Return to Transcripts main page


One-on-One with Bill Clinton; CGI Panel Discussion

Aired September 30, 2012 - 21:00   ET


PIERS MORGAN, HOST: Tonight, blunt words from Bill Clinton. The 42nd president of the United States on the nuclear threat from Iran.


MORGAN: You trust Ahmadinejad?



MORGAN: What this master campaigner would say to Mitt Romney.


CLINTON: If he's going to double down on that 47 percent remark, that will cause difficulties because we now know that the overwhelming number of those people work and have children.


MORGAN: And his take on President Obama and the economy.


MORGAN: How has he managed to avoid public retribution for not fixing the economy better than he has done?

CLINTON: Because this is not a normal time.


MORGAN: Plus his extraordinary work with the Clinton Global Initiative.


CLINTON: We don't have to produce miracles. All we produce is progress. And we just keep pushing these rocks up the hill.


MORGAN: And big ideas from the big names. Deepak Chopra,, General Wesley Clark and Princess Ameerah al-Taweel. Things get pretty lively at the Clinton Global Initiative. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MORGAN: You want to make farming sexy, don't you.





MORGAN: Mr. President, thank you very much for sparing the time to talk to me. You're in the eighth year now of the Clinton Global Initiative and I would imagine of all the world leaders you've managed to amass here, there are a few topics of concentrated attention. And probably right at the top of the list would be this simmering tension now between Israel and Iran.

Now I interviewed President Ahmadinejad last night, and he was adamant that he has no plan to build a nuclear weapon, that he has purely peaceful intention. Clearly, most people here don't believe him.

What is the smart thing for America to do right now, given the ratcheting up of all the rhetoric on both sides?

CLINTON: I think the smart thing for us to do is to maintain constant conflict with the Israeli intelligence services and the Arab intelligence services who also don't want Iran to have a nuclear weapon.

Saudi Arabia doesn't want to have to decide to acquire a nuclear weapon. The Gulf states don't want to have to decide to acquire a nuclear weapon. They don't want an arms race in the Middle East. And then I -- then I think that the other smart thing to do is just to say, just take the quote from President Ahmadinejad and say, OK, if you don't want a nuclear weapon, then why won't you comply with the international community's inspection regime and just keep saying it over and over and over again, every single day, if you don't want a nuclear weapon, you have been given nine ways from Sunday to prove that.

A decade ago, the Russians offered to take their fissile material and process for them enough uranium to run a power plant, to run a number of power plants, and to do it in a way that couldn't be taken to weapons grade. There are so many ways they can have a nuclear program that won't produce a nuclear weapon.

So what they're really saying is in spite of the fact that we deny the Holocaust, that we threaten Israel and we demonize the United States, and we do all this stuff, we want you to trust us. In spite of the fact that we won't cooperate with the international regime set up to avoid an arms race in the Middle East and set up to avoid nuclear proliferation, we want you to trust us.

So they don't have a tenable position. The reason nobody believes him --

MORGAN: Do you trust him?

CLINTON: -- is they don't have a tenable position.

MORGAN: Do you trust Ahmadinejad?

CLINTON: Not on this, I don't.

MORGAN: His argument is, look, why should America be allowed nuclear weapons? Why should Israel, who've never admitted they have them, why should they be permitted to have them? Why should many countries be allowed nuclear weapons and not Iran?

CLINTON: Well, then, why isn't he going for some bigger non- proliferation initiative instead of acting like what he really wants is a nuclear bomb because that will help to get everybody get rid of their nuclear weapons? No serious person believes that.

Israel is not supporting Hezbollah. Israel doesn't send terrorists to cross Syria to train in the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon. Israel has -- no one thinks that Israel is about to drop a bomb on Tehran.

So the difference is this is a government with a record of supporting terror and, look, no one talks about this very much, but if they had a nuclear weapon, there would be two dangers, even if you believe they never use it, that is, if you believe that they are sane and rational and understand that their country, their civilization, their whole history would be destroyed if they ever dropped a bomb on someone, because everybody would know it and the retaliation would be incomprehensible.

Even if you believe that, two bad things will happen if they get a bomb. A lot of their neighbors will get bombed and the more of these weapons you have hanging around, the more fissile material you've got, the more they're vulnerable to being stolen or sold or just simply transferred to terrorists.

