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Are House Republicans Caving?; Is A Short-Term Debt Deal Dangerous?; Two Top Military Officials Fired For Misconduct; Adrian Peterson's Young Son Killed; Woman Alleges Cop Hurled Her Into Cell, Shattering Bones

Aired October 11, 2013 - 19:00   ET


ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: "OUTFRONT" next, what happened to the deal?

JAY CARNEY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: And that would create an enormous uncertainty for our economy.

BURNETT: The White House doubles down.

Plus, an NFL star's heart break. The reported toddler son of Adrian Peterson beaten to death.

ADRIAN PETERSON, NFL PLAYER: This is a private matter. I'm going to ask you all to please respect my privacy.

BURNETT: And rabbis under arrest. Ten men in custody tonight, accused of kidnapping, assault and torture.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We believe some of the defendants might have been motivated by money.


A good Friday evening, everyone. I'm Erin Burnett.

"OUTFRONT" tonight, are House Republicans caving? They have presented their latest budget proposal to the president. The White House is still using that word, ransom, and steadfastly not using that word, negotiate. To top it off, Senate Republicans have some issues with the plan now, too.

Dana Bash is on Capitol Hill breaking that part of the story. Dana, is the writing on the wall here?

DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it depends what wall you're talking about. I think that has been the issue from the beginning. Certainly House Republicans say they're not caving, but their problem they feel is that the White House isn't negotiating again. It seems as though sort of the vibe that I'm getting tonight, Erin, is that they're back at stalemate.

You certainly got that sense from listening to the White House briefing earlier today. Interesting that Jay Carney, the spokesman waited, until after the markets close, which I know you understand better than anybody to give the briefing because it certainly wasn't as optimistic as it was last night coming from the White House.

We're getting the same sense here from the House that those talks are not as fruitful as everybody would have hoped. So because of that, I'm definitely getting a sense from Republicans in the Senate. Not just Democrats, Republicans, that they are getting impatient, that they wanted to give the talks between the House Republicans and the White House a little bit time.

But maybe in the next 24 to 48 hours, you're likely to see Senate Republicans and Democrats go ahead and try to move something to increase the debt ceiling, to reopen the government, something a lot of conservatives in the House won't like, but they can pass the Senate because it is led by Democrats.

And it would be up too, to, at the end day, John Boehner to figure out if that, whatever the it is, should be something that he should bring up in order to make sure that the U.S. doesn't default and to reopen the government, which Republicans pretty much unanimously hear inside the walls and privately admit it is hurting their party

BURNETT: Right. Certainly the polls show it's hurting their party. All right, Dana, thank you very much. I want to bring in Jim Acosta now. Jim was at the White House today during that briefing that Dana talked about. That briefing that Jay Carney did wait until the end of the day to talk about because there were a lot of things he said in that briefing that, as Dana said, indicated. You know what? Doubling down, no deal. Here's the exchange between Jim Acosta and Jay Carney.


JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: You said the position hasn't changed on the shutdown? The position hasn't change on the debt ceiling. How is that negotiating?

JAY CARNEY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Jim, look, the president has had constructive conversations with House and Senate Republicans. He's also had -- you know, very good conversations with House and Senate Democrats. His position that it's unacceptable to demand a ransom from the American people in return for not defaulting is not going to change.


BURNETT: There's that word ransom. Repeated pressure no, word negotiate. Jim Acosta is at the White House. Jim, I mean, I don't know exactly how you felt, but like the expression on your face there, I don't get it. How are you talking when your position has not changed at all? I mean, is there risk, as Dana indicated, that all this talk of a deal is talk? We could be right back where we started and very quickly.

ACOSTA: Well, White House officials say that there is progress because of the fact that they are talking. They're not using their talking points, which is where they were a couple days ago but a couple things, Erin. House Speaker John Boehner and President Obama did talk on the phone early this afternoon, but as Jay Carney indicated during that briefing, the president has essentially rejected the House Republican offer to tie a short term increase in the nation's debt ceiling to budget negotiations.

The president doesn't want to do that. He considers that paying a ransom as you heard Jay Carney say there and he also wants a clean bill to reopen the government. So the president's negotiating position essentially has not changed and speaking of negotiate, Jay Carney did not even want to use that word during the briefing saying they're talking and they are listening, but didn't want to say that they're negotiating.

Erin, that is an indication that the White House feels it has the upper hand in this battle. They've been looking at these polls obviously in the last 24 to 48 hours that shows rock bottom historic lows for the Republican Party as a brand with the American people. So they feel like they can get more of what they want, obviously.

One other thing that Jay Carney mentioned that I think is very interesting. He said that the president is concerned about this idea of a six-week rise in the nation's debt ceiling because it brings the country essentially along a path where around Thanksgiving, and the start of the holiday shopping season, they're going to be back at it again and they don't want the prospect of default happening right at that critical time for the economy.

