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AC 360 LATER

Americans Held in North Korea; Rush Limbaugh vs. Pope Francis

Aired December 2, 2013 - 22:00   ET

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


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Evening, everyone. Welcome to "AC360 Later."

Tonight: Hillary Clinton, President Obama and the 2016 race for president, also, one elderly American's nightmare in North Korea, pulled off a plane, arrested, and the pope does what popes do, tells us not to be greedy or selfish or cruel to the least among us and gets called a commie for his troubles. We will talk about the gospel according to Francis and the gospel according to Rush Limbaugh, that and more on the table tonight.

We begin with a piece in Politico with the headline "2016 Fever Tests Hillary Clinton-Barack Obama's Bond." "The president and former secretary of state's marriage," it reads, "is about to put to the test." The reason, his popularity is sinking. If she stays too close to him, some argue she will hurt her chances of succeeding him.

On the other hand, well, there are a lot of other hands, including the fact that she is not officially running for anything yet and he has still got three years left in office.

Here's what they say to Steve Kroft in a "60 Minutes" interview earlier this year.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

STEVE KROFT, CBS CORRESPONDENT: You're sitting here together. Everybody in town is talking about it already and this is -- it's taking place.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: You know, Steve, I got to tell you, the -- you guys in the press are incorrigible. I was literally inaugurated four days ago. And you're talking about elections four years from now.

HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON, FORMER U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: I don't the either he or I can make predictions about what is going to happen tomorrow or the next year. What we have tried over the last four years is get up every day and have a clear-eyed view of what is going on in the world. I'm really proud of where we are.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: That was then. What about now?

With us tonight, chief international correspondent Christiane Amanpour, GOP strategist Alex Castellanos, CNN commentator Michaela Angela Davis, and in the fifth chair Peter Beinart, special correspondent for The Daily Beast, editor of The Daily Beast's OpenZion.com blog and associate professor of journalism and political science at the City University of New York.

Alex, what do you make of their relationship?

ALEX CASTELLANOS, CNN POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR: First, I liked Hillary when she had those Wolf Blitzer glasses on. She was looking good there.

I think it is tough for any politician go to through that primary and general election process. Barack Obama is a lot closer to the soul of the Democratic Party these days than Hillary Clinton is. Hillary Clinton is the era of big government is over, new Democrat. Barack Obama is the era of big government is back with a vengeance.

In a primary, to get through that, to keep her party together, she has to hug Barack Obama. But Barack Obama in a general election that is a different story.

(CROSSTALK)

COOPER: Does anyone at the table doubt that she is going to run for president?

PETER BEINART, THE DAILY BEAST: No.

MICHAELA ANGELA DAVIS, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: No.

COOPER: You don't doubt it? No.

(CROSSTALK)

CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: What has happened to bring this into full focus right now today? What is new about this relationship? As far as I can see, the Politico article that we're all talking about, you were the only one quoted in there. Nobody one wants to talk about this in the Democratic Party.

CASTELLANOS: She is out there working the trail. She is out there making outreach to black voters. She was --

(CROSSTALK)

CASTELLANOS: -- just finished the race in Virginia, where we have seen her on the campaign trail the first time. She is awfully busy for someone who is not running.

BEINART: Yes, but the piece actually didn't provide any evidence really of tension or conflict between Obama and Hillary Clinton and for pretty obvious reasons. Eventually, Hillary Clinton will need to define her own agenda that will be distinct, but she doesn't need to do it now.

It would be crazy for her to put a lot distance between herself and Barack Obama's policies right now. First of all, she was in his administration for four years anyway. She can't walk away from it so easily. And secondly his policies are popular in the Democratic Party, where she has to get nominated.

COOPER: But it is interesting in this article and in a number of news pieces about her outreach into the black community, particularly to black leaders, sort of trying to repair damage that she inflicted and her husband inflicted during the first election against Obama.

(CROSSTALK)

DAVIS: It was interesting.

I was having lunch with a friend today who is the executive director at The Feminist Press and we were talking about what this time means and the intersectionality of race and gender and poverty and privilege that we're literally between Barack and a Hillary place. Right?

That there is something going on now that is very, very specific looking at issues of race and gender and I think the black community is very forgiving. R. Kelly can still sell out arenas. So I think it was more really Bill who hurt the community with some of his flippant remarks and their privilege. They really pushed their privilege.

But I think we're past that now.

AMANPOUR: All the black leaders who have been quoted anyway are saying full, square center that he is being forgiven and she is being forgiven, and we will embrace them.

DAVIS: Absolutely.

AMANPOUR: And, look, Barack Obama, the first black president, supports her.

