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PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT
Battleground America: Presidential Election
Aired November 4, 2012 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: You know where I stand and you know what I believe. You know I tell the truth. And you know I'll fight for you and your families every single day as hard as I know how.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PIERS MORGAN, CNN HOST: A fiery President Obama fighting for his political life tonight in Ohio, the state that could be the key to this whole election.
Meanwhile, the man who wants his job, Mitt Romney, is about to take the stage in Newport News, Virginia. We are keeping an eye on that for you tonight.
Good evening, and welcome to a very special battleground edition of PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT. The latest CNN/ORC poll just out tonight shows this race is a down-to-the wire dead heat. Get these figures, 49 percent for President Obama, 49 percent for Mitt Romney. But with two days to go until Election Day, this might be the picture that makes the difference. The Rockaways here in New York City, less than a week after Sandy's fury, temperatures are dropping and anger is rising, amid storm-tossed appliances and debris, with no power, with American flags flying proudly, the people of this community determined to vote if they can figure out where.
Here is why it is so important. A new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll finds that a whopping 67 percent of voters approve of the president's handling of super storm Sandy. Against that backdrop, we begin tonight with CNN's Susan Candiotti, live for us in the Rockaways. Sandy -- I'm sorry, Susan, Susan Candiotti in the Rockaways.
Susan, tell me what is the mood on the ground there like? We have seen the approval ratings for the president pretty high, 67 percent. On the other hand, lots of people still suffering. What is the real mood, do you think?
SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Certainly in this area, Piers, there is a mood of frustration. People here are torn, and you can see why. Just look all around me. I'm standing on a boardwalk here, and this used to be part of a miles-long boardwalk that ran along the ocean, and now, Sandy had broken it up and has sent it down the streets, and it's lined with all kinds of debris from homes that have been flooded here. They have got no power, there is no electricity here. They have got no telephone service, only spotty cell phone service, and the temperatures are plunging.
So, what are they thinking about? They are trying to figure out how to clean up from all of this. And this is the backdrop for coming up on the eve of Election Day. What do they do about that? How do they get to the polls? These are some of the issues that they are frustrated about right now.
MORGAN: But tell me this, Susan, do they care about the election or is this the last thing on their minds? Do these people -- they have lost their homes, their livelihoods in some cases, their lives. Do they care enough about this election to try to get to a polling booth, even if they could?
CANDIOTTI: You know, I have been talking to a lot of people out here, and they are of two minds. Some of them don't care. They have their hands full with all of this, and they say, we are just trying to survive. But other people are saying, no matter what, they are going to make it to the polls, come hell or high water. And in this case, I guess it's literally.
And so, they are trying to figure out a way to get there. This is what the Board of Elections is facing, and the two parties who are worried. I talked to both parties today about people being able to get to the polls.
So, they are trying to come up with, well, how do you tell them? There's no electricity, you can't call people up. The Internet's down for the most part. They are trying to talk about sending out fliers. There is limited transportation. There is one phone number from a non-partisan group called 866-Our-Vote, telling people to try to call them if they can to find out how to get to polling places.
But, Piers, they also have that company that makes the polling machines, ESS -- they sent out a ton of generators today to go out to polling stations to make sure that those polling stations will have power.
MORGAN: Finally, Susan, I had a very fiery interview with Rudy Giuliani on Friday, who accused the president basically of dereliction of duty, saying he shouldn't have been campaigning in places like Nevada. He should have been right where you are, right on the Rockaways, and Staten Island and places in New York, visible places where people have been suffering. Do the people there feel strongly that the president should have come to where you are?
CANDIOTTI: Well, I -- those that I talk to know that the president came out to the area, those supportive of him and even those who aren't -- who aren't. But their main thing is they just want people to get help to them at this point. They are not worried about the politics and the election and the campaigning. They are just seeking help. They need power. They need to get their lives back in order, and so far, they haven't seen much help out here.
MORGAN: Susan Candiotti, thank you very much indeed.
New Jersey was also hit hard by Hurricane Sandy. Two dozen people were killed, and in Newark, Mayor Cory Booker has been working around the clock in his city's relief efforts, walking the streets, answering calls for help, a regular on Twitter, and inviting storm victims into his own home. About 60,000 residents are about to mark one week without power, and the temperatures are dropping there, too. Mayor Booker joins me live now.
Welcome back, Mr. Mayor. How are things in Newark right now?
MAYOR CORY BOOKER, (D) NEWARK, NEW JERSEY: Things are tough. There still are tens of thousands of residents without power. You have streets like this, where there's not only no power, but they have trees that have fallen on their homes and going through a difficult time.
But I will say this about our city, about the state of New Jersey, about our nation. You know, people are often at their best when things are at their worst. And the resiliency of my community is very much there, the self-reliance, the fortitude.
