Return to Transcripts main page

Anderson Cooper 360 Degrees

Senate Approves Bailout Bill; Interview With Massachusetts Congressman Barney Frank

Aired October 01, 2008 - 22:00   ET


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: We begin with breaking news, just moments ago, the Senate approving a bailout plan for Wall Street that supporters call vital to saving Main Street. It took a full-court press to do it, both presidential candidates, Joe Biden, President Bush, and former President Clinton also all weighing in.
It also took a lot of sweetening, billions of dollars of worth in upgrades and add-ons to the bill. A lot of lobbyists are probably happy right now. The question tonight, though, is, will it make enough to make it through the House on Friday? And, if it does, will it deliver as promised and head off an economic disaster?

A lot to cover. Let's start off with the vote and Jessica Yellin.


JESSICA YELLIN, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Will they or won't they?

REP. PETER DEFAZIO (D), OREGON: The whole thing stinks. And it just is so reminiscent of the run-up to the war just stampede of -- I mean, Congress is really easy to stampede when they are up for election.

YELLIN: He plans to vote no. The focus, though, is on Republicans.

On Monday, as the stock market plummeted, two-thirds of House Republicans voted against the bill. The Senate version is designed to woo some of those conservatives, like John Shadegg of Arizona, who is thinking of changing his vote to a yes.

REP. JOHN SHADEGG (R), ARIZONA: I think we are under tremendous, quite frankly, from the White House and from the American people, because Secretary Paulson created a fear -- kind of an atmosphere of fear in America.

YELLIN: He says he will make his decision after the Senate votes.

But there's a looming problem, new provisions in the Senate bill, like additional tax breaks, were added to appeal to Republicans, but could actually drive away Democrats. To House leaders, this is a high-wire act without a net. They are still unsure if they have the votes and clearly feel the Senate has put them in a tight spot. REP. STENY HOYER (D-MD), MAJORITY LEADER: Frankly, an awful lot of people are going to look at this bill, not be pleased with what the Senate has done in adding those provisions that make the debt worse.

YELLIN: That is from the man who will decide if the House even votes on the issue this week.


COOPER: So, Jessica, what are you hearing right now? Will passage in the Senate really make a difference in the House?

YELLIN: The sense is, is, it helps a lot, Anderson, but it is not a done deal.

I passed a group of Republican senators on my way over here the vote, and I asked them, is it going to pass the House? And one of them gave an emphatic yes. And no one else said anything.

I heard from Dianne Feinstein. She said, this is a potent message to the House. They're all very optimistic. And, certainly, it passed by a larger, a much larger margin than they needed. That helped, but it doesn't seal the deal, and no one is certain.

COOPER: So, Jessica, tomorrow, what happens?

YELLIN: What happens is a lot of arm-twisting and phone calls. I have been in touch with a bunch of House aides and even some leadership themselves.

And what they are going to do is just start going through their call lists. And they have already done it, but continue to see if they can get people to come over and vow to vote. Democrats have to make sure they don't lose any yeses. Republicans need to gain more yeses.

And they have one day to do it, because the House leaders say they are not even going to hold a vote unless they are absolutely sure the bill passes. So, it's still in question, whether it will happen this week.

COOPER: All right, let's talk to a man who should know.

Jessica, thanks very much.

Let turn now to a lawmaker who has got a lot of arm-twisting ahead of him, Democratic Congressman Barney Frank of Massachusetts, chairman of the House Financial Services Committee.

Congressman, thanks for being with us.

The bill has passed in the Senate. It has got an additional $100 billion in tax breaks and sweeteners. There's even a provision on mental health care coverage. What is going to happen in the House now?

REP. BARNEY FRANK (D), MASSACHUSETTS: Well, it is still uncertain.

I think it is likelier to pass than before. But the major difference, frankly, is not what the Senate did, to be honest. Representatives and senators have rarely taken each other as role models. There is not a lot of love lost between the branches.

But what I think has changed this is reality. On Monday, there were a number of people who were still skeptical that there would be some serious economic difficulty. It is also the case that we were hearing, as is often the case politically, only from those who were opposed, because the people who were for it assumed it would pass.

Once it failed, a number of people began to hear about economic difficulty. In my own state, Boston University shut down some construction jobs. The state was unable to -- unable to roll over some paper. So, I think the reality is, it hit some members. To be honest, I think some of my colleagues on Monday were voting no and praying yes.

COOPER: Well, 12 of the 37 Democrats on your own committee voted against it. I know the Republicans certainly are the ones who voted mostly against it, but a lot of Democrats voted against it as well. Have they changed their minds now? And are you concerned that some Democrats in the House may now -- who voted for it originally may now oppose it because of some of these add-ons?

FRANK: That is possible.

Remember, the tax incentives that were added are not, in themselves, unpopular. Most of them are very supported.

But there are a number of Democrats who are very hawkish on the deficit. In fact, the only people who really seem to care about the deficit these days are the -- are a group of moderate Democrats called the Blue Dogs. And they, in fact, were able to get a bill through the House that extended these tax incentives, but in a way that offset the -- the -- the deficit.

As to my committee, let me be very clear. The chairmanship does not come with the power to command people how to vote. And what you have on the House side, frankly, is a concern that not enough will be done to forestall foreclosures.

