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Bill Clinton and Barack Obama Campaign Together; John McCain on "Larry King Live"

Aired October 29, 2008 - 23:00   ET


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: And breaking news, you are looking at a live shot at a rally in Florida where just moments from now, Barack Obama and Bill Clinton will share the stage. It is the first time they campaign side by side. You can see the massive crowd that has turned out.
Tonight's rally caps a blockbuster media day for Barack Obama. A couple of hours ago, seven networks aired his 30-minute infomercial. The primetime ad cost millions. Take a look.


SEN. BARACK OBAMA, (D) PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: In six days we can come together as one nation and one people and once more choose our better history. That's what's at stake.


COOPER: Obama has been outspending McCain by huge margins; he's raised more than $600 million. On "Larry King Live" McCain took a jab at Obama's prime time ad. Take a look.


SEN. JOHN MCCAIN, (R) PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: As with other infomercials he's got a few things he wants to sell you, he's offering government-run health care, an energy plan guaranteed to work without drilling and an automatic wealth spreader, that folds neatly and fits under any bed.


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: McCain also launched a new attack on Obama today.

Dana Bash has been covering that story today. We'll talk to her in a moment.

First let's check in now with Candy Crowley, who's on her way to the stadium, and joins me now by phone -- Candy.

CANDY CROWLEY, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, you are right, we are in the motorcade. So he is just minutes away from what really is the crescendo to an all media, all the time, day for Barack Obama. A really very much muscle flex for him because, of course, he has the money to buy 30 minutes across many networks to put out his message.

So what's interesting though, is all of that money that he spent on those 30 minutes, here at least in Florida the most attention is going to be on this 11 p.m. rally with Bill Clinton. As you know it's the first time they've campaigned together.

But it's also worth recalling that Bill Clinton is extremely popular among Democrats and among a lot of the swing voters. And they are having this on what is known as the I-4 corridor. And it's basically -- goes across Florida. And it's where the swing voters are.

And so swing voters, as we know, tend to make the elections make or break the elections. So they have carefully chosen this timing because it's 11:00 at night and that's when all the local media begin their late-night news shows. And someone here noted that it's good at the baseball game is over because as you know the Tampa Bay team was in the World Series and they were a little worried that that might bleed into this. But now it looks like they will have the stage all to themselves -- Anderson.

COOPER: All right, Candy is in the motorcade. And we saw some of the motorcade; it looks like you are getting very close.

Let's check-in with Dana Bash in Ohio. Dana, McCain had to fight -- have to really fight for attention today.

DANA BASH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: He sure did. He spent a lot of the day mocking Obama as we just heard and saying that the Gozbi commercial was paid for by broken promises. But the hardcore reality, you talk to McCain aides Anderson, and they will tell you they simply can't compete with the money that Barack Obama has to put up that infomercial.

And they really can't compete with the kind of headliner that we're going to see in just a few minutes of Bill Clinton to draw even bigger crowds for Barack Obama. So basically, he spent the day in Florida not even trying. He had very small events, throughout this day, the small rally in Miami, where he talked the economy, he talked to the Cuban community, he was in the center veteran-rich center of the state talking about national security, but big picture at this point of the race, Anderson, they say that the name of the game is to try to lure any of those undecided voters who aren't really yet sold on Barack Obama.

And the way they tried to do that today, is by bringing up a six- month-old article in the "L.A. Times" about a dinner five years ago that Barack Obama had with a Palestinian American scholar. That is something that both he and Sarah Palin pounded away on all day long.

And I'm going to tell you, I asked the McCain aides why are you bringing this up now because it is a six-month-old article. And this aide was pretty candid Anderson and he basically said because Barack Obama may be one week away from becoming president.

COOPER: Fascinating stuff. We're going to have a lot more on that controversy throughout this hour; checking the facts, keeping both candidates honest.

I want to bring you this event live.

We're going to take a quick commercial. We'll be right back in a minute or two and we'll bring you Bill Clinton and Barack Obama appearing live for the first time together.

We'll be right back.


COOPER: And "Breaking News," for the first time Senator Barack Obama and former President Bill Clinton, there he is, are at a joint rally appearing together in Florida near Orlando.

