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Push for Debate Details; October Surprises; Ahmadinejad's Photographer Defects

Aired October 1, 2012 - 20:00   ET


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Erin, thanks very much. Good evening, everyone.

With two days to go until the first presidential debate, President Obama and Mitt Romney will have the chance to press one another to answer questions that they themselves have been reluctant to answer.

We'll run through some big ones, "Keeping Them Honest" tonight. But first, we've got some late polling. New CNN/ORC numbers that show the race tightening. President Obama still leads among likely voters 50 to 47, but that three-point gap is within the poll's margin of error. By comparison, just after the conventions, Mr. Obama got a four-point bounce to put him in the lead by six.

Now the president's favorable rating meantime remains above the crucial 50 percent mark at 52 percent. Mr. Romney is close but still in negative territory at 49 percent. He enjoys an edge on handling the deficit and joblessness, but trails on virtually every other big issue, including Medicare, taxes and foreign policy.

"Keeping Them Honest," though, when it comes to some of those issues, both candidates have come up short either on specifics or credibility. Issues like cutting taxes without ballooning the deficit or burdening the middle class.

Now the Romney campaign has been asked again and again for specifics. Here's running mate Paul Ryan just yesterday on FOX News.


REP. PAUL RYAN (R), VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: There's been a traditional Democrat and Republican consensus lowering tax rates by broadening the tax base works. And you can --


CHRIS WALLACE, HOST, "FOX NEWS SUNDAY": but I have to -- you haven't given me the math.

RYAN: No, but you -- well, I don't have the -- it would take me too long to go through all of the math.

(END VIDEO CLIP) COOPER: Well, Chris Wallace kept trying but came away empty- handed. He's not the only one. Take a look.


BOB SCHIEFFER, CBS' "FACE THE NATION": Which of the deductions are you going to be willing to eliminate? Which of the tax credits are you going to -- when are you going to be able to tell us that?

MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: Well, we'll go through that process with Congress.

DAVID GREGORY, MSNBC'S "MEET THE PRESS": Give me an example of a loophole that you will close.

ROMNEY: Well, I can tell you that people at the high end, high- income taxpayers, are going to have fewer deductions and exemptions.

RYAN: Mitt Romney and I, based on our experience, think the best way to do this is to show the framework, show the outlines of these plans and then to work with Congress to do this.

ROMNEY: Well, that's something Congress and I will have to work out together.

SCOTT PELLEY, CBS' "60 MINUTES": The devil's in the details, though. What are we talking about? The mortgage deduction? The charitable deduction?

ROMNEY: The devil's in the details. The angel is in the policy, which is creating more jobs.


COOPER: Well, Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan, avoiding specifics. We're going to see what happens when Mr. Romney is asked specifics Wednesday night. As for President Obama, he may get some tough questions about how the White House has handled the aftermath to and the explanation of the Libya killings.

Listen to senior campaign advisor David Axelrod on CNN's "STATE OF THE UNION" with Candy Crowley.


DAVID AXELROD, SENIOR STRATEGIST TO THE OBAMA CAMPAIGN: The president called it an act of terror the day after it happened but when you're the responsible party, when you're the administration, you have a responsibility to act on what you know and what the intelligence community believes. This was -- this is being thoroughly investigated.


COOPER: He's saying that President Obama as early as the morning after the attacks in Benghazi identified the killings as an act of terror. In that Rose Garden speech that he's referring to, however, the president only mentions the word terror once, and it wasn't until the end of that speech. Also, it comes after the president speaks in broad terms, mentioning 9/11 and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Now you can decide for yourself if his one use of that word terror is directly defining what happened in Benghazi. Listen.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: As Americans, let us never, ever forget that our freedom is only sustained because there are people who are willing to fight for it, to stand up for it, and in some cases, lay down their lives for it. Our country is only as strong as the character of our people, and the service of those both civilian and military who represent us around the globe.

No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation, alter that character or eclipse the light of the values that we stand for. Today, we mourn four more Americans who represent the very best of the United States of America. We will not waver in our commitment to see that justice is done for this terrible act and make no mistake --


COOPER: So that was -- President Obama at the Rose Garden. Now, David Axelrod and others in the administration are now saying that he was quick to label the Benghazi killings an act of terror based on his wording there.

"Keeping Them Honest," that was both the first and last time he used that word in relation to this. Even days later, no one in the administration even came close to that language. Listen.


SUSAN RICE, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED NATIONS: It's important to know that there's an FBI investigation that has begun and will take some time to be completed. That will tell us with certainty what transpired but our current best assessment based on the information that we have at present is that, in fact, what this began as was a spontaneous, not a premeditated response to what had transpired in Cairo.

