April 16th, 2008
09:34 PM ET

Live Blog from the Anchor Desk 4/16/08

Tonight, the last Democratic match-up before the Pennsylvania primary.  Sen. Hillary Clinton and Sen. Barack Obama debated in Philadelphia and by the second question Obama had to explain, yet again, just what he meant when he told campaign donors at a San Francisco-area event 10 days ago that small-town Pennsylvania residents are "bitter" over their economic circumstances and "cling" to their guns and religion.  Who won?  Who lost? And what impact will it have on the primary next week?  The best political team in television will dissect the debate for you.

And we’re continuing our series on the top contenders for the White House with Sen. John McCain.  It’s an in-depth look at the presumptive Republican Nominee including what drove him to attempt suicide.

 Plus, tomorrow there’s an unprecedented custody hearing in Texas.  What will happen to the 416 children removed from the polygamous compound?  Anderson’s going to talk to a spokesman from  FLDS and a former member. 

We’ll be blogging for two hours tonight.  We’ll start posting comments at 10p ET and stopping at 12a ET

Filed under: Live Blog
soundoff (602 Responses)
  1. Daniel in Loganville, GA

    Tonight we saw a real choice between the old politics of point-scoring and distraction and a politics that focuses on bringing us together to actually solve the challenges we talk about every single election. Continuing the theme of her campaign, Senator Clinton used every single opportunity she had to launch misleading attack after misleading attack against Barack Obama, which is why polls show that most Americans think she’s running the most negative campaign and don’t believe she’s trustworthy. Barack Obama spoke about the issues that actually matter in people’s lives, like how he plans to end the war in Iraq, cut middle-class taxes, help people stay in their homes, and provide a secure retirement for our seniors. That’s why more Americans are putting their trust in Barack Obama to bring about the change we need in Washington.

    April 16, 2008 at 11:02 pm |
  2. Jen in Mex.

    Boo hoo. Cnn Itnl. just cut off the 2 hour A.C. 360.

    April 16, 2008 at 11:02 pm |
  3. Megan O. Toronto, ON, Canada

    Ok I am almost sure this is how the 10 o'clock hour started. Where is the LIVE icon by Anderson's head? Is 360 not going to be 2 hrs?

    April 16, 2008 at 11:02 pm |
  4. Megan Dresslar

    Oh Wow! that is bad! Thanks for information plane crash........ thanks! Erica.

    April 16, 2008 at 11:01 pm |
  5. xtina, chicago IL

    Carla is right, the debate covered the issues people talk about on blogs. Why R people saying they didn't cover the important stuff?

    April 16, 2008 at 11:01 pm |
  6. Claire in Birmingham, AL

    Seriously...whenever I hear the FLDS women talk, all I think of is Children of the Corn. That just me?

    April 16, 2008 at 11:01 pm |
  7. Liz in Pennsylvania

    To go back to the debate and Obama's comments about small town people being bitter and clinging to guns and religion. I want to tell you that I live in a small town and yes – I find that they DO cling to what they know, live, and believe....which is outdoor living and religion. Salaries are so low and companies are downsizing every day. Not only that, those that are left in those companies have to do the work of 3 people (I kid you not). They (the select rich few) do not want businesses to move in and provide better jobs for the poor people living here because then they will not have the control over the people in the area....they cannot keep paying poor salaries and clipping off benefits. They hire a lot more part-timers figuring they can work them cheaper and w/o benefits

    April 16, 2008 at 11:01 pm |
  8. Gary in Kent, Ohio

    Zing-zing.........the women may have more control, power and abilities that none of us will ever know, but the pain in that mother was real, nothing else was. The manners she spoke in and the way her body moved were just not real..........that's the true horror of this event, in our society I find it hard to accept that someone has that much control over another person.

    April 16, 2008 at 11:01 pm |
  9. Genevieve M, TX

    I think that occasionally having a 2nd hour of 360 is great. I was wondering if it is possible to leave the live web cam on during the evenings that 360 goes live for another hour?

    April 16, 2008 at 11:00 pm |
  10. romeo

    In reading my previous post, I did NOT mean to infer that the suggestion was from OBAMA – It was not. The comments came from an unnamed author which was sent to my email unsolicited – but it was well articulated and made a lot of sense and addressed some of Rev Wright's comments, Obama's response and the "angry black" community – and at least indirectly the "Bitter working class" community referenced by Obama (and since then quoted totally out of context) during a Q&A session with "wealthy white sophisticated and highly educated" supporters at a private party.

    April 16, 2008 at 11:00 pm |
  11. EJ - Ohio

    "Everything monochromatic, no toys, games, It all seems geared to crowd control more than anything else."

    Their culture doesn't do the toys and games thing.. but the kids apparently play in the backyard.

    I don't have a problem with how they raise their little kids (& even if I did it wouldn't matter) – just as long as the girls aren't sent to be raped when they hit puberty.