So, there's a lot of folks suffering, a lot of challenges right now, especially as you have people isolated, seniors, disabled, people who are sick. We're doing our best to set up logistics networks to get them, so we are going to endure through this, but it's becoming even more challenging as day after day goes on, with places with no power.
MORGAN: And it's definitely getting noticeably colder this weekend. Another storm due possibly on Wednesday, with, you know, freezing cold temperatures. It's going to be very, very hard for those who already don't have power. So our thoughts are with them.
Let's turn to the election. As I said just now to Susan Candiotti, Rudy Giuliani was pretty explosive on Friday night on this show. Really skewering the president, saying that he had been virtually ignoring New York. He'd been to New Jersey with Governor Christie, but he hadn't been directly to any New York sites, as he put it, to show his solidarity, and he's being unpresidential. What did you make of that?
BOOKER: That seems so blatantly partisan, and during this time we in the tristate area are really suffering, we just don't need this kind of language. The reality is, Giuliani is no longer in office. I have been on calls with, you know, regional calls, where we have 20, 30 people there, officials from New York, officials from New Jersey, directly in conversation with the president, intense calls where we're discussing issues, strategies. You know, the president doesn't need to have boots on the ground in New York, especially with all the logistical problems for him flying into Manhattan. What we need from him and what we're getting from the president of the United States right now is extraordinary support. He has called New York City officials as well as me, myself, here in New Jersey directly himself. He's made FEMA available, HUD available. I even talked to the secretary of education, Arne Duncan, who has reached out. So that is ridiculous. This president has leaned in heavily, not on a partisan nature, but more of a human and a heart, cut through red tape and made sure that places like this here in Newark, New Jersey, were getting the resources we need.
MORGAN: Latest polls tonight show that this is a real knife's edge contest now, the election. What do you think in the end will be the determining factor?
BOOKER: Look, I think that people are starting to see the truth of what the president has done. Nobody, as Bill Clinton said so eloquently in the Democratic Convention, no president since FDR inherited the kind of mess, the kind of challenges -- people in this area really do remember the kind of fear, the free fall of our economy. He has turned that around. He's now created millions of jobs. He's got our economy out of the ditch. Things are actually accelerating. Job creation in the last year has significantly accelerated.
Cities like mine, we see it, we're still hurting. Unemployment is still extraordinarily extremely high. But hell, this is Newark, New Jersey's biggest economic development period of growth since the 1950s, with first new hotels in our downtown in 40 years, our first new office towers in 20 years, so much of that is because of our federal partnerships that are going on.
So this is a president that has battled through. And then there's a whole group of issues that I think have people afraid of what would happen if Obama left. Families with children with pre-existing conditions that now will suddenly be vulnerable again to insurance companies. You have people there in the military, who now are able to serve, proudly telling the truth of who they are, not worried about who they love, but only about the capacity of them to serve. They are afraid of what will happen if this president loses. We have women who now can fight for equal pay for equal work, what's going to happen to them? And the Supreme Court with a woman's right to choose.
So on the economy, the president has shown his ability to get this country out of a freefall back on the road to recovery, but more importantly to some people, who now have a country that is more equal, more accepting, this opened up avenues to health care, preventive care for women, with one presidential candidate saying he is going to close things like Planned Parenthood. Another one says he is going to preserve those things. On those issues, I think a lot of people are enthusiastic about defending the gains that we have made the last four years.
MORGAN: Cory Booker, as always, very perceptive. I appreciate you coming on again. Thank you.
BOOKER: I just want to say one thing to your point earlier about whether people in disaster areas -- here is a block with no power, houses severely damaged. I just want to turn around and say, are you guys going to vote in this election?
CROWD: Yes! BOOKER: So you heard t.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: For Obama!
BOOKER: We may be in tough times, but the people here are tough, and they understand how important this election is, and we are going to get out the vote here in Newark, even though we are struggling.
MORGAN: That's great to see. Cory, thank you very much.
Two days before this election, and this race couldn't get any tighter. Joining me now from Mitt Romney's side, a Republican congressman, Jason Chaffetz of Utah. He's in the battleground state of New Hampshire.
Welcome to you, Congressman.
REP. JASON CHAFFETZ, (R) UTAH: Thanks, Piers.
MORGAN: This is going right to the wire. David Gergen, who knows a few things about elections, says he can never remember one quite this close. What do you make of the reality on the ground? Where do you think you really are?
CHAFFETZ: We are fired up. I was with Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan two nights ago in Ohio. Tens of thousands of people turning out. Mitt Romney has now been in Pennsylvania, firing up crowds there. Nobody thought that Pennsylvania would be in play, but it is now.
