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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Interview With Texas Congressman Henry Cuellar; Health Care Reform Vote Nearing?
Aired March 18, 2010 - 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: Good evening again.
Tonight: "Keeping Them Honest." We finally know what's in the health care reform bill, what it cost, what kind of special deals were made to win votes. We're looking at all of it tonight and talking to one Democratic congressman who's undecided, but may be close to a decision.
Also tonight, the "Dating Game" serial killer -- as cops search for more possible victims, we're going to talk to one woman who actually survived a brutal attack from this guy. And we look at why so many warning signs were missed that could have kept him locked up long ago.
And later, "Jeopardy," the game show, I was on it tonight against none other than Cheech Marin. That's right, the guy who smoked enough pot in the movies in the '70s to kill every brain cell east of the Rockies -- just me and Cheech and Alex Trebek. That's all I will say. You will have to watch the rest.
First up, though, tonight, "Keeping Them Honest" on special deals in the health care bill, and we have found plenty of them. The end is in sight, the vote likely to happen on Sunday.
Now, today, we got estimates from the CBO, the Congressional Budget Office. That's a nonpartisan group. I want to show you just some of the stuff we learned today. So, come over here to the magic wall. Take a look -- $940 billion, that's the price tag over the next 10 years.
Now, that's to cover an additional 32 million Americans we're talking about. And according to the CBO, it cuts the deficit by $138 billion over the first 10 years and another $1 trillion over the following decade.
Now, those numbers have given encouragement to a lot of Democrats. And we're going to look dig deeper into those big numbers and look at how solid they really are, but also today, the package of changes the House is going to vote on was posted online.
And that triggered a 72-hour countdown to a vote in the House. So, question right now, do they have the votes to pass this? Let's take a look. We're talking about 216. Now, that's the -- the total number of votes needed to pass the bill. Every single Republican is expected to vote no. So, that's put the nos right now at 206. That's according to our count. Now, the yeses are tougher to judge, though. Estimate vary widely. Today, a pair of Democrats flipped. Luis Gutierrez moved from no to yes. Bobby Rush moved from yes to no.
In a moment, we will talk with one Democrat who is on the fence, but, as you're going to here, he may be inching toward a yes vote.
We have a lot to get to, but, first, what has happened to those special deals that some congresspeople got into the deal? President Obama said he wanted them out, but, as we found out tonight, they're still there.
Ed Henry is "Keeping Them Honest."
ROBERT GIBBS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Thank you, guys, for coming to class being moved outside.
ED HENRY, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Taking the rare step of using the Rose Garden for his daily briefing, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs was eager to tout the president's momentum on health care, but not so excited to discuss whether special deals like Senator Chris Dodd's $100 million hospital were taken out of the final bill, as the president promised.
(on camera): Can you tell us whether some of these special deals are still in -- the Connecticut hospital, et cetera?
GIBBS: Well, again -- I have not had a chance and I will wait for something to be posted online to go through any of those individual aspects.
HENRY (voice-over): "Keeping Them Honest," CNN went online and pored through the 153 pages of final changes. We found several of the special deals did stay in the final package, despite this vow from Gibbs only last week.
GIBBS: And we have made it clear to the Senate that the president's position in the final legislation should not contain provisions that favor a single state or a single district differently than others.
HENRY: More startling is, we have now uncovered at least two more special deals somehow added to the final package. North Dakota Senator Kent Conrad won an exemption in the health care bill for a state-owned bank to keep making student loans. That clearly violates the president's demand that carve-outs only help all states.
So, a Conrad aide told CNN tonight the senator is now asking for it to be taken out.
REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: Mr. Chairman. HENRY: A second new special deal may have turned a no-vote into yes. Democrat Bart Gordon said today he will vote for the president's plan, after getting a Medicaid fix that only helps his state of Tennessee and adds Hawaii, too. But a Gordon aide told CNN the provision simply gives these two states parity with the rest of the country and -- quote -- "Of course it didn't change his vote."
SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY), MINORITY LEADER: Or, in the Senate, we saw the Cornhusker kickback, the Louisiana purchase, the Gator-aid.
HENRY: Actually, the president did succeed in getting Senator Ben Nelson's Cornhusker kickback, special Medicaid treatment for Nebraska, taken out.
And Gator-aid, named for Senator's Bill Nelson's protection of Floridians from Medicare cuts, also stripped out. But Senator Dodd got his $100 million hospital, which means most of the special deals the president wanted ripped out are still special.
COOPER: And, Ed, do we know why like a Chris Dodd got to keep his hospital?
HENRY: Well, I know, in the case of Chris Dodd, in talking to senior Democrats around town, they say he was fighting especially hard for that. Let's face it. He's somebody who is retiring this year. Maybe he wants to bring home the bacon. We're told that the University of Connecticut is going to be the beneficiary of that hospital.
These lawmakers work hard to get it. And I can tell you, from the White House perspective, these folks here say, look, we want all these special deals out there. Our fellow Democrats are fighting to keep them in there, and we want to get this bill passed. It's an ugly process. We tried to get as many as we could out of there -- clearly, not as many as the president really wanted, though, Anderson.
