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PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT
Five Days Until the Great Debate; Interview with Chelsea Handler; Interview with Tommy Hilfiger
Aired September 28, 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 -- win big or go home.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: We're going to win Pennsylvania. We're going to take the White House. Thank you so very much. Thank you.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We will win this election, finish what we started and remind the world why the United States is the greatest nation on earth.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: The great debate now just five days away. Why Romney has to win and why Obama can't afford to lose. I'll talk to my political A-team.
Also, Bibi and the bomb.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER: A red line should be drawn right here.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: After dropping this on the U.N. yesterday, he talks to Obama and Romney today. What Israel's line in the sand would mean for all of us.
Plus, have you seen "Chelsea Lately"?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHELSEA HANDLER, ACTRESS: Nobody knows what the hell they're getting into when they're running for president.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: One of my favorite, most unthinkable guests is back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HANDLER: I'm single, yes.
MORGAN: If men are watching this --
HANDLER: Yes, I'm available. You know, just call me maybe.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Funny, feisty as ever, with a new look for her talk show.
This is PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT.
MORGAN: Good evening.
The big story: the great debate. In just five days, the event that could change the race for the White House permanently. The clock is ticking and the candidates know it. They meet face-to-face on Wednesday.
This weekend, both will be locked behind closed doors in practice sparring sessions. Romney has listed Ohio Senator Rob Portman to prep him, while Obama is working with Senator John Kerry.
Latest polls coupled with that 47 percent remark hurting Romney. In the battleground state of Pennsylvania today, the favor to ask his supporters.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROMNEY: -- make sure that America leads in our homes, in our economy and in our military. I need something from you. That's my commitment to you. I need you to go out and find somebody who voted for Barack Obama and get him to vote for me, all right?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: He's down but not out. Can he turn it around with an October surprise?
Let's bring in Stephanie Cutter, deputy campaign manager for President Obama.
Stephanie, it's obviously going I would think reasonably well for you guys. It's been a good couple weeks, really since the conventions. You've got a bit of momentum, but I guess you're not taking this too complacently.
STEPHANIE CUTTER, OBAMA CAMPAIGN: No, absolutely not, Piers. You know, debates can be a pivotal moment in campaigns. I remember eight years ago when John Kerry was getting ready to debate George Bush, we were eight points down. Coming out of that first debate, we were tied with George Bush.
So there is an opportunity for Mitt Romney if he takes advantage of it next Wednesday night, to turn the momentum around. He not only has to win this debate but he has to change the dynamics in this race. We know he's going to show up prepared, disciplined and aggressive. You know, even Tim Pawlenty said that he's as good as it gets when it comes to debating.
But the question is whether or not he's going to be able to talk to the American people specifically about what his plans are for this country. That's been a huge deficit for him over the course of this campaign. No specifics, no details.
So I think that is part of the burden he carries next Wednesday night.
MORGAN: I suppose one of the problems for you is that Barack Obama is in the strange position of being the quite clear favorite. I don't think many incumbent presidents have that going into debates but people say I saw a poll this morning, he's up nearly 60 percent of Americans believe Obama will win the debates. That's always a rather precarious place to go into a debate, isn't it, as the clear favorite because expectation levels can often exceed performance.
CUTTER: That is definitely the case. You know, the president -- we're taking this debate very seriously. We know that there's a certain expectation on our side. We also know what history tells us, that challengers normally win the first debate, just by the fact that they're standing on the stage with the president. That elevates them. And they normally come into these things as underdogs.
So we're coming into this debate very realistic that Mitt Romney is likely to win, if he plays his cards right. If he performs and fills in those details and has that conversation with the American people instead of having, you know, a punching match and just leveling insults at the president like he's done over the past two years, if he fills in his policy details, talks in specifics about his plans for the future, he could win this debate.
But you know what? The president is treating these debates the same way we treated the conventions. That it's not about just that night. It's about an ongoing conversation with the American people.
It's not just about the people in the room or the people, no offense to CNN, in the CNN booth. It's about the people sitting at home and the type of conversation that we want to have with them over time. It's a continuation of that conversation about where the president wants to take this country and his specific plans to move us forward.
MORGAN: Talking of conversations, he chose to appear on "The View" in the last week rather than talk to world leaders here in New York. Any regrets at your end that you did that?
CUTTER: No. You know, the president talks to world leaders all the time. In just the last couple of weeks, more than a half dozen of them, given the events in the Middle East and other issues. So when you're president, you're always having those conversations. You're always having those meetings. So no, no regrets. MORGAN: I mean, I sat down with President Clinton, President Ahmadinejad. I've had world leaders rolling in and out of here all week, Stephanie.
CUTTER: I'm sorry, say that again, Piers?
