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Group of Republicans are Starting a Super PAC to Stop Trump From Getting the Nomination; Vice President Joe Biden Will Not Run for President in 2016; Paul Ryan Has Votes to Be Next House Speaker. Aired 8-9:00p ET

Aired October 21, 2015 - 20:00   ET


[20:00:13] ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Hey, good evening.

We begin tonight in Iowa where Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump is campaigning now. New polling shows he is not only maintaining his lead but there is now a high expectation among Republicans that he will indeed be the nominee and a belief that he has the best shot to win the general election. We will get to that in a moment.

But first, our political reporter, Sarah Murray is on the campaign trail with Trump. She joins us now.

So what did Trump been talking about so far? Is it his usual kind of resuscitation of his latest poll numbers and what else is he talking about?

SARA MURRAY, CNN POLITICAL REPORTER: Well, we're getting a lot of the usual stuff, but the first thing he addressed (INAUDIBLE) was Joe Biden saying the vice president made the right decision in deciding not to run for an even higher office.


DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We had some news today that Biden is not running. And I think he did the smart thing because frankly, I don't know that he would have won. He wouldn't have gotten the nomination. I don't think he probably would have. And frankly, I really want to run against Hillary. That's the one I've been - you know, when you're sort of like if you have a baseball team or football team, you sort of get your heart set on something, that's the one we want to go against because you go against that record, you go against that record, you're just going to win. We're going to win. We're going to win big.


MURRAY: Now, there is a good reason Trump would prefer to run against Hillary to Joe Biden. Poll show that a much tighter race and have Biden would have a much easier time beating Trump but that matchup is never going to come to fruition -- Anderson.

COOPER: Sara, I also I understand that he went on kind of a long riff or the importance of saying Merry Christmas rather than happy holidays, is that correct?

MURRAY: Yes. It seems like risk that is completely random until you remember one of the most important voting blocs here in Iowa is white evangelicals. And a natural fit for them may not be a billionaire candidate who had married three times. Talking about Christmas saying that it's politically correct to say happy holidays and he's going to keep Merry Christmas in our schools is a way for Trump to connect with these voters. A way to show them look, I will stand up for what you believe in, even if I might not the traditional candidate you would flock to.

COOPER: Right. Sara, thanks very much.

Trump, of course, leading in all the latest polls. The one that came out just today shows a heck of a lot of Republican voters think he will be the nominee. The ABC News/"Washington Post" poll shows 42 percent think Trump is most likely to win. Ben Carson a distant second with 15 percent followed by Jeb Bush with 12. Similar percentage, 43 think Trump has the best chance to win the general election, again followed by Carson and then Bush.

So good news for Donald Trump but for some of the GOP, positively frightening. So much so that some are starting a super pact to defeat Trump. Let me say that again. A group of Republicans are starting a super pact to stop Trump from getting the nomination.

Joining me is the man who is living that effort, Katon Dawson. He is also the former chairman of the South Carolina Republican party and also joined by Trump supporter and CNN commentator Jeffrey Lord. He is a contributing editor of "American Spectator" and former Reagan White House political director. Welcome to you both.

Katon, let me start with you. I mean, in the normal campaign cycle and I'll readily admit, this has not been anything but normal, an establishment Republican like yourself probably would not be publicly saying they are working on a plan and starting a super pact to try to cut, you know, eliminate the party's front runner. Why are you doing it?

KATON DAWSON, NATIONAL REPUBLICAN CONSULTANT: Jeffrey and I both have been doing this a long time and I started with Ronald Reagan as an 8- year-old kid on the stage with him on a Cub Scout outfit at a rally in South Carolina. So I've been doing it a long time and I understand the polls now. And the races just started and there are things that are troublesome with me in a Trump candidacy. I understand these immigration stance and talking about building a wall, which is the length of from Key West to the middle of Maine, 1942 some odd miles, 400 miles of that property is owned by individuals that will be taken from them.

There are a lot of things that go on and on and on. Sixty-two percent of the primaries are evangelicals. And, you know, what a super pact role in this process is is to inform the voters who Mr. Trump is and what we will be seeing if he's our nominee, what the Supreme Court justices would look like and exactly what is policy would be. And right now I'm concerned that Trump is the one I think we can lose with.

COOPER: It's interesting, Katon, because all the things you're talking about are things which in a normal campaign would, I mean, already have been the focus of a lot of attention by Trump's opponents, certainly by the media. You know, I can tell you from our perspective, you know, we've done a lot of those stories about, you know, his policies saying he'll just take Iraq's oil, bomb the hell out of ISIS and in troops to ring the oil field, all which, you know, you talk to military experts from the top to the bottom will all say well, that's just not -- that's just nonsense, it is not going to work. And yet, all of that doesn't seem to register or doesn't seem to matter to the people that support Donald Trump.

