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Mitt Romney's Health Care Problem; Democrats Playing Politics on Jobs Bill?

Aired October 24, 2011 - 22:00   ET


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening, everyone. It's 10:00 p.m. here on the East Coast.

And we begin tonight "Keeping Them Honest" with new revelations highlighting the gap between what a politician says on the campaign trail and his or her own record, now, the record he or she is running on or in this case appears to be running away from and twisting the facts on. It's the latest chapter in a long-running anti-mitt Romney storyline, that he's running away from the health care reform plan he crafted as governor of Massachusetts, the one he hailed at the time as a triumph of bipartisanship.


MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It is now my pleasure to introduce my collaborator and friend, Senator Edward Kennedy.




COOPER: Well, the one he touted at the time, and remember, it was only five years ago, as a model for the rest of the country.


ROMNEY: I think there are a number of features in the Massachusetts plan that could inform Washington on ways to improve health care for all Americans.


COOPER: Well, the one crafted with the help of MIT's Jonathan Gruber and others who later went to help President Obama create the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, what opponents call Obamacare, and what Governor Romney's former presidential rival Tim Pawlenty called Obamneycare for its similarity to the governor's law.

So, these days, Governor Romney has been running away from his critics as fast as he can, say his critics, no longer saying it should be held up as a model. In fact, he's now supporting a ballot measure in Ohio, making a key feature of his Massachusetts law illegal in that state. But it's another little known piece of his law that's giving him the biggest headache today, one that says any resident of Massachusetts is entitled if they need it to state-subsidized health care, regardless of their immigration status.

Now, remember, Mitt Romney is the one who in the recent CNN Western Republican debate tore into Texas Governor Rick Perry's statewide program to educate young people, even illegal immigrants.


ROMNEY: You talked about magnets. You put in place a magnet to draw illegals into the state, which was giving $100,000 of tuition credit to illegals that come into this country, and then you have states -- the big states of illegal immigrants are California and Florida. Over the last 10 years, they have had no increase in illegal immigration.

Texas has had 60 percent increase in illegal immigrants in Texas. If there's someone who has a record as governor with regards to illegal immigration that doesn't stand up to muster, it's you, not me.


COOPER: Well, now Romney opponents have uncovered a portion of the health care plan that they're calling a magnet for illegal immigrants.

Take a look at the Q&A section of the Massachusetts Web site explaining the law. Question four, do I need to be a U.S. citizen to be eligible for the health safety net? Answer, you do not need to be a U.S. citizen to be eligible for the health safety net. You do need to live in Massachusetts.

The Perry campaign has seized on to that, releasing a statement saying in part: "Governor Romney's government-mandated health care plan provided free care for illegal immigrants in Massachusetts, establishing just the kind of illegal immigration magnet Governor Romney claims to oppose."

And the Romney campaign fired back, trying to blame that provision on Deval Patrick, Mitt Romney's Democratic successor in the governor's office. Said a Romney spokeswoman: "All the regulatory activities involving the health safety net fund, including who could get care, were made long after Mitt Romney left office."

But "Keeping Them Honest," that just does not appear to be so.

Here's what one leading expert on Bay State Health Care told CNN's Jim Acosta.


JOHN MCDONOUGH, HARVARD SCHOOL OF PUBLIC HEALTH: He definitely signed the law and absolutely his people had to know both before and after the law about how the state dealt with this need. This was a costly issue. It was part of the process in the conversation leading to passage of the law.


COOPER: Now, you can argue about whether covering illegal immigrants are a good or bad idea. I'm not taking a position on that.

Supporters say it's a money saver because uninsured people end up using much costlier emergency care. But whatever you think of the merits, you can't, as Mitt Romney seems to be doing, try to disown it out of political convenience when, pretty clearly, it's something you were involved with.

Here to talk about it, three conservative voices. Former Congresswoman Susan Molinari founded the government and public affairs firm Susan Molinari Strategies. She's a Mitt Romney supporter. Also, former Congressman J.C. Watts, chairman of the J.C. Watts Companies, who hasn't endorsed a candidate yet, and Dana Loesch, co-organizer of the Saint Louis Tea Party Coalition and an editor at

Dana, is this a problem for Mitt Romney?

DANA LOESCH, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: I think it's a big problem for Mitt Romney. And I think that his defense on this right out of the gate was a little weak. There's several different ways that he could have come out stronger about this, but he chose absolutely this one.

It's a huge problem because he made this a focus against Rick Perry and any other candidate during the last debate. And it's a big problem because health care compared -- if you want to look at illegal immigrants and health care costs, and you want to look at illegal immigrants and college tuition, health care is a mandate. You have to have health care. You don't have to have a college education.

So I think that it's exponentially worse. Anderson, there's so many different ways that I have problems with this whole thing, but the bottom line is that it underscores how bad Romneycare was and still is and still continues to be, not just for Massachusetts, but for Mitt Romney.

