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PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT
Last Night of the Campaign Trail
Aired November 5, 2012 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
PIERS MORGAN, CNN HOST: Good evening. We start with breaking news in the final hours of campaign 2012. You're looking live at President Obama's rally in Des Moines, Iowa. We'll keep an eye on that for you later on.
Mitt Romney will also be taking the stage shortly in New Hampshire. But on this day before election day, with President Obama just one point ahead in the latest CNN poll of polls, they're both bringing out the big guns.
Kid Rock will take the stage tonight with Mitt and Ann Romney and the president has been on the road today with not one but two music superstars, Bruce Springsteen opening for Mr. Obama.
And Jay-Z playing a somewhat kicked up version of one of his biggest hits.
Tonight, though, it all comes down to two men making their cases to the nation. Listen to President Obama in Columbus, Ohio, earlier.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The future is what we're fighting for. The future never has lobbyists like the status quo does, but the dreams of those children will be our saving grace. That's why I need you, Ohio. To make sure their voices are heard.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Today, Mitt Romney said he'd keep campaigning even on election day, with stops in Ohio and Pennsylvania. Here's what he told the crowd in Ohio a little while ago.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: Accomplishing real change is not something I just talk about. It's something I've done and it's what I'm going to do when I'm president of the United States with your help.
(END VIDEO CLIP) MORGAN: We begin tonight down on the campaign trail, the one last night. Candy Crowley is at Romney headquarters in Boston.
Candy, how are you?
CANDY CROWLEY, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: I'm very good. How are you, Piers?
MORGAN: You must feel like you've been --
CROWLEY: They are setting up here, I will tell you.
MORGAN: Well, I bet. You must feel like the end of the longest marathon run in the history of marathon runs. How would you describe the mood down at the Romney camp? Do you sense you're amongst people who believe they can win?
CROWLEY: Yes. Absolutely. I mean in their -- in their conference calls, when they talk to reporters that are on the road with them, they are looking around them and they are talking to their various offices in these swing states and they feel very confident about enthusiasm. They say the enthusiasm is on their side.
They also say that there's a great phrase that they use called high propensity voters and those are folks that always come out on election day, and they take a look at those early voting states, in Ohio, for instance, where the Democrats seem to have a large edge in the early votes, and they say well, that's because they, quote, "cannibalize" their high propensity voters which means they believe that the Obama team is turning out people that would have shown up on election day anyway, whereas they say the Romney team, most of their voters are going to show up on election day.
So, you know -- but you get the same thing, I'm sure, when you talk to the other side. They will tell you that they look at the math and they just don't see a way that the president is not going to win. They -- it really is like parallel universes talking to these two campaigns.
MORGAN: Well, let's go to Jessica Yellin, who's been following President Obama today.
Jessica, how would you describe the mood in the president's camp? Clearly there's not that kind of huge euphoria we saw four years ago but that doesn't necessarily mean his vote won't come out and re-elect him, but are they confident or are they nervous?
JESSICA YELLIN, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Piers. They are confident. And what they argue is that they have data on their side. They -- as Candy says, they have -- it's a different universe. They point to the early vote in state after state coming out in a larger number for President Obama than for Governor Romney and that polls showing that the president has the slightest but meaningful edge over Governor Romney.
Now obviously as Candy says, there is a counter to every point the Obama team makes but they say that their models show the president will win tomorrow, plus they argue they have the ground game and they have this.
Behind me, Piers, is a crowd of people that they say are part of the crowd that helped elect him four years ago back in Iowa, where it all started when the president upset Hillary Clinton in that, the longest caucus in Iowa's history. He's ending it tonight as they like to say on this campaign, where it all began -- Piers.
MORGAN: Yes. Certainly is. It's getting right to the wire, two confident camps, only one can win. But for now, Jessica Yellin, Candy Crowley, thank you both very much.
The polls are too close for comfort for either side tonight. Joining me now is David Plouffe, he's a senior advisor to President Obama.
David, how are you?
DAVID PLOUFFE, SENIOR ADVISER TO PRESIDENT OBAMA: Great, Piers. Thanks for having me on.
MORGAN: I want to remind you of a quote from the president on November 4th, 2008. He said about you, the unsung hero of this campaign who built the best political campaign I think in the history of the United States of America. No pressure then about this one.
PLOUFFE: Well, the unsung heroes of our campaign, Piers, are the millions of volunteers out there and here in Ohio where I am now, and Iowa and Florida, who are going to turn out support for the president tomorrow. We feel very good about where we are entering election day. We're confident we have the support in the states to win this election, to re-elect President Obama. We just have to make sure our support materializes in votes.