In Cairo, as you know, a few hours earlier there was a violent protest that was undertaken in reaction to this very offensive video that was disseminated.


COOPER: The U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice. Two Sundays ago, took another three days before the administration began acknowledging what many experts say should have been obvious.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SEN. JOE LIEBERMAN (I), CONNECTICUT: Let me begin by asking you whether you would say that Ambassador Stevens and the three other Americans died as a result of a terrorist attack.

MATTHEW OLSEN, NATIONAL COUNTERTERRORISM CENTER DIRECTOR: Certainly on that particular question, I would say yes. They were killed in the course of a terrorist attack on our embassy.


COOPER: Well, two days later, Secretary of State Clinton made it even plainer.


HILLARY CLINTON, SECRETARY OF STATE: What happened in Benghazi was a terrorist attack and we will not rest until we have tracked down and brought to justice the terrorists who murdered four Americans.


COOPER: Well, "Keeping Them Honest," if the White House wants credit for quickly labeling what happened in Benghazi an act of terror, can't also claim credit for prudently not calling it terrorism for so many days. Now whatever you think, clearly these are two candidates with some big questions to face and perhaps, they will less than 48 hours from now.

That debate, a lot to talk about for us. The polls, the debates, and big economic numbers coming out this week. Joining us is Republican strategist, Ari Fleischer, who serves as an unpaid occasional communications advisor to the Romney campaign. Also, Robert Reich, his new book is "Beyond Outrage." He's a former labor secretary in the Clinton administration, an economist and professor of public policy at the University of California at Berkeley.

Secretary Reich, let me start with you on the terror front and the Obama administration. Do you -- do you buy David Axelrod saying that President Obama labeled it terror the next day?

ROBERT REICH, FORMER U.S. LABOR SECRETARY: Well, it didn't sound from that context as if he labeled it as terrorism the next day, Anderson. But it does seem credible to me that the White House is sharing with the public what it knows when it knows. It's very difficult to get good information immediately. And as this issue becomes clearer, I think the White House has made a credible effort to tell the Americans what it, in fact, knows about it.

COOPER: Ari Fleischer, what about that? I mean David Axelrod is also saying look, you know, an investigation, you have to be prudent, you're president of the United States, you can't jump to conclusions.

ARI FLEISCHER, CNN POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR: You know, Anderson, I have a fair amount of sympathy. I stood on that podium at the White House in the case of terror attacks on our country. And you have to wait until you get all the facts and you speak, and you're under pressure to speak immediately. But in this case, I think there was a willful pattern in this administration of downplaying terrorist attacks against our country.

It was done with the underwear bomber on the airplane. It was done with the Times Square bomber, and then it was done in Benghazi, attributing the violence to the video. And that's where I fault the administration. I think it was a bungled response to what took place and only later after the intelligence officials made it very plain to them that they're on the wrong track, that the administration catch up to the right track.

COOPER: Secretary Reich, let's talk about the --

REICH: If I could -- if I could just say --


COOPER: Go ahead, go ahead. Yes.

REICH: If I could just say one thing before we go to the economy, I think it's much more dangerous in terms of public opinion to jump to conclusions. I mean, to say, for example, there are weapons of mass destruction in a country where it turns out there are not weapons of mass destruction, I think we -- you know, again, you want to be very careful before you cast blame and you label people terrorists. I think the administration has been enormously responsible. The easiest --


FLEISCHER: And you also -- but you also don't want to downplay it -- but you also don't want to downplay it and say it was attributed to a video when that clearly wasn't the case and they were overtaken by facts.

COOPER: Let's move on to the economic front. Secretary Reich, the Obama campaign has been making some very specific claims about how Mitt Romney's tax plan would affect the middle class. The governor can fight back by offering evidence the claims aren't true. Do you think they have done enough to actually offer specifics? And do you think he's going to have to do that at the debate?

REICH: I think he's going to have to offer specifics at some time, Anderson. I mean, look, there are not just magic asterisks in the Romney/Ryan program. There are complete empty sections of geography, complete deserts. I mean we don't even know how those huge tax cuts, mostly for the very wealthy, are going to be paid for. There's no idea of which loopholes are going to be closed, how loopholes are going to be closed, whether loopholes are going to be closed, what in fact is a loophole.

There's no there there. And until there is a there there, the public is not going to feel that this plan is credible.

COOPER: Ari, what about that? Because Romney and Ryan keep saying well, we believe we're going to work with Congress and work out those details.

FLEISCHER: Here's how I look at it. Number one, he's a candidate for office. When you look at the totality of his proposals, he says he can balance the budget in eight to 10 years. The president had to offer a very specific budget. It never once comes into balance.

