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God, Politics and Daytime TV

Aired February 2, 2012 - 21:00   ET


PIERS MORGAN, CNN HOST: Tonight God and politics.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: If I'm willing to give up some of the tax breaks that I enjoy, it also coincides with Jesus's teaching that for whom much is given, much shall be required.

MORGAN: President Obama's take on Mitt Romney's poor choice of words? I'll ask Rick Santorum where that leaves the GOP. And what he thinks of the Trump endorsement?

Plus, one of the nation's top cops, the man protecting New York, L.A. and Boston. Phil Bratton on homeland security, new fears on Iran and the terror threat in a post-bin Laden world.

Plus political words of wisdom from an unlikely source. The man who brought you this?

JERRY SPRINGER, "THE JERRY SPRINGER SHOW": "TV Guide" gave out an award several years ago to the 50 worst shows in the history of television. Yes. But we're the worst show -- look, it's an absurd show.

MORGAN: He's also a political junky and a former mayor. Jerry Springer on the race for the White House, his 20-year TV career, and a guest he would never have on his show.


Good evening. Tonight the holy trinity of modern America, God, politics and daytime television. First the heart of the matter, President Obama talking faith and politics.


OBAMA: In my moments of prayer, I'm reminded that faith and values play an enormous role in motivating us to solve some of our most urgent problems and keeping us going when we suffer setbacks and opening our minds and our hearts to the needs of others. We can't leave our values at the door. If we leave our values at the door, we abandon much of the moral glue that has held our nation together for centuries.


MORGAN: Unusual religious candor there from the president. So how are Republican challengers reacting to that declaration?

I want to ask Rick Santorum about it as well as news of a potential nuclear threat from Iran. And Senator Santorum joins me now.

Welcome, Senator.

RICK SANTORUM (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Thanks. It's good to be back, Piers, thank you.

MORGAN: Just straight off the top, I just wanted to ask you about your daughter Bella, obviously I know you broke off from the campaign after a scare with her. How is she doing?

SANTORUM: She came home from the hospital this morning and she is doing just terrific and I want to thank you and everybody out there for all their prayers. They truly made a difference and we feel very, very blessed to have her back in good health and we're -- I'm excited to get home to see her here in about -- unfortunately it won't be for another week, but I'm looking forward to getting home.

MORGAN: Well, that's great news. I have great pleasure meeting you and many of your extended family, and I know how close you all are and how rough that must have been. So that's terrific news.

Let's move on to what I thought was the biggest news story of the day, which is this extraordinary revelation from the Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, believing that Israel could strike Iran this spring. When you heard about this, what was your reaction?

SANTORUM: My reaction is, why are we letting Israel alone to do something which is in our national security interest also? We heard from General Clapper yesterday about the extensive planning that's taking place right now by Iran to strike the United States. We've already seen one of those plans uncovered, at least the president says so. They're trying to attack the Saudi ambassador here in this country.

Iran has been at war with us for 30 plus years. The IEDs, the improvised explosive devices, that have been killed and maiming most of our men and women in uniform in Iraq and Afghanistan. Manufactured in Iran, and in fact, folks learned and trained and funded by Iran.

This is -- this is a concerted effort on the part of Iran to flex its muscle and for them to have a nuclear weapon, the -- look at what they're doing now. Imagine -- and not even to mention they're hostages on trumped up charges. Americans they're holding hostages right now. This is a dangerous regime that have given a nuclear weapon, will be a very dangerous one proximate to the United States, not just our allies.

MORGAN: So if you were the president in the time span we're looking at, the next three or four months, and you have the intelligence that suggested that Iran was at the point of enriching uranium that they needed to get to a nuclear capacity here, and you heard the Israeli would definitely going to go in with strikes, would you sanction American military strikes as well at the same time?

SANTORUM: The first thing I'd be doing is giving a speech similar to Reagan's evil empire speech. This is an opportunity with Iran at the precipice here to rally not just the world, but the people of Iran, against this radical theocracy. This one that is on the brink of bringing the world into a very dangerous place.

And what we need to do is -- is stop pandering, stop playing games with them, stop appeasing them, and confront them, and in rallying their own people, just as Ronald Reagan did with the -- with the folks in the Soviet Union.

We have an absolute, you know, hardcore dedicated people in Iran who actually like the United States, who actually oppose their regime, and we have done nothing to encourage them. In fact we discouraged them three years ago during the Green Revolution, where -- a year later we encouraged Egypt and Libya and others to do what is even more necessary in Iran than it was in those countries.

