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PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT
Selling of the Presidency; Roseanne Barr for President?; Roasting Roseanne; Plane Crash Survivors; "Winning Is Hard Work"; Building Crosses For Shooting Victims
Aired August 9, 2012 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
PIERS MORGAN, HOST: Tonight, the selling of a presidency 2012. Dirty tricks, deceptive ads, and it's not even Labor Day.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Who shares your values? President Obama used to his health care plan to declare war on religion.
JOE SOPTIC, FORMER STEEL WORKER: When Mitt Romney and Bain closed the plant, I lost my health care. And my family lost their health care.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: I'll toss this red meat to former Pennsylvania governor, Ed Rendell, and top Romney adviser, John Sununu, and see who could explain it's so bad so early.
Also, guess who else is running for president?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROSEANNE BARR, ACTRESS: I do think that I'm a leader and, you know, I think I've proven that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Yes, it's Roseanne and the comic isn't joking.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARR: Just everything's for sale, all of our government. All the way up to the executive branch, you know, to the highest bidder.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: It's no laughing matter but will anyone take her seriously? I'll ask her.
Plus, how can anyone walk away from this? A plane falls from the sky. It's all on video. Two survivors tell their incredible life and death story.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have about two seconds to say wow, we're really going to hit those trees. And then within three or four seconds, you're on the ground, hanging upside down by your seatbelt.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: This is PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT.
Good evening. President Obama and Governor Romney are proving to all of us tonight just how far and unfortunately how low they will go to win your vote in November. We're seeing it every day with new attack ads from both sides, ads that twist the truth in ways that are, frankly, shocking and unacceptable.
With super PACs and the millions of dollars pumped into them are behind most of these vicious commercials including the latest that holds Bain Capital or Mitt Romney responsible for causing a woman's death. At the same time a new Romney ad slams Obama for a war on religion.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When religious freedom is threatened, who do you want to stand with?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: When will all this nonsense end? Well, before we get to the debate with Governors Ed Rendell and John Sununu, we say this. For those of you who say that these super PACs are to blame and not the candidates, I say to President Obama and Governor Romney, step up and either disavow any connection to the campaigns and the ads, or live with the fact that both of you are part of the problem and not the solution.
And with me now is former Pennsylvania governor and former DNC chairman Ed Rendell. And former New Hampshire governor and Romney adviser, John Sununu.
First, I want to get to the surprising new CNN presidential poll that shows Obama with a seven-point advantage among (INAUDIBLE) voters. That same survey says 63 percent want Romney to release his additional tax returns.
Gentlemen, welcome to both of you. Governor Rendell, good timing. You've got a book out. "A Nation of Wusses." And it's a great description, I think, of both President Obama and Mitt Romney in two crucial areas at the moment, it seems to me. One, this ridiculous way in which both of them are saying, we have nothing to do with these super PACs, when everybody knows they do. Secondly, on the gun issue, and we'll come to that in a moment. Just the fact they won't say anything to me is it's absolutely about being a nation of wusses.
Let me start, first of all, with this ad that came out yesterday. The one that basically said Mitt Romney killed this woman. To me, it was crossing a line. I don't know what that line is or where it is, but it crossed it because it was just one of the ugliest smears I've seen. And this is from a man, President Obama, who said he didn't believe in super PACs. He didn't want super PACs. He wasn't going to do that. Now he is and doing it in a very ugly manner.
What's your reaction?
GOV. ED RENDELL (D), FORMER GOVERNOR OF PENNSYLVANIA: Well, it was clearly over the top. Just like the vampire ad at the beginning. The first they ran on Bain Capital where someone called Governor Romney a vampire. He's not a vampire and he's not a murderer. And the problem with all this stuff and the other side is just as bad and the welfare ad is just as despicable.
MORGAN: Can we just --
RENDELL: Untrue. Untrue.
RENDELL: But the problem with all this is it cuts away at the American people's faith in politics in general. So when they or asked should the government invest in infrastructure, they say of course not, government can't do anything right. Government is despicable. Government is made up of people who are just interested in their own jobs. So it eats away at the core relationship between the government and the governing.
And they're hurting the process. And I absolutely believe that it's got to stop. I can't wait for the conventions to get here because the convention speeches are real and the debates are real. And maybe finally we'll hear some real stuff about what they intend to do with the nation's problems. Not this blame game or negative stuff.
MORGAN: Let me bring in John Sununu. What is your reaction to this? I mean it's basically the feeling is it's a stain on all their houses. Is that your view?
