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tv   Anderson Cooper 360  CNN  January 24, 2012 1:00am-2:00am EST

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unapologetic and, let's face it, bloody funny. now "ac 360." newt gingrich a short time ago trying to take a campaign trail weapon out of the mitt romney's weapon. the allegation that speaker gingrich is a big money beltway influence peddler. that's the allegation. the romney campaign spent all day calling on speaker gingrich to reveal his consulting contract with freddie mac. tonight, speaker gingrich's lobbying firm did just that. only partly. releasing one year of a multiyear deal. just what is it gingrich was paid an estimated $1.7 million to do. that's not only the breaking news tonight. reports tonight out of las vegas 245 a gingrich friend is writing another $5 million check to the supersuper pac.
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all this showing that mitt romney's lead is evaporating in florida and basically gone nationwide. take a look at the latest tracking poll. shows a virtual-romney gingrich dead heat. that's a sharp change from just last week before this weekend's south carolina gingrich blowout victory. those numbers could and almost certainly will change, but for now, the trend is so worrying to the romney forces they're attacking the challenger, not through surrogates like they have in the past or through super pacs but directly. >> while florida families lost everything in the housing crisis, newt gingrich cashed in. gingrich was paid over $1.6 million by the scandal ridden agency that helped create the crisis. >> that new ad was straight from the romney campaign, this earlier today was straight from the stump. >> i'm calling on speaker gingrich to do two things, release all the work product associated with his work at freddie mac and return the funds he made from freddie mac. i wouldn't have normally
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suggested that other than he was the one that said if you made money on this failed model you ought to return that money. >> within hours of that, the gingrich people released the 2006 contract. you'll recall he's struggled in the past to explain the work he did for freddie mac and reconcile what appears to be beltway insider buck raking with his anti-beltway establishment campaign. is the what he said in november. >> i have never done any lobbying. every contract was written during the period i was out of the office and specifically said i would do know lobbying and offered advice as historian when they said we are now making loans to people with no credit history and have no record of paying back anything, that's what the government wants to do. i said to them at the time, this is a bubble, this is insane, this is impossible. tonight, one year of the contract is out. our political analyst gloria borge has the late details on it. the contract doesn't really tell us much of anything. a one line description of gingrich's job to provide quote
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consulting and related services. seems to be that's not really much of any kind of description. >> it's a little vague. the contract is with the gingrich group, not with newt gingrich himself. that exhibit 2, as it's called, about what he was supposed to do for freddie mac is vague. it seems to me when you have a one sentence agreement for $300,000 a year contract seems to me he was probably hired to be some kind of senior counselor, to be available when they needed him, to offer advice, perhaps. but it's very unclear and in washington, lots of agencies, lots of firms, businesses hire people who were once very powerful in congress to kind of be available to them, if you will, for strategic advice.
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the question i have, what kind of strategic advice was he giving. we heard him in the clip you played. there's also a quote from him on freddie mac's website from 2007, in which he says, that i'd be very careful about changing the model for freddie mac and fannie mae. he's been a little inconsistent. i think this still leaves the opening for the romney campaign to go after him and say, exactly what did you do for freddie mac? >> also, earlier this month, the gingrich campaign said freddie mac wouldn't let them release the contract, then freddie mac said, no, go right ahead, no problem with that. we're not blocking the release of the contract. now, the gingrich campaign is once again saying that they can't release any more information of this because of freddie mac.
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>> right. i spoke with a spokeswoman for the gingrich group. i pressed her on whether they had pressed freddie mac to release more information, and she wouldn't characterize it one way or another. she did say to me the reason we only have one year, by the way, of a consulting relationship that went on for about six years, is that they can't find some of the other contracts because they changed management at the gingrich group, but she did a say these are self-renewing contracts and they're pretty standard. but how hard gingrich pushed to release what the romney campaign wants, internal communication and more than this, we don't know. she did point out, however, they're governed by non-disclosure agreements they did sign with attorneys. >> gloria, appreciate the reporting. lots of talk about the contract and money and new polling, especially indications of another gingrich primary victory next tuesday. let's talk to democratic
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strategist james carville and republican strategist, bay buchanan, who is advising the romney campaign and david webb, founder of tea party 365 and host of the david web show on sirus xm radio. what do you make of this contract, james? >> i have a very simple solution. write a letter to freddie mac saying release everything, contracts, memos, all the work i did. the taxpayers have bailed this company out for a gazillion dollars. he's running for president of the united states. if romney had any kind of campaign, he'd be on that, like we say in louisiana, gravy on rice. >> does any ambiguity of what his services are, does that raise any questions for you or is that standard? >> you know this company paid him over $1.5 million, you know there's contracts, memos, meetings. this company was bailed out by the u.s. taxpayer.
