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Wisconsin's Recall Election; Preaching Against Gays and Lesbians On the Rise?

Aired June 4, 2012 - 22:00   ET


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

We begin tonight "Keeping Them Honest" with the presidential campaign and the old saying about throwing stones when you live in a glass house. You will remember that when President Obama criticized Mitt Romney's record at Bain Capital, we told you about the Obama campaign fund-raising from members of private equity firms, including, as it happens, Bain Capital.

Well, now it looks like Mitt Romney also have a glass house problem. He's being accused of hypocrisy over his attacks on President Obama's support for the now bankrupt solar energy Solyndra, the one that got government-backed loans and then went bust.

Governor Romney appeared outside Solyndra's old headquarters calling the Obama administration's involvement damaging to the free market, as well as a symbol of waste and failure. Now, you can decide for yourself whether government investment in emerging technologies is good or bad. That's not for us to decide.

But it turns out there are two cases of high-tech companies in Massachusetts with connections to then Governor Romney getting money from the commonwealth and then going bust. The biotech firms -- one was called Acusphere and other Spherics Incorporated -- got more than $2 million from the commonwealth's emerging technology fund before going under.

Now, according to "The Boston Herald," which broke the story, both were run by Romney campaign donors. "The Herald" reports that the loans were approved by a seven-person advisory board that included two Romney appointees and three Romney campaign contributors.

Now, the Romney campaign says it wasn't Romney's idea -- quote -- "This specific funding was part of a stimulus package that Governor Romney opposed on the grounds the government should not play venture capitalist." The statement went to say, "Because of his concerns, he vetoed half the funding, but the veto was overridden by the legislature."

Now, this weekend, a campaign surrogate was asked about the apparent contradiction between Mr. Romney's recent statements on Solyndra and his own record as governor. Watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) CHRIS WALLACE, FOX NEWS: So, how about all these cases where they gave tax breaks to companies, where there was a company in Rhode Island that they had -- that they enticed to come over and then went bankrupt?

ED GILLESPIE, FORMER REPUBLICAN NATIONAL COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN: Chris, the structure in Massachusetts as I understand it that it is a commission of political appointees that the governor does not have direct control over.

WALLACE: Are you saying Romney was opposed to all of this?

GILLESPIE: I'm saying that what Governor Romney said when he was governor of Massachusetts is that we should not have the state investing in private enterprise. The fact is we should be reprogramming this money. And tried to reprogram the money away from those kinds of investments.


COOPER: Well, the record seems to contradict that. So do Governor Romney's own words.

Back in 2003, shortly after taking office, he acted and sounded like a fan of state investment in private enterprise, not a critic. Talking about the state's already existing renewable energy fund, he said -- and I quote -- "The trust fund has been growing for years and I believe now is the time to refocus its assets in such a manner that it can become a major economic springboard for the commonwealth by focusing on job creation in the renewable energy sector."

In other words, he seemed to want to sharpen the focus of government investment on green energy, just the sort of investment he's now criticizing.

Later that year, he signed a law he earlier tried to veto, Statehouse Bill number 4328, which is subtitled -- quote -- "An act relative to investments in emerging technology to promote job creation, economic stability, and competitiveness in the Massachusetts economy."

So is Romney attacking President Obama on Solyndra hypocritical?

Well, two sides.

Joining us now, Republican strategist Alex Castellanos and Democratic strategist James Carville.

What about this, James? Is this hypocritical for him.

JAMES CARVILLE, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, I guess to some extent it is.

I don't know what we have in this campaign, more bricks or glass. But there's a lot of shards and there's a lot of crumbling bricks out there. Look, the thing is, is that who knows if it's comparable or not, but it sure does make the water a little murky for Governor Romney in attacks on Solyndra. For awhile, it looked like they had a kind of clean hit on the president. And this does muddies the waters a little bit.

So, to that extent, I think it's pretty good news for the Obama campaign. It's not the greatest thing in the world. I don't think the Solyndra attack was the greatest thing in the world, but it does murky it up and it did have some effect.

Alex, do you think it muddies the water?

ALEX CASTELLANOS, CNN POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR: Well, I think it does muddy the water a little bit, until you start parting the waters a little bit, perhaps, because it's pretty clear in the Konarka case, for example, and others that Mitt Romney tried to de-fund this trust fund that funded these things. He vetoed this legislation.

The loan for one of these instances was made before he became governor. And, in fact, by nature, Mitt Romney is a venture capitalist. What he did for a living is competed with these government investment funds. That's why he didn't believe in them. And he said so at the time.


I would bet Alex say a nickel to a doughnut that, when things come out, that a lot of the companies that Governor Romney invested in were very heavily lobbied to get government help, if you will. And I think that that happens in a lot of instances.


CARVILLE: I would be very cautious about saying that somebody is a pure capitalist and that kind of thing, because my guess is, is that they were very aggressive in lobbying the government for things.

CASTELLANOS: And, James, I think you're probably exactly right on this one, as you often are.

