tv Piers Morgan Tonight CNN May 7, 2012 9:00pm-10:00pm EDT
a political misstep? and can mitt romney grab momentum? i'll ask ed gillespie. a lot has changed since bill bradley ran for president. >> forget it we're on our way to victory. >> tonight he's here to talk about one of my favorite topics. keeping america great. and the last time suzanne sommers was here, things got interesting. >> feel my lips. feel my lips. >> they feel real. >> i'm looking forward to it. she's back with what she says is the secret to the fountain of youth. plus only in america. why american airlines grounded two very frequent fliers. this is "piers morgan tonight." good evening. breaking news tonight, the foiled terror plot to bomb an american airliner. a senior u.s. official says al qaeda is responsible and the device was intended for use by a
suicide bomber. also the would be bomber is quote, not a threat anymore. listen to leon panetta. >> what this incident makes clear is that this country has to continue to remain vigilant against those who would seek to attack this country. and we will do everything necessary to keep america safe. >> we got a big story tonight. the campaign's reaction to the plot and the hot buttons from gay marriage to the economy. six months to go until election day, the president's campaign is in full swing. joining me is david axelrod. welcome. >> good to be with you. >> big story brewing since the weekend over joe biden's comments. the way to tee this up is to play them then come to you for reaction. >> and you're comfortable with
same-sex marriage now? >> i -- look, i am vice president of the united states of america. the president sets the policy. i am absolutely comfortable with the fact that men marrying men, women marrying women, and heterosexual men and women are entitled to all the civil rights, all the civil liberties. quite frankly i don't see much of a distinction beyond that. >> i suppose the obvious question to you -- you tweeted almost immediately. you said what the vice president said that all married couples should have the same legal rights is precise this potus position. do you still think everything joe biden said is with the president's position? >> i think the policy joe biden is describing there, that is the president's policy.
he believes that couples, heterosexual couples, gay couples should have the same legal rights. and of course that's why we've stopped appealing the douma case. because he believes it's unconstitutional for states not to recognize -- the government not to recognize marriages that are legally recognized by the state. so what the vice president was stating there was very much in keeping with that policy. >> right. but i suppose what people are saying in the gay community is look, we know the president has been very supportive of us. from don't ask don't tell to the issue you just mentioned. and on various other issues. he's been very proactive and very supportive of gay rights. there is an inconsistency between saying i am supportive of all gay rights and gay equality while not saying that you believe in gay marriage
particularly when america now has eight states that have legalized gay marriage. given where we were five years ago is a fast-moving issue where the tide is now with increasingly people who support it. >> in fact, the president supported the rights of those states to take that action. he's opposed ballot measured and other devices to try and roll back those rights when they've cropped up. by the way, this is a big distinction between him and governor romney who supported the effort financially in california to roll back who want a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage. accordance with the rights of those states to do it. and he wants to make sure that people legally married that those marriages are recognized just as marriages between men and women are recognized. so the whole country is going
through -- has gone through an evolution. the president's gone through that as well. i'll let him speak to this himself, but, you know, i think where he lies in terms of the -- of rights and liberties is very clear by the actions that he's taken. >> i mean, i'm struck by the fact that joe biden's a roman catholic which i think gave his comments even more weight. a lot of the catholics -- i'm a catholic myself. i happen to support gay marriage. but it flies in the face of catholic teaching and it takes a brave catholic in joe biden's case to say this. the president has been audacious in many areas but there are other areas where he hasn't been as audacious as people would like. and this is a classic case where everybody kind of presumes he's going to do this. so why doesn't he just do it now?