[20:05:13] DAWSON: Donald Trump has a one tough quality to him. And he is entertaining and he has brought a lot to the process. But when it comes to campaign elections, most of the campaigns kept their gloves off Donald Trump and I understand that and Jeffrey will acre knowledge. Once a campaign goes after Donald Trump they will get him but they will also themselves.

So the role of the super pact is to inform voters there 635,000 voters in South Carolina. Everyone who has won the nomination excluding Newt Gingrich in South Carolina has gone on to win the nomination. So what a super pact can do is make Donald Trump a better candidate or end his campaign in South Carolina and some other places. But right now, having done this most of my life, I can tell you I have a big concern for his immigration stance, a big concern just because Donald Trump says they will love me and they are going to like me and it's going to be great. I've seen a lot of campaigns start like this and a lot of campaigns end like that. And I have a big concern that we have great candidates running and I was hoping to have a campaign that actually would talk about where the Republican party is going, what it's going to be like and we have a chance to beat Hillary Clinton and have a chance to take the White House back.

COOPER: So let me bring in Jeff here. Jeff, you think Katon's efforts are only going to help Donald Trump, why?

JEFFREY LORD, FORMER REAGAN WHITE HOUSE POLITICAL DIRECTOR: I do. I think well as Katon himself just said, when candidates go after Donald Trump like this, they only hurt themselves and Katon is a great guy, but in fact, what will happen quickly is this will be seen as the establishment going after Donald Trump and the establishment is already not in good favor with Republican voters at the base.

COOPER: So just bolster Trump's credential credentials?

LORD: Yes, absolutely. This is the kind of thing to relate to somebody I'm sure Katon knew well, our old front Lee Atwater. I mean, Lee must be smiling somewhere at the irony in this. This is only going to help Donald Trump. This is not going to hurt him.

COOPER: Katon, what about that argument?

LORD: I'm wondering with Katon is secretly on the Trump payroll. DAWSON: Well, let me assure you I'm not. And I'm not on anyone's

payroll and I was for Rick Perry. And certainly Scott Walker is w wonderful dude and both of those people are out of the conversation. And I am at the stable so let me clarify that.

But at the end of the day, you know, I guess Jeffrey, campaigns and he elections are about informing people, telling people in the voters, talking to the 635,000 people and moving the noise out of the way. And I think if we inform the voters, what we truly believe that Mr. Trump will do to the Republican Party, I understand the anger. I understand the crowd. I have been in and out of the tea party, I get it. And whether you nail me as establishment or I've been called a lot of things, what I can tell you it's our patriotic duty to make sure that we inform the voters of exactly what we think a Trump candidacy will look like in general election. And right now, even in your polls -- Donald Trump does not beat Bernie Sanders.

COOPER: Jeff, let me ask you, I was listening to Trump tonight at his latest stop and, you know, he constantly is talking about poll numbers and going over them and this poll and that and obviously, he's got a lot to you about. He's in the lead of the polls. But there have been plenty of candidates in the past that led polls and gone on to win elections that don't spend their stump speech talking about how big their poll numbers are. Does it strike you at all as a little odd the focus on his numbers and how many people are in attendance that his desire to let everybody know how big his polls are?

LORD: Donald Trump, I know, is a big believer in selling your product, selling your message, et cetera and that is something right this minute news all the time and this is in essence telling the world, telling his own supporters how well they are doing. And I think it is his way of encouraging them on saying we're in this. We're on top of this. We're winning. Keep going. Keep doing it. I think that's really what he's trying to do here. And I think that's sort of typical Trump.

You know, one of the things, Anderson, he built this enormous Trump organization. And I'm talking about his business now, not his political campaign. And this is somebody who really has a good sense how to build an organization, how to lead, how to inspire. I think that's what you're seeing here is the transfer of those skills to a political campaign and he's doing incredibly well with it.

COOPER: Well, you can't argue with that. Certainly leading the polls as he will quickly tell you.

Jeffrey Lord, thank you. Katon Dawson, thank you as well. It is good to talk to you, sir.

Up next, a sudden announcement ends speculation whether Joe Biden is getting into the race. You heard about it from Donald Trump earlier. Biden says he will not run for president. The question, of course now is why, why did he decide not to run even after all the signs he was late as last night, I might say, pointed to him jumping in? We'll tell you what our reporters are learning. We will also talk to David Axelrod ahead and there is a thing what is going on in the White House.

