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PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT
One-on-One with Tony Blair; Battleground America: Virginia; Interview with Sarah Ferguson
Aired September 27, 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, countdown to war with Iran.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER: From there it's only a few months, possibly a few weeks, before they get enough enriched uranium for the first bomb.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Tony Blair's warning to Ahmadinejad.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TONY BLAIR, FORMER PRIME MINISTER OF BRITAIN: The risk for conflict is a risk of miscalculation by the Iranian regime that we're not serious about this. We are.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: His hopes for peace in the Middle East.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BLAIR: I do believe it's possible to reach a solution.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: And why the former British prime minister says one of the world's most dangerous hot spots just might be the guest chair on a certain talk show.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BLAIR: With you, I was always nervous.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Plus battleground America, 40 days to go until the election. The candidates duking it out.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Al Qaeda is on the path to defeat. Bin Laden is dead.
MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: The world is not a safe place. It remains dangerous.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: With a week to go until the first debate, is this race closer than it seems? We'll have our own debate to find out.
And been there, done that. Probably the only person who knows exactly what William, Kate and Harry have been going through. Sarah Ferguson, the duchess of York, on surviving royal scandals.
This is PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT.
Good evening. Our big story tonight, Israel standing tall against Iran at the U.N. today. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu urging the world to draw a red line to stop Iran from building a nuclear bomb.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NETANYAHU: Where should a red line be drawn? A red line should be drawn right here. Before, before Iran completes the second stage of nuclear enrichment necessary to make a bomb.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Meanwhile, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas accuses Israel of what he called ethnic cleansing.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRESIDENT MAHMOUD ABBAS, PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY: It is a campaign of ethnic cleansing against the Palestinian people.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Tony Blair walked out of Number 10 Downing Street into what may be the toughest job in the diplomatic world, Middle East Quartet representative. So who better to comment on today's speeches? Former Prime Minister Tony Blair joins me now.
Welcome, Mr. Blair. An extraordinary day, again. It's been a very, very big week, I think, for everything involved with what you're involved with now in the Middle East.
Let's start with Benjamin Netanyahu's speech. Very, very hard about Iran. Very clear, and I'll play a little clip in a moment of this bomb chart he produced. The big question, I guess, it's two big questions. Do you believe that Israel is genuinely planning to do some kind of preemptive strike based on the rhetoric we're now hearing? And if they do, what should the reaction be, particularly of America, but also other allied countries?
BLAIR: Well, is Israeli absolutely determined that Iran should not acquire nuclear weapons capability? Yes. I mean how they prevent that is another matter. And -- but, I mean, it is clear that Iran continues to work towards getting that capability. And for Israel -- I mean the president of Iran just a few days back was questioning Israel's right to exist, so you can understand why they feel this is an existential question for them.
Now I still think it's possible that a combination of sanctions and negotiations can resolve this, but you've got to say that time is marching on, and so is their nuclear weapons program, and Israel will feel, obviously, alarmed and threatened by it.
MORGAN: If they do something, should America do anything, or does America keep out of this?
BLAIR: We're not -- we're not at that point yet. The United States of America, by the way, has also have given an absolutely clear and firm statement on this that Iran with a nuclear weapon is unacceptable. And by the way, I'm quite sure President Obama, when he says that, he means it and intends to stand by it.
So I think America is also giving a very strong message to Iran. But everybody wants to resolve this without a conflict, because that is sensible and the best way of doing it, because the consequences of any conflict would be very serious, although profoundly unpredictable.
MORGAN: Let's see what Benjamin Netanyahu said today. He had this extraordinary chart he produced, which was very effective. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NETANYAHU: So how much enriched uranium do you need for a bomb? And how close is Iran to getting it? Well, let me show you. I brought a diagram for you. Here is the diagram.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: There was the diagram, and he went on to show where the red line was. He basically said, look at the process and speed of the enriching of uranium going on in Iran. They could have a nuclear bomb ready to use by next summer.
Do you believe that? Do you have any evidence for that? Have you seen anything like that?
BLAIR: Look. What the evidence is is something I wouldn't really comment on. And by the way, there will be a lot of information with the Israelis, the Americans, the UK, and other countries. So the central question is really, are we serious about stopping Iran getting the nuclear weapon capability? And I believe that we are.
And the reason for that is very simple, that if you allow Iran to have that capability, it would almost certainly start a nuclear arms race in the region, and you would also end up in a situation where the danger, since Iran does actually sponsor terrorist movements around the region, the danger of leeching out some of that technology would be -- would be deep.
So, it's -- look. I think at this moment in time there's only one central question. When we say Iran should not have nuclear weapons capability, do we mean it? And I think the answer from the international community is yes, we do. And therefore, the risk for conflict is a risk of miscalculation by the Iranian regime that we're not serious about this. We are.
