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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Obama Targets Religious Voters; Solving America's Economic Crisis
Aired July 1, 2008 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Tonight, the economy from the gas station to the assembly line to a Starbucks near you, new alarming evidence about just how much people are hurting, paying more, losing jobs, losing homes, and losing hope. The question is, what are our leaders and the presidential candidates doing about it? We will examine that tonight.
Also, Barack Obama campaigning today for evangelical votes, and he's reaching out to evangelicals with house parties and some policies which might anger liberals. We will show you his strategy and chances for winning over religious votes.
And, later, breaking news -- a spree killer caught. This man, Nicholas Sheley, now in custody, was being hunted in connection with eight killings in just a week's time. Moments ago, police wrapped up a news conference. They caught him just a short time ago. We're live with the latest on how Sheley was caught, what he's charged with, and what comes next.
And left to die -- a woman collapsing in a hospital waiting room. And what happened next? Nothing. People just sat there looking at her or ignoring her. Almost everything that did happen will make your blood boil. We're "Keeping Them Honest" tonight.
We begin with your money, your jobs, your retirement, more and more Americans saying they're watching it all slip away. Today, we got more evidence of that -- word of plummeting car sales a day after stocks finished their worst month since the Great Depression.
Home prices keep falling. Foreclosures keep coming, and gas prices keep rising. That's what people say they care about most, not John McCain's war record or Barack Obama's church life, or even another terror attack. Instead, the bottom line for most people seems to be exactly that, the bottom line, your money, your vote. The question tonight, what are the candidates going to do about it?
Here's CNN's Candy Crowley.
CANDY CROWLEY, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In the end, the presidency may come down to this. Which one will fix the things that ails the economy? Who hears the high anxiety?
SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D-IL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I have talked to families who are having to make different choices about the food they buy because they're out an extra $100 or $150 or even $200 a month that used to go groceries now goes to the gas tank.
CROWLEY: Which one feels the pressing nature of an economy gone sour?
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R-AZ), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Who's suffering the most? Who is bearing the brunt of this? Well, the low-income worker on fixed income that drives the oldest cars. Those are the largest gas consumption cars. We know that. The brunt of this incredible increase in the cost of a gallon of oil is being borne by the lowest-income Americans.
CROWLEY: The economy now dominates the campaign trail as it dominates American households. In the latest CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll, 58 percent of registered voters said the economy was extremely important to their vote, eight points higher than Iraq, the largest gap since the war began.
The campaign trail, once separated by who was for and who was against the war, is now littered with 10-point plans and long-term proposals.
MCCAIN: American's dependence on foreign oil was a troubling situation 35 years ago. It was an alarming situation 20 years ago. It's a dangerous situation today.
CROWLEY: John McCain wants a huge step-up on the production side of the energy equation. That includes more nuclear power plants and offshore oil drilling. In the short term, he favors temporarily lifting the federal gas tax.
Barack Obama's plan leans more heavily on alternative energy, calling for a $150 billion infusion for research and development. He envisions an 80 percent reduction in carbon emissions by 2015, and he opposes the gas tax holiday and offshore drilling.
OBAMA: I want to provide tax breaks to working families, so a $1,000 tax break per family, so that 95 percent of voters will see their tax bill go down in an Obama administration.
CROWLEY: For a long-term boost to the economy, Barack Obama would extend the Bush tax cuts for those making $250,000 a year or less. He promises to restore fairness to the tax code and give an immediate stimulus to the economy with tax relief for middle-income families.
John McCain proposes making all the Bush tax cuts permanent, reducing the corporate tax rate, and doubling the exemption for dependents. Both favor a plan to help homeowners whose mortgage is larger than the value of their home. It is an awesome set of challenges. But as detailed as 10-point plans may be, they're political documents designed to win votes. The question is which man will actually deliver when it comes to policy.
Candy Crowley, CNN, Washington.
(END VIDEOTAPE) COOPER: So, who's connecting with the voters on a pocketbook level?
Here for our "Strategy Session": GOP strategist and CNN contributor Ed Rollins, Marcus Mabry, international business editor of "The New York Times," and Democratic strategist Robert Zimmerman.
Marcus, let's start off with you.
Are either of these two candidates doing as much as they can on the economy?
MARCUS MABRY, INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS EDITOR, "THE NEW YORK TIMES": Anderson, I don't think they are.
I find it incredibly surprising, and a little consternating, frankly. Clearly, McCain has a bigger problem here, because he has an association with the current president and the current administration. And, of course, on the economy, George Bush gets incredibly low marks.
However, McCain has been the one who, in the last few days, we have seen him in factories in Pennsylvania talking to working-class Americans. We have seen Barack Obama out, somehow, out in Independence, Missouri, the home of Harry S. Truman, defending his own patriotism record.
Now, I understand why Obama is doing that. The Republicans are attacking him in many states, saying that he lacks patriotism, saying things that aren't true, such as he doesn't salute the flag, doesn't say the Pledge of Allegiance.
However, I think we can take a lesson here from the Bill Clinton first campaign, which is, it's the economy, stupid. And I don't understand why the Obama campaign has not consistently hit over and over and over again on the economic message.
Why have we not seen Barack Obama in factories in swing states, going through Appalachia, talking to white working-class voters?
COOPER: Robert, what about that? I mean, you're a Democrat. Why isn't Obama doing that?
