tv Piers Morgan Tonight CNN April 13, 2012 3:00am-4:00am EDT
we start with breaking news tonight on two major stories. north korea's failed rocket launch and george zimmerman's first court appearance. north korea launches a long-range rocket, defying warnings from the world community. how dangerous is north korea? we'll go there live. we'll also talk to a man who knows a lot about that secretive country, former u.n. ambassador, bill richardson. plus, george zimmerman in court, the man who shot 17-year-old trayvon martin. he spoke a few words and answered the judge's questions today. we're also getting new information tonight from the affidavit of probable cause in the case. it says zimmerman, and i quote, profiled trayvon martin and disregarded the police dispatcher's request that he wait for officers to arrive. a prime-time exclusive tonight with his new attorney, mark o'mara in just a moment. but we begin with our breaking news, north korea's failed missile launch. i want to bring in barbara starr at the pentagon and dan lothian at the white house. barbara, a very dramatic few hours here. obviously, we knew this launch was coming.
it seems to have been a spectacular failure. what can you tell me about it? >> piers, a senior u.s. official just saying those very words to me. an unprecedented record of failure for the north koreans, now one of the third failures in a row of their rocket and missile program. this rocket lifted off the launch pad and very quickly, within about 90 seconds, broke into several pieces. if you look at the map, we are told that the major debris field now is about 165 kilometers west of south korea. so it broke apart in flight. that is a fundamental failure of north korean missile and rocket technology. why does it matter? the north koreans are tough customers, but why do we really care about this? because this is basically, even though they said it was a satellite, this is military technology. they could some day perfect long-range missile technology using these kinds of systems,
put a warhead on top, and possibly reach out and touch, essentially, to hawaii or alaska. that's why the u.s. cares, that's why asia cares. this is definitely a failed military launch, piers. >> dan lothian, let me go to you now. the white house, i guess, are watching this with considerable trepidation. because as embarrassing as this, in the sense that it failed, the mere fact that north korea is doing this at all, in direct contravention of the united nations, is worrying, isn't it? it's an escalation? >> reporter: it certainly is worrying, very provocative according to administration officials here. and despite the fact, as barbara and others have pointed out, that there have been failures there with these kinds of liftoffs in north korea, there's always the assumption that something like this could be successful. and that's why this administration had been warning north korea not to launch this rocket, even threatening to pull back on this plan.
food aid to that country, which is critical with the millions of people there, who are starving. so the threats were there. but nonetheless, north korea went along with this launch. and troubling, yes, and we're waiting -- we're waiting to hear from the white house. i think what's interesting is that we had been told now for the last couple of days that upon the launch of this rocket, that we would be getting some kind of statement from the white house and at least a couple hours ago or so, i heard from a senior administration official who told me that a statement would be coming shortly. we still have not received any official reaction yet from the white house, perhaps because this rocket failed. they're sort of recalibrating what the public message will be. >> dan, we'll come back to you if we get that statement from the white house. and to you, barbara, later on in the show, when we know more about exactly what's happened tonight. but for now i want to go to somebody who's pretty much an expert on this area, bill richardson, the former u.s. ambassador to the u.n. and former secretary of energy. bill richardson, what do you make of this? clearly, we knew it was
happening, it's been a failure, but what is the bigger, wider significance? >> well, i wouldn't want to be the head of north korea's space agency right now. it is a failure. there's obviously a gap in the technology. the ballistic missile technology of north korea. i do believe it was a cover, this launch, for ballistic missile technology, long-range military purposes, but it's a failure. now, what do you do about it? obviously, i think the united states has to proceed with some kind of security counsel condemnation of this effort. i don't know if you put anymore sanctions on north korea. every single sanction is out there. but, obviously, what does it mean within north korea? i don't think it will affect the leadership of kim jong-un. he was the designated heir. he was given even more powers this weekend.
