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Obama's Race to Lose?; Anthrax Mystery Deepens

Aired August 5, 2008 - 22:00   ET


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Tonight, what is up with Barack Obama? With all the money, all the adulation, coverage he's received, how come the polls show a race much closer than many anticipated? In a change election, how come a Democrat isn't doing better? We will look at that tonight.
Also tonight, new developments in the anthrax mystery -- new details about the man accused of perpetrating the worst bio-attack on America ever. Suspicious equipment, alleged obsession, so why didn't the feds arrest him sooner? Or was their case weaker than they're saying? 360 investigates.

And, later, what happened to little Caylee? New charges today against her mother, who has allegedly been lying to authorities this whole time, and new images of Caylee's mom partying while her daughter was missing.

We begin tonight with Barack Obama and the gap that some believe he's facing, that is, if it's real. Here's the theory. His party is riding high, poll after poll showing a huge majority of voters saying the country is on the wrong track, Republicans losing special elections in Southern districts that haven't gone Democrat in decades, Republican voter registration lagging, the economy tanking.

So, why is the race even close? That's what the critics want to know. Our latest poll of polls showing Senator Obama with a five- point lead, and a number of individual polls now showing a tie or even a razor-thin lead for John McCain.

Raw reaction in a moment from our panel, but, first, the "Raw Politics" from Jessica Yellin.


JESSICA YELLIN, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Most Americans are grim about the state of the economy, unimpressed with progress in Iraq, and unhappy with the Republican in the White House. Voters want change, and poll after poll shows they favor Democrats in November. You might think the stage is set for the Democratic presidential candidate to coast to an easy victory. So, why is Obama holding on to just a narrow advantage?

WILLIAM SCHNEIDER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: I don't think it's his lineage, nor do I think it's his policies. I think it's the fact that he's young and relatively inexperienced. You hear all the time people say, well, is he really ready to be president, someone his age, someone who hasn't been in Washington that long, someone who doesn't seem to have a lot of experience with national security or foreign affairs?

YELLIN: A recent NBC News/"Wall Street Journal" poll shows, four in 10 Americans don't relate to Obama's background or values. In other words, to many, he's unknown. And the McCain campaign is trying to capitalize on that, telling voters Obama cannot be trusted in ads like this.


NARRATOR: He's the biggest celebrity in the world.

AUDIENCE: Obama! Obama!

NARRATOR: But is he ready to lead?


YELLIN: The Obama campaign insists this is all to be expected, and it's a long time between now and November.

But they do know they have got work to do. Introducing Barack Obama, that's the key idea, making voters feel comfortable with him, like he's a guy they know and he knows them. So, they're replacing the big crowds with smaller settings, taking questions...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What is your plan for education for our children?

YELLIN: ... and hitting back hard against McCain's attacks with this new ad.


NARRATOR: He's practicing the politics of the past. John McCain, his attacks on Barack Obama not true, false, baloney, the low road, baseless.

John McCain, same old politics, same failed policies.


YELLIN: And new stepped-up criticism on the stump.

OBAMA: And our politics has gotten so nasty. That's the word I was looking for -- but not just nasty, also cynical and manipulative.

YELLIN: Political observers say the numbers could change dramatically, that is if undecided voters decide to trust the new guy. The McCain campaign is working to ensure that doesn't happen.

(on camera): The unknown in all of this is the role of race. Charges of playing the race card erupted on both sides last week. Now, the fact that Obama is the first African-American in his position could be a reason some voters feel he's unfamiliar, or that he might hold different values. But just what role it will play is still unknown. Jessica Yellin, CNN, Washington.


COOPER: All right, let's dig deeper with GOP strategist and CNN senior contributor Ed Rollins, "TIME" magazine's Mark Halperin, and Clinton White House veteran Jennifer Palmieri. Currently, she's at the Center For American Progress.

Mark, should the race be this close?


He's underperforming the national Democratic number. I think the piece, though, that Ms. Yellin did raised all the big issues. In what order they're playing, I do not know. But, clearly, I would say the first thing, the most important, is probably that he is unknown. Bill Schneider mentioned that.

I think the second thing is the inexperience. And third, I think, is race. He's got to address all three of those in a relatively short period of time. And the McCain campaign is very cleverly and smartly taking advantage of those three missing pieces to try to fill them in on their terms, rather than Obama's.

COOPER: Ed, let me ask you the same question. Do you think the race should be this close?

ED ROLLINS, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR: Well, I think we're -- I think we're divided politically and geographically. And if you go back over the last 60 years, there's only been three Democrat nominees who have ever won gone over 50 percent of the vote. And that's FDR in '44, Carter after Watergate, and Lyndon Johnson, obviously, with the -- against...


COOPER: It's a polarized country, so it doesn't really surprise you?

ROLLINS: It's -- you know, the vote has been 48, 47, 48 in every Democrat election, even the close ones. So, you know, he's -- he's a little bit undervote. And he's certainly under the generic vote. But Democrats have never run as well as their generic vote.

