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PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT

Candidates' Debate Prep; Politics and Religion

Aired October 1, 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, game change. Will Wednesday's debate blow the race wide open? I'll ask top advisors to Mitt Romney and President Obama what they think it will take to come out on top.

Plus Battleground America. On one side, the conservatives who says if the election were today, President Obama would win. And on the other side, the liberal who says the debates are make-or-break for Mitt Romney.

Also, Marie Osmond. And what it would mean to her to see a Mormon president.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MARIE OSMOND, HOST, HALLMARK CHANNEL'S "MARIE": I think there's a lot of strange things said about, you know, our faith.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MORGAN: Marie Osmond on her faith and her family.

And my exclusive with European Ryder Cup winners, Ian Poulter, Justin Rose, and Graeme McDowell. On a sporting moment so extraordinary even the men in the middle of it can't quite believe it happened.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It really was one of the most remarkable comebacks I can think in any kind of sport.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MORGAN: This is PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT.

Good evening. Our big story tonight, neck and neck with 36 days to go until the election. The latest CNN/ORC poll has President Obama at 50 percent and Mitt Romney at 47 percent, within the margin of error.

The thing both sides are counting on to change it, Wednesday's debate. President Obama is in Nevada for two days of practice sessions with advisors including David Axelrod and David Plouffe. Meanwhile, Mitt Romney is facing against the highest Senator Rob Portman who's playing the part of President Obama. And counting on his secret weapon, his wife, Ann, out on the trail.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANN ROMNEY, MITT ROMNEY'S WIFE: This country is ready for a turnaround. This country is ready --

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

This country is ready for Mitt Romney.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MORGAN: Joining me now, a man who knows quite a lot about Mitt Romney's debate preparation, his senior advisor, former Senator Jim Talent.

Welcome to you.

JIM TALENT (R), FORMER U.S. SENATOR: It's good to be with you, Piers.

MORGAN: Now how's he getting on, the candidate? Because this is potentially a make-or-break debate for Mitt Romney.

TALENT: Yes, it certainly is a big debate and a big debate for the country. Well, he's worked hard. Now, you know, the president is a good debater and he's been in this -- on this spotlight before, so you know, Governor Romney is probably a little bit the underdog but I think he's going to be ready. And he's going to be ready on the issues which is really what this election is about.

MORGAN: I mean there's a massive game at the moment of both sides downplaying expectation. So far, even if Mitt Romney just makes the stage, you guys could declare it a triumph and a glorious victory. I mean it's getting a bit ridiculous. I mean, the truth is Mitt Romney spent most of the first half of this year debating, so he should have the advantage, shouldn't he?

TALENT: Well, I expect him to do well. I mean -- I don't think -- what an election is about, what this one is about, Piers, I mean when we can't go on like this with unemployment this high and the government functionally bankrupt and chaos abroad. I mean I think the debate is going to be about that. And I think if they stay on the substance, I'm hopeful that Governor Romney should do very well, even if he fumbles a little bit because he hasn't been in this kind of a format before, because, you know, I think the country knows we need change and I think if he -- if he stays on that message, he should do fine.

MORGAN: Are you setting the bar so low that we should now expect a fumble?

TALENT: No. No. He's a pretty good debater. I -- you know, I don't think he's going to fumble. I'm just saying that this debate is going to be about, I believe, the issues, which is where we are now and how we can fix it. And if it stays on that substance, I think that's what the voters will absorb rather than whether either one of them hems or haws a little bit.

MORGAN: Let's take a little look. This was Mitt Romney joking about Rob Portman playing President Obama in some of the rehearsals.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: Do you know what he does on weekends? Do you know what he does? He plays Barack Obama. Can you believe that? He does. He plays Barack Obama. He plays him well, too. I hate to tell you. We get the chance to debate one another after the, you know, hour and a half or so is over, I like -- I want to, you know, kick him out of the room. He's so good.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MORGAN: I mean, it'd be quite something if Mitt Romney kicked Barack Obama out of the room, wouldn't it? On Wednesday night?

(CROSSTALK)

TALENT: Well -- I imagine he might kick Rob Portman out of the room for some of the things he said. No, he's not -- look, I think when they get together, they're going to start talking about the issues. They're going to start talking about the economy. Why the deficit's been above $1 trillion now four years running, and maybe if the moderators get into it, what's happening in the Middle East, and what they think they can do about it.

And I think that Governor Romney's plan is going to be to try to stick to the substance because I think the country knows we need a change.

MORGAN: I mean I'm only half joking about kicking out of the room because metaphorically, a lot of Republicans want to see Mitt Romney do just that to the president. They want to see him verbally beat him up and make the points that you've made crystal clear and win the argument. But there's another argument that says that one of Mitt Romney's problems is he's not likeable enough and he may need to turn on the kind of easy Ronald Reagan charm which he deployed so successfully in debates.

