Return to Transcripts main page
ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Jobless Benefits Bill Approved; Latest on Chile Earthquake; Cashing in on Captivity?; Stocking Classrooms' Shelves
Aired March 2, 2010 - 23:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Breaking news tonight, welcome news to 100,000 people unemployed. Jim Bunning, the senator who blocked an emergency bill extending jobless benefits, Medicare funding, health insurance and highway building has backed down. He tried to stop it he says because the bill wasn't paid for. The fact that he chose this one to make a point earned him the opposition of many fellow Republicans and handed Democrats a PR bonanza.
Just a short time ago the senate did what it's been trying to do since last Thursday which is, pass a bill.
Dana Bash has the breaking news on how the slowdown and showdown and -- but Dana, before we get to the politics of this whole thing, because this thing is awash in partisan politics, I want to start with the hundreds of thousands of people who would have been affected by all this partisan bickering.
I estimate 100,000 people had already lost their unemployment benefits. Thousands of federal workers had already been furloughed. How quickly will this money now get to those folks?
DANA BASH, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anderson, Democratic sources tell me that they expect this bill to go to the president's desk tonight. That he will likely sign it tomorrow morning and the money should officially start flowing then, but the agencies that were affected by this are not waiting for that.
In fact, I spoke with one official at the Transportation Department tonight who said that they have already gotten word to the 2,000 workers who were furloughed from this to come back to work tomorrow morning. They're trying to get the word out to them by e- mail, on the Internet, through Twitter --
BASH: -- et cetera, to say, come on back tomorrow morning.
COOPER: So why did Bunning back down now?
BASH: He got an agreement from the Democrats that he would get one vote tonight and a couple down the road that would give him what he wanted, which is to make the point that he wants these benefits to go through but not without being paid for. He didn't want it to add to the deficit.
Listen to the argument that he made on this point earlier tonight on the Senate floor.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. JIM BUNNING (R), KENTUCKY: We must get our debt problems under control and there is no better time than now. That is why I've been down here demanding that this bill be paid for. I support the programs in the bill we are discussing and if the extension of those programs were paid for, I would gladly support the bill.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BASH: Now, Anderson, we have seen evidence and examples I have firsthand of Senator Bunning being ornery and direct in other times. And I want to read you a quote he gave -- he didn't utter it on the Senate floor but he released it officially from his office on this issue.
He said "I hope Senate Democrats tonight vote for their own pay- fors and show Americans that they are committed to fiscal discipline. I will be watching them closely and checking off the hypocrites one- by-one."
Well, as expected, Anderson, Bunning's measure to pay for this $10 billion package failed and all but three Democrats and one Independent voted against it. So I think he had a lot of check marks on his roster there.
COOPER: Well, it's interesting. I mean, there has obviously been a lot of focus on Senator Bunning. A lot of liberals and Democrats have been hitting him with this for being obstructionist and standing up -- standing against this.
But he argued that the Democrats could have worked around him. That basically, that they were playing politics, as well, and he kind of has a point, right?
BASH: And they could have. They have the senate procedures to do that. It would have taken some time but they absolutely could have overruled his objections because as you saw with this final vote, there definitely were the votes to pass this package. They didn't do that for several reasons.
One is because they said it would just take some time but I think most importantly, politically. They understood that the idea that they could rail against a single Republican senator holding up money that went to benefits for jobless Americans --
BASH: -- they knew that that was a political winner and they also assumed that at the end he would back down. But I got to tell you, the personality that Jim Bunning has, it was not easy for his Republicans who also saw this as a political nightmare to get him to back down tonight.
COOPER: All right, Dana, a lot of fast-moving breaking news. Dana thanks for the reporting.
Let's talk "Strategy" now and the bitter debate that Senator Bunning touched off. There are some praising him for taking a stand and others asking why on earth he chose this bill to do it. With us tonight: political analyst and syndicated columnist, Roland Martin; and Erick Erickson, editor of RedState.com.
Erick, let me start off with you. We heard Senator Bunning saying that he was going to be looking for Democrats who were hypocrites. He said this is all about the so-called pay as you go principle.
ERICK ERICKSON, EDITOR, REDSTATE.COM: Right.
COOPER: That -- in order for Congress to approve new spending, they have to account for where the money is coming from, but that -- that rule was actually just signed into law by President Obama last month and Bunning voted against it. So isn't he kind of a -- a hypocrite on this?
ERICKSON: Well, you know, the majority of the Senate wanted that law. Senator Bunning voted against it. Well, now the majority of the senate is saying, let's ignore the law we just passed. I mean, we can play hypocrisy back and forth but the fact is that the Senate passed it, the president signed it and now they want to ignore it.
COOPER: But there have been plenty of times when Senator Bunning has actually voted for increased spending without accounting for --
COOPER: -- for where the money is coming from.
There is a press release we got from February 2003 where he's touting -- "Bunning touts extended benefits for Kentucky's unemployed". In 2003 --
COOPER: -- there was a -- the Bush taxes, 2001, the Bush tax cuts, as well.