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how simple can it be for him to write a letter saying, i released myself from any non-disclosure agreement and i want you to make all this public. due that and you see everything. you just have to do that one simple thing this is a taxpayer propped up entity here. anything about a nondisclosure agreement, you can get rid of it, just as easy as you signed it. >> bay, your candidate has some freddie mac issues of his own. he earned money with them in the second half of 2007. >> made with whom? >> freddie mac. his -- he's the one. mitt romney had no difficult explaining how he made his money. i'm sure if somebody were to ask him what was the contract with bain in that year. in fairness, i do believe he was gone from bain in 2007. fair enough, ask him what he did and he will tell you. he's been talking about what he did in the firm and different
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companies and how some succeeded and some didn't. he's been completely forthright. james is absolutely correct. is the an important issue. we need to know what newt did. he's been evading that question continually. changes it. first hired as an historian for goodness sakes. when nobody bought that line, he was moving it a little bit. if i was paid $25,000 a month, i'd be able to tell you why i was being paid. >> david, is this a big deal for you? >> yes, it is, as far as transparency. we've been asking that from the tea party movement. what speaker gingrich should do is what james suggested, write that letter releasing them from the nda. as to the romney issue, the difference is private capital versus public money. this institution has been bailed out with over $160 billion. there has been no accountability. too much failure. the housing crisis, one of the big problems we have now. i think it's fair if we're going
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to elect a president, on this one, i pick transparency over party, over candidate, it all needs to be out there. >> james, i want to read to you something that steve schmidt said. steve schmidt, one of mccain's top advisor in 2008. if newt gingrich is able to win the florida primary, you will see a panic and meltdown of the republican establishment that is beyond my ability to articulate in the english language. >> you know, i know steve well. he came from my class in tulane and a pretty blunt guy. you will. if romney doesn't win florida, there will be enormous pressure on him to get out. these guys are not going to let this thing go to newt gingrich, i can tell you. i can assure you that conference calls are being arranged, memos being exchanged and somebody has a plan b going here. romney better -- he's go the to show these people something here tonight on our network thursday night, he's going to be in real trouble. >> bay, i know you think mitt romney's resources and
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infrastructure will give him the advantage in florida. he's had the same advant >> i'm 61. >> i'm 40 years old. >> i'm 61 years old. at the media and bought the accusation that the media was outrageous and despicable. all this came into play. it was always a tough state for mitt. we knew iowa and south carolina were two tough ones. i can understand what happened in south carolina. very unusual. in florida, we have a little more time, be very aggressive. you put newt on the spot day in and day out, let's get him on the defense. we took the spotlight off newt, anderson. we beat him so badly in iowa and new hampshire, we took the spotlight off of him. we got to go back on, pressure him.
