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PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT
Mubarak in a Coma?; President Obama Speaks at G-20 Summit; Sandusky Trial
Aired June 19, 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, breaking news. President Obama answers tough questions about the world's economy in crisis. But is the message getting through to you?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: My biggest concern is folks who are out of work or underemployed.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: I'll ask Frank Bruni why he says we're teetering on the brink of disaster.
And personal finance guru Dave Ramsey live. He answers your questions on family, finances, and what to do with your money now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAVE RAMSEY, FINANCIAL GURU AND AUTHOR: You don't want to wait or depend on this government to manage your life. This is a time for self-reliance like never before.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Plus, Jerry Sandusky's hail Mary pass. The accused Penn State coach's wife takes the stand. What she knew and what it means for the case.
And "Only in America," New York's pizza deliveries from outer space.
This is PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT.
Good evening. Breaking news around the world tonight. In Mexico, President Obama just finished a major news conference after meeting with President Hu Jintao of China. The conclusion of the G-20 summit. And predictably, some of the biggest questions were about the economy.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: If fewer folks are buying stuff in Paris or Berlin, that means that we're selling less stuff made in Pittsburgh or Cleveland. (END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: President Obama had a lot more to say about the global economy and about unrest around the world. We'll get to that in a moment but meanwhile, more breaking news tonight from Egypt.
Crowds swarming around Tahrir Square earlier tonight after reports that former president Hosni Mubarak was clinically dead. His attorney tells CNN Mubarak is in a coma and has been for several hours.
The former president was serving a life sentence in prison for failing to stop the killing of protesters and rebellion against his rule last year.
And now let's go live to Cairo where Ben Wedeman has the latest on our big story, Hosni Mubarak, who is said to be in a coma.
Ben, lots of conflicting reports tonight. What do you think is the most credible in terms of the status of Hosni Mubarak's health?
BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Piers, I don't think there's any question that Hosni Mubarak's health took a turn for the worst today. Really since the 2nd of June when he was sentenced to life imprisonment for not stopping the killing of protesters during the revolution.
Clearly, he's had a very hard time adjusting to prison life. At first, it looked just like he was unhappy. But his heart has given sort of -- has suffered from it. And now of course he's been rushed to a military hospital by the Nile.
Now reports we're getting at this point would indicate that his condition has stabilized and he may be improving. But what's interesting was really the lack of reaction from most Egyptians to the news that he was either dead or dying. There were thousands of people in Tahrir Square but they were protesting against what is seen as a military coup d'etat by the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces.
I drove by the hospital where Mubarak is at the moment, and at the time, which was about an hour after the news came out, there were just a few journalists in front of the hospital, just a few police and soldiers on the inside. So most people are much more focused on the political uproar that's going on in Egypt right now, and not so much on either the rumors of death or the death of former President Hosni Mubarak.
MORGAN: Ben, I mean, it seems, you know, very recently, it was obviously over a year ago, that we were covering the events at Tahrir Square. The great uprising. There was so much hope and expectation then, that the down throw of Mubarak would lead this great new world in Egypt.
The very dispiriting sights we're seeing today suggests it hasn't gone that way at all. That the military still has this iron grip on the country. There's no constitution, there's no parliament. There are rival groups squabbling over leadership. It is frankly in chaos, isn't it?
WEDEMAN: I wouldn't call it chaos. It's political disorder and confusion, but the streets of Cairo are as they always are, which is chaotic from a traffic point of view. But in terms of ordinary life, life does seem to go on. I mean you could look at this situation in Egypt either as a glass half full or glass half empty.
On the one hand, yes, Hosni Mubarak was toppled, but the regime remains. Most of the people who were in the government under Hosni Mubarak are still there. That's the half empty side. On the half full side, there has been a fundamental change in the way Egyptians look at the affairs of their country. They are engaged. They are politicized as never before.
You walk down the street where oftentimes you would see people engaged in discussions about football, about other things, reading the Quran. Now they debate politics and they read the newspapers. So it has been very much a radical change. Maybe not what everybody was hoping and expecting -- Piers.
MORGAN: Ben Wedeman, thanks very much indeed. And here now with more on both of our big stories, Hosni Mubarak and President Obama's G-20 news conference, the "New York Times" op-ed columnist, Frank Bruni.
Fran, how are you?
FRANK BRUNI, NEW YORK TIMES OP-ED COLUMNIST: I'm good. How are you?
