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Republican Candidates Fight for New Hampshire; President Obama Squares Off With Senate; New Video of Casey Anthony

Aired January 5, 2012 - 22:00   ET


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening, everyone. It is 10:00 here on the East Coast.

And we begin "Keeping Them Honest" on the campaign trail, a lot of developments to tell you about, new polling in New Hampshire, the other candidates scrambling to catch local favorite Mitt Romney.

And some breaking news tonight. "The Boston Globe" just moments endorsing Jon Huntsman for the Republican nomination.

Candidates and surrogates launching verbal missiles at each other today, one, Newt Gingrich, lobbing a racially loaded hand grenade, another, Rick Santorum they're to explain his remarks which he now says weren't about race, even though he defended them just a day ago. He also got booed on stage. And we'll show you what that was all about.

First, the new polling from Suffolk University. It shows Mitt Romney with a commanding 41 percent of likely Republican voters. He's followed by Ron Paul at 18 percent. Rick Santorum at 8 percent and Gingrich tied with Jon Huntsman at 7 percent. This of course in New Hampshire.

Both Paul and Santorum are on the rise since Iowa. Congressman Paul took the day of from campaigning. Former Senator Santorum, though, had a full day trying to turn his near victory in Iowa into gains in New Hampshire, trying to sell his brand of social conservativism in a more "leave me alone" state. It has been a tougher sell than in Iowa.

Today at a diner in Tilton, New Hampshire, he was confronted by "Occupy" protesters. Then at a college event in Concord, he spoke about same-sex marriage, polygamy, the first lady, Michelle Obama's 2008 line -- quote -- "For the first time in my adult lifetime, I'm really proud of my country." He was booed leaving the stage. Take a look.


RICK SANTORUM (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Let me -- let me thank you all very, very much for being here, and for your time and attention. Thanks.

(END VIDEO CLIP) COOPER: The former Pennsylvania senator speaking tonight at a quite more friendly venue. A Faith, Family and Freedom town hall. "Keeping Them Honest," though, in some other recent statements that are really causing controversy, namely because the candidate is denying he even said what he appears to be saying. It happened at a campaign stop in Iowa on Sunday. Listen.


SANTORUM: I don't want to make black people's lives better by giving them somebody else's money. I want to give them the opportunity to go out and earn the money.


COOPER: Well, the next day, CBS' Scott Pelley asked him about that.


SCOTT PELLEY, CBS NEWS: You said that you don't want to make black people's lives better --

SANTORUM: Yes, I'm still --

PELLEY: -- by giving them somebody else's money. Why did you say that?

SANTORUM: I have seen -- I have seen that quote. I haven't seen the context in what that was made. Yesterday, I talked, for example, about a movie called -- what was it? "Waiting for Superman," which was about black children. And so I don't know whether if it was in response and I was talking after talking about that so let me just say, no matter what, I want to make every lives better. I don't want anybody, and I think if you look what I have been saying, I have been pretty clear about my concern for dependency in this country and concern for people not being more dependent on government, whatever their race or ethnicity is.


COOPER: That's Rick Santorum. Monday suggesting the problem might have been a lack of context. So to help you decide whether or not he was implying African-Americans are being supported by everyone else, we found a longer version of his remarks. Listen.


SANTORUM: It just keeps expanding. I was in Indianola a few months ago and I was talking to someone who works at the Department of Public Welfare here, and she told me that the state of Iowa is going to get fined if they don't sign up more people under the Medicaid program. They're just pushing harder and harder to get more and more of you dependent upon them so they can get your vote. That's what the bottom line. I don't want to make black people's lives better by giving them somebody else's money. I want to give them the opportunity to go out and earn the money.


COOPER: Seems clear the subject is welfare dependency and the dependent people. He's talking African-American. But now Senator Santorum, after explaining his remarks as if they were in fact racial, isn't saying no, he wasn't even -- well, he's saying he wasn't even talking about African-Americans, that the word black never actually passed his lips. That's what he's saying now. Listen.


SANTORUM: I looked at the video and I don't -- in fact, I'm pretty confident I didn't say black. When I think I started to say a word and sort of -- sort of mumbled it and changed my thought, but I don't -- I don't recall saying black. No one in that audience, no one listening, no reporter there, heard me say that. I think it was --and from everything I see and I have looked at it several times, I was starting to say one word and I sort of came up with a different word and moved on and it -- and it sounded like black.


COOPER: Well, the question is, do you buy that? You've already heard it once. And the second time in greater context. Just want to play for you one more time. You can decide for yourself. Listen.


SANTORUM: I don't want to make black people's lives better by giving them somebody else's money. I want to give them the opportunity to go out and earn the money.


COOPER: So decide for yourself. Newt Gingrich is also drawing fire. His remarks from this morning. Listen.


NEWT GINGRICH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: And so I'm prepared if the NAACP invites me, I will go to their convention and talk about why the African-American community should demand paychecks and not be satisfied with food stamps.