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in the past, he's not done well when the light of day is showing. we'll see what he does now. >> his big backer, adelson, is now going to pony up another $5 million for his super pac. that money was used to great effect in south carolina that was used to buy a lot of ads that hammered mitt romney. do you think it will help in florida? >> he has to compete in major markets. there are 10 markets in florida. he needs this money. you know, the infrastructure argument is going up against the message argument. the danger for mitt romney, although he's been in the state for months and done a very good job organizing, is newt can capture those votes from the message. he's tied himself to marco rubio. he's got an extensive outreach to a lot of conservatives in the state. and romney has to step up his game. romney has to now capture the first thing that any politician has to do, anderson, they have to get you to want to listen to
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them and pay attention. romney has been running a national strategy, now, he's got to think about a primary strategy, go to florida strong. that $5 million can make a difference. romney has to step up his game to make a real difference and expand his lead. >> do you think he can? does he have the fire newt gingrich has? also, working in his benefit is 30% of this early vote, almost 30% of the early vote is already in. >> romney's problem is he's terrible on his feet. he can't carry off an attack. he answers the wrong kind of question. he talks about $372,000 being pocket change. you've got to know you can't do this kind of thing. he's got to be a much better candidate. i never thought i would say this in my life. i agree with everything the tea party gentleman said. i thought his analysis was on point and cogent. romney people should be listening to it. the problem they have is they
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have everything but a candidate that's good on his feet. maybe he can -- maybe he can game up and maybe he can play tonight and maybe he can play thursday night. he's got to be a lot better than he's been. he has not been very good and he's not been very good at attacking and he's not very good at warding off attacks. >> anderson, in fairness to mitt romney, he won most of these debates. he's extremely good, extraordinarily knowledgeable. >> you're saying mitt romney won has to debates? >> in most of them. didn't win the last one. in fairness, the last one was about five minutes. did extraordinarily well in the rest. he did extraordinarily well and so did santorum but everybody focused on the first five minutes. that's all that it took and newt had that thing -- in fairness, i agree he needs to be tougher. >> in answer to releasing the tax question, i think that came way after the first five minutes. >> you are right. you're absolutely right.
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>> that didn't help him, anderson. but here's the thing. winning the debate is a subjective assessment. that really doesn't carry, has gingrich performed well and john king should be getting christmas gifts from newt for the rest of his life for that. what matters in the long run is the debate at the polls. in south carolina, where i talked to a lot of voters, i was down there also, they made their decision going into the polls, but they made it on that visceral gut reaction. who they felt could bloody president obama's nose, when in the long run, we have to look at the general election, find a candidate that can actually step out there, challenge and get conservatives and independents who will decide this election. >> we have to leave it there. i don't know if you want to record the point where james carville said he agreed with you. >> i think we should make a copy of it. >> if you want to play it on your radio show or not, i don't know if it will work for you or against you.
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>> got to call them like you see them. >> phone in twitter at anderson cooper. i'll be tweeting tonight. just reached 2 million followers. so thank you for that. up next, the kings to winning florida. john king walks us through it. also, millions and millions of dollars being pumped into shadowy super pacs. people writing big checks, apparently getting big results. the question is, who, if anyone, is regulating them. gabrielle gifford, just over a year since she was shot and almost killed. now she's stepping down from congress. we'll talk about why. now, we'll talk to isha. >> in the southeast, people are trying to salvage what they can after a powerful storm system did tremendous damage. we'll tell you what happened and how people are coping when "360" continues. ♪
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>> one week and one day from now, newt gingrich could do to romney what he did in south carolina. this race changes so quickly that a week and a day might as well just be a decade. the question tonight, how do you win florida? and does a victory in south carolina help? john king breaks it down. >> anderson, we know newt gingrich won in south carolina despite being out-spent by romney. dark, the romney spending and super pac spending? gingrich wins big and that isn't stopping the effort in florida from going up with tv ads. see romney campaign ads. this is just the campaign spending right here. let's bring in the pro romney super pac, restore our future. a lot of ads in this part of the state. why does that matter? restore our future, mostly negative ads on newt gingrich. this is a heavily conservative part of the state. the further south you go, the further north you get. bordering georgia and alabama a
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lot of conservative voters, ivan jellal voters and tea party voters and pro romney pac going after them. a lot of spending in jacksonville. why? a big military community, important base for the conservative party and i-4 corridor, more moderate voters critical to the romney campaign. is the naples market, retirees and military community very important. no spending as yet down in here. miami, cuban american population, a lot of radio targeting them. more expensive market and to the north, more spending. the circles may be confusing. i'll go back to the map in 2008 to show you what i mean. orange is mike huckabee, social conservatives. is the mccain-romney battle. a lot of spending, romney campaign getting a head start. we do know the gingrich campaign is about to buy ads. senator santorum saying he might not spend money for tv in florida and might wait down the