MORGAN: Let's turn to the other big story of the day, which is President Obama really playing the God card quite heavily. Straying, some might say, into your territory. Are you -- are you feeling a bit threatened there that the president has become all religious suddenly?

SANTORUM: Well, you know, look, it was at a National Prayer Breakfast, that's if you're going to -- a president is going to become all religious, that's a good place to become all religious. Although I think his religion was a little bit out of -- out of context to suggest somehow that the -- that the bible requires the government to take money from those who have succeeded is a -- is certainly not something that I think most people read as a -- as a requirement of the bible.

The bottom line is here that the president is trying to wrap -- trying to find some rationale for his economic policy because it certainly isn't improving the economy, so maybe he's trying to find some religious rationale for doing what he's doing.

MORGAN: Well, let's take a little -- a little listen to what he did say today, because it was quite fascinating.


OBAMA: I have fallen on my knees with great regularity since that moment, asking God for guidance, not just in my personal life and my Christian walk, but in the life of this nation and in the values that hold us together and keep us strong.


MORGAN: I mean there's no reason to disbelieve what the president is saying there at all. It just seems a bit odd that he's suddenly ramping up all this kind of religious talk at a time when the GOP race is becoming more centered on people who take religion very seriously, both yourself and Mitt Romney. SANTORUM: Well, I think -- I think this is really more in response to a couple of things that he's done recently. One, as you know, Piers, with the Catholic Church, where he has imposed on Catholic institutions a requirement that they offer things that are specifically against Catholic teaching.

And the Catholic bishops just this weekend issued a letter in 140 diocese to be read at every single mass that said that they are not going to stand for this affront on religious liberty where the federal government is going to insist that every health plan carried by every college, university, hospital that is a Catholic owned hospital has to provide, you know, abort their patients, the morning-after pill, something that is specifically against the teachings of the church and the Obama administration says you must offer it or you will be penalized for doing so. This is -- this is something that he has crossed the line and I think this may be an attempt to try to show that he is a believer, too.

The other thing was a Supreme Court decision, it was a 9-0 Supreme Court decision where the Obama administration basically said that the Catholic Church had to hire women priests, otherwise they'd be charged with employment discrimination. This is the kind of upfront to faith that we're seeing out of this administration. And you know, maybe the president is trying to backtrack a little bit by using softer words, but his actions are very hostile to faith.

MORGAN: Well, the president concedes he doesn't go to church much himself. Are you -- are you cynical when you hear that, the people say, I pray all the time and I'm on my knees every morning, but I don't actually go to church?

SANTORUM: You know, everybody practices their faith in a way that is comfortable for them. And you know I need to go to church. I need to -- I need to go to mass, I need to receive the Holy Communion. I think that's a very, very important part of me and it sustains me. Other people have different ways of expressing their religious beliefs. And I'm certainly open to that.

I think another thing that's real important is there was -- in this administration is they have started to talk a little differently about freedom of religion. Instead of talking about freedom of religion, they talk about freedom of worship. And of course, freedom of worship is not freedom of religion. Worship is something that happens within a church. But religion is something you practice in fact every day in your public -- as he said public and private life.

And so I think there were some grave concerns about the actions of this administration and maybe the president is trying to temper that with this kind of rhetoric that we saw this morning.

MORGAN: Let's move on to Mitt Romney's clanger over the poor yesterday, because whichever way he tries to spin it, it sounded a very callous remark, isn't it? What was you -- let's play the clip actually and then get your reaction.


MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'm in this race because I care about Americans. I'm not concerned about the very poor, we have a safety net there, if it needs repair, I'll fix it. I'm not concerned about the very rich, they're doing just fine. I'm concerned about the very heart of America, the 90, 95 percent of Americans who right now are struggling.


MORGAN: I mean, the more I listen to that, the more kind of -- well, he says it was a mistake, but actually it seemed a very measured statement. And he seems to almost infer --

SANTORUM: No, no, no.

MORGAN: -- that poor people aren't Americans.

SANTORUM: Yes, this -- the more -- I've read it two or three times and I've read his explanation after, you know, Soledad interrupted him and he said, you know, no, I care about the -- I care about the -- this is "Occupy Wall Street" kind of talk. Then I care about the 95 percent. The president cares about everybody and the idea that somehow or another that the economy is disproportionately affecting folks in the middle and not the very poor?

What country does he live in? I mean the very poor are always the ones who bear the greatest brunt when an economy is struggling. That's why I put together a plan that the "Wall Street Journal" calls the -- supply side economics for the working -- for the working man. And that's what I believe in. We need to provide an economic platform that provides opportunity for -- for everyone, the very poor, to rise in society.

