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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT
Key Senate Races Too Close to Call; ISIS Brainwashing Kids to Become Terror Fighters; Brittany Maynard, 29, Chooses to End Her Life; Pot Could Swing the Deadlocked Race for Florida Governor
Aired November 3, 2014 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: OUTFRONT tonight, breaking news, the day before Americans go to the polls, several key races are too close to call tonight.
Will Democrats lose the Senate?
Plus new video tonight showing ISIS brainwashing children with brutal indoctrination movies. This as Chicago teens are stopped at the airport on their way to join ISIS.
And Brittany Maynard, just 29 years old, ended her life after a very public battle with brain cancer. Her story ahead.
Let's go OUTFRONT.
Good evening. I'm Erin Burnett. OUTFRONT tonight, too close to call.
Election day hours away. Control of Congress hangs in the balance tonight. Here's what you need to know.
There are 10 states up for grabs in the Senate. Those are the key states. Right now, polls in most of them show they are too close to call. Republicans need to pick up only six of them, though, to gain control of the Senate.
And this is what's really interesting here. Republicans have history on their side when it comes to the number six. Since FDR was in the White House, the president's party has lost an average of six Senate seats in the president's sixth year in the White House. That is this year for President Obama.
Now despite all the talk, though, of how some said Democrats versus Republicans, what makes this race which you probably haven't heard a lot about until recent days, what makes it actually really interesting is that these third party candidates that could make all the difference. Particularly in the key state of Kansas where the independent candidate is in a statistical dead heat with the Republican incumbent.
Jim Sciutto begins our coverage tonight OUTFRONT from Kansas City.
And Jim, the race there down to the wire. JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Erin,
that's right. And one of the oddities of this year's midterms is that Kansas has a rare chance for the Democrats to steal one from the Republicans and there's no Democrat on the ballot here. The challenger here, the independent Greg Orman who is a candidate who will not say which party he'll caucus with if he wins tomorrow.
That decision and of course the decision of Kansas voters tomorrow could be a deciding factor in who controls the Senate.
SCIUTTO (voice-over): Tomorrow's election may seem all about Democrats and Republicans. But control of the Senate may come down to an independent and two libertarians.
Here in Kansas, millionaire businessman Greg Orman is an independent running neck in neck with Republican Pat Roberts, a 34- year GOP Capitol Hill veteran. No Democrat is competing here.
Orman has coyly avoided saying which party he'll caucus with if he wins but he does have a message resonating this year with voters from both parties.
GREG ORMAN (I), KANSAS SENATE CANDIDATE: Washington is broken. We all know it. I believe we can have another American century if we elect problem solvers, not extreme partisans.
SCIUTTO: Orman may sound a lot like this woman in Georgia.
AMANDA SWAFFORD (L), GEORGIA GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE: Republicans and Democrats have failed us with the same old broken promises for decades.
SCIUTTO: Despite big names on both sides there, Democrat Michelle Nunn, daughter of former Senator Sam Nunn, and Republican David Perdue, cousin of a former governor, it is little known Libertarian Amanda Swafford shaking up this race the Democrats have a shot at picking up the Republican seat.
She is only polling in the single digits but that could be enough to force a runoff in a state requiring 50 percent to win. A runoff means this race and the question of Senate control may not be settled until January.
Then there's North Carolina. Another race too close to call. Libertarian Sean Haugh is political novice, a pizza delivery man who's made a name for himself with folksy ads recorded in this campaign manager's basement.
SEAN HAUGH (L), NORTH CAROLINA SENATE CANDIDATE: Howdy. I'm Sean Haugh. Libertarian for U.S. Senate here in North Carolina in 2014, and we need to stop all war. And stop spending more money than we have.
SCIUTTO: His stand on legalizing marijuana has lit up the unusual campaign slogan. Get Haugh. Get high.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Get Haugh. Get high.
SCIUTTO: Like Swafford in Georgia, Haugh is polling in the single digits but enough to steal support from the major party candidates. The question, does he steal more from Republican Thom Tillis or Democrat incumbent Kay Hagan?
SCIUTTO: Most poll show Haugh stealing more from the Republican there than from the Democrat, but that race as well still too close to call. And a lot of this frustration is familiar, it is growing, the general frustration with Washington. It certainly has appeal. But when you look at lot at these races breaking, Erin, you still see the dominance of the major parties.
These independent candidates, as much as they grab the headlines, and might make a difference in some of these tight races that overall still Republicans and Democrats are dominant.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Jim Sciutto.
Now let's to go John King. He's at the magic wall.
