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Erin Burnett Outfront
Bloomberg Battles Big Gulp; Stunt Day in America; Sex-Selective Abortions
Aired May 31, 2012 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ERIN BURNETT, HOST: OUTFRONT next, Mayor Bloomberg hates your big gulp. Why the mayor of New York City, though, is taking on some of the biggest and most powerful and deep pocketed companies in America.
And new details about the man responsible for the zombie-like attack. The last thing he said to his girlfriend before he left for the gruesome face-eating assault.
Plus, the guy who did this comes OUTFRONT.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm sick of it! Every year we give power to one person!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: I'm Erin Burnett. OUTFRONT tonight, saving us from ourselves, a superhero saving America, just like Clark Kent, the original 1950 Superman.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Faster than a speeding bullet.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: More powerful than a locomotive. Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Look, up in the sky, it's a bird.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's a plane.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: It's super Bloomberg. He came to New York City with powers and abilities far beyond mortal men. Super Bloomberg he's banned smoking in bars and parks, forced restaurants to stop using transfats with his bare hands and he who disguises himself as the mayor of New York City is really fighting for America's health, saying you can't buy a big gulp.
It's a shot heard from coast to coast. The mayor planning to ban the sale of all sugary drinks sold in containers larger than 16 ounces including energy drinks and presweetened iced teas. No more soda at movie theaters or at the stadium. Former President Bill Clinton weighed in on the ban during an interview with Harvey Weinstein that airs on CNN tonight.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BILL CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I know a lot of people think well this is a nanny state and he is interfering, but these are -- these are very serious problems. And there are a lot of things in our diet that not only make us too heavy, but put too much sugar in our body which have an enormous number of people with diabetes and a lot of people teetering on the edge of it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: All right. He said nanny state. Some people say it's a slap in the face of American freedom. But maybe it's just a punch in the face of big food. The food and beverage industry seems to be buying other politicians' silence. Remember the sugar tax proposal? That was kryptonite even for super Bloomberg. He couldn't beat the lobbyists down.
According to Open Secrets (ph), big food spent $27 million lobbying politicians last year. Coca-Cola and Pepsi led the charge. And that is money well spent when you consider the return. Those two beverage giants alone brought in $113 billion in combined revenue last year. Those returns are insane. But the costs hit everyone. Thanks in part to big food ingredients, including sugar, the obesity epidemic in America is out of control.
Nearly two-thirds of Americans are overweight or obese. Tonight that's more than 190 million Americans. Twenty-five million have diabetes. And according to the CDC, the health care costs are astounding. For diabetes and obesity, $364 billion a year paid for by us. Oh, yes, and if you include heart disease, the number one killer, the CDC tacks on another $444 billion a year.
So maybe we really do need a super hero to help us fight the food cocaine dealers and help us help ourselves. Now, the beverage industry rebuts this. Coke responded to super Bloomberg's statement today saying, quote, "The people of New York City are much smarter than the New York City Health Department believes. They can make their own choices about the beverages they purchase." Now, perhaps they're right.
We can make our own choices. The problem is we're just weak. We, the people, love sweets. As "Dog Owners Digest" reports, quote, "while the pathetic begging look that goes across the face of a dog wanting chocolate can weaken the most stoic dog owner, stay firm. Do not give in ever." Chocolate can kill dogs just like fatty, sugary food can kill people. Now some people say once you start, it won't stop. This is big brother. But for now the super mayor is still allowing alcohol, diet soda and fruit juice. So maybe we do need a super hero to fight the dealers who tempt us with sweets and leave us with the bill when we get sick and fat. Robert Kenner is director of the documentary "Food Inc." and Matt Welch is editor-in-chief with "Reason" magazine. They're OUTFRONT tonight. Good to have both of you with us.
Obviously we had a lot of fun putting that together today. Matt, let me just ask you, though, I mean is this a case -- I mean I know you're going to be somebody who says look, get the government out of my business but is there -- is a place where we can draw the line.
MATT WELCH, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, REASON MAGAZINE: Yes, definitely the 20-ounce level of Coke is where we need to draw -- if that bottle is any more -- higher than 16 ounces, you know stop it. Finally we have a super hero. No, it's ridiculous. What we're trying to do -- what Bloomberg is trying to do and unfortunately too many other mayors around the country are trying to do is change people's behavior by criminalizing their choices.
