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PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT
Gathering GOP Storm
Aired August 22, 2012 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: President Obama, bless his heart, has tried to substitute government for free people. And it has not worked. And it'll never work.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Republicans in Congress, let --
OBAMA: No, no, no, no. Don't boo. Vote.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PIERS MORGAN, HOST: The president and Mitt Romney are all fired up. And so are my guests. Billy Baldwin versus Amy Holmes. I'll throw them lashings of red meat.
Also, he put scandal on the map long before TMZ. Jerry Springer, live. A man who's uniquely qualified to sort through the craziness of this election year.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JERRY SPRINGER, "THE JERRY SPRINGER SHOW": Therefore, I am announcing today my candidacy into the office.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: This is PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT.
Good evening. Our big story tonight, a gathering storm for the GOP. And at the center of it, still Republican Congressman Todd Akin. Ever since his very ill advised, to put it mildly, comments on what he called legitimate rape, the GOP has been struggling to calm the waters and the congressman is facing some very tough question. Listen to what he said on NBC's "Today" this morning.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. TODD AKIN (R), U.S. SENATE CANDIDATE: There is no rape that is legitimate. It's a heinous crime, one of the most serious. And I understand that the victims are harmed for a long time. And I take that very seriously. But while I apologize for the misuse of that word, at the same time, I don't apologize for the fact that I am strong in my belief of pro-life.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: "GMA" George Stephanopoulos asked the congressman if he would defy the Republican leadership and turn up at the convention beginning on Monday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AKIN: No. I -- I honor their particular wishes. My objective here is to be able to show the sharp contrast between myself and my Democrat opponent.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: But right now there's a little matter of a real storm called Isaac, which could very well hit Tampa on Monday, the very day the Republican convention starts. Tampa's mayor says he's prepared to cancel the convention if it comes to it. But will that happen?
Chad Myers is CNN's weather anchor and severe weather expert, and joins me now on the big story.
Chad, how likely is it -- this is the big question, I guess, for Republican Party and political watchers. How likely is it that this hurricane could build up and hit Tampa?
CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Yes, you know, at least 10 percent now. Yesterday I gave it five, the day before, about one. Simply because it's getting closer and it's getting stronger, and the computer models are now agreeing that this thing is going to go over Cuba and eventually it's going to make a run in Florida.
Some of the computer models say maybe North Carolina, some say Louisiana. That always happens. There's always disagreement. But here it is right there. There it is, (INAUDIBLE) Island, there's Puerto Rico right there. It is traveling to the west at about 20 miles per hour, 21. Doing 45 miles per hour in a big circle. That's the problem. It's only a tropical storm right now, but it's about to get much larger.
Let's go -- let's go day by day because I know this is all about Tampa. But the next couple of days will be very important for Port- au-Prince. Port-au-Prince literally got knocked down in an earthquake. There are 400,000 people in that country living in tents. In less than 48 hours, there will be 80-mile-per-hour winds and driving rain on those people living in tents. Then it moves over and hits very, very close to Guantanamo Bay.
We know it's there. They actually got rid of most of them, sent them home today, a lot of the lawyers and things for all those crimes and all those that are going on there. All the lawyer cases, they sent the lawyers home.
Back here, a little bit farther, it could go left, or go right. Remember that. But then over at Cuba for a very long time, over the Keys, and that would be Tampa. And I know we talk about this all the time, Piers. It could be right, it could be left, but the center still says very close to Tampa in five days.
MORGAN: And regardless of whether the eye of the storm hits Tampa, is it pretty likely that Tampa would get some pretty extreme weather anyway?
MYERS: That's correct. You would think that even if the storm went over here on the right side and missed Florida all-together, that this storm is going to have arms that'll be 500 miles wide. And that will send these big winds here, these circular winds into Tampa. And of course, the threat is always there when you get a land falling hurricane of tornadoes.
All of these people from all these states that have never even seen a hurricane now all of a sudden have to deal with one, I'm not sure that's a good idea.
MORGAN: No, well, you're talking to one right now. We don't get these sort of things back in Britain. So is it -- is it take the willies time or something a little stronger?
MYERS: It's going to take -- it's going to take a couple of days for me to know it. The most important thing I want to get to right now and for the next 24 hours is the people of Haiti.
Dave, go ahead and fly in this real fast. We probably have 15 or 20 seconds left. The people of Port-au-Prince are going to experience this first. And the longer this stays over land, the more it's going to knock the stuffing out of the storm and it won't be as severe for, let's say, Tampa. But if it stays over water for a longer time, Piers, this could be a category two or category three storm very close to a very populated place, Florida.