COOPER: Susan, you're a Romney supporter. Do you agree with Dana that this is damaging for him?

SUSAN MOLINARI (R), FORMER U.S. CONGRESSWOMAN: I think it's something that needs to be explained in terms of the reality of today. Number one, his health and human services secretary stood up and said, while we were crafting this legislation, at no point in time did we do anything to encourage and in fact went out of our way to discourage illegal immigrants from taking care of -- from taking advantage of this health safety net.

Number two, illegal immigrants or anyone taking advantage of emergency room health care is a federal law, not a state law. So that's something that has to be dealt with on a state-by-state basis from a federal perspective, not from just the state of Massachusetts. And, number three, it is true that the regulations that were promulgated that seek to include illegal immigrations by strongly -- illegal immigrants by strongly defining it happened under a liberal Democrat senator -- Governor Deval Patrick, not under Governor Romney.

COOPER: But, Susan, you're saying that they didn't do anything to encourage illegals. But the law when it was being written -- and Mitt Romney apparently knew about it and this was discussed at the time according to those who have been following this very closely -- they knew it would allow illegals who were in the state of Massachusetts to get health care.

MOLINARI: Before the law and after the law, illegals were granted access to health care, because that's the federal preemption over all state laws. So, yes, I'm sure they were aware of it, but there was very little they could do in crafting state legislation.

COOPER: J.C., where do you stand on this?


Anderson, with all due respect to Governor Romney, I think, as I traveled over the country the last 14, 16 months talking to Republican voters, I have found there's been two camps. There's been an anti -- there's been a pro-Romney camp and an anybody-but-Romney camp.

And I think again with all due respect to the governor, these are the type of things that have Republican voters questioning, you know, where he stands. I understand the federal -- you know, the federal regulatory policy.

However, it's something that the governor's going to have to defend and I think it's one more arrow in his quiver that he's going to have to defend, along with all the other things that people see a real dichotomy in his policy decisions concerning a lot of different things.

That's why you have now seen him running two presidential campaigns, both very well funded, very well organized, but he's not gotten more than 24, 25 percent at this point. And I suspect that will remain a problem or will present a real problem for his consultants and those who are advising him.

COOPER: Dana, couldn't you just say -- and let me just play devil's advocate here -- couldn't you just say, well, look, this is just the Perry campaign trying to muddy the waters, that Romney scored some blows against Perry during various debates saying that he was basically encouraging illegals to come to Texas with the DREAM Act, by his support of it, they're just trying to muddy the waters?

LOESCH: Well, you could say that, but Perry didn't have anything to do with this. This was all Romney's doing.

Two points that really need to be addressed here, first and foremost that these rules went into effect May 1, 2004, while Mitt Romney was governor. These rules went into effect, and it stated clearly that your citizenship status, your immigration status will have no effect on your eligibility. This passed while Mitt Romney was still governor. So the Deval Patrick argument does not work.


COOPER: What about Susan's argument that the federal government requires that people be treated...

LOESCH: Right. Well, no, and, look, I understand that point because -- and I think that perhaps the intent behind this was to encourage illegal immigrants to stop using the emergency room as a primary care facility.

But there's a problem with that. And the problem is we know just last year $400 million was spent on this particular program and a little over one million clinic visits and hospital visits were paid for through this program. But the problem is we don't know how many of them were illegal immigrants, because Massachusetts doesn't record that data.

So if you're going to use this as an argument to say, well, the federal law says that we have to cover them, this program is us trying to reduce the cost, then you would think that the state would keep track of the number of illegal immigrants whose visits have been paid with this program. So we don't know how many. So I don't know how anyone can really use that argument to sort of boost their point here.

COOPER: Susan?

MOLINARI: Well, because the point is that you're accusing Governor Romney of including them. And I'm saying that it's the federal government that forced the governor to cover that in any legislation, as has been the case in states throughout this country.

And, in fact, under Deval Patrick, the current sitting governor, those ramifications and policy ramifications have only increased towards encouraging illegal immigrants to take that kind of action. So those are very valid points. That was not the reality set forth by Governor Romney in any way, shape or form.

COOPER: We will see how they continue -- or how this continues to play out on the campaign trail.

Dana Loesch, Susan Molinari, J.C. Watts, appreciate you being with us. Thank you very much.

Let us know what you think. We're on Facebook. Follow me on Twitter @AndersonCooper. I will be tweeting tonight. You're already tweeting me about it.

Up next, what's going on in there? Are Democrats wasting their time playing politics on a jobs bill, scheduling vote after vote that they know will fail, while unemployed Americans are pounding the pavement, or are Republicans obstructing a bill that most Americans say they want? We're "Keeping Them Honest." Also tonight, new video showing some of Moammar Gadhafi's final moments -- yet another video, the moments he was taken alive, really basically once and for all answers the questions about whether or not he was actually caught in crossfire, as the Libyan government is continuing to claim.

