Return to Transcripts main page


Scott Walker Drops Out Of GOP Presidential Race; Carly Fiorina Jumps To Second Place In National Polling; The Killing of Baby Bella Bond; Pope Francis Visits Cuba. Aired 8-9p ET

Aired September 21, 2015 - 20:00   ET


[20:00:14] ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Good evening. Thanks for joining us.

The day started with a presidential wildfire burning over what Ben Carson said about the idea of a Muslim as president and what Donald did not say about whether the current president is on. It is ending, though, with breaking news, one of their rivals, Wisconsin Republican Scott Walker quitting the race, calling on others to do the same and throwing a Sunday punch at Mr. Trump.


GOV. SCOTT WALKER (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Today I believe that I'm being called to lead by helping to clear the field in this race so that a positive conservative message can rise to the top of the field. With this in mind, I will suspend my campaign immediately. I encourage other Republican presidential candidates to consider doing the same, so that the voter can focus on a limited number of candidates who can offer a positive conservative alternative to the current front-runner. This is fundamentally important to the future of the party and more importantly, to the future of our country.


COOPER: Governor Walker with a clear parting shot at Donald Trump. Unlike Mr. Trump, he never really caught the public eye.

Chief national correspondent John King joins us now with the late details including some of the reasons behind his decision. So what happened to his campaign?

JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Inconsistent answers, bad debates, Anderson, some issues not answers at one point he said maybe we should consider building a wall along the Canadian border. It was performances like that that hurt the numbers.

Look at Scott Walker. Look at the rise and fall. This is our latest poll. Scott Walker was an asterisk in the latest poll, just after the CNN debate. And early September after the FOX debate, he was at five, eight percent. Back last March, Anderson, he was at 16 percent. He was considered at that point before Trump got in the race as the leading conservative alternative to Jeb Bush. These are his national numbers in CNN polling. And if you look at

that, you might think 16 percent isn't that great. But remember, it's a crowded Republican field. He was doing pretty well and his numbers in Iowa were stronger.

Look at this as you shift this over. What happened to Scott Walker? Here is how to illustrate it. Back in March, he had 20 percent of Republican men said they were for Governor Walker nationally. Now, just one percent. Twelve percent of Republican women back in March is high point, doesn't even register in our latest poll.

Twenty six percent, more than one in four tea party voters back in March nationally were for Governor Walker. He doesn't even register today. And 20 percent of Republicans who identify themselves as conservatives. They remember his fight with the labor unions in Wisconsin. They thought he could be their guy, now, he barely registers. There is no question. He was trying to present himself as an outsider, as new and as different. No question. Trump got in the way of that, Anderson. But he also, just simply failed to perform on the national stage.

COOPER: So does - I mean, does his leaving, does that benefit anybody? I mean, obviously, his support is still low.

KING: Right, you could say he's an asterisk. Who could possibly benefit from that? But look, a number of things. Number one, some top tier Republican fundraisers were with Scott Walker and his campaign and his super PAC. They are already getting calls from other candidates tonight. Plus, he did have, especially on the ground in Iowa where he was at one point the leader, now he was fallen to tenth place. He has got some good activists and good staffers both nationally on the ground and some Republican talent that the other campaigns will quickly scramble to try to gobble up.

COOPER: All right, John King. Thanks very much.

Calling on other candidates to drop out and Republicans around the Donald Trump alternative maybe the clearer sign yet of how thoroughly Donald Trump has dominated the race merely by saying controversial things and the same may now apply to Dr. Ben Carson getting headlines tonight not for what he would do as president but what he's saying on the campaign trail, specifically what he said over the weekend and reaffirmed through an aide today about the idea of a Muslim president.

More on that from our chief political correspondent Dana Bash.


DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Even in today's world of politically incorrect fervor this was explosive.

BEN CARSON (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation. I absolutely would not agree with that.

BASH: Ben Carson said that he would not want a Muslim as president in answer to a question about whether the Islamic religion is consistent with the constitution and then a top Carson aid doubled down.

ARMSTRONG WILLIAMS, DR. BEN CARSON SUPPORTER: If Dr. Carson is the voice that's willing to stand and spoke for those Americans who are silent in the hearts, who don't want to speak this inconvenient truth, then let it be. Let the chills fall where they make.

BASH: The only reason Carson was discussing the Muslim religion in the first place is because of this moment at a Donald Trump town hall last week.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have a problem in this country, it's called Muslims. We know our current president is one.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know he's not even an American.

TRUMP: We need this question -- this first question.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But anyway, we have training camps growing where they want to kill us. That's my question, when can we get rid of them?

TRUMP: We are going to be looking at a lot of different things. And you know, a lot of people are saying that and a lot of people are saying that bad things are happening out there. We are going to be looking at that and plenty of other things.