My own view is that we were able to write into this bill, over the initial objections of the Bush administration, significant advances in protection. We weren't able to get everything we wanted. And that's -- we -- in fact, I tried earlier today, with the support of Speaker Pelosi, to rewrite some of those protections to make clear that they would be useful.

We were rebuffed by the Republicans. So, I don't expect any of the people on the committee who were most concerned about that to -- to switch. I think the -- the hope we have is that the switches will come among the Republicans.

And, again, I want to say, though, on both sides, reality bites. And reality bit on Tuesday and today, so that members who were figuring that the -- there was no downside politically to voting no...


FRANK: ... some of them have now encountered one.

COOPER: As you know, there is a lot of anger out there at Wall Street, at people who took out loans they couldn't repay, and certainly at Washington, at lawmakers, and at the president.

You have said repeatedly the last couple of weeks that this resulted because of too little regulation over the years, allowing the financial community to make a lot of mistakes, in your words. Do you personally feel any responsibility for -- for part of that failure?


Some of the Republicans have been trying to make a point about Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Here are the facts on this. The Republicans, of course, controlled Congress, and especially the House, from 1995 until 2006.

They never passed a bill to improve the regulation of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

COOPER: But, in 2003...


FRANK: May I respond?

COOPER: Sure. Go ahead.

Yes. In 2003, I said there wasn't a crisis. And there wasn't a crisis in 2003, but I was for regulation. And in -- we were in the minority. In 2007, when I became chairman of the committee, within four months, we passed a bill that gave all the increased regulatory power they wanted.

It's true. There wasn't a crisis in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac or Lehman Brothers, et cetera. The subprime crisis came after that, or the subprime problem that called a crisis. But the facts, Anderson, are undeniable. They had 12 years when they were in the majority, and passed nothing.

We came to power, and, within four months, the committee I chaired passed a tough regulatory bill on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. And the rest of the Congress did it in...


COOPER: So, you feel, point blank, you were not protecting Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac too much over the years?

FRANK: Well, in the first place, the notion that I stopped them from doing anything they wanted to do, you know, if I could have stopped them from doing something, I would have stopped the Iraq war, the Patriot Act, and multi-hundred-billion-dollar tax breaks for very rich people.

They were in control. When did I suddenly acquire the House Republicans, under Newt Gingrich and Dick Armey, et cetera, from doing anything?

Secondly, the facts are I was for some reform of Fannie Mae. I also wanted to preserve the housing mission, but the facts are very clear. I became chairman in January of 2007, and, within four months, we passed the bill. So, what is the argument?

COOPER: What do you think the likelihood of getting something passed is?

FRANK: I -- I think it is better than even. And, again, I think the main change is reality.


FRANK: I think that it is not possible now to scoff at the predictions of doom, if we don't do anything.

COOPER: Congressman Barney Frank, appreciate your time.

A lot more angles tonight to the breaking news. Let us know what you think. Join the live chat, You will also find Erica Hill's live Webcast during the break.

Up next, McCain and Obama, did either one, as Senator Obama said, really step up to the plate on this one?

Then, John King at the magic map with some surprising new poll numbers in key battleground states.

And Sarah Palin, she is talking again to Katie Couric, this time about the success. And yes, her answer -- or lack of an answer -- has a lot of people talking again. Here for yourself. Judge for yourself.

Plus, Governor Palin getting ready to debate. We will show you what Joe Biden has learned about her from her past debates. Here is a sample.


GOV. SARAH PALIN (R-AK), VICE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: Are you aware now of the impact of that lack of leadership in your gridlock, what that caused the people of Alaska?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You have one minute to respond, Mr. Knowles.


TONY KNOWLES (D), FORMER ALASKA GOVERNOR: I have no idea of what you're driving at.



SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D-IL), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: (OFF-MIKE) did nothing, everything would turn out OK. It's -- there's a possibility that that's true. And there's no doubt that there may be other plans out there that, had we had two or three or six months to develop, might be even more refined and might serve our purposes better. But we don't have that kind of time.

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R-AZ), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: Crises often have a way of revealing our better selves, of showing what we're made of, and how much we can achieve when we're put to the test. This is true as well of the grave challenges we face in Washington.


COOPER: John McCain and Barack Obama today. They both voted for the bill. They're both urging their House colleagues to do the same. But, beyond that, how much political heavy lifting is each doing? How much leadership, if any, is either man really showing?

Ed Henry has the "Raw Politics" and tonight's breaking news -- Ed.

ED HENRY, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anderson, interesting, only the briefest of encounters between these two men here in the Capitol. They shook hands on the Senate floor very briefly.

They are both making calls behind the scenes. Besides voting for this bill, each of them, they are making calls to each of their caucuses, their colleagues in the House, hoping that they will vote for it on Friday, because they both have a lot at stake at now.

It is quite interesting, sort of surreal to even see them in the Capitol hallways right now. Barack Obama had not cast a vote in the Senate since July. John McCain had not cast a vote since April. But they both realize, right now, the nation is in crisis.

And, then, while it could be a very risky vote, because it is very unpopular, this bailout right now, all around the country, they both made the calculation it would have been a lot riskier for them, individually, if they had done nothing -- Anderson.

COOPER: The past two nights, Ed, you have been reporting that the pressure has really been on McCain to get a deal on the bailout with House Republicans. But is it now shifting to Obama?

HENRY: It could be, because it's interesting. John McCain is breathing a sigh of relief tonight.