And, later, new surveillance video in the disappearance of that 11-month-old little baby girl, baby Lisa. Who is the shadowy figure on the tape and what clues, if any, could the tape offer in the search? This was taken the night she disappeared -- "Crime & Punishment" when we continue.


COOPER: "Keeping Them Honest" tonight, what Congress is doing instead of reaching agreement on efforts to put Americans back to work, what One side is calling Republican refusal to even consider Obama's jobs plan and what the other side is calling a Democratic ploy to keep putting that plan up for a vote, knowing full well that Republicans just won't pass it, the charge, Democratic political grandstanding instead of trying to reach a compromise that will help unemployed Americans.

Now, you can agree or disagree on that charge. We will talk more about it shortly, but, first, how we got here.

The president put forward a plan that polling shows a strong majority of Americans support, but nearly all Republicans and a handful of Democrats in Congress do not.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Some of you probably know that last month I sent Congress a piece of legislation called the American Jobs Act. Don't just applaud about it. Vote for it.


OBAMA: Vote for it.

And this is the bill that Congress needs to pass.

You should pass right away.

You should pass it right away.

Pass this jobs bill.


OBAMA: Now -- pass this bill.


OBAMA: We need to pass this bill. I don't care if you're a Republican or a Democrat. This is not the Republican jobs act. This is not called the Democratic jobs act. This is the American Jobs Act.


OBAMA: And everybody will be better off if we pass it.

Pass the jobs bill.

They should pass it right away. I'm ready to sign a bill. I have got the pens all ready.


COOPER: But Republicans quashed the bill in the House and blocked the Senate version from proceeding. They attack the president for playing politics with jobs and waging class warfare because the bill is financed by taxes on the wealthy.

So Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid breaks the bill into pieces, still with a millionaire tax. And though Republicans once again block it, Senator Reid says he will continue scheduling these votes.

On a conference call recently, a reporter asked him why.


QUESTION: So, if 75 percent of the American population supports taxing millionaires and you say that the problem is that the Senate GOP is not going to get on board with this, why not try to find another pay-for that the Senate GOP can get behind, instead of taxing millionaires?

SEN. HARRY REID (D-NV), MAJORITY LEADER: The Senate GOP has had a love affair for many years now with Grover Norquist. They will not touch anything dealing with revenue, nothing, even though they're not in touch with reality or their own constituents, but they are in touch with Grover Norquist.


COOPER: Well, Grover Norquist, by the way, is a conservative anti-tax GOP kingmaker.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell says it has got nothing to do with Grover Norquist and everything to do with Harry Reid and the White House playing politics.


SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY), MINORITY LEADER: These bills are designed on purpose not to pass. The president is deliberately trying to create an issue here.

I don't think the American people think that raising taxes on business, small business in the middle of this economic situation we find ourselves in is a particularly good idea.


COOPER: Well, he clearly believes that Americans want Republicans to stand their ground. And Senator Reid believes just as firmly that Americans support the Democratic position and need to be shown who is blocking it.

"Keeping Them Honest," when it comes to policy, the polling does support Senator Reid's funding mechanism for the jobs bill -- 76 percent favoring increasing taxes on people making more than $1 million a year. On the other hand, on the politics of scheduling vote after hopeless vote really to make a point, they may be on much shakier ground.

That same CNN/ORC poll shows that 69 percent of Americans believe Congress has done nothing, repeat nothing, to address the country's problems and this is part of it. Of that 69 percent, by the way, 28 percent blame Republicans, 18 blame Democrats and 18 percent blame both.

Joining me now, senior political analyst David Gergen and chief White House correspondent Jessica Yellin.

David, I mean, Democrats are being quite open about what they're doing here. They're saying, look, we're going to make Republicans vote on all these pieces of the president's jobs proposal. And if they vote them down, we will remind voters of that on the campaign trail.

That is kind of political game playing, is it not?


And I think most Democrats will tell you that privately. Right from the beginning, this jobs bill, while Democrats especially in the White House believe it would help, was designed to be more of a political document than a governing document, because the president asked that all of it be paid for through higher taxes, knowing full well that the Republicans would refuse.

And, ordinarily, Anderson, if you want to have a serious governing document, you put forward your proposal and you invite the other side to put forward theirs and then you sit down and compromise and see if you can reach an agreement, as they did with the very messy process around the debt ceiling.

Instead, the Democrats have chosen this other path. They want to make points. They want to show that the Republicans are the obstacle. Ultimately, they want to blame the Republicans for high unemployment. This is all about setting up an argument next November that it's the Republicans who refuse to go along.

But in terms of gamesmanship, Anderson, both sides have played this. The Republicans, remember, earlier this year passed the Ryan plan in the House, knowing full well it wasn't going anywhere in the Senate. But they wanted to make a point. They wanted to win an argument about entitlement reform and about cutting deficits.