ROBERT ZIMMERMAN, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: He has been doing that. He's had 16 months in this Democratic primary process, where the focus has been the issue of fair trade vs. free trade, how to review the economy, develop of green jobs, tax cuts for working middle class.
The issue here, though, is -- and I can understand where Mark is coming from, because, right now, the Obama campaign is at a different stage than the McCain campaign. He's just become the nominee. He's introducing himself to the American people.
And so he's connecting with them in a personal way, introducing himself biographically, talking about patriotism and his life story, talking about faith and what it means to him personally and what it means to America. And, at the same time, he's also been highlighting the economy and other environmental issues as well.
COOPER: Ed, do you agree with Marcus that John McCain is at a disadvantage at this because of a linkage with George Bush?
ED ROLLINS, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, John McCain has to basically have an empathy for ordinary people.
We have a perfect example. He mentioned the Clinton campaign. The other side of that is George Bush, who is a great international president, could not relate to ordinary people. People did not want to throw him out, but they didn't think he related to their lives.
John McCain has -- he's going to Colombia. He's going to Mexico. He's going to talk to NAFTA. How does that relate to ordinary working people here, that you're trying to basically make sure that Colombians and Mexicans have jobs, as opposed to Americans have jobs?
The next 19 weeks, 18-and-a-half weeks, that we have left here, every single day, if I was running his campaign, I would be talking about jobs. How do you rebuild the infrastructure? Neither of these economic plans -- and you're the economic expert, Robert -- Robert has rich friends -- I want to have rich friends.
ROLLINS: But, at the end of the day, no one knows which of these plans is going to work.
But what people want to know is, do you understand how much I'm hurting and do you care and are you going to try and make my life a priority?
COOPER: Marcus, in reality, is there much the president can do about the economy?
MABRY: Well, this is a debate that we hear over and over again.
And while usually the argument is no, the president gets blamed for the economy; however, the president actually is surprisingly helpless to really make a difference in the economy. I don't really believe that. I think the pro-growth policies that a president can establish does make a difference.
I think, certainly, Ed can talk about history here and expertise. He can talk about the realities of, for instance, what Ronald Reagan thought when he came into office and what were the realities once he got to office. I think presidents do make a difference, because presidents set policies that either allow the economy to grow or make it so an economy has to overcome that president's policies.
ZIMMERMAN: I think the best example of Marcus' point is the economy that George W. Bush inherited and what his economic policies and his tax cuts for the very wealthy really produced amongst other agendas that he pursued economically.
But the point here that I think is significant is that both the McCain and Obama campaigns are presenting two very different economic philosophies. What those programs would be if either one is president, after Congress reviews them, remains to be seen.
But we clearly have two very different economic agendas Candy laid out in her setup piece. John McCain is certainly advocating tax cuts for -- continuing the Bush tax cuts for the very wealthy. That's his belief. Barack Obama is certainly talking about tax cuts for middle-income workers.
COOPER: It is -- to your point, Ed, about why they're not out there every day talking about this, or, certainly, John McCain, at least, I mean, it is strange, because they hear about this every day. In town hall meetings, this is what people are talking about.
ROLLINS: John McCain has hurt himself badly by saying, "I don't know anything about the economy," as opposed to saying, "I have been chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee."
He's been a Senate on the Armed Services Committee. He's been a chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee. Commerce relates to everyday business. That's what he ought to be talking about: Here's what I am going to do as chairman of the Senate Com. He's what I'm going to do as president. I'm going to put people back to work. I'm going to have us rebuild our infrastructure. I'm going to help reset priorities of this country. And that is what is going to be very important, Americans going back to work by Americans spending their money, buying American goods, and the government basically saying, defense contracts, building fences, whatever, building bridges, we're going to do it with American dollars, will go a long ways to stimulating this economy.
COOPER: We're going to have to leave it there.
Marcus Mabry, Robert Zimmerman, Ed Rollins, thanks very much. Good discussion.
COOPER: Good conversation.
You can join online as well in our conversation. We're blogging throughout the show. Just go to our new Web site, AC360.com. The conversation is already under way.
Up next: Barack Obama trying to capture evangelical voters. Now, he spoke out on faith today, got behind one of President Bush's faith- based programs a lot more.
Up next, you may be surprised, though, to hear how Barack Obama is reaching out to the faithful and how it's likely to play.
Also tonight, a breaking story unfolding as we speak: the capture of a suspected mass murderer, this guy, eight killings, one suspect -- late details coming up.
And new details on a woman's death in a hospital waiting room -- all of it caught on tape. You see her collapse there on the right- hand side of the screen. How do you die in a hospital without ever getting help? Well, you're looking at it. We are going to look at how it happened and why didn't anyone in the waiting room, at least, get up and try to help her? We're "Keeping Them Honest" -- tonight on 360.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D-IL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: As I have said many times, I believe that change comes not from the top down, but from the bottom up. And few are closer to the people than our churches, our synagogues, our temples, and our mosques.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Barack Obama today in Ohio speaking out on his own faith, laying out plans to expand and alter President Bush's program for giving religious groups federal money to do community service.
Now, a lot of liberals oppose that, saying faith doesn't fit in the public square. And, already, some religious leaders are raising objections to Obama's version because it would ban hiring and firing solely on the basis of religious.
So, if he's angering people on both sides of the political aisle, why commit to anything, and why now? Well, he may simply be trying to create a middle ground where God and government can mix, perhaps.
But, as CNN's Jessica Yellin reports, he almost certainly understands that doing so is good politics.
That's our "Raw Politics" tonight.