COOPER: And they think -- at this point, I mean, do they feel they have close to enough votes? Or do they think they have the votes?
HENRY: They think that they're extremely close. And Robert Gibbs today was guaranteeing basically that the president believes that, on Sunday, he will have the votes -- Gibbs saying that, basically, the president has made over three dozen calls himself just this week alone to members on the fence.
It gives you an idea, after a lot of Democratic complaints in recent months the president wasn't actively engaged, he's very engaged in these final days -- Anderson.
COOPER: A lot riding on it, certainly, for him.
More "Keeping Them Honest" now, this time on the money.
As we mentioned, Mr. Obama said the bill would cut the deficit. The CBO says it will by $138 billion over 10 years and, as we told you, about $1.1 trillion over 20 years, massive savings, but also a massive investment, $940 billion in the first decade.
Now, that tradeoff seems to be persuading some fiscally conservative Democrats to support the bill. And how solid is the CBO accounting? That's what we wondered.
Dana Bash tonight is "Keeping Them Honest" on the money.
Dana, a lot of Democrats crowing about this report, the amount of deficit reduction, but you found out that -- that some of that savings actually comes from something that has nothing to do with health care.
DANA BASH, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right.
You heard, in Ed's piece, he mentioned that student loans, it is also a part of this health care bill. And, specifically, this is another big Obama initiative. It switches the student loan industry from private sector, from banks, to the government. That actually saves the government money.
So, what the Democrats have done, they have taken $10 billion in deficit savings, and they have moved that over and added it to make that deficit savings for health care even higher.
COOPER: And why is deficit reduction such a huge deal with this bill? I mean, clearly, for those Blue Dog Democrats, that's a key issue, right?
BASH: Key issue. You can not walk these halls and talk to an undecided Democrat, as I have all day today, without hearing the issue of deficit reduction and overall costs, particularly because most of these undecided Democrats are from swing districts, Republican-leaning districts.
Many of them are actually freshmen who are hearing back home, we don't want you to spend this much money, especially without making sure that it's not only not paid for, but that it actually helps get the government out of the deficit hole that it's in. So, that's why this is such a big issue.
COOPER: And Republicans are pounding away that these CBO figures are preliminary, that they're not really the real deal. Do they have a point with that?
BASH: They're right. They're right.
If you read the CBO letter, Anderson, it states several times that these are preliminary number, and that they are going to give some final numbers once they actually get -- got the final legislative language. We expect or at least hope to get that tomorrow night, or maybe even the next day. This happens quite often, that the CBO will release some preliminary numbers and then later give some updates. Generally, Anderson, it doesn't change that much. And, in this case, it's not a surprise to Democratic leaders, what they're seeing here.
This is the subject of so much discussion -- and has been for weeks and weeks and weeks. That's why we haven't seen these numbers for so long, because Democrats were trying to achieve what you saw today.
BASH: And they have been working back and forth with the CBO to change the language to get what they got today.
COOPER: Dana, thanks very much, "Keeping Them Honest" tonight on the money.
A quick reminder: The live chat is up and running at AC360.com.
Coming up next, who is holding out, and why? We are going to talk to one Democrat who hasn't decided and dig deeper on how some Republican governors are actually trying to block the bill even after -- if it becomes law.
And, later, the "Dating Game" killer and the women who escaped almost certain death at his sick hands. We're going to talk to one woman. She was only 8 years old when the attack happened. You will hear how she survived in her own words.
COOPER: Well, House Majority Whip James Clyburn said today he was giddy with the Congressional Budget Office report, saying the health care bill would cover more people and bring more deficit reduction than expected. He said it would help him round up wavering, those so-called Blue Dog Democrats, fiscal or social conservatives, mainly from the South and Southwest.
Texas Congressman Henry Cuellar is one such Blue Dog. He is still undecided.
I spoke with the congressman earlier tonight.
COOPER: Congressman Cuellar, you're still undecided on this bill. What's it going to take to change your mind, to make you make up your mind one way or the other?
REP. HENRY CUELLAR (D), TEXAS: Well, just this afternoon, we just got the amendments to the Senate bill.
And, as you recall, last year, people were asking us, don't vote on the bill until you read every part of the bill. So, as a good attorney and as a good legislator, I think it's my responsibility to read the amendments. And, of course, we got the CBO today, which gave us some promising numbers as to the cost of the bill itself and how much it's going to reduce the deficit in the next 10 years, $138 billion.
COOPER: So, is abortion the bottom line for you?
CUELLAR: Well, that's one of the factors.
And, as you know, the -- what -- what we do now, since it looks like we're going to be looking at the Senate bill language, I'm looking at some legal analysis as to what this language says. And, as an attorney, I think, you know, we can adhere to the Henry Hyde amendment by saying that no federal funds will be used for abortions. And that's the bottom line for me.
COOPER: From that, from the instances you cite, though, it sounds like you're hedging towards supporting this?
CUELLAR: If you would ask me right now, I'm probably leaning more to what -- to supporting the Senate language, from what I have seen so far.
COOPER: Right. You've got to read it.
CUELLAR: ... that's only one factor. And I have got to look at the rest of it.