COOPER: And, Jessica, Democrats are saying, well, look, Republicans were doing it, so now we're just doing it too just to make this point and to -- you know, we're now playing by their same rules. That's what I'm hearing from a lot of Democrats.


The reality is this is what parties do in an election year. The majority forces the minority to take unpopular votes. Does that lead to us a bright new tomorrow? No. But that's how this town sometimes works. I will make two points.

One is, Anderson, that it's true that the White House would be happy if some elements of this plan would pass because it would probably at least alleviate unemployment in the short term which would help the president in the election year. They do think that there are two pieces of it that will pass, the payroll tax cut and unemployment insurance.

But beyond that, it is a political game. What they're trying to do is point out that the Republicans are opposing these very, very popular elements of this plan, and then hold their feet to the fire because what is the president's other alternative in a terrible, terrible economy? He has to drive a campaign message. This is what he can do under the current circumstances.

COOPER: So, David, other than those two items that Jessica mentioned, it doesn't seem like there is much room for compromise. It just seems like a stalemate.

GERGEN: Well, there is talk among Republicans about trying to pass a piece of legislation that would repatriate the earnings that corporations have earned overseas, but they're not bringing back home because tax rates are so high here on corporate earnings.

And Republicans might be willing to cut a deal to do more on the jobs plan if the Democrats would go along with the repatriation argument. "The New York Times" editorialized today against repatriation for a variety of reasons. So I think there is still some bargaining. They did get the trade bills through. The president doesn't like to mention that. But he wouldn't have won those trade bills without Republicans passing the votes.

But the last point, Anderson, I think is this. The president is really playing -- and Jessica knows this better than I do -- the president's on a dual track policy. On one hand, he's trying to set up all the obstruction and blaming the Republicans for stopping things.

On the other hand, he's using the executive power of the presidency to try to get some positive things done, as he did today on housing and refinancing housing. That is -- both of those are trying to make political points: These guys, they're standing in the way. They're stopping all the progress. If it weren't for them, we'd have the unemployment rate down. Meanwhile, I'm fighting for you back home, a Bill Clinton policy.

Bill Clinton did this back in the '90s. It worked well for him as a Democrat.

COOPER: And, Jessica, in terms of the timetable, and the president does not have an indefinite period of time to define himself as the person who's going to turn the economy around. Voters are casting their votes in just a little bit more than a year from now.

YELLIN: You're exactly right and it's something that a lot of us miss, is this is his moment right now, before the Republicans pick a nominee, Anderson. The president has to try and persuade Americans now that he has a plan to fix the economy, that he has a vision for the future that can give voters hope.

David made the point. He's pitching his jobs bill saying that he has this vision for the future and that if the Congress doesn't pass it, then most of the campaign strategy is to run against that broken system that he's arguing that he has tried to fix. He will run against Washington, but at the same time, as David makes the point, he's also using his executive power to do whatever he can to show that he is trying every day in different ways to work on the economy.

Now, Republican pollsters I have talked to say that strategy won't work. They relish the opportunity to run against it because they argue a sitting president can't run against the government he heads. The president's team believes differently.

COOPER: Jessica, David Gergen, thanks very much. Appreciate it.

Coming up: new video of Moammar Gadhafi's final moments -- new questions about how he died, what an autopsy showed, and when he will be buried, when they're going to take him out of that meat locker that he's currently in. We will have the latest next.

Also ahead, could be a new piece of the puzzle in the search for missing 11-month-old Lisa Irwin -- surveillance video from the night she was last seen in her crib. We're going to take a look at how the investigation is going, whether police think they are any closer to finding baby Lisa.


COOPER: A Libyan official says Moammar Gadhafi will likely be buried tomorrow. The news came today, the same day that the bodies of 53 people believed to be Gadhafi supporters were found in a hotel in Sirte, a hotel under the control of anti-Gadhafi fighters. That's according to Human Rights Watch.

Meanwhile, tonight, new video of Gadhafi's final moments and new questions about his death. Now, the video is from right after Gadhafi was pulled from a drainage ditch in Sirte. Again, I do want to warn you, the images you are about to see are graphic.

The autopsy on Gadhafi has been done. The chief pathologist says he died of a gunshot wound to the head. Amateur video obtained by Reuters purports to show fighters praising a man they say killed Gadhafi, the man holding the handgun in this video. We cannot confirm that is the man who pulled the trigger.

And in fact there are still a lot of questions remaining about the circumstances of Gadhafi's death.

Earlier, I spoke with senior international correspondent Dan Rivers, who is there.


COOPER: So, Dan, this latest video, it offers even clearer insight into Gadhafi's final moments. If there was any doubt left after what we saw last week, this seems to pretty definitively contradict the Libyan government's claim that Gadhafi was killed in crossfire.