COOPER: A lot to talk about tonight. The polls, Santorum under fire on earmarks from John McCain and Rick Perry. And what comes next.

With us, John King in Bedford, New Hampshire. Joe Johns is in Charleston, South Carolina, and Dana Bash is in Washington. So, John, what did you make of the explanation that Santorum gave you, that he wasn't using the word black, that he was saying other word than he just kind of mumbled?

JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: You played it three times there, Anderson, and it does sound a little muddled, but he starts saying blah, and if he doesn't say the K, what blah people, B- L-A-H, what other word could it be, is the question.

Did he misspeak? We work on live television. I have covered politicians for 25 years. Of course people misspeak sometimes. Trip over their tongues sometimes. But what could he have been trying to say? Could he maybe have started to say black people, and then caught himself, and stopped and didn't quite finish the word?

So the context is critically important. It's hard to figure out what else he might have been trying to say. So now he's trying to say, well, look at my entire record. I have worked in African- American communities. You know, Jesse Jackson tonight issuing a statement saying this is deliberate.

I had just spoke to Marc Morial, the head of the National Urban League, who was the first leader of an African-American -- predominantly African-American organization criticized Rick Santorum and he says he's known him for years, he respects them, even though the differ, but he sees this as somehow trying to drive a wedge in playing Republican politics.

Is that what Senator Santorum was doing? Again, the senator says no, but he has certainly opened himself up. With success comes tougher scrutiny. And he had success in Iowa and he's getting scrubbed pretty good right now.

COOPER: And Joe, I guess the question is this, is that sort of explanation that he's giving going to fly with African-American voters and independents and others.

JOE JOHNS, CNN SENIOR CORRESPONDENT: You know, I talked to some people tonight. People who do not like Rick Santorum don't believe what he's about, are going to say this is code. This is code to try to get into the whole argument, which you heard from both of these politicians that leads you to redistributionist theory, the notion of taking money away from people who, quote-unquote, "deserve it," and giving to people who don't deserve it.

And then you throw in the added racial element. That's another issue, too. Long and short of it is this is the kind of debate that a lot of people want to have and it's funny. You know, I'm in South Carolina right now which is a place where every four years, we get into presidential politics, you see a huge amount of racial politics.

And it's always curious the way the questions turn to race as you start moving a little bit closer to the South Carolina primary. That said, you know, you have to take Santorum at his word that he didn't mean what he was saying. I listened to it several times. I thought he was saying something like blah, or as John suggests, maybe started to say the word black and moved away from it.

It's a great debate, though, quite frankly, and thanks for having it, Anderson.

COOPER: Dana, it's been a roller coaster couple of days for Santorum, basically tied Romney in Iowa. He's gotten a lot more scrutiny of what he has to say and attacks from other campaigns already. That seems to be heating up. Especially on this question of earmarks.

DANA BASH, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right. Never mind the whole issue of his social conservative background. And that is obviously what he's trying to appeal to people on. It's also the fiscal conservative and that is where some of his opponents are really trying to get him, saying, you know, he's just a big spender.

Ron Paul told me while I was in Iowa with him that he's nothing more than a liberal. Rick Santorum, yes, liberal. But then the question of earmarks. This really gets to the idea, first of all, that he's a spender and second of all, reminding people that he was in Washington for a long time, which he was.

What's -- keeping him honest here, what is the reality? The reality is that he was defeated in 2006, Anderson, before the rules were out there to force senators to disclose their earmarks, so we don't know exactly how many he got. It is possible and probably that it was about $1 billion or more, but we also know going through a simple nexus search, we saw press release after press release after press release from when he was in Congress touting all the money that he was bringing back for the people of Pennsylvania. Nothing controversial but he's certainly doing that.

COOPER: And we got word today, John, that Santorum is making a major ad buy in South Carolina. We know he's gotten a lot of donations this week. Something like $2 million. Even with that, though, can he really afford to compete down in South Carolina?

KING: Well, that's enough money to make a decent effort. Look, Governor Romney has way more money than anybody left in this race. The only person who, in the past, has proven he can raise anywhere close to Romney is Governor Perry who says he'll skip New Hampshire and be waiting down in South Carolina. Is that enough for Santorum to be competitive? Yes, it is, if you go back and look at the Huckabee model four years ago.

Santorum was just successful in Iowa, spending almost nothing. Governor Huckabee didn't have much money even when he came out of Iowa last time. He raised something probably comparable to what Santorum has done. Huckabee did not do well here in New Hampshire. Then he went on to South Carolina. If Fred Thompson had not been in the race four years ago, Mike Huckabee most likely would have won South Carolina.

So you can spend several hundred thousand dollars, maybe $1 million in South Carolina. The TV ad money, if he has that much money, that's enough to do it. The bigger question, Anderson, is putting together a network on the ground. Will the evangelical groups and organization, the homeschoolers, the preachers, will they come together for Santorum in South Carolina, like they did in Iowa or will the right be split?