Also later, breaking news, a person in custody tonight in connection with a road range incident that left a 4-year-old girl dead. The latest when we continue.


[20:14:07] COOPER: Minutes ago, Donald Trump in Iowa said this.


TRUMP: We had some news today Biden is not running and I think he did the smart thing because frankly, I don't know that he would have won, he wouldn't have gotten the nomination. I don't think he probably would have. And frankly, I really want to run against Hillary. I really do.


COOPER: Well, he's getting his wish. As he said, the big news out of Washington today is that vice president Joe Biden, after months of speculations, called an impromptu news conference around midday and said he will not be running for president. Biden made the announcement at the White House rose Garden with wife Jill and President Obama by his side.

Our senior Washington correspondent Jeff Zeleny joins us now.

As late as yesterday, signs seemed to point to Biden running so how did he get from what seem like a possible yes to definitive no in such a short period of time?

JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, I'm told he reached the decision last night and didn't even tell President Obama until this morning. But he had been moving in this direction apparently for several days. The more he found out about the race, the more exploring he did in calls to those early states like Iowa and South Carolina, the more daunting this path to victory actually seemed to him.

So over the past several days when he was out sort of calling out one of his top opponents potentially, Hillary Clinton for saying Republicans are the biggest enemies, he wasn't firing a warning shot at her as much as offering a lesson in how he thinks Washington should actually work.

[20:15:31] COOPER: He talked a lot about his family in his speech today. And from what I understand, they had in fact given him the thumbs up to run, is that right?

ZELENY: That is right. They gave him the green light. Some weren't as eager as others, I'm told, but they all said they supported his decision to run. They believed as he did that he would make the best president. But in that speech today, when he talked about his son, Beau, who died of cancer nearly five months ago, it's clear they didn't reach this decision in time. He said there was not enough time to bring this all together.

So he wasn't necessarily blaming this decision on Beau's death. In fact, that's one of the reasons he was actually looking at this at all because Beau asked him to run. But he still said there wasn't enough time to mount a credible campaign.

COOPER: So what does this all mean for the Clinton campaign? I mean, I guess there was a sigh of relief to the extent that they were worried at all.

ZELENY: I think they were worried. It means that one of the biggest hurdles at least in terms of her Democratic opponents is cleared. But if you look at her poll this week you can see why. With him out of the race, she actually skyrockets up to some 11 points more. She is now at 56 percent to Bernie Sanders 33 percent with him out of the race.

But the question now Anderson is whether she can spark that enthusiasm among some of those Democrats who were drawn to Biden and still aren't that excited about her candidacy.

COOPER: Yes. All right, Jeff, appreciate the reporting. Thank you.

Joining me now our CNN political commentator and former senior advisor David Axelrod and our chief political analyst Gloria Borger.

David, what is your understanding about how all this came about because as recently as of last night, I mean, the vice president would sounded kind of like a candidate. This morning, the tone had changed and then there this kind of hastily arranged Rose Garden speech.

DAVID AXELROD, CNN SENIOR COMMENTATOR: Look, I think this has been the nature of the last three months. I think there has been a real tug and pull between his heart and his head. I think he clearly wanted to be running for president. That speech he gave today was an announcement speech that was sandwich between in a declaration of non- candidacy.

But the politics as we discussed last night, Anderson, the politics were not good and they were not getting better. Hillary Clinton had been gaining strength. Bernie Sanders have gained strength. A lot of folks were committed. A lot of money, a lot of organizers were committed. And I just think the press of reality came in and as he said time ran out and he finally came to that conclusion last night.

COOPER: And Gloria, especially after the debate, I mean, it was hard to imagine what political lane Biden would sort of position himself in.

GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes, it did. Although, he spent much of this week positioning himself in that little piece of space as he started, you know, to take on Hillary Clinton, which is why a lot of people thought he was running. But I was told today by someone whose close to him that the longer this dragged on, as David was saying, that both personally and for his own legacy, the more he thought about it, you know, he didn't want to be a three-time loser, which is what he probably would have been because it would have been very difficult for him to take on Hillary Clinton. And that when congressman Clyburn of South Carolina told "the Huffington Post" earlier this week that I would not advice Biden to run, I think he heard that and I think he listened to that.

COOPER: It's interesting, David, I mean, you can always play a what if game, but had this been a couple months ago, and had this been before that first Democratic debate where Hillary Clinton whether you side with her or not clearly, you know, probably answered some of her critics in terms of whether or not she was a weak candidate or whether she was able to kind of turn the corner on some of the issues she's been facing, had it been sooner, I wonder or pre this debate, I wonder if the decision would be different.