Now, as for those specifics on taxes, I go back to the last time we successfully had major tax reform which was in 1986 with Ronald Reagan as president. And he didn't come out with all the specifics. He worked with the Congress behind the scenes, Senator Bob Packwood and the Senate, and Dan Rostenkowski, a Democrat, in the House.

They achieved meaningful tax reform because they kept those discussions private, they didn't draw public lines in the sand and therefore they emerged successful. Successful pattern to follow, Ronald Reagan's.

On the other hand, you had the debt limit talks in 2011 where President Obama in the middle of talks never, until to this day, has gotten specific. We don't know if he offered to raise the Medicare retirement age. We don't know how much he said he will cut Medicare and enact entitlement reform.

So he did the opposite. He went into a serious negotiation not as a candidate but as the president and never got specific. It's one of the reasons we never got a big debt limit deal. So I think Mitt Romney actually is following the Reagan pattern. The question is, who when it becomes to real negotiation with Congress will follow through and get it done? I think Mitt Romney would be stronger at that. The president, if he could have done it, would have done it.

COOPER: Well, Secretary Reich, you've said that President Obama hasn't give up specifics but go ahead.

REICH: But let me -- I think -- with due respect, with due respect to Mr. Fleischer, I mean the fact is when Ronald Reagan was running we didn't have the kind of budget deficit we have right now. It's very --


FLEISCHER: That's not the point.

REICH: Front and center. You cannot as a presidential candidate -- let me just, if I may, let me just finish this thought. You can't as a candidate preach big, big tax cuts, mostly to the very wealthy, at the same time you are adopting presumably a Ryan budget plan that lops off huge programs that a lot of the middle class and the poor depend on, and say, I don't know how I'm going to pay for it, those huge tax cuts. I don't know. I just don't know. We're going to leave it up to Congress.

That's the height of irresponsibility in a presidential campaign, where the budget deficit is critical.


FLEISCHER: Well, I think if that was the case, why didn't the president come out with his proposal so we could ever get a balanced budget? The Romney budget actually is specific to the point. We know it does come into balance. He did it, one, he's willing to -- block grant Medicaid. He's been very specific about that. Two, he said he will means test benefit programs for senior citizens who are wealthy. He's been specific about that.

We don't hear any of that from the president. Now I think that's going to get fleshed out in the course of the debate.

REICH: That's --

FLEISCHER: But the bigger point here is --


FLEISCHER: Remember what you just said.

COOPER: All right, finish up. Then we'll get --

FLEISCHER: But it was a real debate -- when it was a real debate in 2011, we needed meaningful policy, the president was AWOL. He was still unable to offer any specifics when the nation needed it the most.

COOPER: Secretary Reich, your final thought?

REICH: Well, the White House has come up with very specific plan. I mean it does eventually balance the budget but there are specifics. There's specifics in terms of raising taxes on the rich, there's specifics in terms of program cuts, there's specifics in terms of timetables.

Look -- I mean, it's not just me saying this. It's not just Democrats saying this. Independent policy analysts, the Tax Policy Center, others, very, very respected in Washington and elsewhere, are saying that the problem with the Romney plan is it doesn't add up. There's no mathematics that backs it.


REICH: And this is going to -- he's got to prepare -- he's got to -- Romney has got to prepare Wednesday night for a very succinct, clear statement of which loopholes and which tax avoidance schemes he is going to close and prevent.

COOPER: We'll see if this is one of the flash points on Wednesday night.

Secretary Reich, appreciate it. Ari Fleischer as well.

Let us know what you think. Follow me on Twitter right now, @Andersoncooper.

Do you think they have given enough specifics between tonight?

A lot of buzz obviously whenever former Mayor Rudy Giuliani says what's on his mind. He joins us next to talk about how to win a debate and the strange things the campaigns try to lower the bar for their debate performance although it seems like Governor Christie over the weekend didn't quite get that message from the Romney campaign. We'll tell you what he says, raising expectations for Mitt Romney. We'll be right back.


COOPER: Welcome back. In "Raw Politics," you don't need a special season for game playing. We got one, though. It comes every four years, just before the first presidential debate when candidates and surrogates do all they can to lower expectations ahead of the big night. Picture Mohammad Ali saying, I'm not the greatest, George Foreman is. In boxing that's a good way to maybe get your head handed to you. In debate politics, they call it using your head, playing the expectations game.

Now, in a close race, it matters no matter how absurd it may seem. It also matters when a player conspicuously fails to play, like this weekend when Romney supporter, Governor Chris Christie, boldly predicted in so many words that Romney would win by a knockout.

Let's talk about it tonight, as well as everything else that goes into winning a debate. Former New York mayor and presidential candidate, Rudy Giuliani, joins me.