Ron Paul gets a decent chunk of the evangelical vote. Rick Perry has potential there. Speaker Gingrich gets a little. Governor Romney gets a little. Will we have a repeat in South Carolina of 2008 where John McCain won the state and then was on a glide path to the nomination because the vote on the right was split. That's the big question in South Carolina.

COOPER: And Joe, you're in South Carolina. Is Perry already down there or is he still in Texas?

JOHNS: No, as I understand it, Perry is going to get here in a day or two. I have to pick up, though, on what John said.

You know, I talked tonight to Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention, and he says Rick Santorum is a guy everybody in the movement, evangelicals, Catholics, woke up the next day after the caucuses and said, wow, I can't believe this guy, our guy, is at the top of the heap of the Republican Party, but the question is whether he can actually convince that same group of people here in South Carolina and elsewhere that he can win because that's always been his problem.

People listen to him. He spoke their language. He carried their water, but the question has always been how far can Rick Santorum go? Now he's got people actually asking. Well, maybe he can actually do something here.

COOPER: Dana, Santorum seemed to be giving signals lately he'd like to change his inner image, telling interviewers he made some mistakes, maybe used the wrong tone from time to time. What do you think that really means? I mean, is there a chance that he can somehow shift and if so to what?

BASH: I think there is a chance because people really are starting to get to snow Rick Santorum now. Unfortunately for him, you played what happened to him today as he made his way through New Hampshire, it sounds like he got a little bit prickly particularly with those students when he was talking about the issue of gay marriage. That is not going to serve him sell if he's trying to change his tone.

I covered him for years in the Senate, Anderson, and I can tell you that he certainly did not make a lot of friends with that tone in some quarters, but he also did make a lot of friends with perhaps the kind of people that he's going to be appealing to in a state where Joe is, South Carolina. He was the head of the Republican Conference, which effectively means in the Senate, that he was the chief communicator and Republicans were very happy with the fact that he had some slash and burn rhetoric.

And that is the kind of thing that he is certainly banking on Republican voters appealing to Republican voters. COOPER: And John, "The Boston Globe" tonight, just moments ago, endorsing Huntsman. A big deal? Make a difference?

KING: I don't think newspaper endorsements make that big of a difference. Although it does give Governor Huntsman who is struggling. He may be skip -- not only did he skip Iowa, he insulted Iowa. And he's camped out here in New Hampshire. He's at 7 percent in the latest polls. Romney is at 41, Ron Paul at 18, Santorum at 8. Gingrich and Huntsman at 7.

If Huntsman finishes down there and finishes in single digits, Anderson, he is done. What can he do? He can say a newspaper that knows Mitt Romney as well as anybody has given me its endorsement. "The Boston Globe" is read by a lot of people in New Hampshire. I'm guessing they read the sports page more maybe than the editorial page.

But, you know, it gives Governor Huntsman something at a time when he needs something to grasp on. And I talked to him today and he's trying to keep his spirits up. But he's been here more than any other candidate. He's camped out here, Anderson. If you look at Huntsman right now, look, we've got five days to go. Let's let the voters decide but looks pretty bleak for him at the moment.

COOPER: Yes. John, Dana, and Joe, thanks.

Let us know what you think. We're on Facebook, Google+, add us to your circles. Or follow me on Twitter, @AndersonCooper. I will try to tweet some tonight.

Up next: President Obama triggering a showdown with the Senate by going around the Senate. He says he's simply doing what he was elected to do and the Constitution says he can. Republicans call it a power grab. We're keeping both sides honest tonight.

Also tonight, the Syrian dictatorship, they have been lying for months about the brutality. We all know that. They have been lying about the killings and the rest of the world sees it daily. Now a top-level defector from the regime is telling the truth. He's calling this a genocide, and he's only talking to CNN.

Later, this is how we're used to seeing Casey Anthony, acquitted in the killing of her daughter. But now there's a new video out with a drastically different looking Casey Anthony speaking out. It's a strange tape. We'll explain how it got out and we'll show you her in her own words.

We'll be right back.


COOPER: Well, the next story is causing a storm out on the campaign trail and back in Washington, a major show of political force by President Obama and a serious showdown with Republican lawmakers. We're talking about "Raw Politics" here, as rough as they come and as a chance for "Keeping Them Honest" on both sides. It hinges on President Obama's decision to appoint this man, Richard Cordray, to run the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and three members of the National Labor Relations Board. Now for months, Senate Republicans have been refusing to vote on a consumer board nominee because they want changes in how the agency works.

Yesterday, at the campaign stop in Cordray's home state, Ohio, which is also a presidential swing state, Mr. Obama said enough is enough.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: And I'm not going to stand by while a minority in the Senate puts party ideology ahead of the people that we were elected to serve.


COOPER: So what he did is go around the Senate, making what's called a recess appointment, and Republicans on and off the campaign trail erupted.


SANTORUM: What are rules to President Obama? Why do -- he is such a -- he is such an important man. I mean, he's the president of the United States, isn't he?

MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You just saw yesterday the president appoint people to the National Labor Relations Board without the confirmation of the Senate as a political payback to his friends.

GINGRICH: When a president decides to violate the spirit of the law, and to use the power of the presidency to reshape the government against the Congress, the Congress has an obligation to the people to defend our rights.


COOPER: Well, Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell issued a statement slamming the move saying the president -- quote -- "has arrogantly circumvented the American people." But "Keeping Them Honest," the constitutional allows for recess appointments, Article 2, Section 2 says -- quote -- "The president shall have power to fill up all vacancies that may happen during a recess of the Senate by granting commissions which shall expire the end of their next session."

Also "Keeping Them Honest," President Obama has exercised this power fewer times than other recent presidents, Democrat or Republican, at similar points in their presidencies, and the White House complains they have been facing more delays.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) JAY CARNEY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: President Obama currently has a total of 181 nominees pending before the Senate. Those nominees have been pending before the Senate for an average of 165 days. The fact of the matter is we've had an unprecedented level of obstruction when it comes to the confirmation -- often confirmation of routine appointments and nominations.


COOPER: Well, "Keeping Them Honest," though, the White House, this White House, did something different this time around. When the president nominated Richard Cordray and those three other officials, the Senate wasn't totally, utterly, completely in recess. It looked like this, a few senators show up, someone bangs the gavel, it's called a pro forma session.

To everyone, it mean your elected officials holding sessions and they admit this freely, and not really doing anything. It's a way to keep Congress open for business even though it's not formally meeting. For Republicans that means no recess, no appointment. And Republicans point out it was the Democrats who came up with the whole idea of pro forma sessions back in 2007 to -- guess what -- block President Bush's nominees.

Joining us now, chief White House correspondent, Jessica Yellin, also former Bush White House spokesman Ari Fleischer, and former Obama deputy White House press secretary, Bill Burton.

So, Jessica, even talking to officials at the White House, how are they justifying this move?

JESSICA YELLIN, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: First of all, Anderson, I have just learned that the president is going to be visiting the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau tomorrow morning to -- depending on how you look at it -- rub salt in the wound or squeeze the last bit of media attention out of this story on the same day jobs numbers come out tomorrow.

But to your question, yes, I have been talking to White House officials. And White House counsel Kathy Ruemmler simply doesn't believe that the Senate is in session. She says that banging a gavel, standing around for 30 seconds and banging the gavel again does not allow the Senate to fulfill its constitutional responsibilities. So the president had to do what he had to do to fulfill his. That's what she says. Bottom line, the White House is calling a Senate's bluff on this time.

COOPER: So, Ari, where do you stand on this? I mean, as much Republicans might not like it, the Constitution doesn't explicitly say how much time is needed for a recess appointment to be made, so is the president on any solid ground here from your standpoint?

ARI FLEISCHER, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: No, he's not, and this is fundamentally corrosive. And that's why this is such a disturbing thing that the president has done. The problem here, Anderson, is the Senate is not in recess and it was defined as not in recess by its own Democrat leader, Harry Reid, when Harry Reid, as you pointed out, employed this technique to stop George Bush from issuing recess appointments.

Nothing wrong with recess appointments. All presidents have done them. President Obama has done them and I have not criticized the president for them. But when the Senate is in session, even in a pro forma, that little technicality which was invented by the Democrats, the president cannot make appointments. That's what's destructive about this, because now the precedent is set for all future presidents to use the Obama-get-around-the-Constitution technique and no president can get around the Constitution.

COOPER: Bill, what about that? I mean, didn't the Democrats do the same thing to President Bush in 2007 and 2008, calling them -- calling -- you know, didn't they do the same thing?

BILL BURTON, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Well, for starters, it was President Bush's White House counsel who first said that making appointments during pro forma sessions would be OK, but secondly, the notion that it can get anymore --


FLEISCHER: No. And Bush never did that. Bush never did one.

BURTON: The notion that it could get any more corrosive or partisan in Washington seems hard to believe considering that Republicans have tried at all points to stop President Obama's nominees. Be it for executive agencies, be it for the courts, be it for anything that he tries to do. Mitch McConnell considers his number one job to stop the president from being reelected. This is just one part of that.

COOPER: Ari, what about that? I mean, there are a lot of Democrats doing --

FLEISCHER: Yes, sure. Anderson, I remember whining about the same thing when I was the press secretary, and Democratic Senate, which is a Democratic Senate at the beginning of the Bush administration, under George Mitchell, the majority leader. They blocked Bush's appointments to sub-cabinet and agencies and at the courts. All White House's moan about that.

COOPER: So you don't buy the idea that this is a --


FLEISCHER: But the Constitution is above this.

COOPER: You don't buy the idea, Ari --

FLEISCHER: That's the real issue here.

COOPER: The White House is sayings this is an unprecedented level of obstruction by this -- by the GOP. You don't buy that.