MORGAN: So the president made this big speech tonight. I want to play a clip immediately of what he said really in direct response to Mitt Romney. Let's see this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: Well, first of all, with respect to Mr. Romney's advisers, I'd suggest he go talk to Mr. Romney about his advisers. I would point out that we have one president at a time and one administration at a time.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: I mean, it seemed to me that, as he did, when he sort of remonstrated with that heckler reporter the other day, jumping in, trying to ask questions in his speech, he looks a little bit on edge, the president at the moment. A little less self-assured and calm.
BRUNI: Well, right there, I mean he looked really de-energized. I was watching him, you know, as he stepped to the podium. And one of the whole advantages of being the president, of being the incumbent, is you get those settings. The flags behind you. The podium. You get the international audience. He strode out there and the cadence of his speech was very slowed down. There was a lot of hemming and hawing. He got the first question from the press and answered -- that answer went on and on. And he provided this really strange tutorial on European economic dynamics. And I just -- I don't think that's what he meant to do when he went to that microphone. He doesn't seem in command.
MORGAN: And that comment about one president at a time.
MORGAN: One administration at a time. What did you make of that?
BRUNI: Well, he's talking about that -- the thing that was in the German newspaper. And he seems to be trying to make some political hay over Romney's supports, advisers criticizing him in the international press.
I don't quite understand that attack because we live in the world of the Internet. Everyone knows whether you publish something in an American newspaper or a German newspaper, everybody knows what sort of criticisms are being made. Everybody knows there are huge differences of opinion in this country. I don't understand this whole mini- controversy.
MORGAN: And he went out of his way to say, look, the reason that Europe matters and what happens there matters to Americans, is obviously if the economy throughout Europe collapses, then American exports to Europe is one of the biggest trade partners it has, that they also deteriorate. And that's bad for the American economy.
Do you think Americans understand that? Do they appreciate it?
BRUNI: I think they do and I think what he was trying to do with his time at the microphone was say to people, I don't have control over everything. And this is a very important thing for him to establish during this campaign. He can't evade responsibility for the economy. But he has the right to make clear to people and should make clear to people that not everything rests with him.
There are larger factors. There are global dynamics. There are things happening in Europe that he has virtually no control over. And he wants voters to understand that as they assess his economic performance.
MORGAN: You wrote a great piece in "The New York Times." Dangling on the precipice of disaster. Sort of making -- everyone leaves everything to (INAUDIBLE) these days. Everyone's like that tight rope walker who crossed Niagara Falls.
MORGAN: Everyone is just dangling. Maybe falling over. No one's quite sure. Always seems to be this sort of chaos everywhere.
BRUNI: One cliff to the next. MORGAN: Yes. What is the sensible way to move forward? What should world leaders be talking to each other about actually doing to stop that sense of dangling on the precipice?
BRUNI: Well, whether we're talking about the future of the euro and all of these governments that need bailouts, whether we're talking about our own problem with entitlements getting so expensive, and the ballooning deficits and debt, I mean, what we need to do is look five and 10 years down the road and make decisions that are responsible for the future and not just expedient for us right now.
You know, in this country, politicians are constantly talking about our children, our children, our children. What amazes and galls me is when we actually make decisions as a country. Once things get to our paralyzed and sporadic Congress, I don't see decisions being made that are at all cognizant about the world our children are going to inherit.
MORGAN: I don't -- what I don't see from anybody is a clear vision for the kind of America that actually America was founded on. What is the positive vision for this country? Neither of the two protagonists in this election campaign seem to have that clarity of vision for a positive way forward for the country. It's all very negative already.
BRUNI: It's all very negative. It's all about what's happening tomorrow or what happened yesterday. I think if one of these gentlemen articulates the kind of vision you're talking about, makes a credible case for having the path to that vision, and can convince people that he has whatever it takes, if indeed there is anything you can do, to break the logjam of Congress, that's the man who's going to win this election. And right now neither of them can do that.
MORGAN: Interestingly, Mitt Romney's body language, perhaps emboldened by a month of pretty good news for him actually, as I think President Obama's slightly hit the skids in terms of his own, you know, successful path to reelection.
MORGAN: We've watched him today. Watch a bit of this because he looks like he's got his gander up as we would say back home in Britain.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: When I was governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, fellow Republican, came to my state. He put a billboard up in my state. He was trying to poach jobs from my state to go to California. Had a picture of them -- of him, you know, in a T-shirt flexing his muscles. Said, come to California. What am I to do? I put billboards up in his state. It had me in a T-shirt flexing my muscles. It said, smaller muscles but much lower tax, come to Massachusetts.