And I think the reason is, you often play by the rules you're given. And we have seen President Bill Clinton do that. You oppose certain kinds of campaign fund-raising laws, but you have to live under them. And it's the same here. As governor, Romney was tasked with administering these funds and doing them in the best way possible. It didn't mean he opposed them, that he supported them.



COOPER: James, Romney's also saying on the Solyndra thing that basically friends and family kind of were given a sweetheart deal, where there's no evidence of that. In fact, Darrell Issa even looked into it and said that there's no evidence of that.

CARVILLE: Yes. I think -- and I do think this is one of the -- clearly, the president was enthusiastic about this. It did not start under him. And it might have been they made a bad decision, just like they made a bad decision in Massachusetts. And, sometimes, people make good decisions. He made a good decision on General Motors.

And I think that's kind of -- we get to the point where, oh, no, you can't say anything. Well, they can say it. It's a legitimate attack. And it was probably one of these things that went awry. I don't think anything criminal about it or anybody like that. It's just, you made some calls, some are good, some are bad.

But it does -- the thing does make it a little -- as you point out in the piece, it does give them a kind of answer. I like one guy says, Solyndra only lost -- lost a billion-and-a-half dollars, and this thing in Massachusetts only lost a half-a-billion.

Well, given the relative size of Massachusetts to the federal government, it was probably a bigger hit for them. But it seems like an awful lot of money to most people. I don't think any -- either one weren't government at its finest hour in either instance.

CASTELLANOS: James, I think the Solyndra thing was half a billion and in Massachusetts we're talking about a million-and-a-half, quite a difference in scale.

Nevertheless, I think one of the things we're seeing here, Anderson, is the Obama campaign is determined to trip Mitt Romney coming right out of the gate. They want to define him negatively as an unacceptable Republican. And that's the whole focus of the campaign.

They seem to be trying too hard. The campaign is trying to force square pegs into round holes. The Bain attack didn't work. Now they have problems with this, in that Mitt Romney didn't -- the loan was made by Romney before he got there. It was made by an independent board, et cetera.

It was administrated by Romney. But, you know, this is what happens when the guy with the 8 percent unemployment rate tries to attack the guy with the 4.7 percent unemployment rate for not doing as good a job. And if this is the campaign, then I think it is off to a very rocky start.


CARVILLE: I thought Massachusetts was 47th in job creation. We got to quit -- take the liberal press and quit printing that figure.


COOPER: Well, 47th in job creation, but the unemployment rate at the end was 4.7 percent.

(CROSSTALK) CARVILLE: ... when he took office. And they lost more than -- they lost 270,000 people of their work force, which of course is going to have an effect on the unemployment rate.

But, again, but the liberal media keeps pointing out they were 47th in job creation, and they actually beat Louisiana because we lost all the jobs because of Katrina. So the Romney people needs to call the liberal media and tell them to quit reporting that.

COOPER: Alex, do you think Governor Romney's record of job creation as governor of Massachusetts, do you think he's vulnerable on that? You can point out 4.7 percent unemployment, but James is also right. They were 47th.

CASTELLANOS: I think they're trying to sled uphill on this one, Anderson.

I spent quite a bit of time on this. I worked for Governor Romney in the last campaign, have nothing to do with it this time. But Mitt Romney was called back from -- after the Olympics to Massachusetts because it was a state in crisis. The tech bubble had burst. They were bleeding jobs. The state had a $3 billion deficit.

And Romney came back in, raising a few fees, but not raising taxes, cutting spending. In an 85 percent Democratic state, he turned that state around, got it back on solid footing. It created net jobs, which Barack Obama has not yet been able to do.


CASTELLANOS: So, again, 4.7 percent is what he left with. President Obama has got a very slow recovery that is not following the usual pattern. He's below average here.


CASTELLANOS: It's kind of political malpractice to attack a guy who did a better job by the numbers than you did.

CARVILLE: Are you saying that Obama hasn't created private sector jobs since he's been president? Are you saying that?


CARVILLE: Are you saying he hasn't created private sector jobs?

CASTELLANOS: I'm saying that President Obama has got a below average recovery, and he's not creating net jobs in this country.


CARVILLE: But he has created more private sector jobs in three years than Bush created in eight, though. You will agree with that, won't you?

Well, of course you will. (CROSSTALK)

CASTELLANOS: Well, I will agree that we're still not creating...


CARVILLE: And you will agree that Romney was 47th out of 50. And you will agree that Romney exponentially increased the state's bond indebtedness, because that's a fact. Now, we can agree on those three things.


CASTELLANOS: The state was in the toilet and was 51st. And he took it from 51st to 30th.


COOPER: Let James finish and then...



We can agree that Obama's private sector job creation is better than Bush. We can agree that Romney was 47th in job creation as governor. And we can agree that he exponentially increased the bond indebtedness of the state.

Now we can move on from there and talk about maybe something he did, like he made a lot of money for his investors in Bain, of which we agree with.