This is a group that is fired up. It's excited. We are in the right spot at the right time. Mitt Romney is the right candidate. The president's been struggling to bump up above 50 percent, and I think the country fundamentally knows that it is off track, it wants to get back on track, and I think they are ready to make that change to Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan.
MORGAN: If you can't beat an incumbent president when unemployment is just nearly at 8 percent still and the debt's risen by $5 trillion, to $16 interest, it's pretty much a disaster for the Republican Party, isn't it?
CHAFFETZ: Well, that's why I think the country's going to make a change. You are exactly right. We have this unbelievable debt. We are paying more than $600 million a day in interest on the debt. The president promised that if he took office, he was going to cut the deficit in half. He didn't do that, he doubled the size of it. We have 23 million Americans who are struggling to find work. This is why I think we are going to make a change. Mitt Romney has proven that he is a great, consistent candidate, he is going to make the country proud, he's a man of integrity, and it's in part why I think Mitt Romney will be the next president of the United States.
MORGAN: Yes, but rather skillfully, you didn't answer my question, which is if you don't win, if Mitt Romney loses --
CHAFFETZ: Come on, Piers, we are more optimistic than that. Next 48 hours --
MORGAN: Let's play that favorite game, hypotheticals. In other words, it shouldn't be this close. Many people say that, come on, how can it be so close? Why is Mitt Romney not romping away with this, given the current state of the economy? And the answer is that the American people still obviously believe that Barack Obama, on balance, hasn't done too badly.
CHAFFETZ: No, no, to the contrary. I think a lot of people look back at the Reagan/Carter race, and Carter was ahead almost all the way, and then Ronald Reagan had this unbelievable great debate, very similar to what happened then. And then Ronald Reagan ran away with it.
I think -- I don't happen to think it's actually going to be that close. I know every single poll says it's real tight, but I would love to come back on your show in about three days' time, because I think Mitt Romney will be the next president of the United States, at least the president-elect.
MORGAN: I have referred to a blazing argument I had, wasn't even an argument, he was just shouting really, Rudy Giuliani on Friday night, very animated, particularly about the events in Benghazi, leading to assassination of the ambassador. He believes there is a huge coverup going on, and that once the investigation is concluded, it will be revealed that the Obama administration lied to the American public, and he even went as far as saying that, and covered it up. What do you make of what he said, and do you believe that the administration has a case to answer?
CHAFFETZ: Oh, absolutely. I'm the chairman of the Subcommittee on Oversight, on National Security, Homeland Defense and Foreign Operations. With Darrell Issa, myself, others, members of the committee, we have been pressing this administration, and if we had not pressed them, I don't think this administration would have fessed up to the fact that it was not a video that led to this attack. That on June 6th, when our embassy was attacked for the second time, this president and the administration failed to recognize that terrorist effort.
And then when you look at what happened on 9/11, we lost four Americans, including our first ambassador since the 1970s. And for weeks, the administration was misleading the American people. And it -- shame on them for doing that. There are a lot -- every day goes by, there are more and more questions about what happened and did not happen in Libya. It should never have happened, and the administration hasn't been straight with the American people or the world about what truly did happen.
MORGAN: Final question, Mr. Chaffetz. You are a Mormon politician. What would it mean to you personally to get the first ever Mormon president of the United States?
CHAFFETZ: You know, I guess personally, that would mean a lot to me, but you know what, I'm pretty proud of this country. I think actually when they elected President Obama, the country showed that it had grown up, that maybe some of those other factors that were there were not inhibitors. And now you have got Mitt Romney poised to become the next president of the United States. Religion has not been the first and foremost question, nor should it be.
So I'm actually proud of the question. But personally, myself, my wife, Julie, other Mormons, yes, we would be proud of the fact that Mitt Romney was the first Mormon president of the United States.
MORGAN: Congressman, best of luck. May the best man win. Good to talk to you.
CHAFFETZ: Thank you.
MORGAN: Coming up, Michael Moore is back. Just last week, he was fired up about super storm Sandy. I have a feeling tonight, it's going to be a no-holds-barred exchange about the election. We'll see him in a few moments.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I have four generations of family on this earth, and my life has been very blessed. And if the Republicans steal this election, I'm going to track down Mitt Romney and give him the world's biggest [EXPLETIVE DELETED] punch.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Controversial ad from Michael Moore and Moveon.org. He was here last week voicing outrage in the wake of super storm Sandy. Tonight he is back, with just two days to go until Election Day. He has got plenty more to say. Michael Moore joins me again. Normally you're like, I see you every six months. I'm nervous, seeing you back within 48 hours.
MICHAEL MOORE, FILMMAKER: I'm in violation of my rules here.
MORGAN: Crisp new hair cut, the tie tonight.