So it's a fine line, isn't it, between --

TALENT: Yes.

MORGAN: -- being hard and aggressive and making a point, but also coming over as likeable.

TALENT: Right. And Piers, really, the way to deal with that, and I think this is true for any debate but especially one where the stakes are so high for the country, is to stick to what you want to do, to stick to the substance of the issues, you know, where the country is with the bad economy, you know, with the high deficit, and what you want to do about it.

And I think if you're passionate about that or a little bit angry or indignant about that, I think people understand, and I think that's what Governor Romney is going to do.

MORGAN: Now you're a Republican from Missouri. Of course another Missouri Republican, Todd Akin, has continued in his race. You opposed this to start with, now you're supporting him. I mean he must be exasperated, don't you think, that he's still in this thing?

TALENT: Well, I want change. I mean I hope very much we can get change in the country and in the Senate here in Missouri. Piers, look, as an American, not as a Republican, I'm just very concerned about all the things I've been talking about. I mean I got kids in college. I want them to be able to get a job. And we need a senator who will vote, you know, to get the budget under control and get the economy moving and that's not Claire McCaskill. So I'm hopeful this is an election where the people across the board will vote for change.

MORGAN: Senator Talent, as always, thank you very much.

TALENT: Hey, thank you, Piers.

MORGAN: Joining me now with a view from the other side is Bill Daley, the co-chair of the Obama National Campaign and President Obama's former chief of staff.

Welcome to you, Mr. Daley. How are you?

WILLIAM DALEY, OBAMA NATIONAL CAMPAIGN CO-CHAIR: Very well, thank you, Piers.

MORGAN: How are the nerves in the Obama camp? Because the problem for President Obama is everyone imagines he's a great speaker, but that puts huge pressure on him to be a great speaker on the night.

DALEY: Well, I don't know if it's so much about being a great speaker. Obviously the president's done a number of debates back in '08. Governor Romney has done a lot more, more recently, and there's no question they are both very bright people and they know their facts and the president's going to speak to the American people in a format that's very different.

I think the real question at this point is, what's the size of the audience and how interested will the American people be in this debate. We've heard a lot -- had a lot of hype about it, but at this debate, two things will come out. Actual details of plans, I think the president's looking forward to that.

I think the governor has to step up to laying out specifics of his plans that he's talking about -- talked about quite generally over this campaign. And the second thing that I think the pressure on Governor Romney right now is his own colleague, Governor Christie, said this will be a restart of his campaign.

I guess that's an acknowledgment that the first start didn't go so well.

MORGAN: They clearly are trying to downplay expectations that they're in, as both sides do. This is what Paul Ryan said on FOX yesterday.

DALEY: Right.

MORGAN: Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. PAUL RYAN (R), VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: President Obama's a very -- he's a very gifted speaker. The man's been on the national stage for many years. He's an experienced debater. He's done these kinds of debates before. This is Mitt's first time on this kind of a stage.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MORGAN: I mean what I love about this particular stage of proceedings, for the first debate, is the way you're both prepared to tell such ghastly lies about each other.

(LAUGHTER)

It's like Paul Ryan finally saying all the things about what a great speaker President Obama is, how hopeless Mitt Romney is. I mean the pair of you are both playing the same game, lower expectations so far they just have to breathe to be victorious.

DALEY: I think that there's no question that the expectation game is real. Everyone plays it. Having been involved in a number of presidential debates in the past, there's a certain give and take running up to it. I wouldn't be surprised tomorrow or Wednesday, somebody makes a crazy charge or someone in a -- in a campaign will do something to try to refocus the run-up to the debate.

But I think the fact is the American people see through that. These are both very smart people. They have been around for awhile. Governor -- I will say this, I watched Governor Romney in a number of those debates in the spring which are the most recent and you can practice for debates. The president can practice for debates as he's doing. But it has been four years since he's actually been in a format like this, where the governor has done this quite often in recent months.

So he's a little more familiar with probably the details of it. But the fact is, the president understands the facts of his administration. It's going to be hard I think in this format for charges to be made that aren't substantiated and I think, I've read recently that the governor's campaign has said they've prepared a bunch of zingers or one-liners. Everybody looks for that one-liner that kind of sticks out.

I think this format as I understand it, one, it may be -- it may be easy to give a zinger but you're going to be hard-pressed not to back up any charges or statements without being called to give the facts and the details. So that as governor -- or pardon me, Congressman Ryan yesterday said he didn't have time to go through the math of how the governor's budget plan works, and you can pay for it, and his tax cuts, I think he'll be hard-pressed to say that, well, I'll get back to you and I don't have time.

So I think the debate is going to be interesting and they're going to have to back up their statements. I think they'll be held to account for more than they've been held to account for as far as the facts and the details in this hour debate, hour and a half debate.

MORGAN: Well, it will certainly be fascinating. For now, Bill Daley, thank you very much.

