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The GMA Gang Pays a Visit

Aired August 23, 2012 - 21:00   ET


PIERS MORGAN, HOST: Good evening, America. My exclusive with the stars of the country's number one morning show. From politics.


GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, CO-ANCHOR, "GOOD MORNING AMERICA": There are a significant number of people in the country who have turned off President Obama.


MORGAN: Their personal lives.


ROBIN ROBERTS, CO-ANCHOR, "GOOD MORNING AMERICA": I am at peace, Piers. I really am.


MORGAN: And those other guys across the street.


SAM CHAMPION, CO-ANCHOR, "GOOD MORNING AMERICA": Many of us are very close friends with other folks on others shows that we complete against.


MORGAN: Robin Roberts, George Stephanopoulos, Sam Champion, Lara Spencer, and Josh Elliot. Can they keep "GMA" at number one?

Also tonight, target Tampa. Fifty thousand delegates at the Republican convention. Will they and yours truly for that matter be in the eye of the storm?

Plus my primetime exclusive with the rocket, Roger Clemens. Pitching again at 50. For real or is it fantasy baseball.


ROGER CLEMENS, BASEBALL PLAYER: Just going out there and pitching and having some fun.



Good evening. Our big story tonight, a special delivery from Isaac. Neither wind nor rain nor hurricane will keep Mitt Romney from the pointed grounds at the Republican convention. At least that's what he's saying now. Listen to candidate Romney on FOX Business today.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you going let Isaac chase you out of Tampa?


MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I have no comments about Isaac. I will talk to the weather people about what happens there. But obviously, any plans for Tampa depend upon the airport being open. Able to receive all of the delegates and people like myself who need to get there. But I feel pretty good that we'll be in Tampa and we'll have a great convention.


MORGAN: It does sound like whatever happens there, we'll all going to get there wet in Tampa as Tropical Storm Isaac gathers strength in the Caribbean.

Joining me now exclusively, some people who know a lot about politics, about weather, hurricanes, everything you could imagine. In fact, George Stephanopoulos, Robin Roberts, Sam Champion, Lara Spencer and Josh Elliott, the anchor dream team of "Good Morning America," who just storms to number in the ratings once again.

And congratulations to all of you. You've just -- because everybody thought, well, they've done it before the Olympics and after the Olympics, the "Today" will reinforce its position because of the big bump they get. And actually you've killed them again in the last week. So I do take my hat off to you. You've got a gold medal.


ROBERTS: Thank you. You know, I really think, Piers, is when you agreed to be a part of our Royal Jubilee coverage that really solidified us and we knew, you know, we can told on to this. We can hold on to this.

MORGAN: I just -- I couldn't agree more, Robin. I really felt it was that, the seminal moment. Never mind the moment you (INAUDIBLE) "Today" show. It was having me there.


MORGAN: In London, giving you my personal endorsement.


ROBERTS: But, you know, we are doing the show that we enjoy and the bonus is that people are responding and they're watching us. Yes.

MORGAN: Well, Robin, when it comes to the success of your triumph over the "Today" show and more (INAUDIBLE), but just very quickly, you are the longest serving member of this dream team. What is it about the particular chemistry of you five now you think that's been so you successful?

ROBERTS: You said it, when you said the C word. Chemistry. We're here tonight and we're going to hang out after being with you. We already have reservations some place where we're going to get a drink and a little dinner before and it's way past our bedtime. And you can't -- you can't fake the funk with people especially in the morning.

And I just truly believe it's because we are colleagues and we're friends, and we enjoy each other and that comes through the screen each and every morning.

MORGAN: I also feel watching you guys that everyone sort of knows their role in a very defined way, which I think really works really successfully for you. And talking of roles, we come to you now, Sam, because I want to get the weather out of the way. Obviously this big fear that the Republican convention is going to be swept away by Hurricane Isaac. Is actually likely that this is going to happen now from all that you see?

CHAMPION: And I really would like to change the word fear and just replace with it a healthy concern. Because we -- you know, it is a large disorganized storm. And there's a lot of open warm water between it and Florida, and by the time we're talking about early in the week, Monday-ish, and making its first approach towards south Florida, it has a lot of open water in the Gulf.

The latest forecast from the Hurricane Center put this kind of crossing by the Keys then kind of working its way up that west coast of Florida, which would definitely mean that the right side of the storm, the worst side of the storm is closer to Tampa.

