Return to Transcripts main page
ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Will Conservatives Rally Behind McCain?; At Least 54 Dead in Winter Tornado Outbreak
Aired February 6, 2008 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Tonight, looking ahead after the Democrats' amazing Super Tuesday split decision. We're going to show you where the campaign goes next, why Hillary Clinton recently wrote her campaign a $5 million check from her own bank account, and more.
We will also look at John McCain's victory as well.
Also ahead in this hour, we're on the scene of the deadliest tornadoes to hit the South in recent memory.
And the latest strange chapter so far in the sad saga of Britney Spears -- released from the hospital today, she plunges back into a circus with frightening new allegations about the hangers-on around her, drugs, and mind control. We will try to get some insight on what is driving her and who, if anyone, is truly trying to help her.
We begin, though, with politics, with the race still very much up in the air, especially on the Democratic side, and the states that will decide it. There they are behind me, among them, Virginia, Maryland, Ohio, Texas, maybe even Pennsylvania all the way in April.
For Republicans, they will be revealing, highlighting -- they will be revealing, highlighting front-runner's John McCain's strengths and weaknesses. For Democrats, though, they will truly play the role of showdown states.
CNN's John King joins us now for how we got here and where we're going -- John.
JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anderson, how we got here was last night's big Super Tuesday.
And let me start on the Democratic race and let me start by showing you had this. This is where we began the night, Clinton and Obama relatively close together way back there. Well, now let's look what happened. After 24 states voted, 22 on the Democratic side, they're way out here.
And we should note, even as we show you this, still a pretty close race. One of the things we don't know even as we speak tonight, just how will all this work out? California, the biggest prize of delegates, of the 441, we have only allocated about 100 so far. So, we could assume this is going to grow and this is going to grow and the delegates and you will see the numbers change as we go.
But then we move on from here. This Super Tuesday is over. We will allocate the rest of the delegates. Where do we go next? We have a campaign coming up this weekend, the Louisiana primary. Sixty- seven delegates on the Democratic side, an African-American population that is not as big post-Katrina as pre-Katrina -- for the sake of argument, we could give it to Obama, just to see what happens. He tends to perform well in caucuses.
We have got the Nebraska caucuses coming up and the Washington State caucuses come up. And then the campaign moves to the Maine caucuses. Now, by no means is Barack Obama guaranteed those victories, but, if we give those to him, just for the sake of argument, he gets some delegates. Senator Clinton picks up some proportionally.
And then we come, Anderson, to what is called Potomac primary, which is a week from yesterday. You have Maryland here, a state that should be tailor-made for Barack Obama, heavy African-American population up in the Baltimore area, down in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. And the biggest fight among the Democrats next week will be Virginia, quite an interesting state.
You have professional women in the north, African-American population down in Richmond, and out in rural Virginia, the old Democrats out in the rural country, what might have been the John Edwards vote, so a fight there for the Democrats in the short term.
And before we move on, let's just take a peek at the Republican race, a very different scenario. Look at this for the Democrats. Even with our guesstimates of what might happen ahead, they still stay very, very close. Let's see where we are on the Republican side. And you see this. John McCain has lapped the field. Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee are way back here, Anderson. They're going into the same kind of a climate.
The Louisiana primary, if John McCain could win there, and then come into next week into those Potomac primaries, perform well in Maryland and Virginia, he has a chance to put the Republican race away and get out here. He can't clinch, but you see a clear path to the McCain nomination. On the Democratic side, it is still a lot of what- ifs.
COOPER: So, John, assuming that, barring disaster, McCain is on his way to the nomination, for the Democrats, it looks like a protracted fight. When and where are the key states to watch?
KING: It is a fascinating map, as we go ahead. Let's go back to the Democrats. And let's clear this out.
So, where will the Democrats go next? Well, assuming we get through that next week, the Potomac primary up in here, we have coming up ahead -- and we're going into the month of March now -- we have the Ohio primary, huge, 161 delegates at stake, again, an African-American population in Cleveland, the lunch-bucket, working-class Democrats, where Senator Clinton has performed well. This should be a good opportunity for Senator Clinton.
Up in Ohio, that's a state where she should be able to win if current trends continue. But, remember, when Barack Obama has time, he tends to perform better.
Another giant state down here in Texas, this will be a huge primary for the Democrats, 228 delegates at stake, Anderson, by the time we get there. Now we're into March. Do we keep going? We could well. And we will have in that same period of time, small states, Rhode Island and Vermont up here. But we could get to -- we could get to a scenario in which we move on into April, beyond March into April, and we're looking at that point at the Pennsylvania primary.
We could conceivably go out to the Midwest and Indiana, and this thing could go on and on and on. If they are matching up even for even as we go through here, no matter would wins, if they're proportionately close, we could go on and on and on, and get to the point where we are into May, Anderson, without knowing who will be the Democratic nominee.
COOPER: John, have you canceled all your vacations?
KING: Not yet.
COOPER: Well, you better.
A massive number of Americans voted on Super Tuesday, pushing turnout for the year so far at a record level, as 11 Republican races have set records. So have a dozen for the Democrats.
As for what all that Democratic turnout has actually yielded, well, it did produce two things last night, one, as John mentioned, a dead heat, and, two, a whole lot of spin. There was a lot of that today.
Here with the story tonight, CNN's Candy Crowley -- Candy.
CANDY CROWLEY, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, you know, I was talking to somebody last night who said what they ought to do right now is give us back all the money we have spent, these two campaigns, and we can just start all over again today. And that's pretty much where we are.
