tv Piers Morgan Tonight CNN June 8, 2012 12:00am-1:00am EDT
i can't just walk up and start chatting up a girl i find attractionive. and a steaming best seller goes main stream. the real life of 50 shades of gray. this is "piers morgan tonight." the man of the hour, scott walker, saying his victory is a triumph for the middle class and his state. and now the guessing game begins in earnest. should the g.o.p. print out romney-walker bumper stickers. and later george herbert-walker bush. he talks openly in a new movie about how his life has changed. but we begin with scott walker's rise in the republican party. welcome and congratulations,
governor. >> piers, good to be with you. my voice is hoarse but my spirits are high. >> last time i spoke to you it was all pretty tense and you talked honestly about receiving death threats and how nasty the whole thing had got. how do you feel now it's all over? you are still getting threats, apparently. it's been a pretty brutal campaign. >> it was. and the thing when i walked out on the stage and saw the supporters the first thing i thought was thank god it is over for my wife and sons. i asked for the job. they didn't ask for it. it was a relief it was done for them. and in our case there is a few outliers out there. but most people in our state are ready to move on and move forward. i spent two days criss crossing the state.
>> let's listen to your victory speech from last night, a little clip from this. >> tonight we tell wisconsin, we tell our country, and we tell people all across the globe that voters really do want leaders who stand up and make the tough decisions. [ applause ] >> i think i know now why you lost your voice. you were in battle cry mode last night. but what does this mean in the context of the national election, do you think? >> i think it has an impact on what is going to happen in the fall and what happens after that. the message we sent in the election on tuesday. i got not only republicans and conservative votes but independents and discerning democrats who said they like the fact that someone took on the tough challenges. for governor romney in wisconsin and other states if he is going to succeed people want to hear
what are you going to do? what bold steps will you take to move the country forward to tackle the economic and fiscal crisis that the country faces? i think if he does that he has the capacity to do that. he did that with the olympics and in the private sector. if he makes those kind of bold statements and can follow up on them people will turn in his regard. >> there has been a lot of speculation about whether you may join mitt romney on a ticket. mark a. tyson on monday in "the washington post" wrote that putting you on the ticket would make you competitive in wisconsin and make president obama spend time defending a state he thought he would win. and it would divert precious resource from the other battleground states and if the republican ticket did pull an upset in washington, obama's
chances for a second term would be slim to none. there is a logic and a common sense to putting you on the ticket. how do you feel about it? >> i think the benefit of what happened on tuesday is the power of ideas. you know, we ran not just an election but for the last year and a half on powerful ideas that were not about r for republican but r for reform and if governor romney embraces that he will be strong. if he asks me about wisconsin i say one of the most powerful reformers in the country, paul ryan i suggest he put him on the ticket. after a year and a half of this i want to help wisconsin move forward. but i do think in wisconsin and swing states across the country if he goes big and bold in terms of saying what he'll do to turn the country around he will be successful. i'll thrilled we brought that to
the national level. >> if romney said i thought about this and you are my man i presume you wouldn't turn him down? >> i would properly eagerly persuade him that the best person is paul ryan. >> but what if he decides not paul ryan but it's going to be scott walker? >> i think he would have a tough person to convince in terms of my wife after all this campaigning and focus in wisconsin. it would be hard for me to turn around and do anything else except for stay focused on wisconsin. that's why i'd push paul. there is a lot of other great candidates out there. >> you wouldn't say no, would you? >> it's pretty overwhelming just to think about getting through the last election and for me, i appreciate the attention but i think it's not because of my
personality as much as it is because of the bold ideas we ran on and we won with more votes than we did a year and a half ago in one of the key states across the country. i hope that sends a message not just about winning but more important about governing in any election for governor, mayor or executive positions across the country. you can make tough decisions that voters have asked us to do. i have heard the complaint from democrat and republican voters alike that they hate that the politicians are fearful to make tough decisions because they think more about the next election than the next-generation. we turned that around. we thought more about the next generation. >> what do you make about this furor over the comments of president clinton which appears to be at odds with president obama and the bush tax cuts?
