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PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT

Asian Markets Slump at Open; Interview With Meat Loaf

Aired August 18, 2011 - 21:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


PIERS MORGAN, HOST: Magnificent, Anderson. The whole of CNN is deeply proud of you.

COOPER: Thank you, yes. I'm sure they are.

(LAUGHTER)

MORGAN: Unfortunately, we have to go to more serious news.

There's breaking news tonight, the Asian markets sliding in response to Wall Streets battering today. Dow plunging again, a dizzying 419 points. It's down 9.5 percent so far this month alone.

So, what happens next? And is your money safe?

These are the questions to "Fortune" magazine's Leigh Gallagher, personal finance expert Carmen Wong Ulrich, Ali Velshi, and PIMCO's Neel Kashkari.

Ali Velshi, I'll start with you with the usual entreaty. What the hell is going on, Ali?

ALI VELSHI, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Look, we started off the day this morning with a rough night in Asia. European markets on news that, you know, the German economy, the strongest in Europe has weakened to almost a stall, the French economy, absolutely no growth in the quarter. That took U.S. markets downright off the top.

But before that, more than 12 hours ago, we got a report from Morgan Stanley to say what we've all been sort of saying -- global economies are slowing down, that they were on the -- we're dangerously close to a recession. We may need more intervention in Europe from the European Central Bank and more from the Fed.

And you know, you've been talking about this, Piers, that Rick Perry said that we can't have more intervention. In fact, if the Fed were to intervene, it would be treasonous. So, it's that whole set- up, what are we going to do if things are really bad? We have no political agreement in this country.

And add a few economic reports and I won't bore you with right now that came out again before markets opened this morning, it just added up into a big mix. People were running from the markets, putting their money into gold, which hit another record, and savings bonds. MORGAN: Neel Kashkari, I mean, this is pretty serious, isn't it? I mean, we've been talking about the possibility of having some kind of second recession. Is this looking more likely now, do you think?

NEEL KASHKARI, PIMCO: It is. These things tend to be a self- fulfilling prophesy. I think Ali had it exactly right.

You know, for two years, we've tried a number of short-term stimulus measures to try to get our economy growing again. The markets have now figured out that those have not led to long term economic growth. So people are scared.

When people are scared, they save more, they spend less, corporations invest less, they retrench. And that can become a self- fulfilling prophesy.

And so, what's happening in Washington is making a bad situation worse because it's hurting confidence, and that could tip us into recession.

MORGAN: Leigh Gallagher, the Morgan Stanley report mentioned the policy errors in both the United States and Europe led to the global downgrade. Is this then a crisis caused by politics rather than straightforward economics?

LEIGH GALLAGHER, FORTUNE MAGAZINE: It absolutely is. I mean, that's the one kind of big difference from this crisis, if we're to call it a crisis yet. And back in 2008, when it was directly the result of, you know, the greedy bankers and all that.

I mean, this past week or two of this successive volatility is really specifically due to the gridlock that was in Washington, the inability to get to a debt deal once we did, it wasn't enough, and it was already too little, too late.

S&P downgraded our debt for this exact same reason, not because we can't pay our bills. We can't pay our bills. They did this because we're unable to muster the political will to do so. And that's exactly what the Morgan Stanley report cited as the policy errors.

So, that's a big, big thing that's happening here.

You also have to add on this, you can't underestimate enough how much the market is so skittish right now, it's August, our volume is low, and that means the market can swing wildly one way or the other with not too much movement. You know, the market can go down if it's going to rain tomorrow, if there aren't enough sales of U.S. open tickets. I mean, it's really that sensitive right now.

So -- and then pile on top of that, the cascading -- today we got several negative indicators coming one right after another. So -- but it all does come back to the political situation for the first time in quite some time.

VELSHI: Piers, before you ask anything else -- does this what you're looking at on your screen weird you out a little bit. Those two guys in the bottom, right corner?

MORGAN: You know what? You always weird me out, Ali. I don't know how you have the energy.

I wake up to you at 6:00 a.m.

VELSHI: It's actually Neel you're waking up to.

MORGAN: You're always bursting with detail about these markets. And I don't know when you sleep. When do you sleep?

VELSHI: After this.

(LAUGHTER)

MORGAN: Carmen, let me come to you because you're the personal finance expert of this stunning quartet, as Ali observed. If you're an ordinary person in the street here, you're looking at Wall Street in meltdown through fear, politicians acting through fear, you've got every reason to be pretty fearful yourself about your own financial status.

What should people be doing right now?

CARMEN WONG ULRICH, PERSONAL FINANCE EXPERT: Well, you shouldn't be afraid if you are sticking around for the long-term. You absolutely should not be.

Here's the thing: I don't want folks to be sitting on their hands or sitting on their fannies. I want you to look and se where you're at. And if you're comfortable with the volatility that's happening right now because you have a long-term outlook and you know what's happening today or the next couple of weeks or months is not going to affect your money in the long-term and that you're buying low, which is when you should be buying. There's a sale going on, then you're going to be OK.

