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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT

Mitt Romney in South Carolina; Keep or Close Military Bases; Under Surveillance

Aired January 5, 2012 - 19:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


ERIN BURNETT, HOST: Thanks, John.

The New Hampshire primary five days away, you saw that with John. Well what the frontrunners are doing to shore up support in New Hampshire and South Carolina tonight.

Then Michelle Parker vanished on November 17th, her mother OUTFRONT tonight with a plea and Stephen Colbert. Last night on his show, he flicked and then flushed me. I have a number of problems with that.

Let's go OUTFRONT.

Hello, I'm Erin Burnett and OUTFRONT tonight Mitt Romney begins a battle in South Carolina. So it's five days until the primary in New Hampshire, right, that's where the former Massachusetts governor has a solid lead. So where he decided to spend most of the day was South Carolina.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I want to restore to America the principles that have made us the powerhouse, morally, economically and militarily, in the entire world.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BURNETT: Romney, his pal John McCain, and his gal Nikki Haley, they were all there, gave a joint speech in Charleston. South Carolina's primary is January 21st and it's a whole new ball game. The "Palmetto State" has one of the highest concentration of evangelical voters in America; nearly half of the population identifies itself as evangelical, which doesn't exactly mean good things for Mitt Romney.

In Iowa, 34 percent of evangelicals voted for Rick Santorum, only 14 percent caucused for Mitt Romney. But here is what is amazing. We don't know if Romney has made inroads with the Christian right in South Carolina because the last polls are about a month old. And while even a week ago conventional wisdom was that Romney wouldn't and didn't need to win South Carolina the vibe has changed.

And now more people see it as a must-win state he if he is to be the presumptive nominee. Gloria Borger is our chief political analyst, John Avlon, of course, with us as well. Gloria, first of all, South Carolina, wasn't positioned as such a must-win state for Romney. But now he's the one down there pushing it days ahead of New Hampshire. Can he win?

GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: Well you know if you look at history first of all, no Republican ever has won the nomination without South Carolina. So if history is a guide, he ought to win it. Can he win it, very good question Erin. It is not entirely clear because of Rick Santorum right now. I just spoke with somebody high up in the Santorum campaign.

They are about to make a very large ad buy in the state of South Carolina. As you know from the wall the other night, Erin, when you were flicking away there, that strong moral character is the key to Santorum's support. Forty percent of the people who were looking for strong moral character were Santorum supporters and that is really important, in South Carolina. So Mitt Romney has a way to go there.

BURNETT: It is interesting you bring up the moral character going for Santorum. John Avlon, you were pointing at Reverend Brad Atkins in South Carolina, Baptist Convention saying quote, "In South Carolina Romney's Mormonism will be more of a cause of concern than Gingrich's infidelity", which would put him below both Santorum and Gingrich with that crucial group of voters.

JOHN AVLON, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: At least according to that analysis. There are parts (INAUDIBLE) Bob Jones University is in South Carolina. There are some folks in the hard core evangelical sect that may have a problem with Romney's religion, but I don't think it's going to be the vast majority. But Mitt Romney came in fourth in South Carolina in 2008 behind Fred Thompson. On the other hand, John McCain won South Carolina and he's decidedly centered compared to Mitt Romney, so there is room for a center right candidate to win South Carolina. It's just he's got to play hard and that's why he was down there today with Nikki Haley.

BURNETT: That's right and of course John McCain was down there. I want to play a sound bite of something that happened today in New Hampshire though regarding Rick Santorum that could be very interesting when it comes to South Carolina. This is a conversation with a student in New Hampshire, crucial because we know social issue is very different than South Carolina, talking about gay marriage.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RICK SANTORUM (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: If your point is, people should be allowed to do whatever makes them happy, right? Is that what you just said?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: As long as they don't harm other people.

SANTORUM: OK, so by -- so if they're not harming other people. Who determines whether they are harming people or not?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Anybody can --

SANTORUM: Well, if there is -- so everybody can understand it. Oh. Everybody can -- so we're not going to have courts.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is morals -- like what --

SANTORUM: So there is some objective standard.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (INAUDIBLE) right for two men to have the same rights as a man and a woman.

SANTORUM: Well what about three men?

(CROSSTALK)

SANTORUM: No, stop.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BURNETT: OK and we'll just play now the reaction at the end when this whole exchange ended of what happened to Rick Santorum.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SANTORUM: Thank you for your time and attention, thanks.

(APPLAUSE)

(BOOING)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BURNETT: Now that's New Hampshire. All right New Hampshire on social issues decidedly not like South Carolina, but does an exchange like that, a sound bite like that play differently in South Carolina.

AVLON: That whole exchange would play differently in South Carolina. Remember New Hampshire is the "Live Free or Die State". It's the least religious state in the nation, and Rick Santorum ain't no libertarian. But that kind of conservative populist traditional appeal can help him in South Carolina for better or worse.