FLEISCHER: That's what I mean. All White Houses whine and moan about that. We all have huge numbers we can roll out. They're showing what our numbers of blockages were and we had huge numbers blocked by the Senate. But what it also shows at its core, and this is the biggest issue, is Barack Obama is not a reformer. He didn't come to change Washington. He came to preserve his own brand.

You go back to his original campaign. He said he'd take public financing. He realized he'd make more without it. He didn't take it. He said no lobbyists to the White House. He let lobbyists into the White House. He said no signing statements because it's an abuse of presidential power, he issues signing statements.

Now this. You know, the president's words are wind. They don't have any value. His actions are very expensive and they're putting us into debt, but the president, his words are meaningless. The man is not a reformer.

BURTON: For starters, Ari --

FLEISCHER: All he wants to do is preserve his own brand.


BURTON: For starters, Ari, the president never said he would have no presidential signing statements. He said that he would use them differently than the way that they were abused in the Bush administration.

FLEISCHER: He used them all over the place.

BURTON: And then secondly -- secondly, public financing, I mean, the public finance system is broken, but thirdly, I mean, the notion that the president shouldn't be able to do his job --

FLEISCHER: Barack Obama is broken.

BURTON: -- is the notion that the president shouldn't be able to do his job because Mitch McConnell doesn't think he ought to be re- elected isn't how the government should work. So the president says that consumers ought to be protected and there's a guy he ought to put on the job in order to run the Consumer Financial Protection Board, then he's going to do that and he ought to do that because he's the president of the United States and it's his job to protect the American people.

FLEISCHER: You know, Bill, the problem --

YELLIN: Anderson, there was a way around this.

FLEISCHER: The problem with that is the future precedent it's setting. When Harry Reid employed this technique against George Bush, George Bush yielded. Because he realized the Senate is session, you can't appoint. Now that Barack Obama has broken this egg, it will not get put back together. You created the precedent for all future presidents regardless of party to do this to the opposition.


COOPER: I want to bring in Jessica here -- Jessica.

FLEISCHER: That's destructive.

YELLIN: In fairness, George Bush cut a deal with members of the Senate to allow some appointments to go through and then he yielded, but to this -- to this exact moment, Anderson, the president had an opportunity here to do something different. There was a moment on January 3 when he -- between gavels, he could have done what other presidents do. When the gavel out one session and gavel in another, he could have just recess appointed then. And it wouldn't have caused this same attention and anger.

COOPER: So why did he do that? Is this about politics?

YELLIN: This is politics. And the timing of it is about politics and the timing was to get as much notice and attention as possible, to send essentially I would say three messages. One is a message to Republicans basically, I'm not going to take any from the White House's perspective, they're not going to take anymore flack -- about this gridlock on these consumer issues.

Two is a message to voters. You know, their campaign theme is about working Americans. He's going to fight for working Americans. It's a perfect issue to take a stand on.

Ad three you remember how everyone was, the Democratic Party was so angry that he was giving away the store to Republicans, and he had no spine, well, now that's so six months. Look at this guy. He's like bold, and he's brash and he's standing up to Congress, and so, the Democratic base can get excited about it. It's an election year move and it's new, fierce campaign Obama.

COOPER: We have got to leave it there.

Jessica Yellin, Ari Fleischer, Bill Burton, thanks.

Still ahead: a chilling firsthand account of what is happening inside Syria. The man speaking out tonight is a former Syrian defense official who's defected. You're going to hear him tell what he witnessed from his former 12-floor office before he left his country.

Also, tonight, this is Casey Anthony six months ago during her murder trial. In a video we're going to show you in a few moment, this surfaced on YouTube, she's had a complete makeover. She's blond now. The Florida mom was acquitted of killing her toddler daughter, talks for four minutes, never once mentions Caylee.

Hear what Dr. Drew makes of it all. You'll see the video.


COOPER: In Syria, an opposition group says 24 more people died today in five different provinces throughout the country. This video purportedly shows security forces firing at demonstrators today in Irvine (ph) in Syria. We, of course, cannot independently confirm the video's authenticity.

The numbers, though, as staggering. At least 5,000 dead in the past ten months in the government crackdown of protesters. And that number may be much higher.

Time and time again the government blames the violence on armed terrorists, and time and time again, people inside Syria tell us that's just not true. Tonight a new voice in the chorus of telling the story. Firsthand account from a former defense official in the Syrian government who's defected.

We heard terrifying details about what is going on inside Syria before. But perhaps none as chilling as those that are now coming from this former official. Arwa Damon talked with him. I spoke to her just a short time ago.


COOPER: So Arwa, former Syrian defense official who recently defected to Egypt spoke out yesterday. And he had some really disturbing details about how the Syrian regime operates, including paying thugs $100 a day to crack down on protesters. What else did he say?

ARWA DAMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Narudad Hashamad (ph) was also talking about how, from his 12th floor office in the ministry of defense, where he used to work as an inspector overseeing the finances of the ministry, he was seeing and hearing about how detainees were being brought in by the busload, handcuffed and blindfolded, at times, he was saying, being held in underground prisons.

