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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Michele Bachmann Under Fire; Debt Ceiling Battle Continues on Capitol Hill
Aired July 12, 2011 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening, everyone.
Tonight, "Keeping Them Honest" with some serious questions now being leveled at Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, questions she is so far refusing to answer. A second straight poll now puts Michele Bachmann out in front of Mitt Romney in Iowa.
Where her front-runner status, it's not surprising that journalists are focusing more on Bachmann as a serious candidate. And with that focus come new questions being raised about the clinic Bachmann owns with her husband, Marcus. It's a self-described Christian counseling clinic which offers marriage counseling and a host of services, one of which is known as reparative therapy and is based on the theory that gay people can be turned into heterosexuals through a combination of prayer and willpower.
Nearly all mainstream medical and psychological associations say there's no evidence that works. And there's plenty of evidence, in fact, that it can be hurtful and harmful.
Now, this might not even be a story except Mr. Bachmann has denied the clinic he and his wife own practice reparative therapy. And now Congresswoman Bachmann is refusing to answer questions about it. In fact, neither one is talking about it now.
What's surprising about that is for years Congresswoman Bachmann and her husband have spoken extensively publicly about their views on sexual orientation which they clearly believe is not something that people are born with, and which they believe can be treated.
Here's some of Michele Bachmann's comments in the past.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
REP. MICHELE BACHMANN (R-MN), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: This is an earthquake issue. This will change our state forever, because the immediate consequence if gay marriage goes through is that K-12 little children will be forced to learn that homosexuality is normal and natural and that perhaps they should try it.
If you're involved in the gay and lesbian lifestyle, it's bondage. It is personal bondage, personal despair and personal enslavement. This is not funny. It's a very sad life. It's part of Satan, I think, to say "This is gay." It's anything but gay. It's profoundly sad to recognize that almost all, if not all, individuals who have gone into the lifestyle have been abused at one time in their life, either by a male or by a female.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
COOPER: Some of the audio recordings of Michele Bachmann over the years.
Now, you can agree or disagree with Bachmann's views on homosexuality. That's not the issue tonight. What's not an issue though, not anymore, is that when Mr. Bachmann denied using reparative therapy at his clinic, as you're going to hear him do shortly, it seems he wasn't telling the truth.
Jim Acosta tonight "Keeping Them Honest."
MICHELE BACHMANN: Hi, everybody.
JIM ACOSTA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In her campaign for president, Michele Bachmann touts her background as a small business owner.
MICHELE BACHMANN: As a mom of five, a foster parent, and a former tax lawyer and now a small business job creator...
ACOSTA: That business is Bachmann & Associates, a Christian counseling service outside Minneapolis run by her husband, Marcus. They're both pictured on the clinic's Web site.
In recent years, the clinic has faced accusations it encourages gay and lesbian patients to change their sexual orientation, a practice that is frowned upon by mental health experts. Back in 2004, Andrew Ramirez, at the urging of his mother, turned to Bachmann and associates to talk about his own homosexuality. The then 17-year-old says he was immediately skeptical of what one of the clinic's counselors told him.
ANDREW RAMIREZ, FORMER PATIENT: It was therapy that would help me change from being homosexual to straight.
ACOSTA (on camera): That's how he described it?
ACOSTA: He basically said, if you do this, what? You wouldn't be gay anymore?
RAMIREZ: If I did this and worked his therapy program, God could perform a miracle and I could no longer be gay.
ACOSTA (voice-over): Ramirez says he was assigned a therapy program consisting of prayer and reading Bible passages. He also says he was told he would be mentored by an ex-lesbian minister. And if none of that worked, Ramirez says the counselor had another idea.
(on camera): He suggested to you what? RAMIREZ: Not acting out on my same-sex attractions and living a life of celibacy.
ACOSTA: That was an alternative to being gay?
ACOSTA (voice-over): After the second session, Ramirez told his mother he wanted to stop.
BETH SHELLENBARGER, MOTHER OF ANDREW: And I could just hear his voice quiver. And I just said, you know, Andy, if you're good with being gay, then I am, too.
ACOSTA: The American Psychological Association is sharply critical of what's known in the mental health community as reparative therapy, saying in a recent report "There is insufficient evidence to support the use of psychological interventions to change sexual orientation."
But in a talk radio interview last year, Marcus Bachmann compared gay teenagers to barbarians who must be disciplined.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What do you say when your teenager says she's gay? What do you say to Christian parents who come up with this?
MARCUS BACHMANN, HUSBAND OF MICHELE BACHMANN: Well, I think you clearly say what is the understanding of God's word on homosexuality. And I think that this is no mystery that a child or pre-adolescent, particularly adolescent, will question and wonder certainly.
There's that curiosity. But again, we -- like, it is as if we have to understand, barbarians need to be educated. They need to be disciplined, and just someone feels it or thinks it doesn't mean that we're supposed to go down that road.
ACOSTA: Back in 2006, Bachmann denied his practice engaged in reparative therapy, telling a Minneapolis newspaper, "That's a false statement" and went on to say, "If someone is interested in talking to us about their homosexuality, we are open to talking about that. But if someone comes in a homosexual and they want to stay a homosexual, I don't have a problem with that."