As you noted, as we have been saying the last couple of nights, he has really put a lot of political capital on this bailout. When it stalled in the House, John McCain was really in the spotlight. And any bad economic news, with the Republicans running the White House, is bad for John McCain. This just added to that.

Now, all of a sudden, all eyes turn to the House of Representatives, a lot of pressure on Speaker Pelosi and, by extension, some pressure on Barack Obama to deliver more Democratic votes. And, in fact, that is why Barack Obama today, in addition to coming back to the Capitol, was working the phones, calling House Democrats. In addition to John McCain doing that, all of a sudden, Obama is stepping up his lobbying.

He knows he now, as he gets more involved in this, he has more at stake, just like John McCain does. And Obama is probably going to have to continue making calls right through Friday to make sure that this actually does pass -- Anderson.

COOPER: All right, Ed Henry with the breaking news, thanks.

More now on what the Senate voted for exactly tonight. Call it plan B, and how it differs from the plan A that failed in the House on Monday, real differences, expensive differences.

Ali Velshi has been checking out the fine print up close.

Ali, how is -- how is the bill different than the one that was defeated just two days ago?

ALI VELSHI, CNN SENIOR BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: There are some key differences that you mentioned. Let me start with the big one right off the top.

The amounts that your deposits are insured for in a bank has gone up from $100,000 to $250,000 per account in this bill. A lot of that is psychological, to take -- to prevent people from having a run on the bank, because, if people take their money out of the banks, companies can't borrow that money, again, largely psychological, helps small businesses.

There are a couple other things, tax breaks for individuals and tax breaks for businesses. Many of those tax breaks were already on the books. They needed to be renewed. Some are new. The total reduction in revenue, the total tax cut involved in this bill is $110 billion. That's on top of the $700 billion expense.

But the part of this bill that was the $700 billion, that stays intact. In fact, that has got a lot in common with the House bill that wasn't passed on Monday, the one that failed, a $700 billion bailout for bad loans, an oversight committee, which means that it's not a blank check for the treasury secretary. These things have to be approved by a committee that has been established by this bill.

Ownership in the companies that are being bailed out if they don't pay the loans back, so that taxpayers might actually benefit if there is some profit in those companies -- we might actually make money back -- and, of course, some very limited impositions on CEO pay.

So, it has everything in common with the bill that failed on Monday, plus a few additions that -- that reduce taxes -- Anderson.

COOPER: We have been talking about the credit markets and how important they are. Everyone is looking at the stock market, but it's really the credit market that we should be looking at. How do all these additions influence that?

VELSHI: None whatsoever. In fact, the only thing is that addition of -- that increase to $250,000 for your insured deposits makes people feel safer about their money. But the credit markets are seized. They will not unseize until there is some sense that the House is going to vote on this thing.

And, Anderson, today, we had news that AT&T is the latest company to have trouble raising money because of this credit freeze.


VELSHI: It still remains a very serious problem.

COOPER: All right, Ali Velshi, thanks so much.

Just ahead, how this is playing out on the campaign trail, the economy appearing to move poll numbers, as Dick Cheney once said, big- time. John King will be at the magic map with new state poll numbers and how they are starting to reshape the entire electoral map.

Bill Clinton is also on the campaign trail in Florida for Obama. How supportive is he being? We will take a look.


BILL CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: He's got a better philosophy. He's got better answers. He's got a better understanding and better advisers on these complex economic matters. He's got a better vice presidential partner.



COOPER: Also ahead, that vice presidential partner, Sarah Palin, taking on Roe -- talks about Roe v. Wade. She is asked about that and which other Supreme Court decisions she disagrees with. Katie Couric asked the questions. Her answer is already making headlines. See for yourself, judge for yourself tonight -- when 360 continues.


COOPER: Just 34 days to go. New polls tonight show a shifting presidential race.

We are going to dig deeper with John King at the magic map on that state by state.

But, first, Erica Hill joins us with a 360 news and business bulletin -- Erica. ERICA HILL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, federal investigators today confirmed, the engineer of a Southern California commuter train sent a text message from his cell phone just 22 seconds before that train collided head on with a freight train last month. Twenty-five people were killed, including the engineer. Two teenage train buffs reported receiving a text message from him shortly before the crash.

A new report predicts, as many as 3,800 U.S. car dealerships -- that is nearly one in five -- could fail this fall. The consulting firm that issued the forecast says, weak sales, tight credit, and increased operating costs are squeezing car dealers.

Berkshire Hathaway shoring up another battered corporate icon, General Electric this time. Warren Buffett's investment firm will buy up to $6 billion of GE's common and preferred stock in a deal similar to its recent investment in Goldman Sachs.

And, in eastern California, hikers, California hikers, have found a pilot's license, along with some other items that may belong to Steve Fossett. The millionaire adventurer vanished on a solo flight more than a year ago. He was declared legally dead, Anderson, in February.


Still ahead: new polling on the key races this fall, Obama pulling ahead. Our political panel weighs in. And John King works his magic map to show you what it all means.

And Sarah Palin prepping for her debate tomorrow night -- what her old debates tell us about what might happen tomorrow.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ms. Palin, do you want to enter this fray? Fifteen seconds, if you do.

PALIN: Just glad I'm sitting here in between them to make sure it doesn't get out of hand.



COOPER: Also, the latest exchange with Katie Couric, what she said when asked to name a Supreme Court ruling other than Roe v. Wade she disagreed with. It's going to be all over the Internet tomorrow. See it for yourself tonight.