It's kind of an appalling conception of what government is here to do. We're talking about what people do with their own lives that don't hurt anybody. It's consensual choice of what they want to put in their own bodies. It is not the government's role and it's not going to change their behavior ultimately whether they can buy a 24 or 32-ounce soda at the Citifield (ph) or not. It is a ridiculous misuse of what government should be doing in any context at all.
BURNETT: Robert, I mean I know you would beg to differ and I have to say as someone who now you know travels around this country, smoking bans in bars are a fantastic thing.
ROBERT KENNER, DIRECTOR, FOOD INC.: Well, smoking bans in California started -- well, they added a smoking tax about 11 years ago and it saved us a ton, a ton of money because of the decrease in lung cancer. And I disagree with Matt when he says this is not doing anyone any harm. The fact is we have a major health care crisis on our hands and it's costing us all a fortune.
BURNETT: Matt, what about this -- the quote about the dog? I mean this is dogs -- OK, dogs love chocolate. The problem is you give a dog a little bit of chocolate and the dog cannot control itself and it wants more and it gives you that look and God it breaks your heart to say no.
BURNETT: Right, but sometimes you have to restrict the dog's choices to save the dog's life. We are the dogs.
WELCH: I think this is a very telling analogy, because we are calling ourselves dogs that need to be treated by the owner, which is government. This is creepy. I mean let's not put too fine a point on it. This is weird territory that we're getting into right now and it doesn't make a lot of sense in terms of public health or anything else. This is -- this is not what we should be doing in this country for crying out loud is limiting the choice of people -- and let's also think about this.
There's a disturbing element of class here. It's not as if Bloomberg and his friends in Wall Street or the hipsters in Brooklyn who are eating grass-fed you know pigs and these kinds of things; they're not the ones drinking 24-ounce sodas. It's this disturbing element going after transfats, going after high salt content that Bloomberg has shown throughout his mayoralhood (ph) of going after those people's choices here. It is rich people telling poor people how to live and I'm frankly uncomfortable with it and I think that people should look in the mirror a little bit before they start telling other people what to do.
BURNETT: It's a fair point, Robert. The things is -- is when people do that then they need the money for the health care and that comes from the taxpayer.
KENNER: Yes, when we filmed -- in "Food Inc." we went to a lower income school and when I ask people how many people they knew who had diabetes in that classroom, everyone knew at least three people with diabetes. It costs about $500 a month to buy diabetes medicine. And right now one-third of all Americans born after the year 2000 will have early onset diabetes. So I think we have an absolute health care crisis. And the majority of the weight that's being put on is because of sodas. So right now I think we have to do something about this and it's an absolute crisis that's costing us way too much and it's costing poor people way too much. These sodas, this cheap food is way too expensive.
BURNETT: All right, well, thanks very much to both of you. Maybe the solution is if Coke and Pepsi and big food had to pay the bill, unlike the taxpayer, on that health care, maybe they wouldn't want to sell the drinks anymore.
Well still OUTFRONT the Obama campaign attacks Mitt Romney's record of job creation. We ran the numbers. We're going to tell you if the attack adds up.
And finally a verdict, sort of, in the John Edwards' trial, a verdict that is as weird, strange and twisted as that trial itself. So what happens next -- Paul Callan ahead -- and how Barney, the purple dinosaur, is America's secret interrogation weapon.
BURNETT: Our second story OUTFRONT, let's call it stunt day in America, from sea to shining sea. Just a day after promising a healthy debate in this election year, the Obama and Romney teams held dueling events, each trying to outdo the other with a very symbolic backdrop.
In Massachusetts, President Obama's top strategist slammed Mitt Romney's record as governor, obviously fittingly in front of the State Capitol in Boston. And in California, Romney made a surprise appearance at the headquarters of, oh, yes, bankrupt company Solyndra, calling it a symbol of the president's failed economic policies. Ben Labolt is the press secretary for the Obama campaign. Good to see you Ben, yes it was one of those days, right?
BEN LABOLT, OBAMA CAMPAIGN PRESS SECRETARY: Nice to be with you tonight, Erin.
BURNETT: All right, good to see you. All right, so I want to just get straight to this issue of what your team is trying to say about Mitt Romney and talking about his record as the governor of Massachusetts. Obviously you're going hard after job creation. So I want to get straight to it, to Deval Patrick with Joe Scarborough this morning. Here he is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. DEVAL PATRICK (D), MASSACHUSETTS: I think when he left office, it was in the fours, I want to say 4.3 was about what the national average --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is that about right?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
PATRICK: It was -- it was about -- by the time he left --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
PATRICK: -- it was about what the national rate was. I think it had trailed the national rate, been higher than the national rate for most of his time. At the time he left, I think that's about right.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: All right, Ben, your surrogate seemed to be a little bit off message.
