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Immigration Politics; Transformational Or Overrated?; Blaming The NRA: Does It Add Up?

Aired January 28, 2013 - 19:00   ET


ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: OUTFRONT next, cooperation in Washington. No, really, this is not a joke tonight, Republicans and Democrats coming together with a major bipartisan move. This is a major deal, and the fight may be coming.

Plus, President Obama called Hillary Clinton one of the finest secretaries of state in American history. But guess what? Not everybody thinks that's true.

And later in the show, a follow up to last week's OUTFRONT investigation, a Catholic hospital says life begins at birth, not conception. Let's go OUTFRONT.

Good evening, everyone. I'm Erin Burnett. Happy Monday. OUTFRONT tonight, pigs are flying. Tonight, there is bipartisanship in Washington. Pigs are flying, and it's really an absolutely gorgeous sight. They thought they had an ice storm, but really it was just pigs.

What has caused them to take to the skies, you ask, immigration. A group of eight senators, a gang some might say, unveiled a new immigration reform plan today, and this is pretty amazing. You have Marco Rubio on the same page as Chuck Schumer. Yes, we told you pigs are in the air, and Senator Schumer has high hopes for this proposal.


SENATOR CHUCK SCHUMER (D), NEW YORK: We believe this will be the year Congress finally gets it done. The politics on this issue have been turned upside down. For the first time ever, there's more political risk in opposing immigration reform than in supporting it.


BURNETT: But like everything else in Washington, not everyone is on board. Take Republican Senator Mike Lee. He quickly issued this statement in opposition to the gang's plan. Here's what he said.

Reforms to our complex and dysfunctional immigration system should not in any way favor those who came here illegally over the millions of applicants who seek to come here lawfully.

The problem is without reform, there are 11 million people who are undocumented who are living in this country right now, and you can't just support them all. That's why everyone has always hit a big wall until the pigs started flying today.

Miguel Marquez spoke to some young people today and here are their stories. This issue is very personal.


MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Three young Latinos, they look, sound, and say they feel like Americans. They're not.

ROLANDO ZENTENO, ARMSTRONG UNIVERSITY FRESHMAN: I identify myself with the American culture, but at the same time, the American society is like, no, you're not a part of us.

MARQUEZ: Rolando Zenteno was brought here as a 7-year-old from Mexico wants to be a journalist. He was arrested in 2011. Protesting legislation here that would limit access to a college education. He wants a clear path to citizenship.

ZENTENO: Hopefully, the Obama administration does something different this time. He promised something in the first days of his administration. He failed.

MARQUEZ (on camera): It sounds like you don't trust any politicians.

ZENTENO: I honestly don't.

MARQUEZ (voice-over): Mariana Reyes, her father a mechanic, her mother a hairstylist, wants to be a lawyer. Brought here as a 10- year-old, she's now qualified for the Deferred Action program. It allows students brought here as kids to apply for temporary legal status, 1.8 million young people like Mariana could be eligible.

(on camera): You're taken care of though?


MARQUEZ: Is your family?

REYES: My parents are not. That's one of the things that scares me the most.

MARQUEZ (voice-over): Jesus Arroyo, a senior wants to be a doctor, brought here as an 11-year-old. He's now applying for Deferred Action, but feels trapped between two worlds.

JESUS ARROYO, ARMSTRONG UNIVERSITY OF SENIOR: It's amazing to see that, you know, they're willing to help us now because all my life, I have been here. Not knowing what's going to be in my future, not knowing where I'm going to go.

MARQUEZ: Three kids wanting a piece of the American dream, all three watching, hoping that dream becomes reality. Miguel Marquez, CNN, Savannah, Georgia. (END VIDEOTAPE)

BURNETT: Tom Tancredo is a former Republican congressman from Colorado and Maria Cardona is a Democratic strategist and contributor for us. I appreciate both of you taking the time.

Representative Tancredo, let me start with this. John McCain is part of this bipartisan group. As I said, a lot of people together you might not expect to be standing at the same podium. But here's what he said about why Republicans have to do this deal and do this deal now.


SENATOR JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: Elections, elections. The Republican Party is losing the support of our Hispanic citizens. And we realize that there are many issues in which we think we are in agreement with our Hispanic citizens, but this is a preeminent issue for those citizens.


BURNETT: Obviously, when you look at the election last time, President Obama got 71 percent of the Latino vote, Mitt Romney, 27 percent. Is John McCain right?

TOM TANCREDO, FORMER U.S. REPRESENTATIVE (R), COLORADO: No, he really isn't. He's no more right this time than he was back in, what, '87, when he and another gang tried to put together a very similar bill. He and a member of that time of it was called the McCain- Kennedy bill, very similar in every respect to what I have seen so far.