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What would you suggest to me like a treatment plan type of thing, yes?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You can definitely pray.
ACOSTA: This week, a gay rights group, Truth Wins Out, released its own hidden camera video recorded by one of its activists who posed as a patient at Bachmann & Associates.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A significant number can actually leave homosexuality completely and become heterosexual?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, yes, yes, definitely, definitely. Oh, I believe all about that.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And it's happened before. It really has.
ACOSTA: In the full five sessions of footage captured by Truth Wins Out, while the counselor at times suggests homosexuality can be treated at the clinic, he also concedes he's not an expert on the subject.
Michele Bachmann has a long history of controversial views on homosexuality. She recently signed a pledge to defend marriage that compared same-sex couples to polygamists. That's a comparison Bachmann made as a state lawmaker in 2004, when she called for an amendment to block gay marriages in other states from being recognized in Minnesota.
BACHMANN: If we allow this to happen, group marriage, polygamy, and things much worse may not be far behind.
ACOSTA: Both Bachmanns declined our requests for interviews. Her campaign released a statement to CNN that says, "The Bachmanns are in no position ethically, legally or morally to discuss specific courses of treatment concerning the clinic's patients."
When a local TV station in Iowa tried to ask Bachmann whether her family clinic engages in reparative therapy, she dodged the question.
QUESTION: Is it something that is conducted at that center?
MICHELE BACHMANN: Well, I'm running for the presidency of the United States. And I'm here today to talk about job creation and also the fact that we do have a business that deals with job creation. We're very proud of the business that we have created.
COOPER: S, Jim, how might these revelations and her refusal to answer them affect her campaign in places like Iowa? It's very possible that it would have no effect, especially among her conservative base.
ACOSTA: That's right, Anderson.
The polls show she has a serious shot of winning the Iowa caucuses. That is because social conservatives will be a decisive factor in that contest. And it's quite possible that the conservative base there will view this clinic not as a liability, but as an asset.
The marriage pledge that she signed from one conservative group out there basically believes what she believes and what this clinic believes.
COOPER: Yes. Jim, appreciate the reporting.
You saw a moment ago what the American Psychological Association thinks of this reparative therapy. We wanted to learn more about it. So, earlier, I spoke to Dr. Drew Pinsky, host of HLN's "Dr Drew."
COOPER: So, Dr. Drew, What exactly Does reparative therapy mean? What does it consist of?
DR. DREW PINSKY, HLN HOST: Many times, they're using models for other kinds of behaviors that people have difficulty controlling, like addiction. So they're using things like 12-step models and those sorts of interventions. There's a lot of trauma therapies involved.
And some of these treatments are quite legitimate. What's problematic is this idea that being homosexual or gay is somehow pathological and needs to be fixed.
COOPER: Well, you say these treatments are legitimate, but there's not really any evidence that this kind of therapy works, right?
PINSKY: That's right. The treatments are legitimate. I mean, for instance, when I have talked to the guys that have either been through these treatments or used them, they're talking about trauma treatments.
And they're talking about trauma therapies. And I understand that. That's a legitimate thing to do if somebody's had trauma. But with the goal of changing somebody's sexual orientation, now you have gone completely off the rail.
The medical establishment is going to great lengths to sort of atone for having pathologized this for many years. It was not correct. It is not a pathology. And there's no one in established medicine that believes that it is.
COOPER: So the American Psychiatric Association, the AMA, none of them back this idea of reparative therapy, that you can pray enough and suddenly not be gay or go through other forms of reparative therapy and no longer be gay?
PINSKY: That's absolutely true. And not only that, though, even again the people that I have talked to that went through this -- we dedicated an entire program to this one evening.
And even the guys that went through it are clear, it's not like their sexual orientation has changed. They just can contain their behaviors a little differently.
COOPER: It was interesting. One of the counselors in -- and I don't know if the person is an actual therapist or what their qualifications is, but I will just say a counselor, in that video was telling this person with the hidden camera, it's definitely worked. You can definitely change it.
But in truth, as you said, you have interviewed a lot of people who have gone through this kind of treatment. I have interviewed people over the years who have gone through this treatment. And even the ones who claim that they are no longer gay, when you really push them, they will admit that every day they still have the fantasies, they still have the thoughts. They just are forcing themselves not to act on what appears to be their natural inclination.
PINSKY: That is precisely what I found. That is exactly what I found with those people.
Now, they will also then say that well, OK, but are you saying that people shouldn't have a choice to do something if they want to change? That's sort of what they will hide behind then. And the fact is again it's exactly what you're describing. It's living a life that is not consistent with their biology and who they are.
And it's pathologizing something that's not a pathology. And I'm not saying that there shouldn't be choices for people. I'm saying that having those choices might have a very significantly negative impact on people and we need to take a look at that.
COOPER: Because repressing yourself in that way, because living that kind of -- repressing your innermost thoughts, you're saying is not healthy long term?
PINSKY: I'm saying, of course, that would be a very difficult way to live.