I mean, there is just more and more evidence emerging every day that contradicts the official accounts that he was killed in the crossfire. I even spoke to yet another person who claims to have witnessed his -- quote -- "execution" today when we were watching people queue up to see his body.

And I asked why they executed him. And he said, well, they didn't want people to get killed, pro-Gadhafi people trying to come in and rescue Gadhafi and cause even more fighting and that's why they decided to execute both him and Mutassim.

Now, I have no idea if that guy is telling the truth. But when you put it together with the videos that have come out and the other kind of circumstantial evidence, especially with Mutassim, the son, who you see in one video clearly captured, clearly not with life- threatening injuries, and then suddenly he winds up with eight bullets in him, it is kind of difficult to explain how that happened. And that hasn't been explained properly yet by the transitional government here.

COOPER: And I guess, Dan, there are those who say, look, why does it matter, it doesn't matter, other than for the historical record.

RIVERS: Well, I think it matters because it sets the whole tone of this government and the rule of law and their attitude towards human rights and to justice and to finding out what happened in the past.

And I think there was a great hope here that the brutality of the Gadhafi regime would be left behind, and they would move to something new, which respected human rights and respected the rule of law. And this has got them off on a very bad footing, I think a lot of people think.

COOPER: There's a claim tonight by the government of Libya that Gadhafi's son, Saif al-Islam, is trying to escape Libya on a fake passport. Do we know, is that true? Do we know any latest information?

RIVERS: Well, we've had one NTC source suggesting the same thing to us. Frankly, we don't know. I don't think anyone knows. They've had reports of him being captured before, which have been wrong. We were getting reports earlier in the week that he was surrounded; his convoy was surrounded. That apparently didn't turn out to be true. That he's in hospital.

I think we have to be pretty skeptical with this. But having said that, the other family members have flown to Algeria and Niger, so I think it's possible that he could try and do the same thing.

COOPER: It's amazing to me that he hadn't -- that they hadn't tried to get out before this.

You've actually been with Gadhafi's corpse in that meat locker where it's being kept. How long is it going to be kept there? I mean, is this becoming a tourist attraction?

RIVERS: It is becoming a very macabre tourist attraction. I get the impression that they are preparing to do something with the body. We were there today. And they were clearly trying to close down that kind of show for the public. Unsuccessfully. They kept on trying to close the gate, then more people would turn up, and there would be a bit of a scene as they argued and persuaded the guards to let them in. But they're clearly trying to end this now, I think.

And you know, there are various reports suggesting, including some sources we're talking to suggesting he's going to be buried either tonight or tomorrow out in the desert, possibly being taken, the body, by helicopter to a very remote spot. I mean, the last thing they want is for, you know, his grave to turn into a shrine for pro- Gadhafi loyalists.


RIVERS: But frankly, it's not the burial that is the issue. It's the manner in which he died.

COOPER: It's all remarkable. Dan Rivers, appreciate it.

Let's check in with other stories we're following. Susan Hendricks has a "360 News & Business Bulletin" -- Susan.

SUSAN HENDRICKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, in Turkey rescuers are using heavy machinery, shovels, even their hands tonight in a desperate search for survivors of Sunday's devastating earthquake. At least 279 people are now confirmed dead, another 1,300 injured. The 7.2 quake hit Sunday afternoon, wiping out nearly 1,000 buildings.

In Kenya, at least one person is dead after an explosion in a crowded bus station in downtown Nairobi. It happened during rush hour just a few blocks from the site of a separate blast at a nightclub that injured 12 this morning. WikiLeaks says that it's suspending publication to raise money to stay afloat. Bank of America, Visa and other financial firms have blocked payments to the controversial Web site which relies on donations. As a result, WikiLeaks has lost 95 percent of its revenue, according to founder Julian Assange.

Hurricane Rina is now gaining strength. Now a Category 1, the Pacific storm could hit Category 3 within the next 48 hours. Currently lumbering up the coast of Mexico, Rina is expected to make landfall in the Yucatan Peninsula later this week.

On the West Coast, reports say that up to 20 million tons of trash washed out to sea by that tsunami in Japan last March are heading our way to the West Coast. Researchers say the debris, everything from furniture to fishing boats, could hit the U.S. in the next three years -- Anderson.

COOPER: Wow. That's crazy. Susan, thanks.

Still ahead in "Crime & Punishment" tonight, new information in the search for Baby Lisa, baby Lisa Irwin. Surveillance video capturing a stranger roaming the streets the night she disappeared. Are police any closer to finding her? Does this video really mean anything?

Also the defense calls in first witnesses in the Michael Jackson death trial. At least a dozen people are expected to testify in Dr. Conrad Murray's behalf. His case when we continue.


COOPER: "Crime & Punishment" in Missouri tonight. A new clue in the search for Lisa Irwin. Surveillance video taken the night she disappeared. The grainy video from a gas station less than two miles from the Irwin home shows someone walking along the wooded road shortly before the baby's parents reported her missing. An unusual sight, according to the station manager there.