I must admit I haven't seen the whole thing, but from what I heard about it, very, very similar. At any rate, it's the same rhetoric, and it's just as wrong today as it was then. The reason, I mean, this is amazing, honestly.

Somehow, Republicans, many Republicans, McCain being one of them, have been led to believe that all we have to do as Republicans is soften the stance on immigration, and we will begin to erode the Democrat base that exists in the Hispanic community. Certainly, there is nothing to prove that.

Honestly, nothing, not one shred of evidence. Not one poll ever taken shows Hispanics saying, yes, that's it. Hispanics vote for Democrats for exactly the same reason that other people vote for Democrats. They want bigger government, got nothing to do with immigration.

BURNETT: I want to get Maria's response. So in a word, if you would, do you think -- what is your problem with it as you perceive it? Do you think that the 11 million people here that there should be no path to citizenship?

TANCREDO: My goodness, why would you give -- the most important, the most valuable thing we hand out to people who come here legally, that is citizenship, why would you do this to them? Why would you be so unfair as to say, we're going to take that one thing, the best thing we give you for doing it the right way, and give it to people who did not do it the right way. It is not fair.

BURNETT: All right, Maria, let me ask you a question about what the president is actually going to do about this and let me get this -- I want to play a sound bite for you. This is what Democratic Representative Luis Gutierrez told CNN today about what the president is going to do on immigration.


REPRESENTATIVE LUIS GUTIERREZ (D), ILLINOIS: The important thing on Friday's meeting, quite honestly, is that the president said he's going to make this his top priority, his number one priority.


BURNETT: All right, Maria, here July 8, 2008, the president of the United States speaking to the league of Latin American citizens. Again, July 8, 2008, here he is on immigration.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: I will make it a top priority in my first year as president.


BURNETT: Trust him this time?

MARIA CARDONA, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: I do, Erin and for a couple reasons. First of all, I think the president knows who he owes in large part his re-election. That is to the 71 percent of Latinos who got him re-elected. The second thing is let's thing back to July of 2008.

That was way before the economy went into freefall, so he had a couple other priorities he had to deal with when he first came into office. And the third thing, Erin, is that this president wants this as his legacy. And he has said that he wants it to be a priority, even during the re-election, he talked about this, so he knows that now he has a debt to pay.

The Republicans need to do this as a necessity, and with all due respect to the congressman, this is absolutely an issue of electoral survival for the Republican Party. The congressman is right that this isn't the only thing that Republicans need to soften up their tone on, but if this isn't something they get done for the Latino community, they're not going to listen to them on anything else.

BURNETT: Congressman Tancredo, here is my problem just intellectually with where you're coming from and this is a complicated issue, but I don't understand. These people are already here. You're not going to be able to pick them up and move them all out. I mean, that's not practical. So if you start from that point of view, how are you ever going to get a deal?

TANCREDO: If I could give you a very simple and I think incredibly efficient way of dealing with this issue, one that does not require rounding people up or anything else of that nature. But nonetheless, would certainly solve the biggest part of the problem.

If I could give that to you, would you at least agree with me there is an alternative? And here is what I'm suggesting and have been suggesting for yours. It's something called e-verify. If you mandate e-verify for every employer in this country, you're doing a couple things.

You're doing a big, big favor for the people who are here legally and can't get work. You're doing a big favor for immigrants who are here legally and can't get work, and you are of course dealing with this issue in the most humane issue possible.

If you come the right way, you get the job. If your Social Security number is not right, you can't. You know, you have to go home. You'll have to take care of this yourself.

They will self-deport, but because that is the easiest and certainly the most efficient way of dealing with it, we will never use it, but it's the best way, and it doesn't require rounding people up.

BURNETT: All right, thanks -- I have to leave it there. Thanks very much to both of you. Interesting points of view, and of course, interesting when you take that and you put it next to those kids Miguel Marquez spoke to, a tough issue and certainly not black and white.

Still to come, new developments in a story we reported last week. A Catholic hospital has defied the church and declared life begins at birth and not at conception.

Plus, Iran launches its space program's first manned rocket, is planet of the apes on its way?

And why at least one former administration official disagreed with the president when he says this.


PRESIDENT OBAMA: I think Hillary will go down as one of the finest secretaries of states we've had.



BURNETT: Our second story, OUTFRONT, transformational or overrated? So which word better describes the legacy of Hillary Rodham Clinton as secretary of state? President Obama certainly seems to think the first option is what he'd select.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) PRESIDENT OBAMA: I think Hillary will go down as one of the finest secretaries of states we've had.


BURNETT: Not everyone agrees. A former administration official tells the "Los Angeles Times," and I want to quote them, it's tough to see what has happened in world politics over the last four years that wouldn't have happened without her.