(END VIDEO CLIP) MORGAN: I mean --
MORGAN: You know, I laughed at that. It was at the weekend, actually. But I laughed at him because you don't see him in such a relaxed way. He's been very controlled, very safe, Mitt Romney. Only talking to certain media. Not really exposing himself to any risk. Now you're beginning to see a slightly more confident Mitt Romney. He's being a bit more playful, but more -- dare I say human?
BRUNI: Right. But I don't know that relaxed is always his best mode. I was just laughing when I saw that because I thought I can imagine the bumper sticker, let me flex my smaller muscles.
BRUNI: I mean it's -- Mitt Romney is not so good with metaphor. I think we've learned that. And I don't know that's going to change between now and November.
MORGAN: Do you see -- I mean obviously the polls all say it's pretty close. Do you think it's going to remain that way? Is this going to be a really aggressive tightly forged contest, you think?
BRUNI: I do. I mean we could be proven wrong. But I think that elections are about the economy. Right now, we have an economy that seems to be improving incrementally. It's very vague. It's very unclear. And in that uncertainty, you have I think the recipe for a nail biter of an election. Yes.
MORGAN: What about this whole VP issue? This discrepancy about Marco Rubio.
BRUNI: Right. Was he being vetted, was he not.
MORGAN: He was saying he wasn't. Mitt Romney says he was. It's probably -- something's going down. And I don't think Mitt Romney would say he was if he wasn't taking him seriously as a contender. Would he be the kind of choice, if you were Mitt Romney, that you would go for?
BRUNI: I'm going out on a limb and tell you, I'm pretty sure Marco Rubio will not the choice. I think he's got too many things going against him in this year in this context. He doesn't have an enormous amount of experience. And coming out of 2008 with all the questions raised about Sarah Palin he's not Sarah Palin. But they have to veer toward a candidate whom -- of whom they can say with great certainty this person is ready to take over the presidency day two if that somehow happened.
I don't think Marco Rubio is going to be the guy but I don't think the Romney campaign wants to say that now because they've got a problem with Latino voters and you don't want to say to those voters we've taken this Latino thoroughbred off the table really, really quickly. MORGAN: There is -- look on the outside of President Obama's track record. Yes, there are lots of negatives, and he hasn't been bold enough in many areas. But you could also say, you know, if you're looking at it objectively he put millions more people into health care. Done with that before. He brought in gay marriage. Endorsed that publicly.
He's just helped, now, the youth of illegal immigrants. He's done some pretty radical stuff which of course may vote against him.
MORGAN: Which is the irony of taking these positions on these hot issues. Is it in the end they may not be vote winners for President Obama even though many would believe they're the right thing to do?
BRUNI: Well, the question about those hot issues is, in all of those cases you were going through, you're basically identifying some of his strongest constituencies of voters. You know, he's reached out to women in a very emphatic way. To gay Americans. To Latinos with the immigration thing.
The question is how is this playing with swing voters and the question bigger than that, the political analysts argue about until the cows come home, is do you win elections by really rallying and motivating and getting your core voters in the greatest numbers to the polls or do you win it with those swing voters who somewhat analysts think are a little bit mythical.
MORGAN: Or could he perversely rally Romney's base for these particular hot issues. So that's the unanswered question at the moment.
Frank Bruni, thank you very much.
BRUNI: Thanks for having me.
MORGAN: Coming up next, Jerry Sandusky's wife takes the stand to defend her husband. Will Sandusky himself testify tomorrow? That's the word on the street. I'll ask my top legal analysts coming up.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE AMENDOLA, JERRY SANDUSKY'S DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Stay tuned. Come on, it's like a soap. You have to wait and see.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you.
AMENDOLA: If you know the answers, it takes all the excitement out of it.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Is it "Days of Our Lives"?
AMENDOLA: I think it's "General Hospital." Actually it could be "All My Children."
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Jerry Sandusky's defense attorney early today. The Sandusky trial is our other big story. The former Penn State coach's wife Dottie took the stand today and said she didn't witness any abuse but she told the court children often slept over at their house and her husband would go downstairs to tell them good night.
And did Dottie Sandusky helped or hurt her husband today? And would he take the stand himself tomorrow?
Joining me now is Lisa Friel, former chief of the Manhattan D.A. sex crimes unit. And psychologist Dr. Janet Taylor.
Welcome back to both of you.