DALEY: Thank you, Piers.

MORGAN: And here to break down all the debate strategy in tonight's "Battleground America," two "New York Times" columnists on opposite sides. Charles Blow and Ross Douthat.

Welcome to you both.

ROSS DOUTHAT, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Thank you, Piers.

MORGAN: I see you're already snarling across the newsroom which is excellent to see.

DOUTHAT: We're great friends.

MORGAN: I don't want to hear that. I don't want to hear great friends.

CHARLES BLOW, OP-ED COLUMNIST, NEW YORK TIMES: He's my favorite conservative.

MORGAN: There's no time for friends. Let me start with you, Ross Douthat. Romney has got it all to play for, good and bad, I mean, depending on who you talk to. This is make-or-break time in a good or bad way. Chris Christie believes, and I'll quote here, I've seen Mitt Romney do this before. He's going to come in, he's going to lay out his vision for America, and he contrast his view with the president's record, and it's going to be the president's views for the future. And this whole race is going to be turned upside down come Thursday morning. Boom. Job done.

DOUTHAT: And that's why people love Chris Christie. Because he tells something at least vaguely approaching the truth which is that whether or not Romney actually succeeds in pulling something like that off, that's close to what he needs right now. And if you -- you know, if you listen to what Paul Ryan says in public, in interviews, and what Romney surrogates say, they'll downplay expectations and say Obama is a great orator and so on, but if you talk to Romney people in private, and they've been quoted in background and pieces in the last few days, they'll say look, we're losing, this is a good chance to change the dynamic so he needs to step up.

MORGAN: Charles Blow, how does he step up, though? Because there is this conundrum for him, I think. He's not very likeable to the electorate from all the polls, even today, Obama is way ahead on likability. And he doesn't have that ready Reagan kind of charm. But he's got to exude some of that, I think, at the same time he's got to beat up Barack Obama verbally so that everyone goes away thinking Romney won. How does he do both?

BLOW: Well, I don't know how he does both. I don't believe he's capable of doing both. But I do think that you're right to put it in two parts which is, one, he has to dig himself out of the hole that he has put himself in. With the gaffes and the kind of robotic nature and all that. The second thing he has to do is to stand next to a -- a sitting president of the United States and say, I am an attractive alternative to this.

So what you have to look at this is like this is the last round of interviews. We already know what the resumes say. We know what your plans are. The people who are interested in going through the details of those to the extent that Romney has actually provided details, which is not enough of them I think for most people, but to the extent that you have been willing to provide what you have provided, we know what that is.

Now we have to look at these two people and say, which of these two men do I want to work with for the next four years, and Romney has to be able to have a presence on that stage that says, I am an attractive alternative to Barack Obama.

Everything that Romney has done in the last month has basically said that, I am not suited to that role.

MORGAN: Ross, he's not suited to that role, apparently?

DOUTHAT: Well, I -- you know, the last month hasn't been a very good one for the governor. Here I'm going to sound a bit like an Obama surrogate, though, and say that I actually think that Romney did a very impressive job most of the time in the Republican primary debates and obviously there were so many of them that he ended up having his share of gaffes but he used them pretty effectively to dispatch Rick Perry, to dispatch Newt Gingrich, who everybody was talking about as the great debater and so on.

So I actually think Romney has a good chance of sort of getting over the -- you know, sort of, is he presidential hump. I agree with Charles, though, that he has to get a bit further and deliver a little more on substance than he did during the Republican convention when -- and the Republican convention was all about Mitt Romney, you know, likeable human being.

And I think talking about likability now sort of misses the point. For Romney, it's all about saying Obama has failed, here's some substance I can offer as an alternative, you don't necessarily have to love me to want to put me in charge of a country that's frankly in a bit of a mess still.

MORGAN: The strange thing about Mitt Romney is I have interviewed him three times now. I mean, he's quite likeable when you meet him privately. I mean, there's definitely two sides. I was very struck by what one of his sons told me at the convention, when I interviewed all the boys. He said, he was talking about his daddy, that he has struggled to get out of CEO mode in public. For so long he ran a business, a company, and when you do that, there isn't much room for laughter and, you know, being a nice guy. It's all about the numbers and being very businesslike.

DOUTHAT: Well, in that -- famous 47 percent comment, in addition to recycling a pretty dumb conservative talking point, it was sort of a CEO mentality, right? It was like we've divided the electorate up and there's this chunk we can't get and there's this chunk in the middle we can, and so on. And that's just not how effective political leaders talk. And it's been reflected in the beating he's taken.

MORGAN: OK. Charles Blow -- Charles Blow is desperate to get in here. And beautifully, we have to go to a break. So hold your horses, Charles.

BLOW: I will do that.

MORGAN: And we'll saddle up again in a couple of minutes.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I know folks in the media are speculating already on who's going to have the best zingers.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You are.

OBAMA: I don't know about that. You know -- who's going to put the most points on the board.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You are.