With us CNN senior political analyst, David Gergen, and CNN senior political analyst, Gloria Borger and Maria Teresa Petersen, founder and executive director of Voto-Latino. We'll also are going to be check in with Candy Crowley who is inside the motorcade, we've just heard from her.

Bill Clinton there off stage. The crowd has gathered.

It is interesting David Gergen, to see these men on the stage for the first time really together. They were together in September in New York at Bill Clinton's office. That seemed kind of awkward. What are you expecting to hear?

DAVID GERGEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, I think they were together at the global initiative, too. But you know what is interesting to me Anderson, is we spent so much time a few weeks ago talking about where the Hillary Clinton voters are, are they permanently estranged, are they permanently alienated. They've now come back.

COOPER: We haven't had that conversation in weeks.

GERGEN: Exactly, and then we talked about Bill Clinton. He's permanently alienated, he's come back.

Bill Clinton is a classic resilient politician who forgives and forgets. He did bear grudges for a while, but I must say I think his people said he'll be back in the crunch. And he'll be there for him. Don't worry it will eventually happen and here he is.

GLORIA BORGER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: You think he forgets I don't think he forgets.

GERGEN: I don't think he totally forgets.

COOPER: He moves on anyway.

BORGER: He moves on because it's the right thing to do. He wants a Democrat in the White House as Hillary Clinton wants a Democrat and they could never be seen as not wanting a Democrat in the White House. COOPER: What kind of a difference can Bill Clinton, can Hillary Clinton make? I mean Hillary Clinton has been out there -- I don't think anyone can say that Hillary Clinton has not delivered for Barack Obama.

GERGEN: She has delivered.

BORGER: She's been great for him. I mean nobody -- people I talked to in the Obama campaign are thrilled. They think she has done everything that they've asked her to do.

GERGEN: And as Gloria has been here reporting here the Clinton people have been well integrated in to the Obama campaign. The Clinton people feel like they've been well treated by the Obama campaign.

COOPER: And Maria Teresa, Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton, do you think they can make a difference, do you think they have brought -- both votes among those especially on those undecided?

MARIA TERESA PETERSON, FOUNDER EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR VOTO LATINO: I think it's a bigger picture and Barack Obama has been steady. He brought out first, Colin Powell, he did the infomercials, and now he's taking out another ace with Bill Clinton. What is Barack Obama doing he's dominating the news cycle from now until Election Day.

So I think it's much broader than this, and I think that's where his real opportunity is. And he'll continue doing it. So my question is what is he going to bring out on Friday, Saturday and Sunday?

BORGER: Well, I think Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton are very important in those battleground states. And we were just talking about Hispanic voters before. Hillary Clinton did really well with Hispanic voters.

Barack Obama had problems. Not anymore. I think Hillary Clinton helps him in rural America that she did so well in, in states like Pennsylvania. So you know and I think Bill Clinton helps her in Florida which is where he is right now, it's very important.

GERGEN: It's also true that timing of this is interesting because we've talking about how undecideds break, well, they typically break in the last three or four days. To put this blitz on today that Obama is putting on is the best insurance policy he has for the undecideds breaking his way or at least holding his equal.

COOPER: Do you see actor Jimmy Smiths there on the left talking warmly with former President Clinton and Barack Obama. Both Jimmy Smiths talked to the crowd a short time ago, kind of warming up the crowd there in Florida. I'm not sure how many other events he's going to. But they -- he certainly showed up and did his job as he sees it at this event.

We are just so you know, this was a night in which Larry King had an extensive interview, almost an hour long with John McCain. And we are going to play extensive clips of that as well throughout this hour.

We don't want you to think we are just giving you Barack Obama and Bill Clinton's comments. We also want to hear extensively from John McCain. It was really an effective interview, I mean you thought when David Gergen, one of a John McCain's better interview.

GERGEN: I did. I thought he was relaxed and he made his points effectively, he was punchy once again. It reminded me a little bit of a how effective he was at Saddlebacks.

COOPER: Do you think he still believes he can win?


GERGEN: I think he's convinced himself he can. And as a candidate you have to, to go on. But what is -- I must tell you the weakness of the McCain interview, he doesn't talk about what he would do. It is all about what Obama's going to do and why he's wrong for America.

COOPER: It's all about raising doubts about Barack Obama.

GERGEN: Yes, but where is he -- he would be more effective if he's got this mortgage program that he never talks about.

