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PIERS MORGAN LIVE
Interview with Andrew Spanswick; Interview with John Walsh; Interview with Rich Frank; Interview with Rick Santorum; Interview with Erik Norrie
Aired August 8, 2013 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.
PIERS MORGAN, CNN HOST: This is PIERS MORGAN LIVE. Welcome to our viewers in the United States and around the world.
We begin with breaking news on the search of James DiMaggio accused of abducting 16-year-old Hannah Anderson. The AMBER alerts tonight for Hannah and her 8-year-old brother Ethan now includes California, Washington, Oregon and Nevada, and police fear DiMaggio may have improvised explosives and may have rigged his car with bombs.
Well, joining me now is Andrew Spanswick, a friend of DiMaggio, they knew each other for years. And he joins me exclusively.
Andrew, thank you very much for joining me. What is your reaction to what has happened here with your longtime friend James DiMaggio?
ANDREW SPANSWICK, FRIEND OF JAMES DIMAGGIO: Obviously, it's been a tragedy from the beginning for me. You know, I heard about it while I was up in Washington state, and I heard that he had actually burned in his house, that's what, you know, Berry had called me, my good friend. And Berry, Jim and I have known each other for at least seven years and regularly go camping and it was just truly a shock.
MORGAN: Now Berry, you mentioned there is in fact Berry Robinson, we understand, who is the son of the Motown superstar -- I'm just -- sorry, just getting more information tonight.
SPANSWICK: That's correct. Berry Robinson, he works for me at Clean Treatment Center. He's --
MORGAN: And just to clarify, sorry.
Just getting information there. Just to clarify. He is the son of Smokey Robinson who is the -- obviously the superstar singer. You, Berry and James DiMaggio have gone on regular camping trips together, is that correct?
SPANSWICK: That's correct, yes.
MORGAN: And you said it's a huge shock to you. I mean, describe the kind of man that he is. We only know him obviously from these dramatic turn of events. What kind of man is he?
SPANSWICK: Yes. He's nothing like has been characterized. And for me it's been interesting to watch what really amounts in some ways almost like a Salem witch hunt on TV where the scoops that have been coming out from different reporters or these overly inflated sort of, you know, dime-store talking heads, sort of responses to try to pigeon hole him into some role as like a sociopath or, you know, a pedophile.
And the facts that I know are very different from -- through the family, talking to Laura, his sister, Jim's sister, and talking to the family. And what I've known for the seven years that I've spent time -- when I've been spending time with Jim. So it's dramatically different, and I've been shocked by the way they have been presenting certain aspects of the case. I mean, obviously, it's a tragedy but for me and for the family, especially, I think, for Laura and for Berry as well as myself, we're all very concerned about Jim, as well.
It seems so out of character that this would have happened. And it's hard to believe that that's what we're actually seeing. So, you know, we're really trying to see, as anybody actually looking for Jim.
When I spoke to Laura, his sister, last night at length, two times, she expressed that, you know, the only result she could see from this is Jim ending up coming home in a body bag because either one, he was going to get profiled and someone was going to shoot him or something terrible has happened to him, and maybe he was taken from the home.
You know, going camping with Jim on a regular basis, he's not a survivalist. Everybody is out there talking about like he's a survivalist. I mean, it's a joke. You know, berry, myself and Jim are all slightly overweight, and we would go out with a guide and we would go to Yosemite. We had a regular trip out to Yosemite. We'd go to the Ten Lakes Region camping, but, you know, four days out we were all desperate for a hotel room and a shower and a bathroom, so I find it very hard.
The picture that you see with him lying on the ground, as I said, 9,000 feet of elevation where, you know, he had crashed out after two days of hiking so --
MORGAN: Tell me, Andrew, I mean, there is a suggestion and it's only a suggestion. There's so many unanswered questions here, but a suggestion that he may have had some kind of unhealthy obsession with Hannah, the 16-year-old girl, who he'd known since I think before she was even born he'd known the family.
SPANSWICK: Yes, that's --
MORGAN: Do you think there is credence to that family?
SPANSWICK: You know, there is always a possibility of something. And, you know, I work in mental health, I have been working in mental health for 22 years. I own treatment centers. I started in psychiatric care and now I own a psychiatric -- I mean, a substance abuse facility throughout Washington, the West Coast and California here in Los Angeles, specifically. You know, there is always a possibility that somebody could have a break. I heard some rumors on the media that he had been smoking marijuana recently, and I know that that's a big topic lately on CNN, and there's always the possibility with the potency of marijuana these days that people could have drug related psychosis that might relate to some of these behavior. But it would have to have been an extreme event.
Something like that -- it would have to have been some really mind- altering event that would change his character so dramatically from the man that I know who is actually someone who cares very deeply about people.