The one bright glimmer of hope that we hear at the briefing today and what we saw earlier this afternoon, here at the White House is that the president as you saw was meeting with Senate Republicans. Dana was talking about that earlier. The president was saying at that meeting, guys, come along with me, reopen the government. Raise the nation's debt ceiling and we can talk about all these other things.

You heard some positive comments coming out of that meeting from people like Susan Collins, Bob Corker saying, yes, let's get to the big issues. The question was whether or not the president, John Boehner, Mitch McConnell, can bring the Tea Party along to have that kind of conversation. Get government reopened. Lift the debt ceiling and then deal with those other issues.

BURNETT: All right, Jim Acosta, thank you. Meanwhile, the Tea Party, of course, having a big to do and get together, which is actually seems to be motivating them even more to stick to their guns. And we're going to have more on that coming up in a bit.

But I want to bring John Avlon in right now. Because you know, you heard Jim reference Jay Carney. By the way, Jay Carney is very right about this. Having this expire in six weeks right before the holiday season is a really bad idea. And Citigroup analysts about this today, they noted, this is amazing, 13 spending agreements, 13 spending agreements enacted since 2011.

They have only lasted three to four months. I mean, this is really pathetic and then they wrote now the shutdown taboo has been broken, we may be moving to a new round of brinkmanship repeated shutdowns and near misses on the debt limit before mid-term elections in November 2014. I mean, a short term deal is no deal at all. All that is, is we're going to bring this to the brink in six weeks. Why would anybody in this country support that?

JOHN AVLON, EXECUTIVE EDITOR, "THE DAILY BEAST": Well, that's exactly right and that's the White House's point right now. I mean, we've had this governing by crisis. We keep kicking the can and as statistic points out it doesn't actually solved the problem. So the question is not that we've suffered through a shutdown, is this a point where we can maybe break this fever of hyper-partisanship and move towards something like constructive negotiation.

But we're in a very froth moment here. Look, let's reflect on how we got here, right? The reason Republicans' tone started to change is two things. First of all, rock bottom poll numbers, historic lows, recognizing their strategy wasn't working, a lack of leverage doubling on that.

The final bit is the big money boys. The donors who started to say, do not screw around with the debt ceiling. Then all of you sudden you find even Tea Party activists saying we have to separate the two, the shutdown and the debt ceiling. So the White House has real leverage here, but there is the economic argument. Let's not kick the can to Christmas, for God sakes.

BURNETT: I would be fine with it if I actually thought for one iota of a second. If I were a stupid person and I thought that they would actually sit down and say, we're going to deal with the entitlement crisis. We're going to deal with all these things and we're going to have a deal in six weeks. If I thought that would work, I would be all for it. It has failed again and again and again.

I mean, the "you know what" super committee, I don't swear on a family program. The Super Committee had -- it completely failed and they had time and they had people who wanted to work together. So this to me is just a nothing.

AVLON: And that's the promise, the experience has shown that when they have set out these long targets, they've consistently failed. So only points of leverage like this impending debt ceiling might actually compel some serious coordinated negotiation, but this is coming down fast here, folks. You know, you reap what you saw. This is the wedge of the polarization. We've been talking about it so long and here it is.

BURNETT: We're going to talk in the later too when we talk about the Tea Party gala going on right now, but the outcome for the next election, you are mentioning polls. NBC/"Wall Street Journal" poll, 47 percent of people now want a Democrat-controlled Congress, 39 percent Republican. Someone was on the show yesterday saying Americans have a short memory once this is over. That's a year from now and maybe they're right. I don't know. What do you think?

AVLON: Look, a week is a long time in politics, but these polls are real bad. When you're at the historic low of any political party in the history of polling, when 70 percent of the Americans' say the Republican's Party is putting ideology over governing and problem solving, you have a real problem. When the base is so animated and excited and there's not much of a disconnect with main street America, that's a recipe for electoral disaster.

BURNETT: Certainly a presidential one if they're not careful. John Avlon, thank you very much.

And still to come, two senior officers, one a general fired, both of them at the top of one of the most important things in the world. That would be America's nukes.

And then heartbreak involving one of the NFL's biggest stars, Adrian Peterson's 2-year-old died from injuries he received during a beating today.

Plus, the money and power of politics, Mitt Romney finally gets clearance to do some major work on his house.


BURNETT: Our second story, OUTFRONT, top military brass behaving very badly. Two-star Air Force general in charge of the United States nuclear missiles filed today for personal misbehavior. Two days ago, a Navy admiral, you see there, who oversaw the military's nuclear forces let go, investigated for a gambling issue.