MORGAN: -- all this is getting completely out of hand?
GOV. JOHN SUNUNU (R), FORMER GOVERNOR OF NEW HAMPSHIRE: Look, there's a reason. If Ed Rendell and I were running against each other, we'd be arguing politics and policy. We have slight differences and we'd be talking about it. He was a governor. I was a governor. We understand the issues.
The problem is -- been caused by what was well described by Ben Smith in an article in Politico just about a year ago today where he interviewed the Obama campaign and the Obama White House and they said that their strategy was to do things that would destroy Mitt Romney and, in essence, be a character assassination.
And once they started down that path, it's like nuclear armament. Everybody escalates a little bit. This should be about issues.
MORGAN: I mean, I think both are equally at fault here. I mean I watched the whole Romney campaign when he was becoming the Republican nominee. And you know I was in some of these places. These small towns and smaller cities when he was walking around rampaging against all his rivals. And some of it was very, very ugly. And it was a bombardment. And if you were watching local television, every three minutes, boom, boom, boom. Ugly, horrible smear tactics. So I don't think Mitt Romney can claim the high moral ground here either.
The question really I guess --
SUNUNU: Well, I don't agree with you. I -- look, I've been involved in politics a long time. When Mitt Romney was up here in New Hampshire, they was talking about the jobs issue. They were talking about the issue of taking positions on immigration. Now they were talking about taking positions on spending. They were talking about taking positions on taxes. They may have fought fiercely on that, but they were talking about policy and issues.
MORGAN: Why is Barack Obama on Bain, for example, so obsessively going after Mitt Romney? And the reality is, a new poll today has come out which shows that the perceived gap between the regular American man and woman on the street and Mitt Romney is getting larger. They believe he is pro the rich. And this is going to be a problem for him. That is why Obama is going so hard after him, isn't it?
MORGAN: I mean that is what it's about.
RENDELL: Look, understand --
SUNUNU: Why aren't you talking about the Rasmussen poll that has Romney up four points across the country? You pick your poll, I'll pick my poll.
MORGAN: Well, my --
SUNUNU: This election is going to come down to what people perceive the performance of this president is.
SUNUNU: And the governor's book provides a great, great reference. Obama hasn't passed a budget in four years. He's a wuss. Obama has rejected the recommendation of his own Simpson/Bowles on a budget package.
SUNUNU: He's a wuss. He wants to lead from behind. He's a wuss.
MORGAN: All right. Governor, look.
SUNUNU: He told --
MORGAN: You aren't supposed to be talking about --
MORGAN: Now you are the King Wusser expose at the moment. Get in here. Because (INAUDIBLE) he'll talk all night. Let's talk about what I said. The CNN poll which shows that basically more and more Americans associate Mitt Romney with the rich. Wall Street. That kind of thing which they think has had a negative effect on their lives. This is why Barack Obama is pounding him about Bain Capital.
RENDELL: Sure. We do -- politicians do negative ads because unfortunately they work. And this works. Now Governor Romney has a chance at the convention in the debates to redefine himself. But he's got to do a very good job of doing that. He's got to do a very good job of saying to the American people that I care about you, here are my values, here's what I fought for all my life. So a lot of this stuff is noise, early noise. Could be -- the campaign really begins with those convention speeches.
But I want to say one thing about the president being a wuss.
SUNUNU: Ed's right on that.
RENDELL: On Simpson/Bowles, he remembered the so-called big deal with John Boehner was for $5 trillion of debt reduction which essentially was Simpson/Bowles on steroids and John Boehner couldn't sell it to the Republicans in the House so let's be clear about that.
SUNUNU: That's not Boehner's version.
RENDELL: Let's be clear about that.
SUNUNU: Boehner's version is that the -- that the president -- the president tried to change what they had basically agreed upon.
RENDELL: John, everyone knows he couldn't sell it to his own party.
SUNUNU: And I think that's just a strategy for him not to --
MORGAN: OK. Let me --
MORGAN: Let me move quickly to the second issue which is this issue of gun control. We've had two of the worst gun incidents in America of this century. And yet neither Romney, nor Barack Obama, is prepared to say anything about this at all. There's been this wall of conspiratorial silence. A new CNN poll has come out today and it's fascinating.
It says, this was August 7th to the 8th the poll was taken. It says that 38 percent of Americans, the majority, believe there should be major restrictions now on owning guns --
RENDELL: You said 38 percent?
