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PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT
Interview with Michael Moore
Aired December 6, 2011 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
PIERS MORGAN, CNN HOST: Is this the angriest man in America?
MICHAEL MOORE, ACADEMY AWARD-WINNING FILMMAKER: These poor bankers. They hate this country. And they hate the people in it. And they hate the workers in it. And they're trying to get away with as much money as they can before that next crash. And they have to be stopped.
MORGAN: That's what he said the last time he was here. Tonight Michael Moore is back. No holds barred on President Obama.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This is a make- or-break moment for the middle class.
MORGAN: On the Gingrich surge.
NEWT GINGRICH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I intend to run as the paycheck candidate.
MORGAN: And on his crusade for the little guy.
MOORE: I'll tell you who doesn't have any personal responsibility. Companies like General Electric and others who pay absolutely no income tax.
MORGAN: Tonight I'll ask Michael Moore can CEOs actually be part of the solution? I'll deal with controversial Michael Moore for the hour.
This is PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT.
Good evening. Michael Moore is one of my favorite guests mainly because he always causes a lot of trouble. He's a passionate advocate for America's working class. A man who is never, I mean never afraid to speak his mind.
The last time he was here, things got a bit heated but he promised to come back anyway. And being a man of his word, he is here tonight. Michael's latest book is "Here Comes Trouble: Stories From My Life." And he joins me now.
Michael, welcome back.
MOORE: Thanks for having me back.
MORGAN: You've calmed down since our last encounter?
MOORE: No, I haven't.
MOORE: That's OK.
MORGAN: People say to me, what's he like, you know, away from the camera? Is he as fired up and angry? Does he wake up in the morning like John McEnroe and start screaming at people? I mean what are you like?
MOORE: Well, you actually have seen me backstage here. So I think you would say that I'm actually kind of a quiet --
MORGAN: You are. You're a contradiction. Yes.
MOORE: And a bit of shy person. But I'm -- listen, you know, I didn't make my first movie until I was 35. So I was just living my normal life, minding my own business.
MORGAN: Do you ever wish you hadn't decided to embark on this crazy second life?
MOORE: No. It was OK because I had the first 17 years of my adulthood where I didn't have to worry about anybody being mad at me so --
MOORE: So but I -- but it was -- I think by the time I got to the age of 35, I was like why -- when is somebody going to do something about this, when it like -- specifically about General Motors and Flint and our economy there. And then I just -- I just -- I can't keep complaining about this or just waiting for somebody else to do it, so I'm going to make this movie, "Roger and Me." And we'll see what happens. So --
MORGAN: And everything changed. But how do you deal with the level of vitriol that you get? You get huge praise from people that like you.
MORGAN: But you get unbelievable --
MOORE: I'm sure most people.
MORGAN: Yes. But you get an unbelievable amount of stick, too.
MORGAN: How do you deal with that? Because you seem like -- as I say, I'll see you back behind the scenes, you are quite a shy guy.
MOORE: Right. MORGAN: I can't imagine it doesn't hit you.
MOORE: I -- a long time ago I -- when it first started, I thought it was kind of funny, actually, when I would hear things on FOX News or on Limbaugh or whatever. And I realized that they had invented a fictional character and put my name on it. And so all these things they say about me, I would -- I just kind of treat it as entertainment, frankly. And I don't -- I don't really -- it doesn't really affect me.
It would affect me if somebody who is a friend or a family member have said, you know, my god, yes, that would bother me.
MORGAN: Somebody you cared about.
MOORE: Yes, yes, or -- yes, or if I let my fans down in some way or the people that go to my movies or read my books. You know I'd feel bad about that.
MORGAN: I saw President Obama yesterday, he made a joke about being unpopular. And it's quite interesting because I was talking to David Axelrod last night, and I said to him, in many ways Obama is fairly decent guy. You know, he looks the part, he's young, he's dynamic, he's fit, he's a good speaker.
MORGAN: He's a good figurehead for America around the world, he's popular abroad.
MORGAN: Lots of ticks in the box for him, and yet he gets an incredible amount of vitriol, too. And I can't help but think it must get to him as well. It's the nature of the modern beast, isn't it? With the Internet and everything else that goes on.
MOORE: Well, I think he's had to be Barack Obama his whole life. So by now he's probably got a pretty thick skin, I would think. But it is -- it is odd the way that our level of politics of where the demonization of your opponent. I never -- I would never question a Republican of whether or not they loved America or whether they were patriotic or -- I would assume that they love this country and I assume that what they're doing is what they believe is best for the country.
But when they throw this back, it is -- it is a little like, wow, don't you understand that I'm an American, too? We're all in the same boat? You know we're going to sink or swim together so --
MORGAN: Let's talk it out. Obama made a very passionate speech today. Let's play a little part of this and discuss it afterwards.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: Now this kind of inequality, a level that we haven't seen since the Great Depression, hurts us all. When middle class families can no longer afford to buy the goods and services that businesses are selling, when people are slipping out of the middle class, it drags down the entire economy, from top to bottom.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: What did you make of the speech?