COOPER: You're looking at the electoral map. Tonight, the colors are changing and moving closer to Barack Obama. The latest CNN/"TIME" magazine/Opinion Research polls show him with a commanding lead over John McCain in several key battleground states. And, as we all know, it's really in the states where this election will be won or lost.

John King breaks it down for us at the magic map for us tonight -- John.

JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Remarkable new numbers Anderson. And they show, in the midst of this economic crisis, the map is trending toward Barack Obama.

I'm starting here with a map of the 2004 election, not the Electoral College map, because I want to make this point, and make it very clear. Florida, a red state, George W. Bush carried it last time and the time before. Right now, our poll shows Obama ahead 51 percent to 47 percent.

Let's go out West here. Nevada, again a red state last time, our new poll shows Barack Obama ahead 51 percent to 47 percent. Let's move over to Minnesota. This was a blue state last time, but just barely, 51-48, Barack Obama leading here 54 percent to 43 percent, a comfortable lead there.

Here, in Missouri, in the Midwest -- Missouri has been right in every presidential election, except for one, since 1900. Missouri has voted for the winner. Right now, we have this a dead heat, Obama 49 percent, McCain 48 percent. McCain was ahead in this state just two weeks ago.

And, lastly, the state of Virginia, again, look at that, a red state last time. Right now, look at these numbers, 53 percent for Obama, 44 percent for McCain. Again, four of the five states I just mentioned were red states last time.

How does that all translate, Anderson? It translates into this, what you just said. In the electoral map, you need 270 to win. We now have Barack Obama leading in states with 250 electoral votes, John McCain trailing with 189.

Translation: The gold states are the tossup states. To get to 270 from this map, it is a lot easier for Barack Obama than it is for John McCain. Again, this will change, but, for the sake of argument, if Barack Obama only won Florida, based on the map as we have it today, he is the next president of the United States.

So, John McCain has to keep Florida, has to keep Ohio, has to somehow win Missouri, and then still have to do business in many of these other tossup states. Anderson, as you look at the map tonight, a long way to go. Things can change, but advantage Obama, even more so, the biggest advantage now than any time in this race when it comes to the Electoral College.

COOPER: Is this all about the economy?

KING: It is all about the economy.

Here is an interesting number from the Pew Center national poll today. By a 14 percent margin now, voters favor Obama to handle the economy. And how is that affecting the subgroups in the polls? One of the key demographics to watch, older voters. They are among the most reliable voters.

Among voters over the age of 50, under the age of 64, those who are looking at their 401(k)s, closest to retirements, the Pew Center says this. Barack Obama now has a 51 percent to 39 percent lead. That's a decent lead anyway. But, just two weeks ago, John McCain led among those same voters 48 percent to 43 percent.

Translation: The more those voters closest to retirement, worried most about the financial markets, as they have watched this race over the past 10 weeks, they have dramatically trended toward Barack Obama.

COOPER: John, stay with us.

Let's dig deeper. Let's bring in CNN senior political analyst and former presidential adviser David Gergen and CNN senior political analyst Gloria Borger.

David Gergen, as you look at that map, I mean, a clear drift for Obama, it has got to be incredibly troubling for the McCain campaign.


It's worth remembering, Anderson, if the election had been held two weeks ago, John McCain would have won. If the election were held today, Barack Obama would win, and win handily. But we have still got four-plus weeks before the election is held. So, there can be a lot of twists and turn between now and then.

But there is no doubt that this economic crisis, and the way John McCain responded to it, along with the first debate, have really shifted the momentum, so that John McCain has got an uphill fight now.

And, very strikingly, those same seniors and near-seniors that John King was just talking about, who have changed their views and are beginning to change those states, a lot of those were the same people who were calling Capitol Hill urging the Senate and the House now to pass this bill, because they're seeing their nest eggs shrivel up.

COOPER: So, Gloria Borger, there are some, especially on state levels, GOP state leaders, who are telling the McCain campaign, from what I read, that they should go negative, that they should use Reverend Wright...


COOPER: ... that they should try to reverse this trend.

Is there -- is there time for McCain to do that? Is he inclined to do that?

BORGER: Sure, there's -- there's time.

You know, they do have and try to switch the subject, Anderson, because over half of the voters right now think that the economy is the key issue. The last time that happened was -- was in 1992, when 43 percent of the voters said that the economy was the key issue, and Bill Clinton became president of the United States.

So, what John McCain has to do is try to go back to his: "I'm bipartisan. I'm a leader. I have got the experience. You can trust me."

I think the question in this campaign has always been, who is more of a risk? And, if you look at the last two weeks, a lot of the voters are thinking, ironically, that John McCain is actually more of a risk when it comes to managing the economy. That's his problem.

COOPER: John King, the fact that these numbers shifted so dramatically over the last two weeks, as David Gergen said, you know, pointed out, two weeks ago, John McCain very likely would have won this thing, how solid is this support for Obama? Could it just as easily shift back?

KING: Yes, it could shift back. And we should make that crystal-clear.

However, it is very unlikely that the issue of the economy is going to fade. If this plan passes the House, which is still a big if tonight, and if the markets rally over the next couple of weeks, perhaps we will get back to the ground John McCain would prefer, which is leadership, commander in chief, not micromanaging or managing the economy from Washington, D.C., perhaps.

But the map can change. There's no question about it.

