tv Piers Morgan Tonight CNN October 31, 2011 3:00am-4:00am EDT
www.vitac.com www.vitac.com tonight, it doesn't get anymore 1% than this. the most famous billionaire in america. donald trump at full throttle. >> now it's gotten so bad i'm not only talking about deficits. we are not respected anymore. we're -- we're at a level that we probably have never been at. >> tonight, what he really thinks about occupy wall street. >> i think some are very serious people. i think some are down there for dating purposes. >> the president's birth certificate. what does your gut tell you? you are a smart guy. >> my gut tells me a couple of things. number one, you know, it took a long time to produce the certificate, and when it came out, as you know, check out the
internet, many people say it is not real. okay? that it's a forgery. >> and the republican candidates. donald trump for the hour. this is "piers morgan tonight." donald, thank you for inviting me into your -- well, this is almost the kind of lair of the 1%. or even the 1% of the 1%. >> thank you for being here. it's my honor. >> what do you think about this whole occupy wall street thing? you, i guess, are in the target range. you're the prime example of capitalist success in america. what do you make of them? do you think that they have justification for their anger? >> i think some are very serious people. i think some are down there for dating purposes and i have said, you know, they're down looking for girls, looking for women, looking for men.
they're looking for anything. some are very serious people and they should be serious because the economy is terrible. i personally think wall street isn't their target. i think their target is the white house and certainly washington. but they are some very serious people. and it was interesting. somebody called me before from cnn, actually, and they want me to do -- i have a big building right there. 40 wall street. it's actually the tallest building in downtown manhattan. and unfortunately because it used to be the world trade center, but it's now the tallest building in downtown. and it's very interesting because they want me to do an interview with representatives from the group, occupy wall street. >> how do you feel about that? >> i sort of think it's cool. there's something i like about it. >> i had michael moore on my
show on tuesday night. a live kind of town hall thing with an audience. >> right. i saw that show. >> right. he has a view. i asked him to cut up a pie chart of who's to blame for the financial crisis. i said, come on. the public, wall street collectively, all financial institutions, the government, the white house. and he said, it's 100% wall street. >> well, i disagree with that. i sat next to michael years ago. i really like him. i was with him. he's like a whole different guy. i watched him on your show. whoa, whoa, is that the same guy? we all do our thing in life. right? i disagree with that. a lot has to do with politics, a lot has to do with the president, a lot has to do with bad decisions that have been made. and we'll see what happens but it's a mess. and i'm not sure that, you know, they've been there a long time. and perhaps they shouldn't be allowed to stay that long. a lot of decisions have to be made because it's getting bigger and bigger and businesses are very much being affected in downtown manhattan around the wall street area. they're really being affected. >> and other cities now. oakland, there's been a lot of unrest in the last couple of days. how much do you blame the ordinary man and woman on an average american street? in other words, how much has personal responsibility got to come in to play when it comes to finances? >> well, you always say that but they were duped in to doing
mortgages. i used to give speeches of success. they'd ask me about success and they pay me a lot of money. i give a lot of money to charity. and i felt guilty when i don't take it. and i'd say -- four or five years ago i'd say, don't go for these -- i used to call them exploding mortgages. that's what they were. they were exploding mortgages. i was right and i have so many letters from people thanking me because they didn't do it. they didn't do the exploding mortgage. 150% of what they're asking for. you move in to a beautiful house. a house you can't afford but like you've never seen before. you don't have to pay interest the first year. don't worry about it. you have to blame everybody but you have to blame government. you have to blame wall street. you have to blame the bankers in particular, and i think today the bankers are a big problem. because they're not loaning money. you know, they did get bailed out.