but possibly north korea may reassess their behavior. this was a failure. and what they need to do is see what is their next step. do they want to continue in this isolated state? maybe this will spur them back to negotiations. i've dealt with them -- >> governor, if i could just hold you there can -- governor, if i could just -- >> yeah? >> let me just hold you, governor. we have a statement from the white house. i'm going back to dan lothian, who's at the white house. dan? >> reporter: that's right. we just got this statement from the white house. "despite the failure of its attempted missile launch, north korea's provocative action threatens regional security, violates international law, and contravenes its own recent commitments. while this action is not surprising given north korea's pattern of aggressive behavior, any missile activity by north korea is of concern to the international community." the statement goes on to say that the united states remains vigilant in the face of north korean provocations and is fully committed to the security of our allies in the region. the president has been clear,
the statement says, that he is prepared to engage constructively with north korea. although, he has insisted that north korea live up to its own commitments, adhere to its international obligations, and deal peacefully with its neighbors. north korea, it says, is only further isolating itself by engaging in provocative acts and is wasting its money on weapons and propaganda displace, while the north korean people go hungry. north korea's long-standing development of missiles in pursuit of nuclear weapons have not brought it security and never will. north korea will only show strength and find security by abiding by international laws, living up to its obligations, and by working to feed its is citizens, to educate its children, and to win the trust of its neighbors. and this is the kind of language that we've been hearing from this administration leading up to this launch. clearly a condemnation of that rocket launch from the white house tonight. >> yeah, dan, thanks a lot. let's go back to barbara starr. barbara, what do you make of the white house reaction? i mean, it seems that there's clearly a difficult here, isn't
it? we've got a change of leadership, so kim jong-il was there for ages. now you've got his son. no one knows much about his son. this is his first action, and it seems to be normal -- >> didn't go very well, did it? >> just ignore united nationses, carry on like dad used to do. how serious is this? how dangerous is north korea? and what should the international community now do, given they basically stuck a ballistic two fingers up at us all? >> well, it's been a bad day for the new leader, hasn't it? look, there's a lot of concern. i don't think anyone thinks the danger from north korea has really passed. because u.s. intelligence, piers, already tells us, already shows that they may now be making preparations for another test of their third underground nuclear test. preparations for that, now indications that's underway. that's a big concern. a concern that with this uncertain new leadership in north korea, seeing these failures, how do they deal with it?
what are the chances that they might possibly lash out in some fashion? that's a big concern. so what you have right now is a period of uncertainty, at best, north korea's always the hermit kingdom, isn't it? people don't really know what goes on there. but right now, how will they react to this failure? that's the big concern? and what is the real failure here? will the north koreans pin blame on somebody? do they believe they got faulty equipment somewhere? it's going to be important to see how, exactly, they react. but no, the danger still there. >> and is it right that some of that equipment's come from iran in this particular case? >> you know, there is a lot out there that says it has come from -- there has been iranian involvement over the year, and it's very interesting that you ask that, because senior u.s. officials will tell you that they believe the sanctions against north korea have kept the really precision equipment out of there. that it's not that easy for them
to get it. but iranian scientists have been in and out of that country for some considerable period of time. and the north koreans often put on these displays of these launches, because they want to sell this stuff on the world market. it's how they get hard currency. >> barbara, thanks for now. let's go back to bill richardson. bill, you've heard the white house statement there. we don't know much about north korea's new leader, do we? i mean, he is an unknown quantity here. this is clearly a deliberate act of defiance. what should the world do about this? how -- what is the clever way of responding to this potentially very unstable situation? >> well, the clever way, i thought the white house statement was prudent and clever. yes, it condemned what north korea did. we're obviously going to go to the security council. but it left a little opening, saying that we are ready to negotiate with them if they change their behavior.
