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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
State of Presidential Race; Debate Body Language
Aired October 12, 2012 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening, everyone. It's 10:00 here on the East Coast.
And we begin tonight with new signs of where the presidential campaign now stands, where it could be heading and why Tuesday's town hall debate hosted by CNN's Candy Crowley could be vital. We have some new polling tonight, new insight as well.
Also, Mitt Romney's primary debate guru joins us. A former top Newt Gingrich adviser is here. So of course is Paul Begala, who helped Bill Clinton become president and is now working to keep Barack Obama president. All of it with an eye to Tuesday and beyond.
That's because Tuesday could be when President Obama regains the initiative which he lost on stage in Denver, or when Mitt Romney might consolidate his gains.
First, though, quickly, the event that really sets the table for Tuesday, last night's vice presidential debate, which depending on who you ask has either pulled President Obama's case for reelection off the critical list or vindicated Mitt Romney's choice as Paul Ryan as his running mate.
It really depends what side of the political aisle you stand on. "Keeping Them Honest," each debater had moments that didn't quite stand up to closer scrutiny.
First, Paul Ryan on the stimulus, which Vice President Biden called him on.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. PAUL RYAN (R-WI), VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Right now, if we just passed this stimulus, the economy would grow at 4 percent. It's growing at 1.3.
JOSEPH BIDEN, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I love my friend here. I -- I'm not allowed to show letters but go on our Web site, he sent me two letters saying, "By the way, can you send me some stimulus money for companies here in the state of Wisconsin?" We sent millions of dollars. You know...
MARTHA RADDATZ, MODERATOR: You did ask for stimulus money, correct? BIDEN: Sure he did. By the way...
RYAN: On two occasions we -- we -- we advocated for constituents who were applying for grants. That's what we do. We do that for all constituents who are...
BIDEN: I love that. I love that. This was such a bad program and he writes me a letter saying -- writes the Department of Energy a letter saying, "The reason we need this stimulus, it will create growth and jobs." His words. And now he's sitting here looking at me.
And, by the way, that program, again, investigated. What the Congress said was, it was a model, less than four-tenths of 1 percent waste or fraud in the program.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: You heard the vice president talk about two letters that Congressman Ryan sent requesting stimulus money for his district.
In fact, it was at least four letters, two of which CNN has and two The Huffington Post obtained using the Freedom of Information Act. This after he told Boston radio station WBZ back in 2010 that he is not -- and I quote -- "one of the people who votes for something, then writes the government to ask them to send us money."
So that's Congressman Ryan from last night.
As for Mr. Biden, he got tangled up in foreign policy, specifically the Libya killings. Martha Raddatz, the moderator, grilling him on security shortcomings in the administration's initial claim that the deadly attack was likely a spontaneous reaction to that anti-Muslim YouTube clip.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RADDATZ: Why did that go on for weeks?
BIDEN: That was exactly what we were told by the intelligence community. The intelligence community told us that. As they learned more facts about exactly what happened, they changed their assessment. That's why there's also an investigation headed by Tom Pickering, a leading diplomat from the Reagan years, who is doing an investigation as to whether or not there are any lapses, what the lapses were, so that they will never happen again.
RADDATZ: And they wanted more security there.
BIDEN: Well, we weren't told they wanted more security there.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Told, he says. "Keeping Them Honest," there is now sworn testimony that the request was, in fact, made. The former regional security officer in Libya second from the left there telling a congressional committee that he asked for additional security for Benghazi months before the attack, but was denied.
The White House today in what you might call damage control mode, saying Mr. Biden was speaking just for himself and President Obama when he said we weren't told.
Mitt Romney today called it doubling down on denial.
So those are two issues that are sure to come up again when the president and Governor Romney square off on Tuesday. And Tuesday, at least until it gets here, it means everything.
As we said, there's new polling, the debate fallout and always so close to the election, a lot more pieces in play.
Let's check in with John King at the magic wall to lay it all out.
It certainly seems like the race is now trending in Romney's favor demographically speaking. What is driving the ship?
JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, he's gaining in the suburbs, he's gaining among independents, he's gaining among older voters. When you add that up, what do you get? You get a shifting battleground state scenario.
Let's start with the latest evidence from the big prize of Florida. Look at these two new polls out just today. These are taken since the first presidential debate, Romney 49, Obama 46, within the margin of error but before that first debate, the president was ahead in Florida. Now Romney at least has pulled into a tie, maybe slightly ahead.
Here's to back it up a "Tampa bay Times"/"Miami Herald" poll, Even a bigger Romney lead. Clearly, Romney momentum. The Obama campaign says it's not that big in Florida, but he's pulling up into at least a tie, maybe slightly ahead. That's not all.
Let's start out in the West. You look at battleground state polls out here since the first debate. Nevada on your left, Colorado on your right. A dead heat in Nevada, A dead heat in Colorado. Romney's been doing well in the West holding his own. He's boosted his standing a bit since the first debate in the two battlegrounds out there.