CROWLEY (voice-over): They have been at it for a year, raised more than $200 million, competed in 30 contests, and nothing is settled, not even what they think happened last night.
SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D-IL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: If I were writing the story, what would I say would be, Senator Obama came in as a challenger who two weeks ago I think nobody thought would come out of February 5 standing.
SEN. HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON (D-NY), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We had a great night last night with victories around the country and ending up once again with, you know, a total of more votes and more delegates.
CROWLEY: Turning the campaign dynamic on its head, her advisers say Clinton, she of the platinum name and the golden Rolodex, is actually the insurgent now, that Obama has so much Democratic power behind him, he is the establishment candidate. Obama claims victory February 5, but says he is still the underdog. When it's all counted, she may have won more delegates, but he won more states.
OBAMA: We are turning out to be a scrappy little team.
CROWLEY: Still, there's no longer a David and Goliath story here. These are two powerhouses, and today is the first day of the rest of their campaign, tougher and more expensive than anyone thought it would be. He is, quite literally, giving her a run for her money.
CLINTON: I loaned the campaign $5 million from my money. That's where I got the money. I loaned it because I believe very strongly in this campaign. We had a great month fund-raising in January, broke all records. But my opponent was able to raise more money.
CROWLEY: Some of her top staff have also agreed to go without pay for the month, and it's not getting any cheaper, only more critical for both of them.
Her campaign is in it for the long haul, eyeing big states with lots of delegates offering the friendlier terrain of older, more traditional working-class Democrats, Ohio and Texas in March, Pennsylvania in late April. Between now and then, there are some Obama-looking states that threaten to slow her movement.
In Nebraska, Washington State and Maine, there are caucuses, a forum he has excelled in. Both campaigns think upcoming primaries in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia also look like Obama- friendly turf.
OBAMA: We have been closing the gap steadily.
CLINTON: I am, you know, on the path to win the nomination. That's what I intend to do. That's what this is about.
CROWLEY: But they are digging in.
COOPER: Candy, you were reporting today that senior members of Clinton's staff have voluntarily agreed to give up their salaries, what, for a month?
CROWLEY: A month.
COOPER: Are they that low on money?
CROWLEY: Well, look, if you look at what they had on hand at the end of the year -- that's the last time we saw their reporting documents -- she had about $38 million, $20 million of which is for the general campaign.
So, she started out in January 1 with $18 million. That is not very much money, because you had to go through everything.
CROWLEY: I mean, no voting had started. And Super Tuesday was enormously expensive. We know that he raised $32 million in January. We also know she raised a lot less, because they won't tell us what it was.
COOPER: Oh, really?
CROWLEY: So, you know, obviously, she ran short of cash at the end and infused it with $5 million. And, as she said, it was worth the investment, because, of course, as you heard in that spin, they think they won.
COOPER: I heard that he raised $4 million since polls closed, I think, what, last night?
COOPER: Is that true?
CROWLEY: They put out, you know, one of those back-and-forths with the campaign. The Obama campaign put out a press release that said: Hillary Clinton, you know, borrowed $5 million from herself, and, since the polls closed on February 5, we have raised almost that much, you know, by ourselves.
CROWLEY: So, it's...
COOPER: Tit for tat.
CROWLEY: You know, money matters, yes.
COOPER: It certainly does.
COOPER: Candy Crowley, thanks very much.
COOPER: We are trying something new tonight, live blogging during the program tonight. I'm doing it. You should, too. Join the conversation at CNN.com/360.
We will talk Democratic strategy next, though, with members of the best political team on television. We will also look closer at the Republicans, who have got a clear front-runner tonight, but a lot of questions about him, all the same.
COOPER (voice-over): He won the big states and the big numbers, but did John McCain really win big?
SCOTT REED, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: McCain has never been part of the club when it comes to the conservative movement.
COOPER: Up close tonight: Can McCain get his party behind him if he wins the nomination?
Also tonight, Southern storms.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It ain't much way to explain it all, but it was scary. It was scary.
COOPER: Scary, deadly and a major mess. We're live with the late word on the cleanup and the human cost -- tonight on 360.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: Senator Clinton is a formidable opponent. She's got a familiar and well-appreciated name. She's got a political machine honed over two decades. And, so, from my perspective, this makes her the front-runner in every single contest.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Funny, the Clinton people are saying exactly the same thing today about Barack Obama, making them both the underdogs, I suppose. Isn't spin great?
Here to cut through it, CNN senior analyst David Gergen, blogger and political commentator Keli Goff. She has written the soon-to-be- published "Party Crashing: How the Hip-Hop Generation Declared Political Independence." Also with us tonight, "TIME" magazine's Joe Klein, who writes about the Democratic race in the latest edition and why it's not about the issues.
Good to see you all tonight.
David, let's start with you.
We have this expectations game being played on both sides now. Who do you think is the actual front-runner?
DAVID GERGEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: I don't think there is an actual front-runner. And Hillary Clinton is slightly ahead. But, as we look at the next month leading up to March 4, the -- the board tilts to Barack Obama. He may have fresh momentum after the next few weeks. He's coming into a string of states, nine states, with primaries and caucuses. He's likely to win perhaps at least two- thirds of those, maybe even more.
He has got this money. We have got this stunning development that Hillary Clinton had to lend money to her own campaign. I think that was the last thing anybody expected. So, after the next four weeks, he could have what is perceived to be the momentum and the front-runner status, breaking out of this dead heat.