now, hopefully north korea will see that this path of nuclear aggrandizement is just not working. now they've suffered a huge public relations fiasco. so what do you do with the food aid? what i would do is, yes, suspend the food aid that was part of this the deal with north korea, but don't cancel it altogether. use it as a lever with six-party countries like south korea, like russia, like china. this is a time to say to china that has a lot of leverage with north korea, look, let's try to get them back into sensible behavior. it's not going to affect kim jong-un. he is the designated leader. he obviously is getting a lot of pressure from the north korean military, because there must have been an internal debate, do we proceed with this launch. the answer was yes. they proceeded with this launch. and now they have to reassess their options.
so i think the white house statement was prudent. it left a little door open. and i think it's important not to crow about this. because they are a dangerous country. they have ballistic missile technology -- >> i agree with that. i think barbara starr -- yeah, i thought barbara raised a great point, which is, this could go two ways. yes, they've been humiliated. but if the world starts laughing at north korea and you've got a young, new leader who feels embarrassed, this could be even more dangerous. bill, for you, i'm going to have to leave it. thank you very much, because we've got a live link up to cnn's stan grant. he's in pyongyang, in north korea, and he has more on tonight's failed launch. stan, i know that it's a long delay where you are now, so i'll leave it to you. tell me what you know. >> reporter: yeah, piers, not very much, if you're listening to the north korean officials. everything we've been learning has been coming from the united states, south korea, and japan. that's where the confirmation came, a, that the rocket had actually taken off, and b, that it had failed. now, north korean officials saying nothing.
we've put this question to our government minders, they're denying even that they know that it had taken off. if you go into the press center, where i've just come from now, that's been specially set up for this event, there is an empty chair where the government official was meant to be sitting. all of this, an enormous embarrassment. you know, piers, they've gone to great lengths to open up this window on to north korea, to allow the world's media in here, even takes us up to the site itself, and i stood right at the base of the rocket. that's how -- that's how confident they were that this was going to be able to take off. that it would be a success. and when i put that question to them the other day, they said it's not just about science, this was decreed by the departed dear leader, kim jong-il himself. so much riding on this, and so much embarrassment now. and as of yet, no comment. piers? >> yeah, it will be very interesting to see how they respond and how they react to this. there are concerns, obviously, an embarrassed, humiliated north korea. as i said just now, a young new leader trying to prove himself, he won't want to lose face with
his people, and how he responds may well be dictated how he feels the rest of the international community is treating him. >> reporter: you know, piers, you've really put your finger on it here. the legitimacy of this regime comes from the aura of power. that they cannot just stand up to the outside world, but that they can convince their people that they are invincible. you know, people here have been cut off for so long. they've endured sanctions, isolated from the rest of the world, they don't have access to the international phone calls, international media. they're not logging on to websites. so they're very malleable. what the regime tells them is all they will know. remember, this regime has convinced people here that the food aid it receives from the rest of the world is a tribute to the might of the kim dynasty. so the story they're going to tell is going to be a very different story that they tell to the rest of the world. but they need to be able to assure that they can play this out and not suffer more dire circumstances.