Then you come over to the heartland, you look here in the state of Ohio, and you see here, again, he was down a lot in Wisconsin before the first presidential debate. That's Paul Ryan's home state. He's pulled into a statistical tie.
This one's a bit more troublesome for the Romney campaign. They are closer now in Ohio than they were before the first debate, but they're still behind. The president has kept a small but steady lead in the state of Ohio.
That one's a bit of a problem for Romney but he's at least closer from before the debate, after the debate. Let me show you one more in the state of Virginia because this state is critical to Romney's scenario. Again, he was down by a handful, in some polls even more before the first debate. Now he's one point ahead in this one, which tells you a statistical tie.
Anderson, just quickly, I want to show why that matters. Going into the first debate, Republicans were starting to get very nervous about this, the Electoral College map. But when you look at the improved polling now, the Romney scenario, they call it, three, two, one, is much more realistic.
What is three, two, one? Take the three states Obama won that have the most Republican DNA, they are Indiana, which we already lean Romney's way, North Carolina, which you would have to favor for him, now the state of Virginia with that improvement in the polls, now much more realistic to see.
If he gets those three, he's in play. Then you come to two. Florida and Ohio are the two, next big prize is in the Romney scenario. Ohio again still a trouble mark for them but they're making ground. Florida news is encouraging. If they get there, if they can do the three and then the two, Anderson, then all they need is any one of the other states.
So that's the key Romney scenario. The president still has an easier path to 270. Romney's prospects look a whole lot better now than they did just before that first debate.
COOPER: Is all of this as a result of that first presidential debate? Because all the narrative before that was how far in advance -- how far out front President Obama was, and now does one debate make that difference?
KING: It has made a difference. We will see if the second debate and the third debate make any difference. We will see in the polling in the next several days whether the V.P. debate made any factor.
But let me show you something else that happened. What we have seen is the polls are moving not so much on any wild swing of undecided voters but on the intensity of the partisans, meaning when Democratic intensity went up after the Democratic Convention, that's when the president pulled ahead. Republican intensity went up dramatically after the first debate. That's why Romney's back in play.
It's not just in the battleground states. You know, I have been to Michigan several times. We talked about can Governor Romney put Pennsylvania into play. Both of these states were out of reach, Michigan and Pennsylvania heading into the first debate. Look where they are now, a dead heat statistically anyway in the state of Michigan, and that's where Romney was born. His dad was governor. In Pennsylvania, a close race as well with the president on top. I'm a bit skeptical here. I want to see if this happens in a second and third poll, but this is very important, states like this suddenly being in play heading into the final couple of weeks because if the president has to start spending time and money defending Pennsylvania and defending Michigan, that means less time the president is spending in Florida, in Ohio, in the Western battlegrounds.
At the moment the map is expanding, finally, the Romney campaign would say, in its favor.
COOPER: Interesting. John, thanks.
Let's dig deeper. Let's look forward to round three of the debates on Tuesday, and where the campaign is headed.
We're joined by Patrick Millsaps, former chief of staff for Newt Gingrich's presidential campaign, and Paul Begala, senior adviser of a leading pro-Obama super PAC.
Paul, the latest from the state polls did come out after last week's debate, but they also came after surprisingly good jobs numbers. Yet Romney didn't just gain ground. He also got a boost on the question of which candidate is better suited to handle the economy. That's got to be a troubling sign for the president, no?
PAUL BEGALA, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Oh, absolutely.
This was an enormously consequential first debate. I think it makes the second and the third enormously consequential as well, but there's no doubt that the president has seen an erosion in his lead. I agree with everything John King just reported there.
Notice that in the vice presidential debate last night, one of the very first things that Joe Biden did when they turned toward the economy was raise the auto bailout. One out of eight jobs in Ohio is tied to the auto industry. Of the 88 counties in Ohio, 82 have automotive-related industries in those counties.
That's wildly popular in Ohio. The Obama campaign is making the case and I think they have got the better of the argument that the governor opposed, Governor Romney opposed the auto bailout. And that's I think an economics jobs issue that the Obama people are going to continue to push.
COOPER: Patrick, a good chunk of Governor Romney's bounce came from this rise in Republican enthusiasm after the debate. If the president is able to bounce back at the next one and move the needle on Democratic enthusiasm, what does that do to the Romney lead?
PATRICK MILLSAPS, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: I think Romney needs to look at this now and look at the battleground states that are the must-wins, Florida and Ohio. He's so centralized in Boston. I would send 100 people to Florida, 100 people to Ohio and just start gubernatorial races for the time being, because at that point that's how you get door-to-door retail politics. The debate last night was probably a draw, so it's not going to affect the numbers one way or the other. The concern I have going into the next debate is the format. While I said last week to you that this first format was in Romney's wheelhouse, this next town hall, it could be said that he's not the master of this domain. So I think that there needs to be some foundational work done at the retail politic level going into next week's debate.