COOPER: Joe, how big a deal is it, the fact that Hillary Clinton is writing now a personal check to her own campaign, her staffers are going without salary for a month, and Barack Obama raised $4 million since last night?
JOE KLEIN, COLUMNIST, "TIME": Well, it's a biggish deal.
Barack Obama has had a much broader donor base than Hillary Clinton, who had the traditional big-money types in the Democratic Party. Terry McAuliffe, her finance chairman, campaign chairman, is reputed to be able to get blood from a stone.
KLEIN: And he couldn't get any more blood. So, that is a serious deal.
Keli, it's interesting. Last night, Barack Obama, he carried -- did very well among men, African-Americans, also about -- among young people. Clinton did very well, of course, with -- with older voters, with women, with Latinos.
How does Barack Obama start to make inroads into her core base, which is something he has to do, I guess?
KELI GOFF, BLOGGER/POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, you know, something I'm interested in -- and I would love to hear everyone's thoughts on this -- is why he hasn't invoked more the memory of his father and the fact that his father had an immigrant story, because, if you think about it, we haven't really heard that on the campaign trail.
And it's interesting that he has -- seems to have this disconnect with the Latino voters, and the issue of immigration is so important, and, yet, you haven't heard him about it. Part of me wonders if there is a bit of fear there because of -- I hate to be un-P.C., but to mention the Muslim issue. It seems that, whenever mentions his -- anyone mentions his father's name, it's usually in a negative light.
COOPER: So, you think that immigrant story could, theoretically, help him with Latinos, or perhaps hurt him if people are intimidated by the Muslim thing?
KLEIN: I think that both of these candidates -- we have to talk about constituencies. The way this tie is going to be broken is if one or the other hits into the other's constituencies.
And I think that Obama's clearest path into the Latino and also the working-class constituency is a much more convincing sell on economics. He's got to do that. On Hillary Clinton's part, she would normally have had a much larger proportion of the African-American vote, were it not for her husband, who kind of raised the race issue in South Carolina.
COOPER: You think that really hurt him among African-Americans, no doubt about it?
KLEIN: Oh, I think it absolutely did.
And her best hope now is to try and break through in the upper- income, better-educated people who are voting for Obama, to try and do some uplift, which is going to be pretty hard for her.
COOPER: Keli, you anticipate seeing less of Bill Clinton, or at least less prominent role for Bill Clinton, or a less controversial role?
GOFF: Well, we already have.
And what was interesting is that, if you noticed, her campaign didn't want to say that he had hurt her campaign. But what they did say is, they were expecting a different role for him, perhaps a more gentle role, which was really -- really code for: We might, you know, lock him up in a closet, if we can.
COOPER: David, this race is going to last until at least until March, I mean, if you look at John King's map, maybe through April. Who benefits more from a long, protracted Democratic race, Obama or Clinton?
GERGEN: I think the general assumption is that -- that he benefits more from a long race. It gives people more -- what we know, obviously -- and John King just talked about it again -- is, the more people get to know him, the better they like him, and the more his numbers go up.
And, so, a longer race favors him, and especially if she doesn't have the money it takes to match him in advertising. But I have to say, right now, Anderson, I think the chances are growing this is going to go on beyond March, beyond April. It's hard to see -- unless one of them breaks through and gets real momentum going, it's hard to see how either one of them gets to the 2,025 magic number it takes to win...
COOPER: So, how does that end, Joe?
KLEIN: The important thing here, another important part of this, is how much direct contact they have with each other. She wants a debate every other day, because she is really good at this.
COOPER: ... she does well in it, yes.
KLEIN: She -- she knows more than he does.
GOFF: And it's free media.
KLEIN: And that's a source of potential problems for him. The chances of him making a substantive mistake...
KLEIN: ... are greater down the road than -- than they are for her.
COOPER: We will see how many debates there are.
Joe Klein, Keli Goff, good to have you on the program.
David Gergen, as well, thanks.
GERGEN: Thank you.
COOPER: Keli Goff blogged on the 360 blog today about generation O and its impact on the election? Check it out.
It is Generation O, yes?
GOFF: Generation O.
COOPER: OK, check it out. I hadn't heard the term before. Check it out at CNN.com/360. If you're curious to know what that means, check it out.
Well, Britney Spears is out of the hospital again, and you simply will not believe the chaos it caused in Los Angeles. Those are some of the pictures. Plus, there are new allegations about what some of the -- some of the shady men -- shady, to say the least -- in her life are doing to her. That's coming up.
But, first, Tom Foreman joins us with a 360 bulletin -- Tom.
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Anderson.
Killer storms across the South -- at least 54 people dead, after tornadoes, powerful rain, and hail hit five states, including Tennessee and Arkansas. A massive cleanup effort is now under way, of course. We will have a live report on all that destruction coming up in a bit. A 360 follow-up: Three companies, one here in the U.S. and two in China, face federal charges in that tainted pet food scandal that killed dozens of animals last year. The companies are accused of shipping food under false pretenses and other charges.
And Ted Haggard is cutting ties with the megachurch he founded. The New Life Church says Haggard stopped his -- quote -- "spiritual restoration process." In 2006, he resigned as leader of the church after a former male prostitute alleged that they had sex. The man also said he saw Haggard use meth.
COOPER: That's not the last we have heard of Ted Haggard. I think we're going to be...
FOREMAN: I don't think so.
COOPER: I don't think so.