Tampa is susceptible to the big push of water. So we think there'll be some flooding in that bay area from that push of weather with the storm there. There'll also be some heavy rain and wind. The big variable, how close it is to Tampa, and also what category it is when it's there, we have many, many days before we get there. But everyone should be watching and I'd like everyone to watch it from New Orleans all the way around to the Keys.

MORGAN: And obviously, although people are focused on Tampa because of the convention, the bigger concern in many ways is what's going to happen in Haiti. You've got 400,000 people still in tents there. What do you think about the possibility of a direct hit on Haiti or even just very extensive rain damage?

CHAMPION: I think there's a lot of rain. It's a disorganized storm and it doesn't have really tight clusters of thunderstorms right now. And as you can see as it kind of cruises under Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and Haiti, and then it's supposed to curve a little bit toward the northwest, there will be some rain. And whenever there's any -- any kind of rain on that elevation, you've got 10,000 foot mountains that we always talk about in Haiti when it storms there. You're going to have an awful lot of rain and flooding and some winds in that. And it doesn't have to be a hurricane to be a problem in Haiti.

MORGAN: Well, it's going to be pretty tough for them, I think, whatever happens. And all our thoughts are with them, obviously.

Let's move to you, George. And politics. No one is better to talk about this convention season we're about to enter than you.


STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, you're just full of compliments tonight. Keep it coming.


STEPHANOPOULOS: This is great.

MORGAN: Well, don't worry. When you lose your number one slot, I'll get you back on to say what a failure you are.


MORGAN: Don't get too excited.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Hey, we've been there, too.

MORGAN: Rather like the television wars, politics is a game of winners and losers. At one minute you can be a genius, Next minute a half wit. And Todd Akin can certainly attest to that in the last week. As we head into convention season, you've been there. You've done it. You've played a part in this for a long time.

What is your sense about what the key issues are going to be? Are we going to see issues like abortion come into the fore or is it going to be swept away by the economy?

STEPHANOPOULOS: I mean, the economy is issue number one, two, three, four and five in this election, even though these other issues have come and been part of the dialogue every day. What people are focused on is the state of the economy. I think what's really going to happen here and why this convention especially coming up next week is so important is that there is, you know, a significant number of people in the country who have turned off President Obama, are not happy with the direction the country is going in right now.

But they don't really know who Mitt Romney is. And what they see, frankly, right now, a lot of them don't like. He's got the lowest favorability ratings of any nominee in modern times. So the big job for Governor Romney going into this week is he's really got to fill in his biography and give people a real good sense of who he is, the values that drive him, and how he's going to put those values to bear for the country. How that feeds his vision for the country.

He hasn't done it yet. If he is able to do that in this convention, I think he goes from being a little bit behind to having a lead, certainly coming out of the convention and that may be good enough to take him all the way even though he's the underdog right now.

MORGAN: Well, how much of a problem is it for him, do you think, George, that it's all about his wealth and his money? The focus of the Obama attacks on him. It's all about his record at Bain Capital. We saw today a huge dump of star from --


STEPHANOPOULOS: Ninety hundred and fifty pages, yes.

MORGAN: Right. And none of which in itself may be that scandalous. It's just that the over-riding impression you get from reading through it is of a very, very wealthy man, going out of his way through highly paid accounts and some lawyers to avoid paying as much taxes as he possibly can.

Now there's nothing wrong with that. It's all perfectly legal. But it all adds up to the picture when you add the fact he won't reveal too many of his tax returns of a sense that he's got something to hide and he's being a bit slippery with his tax affairs. Do you think that's fair?

STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, and probably even more than that is that he's not look like us. You know, an average voter looks at that and says, he's just not like me. And that might mean that he can't empathize with my problems. It's not going to look out for me if he's elected president.

I think that's actually, you know, a key problem, a key hurdle he's facing right now. Any one of those individual issues on their own wouldn't bring him down. But you add them all together and it makes him seem a little bit alien, a little bit different from what most middle class voters, most middle class Americans are going through right now.

MORGAN: And, Robin, you've got this great scoop out of President Obama, obviously, about gay marriage. It was a hugely important moment. I imagine a very exciting one for you. But on the wider issue of rights, you're a very high profile woman in America right now. This allegation that the Republican Party just are anti-women, do you go along with that? Or do you think it's an easy bit of rhetoric that actually what you're looking at is historical positions of the Republican Party that are just slowly going slightly out of fashion?