BURNETT: Gloria, what do you think about how that might play or will play tonight to South Carolina?

BORGER: Well you know in South Carolina, people are more attuned to the social issues. In New Hampshire, it is more the economic issues. But I think what you saw there is Rick Santorum, welcome to the big leagues, welcome to the top tier. Because what happens when you're in the top tier, as you go around the state, you're going to have people who want to challenge you because they know that he is very conservative on social issues.

So you clearly had somebody in that audience who is opposed to his position on gay marriage. He is against gay marriage and you know sort of pushing him on it. And this is the test for someone as a candidate. You know he kind of seemed to let that get under his skin. And he is going to have to develop a way to not let that get under his skin as he continues campaigning in New Hampshire. It's a whole different state than Iowa.

BURNETT: All right let's bring in Joe Johns. He's been with Mitt Romney most of the day on the ground in Charleston. Joe, what was it like today you know in that crowd. You had John McCain obviously stumping for Mitt Romney and what's the feeling like? Are you getting a sense of enthusiasm for Mitt Romney, or no?

JOE JOHNS, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: I didn't really get a huge sense of enthusiasm. This was a polite audience and there were a lot of big wigs there. The governor of course of South Carolina, Nikki Haley, was there. John McCain was there. And it looked like the kind of stop where Mitt Romney wanted to come to South Carolina and say, I'm not forgetting you. I'm here. Look at me.

I brought along the guy who won the South Carolina primary four years ago. I hear he is making a few calls around the state. And I think they are putting their foot in the water and trying to figure out how they can get a leg up. They are also realizing -- I mean I communicated with them today, and they tell me they are under no illusions that in their view it is simply an uphill battle here for Romney but they certainly want to try to make as strong a showing as is possible -- Erin.

BURNETT: So what do you think about how this is going to go, John Avlon? Because you know you can make the argument they did, right? They don't need to win it. But then as Gloria pointed out, no one has ever won the nomination without it.

AVLON: Look you've got to play South Carolina. It is an important state and it is much more complex than the stereotype. South Carolina is a great state. I'm biased. My folks live there. But he really can complete there. John McCain won it in the past, but there are a lot of misconceptions about South Carolina. For example, him thinking that Nikki Haley support automatically brings the Tea Party, not so, in fact Nikki Haley is less popular than Barack Obama right now in South Carolina.

She's (INAUDIBLE) more of a national profile than a local profile. The argument I think that no one should avoid is economics, right? That's going to be Rick Santorum's strongest point. It is not just social issues. It's whether he can make the case about those closed mill towns that you know hey I've got a plan for manufacturing.

BURNETT: Right.

AVLON: That could help you and Mitt Romney has got to play on that field as well.

BURNETT: All right, Gloria --

(CROSSTALK)

BURNETT: Hazard a bet, how do you think when we get that next poll which I expect we will within the next 24 hours, you know last time we had it was at the peak of the Gingrich surge.

BORGER: Right -- right.

BURNETT: So what is your view of how at least in order it stacks out in South Carolina?

BORGER: I don't know. I think you're going to see Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich do pretty well in South Carolina. I think it all depends on what happens to Mitt Romney in New Hampshire. He is in the stratosphere right now in New Hampshire. If the other candidates -- even if he wins, which I think is probably likely, but he comes down from the stratosphere to a level that is more like what he has been getting, say 25 to 30 percent and still wins.

Then he will be perceived as very vulnerable. But if he has a lot of momentum, you know there's this old adage, Democrats fall in love with their candidates. Republicans fall in line, right? At a certain point, the Republicans may decide they fall in line. But here is the problem for Mitt Romney. Tea partiers don't like him very much and that will dog him in South Carolina.

BURNETT: All right, well thanks very much to both of you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And that's very true --

BURNETT: We appreciate it. And we're going to -- thanks to you Joe Johns as well. We're going to of course be speaking with Mitt Romney's top adviser later on in our show and put those questions to him (INAUDIBLE) coming up in a few minutes.

But next, President Obama has announced sweeping changes to America's military today as everyone focuses on the campaigning, a big story. And did you know we have 200,000 military sites around the world? That is not a joke. Is it time for America to start slashing?

And "Under Surveillance" tonight, the government and Facebook already use facial recognition on a daily basis, but there is a new group trying it out -- big business targeting you.

And the woman acquitted of murdering her 2-year-old daughter, Caylee, Casey Anthony has a bizarre new video. We're going to show it to you.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BURNETT: Now a story we have been OUTFRONT on from the beginning. Military cuts in the U.S., today President Obama announced a sweeping change to the way this country fights. The focus is not on fighting large ground battles, it is all about sea and air might, including drones to watch China and Iran. Now the move means nearly half a trillion dollars of cuts for the Pentagon budget, thousands of fewer troops. And with it a warning not of weakness thanks to cuts, but of getting more for less.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA (D-IL), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Our military will be leaner, but the world must know the United States is going to maintain our military superiority with armed forces that are agile, flexible and ready for the full range of contingencies and threats.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BURNETT: OUTFRONT tonight, the fallout begins. Tomorrow's headline in the UK's "Independent" reads, "Obama, the U.S. can no longer fight the world's battles." So what does this mean? Did you know there are more than 200,000 American military sites around the world, many in vital areas of interest? That's right, 202,178 American military sites on earth, South Korea, the Mideast.