Barbara Starr is OUTFRONT, tonight. Barbara, I mean, this is pretty shocking. I mean, there is nothing more important than overseeing the biggest and most dangerous nuclear arsenal on the planet. What is going on here and how is the Pentagon responding to two such important officers being fired in the same week?

BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Well, you have to believe that Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel not happy about all of this in a week when he's been dealing with the shutdown, with troops not being paid, his people laid off, death benefits not being paid. Now he has to deal with this, not a happy secretary.

Let's look at these two cases, Erin. Today Air Force General Michael Carey, in charge of all 450 land based intercontinental nuclear ballistic missiles fired. The allegation is personal misbehavior. Our sources are telling us it involved alcohol and yet he remained on the job for several months, fired today.

The second Navy Admiral Tim Geordina, second in charge at strategic command. So he had charge of overall nuclear forces. Number two, command and control, strategic decision making for the defense of the United States. The allegations against him we are told involve gambling -- Erin.

BURNETT: It is unbelievable. You can say this and then some people might say, there are a lot of people in charge of the nuclear program so does this really matter. Let me ask you, these two people have incredibly significant titles when it comes to securing the arsenal of the United States. Will their removal impact national security?

STARR: Look the Pentagon leadership says adamantly, nuclear weapons were always safe. They have multiple controls. It is not a problem. But the reality is, especially in the Air Force. The nuclear forces in the Air Force have run into a lot of trouble lately. One unit had a fail safety and security inspection this year.

Another unit had 17 Air Force personnel removed for not doing their jobs. They went through a retraining because of what one officer called rot. His words, rot in the Air Force nuclear force. So this is a part of the Air Force that a lot of problems, a lot of trouble and most officers will tell you it needs a good deal more scrutiny -- Erin.

BURNETT: Thank you very much, Barbara Starr.

In our money and power tonight, a win for Mitt Romney, he can now move forward with construction in on his new home in San Diego's La Jolla neighborhood. A neighbor had complained that Romney planned to demolish this 3,100 square-foot home and replace with it an 11,000 square-foot home exceeded zoning limits.

I don't know who is right or wrong, but I have to tell you, who wants to live next door to a house that big on a rather small lot. That's not the point. The California Coastal Commission sided with the former Republican presidential nominee. So now Romney can move forward with his plans on his mansion, which I can tell you include a four-car garage with an elevator. Romney's net worth has been estimated to be as high as $250 million.

Still to come, an NFL's star heartbreak, Adrian Peterson's 2- year-old son allegedly beaten to death today.

Plus, two rabbis under arrest, eight other in custody accused of torturing people with a cattle prod.

And a shocking video of what some are saying is horrific police brutality. We're going to show it to you. A woman says she was violently thrown into a cement bench by an officer. We'll be right back.

And the shoutout tonight, the Coast Guard at it again. This time a sailboat suffering from engine problems and struggling in ten-foot seas. Then a rescue swimmer risked their life to try to save others. The winds were strong. The swimmer was swaying around and struggling, but was finally able to attach a tow line to the sailboat so the Coast Guard could save the vessel. That shoutout goes to that rescue swimmer who risked their life to save two others.


BURNETT: Our third story, OUTFRONT, the 2-year-old son of NFL's star Adrian Peterson has been killed, the victim of alleged child abuse today. Police report that the mother's boyfriend has been arrested and charged with battery of an infant. Peterson himself tweeted shortly after news broke of his son's death. Thank you to my family, my fans and fans of other teams for their support. Casey Wian is OUTFRONT.


CASEY WIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A 2-year-old boy reportedly a son of Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson has died in a hospital in South Dakota. And a boyfriend of the child's mother is under arrest. Sioux Falls police responded to a medical emergency Wednesday night.

LT. BLAINE LARSEN, SIOUX FALLS POLICE DEPARTMENT: The initial call was a medical call of a child that was choking. Officers arrived and found the child was unresponsive. He was taken to a hospital for treatment. Once he was at the hospital, the medical examiners found that he had some injuries that were not consistent with being accidental, but they were actually consistent with being abuse.

WIAN: Police arrested Joseph Patterson whom they describe as a boyfriend of the child's mother and charged him with aggravated battery of a child and aggravated assault before the boy died. Adrian Peterson's father, Nelson, spoke with Minneapolis area newspapers and confirmed the boy it was NFL MVP's son.

The relationship with Peterson and the boy and his mother was unclear. Peterson was absent from the Viking's practice Thursday dealing with an undisclosed private matter. He returned Friday and spoke to reporters after practice.

ADRIAN PETERSON, VIKINGS RUNNING BACK: This is a private matter. I'll ask you all to please just respect my privacy and I ask, and not ask about the situation.


WIAN: Peterson says he will play in the Vikings' game against Carolina on Sunday. Patterson, the man in custody is being held on $750,000 bond. Prosecutors say they are considering additional charges given the boy's death.