CASTELLANOS: James, when you ask me questions, I try not to interrupt, but I would like to try to answer them.


CASTELLANOS: The answer is that job growth in that state, job growth, the rate of job growth was 37th, and he moved it up to 12th in the rate of -- that he was reducing unemployment. The state was 51st in unemployment. He moved it to 30th.

He created 40,000 net jobs, which would have transferred to something like three million jobs in the U.S. nationally, if we could grow jobs, net jobs, plus jobs, which Obama hasn't done, which is something that is a boon in the state. So he did a pretty good job. At the end of the day, there's one number that is incontrovertible.

And that is unemployment was 4.7 percent in Massachusetts when Mitt Romney left. Barack Obama still can't get it below 8 percent. And it's on its way back up. That's the choice people are going to have to make.

COOPER: OK, James, final thought. And then we got to go.

CARVILLE: Yes. The country was losing 750,000 jobs when the president took office, now gaining maybe not very much, but 68,000.

And we would like to revisit this about the unemployment rate in Massachusetts, because people were moving out of the state. But that's another thing. And we can go to these figures back and forth, but muddy the water, or murky the water, as we were saying at the beginning of the interview.

COOPER: James Carville, Alex Castellanos, guys, thanks very much.


COOPER: Let us know what you think at home. We're on Facebook. Follow me on Twitter @AndersonCooper. Let's tweet about this right now.

In "Raw Politics" tonight, coming up: tomorrow's vote on whether to recall Wisconsin's Republican governor and why everyone outside Wisconsin has such a big interest in how it comes out, potentially big implications for who wins the White House. That's next.


COOPER: "Raw Politics" and a vote tomorrow in Wisconsin with potentially serious national significance.

Less than 24 from now, Wisconsin voters could give us all a preview of what may happen five months from now in the 2012 presidential election. They will be deciding whether to recall the Republican governor, Scott Walker, there on the left of your screen, replace him with Democrat Tom Barrett.

Now, if successful, it would be only the third time any governor of any state is kicked out by voters. It may also be a kind of trial heat for November's presidential vote, which explains why Bill Clinton, Democrats' big dog, made a swing through Wisconsin. Though equally intriguing is why President Obama has not.

It also explains why Republicans have pumped more than $12 into this race.

In a moment, John King and Gloria Borger on the possible fallout from tomorrow, but first Tom Foreman sets the stage.


TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The movement to boot Governor Scott Walker started when he outraged union workers and their supporters in early 2011. He said his legislation to reduce collective bargaining rights for state employees was needed to balance the budget.

But Democrats called it a sneak attack on working families. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And we need your address.

FOREMAN: They have gathered hundreds of thousands of signatures all across Wisconsin as the divisive recall campaign thunders to a conclusion.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As long it what takes to get Scott Walker out of here, I'm happy.

FOREMAN: As the race has intensified between Walker and his Democratic challenger, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, so have the nasty ads.

NARRATOR: He's all about Scott Walker and not looking out for us.

NARRATOR: If Tom Barrett is willing to cover up violent crimes in Milwaukee, what else is he hiding?

FOREMAN: And the bitter words.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I call them union pigs. They root in Madison like pigs root in pigsties.

FOREMAN: And that widening fight has drawn big money and big names from outside the state.

GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: Well, let me remind all you people, good people from Wisconsin.

FOREMAN: As national Republican...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: President Bill Clinton.

FOREMAN: ... and Democratic forces push for a win.

BILL CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Cooperation works. Constant conflict is a dead-bang loser, and you need to get rid of it.

FOREMAN (on camera): On both sides, activists clearly see this as a referendum on fiscal policies, on liberal vs. conservative philosophies, and on how Wisconsin may lean in the presidential race.

GOV. SCOTT WALKER (R), WISCONSIN: This is not the Wisconsin way.

FOREMAN (voice-over): Each candidate has denounced the ugliness of the race.

TOM BARRETT, WISCONSIN GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE: He started this political civil war.

FOREMAN: But they have also attacked each other ferociously.

BARRETT: The right wing loves him because he's doing exactly what he -- they want him to do. He's not doing what the people in Wisconsin want.

WALKER: So, everybody's clear here, the mayor doesn't have a plan. And all he's got is attacking me. That's what you just heard loud and clear there.

FOREMAN: So, however things turn out tomorrow night, it seems unlikely the fight will be gone with the wind.

Tom Foreman, CNN, Washington.


COOPER: Joining us now, chief national correspondent John King and chief political analyst Gloria Borger.

So, John, if Governor Walker wins, which all polls seem to indicate he will, what implications could that have for the electoral map for November?

JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anderson, Republicans are saying it would prove Mitt Romney can compete in Wisconsin.

Let's do a little history lesson first and then we will show you where are. This is Wisconsin. I'm going to circle it here and then turn this off. This is 2008. OK? Blue. That means it went Democrat for president. Here's 2004, blue, 2000, blue, 1996, blue, 1992, blue. 1988, Michael Dukakis carried, blue. There's a little Massachusetts for you.