MORGAN: I said I've sat down this week with President Clinton, with President Ahmadinejad --
CUTTER: Yes, I saw that.
MORGAN: -- with Tony Blair. I've had world leaders coming out of my ears this week. Couldn't the president have found time to have met some of them or maybe even come on my show and met them?
CUTTER: Well, as I said, the president always makes time for world leaders. It's an ongoing thing. He talks to them all the time. It's not just about scheduling meetings in New York. It's about conversations and meetings all year long, as part of your full-time job.
So no regrets about this past week, and you know, those conversations will continue.
MORGAN: Well, busting up with the debates, I'm sure we'll be talking again soon. Stephanie Cutter, thank you very much.
CUTTER: Thank you, Piers.
MORGAN: Let's bring in my political all-stars now: Republican strategist Kellyanne Conway and former Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm. She's the host of Current TV's "The War Room with Jennifer Granholm".
Welcome to you both.
Wow, you're both in blazing red.
KELLYANNE CONWAY, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Republican red.
MORGAN: This all goes well for a bit of red meat throwing around now.
JENNIFER GRANHOLM (D), FORMER MICHIGAN GOVERNOR: I have blue on, too.
MORGAN: Yes, you're a little bit of blue. But you're basically blazing red, Jennifer, which is the way you've been since your convention speech, really, just on fire.
GRANHOLM: On fire. Love that.
MORGAN: Let me start with you, Kellyanne. Because we just heard from Stephanie Cutter there. It's actually I think quite a precarious time for the Obama campaign. He's beginning to get momentum, he stretched ahead now in most of the swing states. He's perceived now to have the advantage, to be almost the favorite going into that debate.
I'd rather be the underdog on that first debate, wouldn't you?
CONWAY: Well, that's great advice for Mitt Romney. I actually thought that Stephanie Cutter was lowering expectations for the president.
She likely agrees with your assessment, Piers, in that she already ceded that Mitt Romney is a good debater, he certainly showed that in Florida and during the primaries, he's a great debater. He put away the race there, really. And that underdogs usually get on the stage with the president of the United States, they feel that vibe, they're at parity.
And I think she was basically broadcasting it's OK and we expect it if the underdog wins here.
But here's what I think has to happen for Mitt Romney. He needs to bring this race back to a referendum on Obama. It was a referendum on President Obama for awhile as any re-election should be, then it was a choice. Now, it's actually a referendum on Mitt Romney.
He actually needs to shift the referendum back into the incumbent and have the debate questioners really hold the president to account for some answers in Libya, his silence on Syria and certainly the economy.
MORGAN: Jennifer, I mean, it's going to be a fascinating night, the debate. I can't wait to watch it.
I mean, there is a point there, Barack Obama hasn't done a debate now for quite a long time. Mitt Romney spent most of the year debating and he got better and better. I thought actually he was a very good debater. One of the reasons he won the nomination was his ability to swat away all comers.
So I would think this could be a bit of a surprise coming next week, where Mitt Romney maybe ought to refocus his whole campaign, get momentum and really get after Barack Obama at a time when Barack Obama least wants him to.
GRANHOLM: I totally agree with you, Piers. I mean, this is the moment for Mitt Romney to seize the momentum back. He's going to put everything he can into winning this debate and you know, the media doesn't like a lopsided race. So I actually have predicted that the media are going to declare that Mitt Romney is the winner of the first debate regardless of actually what happens, because the pendulum cannot sustain itself if it's too lopsided in terms of the media.
It's also true as Stephanie said, five out of the six challengers to press incumbents in presidential races have been declared the winner of the first debate, because they are on the same stage and Mitt Romney, he won 16 out of the 20 debates in the primary. He's in fighting shape.
MORGAN: I mean, the big problem, Kellyanne, I think for Mitt Romney is how do we stop him if you're in his campaign, dropping another clanger, you know, committing another horrendous gaffe, particularly one that plays to this overriding sense of him being a rich guy disconnected from the American public.
If he does one of his $10,000 bet jokes or whatever it may be, it could be all over.
CONWAY: You know, half-baked perceptions and negatives tend to get washed away, Piers, when politicians are delivering something to you. If they feel like the connection with you is relevant, is meaningful and is consequential.
So, what should Mitt Romney do? He should really be more deft in talk about his life story. For some reason, he shied away from that, whether it's the role that faith has had in his life and certainly the production that he oversaw at Bain Capital and other places.
I mean, this man helped create actual businesses and by extension, he says thousands of jobs. I take him at his word, at places like Sports Authority, Best Buy, Staples. These are everyday household names. He ought to be willing to do that.