But I'm actually more concerned about the ambient culture coming down on people who otherwise would be able to live healthy, happy lives. Those are the people that really get hurt in the fallout from something like this. It's somebody who is coming to terms with this who may be ambivalent who begins thinking because they see billboards on the roadside that there's something wrong with them, aren't you adding to discrimination and misery for people who then could be harmed by these options being out there so publicly?
COOPER: It's also based on this notion that this is somehow a choice, which there's no evidence of.
PINSKY: Well, you know, you're absolutely correct.
The idea of a choice is -- it's a bizarre notion. I mean, it's like think about it for anybody who has feelings about this out there. It's like a choice to like chocolate ice cream or a choice to like certain kinds of -- be attracted in a certain way to certain kinds of people. That's something in us. It's a very deep biological piece of who we are as human beings.
COOPER: Dr. Drew Pinsky, thanks.
PINSKY: Anderson, thank you.
COOPER: Quick 360 "Keeping Them Honest" follow-up.
Last night we told you about a marriage pledge signed by Michele Bachmann and Rick Santorum, Republican presidential candidates, a document which had some historically inaccurate and false statements about slavery. The false slavery section was taken out. But tonight we have learned that Mitt Romney has said he will not sign this pledge.
A Romney spokesman told "The Washington Post" -- quote -- "Mitt Romney strongly supports traditional marriage, but he felt this pledge contained references and provisions that were undignified and inappropriate for a presidential campaign."
Let us know what you think. You can follow us on Facebook. You can follow me on Twitter @AndersonCooper. I be tweeting tonight.
Up next tonight, the budget talks and President Obama's dire warning about the Social Security checks that millions of Americans rely on. If the government defaults, don't count on the checks he's saying. Now, is he just trying to scare seniors and others? Details on that ahead.
And later Syria, where tension is rising after mobs attacked the U.S. Embassy, pro-government mobs there -- the very latest on what Washington is doing about it.
Also we will hear from one of the Casey Anthony jurors about the reaction she's getting for voting not guilty.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You come home and everyone's mad at you. And the media's outside pounding you and making it clear they're not leaving. And it's just very stressful. And then you get anonymous letters from people that are hateful and nasty.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: All that's coming up.
But first let's check in with Isha Sesay -- Isha.
ISHA SESAY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, maybe you have seen the reality show "Sister Wives." Tonight we will tell you why the four wives and their husband are taking the state of Utah to court. That and more when 360 continues.
COOPER: "Raw Politics" now, late developments in the trillion dollar battle over the budget and one major bombshell today, President Obama saying he cannot guarantee Americans will get their Social Security checks on August 3 unless an agreement is reached by August 2 on cutting the deficit and raising the debt ceiling.
Now, in political terms in his showdown with House and Senate Republicans that's called -- it's like bringing an H-bomb to a gunfight or a little league game. It could also be called scare- mongering. We will talk about it shortly and about the budget negotiations that seem to be getting nowhere. First, the President Obama's stunning answer on Social Security when asked by CBS News' Scott Pelley.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SCOTT PELLEY, CBS NEWS: Can you tell the folks at home that no matter what happens the Social Security checks are going to go out on August the 3rd? There are about $20 billion worth of Social Security checks that have to go out the day after the government is supposedly going into default.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, this is not just a matter of Social Security checks. These are veterans' checks. These are folks on disability and their checks. There are about 70 million checks that go out each month.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can you guarantee as president those checks will go out on August the 3rd?
OBAMA: I cannot guarantee those that checks go out on August 3 if we haven't resolved this issue, because there may simply not be the money in the coffers to do it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Now, in fact, there are different estimates of when precisely the Treasury would run out of cash and authority to sell more bonds to finance the government.
But whichever day it is, according to the Bipartisan Policy Center, the government will instantly be unable to finance the difference between the $200 billion in revenue for August and $360 billion in spending. Sending out those Social Security checks, plus Medicare, defense contractors, interest on the debt, accounts for about $172 billion of the $200 billion.
Now, after paying all of that, the Bipartisan Center estimates the Treasury would not be able to pay the troops, finance the VA, send out college loans, fund highway construction, or pay tax refunds. And the choices, well, they get tougher as time goes on. President Obama says he will not accept a short-term deal. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell today offered a complicated series of short-term deals.
Democratic Senator Dick Durbin said he would consider McConnell's offer, but conservative Republicans slammed the offer and McConnell for making it. House Speaker Boehner also under pressure from his right laid the debt problem squarely at President Obama's doorstep.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: This debt limit increase is his problem. And I think it's time for him to lead by putting his plan on the table, something that the Congress can pass.
(END VIDEO CLIP) COOPER: Speaker Boehner says he cannot settle a plan sell with tax increase to his members.
President Obama today said he thinks he can sell Democrats on entitlement cuts, but liberal Democrats are putting up sharp resistance, conservatives are accusing them and the president of scaring seniors and others on Social Security.
Joining us now, political analysts Gloria Borger and David Gergen, both of whom are weighing in on the showdown as well on CNN.com.
David, what do you make of the president's statements today to Scott Pelley? Was that scare-mongering or does he have a valid point?
DAVID GERGEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: It's both. Of course, he's trying to scare people. But it's also true that you could put Social Security first in line and pay it.