MOORE: I did this -- because I did -- you asked me back on a Sunday, and I'm going to dress up for you. So -- I don't have to stay here very long, though, do I?
MORGAN: No, you don't. Don't worry. We owe that to the viewers.
Let's talk about that ad, because we didn't get around to it on Friday--
MOORE: It's "Homeland" (INAUDIBLE). And "Boardwalk Empire."
MORGAN: Of course, which is a great show. Can we talk politics?
MOORE: "The Good Wife." This is like -- everybody is watching everything else. Nobody is watching us right now.
MORGAN: Everybody is watching this show.
MOORE: OK, go ahead. I'm ready.
MORGAN: Let's talk politics.
MORGAN: Your ad was very provocative. People either loved it or they hated it, you know that?
MOORE: Mostly loved it, yes.
MORGAN: Were you pleased with the reaction?
MOORE: Absolutely. Moveon, they told me yesterday it is their most viewed video in the history of their videos. So it's a group of senior citizens, they were very game for wanting to say that they are sick and tired of what's going on, and if anybody tries to steal this election through voter suppression or any other funny business on Tuesday, they want to be on the frontlines and fight.
MORGAN: That could well happen. Because, I mean, lawyers have been mobilized now all over America, because it's on a knife edge. The latest CNN poll, 49 percent each, a dead heat, as things stand. Feeling in various swing states, it is different depending on which poll you read, but whatever happens, no one can say with certainty what is going to happen here.
Here is a question I put to you, Michael, why has Obama not been able to be further ahead? Why is it so close?
MOORE: It's a combination of things. The obvious ones, you know, the economy could be better right now. There's still a lot of people out of work. We are still in Afghanistan. You go down the whole list of things. But I think honestly, considering the hand that he was dealt at the beginning, he has done a pretty good job of dealing with the mess that the Bush administration handed him. And I think it's this close -- I hate to say this, because I just -- it just -- but I've been out in the Midwest and I'm listening to people and stuff, and I'm just -- I still am amazed at how the issue of race comes up in this election, still. And somebody was saying earlier here, I think it was on CNN, of the -- you know, Romney is going to win the white vote or whatever. And it is just interesting, it is like it almost sounds like a -- an odd thing to talk about, I guess, you know?
MORGAN: It is an interesting question, isn't it? I mean, I have asked a lot of people this, whether America's become more -- actually been more racist since Barack Obama become president than less, and I think most people believe that it has actually become slightly more racist, it has brought out more racism?
MOORE: Not amongst young people. Our kids, the next generation, they are not -- they don't have the kind of racism and bigotry and intolerance that unfortunately a lot of their parents or grandparents have, so I'm hopeful for the future. But, yes, I would agree that hate is a much greater motivator in this case, and that's why those who are voting for Obama are nervous, because those voting for Romney are very enthused about it, because they are filled with so much anger and hate toward this guy, claiming he's the worst president ever and all this crazy stuff. And our side, it's kind of like, everybody likes Obama, and we want to keep him in there another four years, but there is not that level of --
MORGAN: But, Michael, hasn't the problem with your side been the president's own demeanor? I watched him tonight in Ohio, and he was back to the Obama of four years ago. He was on fire. And I thought, where has that guy been? He wasn't there in the debates like that, I've not seen him on the stump like that really until the last few days. It seems me like he has only just woken up to reality. He has got a real scrap on his hands on Tuesday. Why has Obama been so curiously lackluster in this campaign?
MOORE: I don't think he has been. And in fact, I don't think he has just woken up to that fact. I think that he has known for quite some time that this was going to be quite a fight. And that the other side is very motivated to get out there. And so my big concern is how to get people out, especially people who are -- who are thinking of maybe even not voting to get them out to vote.
MORGAN: The reason that many of them won't go out to vote for Barack Obama will be they don't feel as enthused about him as they did last time.
MOORE: Yes, OK.
MORGAN: The magic's worn off a bit. How do you persuade those people who just think, you know what, he has done OK, but he wasn't the messiah after all?
MOORE: OK, so he wasn't. And so, OK, so you're not that enthused. There are lots of things you do every day that you are not that enthused about, but we are talking about our country here. And these Republicans, these plutocrats, these people who come from Wall Street, corporate America, Bain Capital, who have thrown millions of people out of work, they want to complete the job with Mitt Romney. And anybody out there who is listening to this has to understand that if they -- if we allow them to have the White House back -- that's -- I don't know, that will be about it, because we hold on to the power, we the people, of this country, by a thread right now. And to have them back in there, it's -- it will be an absolute catastrophe. And that's why I'm hoping that people who are thinking of sitting this out, and according to USA Today, their poll, they think 90 million people are not going to vote on Tuesday.
