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Financial Meltdown; Sarah Palin's Future

Aired November 12, 2008 - 22:00   ET


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Tonight, Sarah Palin's media blitz picking up speed, trying to position herself for a future in the GOP, two more interviews today, both on CNN. On the trail, Palin barely talked to reporters, barely talked to CNN. Now she can't seem to say enough.
Take a look.


WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: You look back and say to yourself, I wish I would have done something differently? Is there anything you look back and say, you know, I think I could have done something differently that might have helped?

GOV. SARAH PALIN (R), ALASKA: I just wish there had been more hours in the day, been able to speak to more Americans through the media. I would have loved to...

BLITZER: We tried. We tried. God knows we tried.

PALIN: I'm sorry. All right. That's why we're here today, Wolf.



She is talking now, not just about the recent past, but also her future. Is she angling for a run in 2012? If so, is all this talk helping? We will dig deeper tonight.

But we begin with breaking news. If you thought the economy was better because it hasn't been in the headlines the last week, today was a wakeup call, the Dow more than plunging more than 400 points, Asian markets right now plunging as well, Japan's Nikkei down more than 5 percent in early trading. That's happening right now.

Also, South Korean stocks down, here in the U.S., more job cuts. Cessna Aircraft eliminating more than 600 jobs. Morgan Stanley said it will cut 10 percent of its biggest division.

All that the backdrop for today's stunning announcement by Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson -- he said he is ditching his original plan to buy up all those toxic mortgage assets that banks are drowning in. Instead, the government is going to invest the financial rescue package directly into banks and other firms, a strategy Paulson says is a better way to free up credit for consumers.

Now, to those who say this is a flip-flop, here is what Paulson had to say.


HENRY PAULSON, U.S. TREASURY SECRETARY: As the situation worsened, the facts changed. I will never apologize for -- for changing an approach or a strategy when the facts change.


COOPER: Paulson ruled out using the bailout money Congress approved last month to help the struggling U.S. auto industry, but congressional Democrats are pressing for a bailout to save the big three car companies.

So, fixing the economic crisis is by far the most extreme challenge facing president-elect Barack Obama. The game plan has changed.

Just weeks ago, Paulson and others told Congress that buying up toxic mortgage debt was the key to preventing an enemy combatant meltdown. So, why the change of course? It is your money. It is your future. You need to know about this.

Joining me is CNN senior political analyst and former presidential adviser David Gergen, CNN's Candy Crowley, and Marcus Mabry, the senior business editor for "The New York Times."

Marcus, what is this about? What does this mean?

MARCUS MABRY, INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS EDITOR, "THE NEW YORK TIMES": Well, what it means, Anderson, is that banks weren't lending. So, this is an attempt to give them more capital, recapitalize banks, inject capital in them, so they have money directly from you and me -- that's from the U.S. government, but from our pockets originally -- so that they will actually start to lend to creditworthy borrowers, not just to people who are subprime borrowers.

And that was the -- of course the crux of the credit crisis and the credit crunch that we had, but it has now become an economic crisis. But the money that was first made available to them earlier was not being used to actually lend even to creditworthy borrowers.

This is an attempt to actually free up the credit markets, and so our economy can keep going. Credit is the lubricant that actually lubricates the economy, makes the machine run. Clearly, we have failed in the past. What they were doing, with buying up poor assets, didn't have a great promise.

COOPER: But what is so scary about this, David, is they seemed to know what they were talking about four weeks ago. And now they say, actually, the facts have changed, but -- and so we are going to do the exact opposite of what we were talking about.

It kind of makes me think, does anyone really know what they are talking about?

DAVID GERGEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, that is what "The New York Times" is attributing the drop in the stock market today to, was there's a sense growing on Wall Street that maybe Washington doesn't have a steady hand on the wheel.

And, under those circumstances, fear become more pervasive and people pull out of the market. I think that is what the -- the essence of what you all are arguing about in the newspaper.

MABRY: There is a crisis of confidence that continues. This does not help to alleviate that crisis of confidence.

GERGEN: Right.

MABRY: But we should point out, the Europeans did this several weeks ago. This is the way they decided to bail out their banks, was with a capital infusion.


COOPER: They did it with a lot more money, though, than we are doing it, didn't they?


MABRY: Absolutely. Well, this money -- we will end up, believe me, injecting more capital into our banks than this. This is just the beginning.

GERGEN: I think it is also putting pressure on the Democrats, though, to step into what is considered a vacuum of power right now in Washington.

And that is why the Democratic Congress has been so -- I think so vigorous and is going to be pushing next week both for a stimulus package and for a bailout of Detroit.

COOPER: Candy Crowley, it is an interesting position for Barack Obama to be in, guess weighing the question of, should he weigh in now or perhaps stay on the sidelines and kind of watch this play out?


I mean, we do know that he was urging President Bush about the auto industry, that he talked to him about a czar sort of overlooking improvements in how the auto industry does business and what it produces.

He has also talked to the leadership on Capitol Hill about what he would like to see in some of these packages. But he is not going to the E-20 summit. He will have some people there to talk to whoever would like to talk to them, some staffers, that kind of thing.

Listen, Barack Obama doesn't want to own the problem. He wants to own the solution. So, he has said several times, listen, there is only one president at a time, which is true. But he also doesn't want to get in the middle of this as it is imploding. He would much prefer January 20, come and he be the fix-it man.