And that brings me to the second point, which is that Iran has all these extensive contacts with terrorist groups and even if the government didn't directly sanction it, it wouldn't be that much trouble to be -- to get a Girl Scout cookie's worth of fissile material, which, if put in the same fertilizer bomb Timothy McVeigh used in Oklahoma City, is enough to take out 20 to 25 percent of Washington, D.C. Just that little bit.

So the prospect of spreading, in a way, dirty nuclear bombs with smaller payloads that could wreak havoc and do untold damage, goes up exponentially every time some new country gets this capacity. And you don't have any control over and you don't know whether they do over what happens to the fissile material. So that --

MORGAN: If Israel was to launch an airstrike against Iran, a preemptive strike, because they believe, as appears to be the case with many of their top leadership, that Iran is right on the cusp now of developing a nuclear weapon -- if they do that, what should America's response be?

CLINTON: I shouldn't answer that question because of my wife's position and that's the president and the security team's desire to -- a decision to make. But I generally have confidence with what they said and how they tried to explain it to the American people.

And Ahmadinejad certainly knows that we have not picked this fight. We have not gone out of our way to get into a military confrontation, but we have made some very clear red lines there.

MORGAN: People will say this is very reminiscent of Iraq. You have a bad guy who is believed to be in the process of either developing or has WMD. We know what happened with Iraq, that that intelligence was flawed.

Can America -- can the world risk another flawed military action, if it turns out that Ahmadinejad is actually telling the truth?

CLINTON: First of all, it's very different from Iraq. I personally never saw any intelligence that was at all persuasive on the nuclear issue. I wanted the inspectors to go in there for a simple reason. When the first Gulf War was over, we began an accounting of all of Saddam's weapons of mass destruction, which mostly consisted of chemical warheads and chemical and biological agents.

In 1998, when he kicked the inspectors out, there were two biological agents and two chemical agents, a substantial quantity unaccounted for. We bombed, the U.S. and the U.K.

After 9/11, I thought it was important for the inspectors to go in and try to find out whether we had destroyed that or not. We later learned when he was deposed that it was destroyed in '98 and he didn't want anybody to know about it because he thought it would weaken him against Iran. But there was never, to me, any really incredible nuclear intelligence.

This is quite different. They don't even pretend that they're not -- they don't have centrifuges, that they can't enrich uranium, that they've gone right up to the limit and that they have the capacity to go well beyond what is necessary to generate the kind of material necessary to turn on the lights, to generate electricity. So I think it's a very, very different thing.


MORGAN: President Clinton's main focus is the Clinton Global Initiative but he's also making quite a splash on the campaign trail for Democrats and Republicans alike. When we come back, his advice for Mitt Romney.


MORGAN: The Clinton Global Initiative has become a draw for leaders from around the world. Not to mention the candidate for the highest office in this country. President Obama and Mitt Romney both spoke at the CGI today. And former President Clinton who steal the show at the Democratic National Convention had some tough advice for the Republican candidate.


MORGAN: Mitt Romney today came out with this line, which was -- went down very well with the audience, as you'd expect.


ROMNEY: If there's one thing we've learned in this election season, by the way, it is that a few words from Bill Clinton can do a man a lot of good.



MORGAN: What words would you have for Mitt Romney, given the state of the election campaign right now?

CLINTON: Well, I think you know the debates are very important for him.

MORGAN: Crucial?

CLINTON: I think so. And I think if he's going to double down on that 47 percent remark, that will cause difficulties, because we now know that the overwhelming number of those people work and have children. And the reason they don't pay federal income taxes is the median income is as low as it was in 1995 now.

And until the current election season, Republicans and Democrats supported both the Child Tax Credit and the Earned Income Tax Credit.

I doubled the Earned Income Tax Credit, but it was signed under a Republican president; Reagan supported it. And we started the Child Tax Credit with the strong support of the Republicans in Congress. And President Bush doubled that. Then President Obama and the Democratic Congress increased the Earned Income Tax Credit for families with more than three children.

So you had -- this is a rejection of basically more than three decades of bipartisan policy to support work and family. It's not a bunch of freeloaders. There are only about a little less than 4 percent of the total population who don't pay federal income tax and don't work and may not be looking for work. We now have the numbers on this.

So I think that most important thing for him is to find a way to relate to more people in these debates and speak to more of them. This is not the Republican primary anymore. But if the problems --


MORGAN: Is he -- is he principled, do you think, Mitt Romney?