MORGAN: Amazing statistic.
MOORE: But 2-1, when they ask them if you did vote, 2-1 said they would vote for Obama. So, I'm really asking Obama, you know, people who like Obama but you're thinking of not voting, to please come out and vote on Tuesday, and, you know, be a good American, or do it for me. MORGAN: That may not be the best vote Mr. Obama is going to get all night, Michael, I'd quit while you're ahead. Let's take a little break, let's come back and talk about one of the real flash points in the election, the auto industry. Could it cost Romney the election, which would be a great irony?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Obama took GM and Chrysler into bankruptcy and sold Chrysler to Italians, who are going to build Jeeps in China. Mitt Romney will fight for every American job.
ROMNEY: I'm Mitt Romney and I approve this message.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Controversial Jeep ad from the Romney campaign has the Obama camp up in arms. Back now, Michael Moore, what did you make of that?
MOORE: First of all, I just want to say that we just got word that football ran late tonight, so "The Good Wife" is not starting until 9:35. Don't tune out here. It's -- we got another good ten minutes.
MORGAN: Do what I do, tape "The Good Wife" and "Homeland" and watch me live. That is a perfect night of television.
Let's get back to the Jeep ads. What did you make of the Jeep ad? Cheap shot, or did it have a little point to it?
MOORE: There's no point to it. That's not just -- it's a lie. It's not just a cheap shot, it's an absolute lie. There's no Jeep production of Jeeps that are being made in the U.S. for American buyers that's being moved to China. In fact, they are adding Jeep jobs here. So it's just amazing, that they can get away with this.
MORGAN: The point is they are building Jeeps in China for the Chinese is the point?
MOORE: Correct. Which they should do. I have said that for 30 years, that if you're going to have these factories in Mexico, how about build things for Mexicans, that employ Mexicans, pay them a good wage, and let them be able to buy the stuff that they're making.
MORGAN: If they were building any cars in China for the American market, would you feel differently?
MOORE: Yes. Yes, I would, of course.
MORGAN: Because I feel strongly about companies like Apple, for example, who outsource all the jobs to China, a lot of it comes back here. I don't think they should be doing so much of it.
MOORE: I don't think they should be doing any of it, and in fact, I read, there was an economist who did a study on if Apple made these iPhones in the U.S., they wouldn't make as big a profit as they do now making them in China, but they would still make a great profit.
MORGAN: Yes. And almost single-handedly revived the American jobs market.
MOORE: Yes. It's -- that's a much longer discussion, but it's something I have been dealing with in my films for, you know, over two decades.
MORGAN: The irony of Mitt Romney's position is he could end up losing in the very area of the auto industry workers' homes, because they believe he would have bankrupted them and Obama saved them. He disputes obviously saying that, but he wrote a piece that had that as the headline.
MORGAN: It's more complicated than that but it would be true--
MORGAN: It would be ironic if the businessman lost because of a business decision like that.
MOORE: Yes, it would be wonderful, isn't it? And I'm glad that Romney was so honest a few years ago in terms of how he felt about this, and the fact that it has come back to bite him now, it's OK, it was at least -- it's one of the few times he wrote something down and said something that he actually believed was true, let Detroit go bankrupt. So I don't fault him for that.
MORGAN: Be honest now. Are you nervous about Tuesday? Do you think it could go the wrong way?
MOORE: Oh, absolutely. I'm most nervous about this. As I said to you earlier this week, I think if we could vote like "American Idol" and everybody just voted on their sofa at home, Obama would win. I do believe he is liked by more Americans than not liked. But that's not what's going to happen, it's about who shows up on Tuesday. It's going to be who really has the best organization to get people out to vote.
And so, you know, again, it is going to be up to people -- don't think that the Democratic Party is doing all the work necessary in your town to make this happen. You have got to take people to the polls, you have got to say to people at work, hey, let's all go vote and then let's have lunch. You know, you've got -- you've got to call your friends and your kids and whoever else, no matter what state they are in, and just say, hey, have you voted yet? People have got to remind people to vote. They've got to get out there and vote. They've got to help them, take them to vote, whatever it takes.
But listen, of course I'm nervous because the Republicans are usually much better at this. They are disciplined, they are organized, they have got more money, they know how to steal and cheat and lie. So, I -- hat is off to them.
MORGAN: Whichever side you're on, get out and vote. You just always exercise your right to vote.
Michael, good to see you. So soon. Twice in a week. I feel blessed.
MOORE: All right. I just missed "Boardwalk Empire."