That's why when I was in the Senate I worked on welfare reform and I worked on anti-poverty programs to try to create enterprise zones and opportunities for the private sector to work in those neighborhoods for the very poor. I worked in those neighborhoods as a United States senator and tried to get private sector investment in the neighborhoods of the very poor.

Why? Because they are the one, Governor Romney, suffering the most in our society. And to suggest that you don't care about them as long as long as they have some safety net is something that I reject outright. This is not the Republican Party I belong to.

MORGAN: It probably wasn't the best of timing, that the person that raced to his rescue today was a man worth $3 billion, Donald Trump. How did you feel when you saw the Trumpster giving his endorsement?

SANTORUM: I'm glad he gave it to him, not me. You know -- I know he did it for one reason. He does it for -- Donald Trump does something -- does everything for one reason, that it benefits Donald Trump. So I don't know -- I don't know what Donald Trump gets out of that. But certainly I don't -- I don't -- I certainly don't anticipate any benefit to Governor Romney, the people of Nevada, the people of this country are going to decide who the president is based on who they think is the best person to run this country at a critical time, and I hope you'll see that we're that best person to take on Barack Obama and win this election.

MORGAN: And finally, just a quick reaction to Nevada, you're trailing at the moment around 11 percent, so a work in progress. What are your expectations in Nevada?

SANTORUM: Yes. Well, I mean, this is the place Mitt Romney got 51 percent of the vote four years ago and has been working here and spending money here and obviously we're here now, we're working, we're here in northern Nevada tonight. Had been to southern Nevada earlier in the day. Spent a few days out here. Spending days I'll be in Missouri tomorrow, then Colorado, Minnesota. Those are the next four states up. And we'll be working all those states.

We -- well, like I said, Piers, and you know this. We're in for the long haul. We're going to have good days, we're going to have bad days, but we're going to be in there plugging every day to let folks know that Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich are not the -- not the choice if you want to win this election.

If you want to win this election, there's one person who can make Barack Obama the issue in this campaign, who can be a principle conservative to do what's necessary for the country, and that's Rick Santorum, and that's why we're in this race.

MORGAN: Well, best of luck, Senator. And finally one word answer please, Giants or Patriots?

SANTORUM: Neither.


SANTORUM: I don't -- I can't root for either one of those teams, I'm a Steeler fan and I'm ambivalent. I'll watch the game and enjoy it --

MORGAN: I'm with you.

SANTORUM: And that's it.

MORGAN: I think this is one of your teams -- I think if it's not one of your teams, you should keep well away from it.

Senator, I agree with you.


MORGAN: Thank you for your time.

SANTORUM: You bet.

MORGAN: All the best. Coming up next, a man who's seen his share of over-the-top behavior in and out of politics. Jerry Springer is here live and unleashed.


MORGAN: You may be surprised to learn my next guest's words of wisdom on politics. That in the rough and tumble election year like this, who'd better to cut through all the craziness than Jerry Springer. He has of course hosted the "Jerry Springer Show" for 20 years. He's also former mayor of the city of Cincinnati. And Jerry joins me.

Now, Jerry, welcome back.

SPRINGER: It's great to be back, Piers.

MORGAN: So we're live at the moment.


MORGAN: So I won't (INAUDIBLE). Send your tweets to @piersmorgan. Jerry won't read them because he's not on Twitter, right?


MORGAN: But will get inundate about because everybody loves your show.


MORGAN: One that's quite interesting, I think, on the back of what we've just been listening to. Kevin Gold tweeted me to say, "Listening to the debate, I once asked this and I'll asked it again. Whatever happened in American politics to the separation of church and state?"

And it's a good point because when you hear the president suddenly getting all incredibly religious in the way that he was this morning, very surprising in the way that he did that. And then you hear Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney and so on. The separate part becomes a little blurred, doesn't it?

SPRINGER: OK. But -- there's an explanation for why the president said what he said. The president -- every year they have the Annual Prayers Breakfast. So that is an event that just happened to be scheduled on this day. Every president goes to the National Prayer Breakfast. It is non-partisan. You get all the parties represented there. And everyone talks about their personal relationship with God. That is fine, no one says a president can't be religious.

I have great respect for Rick Santorum, I don't agree with his politics, but he is obviously a man of great faith and great. The only thing I would have said in listening to this interview, is instead of raising questions about Obama in this, why not simply say, God bless him. You know, this is his faith, he said some nice things about his religion.