Tom, stick around. We have got a prisoner throwing punches. And we're not talking about behind bars. We will tell you why this guy attacked his own attorney in court. What was he thinking? That story is next.
And, later, Britney Spears out of the hospital, and the situation simply out of control. We are going to talk with Dr. Drew Pinsky about this latest drama -- when 360 continues.
COOPER: Tom, now our segment "What Were They Thinking?"
Let's just say this guy will not win the best prisoner award. I'm not sure they give that award.
FOREMAN: Is there that award?
FOREMAN: I'm pretty sure not.
COOPER: There should be. It's a new award ceremony we're working on here.
COOPER: His bad -- in court was caught on tape. Watch this.
COOPER: Yes. He is attacking his own public defender.
COOPER: Not a good idea. COOPER: His name is Peter Hafer. He punched his public defender with a right hook into the face. Just before showing his moves, he told the judge he wanted a new lawyer. He's apparently now going to get his wish. The lawyer suffered some cuts and a black eye. Hafer says he snapped and just could not control his anger. He now faces assault charges. That is on top of the burglary charges.
The story gets even more bizarre. Hafer was in jail for allegedly repelling into a Kmart after closing time to steal jewelry.
FOREMAN: Well, honestly, though, Anderson, who hasn't done that?
FOREMAN: Yes. How much of a public defender, though, if you can't defend...
COOPER: That's true.
FOREMAN: I think the rule of thumb is, you attack your lawyer in the hallway, because you can deny that later.
COOPER: Yes. Yes.
FOREMAN: But, if you do it in front of a judge, it's really hard.
COOPER: Yes, in front of a camera is not good.
COOPER: Up next: He took the lion's share of Republican delegates last night. John McCain is not the nominee yet. Will he be able to persuade conservatives he's the right candidate? We are going to talk to conservative radio talkers Glenn Beck and Larry Elder. And they are certainly not holding back.
Also ahead: devastation in the South, at least 54 people dead in the deadliest tornado outbreak in America in more than 20 years. We will take you to one of the hardest-hit areas.
And we're live blogging all during the commercial breaks, 360 blog. Check it out.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) COOPER: John McCain was back on the campaign trail today riding the momentum of his Super Tuesday streak. Nine wins last night have put the former underdog a big step closer to top dog in the Republican race.
But, last night, also, McCain exposed some of his biggest weaknesses. Among his party's conservative base, McCain is still an underdog, and his rivals are not letting him forget it.
With an up-close look tonight, here's CNN's Dana Bash.
DANA BASH, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): After a night that delivered more than half the delegates he needs to be the Republican nominee, John McCain decided to act like he already is.
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R-AZ), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We will unite the party behind our conservative principles and move forward and win the general election in November.
BASH: Yet, with victory also came a flash of classic McCain defiance aimed at GOP critics blasting him as too liberal to be the Republican standard-bearer.
MCCAIN: But I do hope that, at some point, we would just calm down a little bit and see if there's areas that we can agree on for the good of the party and for the good of the country.
BASH: Because of his record on issues use like taxes and immigration, distrust among some conservatives runs deep.
SCOTT REED, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: McCain has never been part of the club when it comes to the conservative movement.
BASH: But after winning big GOP primary states like California and Missouri, he's returning to Washington to tell a conservative conference rich with skeptics that he's no heretic.
MCCAIN: Our message will be that we all share common principles, common conservatives principles, and we should coalesce around those issues.
BASH: To conservatives who say they just won't vote for John McCain, an assist from the candidate who surprisingly swept the South.
MIKE HUCKABEE (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: There's no way that they can call themselves conservative and do that. Some people need to switch to decaf.
BASH: Still, Huckabee buoyed by his Super Tuesday wins says he is staying in the race. So is Mitt Romney. After huddling all morning with advisers, poring over data, Romney aides say he will press on to the next battleground states, despite now trailing McCain nearly 2-1 in delegates. (on camera): Although, privately, Romney campaign aides admit Super Tuesday was a big disappointment, their public line is that they won nearly as many states as McCain and that the big contests coming up, like Ohio and Texas, are tailor-made for Romney's economic message.
But McCain officials say they have been crunching the numbers, too, and it's virtually impossible, they say, for Romney to catch up now.
Dana Bash, CNN, Phoenix, Arizona.
COOPER: Well, conservative talk radio has had a lot to say about John McCain recently.
Joining me now is radio talk show host Glenn Beck, also of Headline News, also author of the best-selling book "An Inconvenient Book." He has some thoughts on all this, to say the least.
COOPER: He joins me now with, along with Larry Elder, radio talk show host and author of "Stupid Black Men: How to Play the Race Card -- and Lose."
Glenn, I don't understand your position on John McCain. You said that, if it came to a choice between Hillary Clinton and John McCain...
GLENN BECK, HOST, "GLENN BECK": Yes.
COOPER: ... you would choose Clinton. Rush Limbaugh said the same thing.
COOPER: Ann Coulter said the same thing.
BECK: I can't -- yes.
COOPER: Explain that.
BECK: Yes, I can't -- I can't explain anybody else's position, Anderson. But you know me. I'm an alcoholic. And, so...
BECK: So, that says a lot.
But my thinking is, the Republican Party has not had their pivot point. They had not had their moment of, I can't live this way anymore. They have got to find their values. And they're never going to do it if we keep enabling them to throw in these -- these candidates that are not real, true conservatives. I personally think the Republican Party needs to bottom out.
COOPER: And, so, you're saying bottoming out is -- is Hillary Clinton in office, and that will teach conservatives a lesson?