[20:05:03] BASH: Trump neglected to correct the man, that President Obama is a Christian, nor would the Trump campaign respond to inquiries about it the next day. An irony not lost on the bombastic billionaire himself.

TRUMP: It was interesting because I got in hot water over not saying anything. First time it's happened to me.

BASH: And although Trump did say this in Iowa on Saturday.

TRUMP: I love the Muslims, I think they are great people.

BASH: He pushed back on the idea that it's his job to spar with voters.

TRUMP: OK. Go ahead, yes, ma'am.

BASH: Even when his own supporters are misinformed.

TRUMP: I can be politically correct. Somebody said how can you say that? And I said give me a break, it's all over the world. That's why we are talking about. You turn on the nightly news, you turn on the newscast, no matter where you are, you have a problem. Peep don' people don't have to admit that.

BASH: Trump seized that what he said was the premise of the voter question, concerned about radical Islam, not Muslim Americans in general. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What's the problem?

TAPPER: Well, you have radicals that are doing things. I mean, it wasn't people from Sweden that blew up the world trade center.

BASH: Still one asked what he thinks about the idea of a Muslim president, Trump stirred the pot making this not so subtle suggestion about President Obama.

TRUMP: Some people said it already happened, frankly. But, of course, you wouldn't agree with that.


COOPER: Dana, what if any political fallout from these comments do you expect for either Trump or Carson?

BASH: When it comes to the name of the game winning the Republican nomination, it is actually hard to see these comments not having an effect. Before coming on, I was talking to a smart Republican that described Republican voters in two camps. One who like the ideology validated and their energized by politically incorrect remarks like we have heard from Carson and Trump. But then there are the other Republican voters who want to win the White House and those Republicans who want to win may look at this and say this is intolerance or as some see it, religious bigotry and this is not going to lead us Republicans, they will say, to victory over Democrats in 2016. So it is hard to see this not kind of putting sort of a ceiling on at least Carson's support in particular because remember, he was supposed to be the anti-Trump, the soft spoken smiling first-time politician and this maybe makes people look at him in a different way.

COOPER: All right. Dana, appreciate that.

Joining us now is religious scholar and bestselling author Reza Aslan, also CNN political commentators Amanda Carpenter and Jeffrey Lord. Jeffrey is a Trump supporter who served as White House political director during the Reagan administration. Amanda is not a Trump supporter but did served as communications director for Senator Ted Cruz.

Reza, let me start with you. As a religious scholar, as a Muslim, as American, what is your reaction when you hear Dr. Carson saying that he would not support the idea of a Muslim president?

REZA ASLAN, RELIGIOUS SCHOLAR: I'm not that surprised. In fact, I'm --the only thing I'm surprised about is the sort of Muslim bashing has taken this long to come out in the GOP field. I mean, in 2012, you know, we had Hermann Cane saying that he would never have a Muslim serve on his cabinet. We had Newt Gingrich promising a constitutional amendment banning Sharia in this country. And frankly, you know, the comments of Trump and particularly Dr. Carson, I think are going to be rewarded in the GOP field. In fact --

COOPER: You think their numbers are going to go up? ASLAN: The Carson campaign has already boasted that 24 hours after

making that comment, they have 100 new Facebook followers -- I'm sorry, 100,000 new Facebook followers. I think the numbers are going to go up and I think as a result, you're going to see other candidates sort of playing this game, as well, the xenophobia (ph) anti-Muslim bashing in the modern GOP today sadly that's how you get votes.

COOPER: Amanda, what do you think about that? I mean, you're a Ted Cruz supporter.

AMANDA CARPENTER, FORMER COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR FOR SEN. TED CRUZ: Yes, I couldn't disagree with that assessment more. I mean, look at the news of Scott Walker dropping out of the race today. His dropping out of the race is a dramatic rejection of the direction that Donald Trump and Ben Carson have taken this party particularly with the Muslim comments and just larger no control over their message.

I mean, Scott Walker, if you look at this press conference, he's essentially saying I'm dropping out so we can unify the anti-Trump vote. I think a lot of people are hitting the panic button now about Donald Trump and Ben Carson and essentially are rallying people to get out, figure out who the al tentative is going to be and Scott Walker was the first person to take the bait.

COOPER: Jeffrey, I know you said Dr. Carson is flat out wrong about this. But as far as Donald Trump goes, when asked about the idea of a Muslim president, he says some people have, you know, said it already happened, isn't that just kind of stirring the pot?