MORGAN: Yes. Well, it sounds like that what may happen in Haiti is a lot more concerning that what may happen in Tampa. So our thoughts are with all the people there, and let's just pray that they don't have to suffer another huge disaster there.
Chad, thanks for now. I appreciate it.
As Florida braces for Isaac, the GOP is also bracing for a political storm, of course. More on our big story now, CNN political reporter, Peter Hamby.
Peter, we've heard obviously that this hurricane may or may not crash into Tampa, but lots of other stuff is crashing around the GOP convention at the moment, led by Todd Akin who's just steadfastly refusing to go anywhere, isn't he? I mean, nothing seems to stop the man.
PETER HAMBY, CNN POLITICAL REPORTER: Yes, you're right, Piers. He's actually sorting of using this, it seems like, to transform himself into this insurgent anti-establishment candidate. He always was. He never had ties to the party, but he -- you know, he's talking about now how the party bosses in Washington, you know, the National Republican Senatorial Committee, Karl Rove's American Crossroads, pretty much every establishment Republican in the universe and plenty of grassroots Republicans, as well, want him to step aside.
He's saying hey, these folks are trying to get me out of the race. Donate to me. He's trying to raise money off of this. So this is guaranteed to stay in the headlines for the next few days. He said he's not coming here to Tampa, Piers, but we can be assured that he will be here in name and spirit, that's for sure.
MORGAN: Yes, he certainly will. And you are the guy that broke the fact that the GOP platform is going to continue to say that there should be no exceptions to abortions, which is clearly positions them in a different way to the agreed ticket position of Romney and Ryan, which does have exceptions. Although Ryan has never believed in that before now.
How important is this all going to be at the convention? Is it just going to get overtaken by bigger stuff? Or could this really bring the social issues of the right wing of the conservatives to the fore on this convention which could be damaging to Romney?
HAMBY: Yes, it might be a little bit more of the latter. Look, the only time and people here will tell you this. The only time people really care about the GOP platform is this week, every four years, when it's being debated. It's essentially toothless. You know, it's a chance for Republican activists to kind of map out their vision for the party. But whatever Mitt Romney chooses to do as president is what Mitt Romney chooses to do. He doesn't have to abide by this platform.
However, the fact that Todd Akin has thrust abortion and social issues into the spotlight means that members of the media and political operatives and the Romney campaign frankly are looking very carefully at what's in the platform. The Romney campaign was in the room when the platform was being drafted and voted on throughout the last two days.
I asked Governor Bob McDonnell of Virginia just yesterday, will Romney actually read this platform, McDonnell chaired the platform committee, and he kind of paused and wouldn't say for sure if Romney would read the platform before accepting the nomination next week, Piers. But again, Todd Akin is keeping this in the news for sure.
MORGAN: Yes. Which I'm sure was a massive irritation to all of them in the leadership there but for now, Peter, thank you. I'll see you down in Tampa. Weather permitting.
HAMBY: Yes. Bring your willies (ph), Piers.
MORGAN: And some I think. Anyway, thanks.
Joining me now, two people with strong opinions on the state of the GOP, actor Billy Baldwin and anchor Amy Holmes of Glenn Beck's TV's "Real News." Let me start with you, Amy. I mean, this is a big mess, isn't it, for the Republicans? This is the very last issue, I would imagine, they wanted to go into the convention arguing with people about.
AMY HOLMES, ANCHOR, GLENN BECK'S "REAL NEWS": Well, it is a big mess, but for an even bigger reason and that's because the Senator Claire McCaskill, the Democrat from Missouri, a lot of Republicans had her targeted as beatable. That they could replace her and put a Republican in that seat and possibly gain the Republican majority in the Senate.
And now Congressman Akin's statements that, as you've heard from Peter, have been roundly denounced by Republicans, by conservative activists, now that statement looks like it's threatening the chance of the Republicans taking over that seat in Missouri. So that's really the bigger prize that the GOP is worried about.
As far as the pro-life plank in the Republican platform, that's been the case for many presidential cycles. It hasn't been controversial for Republicans since 1996 when Bob Dole ran and you had some pro-choice Republicans making a charge at that element of the Republican platform. So I don't really see controversy at the convention among Republicans, but certainly the media is taking this headline and running with it.
MORGAN: Well, Billy, I mean the thing it seemed to me was whichever excuse he's been putting up, and there have been numerous now in the last 36, 48 hours or so, the reality is I think he meant what he said. He'd read a bit of junk science and he believed that women couldn't actually get pregnant if they were raped because their body would seize up.