MOORE: I think that this is the Obama that I voted for, and I think the majority of people who voted for him voted for this Obama that -- today he referenced Franklin Roosevelt and that -- and that we have to get out of this mentality we've been in for the last 30 years, as he said, where it's the sort of you're on your own economy. That's the philosophy of the other side.
You're on your own. Good luck. You know, I got mine, you get yours. Don't come to me. And that kind of thinking, this isn't -- that's not what's going to pull us through. You know you come from a country and much of Europe, most of the western democracies have the concept of we, that -- you know, we are all in this together, we are all Brits.
And even conservatives like in your country believe that every Brit should be able to see a doctor if they get sick and not have to worry about whether or not they can pay for it. That's just a basic common thing no matter what your politics are in Britain.
And here -- I mean, you've been here, I guess I can ask you the question, what is it about us --
MORGAN: Well, I'm not sure I agree with that basic tenet of what you're saying because I believe that Americans instinctively are incredibly patriotic. There is a "we are together" as an overview. The problem comes at lower levels, I think. And it comes from the administration, consecutive administrations not making it clear to the individual in America what their own responsibilities are and what the governments are to them, I think.
There's no charity on it.
MOORE: When you say we're patriotic, that we're all together, we're all Americans, when you hear that, though --
MORGAN: Let me give you an example.
MOORE: Yes. What's --
MORGAN: Let me give you --
MOORE: What are you referencing?
MORGAN: Of where I think you're wrong about the comparison --
MOORE: Invading another country or --
MORGAN: No, no. Here's an example. You know, when you -- I remember doing talent shows, for example. We used to have celebrity guests. If the prime minister of Great Britain had walked out as a guest of the audience to one of our shows.
MORGAN: Biggest show in Britain, half the audience would have booed him.
MORGAN: In America, that wouldn't happen.
MORGAN: There would be a respect for the president, for the office of the presidency.
MORGAN: And that would be --
MOORE: Until now.
MORGAN: I'm not -- I don't think Obama would get booed now.
MOORE: His wife can't even go to NASCAR -- to a NASCAR event. Michelle Obama shows up and they boo her.
MORGAN: So you think it is turning now?
MOORE: I think -- I think -- with his election in particular, I think that the vitriol toward him simply because he's him and toward his wife because why? She wants people to eat vegetables and take better care of themselves? That's her big crime?
No, no, no. You know, I've been on question time on the BBC and you're right. A politician comes on there and the audience, man, they're not afraid -- they let him -- they let have it. But you know what? What they don't do is they don't demonize. They don't make it personal. When they go after the politician -- I've been on, like I said, on your shows over there. It's -- they're mad about the politics. They're mad about the decisions that the prime minister has made or the party has made. They don't go off into this --
MORGAN: I think you're being quite generous, Michael, honestly. I know Britain very well and they chew up all politicians now. And it's gotten very febrile, led by the media, the public --
MOORE: Well --
MORGAN: When together. But --
MOORE: And you now have a record number of McDonald's. I mean, yes, you are becoming more like us. If that's your point -- MORGAN: Yes.
MOORE: If that's your point --
MORGAN: More litigation. I mean, you'll be telling me to say route soon.
Here's my issue, though, with Obama's speech today. It was very much directed at the American public to say, right, I understand the problem. There is inequality. We need to deal with this, we go back to Roosevelt, we need to go back to those ideals.
MORGAN: At the same time we've just come off a period when the American public over Thanksgiving holiday have gone back out and in record numbers spent, spent, spent again. Money that many of them simply don't have.
MORGAN: The message has not got through, has it?
MOORE: Well, this is a problem. This is a problem with us. You know, first of all, the American people are inundated with advertisement after advertisement of you buy, buy, buy. You've got to have the latest thing. The iPad 1 isn't any good anymore, you've got to have the iPad 2. The iPhone 4, now you've got to have iPhone 4S. Now you've got to have the 5b, now you've got to have the 6c.
I mean this is this constant consume, consume, consume. This isn't good for the planet. It's not good for us. People also, you know, shop when they're -- you know, not feeling that well about their situation. I mean that's not -- I'm not -- you know, we're not on Dr. Phil here, but I mean I'm just saying that people --
MORGAN: But Michael, how do people --
MOORE: People are depressed right now. People -- listen --
MORGAN: Yes, but I don't -- I don't think your parents' generation and my parents' generation --
MOORE: Yes, but my parents' generation -- but here's the difference.
MORGAN: They wouldn't do this.
MOORE: Well, because my dad never had to worry about whether or not he had -- was going to have his job next year or two years or three years. Didn't have to worry --
MORGAN: But that's not true, though, is it?
MOORE: When I -- when I was of college age --
MORGAN: That's not true.
MOORE: That is true.
MORGAN: In the post war period many people had to worry about their jobs.