BORGER: He doesn't talk about it very much.

COOPER: We're going to take a quick break. It looks like this event is not going to start so we don't want to just be watching the back of this people's head.

BORGER: Clinton's hair.

COOPER: But I should tell during the commercial if it does start we will break out of the commercial and bring it to you live, stay with us, we'll be right back.


COOPER: And you hear the crowds. You see Former President Clinton and Barack Obama. They are about to go on stage at this event in Florida. Candy Crowley is there somewhere in the crowd or with the entourage.

Candy, what's going on?

CROWLEY: Well they were, right now we are listening to Florida Senator Bill Nelson, a hometown favorite. They're going to have -- I think you can probably see Obama and Clinton now. They're walking from behind stage. People can't see them yet but I think you've got a camera shot of them.

This obviously the first time these two have campaigned together. Don't need to tell you that there have been some enormous tensions between the two of them because of course of the race of Hillary Clinton. But then obviously, Bill Clinton thinking she was the better choice but they have been fully on board, although, Bill Clinton, seemed to have a more difficult time of it. Listen to this you're seeing him, there's the crowd.

This is what they call in the business, the money shot. The two of them together, their hands raised; again that's Senator Bill Nelson with them.

COOPER: That is a one shot deal, Candy. I mean, is this the one event that Bill Clinton is doing with Barack Obama?

CROWLEY: Yes. With him as far as we know it is the one and only time he will be with him. Now, the former President has been out campaigning for him solo as has Senator Clinton, but yes, as far as we know it'll be only time you'll see the two of these together.

COOPER: Let's listen in.

BILL CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Thank you. Thank you. Hello, Orlando. Are you ready for a new President? And are you ready for this new President?

Ladies and gentlemen, I want to thank my good friend Senator Bill Nelson for his introduction. Thank you for coming out tonight. I am honored to be here to voice my support for Senator Barack Obama for President. And I want to talk to you a little about why it is so important for you to do what you can to make sure that Florida is in the Obama column next Tuesday night.

Look at this crowd. It's not only big, it is highly diverse. Even got a few old gray-headed white guys like me. You haven't cut my demographic out yet.

This is America's future. This is a future state. Barack Obama represents America's future and you've got to be there for him next Tuesday.

You know, I am very grateful to Florida. I worked hard to bring you back into the Democratic fold and you came and I thank you for that. It's time to come back again so we can take America forward. I am very grateful for the opportunity that I have had and that Hillary has had to campaign for Barack Obama and for America's future.

I want to say a few things that he can't say on his own behalf and then I'll bring him on to say what he can say better than anybody on his own behalf. But let me tell you, there are only two things you can do between now and Tuesday.

First, you can vote and you can make sure everybody you know who is already supporting Senator Obama and Senator Biden vote. And understands they do not have an option to stay home not if they care about their country and their future. You've got to get our crowd there. The other thing you can do is find the people that are still teetering and wavering and tell them why they ought to be with us. And so I want to tell you very briefly there are four reasons that I can tell you in a way no one else can, because I've been there. And I want you to tell this to everybody. And they don't just have to be your neighbors. You can e-mail people all over America. There are all these exchanges going on where people who are still undecided are fessing-up, at least on the Internet.

And I want you to get on there and tell them there are four reasons they ought to be for Barack Obama. The four things that really matter in a president are: number one, the philosophy; number two, the policies; number three, the ability to make a decision; and number four, the ability to execute that decision and make changes in people's lives.

So I've been noticing this philosophical argument on television. You all been seeing that in this election? And Senator Obama asked me to say a word about it on the way up here. He's got the right philosophy which is America works from the ground up, not from the top down.

They talk about redistributing the wealth. They just presided over the biggest redistribution of wealth upward since the 1920s and we all know how that ended. In the last eight years 90 percent of the gains went to 10 percent of the people over 40 percent to one percent. Can you run a great democracy that way? I don't think so. So don't tell me about redistribution.

When I served you, you had more than five times as many jobs as you are going to get out of this crowd. You had medium family income across all racial lines going up and now it's down. We paid down the debt. They've doubled the national debt. So don't tell me about redistribution.

What Senator Obama has is a plan that works from the bottom up. If there's a strong middle class and if poor folk can work their way into it and stay in it, there'll be lots of millionaires and billionaires. I know we made more millionaires and billionaires than they did and you just didn't know it because middle class incomes were rising and everybody had a good job and that's what Barack Obama will do again.