BECK: No, not teach conservatives a lesson, as much as let them know that -- I, as a conservative, will not pull the lever for John McCain. The guy has betrayed us over and over again, as conservatives.
And you know what? I was willing to give people the benefit of the doubt before George Bush. But then he started being big government, big spending. And I thought, wait a minute. This guy isn't who he -- who he said he was. He's betrayed conservative values.
I'm not going to lend my -- my support to anybody like that anymore.
COOPER: Larry, here's what -- what William Kristol of "The Weekly Standard" said about -- about this.
He said: "When the primaries are over, if McCain has won the day, don't sulk. Don't sit it out. Don't pretend there's no difference between a candidate who's committed to winning in Iraq and a Democratic nominee who embraces defeat. Don't close your eyes to the difference between pro-life and pro-choice or between resistance to big government and the embrace of it."
Do you believe that -- that folks like Glenn will be able to be won over at all?
LARRY ELDER, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: I don't know about Glenn, but Bill Kristol nailed it.
If you believe in the war, if you believe that what Bush did was the right thing, and you want the war to be prosecuted to a successful conclusion, and if you believe, as I do, that, very likely, another 9/11 was staved off, how can you, in good conscience, whether you're a Republican or just a -- an American, want a commander in chief Barack Obama or a commander in chief Hillary Rodham Clinton?
BECK: Oh, I -- I...
ELDER: If you are concerned about the economy, how can you want somebody who wants to repeal the Bush tax cuts and do nationalized health care? It makes no sense.
BECK: Yes. Well, I...
ELDER: And if you are concerned about the Supreme Court, how can you want somebody like Ruth Bader Ginsburg...
BECK: I don't.
ELDER: ... vs. Roberts or Alito or Scalia or Thomas?
I -- I think those three issues alone answer the question.
I -- I don't want any of those things. However, I don't believe that John McCain understands the economy. He has been against the Bush tax cuts. No matter what he says, he's been against the Bush tax cuts from the very beginning. He doesn't understand the basic principles of tax cuts.
And here's the problem. We are facing a perfect storm. We have got the economy. We have got the war. We have got Islamic extremism. We have the border. He's wrong on most of these. He's wrong.
ELDER: He's not -- he's not a perfect candidate, Glenn. I never said that he was.
ELDER: But he did vote -- he did vote to extend the Bush tax cuts in '06.
He does say that: I'm not going to raise taxes. I'm going to veto any such big that comes to my desk.
ELDER: And he wants to lower corporate tax rates.
BECK: He's also...
ELDER: What is there to talk about, Glenn? I don't get it.
BECK: He is also a guy who wants to fight global warming with what some estimates say will be $1.2 trillion a year in extra spending.
ELDER: So does the other side.
BECK: Exactly right.
ELDER: So does the other side. So, it's a wash.
BECK: Here's the point.
ELDER: So, it's a wash.
BECK: No, it is not a wash. I'm not...
ELDER: It's a wash on that -- on that issue, it's a wash. It's not a wash on the war.
COOPER: Let Glenn finish his thought.
ELDER: It's not a wash on taxes. It's not a wash on the Supreme Court.
COOPER: Let Glenn -- let Glenn finish the thought.
BECK: OK. Here's the thing.
COOPER: Is there ever a perfect candidate, Glenn?
BECK: No, no, there's never a perfect candidate. But here's the thing, Anderson. To me right now, the economy is -- is so important. If you look at what is coming down the road, it is crushing economy. And we've got to have somebody to understand that. You will not be able to execute a war. You won't be able to do it because you won't be able to afford the war.
COOPER: OK. So...
BECK: You've got to look at all of the pieces.
COOPER: Do you believe that Hillary Clinton understands the economy more than...
BECK: No, what I believe -- what I believe...
ELDER: Of course not.
BECK: ... what I believe is we have an opportunity to have the Clintons -- Hillary Clinton would be so unbelievably unpopular, it would be just like the early Bill Clinton years, before the Republicans found themselves, through Newt Gingrich.
And you would have balance -- you'd have two years of hell, but then hopefully, you'd have the Republicans find their soul and take us in a different direction, not the same direction just at a slower pace.
COOPER: I understand what you're saying, but isn't then -- then isn't the true stance you should take that you're not going to vote at all, because essentially, it sounds almost what you're saying is, "I'm going to vote for Hillary Clinton," because in your opinion, she's going to do things which are bad for the country.
BECK: No, I think...
COOPER: That's going to prove a point. BECK: I believe that Hillary Clinton is actually better than Barack Obama, because she's got her husband that will triangulate and reel her in.
I believe Hillary Clinton, she'll say all of these things. But when America actually looks at all of them, they'll say, "Oh, dear, Lord. We can't do any of this stuff," or a lot of this stuff. And he'll triangulate, and he'll be a little bit more of a rein on her.
Barack Obama, I think is -- I mean, he's got the -- he's the most liberal in the Senate. I think he's the worst choice.
COOPER: Interesting discussion, guys. Appreciate it. I don't think we're going to get you to agree. But interesting discussion, nonetheless. Glenn Beck, thanks, as always. Thank you, Larry.
All right. Up next, we're going to break down the exit polls to find out who voted for whom and why. We're also live blogging during the program. A lot of folks trying to get on. I think it's crash for a little while. We'll try to respond as much as we can. It's a little bit of an experiment tonight, but we'll figure it out eventually.