I also think he has to show a little leg and go on the offense against President Obama which is my entire point about making this -- putting the president on the defensive and letting him explain his record because Obama '08 no longer exists. He -- those debates were great for him because he can run on promises, he can make people feel hopeful. He now has to run on his record.
MORGAN: See, I agree with this.
I mean, Jennifer Granholm, when I watched the convention speeches for the Democratic convention, I thought that Bill Clinton made a mesmerizing speech, brilliant both in the rhetoric and the devil of the detail, which was incontrovertible. All the fact checkers attacked him the next day and didn't find anything to attack him over.
You then have Barack Obama the next night and I just didn't think it was nearly as good. I thought that was a bit of a problem even though the Clinton effect can help him, the Barack Obama now has not got that sort of messianic feel he had four years ago, because really has kicked in. He's got to really raise his game in these debates, I think.
GRANHOLM: Well, I think -- I mean, the great thing about this debate is that it gives him the chance to directly confront Mitt Romney on what his plans are. Mitt Romney has been talking generally about how he's going to save the country from the economic mess that the president has led us into.
Well, the reality is the stock market is booming, we've seen the jobs numbers turn around, the numbers today saying that there's net job creation takes away a big talking point.
And what is Mitt Romney going to do specifically? How is his tax plan going to be structured? He hasn't answered those. What deductions is he going to take away because failure to answer allows for there to be an argument that he's going to raise taxes on the middle class to pay for tax cuts for the wealthy.
So I think the president has a real opportunity here. I do think in the convention, Bill Clinton was a wonderful third party validator. The president has a chance to go on the attack as well in a presidential way.
But I think again, because the media is not going to allow for the president to walk out of there as a win because it will say that the race is essentially over, I think the media will end up declaring Mitt Romney the winner regardless.
MORGAN: The big problem, Kellyanne, again, lots of big problems for Mitt Romney right now, but this 47 percent thing. If you're Barack Obama, as he has been doing these attack ads the last few days, he's going to hammer Mitt Romney over the head throughout this debate about 47 percent.
If he doesn't, he's mad. Because it's an incredibly powerful hammer to use, because whichever way you try and spin that, it was a disaster. He called half of the country a bunch of scrounging victims.
What does Mitt Romney do if Barack Obama does that?
CONWAY: Well, Mitt Romney has said a couple things since, piers. The first thing he said was that was me, not my campaign. He actually took responsibility which I appreciate when a grown man says, I'm sorry, I made a mistake.
MORGAN: He is the campaign.
CONWAY: Number two, number two, his campaign is all about 100 percent of America and here's what he meant. He said it was inelegantly stated.
But I agree, not just the president will take him to task on that but I think the debate questioners will ask him.
CONWAY: But Romney should look at that as an opportunity not to be defensive again but to explain precisely what he meant.
The other thing that he really should do here is I think call out the president and his accolades on this phony contrived war on women. Romney is losing women by double digits in some swing states. He ought to call out and say to the president you and your party only want to talk to women from the waist down. I want to talk to them from the waist up. That's where their brains, hearts, eyes and ears are.
And I'm going to -- I think that biology and chemistry matter, but this year, the most important subject is math. Here's the math of your four years and here's the math --
MORGAN: Kellyanne, if President Obama uses the phrase I want to talk to you from the waist up or whatever you suggest, or Mitt Romney would say that, I would imagine, we will all be out of a job. I'm not quite sure what would happen. It would be one of the great debate moments in history.
GRANHOLM: I think one of the things that Mitt Romney has to be prepared for, is Jim Lehrer asking him the question of whether he endorses Todd Akin in Missouri --
GRANHOLM: -- because now that has flipped, if he endorses Todd Akin, he's damned. If he doesn't endorse him, he's damned. I think that's a tough question.
MORGAN: Well, if I'm advising Mitt Romney, I'd say it all depends which Mitt Romney you want to answer the question. The one from eight years ago or the one now because have I completely changed my own position on it.
Anyway, thank you, Kellyanne and Jennifer Granholm. I appreciate you as always.
GRANHOLM: You bet.
MORGAN: Coming next, Bibi and the bomb. I will take on the big Israel/Iran crisis with Dan Senor and Alan Dershowitz. That's after the break.
(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: Drawing of a bomb that got the world's attention. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is hoping the message was received loud and clear in Washington today Netanyahu talked on the phone with President Obama and Mitt Romney.
Dan Senor is senior campaign advisor to Governor Romney. Alan Dershowitz is a criminal defense attorney and author.
Welcome to you both.
Let's start with you, Alan Dershowitz.
Two massive issues at the end of this long political week with the U.N. and the CGI and so on. One is what to do about Iran, particularly given this very effective use I thought of that bomb chart Netanyahu came up with. Secondly, where are we now with the Israel/Palestine settlement if at all?