DAVIS: Yes. And I think this time in history is very -- is almost as important as the policies.

I think that they also have to look at who Michelle is in this relationship, because if you want to get the black vote, you get to black women, right, because black women are the ones who really showed up and rallied around Barack and really made that happen. And so she is the one who is both black and woman that can really bring them together.

COOPER: I like how you call everybody by their first name.

(CROSSTALK)

COOPER: You feel that, OK?

DAVIS: I definitely feel that about --

(CROSSTALK)

COOPER: I always call him the president. (CROSSTALK)

DAVIS: If you go into a lot of folks' kitchens these days, there is a plate with Barack, there is a plate with Martin Luther King and there's a plate with President Kennedy. He's become that to us, and Hillary too I think has become that for women.

(CROSSTALK)

CASTELLANOS: No Hillary plate.

DAVIS: Hillary might get a cup and saucer.

(CROSSTALK)

DAVIS: We're really ready for her. I think there is a lot of passion for Hillary Clinton and particularly the black community, because she has showed up even before she started running.

I remember she came to the Essence Music Festival, sat down and engaged thousands of women around Katrina. She was so well-informed about who Essence was to black women, who the leaders were, who the people in the community were.

(CROSSTALK)

DAVIS: They trust her.

COOPER: What happens to President Obama when more and more attention is paid to Hillary Clinton and the race in 2016? How big of an issue does that become for making him a lame duck?

CASTELLANOS: He is now a wounded president. Unlike some folks, my experience is there are things that are searing events in politics that mark you forever. There are the Watergates and the Katrinas and some 9/11s for Bush are good and some are not.

This is that kind of transformational event for Obama. Whatever happens after this, he may achieve other good things, but he will be remembered by this. This will drag his honesty numbers down.

(CROSSTALK)

CASTELLANOS: I'm sharing my experience with you. He may win the Olympics, but he will always do it with a limp.

COOPER: Let's put his approval ratings just on the screen right now, while, Peter, you can go ahead -- the approval rating, 41 percent approve and 56 percent disapprove.

BEINART: I really disagree with that.

First of all, it's true. It has been a nightmarish fall for Obamacare. But this story will be continuing throughout his presidency. We don't know where the numbers are going to end up over time. And there are clearly already real accomplishments. All of the people signing up for Medicare, for instance, is a terrific thing that has happened for the country.

And on foreign policy, what he is doing with Iran may end up being one of the most consequential things an American president has done in foreign policy in decades and decades.

CASTELLANOS: For good or ill.

(CROSSTALK)

BEINART: For good or ill.

I happen to think it's terrific, but this is remaking America's strategic position in the region, and in a much more successful way than doing it by trying to invade a couple countries. I think to say that Obama has no juice in him, no ability more to still transform events I think is way premature.

(CROSSTALK)

CASTELLANOS: There is a going to book called "The Battle for the Mind."

You know Pavlov, right, the experiment. You ring the bell and give the dogs the dog food. And what do they do? They salivate. They learn to associate it with that. One day, Pavlov, he had the dogs in the lab in cages and the river came up, flooded the lab.

They almost couldn't get the dogs out. They freaked out and lost all their conditioning. But eventually time passed and they became who they were again. They retrained them. One day is a little experiment. They poured a little -- Pavlov poured a little trickled of water under the door.

That searing moment came right back. This is that kind of event for Obama. We couldn't move George Bush's numbers with anything we did unless we went back to the pile of rubble in 9/11. Then people emotionally went to that place. This is Obama's pile of rubble. It's not for good. He will be marked by this. Here was a guy --

(CROSSTALK)

COOPER: You don't think he can overcome it?

CASTELLANOS: I think it will always --

(CROSSTALK)

CASTELLANOS: It will always be there, even if he achieves good things.

COOPER: We have to take a break.

Let us know what you think. Follow us at Twitter. Use #AC360later.

Up next, it's almost impossible to imagine, An 85-year-old American man taken off a plane in North Korea and held captive and then forced to make a confession take for so-called war crimes going back to the Korean War.

We will take it to the panel next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: A lot of people very upset about what is happening in North Korea.

It sounds like a nightmare. An 85-year-old American, a war veteran from the Korean War, is leaving North Korea only to be dragged off the plane more than a month ago and he has been held captive ever since, forced to making a confession tape, confessing to so-called war crimes.

That is what happened to Merrill Newman is his name. He's not the only American being held captive in North Korea. Kenneth Bae has been held for more than a year now. Back with the panel. We're also joined by Bill Richardson, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.

Ambassador, thanks very much for being with us.

This is outrageous that this American man was taken off the plane and basically forced to make this so-called confession. Does this surprise you?