MORGAN: Thirty-eight percent, major restrictions.
RENDELL: All right.
MORGAN: Thirty-seven percent, minor restrictions. Only 13 percent think no restrictions. Make all guns illegal, 10 percent. There is a rising tide. Despite what you hear from the pro-gun lobby that people want something to be done.
RENDELL: And it's interesting.
MORGAN: Why is nobody saying anything in any sort of leadership way?
RENDELL: Because politicians underrate the intelligence and the reasonableness of the American people. They think everybody is under the grip of the NRA.
Piers, I ran in the state that has the second highest number of NRA members. I was known as a gun control mayor. I won three times by 10, 12 and 21 percent. The NRA doesn't speak for gun owners. Most gun owners want the gun show loophole close. They don't want assault weapons especially rifles in the hands of anybody other than police and the military. They don't want these clips that have 33 or 100 bullets to a clip. They're just designed for killing. And --
MORGAN: So is it moral cowardice as many believe that neither Barack Obama or Mitt Romney is prepared to --
RENDELL: Well, the president -- I'll give the president --
SUNUNU: No, they --
RENDELL: John, John --
SUNUNU: The reason they're not talking about it -- go ahead, finish up.
RENDELL: The president in the book, I take the president to task post-Tucson. But he did say in New Orleans that he was in favor of a ban on assault rifles. He did say that. But it is -- Governor Romney signed the exact same bill in Massachusetts. It would be easy for him to say he's for it. And this is something where the nation would love it if the two of them got together and said --
MORGAN: I totally agree with it.
RENDELL: Said the insanity must end.
MORGAN: Governor Sununu, this is the point. This is a classic example where I believe old school Washington, you know, maybe the generation that you guys grew up in in Washington, would have got together, beaten each other's heads around the room and worked out some form of consensus which meant that the fears of the American public, that these things are happening more and more, would at least be allayed by the thought that someone in power was taking it seriously enough and trying to bring in some form of check and control on the kind of people we've seen getting access to these extremely high-powered weapons and committing atrocities.
SUNUNU: Look, the reason the president and Mitt Romney are not talking about this right now is they both understand that the issue the American public wants to hear about is the economy. And with all due respect to your personal interests in this issue, Piers, it is not going to be a major issue in the campaign. What is going to be an issue is how do we fix unemployment. How do we get jobs. And how do we create investment and how do we get out of this morass of non- recovery that we're in for the last four years.
MORGAN: Well, I understand that.
SUNUNU: That's what they're going to talk about.
MORGAN: No, no, I totally agree with you. That is the number one most important issue. What I don't agree with is the wall of silence from both the president and the man who would be president. Neither of whom want to upset the gun lobby. When -- you know, when Sikhs can't go to their temple, when Americans can't go to a movie theater, when congresswomen cannot walk out into the street without all being shot, something has to be done.
And doing nothing is not an option.
RENDELL: And interestingly, I slightly disagree --
SUNUNU: And passing a law is not going to change that.
RENDELL: I know, John.
MORGAN: Passing laws --
SUNUNU: Passing laws is not going to change it.
RENDELL: John --
MORGAN: Well, then what is the point of having laws --
RENDELL: John. John. If we --
MORGAN: Why bring laws in about anything?
RENDELL: If we outlaw those malleable bullet magazines the fella Holmes could have -- in the first minute when he killed most of the people, he would have had to reload six times. He couldn't have killed half of the people he killed.
MORGAN: He bought it -- he bought a magazine drum for his high powered assault weapon which he also bought perfectly legally and fired 100 bullets in a minute. RENDELL: John is right that the election is primarily about the economy. But people look in governors, mayors and presidents. They look for leadership qualities. And a leadership quality is having the courage to stand up and say, guys, I don't care what the political ramifications are to me. This is wrong and we've got to stop it. I think if either one of the candidates have done it, I think President Obama did it early on in his term in a number of occasions.
If any one of them did it, the American people would say, I'm not sure I agree with them but boy, that's a lot of guts.
MORGAN: I completely agree.
RENDELL: That's a lot of guts.
SUNUNU: I will tell you this.
MORGAN: Otherwise, we become a "Nation of Wusses."
RENDELL: A "Nation of Wusses."
MORGAN: Governors, thank you both very much.
Last word to you, Governor Sununu.