JESSICA YELLIN, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Barack Obama is working to avoid a problem that's tripped up Democrats before him, a God problem.
OBAMA: We know that faith and values can be a source of strength in our own lives. That's what it's been to me.
YELLIN: This year, somewhere between Pastor Jeremiah Wright's rantings and the false "Obama is a Muslim" whisper campaign, the candidate's faith message got drowned out. Now he's trying to bring it back with an aggressive new campaign, one part damage control, one part outreach.
OBAMA: The fact is, leaders in both parties have recognized the value of a partnership between the White House and faith-based groups.
YELLIN: Today, Obama ripped a page from the Bush playbook, a pledge to dramatically expand the president's partnership with religious organizations, and, at the same time, under the radar... UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Dear Lord, please be with us here tonight.
YELLIN: ... Obama's campaign is holding so-called values parties, wooing undecided religious voters at small gatherings, like this one in Cincinnati.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My kids can look at him and think, you know, he's a -- it's good to be Catholic. It's good to be Christian. It's good to be open about what you are. And it doesn't...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Patriotic.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, and be patriotic.
YELLIN: The message? Obama's Democratic Party welcomes believers, and Republicans don't have a monopoly on God.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: People love God in the blue and they love God in the red states.
YELLIN: Joshua DuBois directs Obama's faith outreach.
JOSHUA DUBOIS, DIRECTOR OF RELIGIOUS AFFAIRS, OBAMA CAMPAIGN: Too often, Democrats have ceded the language of faith and morality to other folks. And what we're here to say is that Senator Obama is a committed Christian, and he believes that people of all faiths and backgrounds have a role in public life.
YELLIN: Did you catch that? Obama is a committed Christian, another big theme of these meetings are reminders like this video that the candidate is no Muslim.
OBAMA: I have never been ashamed to talk about my Christian faith.
YELLIN: Winning over religious voters has been an uphill climb for Democrats. And Obama thinks he can break the mold.
JOHN GREEN, RELIGION AND POLITICS SCHOLAR: And one of the areas in which Senator Obama might be able to get that extra margin of voters would be in some of these religious communities, Catholics, evangelical Protestants, white mainline Protestants, that, in the past, have tended to vote more Republican.
YELLIN: Religious conservatives aren't going to make it easy. Obama's talk only goes so far, they say. And they're highlighting his pro-choice views in a new ad campaign.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, AD)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Senator, I have a question for you. If, as you say, fatherhood begins at conception, when does life begin?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
YELLIN: Faith voters might not get the answer they're looking for, but Obama is betting that some of them are ready for new questions and new answers.
Jessica Yellin, CNN, Washington.
COOPER: Digging deeper now with Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, and author of "Personal Faith, Public Policy," also CNN analyst Roland Martin, author of "Listening to the Spirit Within." His wife is a Baptist minister, I should point out, as well.
Roland, Obama is very definitely courting evangelicals aggressively, unprecedented, probably, for a Democratic candidate in recent memory, at least. But, given his stance on abortion and other -- other policies, how big of a chunk of the evangelical vote do you think he can really get?
ROLAND MARTIN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, those are not the only issues that you're seeing evangelicals today concerned about.
When you look at younger evangelical, when you talk about poverty, talk about social justice, when you look at global warming, those are all issues. I remind you of what Rick Warren said. Rick Warren, pastor of Saddleback Church in California, invited Obama out to his church last year, I believe.
People said: How dare you? He stands against abortion and homosexuality.
And he said: I'm sorry. This conference is about HIV/AIDS. Where we agree, we agree. Where we disagree, we need to disagree.
That's what Obama is actually saying.
COOPER: Tony, do you think Obama can have it both ways?
TONY PERKINS, PRESIDENT, FAMILY RESEARCH COUNCIL: No, I don't think so.
I would agree with Roland in that the issue set has expanded and evangelicals are concerned about the environment. They're concerned about poverty and those other issues, but...
COOPER: And, Tony, is that breakdown along generational lines?
PERKINS: It is. Actually, it is.
Younger evangelicals, actually, they're more concerned about more issues. And they're also more hands on. They want to actually be a part of solving these issues of poverty. And I consider myself to be a part of that younger generation.
But I will also say that Pew Research shows that younger evangelicals are actually stronger on the issue of life than their parents. So, it's not that they have jettisoned these other issues of life and marriage and family. They have just broadened their issue base.
And, so, from that standpoint, there is a disconnect with what he is saying, in terms of his faith talk, and his practical public policy walk that he's doing...
COOPER: But, Tony, do you think -- but, if they have a broader spectrum of policies that they're looking at, this younger generation you talk about, whether they disagree -- whether they agree with him or not on the issue of being pro-choice or pro-life, whatever you want to call it, the abortion issue, won't they take these other issues -- don't they weigh perhaps just as heavily as -- as that issue?
PERKINS: No, no, I don't think they weigh as heavily. There's still a prioritization that takes place that they're -- the traditional issues still outweigh the other issues.
But they are listening because of those issues. So, there's no question that, as he's talking, he has an audience. But his whole talk about, you know, really a rebirth of the president's faith-based initiative, when he's made comments about those that support traditional marriage being divisive and discriminatory, you have to wonder who would be able to participate in the faith-based initiative under a Barack Obama administration.
MARTIN: And, Anderson, here's the critical issue.
The reality is, the faith-based initiative has always been there. They simply did not have to follow, according to President Bush, civil rights statutes.