So yesterday, Governor Christie kind of went against the Romney campaign general message, kind of raised expectations saying he was going to turn the race upside down, it was going to be a barn burner. Do you think that was a mistake?

RUDY GIULIANI, FORMER MAYOR OF NEW YORK: Well, I don't know. Chris is -- Chris is his own man, he's got his own views. I think Chris is right to the extent that it's a very important debate for -- more important debate for Governor Romney than it is for President Obama. We know President Obama. We either like him, don't like him or are in between. A lot more people have to get to know Governor Romney so it's a more important debate. I don't think it has to be barn burner. I think Governor Romney has to be presidential. I think he has to convey the kind of person that people would be comfortable with as president. I tend to think we kind of score this as if it's a boxing match or basketball game.

COOPER: You know what it's like to debate Mitt Romney. I don't want to rehash any old wounds but I do want to play just some of the things you guys got into and just ask you what he's like as a debater. Let us watch this.


COOPER: Governor Romney, was New York a sanctuary city?

ROMNEY: Absolutely. Called itself a sanctuary city. As a matter of fact, when the Welfare Reform Act that President Clinton brought forward said that they were going to end the sanctuary policy of New York City. The mayor actually brought a suit to maintain its sanctuary city status.


GIULIANI: It's unfortunate, but Mitt generally criticizes people in a situation in which he's had far the worst record. For example, in his case, there were six sanctuary cities. He did nothing about them. There was even a sanctuary mansion at his own home, illegal immigrants were being employed. Not -- not being turned in to anybody or by anyone.


COOPER: You're still wearing a red tie, by the way. Different tie, though.

GIULIANI: I hope so. My wife would be very upset at the same time.

COOPER: That was back in 2007. And again, not to debate that particular issue.


COOPER: But what's he like as a debater?

GIULIANI: He's a good debater. I mean I -- I think 11 debates I did with him. He didn't lose any one. He won a few of them. A couple he won really well. I don't ever remember him making a big mistake, you know, the kind of mistake that can live after you which is the most important thing. And he's very smart.

COOPER: But people say look, this is do or die for him. I mean he's got to break through in a way, I don't know if you think that's true. I mean you've said it's very important for him. Is just having a good debate enough for him?

GIULIANI: Because I think -- here's a different expectation level. The Obama campaign has put millions of dollars into trying to make him a monster or some kind of a demon, you know, rich man doesn't care about people. If he comes across as a relatively nice man, a decent man which he is, I think that will -- that will help him a lot. And I think that to try to go too far in a debate is always a mistake.

He's not -- he's not going to win the election with this debate. What he can do is to start setting a whole new narrative for him in this debate. I think that's what he can expect to accomplish. And in the president's case, the president is going to have to deal with the economic numbers, have to deal with the Libya issue.

COOPER: As a debater how do you rate President Obama?

GIULIANI: I think he's very good. I think both of them are playing the game. President Obama was saying something the other day, I'm not really a good debater. I'm not, gee, I don't really --

COOPER: They're both very, very smart guys. I mean there's no question.

GIULIANI: Yes, they're both -- if you talk about the top 1 percent.

COOPER: Right.

GIULIANI: Intellect, these guys are in the top 1 percent.

COOPER: Right.

GIULIANI: There's nothing to choose between them on intellect. There's a lot to choose between them on policy. I hope they get into a good discussion of policy because from my point of view I think Romney would get the better of that but I'm not sure. We'll see.

COOPER: We looked at past debates and some folks seem to get into trouble when they start debating over the debate rules themselves. I just want to play a quick montage of stuff.


WOLF BLITZER, ANCHOR, THE SITUATION ROOM: Well, on topic, I have to let Senator Obama respond. Senator, (INAUDIBLE). But go ahead and respond.


OBAMA: Wait, no, Hillary, you just spoke --

CLINTON: I did not -- I did not say anything about Ronald Reagan.

OBAMA: You just spoke for two minutes.

CLINTON: You said two things.

OBAMA: You can dispute that but let me -- let me finish. Hillary, you went on for two minutes. Let me finish.

ROMNEY: I'm speaking. I'm speaking. I'm speaking. I'm speaking. You get 30 seconds. This is the way the rules work here, is that I get 60 seconds and then you get 30 seconds to respond, right? Anderson?

GOV. RICK PERRY (R), TEXAS: You say that you knew --


ROMNEY: Would you please wait? Are you just going to keep talking?

JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Governor, Governor, take 30 seconds to respond. Then I want to move the conversation on. ROMNEY: Much longer than 30 seconds.

KING: I hope not.