So it's tough to see how she gets into the category of truly great, transformational secretaries. And I want to know in this article in the "Los Angeles Times" that all of the people who were critical of Secretary Clinton spoke as, you know, unnamed former officials.

People who were complementary were willing to go by name that sort of how this topic is. Peter Brookes is the former deputy assistant secretary of defense in the Bush administration.

Ann Marie Slaughter is a former director of Policy Planning at the State Department, she worked for Secretary Clinton. OK, great to have both of you. Peter, what do you think? We saw this article today in the "Los Angeles Times." I have not seen many articles questioning at all the tenure of Secretary Clinton. This was the first.

PETER BROOKES, SENIOR FELLOW FOR NATIONAL SECURITY AFFAIRS, HERITAGE FOUNDATION: Well, I'm not a diplomatic historian, but I think some of the fawning has been over the top. I mean, we saw this at her hearing over Benghazi. We saw this, you know, I think, when she also introduced John Kerry.

I mean, think you have to -- it's too early to say in terms of a legacy, but I think if you look at the record, there are a lot of problems that happened during her tenure. I would say things like Syria, the lack of progress on Iran, you know, North Korea, and the Russian relationship.

I mean, you can go on and on and on. But it's fair to say this is a very tough job, and each secretary of state gets a different set of circumstances they have to deal with, so it's very difficult to compare them.

BURNETT: Anne Marie, what is your point of view? I mean, maybe this comes from her approval rating is something anybody on the planet, a celebrity would be happy to have, right? But it has become sort of the untouchable thing to say, you know what? Maybe she wasn't the best ever. Maybe she wasn't perfect?

ANNE MARIE SLAUGHTER, PROFESSOR OF POLITICS AND INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS, PRINCETON UNIVERSITY: I don't know if she was the very best ever. I mean, that's an unbelievable major competition, but she was fabulous. I mean, she restored our standing in the world, and she has put diplomacy back out front, right? We are now once again leading diplomatically. She's put together coalitions, you know, against North Korea, against Iran. I really think she has been fabulous. Look at her boss thinks so. I'm not sure what more you need from that.

BURNETT: Let me just throw out a few of the recent things that have happened. Obviously, the Israeli/Arab conflict, that was critical. She hasn't resolved that. Now I'll give her the nobody else has either.

You have the Iran situation, which is going to be theoretically if Prime Minister Netanyahu sticks to his word coming to ahead this spring or summer. North Korea, obviously threatening the United States as recently as last week and testing more missiles.

And then you have the Benghazi, the attack on the hostages in Algeria, and now the Mali situation. Now some of these, especially in North Africa, you could say, is that somebody else's fault or is that a failure?

SLAUGHTER: Well, with Mali, I mean, we're talking about the next phase on the war on terror. This is the Sahara Desert. So I don't know what she could have done to stop those, but in the other cases, we're in a better position with Iran than we have ever been.

We have a stronger international coalition. We're in a better place to make a deal. With North Korea, no one has been able to stop North Korea, but we're back in Asia. We're back in Asia in large part because she has been on a plane constantly back in the region making relationships with people.

BURNETT: Right. Peter, let me ask you a question. I want to get Anne Marie's response to this as well. You know, the Middle East is very complicated, but one proxy Americans do look at when it comes to the Middle East is Israel, right.

When it terms to dealing with Iran, with Israel, with the broader region. Hillary Clinton, of course, holds the record for the most countries visited as secretary of state at 112.

Israel though, five visits to Israel, the least of any secretary of state since William Rogers who is back in Nixon. Condi Rice, 25 times. Warren Christopher 34, Henry Kissinger, 36 times for Israel. Is this significant?

BROOKES: Well, I mean, she was very energetic. I don't know if she gets frequent flyer miles for all of those miles she logged. That's her job as --

BURNETT: Sadly, no. That's probably the one perk she didn't get, right?

BROOKES: Right, but the fact is our relationship with Israel hasn't been the best. So I don't know if you can directly equate that. Anne Marie served in the administration, but under the Obama administration, relations with Israel have been very tough. They may have reached a bottom and maybe they're on an up rise, but once again, I think this comes down to President Obama's policies. Remember, she's the secretary of state. She implements the president's agenda, and I think a lot of the problems out there, I think, were President Obama's vision.

I think I may be wrong here, but I think Secretary Clinton would have done things a little bit different on some of these situations such as Iran. In fact, I think she's more to the right on Iran than President Obama is.