But look at the number. That same Pew study Tony cited showed that Bush received 78 percent of evangelicals. But McCain is only polling at 64. That's what Obama's point is, picking anywhere from 14 to 20 percent.
And, Anderson, I think what Obama should do, I think what he should do, he should go meet with Tony and the Family Research Council and say, OK, where are the issues where we agree on and how can we work together?
I think he should go meet with Focus on the Family. John McCain is scared to, frankly, deal with evangelicals. He doesn't really want to touch this subject. If I'm Obama, go into his camp. Show that I can go across the aisle to talk to people I disagree with.
COOPER: Tony, it's interesting.
And I know, Tony, you have said in the past you would be happy to meet with them.
PERKINS: Absolutely, I would.
COOPER: Dr. Dobson has not, as we discussed last week. But it is interesting. In reading -- I read Obama's speech today on faith. And if you told me a Republican had made that speech, I wouldn't be surprised. It is a speech which there's probably a lot of agreement from your positions to his.
PERKINS: You're absolutely right. You're absolutely right.
But it's where it -- the breakdown comes with the policy positions. And I agree with -- with Roland. I mean, I think that there is opportunity to work together. And I think that, actually, Barack Obama -- work together, I mean across partisan lines. I have some real problems with Barack Obama's positions.
But I would say that Roland is correct that John McCain is not polling as high with evangelicals as George W. Bush was. And Barack Obama, to his credit, sees an opening, and he's taking it. And I think he's making some ground.
COOPER: We're going to leave it there.
Tony Perkins, always good to have you on, and Roland Martin as well. Thanks.
PERKINS: Thank you.
COOPER: So, just ahead, did you see what happened in the waiting room in a New York hospital? Take a look. A woman falls, can't get up, and no one even tries to help her. For an entire hour, she lay on the floor. And, by then, it was too late. Tonight, answers and accountability. We're "Keeping Them Honest."
Plus, breaking news: an arrest in a bloody killing spree stretching across nearly 300 miles. Who is the suspect, and how did they catch him?
That's next on 360.
COOPER: That's the shot from our live blog cam. Get a look behind the scenes in the studio. Even during commercial breaks, you can see it.
It's a reminder that, as always, we are live-blogging tonight. So, jump in, join the conversation at AC360.com. Oh, the camera just moved there to Erica.
Erica Hill joins us now with a 360 bulletin -- Erica.
ERICA HILL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: On two camera.
Anderson, California's governor calling in the National Guard now -- Arnold Schwarzenegger today announcing at least 200 National Guard soldiers will join the battle to contain more than 1,400 wildfires still burning throughout the state. Portuguese newspapers report police are closing the case of Madeleine McCann, the British girl who disappeared during a family vacation in May of 2007. According to those papers, investigators have reached a dead end. Her parents, who were named as formal suspects, have repeatedly denied any involvement and have waged an international campaign to find their little girl.
And Angelina Jolie admitted to a hospital in the South of France. We're told all is well. The actress is expecting twins next month with partner Brad Pitt. The hospital says she checked in to its maternity clinic as planned to be monitored until her delivery, Anderson. We wish them well.
COOPER: Certainly do.
All right, here's tonight's "Beat 360" photo: President Bush giving a signed baseball to Little League Red Sox player Xavier Garcia on the South Lawn at the White House. There's the little guy.
Here's the caption from our staff winner, Joey. What a shock. Joey hardly actually ever wins.
HILL: Yes, never.
COOPER: Yes, never.
HILL: He never has the best caption every day.
COOPER: That's right. We're actually thinking of renaming the segment "Beat Joey."
HILL: I like it.
COOPER: Anyway, Joey's caption tonight: "Thanks for the autographed baseball, Mr. President. I will sell it on eBay to pay for the gas to get to my little league games."
HILL: And this is why it's "Beat Joey."
COOPER: Ouch. That's tough.
Think you can do better? Go to our new Web site, AC360.com. Click on the "Beat 360" link. Send us your entry. We will announce the winner at the end of the program. And, of course, the winner gets one of those nifty T-shirts.
HILL: Hey, hey.
Just ahead: caught on tape in a hospital emergency room, a woman clearly in need of help, collapsed on the floor there, unable to get up, ignored and left to die. How could this happen? And who's being held responsible. And what's going to prevent it from happening again? We're "Keeping Them Honest."
Also, breaking news tonight in a murder spree spanning hundreds of miles, an alleged killer, this guy, in custody tonight -- details just ahead.
COOPER: That man, Nicholas Sheley, is no longer wanted. He was arrested just hours ago, shortly before 7:00 p.m. local time, in Granite City, Illinois.
Police suspect him of killing eight people in Missouri and Illinois in the space just a couple days, six days, as a matter of fact, eight people. Sheley's wife calls him a loving father, except when he's drunk or high on drugs.
Now, after a massive manhunt, they have got him. He was on foot alone, when he was taken into custody in a parking lot outside a bar. Our affiliate is reporting that witnesses said he was making calls on the bar's phone just before his arrest.
Here's what police said in a news conference a short time ago.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He was walking to the parking lot when he was spotted. The officer called for assistance. And they took him into custody without incident.
QUESTION: Did he have a weapon on him?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He did not have a weapon on him.
QUESTION: Was he in a bar (OFF-MIKE) I'm being told a bartender (OFF-MIKE) recognized him in a bar.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We don't know that he was in that bar. He was not in a bar when he was arrested. They're still following up to see what his whereabouts were immediately preceding the arrest.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: CNN's Susan Roesgen is in Rock Falls, Illinois, tonight, where several of the victims were found, has the very latest on this breaking story -- Susan.