So we're going to work as hard as we can over the next 24 hours. Anybody that's listening tonight, who's supporting the president who didn't vote early, please make sure you get to the polls tomorrow.
MORGAN: It's almost a very different scenario to the one you faced four years ago on the same day. Then it looked overwhelmingly like you were going to have a big win. Now it's pretty tight in many areas. It's a much closer scrap.
Where do you think the real battleground is going to be? Everyone is talking about Ohio. Do you see that as perhaps the pivotal state?
PLOUFFE: Well, it's interesting, Piers. You know, four years ago today, on a Monday, you know, we obviously weren't -- we were nervous then, too. You always are heading into an election because you have to make sure your votes turns out.
We had nine battleground states that we've really targeted. And the great news is all of them right now, we believe, on the eve of the election, the president's got a terrific chance to carry. So we've got many different pathways to an electoral college majority of 270.
MORGAN: I've been watching him in the last week quite a lot through the day on CNN, and doing his stump speech and it's the same old thing with a few bells and whistles wherever he goes. But what I've been impressed by is the real power and enthusiasm and vigor he's bringing to these performances and it does propped the question, where has that Barack Obama been for the previous month? And particularly that first debate?
He seems to have finally revved up but if it's too late, he's going to kick himself, isn't he?
PLOUFFE: Well, Piers, I have been out with him for months in this campaign and I think he's bringing that fire and passion every day. Obviously he himself said he had an off night in the first debate. But we won the next two debates convincingly and I think the passion you're seeing comes from the president's sincere belief that the American people have fought through this recession.
We've made progress. We've got to build on it. And you know those teachers and firefighters, computer programmers, students, retirees, veterans, they need a champion in the White House. That's what the president has been talking about. He believes that we've got to build on the progress we've made and our opponent in this race, Governor Romney, wants to return us to the same failed policies that wrecked our economy, devastated the middle class.
So his passion is not about, you know, re-electing himself. It's about the fight that must be waged on behalf of people all across America who want to make sure that they have the opportunity to succeed for them and their children.
MORGAN: There's no doubt the president had a pretty good week as a president. I thought this and many others did, over the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. I thought that he was a strong leader in the week and certainly helped by Governor Christie endorsing that view. Not everyone agreed, though. I had a pretty feisty exchange with Rudy Giuliani on Friday.
I want to play you a little clip of this for what he said about the president.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RUDY GIULIANI (R), FORMER NEW YORK MAYOR: I don't know what the heck he was doing in Nevada while people are still being discovered dead in New York. I mean, if I were the president of the United States, I sure wouldn't be fleeting around the Midwest and the west and my job would be making sure this thing was followed through to the very end.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: What is your reaction to that?
PLOUFFE: Well, Rudy Giuliani, you know, might be the only person in America who believes that. I know he's a former mayor of New York but the current mayor of New York, the governors of New Jersey, Connecticut, New York, local officials, they know this president and his administration are working every day to stand by them. So I think that -- you know, the president, as we've been campaigning these last few days, every moment he's not on the stage, he's on the phone. He was today, with governors and local officials in the region, talking to his director of FEMA, our director of Homeland Security.
And I think that where the focus needs to be is how do we stand by those in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, West Virginia, who have been affected. This is going to take awhile to recover from but how do we restore power, how do we get people direct assistance. That's what's happening. There's been progress made, a lot more needs to be made. It's remarkable to see the spirit of the American people once again emerge, to stand by their neighbors who've been affected on the east coast.
So I think that the president, his administration, have done a good -- great job partnering with our local officials, state officials, to do all we can. This is an unprecedented storm. And so I think those comments by Rudy Giuliani are way out of the mainstream. And I assume were just made here at the end of a political season to try and, you know, score up a few votes. I think they'll probably lose votes for Governor Romney.
MITCHELL: David Plouffe, best of luck tomorrow. I sort of share your view. I will be glad when it's all over, to be honest. But it's very exciting for the next 24 hours. That's for sure. Good to talk to you.
PLOUFFE: Thanks, Piers.
MORGAN: Only one other man truly knows what it's like to go up against Barack Obama in a presidential campaign. His opponent in the 2008 election. Joining me now is Republican Senator John McCain of Arizona.
Welcome, Senator. How are you?
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: Fine, Piers. And thanks for having me on up here in Prescott, Arizona. One time our capital and old mining town. And it's a beautiful place. All of our presidential and Senate candidacies have been announced here on the night before the election. It's tradition we all come here. It's a beautiful place. And it's a nice place to end up a campaign.
MORGAN: Well, it's good to see you. And you know better than anybody else what this moment is like, the eve of an election. Take me back to how you were feeling this time four years ago.