COOPER: Do you think he has a real problem?

ROLLINS: I think he has a real problem. I think the problem is that he's young. And I think race also is an unknown question at this point.

COOPER: Jennifer, how do you think race is playing into all this?

JENNIFER PALMIERI, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: I think, I mean, it's -- you know, it's the sort of unknown thing, in terms of being able to quantify it.

But, obviously, I don't think that -- I mean, Senator Obama himself has said, you know, something similar to America is not probably going to elect the first black president without having, you know, race play a factor in it.

I think it -- I think it's hard to know. That could be part of what you see in the numbers. But, you know, a lot of Republicans I talk to say, you know, McCain's doing better than Bush in these numbers. And that may be, but he's still behind Obama.

I don't think that, when we actually, and if -- this poll that you showed, your poll of polls, if Barack Obama end up winning this race by five points, to Ed's point, that's a big victory. So -- and I think, you know, presidential races are close. And I do think that Obama still is relatively new to some people. And there's -- and they want to hear more about him and exactly what he's going to do. And they will.

COOPER: Mark, you know, when some Democrats talk about this, they cite all the issues that Jessica Yellin talked about in the piece that you mentioned. But, I mean, doesn't -- if you look at it the other way, doesn't John McCain deserve some of the credit for keeping it this close?

HALPERIN: You know, one of the things I think some of our colleagues forget, because of our memories are so short, is, not that long ago, John McCain was one of the most, maybe the most popular politician in America. He's lost a little bit of that sheen and that shine, in part because Obama has overshadowed him.

But all the traits that made John McCain so popular in the early part of this century are still there. He just needs to display them a little bit more. And I think a lot of voters do see them. And -- and that accounts for why he's doing -- overperforming the Republican generic by a lot. He's probably the only Republican who could win this race. And he's got a chance.

COOPER: Ed, look back in history. I mean, in 1980, it took Ronald Reagan a while to start pulling away from Jimmy Carter.

ROLLINS: Ronald Reagan was behind almost the entire race, until it got to the last debate, which was a week before the election. And it was a very similar election, in the sense that Carter...

COOPER: He was really behind the whole time?

ROLLINS: He was behind, really behind.



ROLLINS: And people forget that.

All he basically -- all the undecided came down for him. He had his landslide. But it was a -- he was actually going into that last debate last week about point or two behind, and had been throughout the campaign.

And it was very similar to this. He was the unknown. Carter was the known. People wanted to throw Carter out. And, at the end of the day, more people say they voted against Carter than they voted for Reagan. Reagan went on to become a very popular...


COOPER: So, Jennifer, are these polls meaningless at this point? I mean, it seems like so much -- you know, there's a world between now and Election Day.

ROLLINS: Ninety days.






COOPER: But, I mean, 90 days is forever in politics.

PALMIERI: And I'm sure there will be polls that show John McCain leading, even though I think it's kind of too early to tell.

But one thing that is very telling, I think, is John McCain's decision to go negative on Obama. And I think that tells us a lot of things. First of all, when you're in a faulting campaign, sometimes, you look for just anything that will sort of break up the dynamic and reset the race.

And going negative is an easy way to do it. You may pay for it in the long term, but it may help you shape up your -- change your coverage in the short term.

But, you know, why is John McCain doing better than George Bush? Because people think he's a different kind of Republican. They think he's a different kind of politician, that he doesn't play the same political games. And he's a little different than Bush.

But by going negative on -- on Barack Obama, he is losing that -- you know, he's damaging that very brand that has sort of levitating him up above where Republicans generally are doing in polls. So, it's a big risk for him.

COOPER: Mark, do you see a big risk in -- in John McCain going negative this early? I mean, it seems to have been pretty successful for him so far.

HALPERIN: I don't think it's a risk. I think he has to do it. I -- I think this election is Barack Obama's to lose. He needs to have people be comfortable with him. The reason why McCain and his campaign, I think, went so quickly to do this, as soon as they could, practically, is because they can't wait for Obama to start defining himself. They have got to define him.

And they're really cleverly, I think, playing on -- preying on, rather, his biggest weakness. The country wants to be comfortable with Barack Obama. I think a majority would like to vote for Barack Obama. But they don't yet know him well enough. He needs to fill in the portrait, picture, who he is, put himself in some context, before McCain does it. And the McCain forces have done a very aggressive job for a week now in painting that picture on their terms.

COOPER: It does seem, Ed, even at this point, he's reacting to the way McCain is portraying him, as opposed to portraying himself.

ROLLINS: The brilliance of the ads last week, which may not be good in October, but were very good last week, is, it drew attention to McCain, and it drew attention away from Obama, and it made Obama go out and overreact. And I think it showed a real weakness, as you saw somewhat against Hillary in the primaries.

COOPER: We're going to leave it there.

Ed Rollins, Jennifer Palmieri, Mark Halperin, always good to have you on. Thank you.

Just ahead, the candidates in-depth, in their own words.