And, John, I mean, I know we're getting -- you know, we were doing kind of the "Sesame Street." That it comes down to the number six. How important that was, right? But it is amazing that there are so few races and how close they are. I mean, when you look at Kansas and you look at that race, fascinating people here. Could Kansas decide it all?
JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I feel like I'm supposed to click my heels at that question, Erin. Yes, it could. Will it? You know, normally we get a break in elections but let me give you a scenario. Here's where we start, 55-45 control of the Senate. Here's what's up at stake tomorrow night. Let me go through this rather quickly.
Most everyone assumes this will happen. Montana, South Dakota, West Virginia, go to the Republicans. Now we're looking at 10 states left on the board, right? What if the Democrats can hold the blues? That's what I call them, Colorado, Iowa, New Hampshire. The president carried both of those states twice. Republicans say they won't quit, again, for the hypothetical, plus, North Carolina. The president carried that state once, lost it in 2012.
If that played out, then you're at 49-45. Right? We got six states left. So let say the Republicans take Alaska. That's what they expect. Democrats say we might be counting there for a couple of days but let's stay that the Democrats hold on and Mitch McConnell keeps his job, wins again in Kentucky. He wants to be the majority leader. The Republicans right now, pretty sure, but let's see what happens but let's give them this for this scenario.
All right. Where are we now? We're at 49-48. I have left Kansas right here. Let's assume Greg Orman wins. Let's give him the win. It doesn't change the math yet, Erin, because we don't know how he's going to vote. Which party he'll caucus with.
We could go into the two runoffs in Georgia and Louisiana, at 49- 48. Let's say for the sake of argument that the Republican wins in Louisiana. That's the December runoff, look where we are now, 49-49.
The Democrats only need 50 because Joe Biden would break the tie. But even if, even if the Republicans won here, that would get the Republicans to 50, Greg Orman could be sitting there on January 6th as the most influential man in America. Will that scenario happen? Probably not. But is it possible in this crazy year that he could be sitting there in January and he goes with the Democrats? Joe Biden breaks the tie, it goes to the Republicans. Mitch McConnell gets the gavel? It is possible.
BURNETT: And I just want to say it out loud, just switch back and forth.
Orman the most powerful guy.
All right. John King, thank you very much.
I mean, it shows you how when you look at all these names, and names may swim in your head, because of so many different states, but it could come down to one guy, when you talk about Orman.
Well, joining me now, Paul Begala, Reihan Salam, and Dana Bash.
All right, when you look at the map, Paul, we wanted to break this down really simply. Kind of clips notes here. So what's the must-win for Democrats tomorrow? And what would be the biggest loss for you?
PAUL BEGALA, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I think the must-win is North Carolina. We saw in Jim Sciutto's piece that there's a pizza delivery guy kind of upsetting it. But two major candidates, Kay Hagan, the Democratic incumbent. She's just done everything right from a strategic point of view. Most importantly, she's made the race not about Barack Obama who is unpopular but about Thom Tillis, her Republican opponent who's the speaker of the House in Raleigh.
And Raleigh may be the only state capital that less popular than Washington, our national capital. So Kay has done everything right. Senator Hagan has. If she loses, that's a big problem, but she -- that's the must-win for my party.
The heartbreak if they lose, I think, for the Democrats, is probably Iowa. There's a sentimental reason that the state that really launched Barack Obama to the White House.
BEGALA: Also Tom Harkin is a beloved Democrat. He's retiring and if his seat is then taken by a very conservative Tea Party Republican, Joni Ernst, that will break a lot of Democratic hearts.
BURNETT: It will. And a lot of people have been watching that race closely.
Reihan, from the Republican side, for you, what is the must-win? What would be the biggest loss?
REIHAN SALAM, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I think Colorado is must-win because Colorado is a really interesting state. It has a big Hispanic electorate. It has a lot of independents, it has a lot of college educated white socially liberal voters and so for that reason a lot of people believe that that's a state that Republicans can no longer win.
But now Republicans have the candidate Cory Gardner who's done a very effective job of parrying certain criticisms from the left on the war on women among other things that had been very effective for Democrats in the past. So if Republicans win that race, it is saying a lot about how Republicans might fare come 2016.
BURNETT: And more of that when you talk about the social issues that matter.
BURNETT: Now biggest loss. You actually -- this is Paul's must- win -- North Carolina, which I want to just throw out for you. You're talking about the big -- would be the biggest loss. North Carolina, according to Roll Call, could be the most expensive race.