ROMNEY: That's a long -- that's a long -- that's a long answer.


COOPER: So does anyone win in that conversation?

GIULIANI: No one wins in that situation. The rules are the rules. You got to stick with them.

COOPER: Right. These are rules always -- I mean people get upset but these are the rules that everyone agrees to.

GIULIANI: I know. I used to get upset with them -- I mean they are a little strange, you know.

COOPER: I mean they -- they can manipulate when there's multiple people on a stage.


COOPER: And then there's two leaders and they pinging back and forth.


COOPER: And by debate rules you got to give each 30 seconds.

GIULIANI: Right. But, you know, how are you going to solve the deficit?

COOPER: Right.

GIULIANI: In two minutes? Right?


I mean, so what does it reduce itself to? A bunch of sound bites. What I -- what I used to do is, I would prepare and I would come up with the three or four points that we had to make. Now, you're not supposed to take notes in with you but the minute I got on stage.

COOPER: You're right in there.

GIULIANI: While you were all introducing us, I would write down the number one point, number two point, number three point, number four point, and I always felt that I had accomplished what I had to accomplish in the debate if I got off maybe two or three of those points, if I made those points for my campaign.

COOPER: Right.

GIULIANI: And I'm sure they've got a couple of things like that that they feel they have to get in.

COOPER: It's going to be interesting. Mayor, thank you very much.

GIULIANI: thank you.

COOPER: Appreciate it.

Well, Wednesday's debate could be a game changer. Even if it's not, something else could shake up the race. The kind of late developments that make a voter rethink a candidate or president. They call it the October surprise.

Dana Bash breaks it down starting back in October of 1972.


DANA BASH, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Election year 1972. The raging unpopular war in Vietnam consumed the bitter campaign battle between President Nixon and George McGovern. Suddenly on October 26th, 12 days before the election, Vietnam negotiator Henry Kissinger made a surprise declaration, believed to cement Nixon's frontrunner status.

HENRY KISSINGER, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE: We believe that peace is at hand.

BASH: It was the first so-called October surprise, a late in the game campaign event with a significant impact on the election.

ROBERT DALLEK, PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN: In order to win re- election for Nixon in 1972, they needed to end the Vietnam War, and this was sort of the definitive statement.

BASH: The most famous October surprise was in 1980, and the surprise was what did not happen. Fifty-two U.S. hostages held in Iran were not released before the election, despite President Carter's efforts. Instead, they were freed as soon as Ronald Reagan was inaugurated, setting off Democratic suspicion never proven that Reagan emissaries back channeled with Iran to delay freeing the hostages and deny the troubled Carter campaign a huge pre-election boost.

DALLEK: It fed into the whole dynamic of the 1980 race in the sense that Jimmy Carter was a stumbling, ineffective president.

BASH: Fast forward to 1992. President George H.W. Bush was already on the ropes against Bill Clinton over a sluggish economy, when Casper Weinberger, former President Ronald Reagan's defense secretary, was implicated in the Iran contra scandal shortly before Election Day. Bad news that Bush, who served as Reagan's vice president, did not need.

In 2004, a classic October surprise. Osama bin Laden released a video on October 29th, just four days before Election Day in a razor- thin race between President Bush and John Kerry. Three years after 9/11, it served as a reminder of the terrorist threat and strategists in both parties believed helped President Bush.

More recently the term October surprise has come to mean a seismic event in the fall of an election year. Though most have centered around foreign policy, others have been about the economy, like in 2008. When the economy imploded, John McCain's advisors say his campaign collapsed along with it and never recovered.

Historians say in order for an October surprise to have a real 11th hour impact, it has to feed into a narrative that already exists, whether it's Carter's ineffectiveness or questions about McCain's credentials on the economy.

DALLEK: It's not so much that suddenly eureka, this is so surprising, so amazing, but rather, people nod, yes, this is where we thought things were going.

BASH (on camera): It's possible we may have already seen this election year's October surprise. Maybe it was how the candidates reacted to tragedy in Libya and the broader unrest in the Mideast, or maybe it was Mitt Romney's now infamous 47 percent remarks, or perhaps one or both of the campaigns is holding at a damaging information about the other, or there will be an unforeseen event on the world stage.

It's hard to say, since if we could guess, it would not be called an October surprise.

Dana Bash, CNN, Washington.


COOPER: Yes. We shall see what happens.

He was by far -- he was by the side of the Iranian president during his visit last week to the United Nations but now Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's personal photographer has decided to stay here in the United States. He's filing for asylum. We talked to his attorney. Live report next on 360.


COOPER: Well, it may be hard to believe but tomorrow will mark 10 years since the first shots of a string of sniper attacks gripped the nation's capital. Now the convicted shooter is speaking out about his crime. What he is now saying about it in his own words, ahead on the program.