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road. >> clearly florida is a big media market, spending big money. for the first time in a presidential campaign, that means super pacs writing huge checks paying for attack ads. "keeping them honest," who controls these super pacs? who can regulate them and make them tell the truth? drew griffin reports. >> reporter: what has more baggage than the airlines? rick santorum, washington insider, big spender. >> they've been called the cancer of american politics, body of a broken and corrupt system. super pacs. if there is one man largely to blame for their rise in electoral power, it is james bopp. >> i think we have made significant progress to the effect of the first amendment. >> reporter: to bopp, free speech means free spending in politics. no limits. since there are limits on what
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individuals and corporations can give directly to a candidate, bopp joined a group called citizens united that took the fight for unlimited spending for a candidate all the way to the supreme court. advocacy groups that make up their own ads, make their own media purchases, free to take as much money from any as they want. the supreme court agreed, no limits. bopp calls it free speech. >> this is a government, of, by and for the people. not of, by and for the candidates or the news media, or the government. >> reporter: in fact, the government can't do anything about it. how can that be? we went to the federal elections commission, the place where candidates finances are closely scrutinized, commissioner donald mcgann admits super pacs can do just about anything they want. >> control is impossible because courts have already said that they're legal. so there's not much that the government can do to reign them in, so to speak. >> if you were running for
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president, the most money i could give you would be $2500 for the primaries and another $2500 for the general election. a total of $5,000. but if you had a super pac supporting you, why, i could give your super pac literally millions and millions of dollars. i don't, but foster friesz comes close. he may not have a billion, but he has lots and lots of millions and he's been giving freely to the super pac to the man he wants to be president, rick santorum. >> game on! >> how much? >> well, i -- it's like, i got to keep that from my wife. she could kill me if she really found out. i want to keep that under the radar. it will be reported eventually. i just believe in santorum and believe in what he can do for the country. >> reporter: under the super pac rules, the santorum-supporting red, white and blue funds will eventually tell us how much
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friess donated. on the day we met him, he was offering another half million dollars if sportsman across the nation would match him. >> bang, a million dollar hits. >> reporter: it's the campaign influence that makes paul ryan of the campaign legal center cringe. >> if you do agree with these decades-long principles and understandings that big distributions directly to candidates are a bad thing and potentially corrupting, then the super pacs put us right back to the pre-watergate era for potential corruption. >> reporter: friess thinks they're not needed and would like to give his money right to santorum himself and let everyone know it. even james bopp admits we'd be better off without a super pac. >> you can't vote for or against a super pac and can vote for a candidate. it would be better if this money went to candidates from an accountability standpoint.
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the voter could decide. >> reporter: the complaints revolves around what ifs, not what actually happened. paul ryan is convinced what's about to happen is a wave of political corruption. >> reporter: have you direct knowledge of corruption or anticipating that? >> no. i'm anticipating it. >> reporter: super pacs can be penalized if they fail to report in time or coordinate with a candidate, but investigations are rare and fines are, well, minuscule. don mcgann says if you don't like the rules, it's easy to find the people who wrote them. >> as an fec commissioner, i would say go to the folks who sit in the white dome, your elected representatives and complain to them whether the penalties are high enough, not the fec. >> reporter: atlanta. >> it's one of the reports cnn is releasing this week, in-depth look at politics. tomorrow is the "state of the union" address. special coverage on this program
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starting at 8:00 eastern time and the president's speech at 9:00, republican response followed by 360 wrap-up and analysis at midnight. congressman gabrielle giffords completes the congress on your corner meeting in tucson she started just over a year ago, the event that changed her life. she said she wanted to finish the event before she steps down. we'll take a close look at her long fight to recover from being shot in the head. we'll talk to dr. sanjay gupta about how she's doing. at least two people killed in birmingham, alabama, tens of thousands without power. we'll go live to alabama for the latest next. weight bala from front to back... and back to front. ♪ giving you exceptional control from left to right... and right to left. ♪ the cadillac cts.
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deadly storms hit the southeast killing at least two people and damage more than 100 and knocking out power to thousands. it's confirmed a tornado touched down in southwestern arkansas and in memphis and tennessee. one emergency official management said it looked like they dodged a bullet compared to the tornado damage in alabama. our meteorologist join us from clay, alabama. you're in clay. a tornado touched down there today. what's the latest, wolf? >> reporter: the worst news of all is the two fatalities we had. a 16-year-old girl in this community that passed away, not in this precise subdivision but the community of clay, alabama and a man who lost his life, 82 years old.