JEFFREY LORD, FORMER REAGAN WHITE HOUSE POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Well, I'll tell you what is stirring the pot, Anderson, I have a column coming out tomorrow at the "American Spectator" in which I took a look at Reggie Love. Reggie Love was president Obama and senator Obama as they called them trade body man, the guy who sticks with a candidate all the way through. He served both with the campaign and in the White House with him. And he wrote a book of memoirs that came out this past January and he recounts a personal fight between senator Obama and Hillary Clinton, a very agitated discussion on the runway on the tarmac at Reagan airport in which senator Obama accused of Hillary Clinton personally, and I'm quoting from the book directly, labeling him as a Muslim. In other words --

[20:10:18] COOPER: But even if that's true --

LORD: Of doing this --

COOPER: If that's true, and --

LORD: Well, so we know --

COOPER: Eight years later is it responsible to still be saying that?

LORD: Well, well, look, clearly, clearly, a lot of people feel this. Now, as I've said, I believe president Obama is a Christian. My problem with him is that in his past capacity as a Christian and presidential candidate, he didn't act on Jeremiah right. He had the authority to get him booted from that church but didn't do it. And I'm sure - I assume it was for political reason.

COOPER: Right. But again --

LORD: The far left Democratic Party.

COOPER: But Jeffrey, you are dodging the essential question, which is, is it responsible for Donald Trump eight years after even if Hillary Clinton introduced this idea to still be talking about it?

LORD: You know, I mean, this is a choice of firestorms. Why are we talking about Donald Trump and not Hillary Clinton? She's a candidate in the race. And Anderson, I have to say, you know, we got, what, 92 million people out of the work force. This is the kind of conversation that people like us have. Here in central Pennsylvania, people aren't interested in this kind of thing. They are trying to, you know, get jobs, pay mortgages, do that sort of thing. This is the kind of conversations says, you know, the kind of thing that we talk about among ourselves in the media, you know.

And I would have one last thing, I've said before this is what Rush Limbaugh calls drive by, you know, whether we pull up, we shoot, we cause all this excitement on the topic and then we move onto the next one and that's what is happening here and that's what is going to continue to happen, I imagine.

COOPER: Reza, as somebody who is Muslim, I would imagine that there is a lot of people who actually do care about this. And this is a big issue just as among, you know, some women voters. They were concerned about some things that some of the other candidates have said just as probably some Hispanic voters were concerned as well. So I mean, do you think it's fair to say that this is just a media invention?

ASLAN: It's not just Muslims who care, it is Americans care. Actually, 66 percent of Americans disagree with Ben Carson and say Muslim can be president, 79 percent of Americans between the ages of 18 and 26 believe that to be the case. And frankly, Ben Carson for a man who wants the job of enforcing the constitution doesn't understand it well because what he said violates article six of the constitution that says there shall never be any kind of religious test for office. And more importantly, the inability to just simply say Trump's comments were wrong and stupid and let's move on is an indication exactly --

LORD: What's wrong about them?

ASLAN: This say winning argument. What's wrong about it? It doesn't matter if people are saying president Obama is a Muslim. People are also saying that there are UFOs. A responsible man running for office knows the truth.

LORD: May I ask you a question? May I ask you a question?

ASLAN: Please.

LORD: And I'm genuinely asking it. I don't know the answer. Is it through in the Muslim faith if you're the child of a Muslim father you're considered by others to be a Muslim, is that true?

ASLAN: A Muslim --

LORD: I don't know, I'm asking you. You're the scholar.

ASLAN: I'm sorry? A Muslim is whoever says he's a Muslim.

LORD: I'm asking if that is true.

ASLAN: I'm answering your question.

Is the child of a Muslim father considered to be a Muslim?

COOPER: Jeffrey, we heard your question and he's answering it. Go ahead and answer it.


ASLAN: A Muslim is whoever says he's a Muslim. If someone says he's not a Muslim, he's a Christian, end of discussion.

LORD: That's not what I asked.

COOPER: Amanda, it does seem --

LORD: That's not what I asked.

COOPER: Amanda, it does seem - I mean, you know, back not so long ago there are people who said you couldn't have a catholic president. And if anybody today said there shouldn't be a Jewish president or there shouldn't be a catholic president or there shouldn't be a black president or whatever it may be, people, you know, there would be at large segments of the population would be very offended. Do you see it as parallel?

CARPENTER: No. Here is the thing. People are interested in matters of faith. I mean, it's funny because in politics, often, we say it doesn't matter. Don't question it. It's important to people. And we have the Pope coming. This is the master event of Washington D.C. because people want to celebrate faith. So yes, we should talk about it.

But when Ben Carson puts it in the formulation that he did, you know, essentially no Muslims in the White House, why couldn't he have just said, you know, I would support a Christian in the White House? Our nation is founded on Judea Christian values. You know, I want a see a Christian in the White House. We have Republican candidate going to Iowa, so many times to convince voters that they believe in a higher power, that is Jesus Christ. This happens. It is a part of the Republican primary.