COOPER: What kind of pressure are you under from Democratic leadership, from the president? I mean, has the president called you?
CUELLAR: No, he hasn't. And I know I probably will, but what I'm looking at, what's important to me is my district.
You know, I got the third most uninsured district in the whole state of Texas, probably number nine in the whole country. As a Blue Dog, I'm also looking at the cost. So, I have got a very unique district.
COOPER: There have been some, I guess -- threats may be too strong a word, but threats, I guess, from -- even from some very liberal groups, MoveOn.org and others, talking about primary challenges for those who do not support this. Does that weigh on you?
CUELLAR: Well, look, let me put it this way. Back in 2005, when I was a freshman, I -- I was the first Democrat to support CAFTA.
My labor union folks made me their number-one target. They came after me, and I'm still here. So, I mean, I take all those suggestions in stride, because I have been through that, and I have won in the past. And the people of my district have supported me. COOPER: And in terms of the way this process has been handled, the way this vote may take place, are you comfortable with the idea of not having a straight up-or-down vote?
CUELLAR: Well, you have got to look at the procedure.
This has been used by both Democrats and Republicans. It's allowed under the -- under the rules. If you are looking at the deem and pass, back in 2005, 2006, the Republicans used it 35, 36 times. And it's been used by Democrats also.
If you're talking about conciliation, you know, since 1974, 16 times, it's been used by Republicans out of 22 times. So, you can see it's both used by Democrats and Republicans.
COOPER: Have you given yourself a deadline for making a decision?
CUELLAR: Well, you know, today, I have been having hearings on border security. I have had two and three hearings on that. So, I'm focusing today on that.
Now that we got the language, I'm going to look at that, and, hopefully, in the next day or two, I will be certainly making up my mind as to what I want to do. Bottom line is, last year, people were saying, Congressman Cuellar, don't vote on this until you read everything.
And, certainly, as an attorney, I'm going to read everything before I decide how I'm going to vote on this.
COOPER: Congressman Henry Cuellar, appreciate your time. Thank you, sir.
CUELLAR: Thank you very much.
COOPER: You know, there's another interesting development to tell you about tonight. If the bill does become law, some Republican governors are vowing, in essence, to make it null and void for their citizens in their states.
Idaho's governor, Butch Otter, has signed a measure requiring the state attorney general in Idaho to sue the federal government over the requirement in the reform bill that everybody buy insurance.
I spoke to him a short time ago.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. BUTCH OTTER (R), IDAHO: We think that Congress has overstepped their authority.
There's -- there's no grounding anywhere in the Constitution for the Congress to take this kind of action. And, so, the bill that I signed yesterday is being replicated all over the United States. And, if you get a critical mass of, say, 36, 37 states, then you have got a constitutional mass, and we're going to go forward with it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: The governor said similar legislation has come up in a lot of other states. The question, though, is it actually something they can challenge successfully in courts, or is this just political grandstanding by Republican governors?
Let's dig deeper with senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin and John King, host of CNN's new nightly program, "JOHN KING USA," which premiers on Monday at 7:00 p.m. Eastern.
Jeffrey, is this just political grandstanding? I mean, is this something that can be challenged?
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Well, certainly, they can file lawsuits, but, if you look at the history of the federal government and medicine and insurance, there has been lots of federal -- federal involvement.
TOOBIN: Medicare, Medicaid.
COOPER: ... which, by the bay, Governor Otto -- Otter voted for when he was a Republican congressman.
So, the idea that this is unconstitutional seems just patently wrong. Now, that doesn't mean it's a good idea. That doesn't mean people should vote for it or vote against it. But does Congress have the power to do this? I think it's very clear...
COOPER: Well, they point to the 10th Amendment in the Constitution...
COOPER: ... which we're going to just put up one of the lines. This is the -- the line basically is...
TOOBIN: Well, it basically says that -- the 10th Amendment is one of these mysterious...
COOPER: There. "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution nor prohibited to it by the states are reserved to the states respectively or to the people."
TOOBIN: Right. And the Congress -- and the Supreme Court has always had a lot of trouble with the 10th Amendment, figuring out what it meant. And it hasn't been used very often, and very, very rarely to strike down legislation.
But, basically, it means, if the federal government wants to do something, the Constitution has to authorize it. It can't just decide it's a good idea. But there's a clause in Article 1 of the Constitution called the Commerce Clause, which says the right to regulate interstate commerce belongs to Congress.
Well, that has been defined so broadly by the Supreme Court that everything, almost, that the federal government does, whether it's in agriculture or health care or regulating industry or the minimum wage or drugs, that is under the Commerce Clause. And that, the courts have allowed.
So, I don't think a constitutional challenge to this is going to go much of anywhere.
COOPER: John, let's talk about what is actually happening in D.C. right now. The DNC said today they have got the big mo, the momentum here. Do they think they're right? I mean, are the undecideds breaking their way?
JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, they're right. They don't have a publicly announced critical mass yet, Anderson, to pass the bill, but they are making progress.
And, privately, when you talk to Democrats, they tell you they're making more progress in private that they are in public. The interview you just had with Congressman Cuellar was a classic example of how these great Washington dramas play out.