So he's got the right philosophy.

The second thing I want to tell you is he's got the right policies. And I've read them all. And I've read his opponent's. People used to make fun of me for being a policy wonk but I take it after the last eight years, we all know it really matters what people advocate.

And let me tell you folks, is again something I can say because I'm not running for anything, the historical record shows that virtually every person ever elected president does his best to actually do what they say they're going to do in the campaign and Barack Obama's do-list is the better do-list.

The economic plan is better. The education plan is better. Young people, you read his plan. If you are willing to do community service it doesn't matter how rich or poor you are, you're going to be able to go to college, universal, everybody is included, no ifs, ands or buts.

And his health care plan is light-years better. And I can tell you there are people in this crowd, I know there, are who have lost their health insurance. There are people in this crowd who have children with autistic conditions or other disabilities that need help and nobody is helping them. And we're living in the government, last week one in eight Americans are not going to be able to afford their cancer drugs this year. America drops to 29th in infant mortality and we're spending more than anybody else in the world? They want to defend that.

Barack Obama wants to change that and he has a good plan to do it and we should vote for on Election Day.

And finally let me say his energy plan is better. And don't you be fooled by these oil prices going down because as soon as they can sucker us in to forgetting about being energy independent they'll go right back up again. And he's got the best plan to liberate Americans and create millions and millions and millions of jobs. So he's got the best policy.

Now the third thing he is, is the better decision maker. You know our current President said something that's really true. The President is the decider-in-chief. And in this election you've got a very unusual thing I've never seen happen before. You got to watch the candidates make, not one, but two presidential decisions. You always get one; who they pick as Vice President. He hit that one out of the park, folks, that was a good decision.

OK, then you got to see the reaction to the financial crisis in America nearly coming off the wheels. Having the wheels nearly run off. I saw this up close. You know what he did? First he took a little heat for not saying much.

I knew what he was doing. He talked to his advisers, he talked to my economic advisers. He called Hillary. He called me. He called Warren Buffett and he called Paul Volcker. He called all those people and you know why, because he knew it was complicated and before he said anything he wanted to understand.

Folks, if we have not learned anything, we have learned that we need a president who wants to understand and who can understand. Who can understand; yes, he can.

Now, wait a minute.

The second thing and this meant more to me than anything else and I haven't cleared this with him. And he may even be mad at me for saying this so closest to the election but I know what else he said to his economic advisers. He said tell me what the right thing to do is. What's the right thing for America, and don't tell me what's popular. You tell me what's right and I'll figure out how to sell it. That's what a president does in a crisis, what is right for America. And you know after this election there are going to be a lot of rough times ahead and you know it as well as I do. You have got to have a president who can understand and then has the fortitude to stand up and tell you, you hired me to win for America. I've got to make this decision now. This is the very best I can do. And I'm prepared to be held accountable.

I'm going to tell you something the way he handled this crisis and the way you saw him talk about it in the second and third debate showed that he will be a very, very fine decision maker working for the American people.

The last thing I want to say is this. Here's the last thing I want to say.

All over the world I see this where I work now. The world is full of good, honest, smart, hard-working people with the best of intentions that cannot figure out how to turn their good ideas into real changes in other people's lives. If you have any doubt about Senator Obama's ability to be the chief executive, that's what the Constitution calls the president, just think about all of you. Look at this. Has there ever been a campaign that involved so many people, had made so much use of the Internet, that thought about how to solve problems, that gave people so much opportunity to give money, to give their time, to express their opinions, to do things.

He has executed this campaign in a way that is different from modern and forward thinking, something no one else ever could have done. He can be the Chief Executor of good intentions as president.

So I want you to get on the phone, and I want you to stalk your neighbors on the street, and I want you to get on the Internet and say if haven't made up your might you ought to vote for Barack Obama. He's got the best philosophies. He's got the best positions. He definitely has the decision making ability. And he is a great executor.

Folks, we can't fool with this. Our country is hanging in the balance and we have so much promise and so much peril. This man should be our president, all of our president.

And he's going to be our president unless the American people forget what the election's about. This election is about restoring the American dream and giving poor people their shot at it and restoring America's standing as the world's leading nation for peace and prosperity. Diplomacy first, military force as a last resort, bring the troops home from Iraq, be a force for peace and get this economy going.