But to put in an opposite formulation is just - it is so negative and just to adjust Jeffrey's point earlier in saying that this is some kind of media drive by thing, I disagree. Donald Trump brought this upon himself. He was the most high-profile birther in America some years ago. And the fact that he -- [20:15:17] LORD: Hillary Clinton beat him to it, Amanda. Amanda,

Hillary Clinton beat him to it.

CARPENTER: That doesn't deny what Donald Trump has said and done. And we want to play foot see on the issue. He could have made a joke. He brought this upon himself.

LORD: Why are we focusing on him and not her? She started this.

CARPENTER: I want a big campaign about that, Obama produced a birth certificate. That's over now. That's not what he did. And so now, every Republican candidate has to talk about this. And we lose control over the winning messages that is jobs, economy, national security, liberty, and we don't get a chance to talk about it and that's really unfortunate.

COOPER: We got to leave it there.

Amanda, appreciate you being on. Jeffrey Lord, always. Reza Aslan, good to have you on tonight as well. Thank you.

Just ahead, a new boost in the polls for Carly Fiorina and closer look at the fire that she's under for her time as a Silicon Valley CEO. Donald Trump is certainly leading the attack on that. We are going beyond the rhetoric in search of her record both as a CEO, both for better and for worse, that's next.

And later, there is just no way to describe the allegations in the death 2-year-old Bella Bond. When the prosecutor says the mom and mother's boyfriend did to this poor little girl has got to be heard to be believe. John Walsh joins us ahead.


[20:20:10] COOPER: It is fair to say that even before the breaking news of Scott Walker dropping out at the presidential race, this was already shaping up to be a busy night for John King. In addition to breaking news, we got new polling on the state of the GOP race and it shows both changes at number two and signals for perhaps the very first time Donald Trump losing some altitude. That's the what, the real story, though, is in the why. For a by the numbers look, we're joined once again by John King -- John.

KING: And Anderson, it is a dramatic drop for Mr. Trump. Let's take a look at it. Our CNN debate, not only drew 23 million viewers. It reshape the Republican race. Look at what is happening right here. Just before the debate, Donald Trump had cracked 32 percent. This is the first national poll that shows Donald Trump going down, now down to 24 percent. The beneficiary, Carly Fiorina, up from three percent to 15 percent. That's a big jump. Marco Rubio up from three percent to 11 percent. And it is not just Mr. Trump went down and Ben Carson went down was at 19 percent just before the debate. He went down to 14 percent.

Let's take a little bit of a closer look at why Donald Trump is in decline at the moment. Here is a big number, 41 percent tea party support before the debate, just 29 percent after. That's a big part of the Republican base. Thirty two percent of white evangelicals, pre-debate Anderson, 28 percent after. That's within the margin of error. But something to keep an eye on the Trump campaign.

The support among Republican women, remember, Carly Fiorina surged in the debate and had a strong showing. Donald Trump dropped quite a bit among Republican women and a little bit among Republican man. This is a test in any political campaign, newcomers, veterans politicians, they get adversity. Donald Trump testing time to see if he is in strive right now. We'll see if he can turn it around.

COOPER: And Dr. Carson was obviously the big surprised in the pre- debate poll surging to second. Why is he slipping to third post- debate?

KING: Slip income third place because the other outsider Carly Fiorina took not only from Donald Trump the businessman but from Dr. Ben Carson, the physician, wide evangelicals. Dr. Carson support fell almost in half 28 percent before the debate, 15 percent post-debate in our new poll. Tea party supporters again cut in half from 21 percent before to 10 percent after. He also slip aid among Republican women. You see the consistency there. Carly Fiorina picking up and Ben Carson and Mr. Trump going down.

COOPER: And let's look, subtraction, addition here, Trump, Carson come down and Carly Fiorina goes up. Let's look at her number.

KING: She goes up. And if you look at the numbers. The big question now for Carly Fiorina is can she sustain this, Anderson? A very strong debate performance. She is at 14 percent now among Republican men, excuse me, only three percent just before. Seventeen percent among Republican women, again, just three percent before the debate. Her tea party support went up to 16 percent of tea party voters say I'm for Carly Fiorina right now. Again, that was at only three percent, also among evangelicals. Remember her answer on Planned Parenthood, a lot of the fact checker say it wasn't exactly right. But impressed the evangelicals up to 13 percent from two percent before debate. So Mr. Trump is dealing with adversity. Carly Fiorina dealing with success. Now, we see what they can make of it.

COOPER: Incredible to look at the difference pre and post-debate.

John, thanks very much.