ROBERTS: I think that what's more important is that we bring the candidates on, we bring both parties on, and we let the audience make that decision for them. And I really -- they don't really -- no one really cares what I think one way or the other with that. And I think we've been very good about -- especially it was just the other way, you had Todd Akin on and you were talking with him and asked him really tough questions.

And that's what I think is the real focus right here, is that we bring both sides on. I think that we're very balanced in what we do. And we -- I and we trust our audience to give them the information and allow them to make this critical choices for themselves.

MORGAN: Lara, I mean, you've had lots of politicians on your show. And as you say, you had Todd Akin, you were fortunate. I had to interview an empty chair because he pulled out at the last minute.


MORGAN: And although the chair may --


ROBERTS: That's why I brought him up. I brought him up -- I did that just for you.

STEPHANOPOULOS: (INAUDIBLE) in that interview, Piers.

ROBERTS: We're the big softball for you. Just for you.


MORGAN: But Lara, when you see the way that the political debate is going, what do you think of it? What is your gut feeling about what real Americans care about?

LARA SPENCER, CO-ANCHOR, "GOOD MORNING AMERICA": I believe it's the economy. And that's what I care about. But, you know what, that's George's department and we all, as you said, know very clearly what are roles on the show. My family is the most important me to me. And when I come into work, that's George's role. George doesn't -- we sort of don't cross departments.

STEPHANOPOULOS: You're not allowed to talk about politics, Lara.


ROBERTS: Stay in your lane. Stay in your lane.

SPENCER: We signed sort of a --

CHAMPION: No forecasting.


SPENCER: Yes, no weather for you. Definitely no sports for Sam. Don't ask him what a ball looks like.

CHAMPION: I don't do that.


MORGAN: I mean I think you should -- you should feel, you should feel free to talk about politics. Because I will definitely be talking to George about family. Because I've had his wife on my show.


MORGAN: And let's just say the conversation -- the conversation turned to pillow talk very quickly indeed, so, you know, I wouldn't worry too much about blurring the lines here.


MORGAN: And Josh, let me bring you in here.


MORGAN: Josh, you're standing there all imperiously at the back, as befits a man who's number one on the morning ratings as you all do. But what is the importance, do you think, of morning television? Tell me when you get, you know, a run of things like the convention now then the election, what do you think collectively you guys need to bring as a show to the American audience?

JOSH ELLIOTT, CO-ANCHOR, "GOOD MORNING AMERICA": I think we have to be able to offer the widest range of story and sample that we can. I think -- you know, the one thing that you can't change is the way we move through our day. We may be plugged in in theory 24 hours a day. But really, let's face it, you know, our days start when we wake up. And so we are sort of hitting the beach first. And I think that is -- there is heightened importance there and so many things break overnight now.

And so many things, you know, you might be waking up, it might be the only time when you, you know, log on, or god forbid open up a newspaper and you see something for the first time. And we have to be able to synthesize it for it. We have to be able to break it down, we have to be able to inform, we have to be able to prioritize, and we really have to have the trust with out audience that we can do that. That they can turn to us and that -- you know, we're going to do what we do best. And hopefully it's that. It's inform and really offer you as thorough a look at a topic, an issue as we possibly can. And it's -- I know it's something --

MORGAN: Well, you certainly -- you certainly have been successful doing that. The formula is clearly working. One of the big stories, of course, involving your show this year, has involved one of yourselves, Robin, and your health battle. And we come to that after the break, I'll talk to you about that and about how the rest of the team is dealing with what's been happening to you.



ROBERTS: The treatment for cancer can lead other serious medical issues and that's what I'm facing right now. It is something that is called MDS, myelodysplastic syndrome, and if you're looking and going, what, I was doing the same thing.


MORGAN: Robin Roberts on June 11th announcing to the "Good Morning America" viewers that she's suffering from MDS. And we're back now with the whole "GMA" team.

Robin, that was a pretty extraordinary moment in television, not least not for me because I had just seen you in London.

ROBERTS: Right. Right.

MORGAN: You'd seen the -- absolutely picture of health and vitality, and the next thing I see is that you've got this shocking health problem. For you, the moment you were told this, I know that you're a very strong character. But it must have knocked you for six as it would anybody. Explain to me what it was like when you were told the news.