Why does everything have to be political? Why -- well, I'm wondering about, you know, his -- forget it, he believes in God. End of discussion.

MORGAN: Tell me this, when you hear Rick Santorum -- because I've interviewed him a few times now and I like him personally, but I find that he's probably of all the candidates the one I have least in common with in terms of many of his views. And yet I have a grudging respect and admiration for his consistency.

SPRINGER: I do, too.

MORGAN: Very much unlike some of his -- like Mitt Romney has flip-flopped so many times, you're not quite sure where he stands. At least with Santorum you know what you're going to get. He doesn't change his position on his key issues.

SPRINGER: Well, I don't agree with Rick Santorum on most issues. But I will say of the candidates -- of Republican candidates running, he's the most authentic. And that is exactly true. I think his strategy is to just hang in there long enough while hoping the other two self-destruct, which is not an unreasonable hope. So he could be the last man standing simply because if Romney keeps saying the stuff that he's saying, you know, I don't know --

MORGAN: Well, I thought Rick Santorum is very strong on the poor clanger tonight because actually that really -- it's not a mistake, I mean it seemed to me like a very specific way of phrasing something where he said, I'm going after middle America, and he'd expanded it to eliminate anybody who is poor, almost suggesting they weren't even Americans.

SPRINGER: Well, that's what he said, now that part could have been a slip, because I think if you really ask him, he'd say yes, they're American. But people of lower income are not on Romney's radar screen, I don't mean that he hates them. He doesn't go to bed at night and say, what can we do to hurt them?

MORGAN: He doesn't really care, does he?

SPRINGER: It's not --

MORGAN: From the rhetoric, it doesn't like he care.

SPRINGER: Probably in his everyday life, before he started running for president, he doesn't even think about it. It's not part of his world view. They're not on his radar screen, he doesn't relate to them. He doesn't -- that's why he says, I bet you $10,000. I mean all of these things that he's saying, this is -- and you wonder, why is he running for president?

In other words he could be a wonderful person, bright and all that, lovely family man, smart and all that, but I don't sense any passion, when he says I'm running for the soul of America. What soul? I don't think -- you don't sense that he feels oh, my gosh, Americans are suffering -- let's stop everything else. How can we help --


MORGAN: Let me ask you, let me ask you as a -- as a confirmed Democrat, do you feel that Barack Obama understands what his vision for the soul of America is? Because my slight quibble with him in the first term that he's had, and if he gets another term, I'm interested to see what he does about this. I'm not sure what his mission statement is, other than repairing what he perceives as the damage left to him by the Republicans.

What is the Obama mantra for America, do you think?

SPRINGER: I don't think it's a bumper sticker so I don't think it's one slogan. But --

MORGAN: Is that a problem? That he doesn't have a --

SPRINGER: It won't be by the time the -- remember, he hasn't started really campaigning. This has been Republican primaries, he has no opposition so everything you see in the polls is based on every single day for the last six months. Republican candidates bashing him. But basically his message is that free enterprise is great and we have to support it, but we can't do it alone. There are in this world going to be people left out of the free enterprise system because they're unemployed, they don't have a good enough education, so at some point, government services are needed, government employment is needed.

We have to recognize that no longer in this world is it possible for free enterprise to employ everybody. Because the whole purpose of the free enterprise, of any business, is to make a profit. And in order to make a profit, you have to cut expenses. So every business in this country, any business, any company you and I have worked for, and everyone watching this show knows that's the truth.

Every single company every three months looks at how can they cut expenses. You hire as few employees as possible, if possible you replace a person with a computer. You go now to the airport and you don't even need the ticket agent to check in anymore. You go --

MORGAN: But isn't -- but Jerry, isn't it a more fundamental problem? And we touched on this last night when I had Suze Orman here for a live debate, is that if you look at America's most successful company, Apple.


MORGAN: Apple employees, twice -- three times as many people in China as it does in America.

SPRINGER: Exactly, yes.

MORGAN: And a lot of them are on terrible wages, terrible conditions, we've been reading all about this in the press in the last week.


MORGAN: There seems to be no sense at Apple of a national responsibility. And my argument is look, I don't expect you to just want to give away profit. Here's how I would play it if I were them. We're getting hammered for this. Clearly there's a big jobless problem in America. We're employing nearly a million people in China, my goodness. Why don't we just bring back 10 percent of this and give it to American workers and make a gesture?

Because I reckon the American people will respond incredibly favorably to that gesture and go and buy enough Apple products.

SPRINGER: And what they will say --

MORGAN: To make up the profits they would have lost.

