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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Patrick Swayze Dies; Rising Anger in America; Yale Murder Mystery
Aired September 14, 2009 - 23:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Good evening, tonight, breaking news, sad news. The actor who got a generation up on their feet from some "Dirty Dancing" and moved them into tears in the movie "Ghost" has died. Patrick Swayze lost his long battle today pancreatic cancer. He was just 57 years old.
In a moment Barbara Walters will join us from ABC News, she of course was the first to interview him after his diagnosis. She talks about his life and his valiant fight in the face of death.
We'll also "Dig Deeper" into the kind of cancer that killed him. It's one of the deadliest there is. Information you need to know about pancreatic cancer.
We begin though, with a look back, Patrick Swayze's life on screen and especially on his feet.
COOPER: It is the way many of us first came to know Patrick Swayze. The year was 1987. The film was "Dirty Dancing." Swayze played dance instructor Johnny Castle, his moves capture America's attention. Dancing is something that Swayze said was always part of who he was.
PATRICK SWAYZE, ACTOR: My mother is a choreographer. So I sort of had no choice in it, I came out of the womb dancing.
COOPER: Although his dancing may have been dirty the movie made him a star. Swayze even composed and sang a hit song from the film.
He'd already appeared in a dozen films before "Dirty Dancing" movies like "Red Dawn" and Francis Ford Coppola's "The Outsiders."
SWAYZE: And I can't even call the cops because you too will be thrown in a boys' home so fast it would make your heads spin.
COOPER: "Dirty Dancing" however, made him a house hold name. His later felt he was too associated with the film.
SWAYZE: There was a period -- it was like, "God, am I going to get out of the dance dude thing?" That's the -- but part of the reason why I've gone off and done so many different types of characters. COOPER: Among those characters were brawlers and road house and next of kin, the thrill seeking bank robber in "Point Break" and a drag queen, in "To Wong Fu, Thanks for everything, Julie Newmar."
Swayze hit it big again in the 1990 romantic thriller, "Ghost".
SWAYZE: Tell her ditto.
WHOOPI GOLDBERG, ACTRESS: What's ditto?
COOPER: He played a murder victim whose ghost returns, a part that showcased his ability to masculine characters with a sensitive side.
By the late 1990s Swayze was getting fewer blockbuster roles. He began to spend more time on his horse ranch in southern California.
SWAYZE: My animals really tell me whether I'm buying the hype or not or whether I'm really 100 percent myself.
COOPER: He also continued to dance, making a film on the subject with his wife. In March 2008, the world learned that Patrick Swayze was ill, suffering from pancreatic cancer. A year before his diagnosis, he struck a philosophical note as he reflected on his journey through Hollywood.
SWAYZE: A career goes up, I think I'm on the fifth refocusing on Patrick Swayze's career, you know. It's like -- the part of the ride and the growth is the up and down. It can be just as hard to live through the ups as it can be to live through the downs.
COOPER: Patrick Swayze lived a life of ups and downs on screen and off. He died today at the age of 57.
COOPER: Swayze -- actor, dancer, devoted husband, cowboy, fighter, 57 years old. He died surrounded by his family, we're told. About a year after he got the news he had pancreatic cancer and after an especially gruelling round of chemotherapy, he sat down with ABC's Barbara Walters.
She did the interview after countless tabloid stories that he was near death.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SWAYZE: I have the meanness and the passion to say the hell with you, watch me -- you watch what pull off.
All these years I've never reacted to them, I've never had issues with them. But when they start screwing people I love and they start screwing my family, hope is a very, very fragile thing in anyone's life.
And -- people I love do not need to be having that hope robbed from them when it's unjustified and it's untrue.
BARBARA WALTER, ABC ANCHOR: There have been reports in the tabloids recently that quote you as saying you're on your last leg, you're saying good-bye to your tearful family.
SWAYZE: Am I dying, am I giving up, am I on my death bed? Am I saying goodbye to people? No way.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Patrick Swayze with ABC's Barbara Walters back in January. I spoke with Barbara Walters on the phone just a few moments ago.
COOPER: Barbara, when you heard the news this evening, your first thoughts were what?
WALTERS: Oh, I'm heartsick, mostly for his wife, Lisa. This is one of the most enduring marriages -- 34 years. She had been his -- Lisa had been his dancing partner. My first thought was of her.
I can't tell you that I was surprised. When we did the interview, he had been on chemotherapy. And it was enormously painful for him the kind of treatment he was having. And he was starting a new chemotherapy. So that he was very excited that it would work and for awhile, and for awhile, it did. But it's a deadly disease; he thought he could lick it. But I think in his heart he knew he couldn't.
COOPER: You really believe he thought he could lick it?
WALTERS: Well, he was a fighter. And in the interview he went from being angry to being very mellow. But he did everything he could, every treatment that he could to try to lick it, yes.