He was also saying that the government was basically using funds from the ministry to finance these armed gangs that were in times made up of just pro-government thugs combined with members of the intelligence services, the air force, other members of the arms forces to formulate these armed gangs that he was basically using as hit squads to go after the Syrian demonstrators. It was really quite a chilling and horrific image, Anderson.

COOPER: He also described seeing vans marked with the Syrian Red Crescent insignia firing at crowds of protesters. So people inside the vans actually firing at protesters.

DAMON: Yes, and that is what he said was the most horrific thing that he had witnessed. These vehicles that were being marked with the insignia of the Syrian Red Crescent. This is something that is meant to be medical relief. This is something that is meant to signify medical aid.

And Anderson, he was saying the Syrian government was using this as an excuse to go in amongst the protesters who would be naturally assuming that this was some sort of medical aid, just to fire on them.

COOPER: What did he have to say about Bashar al-Assad's control of the situation in Syria?

DAMON: Well, he believes that he lost control over these monsters, as he was calling them. And he described the situation in Syria as being a genocide. And that's quite interesting, because a number of analysts have had conflicting opinions as to whether or not Bashar al-Assad actually has control over what's taking place, whether or not he's giving direct orders.

Despite the conflicting information that we're getting, there's one fact that remains fundamentally true. And that is that people are dying by the day and their cries grow more desperate. When you talk to these people, Anderson, as you and I have, their voices, they're filled with disappointment. They're filled with despair. They're filled with anguish. And they're just looking for a solution, a solution that the Arab League has failed to provide them, a solution that the international community has failed to provide them.

COOPER: And as you mentioned, this defector, this former defense official did use the term "genocide" to describe what is happening there. I appreciate the time tonight. Thank you.


COOPER: Arwa Damon reporting.

Susan Hendricks is following some other stories for us tonight. She's back with the "360 News & Business Bulletin" -- Susan.

SUSAN HENDRICKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, in Iraq, attackers killed 60 people today, renewing fears of sectarian violence in that country. According to authorities, the bombings targeted Shiites.

Prosecutors in the trial of former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak today wrapped up their case by calling for Mubarak to be hanged. They said he bears full responsibility for the killing of hundreds of protesters during last year's uprising against his regime.

And in Denver, a 36-year-old woman, seen here, has been charged with damaging an abstract painting worth up to $40 million. She allegedly scratched, hit, and leaned against the painting and then urinated on the floor nearby. Museum officials say the repairs will cost about $10,000. No word on why she did that.

In Japan, a record sale at the world's largest fish market. A local sushi company bought a 593-pound blue-fin tuna for about $740,000, or more than $1,200 a pound. The buyer said he wanted to keep the tuna in Japan and support the local fishing industry after last year's devastating earthquake and tsunami. And that is just what he did -- Anderson.

COOPER: A lot of money. Susan, thanks.

Time now for "The Shot." Last month Jimmy Kimmel asked parents to prank their kids by pretending to give them terrible Christmas presents and videotaping the results. Let's just say they really got into the spirit. They sent Kimmel so many videos he made a sequel. Take a look.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Really? Taco seasoning.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, don't you like tacos?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Only except I can't make it.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hold it open so I can see it. What is this? It's a 3DS, and Mr. Potato head. That's what you wanted for Christmas.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, a 3DS game. This is not the 3DS I can play with. I'm going to my room.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That's what you wanted, Shawn.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You guys are the worst.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He likes his present.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He got the best. And I got the worst! No fair!




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Say, "Good-bye, Jimmy Kimmel."


COOPER: Wow. It's cruel, but it's funny, you've got to admit. I like the kid who just appreciated that potato. You know? It's kind of nice.

Still ahead, no joke here, Casey Anthony resurfacing in a strange YouTube video. The new version of the Florida mom is nothing like the one we all watched during her murder trial when she broke down while watching video of her daughter. We'll see how she looks now and what she said and didn't say in this video. And we'll talk to Dr. Drew about what may be behind it.

Also ahead, new developments tonight, in the story of an Oklahoma mom who killed an intruder to protect her baby.


COOPER: Casey Anthony, who's been called the most hated person in America, has resurfaced in a video posted on YouTube. It's not clear who posted it. We'll play some of it in just a moment.

This is how we all remember the Florida mom who was acquitted last July of murdering her 2-year-old daughter. Millions watched her day after day during her televised trial, sitting with her lawyers as her family and other witnesses took the stand to testify about the days and weeks before and after little Caylee disappeared.

Now, Casey didn't report her missing until weeks later and lied to police, telling them an imaginary nanny had taken her child. She's been living in an undisclosed location in Florida, serving a one-year probation sentence for a 2010 check fraud conviction.

In the video she doesn't mention her dead daughter. She's also now a blonde. Listen.


CASEY ANTHONY, ACQUITTED OF MURDER: Oh, man. I don't know. Just a little surreal how much things have changed since July and how many things haven't changed.