He had a lot of trauma in his life growing up. I know that both his parents were troubled. There was a suicide involved with his mother and his father has a history. Some of which is, you know, personal that I've shared with him and that he shared with me and whether that comes out over time we'll see.
But, you know, he was the one in the family that decided to make his life something more than just about, you know, falling the bad example of his parents. Jim was someone who always gave back. You know, when I heard, for example, that a dog was shot in the house, that's not Jim. You know, Jim saw a cat that has been run over by -- in front of his house he'd spent like the last of his paycheck taking the cat to the vet and, you know, trying to get the cat to live.
So he was of caring, compassionate person. The stuff with Megan, you know, once again, you listen to the media carefully and you don't just listen to the sensationalism, and you can hear the reporting where they say that he has made this comment to Megan about, you know, that she was good looking and whatnot. But if you listen carefully, he talks very specifically about -- and I know that there were other girls in the car and he talks about not that she's just good looking but that she's good looking for her age and other boys would like her --
MORGAN: Just to clarify -- just to clarify, you mean Hannah, not Megan?
SPANSWICK: I'm sorry, yes. I'm sorry.
SPANSWICK: Yes. So -- you know, so it was never about him. It was about he had a fatherly role with these children. You know, the father was in Tennessee and he basically drove these children around and took care of them, and, you know, it was something that he was very proud of.
MORGAN: I mean, it does seem utterly inexplicable, completely out of character. Are you aware of anything that was going on in his life that could have caused stress to him at the moment? Any upheaval with a partner or with a business or anything? SPANSWICK: You know, if anything, his life, I believe, was getting simpler. You know, I heard on Nancy Grace they were trying to vilify him by saying that he's addicted to video games and, you know, they put on his ex-wife who said that he played video games. I thought she was actually -- the ex-wife was very reasonable about saying that, you know, they're trying to blow it out of proportion.
It seems like that's what's going on. You know, everybody is looking for a lead and they take the lead and then they say, he plays video games that must mean that he's, you know, looking to be some sort of, you know, crazy guy.
You know, everybody plays video games and I've been in relationship where you get bored and video games are a great escape. We see that a lot with addiction as well. So you know --
MORGAN: And in terms of -- in terms of -- in terms, Andrew, of Laura who is married to Barry Robinson. Berry is the son of Smokey Robinson as I revealed earlier, you spoke to her several times, I think, in the recent hours.
MORGAN: How would you describe her frame of mind about this? This is her only brother. They were very close, I understand.
MORGAN: What is her state of mind?
SPANSWICK: She really believes that she's not getting a fair shake and that Jim especially isn't getting a share shake, that, you know, everybody is very upset and it's tragic what's happened. Obviously, people have died. You know, all of us are concerned that Jim is dead, as well. You know, we think that's probably the most likely outcome that something terrible has happened here and other people might have possibly been involved.
And she's basically hysterical and grieving like I think any normal sibling would be. They had a troubled upbringing. They had made a pact as brother and sister when they were young and both parents were deceased that they would take care of each other no matter what, and the fact that none of us, neither myself nor Berry or Laura have heard from Jim is extremely unusual.
You know, Berry would be someone -- he's one of the nicest guys in the world as well, somebody that people can easily reach out to. You know, I'm the business of therapy and working with people. You know, I know pedophiles. I've worked with pedophiles. Jim does not fit the profile at all of a pedophile.
They are saying so, you know, over and over again on TV. They're taking small facts, blowing them out of proportion and I think that at the end of the day we're probably going to see that this is a much more dynamic story that what we've seen so far.
MORGAN: Was he seeing anybody currently that you are aware of?
SPANSWICK: Not that I know of. I mean I know that, you know, he had a girlfriend. I'm not really sure what the outcome of that. We were planning on going camping in the next four months and, you know, I was hoping to catch up with him soon. So, you know, it's sort of an annual thing that we would do so.
MORGAN: Right, and Berry, obviously, again, Smokey Robinson's son, do you know if Smokey is aware of this connection and what has happened?
SPANSWICK: Berry -- Smokey is not really -- I mean, I think Smokey is probably twice, probably once at Berry's wedding and maybe one other time. So there is not a close relationship there. You know, Smokey wouldn't know anything about Jim, of any great details, so that's sort of a non-story.
MORGAN: And in terms of the revelation tonight that he may have had explosives and may have set them in his car to explode if people find it. Is that sounding keeping with him? Was he somebody that had any kind of military training or training with explosives or access to this kind of thing?
SPANSWICK: You know, there is a couple things that I find interesting. Well, he does have a background in telecommunications and wiring and technology. I think that, you know, that's a long way from building a car bomb. So, you know, I've -- you know, I've been with him. We've shot guns together.
In fact Laura told me last night that -- and this is a very odd story but that the father Brett had actually called Jim several days before returning and had said that he wanted Jim to teach their youngest son how to shoot a gun because Jim was one of the only people that he trusted in terms of safety and handling of a gun, and that his son was old enough finally to learn how to shoot a gun.