COOPER: I want to play for our viewers something from that interview in which you asked him if he was scared. And here's what he said.
WALTERS: Are you scared?
SWAYZE: I don't know. I will be so either truthful or stupid as to say no. But then I immediately when I say I have to say, yes, I am. I don't know what's on the other side. It tests everything that I believe in. That there is something unique in all of us that does not die.
I like to believe and always have, that I've got a lot of guardian warriors sitting on my shoulders. Including my dad, saying, you just let Swayze dog know it's been his turn all time you just let us do the work and we'll finish it for him. And so I'm trying to shut up and let my angels speak to me and tell me what I'm supposed to do.
COOPER: But he -- I mean, he was fighting this every step of the way.
WALTERS: But you know, in addition to fighting it, he was doing a television show. And he talked about the fact that he would be lying on the floor in agony and he would get up, walk on that set and smile. And nobody knew how much pain and nausea and he said your whole inside turns over.
People didn't know. And when we did the interview, he was riding his horses, he was walking. He looked thin, very thin as you can see, from our interview. But he -- but he was still going. And he was still fighting. And he still hoped that -- that he would somehow be the one -- somehow be the one who would beat it.
COOPER: Why do you think it was that he kept working? I mean even through the toughest times?
WALTERS: Well, I think, I think it was a good part. He was playing a detective. I think it was exciting for him to do it. It was being done, I believe, in Chicago. And it also, it kept the juices going. Then after he had done that, they didn't renew it for the next year.
But he had his horses and he trained his horses and his dogs. He took us to the stables and showed us the horses. He was not one that was just going to lie back and feel sorry for himself. He fought this and she fought it by his side. She cooked special meals for him. She -- I mean, Lisa was a rock.
COOPER: And she was by his side when he died, his rock. More on his enduring marriage, the unbreakable spirit with Barbara Walters after the break.
Also the cancer that killed him: why it is such a dreaded form of the disease. Not that any kind of cancer is good but this is a real killer and also some new signs of hope in treating it.
Our conversation continues online as well; a lot of folks already weighing in about Patrick Swayze. Join the chat right now under way at AC360.com
Later tonight, new developments in the murder of that Yale grad student; her body found on campus stuffed into a wall. Is there a murderer on the Ivy League campus? Details on that tonight.
And what's behind the anger? How did a debate over health care and bank bailouts turn into angry rallies and people -- some people calling the President a Nazi? We'll talk with the organizers of the Tea Party Express.
And James Carville is not happy about some of the forms of protest he saw this weekend.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) JAMES CARVILLE, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: I think these people are utterly without class. And I think it's very important that Americans know the quality of people that are out there demonstrating.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Continuing our breaking news coverage of the death of Patrick Swayze. He gained fame of course as an actor, his first love was dancing. His wife of more than 30 years was an early dance partner. A moment ago, you heard ABC's Barbara Walters described her as his rock.
More now with my conversation with Barbara Walters from a few moments ago.
COOPER: Their relationship, I mean, it is remarkable in Hollywood to have a relationship that lasts that long and we learned that when he died his whole family was by his side.
WALTERS: Yes, his brothers. As a matter of fact, when I was there doing the interviews, one of his brothers was with him.
Lisa and he met at his mother's dance studio. His mother was a choreographer and a dancing teacher in Texas.
And she was his partner during those early years. They loved to dance together. And they did not have children. They had the horses, they have the dogs. Neither one of them, when we did the interview, were weepy. You know, they -- up until the end, towards the end of the interview, then I think she kind of fell apart.
She took care of him every day during that illness. She was his nurse, she was his guardian, she was his chef, she was his wife. He was very close to his father. And part of it, he said he used to talk to his father who had died, every day. And his father was waiting for him. He talked about that. His father was one of the, I guess, angels that was waiting for him.
COOPER: Whoopi Goldberg has put out a statement. I just received and I want to read to it you. It says "Patrick was a really good man, a funny man and one to whom I owe much that I can't ever repay. I believe in 'Ghost's' message, so he'll always be near."
WALTERS: Well, remember, that -- Whoopi played a medium, in that film. It was wonderful for her career. And -- it's very special, very special for Whoopi, as it was for me, to know him.
COOPER: You talked about him riding horses. I think a lot of people don't realized, he kind of, he didn't retire from Hollywood ever, but he basically moved...
WALTERS: He was a cowboy. I mean... COOPER: Yes.
WALTERS: ...he thought of himself as a cowboy. He was a Texas cowboy. And he trained these horses.
COOPER: And there was something about horses -- right.
WALTERS: And they weren't just there for show. They were very much a part of his life.
He had not worked for awhile. And that's why when this series came along and the producers knew, by the way, that he had the pancreatic cancer when they hired him. It was very brave of them. And he was going to make a comeback in this television series.