ERICKSON: And that was before the Pay Go Law was put into effect a couple of weeks ago. And also you know, Senator Bunning really has nothing left to lose. He doesn't care about Mitch McConnell's tenure as a Minority Leader. They aren't even talking anymore. He's ready to go out and stick it to both sides really. And he's got a point now that Pay Go was signed into law a few weeks ago.
COOPER: Roland, what about Erick's argument that -- that basically Senator Bunning was standing on firm ground, on principle, that if you want to pass a bill you have to be able to pay for it.
ROLAND MARTIN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: No, Senator Bunning is a gutless politician with principle.
Anderson, you asked the question of Erick, he wouldn't answer it, yes, Bunning is a hypocrite. He talked about the rising deficit. He went along under President George W. Bush when the deficit went from $5 billion to $10 billion.
And look, I support the notion of pay-as-you-go. But what I also appreciate when politicians don't stand before us and play a little game and lie to us all of a sudden, oh, no, it's so important to me now because I'm not running for re-election. What if he was running he would not have done this and so yes --
ERICKSON: We don't know that.
MARTIN: Oh no, no, you know he wouldn't have done it.
COOPER: And Erick -- Erick --
MARTIN: And you know it, Erick.
COOPER: Erick, I want you to be able to respond but we've got to take a quick break.
COOPER: We're going to have more from both of you on the other side of this break.
Join the live chat right now. Let us know what you think about this. Is this hypocrisy on both sides? Join us at AC360.com.
President Obama is back in Washington and also ready to unveil his final push for health care reform and what he plans to offer Republicans. We have tomorrow's details tonight.
And also tonight, a live report from Chile and a visit to a hard- hit village that was there one moment and utterly devastated the next.
And also, all that attention on killer whales; we're going to look at the billion dollar bottom line. There are theme park brand names, these whales, these dolphins, these -- a lot of other animals. Is keeping them penned up humane? Is it the right thing to do?
Jack Hanna joins us and Gary Tuchman takes us to a place where the downside of keeping animals captive will break your heart.
We'll be right back.
COOPER: Continuing our breaking news coverage, the Senate just moments ago turning back on the jobless benefits, health insurance and Medicare funding for a lot of Americans -- turning them back on, I should say. The funding expired yesterday after retiring Kentucky Republican Jim Bunning single-handedly blocked it Thursday night.
Tonight he dropped his opposition on the floor but not his objections to how the bill is paid for by deficit spending. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BUNNING: If we cannot pay for a bill that all 100 senators support, how can we tell the American people with a straight face that we will ever pay for anything? That is what senators say they want and that is what the American people want.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Back now and talking strategy with political analyst Roland Martin and blogger Erick Erickson from RedState.com.
Erick, I want to start off with you and I think before the break Roland had used the term "gutless politician".
ERICKSON: Well you know if we're going to label Senator Bunning a gutless politician, let's label them all gutless politicians because this is politics --
MARTIN: Yes they are.
ERICKSON: that the same politicians this week who are railing against Republicans filibustering health care were a few years ago championing the use of the filibuster to block judges.
This is the way the game is played in Washington and it largely is a game.
I do think though, that Senator Bunning has a very valid point, which is where is the money going to come from to pay this when two weeks ago the Democrats had a great signing ceremony to sign into law the Pay Go Legislation saying, they would pay for all the money they're spending and now they're not.
MARTIN: So why did he vote against it? Why did he vote against it? If he felt that this law was so important, why did he vote against it?
ERICKSON: Well, probably because exactly what we're seeing right now. It was meaningless legislation; they were worried about --
ERICKSON: -- appearance but not worried about substance.
MARTIN: No, you know what, I would appreciate if Senator Bunning actually went to the well of the Senate and apologized to Americans for being one of those politicians who participated in rising this deficit as opposed to --
ERICKSON: I guess they all need to apologize then.
MARTIN: -- but again - COOPER: I mean Roland to Erick's point, though, isn't this kind of like Kabuki Theater? I mean, the Democrats were kind of --
COOPER: -- liking this because it allowed them to, you know, be bashing Republicans and showing the Republicans --
MARTIN: Of course.
COOPER: -- are being obstructionists, so it is a game --
COOPER: -- and I mean the American people are kind of fed up with these games.
MARTIN: No, actually they're not because it's called politics because you have people on the left and people on the right who actually sit back, and they watch this thing go over and over and over again and also what happens every year you're seeing 90 percent to 95 percent of incumbents being re-elected. So Americans -- the American voters are participants in this game because they also allow it.
ERICKSON: Which is --
COOPER: Go ahead, Erick.
ERICKSON: -- I think, this is why the TEA Party Movement for example is coming on because people are I think getting tired of this, people are tired of the joke that is Washington. They're tired of guys going to Washington and saying they're going to cut spending and they raise spending. Cut taxes and they raise fees and talking out of both sides of their mouth.