So there is an odd sort of story there about, you know, how much this family and father trusted Jim and now, you know, there's been such a rush to judgment that Jim is the only suspect that, you know, I can understand the obvious emotional turmoil and the struggle that the family must be going through but, you know, I know for a fact that in the past the relationship is very close and very trusting. So it's definitely --
MORGAN: And would you -- would you say from what you've just said that the relationship between Hannah's father and Jim DiMaggio until -- as far as you're aware, very recently, was a very good one? There was no problem there?
SPANSWICK: I would say beyond that. In fact, this whole story that Jim took this girl to Hollywood on an inappropriate trip overnight is completely misrepresented. The truth of the matter is that the girl was going to see her grandparents and neither parent of the child was able to take the child to the grandparents' house so Jim volunteered. This is a typical 16-year-old girl who was fascinated by the idea of Hollywood and fame and wanted to see Hollywood. Never having seen it, Jim agreed to stop through Hollywood to show her around. They spent the evening at Laura's house just north of Hollywood. So he was with Laura, his sister, all night and in fact they stayed up most of the night talking and catching up.
So it's not like it's portrayed in the media. He didn't keep her in some sordid hotel or something, and, you know, it just the inferences that are being implied just don't fit with the actual facts that I know.
MORGAN: Just -- finally, Andrew, if --
MORGAN: If he's watching the news coverage and he's watching the show now, what would your message be to your friend James DiMaggio? We don't know what's happened here but it looks like he has cracked in some way and committed these terrible atrocities, and may have this girl kidnapped. What would you say to him?
SPANSWICK: Well, if that were the case -- I mean, I don't necessarily know if that's the case. I'm hoping that somehow, something else happened and maybe he's hostage with somebody or that there's some other explanation. Like I said, the facts don't fit that. If he has somehow had some sort of mental crisis or if there was some sort of conflict with the mother and he overreacted and something, you know, just switched off in his mind any -- or maybe he was smoking marijuana as possibly suggested.
And he did have a drug-induced psychosis that might have lead to the extreme behavior, you know. If Jim is out there listening, I would say, Jim, you know who your friends are. You can -- you can reach me, he certainly knows my number, and he can call Berry. And, you know, there's ways for him and I to meet up and if he's paranoid and scared that, you know, people are just going to shoot him or that he can't come in safely and share what story is available, he should reach out to Berry or myself.
He has our personal cell phone numbers and you know, I would be more than happy to go anywhere to reach out to him and be with him.
MORGAN: Obviously it's an appalling tragedy and I'm very sorry for you that your friend appears to be involved in something so heinous.
Andrew Spanswick, thank you very much indeed for joining me.
SPANSWICK: Great, thank you.
MORGAN: Joining me now is John Walsh. He's the host of America's most wanted on Lifetime.
John, fascinating interview there with one of the very good friends of James DiMaggio, painting a very different picture, sort of kind of persona that we seem to be dealing with now of a mass killer and kidnapper. What do you make of it?
JOHN WALSH, HOST, "AMERICA'S MOST WANTED" ON LIFETIME: Well, he's certainly hoping it isn't his friend and we live in such a litigious society, Piers, that probably you and I both should say that this man is accused of kidnapping this girl and murdering her mother and probably her brother. We should stay he's accused.
But state's attorney and the FBI and the martials and the sheriff's department say that he is a pedophile that kidnapped a 16-year-old girl, that he's the main suspect in the murder of her mother, and the main suspect in the murder of her 8-year-old brother, although they haven't determined that those are his remains yet.
So it seems that all these law enforcement agencies and the state of California, which issued the AMBER alert think he's the number one suspect.
So let's not forget about Jerry Sandusky who was witnessed of sodomizing 11-year-old boy in the shower room and the coach told the immediate staff there that people running that university and nobody could believe that it was Jerry Sandusky.
WALSH: Ariel Castro, the guy who kept three girls in a house for 10 years, his little daughter, 14-year-old daughter was Gina DeJesus' best friend. He participated in the search. Nobody believed it was Ariel Castro.
The Catholic Church, you and I are both Catholics, we love the church but the Vatican has admitted that there have been thousands of pedophile priests that were trusted and looked up to authority figures. I don't know why people are appalled and think that their friends or whatever aren't capable of obsession of a 16-year-old daughter -- of a girl.
MORGAN: I think it's --
WALSH: And kidnapping and killing.
MORGAN: It's more, John, it's more human nature than if he's a very good friend of yours, I guess, you just don't want to face the potential reality that your friend has had this terrible breakdown. I think it's as simple as that.
WALSH: Nobody does, Piers. Nobody wants to think -- it is very often and I've done hundreds of those cases of where it is somebody that's a friend of the family or close to the family or a family member.