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those are the two we know of at this time. communication is still very poor around here. we've had some damage to cell towers. telephone poles have been flattened. but as we zoom out a little bit, our photojournalist shows us the damage to this community. what's amazing, anderson, if you look around this house, less than 24 hours ago, you had families going to bed, watching the football games last night but never in their wildest dreams knew this kind of destruction was coming. pan over to that doorway. i want anderson to see this. you'll see a sign that says mountaineer. that was part of an rv two or three blocks away picked up and thrown by winds topping 150 miles an hour that thrashed a subdivision of 35 homes, completely demolished and many unlivable. it is a miracle you only had two people that lost their lives in
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this area because the winds that came through were unbelievable. very few injuries and only one person had go to the hospital and the others got thrower rooms and walls and make their way through the storm. >> clay is in jefferson county, which has a history of really bad tornadoes going back to the '30s. this storm is unusual, though, for this time of year, right? >> reporter: it is kind of unusual. from a guy who grew up in alabama, we've had tornadoes every single month, every single season of the year. to have one this violent, this strong, move this quickly through parts of alabama, yes, that is a little bit out of the norm, to say the least. >> it's under a curfew, clay is. are more tornadoes expected? >> reporter: looks like the worst is over for now. there may be rain, a few thunderstorms that come back. i'd say by wednesday, thursday and friday this week, this part
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of alabama. in terms of severity, what we had the last 24 to 48 hours, no, we will not see that again for quite some time. >> so much devastation, reynolds, thanks for the reporting. stay safe. we're following a lot more. isha is back with the "360" bulletin. >> two more bodies have been recovered from the wreck of the costa concordia cruise ship bringing the confirmed death toll to 15 with about 17 others still missing. meanwhile, the cruise line offering passengers booked on concordia sailings through late march a 30% discount or they can cancel without penalty. the governor of pennsylvania has ordered all state flags to fly at half staff in honor of legendary penn state football coach joe paterno who died on sunday. he will be buried wednesday in a private service and public memorial thursday and scheduled tuesday and wednesday on campus are public viewings. he died three months after being fired after accusations he
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failed to respond to allegation of child sexual abuse by a former assistant coach. the parliament got to work and the chamber struggled to keep control as protesters gathered. and anderson, at the white house, senator john kerry took part in the celebration honoring the boston bruins for their stanley cup victory. according to reports, as you may be able to make out there, kerry is sporting black eyes because he broke his nose in a hockey game. he's some kind of hockey warrior. >> time for the shot for tonight's video. youtube shows a u.s. marine back from afghanistan, he and a fred took time out for fun in orlando, florida, the greatest video ever. let's just say it gives new meaning to -- take a look. >> here we go. >> can you give me like a countdown? >> argh! [ screaming ]
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[ screaming ] >> he's never going to live that down. >> talk about losing any kind of credibility you may have with the guys. >> he's expecting a countdown. >> [ screaming ] >> the other guy -- >> i can laugh because i giggle like a little girl. he screams like a girl. >> he does. you two should maybe catch up, feel giggles. >> i feel his pain right now. still ahead, congresswoman gabby giffords, resigning from congress a year after the bullet nearly killed her. what it reveals about her progress and the hurdles that still remain. we'll speak to our medical correspondent dr. sanjay gupta.