MOORE: No, no -- oh my god. Are you -- oh god. I wish I could take you through a job tunnel.
MORGAN: Not so much in America. Not so much America.
MOORE: In this country -- no, there was --
MORGAN: In Britain --
MOORE: What was called job security. That if your company did well, you did well. If you worked hard and your company prospered you would prosper. That was the deal.
People of my age who went to college, go into college, you know what it cost back then? Nothing or next to nothing. At the most, you had to work at Dairy Queen during the summer and that would pay for your college education.
It has completely changed. Now everybody is living this agitated, anxiety-ridden life of, am I going to have something tomorrow? Can I pay -- what are the statistics a couple of months ago that -- how many -- 50 million Americans are just a couple of months away from poverty? Like if they lost their job, they only have about two months of a cushion in the bank if that?
I mean this is where --
MORGAN: But when --
MOORE: My dad and my mom did not live like that. That was not our America when we grew up.
MORGAN: No, but I would argue, I've never met your parents, but I've read your books and I know, you know, how close you were to them. And I know that fundamentally that era, that generation of people didn't have the same casual, cavalier, and I would say reckless view of money that many people around the world now seem to have.
MOORE: Well, the reckless view, if you want to say -- if you want to call it that, remember that the fish rots from the head down.
MOORE: The reckless view starts on Wall Street, starts with corporate America, starts with the captains of capitalism. They have created this huge casino where they have recklessly lost pension funds of millions of people, ruined the near future -- hopefully just the near future -- of this country. MORGAN: But when Obama makes a speech --
MOORE: And so is it any surprising that a certain number of Americans --
MORGAN: No, it's not. And by the way --
MOORE: Would follow suit.
MORGAN: No, and I'm not blaming them. But I also think you can't divorce personal responsibility, people have to be responsible to their own household budgets as well.
MORGAN: They can't just say --
MOORE: Most Americans are very responsible. Most Americans --
MORGAN: Do you believe that?
MOORE: Yes, they're -- let me tell you right now. They're watching us and they're sitting at home right now trying to figure out -- they've got the pencil out and trying to figure out how am I going to have enough money so there's lunch for the kids next week.
MORGAN: But how do you explain if that's true --
MOORE: How are we going to pay the rent?
MORGAN: But, Michael, if that's true, how do you explain the Thanksgiving bonanza, millions and million of Americans rushing out to max their credit cards again knowing the country's $14 trillion in debt, knowing that nobody appears to have any real answers to it?
I don't get that mentality. And even more importantly beneath the rhetoric --
MOORE: Really you don't? You don't get that mentality? Here we are, we're sitting on a commercial network, we're going to cut to commercial soon. And for about three minutes the TV is going to hammer people with buy, buy, buy.
MOORE: Or you're not beautiful enough if you don't get this. Or you're not cool enough if you don't have that. If you want to keep up with the Joneses, you better buy what's in the next commercial.
MORGAN: And there's always been --
MOORE: And then -- you and I are going to be back and talk about, gees, why are these Americans like this? I think it's quite clear that there's a brainwashing that goes on for a long period of time. It's been going on now for a good 30 years where --
MORGAN: What is the answer then?
MOORE: Well, the answer is reality. The reality -- we need to go back --
MORGAN: But how do you -- how do you make Americans who are spending beyond their means, many of them are, millions.
MOORE: Yes. Not the majority. You're talking about a minority.
MORGAN: I'm not talking about a majority.
MOORE: And also remember --
MOORE: Even though we have 20 percent of the population that is either unemployed or underemployed, that still means that there's 80 percent that are working. So I mean the economy -- the economy still does run. But I honestly -- again, I'm not Dr. Phil, but I think a lot of people, especially this time of year want to feel better. They don't know if they're going to have a job next year. They don't know how -- if their kids are going to be able to go to college, but yes, I'll get him an iPod. You know? Man, you know, we'll all feel better for a day maybe.
MORGAN: You know I -- see, I think that attitude has to be addressed as well as all the other issues.
I'm going to come to some after --
MOORE: Well, the best way to address it is let's have real middle class jobs in this country so that people can buy what they want to buy.
MOORE: Because actually the -- when they buy things that puts other people to work.
MORGAN: I agree with that. Let's take a break.
MOORE: And then they get to buy things.
MORGAN: Let's take a break, come back and explore that thought. And also obviously if we're going to get new president or we may have the same one again, but either way a big decision for Americans facing them in the year.
MORGAN: Back with my special guest Michael Moore.
And Michael, when we say even in the great days it's an interesting debate, isn't it, when you try and pin any of the blame on the average Joe in the street? You're always going to face, as I'm sure I will -- people will say, hang on a second, don't you blame us for what the bankers did. And I accept that. I think it was railed --
MOORE: That was your crew during the break.
MORGAN: Yes, yes.
MOORE: That's the average Joes and Janes on the floor here.
MORGAN: Yes, but I find that an interesting reaction.