Tonight on FOX News, Donald Trump restated his assessment that Carly Fiorina sounds robotic on the stump. He also took fresh jabs On the Record of a CEO. Now, that record has become the source of contention in the campaign as Trump and Fiorina trade attacks and counterattacks. Tonight, though, something different. A non-partisan look at her big business legacy.

Tom Foreman has that.


TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): When Carly Fiorina took the top job at the technology giant HP in 1999 she was riding a wave of professional success, "Fortune" magazine called her America's most powerful female executive.

CARLY FIORINA (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I led Hewlett-Packard through a very difficult time, the worst technology recession in 25 years.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Good morning, everybody.

FOREMAN: Then she launched a single massive deal and she's been playing defense ever since.

TRUMP: It was a terrible deal and it really led to the destruction of the company.

FOREMAN: So what was this deal? Fiorina wanted HP to buy Compaq to improve HP's competitive edge in the personal computer market, partially funding the purchase with money from HP's highly successful printer business.

When she met resistance within HP, she pushed through and got the deal anyway but at a terrible price. Profits plummeted and even when they started rising again, they lagged well behind competitors. HP stock value dropped by half, 30,000 workers were laid off and less than six years after she took control, Fiorina was fired. Wall Street had so little faith in her that on news of her dismissal HP stock jumped up seven percent.

RANA FOROOHAR, CNN GLOBAL ECONOMIC ANALYST: Her business record and record as an executive is pretty bad. This was a merger that was not well-executed, not well-orchestrated. She was taking a big pay package at the time that she was cutting not only people, but R&D.

FOREMAN: Fiorina's severance package worth $42 million fueled the anger among stockholders and employees alike. She said she only got half of that. But even now, a decade down the line, she staunchly defends her deal for Compaq.

FIORINA: Years later, it was the clear the merger was a very good idea.

FOREMAN: Her successor Meg Whitman says.

MEG WHITMAN, HEWLETT-PACKARD: I suspect she was trying to do in some ways what I am trying to do is make this company more competitive.

[20:25:04] FOREMAN: Chill even as Fiorina writes her own version of that turbulent history, Trump has put it on one line. Carly Fiorina is terrible at business, the last thing our country needs.

Tom foreman, CNN, Washington.


COOPER: Well, just ahead details about Bella Bond's death. In court today prosecutors described how they say the 2.5-year-old child was killed after refusing to go to bed. There is also new details about the tipster who gave police the crucial break they needed. Plus, protecting Pope Francis during his visit to the U.S. He is

expected to attract huge crowds everywhere he goes this week. How is New York preparing? I'll talk to the police commissioner William Bratton later in the program.


[20:29:41] COOPER: Tonight, there are new developments to tell you about in the tragic killing of little Bella Bond. The toddler who's found in a trash bag along the Boston harbor shore line back in June and for month, she was known as baby Doe until the tipster broke the case wide open.

Today, Bella's mother and her mom's boyfriend were arraigned. They both charged in her murder. Her death, the judge denied the boyfriend's bail and set bail for Bella's mom at $1 million.

[20:30:01] Tonight, what began as a heartbreaking mystery has come into focus detail by horrific detail. Randi Kaye was in the courtroom today.


RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The man prosecutors say killed Bella Bond in court for the first time behind glass and just feet away from girlfriend Rachel Bond, Bella's mother. The couple exposed by a long- time friend of Michael McCarthy's, Michael Sprinsky who lived with them earlier this year. McCarthy had told him Bella had been taken away by the Department of Children and Families, but suddenly last week, Sprinsky heard a different story when he asked the girl's mother about getting her back.

MICHAEL SPRINSKY, FRIEND OF MICHAEL MCCARTHY: She responded, Michael McCarthy killed her and I'm accessory after the fact because I helped him get rid of her body.

KAYE: Stunned, Sprinsky called his sister who shared this computer image created to help identify the little girl. Court records show he also recognized the zebra blanket found with her body from Bella's stroller. Both he and his sister contacted authorities giving them the break they needed.

It all happened in late May when prosecutors say Bella was unwilling to go to bed here at her Dorchester, Massachusetts apartment. That's when prosecutors say Michael McCarthy went to try and calm her down in the back bedroom. When things got quiet, Rachel Bond went to check on them. According to the criminal complaint, that's when Bond witnessed McCarthy striking Bella in the abdomen. She says when Bella stopped breathing, McCarthy said to her, it was her time to die.

McCarthy allegedly believed Bella was possessed by demons. Court documents show Rachel Bond told investigators that McCarthy threatened to kill her if she told anyone. Also, that McCarthy put her daughter's body in a garbage bag, then inside the kitchen refrigerator. Authorities say McCarthy sedated Bond for days by injecting heroin into her neck. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She was not free to leave and she was not free

to use the phone.