>> well, again, i'm not going to make news for the president here. the president speaks very well for himself, piers. but i think actions speak louder than words. he's taken historic steps over the last three and a half years to stand up for the rights of gay and lesbian americans. and to allow them to serve openly and honestly in the military. to grant them those partnership rights in government. to fight this -- to repeal this -- turn back this law that would have states be able -- not recognize legally a sanction marriages among gay americans. so i think his actions are -- speak more loudly than any words. and i'm proud of him for taking those steps. i think they were -- you know,
some would say audacious steps in and of themselves. he led us on that path. >> let's move on to the breaking news today about a cia uncovering a plot to have a more sophisticated form of suicide bomber device. it was foiled successfully. a great success for the cia. what does it tell you about the ongoing battle with al qaeda particularly in relation to the president and his speech last week and trip to afghanistan. saying look we're coming out of here, al qaeda is pretty much dismantled and so on. how big a threat does al qaeda remain if we're still uncovering plots like this? >> piers, i know what you know about the details of this particular case. but it underscores what the president has said which is we have to remain vigilant. we have scored tremendous blows against the leadership of al qaeda located in pakistan.
there are offshoots in yemen as a main one where there's still al qaeda activity. we just saw that a -- one of the high ranking members of al qaeda was killed in yemen just the other day. this is an ongoing fight. both here at home we have to be vigilant on homeland security and on threats in other parts of the world. and we've been -- thank god we've been successful in doing that. but every day you have to wake up and with that same level of vigilance. and recognize that the threat still exists. >> the republicans accused the president of spiking the football with both the trip to afghanistan on the anniversary and the ad that starred bill clinton. >> i hardly think he was spiking the football. and the trip to afghanistan was necessary. we have a summit coming up in
weeks where afghanistan is going to be the major issue. i think that's nonsense. one of the things that strikes me about it is knowing politics as i do, had the mission gone badly a year ago, had that gone badly -- you know, the folks on the other side would have been the first to be raising this early and often. mitt romney would have been one of the first ones out of the gate. >> let's move to the campaign. it launched officially this weekend. you've got a campaign rolling out. spent $25 million on ads this month alone. let's look at a clip and come back to you. >> instead of losing jobs we're creating them. over 4.2 million so far. we're not there yet. it's still too hard for too many. but we're coming back, because america's greatness comes from a strong middle class. because you don't quit. and neither does he.
>> it's an interesting premise. we haven't solved anything, but we're beginning to get there. is that the kind of theme that you'll be looking to press for the campaign? >> there's no question that we are coming back from the most vicious, the deepest recession since the great depression. six months before he president took office, we lost 4 million jobs. we lost 800,000 the month he took office. now we've had 26 months of private sector job growth. 4.2 million new jobs. but the hole was quite deep that was dug. we have to keep being vigilant. there are a lot of head winds yet. there are steps that congress can take to get teachers back in the classroom, to get our transportation bill passed, to help people refinance their homes at lower interest rates even if their homes are under water. there are lots of things we can
do to get this economy moving even faster with a bit of cooperation. >> unfortunately i have to move forward as well. to speak to your rival ed gillespie who has come in to help mitt romney campaign. but thank you wsh david axelrod. i want to get to the romney take and charges president obama's been spiking the football on osama bin laden. i'll talk to his senior adviser ed gillespie. [ female announcer ] think it's impossible to reduce the look of wrinkles after just one use? think again. [ female announcer ] with olay regenerist wrinkle revolution, it's possible to reduce the look of wrinkles in just 10 minutes. now you've seen it. experience it for yourself.
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wells fargo advisors. together we'll go far. my measure, and i look at when things really begin to change is when the social culture changes. i think will and grace did more to educate the american public more than anything anybody's done so far. and i think people fear that which is different. now they're beginning to understand. they're beginning to understand that this has a space. >> joe biden on meet the press. want to get reaction from ed gillespie. welcome. >> thank you, piers, for having me. >> nice to see a rare moment there of camaraderie between the
two warring factions. >> well, david and i spent quite a bit of time together on these shows. we don't agree on much, but we have respect for one another. >> what do you think of the whole joe biden incident over the weekend? i say incident because it seemed to spark a huge debate even though the democrats are trying to say there'sing in new. what did you make of it? >> i found he had a policy break from the president. he prefaced saying i'm the vice president and don't send the precedent the president does, but seems to disagree with the president. the fact is this is not an area of disagreement. one of the few areas that we don't disagree in this campaign which is that we should not change the nature of marriage in this country from being between one man and one woman. clearly the president has some
dissent within his own white house. >> what is changing, though, is public opinion. you can't argue with the fact eight states now legalize gay marriage. that will increase over the next year or two. do you not feel you may be on the wrong end of where this all ends up? is it not better to be more progressive now that your man effectively won nomination? >> people's beliefs are their beliefs. and most americans still believe that marriage should remain between one man and one woman. there is a debate playing out in our country. that's the nature of our process. but like i say, it is not a debate between president obama and governor romney. they actually have the same position and the same policy when it comes to government sanction of same-sex marriage. >> let's move to the economy. david axelrod was fairly bullish there. you can see from their campaign ad is going to be look, although it hasn't been perfect, may not even have been brilliant.