I mean, what does this tell you about the thinking of Republican people like him? I mean there -- there must be more of them out there. He served five terms, for goodness sakes.
WILLIAM BALDWIN, ACTOR: I hate to say this but if you close your eyes and you just listen to the words, you now, if you listen to Mitt Romney, you know, Planned Parenthood, we're going to get rid of that, and Ryan's position on equal pay for women, and now this with rape with Akin, it just sounds like talk from decades ago. Not the Stone Age, but it sounds like, you know, the 1950s.
And it's a bad time going into the convention to be -- to have this at the forefront of the American consciousness and the headlines. I think that if he was given an opportunity to answer that question again, I think he would answer it very, very differently. And I --
BALDWIN: I love the fact that he's standing his ground and he's going to continue to try to run. Because he deserves to do that. I mean I think McCaskill will take him to the woodshed now, but we'll see.
HOLMES: Claire McCaskill was thrilled.
MORGAN: Yes, of course she is. She was trying to get him to run anyway. She clearly felt that she could beat him anyway. I think the problem for me with all this is not really about Akin. He can do what he likes and he can either win or lose, and we'll see. Although it could be a crucial seat. The problem is the positions of Romney and Ryan on abortion are vulnerable, I think, to attack from Obama. And that's why he's gone after them so vociferously this week. Marching in at the White House press corps and giving him full bounce.
Because if you look at Romney, he has done massive flip-flops on this. If you look at Ryan, he was implacably opposed to any exceptions for abortion, but now suddenly he's gone with Romney on his sort of compromise.
When people hear this and see this, they don't really know what they're voting for, do they, Bill?
BALDWIN: Well, I think that in order for Romney to win, he's going to need minorities, he's going to need women, he's going to need swing states like Ohio and Pennsylvania and Florida. And when you have this kind of uncertainty this close to election day and this kind of waffling and vacillating this close to election day, especially with Democrats and liberals banging the drum of the war against women, the war against women, the war against women.
And I think it's -- it's resonating now and it's going to continue. This is going to have legs.
MORGAN: I mean, Amy, this is a problem, isn't it? One of the big criticisms of Mitt Romney, and he's got many things going for him, obviously, that's why he's running as the nominee and he's, you know, pretty close in if the polls to Obama. One of the problems is this charge of flip-flopping. And one of the difficulties I think he has with the Akin scandal is that it brings abortion to the forefront of the political debate just before the convention, and reminds everybody that Mitt Romney was the guy who apparently was pro-choice but at the same time as a Mormon missionary, he was advising other Mormons to not have abortions.
And then he moved completely the other way and became completely opposed to abortion. And now he's brought in some exceptions. There've been so many flip-flops on one guy on the issue that we're now all talking about. Where's the consistency here, Amy?
HOLMES: Well, you know, I can't speak for Mitt Romney and his flip-flopping. I agree that he has flip-flopped on this issue. But I do want to get to the larger point about where the public is on abortion. And in particular women. Gallup just released a poll just this last May and found that women are pretty evenly divided between being pro-choice and pro-life, 44 percent consider themselves pro choice, 46 percent consider themselves pro-life.
So in a certain way, the American public sort of flip-flops back and forth on this issue. That a lot of people are privately pro-life but they would agree that women should have a choice about what they want to do about their own bodies. There's a lot of ambivalence and disagreement in terms of with no exceptions for rape or incest. That is a minority view. The one that Paul Ryan holds. He's also a Roman Catholic. So I think you can chalk it up to that as well.
But whether or not abortion is going to be an electoral issue this fall, I don't think that it is. But I do think that Democrats and the media are trying to make it so. And I call your attention to a memo that was written by NARAL, November 9th, 2011, just this last fall, that was released where they said explicitly that they want to inject choice into this election because it will help with what they call, quote-unquote, women defectors, women who do not intend to vote for President Obama again.
It will help bring them back into the fold. And in their polling they found that these female voters, they trusted Obama more on the issue of choice than they did the economy. So when you know that the economy is the number one issue, what do Democrats want to do? They want to distract voters and put their attention on choice because that's where they think they're going to get really --
HOLMES: -- the most sort of bang for their bucks.
MORGAN: Let me just get a quick word before we go to break. Very quickly.
BALDWIN: You know, one of the most important things that Obama is going to exploit going into the election is his flip-flopping position on affordable health care. It was modeled after Romney's health care in Massachusetts. And he's done a complete 180 on that and says he wants to repeal Obamacare. They may not exploit his position flip-flopping on abortion, but they certainly will on Obamacare.