And by the way, everybody, what has been the biggest spending ever in the midterm election? The midterm election no one seems to have been paying attention to is the most expensive. But why North Carolina the biggest loss?
SALAM: Well, because North Carolina is the kind of state, if the Republicans are going to win in a presidential year, they have to do well there. The trouble is that they're doing poorly in North Carolina now at a time when the electorate is actually more favorable for Republicans. That's just a bad sign for Republicans going forward.
And I think that it speaks to a larger problem about trying to run an election of this kind without a more compelling domestic agenda so I think Republicans need to keep a close eye on what happens in North Carolina.
BURNETT: All right. So we got those key states laid out.
And, Dana, what are you going to be watching tomorrow to help determine when you say, all right, at this point in the night, this just happened, now I think I know how this is going to go?
DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, not to be too redundant, North Carolina is one I'm going to be looking for. Mostly because it's on the East Coast. And if Kay Hagan, the Democrat, does lose there, it's telling. But maybe even more importantly when you're looking at the East Coast, New Hampshire.
Jeanne Shaheen is the only incumbent Democrat that's above water. Meaning, she's the only incumbent Democrat that has a favorability that's higher than 50 percent. And so if she loses to her challenger, Scott Brown, who was a senator from Massachusetts until he was defeated and moved north to run again in New Hampshire, that's going to be incredibly telling for the rest of the night.
Then sort of moving west, Kansas. Talking to the Republican sources today. That is what they have been most jitters about. Not sure that they can keep that in Republican hands. You heard Jim Sciutto's report whether or not the independent will take it, Greg Orman.
And then all the way west, Alaska. This is a state that is purplish. And it is not very good terrain for President Obama right now like many purple states but it's really hard to pull an Alaska because obviously the terrain there, the literal terrain is very difficult.
Democrats have been doing a get out the vote operation that is unprecedented going into native Alaskan communities on these little islands, trying to get them to vote with CB radios. If they're successful with that, you can't poll that, right? If they're successful with that, that could be a surprise.
BURNETT: And of course, you know, for those who are -- who are watching this and those who are covering it, the fact that Alaska could be the deciding vote is a pretty depressing thing. Right? You're looking at 1:00, 2:00 a.m. If you're looking, and then it could be days.
BURNETT: All right. A prediction from each of you.
Paul, when does CNN call control of the Senate? Which is what this really comes down to.
BEGALA: January 7th. Not -- you think it's going --
BURNETT: After a runoff in Alaska.
BEGALA: Yes. Erin, first of all, Alaska is four hours -- not really behind us because they're a very wonderful state. But yes, four hours behind the East Coast so that will delay it. Then there will be, as King showed, likely, probably a runoff in Louisiana. And then potentially a runoff in Georgia. That's the last of the runoffs. It could be -- Georgia runoff is January 6th. So the counting may go past midnight. So you know what, bring your sleeping bags. It's going to be -- I can't wait. This is what I live for.
BURNETT: January 7th, Reihan, or earlier?
SALAM: I think we'll know earlier.
BURNETT: All right.
SALAM: But I'm going to say exactly when but I think we'll know earlier.
BURNETT: And Dana, what about you?
BASH: Well, I'm just going to say that we'll probably know earlier but because this is what we cover for a living and drama is good, let's just -- let's just say it's going to go a couple of months.
BASH: Let's just get everybody ready for that, right?
BURNETT: Well said. Drama is good.
All right. Thanks to all. We appreciate it.
And OUTFRONT next, more than 300 people including children executed by ISIS. This slaughter near Baghdad. We're going to tell you everything we know about this just after this break.
Plus, the breaking news from Chicago. Federal prosecutors say three teenagers there are trying to leave the country to join ISIS.
And Brittany Maynard diagnosed with terminal brain cancer. She chose to end her own life. A woman with the same diagnosis says Maynard did the wrong thing. She's OUTFRONT tonight.
BURNETT: Breaking news. New displays of brutality by the terror group ISIS. I want to warn you before we show you some of these images that they are graphic. Here's what we know. We know that 322 men, women and children have been rounded up in Iraq's Anbar Province and murdered.
This is according to Iraq's Ministry of Human Rights. The group -- the terror group tweeted pictures of the death and destruction. The rampage was about 85 miles from Baghdad. That's where American troops are now acting as advisers.
Barbara Starr is OUTFRONT from the Pentagon.
And Barbara, this is a mass killing. It involves something we haven't seen before in terms of how they were executing these children. What more can you tell us?
BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Good evening, Erin. The U.S. watching this very carefully. Some people already referring to crime against humanity where ISIS is concerned.