And you, in your own words, you can join me on the blog by going to The conversation is already under way.

Then, Paris Hilton on John McCain. You will laugh until you cry, or maybe you will just cry. The founding fathers perhaps are.

Also, new incriminating evidence in the anthrax attack against the scientist who killed himself, instead of facing the music, but new doubts now about the government's case.

And shocking new revelations in the disappearance of little Caylee Anthony, not to mention the shocking truth about what her mom seems to have been up to.

A big night of late developments -- ahead on 360.



OBAMA: Wait, wait, wait, wait. I thought we already did the pledge. We didn't do the pledge yet?

You want to lead the Pledge of Allegiance? Go ahead.

All right. I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America.


COOPER: Barack Obama today in Ohio doing what all those mysterious e-mails say he doesn't do, hand over heart, no less.

He's more openly accused of shirking something else, specifics. The McCain critique, he gives a good speech, but that's about it. This week, both candidates have been getting very specific, laying out their energy plans in detail.

Now, as part of our commitment to giving you facts, so you can make up your own mind who is right, we are going to take a few minutes to bring you what each candidate said today, in-depth. Then we are going to check the facts, keeping both men honest.

First, Senator Obama today in his own words.


OBAMA: The other day, I was in a town hall meeting and I laid out my plans for investing $15 billion a year, energy-efficient cars, and a new electricity grid and all this.

Somebody said, well, what can I do? What can individuals do? So, I told them something simple. I said, you know what, you can inflate your tires to the proper levels, and that if everybody in America inflated their tires to the proper level, we would actually probably save more oil than all of the oil that we would get from John McCain drilling right below his feet there, wherever it is that he was going to drill -- wherever he was going to drill.


OBAMA: So, now the Republicans are going around -- this is the kind of thing they do. I don't understand it. They are going around. They're sending like little tire gauges, making fun of this idea, as if this is Barack Obama's energy plan.

Now, two points. One, they know they're lying about what my energy plan is. But the other thing is, they are making fun of a step that every expert says would absolutely reduce our oil consumption by 3 percent to 4 percent.


OBAMA: It's like these guys take pride in being ignorant, you know?


OBAMA: I mean, they think it's funny that they're making fun of something that is actually true.

They need to do their homework, because this is serious business. Instead of running ads about Paris Hilton and Britney Spears, they should go talk to some energy experts and actually make a difference.



COOPER: In a moment, Senator McCain in his own words.

But first, how does what Obama said square up with the facts?

"Keeping Them Honest," here's 360's Tom Foreman.


TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, the Department of Energy and any kid who has taken driver's ed knows your gas mileage is better with properly inflated tires. But how much mileage should Obama be getting out of his claim about this issue?

(voice-over): AAA says, for every pound of pressure your tires are underinflated, you may be losing 2 percent of your mileage. And the U.S. Department of Transportation found that about a quarter of you commuters out there are running your tires a few puffs short of full pressure.

So, if you could fix that, would it produce the savings Obama is citing, 3 or 4 percent in overall oil consumption? The answer is yes, if you assume, like the DOT does, at least eight pounds of underinflation for at least one tire per offender.

(on camera): The problem is, not everyone does assume that.

Just last year, a Department of Energy economist put the fuel savings from getting all puffed up at more like 1 percent. So, Obama is using legitimate estimates to make his claim, but like the sticker says, your actual mileage may vary -- Anderson.


COOPER: More from Tom in a moment.

Up next: John McCain in his own words. We will be keeping him honest as well.

And, later, well, Paris Hilton keeping McCain honest on his campaign ad. CNN senior political analyst Paris Hilton, you will hear from her.


COOPER: Also, serious stuff: what Caylee Anthony's mom was doing when her daughter was missing. Some shocking photos. And the real mystery, where is Caylee now?

Ahead on 360.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) COOPER: John McCain today touring the Enrico Fermi power plant outside Detroit.

Like Barack Obama, he's been laying out his plan for dealing with the energy crisis, which includes alternative sources, but leans heavily on more offshore drilling and more nuclear plants.

Here's a extended sample of what he said today, not just the usual short sound bite.


MCCAIN: I saw that Senator Obama's latest attack has got to do with oil and campaign contributions.

I think he might be a little bit confused, because, when the energy bill came to the floor of the Senate full of goodies and breaks for the oil companies, I voted against it. Senator Obama voted for it. People care not only what you say, but how you vote.

Now, solving our national energy crisis requires, as I have mentioned, an all-of-the-above approach. And that will require aggressive development of alternative energies, like wind, solar, tide, and biofuels. It also requires expanding traditional sources of energy, such as offshore drilling.

And I noticed that there's confusing now information from Senator Obama as to whether he actually supports offshore drilling or not. The fact is, we have to drill here and we have to drill now, and we have to drill immediately. And it has to be done as quickly as possible.

And I believe that it's vital that we move forward with that, regardless of what we do on other energy issues. Senator Obama has said that expanding our nuclear power plants -- quote -- "doesn't make sense for America" -- unquote. He also says no to nuclear storage and no to reprocessing. I could not disagree more.