That's what it's about.

Once you define that there's no question, and I want you to think about this as I bring him on. Tuesday we will complete a presidential campaign. The presidential campaign is the greatest job interview in the world. And on Tuesday you get to make the hire. If you're my age, you think about your children and the grandchildren you want to have. If you are young you think about the future you want them to have -- if you are young you think about the children you want to bring into the world and what you want for them. There's not any real question here, this is not a close question.

If you make the decision based on who can best get us out of the ditch, who's got the best philosophy, the best positions, the best ability and the best judgment I think it's clear. The next president of the United States should be and with your help, will be, Senator Barack Obama.

SEN. BARACK OBAMA, (D) PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

In case all of you forgot, this is what it's like to have a great President. It is such an honor and a privilege to have been joined here tonight by a great president, a great statesman, a great supporter in our campaign to change America, Bill Clinton, give it up. Nobody, nobody makes the case for change that works for the middle class like President Bill Clinton. Nobody.

And while I'm at it I would want to say just a little something about Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton because I learned from her and President Clinton as a candidate. I am proud to call them my friends. I know how much we'll need both Hillary Clinton and Bill Clinton in the months and years to come.

Florida, I think you all agree with me that we all wish that the last eight years looked a lot more like the Clinton years when he was in the White House.

Now before I move on, there are just a couple of other acknowledgements that I've got to make.

First of all, one of the finest United States senators we have and one of the finest gentlemen that I know, not to mention he's an astronaut. I mean, it's cool being president, but being an astronaut, that is something else. So please give a big round of applause to your own Senator Bill Nelson and his wonderful wife Grace Nelson.

I haven't seen her but I heard she was here and I want to acknowledge her, your wonderful Congresswoman Corrine Brown. I want to thank state representative Darren Soto, Olga Tenyon, Cheryl Green and finally I want to say that I -- before we came on we had a chance to say hello to the most recent Democratic president, Jimmy Smiths.

When you listen to Bill Clinton you are reminded of what it is like to have a president who is engaged, who is passionate, who is smart, who reaches out, who's inclusive instead of divisive, who has energy, who has vision. And you start getting kind of nostalgic about 22 million new jobs and a budget surplus and an economy that's working for everybody.

And that's why we can't have four more years just like the last eight that we've had. It's time for the kind of peace and prosperity that we saw in the 1990s. Now, I really just have two words for you tonight; six days. Six days. After a decade of broken politics in Washington, after eight years of failed policies by George W. Bush, after 21 months of a campaign that has taken us from the rocky shores of Maine to the sunshine of California, we are six days away from bringing about change in America. Six days away.

In six days you can turn the page on policies that have put greed and irresponsibility on Wall Street before the hard work and sacrifices of the people on Main Street. In six days you can choose policies that invest in our middle class and create new jobs and grow this economy from the bottom up the way bill Clinton was talking about so that everyone has a chance to succeed from the CEO to the secretary, from the factory owner to the people who are working on the factory floor.

In six days you can put an end to the politics that would divide this nation just to win an election. That tries to pit region against region, city against town, Republican against Democrat. That asks us to fear instead of hope. In six days you can give this country the change we need.

We began this journey in the depths of winter two years ago on the steps of the old state capitol in Springfield, Illinois. Back then we didn't have much money, we didn't have any endorsements. We weren't given a chance by the polls or the pundits. We knew this would be a steep climb.

But I also knew this; it's the same thing Bill Clinton understood when he ran as a little known governor back in 1991. We both understood that there are times in our history where the size of our challenges outgrow the smallness of our politics. There are times where we have to recognize that Democrats and Republicans and Americans of every political stripe are hungry for new ideas and new leadership and a new kind of politics, one that favors common sense over ideology, one that focuses on those ideals we hold in common as Americans.

And most of all, I knew the American people, that you are decent and you are generous and you are hard working. You are willing to sacrifice for future generations. And I was convinced when we come together our voices are more powerful than the most entrenched lobbyists or the most vicious political attacks or the full force of the status quo in Washington that wants to just keep things the way they are.