I found that little performance by Sandusky's attorney pretty disturbing actually. It's not really a laughing matter, this, is it?
LISA FRIEL, FORMER CHIEF MANHATTAN D.A.'S SEX CRIMES UNIT: No, I absolutely agree. When I heard about that today, I found the back and forth totally inappropriate. You know, it's like he doesn't get this either. Just like Jerry Sandusky doesn't seem to get it. Mr. Amendola doesn't get this. Even if you believe that all those victims are lying and his client is falsely accused, this is one serious matter.
What are we fooling around with and making comparisons to soap opera? Entirely in bad taste. "All My Children"? Incredibly bad taste.
MORGAN: Yes, I just thought completely inappropriate.
Dr. Janet, I mean, Dottie Sandusky is this fascinating part of this story. No one's really sure what she knew if anything. Whether she was willfully blind, whether she just genuinely had no idea what was going on. Based on what happened today, what is your take on her involvement?
DR. JANET TAYLOR, PSYCHIATRIST: Well, I think, you know, she probably is, as she presented, a sweet old lady. She's been married to him for 46 years. Stand by your man. And I think she presents a good contrast to how if there were two sides to him that potentially he kept her in the dark and had this sweet woman who believed everything that he said was dependent, and that you could see where he could have this portrayal as this dotting husband but have possibly, probably a darker side.
MORGAN: But, Lisa Friel, I'm surprised that the prosecution didn't go harder. The cross examination seemed relatively soft. Was that a deliberate strategy? Is there a danger if you go too hard, you alienate a jury?
FRIEL: Absolutely. I wasn't surprised at all at that strategy. I think that they expect that there are a number of jurors who feel very sympathetic for Dottie Sandusky. That the wool was pulled over her eyes the way it was everybody else's eyes. And that even if she saw certain things, that she's repressed them, that she just couldn't deal with them. And I think the prosecution -- I think they have made a smart move in doing it exactly the way they did.
MORGAN: The defense brought a clinical psychologist who said he diagnosed Sandusky with histrionic personality disorder. And if for individuals who have this, have the following symptoms. One, They feel uncomfortable or unappreciated if they're not the center of attention. Two, are often inappropriately seductive. Three, they're likely to embarrass friends by excessive displays of emotion. And four, a sexually provocative and may alienate friends or demands attention.
I mean, call me stupid, but this seemed like the greatest excuse I've ever heard. Jumped up into some weird disorder we've never heard of. Am I wrong?
TAYLOR: Well, personality disorder are real and pervasive, but at the end of the day, if you look at him, he had a relationship with his wife for 46 years. He was married. You know, personality disorders are the extreme end of the personality traits that we all have. And I think it's still no excuse for bad behavior. For criminal behavior.
And he -- so what? He could have a personality disorder. I happen to disagree with this diagnosis. But he still has to stand on trial for what he's been accused of, personality disorder or not.
MORGAN: Have you ever heard of this in all your time working in the sex crimes area?
FRIEL: I had never heard of it, Piers. I looked it up. I saw the same traits, and I wonder how they apply to Jerry Sandusky, about being the center of attention and acting inappropriately sexually with people. In public. That's what -- not what this case is about. It's about inappropriate sexual behavior in private, in showers, and in basement bedrooms. So I don't see how it --
TAYLOR: And typically with histrionic personality disorders, it's usually peer to peer, adult to adult. And I think to mesh that in with what he is accused of in terms of inappropriate behavior, adult to child, to young man, I think is inexcusable.
MORGAN: What I find absolutely baffling is the fact that -- openly say of course he was having showers with these boys. Fifty- year-old guys or older having showers with naked boys of 12 or 13? I've never heard of this before. Other than some sexually abusive way. Have you? I mean is this --
FRIEL: I've never heard of it. I do know if you're a coach and the players -- and you come off the field and it's been a hot day, everybody might get in what is a big group shower and be physically in a big room. But I have never heard of doing that with little boys like that, number one. And number two, then the coach is down on one end and then the kids are down on the other end and they're not touching each other.
They're very much aware of not touching each other. And you've got Jerry Sandusky showering alone with him, rubbing -- by his -- what he says happened, rubbing up on them, playing soaping games, you know, tickling them.
MORGAN: I've got three sons who played a lot of sports.
TAYLOR: I was going to say, if parents -- right, yes.
MORGAN: And if I'd heard any teacher had done that kind of thing, I would have been absolutely enraged and taken immediate action. I mean the collective silence of everybody around these boys is equally baffling.