Did you know there are also though assets in Aruba and the Bahamas? Do we need them all? We're bringing in two big military guns to weigh in. "Spider" Marks is the former commanding general of the U.S. Army Intelligence Center; retired Admiral Joe Sestak commanded an aircraft carrier group. Good to have both of you with us. That number is truly stunning, 202-plus thousand military sites around the world. Admiral Sestak, can we afford to slash some of them?

ADMIRAL JOE SESTAK, U.S. NAVY (RET.): Absolutely, a number of them are still legacy from the Cold War, particularly in the European theater. What is important today is do you have bases forward that might be ad hoc bases because we have relationship let's say with Kazakhstan. We've worked with them. They know us.

And when we need an air field suddenly we can fly in there and do what we need do to with regard to Afghanistan. But it is also why you've seen a greater independence or dependence upon mobile bases like aircraft carriers. We've also placed at sea increase in the Army troops. You actually have divisions of equipment floating at sea today. And I think you're going to see that more ad hoc type of base structure than fixed and forward.

BURNETT: General Marks, when you look at that headline out of the "Independent" though, it makes you realize that the rest of the world, there will be many who see this as America the weaker; America that cannot fight battles any more. Is that -- is there any truth in that interpretation?

MAJOR GEN. JAMES (SPIDER) MARKS, U.S. ARMY GENERAL (RET.): There's absolutely zero truth to that. Look how somebody wants to interpret it is clearly up to them, but there's --

BURNETT: The facts don't back it up.

MARKS: -- no underlying truth to that at all. The fact of the matter is, is Joe is spot on. Let's not focus on any type of presence in Aruba or the Bahamas. Let's focus on what we have done over the past 30 years. We have had pre-position stocks of equipment in a whole bunch of locations around the globe, to include the Indian Ocean for over 30 years to prepare and be ready for contingencies that we don't predict very well.

So clearly we have a great amount of experience in terms of how to fight and how to create influence where it needs to be -- where we need to create it. We must not rely on fixed locations that tie us down and spend a lot of money. But still we must have the ability, Erin, to put boots on the ground in order to achieve dominance and to achieve influence.

BURNETT: And let me ask you about China. I mean you know we can -- you can see China from so many different ways, right? OK, they've got that drone. They're going to get the technology. They've got these nuclear submarines or you could say they're still spending a lot less than America and have a long way to go. But one thing we know is that they are obsessed with one thing, and that is coming up with a counter to everything America has, when America's right (ph) to having all sorts of goals with its military. How big of a risk from China right now?

SESTAK: Well I think this is a very important issue. The --

BURNETT: Go ahead, Admiral.

SESTAK: The president has correctly changed our strategy, focus in the western Pacific where the strategic center of our interests will be for this century economically as well as security wise. But the other aspect of this change is changing to what "Spider" Marks here did in his whole career. He is saying it is no longer about how many ships you have, how many brigades you have, it is whether you begin to shape your force towards a new capability based on knowledge.

For one example, China has about 80 submarines. We've got about 50. Do we procure a lot more submarines at $2 billion apiece or do we begin to develop a censor system that can listen for machinery noise from submarines in the South China Sea from little buoys and can network that to some drone flying around to drop a torpedo. That's the reshaping that the president announced today. It is about capability not necessarily more structure.

BURNETT: All right. Well General Marks, Admiral Sestak, thanks to both. Interesting you both seem to think the president is doing the right thing and of course everyone out there let us know what you think because this opens the whole door to why China is so obsessed with hacking into our technology.

And that brings us to "Under Surveillance". Tonight it's about facial recognition. We have seen it used by the Homeland Security Department when we visited with Janet Napolitano and now you can see it on Facebook with photo tagging as an example, but now businesses from bars to big retail chains may all be using facial detection to target you. Now how and why? We asked Maneesha Mithal with the Federal Trade Commission that question.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MANEESHA MITHAL, FTC DIVISION OF PRIVACY & IDENTITY PROTECTION: Well, there are three uses that we've seen primarily to facial recognition technology. The first is photo organization and sharing sites, so the idea would be that I upload my photos on to a particular site and I can organize them through a company offering facial recognition technology.