MORGAN: And part of what they were saying was, that, you know, with Christmas coming and so on, people are rushing out to take advantage of bargains so they can afford to get their children anything.
I totally get that psychology, but I don't think it's good enough to simply always blame other people for your own overspending if that's what you're doing.
MOORE: For the minority that do that, yes, personal responsibility and some planning is a good idea. OK? How's that?
MORGAN: Let's turn to the -- let's turn to the real villains.
MORGAN: Let's turn to -- because we discussed this a lot before. But the bankers, Wall Street. You've been at the forefront of the "Occupy Wall Street." You launched a new initiative today where you're focusing on foreclosures. You believe the banks should have a moral obligation to people who lost their homes as a result of the financial meltdown, which you believe predominantly came from greedy bankers. Is that in a nutshell --
MOORE: Well, not just me, actually. The FBI did their own investigation of the mortgage fraud crisis and determined that about 25 percent of the mortgage problem was because of those people you were talking about in the last segment, people who were spending beyond their means. Seventy-five percent of this problem, though, was caused by fraudulent practices on the parts of the banks.
"60 Minutes" did a great story on Sunday, I don't know if you saw it or not, with --
MORGAN: I did, yes.
MOORE: Countrywide and these other -- you know the way that they schemed and scammed to bamboozle people into this. And --
MORGAN: But again, let me throw this devil's advocate position to you.
MOORE: Yes. Yes.
MORGAN: Because I totally agree. And I think it's disgusting what happened with some of these greedy bankers fleecing the most vulnerable people in society with these subprime mortgages and so on. It was a total scandal. Should have been unearthed before, should have been regulated against, should never have happened.
MORGAN: I totally agree with you. Again, though, I come back to a certain degree of personal responsibility. The people who lost their homes, a lot of them, not the majority, but a lot of people simply bought homes they couldn't afford. Well, that's an -- that's unarguable fact.
MOORE: Yes. It's 25 percent did that, yes.
MORGAN: Right. What --
MOORE: That's -- 75 percent didn't do that.
MORGAN: I accept.
MOORE: Some people that's true.
MORGAN: Well, 25 percent is a lot of people, isn't it?
MOORE: Yes. Well but that is not -- isn't that --
MORGAN: Should those people now -- using the same argument about --
MOORE: Yes. Yes.
MORGAN: The bailouts and so on, should those people who did deliberately really spend beyond their means, should they be bailed out in the way that you're talking about with these foreclosures?
MOORE: Yes. Well, what I'm talking about -- it's not just me, by the way, there's a whole organization called "Occupy Our Homes." And today they began with a number of actions where -- this is where the -- one of the ways the Occupy movement is going to deal with the winter is that people are going to start occupying and helping people who are being evicted from their homes to stand there, lock arms and not allow the sheriff's deputies to come in there and throw these people out of their homes.
To help them in court, because if they go to court -- Marcy Kaptur is a congresswoman from Toledo, so very eloquent on this. She says, you know, don't leave your home. If you get an eviction notice, don't leave. That's the worst thing you could do. Stay there and when they take you to court, go to court and say to the judge, could the bank please produce the mortgage? The bank can't.
Because the bank -- and this is where we ended up with the crazy crisis that happened in '08 is the bank took your home mortgage, chopped it up a hundred different ways, bundled it with a thousand other mortgages, and then sold it off to the Chinese or the Russians or whoever they sold it off to. And so they cannot -- the bank cannot produce your mortgage in court. If they can't produce the mortgage, if you've got a decent judge, the judge is going to say, how can we evict them if you can't even prove you the bank actually own the home because of course the bank doesn't own the home any more.
So this movement right now, "Occupy Our Homes" is going to do that. And it's going to -- but nobody's asking for a free ride here. Nobody wants the free lunch for people -- especially anybody who's been --
MORGAN: But isn't that a form of free lunch?.
MOORE: No. It's -- this is -- there are a number of ways to deal with this. First of all, what's the biggest problem we've got right now, one in five homes are under water, one in five mortgages are under water. In other words, as you know, the home is no longer worth what they bought it for, yet they've got to pay what it used to be worth.
MOORE: All right? There's no other business like that. CNN doesn't have to pay you what you used to be worth when you were, you know, making gazillions in Britain. You know?
MOORE: They pay you for what you're worth now and how your ratings go will determine your next contract, right? Right? It's not based on what you did before.
MORGAN: No, no, sure.
MOORE: People have a home. They bought a home four or five years ago that was worth $200,000. Now it's worth $100,000, they still have to pay the $200,000. So what this movement is asking for is, number one, that the banks allow people to come in and rework these loans so that it is more in tune with what the home is actually worth right now. Number one.
Number two, if for some reason, say, for instance, somebody was negligent or whatever, we don't gain as a society by throwing somebody or their family out on the curb in the middle of winter. Can't we rework this so that -- OK, they can't -- they can't have the home any more, it's not -- they can't pay for it. Let them live there and let them pay rent.