MORGAN: President Ahmadinejad -- I've sat with him, we'll play a clip from that in a moment, earlier this week -- but he struck a strangely mollifying tone, many felt. He was more reasoned than he has been in previous years at this event. One theory being that he's genuinely concerned that Israel may do some kind of preemptive strike, and then no one can control what happens next.
Secondly, that he sanctions may really be biting. The sanctions in particular relation to their oil exports and to their banks may now be really hurting Iran, and he's feeling all the heat from his own people.
What do you think?
BLAIR: Well, I think he will be getting a certain amount of heat from some people because there's no doubt the sanctions are having a big effect. And indeed, I think next month for the first time, Iraq will actually export more oil than Iran. So, you know, the whole balance of power in terms of oil production in the region is changing as a result of the sanctions.
On the other hand, I think, as the recent report of the Atomic Energy Authority indicates, there's no sign that Iran is relenting on this essential push. And the trouble is it's combined with the regime that holds views and does things that most people within the region find unacceptable.
MORGAN: One of the views that he held and espoused when he came in here before, which has made him such a hated figure, particularly in New York and in America in a wider sense, was what he said about wiping Israel off the face of the map. He did clarify this slightly when I interviewed him. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRES. MAHMOUD AHMADINEJAD, IRAN (Though Translator): When we say, "to be wiped," we say for occupation to be wiped off from this world. For war-seeking to be wiped off and eradicated. The killing of women and children to be eradicated. And we proposed a way. We proposed a path. The path is to recognize the right of the Palestinians to self-governance.
MORGAN: Do you believe in a two-state solution?
AHMADINEJAD (Through Translator): About the division of the people of Palestine, I cannot express an opinion. That is their prerogative.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: I mean, he certainly didn't suggest he ever wanted a two-state solution to this, and that doesn't keep either one who want to try and muddle through this. You are one of the key people that are trying to muddle through this and get some kind of deal. Mahmoud Abbas from the Palestinian Authority today was pretty similar, really, to what Ahmadinejad said. He said it's a campaign of ethnic cleansing of Palestinian people by demolition of homes, prevention of construction, denial of services, and so on.
A real sense, I was getting, because I mean Benjamin Netanyahu barely mentioned any kind of peace deal today, in his speech, with the Palestinians. You get a sense that the peace deal has never been further away. Am I wrong to feel so pessimistic?
BLAIR: Well, it's understandable. People are pessimistic at the moment. I mean the truth is, though, if we recharge this political process and got it back underway again, then the two-state solution -- which is the only solution, by the way -- to the conflict, it could be back on the agenda.
But to do that, you need to have a framework of negotiations that's credible. Because people have got to believe this thing will actually happen. And secondly, you've got to match the politics, the -- if you like, the top-down political negotiations, with changes on the ground that support the deal and don't go the other way against it.
So this is why the Palestinians are concerned about settlement expansion, and the Israelis worried about what happens with Gaza, West Bank, security and so on.
I -- look, I think -- and I don't just say this because I'm by nature optimistic, but I do believe it's possible to reach a solution. But I don't think this can be done unless the international community is prepared to really guide and grip it in a way that gives the parties a sense that there is a shape to the negotiation, and real stuff happens on the ground that improves people's lives.
Because if people's lives are getting improved and they start to see some hope, then they'll have a stake in the political process.
MORGAN: Let's take a short break, Mr. Blair. Come back and talk about elections, because you never lost an election. You were the great, all-around champion winner of elections in Britain. So I'm sure Mr. Romney and Mr. Obama would love to have a bit of advice from you after the break on how they're going to win.
MORGAN: Back with me now, one of the great campaigners in recent political history, former British prime minister, Tony Blair.
You won three elections. You've never got beaten. So, I mean, Mitt Romney and Barack Obama are watching. And come on, Tony, what's the secret? How are we going to win this election?. I mean, I know you don't want to, you know, particularly take sides over this because you don't see it as your place to do that, but in terms of where this race currently is, is it too close to call? Do you think it could still go either way?
BLAIR: Well, you never know until the election actually happens. At the moment, I would say, obviously, you know, President Obama seems very, very strong. But I mean, he will be -- the thing that's different, actually, is when you're the challenger, then you know, your sort of -- your apprehension is different from the person who's coming to then win a second term. And I've found, actually, my -- the most satisfying election victory is your second one, really.
MORGAN: When you get reelected.
BLAIR: Yes, because then you feel, you know, they're not -- they have voted on something that you have done and something that you may do, and it gives you a -- and you also feel greater confidence in the -- in the responsibility of the position.