BILL RICHARDSON (D), FORMER NEW MEXICO GOVERNOR: Well, it's bizarre.

It's the new regime. This is how they are operating. It's bizarre in that this man was legitimately traveling in North Korea. He had his visas. He was with a group. They pulled him off the plane. It is bizarre also because he is a war veteran.

Now, in the past, for instance, in 2007, the North Koreans handed over to me the remains of seven of our soldiers from the Korean war. They like, the North Koreans, the interaction between the two militaries, especially the North Korean military.

And it's bizarre also because it seems like nobody's in charge. Had they wanted to take him hostage, they should have done it without taking him off the plane. What is bizarre too is now there are two Americans there. This has never happened before, Kenneth Bae, who also has been there a year, longer than anybody else.

In the past, the North Koreans have used political prisoners as bargaining chips. In this case, we don't know what they want, because they even rejected an American envoy who was going to get Kenneth Bae out. He was on his way over there. It seems that it was negotiated that they were going to get him out and then the North Koreans said, well, stay back. We're not going to turn him over.

So, this is the new regime, the new leader there. I knew the old leaders. But now everything's a big question mark.

COOPER: And, you know, the state media in North Korea -- and we were just showing part of it -- released this video showing Merrill Newman reading an apology. You see his hands shaking. This is an 85-year- old American war vet.

Just want to play a quick clip from this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MERRILL NEWMAN, HELD CAPTIVE IN NORTH KOREA: On this trip, I can understand that in U.S. and Western countries, there is misleading information and propaganda about DPRK.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: Obviously, it's something written by them that he is just reading out.

AMANPOUR: Well, right, exactly.

It would be interesting to hear, Governor, what you have to say about the fact that he has actually now read out an apology. Some analysts have said, the last time this kind of thing happened, there was an apology and the person was released fairly quickly thereafter.

But also you say -- and you are all amazed that he is a veteran and has been treated like this. For me, that was the red flag. He's a vet. There is no peace with North Korea. There's only an armistice.

And one of his apparently command leaders said that actually they were supporting the North Korean partisans who apparently did even more damage in North Korea than the regular --

(CROSSTALK)

COOPER: And, Governor, apparently, the day before he was pulled off the plane, the day before he was leaving, he had had a conversation with his tour group leaders and I guess some government officials about the war, and he left that conversation sort of upset.

We don't know exactly what was said. I mean, is it possible it's just some sort of a mistake or do you think they want some kind of high- level delegation so they can get a photo opportunity and make the regime look legitimate?

RICHARDSON: They want something. I believe they want a high-level delegation.

In the past, they got Jimmy Carter, they got President Clinton. I used to be the second string and I got a couple out. But, in this case, there has to be some kind of an endgame, the fact that they have two, the fact that one of them is a war veteran.

See, I disagree with the view that the war veteran is somebody that the North Korean military, if there has been any contact the last 10 years, it's the recovery of remains of North Korea, cooperation between the U.S. military and the North Korean military.

They handed seven remains to me as a gesture of goodwill in 2007. So, what I think is the North Korean military does not seem to be engaged in this prisoner process. But the question is, is it the Foreign Ministry? Is it Kim Jong-un himself?

One thing is very clear. The North Koreans love to be in the limelight. They haven't been in the limelight lately. Iran has been in the limelight, other issues. This is another way that they are saying, hey, we're still around and you still have to deal with us.

COOPER: It's also interesting because Kim Jong-un has gotten a lot of press coverage for being maybe a different leader. He has this wife. They show up at amusement parks.

This is a country that still has by some estimates as many as 150,000 people in various forms of concentration camps, political prisoner camps. They have this three generations of punishment deal where it's not just, you know, punishing one person who maybe has said something against the regime. It's punishing that person's family, their parents, their children, taking them all to concentration camps.

AMANPOUR: And don't forget, in march, Kim Jong-un was threatening a nuclear strike against the United States and South Korea.

That is about as out there as you can get.

CASTELLANOS: Ordinarily, we might have some back channel perhaps to China that might have influence there. But these days, of course, China is just extending its sphere of influence into Japan. Our relationships are not necessarily -- not the best moment for that.

But, you know, how do you negotiate, how do you reason with crazy? You don't. You demonstrate strength sometimes . And America's strength in the world, the glue that holds the world together, are we as respected around the world, are we as feared as we were around the world a few years ago?

And I think a lot of Republicans would say no. And, you know, this is the argument we're making.

(CROSSTALK)

BEINART: The North Koreans have been doing this under George W. Bush and under Barack Obama.