SUNUNU: If Ed Rendell or Bill Clinton or Mitt Romney or Mitch Daniels or Haley Barbour had been president the last four years, you would not have the problem we have now. They are governors. They know how to cut budgets. What this country needs is somebody with that kind of experience instead of avoiding issues going in and putting the right policies in place. President Obama's failed because he really is a wuss.
MORGAN: OK. Let me just ask you both one final question. I just want one name out of both of you. Who would you choose if you were Mitt Romney as your VP? And let me start with you, Governor Sununu.
SUNUNU: Ed Rendell.
MORGAN: Governor Rendell?
RENDELL: I think I'd choose Condoleezza Rice because I think he's got some weaknesses in foreign affairs which he's demonstrated. I think she's a woman, she's an African-American, it would be out of the box and she would energize a lot of voters.
MORGAN: I completely agree. I think she's been overlooked and there was a little bubble about her a couple of weeks ago. It went away. I don't understand why she isn't a bigger favorite. She ticks all the boxes if you're Mitt Romney.
Please come back. The pair of you have been very entertaining. SUNUNU: Thanks, Ed. Enjoyed it.
MORGAN: Thoroughly enjoyed it.
SUNUNU: Thanks, Piers.
RENDELL: Thanks, John. Buy the book, buy the book.
SUNUNU: I bought it. I bought it. I read it last night.
MORGAN: We will not be extra wusses on this show.
So thank you both very much.
Coming up, the controversial Roseanne Barr, actress, comedian, and now, wait for it, presidential nominee.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARR: Laugh your government to scorn in this election. That's my message. Do so by electing me and Cindy Sheehan. Times are tough but you know what me and Cindy are tougher. We're tougher.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Outrageous and outspoken, Roseanne Barr (INAUDIBLE) to hold back her opinions. She's one of America's best-known TV moms. And what you may not know is she's also the Peace and Freedom Party's presidential nominee. And that's no joke.
Roseanne Barr joins me now.
Roseanne, welcome to the show. Your first appearance.
BARR: Yes, thanks for having me, it's nice to be here.
MORGAN: So this is a serious thing. I want to read you a quote that you said about your political aspirations. You said, "I'm not a liar, I'm not a thief, I'm not a whore, I'm not a politician. I think that uniquely qualifies me to become president of the United States."
BARR: Absolutely. I think those are my strengths.
MORGAN: Why are you doing this? I mean people -- some people will think it's all just a comic ruse. I know that's not the case. It's serious. You're passionate about this. Why have you decided to get engaged properly?
BARR: Well, just because I felt that, you know, I was asked to carry the water and carry a message during this election, and to make social -- a socialist solutions part of the narrative of this election, because they're being left out, and they work.
MORGAN: I've been talking earlier in the show with more seamier members of the Washington community. And there is a general sense of despair, I think, collectively about the malaise now in Washington. Where any kind of cooperation, any kind of coming together to get stuff done, any kind of doing a deal to benefit America, it's all gone out the window. It's now all about points scoring. It's about childish, petty commercials, which are based on a pack of lies. And so on and so on.
BARR: You're right.
MORGAN: And in a general sense of moral cowardice, many would argue. And also a fundamental lack of leadership. Why has it come to this?
BARR: That's just what happens when you make everything for sale. That's exactly what happens. Since we got Citizens United, just everything's for sale. All of our government. All the way up to the executive branch, you know, to the highest bidder. And of course that's the very worst thing that could happen in a democracy.
And you know, they both -- this party, this two-headed beast, which we say, you know, is -- you know, the demopublicans, or I also call them the Republicants. All they do is use obstructionism as their strategy. They blame each either for the fact that neither one of them has any real solutions. And they know they don't have to because they've got it all sawed up.
All -- both parties work for the same people, which are the bankers that brought us to ruin and misery. As they did in the Great Depression. And, again, because this whole system is needing a reboot. And that's what I'm bringing. Commonsense solutions. And just common sense to the dialogue. Because we don't -- we could make -- you know, we could solve our problems. And I do think that I'm a leader.
And you know, I think I've proven that. And also, I have moral fortitude to stand up and say no. It's not -- it's not -- this system does not exist for the benefit of international bankers. This is America. And we're the Americans. And we have the right to make this discussion bigger and to include the solutions that benefit the majority of people. Not a small minority at the expense of everybody else.
MORGAN: Most Americans right now in the polls would say that the economy's their number one concern. The reason for that is the jobless figures are still extremely high. And many people losing their jobs, losing their homes, and so on. If you were president, what would you do about that particular issue? How would you get Americans back to work?
