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PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT
Searching for the Real Soul of the Republican Party; Solving the Syrian Crisis; Interview With Jon Voight; Interview with Ali Wentworth
Aired February 8, 2012 - 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: Tonight, the Santorum surge. How worried should Mitt Romney be? I'll ask the top political oddsmaker around, Nate Silver, and GOP crusader Grover Norquist, who's the real soul of the Republican Party.
Plus imagine a government killing its own people.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They're doing a mass attack. They get -- (INAUDIBLE) army, they're surrounding this whole area.
MORGAN: The world powerless to stop it or is it? Tonight Nick Kristof on what this country should be doing about Syria.
And Hollywood versus a bomber. It's not every day you hear a big star endorse a Republican.
JON VOIGHT, ACTOR: Governor Romney is a man of faith, honor, love, and truth.
MORGAN: Jon Voight on Mitt Romney and his daughter, Angelina Jolie.
Also the unpredictable Ali Wentworth on her life with husband George Stephanopoulos.
Plus only in America. The Beyonce baby conspiracy theory. I'm going to solve it.
This is PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT.
Good evening. Tonight a candidate on the rise, people being slaughtered by their own government, and a Hollywood star breaking with the pack politically. But we begin with the man of the moment, Rick Santorum winning contests in Colorado, Minnesota and Missouri, and proving just about every pundit wrong.
Listen to a confident Rick Santorum just a few moments ago in Texas.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RICK SANTORUM (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I feel blessed, truly blessed, to be here at a time when our country needs us. Lots of generations don't get the opportunity we have right here to be a generation that reclaims the greatness of our country. (END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Now Rick Santorum, Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul are fighting for the very soul of the Republican Party. But who has that special formula for keeping America great?
Joining me now is a man who says he never endorses anybody, Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, and the best oddsmaker outside of Vegas, Nate Silver, founder of fivethirtyeight.com.
Welcome to you both.
Grover Norquist, let me start with you. This has been one hell of a rollercoaster ride, this Republican race. Are you really, as a party, any nearer to knowing who will be the nominee?
GROVER NORQUIST, PRESIDENT, AMERICANS FOR TAX REFORM: No. Santorum's confidence reminds me of Romney's confidence last week and Gingrich's a month ago. I think the next month of the election, though, is probably about as clear and easily understood as the previous two months.
MORGAN: Yes, I mean, how do you see the period leading up to Super Tuesday and immediately afterwards in terms of its significance? Could this all be over by April or is it more likely, given what's been going on state by state so far, that this will run all the way to the convention?
NORQUIST: I tend to think it'll be over before it goes to the convention but I can't prove that arithmetically. And there's every reason for every one of these candidates to stay in. Romney is staying in. Gingrich isn't going away. Santorum isn't stepping out. And Ron Paul will be there through the convention. So all four of these guys, nobody is moving aside. There isn't a new person coming in. So those are the four guys. It will be one of those four guys, and whichever one it is, all the Republicans will pull behind them so to a certain extent if you're a "let's replace Obama" guy, you're less concerned about which one of these four gets it.
MORGAN: That's certainly true.
Nate Silver, let's talk statistics here. And it's very, very hard to predict. Mitt Romney has the most money. And he has the best infrastructure. Having said that, Rick Santorum apparently today three times the money poured in as compared to when he won in Iowa and he's clearly on a roll and he's looking and sounding more and more confident.
From a betting point of view, where do you think this is all heading?
NATE SILVER, FOUNDER, FIVETHIRYEIGHT.COM: It's hard to say because every time you have one piece of conventional wisdom it's right for about a week and then wrong the next week, and flips back to being right again. I --you know, I think Santorum is at a disadvantage in the delegate math but if Gingrich's campaign is going nowhere, if some of Gingrich's voters come aboard to Santorum's train, and he has a lot of strength in the Midwest, he has a lot of strength potentially in the south which could make it fairly even.
I think if he win as state like Arizona or Michigan, states that lean toward Romney, they're not perfect Romney states, but certainly Michigan, Romney is from Michigan originally. If Santorum wins one of those states, then you might say this is really a tossup. For right now I think Romney is about a 75 or 80 percent favorite. I think it's foolish to go higher than that given what we've seen the volatility in the race so far but also he does have some clear advantages.
MORGAN: Yes, Grover Norquist, one of the problems that Mitt Romney seems to have is with white evangelicals, who are turning out in pretty number and clearly rejecting him. Why is that? Is it simply because he's a Mormon and they feel discomforted by that? Or is there something else going on?