(CROSSTALK)

AMANPOUR: How do you demonstrate strength with a regime that has already nuclear devices? That's basically the bottom line. What are you going to do? This strength, strength, strength, sounds really good, but it's --

(CROSSTALK)

BEINART: The best way to get rid of this regime, which is pure evil, the most evil regime on Earth, one of the most evil regimes of the last century, is going to be that China is going to have to decide they want North Korea to fall. Unfortunately, the increasing cold war tension between the United States and China will likely make China cling to North Korea, their ally, even more, and, unfortunately, I think actually probably give the North Korean more of an insurance policy, more of an ability to perpetuate its poor evil.

COOPER: I just feel for the family of this man, this poor 85-year-old man, and certainly Kenneth Bae's family as well.

CASTELLANOS: Is there any encouragement, Anderson, in that in the statement there was something about that if released to the United States, he would speak the truth?

Were they showing their hand there?

COOPER: Governor Richardson, what do you make of that?

CASTELLANOS: Governor Richardson?

RICHARDSON: No.

I -- this is a pattern of the North Koreans. They make some of these prisoners do confessions. They did it with Kenneth Bae. They have done it with Mr. Newman. This is par for the course. They basically feel they have enormous leverage over you.

And, you know, you're in a North Korean prison. You say that. Sometimes it's led in the past under Kim Jong-un's father to a release. This happened with me. There was a young man from Seattle who confessed, and shortly thereafter I was called over to bring him back.

But, since then, it's been bizarre, although, with President Clinton and President Carter, when they went over, there were confessions too. And they were released.

But, with this new young leader, he's not doing it.

COOPER: Yes.

RICHARDSON: He even sent back an American envoy who was going to bring back Kenneth Bae.

COOPER: Yes.

RICHARDSON: Kenneth Bae has been there a year, the longest ever. So, you know, this is a big unknown, what this young leader wants to do. The problem is that they are developing their nuclear weapons. They are continuing. They are continuing that nuclear reactor. They have five or six nuclear weapons. They have 1.5 million men in arms. We have got 28,000 American troops. So this is a challenge for American foreign policy.

COOPER: Governor Richardson, I appreciate you being on. Thank you very much.

We will continue obviously to follow it here.

And just ahead tonight, Rush Limbaugh painting the pope red, basically, saying his ideas about money and social justice sound downright Marxist -- the panel's take on that next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Welcome back.

You probably know the old schoolyard reply to an obvious question. Is the pope Catholic? Well, these days, a new message from Pope Francis denouncing economic inequality has some people on the right asking -- and asking quite loudly -- is the pope communist? And no one is asking quite so loudly as Rush Limbaugh. Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: What this is, somebody has written this for him or gotten to him. This is just pure Marxism coming out of the mouth of the pope. There's no such -- unfettered capitalism, that doesn't exist anywhere. Unfettered capitalism is a liberal socialist phrase to describe the United States.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: Well, got it, Karl Marx and Pope Francis?

Now, it's pretty clear that Rush Limbaugh is not necessarily an expert on the Catholic Church's teaching on money and social justice, which do not, by the way, add up to Marxism. That said, there seems to be a great emphasis on the subject with this pope than the last.

Back with the panel.

(CROSSTALK)

AMANPOUR: I mean, look, these guys like to wrap themselves up in the Christian cloth, and then the minute they see a true follower of Christ, they can barely contain themselves.

What he is saying is what we all learn in Bible school, that you have to give to the poor, that you have to be selfless, that a rich man is harder to get through the eye of the needle and all of that kind of stuff. What kind of nonsense that he is spouting?

The pope specifically said that they have a message for the left and the right that we are a church. We do not believe in economic power in the hands of the state. Private property and business is a good thing. It's a noble thing. Markets should function, but we have a problem with unbridled capitalism and this rising inequality. And I would say, on that, he is in line with practically most people around the world. The inequality gap is what everybody around the world is obsessing about right now, and rightly so.

BEINART: I think it is precisely in some ways because communism is really dead, because it's not a powerful force, doesn't have countries anymore, that there is going to be some and should be some reaction against what has happened in the last 20 to 30 years, which has been massive -- as Christiane Amanpour said, massive increase in inequality in the United States and across the world.

It's inevitable it's going to produce a reaction. I'm very glad that it is producing this reaction, because this is a kind of a reaction which emphasizes nonviolence and not a kind of lust for power, but the idea that we should see the souls of God in people who are weakest amongst us. And it seems to me it's exactly the role that the church should be playing at this moment in human history.

DAVIS: Well, it's very -- because I'm a recovering Catholic, and particularly a Jesuit -- and he is a Jesuit pope.