Anderson, to the question you just asked Gloria, what many Republicans wish for, whether he is to go negative or do something else, they want John McCain to be consistent.

BORGER: Right.


KING: If you have watched him over the past few weeks, he is attacking Barack Obama one day. He is being Mr. Bipartisan the next day.

Even today, he was Mr. Bipartisan, but his ads on television are highly negative on the very same issue on which he is calling for bipartisanship. What Republicans around the country would like is a single, consistent message from John McCain.

BORGER: He is doing it in...


BORGER: He is doing it in the same speech, Anderson.


BORGER: You know, he is -- he is attacking Barack Obama, and then saying, now is not a time for -- for partisanship. So..

COOPER: We're going to talk -- we're going to talk more with Gloria and David and John after this commercial break.

We want to get your take on our breaking news, more on the Senate tonight approving the bailout deal for America's financial firms, what it all means for us and for the election, but, more importantly, for America and the future.

Plus, Sarah Palin speaking out in the interview everyone has been talking about, what she told Katie Couric about Roe v. Wade and other Supreme Court decisions. Couric pressed her for specifics. Did Palin deliver? Well, you will hear it, and you can judge for yourself.

Plus, on the eve of the vice presidential debate, a "Strategy Session": Is Palin being overcoached or underestimated? A lot to talk about with Bay Buchanan and Paul Begala -- they are standing by -- including Bill Clinton's first major stump speech on behalf of Obama. Did he silence critics who say he hasn't supported Obama enough?

Well, you can decide for yourself -- all that ahead on 360.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: On this vote the ayes are 74, the nays are 25. Pursuant tot he previous order, the bill having obtained 60 votes in the affirmative, the bill, as amended, is passed.


COOPER: That's the breaking news. Senators, tonight, approving the financial rescue package. It's a breaking story. The House expected to vote on Friday, although that's no guarantee. The outcome there much less certain.

Back with our panel, digging deep, were David Gergen, Gloria Borger, and John King.

You know, David, it's incredibly frustrating to -- I was literally having flashbacks to Hurricane Katrina where, tonight, we saw senators, basically, patting each other on the back, praising each other for taking action, and I can just imagine folks out there, watching this, and just getting more and more mad listening to these people and no one seems to be taking responsibility.

They are all pointing the fingers at the other guy and the other party. No one ever says, you know what, I had a role in this lack of oversight over the last years. I helped allow this to happen.

Where does the anger -- how does it break over the next couple of weeks? We've just been looking to those polls. Clearly it's breaking in favor of Obama right now. But -- but -- do either candidate right now have more to lose on this?

DAVID GERGEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Both men have a lot to lose if the House votes it down on Friday or whatever day it happens, Anderson.

If the Republicans are responsible for defeating it yet once again, John McCain will pay a huge price. But if the -- if the Democrats now peel away and they defeat it, then Barack Obama is going to pay a big price.

Each man has a lot on the line.

What I do think is worth underscoring -- well, most Americans will say, you know, if they get it passed, well, we've taken care of it now and we can go on.

The House defeat on Monday night, that irresponsible vote on the House, has cost us enormously already just in the 16 days. You pointed out, $100 billion of extra benefits have now been added into this bill. That is going to drive next year's deficit up $100 billion. We're going to go up next year from $500 to an eye popping $600 billion.

Huge -- you know worst deficit in American history. That extra $100 billion is squarely attributable to the defeat of the bill by those members on -- on Monday night in the House of Representatives. And they ought to be held accountable by the voters.

COOPER: Well, it's terrifying, Gloria, that $100 billion in the scheme of the -- deficit and this bailout almost -- you know is like a blink of the eye. It doesn't seem to -- count for that much.

GLORIA BORGER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: And, you know, Anderson, $100 billion was -- added to the bailout in order to get it passed with all kinds of tax incentives, some of them very worthwhile. But they had to kind of load it up a little bit to make it more palatable to all different constituencies just so they could get it together.

I don't think either presidential candidate really benefits in the end. This -- this gets -- this gets passed hopefully.


BORGER: But in the end they have to go back to the campaign trail and say they are going to be the ones to fix it next time and people just don't trust government to do it.

COOPER: John, Bill Clinton made his first campaign appearance on behalf of Obama today. I want to play just some of what he said. Maybe? Maybe not.

All right. Well, he spoke out for -- for Obama. He says he's going to be campaigning aggressively over the next 30 or so days.

How much of a difference can he make in a state like Florida?

JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Obama has to win this election. But Bill Clinton can certainly help, Anderson. And let's talk about the state of Florida, because what he focused on there today mostly with the economy. He said you can trust Barack Obama and his advisers. They have a better plan.

Well, let's go back and look at the map. I'm going to pull this out. This might not look familiar unless you've been paying attention much. This is eight years ago. This is -- actually a little more than that. This is 1996, the last Democratic victory by a presidential candidate in Florida was none other than Bill Clinton. And look how he did it.

He ran up big numbers down here, Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach County, where you have a lot of Jewish voters, a lot of retirees. And Democrats need to run up big numbers here.

Here's what Bill Clinton did that no Democrat has been able to do since -- win in the Tampa, the Orlando, across the Daytona Beach. This is where the independents are in Florida, this is where the largest population center is outside of Miami.

You need to win here to carry -- the state of Florida in a close state-wide election. Bill Clinton showed how to do it. So he can campaign on this state, say, number one, he has strong support among the Jewish constituency. That's a problem for Barack Obama right now.