COOPER: We will talk to a gentleman who has coached Romney in debates just to kind of give an inside look at what he may be doing and what President Obama may be doing.
But, Paul, we all saw signs this week there's suddenly a lot more states in play, including states that had supposedly been in the Obama column for months. Now, whether or not that's a temporary shift, what does it say about the strength of the president's support that those leads which, you know, two weeks ago seemed solid, evaporated so quickly?
BEGALA: Well, you still are 25 days out and you're going to have -- the movement has been very narrow. But the lead was very narrow.
So there's not very many people actually in play, even in those swing states. You're only talking about 4 percent probably of the vote in probably really only six states. I'm kind of with King on this. I don't believe that any of the states John Kerry carried are likely to be carried by Mitt Romney, maybe Michigan, maybe Pennsylvania. Take a look at them. I don't see it.
But that makes the electoral map much easier for the president. He needs the John Kerry states, J.K., plus Florida and nothing else, or plus Ohio and any one other state. That's a much easier map than that much more complicated inside straight that John drew, that three, two, one map Romney's got to draw.
COOPER: To that idea, Patrick, does it make sense then for Romney to devote resources to some of these other states, Michigan and elsewhere, where they now seem more in play, at the risk of sacrificing other states that he absolutely has to get?
MILLSAPS: Well, I think he's going to have to draw a line in the sand in Florida and Ohio, perhaps Colorado and North Carolina, and then after that, you know, depending on what the money is and depending on what the numbers do over the next week, that's when you make those decisions.
A lot of people think all this is in a smoke-filled room and we're going to plan out the next 10 days. A lot of times, you have to respond to what goes on in the world and you're seeing an engaged electorate now watching these debates. These debates matter. So I do think that they do need to draw a line in the sand with certain must- win states and then make decisions after that.
COOPER: Paul -- are you nervous, Paul, given you're obviously a huge supporter? You run this pro-Obama super PAC. Is there any concern on your side that this isn't just a debate, a good debate performance by Romney, that he's hit on some sort of formula that is working for him particularly among undecideds, independents?
BEGALA: Well, first off, I am paid to help reelect the president by this super PAC and I'm paid to worry, so of course I'm worried. Of course I'm nervous.
There's only two ways to run in America. And that is scared or unopposed. And, sadly, the president is not unopposed so I'm running scared. And I hope his team is running scared. You have to honor every threat. At Strategic Air Command, they have that on all the computers, honor every threat.
So, yes, of course. At the same time, there's not something fundamental here. The president didn't make some kind of extraordinary gaffe or some big mistake. There's nothing that's fundamental here. Unemployment hasn't gone up half a point or a full point.
It was I think the debate. I don't discount that. That was a terrific job by Governor Romney that night and not a very good job by my guy, Obama. But I think that's what's going on here. People gave him a second look, he rallied Republicans and some independents who lean Republican to his cause. The president's got to answer that in the next debate.
MILLSAPS: Anderson, I don't think we can discount Romney's performance as just a performance.
I think what he did in about an hour-and-a-half was basically discount $300 million of my friend Paul's money and others who tried to paint him as one thing and I think the country saw him as a real person who could stand toe to toe with the president of the United States and come with some ideas.
I don't discount what he did as simply a performance. I think that's underestimating what the effect of that debate was.
COOPER: OK. Paul, appreciate it. And, Patrick, very much good to have you on again. Thanks very much.
Let us know what you think. Follow me on Twitter right now @AndersonCooper. Let's tweet about this.
We're also going to look at what Joe Biden and Paul Ryan's bodies had to say during last night's debate, just some fascinating stuff. So much has been talked about Joe Biden, his laugh, the smile. You will hear from body language expert Amy Cuddy.
Plus, you will meet the man credited with turning Mitt Romney into a winning debater, next.
COOPER: Welcome back. "Raw Politics" now. Tuesday's town hall debate could provide another boost to Mitt Romney's momentum or stop it cold. Now, whichever, body language will almost certainly play a part. It has throughout debate history. It did in this year's first presidential debate. It certainly did last night.
In fact, it was as plain as the smile on Joe Biden's face or the water glass in Paul Ryan's hand.
Gary Tuchman watched the debate with Harvard social psychologist Amy Cuddy, not looking to pick a winner, only to spot a tell. Watch.
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: First of all, let's talk about the handshake. And this is important to you, right? What do we see here?
AMY CUDDY, HARVARD UNIVERSITY: Ryan is going in with his hand up a little bit farther. It's open and it's raised.
TUCHMAN: So, what does that tell you that his hand is raised?
CUDDY: Oh, he's trying to show that he's both strong and open. He's ready for this.
TUCHMAN: What is Biden showing us?