He wouldn't give you a firm commitment. He seems to be leaning yes. What happens in the end is, I respect him completely and agree with him when he says believe him when he says he wants to read the bill. But, Anderson, trust me, any of these guys in vulnerable districts, they are also going to poll until the last minute. And many of them will ask the leadership, if you have the critical number, can I have a pass?
Meaning one congressman will come to the leadership and say, if you need me at the end, I will vote yes, but for my district and my reelection, I could really use to vote no. And so they will hold out until the last second.
COOPER: Well, are some of them also just holding out for some sort of gimme from the president or from the leadership?
KING: That's one of the fascinating things. You went through this with Ed and Dana.
Because of all the blowback, all the controversy about those deals, what they're all being told now is no more deals in this bill. Now, can they, say, bargain for the president or the vice president to come to their district and raise money? Can they bargain for some help on another issue that is not in this bill? Welcome to Washington. Those conversations are happening. But in terms of putting something specifically into this bill, everybody says -- and we will keep reading it to see if they keep the promise, but everybody says, this bill now, no, no more sweetheart deals.
COOPER: And, Jeff, the idea that -- that states can not obey laws that the federal government passes, what -- didn't the Civil War kind of decide all that?
TOOBIN: Yes, the Civil War pretty much settled that issue.
COOPER: I mean...
COOPER: ... the civil rights movement sort of decide that, too?
TOOBIN: And that is when you get into total grandstanding.
Either this is constitutional and obligatory for every state in the union or it's not. But you certainly can't have Idaho saying, well, health care reform just is not coming here. That ain't going to happening.
COOPER: ... pointing to -- the governor was pointing to some of these special deals and saying, well, look, you know, Nebraska may be getting a special deal, so it's not equal treatment of all the states, and, therefore, it's not appropriate.
TOOBIN: Well, that -- that's also not a serious argument, because Congress often treats different states differently. And that is -- and that is -- that is permissible.
You know, they build military bases in some states and not others.
TOOBIN: They build hospitals in some places and not others.
That may be a bad idea, but it's certainly not unconstitutional.
COOPER: John, is this thing going to take place Sunday, you think?
KING: It looks like a Sunday vote, because the Democratic leadership promised they would post the bill for 72 hours online. That is a reaction to all the controversy about the earlier phases of this legislative debate.
So, very rare. The president, of course, has now canceled, postponed indefinitely, his trip to Asia, so he can be here, not just hopefully to see a Democratic victory, Anderson, but to try to guarantee that Democratic victory. Again, they say no more deal- making, but that doesn't mean there won't be a whole lot of pressure and other promises from the White House in the next 72 hours.
COOPER: John King, you look rested, ready to rumble for your big debut next week.
KING: We are ready. We are rested. I hope we're ready to rumble.
KING: We're going to debut on Monday night. And we're also going to have a special treat, an online debut tomorrow morning.
COOPER: Oh, cool.
TOOBIN: What a good -- good week to start, John.
COOPER: Exactly, yes, not bad timing.
TOOBIN: Really, yes.
COOPER: They planned it that way, I'm sure.
KING: Great slow news week, we're ready for it.
COOPER: Yes. All right, John King 7:00 p.m. on Monday.
"Up Close" tonight: a massive recall you need to know about, more than a million high chairs, dozens of babies injured. We're going to tell you which models to look out for, so you might want to have a pencil and paper handy, or a computer, if you're computer-literate.
Later, one girl's encounter, nearly a deadly one, with the "Dating Game" serial killer -- how she survived, and the warning signs that were missed that might have saved more lives.
COOPER: In the Rose Garden today, President Obama signed a $38 billion jobs bill, a mix of tax breaks and spending aimed at encouraging businesses to start hiring again for the millions of Americans out of work.
It certainly cannot come soon enough for a lot of folks. In Georgia, the jobless rate hit a record 10.5 percent last month, the 29th straight month it topped the national average. Close to 500,000 people in that state are unemployed.
In Fannin County, Georgia, which is near the Tennessee border, a lost job can push a family to the edge. And for kids watching their folks go through this, it can be especially hard.
Here's what life now looks like for one little 12-year-old little girl.
BRITTANY BUCKHANNON, 12 YEARS OLD: This is me recording me. I'm Brittany. I'm 12 years old.
See, this is our room.
I turned 12 February 11, which was last month. These are coloring books and crayons. And I'm in sixth grade. I have a little 4-year-old brother who will turn 5. And his name is Skyler. I have a 10-year-old brother. His name is Brandon.
BRANDON BUCKHANNON, 10 YEARS OLD: Guess what? I'm a rock star.
BRITTANY BUCKHANNON: But I can't stay for long, because I have got to go to bed.
So, we had to move in here because this was the only place we can go. So -- but now we're safe and we're OK. So, that's all that matters.
STEPHANIE BUCKHANNON, LIVES IN A HOMELESS SHELTER: I'm Stephanie Buckhannon. We're living in the Family Connection shelter, me and my three kids.