I mean, the American people I think are kind of getting tired of it. Washington is becoming a bigger punch line than ever I mean, my God look at Kaye Bailey Hutchison in Texas going down to defeat tonight probably.
MARTIN: But Anderson, I'll be honest, the same American people -- they have no problem taking those pork barrel funds, they never want to send the money back and so the American people also have a stake in this. And they can't just say it's all on them because they also love taking this money that keeps coming back to them.
ERICKSON: That's true.
COOPER: So Erick, in the end, who benefited from this? I mean, did the Democrats get the hit that they had hoped to get? Did, you know, Republicans, did they -- by not supporting Jim Bunning, did they, you know, not come out of this looking bad?
ERICKSON: You know, I think that probably the Democrats will benefit a little more. Sadly, the people who going to benefit most are the ones who are going to be able to collect unemployment benefits for some more instead of going out to look for a job.
MARTIN: You know what, you know Erick, that is a trifling comment to say.
ERICKSON: You could tell, dead on.
MARTIN: No, no, hold on Erick, one second. Erick, you have a job. I have a job. Anderson has a job but I know many people who would love to work, work in Detroit, who work in Oakland, who work in New York, in L.A., who would love to be able to go get a job. And I think it is wrong for people like you to denigrate those --
ERICKSON: Look and you know --
MARTIN: -- who would love to work.
But, Erick, it's a reality. Some folks are in a situation where they've gone 6, 9, 12, 15 months.
ERICKSON: And there are some folks who are still collecting unemployment benefits when they don't need them and that's part of Bunning's objection.
MARTIN: No, no, but, no here's a deal though --
ERICKSON: You know, I don't think it's a coincidence that the states that pay the least amount of unemployment benefits over time have the lowest unemployment and when we keep subsidizing the behavior, the behavior continues.
MARTIN: Let me be clear, again, though, you can -- that's a nice little line but there are people who are Republicans, who are Democrats, who are independents, people who don't even affiliate with a party who are unemployed. And I think you insult Americans when you suggest those getting unemployment benefits don't want to go get a job.
ERICKSON: Look, you know the unemployment stories are tragic but so is the deficit for our children and grandchildren. And at some point we're going to have to fish or cut bait on the serious issues.
MARTIN: But you know what, I pray to God you never get in a situation where you have to ask for unemployment benefits if you can't get a job.
ERICKSON: Well, you know, I appreciate that but, again, there are people and in fact, I was talking to a golf course owner the other day who has members of his golf course applying for jobs at his golf course that he knows they're not going to do just because they want to keep getting their unemployment benefits and have a little more vacation.
Until the government comes up with regulations that can stop people from cheating on unemployment we're going to keep having these situations. MARTIN: Fine. Call those out, but don't you sit here and say all the folks are getting it somehow don't want to go to work. Many folks want to go to work and they do not like having to apply for those unemployment benefits.
ERICKSON: And I think there are other ways they can get some money and help themselves out.
MARTIN: Ok, like what? Like what?
COOPER: Well, we've got to leave it there guys. Erick Erickson, I appreciate it, Roland Martin, as well.
ERICKSON: Thank you.
MARTIN: Thanks, Anderson.
COOPER: It's a good discussion.
President Obama meantime, setting to move tomorrow on health care reform; he's going to be on TV laying out what he plans to push for, which Republican proposals he can accept and how he plans to get a final bill passed with or without GOP support.
Tonight let's have a sneak preview of what he plans to offer the opposition tomorrow. Ed Henry joins us with that. He's down in Georgia where Mr. Obama spent the day.
Ed, what do we know?
ED HENRY, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well Anderson, we are getting new information tonight about what the president is going to say tomorrow. It really amounts to his last-ditch attempt to get a bipartisan health bill.
First of all, he's going to have a couple of key provisions in there basically talking about $50 million in tort reform trying to cut down on some of those medical malpractice suits that Republicans have been complaining about so much.
Also, new incentives for health savings accounts. That's a big deal for conservatives. They've been pushing that for a long time. They think that will drive the cost of health care down.
But what's interesting is top Republicans like Congressman Eric Cantor already coming out tonight saying that this is not good enough. They still want the president to start over.
And so what I'm picking up tonight from top Democrats on Capitol Hill is they're frustrated with the White House and they're wondering why is the president even bothering reaching out to Republicans at this late stage? These Democrats are privately saying this sounds a lot like window dressing that instead the president should be focusing on getting Democratic votes.
It's clear the Republicans are not going to join the president. He should be focused on getting Democratic votes on reconciliation, that legislative maneuver to push this through -- Anderson.
COOPER: Yes and I mean, explain reconciliation as best you can. I mean, what does he have to do to push this thing through? Can he -- how many votes does he need? What does he need to do?