Number two, he can say, remember when the economy was humming along pretty good, I was the president, trust me, Barack Obama is the guy to handle it.

So in places like this, and all across the country, where the economy matters, he is a good witness for Barack Obama. He can't seal the deal but he can push it along.

COOPER: All right, we're going to have it there.

John King, David Gergen, Gloria Borger and breaking news, thank you for your expertise.

Up next, we're going to turn our focus to tomorrow night's vice presidential debate. The one and only debate for them. Don't be fooled by anything else you may have heard. Both candidates are experienced debaters.

Here's Sarah Palin in a previous debate.

And tonight we'll have the interview that everyone is talking about. What she told Katie Couric when pressed for specifics about Supreme Court rulings.

Also, tonight, her opponent, Joe Biden -- who has the edge facing -- going off into tomorrow's faceoff? When 360 continues.


ANNOUNCER: "Raw Politics" brought to you by...

COOPER: We're all going to be watching history unfold tomorrow night as Governor Sarah Palin and Senator Joe Biden meet for the vice presidential debate. It's going to be the first and only opportunity you have to see the two candidates spar on the same stage, though frankly how much sparing there's actually going to be because of these debate rules. Probably not that much sparring.

Tonight, CBS News aired more of their conversation with Sarah Palin. Tonight they also talked to Joe Biden. Both were asked about Roe v. Wade, the landmark Supreme Court case that legalized abortion.

Here's what they said.


KATIE COURIC, CBS EVENING NEWS: Why do you think Roe v. Wade was a good decision?

SEN. JOE BIDEN (D), VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Because I think it's as close to a consensus that can exist in a -- in a society as heterogeneous as ours. What does it say? It says in the first three months that decision should be left to the woman.

Then the second three months where Roe v. Wade says, well, then the state, the government has a role along with the woman's health. They have a right to have some impact on that.

And the third three months they say the weight of -- the government's input is on -- the fetus being carried.

COURIC: In your view, is Roe v. Wade a bad decision?

GOV. SARAH PALIN (R), VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, I think it should be a state's issue not federal government -- mandating yes or no on such an important issue. I'm -- in that sense a federalist where I believe that states should have more say in the laws of their lands and individual areas.

Now, foundationally, also, though, it's no secret that I'm pro- life, that I believe that a culture of life is very important for this country and personally that's what I would like to see further embraced by -- America.


COOPER: In a moment we're going to show you what happened when Katie Couric asked Palin to name any other Supreme Court rulings she disagreed with. But first, want to look at what may happen tomorrow night.

Despite what you've heard, or maybe even what you think, the running mates are seasoned debaters and their styles are as different as their views.

Joe Johns, tonight, has the "Raw Politics."


JOE JOHNS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): A political newcomer, Sarah Palin, on the biggest stage of her life up against a political veteran and a high stakes debate.

Actually, this is not new to her. When she was running for governor of Alaska, she was debating former Democratic governor Tony Knowles who was well known and far more experienced.

It was a test and Palin triumphed, in part, by going on the attack.

PALIN: Are you aware now of the impact of that lack of leadership in your gridlock, what that caused the people of Alaska?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You have one minute to respond, Mr. Knowles.

TONY KNOWLES, FORMER DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATE: I have no idea what you are driving at.

PALIN: Well, what I was driving at was exactly that, that there was gridlock and much of that was caused in that last year by that memo asking your Cabinet to find ways to put the legislators in kind of more untenable positions.

JOHNS: In short, this candidate brings an impressive array of skills to a live televised debate.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Miss Palin, do you want to enter this rave? 15 seconds if you do.

PALIN: Glad I'm sitting here in between them to make sure it doesn't get out of hand.

JOHNS: We asked former Republican congresswoman Susan Molinari, who became a TV anchor, about how to view Palin versus Biden.

She says, even with his vast experience in the Senate and knowledge of politics, Biden has a serious challenge.

SUSAN MOLINARI (R), FORMER U.S. REPRESENTATIVE: He has to go after her without going after her. All I can say is good luck, Senator Biden. It's a tough call.

JOHNS: Biden has at least two tendencies he has to guard against. He's got a reputation as an attack dog and he's known for talking too much and sometimes too bluntly.

BIDEN: Dennis, the thing I like about -- best about you is your wife.

JOHNS: Remember this exchange with NBC's Brian Williams?

BRIAN WILLIAMS, NBC NEWS: An editorial in the "Los Angeles Times" said in addition to his uncontrolled verbosity, Biden is a gaffe machine.

Can you reassure voters in this country that you would have the discipline you would need on the world stage, Senator?


JOHNS: Obama chose Biden as running mate even though in the primary debate Biden sometimes sounded more like John McCain. He all but said Democrats who advocated defunding the Iraq war were gambling with troops.

BIDEN: Lives are at stake. I -- and I knew the right political vote. But I tell you what, some things are worth losing elections over.

JOHNS: Molinari says debating a woman also poses unique traps. Biden will have to choose his words carefully. He can't risk female voters concluding he's overly aggressive or condescending.

MOLINARI: His job is going to be to defend Senator Obama and take down Sarah Palin. How do you take down Sarah Palin and not get women mad?

JOHNS: A CNN/Opinion Research Poll shows public expectations on this debate are evenly divided as to who will win. What is safe to say is this -- do not underestimate Sarah Palin.