Tony Blair made quite encouraging remarks to me last night, but he's trying to be encouraging about it for quite some time. Many of us feel there's a complete stalemate and until that gets resolved, Iran and everything else just spins of it.
ALAN DERSHOWITZ, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, I met with President Abbas the other day and showed him a proposal I had made in a "Wall Street Journal" article for how to end the deadlock.
The big issue is who goes first. The Israelis are saying, no preconditions, the Palestinians are saying, first, you have to freeze. The Israelis are saying, look, we froze the settlements for nine months, you didn't come to the bargaining table.
So the proposal I had made is first the Palestinians have to come to the bargaining table, only then will there be a settlement freeze and it will apply to those areas that are likely to go to a Palestinian state.
Abbas looked at my proposal and he basically said, I like it, and then he showed it to (INAUDIBLE), his basic assistant who read it very carefully. And then he actually signed it. He said -- this is his signature. Abu Mazen, dated 24-9-2012 and asked me to show it to the Israelis. So, I hope this made --
MORGAN: Have you done that yet?
DERSHOWITZ: I'm going to.
MORGAN: You will be seeing Netanyahu this week?
DERSHOWITZ: I generally see the prime minister when he's in the United States. I have shown it to his national security advisor.
MORGAN: You know him well. How will he react to this?
DERSHOWITZ: Well, I hope he will react positively. He will react as any prime minister would, somewhat skeptically after Abbas' speech at the U.N. yesterday which was just terrible, just attack after attack after attack, and no opportunity to really reconcile. But he speaks differently to the world audience, to the U.N. and to folks like me.
MORGAN: To be fair, I watched Netanyahu's speech. He barely mentioned the Palestinian peace process. He gave it piecemeal. He was much more focused on Ahmadinejad and Iran.
DERSHOWITZ: Look, the Palestinians do not pose an existential threat to Israel. I think that they should resolve this issue in a two-state solution.
Iran, one bomb could destroy Israel as one of the heads of Iran recently said. If one bomb were dropped on Israel it would destroy Israel forever. Israel might retaliate and kill 10 or 20 million Muslims but there are 110 million of them. So Israel has to put the Iranian situation first. That's correct.
I think they are actually related in some way. I do think that if the Israelis do make it a good peace offer and if they can resolve this with their own security intact, it will help create an international consensus against Iran.
MORGAN: Let me bring in Dan Senor. I mean, you heard Alan Dershowitz. Something has to happen now. What I'm curious about, say Romney wins the election. He has been much more bellicose in his rhetoric against Iran than Barack Obama has been.
What would happen if the Israelis say you know what, we're not sensing anyone's with us, we're going on our own here, we're gong to defend ourselves, we're going to launch a strike now against these nuclear sites in Iran -- if they do that, what does a Romney administration do?
DAN SENOR, OBAMA CAMPAIGN: Well, first off, Piers, I would just contest one thing. I do not think Romney -- Governor Romney has been more bellicose. What he has been clear about is the U.S. should be increasing pressure on the Iranians every way it can. There should have been tougher sanctions in place sooner. We should have taken opportunities to stand and strengthen the Iranian opposition to put pressure on the regime domestically, politically, which the United States did not do when it had this sort of once in a generation opportunity in June of 2009 and it should make the threat of military action credible.
It's not to say that we're advocating for military action or even that we would use military action, but we want the Iranian leadership to believe that we are serious about military action and on all these fronts, on sanctions, on supporting the opposition within Iran and conveying to the Iranians that the alternative is military action, we have sent many mixed signals. It's been confusing and that's why we are where we are, where we're just not viewed as credible in the eyes of the Iranian leadership.
MORGAN: Let me play a little clip from my interview with Ahmadinejad, where he clarified or attempted to clarify his comment about wiping Israel off the face of the map.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAHMOUD AHMADINEJAD, IRAN PRESIDENT (through 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.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: You see, that's kind of what I'm talking about, where all these things are interwoven. They have the Iranian leader basically using the plight of the Palestinians as a justification for his, as he puts it, anti-Zionist regime position. DERSHOWITZ: It's a phony argument. He regards the occupation as all of Israel from 1948 on, and the killing. Look at how many people Iran has killed, how much blood they have on their hands. Israel has had fewer civilian casualties than any country in the history of warfare since its establishment in 1948 because it doesn't believe in mutually assured destruction.
It believes in preemptive military surgical attacks which worked in Syria, it worked in Iraq and hopefully it won't have to work in Iran, because the Iranians will have the good sense to realize that when President Obama looked me in the eye and said, Alan, I don't bluff, and I'm telling you that Iran will not be able to develop nuclear weapons. The Iranians better believe that. If they don't, they're acting at their risk because I do believe that the United States will prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons.