LABOLT: Well, you know, we need to take a look at where Massachusetts ranked compared to other states during Mitt Romney. When he came into office, Massachusetts ranked 36th out of 50th in job creation and it slipped to 47th under Mitt Romney. Manufacturing jobs declined by twice the national average and that's because of the policies that Romney pursued as governor, similar ones to those that he would pursue today.
He cut funding for manufacturing in Massachusetts. He vetoed legislation that would have prevented outsourcing. He cut funding for programs essential to the middle class for things like education and ultimately it had an impact. It had an impact on middle class families. But it's not just job creation we're talking about today, Erin.
We're talking about debt and deficits. We're talking about spending. We're talking about the size of government. He made a bunch of promises in 2002 that sound like the ones he's making on the campaign trail today and he didn't fulfill them. Debt increased by 16 percent. He left the state with a billion dollar deficit. Taxes went up. Spending went up and so if those policies didn't work then, why would they work today?
BURNETT: Well one thing that's interesting here, and Deval Patrick, I should say obviously is the current governor of Massachusetts who came in after Mitt Romney. He also talked about Bain Capital and said it was, quote, "a perfectly fine company". Obviously we heard that same line from Cory Booker about a week and a half ago on "MEET THE PRESS", so are you concerned that some of these attacks on the likes of Bain Capital, though, will not stick? If people who know the company well are defending it in your own party?
LABOLT: Not at all. The bulk of Governor Patrick's interview was about the buyer's remorse that Massachusetts residents have about Romney's tenure there. There was a poll that came out recently in Massachusetts that showed Romney losing the state, his home state by 25 points. But Governor Patrick has made the same point that we have, that this isn't an attack on the financial sector or private equity generally.
The question we are asking is, is the -- are the lessons and values and experiences that Romney took from his tenure as a corporate buyout specialist where he profited off of bankrupting companies and outsourcing jobs an effective one that the American people would like to see in the Oval Office.
LABOLT: And Massachusetts provides us with the example of how it worked and it didn't work for middle class families in Massachusetts.
BURNETT: And before we go (INAUDIBLE) unemployment rate 4.7 when Romney left for those of you keeping track on that was ahead of the 4.5 national average, but it seems Ben that a lot of the problems he may have had are problems that your guy has as well. Wage growth (INAUDIBLE) slowed this month. May the slowest we have seen in several months. We have people leaving the workforce at record numbers. That could cause the unemployment rate to go down because more people are dissatisfied and unhappy. Are you trying to take the attention off the fact that the president's record doesn't look so good on jobs when looked at that way?
LABOLT: Not at all. Listen Mitt Romney pretends that the economic crisis never happened. We were losing 750,000 jobs a month when the president came into office. The manufacturing sector was in decline. The auto industry was on the brink. And businesses have now created more than 4.2 million jobs. Manufacturing is resurgent. GM is the number one automaker in the world again. If you want to compare records, look no further than this stat. Under Mitt Romney in the first 40 months of his administration under 5,000 jobs were created. Under President Obama in the past 40 months, in the state of Massachusetts, we've created nearly 22,000 jobs.
BURNETT: All right and obviously it was a much deeper economic crisis this time than last, but certainly some important numbers to keep in mind. Thanks so much to Ben Labolt. And there are new polls showing a tightening race between the president and Mitt Romney in three battleground states Colorado, Iowa and Nevada. All states the president won in 2008.
Now, one thing that could swing the vote, though, is women, and we know they are important. Issues they care about central to this campaign, today a heated debate on Capitol Hill over sex-selective abortions. Dana Bash is OUTFRONT.
DANA BASH, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): What you're looking at is a sting operation, an anti-abortion actor undercover at a Texas Planned Parenthood clinic pretending to want an abortion if she's having a girl. A Planned Parenthood staffer helps by giving advice on how to find out the baby's gender.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You don't actually have to say what you're going to go do.
BASH: Planned Parenthood released a statement saying "it condemns sex selection motivated by gender bias" and fired its employee caught on tape appearing to help do just that. And in yet another video from New York City just released today a social worker doesn't encourage aborting a female fetus but doesn't condemn it either.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If you find out that it's a girl and you decide that that -- what you would prefer is to terminate the pregnancy then that's just your decision.