Another strange thing has happened. NBC News, we remember, did this interview with Bob Costas. And the prosecution has now subpoenaed what we didn't see at the time. I don't know why we didn't see this. Because it's incredibly significant I think. Let's watch a little bit of the interview that didn't air on NBC.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JERRY SANDUSKY, FORMER PENN STATE FOOTBALL COACH: -- come forward, many more young people who would come forward and say that my methods and, and what I had done for them made a very positive impact on their life. And I didn't go around seeking out every young person for sexual needs that I've helped. There are many that I didn't have -- I hardly had any contact with who I have helped in many, many ways.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Dr. Janet and me, we were both shaking our heads there. But when you hear that -- NBC I think later played this on some of their affiliates. But they didn't at that time, I don't know why. But certainly when you hear that for the first time, as I did last night, you are shocked, because it appears to be a confession, doesn't it?
TAYLOR: Well, it sounds incriminating. And it also sounds like he's saying for all the young men I came into contact with, there are -- there are some that I did not touch inappropriately. And the fact is, if he touched one, that's one too many. It's -- it just is denial and just manipulation. It's mind boggling.
FRIEL: And as a former prosecutor, I listen to a statement like that and I'm ready to jump down his throat with cross examination question.
MORGAN: Well, let's bring -- a key question which is there are rumors swirling that in a last throw of the dice, they're going to put Sandusky on the stand. Would you do that if you were in that position now?
FRIEL: Well, I think it depends how they've seen the says go in. I think for all the rest of us that have been watching it and talking about it, we think the case went in for the prosecution very strong. And that -- and that he almost has no choice but to put him on the stand and give it a shot and hope he can hang the jury with one person. But if Mr. Amendola, who we've talked about earlier, has a little bit of an odd take on this case, if he seems to think he did a really good job on cross and with these character witnesses and a few other witnesses they put on, and he says that to Sandusky, they may decide not to put him on.
MORGAN: Well, it will be a gripping moment if he does take the stand.
MORGAN: And a fascinating day. Please come back tomorrow. And to both of you, Lisa Friel, Dr. Janet, thank you both very much.
FRIEL: Thank you.
TAYLOR: Thank you.
MORGAN: Coming up, keeping America great, with this country's personal financial guru Dave Ramsey answers your questions live and via Twitter.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: His concern is the same concern I've had over the last 3 1/2 years, which is folks who are out of work or underemployed or unable to pay the bills, what steps are we taking to potentially put them in a stronger position.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: President Obama earlier tonight talking about the economy and now here to talk about keeping America great, the man America trusts to answer tough questions on your money. Dave Ramsey is the host of "The Dave Ramsey Show" and the author of "EntreLeadership: 20 Years of Practical Wisdom from the Trenches," and joins me now live.
Dave, welcome back.
RAMSEY: Thank you, Piers. Good to be back with you.
MORGAN: You are the perfect guy to ask really. There are so many politicians talking in political speak about the economy. There's a kind of disconnect that most people are sensing between them in Washington and all this gobbledygook and the reality on the ground of what people in America are really having to endure economically. What do you make of where America is right now? If President Obama says he's the right guy to be elected in November, has he earned that right from the way that he's conducted himself economically?
RAMSEY: Well, I think he said something in a speech the other day that was very telling. He said this is a time to make a choice between the economic policies that are going forward. Now that sounds very much a political statement. People make those kinds of statements when they're on the stump all the time.
But I think he was very right in that. The way he got elected was pledging hope. And hope was a wonderful campaign for him. And he did a great job with that. The question people have to answer, and the question they're answering now, is hope really coming out of Washington. I honestly think that we're asking too much of a Mitt Romney or a President Obama to say that hope comes from Washington, in the sense of actual creation of jobs.
I think their job is to create a vision. What Frank was saying a while ago was very insightful, I thought, the columnist, when he was saying that if there's a candidate that will step forward with a plan, with vision, people will gravitate towards that candidate like never before. That was President Obama's campaign last go around. This go around, he's having a stand on the record that honestly is not very good.
MORGAN: You can't stand on hope and "yes, we can" twice. That's the problem. In your lifetime, have you ever seen a worse situation for the American economy than the one that we're currently in?
RAMSEY: Yeah, I think so. I think 1982, the recession there, it was worse in a lot of ways, in that we had double digit unemployment. We had double digit inflation and we had interest rates at the 18 percent mark for mortgages. And so we had a perfect storm then as we came out of Carter into Reagan. That's what elected Ronald Reagan, was the promise of a vision, a hope, if you will, to fix that.