SUSAN ROESGEN, CNN GULF COAST CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Anderson, we are in front of one of the murder scenes, this fourplex apartment behind me.
In the upper right-hand apartment, on the upper right-hand side, is where the police found four bodies, the bodies of two men, a woman, and a child. And detectives believe that those are some of Nicholas Sheley's victims.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) ROESGEN (voice-over): Whoever killed these people was desperate and had nothing left to lose. That's what investigators say about Nicholas Sheley, arrested on a warrant charging him in one murder. And he's suspected of seven more.
Among the most recent killings, detectives believe Sheley used something as a weapon -- they won't say what -- to attack an Arkansas couple in Festus, Missouri. The husband and wife were in town for a graduation party.
Detectives say Sheley beat them to death in their hotel parking lot. The couple's dogs attracted attention.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A customer of the hotel came in and found two dogs on the parking lot. Both dogs were covered in blood.
YELLIN: In just one week, eight people were found murdered in what detectives say was a one-man killing spree, stretching nearly 300 miles.
The first killing was in Whiteside County in Sterling, Illinois, toward the north. The Festus, Missouri, murders were near Saint Louis, to the south. In Galesburg, Illinois, a man was killed behind this grocery store. A gas station nearby says he spotted a man who looked like Sheley covered in blood.
Rock Falls, Illinois, three adults and one child killed in this small apartment, and, in Sterling, Illinois, a 94-year-old man beaten to death, his body stuffed in the trunk of a car.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The guy was a nice old man. He didn't hurt nobody or nothing.
YELLIN: The last time anyone saw Sheley was last night at Busch Stadium, where the Cardinals were playing in Saint Louis. He was arrested not far from there in Granite City, Illinois, with a $25,000 bounty on his head.
COOPER: What's next for this guy? What happens now?
ROESGEN: Well, Anderson, we don't know yet whether he's got a lawyer or not. We do know that he will have his first arraignment, his first court appearance tomorrow. And he does have a long history of felony convictions, so the detectives were really glad to get him off the streets tonight.
COOPER: Well, it's so strange to hear from his wife, who said, you know, he's actually kind of a nice guy, as long as he's not on drugs or drinking.
Up next, Susan, we're going to take our viewers inside the mind of a killer. We'll talk to a psychologist who works with police -- worked with police on this BTK case. Plus, a woman collapsing and dying in a hospital, in a waiting room. The horror: no one helped her. "Keeping Them Honest," a story that will, frankly, make your blood boil, coming up on 360.
COOPER: We continue with breaking news, the arrest tonight of a suspected killer, Nicholas Sheley, believed to have murdered eight people in Illinois and Missouri. All the victims killed over the last several days, and the FBI says it appears they all died from blunt force trauma to the head.
As we've been telling you, Sheley is a convicted felon, a long rap sheet. Now over the last couple days, the FBI asked the public for help. The tips poured in.
A short time ago, I spoke to psychiatrist Howard Brodsky, who worked with police on the infamous BTK serial killer case.
COOPER: We're told that the injuries were horrific and that the level of trauma is going to make it actually hard to identify the victims. How do you explain that level of violence? Why would someone kill people so violently?
HOWARD BRODSKY, PSYCHIATRIST: You know, you have to wonder if this isn't expressing something purposefully. That this guy really wanted to say something, and that what he was saying is "I am really capable of very evil things."
COOPER: What's the difference between a serial killer and a spree killer?
BRODSKY: As I understand it, serial killer takes a long time between, checks out where he's going to attack, plays with it in his head for a long period of time.
The spree killing, this is kill as many as you can in as short a time as possible. So there isn't that kind of deliberation, that kind of thoughtfulness in between.
COOPER: I want to read you something that his wife told the "Daily Gazette." She said, and I quote, "This is not nick. Without drugs, without alcohol, Nick is kind-hearted. He's caring. He has respect for people."
Does that make any sense to you? I mean, is she just trying to, you know, excuse her -- the person she loves?
BRODSKY: Well, we also understand that there's some perhaps marital issues that might explain this whole situation. You know, we will take some time in order to look through this and see what kind of a role that they had between them. If her notion of him being a good guy was something that was too heavy for him to carry.
COOPER: What explains, though, a killing spree? Does someone just snap?
BRODSKY: I don't really believe in snapping. I think this is something that he gave himself permission to do. It's something that he wants to tell the world, through his behavior, how desperate he feels. He is so desperate that he's doing desperate things.
So his behavior really reflects an awful lot of what he's trying to tell the world. This is a guy who has taken everything that he knows about killings, about desperate acts, and packaged them all together in this very horrific display of behavior.
COOPER: The victims are also varied. Some are in their 20s. There's a 65-year-old, a child, a 93-year-old, men and women. What do you make of that?
BRODSKY: Well, it sounds more like victims of opportunity rather than he was going after anybody specific. That he wanted to do some bad things and these were people who happened to be in his path.
COOPER: Dr. Howard Brodsky, appreciate you coming on. Thank you.
BRODSKY: Good to talk to you.
COOPER: Up next, hospital horror caught on tape. A woman collapsing on the floor of the waiting room, left to die. Why didn't any of the employees help her? Why didn't people in the waiting room help her? We're "Keeping Them Honest."