BARR: Well, I would -- I would ask the richest among us, the richest corporate citizens to, you know, include the American people in their jobs. Instead of sending all of our jobs to China and other countries. Where people are doing fine. I have a whole thing on my Web site, roseanneworld.com where I talk about agriculture. And going back to the things that built the middle class in the country.
We were once the bread basket of the world for instance. And we still have the capability to do that again, to grow the world's food. So all of the solutions which have already been proven in this country and built a large and middle class and a working class, too, can be reemployed I think.
It's just like we just need to tip it. And step away from the direction we're headed, which does not work. And, like I said, benefits a very small percentage of people. And disfranchises the rest, 99 percent. To disfranchise 99 percent of voters is really stupid. And these guys that are so smart or think that they're smart, you know, have caused all this problem and now, you know, now they're talking about, you know, they're bringing the ideas for solutions which are exactly like the problems they caused.
So, yes, I do think that government should not be run as a business. Government is the thing that protects the people from fat cats, monopolists and crazy international bankers that just write off human life. So you know --
MORGAN: Let's take --
BARR: I think they're very, very simple socialist solutions to everything.
MORGAN: Let us take a break, Roseanne. You've been roasting everybody the last 10 minutes. But you yourself just got roasted. I want to know if you can take it as well as give it.
BARR: I can.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN GOODMAN, ACTOR: Damn. I was hoping we'd have a little extra money to play around with.
BARR: Well, you want extra money? Because, you know, I have my own system for extra money.
GOODMAN: All right.
BARR: OK. First, we send in the phone bill and we forget to sign the check.
GOODMAN: There you go.
BARR: Then I send the water bill to the electric company and the electric bill to the water company.
GOODMAN: Now you're cooking.
BARR: And you know that charge card bill? It never even showed up.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: She's gone from sitcom star to Peace and Freedom candidate for president of the United States. Quite the journey.
I'm back with Roseanne Barr.
BARR: You know --
MORGAN: Yes, Roseanne?
BARR: You know, Piers, I just wanted to say that a large part of my solution is to, as FDR did, write down the principal on the debt. Thank you.
MORGAN: Let's just turn to your roast, which happened last week. How was it for you?
BARR: Yes. Well, it was the Comedy Central roast. And it was just fantastic. I loved it. I love that they gave me the opportunity to kind of bring it up a few notches. And it was like every -- all the press is saying, you know, it's one of the friendliest, nicest roasts. Because we lifted the level of the joke. And that's what I feel was a good thing to do and I'm glad I did it. And I loved every minute of it.
MORGAN: Well, let's watch --
BARR: I took it hard in the shorts and gave it hard, too.
MORGAN: Let's watch a little clip from your roast, that's coming up on Comedy Central.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARR: Tom Arnold, I'd really like to thank Tom for showing up tonight. It was very brave. And he was very funny. But Jesus Christ, how many (EXPLETIVE DELETED) jobs do I have to get for that guy? I'm glad you have a new wife, Tom. I hope she isn't with you just for your money. I mean my money.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: So Tom Arnold was getting roasted there. Not you.
BARR: Yes, well, you know, I get the last word on the roast, the roastee gets to have the final retort. And so I took everybody -- you know, I gave as good as I got. And, you know, just loved it. There was real cutting-edge comedy going on that night. I missed doing stand-up and it was fantastic to do it again.
MORGAN: There are two questions I like to ask all my special guests. I'm going to throw them at you. BARR: Thank you.
MORGAN: One is how many times have you been properly in love in your life?
BARR: Properly in love?
BARR: You know, there were many times in my life where I was in love. I'll just have to say that, many times. I happen to be in love right now.
I guess I'm -- I'm not like my gay sister and -- I mean, my gay sister and my gay brother that have both been with the same partner for 25 and 26 years respectively. I, as a straight person, have not been able to hold any relationship together as well as they.
MORGAN: Are you getting easier with time do you think? Roseanne, you calming down a little bit?
BARR: I'm getting more, you know, the issue of mental health is very near and dear to me and as I go on and, you know, as I pull it in and synthesize and do all the things.
Plus just getting old you get wiser. Yes, I think, you know, I have a happier life and I'm more centered. And I'm in the best place that I've ever been in. And a lot of that is because I have done -- I have done the work.
MORGAN: And if I was to pin you down and say right, apart from any relationship or children in your life, if you could relive one moment again of your entire life career, whatever, what moment would you choose?
