on leave of absence since June 10th when it was announced.

But I've been talking to people on the Hill and he really hasn't been seen on the Hill in committees, especially, since late May.

FOREMAN: Something else. Now, there's some news from the family.

Thanks so much, Kate Bolduan, down in Washington.

BOLDUAN: Of course.

FOREMAN: Tonight's all-star baseball game ended in an 8-0 win for the National League team. That guarantees them the home field advantage in the World Series.

But that's not the only baseball story of the day. It's now been confirmed that a man in Ohio hit an unexpected grand slam in the game of baseball card collecting.

While going through the things left in a house that once belonged to his grandparents, Karl Kissner stumbled upon a box of vintage baseball cards, 700 cards that had been there for almost 100 years. And estimates now from appraisers put the value of this collection is at $3 million.

These cards came from an extremely rare series issued by an unknown candy company around 1910. Card collectors grade cards on a 1 to 10 scale based on their condition. Up until now, the best grade ever given to a Ty Cobb, for example, was a 7 from that series. Sixteen Cobb cards were found by Kissners in that stash graded at 9.

The family plans to sell most of the cards over the next two or three years through auctions and private sales so as to not flood the market which brings us to tonight's number. And there you have it: $200 million.

According to the Major League Baseball Players Association, that is the current value of the baseball card industry. That's way down from the $1 billion it was valued at in 1991. One big reason, it's no longer child's play. As more adults turned card collecting into a business, card companies create add glut of cards to sell to them, the collectors started hoarding the most valuable ones, slowing down sales and Kissner collection aside, it probably won't change soon because these days, 70 percent of baseball card collectors are adults.

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

Now, to Great Britain. The son of one of the world's richest men is under arrest there after his wife was found dead in their home. Hans Rausing was initially picked up by police on drug charges.

Atika Shubert is in London. I asked her what we know about Eva Rausing's death.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hans and Eva Rausing were very well-known at London's elite circles for two things. One, they were devoted philanthropists, but they are also known as hard-core drug users. Now, Hans Rausing's grandfather invented the Tetra Pak.

So, if you've ever opened up a carton of orange juice, then you've used one of his products. And this is what made the Rausing family billionaires.

Now, Hans and Eva had nothing to do with the business but they certainly did spend the money. And they have a history of drug abuse. They met in rehab.

As to what happened yesterday, Hans Rausing was pulled over for driving erratically, and was arrested for suspicious of drug possession. And when police went into his home to search it, they found the body of Eva Rausing. Police say they do not know what killed her and they do not know how long the body was there -- Tom.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

FOREMAN: Our fifth story OUTFRONT, the fading American dream.

A startling survey from the Pew Hispanic Center of all Americans -- look at this -- only 58 percent of the people in this country think that hard work will lead to success. Fifty-eight percent. It's just one indicator that the middle class is struggling to survive, an issue James Carville and Stan Greenberg highlight it in their new book, "It's the Middle Class, Stupid."

And they are OUTFRONT tonight.

Guys, let me ask you first of all, you look at that number there -- Stan, what do you think when you see a number like that?

STAN GREENBERG, CO-AUTHOR, "IT'S THE MIDDLE CLASS, STUPID": It rings true. I hear it from people. We spend a lot of time listening to people.

They are in pain. They're watching themselves slipping. They're watching their parents slipping. And they know this is an enormous struggle.

You know, we also know this number has dropped 20 points in 10 years.

FOREMAN: Why do you think, James? Why do people fundamentally believe hard work save them anymore?

CARVILLE: Well, a couple of reasons. Number one is they're working hard themselves and they see themselves falling behind. So, they have real proof in their own lives. They see people around them that are working hard that are slipping behind.

This trend has been going on for 30 years and, of course, was exacerbated by the financial crisis. But as we say in the book, these were people that had pneumonia and got run over by pickup truck.

(CROSSTALK)

FOREMAN: Let me ask your definition of middle class. You say it's the middle class, stupid. Who's the middle class?

GREENBERG: It is totally aspirational. It is hard work, responsibility. People who try to educate their kids, try to have the next generation do better.

FOREMAN: That's your definition of the middle class?

GREENBERG: Sure. We define -- hey, we go with the people, how they define themselves.

Now, 60 percent in our polls, you know, self-define as middle class.

FOREMAN: So you're not basing --

GREENBERG: Another 25 percent working class.

FOREMAN: -- it on a numerical equation, James?

CARVILLE: Suppose you're retired and you own your own condo in Tampa, you're a lot better off than somebody living in New York metropolitan area --

FOREMAN: But sheer dollars --

CARVILLE: By sheer dollars --

FOREMAN: By sheer dollars, you'd be bordering on underclass there.

CARVILLE: Of course. So what Stan decided to do, because this is his area of expertise, is go by description and take people who described themselves as middle class and working class and middle class, and lump there.