BURNETT: Interesting point of view. I mean, this has been very much how he sees things, Anne Marie. A question, though, for you, about her popularity. I mean, that to me is what seems to be the most amazing thing. How has she achieved that to be so popular? I ask you that because you know her and you worked for her. Early on in her campaign, people saw her at shrill and over the top, and now she's the beloved lady.

SLAUGHTER: I think people saw what she said in her campaign, is that she gets up every single morning and figures out how can she work her absolute hardest to advance the interests of the American people and frankly of people all over the world.

And I think people have seen that, day in and day out. They have seen her exhausted, they have seen her injured, they have seen her get up and get back in the saddle and work incredibly hard and she has done a superb job.

BURNETT: Thanks very much to both of you. We appreciate it, and our viewers, please let us know what you think of Hillary Clinton and will she be running for president in 2016. That's on We argue why the nomination should be hers.

OUTFRONT next, seven years after falling into a coma, scientists in Israel make a startling discovery about Ariel Sharon.

Plus, the agency responsible for enforcing America's gun laws has been without a permanent direction for six years. You know we have been pounding the table on this and a lot of people have blamed the NRA for it. You know what? We investigated, and that doesn't add up and the X-factor.


BURNETT: Our third story, OUTFRONT, lack of leadership. So the agency responsible for enforcing America's gun laws has been without a permanent director for six years. It's stunning and it's offensive, but it's not that attempts haven't been made. Up until now though, every nominee has been blocked. Who is to blame? Some say the NRA. Here is Joe Johns with an OUTFRONT investigation.


PRESIDENT OBAMA: Since Congress hasn't confirms a director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms for six years, they should confirm Todd Jones.

JOE JOHNS, CRIME AND JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The president's latest attempt to get a director confirmed for the ATF is something Congress has never done. Gun control advocates are quick to point fingers.

MAYOR MICHAEL NUTTER (D), PHILADELPHIA: The NRA through members of Congress have sought to either defund or in some instances emasculate the ATF by restricting their operations in some ways as to prevent them from doing their job.

JOHNS: The "Washington Post" editorial board said the gun rights lobby has spent considerable time and energy in pursuit of one goal, crippling the ATF. The NRA has been highly critical of the agency, which sees its mission as preventing violent crime by enforcing federal gun laws and tracing firearms used in crimes.

But blaming the NRA, does it add up, not exactly. In 2006, Republicans in the Congress required Senate confirmation for the ATF director. Before that, the president could appoint anyone he wanted. So when President George W. Bush nominated Michael Sullivan, it looked like an easy path. But he couldn't get a vote in a Republican- controlled Senate.

MICHAEL SULLIVAN, FORMER ATF DIRECTOR NOMINEE: Did I ever think for a moment my nomination would be held up by a senator from Idaho as related to one firearm licensed dealer? No. I didn't.

JOHNS: Idaho Senator Larry Craig along with two other Republicans, all staunch supporters of the NRA, held up Sullivan's nomination, but it wasn't the NRA's hands at work. It was about one local Idaho gun seller's dispute with the ATF. Even Sullivan himself said the NRA didn't derail him.

SULLIVAN: I didn't get any sense at all that the industry was opposed to my nomination or even the NRA.

JOHNS: When President Obama took office, the Senate just sat on his first nominee, Andrew Traver, even conservatives like House Republican Darrell Issa called for action.

REPRESENTATIVE DARRELL ISSA (R), CALIFORNIA: Andrew Traver, who I believe is the 2010, November 2010 designate, should in fact be given an up or down vote, should in fact be given an opportunity to be confirmed.

JOHNS: But Republicans and the NRA could spell trouble for Todd Jones. Already Senator Chuck Grassley is raising questions about his ties to the "Fast and Furious" scandal. The NRA hasn't weighed in on Jones yet, but NRA President David Keene does believe the ATF deserves a permanent leader.

WOLF BLITZER, HOST, CNN'S "THE SITUATION ROOM": Should there be a bureau?

DAVID KEENE, NRA PRESIDENT: Of course, there should be. BLITZER: And should there be a director?

KEENE: Of course.

BLITZER: So you think it's about time that there finally be a director of the ATF?



JOHNS: But the issue has always been about getting the right person in the job permanently. In the meantime, current nominee Todd Jones continues to serve as acting director of ATF while also serving as the United States attorney in Minnesota. His office didn't respond to CNN's request for comment -- Erin.

BURNETT: Pretty amazing story there. Thanks to you, Joe. We go this long and we talk about all of these new laws, we have to make sure what we have is working right.

Still to come, a Catholic hospital says life begins at birth, and now Colorado lawmakers are forced to decide when life really begins. We bring you this story as part of an ongoing OUTFRONT investigation.

Plus, President Obama tells a reporter he goes skeet shooting all the time, really?

And later in the show, Iran launches its first manned spaceship, but you know, well, aren't they people, too?