COOPER: There's a saying I think Ronald Reagan used to paraphrase -- I'm not sure who originally said it and it something goes to the effect of there's something about the outside of a horse that's good for the inside of man. And there was something about horses that I think kind of centered him, it seems like.
WALTERS: He had two ranches. There was one I believe in New Mexico and then there was the one that -- where we were -- was on the outskirts of Los Angeles. And that was his home and that was his life. He had this wonderful house and a stable of I don't know, like a half a dozen horses and he rode every day, so did Lisa.
COOPER: And those films of course, "Dirty Dancing" and "Ghost," those are movies which kind of live on. And people go back to them and look at them again.
WALTERS: It's amazing that people -- that people remembered him as much as they did because they were two classic -- classic films.
COOPER: Yes. Well, Barbara I appreciate you talking to us tonight. You spent a lot time with us.
WALTERS: It's a sad night. And he was a very lovable, dear, accomplished person. And he did as much as anybody could. He fought a very, very brave fight. I'm sorry he had to lose it...
COOPER: Barbara, thank you.
WALTERS: Thank you, Anderson.
COOPER: Thank you.
COOPER: Still ahead, a lot of reaction online to the death of Patrick Swayze. Erica Hill is monitoring that. We'll have a closer look also at the disease that killed him.
Also ahead, the other news tonight: the backlash against President Obama, tens of thousands of angry protesters in nation's capital this weekend. We'll talk to James Carville and David Gergen who also had some questions for Tea Party Express organizer Mark Williams about what he's called President Obama in the past.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAVID GERGEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: He's a racist-in- chief? Racist-in-chief? Is that what you called him? The racist-in- chief -- that's unbelievable.
MARK WILLIAMS, ORGANIZER, TEA PARTY EXPRESS: Until he embraces the whole country -- what else can I conclude?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: We're following the breaking news tonight, the death of Patrick Swayze. He died today at the age of 57 of pancreatic cancer, his family by his side.
A lot of people are talking about this online. Erica Hill has been following that, Erica what have you been reading?
ERICA HILL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, so many Patrick Swayze fans are really turning to social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter. Twitter actually keeps on the site a list of what it calls trending topics, taking a look at some of the most popular things people are tweeting about at the moment.
Well, we took a shot just a couple of minutes ago of this screen and of the nine topics listed at that point seven of them were related to Patrick Swayze; so many people posting memories of watching classic movies like "Dirty Dancing," "Ghost," "Road House, even "Red Dawn."
We took a look at actually the "Dirty Dancing" page, people talking about "Dirty Dancing" specifically and it's kind of what you'd expect. People saying, you know I remember when I watched this movie with my mom.
Or this is something that's also been popular on our blog as well at AC360.com. A couple of the comments there: one person Lisa Allen in Canada saying, Patrick Swayze meant a lot to so many, so many great movies. It's so sad for family and friends. He really did live his life so and that was not a mistake.
Just a lot of people really sending out their wishes to his family and saying how sad it was that he had lost that battle. But also mentioning how hard he fought, what you just talked about with Barbara Walters.
COOPER: Yes, if you want to join the live chat and talk to others about your memories of Patrick Swayze. Go to AC360.com and join the live chat happening now. I'm about to log in. I'm a little bit behind. Erica is already there.
Moving on tonight, according to a new estimate, from the National Cancer Institute, pancreatic cancer is going to kill more than 35,000 Americans this year. It's hard to diagnose, hard to treat or ultimately, hard to beat.
Joining us now is Dr. Anton Bilchik with the California Oncology Research Institute. Dr. Bilchik, this is one of the deadliest cancers. I was surprised that it only had a four percent survival rate over the course of five years. Why is it so hard to detect and hart to beat?
DR. ANTON BILCHIK, SURGICAL ONCOLOGIST: Because the majority of patients present with advanced disease. The symptoms are very subtle, unexplained weight loss, reflex symptoms, symptoms that people deal with on a daily basis. The majority of patients also present with advanced disease. Most patients present with evidence of liver metastasis or lymph node metastasis.
COOPER: What does that metastasis mean?
BILCHIK: Spread to the liver...
BILCHIK: ...cancer cells that have gone beyond the pancreas.
COOPER: So the symptoms -- I mean, with Swayze I understand it took several days of very detailed tests in order to actually diagnose the disease, which happened in 2008. And then, he lived more than a year and half after that.
The fact that it takes this whole battery of tests, I mean, most people are not going to have that until they have really severe symptoms, right?
BILCHIK: That's correct. The standard test to diagnose pancreas cancer is a CAT scan. And again, I mean, it's not reasonable to get CAT scans on every single person that has weight loss. But that is the test that is most specific and sensitive to make the diagnosis.
COOPER: I understand it affects most people in their 60s. Swayze was in his 50s. Who is most at risk and what causes it? We know Patrick Swayze smoked; did that have something to do with it?