COOPER: Welcome back. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's speech at the United Nations General Assembly last week was likely his last. His term as Iran's president ends this year.

To document his visit to New York City, he brought along his official photographer. Well, now Ahmadinejad is back home in Iran, but his photographer never left New York. According to his attorney, he's filing for asylum here in the U.S. He just spoke with CNN. Deborah Feyerick is here with the interview. Deb, on what grounds is he trying to stay in the United States?

DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anderson, you know, now that he has defected he simply can't go back. He's betrayed President Ahmadinejad. He can no longer be trusted by the regime, certainly not by the Ayatollahs who are running the country.

They imprisoned a top presidential aide last week for making relatively innocuous comment about women (inaudible) dress covering. Well, the Iranian photographer's lawyers suggest that the reason he defected Thursday is because he was asked to use his skills as a cameraman to do things for Iran against the United States.

Take a listen to what Paul O'Dwyer had to say.


PAUL O'DWYER, ATTORNEY FOR HASSEN GOLKANBHAN: I think when you have a lot of people on the ground who are fleeing and seeking asylum, that's not such an indication that the government is in trouble.

But when the senior figures for the government start to defect, then that's a sign that there is some sort of institutional crumbling going on. There were things he was expected to do that he was not comfortable with doing.

That he was quite opposed to, that the Iranian government then perceives him as being their opponent. So you're perceived as being part of the enemy when you're not doing what it is that they want you to do.


FEYERICK: Anderson, you can see that the way the lawyer couches the phrase is very, very careful, but this does appear to be premeditated. The cameraman does have a wife and children. They left Iran it appears sometime before Thursday, when the photographer defected following the U.N. General Assembly.

Now his family is trying to come to the United States and the lawyer is now working on that -- Anderson.

COOPER: So is he required to check in with anyone while he's waiting for his application to be processed? How does that work?

FEYERICK: Really, he's not. Even though he was part of this high-ranking delegation, his lawyer says he's not required to check in with any U.S. officials.

That said, Homeland Security will have to do a very thorough background check on this man to make sure he's not a threat to the United States. Also, there are a lot of diplomatic ramifications. His lawyer says they're trying to maintain a good relationship with the U.S. government to calm any concerns, but Anderson, think about it.

There have been other high-ranking Iranian defections to other countries recently and it is a sign that the people there probably are getting nervous in this last year of Ahmadinejad's tenure.

COOPER: Interesting. We'll see what happens. Deb Feyerick, thanks.

The D.C. sniper is speaking out about the shooting spree that gripped the nation's capital and claimed ten lives. Tomorrow marks a decade since the start of the attacks. Now Lee Boyd Malvo is speaking out about his crime.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was a monster. I mean, if you look up the definition, that's what a monster is.


COOPER: A look back at the D.C. sniper case next on 360.


COOPER: Crazy collision between a skateboarder and a deer during a race in Colorado. Luckily, no one was hurt. We're going to have the story behind this unbelievable video next.


COOPER: Welcome back. In "Crime and Punishment" tonight, a murderer speaks out 10 years after the crimes that put him in prison for life, crimes that made him, in his own words, a monster.

Tomorrow, the 10-year anniversary of the start of the sniper attacks that left ten people dead in the Washington, D.C. area. Lee Boyd Malvo was 17 years old at the time. He and John Mohammad were convicted in the shootings. Mohammad was executed in 2009.

Jurors gave Malvo life in prison believing that he was under Mohammad's control. In a rare interview with the "Washington Post," Malvo says he thinks if not for Mohammad's manipulation, he could have made something of his life.


LEE BOYD MALVO, CONVICTED D.C. SNIPER: You know, I was a monster, if -- if -- if you look up the definition, that's what a monster is. I was a ghoul. I was a thief. I stole people's lives. I did someone else's bidding just because they said so. That is the definition of a monster.

(END VIDEO CLIP) COOPER: Malvo also said there's no explanation for what he and Mohammad did and had this to say directly to the families of the people they murdered.


MALVO: I am sorry. I am sorry -- there's no way to express -- there's no way to express that. What am I going to tell them? I'm sorry I murdered your only child? I'm sorry I killed your husband? I'm sorry I murdered your wife? What do I tell the child who is waiting for his father to come home and dad never showed up? I mean, there's nothing --


COOPER: A much different demeanor than the Malvo of 10 years ago. After his arrest he bragged, was defiant, even laughed about the shootings that left 10 families devastated and terrified the entire D.C. area for 21 days. Here's a look back.