Isn't that -- wouldn't that be the decent thing to do?
MORGAN: No, no, no. On a human level I can completely --
MOORE: Therefore the bank gets money, gets rent money. They can work out something for what their equity is that they've already put into their house.
MORGAN: Here's again, I just come back to this point one more time. Slightly devil's advocate, but I actually believe in the principle of it. You know I remember when Britain rebuilt itself after the Second World War, for example, when it was really in a bad way. And actually there was a real sense, you talked about it earlier, this collective responsibility thing. And it was -- it was double-edged. The government had to come up with a way to get the country going again, but they also said to the people, right, look, we're in this together, you're all going to have to batten down the hatches, you're all going to have to spend this money.
I'm waiting for that speech in America from an American president or an American political leader to say we are in the mire, and yes, the bankers were terrible, Wall Street was awful, the government got it wrong, all these things went wrong, but to get ourselves back on track, you have all got to batten down the financial hatches.
MOORE: Yes, but you don't have to --
MORGAN: Live within your means.
MOORE: You don't ask the person making $20,000 a year to batten down first. You start with the people who created this crash, who took people's pension funds, put it into a rigged casino called Wall Street, and ruined the lives of millions of people.
Let's start with them. What would be wrong with asking for a special prosecutor to investigate how that crash happened in first place?
MORGAN: I agree with you.
MOORE: And if people broke the law --
MORGAN: -- has ever been -- ever been brought to book --
MOORE: Isn't it right?
MORGAN: -- is an outrage.
MOORE: Right. There's 5,000 "Occupy Wall Street" protesters who have been arrested, nonviolent protesters who have been arrested. But not one single banker on Wall Street has spent a day in jail.
MOORE: That just seems --
MORGAN: Let's take another break, come back and let's talk more about this, talk more "Occupy Wall Street" and you're friend Newt Gingrich who has some alarming -- alarming footage of you and storming Newt.
MOORE: I've hidden this footage for about 15 years so.
MORGAN: It's coming back to haunt you.
MOORE: Right. All right.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MOORE: No, you're not hallucinating. This is Newt Gingrich. I'm Michael Moore. And tonight on TV Nation, Newt and Mike save America.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: A surreal moment from Michael Moore series "TV Nation" in 1994.
So you and Newt then best buddies?
MOORE: Well, yes, I went down to Cobb County, Georgia, which he represented in Congress. And you know, of course, he's all against the federal government. We should have small government and whatever. And -- so I went down and I found out that Cobb County was like the number three county in the country in terms of the largesse, the amount of federal aid it received, the amount of federal dollars spent.
Cobb County was like number three. And I just thought, boy, how does this -- how does this -- so I went down there, and there was a Fourth of July parade. And he was just -- he was marching in the parade and I just kind of went out in the street and march --
MORGAN: That man is now --
MOORE: Marching with him.
MORGAN: Is not the frontrunner to be the Republican nominee. And therefore, could be on the verge of becoming the next president of the United States. How do you feel about that?
MOORE: Well, I have more footage.
MORGAN: Do you?
MOORE: Yes, I have all the outtakes that didn't make it on the air.
MORGAN: Is it good stuff?
MOORE: There might be, yes.
MORGAN: Are you planning to release this?
MOORE: I'm not planning on him being the nominee.
MORGAN: But if he is, are you going to release some stuff?
MOORE: I can't believe he's going to -- how long -- what is the shelf life of a Republican candidate in the number one position this year?
MORGAN: Maybe like a bottle of Chateau (INAUDIBLE), he just got better with age.
MOORE: I don't think so.
MORGAN: I interviewed Newt Gingrich recently.
MORGAN: And I find him quite impressive, actually. Mainly because I thought he was intelligent. And you can't say that about all of the candidates.
MOORE: OK. OK. So --
MORGAN: You agree with that? He's intelligent?
MOORE: He's a smart guy. Yes,
MORGAN: He's a Washington player. He knows how it works.
MOORE: Yes. Yes.
MORGAN: He argued -- and I thought actually quite convincingly -- that when he was the speaker and Bill Clinton was the Democrat president, they got a lot of stuff done together, that he was able actually, despite his reputation for ruining stuff, he was actually able to get things done with Bill Clinton.
MOORE: Like trying to impeach Clinton while he -- while Newt Gingrich was having an affair.
MORGAN: That came later. We know how the story ended. But does anything that he said resonate as potentially truthful?
MOORE: No. I mean, Gingrich right now -- to me, whatever cred he might have had with intelligent Republicans has been completely tossed out the window during this election.
MORGAN: Why is he the front-runner?
MOORE: Because it's like last comic standing on your other network that you used to -- it is going to be like the last one standing. I got to tell you, it's the -- after they are all winnowed away, you know who the last one is who is going to be standing, the guy who works every morning on looking like he's going to be the fifth head on Mount Rushmore. So it's like --
MORGAN: Are you referring to Mr. Romney?