CUDDY: Biden is showing us that he's not scared. He doesn't need to come in like an alpha because he feels he already is an alpha.
TUCHMAN: One thing we saw during this debate, each candidate gets water. I assume it's water, not vodka or gin.
TUCHMAN: We saw the congressman drinking a lot of water. This is just time after time where we saw him picking up the glass and drinking water. Biden, on the other hand, was not so thirsty.
CUDDY: Yes. I can empathize because I have been in this situation. It makes me thirsty watching it. But he's nervous. This is a telltale sign of nerves.
TUCHMAN: It's not just meaning he's thirsty?
CUDDY: He's thirsty because he's nervous. And when you get nervous, your mouth becomes dry. And that's what's happening. So he's nervous.
What I thought was interesting is that it's actually the first thing he did when he sat down. So he was backstage, you know, 90 seconds earlier, yet still he had to come out and take a sip of water as soon as he sat down. TUCHMAN: We saw Congressman Ryan pick up that water glass a lot. But what we saw with the vice president of the United States, laughing, smiling. Ryan's talking, laughing, smiling. And these are different instances of him laughing, smiling, shaking his head.
What is this telling you that Joe Biden was doing?
CUDDY: OK. Different people are going to interpret this differently.
Certainly, it comes across as dismissive. Joe Biden has some of the most authentic nonverbals. He comes across as very real, almost too -- I mean, it's both a blessing and a curse.
TUCHMAN: One are the nonverbals you're talking about that's significant is what he's doing with his hands. What is this all about?
CUDDY: Yes. This is interesting because he's smiling, but what he's doing with his hands where he's pulling them up close to his face and actually touching his face is something that you do when you're feeling a little bit threatened and you are sort of protecting yourself.
TUCHMAN: You're telling me, Amy, that Paul Ryan raises his eyebrows a lot. What is the significance of that? And show me what you mean, where -- like right there, right?
CUDDY: His eyebrows are raised and his brow is furrowed. His eyes are wide. And all of that indicates surprise.
CUDDY: This is the facial expression that is universally associated with surprise across cultures. The problem is that when you overuse it, it is as if you're writing an e-mail in all caps.
TUCHMAN: Now, we're talking about how he looked nervous and anxious. Here, though, you think this is significant because he doesn't look nervous and anxious. What does he look like here?
CUDDY: I think he looks concerned and empathic. His eyes are soft and he has a sort of puppy dog look, just the way that his eyebrows are shaped here, the way that his eyes are shaped.
TUCHMAN: You think it would serve him well and Joe Biden well, for that matter, if they looked like this more often?
CUDDY: I don't know if Joe Biden can look like this.
TUCHMAN: Well, would it have served him well to have looked more like this?
CUDDY: Yes, I do. I think that this is where he demonstrates his warmth and his ability to connect.
TUCHMAN: What was interesting about the debate is Paul Ryan didn't seem to get angry. Joe Biden did. Let's listen for a second.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BIDEN: We did not pull them out.
RYAN: The calendar works the same every year.
BIDEN: It does work the same every year.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CUDDY: The eyebrows come together and the eyes narrow and that is classic anger.
TUCHMAN: OK. So in their closing statements, both candidates, you think, were very interesting.
TUCHMAN: Let's watch Joe Biden's expressions during his close. He's looking down. He's not looking at the camera. Not smiling.
CUDDY: It looks genuine and he has softened it. He's been up here for most of the debate and now he's taken the energy level down here, and then I think this is really interesting.
TUCHMAN: Like the Pledge of Allegiance.
CUDDY: He puts his hand on his heart. That's sort of, I feel you. That's a way of saying, I feel you, I'm with you.
TUCHMAN: Paul Ryan's close was much different than Joe Biden's. Tell me how.
CUDDY: This seems a little bit more scripted than he was for the rest of the debate.
So what you see is that he's looking right into the camera. You again, though, see the eyebrows raised and you see the furrowed brow. I think he's showing surprise when probably it's not the right emotion to be showing.
TUCHMAN: And now it's time to sum it up. Tell us what Joe Biden did well, what he did poorly.
CUDDY: So Joe Biden needed to come on strong, which he did. He was aggressive, he didn't let himself get walked all over, but sometimes, he got too aggressive.
He also -- the dismissive smiles worked well in some cases and in other cases, they were over the top and seemed condescending and flippant.
TUCHMAN: Paul Ryan, what did he do well and what poorly?
CUDDY: So, Paul Ryan I think was very composed. I think he came across as composed without being stiff. He was a novice. Clearly he was nervous. And we saw some signs of that. But he kept it together. I thought he was very professional and respectful.
TUCHMAN: All in all, more interesting debate than last week?
CUDDY: Much more interesting. Much more entertaining to watch.
COOPER: Such interesting stuff.
That was professor Amy Cuddy and 360's Gary Tuchman.
