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Interview with Senator Rand Paul; Winning Virginia; Investigation Into Benghazi Attacks

Aired October 10, 2012 - 19:00   ET


ERIN BURNETT, HOST: OUTFRONT next Senator Rand Paul says he supports Mitt Romney, so then why is the senator ripping into the candidate's foreign policy plan, the senator exclusive OUTFRONT next. Plus, a feisty hearing on Capitol Hill today over the handling of the terrorist attack in Libya that killed the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans. One of them, a Navy SEAL. Tonight an exclusive interview with the sister of one of those victims with his story.

And new testimony, new results and mounting evidence. Some pretty damning evidence, perhaps. Tonight Lance Armstrong accused of the most sophisticated doping program in sports history. His attorney fights back tonight OUTFRONT. Let's go.

Good evening, everyone. I'm Erin Burnett. OUTFRONT tonight, a punch in the gut for Mitt Romney. Just as he's been surfing the post debate tsunami of positive polls, Mitt Romney may be felt by fire from his own side. A major supporter who is campaigning for Romney this week, feels so strongly that he had to speak out. An OUTFRONT exclusive tonight, Republican Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky.

Senator, always good to see you and I appreciate your taking the time. You wrote an op-ed that appeared on and the headline was Romney's wrong on the Middle East, comma, defense spending. And here's a little bit of what you're so upset about and Mitt Romney actually said it today, so let me play him.


MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: (INAUDIBLE) in a place like Syria for instance, we should through our partners in the region, work to identify dissidents within Syria that are reasonable and responsible people, try and coalesce them, bring them together, provide funding and weapons to them so they can defend themselves and they can promote their agenda.


BURNETT: Provide funding and weapons for them so they can defend themselves and promote their agenda. You disagree.

SEN. RAND PAUL (R), KENTUCKY: Well I have two questions. Number one, I think whenever we get involved with war or providing weapons or bombing countries it needs to go before Congress. You know the Constitution says that that is the prerogative of the legislatures. That's my first objection. My second objection is it's difficult to know who friend and foe are. We've been over a decade or almost you know over a decade now in Afghanistan and we have trouble telling friend from foe. The people we're training, the Afghan soldiers, are turning their weapons on us. So, how are we supposed to know, who in Syria is our friend, who is our foe? What do they stand for?

I also ask the question there's a significant Christian population in Syria. They fled from Iraq. After the war began in Iraq they felt it was safer to be under Assad than to be under the government that we instituted in Iraq. What is that Christian population saying? Many news reports say they're unsure whether they want to support the rebels or Assad and if they can't make up their mind, how can we know for certain that an Islamic government that will come out of the rebels is what we really want?

BURNETT: And so, Senator, why did you choose this way? I mean you were very specific in your criticism. Obviously it's not just Mitt Romney in your party. Lindsey Graham, John McCain have said that they're in favor of arming the rebels in Syria. Why did you choose to come out and say it this way? Had you already tried to talk to Mitt Romney and he wasn't listening?

PAUL: Well, we've had a couple of differences and I support Governor Romney and think he will make a great president, but on foreign policy, I think there's too much agreement between Republicans and Democrats. But I think the people are tired of war. When you talk to Republicans or Democrats now, I think it's almost universal. People want to come home from Afghanistan. You know, there's such great sorrow when you think about our soldiers being killed by the same Afghan policemen and soldiers that we're trying to help. And so I've seen a great movement in recent weeks towards really wanting to come home.


PAUL: And I don't want Governor Romney to think that it is electorally a good thing to appear more bellicose. I think there are many Republicans and many independents who don't necessarily want a president who will begin a war in Syria. And I think it's very important that we not express that as what we're trying to promote.

BURNETT: Have you spoken to him privately about this disagreement?

PAUL: Well you know I spoke with him a couple of months ago and my general impression when I talked with him is that he has a healthy reluctance for war. I don't think he personally maybe comes across as bellicose as some of these speeches are. And I think we have to be careful as Republicans because we need to be cognizant of what's been going on, you know the lives lost and the soldiers wounded over the last 10 years, and realize that not every fight is one we should be involved in.

BURNETT: Are you concerned that coming out with these criticisms, because they are significant. I mean he has made a big deal about arming the rebels. You heard him say it today. He said it yesterday. Also about the defense budget and how he wants to increase it. Are you worried that by coming out, you say you support him, but you could be hurting his chances to win?