AXELROD: Yes. Well, there is no doubt that there was a moment sometime back during the summer when Hillary Clinton appeared to be a much more vulnerable candidate when there was a great deal of angst among Democrats. Democrats are very good at angst and there was a great deal of it. People worrying about what kind of candidate she might be and they were urging Biden to consider running to save the party.

A lot of that dissipated with the debate and the realities as I said crept in. I agree with Gloria. I think that a little noted but very important factor was Jim Clyburn's comments because part of the Biden strategy as I understand stood it was to see Hillary stumble in Iowa and New Hampshire, perhaps losing one to Sanders, Biden hanging close and then Biden over taking her in South Carolina largely with the support of the black community there. And Jim Clyburn is the leader of the African-American political community in South Carolina on the Democratic side and carries a lot of weight. When he said don't go, that was a very meaningful sign. And I'm sure it is one the vice president took very seriously.

[20:20:22] COOPER: Gloria, what do you make of his remarks about, I don't know if you call them digs saying he doesn't consider the GOP an enemy even today, what do you make of that? Is that a sign you have to earn my support or what is that?

BORGER: I think so. You know, I think it reflects his own personal ambivalence about this whole thing. I mean, he wanted to run for president. And that speech today sounded like somebody who was announcing and running for president only he didn't. I think he was putting her on notice. I think it was also saying should the whole thing fall apart here I am? I don't want Republicans to be my enemy. I provide a different way.

But I would have to point out that Joe Biden is a person who has been a fierce partisan to lots of Republicans calling them among other things homophobes if you recall not too long ago. So, you know, he is a partisan and she would have shot right back at him. I can't quite figure out, though honestly, why he took the opportunity to do that in the Rose Garden today. It was kind of discorded.

COOPER: All right. David, always good to have you on. Gloria as well. Gloria, thanks. Just ahead tonight, breaking news about Congressman Paul Ryan whether

he is getting the support he says he needs before he commits to running for house speaker.

Plus, there is breaking news in the road rage killing of a 4-year-old girl, a possible major break in the case.


[20:25:42] COOPER: Breaking news tonight, Congressman Paul Ryan, a potential feature as house speaker. Chief political correspondent for CNN Dana Bash joins me with the latest.

So what is happening right now and what does it mean for the congressman?

DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: What is happening right now is that this room just emptied out very important meeting just ended with the so-called house freedom caucus. This is the relatively small group of about 40 house Republicans, the same ones who effectively forced John Boehner out of the speaker's office.

They had a meeting about whether or not they were going to endorse Paul Ryan, the answer is no, but. Here is the but. They -- enough of them said they are going to support him that Paul Ryan does have the votes to be the next house speaker if he wants it. I just spoke with Raul Labrador, one of the key members of this caucus about it. Take a listen.


BASH: Voting for him in here means you would vote for him on the floor, right?

REP. RAUL LABRADOR (R), IDAHO: You know, I haven't decided then. We're just trying to decide if we can support --

BASH: Because nick walked out and said if Paul Ryan wants to be speaker, he has the vote, doesn't have the endorsements but the votes. Do you agree with that?

LABRADOR: I do. Correct.


BASH: So where does that leave us now? At least the ball effectively in Paul Ryan's court, Anderson. What Ryan said when he gave his big speech last night, both privately and publicly is that he would only take this job with conditions, one of the conditions was to have the endorsement of some key caucuses inside the very large and vast Republican, house Republican conference.

The key one was this, he doesn't get endorsement but he does have support from a super majority. They actually took a voting here and they came out, told us that a super majority, so close about 70 percent supported him. So now, it's up to Paul Ryan to decide whether or not that's enough for him to go forward, formally put his bid in to be house speaker or not.

COOPER: All right. We'll have to see. Dana, thanks very much.

There is more breaking news tonight on the search for the killer of a 4-year-old girl, Lily Garcia was shot to death in the backseat of her father's pickup truck. The victim where authorities was road rage. The FBI, the U.S. marshal, they joined the manhunt. There may be a break in the case.

Ana Cabrera joins me now. What have you learned, Ana?

ANA CABRERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, police say they are questioning a so-called person of interest. They say tips from the public led them to a house where they did surveillance and they followed this individual to a parking lot where they took him into custody without incident. They are not calling him a suspect right now. So they aren't releasing any names. But this could be a huge break in the case coming more than 24 hours after the murder of an innocent little girl.