Hey, here's tonight's "Beat 360." Cue the cheesy music. A 2- year-old trying to get out of the voting booth while his mother tries to cast her Super Tuesday ballot in Delaware. Not a happy camper right there.
So here's the caption from our staff winner, Randi: "Please, Mom, don't make me vote for a girl. I don't even like girls yet."
Wah, wah. All right. Well, if you think you can do better, go to CNN.com/360. Send us your submission. We'll announce the winner at the end of the program tonight.
COOPER: Well, Super Tuesday may not have been as super decisive as some of the candidates had hoped, but it was definitely full of surprises. That much has become clear in exit polls, which are showing us who voted for whom and why.
It is crucial information, and it holds important clues to what might happen in the battle still ahead, and there are many battles still ahead.
Tom Foreman has the raw numbers in tonight's "Raw Politics" -- Tom.
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You know, Anderson, as you've been discussing, if you want to know how they're going to get voters from other candidates, you got to know who voted for them in the first place.
Let's start with Hillary Clinton. Who is this person who voted for her last night? Well, chances are it's a Democrat who has somewhat less income and somewhat less education than those who voted for Barack Obama. A traditional Democrat.
We hear a lot about the super delegates. That's this kind of person, an old-fashioned Democrat, the kind you read about in a book: older, female, white, Latino or Asian. That's another tendency among her voters, and these are people who told us in our exit polls that they value her experience. That's her voter.
So how is that different from Barack Obama's voter? Let's take a look at him. Barack Obama supporter here has more income and more education than Hillary Clinton voters. Nontraditional Democrat or perhaps even an independent. Younger, all the way across the board than Hillary Clinton supporters. Tends to be a little bit more male. There are more males involved. Black or white. Didn't do so well with the Latino voters.
And what do they value most? Change. So Hillary has to reach out to the change voters, as she's been trying, and convince them that she can offer change. He has to convince her voters that he has the experience. That's the key.
Let's look at the Republicans. Different race there, because McCain is getting so much speed up right now. His voters are generally moderate or independent as Republicans go. They're slightly more likely to be male than Mitt Romney's, for example.
You know what they like about John McCain? This guy says John McCain says what he believes. And they value John McCain's experience, just like they do with Hillary Clinton on the Democratic side.
Mitt Romney, you start moving toward a different part of the scale. His voter is more likely to be a woman, more likely to call themselves conservative, more likely to attach to an issue like immigration, where McCain is getting beaten up. And -- here's a big difference -- this voter wants experience. This voter says, "Mitt Romney shares my values." It's that value vote again, that thing we talked about.
When you go to Mike Huckabee, even more so. It's even more like it was in the past. These are extremely conservative voters by comparison. Very likely a white, Protestant churchgoer. Look, they're almost off the page they're so far over here.
Issues matter to them. But here's what's interesting, the issues that matter to them are not the issues we're talking about so much: the war, the economy, and immigration. They care about those, but they're all over the map in terms of how they view those issues, even though they support him. What they're really saying, again, is "He shares my values. I trust him to solve the problems."
The only person left is Ron Paul, and we all know Ron Paul's best friend, look, that's a CPU. It's the Internet. The people out there who are very passionate about the war, passionate that he's the guy who's got the secret to unlock everything. Of course, their numbers are still very, very small. But that's the secret, Anderson. If any of these candidates want to get the extra numbers they need they've got to reach into that little pool of the characteristics that define their opponent's supporters and tap into them and convince them that they can be that person -- Anderson.
COOPER: As we just saw with that discussion with Glenn and Larry Elder, that's not going to be easy for John McCain to do, reaching out to some conservatives, at least radio hosts.
Coming up, tornadoes. They are not supposed to happen this time of year, but they did. And, boy, were they deadly.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER (voice-over): Southern storms.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There ain't much way to explain it all, but it was scary. It was scary.
COOPER: Scary, deadly and a major mess. We're live with the late word on the devastation and the human cost.
Plus, chasing Britney.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Look at that. Oh, my God.
COOPER: From a psychiatric evaluation to shear insanity on the streets of L.A.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Wow, it's unbelievable.
COOPER: What's driving her? And is anyone in her mad, mad, mad, mad world actually looking out for her? We'll talk about it with Dr. Drew Pinsky, ahead on 360.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: You see there terror from the sky. Across the south funnel clouds touched down yesterday evening into the night. The images captured in I-Reports by viewers who watched the horror just unfold before their eyes.
By daybreak, the toll was just beginning. At least 54 people have been killed. Scores injured and communities in five states devastated by a killer tornado outbreak.
Now one survivor described it this way. "We had a beautiful neighborhood," he said. Now it is hell."
Tonight two searches are still underway for the victims who cannot be saved and for people who may still be trapped. There are incredible stories tonight of survival, of destruction and of great loss. CNN's David Mattingly reports.
DAVID MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Of all places devastated by the violent storm, the deadliest stop was Macon County, Tennessee. At least 12 killed here. Roger Tinsley's brother was one of them.
ROGER TINSLEY, BROTHER KILLED BY TORNADO: I was driving up and down, helping my nephews, trying to spot him, see if we could find him, and didn't -- did us no good. He was wrapped up in the trailer.
MATTINGLY: Dozens were also injured when the tornado destroyed homes and splintered trees.
(on camera) Residents who were watching their local news say that they had plenty of warning and knew that these storms were coming, but just look at all of this destruction. The houses that were caught in the path of this tornado, in some of them there was no safe place to hide.