You have to go back to Ronald Reagan's 49 states to see Wisconsin going Republican. Does that mean Mitt Romney can get it if Scott Walker wins? Well, as of now, Anderson, this is our first day with this map, our new projection of the electoral. We lean Wisconsin Democratic.

If Walker wins big, maybe we will change our mind. But right now, you would have to say, based on that DNA, the history I just showed you, we consider it to be leaning Democratic. If that changes, that might put Michigan in play, it might Pennsylvania in play if Republicans are having a resurgence in the Rust Belt.

But, for now, that is mostly Democratic territory. Look at the map, 247. You need 270 to win. That's where we start President Obama, either dark blue solid, or light blue leaning, 206 for Governor Romney. Seven states right now, we call toss-ups, New Hampshire, Virginia, Ohio, Florida, Iowa, Colorado, and Nevada. That is the biggest contest, 85 electoral voters, Anderson, in the toss-up states. They are the primary competition for now.

Might Wisconsin get added to the mix? We will have that conversation tomorrow night.

COOPER: Well, Gloria, we're seeing a lot -- in the polls a lot of enthusiasm among Republicans for Governor Walker in terms of coming out tomorrow night. So, it's not a shoo-in for Democrats come November.


If I were a Democrat in the Obama campaign, I would look to 2010 and I would say, OK, Wisconsin's the state that elected a Republican governor. And it's got a Republican legislature, both houses. And so, yes, the history is that Barack Obama won the state by 14 points.

He's up by about eight points now. But I would take a look at what's going on in Wisconsin now. And if Scott Walker wins, I think that that's going to tell you a little bit about the mood of the people in the state of Wisconsin and their receptivity to the core messages of each party.

And if Walker were to win handily, then if I'm a Democrat looking at the electoral map, I think, you know what? Republicans want to stretch where they're contesting in this race. And they're going to make a play for the state of Wisconsin.

COOPER: So, John, as the campaigns look at the maps that you just showed, what are they most concerned about?

KING: It's interesting if you look again.

Number one, the Obama campaign knows this is not McCain vs. Obama. This is much more like Bush v. Gore at this point. They could all break, but very competitive right now. So what's the president concerned about? That you have lean blue, Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Rust Belt states that used to be traditional Democratic strongholds.

If Governor Romney can put these light blue states in play, he has a much more favorable terrain. What is Governor Romney concerned about? Number one, the president hopes to make a run here, Arizona. John McCain carried it last time, 11 electoral votes. We're keeping it leaning red for now. He has to watch out there.

So what happens? Look, it's harder. President Obama only needs, if you look, to get to 270, 23 electoral votes. If nothing else on the map changed, Anderson, all's he would have to do is win the state of Florida and again he's the next president, meaning four more years.

So, Governor Romney has a harder challenge. He has to win Florida, probably has to win Ohio. If he does that, then you have a very competitive race. And here is what is very interesting. Ohio and Florida, they tend to decide presidential elections. If Romney can pick up those two states, the smaller ones, a Colorado, a Nevada, an Iowa, even a New Hampshire -- imagine Iowa and New Hampshire, where we began the campaign, well, they could settle it come election night.

COOPER: Gloria, it's interesting, though. President Obama campaigned for the Democrat Tom Barrett for governor two years ago. He has kept his distance this time.

BORGER: Right. COOPER: Governor Walker and his supporters say, well, that's because the president thinks Barrett's going to lose. Do you think that's true?

BORGER: Well, look, I think the Obama administration was not thrilled about this recall election to begin with.

I think if you would had given team Obama is vote in this, they would say, why do we want to have this recall at all? I think there is a case to be made, in fact, that the president personally has stayed away because he didn't want to tie himself to Barrett's win or loss, because he knew that all of us would be looking at it and reading the tea leaves.

And I think there's another reason here, which is that this race is going to bring out a lot of independent voters. And there's no point in President Obama going to the state of Wisconsin and alienating independent voters that he's going to ask to vote for him in the fall.

So I think they took a look at this and they decided, OK, we're going to send Bill Clinton. That's great. We're going to send other top Democratic surrogates. That's great. But you know what? We're going to keep the president out of this one.

COOPER: A lot of money pouring in. We will see what happens tomorrow.

John King, thank you.

BORGER: You bet.

COOPER: Gloria Borger, thanks.

Well, a lot of watch tomorrow night.

Remember the guy we're about to put on the screen? This guy, he organized a lavish convention that cost more than $800,000 paid for with -- well, with your tax dollars? Well, now the agency he used to work for is in hot water again over bonuses it paid to employees who are under investigation for that very same spending scandal.

We're "Keeping Them Honest."


COOPER: Well, perhaps you have seen the video, a child in church singing -- quote -- "Ain't no homo going to make it to heaven." Is preaching against gays and lesbians on the rise? And how come no preacher seems to be calling for the death of adulterers? That's next on 360 .