BILCHIK: Yes, smoking has been associated with pancreas cancer. So is but the exact cause is still not known. There may be a genetic component. We just don't know.
COOPER: So if someone sitting at home right now, I mean, is there any way to protect yourself from this kind of cancer?
BILCHIK: I think avoid smoking, watch what you eat. Obesity. There's association with diabetes. And I think that the most important thing is patients or people that just lose weight for no obvious reason.
COOEPR: We get that checked out. Doctor Bilchik, I appreciate you being on tonight. Thank you very much.
BILCHIK: Thank you. COOPER: We'll have more on the life and career of Patrick Swayze later on.
Still ahead though tonight, mistrust and anger boiling over in Washington and really all across America. We'll look at the backlash against President Obama. A lively conversation tonight with James Carville and David Gergen and Tea Party Express organizer, Mark Williams.
And later, the Yale murder mystery that has plunged an Ivy League campus into disbelief and fear. Police now say the killing of this woman was not a random crime. The question tonight: who killed Annie Le and why? The latest ahead.
COOPER: Tonight, rage in America. You saw the anti-Obama march over the weekend in Washington. You've seen all the money raised for and against Congressman Joe Wilson after he called President Obama a liar during the president speech to Congress.
The anger and fear is real. There's new polling tonight on the discontent in America, especially after a year from millions of Americans. One year ago today, the broker, Lehman Brothers collapsed, taking the market and the economy with it. Today on Wall Street the president said we are making progress.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I will never be satisfied while people are out of work and our financial system is weakened. We can be confident that the storms of the past two years are beginning to break.
In fact, while there continues to be a need for government involvement to stabilize the financial system, that necessity is waning. After months in which public dollars were flowing into our financial system, we're finally beginning to see money flowing back to taxpayers.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Well, there is some good news.
The Dow is up more than 1,600 points since Inauguration Day. Job losses are slowing and many experts believe the recession could be ending this quarter.
But there is still plenty of misery out there and mistrust and anger.
Candy Crowley has the "Raw Politics."
CANDY CROWLEY, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: They converged on Washington, a seething September protest.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: President Obama, can you hear us now?
CROWLEY: It was a rally for all reasons, including too much government spending.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The bottom line, we can't afford these things anymore.
CROWLEY: Too much government creep into the private sector.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are here to let the government know that we do not want government involvement in our health care.
CROWLEY: And after the Wall Street bailout, the mortgage bailout, the stimulus program and the auto industry restructuring, too much government, period.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm really afraid that our country is taking a socialistic or even a Marxist direction.
CROWLEY: It is a passionate, sometimes harsh critique, also true during the later part of the Bush administration. But critics of the critics think this is different, they think this is about resistance to a black man as president.
TIM WISE, AUTHOR, "BETWEEN BARACK AND A HARD PLACE": They simply cannot accept that we are not the only folks in this country. We're not standard for what an American is. It's a multicultural nation.
CROWLEY: Delegitimizing the messenger is a tried and true way to dismiss the message but there's no denying fringe and racist elements. Concern about that maybe part of why Republicans are reluctant to join in these rallies against what they too see as government overreach.
RICH GALEN, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: No matter how good your position, there's always somebody who agrees with you that you wish didn't.
CROWLEY: The White House says the president doesn't think the protest are about his race. And as he defended his economic policies and push for tighter regulation in the financial markets, the President talked like man who hears his critics.
OBAMA: I have always been a strong believer in the power of the free market. So I promise you, I did not run for president to bail out banks or intervene in capital markets.
CROWLEY: There's good reason for the president to establish his pre-market credentials. A new CNN Public Opinion Research Corporation poll suggests some protester concerns go beyond the city street. 55 percent of Americans believe the Obama health care plan will eventually lead to a government takeover, though that includes some who think it's a good idea.
Three quarters believe the president's plan would increase the deficit. And about half think it will provide health insurance to illegal immigrants.
Something is afoot at the Circle K, and if we're smart in Washington, we'll head out to the Circle K and keep our mouths shut and our ears open and see what it is that's going on.
CROWLEY: Candy Crowley, CNN, Washington.
COOPER: Let's "Dig Deeper" now into the anger and the backlash against President Obama on display of the rally on Saturday but also on the House floor and the town halls across the country.
Earlier tonight, I spoke with senior political analyst, David Gergen, political contributor and Democratic strategist, James Carville and Mark Williams, organizer of the Tea Party Express Tour.
COOPER: Mark, there was a bigger turnout this weekend -- at this weekend's protest than probably a lot of liberals and Democrats expected but the people who we saw are not necessarily people who voted for President Obama. In fact probably, most of them did not -- most of the country however, did vote for president.
What do you say to those who say, look, this is sour grapes from those who weren't happy with the election results?