My experience with nuclear power goes back many years, to being stationed on board the USS Enterprise, the first nuclear-powered aircraft. I knew it was -- aircraft carrier -- I knew it was safe then, and I know it's safe now.

And I proposed a plan to build 45 new nuclear plants before the year 2030. And that would provide 700,000 jobs for American workers. And that means new jobs. And, if we really want to enable technologies of tomorrow, like plug-in electric cars, we need electricity to plug into.


COOPER: Senator McCain today in his own words.

Once again tonight, let's check the facts.

"Keeping Them Honest," here's Tom Foreman. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, it is interesting that McCain chose the Fermi nuclear power plant number two, because Fermi plant number one was involved in a partial meltdown back in the 1960s.

It wound up being decommissioned. And you could hear the anti- nuke crowd howling today, saying McCain's plan ought to be shut down, too.

(voice-over): The Nuclear Regulatory Commission, however, which is charged with protecting all of us from nuclear accidents, says McCain is right; nuclear plants are safe.

The NRC says, in the entire history of commercial nuclear energy here, no member of the public has been hurt by a radioactive release, not even during the nation's most famous nuclear accident, Three Mile Island.

Still, McCain's proposal is not a plug-and-play solution. There's a reason no new nuke plants have gone up in decades. The NRC says, just getting a license to build one takes close to four years, the construction three or four more.

(on camera): And, oh, by the way, you have got to find a play to put one, not a small trick, when even new wind farms are getting some communities to say, great idea, but don't build it here -- Anderson.


COOPER: New reaction to the -- John McCain's ad comparing Barack Obama to Britney Spears and Paris Hilton. It comes by way of Web site Funny Or Die from Paris Hilton herself.


PARIS HILTON, CELEBRITY: Hey, America. I'm Paris Hilton, and I'm a celebrity, too, only, I'm not from the olden days, and I'm not promising change, like that other guy. I'm just hot.

But then that wrinkly, white-haired guy used me in his campaign ad, which I guess means I'm running for president. So thanks for the endorsement white-haired dude. And I want America to know that I'm, like, totally ready to lead.

OK. So, here's my energy policy. Barack wants to focus on new technologies to cut foreign oil dependency. And McCain wants offshore drilling. Well, why don't we do a hybrid of both candidates' ideas? We can do a limited offshore drilling, with strict environmental oversight, while creating tax incentives to get Detroit making hybrid and electric cars. Energy crisis solved.

I'll see you at the debates, bitches.


COOPER: Paris Hilton front and center in the presidential campaign. Who'd have thunk it?

Still ahead tonight, "Crime and Punishment," a major development today in the case of little Caylee Anthony. Her mother was charged today, criminal charges, but not what you might expect. We will have the latest on the case and talk to a family friend who used to baby- sit for Caylee.

Also ahead, one woman has puppies cloned from her beloved family pet. Is this a sign of things to come?

Coming up.


COOPER: The mystery of Caylee Anthony deepened today -- her mother facing now formal charges, as new questions about her mother surfaced, as have pictures allegedly showing the mother partying the night away while her baby was missing.

Now, her attorney says the photos are old and were not taken while Caylee was missing.

Coming up, we're going to talk with a family friend about the little girl she used to baby-sit. Does she believe that Caylee Anthony's mom is telling the truth?

First, Erica Hill joins us with a 360 bulletin -- Erica.

ERICA HILL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, Tropical Storm Edouard came ashore just east of Galveston, Texas, today, kicking up heavy surf and drenching the area at the height of the tourist season.

Now, it did soon weaken to a tropical depression, but still left behind flooding and plenty of downed trees. The Midwest also felt the storm's wrath. And it was a bit worse there, violent thunderstorms causing widespread damage throughout the area, power outages from Iowa to Ohio. At least one death in Indiana is blamed on that storm.

At Los Angeles International Airport just moments after an emergency landing, 188 passengers, you can see on the video there, using those slides to evacuate an American Airlines plane. Five of them suffered minor cuts and bruises. The pictures, which we're about to show you, were actually taken inside the plane by a passenger.

You can see here showing what it looked like before that plane touched down. The Boeing 757 was en route to Honolulu from L.A., but turned back shortly after takeoff after someone reported smelling smoke in the cabin.


There are new developments tonight in the case of Caylee Anthony. What happened to the 2-year-old? Why do investigators believe her mother knows much more than she's saying? Our "Crime and Punishment" report -- just ahead. Plus, the clues that led investigators to the scientist they say was behind the deadly anthrax attacks, this man. The evidence is circumstantial. And some say the case is full of holes. We will go up close for an in-depth look -- when 360 continues.


COOPER: "Crime & Punishment" tonight. Someone, somewhere knows where this little girl is. Caylee Anthony, she turns 3 this Saturday. She's missing, though. Her mother says her daughter is alive. Her family stands by her, but authorities don't believe her story at all, and today they filed formal charges against the mom.