But, clearly, Anderson, when a government as we are is borrowing 40 cents on the dollar, you have only got 60 cents left out of each dollar to figure out what you're going to pay for. And that other 40 cents is not going to get paid. So, theoretically, yes, Social Security checks may not go out. Would the government actually do that? I think the Social Security would go out first, and then along with veterans' checks.
COOPER: Gloria, you're referring to this as a defining moment or a definitional moment for the Republican Party. How so?
GLORIA BORGER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Right. Well, I think at a certain point parties have to decide how they're going to govern and what they're about.
And I think it's always in my memory been that the Republican Party is the party of smaller government and fiscal responsibility. But now we see a new strain in the Republican Party, in which this sort of obsession, no taxes, no new taxes, seems to trump everything else. You had a deal, a potential deal between the president of the United States and the House speaker in which the president was offering $3 of spending cuts for every dollar of tax increases.
I believe even Ronald Reagan probably would have taken that deal. But there are all these Republicans, 230 of them in the House, who have taken a no-tax pledge. And they couldn't even sign onto that. So I think they have made a choice. And the choice is, taxes are more important than deficit reduction.
COOPER: It's interesting, David. Democrats are drawing the line -- some Democrats are drawing the line on some entitlement programs like Social Security, Medicare. Isn't that as much of a hurdle for the president as a Republican hard line on taxes?
GERGEN: I don't think it is. The president has -- believes very strongly, and I have this on excellent authority today he believes very strongly he can bring along Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi, kicking and screaming, to be sure, to sign onto some entitlement reforms...
GERGEN: ... and while he's having an recalcitrant Republican Party.
Now, let me just put my cards on table. I happen to favor the Simpson-Bowles plan, which was $2 of spending cuts for $1 of tax increases. I think that's the right way to go. But I think it's unfair to Republicans to say that they're simply -- they're so ideological. They feel that in the last few years government has become bloated. It's grown from about 19 percent of the GDP to almost 25 percent of GDP.
And they feel that the Democrats have an ideological commitment to big government. And what they would like to see is the government sweated down. That's the point they have been trying to make. And there are honest differences and people have a very different view of what kind of society we ought to live in.
BORGER: But at a certain point, David, when there was a big deal on the table and if as you say the president could have brought Nancy Pelosi along -- and I agree with you -- I think he could have -- the Republicans would have gotten a great deficit reduction deal if they hadn't committed to the no-tax pledge, right?
GERGEN: But, Gloria, asking any party to commit to $1 trillion of tax increases is an awful big lift for a party that has all along stood for lower taxes, and when they also feel a lot of these cuts are going to turn out to be illusory.
Their experience in the past is, they sign onto these bargains and they feel the Democrats eventually wind up getting what they wanted, and what they were promised never materializes.
BORGER: But there's a big difference between that and nothing.
COOPER: So, David, where do you see the middle ground? Where does a compromise occur?
GERGEN: Well, I have felt for some time, Anderson, they're not going to get the mega-deal. I think that's clearly off the table. I don't think they're going to get a moderate-sized deal either.
If they get a moderate-sized deal, that would carry us through until February of 2013. We wouldn't have to revisit this issue of the debt ceiling. But they're so far short of that in these negotiations that I think that's likely to fall through, too.
And I think they're likely to fall back on some sort of short- term, interim solution that the president clearly does not want. And there is fear in the White House that if we do a short-term solution, yes, it would get us past the default problem, but the credit rating agencies like Standard & Poor's could downgrade the credit of the United States.
COOPER: Right. We have got to leave it...
BORGER: And then you have the problem that this continues to come up over and over and over again. And, of course, it's not going to get any easier to continue this debate the closer you get to an election. And the White House would like to have it done with.
COOPER: Gloria Borger, David Gergen, appreciate it. Thanks. Difficult times still ahead.
GERGEN: Thank you.
COOPER: "Crime & Punishment," what the lead detectives in the Casey Anthony investigation said today about the young mother's acquittal. And Gary Tuchman talked to one of the jurors about the deep divide on one of the charges that could have put Anthony in prison for years.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: You were telling me, though, that the original vote for the aggravated manslaughter was 6- 6.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Correct.
TUCHMAN: And which side of the six were you on?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The manslaughter.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Also ahead, attacks on the American and French embassies in Syria add new fuel to the tensions between Syria and the U.S. and the West. Tonight, strong words from President Obama, Secretary Clinton and the U.N. Security Council. Where is the crisis heading?
COOPER: Well, tensions between Syria and much of the West escalated today, as the United Nations Security Council condemned attacks on the U.S. and French embassies in Damascus.
Now, in the photograph, you can see two men scaling the American Embassy's walls yesterday. U.S. officials said it was the third attack in four days with hundreds of demonstrators descending on the building. Mobs loyal to President Assad have been swarming outside the U.S. and French embassies to condemn visits by the American and French ambassadors to Hama, which is an opposition stronghold.
I want to point out that this is amateur video. CNN cannot confirm its authenticity. The video shows a police vehicle parked near the U.S. Embassy. The writing on the white pickup says, police leadership, Damascus Province, anti-riot battalion. You can also see graffiti painted on the embassy's walls, including the message the people want to kick out the dog, an apparent reference to the U.S. ambassador.