CABRERA (voice-over): A community seeking justice for Lily. 4-year- old Lily Garcia, a little girl shot and killed while riding in the backseat of her family's red pickup. A crime that let even veteran law enforcement in shock.

CHIEF GORDON EDEN, ALBUQUERQUE POLICE: To me, this is one of those crimes, which is unexplainable. I have never seen it before.

CABRERA: New Mexico investigators are calling ate classic case of road rage.

EDEN: This should have never happened. This is a complete disrespect of human life.

CABRERA: It happened around 3:00 Tuesday afternoon on west bound interstate 40. Albuquerque police say two vehicles cut each other off, a short time later shots rang out.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Be advised that the daughter is not conscious, four years of age.

CABRERA: The deadly incident unfolding over the course of about two miles, police estimate. They believe the suspect pulled up alongside the pickup and fired multiple shots. At least one bullet striking Lily. Her 7-year-old brother was also in the truck but was not injured.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This caller is advising his daughter is breathing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: 10-4, and that was the one with the head injury?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, 10-4. CABRERA: A passing sheriff's deputy just happened to spot the red

truck pulled over on the side of the road and stopped to help. Others driving by called 911.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They looks like some sort of medical emergency. It is not an accident but there is an adult holding what looks like an unresponsive child.

CABRERA: Quickly they shout down the interstate to search for the shooter and ambulance rushed to the hospital trying to save the little girl, but tragically, it was too late.

Officials offering multiple rewards, $26,000 total, urging the public to call with any possible clue. More than a dozen tips called in so far and now a person of interest is in custody.


COOPER: So what does this mean for the investigation? I mean, what is next?

CABRERA: Well, it could be a big deal. We know police have said that this person of interest does indeed match the description of the shooter that witnesses have provided, but they have at least a couple of search warrants they need to execute they say to gather enough evidence to move this person of interest to suspect and they are still urging anybody with additional information to come forward to give them a call. They want to make sure they get this right, Anderson.

COOPER: All right, Ana, thanks for the reporting. Just ahead, on the eve of Hillary Clinton's testimony before the House select committee on Benghazi, we're going to look at her track record at other congressional hearings. She's definitely battle tested, it's not her first rodeo on Capitol Hill sort of speech, she's been on the hot seat before, and she's also been on the other side of the table, as well.


COOPER: Tomorrow morning at 10:00 Hillary Clinton is going to take her seat at a table across from the House select committee on Benghazi and the grilling will begin. Now, it's expected to be a grueling hearing lasting at least eight hours. The committee stated mission is to find out what happened before during and after the deadly 2012 attack on the U.S. Consulate in Libya when Mrs. Clinton was secretary of state.


It's also now the longest running select committee investigation in U.S. history and it's been accused of targeting Clinton to hurt her presidential campaign. Mrs. Clinton has spent the week preparing instead of campaigning. She knows she'll face tough questions, but she's also, of course, battle tested. Tom Foreman takes a look.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Since the killing of four Americans in Benghazi in 2012, in all the congressional grilling, Hillary Clinton has let her frustration show in a big way only once.

HILLARY CLINTON: Was it because of a protest, was it because of guys out for a walk were now to decide they'd go kill some Americans. What difference at this point does it make?

FOREMAN: Aside from that her testimony has historically been marked by steady nerves even amid withering attacks.

REP. JEFF DUNCAN (R) SOUTH CAROLINA: Madam Secretary, you let the Consulate become a death trap. And that's national security malpractice.

FOREMAN: Malpractice - in insurances what led her first to the witness chair.

JUDY WOODRUFF, FORMER CNN ANCHOR: In a starring role on Capitol Hill for the second straight day, Hillary Rodham Clinton.

FOREMAN: In 1993, she was the first First Lady to ever face Congress over massive pending legislation making the case for her husband's failed care reform plan.

HILLARY CLINTON: The benefits package is a fair one, particularly because it emphasizes primary and preventive health care, which is ...

FOREMAN: Her composure and command of the facts drew rave reviews even if the legislation did not.

REP. DAN ROSTENKOWSKI, (D) ILLINOIS: I think in the very near future, the president will be known as your husband. Who is that fellow? That's Hillary's husband.

FOREMAN: Since then she's been in congressional hearings dozens of times, often fielding the questions sometimes as a senator asking them.

HILLARY CLINTON: If 9/11 was a failure of imagination and Katrina was a failure of initiative, this process is a failure of judgment.

FOREMAN: In the Benghazi inquiry, even when sharply challenged, she has rarely been pushed off of her talking points.

HILLARY CLINTON: With specific security requests, they didn't come to me. I had no knowledge of them.