The second use we've seen is in digital signs, so I might pass by a sign and it might record my age and gender so that it could serve me a targeted ad. And the third use we've seen is just an innovative use by apps. So for example, one of the things we've heard about is that there are cameras in particular bars and the cameras will record the general age and gender of the people in the bars and I can download an app and decide which bar to go to based on the age and gender of the people in that bar.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BURNETT: Well obviously privacy is a major concern and they are working on it. But at this point, all you can do is ask businesses and let customers know if they are using the technology. You can't stop it, that way supposedly you have a choice as to whether you're going to go in that bar or not. Obviously this is going to have a lot more to it.

A Florida missing mom, Michelle Parker vanished in November. We have spoken to her family several times and tonight her mother OUTFRONT with a plea and Stephen Colbert, so he thinks that he can he flick better than I can, but what he didn't tell you on his show last night (INAUDIBLE).

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BURNETT: So, on last night's "Colbert Report", TV host Stephen Colbert had some fun with me and on Tuesday I had trouble with my flick wall during our coverage of the Iowa caucuses and he called me out on it. That was pretty pathetic, I got to admit. But the thing is, is he took it a little bit further when he unveiled his own flicking device and proceeded to flick a picture of me around his set. Again I was OK with that until he actually flushed me down a toilet. Yes, that's what he did. He ended the segment -- let me just show you the toilet part here, OK? Here is --

(SOUNDS)

BURNETT: You see? OK. So that's where I started to have a problem. But then he ended his segment with this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you -- what's this? CNN, is this your graphic --

(LAUGHTER)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Pow.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BURNETT: That brings me to tonight's number, 2005. That's the year that photo was taken, on my first day at CNBC. So Stephen, when you ask, is this your graphic, CNN? The answer is, no. And look, it's not a big deal you probably were just excited about your new toy, you forgot you were a pretend journalist for a second. I mean it happens. You know I remember I was excited when I got to try my first flick wall too. But the truthiness is, Stephen, I don't want to fight with you. It's sort of like Michael Jackson said.

(MUSIC)

BURNETT: "To flick with you all night".

(MUSIC)

BURNETT: Any time, anywhere, Colbert, I just want to flick with you. I will bring my flick wall. You bring your flick-tronic trons (ph) 5600 whatever, whatever and then we'll settle it once and for all.

You've got to love Michael Jackson in general. He is the "king of pop" for a reason, which is why we use one of his first number one hits, flick -- I mean sorry, "Rock with You". It topped the charts for four weeks and they continue to use it to promote all of his greatest hits packages. His album "Bad" holds the record for the most number of -- number one songs off one album. But that could change because Katy Perry has five number one songs on her album, "Teenage Dream". Just one more she'll beat the "king of pop". She is close.

Her song "The One That Got Away" is currently number three. Now this is just one of a lot of surprising numbers in music. Adele's "21" rocked the charts 5.82 million copies, the best selling album of the year. 2011 also the first year of digital music sales topped physical music sales. But here is what we liked from the Neilson Billboard Report, and that's our second number tonight, 3.9. That is how many million vinyl records were sold last year -- vinyl. It's over a million more than last year and the fourth straight year of sales increases. That's right --

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BURNETT: Still OUTFRONT, the "OutFront 5": A parent's plea.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They are so important to me and my family.

BURNETT: Casey's bizarre video.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This has just been such a blessing in so many ways.

BURNETT: All this OUTFRONT in our second half.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BURNETT: We start the second half of our show with stories we care about, where we focus on our own reporting, do the work and find the OUTFRONT five.

And first, the Department of Defense will investigate a classified information was leaked to the filmmakers of the movie about the death of Osama bin Laden. Congressman Peter King called for an investigation, claiming the White House and Pentagon gave the filmmakers access to special tactics used in the bin Laden raid.

In a statement sent to OUTFRONT, the Republican said, quote, "The leaks that followed the successful bin Laden mission led to the arrest of Pakistanis and put in danger the mission's heroes and their families."

Now, the White House has denied sharing any classified information.

Number two, Barnes & Noble announcing it's considering spinning off its Nook unit. Nook, of course, is its e-reader. Overall, the company says holiday Nook sales rose 70 percent over last year, but lower sales of the cheaper Nook simple touch actually caused the company to cut its overall sales outlook.

Barnes & Noble shares have been hammered on Wall Street, down 17 percent.

Third, General Motors announcing a fix for the Chevy Volt. Now, there were concerns about how well the Volt's battery was protected because two cars caught fire weeks after a crash test.

Now, we took a look at what G.M. is doing. The company will strengthen existing protection surrounding the battery and adding a censor that's going to monitor cooling levels.

Now, there is not an official recall. The company is calling it a, quote, "customer satisfaction campaign."

Number four, initial claims for unemployment benefits fell by 15,000 to 372,000. Now, the four-week moving average, which is volatile and therefore much more important, fell to its lowest level. This is really important since June of 2008, right before the world fell off a cliff with Lehman Brothers. This was the final piece of jobs data before we get the big December employment report tomorrow.