The danger here is if you let fear make you make a giant move like putting everything into cash. I have never seen Americans and large corporations have so much in common right now in terms of hoarding cash, which is something that's really can be damaging in the long-term because it's incredibly short-term thinking.

Retirement is a real, real issue and concern for folks. We're going to have a lot less security measures in terms of pensions are going to be gone and Social Security, what where he going to do? We have to be responsible for ourselves and we have to be intelligent about what we do now instead of reacting on fear.

MORGAN: And, Neel Kashkari, your boss today, Bill Gross, said the following in a tweet. "Recession likely as markets recognize impotency of policymakers." And then said the Fed were running out of bullets.

I mean, that sounds pretty cataclysmic. If the Feds are running out of bullets, running out of ideas, it sounds like not much money left to try to save this situation.

KASHKARI: Well, what's left is hard, structural measures. So, we've tried short-term stimulative measures, and the Fed is one of those short-term sources of stimulus by lowering interest rates to try to boost the economy.

So they tried quantitative easing last year. It led to a short- term boost. But then as it ended, the economy started to contract again.

So, the Fed is doing whatever it can do. But what we need now are more controversial measures, long-term economic growth measures. That means reforming our entitlements, that means reforming our tax code, investing for growth.

This is harder to do. They've done the easy stuff. This is the hard stuff.

But right now, Washington is completely dysfunctional, and Washington is telling the market, you're on your own. We can't help you anymore.

And that's why investors are scared. That's why the markets are reacting so violently every day.

MORGAN: And, Ali, I mean, there's been a bit of a controversy today about the president going on a holiday, a vacation. I don't begrudge him his rest. He certainly needs it. He's working overtime for a long period.

But it seems an unusual time here where you have what appears to be meltdown in the global markets and most of Washington, having caused in many people's eyes this crisis, have all disappeared off to the beach.

VELSHI: Yes, it's interesting, although, because last week when the president did come out and speak about the economy, it had no particular effect or no particular good effect on the economy. So, there are two schools of thought here. That the president needs to come out with something and he said that in September, he'll come out with a jobs plan.

And there are a whole bunch of people saying why are we waiting for September? Why is he going on vacation? For the 15 million unemployed people in America, we need an answer to this.

The reality, though, Piers, is I think at this point whatever the president decides to do has got to be very, very well thought out. He made -- you know, he talked to Wolf the other night and talked about, you know, some trade deals here and there.

On the margins, that kind of thing is generally good for the economy. At this point, we don't need something on the margins. We need something very big and very important.

And you know what? Neel just mentioned about the kind of entitlement reform and tax reform that we need to get. It's absolutely true, but honestly, Neel and I both have a better chance of growing an afro than Congress coming together on tax reform any time soon.

So, I think we need a better solution than that.

ULRICH: You're very right. You're right on that one.

MORGAN: Yes. You're right, Ali, about this weird-looking screen, because it's like beauty and the beast from where I'm sitting.

(LAUGHTER)

MORGAN: And let me ask you -- I don't want to say who beauties and the beasts are, I want to think to the average viewer it's pretty obvious. Sorry, chaps.

Leigh, let me come to you, if you're the president and you're watching this all, it's been going on for weeks and months now. You're going to come back from vacation with the expectancy from the nation to do something pretty dramatic.

What does he have? If the Feds run out of bullets, what does the president have in his locker that he can do that is dramatic enough to stop this market mayhem?

GALLAGHER: Well, I think the most obvious thing he can do is something about jobs. There's really no substitute for good, old- fashioned demand. And that's what this economy needs. You know, everything we've done so far, the Fed's bullets, it's all been sort of artificial.

I mean, getting people back to work creates revenue -- creates tax revenue. It gets people off from unemployment. And it makes people invest in their businesses again.

What we need is the kind of organic growth that makes people -- makes me want to start a business or makes companies want to buy ads in "Fortune" magazine. We don't have that organic growth, that pure demand right now.

And jobs is the easiest -- I don't want to say easiest -- but that's the most logical way to start. It's also the one thing that has the biggest bang for your buck in terms of gathering the will of the American people and letting us think that there's a solution on the way.

I mean, jobs is the biggest crisis, and it's the one that's not been fully addressed.

ULRICH: But, Leigh, wouldn't that mean that the president actually would have to -- it would have to be another stimulus, right?

GALLAGHER: There would have to be spending. There would have to be government spending. ULRICH: That is a fear that regular American folks are seeing. They saw what happened with the debt ceiling. They really don't think Washington can agree on anything.

So, when the confidence is gone, that's why the money's being pulled out.

MORGAN: Let me ask Neel and Ali to round this off very quickly.

Do you predict, then, that there will be a new stimulus from the government to try and get this economy going again?

Neel, first to you?