So, he doesn't want to own this problem at this point, but he is working behind the scenes where he can, which is really to try to get Capitol Hill around something that he supports.

COOPER: David, is this already the first big test of Barack Obama's leadership? I mean, you have -- you have Congress wanting a bailout of the big three automakers. You have the White House pushing against it. Is this his test?

GERGEN: I think it is partly a test, because people are looking to him for leadership. And if everything falls apart, not only George Bush will be blamed, but he will blamed, too, if, by December, General Motors goes down. So, it's going to be important for him to exercise quietly leadership from behind the scenes, to leader from behind, not from in front.

But there is another danger that is starting to crop up here, Anderson, for his leadership. And that is, in this power vacuum, as Nancy Pelosi and Barney frank and Harry Reid and other Democrats in Congress speak up and take the lead, and he is sort of is standing away from it, there's going to be a sense that maybe we elected a new -- the Democrats to lead the country, not Barack Obama.

And we found this with -- Bill Clinton found this. Democrats in your own party can be -- sometimes be one of your biggest problems. And if they get the sense they are in charge, that's going to definitely undercut his leadership once in January. I think it is a tricky problem for him.

MABRY: I think he is in a real hard bind, though, because either way he loses.

GERGEN: He could lose.

MABRY: If he gets involved in this now -- and, believe me, it is not settled. It is going to get much nastier before it's over. There's going to have to lots of money to -- to Detroit. If he gets involved he loses, because no one is going to win this. This is not going to end up well before...


GERGEN: But, Marcus, what could happen is, if he is seen has having a hand in crafting both the stimulus package and the automobile rescue package, and George Bush signs them both, then he will get points for that.

COOPER: Candy, any word on who he is going to name for treasury secretary? I assume Paulson is not going to be sticking around.


CROWLEY: I -- I doubt it.

Lots of words. Look, at this point, Barack Obama has a different definition of what considered haste means. He has a longer version of considered haste, which is how he said he was going to pick these Cabinet members.

They are so aware that whoever he picks sends this giant signal throughout all levels of the economy. You watch Wall Street and the Dow, and how it reacts to things, and, you know, can move on a dime. They understand what this pick means. They don't want to make mistakes. They have watched other administrations make mistakes, when the stakes were not that high.

The stakes are very high here, so, when it comes to treasury secretary, they are being very, very careful, simply because they know it is really symbolic.

COOPER: Candy Crowley, thanks very much, David Gergen as well, Marcus Mabry as well. Interesting discussion.

We are going to have more on this.

We're also going to name -- continue our -- our most wanted list, the culprits of the collapse. Who are the folks who are costing you all this money? Tonight, we name another name.

As always, I will be blogging throughout the hour. Join the conversation at Also, check out Erica Hill's live Webcasts during the breaks.

Just ahead on the program: the most wanted culprits of the collapse. Tonight, we're shining a light on the ailing auto industry. The big three car makers are begging for a government bailout, but critics say they have themselves to blame for the mess they're in. Coming up, well, find out what CEO is under fire tonight.

Also tonight, more of Sarah Palin's interview with Wolf Blitzer, plus what some of her fellow Republican governors think about her future. Is she her party's next big star? We have got the "Raw Politics."

And so many dogs in need of a home, and a new first family in search of their own pooch. Tonight, Erica Hill on the trail of who may be the Obamas' next pet.



BLITZER: So, looking back, you don't regret that tough language during the campaign?

PALIN: No, and I do not think that it is off base, nor mean- spirited, nor negative campaigning to call someone out on their associations and on their record. And that's why I did it.

BLITZER: And just one historic footnote. Was that your idea or did somebody write those lines for you?

PALIN: Oh, it was a collaborative effort there in deciding, how do we start bringing up some of the associations that perhaps would be impacting on an administration, on the future of America? But again though, Wolf, knowing that it really at this point, I don't want to point fingers backwards and play the blame game, certainly on anything that took place in terms of strategy or messaging in the campaign. Now is the time to move forward together, start progressing America.


BROWN: Sarah Palin talking to Wolf Blitzer today in Miami, where she was attending a Republican governors conference.

She is talking a lot these days, you may have noticed. These aren't exactly bright and shining times for the Republican Party. The Miami meeting was a chance to talk about where the GOP may be headed and how to regain the ground it has lost.

For Governor Palin, it was also a chance to get her message out to the reporters she preferred to avoid on the trail.

CNN's Dana Bash has the "Raw Politics."


DANA BASH, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Sixteen Republican governors are gathered for a conference in Miami but there's only one generating this crush of cameras, Sarah Palin, waiting for reporters, still defending herself against post-election criticism from anonymous McCain aides.

PALIN: A cowardly way, certainly, of wrapping up a campaign. So, I'm curious, too, as to who these people were.

BASH: And always happy to discuss her future.

PALIN: I think what I represent is just everyday hardworking American families. A woman on the ticket that perhaps represents that, it would be good for -- it would be good for the party.

BASH: Palin is one of many GOP governors who represent rare bright spots for an otherwise depressed party, popular figures, like Florida's Charlie Crist, Louisiana's Bobby Jindal, and Minnesota's Tim Pawlenty, all here debating the Republicans' way out of the wilderness and not so subtly competing to be the party's guide.