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also, a showdown between senator ron paul and in nashville, why the lawmaker wasn't able to board a flight today. everybody wants more financial control,
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>> up close, a new chapter for gabby giffords who broke the news she is resigning on a video message on her website. >> i don't remember much from that horrible day, but i will never forget the trust you
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placed in me, to be your voice. thank you for your prayers and for giving me time to recover. i have more work to do on my recovery, so to do what is best for arizona, i will step down this week. >> the horrible day was january 8th, 2011 when giffords and 11 others were gunned down in a supermarket parking lot. six people died including a 9-year-old girl. today in tucson, giffords finished with what she was stopped from doing a year ago, meeting with constituents at a corner event and met with other survivors of the shooting including a staffer who is credited with saving her life. tomorrow, she'll be at the state of the union address. she missed last year while in the hospital. >> congresswoman giffords says
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she can't remember much that happened the day she was shot in the head. considering the violence inflicted allegedly by jared loughner, that was just as well. >> was anybody injured? did you say gabrielle giffords was hit? >> she's hit. she's breathing. she still has a pulse and we have two people and we got one dead. >> there were other people injured? >> there's multiple people shot. >> okay. my god. >> a bullet passed through her brain. she was airlifted to a hospital. the odds of survival were razor thin. but she did survive and there was hope and even optimism voiced by her husband and staff about a full recovery. >> she's a young healthy person who is not only physically strong but mentally resilient. and, you know, they're rising to the occasion. >> the then 40-year-old giffords would basically have to relearn nearly every aspect of her life. the challenge is visible in this
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"abc news" special where she could barely walk or even remember simple words. >> watch me, gabby. gabby. watch me. watch me. >> we saw her frustration when words failed her. >> are you sad? >> but she fought through it all, although she was no longer able to full fit most of the duties of her office, she did make a surprise visit to washington in august to cast a vote in favor of raising the debt ceiling. her presence, helping a divided congress put aside partisan politics, if just for a moment. during her recovery the people of arizona didn't seem to mind she wasn't in washington everyday. just knowing she was still fighting was enough. >> knowing gabby and what she has accomplished in this last year of her recovery, who knows what will happen in the next two years. i don't believe we've seen the last of gabby giffords. >> so what's next for the
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retired congresswoman? listen to what her husband, retired astronaut mark kelly told abc's diane sawyer. >> africa. >> we're thinking of going on a trip next summer. >> other things you love right now? >> football. >> no. no. >> gabby loves -- >> awful, awful. >> loves. >> stinks! >> i'll get her to come around, eventually. >> coming around eventually and finishing what she started. >> a strong lady. chief medical correspondent dr. sanjay gupta is a neurosurgeon, he's treated many gunshot victims. he's followed gabby giffords story closely. it is amazing how far she's come. you can hear, though, she still struggles stringing together multiple sentences. is that typical? >> yeah. it's hard to believe it's been just over a year now anderson. what i would say as a starting point, her recovery was pretty
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atypical, so many people who have gunshot wounds at close range to the head don't survive let alone have any meaningful neurological recovery. in that sense, she was in the top few percent in terms of recovery. you're right on in terms of her speech, you heard that sort of halting speech, at times searching for words. that is pretty typical. take a look at this animation. you alluded to this in your piece here. a gunshot wound to the head like, the left side of the brain. you can see the bullet went in and out. that's important for a couple of reasons. a lot of the energy from the bullet did not release inside her skull but released into air after passing through. that was probably beautiful to -- beneficial to her. part of the reason she's having such difficulty in speech is those speech areas were in the path of the bullet and seems to be reserved in expressing herself fluently, both written and spoken communication would be affected and still seems to be, anderson.
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>> is there a point progress plateaus or slows with this type of injury? >> if you break it down and look at the left side of the brain, all things this controls. speech being one of those things that i mentioned. people will say, look, for a few years, people can still have recovery from this. it may be slow coming but you may gradually become more fluent, more extemporaneous and your ability to speak spontaneously improves. one thing you may have noticed is that the right side of her body is very weak. the physical recovery, people say around 18 months, you get close to a plateau. people can have improvements after that. she's 12-13 months now. a few more months of recovery as far as strength goes but still a while longer for her speech. >> from the video, you can see she has difficulty moving the right side of her body. what kind of therapy does someone have for that type of injury to regain mobility? >> it's pretty aggressive. everything from the very
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practical, if you're a right-handed person, have right-handed weakness, teaching yourself in the interim how to function with your left hand, writing, feeding yourself, taking care of yourself. all of that. but short of that, pretty aggressive therapy, a couple times a day, a few days a week. and sending signals back to the brain, hey, these muscles need move, let's reroute things. you think about the brain, sort of a swiss cheese model. there's holes in it. let's reroute around those various holes to see if you can get recovery. >> what is the likelihood of a full recovery based on what you know of brain injuries similar to hers? >> it's unlikely gabby giffords will ever be the same she was the day before she got shot. i think moe of her doctors and neurologists, everyone who's been caring for her would agree with that. in terms of meaningful functional recovery, whether 100% or not, that may be open to interpretation. she has a good chance of having a meaningful recovery, where she
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can speak spontaneously, get around very well on her own. give speeches, things that are required of someone who is a member of congress. >> let me quickly ask you, does she know -- if she's struggling for words -- does she -- i don't know if we know this, does she know what she wants to say and just can't find the word? >> yes. that is often exactly the case. her ability to understand language and process language, her cognitive skills are probably all still very intact. it's that expressive part. you saw in your piece how frustrating that is. you saw her nearly break down in tears over that. you know what's going on. that expressive part is so difficult. >> sanjay, appreciate it. thank you so much. still ahead. senator rand paul's airport security standoff, what happened when he refused a pat-down and how one news station is covering a political corruption trial without cameras. the puppet's court in session on tonight's "ridiculist". .]