MORGAN: John Walsh, it's always good to talk to you. Thank you very much indeed for joining me.
WALSH: Let's hope that this girl comes back alive, Piers. I believe she's still alive. The public needs to find this guy and that girl. MORGAN: I couldn't agree more. John, thank you very much indeed.
Coming next, Frank Richards in the chair. He's got a lot to say about the RNC chairman's threat to boycott CNN over the Hillary Clinton project. Plus he's back. The return of Rick Santorum live from Iowa. He's got a strong message for the GOP that (INAUDIBLE) tonight.
And later in the show, luckiest, or maybe the unluckiest man in the world. He survived being attacked by snakes, monkeys and now a shark. Will he survive being grilled by me? Let's put him in the grill and find out.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REINCE PRIEBUS, CHAIRMAN, REPUBLICAN NATIONAL COMMITTEE: If you want to actually moderate and produce a debate that chooses a nominee for president on the Republican side of the aisle, that it would be reasonable to have the chairman of the party say, hang on a second. You ought not be doing future films or documentaries and miniseries about what we know to be a very likely candidate that's running on a Democratic side of the aisle.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: That's RNC chairman Reince Priebus telling Erin Burnett Tuesday why CNN and NBC shouldn't run their planned Hillary Clinton project. He says it's wrong. And he's threatened to boycott both networks. But Frank Rich is the writer at large for "New York" magazine. Has a lot to say about it and joins me in the chair.
Frank, you tweeted earlier if Reince and the GOP have the net savvy to use Google they'd be cheering on the CNN Hillary doc.
FRANK RICH, WRITER-AT-LARGE, NEW YORK MAGAZINE: It's true. It's not my job to defend CNN on CNN but in this case --
MORGAN: We'll take it.
RICH: The guy that was hired by CNN to do the Hillary Clinton documentary is a guy named Charles Ferguson who won the Oscar for a movie called "Inside Job." That is truly a demolition job on the financial establishment that led to the bubble and the crash.
RICH: Many Clinton administration people are implicated in that film indirectly at least and he's a tough mock cracking guy and it's hard to imagine that he's going to do a Valentine to Hillary Clinton. You know, at least know who won an Oscar. Look at Google. Look at "Inside Job." It's just stupid.
MORGAN: Is there anything inherently wrong anyway in networks running documentaries or drama series on big political figures of the time? RICH: No, and they do it all the time. And, you know, it's just silly this NBC miniseries, anyone really think that people who have an opinion about Hillary Clinton, whatever it is, pro or con, going to be swayed by Diane Lane doing a fictional version months if not years before the election. And by threatening to boycott NBC and CNN for GOP debates, how does that exactly hurt CNN and NBC? These are not exactly rating --
MORGAN: Exactly right. I'd like to say we'd be quite pleased about that.
RICH: Also (INAUDIBLE) is the Republican Party presumably on FOX where every -- all their candidates will pander the debates and they'll end up with, you know, Ted Cruz on the ticket. Is that what they want?
MORGAN: Yes, I mean, when we look at 2016 and the battle that's coming up, having been to a pretty bruising election battle, you look at the GOP and you think what lessons are they learning? I'm talking to Rick Santorum a bit later. Do you think the party is shaking itself into position at least to some kind of consensus going forward? Because part of their problem last time was there was so many factions within it that were ripping it apart.
RICH: I think nothing is changed. I think you now have an establishment which was the Mitt Romney faction when he was running for president, and everyone else, the much more right-wing base, and so you see it in the Rand Paul-Chris Christie battle.
You see the party is very, very divided. They can't get it together, even on immigration reform, which you would think would be a plus for them in terms of wooing Hispanic voters at the very least.
RICH: So they can't get it together. They're not --
MORGAN: Do you think -- Hillary will run? Do you think that she can win, or has her time come and gone?
RICH: I have no idea whether she'll run or not. The signs just seem to indicate it but who knows. I think against a fractionalized and weak Republican field, she can win.
MORGAN: What if it was Chris Christie?
RICH: I think --
MORGAN: What if it's a slimmed down Chris Christie, bouncing off the walls with energy. The most popular governor in America. One of the most popular governors ever. Somebody that relates to real people, talk as straight game.
RICH: I don't think the base of the Republican Party wants to nominate him. They regard him as soft on guns, soft on immigration and amnesty --
MORGAN: But do you think he can win? Do you think he can actually win the general election?
RICH: Probably not. I think that you know, he's flammable guy. He didn't get the nod from Mitt Romney because of personality issues. And I think while his views are sort of centrist for the most part or in sync with a lot of the country, he's a northeastern loud mouth which does not necessarily play well throughout the country, particularly among the Republicans that you would need.