BARR: Well, there's more than one, Piers.
MORGAN: You can only have one.
BARR: There's way more than one.
MORGAN: You're allowed one.
BARR: There's a period of about three years that I wish I could do over when you're right at the pinnacle of this strange fame that you don't know how to handle and you just kind of implode and explode and everything else.
I wish I had done it better. Of course, the "Star Spangled Banner" is a huge regret that pretty much was hard to come back from. A huge -- like, you know, something probably I regret that as for my career mistakes. And in my personal life, there are about 3,000 things I regret and wish I'd done better.
MORGAN: I think you misunderstood the question. Fascinating though your answer was, I actually was asking you about the opposite. I was really after what's been the greatest moment of your life? The moment you'd relive for the right reasons.
BARR: There have been a lot of them too. There have been a lot of them.
MORGAN: Pin you down, come on.
BARR: The number one thing --
MORGAN: If you had an hour to live and I said you can relive one thing.
BARR: For me, again, on the issue of mental health, is when I went to Stanford University and was given a clean bill of mental health, which was 15 years ago. That was the pinnacle of my life actually, my emotional life.
MORGAN: That's a great answer.
BARR: But, you know -- OK.
MORGAN: I will take that very happily.
BARR: There are others too, of course, the birth of my children, my grandchildren. Things like that. You know, like normal people. But to -- but to have overcome a severe mental illness, took a lot of work. And I'm proud of myself for doing it.
MORGAN: So you should be. And you're looking in tremendous shape if you don't mind me saying, Roseanne.
BARR: Thanks, Piers.
MORGAN: An Olympian comedian, if ever I saw one. It's been a pleasure talking to you. Come back on again soon.
BARR: Pleasure for me too. Thank you, Piers.
MORGAN: Thank you, my pleasure. Roseanne Barr.
Next, a videotape of their own plane crash and live to tell the tale. I'll talk to the survivors.
MORGAN: Brought you last night, four men survived a plane crash and we showed you these images. It's a miracle frankly that no one was killed.
The survivors are Tol Gropp and on the phone, Alec Arhets. Let me turn to you, Tol, first, an extraordinary story. Your father was the pilot and he was pretty badly injured as we saw from the images. Take me back to the trip itself. You guys fly often together?
TOL GROPP, SURVIVED SMALL PLANE CRASH: I've flown with my dad a number of times, yes. But the guys, my friends Alex and Nathan, this was their first time. MORGAN: So the first time you take off, all seems to be OK. When did your father realize there may be a problem? Because it seemed from the video that quite quickly there was a problem in getting air born properly.
GROPP: Yes, I think, you know, pre-flight he knew that the air density was a little thin. It was a warmer day, you know, and the runway was fairly long. I think we could all attest that it seemed like a little longer to take off. You can see that in the video.
But it was such a long runway and, you know, eventually he did get above the trees, a good 70 to 100 feet and, you know, it seemed like when we were up there that everything was OK. I think my dad probably had a little different perspective because he wasn't climbing as quickly as he knew he should be.
MORGAN: Despite that, you all seemed reasonably calm. But then clearly you hit the panic buttons as the plane suddenly dropped. When did you realize this was going to crash? This is everyone's nightmare to be in a plane that is about to crash. What goes through your mind?
GROPP: It was crazy. It was so fast. Like from the backseat where Alex and I were sitting, you can't see out the front very well, but from the side windows, you could tell that we were slowly descending.
I've been with my dad so many times that I still felt like he was going to be able to pull us out of it and there was really no question until probably about two seconds before we hit the trees that, you know, I felt like he would pull us out, that it would be OK.
And, so, we had about two seconds to say, wow, we're really going to hit those trees and the trees were pelting the side of the wings and the side of the airplane and within three or four seconds you're on the ground hanging upside down by your seat belt.
MORGAN: Extraordinary. Alex, this is your first flight with father and son, presumably one of your last the way that one went. But who was actually videoing this? Because the most extraordinary thing is someone kept the camera going.
ALEC ARHETS, PLANE CRASH SURVIVOR (via telephone): Well, it was myself and Nathan. We had our cameras. We were moving them from the front to the side. We had videotaped the trip up and part of our trip while we were hiking around. At takeoff and landing like it was before and so, yes, we both, myself and Nathan, videotaped.
MORGAN: But did you think as you were videotaping you might be videoing your own deaths here?