BASH: It's no accident that Lila Rose (ph) a young anti-abortion activist, whose group carried out the sting, released these edited videos this week.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're missing these girls and that should cause all of us distress.
BASH: Rose carefully coordinated with House Republicans, pushing new anti-abortion legislation banning what they call gendercide (ph).
REP. TRENT FRANKS (R), ARIZONA: We are going to allow little girls to be killed before they're born simply because they are little girls.
BASH: Under the legislation, doctors who knowingly perform abortions chosen because of gender would face up to five years in prison and fines. Abortion providers could also be subject to civil penalties, including punitive, monetary damages.
REP. CHRIS SMITH (R), NEW JERSEY: Today the three most dangerous words in China and India are "it's a girl". We can't let that happen here.
BASH: Republican authors of the bill cite multiple studies claiming evidence of a rising number of U.S. abortions based on the sex of the fetus. But abortion rights advocates take issue with the studies. The reality is it's hard to know the truth about such a private issue. Politically, Republicans are trying to turn the Democrats' charge that there's a GOP war on women on its head.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This, Mr. Speaker, is the real war on women.
BASH: Democrats called the legislation a political stunt.
REP. BARBARA LEE (D), CALIFORNIA: Attempts to redistrict or deny access to safe abortions is harmful to women's health and would ultimately take us back to the days of back alley abortions.
BURNETT: Dana, the bill was defeated today, even though a majority in the House voted for it. Can you explain how that could happen?
BASH: That's right, 246 votes, Erin, well above the majority. The reason it happened is because the way Republicans who run the House structured this was to have a limited debate and a two-thirds majority required, so that did not happen. Why did they do that? Well it's because they wanted to kind of have their cake and eat it too, so to speak. They wanted to be able to highlight this issue at least for a day to turn the war on women on its head, but also really get it out of the way fast because they still want to focus they say on the big issue, which is what you've been talking about this whole show, it's the economy.
BURNETT: All right, thanks very much to you, Dana. And ahead one of the most powerful men in the Catholic Church, tonight accusations he paid certain priests to leave. And Barney, the purple dinosaur, is rolling the war on terror.
BURNETT: The Pentagon confirmed today something that many of us has suspected for years. According to the Defense Department's Captain John Kirby, music is regularly used to punish prisoners at Guantanamo Bay.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CAPTAIN JOHN KIRBY, DEPUTY ASST. SEC. OF DEFENSE FOR MEDIA OPERATIONS: We subscribe to the law and to humane treatment, so -- but -- but, yes music is used, again, both in a positive way and as a disincentive, but I wouldn't get into characterizing exactly what type of music has been used.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Is it from Barney? Was it from Barney?
KIRBY: We do not, do not torture.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: That's right. It's believed the Pentagon forced prisoners at Gitmo to listen to Barney for 24 straight hours. According to a U.S. service member involved in psychological operations, quote, "your brain and body functions start to slide, your train of thought slows down and your will is broken." That sounds intense. I mean these are songs meant for children, right? But after a quick listen, I'm sure you'll agree the estimation isn't very far off.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARNEY: Won't you say you love me too? (INAUDIBLE)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Yes, that's Barney. The Pentagon says that's not torture, but seriously, you drop that laugh on me for a few hours and I'd confess to just about anything, whether I did it or not, seriously.
Still OUTFRONT in our second half, a nutty verdict in a bizarre trial. We ask Paul Callan what it means for Mr. John Edwards.
And his rant went viral and tonight he's OUTFRONT.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I feel like somebody's trying to be released from Egypt. Let my people go.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: We start the second half of our show with stories we care about, where we focus on our reporting from the front lines.
Well, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has proposed a ban on soda and sweetened drinks bigger than 16 ounces. One of the big reasons: health. Sugary drinks play a huge part in the obesity epidemic in this country. Nearly two-thirds of Americans are overweight or obese. (INAUDIBLE) is the proposal though.
Here's what Matt Welch of "Reason" had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MATT WELCH, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, REASON MAGAZINE: It's ridiculous. What we're trying to do, what Bloomberg is trying to do and unfortunately too many other mayors around the country are trying to do is change people's behavior by criminalizing their choices. It's kind of an appalling conception of what government is here to do. We're talking about what people do with their own lives that don't hurt anybody.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: But if you offer me an apple and a candy bar, I'll pick the candy bar every time. I'd rather you'd only offer me the apple.