(voice-over) Throughout Tennessee, officials confirmed at least 30 dead as the storm cut across from the west. In Jackson, 13 were trapped when a tornado hit dormitories at Union University.
MATT TAYLOR, UNION UNIVERSITY STUDENT: And the lights went out, and I was being sucked towards the door. So I tried to grab a gumball machine. And the gumball machine came loose and about the time I was sucked to the door, the whole building just collapsed on top of me.
After that it was silent, and I didn't know if anyone was around me, so I started screaming. And then I heard other people were saying they were stuck, too.
MATTINGLY: Fortunately, no one there was killed.
In Hartsville, there was a spectacular gas explosion when a tornado struck a compressor station. And in Memphis, several were injured when a wall collapsed at a mall.
COOPER: Unbelievable pictures. David joins us now from Lafayette, Tennessee.
The scenes are horrible. How are people where you are handling it tonight? I mean, how are they doing?
MATTINGLY: Well, this town is in shock. There's only about 4,000 people who live here. So when you see a dozen of your neighbors killed by a storm like this and dozens others left virtually homeless, it's affecting a lot of people very personally tonight.
And when you drive through these devastated areas and see how complete the destruction is on some of these homes, you realize that there's a lot of people around here whose lives are not going to be getting back to normal any time soon, Anderson.
COOPER: Yes. Especially looking at those pictures, it's hard to imagine how their lives could get back to normal.
Up next tonight, new information about the death of actor Heath Ledger. We have the toxicology report. We've avoided doing the story, because it's been basically speculation. But today, the speculation ended. We'll tell you the facts.
And Britney Spears, another story we avoid. But there was news today that -- and the information that we're getting out about her is just kind of shocking. She left the psych ward, drove right into chaos.
We're going to talk to Dr. Drew Pinsky about what is really going on in this young woman's life. We'll be right back.
COOPER: Sad and out of control. It is hard to believe how far these paparazzi will go to take a picture and get video of Britney Spears, as if we don't know what she looks like or what kind of trouble she's been in.
This was the scene today from above. And from the ground a gaggle of photographers, if you can even call them photographers, surrounded her car on the streets of Los Angeles, mobbing the Mercedes-Benz with Spears in the driver's seat. This is after she's getting out of the psych ward.
It ended, at least for now, with a frantic rush outside the Beverly Hills Hotel, with cameramen pursuing from all directions. Spears comes to a stop outside the door before going into the hotel. The former pop star is now a cautionary tale.
Earlier today Spears was released from a psychiatric ward at UCLA Medical Center. In court papers, her father says she repeatedly called, asking him, "When are you going to be here?" and then became agitated when he did arrive, saying a doctor told her he was keeping her in the hospital.
And just in tonight, there was a statement from the parents of Britney Spears, Jamie and Lynne Spears, and it reads and I quote, "As parents of an adult child in the throes of a mental health crisis, we were extremely disappointed this morning to learn that, over the recommendation of her treating psychiatrist, Britney was released from the hospital that could best care for her and keep her safe."
Her parents go on to say, "We are deeply concerned about her safety and vulnerability, and we believe her life is presently at risk. We ask only that the court orders be enforced so that a tragedy may be averted."
Joining me is Dr. Drew Pinsky, an addiction specialist and host of the reality show "Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew."
You know, we don't normally cover this story, but I read this article in "The Rolling Stone" today, and I just got a sense that this thing is out of control. And maybe I'm late to that information, but I mean this is not a joke. This is -- people are making tens of millions of dollars off this woman's descent into -- whether it's madness or whatever it is, but it's a descent to -- towards some sort of untimely end.
DR. DREW PINSKY, ADDICTION SPECIALIST: Right, Anderson, exactly -- everything you have said and everything in that quote from the parents is absolutely accurate. This is a really sad situation.
These people, the paparazzi, all of us that are watching this, are participating in her demise.
I imagine what happened today is they had a hearing in her room in the hospital, where the psychiatrist must have made an appeal to the court to hold her for 14 days. It's called a probable cause hearing.
COOPER: And that's a hard thing to do.
PINSKY: It's very hard to get that in California. It's only for the very most severely mentally ill. And she must have been able to come to her own defense and make a rational case they could not justify continuing a 14-day hold. Which in fact, from the parents' point of view, my heart goes out to the parents. They are absolutely right. They have an adult here with severe, complex mental illness and her life is in danger.
COOPER: And I talked to so many parents who have been in this situation with their own kids. Their kids aren't famous. They don't get this kind of paparazzi attention. But there's very little a parent can do for their child. I mean, what can you do?
PINSKY: You're absolutely right, Anderson. Other than the legal measures, which have been tried so far, there's conservatorships, but those are almost impossible to come by.
If -- listen, I would advise any parent who has a child that is out of control behaviorally -- often it includes drug and alcohol use -- is call the law enforcement. Have that person arrested if they're driving intoxicated, if they're driving erratically, if they're endangering somebody. Do not hold back on having them arrested. Very often it's the criminal system that requires people to get proper care.
Until somebody breaks the law, there's very little we can do to require participation in their treatment.
COOPER: In terms of -- I mean, clearly she seems to be spiraling out of control. Do we know anything about what her real condition is, what medications she's taking? I mean in the "Rolling Stone" article, there's all these allegations that these kind of sleazy hangers-on who are kind of living and crashing at her house basically are crushing up medication that's keeping her sedated or, you know, awake.
PINSKY: Right. Well, to answer two -- both -- to address both questions, one is what we keep hearing is bipolar disorder. And certainly, she manifests all the features of bipolar disorder. The concern that I continue to have is that there's co-existent addiction, which does not seem to be in remission or properly treated yet.