>> not only are they not loaning money, but my anger to the bankers is that they seem to have learned nothing about how to behave in this crisis. in the sense that having been responsible, certainly partly responsible for bringing the country to its financial knees, when they get bailed out by the taxpayer, the first thing many of them have done is stick their noses straight back in the bonus trough and give themselves billions of dollars again. they don't seem to get it. you work with these guys day in and day out. what do you think of that, in particular? >> some of the banks are asking fees to keep your money. all of a sudden, you know, we are getting fees for keeping money so i don't like that. i don't like a lot of things that bankers have done. when you talk about the occupy wall street protesters, i mean, they do have some points. and i'm -- >> which are the points that you -- >> i'm a conservative guy, a
republican guy. >> what do you agree with? >> the biggest problem i have with what's happening with the system is the banks, unless you're like somebody like me, if i want to borrow money, i can borrow all the money i want at a very -- at the rates that are the lowest rates i've ever seen. that's because i don't need it. if you need money or want a house in phoenix, arizona, you can't get it. you can't get any money. they'll give you a 25% loan. a 30% loan and tied up like a sardine. >> they have the money, right? >> they have the money. they have cash. they're not using it. >> what's the way to unlock this? you're one of the smartest businesspeople i know. how do you get through this apparently immovable wall now where the banks have the money but don't want to lend it and the economy is just trapped in hell? >> part of the problem that the banks have in all fairness, piers, i'm not a huge fan of the
banks. because i see what's happening. i'll sell apartments to people and then they tell me, i can't get financing, mr. trump. i said, well, you got to get your financing. it's one of those things. or pay me cash. but people can't pay cash. most people. i think there are a lot of different problems with the banks, but one of the things is regulation. the regulators are making it so tough on banks. i called a couple of banks of friends of mine and they said the problem we have is the regulators are literally watching every line of every statement. if we loan this guy money to build a building or if we loan this one -- unless he puts up, like, 60% or 70% equity, which is ridiculous, that's not even a loan, he said, we can't give him the money. they're telling me the regulators are literally running the banks. the banks are afraid and rainy -- really not even afraid. the banks can't make the deal. i think that's a big part of the
reason but i can tell you this. the banks have money. they're not loaning it and especially to people that want to buy houses. >> is there more that barack obama can do as president to unlock this to remove the paralysis? >> you have to let the banks do their thing. you have to tell the regulators, look, some of the deals will be bad but they have to do their thing. not everything's going to be an aaa person with a perfect rating and much more money. you know, if you have a lot of money, they'll give you all the money you want. if you don't have that much money, they're not loaning, so i think if i were president obama, id say, fellows, you've got to ease up a little bit because they're not loaning the money to people to buy houses. now, i tell this to people, friends of mine and other people and young people. and this is a great time to buy a house but not from you or me. this is a great time to buy a
house from a bank and you can get the money because they own the house. they have no choice. they have to get rid of it because these houses are being vandalized. people don't even realize. first of all, the group leaves and they hate the bank because they were forced out. so they vandalize the house and then everybody else gets in to the picture. the banks are desperate to sell houses. they're not desperate to loan money. but when they already have the house, they'll give you a purchase money mortgage. they'll take back financing. this is a great time to buy houses but only from banks. >> did you agree with the bailing out of the banks after lehman brothers collapsed? >> well, i'll tell you this. look. i'm a very conservative person and i'm a republican, but i watched banks that were the strongest banks in the nation and i'm friendly with many of the heads of those banks and those people were scared.