FOREMAN: It all comes down to a simple fact, when Hillary Clinton walks into that room, she will have more experience with congressional hearings than most of the people there and that can make even a hot seat if not comfortable at least cooler. Anderson?

COOPER: Tom, thanks very much. A lot to talk about with our panel, joining me senior legal analyst and the former federal prosecutor Jeffrey Toobin, senior political analyst and former presidential advisor David Gergen and political commentator Donna Brazil who's also a Democratic strategist and vice chair of the DNC voter project. David, obviously, Hillary Clinton has a lot of experience testifying on both sides of the table. You yourself have testified during White Water, does it ever get easier? I mean, no matter how many times you've done it, do you think it gets easier for her?

DAVID GERGEN, FORMER PRESIDENTIAL ADVISER: I think this one has gotten easier in the last few weeks, Anderson.

COOPER: Because of the politics?

GERGEN: She's on a roll now. You know, she's going to come in a much more confident position than she would have a few weeks ago. She's got the debate, Joe Biden dropping out and very importantly, two Republicans undermining the credibility of the investigation itself. So I think she's going to come in, you know, I haven't gone through this, she'll be very lawyered up. You know, they will spend a lot of time with her. I think David Kendall and William - will be right there at her side and he's been with her on this whole e-mail controversy. She'll be very much in command of the facts, but mostly I think it's going to be her temperament. I think she'll come in respectful, but she'll be tough if she has to be. She'll let them hit her first. Their worst mistake will be to try to bully her.

COOPER: Jeff, I mean you say these are more theatrical and political events than really legal events.

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN ANALYST: Absolutely. And I think David raises an interesting point that I'm not sure what the resolution is. David Kendall, her very excellent attorney will certainly be there, but will he sit by her side? You know, I could very well envision that he does not sit by her side. The message being, I don't need some lawyer to tell me what to do. I don't need a lawyer to protect me. He may sit behind her. Now, that's a risk because as Brendan Sullivan who was also from Williams and Conley did during the Oliver North hearings quite a while ago, he was very aggressive in ...

COOPER: I'm not a potted plant. Wasn't that Brendan ...

TOOBIN: Exactly. I'm not a potted plant and he intimidated the members of Congress out of asking some tough questions. So that's going to be a very interesting thing that we learn from the very beginning whether David Kendall is sitting by her or beside her.

COOPER: I mean it's been reported that Republican members of this community have been cautioned by the Chairman Gowdy to stick to facts and focus strictly on what happened before, during and after the attack on Benghazi. Do you think they are actually going to end up heeding that advice?

DONNA BRAZILE, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Absolutely not. You have six other members of the committee and god knows they want to get down to some of their talking points. But look, Secretary Clinton has requested this. She's been requesting this for months. So, I'm sure that she's ready to not just answer the questions regarding what happened that night in Benghazi to four Americans that she cared deeply about. I also think that some of the testimony that's been leaked, especially the leaked testimony about Cheryl Mills will back her up on just how deeply involved she was during that episode.


BRAZILE: But, I also want to say this, you know, I think the committee itself is under investigation, Anderson, for the way in which Chairman Gowdy has conducted himself and other members with the selective leaks. You've heard from the whistle blower. But I also think, the fact that we've had a hearing - we've had a committee for all these many months and they haven't really built up the case. We haven't heard from the Defense Department. We haven't heard from the former Defense secretary. Intelligence committee. All we've been hearing is all of these selective leaks about Hillary Clinton. And I think tomorrow she's going to show the American people that not only was she at her desk that evening or whatever, worried about those Americans, she did everything within her powers to try to protect them.

COOPER: David?

GERGEN: I don't think the committee is going to be under investigation, but I do think to follow up Dana. That it will be on trial itself tomorrow, and that is they have to, after at least a year and a half, one of these huge - investigations, they have to come up with some new information.

COOPER: Because there have been ...

GERGEN: Yeah, exactly. And if they can't come up with it and they can't show that there had been any - investigations, other than trying to bring down her poll numbers, that's going to make them look silly. So, I would think --

COOPER: Do you agree with that, Jeff?

TOOBIN: Well, yes, but one other problem the committee has is that members of Congress are notoriously terrible questioners. They talk, they don't ask questions. Joe Biden when he was asking Chief Justice Roberts and his confirmation hearings, he had 30 minutes to ask questions. He talked for 24 of those minutes. I mean, that's an extreme case, but that is often how these hearings go and the witness gets to answer whatever she wants and it works out usually better for the witness than for the questioner.

COOPER: Donna, do you think to that point that Republicans on the committee have to be careful about going too hard on Hillary Clinton?