PAUL: No, because I think really what we need to be talking about are pretty important issues that transcend partisanship. And we need to talk about what's important for the country. If we want to figure out, for example, the overriding problem to me in Washington for our country is the debt. The only way we're ever going to figure out our debt problem is we're going to have to compromise. Conservatives like myself who believe national defense is very important, will have to say that not every dollar spent on the military is sacred and liberals will have to acknowledge that not every dollar spent on welfare and entitlements is sacred.

They both will have to come together, but we have to reduce both. And it can't be increasing more. We spend more on the military than all of our NATO allies combined. We spend more on our military than almost the rest of the world combined. How much is enough? We've increased our military spending 140 percent in the last 10 years.


PAUL: I think enough is enough and we need to begin conserving dollars across the breadth of the entire budget.

BURNETT: So, let me ask you this question about the defense budget because I read it. I knew you were frustrated by what Mitt Romney has proposed there. And viewers, he's proposing an increase in the defense budget. He's been very specific on that. Frankly I think it's fair to say, Senator, much more specific than he's been say on his tax plan. And he's come out and said he's going to increase defense spending from where it is rather significantly. So by the year 2020, the Romney budget, I'll throw it up on the screen, Senator, so our viewers can see it, will be about $909 billion a year. That's a pretty incredible number. All right. Barack Obama's budget according to his plan would be $605 billion. That's pretty amazing.


BURNETT: Both of them are higher --


BURNETT: Yes -- are you more like in the Obama camp though is what I'm getting?

PAUL: What I would say is the same thing I say to liberals. You can't always make education better by throwing more money at it. You can't always make your country stronger or more safe by throwing more money at the military. Let's figure out what we need as a country, to depend our country, to defend our vital interests, but let's not be everywhere all the time. Let's not decide that every war is something that U.S. dollars as well as soldiers have to participate in and so I do object to it. And I think even in an election season we need to object. I'm concerned that you know, we could be at war with Syria even before the election occurs if things escalate across Turkey's border. You know you have the head of NATO now saying that if Turkey's attacked, all of a sudden all of NATO's might will be involved in this war and I think for a border skirmish between Syria and Turkey, where I think Syria's government is very weak and destabilized, I don't want to see world war where all of NATO comes on to the Turkish-Syria border and we're involved in a huge Middle East conflagration. I don't think that's what the American people want and I think we need to be very careful about it.

BURNETT: And Senator, before we go I just want to show you something I saw interesting today on the Web today. You have a Super PAC, Rand PAC and you have been running some ads on behalf of some congressional candidates. You're obviously so far, six figures. You've been spending real money on this in some closely contested races where you could build some friends. Rand PAC 2016 is what your site said. I'm sorry, I was confused actually. I thought you were already running for president. But then I realized though that's when you're technically up for Senate, right, OK. But aren't you laying the groundwork?

PAUL: Yes, we're running ads on foreign aid, letting people know that several different Democrat senators voted for foreign aid to countries that are really disrespecting us and burning our flag and I think the American people aren't for sending foreign aid to countries that really are not acting like allies and don't appear to really be our friends.

BURNETT: And you know what, at least you don't have to change the name of the PAC or anything if you switch what you're running for. Good to see you.

PAUL: You may be right there. All right.

BURNETT: All righty then. Pretty interesting, huh?

All right OUTFRONT next, President Obama opens up about his much criticized debate performance, how he thinks he did and also what he thinks the president needs to do differently at the next debate. Plus, Ann Romney on the attack. Is that working? And a new bombshell testimony from nearly a dozen teammates of Lance Armstrong. The accusations include years of doping and helping other cyclists dope. Do these claims finally add up? Lance Armstrong's attorney OUTFRONT.


BURNETT: Our second story OUTFRONT a bad night, just moments ago President Obama admitting this to "ABC News".


BARACK OBAMA (D-IL), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, Governor Romney had a good night. I had a bad night. It's not --


OBAMA: Well, it's not the first time I've had a bad night, but I think what's important is that the fundamentals of what this race is about haven't changed.


BURNETT: That's a pretty direct admission and it came just hours after the president offered up this explanation, a little bit different, for his performance last week.


OBAMA: You know, the debate I think is fair to say I was just too polite because you know it's hard to sometimes just keep on saying what you're saying isn't true. It gets repetitive. But the good news is, is that's just the first one.


BURNETT: Michael Waldman is the former director of speechwriting for President Clinton. Reihan Salam is a writer for the "National Review". Good to see both of you. Reihan, you couldn't even restrain yourself from rolling your eyes there.