they thought it was over. and i'm talking about goldman sachs, i'm talking about the biggest banks. these people thought it was over. there was going to be a run on every institution. and you can have the strongest bank in the world, but if there's a run on that bank, it's not strong. because the numbers, you know, it's just a very simple leverage. >> what would have happened? >> you don't know. >> how bad would it have been? the counterargument is, well, they deserve to have a run on them. >> you're right. you don't know how bad it would have been been. it may not have been as bad as i think. but i think it would have been very, very bad. now, there are certain industries when you talk about banks, you're talking about the entire financial system. could have collapsed. when you talk about loaning money to, you know, make solar panels where it makes no sense or loaning money to make cars in
finland, or loaning money or not even loaning money, giving money to china, hundreds of millions of dollars a year to china when they're, in fact, so rich and making -- so they're making trillions. we're losing trillions. that's a whole different thing. as far as the banks are concerned, you're talking about the financial system of this country, piers. and i'll tell you what. i was there, and i watched big, powerful bankers, arrogant guys, guys that were hot stuff, guys that thought they'd go into a restaurant, they were the kings. and i watched them and they were like weak, poor, pathetic men. they really thought it was over. so -- and they're smart. so when you say, did they do the right thing? and i know it's not popular. in some circles. i think you probably had to do it. >> well, the argument from someone at goldman sachs would be, look, we were in the situation we were in. it was important we didn't go
under. yes, we got bailed out, but we've paid it back. the taxpayer doesn't suffer. there's another argument that resonates with occupy wall street. what do you say to that? >> they didn't really -- when you think of it, they got cheap money and they paid it back. but they're not loaning it out ♪ ooh baby, looks like you need a little help there ♪
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mr. trump is the type of person that if he wants to endorse you, you don't have to ask him. if he happens to get to that point, and i happen to believe, i would do the same, he's waiting for the field to narrow down a little bit more before he decides whether or not he wants to put his endorsement on any particular candidate. we didn't get in to that. >> donald, let's talk about politics and in particular the gop. you've become whether you wanted to or not the kind of godfather of the gop. they're all running up here to see you, to get your blessing,
to get your advice, to get your opinions. why is that? why have you become thissal is man for them and what are you making of the republican race at the moment? >> well, i think first of all they have some very good people running and i've become friendly with some of them. but i don't think they want so much me. i think they want my ideas, what i represent. because i represent a large group of people, many millions of people, that feel that this country is certainly not what it used to be, which is -- that's an understatement. but because they look at what's going on with china, with opec, with india, with mexico, with so many -- with everybody. the entire world is ripping off the united states. we don't make good deals anymore. it used to be years ago we'd never make a bad deal. we were smarter, tougher, better. we had all the cards. and now we never make a good deal. i mean, you look at -- >> how much of this -- i'm going
to back to this later the foreign aspect of this but how much of this is due to america just being at the moment oddly, inherently weak. >> we're weak. we're pathetic. it all stems from leadership. it's very simple. >> how many leaders? how far do you go back? >> look. >> i was never a big fan. i'm very proud of you and the job you did and thank you "celebrity apprentice" and donald trump. the truth is you have done a good job and you know me. i have never been a fan of george bush. >> i remember you telling me once he put back america 50 years. >> well, he put it back a long way so i was never a fan but we have taken it to a whole new level with obama. obama could have straightened it out. now it's gotten so bad it's not just deficits. we're not respected anymore. we're at a level we never have been at in terms of this country. >> i think americans feel strangely vulnerable at the moment.
they're not used to this. when you've been the superpower for my entire lifetime and now the emerging superpowers to compete with you and successfully. >> we created those superpowers. we created our competition. so-called free trade which turned out really to be unfair trade. china is going to make $350 billion on us this year and they're laughing at us. they're building george washington bridges but much bigger all over the place. when is the last time you saw america doing that? >> why has america stopped doing that kind of thing? >> well, the environmental approvals are impossible. >> bureaucracy is crazy here, right? >> the bureaucracy is unbelievable. i mean, if you want to build a bridge today, i have had many islands i was going to buy near new york, near manhattan. i say how long would it take to get a bridge built. they say maybe 20 years and not sure we can get it. 20 years. in china, they build a bridge.
you know what it's called? build a bridge. next day they start working. >> why can't the bureaucracy be eliminated? why can't somebody get a grip on this? >> it can't be eliminated but it certainly can be made a lot quicker and better and efficient. we just don't do that. it's getting much worse. the epa is really, really tough. i know the head of the epa. she used to be in new jersey and i really like her. terrific. but you know what? it's gotten so bad. i have friends, they want to do things, piers. they can't even think about it. >> which of all the republican candidates at the moment do you think has it in him to get america out of this mess? >> i have to start off saying i think any of them would be better than what we have now. we really have got a chief campaigner. you look at obama. and i don't know him. i never met him. and i think he's really a nice guy. he looks to me like a nice guy. but all he does is campaign.