BRAZILE: Look, I mean we saw just a few weeks ago with Cecil Richards, the president of Planned Parenthood. I mean they just came in there to flatten her about something that was just totally untrue. So, yes, I have to agree as a former congressional staffer and I've sat through many hearings during my day, there are members who are there to make a point and if the Republicans are there to make a point about why they dislike Hillary Clinton or why Hillary Clinton should not be president, you know what, they don't miss the point of the hearing tomorrow and that is to figure out how do we prevent this from ever happening again and to learn more about what happened that night, so that no American will ever face what those four Americans faced back in Benghazi.

GERGEN: On the other hand, if the committee does have something.

COOPER: Right.

GERGEN: And they ask it in a civil way and respectful, but tough way, they could turn this whole process around. That's what the drama here is which way is the committee -- we know Hillary Clinton will come in poised. What we don't know is this committee going to be a sort of a rogue committee or really got something to say that's going to grab the attention of the American people?

COOPER: So, do you think it matters a lot how she answers questions?

GERGEN: Oh, yeah, but she's going to do it very well. And I think - we saw them in the debate. She's on her game now.


GERGEN: David Gergen, Donna Brazile, Jeffrey Toobin. We'll be watching. Thank you. Up next, details we rarely hear about after a child accidentally shoots and kills a sibling. Sean Smith lived with guilt, self-hatred after his sister died in his arms when he was just ten. He didn't know the gun was loaded. It took decades to forgive himself. His story ahead.


COOPER: Earlier this week we told you about a Chicago family shattered by gun violence four days ago. A three-year-old Eian Santiago was shot dead by his six-year-old brother after the older boy found his father's loaded gun. The boys were playing cops and robbers. The father is now charged with child endangerment, presumably he'll go to trial. The legal status familiar to most of us. What we don't often see or hear about is what a tragedy like this does to the child who pulls the trigger and ended a life. A horrible accident that can't be fixed. So, that's the story we wanted to show you tonight. Sean Smith knows all too well the toll it takes. He's a grown man today, but the bullet he accidentally fired more than two decades ago nearly derailed his life. He shared his story with Randi Kaye.


SEAN SMITH: It's definitely a reminder of that entire day, you know, and it's bone-chilling, it really is.

RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Sean Smith is talking about the call he made to police 26 years ago after accidentally shooting his baby sister.

SEAN: My sister is choking.

911 DISPATCHER: She's choking?

SEAN: She's dead.

911 DISPATCHER: She's dead?

SEAN: Yes, please get my mom and dad. Oh my god!

911 DISPATCHER: It happened in an instant, a brother and sister and a loaded gun.

SEAN: I didn't know my dad's gun was loaded and I shot her.


SEAN: I didn't mean to.


KAYE: It was June 5th, 1989. Sean Smith was just ten years old, his sister Erin only eight. The two were home alone after school. Sean was searching for his video games in his parents' bedroom when he came across his father's .38 handgun in the dresser drawer. Sean didn't know the gun was loaded.

SMITH: I know, I was just waving it around one more time, I aimed it out the window and as I pulled the trigger, she was running out of the room and unfortunately, it did strike her in the shoulder.

KAYE (on camera): So, you weren't aiming at your sister.

SMITH: No, god no.

KAYE (voice over): The bullet traveled to his sister Erin's heart.

SMITH: Immediately dropped the gun, immediately ran and got the phone and called 911 and I picked her up and held her in my lap, you know, as she unfortunately passed away.

KAYE: Sean tried CPR, even put pressure on the wound but nothing could save her. She died in his lap.

SMITH: I never got to see her in the hospital after they had cleaned her up and everything like that, so unfortunately, the last image I have of her is in my lap.

KAYE: It's become sadly common place to hear about a tragic gun accident like Sean and Erin's, so the world including the media moves on, but Sean, Sean's never been able to do that.


KAYE: He felt alone and had to answer painful questions at school.

SMITH: A kid had actually come up to me and literally asked me word for word, what was it like to kill your sister?

KAYE: By 16, he was deep into drugs, mainly cocaine and he didn't care if it killed him. He had zero self-worth. He was jailed once for theft and eventually dropped out of high school, but when he was 20, Sean had a son. It changed his life. He got clean and sober and started therapy.

SMITH: It was about 20 years later, you know, when I finally could truly and honestly forgive myself. I mean it was an accident and it was horrific, but, you know, I can't help, but, you know, think that she's at peace and I'm okay with that today.