MORGAN: You said a very interesting thing earlier this week. You said, "If I were you," talking to America, "I would sort of give up on being loved. If that's your ambition as still the world's greatest power, give up on it, because it's not going to happen."
And I totally agreed with that reading of it, that there is a sense sometimes, Americans are very nice people, that they actually -- you know, making tough decisions can be very unpopular. You're not going to be loved everywhere, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't take them.
BLAIR: No. And the thing about -- the thing that people really want from America is they want to know that it's strong, that it's out there, it's engaged. And, you know, this is true in life, by the way, that people look to the decision-makers to take the decisions. And often what happens is that they will want to reserve completely the right to complain about them and to say how much they disagree with them and so on and so forth, but in a sort of way, they're quite glad someone's taking the decisions.
So, you know, I think for America, what's important today is to understand that even though there are people out there, you know, burning the flag and protesting against America, there's still an enormous residual respect for America. Actually, many, many people out in the Middle East really, whatever they may say if they're out in a public place, privately, are glad that America is there and stands for what it stands for.
MORGAN: Whoever does win has got a huge economic mountain to climb even now, 8.2 percent unemployment, $16 trillion debt, gas prices double what they were when Barack Obama took over. These are really tough challenges.
What do you think is the quick fix? If you were going to be the incumbent come November the 7th, what kind of thing should the American administration, whoever it is, be looking to do quite quickly to try and stem this economic tide downward, which is going on all over the world?
BLAIR: Right. I mean, this all, by the way, is an incredibly difficult time for people in positions of leadership. I mean, you know, when I compare my economic circumstances, you know, I was completely blessed in that sense with the way that leaders have got their handle on this thing today. But for the United States, it's perfectly simple. They've got to resolve this so-called fiscal cliff and set out a path to putting their house in order.
And by the way, I think that will happen. One of the things about America, which is why, you know, I think whatever their issues and challenges, they'll sort of come through it, you know, they will, I think, after the elections, settle down and get this thing done. And it's interesting, by the way. Four years ago, Europeans were worried about whether the American economic crisis would blow their economies off course --
MORGAN: That's right, now it's the other way.
BLAIR: Today, it's very much the other way around. And actually, America, you know, given where they came from on all this, actually it's pretty remarkable that they are where they are today.
MORGAN: Now one of your successors as British prime minister, David Cameron, has been in New York this week and went on the "Letterman" show, and he got hijacked a bit. Let's watch a bit of this. I'm sure you'll enjoy it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAVID LETTERMAN, HOST, "THE LATE SHOW WITH DAVID LETTERMAN": And the literal translation is what? You have Magna --
DAVID CAMERON, PRIME MINISTER OF BRITAIN: I -- again, you're testing me.
LETTERMAN: Boy, it'd be good if you knew this.
CAMERON: Yes, well, it would be.
CAMERON: No, no, you've found me out.
LETTERMAN: No. Good heavens.
CAMERON: This is --
LETTERMAN: Magna Carta literally means great charter.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Well, he ruined it. I was going to ask you.
BLAIR: Well that -- that I might have --
MORGAN: Tony, now be -- be honest.
BLAIR: Magna Carta, because I'm slightly older than David Cameron, so I learned Latin at school.
MORGAN: So you would have known?
BLAIR: Well, I don't -- I --
MORGAN: By the way, he learned Latin at school.
BLAIR: But -- let me tell you, there is nothing worse than being on these types of shows. I used to get -- I would never get nervous about, oh, you know, certain level of apprehension about doing, let's say -- well, with you I was always nervous. But --
BLAIR: Because I never knew where you were going to go. But -- but you know, the ordinary political interviews -- whenever you went on one of these chat shows or programs like that, you were taking your life in your hands.
MORGAN: You have sympathy for Mr. Cameron.
BLAIR: I'm afraid I'm -- I have total sympathy, yes.
MORGAN: Would you have known who wrote "Rule Britannia"?
BLAIR: No. I mean, I know I should, by the way.
MORGAN: He guessed Elgar.
BLAIR: Yes, and that --
BLAIR: Was it Vaughan Williams or something? I don't know. I actually literally don't know. So, I'm --
MORGAN: Your sympathy is with him.
BLAIR: So, my sympathy is totally with him, and I've been in that situation myself, and the only way to handle it is with self- deprecation.
MORGAN: I think he said, "This is a career-ending moment."
BLAIR: It's one of the -- it's one of these things that you just -- you have to put up with and hope they're not voting on that basis.
MORGAN: And finally, I interviewed President Clinton, an old friend of yours, this week. Fascinating in many ways about a number of issues, but particularly the issue of whether he could ever be president again. He can't be in America, because of the 22nd Amendment, but he can be, he claimed, in Ireland and possibly France. And we think the Irish one is particularly possible, given his Irish heritage.