Economists polled by CNN Money are expecting employers added 150,000 jobs, but that the unemployment rate will tick higher to 8.7 percent.

Well, it has been 153 days since the U.S. lost its top credit rating. What are we doing to get it back?

Well, check this out. A few weeks ago, this -- it's coming, maybe it's coming. Well, it was the cover of "TIME" magazine. There it is. It said, "Why Don't They Like Me?" And there you see Mitt Romney's face.

Well, now, here is today's cover. So how do you like me now? So do you like me now?

So, really, have things changed post-Iowa? Mitt Romney just won, of course, in Iowa. It looks like he's going to win in New Hampshire. Our strike team says he is the best Republican candidate on the economy. But the narrative remains, a lack of passion, the electorate for the former Massachusetts governor.

Mitt Romney's top adviser is Eric Fehrnstrom and he is OUTFRONT tonight.

Eric, thanks so much for being with us. I really appreciate it. I know you are in the midst of a very busy few days.

But I wanted to ask you this, because, you know, a few weeks ago in Iowa, people said, you know what, Mitt Romney is a winner as long as he comes in to the top three. Excuse me. It was a given you would win New Hampshire. South Carolina wasn't a big deal.

Now, you come in first in Iowa. Sorry. I don't know what it is. I'm having a little coughing attack.

And that wasn't perceived as that great. Do you feel the bar has been placed unfairly high?

ERIC FEHRNSTROM, SENIOR ADVISORT TO MITT ROMNEY: Well, actually, six weeks ago, Erin, nobody was predicting that Mitt Romney would win the Iowa caucus. Of course, we are thrilled with the outcome there. Now, we are in New Hampshire and I know what the polls are showing, but I can tell what you Mitt Romney's frame of mind is.

And his frame of mind is, he is running as if he is three points behind. I think that's how you have to treat campaigning in New Hampshire. We have honored their traditions. We have honored their first of the nation status. Mitt Romney has done many, many events in New Hampshire and we hope to do well.

I think it's worth noting that the last three Republican primaries there were decided by six points or less.

BURNETT: Right.

FEHRNSTROM: So you can expect some narrowing, some narrowing of the contest as we get closer to the voting. But we like the state of the race right now. We like the fact obviously that we finished first in Iowa. As we said, no one was expecting it.

We'll see what happens on Tuesday, and then it's off to South Carolina and Florida.

BURNETT: So, what is a win for Mitt Romney in New Hampshire? I mean, obviously, now you are polling up 47 or so percent. Everyone says it will narrow a little bit. But what is the overwhelming win that's going to make you give a high-five when that winner is announced?

FEHRNSTROM: Well, Erin, I'm not going to make any predictions bout what's going to happen in New Hampshire. I do think that you have to earn the vote in New Hampshire. And Mitt Romney has demonstrated that he's going to work hard everyday for every vote that gets cast on Tuesday.

So, we take nothing for granted. We don't consider ourselves the odds-on favorite for the nominee. We're not overconfident in any way. We do believe that Mitt Romney is the best person to lead on jobs in the economy. That's the first thing that voters are looking for. And then secondly, for Republican voters have sensed that Obama is weak and vulnerable, we think that Mitt Romney is the best person to defeat him in November.

BURNETT: All right. And what about South Carolina? That's another one where people thought, OK, well, maybe at the time, the last polls we have obviously were Newt Gingrich coming in strong first. New polls are going to come out. Obviously, Mitt Romney was in South Carolina today.

South Carolina now considered by your campaign a must-win?

FEHRNSTROM: Look, you know, four years ago Mitt Romney finished fourth in South Carolina in that primary. So we are under no illusions about how difficult it will be for us in that state. But we're going to work hard, just as we are working hard in New Hampshire. We're going to try to earn every vote that we can.

BURNETT: All right. And a final question on super PACs. I know there's been a lot of comment about this, a lot of frustration among people like Newt Gingrich, about super PACs that were supporting Mitt Romney running negative ads in Iowa. Mitt Romney was on -- with Joe Scarborough saying he doesn't like super PACs and wish they didn't exist.

Now, Barack Obama said the same thing and he's got super PACs. So, if the general election ends up being Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, would Mitt Romney say let's shake hands and no super PACs?

FEHRNSTROM: Well, the state of the law, Erin, is that candidates don't control these outside groups. You're right. There are a lot of people operating. Some of them are running advertising against Mitt Romney, including the president's super PAC which you just mentioned.

I think the two key things to keep in mind with regard to these outside groups, is one, the candidates can't control them. But two, for the Republican nominee, whoever that person is going to be, they have to expect an onslaught of negativity from the Obama campaign machine. We are prepared to take that head on. We're not going to complain about it, we're going to fight back.

BURNETT: All right. Eric Fehrnstrom, thank you very much. Appreciate your taking the time.

Romney's top adviser joining us from New Hampshire tonight.