Now, it's been weeks since Lisa vanished, seemingly without a trace, and so far, neither Lisa's parents nor the Kansas City police are any closer to explaining how the little girl disappeared or where she is today. Sandra Endo reports.


SANDRA ENDO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Exactly three weeks ago on October 4, then-10-month-old Lisa Irwin disappeared. Her father, Jeremy Irwin, says he came home from his night shift at 4 a.m. in the morning to a parent's worst nightmare.

JEREMY IRWIN, FATHER OF MISSING BABY: The front door was unlocked. Most of the lights were on in the house. And the window was -- in the front was open. And that's when we realized she was gone.

ENDO: Less than 12 hours earlier on October 3 at around 5 p.m., this surveillance video shows mother Deborah Bradley grocery shopping without the baby, buying a box of wine and other items. She told investigators she went home, put the baby to sleep, and went out on the stoop to drink the wine with a neighbor. She admitted this on "The Today Show."

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Were you drinking that night?



BRADLEY: Enough to be drunk.

ENDO (on camera): She first told investigators the last time she saw Lisa was at 10:30 October 3. Then a week later she changed her story and said she put the baby to sleep at 6:30 before drinking. Bradley says when she went to sleep, the lights were off in her home. The next thing she knew, the baby was missing.

BRADLEY: Please, please, please call the TIPS hotline if you know where she's at. Then if you have her, please just take her somewhere safe. No questions asked.

CYNDY SHORT, LAWYER FOR MISSING GIRL'S PARENTS: She's done the best she can to do all she can to tell the investigators what they need to know. And as a result of that, it's portrayed her in a light that isn't as favorable.

ENDO: Is she being open and honest with them now? Because some reports we're hearing from the other side is that she isn't cooperating.

SHORT: This family has cooperated in every way they could possibly cooperate.

ENDO (voice-over): Here's an inside look at the Irwin home obtained by ABC News. It appears to show baby Lisa's crib and the box of wine Bradley drank that night.

It also shows the bedroom where, on October 17, two weeks after Lisa went missing, police say a cadaver dog made a positive hit for a dead body on the floor near the bed. Two days after that, police searched the home and took evidence, including a comforter, some clothes, a toy and rolls of tape, but no evidence of the baby.

CAPTAIN STEVE YOUNG, KANSAS CITY POLICE DEPARTMENT: It really just takes the one right nugget of information to kick this thing off in high gear, and that's what we're still looking and waiting for.

ENDO: Police say three people have come forward, claiming they saw a man walking in the dark on the street, carrying a baby in a diaper the night of Irwin's disappearance.

Authorities are looking at this surveillance video from a gas station less than a mile and a half from the Irwin home. It shows an unidentified person walking along the street at around 2:15 the morning Lisa vanished from her crib. Officials say there are still no suspects, and they're not ruling out anything in the search.

Sandra Endo, CNN, Kansas City, Missouri.


COOPER: Bill Stanton is a private investigator working with the Irwin legal team. He joins us now.

So you have this new surveillance tape of a person walking nearby a gas station the night that Baby Lisa went missing. Does it really help at all?

BILL STANTON, PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR: It's interesting, but the answer is no.

The interesting part is it works with the timeline of everything that's laid out. It also coincides with the three witnesses that saw someone that they believe was carrying a baby, an infant in their arms at that time. I find that highly unusual and interesting that three separate witnesses all corroborate the same thing. And if you look at the linear timeline and trail leading from the house to the gas station, it kind of makes you tilt your head and think about it.

COOPER: What about this positive hit for the scent of a body that was found by a cadaver dog in the family's home? You say that doesn't fit with the timeline, why?

STANTON: Well, I'm never going to speak against the KCPD or the FBI. But I -- you know, there are false positives. And the reason why I say it doesn't fall in with the timeline, is because how long, if -- one would have to believe that Deborah murdered or by accident killed her child. And that would have to be done right -- with the children right there, and there's no evidence that they saw anything or heard anything.

And how long was that child expired? You know, how long does the body have to be there for the dog to do a hit? Is it one second after a person dies? No. From my -- from my information, it takes a little longer than that. And that's why it doesn't fit in with the timeline as I see it.

Now maybe the KCPD knows something I don't, and you know, they're doing a fine job. But until I hear more, I still think the assailant, the perpetrator came from outside the home.

COOPER: You said they're doing a fine job. There has been some harsh criticism of the Kansas City Police Department by the family's lawyers. Do you find any fault with their investigation?

STANTON: No. I'll never say anything against them. They do -- let's face it, they do a thankless job. And I think they're heroes. I think the true bad guy -- we have to keep focus. The true bad guy is the person or persons that has done this to this child. And I do believe the child is out there alive. And that's why there's a $100,000 reward. And I want to keep focus that that baby is still out there. COOPER: Do you have any theories or beliefs on what may have occurred?