It's rough. You go from place to place, and you get the same story from everybody, either, "We're accepting applications, but we're not hiring," or they're not even accepting applications.
It's like going through a mine field. I don't know how to describe it. It was just -- you know, I was shaking and my nerves were all messed i. And I'm thinking, you know, I have got three kids. And I swore that we would never live in a shelter, but we had no choice. And we come here, and there's all these strange people. And the first night was just -- I had such a hard night sleeping. It was just weird.
TOM BARTHOLF, DIRECTOR, FAMILY CONNECTION: Stephanie was just one of so many. Everybody seems to know of situations like this. It's becoming much more and more prevalent than a year ago or so. And now it's become commonplace.
The homeless shelter initially had 20 when I took the job last Christmas. Within a couple of weeks, we were over capacity.
If folks here are having to work so hard, and they're working from one paycheck to the next, and then that paycheck disappears, they have nothing to fall back on. So, they fall back on the system. But, here, there's not much of a system to fall back on. We're the only ones in three or four counties. We get calls from South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee. But we're not just a Fannin County shelter. We can't be, because there are no resources for 100 miles around. S. BUCKHANNON: Brandon, he sleeps with his earphones on. He looks so peaceful.
BRANDON BUCKHANNON: See. Watch. He's going to do it perfectly wonderful this time.
S. BUCKHANNON: I would do anything for my kids. They're my -- they're the greatest.
BRITTANY BUCKHANNON: I know it's hard on her, that she has three kids to take care of. So, I try to take care of myself, at the same time, taking care of my baby brothers.
S. BUCKHANNON: She feels driven to help me with the boys, I think a little bit too much. I think that she's putting too much on herself. She's trying to grow up too fast. And she needs to just enjoy being little for now.
BRITTANY BUCKHANNON: Sometimes, like, every once in a while, I will start breaking down and crying and stuff. But, most of the time, I stay strong.
Yes, it's part of being a sister. I try to stay strong for them, so that they stay strong, too.
COOPER: Wow. She's a strong little girl.
One more thing about Stephanie Buckhannon, Brittany's mom. To be admitted to the shelter, she had to pass a criminal background check and a drug test. The shelter -- the shelter director said that she has passed both. Let's hope she finds a job soon.
That producer, John Sanders, who shot that story wrote about it on our blog. You can go to AC360.com to read his behind-the-scenes post and see a family photo album.
Still ahead tonight: The American woman who allegedly called herself Jihad Jane was in court today. She could face life in prison if convicted of terrorism charges. We will have the latest on her.
Plus, this story gets creepier all the time: the "Dating Game" serial killer. Tonight, we talk to a woman who survived a brutal attack by the smooth-talking murderer and to a police officer who is searching for more victims.
COOPER: The investigation of Nevada Senator John Ensign is heating up. He's accused of improper conduct stemming from an affair with the wife of a former aide. Now new subpoenas have been served. The details ahead on 360.
But first, Candy Crowley has a "360 News & Business Bulletin" -- Candy. CANDY CROWLEY, CNN ANCHOR: Hey, Anderson.
An American woman who authorities say called herself Jihad Jane pleaded not guilty today in federal court. Colleen LaRose is accused of conspiring to support terrorists and plotting to kill a Swedish cartoonist whose depictions of Mohammed outraged some Muslims. If convicted, LaRose faces a possible life sentence.
A Chicago man charged in two international terror plots has pleaded guilty to a dozen charges. Authorities say David Headley scouted targets for the terrorist attacks in Mumbai in 2008, those attacks killing more than 160 people.
Headley has agreed to cooperate with the government. In return, prosecutors will not pursue the death penalty.
Graco Children's Products is recalling more than 1 million Harmony high chairs after reports of at least two dozen injuries. The company said today the chairs can become unstable and tip over unexpectedly. The Harmony model was produced from 2003 to 2009. It was sold in the U.S. at Target, Toys R Us and Wal-Mart.
Most, but not all of the Special Forces taking part in a recent NATO training exercise...
CROWLEY: ... has two feet. One had four paws. Can you believe that? An explosive-sniffing dog on a sky diving run with his handler. They were strapped together. Apparently, these dogs, Austrian Belgian Shepherds, are much calmer than humans while jumping out of a plane.
CROWLEY: I don't know how we know they're much calmer than humans exactly...
COOPER: Right, exactly.
CROWLEY: But, you know, that they made it to the ground is amazing.
COOPER: Yes. They're probably much calmer than I would be, certainly. Yes.
CROWLEY: Me, too.
COOPER: All right, Candy.
Time for "Beat 360" now, our daily challenge to viewers, coming up with a caption better than the one that we can come up with for a photo that we put on the blog every day.
Tonight's photo is White House press secretary Robert Gibbs appearing to pull out a handkerchief while speaking to reporters in the Rose Garden. Not sure what's up on that. Our staff winner tonight is a guest submission from Robert Gibbs himself. Senior White House correspondent Ed Henry passed it on to us. Gibbs' caption: "Sunscreen in my eye!"
(SOUND EFFECT: BABY CRYING)
COOPER: We've added the tears, I think. Our viewer winner is Kelly from Ann Arbor, Michigan, with a caption: "White House press secretary Robert Gibbs tries to evade the press with the most cunning of disguises: a small paper napkin. Touche, sir, touche."