MOORE: Yes, I would be referring to him, who, by the way, was born in my state of Michigan. When I was a kid, his dad was the governor. Then his mother became our U.S. senator. His dad, a Republican, marched with Martin Luther King in Detroit. His mother supported the Equal Rights Amendment for women.
They were what was known then as just normal Republicans, but now we consider them liberals or even Democrats. But their son has not, obviously, chosen that path in this election.
MORGAN: I want to place you a clip which I know will enrage you. It's Newt Gingrich on Occupy Wall Street and the protesters.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GINGRICH: They take over a public park they didn't pay for, to go nearby to use bathrooms they didn't pay for, to beg for food from places they don't want to pay for, to obstruct those who are going to work to pay the taxes to sustain the bathrooms and to sustain the park. That is a pretty good symptom of how much the left has collapsed as moral system in this country, and why you need to reassert something as simple as saying to them, go get a job right after you take a bath.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: So you all stink. A bunch of stinking liberals.
MOORE: He seems to have a bathroom fetish there. He brought it up at least three times. There is help for that. That's all I can say.
Actually, his attack on Occupy Wall Street now is the Republican strategists -- there was a great story in the news last week of Frank Luntz, who was one of the geniuses on the other side of the political fence, who came up with the concept of the death tax, use those words. He was talking to the Republicans last week and he said to them, you have got to quit attacking Occupy Wall Street. The majority of the country actually -- if they don't necessarily support it, they certainly feel the same way as the occupiers.
So you, the Republican politician, have to start saying things like, I get it. You know, or he told them you have to stop using the word capitalism. He said the Occupy Movement and others -- I hope he meant me -- have made this a dirty word. And so he's told the Republican candidates to quit using the word capitalism.
MORGAN: Last time --
MOORE: Let me say this. MORGAN: Yeah.
MOORE: This movement is only 12 weeks old. In 12 weeks, it has made this word go away, capitalism, that's been around for 500 years. They can't even say the word now because of what it means. It means greedy.
MORGAN: I think capitalism as a word has been severely damaged by three years of financial meltdown. And people --
MOORE: You're right. The actual organizers of the Occupy movement are the heads of Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Citibank, Bank of America.
MORGAN: Actually that is probably true, isn't it?
MOORE: It is true. People say to me, Mike, who organized this? Are you involved? I said, actually, the organizers of this are the people who had their boot on the next of the American people for the last umpteen years.
MORGAN: Let me put a boot on your head. I've asked for a few Tweets. A few of them have been saying, last time he came on your show, you said to him you want the 99 percent, and he had the bare faced cheek to say I'm in the 99 percent. Have you revised -- because that blew up and became a big thing.
MOORE: Right, right.
MORGAN: You look like you were wriggling a bit. What is the reality about you and your wealth?
MOORE: I think Republicans and right wingers, they blow me up into this kind of really mythical, scary character. Oh, he's got all this money. He's got all this -- he's controlling all this, him and George Soros. Now Warren Buffett's in on it. It's like -- and I don't want to dissuade them of that.
I read on the Internet last week that -- this was on the right wing blogs that I got 50 million dollars. And I'm going like wow that would be really cool if I have 50 million, but don't deny it.
MORGAN: How much have your movies grossed in total?
MOORE: I don't have the number right off hand.
MORGAN: What would you guess at?
MOORE: Half a billion dollars?
MORGAN: Right. So you either have got the worst agent in the world or you must have made --
MOORE: I did have -- I have got a new agent now. It's true. Like "Bowling For Columbine" I literally not only didn't make any money on it, I didn't even get a paycheck. I made that movie for free.
MORGAN: You wouldn't dispute that you have earned million of dollars.
MOORE: That is correct. My first film, I made three million dollars. They gave me a check from this company right here. Thank you, whoever you are. That was in 1989. I have had like three or four good years where "Fahrenheit 9/11," my book "Stupid White Men." In those years, I would be in the one percent.
MORGAN: So your argument is really that you don't qualify every year.
MOORE: Most years I don't.
MORGAN: If you died tomorrow --
MOORE: Don't say that.
MORGAN: God forbid that you should leave this mortal world. And I'm not predicting this at all --
MOORE: But if you don't believe in God and you say God forbid, then that doesn't help.
MORGAN: I do believe in God.
MOORE: OK, so we're good then.
MORGAN: I'm a good Irish Catholic. If you were to leave tomorrow, you'd presumably leave a good old pile, wouldn't you?
MOORE: I would leave a pile behind to take care of my loved ones and then there's a large part of it that would go to continuing the ruckus that I started in my lifetime.
MORGAN: So here's the point I'm getting to.
MOORE: Yes, yes.
MORGAN: Why would you care about being in the one percent? Presumably you don't think everyone in the one percent is evil, do you?