REIHAN SALAM, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: You know, I think that actually it's good for President Obama to seem humble and thoughtful and hey, I didn't have a great night. I personally don't think that was the key problem. I think the key problem is that Mitt Romney was of course better prepared, but also, you know President Obama has a tough time defending his record when he's confronted with someone who is nimble and who is actually you know more moderate than President Obama's claim (INAUDIBLE) the campaign trail. So I think that that was fundamentally awkward. I think the idea that Barack Obama should call out Mitt Romney for lying, it's very popular with the Democratic base. The truth is that those persuadable swing voters might find that kind of attack pretty shrill and pretty unpleasant. So it's a sensible thing for him to say on a radio show, but in reality, I'm not sure if that strategy would really make President Obama seem appealing.

BURNETT: When he went to the national stage he chose to say he had a bad night. I have to say Michael from the focus group, what I saw, that is going to play much better --


BURNETT: -- 39 people, but anytime someone said someone was a liar, dishonest that people don't like hearing it.

MICHAEL WALDMAN, BRENNAN CENTER FOR JUSTICE, NYU: He needs to find a way to explain among other things to Democratic voters, why he had a bad night as he said. You know, the things that he has to do in these debates, one is say what he wants to do in a second term. Second, really go after Mitt Romney with a smile, with an elbow. Not in an unpleasant way, but also to show he wants it. To make the connection with the public that he's asking them in effect for their vote and to my mind, that was the thing he didn't do enough last time and he certainly can do those things, especially the last one, in a town meeting or any other kind of debate and I don't think he has to call him a liar. I think he has to basically -- during the Cuban missile crisis, President Kennedy got one letter from the Russian leader that was for negotiation and then there was another letter that said something different and he just responded to the first letter. I would respond to the Mitt Romney who's been running for president for two years with his policies, rather than trying to respond to the new Romney that came out more or less last week.

BURNETT: And on that note, a topic that did not come up at the prior debate, but will come up, and certainly the president wants this to come up because of some of the polls this week that have shown a plunge in support among women, a group that he thought could deliver him the White House, Reihan. Diane Sawyer asked about Romney's recent remarks on the whole flip-flopping on abortions. So here's his answer.


OBAMA: I actually think his position on -- when it comes to women's rights to control their own health care decisions, you know, what he has been saying is exactly what he believes. He thinks that it is appropriate for politicians to inject themselves in those decisions. And Governor Romney has made very clear that if a bill comes to his desk that overturns Roe versus Wade, that he will be fully supportive of that and he said I will appoint justices that will overturn Roe versus Wade.


BURNETT: He's also of course said things that are completely the opposite of what the president just said that he said, so Reihan, the question is, is this going to be a big issue at the debate? Is this going to hurt Mitt Romney?

SALAM: I think that this is a very tough issue for Republicans partly because the position that's advanced by folks like Mitt Romney is actually the view that yes, we want Roe versus Wade to be overturned so that abortion is decided by Democratic legislatures. It's going to be decided state by state. And I think that, you know the thing is that people don't always understand that. A lot of folks think that Roe versus Wade on both sides of the issue says something that it doesn't actually say and that ambiguity can be beneficial for Democrats or Republicans, really.


SALAM: So I think that that's actually -- it's a very tough issue for politicians to talk about because it's not very well understood.

BURNETT: And Michael, I'm also -- I'm wondering what you think -- OK, so Mitt Romney has been on different sides of the abortion issue. You can call it flip-flopping. You can even call it evolving and evolving back. I don't care. I don't have to be political about it. But the reality of it is, is you have his base is excited now. Are they going to vote for him no matter what and it's smart for him to say you know what, I'm coming off as more moderate, more open- minded. You can say Barack Obama that I'm saying what I said before, but I'm saying this now and independents are going to respond to that.

WALDMAN: Well --

BURNETT: I don't care that he used to be against it. If he's open-minded now I'll vote for him.

WALDMAN: He's had to face this same confusion in other elections.


WALDMAN: Remember when he ran against Senator Ted Kennedy, Kennedy did very well in their debate saying he's not pro-choice, he's multiple choice on this issue. So Romney has had a problem of deciding what he wants to say to the Republican base and to the swing voters in the middle. You know I think that the country is pro- choice, but in some ways moderately pro-choice. I think the problem for Romney is that the Republican Party, the platform the party activists are much further than he could be and it's going to be -- the trick for President Obama --


WALDMAN: -- is how can you kind of pin Romney to the positions he's taken or the silence he's had over the last two years.

BURNETT: Right. That's an interesting one. As a woman, I don't know. This is a fascinating question. A lot of people are pro-choice and pro-life at the same time and that's where it gets dicey for both parties.