BURNETT: All right, Casey, thanks very much. Let us know what you think about that and whether you think Peterson is right to be playing in that game this weekend.

Our fourth story OUTFRONT, allegations of police brutality, a 47- year-old woman filing a lawsuit against police department outside Chicago. She claims that police violently hurled her into a jail cell after she was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence. I want to show you the video now. You can see it for yourself and judge for yourself.

What happens is the officer tosses Cassandra into the cell with such force, she face planted into that bench. I want you to see it. That bench is made of concrete. You can see how hard she was thrown. After hitting her head, she is seen laying motionless for several seconds before the officers came to her aid.

And I want to bring in our legal analyst, Paul Callan who is OUTFRONT. So Paul, the woman said she had to get facial reconstructive surgery as a result of this and we only have a few seconds to show what happened before. From what you can see, did the officer, was the officer justified in what he did?

PAUL CALLAN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: By the way, I also read, she may have a plate in her head as a result of it. I can't see the slightest justification. He picks up this want 110-pound woman, throws her lying a rag doll into a wall. He could have killed her. She could have broken her neck. She was in on a drunken driving charge. She had fallen asleep while the car was parked. She doesn't look like a threatening person. This looks like an act of incredible brutality. It's a cringe worthy video when you watch it.

BURNETT: She claims that authorities originally charged her with resisting a police officer. They say that she did that and that's why she was thrown into the cell, and then they later dropped those charges. My question to you as a lawyer, does this indicate the police knew that something was wrong and initially tried to cover it up by saying she was doing this and that might justify this? I am a reading too much into it?

CALLAN: No. You're not reading into it. When someone is injured, when a suspect is injured, resisting arrest is added to the charges to justify the conduct of the police. You know, they're all forgetting, everything is on tape now. Everything is videotaped and the cops forget this sometimes when they engage in the old behaviors that have resulted in multimillion-dollar verdicts against them in the past.

BURNETT: We've been talking about excessive force a bit on this program. One of those was from Atlantic City, the four officers repeatedly beating a 20-year-old who they say was yelling at the officers. There was a dog involved and attacking the boy, a police canine used. What kind of training are officers getting? You can take these individual cases and read a lot into them. You can say they're just exceptions, but this is disturbing.

CALLAN: It is very disturbing, but it's been going on for a long time. Yes, there is training. The police academies, in the '90s, I was looking at the studies in the verdicts on these cases. New York, between '94 and '96, paid $$80 million in settlements. L.A. paid a similar amount. Philadelphia, $36 million, this has cost the taxpayers a huge am of money. They have training programs in place.

But we're dealing with human beings. They lose their temper and they forget there's a camera. And a lot of these cases were never dealt with in the past. But with the video camera, you're going to see a lot more lawsuits like this.

BURNETT: All right, Paul Callan, thank you very much.

CALLAN: Always nice being with you.

BURNETT: Still to come, more from the shutdown showdown. Ted Cruz today came out and he was on fire speaking to the Republican faithful. I'm not exaggerating here. Plus, someone says he is the de facto leader of the GOP. That person is OUTFRONT.

Plus an incredible story of recovery, a man's lungs so severely damaged, he couldn't breathe. He was forced to go in fact without a breath for a month. No respirator, no breath. We're going on tell you how this miracle was possible.

And one of the year's strongest storms, now a Category 5, one of the biggest on record, where it is going to land?


BURNETT: Welcome back to the second half of OUTFRONT. Tropical Cyclone Hylin tied for the strongest storm on earth this year is right now headed for India. You can see that on the map. most powerful tomorrow right now. Hylin is Category 5 with catastrophic winds of 190 miles an hour. To give you a sense of how destructive that is. Hurricane Katrina was a Category 5, but when it actually hit land it was a Category 3 with only about 127 mile an hour winds. Think of all the damage that did.

India, with its dismal infrastructure, could be in for a major catastrophe. A storm in this area in 1999, not even as strong, killed 10,000 people. CNN meteorologist Mario Ramos tells us Phailin could still be a strong category 4 by the time it hits land and that is slated to be tomorrow.

Well, two cold cases, four decades older, one step closer to being solved in Oklahoma. The state medical examiner's office tells us today that human remains were recovered from the two cars found in the lake about an hour and a half from Oklahoma City. And that they do match the descriptions of six people missing. They include three teenagers who went missing in 1970 and three others who disappeared the year before.

Now, they still are waiting for DNA testing to confirm. But whether they died because of foul play or an accident, that's the big question, and whether you get two accidents like that, back to back years raises so many questions.

Well, the president and First Lady Michelle Obama met today for her inspiring work as an activist. It was a year ago that Malala was shot in the head by a member of the Taliban.