ROBERTS: Gosh, Piers, we had this wonderful venture with our president. When we became number one there this great photo of us, then we're just really happy in the studio, and he framed it for us, and he put the date, April 19th.

When I look at that date, I don't just think of that we became number one officially, that was also when I was officially told of my -- of my condition. So it was one of those surreal moments with the world colliding. And I waited a couple of months to tell -- because I loved seeing you in London. I loved seeing people and that they were just treating me as Robin, and I knew once I made that announcement that you just showed that my life was going to change.

And I wasn't ready for that. But I also feel being in the public eye that there's this -- my mother says make your message. And the message here has been about being a bone marrow donor. I didn't know about being a bone marrow donor. And my sister right now is in my apartment here in New York, she is beginning -- continuing to prep work. Her stem cells are going to start being collected next week.

And we have -- linked with this wonderful group called Be the Match. And they have seen an increase in people -- we had a drive at ABC. And to see the number of people who are understanding that they can save a life. My sister potentially is going to save my life. This bone marrow transplant that I'm going to have, with my sister being my donor, the doctors are saying this could be a chore for me, and so with Be the Match being able to get people on their registry and for people to educate, and that's part of the show.

Yes, our show. Yes, we talk about politics and yes, we talk about weather. But we talk about personal moments like this, too.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And you should tell people, yesterday we do this little segment on, it's the average daily registration of Be the Match is about 300. Yesterday, we did a piece, 1200 people signed up, 1200 people registered to become a donor --

MORGAN: That's amazing.

STEPHANOPOULOS: -- in one day. That's the kind of difference you can make.

ROBERTS: They registered not went to the Web site.


ROBERTS: More in Web site, but we have 1200 people based on that story. And there was a great story of this woman, this mother of two, Erica, and this total stranger, Christopher, decided he was on the registry and he -- now her leukemia is in remission. So -- and we're all -- I don't know if you see, we're all wearing these armbands that my -- wristbands that friends of mine made and I've given them to family and friends. And so when I look down and I see everybody with it, it just energizes me because I am getting very close to the time when I'm going to have to leave the program for a while. And go through with the transplant.

MORGAN: I mean, you sound remarkably tough about all this. But are you scared in yourself?

ROBERTS: After you've gone through breast cancer as I did in 2007, and unfortunately, this is because of some of the treatment, saved my life. Not telling people not to get treated. That was my battle then. This is my battle now. And I am at peace, Piers. I really am. I -- it is what it is. It is a privilege to be used an as a messenger and I think that is what my purpose in life is and what this program and to be able to motivate people and to get them to join the Be the Match registry.

But, yes, I had a tough day today. I was at the doctor for the majority of the day and they were drawing more blood and I had a CAT scan and all these tests that you have to do because it's really getting down to the nitty-gritty and there was a moment today when I was by myself in the hospital and we -- I just broke down a little bit because I was really being told what lies ahead.

But then I see everybody -- we come into your studio and, you know, this one is cackling about something and her heels are clicking. And it's just -- and that's why I've been coming to work. That's why I've been doing this. And to show people that you all got something. We all got something and you don't know what your neighbor is going through. You don't know that -- what the person sitting next to you is going through.

And we're all living with something. And I just want to prove to people that you can -- you can live with serious illnesses. You can live. I'm not a survivor. I'm a thriver, and thanks in great part to the people that are surrounding me right now.

MORGAN: George, I mean, an extraordinary thing to happen to the team. Not just Robin, but obviously it affects all of you. At a time when you have this huge high of the ratings triumph, you know, one of Robin's great moments, I'd imagine, add into the Obama scoop and so on. Suddenly you're all hit with this. And she's is a remarkable woman, isn't she, the way that she's been dealing with this?

STEPHANOPOULOS: Unbelievable. And we talked about it the day we all found out. We found out just a little bit before that day when Robin announced it to the world. And when I reflected on it after Robin and I first talked about it, I was completely dumbstruck and completely in awe of what Robin was able to do. Because through this all -- and this was a period of several months where you first found out that something was wrong and you're dealing with it, she came to work every single day.

Smile on her face, committed to do the job. Not letting anyone else be burdened by what she was dealing with, and, you know, do it for the viewers, for all us. You know, that's -- not just professional. It's a sign of such strength of character that it was -- it blew me away and I think that we all agree on that. We -- this was something that she was determined not to bring the rest of us down and not to bring our viewers down. She was going to deal with it in the right way and she certainly did and she's going to keep on doing that for several months and come right back.