SPRINGER: You're exactly right, and that's why if you were American I'd vote for you for president. But here's --

MORGAN: Thank you, Jerry.

SPRINGER: Yes. Yes. But here's the problem. The business -- they are in business to make a profit and because that's their sole goal, to make a profit, any time they can replace a person with a computer, they'll do that. If they have to have a person, they'll hire someone overseas because that person is cheaper. There's another problem with that. It'd be great if they would hire just Americans. But what they will tell you in return is they need 10,000 engineers at a certain level of education and they're not finding enough engineers.

MORGAN: That brings me to my other -- but hold that thought.


MORGAN: I want to discuss education actually. And also other ways that we can keep America great because you and I can fix this.

SPRINGER: We ought to run together.

MORGAN: Let's have a little break and work --

SPRINGER: America needs a British president.



SPRINGER: I think if there's a large turnout here, and then obviously it looks very good. And if I'm staying in contention in Cleveland, then I suspect we'll win.


MORGAN: A youthful looking candidate, Jerry Springer, on the campaign trail back in 1992. He's back with me now, looking still very youthful. Well, you get too touch about it?

SPRINGER: No, that's -- I should just tell you that was exactly 30 years ago yesterday.

MORGAN: Was it really?

SPRINGER: That I announced for governor, yes, back in '82, February 1st. Yes.

MORGAN: You also -- and this is incredible fact. You once worked on Bobby Kennedy's campaign? In the '50s.

SPRINGER: That was -- yes, that was my first political -- elected political involvement. Yes. But only for four months. So it wasn't like --

MORGAN: In all your -- in all your experience, is this any nastier, the Republican race, than every other Republican-Democrat nominee race for presidential election?

SPRINGER: Not particularly nastier, we have now obviously the 24/7 coverage and so much more money spent on advertising that the commercials are so much rougher. So that probably is, but in terms of the hostility in the nation, people are forgetting 1968.

In 1968, the nation was really divided. And I don't mean just by those who were politically active, but it was the Vietnam War, it was civil rights, our cities were burning, there were demonstrations, people were burning draft cards. I mean the whole country was torn apart.

MORGAN: You see --

SPRINGER: This is more of an esoteric --

MORGAN: Well, let me ask you. Last night I had a bit of a banter with Suze Orman because she was telling the audience and America that they were broken people. Their spirit had been broken. And I took exception to this. And I'm not even American. I was like, they're not broken, I think they're very frustrated. They're, in many case, suffering financial hardship but most of all they're angry at the politicians. Because as the politicians right now who are trying to kill each other --

SPRINGER: I don't --

MORGAN: And that's to the detriment of the country, isn't it?


MORGAN: It's not the people. The people actually are probably less divided than they have been for a long time.

SPRINGER: Oh, the politicians are much worse than the people. But here's what has happened with politics in America:, it's because we have -- you know, which you have by the Constitution. You have the census every 10 years. And then you have redistricting.

So the result is, in the 435 constitutional districts in America, 99 -- 95 percent of Americans live in a congressional district which is either overwhelmingly Republican or overwhelmingly Democrat.

As a result, for a politician worried about his or her re- election, he only has to worry about winning the primary. The result is there fore that you have to create your politics so that you won't be tossed out by someone in your own party in the primary.

Well, the people that vote in primary are the extremists, the right wing on the Republican side, the left wing on the Democrat side. So there, everyone who gets elected to Congress is either very conservative or very liberal, which is why we don't get them talking, which is which McConnell says, you know, as soon as Obama's elected, we will do everything to make sure that Obama doesn't get re-elected. That's become the focus.

MORGAN: Rather than saying, actually, we'll work with the president as best we can to keep America great. This comes back to my sort of new theme, really, for this show, which is I feel very strongly there should be more positivity in the rhetoric about keeping America great.

America is a great country, with millions and millions of great people. It just has, at the moment, this ridiculous impasse in Washington that means nothing's getting done.

SPRINGER: What do you tell your child who is suddenly becoming an age where they start paying attention to the world, and in a year or two, they're going to be voting? Or maybe two or three years, they're going to be voting. What young person is going to look at their mom or dad and say, yes, I think I want to vote? Because if they see these commercials on television -- every single person running for office is a slime bag, according to the commercial.

Why would I vote for any of these people? It's like, we so -- the disrespect we have for the president of the United States -- if you don't like his politics, then say I disagree. I'm going to vote the other side. And this is why.