CLINTON: That's not the issue to me. I think he will -- I think he's principled in the sense that he will keep the commitments that he has made. Almost all people, when they run for president, make a number of commitments.

When they get elected, almost all president since -- modern studies have been done on this, last seven or eight presidents -- make an exceptional effort to do what they said they were going to do. And when there is an exception to that, there's normally an overwhelming reason. Like Abraham Lincoln promised not to free the slaves. We're glad he didn't keep that promise.

Franklin Roosevelt promised to balance the budget in his first term. He couldn't have done that because of the Depression. So we're glad he didn't try. Then almost every other president may have one smaller issue. But by and large they all do what they said they were going to do. So, yes, I think we should assume that he will be principled on that. He knows what he promised to do in the primary. And what he said in the general has been consistent with that.

I think we should assume that's what he'd do.

MORGAN: Under normal circumstances, an incumbent president who still had 8.2 percent unemployment, $16 trillion of debt which had risen by $5 trillion, gas prices doubled, you wouldn't politically give that incumbent president much of a prayer in an election, and yet the polls suggest that Barack Obama right now would win.

How has he managed to avoid public retribution for not fixing the economy better than he has done?

CLINTON: Because this is not a normal time. And the damage done to the economy could not be fully repaired in four years. And most of the debt that's been run up on his watch is a direct result of the economic collapse. First the recession that began in 2007 and the economic collapse that happened in 2008, which has driven tax revenues down below 15 percent of income for the first time in 50 years, and driven spending above 21 percent of income, because so many people are on unemployment and food stamps and Medicaid, medical assistance.

If we had -- when the economy recovers a higher rate of growth, which it will in the next year or so, what's going to happen is with nothing happening, tax receipts will go up to about 17 percent; spending will drop to under 21 percent. There's still be a substantial deficit, but it'll be much smaller.

President Obama's main contribution to this $16 billion debt, which is a trillion-dollar debt which is a 10-year figure, you know, projecting out 10 years, was the stimulus bill, which is $800 billion, which I believe was a good thing to do. I think the debt might even be even bigger without it because it kept people working and paying taxes, and off the government payrolls, and because it created new jobs and infrastructure and energy.

If you look at his annual spending budgets, they are about 2 percent increases. That's less than the rate of inflation. So I think that the reason that I believe he'll win reelection is that we're beginning to recover, we've had a higher rate of job creation since the recession bottomed out, the collapse bottomed out in the middle of 2009, than in the previous eight years and we're moving in the right direction. And the policies he's advocated are more likely to produce a good economic result. That's why.

If people thought this was just like another recession, he would be in real trouble. But it isn't like another recession. They know it and --

MORGAN: The biggest problem, people say, is the paralysis in Washington, the inability to get in a room and get a deal done. When I've interviewed Newt Gingrich, he often says to me, now the way it worked with President Clinton, when he was the speaker, was that you would be in a roomful full of advisors. And then a moment would come, you'd sling them all out and it would be you and him, mano-to-mano, get it done, compromise, get it done.

Why is that not happening now? And what advice to give to Barack Obama to try and get into that kind of mindset with the Republicans?

CLINTON: Well, that's the -- what Speaker Gingrich said is true, but it's not the whole truth, that is we had one year when virtually nothing got done. I was a real stickler for passing all my budgets on time. And but in 2005, we didn't. And I had to veto what they did. And they had to do what they did because what's they promised the voters they'd do in the '94 elections.

And then the citizens decided they agreed with me more than them. They didn't want the government shut down. They didn't want to take a radical departure. They just wanted to keep bringing the deficit down. So after the two government shutdowns in late '95 and early '96, then we began this compromise process everybody talks about. There has been no such action forcing event so far. That's what the election is.

You -- mark my words. if President Obama wins this election -- and I think he will; I really do believe he'll win -- there will be a lame duck session of Congress. They will avoid the fiscal cliff. They will either pass a multiyear budget then or agree to conditions to keep the government going while they work on the budget in the next couple of months after the election.

And you will see a much higher level of cooperation, because their number one goal, the Republicans was, as Senator McConnell said, to defeat the president. Well, that can't be their goal anymore, because he can't run for anything anymore. That'll -- that's a done deal.

So then I believe their number one goal will be either to make some progress or at least to hold onto their majority, which they can't do without making some progress. Then I think you will see both sides begin to compromise, work for -- together, and you'll see this logjam break.


MORGAN: When we come back the question all Americans and people around the world have been asking ever since Bill Clinton's big speech at the Democratic convention, would America had been better with another Clinton term.