BURNETT: Welcome back to the second half of OUTFRONT.

We start with stories we care about where we focus on reporting from the front lines.

And we begin in Mali. French President Francois Hollande says French-led forces are winning the battle in Mali. However, he then said Islamists still control the northern part of the country and he refused to speculate how long France would continue to intervene.

Today, a spokesman for the Tuareg tribe called us at OUTFRONT and said they do not want a conflict with French forces, but they will fight the Malian army as soon as al Qaeda linked extremists have been pushed out of the nation. Already, the Tuareg say they have recovered eight villages in an effort to protect the civilian populations from the Malian army. That's what they tell us.

And meanwhile, in Timbuktu, rebels have razed the library, a designated world heritage site, which holds thousands of rare books and manuscripts from pre-colonial Africa. There were multiple reports of that today. It's a terrible thing.

Well, Yahoo reported quarterly results after the bell today. We have been telling you about the company's CEO Marissa Mayer. Everyone has been fascinated by her story. One of the things she was hired to do was increase revenues. She's only had really, I mean, five, I would say four months at the end of the year.

But you know what? She actually delivered. Yahoo showed annual revenue growth for the first time in four years. They were up 2 percent. It may not sound like a lot, but that is still up.

On the company's conference call, Mayer describes Yahoo's turn around as a multiyear march toward growth. Marathon, not a sprint, huh?

And now, check this out, the best tricks competition at the Winter X Games. During the snow mobile finals, Australian Jackson Strong attempted that move unsuccessfully. Oh, my God. His snowmobile kept going, crashed into a fence and into the crowd that got those people ran fast. According to ESPN, one family was injured, but just injured, trying to get away from the runaway snowmobile. He was attended to and later released. Oh.

Strong later tweeted this photo. He flew through the air and he looked like he died, and he's out tweeting, so he's OK. He said, "Wishing my sled still looks like this and that so bent. So glad my sled didn't hurt anyone when it flew into the crowd. And all the young ones, thank God.

It has been 543 days since the U.S. lost its top credit rating. What are we doing to get it back?

Well, pending sales of previously owned homes fell last month, but the number fell because of limited supply. That's because there are actually shortages in some places. Buyers are waiting.

There has been a comeback, everybody, in the housing market.

And now, our fourth story OUTFRONT, defining when life begins. It's a controversial issue that came to a head in Colorado today at the legislature. It was fueled in part by a story we brought you on Friday. Jeremy Stodghill's wife Laurie died of cardiac arrest in 2006, while 28 weeks pregnant with twins. The twins also died.

Jeremy filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the Catholic hospital where they died, but courts ruled against him, saying that under Colorado law, an unborn fetus is not considered a person.

CNN's Kyung Lah is following the story for us tonight.

And, Kyung, obviously, it's becoming an issue of national focus in Colorado, and they were going to go ahead with legislation possibly today that would have redefined when life begins.

What happened with that legislation?

KYUNG LAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's a bill that died in committee, and the supporter of it said it's very unfortunate. It fell really along political party line. That bill would have expanded the definition of fetal homicide in the state of Colorado. And it was something that personhood supporters really backed. They were spending the day on the steps of the legislature, and they were specifically citing Jeremy Stodghill. His case is in the civil arena, but the questions are essentially the same. When does life begin? How does the state define it? How does the Catholic Church define it? And is the church being consistent?


LAH: There's only one date on the grave site for them.

JEREMY STODGHILL: Yes. That was -- that was the day they passed.

LAH (voice-over): A day that Jeremy Stodghill's twin boys never saw outside their mother's womb. They were at 28 weeks, viable, but died in the emergency room at St. Thomas More Hospital in Canyon City, Colorado.

Thirty-one-year-old Laurie Stodghill seven months pregnant, died after a massive heart attack from a pulmonary embolism.

STODGHILL: I look at it and my heart still breaks.

LAH: Stodghill filed a wrongful death suit against the hospital on behalf for his wife and twin boys. In civil court, the hospital's owner, Catholic Health Initiatives, mounted a stunning defense that contradicts the Catholic Church's own teachings that life begins at conception. The hospital argued under Colorado law, "To be a person, one must at some point have been born alive."

STODGILL: I would find that hypocritical anywhere. There wasn't one person who went into that E.R. There were three.

LAH: The archdiocese of Denver said it would not comment on ongoing disputes but appeared to back pedal from the hospital's current legal stance, saying, "We will undertake a full review of this litigation and as the policies and practices of Catholic Health Initiatives to insure fidelity and faithful witness to the teaching of the Catholic Church."