In an interview with our Christiane Amanpour, Malala recounts her brush with death, saying the bullet that hit the left side of her forehead has affected her hearing and her face.


MALALA YOUSAFZAI, ACTIVIST: But still, if I look at it, it's a miracle. My brain is saved, my spinal cord is saved, everything is fine, I am alive. I still can talk, I can smile. So, I thank God for that.

They only can shoot a body. They cannot shoot my dreams. And no, I'm not afraid of death.

First, I might have been but now I am totally not afraid of death. And when I look at the support of people, then I'm sure that this cause is never going to die.


BURNETT: The Taliban tried to kill Malala because she went to school, but obviously, they only made her stronger and someone who motivates and inspires many around the world.

For Christiane's full interview, watch the bravest girl in the world. You can see it on Sunday at 7:00 Eastern Time.

Well, the "Breaking Bad" auction that we've told you about, featuring hundreds of props from the show is finally over. And because we've been this for you we could be let it go without telling you how much Walter White's tighty whities went for. The winning bid was $9,900.

Somebody, whoever you are, I'm sorry, you are a crazy, crazy, freak of a person. Walter often appeared in tighty whities. This pair comes from the first episode, which you see there.

Other iconic props included (INAUDIBLE) bucket of batter. It went for $4,000. That guy, jeweled cap grill sold for $20,250. There was another option, Walter White's copy of Walt Whitman's "Leaves of Grass", $65,500.

OK. Again, I don't get it. I don't get it. I'm not going to pretend to get it but the tighty whities particularly disturbed me.

All right. Our fifth story OUTFRONT: Ted Cruz's excellent adventure.

The Texas senator of the driving force behind the Republican push to tie the government shutdown to Obamacare is calling on its party to stay firm in its fight. Cruz rallied his Tea Party base at a conservative forum in Washington today, poking fun at his meeting with President Obama at the White House.


SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: I'm going to the White House. I will make a request if I'm never seen again, please send a search and rescue team. I very much hope tomorrow morning, I don't wake up amidst the Syrian rebels.


BURNETT: The polarizing senator wasn't welcomed by everyone. Plenty of hecklers showed up, too.


CRUZ: It seems that President Obama's paid political operatives are out in force today.

I'm curious, is anybody left at the Organizing for America headquarters? I'm actually glad that the president's whole political staff is here instead of actually doing mischief in the country.


BURNETT: OUTFRONT tonight, president of the Family Research Council, Tony Perkins, the main sponsor for the event, where you saw Cruz cruising today, and our contributor, Paul Begala.

All right. Great to have both of you with us.

Tony, let me start with you. Your takeaway was Ted Cruz is the de facto leader of the Republican Party.

I want to ask you why because the latest poll from NBC/"Wall Street Journal," positive ratings of Ted Cruz among Tea Party Republicans is 52 percent, which is pretty grim, because that should be 100, because non-Tea Party Republicans, it's only 13, as you both know, I say this with a smile, I don't know -- I don't need to put Democrats up there.

All right. Tony, really, the de facto leader of the Republican Party?

TONY PERKINS, FAMILY RESEARCH COUNCIL: Well, you know, the president's numbers are dropping as well. What you see with Ted Cruz, Mike Lee, Marco Rubio, these young outsiders that have come to watch in the Senate are providing something that the GOP leadership has not. And that is leadership. And yes, people are rallying today.

We're here at this point where we have this showdown between President Obama and the Republicans over government funding and yes, Obamacare, primarily because two senators, Mike Lee and Ted Cruz, made it an issue and drove it forward because the people were behind them to do so.

BURNETT: All right. You make a strong point. Let me give you a follow-up before I go to Paul.

And that is -- you can be a leader but sometimes a leader can lead people to greatness. Sometimes a leader can lead people off a cliff. Which is he?

PERKINS: Well, I think what he is doing is reflective of what has happened since 2010 where we saw the Republicans take control of the House. 2012, the Republicans gained a couple more seats. But what they gained more significantly than that is a more conservative ideology as more conservatives came after the state redrawing of the congressional lines after the Census in 2010.

That's not yet over. 2014, you will probably see more conservatives come to the House and maybe even to the Senate. And what they're doing is reflecting what they campaigned on.

I'm not sure why people are surprised that you have some Republicans that have dug in and say, look, we want to defund, we want to delay, we want Obamacare to go away. That's what they campaigned on and they're simply doing what they said they were going to do.

BURNETT: All right. I'm going to give you a chance to respond. I mean, all right, let's just say this. At least he is a man who sticks to his guns, OK? So, if the Republicans get anything on Obamacare, 1 of 100 percent of what they want, is he going to be the hero of that?

PAUL BEGALA, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, he -- first off, Mr. Perkins is exactly right, Senator Cruz campaigned on this stuff. I'm from Texas. In fact, myself beloved Longhorns are playing in Oklahoma, they're going to upset or shock the world.