It is a troubling case, to say the least, one with new developments tonight and disturbing new pictures. In just a moment, I'll talk live with Caylee's former babysitter. But first, let's get the latest from 360's Randi Kaye.


RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Where is Caylee Anthony? Is the 2-year-old Florida girl alive or dead? And is her mother hiding anything about her disappearance?

Authorities are convinced Casey Anthony knows much more than she's telling them. Today, prosecutors in Florida formally charged the 22-year-old single mother with child neglect and making a false statement. This is what Casey says happened.

On June 9, she dropped Caylee off at a babysitter. When she returned, Casey and the sitter were gone.

(on camera) Instead of contacting police or her family, Casey says she went searching for Caylee herself. Vanishing for five weeks before returning home without Caylee but with a story Caylee's grandmother had a hard time believing.

(voice-over) Here's Cindy Anthony's call to 911.

CINDY ANTHONY, GRANDMOTHER OF CAYLEE: I told you my daughter was missing for a month. I just found her today. But I can't find my granddaughter, she just admitted to me that she's been trying to find her herself. There's something wrong. I found my daughter's car today, and it smells like there's been a dead body in the damn car.

KAYE: Investigators also reported a strong odor of human decomposition in the trunk of the car. They described Casey's claims as a web of deceit and say the apartment where she claimed the sitter lived had been vacant for months.

Casey was arrested for child neglect and held on $500,000 bail. Authorities say she has not been cooperative.

SERGEANT JOHN ALLEN, ORANGE COUNTY SHERIFF: She has the right to not talk with us. But certainly, as a mother, I would hope that she would be willing to give us whatever information, you know, that she had to help us find the child.

KAYE: But in a taped jailhouse conversation with a friend called Christina on July 16, Casey denied she was lying.

CHRISTINA, FRIEND: If anything happens to Caylee, Casey, I'll die. Do you understand? I'll die if anything happens to that baby.

CASEY ANTHONY, MOTHER OF CAYLEE: Oh, wow. Oh, my God. Calling you guys is a waste, huge waste. Honey, I love you. You know I would not let anything happen to my daughter. If I knew where she was, this wouldn't be going on.

KAYE: Now Caylee's grandparents are defending their daughter, saying Casey has told them Caylee is alive, even that she can help find her if she's released.

CINDY ANTHONY: There's certain things that the family can't say. There's certain things that we do know. There's certain things that Casey knows that she can't tell. But you know, frankly, there's not a whole lot of people that we trust.

GEORGE ANTHONY, CAYLEE'S GRANDFATHER: She knows who has her daughter. She knows her daughter's safe. I got to believe her that she knows everything is OK.

KAYE: Meanwhile, new photographs of Casey have emerged. They show her at a local club partying and smiling to the camera. The photographer says they were taken after Caylee went missing. Her attorney disputes that.

And for the little girl at the center of this mystery, all everyone can do is wait, hope, and pray.

Randi Kaye, CNN, Atlanta.


COOPER: Joining us for the latest on the investigation and the criminal case against -- against Caylee's mother is attorney and "In Session" anchor Lisa Bloom.

All right. So the mom has been charged with child neglect and filing a false statement. Not with the disappearance of the daughter. And how serious are these charges?

LISA BLOOM, HOST, "IN SESSION": Well, they're not all that serious. The big issue is where is the little girl? Does the mom know where she is? And why isn't she telling the police? But child neglect is arising from the fact that she apparently just abandoned her daughter. I mean, if her story is to be believed, the little girl went off with the babysitter, she doesn't call the police. They disappear.

COOPER: Caylee's grandmother says she was missing for five weeks. BLOOM: For five weeks before the grandmother called the police. Her mom never did call the police. That's child neglect, simply abandoning the child. And then all of the lies that she's told the police.

COOPER: So these charges, is this just to hold the mother longer? Can she now get bail?

BLOOM: Probably she will get bail. I think that these charges -- the bail has been set at $500,000. I don't think that's going to be reduced. That's extraordinarily high in a case like this.

Ultimately, though, look, it hurts your brain to try to think of a plausible explanation as to why she wouldn't tell the police now if she knows where the little girl is, if she knows that she's safe, if she knows who has her.

COOPER: The grandmother is intimating that -- that they don't trust anybody and that Casey knows things but can't say it for some obscure reason.

BLOOM: Right. So you're going to let your little 2-year-old girl live in jeopardy and use that as leverage to release from jail? It just doesn't make a lot of sense.

But the worst evidence in this case is that smell of decomposition, not only that the grandmother said it...

COOPER: Not just in the car but in the trunk.

BLOOM: In the trunk of the car. And there's no good explanation. And there's been some DNA testing done. It's come back. It hasn't been released to the public. They don't know what it is. But if that little girl's DNA is in the trunk of the car, there's no good explanation for it.

COOPER: I want to play just some of the -- the sound from a conversation that Casey's mother, Caylee's grandmother, had with Casey while she was in jail. Let's listen.