HENRY: He needs a simple majority. So for example, in the senate it would be 50 senators plus Joe Biden as the tie-breaking vote but my colleague Dan Lothian and I each have spoken to Democratic officials tonight saying the president tomorrow is not going to use the word "reconciliation". He doesn't want to get in the legislative weed and talk about that legislative maneuver.
Instead he's going to say he I want an up-or-down vote, that's really a code for reconciliation but he doesn't want to get in the legislative weed but the bottom line is that as of tonight he does not even have the votes in the House and the Senate; the simple majority. Even though they're lowering the threshold from that supermajority of 60 votes in the Senate, the president still doesn't have the votes.
And that's also why Democrats on the Hill are a little frustrated. They think the president should have -- to sort of grab the bull by the horns -- a lot earlier in this debate. That you know -- what he's doing tomorrow, he should have done that a long time ago and maybe they would have gotten it done.
The White House though is confident tonight that the chips are down and they think the president can finally grab everyone's attention tomorrow and finally get this done. But they still got to get those votes. They don't have them yet -- Anderson.
COOPER: Yes, all right. Ed Henry, I appreciate the reporting as always.
Yes, there's a lot more at AC360.com right now including a glossary of some key terms you might want to know to try to make sense of the health care debate, vital words on obviously a vital subject.
Coming up next tonight: the latest live from Chile; Secretary of State Clinton's visit; rescue efforts continuing. We have some striking new video of the quake itself. What it looked like and sounded like when it struck and what it looks like now in a fishing village that was hit hard not so much by the quake itself but by that tsunami after.
Also back home, how does a family simply vanish? A couple, two toddlers gone. Their car found empty. The question is what happened. That's our "Crime and Punishment" tonight.
And in the wake of the SeaWorld tragedy, Jack Hanna joins us. We're going to get his reaction to what we uncovered about what happens to a lot of performing animals after their performing days are over.
COOPER: Well, let's get some of the latest on some other important stories we're following. Brianna Keilar is here with a "360 News and Business Bulletin" -- Brianna.
BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, the second amendment is back in the hands of the U.S. Supreme Court. Justices today heard arguments in a case that challenges handgun bans in the Chicago area. The court is being asked to extend its 2008 decision striking down a federal gun ban in Washington D.C. to state and local jurisdictions. A decision is expected by the end of June.
Ford took the market lead in car sales last month outselling both General Motors and Toyota. Ford's U.S. sales surged 43 percent while GM's rose 12 percent and Toyota's fell nine percent. Analysts say most of Ford's gains were from sales to businesses and rental car companies.
And the U.S. Postal Service is renewing its effort to drop Saturday mail delivery. It's also proposing rate hikes and other service changes. Business was down 13 percent last year and the Post Office is facing a projected $7 billion loss this year.
Supermodel Naomi Campbell could be in trouble again for her temper. New York police say that she slapped and punched the driver of her Cadillac Escalade today, bruised --
KEILAR: -- I know. Can you believe -- you can believe this, right?
KEILAR: But apparently she bruised his cheek. That's what they're saying and they're considering whether to charge Campbell with a crime.
Of course, Anderson, you know that she's faced a whole series of lawsuits and criminal cases accusing her of attacking her household employees, but also those two police officers at London's Heathrow Airport.
COOPER: Right, she had lost luggage as I remember and she like kicked and spat at some police officers and I guess hit her maid also in another incident. How many -- like --
KEILAR: Yes --
COOPER: -- who gets in fights these days?
KEILAR: You can't even keep track of them.
COOPER: I don't understand.
KEILAR: You can't -- I think if you were offered a job with Naomi Campbell, you would just say no thank you.
COOPER: You're right, how does she get people to work for her? I mean it's got to be -- that can't be easy. KEILAR: Cha-ching.
COOPER: Yes. Brianna, I guess, thanks.
Just ahead, we're going to go live to the quake zone in Chile for the latest on the rescue and recovery efforts there.
And still ahead, wild animals trained to perform like this kangaroo. Once a star performer in a Texas road show, he lost his arm in a boxing match with a human, if you can believe it. Is it fair to compare his plight with killer whales kept in captivity? Jack Hanna joins us.
COOPER: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visited Santiago, Chile, today she brought 20 satellite phones with her. Three days after the 8.8 magnitude quake, aftershocks are complicating the rescue efforts.
Look what happened today. Rescue workers searching for people trapped in a 15-story building jumped out of the building themselves as it began shaking. It's a terrifying moment for any rescuer.
A CNN camera crew just happened to be there. There have been at least 12 aftershocks in the past 24 hours alone.
Well, tonight, the death toll is approaching 800; that number expected to rise. Still, Karl Penhaul went to a town hit by three tsunami waves.
KARL PENHAUL, CNN VIDEO CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): From the shoreline or from the high ground, the coastal town of Dichato looks the same, almost total destruction.
"This is a catastrophe. This is a great tourism and fishing community. And now it's like (INAUDIBLE)", he says.