But the good thing is that things are starting to look up, and things are starting to change in a good way. It's just what they say. That things stay good and that they only get better. They'll only get better.

So this is the end of my first video log. I'll probably do another one later. Maybe I'll bring the dog. Who knows? But this is again the first of many. And I'm looking forward to this. It's a little scary, because I hate being on camera. But, I don't know, this is a good start. So here's something. The end of the first, just the beginning.


COOPER: Anthony's lawyer said that his client did not release the video or upload it to YouTube. He says he's kept notes and -- she's kept notes and memoirs for her personal counseling. It's not clear if the video is meant to be part of that record.

Dr. Drew Pinsky, host of HLN's "Dr. Drew," joins me now.

It's really bizarre, this whole thing. I have no idea. What do you make of this?

DR. DREW PINSKY: I -- I feel like you, Anderson. It's bizarre. Something that was brought up and put up in October. And one of her sort of -- I don't want to call her fans, but someone who has followed her case very faithfully and doesn't want Casey to capitalize in any way on her fame -- her infamy is the person that came across this thing and posted it. And that's what brought it to national attention.

If this is something, as the attorney suggest, something that was used as part of the therapeutic process, it kind of had that feel to it for me. It seems like something that she was using for own personal reflection, not something that she would use necessarily to put out.

And the sort of consternation this is creating is the sense that perhaps this is Casey again getting out there in the public eye, thinking about herself, nowhere in this tape mentioning the daughter who is dead, and not seeming to have any more contrition about this horrible, horrible set of affairs.

COOPER: It's odd, though, to videotape something like this. I mean, if it's for therapeutic purposes, you know, a lot of therapists talk about writing stuff down and keeping a journal or something like that. Have you heard of suggestions that people keep a video journal?

PINSKY: I have, particularly people that have difficulty expressing themselves on -- in a written account. This is something that could happen. And in fact, I'm -- the kinds of things I suspect may well be going on with Casey in terms of her brain functioning, it might be useful for her to see herself in a reflective capacity in terms of how she expresses herself, how she has perceived herself, how other people perceive her.

For instance, if indeed she had put this thing up -- let's say she was somehow involved in this thing being distributed -- the fact that she has no recollection, no understanding, didn't learn that people would be outraged that she doesn't seem contrite or concerned about the loss of her daughter. That seems, you know, to those of us that watched this case, that's the one thing, other than her lying, that has been consistently sort of baffling: how she could be so self- preoccupied and yet seem to have no real concern about this young girl who lost her life.

COOPER: I want to play a little bit more in a second. But I mean, the other possibility -- and I guess there's many possibilities -- one possibility, though, is that she did, in fact, contrary to what her lawyers says -- want this to get out as kind of -- kind of testing of people's mood about her, what the reaction is it to -- to her is.

And also there has never been, you know, a paid interview that she did, post this. There would be such outrage against anyone who paid for an interview. I'm wondering is this is maybe somehow trying to keep herself in the public eye in some weird way?

PINSKY: And she certainly -- that would fit with the Casey as we came to know her throughout the trial. She always was, you know, the people that the investigators had spent time with her talked about how she always joked about going on Howard Stern and being in the public, you know, being seen and how she seemed to enjoy having the cameras follow her all the time. And that's what people are suspicious of. That she somehow was duplicitous in getting this thing out.

But the fact that it was back in October that she first put it up and that somebody came just sort of came upon it and so much self reflective, in a way. It's not as though she's telling a story to anybody or justifying anything. She seems to be talking to herself in this. And that isn't consistent with it being something that she intended to be a part of somehow getting back in the public eye.

COOPER: All right. Let's play a little bit more.


ANTHONY: This has been such a blessing in so many ways. And now I have somebody to talk to when I'm by myself so I'm not bothering the poor dog, whom I've adopted and I love. And he's as much my dog as any of the other pets I've ever had.


COOPER: Again, as you mentioned, she doesn't mention Caylee, doesn't mention her family, talks a lot about this dog.

PINSKY: Right. And if her care of a child is any example of how she might care for a pet, we should all be very concerned about the well-being of this animal.

And there's another interesting piece in that tape you just showed, where she talks about there being blessings in many ways. And that's the kind of language we're used to hearing from somebody who's in treatment. When they start to make progress, they start to see the opportunity to get well, and they start to feel enriched and sort of begin to flourish and feel a sense of spiritual awakening, they'll talk about the whole experience being a blessing.

And that was, for me, kind of a tip that we might be seeing somebody right here who's actually in treatment and, as part of that treatment, creating a video dialogue.

COOPER: Dr. Drew, thanks.

PINSKY: Thank you.

COOPER: Strange stuff.

Still ahead, a "360 Follow" on that Oklahoma mom who killed a man who broke into her home. The baby is safe. The intruder's accomplice, not the mom, is now facing first-degree murder charges. She dialed 911 for permission to shoot the guy.

Also ahead, Dr. William Pettit. You may remember him. His wife and two daughters were murdered in 2007 in that horrible home invasion. Police are preparing for a major change in 2012. We'll tell what you his plans are.