a drying up of aid. a country that cannot feed itself needs to be able to rely on the rest of the world. this was supposed to be the year, the year they celebrate of the centenary, the year they celebrate the birth of the founder of kim il-sung. >> stan, thanks very much for now. when we come back, the man who's defending george zimmerman. all energy development comes with some risk, but proven technologies allow natural gas producers to supply affordable, cleaner energy, while protecting our environment. across america, these technologies protect air - by monitoring air quality and reducing emissions... ...protect water - through conservation
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mr. zimmermann, you're appearing here for your first appearance at this time for charge of the murder in the second degree and you are represented by mr. o'mara, is that true? >> yes, sir. >> that was george zimmerman in court today, charged with second-degree murder in the death of trayvon martin. had little to say to the judge, but his attorney, mark o'mara, has a lot to say and is joining me now for a prime-time exclusive. mr. o'mara, thanks for joining me. i had some interviews with your predecessors. i had a fractionous interview with your predecessors, who i felt did themselves no great service. and i think there's a kind of sense of relief that george zimmerman at least now appears
to have serious representation. what are your goals here? because you said that you're not being paid at the moment for this work. you've just, obviously, met george zimmerman for the first time. what is your goal? >> well, a couple of goals. one, we, of course, have a lot of information to find out. i'm far behind on finding out the information flow, so we need to do that. a real goal for the case is i truly want to try to bring down the level of anger, animosity, just frustrations, emotions that are in the case or outside the case, but affecting the case. so my hope is that we can just be a bit more sensitive to what's happening outside the case, but still focus on what we need to do within the case. >> what were your first impressions of george zimmerman, as a man? >> well, he's afraid and he's stressed and he's tired. that was one thing. i will tell you, and you may have seen it on today's tv, he
was smaller and younger looking than i thought he was going to be from the one picture that i had seen and everybody else had seen. he stands about 5'8", 185 pounds, i think. so i, at 6'2", sort of tower over him. and he is afraid of both what has happened to him in the past. i think that type of trauma of being involved in a situation where someone passed away carries with it a lot of stress. and of course, he's facing second-degree murder charges and a potential life sentence. and i think if any of us had that going on, there would be an enormous amount of stress. >> there's a report that he spent most of last night in custody in tears. he hardly slept. that he's been heard sobbing for most of the evening. is that true? >> i was not aware of that until that was reported in the news. i've not had a chance to talk with him about that at all. but certainly when i saw him last night, about midnight, it's a very emotional time for him and i think the reality is
settling in now that the charges have been filed. of course, i had a conversation with him about where this is going and how long it's probably going to last. and the scrutiny that he's going to be under. >> how would you describe -- because you're the best person to ask. you're the only person who's got this close to george zimmerman outside of his immediate family, since this all blew up. how would you describe his attitude to this case? how does he feel? >> he is very concerned about the way he has been portrayed and the way that this case has sort of seemingly gotten almost out of control, starting with maybe the way it was handled early on in the investigation by law enforcement. and of course, that immediately shifted from the frustration, i think existed in the community from that to george. and he doesn't quite understand it. he doesn't understand why people view him in a way that he perceives to be so different than his reality.
>> do you believe that he regrets getting out of the car and following trayvon martin at all? >> you know, i've not talked to him about the facts of the case. i don't want to slice it so thin. he is -- you know, he is very concerned with the way this resulted, in the death of trayvon martin, and his concern is for the family as well. but as i mentioned before, that should be a conversation that really goes directly to the martin family, and i'd rather just let that occur than through me. >> i mean, trayvon martin's mother, who i've interviewed several times, has been very dignified throughout all this. she has said today that the one thing she really would like to hear, other than the justice system progressing as it is, to whatever conclusion it will reach, is an apology from your client. do you believe that he, if he had the chance to do so, would make such an apology?