ROBERTS: And I did it in part for that moment. I'm just, you know, I just saw that the --

STEPHANOPOULOS: There you see it, right there.

ROBERTS: The pictures there in the corner and that's just moments before that picture was taken, we were told that it was official.

CHAMPION: There it is.

ROBERTS: Yes, you know, and it's just -- that's what it's about, that's what it's all about.

MORGAN: That's -- you have a very special chemistry. I can see it. And I think these things do tend to make that even stronger, I'm sure. I can see that as well.

We're going to take a short break. I'm going to come back and lighten the mood a little. Because you have been kicking "Today's" butt and I think you would like to discuss that in more detail.





ROBERTS: Just moments ago, we were videoing our costumes from "GMA."

SPENCER: We were never like that. ROBERTS: Were making the most of it.


ROBERTS: George, you nailed it. Come on. Boys. And who knew that was Dan Harris in the box?


MORGAN: Rather alarming images there of the "GMA" team performing as rock 'n' roll stars on Halloween. I think the images that raised more questions than answers there.


STEPHANOPOULOS: We're finally getting to the hard-hitting stuff in the interview. OK.



MORGAN: I thought I was being nice to you. It's time to raise the bar.

Let me take you -- let me take you all back to the week of April 9th. The first time in 852 weeks that "Good Morning America" passed the "Today" show in total viewers. You hadn't won a week outright since December 1995. What a moment. I mean, George, for you, guys, does it get better than that, the morning TV battle?

STEPHANOPOULOS: It was pretty amazing because -- like you said, it's something that hadn't happened in so many years. All of us were -- a lot younger. You were probably in high school.

ELLIOT: Yes, maybe junior high.



STEPHANOPOULOS: Close. But no, it was incredible. And I think I can only speak for myself here but it happened so much more quickly than I expected it to happen. That having the surprise on top of the victory was pretty nice.

MORGAN: And Matt Lauer appeared on the show just after that. This is what he said. Listen to this.


MATT LAUER, "TODAY" SHOW HOST: Times are harder there right now. I think it's been well publicized. We are -- the show is not where I wanted to be right now. The ratings are not where I want them to be right now.

MORGAN: What do you want to do with the show?

LAUER: I want to make it better. I want to make -- I want to -- I want to, you know, reinvigorate the show in some ways that perhaps we had, you know, led up on in the past couple of years.


MORGAN: Matt Lauer talking to Donny Deutsch, who was standing in for me. Quite honestly about the problems they've been having. Why do you think you guys have now got the edge? Let me ask you, Lara, what do you feel collectively has made the difference here between you and "The Today Show" this year?

SPENCER: I think it's what we touched on all show. We are five people who genuinely love each other. I'm the youngest of five. And it's a strange dynamic. It's very similar to my own family. Maybe that's why I'm so comfortable.

But I'm the youngest in my family. George is the oldest, Robin is Lisa, Sam is my sister Karen. Josh is my brother Keith. That is how it feels.


SPENCER: I can't describe how easy it's been. I really -- honestly, everybody -- you know, you said we stay in our lane. We know our role. We respect each other immensely. Respect is a huge part. And we want to be together. It's not a lie. We do also hang out.

MORGAN: One of the problems for "the Today Show" has clearly been the changing circle of wagons there. Ann Curry obviously been there 16 years, very highly respected. And it didn't work out. And she was removed from the hot seat.

When you have big turmoil on one of these shows and you take out key components of the chemistry -- in their case, Meredith Vieira moved on and Ann Curry came in. And for whatever reason, it didn't work out. This, again, gave you guys the advantage.

ELLIOTT: I just want to interrupt first. There's a very important lesson Piers is teaching us all right here. We've got to stay number one. Look what happens when you're not. OK, so we're reinvigorated tonight. Thank you very much.

MORGAN: Sam, as you're the resident weather guy there, clearly they are not as happy campers as you guys. You clearly -- I mean, is this just an act you're putting on? Do you all hate each other behind closed doors?

CHAMPION: I love that you picked on me for this. I love it. First of all, you need to know that behind the scenes, we are friends with all of those people. And many of us are very close friends with other folks on other shows that we compete against.