CINDY ANTHONY: Whose fault is it that you're sitting in the jail? You're blaming me that you're sitting in the jail? Blame yourself for telling lies. What do you mean it's not your fault? What do you mean it's not your fault, sweetheart? If you'd have told them the truth and not lied about everything they wouldn't...

CASEY ANTHONY: Do me a favor and just tell me what Tony's number is. I don't want to talk to you right now. Forget it.


COOPER: Seems the grandmother seems to be kind of backing off supporting -- supporting her daughter. BLOOM: She's changed. She's really changed. Our initial 911 call, she thinks that her daughter did something wrong to her little granddaughter, and she has really changed after visiting her daughter. I don't know if they have closed ranks or if the daughter has revealed something to her or if it's just blood is thicker than water. But she's really changed to taking the daughter's side now. Doesn't trust the media at all any more.

COOPER: So what happens now? I mean, if -- basically, the police don't seem -- she doesn't seem to be cooperating with police. And even if she -- whatever she says to police, police aren't really believing her, because she's apparently -- allegedly led them down so many avenues.

BLOOM: That's right. Well, what happens now is the investigation continues. And the DNA testing and the forensic testing...

COOPER: But she originally said, "Look, I took her to a babysitter." Turned out the babysitter...

BLOOM: Right.

COOPER: ... the woman who allegedly lived there moved long ago and hasn't been there for a long time.

BLOOM: Right. So they're going to try to find that person, find everybody who knew this mother and daughter. And look, hopefully this trail has not gone cold.

But I think the DNA testing is going to be very important. If it turns out, as I said, the DNA of the baby is in the trunk of the car, that's going to be important. Where else is the DNA? Will they probably continue to tape-record all of the comments made by the mother, even if she's released, put a GPS on her car, follow her like they did Scott Peterson? Eventually, we can only hope this baby is going to be found and the mother is going to lead us to her.

COOPER: All right. Lisa Bloom, thanks very much.

BLOOM: Thank you.

COOPER: Up next, Caylee's former babysitter. She's known the family for years. Who does she blame for Caylee's disappearance? What does she think is going on? We'll talk to her next.

Also ahead, a major new development in the case against the alleged anthrax killer, when 360 continues.


COOPER: These photographs taken of Casey Anthony, allegedly days after she told her family 2-year-old Caylee was missing. They were -- these photos were reportedly taken at a club in Florida.

Now, Casey's attorney says the pictures are old and were not taken after Caylee was missing.

As we said before the break, authorities doubt Casey's overall story. Her family, however, insist Casey is telling the truth when she tells them Caylee is alive. But where is the 2-year-old? She's supposed to turn 3 on Saturday. Why is it so hard to find her?

Joining me now is Holly Gagne. She's known the family for years, was also Caylee's babysitter.

Holly, you know everyone involved here. What do you think is going on?

HOLLY GAGNE, CAYLEE'S BABYSITTER: Anderson, I'm confused as well as America. I just know this family and their character. They are a phenomenal family. And I don't think it's fair to judge someone on some club pictures.

That's like me saying, "Anderson, let me take five or six pictures of you when you were out with your friends when you were 21 and let me go ahead and define who you are as a person." That's just absolutely unfair to do.

COOPER: What do you make, though -- clearly police have said, and now they've charged her, that -- with filing false reports, that she has consistently lied to them. Do you believe Casey has lied?

GAGNE: I do believe she's lied, absolutely. I mean, I've spoken with George and Cindy, and we've talked about this. And...

COOPER: Why do you think she's lying?

GAGNE: Because they believe that she is protecting her daughter. I know that sounds crazy, but crazy things happen in this world.

COOPER: So her parents really believe that she is lying to somehow protect her daughter?

GAGNE: Absolutely, Anderson, absolutely.

COOPER: Because why? The daughter -- they believe the daughter is being held by somebody?

GAGNE: That's -- there's -- that's a possibility. There's -- there's all kinds of possibilities. Some things that they shared with me in confidence, that the police are not releasing everything. They do not believe that she would be putting them through this kind of torture and this kind of pain just because she's lying to make it up or to cover up. That's just -- they don't believe that.

COOPER: What do you believe? Because I mean, if she disappeared for five weeks, her mother didn't know where she was, never reported her daughter missing, some would say that's already putting her daughter in danger and already shows a certain lack of responsibility.

GAGNE: And it does. And we're not sure if it's been five weeks. Because we're hearing, you know, a tip that someone heard her talking on the phone to her daughter at the end of June. So the timeline is all muddled. So I'm not going to speculate on that, because I don't know for a fact.

I can only tell you that the Casey I knew was not a careless mother. Did she party and go out with friends? Yes. Why she didn't report that, Anderson, is the question.

COOPER: You actually had Casey baby-sit your children? Is that correct?

GAGNE: Yes, it was, you know, a while ago. We've known them for over six years, so my children, this was, you know, at six years, five years ago when they were, you know, babysitting age.