Let's take a short break. I want to come back and talk about Barack Obama, his appearance on Leno. What he said about Russia. What he said about Snowden. The NSA in general. I also want to get your views on Anthony Weiner who just doesn't want to go away. Should he? My question for you, Frank Rich.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRISTINE QUINN, SPEAKER OF THE NEW YORK CITY COUNCIL: He has shown us a pattern of reckless behavior and a real inability to tell the truth, and being the mayor of the city of New York, look, people deserve second chances. We've all made mistakes. We all deserve forgiveness.
MORGAN: Is there a chance?
QUINN: But look, this is a serious job. 8.4 million people who need a mayor who's a serious, focused and adult.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: New York Council speaker Christine Quinn with me last night taking a few shots at challenger Anthony Weiner. She thinks he's reckless. But what will the voters say?
Well, back with me is Frank Rich. He's in the chair.
What do you make of Anthony Weiner? Is he the most shameless politician in American history?
RICH: Well, that's --
MORGAN: That's saying something.
RICH: That's saying something.
RICH: Yes. I know. I think that he's sort of a sociopath or it's like having a semi-mental patient on the loose. It's amusing for as long as it lasts. I think it's about to come to a close.
MORGAN: But then the latest poll according to "The New York Times"- Sienna College poll out today. 25 percent lead for Christine Quinn, 16 percent Bill Thompson, in second, and Anthony Weiner struggling down at 10 percent and falling quite fast. I mean, you get the sense it's probably nearly over.
RICH: I think it's nearly over. And what's interesting for Chris Quinn is, assuming that she's going to be one of the two finalist and possibly in the lead in the primary, she is now going to have to as will, either Bill Thompson or De Blasio, talk about the issues again. They have to sort of frolic --
RICH: It's very easy to beat up on Anthony Weiner --
MORGAN: Well, he got a couple of weeks of Weiner bashing which is --
RICH: I know. And now --
MORGAN: Which is -- was a good place to find yourself.
RICH: I know. And now -- and -- and now, you have to start to talking about rent control again, stopping (ph) it (ph). And the thing that was a very bland campaign until Weiner was caught with his pants down...
MORGAN: Well, the (ph) part (ph) Weiner is he just know he's probably still doing it. He clearly just thinks it doesn't make any difference. Well, maybe it doesn't.
RICH: And I don't -- you know, he's -- he's shameless. Yes, he doesn't have that self-censorship that people have in real life, let alone in politics. And it sort of unhinges like a Jerry Lewis (ph), "Playing for Keeps (ph)."
MORGAN: Let's talk about Barack Obama. He appeared on Jay Leno. First of all on that point, whenever he appears on Leno, he gets hammered by the -- the more sort of more serious political press. Is that really worthy (ph)?
She (ph) watched it -- I thought it was quite enlightening. He probably answered the questions exactly the same way he'd been doing CBS or NBC Nightly News, whatever.
Does it really matter the forum he chooses?
RICH: Absolutely not. It'd be nice if he also face the -- the regular press where he should. But that said, you know, this has been going on for a couple of decades now since the Clinton era.
RICH: And the truth is Jay Leno who is also a lame duck was sort of loosely (ph) asking rather interesting...
MORGAN: I thought it was a very good interview. Yes, that's right.
RICH: ...and Jay Leno ask questions. He obviously (ph) tends to be bland. But he was asking about black water, the anti-gay situation, Russia during the Olympics...
RICH: ...all this stuff.
MORGAN: I thought (ph) -- Jay thought is it probably -- I don't have to worry now because I'm not going to interview him again.
MORGAN: So I can actually be (ph) -- he's (ph) admitted (ph) -- to (ph) go (ph) -- really want to do.
RICH: Right. Those two lame duck guys talking to each other and I thought it was fascinating actually.
MORGAN: In terms of what he actually said, the substance, talk quickly about Russia. I mean, you've got the Olympics coming up. You've got them hardening their position on gay rights, for example.
You know, is there a -- is there an opportunity there for people to make a stand, perhaps even consider a boycott and say no, you're not going to behave in this Dickensian (ph) way?
RICH: I hope so. I mean, a lot of it's going to be up to gay athletes in the Olympics and whether they want to boycott and their voice should be prime in this. But also, in the meantime, I think that everyone has to forget about Russia.
What about NBC? What about all the corporate sponsors of the Olympics? How can any of them be associated with a government that, in fact, anti-gay...
RICH: ...and may punish actually NBC journalist covering the Olympics for merely talking about gay issues on television. So I think, though (ph), it's going to boil over.
I think people will think it is and they're kidding themselves.
MORGAN: And in terms of Edward Snowden, what -- what is your overview where we are with him?
RICH: In limbo and at least we're out of that hotel. MORGAN: I mean, "The New York Times" today revealed that it's very likely that the NSA programs have been using actually have been looking into American citizen's e-mails if they are looking at somebody or e-mailing somebody abroad. So the more we find out about this, the more suspicious it does look.