>> i think it's interesting. i think the president's -- president clinton has been hanging around with a number of people in the private sector who put people to work whether they are small business or big business or anywhere in between that is where the nation thrives. i think it is a wakeup call for the country. president obama may be a good and decent person but his view of government is that government is successful if more people are dependent on government program. i don't think that's successful. i think most people believe success in government is how many fewer people are in government because they are able to control their own destiny because the private sector has created more jobs. that's how we move the country forward. >> you talked about being conciliatory to the unions.
you don't want to be a union basher, the great slayer of all things union. a lot of these people are decent people who work hard for a living. it's not a mantle that any politician should be overly proud of. >> no. no. and i think it was created by our national opponents. we have had a good working relationship. more than a third of the union households in the state voted for me because over the last year and a half private sector and unions are seeing they are my partner in economic development. i work on reinvesting in the transportation fund and rebuilding the infrastructure in energy and power in the state. we want to stream line the process for safe and environmentally sound mining in the state to put workers, union and non-union alike back to work. the thing to remember with private sector and union not only are we putting them back to work they are taxpayers.
and so the idea that we can operate a government more efficient and effective and accountable to the taxpayers is better for taxpayers. especially the middle class taxpayers who are bearing the brunt of the cost. i want my legacy to be that we controlled the budget without tax increases and cutting things like medicaid and did so by creating jobs in the private sector which means freedom and prosperity for all people. >> governor i will wrap things up now. before i will achieve what no democrat has achieved against you that is to silence scott walker. it has been a good week for your party. thanks for joining me. >> the best thing you talked to me about this before but sunday after my son graduates, sunday i get to take that harley-davidson
road king out and ride it all over wisconsin. >> i'm seeing a remake of "easy rider" coming up before me. enjoy your ride, governor. >> thank you. >> take care. the other big story is the bill clinton apology tour. he explains away comments that seems to put him at odds with the white house when he referred to mitt romney's sterling business career. wolf, a great interview with the president today. congratulations on that. it seemed to me he was in apologetic mode expressing regret, perhaps. is that accurate? >> yes, it is. and i was pretty surprised to see how far he was going in saying how sorry he was and apologizing for the comments including what he said on your show last week when he suggested that mitt romney's record was sterling and he was qualified to
be president on the heels of the obama administration's advertisements saying that it was horrible what he was doing at bain capital. and the issue on whether or not he was on the same issue on extending the bush tax cuts for the wealthiest americans. listen to this. >> some of your critics have said the former president is undermining the current president for whatever reason. >> well, look, in 2008, when he ran for president and defeated hillary in the primaries, i did 40 events for him. 40 in the election. and in 2012 i have done these major fundraisers and spoken up for him whenever i could. i have told people repeatedly i think he's done a really good job under trying circumstances and better than some people give him credit for.
and i strongly committed to his re-election. and i just regret -- you know, my instinct. you know me. i don't think i should have to say bad things about governor romney to disagree with him. >> he flatly said he was wrong. he apologized for suggesting that the bush tax cuts for the wealthiest making more than $200,000 a year families should be extended. the president says he's not extending the tax cuts ever again. >> here's where i find a slight implausibility line in all this. is that president clinton is a fantastically able politician and a brilliant communicator. is it really likely that he
would have said these things which are so on the face of it diametrically opposed to president obama as a mistake or could it be more sinister? >> i know his critics, not only republicans but democratic critics see something sinister. he is flatly denying it and vowing to do his best to try to make sure that president obama gets re-elected. he's going to raise money and go on the campaign trail for him. he's insists there is no covert message to undermine the president because of ill feelings going back four years ago when hillary clinton was challenging barack obama for the democratic presidential nomination. but he is so intelligent and smart a lot of people are going to wonder how much pressure was he under to say he was wrong and misunderstood the premise of the question.