CLINTON: You know I was young. Perhaps I could have done another term.




OBAMA: I come to CGI every year that I've been president. And I've talked with you about how we need to sustain the economic recovery, how we need to create more jobs. I've talked about the importance of development, from global health to our fight against HIV-AIDS. The growth that left nations to prosperity.


MORGAN: Let's talk about the Clinton Global Initiative. It's turned into this extraordinary event. An unbelievable lineup of speakers. What is the purpose going forward for you, because you've done the hard bit? You've turned it into one of the world's leading events of its type that there is.

What do you really want to achieve? When you sit and look at the next 10 years --

CLINTON: Well, what I --

MORGAN: What is the big achievement?

CLINTON: What I tried to do, when I started -- I said I'm going to give it 10 years and see where we are, if we can last 10 years. I tried to create a global network of givers to bring in public leaders when they're here for the opening of the U.N., to bring in business leaders and philanthropists, but also leaders of non-government groups all across America and all across the world.

We've -- every year we fly a fair number of people in that otherwise couldn't afford to be here and they sit together in these working sessions, and they develop commitments. And then we help -- we work all year long to help people develop these commitments and then to help people keep them. So it's an organic sort of networking thing now that just goes on and on and on.

Yesterday, I went to one of our permanent working groups on Haiti and we helped each other to keep these commitments. And we kept score. We said, OK, this is what we've done; this is what we haven't done.

So I think that until there is some other mechanism through which this can happen, we should just -- we just keep doing this because, you know, nobody's running for anything. We don't have to produce miracles. All we produce is progress. And we just keep pushing these rocks up the hill.

And I think there's a real need for that in the world today. It can't all be done over the Internet. There needs to be some face time, some specific commitments, and some mechanism through which you help people to keep these commitments.

MORGAN: People see you putting on this event. They heard you at the convention make a barnstorming speech, an incredible speech.


CLINTON: If you want a winner-take-all, you're on-your-own society, you should support the Republican ticket. But if you want a country of shared opportunities and shared responsibility, but we're all in this together society, you should vote for Barack Obama and Joe Biden.


MORGAN: That was that. You electrified the place. And they all say, why do we have this goddamned 22nd Amendment? Why couldn't Bill Clinton just run again and be president for the next 30 years?

CLINTON: Well, we had it for a good reason. There -- it's a hard job being president. And you also have a vast array of people working for you. It worked, I think, well. We -- I think we did the right thing to keep President Roosevelt for a third term.

But when he died shortly after being elected to a fourth term, and people didn't really know a full measure of his health challenges, the 22nd Amendment passed. It's ironic that the 22nd Amendment passed at a time when people thought the Democrats had a lock on the White House and then it was -- then after the last 50 years, the Republicans had it more than the Democrats.

But I think there's still an argument for saying that eight years, certainly eight years in a row, is enough. You don't want this -- you don't want to run the risk of sclerosis in a democratic society. You want to keep the blood running. You don't want to get the idea that any country, particularly not one this big and diverse and important as ours, is dependent on any one person.

You look at a lot of these dictators that have been deposed in the last few years, and the few that are hanging on. Almost all of them at one time were young and idealistic and incredibly capable. And they really meant to do something good. And they just kind of outstayed their welcome. So I love the life I have now.

I like helping the president. I like helping my country. I'm interested in politics, but I like what I'm doing. I think that, on balance, the system we have is better than the no limits.

Maybe someday the rules will be changed so if you can serve two years and lay out and -- serve two terms and lay out a term or two, you could run again because for a simple reason, we're all living so much longer and we're maintaining the capacity to work and think clearly for a longer period. So some future people might be affected that -- by that. It shouldn't affect me or anybody who's been president --

MORGAN: We're trying to change the rules in Britain, actually, because if you can't be president again here, we'd quite like you to be prime minister in our country. Are you available if it comes to -- I get this through?

CLINTON: They -- there are only two countries I'm eligible to run for the leadership position is if I move to Ireland and buy a house, I can -- I can run for president of Ireland, because of my Irish heritage.

And because I was born in Arkansas, which is part of the Louisiana Purchase, any person anywhere in the world that was born in a place that ever was part of the French empire, if you move to -- if you live in France for six months and speak French, you can run for president.