MORGAN: I think that's true. Let's take a break. Let's come back and I'll talk to both of you about going negative. The ads that may decide the elections in less than three months.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: Over the next three months, it's actually less than three months. It's less than 11 weeks, not that I'm counting but --
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: We will -- we will see the other side spend more money than we've ever seen on ads. And, you know, these aren't like positive ads where they're putting out their plan because they don't really have a plan.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: President Obama today in Las Vegas.
And back with me now is my political yin and yang, Actor Billy Baldwin and Amy Holmes on GBTV's "Real News."
Let's talk about money, because I'm getting a lot of tweets already. If you want to follow this debate @piersmorgan. Send me your views. But a lot of people are saying look, abortion, clearly an important issue, but it's not an issue I'm going to decide my vote on come November.
I'm sure many people feel the economy and everything relating to it is still the most important thing that Americans have to face up to.
The concern many people have is this election could end up being bought, Billy. And I'll come to you first on this. That the super PAC culture that's now dominating American politics, Mitt Romney is vastly outspending Obama in terms of money he's bringing in, although Obama is spending more going out. If it comes down to money buying an election, that can't be good for America democracy, can it?
BALDWIN: No. And I believe Amy worked for John McCain at one point and McCain-Feingold was a flawed piece of legislation with the best of intentions, and I think it was missing a -- I think at the end of the day, we have to have a public financing component because the founding fathers intended for access -- the Supreme Court has determined that money equals speech.
I don't necessarily agree with that, but if the Supreme Court has spoken, we honor that. I don't think the founding fathers intended for access to free speech at overwhelming and disproportionate amount of that access to an elite handful of a few rich people. I think they intended equal access for the American people.
And in Obama's last election, he raised $66 million after Palin was named, he raised $66 million in August and $153 million in September. Two and three months after election day. And an overwhelming amount of that money was $25, $50, $100, $150.
BALDWIN: So I applaud that these people there are throwing quarter of a million, $1 million, $10 million, $100 million at these super PACs, the system is broken. And it completely undermines democracy.
MORGAN: Yes, Amy, I mean, I have to say, I mean, I really admired President Obama when he made a big stance against super PACs and then my admiration for him on that point collapsed the moment he decided that he had to just jump into bed with his own super PACs because the other guy was doing it. When I think if he stood by his principle he would have actually won the day with the American public, and said look, I'm not going to let anyone buy this election.
The problem he now has is that Romney has more money coming in, a lot more money coming in. And Obama is spending a lot more money than Romney. This is heading towards a perfect storm I would think for the Democrats, just when they most need television money and so on. They're going to get blitzed by Romney, I think.
Do you feel comfortable as a Republican that it could come down to firepower and money from super PACs?
HOLMES: Well, a couple of corrections. I did not work for John McCain. It would have been an honor, but I worked for Bill Crist. And I'm not a Republican. I'm an independent. But when it comes to money and politics, I always tell people I've got a name for you. Michael Huffington. He spent more money than any person in history to try to become a United States senator.
BALDWIN: Twenty-two million.
HOLMES: $22 million and it was a lead balloon. It went nowhere. So I think you have to have money, but you also have to have a message. And a message that is resonating with people. President Obama, back in 2008, he had said that he would go with public financing. But when he saw all that money rolling in, he threw that out the window. The voters did not punish him for breaking that promise. They didn't punish him for, you know, raking in the money when he could.
I don't think voters are going to do that this fall. I do have a problem, however, with, as you know, the negative ads that you were mentioning, and all that money being poured into demonize the opponent. And we saw that with that infamous now Joe Soptic ad which seemed to suggest that Mitt Romney was responsible for his wife dying of cancer. That ad was roundly criticized across the political spectrum of having really crossed the line, but it doesn't elevate our political debate and the debate we need to have in this country about what direction we want to go in.
And I think that debate is legitimate. I respect people on the other side of the aisle, on the other side of the political spectrum. I want to hear from them and I want to trade information. I don't want to trade all this mud.
MORGAN: Yes, I mean, I certainly agree with that. I thought that Romney ad in particular, for President Obama trying to take the high moral ground about not being negative after he basically endorsed a super PAC ad through the backdoor which accused Romney of killing someone, I thought was very, very low gossip politics.
BALDWIN: You can -- you can win and be outspent, I don't know if you can win and be outspent 3-1 or 4-1, and until it's the new law of the land -- I was at events with John McCain where he gave -- he was on a panel discussion on campaign finance reform, discussing McCain- Feingold, and when he got up and took off his microphone and left he was going to raise a $2500 a plate fundraiser. And he said this is -- it's not a level playing feel. And until the law of the land is changed, until we enact McCain-Feingold which they blew loopholes in, I've got to go and I've got to go dial for dollars. And that's exactly what Obama has to do if he wants to compete on a level-playing field.