That's a promise that has been made by President Obama to the American people and to the world.
MORGAN: Dan Senor, Mitt Romney along with Barack Obama spoke to Benjamin Netanyahu today. Do you know how the conversation went with Mitt Romney?
SENOR: Well, it was -- obviously it was a one-on-one conversation. I know a little about it. They talked about what Prime Minister Netanyahu meant about red lines, what his views were on the current state of play with Iran.
Governor Romney also sought out the prime minister's views on developments in the Arab world. There is this sense of an unraveling going on right now throughout the Middle East, in many capitals, poses a threat to the United States. It poses real threats to Israel on its borders and he just wanted his state of play.
I mean, understand, this is a relationship, Piers. Prime Minister Netanyahu and Governor Romney go back a number of decades. They worked together in business when they were both graduates from business school. They've kept in touch over the years.
So Prime Minister Netanyahu is someone that the governor reaches out to from time to time just to get his perspectives on the region and he certainly felt that given what's going on right now, in addition to the Iranian crisis, he just wanted to hear his views on regional developments. >> thank you both very much indeed.
MORGAN: Dan Senor and Alan Dershowitz, thank you very much indeed.
DERSHOWITZ: Thank you.
MORGAN: Coming up next, the one and only Chelsea Handler returning to talk politics, "Fifty Shades of Grey" and a surprising confession about her desire to get married.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HANDLER: You spoke at the DNC. Congratulations on that. That was very well done.
EVA LONGORIA, ACTRESS: It was a mess. I was so nervous.
HANDLER: Were you?
LONGORIA: Yes. It was -- it was so energizing and being there, like the platform was shaking. That's how -- how crazy the crowd was.
HANDLER: I don't like speaking publicly when I don't have to be funny.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: We would all go along with that. Two of my favorite ladies in Hollywood talking my favorite subject, politics. Chelsea Handler's late night show, "Chelsea Lately" has a huge surprise when it unveils its stunning new stage at Universal Studios October the 15th, in a few weeks.
She's back with me now for round three of our interview exchanges.
HANDLER: I missed you so much.
MORGAN: How are you?
HANDLER: Desperate to se you. Desperate.
MORGAN: I am sickened to see you.
MORGAN: Because you have a spanking new stage, at vast expense which houses 250 people and you signed some absolutely gargantuan new deal worth tens and tens of millions of dollars. So, therefore, I loathe and despise the very sight of you.
HANDLER: You're so angry. You shouldn't be so competitive. We're not even in the same field. I mean, this is like a cartoon show and I'm a serious journalist.
MORGAN: Well, let's be serious. Congratulations, first of all, on your deal.
HANDLER: Thank you. I'm very excited about the new stage.
First of all, you have beautiful -- this is my first time visiting your New York home. But you have a good thing going, too. We are stepping it up and Ferrell (ph) is doing music, and we have new -- a new look and it's going to be cooler and chicer. I'm really excited. I feel really, really positive about it.
MORGAN: And you have to behave yourself better now that you have a bigger audience, more money, bigger stage, more corporate responsibility.
HANDLER: You think I would ever agree to something like that? No. No. The whole point of remaining on cable is to remain true to who I am. That's a bad, bad girl that got a big job.
MORGAN: What do you make of the election race?
HANDLER: I don't -- I can't take it seriously enough to think that it's a threat but then people will say, oh, that's so silly for you to think, like --
MORGAN: Will you vote?
HANDLER: Of course. I think the vote comes to me and I probably write it. I may go physically to vote, though. I never know until the day of -- I have to look at the calendar and see what they scheduled for me.
Of course, I'll vote for -- and I'm voting for Obama. I can't believe Mitt Romney could win this election, but I'm also in the state of mind that that would just been so appalling to me. So, I can't believe that it could be true.
MORGAN: He's been working the "you don't understand me" ticket. He went on Kelly and Michael. Let's have a look at this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Honey Boo Boo or Snooki?
UNIDENTIFEID FEMALE: Do you know who either of these two --
ROMNEY: I'm kind of a Snooki fan.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He has a baby now.
ROMNEY: Look how tiny she's gotten. She's lost weight and she's energetic. Just her spark plug personality.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: He's never heard Snooki or Honey Boo Boo, has he? Someone's told him to say that.
HANDLER: Of course, he has. He knows exactly. That's what he's watching at night, Honey Boo Boo and then, Snooki, back-to-back.
They say every election is a crucial election. I'm not of that -- I think that's -- yes, it's crucial but clearly in four years, obviously a lot can't get done in four years anyway, so even if worse came to worse and we had this guy for four years, would any of the things he said he would do actually happen? I doubt it. I doubt it would be that easily affected.