NORQUIST: I certainly hope it's not the Mormon thing. I think we're past that at this point in our history. I certainly hope that's the case. I think there is a concern about, you know, who is most -- most like Reagan. But the reason why they're searching for the soul of the modern Republican Party in a presidential candidate is a decade out of -- behind the times is that the soul and the heart in the Republican Party is in its congressional leadership, and the same thing is true with the Democrats.
Obama is not making the decisions about what the Democratic Party did in the last three years. Pelosi and Reid did the stimulus package, wrote the banking bill, wrote the health care bill, wrote the plus up in domestic spending. So the presidents are less important because each party is led by an ideologically cohesive group in the House and the Senate. Whichever president gets in, R or D, they sign the bills that their party sends them.
We're not asking them to be leaders, we're asking them to be signors of legislation.
MORGAN: Nate Silver, let's go forward to the place where a nominee is being chosen by the Republican Party and takes on Barack Obama. Right now you've got to be feeling confident if you're in the White House because it's all going to be about the economy. Everyone seems to be in agreement about that. And the economy is indisputably improving.
You know all of the data now looks like things are getting better. Very hard for a Republican candidate as this carries on to stand up there in August or September and say, you said you'd fix the economy and you haven't, if it's beginning to be fixed.
SILVER: Well, there's certainly a recovery story to be told. We've seen good jobs numbers, some good numbers, for example, on purchases of automobiles. But there are still some headwinds certainly from Europe, maybe from action in Congress, maybe from oil shocks in the Mideast. So it really is an odd case where the economy could be pretty impressive by November or almost back into recessionary mode.
It's more all or nothing than some elections in the past. But we should remember that just like political forecast, economic forecasts often go badly. It's almost like right when you think you're at a turning point is when you get a negative surprise or vice versa. But there's no doubt that if you're in the White House, the picture looks a lot brighter than it did three months ago.
Obama's approval rating is up to 48, 49 percent, that's where Bush's was in 2004 when he was re-elected. So right now Obama looks like he's probably a 60-40 favorite. Maybe even 2-1 favorite if there are problems in nominating a candidate. The Republican Party and I would not have said that a couple of months ago. He's gotten a really good fortune, whatever you want to call it, wave of news lately.
MORGAN: Well, it's certainly one thing I can predict is that you can't predict anything, I would say. So Grover Norquist and Nate Silver, thank you both very much.
NORQUIST: Thank you.
SILVER: Thank you.
MORGAN: Tonight in Syria, reports of desperate residents at Homs behind closed doors afraid to leave their homes shelled and bombed by government forces. They can't escape. Among the victims, infants and medics in this field center.
CNN can't independently confirm claims from either side because the government has restricted journalist access to the country.
Joining me now is Nick Kristof. He's reported from war zones all over the world and he says he's shaken to the core by what he's hearing about what's happening in Syria.
Also Robin Wright, author of "Rock the Casbah," and an Arab affairs analyst at Woodrow Wilson Center.
Let me start with you, Nick Kristof. Of all the things that you have witnessed over the years and heard about and reported on, what is going on in Syria? I know we can't get in there in the way we'd like to. But what is your sense about the apparent atrocity unfurling there?
NICHOLAS KRISTOF, NEW YORK TIMES COLUMNIST: Well, we have a government that seems to be, in effect, devouring its own people. It is firing artillery on its own cities, civilian areas. And most recently it seems to have dispatched militias, Alawite militias, that have been killing families, men, women and children in their homes.
The thousands and thousands of people have died already and it looks as if we're heading toward a civil war.
MORGAN: And Nick, I mean, you -- interestingly you tweeted out earlier I noticed to your followers, you know, you were coming on the show. What should America be doing now? Very, very good pertinent question. And there was a huge range of responses I was looking at. From all that you read when you got those responses, what do you think is the best response here? What should America be doing?
KRISTOF: Yes, I wish I could say that some of our followers, you know, produced the magic solution. But the basic tragedy of international relations, as you know, Piers, is that there are a lot more grand problems than there are grand solutions. And in Syria we have -- well, Samantha Powers described these humanitarian catastrophes as the problem from hell. And there isn't a great solution.
Frankly, there are not much the U.S. can do. But I think we can encourage some military factions within the government to think about defecting, to think about a coup d'etat, and also there's one thing we can do to give us a greater moral authority to criticize Russia when it supplies arms to Syria and that is for us not to be supplying weapons to Bahrain as it cracks down on its own democratic uprising in that country and our ally.
MORGAN: Robin Wright, let's turn to Russia and China, and their position in this. Because they're being condemned across the board from Sarkozy to Angela Merkel and so on, all saying this is appalling what they've been doing. What do you think? I mean what is their game? What is the answer to how America should deal with their game?