Now, you can argue about whether he was the guy that fixed it or not. But that's how he got elected, was in this same kind of a perfect storm that President Obama finds himself in.
MORGAN: You Tweeted today. I thought it was very interesting. You just said this, "taxes aren't why people are poor. Consumerism is the problem." Explain exactly what you meant by that.
RAMSEY: No, that was someone who was arguing with me on Twitter actually that Tweeted that.
MORGAN: Right, that wasn't you that said that. Were you agreeing with him or not?
RAMSEY: No, I was arguing about that. I threw out there that -- I just threw out that taxation, this consistent going to the well for taxation to solve America's problems is a worn out idea. What I threw out just for fun on Twitter just to stir it up, because I like doing that, was what if we just took a tax holiday for the next three years and said no one pays any extra income taxes above the income that they earned for the least three years, average. Meaning if you went and earned a whole bunch of extra money because there weren't any taxes, how many people would go earn like crazy, sell like crazy, do things in the economy, start a business like they never did before because there were no taxes on their extra income for just three years?
In other words, like a sales tax holiday, how you -- if a state takes a sales tax holiday, how you drive sales for the merchants at a back to school time or something like that. It would do that for the economy, because if you take the tax hood off the thing, people come alive. And it stirred up, of course, the progressive side on Twitter.
MORGAN: I saw it all exploding. I couldn't quite work out who was saying what, as you can probably tell. But we had a lot of reaction when we asked the questions for you on Twitter. One here from @AndyHendricks, who said "I got told last week I am what's wrong with the economy, since I don't have debt and I pay cash. It confirmed to me I'm doing the right thing."
RAMSEY: Well, absolutely, it does. That's a contrarian view, which is what we talk about all the time. If most people aren't winning and you do what most people are doing, you are going to not win. So what that guy's saying is he's enjoying the idea of being weird, that he doesn't have to go into debt. He doesn't have to spend, spend, spend, spend and be a consumer to support the economy. If that means he's what's wrong with the economy, then that's fine.
That goes back to George Bush after 911 telling people to go spend and to drive the economy. And we kept saying no, go do what's right for your own house hold and that will drive the economy.
MORGAN: In terms of priorities, figures out today about still the huge amount of credit card debt that many Americans are under. We got a Tweet here from @HK0741 saying, "how do you manage student loan and credit card debt and a low paying job? How do you prioritize? What do you get rid of first?"
RAMSEY: What we teach people to do to get out of debt is to list their debts smallest to largest, pay minimum payments on everything but the little one. And then attack the little one with a vengeance. But that low paying job is the problem here. My grand mother used to say there's a great place to go when you're broke and that's to work.
Man, when you got a mess, you got to take six jobs. You got to be delivering pizzas and throwing papers or throwing papers and delivering pizzas. You got to be selling so much stuff, the kids think they're next. Name the dog eBay. You got to get fired up if you're going to get your debt moved on.
If you want to sit in a low paying job and clean up, you know, 35,000 dollars in credit card debt and 50,000 dollars in student loan debt, the math on that doesn't work. You're in a big hole and you've got to get more shovels.
MORGAN: How much do you blame American consumers, the average American in the street, for the predicament they find themselves in financially? How much is down to them spending money they didn't have? Maybe being seduced by great offers that we now know weren't worth the price they were written on and so on? In other words, how much does personal responsibility play here?
RAMSEY: The vast majority of it. When I went broke 20 years ago, the problem was the guy in my mirror. He did stupid things. I can blame it on the IRS. I can blame it on the mean old banks. I can blame it on Ronald Reagan. And probably all of them had something to do with it. But I'm the idiot that put myself in a position to be hammered by all of those outside variables.
One of the things you learn in business, and it's true in personal finance as well, is you put yourself in a risk management position where the outside variables don't hammer you. Meaning if I don't have any credit card debt, if I paid cash for my cars, if I paid cash and went to a community college or a state college and so I don't have student loan debt, and I pile up 15,000 or 20,000 dollars for an emergency fund. And I work my way through and in five or ten or 15 years pay off my home, and then I get laid off, well, hey, I've controlled those outside variables.
The layoff I couldn't control. The rest of it I can control. I don't lose my home and I don't get hammered. But if I'm living on the edge, I'm deeply in debt, and I keep making decisions to buy something else I can't afford, and I go further and further and further in debt, and I'm up to my eyeballs, and then I got laid off, well, those outside variables that come in to impact me, I didn't control my inside variables.