MORGAN: Coming up on "Battleground America," tug-of-war. In this corner, Obama insider Robert Gibbs. In the other corner, tax warrior Grover Norquist. Ding-ding.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: You know I know what real change looks like, because I fought for it. Because I brought it. Because I've got the scars to prove it. Because I've gotten gray hair doing it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: President Obama speaking today in Florida. Joining me now in our "Battleground America" special, the man who knows the president better than many, former White House press secretary Robert Gibbs. Mr. Gibbs, welcome.
ROBERT GIBBS, FORMER WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: How are you?
MORGAN: I'm good. I'm excited, like most people. And I think the excitement comes from really nobody seeming to have a clue who is going to win this election. What do you think it will come down to in the end? How do you see the map of Tuesday night really evolving based on where things are right now?
GIBBS: Well, look, I know from our campaign's perspective, we feel pretty good about where things are. Obviously, what's left now, I'm in Wisconsin, we are about 47.5 hours from the polls closing. It's all about getting our voters out to the polls all day on Tuesday. The president will start his day here with Bruce Springsteen, and hopefully, a big, energetic rally here.
But, look, Piers, I feel very good about where we are in the nine battleground states and about what we have to do to finish this race off in a little under two days.
MORGAN: In terms of the election campaign, I've been surprised, watching the president today, he was absolutely on fire on the stump. He was the Barack Obama of four years ago, and I couldn't help wondering, where the hell's that guy been? Why has he been so apparently comparatively lackluster until really the last few days?
GIBBS: Piers, I don't know that I would agree with the fact that, you know, for four years minus two days he has been lackluster but he has been fired up and ready to go the last two days. Look, I'm sure you get energy from a big crowd like that. But as you heard the president say, he has brought some real change and some real big change to this country. I stand in a state that's created 25,000 manufacturing jobs, the first positive manufacturing job growth in 20 years in this country. Bringing jobs back from overseas and building stuff right here in America to sell all over the world, that's real change here in Wisconsin. That's real change in this country.
And look, we've got four more years of work to do with President Obama. We have got to strength our education system, we've got to improve on this manufacturing economy, we've got to take advantage of our domestic energy sources and continue to keep this country strong and safe. I know that's what's getting him fired up today in Florida and will tomorrow in Wisconsin, Ohio and Iowa.
MORGAN: If he does lose, then many will say it is down to the economy, and certainly all the polls, you can see that people still feel very fragile about the economic situation, about their own economic position. It's hard to argue that the president won the economic battle. I think people think, well, you know, it has been tough, but he could have done more. Do you accept that?
GIBBS: Well, look, I look at the last 32 months of jobs reports, and it's been positive private sector job growth, 5.4 million jobs have been created. Look, Piers, we didn't get into this economic catastrophe overnight. It really wasn't just a bank that collapsed on Wall Street in September of 2008. It was years and years of declining wages while workers' productivity increased. It was falling further and further behind in helping their families afford college or being able to buy things, so, look, it is going to take us a while to get out of this mess, but we have got a good start. We moved this country forward. We have got to just keep moving it forward.
We can't go back to the failed economic theory that Governor Romney and Paul Ryan want, which is sprinkling tax breaks on the very wealthy and hoping that trickles down somehow to the middle class. That's what got us into this mess, Piers, it's not going to get us out of this mess.
MORGAN: Michael Moore said earlier that the Republicans may win because they are better at lying, stealing and cheating, and because America has become a more racist country in the last four years. Would you go along with any of those four things?
GIBBS: Well, look, I'm going to tell you why I think Barack Obama and this campaign are going to win, because I think we have a better message. I think we have a more hopeful vision of what this country is going to look like. I think we have got a campaign that is going to outwork the Romney campaign for the last 48 hours, just as we have for the last many, many months. And I think when we put all those things together and you see the excitement and the energy that President Obama has and that President Obama is bringing to what we want to do for the next four years, I think we are in a very good position to win this campaign. We just got to make sure that all those folks that are there are getting out to vote. I'm in Wisconsin telling that to folks, the president will be in three states, including this one tomorrow. We just got to make sure people get out there on Tuesday.
MORGAN: Robert Gibbs, thank you very much indeed.
GIBBS: Thanks for having me, Piers.
MORGAN: Now I want to turn to the other side. Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform. Grover, how are you?
GROVER NORQUIST, AMERICANS FOR TAX REFORM: Good to be with you. Doing well.
MORGAN: You feeling confident you're going to win?
NORQUIST: I think Romney's going to win. Look, the president's been president for almost four years. Things have gotten worse, not better, and fewer than 50 percent of the people say they are going to vote for him. That's always bad news for an incumbent.
Something unusual would have to happen for an incumbent president polling behind, you know, 47, 48 percent. All the undecideds are going to go for the guy they know well. Not likely.