I want to bring in our political contributor and Democratic strategist James Carville now. And let me ask you for your reaction. Strategically, you hear how he is talking. We are playing like we are three points behind.

Can you hear me, there?

JAMES CARVILLE, CNN POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR: Yes, right here.

BURNETT: OK, good. What I was saying is strategically, what do you think about the way Romney is playing this? We are playing like we are three points behind, we don't want to act like we're the winner. I mean, is that the way to play it?

CARVILLE: Yes, for sure. He did a good job. That's exactly what I would say if was in his position. I mean, he wants to tap down expectations.

Look, he's got a good hand. He's going to get the nomination. As I said before, this is a weak field for a challenge in a weak front-runner but he's certainly, you know, going to end up a nominee and I thought he played his cards just right. I would have said everything he said.

I was listening very intently to what he said, and I didn't disagree with anything he said about expectations.

BURNETT: All right. So strategically, you think they are doing good job. But what about this New Hampshire situation. I'm curious from your perspective whether you think it's a lock for Romney. And I know he is running at, what, 40 plus percent, 47 percent in some polls, 41 percent in latest. Seventeen percent of voters, though, still undecided in New Hampshire. Forty percent of voters in that state are registered independent. Of course, they are allowed to vote in the primary.

So, one, is it a lock? And two, what is the resounding win that Mitt Romney needs? And what's a win, I don't know, makes people think he doesn't have what it takes?

CARVILLE: First of all, he has a superb campaign. He has a superb spokesman. He has superb television. The problem to have is Mitt Romney.

And he'll do better in New Hampshire than some other states because independents will be able to vote. The key number to me would be the number of his percent of Republicans. And we'll have to see what that is. But I hate to use these kind of words but yes, he is a prohibitive favorite to win and the I would be stun if he didn't win, as would Mitt Romney.

But he will do better as John McCain did when he ran against Bush in 2000. He could get everybody to vote for him but other Republicans.

If you look Romney's vote in Iowa, he didn't do any better than he did four years ago under 2008, in spite of having a very good campaign and very good spokespeople on television.

BURNETT: All right. Well, we'll see how it goes. James Carville, thanks so much. Great to see you. See you next week in New Hampshire. CARVILLE: Thank you. Glad you got your voice back. Glad you got your voice and I'm glad you didn't flick me off there. Thank you.

(LAUGHTER)

BURNETT: All right.

Now let's check in with Anderson with a look at what's coming up on "A.C. 360".

Hey, Anderson.

ANDERSON COOPER, HOST, "A.C. 360": Hey, Erin.

We're keeping them honest tonight. Race is moving to the forefront in the Republican presidential race. Rick Santorum trying to build off his strong showing in Iowa but instead he is having to answer questions about his views on African-Americans. He says he was tongue-tied. We'll play the remarks he made and let you decide exactly what he said.

Newt Gingrich also taking heat for comments he's made on the NAACP and food stamps. We'll talk with our panel about all of that.

In Syria, the killing continues. Twenty-four more people died today. Tonight on "360", the inside story, a Syrian defense department defector calling it genocide, saying the government can no longer control, the, quote, "human monsters" it pays $100 a day to kill its own people. Remarkable stuff.

Those stories and tonight's "Ridiculist" all at the top of the hour, Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Anderson, looking forward to seeing all of that.

In the meantime, Michelle Parker, the Florida missing mother, has been missing since November, her parents are OUTFRONT next.

And you read the book, now meet the women behind it. Amy Chua, the tiger mom, OUTFRONT.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BURNETT: We did this at the same time every night, our "Outer Circle" -- where we reach out to our sources around the world.

First, attacks across Iraq, a wave of explosions killing at least 60 people. Violence targeted Shiites and renewed fears of increasing sectarian bloodshed.

Adeed Dawisha is a public policy scholar at Woodrow Wilson Center. And we asked him, now that we pulled out of Iraq, is it falling apart into Civil War?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) ADEED DAWISHA, PUBLIC POLICY SCHOLAR, WOODROW WILSON CENTER: There's enough fluidity in the situation that any talk of civil war is at the present premature. The are -- both blocks are fractured and therefore there is a lot of space for coalitions between the Shiites and the Sunnis.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BURNETT: All right. Casey Anthony is speaking out. But it's not a scintillating tell-all interview, or a book about her life. This is a four-minute video diary that was actually leaked on to the web, looking drastically different from the day she was acquitted last July of murdering her 2-year-old daughter Caylee.

Anthony speaks about trivial things like her new computer, the dog she adopted, and her upcoming birthday. There was no sign of remorse and no mention of Caylee or her family.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CASEY ANTHONY: Just so surreal how much things have changed in July and how much things haven't changed. But the good thing is, is that things are starting to look up and things are starting to change in a good way.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BURNETT: Anthony's lawyer says the video is part after memoir and was not released, saying that, quote, "She did not authorize it and therefore it had to be obtained illegally."