So for me, it's not one of those things where I like to talk about my friends. You know, if they are having a hard day, if they're having a hard time, they are still any friends. What I like to concentrate and when -- as you know, because you are friends with people that you compete with on television as well. And a lot of businesses are the same way.

So what I like to do is focus on what we're doing and the job that we do, and then keep my friendships my friendships with them. So I will talk to them about their difficult times or their struggle and what they're going through. And I think we all do, and try to be supportive with them as friends, and then come in here and do the best job we can do.

For a long time, I thought we were doing the number one morning show. I think it just took a little time for the audience to start sampling it and notice that what we were doing was like an amazing show that was fun to watch and had new and information, and is just jam packed. And it never stops for two hours.

So once you got a chance to sample it, how could you not choose that show?

ROBERTS: We don't take joy in what's happening in other places. We really focus -- many of us are athletes, not Sam --


ROBERTS: That is a whole other show. It's like, you are an Arsenal fan. You concentrate on your team. You don't concentrate on others. We concentrate on ours. But let me tell you, the morning that Ann said good-bye, we were watching. And we -- on our program, which you don't see very often, we spent the last couple minutes talking about Ann Curry on "Good Morning America," and appreciating her and such great respect.

CHAMPION: She's amazing.

ROBERTS: So it's -- it's like we really concentrate on ourselves and not others.

MORGAN: Let's not get too bogged down in their troubles. We are here to discuss your triumphs, and in particular the triumph of choice of soccer team by one of you.


MORGAN: You and I are Gooners, Arsenal fans until we die.

ELLIOTT: First and last.

MORGAN: I've always wanted to do this. We will come back after the break and talk Arsenal.

ROBERTS: Arsenal. Arsenal. Arsenal.



ELLIOTT: When I was 13 years old, my dad came out and --


ELLIOTT: And he died when I was 15. But for two years, I got see him as a man fulfilled. I took from him his love of story telling. I took from him the importance of being an advocate for those who need it. And I took from him, most important, what it is to be a man.


MORGAN: An emotional Josh Elliott accepting a GLAAD Media award for outstanding television journalism for his piece "Battle Against Bullying," in March. He's with me now along with the whole "Good Morning America" team. Josh, that was quite a moment there. I remember watching it feeling emotional for you. And clearly, you had been through an extraordinary experience with your father. To have him come out when you were 13 and then to lose him so soon afterwards.

When you made that speech, what was going through your mind?

ELLIOTT: It was great to be able to talk about him in so fitting -- in so fitting a way and before so many people that -- for whom he would be happy that I was in front of and for the reason I was. I had done a piece about a young teenager, Jamey Rodmier (ph), who committed suicide after being cyber bullied, however ironically, for going online and posting videos of himself on Youtube telling other people that it got better.

And it just occurred to me that it had been a huge part of my life that I hadn't really had a chance to sort of completely own. And it was just one of those moments.

And he is -- remains one of great human beings that I -- has ever been in my life. So, yeah, it was great. I tell you what, it was great. It was great to be able to remember him like that and to think how proud he would have been to have been in that audience that night. So it was a wonderful night.

MORGAN: It was a very special thing to watch. And I salute you for that. It really was very, very moving. Talking of very, very moving things, Josh, let's move very quickly to Arsenal football club. I never get a chance to talk about it, although these things are like number line buses. They come in threes. I had Spike Lee on the other day. He's a big Arsenal fan. You, it turns out, are a big Arsenal fan. And it is a traumatic hell, isn't it, at the moment.

ELLIOTT: It is. It is. It absolutely is. I think we all knew, right, Robin Van Percy was gone.


ELLIOTT: Listen, Piers, I first -- I started following you on Twitter for the footty on the weekend, frankly. And it is really -- it's a wonderful and excruciating way, let's face it, to spend nine months of your life following your club.

MORGAN: It's total torture. It is torture. But all I would say, to all Americans completely baffled by this conversation, it's like A-Rod transferring to the Boston Red Sox.

ELLIOTT: That is exactly what it is.

MORGAN: Our number one player has defected to the enemy, Manchester United. And it caused me almost like an out of body fury and distress.

So let's move on. Let's move on to happier things. George, I want to turn to your sex life, which I know you have been dying to talk about.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Sort of like Arsenal, wonderful and excruciating.

MORGAN: Let's play a clip from on interview I did with your delightful wife. This is what she told me about your life in bed together.