When Mitt Romney was struggling in the primaries, he turned it around with a strong debate performance in Florida. You may remember that. A lot of political professionals credit my next guest, Brett O'Donnell, as the man behind that debate performance. He helped Mr. Romney get ready.
And he joins us now to talk about the factors that may spell success for Romney or for President Obama on Tuesday, as well as what could doom each to failure.
I appreciate you being with us.
I know there's a lot of stuff obviously that you learned about Governor Romney that you won't be discussing, which is obviously totally fine. I wouldn't expect you to spill all the beans. But we just heard about body language, nonverbal communication. In your opinion, how critical is that to the perceived outcome of a debate?
BRETT O'DONNELL, FORMER ROMNEY DEBATE STRATEGIST: Well, audiences report they take as much as 65 percent of meaning in a communications experience, including debates, from how people say things, not just what they say.
COOPER: So, 65 percent? Wow.
O'DONNELL: Yes. So body language is very important. It's very important to think about how you communicate, not just what you communicate.
COOPER: Most people will say that Romney was the winner of last week's debate. You say the winner of the first debate is typically viewed as the winner of all the debates. But George W. Bush, who you advised, was able to come back from a less than stellar first debate. How did he do that?
O'DONNELL: Well, I think he started paying attention to how he communicated. You know, in the first debate, President Bush laid on the podium, he sighed, he had some really bad nonverbal behaviors which indicated he, like President Obama last week, was not very interested in the process, didn't really want to be there and hadn't devoted much time to preparation.
And then he stepped up his game and in the town hall debate, and the final debate, made a big comeback.
COOPER: When you work with somebody, do you -- you're focusing both on sort of getting them to say things in a way that's most effective, but you also are focusing on body language. You talk about both aspects of this, yes?
We're focused on delivering a message, and that message has to be clearly communicated and not obstructed by anything they do with their body, not obstructed by anything they say. The language has to be clear and how they communicate it has to be clear.
COOPER: Do you show videotapes of clients to themselves, so they see what other people see?
You know, I did that with President Bush, did it with Senator McCain. Show them videotapes of those -- it's the best way for them to actually see the truth of how they communicate. And it's the best way for them to start identifying things they need to work on.
COOPER: I better start watching some videotapes of myself on the air. I haven't done that in awhile.
So when it comes to next week's debate, I know your experience obviously is coaching GOP candidates, but if you were coaching the president now, what would you be having him do, what would you be telling him to avoid because again, this town hall kind of format is very different than what we saw last week?
O'DONNELL: Yes. I think the town hall format is sort of fraught with potential land mines for the president because everybody is saying he's got to get on offense, he's got to be more aggressive.
But in a town hall debate when the audience is right there in front of you, right around you, and they are part of the debate, it's really difficult to go totally on offense and be aggressive with your opponent when you have audience members asking questions. It could look weird, it could be offensive. I think it's something he's going to have to be very careful of.
COOPER: I was looking at old debates of the first President Bush and also I guess it was Governor Clinton at that point, and Clinton was such a master at kind of going toward the person who was asking the question, and really kind of feeling their, you know, the situation they were in, expressing that.
And there was a moment I remember when President Bush was asked about how the bad economy has affected him and he couldn't really come up with anything, and the person kept asking him and he seemed very distant from people. O'DONNELL: Well, he actually didn't really understand the question, it seemed, and so he seemed very distant.
And, of course, Governor -- or then Governor Clinton followed it up with a home run answer, which is where we sort of branded him with the ability to feel your pain. He communicated on a level that seemed like no one else in the world was in that conversation but Governor Clinton at that point and the audience member.
And it was a great moment for him. That's the kind of moment that both the president and Governor Romney are looking for in these debates, to show they can actually connect with the voters in the audience that night.
COOPER: How nervous do candidates get, I don't need any names, but before a debate? They have done this before, they have obviously given a ton of speeches, but they are human beings. How nervous do they get?
O'DONNELL: And we forget that sometimes. They are human, and they do get very nervous.
And some of them have different rituals or things that they will do to try to relieve that nervousness. Prepping a candidate for a debate is really about prepping them in three areas. It's making sure they know the things they need to know. It's making sure you have a strategy going into the debate, in terms of message that you're going to advance and how you're going to execute advancing that message, what attacks you will use.
But the final and probably most important thing is having them mentally prepared, making sure that they're ready to go out and stand under those lights and execute that strategy.
I just find it fascinating stuff. It would be great to watch a debate with you sometime. Brett O'Donnell, appreciate you being on. Thank you.
O'DONNELL: Good to be with you.
COOPER: With less than four weeks to go until Election Day, Paul Ryan's wife, Janna, continues to keep a very low profile on the campaign trail. She gives virtually no interviews. She does come from a family of prominent Democrats, you might be interested to learn.
And I guess the question is, has she left those roots behind? Tom Foreman takes an up-close look at her ahead.