Would you like to see Bill Clinton becoming president of Ireland?
BLAIR: Well --
MORGAN: Would that complete the peace project for you?
BLAIR: Well, the one thing I know is that in whatever country and whatever culture, whatever continent, whatever part of the world Bill Clinton was standing, everyone else better watch out, because he is the total master and he would -- he's just -- the thing that I always say about Bill Clinton is, the fascinating thing about him as a politician is that he's unbelievably smart and smart enough so that he doesn't come across as unbelievably smart.
BLAIR: He just comes across as a decent guy. So --
MORGAN: He also never lost an election, nor have you. If you ever went head-to-head -- come on. Put humility to one side. Who would win?
BLAIR: Oh, there's no doubt about that, I'm afraid. As much as I have, you know, immodest sense of my own abilities about winning elections, no, he's -- you saw this with convention speech. What he has is the capability to take really quite complex subjects and, you know, explain them in a way that gets people going.
And to be frank, to address one of these convention audiences, where, you know, normally it's a bit of a, rah rah, you know, everyone gets their beat and cheers. To actually go through some of the details of policy in the way he was doing -- you're not going to beat that, unless you're a better person than me, at least.
MORGAN: Well, Mr. Blair, you were a great winner. Good to have you back on the show.
BLAIR: Thanks, Piers.
MORGAN: Coming up, President Obama and Mitt Romney dueling it out in Virginia. Is the president losing his lead there? Battleground America comes next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: Today I believe that as a nation, we're moving forward again. We're not where we need to be, not yet. We've got a lot more folks who have to get back to work.
ROMNEY: I have five things I'm going to do to get this economy going. And they're going to create 12 million jobs. I'm not going to be cutting jobs from Virginia. I'm going to be adding jobs to Virginia.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Talking jobs in battleground America. President Obama and Mitt Romney today in the crucial state of Virginia. Both candidates fighting for every vote.
Let's bring in my political all-stars, Charles Blow, op-ed columnist for the "New York Times," and Republican pollster, Kristen Soltis.
Kristen, let me start with you. Your guy's in a hell of a lot of trouble, isn't he? I'm looking at some polls here, doesn't matter who you believe, Suffolk University, FOX News, Quinnipiac, "New York Times," CBS, NBC News, "Wall Street Journal," all of them in Virginia, amongst likely voters have Obama comfortably ahead.
This is -- this is a big problem for Mitt Romney, isn't it?
KRISTEN SOLTIS, REPUBLICAN POLLSTER: I don't think it's quite as big a problem as you've made it out to be. There was a poll that Suffolk University had out just tonight that had Obama up by two. And so it is true that you've got Obama up in swing states like Virginia by small margins. But there's become this narrative that's really developed over the last week that the race is starting to get away from Governor Romney that I think is not really founded in necessarily good data.
You know, out of five polls that will come out in a week, there's always one poll that will show some margin where it shows Obama winning a state like Virginia or Ohio or Florida by a margin that's greater than he won it in 2008.
And I think Governor Romney is a stronger candidate. I think the fundamentals are better for Republicans. I have a very hard time believing some of these polls that are showing, you know, Obama up by 10 points in a place like Ohio, and especially Virginia. I do expect to be in the Republican column come November.
MORGAN: Well, Charles Blow, I men, I think one of the reasons people are believing this momentum is that every poll now appears to be widening. I mean that may be an exaggeration. I'm sure we can find one or two, which remain the same, but it seems that ever since the convention, we have seen Obama's fortunes get better and Mitt Romney's get worse. And you've got to say, as the tension builds to the first debate, this is make or break week, isn't it, for Mitt Romney? CHARLES BLOW, OP-ED COLUMNIST, NEW YORK TIMES: This is absolutely make or break week. And it's not just from the convention. We still don't know what the ripple effects of that 47 percent gaffe or whatever you want to call that, I don't call it a gaffe, maybe he's speaking from the heart, I don't know what it is. But we don't know how that will ripple through polling and public opinion over the next couple of weeks.
And so even if you take out, you know, some of the polls on the margins, the lower ones and the high ones, just take al this in aggregate. What you do see is a building of momentum and a widening of the gap. Whether you think the gap is small or large at this point, that it is about direction, the slope of the line, and that is what should keep Mitt Romney, you know, should keep him up at night.
And that really puts the onus on what happens in the debates and I don't believe that at this point in the game, that Romney can do something on his own that will change the course of this race. You basically need Obama to make a big mistake, which, like, at this point in the race, what you need is three things. Right?