it hasn't been bad. and we are slowly getting america back on track after eight years of republican administration. >> it was clear to me that ad for what it didn't say. there was no mention of president obama's health care bill which has stifled job creation in our economy resulting in millions of americans losing the insurance they had despite being promised that that would not happen. there was no mention of the stimulus bill which was promised to hold unemployment below 8% which has now been above 8% for 39 straight months. they talked about incomes or at least david did anyway. the fact is that medium incomes for american families have fallen by $4,300 since president obama took office. 23 million americans are either out of work or underemployed, not working full hours as they would like, or have completely disappeared from our labor
force. that's why the unemployment rate went down. for every job that was created last month, three people left the workforce. that's not the right way to bring down the unemployment rate. housing values are falling and remain low. that's where most americans feel their sense of wealth. so this administration and this president's policies have been a disappointment. >> is it really going to be a sustainable argument to say to the american people come november, look, you are worse off than you were before barack obama came to power. because by any conventional, dispassionate yardstick, that isn't right, is it? you're not worse off you're just not as better off as you could have been which is what mitt romney is trying to dissuade people of. it's not to say you're worse off, is it? >> piers, the numbers i just cited are accurate. and i think for those 23 million americans who are unemployed or underemployed or have left the workforce entirely, they're not better off.
or those people who -- on average their family income declined by $4,300 since president obama took office, they're not better off. or people whose home values if they are still in their home opposed to being foreclosed. the record number of americans living below the poverty line today, they are not better off. >> given all the fury over the anniversary of bin laden's death and you heard the spiking the football issue. tell me this. if it had been a disaster, if bin laden had not been killed or captured and navy s.e.a.l.s had lost their lives and so on, would you guys have launched a campaign using that against the president? >> you know, this speculation from democrats as to what would have happened if things went wrong and governor romney wouldn't have made the same decision, you know, why don't we talk about the facts?
the facts are that president obama made the right decision to go after osama bin laden. governor romney applauded him for that at the time as well as our intelligence community and the brave s.e.a.l.s who completed the mission. this is a moment that brought americans together. we were all very proud of the success there. and to take that and make it a divisive issue and try to politicize it, i think has been a mistake. i think president obama on the first anniversary of the killing of osama bin laden would rightly have gotten credit for it if they hadn't overreached. it was a mistake out of chicago. it was a mistake by the obama campai campaign. i suspect they may regret it. the fact is if they had just noted the occasion as a source of pride for all americans, they probably woufbl better off than where they are today. >> do you have any information for me about the vp pick?
chris christie saying through friends he may be convinced. which way are you guys heading? >> the fact is, this is a lengthy process. it's a very serious process. and i think it's a process best conducted, you know, discreetly and giving governor romney the opportunity for him to weigh this very important decision. and as much as i love cnn and your program, probably not the best place to talk about potential vp nominees or how the process is progressing. >> well, when you are readready am available. >> i appreciate that. >> thanks very much, ed gillespie. >> thanks for having me, piers. up next bill bradley on keeping america great. and why he says we can all do better. m they take because they don't take it with food.