This is a tribe out in west of Baghdad by all accounts that was beginning -- a Sunni tribe that was beginning to pull away from ISIS. They were beginning to try and find themselves independent voice from ISIS. And look, ISIS is nervous about this. They lash out at the least little things so anybody moving away from them was going to get a very violent reaction.
What the U.S. wants to see now is for the Iraqi government to begin to arm some of these Sunni tribes, perhaps, to encourage them to rise up. And know that the Iraqi forces will come fight for them. This is the big problem right now. The Iraqi forces, the U.S. is trying to get them to go on the offense. To have a major offensive operation. But they need to have some help from the Sunni tribes that are out there and try and get them away from ISIS.
It's just one of the steps in a very complicated operation.
BURNETT: Certainly these horrific images of these children.
Thank you so much, Barbara.
And I want to bring in Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Admiral John Kirby.
Admiral, thank you so much for taking time to be with us tonight. I mean, the brutality we're talking about here even as we hear about things like beheadings, it still stuns. 322 executed in this one tribe. The tribe leader is now telling us, six children, nine women were among them which apparently they say is new even for ISIS. They would imprison or sell women and children. Not necessarily kill them.
Of course, they reportedly have an American female hostage now. A woman, we've been told, perhaps they would treat her differently than the male workers and the aid worker who were beheaded.
Does this change that?
REAR ADM. JOHN KIRBY, PENTAGON PRESS SECRETARY: Well, it certainly doesn't change our assessment of the brutality of this group. I mean, I -- we can't independently verify those numbers but we have no reason to doubt their authenticity either.
This is a pretty brutal group with a barbaric sense of reality and a warped ideology. And this speaks to the very real threat that we're facing. That our Iraqi partners are facing there in the country. And why we're working so hard to try to improve their competence and capability.
BURNETT: And in terms of Americans that they still have hostage, obviously of course there's a British reporter as well, I know you probably saw just a mile away from where CNN has reporters, talking about what's happening in the besieged town of Kobani. Just a mile away. Was doing a sort of a reporter walk and talk giving the ISIS point of view. It was a very frightening thing to see.
Do you have any reason to think that he or the Americans could be saved? KIRBY: I think it's just despicable. You mentioned this video
that they would use this man, Mr. Kentley, for -- to make such a propaganda video. But again it speaks to just their depravity and barbarity. And the kind of threat that we're facing there. We have no indication that the video is anything other than authentic but it just again speaks to just how evil these people are.
BURNETT: There have been 783 airstrikes so far today in Iraqi and Syria. And during that time of course we now hear there's been a thousand new fighters from the west which have gone -- who've gone and fight with ISIS.
Is it time to say -- I mean, there's got to be some frustration. And look, I know you never said airstrikes alone will do it. As a matter of fact, you pointedly didn't say that airstrikes alone would do it. But that's been all there's been so far and clearly they haven't been enough.
So is it time to do more?
KIRBY: Actually, Erin, we are doing more. And there is more being done. It's not just about airstrikes. That's what everybody focuses on. And that's what makes the headlines and I get that. But the Iraqis are pushing back. They are going on an offensive against ISIL throughout the country. Now it's not a major offensive but they are reaching out to some areas like the Baiji oil refinery out in Anbar, and Peshmerga are fighting in and around the north up there. They've taken back a dozen or more towns and villages.
So there's a lot going on that people just don't see it. But it has to happen on the ground as well. It can't just happen from the air.
BURNETT: And look, the points you make are valid. I want to ask you, though, whether you take issue then with something that an observer is telling us here at CNN about northwest Syria, since we're talking about Kobani and Syria, saying that the fighters, another al Qaeda linked fighters, have now taken 70 percent of the territory that was once held by moderates. Now that's an observer telling this to CNN.
BURNETT: Do you think that that is accurate or fair?
KIRBY: I don't know that I can dispute that figure. What I will say is we do know that they have taken advantage of the safe haven, the sanctuary, the ungoverned space in the north of Syria and certainly the northeast of Syria. They've taken advantage of that and they've moved in. And again, when we talk about the Assad regime being a big part of the problem here, that's what we mean.
KIRBY: He's lost all the -- he has no governing capability in that part of Syria and that's where these guys have operated. So we can't really get to the exact number. The figure that your observer represents. But we certainly don't dispute that ISIL still has safe haven and sanctuary in that part of Syria.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Admiral Kirby.
KIRBY: My pleasure.
BURNETT: And OUTFRONT next, breaking news out of Chicago. Federal prosecutors say three teenagers tried to leave this country to join ISIS.