    April 16, 2008 at 11:00 pm |
  12. Terri

    Slater-they didn't know what they would encounter at the compound, remember Waco?

    April 16, 2008 at 11:00 pm |
  13. Sahira

    Hey Erica, why don't you dance to the Beat 360 music anymore?

    April 16, 2008 at 11:00 pm |
  14. Pat

    My wife just asked me if there was a religious sect that allowed women to marry more than one man – I think she is upset I did not take the garbage out

    April 16, 2008 at 11:00 pm |
  15. Sarah

    I just watched the ABC Presidential Debate and I am absolutely disgusted at the moderators' obvious bias in favor of Hillary Clinton. The moderators spent the first hour dealing with trivia and innuendo rather than focusing on the real issues. It is appalling that ABC would ask a question from Sean Hannity of Fox News and a right-wing radio host. Shame on ABC News for following in the footsteps of Fox News. Shame, shame shame.

    April 16, 2008 at 10:59 pm |
  16. Sunae, Jacksonville, Fl

    have a goodnight all.

    April 16, 2008 at 10:59 pm |
  17. Slater

    That was a great caption and honestly, an adorable elephant picture. I think CNN favors elephants...not long ago there was a picture of a painting elephant on the show.

    I love this show, thanks for letting me join you all tonight. Truly is a pleasure.

    With luck, and a lighter case load, I may join you again tomorrow.

    April 16, 2008 at 10:59 pm |
  18. erin

    did anyone else notice in the home of ester (i think) that the living room was set-up with chairs in semi circle and 1 big chair in front? not exactly what my living room looks like

    April 16, 2008 at 10:59 pm |
  19. Carla Ontario Canada

    Maybe ABC News should borrow your line "Keeping the Honest".
    They asked tough questions to both HC & OB. Only Obama stumbled over his own words and explanations, but he did a bit better later.
    What issues do you want them to talk about:
    I heard them speak about tax cuts, health care, education, energy jobs, oil companies, gas prices, gun laws, housing/credit crisis, war,
    social security, foreign policy with Mid.E and Iran..
    The world is watching so please get it right this time and vote for Hillary because it effects all of us globally. We are also angry over gas prices, etc.

    April 16, 2008 at 10:59 pm |
  20. Joseph Kowalski, North Huntingdon, PA

    In cults like the Jeffs cult, people are slowly brainwashed and these women seem to be prime examples of it.

    April 16, 2008 at 10:59 pm |
  21. Zenta, New York, NY

    And good night, all!

    April 16, 2008 at 10:59 pm |
  22. Saera El Paso, TX

    Megan- i think the stream has ended

    April 16, 2008 at 10:58 pm |
  23. Abby

    To EJ....no, you are right "fruit of the poisonous tree" does not apply in abuse cases...in our current justice system it rarely applies in criminal cases...but that is just coming from a cynical lawyer.

    April 16, 2008 at 10:58 pm |
  24. Megan Dresslar

    I love elephants! I love beat 360!
    Congrats Steve and Gina! Yay!

    Erica, I am forward to see John McCain tonight.

    April 16, 2008 at 10:58 pm |
  25. Elke, SW Florida

    I think the FLDS is a very well orchestrated enterprise; I believe putting the mothers infront of cameras was a well calculated scheme.

    April 16, 2008 at 10:58 pm |
  26. john vines Florida

    Erica and Anderson,the best on CNN.thank you for your in-depth coverage and your expertise in your profession.i watch every night.Anderson make Erica your first assistant any replacement when your duties take you away from the anchor desk.thank you.

    April 16, 2008 at 10:58 pm |
  27. Minou, New York City

    It's mean to call those woman creepy. They are not used to speaking to outsiders. So naturally they are on guard. Only because someone looks and sounds different doesn't make them "creepy" and weird.

    April 16, 2008 at 10:58 pm |
  28. Zenta, New York, NY

    Oh, my god! I would not be ablt to believe if an alligator is in my car!

    April 16, 2008 at 10:57 pm |
  29. Brandi down the bayou.

    I have several of those gators in the back yard! ha, anyone want one for their car? lol

    April 16, 2008 at 10:57 pm |
  30. xtina, chicago IL

    JP above is right on the money. Hillary is known quantity – Obama 's socialist views and character and affiliations scare me. He's drawn to very very strong mentors – Tony Reczko, Rev. Wright, Jackson, Sharpton. He lets them take the fall while he stands wide-eyed, taking himself out of the equation. Sory but that's the mark of a socialist.

    April 16, 2008 at 10:57 pm |
  31. Amy Fiel

    As an escapee of the LDS church I feel for the mothers; they truly do love their children. However, the patriarchical rule does not allow the women to speak out against the male leaders in anyway and as a result children are often sexually abused. I think the children should be protect at all costs; there truly is NO ONE within the compound to speak for them.