In the meantime, Stodghill is now bankrupt after being socked with the legal fees of the doctors and Catholic Health Initiatives. He won't give up. He wants the state's highest court to weigh in on his case. He's appealing to the Colorado Supreme Court, asking them if his sons were people under the state's law.

STODGHILL: The pain eases with time, but it never goes away. You always love them.


BURNETT: Heather Surovik was at the capital in Denver today where she fought for a law to insure that all unborn victims of homicide are considered people. For Heather, this story is deeply personal. She was just days away from giving birth to a boy last July when she was hit by a drunk driver. She lost the baby, and state law prevented authorities from charging the driver with her unborn baby's death.


HEATHER SUROVIK, UNBORN SON KILLED BY DRUNK DRIVER: It was really hard because someone took him from me. And it's really hard.

The law says that Brady wasn't a person. Brady was 8 pounds 2 ounces. Brady was a person. His life was worth defending.


BURNETT: The pro-life organization Personhood Colorado helped Heather launch a campaign to tell her story.

Heather Surovik is OUTFRONT tonight, joined by her mother Terry Koester who was also in the car for that horrific accident.

Heather, I just have to say, talking about your story, it's hard to comprehend, even think about comprehending what you went through. How has it been every day since then? I mean, those are the last few days where you were probably full of excitement, right, about meeting him?

SUROVIK: Yes. I was super excited. Just leaving the doctor's office, being able to hear his heart beat and see the ultrasound pictures and everything of him. I was super excited. And then, you know, within a couple hours after the doctor's appointment, he was there, and then he was gone when I woke up in the ICU, and that was horrible. It was an absolute horrible experience.

And so now, my mom and I are just trying to push forward and to just use our story and use Brady as a way to get some recognition that this goes on a lot, and that we need to do something about it.

BURNETT: And, Terry, you lost your grandson in this accident, and you were in the car, I know, with your daughter that day. What has been the hardest part for you or what was the hardest part for you going through this, seeing your daughter lose her son?

TERRY KOESTER, UNBORN GRANDSON KILED BY DRUNK DRIVER: I truly believe is that one of the worst things is that when we told that charges that were being brought against the driver, that none of them were counted against Brady. It was like Brady didn't matter, didn't count. That has been hard to deal with.

BURNETT: And, Heather, I know that's why you're working with Personhood Colorado, and trying to change the law in Colorado so that life will be defined to begin at conception in terms of defining a person so this can't happen again. Today, though, obviously, the bill that was going to do just that was shot down. It didn't get through committee.

Are you going to keep fighting? SUROVIK: Oh, yes. We are not -- my mom and I, both have teamed up with Personhood, and we're not going to stop this fight until we get this job done.

BURNETT: Personhood Colorado describes itself as a pro-life organization. Its goal is to ban abortions. Is that something that you both want?

SUROVIK: Yes. We both are going to fight for that as well. And we're just going to start taking little steps at a time to get completely through all of the steps we need to take to get this all done with, to get the abortion done, taken care of, and get it the way that it's supposed to be.

BURNETT: All right. Heather and Terry, thank you both very much for sharing your story with us.

SUROVIK: Thank you so much.

KOESTER: Thank you.

BURNETT: I want to bring in CNN's legal contributor, Paul Callan, who is an attorney who defends doctors in hospitals in malpractice cases. He's a former New York City prosecutor.

This is obviously a very tough issue. These personal stories are incredibly tragic, but obviously, if you define personhood beginning at conception, that will have questions in the abortion debate? No question about it, right?

PAUL CALLAN, CNN LEGAL CONTRIBUTOR: Well, I think it will. And, you know, those who define themselves as pro-choice have always been fearful that if we say a fetus is a person for the purpose of the law, criminal law or civil law, how can you allow this person to be aborted without a hearing? So, there's a problem there in terms of the logic of it that disturbs people.

BURNETT: And one thing, I mean, without getting into the whole nitty-gritty of the abortion debate. I mean, to me, if the child -- that baby when he died was 8 pounds 2 ounces, he was going to be born in a couple days. How can you not define that as a person? He was a viable life.

CALLAN: I think most state legislatures would agree with you. That's why in most states in the United States, viability of the fetus is the area where they start to view a fetus as human under criminal law, and this sort of accident in another state would be involuntary manslaughter and a very, very different kind of set of charges.

BURNETT: They're going to push ahead with this. They're going to try to get this amendment into another bill. They're going to keep pushing.

What is the likelihood that this kind of thing passes in Colorado and becomes sort of a national example that others follow? CALLAN: Well, this would be -- this is a poster child for the case. But Colorado is such a strange state that legalized marijuana, but on the other hand, on this side of the ledger, they won't go along with any sort of severe penalties for drunken driving or if somebody even dies in a drunken driving accident -- radically different from the rest of the country.