Someone has always written, this is Syria, you dog, and the hell with America. Today, at the Syrian Embassy, the Syrian ambassador to the United Nations accused the United States and France of exaggerating the facts about the embassy attacks.
Meantime, Germany's ambassador called on Syrian authorities to protect diplomatic and their property, while Secretary of State Hillary Clinton blasted Syria in her strongest language yet.
And here's what President Obama told CBS News tonight.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: We certainly have seen sent a clear message that nobody can be messing with our embassy and that we will take whatever action is necessary in order to protect our embassy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: I talked to foreign affairs correspondent Jill Dougherty earlier.
COOPER: So, Jill, in the wake of yesterday's attacks, we have heard the strongest language yet from this administration regarding the Assad regime.
JILL DOUGHERTY, CNN FOREIGN AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Yes.
Hillary Clinton crossed the line, you could say, at least using that word that he has lost his legitimacy. That's the phrase that they have used about Gadhafi in Libya. And for the first time, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton used that phrase. She said that President Assad is not indispensable.
And that's a change. That's really upping it. They're not saying he should step down. They haven't gotten that far. And, Anderson, you know, one thing that they probably won't do is say precisely that until the people of Libya -- of -- of Syria decide that that indeed is what they want to do.
COOPER: The Syrian government responded to the U.S. statements with some pretty strong rhetoric of their own.
DOUGHERTY: You know, they did. They're talking about incitement. They were very angry about the comments by Secretary Clinton firing back. They also said that that incident at the embassy, on Monday, was really incitement by the United States and that the visit by the Ambassador Ford to Hama was incitement, as well. So they're kicking it right back to the Americans. COOPER: You know, is it clear, though, what role the Syrian government played in yesterday's attack? I mean, this is an incredibly repressive regime. It's hard to believe that a U.S. embassy could be attacked without some sort of encouragement or tacit approval of the government there.
DOUGHERTY: Absolutely. Now, publicly what they're saying is whether they condoned it, incited it, or just simply allowed it to happen. Because remember, the security guards really standing back and letting the chaos ensue.
COOPER: Right. I mean, this is the tactic we're seen with Mubarak, you know, of getting people out to attack reporters in that case. But now it's just -- you know, reporters aren't there so they're attacking the U.S. embassy.
DOUGHERTY: Yes, but you know, behind the scenes, officials are telling us they do say that it appears that the government actually did somehow orchestrate this. And they point out that there were broadcasts on a television station that is under the influence of President Assad that did anger people and incite them to do something.
COOPER: Yes. It's a familiar move we've seen among dictators in the recent past.
The U.N. Security Council condemned the attacks yesterday. Russia and China actually signing onto the rebuke. That seems pretty significant.
DOUGHERTY: Well, significant, yes. I think in that sense it's significant. But I think you have to look at the fine print. Because are they actually, you know, endorsing what the United States is saying about President Assad? Perhaps not.
What they appear to be endorsing is this narrow principle that practically any country would approve, which is there is a Vienna Convention that says that the host country has to protect diplomats and their property. And so, if they're endorsing that, then it's kind of a no-brainer. It doesn't necessarily mean that they support, let's say, U.S. policy.
COOPER: Right. Interesting. Jill Dougherty, thanks. Let's check in with Isha Sesay. She's following some stories in "360 News -- News Bulletin" -- Isha.
ISHA SESAY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, former first lady Betty Ford is remembered today for her courage and grace. Former president George W. Bush and former first ladies Rosalynn Carter, Hillary Clinton and Nancy Reagan attended the public service in Palm Desert, Southern California.
As a former first lady Michelle Obama (ph), Ford will be buried in Grand Rapids, Michigan, after a private service Thursday. She died last week at age 93.
Veteran producer Sherwood Schwartz is being remembered for his prolific career. The creator of "The Brady Bunch" and "Gilligan's Island" died this morning. Schwartz was 94
Utah's anti-bigamy laws are about to be challenged in court by the stars of the reality show "Sister Wives." Cody Brown and his four wives plan to file a lawsuit tomorrow. They say they're fighting for the rights of plural families.
And Anderson, listen up, a Pennsylvania restaurant is serving up a new rule. No kids allowed. That's right. Starting next weekend, children under the age of 6 will no longer be welcomed at McDane's restaurant in Monroeville. The owner says babies and small tykes are too noisy and you can't control their volume. He says he's confident most customers will be thrilled with the changing policy.
COOPER: Not parents.
SESAY: Well, yes.
COOPER: Desperate for a night out.
SESAY: He's like keep them at home. They may be the center of your universe, but they're not the center of the world.
COOPER: All right. You can address your hate mail to Isha.
Time now for "The Shot." This one comes from our 360 extended family, also known as staffers' pets. Bea and Scout live with producer Kirk McDonald. They have a morning ritual, Bea and Scout, that is. Take a look.
Like most cats, Bea likes to wash not just herself. Not sure if Scout is really enjoying any of this. He certainly seems resigned. And she has kind of a vice-like grip of little Scout right there. That's adorable.