Former President George W. Bush received a warm welcome as he returned to the White House for the first time today. He and former first lady, Laura Bush, unveiled their official portraits. There were a few emotional moments such as when the president mentioned his portrait will hang near his father's.
What stood out to me were the ceremony's one-liners.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Plus, you also left me a really good TV sports package.
GEORGE W. BUSH, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: I am pleased that my portrait brings an interesting symmetry to the White House collection. It now starts and ends with a George W.
I am also pleased, Mr. President, that when you are wandering these halls as you wrestle with tough decisions, you will now be able to gaze at this portrait and ask, "What would George do?" It is my privilege to introduce the greatest first lady ever -- sorry, mom.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: All right. JPMorgan's CEO Jamie Dimon will testify on Capitol Hill about his bank's $3 billion trading loss. The Senate Banking Committee hearing will take place June 13th. They were trying to hold it on June 7th, but according to the statement, the 13th is the only date that works for everyone.
Who's it going to be lucky for?
All right. Cardinal Timothy Dolan is the archbishop of New York and he's been linked apparently to an abusive priest payout plan. Victims in the archdiocese of Milwaukee say Cardinal Dolan who is the archbishop of Milwaukee at the time okayed paying off priests accused of molesting children. The un-assignable priests were offered $20,000.
In a statement, the archdiocese said it was the most expedient and cost-effective way to have offenders removed from the priesthood. A spokesman for Archbishop Timothy Dolan has no comment on the allegations.
Well, it's been 301 days since the U.S. lost its top credit rating. What are we doing to get it back? The market has not been helping. Dow and NASDAQ both just turned in their worst monthly performances in a year. The Dow off more than 6 percent, the NASDAQ more than 7 percent in May.
And now, our third story OUTFRONT. A mistrial in the bizarre and twisted case of John Edwards. And for now, he's avoided a 30-year prison sentence and more than a million dollars in fines. After almost nine days of deliberations, the jury in the federal trial told the judge today they were deadlocked. The judge sent them back to deliberate, and when all was said and done, they only reached a verdict on one of the six counts against John Edwards. And it was not guilty on illegal campaign contributions.
The former presidential candidate was on trial, accused of using those campaign contributions to hide his affair with Rielle Hunter and the child he had with her.
Edwards spoke after the partial verdict.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN EDWARDS (D), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I want to make sure that everyone hears from me and from my voice that while I do not believe I did anything illegal or ever thought I was ever doing anything illegal, I did an awful, awful lot that was wrong. And if I want to find the person who should be held accountable for my sins, honestly, I don't have to go any further than the mirror.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Paul Callan is OUTFRONT tonight.
So, Paul, what is this -- what does this mean? Is this h going to go back and be tried again for the remaining counts? I mean, how do you get a verdict on one count and none of the others? What do you do?
PAUL CALLAN, CNN LEGAL CONTRIBUTOR: Well, it's a split decision on this with respect to legal experts. The majority think the Justice Department probably will walk away from this case and not retry it for a couple of reasons. First, it's a rare case where two branches of government disagreed on the case. Remember, the Federal Elections Commission didn't even think this was criminal and yet the Justice Department brought the case. It would be kind of like the IRS saying you're not a tax criminal and then the Justice Department indicts you for it anyway.
So you can make a strong argument it's a very, very weak case. But statistically, if we're not talking about politicians, they almost always retry you after a hung jury. And you know what? Statistically, you almost always get convicted after a hung jury.
So if it was handled --
BURNETT: So he goes completely free now, they let it go, or it gets retried and the chances at least historically not in his favor?
CALLAN: Well, if we go by statistics, the chances are great that he would get convicted on retrial, yes. That's -- I'm just talking about statistics.
BURNETT: Right. CALLAN: Now, one other thing to note. He was acquitted on only one count in this indictment. It's a seven-count indictment. And it was -- it had to do with Bunny Mellon writing checks in 2008. On all of the other counts, the jury, they were divided. Obviously some thought he was guilty, some thought he was innocent. So you could argue why not give another jury a shot at it. So there will be a big debate at justice about whether to proceed with this.
BURNETT: When will we find out?
CALLAN: Well, I would think you'll find out probably within the next three months, four months. They're going to look at the jurors and they're going to try to figure out what the split was. It was it 12-1, was it 8-4, and how strong their chances are for going forward. And we'll get a decision as to whether they will take a second trial.