HENDRICKS: Hi there. Susan Hendricks. More from Anderson in just a moment, but first, a "360 Bulletin."

A man accused of breaking into the home of a young Oklahoma mother is charged with murder because his alleged accomplice was shot and killed during the break-in. Dustin Stewart did not pull the trigger. The young mom did in self-defense while on the phone with a 911 operator.


SARAH MCKINLEY, SHOT INTRUDER: I have two guns in my hand. Is it OK to shoot him if he comes in this door?

DIANE GRAHAM, 911 OPERATOR: You have to do whatever you can do to protect yourself. I can't tell you that you can do that, but you do what you have to do to protect your baby.


HENDRICKS: And she did just that.

Now to this story. Hundreds of people packed in a New York City church today for the funeral of three young girls, ages 10 and 7-year- old twin sisters, who died at a fire in their Connecticut home on Christmas day.

Dr. William Pettit is engaged to be married again. You may remember his wife and two daughters were brutally murdered during an invasion in their home in 2007. Dr. Pettit, who is 55, survived that violence. His fiance is a 34-year-old photographer.

Philadelphia police need help in identifying the men involved in this brawl after Monday's hockey game between the Flyers and the Rangers. Three men in Flyers jerseys jumped two men in Rangers shirts. A Rangers fan, an off-duty cop from New Jersey, is now recovering from his injuries, as well.

Anderson, back to you.

COOPER: "ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT" ahead at 11. Erin, what's up?

ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: All right. Well, Anderson, we're going to talk about where Mitt Romney spent his day. South Carolina and some comments Rick Santorum made. A little fight he had with a student in New Hampshire about gay marriage. How will that play in the battle for South Carolina and evangelicals?

Mitt Romney's top advisor, Eric Fehrnstrom, joins us to talk about that and what is the margin of victory in New Hampshire.

Also tonight, Amy Chua. You don't know the name, Anderson, she's the international sensation, the woman who wrote "Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother." Well, now she says that her daughter in college doesn't need to call home to find out what to major in. They don't worry about calling her to find out if she's out drinking or doing something else at night, because being a tiger parent is the way to go.

She is our special guest tonight and also talks about why she really called her kid "garbage" once. That's coming up at the top of the hour.

COOPER: Wow. OK. Erin, thanks.

Coming up, a library goes to great lengths to get its overdue books back gets promptly filed in the book catalogue of "The RidicuList.".


COOPER: Time now for "The RidicuList." And tonight, we're adding library book bandits.

Perhaps in this age of technology, I should first take a moment to explain that iPads and Kindles and Nooks notwithstanding, there are still, throughout the land, magical places where can you go and take home actual books with actual pages. You can borrow as many books as you want, and get this: it is all for free. These places are called libraries, and all they ask is that you return the books in a few weeks.

But sometimes people forget. At that point a book becomes what is known as overdue. And there's a fine, usually something like a dime a day.

But what about people who forget for more than a few days and for whatever reason, they don't return the library books for several days or weeks or even months? We're talking about the most serious offenders, like this positively fearsome criminal duo, for example.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I tried to dress her, but she was too wiggly and floppy.


COOPER: Now I know what you're thinking. Cute little girl, right? Well, in the eyes of the local library, she's actually an unrepentant scofflaw who had not just one but two overdue library books. So the library took the only possible action that's appropriate in this situation. They sent a cop to her house.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I closed my door. I looked at my daughter. And she started crying. And I said, "What's the matter?"

And she goes, "Is that policeman going to arrest me?"


COOPER: All right. That's enough from the accomplice who goes by the alias Mommy. Let's hear from the pint-sized perpetrator herself, shall we?




COOPER: Well, maybe you should have thought about that when you were up to your neck in "Harold the Purple Crayon," discovering the joy of reading that lasts a lifetime. And, no, the policeman didn't arrest the little girl. Although you can just tell he really wanted to.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nobody wanted to, on this end, get involved in it, but the library contacted us. The chief delegated me, as I was one of the low men on the totem poll.


COOPER: Now clearly, this is why people get into law enforcement to serve, protect and chase down 5-year-olds with overdue copies of "Goodnight Moon."

Meanwhile, the justified outrage coming from the little girl's dad, well, it's just palpable.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I understand they want to get it back. But I just think that there's got to be a better way to do it.


COOPER: Well, the library director tells news station WBZ that she knew she'd take some heat over this but that it was a last resort targeting the worst offenders who hadn't responded to calls, e-mails and bills.

Now, listen, I have a lot of respect for librarians. My cousin's a librarian in Mississippi. But sending a cop? I ask you, Madam Library Director, what would Melville Dewey do? Anyhow -- I just made a Dewey decimal system reference.

The family in question says they never got any reminders. And yes, they did find the overdue books and return them, thereby clearing them from the library's most wanted list and returning the whole saga, on time, to the reference section on "The RidicuList."

OK. That's it for us. Thanks for watching.