OBAMA: I -- no, no, Governor Romney's a good debater. I'm just OK.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MORGAN: President Obama talking about zingers and trying to manage expectations for the debate. Charles Blow and Ross Douthat are back with me to talk about whether that's a good strategy.

Let me ask you, Charles. I have a poll here about who's likely to win the debate and very clearly, people think that Obama will, 55 to 31 percent. And yet, I would say that the favorite really ought to be Mitt Romney, purely because he spent most of the year debating against very good debaters like Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum and others. They were very capable opponents on a debate stage. Barack Obama hasn't done this for four years.

So I would think the advantage would definitely be with the apparent underdog, A, because people don't think he's going to win and I think that he may well win that first debate, and secondly, because he's the more experienced debater. BLOW: Well, I think -- I think I would caution you a little bit. I mean I think that the president, when he has given kind of press interviews, that is a form of being pressed on things so maybe you're not debating another opponent one-on-one, but you are going through the process of answering questions and tough questions and people are not letting you squirm out of things.

So I think that you do have to pull that down a little bit. I do believe that Mitt Romney has not demonstrated that he's agile. That he's not -- you know, kind of light on his feet. So the idea that, you know, if you had a tough spot in a debate, whether the moderator pushed or Obama pushed and could Romney not talking from zingers that he's rehearsed, not talking from talking points, but be agile enough to say, I can answer these questions because these are my convictions.

I think that Romney's biggest problem is a lack of conviction. He kind of operates and looks as if he's wearing someone else's skin and he's talking, you know, using someone else's beliefs.

MORGAN: I mean, Ross Douthat, I mean, what do you make of that? Because I mean I think that Barack Obama definitely the last time he did this four years ago, he showed flashes of a temper, which if I was in the Romney camp, I'd be just keep goading him. I'm sure that's what they've been trying to calm down in the Obama camp, is don't lose your temper.

Because Romney is pretty cool actually. I watched him under fire in the Republican nominee debates. And he was a pretty cool customer. Obama can get rattled.

DOUTHAT: He had a -- he had a couple bad moments. The famous, you know, however many thousands of dollars bet it was with Rick Perry. That was not Mitt Romney at his best. But overall, the thing about President Obama is that his skill is in oratory. Right? He's great at sort of exhorting crowds and inspiring people who already agree with him but throughout his presidency, and this has been true in interviews, it's been true in press conferences, it's been true in his speeches, he's struggled with the art of persuasion, the art that Bill Clinton obviously mastered so well.

And so there, I think there is a weakness for him in the debate, that he has a sort of, he can stumble, too, not in the same way that Romney can, but he can sort of get tangled up in his slightly professorial style and often sort of lose the plot, if you will.

MORGAN: I mean, important, Charles, though, this may be to the Romney fortunes, it's a day we discover the Romney campaign is planning to unleash, this is their leaking, robust spending in the final five weeks of the campaign. Quotes from a Republican source, "We will spend as much in paid advertising, direct mail and field operations in the next five weeks as we have spent since becoming the presumptive nominee."

This is from a mailer by Spencer Zwick, the campaign's national finance chairman, and Mason Fink, the campaign's national finance director. So they're going to be chucking the financial commercial advertising kitchen sink at the president, and the president's not ahead in the polls, really. Most of them, he's just ahead or they're pretty level.

BLOW: Right. But you're looking at the national polls, right? So that's now how we elect presidents in the United States. We elect them by an electoral college. So you have to look at by swing state by swing state. These are going to be -- this election is going to be fought in a handful of states. And that number of states where things are actually still competitive keeps shrinking.

So if they're going to be kind of targeting advertising, they're probably going to be targeting a very small number of states and a shrinking number of states. And you have to, you know, we'll have looked back on this after the Election Day and see whether or not that was good strategy. I personally believe that the Obama strategy was probably the better one, which is to spend the money up front, kind of -- kind of outline the image of Mitt Romney as you want it to be.

Also using a lot of what Mitt Romney has done and has said himself to make that case and once that starts to harden, it's really hard to undo that. And what -- and what also is working against Mitt Romney is that now you have early voting starting in a lot of these crucial states, is you can't undo a vote that's already cast.

MORGAN: OK. Let's just talk very quickly, zingers. Ross, let me ask you, I mean, Mitt Romney arrived in Denver today, he's going to be speaking at a rally tonight there. He'll be planning zingers because everybody knows whatever they say, you get a couple of good zingers in, that's the sound bite for the next four or five days until the next one of these debates, isn't it?

What would you be zinging President Obama?

DOUTHAT: I think -- I think this is a terrible strategy, actually, for the Romney campaign. And I think if you look -- if you look at the two periods recently when presidential debates shifted the polls, it was Kerry in '04, he gained by three or four points on Bush after those debates and it was Bush against Gore in 2000 who gained points mostly because Gore was unlikable.