Plus, ISIS militants indoctrinating their youngest recruits using propaganda movies featuring the brutal video.
And married for just two years, about to start a family. Brittany Maynard ended up -- ended her life with her fight with brain cancer. Tonight a woman with the same cancer talks about her choice and why she thinks Brittany made the wrong one.
BURNETT: Breaking news, two more American teenagers detained for allegedly trying to join ISIS. Today the government revealing why it picked up the siblings -- they were siblings -- and what they were thinking at the time they were nabbed at Chicago's O'Hare Airport.
Evan Perez is OUTFRONT.
And, Evan, what was the motive?
EVAN PEREZ, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Erin, you know, this is the bombshell that came out in court today. They were going to join ISIS. The age is what the big concern is for the FBI here. We're talking about three siblings. We knew about the arrests of Mohammed Hamzah Khan who's 19. We also found out today from -- in the court that the feds have also picked up his younger siblings. A sister who was 17 and a young border who is 16. Now all three left behind notes for their parents saying goodbye and saying that they had distaste for American culture.
Hamzah Khan had previously said that he didn't understand how any Muslim could live in this country, given that your taxes are going to attack other Muslims. Now we found out in court today that the sister who, again she's 17, she's now turned 18, when she was arrested or rather detained last month, left behind a note in which she said, I will probably never see you again, to her parents.
All three again left behind these notes and said that they were going to join ISIS simply because they felt that this is where good Muslims should go.
BURNETT: All right. Evan, thank you very much.
And when you hear things like that, which is of course disturbing to so many, it's not just children in the United States that people are worried about. Tonight we have a new and a very rare glimpse into a world where children are being brainwashed to becoming future fighters for terror groups.
Nick Paton Walsh is OUTFRONT in southern Turkey tonight.
NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice- over): The dark they sit in makes the light from the projector all the more captivating. Children in Deir ez-Zor gathered.
This is movie night. But it's an ISIS production and comes with a pep talk.
"So don't be afraid. We're your brothers," he says. "If anyone assaults you, a top chief or unimportant soldier, just complain about him, and your rights will be restored to you by Allah's will."
An activist secretly filmed these pictures as the main event gets underway. An ISIS execution video, running in their underwear in their last moments. Some of 250 Syrian regime soldiers executed by ISIS in August.
A Syrian psychologist specializing in the impact of war and ISIS on children examined this footage.
What we see in these videos, he says, is ISIS taking steps to make it normal for their children to see such things. They hope that all, or at least some, will go on to do the same things. Not just be silent or accept it, but do it.
Indoctrination comes with pageantry and study. This is a graduation ceremony for the ISIS cubs. They're not playing masked superheroes, but real-life jihad.
After years of sectarian bloodshed hear what they have these children sing.
UNIDENTIFIED CHILDREN: Oh, Alawi Shia police who live to slaughter, we will come to slaughter you without you even knowing.
WALSH: Minds molded to their fit. Schooled to remember huge texts by rote. Yet, there is nothing staged about the vigor in these eyes as they chant, "God is our leader and backer. America is their leader."
They talk about the lost generation in Syria's war. Here the dogma and horror is lost too.
WALSH: Now, Erin, we know the damage done to Syria's refugees, 3 million outside Syria. Almost twice as many displaced inside the country. That's the damage. What you saw there is potentially the damage done to the future of this region.
We talk about lone wolfs in the United States. But remember, there could be thousands, potentially hundreds of thousands of young Syrians and Iraqis with this ideology in mind in the future -- Erin.
ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: Nick, thank you very much. Kind of stunning and sobering report.
I want to bring in our counterterrorism analyst Phil Mudd.
So, when you first see this -- and I want to emphasize, because we have talked so much to our viewers about these videos. This was not video release bid is for PR reasons. This was filmed, caught by an activist who was showing these children, basically at what looks like a movie night, an outdoor movie night. And you see them watching beheadings and executions.
PHIL MUDD, CNN COUNTERTERRORISM ANALYST: Look, when I see this, there's an upside and a downside. The downside obviously is significant.
We saw a transition ten years ago in this counterterrorism campaign. The first people we at CIA took down into our secret -- our black sites, people like Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the architect of 9/11, steep in the ideology of al Qaeda, viewers have studied. Transitioning ten years ago, you get people who are more emotionally motivated by, for example, Abu Ghraib photographs.
These kids will not be ideologically motivated through years of education. They might be emotionally motivated to say Americans are bad. The governments are bad.