he should be sitting behind his desk making sure that china stops with the rips. that all of these other countries, that opec -- i mean, every time, every time i see on your show or any other show that the economy's getting better, i say, watch what happens with oil prices. the next day oil prices go up $3 a barrel and all of the sudden the economy comes back. oil is such a power. bigger power than interest rates in a way. >> clearly america will have a choice within a year now of which way to go with their president. and they're going to need the republican party, a candidate. the interesting thing about the race is that mitt romney has barely put a foot wrong, but he's kind of flatlined around the 25% mark in all the polls. can't seem to make the jump to being the outright front-runner and we're seeing lots of people -- >> it's amazing. >> rick perry and herman cain coming along and seizing that
kind of tea party vote. the guy that most people think is probably the best option can't get the right kind of traction. >> well, look. i've gotten to know mitt romney very well, and i'm very impressed by him. i think he's a terrific guy and i think he's a much different guy actually in person than what you watch on television. though i have to say, even watching on television he was great in the debates. so i think he does come along. i think he's doing fine. but you're right. you know, why isn't he at 60% instead of 23%. >> why is it do you think? >> nobody knows. who, why. >> is he not sexy enough? >> he's actually a very handsome guy. he's got the look. he's got the brains. >> is he a bit dull? >> i don't think so. i mean, i have to tell you, i've gotten to know him very well and i don't think so at all. but for some reason it's not quite resonating yet. and the word "yet" is important. 90% of the people, believe it or
not. i saw this poll this morning on your station, on your channel, 90% of the people haven't even made up their mind yet in terms of the race. which is shocking to me. but they haven't really definitively made up their mind. i think he's going to do well. he'll do well if he ended up winning. i met with herman cain. >> what do you think of him? he's very charismatic. he seems to be weak on what he thinks about stuff. >> you know what? you also get people. okay? you get people. i get you for certain things. i get somebody else. i mean, one of the problem that we have with our leader currently is that if you look at our trade negotiators, i know the top 25 killers in -- let's say wall street. i mean, i don't like to use the term because wall street is a -- >> financial business. >> i know the wall street -- i know the killers of the world. they're better than -- we have
the greatest businesspeople in the world. nobody close. and i take one, i say, guess what. congratulations. you handle china. come over here. you, handle japan. you know, everybody talks about japan. and we all feel a little bit sorry for japan. but for years they've been ripping us like -- you know, like crazy. and they sell our -- their cars to a point where we just build their economy and the yen is very strong and they're doing fine. but when was the last time -- with all the toyotas and the cars that you see coming in, when was the last time do you think a chevrolet was sold in japan? okay? now, i don't know the answer to that. i can tell you not a lot of them are sold in japan. so i'd say you, you're going to take over japan. you're going to negotiate with japan. you, this one. you. how about south korea? >> could herman cain? >> i think so. i think what you do is you've got to get people. you can get people better than
yourself to do things. >> but is herman cain from the guy you've spoken to, is he the kind of man with a business background he's been successful, is he the kind of guy that can turn things around? >> you know what impressed me with herman cain? i really thought he was a great guy. he had a great leadership style. sort of a wonderful personality. and the thing that's most disappointing -- you know, when obama got elected, i wasn't an obama fan, but when he got elected i really thought he was going to be an amazing cheerleader for this country. i thought -- and i wanted him to be. if you go back and check your tapes from three years ago, i mean, i would say, do a great job. i hope you're going to be the greatest since abraham lincoln. not a bad president, right? i hope you're going to be the best we ever had. even though i'm a republican, i hope that. the truth is he's been a very negative force. everything's negative. he gets nothing done. he doesn't get these guys -- you know, when they played golf, i actually thought that was a good thing. people say, oh. i thought that was a great thing because i thought him and the boehner and the group and maybe -- a lot of good deals happen on golf courses. okay? i thought that was a great thing. unfortunately, they didn't have a second round. i mean, it never worked out. and the level -- the level of hatred between the democrats and the republicans -- >> doesn't help anything, does it? >> no. we'll take another graek break. i'm going to ask you about karl rove who attacked rick perry on tuesday, i think it was, and said that basically anyone that still questions the birther issue with president obama is in the nutty fringe element. >> okay. >> which is i think where you rrr hrent
donald, karl rove blasted rick perry when he recently refloated this whole notion of the birther issue in terms of president obama. was he born here or not? karl rove said if rick perry really wants to win he has to steer clear of, quote, the nutty fringe element who continue to claim the president's birthplace is in doubt. that, i guess, brings you into the nutty fringe element as far as he's concerned. what do you think about that? >> it's sort of interesting. when i first started talking about, again, i sort of felt it. i had a feeling. but when i got involved and you know how well i did in terms of the polls. even when i got out. i was leading in the polls. in fact, i was watching your friends on nbc. i will tell you that on -- actually, let's see.