MORGAN: How big a problem is it for President Obama that unemployment is still over 8 percent. I mean this is -- you know, it is higher than when he took office.
BALDWIN: It's higher than when he took office?
MORGAN: It's 7.8 was the --
BALDWIN: Well, no president has ever been elected with this high of unemployment rate and I think we are poised to make history, because I think Obama can and problem will be re-elected. It's a little bit early, but I think that it goes to show the kind of support that he has. And I know it's very mixed reviews for the -- I have mixed reviews for the president, but he does have a lot of support.
And it goes to show you the weak field that the Republican Party put forth this time. I mean when he was vulnerable with 8 percent unemployment, no one ever being re-elected with that level of unemployment, to put Mitt Romney up and to not have a double-digit lead at this point is a huge mistake by the Republicans.
MORGAN: Amy, very quick, we've got about 20 seconds. What do you think? I mean this unemployment still remains a huge millstone for President Obama. Many Americans, tens of millions of Americans, are out of work. Are they going to punish him in November, do you think?
HOLMES: Well, we saw in 2010 that voters punished this unemployment rate. And 40 percent of voters in 2010 said that their situation had not improved since 2008 and, in fact, had gotten worse with the exit polling data. Another nearly 30 percent said that a member of their family had lost a job in the last two years. And that anger registered at the polls with the biggest sweep in congressional history for, like, seven decades and put Republicans back in power.
I don't know if Mitt Romney will have the same sort of wind at his back. I agree with Billy, as do a lot of other Republicans and conservative operatives that Mitt Romney, you would think he'd be further ahead than he is, but I think it's going to be a battle down to the wire.
MORGAN: Amy, Billy, thank you both very much, indeed. Appreciate it.
HOLMES: Thank you.
BALDWIN: Thank you.
MORGAN: When we come back, there's only one guy, really, that can deal with all this craziness and brawling that's now erupting in this election campaign. Jerry Springer. Bring him out.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. PAUL RYAN (R), VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'm proud of my record. Mitt Romney is going to be the president. The president sets policy. His policy is exceptions for rape, incest, life of the mother. I'm comfortable with it. It's a good step in the right direction.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Republican vice presidential candidate, Paul Ryan, discussing Mitt Romney's stand on abortion.
Joining me now a man who knows a lot more than you may think about politics, Jerry Springer is also one of the best known daytime talk show host in America. "The Jerry Springer Show" is about to launch its 22nd season. Quite extraordinary. Host of two game shows this month, "Baggage" and "The Price is Right, Live." Who better to break down the games being played this election season.
Jerry, welcome back.
SPRINGER: It's great to be back, Piers.
MORGAN: So this week basically has gone a congressman skinny dipping in the sea of Galilee, a firestorm about another congressman talking about legitimate rape, and Prince Harry getting naked in a Las Vegas hotel suite. I immediately thought, we have to book Jerry Springer.
This is the kind of sort of choir master we can bring to the whole proceedings.
SPRINGER: It's funny you mention that, because all three are on my show next week. So be sure to watch. Yes.
MORGAN: Let's start with Akin, because it's an extraordinary case where this guys says something outrageous, really truly offensive.
MORGAN: He clearly believed what he was saying at the time, and has yet refused to stand down, despite every senior member of his party demanding he go. What do you make of that?
SPRINGER: Well, he's not going to step down because he's going to be a sympathetic figure for the far right within Missouri. So I'm not sure he's out of it. In other words, I still think he has a chance of winning, as crazy as it was what he said. I think what is more significant is the substance of what he says -- forget the bit about the rape. But the position on abortion, the reason it resonates so is because that really is on abortion the position of the Republican party.
We all know that. We try to put nice words around it. But the fact of the matter is it is part of this continuing -- I don't want to call it an assault on women because that would be purposeful. But this lack of regard for women's issues in that party is unbelievable.
MORGAN: Or for women's rights more, isn't it?
MORGAN: And whether you hide behind religious beliefs or political believes, whatever it may be, the reality is that America is moving fast, I think, in terms of women's rights, gay rights and so on. And the Republican party has to be very careful in the way they go about defending their time honored positions.
If they don't move at all on any of this, they're going to end up looking very old fashioned.
SPRINGER: Well, I think they do. I think really the toughest thing Romney has to face is that he's running with the Republican label. I don't say that being a partisan. I'm saying right now, the Republicans are viewed, as they were a couple of decades ago, as a very old party, not with the modern movement, certainly not with women's rights.