(SOUND EFFECT: GROANS)
COOPER: Congratulations. Touche isn't said enough on TV these days. Your "Beat 360" T-shirt is on the way.
Coming up next, newly-released pictures of the future president. Snapshots taken nearly 40 years. The question is why are they being made public now? The story behind the photographs. That's coming up.
And later, speaking out. A woman attacked by the serial killer who appeared on "The Dating Game." She's a survivor. Tonight on 360, she's telling us about the horrific encounter.
COOPER: In "Crime & Punishment," a survivor of the so-called "Dating Game" serial killer is talking to 360. We're going to talk with her in just a moment.
Rodney Alcala, who was just sentenced to death for his crimes, was already a convicted rapist when he appeared as a bachelor on the game show back in 1978. Here's a clip.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Bachelor No. 1...
RODNEY ALCALA, CONVICTED SERIAL KILLER: Yes?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What's your best time?
ALCALA: The best time is at night. Nighttime.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why do you say that?
ALCALA: Because that's the only time there is.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The only time. What's wrong with morning, afternoon?
ALCALA: Well, they're OK, but nighttime is when it really gets good. Then you're really ready.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Months later, Alcala would kill a girl, one of five murders he was convicted of committing.
Last week, authorities released more than 100 photographs belonging to Alcala. These are some of them, images of unidentified women and kids who apparently posed for him. Police fear some of the people in these pictures may have been victims of the serial killer, and that's why they're releasing them, so the public can look at them and see if anybody is somebody they know or somebody who's missing.
We may never know how many people Alcala may have murdered, but we now -- but we now know one woman who will never forget her encounter with him.
Tali Shapiro was a child when she was brutalized by Alcala. She joins us now, along with Lieutenant Tom Donnelly, investigation bureau command of the Huntington Beach Police Department, which is leading the probe into Alcala.
Tali, this guy was convicted of molesting you when you were just 8 years old. He severely injured you, but police basically saved your life after they broke down his door while he was attacking. What do you remember about that day?
TALI SHAPIRO, SURVIVOR OF SERIAL KILLER'S ATTACK: I was walking to school. I was -- he asked me if I need a ride. I said I wasn't supposed to talk to strangers. He said he knew my parents.
I'm most fortunate, because there was a good Samaritan in the car behind me who thought with every fiber he was making a mistake, and he followed us to where Alcala took me, got out of his car and found a phone and called the police. And that's why the police broke down the door.
COOPER: So it was just, I mean, that a good Samaritan had his eyes open and took the time to actually call the police?
SHAPIRO: Yes. Feeling he was doing the most stupid thing he'd ever done in his whole life, but he stopped and took the time to do it. This is way before cell phones, so he had to go find a -- find a phone.
COOPER: And you don't remember anything beyond walking into his apartment, right?
SHAPIRO: This is correct, because he hit me over the head with a pipe immediately.
COOPER: And when you were found, he was -- he was strangling you with a barbell. Is that correct?
SHAPIRO: That's correct.
COOPER: So he was -- I mean, you have no doubt he was going to try to kill you?
SHAPIRO: Oh, there's no doubt in my mind. COOPER: What stuns me, though, is that he -- I mean, he then disappeared. He was on the lam for about three years, I think. But how much time did he actually get when he was convicted?
SHAPIRO: He was convicted of 36 months, and he only served 17.
COOPER: That just boggles the mind. I mean, 36 months and only served 17. That's just stunning. That must have outraged you or your parents at the time.
SHAPIRO: Well, we fled -- they fled to -- we moved to Mexico immediately after this happened to me.
COOPER: Lieutenant Donnelly, you're talking to authorities nationwide about unsolved cases that might implicate Alcala. To help the investigation, you've released over 100 paragraphs of young women, basically, that Alcala took in the '70s. Have these photos helped?
LT. TOM DONNELLY, HUNTINGTON BEACH POLICE DEPARTMENT: Well, they've helped dramatically. We're receiving calls virtually throughout the country from, you know, other agencies, from people saying that "This might be my friend." Even from people who are actually in the photographs have called up and said, "Hey, that's me."
And you know, it's chilling to think that, you know, that over 30 years ago, these pictures were taken and now you have people calling us saying, "Hey, that picture is me."
COOPER: And do some of these people remember how the pictures were taken? Were these people he knew, or was he just snapping pictures of people on the street?
DONNELLY: Well, no, I don't have the details. But I know his M.O. was to approach young women and to represent himself as a photographer, offer to take their picture, maybe make some money, and that's how his encounters would start. And from there, you know, obviously, we know of at least five victims of, you know, brutal murders and rapes. And so that's what -- the whole idea in releasing the photos was to gain any type of information we could about, you know, potential victims.
COOPER: And Tali, I mean, you were incredibly strong in all this. You have testified against him three times.
COOPER: Because multiple times he's been convicted of then death penalty and then it got overturned down the road. He recently actually apologized to you for what he called his despicable behavior. When you heard that, when you see him face to face, I mean, what goes through your mind?