ROBIN WRIGHT, ARAB AFFAIRS ANALYST, WOODROW WILSON CENTER: Well, what we're seeing happen over Syria is really a kind of new alignment. You have Russia, China and Iran helping Syria, and you have the Arabs, the Europeans and the United States all on the other side.
The problem is that Russia has enormous interest in Syria both in terms of arms sales and commerce, and that both China and Russia, frankly, are very worried about the precedent of people power. The Chinese have a very restive Muslim population in the West, and the Russians are facing street demonstrations in Moscow, and so the whole idea of what's happening in Syria has repercussions for what's happening there.
The United States has real limits on what it can do on -- with either of them but it can keep the -- you know, the noise up in terms of saying this is unacceptable in the 21st century. But it can also begin to work with the Syrian opposition which has been very disjointed. There are three parts of it. You have the -- the exiled opposition that includes a wide array of groups. You have the internal opposition of local coordinating committees and then you have the Free Syrian Army, which is -- which is made up of good defectors and it's -- and one of the great problems is that they do not speak with one voice. They don't have one plan.
And as long as you don't have an alternative that's beginning to crystallize, it's going to be very hard to get people in the military in Syria to defect to get beyond that -- the rule of thumb is you have to have 30 percent of support in order to stay in power and Assad still has that 30 percent.
MORGAN: I mean one of the big problems is it's obvious huge humanitarian crisis going on now, getting worse by the day, and yet we're not seeing many journalists on the ground. The footage is very sporadic, not like Egypt where we were all living this thing as it unfurled, and we could see the atrocity for our very eyes and see what was going on.
What is the answer? Will journalists got to get into Syria, do you think?
WRIGHT: No. But I do think that this is where Turkey plays a particularly important role. The Turkish foreign minister is coming to Washington early next week to have talks. Turkey has talked about creating a humanitarian quarter along the border, of getting supplies into the country. It's harder than it sounds. But this is one area where I think there would be support for an American role and that is providing whether it's food stuffs and medicines and basic humanitarian goods to help those who are either taking refuge along the border, inside Turkey or to try to get them into other parts of Syria.
MORGAN: And Nick, I know you've been trying to get into Syria. What do you think about the situation involving the media there?
KRISTOF: Well, I mean, it's really hard to galvanize the international community to care about a crisis when you don't have a lot of footage coming in over television screens. And there are some individuals in Syria who have been doing absolutely heroic job with their cell phones and then capturing that video and then taking it at some risk to themselves and trying to post it through. In some cases the cell networks and surrounding countries near the borders.
And if they are caught with that, if they're caught doing that, they will be arrested and risk executions. So I -- you know, boy, I admire their courage but in the absence frankly of, you know, CNN and "The New York Times" and a lot of other international media, it is a lot harder to get that kind of international critical mass of attention at the U.N., in Arab League capitals and especially to create that kind of pressure on Moscow and on Beijing.
MORGAN: Well, it is. We're going to keep it going collectively. And I thank you both, Nick Kristof and Robin Wright, for coming on tonight.
KRISTOF: Thank you.
WRIGHT: Thank you.
MORGAN: When we come back, I'll talk to Hollywood legend Jon Voight about the man he wants to be presidents and about being a Republican in Hollywood.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VOIGHT: He is strong, honest, and wants to bring the country back to its exceptional place where we have been for hundreds and hundreds of years until President Obama decided to follow his father's footsteps and take us to socialism.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: You are a very rare specimen, aren't you, Jon Voight? Because you're a Republican in Hollywood.
MORGAN: There aren't many of you.
VOIGHT: Well, listen, I want to tell you, I think -- I'm honored to be here with you.
MORGAN: Well, thank you.
VOIGHT: Piers. You've become a voice of truth for Americans and I thank you for that.
MORGAN: Well, I really appreciate that. And it's interesting hearing your speech there because whichever side of the divide you're on, the one thing I've been trying to push more and more on the show now is trying to be positive in what is a tough situation for America. Because America remains a great country. And there is a tendency to talk the country down so much that people forget that. That actually the challenge is to keep America great. It's not how do we fix this broken horror story, isn't it?
VOIGHT: Well, I would say the thing to do is to keep us strong. We have become perceived as a weak nation throughout the world recently and that's unfortunate. So maybe I see it a little differently than you.
MORGAN: Here's what I would say to you. As a Brit who was in Britain for most of the Bush years.