WILLIAMS: Well, I have no way of knowing for whom these people voted. I know I did speak across the country with quite a few people who did vote for Barack Obama and were very disappointed in the change that they are getting. It's not they had hope for.
Sour grapes? These were working stiffs. These are people who pay the bills; these are the people who are being called Nazis and mobsters by their government. These are people that are being told that there's something is wrong with them. Because they embrace the Constitutional form of government we have.
COOPER: But wait Mark, you're actually the one who called President Obama Nazi.
WILLIAMS: I didn't call Barack Obama a Nazi.
COOPER: Yes, he's on your list, on your Web site of like 21st century Nazis. You have his name.
WILLIAMS: We've got the philosophy of fascism and national socialism at work here. Of course we do.
COOPER: No, no but you have the president's name, although it's a derivation that's not his actually name, it's a name it's kind of a negative.
WILLIAMS: Mubarak Hussein Obama.
COOPER: Right, that's what's you call him on your Website. You're the one who's using the term Nazi.
WILLIAMS: Sure. I call him Mubarak Hussein Obama. And he's a man who is sitting in the office right now, taking the seeds of socialism planted by George W. and fertilizing them and watering them until they go into full bloom.
COOPER: Did you protest against President Bush when he -- I mean, you said, he started the seeds of socialism...
COOPER: ...in your terms. Did you -- were you outraged -- did you protest?
WILLIAMS: I was all over that -- all over the radio on that. And if I could have turned bodies out, I would have had the bodies in the streets.
It hadn't reached a critical mass yet until it went into full bloom. And if you talked with anybody who is in these crowds, you'll find out that they have about as much love for the "W" administration as they have for this one. They were hoping to get away from failed policies when George Bush left office, not dive deeper into.
COOPER: More with our panel next. You can join the conversation online at AC360.com. The conversation is about to get very heated.
Plus, a new twist in the Yale murder mystery. Police say the body found inside the wall of the campus research lab is missing grad student Annie Le. The question tonight: who killed her? One professor says there could be a murderer on campus.
We'll be right back.
COOPER: Digging deeper now into the anger against President Obama and his policies. Tens of thousands turning out in Washington this weekend: a lot of folks agreeing with Joe Wilson who called President Obama a liar.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WILLIAM GREEN, RIGHTMARCH.COM: It's time for us to be able to stand up. I thank God for Congressman Wilson, that had the courage to say, "you lie."
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: More now of my conversation with David Gergen, James Carville, and protest organizer Mark Williams.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) COOPER: James, do Democrats run the risk of underestimating this opposition? There's plenty of people -- and we're seeing the pictures now -- who are protesting for the first times in their -- first time in their lives. They're coming forward in a way they haven't before.
And a lot Democrats, it seems, a lot of liberals are kind of dismissing all of these people with painting them with a very broad brush.
CARVILLE: Yes, look, I mean, there are a lot of people out there, there's a lot of people in this country that feel a lot of things.
What these people had, though, was very low class. Let me show you something they were all carrying here. It says "Bury Barack Obama with Kennedy." Now, a senior CNN executive told there were thousands of these signs out there.
Now I'm a little -- that makes me a little queased (ph) out. I think these people are ugly, without class. Can you imagine a man dying with a wife and a family and kids and having thousands of those signs out?
WILLIAMS: James, I -- I saw exactly three offensive signs all the way across country in 35 cities.
CARVILLE: According to -- according to a senior CNN executive, who told me two hours ago there were thousands of them; other people have confirmed that. They were printed; they were passed out. And there's something that is wrong with this. There's utterly something that is wrong with this.
People want to protest, that's the idea. Celebrating a man's death, a man who is a great patriot, is wrong, wrong, wrong. You ought to chastise your people.
WILLIAMS: ... James.
CARVILLE: No, that's not over the top at all.
WILLIAMS: As much as I appreciate it. You might want to cross over the 495 beltway and get out and see America. You'll find out that you're not telling the truth.
COOPER: Mark, just on the sign, in particular, do you see anything offensive about that? And you know, there are a lot of critics of this who say, look, protests is one thing. The level of sort of personal vitriol against the president is another.
WILLIAMS: Yes, I did see some of that out there. I saw far less than I've seen in the streets of San Francisco, Washington, and New York back during the so-called "anti-war peace demonstrations," where George Bush was portrayed as a monkey, where he was first portrayed as the Joker, where soldiers were hung in effigy, as they -- they're still being hung from a house here in Sacramento, and where flags were burned.
Now, are they representative of the Democrats and the American liberals? I don't know. Maybe they are.
But as much as I appreciate James' over-the-top hyperbole, the simple fact of the matter is, what you saw was a broad cross-section of America. You saw democracy in action: the people who pay the bills, who are not Nazis, who are not mobs. They pay the bills, and they're being dissed and not listened to by their government.