CLINTON: However, I once polled very well in a French presidential race. And I said, you know, this is great, but that's the best I'd ever do because once they heard my broken French with a Southern accent, I would drop into single digits within a week and I'd be toast. I just don't think -- that's what I think. I think the system we have may have some opportunity costs.

You know, I was young, perhaps I could have done another term, but I thought Al Gore was going to win and I wanted him to win. I thought he would have been a good president. I still think so. And the thing that's kept America going is that we've trusted the people over the leaders. And I love my life now.

And if I can help my country, I will. But I -- we're organized around institutions, values, restraints on power and people. And it's worked out pretty well for us for 200 years. We ought not to fool with it too much.

MORGAN: Mr. President, thank you very much.

CLINTON: Thank you.



MORGAN: The Clinton Global Initiative encourages big ideas from world leaders and celebrities to help others around the world. I spoke with President Clinton yesterday and I sat down with my CGI panel.

The Saudi philanthropist, Her Highness Princess Ameerah al-Taweel, health and wellness guru, Deepak Chopra, recording artist and retired General Wesley Clark.


MORGAN: Let's start with you. Princess Ameerah, let me start with you, because you're a fascinating lady in many ways. You come from Saudi, obviously, where you've been in the vanguard of promoting women's rights in a country that's not been renowned for that over the last few centuries.

How important is it to you to be doing this in Saudi Arabia?

H.H. PRINCESS AMEERAH AL-TAWEEL, VICE CHAIR OF ALWALEED BIN TALAL FOUNDATION: I think women's rights not only are, like you said, at the vanguard of what we really need to focus on in Saudi Arabia but also in the region. And I think that the strongest form of empowering women in the region and more specifically Saudi Arabia is economic independence. Because once a woman is counting on herself, she will not put up with a lot of things that you see in the media.

And if you're talking about numbers, a lot of people focus about women and driving in Saudi Arabia. But not being able to drive has not stopped us from developing. One hundred and twenty billion Saudi riyal worth of real estate are owned by Saudi women. Forty-five billion Saudi riyal in bank account savings are for Saudi women. Eight billion riyals of investments are pumped by Saudi women. All of these women go to work. All of them are very passionate about what they do.

And driving has not stopped them. And if anyone in this room really want to help women in the region, economic independence, I can never underline that, it's the first thing to focus on.

MORGAN: General Clark, the Middle East is obviously of huge importance. Has been throughout my lifetime particularly so now. I talked to President Clinton about the ratcheting up now in rhetoric between Israel and Iran and what that may do to the region if they did have a conflict, what it may do to the global economy, which is in a perilous enough condition as it is. What is your overview at the moment of where we -- where we are and is war likely or more common sense prevailed, do you think?

GEN. WESLEY CLARK, (RET.), FORMER NATO SUPREME ALLIED COMMANDER: Well, I believe common sense will prevail but I think it's going to be a tough slog. I think you've got in every state in the region, you've got external dynamics and you've got internal dynamics. Certainly that's the case in Iran. So they're going to have to find a way to climb down from their quest for nuclear weapons. But throughout the region, there's a search for modernization, for jobs, for dignity, for self respect.

They've got to create political systems. They've got freedom now and freedom of expression in many states that haven't had it before. And this then imposes new responsibilities on ordinary citizens to set the right standards. There are unhappy people and people struggling in every country in the world including America. And I think we have to have a more sophisticated understanding of the region. We have a role to play there. But these people are responsible for their own countries and finding their own way forward.

We can help but they have to do it.

MORGAN: Deepak, we've seen an extraordinary sea change. I mean I joined CNN on air January last year and was immediately hit by Tunisia, Egypt, Libya. The death of bin Laden. I mean these are cataclysmic moments, each individually. Never mind put together. The Arab Spring seemed to bring such excitement. We're now looking at a slightly murkier picture. Not quite sure what is going on in many of these countries. What can America or what should America do if anything to hasten or to change the current process?

DEEPAK CHOPRA, HEALTH AND WELLNESS GURU: It should inspire hope, trust, stability and compassion. I think people look to America as a leader and if we can inspire hope, trust, stability and compassion with practical things like the princess said, the economic empowerment of women. Everyone knows in the United Nations that's the fastest way to change the world in the direction of not only peace but social justice, economic justice, sustainability, health and well-being. It is 50 percent of the population of our planet and they're disembarked for the most part.