it was "meet the press." it was david gregory. they had a poll. i was in number one place. the next day i was announcing that we're going to do a big season of "celebrity apprentice" again at the up fronts. so i did very well. i did nice especially for a nonpolitician. but i speak my mind. and i will tell you that i always told people, you know, i'm a very smart guy. i got good marks. i was all this. i went to the best college. the wharton school of finance. which to me is, like, the greatest business school. and i always prefaced it because they made these birthers, as they call them, a very derogatory term. they made the birthers sound like they didn't know what was happening. the fact is there are a lot of people that happen to agree with -- with -- like, as an example, why wasn't this birth certificate given when hillary and when mccain and when everybody was asking? ultimately, i'm very proud of what i did because i got him to
give something. now, as to whether or not it's real -- >> do you accept what he produced is valid? >> i don't necessarily. >> do you believe he probably was born in america? >> i say he might have been. >> but what does your gut tell you? you are a smart guy. >> my gut tells me a couple of things. number one, you know, it took a long time to produce the certificate. and when it came out, as you know, you check out the internet, many people say it is not real. okay? that it's a forgery. that's what they say. i don't know if it was. >> the internet is nonsense. isn't it? >> okay, fine. but you know, they go over it and lots of different things and lots of different reasons. and the other thing is nobody's been able to see, you know, the day of his birth, they had twins born. they had another one born. nobody has been able to find any records that he was born in that hospital. >> do you think politically for
rick perry -- >> i think it's a positive for him. >> is it a sensible thing for him to do? >> i think it's good for him in the republican primary. i don't necessarily know if it's good in the general election. i do think i disagree with karl rove. i respect karl rove, but i disagree with him because i think that probably especially, you know, if you look what's happened to rick. rick was another one. we had dinner, got to know each other. good guy. >> what do you make of him? in the debates he's pretty -- >> i don't know what happened because when you're with him he's great. he was really -- i mean, we had a really good time. >> is he articulate? >> he's different. >> is he fun? all the things he doesn't seem to be? >> he called me after the debates. i said, what happened to you? i said, why can't you act? he actually called me a few days ago. he was very forceful and very strong on something on something
he was asking me. i said, why can't you act like that on the debates? you know? the camera goes on. why can't you act like that? he said, it's just not my thing. that's okay. i understand that. i know people who are fantastic people, but they can't do television. if they had to sit down with you for an interview, they wouldn't sleep for three months. >> i'd love to interview rick perry. i think he's a very charismatic character. >> are you interviewing him? >> can you put in a good word? he'll do what you tell him to. >> i was a little bit surprised. but i actually think that the birther for him is sort of a positive. now, i think he's pulling away because there's a group of people that think it's something he shouldn't discuss. i don't care. personally, i don't care. i'm doing -- it's a -- i'm a businessman. what i say, i guess, a lot of people are listening to. in fact, many millions of people
are listening to and that's why it's interesting when they come up to my office. they don't want my money. they want my endorsement. every one of them. they want the endorsement. i represent millions of people. i will tell you -- just to finish. >> yeah. >> i don't discuss birther. you brought it up. i never bring it up. because the real issue now is jobs, the economy, stopping the world from ripping us, getting back to greatness for this country, which we're going in the wrong direction. but i think it's an issue that if somebody brings it up, it's certainly an issue that's worth talking about. there are a lot of reasons to think that he wasn't born in this country. absolutely. i say that as an intelligent person. >> he would say he's put it to rest and the fact rick perry is backtracking i guess suggests that he is sensing it's no longer -- >> it's a very volatile issue. it's a very volatile issue.