MCCAIN: Well, we were fighting as hard as we could, cramming in every moment with campaigning, but I also, I'll be very honest with you, we could read the polls. We knew that we were behind but it didn't affect our activities, or our optimism or my drive but I did know that it was very unlikely that I was going to win this late but it didn't stop me from going until the last minute and I loved every minute of it. It's one of the great honors of my life.
MORGAN: When you look at the polls today, for example, there are so many of them but are there any that you've seen where you feel, OK, we've got a real chance of winning this?
MCCAIN: I think we have a real chance of winning this. In fact, I have some degree of confidence. I agree that it's going to be very close. But there were such different turnouts in 2010 and 2008, 2004, that it really matters what you are using for sampling and that's why I think that they are all over the place. And I don't think people really know who is going to turn out this time and what intensity.
For example, in the last couple of weeks, well, actually ever since the first debate, we've seen a great deal of intensity for Mitt Romney, and yet, as you know, the storm probably put some of that on pause. It's very difficult to know.
The Benghazi thing has been a debacle, has been a wild card in this race. I have been traveling around the country and our veterans are angry. I have never seen our veterans so angry because they think that we didn't do enough to protect those brave Americans that were there and were murdered.
And they think we should have done a lot more. And then of course we have this cover-up and conflicting stories. It's really -- there's either a massive cover-up going on or a kind of gross incompetence that this administration is not fit to lead.
MORGAN: Your comments about the veterans not trusting the president have hit a bit of a raw nerve with the Democrats. Robert Gibbs, who's a former White House press secretary, just said this on Erin Burnett's show. Let me play this to you.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERT GIBBS, FORMER WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Obviously people have a lot of respect for somebody like John McCain but for somebody like that to go out there and say that people in the military don't trust the commander-in-chief, that's one of the more shameful comments I've heard in more than 20 years of being in politics.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: One of the most shameful comments he's heard in 20 years of politics, Senator. What do you say to that?
MCCAIN: The truth hurts. The truth hurts. And it is the truth. I know veterans. I know our veterans. I have been traveling all over the country. Of course they don't trust him. Of course they know that on August 15th there was a meeting in the consulate in Benghazi and they sent back a cable saying in the case of attack we don't think we can defend the consulate.
Of course they know that they sent Susan Rice out to say that this was a spontaneous demonstration triggered by a hateful video. The president's repeated it several times. When we knew it was not true. I was on "face the nation" that Sunday and the president of the Libyan National Assembly came on right away and said this is an al Qaeda attack. There was no demonstration.
They -- what they are trying to sell flies in the face of the facts. And what they were trying to sell is al Qaeda's on the run because we got bin Laden. Al Qaeda is coming back everywhere. You know that, Piers. They have taken over parts of Mali. They are all through Libya. They are on a comeback in Iraq.
They are coming into Syria in droves, by the way, while we watch 34,000 people being massacred. So of course our veterans, of course our men and women in the military, don't trust this commander-in-chief and they have no reason to do so.
MORGAN: If Mitt Romney wins the election, what do you think in the end will have been the key determining factor?
MCCAIN: I think the first debate obviously. I think that's obvious. And if he doesn't, it may have been an act of god. May have been the storm. I'll tell you, this is -- this is what makes politics so incredibly fascinating.
MORGAN: Yes. I think you're absolutely right. Senator, as always, very perceptive analysis. Nice to talk to you.
MCCAIN: Thank you very much.
MORGAN: Coming next, a man who has been hypercritical of President Obama, former presidential candidate, Newt Gingrich.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: If you're willing to work with me again, knock on some doors and make some phone calls and turn out, we will win Ohio. We'll win this election. We'll finish what we started. We'll renew those ties that bind us together and reaffirm the spirit that makes the United States of America the greatest nation on earth.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: President Obama firing up the crowd of supporters as he hits his crucial battleground states on the final day of the campaign.
Joining me now is former Republican presidential candidate and former House speaker, Newt Gingrich.
Mr. Speaker, welcome for our last encounter before this election which seems to have gone on for about 30 centuries.
NEWT GINGRICH (R), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It's great to be with you. It has been a long marathon. But I think it's the American process and it's actually a pretty good way to vet people who want to be president.
MORGAN: When you see Barack Obama on fire as he has been the last few days campaigning at his very best reminding us of the Obama that campaigned in '08. Do you feel slightly fortunate you're not the guy that has to try and beat him tomorrow?
GINGRICH: Oh, no. I would love to have debated Obama, although I must say Romney's performance in the three debates was extraordinary. The very first debate where Obama failed to show up was probably the most one-sided presidential debate in the 50-year history.