I think you do need two terms as a president. I think Obama has to have two terms to prove what he can do.
MORGAN: I always think about that, that four years is probably never enough for anybody to do very much as president. If you come in, the first thing you do is get a whole new staff, you get a whole new thing going, you start to try and bring in policies and then just at the moment some of them are coming to fruition, you're either in again or you're out. I mean, eight years seems to me, unless the president, the incumbent is so useless that he has to go, really, you need that length of time.
HANDLER: Well, I agree. Like we were saying backstage, if it wasn't for the 22nd Amendment, is it, that Bill Clinton would be president because he obviously knows what he's talking about and people feel confident with him.
But I do believe in Barack Obama. I do believe his message. I haven't lost faith in him and I think that, you know, it's not an easy thing to do. Nobody knows what the hell they're getting into when they're running for president. You don't know what job -- you don't even know what job you're getting into when you take on hosting a show like this.
I mean, we're not having a huge impact. I mean, you are, I guess.
MORGAN: You have a huge impact.
HANDLER: I have a huge impact with young girls. Young women. That's my demographic.
MORGAN: And young men, I think.
HANDLER: Yes. Older men, too. Older men like me. You can vouch for that.
MORGAN: You enjoyed that one, didn't you?
HANDLER: Yes, I did.
MORGAN: I was going to ask you, I had Kelsey Grammer on the show the other day and he bailed.
HANDLER: Oh my gosh, I'm dying to know what happened.
MORGAN: I'll tell you what happened. He was out there and I was given a set of questions and researched it and he was quite happy to talk about his ex-wife, Camille, and then he was in the green room and actually saw a picture of him and her popping up in the open to the show, and he saw a rehearsal, tried to get us to change it. There wasn't time because we were two minutes from air time.
The open appeared with five different pictures, one of whom was him with Camille and he was quite happy to talk about her. And he saw this picture appeared and disliked it, disappeared, boom, done. Him and his entourage left the building, leaving me up the creek without a paddle.
We carried on with the politics and I just kept teasing the fact he may or may not come back. Luckily that was a huge ratings bonanza. He did better without being here.
Have you ever had that? People bailing on you?
HANDLER: I never had anyone bail on me once they were in the studio. I have had people be late to the studio and I bail on them.
MORGAN: Really? Anybody good?
HANDLER: Well, P. Diddy was 40 minutes late so I walked up to my office and I said, maybe it was 40, maybe it was like 30. I said if he's not here in five minutes I'm going home and we can run a repeat. Then he pulled in and I proceeded to just rip him a new one on air.
But I get a lot of enjoyment out of that, obviously, because sometimes you want to take out your aggression on somebody. He's kind of the perfect person to do it to.
MORGAN: You sound so menacing.
HANDLER: I am menacing.
MORGAN: Let's take a short break and talk about your love life.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HANDLER: I couldn't stand him by the time I broke up with him that I would just bitch about him and his English accent. Then I saw him again the other night and I said, thank you for giving me all that material because without you, I would have had no career.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Perfect.
HANDLER: It's true.
I mean, I hope you guys stay together for as long as you want to.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Me, too.
HANDLER: I mean, it's just not likely.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Chelsea Handler last week making fun of British accents, not funny at all.
Chelsea is with me now.
It's hard to (INAUDIBLE). Was she talking about me? Who were you talking about there?
HANDLER: Why would I ever be talking about you in my spare time, though?
MORGAN: That's what you were talking about. You had some terrible break up with --
HANDLER: I had an English boyfriend for two years.
MORGAN: How did that go?
HANDLER: Well, it was fine. I was 21 to 23 so I didn't really -- I was volatile like all of my relationships.
MORGAN: I keep hearing reports that you may have rekindled things with your hotelier ex.
HANDLER: Which one?
MORGAN: The one with the strange name who runs hotels, Andre
HANDLER: Oh. I don't think so.
HANDLER: I don't think so. No.
MORGAN: You don't think so?
HANDLER: I don't know about it if I have. No, I'm single.
MORGAN: You don't think you've got back together with somebody.
HANDLER: I'm single. Yes.
MORGAN: So, if men are watching this --
HANDLER: Yes, I'm available. Just, you know, just call me maybe.
MORGAN: What I like about you is you're a shameless plagiarist. You have taken "Fifty Shades of Grey" and you've got a book coming out called "Fifty Shades of Chartreuse, This Time it's Personal."
HANDLER: First of all, you're not pronouncing it correctly. It's "50 Shades of Chartreuse." OK? You're on this side of the pond now.
MORGAN: I'm married to a woman who was born and raised in France. I know how to speak French.