So, I find it hard to predict what they'll do.

BURNETT: All right. Paul, thank you very much. This is certainly going to have implications around this nation.

Ahead, the president. So he said he goes skeet shooting all the time. Does that add up?

And Iran's first astronaut launched into space. Are they serious or just, you know, monkeying around?


BURNETT: We're back with tonight's outer circle where we reach out to our sources around the world.

And tonight we go to Iran where the government said it launched a monkey into orbit and brought it back to Earth. Reza Sayah is reporting for Cairo, and I asked him why Iran would send a monkey into orbit.


REZA SAYAH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Iran, late night comedy shows are probably going to have a field day with this, but for Iran, launching a monkey into space is serious business. Eventually, they want to get a human being up there. They're starting with a monkey.

Before you make fun, remember, the U.S. did this in the 1950s as part of their space program.

Iran first tried this in 2011. It didn't work. State media reporting it worked this time around. This monkey was strapped in like a money making monkey business. Very, very difficult. It's not clear when this happened.

Wherever Iran tests any rocket, Washington always sounds the alarm, saying it could be a secret test for their nuclear program. It's very likely you'll hear some of those concerns again, Erin.


BURNETT: All right. Reza, thank you very much.

Now our fifth story OUTFRONT: Obama the skeet shooter.

Yes, I'm not making this up. If someone is, it isn't me. In an interview with "The New Republic", the president revealed he can relate to people who enjoy firing guns. When asked if he has ever fired one, he replied, quote, "Yes, in fact, up at camp David, we do skeet shooting all the time." The reporter followed up, "The whole family?" To which the president replied, "Not the girls, but oftentimes guest of mine go up there, and I have a profound respect for the traditions of hunting that trace back in this country for generations. I think those who dismiss that out of hand make a big mistake."

As our Jessica Yellin found out, though, don't expect to se pictures of the president shooting skeet anytime soon.


JESSICA YELLIN, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: How often does the president go skeet shooting and there are photographs of him doing so?

JAY CARNEY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: I would refer you simply to his comments. I don't know how often, he does go to Camp David with some regularity, but I'm not sure how often he's done that.

YELLIN: Is there a photograph of him doing that?

CARNEY: There maybe, but I haven't seen it.

YELLIN: Why haven't we heard about it before?

CARNEY: Because when he goes to Camp David, he goes to spend time with his family and friends and relax, not to produce photographs.


BURNETT: We have heard about a lot of recreational activities at Camp David, though.

OUTFRONT tonight, CNN contributors David Frum and Roland Martin, and Republican Tennessee Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn.

All right. Good to see all of you.

All right, Roland, there is some skepticism among conservatives and non-conservatives about the president's frequency of skeet shooting.

Mark Miller from CBS News. You know, he's the sort of unofficial historian of the press corps.


BURNETT: He says -- he tell us he's heard of bowling, golfing, hiking, archery, swimming but not skeet shooting.

So, you're going to say you do it all the time, don't you kind of have to prove it?

MARTIN: No. Seriously, we went through four years of this man trying to prove he's an American. Trying to prove he's a Christian. I don't need to see a photo of the president reading a bible to know he's a Christian. I don't need a photo of his birth certificate.

So seriously, and I really don't care. So, he doesn't need to show a photo saying oh, there's a president holding a gun because I've always thought it was stupid when a politicians would run these photos or video of them out, wading through the weeds to show everybody, hey, he's a hunter. It's really not a big of a deal and it's not going to change anybody's mind as relates to gun control in this country.

BURNETT: Well, that is true. If that's why he said it, I got to think everyone will agree with you. It's not going to change their mind how they feel about guns.

Representative Blackburn, do you think this is not a relevant point of conversation?

REP. MARSHA BLACKBURN (R), TENNESSE: I think it is a relevant point of conversation. If he is a skeet shooter, why have we not heard of this, why have we not seen photos, why hasn't he referenced this at any point in time?

We had this gun debate that is ongoing. You would have thought it would have been a point of reference.

I tell you what I do think. I think he should invite me to Camp David and I'll go skeet shooting with him and I'll bet I beat him.

MARTIN: I have been trying to go golfing with him, Congresswoman. That hasn't happened yet. So I don't -- I don't think you get the invitation.


BLACKBURN: You know, I've said that I was willing to go, and I'll challenge him to some skeet shooting. It's a great hobby, and I would hope that the president does enjoy it.

BURNETT: David --

MARTIN: I challenged him to hunt birdie. It hasn't happened. So, we'll see.

BURNETT: David, let me ask you, though, because there's something about this, as to why the president would say this right now. Whether it's true or not true, you know, President Clinton tried to get Democrats in line recently on this issue. He said to donors at a private meeting, I'll quote the president. This is about a week ago.