COOPER: Hey, welcome back. Another "Keeping Them Honest" report now, one that's frankly kind of mind-boggling. You might remember the outrage back in April when it was disclosed that workers at the General Services Administration, the GSA, took that fancy trip to Las Vegas and charged taxpayers for the freight.

They even made videos laughing at the whole boondoggle. There's one of the videos you're looking at right there. Now, the trips were organized by this guy, a guy named Jeff Neely. You see him there in a hot tub, location unclear.

Now, as you look at that opinion, remember, the GSA's mission is actually oversight of other federal agencies to control spending. Mr. Neely is no longer with the GSA. We learned today the federal employees who are under investigation for wrongdoing in the whole mess, they're still collecting bonuses funded with your tax dollars, bonuses totaling more than $1 million.

Now, two congressional investigations are still under way. The report that was just released doesn't name who got the bonuses, but it does give some pretty astonishing details.

Drew Griffin has been digging into it. He joins us now.

Drew, who are these people that got these bonuses and why?

DREW GRIFFIN, CNN INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, the why is unclear. The who is easy, mostly supervisors, higher-end government employees with the GSA.

And they got these bonuses year after year. One supervisor, for instance, got a nearly $8,000 bonus every year from 2008 until now, a total of $38,000, even though, Anderson, this same person had to be reassigned for abuse of authority. Another supervisor who actually was reprimanded for interfering with a government investigation got 20 grand in bonuses; 84 different employees at the GSA, all subjects of inspector general investigations, got bonuses.

As for why, that's what Senator Claire McCaskill, among others, are asking. She's heading one of those investigations into this.

COOPER: And do they have any kind of policy that -- I mean, it seems outrageous. It's hard to believe it's true. Is the GSA admitting this? I mean, do they admit this happened?

GRIFFIN: Yes. They do admit it happened.

The bonuses were paid to people under investigation. That's a fact. The new acting GSA administrator, we're told, is not taking this lightly. A spokesperson from the agency says a top-down review of all the agencies' business is under way, and that includes all bonus payouts in recent years, especially for those individuals under investigation by GSA's inspector general.

And Anderson, you mentioned the policy. One of the things Claire McCaskill wants is some kind of policy that says you don't give bonuses to people who are under investigation or reprimanded. You would think that's a no-brainer. But that's what -- that's what they're talking about.

COOPER: It's unbelievable. And I mean, did some of these folks -- I mean, were they all working in the office? Were they working at home, as well?

GRIFFIN: Another investigation. Telework is a program they have at the GSA. You work at home and telework in. But this investigation found that, for some reason, a lot of these teleworkers were costing huge amounts of money in transportation expenses: $750,000 in a nine- month period just to get these stay-at-home workers to various conferences and office visits. That is under review, as well. And they're trying to decide maybe if these teleworkers would be cheaper if they just showed up at a GSA office and worked there.

COOPER: Yes. I mean, it seems ridiculous. The whole idea of them working at home is that they don't have to spend money on travel.

Anyway, Drew, appreciate it. We'll keep on it. Thanks.

There's a lot more happening tonight. Isha is here with the "360 Bulletin" -- Isha.

ISHA SESAY, CNNI ANCHOR: Anderson, a Syrian opposition group is calling for the international investigation into who's responsible for thousands of civilian deaths. They blame President Bashar al-Assad's government. But for now, world leaders are still meeting and debating. Kofi Annan, architect of the failed peace plan, will meet with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Washington Friday.

Crews in Lagos, Nigeria, have recovered 137 bodies from the wreckage of Sunday's plane crash and will resume their search in the morning. All 153 passengers were killed, along with at least ten people on the ground. An airline official says the pilot declared an emergency as the plane approached the airport.

In the midst of Queen Elizabeth's Diamond Jubilee celebration, her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, is in the hospital. Buckingham Palace says 90-year-old Prince Phillip is being treated for a bladder infection.

One event the prince missed out on, a massive concert at the palace, including performances by Tom Jones, Paul McCartney, and Elton John. For the grand finale, the queen lit the final beacon celebrating her 60 years on the throne.

COOPER: They had an amazing fireworks display. We were broadcasting it live on CNN, of course, and it was actually just -- it was great. A lot of times fireworks displays don't really show up well on television. This one really did. It was really well done.

SESAY: This was really magical. In the context of everything that happened throughout the day, it was a great sight to see in my home city.

COOPER: No doubt. Isha, thank you very much.

You may have seen the video of a young boy singing in church, the adults cheering him as he sings, quote, "Ain't no homo going to make it to heaven."

Gary Tuchman went to the church, tried to track down the pastor and the boy's parents. And he's going to join us live to find out what he found out.


COOPER: The search for a porn star accused of killing his lover, eating the body, then mailing pieces to Canadian politicians is arrested. We'll tell you how far he traveled before police caught up with him. Next on "360."