MORGAN: What do you and George talk about in bed?


MORGAN: In bed.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, we are both reading.

MORGAN: What do you read?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm reading the history of Islam. And he is reading "In Style" magazine.


MORGAN: Is it true? I mean, this is a fairly shocking revelation. Do you read "In Style" magazine in bed, George?

STEPHANOPOULOS: Of course I do. I have to prep for "GMA."

SPENCER: Stay in the right lane. Here we go.

MORGAN: I've got to say, I do -- I love your wife. She's been a terrific guest a couple of times.


MORGAN: You clearly have an extremely feisty relationship.

STEPHANOPOULOS: How do you know that? What do you think?

MORGAN: I can just pick up the ruins. STEPHANOPOULOS: I am the only male in the house of women. I am not the boss.

MORGAN: Let me just end, Robin, with you, if I may. Honestly, you are number one now. I know the ambition will be to stay there. But I'm sure that I speak for all the team around you there that the bigger ambition is that you come back fit and well and recovered from what you are about to go through.

So I just want to wish you all the very, very best from everyone at CNN. And I'm sure, as I say, I speak for your colleagues. But it's great to see you looking so chipper today. And I really do wish you all the very best with the treatment you are about to go through.

ROBERTS: Will you promise that we will go to an Arsenal match? Will you promise that to me when I get well? Can we go?


MORGAN: That could be the final straw. You don't want to go anywhere near an Arsenal game right now. Trust me.

ELLIOTT: Wow, wow, wow. Wait, Piers, we are one match in. It's just beginning. Believe.


ELLIOTT: Come on!

ROBERTS: Thank you very much for your kind words and your sentiment. And I also want to thank -- I have been lifted up in prayer, so many people around the country, around the world. And it has made a huge difference. And I'm focusing on the fight and not the fright. So I thank you for that.

MORGAN: Well, good for you. And it's been a real pleasure to talk to you all. Congratulations, again. It's been a terrific paid period for you guys, claiming that number one slot. I am sure "The Today Show" will come back at you strong, as Arsenal will attempt to do with every other team.

I had a lot of time for them, too. So I enjoy the battle from the start.

But thank you, Robin Roberts, George Stephanopoulos, Sam Champion, Lara Spencer and Josh Elliott. I really appreciate it. Thanks.


ELLIOTT: Let's go eat.

MORGAN: Coming up, the Rocket returns to the pitcher's mound. At the age of 50, does Roger Clemens believe he has something to prove?


MORGAN: Roger Clemens working out with the Yankees in 2003. He's one of the most dominant pitchers in baseball history. And despite that, he may be kept out of the Hall of Fame by allegations of steroid use. Clemens was acquitted of lying to Congress about using performance enhancing drugs. Now, at the age of 50, he's dramatically returning to the game, pitching for Houston's minor league team, the Sugar Land Skeeters (ph).

And Roger Clemens joins me now in a prime time exclusive. Roger, how are you?

ROGER CLEMENS, PROFESSIONAL BASEBALL PLAYER: How you doing, Piers? Doing good here.

MORGAN: I'm fine, but I'm 47 years old. My bones are creaking. You know, I can barely run across the road. And there you are, three years older than me, heading back in the baseball furnace. What on Earth are you thinking?

CLEMENS: That might be the question that I've heard the most, Piers. I'm telling you, this is a little hometown team here, the Sugar Land Skeeters. It's an independent team. I do have a personal service contract with the major league team here in town, the Houston Astros, which I really enjoy, when I get the opportunity to, work with some of the minor league players.

But a former manager -- former hitting coach of ours with the Houston Astros, Gary Gaietti, who is now the manager with the Sugarland Skeeters, was -- we were talking back in April about certain players coming here to play during their first season. And at the end of the conversation, Gary said why don't you start running and working out and come pitch a game for us some time before the summer is over.

And we laughed it off. And about 15 or 20 e-mails or voicemails and texts later, here I am.

MORGAN: Is the Rocket firing on all cylinders?

CLEMENS: The Rocket is almost firing on all cylinders. I'm not going to stay on the launching pad. I will definitely take flight. And we'll see what happens. The other day, I threw and I threw pretty well and maybe overextended myself a little bit. But I was trying to find out where I was at, so I go out here and hopefully don't embarrass myself and help these guys a little bit.