Then he goes and takes Ryan. This election is between Barack Obama and Paul Ryan. Romney is almost irrelevant to it, because Paul Ryan is the budget that this Congress has passed.
What I say to people is look, God forbid Romney is elected. If Romney is elected with Congress, which already passed the Ryan budget, there's no president for the next four years to veto anything this right wing Congress does.
Normally we talk about platforms. Don't worry about the platform. They may not do that. They may not pass that. This Congress has already passed the Ryan budget. It didn't pass the Senate, but it passed the House.
So now we have to say oh, my gosh, if Barack Obama isn't there to veto it, all these things, doing away with Medicare as we now know it and replacing it with a voucher system, doing away with the Affordable Health Care Act and all the good things about that, like 30 million more people would have health insurance, and if you have a pre- existing condition in your family, you can't be denied insurance, doing away with the Pell Grants, which permit middle class families to be able to afford going to Congress.
This Congress is doing away with all that. And now we are going to have a man as president of the United States who is not going to veto it. And he can't afford to veto it.
MORGAN: Let me spin this around. I know you're a big Democrat, a big Obama fan. And we'll come to that in the next segment. You've been on the stump for him. Here's my gut feeling about this, it suits Barack Obama to get off the economy and on to social issues, because he knows that's where Romney is more vulnerable, and because if you're honest about the economic performance under Barack Obama, it's been disappointing.
You cannot look at an 8.2 percent unemployment rate in America after a four-year term and not say this has been very, very disappointing. Yes, he's had some successes in the car industry and so on. But in getting Americans back to work, Barack Obama has not been very successful, has he?
SPRINGER: OK, the final record is not yet a success. But you have to look at what's being done to get there and what's stopping it from being a success. You can't -- I would argue that, for example, when he said we needed the stimulus program, I would argue that it was nowhere nearly large enough because he didn't have the votes in the Republican Congress to pass the stimulus package.
So if you keep saying -- if the position of the Republican Congress is to cut, cut, cut, to not have a stimulus program, to cut state budgets, to cut the federal budgets, and you keep laying off all these people, if you keep laying people off, you can't then turn around and say, oh, by the way, we have high unemployment.
Of course we have high unemployment if you don't employ people and you keep laying people off. Here's one thing we ought to look at. Yes, it is eight percent unemployment nationwide, a little over, some neighborhoods nine, some 10. But here's a statistic that isn't talked about. If you take a look at the unemployment rate of those who have graduated from college, it's only four percent.
So what does that tell you? There must be some correlation between the college degree and your ability to participate in a new technical and global economy. That being the case, since we know a college education is going to help people -- our kids get better jobs in the future, why would you support a platform and the law that Ryan has passed that says, no more grants -- no more aid to middle class families who want to send their kids to college?
We are gutting the most important thing, education. You ask Americans, what's the one thing we're allowed to vote against -- and around this country, the one thing we're allowed to vote against -- we can't vote against wars. You can't vote against federal programs.
The only thing you are allowed to vote against is your local school tax levy. So we vote no on school. Education is being killed by this Republican Congress. And then you can't blame Obama, and say people are out of work, when the Republicans are saying we're not going to support this program, lay off the people, cut this department, and you fire everyone. Then of course they're going to be unemployed.
MORGAN: Let's hold you in mid rant here, because when we come back, I know you spent some quality time with the president recently. You see, my feeling about why he is unable to get through what he wants to get through is he's not been very skillful politically with the Republicans. He hasn't done enough deals with them in the way that some of these predecessors -- Bill Clinton used to get into a room with Newt Gingrich, chuck everybody out and get stuff done.
I don't see that with Obama and Boehner, for example. Let's come back after the break and discus why he can't do that.
MORGAN: I'm back now with Jerry Springer. We just got a Tweet in here. I know you don't actually Tweet yourself. People do it for you from your time. It says "Springer is spitting hot fire," says --
SPRINGER: I apologize.
MORGAN: -- @RTruth901. If anyone wants to join in the debate, it's @PiersMorgan, my Twitter handle. Jerry won't see it, because he's not on Twitter. You are spitting out fire.
Tell me this, why is Barack Obama not smarter in his dealings with the Republicans to get through more of what he wants to get through? Because Bill Clinton was better at it, there's no doubt about that.
SPRINGER: Times have changed. And there's a structural reason why the times have changed. Obviously with the beginning of cable news 15 years ago or whatever, we started to become more polarized.