South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford came preaching a return to fiscal responsibility, and bristles at the suggestion that Palin is suddenly the leading voice here.

GOV. MARK SANFORD (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: Are there lots of other governors who are going to be sitting around the table who have just as strong an opinion as they had before she was the nominee? Yes. Will she be among the different strong voices? Yes. Will she be the strong voice? No. BASH: Governor Pawlenty is here pushing to modernize the GOP, broaden its appeal, and made a point of reminding us about the narrow scope of Palin's.

SANFORD: Out on the campaign trail, she generated a lot of excitement, and within the Republican Party base. But, again, for all of us, the question is, it is great to have Republican rallies, but the real challenge and opportunity is, we have got to grow the party beyond just the base if we are going to be successful.

BASH: Most of these Republican governors are eager to share their prescriptions for their ailing party.

So, Wolf Blitzer asked Palin for her ideas.

PALIN: Nothing specific right now, sitting here in these chairs, that I'm going to be proposing. But, in working with these governors, who, again, on the front lines, are forced to -- and it's our privileged obligation to find solutions to the challenges facing our own states every day, being held accountable.

BASH: A non-answer that did not go unanswered among some fellow governors, who admire Palin's star power, but privately wonder if she has the policy chops to carry the party long term.

(on camera): Palin may begin to answer that question on day two of this conference. She will join some of her fellow governors in a panel discussion entitled "Looking Towards the Future: The GOP in Transition."

Dana Bash, CNN, Miami.


COOPER: Governor Palin was just getting warmed up. We have heard a lot more from her today. In two interviews with CNN, she talked about God, running for president in '012. She also gives a shout-out to President Bush. Those are her words, by the way, "shout- out." Palin up close -- next.

And, later, the battle over same-sex marriage. Today, Connecticut began allowing gay marriages. And protests against California's passage of Proposition 8 intensify, this one tonight in New York. They are focusing in large part on the Mormon Church. We will tell you why and what may happen next. Author Dan Savage joins us live.


COOPER: Sarah Palin's national tour landed in Miami today. She will be speaking at the Republican Governors Association meeting tomorrow. Basically, she hasn't stopped talking since the election. What a difference, huh?

During the campaign, Palin rarely spoke to CNN. And, believe me, we tried to get her right here on this program. But that is all ancient history now. She is on a media blitz, reshaping her image for whatever comes next.

Today, she sat down with Larry King and earlier with Wolf Blitzer. WE want you to hear what she told Wolf.

So, up close, here is Governor Palin.


BLITZER: Let's talk a little bit about what's going on in our country right now.

It's a pretty historic moment, when you think about it, the first African-American president, president-elect Barack Obama. This is historic. What does it mean to you?

PALIN: It's historic. And I think this time is full of optimism. And it's an opportunity for everybody to get it together and start working together, for us, as Republicans, to reach out to Barack Obama and the new administration that will be ushered in, and offer the solutions that we see for meeting some of America's great challenges right now.

BLITZER: Are you ready to help him?

PALIN: I'm more than willing and able to help president-elect Obama to start tapping into the domestic solutions that we have now, so we can quit being so reliant on foreign sources of energy.

BLITZER: So, if he reaches out to you and says, "Governor Palin, I need your help on energy," or some other issues, kids with special needs, for example...


BLITZER: ... and says, "I want you to be part of a commission," you would be more than happy to say, "Yes, Mr. President"?

PALIN: It would be my honor to assist and support our new president and the new administration, yes.

BLITZER: Because, you know, during a campaign, every presidential campaign, things are said that's tough. As you well know, it gets, sometimes, pretty fierce out there.

And, during the campaign, you said this. You said: "This is not a man who sees America as you see it and how I see America, "and then you went on to say, "someone who sees America, it seems, as being so imperfect that he's palling around with terrorists who would target their own country."

PALIN: Well, I still am concerned about that association with Bill Ayers.

And -- and if anybody still wants to talk about it, I will, because this is an unrepentant domestic terrorist who had campaigned to blow up, to destroy our Pentagon and our U.S. Capitol. That's an association that still bothers me. And I think it's still fair to talk about it.

However, the campaign is over. That chapter is closed. Now is the time to move on and to, again, make sure that all of us are doing all that we can to progress this nation.

BLITZER: Let's talk about some of the current issues on the agenda right now. And I speak to you as someone who's emerging as a potential leader, not only of the Republican Party, but maybe if you want to run again for president or vice president down the road.

Right now, a big issue, should the U.S. government, the federal government, bail out the -- Detroit, the big three automakers?

PALIN: Well, that's -- it's in debate right now, and I'm listening closely to the debate. And there's a lot of information that even you and I certainly aren't privy to, to understand all the ramifications if the federal government were going to step in and bail out.

But we do know that the auto industry is that important. And, certainly, it needs to be considered. But I'm not going to ignore the debate, again, that I think needs to lead to the personal responsibility, the management decisions that have been made in some of these companies and corporations that have also led us to where we are.

BLITZER: So, I hear you saying you need more information, then?

PALIN: Yes, I do.

BLITZER: If he's still reelected -- and still -- they're still counting ballots, I take it, up there -- and the Senate goes ahead and kicks him out of the Senate, is that something you might be interested in? And could you name yourself, for example, to succeed Ted Stevens?