Also ahead, Joe Horn speaking out. The Texas man who shot and killed two burglars outside his neighbor's home. Some have called him a hero? Does Joe Horn think he's a hero? Tonight, he responds. It all started with that controversial 911 call.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't want you going outside, Mr. Horn.
HORN: Well, here it goes, buddy. You hear the shotgun clicking clicking, and I'm going.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: If it weren't for this video showing a woman falling to the floor in a hospital emergency room, clearly needing help but ignored, this story might be beyond belief.
The woman had been involuntarily committed to the psych ward at a New York City hospital. She had been waiting for a bed for nearly 24 hours, and she didn't leave the ER alive.
She died on that floor, ignored by those around her, getting no help at all for a full hour. Six people had been fired, but now the release of the tape is fueling outrage, and with good reason. CNN's Mary Snow is "Keeping Them Honest."
MARY SNOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Had it not been for a surveillance camera inside the psychiatric emergency room in Brooklyn's King's County Hospital, we may never have known what happened to 49-year-old Esmin Green in the moments before she died.
As she struggles on the floor, several walk by but no one does anything to help her, and it takes nearly an hour before a medical team arrives to treat her.
The New York Civil Liberties Union released this videotape showing Green falling to the floor in the emergency room around 5:30 on the morning of June 19. About 20 minutes later, a security guard comes into view.
BETH HAROULES, NYCLU STAFF ATTORNEY: He walks in. He stands there. We actually think there's a television up at the top. We think he's looking at the TV, but he's clearly got the patient in view, and he walks away.
SNOW: Green was in the ER waiting for a bed to become available. At one point, the woman can be seen struggling to free herself from the chairs. And at another point, she appears to make an effort to get up.
A copy of her medical records contradicts the tape, listing her at the same time as being awake, up and about, even going to the bathroom. At about 6:10 a.m., lawyers say, a second security guard enters the room.
HAROULES: Here he comes, into the room, checks around. He can't even get himself off his chair. He sits there, and then you'll see him wheel himself away.
SNOW: Finally around 6:30 a.m., medical personnel arrive. Green is later pronounced dead.
The New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation released a statement saying, "We are shocked and distressed by the situation," adding that after it learned of the incident, the agency's president "directed the suspension and termination of those involved."
The city's mayor says the city will do everything it can to cooperate with the investigation.
MAYOR MICHAEL BLOOMBERG (I), NEW YORK: I was -- horrified is much too nice a word. Disgusted I think is a better word.
COOPER: It is hard to imagine. This is not the first time this hospital has been cited for problems, right? SNOW: Yes, Anderson. Back in 2007, advocates for the mentally ill filed a lawsuit, citing what they called horrendous conditions at the psychiatric unit here at this hospital. This is overcrowding, quality conditions.
The hospital is saying that in the past year, it's made changes and reforms. Obviously, it really hasn't done enough. And now what it's doing is it's going to have to check on psychiatric patients every 15 minutes, keep logs of those checks. But this is just the beginning of a lot of work that needs to be done, obviously.
COOPER: Yes, obviously. Thanks, Mary, so much.
New developments in the case of Joe Horn, the man who shot two men he caught robbing his neighbor's home. The shooting caught on tape.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. Horn, are you out there right now?
HORN: No, I'm inside the house. I went back in the house. Man, they come right in my yard, man. I didn't know what the (EXPLETIVE DELETED) they was going to do. I shot them, OK?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you shoot somebody, Mr. Horn?
HORN: Yes, I did.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Joe Horn is now speaking out, responding to those who call him a hero. The story, the new details, the debate next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nine-one-one, what is your emergency?
HORN: Burglars breaking into a house next door. I've got a shot gun. Do you want me to stop them?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No. Don't do that. There ain't no property worth shooting someone over, OK?
HORN: Hurry up, man. Catch these guys, will you? Cause I ain't going to let them go. I'm going to be honest with you. I'm not going to let them get away with this (EXPLETIVE DELETED).
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: That's how it began. Joe Horn telling a 911 operator he's prepared to shoot two men who were stealing property from a next- door neighbor. Now, he spoke out tonight about that moment, for better or worse -- that has for better or worse, made him famous and now notorious.
Despite the dispatcher's pleas for Horn to remain inside, he sounds increasingly determined to confront the men with a 12-gauge shotgun. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HORN: He's coming out the window right now. I gotta go, buddy.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Don't go out the door. Mr. Horn? Mr. Horn?
HORN: (EXPLETIVE DELETED) They just stole something. I'm going out the window. I'm going out the window. I'm not letting get away with this (EXPLETIVE DELETED). They stole something. They got a bag or something.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Don't go out the house.
HORN: I'm doing it. I'm sorry this ain't right buddy.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're going to get yourself shot if you go outside that house with a gun.
HORN: You want to make a bet? I'm going to kill them. They're getting away.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't want you going outside, Mr. Horn.
HORN: Well, here it goes, buddy. You hear the shotgun clicking, and I'm going.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Don't go outside.
HORN: Move, you're dead.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Within seconds, two illegal immigrants would be dead, both shot in the back, and Horn would walk back into his home and wait for the police to arrive.
Now, this all happened last November. As we first told you yesterday, a grand jury decided not to indict Horn. He's a free man tonight, and he will not be prosecuted.
Today, he told an exclusive interview to "The Houston Chronicle" that he would never advocate anyone doing what he did. He says he was terrified, and when told police were calling him a hero, Mr. Horn said, and a quote, "I know what a hero is, and that's not me."