So I give mitt a lot of credit. If we -- if he wins tomorrow, he will have earned it himself and it will have been a great achievement. But it would have been fun and I would love to have offered an alternative vision of America's future to the unemployment, high cost of gasoline and total chaos in Benghazi that the president offers.
MORGAN: When you see how things have all washed up now on the eve of the election, with your political historian hat on, where do you think we could be in for some shocks tomorrow specifically?
GINGRICH: Well, I think we have two parallel universes that are -- that are very, very different. You have an elite universe captured in the polls and much of the news media, which assumes that Barack Obama will get re-elected, and which in one national poll, for example, had the race tied but it had an 11 percent advantage for Democratic turnout which is three points higher than 2008, something no one I know of thinks is possible.
So you have the Obama will win faction. And then you have those of us, Karl Rove, you know, Dick Morris, Michael Barone, Joe Gaylord, myself, who have been at this a long time, we believe with high unemployment, high price of gasoline, the mess in Benghazi, and the fact that I don't know of a single McCain voter who has switched to Obama but I know a lot of Obama voters who have switched to Mitt Romney.
So my guess -- I mean I've said pretty openly I think that Romney is going to win but I think there are literally two parallel universes competing right now over the nature of America.
MORGAN: If Mitt Romney loses, and obviously it's very, very close, but if he does lose, I appreciate it's a hypothetical, where do you wish he had gone harder that may have guaranteed victory?
GINGRICH: I can't comment until we see the returns tomorrow night, just because you're asking me a question that we have to see how close it is, what the circumstances are. I love the fact that he's campaigning in Pennsylvania. I know that I was born in Harrisburg, I know that the rally he had last night in bucks county was historic. I think going back into Pittsburgh tomorrow is very gutsy and exactly right. I think we're probably going to pick up the U.S. Senate seat in Pennsylvania.
People forget, they say this is a Democratic state. Well, it's got a Republican governor, one of the two senators is a Republican, a majority of the House is Republican. Both the House and Senate and the Stat Legislature are Republicans.
Pennsylvania because of the war on coal. It was is very, very upset with Obama and I think there's a very real likelihood we'll carry Pennsylvania. That washes out all of the angst about Ohio but frankly, in Ohio, I think we're going to carry Ohio.
I'll give you one example, Piers. In southeastern Ohio along the river is coal country and it's very conservative on things like the right to bear arms, belief in god, people who in Obama's famous phrase, you know, worry about god and guns as he said in San Francisco because he totally misunderstanding him in 2008.
The Democratic early voting in those counties are votes for Romney, yet if you look at the various analyses in the national media, they're taking total Democratic turnout in Ohio as though it's all going to be for Obama but I guarantee you, this is -- this is right next to West Virginia, where a convicted felon sitting in a Texas prison got 40 percent of the Democratic presidential primary vote against Obama.
Those are Romney votes, not Obama votes. And Romney going to Pittsburgh is going to resonate all along that Ohio River Valley tomorrow.
MORGAN: The problem it seems to me has been actually forced by Hurricane Sandy Which caused many problems for many people of a very real nature but in relation to the politics, it certainly stopped Mitt Romney's momentum pretty firmly in the tracks for a week because he couldn't get on television to campaign at all and it also allowed Barack Obama to be a president for a week in a time of crisis and he did it very well.
And in fact, Chris Christie raced to laud him. Here's the problem. I think that's given him a big bounce coming into tomorrow. The reason I say that is that Nate Silver, who's that genius pollster of pollsters from the "New York Times" who does this FiveThirtyEight poll. He's just tweeted this.
A few more polls to add but Obama, 91 percent to win the electoral college based on all the data today. He knows this has been a pretty clear shift toward Obama in the national polls based on most recent data, he may lead by 2 to 3 percent in the popular vote, too. That's the first time that he's gone over 90 percent certainly we're near it, and I think it's the first time he said that Obama will comfortably win -- comfortably by 2 to 3 percent of the popular vote.
What do you say to that?
GINGRICH: Well, first of all, Piers, you asked me about -- here's an alternative universe.
You say this person of the "New York Times" has come to the startling discovery that in the "New York Times" universe, Obama's going to win. I started and I point out two of the polls that came out today, Rasmussen has Obama -- has Romney up by one. Gallup has Romney up by one. The James Carville rule is incumbents get the last poll. That would mean a 51-48 or 52-48 victory because in both those cases, you had Obama at 48 percent.
I think it's actually probably bigger than that. My personal guess is 53-47 or more. But secondly, let's look at what happened in New Jersey and New York. If the -- I think if the vote had been on Friday, Obama peaked on Friday out of sympathy and now we've had Saturday and Sunday for people and now all day Monday for people -- and now all day Monday people to realize, remember, the government that is failing on Staten Island is the government Obama wants to deliver -- once to deliver health care.