Joe Johns, CNN, Washington.


COOPER: It's going to be a fascinating debate, no doubt about it.

For days there have been rumors about what Palin said to Katie Couric regarding other Supreme Court rulings besides Roe v. Wade.

Tonight CBS News finally aired the question and answer that had so many people talking. Here it is.


COURIC: What other Supreme Court decisions do you disagree with?

PALIN: Well, let's see. There's -- of course, in the great history of America there have been rulings that there's never going to be absolute consensus by every American. And there are those issues again like Roe v. Wade where I believe are best held on a state level and addressed there.

So, you know, going through the history of America, there would be others but...

COURIC: Can you think of any?

PALIN: Well, I would think of -- any again that could best be dealt with on a more local level maybe I would take issue with, but, you know, as a mayor and then as a governor, and even as a vice president, if I'm so privileged to serve, I wouldn't be in a position of changing those things, but in supporting the law of the land as it reads today. (END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: Joining me for our strategy session, CNN political contributor and former senior adviser to Mitt Romney, Bay Buchanan who supports McCain, and Democratic strategist and CNN political contributor, Paul Begala who supports Obama.

So, Paul, conservative say that Palin is overcoached, that she just needs to be allowed to be herself. Is that the problem?

PAUL BEGALA, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Who knows? The two clips you showed, the one where she talked about her view on Roe versus Wade, I thought she was sensitive.

She was -- she held back from some of the kind very strident rhetoric that sometimes is on each side of the abortion issue. She seems to understand federalism. Good answer for her. Great answer.

Then Katie asks her this -- question, right, what other -- as a conservative what other Supreme Court opinions do you disagree with? This is straight out of the conservative canon.

I mean every conservative -- no, you don't have to be the governor of a state, even one close to Russia, to know that most -- I'll help you out, here you go, Sarah, Governor, the answer is, well, you know, Engel-Vitale, which is the case where they banished school prayer, or -- maybe Lawrence versus Texas, which was a gay rights case out of Texas, or Johnson versus Texas, which is a flag burning case.

I mean, it was pathetic. It was pitiful. It was a Miss South Carolina moment, I mean -- where she just was babbling, I guess, (INAUDIBLE) now.

COOPER: Bay...

BEGALA: I'm so -- I'm so staggered by the ignorance there. And I'm sorry.

COOPER: Bay -- it's interesting, Bay, because she actually spoke out against the Supreme Court ruling, I think, it -- was the court of Alaska versus Exxon over the Exxon Valdez issue. She wasn't happy with the results. She was on TV speaking out about it a long time ago.

What do you think happened?

BAY BUCHANAN, CNN POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR: Well, there's no question. I can tell you exactly what happened. It could have happened to me and could have happened to Paul Begala.

What, you got the camera on you and all of a sudden you're supposed to come up with -- you're starting, oh my gosh, what are they now?

And -- you just need a minute for somebody to throw some ideas out. And you say, oh you, that, this, this -- she didn't have a quick answer, a name of a case. But I'll guarantee you states rights is key -- I'll go down a number of them -- that the Supreme Court should not be taking away those state rights.

And so she tried to give you some kind of idea where she would disagree. But -- this is not a fill in the blank test running for vice president of the United States. If she wants to -- ask her for three or four opinions on three or four cases, she'd had fine answers. But that's not what this is all about.

COOPER: Gwen Ifill is going to be the moderator of the debate tomorrow tonight from PBS. It turns out she's writing a book or has written a book that is going to be published on inauguration day.

It's about Barack Obama and his impact on -- the race and on African-Americans in the United States. I -- there are some conservatives, Bay, who are saying this should have been disclosed. It was disclosed in some newspaper articles months ago. Is this an issue?

BUCHANAN: It's a blatant conflict of interest. There's no question about that. However, I've got to tell you something, anyone that's going to be coming up there is more than likely going to be liberal.

And I think there's going to be enormous pressures on Ifill to be as fair as she could possibly be. So I would go ahead and let her be the moderator myself.

COOPER: And, Paul, a lot of Democrats are saying this is just part of a McCain campaign effort to -- put pressure on a journalist. Is that fair?

BEGALA: Yes, it's a pretty sleazy thing to do, particularly, on Gwen Ifill. You know she covered the Clinton campaign for the "New York Times" and I worked for Bill Clinton. She's tough as nails right down the middle. I have probably called and screamed at her a hundred times. But she is a very fair, tough-minded journalist.

The book, by the way, is not about Barack Obama, so far as I know, and it's no secret. She's been working on this book for years. It's about the new generation of African-American and civil rights leader.

Obviously, one of them is Barack Obama. He's now the most famous. He's got a good chance to be the president of the United States. But it includes Artur Davis, who's a remarkable young congressman from Alabama, (INAUDIBLE) Selma in his district.

It's got a lot of civil rights leaders. And I really think it's really...


BEGALA: ... loathsome for the right wing to try to be bullying Gwen Ifill on the day before the debate.

BUCHANAN: Paul, she has a vested interest in Obama winning...

BEGALA: It's nonsense.

BUCHANAN: ... because that book goes right off the charts if he does.

BEGALA: I wrote a book about McCain.

COOPER: All right, I got to leave it there.

BEGALA: Do I have a vested interest in McCain winning?

COOPER: Got to leave it there.

Paul Begala...


COOPER: ... Bay Buchanan, thanks.