KAYE: Days later, prosecutors say Rachel Bond helped McCarthy take the bag with Bella's body in it, put weights inside, and dump it in Boston Harbor. It was discovered by a woman on the shores of Deer Island on June 25th.

When investigators came to search Bella Bond's home, they found a child's clothing but no sign of any child. They also found books about demons and ghosts, prosecutors say Michael McCarthy had told others he could see demons and ghosts and even knew how to exercise them.

Sprinsky, the tipster, had told investigators before he moved out, he witnessed Bella being called a demon and her mother and boyfriend locking her in a closet for up to an hour at a time. Meanwhile, McCarthy's defense lawyer says his client is deeply saddened by Bella's death and had nothing to do with it.

JONATHAN SHAPIRO, MICHAEL MCCARTHY'S ATTORNEY: He believed that DCF had taken her. That's what he was told by Rachel Bond and he believed her.

KAYE: Bella's biological father who never met his daughter says he recently returned here to get back in her life, but he was too late, Rachel Bond came to him last week when McCarthy finally left the apartment and told him their daughter was dead.

(on camera): And what did she tell you?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She told me all the horrific details of what happened to our daughter.

KAYE: How hard was that to hear?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was tremendously hard. It was probably one of the hardest things I ever had to sit through ever in my life and listen to.


COOPER: So, I don't know, what was it like in the courtroom today, Randi?

KAYE: Well, Anderson, emotions were certainly running high, Bella Bond's biological father was there as you saw. And he was sitting right there in the front row. In fact, he almost got thrown out because he was making gestures to her mother Rachel Bond trying to show her that he brought with him Bella's favorite beads that she used to sleep with at night and then when the hearing ended he screamed at Michael McCarthy and said you won't last a day, you won't last a single day in prison.

And even before that this woman stood up in the middle of the hearing, stormed out of the courtroom, also yelling at Michael McCarthy. She used the f word, she told him to rot in hell. So, it was a very dramatic moment there, and mainly because a lot of people have so many questions. They want to know, Anderson, why this girl was still in that home, two other children had already been removed. We know from the biological father, he had called the Department of Children and Families once to try and get her removed from the home. His mother, Bella's grandmother had called twice and Anderson, she was never taken out of that home and the case was closed.

COOPER: Randi, I appreciate the reporting. I want to bring in John Walsh, host of CNN's "The Hunt" who sadly knows more than almost anyone about cases like these. He's channeled personal tragedy into a life-long mission to find missing kids and to identify Baby Does. John, thanks for being with us. You said from the beginning in this case that this was likely a boyfriend or someone who knew the child. I mean these arrests don't surprise you, do they?

JOHN WALSH, HOST "THE HUNT": No, there are about 450 kids on the average, according to the FBI in any given year murdered in the United States by parents, live-in boyfriends, people that are related to that child or live in that house.


And for years, we have been talking about Department of Child Services or Department of Family Services in many, many states dropping the ball and as tragic and as horrible as this case is, first I want to say the good side of it is that people rally to the search for this little girl to find out her name. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children put up that composite that you showed repeatedly, Anderson, and all of CNN did and 47 million people saw that little girl's face and eventually it was probably the reason she was recovered and we know who she is, but the downside of it is this woman with a history of prostitution and drugs, incompetent, horrible mother, horrible parent, two children taken away from her, how could they not track this little girl? What do you have to do? A grandma calls and says this child is in trouble. A real, the real father calls, neighbors I hear have called, not sure about that, but had also called. What do you have to do to save a 2.5-year-old girl's life?

COOPER: It does seem like -- from what the reporting was last week that family services basically were only looking at active cases in the area near where the body was found. They weren't looking at cases that had already been closed, which apparently this one had even though as you point out multiple people had called.

WALSH: What a horrible excuse. What a way to cover your tracks to say that we weren't aware that this little girl was on the radar because this case is closed. Again, Anderson, they are paid. They are overworked. They are understaffed. They are not trained properly in any given state, Massachusetts isn't just the state, but what kind of an excuse is that when grandma calls and biological father and you look in your computer and say this lady is a horrible mother, we had to take away two other children, let's send somebody there to that house two, three, four, five times, show us the girl. Show us -- tell us what you're doing with her and then just for the odds, take her out of that house. You only got to look at that picture and say this little girl could have been saved by a really good Department of Children Services.

COOPER: Does it ever seem to you like a department of children services learns from past mistakes? I mean, it seems like these mistakes get repeated and repeated. Now, this would seem to be a case study for in the future don't just look at active cases, but look at cases that have recently been closed or anything in the neighborhood that's been closed even with past allegations of abuse. It would seem to be, I mean, let's hope they would learn from this, but in your experiences, do they?