MORGAN: I think that's right, and I think the battle for the independents is going to be absolutely crucial, as is the battle on sides to energize their vote, to physically get out and vote. Those seem to me to be the two things which will in the end, tip it one way or another.
NORQUIST: I work with taxpayer groups and center-right organizations in all 50 states. And when I talk to folks in Wisconsin and Ohio and Virginia, the center-right seems very active, certainly much more than four years ago. And even much more than eight years ago, when they were dragging Bush across the finish line. There is a real excitement and a lot of concern. We are $5 trillion in debt, worse off than we were four years ago. We have one out of every 50 Americans who was in the job market, in the job force when Obama got elected, has left. 2 percent of the population has walked out the door and said we are not looking anymore. They would still like to work, but they have left. If you counted the guys who walked out the door and quit looking in those unemployment numbers that are very bad but only got a little bit worse than the last month, and therefore Obama's happy, we would be over 10 percent unemployment. We've never in a recovery, and we are technically in a recovery the last three years, had people leaving the job market.
People rejoin the job market during real recoveries. This is unprecedented and very sad and unfortunate, and that the Obama people claim to be happy with this very bad track record. How are they going to make it better if they are happy with the lousy job record that they have had?
MORGAN: Someone who looks pretty happy at the moment is Mitt Romney. We're looking at live pictures from him in Newport News, Virginia, he's just arrived to do a bit of stumping down there. I got to say, he is exuding a very positive demeanor, and he is getting pretty big crowds. The feeling that I'm getting, I'm picking up from all our correspondents and reporters on the ground is that there is a lot more enthusiasm and excitement for potential victory on the ground amongst the Republicans than there was at this stage with John McCain.
NORQUIST: Well, I was just talking to a couple of journalists around here, and they commented that when they go out to see the Obama get out the vote efforts, it's there, it's good, but it just doesn't have the numbers, the excitement that it did four years ago. So, looking at the sort of Obama's get out the vote effort four years ago and this time, it evidently is paler and less excited. Big difference on the Republican side.
MORGAN: If Mitt Romney can't beat a president who in four years has seen the debt rise by $5 trillion, to $16 trillion, has seen unemployment remain pretty much at 8 percent, that is a catastrophe for the Republicans, isn't it?
NORQUIST: The interesting thing that's going on, and I think it would be bad for the country, but the modern Republican Party, we have 29 Republican governors. We are going to have one, two, three or four more after the election. So, the depth and the strength of the modern Republican Party, they are going to pick up more state legislators, even though last election, they jumped 600 more Republican state legislators. There are 24 states where the Republicans have the governor and the state legislature.
So, and the House is going to go Republican again with the new redistricted lines.
So, you are looking at the Republican House of Representatives for the next decade, and they, if they don't take the Senate, they will strengthen. 2014 they will take the Senate for sure, given who's up.
So you are looking at a Republican Congress for the rest of the decade. I think we will have a Republican president in Romney, but the party is actually in a strong position.
MORGAN: Well, I'm going to interrupt you, because we are going to listen to the would-be president, Mitt Romney, right now, he is speaking live. Thank you very much, Grover. I appreciate it.
ROMNEY: (INAUDIBLE) beyond the speeches and the attacks and the ads. Look to the record. You see, talk is cheap. But a record is earned, and it's earned with real effort.
Change can't be measured in speeches. Change is measured in achievements. And four years ago, candidate Obama, he promised so much to so many people, but he has fallen so very short. He promised, as you'll recall, to be the postpartisan president. But he has been the most partisan, blaming, attacking, dividing, and it's not only Republicans he has refused to listen to. He also doesn't listen to independent voices.
He was also going to focus on creating jobs, remember that? But he focused on Obamacare instead, and that killed jobs.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SETH MEYERS, SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE: (INAUDIBLE) to vote, presidential campaigns and outisde groups have spent just under $1 billion in advertising for this election. So far swaying a total of one undecided voter.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: "Saturday Night Live" finding the funny side of Mayor Bloomberg endorsing President Obama. With the race in a dead heat, will Sandy have the final say on Election Day? Joining me now is Republican pollster, Kristen Soltis, vice president of the Winston Group. And Marjorie Clifton, national editor of GoVote.com. Welcome to you both.
We thought in the interests of impartiality, we will find two people who looked almost identical from either side.
MORGAN: So you're in the split screen looking like twins. So there we are. No one can complain we are not absolutely impartial tonight.
Let me start with you, Kristen. You're feeling confident? I mean, I'm getting a feeling of confidence amongst Republicans, but I sort of assume that everybody on both sides now spends the next 48 hours lying through their back teeth anyway.