MORGAN: My sense is that America has become more popular around the world but the danger to, in a sense, Barack Obama personally, I think he's more popular than George Bush was, the image of America is a more friendly one but the downside potentially is what you've just said, is that one of the reasons for that is it's not seen as strong a country as perhaps it once was through the foreign policy actions of Barack Obama.
VOIGHT: I agree. I think that -- I think there's a lot to be -- to be asked for from this president and I think where -- you know, that's why I'm -- that's why I'm out there. That's why I was in Pensacola working for Mitt Romney because I see -- you know, I see this as a very, very important election. And I'm very excited to be backing Mitt Romney, by the way, for the first of the reasons would be the most important is that he is a true American. He loves America. And his entire family has always followed the true American way of hard work and success and we're losing that a little bit.
MORGAN: Tell me about Mitt Romney. Because you obviously know him quite well. My sense, I've interviewed him twice. And I'd love to interview him again but for some reason --
VOIGHT: You will.
MORGAN: Well, can you put a good word in? Because he won't come on again. And I'm not sure why. So have a word with him because he should -- I feel frustrated for him that unlike the other candidates, he doesn't want to put himself into any personal interviews anymore. He doesn't want people to see too much about what he's like. Whereas I think Rick Santorum who I sat down with for an hour recently has become very personally engaged with the electorate. They are now warming to him personally and it's helping him. And it doesn't help Mitt Romney if he's seen as this kind of slightly aloof robotic figure.
VOIGHT: Well, let me tell you, he is quite reachable, this guy. And he's a -- he's a fellow who shoots from the hip. He's a very charitable fellow, as you probably know. And he's warm, honest, he's got great virtues. But you know, he's in a tough spot, too, because he knows he has so much time. He's got to appear in different places and he's looking to present his views in the proper way. I don't know. I'll talk to him about it.
MORGAN: Have a word with him, could you, Jon? Yes, I mean, last night was fascinating politics because nobody predicted that Rick Santorum would win all three states particularly Colorado where Mitt Romney has always done well before.
If you're Mitt Romney, what do you think has gone wrong albeit probably temporarily? What do you think has gone wrong and what should he be doing now to fix it?
VOIGHT: Well, let me say this. I think that my view of last night is that it's a little bit of mass hysteria. We had this situation where the Obamacare -- it was revealed that in Obamacare there was an attack on religious freedom and everybody was quite upset about it. The church was up in arms as they should have been.
And we have Santorum who is a devout Catholic and everybody knows that, and he became kind of a rallying point for those people and people surrounded him and I think that was the bump that he got last night.
MORGAN: Santorum today very interestingly has gone straight to a church. He's been photographed in there making this incredibly inspiring speech from the pulpit and then he walks among the people of his church and they all came together and did a sort of group hug prayer. Quite extraordinary scene. I haven't seen that with a presidential candidate probably ever.
But it's clear what he's doing, to me.
MORGAN: What he's saying is, I'm the conventional religious guy here. And Mitt Romney, because of his Mormon faith, isn't quite one of us. I mean it seems to me deliberate. VOIGHT: Well, maybe it is. I think this evangelical base has surrounded him now and they've picked him out. But we'll see what happens down the road. By the way, I think this thing is very short lived. I think that the Obama administration, David Axelrod, is going to turn this thing around very quickly. Because the Catholic vote, you know, the electorate is 27 percent of --
MORGAN: Yes, it is.
VOIGHT: You know, our electorate. And they're going to want to appeal to it. So they're going to turn this around. And that's going to go by the boards.
MORGAN: What do you think is the biggest misconception about Mitt Romney?
VOIGHT: I don't know. I mean I hear so many things about him that aren't true, you know. I see all this stuff. To me he's -- you know, the more I get to know him, the more I like him. He's strong. You know, and look at -- just let's take Mitt Romney as a candidate and say well, what does he -- what recommends him? And you take just of all the things that he's done. And people say we don't know him. We know him completely. He's been running for president. He was governor. He did the thing with the Olympics.
Let's take the Olympics thing. Just for an example. Look what he did. He came into a big mess. There was thievery and corruption, and they called Mitt to save the day. He came in and he looked at it. Rolled up his sleeves. He made a plan. And what he did was he organized 700 -- he put 700 -- people under his employ, 700 people, 26,000 volunteers. And went in search of a budget, the money for a budget of $1.32 billion, right?
So -- and in doing that he set a record for private financing from a source from gathering private financing for all of the Olympics, both summer and winter, right?
MORGAN: And you believe he can bring that kind of business skill to America incorporated?
VOIGHT: You bet. Absolutely he can. And --
MORGAN: Hold that thought, Jon. Let's take a little break, come back and explore a little bit more about how to keep America great, and also about Hollywood. Because you are a Hollywood legend who --
VOIGHT: Oh my gosh.