it's not every day you hear bill clinton talking like that but he is talking about that right now. that is why it is extraordinary to me as a long-time 20-year bill clinton watcher to hear that coming out of him. >> probably down to your brilliant interviewing skills, wolf. >> i'm not so sure. he was ready. he knew the questions were coming and he was ready with the answers. >> it's a fascinating relationship between president clinton and president obama. wolf, thank you very much. >> thank you, piers. later, a man who says that politics is not as important as family. chaz bono on his new life as a single man. and president george h.w. bush as you have never seen him before. [ kimi ] atti and i had always called oregon home.
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i've seen the unexpected crisis that arrives in a cable in a young aide's hand and so i know that what it all comes down to, this election, is the man at the desk, and who should sit at that desk? my friends, i am that man. that was of course the 41st president of the united states, george herbert walker bush. he tells his story in a dommentry called "41" produced by jerry weintraub who is with me right now. it's -- i watched it this morning -- it's a fascinating documentary. you can't imagine there are so many things about this man that you don't know. as i was watching i was like, i didn't know that happened to him. i didn't know about this. i see all sorts of stuff, pictures, images, revelations from his own mouth which are really startling.
>> you know why you don't know and most people don't know all that is because he never bragged about himself. and he never felt that he was going to be an imperial president and designated to be president of the united states. he was doing a job. and his mother and father early on, as you saw in the film, told him don't brag about yourself and talk about yourself, don't be a big shot just go ahead and run your life, do your life. that's what he did. even in the best of days and the worst of days he didn't sit in the living room and say look at what i just did, look at me, look at me, look at me. it was never that. it was about service to the country. >> it's an extraordinary moment and i want to show a clip. this is him in the war. he's a pilot and they run into heavy fire and they go down and he crashes into the water. incredibly it's all on video and you have this remarkable
sequence. let's watch a bit of this. >> sure enough. it was a rescue sub and they came up out of the sea alongside me. i went in the conning tower and down in the submarine and the next thing i know we're in the water. >> it was appropriate in the week on the anniversary of d-day. you see the footage there. you see the man who was to become president bush, but in that moment, he's dragged out of the water after this life-or-death moment as he crashes into the sea and they just leave him to walk up the deck and that's the reality of war. and in that moment you can live or die and he shrugs it off and gets down to it. it's not surprising to me that this forms the character of the man who we see as president.
a man who no one ever questioned his integrity. >> exactly. he was frightened when he went down. it was a life and death situation. he was as close to death as you can get. he was shot out of the air. and he was upset and concerned about his crew. that's what was on his mind and he knew that he was -- it was do or die. when he later had to send kids to war, he knew what war was and knew what life and death was, in an airplane. >> it is powerful the sense of him understanding it because of him telling in evocative terms. he does not hide the fact that he was terrified and he says every day he thinks about this. he never knew what happened to his colleagues. >> no. >> there is another moment i found powerful. it's when he was working with president nixon and he believes him.
president nixon looks him in the eye and says i had nothing to do this with and he keeps believing him and keeps believing him and then out comes information that makes it clear that president nixon has been lying. and he says in that moment he wrote him a letter saying you must resign and he talks about the heart break of this disillusionment that he felt of the president lying to him. and you get a sense of that forming how he was as a president. really interesting, i think. >> it was. i happened to be close by when he got the news. and he was going on -- i think it was on "face the nation" or "meet the press" at the time. he was the head of the rnc at the time. he was crushed at the time. he liked nixon and thought that nixon had done a great job in a lot of ways. and he forgave him later on and helped him with the library.