KASHKARI: I think that we need to focus on spending. Not all spending is created equal. We tried spending in consumption -- that just created a short-term boost.

If we had a credible plan to invest in our economy, to build jobs, to build long-term economic growth, I think we could see support if that's combined with a long-term program to reform our entitlements and reform our tax code. So it's possible, though not likely.

MORGAN: Ali, what do you think?

VELSHI: Unfortunately, Neel's right. It's highly complex and it's not certain that Congress has the capacity to deal with, you know, chewing gum and walking at the same time. But it does have to be a combination of tax cuts that are very targeted, that cause businesses to do what Leigh said, hire people, along with some stimulus or government investment that will get work done perhaps on infrastructure, natural gas pipelines, electrical grids, things like that. It does have to be a compromise and a combination and it has to together feel very big.

Again, we've got some proposals on this. It tends to come from the left because the right tends to have one answer to this, and that is cut taxes. So, we're not getting a whole lot of creative solutions.

We're going to have to -- you know what you need to do, Piers, it needs to be treated like the debt ceiling deadline. We need a jobs plan that feels like the debt ceiling deadline and maybe we'll get some creative thinking on this.

MORGAN: We'll one thing for sure, fear and panic don't help. It's time to keep our hair on, which will obviously only apply to three of the panelists from where I'm looking.

So, beauties, beasts, thank you all very much.

VELSHI: My pleasure.

MORGAN: Coming up, the walk-out seen around the world. Christine O'Donnell's surprising departure from this show last night and the long tradition of politicians dodging the question. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What is your opinion on therapy? And is it something that is conducted at the center?

REP. MICHELE BACHMANN (R-MN), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, I'm running for the presidency of the United States. And I'm here today to talk about job creation.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MORGAN: Last night, for the first time in my 25-year interviewing career, my guest just walked off. That guest was, of course, former U.S. Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell. She objected to what I thought were perfectly reasonable questions and left the studio rather than having to answer them.

Here's that moment for those of you who missed it.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MORGAN: Why are you being so weird about this?

CHRISTINE O'DONNELL (R), FORMER U.S. SENATE CANDIDATE: I'm not being weird about this, Piers. I'm not running for office. I'm not promoting a legislative agenda. I'm promoting the policies that I lay out in the book that are mostly fiscal, that are mostly constitutional.

That's why I agreed to come on your show. That's what I want to talk about.

I'm not being weird. You're being a little rude.

MORGAN: I'm baffled as to why you think I'm being rude. I think I'm being rather charming and respectful. I'm just asking you questions based on your own public statements and now what you've written in your own book. It's hardly rude to ask you that surely.

O'DONNELL: Well, don't you think as a host, if I say this is what I want to talk about, that's what we should address?

MORGAN: Not really, no. You're a politician.

O'DONNELL: Yes. OK. I'm being pulled away. You know, we turned down another interview for this.

MORGAN: Where are you going? You're leaving?

O'DONNELL: Well, I was supposed to be speaking at the Republican women's club at 6:00, and I chose to be a little late for that, not to be -- you know, yes, not to endure rude talk show hosts, but to talk to you about my book and to talk about the issues that I address in my book. Have you read the book?

MORGAN: Yes, but these issues are in your book. That's my point. You do talk about them.

O'DONNELL: OK. All right. Are we off? Are we done?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's still there.

MORGAN: I'm not. I'm still here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He says he still wants to talk to you.

MORGAN: It would appear that the interview has just been ended.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

MORGAN: I did extend an invitation to Christine O'Donnell to come back on the show tonight. But she tweeted that she had a very, very busy schedule today and unfortunately couldn't make it and I was a cheeky bugger. Make of that what you will.

Joining me tonight to make sense of all this is James Fallows, national correspondent for "The Atlantic."

James, what did you make of all that? Am I losing the plot here? Or was I behaving in a perfectly irresponsible journalistic manner?

JAMES FALLOWS, THE ATLANTIC: I thought your questions are perfectly fine. I think the only explanation for why Ms. O'Donnell responded the way she did was she must have panicked. There's no good explanation for letting that become such an awkward moment since anybody who would experience in public life could find 20 ways to finesse the answer.

I think the point maybe that is more difficult to be under this public scrutiny for public figures than we think and it's often the case from people who are propelled up to a new level. We've seen it with Rick Perry in his treason comment. We saw it with Sarah Palin three years ago with her questions about the newspapers. Dan Quayle long ago.

It takes a little while to get one's sea legs. And I'm sure she'll answer the question differently tomorrow or the next day.

MORGAN: I mean, what I found extraordinary was her statement today. She gave a few reasons for why she'd done this. And the main one seemed to be that I was obsessed with talking to her about sex.

If you'd seen the clip we just played, no one was talking about sex. I was asking her about the ongoing quite burning political issue of the day about gay marriage given Michele Bachmann's opposition to it. And I thought it was a perfectly reasonable thing to ask another Tea Party person.