SESAY: I think it's very adorable. Very cute.
COOPER: Isn't it great that cats and dogs can get along?
SESAY: Can coexist. But I'll see your cat and dog duet, or whatever you want to call that little thing, and raise you a solo act. It's an oldie but it is a goody. The amazing singing dog. We found it on YouTube.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SESAY: I know. He's going for it. Kind of like the scene at McDane's, I'd imagine...
SESAY: ... if there were kids allowed.
COOPER: I haven't seen that, but that's cool.
All right, Isha. Serious stuff up next, Casey Anthony investigators weigh in on the verdict. And so does a juror talking with Gary Tuchman.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Do you believe that she could have been molested? Was there evidence that she could have been molested by her father?
JENNIFER FORD, CASEY ANTHONY JUROR: There was no evidence. None at all.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Also tonight, why there could be a catch to the catch by the fan who caught Derek Jeter's 3,000th career hit. He did the unselfish thing, which is pretty cool: he gave Jeter the ball. Didn't try to auction it off for big bucks. That may be why he may be wishing he kept it instead, coming up.
COOPER: "Crime & Punishment" tonight, the investigators who built the murder case against Casey Anthony speak out for the first time since she was acquitted of the charge last week.
At a news conference today in Orlando, investigators maintained they had a solid case against Casey, and while they're unhappy with the jury's decision, they called on the public to respect it.
A key point discussion -- a key point in the discussion today, the defense claimed that Caylee died in an accidental drowning in the family swimming pool. Now, a lead investigator said when they questioned Casey about her daughter's death, she never said anything about that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CORPORAL YURI MELICH, ORANGE COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE: She never said it was an accident. That would have been her opportunity to say so, had it been. And obviously, we give them -- we give them the ability to explain their actions, but they always can come up and say, "Well, this is what happened."
Even to this day I'm still surprised that she just didn't come up and she wouldn't tell us the truth. And that's all we were after was the truth. That day, this whole thing could have ended, had we known truth.
(END VIDEO CLIP) COOPER: Well, as for Casey's safety when she's released from jail on Sunday, investigators say there haven't been any credible death threats against her and they won't offer her any special protection when she gets out of jail.
Meanwhile, the prosecutor's office announced today that it would not charge Casey's mother, Cindy Anthony, with perjury after she claimed responsibility for the many searches for chloroform on the family computer. Prosecutors proved that Cindy Anthony was at work at the time the searches were made.
Chloroform was a key part of the state's case. Prosecutors claim Casey used it to kill Caylee, and they covered her mouth and nose in duct tape. The jury didn't buy it. Today Gary Tuchman spoke with one of the jurors, who says her life is dramatically changed. He joins us now -- Gary.
TUCHMAN: Anderson, Jennifer Ford was sequestered with her fellow jurors for a month and a half. But ever since she's been home at Pinellas County, her life has gotten very difficult and very harrowing.
She's 32 years old. She's a nursing student. She's a nice, friendly person performing her civic duty. She is strongly -- I emphasize -- strongly suspicious of Casey Anthony's behavior, and she thinks her attorneys downright lied during opening statements, that she and her fellow jurors did not feel there was sufficient proof beyond a reasonable doubt that Casey Anthony was responsible for the death of Caylee Anthony.
Ever since that verdict she's received hate mail and death threats. She just can't believe what's happened since she was summoned to jury duty.
TUCHMAN: Now that you look back at it, do you wish you had not served on this jury?
FORD: I would have been OK if I wasn't a part of it. I'd have been OK with that.
TUCHMAN: Why do you say that?
FORD: Just because, you know, for six weeks we had minimal freedoms, and then the welcoming committee -- I'm being sarcastic, but you know, you come home and everyone's mad at you, and the media's outside hounding you and making it clear they're not leaving. And it's just very stressful. And you get anonymous letters from people that are hateful and nasty.
TUCHMAN: What have people said in these letters?
FORD: Honestly, I read probably the first sentence, and if it starts with "shame on you" in all capital letters, I usually just rip it up and throw it away. Because I know it's just going to be -- you know, I've seen like things on Facebook probably from the same person, you know, "You're ignorant. You should be ashamed of yourself. You let a murderer go free, et cetera, et cetera. You know, things like that. I don't want to read it.
TUCHMAN: Are you scared, Jennifer?
FORD: Not really. I'm kind of a scrappy girl. So I'm not going to back away from anything and run scared and cry.
TUCHMAN: Have there been times where you have felt a little bit like crying?
FORD: I've been stressed out. Yes, I mean, I have cried. But...
TUCHMAN: How does it make you feel? You were doing your civic duty. How does it make you feel that you would get anonymous, hate- filled letters from people threatening your welfare?
FORD: It makes me feel like, I don't know, I feel like people are missing something. I don't know. To me I think that it would be a good thing to know that people are trying to do what they're supposed to do and uphold the letter of the law and not be emotional. But apparently that's not something that is rewarded by the public sometimes.
I mean, a lot of people have been supportive. And even if they didn't agree with our verdict they're like, you know, still respectful. I think it might be a small population who's loud and angry and unkind. And you know, I guess it comes with the territory.