COOPER: But she was somebody that you felt comfortable keeping your kids with?

GAGNE: Oh, absolutely, absolutely. And even since then, she's been in my home. She's come over with Caylee, you know, parties and things. We've done all kinds of things with their family.

This is a -- listen to me, this is what you would consider a normal, everyday family. These people, if anything, Anderson, were quiet and kept to themselves. They were not, you know, big -- out, you know, to bother you. They just really had dinner and were an everyday modern family.

COOPER: And how are they doing now? I mean, this is -- for the grandparents, for Casey's mom, for her father, it's just got to be devastating.

GAGNE: It is, and it's so unfair when you see them on the news and you hear people on all of these shows saying, "Oh, the grandmother this, oh, the grandfather that." Well, I challenge the people in America to try to imagine what they must be going through.

Of course they want to support their daughter. And of course, originally when she first found out her daughter -- her granddaughter was missing, Cindy reacted. It was a knee-jerk reaction.

Anderson, I reacted. I was like, "Oh, my gosh, why has she done this?" Then you calm down. Then you look at the facts. Then you start talking with your daughter and you stand behind her. That's what you do as a parent. That's what you would do for your child, I would hope.

COOPER: Holly Gagne, appreciate your perspective and thank you for being on tonight.

GAGNE: Thanks, Anderson.

COOPER: All right. You take care.

Up next, we're going to go inside the anthrax investigation. What the government has learned about the prime suspect that has helped them, they say, solve the case. But have they really solved it?

Plus, an incredible discovery in the jungles of Congo. About 125,000 gorillas no one knew existed.

And the first commercially cloned puppies. Is this the right thing to do? We'll explain ahead.


COOPER: The case against Army scientist Bruce Ivins will never go to trial because he killed himself last week as prosecutors prepared to charge him with the 2001 anthrax attacks.

CNN has learned that tomorrow government officials will disclose their case against Ivins and declare it solved, though not yet closed. Since there won't be a trial, the best we're ever going to get a look at is really the circumstantial evidence linking Ivins to the attacks that killed five people and sickened seven others.

Since his suicide, some haunting details about Ivins's mental health and the FBI's aggressive tactics have surfaced, along with a lot of questions.

360's Joe Johns tonight goes up close.


JOE JOHNS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The clues implicating Bruce Ivins are compelling. But not, many say, conclusive. Don Clark is a former FBI special agent.

DON CLARK, FORMER FBI SPECIAL AGENT: It's not always the big one that comes in. It's the hints that come in early on that keeps them plodding away and plodding away until they finally get something that they can use.

JOHNS: So what do we know so far? We know Ivins was developing an anthrax vaccine. U.S. officials with knowledge of the probe say investigators used a new DNA technology to trace the anthrax used in the attacks back to Ivins' office.

Court documents indicate Ivins was in group counseling, and his therapist was granted a protective order against him. She testified he threatened her and talked about killing people.

JEAN DULEY, THERAPIST: He plots and actually tries to carry out revenge killing. He has been forensically diagnosed by several top psychiatrists as a sociopathic homicidal killer."

JOHNS: In fact, court records show Ivins was recently hospitalized at a psychiatric facility. And soon after he got out, he killed himself. Case closed, right? Not so fast.

First, it takes a village to handle anthrax. Ivins apparently wasn't the only person with access to the flask containing the anthrax involved in the deaths. At the biological weapons testing labs here at Ft. Detrick, Maryland, according to "The New York Times," as many as ten others did.

Second, shortly before the attacks, according to a source familiar with the investigation, Ivins checked out a piece of equipment from the lab that can turn wet anthrax spores into powdered form. Sure sounds strange, but a source familiar with the investigation says Ivins was using it for authorized research.

(on camera) After so many years, there's still great skepticism about this case in Washington, especially here at a U.S. Postal Service facility where two postal workers were fatally infected with anthrax.

(voice-over) The conservative watch dog group Judicial Watch, which has acted as an advocate for the postal workers, asked the million-dollar question: if the government had so much on Ivins, why wasn't he simply arrested?

TOM FITTON, JUDICIAL WATCH: The government has a lot of explaining to do. Why did the investigation take so long? Why didn't they get their man? The fact is they had him under their sights for many years, and yet he was out and about, and he was able to commit suicide.

CLARK: If I had been running that show, perhaps I would have thought the same way, is that as long as I've got my eye on the suspect that we believe, and I can perhaps keep that suspect contained, then there's no real reason for me to rush through until I've got it solid.

JOHNS: And in this case, there was extreme pressure to get it right. After all, remember this guy, Steven Hatfill? The government very publicly followed him and had the wrong man. It had to pay him a nearly $6 million settlement for the error.

But that's just another reason people like widow Maureen Stevens, who is suing the federal government, don't know what to believe.

MAUREEN STEVENS, WIDOW OF ANTHRAX VICTIM: After Mr. Hatfill, it was almost like something was happening, but I put it down to I hope it's not my wishful thinking.