BURNETT: So, you heard John Edwards say he needed look no further than the mirror. Sort of a version of a John Edwards we haven't really seen before, the sort of apologetic and self- introspective person. He also made a comment about his future.
CALLAN: Remind me of Snow White, that mirror, mirror on the wall thing, you know, who's the fairest politician of them all? Yes?
BURNETT: Speaking of that, here's what he said about possibly politics.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
EDWARDS: I don't think God's through with me. I really believe he thinks there's still some good things I can do.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CALLAN: Yes. What's surprising about that is it sounds like he's thinking about maybe another political run? I really don't know. And he also said that he takes full responsibility, blame nobody but me. But during the trial, he blamed Andrew Young, his aide, remember? He said he didn't know about the expenditures. So I think people should take a closer look at Mr. Edwards' statements before they decide how to proceed in the future. Yes.
BURNETT: Paul Callan, thank you very much.
And now, our fourth story OUTFRONT, the rant heard around the nation.
Illinois State Representative Mike Bost, a Republican, became an instant Internet sensation after he went ballistic on the floor of the legislature. Bost was upset he didn't have enough time to look at a pension reform bill before having to vote on it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) STATE REP. MIKE BOST (R), ILLINOIS: Once again, total power in one person's hands -- not the American way! These damn bills that come out here all the damn time, come out here at the last second. I've got to try to figure out how to vote for my people! I'm sick of it!
Every year, we give power to one person! Now we give him -- we've passed rules that stop each one of us. Enough! I feel like somebody trying to be released from Egypt.
Let my people go! My God, they sent me here to vote for them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: All right. I'm just -- he is obviously standing by. I'm wondering why the people who were standing around, they were sort of sitting there in shock. But that tirade is something that resonated with a lot of people.
Illinois' financial situation is incredibly serious. The state is $128.4 billion in debt, the eighth worst in the nation. It has $83 billion in pension obligations that it can't pay, the second worst in the country. And an A-plus credit rating by Standard & Poor's, which may sound good but it's bad. It's the second worst in the country.
OUTFRONT tonight, Illinois State Representative Mike Bost.
Good to see you, sir. I really appreciate you taking the time. You must have gotten a head rush there yelling that loud. But --
BOST: It was -- yes, it was not my normal reaction, but it had been an extremely rough day with 200, 300-page bill that had been changed that we had been working for a year and a half. And now, all of a sudden, it was time to vote and they came in ten minutes before the meeting and decided that now, we would hand you a bill brand new with all the changes -- all the things that we had not supported. So, yes, there was a problem.
BURNETT: We're seeing you there throw your papers in the air. Yes, there was a problem, that was an understatement.
All right. We contacted the House Speaker Michael Madigan's office. He obviously was the speaker -- I believe the person you were referring to here. They said, look --
BOST: That's correct.
BURNETT: -- this is the kind of stunt they see from the Republican minority every year and they gave a statement which says, quote, "The way to solve this problem is for the Republicans to elect more candidates, which is unlikely given the way they conduct themselves." What's your response to that?
BOST: Actually, it's unlikely because the person I referred to actually got to draw the map for the state of Illinois on how the districts are laid out. Our particular speaker has been the speaker for 30 years, except for two years in 1995 and 1996. The rules for the operation of the House, the constitution doesn't give him the power, but the rules that are voted on every two years by the majority party give him that. And it is basically a situation where total power.
And each one of us still represent the same area -- or same population, but yet one particular member that is representing the same population gets to rule all over the 118. That's not right. It has been going on for a long time and I'd finally had enough and I still have enough with it.
BURNETT: And what are you going to do with it? We were just laying out the situation, the state that Illinois is in, and it's terrible. I mean, this country is in a terrible position, the kind of anger and frustration that you show is what elected leaders feel and what we, the people, feel about you, our elected leaders.
So how do we turn it into better dialogue?
BOST: Well, one thing is, is in the state of Illinois what we need to do is truly deal in a way, in a bipartisan manner, not just claim to deal in a way with bipartisan manner. We were working on a budget together. We in the House were doing that very well.
Then all of a sudden -- this is an old scheme that's been done by the speaker before to simply throw a bill out and say this is just the way it's going to be. Now, he has since changed that. However, he's changed it with 18 hours left in the session to try to correct the problem. He was going to force a tax level on our downstate homeowners that they could not afford, and the problem is with the state, not with just the downstate.
BURNETT: All right. Well, thank you very much, sir. We appreciate you taking the time. Representative Bost here from Illinois.