WOLF BLITZER, HOST, CNN'S "THE SITUATION ROOM": Montgomery County has been traumatized by five killings in less than 16 hours.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Shot while mowing his lawn.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right now, they don't know the motive.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No relationship between the victim --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Murderous spree.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Single shot. This time it took the life of a woman who was simply at a service station vacuuming her van.

DEIRDRE WALKER, FORMER ASSISTANT CHIEF OF POLICE, MONTGOMERY COUNTY: In that first 24 hour period where so many shootings occurred in Montgomery County, you know, this level of violence to us spoke to somebody who had snapped.

We were waiting for what we called a hot confrontation. We were waiting for this person to actively engage the police or, you know, shoot himself and that didn't happen. There was nothing. We felt like the first couple days, we were chasing a ghost.

COOPER: Word of another shooting, whether it is connected --

October 3rd, 2002, we had four shootings early in the morning, very short space of time from 7:40 or 7:41 to 9:58 was the last shooting, and then there was a break of several hours.

Then there was a shooting later that night. So you had five shootings in one day. That's when people really started to realize something is going on here. JOE JOHNS, CNN SENIOR CORRESPONDENT: All hell breaks loose. It's like a war zone. I live in Montgomery County, and you know, families are calling me, who is this? What's happening, do they have any leads? And I'm telling them no. The police say they don't have a clue.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Someone is so mean-spirited that they shot a child. Now, all of our victims have been innocent, have been defenseless, but now we're stepping over the line because our children don't deserve this.

JEANNE MESERVE, FORMER CNN HOMELAND SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: I was out at police headquarters that morning when our desk called and told us they were hearing on the scanner that there had been another shooting.

Chief Moose was out and about that morning in the parking lot doing live shots for the various network shows, and I immediately ran over to him and said chief, we understand there's been another shooting and a look crossed over his face. He pivoted and he went right back into police headquarters.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Apparently, a tarot card left at the scene of the shooting Monday in Prince Georges County, Maryland, the shooting at the middle school and written on that tarot card, say law enforcement sources was dear policemen, I am God.

COOPER: We begin with what might be a new development in the string of sniper shootings in the Washington, D.C. area. We underscore it might. The story is unfolding as we speak. The pictures now coming in from Manassas, Virginia, there was a shooting here a short time ago. One witness reported hearing a single shot as a man was pumping gas.

October 9th, there was a man named Dean Harold Myers who was shot and killed and someone reported seeing a white minivan leaving the scene, and that became sort of a red herring.

Police put that description out. A lot of reports poured in and of course, a white minivan is something, it's pretty common on the highways.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're getting word that around 9:30 a.m. Eastern in Fredericksburg, Virginia, there was another shooting incident, this one at an Exxon gas station.

JOHNS: We knew there was a fascination also with the media by that time, so stepping up in front of the TV camera, and I don't think I'm the only person who felt this way.

I really wondered whether, you know, that high-powered rifle was going to be trained on me or one of my colleagues. For me, this was NBC Nightly News in those days.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We begin with NBC's Joe Johns -- Joe.

JOHNS: Tom, it would be the boldest attack so far.

And listening to Tom Brokaw read the lead-in to me. I thought to myself what's the first thing that happens? Do you feel the bullet or hear the shot?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We just received word of another shooting in the Washington, D.C. area.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: In the parking lot of a Home Depot store.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Looking inside cars as they come by, everyone having to come to a stop and be questioned by the police.

WALKER: It wasn't so much that any of the killings stood out. It's sort of, for me, anyway, it was the violence and just the wanton randomness and I think to everybody in this community, that's sort of what struck the chord of fear.

JOHNS: It was just people going about their business, their daily lives, and just, you know, wiped out. The Home Depot shooting was just chilling. This was a woman who worked at the FBI walking I believe with her husband on the parking lot.

COOPER: The picture we're looking at would seem to indicate the whole area is shut down. One of the things I think that captured so many people's attention about this, not just that it was a year after 9/11.

And people didn't know if this was some sort of foreign terrorist or domestic terrorism or random street crime, but just that it was happening in real time and you didn't know when it was going to happen next, who the next person was going to get hit?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As you can see, the bus, the forward most bus up there is the one where the shooting victim was standing, on the steps. We now know he was the driver of the bus when he was gunned down and by all indications, the authorities --

WALKER: It was a call to a priest in Ashburn, Virginia, and it wasn't like a confession or protected communication. Malvo basically identified himself by his nickname, which was sniper.

And in order to shore up his credibility, made references to Montgomery, Alabama, you know, just gave us pieces that we didn't have prior to that phone call.