FALLOWS: It seems perfectly reasonable to me. And I was particularly touched by your correct use of the word bemuse, which most Americans use incorrectly, you're bemused by her refusal to answer.

I think, again, it must have just been lost of composure. You saw some episodes of that earlier in the program, too, even among professionals. Because what politicians can usually do is say, well, my views on this are well-known. I'm part of the conservative tradition, but what I'm really here to talk about, what I really care about is X, Y, and Z, and just sort of get past the moment.

MORGAN: Yes. I mean, you were President Jimmy Carter's chief speechwriter, so you would have been involved at the sharp end I guess of comparing for this kind of inquisition by journalists.

What I was struck by was, this is somebody who has been through a whole midterm election campaign, and is quite used to these kinds of questions, and is also quite used to the mechanics of an interview. And yet still wanted to, I think, embarrass herself and make herself look a bit silly, which I found a bit weird, as I said, from a politician point of view.

FALLOWS: It must be that it's been now six plus months, longer than almost a year since she was under this kind of attention from the national media. And so, she may be out of practice in that way, in sort of a different kind of question than perhaps she was getting back when she was getting back when she was on the circuit.

But again, the first time she has done this interview. And you know these questions will be asked by your successors in the interviewer's chair over the next weeks and I'm sure we'll hear a different kind of response. She's not going to walk out of every interview from this one on.

MORGAN: I should hope not.

James, stay with me.

I want to bring in now Todd Rogers. He's a behavioral scientist, assistant professor of public policy at Harvard Kennedy School. And he studied the long history of politicians dodging the question.

Todd, what did you make of it?

TODD ROGERS, HARVARD KENNEDY SCHOOL: Well, I thought -- I thought it was fascinating that she managed to push back on you when you were asking these questions without making any effort to really try to dodge them. It was like she thought she had control over the interview for a lot of that.

MORGAN: Yes. I'm struck by that, her statement. If I'm coming on a show like this, I decide what you talk to me about.

Well, that's not how this works, I'm afraid.

I want to play you a clip, actually. We've got clips of various politicians dodging questions in I would say a smarter way. Let's start with Michele Bachmann. This was when she was asked about her husband's clinic, the reparative therapy. Watch this and see how she reacted.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What is your opinion on reparative therapy? And is it something that is conducted at that center?

BACHMANN: Well, I'm running for the presidency of the United States. And I'm here today to talk about job creation and also the fact that we do have a business that deals with job creation. We're very proud of the business that we've created.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MORGAN: I mean, Todd, that was marvelous there. She just completely ignored the question and said something completely different.

ROGERS: Right. So the research that I've been doing with my corroborator Mike Norton, we've done a series of these experiments where we have speakers offer answers to questions that are objectively different than the question they're asked, but feel similar.

And what we found is that viewers watching this exchange often, most of the time, fail to realize that the speaker didn't answer the question and rate the speaker just as likable, honest, and trustworthy as if they had answered the question. But that's not true for all dodges, right?

So you can dodge egregiously and viewers recognize it and they punish you for it. So I was thinking a lot about your question of when you were asking Ms. O'Donnell about gay marriage. You said what are your views on gay marriage.

And it was clear she didn't want to answer that, right? So, what she did was --

MORGAN: And, James Fallows -- I mean, let me bring, James -- I mean, I think the only conclusion you can draw when a politician who is experienced who refuses to answer a straightforward question who is being in the news for so long is that they're worried that their honest answer is going to embarrass them.

FALLOWS: Yes, and again, this was sort of a rookie error. If you'd had anybody with seasoning in national politics, they would have found a way to handle this.

And I think it's worth mentioning that dodging questions in the form of either lying or refusing to engage is different and bad from something that politicians have to do all the time, which is to steer the discourse under the larger points they want to make. And that can be frustrating for us interviewers and sometimes members of the public, but it's part of their duty just as the manager of a company isn't always saying what his exact feelings are, the parents in the family aren't revealing everything in front of their kids. There are certain things where a politician is trying to advance the argument as opposed to just saying the spontaneous content of his or her mind.

MORGAN: Todd, what do you think?

ROGERS: Yes, I think that's absolutely true. There are a variety of strategies the politicians attempt to use. For example, these long introductions.

You ask me about same-sex marriage, but I want to tell you there are so many important problems facing America today. I'm glad you asked me that -- you know, long transitions.

And there are other things that we've learned that are hilarious. If a politician answers the question but stutters, you know, hesitates, it signals that they're hiding something or whatever else. It's better from a viewer's standpoint to speak fluently about a different question than to stutter and mutter through the right question. Which is --

MORGAN: And the best way -- and the best way, I think, was when Ronald Reagan was really chucked a bullet of a question. Let's see how he responded, because this was genius.