So, Cruz did not lie. I would never say that. I would never say he misled the voters, during the campaign. But after the campaign he did. When he stood up and said that he could repeal Obamacare, he could rally the Congress to repeal Obamacare, after the president was reelected on it, he should have known that was a falsehood, that was as his fellow Republican Peter King said, a fraud. And it is, Scripture tells us that a fool walks into a fight and his mouth leads him to a beating. Senator Cruz's lips, his words, his leadership have led his party into a box canyon, into their lowest ratings in the history of polling.

And as a Democrat, I think that's great. He is the leader of the Republican Party. He is on a mission of self-destruction. I wish him well in that respect as a Democrat.

But as an American, he is hurting the country with this shutdown and he is even risking our credit rating, and that's too much.

BURNETT: Tony, what about Grover Norquist is also blaming Ted Cruz? I wanted to quote him to you, because this was pretty powerful. He said, "I think it was very possible for us to delay the implementation of Obamacare for a year, until Cruz came along and crashed and burned."

I mean, I saw that and I said, crashed and burned, that's incredibly harsh from a guy who is as conservative as it gets on money matters. Does it worry you at all trying to rally the conservative base of the Republican Party that you have people, like Grover Norquist talking about Ted Cruz crashing and burning?

PERKINS: To Paul's point of Barack Obama being reelected, in part of the way he was reelected is because we had a candidate on the Republican side that overstepped and disconnected with the Republican base, which is why they stayed home. That's something that the Republicans need to learn, that they need to reach their base before they try to go to the middle. That's what Ted Cruz and Mike Lee and Marco Rubio and others reflect.

As to the polls, the president's polls have been sinking because the president refused to negotiate with Republicans.

And to Grover's point, I don't think the Republicans would have ever been to the point of demanding anything out of this administration had it not been for Mike Lee and Ted Cruz taking stand.

BEGALA: That's music to my ears.


BURNETT: Paul, I want to give you the final word because we're a little tight on time, but I've got to ask you this, because Chris Christie weighed in on this and I know, you know, somebody important to Tony, too. He is not there at the meeting.

But Chris Christie said, "If I was in the Senate right now, I'd kill myself."

OK. What's happening? Is this going to enable people like Chris Christie to rise or is this going to doom them to being marginalized in a party that's being dominated by people like Ted Cruz?

BEGALA: I have to defer to Tony. I mean, what he is saying is music to my ears. I hear it from a lot of grassroots Republicans, a lot of my friends who are very conservative say the same things as Tony, that they want to double down on crazy or conservative. They want to -- it's like the captain of the Titanic saying we need more icebergs. I think it's great.

And if you believe, Tony, and I know you do, I have family and friends who believe this, that the reason you lost is you were too moderate, I wish you well. This is a very moderate country. It is one in the middle -- it's governed in the middle.

PERKINS: That's what the --

BEGALA: You all have completely abandoned the center to President Obama and the Democrats and we intend to occupy that center. If the -- when the Republicans get smart, we'll know it, because it will be -- they'll have a nominee who picks fights with guys like Tony, and says, no, I'm a conservative but I'm not on the fringe.

BURNETT: Quick final word, Tony.

PERKINS: Paul, we've done that in the last -- we've done that in the last two election cycles, in '08 and '12 and that's how come we have Barack Obama. So, yes, I'm sticking to my guns. The Republicans need to reach their conservative base and energize them. Ted Cruz offers that to the Republicans. That's why he's providing leadership.

BURNETT: All right. Thanks to both of you.

And please to all of you, weigh in.

And now, our sixth story OUTFRONT, a flesh-eating street drug. Doctors scrambling to stop people from using a cheap heroin knock-off that's been coming into the United States from Russia. It's growing in popularity across the country.

The drug is known as "Krokodil", because after the high the skin rots and takes on a scaly green appearance. I want to warn you, some of these pictures are graphic, but it's important for people to understand how awful this is.


TED ROWLANDS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The images are horrific. People with missing and rotting flesh, in some cases down to the bone. It's from a horrible drug called "Krokodil".

It's extremely addicted and gives users a heroin-like high. Suspected cases surfaced mountain month last month in Utah and Arizona. Then this week, five people showed up in Joliet, Illinois, work similar symptoms.

One person, a woman, according to doctors, lost significant portions of her leg. So far, none of the U.S. cases have been confirmed as being caused by Krokodil, but the doctors who treated the Illinois patients is convinced.

DR. ABHIN SINGLA, INTERNIST AND ADDICTION SPECIALIST: It's a zombie drug. I mean, literally, it kills you from the inside out. If you want a way to die, this is a way to die.