>> well, you know, there's a split system here. we have a criminal justice system that maintains an absolute right of a criminal defendant to remain silent, not to talk at all about the case. and then we have the human side of it. we have the human tragedy side of it. we are going to try and bridge that if we can accomplish it in a way that still protects what i have to protect for mr. zimmerman, but tries to acknowledge that there are words that need to be said. >> i mean, it would be, i don't think prejudicial to his case and on a human level, i would have thought, you know, probably the obvious, if he was to say that he was sorry that trayvon martin died, given the circumstances. whatever the legal process turns out to conclude. >> i didn't have any plans before 24 hours either, so i'm trying to deal with a lot of what's going on right now and focus it, but without question,
that is, i think a primary focus. >> i mean, the key part of this case is going to be whether in the buildup to the shooting, the aggressor, the person that started this was your client or trayvon martin, and there are clearly conflicting evidence reports and so on from both sides, people feeling very strongly about this. but that is the crux of this, isn't it? it's who basically made the first move and whether your client can use the stand your ground defense as it applies under florida law. >> i agree with your analysis, that that's going to have to be a focus. again, i don't know any of the information or evidence. and again, i'm going to stay away from commenting on evidence that is only partially known now. but, certainly, the interaction between the two, how it began, how it continued, how it started, how it accelerated, how
somehow it got from that point to a point of shooting and a death is going to be the real analysis that has to come to pass. and that may well identify that a self-defense or what's now called the stand your ground defense is an appropriate one or it's part of a defense, where you have a long way to go before we decide those issues. >> just a final question, and briefly, if you don't mind, the initial reaction from legal experts to the affidavit that came out today, the probable cause that's been put forward on which we have to assume the decision to make it second-degree murder, which is a very serious charge, rather than manslaughter, appears to be, to legal experts, pretty woolly, pretty thin, and if that's all they've got, then very good news for your client, because many people believe there would be an acquittal if that is it. what is your reaction to that? >> without having seen the evidence, my presumption is that they've kept the probable cause affidavit as thin as they
thought they could, to limit the amount of information that's flowing out. because i know miss corey is committed to not having an unnecessary flow of information. so maybe she just did what she thought she had to at a minimum to present that to a judge to get the probable cause found. >> mr. o'mara, thank you for joining me, i appreciate it very much. i appreciate you joining me tonight. i'm sure we'll talk again soon. thank you very much. >> sounds good. coming up, will george zimmerman spend the rest of his life in prison? i'll ask a panel of attorneys who have defended some pretty high-profile cases and won.
what puts you in fear of your life is when you carry a gun and someone threatens to disarm you as you're becoming unconscious, you don't know if that person is really going to kill you or not. but if you're wrong about it, you are dead. >> george zimmerman's brother, robert, in my interview last night. joining me now with more on our big story, three people who know a lot about what may go on during george zimmerman's trial defense attorneys, welcome to you all. alan dershowitz, let's start with you. you saw the brother last night, we just listened to the new attorney. interesting, because you've been vocal earlier today about saying that you believe that the probable cause affidavit was very thin. his response was interesting, i thought, that he believed it may have been deliberately thin. what did you make of that? >> first of all, i'm thrilled that there is a good lawyer involved in this case. i'm also very happy that the martin family has really tried to bring people together. both the lawyer and the family
are trying to really put this case in the hands of the courts and take it out of the hands of mobs on either side or people who are cheering for a political outcome. i think that the lawyer, the new lawyer wants to preserve his option of plea bargaining. in many ways, perhaps even unethical affidavit. the affidavit fails to include what should be in. exculpatory material. if there is, for example, a grass stain on the back of zimmerman's shirt, if there were bruises on his head, that should be in an affidavit. an affidavit is supposed to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. this affidavit is perfectly consistent with self-defense. it doesn't even state the elements of a crime. of course, you don't have to say very much in an affidavit showing probable cause, but this doesn't even satisfy that minimum standard. i'm sure they have more, but this is a prosecutor who's