And this is in direct alignment with the Jesuit scholarship, that they have special attention and concerns to the poor and the oppressed, that they link faith and justice. This is -- if he Googled Jesuit teachings, these would come up. But they are also very much in line with international and global perspectives, and that they are also -- part of their scholarship is having effective communication.

These are traditions of Jesuit priests. And the pope is a true Jesuit and living in -- being -- coming from Argentina and really living with the poor, he's going to live this out. There is no surprise. This is what Catholics are supposed to do.

CASTELLANOS: I think there is a lot of truth in that.

But let's give Rush a little credit here. One, he has got an audience to maintain. I'm a ditto-head. I love Rush Limbaugh. I think he is right about a lot of stuff. And he is even right about one thing here. And that is unbridled capitalism? Capitalism is the most bridled thing on the planet. It is regulated, constrained everywhere by everything. That is what maybe -- it has failed.

(CROSSTALK)

BEINART: That's why we have the financial crisis, because the financial markets were so highly regulated.

(CROSSTALK)

CASTELLANOS: By the way, Wall Street does much better under Democratic presidents than Republican presidents. And the reason is because of the unholy Wall Street-Washington alliance, so, yes.

COOPER: Let me also bring in CNN political commentator and "New York Times" op-ed columnist Ross Douthat.

Ross, what do you make of Limbaugh's comments?

ROSS DOUTHAT, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: I am just enjoying -- it's such a refreshing change of pace to have liberals discover that the pope is infallible. After the last 20 or 30 years, as a Catholic, it's just a breath of fresh air. No, I think what you -- what you see with Rush is actually a sort of mirror image of the way a lot of people in the media have covered the pope's words, as if this is something sort of shocking and dramatic and new and this sweeping break with Catholic tradition and especially with Pope Benedict and John Paul.

And the reality is that Pope Francis is laying a particular stress on issues of social justice and, obviously, trying to do specific things, making symbolic gestures and so on to highlight the church's solidarity with the poor.

But the language of the document itself is completely consistent with the language that previous popes have used. If you went back and looked at Benedict XVI's own encyclical on socioeconomic issues, he basically says exactly the same kinds of things, which is that, you know, as -- as I think everyone knows fairly well going back to the New Testament itself, Christianity and the Catholic Church places a strong emphasis on a suspicion of the corruptions of great wealth.

And so for conservatives -- political conservatives who are Catholic like myself, there does have to be an integration here where you have to be willing to say, "Well, look, I believe in limited government, and I believe in a restrained state and a restraint of state power and so on, but I also have to think about the ways in which policy impacts, as the pope would say, the least among us and sort of issues of solidarity and so on."

And I think it will be interesting to see -- I'm sorry, I'm rambling a bit here -- but it will be interesting to see within the American Republican Party right now, you have sort of a swing back and forth over the last ten years or so from the compassionate conservatism of George W. Bush; then in the Tea Party era towards the more libertarian-inflected conservatism.

And I think what's happening now, at least for some politicians on the right, figures like Senator Mike Lee from Utah, who's given a bunch of speeches recently about poverty and opportunity and so on is an attempt to put a little communitarianism back in American conservatism. And that's where I think these comments may -- the pope's words may actually have some impact on American politics.

COOPER: Let me -- let me just play another thing that Limbaugh said about this.

SULLIVAN: Why?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LIMBAUGH: And to hear the pope regurgitating this stuff, I was profoundly disappointed. The idolatry of money urging politicians to attack the structural causes of inequality and strive to provide work, health care and education to all citizens? What has been happening in this country the past five years? Exactly what this man claims to want.

(END VIDEO CLIP) COOPER: Well, isn't -- isn't that -- that's not...

CASTELLANOS: I just read a great book by a guy named John Mackey who founded Whole Foods. It's called "Conscious Capitalism." Highly recommended. He says the same point as the pope. This is a libertarian conservative.

He makes the point that, look, we all have to eat to live. But that doesn't mean we live just to eat. We all think we have a higher purpose and that in business, OK, business can't exist without profit, but does that really mean that business only exists to profit? That business doesn't have -- no, we all -- why do we all work? We work to take care of those we love, to provide a little security, to do -- to make the best we can out of ourselves. That's what the pope is saying.

This is not an anti-capitalist creed. As a matter of fact, the pope said -- reinforced the principle, Catholic principle of susidiarity, the idea that you push...

COOPER: But among some conservatives, what that term even, "social justice" raises a lot of red flags.