BURNETT: All right, well thanks very much. Both of you will be back in a few moments. And still to come, Virginia could be the state that tips the election to either Mitt Romney or Barack Obama. So, what issue do voters care about the most there? John Avlon, we sent him OUTFRONT to the battleground state to take a look at the "Final Factors".

And $15,000, is it too much to spend on a watch? You thought we were going to say car. Well what if you were president of the United States of America?


BURNETT: Our third story OUTFRONT the "Final Factors". Our series on the crucial issues in the swing states that are going to decide this election. There is no place more crucial to both candidates than Loudoun County, Virginia, about 30 miles outside Washington, D.C. Both candidates and their wives have campaigned in Loudoun and President Obama even noted how crucial that specific county is to his re-election bid.


OBAMA: We won Loudoun County last time and if we win Loudoun County this time, we will win Virginia and if we win Virginia, we will win this election!


BURNETT: The latest polling from Virginia shows a very tight race. This is well within the margin of error, which is 3.1 points. As you can see Obama ahead by two points. Now, there is one big issue to voters in Loudoun, aside from Lyme disease. Go ahead and Google it. Loudoun County, Lyme disease. You'll see what I mean. The other issue is this one, $600 billion in automatic spending cuts to the defense budget that are going to start at the beginning of next year unless Congress you know finds a way out of that whole crisis. John Avlon has the story.


JOHN AVLON, CNN CONTRIBUTOR (voice-over): Loudoun County is the symbol of the new northern Virginia. Fast growing and increasingly diverse. Post 9/11, the defense industry boomed and many new workers and contractors moved to Loudoun. That's why the county now has the highest median income in the United States. Population has more than doubled over the past decade and the Hispanic population has tripled. Demographic shifts like these helped President Obama become the first Democrat to win Virginia since 1964, but he won by a margin of just 11,500 votes. But now a half trillion dollars in looming military cuts are creating a clear and present danger to Loudoun's economic wellbeing. John Dyer lives in Loudoun and his livelihood is at stake. He's cofounder of KSH Technology. It's a two-year-old small business in the defense contracting arena.

JOHN DYER, CHIEF TECHNOLOGY OFFICER, KSH TECHNOLOGY SOLUTIONS, LLC: Most of my neighbors are government employees or contractors that work for the government, so they would be -- you know they would be affected by this cut.

AVLON (on camera): Big time.

DYER: Big time.

AVLON (voice-over): Dyer is a coveted swing voter and right now he's still undecided.

(on camera): Who was your first vote for president? Who was the first guy you voted for?

DYER: Ronald Reagan. So, I actually have a photograph of my grandfather, my father, my brother and myself all voting together at the same time, so --

AVLON: It's a family tradition.

DYER: Family tradition, so --

AVLON: So, you take this seriously.

DYER: Yes, I mean it's -- it was always, you know, a big deal in our family.

AVLON: You voted for President Obama last time around. What are the final considerations that you're going to be looking for in the next two debates?

DYER: The issues around the federal government spending, the DOD, and how it affects our business. So, it is my life blood and my future.

AVLON (voice-over): Dyer's business partner is Katie Hammler, a former captain in the U.S. Army Reserves. She knows just how devastating these cuts could be to Loudoun.

KATIE SHELDON HAMMLER, PRESIDENT, KSH TECHNOLOGY SOLUTIONS, LLC: The dysfunctional process that brought us to the brink of this problem, which is going to be as serious a problem for our North Virginia region as the fallout of the car industry was to Detroit. It will be small businesses like ours that are going to be hit the most. It's projected two million jobs will be lost, half of which will be from small companies will be hit earliest and hardest. I think it's going to be very unfortunate.

AVLON: Hammler sees these automatic spending cuts as a symptom of the division and dysfunction in Congress.

HAMMLER: I think when you start asking tough questions about you know if it's appropriate for someone to consider Congress a career? If it is appropriate when decisions (INAUDIBLE) about someone's next election versus making the best decision for the country. We've gotten to that point, so now we need to start asking ourselves about reforming the very, almost two-party political system in which has created this type of problem that again will have devastating consequences in terms of the economy across the country, but definitely in Loudoun, in Leesburg and across Virginia.

AVLON: For undecided voters in Loudoun County like John Dyer, Romney and Obama both still have an opening, but they need to talk specific solutions.

(on camera): When you see the sequester looming, what does it make you feel, frustrated?

DYER: Concerned. Concerned about the trickle down effect that might happen if the budgets were cut, some of the partnering opportunities we would have with prime contractors might not move forward.

AVLON: And that would be devastating to your business?