RICH: I agree. I think that we need to learn much more about what the NSA and -- and domestic surveillance had been about. And if some of it comes from these leaks via Snowden through "The Guardian," which is a real news organization...
RICH: ...and -- and that stuff that I'm sure is dangerous for security, bring it on. And Snowden is really a footnote. He's -- whistle-blowers are always sort of self-martyring and quixotic people.
This isn't about him. It is about the information, that we need that information.
MORGAN: Finally, this is Nidal Hasan trial -- it seems to me utterly ridiculous. You've got a guy who -- his first line is I'm the shooter. He now wants to almost give himself the death penalty.
He's still being paid hundreds of thousands of dollars as an American serviceman. What is served here this (ph) fast (ph) and particularly, if he's about to start grilling some of his victims?
RICH: You know, it is a farce. I think it shows just a lot of what's wrong with military justice, which is people say is the justice what military music is to music.
RICH: And -- and I think that the absurdities of the bureaucracy where he gets money, that the victim's families may not get any recompense is preposterous.
MORGAN: He's not deemed the terrorist. It's -- for the poor victims, just a workplace incident. I mean, almost every aspect of this seems completely possible (ph).
RICH: Right. And so the question is will people blame the government or the military. People usually like to blame the government and don't let them blame the military.
But clearly, the system has to be cleaned up. But it's not going to be by the end of this trial, not for sure.
MORGAN: No. I'm sure (ph). Frank Rich, always good to talk to you.
RICH: Good to talk to you.
MORGAN: See you again soon.
RICH: Absolutely. MORGAN: Coming up next, Rick Santorum is back live from Iowa. But I'm sure it's just a coincidence -- yes (ph), no significance to the upcoming presidential election or does he?
He joins me on the grill coming up.
MORGAN: "Daily Show's" John Oliver, taking a few shots there -- Rick Santorum's famous campaign sweater. He's back in the spotlight tonight for reasons other than his fashion sense.
He's touring Iowa with a message that he thinks can turn the Republican Party on its head. And Rick Santorum joins me on the grill.
Welcome back to you, Senator. How are you?
RICK SANTORUM, FMR. PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Oh, I'm doing great, Piers. A pretty funny joke. I'll consider that.
MORGAN: Well, I think you -- you just (ph) stated (ph) what seemed almost good last time. It -- it nearly called (ph) off (ph) you (ph) last time.
Let's talk about -- you're in Iowa. Iowa...
MORGAN: ...traditionally, obviously, traditionally is seen as a launch pad, a catalyst for people who want to be president. Are you basically signaling that you're back in the race again?
SANTORUM: What I'm -- what I'm signaling is that I -- yes, I think it's a very important time in our country's history and particularly, and as I talked about here tonight within the Republican Party, and you know, we see a lot of debate and division there. And I just felt it was important for me to sort of weigh in.
And one of the things I found out, Piers, is when you come to Iowa, people like you and others pay attention to what you're saying. So I just -- I thought there's a good opportunity to weigh into the debate tonight.
MORGAN: You must know Iowa pretty well because I think from memory, you went to them like 350 different parts of it, didn't you, in the last Republican Nominee race?
SANTORUM: Yes, we did. I think someone calculated 381 town hall meetings and to all 99 counties and obviously most of them more than once. And I'm up here in the far northwest corner of Iowa tonight in Rock Rapids, Iowa near the South Dakota-Minnesota borders and just had a big county dinner here about 400 people.
And you know, still a lot of energy and excitement here for -- for trying to take back our country. They're not happy with what's going on in Washington.
Frankly, I need this out of the aisle (ph) and they're looking for -- I think they're looking for someone to -- to lead them out of the wilderness a little.
MORGAN: And what -- what do you detect, Rick Santorum, and the real issues that real Americans right now care about most because unemployment is still very high. The wage disparity in this, I mean, you picked up on, you know, is getting bigger.
The gap between the rich and poor in America, is it -- is it still the economy driving most people's concern?
SANTORUM: Yes, I -- I think it is. And -- and you know, as I talked about here tonight, in a Republican's -- for a legitimate reason celebrate the -- the free market system in America and talked about how capitalism has transformed the world.
And it has. But we tend to talk to and -- and really court job creators and -- which again, and -- and that's a legitimate thing to do. But we're not talking to job holders.
We're not doing things that -- that really connect with them. And that's one of the things I talked about here tonight that unless we begin to change our policies and our rhetoric to really focus on those who are feeling the pinch, who are feeling like they're sliding back, that the Obama economy is not serving their needs and that more government spending is not solving their problems, unless we begin to do that, we're going to have problems as a party going forward.
MORGAN: The RNC is threatening to boycott CNN over this Hillary Clinton documentary. Are you as incensed as Reince Priebus?