TUCHMAN: It's very upsetting.
FORD: It's very upsetting.
TUCHMAN: You told me that the original vote for the aggravated manslaughter was 6-6.
TUCHMAN: And which side of the six were you on?
FORD: The manslaughter.
TUCHMAN: So originally you thought that she was guilty of manslaughter or could be guilty of manslaughter?
FORD: Could be. And I wanted to investigate it further to see if it fit, based on the evidence that we were given.
TUCHMAN: So what convinced you and the five others to switch your votes and vote for not guilty?
FORD: I think everyone will tell you the same thing. It's just lack of hard evidence. It's just like I said: the duct tape and the chloroform and things like that, you could -- if you took a hard -- good hard look at it, you could kind of -- there was a lot of doubt surrounding all of those certain things. So there's not enough to make anything stick.
TUCHMAN: So you don't necessarily think she's innocent, but you feel you didn't have enough proof to find her guilty beyond a reasonable doubt?
FORD: Right. I -- I don't know either way. Like it's obviously it has not been proven that she's innocent, but it certainly hasn't been proven that she's guilty.
TUCHMAN: The defense in their opening statements said that Casey Anthony's father molested her repeatedly when she was younger, and that's the reason why she kept the drowning of her child secret.
Do you believe that she could have been molested? Was there evidence that she could have been molested by her father?
FORD: There was no evidence. None at all. And that had no bearing on any verdict that was made. That was irrelevant. It was thrown out there but never substantiated. So...
TUCHMAN: It wasn't that it wasn't substantiated later in the trial but what happened was the judge said you cannot bring this up in your closing arguments, defense, because you didn't have any evidence about it.
FORD: I really wish he wouldn't have brought it up. It's a disturbing image to have in your mouth. I mean, he painted a very graphic and disgusting picture. And if you're going to do that, at least back it up. And if you can't back it up don't put that picture in people's minds. Nobody wants to see that.
TUCHMAN: And regarding the drowning, the only evidence that was presented were pictures of Caylee climbing in the pool with her grandmother, standing near a screen door, a door which her grandmother testified she couldn't open. It's pretty flimsy evidence at best. And I'm wondering if you think there was a possibility that she could have drowned. Was there any evidence that convinced you of that?
FORD: There's no evidence that convinced me of that, no.
TUCHMAN: So you don't think she drowned. You don't think she was molested. So a casual viewer of this trial might say how come you didn't find she was guilty of murder?
FORD: Because it has nothing to do with what the defense presents. It's on the prosecution to prove what -- they brought charges. They have to prove with their evidence that those charges are -- they can validate bringing those charges and that the crime was committed.
TUCHMAN: So you didn't believe the central points of what the defense told you, but you just felt that the prosecution didn't have enough evidence to convict? FORD: Well, they had -- like I said, they had good strong circumstantial evidence, but at the end of the day it was circumstantial. And there was not just one strong piece of evidence that said something definitively. Every piece of evidence could have kind of said this way or that way. I mean, there were many different ways you could have gone with each piece of evidence.
COOPER: Gary, is she worried that this interview is going to cause more unpleasant letters and attention to come her way?
TUCHMAN: She's very concerned about that, Anderson. I didn't think she would talk to me. What I explained to her was we certainly wanted to find out what happened in the jury room. But we also wanted to paint the human portrait of what she and these other jurors are going through.
And what I told her was, our viewers are watching this, and they feel both ways about the verdict. And I would guess most people feel it was not a good verdict. But I also feel that most of our viewers do not want to attack the jurors for reaching this verdict. Because if we attack our jurors, who's going to want to serve on a jury in the future?
COOPER: Yes, and clearly, I mean, she, you know -- this was a difficult decision, and the more you hear from them, you realize, you know, what they went through and how difficult a decision it was, even if people aren't happy with the decision.
TUCHMAN: She is in pain, Anderson. She's in a lot of pain.
COOPER: Gary, appreciate the reporting. Thanks.
Still ahead, it almost happened again. A baseball fan trying to catch a ball nearly took another 20-foot plunge from the stands. We'll show you the amazing save. The people around him grabbing his legs. We'll show you the photo.
Also ahead, a "RidicuList" first. I'm adding myself to "The RidicuList." I know. I am almost too ashamed to tell you, because it does involve Snooki. We'll explain.
COOPER: Coming up, see why I put myself on "The RidicuList" and why it has something to do with Snooki. But first, Isha Sesay joins us with a "360 Bulletin" -- Isha.
SESAY: Anderson, Rodney King is back in trouble. Police in Moreno Valley in Southern California pulled him over and busted him today on suspicion of driving under the influence. You may recall it was during a traffic stop in 1991 that King received a brutal beating that sparked the L.A. riots a year later
British lawmakers have summoned media mogul Rupert Murdoch, his son James, and the former "News of the World" editor Rebekah Brooks for questioning a week from today. They're investigating allegations some of the newspaper's staff hacked into the voice males of politicians, celebrities and terror victims
President Obama awarded the Medal of Honor today to an Army Ranger who lost his right hand while tossing an enemy grenade away from fellow soldiers in Afghanistan. Sergeant first class Leroy Arthur Petry is the second recipient of the award for actions in Iraq and Afghanistan.