DYER: Yes, it would, yes. AVLON (voice-over): In the next debate, both candidates will need to present a plan to avoid the blunt edge of these cuts if they want to win John Dyer's vote, the battle for Loudoun County, and the fight for the White House.


AVLON: Northern Virginia, a totally different political complexion, Erin. It's got a booming economy in recent years, but now with the sequester hanging over local small businesses, people are concerned, they're anxious, they're frustrated and looking for solutions from the candidates.

BURNETT: And could decide the whole election.

AVLON: It could.

BURNETT: John Avlon with his "Final Factors" special series and ahead Congress demands answers about the events that led to the terrorist attack in Libya that killed four Americans. Who knew what and when. Tonight, an exclusive interview with the sister of a Navy SEAL killed that night. Plus, a new role for Mitt Romney's wife. Ann going on the attack -- attack Ann. But is it working?


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

And we want to begin with the latest on the meningitis outbreak. The outbreak has killed 12 and sickened 137 others in 10 states. The steroid injection given to 13,000 people is actually what's being blamed for this rare form of meningitis. The injections were made by a compounding pharmacy.

Now, that pharmacy, they're not regulated by the FDA. The agency doesn't have jurisdiction over them until there's a problem. Several lawmakers however plan on introducing bills to change that in light of this crisis.

Well, one member of the Russian punk band Pussy Riot has been released from prison. A Moscow court decided to suspend the sentence because she was only involved of the planning of the Cathedral performance for which the band was charged with hooliganism. She didn't actually perform because she was stopped by a guard. The two band members who actually did perform that song, though, lost their appeal and will continue to serve a two-year prison sentence.

Peter Verzilov is the husband of one of those jailed members and he's been OUTFRONT with his daughter, you may recall. We're told he's happy about today's release and he's determined to stay in Moscow until his wife is freed.

Well, a rare brain-eating amoeba has killed at least 10 people in Pakistan, all the deaths have been in Karachi, the largest city in Pakistan. The amoeba most commonly enters the body through the nasal passage. And we're told that it's a water-borne parasite that is actually almost impossible to detect and almost always fatal.

Extra chlorine is now being pumped into the Karachi water supply in hopes of killing the amoeba. The same disease was blamed for five deaths in the United States of America last year.

It has been 433 days since the U.S. lost its top credit rating. What are we doing to get it back?

Well, today, Standard & Poor's downgraded Spain's already weak credit rating. It's now one level above junk status. S&P also warns a future downgrade is possible, which could complicate the country's effort to avoid requesting a bailout. It is a huge country and important for Europe. A failure of Spain could mean a break for the E.U.

And now, our fourth story OUTFRONT: what did the State Department know and when did it know it? That is the question the House Oversight Committee was trying to get answers to on Capitol Hill today during a hearing on the attack against the American consulate in Benghazi.

Four witnesses, two from the State Department and two security officers were questioned about the security situation leading up to the September 11th attack. It became testy right from the start as Chairman Darrell Issa questioned assistant secretary of state, Charlene Lamb.


REP. DARRELL ISSA (R-CA), CHAIRMAN, OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE: A compound owned by us in serving like a consulate was in fact breached less than 60 days before, approximately 60 days before the murder of the ambassador in the facility, isn't that true?

CHARLENE LAMB, DEP. ASSIST. SECRETARY OF STATE, INTERNATIONAL PROGRAMS: Sir, we had the correct number of assets in Benghazi at the time of 9/11. For what had been agreed upon --

ISSA: My time is expired. To start off by saying you had the correct number and our ambassador and three individuals are dead and people are in the hospital recovering because it only took moments to breach that facility, somehow doesn't seem to ring true to the American people.


BURNETT: Representative Mike Kelly of Pennsylvania also went out to the administration for waiting eight days to call the attack a terrorist attack.


REP. MIKE KELLY (R), PENNSYLVANIA: Two hundred thirty security instances in Libya between June of 2011 and July of 2012. Of those attacks, 48 took place in Benghazi. Two of which at the U.S. diplomatic compound and the scene of the September 11th, 2012 terrorist attacks, and we are still saying I think it's a result of the video that was on YouTube, and this is based on intelligence.

Now, listen, I got to ask you, Ambassador Kennedy, because you say you couldn't possibly have had a different idea about it than Secretary Rice did when she went before the nation on September the 16th. I'm going to tell you -- this thing smells.


BURNETT: Despite the allegations, regional security officer Eric Nordstrom testified that more security and in his view would not have prevented the deaths of Ambassador Stevens and the three other Americans who died at the consulate.