So I think you are going to see a lot of people vote against a failed government as they watch the mess in the northeast.
MORGAN: Mr. Speaker, it's been great talking to you for the last 18 months or so. We've had a lot of ups and downs but it's been always entertaining and always interesting. I wish you and your party all the very best tomorrow night.
GINGRICH: Good. Thank you.
MORGAN: Coming up, one of the most powerful men in Hollywood, Obama supporter Harvey Weinstein on the new movie he hopes will help the president's campaign.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: We have actionable intelligence about high value terrorist targets, President Musharaf will not act, we will.
ROMNEY: I think Barack Obama confused as to who are our friends and who are our enemies. We do not go out and say to a nation which is working with us that we intend to go in there and potentially bring out a unilateral attack.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: A theme from a new film, "SEAL Team 6," focusing on one of the biggest moments in the Obama presidency, taking down Osama bin Laden. The film was produced by Harvey Weinstein, and it airs just two days before the election.
Harvey joins me now. Harvey, how are you?
Nice to see you, Piers.
MORGAN: I know you're in Hollywood. I watched your movie at the weekend and found it thoroughly entertaining and quite overtly political in the most magnificent propaganda style way. I mean, you did this clearly to remind everybody as they're about to vote what a hero Barack Obama is, right?
WEINSTEIN: I didn't have to do anything to remind anybody about the decision that Barack Obama made to pull the trigger on Osama bin Laden. And it's so amazing to listen to John McCain, because he and Mitt Romney were both against going into Pakistan to kill Osama bin Laden. And when those guys say that al Qaeda hasn't been weakened by killing Osama bin Laden, you know, I don't understand what alternate universe they're living on.
And the clip of Mitt Romney which was -- originally was in the film, was cut on National Geographic, which did record ratings last night. But now this movie's on Netflix. And you can see it with the Mitt Romney clip that you just showed on the air.
MORGAN: I didn't think I saw that in my version. But I have seen it since. Tell me about your view of the election, Harvey, because lots of polls flying around. You're used to all these in your industry. How seriously do you take them? What are you feeling on the ground?
I know you're an Obama supporter, but are you still a bit nervous that the vote may not come out tomorrow?
WEINSTEIN: You know, I voted for George Pataki and I voted for Rudy Giuliani and I voted for Michael Bloomberg. And I think it's interesting now that a lot of Republicans that I know, over the last few months, have seen inconsistencies in Mitt Romney's economic plan. As a businessman, I run a pretty big size policy. And when you see that there's really no plan -- he keeps on talking about a plan and then you read the plan, and there's nothing there. It's gotten people worried.
Michael Bloomberg is one of the wealthiest men in the world. Warren Buffett is the second wealthiest man in the world. It is so ironic that two of the colossal businessmen in our world are against Mitt Romney and do not think his economic policy makes any sense.
General Powell, when you talk about the military -- I have to laugh. I love politics. Should make a movie about all these guys. They're brilliant actors. I could have McCain star in any movie. I would have Rudy Giuliani play the crazy villain in any movie. And I voted for the guy. These guys are the best actors. I'm getting ready of Brad Pitt and Clooney tomorrow.
I'm firing them. I know I can get McCain much cheaper. And I can get Giuliani much cheaper to play a James Bond villain. But what are they talking about? Rudy Giuliani, he said that Obama should resign because he had 1.2 percent growth. There were years in New York when Rudy was the mayor, he couldn't balance the budget. We still voted for him. He didn't have to resign. They're just making this stuff up.
Colin Powell, the best military genius of our time, supports the president -- supports President Obama. And the military love him. I made this movie. I know the military. They respect this man for what he's done. He's killed more terrorists in his short watch than George Bush did in eight years. He's the true hawk.
MORGAN: Well, we'll see if the public agree with you tomorrow, Harvey. I've just got to mention, you have three movies on the go at the moment, Jango Unchained," will Leo DiCaprio, "Killing them Softly" with Brad Pitt and "The Silver Lining's Playbook" with Bradley Cooper. You surrounded yourself with three of the best-looking men in Hollywood. Do you not think it's time you should get some politicians, Harvey, so that you emerge as the best-looking guy of the group? Rather than having all the heartthrobs around you?
WEINSTEIN: Piers, next year, you know, Mitt Romney will be unemployed, from what I'm looking at. And he's -- I think he could play any one of these roles. Those positions were so inconsistent and so much fun, I think he could do a comedy, though.