The presidential candidates have three debates but Sarah Palin and Joe Biden will go head to head only one time this fall. Who's going to win tomorrow night's showdown and how? Well, we'll have more from Bay and Paul ahead.

Also more in our breaking news, the Senate, tonight, approving the financial rescue bill. But will it get through the House? We're going to keep and track of all the latest developments and what it means for you and your money. Stay tuned.



BIDEN: If you want to know where al Qaeda lives, if you want to know where bin Laden is, come back to Afghanistan with me. Come back to the area where my helicopter was forced down with a three-star general and three United States senators at 10,500 feet in the middle of those mountains. I can tell you where they are.

Where is that safe haven? It is not Baghdad. It is in the mountains between Afghanistan and Pakistan where my helicopter was recently forced down.


COOPER: Senator Joe Biden, twice last month, rehashing a story about how his helicopter was forced down in Afghanistan. What he didn't mention is that, it wasn't al Qaeda or the enemy or the Taliban that caused the unscheduled landing. It was snow.

Both candidates, of course, have their assets and their liabilities, and in less than 24 hours they're going to be debating each other.

Let's get back to our strategy session. With me again, CNN political contributor and former senior adviser to Mitt Romney, Bay Buchanan, who's for McCain, and Democratic strategist and CNN political contributor, Paul Begala who supports Obama.

Bay, bottom line, advice for Palin and for -- Biden tomorrow?

BUCHANAN: Biden, easy. Just do not make any news whatsoever. Just answer the questions. Be gracious. Don't make news. All the momentum going with Obama right now, you don't want to cause anything to miss -- you don't want to stop, you don't want to cause anything to halt that at all.

As for Palin, be herself. Be her natural positive upbeat personable charming individual and speak for the people of this country, speak from her heart, and do what she does better than anyone, and that is emotionally connect with the people.

Don't try to be sophisticated. Don't try to give all kinds of facts and figures, and look like you're an authority on things which we all know you're not. But just give good solid answers, have a good grasp of the material, and then speak from your heart.

And she'll win that debate.

COOPER: Paul, same questions to you.

BEGALA: Yes, I'd say, Governor Palin, your biggest liability is Joe Biden knows John McCain's record better than you do. So don't spend a lot of time on defense. Attack Barack Obama. The reason the good Lord made running mates is to attack the top of the ticket. And I think Governor Palin, if I were advising her, and I'm not, would be -- I'd would say go after Barack not Joe.

And the same thing with Joe Biden, right? He can't either patronize her or bully her so he should ignore her and attack John McCain. And I think he -- in that sense he may have an easier go of it because he is an old colleague and even friend of McCain's and I think he's pretty credible when he tears into him.

COOPER: All right, we're going to leave it there. We'll see if they take either advice because I'm sure both of them are watching.

Paul Begala, Bay Buchanan, thanks so much.

Still ahead, extremely love, the world's tallest man and the world's heaviest man both have found their perfect matches and are about to mark two major milestones. Good news for both of them. We'll have that.

And also, after that, serious stuff at the top of the hour. The financial rescue plan passing the Senate tonight. It's been retooled, sweetened to say the least. But will it be enough to convince opponents in the House? Democrats and Republicans, the latest details from the showdown in Capitol Hill, all you need to know when 360 continues.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) COOPER: Time now for "The Shot," Erica. And good news in the show. We've got an update. You might remember the world's tallest living man. He's a 7'9" Mongolian herdsmen.

A while back we showed you how he saved two dolphins by reaching into their stomach -- that's him doing that -- to remove pieces of plastic that the dolphins had swallowed. An extremely bizarre picture, but his 3 1/2 foot long arm, apparently, saved the dolphins' lives.


COOPER: So that was two years ago. Fast forward, now he's back in the news. We've just learned he's going to be the world's tallest father soon. His wife is pregnant. There she is. They married last year. He's 2'4" inches taller than she is and 28 years older.

HILL: That's...

COOPER: So congratulations.

HILL: Honestly, I'm very happy for them, because that is the oddest picture. He is so much taller than her. It's wild. I almost still think she's a mini person.

COOPER: Well, he's pretty much taller than just everybody so, yes.

HILL: Oh you and your smartness, Anderson Cooper. Well, just for that I will see you, your tallest man, and raise you another record breaking romance.

The world's heaviest man is about to tie the knot.

COOPER: Oh that's nice.

HILL: It is my (INAUDIBLE). Manuel Uribe plans to wed his girlfriend, Claudia Solis later this month. It's going to happen in Mexico. They're going to be married in a civil ceremony there.

He may sound familiar, too, because two years ago this man tipped the scales at 1230 pounds. But since then, he's lost about 550 pounds with the help of...

COOPER: Well, good for him.

HILL: ... his fiancee. Yes. He's going to have a bite of wedding cake but not more, he says, because it's not on his diet.

COOPER: Wow. Good for him.

HILL: Great.

COOPER: Well, good news all around. A nice note to end on in this difficult, difficult week. You can see all the most recent shots at our Web site, You can also read the blog, check out the "Beat 360" picture.

Up next, more on tonight's breaking news. The financial rescue plan, taking the first step, passing the Senate. Next step in the House could be a whole lot tougher.

Also one of these men are going to be the next president of the United States. The crisis will be his problem soon. See how they did on it today, what they said. Are they really showing leadership? That and more when 360 continues.