MORGAN: And also has this weird place of being father to arguably one of the most famous women ever created in the history of planet earth.
MORGAN: Let's discuss that after the break.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VOIGHT: I burst to tell you everything but in the fierceness of my own battles I (INAUDIBLE) to tell you only that which would inspire and keep you safe. I love you so much.
ANGELINE JOLIE, ACTRESS: I've missed you.
VOIGHT: And I have missed you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: The Academy Award-winning Jon Voight on screen with Angelina Jolie, his daughter, in 2001's "Tomb Raider" and he's back with me now.
So what it's like?
VOIGHT: How was my British accent?
VOIGHT: Was it fair?
MORGAN: I think it was quite good.
VOIGHT: That's great.
MORGAN: Not quite as good as Alec Baldwin the other day, he went more (INAUDIBLE), you know?
VOIGHT: Did he?
MORGAN: "Good afternoon." Yes. But not bad. What is it like being the father to one half of the most famous couple arguably in the history of mankind?
VOIGHT: You mean my daughter?
MORGAN: I mean Brangelina.
VOIGHT: And Angelina.
VOIGHT: Yes. Lovely girl.
MORGAN: Do you find it a bit surreal? Is it weird to see how famous she's become? VOIGHT: Well, it's -- yes, it's a very unusual thing. But of course she's my daughter and, you know, things are -- we've gotten back on track together.
VOIGHT: Same road, isn't it?
MORGAN: It has been a rocky road, isn't it?
VOIGHT: And it's wonderful to be with her. And, you know, we have so much in common besides our love for each other. You know, this -- all this stuff in the business, it's great.
But I feel like I'm so --
MORGAN: I'm very relieved to say that I'm back with Jon Voight. We were cut off in our prime there, Jon. Some technical fault blasted us into the ether just at the moment you were telling me about how thrilled you were that you had patched things up with Angelina and you were talking about your great love for her. So I can only apologize.
VOIGHT: Well, it's all right. You're forgiven, if it was you.
MORGAN: What I was going to ask you about that was the kind of advice that you can give when you have a daughter who goes from this little thing in your arms and then suddenly becomes this famous actress. What's the most sensible advice that you as a former Oscar winner can give her?
VOIGHT: Well, you know, I did the best I could to try to give her advice. But I think the best advice that I gave her was by my own example, to try to keep your feet on the ground. She's very good with people. And she is not cowed by the celebrity. In other words, if people come to her, she's very welcoming. And she's very loving.
And I think that helps her. And I -- and she has people around her hopefully that are honest with her. And she has a wonderful sense of humor, so that she probably has people that can tease her a little bit.
MORGAN: Are you a better dad now, do you think? Was that an unfair thing to infer?
VOIGHT: Well, I think that -- I think I'm a better person. I've lived quite a lot of life. And I've made my ups and downs and learned quite a lot.
MORGAN: What have you learned about yourself?
VOIGHT: This is turning into a Piers Morgan --
MORGAN: of course. You're on THE PIERS MORGAN SHOW.
VOIGHT: Well, I -- what have I learned about myself? I really have not -- you know, I'm going to answer you like Ron Paul would answer you. You know I'm really not that interested in that question.
MORGAN: Do you find it uncomfortable talking about yourself like that?
VOIGHT: Well, it's not important. Might as well use the time for other things.
MORGAN: "Midnight Cowboy" was the movie that exploded you onto the scene, one of my favorite all-time movies. There's a brilliant story about how you got this. Just tell me quickly.
VOIGHT: Well, it's not a quick story.
MORGAN: It is going to have to be. Otherwise, we might get cut off again.
VOIGHT: Well, listen, I was told -- I did a screen test and I was -- with three other fellows, great actors. I was told it came down to another fellow and myself. And it was finally given to the other fellow.
They finally came back around to me for some reason because they had a difficulty making this thing work. I get a call. They said, Jon, it's come back to you. Be at your phone at 10:00 tomorrow morning. This is a Saturday morning. John Shlessinger (ph) will call you, invite you over to his place just to take a look at you, because it's been a couple weeks since he's seen you. And who knows. Good luck.
So, of course, I couldn't sleep that night. It rained that night. The wind was blowing against -- blowing the rain against my apartment building. I got up early. I didn't know what to do with myself. I didn't -- I was nervous.
So I said, well, I'm going to go out and do some grocery shopping. I went out into this rain with my umbrella and I got some groceries. And coming back, I saw in the middle of the street this fellow who I had known who was a homeless man, black fellow, who said he was a boxer and he had kind of puffy eyes and stuff like that.