ROGERS: Yes.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HENRY TREWHITT: Some of your staff say you were tired after your most recent encounter with Mr. Mondale. I recall, yet, that President Kennedy had to go for days on end with very little sleep during the Cuban missile crisis. Is there any doubt in your mind that you will be able to function in such circumstances?

RONALD REAGAN, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: Not at all. And I want you to know that also I will not make age an issue of this campaign. I am not going to exploit, for political purposes, my opponent's youth and inexperience.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MORGAN: Now, that, gentlemen, is the way to do it, isn't it? Dodge the bullet and do it with humor and grace, and get everybody immediately on your side.

Thank you, both very much for joining me.

FALLOWS: Thank you.

ROGERS: Thanks, Piers.

MORGAN: And we'll have more on this later. We'll show the greatest walk-offs in history. And I think Christine O'Donnell may be right up there now. Coming up next, an outspoken American original, the bat out of hell himself, frankly anything could happen here, Meat Loaf, on your come.

(COMEMRCIAL BREAK)

MORGAN: Considering the theme of keeping things unpredictable this week, I'm joined by a man who says I can ask him absolutely anything, as long as I don't mind how he responds. He's got a new CD out called "Hell in a Handbasket" coming out this fall. He's the original bat out of hell, which follows neatly on from satanic witches.

He's the rock 'n' roll wild man, Meat Loaf.

Welcome.

MEAT LOAF, MUSICIAN: A rock 'n' roll wild man, huh?

MORGAN: We've had a bit of battles this week, as you may be aware. So, you can just stay in your chair.

MEAT LOAF: I'm going to stay in my chair, I promise. I promise. I'm going to stay in my chair.

MORGAN: Have you ever walked out of an interview?

MEAT LOAF: No.

MORGAN: Could you imagine doing that?

MEAT LOAF: No, I would argue -- I mean, I would argue with you. That's what I would do. I wouldn't get up and leave. I would just flat out have an argument.

MORGAN: Yes, that's what I think. I found it very baffling.

MEAT LOAF: Yes, that's what you would do.

MORGAN: Yes, totally. I wouldn't even think of walking out of an interview.

MEAT LOAF: Well, you just intimidated her.

MORGAN: Yeah.

MEAT LOAF: And she had no response.

MORGAN: What do you -- we obviously started with a more serious matter, which is the debt crisis enveloping America. You're a very successful entrepreneur, businessman. What do you make of what is happening to your country's economy?

MEAT LOAF: I think I answered that question with the title of the album. And it's based on the world's gone to hell in a hand basket. That's really true. The economy -- and you hear them all the time talk about the greed of Wall Street, the greed of Citywide (sic), the greed of Fannie Mae, the greed of -- and that's basically kind of true. They --

(CROSS TALK)

MORGAN: Who do you blame? Is it the bankers? Is it the politicians?

MEAT LOAF: It's all of the above.

MORGAN: And the American public for overspending, getting into too much debt? What do you think?

MEAT LOAF: I think -- I think. And partly the American public, because people -- the old saying, want to keep up with the Jones', you know. Look, dear, they got a new Volvo. How can they have a Volvo and we don't? You know? It's a nice Swedish car, safe for kids.

MORGAN: Nothing wrong with Volvos. Isn't it kind of part of the American dream, isn't it? The class system in America, it seems to me, has always been built around hard work, aspiration, success, achievement.

MEAT LOAF: Well, that's what it is based around. It's hard work, as far as I'm concerned. Because that's what I've done my entire life. And that's what I still do. And last year, I was home -- and what year is this? 2011. 2010 -- in 2010, a total for the entire year of six weeks.

MORGAN: Really?

MEAT LOAF: And I was working. And I worked really hard.

MORGAN: You've recently had a few health scares. You've been keeling over. What's been going on? Are you OK?

MEAT LOAF: Yeah, I'm fine.

MORGAN: You look all right.

MEAT LOAF: If I keel over now, just get the paramedics. And believe me, I'll finish the interview, I won't leave. No, I have asthma. And I -- I still think that I'm like 28 or 29 years old and that I can do what, you know, those -- well, I think I can do what Justin Bieber can do, which is -- you know, you never get tired at how old he is. But I still think I'm that age.

MORGAN: Looking at pictures here now, you can see it.

MEAT LOAF: That was in Pittsburgh. And I was having a really bad asthma attack. And my chest was killing me. And I couldn't get any air. And we finished the song and I went back and I knelt down at the drummer. I looked at my drummer and said, I thought I was going to pass out. I got back up and I said, OK, the next song's easier.. And Patty, the girl who sings with me, comes forward. And I'm singing with Patty, looking at Patty. And I'm singing. And all of a sudden gone. And so -- I guess I was out for over like two minutes.

And so I wake up and I go where are we? And somebody goes Pittsburgh. And I said, but I know that. Where are we in the show? And they went, you took the words right out of my mouth. And I said, OK. And I turned to Justin who plays piano. I went, start took the words. I just got up and finished the show. I didn't walk out on that either.