STANTON: I absolutely have theories, but Anderson, I do not want to interfere with the investigation. I feel all hands on deck, hands off that investigation and I don't want to muddy the waters. They have a tough enough job.

COOPER: All right. Fair enough on that. Bill Stanton, appreciate you being with us. Thanks.

STANTON: Thank you.

COOPER: More "Crime & Punishment" ahead. After dozens of witnesses, graphic autopsy photos, dramatic audiotape, the prosecution has rested in the Michael Jackson death trial. Now it's the defendant, Conrad Murray's, turn. We'll take a look at what his defense may hinge on.

And later on "The RidicuList" tonight, all you Halloween haters, you think America's sweetheart, Courtney Stodden, is too sexy for the pumpkin patch? Oh, no.


COOPER: Another "Crime & Punishment" report. The prosecution rested its case in the Michael Jackson death trial. Lawyers for Dr. Conrad Murray began calling their first witnesses. The trial is in its fourth week. Closing arguments could come as early as Friday. Nearly three dozen witnesses testified for the prosecution. Over the next several days, the defense is expected to call more than a dozen witnesses to challenge the state's case.

Randi Kaye has details now -- Randi.

RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, for the first time we heard from Dr. Alan Metzger, one of Michael Jackson's former doctors, an internist who met him about 15 or 20 years ago.

Now, he told the jury in court that he had seen Jackson a few times in the last decade or so to discuss his health. They talked about nutrition and also the excitement and fear that apparently Jackson had about his upcoming concert tour. But the defense, Anderson, zeroed in on a conversation that Dr. Metzger had with Michael Jackson on April 18, 2009, just four months before he died. Listen.


ED CHERNOFF, CONRAD MURRAY'S ATTORNEY: Did he mention to you any specific medicine that he hoped to obtain for these sleep issues?

DR. ALAN METZGER, FORMER DOCTOR OF MICHAEL JACKSON: He asked me about intravenous sleep medicine.

CHERNOFF: Did he happen to mention the name of this medicine? METZGER: I think he used the word "juice." I don't think I heard the word of a specific medication.


KAYE: Now, the defense clearly was trying to show that Jackson had requested I.V. anesthetic from other doctors, not just Dr. Conrad Murray, but here's the problem, Anderson, for the defense. Dr. Metzger says he never gave Jackson Propofol or any other intravenous sleep medication. The prosecution jumped on that. Listen to this.


DAVID WALGREN, PROSECUTOR: When Michael Jackson inquired about intravenous sleep medication, you explained to him that that was dangerous, life threatening and should not be done outside of a hospital, correct?

METZGER: That's correct.

WALGREN: Did you ever give Michael Jackson Propofol?


WALGREN: Is there any amount of money that you would have -- that would have convinced you to give him intravenous Propofol in his house?

METZGER: Absolutely not.


COOPER: So a nurse who treated Jackson also took the stand today. What part of her testimony had the biggest impact?

KAYE: Well, we're talking about nurse practitioner Cherilyn Lee. She met Michael Jackson, Anderson, back in 2009, just about six months before he died. He died in June of that year. She testified that he told her that he was having trouble sleeping, so she got him to try some natural remedies, including some shakes. But in April of '09 he told her that they just weren't working.

She suggested sleep studies to find out why he wasn't sleeping. But they never even got to that in the end.

Her testimony today was brief, and it will continue tomorrow, where she's sure to be asked about what she's told CNN in numerous interviews: that Michael Jackson had asked her about Diprivan, which as you know, is another name for Propofol, the powerful anesthetic that the medical examiner says killed Michael Jackson. Jackson had told her that he just wanted to be, quote, "knocked out."

And she told him, quote, "If you take this, you might not wake up." We'll hear much more about this from her tomorrow, Anderson.

But again, this is the defense trying to show that Jackson did have a sleeping disorder. He was looking for this drug. But the problem is that the people that they're putting on the stand to show that, also refused to give him the Propofol, unlike Dr. Conrad Murray.

COOPER: I mean, is it possible he's going to take the stand, Murray?

KAYE: It doesn't seem that way. I mean, they expect they could wrap up their case, the defense's case on Thursday. And as of now there is absolutely no indication that they're going to put Conrad Murray on the stand.

COOPER: Yes, that's obviously not something the defense would want to do.

Randi, appreciate it. Thank you very much.

"The RidicuList" just ahead. First Susan Hendricks joins us with a "360 Bulletin" -- Susan.

HENDRICKS: Anderson, an Iranian man accused of plotting to assassinate Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the United States pleaded not guilty today before a federal judge. His alleged plan to hire a hit man to kill ambassador Adel al-Jubeir on U.S. soil was exposed by an undercover sting operation. A second man involved in the alleged plot remains at large.