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don't take it personally. seem like a nice guy. but you going down, bro. >> joining me now is another basketball star, bill bradley. he's a rm toer presidential candidate and host of american voices on xm. welcome. >> good to be with you, piers. >> what did you make of charles barkley there trashing it out against mitt romney. we're going to beat you like a drum. did you go along with that? >> sounded like a lot of people i knew on the court. >> what it did do, ironically, is lead us perfectly to your central premise of your book which is in all this kind of partisan trash talking can lead to twhere it seems to any observer that very little gets
done as they trash each other. tell us about that. >> one of the reasons i wanted to write this book is to give people hope. we have had problems in the past, depressions, wars. but we've overcome those problems. at the core the american people are good. they're good people. and that we have political institutions that are flexible enough for us to address our problems. what we need are politicians to put country ahead of party and tell people the truth. >> you see, what a lot of americans are thinking right now and this is not to take a side or any side i think like all you would stay in their houses for behavior. but there's no doubt as we head towards the election, you can see an almost paralysis against anything barack obama wants to do from the republicans. because they know it's not in their interests for him to pass anything that's going to be effective. >> there's no question about
that. partisanship is at an all time high. i would like to see this about the future, not a blame fest about the past. i think it's important that we hear what each candidate is going to do about the deficits, our role in the world, what is our role in the world, about what's going to happen with the middle class. the big issues. and i believe we have a structural set of problems in this country today that relate to our political system. one is the partisanship which is created by the way we draw congressional lines in the country. a lot of the seats are 60/40 which means people don't have to compete to get elected. they have to worry about threats in primaries from the right or left. and they can't come to the middle to compromise to do the things that american people want them to do in terms of jobs and economic growth. i think that e the second problem is the role of money in our politics today.
it is a deep poison in the system. for example, in 2009, 2010, in those two years the financial industry in this country contributed $318 million to politicians in washington. the health care industry contributed $145 million. and the energy industry contributed $75 million. so it shouldn't be a surprise that the financial reform bill was watered down, that the health care bill did not have a public option to private insurance, and that we didn't even get an energy bill. so we had these structural problems that have to be addressed if we're going to be able to deal with the big issues that confront us such as the plight of the middle class, the wars we fight unnecessarily abroad, and generally people's lack of faith in the process. >> don't we also need to see
strong leadership. i look at barack obama who's very anti-super pacs. and he's diving into the sup supsupe super pac world. wouldn't the better thing really for the long-term benefit of the american legal system for president obama to have stuck to his guns and say no i'm not going to do this. vote for me, not my money. >> you know, i think you find in political campaigns you decide you're going to arm as the other side is armed and compete. i think in 2008 on that election night in chicago, i think we made a mistake to believe that a leader could renew the country all by himself. even somebody who touched our hearts as deeply as barack obama. i mean, it takes not just a leader saying this is the direction we need to go. but it takes sergeants and
lieutenants who are in the trenches doing the battles. and it takes citizens. i mean, you take direction change in this country -- >> doesn't it also -- if i could jump in there. isn't the essential to leadership courage. and i think barack obama's fudged it really and that's over this whole issue of gay marriage. i suspect that privately he can't wait to approve it. but for political reasons he's probably waiting now until the election hoping he gets a second term. i'll bet one of the first things he does is says he supports gay marriage. that's not moral courage to do that. >> i have no idea what their strategies are. they're in a political campaign. the way you throw courage is when you take on the interests that are destroying our chances to help the middle class. and that is money. i say barack obama had a chance to do public financing of elections when he came in. he chose not to do that because
the polls probably said that other things were important like jobs, et cetera. but if you deal with the money, you can do other things very easily. i want to get back to the point about citizen movements in this country. if you take any major change, it took abolitionists -- it started with abolitionists to say slavery's evil we have to end it. suffragests who said women will have the right to vote. civil rights workers. environmentalists to say we needed clean air and water. those aren't out of the minds of a president or a congress man or a senator. that came from the people. and we have to remember that democracy is not a vicarious experience. that we need to have people committed to directions in this country and willing to put thems on the line. then we can get real change in
this country. >> bill bradley, it's a fascinating book. we could all do better. i don't think anyone can disagree with that. i wish you success with it. thanks for joining me. >> thanks, piers. when i come back, my interview with suzanne sommers and her thought on staying young. this should be good. >> 20 years older than me. >> i am. i could be your mother. >> people watching would think i'm your dad. >> my son is your age. >> really? >> yes. >> how does that make you feel? >> i don't feel that much different in age from him. one of the best things about state farm is our accessibility.