i mean, when somebody brings it up, i think probably perry got a tremendous earful over the last few days because he did bring it up. he used my name, which i don't think he should have done. he used my name. we had dinner. a private dinner. trump said he's not sure, et cetera, et cetera, about that whole situation. which probably he shouldn't have done. you know. >> you said to me a while ago when all the speculation was raging about whether you would run or not, you said, you know, i'm just going to wait and see what happens here. before you said you weren't going to. because if i sense there's not a person that can beat obama -- >> that's true. i say it now. >> i would say right now it's still a very arguable point whether any of these candidates has the kind of support in their own party let alone the wider electorate to beat barack obama. >> that's true. >> i say it right now. >> i would say it's still an
arguable point where whether any of these candidates has got the kind of support in their party let alone the wider electorate to beat barack obama. isn't that the environment you were thinking about and is it possible given where we are that you might still run? >> i'm looking. i'm looking very seriously. i would love to endorse somebody and i love what i'm doing and love to endorse somebody that i think would, number one, win, number two, be really great and a lot depends on whether that happens and whether or not the economy continues to be bad and i think it will because we have people incompetent running the government. >> the election i think will be run on the economy. i could see you with your business background being a compelling choice for people. i'm surprised you are not. very seriously considering it. knowing you as a competitive man because you'd only run i think
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donald, let's talk economy and taxation because one of the big debates raging now -- you have herman cain with the 9-9-9 plan and rick perry with the plan and everyone trying to work through what everyone agrees is a ridiculously overcomplicated tax system. >> true. >> now here's the rub. warren buffett says as has president obama, look, we did a lot better when taxation was higher, actually. if you look at the '80s and '90s. it is an inarguable fact that high taxation on wealthy people in particular doesn't inhibit their investment. you're one of the wealthiest men in america. is that true? >> well, i think it's a very bad time to be raising taxes. that i can tell you.
now, every once in a while i look at something like exxon mobil making billions and billions of dollars a quarter. billions. so much money. more money than the united states makes. and we're subsidizing them. ridiculous. okay? whether you like it, whether you don't like it, it doesn't make any sense. the way i look at like the exxons and the oil companies, they've been in cahoots with our enemy, which is opec. they've been in cahoots. they're the ones that distribute the oil. opec takes it out of the ground and they distribute it. for us to be subsidizing exxon and other companies like exxon mobil is absolutely insane and ridiculous. now, as far as the plans are concerned, before we can start raising taxes this country has to get going again. i mean, i just see every -- you look at 9.1 but don't forget that's a phony number. that's a number -- >> a million more that have given up. >> how about when you give up
and then you're not considered unemployed. people that have looked for a job for two years, they give up, they're not going to get a job. they take them off the unemployment number. >> you're a big employer. how many do you employ roughly? >> thousands, tens of thousands of people. >> right. how does america get people back to work? what is the best economic plan in terms of general thought process? i mean, you don't want to raise taxes. what is the simple way to stimulate growth and jobs? >> well, i have two primary ways. the first way by far is you must stop our jobs from leaving this country. we must start manufacturing our goods. even if barren trump only has one or two little toy airplanes instead of 20 -- >> take apple on that. apple by the time steve jobs died and he was a complete genius. everyone accepts that. one of the great businessmen and creators this country has ever produced. right? >> true. >> everyone agrees.