It has -- something has to be important, it has to be new, and it has to be easily digestible. The 47 percent statement is all three of those things.
BLOW: You have to have something that -- on Obama's side that is a -- that is comparable to that and it is hard to imagine what that could be.
MORGAN: Yes, but, Kristen Soltis, I mean, it may be coincidence but since that 47 percent story broke, it was so damaging to Mitt Romney that you just get a sense now that he's got to do something pretty impactive and powerful to get that off the agenda, because the one area that we all believe he had the advantage over Barack Obama was the economy. Suddenly in one fell swoop, you have a guy who has basically written off half the country as a bunch of scrounging victims. That is not good.
SOLTIS: Well, I agree that that's not necessarily good, but I think that there's a -- there is sort of an interesting opportunity. We'll see if the Romney campaign takes it. Where you know, up through the conventions and even a little bit after, a lot of this race has been about both sides trying to explain why the other side is wrong, why the other side is bad, and I think that this election, if the Romney team thinks it's a referendum and that all they have to do is say why Obama is bad, then things like that 47 percent comment, they really do have the potential to hurt.
But the big question that voters are asking is who's going to turn this economy around. And if Mitt Romney in the next 40 days can give a good answer to that question, where we're not talking about, are you better off than you were four years ago but we're talking about who's going to make you better off four years from now, I do think that that can be the kind of game changing strategic decision that they can make that begins to shift away from the gaffes that both sides are making and the potential things that both sides aren't doing so well, and really puts the focus I think on Romney's strength which is he's got this plan to try to create jobs for America.
MORGAN: Charles Blow, there has been a sense, a rising sense that the appointment of Paul Ryan as the VP pick has turned out to be a big mistake, that he should have -- I had Nate Silver on last night who had all these wonderful facts and figures. But he basically said look, had he gone for Marco Rubio or somebody and gone for the Latino vote, at least that would have been a demographic he could have pulled in he didn't otherwise have.
With Paul Ryan, it just doesn't seem to be working. He brought him in to win the battle over the economy argument. And ever since that happened, that appointment happened, it's gone the other way on the economy. He's been losing that argument. What do you think of that? Was Paul Ryan, with hindsight, the wrong choice?
BLOW: Hindsight is 20/20, right? So we can look back on it and see all the reasons why it didn't work. You can see what they were trying to do. They were trying to tap into that Tea Party enthusiasm on the far right and, if you could, energize that base and get them excited. Maybe that could be -- propel his candidacy forward.
The other thing was that they actually thought that they could have some sort of big idea conversation. But the problem is that Mitt Romney does not want to have a big idea conversation, because he wants to run away from the specifics of big ideas. And the one big idea that they are talking about, they're losing on, which is in all of those swing states, they're losing this battle over who will better handle Medicare. That's the problem.
MORGAN: Kristen Soltis, that is undeniable. That has got to be laid at the floor of Paul Ryan, hasn't it? He was brought in specifically to win that argument and to win the other big economic arguments. And it's simply not happening. In fact, the reverse is true.
SOLTIS: Well, when he was brought in, you know, Republicans were very excited that this was going become a campaign not just about two men going for the White House, but two really big ideas about the role of government in society and how, you know -- what America should do with the next four years. And I think that Paul Ryan, when he's been out on the trail, they've been having him -- I heard even that he did a rally where he had the Powerpoint slides behind him.
I think that he's a really big asset. And I hope that he gets used effectively in the next 40 days. Because when he was chosen, to me that signaled exactly what you said, that the Romney campaign was going to make this about ideas, that they were realizing that making this about economic policy, by being really specific and you know, not taking -- by really accepting that voters do want to hear specifics. They do want to hear a plan.
MORGAN: OK. We have to take a short break. I want to just tease, really, the secret softy side of Mitt Romney. Could this picture that I'm going to show you and talk about after the break -- there it is. It doesn't get more heartwarming than this. I'll explain exactly what he's up to in that picture. That could be to me a game changer.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROMNEY: There are 47 percent of the people who will vote with the president no matter what, who are dependent upon him, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has the responsibility to care for them, who believe they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you name it. And they will vote for this president no matter what.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: President Obama's new television attack ad due to air in seven key battleground states focusing on Romney's 47 percent comment. Back with me now, my all-stars, Charles Blow and Kristen Soltis.
Kristen, again, this is a problem, isn't it, for Mitt Romney, because that 47 percent thing is now going to be a huge stick to beat him over the head with for the next 40 days. Also quite interestingly, I thought today, you've got a new video released by the liberal leaning website "Mother Jones," which shows Romney as Bain CEO. Take a look at this. Then I will come back to you.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROMNEY: Bain Capital is an investment partnership which was formed to invest in startup companies and ongoing companies, then to take an active hand in managing them, and hopefully, five to eight years later, to harvest them at a significant profit.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Mitt Romney's campaign had this to say about this video, "in addition to starting up new businesses, Mitt Romney helped build Bain Capital by turning around broken companies, creating and saving thousands of jobs. The problem today is President Obama hasn't been able to turn around the economy in the same way."