In terms of the medication she was receiving, I had heard it was Risperdal and Seroquel. Both are medications that could be useful in this condition. But obviously...
COOPER: Those are anti-psychotics?
PINSKY: They are anti-psychotics. Like typical anti-psychotics. But it is not proper to administer things to somebody without their will or knowledge.
COOPER: Because that's the allegation being made by Britney's parents, that this alleged manager of hers, I mean, is basically just some guy who's literally crashing at her house, is trying to control her, drugging her with heavy doses of anti-psychotics that he's literally crushing up and putting into her food. That's what they said in a court document.
PINSKY: Bizarre and desperate measures. But it really tells you how ill she is that she's taking these major medications. These are extremely powerful medications.
And by the way, that combination of Risperdal and Seroquel is rarely used. This -- and even then we see her running around to the convenience stores and taking her clothes off and whatnot. So this is a very serious situation. It really is a sad situation.
COOPER: And as we look at these people, you know, hovering around her car, they're all making money off her.
COOPER: These companies, TMZ, Hollywood.com, all these companies, you know, sell this video. People log onto the Internet.
COOPER: They watch it. Everybody is complicit in this.
PINSKY: It's incredible.
COOPER: Even by doing the story in some way we're complicit.
PINSKY: You're right. You're exactly right.
COOPER: But to me it's really these -- these Web sites and these people who are just feeding off this.
PINSKY: Absolutely. And you should be aware there's a councilman in the -- Los Angeles that is trying to put together a law to require a paparazzi-free zone or some sort of teeth in getting these guys out of the way. Because not only is this young lady in danger, Britney Spears. Her driving like this and these people chasing after her, you could kill somebody else and it will. That's what's going to happen.
COOPER: It's -- it's tragic and we're all just watching it. And I mean, it's just sickening.
Dr. Drew, I appreciate you being on. Thank you very much.
COOPER: There's also news tonight about the death of actor Heath Ledger. Tom Foreman joins us again with that and more in a "360 News and Business Bulletin" -- Tom.
FOREMAN: Anderson, an autopsy found that Heath Ledger died from a prescription drug overdose. New York's medical examiner today called the 28-year-old actor's death an accident caused by the combination of six types of drugs, all prescribed by a doctor.
The U.S. military released a disturbing video today showing young boys carrying grenade launchers, AK-47s and pistols while performing al Qaeda training exercises. The video was seized in a recent raid north of Baghdad.
On Wall Street, stocks pulled back for a third straight day after a Federal Reserve official suggested rising inflation could prevent further rate cuts. A grim sales report from Macy's didn't help much either. The Dow lost 65 points, closing at 12,200. The NASDAQ dropped 30. The S&P fell 10 points -- Anderson.
COOPER: Tom, thanks very much.
Now tonight's "Beat 360." You may have heard how it works. We put a picture up on the 360 blog. We ask people to come up with a caption that's better than one of our own.
So here's tonight's picture. It is of 2-year-old Ethan Yost trying to get out of the voting booth while his mother, Maria, tries to cast her ballot on Super Tuesday in Greenville, Delaware. He's clearly unimpressed with the political process.
Tonight's viewer entry, Terry from Atlanta, who posted this caption: "I'm so distraught!! Hannah Montana was not on the ticket."
Yes. It wasn't great. It wasn't great. Actually, we liked our staff winner selection better. Randi came up with: "Please, Mom, don't make me vote for a girl. I don't even like girls yet."
So for the first time the staff entry takes the crown. Way to go, Randi Kaye. Act nice and we'll give you a 360 T-shirt.
Check out the other ideas at CNN.com/360, and feel free to play along. Don't go anywhere, Tom. The "Shot of the Day" is ahead. It's the kind of picture that makes your heart stop: a baby thrown from a burning building. A desperate effort to save his life. We'll tell you what happened when we come back.
COOPER: Time now for "The Shot," Tom. This picture is incredible. Take a look.
It shows a 9-month-old baby boy moments after his uncle dropped him from a burning apartment building in an effort to save his life. The baby's family was trapped on the fourth floor. Smoke and flames were closing in. The baby's uncle says he ignored the pleas of his nephew's parents and tossed the child to a policeman who caught the baby, saving his life.
The boy's 2-year-old brother, sadly, died along with eight other people, including five of them kids, but that little baby survived.
The boy's parents survived, as well, though his father was badly injured. His uncle was rescued by firefighters at the last second. It's just an unbelievable picture.
FOREMAN: It's one of those end-of-the-year pictures. Just unbelievable they can get such an angle.
COOPER: And thank goodness he survived.
If you see some remarkable pictures or video, tell us about it: CNN.com/360. While you're there, you can check out other recent shots, other segments for the program. You can also read the blog, check out the "Beat 360" picture. The address again, CNN.com/360.
A quick note on the blog. We want to thank you. Our first night of live blogging the program has gone very well. We got more than 1,500 responses from viewers in just this hour alone. I tried to respond during commercial breaks. I was maybe not as successful as I'd liked.
But we appreciate it, 1,500 times over. We'll get it. I think we crashed at one point, but we'll -- you know, it's an experiment. We'll figure it out. We'll make sure it works in the future.
Up next, Super Tuesday is over, but the fight for the White House is certainly nowhere near over. We're going to look at the next battlegrounds and see how people are voting when 360 continues.
TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.voxantshop.com