MORGAN: I started doing a few cameos myself. I'm always available, Harvey. You know that. It's always good to talk to you. Best of luck to you and your party and your president tomorrow. I know you're keen for him to win. So may the best man win. Good to talk to you.
WEINSTEIN: Thank you, Piers. A pleasure to be on this side of the camera.
MORGAN: And "SEAL Team 6" is available on Netflix and will air on Friday on the National Geographic Channel.
Coming next, battleground Wisconsin. Will the governor who survived a recall be able to put Mitt Romney over the top? I will talk to Governor Scott Walker.
MORGAN: President Obama kicking of his last full day of campaigning in Wisconsin this morning, his third stop in the state in the past five days. He even enlisted the help of Bruce Springsteen who played for a crowd of 18,000.
Joining me now is the Republican governor of Wisconsin, Scott Walker. Governor, how are you?
GOV. SCOTT WALKER (R), WISCONSIN: Good to be with you. I'm out with a great crowd right here behind me. We're ready for Paul Ryan.
MORGAN: You're looking very popular. They seem to be quite pleased to see you, actually. Never mind Paul Ryan. I'm hearing lots of different reports tonight. All the Republicans telling me Mitt Romney's got it in the bag; all the Obama people telling me no, no, the president's going to walk it.
What is the reality? You're in the area of America that could be utterly crucial. How are you seeing Wisconsin, Ohio, Iowa, that kind of collection tomorrow night? How important will they each be? And which one could be the turning point?
WALKER: Well, all across the Midwest, it's incredibly important. I have been in each of those states. Obviously most of the time here in Wisconsin But I was just in Ohio the other day with Mitt Romney. I have been in Iowa about a week ago with Terry Branstad, the governor there.
There's huge excitement. But here in Wisconsin, you know, we had a recall six months ago today. We won by a bigger margin than we did two years earlier. And you see the momentum. You saw it again in August when Paul Ryan was added to the ticket.
But you really saw it after that first debate in Denver, when people here, in Ohio, in Iowa and places all across the country really came out of the woodwork to support Mitt Romney. I think that's ultimately what-- it's going to be by an inch. It's going to be that close. But we are going to win here in Wisconsin. And I think we will win in other places across the Midwest.
MORGAN: We're certainly seeing very enthusiastic crowds turning out for Mitt Romney and, indeed, for Paul Ryan, as we just saw. Barack Obama is also whipping up his crowds, although they're not quite in the same numbers that he enjoyed in 2008. And the real issue for him I guess is how can he get his vote out in anything like the same numbers.
Is that really what you guys are relying on, his vote not turning out in that kind of degree?
WALKER: Well, it's definitely about turnout. You've had two consecutive polls here in Wisconsin, 49-49. It doesn't get any closer than that. It's ultimately going to be about turnout and a handful of undecided voters out there. We're here in Milwaukee, the south side of Milwaukee, a traditionally very Democratic but Reagan Democrat area.
Mitt Romney was just in West Alice the other day, another very Reagan Democrat area. In contrast, the president was in Madison, one of the most liberal cities in all of America, today, and had a crowd that was a fraction of the crowd he had four years ago. He had Bruce Springsteen, who eight years ago when John Kerry was in, had something like 50,000 or 60,000 people. He had about 18,000 people in Madison today.
So I don't think there's the same level of enthusiasm on the Obama side. I think you see it on the Romney/Ryan side. I think you are going to see it here again tonight. There's already about 4,000 people in here. There will be a whole lot more in about two hours when Paul Ryan takes the stage, right before 10:00 tonight, on the last night, his night back home.
And hopefully he'll be off to Boston tomorrow night for a victory with Mitt Romney.
MORGAN: Well, governor, it's always good to talk to you. Thank you for joining me. Enjoy your evening.
WALKER: What's that?
MORGAN: I said it's good to talk to you. Enjoy your evening. I can hear you. You are being drowned out by your fans, clearly.
WALKER: Yeah. It's pretty loud here. We know in the end, people want leadership. They want someone who can ultimately get the job done. Mitt Romney's gotten a state -- balanced the budget, did it without raising taxes, created more jobs. And in the end, when he did it, he brought Democrats and Republicans together. That's what Americans want.
It's certainly what we want here in Wisconsin. Paul Ryan can help him do that as well.
MORGAN: Governor, good to talk to you. Enjoy your evening. Thank you.
WALKER: Good to be with you, Piers. Thanks.
MORGAN: The battleground of battlegrounds tonight is, of course, Ohio. Joining me now is former Ohio Governor Ted Strickland. He is also co-chair of the national Obama campaign. Welcome to you, sir.