WALSH: It never seems to be the case. You hit the nail right on the head. When every state legislature and these are state organizations, these are not federal organizations, when every state legislature meets, I say they should put at the top of their list of what they have to do is to protect children. Governor, governor, after governor has investigated child services in state after state. Some states have a horrible year and it gets better for a little while. I remember when Florida had, I think, it was 30 kids in foster care that they couldn't find after months. We were looking for a missing child on America's most wanted and no one could find that child and the state started to look at it, and went oh my god, we've got multiple kids in foster care that their caregivers are cashing the checks for taking care of these children, but they are off the radar. I don't know what we have to do as the richest, most powerful country on the world to say to state legislators, save these kids, they are being beaten, starved and murdered and dumped in a garbage bag in a bay like a piece of garbage. It's just - it's just horrible.

COOPER: John, I appreciate you being on Thanks for being on and let's continue to shine the light on it.

Thank you so much, John

WALSH: Thank you, Anderson.

COOPER: Just ahead, tonight: Pope Francis arriving tomorrow for his first U.S. visit. He draws huge crowds, of course, wherever he goes. From a security perspective, it is a huge challenge to say the least. I'll talk to New York Police Commissioner William Bratton about what this city, what New York is doing to prepare.



COOPER: On his last full day in Cuba, Pope Francis visited a remote town at the eastern part of the island, greeting the faithful, kissing kids, giving hugs, showing why he is known as the people's pope. Tens of thousands turned out for the mess he held today, dozens of journalists traveled with Francis from Rome to Cuba. CNN's Rosa Flores was on the flight and had an pretty extraordinary moment with the pope. She joins me now. So, you had a face-to-face meeting with the pope. What was it like?

ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, it was incredible. Imagine looking into the eyes of the leader of the Roman Catholic Church. It was a remarkable, memorable and almost normal in a sense and I hate to say that but we were speaking Spanish, Spanish is my first language. It's his native language, as well and it was a bit of just of a fun conversation that I would have, for example, with my grandfather. He was laughing. He was joking, very memorable in so many ways.

COOPER: And I understand you reached out to some priests for guidance on how to approach him.


FLORES: I did. Because I was a little frightened quite frankly. You know, I was going to meet Pope Francis, I was going to be on the plane with the pope and other journalists, and from what I heard, he normally likes to give individual attention to all of the journalists, meet them, spend a few seconds with them and I was a bit frightened so I reached out to some priests that I know, know him very well and I said please give me some advice. What should I do? What should I not do? Anderson, imagine, one, I didn't want to embarrass myself. Two, I didn't want to do something that would embarrass CNN while I'm covering the news for CNN and so the priest gave me great advice and I think it worked.


COOPER: What was the advice?

FLORES: Well, they first of all said, Rosa, don't forget to say your name and who you're with because they said, you know so many times journalists are so excited to see him that they forget to just introduce themselves and say their name. They said, be yourself, speak Spanish, it's his native language and tell him a story, tell him something and then one of the priests said give him a hug, Rosa, and tell him that I'm very happy that you're on the plane. As soon as I told him the name of the priest, Pope Francis goes off, says, you know, that priest, two days before the conclave, he dares to tell me are you calm? Are you calm? He said who asks that question two days before the conclave. It was really a fun conversation.

COOPER: Well, just amazing experience. Thank you so much for joining us, Rosa. I appreciate it and we'll continue to check with you. Throughout these several days, we're going to have extensive coverage, obviously, of Pope Francis' visit. He arrives in Washington tomorrow for the first visit of him - his [INAUDIBLE]

to the United States. On Thursday, he'll become the first pontiff to address a joint session of congress, also visit New York and Philadelphia, all three cities have spent months preparing, security obviously a major concern, especially because this pope likes to interact with crowds that turn out to see him everywhere. It's a very difficult situation. Obviously, for his security detail, Pennsylvania state police recently issued a bulletin warning of terrorists potentially impersonating police officers or first responders or EMTs, a spokesperson tells CNN that the warning wasn't specific to the pope's visit. That said, an event of this scale could obviously be an attractive target. Earlier, I talked to New York's police commissioner William Bratton in New York Central Park where the pope will be visiting.


COOPER: There was a report from Pennsylvania state police, I know CNN talked to them. There was some concern about possibility of terrorists using uniforms of police officers or posing as EMT and they said it wasn't specific to the pope's visit, but it was just a warning they put out there. Is that something you've considered?

WILLIAM BRATTON: This is a heavily credentialed event. A lot of the personnel that will be involved in a lot - the more intimate, I mean, as then the other would be usually the officer with the badge, et cetera. We'll be mindful of that as you might appreciate, and officers knowing each other, there is a lot of the officers working detail will be coming from the same command. So, there will be a lot of familiarity among officers and with the heightened concerns we would have because of all the dignitaries including the pope, that's an issue that would be prepared to address.