MORGAN: You didn't. I commend you. But part of the problem is you're -- I've seen you perform live. You are like a bat out of hell when you perform live.

MEAT LOAF: You know what? I take the stage as if it's going to be the last thing I ever do. And that's how I perform every night. Every night.

MORGAN: Can you keep doing that to your body? Do you think --

MEAT LOAF: I don't know. We'll find out.

MORGAN: Is it maybe sending you a few messages here? Time to slow down a little bit?

MEAT LOAF: Yeah, probably have to slow down a little bit. But I do -- I mean, that's -- I go through -- I don't know if you've ever been in a locker room before a football game or before a baseball game. It's like, I have a friend who manages the Dodgers now named Don Mattingly. And I was at Yankee Stadium hanging out on the field with Don. And we were playing catch and throwing the ball around.

And I sang the National Anthem. And came back into the dugout. And he had a different look. It's the focus. They were in the zone. And so for two or three hours before a show, I'm --

MORGAN: The same.

MEAT LOAF: I'm the same. It's like I'm in the zone. And I go out on the stage as if it's the last thing I'll ever do. I will -- and that's why I've always said, if I'm going out, I'm going out on the stage.

MORGAN: I don't want you to overdo it. So let's take a little break.

MEAT LOAF: I'm good now. I didn't prepare like that back there.

MORGAN: We have a little break just anyway, a commercial break. When we come back, I want to talk to you about "Bat Out of Hell," which was the album -- I will call it the seminal album of my youth. I want to thank you and pay tribute to you.

MEAT LOAF: Thank you. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(SINGING)

MORGAN: Back with Meat Loaf. That was your single "Paradise By the Dashboard Life," from of course the great album "Bat Out of Hell." That was a great anthem from this album. I remember, I was -- when that came out, I was about 12 or 13. And for the next four years, this record would be played almost constantly in my life, at school, at home. We were all little bats out of hell.

MEAT LOAF: Well, the funny thing about "Paradise" was that it was released as a single in the States. And it was released as a single in the UK. And it was the only single off of "Bat Out of Hell" I think to get in the top ten at that time.

And it was number one in Australia and all around the world. And they released it in America, and there was a gentleman by the name of Casey Kasem, who had a syndicated top 40 show that they sent around the country. When "Paradise" got to number 38, he actually put into the envelope or whatever a handwritten note that said "get this trash out of the top forty." Because it -- the Phil Rizzuto First Base, Second Base, Third Base thing, which is like -- you know, that's like a Kindergarten thing now.

MORGAN: How many -- how many copies of "Bat Out of Hell" worldwide have now been sold? Do you know?

MEAT LOAF: Around 43 million.

MORGAN: Unbelievable.

MEAT LOAF: And it was only "Thriller" and AC/DC "Back in Black" ahead of us.

MORGAN: It's the third biggest selling album of all time. Dare I ask how much money it has made you?

MEAT LOAF: It hasn't made hardly any money for me. Trust me.

MORGAN: Why?

MEAT LOAF: They declared me in breach of contract in 1982. And in 1982, I got sued for 100 million dollars and lost. And --

MORGAN: So you sell 43 million copies of this album and barely made any money out of it?

MEAT LOAF: I think I got a check last week for 1.29. And I'm really serious. I've seen statements come from the old CBS Records where I actually owe them money. And I'm not lying.

MORGAN: That's ridiculous.

MEAT LOAF: They would charge me like 77 cents for selling a record. Because they had what they called cut-outs. MORGAN: How much should you have made? I mean, if it was a normal contract?

MEAT LOAF: Back then? I -- I really don't know. Maybe after you pay the producers and everybody, 12, 13, 14 million dollars, maybe. I got a check once for 285,000, which was not bad. I bought a house.

MORGAN: In total, have you made less than say a million dollars out of that?

MEAT LOAF: No, I've made more because we -- we did take them to court at one point. A little bit more, but not a lot.

MORGAN: Apart from your shrinking bank balance because of it, you've also physically shrunk. Those images there, that was a huge Meat Loaf.

MEAT LOAF: You showed a picture of me in red. And I said, oh, my lord, that picture in red, I weighed about 330 pounds.

MORGAN: Did you really?

MEAT LOAF: When that -- and "The Paradise," I was around 300, 310.

MORGAN: What are you now?

MEAT LOAF: Well, I've gained seven pounds, so I'm sorry you asked me that. I know where I should be. I know where I am. I was at 257, and I don't like it.

MORGAN: That's still pretty good, though.

MEAT LOAF: Yeah, but I don't like that.

MORGAN: What would you like to get down to? What's your fighting weight?

MEAT LOAF: A hundred and twenty, no. I don't know. Probably a healthy weight would probably be 220, 225, something like that.

MORGAN: Getting another little break. When we come back, I want to talk to you a bit more about politics.

MEAT LOAF: Oh, my word.