But there so many questions that remain unanswered. On the timeline, on who know what and when they knew it, why they shared it with who they shared it when they did? And no one cares more about this tragedy than the family members of the Americans who sacrifice their lives.

Glen Doherty was a Navy SEAL for 12 years. He gave his life trying to protect Americans in Libya.

His sister, Kate Quigley, is OUTFRONT exclusively tonight.

And, Kate, thank you so much for taking the time. And tell us a little bit about your brother and what motivated him to take on such an important, such a dangerous job.

KATE QUIGLEY, GLEN DOHERTY'S SISTER: Glen just had an amazing gift for life and everywhere he went, he brought such joy. Everyone who knew him just thought of him as a best friend.

And he loved education. He loved recreation. Any chance he got, he was skiing, hiking, surfing, swimming and he was just a gift to those who knew him.

And he loved what he did. He loved and respected the men that he worked with and he fought hard every day because he thought that life was worth it and he proved it.

BURNETT: He did. And your brother was killed, Kate, an act of heroism. He went in to try to save other people's lives. He wasn't there as a security officer. He was there to try to track down the missing weapons from the civil war.

So, he took on risks and went into save someone's life when he didn't have to. And it wasn't his job.

Had he ever talk to you about his fears about being in Libya and his fears about security at all?

QUIGLEY: He knew very well the risks of what he did. Ten years in the Navy SEALs and seven years private. He was well aware of what he was doing, yet he still made the choice to do it any way because he loved fighting for America and he loved being a part of when a country was starting to become liberated and making real change and helping people. And that's what Glen stood for.

BURNETT: We've all heard facts about the attack, Kate, that subsequently have changed and you just heard some of the very, you know, acrimonious at times testimony today in Washington.

Have you and your family been getting updates from the government about what happened to Glen?

QUIGLEY: We have and, you know, the politics of it all are disturbing. You know, if Glen were here, he would be the first one to reach across party lines and diffuse the situation. That's what he did. You know, he dealt in life and death every single day, regardless of your political affiliation.

So, you know, the politics should be taken out of it and let's just celebrate this American hero and the other American hero that fought right alongside him that night and the fact that they saved a lot of people. This tragedy could have been so much worse if those two individuals were not called in and didn't respond to the call that night.

BURNETT: And they did and they did -- I mean, taking on this risk that they didn't need to do. I mean, don't think anyone can imagine being a hero like that.

When you talk about the politics though, Kate, you mother put out a statement. Obviously, Mitt Romney had come out and said that he had met your brother and he talked on the campaign trail about that moment.

Your mother put out a statement today asking Romney to stop what she said he would dot. But she said, "I don't trust Romney. He shouldn't make my son's death part of his political agenda. It's wrong to use these brave young men, who wanted freedom for all, to degrade Obama."

Do you feel the same way?

QUIGLEY: You know, I don't and my mother's angry and she's grieving and the fact of the matter is what Governor Mitt Romney said about Glen is true and he called him a hero and we're honored by that. And we're honored by what Obama did for the homecoming.

And the fact of the matter is being an American hero can be completely bipartisan and everybody wants to point fingers and play the blame game.

Let's blame the terrorists, because that's who's at fault here. And that's where we should be focusing our energy.

BURNETT: I hope they all hear your words tonight. Thank you so much, Kate.

QUIGLEY: Thank you.

BURNETT: Pretty amazing and moving story to remember all of those heroes who died that night.

And now to Ann Romney. Ann Romney has taken on a totally, well, maybe a different face than you might expect. We're calling it "attack Ann". This time, attacking the explanations for the president's weak debate performance. Here she is.


ANN ROMNEY, WIFE OF MITT ROMNEY: It's sort of like someone in the sand box who lost the game and they're going to kick sand in someone's face and say, you liar. I mean, it's like -- they lost and so they're going to say, OK, the game, you know, we didn't like the game.


BURNETT: And their tough talk maybe working. A new "Washington Post"/ABC News poll shows Ann Romney surging in popularity in the last few months. Her popularity rating was 43 percent back in April, 56 percent now.

Sort of like what happened to -- well, the first lady, when she was running. You may remember a few months before they won. She was not liked. But her ratings surged and she is now very popular. In fact, more popular than all the candidates and more popular than Ann Romney. Her numbers are unchanged, though, at 67 percent. Ann Romney's popularity, of course, is growing.

So, should the Obama campaign fear Ann, Mitt Romney's secret weapon? Or not so secret.

Michael Waldman and Reihan Salam are back with me.

OK, good to see both of you.

Michael, you know, Ann Romney, very visible. She was co-hosting "Good Morning America" today. By the way, I heard from some people may she should have just done that as her career because she was really good at it. She doesn't seem to be afraid to speak her mind. She's also feminine.