COOPER: How difficult? This is a pope who as you know likes to be out with the people and doesn't like to have a lot of security, doesn't like - bulletproof vehicle, as I understand it. How do you prepare for somebody who may change the route, may stop the vehicle and get out and start talking about it?

BRATTON: Just said, you prepare for that. We're not concerned about changing the route. Those are pretty specific and maybe traveling in a 30 some odd car motorcade. So, changing routes is very difficult with something that large. What you talked about, we plan for the worst of the unexpected and we watch very closely all of his appearances around the world, how he interacts with the crowd.

COOPER: You studied those appearances?

BRATTON: Sure, in terms of, you know, how we interact. That's something we need to know about him because undoubtedly he will seek to do that. He makes it quite clear that he wants to meet with his parishioners and that's something we fully expect.

COOPER: We talked to chief - for counterterrorism who said that they've already kind of played out a number of scenarios, a number of different types of attacks that somebody might try to launch against him.

BRATTON: Well, for example, the events down in Cuba where several protestors came over the barrier and attempted to get close, and so we'll watch that in terms of his security, addressing that very quickly and so we're constantly learning.

COOPER: With these kind of crowds, is it an active shooter? Is that the biggest concern?

BRATTON: We think in terms of you would always be concerned about active shooter, you'd be concerned about, certainly, explosive device, you would be concerned with any type of weapon for that matter that -- and we're certainly seeing experiences involving the pope including St. Peter's Square with people attacking other popes, not this one. So the types of weapons that could be utilized, the types of threats, we try to plan for all of that.

COOPER: In terms of specific or credible threats, do you have any?

BRATTON: No, fortunately, as of this juncture, as you and I standing and talking tonight, we do not.


COOPER: Well, up next, 11 highway shootings in the Phoenix area. Police arrest a man suspected in four of the attacks. What he told the judge when we continue.



COOPER: Welcome back. A suspect has been arrested now in a string of - in connection with a string of shootings along an interstate in Phoenix. Now, police say they've linked the suspect to four of the 11 incidents, but he says they have got the wrong guy. Ana Cabrera reports tonight.


ANA CABRERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Shattered car windows, the bullet holes and doors, Arizona residents living in fear for weeks, but now an arrest.

LESLIE ALLEN MERRIT JR. SUSPECT: All I have to say is that I'm the wrong guy.

CABRERA: This 21-year-old father of two is behind bars charged with terrorizing the Phoenix area at the end of August shooting at random cars and even a bus along the busy Interstate 10. Leslie Allen Merritt Junior was arrested on Friday.

LESLIE ALLEN MERRITT JR. SUSPECT: My gun has been in the pawnshop for the last two months. I haven't even had access to a weapon.

CABRERA: Investigators say they did indeed track down the 9 millimeter handgun at a pawnshop, they test fired it and found a match.

BART GRAVES, ARIZONA DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY: The test fired bullets were matched to bullet fragments from four cases over the last weekend in August.

CABRERA: Merritt's gun was not in a pawnshop when those four separate shootings happened on August 29 and 30, according to police. While no one was killed, a 13-year-old girl was injured after a car windshield shattered.

LESLIE MERRITT SR. SUSPECT'S FATHER: I know my son. My entire family knows my son. There is no way he could have done it. CABRERA: Leslie Merritt Senior adamantly defends his son and he questions the evidence.


MERRITT SR. It sounds like a rush job. How many other firearms did they test fire and go through?

CABRERA: Plus, investigators have not been able to connect Merritt to seven other similar shootings including a bullet to a big rig as recently as September 10th. Right now a $50,000 reward remains up for grabs.

COL. FRANK MILSTEAD, DIRECTOR, ARIZONA DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY: Are there others out there? Are there copy cats? That is possible. We'll continue to investigate.

CABRERA: Authorities are urging vigilants hoping for more tips that could lead to more suspects. Little comfort to a city on edge.


COOPER: And Ana joins us now. So, what are you learning about this guy's criminal history?

CABRERA: He really just have a minor criminal history. That's how law enforcement described it. His father does say he had a misdemeanor charge a few years back for cutting some copper wire but we confirmed no prior felonies. Tonight, he's facing 28 different felony charges including aggravated assault, drive-by shooting, even intentional acts of terrorism and he's being held on a $1 million cash bond, Anderson.

COOPER: All right, Ana, we'll continue to follow that. Thanks very much.

In the next hour of "360", we've live all the way through the 10:00 hour. New CNN polling in the Democratic presidential race and a new surge for Hillary Clinton. Plus, there is breaking news on the Republican side, Scott Walker dropping out.