21 months later my faith in the American people has been vindicated. That's how we have come so far and so close because of you. That's how we'll change this country, with your help. That's why we can't afford tonight or tomorrow or the next day, we can't afford to slow down or sit back or let up for one day, one minute, one second in the next week. Not now. Not when there is so much at stake.

We are in the middle of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression; 760,000 workers have lost their job since the beginning of this year. Probably more but we just haven't gotten the statistics for this month.

Businesses and families they can't get credit, home values are falling, pensions are disappearing, wages are lower than they have been at a decade, at a time when the cost health care and college have never been higher.

You heard what Bill Clinton said when he was president the average family income went up $7,500; went up, across the board, everybody. All groups did better.

Since George Bush has been in office the average family income has gone down $2,000 which means that it's getting harder and harder to make the mortgage or fill up the gas tank or even keep the electricity on.

At moments like this the last thing we can afford is four more years of the same, tired old economic theories that say we should give more and more to millionaires and billionaires and big corporations and hope that prosperity just automatically trickles down on everybody else. The last thing we need is four more years of no regulation on Wall Street and the financial sectors because politicians and lobbyists kill common sense regulation.

Those are the theories of the past. Those are the theories that got us into this mess. They haven't worked. It's time for a change, Florida and that's why I'm running for president of the United States of America.

Now, I think president -- President Clinton --


OBAMA: President Clinton and I, I think, would both agree that John McCain has served this country with great honor. And he can point to moments over the past eight years where he's broken from George Bush, on torture, for example. His opposition to torture, that is something that he deserves credit for.

But when it comes to the economy, when it comes to the central issue of this election, the plain truth is John McCain has stood with this president every step of the way. He voted for the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy that he once opposed. He voted for Bush budgets that took the surplus that President Clinton had created and took it into massive deficits and debt.

He constantly called for deregulation, 21 times just this year. Those are the facts. And now after 21 months and three debates Senator McCain still has not been able to tell the American people a single major thing that he would do differently from George Bush when it comes to the economy.

I am not exaggerating. I mean, think about it. I think everybody has heard John McCain's arguments against me. I think everybody has heard the attacks he has launched against me. I think it is important because an election is always about the future. An election is always about where are we going. And I think you would be hard pressed and I think Senator McCain's own supporters would be hard pressed if you asked them what are you going to do differently that is going to get us out of trouble?

He doesn't have a plan. So John McCain says we can't spend the next four years waiting for our luck to change. But I think everybody here understands the biggest gamble we can take is embracing the same Bush/McCain philosophy that has failed us for the last eight years. It won't work.


COOPER: Barack Obama speaking at an event in Florida; the first time he has appeared on stage with former president Bill Clinton. You can keep watching Obama speak on; he is basically now giving his stump speech. You can check it out at

We want to though give equal time before the 12:00 hour to John McCain who fired back today at Barack Obama. He fired back at Obama's 30-minute ad in an interview on "Larry King Live." The candidate in his own words, ahead on "360."


COOPER: Senator John McCain fired back at Barack Obama's 30- minute infomercial on "Larry King Live" earlier tonight, hitting hard at Obama's refusal to accept public campaign financing and of the Democrat's relationship with a Palestinian-American activist. Here's John McCain in his own words.


LARRY KING, HOST, "LARRY KING LIVE": Senator Obama had a 30- minute ad buy tonight that ran right before we went on the air.


KING: Does that make it hard for you the amount of money being spent against you?

MCCAIN: Well, let me tell you, frankly, what is disturbing about it is that he signed a piece of paper back when he was a long shot candidate, he signed it; said I will take public financing if John McCain will. This is a living document. He didn't tell the American people the truth.

Then twice he looked into the camera when he was in a debate with Senator Clinton and said I will sit down and negotiate with John McCain before I decide on public financing. He didn't tell the American people the truth. He never had any intention -- I'm still waiting for the call.

KING: There's the "L.A. Times," apparently your campaign says that they are suppressing videotape of a 2003 banquet when Barack Obama praised Palestinian activist and scholar Rashid Khalidi. What is this all -- why would the paper suppress it? MCCAIN: I have no idea. If they have the tape, they ought to make the American people aware of it. Let them see it and make their own judgment. Frankly, I have been in a lot of political campaigns, a whole lot.

I have never seen anything like this where a major media outlet has information and a tape of some occasion, maybe it means nothing. Maybe it's just a social event. I don't know. But why should they not release it? Why shouldn't the Obama campaign want it released?