KAYE: More than two decades later, Sean misses his sister so much he had her name tattooed on his arm. Erin with a halo above it. He says he still feels her with him every day.

SMITH: You know, I know she's with me always and she's always watching over me and I have, I thank her for giving me a good spirit and making me stronger.


COOPER: I mean, it's so hard to imagine what it's like to live with that. Do experts you talk to say this is how kids typically react?

KAYE: Well, the psychologist, Anderson, that we spoke with said that each case really is different but there are some commonalties here, with a case this extreme, though, we're told that it would really not be uncommon to have repercussions in life like Sean had. The risk for many like Sean, our expert said, is that when something like this happens at such a young age, a child can actually let it define him. He sort of becomes that kid who shot and killed someone and that magnifies the trauma, it leads to many more problems down the road. There's also a lot of guilt as you heard and young children don't really know how to process that. So, remember, it took Sean 20 years, actually, to forgive himself, but the good news overall from our expert is that a child can process a horrible tragedy with the help of others, learn how to move forward. In Sean's case you saw he had strong support, he had it from his parents he told me. He gives his mother a whole lot of credit for keeping the family together. So, in this case, the love from his family and his new son may have really saved him in the end, Anderson.

COOPER: Randi, thank you very much.

Up next, we have more breaking news. A major arrest in the hunt for drug king "El Chapo" and why it may lead to finding him.



COOPER: Now to Mexico, there's more breaking news tonight in the search for fugitive cartel kingpin "El Chapo." We are getting word of a major arrest in the case. Martin Savidge in Mexico, joins us now. What are you learning, Martin? MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good evening, Anderson. Yeah,

Mexican authorities held a news conference just a very short while ago, to announce that they have arrested a group of people including El Chapo's brother-in-law. All of these people apparently have been brought up on charges for helping to construct and carry out that incredible breakout that he had, the tunnel, and, of course, that's what led us to where we are now, which is this massive manhunt that is under way to find El Chapo in northwestern Mexico. The real question, though, would be, are any of these people, especially that brother-in- law, able to give information to the authorities that could help them in their search that is ongoing now. That's the big question.

We spent much of the day trying to get to a very small community called Dariga (ph). It's actually in the neighboring state, but it's also one of the areas that was most recently searched by the military. I can't tell you how small, it's hamlet, it's really what is, the collection of homes very poor people living out the land and yeah, helicopter descended on Saturday and apparently, caused chaos there. Soldiers got off. They began kicking in the doors, they began turning out what little goods the people had, apparently in the search to find Guzman. In fact, they went to an 82-year-old man and asked him does he know where Guzman is and the 82-year-old turned to them and said look at my home, how poor I am, would a billionaire be hiding here? So, that raid is just one of many that have been taking place throughout this area and shows how aggressive authorities are being in their search effort, Anderson.

COOPER: How much support does this guy "El Chapo" have in an area like that?

SAVIDGE: You know, that's a really good question. He does have a lot of support. Much of it is in community leaders, you know, these are people like who - who are the mayors, those who are in government. So, they can offer a great deal of support. That way there is also some police forces that's believed that have been corrupted and are looking out for him. That's why the national police are looking for him. That's why the military is looking for him. There are a lot of people who sympathize and support him. The people we talked to today, they aren't angry at him. They are angry at the military. It shows you the sentiments that are being felt here in the middle of the search area.

COOPER: And is it still believed that it's still believed I should point out that he was injured in escaping from them just a couple of days ago so we'll continue to follow. Martin, thank you.

Coming up next on CNN, a new episode of "This Is Life" with Lisa Ling" takes us to a father daughter dance behind bars. The dance is city jail enrichment of Virginia, is part of a program that tries to teach inmates to be better fathers. I spoke to Lisa about it.

COOPER: This father daughter dance, I mean it's incredibly moving to see this. A lot of these dads have had no relationship with their kids before. LISA LING, HOST, THIS IS LIFE WITH LISA LING: Well, everybody who's

in this fatherhood program has substance abuse issues, so for most of them, they haven't even spent time with their daughters sober ever. It was such a profoundly special and moving experience.

COOPER: And I mean, they go through classes, etiquette classes, how to tie a tie, very basic things for a lot of people, but when you consider they haven't been sober in their child's life.

LING: Certainly, they wanted to teach these guys etiquette for the dance, but these are skills that they will be able to take with them after they leave jail. And a lot of these guys never had fathers in their own lives, so the idea of being a father is kind of unfathomable because they had never known how to be a father because they had no frame of reference prior.


COOPER: That's it for us. We'll see you again at 11:00. Another edition of "360." This is life with Lisa Ling starts now.