but i don't know this for a fact. but i don't -- i doubt he ever got over that moment and the fact that he was lied to. >> and probably reconciled in himself that if he was in that position he would not do that. >> he would never have been this that position. >> he comes over as a fundamentally, very decent man. >> piers, he's not only a very decent man, he's a great man. and as history is telling now and is happening. i watched it the last few years, they're writing the story about this guy because he didn't -- he doesn't do it himself. he won't get out there and do it. he won't sit around and say, well, we did this at this hour and at this moment and all this stuff that presidents -- some presidents do and some
secretaries of state do, et cetera, et cetera. he doesn't do that stuff. he just was doing a job. when he was ambassador to the united nations he was doing a job. when he was head of the cia, he was doing a job. when he was liaison to china for nixon, he was doing a job. and one job led to another. and in fact when you look at his complete body of work, no other man was as well-prepared for the presidency in the united states as george bush. >> let's talk a short break and talk about the family which has been the bedrock of his life from his wife to the daughter i didn't realize he lost at the age of 3 and the son who went on to also become president. [ male announcer ] when this hotel added aflac
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country, except for the adamses but it was mind boggling. >> a proud father the former president on his son winning the white house. i'm back with the executive producer, jerry weintraub. what a moment. to be a president and see your son become president. >> twice. and another son who was governor of florida at the same time. pretty extraordinary stuff. and he took it in stride. but he was so proud of his sons. so proud of his son and he also let his son go ahead and run the country. >> there isn't much on his son in the movie. it's predominantly about george bush sr. i think it would have been interesting all the criticism that poured on his son head i'm
curious what he would have said about that. you, as his friend, what do you think? >> i think he felt badly for his son and when his son was criticized but he didn't get involved in his son's administration. that was his son's administration. his son -- as far as i knew -- and he wanted his son to run his own ship. that's the way that family was. >> honestly amazing -- >> it is. >> still is. >> amazing marriage to barbara. >> she's a very, very strong woman. but -- and everybody knows that she's a very strong woman and you don't really want to cross swords with her. but the fact of the matter is that he's the boss, has been the boss. they have a fantastic partnership. they love each other to death and they'll be together forever.
she was a beautiful, beautiful woman and is a beautiful woman. >> you see the pictures there. here's what i was struck by. there is a really powerful moment in this movie when -- i didn't know this story that they have a daughter who is about three years old when she gets leukemia and they try everything to try to save her life, prolong her life and in the end they fail and the doctors run out of ideas. and as president bush tells the story, you know, you feel the tears welling up watching him never mind how he must be feeling and he tells it with such eloquence and emotion. and you can see today it is as raw to him as it must have been at the time. >> i think it is has raw for him today. he's not someone who feels sorry for himself. he feels blessed and so does barbara feel blessed. they are blessed people. they had a wonderful life.
that was a big jolt. there are jolts in life. it doesn't get worse. >> he says he couldn't talk about it for a long time afterwards and the footage is so poignant. she is a beautiful little girl who dies before she is four years old. but they have joy at the end because they have another daughter and he says he wouldn't sure how he would feel but when the daughter came it was an enveloping for her. >> twice the love. the whole family is like that. when you go back to his dad and his mom. i knew both of them in kennybunkport they were like that. and that family is like that. they are totally committed to the family and to life and to love and to doing the things right.
>> how have you managed to stay his buddy for 45 years given everyone in hollywood who has been opposed to his policies and his son's. >> i don't care what people say in hollywood. he came to hollywood when he was the president of the united states and barbara when she was first lady we had parties for him at the house. every big hollywood star came, every left-wing, progressive, liberal. everybody's got a title. they all came to the house. george bush loved looking at the pretty girls. barbara bush loved dancing with warren beaty. no problem with that. they came and were respected. the office of the presidency is above all that. and he didn't use it as a political tool -- >> who would you get if you were casting a movie? who would you get of all the people you worked with or seen
to play george bush sr.? >> you know, i don't know. i have to think it through. i don't know right off the top of my head i don't know. and if i did name somebody i would lose five more stars. >> i was thinking clint eastwood. >> at what age? they are about the same age. >> there is a certain dash of hollywood movie star to the younger president bush. >> really? >> yeah. >> when he watches that tonight he will be -- maybe he will come back and do a detective series for me. >> that would be fantastic. it's a great documentary, it's a movie. it's very revealing and surprising. and you just -- overall he comes over as a good chap who put service to his country before his own interest and for that he should be greatly appreciated. it's a pleasure. >> thanks.