But you don't -- you don't talk about Obama as if he's criminal, as if he's -- he's not even American. I mean, all this -- I mean, why would any young person have respect for our institutions when all our leaders do is disparage anyone that decides to get involved?

MORGAN: Also, I mean, if you look at the way that America has tried to go around the world showing off the virtues of a fair and free democratic political system, it doesn't say a lot for that fair and free democratic system if people look at Washington and see this paralysis because they all hate each other so much.

That is not what I think people meant by a fair and free democratic system.

SPRINGER: I think some of our politicians say worse things than some of these cable shows or radio talk shows -- say worse things about Obama than our, quote, enemies overseas say about us. I mean, it's unbelievable. That has to change. It wasn't like that. There was respect for the person who was president of the United States.

You disagreed with him; you did everything you could to beat him in an election fair and square. But you didn't disrespect the person of the office.

MORGAN: I agree. Let's take another break and come back and talk about education specifically. Because lots of big issues about education; America is falling behind. and it shouldn't be.



CROWD: Jerry! Jerry! Jerry! Jerry! Jerry!


MORGAN: Typically outrageous clip there from "The Jerry Springer Show," celebrating his 20th year. Jerry is back with me now.

When you watch these scenes -- be honest, Jerry -- do you ever wish you had stayed in politics?

SPRINGER: Well, I mean, every day I -- I mean I love these political things. But I always knew from day one that I would never make my living in politics.

MORGAN: Someone has Tweeted me here, Cane Azarof (ph), "I didn't enjoy Jerry's show, but I think I will vote for Springer."

SPRINGER: Therefore I am announcing today my candidacy for the office of --

MORGAN: Somebody else Tweeted quite funny, "TTT," it says here. "Wait, what happened. Is it the apocalypse? Is Jerry Springer smarter than all of the fox's currently in the white hen house?"

SPRINGER: Well, I love this stuff. But it's like religion to me. And I don't want to make money on religion. So I have no problem separating the two. I am hired to be an entertainer of a crazy show. And that's what I do. I enjoy when I do it. That's my job.

But it doesn't mean that when I get -- that I don't vote or that I don't think about politics or things like that. We all behave differently based on the situation. That's part of being an adult. You behave differently on Friday night when you're out with your friends than you do Sunday morning in church, for example.

You behave differently at a funeral than you do in a bar. You talk differently to your parents than you do to your friends. I'm just like everybody else like that. It's just obviously when I do a crazy show,, I am crazy. When I talk politics, I tend to be serious.

MORGAN: You sound relatively normal, Jerry, when you talk politics. No need for any bounces.

SPRINGER: You'll ruin my career is you tell people I'm normal.

MORGAN: Let's talk about education, because we had a big debate last night. A guy in the audience who had been offered two scholarships, one to a top university, top college, in which he would have to pay half the fees, I think, and the other one was a lower standard university, where he would get all his fees paid.

And the advice from Suze Orman again surprised me. She said you should take the lower option, the lower standard education, and take the free fees. See, I don't think he should have even been in that position. America's brightest students shouldn't be priced out of the marketplace for which they can best operate and fulfill their potential.

SPRINGER: That is the greatest assault on the middle class, that middle class kids cannot afford to go to college. Or they have to take loans that will put them in debt for 50 -- 30 years. That is the great crime.

We aren't going to compete with the rest of the countries in the world in this global economy unless we make -- but your spending tax dollars. And that's why we have to willing to do it.

And it starts, by the way, with childhood -- early childhood education. You have to start there. Because if the first time we're going to invest in education is when it's time to go to college or in high school, you've lost these kids already.

We have to start with early childhood education, so by the time they start the first grade, they know the names of their parents. They know their address. They know where they live.

You'd be surprised how many kids don't even know that. And they don't have books in the home or they're not read to regularly. And these kids are lost.

MORGAN: But shouldn't be an absolutely number one priority for whoever wins the election in November, education, education, education?


MORGAN: Nothing is more important. I mean, health, if you live or die, but otherwise, it's all about teaching your people.

SPRINGER: Totally. But we can't be doing that when the whole goal here is how can we get government out of our lives and not pay taxes. Because most of the money in education is tax dollars. Most teachers are public school teachers. Early childhood education is public expenditure.

We have to be willing to do that. In most communities in America, schools are financed primarily by a property tax. That is a very regressive tax and it is -- it is counter productive, because obviously low income communities have lower property values. Therefore, they have less money spent on education. And it could be argued that they need the best education of all.

People in wealthy suburbs, their schools are doing fine. But it's the cities and the inner cities where we really need the investment in, first, early childhood education. And not talking how bad teachers -- you know, teachers are horribly. They're public servants; get rid of them; cut the budget.