COOPER: Hey, welcome back. Last week you may have seen video taken on a cell phone inside a church that showed a little boy singing against gay people and being cheered on by the congregation. The video was on YouTube. Here it is.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE (singing): I know the Bible is right. Somebody's wrong. I know the Bible's right. Somebody's wrong. Romans 1 and 27, ain't no homo going to make it to heaven.


(END VIDEO CLIP) COOPER: Because of the -- obviously, the age of the child involved, we're protecting his identity and not using his name and obviously not even showing video of his face.

And this took place at the Apostolic Truth Tabernacle in Greensburg, Indiana. The man you saw onstage laughing is the church's pastor.

What's interesting about a number of these recent incidents is that the pastors involved don't seem willing to discuss their beliefs when asked. You may remember Pastor -- North Carolina Pastor Worley, who said he wanted gays and lesbians to be locked behind electrified fences until they die.

When he sermon got national attention, the church pulled the video off their Web site and the pastor hid from reporters.

Gary Tuchman went to Greensburg, Indiana, to try to talk to the folks involved in this latest incident.


GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This is the church where a child declared in song that homosexuals will not go to heaven and congregants erupted in cheering and laughing.

So as those congregants arrived for church on Sunday, we wanted to find out who this child and this family are, and if there might be a repeat performance.

(on camera) Can we go inside the church?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, I'm so sorry. We're protecting the safety of our congregants and the people inside.

TUCHMAN: Why is their safety impacted if we would go inside?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Because of nature of the threats that we've received.

TUCHMAN: We're not threatening. We just wanted to cover the story of what happened here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, we can't be too cautious.

TUCHMAN (voice-over): In actuality, police say they don't know of any viable threats, but just the same, we were kept out of the church where this little video was made.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (singing): I know the Bible is right. Somebody's wrong. I know the Bible's right. Somebody's wrong. Romans 1 and 27, ain't no homo going to make it to heaven.


TUCHMAN: There's thunderous applause for the delighted child. It's such a hit, he's asked to sing it again.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (singing): Ain't no homo going to heaven

TUCHMAN: We're still when this happened, who posted it on the Internet.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You have children. Teach them to love.

TUCHMAN: Outside the church, protestors, mostly from the same small town of Greensburg, Indiana, population 11,500.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I thought that the child was used.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I just think it's really sad. They need to -- they need to teach love instead of hate.

TUCHMAN: Who is this child? what were his parents thinking? What did the congregation react that way? Who would let a small child do this?

If you listen closely, you can hear what we can only assume is his dad, cheering him on.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's my boy. TUCHMAN: "That's my boy," he says. We wanted to talk to the pastor, Jeff Sangl, and ask why he seemed to be cheering the toddler on. But when we talked to one of the congregants.

(on camera) Is the pastor here today?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's in Italy right now.

TUCHMAN (voice-over): There was no sign of the pastor at the church. We went by his home, and there was nobody there either.

So we tried to ask congregants about the child and what happened. Most wouldn't talk. Those who would wouldn't comment about who the child is or where we might find his parents.

(on camera) The little child he spoke out on the YouTube video, how do you feel about that?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I say that. I mean, I'd rather keep those opinions to myself.

TUCHMAN: OK or not OK?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To be honest, I mean, like I said, I'd rather keep my opinions to myself.

TUCHMAN (voice-over): This man's daughter teaches Sunday school at the church.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think it's all blown out of proportion. You know, they love everybody, but they don't love sin. You know, and it's all in the Bible.

TUCHMAN: But did he or did he not feel bad?

(on camera) Do you think they're sorry that it happened?


TUCHMAN: Do you think is your daughter sorry it happened?


TUCHMAN: Do you think the pastor is sorry it happened?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, yes. Oh, yes.

TUCHMAN: Are you sorry it happened?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, I am. Yes, I am.

TUCHMAN (voice-over): Church officials have released a statement in which there is no apology, but they say, "We do not condone, teach or practice hate of any person for any reason."

This man with his wife and two small children is Josh Sangl. He is the son of Pastor Jeff Sangl.

(on camera) I didn't talk to him here at the church. But I went to his house, and I talked to him off camera. I ask him about the video that's been seen all over the world. And he said it's not what you think it is.

I asked him to elaborate. He said his father would. I asked him when that would happen. And he said soon.

(voice-over) The pastor's son also agreed with police that indeed there have been no credible threats against his father or the church. So we tried to ask permission once more to go inside the church.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm going to ask one more time, please step off the premises.


COOPER: Gary Tuchman joining us now live from Greensboro, Indiana.

So Gary, was it your impression that congregants were told not to talk to you?

TUCHMAN: Yes, absolutely, Anderson, because this is a friendly part of the country, southern Indiana. Everyone wants to talk to you. But when people left this parking lot the other day, it was a warm day. Their windows were all up. They saw our camera, and they zoomed right by us. It was clear to us that they were told inside this church not to talk to the reporters standing outside.

COOPER: It is interesting to me how, in a number of these recent incidents, the pastors haven't commented. Did -- did the pastor's son or anyone in the church give an indication when he would talk if he's going to?