You can say it's an overhaul of a federal mortgage refinancing program. That's in the works. It may help you. Under the new rules, homeowners who are current in their mortgage payments will qualify for new loans at today's low rates, no matter how far the value of their homes has fallen.

And first lady Michelle Obama is a budding author. She is coming out with a book called "American Grown: How the White House Kitchen Gardens Inspire Families, Schools and Communities." It's all about healthy gardening and eating. The book goes on sale next April. Proceeds will go to charity.

And now our "Beat 360" winners: viewers trying to outdo our staffers with a better caption for the photo we post on the blog. Here's the music.

Tonight here it is: Governor Mitt Romney in Concord, New Hampshire, filing paperwork to get on the primary battle -- ballot, that is.

Our staff winner is video editor Sam Meyer (ph). His caption: "Mitt Romney shocks New Hampshire voters by maintaining his policy position that he still wants to be president." I have to say, pretty funny.

Our viewer winner is Lori from Pennsylvania. Her entry: "Can I use that joke at the next Republican debate?"

Lori, congrats to you. "Beat 360" T-shirt, yours is on the way. There it is. And Anderson, back to you.

COOPER: Susan, thanks very much.

Coming up, apparently we now live in a world where you're not allowed to ride around in short shorts and stripper boots at a family- friendly pumpkin patch. What sort of world is this? Courtney Stodden sure wants to know. Who is she? Oh, you'll find out on "The RidicuList."


COOPER: Time now for "The RidicuList." And tonight we're adding all the Halloween haters who got Courtney Stodden kicked out of a pumpkin patch over the weekend. How dare you!

You remember Courtney Stodden. She's the teen bride of 51-year- old character actor Doug Hutchinson. With her parents' blessing, she married Doug when she was 16. She's 17 now, and they're in the process of getting a reality show. God bless them.

Courtney and Doug went out for some innocent fun, fall fun at a pumpkin patch yesterday, as newlyweds are wont to do. And wouldn't you know it? There just happened to be a professional photographer there.

According to Radar Online, some parents who took their kids to said pumpkin patch just were not in the Halloween spirit and, for whatever reason, thought Courtney and Doug's PDA was just inappropriate. The Halloween scroogers also reportedly took issue with the way Courtney was dressed. So after several complaints, she got thrown out.

Now, poor Courtney, she had no other choice but to walk her festive stripper boots right out of there and show off her pumpkins on the side of the road. There are other photos, oh, yes, but we can't show them on TV. Let's just say they show a little too much crack-o- lantern, if you will.

Getting thrown out of a pumpkin patch is just the latest injustice for these two kooky kids. Doug and Courtney have had to face the haters ever since they announced their union. But they're dealing with it well. Yes, they're holding up well. Here's an interview from "Good Morning America" in which Doug offers some cogent commentary while Courtney tries to eat her own face.


DOUG HUTCHINSON, MARRIED TO 17-YEAR-OLD: People are welcome to their opinions. That's what the world is about. If they -- if they need to feel this way, that's theirs to hold.


COOPER: What is she doing? I'm obsessed with that clip. These are just two people in love. And they get thrown out of a pumpkin patch like so much -- like trash, like rotting pumpkins.

Courtney likes to dress up. So what? Anyone who's familiar with her milieu -- yes, she has a milieu -- knows that she turns heads. To put it another way, when she's a-walkin', all jaws be droppin'.


COURTNEY STODDEN, MARRIED 51-YEAR-OLD (singing): When I'm a walking, all jaws by dropping. You try to be sly when I walk by. It's not my fault you can't control your guy.


COOPER: Oh, Courtney. She's only 17. Let's give her a break. Courtney has her whole life ahead of her. She even recently told Radar Online that she might even go to college. Take a look.


STODDEN: I want to go to college and study all of Doug, all of this body. And all the elements of them and what they do, and what they still do.


COOPER: Where is she? What, was he hanging on a -- I'm not even sure what she means. But I don't want it in my brain.

Can we just hear the chorus of that song where she's on the boat with her poor dog that she's dyed pink?


STODDEN (singing): Don't put it on me, girl. Don't put me on me, girl. Don't. Don't put it on me girl. Da-da-da-da-da-don't.


COOPER: There's a lot of head room in that shot.

That music video, by the way, that has almost 2.9 million hits on YouTube. That's right, the Internet. It's a pumpkin patch that's impossible to get thrown out of.

Courtney hasn't had it easy. She's constantly having to defend her marriage, her wardrobe choices, even her body parts.


STODDEN: My breasts are real. Everything about me is real. My hair is real, my teeth are real, my eyelashes are real. My breasts are totally real.


COOPER: Oh, my God, with a 16-year-old with real breasts? That's crazy. Really.

Halloween haters, it is real simple. You don't want to see a scantily clad 17-year-old making out with her 51-year-old husband, maybe you shouldn't go to a pumpkin patch. Yes. Yes, I said it, haters.

That's it for us. Thanks for watching. "ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT" starts now.