CASTELLANOS: Because the term "social justice" has been used to justify a lot of big, dumb, top-down government that has ruined a lot of people. A welfare system that's driven -- you know, one of the causes of inequality, of new studies out now? It's not the unbridled capitalism. It's the end of the American family. It started in the early '70s, when all of a sudden, single moms began to have a lot of kids in this country. When families -- the divorce rate started going up. And when you're single and you have a kid, you're poor. And the gap between rich and poor is not just money. It's a gap -- it's a family gap.

BEINART: That is precisely why -- the reason -- the reason that the pope and the Catholic Church, in particular, are such important and interesting voices in American politics is because they challenge both left and right.

We have a political debate in the United States in which we can only think in these two categories. We assume that if you're pro- choice on abortion, you must also be dovish on foreign policy and want a lot of government intrusion into economics.

What's so compelling and important about hearing from the pope is precisely because he has a moral philosophy which doesn't respect those boundaries. It's never respected those boundaries, and therefore, is profoundly challenging to both left and right and allows us to think beyond the very narrow categories, kind of Democratic and Republican talking points, that so often constrict American political behavior.

CASTELLANOS: He can throw lightning at the EIB Studios, too. So...

AMANPOUR: The number of people going to church has skyrocketed. COOPER: Yes.

DAVIS: Which the Catholic Church definitely needed.

COOPER: Ross, I want to give you the final thought. Then we're going to take a break. Ross, I want to give you the final thought. Then I want...

DOUTHAT: Oh, final thought. I would -- sorry. I would just -- I would just throw out, too, that there are also big differences here between, you know, the pope comes from Argentina. The experience of capitalism in Argentina is, in many ways, very different and much more cronyist in many ways and state-dominated than the experience of capitalism in the U.S.

And also, issues of inequality are very different in the U.S., where inequality has been increasing, whereas worldwide overall, poverty rates have fallen dramatically over the last 20 years.

So it's a very big picture, and the pope is not an economist. And you're expecting him to sort of -- you know, he's providing sort of broad strokes, rather than trying to sort of pick out a specific policy agenda.

And I think the challenge for Catholics and for people who are interested in listening to the pope is to sort of translate those broad strokes into more specific policies...

COOPER: Ross...

DOUTHAT: ... where we can have interesting disagreements.

COOPER: Ross, it's good to have you on the program. Ross Douthat, thanks.

DOUTHAT: Thanks, Anderson.

COOPER: Next, imagine sitting on a plane on the tarmac and an emergency team takes a man off of it and tells you and everybody else on board that you've been exposed to tuberculosis and you've got to call your doctor immediately. That's what happened in Phoenix. We'll take it to the panel next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Passengers aboard a U.S. Airways flight from Austin had quite a landing in Phoenix. An emergency team got on the plane on the tarmac, took a man off. A firefighter came on the intercom, told everyone they should call their doctors immediately, because they'd been exposed to tuberculosis.

Health officials in Arizona say the actual risk of being infected is actually very low. Back with the panel: Christiane Amanpour, Alex Castellanos, Michaela Angela Davis and the fifth chair, Peter Beinart.

I don't get how they -- why they did -- because you can't really get T.B. in under short exposure -- It was a two-hour flight -- in these kind of conditions. You get it by if you're in prison with somebody; if you're living with somebody.

AMANPOUR: And I don't think we even know yet, does he have it, doesn't he have it?

COOPER: Right.

AMANPOUR: Or what really happened?

COOPER: There are two kinds of T.B. (ph) tests around.

AMANPOUR: And the two different terms, either no fly or do not board or whatever.

COOPER: Right.

AMANPOUR: The TSA has one. The airline has another. It's very confusing.

I know, being a regular and frequent flier like all of us know that, that I'm always afraid of getting a cold or something. But those are on long-haul flights. But I mean, T.B.?

DAVIS: T.B..

COOPER: Well, also, I'm obsessed with the germs on the planes. Because they don't really clean the planes now in between flights or those pillows which are just like -- to me like petri dishes.

DAVIS: Don't use them.

CASTELLANOS: It's like being back in the second grade. You know, in flu and cold season, you know, whatever it is they've got on that plane, everybody's going to walk off with it.

COOPER: I do want to talk about the "60 Minutes" piece that was on, Charlie Rose interviewing Jeff Bezos of Amazon. And it's gotten a huge amount of pick-up. There were criticisms of the piece, but a lot a lot of attention was focused on Amazon's -- what they say are their plans to use drones to deliver packages. Here's the CEO, Jeff Bezos, talking to Charlie Rose on "60 Minutes" last night on CBS.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JEFF BEZOS, AMAZON.COM: We can do half-hour delivery.

CHARLIE ROSE, JOURNALIST, CBS'S "60 MINUTES": Half-hour delivery?