MORGAN: Will, I was talking to the general out there and he was saying that the impact of having musicians come to this initiative here really cannot be underestimated that you can just get to these huge audiences who hang on your every word. I know that you take that responsibility seriously. Globalization is here and it's real. And has also said I think for many we don't want to be the global policemen anymore with the terrible toll both in the loss of life to our soldiers and also economically

WILL.I.AM, BLACK EYED PEAS: Yes, well, this transparent world that we live in now, you know, America has to realize that now we're a part of the world. We're not leading the world. We do in some shape or form. But when it comes to education we're not. We're dead last when it comes to education. And as the world becomes more technological, 20 years from now, what is America? When you didn't even educate the people to understand the technology that we're going to be relying upon?

So, you know -- and if you go to ghettos, you know, I survived and escaped the ghetto, moved my whole family out, people in the ghetto have no clue of where we're going to technologically. And STEM is the future. You know, that's what we need to get these 7-year-olds geared upon. We need to get them excited about STEM and that's sustainability as well. It's a different type of sustainability, it's educating people to walk into the world where they could contribute and participate in this global community year 2040.

MORGAN: Princess Ameerah, the common thread throughout the Middle Eat and indeed America, is a lot of young people who have had perhaps education they couldn't have had before, certainly in many Middle Eastern countries, so they're better educated but there's no job at the end of the line for them. And this creates huge resentment and frustration, so much so that you've seen a lot of leaders being toppled. And I'm sure there'll be more to come.

But what is the ethos that leaders and countries need to adopt to try and stop this horrible cycle now of a youth who just feel disenfranchise and not able to fulfill their potential?

AL-TAWEEL: Economic development. When you have young people who have amazing ideas, entrepreneurial spirit, 60 percent of those jobs that need to be created will be through entrepreneurs. But you don't have banks that believe in them, you don't have people that support them. You don't have incubators and mentors to help lead with them. And so when you don't have the ecosystem to actually deal with this huge issue, add to that the governments that have fallen, the new structures, civil society, all of these issues at the same time, it's not going to be easy.

But, you know, it all takes action. And we're taking action. We're starting an initiative called Up for Unity. It's not just about job creation and helping entrepreneurs grow. It's more about having ladders of opportunity. And that's what Up for Unity is all about. We're working with partners, we're working with the Clinton Global Initiative. And we want to tap into the resources, the (INAUDIBLE) of many partners around the world and great those ladders of opportunity.

And we have an idea like the first food university, which is very interesting.

MORGAN: This is great. This is the food university. My idea of total utopia. So, you described -- I won't put any words in your mouth, but you want to make farming sexy, don't you?


AL-TAWEEL: I don't know -- we want to make farming cool again and, you know, what's happening with farming is that the average age of farmers is 60. Can you imagine that? We're trying to bring cool back to farming through this university. We're talking everything from the minute you plant a seed to the minute it gets served on a plate. The whole supply chain. And we're bringing people from around the world.

We want to have it in Africa because 60 percent, we have two billion coming in the next three decades. How are we going to feed them? Sixty percent of amazing crops are stuck in Africa and unused. And so we want to tap into that. We want to have it in Africa, we want to have it in the best way possible and so it's all about technology, agriculture, making farming cool again where young people come back into that field. We cannot afford to lose young people being interesting in farming.

MORGAN: And presumably we want female drivers for the tractors.

AL-TAWEEL: Hopefully yes.



MORGAN: When we come back I'll ask my all-star CGI panel, is America the world leader it should be? And can this country do better? And speaking of all-stars, take a look at that all-star audience. Including Barbra Streisand.


MORGAN: Lots of big ideas from my all-star panel at the Clinton Global Initiative. They are Highness Princess Amira al-Taweel, Deepak Chopra,, and retired General Wesley Clarke. And they are pretty fired up about health and education.


MORGAN: Deepak, your special area of interest here at the CGI is about health and wellness. That's incredibly important. There's no point having this burgeoning global population if they are not healthy and not well.

CHOPRA: I am a senior scientist at Gallup. We monitor well being in different countries, the well being of individuals, the well being of communities, the well being of nations. And if you want to go to today, you can check out the well being of any country in the world as of this moment.

So the United States is number 13 at the moment. Number one is Denmark. Number two is Canada and then --

MORGAN: Why are the Danes so healthy?

CHOPRA: Because they have social security. They are not worried about health insurance. They are looked after. And they're not greedy. They don't all want to become billionaires.