COOPER: Lance Armstrong in a mess of doping allegations. Eleven of his former teammates, including Tyler Hamilton, testified against him. Hamilton joins me for a 360 exclusive interview coming up. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
COOPER: Up close tonight, a Ryan you did not get to see onstage last night until the debate was over. The families of Paul Ryan and Joe Biden chatted and smiled a lot after the 90-minute verbal slugfest. The Ryan kids tried out the debate chairs.
Jill Biden is probably a familiar face to you. She's been in the public for years now, but voters are just getting to know Paul Ryan's wife, Janna. She's kept a pretty low-key profile on the campaign trail. Her story, though, is very intriguing, considering her Democratic political roots. Here's Tom Foreman.
MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Let's have the beautiful ladies come up here. Ann, Janna, come up.
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Even when the spotlight is turned on Janna Ryan, it does not reveal many details. Ever since her husband was picked for the V.P. slot, she has seemed content to play the role of a 43-year-old small-town wife and mother.
PAUL RYAN (R), VICE-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Janna, our daughter Liza, our sons Charlie and Sam. We live on the block we grew -- I grew up on.
FOREMAN: But her story is much more complicated. Janna Little, her maiden name, grew up in the tiny railroad and farming down of Madill, Oklahoma, the daughter of two lawyers, prominent, well-to-do Democrats. Her uncle, David Lauren, is a former Democratic governor and U.S. senator. Her first cousin, Dan Lauren, is a Democratic congressman.
Earlier in her career, she was a congressional aide for Democrat Bill Brewster from Oklahoma. Mind you, being a Democrat in her home state is not necessarily like being one in Washington.
LESLIE BELCHER, JANNA RYAN'S FRIEND: An Oklahoma Democrat in a lot of respects is more conservative than a lot of Republicans.
FOREMAN: Her long-time close friend, Leslie Belcher, says she's not even sure of Janna's political affiliation, but Janna has friends of all political stripes.
BELCHER: Janna is very easygoing. She's very friendly. Janna is probably the most approachable person I have ever met.
FOREMAN: Janna went to school at Wellesley College outside Boston, just like her mother and Hillary Clinton. And after that she was off to get a law degree in Washington.
(on camera) While working in D.C., she acquired a reputation as a smart, up-and-coming lobbyist. Then in 1999, her professional life took a turn toward the personal side. She met the young first-term Republican representative, Paul Ryan. BELCHER: She was very starry-eyed, very smitten with him. I think he with her. They both have a lot of similar interests and a lot in common. There was not any conflict at all between them, I think in regards to their interests, their backgrounds, what they held important for their futures.
FOREMAN (voice-over): He took her hunting, proposed at a favorite fishing hole, and they married a year later. Leslie was a bridesmaid. The wedding?
FOREMAN: The Ryans set up house in his hometown in Wisconsin, raising three children with an old-fashioned vision of the American dream.
RYAN: Janna and I tell Liza, Charlie and Sam that America is a place where, if you work hard and play by the rules, you can get ahead.
FOREMAN: In terms of politics, they speak with one voice. His. She grants virtually no interviews and politely declined even Mitt Romney's invitation to speak to a campaign crowd.
In some of her few recent public comments, she told "People" magazine she loves a good bargain, and of her husband, she said, "He's pretty low maintenance. Paul is someone who goes with the flow and has one of the sunniest demeanors and most positive outlooks of anyone I've ever met."
Still, is she ready for what this campaign is bringing her way?
BELCHER: I think she's extremely comfortable with it.
FOREMAN: Tom Foreman, CNN, Washington.
COOPER: Well, now a 360 exclusive. Tyler Hamilton, the former teammate who blew the whistle on Lance Armstrong, is speaking out tonight.
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COOPER: What do you want to say to Lance Armstrong?
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COOPER: His answer just ahead.
COOPER: New and dramatic developments in the battle for Syria. Details ahead on 360.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) COOPER: In our exclusive tonight, our big 360 interview. Tyler Hamilton, a former teammate of Lance Armstrong, speaks out tonight against the seven-time Tour De France winner. It's his first interview since the findings of a doping investigation were released this week that may cost Armstrong his titles.
Hamilton, a former top-rated cyclist, rode with Armstrong and the U.S. Postal Service team from 1998 to 2001. But for years, he says, he admits he lied about his own doping, but last year, he finally admitted he'd used performance-enhancing drugs.
In his book, "The Secret Race," Hamilton describes an incredibly dark side of his sport. Hamilton and ten other former teammates testified in the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency's investigation of Armstrong.
Now to this day, Armstrong denies ever doping. His lawyer calls the report a witch hunt. The report, though, showed just how strong the doping case against Armstrong appears to be. Here's my exclusive interview with Tyler Hamilton.