always running for re-election, and her statement yesterday sounded to me like a re-election speech. and you would think if there was a lot more in the case, she would be putting it out. so if i were today the lawyer for zimmerman, i'd be somewhat encouraged, though not cocky. and i think this lawyer is taking exactly the right approach to the case. >> hal glanta, you know florida well, you know the law there well. you've represented very high-profile people, o.j. and charlie sheen and others. what do you think of what's gone on today? >> well, i think that probable cause affidavit has really a lot to do about nothing. the bond hearing today or the first appearance hearing today is really just a rubber stamp of the prosecutor filing the information. at some point in the next few days or maybe next week, zimmerman's defense lawyer will move for a bond hearing in the state of florida. it's called an arthur hearing they do for non-bondable offenses. at that point, the prosecutor
will be required to present evidence that the presumption of guilt is great and that the proof seventy of that guilt. and then we'll really start getting into what the prosecutor has. so at some point, she's going to have to show her cards and it's going to be sooner rather than later, piers. >> but do you believe, like a good poker player, and as mr. o'mara suggested to me, that she has got a few cards up her sleeve, and just isn't showing them yet? >> this is ant game of poker. >> oh, she has to have cards up her sleeve. and alan's 100% right. it's not a game of poker. someone's liberty's at stake. there's a death involved. it's very, very serious. most prosecutors would lay it all out on the table and wouldn't play these games. this has been a very high-profile case. there's been a lot of media coverage. mr. o'mara is totally correct. he's trying to tone it down, stay on the good side of the prosecutor. i'm sure there'll be plenty of discussions. in florida, it's basically open discovery. we have depositions, all the the
reports, all of the expert statements. everything will be flowing from one side to the other. and we'll know about it very soon. >> shawn holly, let me bring you in here. you represent lindsay lohan and others, you're used to high-profile clients and cases and so on. how much of an impact does that make on what would otherwise be a crime story? when you introduce fame, notoriety, public pb, the media and so on, what difference does that make? >> well, you know, i was a part, along with mr. dershowitz, of the o.j. simpson defense team. and this rhymes me of that, in the sense that mr. zimmerman, trayvon martin were not celebrities and they are not celebrities, but this is obviously the eye of the storm. it's a different situation than someone like lindsay lohan or charlie sheen. and what mr. o'mara, i believe his name is, needs to do right now is try to shift sort of the public perception. we see these sweet, innocent pictures of trayvon martin, and
he needs to try to humanize his client. and i think he started to do that today. >> certainly a case to say that the media battles so far, the pr battle, if you'd like, is it's not a phrase you like to use in such a serious case, but it's a fact that the media are being led in certain ways. certainly trayvon martin's family, the way they've conducted themselves, compared to the way that the previous attorneys, i felt, for george zimmerman, really did him no favors, has definitely led to certain perceptions. let's take a break. i want to come back and get into the police investigation right from the start and how flawed that may have been and how serious that may be to a final outcome. and later, ann and mitt romney's son, josh, comes to his mum's defense. he should know.
i have a strong faith in god, and i just believe that he's a human being. at the end of the day, he's a human being. there are good people and there are bad people. and i just believe he's a human being. i don't have any hate for him in my heart. i lost my child, and that hurts me a great deal. >> trayvon martin's mother, sybrina fulton, on cnn earlier tonight. back with me now, defense attorneys alan dershowitz, yale glantand, and shawn holley. last night i had a quite lengthy and contentious interview with robert zimmerman, george's younger brother, the only family member speaking at the moment. i thought it was very enlightening in one way, in that i interviewed him two weeks ago and there was much more detail from him this time about what is clearly the family view of what
happened. and there were definitely some contradictions there. i mean, at one stage he said that you had trayvon martin on top of his brother, with his hand over his mouth, but didn't explain how, if that's the case, how was his brother screaming out? and there were other moments like that where i felt, this doesn't work out. what did you think of it? >> well, the major contraction, i think, was in the first interview, he basically said that martin confronted him and spoke to him and said, why are you following me? in the second interview, it was a sudden attack without any speaking at all. and so, you know, there are risks involved in having anybody speak to the media on behalf of a defendant before the lawyers have had a chance to put together the time frame. i remember back in the o.j. case, and while i have shawn on, i just want to remind everybody what a great, great lawyer she is and was in this case. and i think we didn't win that case.