Here's the problem for Mitt Romney, though, Kristen, which is that these were two areas, really, the economy and his record at Bain, that were supposed to be the strong points for the Romney campaign. And they're now being used as his vulnerabilities, weak points. Unless he can turn this round -- you can't blame the Obama campaign. They are ramping this up now, and attacking him on the very things he thought that he was going to win on.
SOLTIS: But this isn't really surprising at all. You already began to see the attacks on his Bain record starting in the Republican primary. This is something the campaign has been prepared for from day one. They have known that every single piece of his business record was going to be gone through. These ads sort of going after his Bain record have been airing in swing states relentlessly.
I really think that this sort of thing is already baked in. If you already think that Romney's record at Bain is the reason that you don't want him to be president, you have already made up your mind. If you think that his record as CEO of Bain shows that he was a good executive and that he was able to start and grow companies, then you see it as a positive. I don't think that adding even more layers on to the Bain issue is going to change people's minds.
I think what's going to change people's minds is what's Obama or Romney going to do to make the next four years --
MORGAN: I'm not entirely sure. I think, Charles Blow -- tell me what you think, but I think this continual pounding now -- if all Obama does is pound away on 47 percent and Romney as this kind of ruthless business figure, wrecking jobs at Bain, however true that may or may not be -- and we haven't even seen the detail of the company report. We can't really work it out. But these are now becoming a big problem for Mitt Romney.
BLOW: It's a huge problem, and precisely because it's in his own words. If this was just an attack by the Obama campaign and Obama was standing in front of the camera saying, this is what I think about what he did at Bain, it's a very different thing. But using words like harvesting, what does that make the people who lost their jobs, the chaff? What does that make them? It is the worst kind of abusive language that you can possibly imagine.
MORGAN: The problem for him is it plays to -- Kristen, I will come back to you on this, it plays to this sense there's always been about Mitt Romney that he's too rich, too detached. With that comes a kind of arrogance and disconnect from the average American. These two things, his Bain Record and the taxes issue and the 47 percent, it all just morphs into a picture that he's just not one of them.
SOLTIS: Yeah, but you know what, when we were living in times of peace and prosperity, we have the luxury of trying to vote for the president who's the guy we would go get a beer with. You have unemployment over eight percent for 43 months. When we're not living in a time of peace or prosperity, I think those issues of how much do I like this guy and how much is he like somebody I would be buddies with becomes secondary to who's got an idea for who's going to fix these problems.
I think if he's able to position himself as Mr. Fix-It, you know, that may not necessarily be warm and fuzzy --
MORGAN: The problem, though -- the problem is you might not think that they think it matters. But of course the Romney campaign today has issued the most extraordinary picture I have ever seen in the campaign, which is Mitt Romney lying in the sand in a gigantic heart in which he's written "I love Ann."
SOLTIS: Very sweet.
MORGAN: He was a missionary for the Mormons here, I think in France, when he did this. Very sweet, very touching. They've done this quite deliberately. They want people, Charles Blow, to think that Mitt Romney is not a heartless, ruthless man. He's a lovable guy who loves his wife and paints big pictures in the sand for her.
BLOW: Listen, I'm not going to knock a man for loving his wife. I think that -- good for him and good for Ann. And I applaud the fact that they have been married and they seem to have a very nice relationship.
But what -- but to go back to the last point, if Mitt Romney was running on his economic record, that he could turn things around, he has not demonstrated that he can do that. He has not sold the American people on that.
MORGAN: Is the debate then -- I come back to this again, this first debate, this is Mitt Romney's chance. To me, he's got to beat his chest, go out there and take Obama down.
BLOW: He has to get into a back lift. It literally has to be something so dramatic. I go back to this, I don't believe it's something that he can do. I think that he has to just come off strong. It would have to be kind of a gaffe by Obama. It would have to be something that Obama did that kind of injured himself that would change the game. I don't think that Mitt has it in him to change the game.
MORGAN: Charles Blow, we shall wait with bated breath for next week and the first debate. To you and to Kristen Soltis, thank you both very much.
Next, the Duchess of York, Sarah Ferguson, I will ask her about the latest royal scandals, the pressures of being royal and her new children's book, "Ballerina Rosie." There she is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Pretty impressive, Kate, isn't she?