JOHNS: His lawyer says Ivins was innocent, but with the FBI following him, interviewing his family and friends, that pressure caused Ivins to kill himself. So the main suspect is not around to question. Case not closed, not yet.

Joe Johns, CNN, Washington.


COOPER: Not yet indeed.

Erica, you're following some other news for us tonight in a "360 News and Business Bulletin." What do you got?

ERICA HILL, CNN ANCHOR: Anderson, this just in. The U.S. Supreme Court has refused to stay the execution of a Mexican born prisoner in Texas. Jose Medellin is expected to be put to death over the next couple of hours. Medellin was found guilty of murdering two teenage girls 15 years ago.

His lawyers say their client was not allowed to talk with the Mexican consulate for help after his arrest.

Falling oil prices helping to boost stocks today. The Dow closed up 331 points, the NASDAQ and the S&P also finishing in positive territory.

And talk about a remarkable discovery. An estimated 125,000 Western Lowland Gorillas found living in Congo. The discovery shows the population remains stable in some areas, but it is likely gorillas will remain on the critically endangered list.

And a South Korean company announcing today it has successfully cloned the first commercial puppy. An American woman reportedly paid $50,000 to have her late pit bull, Booger, cloned five times. The company says it hopes to clone up to 300 dogs a year commercially.

COOPER: Do you think -- will all the dogs will be named Booger?

HILL: I was wondering the same thing. I hope she doesn't clone the name.

COOPER: Yes. Let's think of some other names, perhaps.

"The Shot" is next. On the set with Kelly Ripa, filling in for Regis today. And yes, poking fun at Lindsay Lohan's mother a little bit. That's the story. I did that a little bit today.

Tonight, she's apparently responded, and she's not happy. We have all the sordid details ahead.

And at the top of the hour, the latest from the campaign trail and why the race is so close when many thought it wouldn't be.


HILL: All right, we're going to mix it up a little tonight. I'm going to handle tonight's "Shot," because frankly, Anderson, you've had a long day.

COOPER: I've had a long day.

HILL: Pulling double duty.


HILL: You start your morning filling in for Mr. Philbin over on "Live with Regis and Kelly." Love it when you do that, by the way.


HILL: For those who missed it, though, talk turned at one point to reality shows, in particular, one which has really struck a nerve with you.



COOPER: "Living Lohan" is just a train wreck, and I watched it for a while. And I finally said to myself, "I cannot believe I am wasting a minute of my life watching these horrific people."

There's this perfectly nice, allegedly a 14-year-old girl, looks to be about 60, but -- who is -- no, I say that with concern and love. And she allegedly wants to be a singer and/or actress/performer of some sort.


COOPER: Or striptease person, I don't know. And I don't know that she actually has...

RIPA: I've here, but she was a little girl when I met her.

COOPER: And she seems perfectly nice, and I feel bad for her. But at 14, she's, you know -- she's out there like her mom is, like, all right, go out there, you're a singer. Be a star.

RIPA: Right. You know, they're obviously a multitalented family. The kids sing, and they perform. They do...

COOPER: Sure. Maybe that's in the episode I didn't see.

Dina Lohan is on line four for you.

The only thing I've seen her actually do is sit around in an office reading stuff about her daughter online and then calling people up and like, "You got to take that offline."


HILL: Well, today, she made a little call.

COOPER: Apparently so.

HILL: But she didn't call -- here's what I love. So she sees it. She apparently -- or someone told her about it. She gets fired.

COOPER: She probably didn't see it live because she was out clubbing, and you know, it's on early in the morning, so...

HILL: She's rolling home at that point, yes.

COOPER: ... she's probably rolling home, yes.

HILL: To make breakfast for the kids.

COOPER: Exactly.

HILL: So apparently, though, she contacted not CNN, not you, not "Live with Regis and Kelly." No, no, "OK" magazine.

COOPER: Sure. Where else are you going to go?

HILL: Right. They took the bait. It is the big story on their Web site. In fact, they have the Dina Lohan exclusive interview...


HILL: ... where she tells them, quote, "People are cruel." And, Anderson, apparently, "This is bad karma for him."

COOPER: Yes, yes.

HILL: Karma as they say is, well...

COOPER: And let me just reiterate. I feel bad for the 14-year- old daughter.

HILL: Totally.

COOPER: She seems like a nice person, but she should be a kid and not, you know.

HILL: Not in a seedy reality show perhaps?

COOPER: Exactly, yes.

HILL: Yes, I take responsibility for the seedy. I think it's scary.

COOPER: Erica Hill, Dina Lohan, line four.

Coming up at the top of the hour, why some believe that Barack Obama is under performing his party. They say he should be doing a lot better than he's doing right now. Is that true? And if it is, why? The "Raw Politics" on the campaign trail, next.


COOPER: Tonight, what is up with Barack Obama? With all the money, all the adulation and coverage he's received, how come the polls show a race much closer than many anticipated? In a change election, how come a Democrat isn't doing better? We'll look at that tonight.