PALIN: I suppose if you were that egotistical and arrogant ...

BLITZER: Do you have any desire to serve in his ...

PALIN: ... you'd name yourself.

BLITZER: Do you want ...

PALIN: ... but I'm not one to name myself.

BLITZER: Do you want to be in the United States Senate?

PALIN: You know, I believe that I have -- I feel I have a contract with Alaskans to serve. I have got two more years in -- in my term.

I'm going to serve Alaskans to the best of my ability. At this point, it is as governor. Now, if something shifted dramatically, and if it were -- if it were acknowledged up there that I could be better put to use for my state in the U.S. Senate, I would certainly consider that. But that would take a special election and everything else. I'm not one to appoint myself or a member of my family to take the place of any -- any vacancy.

BLITZER: You're not ruling out a run in 2012 for president of the United States, are you?

PALIN: I'm not ruling that out.

But there, again, that is based on my philosophy of, it's crazy to close a door before you even know what's open in front of you. As you travel in this road in life, and as you turn a corner and there may be something there that circumstances change, you have got to call an audible, and you decide to shift gears, take another direction, I'm always open for that.


COOPER: Sarah Palin with Wolf Blitzer.

When we come back: Who is to blame for the economic mess we are in? We have already named the 10 most wanted culprits of the collapse, but there are so many of these folks, we are extending the list. Tonight, one of the head honchos of the auto industry, you need to hear how this guy is costing you. Who is he? Find out ahead.

And protests around the country intensifying against the Mormon Church's huge effort to prevent gay marriage. What exactly did the church do? Find out tonight.

And, then, on the 30th anniversary of Jonestown mass murder/suicide, a new effort to understand what really happened? The mysteries revealed -- ahead.



WHOOPI GOLDBERG, CO-HOST, "THE VIEW": I think people just kind of feel like they would like the rights, if they want to get married, that all Americans have.

And that is to raise your children, to raise your family, to do all of the things that you want to do and achieve the American dream. And you don't have to be my idea of the American dream or even your idea. It is just the idea of the American dream.


COOPER: Whoopi Goldberg tonight with protesters outside the Mormon Temple here in New York City, part of a wave of demonstrations, really, against the church for spearheading a multimillion-dollar campaign to pass Proposition 8 in California last week, which makes same-sex marriage there illegal.

The Mormon Church encouraged followers to donate time and money. By some estimates, $22 million was raised by Mormons, which went to a massive ad campaign and phone-banking blitz to drive the passage of Proposition 8.

While same-sex marriage is now illegal in California, it became legal today in Connecticut, where the first same-sex couples wed.

Joining me now, writer Dan Savage, author of "The Commitment," who was at the protest tonight here in New York, and Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, which supported Proposition 8, and author of "Personal Faith, Public Policy."

Good to have you both with us.

Dan, I want to read in part a statement that the Mormon Church put out about these demonstrations. They say, "It is disturbing that our church or any group would be singled out for speaking up, voting, and being part of the democratic process."

Why is the Mormon Church being singled out?

DAN SAVAGE, SYNDICATED SEX ADVICE COLUMNIST: Part of the Democratic process is, if you're going to throw a punch, you're going to have a punch thrown back, that you don't get to march into the public square, slime people, malign people, demagogue against people, then and jump behind the bushes, and say, oh, God, we're a church. You can't criticize us. You can't bring it back to our front doors and say, we have a problem with what you have been saying about us in public and doing to us in the public square.

The Mormon Church has politicized itself with this movement and in California to ban same-sex marriage. And it wasn't just the Mormon Church encouraged its followers. The first prophet of the Mormon Church had a letter read from every temple, every Mormon temple in the land, instructing its members, as a religious duty, to donate time and money to this campaign.

You cannot campaign against a vulnerable minority group in this country in the political arena without expecting some sort of response.

COOPER: Tony, is what the church did appropriate? And I know you have been critical of the demonstrations. Is it inappropriate for demonstrators, you think, to focus on the Mormon Church?

TONY PERKINS, PRESIDENT, FAMILY RESEARCH COUNCIL: Well, I mean, you could focus on the African-American churches that -- where African-Americans voted -- over 70 percent of them voted for the marriage amendment in California.

But, you know, this really underscores what many people were saying, that this advancement of same-sex marriage was going to be -- bring about this confrontation with religious liberties. And it is very frightening when you begin to see these demonstrations of...

SAVAGE: There is no confrontation with religious liberties.

PERKINS: ... violating the spaces of churches, going and disrupting their services...


SAVAGE: That hasn't happened. There's been no disruption of services.


PERKINS: Yes, it has. It actually -- it has happened. They have been spray-painting churches, vandalizing these churches.


COOPER: Tony, of the tens of thousands of people who have been demonstrating so far, most have been extremely peaceful. There may have been a few incidents here and there, but I don't think it is accurate to say that there have been a large-scale of invasion of churches or spray-painting of churches.


SAVAGE: Gay bars have been firebombed by people stepped in the hate that Tony Perkins peddles.


PERKINS: Just like this, you know, Dan will not allow people to speak.