But here's what the structural problem is. Every 10 years under the Constitution, in every state, they have to draw new congressional lines. And it's drawn up by the politicians of that state. Obviously every congressman or every state legislator wants to draw lines that make sure that they will get re-elected.
The result is that 95 percent of Americans today, 95 percent of us live in districts that are either overwhelmingly Republican or overwhelmingly Democrat. That's a fact. Because of that, that means if you're in Congress, you are not going to get defeated by a person of the other party. You can only be defeated in your own party's primary.
Well, now we have the emergence of the Tea Party. The Tea Party has all of a sudden taken over control of the Republican party. You saw it in the 2010 elections. They challenged Republicans, conservative Republicans in their own party with a Tea Party candidate. So the Tea Party candidate won. Learning the lesson from 2010, everyone in Congress now, if you're a Republican, you're scared to death to even be seen talking to a Democrat.
You don't want to see your picture taken with President Obama. You have to basically make sure that you don't get challenged in your own party's primary. The result is that the Republicans become more right wing, the Democrats become more left wing. Everyone is worried about their party's primary.
So whoever the president will be, whether it's Obama or Romney or whoever, they are not going to be able to deal with the other party, because the other party can't risk losing the election, their own election, if they are seen talking with the other party. MORGAN: You've been stumping for Obama. We have a clip of you doing some work for him in Marion, Ohio last week. Let's take a look at this.
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SPRINGER: Now it is very clear. In fact, I would argue that Mitt Romney is irrelevant to this particular election. This election is between Barack Obama and Paul Ryan.
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MORGAN: Which is a message you said to me earlier.
SPRINGER: And I personally want to apologize, because I just notice I'm wearing the same shirt. It's that pink shirt.
MORGAN: I wouldn't worry about that. But you met Barack Obama for an hour with a few others recently, in July. What was the meeting like? How did he seem to you? And what is your honest -- you're an honest guy. You're a tough talker. What is your honest assessment of his performance as president in the last four years?
SPRINGER: I start with a bias. I love him. I did not start out loving him, by the way. I supported Hillary Clinton back in '08. So it's not like well, I've always been as Obama. But I, just as a citizen, saw what 2008 was like and oh, my gosh, everyone I knew was looking to see if their homes -- their life savings had been knocked out, whether or not they could afford to pay the mortgage on their homes.
It was like we -- the banks were in trouble, everything. I figured no one is going to be able to fix this. And even though we had a Congress where even McConnell, the head of the Senate, said our number one priority is not to agree with Obama on anything and to beat him in the next election, even with that, we were able to save the financial industry, so at least now we have our life savings mostly back, if not all back, saved the auto industry, passed a stimulus package which wasn't large enough, but at least it's a start.
And thank God, passed the Affordable Health Care Act, where 30 million more Americans today have health insurance than would have health insurance without that, 30 million.
MORGAN: But Jerry, look, flipping on the --
SPRINGER: I'm happy with him.
MORGAN: You've got a country that's 17 trillion dollars in debt or something now.
MORGAN: You've got 8.2 percent unemployment. You've got a country really still hurting very deeply financially, both as a nation and individually among people who have lost their homes and jobs. And they're blaming Barack Obama. They're saying listen, you came in on this huge ground swell of I'm the hope, I'm the future, I'm going to fix this. And for these people, he hasn't fixed it.
SPRINGER: No. Is he perfect? No. But we can't -- you have to finish the sentence. He's not a dictator. We can't -- we didn't elect a dictator. Number one, he doesn't run the world. So he can't be in charge of Spain or Greece or what's going on in the world economy.
He deals with a Republican Congress, which we just said is not going to do business with him. It's a miracle he passed the Affordable Health Care Act. That was a miracle that is passed. Now let's hope it stays in business.
So no, he hasn't been perfect. In meeting him and in listening to him and in talking with him, asking questions, whatever, for an hour and 15 minutes, I think it was, I'm blown away. I -- Bill Clinton was more engaging. With Barack Obama, he was the coolest guy in school. If you were in high school, he was just the cool -- he is so calm and collected.
I go back to that evening he was telling jokes at the White House Correspondents' Dinner, while knowing in the back of his mind at this moment is the plan going through with getting -- and he was going -- with getting Osama bin laden. And then he goes back and goes down to the basement of the White House, where they look at the -- and they're in communication.
And he's made of steel. This guy, sometimes I don't know what goes on inside. He's absolutely cold when it comes to doing what has to be done, and he's not an emotional crazy guy.
MORGAN: What's his biggest fault?