A baseball fan is lucky to be alive after he almost fell 20 feet head first while trying to catch a ball during the all-star home run derby. Keith car Michael's brother, friends and some fans grabbed his legs and likely saved his life. Last night's incident comes just days after a Texas Rangers fan plunged to his death while trying to grab a ball.
And the New York fan who caught Derek Jeter's 3,000th career hit and gave it back instead of trying to cash in could still be slapped with a big tax bill, as much as $14,000 according to some reports.
That's because Yankee brass gave Christian Lopez free luxury suite tickets to every remaining home game and a lot of Yankee autographed swag. If that's taxable income, then he'll have to pay up. If it's considered a gift, then he'll be safe from the IRS.
COOPER: Why wouldn't if be a gift?
SESAY: I don't know. They have to figure this out. What I will say, as a non-baseball fan, if you see the ball coming, duck. Just duck.
COOPER: Yes. It's amazing that that happened again, somebody reaching over. Thank goodness people were able to grab his legs.
SESAY: I know.
COOPER: All right. Time for "The RidicuList," Isha. And I think we're making RidicuList history here, because it's time for a look in the mirror as I put myself on "The RidicuList."
No. Not for my -- oh, really odd photo. Not for my behavior today in the CNN -- thank you for showing it again. Not for my behavior today in the CNN cafeteria. That is between me and Wolf Blitzer. And all I will say is that I did not cut in line, no matter what Nancy Grace tells you.
No, I'm talking about me being wrong about the literary talents of a young woman named Snooki. Yes, good old pint-sized, totally team opposed to wearing underwear while doing cartwheels Snooki of "Jersey Shore" fame.
We got word Sunday that she signed a second book deal with her publisher, Simon and Schuster. So if you are keeping score at home. That is one more book deal than I've had. Her new book is a follow-up to her debut novel, "A Shore Thing." Get it? A sure thing, because. the spelled it "shore," but it's really about sex. In fact, it's a book -- "Shore Thing" is a book about friends, Giovanna Spumante (ph) and her cousin, Isabella "Bella" Rissole (ph), who set out to have, and I quote, "the sexiest summer ever."
The new book is titled "Gorilla Beach." It no, the title doesn't refer to Jane Good all's summer home.
Now, I've made fun of Snooki's writing before. This is true. But now that she has another book coming I think it's time to reassess. Look, I've been busy. And after all, this is CNN. It's not like, you know, we've had time to go and cover Snooki's book signings or anything.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That's not my camera.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is CNN.
NICOLE "SNOOKI" POLIZZI, REALITY TV STAR: Hi, CNN. Thanks for coming.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Okay. We covered her book signing. My bad.
It's hard to tell which is my favorite chapter in her first book, "A Shore Thing." There's "Karma is a Bitch, Bitch," "Make me Beg" or perhaps "Vin Diesel is Hotter than Jesus." Joan Didion told me that was one of her favorite chapters.
So what led Snooki from the Jacuzzi of shame to the world of Alice Walker and Salmon Rushdie? Talent; raw, tanned talent. I give you page nine of "A Shore Thing."
"Tonight she aimed her gyrating hips straight at Salami Boy. The guy could take a hint. Two seconds, he creeped over to her. Five seconds, they were grinding, her butt pressed against his thighs. 'You got a nice rack,' screamed Rocky."
So who said Tuesday nights on basic cable couldn't be sexy, right? If "Gorilla Beach" is half as good as this, I have two words for you: best seller. That's one word. Best seller. I read on.
"Tonight she'd pull out all the stops. She started with makeup, including her trick of using a dark stroke of blush on her cleavage to make her boobies look even bigger." See, Snooki is not some poor man's Jackie Collins; she's a writer. And she tolls at her craft.
I read on. "Gia danced around a little, shaking her peaches for show." Oh, Snooki. "She shook it hard. Too hard. In middle of a shimmy, her stomach cramped. A fart slipped out, a loud one and stinky." Just to clarify, no, you are not watching "Masterpiece Theater."
As for you, dear, dear misunderstood Snooki, what can I say? Congratulations on your new book deal. I was wrong about you. You are a modern-day Jane Austen or at least her sketchy second cousin. Right on, little Snooki. Right on. I'll be waiting to buy "Gorilla Beach." Perhaps even first in line on "The RidicuList."
We'll be right back.
COOPER: Good evening, everyone. Tonight "Keeping Them Honest" with some serious questions now being leveled at Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, questions she is so far refusing to answer.
A second straight poll now puts Michele Bachmann out in front of Mitt Romney in Iowa. With the frontrunner status it's no surprising that journalists are focusing more on Bachmann as a serious candidate, and with that focus come new questions being raised about the clinic Bachmann owns with her husband,. Marcus.
It's a self-described Christian counseling clinic which offers marriage counseling and a host of services one of which is known as reparative therapy. And it's based on the theory that gay people can be turned into heterosexuals through a combination of prayer and willpower.
Nearly all mainstream medical and psychological associations say there's no evidence that works. And there's plenty of evidence, in fact, that it can be hurtful and harmful.