KING: Did you think your vice presidential nominee would be as controversial as she is?

MCCAIN: You know, I didn't think she would be so controversial but I've got to tell you every time I'm around her I am uplifted. This is a solid, dedicated reformer, a fine governor, the most popular governor in America. She ignites crowds in a way, I have to be honest with you, I'm not an immodest person, but I haven't seen a candidate ignite people the way that Sarah Palin has. I love her family. It has been a great joy to have her with me.

KING: Are you ticked, for want of a better term, about the discord reported between her camp and your camp?

MCCAIN: You know what happens with these things. First of all, I have about 5,000 "top advisers" that can be quoted by the media.

Look, we get along fine. Sarah is a maverick. I'm a maverick. No one expected us to agree on everything. Look, I'm against drilling in ANWR. I know that I'm going to have to go up to ANWR and look at it again after I'm elected because Sarah will drag me up there.

KING: You are president of the United States, you are flying over the Pacific between nowhere and nowhere, there is an attack on the United States, how much confidence do you have in Vice President Palin?

MCCAIN: Total.

KING: Total.

MCCAIN: She has the instinct. She shares my world view. I would remind you that there was a obscure governor from Arkansas that not too many years ago that gained the presidency and he had no national security experience. He would never match up as much as I love Bush I with him on national security. We had just won the Gulf War.

Look, Sarah Palin understands these issues. She understands them very well. Frankly, a lot of conversations I had with her she is an incredibly quick study.

KING: So there will be no question in your mind that she could take over?

MCCAIN: She not only would take over, she would inspire Americans. That is what I think she would do. She would unite the country in a time of crisis.

KING: You don't believe Barack Obama is a socialist, do you?

MCCAIN: No. But I do believe -- I do believe that he has been in the far left of American politics. He has stated time after time that he believes in "spreading the wealth around." He's talked about courts that would redistribute the wealth. He has a record of voting against tax cuts and for tax increases. And I don't think there's any doubt he would increase spending and sooner or later we would be increasing taxes. There is no doubt in my mind that is what his record; 94 times he voted against tax cuts and for tax increase. He voted for. That is what matters, not rhetoric; to raise taxes on individuals making $42,000 a year.

KING: Concerning spreading the wealth, isn't the graduated income tax spreading the wealth? You and I pay more so that Jimmy can get some for him or pay for a welfare recipient; that is spreading the wealth.

MCCAIN: That is spreading the wealth in the respect that we do have a graduated income tax. That is a far cry from taking from one group of Americans and giving to another. That's dramatically different.

Senator Obama clearly has talked about for years redistributive policies. That's not the way we create wealth in America. That's not the way we grow our economy. That's not the way we create jobs. When small business people see that half of the income of small businesses is going to be taxed by Senator Obama they are very upset about it.

KING: He says it is only the personal income tax; if you make $250,000 or more as a personal income, not a business income, that's where he would increase your tax.

MCCAIN: And that's where his folks just reduced it to $200,000. Then Senator Biden said yesterday $150,000.

The fact is that if Joe the Plumber is able to buy the business that he works in the guy he buys it from is going to see an increase in capital gains taxes. They're going to see an increase in payroll taxes. They're going to see, if he reaches a certain level, an increase in his income taxes. That's what got people concerned. That's what got Joe the plumber upset. He wants to redistribute the money.

KING: Rush Limbaugh said that Colin Powell's endorsement of your opponent was all about race. Something you say you don't agree with, right.

MCCAIN: I just don't think that at all.

KING: Do you see race --

MCCAIN: I reject it.

KING: Do you see race as any factor in this race? MCCAIN: Look, there is racism in America. We all know that because we can't stop working against it. But I am totally convinced that 99.44 percent of the American people are going to make a decision on who's best to lead this country; these are one of the most difficult times in our history, both domestically and national security. I have faith in the American people that they'll make the judgment for the best of reasons, not the worst of reasons.


COOPER: Up next, Senator McCain tells Larry King how he feels about being tied to President Bush and what he likes about Senator Obama. For that interview and a quick look at today's top headlines.

We'll be right back.