The flip side of, though, is if we can turn the tide against al Qaeda, the same emotional trigger that taught them to believe the West is bad, the government is bad, beheading is OK, you might be able to conviction them as an 8 or 10-year-old, that's actually not right and switch them back.
BURNETT: You heard him talk about possibly hundreds of thousands of children and you see the video of these kids, you know, all those boys were, what? Seven to 10 years old, chanting with such enthusiasm. And some of them are much younger, as you can see, 4 and 5. That is just very hard to watch. It brings tears to your eyes.
MUDD: Yes. Well, you've got to think about the time frame, and it's not an American time frame. We tend to think in terms of days or weeks or months. We've been involved in Iraq for more than a decade. Somebody who was 12 years old 10 years ago is now perfectly capable of carrying -- if that person was radicalized 10 years ago, they're a fully pledged fighter.
The half life of an insurgency is a decade. We're only a few months into this counter ISIS campaign. These kids are 7 or 8. If this insurgency lasts that long, by the time they're 18, it's going to be too late. And that's how long insurgencies last.
BURNETT: And the point we talk about this is, well, when people say, OK, these kids are over there. Sure they're over there. That's what the focus is. When you look at what Nick was saying, when you look at
thousands, tens of thousands, they're not going to stay over there. Their ambitions are not going to stay over where.
MUDD: Erin, this is why we're engaged in this campaign. This isn't about only protecting Baghdad. If you look in the history of the counterinsurgency or counterterrorism I faced at CIA after 9/11, Somalia, North Africa, Indonesia. If you have a large terror organize that is not al Qaeda, but is as I would say al Qaeda-ish, in other words, they have absorbed the ideology. At some point, there is a sliver of that organization that says our target isn't Baghdad. It's not Yemen. It's not Somalia. It's New York or Washington.
So, even if 1 half of 1 percent of these kids absorbs, we've got a problem.
BURNETT: Well, and you heard what they are chanting, right? We follow God. The rest follow America.
That is choice that has been set up, which makes me ask you, what about these Americans? We talk about a thousand. It's a number we were just talking about with Admiral Kirby. About a thousand foreign fighters have gone into Syria in the past six weeks in Iraq, which is pretty incredible considering you have, what, 800 airstrikes. These fighters are flowing in.
Has there ever been a fate that has gotten more? More foreign fighters? More flowing in?
MUDD: Let me be blunt. I don't care about foreign fighters. I care about North Americans and Europeans and what we used to call clean skins. People who have the documentation if they slip under the radar to come back and say, I was in Turkey, I was in Jordan.
BURNETT: That's why you call them clean skins --
MUDD: That's right, because their passport is clean.
So, you can talk about foreign fighters. I worry about the subset who can come under the radar. I can't think in may recollection of looking at dozens of operations globally, of any campaign including Afghanistan back when we were fighting the Soviets in the first elements of al Qaeda where that included this many people who had the potential of going back to France, Italy, U.K., and potentially the United States.
BURNETT: Translating the biggest risk.
MUDD: It is. But you have to think of the definition of big. Don't think of a thousand or 10,000. If you're in a business at the 7:15 threat briefing of the FBI, what if two of them get through? You're finished. You're doing congressional testimony for a year and you explain to a family that just lost their sob in a suicide bombing, how did you miss them? That's the problem.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Phil Mudd. MUDD: Sure.
BURNETT: And OUTFRONT next, Brittany Maynard. You know her name now. You've seen her, a beautiful woman, young woman. She spoke very bravely about her battle with a brain tumor. She chose to edge her life this weekend.
New, we're going to talk to a woman with the same diagnosis, who has come to the opposite conclusion.
Plus, it's one of the year's most closely contested governor's races. Could legalized medical marijuana, could pot actually determine the boss of Florida?
BURNETT: "Love and peace to you all". That was 29-year-old Brittany Maynard's final statement before choosing to end her life on Saturday. She took a lethal dose of drugs available under the Oregon's Death with Dignity Law.
You may know her story, but she was diagnosed with brain cancer and given just months to live. Now, she has sparked an international debate about the decision to end a life.
BURNETT (voice-over): Brittany Maynard died on Saturday, November 1st, much as she had planned.
BRITTANY MAYNARD: So if November 2nd comes along and I've passed, I hope my family is still proud of me in the choices I made.
BURNETT: Just ten months earlier, on New Years Day, Brittany was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer. She was told she might have three to 10 years to live. But by the spring, the cancer had reached stage four. She was told she might only have six months.
Doctors told Brittany her death would be prolonged and painful. So, she decided when the time came, she would take life-ending medication. She launched a public campaign to raise awareness of Death with Dignity laws.