SPRINGER: It's that sometimes he's too cool. Is that we are a very -- America is a very boisterous nation. And we are boisterous often in our happiness, in our anger. We yell out. You know, you go to Europe and they say oh, here come the Americans, you know? And he's not that.
And sometimes to communicate, you have to elicit that passion. It can't just be poetry. It has to be -- you have to feel it. Bill Clinton could feel your pain and you believed it. It wasn't fake. He really did. You could make him cry telling him a story about your family.
That isn't part of Barack Obama's personality. But his decision making has been rational. All my life, I have been saying, since I've been old enough to follow politics, how can we live in a country where not every American has health insurance? Shouldn't that be the most basic thing? And thank God we now have it.
MORGAN: And also thank God we still have the Springer show. When we come back after the break, 22 years of a show that you yourself say is the worst on television.
SPRINGER: I'm sorry. I'm sorry.
MORGAN: And I'm back with my special guest, Jerry Springer. Jerry, 22 years of "The Jerry Springer Show." a show that I've heard you repeatedly say is the worst show in television history.
SPRINGER: It's not just me. No, "TV Guide" a few years ago gave an award for the worst show in history -- the 50 worst shows in the history of television. And thank you very much, I was on it. But can you imagine being the second worst? Because no one remembers that.
You know, you've gone through all of this, you've had this horrible show. But, the honest answer is it's so much fun to do.
MORGAN: Do you still get as much fun out of it?
SPRINGER: It's the audience. You go to the show --
MORGAN: Because I watch it. Let me be honest with you. I'm going to put my cards on the table. I've known you a long time. We did "America's Got Talent" together.
MORGAN: We've had many dinner. We've discussed politics, life, the universe. You were in Robert Kennedy's campaign team. You were mayor of Cincinnati. You had this amazing career. And then suddenly you pitch up doing this show. And I look at it and I think, how did Jerry Springer end up doing that? And when will he stop and go and be a politician, perhaps? What do you say to friends of yours like mine that say to you?
SPRINGER: Well, the honest answer is, you saw the passion I have about politics, and I really do. That's like religion to me. So it's not how I make my living. I'm hired to be an entertainer. Some people like it, many don't, whatever. That's my profession. I'm an entertainer.
But I'm an American citizen. And as an American citizen, it is my duty to be politically involved. Not necessarily to run for office, but just to -- that's what I love -- one of the things I love about this country. Look, I have people in my own family that are Republican, and we go back and forth and it's great. We can have this debate. No one is beating each other up, like on the show. There you go.
See, that's not a political argument. I love politics because we can do it without the hair pulling. So I keep it separate.
MORGAN: Will you ever quit that show?
SPRINGER: I've told NBC Universal that I am going to stop.
SPRINGER: When I'm 104. So that's it. I had you.
MORGAN: So next year?
SPRINGER: That's great. You were so excited.
MORGAN: That's next year then?
SPRINGER: Oh. So hurtful.
MORGAN: It's always a pleasure. It starts on September 17th. You're already taping. I'm sure it will be just as entertaining as the other 21 years.
SPRINGER: Don't miss it.
MORGAN: Baggage starts on --
SPRINGER: The 17th as well.
MORGAN: Well, it's all about Jerry Springer on the 17th of September. Great to see you again.
Coming next, Only in America, and also name tonight's -- there's a new regular feature, gutless little twerp.
MORGAN: For tonight's Only in America, what happens in Vegas does not stay in Vegas. Well, not if you're Prince Harry, anyway. The young royal was captured, as we all now know, on camera naked, while playing a game of strip billiards with friends in his Las Vegas hotel sweet.
TMZ then posted the photos on its website last night, sparking a fury of epic proportions. And judging by the ludicrously over- reaction to these imagines, it may not just be the end of the monarchy, but civilization as we all know it. Really, everyone?
Why don't we just stop for a moment and think this through. Prince Harry is 27 years old. He's happily single. He's an Army officer who risked his life on the battlefields of Afghanistan.
He's on vacation. Not just any vacation, he's on vacation in Las Vegas, Sin City, a place hardly renowned for its poetry recitals, picnics or solemn group meditation. Yes, he's third in line to the British throne. Yes, he's supposed, therefore, to set a good example to everyone, in return for all the fancy palaces and privileges. And yes, he will probably get the grandmother of all bollockings from the queen when he gets home.
But let's be honest, the real villain here is the person who took the pictures in the first place and sold them. I'm dubbing that person today's gutless little twerp.
As for me, I'm indeed utterly outraged that I didn't get an invite to what sounds like a quite fantastic party. That's all for us tonight. "AC 360" starts now.