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you know suzanne sommers as the sexy star of "threes company." she has stayed extraordinarily young. her new book is "bombshell." she joins me now. welcome back. >> nice to see you again. i wish i was there in person. >> so do i. i want to shock all my viewers in the next five seconds by asking you to reveal your age. >> well, i turn 65 this year. >> i know you shouldn't normally ask a woman that. >> it's okay.
>> it's the best advert for your book. you look about like 35. >> i had my biological age tested a year and a half ago and it came up 35. so all these vitamins i'm taking are probably working. when i was a kid when you were 65 you either retired or died. and on my birthday this year i thought i am so nowhere near either of those scenarios. so i'm enjoying this age a lot. >> now, tell me about the secrets of the fountains of youth. it's a fascinating book. has all sorts of things and tricks you can use to try and stay young. what are the overriding big picture things to think about? >> what i ask my readers to look at is what is your end point? what do you see yourself looking like at the end of your life?
are you standing up straight are you sick? right now as i look at the present paradigm of aging, it's not a pleasant thought. we all kind of don't want to really think about that. in this country people end up in nursing homes. they have cancer, alzheimer's or heart disease or all three. they're all pilled up. so what i ask is if you don't want that, what are you doing about it? if you do the same thing that they were doing, that's how you'll end up. so it's a recipe for aging well. and it requires, you know, i replace hormones. and there's a new hormone that i've come across since i saw you last. i interviewed dr. proudence hal. there is a hormone that making
all warm and loving. and men and women are losing their sex drive. so when she adds to the hormone cocktail, women have better stronger orgasms and men have better, stronger erections. it's not a drug. it's something your body once made or if you never gave birth, you never made it. but it's a hormone that men are responding to also that have no side effects. >> you see. the main theme i can detect from this book is if you have lashings of sex, then age isn't irrelevant. you can live to be old and be a magnificent stallion at the end. >> and you don't have to reproduce after so long so it's great. a healthy person is a sexual person. if you're not healthy, you don't feel like having sex. so i talk about sex really to
kind of stir things up, but i'm into real health. i think in this country right now we practice disease care. we are not practicing health care. meaning we wait until the catastrophic event. we wait until something terrible happens. cancer or some other terrible condition and then we climb up stream. there's a doctor in this book, he was my dinner partner a couple years ago. he's on the faculty of harvard. i stayed in touch with him because i like him. he called me this year and said i think i have something you're interested in. he said we completed a small but important study here at harvard. when we give men -- this is new -- with active prostate cancer testosterone, their cancer regresses. and i said that goes against contrary thinking. people think you get cancer from testosterone. he said i went into the bowels
of library at harvard and found where does this notion begin. with a dr. charles huggins in 1941. it was based on a flawed study by a test that was erratic. it ended up being about one man taking an erratic test. because of that he deduced and won the noble prize for saying that people with testosterone get cancer. so they started castrating men. ouch. so now they found that men with high testosterone live longer than men with low testosterone. >> i hate to stop you mid-testosterone fuel. we have to take a break. i want to talk to you. the last time you were here we talked about the hope you can use stem cells to replace the breasts you lost during cancer. i want to know after the break how it went.
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>> i know. >> suzanne sommers with former threes company costar. after a 30 year feud. suzanne is back with me now. that took a long time to resolve, didn't it? >> yes. that's my internet talk show. did you ever see "threes company" or were you over in england? >> i could lie. but i didn't. somebody bursting with vitality and you and energy and positive thoughts could have a 30 years feud? >> you know, such a long story. >> what's the short version? >> i was asking to be paid -- i had the highest demographics of any woman in television.
my contract was up so i asked why was every man making more money than me. so i was fired. i feel the women are getting parity in television has to do with the chemistry they changed. i hadn't talked to her because i felt she should have backed me up. when i started this internet show, i thought it's dumb to have this feud. i'm grown up now and i'm liking my woman thing. i feel good that we ended that feud. so it's over. >> good. well, i'm pleased for you. for whatever you're talking about, i'm happy it's all over. no, i'm kidding. let's move to this ground breaking operation you had. quite amazing. i remember you sitting with me saying you lost a breast to cancer. and you were going to have this very revolutionary new thing which was stem cell replacement
effectively. and you had it. i want to show viewers a clip. it's a bit graphic, i'll warn them now. but it is incredible. let's watch a bit of this. >> this is hard to watch, but i had no breast there. when you see right now is to me such a medical advancement to take a breast that has been completely lost to cancer and they're going to make a full, beautiful breast out of this. this is when i am seeing for the first time. >> quite amazing. it would be totally inappropriate for me to show you the proof. but i'm told it's an almost perfect replacement, no scars, no foreign object, no implants, no fillers. >> right. >> you were the first person in america to have this, it's fda approved. what is your verdict. it sounds pretty incredible.