SARAH FERGUSON, DUCHESS OF YORK: My heavens, I take my hat off to her. She's so serene. She glides like a swan.
MORGAN: Did you worry, given what you went through --
FERGUSON: I'm a great fan.
MORGAN: Do you worry about her? Do you worry about the pressure that you know she's going to be facing?
FERGUSON: I think she's able to cope with it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York, from last June on this show, talking about Kate Middleton. Fast forward to tonight. A lot's changed for the royals since then. What does she think now about what's been happening to them? I will ask her about the scandals, about the pressure of being royal and her children's book, "Ballerina Rosie."
Sarah Ferguson, how are you?
FERGUSON: I'm doing very well, thank you. You've had a very tough show so far. Now you're talking about children's literature. Piers?
MORGAN: It's been a very British show, actually. A former British prime minister, a member of the British royals. This is a great life for me as a Brit.
FERGUSON: Yeah, I know. I'm very proud of you, Piers. We're all very proud of you. Well done, you.
MORGAN: We're not here, sadly, to talk about me or how proud you are of me. We're here to talk about you and how proud we are of you. Just before we get on to the book and other issues, the whole thing of the scandals that have enveloped Prince Harry and particularly Kate Middleton, you went through a lot of this as a young princess. What do you make of what has happened?
What advice do you give Kate for how to get through it and how to deal with it?
FERGUSON: Well, two things, really. Firstly, I don't think I'm in a position to give anyone advice. But one thing I do say is that the media is a very powerful tool, but it can also be such a powerful weapon if used against you, as we have seen with the invasion of privacy and the invasion of inner space. And if we really look at it, you know, Harry's away in Afghanistan doing extraordinary job for his country. And Katherine always holds herself with the utmost grace and dignity.
It is very difficult life in the goldfish bowl. But I think, you know, we just have to realize that today's media is -- there's cameras on every telephone and you just -- it's just so difficult. For me personally, I tell my girls, always keep your wing mirrors well placed.
MORGAN: I suppose the only thing I would say about it -- I felt terribly sorry for her. I felt that the paparazzi behavior was incredibly intrusive. Having said that, I did think that it was slightly naive of Kate to be sunbathing topless anywhere where a camera could photograph her. I guess -- I suppose what some people say is look, if you are a member of the royal family, there's certain things you can't do anymore. Probably sunbathing topless is one of them.
FERGUSON: Well, you know, the thing is that Kate was in a private place on private property. And you know -- and it was lovely to see a beautiful young couple so full of love. I think that's good nowadays to see love and to see great companionship, like you were talking about the president's wives or the wives out there, Romney -- Mrs. Romney and Mrs. Obama, what a great job they're doing.
I think that more women should have the right to speak up. And I think it's great. As you know, I'm all for women having a voice.
MORGAN: You definitely are. You were a very stoic, I thought, wife to your husband, who was obviously a very high profile prince. You carried on being a very stoic lady on your own since then. It's very tough, isn't it, the public eye. If you are Michelle Obama or Ann Romney or whoever you are, Kate Middleton, doesn't really matter who you are or what country you're in, the amount of attention that female very high profile people get these days, it's pretty unbearable, isn't it?
How do you deal with that generally?
FERGUSON: Well, I think -- I think it's very difficult because you are always -- you always worry so much. Not really, I can't generalize. I worry so much. I worry that what is going to be the backlash or what is it -- what -- am I looking right, not looking right? In fact, I am a very good mother. I'm an independent woman. I'm a children's book author. And I'm striving to make a difference in education for children with my charitable causes.
So I think the best thing you can do is strive on, keep your head held high, and have courage in your heart. And you know, you can't go back. You just go forward and keep walking tall.
MORGAN: You certainly have done that. The last time you were on my show, I got very intrusive with you and asked you about your love life and you said the following: "I don't think I'll get married again, but I think it's time to get a boyfriend." Now, that was a year ago. How is it going?
FERGUSON: Piers, and what have you done about it? Absolutely nothing. You were -- you and your lovely wife were meant to -- no, you were going to set me up with a lovely man and you have done nothing about it.
MORGAN: I have been very remiss.
FERGUSON: I think it's time. It's time, you need to use CNN as a dating process.
MORGAN: Well, if anybody is watching who is up to the very high standards of my friend, Sarah Ferguson, please write to me, and I will act as Cupid. How is that?
FERGUSON: Yeah, I think that's very good. But I think also -- I also think that if anyone wants to come along, they have to go buy "Ballerina Rosie" and get a tutu on.
MORGAN: That is the most brilliant sly attempt to get a cheap plug in for a book I've ever seen. Now let's turn to this book, because you actually do these lovely children's book. It's called "Ballerina Rosie." What I like about this, you've dedicated it to your two daughters, "my magical Beatrice and Eugenie (ph), my girlies who dance in my heart always." Tell me why you wrote that and how are they getting on, these two? They are delightful young ladies.