MOORE: Absolutely not, no, no, no. I think when people in the Occupy movement talk about the one percent, we're not simply talking about just because you make that money. It's about the mentality and the attitude. Because obviously there's many people in the one percent, rock 'n' roll stars, people here in Hollywood, Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, people like that, who have said we should pay more taxes.
So they clearly don't have the one percent mentality. And so I think that's where the -- it's not a literal thing of the -- obviously, anybody who does well and wants to raise their taxes and make sure that those who are suffering right now have a better life, then that's all --
MORGAN: I would argue that the word capitalism has been cannibalized. And there are lots of people watching this now who are in the financial institutions who are good, honest, decent people and they've been demonized.
MOORE: Can I have their names, please?
MORGAN: You know there are good ones.
MOORE: There are good ones, I will say that. Yes. I don't have their names but -- if you can put them on a scroll at the end of the show, that would be --
MORGAN: Maybe I'll do that. Maybe we'll have a roll call every night, a roll call of good decent capitalists.
MOORE: Financial -- yes, good capitalists who believe that the pie that sits on the American table, maybe it can't be divided evenly, but it should be divided fairly. And everybody should have a seat at that table, not just the people who can afford to buy politicians.
MORGAN: OK. Let's take another break, come back and continue this pie analogy, because I want to ask you if you split the pie up, who is to blame for where America is right now? Republicans, Democrats, bankers, the American public? I want to see a pie chart from you in a few minutes.
MOORE: Let's get back to blaming the average worker like those guys behind the cameras.
(BEGNI VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: A quarter of all millionaires now pay lower tax rates than millions of you, millions of middle class families. Some billionaires have a tax rate as low as one percent -- one percent. That is the height of unfairness.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: President Obama today. Back with Michael Moore. What's interesting here is that you have had a few CEOs come out saying look, I agree with President Obama and with what Warren Buffett said. The rich should pay more tax. And there is little evidence that when they are made to do that, it actually stifles job creation.
It didn't happen in the Reagan era. It doesn't happen like that. So it's a bit of a myth, many people argue. But here's the thing. They say does he have to use this tone which sounds like them and us. You don't deserve to have been this successful. We're going to punish you.
Does it have to sound punitive? Isn't there a better way of doing it, where you get the good CEOs together. You say help me get America back on track? And by the way, I'd like you to pay more taxation. I'm going to do that, but I'm not going to demonize you?
MOORE: I think that's the way he talked for the first three years. I think he was Mr. Olive Branch. I think he was Mr. Warm and Fuzzy and I want to work with all of you. And he had them all to the White House.
And that didn't work. That didn't work. And he probably feels a little deceived by that. And so now he's saying, I'm sorry, this is the way it is. It's not so much that he sounds that way. It's not his tone. He's just describing what is.
He's not creating the class warfare. The class war started by those on Wall Street, those in corporate America who decided you know how we can even make more money? Let's see how many we can lay off, and then let's -- the remaining people will work twice as hard, do the jobs -- every person will do the jobs of two people. We'll get rid of half the workforce. You know, we'll send whatever jobs we can overseas.
I mean, this is -- the war started on the working people.
MORGAN: Give me the pie chart now that you've had time to think about this. When we're looking at the financial position right now, obviously Obama's been here three years. Before that, you had the Republican, before that Democrats. If you're carving up Republican responsibility, Democrat and the American public, Wall Street, how would you do it?
MOORE: Well, look --
MOORE: I can't do percentages.
MORGAN: Go on then.
MOORE: I'm just saying, I think that corporate America and Wall Street and the banks, they started this. They had a plan after Reagan got elected 30 years ago.
MORGAN: You would say they're 100 percent responsible.
MOORE: I said that sort of facetiously the last time I was on here.
MORGAN: That's why I asked you to do a proper pie chart, because I don't think that's fair, is it?
MOORE: Well, it's only fair in the sense that you have to understand that the Republicans and the Democrats -- and it's mostly Republican, but Democrats have colluded over the years with this. They've not stood up in the way that they should have, starting 30 years ago.
But these politicians and these parties, they are the servants of Wall Street. They are, if you want, the puppets and they -- the puppet masters are there in New York and that's the way it work.
So people say to me, Mike, how come you're not Occupying Congress? Or why not occupy the politicians? Well, yes, we do need to deal with that, but really the politicians are just there. They're the paid guys. They're the middle man.
Why not go to the source? The source is on Wall Street. The source is the Fortune 500.
MORGAN: When you see someone like Donald Trump now wanting to -- he's going to host a debate.
MORGAN: -- for the Republican nominee, what do you think of that?
MOORE: Good. I love it.
MOORE: Well, one, comedy. We all need a good laugh right now. Two, they are just imploding. Obama must just be like, wow, can this get any better? Can these guys -- it's such a crazy bunch, the seven that are left now. And frankly, I have wondered this for some -- the past few months, when is Wall Street and corporate America going to put up their candidate that's going to win?
I thought by now they would have somebody come in there, somebody who is going to pull independents and Democrats and beat Obama. I would have thought by now they would have come up with this person, they would have paid this person.