In an op-ed for CNN, she wrote, "I would not tell anyone else that he or she should choose death with dignity. My question is, who has the right to tell me that I don't deserve this choice?"
Brittany married Dan Diaz in the fall of 2012, just months before her diagnosis. Best friends, Brittany and Dan met five years earlier.
DAN DIAZ, BRITTANY MAYNARD'S HUSBAND: It sounds so cliche. We take thing one day at a time but that's the only way to get through this.
MAYNARD: I wanted him to be happy. I wanted him to have a family. And I know that might sound weird, but there's no part of me that wants him to live out the rest of his life just missing his wife.
BURNETT: They bought a small yellow house in Oregon, to live in one of five states that allowed physician assisted death.
Brittany vowed to live her life to the fullest.
MAYNARD: I still feel good enough and I still have enough joy and I still laugh and smile with my family and friends enough that it doesn't seem like the right time, right now. But it will come because I feel myself getting sicker. It is happening each week.
BURNETT: In the months before her death, Brittany refused to slow down, climbing ice trail in Alaska, fulfilling a life-long dream to see the Grand Canyon.
Towards the end, Brittany had one more goal, to celebrate Dan's birthday on October 26th. Six days later, she took a fatal dose of barbiturates as prescribed by her doctor. Her obituary says she died at peace and certainly at her own choice.
MAYNARD: I will die upstairs in my bedroom that I share with my husband, with my mother and my husband by my side.
BURNETT: Joining me now is Maggie Karner, who is battling the same form of brain cancer as Brittany Maynard. Maggie opposes laws that permit assisted suicide.
And Maggie, you know, no one in this country who isn't going through what you're going through can comprehend it fully. None of us can. I know you think was Brittany was very brave, but you do disagree strongly with what she did.
MAGGIE KARNER, SUFFERS FROM SAME FORM OF CANCER AS BRITTANY MAYNARD: Yes, I do. First, I just want to say I am grieving along with the whole country, I think, at Brittany's loss. And I want to send my sympathies to her family and friends. It must be a very hard time.
BURNETT: And I know it's important for you to have a chance to say that because I know you do have a lot of admiration for her and the pain she's gone through, and you understand it. But why do you think that she made the wrong choice when it came to choosing to end her life?
KARNER: I can't judge Brittany. You know, she is a strong woman from every report. And she had this in her plan. And -- so I don't want to judge her. I don't want to call into judgment the decision that she made.
My concern is that having one person in Oregon in a very tragic situation laid out before the country and the world, actually, as an example of a common situation, that is not a good way to develop public policy. Brittany's situation -- any time someone has a terminal illness, it is tragic. And we feel for those people. But my concern is that as a society, can't we find better ways to
care for people who are at the end of life?
I don't want -- go ahead. I'm sorry.
BURNETT: No, I was just saying, I know you had -- you had talked about this a bit. And you said, you know, maybe after November 1st, that the two of you could fight this as long as you could fight it together. And she wrote on CNN.com. And I just want to quote what she wrote and give you a chance to share your thoughts about it.
Brittany said, "I am not suicidal. If I were, I would have consumed that medication a long time ago. I do not want to die, but I am dying. And I want to dies on my own terms."
And you know, Maggie, of course, people can empathize with her because we all have this desire to die while we're still the same person we've always been. While we still have all of our mental abilities, while those around us can still love us for the person that they knew. Something like a brain tumor can change that.
Is this -- is it something you've ever struggled with? Is it a question you've ever had for yourself?
KARNER: Well, yes. I mean, the minute you get the diagnosis, just the word glioblastoma just scares the heck out of you. And you think what I am a going to become?
But the cool thing is in the process of this whole journey that I've been on, I've become something that I never imagined I would become. Not to my detriment, but I think -- I'm hoping that I'm becoming a richer, deeper, more appreciative person with compassion for other people. And I've been soaking up the love of my family and friends around me.
And so there's lots to learn by tragedy and challenges. And my concern is that when we eliminate from our society all negativity and challenge, is that the best way as a society to help someone through a challenging time? Can't we find them good, compassionate care? Good pain management that starts early in the cancer journey so it is not just an afterthought at the end? Can't our policies reflect that in an already strained health care system?
It is fragile right now. Our health care system is very fragile right now. We're working on it, but we have a long way to go.
And I would love to see our energies devoted to finding compassionate ways to care for people so that they can squeeze out every minute of life that they can with their family and friends, and not feel they have to resort to taking their own life. That's an unfortunate choice.