BEZOS: Half-hour delivery, and we can carry objects, we think, up to five pounds, which covers 86 percent of the items we deliver.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: I don't buy this. I don't buy this. AMANPOUR: To be honest nor do I. You know, Bill gates was interviewed today. And while he admires Bezos's innovation and as you would imagine, he said there's probably going to be problems. What are they called, optocopters or something?

COOPER: They don't -- people don't like to use the term "drone" because "drone" has such a negative connotation.

AMANPOUR: But remember, just on a completely different issue, during the Philippine typhoon, that amazing drone video...

COOPER: There was incredible video, right, which CNN -- CNN used. Yes.

AMANPOUR: ... that was incredible. I would say that Amazon is in the -- sort of my household's bad books right now. Because my son tried to get and -- pre-ordered the PS4.

COOPER: Uh-oh.

AMANPOUR: And it ran out. They didn't have it. So maybe a drone would have worked.

COOPER: But I think this is a brilliant P.R. move by Amazon.

DAVIS: I think it's a marketing strategy, because...

COOPER: Because all day today, everyone is talk about these drones.

DAVIS: And the way that he played them. You know, there's a secret coming -- in the article, because I was watching "Heroes" when that was on.

CASTELLANOS: Let's celebrate.

DAVIS: But the secret's coming and taunting the producers. If you can guess what the secret is. And so he played them, and then it's like here's the robots. So I think it was a great...

CASTELLANOS: Do you know why the headlights on a Jeep Cherokee are round? Because the team that helped design them said, "These Americans are restless people. Americans are all about what's next. Vast country. Huge frontier. Americans are restless. They're always looking over the horizon."

So the Jeep Cherokee is a horse, and the headlights are round because they're the eyes of the horse. And they sold a lot of these things to this frontier-ish country.

We love this. We love what's next. We love anything that lifts our eyes over the horizon. Amazon has done a great job.

And combine the last two stories. Look at health care. We all want to reduce health-care costs right? How much are we spending today on malaria in the United States? How much are we spending today on polio or scarlet fever? The answer is nothing. Because innovation, technology, new cures...

(CROSSTALK)

BEINART: We really...

CASTELLANOS: But my point is that this innovative spirit, what's the best way now to try to, you know -- Henry Ford -- Henry Ford said, "You know what? If I'd listened to my customers, I'd have made a faster horse."

BEINART: But you know, the thing about...

CASTELLANOS: We need a car.

BEINART: Americans like innovation. Americans are also jealous of their privacy. We're going to -- the day that we start seeing drones flying all around are the day we start seeing people shooting down those drones.

There's a town in Colorado where they are giving people drone hunting licenses. This is what's fascinating about this. You're right.

DAVIS: Whoa.

BEINART: The march of technology intruding more and more on people's privacy is coming. But the pushback we're seeing with the NSA and others --- the pushback on Americans, who are very jealous about -- thanks goodness, about...

DAVIS; The criminality that will come...

BEINART: ... these two things are going to collide more and more in fascinating ways.

COOPER: But it's interesting. You can buy a drone for about $1,000 now. And I mean, I did a story on GoPro recently for "60 Minutes," and a lot of people are attaching GoPros to drones, and you can get amazing footage. Like CNN used in -- in the Philippines.

AMANPOUR: There are amazing civilian -- and...

COOPER: There are civilians using them. But the idea that this is going to be -- I mean, how does this work? To a GPS coordinant?

DAVIS: That's what I'm saying, the criminality that could connect to it. You're going to have thieves now catching other people's Xboxes.

CASTELLANOS: The good news is it's going to be able...

DAVIS: How is this going to work?

CASTELLANOS: These are going to be able to deliver something right to your front lawn. The bad news is, it's going to be a copy of the "Washington Post." COOPER: Ba-dum-bump. All right. Up next, stories you might have mixed. We're going to ask the panel, "What's Your Story?" We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Time now for "What's Your Story?" where the panel shares a story that caught their eye. Maybe everybody else didn't catch it.

I'm actually going to kick it off. Because earlier tonight I did an interview with the family of Jim Lovell. They shared their memories of him. He was killed, one of the four killed in the Metro North crash. Here's some of what they told me about Jim.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NANCY MONTGOMERY, HUSBAND KILLED IN TRAIN CRASH: He was pure goodness. And he lived that and showed that and showed that and gave that to his boys every single day. He gave that to his guys that he worked with. He gave that to his family and his brothers and his nieces and nephews. He gave that to his beautiful daughter. I want people to know how good Jim was.