by the end, more people were working for apple in china than in america. >> that's true. >> which for an american iconic company seems totally perverse to me. >> i think steve was never hit and that's because of death with the fact that so many people and so much of his product comes out of china. and it can come out -- i saw a factory two weeks ago. i won't go into which and what. but so incredible. the technology was so -- right here. the technology is so incredible. we could be doing this stuff ourselves. they manipulate their currency. it's very hard for these companies -- for our companies to compete. but china manipulates like nobody has ever manipulated before in the history of this world, and it makes it almost -- >> you have stuff made for you and your companies in china. >> i do have stuff made. i'm not happy about it. when you build a building -- i'll give you an example. >> i'll play del's add vo cat.
come on, look. you have to do what you're saying. you have to pull the work out of china. lead the way. what would you say? >> i'll tell you this. number one, take a building. i get bids on buildings. i get -- i build lots of buildings. and i get bids on curtain walls. glass and aluminum and this. many of the bids come from china. now, are they lower? yes. and the reason they're lower is because they manipulate their currencies. they make it very hard for companies in this country to compete. so what i would do, because you're asking me a question. how would you turn it? the first thing i'd do is take the abusers like china, south cora, what they're doing, if you order a television, piers, you can't do it unless you get it from south korea or some other country. where are our televisions -- they're not made here anymore. i would take certain countries that have abused us and i would tax them. in the case of china, the tax,
believe it or not, is how bad it is, should be 41%. that's the tax. but because i'm such a nice person i would only make it 25%. >> how are the chinese reacting? you aur kicking them. >> most amazing thing. i just sold a house to a chinese person. an apartment for $33 million to a chinese company. i have the biggest bank in the world, a chinese bank one floor above where we are right now. actually one floor below where we are right now. we are right now -- they might be listening to the conversation. >> the one thing that is going well for america still is hollywood. still making great movies and the business is good and, in fact, they've made a great new movie "tower heist." >> that's true. it is a great movie. i saw it last night. >> it was filmed in this building. >> that's right. >> involves a capitalist billionaire who gets his comeuppance. >> it wasn't me. it was a wall street guy. >> let's find out who it was after the break. >> okay. daddy, come in the water!
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donald, the trump international tower, we are in it here, brings back memories for me. "celebrity apprentice." not all of them good, i have to say. like a torture chamber at times. >> the end result was great. right? look at you. >> they made this movie "tower heist," ben stiller and eddie murphy and others are in it. a good old-fashioned caper and very poetic and timely in the sense that it involves a capitalist billionaire who rips people off and then gets his comuppance. it's your tower. something you want to tell me? >> it's very interesting. it was supposed to be about me and i said i don't want that about me. so i actually loaned them the building and actually they did some at trump international and trump tower and i love eddie murphy and i think he's terrific. i think he really is great, too, because i saw the movie, i was at the premiere last night, too.
i also -- ben stiller is great. the whole group is great. they have alan alda and brett ratner is the director. they did an amazing job. it wasn't a real estate guy. it was a wall street guy. one of those things. it really was. the building showed beautifully. >> your old friend rosie o'donnell has a new talk show going on the oprah winfrey network. have you sent flowers? >> no, i haven't. but i hope she does well. and i actually hope she does well. she's had a very long string of failures. and i hope she does well because of oprah. i love oprah. >> what do you think of oprah? >> i think oprah is great. i love her. she's a friend of mine. >> as a businesswoman. >> i was on her show the last week and it was great. she had my whole family on. it was a beautiful thing. i think she is an incredible woman, a beautiful woman, and i want her to do well with her network, so i hope rosie does well. frankly i'd like to see rosie do
well anyway. >> when you look at your own story, oprah winfrey's story, these people, steve jobs, for example. could people like you develop these empires in the way that you did then, now? is the climate able to encourage creative entrepreneurial people to do this? is that part of the problem? >> i think we have a country that has tremendous untapped potential. you asked me before, what would you do? first i'd stop the outside world from ripping us. the next thing i'd do is let us go in and go under this earth and harmlessly take out our energy so we don't have to spend trillions of dollars to other countries where they're doing their roads and their airports and their bridges. have to spend trillions of dollars to other countries where they're doing their roads and airports and bridges. let us get a tremendous number of jobs right here, we become energy self-sufficient quickly,
but we have to be able to get people permits. now, we want it safe, we want it clean. we've got to be able to use coal again. we ship coal over to china. they burn coal, we don't. i mean, we still do, but it's getting less and less and harder and harder and we're the saudi arabia of coal. we ship coal to other countries. >> the american dream has taken a bit of a batter. what should the new american dream, the realistic one, be now? >> well, again, i think the country has unbelievable potential, almost greater than before, if we allow it to happen. but we have to get rid of these regulations that are just absolutely destroying us. they are destroying us. think of what i just said. we take coal and sell it to china and they burn coal. now, there is clean coal and all of that. the solar thing is not working out. i know all about solar. i know about wind, i know about solar, and you know what?