ARHETS: Well, you know, it never crossed my mind until we started going down and then at that point there you think -- you think to yourself, this might be the last -- this might be the last evidence or the last time we get -- that our family gets to see us. That goes through your mind at that point.
MORGAN: Tol, when you landed, we saw your father lying covered in blood and looking badly injured. How is he now?
GROPP: He's actually doing really well. He had his jaw clamped shut for three weeks through wires and he broke his jaw in three places. He had some cheek breaks and he had about 13 plates placed into correct those breaks.
And so far the last two weeks he's been unwired shut and so he's been able to kind of exercise his jaw and then in about a week they are going to test going back to solid foods. So he's been on a liquid diet here.
MORGAN: Did you realize -- sorry. I was going to say, did you realize that the whole thing was being caught on camera?
GROPP: No, not initially. I mean, I knew that the cameras were rolling when we left. I didn't realize that they continued to roll, you know, until probably a good 5 minutes, 6 minutes after we had landed when Alec found the cameras still rolling.
And they come back into view, that's when you can see my dad and Nathan at various points and Alec and he kept -- the both of them kept those cameras going for a good portion after we landed.
MORGAN: Alec, I'm seeing a whole new career for you in Hollywood. You're a man of rare steel when it comes to the nerve department.
ARHETS: Well, you know, that's what you're trained to do. You don't really think about yourself at that time. You think about the people around you and you think about what you can do to take care of them and that was my focus.
And I know that that was the other men's focus as well as I don't think any one of us sat there thinking about our own selves. It was, what can we do for each other, what's wrong with each other.
So by doing that, busy trying to get what we need to gather together, like water and things like that. Keep yourself busy with things like that. You know, you just don't have time to panic and I'm sure there was some amount of shock and stress involved as well.
MORGAN: It was quite an extraordinary story. I've never seen anything quite like that video. I salute you guys coming through relatively unscathed and I'm really pleased that you're alive and well and able to talk to me tonight.
ARHETS: Thank you.
MORGAN: Quite extraordinary.
Next, I'll talk to one of the world's best women basketball players, Maya Moore, trying to win a gold for the U.S. in London.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) MORGAN: Tonight, the pride of American, Maya Moore is among the best of the best in women's basketball. After today's semifinal with Australia, she and the U.S. women's team is one game away from winning a gold.
I spoke with Moore before making her first ever Olympic appearance.
MORGAN: Now Maya, there's a fantastic fact about you, which is that ESPN did a sport science video in which they established that you have a hand speed equivalent, if not faster, than a striking rattle snake.
MAYA MOORE, U.S. WOMEN'S BASKETBALL PLAYER: Yes. That -- it's been my secret my whole life, but they finally discovered that my hands are pretty quick.
MORGAN: Faster than a striking rattlesnake.
MOORE: I had no idea, but somehow they measured it.
MORGAN: You seem to have relatively normal hands to me.
MOORE: They seem subtle, but then at the right moment --
MORGAN: You've always been quick at the draw?
MOORE: It's been a skill I've developed over the years.
MORGAN: I mean, quite intimidating for a man I would have thought.
MOORE: Intimidating for anyone, I hope.
MORGAN: Boyfriends been able to deal with the rattlesnake hands?
MOORE: Yes, I think people once they get to mow me and realize I'm not that dangerous off the court.
MORGAN: How do you feel about being right now pound for pound the best female basketball player in the world?
MOORE: Well, I think I'm really blessed and privileged right now to be on some great teams. I've told everyone, my history of winning and success has always been partnered with great teams.
MORGAN: You say that, but you were described as the winningest -- I've never heard that word before -- the winningest player in college basketball. In other words, you were the most winning player that they've ever seen.
MOORE: Yes. It's --
MORGAN: That's amazing.
MOORE: It's great timing. I came into a great program, the best coach in my opinion, played with some great other fellow Americans. Just the timing of coming in, having two undefeated seasons, you know, having the best -- or creating another record with our streak of 90 games in a row. It's just focus and day after day working hard, knowing people are going to come after us.
MORGAN: You're the big target, aren't you? I mean, you and the teams that you play and wherever you play always there's an assumption that you're going to win. That brings with it a special kind of pressure, doesn't it?
MOORE: It absolutely does. I think it's -- the coach would say a lot, you know, being on top, how do you handle people coming at you every game knowing that they are giving you their A game and doesn't that wear on you?