And yes, they're being dismissed, but at the peril of the people who hold office now, because 2010 is around the corner. And there's going to be blow back.
COOPER: David, you've seen a lot of protests. As I said, the numbers this weekend were quite bigger than some Democrats or liberals expected. Not as big, perhaps, as some of -- as an immigration rally or something against the war, even, we saw under the Bush administration, but large and significant.
Is there something happening here? Or is this just part of normal dissent?
GERGEN: I think that, Anderson, we are -- we're going off the rails here in some of these demonstrations. I think we went off the rails against George W. Bush. And now they're clearly going off the rails against Barack Obama.
Healthy dissent is a good thing. It's healthy for the country. This country has often had a raucous politics. But it's becoming increasingly -- I think the increasing question is, are we governable as a people? Or are we getting to a point again where we -- we're not sure whether we can pull together on the big things that face us as a people?
I think all of us thought polarization had reached its limits under George W. Bush. I worry a lot we're going even beyond what we saw under George W. Bush. I think it's -- I think it's unfair to the president. I think it's unfair to the country.
If we can't sort of pull together and have -- have conversations without this "Nazi" stuff and bury -- bury him like Kennedy. Of course that's deeply offensive to most people.
WILLIAMS: It's amazing how our memories are failing us. I'm old enough to remember American cities in flames in the 1960s.
GERGEN: And we condemned that. If you remember, that -- we condemned that back in the 1960s.
(CROSS TALK) WILLIAMS: You're talking about working stiffs showing up to object to a policy being crammed down their throats, going off the rails? What you saw was representative democracy. Are we so far from that now in this country that we can't accept it?
COOPER: James, what about the argument that, you know, under the Bush administration you saw pictures of protests, there were plenty of people calling President Bush a Nazi on signs, plenty of signs which would be offensive to many people.
CARVILLE: Look, again, you had a neo-confederate that was shouting out "You lie" in the middle of a presidential address. That's pretty much the mainstream Republican Party.
Again, I point to this there were thousands of these out there. And I think it's very important, and Americans need to know about the quality of the people that were out there demonstrating.
WILLIAMS: You mean like Bobby Byrd, the Klansman, in the U.S. Senate there, right, James?
CARVILLE: Again -- again, I think it's very important.
WILLIAMS: You mean like George Wallace in the 1960s. Right, James?
CARVILLE: More people know what's going on. I think they're seeing this from this gentleman here now. And if you want to align yourself with these neo-confederates and these people that hold up the signs, this is America. You can do that. I choose to just point out the obvious.
COOPER: Mark, Maureen Dowd in "The New York Times" over the weekend, I'm sure you read her column religiously. She -- she said...
WILLIAMS: Actually, I do.
COOPER: Yes, I'm sure. No, but she said that some -- and I quote, "Some people just can't believe a black man is president and will never accept it."
There is, increasingly you hear from some liberals, some Democrats, particularly African-American Democrats in Congress, who say that they -- they believe there is an undercurrent of racism in some of the criticism of the president, in some of the vitriol that is being expressed.
When you hear that, it's got to anger you. What do you -- how do you respond to Maureen Dowd to those?
WILLIAMS: I dismiss extremists of all color, especially Maureen Dowd.
I saw exactly three of those "witch doctor" signs in 35 cities, 16 states, over 16 days. And as for the people around the fringes of this, they -- they are no more part of then mainstream America than are the hippies who wear nipple clips and feather boas in San Francisco's streets during so-called peace demonstrations.
You saw working-class Americans in the streets, many of whom there with their families. And as we saw across the country, we are a traveling 4th of July celebration in the Tea Party Express. People had picnics. Their kids were out. It was a celebration of America and our rights.
We weren't protesting anything. We were celebrating this country and vowing to protect its Constitution.
COOPER: But I mean, Mark, what you're saying makes sense to me here when I'm hearing what you're saying. But then I read on your blog, you say -- you call the president an Indonesian Muslim turned welfare thug and a racist in chief.
COOPER: Is that the kind of...
WILLIAMS: That's the way he's behaving.
COOPER: But I mean...
WILLIAMS: I mean, if he cares to be...
COOPER: Do you believe he's Indonesian? Do you believe he's a Muslim? Do you really believe he's a welfare thug?
WILLIAMS: He's certainly acting like it.
GERGEN: You think he's a racist in chief? Racist in chief? Is that what you called him? That's unbelievable. It's unbelievable,
WILLIAMS: Until he embraces the whole country -- what else can I conclude? He and guys like James are totally, totally isolating the rest of this country; if you're a working-class American, then you know, that's it.
CARVILLE: I tell you, if you're an American, and you like what you're hearing from this guy, if you like celebrating a man's death, go over there with these people.
WILLIAMS: Whose death am I celebrating, James? How did you get on this Kennedy thing?