He went on to say, quote, "I'm a human being. I was in a situation that I'd never had been in before, and I didn't want to die." We've now heard from hundreds of people on both sides of this issue. Some believe Horn's actions have set a dangerous precedent. Others insist he did the right thing. So what do you think? You can join the conversation on our blog, AC360.com.
Joining us now in our "Nation Divided" segment, lawyer and anchor of "In Session," Lisa Bloom and radio talk host Lars Larson.
Lars, you say Joe Horn is a hero. Why?
LARS LARSON, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Well, because he decided to -- to do what he was allowed to do under Texas law. Now, the laws are different from state to state.
I carry a gun every day. I hope I'll never have to use it. But the fact is that you can't always get the police there in time. He went out to confront these men. If he feared for his life, he had every reason to shoot them.
And the fact is, is I wish every burglar, every rapist, every murderer, every robber went out the door thinking, "A homeowner might shoot me to death." We'd have fewer robberies and rapes and murders every day.
COOPER: Lisa, in your opinion, is Joe Horn a hero?
LISA BLOOM, LAWYER AND ANCHOR: We don't have the death penalty in this country for burglary or rape or for robbery. And for good reason. This is a man who shot two unarmed men in the back as they were getting away. That's what he says on the 911 tape.
I think this was a crime in the state of Texas. I've read their self-defense law very, very carefully. But I think it's clear that the jurors, the grand jurors, jury of his peers, said, "We're not going to indict him, because we sympathize with him."
COOPER: Why do you think it is a crime, Lisa?
BLOOM: Because there's no exception for shooting burglars who are escaping from your neighbor's home. If they had come into his own home under the castle doctrine, he might have had a justification for shooting them. But they were in his neighbor's home. There's no justification for shooting two burglars who are escaping, running away from his neighbor's home.
LARSON: Anderson, here's the thing. You go out and do illegal things, and they're dangerous illegal things, and you end up dead, I don't have any sympathy for you. I think that we have personal responsibility here. These two men chose to engage in a dangerous criminal activity. They ended up dead. I don't feel sorry for them.
COOPER: I want to just play another audio clip from the 911 call. This is Joe Horn after the shooting, talking to the 911 operator.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) HORN: I had no choice. I'm at (DELETED). Get somebody over here quick man.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right. Mr. Horn, are you out there right now?
HORN: No, I am inside the house. I went back in the house. Man, they came running in my yard. Don't know what the (EXPLETIVE DELETED) they was going to do. I shot them, OK?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you shoot somebody, Mr. Horn?
HORN: Yes, I did. The cops are here right...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Where are you right now?
HORN: I'm inside the house.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're inside (DELETED)?
HORN: The police are out here right now. I've got...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Put that, Mr. Horn, put that gun down before you shoot an officer of mine. I've got several officers out there without uniforms on.
HORN: I'm in the front yard right now. I'm...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Put that gun down.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Yes. We actually just learned from "The Houston Chronicle," he was actually in the yard when police arrived. They told him to get down. So he wasn't back in his house; he was on the phone.
Lars, you know, Mr. Horn said he had no choice. From what we now know, police were actually at the scene when the shooting apparently happened.
LARSON: But they weren't stopping the bad guys. If they came in the man's yard, Anderson, think about it this way. As this country goes through a little bit of an economic downturn, there are a lot of communities in this country that are going to have even slower police response time. The police are not going to be there, and citizens have a right to protect themselves.
In this case, I understand Ms. Bloom's point. It may be a judgment call. But, you know, if you're not going to be protected by the police...
BLOOM: He wasn't being threatened. His home wasn't being threatened. He shot two men in the back.
LARSON: He was in his yard. BLOOM: And you know, under American law, we've elevated human right over property rights. It's his life. It's his person. If his family was being threatened, that would be one thing.
BLOOM: That's simply a property crime against his neighbor.
LARSON: Anderson, the men came in his yard. That's what the man told the 911 dispatch operator. You have a right to defend yourself.
And if you step out of your house to confront people who are committing a crime next door or down the street, and they come in your yard and you have a reason to fear for your life, you've got a right to protect yourself.
COOPER: He references in that 911 call the castle doctrine, which I want to talk about in a moment. Let's play that part of the tape.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HORN: I have a right to protect myself, too, sir.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, you do.
HORN: And you understand that, and the laws have been changed in this country since September the first, and you know it and I know it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I understand that.
HORN: I have a right to protect myself.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: What is this castle doctrine? I mean, for those who aren't living in Texas?
BLOOM: In about 21 states now, you have a right to defend your own home. If you're home and a burglar comes into your own home, you can shoot, and you can shoot to kill. The idea being that your home is your castle, and that's based on old British law.
But also that you're probably highly threatened and in the kind of fear that Mr. Horn was clearly in, if somebody comes into your home. You don't have to evaluate whether they have a weapon on them, whether they're threatening you. Simply entering into your home to burglarize your home while you're present is enough that you can shoot to kill.
But again, in this case, they never entered his home. They were in the neighbor's home, and they were escaping. LARSON: It doesn't matter. Anderson...
BLOOM: They were shot in the back.
COOPER: Lars, you're saying it doesn't matter?
LARSON: It doesn't matter. Here's why. Lisa's understating it, and here's why. Anywhere in this country, even without the castle doctrine, you have a right to protect yourself. If you're standing on a public street corner that's not your home and somebody approaches you in a manner that's threatening, you have a right to protect yourself.