You know, there was a full debate on this. In fact, Dan's side raised more money, and it came from special interest groups, or wealthy individuals, like Tim Gill, who put in the money. And they had this full discussion about this in California.

In fact, they have had it twice now. I don't understand...


SAVAGE: They have had it twice now. And, in 2000, your side won by 20 to 30 points. This time, you won by four points. You guys are losing this war against religious freedom.


SAVAGE: There are religions in this country that will marry gay and lesbian couples. What about their religious freedom?

PERKINS: Look -- look, the courts have stepped. You have gone to the courts. The courts overthrew the vote of over four million people from 2000. They gathered over a million signatures, put it back on the ballot. They passed it this time over five million votes.


SAVAGE: Which is part of what courts in our system are supposed to do. (CROSSTALK)

SAVAGE: The Constitution exists to protect the rights of vulnerable minorities against the tyranny of the majority.


PERKINS: No. You don't understand the rule of law.

That -- if you want to change the law, instead of using the courts to redefine marriage...


SAVAGE: So, Loving v. Virginia, when the courts declared interracial marriage to be a constitutional right, in the teeth of popular support, which was against interracial marriage at the time...


PERKINS: Dan, you know that that is a red herring. That is absolutely not true, because...


SAVAGE: It is not a red herring. It's analogous.


PERKINS: ... because when you talk about interracial marriage...

SAVAGE: It's a total parallel.


SAVAGE: You are talking about the function of the courts and the role of the Constitution. And that's what I'm addressing.


COOPER: No one can hear if...


SAVAGE: Well, he's filibustering.


COOPER: Dan, finish your thought, and then we will have Tony respond.

SAVAGE: Well, Tony is saying the courts have no right to overrule the will of the people. That's what the courts exist for, what the constitution exists for. It's what the Bill of Rights is there for. To carve out certain things from the tyranny of the majority. COOPER: Tony, should civil rights of individuals be left up to the majority to decide?

PERKINS: No one has unrestrained liberties in this country to marry whomever they want. This -- you know, someone can't marry a close blood relative. They can't marry an underage person. There are restrictions that have been upheld in almost every civilization for millennia. I mean, this is not something...

SAVAGE: For millennia, it was legal for men to beat their wives.

PERKINS: This is talking about...

SAVAGE: For millennia...

PERKINS: Dan -- Dan, would you let somebody else speak?

COOPER: You've got to finish your thought, because I want to ask one other question. Dan -- Tony, finish your thought.

PERKINS: Look, this is about redefining marriage. It's not about what -- you try to compare this to interracial marriage. It's not the same thing. There were extra provisions put that would prohibit that were man and woman marrying. This is redefining marriage. It's a totally different issue.

The people of California have spoken. In fact, every time this has gone on to the ballot and people have...

COOPER: There is a huge generational -- there is a huge generational divide here, though. In the results of Proposition 8, basically older Americans voted more...

SAVAGE: The Mormon Church -- the Mormon Church bankrolled this and shoved it through. The protest could also, I guess, be at an old folks home. Because old people voted.

COOPER: Do you feel...

SAVAGE: This kind of homophobia and racism is part and parcel for older vote.


PERKINS: Take that to the African-American community. To the Hispanic community.

COOPER: Do you feel that you are, though, that I mean, over time within a very short amount of time this issue -- I mean, each time this is getting closer and closer as it's come to a vote. Do you think the arc history that Barack Obama has brought in is in your favor?

SAVAGE: ... of time. Because you know who redefined marriage? Straight people redefined marriage. Marriage used to be one man acquiring the property of another man, a daughter that became a wife. And straight people redefined marriage to be two individuals who commit to each other because they have a bond of love. There can be children or not children. There can be monogamous sexual relationship or not a monogamous sexual relationship. There can be a sexual relationship or not a sexual relationship.

PERKINS: That's not what it means in our culture.

SAVAGE: And they want to define it back to the patriarchal, sexist institution it once was.

COOPER: Tony, it does seem that young people, though, view this issue very differently than you do. Do you worry at all that you're just on the wrong side of history?

PERKINS: No, no, not at all. Anderson, what we're seeing, actually, among young people is they understand more than anybody what happens when you redefine marriage, especially when you see young people who have grown up...

COOPER: Young people overwhelmingly voted against Proposition 8.

PERKINS: No. You're still saying -- you're not saying it's not a majority. It's not a majority.

SAVAGE: Yes. It is a majority. A majority of the young people voted against Prop 8.

PERKINS: What you see is there has...


COOPER: Tony, answer a question and then I'll give you both a final thought -- Tony.

PERKINS: You can't get a word in edgewise.

SAVAGE: When you strip me of my rights when I interrupt you, who's really suffering here?

PERKINS: Look, the policy that this country has adopted in the last 40 years, which has -- which has minimized the importance of marriage, there's an understanding that the purpose of public policy is to achieve a greater good. It's not designed to shape out narrow anomalies. It's for a broader reality.

And the reality is that kids need a mom and a dad. That's what marriage is about. It's not about two moms, two dads, three dads, three moms. It's about a dad and a mom. And that's what public policy should promote.

SAVAGE: That is not what marriage is about.


SAVAGE: People without children can get married.

PERKINS: They can, but that's not...

SAVAGE: Marriage is not defined by the presence of children.

PERKINS: That's not the purpose of government being involved regulating marriage.