CHOPRA: But here is what we found. This is very important. So we classify people on a scale of one to 100. So if your score is over 70, you are thriving. If your score is 40 to 70, you are struggling. And if it is less than 40, you are suffering.

When a country starts to suffer, you are going to see revolution, social unrest, breakdown of leadership. So we knew what was happening in Libya. We knew what was going to happen in Tunisia. We knew what was happening in Egypt. And we can predict what's going to happen in Syria, just based on well being.

So it is the number one indicator.

MORGAN: Will, let's turn to your area here, because, again, I talked to you about this. But there is a brilliant scene at the start of "Newsroom," which was the Aaron Sorkin show that came out this year, where Jeff Daniels, who is the anchorman, if you like, goes into this huge rant at a college lecture about where America has been failing. And he starts to list all the areas in which America is painfully low on the global list of -- whether it's science or engineering or technology, whatever it may be.

What has happened to the American dream that has allowed things to get so low in so many key areas? Why is the rest of the world overtaking and what should be done about it?

WILL.I.AM: I think it is really priorities and values and greed, really. At the end of the day, it is greed and lack of leadership, to the point where I don't see why it makes sense that we spend so much money on prisons versus education. That doesn't make any sense to me at all. I don't see why we can't manufacture things in America. I don't get it.

MORGAN: General, you're itching to get in?

CLARK: I want to pitch in on manufacturing for a second. You know, one of the problems we have with American manufacturing is we are an older manufacturing economy. We are used to paper orders and contract processes and other things. If you go to China and you look at a network like AliBaba, they have national sourcing electronically.

So we know one of the things we can do in America is we can move more into the Internet age in our manufacturing, in our bidding and our ordering process.

MORGAN: Is China the enemy that many Americans see it as? Or should it be a global trading partner to mutual benefit?

AL-TAWEEL: I think that we live in a very diverse world and we need to embrace that. If China is excelling in something, that is great. But guess what, America is excelling in technology as well. I think that with China, what we need to create, like you said, it could burst -- it's a bubble that could burst at any time -- is ladders of opportunity. Many people are stuck in those factories for hours doing the same thing every day for years.

And so creating those ladders of opportunity, working with these big corporates, where people can strive to become in better jobs with better lives. And so I am not against a certain country or certain nation excelling something. I'm actually embracing that.

WILL.I.AM: Yes, but, at the same time, countries are going to do what they do. But America has to figure out what it is we are. We are our own enemy right now. Somebody still hasn't told me why we spend so much money on prisons and not for education? Why does that just slip over people's -- why does it go one ear --

CHOPRA: Prisons is a better business. Prisons are privately enterprised.

WILL.I.AM: Yeah, but why is that -- who said that was OK? I don't --

Just answer me.

MORGAN: I agree. Who did say that was okay?

CHOPRA: Who said drones were OK? Who said drones were OK? Who said economic injustice is OK. Who says 50 percent of the world is living on less than two dollars a day, 20 percent less than one dollar a day?

WILL.I.AM: I travel the planet. One day, I'm in Brazil. The next day, I'm in Slovakia. The next day, I go to little nuggets, Kazakhstan. The majority of the people in prisons are Latins and African-Americans. From my community, where I come from, I have to bring STEM to them, to stimulate them, to inspire them to not take that route. It doesn't have to be that way. It doesn't. Somebody -- it is an emergency right now. It is a national security issue. The Department of Defense needs educated Americans around STEM. If we are not educating them and the private sector said it is OK that prisons is a big business, but education isn't, that is messed up. I'm sorry.


CLARK: To echo what Will is saying, I'm all in favor of STEM education. But just think about the high school dropout problem in America. We have 28 percent of our young people in this country who aren't graduating -- 28 percent.

MORGAN: On education, though, America's big problem, it seems to me, is that the teachers aren't paid enough, so they're not motivated enough, and they're not trained well enough.

CHOPRA: Go to any college, university campus. This is the cradle of innovation. This is where Facebook came out from, Twitter, Google, everything that we can think of --


CHOPRA: -- that is changing the world came from Apple, Yahoo!, you name it. It's all -- you know, it is coming from here. And you go -- this is where the Republicans need to address immigration policies. You go to a college campus and you see people from Korea, China. You see people from Asia. You see people from Latin America. This is the country which everyone criticizes and yet wants to immigrate.


MORGAN: Thanks again to President Clinton and to my panelists, Princess Ameera,, Deepak Chopra, and General Clarke That's all for us tonight. Good night.