This was the scene shot by amateur videographers, minutes after three tsunami waves swept people and their homes. Witnesses say the waves rolled in five meters or 15 feet high shortly after the quake. You can make out a house roof floating off and the town's center flooded.
Now that same area is dry. Fishing boats dragged more than two miles from their moorings by the tsunami. Rescue workers combed the sludge and debris for bodies. They're combing the wreckage by following the path the waves took as they swept into the town, he says. Then the earth begins to heave again.
(on camera): There's just been an aftershock and the leader of the firefighters has called for his men to suspend their search and head to what he calls a security zone. (voice-over): Police in this town of 5,500 confirm eight people died in Saturday's tsunami but say around 50 are still missing. The survivors are struggling to come to terms with what hit them.
Sixty-eight-year-old Anna Pennanotta (ph) takes us down to Violet Street. Her house was a block away on Petunia Street. Now there's nothing to go home to.
She tells me when the quake struck, she ran out in her night clothes. A neighbor's house withstood the shaking, but they were too old and frail to outrun the waves. They died.
COOPER: Karl Penhaul joins us now from Concepcion. Karl, it's hard on this end to kind of get a sense just of how well, you know, efforts are going, not only to find those who may still be trapped, but also to help those who are still living with food and shelter.
How is it going from your vantage point?
PENHAUL: Well, I think the Chilean government on the one hand has been trying to give this perception they didn't need help from the outside world, that they had this under control. They had a history of dealing with earthquakes. And what we saw on the ground, particularly from that community of Dichato and also another coastal community that we went to yesterday, they say that they have had little or no aid from the government.
That community of Dichato just today in the afternoon had its first food supplies and drinking water supplies from the government. That's 3 days -- 3 1/2 days after the earthquake struck and after their town was devastated by a tsunami. People on the ground do not think that they are getting supplies quickly enough.
In Santiago, the capital; in Concepcion, a different story but in the outer lying area, the harder hit areas, the coastal areas where most of the deaths are, aid has been very slow getting there -- Anderson.
COOPER: And, Karl, in Haiti we saw hundreds of thousands of people sleeping in the streets in these makeshift tent encampments. Is that the same situation now in the streets of Concepcion and in other towns?
PENHAUL: Here in Concepcion, I don't get that sense of flashback. A lot of people are sleeping outside, and they're setting up little fires outside, but you don't see them in the great quantities. There are enough structures here in the main city, Concepcion, still standing, that people seem to be absorbed in staying inside.
But in the coastal towns where the water, not the earthquake, but the tsunami has done the devastation, there is nowhere to stay. So, once again, there you do see these small tent cities, not on the scale of Haiti, because these are smaller coastal communities, but nevertheless, virtually all the population are living outside. It gets cold here at night. It still is staying dry, and they desperately do need food and especially drinking water -- Anderson.
COOPER: All right, Karl Penhaul live in Concepcion. Karl again thanks for the reporting.
Here's something else about the earthquake in Chile which is fascinating. Scientists at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory say it may have actually made our days shorter. Now, here's how they explained that.
An earthquake like Saturday's can nudge some of the earth's mass closer to its axis which makes the planet rotate faster shaving a tiny bit of time off every day; 1.26 microseconds by their calculations, which is just over one-millionth of a second. It's not enough to notice but still pretty amazing.
Another way to think it is it's basically the same thing that happens when ice skaters like this one in a YouTube video spin faster by pulling their arms closer to their bodies, moving faster and faster and faster.
Join the live chat happening right now at ac360.com.
Up next, big money and big questions about keeping animals in captivity; SeaWorld is defending its use of animals like the killer whale that fatally attacked its trainer. They say it's all about educating the public about animals.
But critics say the bottom line is money not what's best for animals. So is it humane what they're doing? Tonight we're going to investigate what happens to some animals after their performing days are over. We'll also talk live with Jack Hanna after the break.
And later, gone without a trace: an entire family from California. We have the latest on the mystery of where are they ahead on "Crime and Punishment".
COOPER: In Orlando, SeaWorld is reviewing its policy on how trainers interact with killer whales after last week's fatal attack on Dawn Brancheau, a trainer. Tilikum, the 12,000-pound which held Brancheau in his mouth for 40 minutes and who has now taken the lives of three people will, according to SeaWorld's president, remain an important part of its team of whales. Tilikum was sold to SeaWorld in 1991 with a value estimated at $1.5 million.
Killer whales and dolphins are obviously popular attractions at SeaWorld and other Marine parks. But other places have a wide range of animals that are used to entertain crowds. Now, supporters say these animals can help to educate people about animals they might not otherwise see. But critics say it's really all about money and what happens to some of these animals is not humane.
We're going to talk about it all in a moment with Jack Hanna, but first Gary Tuchman investigates what happens to some animals when their days in the spotlight end.
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Babe, the elephant, used to perform in a traveling circus.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She's got two broken legs, the front right and the rear right.