TUCHMAN: What they're saying, Anderson, is he will talk soon. But historically, we see the word "soon" as a relative term. Usually people tell us "soon" when they want us to beat it.

I can tell you that last week when we were in North Carolina with the pastor who said gay people should be behind electrified fences. They also said he would talk soon. And he hasn't talked to us yet.

COOPER: All right. Gary, appreciate that.

There have been a number of obviously incidents recently. Another pastor in Kansas preached his belief that the government should kill gays and lesbians. He did defend his sermon in one local TV interview, saying he's simply preaching what's found in scripture.

I want to talk with best-selling author Bruce Feiler. He's written a lot about faith and family. His books include "America's Prophet," "Walking the Bible," and his latest book, "The Council of Dads." He joins me now. One of the things that really interests me about this, Bruce, is that I would love to talk to some of these pastors about is I understand they're saying they're preaching what's in the Bible and saying that, you know, it talks about killing gay people or men who lie with men. But also in the Bible it talks about killing people who commit adultery. It talks about killing children -- or kids who curse against their parents. You don't hear pastors calling for the death of adulterers. Why?

BRUCE FEILER, AUTHOR: Well, let me take even a step back before I get to that, Anderson, and say, you know, this in some ways is not a new thing at all. Basically, ever since there's been religion in America, there have been two camps.

One is the kind of "letter of the Bible" camp, and one is the "spirit of the Bible" camp. And whatever has been the hot-button issue social issue of the day, we've seen it take place. Over the 19th Century, it was slavery. People said the Bible -- Abraham had slaves. There are laws about slavery. Jesus does nothing.

COOPER: They used the Bible to support slavery back in slavery days.

FEILER: The majority of people used the Bible to support slavery. And in some ways it was a better argument, because the Bible does talk about it.

The rival camp said, "Well, we're all created in God's image, and so we should be more compassionate to all people."

So that happened in the 19th Century in slavery. It happened in the 20th Century with women's rights and also with civil rights.

So what is the hot-button social issue of the day? It is gay rights, civil unions, gay marriage. And so now we're seeing the same battle. You have "letter of the Bible" camp, it says in several places in the Bible that God condemns homosexuality. And you've got the "spirit of the Bible" saying, "But yes, we should be compassionate. We're all God's children, and we should be compassionate to people, whatever their beliefs."

COOPER: Do you think because it's become such a hot-button issue with same-sex marriage now in a number of states, that it sort of revived this? Or is it just the -- the prevalence of cell phones now, that people are recording this?

FEILER: I actually think it's the second one. I think that's a really good point that's being missed here. Again, if you put this into terms of war, strategically the same battles have been going on for a long time. What's different now is the tactics.

I mean, why are we talking about this on CNN right now? In all likelihood because what we're seeing -- and we certainly saw this in North Carolina -- you're seeing pro-gay rights groups trolling the Internet going to the Web sites of these churches in these small towns, plucking these things out percolating them through social media.

Because think about this. Again, let's talk about politics for a second, because that's something you talk about a lot and your audience knows a lot about.

If you're -- you're a church and you're in rural Indiana like this one, rural North Carolina, rural Georgia where I grew up, and you're trying -- you've got a choice. OK? You can either play to the middle, go to the independents out there, the people who are interested in moderate positions and the spirit of the Bible, or you can play to your base.

So why are we seeing this on churches? Because they're playing to their base. Because if you're in rural North Carolina, most of the people that you're talking to are believers in this "letter of the Bible" camp.

COOPER: So does that -- does that then take me to the question I originally asked, which is why aren't pastors then calling for the death of people who commit adultery or had an affairs or curse their parents? Because -- is it because more people in those church pews among their congregation fit into that camp of those who maybe have had an affair? I mean, a lot of people in the United States have had an affair.

FEILER: We're really talking about only two passages in the Bible that really talk about homosexuality.

And by the way, I'll note for the record, lesbians are not talked about. The Hebrew Bible does not mention women having sex with other women. It's just men on men.

So the pastor in North Carolina said, "We should put the lesbians behind the fence. " That's just made up.

But you're talking about, essentially, Romans I, which is what that boy was singing about, and particularly a passage in the book of Leviticus, Leviticus 20 that, as you said, absolutely correctly, it says, "If you speak ill against your parents, if you're having an affair, if you lie with a man, then you will be put to death is what the language said.

First of all, the Bible is obsessed with sexuality.

COOPER: Deuteronomy also talks about promiscuous girls can be put to death.

FEILER: The number of people in America who fall under that category, it's probably over 200 million Americans. I mean, we know that about adultery. A third of Americans have adultery. I checked the numbers even this afternoon.

So they are cherry picking what they want to address their own social needs. Because they are basically trying to -- what are they in the business of doing? They're in the business of trying to support their church. This is what's... COOPER: I tweeted about this. I got some tweets back, saying, "Well, Jesus -- this is what Jesus talked about in the Bible." My reading of the Bible is Jesus never talked about this.