Is she effective?

MICHAEL WALDMAN, BRENNAN CENTER FOR JUSTICE, NYU: Yes, I think she helps Governor Romney. And, you know, very frequently, these spouses of these candidates help. They rarely do they hurt. But rarely, also, do they really affect the outcome of the election.

I mean, I think you could say that her poll numbers were affected by her speech at the convention, but they've also matched Governor Romney's recent rise and so, it's not really --


WALDMAN: -- that that's the case. BURNETT: And, Reihan, you know, Michelle Obama, when she was in Ann Romney's position in 2008, she was criticized. And I said their sort of surges were very similar.

Michelle Obama, her favorability rating was about 50 percent. She was an attack dog. It didn't work for her. The exact quote people may remember from Michelle Obama was, quote, "For the first time in my adult life, I'm proud of my country because it feels like hope is finally making a comeback." People slammed her for that.

She came back to an unprecedented approval rating.

But why is the attack thing seem to be working for Ann when it did not work for Michelle?

REIHAN SALAM, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: That's a really hard question to answer. One thing I'll recall is that when one of Mitt Romney's famous off-the-record comments, he said, we don't want to overexpose Ann because she's a very effective weapon for me, et cetera. And I think that that's something to be wary off.

It could be that a couple of jabs here and there -- because Ann Romney seems -- look, these two are incredibly close. You're seeing the campaign shaking up now because folks in Mitt Romney's own family are defending him, saying let Mitt be Mitt, that's kind of unusual because a lot of other politicians, they have a larger circle of loyalists who've been with them for a long time.


SALAM: So the relationship between Mitt and Ann is quite unusual -- they've known each other since they were teenagers. I will say --

BURNETT: They have a big, Mormon family. A lot of people in the inner circle --

SALAM: Absolutely. Absolutely. But I will say that Michelle Obama is a uniquely powerful surrogate for her husband. She really appeals to unmarried women. She has an unpretentious style that really matches well against President Obama's perceived arrogance.

So, I still say that in the battle of first lady surrogates, that Michelle Obama comes out on top.

BURNETT: You think Michelle, battle of the first? Which one?

WALDMAN: I think Michelle Obama is an extraordinary public figure and her speech to the convention in Charlotte was remarkable not only in the words, but in performance.

BURNETT: It was a great speech.

WALDMAN: Her TV ability was really quite remarkable.

BURNETT: You know, as a woman, I have to say, what if they ran against each other? Wouldn't that be a good thing, a better race? Hey, let us know, everyone, what you think, on Twitter.

Well, next, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency has come out with extensive evidence, a 202-page report, that shows Lance Armstrong, they say, ran the most sophisticated and successful doping program in the history of cycling. They say they have e-mails, they have proof, they have new drug tests.

So, does Armstrong stand by his claim that he never doped? His attorney, OUTFRONT next.

Plus, how much money should the president spend on his watch?


BURNETT: All right. Let's check in with Anderson Cooper with a look at what's coming up on "A.C. 360". Hi, Anderson.


Yes, we're keeping them honest tonight in the program.

An extraordinary interview you will not see anywhere else. My exclusive interview with Pat Smith, the mother of Sean Smith, one of the four murdered in the attack in the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya. Now, Pat smith wants answers about what happened to her only child that day. She feels she has been lied to by the government, starting with but ending with President Obama himself.

You're going to hear what the State Department has to stay tonight. It's a really devastating interview. You don't want to miss it.

A second keeping them honest report, also tonight, Dr. Sanjay Gupta goes looking for answers at ground zero of the deadly meningitis outbreak. No one would talk. You'd be surprised, thought, at where his investigation led him, with the company's connections to state regulatory boards.

We'll also speak with a woman whose mom died from the injections and her father who also fears he, too, may be infected.

That's all at the top of the hour, Erin, just about 11 minutes from now.

BURNETT: All right, Anderson. We'll see you then and looking forward to it.

And now, our fifth story OUTFRONT: "The most sophisticated, professionalized, and successful doping program the sport has ever seen." That's a quote.

Lance Armstrong is at the center of it all, according to the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency. The USADA says that the evidence against the seven-time Tour de France winner, cancer survivor, and cycling hero is overwhelming. More than 1,000 pages of documents, including emails, medical data, lab tests, and testimony from 11 teammates who have acknowledged their use of steroids while racing with Armstrong on the United States Postal Service team are now out there.

Lance Armstrong has consistently denied doping. Recently announced he would no longer fight the accusations because he just didn't think they deserved that anymore.