And every time we cut the federal budget, that means less money goes to the states. And then states have less money, so they send less money to the communities. The communities have less money, and what do they do? They lay off teachers. They lay off firefighters. They lay off police officers.

This anti-government thing is nuts. We can't have everyone involved only in the private sector. We have to have public service jobs. And education is the most important one. Why don't we see that? We all admit we have to have good teachers.

MORGAN: I'm seeing a stump speech here. You know what I'm seeing behind you? Probably, you know, 100,000 people somewhere in America. And you know what they're all doing when they're hearing you? "Jerry! Jerry! Jerry!" You've got your own chant already, and your own speech. Get into politics.

SPRINGER: OK, I'll run.

MORGAN: You should. I'm not joking. I have known you a long time. We have worked together on "America's Got Talent." We have had dinner many times. You are wasted in that form of television there, in my view. It is time you did your duty for duty for your country. Do answer now. Think about.

Come back on the show and tell me when you're about to announce you're going to run for something, anything.

SPRINGER: If I run, I'll announce it here.

MORGAN: Go be mayor of New York or something. You'd be fantastic.

SPRINGER: I grew up in New York.

MORGAN: I know you did. Go back.

SPRINGER: I could go to all the Yankee games, yes.

MORGAN: Always a pleasure. Thank you very much. Come back soon. I really enjoy our conversations, always.

Jerry Springer, always great on this kind of thing.

Coming up next, one of America's top cops on protecting the country in this post-Bin Laden age. Bill Bratton. That's after Anderson Cooper, with a preview of tonight's "AC 360." (NEWS BREAK)

MORGAN: Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has refused to comment on reports that Israel may attack Iran this spring over the Islamic Republic's nuclear program. So how worried should the world be right now, and America in particular?

That's a question for Bill Bratton. He's a member of the Homeland Security Advisory Council, and the former top cop of not one, not two, but three of America's biggest cities, New York, Los Angeles and Boston.

He's also the author of a new book, "Collaborate or Perish, Reaching Across Boundaries in a Networked World." Bill Bratton joins me now.



MORGAN: It's a perfectly timed title for a book, because one of the biggest problems facing America right now, it seems to me, is that so many of the leaders in America are at each other's throats. It really is time -- never mind the world, which is what the book is obviously aimed at, that American leaders collaborated, isn't it?

BRATTON: Actually, if you want an example of failure to collaborate, all you want to do is look at the U.S. Congress, in terms of the fiasco that that body has become. The book is terrifically timed. It's theme, "Collaborate or Perish," is very appropriate. And as you're already indicating, in terms of the presidential debates at the moment, the they're tearing each other apart. And it is going to get us nowhere, unfortunately.

MORGAN: What are the lessons that you drew from all of your time with the police, in terms of how to run a business? Because all these things, in the end, are businesses, whether you're running a government, you're running a police force, you're running a newspaper, whatever it may be, a television network. It all comes down to very common ground in terms of running a team of people, running businesses.

BRATTON: Correct. The company I currently the chairman of, Crole (ph), we're going through a major reorganization at the moment that's emphasizing trying to improve our collaboration within the company, so we can improve the collaboration we must have with out clients around the world.

In Los Angeles and New York, the success in both of those cities was as a result of collaboration, significant collaboration efforts. My proudest accomplishment in the public sector was in Los Angeles, the collaboration between the Los Angeles Police Department and the city's minority population, particularly the African-Americans, who had effectively been at war with each other for 50 years. Finally, we were able to resolve that, turn a corner on race relations. And that city now is quickly becoming a model of race relations between its police force and its minority communities.

MORGAN: And isn't it the key thing -- I mean, we had a big, big issue, obviously, back in my home country, Britain, with the Northern Island situation. In the end, Prime Minister Tony Blair, as he was at the time, you know, he had to go and sit down with some very notorious terrorists and do business with them. He had to bring them in and talk to them in a language that they felt comfortable with, before peace could be achieved.

Although people throw their nose up at that kind of thing -- certainly here in America, very patriotic country -- actually, isn't that the way to wrestle with most of these dilemmas, whether you're dealing with gangs in Los Angeles or terrorists, wherever it might be? It comes again back to collaborate or perish. You have to talk these things through with people, though? You have to try and make them feel inclusive.