Mike Galanos covered the trial from start to finish on Headline News. He's here tonight to talk about this.

And, Mike, could you just explain what happened here? How did this get out on the web?

MIKE GALANOS, HLN: Well, we talked to a woman by the name of Holly Briley (ph). Now, she has a Facebook page, basically, it's a boycott Casey Anthony page. She said that there was a post sent to her page, kind of like inviting her into this video that you had to pay 3 bucks for.

She and her husband somehow downloaded the video without paying the three bucks. This is her claims, and she thought, doggone it, I'm getting this on YouTube for free so anybody can watch it for free and Casey Anthony is not going to make a dime, i.e., the 3 bucks.

Because you do had math, it would add up pretty quick, Erin.

BURNETT: Right.

GALANOS: You know, at 3 bucks a pop, a thousand views, 3 grand and so on. It could add up pretty quick. So that's what this Holly Briley had to say, that it was a Facebook issue and she said, I'm putting it on YouTube. That's how she's claiming it got out there. BURNETT: And what are the implications here? I mean, I listened to the whole thing. It was about 4 minutes, 21 or 31 seconds. No mention of Caylee. No remorse. I mean, the only thing she mentioned was her newly adopted dog.

GALANOS: Isn't that something? You know, we watched it like you over and over again and counted where she said the words my or mine, 40 plus times. And that fits with the narcissist that we've seen Casey Anthony to be, all about her.

And the cynics out there, and I guess admittedly, I'm one of them, that would say, you know, this is a business move. Her name has not been in the news. She hasn't landed that big money interview as of yet. So, let's get letter name back out there.

And to your point, Erin, nothing of substance is mentioned, other than she is happy to have a computer and a camera and some things to call her own. A new dog.

And then the thing that gets you that says, oh, I hate the camera, maybe I can conquer that fear. She's been mugging for the camera for three years, ever since we have known her.

BURNETT: And so, obviously, you have -- she indicated this is like the first of a series.

GALANOS: Exactly. The first of many.

BURNETT: Memoirs, right? I guess.

GALANOS: Right. Memoirs. Video diary, so to speak. And she claims this was taped in October, which leads to one question, why release it now? The cynics, like myself, would say, well, to get your name back in the news and this is the teaser. It's been done in black and white.

We have had video people say, hey, this was a post-production thing. This was not a black and white camera. This was post- production. There were some edits going on here and this could be to your point, the first of many.

BURNETT: Wow. All right, Mike Galanos, thank you very much.

All right. We have some breaking news now. "The Boston Globe" coming out with an endorsement and let's find out who it is.

Pete Canellos is the opinion editor of "The Boston Globe." He joins us on the phone.

Pete, who is it?

PETE CANELLOS, EDITOR, BOSTON GLOBE (via telephone): We are supporting Jon Huntsman.

BURNETT: Jon Huntsman? And why? CANELLOS: Well, there are many, many reasons. Certainly, his solid record in Utah, his experience as ambassador to China. But mostly his commitment to bipartisanship, his commitment to fixing Congress and his overall demeanor during the campaign, I think have really stood out.

BURNETT: And I'm just curious, do you think that this will be enough to move the needle for him? Obviously doing, you know, doing much better in New Hampshire than anywhere else. That's where he focused his time.

But do you think that this could really move the needle?

CANELLOS: Well, we are the second largest paper in New Hampshire after the "Union Leader." And I think that our readership tends to be more among independents. And that's a constituency that responds to Jon Huntsman.

So, I could easily see it making a difference. And you know, obviously, we only offer advice to our readers and they take it from there. But I think there's a lot for them to like in Jon Huntsman.

BURNETT: All right. So tell me how you made this decision because I know obviously, have you been thinking about it for a about it for a long time. Why not Mitt Romney, for example, or why not Newt Gingrich? I mean, what were the negatives about those candidates that you see as positives in Jon Huntsman?

CANELLOS: I think that the -- the choice really came down to Romney and Huntsman. Basically, they had the most presidential demeanor. I think that, you know, Rick Santorum is a fine spokesman for particularly a religious rights constituency that, you know, represents a more narrow slice of the Republican electorate.

Ron Paul, obviously, speaks for a narrow slice of the electorate.

BURNETT: Why not Mitt?

CANELLOS: Romney and Huntsman had a broader focus and seems more credible to us at presidents of the United States. But Huntsman's been bolder in the campaign. You have a real sense of where he would take the country. He's engaged on the issues in a much more forceful way than Romney has.

And, obviously, we're from Massachusetts. We have some good memories of Romney as governor, but he's disavowed some of those positions. So, I think that, you know, Romney could be a credible president.

We say in the editorial that a vote for Huntsman, for those who might fear it would be wasted, would have an impact on the overall race and could have an impact on Mitt Romney, in the same way that some of the other pressures that he's have from more conservative candidates that moved him.