CARVILLE: There were 1,000 signs, over 1,000 signs being held up.
COOPER: David Gergen, I want to read you something that David Frum, who is hardly an Obama supporter, said. He was obviously a speech writer for President Bush. And he said that some of what we're seeing out there, and I quote, "some of the wild accusations -- are wild accusations and paranoid fantasies.
Is this -- I mean, is this, though, really any different than things we've seen in past years?
GERGEN: I think it's different in kind from what we've seen over a lot of -- domestic fights. We're shouting past each other in a way now that I think makes governance extremely difficult. And for a great nation to be engaged in these sort of -- circuses kind of thing, I think, you know, is -- has real dangers to it.
WILLIAMS: It's not about...
COOPER: Mark, is this just the beginning?
WILLIAMS: Well, the beginning was during the Bush administration with TARP. And this is nothing at all to do with health care, other than health care has become the metaphor for all the different socialist policies that are being rammed down our throats by this president, or that he's trying to ram down our throats.
It's about TARP. It's about taking money from the working stiffs and giving it to the big corporations. It's about the corporate takeover of Washington, D.C. It's about the representatives of the people representing everybody but the people. It's about this nation deviating from -- or this government, more accurately, deviating from this nation's legacy and destiny.
If you think this is about health care, then you're missing the entire point. This is Americans being attacked by their own government and rising to the defense...
COOPER: James, this is the final question to you. Do you think what President Obama is doing is anything different than what he promised to do during the election? Mark was saying that some people are upset that this is not the change they voted for. Aren't -- certainly on health care, isn't this what the president kind of promised?
CARVILLE: I've talked about it a gazillion times. He came out with this, pretty much the entire thing. No one should be surprised that he's moving aggressively on health care at all. It was much discussed in the primaries, much discussed in the general election.
And I think what they're going to end up with, is something fairly close to what he talked about.
But look, it doesn't -- it doesn't matter because you have, and people have a right to come out there. And I can't say that everybody was the same. I was shocked -- I was shocked by how utterly classless the crowd -- classless the crowd was. You know, who knows? And I think David is right to be worried about this. But when you're calling the guy a welfare Indonesian Muslim or something like that, there's not much...
GERGEN: A thug.
CARVILLE: A thug. I'll tell you -- or a Nazi. There's not much room to negotiate there.
WILLIAMS: James, thanks for helping me fire up my case.
CARVILLE: I think they're fired up. You got them; they're yours.
WILLIAMS: I'll tell you, the American people are not classless. They're the working stiffs who keep money in your pocket.
COOPER: We're going to leave it there.
CARVILLE: I won't celebrate anybody's death.
COOPER: I'm not sure we shed light or heat, but I appreciate the discussion.
Mark Williams, it's good to have you on.
As always, James Carville, David Gergen, as well. Thank you.
COOPER: Join the live chat. Let us know what you think about the conversation you just heard at AC360.com.
Just ahead, new details in a fast-moving investigation: a Yale grad student, this woman murdered just days before her wedding. Now, police say they have plenty of evidence. The question is, where is it pointing?
And also, remember Patrick Swayze lost his battle with cancer today. He died surrounded by his family. Tonight, we're looking back at his life. And his "Dirty Dancing" co-star, Jennifer Grey, speaking out about him tonight. That's ahead.
COOPER: A new twist in the Yale murder mystery. Police say the body found hidden inside a basement wall in the medical research building is the grad student who disappeared nearly a week ago. Annie Le's body was found yesterday, the same day she was supposed to marry a Columbia grad student.
Tonight, fellow students are remembering Le in a candlelight vigil on the Yale campus. And many of those students are, well, frankly, living in fear right now. A Yale professor tells CNN the circumstances of Le's death suggest there could be, quote, "a murderer among us." Tom Foreman has the latest in tonight's "Crime & Punishment" report.
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Six days ago, a 24- year-old graduate student walked into this medical research building and into a mystery. More than 70 security cameras are around that facility. One caught this image of Annie Le going in, but she never came back out. She disappeared less than a week before her wedding. And for days there was speculation about a possible runaway bride or even a kidnapping.
(on camera): Then yesterday, on Sunday, the day she was to be married, police found her body stuffed inside a space inside a wall in the basement of this building, a few floors below where they found some of her things, the very building where she was last seen.
People who know this building say to get into that area, you have to have a security pass, leading to tremendous speculation that this might be an inside job.
(voice-over): The building remains sealed off as police continue to search it. And investigators said bloody clothing was found hidden inside some ceiling tiles. They have also scoured a waste facility that takes trash from the labs here at Yale. Police freely admit they have a lot of evidence, but beyond that, they're not saying much.
ASST. CHIEF PETER REICHARD, NEW HAVEN POLICE DEPARTMENT: We're not releasing any information at the time, because we have an ongoing homicide case. We can't tell you what we have, where we've found anything or what it is.