COOPER: Tyler, something I think that a lot of people don't understand is why Lance Armstrong would dope. I mean, he's an amazingly naturally gifted athlete. He was a triathlon champion as a teenager. And even after his cycling career, he was dominating the pro triathlon circuit. So I mean, what -- what made him want to dope?
TYLER HAMILTON, FORMER TEAMMATE OF LANCE ARMSTRONG: I mean, that's a good question. I can't speak, you know, directly for Lance.
You know, what I can tell you is for myself, when I came into the sport at the top tier, in 1997, it was introduced to me as, you know, for a recovery, and that's how it started. It started with a small pill of testosterone, and then it just went up and up and up from there.
In a way I was excited, going into the other day, to get all this information out there, but I quickly sort of changed tunes. It was -- it was a sad day.
COOPER: What about it makes you the most sad?
HAMILTON: Just reading each of the individuals, what they went through, how it was introduced to them. A lot of these younger guys were pressured into it. It seems like there was, from what they said, a lot more pressure put on them than there was on me.
COOPER: Well, it seems like Lance...
HAMILTON: That's tough.
COOPER: ... pressured a lot of the people, a lot of the younger riders to go ahead and do it, if not to help them, to support him. And I mean, even the doctors who were on the team were really his doctors. HAMILTON: Yes, that's fair to say. I mean, the first time I ever blood doped was with Lance. And it was certainly for Lance, basically. You know, it was -- I blood doped myself, you know. It was done by the team, but it was done for the Tour De France so I could be a good teammate for Lance Armstrong.
I mean, a lot of it, he wanted you to be riding at your best in the biggest races. And for Lance, it was all about winning the Tour De France.
COOPER: A lot of the detail's in your book, but what surprised me is the depth of the conspiracy and the risks that the team was taking to get the drugs and evade the drug tests. In particular, there was a person referred to as Moto Man. Who was that? And what did he do? What was his role?
HAMILTON: Yes, Moto Man was -- he was Lance's gardener in the late '90s, early 2000s. And it was, let's see, even in the year 1999, we had discussed with this guy Felipe, he lived in southern France, in Nice, France, and he was -- he rode motorcycles. And he was going to deliver EPO us during the Tour De France. Either at the hotels or right after the stage at our team bus.
COOPER: So he would actually follow the tour on his motorcycle and deliver EPO to you guys?
HAMILTON: Yes. Yes. Yes. There was too -- there was way too much risk to take it in our suitcases or have the team have it in their -- in the team bus or the team cars. So the only way to keep it close, yet out of the hands of the postal service staff or riders was to, you know, this was our plan at the time. Unfortunately, it worked.
COOPER: One of the things Lance Armstrong has always said is, "Look, I was tested hundreds of times. I passed." You were tested, and I guess a lot of people wondering how you would over and over beat the test.
HAMILTON: Yes. We had good team doctors, and the team doctors told us what we could take, when we could take it, how long it would stay in our system. If you followed those simple rules, 99 times out of 100 we're going to pass.
COOPER: In your book, you say the governing body of cycling knew that Armstrong was doping, actually had positive tests but simply looked the other way. They deny that, but if that's true, why would they allow Armstrong and others to dope and do nothing about it?
HAMILTON: That's a question for Burt Heidelberg (ph) and Pamela Quaid (ph), and the governing body of the sport, the UCI. But what I do know is yes, back in '99, there was a positive test for cortisone that was covered up with a back-dated prescription. You're allowed to take cortisone if you have a prescription for it.
COOPER: Lance Armstrong got tested, and he tested positive for cortisone and he got a doctor to update a prescription, or got them to back-date a prescription, saying it was for saddle sores?
HAMILTON: Yes, it is. Back-date a prescription. Correct. And the UCI knew what was going on. And they allowed this back-dated prescription to happen.
COOPER: Lance Armstrong hasn't spoken since the ruling was issued. We obviously asked him to come on the program tonight. His people declined. They have put out a statement essentially saying that all the riders have come forward, that they're either -- this is a publicly funded witch hunt, a taxpayer-funded witch hunt, that the riders are in it for a variety of nefarious reasons or self- promotional reasons. What do you want to say to Lance Armstrong?
HAMILTON: No. Did he call us liars? No, probably not. He's got some -- he's got you know, I understand it's hard. I lied for a long, long time. You know, you start believing some of your lies. He's gotten himself really backed into a corner. I feel for the guy.
But I know, speaking from what I went through, coming out and telling the truth, it feels great. People will eventually forgive Lance Armstrong. He's a hero to many. And sure, he's disappointed some people, but again, people will forgive.
COOPER: I'm curious to know when you look at him, because honestly, after reading this report and the details of it, on the evidence, it's just, it is overwhelming. And you know, I would see a picture of him and I was kind of looking at him in a different way. I'm wondering when you see him, what do you see? Do you see a hero?