SAVAGE: Individual liberties is the purpose of our constitution. For you to try to write individual liberties out of our political system...

PERKINS: Then you must be for polygamy. You must be for every other form of relationship.


COOPER: We're going to leave it there, Tony. We'll get a thought from Dan. Your final thought?

SAVAGE: I hope Tony Perkins doesn't pray to Jesus with that mouth, because he bears false witness against his gay and lesbian neighbors. And that's a violation of one of the Ten Commandments.

PERKINS: And how would you suggest I do that, Dan? This is about public policy, which is to promote the greater good. And the best environment, social science...

SAVAGE: Not at the expense of minority rights and individuals.

PERKINS: Social sciences show overwhelming...

SAVAGE: That is a lie. It's studies that are funded by bigots, for bigots, to justify bigotry. The studies you cite have all the validity of Tobacco Institute studies telling us in the '70s and '80s that smoking was safe.

COOPER: I'm sorry. We've got to go. Dan Savage, I appreciate it. Tony Perkins, as well. Thank you. An interesting discussion.

Still to come, President Bush met with Barack Obama on Monday. So when will Vice President Dick Cheney show Joe Biden around his future home? The answer ahead.

Also tonight, the Jonestown massacre 30 years later. New details and perhaps some answers about what really happened.


COOPER: In a moment a look back at a mass murder/suicide that left nearly a thousand dead. It still has the power to shock 30 years later, the Jonestown massacre.

First, Erica Hill joins us with a "360 Bulletin" -- Erica.

ERICA HILL, CNN ANCHOR: Anderson, in Louisiana Ku Klux Klan documents were seized today from the home of Chuck Foster, who authorities say shot and killed a woman during an initiation ceremony over the weekend. Police believe Cynthia Lynch had traveled from Oklahoma to join the group.

More now with the financial meltdown. Asian markets falling right now, as we told you at the top of the show, continuing to follow it for you. This after a tough day on Wall Street. The Dow lost more than 400 points on the session today. It is the third straight day of declines totaling $1 trillion of loss in just 72 hours. The NASDAQ and the S&P also ending down.

Vice President Dick Cheney and his wife, Lynn, will welcome Joe and Jill Biden tomorrow the Naval Observatory, the official V.P. residence. And it's actually going to be the first home for the Bidens in Washington. Senator Biden has always commuted from Delaware, Anderson.

COOPER: Erica, time now for "Beat 360" winners, our daily challenge to viewers to come up with a caption better than the one any of us can come up with.

Tonight's picture from London, Prince Charles meeting Robin Williams backstage at the Wimbledon Theater after a benefit -- benefit performance for one of the prince's charities.

Our staff winner, none. No one on our staff could come up with anything that was even remotely worthy.


COOPER: It is sad but it's true.

HILL: Yes, either that or it just wasn't fit for television.

COOPER: Gabe had one, but it was -- it was pretty offensive.

Our viewer winner is Dee from New York, who won with this: "How did that chap get Camilla's hat?"

Dee, nice job. Your "Beat 360" T-shirt is on the way.

You can check out all the entries at

Up next, the search for the first dog. Some options for the Obama family and yours, if you want a pooch. There are some great options and some very cute dogs about to be shown.

We'll be right back.



JIM JONES, CULT LEADER: Die with a -- die with a degree of dignity. It's just stepping over into another plane. Quickly, quickly, quickly, quickly, quickly.

(END VIDEO CLIP) COOPER: The chilling voice of the Reverend Jim Jones, asking for the container of Kool-Aid laced with arsenic and cyanide that hundreds of his followers actually drank until they died. Some took it willingly. Many, including children, however, were held down, forced to consume the poison.

Next Tuesday marks the 30th anniversary of the Jonestown tragedy. Tomorrow night, CNN special correspondent Soledad O'Brien brings us untold stories from the survivors, new details of the massacre and the madman responsible for all of it.

Here's a preview. First, we want to warn you, some of the images are graphic.


SOLEDAD O'BRIEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Tim Carter saw the airport gunman return.

TIM CARTER, WITNESS: It was a tractor trailer that had come from the air strip. It came up and stopped at the kitchen. And these guys jumped out and said, "We got the congressman."

O'BRIEN: Jim Jones told his 900 followers...

JONES: The congressman's dead. Please get us some medication. It's simple. Simple. There's no convulsions with it. It's just simple.

O'BRIEN: A third of all the dead were children, murdered at Jim Jones' command. Racked with convulsions, a painful death.

JONES: Die with a degree of dignity. Lay down your life with dignity. Don't lay down with tears and agony.

O'BRIEN: Carter saw his 1-year-old son, Malcolm, in the arms of his wife, Gloria.

CARTER: Malcolm was dead, his little lips covered with foam, which is what happens with arsenic and cyanide, is it foams at the mouth. I put my arms around Gloria as she was holding Malcolm and just kept on sobbing, "I love you so much. I love you so much." I held Gloria until she died.

O'BRIEN: Jim Jones did not drink the cyanide. When almost everyone else was dead, Jones was shot in the head, probably by a trusted aide.

CARTER: I did notice Jones' body on the stage with a bullet hole in the side of his head. And I remember thinking the son of a bitch didn't die in the way everybody else died.