BRATTON: We emphasize in the book, my self and my co-author, Zack Tumin, is that there are eight essential elements of collaboration. If you're misfiring on even one of those eight, you stand a good risk of not succeeding. First and foremost, you need leadership. You need leadership that has a vision. Tony Blair, the instance you just recalled, had the vision and the passion to once and for all try to resolve that issue that most people thought was never going to be resolved.

He found a common platform, if you will, where they could come together to discuss the issues. There was something in it for everybody, which is another essential component of it. And he found a way to incrementally move it forward.

In the book, we have two dozen stories of collaborations that have succeeded and some that have failed. It is a word that guaranteed your audience tonight hearing it, that every day going forward, they're going to either read about it or hear about it.

MORGAN: Let's turn to Iran. I was talking about this earlier with Senator Santorum, because I think Leon Panetta's comments about the fact that Israel may be just a few months away from potentially launching a military strike against Iran has clearly put the -- the cat among the pigeons.

What should America's response be to this, do you think? And from a police point of view, how concerned would you be if you were running one of these major cities right now, about some kind of pre- emptive attack from Iran or a retaliatory attack on the people of Los Angeles, Boston or New York?

BRATTON: Well, I think the most significant comments are coming from the Israelis, the head of Israeli intelligence, who is clearly indicating they believe that it's not a two-year period of time we're talking about, as Mr. Panetta has indicted, but realistically one year. And it's not a matter of whether they have the capacity or the capability. That's a foregone conclusion, really, as one of the newspaper articles today talked about. Really it's about decision making. If the Ayatollah decides that he wants to basically activate that program and move it forward, that within a year, they would have a working device, that they supposedly have enough enriched uranium and other materials to make four bombs currently.

So if I was still a police chief in the United States, and Los Angeles in particular -- New York, with all that is going on, I would be ramping up our basically activity relative to watching for potential activity in my city. The Iranians, in the past -- I can recall July 18th, 1994, as police commissioner of New York City, we got a call, 3:00 in the morning from federal officials indicating that there had been an attack on a Jewish institution in Buenos Aires, a bombing, and that an attack in the United States and New York was imminent and potentially likely against the Israeli mission to the United Nations, as well as another Israeli target in New York.

Within several hours, we surrounded both of those locations with city sanitation trucks until we could bring in Jersey barriers and extra resources. So the Iranians have shown a capability and an interest in attacking this country around issues involving the Israelis.

So I would be concerned, very concerned.

MORGAN: What is the final lesson you could give us, I guess, from all your police years, in terms of collaboration? When you look at, say, Occupy Wall Street and the movements, and the different ways that different police forces have dealt with it, what are the lessons you have learned about controlling something like that, where public opinion is basically with these people? They have a right to protest.

How far do you go in allowing them to express that freedom and right to protest, particularly where they have public support, and where they cross the line and you have to come down firmly?

BRATTON: Well, looking at the recent Occupy Wall Street movement, the movement of police against those activities, the encampments or the demonstrations or the marches, we firs rely on political decisions to be made by mayors, by governors, who, in effect, authorize us to take action. It's very seldom, other in response to overt violence, blatant disregard to the law leading to potential violence or injury and injury to the public, that police are not going to self-initiate.

They're going to wait for leadership and guidance. You're seeing that over the past six, seven months, that police activities have always followed instructions from government as to proceeding or not proceeding. And that's the way it should be.

MORGAN: Bill Bratton, it's a fascinating book. It's, as I said, incredibly well times. "Collaborate or Perish. Reaching Across Boundaries in a Networked World."

Thank you very much for joining me.

BRATTON: Great to be with you once again.

MORGAN: Coming up, tonight's only in America. Donald Trump, Mitt Romney, and that endorsement that echoed around the world.


MORGAN: Before we go tonight, an only in America story ripped from the political headlines. Mitt Romney is all but certain march to the Republican nomination getting one step closer today with this endorsement from a man who, love him or hate him, is as American as a cheese burgers and large fries, Donald Trump.


DONALD TRUMP, "THE APPRENTICE": It's my honor, real honor and privilege, to endorse Mitt Romney.

Governor Romney, go out and get them.


MORGAN: You may argue that Donald Trump's 15 minutes are up when it comes to politics. You may argue than endorsements themselves don't count for much anymore. You may even argue this is just nothing more than one billionaire endorsing another near billionaire.

But I can tell you from personal experience, when Donald Trump talks, people tend to listen. I was endorsed by him on "Celebrity Apprentice." And look where it got me today.

So endorse away, Donald, And may the best man win.

That's all for us tonight. Tomorrow, Ron Paul answers your Twitter questions and mine in a no holds barred interview from Nevada.

And "AC 360" starts right now.