TED STRICKLAND, FORMER GOVERNOR OF OHO: Good to be with you.
MORGAN: So the promo for our show tonight was Ohio, Ohio, Ohio, as if almost nothing else mattered. And of course, it may not. Do you think it could all come down to Ohio tomorrow night?
STRICKLAND: It could. I don't think it will, Piers. I think the president will win other battleground states that are crucial to a victory. But certainly here in Ohio, over the last four months, Mitt Romney has never held a lead. The president has always maintained a relatively small but very consistent lead in Ohio. And I see nothing that's changed that in these last few hours.
So I think Ohio's going to end up in the Obama column. And consequently, I think he's going to be re-elected to a second term.
MORGAN: Things weren't looking quite so rosy about two weeks ago. Then we had the huge storm that hit the east coast. There's no doubt, looking at the polls, that you can see that the president's opportunity to be a president for that week has helped him and damaged Mitt Romney. It's one of the events that can hit anybody in a campaign.
How significant do you think it's been, Hurricane Sandy and the way that played out for both sides?
STRICKLAND: Well, as far as Ohio is concerned, I think the president has had and has maintained, as I said, a consistent lead for a variety of reasons. First of all, the auto rescue. And quite frankly, I believe when Governor Romney just recently said that Toledo was going to be losing Jeep jobs to China, I think that was so misleading and was condemned by the auto companies themselves, by Jeep and then later, you know, he got a strong rebuke from Chrysler, as well as GM.
And so I think that just said to Ohioans, this guy doesn't apparently understand what's really happened in terms of the auto industry and its importance to Ohio, how many jobs have been saved and created, how much investment has been made. In Ohio over the last three years, 34 percent of all private sector investment has been in the auto sector of our economy.
And I think that's a big deal in Ohio, as it should be, because it's so important to us.
MORGAN: Do you wish the president had been bolder in other areas of the economy, in the way that he was with the auto industry? There, he really was dynamic and bold, the same kind of dynamic, bold Obama we saw when he went after bin laden. In other areas, he's shown a timidity. And that's why his critics, even his friends, say he should have roughed himself up a bit, been a bit more of that bold Obama.
STRICKLAND: Well, you know, I think the president was bold when he made sure that we got health care coverage passed. I mean, that was a courageous thing to do. Democratic presidents across the decades have tried to get that accomplished and they've failed. But it was this president who, early on in his administration, said we're going to do this and he got it done.
The passage of the Recovery Act, which has been so important to Ohio and other states as well, I mean, there are men and women working in Ohio today on infrastructure projects because of the stimulus bill, the so-called Recovery Act.
So the president came to office under the most difficult of economic circumstances. We all understand that, unprecedented. When people criticize the president for the slow growth of the economy, I think they are failing to recognize the abyss that we were headed toward when the president took office.
MORGAN: Of course it wasn't completely unprecedented. FDR inherited a worse situation. But the difference was he had this great grandiose plan for America. The argument I hear against Barack Obama is we haven't heard about that yet. What is his great plan to get this country going?
STRICKLAND: Well, these are different times, obviously. And FDR had a different kind of Congress to deal with. This president, quite frankly, has run into a brick wall when he's tried to get a lot of things done in terms of job creation. His jobs bill has languished in the Congress because, quite frankly, Republican leadership has decided that they are in no way going to cooperate with this man.
I hope after this election is over -- I hope that tomorrow night, Republican leadership will rethink their approach and work with this president during the next four years.
MORGAN: I hope whoever wins, that they both get their heads together and knock a few skulls around, and just get on with the business of getting America back on its feet. Governor, good to talk to you. Thank you.
STRICKLAND: Great talking to you. Thank you. MORGAN: When we come back, the all-important women's vote. Will it make the difference and who will get the edge? My female political all-stars go toe-to-toe.
MORGAN: For the 2012 election, the women's vote is critical to winning the White House. So who will win with women? Battleground America tonight, Cecile Richards, the president of Planned Parenthood, and Republican strategist Alice Stewart. Welcome to you both.
MORGAN: Let me start with you, Alice. So Mitt Romney's been on a bit of a roller coaster with women. I'd say at the start of the year, deeply unpopular because of all the very right wing positions he took on social issues. Then as he began to morph into Moderate Mitt, he began to get momentum, particularly since the first debate. And he began to peg back the gap with the president.
Now the gap has expanded again in Barack Obama's favor. What went wrong in the last couple weeks?
ALICE STEWART, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Mitt Romney has bridged the gender gap. And it's because of his policies. Women of this country are not monolithic voters. They're not just concerned about free birth control and the social issues. They want jobs. They're concerned about the debt. They're not so much concerned about themselves. They're concerned about the debt that's passed on to their children and future generations.