    April 16, 2008 at 10:57 pm |
  32. Kim G. from Canada

    Re: Anderson's blog to Barry.

    That was going to be my next blog comment. Where are all the men of the community in all this FLDS? Most men, with any integrity, would have stepped up to the plate. The FLDS male absence speaks volumes.

    April 16, 2008 at 10:57 pm |
  33. Jacqui Chan

    I learned that the airport reported on this evening frequently has serious accidents, one contributing factor I'm sure is what Anderson mentioned, that they only have half of a runway to run on. Does anyone know if there is a segment of their government that is designated for air travel?


    April 16, 2008 at 10:56 pm |
  34. Linda

    Pat, 1st how do you forgot Bosnia when you wrote about it? Also, misspeaing once, fine, but 3 times? Tonight she said out right that she lied. 2nd, what did Obama deny after being caught? 3rd, if you research, the person who taped the fundraiser said that it was not a room full of wealthy people (even though that's beside the point). Finally, its a bit telling when the first half of a debate is spent asking questions to one candidate. Why didn't ask about Clinton's 10M in donations to their own foundation? or Penn, or even Clinton's 800K from Columbia? Fair is fair, right?

    April 16, 2008 at 10:56 pm |
  35. Steve in Manila

    For people who dont go anywhere why did some of the kids boarding the bus have suitcases?

    April 16, 2008 at 10:56 pm |
  36. Pat


    Where are all the men folk in these compounds – it seems the film shot show alot of women and only a few men????

    April 16, 2008 at 10:56 pm |
  37. Bonnie

    Does that man really think we believe that the WOMEN made their own decision to talk on camera?

    April 16, 2008 at 10:56 pm |
  38. Brian Persaud

    Alright the debate is about to air in my time zone, so I'm off. Good night bloggers, its always a pleasure. 🙂

    April 16, 2008 at 10:56 pm |
  39. Stephanie Martinez

    How are these guys any different from the the perverts on Dateline's "...predators"?! If they don't think they did anything wrong why were the children shuffled and hidden from building to building during the raid? Why did their leader take off if he didn't do anything wrong??!!

    April 16, 2008 at 10:56 pm |
  40. Slater


    Thanks for getting the legal angle from an attorney. This is important so that the public understands the judicial process and how it will likely be applied in this case.

    I am shocked at the behavior of authorities that they used guns and tanks around innocent children. This was unprofessional dramatically reckless endangerment of these children.

    April 16, 2008 at 10:56 pm |
  41. EJ - Ohio

    Does that whole "fruit of the poisonous tree" rule really apply to child abuse cases? Even if there were issues with the search they can't just throw those children back based on legal technicalities can they? What does Toobin say?

    April 16, 2008 at 10:55 pm |
  42. Zing-Zing, Canada

    Are we sure that it is the men who are prohibiting the women from saying certain things? Could it be that these women like their lifestyle so much that themselves want to continue as before without any more legal interference? Could it be that the women have more power than we think they do?

    April 16, 2008 at 10:55 pm |
  43. Adam

    Woohoo headlines with Erica!

    April 16, 2008 at 10:55 pm |
  44. Jennifer NC

    That did not look like a home -it looked like a very bleak dormitory. It did not look like kids live there at all (except for child size beds and chairs). Everything monochromatic, no toys, games, It all seems geared to crowd control more than anything else.

    April 16, 2008 at 10:55 pm |
  45. Angelique

    Jennifer, I noticed that. Also, in the girls room she said something like 'I take care of these girls'. What does that mean?

    Anderson, thanks for trying on the men issue.

    April 16, 2008 at 10:55 pm |
  46. Melinda

    I think it speaks volumns when some of the woman say their children are 18+. No one says their child's age is 18+. That is very fishy.

    April 16, 2008 at 10:55 pm |
  47. RC Lendz Philadelphia, PA

    Before Anderson gets to the topic next: here is what I saw. Obama was weak. He was asked about a political-election questionaire he filled out when he ran for office in 1996. On this questionaire, he was asked about a ban on handguns, and said that would support the ban. Obama snapped, and I mean snapped back by saying by saying that he never wrote that. Did he mean that he didn't fill out the questionaire, or that he lied tonight?

    April 16, 2008 at 10:55 pm |
  48. Kevin Leo from Jonesboro, GA

    I have little respect for any lawyer who tries to protect a bunch of pedophiles!!! I know that everyone has a legal right to fair representation but I would just as soon not waste a second on anyone who abuses a child!!!!

    April 16, 2008 at 10:54 pm |
  49. Brandi down the bayou.


    You are right, it is a calculated move to put the mothers in front of the cameras. They know the most compassionate response will come because of them, and not the men.

    April 16, 2008 at 10:54 pm |
  50. carmen

    If these women acted on their own on anything, I have some swampland for sale that Mr. Parker may be interested in

    April 16, 2008 at 10:54 pm |
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