MORGAN: I think you're quite a political guy underneath.

MEAT LOAF: I have my opinions, yes.

MORGAN: Pretty strong ones, I should think.

MEAT LOAF: I probably do.

MORGAN: Do you know who you're going to vote for next election? MEAT LOAF: I have no idea. I couldn't tell you in a million years.

MORGAN: You're not a Democrat.

MEAT LOAF: I'm not a Democrat or a Republican.

MORGAN: Interesting. Let's find out what you are after the break.

MEAT LOAF: OK. I'm a Leprechaun.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(NEWS BREAK)

(MUSIC)

MORGAN: That was, of course, Meat Loaf in the cult classic "Rocky Horror Picture Show." Let's clear one thing up, so you were born Marvin Lee Aday. You then became Michael.

MEAT LOAF: I did.

MORGAN: So talk me through this process. How did you end up at Meat Loaf?

MEAT LOAF: OK. OK. Oh, well -- the best story is this one. And I would own the company now if it was today. When I was a kid, I was so big -- I mean, I was really big -- that I literally could not wear blue jeans. And I would have to go down -- my mother would take me to Sears. And they didn't make blue jeans that would fit me.

So I wore like pleated pants in the first grade. And a commercial came on the air when I was about five or six years old from Levis. And the commercial was "poor, fat Marvin can't wear Levis."

MORGAN: Really? You were still called Marvin at the time?

MEAT LOAF: No, I was called Meat. But people would call me Marvin. After that, nobody called me Marvin. And I went before a judge in Connecticut in 1984, and I told him this story. And he said -- and that's what he said to me, if it was today, you'd own the company.

And I said -- he goes, so that's why you want to change your name to Michael? And I went, yes, sir. And he said, well, normally the process is about six weeks, but in your case, I understand completely. And he turned to his clerk and said give me the stamp. And he stamped it and he handed it to me and said, Michael, have a great day.

MORGAN: That's a great story. Are you now legally called Meat Loaf?

MEAT LOAF: I had Meat Loaf on my passport when we first were touring "Bat Out of Hell." And I went into Germany and showed them my passport. And they kept me in immigration for six hours. So I figured at that point it was probably the best thing to do was get Meat Loaf off my passport immediately, if not sooner.

MORGAN: What is on your passport?

MEAT LOAF: Michael Lee Aday.

MORGAN: So that's your -- you go by that name legally?

MEAT LOAF: Yes, since 1984.

MORGAN: What do you like to be called when your stage character? Do you like to be called Mr. Loaf?

MEAT LOAF: Meat.

MORGAN: Meat?

MEAT LOAF: Yeah. The one person -- the first person that ever called me Mr. Loaf was Clive Barnes when I was doing "As You Like It" for Joe Papp. And he -- he made a quote about Raul Julia and Mary Beth Hurd and myself. And he said, Mr. Julia, Ms. Hurd, and Mr. Loaf. It was a very nice quote that followed it.

And you can -- it used to be online. I don't know if it still is. But he called me Mr. Loaf. And I'd gone to Joe Papp when we were doing "As You Like It." And I said to him, Joe, since I'm doing Shakespeare, maybe we shouldn't use Meat Loaf.

And Joe looks at me. And it took me a few seconds to understand what he was saying. And he looked at me and he said, "what? Do you think if Bill wasn't alive today, he wouldn't use Meat Loaf?" And he walked off.

And he walked away. And I'm watching him go. And I'm going, "who's Bill?" Bill who? And I went, oh, William Shakespeare. Bill. Going, OK. So -- and he was right. Because in "As You Like It," they have really -- Shakespeare --

MORGAN: I mean, Meat Loaf or Michael or Marvin, you've had a pretty extraordinary life. I was doing a little roll call of near- death experiences you've had. Crashed in a car which rolled over. You got struck on the head with a shot during a shot put event.

MEAT LOAF: The car-rolling thing was really good. Is was a Corvair.

MORGAN: Hang on a sec. You were struck on the head with a shot during a shot put event?

MEAT LOAF: It was at practice, but it was 62 feet with a 12- pound shot. I actually have -- I won't make you do this, but I do have a dent in my skull from it.

MORGAN: Seriously?

MEAT LOAF: Yeah. OK. Right here. You can feel it.

MORGAN: Wow, you have!

MEAT LOAF: Yeah.

MORGAN: What an amazing thing! Meat Loaf is dented.

MEAT LOAF: But I was passed out longer in Pittsburgh from the asthma attack than I was getting hit at 62 feet with a 12-pound shot.

MORGAN: Then you broke your legs while performing a concert. You were then struck with Wolf Parkinson White Syndrome to your heart.

MEAT LOAF: That was a compliment, actually.

MORGAN: A compliment?

MEAT LOAF: Yes, Wolf Parkinson White. Because when they diagnosed Wolf Parkinson White, the doctor came in and said, well, you're among an elite group. I said, why is that? He goes, marathon runners get Wolf Parkinson White. And I went, great. OK. Let's enter me. So no, pro athletes get that quite a bit.