It will not be anything like five years ago, because I'm not even close to being up to par or have I trained. I've been telling people, there's a difference I've been working out and I've been throwing.

MORGAN: The thing is you are obviously a ferocious competitor. Nobody is buying this in the way that you're telling it. Everyone assumes that if it all goes well, you're going to get all the scouts down there, the Yankees, the Reds. Everybody is going to be charging down to see if the Rocket has still got it. And if you have -- I suspect you're only doing this because you know you can still sling it down as fast as you used to -- then they're all going to come at you with checkbooks and say, come on, come and help us out.

And the Rocket will be relaunched back in the majors. This is what the real game plan is, isn't it, Roger?

CLEMENS: Yes, everybody is saying that. But it would take -- I would have to -- for me to do that, Piers, I would have to start in April. Similar to my comebacks before, when I tried to retire the first three times -- and I tell people I would have stayed retired if I didn't get a phone call from somebody that I really care about or they meant something to me in the game, and I really felt that I could get back out there and help them in a positive way.

I like the teaching aspect of the game the most right now. But it would be -- you know, again, I'm not going to be anywhere close on Saturday to where I was five years ago. I would need a great deal more time to get out there and be able to somewhat power pitch, even get my fastball close to 90 miles an hour again.

But I feel fairly young. Everybody is telling me that -- 50 is the new 40. I say that, but check in with me on Sunday. I probably will lose a couple of inches in height and I'll be in an ice tank somewhere. My body responds well to ice. That's the good thing.

MORGAN: Final question: do you feel a little part of you just wants to get back out playing, after all that happened to you, all the scandal, all the court case? You got dramatically acquitted in the end of lying to Congress. Is part of you thinking, you know what, I don't want my career ending on all that distasteful stuff? I want to come back out and show people what I'm still made of?

CLEMENS: Well, a great question. I did that, Piers. I did that when I came out of retirement three times. Really didn't have anything to prove, but just wanted to make sure that when I did go back to help the clubs that I went back to pitch for, whether it was Houston or New York, last with New York, that I was able to go out there and do it right and make somewhat of a good showing.

As far as everything that happened in Washington, we did it the right way. I went right -- you know, things that happen in life -- and some things that you can just shrug your shoulder and wave them off. Some of the things you deal with head on.

And when anybody is attacking you or your family, I think you would be the same way, that you stand up for what's right. And we did that. And finally we're in a very fair setting, where some great people could listen to the facts. And so it worked out great. I was extremely happy about that.

And again, you know, I don't have to defend myself at all. And this is not defending myself. This is going out here and pitching and having some fun and -- and hopefully I'll get through it. Everybody says are you nervous? I just want to go out and stay healthy and make somewhat of a good showing.

If that works out, I do have something planned. We do have something planned that might be even funner in the future. And maybe we'll talk about that again. We'll see what happens.

MORGAN: Well, best of luck. I think it's a huge tremor of excitement going through world of baseball right now, the thought of the Rocket back in action. I wish you all the very best, Roger. And thanks for coming on the show.

CLEMENS: Thanks, Piers. I appreciate it.

MORGAN: When we come back, Only in America, the dumbest burglar you will ever meet in your entire life.


MORGAN: For tonight's Only in America, meet America's most stupid burglar, Jonathan Kirby. He's 56. He already has a lengthy criminal record, but decided to risk a possible 38 year prison sentence by raiding one more home to steal someone else's hard-earned possessions. That was just the start of the serial miscreant's appalling error in judgment.

This wasn't just any home. It was the current Los Angeles abode of my rapper friend L.L. Cool J. And Mr. Cool J., whose wife and children were in the house at the time, is not only absolutely massive, but he's also -- how can I put this delicately? He's learned how to look after himself on the mean streets of New York.

Mr. Kirby met Mr. Cool J. in the kitchen. And the police reports states a fight ensued. Following this fight -- and I use the word in the loosest possible sense -- the report states that Mr. Kirby was left with a broken nose, broken jaw and broken ribs. Mr. Cool J., by contrast, was not injured at all.

He then detained his battered victim until the police arrived. The same police have decided not to press any charges against the star of "NCIS Los Angeles." And they've thrown the book at the horrible little burglar instead.

L.L. Cool J has showed up all precisely why he changed his name from James Todd Smith. Because this, Mr. J., was pretty dam cool.

That's all for us tonight. "AC 360" starts now.