the prosecution lost that case. and we allowed them to lose it because we only put on scientific valid evidence. we didn't put the defendant on, nobody spoke, but i think in this case, if the police investigation was flawed in the beginning, the ultimate victim of that may very well be zimmerman. i think zimmerman benefits from a careful police investigation. we want to know how close the gun was to the body. we want to know about the residue. we want to know about all the wounds. we want to know if there were any comparable marks on the body of martin. these are all forensic pieces of evidence that speak more loudly than any contradictory witnesses that may be surmising from what family members have told them. >> yale glantin, mayor bloomberg has come out very strongly against stand your ground, saying that he believes it should be repealed everywhere and that it's basically being
used as an excuse now -- and iver seen some shocking examples of this, of gangs getting into pre-orchestrated fights in which they then shoot each other and kill people, and using stand your ground as a defense. and having to have judges accept this, because the law as it stands would allow that in certain circumstances. what do you feel about the debate about stand your ground, regardless of what happened here with george zimmerman? do you think that the stand your ground law is fundamentally flawed? >> well, i mean, that's a very difficult question for me to answer. i can tell you that the florida legislature passed that law, you know, and a majority of those legislatures have enacted the law. but what this case really comes down to is the justifiable use of deadly force. and in florida, this self-defense or stand your ground is an affirmative defense. so even, you know, aside from the procedure where you go in front of the judge and you ask
for immunity, which probably wouldn't be granted, in this case, the prosecutor has the burden of proving once a defendant raises self-defense, that beyond a reasonable doubt, the justifiable use of force was not appropriate. >> but that's a theory, but not in practice. in practice when you have a -- >> no, that's the -- alan, that's the jury instruction. >> i know, but when you have an unarmed teenager who lies dead, the burden of proof realistically is going to be on george zimmerman, no matter what the law says. the reality is he's going to have to prove that he killed in self-defense. >> the initial burden to come forward with that defense is definitely on zimmerman. but then the jurors are instructed that once that defense is raised, the prosecutor has to overcome that. they have to rebut that inference or that presumption that's been created. and, you know, the prosecutor made that clear in her press conference last night. >> but let me -- >> the jury will make it --
>> -- prosecutors in florida. >> gentleman, let me bring in shawn again. obviously, it's already inspiring a lot of this kind of debate amongst very, very eminent lawyers. if you were prosecuting this case against george zimmerman right now, would you be confident of a conviction of second-degree murder, from everything we're currently aware of? >> no. no. i would not. i mean, the stand your ground law seems to be flawed. i mean, we don't have it in california, and it seems kind of odd to me that there is a set of circumstances that allows someone to carry a loaded firearm and stand their ground.
care about are economic issues. and when i listen to my wife, that's what i'm hearing. guess what, his wife has actually never worked a day in her life. she's -- she's never really dealt with the kinds of economic issues that a majority of the women in this country are facing, in terms of how do we feed our kids, how do we send them to school, and how do we worry -- and why do we worry about their future. >> cnn contributor and democratic strategyist, hillary rosen, starting a firestorm last night with those comments about ann romney, saying she's never worked a day in her life. ann romney's firing back and so is her son, josh, who joins me now. josh, when you heard that your mother had never done a day's work in her life, what was your honest reaction? >> well, quite honestly, i think about my mom and the work that she did do and, i mean, she did some of the hardest work you can do. i mean, she was part-time psychiatrist, part-time ring leader, ring master, and boxing coach, and you know, she was a
chauffeur or cabbie, and really, i mean, she held every job imaginable, raising five boys and we were a lot of work for her, i assure you. >> i have three sons and i can't even imagine what five's like. it must have been just been relentless with all the sports and the school stuff and everything else, fending off the women that must have been throwing themselves at your doors. >> we didn't have a lot of the last thing, but the former stuff, yeah. a lot of fighting. i mean, i got to admit, we used to fight like crazy. and we were all pretty close in age and pretty competitive and played a lot of sports and got into a lot of flights, a lot of bloody noses, a lot of stitches. i think there was a wing in the hospital that was the dedicated to one of the boys at any given time, because we were all running in there with stitches or broken bones or something. >> i mean, the cynics will say, well, look, you guys have always had a lot of money as a family and, therefore, even though your mom was at home bringing you up, presumably she had a million domestic staff all running around doing all the hard work,
changing diapers. what was the reality? >> reality is we never had anyone in the house. you know, we had one person that would come by once a week for about an hour or two. and the house was pretty dirty just a few minutes after they left. but really this is my mom waking up and making breakfast for us. getting us off to school. she was there when we got home. and this really was -- i mean, my parents did try and just, you know, do things -- do things the hard way and really taught us the value of hard work and being at home. so my mom really didn't have any help growing up, and did things on her own. >> did you feel quite hurt on her behalf? >> you know, you hear a lot of things in the campaign trail. we weren't too hurt. we know -- i know what my mom did growing up. she knew what she did. for people out there who don't understand it, i think, you know, we don't -- we don't feel hurt necessarily. i think it's unfortunate that
there's such a big misunderstanding about the work that women truly do at home. and the contribution they make to families, to society. i mean, that's the thing that's hurtful is that people don't understand that and don't value the true work that gets done around the world. and the home. and, you know, i think back of my dad, when he would talk to my mom and to the boys, he would always remind us that the most valuable work that was being done despite what he was doing at the office and the deals he was doing and the fun he was having, the most valuable work that was done in our family was the work that my mom was doing. the work my dad did was temporary and fleeting but the work my mom did was forever. >> let's watch a clip of your mother's reaction today. very dignified i thought. let's watch this. >> my career choice was to be a mother and i think all of us need to know that we need to respect choices that women make. other women make other choices to have a career and raise families which i think hilary rosen has done herself. i respect that. that's wonderful.