FERGUSON: Beatrice has just climbed Europe's tallest mountain, Mont Blanc for Big Change, which is her charity. And she started that with Holly and Sam Branson. And she's done very, very well. And she's very excited about it. Meanwhile, the Duke of York has gone down Europe's tallest building, the Shard.
MORGAN: I saw that.
FERGUSON: Yes, I mean, ab-sailing (ph) down glass. And when he got to the top, he said, oh, dear, it's a bit misty, I'm slipping a bit. It's not what you want to hear at the top of a building. And then usually -- usually bicycles 100 kilometers. You know she has scoliosis of the spine. And she bicycled 100 kilometers overnight for her charity, which is the Royal National Orthopedic Hospital.
So I think we're out there doing good works. And Beatrice is starting work next week full time, and usually is studying hard and wanting to be in the art world. So they are doing very well, my girls.
MORGAN: Yes. Well, they are terrific young ladies and you should be very proud of them. You've been a terrific mom to them, too. "Ballerina Rosie," why should people go and buy this book. What are you trying to achieve with this?
FERGUSON: Well, Piers, I think that education is the route out of poverty, because it gives the knowledge of survival. It also gives children the right to understand that it's -- they can be unique and valuable people within themselves.
And so children's literature is key. And this book is about giving confidence to girls. It doesn't matter what size you are, whether you have red curly hair that doesn't fit into a little bun or whatever it is. Just go out there and be yourself. For three to six year olds, it's time -- that's the informative time. Do not compare yourself to others. Have confidence and go forward in life. And realize that it's OK just to be who you are.
And if you want to go and buy the book, I am not going to tell you the end of the tale, but you does "Ballerina Rosie" manage to do her pirouettes?
MORGAN: Is there a touch of Sarah Ferguson in "Ballerina Rosie?" She's got this gleaming red hair.
FERGUSON: Actually, as most of my children's books are always about some level of my little funny old life at 52, still believing I'm a child. But it is actually about -- in fact, "Ballerina Rosie" goes to my ballet school, where I was sent to do ballet. So I am "Ballerina Rosie" because I know exactly what it feels like when you just quite don't get it right.
MORGAN: Well, you look in fine form, I've got to say. Very glam at the moment, duchess. Very glam. FERGUSON: Thank you, Piers. Yes, I went through all this weight gain and not weight gain. But now we're back on form, back on track, and I'm building up again, going forward, working hard with Children in Crisis. And I'm also become the global ambassador for Not For Sale, which is to abolish human trafficking. And that's very important to me.
MORGAN: Good for you.
FERGUSON: There's lots to do.
MORGAN: There's a lot to do, and you're the perfect person to do it. Great to talk to you again. And best of luck with the book. "Ballerina Rosie" is on sale right now, I understand.
FERGUSON: Thank you so much, Piers. By the way, I signed this book for Elise, because Elise --
MORGAN: My little daughter. That's so nice of you. That's very sweet of you, thank you. She will treasure it.
FERGUSON: Thank you.
MORGAN: Lovely to talk to you, catch up soon.
FERGUSON: Lovely to talk to you. Thank you, Piers.
MORGAN: Sarah Ferguson. Next, Only in America. Meet the Moron who used a fake grenade launcher to make a particularly moronic point.
MORGAN: For tonight's Only in America, meet the country's biggest idiot. Look at this video. It's not from Pakistan or Afghanistan or Libya. This is Phoenix, Arizona. And the recording was made just days after 12 people were killed and 58 others shot at the screening of a Batman movie in Aurora, Colorado.
As you can see, there's a young man wearing Arabic clothing, holding what appears to be a rocket launcher. His face concealed, walking menacingly on the streets of a city. The timestamp reveals it took 15 minutes before police approached and handcuffed him.
What the cops didn't know, what nobody who watched this video at the time, was the grenade launcher was a fake, a movie prop, and this was all just an elaborate act.
The imbecile behind this ridiculous stunt was named as one Michael David Turley. He was arrested this past Monday and charged with giving a false impression of a terrorist act. What made it even more disgusting was that Mr. Turley didn't have the guts to do it himself. Instead, he persuaded his 16-year-old -- 16-year-old nephew to march around with the bogus RPG, an action that could have got the poor young teenager killed.
Mr. Turley says he planned this nonsense because, and I'm quoting here, "we need to pay more attention to our surroundings and to be safe." He really did say that.
But in reality, he did it because he's a dangerous, attention- seeking, gutless little twerp. That's all for us tonight. "AC 360" starts now.