SANTORUM: Well, look, I just don't think -- I mean, I agree with Reince that -- that you have a situation where, you know, why is a -- a news network, you know, running -- and -- and I know the other network running a -- a special on someone who's going to be a prospective political, you know, presidential candidate? I just think that's -- that's out of bounds.
And look, I mean, we already -- let's be honest, Piers, we already, as Republicans, you know, allow the media to run over us. We have these debates. And I was in them.
I was in 20 of them. And the people who were -- who moderate those debates from the network, not a single one of them are going to vote for any of these Republican candidates. Yet we allow you, those -- those -- those folks to question us.
Like could you imagine a Democratic debate where Rush Limbaugh and -- and Glenn Beck were the moderators? But that's what we have to put up with with the networks.
And so I think what -- what Reince is -- is expressing is a legitimate frustration with the bias of the networks and he's trying to take some action. So I commend him at least in bringing -- bringing the issue to light.
MORGAN: Presumably, none of these issues bother you too much when you're popping up on Fox, though, which employs obviously a large number of your colleagues and ex colleagues.
SANTORUM: No, look, I'm not -- I'm not suggesting that -- that, you know, Fox isn't, you know, the reverse of what we're experiencing on -- on all these other -- all these other major networks. I -- I get that.
But I think with -- with respect to the coverage and the -- and obviously this documentary, I just think it's -- it seems like you're in the promotion business or advocacy business instead of trying to report the news.
MORGAN: And -- and should the unthinkable happen and it actually be a very impartial documentary and dare I say it, potentially negative to Hillary Clinton and therefore good to the Republican Party. Can we expect to see you and Reince Priebus bouncing back on the airwave saying what a great idea it was after all?
SANTORUM: Well, I guess the whole point is, you know, what makes Hillary Clinton such a unique individual that she would be treated barely differently than any other politician I can think of. I mean, I can't think of any former elected official who -- who is a presidential candidate in the -- in the wings getting this type of attention, whether negative or positive.
And look, it may be negative but the point is focusing that attention on her and giving (ph) that is, in my mind, very suspect.
MORGAN: Have I told you about the CNN documentary on Rick Santorum? Are you comfortable with that one?
SANTORUM: Well, I don't know how comfortable I'd be on (ph). First, I don't know anything about that. But I'd be -- I'd be curious. Let's put it that way.
MORGAN: We just want to put it out there, this one certainly. I couldn't let you go, Senator, without asking you about your family and your -- your daughter, in particular. How is she doing?
SANTORUM: Well, I -- I -- I announced some exciting news -- personal news that we're actually doing a small audition to our -- our house because we have to put an elevator in and handicapped bathroom and bedroom because Bella is going strong and doing great. And she's getting so big that it was hard to get her up and down the stairs and -- and to move her around as much.
And so that's -- that's -- that's the best money I've ever spent in my life. And I'm happy to -- to fork out that money to give her the opportunity to have a -- a little better place for her to live.
MORGAN: Well, that is fantastic news. And you've got a delightful family. And it's pretty good to see you again, Senator. I missed you. I like having you back on the trail, back in Iowa where you're so popular.
SANTORUM: I -- well, I don't know about that but -- but I look forward to coming back on the show. I'll get some other things I want to talk to you about that be exciting, that you might be interested.
MORGAN: I will look forward to it. Good to talk to you again.
SANTORUM: All right. Thanks, Piers.
MORGAN: Rick Santorum.
Coming next, the luckiest man in the world or perhaps the unluckiest. He survived a shark attack and a lightning strike and that's just the start of it.
He's also been attacked by everything from snakes to monkeys. And he's a religious man. Is god on his side or is he targeting him?
We'll find out after the break.
MORGAN: And punched by monkeys on more than one occasion. What is it with you and monkeys?
Money (ph) you (ph) get (ph) -- really should pay the lottery. Tonight, Erik Norrie has got to be hands-down -- the luckiest man in the world or is he? He survived a lightning strike but also survived being bitten by a snake, being punched several times by monkeys.
And just a few days ago, he was attacked by a shark. Eric is now recovering at the Tampa General Hospital and joins me exclusively along with his wife, Spring (ph).
Eric, well, good to see you alive, first of all. How are you?
ERIK NORRIE, SURVIVED BEING PUNCHED BY MONKEYS: I'm doing great. I'm feeling a lot better than I was a few days ago, I'll tell you that.
MORGAN: Well, I bet. Now, you -- you were spear-fishing in the Bahamas with your wife, your four daughters and your father-in-law when you felt the shark bite your leg. Tell me what happened?
NORRIE: Well, just like you said, I was spear-fishing. And I felt this tremendous powerful crunch on my calf. And when I looked back, I saw him ripping a piece away and swimming away with a piece in his mouth.
MORGAN: Did you think that you -- you had it -- it was like, kill or you how were you feeling at that moment?