>> it's so awesome. the only thing i was offered when i was originally had the surgery was implants. and i said, what, you're going to take my good one too? they said, have you to have something for symmetry or a tram flap. i said, sew me up, something better will come. i heard about this doctor in japan who had successfully regrown the breasts of over 400 japanese women who had lost their breasts to cancer, i tracked him down, i brought him over here, i hooked him up with a surgeon in the los angeles area. we applied for an irb, it took three years and it finally came through in august. i said, let's go before anybody changes their mind. they took the fat from my stomach -- and in a sophisticated technology like a
sint centrifuge, whipped it around, took the strong stem cells in a small amount of that fat, made it rich with my stem cells and took a turkey baster and injected in this breast. what i felt over the last few months is like electrical zippers in my breast. and that's sort of like -- it's the blood vessels and the nerves growing. to me, the ramifications of what this can mean for the future uses of stem cells, i think of our enlisted people and we're not that far away from being able to regrow limbs. i hope this just opens the door a little bit. >> i was just thinking that very same thing. if you're an amputee who's returned from iraq or afghanistan and you're thinking about the rest of your life, and you're watching this interview,
you're thinking, can this apply to my leg, my arm? the implications of what you've been through and the apparent success of it are really extraordinary. >> it is -- i don't really mean to be flippant about it, whenever i get undressed, i catch a glimpse myself and it's thrilling to be hole again and to have no foreign object in me. there are so me -- that's what bombshell's about, there are so many incredible things happening. i interviewed a futurist out of m.i.t. and he told me about nano bots, in the next 13 to 15 years, we're going to inject little blood cell sized robots into us that will roam through our bodies like little detectives. if it sees arterial plaque it will zap it. virtually eliminating the diseases that are killing us
today. i said to him, that's so great. he said you can't limp into it, you have to get there healthy. to me, that's the incentive for why to take the vitamins and why to eat organic, clean your house out of toxins, force yourself to sleep seven hours a night and manage your stress. it's a cocktail for aging well. because the payoff is out there. 13 years is just not so far off. >> amazing. think about you, suzanne, you always come up with these subject matters for books, in which you are living proof that it appears to work. i'm looking at you now, you look younger than the last time. congratulations on your book. congratulations on your operation. i'll see you in a year where i will have aged five years and you will look about 20.
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tonight's only in america is a story of some very, very frequent flyers and what happened when they ran afoul with american airlines. steven and jack each bought tickets years ago from american that gave them unlimited. let me repeat that word, unlimited first class travel for life. they paid handsomely for those
tickets. they paid nearly $350,000 a piece. mr. vroom flew 37 million miles, that's roughly equivalent to 67 trips to the moon and back. in one month, flying to nova scotia, maine, denver and ft. lauderdale. the l.a. times reports that a guy named mike joyce flew round trip to london from los angeles 16 times in 25 days. now, one trip kills me. you'd imagine for this incredible devotion to air travel, they'd be treated like royalty. something like what happens to george clooney in this scene when he reached the 10 million miles mark.
>> our pilot has just informed me that we're passing over the city of debuke which may not mean much to most of you, but means a lot to one of our passengers today, because he just hit 10 million miles. >> when american airlines realized how much these passes were costing them, more than a million dollars a year, they pulled the plug accusing the men of cheating. several suits and counter suits later, both mr. rothstein and mr. vroom are still grounded for having the indecency of taking the word unlimited seriously. the incidents are very isolated. of course they are. i wouldn't presume to argue the legalities in these cases. if you are an airline named american wouldn't you know that to dream big is the american way?