FINN LOVELL, FATHER DIED IN TRAIN CRASH: First off I just want to say that my dad was not a victim. I don't want him to be known as a victim. Jim Lovell was so much more than just a victim. He was a loving father, a great dad, a best friend, uncle. Great co-worker, just always had a smile on his face. Never had anything bad to say about anyone. One of the best people you could have ever met. And I just want to say I'm so proud and blessed that I was able to call him my father.

HUDSON LOVELL, FATHER DIED IN TRAIN CRASH: I just want to say that he was a very loving father and I miss him a lot, and everybody cared about him. Everybody. He was a really big member of the community. And he was so kind.

MONTGOMERY: That morning he gave me a kiss good-bye in the car, like he usually does, and then we have to cross paths as I'm making my way to the driver's seat, and there was a second kiss. And we don't usually do that. It's usually a mad rush to get to the car. So I got a second kiss.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: That was the last time she saw her husband. The family of Jim Lovell. It's so sad.

AMANPOUR: So sad.

COOPER: And I'm always very hesitant to talk to kids in the wake of something like this.

AMANPOUR: Yes.

COOPER: But she -- we left it up to her if she -- to the mom if she wanted her kids there. And they really wanted people to know about their dad, and especially Finn, who really wanted people to know -- to not think of him as a victim but remember him as he lived his life.

DAVIS: Thank you for doing that. They were so poised and, like, very elegant in that moment, those young men. So thank you for that.

COOPER: "What's Your Story?"

DAVIS: Well, my story is not quite as intense. But it is something I'm obsessed with, which is the politics of black hair. And so again in news, there was a young girl that was sent home because her hair -- she was being bullied because of her hair. It was too puffy. And so she went back to school today, and it was unchanged. And as a result, "Ebony" had on November 27 "Happy Afro Day."

COOPER: I love that.

DAVIS: Every day is Happy Afro Day for me.

COOPER: I love her hair.

DAVIS: It is -- it's awesome. But her hair starts things, apparently. And black hair starts things, like Dante de Blasio's hair started something. And actually, even his wife's hair is going to start something.

So that's my story. And this little girl was also very poised. She's going back to school as is and then see, you know, what her -- what people think.

COOPER: If people have not seen, by the way, Chris Rock's documentary about hair, I thought it was very interesting.

DAVIS: It's very funny, and it start -- there's so many...

COOPER: It starts a conversation.

DAVIS: Black hair is like a religion. Like there's so many different ways to enter it. But it also is the entry point. We were talking about this in the green room, that black hair is an entry point for us to communicate.

Meaning, I'm so -- I'm almost as pale as you are, but my hair makes you know that I have some proximity to being African in some way. And so our hair making us -- it locates us, right?

COOPER: And Malcolm Gladwell has written famously about how differently he was treated when he his hair was bigger, pulled over by police...

DAVIS: Absolutely.

COOPER: ... put under suspicion. And when his hair was shorter, all that went away.

DAVIS: It triggers things.

BEINART: Imagine Barack Obama, if Barack Obama had a different haircut.

DAVIS: Or Michelle. They even did an experiment of her with an afro on the cover of "The New Yorker," where she was militant. People still associate it with civil rights. And she's just trying to wear her hair the way it grows out of her head. And so for a lot of black women the most radical way you can wear your hair is the way it comes out, which is up and out. And it's happy.

COOPER: Christiane, what's your story?

AMANPOUR: I had an incredible encounter today with a man called Olivier Picasso. And yes, he's the grandson of Pablo Picasso. And he has got a small cubist painting of his grandfather's, which he's raffling for 100 euros per ticket. They're trying to sell 50,000 tickets.

And you or anybody who, you know, buys a raffle ticket can own a $1 million Picasso.

DAVIS: Whoa!

AMANPOUR: And it's in aid of a city of Tyre in Lebanon, which is an ancient Phoenician city. And they're trying to keep it up and put in work schemes for women and other people. And it's a really interesting idea. And it's beautiful.

COOPER: Where would people go to do that? Do you know?

AMANPOUR: Online. Oh, my goodness, we should have had it.

DAVIS: Online. We can scratch off a Picasso.

COOPER: All right. We'll put that -- We'll put the link on our Web site, AC360.com.

Do it very quickly, Alex, 30 seconds.

CASTELLANOS: What caught my eye, a study we mentioned earlier, the importance of fathers and families. And that the income and equality gap really did start in the '70s, post-'70s, the sexual revolution, when families started breaking up, when single moms started having children. Single families are poor. Is it a money gap or is it a family gap that's really driving inequality?

COOPER: All right. I want to thank our panel. Sorry we didn't have time for your story. Next time.

That does it for AC360 LATER. Thanks for watching. Don Lemon is up next with a whole new program, "THE 11TH HOUR." Be right back.