OBAMA: Lately, he's called me a socialist for wanting to roll back the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans so we can finally give tax relief to the middle class. I don't know what's next. By the end of the week he'll be accusing me of being a secret communist because I shared my toys in kindergarten.


COOPER: Senator Obama in Raleigh, North Carolina today. He also bought 30 minutes of air time for a political commercial tonight. Senator McCain labeled it an infomercial, I should point out CNN did not air it.

McCain also had a busy day appearing in Florida as well as talking to our Larry King. Here's more of the interview; John McCain, in his own words.


KING: Are you worried?

MCCAIN: I don't think it's worried. I think, obviously, I know we're still the underdog. We're now two or three or four points down and we have got six days to go to make two or three points up. It's not a matter of worry.

You know, you and I have together long enough. You know I love the underdog status. I just want to leave that status from time to time.

KING: Senator, are you hampered frankly by the Bush record, just be honest?

MCCAIN: You know, I think that's a very intelligent campaign tactic on the part of the Obama campaign. a long time ago ran the ads of President Bush and I together. But I think that the American people realize that I'm very different in many ways, whether it be spending or the conduct of the war in Iraq or climate change or treatment of prisoners or a number of other issues.

But look, I think that any campaign tactic that they want to use that's acceptable to the American people is certainly their right to do that.

KING: How are you going to wipe out the deficit in one term?

MCCAIN: By growing the economy, by growing the economy. When Reagan came to office, inflation was double digit, interest rates were, unemployment was double digit. Everybody said you can't do it by cutting taxes and by increasing wealth and having our economy improve.

Honest to God, Larry, we have to get this economy out of the ditch we're in. And to increase taxes at that time, even Senator Obama some time ago said maybe he would forego these tax increases if we had a bad economy. I got news; we're in a bad economy.

KING: 2000, you were the darling of the press. Do you think it's changed? Do you think the press has treated you fairly?

MCCAIN: Honestly, I cannot complain about the media. I've seen other politicians do it. I'm playing the hand I am dealt. I believe I'm going to win this race and I believe that at the end of the day, that the American people will make the right decision.

And I can't tell you how humbled I am to have had this incredible opportunity. It very rarely happens to any American. I'm a guy that's had a little bit of humble beginnings who only wanted to be a navy pilot.

KING: Obama says that there's a lot he likes about you. What do you like about him?

MCCAIN: Oh, he's inspired a lot of Americans. He's very eloquent. He's, I know, a good father to his children. He has done a remarkable job in getting people involved in the political process.


COOPER: Reminder, you can watch Larry's entire interview with Senator McCain at midnight tonight right after "360."

Up next, are the police one step closer of solving the murders of Jennifer Hudson's mother, brother and nephew? The latest and perhaps a break in the case when "360" continues.


COOPER: The "Shot of the Day" is coming up; Japanese television as always, celebrating its strangeness, not to be missed.

First, Erica Hill joins us with the "360 News and Business Bulletin" -- Erica. ERICA HILL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, there is a new development tonight in the Jennifer Hudson tragedy. Chicago police have recovered a gun they believe could be linked to the killings of the actress's mother, brother and nephew. That weapon was found near where the body of Hudson's seven-year-old nephew was found Monday morning.

Chinese authorities are vowing to severely punish anyone responsible for the latest in a long series of tainted food scares. Eggs are the newest one to worry about contaminated with the chemical melamine, those are at the center of the scandal. We know at least four children have died, tens of thousands have been made ill by the tainted food and other products.

Down on Wall Street, following the Fed's decision to cut back key short-term interest rate by half a percentage point, that rate is now at one percent, the Dow then lost 74 points to close at 8,990. The Nasdaq did rise slightly. The S&P though on the downside today.

And they are celebrating in Philadelphia. Only positives there after more than two decades, the Phillies bringing home the World Series; they finished off the Tampa Bay Rays four games to one tonight.

COOPER: Tonight's shot reminds everyone of why Japanese TV is well, so great to watch.

Price is Right this is not, apparently. The idea for this game is to have contestants wear nylon stockings on their heads during a tug of war battle. Why?

HILL: Why not?

COOPER: Don't ask me. All you need is a chimp on the Segway and maybe the sailors from the ship to top it all off.

Take a look. I guess that's all they have.

HILL: I love Japanese TV.

COOPER: We're out of time. That does it for 360.

"LARRY KING LIVE" is next.