I thought, yes, he's a boxer all right. He was in the middle of the street. It was in the middle of the street, just lost. And the rain was coming down. I ran up to him and I said, George, George, you've got to get out of this rain. You're going to get pneumonia.
He was like that. I said, George, listen, I'm going to take you up to my apartment and I will give you a sandwich or something. I said, George, listen, you se that liquor store across the street? I'll go get a bottle of scotch, a little bottle of scotch, and you can come up to my place and get out of the rain. He went, oh, OK. So I got the bottle of scotch, went up to my place. And George sat down. I made him a sandwich, tuna fish sandwich. I can still see this sad looking tuna fish sandwich. I said, George, you know, I'm waiting for a call that's going to come at any time, and it could change my life because it's a big movie. I'm a movie actor. I might get this part.
He said, oh, I hope you get it. I pray you get it. With that, the phone rings. I said, come on, George. Let's go over and see if this is the fellow. So I had a hall wall phone. I get on. I said hello.
And I hear the voice says, hello, Jon, John Shlessinger here. Jon, you know, we're looking at your screen test and we may come your way. But I would like to see you just for a few minutes. Do you think you could come over to my place and just have a little chat?
I said, that's fine, John. It's raining. I'll get a cab. He gives me the address. I hang up the phone. I said, George, it looks good. I'm going to go over and see him. I'm so glad, he says. I said, now you sit here. Don't go outside. If you go outside, here's a coat. I had an extra coat. I said -- and just, you know, you can stay here. If I'm a couple of hours, you can stay here. But if you go, take the coat.
So I leave George. I go over and see John Shlessinger. And John and I -- John was as good as his word. He just wanted to say hello, just see how we were doing. We had a little laugh. We did get along.
He said, Jon, I'll call you within the hour. We'll let you know the decision. I said, that's just fine, John. So I went back. Got a cab both ways. Last money I had to get the cab, see.
Get back to the place and George is sitting in the same place. I saw a couple bites out of the sandwich, nothing much out of the liquor. I put a glass out for him. I told him -- I said, it looks good. We're going to get a call in a second. He was excited.
The phone rings. I go to the phone, saying, George, come on. So George is right there in front of me. I take the phone. I am looking right at George like I'm looking at you. I said hello. He said, hello, Jon, John Shlessinger here. It looks like we're going to go with you.
I said that's wonderful, John. He said, yes. We're going to have costumes on Monday and I'll have somebody call you. Congratulations. I said thank you so much. He says, is there anything that you're concerned about? Is there anything you're concerned about?
No, John, I said. John, I think you've done the right thing. I'll be terrific in this part. I can't wait to se you on Monday. Thank you so much. He said, well, very, very good, Jon. I'll see you then. Hang up the phone.
I said, George, I got the part. He said, I prayed for it. I so glad. I prayed for you. I prayed for you. I knew you would get it. Then I said -- for some reason I said, George, what's the first thing I should do? George says call your mother. She would be so glad.
I called my mother. I said, Hi, mom. I just got a great part. It's going to change my life. Wonderful, Jon. Have you called your brothers? I said, no, but I will.
And I think to this day, I said this fellow was like an angel. If he hadn't been in my life -- I was more concerned about his well- being, I wouldn't have been relaxed and I would never have said what I said, which is I'm going to be terrific in this part. You made the right decision.
MORGAN: Let's toast George. He sounds great. I wish I had a George in my life. Jon Voight, it's been a real pleasure. Thank you very much.
VOIGHT: Thank you.
MORGAN: Coming up, the woman who has been called like Barbara Eden on crystal meth, Ali Wentworth. And later, the mother of all conspiracy theories, only in America.
MORGAN: Alec Baldwin has said that Ali Wentworth is, and I quote, like Barbara Eden but on something like crystal meth. She has done hit shows like "In Living Color," was a regular on "The Oprah Winfrey Show," is also married to ABC News anchor George Stephanopoulos and is the author of "Ali Wonderland and Other Tall Tails." And she joins me now.
How are you?
ALI WENTWORTH, "ALI IN WONDERLAND" AUTHOR: I'm great, but I'm feeling a little uncomfortable because I was going to tell the same story that Jon Voight just told. So I got nothing.
MORGAN: You wouldn't have told it as well. Also if you tried to tell it, we would strike you down like we did him halfway through his interview.
WENTWORTH: That was me, by the way. I was playing with the wires.
MORGAN: You are a little political animal really, aren't you? I mean you're -- your mother worked for Nancy Reagan, social secretary. Your father worked as a reporter for "the Washington Post." Your stepfather was a Washington correspondent for "the London Times."