BURNETT: All right. Well, Pete, thank you very much. We appreciate it.

And, viewers, you're looking at Jon Huntsman speaking live in Newport, New Hampshire. I don't, Pete, that he's yet heard the news of your endorsement, but no doubt, that will really boost his spirits and his campaign tonight as he tries to find a way to a strong finish in New Hampshire.

Pete, thank you very much. We appreciate it.

Again, "The Boston Globe," second biggest newspaper in New Hampshire, and, of course, the largest in Boston, coming out with an endorsement for Jon Huntsman tonight.

Well, (INAUDIBLE) fire storm of controversy with her book "Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother." You may have thought about it in your own home, but she's OUTFRONT next with more on garbage.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BURNETT: And now, a term that has become part of the American lexicon, tiger mom -- a way of parenting embodied by one woman who wrote a best-selling book about raising her two girls Chinese style.

Amy Chua became an overnight sensation with "Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother." Now, her approach to rearing her two cubs includes mandatory piano and violin lessons, no sleepovers, hours long homework sessions, and harsh criticism of mistakes.

Now, this caused a whole lot of debate, as you maybe aware. But Chua's message is innovative and bold, whether you agree with her or not, and I asked her about it last night.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BURNETT: So much to talk about. Let me start with this. Actually, I went to China this summer and one -- we're going to a school to visit all these young kids who were in summer school. So, in summer school, they're learning how to speak English. That was what the school was about. Now, they did have games and other things they played.

But, anyway, a lot of the parents came in. It was a Parents Day. And I was lucky enough to get this, your book, bestseller in China.

AMY CHUA, AUTHOR, "BATTLE HYMN OF THE TIGER MOTHER": Right.

BURNETT: OK. Now, what amazed me was they had all read it and they had all talked about it in their circle of friends and had pretty strong opinions about it.

Here is one dad who's a software programmer and his son is in the camp.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Most of the viewpoints described in the memoir of the tiger mother I think are correct. But 30 percent of the opinions are not correct. For example, for modern Chinese parents, we would not say garbage if children make mistakes.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BURNETT: All right. Interesting. Disagreeing with you, but 30 percent of what you say is --

CHUA: Well, it's actually, they misunderstand much more than 30 percent. I mean, in China, that culture really is taking the book as sort of a how-to guide. And what's funny is that they are so much more strict there and the schooling system is so strict. I mean, kids basically study from like 7:00 until 10:00 p.m. And they've never actually heard of sleepovers or play dates. It's like talking about apples and oranges.

And there, when the guy was talking about garbage, he isn't understanding that the book is a satirical memoir. I'm not telling people to call their kids garbage. I mean, it's horrible.

BURNETT: It is one of those moments in the book when you got criticized, it was when people were saying, but she said you're garbage.

CHUA: But it's so strange because I thought like I was incredibly honest, right? I put in those moments, those like the worst moments of my own parenting. I was incredibly honest. And it's not like, hey, everybody should do this. It's like, look, this is like we all have those take back moments, right?

And so, it's interesting that he was pulling that out. I mean, I -- the thing is that my book is actually being marketed in China as a sort of how to bring the best of the West there, because they -- it's a kind of hybrid, how to generate creativity.

But they are taking it unfortunately as a book sort of how to get your kids into Harvard and Yale, which is not what I intended this book to be. It's been quite unusual.

BURNETT: So, Amy, there were some awful stories that came out when your book came out. And I thought your book was fascinating. You got so much conversation going. But yet there was a headline in the U.S., "The worst mom in the world." There were all these things.

And no matter how confident you are and how wonderful your children are and your husband is, it had to just really hurt at times.

CHUA: It was terrible.

BURNETT: How did you get there that moment of just feeling so awful about what people were saying about you?

CHUA: I think -- the truth is when the book came out and the firestorm broke out, I did think, oh my gosh, is my family going to fall apart because I wrote this book? And it was just the opposite. I mean, I think the answer is that my girls were incredibly strong. And you know what? Also, incredible e-mails from strangers. I mean, one that you would never expect. I never expected. I had hundreds of e-mails from 14-year-olds. This is the strangest thing. That would write, always 14.

They would say, I read your book -- I don't know how. And you know what? I don't have strict parents, but I want to do better. I want to be successful.

So, I'd like to be my own tiger mother and I'm wondering if you could give me a schedule and advice.

BURNETT: If you have what it takes to read the book and write the letter, you have what it takes.

CHUA: I know.

BURNETT: All right. Well, thank you so much. So great to see you.

CHUA: Thanks so much for having me, Erin.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BURNETT: All right. Well, tonight, we wanted to bring you a personal story. Missing Florida mother Michelle Barker disappeared seven weeks ago. Because of the breaking news, we were unable to get to that, but we are going to speak with her mother in an inclusive interview tomorrow.

Anderson Cooper, though, starts now.