KRISTEN SOLTIS, GOP POLLSTER: I'm going to be honest with you, Piers, I'm going to hedge a little bit. I think if you're looking at the polls, the polls are consistently showing Obama with a very slight lead in a lot of these swing states, so that makes me very nervous. On the other hand, I think that within a lot of these polls, you are seeing Romney win independents by such huge margins, that the question is, is something not adding up? Are the polls missing something? And I think Republicans are looking at these intangibles, right, they are looking at these huge rallies that are showing up for Mitt Romney, this great performance in early voting, and they are saying this isn't 2008. We feel better about it this time, and they feel good going into Tuesday. And that's why.
MORGAN: Marjorie Clifton, I certainly feel that on balance, Romney has had the better campaign, I think. I think he's got a bit more momentum through the last month than the president. The president has been helped by the events of last week, the appalling events of the hurricane, because he happens to be president. But if you actually look at the way the campaigns ran, you got say that I think Romney has done a pretty good job.
MARJORIE CLIFTON, NATIONAL EDITOR, GOVOTE.COM: Well, I think absolutely, Romney had done a formidable job, which is why we are seeing the candidates neck and neck. But I think all of these great projections and, you know, guesses at who's going to win, there is going to be a lot of walks of shame on Wednesday morning because somebody's not going to come out the winner.
You know, and I look at everyone is mired and obsessed about this polling data. Back and forth and back and forth. I actually go to 538, Nate Silver's polling data, because what he does is he takes all of the different major polls out there and kind of makes this mess of numbers, this soup of numbers, and then adds mathematics, and tries to make a guesstimate based on all the polls.
What he saw was actually a huge jump over the weekend with an 85 percent chance of Obama winning the electoral college. Now, does that mean anything? I don't know. But I will say both candidates, it's the ground game that actually matters, and one fascinating thing I learned this weekend also was that President Kennedy actually campaigned in 49 states. Nixon campaigned in 50 states. Since the Democratic and Republican conventions, our candidates have only campaigned in ten states. So, all this energy is really pouring into the ground game in those key swing states, and I think that's going to be the telling point.
MORGAN: I think Nate Silver, he's a genius, I have had him on a few times, he is fantastic, but it's important to remember, he's just about the law of probability. And he has had Romney for the last few weeks now as a probable potential winner between, like, 30 percent and 20 percent. Well, that is a one in three chance. If you go to Vegas, a one in three chance of winning roulette, you would be very happy, you'd take them to the cleaners.
So I think people have probably overanalyzed this top-line figure for Obama, Kristen Soltis, by saying, well, Nate Silver says 80 percent probability. Well, yes, but it's not as straightforward as that.
SOLTIS: Yes, well, his model is as good as the polls that go into it, right? He applies some quality control, and pollsters with better track records get higher -- get more value in his model. But the problem is, you know, if the polls are wrong, it is not ultimately going to be his fault on Election Day if Mitt Romney wins.
I think -- so, that's why his model is showing such a strong Obama lead, it's because these slight but collective leads in these swing state polls all make his model show that very strong result.
MORGAN: Can we assume, Marjorie, do you think, that if Romney was to lose, all the blame will be laid squarely on Hurricane Sandy with a dash of Chris Christie?
CLIFTON: Absolutely. Because that's the latest and greatest. One of the things in that "Saturday Night Live" skit that I thought was really funny was Mitt Romney saying, but do you remember the first debate, remember how great I was in the first debate? And so we have such a short attention span with these things.
But I think when it comes down to it, there's three groups of voters that are really going to make all the difference. Absolutely those independents, and we did see Obama go from behind at a double-digit loss up to almost square even as of this weekend. Women, where actually we're seeing a much smaller gap between where women are voting versus Obama and Romney than we saw with McCain and even George W. Bush. And the youth vote, where Obama won by 34 percent of the youth vote, but actually there was conventional wisdom that more young people turned out in the last election when actually they didn't, it was about the same numbers, they just won by a greater sweep. But is that same momentum there? Are we going to have the same turnout? That's the big question. I think there is going to be lots of talk about it after this election.
MORGAN: I am going to go on the record right now, on camera, saying I haven't got a bloody clue who is going to win. So no one's going to pin on me that I went with one or the other. I have changed my mind more times than I can remember about anything in the last three weeks.
CLIFTON: I wouldn't put any money down. No money on this one.
MORGAN: It's going to be an exciting night. Marjorie Clifton and Kristen Soltis, thank you both very much.
And we will be right back.
MORGAN: Tomorrow night, we'll have all the news from the final hours of this extraordinary campaign, and I will be back at midnight tomorrow night with the very first votes cast in the nation. All 10 registered voters in Dixville Notch, New Hampshire, are expected to have cast their ballots by then, and we'll have that live. So two shows, 9:00 and midnight tomorrow night, both live. That's all for us tonight.
Don Lemon is up next. Over to you, Don.