And they know that Mitt Romney is someone that will help to create jobs. And his policies will cut down on the debt and put our nation back on a more sound economic footing.
MORGAN: Cecile Richards, if he does win, Mitt Romney -- and it's a big if, looking at the polls tonight. But he may still pull it off. Are you looking forward to a Romney administration?
CECILE RICHARDS, PLANNED PARENTHOOD PRESIDENT: I don't think any woman is looking forward to a Romney administration.
MORGAN: Well, he is.
RICHARDS: He may be, but I think women aren't. We're seeing the gender gap has grown again. I think that's because women are realizing they can't trust him when it comes to health care, when it comes to equal pay. These are fundamental economic issues that women are concerned about for them and for their daughters.
So I think that's what we're seeing, is that women are moving towards the president. He's been a great president for women's health care, for women's economic parity in this country. And that's why the gender gap is so largely in favor of President Obama.
MORGAN: Alice Stewart, it is hard to trust Mitt Romney on these social issues. I mean, I wouldn't have a clue what he really thinks about abortion at all. Here's a guy who, until he was 47, was in favor of pro-choice. And then at 47 -- that's my age. I fell ancient. And at my age, he decided to suddenly switch the other way completely.
Since then, he's sort of meddled with the exceptions and all the rest of it. If I was a woman, I'd be like, well, what do you believe?
STEWART: He couldn't be more clear. He's made it abundantly clear. The Romney/Ryan ticket is pro-life. They support life from conception to natural death. And they couldn't be more clear on that.
But to reinforce that message that women are not monolithic voters. They're concerned about much more than social issues, especially in these dire economic times. And it's not just about getting free birth control. And it's not just about the social issues that the Democrats and the liberals -- I applaud Cecile for getting out there and getting in the political game.
But she has to hear from women that it's not just about free birth control. Women of this country want jobs. And President Obama's not creating them. We have 23 million Americans out of work.
MORGAN: They do. But what women don't want to hear, with the greatest respect to all women, Republican women, Democratic women, and whoever, is people like Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock, these Senate candidates, banging on about rape in the most insensitive manner possible. I mean, Cecile, am I wrong about this, or does it just cause a lot of offense to women?
RICHARDS: Absolutely, it's offensive. Look, I'd like to say, Mitt Romney has no job creation history. He had one of the worst records in the country as governor. His entire -- in the private sector, his whole job creation theory was to take jobs overseas.
Women see that. They know they can't trust him to create jobs. Now he's saying -- I've been in Ohio. I've been in Iowa. I'm talking to women who are patients of Planned Parenthood, Republican women who say, why is Mitt Romney saying he's going to get rid of Planned Parenthood, which is my health care provider, where I get my annual physical, my annual exam.
That's what women are concerned about. Because for women, access to health care, it is an economic issue.
MORGAN: Yes, I mean, Alice Stewart, final word to you, why would he want to get rid of Planned Parenthood?
STEWART: Well, first of all, let me make an important point. When he left the governor's office, unemployment was at 4.5 percent. Compare that to 7.9 percent. But Planned Parenthood now receives over 500 million dollars a year. Over four years, that's two billion dollars. That's easy money that can e cut from the budget. We don't need to fund other people's abortions. We don't need to fund their birth control pills.
That's two billion dollars over four years. And it's an easy place to cut. That's what he's going to do.
MORGAN: Would you like to see Governor Romney overturning Roe v. Wade, or trying to if he became president?
STEWART: He's made it quite clear where he stands. He supports life. He's very pro-life. And that's the way he will run -- be the president of the United States. That's an important issue.
But most importantly, people are concerned about jobs and the economy. And they trust Mitt Romney to fix that.
MORGAN: See, the way you keep telling me, it's all about jobs and not about social issues, means I think quietly, you know the social issues have been a problem for him.
STEWART: Absolutely not.
RICHARDS: Huge problem.
STEWART: I've been talking with women across the country and they're --
MORGAN: OK, Cecile Richards, Alice Stewart, thank you both very much. The answers will all unfold tomorrow. We'll be right back after this break.
MORGAN: That's all for us tonight. A quick Tweet here, a guy called Stretch37 says, "I'm convinced Piers Morgan's show isn't live. He's Tweeting on air. How's he doing that?" Magic. I've proved his lie.
I'll be back tomorrow night at midnight -- actually, tonight at midnight, I should say, although it will be tomorrow by the time I'm finished, as election day voting begins in a New Hampshire town, Dixville Notch. That town's voters will cast the first ballots in the nation, and we'll bring it all to you live. "AC 360" starts now.