So I got hammered. And that's -- so yes, most of it is personal responsibility. Do the banks play a part in it with putting easy credit out there, where they're loaning money to dead people, dogs and children? Yes, they play a part in it. Does the government play a part in the student loan debacle, where they're guaranteeing loans for 17-year-olds? How stupid is the student loan program?
Yes, they play a part in it. But hey, you and I, we're grown- ups. We sign up for these trips and then we get to take them.
MORGAN: Look in the mirror. Very good advice, Dave. We'll take a short break. We're going to come back and we're going to talk about women. And any women out there who want to get involved in that debate can Tweet me @PiersMorgan and we'll put them to Dave Ramsey, because women wear the financial trousers in many households in America these days. I want to hear from you.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROMNEY: People of Michigan want someone who will get the job done, not just talk politics but talk jobs and make America the right place for employers to come back, to grow jobs, to grow incomes and to make our future brighter and strong. And I'll do it.
(END VIDEO CLIP) MORGAN: Mitt Romney today talking about the economy. I'm back with Dave Ramsey, finance guru. We got a call come in from Michele from California, Dave. Let's take a call. Michele?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi. Hi, Piers. Hi, Dave.
MORGAN: You're through to Dave.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Dave, I am -- have started the Total Money Makeover just last month. And so I've got my emergency fund started, paying off credit cards.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I just have two questions. I'm single so I'm wondering -- I know that you have the rule that you should have life insurance and about four times the amount that you make. And do single people also need to do that? And then secondly, when exactly do you start giving to charity?
RAMSEY: Well, I would give always off the top before you do anything else. If you're a member of a faith -- for instance, I'm an Evangelical Christian, we're called to tithe. Muslims are called to give. Jews are called to tithe as well. Orthodox Jewish faith as well. But if you're not a member of a faith, it's always good to be giving off the top, to answer your last question first.
As far as life insurance, for a young single lady or a single person for that matter, if you don't have any dependents, people that are counting on you, then all you would need would be enough to pay off your debts and to take care of final expenses, funeral expenses, should something happen to you. So a very small term policy would be in order there. You don't need a lot of life insurance unless you have a family that counts on you.
MORGAN: Michele, are you satisfied with that?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yeah, that's great. Also, about that final expenses, how do you make things OK for people who might not have the money to pay up front before they can see that life insurance money, if anything happens.
RAMSEY: Funeral homes will work with you if you can show that -- your mom, for instance, could go into the funeral home if, God forbid, something happened to you, show them your life insurance policy that she's the beneficiary on. They'll wait on her to get paid and go ahead and advance the funeral. They'll have her sign some paperwork.
But that's a fairly normal process to take care of that. That will usually run about 10,000 dollars, plus whatever debts you have. So a small 50,000 dollar term policy is more than adequate in a situation like that.
MORGAN: OK. Michele, we're going to have to leave it there, I'm afraid. Thank you very much for your call. Dave, let me just read a Tweet to you here. This is from Tara Willis Butz (ph), who says "how do you teach your children to understand what extras are? Society makes everything a must have these days."
RAMSEY: Well, that is the part of the personal responsibility question you asked a while ago that's really interesting. We live in the most advertised to, marketed to society in the history of the world. If you think about it, the book "Afluenza" says we get about 3,700 imprints a day put in front of us, of some kind of ad, whether it's a Tweet ad, a pop-up on Youtube, whether it's on my radio show or your TV show.
You're going to get advertised to. So you've got to teach children resistance to that. There's another study that's shown that the number of hours of television you watch a week can be correlated with how much credit card debt you have. In other words, the more advertising you view, the more you're likely to over purchase. We start confusing what is a need with a want.
In America, we have very few needs. Very few of us have very few needs that aren't met. We have a car. We just want a better car. But then we say the words, "we needed a car." You didn't need a car. You had one that worked. You just wanted a better one. There's nothing wrong with buying once. But you really have to educate kids to separate their emotions on that, so that they can see the difference in luxuries and the difference in actual wants. That's a great Tweet question.
MORGAN: Here's another one here from Sara K. Wilcox (ph), who says "the other thing that makes people poor is wealthy people having more than their share and policies that reinforce that." Let me ask you on a wider point about that, when you see President Obama targeting the rich, kind of like a modern day Robin Hood, do you think it's a sensible thing to do? Does it make that much difference? Is that really what the president should be focusing on? Or would you like a different kind of attitude?