NORRIE: You know, I'll -- I'll tell you, to be honest with you, I believe with all my heart that God sustained me in that moment of time to give me no fear and no worry, no anxiety. And I flipped up to shore.
And I -- I tied a tourniquet around my knee to stop the bleeding and started calling for help. And my daughter got on the radio and radioed for help and -- and thank god, there was a -- a man close by by the name of Mike Meldo that came and was able to give me to a -- a clinic pretty quick.
MORGAN: Now, the bizarre thing about you is that this is not the first brush with death. You've been struck by lightning in a storm in Florida when you were 10, bitten by a rattlesnake.
You nearly lost a leg then and spent two weeks in intensive care and punched by monkeys on more than one occasion. What is it with you and monkeys?
NORRIE: I don't know. I just -- maybe I monkey around too much. I don't know. They -- they like me.
MORGAN: I mean, I know you're a religious man, but do you think that god is acting on your side, saving you from death in these incidents? Or is he picking you out for special attention?
NORRIE: I think that he's -- he's continually challenging me to trust him, which is what I believe that we all need to do through hard times, through good times, through bad times. It's important to always trust god.
MORGAN: Now, let me -- let me turn to Spring, your wife.
Spring, I mean, this must be a pretty long suffering marriage you're going through, about every three minutes, he's being attacked by either bolts of lightning or monkeys or sharks or snakes. There's no -- no respite for you.
NORRIE: Well, it's an adventuresome marriage. A lot of those things happened when he was younger. The monkeys are since I've been around.
But the shark bite was quite a scare, that's for sure.
MORGAN: Why do you think monkeys dislike him so much?
NORRIE: Well, one time was kind of my fault actually. I -- I sort of teased him into it.
NORRIE: She locked me in a cage with a violent monkey and watched it attack me and took pictures. As a matter of fact, we -- we put those -- we put the pictures on our -- on our Web site, on my business's Web site so people could see them, the monkey biting me.
MORGAN: So let me get this absolutely straight -- let me get it straight, Spring. You locked your husband in a cage with an angry monkey, and when it punched him, you then put the pictures straight on Facebook.
Is that -- is that what I'm hearing?
NORRIE: More or less.
MORGAN: On a serious point, it must have been pretty scary for you, Spring, and -- and your daughters when this -- this shark made its attack on your husband. How are you feeling about it all?
NORRIE: It's still a lot to take in. When I still really think about the actual day, it's pretty overwhelming to think about. It was very scary.
And as the water turned to blood, and Erik crawling out a rock, it was like a discovery channel show before my eyes, almost like it's hard to believe it's reality.
MORGAN: And -- and Erik, I mean, what is the prognosis for you with that leg? Is it all going to be OK? Are you going to be back to normal?
NORRIE: I think so. I had a couple of skin graphs. I had one of the best doctors here at Tampa General, Dr. David Chesla (ph) that worked on it.
And I think I'm going to be -- there's a verse that says I will walk and not grow weary and I will run and not grow faint. I will mount up with wings like eagles. And I think that that's just what I'm going to do, Isaiah chapter 40.
MORGAN: And you are actually -- you're a thoroughly good chat (ph). You do missionary work in Australia. And you're starting a shelter for the homeless.
I mean, if the good lord is watching tonight, and I'm sure he is, would you like him just to lay off you a bit for a while?
NORRIE: Absolutely not. I want to keep going forward. I want to do what he wants me to do. And you know, we're doing some work in the Dominican Republic.
We're doing some work here in -- in Pinellas County with the Dream Center working with -- with -- we're trying to put together a drug rehabilitation center. And we've got a lot of friends around the world in Papua New Guinea with Samaritan Aviation that are doing great things.
And my buddy, Thomas Dickerson that -- that was with calling all the nations who sang that cool song that's on YouTube and just trying to do what we can.
MORGAN: And playing the lottery?
NORRIE: No, I don't play the lottery. I don't play the -- play the lottery. Dishonest gain is an abomination to the lord.
MORGAN: Well, there's a few abominations the lord is sending your way. But I admire your faith. And I wish you all the very best. Erik and Spring, thank you very much for joining me.
NORRIE: OK, thank you.
NORRIE: Thank you.
NORRIE: Have a great night.
MORGAN: I'll talk to you again after the -- the next time a monkey beats you up.
NORRIE: All right, wonderful. Thank you. Good night.
MORGAN: Good to talk to you. Thanks for joining me. And we'll be right back.
MORGAN: Tomorrow night, our special report, "GONE TO POT: AMERICA'S MARIJUANA OBSESSION". Should it be legal or should it be a crime? Dr. Sanjay Gupta on whether medical marijuana works as a group of Beverly Hills women who swear pot makes them better parents.
Yes, you heard me. That's all for us tonight. "ANDERSON COOPER 360" starts right now.