"Do not patronize the passionate supporters of your opponents by looking down your nose at them." Of course, that brought to mind the now infamous comment by then- candidate Obama when he talked about people clinging to guns and religion. Do you think this is just the president trying to say, hey, look, I'm a regular guy, I skeet shoot?

DAVID FRUM, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, look, first, as someone who has missed more clay pigeons than --

BURNETT: I never hit one and I only went once --

FRUM: I can well imagine why the president wouldn't want photographers there. I wouldn't want them either.


FRUM: But I think the president is in this case shooting at the wrong target. The thing that drives the gun debate in this country, really, it's not about hunting. Hunting is a dwindling activity. At this point, only 5 percent of Americans even get hunting licenses.

What drives the gun debate is fear of crime. What Americans need to know if they're going to think intelligently about the use of weapons is how much crime has declined in this country over the past 20 years. People don't, I think, appreciate the magnitude of this and if you look at statistics today, Americans are safer from crime than ever before, since good records began, and probably ever before in the entire history of the republic.

If people knew that, that would have an impact. That they do not need -- they do not need firearms to protect themselves. They are safer than ever before.

That's the point to drive home. Meanwhile --



FRUM: Meanwhile, they are risking accidents, risking suicide among their loved ones. That's what gun debate is about.

BURNETT: All right. Representative Blackburn, what David Frum's take away is we're safer than we have ever been before, we don't need firearms. Someone like you, contradict me if I'm wrong, might say, well, that means we don't really need to pass more gun control legislation.

BLACKBURN: We don't need to pass more legislation, and the assault weapons ban did not work. That's why it wasn't extended in 2004.

And what individuals want is their freedom. They want the Second Amendment respected. And they want to make certain that we understand that.

BURNETT: All right. Assault weapons ban, putting that aside for a moment, and the number, 2 percent to 8 percent happens on the assault weapons ban. It is not the number one culprit. Handguns are.

But would you support universal background checks? Would you support any change at all?

BLACKBURN: You know, most -- the only time a background check does not happen is when an individual transfers to another individual.

BURNETT: Gun shows, family, a lot of those.

BLACKBURN: Most people at the gun shows, though, are licensed dealers and they are going through a background check. So the background checks, those work, and they root out people.

What I want to see is when you find someone, a felon, who has tried to buy a gun, I want to see that person prosecuted. And I want to see the laws that we have on the books followed.

BURNETT: So, Roland, when you hear Representative Blackburn, do you think we're not going to get anywhere with an assault weapons ban or any sort of other legislation?

MARTIN: Actually, what I hear is someone who refuses to budge an inch, because again, how hard is it to say, sure, why can't we have universal background checks? OK? Even if you're selling the weapon to a family member or someone else, why can't you still do that? And so that should be a straightforward easy answer.

But if you're unwilling to budge, and look, I get being from Tennessee and Georgia, I'm fraught Texas, but my goodness, even universal background checks, how hard is that?

BURNETT: In a word.

BLACKBURN: Background checks are important, and we also need to make certain that we are checking mental health.

MARTIN: I agree.

BURNETT: But you would support a universal background check?

BLACKBURN: Background check, I support.

BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much. I appreciate all three of you taking the time.

And next, former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has been in a vegetative state for nearly seven years. But in the past few days, scientists have made a totally shocking discovery.


BURNETT: In Israel, doctors say they have detected significant brain activity during tests on Ariel Sharon.

In 2006, the former prime minister of Israel suffered a massive stroke. He has remained at Soroka University Medical Center in what everybody has described as a vegetative state since.

But last week, when scientists showed Sharon pictures of his family and they also had him listen to his son's voice and they also employed tactile stimulate, they were touching him, they did all those things and tested him at the same time, and it showed his brain was processing the stimuli appropriately.

So doctors agree despite the comfort those results may offer to his family, he will almost certainly remain in a vegetative state forever. It's not like this is part of a recovery, which brings me to tonight's number -- 30 percent. That is the percentage of Americans who have a living will. It's much lower than it should be because more than 70 percent of Americans say they have made the decision of about end-of-life treatment. But only 30 percent of them have put it down on paper.

And while it's something people don't really want to think about, not doing it can create confusion and conflict for your loved ones if you're ever in that state, like Ariel Sharon. Obviously, we're not trying to say one decision is better than the other. I have people in my family who feel very passionately on the opposite side of this one. It's up to you, some people feel keeping a person alive is the thing to do. Others feel being confined like that would be a loss of their dignity and humanity.

But it's important to make a decision and put it in a living will.

"ANDERSON COOPER 360" starts now.