FEILER: Jesus did not talk about this. The passage in the Bible in the Romans is a letter from Paul. There is not a quote where Jesus talks about homosexual sex or...

COOPER: And was greater emphasis put on homosexuality than on adultery?

FEILER: Well, that was the point I was trying to make earlier, which is sexuality is a big deal in the Bible. The first thing God says to humans is "be fruitful and multiply."

If you think of circumcision, which is a key plank in the Hebrew Bible, that is essentially God inserting himself in the sexual act.

So all the begetting and begatting in the genealogy, the Bible is obsessed with sex, who's having it, with whom and that's why there is this very strict language about homosexuality. But it's really only in a few scant places.

COOPER: Bruce Feiler, appreciate it. Interesting. Thanks very much.

Let us know what you think on Twitter right now: @AndersonCooper.

George Zimmerman, the man accused of second-degree murder in the killing of Trayvon Martin, he is back behind bars. How long, though? That's the question. We'll be right back.


COOPER: There's a lot more we're following tonight. Isha is back with a "360 News & Business Bulletin" -- Isha.

SESAY: Anderson, the Canadian porn star who allegedly killed and dismembered a man in Montreal is in custody tonight.

Luka Rocco Magnotta was found in an Internet cafe in Berlin, Germany, apparently searching the Web for articles for himself. He's accused of filming the murder, putting it on the Internet, and mailing the victim's foot to the Canadian prime minister.

One day after George Zimmerman returned to jail, his lawyers say they will request a new bond hearing. Zimmerman is accused of murdering teen Trayvon Martin in February while on Neighborhood Watch duty back in February.

Actors Kevin Costner and Steven Baldwin went to court today over a dispute over the cleanup of the BP oil spill. Costner struck a million-dollar deal with BP for cleanup technology a piece of equipment he created.

Baldwin claims Costner duped him and a business partner out of their share of the profits. We'll keep watching this one.

COOPER: Isha, thanks very much.

"The RidicuList is next.


COOPER: Time now for "The RidicuList." And tonight we're adding the Miss USA pageant which took place last night in Las Vegas and aired on NBC.

Now before you start tweeting me, hear me out. I'm not anti- beauty pageant. In fact, my friend Andy Cohen from Bravo co-hosted this one, did a great job. And look, the Miss USA folks, they tried their best.

They did have one contestant who named Julia Roberts in "Pretty Woman" when asked to name a movie in which a woman is portrayed in an accurate and positive way.

And yes, they did a highly original lip sync to the so-called song of the summer, Carly Rae Jefferson's "Call me Maybe."




COOPER: And that was a cameo by Donald Trump, who happens to own the pageant.

So here is why the pageant is on "The RidicuList" tonight. It's not for anything they did. It's just that it's pointless to keep holding these events. Pointless because no pageant from now until the end of time will ever -- and I mean ever -- top the magical television experience known as the 2007 Miss Teen USA pageant.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Recent polls have shown a fifth of Americans can't locate the U.S. on a world map. Why do you think this is?


COOPER: Let's just stop right there. Now, I know you've seen this before, and you've heard this question. It's somewhere between "Celebrity Jeopardy!" and a sixth-grade essay contest. Well, ladies and gentlemen, just because it's so darn good, I give you the best pageant answer of all time, from Miss South Carolina.


LAUREN CAITLIN UPTON, MISS SOUTH CAROLINA 2007: I personally believe that U.S. Americans are unable to do so because some people out there in our nation don't have maps.


COOPER: I've just got to stop again. U.S. Americans don't have maps. I repeat. U.S. Americans, map shortage.

I just want to make sure last night's organizers realize the kind of topic they should have been diving into. Let's just rewind the tape. Continue.


UPTON: I personally believe that U.S. Americans are unable to do so because some people out there in our nation don't have maps, and I believe that our education, like such as in South Africa and the Iraq, everywhere like such as.


COOPER: South Africa and the Iraq and everywhere like such as. You see, pageant organizers this is why you should have just canceled last night's festivities. You had no chance of competing with that. You will never be able to find a contestant who can pinpoint her answer with such clarity.

I give you -- I'll give you a minute to think about what you could have done differently. In the meantime, let's check back in with Miss South Carolina.


UPTON: I believe that they should -- our education over here in the U.S. should help the U.S. or should help South Africa and should help the Iraq and the Asian countries so we will be able to build up our future.

MARIO LOPEZ, HOST: Thank you very much, South Carolina.

(END VIDEO Carly Rae Jefferson's "Call me Maybe." CLIP)

COOPER: Now, you know it's bad when Mario Lopez is like "I got nothing. I got nothing." He just moves on. That's bad. He always has something to say.

There you have it. The greatest moment in beauty pageant history. Nothing tops it, including last night's Miss USA pageant. I'm sorry. Maybe before next year, pageant organizers will come to their senses and find their inner compass on "The RidicuList."

Hey, that's it for us. Thanks for watching. "ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT" starts now.