HANDLER: OK. It's "Fifty Shades of Chartreuse," I'm speaking to put hashtag, "This Time it's Personal." I'm deciding for the subtitle. It's not a take-off on "Fifty Shades of Grey." I just wanted to rip off the title because it was such a stupid book.
MORGAN: Have you read "Fifty Shades of Grey"?
HANDLER: I read the first seven chapters. After that I was --
MORGAN: Was there anything in there you hadn't already done yourself?
HANDLER: No. Believe it or not, I'm actually fairly conservative when it comes to sexual escapades.
HANDLER: I know you probably imagined differently and have several nights during the week when you go to bed. But I am not interested in S&M at all.
HANDLER: Are you?
MORGAN: You surprise me.
HANDLER: No. I don't want to get hit in bed. If you're going to hit me, do it out in the open. If somebody -- first of all, if somebody does deserve to get hit, it is me but I don't want to do it sexually.
MORGAN: No manacles?
HANDLER: No. What is that? Obviously, you know more about this than I do.
MORGAN: Only from the books.
HANDLER: Did you read the entire trilogy?
MORGAN: It's unreadable. Why do women want to read this? I mean, no offense to the author. She's made billions out of it. It is one of the most badly written books I have ever read. I read "Fifty Shades of Grey."
HANDLER: Why would you read that?
MORGAN: Just out of pure curiosity.
HANDLER: OK. MORGAN: Every woman I knew was reading this. I go I've got to read this. I just didn't get it. Men would never read that stuff in a million years.
HANDLER: Yes, it's a phenomenon. I don't profess to be any of the most scholarly writers per se. I know my books are really silly and stupid, but I at least think they're amusing to some degree.
That was just so poorly written. I mean, I couldn't even -- it was insulting to anyone's intelligence to read that. Then my friends who had suggested that I read it, I e-mailed them like you should be ashamed of yourselves. For finishing this kind of book. It's a piece of trash.
MORGAN: Your mate, Jennifer Aniston who has yet to come on my show, so please --
HANDLER: Gosh, you think I'm her agent? You think I'm going to book Jen?
MORGAN: I see you as a surrogate booker. Yes. If she's out there watching, and I know you are, Jennifer, any time soon would be great.
Are you going to make a speech at the wedding?
HANDLER: At Jennifer's wedding?
HANDLER: I doubt it.
MORGAN: Really? I imagined you would be.
HANDLER: I don't imagine they would want me to speak at their wedding. I didn't introduce them. I had nothing to do with them getting engaged. That would be a little weird.
Plus I'm not great at a wedding. By the time the wedding -- you know, by the time the party starts it's not like I'm speaking clearly.
MORGAN: You think you will ever get married?
HANDLER: You know what, I was thinking about that, actually. I was thinking about getting married recently. I've decided that I might consider it. I might. It might be fun to do something like that once.
MORGAN: I'm glad you're thinking like that.
HANDLER: Yes. I still don't want to have children but I would be interested in getting married.
MORGAN: Small acorns, one step at a time.
HANDLER: Find the right person, why not? Wedding sounds like a nice little partnership. Now that I'm older and have my act together more, I'm 37, I feel like an adult. I don't feel like a kid anymore.
I'm very immature still but I feel like I could do that now. Like OK, that doesn't sound so scary.
MORGAN: Wow. This is a really historic interview.
HANDLER: You seem like totally, yeah, just gobsmacked by it all.
MORGAN: I'm impressed. You're finally growing up.
HANDLER: Thank you, Piers.
MORGAN: Chelsea, it's been lovely to see you. Your "Chelsea Lately" show weeknights at 11:00 p.m. on E. Your new stage debuts at Universal Studio -- God, that makes me sick -- on October 15th and your new movie "Fun Size" is in theaters October 26th.
MORGAN: I could not be unhappy for you. Lovely to see you.
HANDLER: Thank you.
MORGAN: Chelsea Handler.
Next, Tommy Hilfiger tells me who's more fashionable, President Obama or Governor Romney.
MORGAN: Tommy Hilfiger began making clothes in high school and hasn't stopped designing since. He's a true American original. He's a master at his brand, and business and, of course, at style.
Welcome, Tommy. How are you?
TOMMY HILFIGER, DESIGNER: Great, thanks. How are you?
MORGAN: I feel under pressure. I've got my best tie, my best suit, I polished my shoes. I was ready for you.
HILFIGER: You're looking like Piers Morgan.
MORGAN: Let me ask you off the top, do you think, given the financial state of the country, that having somebody with Romney's business background and business brain is a good idea, or do you think that's not really necessary in a commander-in-chief, in a president?