ROWLANDS: The drug first surface in the Russia in the early 2000s and has grown in popularity, as many as 1 million Russians are estimated to use Krokodil.

(on camera): When you see these images, it is hard to imagine anyone ever wanting to use this drug. But to a heroin addict, there are a few things about the drug that are actually attractive. First of all, it's cheap, about a third of the price of heroin. It's also relatively easy to make. Some of the ingredients used to make the drug, include lighter fluid, paint thinner and gasoline.

MIGUEL RAZO, ILLINOIS POISON CENTER: One of the issues that it's actually more addictive than morphine for instance because it's almost 10 times more potent.

ROWLANDS (voice-over): According to the hospital in Illinois, their patients said they thought they were buying heroin.

SINGLA: I think this is the tip of the iceberg. I think it's going to get a lot worse before it gets better. I think eventually if it stays on the market long enough, you're going to have people that are desperate addicts that can't support their own heroin habit but can utilize this drug, not really caring about the consequences and get the same high for a third of the price.

ROWLANDS: But the real price looks like this, and the hope is that these images are horrific enough prevent people from using the drug.

Ted Rowlands, CNN, Chicago.


BURNETT: Horrible.

Still to come, a shocking story of torture involving rabbis, 10 men in custody for assaulting people with he cattle fraud, and the post office set to destroy a series of unsafe stamps. We have the details.


BURNETT: Our seventh story OUTFRONT tonight: rabbis charged with kidnapping.

According to federal prosecutors in New Jersey, 10 men are under arrest tonight, including two rabbis accused of charging desperate orthodox Jewish wives tens of thousands of dollars to force their husbands to give them a divorce. The undercover FBI sting includes allegations of kidnapping, beatings, torture with electric cattle prods.

Former NYPD detective, Sergeant Wally Zeins, worked undercover in the Hasidic Jewish community and he is OUTFRONT tonight.

Now, this sting, operating, explosive allegations, OK, according to the complaint, forcing divorces with the help of hired tough guys sounds like the mafia, the cattle prods, plastic bags to cover the husbands' heads, electric cattle prods, karate. You know this community because you spent the time to infiltrate, and we have photos from you when you were under cover.

I mean, is this -- does this surprise you? Is this what happened?

WALLACE ZEINS, FORMER NYPD DETECTIVE SERGEANT: It surprises because you never think about the violence that severe. I mean, this is one step below murder or maybe murder and we don't know about it.

BURNETT: In some cases it could have been, right?

ZEINS: Correct.

BURNETT: So, this is being done to force the men to give their wives divorces, and in this community, that's referred to as giving the get. The get is what these women need to have.

One rabbi man told an FBI undercover agent, I'll quote, "I guarantee you that if you you're in the van, you would give a get to your wife. You probably love your wife but you would give a get when they finish with you."

Why are the rabbis, the most trusted people in this community, resorting to these mafia-like methods?

ZEINS: Well, first of all, they can get away with it. They're respected. They're high on the pecking order. They're the number one the community goes to.

Even today in the communities in Brooklyn, in the Hasidic areas, they know that if someone commits a crime, they don't go to the police. They'll go to the rabbi and discuss it with the rabbi. The rabbi is law. BURNETT: And the rabbis are getting a lot of money. I mean, the orthodox Jewish women in this situation often can be very isolated, right, doesn't have anyone to go to outside the community. If she wants to marry again, she must get the get. Otherwise, she could be ostracized, she could lose her children. I mean, horrible things could happen to her.

ZEINS: She's chained. She's a hostage.

BURNETT: She becomes a hostage.

So, in this case, my understanding is the rabbis could be taken advantage of her, charging her $50,000 and then beating and abusing and torturing her husband.

ZEINS: Correct. The name of the game is they have to get to that level. It is a very tight community to get there. You have to be introduced.

It's like the mob. You know, you have to be accepted. You start off on a lower level, become an associate. You join a crew, then you get to the next level. With this they have to have credibility.

Fortunately, when we were working in that area, we were able to flip somebody or get a person from the community to become an informant and when he became the informant with us, he introduced me --

BURNETT: That's you, by the way, we're looking at on the screen.

ZEINS: That's me --

BURNETT: You in disguise.

ZEINS: In disguise.

Well, it took awhile to get that way. But, also, you have to learn customs. You have to dress that way. You have to learn what goes on in the community. You have to be accepted by the community.

I was fortunate my informant facing other criminal charges was able to introduce me to the person that we were targeting.

BURNETT: What is the bottom -- I mean, how common is this? These women are vulnerable.

ZEINS: Love is a very important thing, relationship is important. A lot of the marriages in the community are already arranged. They are arranged marriages. And when you get into a situation where you lack love, intimacy and communication, you want to get out of it.

BURNETT: All right. Wally, thank very much. We appreciate it.