MORGAN: So what is your theory?
MOORE: Well, "The Washington post" three weeks ago had this investigation and they said that President Obama has now raised more money from Wall Street and the banks for this election cycle than all -- than all eight Republicans combined. I don't want to say that, because if that's the truth, that Wall Street already has their man and his name is Barack Obama, then we've got a much bigger problem.
But I think President Obama, if he were here in the room, the question I would ask him is why are they your number one contributors? Why are you taking this money?
MORGAN: It's fascinating to find out why they're doing it. I'll ask him. MOORE: What are they expecting in return in the second term from you? Right now, here's what we do know. Goldman Sachs was your number one contributor the 2008 election. And we have not seen anyone from Goldman Sachs go to jail. We have not seen the regulations, Glass/Steagall, put back on to Wall Street now three years after the crash.
Why hasn't that happened? President Obama, we the people need you to take them by the throat and say, damn it, this is the United States of America; you don't steal from the working people of this country. And this is the way it's going to be.
MORGAN: I'm going to take you by the throat for our final section after this break, and ask you a totally different question. I'm going to look you straight in the eye and say, Michael Moore, how many times have you been properly in love in your life?
MOORE: Oh, my God. On what show are we on? This is not Headline News. This is the real CNN.
MORGAN: It could be Headline News.
MOORE: This is the normal CNN.
MORGAN: Back with my special guest Michael Moore, who has spent the entire commercial break there panicking, throwing his arms around.
MOORE: Trying to bring Larry King back. Larry! Larry! Where are you?
MORGAN: Come on. How many times have you been properly in love? Be honest.
MOORE: Properly in love?
MORGAN: Be honest.
MOORE: Not that many, actually. There was in high school -- you know, I wrote about this in my book. I only went on two dates in all of high school. I mean, I was pretty pathetic.
MORGAN: It's not great.
MOORE: It's not a great track record.
MORGAN: How many time have you literally felt your heart in your gut?
MOORE: Probably maybe two or three times. I met my wife when she was 17, I was 21. That's the first time I, you know, was introduced to her. And then when she was 23 and I was 27, I think we, you know, had been together since then. MORGAN: How does she put up with you charging around the world trying to put all of the world's problems to right?
MOORE: Well, she -- in some ways, she's more aggressive than I am.
MOORE: On some of these issues. So yeah, yeah.
MORGAN: What the hell's the breakfast table like?
MOORE: Well, we don't -- I don't -- we should eat breakfast. I think that's the problem here. Just -- how many shades of red am I turning here.
MORGAN: You are. You're blushing.
MOORE: This is so -- I mean, you told me during the break you were raised Irish Catholic in the same way. You don't talk about this stuff.
MORGAN: I agree. Luckily, I'm the one doing the questioning. I'm in a better position than you. It's not your interview. It's mine.
MOORE: How many times have you been in love?
MORGAN: It's irrelevant to this interview. The interview's with Michael Moore.
MOORE: In fact, you told me during the break you just had a baby.
MORGAN: I did.
MOORE: Congratulations. That's wonderful, and proof that you have indeed had sex -- have had sex. So only -- we --
MORGAN: Larry! Larry! Michael Moore, great pleasure, as always. Thank you.
MOORE: Thank you, Piers.
MORGAN: Tomorrow night, I'm going to talk to the only man who could probably out-controversy Michael Moore, Donald Trump. Which Republican candidate will get his endorsement? Why they're all queuing up to either get his support or run a mile from it.
MORGAN: Tomorrow night, the man who may very well be the polar opposite of Michael Moore, Donald Trump. I'll ask him about the Republicans lining up to get his endorsement and those running a mile, and about the debate that he's moderating.
Then the extraordinary life and times of the queen of hip-hop soul, Mary J. Blige.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: How much do you feel you owe Martin Kindu Isaacs (ph), your husband now?
MARY J. BLIGE, SINGER: I feel that I owe him my love. I owe him --
MORGAN: And your life, potentially.
BLIGE: I don't owe him my life, no.
MORGAN: You said he came at a time when you felt you may actually die from what you were doing to yourself.
BLIGE: Yes. But I have been -- we are partners. We are partners and I owe him my love and respect and to make sure that he is treated, you know, kindly and make sure that we look like a team, because we are. I owe no one my life at all. I will not say that.
MORGAN: When you look at what happened to Amy Winehouse, do you think that could have been you if things had played out a different way for you?
BLIGE: I know -- I know it could have been me. I know it could have been me. But the choice that I made was to go -- was to go -- was to look at -- look at a spiritual side of what can do more in my life and choose that. And I chose that, which was God. And therefore I chose life.
I don't think -- you know, I think he was a vessel, you know. So I owe God my life through him. But I do not owe any man my life.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: A feisty and emotional Mary J. Blige. That's tomorrow night. That's all for us tonight. "AC 360" starts now.