FOREMAN (on camera): Others who knew Annie Le say she often worked late in this building, too, up on the second floor. They say she was always friendly, always said hello, and was often alone.
Many times, at midnight, they say she would come down those steps, go across this deserted plaza, and get onto one of these shuttle buses which take people across campus and out into the neighborhoods nearby where many of them live.
(voice-over): Tonight, as the campus holds a vigil for Annie Le, many people admit they are nervous. Security has been increased, and police say they do not believe it was, quote, "a random killing." But the fact remains a young woman was murdered inside a Yale building surrounded by security cameras and locked doors. And a week later, police have yet to make an arrest.
COOPER: Up next, a terror raid right here in New York City: FBI agents storming into an apartment building. We'll tell you what we know about this. And award show anarchy: the outburst that has all the kids a- twitter. Kanye West, what was he thinking or what was he drinking? We'll let you decide.
COOPER: A lot going on tonight. Let's check on some of the other stories we're following. Erica Hill joins us with a "360 Bulletin" -- Erica.
HILL: Anderson, federal agents conducting raids early this morning at Flushing, Queens, just outside of New York City, all part of a terrorism investigation. At least one raid was carried out at a residence. New York Senator Chuck Schumer said the raids were preventative, that no attacks were imminent. Two senior members of Congress, including the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, did receive classified briefings on those raids.
Former White House Press Secretary Jody Powell died today of an apparent heart attack. He was 65. Powell served under President Jimmy Carter from 1977 to 1981.
Elton John will not be allowed to adopt a 14-month-old Ukrainian child. The singer and his partner, David Furnish, wanted to adopt an HIV-infected boy named Lev. But Ukraine's minister for family affairs says adoptive parents must be married, and Ukraine does not recognize homosexual unions. He also said John was too old to adopt a Ukrainian child.
Serena Williams issuing a second statement today to apologize for what she calls her in appropriate outbursts at the U.S. Open.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SERENA WILLIAMS, TENNIS STAR: I swear to God, I'll (BLEEP) take this ball and shove it down your (BLEEP) throat. Do you hear me? I swear to God. You better be glad -- you better be (BLEEP) glad that I'm not, I swear...
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HILL: You may not have heard it all, but plenty of people grabbed the intent just by watching. That tirade on Saturday cost her a point that actually decided the semifinal match. It also earned her a $10,000 fine.
It wasn't the only weekend outburst, though, that has people talking. In case you missed Kanye's West's episode in MTV Video Awards last night, you're in luck. Here it is.
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TAYLOR SWIFT, SINGER: I sing country music, so thank you so much for giving me a chance to win a VMA award.
KANYE WEST, SINGER: Yo, Taylor, I'm really happy for you. I'm going to let you finish. But Beyonce had one of the best videos of all time; one of the best videos of all time.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HILL: Kanye later apologized, writing in his blog, writing in all caps, "I'm so sorry to Taylor Swift and her fans and her mom." Swift called the evening "interesting." Beyonce later...
COOPER: I actually watched just the beginning of that, because the rest of it was pretty much unwatchable. I felt so bad for her. She seemed so sweet.
HILL: She does seem so sweet.
COOPER: And then there was -- she made a statement later, she was like -- she was so excited that she won and so excited that Kanye West was on the stage, and then, not so excited.
HILL: Not so excited. It was nice, at the end, Beyonce called her up on stage and said, "Look, you need to have your moment. Come on up and have your moment."
COOPER: You know, Beyonce is cool. But yes, what is that guy...
HILL: Not the first time, as we know, Kanye.
COOPER: All right.
Coming up next: remembering Patrick Swayze, reaction from his "Dirty Dancing" co-star, and Swayze's incredible sense of humor, even about himself. That is our "Shot of the Day."
COOPER: On the terrible news about Patrick Swayze, who died today at the age of 57, we got a statement from "Dirty Dancing" co- star Jennifer Grey.
She says, "Patrick was a rare and beautiful combination of raw masculinity and amazing grace. Gorgeous and strong, he was a real cowboy with a tender heart." She goes on to say, "When I think of him, I think of being in his arms when we were kids, dancing, practicing the lift in the freezing lake, having a blast doing this tiny little movie we thought no one would ever see." Boy, were they wrong. Jennifer Grey, her thoughts tonight.
Now "The Shot" and clear evidence that Patrick Swayze was, if nothing else, adaptable. He played a lot of different roles over the years: very serious to funny, the dancing roles. This is him on "Saturday Night Live" kind of making fun of himself. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: And that's Chris Farley, who passed away far too young, as well.
Patrick Swayze died today at the age of 57.
That does it for "360." Thanks for watching. I'll see you tomorrow night.
"LARRY KING" starts now.