If you see somebody else being assaulted -- if I'm driving home tonight and I see a woman being assaulted, I have the right to take actions to protect her. Now, I may later have to explain to a jury why I did what I did, why I felt threatened or why I thought somebody else's life was threatened, but Lisa, don't understate it. It's not just 21 states.
BLOOM: Well, that's not exactly what the state of the law is. You have a duty to retreat in most cases if you can do so. Because the idea of the law is to decrease violence, to protect us all and to have a peaceable society. Most states, you have a duty to retreat. And you always have to react proportionately to the violence that threatens you.
LARSON: Giving the benefit of the doubt to criminals does not decrease violence. It increases their invitation to commit violence.
BLOOM: Nobody's talking about that. But this was simply a property crime, and these two men are now dead.
COOPER: We're going to have to leave it there. Appreciate both of your perspectives. Thank you for -- for discussing it.
COOPER: Appreciate it. Lars Larson, thanks very much. And Lisa Bloom, as well.
Again, the conversation continues online, AC360.com. A lot of people weighing in.
Let's go to Erica Hill who joins us with a "360 News and Business Bulletin" -- Erica.
ERICA HILL, CNN ANCHOR: Vigilante justice. That's exactly what a top official is calling a prisoner's death in a county jail just outside Washington.
Nineteen-year-old Ronnie White was strangled, apparently while in solitary confinement, as he was being held in connection with a local police officer's death. The FBI is now opening a civil rights investigation into the case. Turns out it just may not be the tomatoes after all. The FDA is now expanding its salmonella investigation beyond just the tomatoes to include foods eaten with tomatoes. But it's not revealing just what those other foods are. Nearly 900 people have now fallen ill.
Officials, though, still say grape, cherry and on the vine tomatoes are safe to eat.
Your frappuccino options may be dwindling. Starbucks saying today it will close 600 underperforming stores. That's 500 more than they previously announced, Anderson.
COOPER: Now it's time for our "Beat 360" winners. It's our challenge to viewers, as you know, a chance to show up our staffers -- Joey -- by coming up with a better caption to the picture we post on our blog every day.
So tonight's picture comes straight from the South Lawn of the White House, where President Bush gave a signed baseball to Little League player Xavier Garcia. Our staff winner tonight is Joey, yet again: "Thanks for the autographed baseball, Mr. President. I'll sell it on eBay to pay for the gas to get to my Little League games."
Our viewer winner is Blake, who didn't give his location. His caption: "Thanks, Mr. President, but I wanted the mascot's signature." Ouch.
Blake, a "Beat 360" T-shirt, like it or not, is on its way to you.
HILL: Love the T-shirt, embrace the T-shirt, Anderson.
COOPER: I embrace the T-shirt.
COOPER: Just -- the graphics on it are so big.
HILL: They're enormous. No one can miss the fact that you have beat Joey, I mean 360.
COOPER: No one sent out memos saying, "Do you like the graphics on the T-shirt?" They just -- it's like -- it's like Frankie Goes to Hollywood. The '80s, remember? We've moved beyond the '80s.
COOPER: All right. Coming up, "The Shot" is next. Maybe some of us have, Erica Hill.
"The Shot" is next. One of the most annoying commercials of recent times is now the focus of a lawsuit. You've probably seen it here on CNN, the Ped Egg. That's right. It has nothing to do with your feet or shaving there, thank goodness. That's tonight's "Shot."
And at the top of the hour, new presidential polls, and new promises about the sinking economy. What is their plan to fix it? Details ahead.
COOPER: Erica, time now for "The Shot," and it's one of my favorites. To anyone who has watched CNN lately, it's probably a familiar image. Some might even say annoyingly familiar.
HILL: Or disgustingly familiar.
COOPER: We're talking, of course, about the Ped Egg, the ad that plays over and over and over, selling a device that allegedly scrubs away corns and God knows what else from your feet until they are smooth.
HILL: Smooth as a baby's bottom.
COOPER: That's right. Guess what? The ad was pulled off CNN today -- that's right -- after a lawsuit was filed by two of the Ped Egg actors, or as I call them, Ped-ectors.
HILL: Oh, hey.
COOPER: A Florida couple is suing the Ped Egg heads. Those are the folks who run Ped Egg, the Ped Egg heads, and an ad agency -- that's right, an ad agency is actually behind this ad -- claiming they were told just their feet and hands would be shown and that the commercial would only run on the Internet.
So tonight we bid adieu to this plastic product, Ped Egg. Ped Egg, we hardly knew you.
HILL: So were they embarrassed that they're in the commercial for the Ped Egg?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (singing): Memories like the corner on my mind.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HILL: Like the corn on my foot.
COOPER: You're just taking up our time.
HILL: You know what this headache thing is? Oh, sorry. You want me to stop talking.
COOPER: You can't interrupt this. That's my favorite part. That's my favorite part. Yes. Exactly. Yes, all the shavings in the basket.
HILL: When you look at the commercial, you ever notice that it looks like a cheese grater?
COOPER: Shavings in the basket. Sorry. All right, enough of that.
HILL: The wheels are officially off the AC 360 bus.
COOPER: Yes. So the commercial, I don't know how long it's going to be gone for. But...
HILL: Just long enough to cover up those faces and slap in some new dry feet.
COOPER: All right. You can see all the most recent "Shots" on our new Web site, AC360.com. There you can also see other segments from the program, read the blog, check out the "Beat 360" pictures. We'll be right back.