they're all fine, but they're not -- i did a solar project. you know what the payback was? 30 years. get my money back in 30 years. in 30 years, the fan will be disintegrated in 15 years, so what does that mean? we have so much energy right under our earth, right under this country, that we can be totally self-sufficient between natural gas and coal. >> one of the exports is corn to china. people has to eat. and america has some of the greatest agricultural land anywhere in the world. to me, some of them are no-brainers. >> we're so good at it, but we have to be allowed to compete, we have to be allowed to do it, and we're not. we're just not. we're stymied. very interesting. i'm in china, they're building a big city. they're building cities all the time, right? it's the ocean. what they do, it's like a little strip a mile by a mile. so i said, this is amazing. because i would live here. how long did it take you to get your permits? they look at me like, i can't believe this guy asked such a stupid question. they said, this was very quick.
like, immediate. they're going to build a city, they're going to employ thousands of people, house thousands. it's crazy. in this country, if we wanted to take a little tiny speck out of the ocean, out of the hudson river, out of this, out of that, it's called the electric chair. you get the electric chair. it's crazy. so we have to go back to our roots or we'll never be great again, and it has to happen quickly, because if it doesn't happen quickly, big problems. >> we'll a take a break and talk about your family. you have grandchildren all over the place. you still don't look old enough.
there's grandchildren coming out of every one of your kids at the moment. bianca just recently. >> i've never been fond of the name grandfather, but that's what i am. i'm a grandfather. we're having a lot of fun. "the celebrity apprentice" continues to be a big hit, as you know. we're shooting it right now. as we speak, we're literally shooting it right now. >> are you always fresh faced? i could give them a few days of reckoning, if you will. >> you could give them some fast tips, but could you play the game as well as everybody? you went from that show, you went to this show, and i love
larry king, but you're doing great. larry king told me that also. >> what do you think about family? >> it's all about family. you want to make money and have fun, and i do it for fun, more than anything else. i love taking care of people, whether it's their health care or their education for their children. but ultimately what it's about is family. if you have great family, great relationships, great marriages, or even friendships in some form, it's more important than all the stuff we've been talking about. >> you have all the money you could wish for -- actually, you could probably wish for more -- you've achieved so much. when you wake up in the morning, what really drives you? is there any great ambition you still have? >> i think what drives me is i love what i'm doing. and i tell people, because i give many speeches on success, and i always talk about how you have to love it.
if you don't love it, it's never going to work. you have to have other things, you have to have this, other things have to be going on. but you have to love what you do. if you don't love, piers, if you didn't love, you wouldn't be doing it. >> i have friends who go to work. i don't go to work. i'm sitting around not able to find anything to do, and i'm supposed to take vacation, which i don't do too often. the great thing about my business is i have clubs all over the world and i can go there and consider it vacation. i guess it's work, but i don't consider it work. >> how would like to be remembered? >> i think i'm somebody who has done a really great job aesthetically, but also people who create great families, i'm proud to be a part of that. >> thanks very much. >> thank you. right now on cnn, occupy out