HILFIGER: I think running the United States of America is like running an enormous corporation. You really have to, I think, have your fingers in all different pies and you really have to have a great understanding of what makes this -- the world tick, not only the U.S. We need jobs. I mean, this country is in desperate need of employment. You know, I even go back and forth, day by day. I've listened to a lot of the debates, and not necessarily the debates between Romney and Obama, but debates with people and it seems like the camps are split. I just want someone to grab hold of the reins and make this company -- or make this country and this company all it can be.
MORGAN: You came to New York, with $150. You bought 20 pairs of bell bottom jeans and sold in your small town and off went the Hilfiger empire. Do you think you could still do that today?
HILFIGER: No, I think a lot of people are doing that. Maybe not with $150, but people are starting small businesses and growing them. There are lots of examples now, and it's not only in America, but worldwide. So I think if you have a desire and where there is a will, there is a way. You need a dream, you need to build a great product and have a very specific roadmap.
MORGAN: I can't get one of the great fashion icons of my lifetime in my studio and not get into a fashion verdict on great our political leaders. Barack Obama's first. Here he is.
MORGAN: A little picture there. What's your view?
HILFIGER: I think he is much better off in a suit than -- than colored trousers or chino trousers.
MORGAN: This is the kind of look that people in his position wear, because they wear suits all day, and they are scrambling around and feel uncomfortable about casual clothing, I think.
HILFIGER: I think he needs to be in a suit. He looks very professional and proper in a suit, and he is being photographed all the time. So he should have game on.
MORGAN: Now, Paul Ryan --
MORGAN: -- he looks like a man who knows his own fashion brand a little better than Obama I think.
HILFIGER: I think he looks like an American businessman on a weekend.
HILFIGER: And I think he's trying to portray that, I think he wants people to think he is like the guy next door in his dress. So I think he's accomplishing that.
MORGAN: What about the one of him and Mitt Romney? Alarming orange jacket there from Mr. Romney?
HILFIGER: I think they are trying to sort of like -- sort of like the normal guys next door.
MORGAN: What about the first ladies? They're very different styles. Quite fashionable to me.
HILFIGER: Yes. Well, Michelle is definitely fashionable. As a matter of fact, I'd like her to wear my clothes.
And I think Mrs. Romney looks very conservative, and I think maybe they want to portray her as being very conservative.
MORGAN: And, finally, you have a cause very dear to your heart. Let's watch a little clip from this. It's about autism. It's a powerful clip what you have here.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILFIGER: In a small town of Elmira, New York, a boy was born into an all-American family. The odds of him achieving his dream in the fashion industry? One in 23 million. The odds of having a child diagnosed with autism? One in 88.
I am Tommy Hilfiger, and my family is affected by autism. Learn more at autismspeaks.org/signs.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Why is this such a cause dear to you, Tommy?
HILFIGER: My family has been affected by autism. And what I learned is that one in 88 children are being diagnosed and there's no cure. There is no real government funding. There is no reason for the cause of it. And we are -- my wife, Dee, are part of the Autism Speaks board, and recently joined with Bob and Susan Wright, who have been really waving the flag for a long time.
But we're going to develop more research, we're going to stand strong to help families in need. There are -- I mean, it's a real crisis. It's a very severe crisis that's affecting all families, from all different backgrounds and all economic situations.
MORGAN: Well, I wish you all the very best for this, a very important cause.
It's great to see you, Tommy.
HILFIGER: Great to se you, Piers.
MORGAN: And if I may say so, immaculate.
HILFIGER: Thank you.
MORGAN: Expect nothing else.
Tommy Hilfiger and we'll be right back.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)
RAZIA JAN, FOUNDER, AFGHANISTAN GIRLS SCHOOL & CNN HERO: In Afghanistan, most of the girls have no voice. They are used as property of a family. The picture is very grim.
My name is Razia Jan, and I am the founder of a girl's school in Afghanistan.
When we opened the school in 2008, 90 percent of them could not write their name. Today, 100 percent of them are educated. They can read. They can write.
I lived in the U.S. for over 38 years, but I was really affected by 9/11. I really wanted to prove that Muslims are not terrorists.
JAN: I came back here in 2002.
Who? Hey, everybody.
Girls have been the most oppressed, and I thought I have to do something.
It was a struggle in the beginning. I would sit with these men, and I would tell them, don't marry them when they're 14 years old. They want to learn.
How do you write your father's name?
UNIDENTIFIED CHILD: B-A-S --
JAN: After five years now, the men, they're proud of their girls when they themselves can write their name.
Still, we have to take this with cautions. So many people are so much against girls getting educated.
We provide free education to over 350 girls.
JAN: I think it is like a fire that will grow. Every year, my hope becomes more. I think I can see the future.