And in neither case was there a sort of "there you go again" type zinger and frankly, the idea of Mitt Romney, Mr. Phony, delivering some kind of canned zinger, that's exactly the wrong strategy and I suspect this is just misdirection by the Romney campaign.

(CROSSTALK)

BLOW: Can I just say?

MORGAN: Final word from Charles?

BLOW: I love that Ross Douthat just called Mitt Romney Mr. Phony. I'm done. Thank you, Ross.

(LAUGHTER)

MORGAN: He's just zinged you.

DOUTHAT: Lost again, Charles. Got me again.

MORGAN: He ought to zing you when you zing --

BLOW: I got you.

MORGAN: You zinged yourself?

Anyway, very interesting. I will leave you to squabble over the "New York Times" newsroom floor.

Charles Blow, Ross Douthat, thank you very much indeed.

DOUTHAT: Thank you, Piers.

MORGAN: Tomorrow night, I sit down with Arnold Schwarzenegger. You watched his "60 Minutes" interview, you're probably left with some unanswered questions. Well, so was I, so I asked him. Arnold Schwarzenegger tells all. A pretty moving interview.

And coming up, a woman who says there are a lot of misconceptions about Mormons. I'll talk to one of the most famous Mormons in the world, Marie Osmond.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MORGAN: Marie Osmond is not just a star from childhood, she's also a part of one of the most famous Mormon families in America after the Romney family, of course. So what would it mean to her to see a Mormon in the White House? Marie Osmond joins me now.

It's a great question. Here's "TIME" magazine.

OSMOND: I have not seen that.

MORGAN: "The Mormon Identity: What Mitt Romney's Faith Tells Us about His Vision and Values." I know you don't get political about either party, either one of them, but it's fascinating to me that finally, Mitt Romney is talking about being a Mormon without any kind of discomfort or feeling like he's been ashamed of it because for a long time he wouldn't talk about it. He wouldn't come on my show and talk about it.

And yet what he has done I think plays well for him. I think it's a very commendable part of his life. What do you feel as a famous Mormon?

(LAUGHTER)

OSMOND: Which part?

MORGAN: Well, what do you feel about the fact the next president may be a Mormon?

OSMOND: You know what I think? First of all, just because I'm a Mormon, I don't know what every Mormon thinks.

MORGAN: No.

OSMOND: I mean that's like saying every Lutheran knows what every Lutheran thinks and every, you know, Jewish person. I don't think that he started out really making that a big issue. I think that the media has done that. But you know what, I look at like Kennedy, I mean, remember when Kennedy was looking to be president, it was like, well, he's a Catholic.

MORGAN: Yes. Yes.

OSMOND: Catholic.

MORGAN: Roman Catholic, so yeah. I remember.

OSMOND: Do we want a Catholic in the White House. I believe that we need to look at this as what our country was founded upon, which is freedom and separation of church and state. I think there's a lot of strange things said about, you know, our faith. Mormon is a nickname. We're the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. We believe in the Bible. We're Christian. I believe in Jesus Christ, things like that.

MORGAN: Has it been demonized a bit, do you think?

OSMOND: I think so. Absolutely. I don't think I'm too strange.

MORGAN: No. You're pretty normal. Donny tells me you're strange.

OSMOND: Donny is strange. Like I said -- no, I just -- I think that -- I don't play politics. I don't do that. I think there's too many celebrities out there claiming what they believe. And I think it's our job really to get people out to study the issues and to know what they believe and what they want to vote for.

MORGAN: But do you feel excited about the possibility of a Mormon president? Forget for a moment whether he's a Republican or Democrat.

OSMOND: I don't care what they believe. I don't vote any one party. I vote for the person. I think you have to look at -- this is what I vote for. I'm in New York City. And I look at the Statue of Liberty. And it says all of you, you know, who are here to breathe freedom. That's what I love about our country.

And I believe in our Constitution. And I believe in people that want to keep that -- what our forefathers so brilliantly put together. People came from all over the world to this country for what? Freedom. Nothing should take that away.

That's why, you know, what he believes and -- I mean, look at President Obama. I don't think people have gone into what he believes as much as they've gone into what Mitt Romney believes. Does that mean I'm telling you what I'm going to vote for? No, I'm not telling you what I vote for. But I do believe -- I believe in the freedom of our country and our great Constitution. I believe in anybody that will uphold that Constitution.

MORGAN: How important has your faith been to you personally over the years?

OSMOND: I am who I am because of what I believe. You know, I guess it's peculiar because back in 1800 whatever, when it says don't drink and smoke and do all those things -- well, we know now that those things aren't healthy for you anyway. So big deal. But you know, I believe -- I'm not a Mormon because my parents were. I actually studied many religions. I love all religion.

MORGAN: Really?

OSMOND: I do. I'm a voracious reader. And I love people. I love to know what makes them tick and why they love what they love.