TUCHMAN: Now the 26-year-old African elephant is being taken care of at the largest wild animal sanctuary in the country; a Humane Society of the United States facility where more than 1,200 animals live on 1,300 acres in East Texas.
DIANE MILLER, BLACK BEAUTY RANCH: We're here to provide permanent sanctuary for animals who have come from all different manner of cruelty and abusive backgrounds.
TUCHMAN: His legs are hurt from his treatment back in his performance days. Sad situation, but certainly not something you could compare to the treatment of killer whales. Right?
(on camera): Isn't it apples and oranges with the killer whales at a place like SeaWorld?
MILLER: I think that it's very similar in concept. You know, sea mammals just like these terrestrials, land animals that we have at Black Beauty Ranch, sea animals are also wild animals being taken from their natural habitats and asked to perform for people in a very unnatural setting.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): The director here shows us horses at the sanctuary who are hurt and sick after performing in circuses and shows.
And then there is this animal. This is Roo, the kangaroo. Roo used to be one of the stars at a roadside attraction here in Texas. His specialty was that he boxed. He boxed human beings. Once when he was fighting a human being, he broke his left arm. Ultimately, it had to be amputated by a veterinarian.
So is a comparison between these animals and the killer whales fair? The SeaWorld employee in charge of the whale's training says totally unfair. That SeaWorld's whales are stimulated and happy.
CHUCK TOMPKINS, CURATOR OF ZOOLOGICAL OPERATIONS, SEAWORLD: I have known them for 32 years, and, you know, I have spent my whole life taking care of animals. And to have somebody make a reference that, you know, these performing animals are mistreated is just so offensive I can't even put it into words.
TUCHMAN: There are people who say money affects decisions about animal welfare. A former senior scientist for SeaWorld in the 1980s tells us the parks could not financially afford to ever get rid of their killer whales. It would heavily damage the bottom line. But -- JOHN HALL, FORMER SEAWORLD SCIENTIST: I will say they spend a great deal of money on their facilities and taking the best care of the animals that they know how. I think that the whales probably would prefer to be in the ocean, but that's obviously not an option.
TOMPKINS: Most of them have been raised in the care of man their entire lives. It would be torture to put these animals back into a wild environment.
TUCHMAN: Aquariums and zoos all over the world have star attractions, whether they're pandas or tigers or apes that would certainly affect the bottom line if they were to leave. Richard Farinato used to be the director of zoos in Boston and Greenville, South Carolina. That zoo had a star white tiger.
RICHARD FARINATO, FORMER ASSISTANT DIRECTOR, GREENVILLE ZOO: There were days, for instance, on a Sunday when the zoo is busy with the white tiger there it would be twice the crowd that we'd see.
TUCHMAN (on camera): Babe is on a diet because of her condition. She weighs 6,800 pounds but used to pay 7,500 pounds? 7,600 pounds. Good job losing those 750.
Unlike the killer whales, babe isn't ever going back to work.
COOPER: And Gary Tuchman joins us now. Gary, do the people --
TUCHMAN: Anderson, I will tell you --
COOPER: Go ahead.
TUCHMAN: I'm sorry, Anderson. I certainly don't mean to step you on while you're talking but I will tell you this important fact. I asked Diane Miller, the director here of the ranch, if she realistically thinks there is a possibility that a large corporation like SeaWorld would make the decision to free its killer whales and she tells me she doesn't think it will be imminent but she hopes to change opinions with other people one person at a time and ultimately maybe they'll make that decision.
But when you talk to the people who work with the whales at SeaWorld, they scoff at that. They're also are very insulted by that because they are very fervent in telling us that they believe their killer whales are very happy and very healthy -- Anderson.
COOPER: All right, appreciate the reporting, Gary. Thanks.
So keeping pandas, killer whales and white tigers in captivity, is it more about money and protection than education?
Let's dig deeper -- and, frankly, is the comparison even fair? Let's dig deeper now with Jack Hanna, director emeritus at the Columbus Zoo. He's also on the board of directors of the SeaWorld and Busch Gardens Conservation Fund. Jack thanks for being with us. First of all, do you think it's fair to make a comparison to the way elephants are handled in a circus or, you know, animals in some of these roadside attractions and killer whales and dolphins at SeaWorld?
JACK HANNA, DIRECTOR EMERITUS, COLUMBUS ZOO: No, I don't, Anderson. The numbers you're talking about at these roadside attractions are so minimal it's not even worth talking about -- every animal's life is worth talking about. And I know the facility in Texas -- I've been there before when (INAUDIBLE) were allowed. It is a beautiful facility. However, that's a small amount of numbers.
The zoological world has tens of thousands of animals, Anderson, and 99 percent of our animals in zoos come from other zoos. 80 percent of animals at SeaWorld come from SeaWorld born there.
COOPER: But you say the value in a place like SeaWorld is educating the public about animals they might otherwise not see, but if those animals -- the Humane Society of America basically says killer whales should not be kept in these kind of conditions because they're essentially social creatures, they live in pods, they have family members and this is a completely unnatural environment and is not healthy for them.