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i talked to chaz bono last year he had just written a book about his life. a lot has happened since then including his break up with his girlfriend and his turn on "dancing with the stars." so i welcome back chaz bono. >> how are you? >> i'm good. how are you doing? >> what an extraordinary twist to your life. suddenly, everything's changed all over again. >> yeah. you know, everything's just kind of steam rolled since the last time we saw each other and you know, everything in my life is
just going really well. >> let's play a little clip from the last interview we did. you were with jen then. i want to play what you were saying to each other then. >> i was raised catholic and i still -- i feel that i need to be married by some religious figure, a rabbi, a priest, someone. someone with a connection to god. i don't know. >> but i'm not -- i was never religious. i actually really want my step mom to do it. >> so there you were, chaz talking about getting married. you had gone from a woman and woman relationship to a woman and man relationship. and since then you have broken up. how much pressure did the fact that you decided to become a man, how much pressure did that put on the relationship, do you think? looking back.
>> i mean, i think it put some pressure on the relationship. but ultimately the reasons why we split up had really nothing to do with that. it was issued that we were dealing with and just stark differences in -- in the people that we are and what we ultimately wanted out of life. >> i mean, i get that you say that. but there must have been, for her, i guess, a huge seed change in the nature of the relationship. there she was, originally, with a woman. like i said. it's a fascinating, twist, isn't it? that she has to cope for you becoming a man. for you it's a huge change but one you were whole heartedly embracing. did you feel that she ever fully embraced what you were doing? >> i think that she did. but of course, i have changed a lot.
and you know, here's the -- it's really the internal changes that i think are the bigger changes. and i went from being, you know, really uncomfortable and kind of, you know, damaged for my whole life, to suddenly not being that way any more. and as, you know -- as i started to feel so much better and my confidence rose and everything, i think i was probably less able to. you know i wanted to live the best life that i could and i wanted my partner to kind of you know, do that with me. and there were issues -- you know, deep seated issues around substance abuse and stuff like that that had been really a problem almost since we first got together. and again, we just wanted
difficult things out of life. >> you made this reality show, didn't you, "being chaz" which she seemed to feel uncomfortable about. do you regret doing that, with hindsight? >> um, it wasn't a pleasant thing to do, you know, honestly. but i don't know -- it couldn't have been predicted. we made the documentary and jen was, you know, thrilled doing it. and this was something -- doing the followup special was something that she said she wanted to do and then once we were in the middle of it, you know, she decided that she hated the process. but at that point, you know, there wasn't really anything we could do about that. >> have you managed to stay friends? >> yeah, i mean, i think we both cared very deeply for each other. and i want, you know, absolutely nothing but, you know, the best
life for jen. it was just -- i couldn't do it with her anymore. but i really hope that she, you know, gets everything that she wants. >> you, chaz, are in the -- very unusual position for you of being a single man about town. >> yes. >> how are you finding that? >> well, you know, i'm not the most outgoing fellow. you know, i'm not one of those guys who can just walk up and start chatting up a girl that i find attractive. so you know, it's -- that really hasn't changed. >> let's take a short break and talk about the other woman in your life, cher, your mother, and your stepmother mary bono mack. and how the public are reacting to the new chaz. this country was built by working people.