MORGAN: To those who don't know anything about Mormonism or the Mormon Church, what are the biggest misconceptions?

OSMOND: I guess I'm running for president now.

MORGAN: You do look quite presidential.

OSMOND: Thank you.

MORGAN: You look like Gina Davis in "Commander in Chief."

OSMOND: I think we need a woman in there.

MORGAN: I agree. Maybe it should be you. You and Donny could do it together.

OSMOND: Oh, please, not him.

MORGAN: Are there misconceptions about the Mormon Church that annoy you?

OSMOND: Of course there are. There's misconceptions about every religion, don't you think? I've grown up with that. But no, it's like do we believe in the Bible. Absolutely we believe in the Bible. The Bible is our first -- the Book of Mormon is a second witness only that Jesus is the Christ. It's a second record that documents that he was the son of God. That's what we believe.

I'm not telling people what to believe. That's what I believe. Who cares, you know, if I'm -- I think you should be a good person, that you should be honest and have integrity. And those are the things that I believe that religion should -- but to mix all that into what I do as an entertainer and the people that I talk to, I've never done that. I've never desired to do that. I am who I am.

MORGAN: Last time I interviewed you, you just got married again to your ex-husband.

OSMOND: Yes, I did.

MORGAN: An unusual state of affairs.

OSMOND: Are you going to ask the question you always ask?

MORGAN: Which one?

OSMOND: The one about being in love?

MORGAN: How many times have you been properly in love? In your case twice with the same guy, right?

OSMOND: Once, with the same guy.

MORGAN: How's it going?

OSMOND: It's properly in love. That's the important question.

MORGAN: You probably are the most properly in love person I know, because only someone in that condition would remarry the same guy.

OSMOND: He is the greatest thing in my life.

MORGAN: Better second time around?

OSMOND: Better.

MORGAN: You worked each other out?

OSMOND: Yeah. I think you let certain things go that you think were so important and aren't. You get to a place where you're each other's best friends.

MORGAN: I want to talk to you about your new job. You are going to be basically doing a talk show. Should I be getting nervous?

OSMOND: Yes. You're going to be on it.

MORGAN: Really?

OSMOND: Yeah. Commit right now. Come on.

MORGAN: Pretty nervous.

OSMOND: Come on, commit.

MORGAN: OK, I'll do it.

OSMOND: You heard it right here, CNN.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

(SINGING) (END VIDEO CLIP)

MORGAN: Donny and Marie, two names that go hand in hand. Their show, in fact, has been voted best of Las Vegas. So what could possibly separate them? Well, Marie Osmond has broken free from the shackles of her brother to talk about her life, her loves and any other intrusive stuff I can get out of her in the next 10 minutes. Here's my number one question for you.

OSMOND: What's different about us? He's male, I'm female, although he is a little female sometimes.

MORGAN: I agree with you. It's actually a more direct question. Why Donny and Marie? Did you not try to get it Marie and Donny?

OSMOND: Well, he is older.

MORGAN: You're the sister.

OSMOND: It's OK to let him have top billing, because I get the last word.

MORGAN: What has it been like working with your brother on and off for so long?

OSMOND: Well, that's the thing is we really didn't work together for like 28 years. And then we decided to get back together in Vegas for a very short run. And it was kind of fun because people wanted us to stay. And here we are almost five years later, 2012, end of the world, what the heck. Right?

So we just feel extremely blessed. We're very different. He has his things that he likes to do, I'm venturing off on my own. We all have our passions. But it is -- we're going to England for the first time. We're going over to the O2. First time Donny and Marie have been there in over 30 years.

MORGAN: You'll be huge there.

OSMOND: We did a little show there, an evening with, and I guess it caused -- I don't go over there that often. I was made a promise that until my children were old enough that I wouldn't leave them for more than a week. They're old enough now.

MORGAN: You're going to be doing a talk show.

OSMOND: It started today.

MORGAN: Jumping into my seat here.

OSMOND: Well, hey. Come to my show. I'll talk to you.

MORGAN: Just because you have basically done -- how many thousands of shows have you done yourself over the years, as a guest?

OSMOND: Oh my gosh, we were laughing right before the show. I sat with Merv Griffin and Dinah Shore and over in -- all -- I mean, many, many countries, five decades of sitting in this chair. And I don't know, maybe it's because I've sat in this chair for so many years, I think I kind of know how they feel, how to help them say what they need to say, what's really important, why they're in this chair, and what has to, you know, sustain them over the years. And it's really fun.

It's been interesting so far, because we've taped a couple shows, that people are disclosing things to me that we have never talked about this before, and maybe they just know that I'm -- I guess I'm nice, but they're talking about eating disorders they grew up with and how it defined who they are now, and growing up in a family of hoarders and how that influenced them and changed their life path. And people are fascinating, Piers, aren't they?

MORGAN: I think you have to have an endless curiosity to do this.