HANNA: The Humane Society, Anderson, if you look at what they do as far as their research and knowledge doesn't even compare to what SeaWorld does, Anderson, whatsoever.
The killer whales at SeaWorld -- what happened 50 years ago, Anderson, when no one knew what an orca or killer whale was, what was happening? They were being killed by fishermen. Not all fishermen. Certainly these killer whales are eating fish and they were killing the killer whales like crazy.
Today, what about the killer whales? SeaWorld brings us more knowledge and more appreciation of the killer whales in the worlds of the sea than anybody in the entire world.
No one talks about, Anderson, the last ten years what SeaWorld has done to save the manatee. Anybody will tell you -- I'm jumping to manatees now because it's important. I hope SeaWorld, Anderson, makes billions of dollars, billions, I hope they do. Why? Because the animals -- they rehabilitate and spend more money on rehabilitating animals than anybody in the world.
We're talking about the manatee this last year, has had a terrible time, as you know, Anderson. This is an animal on the verge of extinction. And you don't see any history books.
If it hadn't have been for SeaWorld, the manatee would be gone probably in ten years.
COOPER: In terms of the animals, in terms of killer whales that they have in their pens, in their pools, do you believe beyond a greater good, do you believe it is actually good for those animals to be in basically relatively small pools, not in their natural environment or even any more ocean-like environment in which, you know, killer whales don't normally spend so much time at the surface, they develop all sorts of infections when they're in these things. We're looking at the dorsal fin of this killer whale which is slumped over. That only happens to killer whales in captivity.
HANNA: I doubt that very seriously, Anderson. I filmed them up in Glacier Bay where they've been flopped over. So that's a --
COOPER: I read one percent according to The Humane Society; says about one percent of orcas in the wild.
HANNA: Whatever. All I can tell you Anderson is you're talking to a person for 41 years of my life. That's why I enjoy interviews with you because you're one of the few news people if not the only one in the world that has traveled to places like where we go Rwanda, the north pole, south pole. I've watched your shows and I appreciate what you're bringing to us because you're bringing us facts.
The facts are simple. When I go to Glacier Bay and other parts of the world to film the killer whale, the behaviors I see there, Anderson, these are some of the exact behaviors that are the ones that I see at SeaWorld. Believe you me I wouldn't put up for one instance -- some people say I get paid by SeaWorld. Anderson, I am on their conservation fund which we dole out millions of dollars to projects around the world.
Do I make appearances there? I sure do. Half of them for free. Half of them I just talk to people about animals and get paid. I'm not doing this for SeaWorld. I was doing this 30 years ago for SeaWorld before I even knew what SeaWorld was because I believe in what they do.
These whales, Anderson, are very, very important. I can't tell you. They're very happy. If they weren't happy, Anderson, they would have scratches on them. They would have nosebleeds on them. They would lose weight. They wouldn't breed. They wouldn't eat. That's what happens to animals that don't adjust to this.
Now, let me give you one more quick example. At the Columbus Zoo we're opening in two weeks, a $21 million polar bear and grizzly bear habitat. Grizzlies with streams, living trout. Polar bears with tide pools. Guess what the Columbus Zoo does along with 220 other zoos and aquariums? We put in $32 million for projects around the world.
We just got through putting $400,000 at Columbus Zoo alone in polar bear research up in the North Pole. I can give you example after example of this country with zoos who are doing this. I hope that all zoos and SeaWorld make billions of dollars.
We had 182 million people last year Anderson. So we know we're growing. I don't know about PETA and HSUS and all this other stuff, I know what we're accomplishing. We're accomplishing the hearts -- to touch the heart and teach the mind. That's what we're doing, Anderson. COOPER: Last night on the program we had someone who was very critical of SeaWorld, and tonight we wanted to have somebody who was important what they were doing. So we like to show both sides.
Jack Hanna, it's always good to have you on. Appreciate you being with us.
HANNA: Thank you, Anderson.
Up next, "Building up America"; schools and office supplies from an unlikely source. One company coming up with a resourceful way to get them when you can't afford to buy them new, when we continue.
COOPER: Tonight "Building up America", our series about people who are finding their own solutions to local problems. A lot of schools across the country have seen their budgets slashed or even frozen. In Los Angeles classrooms are struggling to keep basic supplies like paper and pencils in stock. A group called L.A. Shares saw the immense need and figured out how to fill it.
Here's Casey Wian.
CASEY WIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (on camera): Lisa McNabb (ph) is celebrating her birthday by standing in this line to go shopping, but she's not shopping for herself, it's for students and teachers at Aguilar High School where she's assistant principal.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What's the name of your school?
LISA MCNABB, ASSISTANT PRINCIPAL, AGUILAR HIGH SCHOOL: Aguilar High School.
WIAN (on camera): Why is it necessary to come here to get supplies?