RAMSEY: Well, that lady has fallen prey to a false set of logic. And the false logic -- it's a very naive view of the economy. And that is what we call the fixed pie view, meaning that there's only 100 dollars in the economy, and so if Piers ends up with 20 dollars, that means there's only 80 dollars left for me to get my share and everyone else out of there. So you got more than your fair share of this fixed pie.
But the economy does not work that way. That's why we call money currency. The money and the economy expands and contracts. That's why we use things like monetary policy. The economy is much more complex than the fixed pie scenario. So the dangerous assumption there that the envy -- envy is an evil spirit -- of that Tweet is based on, is that f I get something, it means you, by definition, can't have it.
It means if Bill Gate invents a computer, it doesn't create new money and new be jobs, which it does. Then, instead, he must be taking money from someone else, thereby creating more poor people.
MORGAN: Dave, you always make such incredibly simple sense of often very complex issues with the economy. I almost feel like you should be running the country. Might be in a better position. Thanks, as always, for your time. And do come back soon.
RAMSEY: Thank you, Piers. Thanks for having me.
MORGAN: Dave Ramsey, great guy to have on at these difficult times because he always just makes it sound so easy.
Next, a preview of my interview with the Smashing Pumpkins Billy Corgan, a man who has a lot to say about the country and the president, who had disappointed him.
MORGAN: A preview now of my interview tomorrow night with Billy Corgan, the founder and front man of the Smashing Pumpkins. He's much more than a musician. He's got a lot to say about politics and the state of his country. I asked him what he thinks of America right now and this is what he replied.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BILLY CORGAN, SMASHING PUMPKINS: I'm very disappointed in my country right now, because I think we've kind of lost our moral compass. We've turned into kind of a whining society. And listen, I've done plenty of whining in my life, but I think at some point we have to get out of this paternalistic turn we're in, where we want daddy to come and save us and the banks to come and save us. And we need to get back to a level of social responsibility that we haven't seen for a long time.
And -- and I'm just an artist. I can only do so much. I can only say so much. I'm not hero, but I'm not disappointed . The level of political and cultural rhetoric is so low, it's kind of shocking. And everyone seems to be OK with it, like oh, that's just the way it goes. But I'm sorry, I see -- I'm from the lower middle class, I see the middle class hollowing out. I see my families -- people in my family really struggling. I know so many people struggling.
And yet we're still arguing about these kind of really stupid, nuancy things, which political commentators know are BS, but the guys kind of play along, well that's political theater. Meanwhile, it's affecting real people with real lives and family. And that's really hard for me to watch.
MORGAN: Are you an Obama man at heart?
CORGAN: No. I'm at the point now where I don't trust either political party. I don't see a reasonable third party, independent run from anybody who is rational and going to get there. But the choices we have are so compromised, I just don't get it. But again, that -- everybody wants the theater more than they want the reality.
MORGAN: What is the kind of leader that you're craving in an American president?
CORGAN: Moral compass. And that's where I'm disappointed in the president, is he ran on a moral compass agenda. But what happened? I mean, I'm sure there's lots of good reasons and I'm sure they'll roll somebody out to counter thoughts like that, but I don't see it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Outspoken, candid and, dare I say, smarter than your average rock star. That's Billy Corgan of the Smashing Pumpkins. Watch the full interview right here tomorrow night.
Next, Only in America gives you the ultimate light show.
MORGAN: For tonight's Only in America, all that glitters. The PBS series "America Revealed" is giving us extraordinary new images of this vast country, pictures taken from space, pictures that glow with the pulse of everyday life. Those blue streaks crisscrossing Manhattan are GPS trails of pizza delivery men, carrying pie after pie on their bikes, many apparently heading towards my apartment.
This is a typical Friday evening in the city. That's a lot of pizza. And it takes an army of trucks to bring all the ingredients to Manhattan. This image shows a Dominos pizza network, the enormous nationwide supply chain, the dough, the sauce, the cheese, refrigerated in the backs of trucks and tracked by satellites.
And here serving the world. America's food exports and imports seen from miles above. The beams of life show what is entering the country on a given day and what is leaving. Quite amazing images.
This image is both startling and sobering. The dots tell a bleak story, that of a number of job losses in America. As you can see, states like California, Ohio, Indiana, Pennsylvania among the hardest hit.
And finally the energy. This is America's power grid, the network visualized as never before. It's incredibly impressive. It's positively electrifying. And above all, it's very American.
That's all for us tonight. "AC 360" starts now.