OSMOND: You do. You have to like people.

MORGAN: Let's take a look at your show. We have a clip for you. Exciting clip.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BETTY WHITE, ACTRESS: Look at this beautiful house you bought. Oh, isn't this lovely.

OSMOND: Hallmark bought it for me.

WHITE: They did?

MORGAN: Yeah.

WHITE: Oh, is there anything you want to tell me?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

OSMOND: She's so lovely. You know, I twittered and facebooked and everything and said who would be your number one guest for my show. They said Betty White.

MORGAN: Yes, yes, she came on my show. She was fantastic.

OSMOND: I did a show with her years ago where she played my mother, and she's just -- she's lovely. I adore her. I grew up working with the best in the business, Piers.

MORGAN: Do you think the great secret of show business, in the end, is longevity?

OSMOND: Either that or you die young. I think I've gone beyond that.

(LAUGHTER)

MORGAN: No, you haven't, Marie.

OSMOND: You hang around long enough, they feel sorry for you. I may disappear before that. Johnny Carson did a good job of disappearing.

MORGAN: There will be women watching this going, look at how good Marie Osmond looks.

OSMOND: You're so nice, thank you.

MORGAN: It can't all be this nutrition stuff you do.

OSMOND: Nutrasystem works. It does.

MORGAN: Do you have to go to the gym every day? What do you do?

OSMOND: I do a television show in L.A., and then I fly to Vegas and do the show there at night, then I get back on a plane and fly to L.A. for the show that day. And the show's very energetic. I don't work out. My life is a workout. But I believe in choosing healthy choices. And I think you learn there's a lot of knowledge out there of what you can do. But to me -- and maybe my show is more seeking for the wisdom, because to me, wisdom is the proper application of knowledge and how to motivate yourself to be the best you can be for yourself.

MORGAN: I want to mention the Children's Miracle Network is celebrating its 30th anniversary. "The Donny and Marie Show" is going strong in Vegas and your talk show, "Marie," airs at noon on Hallmark.

OSMOND: Yes, it's called "Marie," not Donny.

MORGAN: Lovely to see you.

OSMOND: It's so lovely to see you, as always.

MORGAN: Best of luck with it. Don't be too good. Otherwise you'll get my job.

When we come back, three personal heroes of mine from the winning European Ryder Cup team. They're a bit hung over, got to warn you.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MORGAN: I don't understand this, but a confidence amongst the Americans that you're going to win the Ryder Cup. As a European, do you fancy a bet?

WILLIAM JEFFERSON CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Yes, I'll make a bet with you on the Ryder Cup.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MORGAN: Former President Bill Clinton ending up on the wrong side of our bet on the Ryder Cup, which cost him a pricey 100 dollars to a charity of my choice. I, of course, never had any doubt who would win. And it's all because of a team including three men joining me now exclusively, Ian Poulter, Justin Rose and Graham McDowell.

Gentlemen, first of all, congratulations.

(CROSS TALK)

MORGAN: You look a little the worse for wear if you don't mind me saying.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Which one?

MORGAN: That was a collective you, all of you. Do I take it the party was long and glorious?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was a great party. I think the earliest any of us got to bed was probably 3:30ish, I would think. It was a good night.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The water's by our side here. A little dehydration at the minute. So we're on the water.

MORGAN: We're seeing some alarming pictures of some of you dancing. I would stick to the golf if I were you.

Let me talk to you individually about various parts of this because it was one of the greatest comebacks I have ever seen in any sport in my lifetime. For you guys, let's start with you, Ian, if I may, because we're fellow Arsenal fans, so you obviously take priority here. You had this amazing moment in the dressing room with all the team and the Spanish captain, Jose Marie Olazabal obviously paid this extraordinary tribute Seve Ballesteros, the other great Spaniard who sadly died.

What was it about that meeting, that speech, which seemed to have turned the fortunes round the next day?

IAN POULTER, GOLFER: Well, it was a tough couple of days. Friday, we was played off the park. The guys -- the Americans just held more parts. There was more passion on the golf course from them than what we had. And we couldn't get any momentum.

And you know, really going into Saturday, we felt like we needed to take something out of it. And we didn't get anything out of the morning session at all. We was beaten again early and that was hard to take. But the afternoon session is really where the whole flow of the feeling of that team changed. The two points late in the afternoon on Saturday -- we were 10-4 down at one point. Going into those last couple games. And we needed to try to turn them around.

So we took a lot out of turning those games around, turning them into a victory; 10-4 to 10-6 felt like such a massive boost. Saturday night in the team room was an enormous change. I've never seen anything like it. MORGAN: Graham, the shadow of Seve Ballesteros sort of hung over the whole event, and quite rightly. He was one of the great players in history. There was his great Spanish friend who was the team captain. What did Jose Marie Olazabal say to you guys. Because there's lots of different reports about how emotional it got. He must have said something that really got you going?