MESERVE: My colleagues and I were hearing from law enforcement sources that it was a Chevy Caprice, old, tinted windows. One of my colleagues got the license plate numbers. I from my sources got the names of the people who they thought were inside.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A federal arrest warrant has been issued for John Allen Mohammad, also known as John Allen Williams.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I heard the report of the kind of car they were looking for and the two occupants and the license plate number, and I pulled in the rest area in Frederick, Maryland at the Frederick County line and they were sitting there.

WALKER: The younger suspect, Malvo, had been up all night the night before scouting the area in preparation for the last shooting of the bus driver, Conrad Johnson in Montgomery County and hadn't had any sleep.

So when they parked, Mohammad went to sleep and said basically you're on watch, it's your job. So here's this 15-year-old, 16-year- old kid who hasn't slept in 24 hours and the first thing he does is fall asleep.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Two individuals were taken into custody there after a tip from a motorist. This arrest involved a warrant for John Allen Mohammad, also known as John Allen Williams and his 17- year-old stepson, John Lee Malvo.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I tell you, I never saw so many policemen and people coming in, in airplanes and stuff like that, getting down through the woods with the lights. It's something you'll never forget.

GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It's been such a terrible, horrifying last three weeks. We can only hope this is the end of it. We don't know that yet, but this is good news today.


COOPER: Ten years ago, it's hard to believe.

California's become the first state to ban a controversial therapy aimed at turning gay kids straight. When will the ban take effect? We'll tell you ahead.


COOPER: We are following a couple other stories right now. Susan Hendricks joins us with the "360 Bulletin" -- Susan.

SUSAN HENDRICKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, California Governor Jerry Brown today signed a bill banning a controversy therapy aimed at turning gay kids straight. California is the first state to outlaw the therapy. The law takes effect January 1st.

Federal officials say they have learned the true identity of the man charged with swindling millions in a fake Navy charity scam. It turns out the suspect identifying himself as Bobby Thompson is really named John Donald Cody.

He is shown here at his bond hearing just after his arrest last May. Cody's lawyer says he spent decades hiding from unrelated bank fraud charges.

Tomorrow is the day Michigan authorities expect to get the results of soil sample tests resulting from a recent tip in the Jimmy Hoffa case. The samples were taken from beneath a shed in suburban Detroit. The tests could determine if a body was buried there. An unexpected obstacle on the track of the high speed downhill skateboarding race. He was cruising about 45 miles per hour when this happened. A deer ran out on the course. He was not injured and the deer ran off. It appears the deer is OK, too.

COOPER: Wow. It happened so fast. That's incredible.

HENDRICKS: It did. They're OK.

COOPER: Lucky no one was injured. All right, Susan, thanks.

Quick note. We just found out that this program won an Emmy tonight for our reporting called "Bullying, It Stops Here." Want to congratulate everybody on the "360" staff for their work on a very important topic that we continue to cover.

Coming up, when you're a pop star, no matter what, the show must go on, even if you're Justin Bieber and you throw up onstage. The "Ridiculist" is next.


COOPER: All right, time now for the "Ridiculist." Tonight, we're adding all the nonbelievers out there. In case you don't know any 12-year-old girls a believer is what the kids called the super fans of pop star Justin Bieber.

You have the non-beliebers on the "Ridiculist." even if you're not familiar with his music. You think music should be in quotation marks when it refers to what he does, you got to admit that young man has one heck of a work ethic.

So much so, in fact, that even if he barfs onstage in the middle of a concert, he just keeps on going.

Yes. He just leaned right over and hurled onstage right in the middle of a song but do you think a little bit of vomit can stop the tiny juggernaut that is Justin Bieber? No.

He just kept on going. Later that night, he tweeted this. Quote, great show, getting better for tomorrow's show. Love you. And milk was a bad choice, lol.

By that, I guess he is referring to a scene from the movie "Anchor Man," which is laugh out loud funny or lol funny.

Justin Bieber has excellent taste in movies and upchucks and keeps on dancing. Bubble gum pop stars often exhibit stoicism in the face of adversity.

Take Demi Lovato who continued performing after pulling out her own hair extension.

Pop stars, the real heroes. They do what it takes to get the job done, always. Well, almost always. I direct your attention to the Ashlee Simpson lip sync tragedy of 2004. The humanity, that still hurts. That still hurts to watch. But you know what, these teen idols. They can all take a lesson from the one and only Beyonce who knows how to turn an onstage mishap into pure awesomeness.

The show must go on, people, and go on she does. Neither rain nor snow nor falling down nor hair extensions or trouble or flat-out upchucking in front of thousands of preteen girls will keep these pros from finishing their songs. Justin Bieber, we salute you.

That does it for us. See you again one hour from now, another edition of 360 at 10:00 p.m. Eastern. "PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT" starts now.