ZEINS: Thank you. BURNETT: And our eight story OUTFRONT is a miraculous recovery. So, there was a man that could not take a breath for an entire month. His lungs were so badly damaged by infection. Not a breath for a month. Not a respirator, just no breath.

But he's live tonight and Anna Cabrera is out front with his story.


ANA CABRERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This was 44-year- old Victor Carlos last December, paralyzed, sedated, not breathing. It was the flu followed by a serious bacterial infection that put him here. By the time he got to the hospital, Carlos was barely hanging on.

BRENDA VOGLEWEDE, WIFE: We talked to the triage and his oxygen was 57 percent. And everybody turned a corner.

CABRERA: Acute respiratory distress system was killing Carlos, destroying his lungs.

DR. ASHOK BABU, CARDIOTHORACIC SURGEON: Not only that but he had multiple organ failure related to the infection. So his kidneys were not working.

CABRERA: Cardiothoracic surgeon, Dr. Ashok Babu, had not time to spare.

BABU: When you look at this --

CABRERA: He knew trying to force air into Carlos' lungs would do more harm but without oxygen his organs would shut down. He had one shot, a procedure called ECMO.

(on camera): Is this put into the neck area?

BABU: It will be sticking out of your neck.

CABRERA (voice-over): Then a special tube inserted through the heart and a pump drawing blood out of the body flushing it through an oxygenation machine, providing oxygen without the lungs.

Carlos stopped breathing completely.

(on camera): So do his lungs shut off? Are you able to kind of prevent them from being utilized to this process?

BABU: What we see on the x-rays is the lungs collapse down to nothing. The x-ray is all white and they are resting and we support the patient until the lungs can heal on their own.

CABRERA (voice-over): Would it work? The family would have to wait for an answer.

VOGLEWEDE: He initially said he thought he would be on ECMO for a week, and then the week turned into two weeks and hen he was like, well, sometimes you just have to wait these things out.

BABU: Two weeks into it, we were all pretty worried we had this young guy, you know, whose lungs just don't seem to be coming back.

CABRERA: The family held out hope. Carlos' seven-year-old daughter Vivian clinging to her father's hand as two weeks became four. He didn't take a single breath for an entire month.

BABU: Somewhat miraculously, his lungs just started to open up kind of on their own.

CABRERA: Carlos' family captured that moment on video as he managed to sit up and eventually move his legs.

Pain and weakness, feelings Carlos embraced, signs he was alive. He was determined to a make a full recovery and remarkably just six months later, Carlos is running.

VICTOR CARLOS, SURVIVOR: Just running one block, I was out of breath. My head was pounding, dizzy and had to be bent over to recover.

CABRERA: His sights now set on completing a marathon. Here is Carlos celebrating a 20-mile training run.

VOGLEWEDE: Normally he gets done and, you know, just like I did it, whatever. But he got a little choked up this time.

CARLOS: Every long run gets a little emotional for me this time around.

CABRERA: For OUTFRONT, Ana Cabrera, CNN, Denver.


BURNETT: OUTFRONT next, the post office forced to destroy an entire series of stamps because they are unsafe. This is (INAUDIBLE)


BURNETT: It is time for the OUTFRONT "Outtake."

The president's Council on Fitness encourages all Americans to be more active. And this week, the U.S. Post Office joined in by introducing a 15th stamp set of children participating in sports. They designed them, got a whole series and showed them off, and the president's council immediately killed the project.

Three of the 15 stamps raised safety concerns. They said the kids were doing dangerous things -- a cannon ball, skateboarding without knee pads and doing a headstand without a helmet. Headstand with helmets, seriously.

Sadly, the fact people freaked out about that is not a joke and as a result, the post office had to destroy the stamps. So, during a shutdown, when the post office is hemorrhaging money, someone is going crazy about cartoon stamped children on -- cartoon stamp children. It's amazing more people don't call the government out and the media out for focusing on the story like this.

No, wait someone did.

Earlier this week, Air Canada was transporting a greyhound dog. The crew was warned not to open the door of the crate but Larry was too cute. So, they opened it and he took off and he's a greyhound and the last time anybody saw Larry, he was three miles away from the airport. A few reporters followed on the story, contacting Air Canada for a, quote, "an airline employee" who thought he was e-mailing a co- workers responded to the American reporting saying, quote, "I think I just ignore, it's a local news doing a story about a lost dog. Their entire government is shutdown and about to default and this is how the U.S. media spends its time."

Even the Canadians are mocking us, a country that went 10 years without a triple A rating. Of course, unlike the U.S., they did get it back after 3,555 five days. It has been only 797 days since the lost its top credit rating. It's time for America to start fighting to get it back and stop fighting against kids being kids, kids cannon ball people, get over it.

"AC360" starts now.