MORGAN: You also -- in 2006, your plane took an emergency landing in London after the plane's landing gear failed. Are you very unlucky or are you very lucky, because you're still alive?

MEAT LOAF: I'm very lucky.

MORGAN: It seems to me you are.

MEAT LOAF: Yes, I'm very lucky.

MORGAN: Any guy that gets singled out for a shot put in the head and has a dent in the head and still here.

MEAT LOAF: If you're in a Corvair rolling down into the Red River, which is -- thank goodness, didn't have any water in it at the time -- full of Coors Beer coming from Oklahoma in high school, and all you hear is the sound -- we had cases of beer in the trunk.

And all you hear is the sound of pss, pss, pss, pss -- and the other two guys got thrown out and I'm stuck in the backseat of this Corvair. And I can't get out, because I weigh like 300 pounds. And I'm the backseat of a Corvair!

MORGAN: And you're still here.

MEAT LOAF: I'm still here. Been cut out of cars, got hid in the head in collisions.

MORGAN: Fantastic. You are one of life's miracles. We're going to come back after the break. We're also going to show people the greatest walk offs in the history of television. It's hilarious.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) MORGAN: That is the memorable song "I'll Do Anything For Love, But I Won't Do That," which is in memory of Christine O'Donnell.

Meatloaf, very quickly -- very quickly, we didn't ask you about politics. If you could vote for anyone right now, who would it be?

MEAT LOAF: Christine O'Donnell.

MORGAN: Anybody else? Seriously.

MEAT LOAF: The person I probably would vote for is not running at the moment.

MORGAN: Who's that?

MEAT LOAF: Chris Christie, governor of New Jersey.

MORGAN: He's a potentially great candidate.

MEAT LOAF: We big guys got to stick together.

MORGAN: Absolutely right. Great talking to you.

MEAT LOAF: Nice talking to you.

MORGAN: Now, before we go, we're going to have the last word on Christine O'Donnell's surprise departure from this show last night. We asked Jeanne Moos to take a look at some of the best walk offs in the history of television. This is hysterical.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JEANNE MOOS, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Who doesn't love a walkout? Sometimes it makes great TV when hosts and guests disagree.

MORGAN: Why are you being so weird about this?

CHRISTINE O'DONNELL, FORMER CANDIDATE FOR SENATE IN DELAWARE: I'm not being weird. You're being a little rude.

MOOS: But if you're going to walk out of an interview, here's how not to. Do not have your P.R. person intentionally block the camera.

MORGAN: Where are you going?

MOOS: And if you're going, go. Don't linger.

O'DONNELL: All right. Are we off?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Larry, you're being inappropriate.

LARRY KING, FORMER CNN ANCHOR: What?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm not going to talk about -- KING: I'm asking a question.

MOOS: If you're serious about walking off, we recommend you don't keep looking off to the side at your P.R. people. It sort of dilutes the defiant act of walking off if you're looking for advice from the sidelines.

KING: Who are you talking to?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you have worry about your moment having passed?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I was curious about one thing.

MOOS: Do not do as Naomi Campbell did. Do not whack the camera.

Do not overturn furniture just because the host called then quarterback Jim Everett a girl's name, Chris Everett.

And do not drop a string of F-bombs, as comedian Andrew Dice Clay did.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A guys wants to open a (EXPLETIVE DELETED). Can't he do a little (EXPLETIVE DELETED) routine here. So you know what? (EXPLETIVE DELETED)

MOOS: Remember, TV producers love walkouts. Your walkout is likely to end up as a promo.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Sorry. What's your question?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's the weirdest interview you'll ever see.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Delete that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What sent Fergie complete economy off the rails?

MOOS: Kiss front man Gene Simmons was being interviewed with his significant other of 28 years when Joy Behar brought up his claim that he slept with 5,000 women.

GENE SIMMONS, SINGER: My back is good. My (INAUDIBLE) not so much.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That's very nice of you to joke about it.

SIMMONS: It's a joke, (EXPLETIVE DELETED). Where are you going?

Thanks for the question.

MOOS: His companion headed off toward the New York skyline.

(on camera): What she didn't know was that only way out of here is through this fake garden wall.

(voice-over): So momentarily corralled, she paced.

SIMMONS: Please come back here.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You know what, no. You joke about it and it's not funny.

MOOS: Before your walkout, make sure there's someplace to walk to.

Jeanne Moos, CNN --

SIMMONS: Shannon, come back!

MOOS: New York.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MORGAN: Fantastic journalism there from Jeanne Moos. Brilliant stuff. Meat Loaf, thank you so much for not walking out on me.

MEAT LOAF: Thank you.

MORGAN: I really appreciate it. You restored my faith in interview guests. That's all for us tonight. Another fantastically entertaining show. "AC 360" starts right now.