So you have this media political blood streaming through you from every orifice. What do you make of what's going on with your country right now?
WENTWORTH: Are you trying to pick me up? What do I feel? Listen, this country right now, the GOP race is a roller coaster ride, I think. You know, every day there's something new, which is why my husband is so excited every morning. There's a lot to follow.
MORGAN: Presumably he's excited because he's waking up next to you.
WENTWORTH: Well, thank you, Piers. Actually, he's not. He gets up at 3:00 a.m. But yes. I don't know. All I can say is I hope Roseanne Barr wins.
MORGAN: I want to interview Roseanne Barr. I love the fact that she's running. She's deadly serious.
WENTWORTH: I know she is. I know those macadamia nuts --
MORGAN: I booked her via Twitter actually. She's agreed to come on and talk about this campaign of hers.
MORGAN: You're quite an active little Tweeter, aren't you?
WENTWORTH: I do like to Tweet, my friend. I like a nice cocktail. I sit down and I just go at it. I really like it because I like to say things in kind of quick sentences. And this is a great way to do that.
MORGAN: Is it addictive to you as it is to me? Do you find it's like taking over your life slightly?
WENTWORTH: It is addictive. I wouldn't say it's as addictive as it is for you ,because you might think about a program. But, you know, it's hard not to -- I'm still making the mistake where I confuse Twitter with e-mail and say very personal things to somebody I think I'm just e-mailing. And then it goes out in the Twitter-sphere. But I'm learning to correct that.
MORGAN: Who do you think is going to win this Republican race?
WENTWORTH: You mean where is my money?
MORGAN: Where is your money?
WENTWORTH: I think Obama.
MORGAN: Do you think any of them, even if they do win the nomination race, could actually beat Barack Obama, especially if the economy goes on improving the way that it is?
WENTWORTH: I find it fascinating, Piers, that you are having me on the show to really talk seriously about politics. Because as you know, I'm the go-to girl for this kind of talk. My guess --
MORGAN: I'm surprising people. I want to surprise people with you. You probably have a very smart political brain and I want to tap it. WENTWORTH: Well, it's a tiny little thing but I hear it in there. I think Romney. I think Romney. That is my guess. If I had to bet let's say 10,000 dollars, I would say Mitt Romney. But that's today. Tomorrow I may say Carrot Top.
MORGAN: You're a Democrat, right?
WENTWORTH: Well, I'm -- yes, I am.
MORGAN: You're married to a Democrat?
WENTWORTH: I'm married to somebody who is not a Republican or a Democrat.
MORGAN: Really? He's not a Democrat?
WENTWORTH: Well, he doesn't say. He has his political talk show, so he's -- he's neither.
WENTWORTH: Yeah. What are you trying to get out of me?
MORGAN: I don't know, some lurid revelation that's going to --
WENTWORTH: Since when is politics lurid? You know, I think now George is neither. He kind of looks at both things. Are you trying to get me divorced?
MORGAN: Why did you -- I love this book.
WENTWORTH: Thank you.
MORGAN: I love the cover. Why did you write a book like this? And why did you go for this cover?
WENTWORTH: Well, two excellent questions. One is Harper Collins came to me and said, we think you're very funny; would you ever write a book? I actually have had this book in my head for years. And I said, absolutely. And I have the idea.
Now, the cover was I went to the photo shoot. And we were going to do kind of a parody of "Alice in Wonderland." I said, you know what would be funny, because my people drink a lot of tea, I would love to be in a bathing suit, cannon-balling into a cup of tea.
I'm not known for my body. You will not find me on the cover of "Maxim" any time soon.
MORGAN: You look pretty damn good on the cover here, I must say.
WENTWORTH: Well, thank you very much. There's a tiny bit of air brushing. But you know I don't usually say, let me get in a bathing suit and let's take some pictures. So -- but to me, it was funny. So that always trumps whatever --
MORGAN: Didn't you once get into a bathing suit with Henry Kissinger?
WENTWORTH: Yes, I did. I was in a -- some kind of a "Sesame Street" bikini. And Henry Kissinger used to come to our house quite often because my step father, who worked for "The London Sunday Times," was covering the Nixon and Kissinger administration. So Henry Kissinger would come and use our pool. And I would hold on to his neck, and he would take me.
We would do laps turtle style. Unbeknownst to me, of course, he was bombing Cambodia. But who cares? He had a wide back.
MORGAN: Let's take a little break. Let's talk more of these weird little stories from your early years.
WENTWORTH: I'll have a cocktail.