But let's if you want to get in the club, we'll let you line.

GREENBERG: The line is from about $125,000 for, you know, a median family of four.

(CROSSTALK)

FOREMAN: There are different estimates of that. For example, a congressional research service defines middle class as $40,000 to $250,000. Boy, that's a big, big gap there to define the middle classes.

But let's talk about what happens next in this equation. Forget about the candidates, forget about left and right, forget about Democrat and Republican. What does Washington need to do to give the middle class some sense that they matter still? And that it's their country, not somebody else's.

GREENBERG: It has to put the middle class at the center of politics not politics - at the center of the discussion. What are we trying to do here? What matters?

FOREMAN: Aren't they doing that right now?

GREENBERG: No.

FOREMAN: Mitt Romney is talking about the middle class. Barack Obama is talking about the middle class.

GREENBERG: Well, it's a rhetorical shift, maybe it's a big shift, you know, that's happening now. But up until now, you were hard pressed to say the main problem of the middle class.

You know, take the deficit, you know, as a focus. When the commissions were formed and the focus was the deficit, then it was legitimate to move health care costs away from government to seniors. But if the problem is the middle class, what you need to do so is focus on health care costs and get health care costs down for the middle class and for the country. And that will begin to address the deficit. It what -- it changes everything.

FOREMAN: What are three most important things that Washington ought to do now to restore the faith in the American people?

CARVILLE: Reform the way things are done. Lobbying and campaign finance.

I know it's difficult. We talk about it in the book. It's not easy to do. But reform has to be step one in anything. The two things that really crush the middle class are high health care costs and high costs of education. They need access to education more than anybody else and they all get constantly crushed by high health care costs. Those things that you ask me for the three, those are the three.

FOREMAN: We don't have any more time to go into more of them. I wish we could.

James Carville and Stan Greenberg, the book is called "It's the Middle Class, Stupid" and you ought to check it out because I'm telling you, this discussion about the middle class is going to dominate our politics and our economy for quite some time. Thanks, guys.

CARVILLE: Thank you.

FOREMAN: Well, now let's check in with Anderson Cooper for a look at what's coming up -- Anderson.

ANDERSON COOPER, HOST, "A.C. 360": Yes, Tom. We've got a lot to cover tonight.

More on the breaking news ahead on the program, nine-term Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr. has not been seen in public for weeks now since June 10th. We got a statement from Jackson's doctor. It turns out he's in treatment for what is described as a mood disorder. We'll have more details on that tonight.

Also a "360" exclusive, I'm joined by the mother and cousin of border patrol agent Brian Terry, the border patrol agent who was killed in the Fast and Furious gun running investigation, the operation. It is the first interview since indictments were unsealed on Monday, charging these men and one other in the shootout that led to Brian Terry's death.

Also tonight, a "360" follow on a really bizarre story of a man facing up to 21 years in jail and appeared to have committed suicide right there in a courtroom. You see him put something in his mouth and then burying his head in his hands. All of it caught on camera.

Tonight, there are new developments. Before he put that pill in his mouth, he sent his son an e-mail. That e-mail led police to what they now suspect he used to kill himself. We'll tell you what it is that police suspect.

Those stories plus tonight's "Ridiculist", with the world of politics, a lot to cover, all of that hour, Tom.

FOREMAN: All right. "A.C. 360", don't miss it. Thanks, Anderson.

Up next, imagine -- imagine if you could see Teddy Roosevelt in person. He died nearly a century ago. It would certainly be an odd site. Well, for Russians, a similar site might finally be put to rest. Stay with us.

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FOREMAN: Lastly tonight, the world's longest funeral may finally be coming to a close. Amid all that recent turmoil in Russia, the flooding, the military action in Syria, the economic issues comes news that Vladimir Lenin may at last be laid to rest. Well, more specifically, he may be buried. He's been resting for some time.

Ever since he died in 1924, the once intrepid founder of the USSR has been residing in a glass coffin ion Red Square, right next to the Kremlin, sort of like a strange Soviet "Snow White".

Every year, countless Russians pass through to see him. I joined them about 15 years ago during a summer of reporting in Moscow. And I'll admit, seeing Lenin was fascinating, even somber, very dignified and also really strange.

And think about this. This would pretty much be like if we embalmed Teddy Roosevelt and had him on display at the U.S. Capitol visitors center ever since he passed.

In any event, the Russian culture minister says enough already, can't we put Lenin into the ground and call it done? But consider this: every couple of years, this idea has come up and it has never yet come to pass. Maybe because each and every time it excites renewed interest in Lenin, his legacy and all the things that means, good and bad to the Russian people.

So before you say your final farewells, remember what another famous Lenin once said -- you say goodbye and I say hello.

Thanks so much for joining us. I'm Tom Foreman. "ANDERSON COOPER 360" starts right now.