And next, her son was attacked and chewed off the face of a man. Now, the suspect's mother is talking about the zombie-like attack.
And an historic hire for a college football team.
BURNETT: We're back with tonight's outer circle, where we reach out to our sources around the world. And tonight, we go to Europe. An international manhunt under way for Luka Rocco Magnotta -- the suspect in the gruesome murder case in Canada before a man's torso were found in Montreal and his face and hand mailed to politicians in Ottawa. Police say Magnotta, who describes himself online as an actor and porn star, filmed the murder and posted it online before fleeing the country.
Paula Newton is in London, and I asked her where police think Magnotta is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) PAULA NEWTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Erin, Canadian authorities now say that they have good reason to believe that Magnotta has left the country, perhaps even gone to France as early as last weekend. Interpol, the International Police force, has now released a wanted poster. What they call a red notice to police forces around the world, to be on the lookout for this suspect.
You know, when that foot that, that gruesome foot was mailed to Canada to the campaign headquarters of the conservatives in Canada, it had a note attached that seemed to suggest that the killer might strike again. So, police have reason to believe that he is dangerous, but they say so far they do not have any concrete leads of where he might be right now. And such a bizarre case, police really saying that they have never seen anything like this, that he has left quite a trail of evidence on the Internet, but also insisting that right now they don't know why, they have no idea what the motive could have been for this kind of gruesome crime -- Erin.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: All right. And thanks very much to Paula.
And now let's check in with Anderson for a look at what's coming up on "A.C. 360."
ANDERSON COOPER, HOST, "A.C. 360": Hey, Erin.
We're going to have more on the breaking news, the verdict in the long and winding trial of John Edwards. Like the trial, the verdict was strung out and left as many questions really as answers. You're going to hear an emotional statement from Edwards on the steps of the courthouse. I'll talk with our panel.
Also, our keeping them honest report, a shameless lies being spun by Syria despite video evidence proving otherwise. The images are horrific. It's important for the world to see what the Syrian regime continues to do to its own people while at the same time flat-out lying about it, denying any involvement.
We're not talking about the massacre from a week ago, new video from a new attack today in an area just outside the city of Homs.
We'll speak with the American free lance photographer that shot the footage who is there now.
Those stories and a new ruling about danger in the water at SeaWorld and whether the company is doing enough to protect its employees. All that, the "Ridiculist" and more at the top of the hour, Erin.
BURNETT: All right. We'll see you in a minute, Anderson.
And now, our fifth story OUTFRONT. We're learning more tonight about the man who was killed by Florida police as he was chewing off another man's face.
Rudy Eugene's mother and girlfriend now speaking out about an incident so gruesome, as we've been telling you, the pictures are disturbing. It is awful. There were people who were biking by and saw this absolutely horrific scene.
Thirty-one-year-old Eugene was described to be in a zombie-like state when he was caught by police in Miami on Saturday. Police say Eugene was naked, growling like an animal as he attacked a 65-year-old homeless man.
But just that morning, his girlfriend told the "Miami Herald" he was behaving normally. She said that he, quote, planted a kiss on her lips and told her he loved her before heading out.
OUTFRONT tonight, CBS 4 Miami reporter Peter D'Oench who spoke with his mother.
And, Peter, appreciate your taking the time. I can't even imagine what that conversation was like. What did his mother tell you? How shocked was she that this happened?
PETER D'OENCH, REPORTER FOR CBS 4 MIAMI: Well, Erin, she was completely stunned about the developments in this case. She said that her son was a very special person who had just given her a Mother's Day card, liked to go to church, was the oldest of three brothers, and she was completely overwhelmed by this.
But quite honestly, there is other things that happened in his background that might not have surprised some people. There was a particularly violent episode from 2004 in which police were called to the mother's home because Rudy Eugene was smashing up some furniture and threatening the life of his own mother. In fact the mother told police, "Thank God you're here, he was going to kill me" -- Erin.
BURNETT: Peter, let me -- she talked about her son and the version she told you is very different than what you're reporting from his prior record. I mean, what kind of person did she say that he was?
D'OENCH: Well, she said he was a good person, person, a good son, who respected the family and she was just completely startled that something like this could happen. And she refused to believe it and she went on to say that she felt the police should not have shot him, although they say they had no choice, they should have used a taser on him.
But it completely took her off-guard and that's why she wanted to go on camera with us and talk about the developments in this case.
BURNETT: And what about the whole question about drugs. We're all awaiting to toxicology report, because what happened here with the whole sort of superhuman powers element is bizarre. Apparently, there's other cases similar to this that have happened.