but, you know, there are other people that have a choice. we have to respect women in all those choices that they make. >> very dignified like i said. hilary rosen has of course apologized today. politically, josh, this has been fantastic. there's your dad struggle with the women vote, apparently at war on women. and in one moment, a democratic figure has come out and kiboshed the whole thing and basically seemed to be attacking every mom who stays at home. you guys must be quietly rubbing your hands in glee, aren't you? >> no. i mean, this is one of those things where, you know, it's an issue my dad cares passionately about moms and dads who stay home and work hard. it's an issue that comes up that we're happy to talk about. i think it's something that americans, you know, across all political boundaries agree on. that the works that moms and dads do at home is the most valuable work done in the world. that's something we all agree on. we're not trying to score political points and worry about that. but it's something we care
passionately about. >> the big criticism of your father has been from the start of the campaign really, he's always appeared to be slightly out of touch with the average american, simply because he is worth hundreds of millions of dollars. he's been a very successful businessman. and he shouldn't make any apology for that in my view, but it's allowed him to appear a bit disconnected. what's the real mitt romney like? because i read a great piece with his run-around guys this week, who said your father actually once a week personally insists on washing and ironing his own shirts. is this actually true? are we going to a president potentially who every week goes to a sink and hand washes his shirts? >> i hope, you know, i hope that at the white house they actually have washing machines. he'd be able to use that. he knows how to use it and uses it a lot. i don't think enough to use the sink. but he's on the campaign trail so much and staying in hotels that don't have washing machine, he has to do it.
he's a guy, he's really down to earth. people know that he cares a lot about his family. and he really feels like he can make a difference. and in american's lives. we look at the debt we have. $15 trillion in debt. just continuing to borrow and spend and, you know, he looks at that and says i'm a guy who can fix this. this is what i've done my entire career, taken things that are broken. businesses that aren't working and turn them around and fix them. this is why he's in the race and this is why i'm so excited to be out on the campaigning for him because i know he'll turn things around and get this country back on track. >> well, josh, it's been a pleasure talking to you. and springing to your mother's defense. i think most people can see that and the comment was as fatuous and it sounded. i applaud her for bringing up five charming young men. >> thank you, piers.
>> reporter: piers i wish i had an hour glass, it could tell you more than we're getting from the officials right now. that empty chair is sitting in the press room. no one is talking about this. of course, a huge embarrassment. all the news is coming from america, south korea and japan confirming that this launch has fired -- after bringing the world's media for which was meant to be the pinnacle, the celebration of the founding father, kim il-sung this has all gone wrong. they're trying to concoct how they'll tell the world and their people about the failure. >> i guess it's pretty dangerous for the world. you've got a new young leader, kim jong un who has seen his big moment blow up in his face. but for now, thank you for bringing us up to date. we'll wait and see what happens