HAMILTON: You know, maybe I'm not the best person to answer that question. Lance and I have been through a lot together. He's tried to intimidate me a year and a half ago in a restaurant in Aspen, Colorado. I'm definitely not his biggest fan. So maybe you should ask somebody else.
COOPER: Fair enough.
HAMILTON: I don't really care to say anything to Lance.
COOPER: It's interesting, though, you feel like when you did finally come forward, that a weight was lifted.
HAMILTON: Anderson, it was huge. It was huge. You know, I had been lying since my positive test back in 2004. Part of the reason for lying was to protect -- well to continue with the Omerta, the code of silence within the top tier of cycling over there in Europe.
COOPER: It's interesting you call it the Omerta. It sounds almost like the mafia, the Omerta, the code of silence.
HAMILTON: Yes. Well, it is a bit of a mafia. It's a powerful group. You know, if you -- you can say the wrong thing and next thing you know, you don't have, you know, you're doing well racing, racing along, then you say the wrong thing about the wrong person and next thing you know, you don't have a contract for the next year. And no other teams want to talk to you.
COOPER: Does doping still go on like this? Obviously testing has become more advanced.
HAMILTON: I think it's a lot cleaner than it was, certainly. And that's definitely encouraging. But some of that stuff that I've read recently doesn't -- I think it's a lot better but I don't think we're -- that cycling is out of the woods yet. I think there's still room for improvement.
COOPER: Hamilton Tyler, I appreciate you talking tonight. Thank you, Tyler.
HAMILTON: Thank you, Anderson.
COOPER: We're going to put that whole interview up on our Web site, AC360.com.
Coming up, nightmarish case of child abuse in Texas. A woman pleads guilty to, among other things, super gluing her 2-year-old daughter's hands to a wall. Her sentence when we continue.
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Gary Tuchman with a "360 Bulletin."
Police say a single gunshot was fired at an Obama campaign office in Denver, Colorado, today, shattering the window. No one was hurt, and the president was in Washington at the time.
An opposition activist in Syria tells CNN that rebel forces took forces took 256 government soldiers as prisoners after a battle with government troops that lasted for several hours in northern Syria. As always, the video is unverified, because so few outside reporters can make it into the country.
A Texas mother pleaded guilty and has been sentenced to 99 years in prison in a horrifying child abuse case. Authorities say Elizabeth Escalona super-glued her 2-year-old daughter's hands to a wall and beat her over potty-training troubles. The little girl suffered a severe brain injury and was temporarily in a coma.
And the numbers align for a newborn baby in Iowa. Little Leila weight eight pounds, nine ounces when she was born on 10/11/12 yesterday at the military time of 1314. That's all true. And guess what? Leila's brother Jackson was born last year on 9/10/11. Of course -- Anderson.
COOPER: Thanks. I hear Gary's guilty of the so-called pocket dialing, as are many people. I've actually pocket-tweeted. I'm more of a pocket-tweeter myself. Anyway, it's the subject of tonight's "RidicuList" next.
COOPER: Yes, it's that time of the program, the "RidicuList." And tonight, we're adding a modern-day phenomenon of pocket dialing, also known colloquially as butt dialing.
Now, back in the good old days, it was nearly impossible to accidentally call someone with your rear, especially on a rotary phone. But now that there's a cell phone in virtually every back pocket in America, butt dialing apparently happens all the time, so much so that T-Mobile even put it in one of its commercials.
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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, guess who it is? It's your butt.
Hey, butt. OK, I'll tell him. Your butt says to get rid of that phone you're sitting on and get one of these.
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COOPER: Now, it's one thing if you pocket dial a friend, maybe a relative, but a new report says there's an epidemic of people actually butt dialing 911, and it's overwhelming emergency call centers.
Of course, daily, 40 out of every 100 911 calls are accidental. Forty out of 100. That's a total of 100 million butt dials to 911 last year, according to this report.
Now, in New York City alone, 911 operators reportedly get more than 10,000 butt dials a day. The president of a consulting group that works to improve 911 call centers has the following tips.
Take 911 off speed dial. Put your iPhone on lock. And if you do accidentally call 911, stay on the line so you can confirm it's not an emergency.
And as is usually the case, Jimmy Kimmel has the most cogent commentary.
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JIMMY KIMMEL, LATE-NIGHT HOST: It's a huge problem for emergency responders. They're getting so many unintentional calls they're having trouble keeping up with the real ones so they put out this PSA today that they're hoping will make people more aware of this.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Accidental dialing is overwhelming America's 911 call centers, delaying first responders to real emergencies. This butt is responsible for 800 accidental calls. This one, 3,700 calls. And this monster, 7,400 accidental calls. Your fat (EXPLETIVE DELETED) is killing people. Hold the phone.
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COOPER: I really can't add to that, so have a nice weekend and here's hoping your back pocket stays safe and sound, emergency-free, and let's hope they keep their thoughts to themselves.
That's it for us. "ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT" starts now.