You have talked to other people who knew Rudy Eugene. His football coach, some of his friends. Did he use drugs? I mean, what have you been able to find out?
D'OENCH: Well, one of his close friends said that he had been smoking marijuana, not that that could cause anything as bizarre as this, and he was dealing with some inner demons. Some police have talked about perhaps a drug-induced psychosis of some sort, although again, as you mentioned, we'll have to wait for toxicology results.
I spoke with his former football coach from 1998 and 1999 where he was an average football player and showed no propensity towards violence and no indication of anything like this might occur in the future.
BURNETT: All right. Well, thank you very much, Peter. Appreciate your taking the time. He's been doing the on the ground reporting there of exactly what happened in that bizarre zombie story.
And next, a football coach making major history.
BURNETT: A historically black Mississippi -- a university in Mississippi is making major history this week.
Alcorn State founded in 1871. It just hired the first nonblack head football coach the Southwest Atlantic Conference has ever had. His name is Jay Hopson and he comes OUTFRONT tonight.
Good to see you, sir. Appreciate it.
JAY HOPSON, ALCORN STATE HEAD FOOTBALL COACH: Thank you, Erin.
BURNETT: You're from Mississippi, I know you have played football yourself at Ole Miss.
BURNETT: What does it mean to you to be the first white football coach in this conference?
HOPSON: Just really, Erin, extremely honored. Alcorn University is, as you know, is HBCU ranked number one university HBCU in America. And for Dr. Brown to choose me to be the head football coach of the Braves is truly an honor.
BURNETT: Now, obviously, this is new for everyone and it is a milestone.
There is a small group of alumni who have voiced their dissatisfaction, they don't think it's appropriate because you're white. What's your reaction to that?
HOPSON: Well, Erin, everybody has the right to their opinion, I can't dispute that. I just know I've had tremendous support. You know, I'm from here, this is home to me, I have grown up with many Alcornites and, you know, I have many dear friend that went to Alcorn. And, you know, it's a natural fit for me and my family, being from this area.
And, you know, I think -- I'm a football coach, Erin. I'm not a politician. I'm a football coach.
I think one thing that we can all learn from the wonderful profession of coaching is, I have been coaching for 20 years and I don't believe I have ever known a black coach that didn't love his wife players and a white coach that didn't love his black players. And I think in the big scope of things, we can all learn a lot from this profession because I think we all learn to love one another and work with one another.
As a football coach, and being the head coach at Alcorn, like I told my players, like I told the alumni, hey, Jay Hopson sees purple and gold, it doesn't matter if you're black, white, green, its if relevant. The bottom line is we want to go out and recruit the best football players that can help our university be successful.
BURNETT: And have you had a chance to speak to any of those alumni yourself? Do you even know who they are personally?
HOPSON: Right. I really don't know who they are because I've been pretty fortunate, I've been pretty sheltered. All the alumni that I have talked to have been very supportive. Some of them I have known for most of my 43 years.
But it's been a great welcome and what can I say about Dr. Brown, our president's been absolutely fantastic to me and I'm just proud to be here, proud to represent this university. I know we have a job to do. You know, that's the pressing issue for me, Erin, is we got two months to get ready for a season. That's the big obstacle for Jay Hopson, getting a football team up and running in two months.
BURNETT: Do you feel in -- is there ever a moment though in all of this where you felt like you could actually put yourself in someone else's shoes, you know, so many black people in this country have felt, I'm a minority, I'm not being given a fair shake or, you know, feeling that sense of being the one when the other people are the many?: Is it a little bit strange to you to suddenly be the person who's the one? I mean, not that everybody's discriminating against you, I don't mean it that way, but you're the minority.
HOPSON: Well, I mean, like I said, I'm a football coach and my whole life. I have recruited -- 95 percent of my recruits have been African-American kids and they're like family to me and I love them like sons and I'm not -- you know, I don't -- I guess I don't see things in that big of a political scope.
You know, I'm a football coach and I love my kids and I just want my kids to go out and play hard. And I hope one day when they graduate, they say, you know what? I'm a little bit better for being around Jay Hopson.
BURNETT: All right. Well, thank you very much sir. I really appreciate you taking your time to come out and share your story. And good luck with that season. I hope the team does well. And thanks so much to all of you as always for watching. We'll see you back here same time, same place tomorrow.
"ANDERSON COOPER 360" starts now.