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>> fairly substantial, but i think it's irrelevant than the fact that you were working for freddie mac? >> did they ever do work with the government like medicare? >> we didn't work with the government. i didn't have an office on k street. i didn't work in washington. we have congressman that said you came and lobbied them in favor -- >> i didn't lobby them. >> that's not true. >> you have congressmen who said you lobbied them with regards to medicare part d. at the same time, your center was taking in contributions -- >> you just jumped a long way over here, friend. >> another area of influence peddling. >> no. let me be very clear. you used it on mccain and huckabee, which is unfortunate because the american people are going to see through it. rand paul had a run-in with officials after refusing a full
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body pat-down and setting off a scanner. he was later re-booked without incident. pulling an ad that shows a long-time spokesman william shatner dying in a fiery bus explosion. they say the ad is in bad taste. no response from priceline or the actor. and starbucks says it will begin offering beer and wine at more locations by the end of this year. stores in atlanta, chicago and southern california are on the list. some starbucks cafes in pacific northwest already serve alcohol. now back to anderson. coming up, a corruption trial that would make miss piggy herself blush. on my journey acr, i've learned that when you ask someone in texas if they want "big" savings on car insurance, it's a bit like asking if they want a big hat...
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time now for the "ridiculist." tonight, we're adding the puppet's court. there is a trial for corruption and big news in the cleveland area. >> there's one tiny problem, no cameras are allowed in the courtroom. usually when that happens, they have courtroom sketch artists. one enterprising news station has found a more creative way to cover the trial. >> welcome back to puppet's court. the testimony you're about to hear is real. >> that's right. cleveland's 19 action news team now includes a puppet squirrel reporting from the puppet's court, if you can believe it. i said it before, and i'll say it again. puppets and journalism do not mix, not ever, not under any circumstances whatsoever.
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this is anderson cooper in for oscar the grouch who's on assignment at the dump. i'm here with two legendary newscasters, dan rathernot and walter cranky. is a hello, dan rathernot? >> i would rather not. >> walter? >> grr! >> i can see this will be a tough assignment. >> i take it back. that was "sesame street" for crying out loud. this trial in ohio is serious news. how will you take a complicated corruption trial and turn it into a puppet show. how can that be compelling? >> is that the invoice you sent? >> yes. >> was that invoice ever paid? >> no. >> it's the same dog and pony show with fake invoices for two rolex watches valued at more than $10,000, wining and dining and the trip to vegas. >> a trip to vegas? i wonder what happened in vegas. i'm getting into this. let's roll some more puppet court. >> an the stand, he admits to the judge he paid for the vegas
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trip including $8,000 in gambling money and one prostitute named suzanne. >> say what? your eyes and ears did not deceive you. that was indeed a puppet prostitute. if you would allow me to employ a little bit of journalistic parlance, that is what we call the hook. we have no choice. you have to hear what happened next. >> what did he say about her? >> that she talks a lot. he told me he told her she was county commissioner. he mentioned they had sex or something along those lines. >> with all apologies to the legacy of edward r. murrow, i got to say, i probably would watch this trial coverage. the director of the news station said he brought in the puppet coverage to show the more absurd aspects of the trial to be satirical and also notes it plays at the end of the broadcast. and as we all know, the end of a news broadcast is a special time for the most seasoned journalist to ask hard questions, like can a cat really play a keyboard? is there perhaps a squirrel somewhere that can waterski with the best of them?


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