So, I would love to have a good public policy discussion with accurate vocabulary. I know Brittany doesn't like the term -- she didn't like the term "suicide", but that's quite literally what she did. She took the pills herself, and so she took her own life, which is the definition of suicide. And that I know word has a lot of baggage, and we don't like that.
But if we're going to have public policy discussion about this, we need to use the same lexicon of vocabulary and talk about it in a way that's unbiased.
BURNETT: Maggie, you know, it is a beautiful how you describe how you feel and how you've had a more beautiful and richer existence, and incredible that you're able to share that. And we'll be thinking of you as you fight this and hoping that you can overcome. Thank you.
KARNER: Thank you.
BURNETT: OUTFRONT next, one of the issues on Florida's ballot. We're talking about pot.
BURNETT: Pot on the ballot tomorrow, voters in Alaska, Oregon and Washington D.C. will decide if they want to legalize pot for recreation.
And in Florida, legalizing medical marijuana will be on the ballot. Donors from all over the country are pouring millions into this and you're looking live at pictures of Bill Clinton. He's headlining a rally for Democratic candidate Charlie Crist, who's in a virtual tie with Rick Scott, the Republican governor. And this deadlocked race for Florida's governor, it could all come down to pot, no word on whether, you know, you inhale tonight.
Athena Jones is OUTFRONT with the money and power of pot.
BILL CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT: I experimented with marijuana a time or two, and I didn't like it.
ATHENA JONES, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): That was 22 years ago, now getting high is legal in Colorado and Washington, and more states could be following their lead.
Legalizing recreational marijuana is on the ballot this year in Oregon, Alaska and Washington, D.C.
REID WILSON, WRITER, THE WASHINGTON POST: In a lot of states, medical marijuana is already legal. In two states, marijuana is legal for recreational use. This feels like a set of dominos and once the first couple fall, we'll see them fall in a number of other states.
JONES: In Florida, a medical marijuana amendment could help tip the balance in one of the closest and most watched governor races in the country. The showdown between former Governor Charlie Crist, the Democrat, and current Governor Rick Scott, the Republican. With polls showing them neck and neck, every vote counts and weed could bring people to the polls who don't usually participate in midterm elections.
CHARLIE CRIST (D), FLORIDA GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE: I think it's the compassion thing to do.
JONES: Crist supports legalizing medical marijuana. The amendment's chief sponsor is Crist's law partner, and some say the goal is to boost the turn out from young people and other Democratic- leaning voters to help Crist win.
WILSON: It's a very political calculations and one that frankly Charlie Crist's allies have put a lot of money into.
AD NARRATOR: Put yes on 2, and trust our doctors to do what's best.
JONES: Supporters have spent more than $800,000 on ads pushing the measure, according to the Center for Public Integrity, spending that far outpaces the only other initiative on the ballot.
AD NARRATOR: They don't call it the drug dealer protection act, but they should. Vote no on Amendment 2.
JONES: But even more money is coming from opponents, some $3.9 million, much of it provided by conservative casino magnet Sheldon Adelson.
Scott abuses the amendment.
GOV. RICK SCOTT (R), FLORIDA: The right thing to do is continue to go back through the legislative process to find treatments that work.
JONES: So, will Democrats high hopes the measure will hope Crist go up in smoke?
WILSON: The bottom line it's Florida, so anything can happen. We still don't know which way the governor's race is going to go. It could absolutely go either way.
JONES: Now, polls have been mixed. While some are showing relatively strong support for the medical marijuana amendment, the fact of the matter is it takes 60 percent to pass a constitutional amendment in Florida, and that's a very high bar. So, it's anybody's guess what will happen and who it will help -- Erin.
BURNETT: So, where is the support coming from, Athena?
JONES: Well, a lot of the support is coming from exactly those non-traditional voters from midterm elections, young people but also I've seen polls that say there is a lot of support among the elderly. These are the groups who may be more likely to have a debilitating illness that could be helped by medical marijuana. But I think what is most interesting here in this is to look at the number of states, 23 states plus the District of Columbia, that have already approved medical marijuana.
So, it's unclear now whether it's going to get to 60 percent, which candidate it will help. But it's certainly an initiative that's going to be returned to, either way -- Erin.
BURNETT: Athena, thank you so much.
And we'll be right back.
BURNETT: Back to our top story tonight, 10 Senate races are too close to call as the polls open in hours. Who's going to control the Senate? It's a crucial question and we have reporters on all the key states. The first results come in at this hour tomorrow night.
Our coverage, "Election Night 2014" starts 5:00 Eastern tomorrow.
"AC360", though, begins right now.