His attorney, Tim Herman, calls the report a witch hunt and he is OUTFRONT tonight.

Tim, good to see you and we appreciate your taking the time.

Sir, there is a mountain of evidence in this report, emails, medical reports, blood test. They say a new lab work that has been done and the testimony from 11 teammates.

How do you even begin to answer all these allegations?

TIM HERMAN, LANCE ARMSTRONG'S ATTORNEY: Well, I'll be honest with you, I've been talking to people in your profession most of the afternoon. We did not get a copy of the report until late. So, I know generally what's in the report, but I don't -- I'm not real deep in the weeds on the specifics and so forth.

So I don't see anything essentially new in this report. It is not a recent decision as you saw or refers to it. There is no -- they don't mention any exculpatory information. They don't talk about anybody they talk to that didn't totally cooperate with them.

And I find it -- go ahead. I'm sorry.

BURNETT: I just was saying. What about the teammates? I mean, teammates -- 11 former teammates have submitted sworn affidavits as part of this.

One of them is George Hincapie, who is perhaps Lance Armstrong's closest teammate, who said, I finally, their quote, "I would have been much more comfortable talking only about myself, but understood I was obligated to tell the truth about everything I knew. So that is what I did."

At what point does the evidence become too overwhelming?

HERMAN: Well, the evidence becomes overwhelming when it's fairly presented and the witnesses are able to be confronted and tested. Now, this same testimony and evidence was considered by the Justice Department in L.A. for about 18 months. And they decided to go no further.

Many of these same witnesses testified in an insurance case in 2006 which I tried.


HERMAN: And their testimony when tested was not credible.

Now you are correct, George Hincapie was not one of the persons who testified in '06, but I think that the thrust, at least as I understand it, and I haven't read his entire affidavit, the thrust is that -- is that he felt like he had to -- he had to engage in performance-enhancing drugs in order to level the playing field with the rest of the cyclists and that's how I understand it.


BURNETT: So, you're saying it's slightly different than saying, I'm sorry, slightly different than saying Lance Armstrong was doping himself, which is a very fair point.

But do you wonder, sir, that so many people have come forth, after so many years, why would they all be lying?

HERMAN: Well, I'm not suggesting that they are all lying. But I am suggesting that each witness needs to have confrontation and cross examination to test the accuracy of their recollection. Now, 30 pages of this report are devoted to other people who have been accused.

Now, the United States Anti-Doping Agency funded by U.S. tax dollars spending millions of dollars to go after Armstrong who is their target and who they have had a witch hunt in place since the mid-2000s. They -- you saw it does not have jurisdiction over this conduct and they don't have jurisdiction the five others who are all foreign nationals.


HERMAN: And so, it is a -- it's a witch hunt that has been on firmed on numerous occasions. But I --

BURNETT: All right. Well, sir, thank you very much for taking the time to come OUTFRONT tonight and share Lance Armstrong's side of the story.

Well, OUTFRONT next, $15,000 -- is it too much to pay for a watch? What about if you are the president of the United States of America?


BURNETT: The Neiman Marcus holiday catalog is out. It includes some big ticket items, including a $100,000 henhouse. I mean, this is real. This is real life for some weird people.

But the most expensive item in the catalog is actually his and hers watch set.

According to the store, the diamond incrusted watches come with a trip for two to Europe. The watch package is $1.1 million. Who the heck knew watches could be so expensive?

I mean, this weekend, we saw a story advertising Zenith Christophe Colomb in the "Financial Times" selling for $250,000. Maybe if it were called the Christopher Columbus, it would be, you know, 250 bucks.

And then there was (INAUDIBLE), whatever, going for half a million dollars.

But apparently, some people actually buy these things, which brings me to tonight's number: $19,100. That's how much dollars the magazine "Town & Country" says that two candidates for presidents spent combined on their watches.

According to the magazine, Mitt Romney wears a $3,500 TAG-Heuer Link and President Obama wears a discontinued TAG-Heuer Aquaracer that retails for $15,600. Wow.

We took the time to reach out to the campaigns. Mitt Romney got back to us immediately. "Town and Country," they say, nope, you are wrong. According to the Romney people, his $3,000 TAG is a $300 Nixon watch.

And we also finally heard back from the president's team on his watch. He says he had a watch from the Secret Service that was a gift. But he also owns a $500 TAG, not quite $19,000, closer to 1,000 bucks combined.

So, for the time being, we'll give both of the candidates the benefit of the doubt. But we'll be watching.

"ANDERSON COOPER 360" starts now.