SHAPIRO: Actually, he can't get to me. I don't even hear him. I'm more there to fight for -- I have more sympathy for the families of the victims, because if justice had been done for what he did to me, none of these other deaths would have had to happen. COOPER: So you don't even pay attention to him when he's standing there in front of you?
SHAPIRO: No, no. I don't --he can't get. You now, he can't get to me. I just -- it's unfortunate that criminals have more rights in the Constitution than victims do. Victims have no rights.
COOPER: Lieutenant Donnelly, how likely is it that -- that there are more people out there, I mean, who lost their lives to this guy?
DONNELLY: Well, I hate to speculate at this point. It's pretty actually new in this new turn in the investigation. But with 120 photos and, really, with the type of calls we're receiving, it wouldn't surprise me that we turn up -- you know, even one would be a major victory for the families and for the relatives and for law enforcement to know, you know, for those people to do the work of just one.
But we don't really have any idea yet on where it's going to lead. We're just -- we're a complete open book. We're receiving the information, documenting all of it, and making sure we don't let one lead fall through the cracks.
COOPER: Let's hope justice is done in this case.
Tali Shapiro, we appreciate you coming on and talking about what you went through.
Thank you, Lieutenant Tom Donnelly, as well. Good luck with the case.
If anyone out there has any information on the Alcala investigation or if you believe you may recognize someone from some of the photographs we've shown you, contact the Huntington Beach Police Department. You can call 714-536-5947. Or the Orange County district attorney investigator. That number, 714-347-8492. Those numbers will be on our Web site also.
Join the live chat also on the Web site at AC360.com right now. Talk to other viewers around the world.
Coming up next right now, subpoenas and a U.S. senator. A grand jury now looking into the business dealings of John Ensign. We'll tell you what they are digging for.
Also tonight, my new "Jeopardy" face-off. My competition, none other than Cheech Marin. See how I did. It's tonight's "Shot."
COOPER: All right, time for tonight's "Shot." CNN anchors in jeopardy because they've appeared on "Jeopardy," the game show. Tonight, I appeared on "Jeopardy" and, well, how do I say this? I lost. Not only did I lose; I lost to this guy.
That's right, I lost to Cheech Marin. Cheech of "Cheech and Chong" fame, pot-smoking star of blunt-burning films like "Up in Smoke," "Next Smoke" and "Still Smoking." He not only beat me; he crushed me.
Now, before I show you how badly I did tonight on "Jeopardy," let me just mention in my own defense that I actually won "Jeopardy" the first time around I went on it. Here's me in my "Jeopardy" prime.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ALEX TREBEK, HOST OF "JEOPARDY": Anderson.
COOPER: Who is Maria Callas?
COOPER: What is Germany?
TREBEK: West Germany, correct.
COOPER: Who is Archie Bunker?
TREBEK: He's the one.
Canada is right.
You're the leader and the winner today. That means your charity, Anderson, gets $50,000.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: OK, so I beat Maria Bartiromo and I beat Kweisi Mfume, for the record. So I was pretty confident going into this tournament. But this was actually a tournament of people who had already won on "Jeopardy," and so it was all people who knew how to play the game.
Now, I must admit I was even more confident when I heard I was up against Cheech Marin. I admit, I thought his reflexes would be slow, not to mention his synapses, perhaps, but I was so very, very wrong.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TREBEK: This guy, as Conan the Barbarian, on what's best in life: "To crush your enemies and to hear the lamentation of their women" -- Cheech.
CHEECH MARIN, COMEDIAN: Who's Arnold Schwarzenegger?
Cheech again. MARIN: Who is Al Pacino?
MARIN: What is pillow talk?
MARIN: What is never-never land.
MARIN: What is Camelot?
MARIN: What is a baster?
You're the winner today. Your charity will get $50,000. And Aisha and Anderson's charity, $25,000 each.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: So I admit it: I lost to Cheech Marin. I tied for second with comedian Aisha Taylor, who's also a great player.
And joining us now is the two-time "Jeopardy" champion, the man who crushed me, Cheech Marin.
MARIN: Thank you very much, Anderson.
COOPER: Have you been -- have people just been congratulating you? Do they pour out onto the streets to congratulate you? Because people have been mocking me mercilessly since this thing aired tonight.
MARIN: It's tough when you can't hit a big league curveball, man. That's the separation point.
COOPER: So Cheech, I've got to admit: I thought I would crush you. I thought -- I thought all -- I'd seen all those movies back then. Clearly you were not inhaling in those films. Because you...
MARIN: I have lost a couple of steps. COOPER: Also, you know, it's all about, obviously, sort of what you know, but also the buzzer. I think you -- you were in, like -- you had the Zen of the buzzer whereas I think I was just slow on the draw. Because I kept clicking on it and not getting it.
MARIN: Yes, if you can't get in, you can't answer. It's all -- the first time I won, the writers came up to me and says, "Are you a musician?"
And I go, "Yes."
They said, "Oh, well, we thought so because of your timing." It's all timing.
COOPER: Now, see, I was doing the thumb. I peeked at you, and I think you were doing the index finger. That's right.