O'BRIEN: Carter lived only because he was sent away on a final errand. He came close to shooting himself that night.

CARTER: I knew that I would never get the sounds and the smells and the sights of Jonestown out of my mind ever again.


COOPER: It's so stunning to see those images. I mean, the memories are still so strong. What surprised you most about it?

O'BRIEN: You know, I think learning some of the details about how much Jim Jones really prepared, even before he brought his followers out of California and into the settlement in Guyana, South America.

He was stock piling cyanide.

COOPER: Really?

O'BRIEN: Yes. They had a jeweler's license in the settlement. And under the term of the jeweler's license in Guyana, they could bring in a certain amount of cyanide every single month. So even before people landed in Guyana, he was collecting cyanide and also asking his medical sort of assistants and professionals how much do you have to give? And should we do tests on animals first?

COOPER: You're talking about survivors. How does someone survive that? How do you move on when your family is dead, all the people you were with, this religious group that you believed in? I mean, it's got to be...

O'BRIEN: They don't. Many of the survivors we spoke to are -- they're shells. I mean, they have battled drug problems and alcoholism. They are struggling to this day.

One of the women we go back with was 12 years old and ran into the jungle. Her mother was shot on the tarmac. And to see how -- how difficult her life has been. I mean, this picture there, that is a mother who does not want to let her child go. So the whole family stays behind. They all die at Jonestown, because she doesn't want to leave.

And all of this on tape, of course, because an NBC crew was there shooting it.

COOPER: Right.

O'BRIEN: Thirty years ago. And, of course, an NBC correspondent was killed. Don Harris was killed in the shooting on the tarmac at Port Kaituma.

COOPER: And how, I mean, any parent could do that to their child and give to their child? It's...

O'BRIEN: Jim Jones held drills. They called them "white nights." And he would say, "You have to be prepared to kill your children. Are you prepared to kill your children?"

And one of the survivors we spoke to is 75 years old. At one point he said, "No, I'm not. I'm not." And he said no one else around him would stand up and say that. And he was punished for that. And so he raised his hand when Congressman Ryan came and said, "I want to go. My family wants to go." And he lost his wife on that tarmac. She was shot, her head literally blown off.

COOPER: Unbelievable.

O'BRIEN: Horrible, horrible. And to this day he lives with tremendous guilt about it. He's 75. Lives with terrible guilt.

COOPER: Wow. It's fascinating. Soledad, thanks.

The special, "Escape from Jonestown" is tomorrow night at 9 p.m. Eastern, followed by a special later program of this program at 11 p.m. Eastern. It's a two-hour special. Well worth it. Soledad, thanks.

John McCain's first interview since losing the election. See what he told Jay Leno. It's our "Shot of the Day."

Also tonight, could this little guy be the perfect answer to the Obama's family dog dilemma? He's a shelter dog. His name is Lowell (ph). He's obviously adorable, but is he also hypoallergenic? That's the tricky part. Erica Hill digs deeper, coming up.


COOPER: You're looking at CNN iReport pictures of puppies. How cute are these puppies? Could one of them move in the White House? A lot of people think they have the perfect pet for President-elect Barack Obama and his family. He promised his daughters a dog, possibly from a shelter, but it also has to be hypoallergenic, because of Malia's allergies. There are thousands of dogs to choose from. Many need a home, and it doesn't have to be the White House .

360's Erica Hill has more.


BARACK OBAMA (D), PRESIDENT-ELECT: Sasha and Malia, I love you both more than you can imagine. And you have earned the new puppy that's coming with us to the White House.

HILL (voice-over): Words that united the country behind a new cause: the first dog, and thrust pooches like these in the spotlight, after the president-elect mentioned the Obamas' preference would be a shelter dog.

SANDRA DEFEO, HUMANE SOCIETY OF NEW YORK: I just think adopting is the most rewarding experience you can do. You're saving a life.

HILL: And there are plenty of animals that need that love. Between six and eight million dogs and cats enter a shelter every year.

But the Obamas also need to save a dog that's hypoallergenic because their 10-year-old daughter Malia has allergies. (on camera) While there's no such thing as a truly hypoallergenic dog, there are certain breeds which are better for people with allergies, including Toby here, who's a terrier mix.

(voice-over) Or the new first family could opt for this pup, a Peruvian hairless. They've already been offered one. The American Kennel Club recommends poodles, schnauzers, and soft-coated Wheaten terriers. Yorkies like Chula are also easier for allergy sufferers.

But once you've found the breed that works for your family, though, don't think a shelter is out.

(on camera) It's not just mixed-breed puppies that you can find, or even older dogs that you'll find at a shelter, because Lowell here, who's eight weeks, is a pure bred lab.

DEFEO: Yes. He's a pure bred lab who has American Kennel Club papers.

HILL (voice-over): Defeo recommends the Obamas wait to adopt a dog until they're settled in Washington. And when they do get to the White House get out the vacuum.

DEFEO: Make sure the house is very clean from the previous dog that's been living there. Because you might mistakenly think that you're allergic to the dog you just brought in when in fact, it's the dander that's left behind from the dog that was just there.

HILL: But the most important thing to look for in a dog: one that fits your family.

DEFEO: You want to make a love match when you adopt a dog. This is a commitment to the lifetime of the animal. And you want to make sure that you've thought about it and that you're ready for the whole process.