GRAHAM MCDOWELL, GOLFER: Jose was -- he was an amazing captain all week. We had the silhouette of Seve on our golf box. We wore the silhouette of Seven on our left sleeve yesterday on our golf shirts. We really felt like Jose's emotion and his passion really came through. And we really, really just wanted to win it for him and obviously for the memory of Seve Ballesteros.

MORGAN: Justin, I have to be a little bit careful here, because I host an American show for an American audience. But every time they were shouting, the American fans, in the hole, I was willing you to get your ball in the hole and for theirs to miss it. Were you feeling the same way?

JUSTIN ROSE, GOLFER: I think collectively as a team, we were playing in silence on the golf course. It was an amazing feeling. Obviously, the U.S. team had great support. And it was a really sort of fiery and feisty atmosphere for us to play golf in. I loved it.

The Ryder Cup, it does sort of transcend the game of golf. You get sports fans coming to watch golf. And obviously sports fans that behave a certain way when they're watching their football team play now are in a golf environment. Obviously, our goal was just to try to hush the crowd. And I think for the American team, that silence could be deafening. And I kept trying to use that phrase during the week.

Because when the place went quiet, that must have been unnerving for them.

MORGAN: Ian, to beat the Americans in their own backyard at golf after -- obviously, in recent years, we've had a much better record at the Ryder Cup. Historically, this was almost unthinkable in the old days. How good a feeling is it?

POULTER: Even seeing them now, it really was one of the most remarkable comebacks I can think in any kind of sport. It hasn't happened before. European Ryder Cup teams have never done it before. They've done it to us in '99 for the same four-point deficit. And that hurt the European team very badly. So we knew last night what it would mean if we could switch that round, but switch it round in their back garden, as opposed to them doing it on their own home soil back in 1999.

MORGAN: Was the major driving factor -- let's be honest here -- the fact that you knew I had a 100 dollar bet with President Clinton?

ROSE: Yeah, that was it. It was all about the 100 dollar bet.

POULTER: I think it all came down to #GunaGolfPower or something. MORGAN: That was a totally technically accurate hash tag. You are a Guna (ph), Mr. Poulter. You're one of the great Arsenal fans on Twitter. And I felt it only appropriate you should be awarded the ultimate hash tag prize of -- I thank you, gentlemen, for winning my 100 dollars off President Bill Clinton.

And more importantly, I thank you on behalf of all of Europe, because God knows we needed a bit of cheering up in Europe this year. And you guys did that. It was a stunning sporting achievement. So congratulations. And I suggest you all now go to bed and get some much needed sleep.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We will.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thanks, Piers. Enjoyed it. >

MORGAN: Take care. Coming up, Only in America. What may have been the worst prediction in the history of sport.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MORGAN: For tonight's Only in America, the Ryder Cup wasn't only just the greatest comeback in sporting history, it also prompted the worst ever prediction in sporting history, a pundit's verdict so breathtakingly bad, we're talking Dewey beats Truman wrong.

The culprit was one Gene Wojciekowski, senior national columnist at ESPN.com. Now, after Saturday's Ryder Cup action, we saw the Americans take a pretty good 10 to six lead. He wrote the following, "for those who think the Ryder Cup is finished, think again. Team Europe can still win if the following things happen: Number one, Keegan Bradley" -- who was America's big star on the day -- "is abducted. Number two, Team USA captain Davis Love III inserts cup spectators Michael Jordan, President George W. Bush, Amy Mickelson and the Reverend Jesse Jackson into the lineup. Or number three, make Lee Westwood a U.S. citizen." That's so funny, because he wasn't playing well, you see.

"Number four, Marty McFly shows Team Europe Captain Jose Maria Olazabal how to go back in time, last Friday morning will do. Number five, Team Europe wins eight of the remaining 12 matches to retain the cup."

Mr. Wojciekowski concluded, "Never mind, it's over. Team USA has a kind of two-day lead that cup captains pray for. It's as close to insurmountable as trying to climb Mount Everest wearing a t-shirt cargo shorts and flip-flops. Time for the Europeans to fire up their private jets and head back home to Florida."

You may have seen the guys in Florida earlier, the ones who won. He still wasn't finished. "If Mrs. Poulter had had quintuplets and they all played golf, then Team Europe may have won this thing."

Even more amusingly, he then beat himself up for originally tipping Europe, saying "yes, I picked the Europeans to win. I am also the guy who picked Samsung over Apple, the Wicked Witch of the West over Dorothy and Savannah State over Florida State. I miscalculated."

Then he said this, "Europe has a minuscule chance, a do you believe in miracles chance. And if it happens, if Team Europe leads with the cup for the seventh time in the past nine competitions, then you'll hear a roar all the way from Spain, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Germany, Sweden, Belgium, England."

One word, Mr. Wojciekowski, Bah,

That's all for us tonight. Anderson Cooper starts now.