MARIN: I learned that from a track coach when I was in high school with a stopwatch timer. He said it's a much faster reflex in the index finger.
COOPER: When I really started panicking I thought I was going to switch to your method, but then thought I shouldn't, you know, switch my gait in mid-stride. And nevertheless, I still went on and lost.
MARIN: That's what I try to do. I try to confuse my opponents.
COOPER: And Aisha Taylor was great, as well. You all came to play and to win. I've got to say, one of the more depressing moments was right after this thing aired. I got this e-mail from Soledad O'Brien. I'm going to hold it up on my BlackBerry. I don't know if everybody can see that.
It says, "Cheech Marin beat you?" That was the tag line. And then she said seriously, "Seriously, that's sad."
Yes, which I thought was particularly brutal.
Now I should also mention that -- do we know what Soledad's final score when she played? I don't know her final score, but Soledad lost. And she lost -- she came in third, actually.
And Wolf Blitzer actually played this year as well, and he came in third. Not only did he come in third, look at that. Negative $3,600. So at least -- yes, in the realm of CNN anchors, I actually won, in that sense.
MARIN: Yes, damning but faint praise.
COOPER: But you were a great, great competitor. And we would love to -- you know, if you're ever going to be on again, let me know, because I do not want to be on that episode.
MARIN: Oh, well, thank you. It's great, because we get to compete for a charity. And I love my charity, the Hispanic Scholarship Fund. And if you can win $1 million, that's going to make a great deal of difference.
COOPER: I know. And I was playing for Friends Indeed, which does grief counseling for people with life-threatening illnesses and their caregivers. And I wanted to win that $1 million for them. Unfortunately, I only won $25,000. But good luck. You're going to another round, right?
MARIN: Yes, we do. It's coming up pretty soon, too.
COOPER: All right. Well, I'll be rooting for you. Thank you very much, Cheech.
MARIN: Thank you very much, Anderson.
COOPER: Cheech can be seen shortly in the movie "The Perfect Game," opening in theaters April 16. And -- which is the true story of the winning 1957 Monterey, Mexico, Little League baseball game.
And you can also see Cheech with Tommy Chong on their "Get it Legal" tour. "Get it Legal." I cannot believe I lost to you, Cheech.
MARIN: See you in Edmonton on Saturday.
COOPER: All right, all right. Cool, take care.
All right. Up next, President Obama as you've never seen him before. New photos of the president's childhood. We'll show them to you and give you the story behind the photos, why they're being released right now.
And it has been one of the most popular stories on CNN.com all day. Oscar winner Sandra Bullock faced with sudden heart ache. Details on that ahead.
COOPER: Time to get caught up on some of the other stories tonight. Candy Crowley has the "360 Bulletin" -- Candy.
CROWLEY: Hi, Anderson.
A federal grand jury has issued subpoenas in the investigation of Nevada Senator John Ensign, who's accused of helping find lobbying work for the husband of his former mistress. The panel wants to see documents from a Republican campaign committee formerly chaired by Ensign. And KLSA-TV in Las Vegas is reporting several businessmen have also been subpoenaed.
A proposal to ban the export of Atlantic bluefin tuna has been rejected by the main international body on endangered species. Bluefin, which is consumed mainly as sushi, is heavily over-fished, but Japan and several other nations oppose the ban, saying it will devastate their fishing industry.
Facing allegations of infidelity, Jesse James says he's sorry for the pain and embarrassment he's caused his wife, Sandra Bullock, and his three children. However, he says most of those allegations are, quote, "untrue and unfounded."
New photos have emerged of President Obama when he was a little boy living in Indonesia and going by the name of Barry Soetoro. The snapshots are from a classmate's birthday party in Jakarta nearly 40 years ago. They were released just as President Obama was set to visit Indonesia. That trip has been postponed due to the health-care vote.
And down in Florida, a holiday heartburn combo platter. St. Patrick's Day, and a corn-beef-sandwich-eating contest. The time limit was ten minutes. This is so disgusting.
CROWLEY: The champion, Joey Chestnut.
COOPER: Joey Chestnut won. Yay!
CROWLEY: Yes, with 15 1/2 sandwiches.
COOPER: He's my favorite big eater, Joey Chestnut.
CROWLEY: He went home with $5,000, Anderson. I mean, the excitement continues.
By the way, Joey's nickname is Jaws.
COOPER: With a name like Chestnut, why not?
CROWLEY: Exactly. So it's really Jaws Chestnut.
I don't get how that is a sport. We don't -- no, we don't need to see more of this. Please, please. I don't get this sport. It's become an actual sport. People think it's a sport.
CROWLEY: You know, I wouldn't mind it so much, except for that they, like, douse it with water and it becomes -- whoa.
COOPER: Mush. I saw one -- a documentary about, like, the guy from Japan, who's an expert. He, like, massages his stomach. The whole thing was just disgusting. All right.
CROWLEY: Five thousand dollars. I'm just saying.
COOPER: There you go. Joey Chestnut. Who knew?
Back to health care at the top of the hour. What it will cost you and what's in the bill that has nothing, actually, to do with health care. We'll be right back.