COOPER: Ah, and Erica joins us now with Lowell. That dog is so adorable.

HILL: He's beautiful. He's really -- he's eight weeks old. Poor guy. I think he may have had it with being on set, though. He's eight weeks old. He's a purebred. He does have, as you heard Sandra say -- he gives kisses -- in the story there. He did -- he came with papers. He actually arrived at the shelter on Saturday, and I think they've had multiple applications since. But you can't just walk out...

COOPER: He's not hypoallergenic. He's a lab.

HILL: He's not, because he's a lab. So he's not one of the breeds.

COOPER: They make great pets. HILL: They do. They're very sweet. They do stay puppies for a long time. Something you need to consider if you're going to get a lab. But there are so many dogs out there that need homes and so many available at shelters that could easily fit the bill for the Obamas or many other families across the country.

Hi, buddy. I know, you're kind of done with me, aren't you? You're kind of done. "Hey, lady, I've had it."

COOPER: He might smell -- he smells Jack.

HILL: He might smell Jake. That might be it. And we also wanted to introduce you to...

COOPER: I was talking about Jack, our...

HILL: Oh, Jack -- Jack, our -- I thought you thought his name was Jim. We also have another dog that we wanted to introduce you to, that one of our iReporters sent. Because so many of our iReporters have sent in ideas for the Obamas and for other folks and dogs to adopt.

But this is Hounderson Cooper.

COOPER: Really?

HILL: He watches hurricane coverage. He was sent into us by a family who are avid CNN viewers. I think I need to bring Lowell back.

COOPER: Wow, I see the resemblance.

HILL: Don't you? He apparently didn't win the local Petco costume contest, but he won in our hearts, I think.

COOPER: He absolutely did.

Well, thanks for bringing in Lowell.

If you have suggestions for the first dog, go to, submit an iReport. We'll check in on your suggestions. We'll show some of them throughout the next couple weeks.

Up next, John McCain one-on-one with Jay Leno. Why he thinks he lost and more. It's our "Shot of the Day."

And next hour, the GOP's star search. Is Sarah Palin the party's future? She's staying in the spotlight, certainly talking today to CNN twice. "Raw Politics" ahead.


COOPER: Tonight's "Shot," Senator John McCain. He gave his first post-election interview to Jay Leno on "The Tonight Show." And he offered some laughs and some opinions. Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) JAY LENO, HOST, NBC'S "THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH JAY LENO": It's been a week since the election. How are you doing?

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: Well, I've been sleeping like a baby. Sleep two hours, wake up and cry; sleep two hours, wake up and cry.

LENO: What do you think was the main reason you lost? I mean, it was close...

MCCAIN: Personality flaw.

LENO: Personality flaw?

MCCAIN: Maybe -- maybe too many people saw me on Jay Leno.

I couldn't be happier with Sarah Palin. And she is going back to be a great governor. And I think she will play a big role in the future of this country.

LENO: Did she ever get off message?

MCCAIN: Did you expect mavericks to stay on message?


COOPER: McCain is a regular. This is his 14th time on the late show. You can see all of the -- he's very funny.

HILL: He is very funny. I must say, when he was on "SNL" a couple of weeks ago, I thought he was hysterical. He did very well in that -- in that setting.

COOPER: I'm actually doing Leno on Thursday night. And I don't think I'll do as well.

HILL: That was exciting, but I thought you were going to say you were going to be on "Saturday Night Live." I was a little more excited about that. I'm not going to lie.

COOPER: We can dream. But not going to happen.

You can see all the most recent shots on our Web site, There you can also see other segments of the program.

You know, although I did meet Fred Armisen the other day from "Saturday Night Live"...

HILL: Oh, really?

COOPER: ... who I think is so funny. And he does his political comedian, which I just think is sort of -- almost a genius.

HILL: He's very funny. Maybe Fred Armisen wants to be on AC 360.

COOPER: He also does Mahmoud Ahmadinejad very well.

HILL: Not an easy one to pull off. I mean, first you need the Member's Only jacket. And then -- yes.

COOPER: All right. Just at -- excuse me. Got a little verklempt.

At the top of the hour, breaking news. Asian markets falling after the Dow plunged today. Stocks are reacting, in part, to a major shift in how the massive financial rescue plan will also work. Your money, your future, all the details ahead. We don't have time for the "Culprits of the Collapse" report tonight. We're going to bring that tomorrow, though.

Also, Sarah Palin in her own words as her media marathon continues. Why is she so eager to talk to the press after so many weeks and months of avoiding them? What do her fellow Republican governors think? Well, take a look at that. Stay tuned.


COOPER: Tonight, Sarah Palin's media blitz picking up speed, trying to position herself for a future in the GOP. Two more interviews today, both on CNN. On the trail, Palin barely talked to reporters, barely talked to CNN. Now she can't seem to say enough. Take a look.


WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: ... back and you say to yourself, "I think I would have done something differently"? Is there anything you look back and say, "I think I could have done something differently. That might have helped"?

GOV. SARAH PALIN (R), ALASKA: I just wish there had been more hours in the day and able -- been able to speak to more Americans through the media. I would have loved...

BLITZER: We tried. We tried. God knows, we tried.

PALIN: Right. That's why we're here today, Wolf.