MORGAN: Also, I want to talk about the blind date that set you up with your husband. I want all of the details of that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WENTWORTH: Oh honey. George, I never, ever get to see you at home.
I love you. I shaved my legs and made you a steak. Happy birthday, baby!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: That was a moment that maybe George Stephanopoulos -- I don't know whether he regrets it or not. I would rather like it, I think, if my wife did something like that.
WENTWORTH: He liked it. He liked it.
MORGAN: He looked quite excited by it.
WENTWORTH: He was. I mean, I'll never do it again, but I think for that time, it was -- it was well done.
MORGAN: Now, somebody has Tweeted here, which I think you'll like this -- this is Rab Carion (ph), says, "Oh, my God, Ali Wentworth on Piers Morgan is hilarious. He's a dork, but she's a scream."
WENTWORTH: Oh, that was me. That's very nice. And you're not a dork at all. I'm just a political animal.
MORGAN: You don't have to say that. You are a political animal. And let's go back to the blind date you had with George. You get set up on a blind date. Who sets you up on this?
WENTWORTH: I was at a party. And an old girlfriend of his, I set her up with my brother, which was a fiasco. And she said, let me set you up with George Stephanopoulos. And I said, no thank you, because I was from that world, and I didn't want -- you know, just it didn't appeal.
I was -- I was sniffing around to be Mrs. Hugh Grant. And finally, I was in New York a few weeks later, and George said would you like to have dinner. And I said what about breakfast. And he said how about lunch. We met at Fred's, which is Barney's. And you know, listen, I really was not thinking George Stephanopoulos was the one.
But after a very mayonnaise crap salad and great conversation -- I'm telling you, by the end of the meal, I would have gone to the courthouse and gotten married and it wouldn't have seemed ridiculous.
MORGAN: I would imagine that life with you is always entertaining, but occasionally dangerous. Would that be an accurate summation of --
WENTWORTH: Dangerous because of my knife collection or dangerous how?
MORGAN: Probably a tendency to get on desks and come raging towards you like a hungry hyena?
WENTWORTH: Only for television I do that. I'm really quite tame at home. You know, I do entertain him. I will give you that, in every room of the house.
MORGAN: You want to elaborate?
WENTWORTH: How much are you going to pay me to elaborate? That's my next book.
MORGAN: Chelsea Handler, talking of elaboration, says "Ali has written a truly hilarious book." By the way, it is incredibly funny. I loved it, laugh out loud.
But she also says, but she's also a good kisser. What's that all about?
WENTWORTH: Well, I am. I don't like to brag.
MORGAN: How does she know? How does Chelsea know?
WENTWORTH: It's how I say hello.
MORGAN: Would you mind if we do this in the studio next time, then?
WENTWORTH: Well, I was hoping you would ask me. It's very lonely and cold back here.
MORGAN: Tell me one good reason why people should buy this book?
WENTWORTH: Because it will make you laugh. And it's entertaining. And from what I have been told, it's a good read. People say they couldn't put it down. I mean, you actually read a book, right? WENTWORTH: And there's a quote from your mother on the back, saying I wouldn't have turned down the pee and fart references?
WENTWORTH: Well, she has a point. Wait for the audio book.
MORGAN: It's a great book. Everybody should buy this. Great read. Thanks for coming on.
WENTWORTH: Thank you, Piers.
Tonight's Only in America,. the mother of all conspiracy theories. You may remember when Beyonce told me this last summer about her baby plans.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BEYONCE, SINGER: You're trying to say I need to have a baby.
MORGAN: I didn't even ask the question.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Of course, Beyonce answered the question herself when she gave birth to her first child, daughter Blue Ivy, just a month ago. And this week, she's bounced back in fabulous form, attending husband Jay-Z's concert.
But she made one terrible mistake. She looked just too fabulous, so fabulous in fact that a vast conspiracy theory has now been raging on the Internet that Beyonce faked her pregnancy, never actually had a baby, and must have used a surrogate.
Wow. This is clearly a massive scandal that must be investigated. So putting my intrepid reporter hat on, I investigated it thoroughly and responsibly this morning by walking to the mirror and asking myself one question, Piers, you became a father yourself two months ago. Is it possible that Beyonce never had a baby?
And you know what I said to myself, don't be such a bloody idiot, Piers. Of course she did.
So there we are. Investigation concluded. Conspiracy theory solved. Beyonce was pregnant and she did have a baby.
Oh and while I'm at it, Elvis is dead. Man did land on the Moon. And no, there are not a bunch of horned extraterrestrial aliens running around Area 51.
You're welcome. That's all for us tonight.
"AC 360" starts right now.