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♪ ♪ baby, tonight >> chaz bono being honored at the glaad media awards. cher, your mother, calling you the most courageous person she knows. that must have been quite a moment for you. >> yeah. you know, the whole night was really kind of amazing. just being honored by glaad meant so much to me. i mean, i started my career so long ago, you know, working for glaad and i believe so much in their mission. so just to, you know, be honored by them personally meant something and then to have my mom and mary there was, you know, it was really nice. >> the other thing you have been doing is dancing. and that was a pretty controversial appearance on "dancing with the stars." a, i thought you were a good
dancer, certainly better than i am. secondly, it stirred up all sorts of bigotry and controversy and so on. there was this organization called one million moms.com who hammered you saying that your casting was completely unacceptable and christians should not watch the show. no excuses. what did you feel when all that bile was being spilled in your direction? >> you know, i think that it just -- when that first started with those type of people, i just kind of let it roll off my back and i've always been pretty good at that. i think -- i was already starting to rehearse and i just really tried to focus on that. and then, you know, what started to happen as i got this counterresponse to the kind of, you know, negative -- negativity and hatred speech and i started
to get so much support from people that, you know, that i didn't know. and that just kind of blew me away and it really, you know, fed me to keep going through the whole competition. >> also since i spoke to you, we have had this sort of seismic moment. the president of the united states endorsing gay marriage. what did you think when you heard that president obama was doing that? >> i was -- i mean, i was so touched, you know? it just -- to me, it's really the civil rights, you know, issue of our time. and to have president obama, you know, come out to finally have a president, you know, be able to say that they believed in marriage equality, it just meant so much. you know? and i have so many gay and lesbian friends and it meant so much to them and it -- you know, it's just -- especially in an election year, just amazing that
this is no longer the issue that it was for so many years. >> you and your stepmother have lively debates about this, chaz? >> you know, we really -- we really don't. i mean, when we talk politics, we find the common ground and this stuff that we feel differently about, you know, we don't let it get in the way of our relationship. you know, honestly, it got in the way of my relationship with my dad. i was a lot younger and took things more personally and i think, you know, he wasn't really a great communicator and at this point i wasn't either. and the lesson that i learned from that is family is so much more important than personal politics and mary and connie have been there for me, you know, immediately before even my mom was comfortable with my transition. and, you know, because of that, i love them both. and no, we don't -- we don't let
our different political opinions get in the way of anything. >> well, chaz, great to catch up with you. i feel like we should do this every year, because so much happens to you in the year in between. so do come back. it's a great updated version of the book. a very inspiring story, your story. i agree with your mother, you're a courageous guy and it's good to see you having some happiness in your life. >> thank you. good to see you too. >> take care. coming up next, only in america. ♪...
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for tonight's only in america, reading a book and tieing a knot. women simply can't get enough of a book called "fifty shades of grey." it takes up the first four slots on amazon's best sellers list. i haven't read any of the books yet, but one of the women on my staff says it's a page turner to fire up the imagination. the author is british, but here in america that the obsession has taken a very naughty and unlikely turn.
you see, this hardware store, on the swanky upper east side of new york and said business has been booming because of "fifty shades of grey." apparently, women, they want nails or fixtures or fans, they want rope. >> i have noticed a lot of this rope here, going out, probably 100 times more than it used to. it was never a popular seller. this is definitely by far the best seller. it's soft on the hands. easy to break, but not easy to break. >> so there you have it, the number one best selling product in the upper east of manhattan, soft nylon rope, great for bundles and apparently bondage. if that's what it takes to keep the hardware stores going, that's fine with me. for all you guys out there, it doesn't have to be bad for you either. listen to the same hardware store owner again. >> my wife read the book. so i know what the book is about. and, yeah.
yeah. it's definitely benefited me. >> "fifty shades of grey" improving married life in america one thread at a time. that's it for us. "ac 360" starts right now. we begin with allegations the white house is leaking state secrets, supplying information for political gain. john mccain is leading the charge and has bipartisan support. mccain claims the white house orchestrated leaks to boost president obama's national security reputation heading into the election. the reports include classified data on a computer virus attack on iran, as well as cia drone strikes. >> the release of the information in these articles harms our national security and puts in danger the lives of the men and women who are sworn to protect it. the only conceivable motive for such damaging and classified leaks of information is that it