But we love it. You know, when I was at UConn, playing for the Minnesota Lynx and now being on the USA Team, we love the target on our back because every team we're giving our best and we're beating the best.
MORGAN: How do you deal with losing?
MOORE: Losing is a necessary part of sports. I try not to let it happen too often but when it does happen, I feel it. I feel it just as much as any competitor would. It hurts.
You don't want to experience it a lot, but I learn from it. I take what I need from that game or that time period, make the adjustments whether it's in the gym, in the film room, and then hopefully another streak will start, which is what happened my freshman year of college.
MORGAN: You are the first woman that Nike chose to represent the Michael Jordan brand. That's an amazing accolade. What does Michael Jordan mean to you?
MOORE: Well, there are not many people in the basketball world or the sports world. I mean, in the world who don't know what Michael Jordan did and who he is. He's just somebody who represents winning, somebody who represents competitiveness, leadership, just his work ethic, somebody who really honored and respected the game.
And, you know, my generation, we need people like that. We need people to look up to, to model ourselves after so we can make sure that the game of basketball stays at the level that it is and even more.
So I'm just trying to come in and continue that competitiveness, that leadership, and help people follow the fall in love with the game as much as he made us love it.
MORGAN: What is your ambition for you after the Olympics?
MOORE: Well, of course, winning that gold medal is first, but after I want to continue to compete as long as I can as a professional athlete. Stay in front of the cameras as long as I can.
I'm interested in speaking, maybe broadcasting. I have a big heart for kids in the community and education and sports. So I'm going to be running camps, clinics, being involved in different things. I'm also just being a great representative. I take that role model job very seriously because I know I need it when I was growing up. So --
MORGAN: And you've got your name, of course, with somebody very famous.
MORGAN: Tell me about that.
MOORE: Dr. Maya Angelou, my mom named me after her.
MORGAN: Why did your mom choose that?
MOORE: Well, she was very moved. She was able to go to an event. I don't know, sometimes before she had me, I think she was pregnant by me. She was moved by Dr. Angelou and thought it was a beautiful name and wanted name me after her so --
MORGAN: She would be pretty proud I think at how you turned out?
MOORE: I hope so. I hope so. She's a phenomenal woman.
MORGAN: Best of luck at the Olympics.
MOORE: Thank you so much.
MORGAN: Maya Moore and her team go for the gold this weekend.
Coming up, one man's emotional tribute to the victims of a mass shooting.
MORGAN: The familiar sights of the scenes of mass shootings in America wooden crosses for the victims from Columbine. This week's tragedy in Wisconsin, one man is building these crosses, thousands of them.
His name is Greg Zanis. He's a remarkable American with an incredible story to tell. He joins me now.
Greg, welcome to the show. I found it very moving when I heard about your story, a dedication that you give to this. Explain to me what motivated you to start with?
GREG ZANIS, CARPENTER: Well, to start with, my father-in-law was murdered in 1996 and I found his body and I rarely relate to people who have had a huge loss like that.
What really is so important, Piers, is that family members, they want their loved ones to be remembered and when you put up a memorial, whether it's a cross or a wreath or a star or crescent, right away you're giving family members a sense of, my son was important.
And you probably know I put up a lot of very public memorials and a lot of that really -- it's for the public to have a place to go to, too, when a community whether it's in Wisconsin or in Aurora, Colorado, has something this devastating happen to them.
They need to get out of their houses and go to this memorial and possibly be able to lay a flower down or bring a teddy bear or some way to deal with it and we're experiencing this phenomena where immediately, if some guy goes off and takes a gun and kills somebody, everybody knows his name the very next day.
But nobody -- if it wasn't kind of, you know, what I'm trying to do is bring the victims into this and change the stories a little bit. Let's talk about the victims, their lives shattered and then being publicly a victim.
That's got to be the hardest thing but placing a memorial in my eyes, this is -- this is where the soul leaves to go to heaven. And with that hope in mind, there's not a total loss.
MORGAN: Greg, the point is, you do a very special thing. You've made over 13,000 of these white crosses and normally I would ask a second question, but you said everything really that anyone needs to hear about this.
It's an extraordinary thing that you do and I want to say on behalf of all of the people who you help and all of the families that you help grieve and commemorate and remember their loved ones, a big thank you.
And on behalf of America because I think what you do is an incredibly patriotic and important thing. So Greg, thank you very much in joining me.
ZANIS: Thank you very much, Piers.
MORGAN: That's all for us tonight. "AC 360" starts now.