MCNABB: Well, right now there's a budget freeze in L.A. unified, and they're not hiring new teachers. We have no money for supplies. So any supplies that we need we have to pay for out of our own pocket.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Please fall in line. Grab a bag.
MCNABB: How many can I take of these? Unlimited? Oh, yes. I'll take colored. I don't care. This is so hard to come by.
WIAN: Why is paper so hard to come by?
MCNABB: It's so expensive.
WIAN: Tell me about L.A. Shares. What's this organization all about?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're a nonprofit materials reuse program. We usually go out to the corporate sector a day and we say politely, "What do you have that's left over, be new or used? We arrange for the transfer free of charge to our local schools and not for profits.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's amazing. I'm just looking around at all the tags and think, wow, these people, that was really nice.
WIAN: When you get this stuff back to school, how quickly is it going to be in use in the classrooms?
MCNABB: Tomorrow. Oh, is that the exit?
WIAN: This box of envelopes was donated by a southern California animation company called Renegade Animation. They've recently moved so they donated their old office supplies and some furniture to L.A. Shares.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: One big thing we had tons of was binders. You need binders for paper-based stuff. Now we don't need it anymore so we have boxes full of empty binders. We thought -- we can't just throw this stuff away. I just don't feel good about it.
WIAN: Companies can either bring their unwanted or unneeded office supplies here to the L.A. Shares facility or they can donate online and the organization will come to the company and pick up the stuff.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're a trash program. We're a waste program, waste diversion. If the items didn't come to us, they're going to go into the landfill.
On an annualized basis we keep about a million pounds out of the landfill. Of course, it grows each year.
WIAN: Here are several shelves full of metal organizers donated by the Walt Disney Company. Over here, three pallets full of labels donated by the Avery Company. And for teachers who need something to brighten up their classroom a little bit, there's even fine art.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Miss Frederickson, there was all the scrap- booking materials here. I got her some of those supplies which will save her a lot of money.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What do we have here? Look at these, you guys. These are the best.
MCNABB: When students see that businesses are giving to them right now, they're going to be much more willing to go out into the community and give back when they're in that position.
WIAN: Casey Wian, CNN, Los Angeles.
COOPER: Coming up next, an update on the ACORN controversy; employees caught on tape helping people posing as a pimp and a prostitute. Remember that? The prosecutors in one city rule if any laws were broken. Find out ahead.
And is O.J. Simpson's famous brown suit coming to a museum near you? Details ahead on 360.
COOPER: A lot happening tonight. Brianna Keilar joins us again with the "360 Bulletin" -- Brianna.
KEILAR: Anderson, Texas Governor Rick Perry has won his bid for the Republican nomination in today's primary race. He took an early lead over Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison who called Perry a short time ago to concede the race. Hutchison also urged her supporters to back Perry in the November governor's race. Perry will face off against Democrat Bill White, the former mayor of Houston.
And remember videos like these showing ACORN employees advising a couple that were posing as pimp and prostitute? Well, in New York the Brooklyn D.A. office says it found no laws were broken by 3 ACORN employees that were caught on tape last fall.
And Tiger Woods, he's back home in Florida after a week of family counseling in Arizona. He's getting back to playing golf and working out, but it's still unclear when Woods might return to the professional golfing tour. That's what a source with knowledge of Woods' schedule tells CNN.
And O.J. Simpson is rejected by the Smithsonian. It will not take the suit that Simpson wore when he was acquitted of murder for its collection. And a representative of Simpson is now going to look for another museum to take the suit, but the Smithsonian, Anderson, said it was inappropriate.
COOPER: I wonder if there is some tax benefit for him to give away the suit. Why does he want to give away the suit?
KEILAR: Well, actually it's at a dispute. I checked on it. This was a dispute between the Goldman family --
COOPER: Oh, that's right.
KEILAR: -- because there could be some value, so this is part of the settlement is that it's going to go to a museum.
COOPER: Got it. All right. Interesting.
Brianna, thanks very much.
For tonight's "Shot", you see a lot of things in New York, but this may be a first, a coyote roaming through Central Park. That's right. Take a look. It's from a video we found from YouTube to prove it although it kind of looks like a German Shepherd.
I'm told coyotes have appeared in various parts of the city in recent weeks. Coyotes are not the only wild animals in the park. We found some other wily, crafty critters, apparently. That's right, there's the "Dramatic Animal Video". Look at this, very rare to capture them on film. They resemble members of the 360 crew. We're told they're elusive, they travel in packs, they also exhibit behavior similar to that of prairie dogs. Very clean animals, they groom themselves. Authorities however advise people to be very wary and approach with extreme caution.
KEILAR: Isn't it distracting when they do that throughout the show. How do you even read the news?
COOPER: Bob is scratching his ear there. That's very good. Yes. It's rare that those are captured on camera, so we got -- please, kids, don't approach them or be very cautious when you do.
Hey that's it for 360. Thanks for watching.
"LARRY KING" starts now.
I'll see you later tonight.