tv Piers Morgan Tonight CNN September 20, 2012 3:00am-4:00am EDT
the mayor of the city said i will launch an independent investigation. our take is, hey, go ahead and wear the city-issued swim suits and use the pool as long as you didn't use do it on the company dime, let's go. how does it go? oh. i'm not doing that move. i draw the line, on that note, here is piers morgan tonight. >> tonight, in this corner romney depended the governor of virginia. battleground america one-on-one. tonight romney's 47% gaffe and kelsey grammer life has been an endangered species.
prescription for keeping america great. >> i think smaller government is a good idea. always have. lower taxes are a good idea. always have. >> this is "pierce morgan tonight." >> breaking news live pictures from miami mr. mitt romney is on stage. also breaking news from libya. the country's terrorism chief now says it was an attack. we begin with mitt romney he told and audience in atlanta that he believes in a redistribution of wealth and he does not. the tape came out with the president saying he believes in redistribution. i don't. i believe the way to lift people
is not to take from some and give to others but to create wealth from all of us. to create and economy so strong it lifts everybody. >> virginia governor tells me why he is standing up for mitt romney. >> welcome. >> hi piers good evening. >> let me start with a simple question for you. do you agree that when mitt romney said 47% of americans are victims that scrounge off the state? >> the number was right 46.4% of the people pay no federal income tax. i certainly wouldn't have said it that way. i think the broader point though is with this lousy obama economy, entrepreneurship is at the lowest level in years. we need more tax breaks created.
>> more the american people to throw out barack obama they have to believe that mitt romney understands their cares and concerns and can do something about it. it is hard for them when all they see is a sound bite saying he doesn't care. his words not mine >> well, it shouldn't have been sate that way. but i didn't read the full context that way, pierce. i have read that he wants the economy to get better to create more taxpayers to fund governments so that we can do something about the $16 trillion in debt. he wouldn't say it that way again. the broader point about having a
debt reducer and job creator is a good point. >> let me tell you the results of three polls. one is michigan mit romney's home state. barack obama 52%, mitt romney 44%. and then virginia, this is your home state. barack obama 50%, mitt romney 43%. and then wisconsin. a clear pattern of a lead and momentum in the favor of the president. what are you going to do about this? >> well piers i'd rather be ahead than behind. it is now a margin of error. we have work to do.
i think the ground game is going to be important. we are doing a lot better than we did four years ago in virginia. i would say that what mitt romney has done well is make out why barack obama shouldn't be re-elected. 43 months. crushing debt that this president has failed to lead on. what he hadn't done is say here is what i'm going to do to get you and the average american family on the road back to the american dream. i think that is going to be the closing argument. the independent voters care about getting results. they care about which guys has the best ideas on spending and the military here in virginia. i think mitt romney is going to be a close case but i think romney wins though at the end of the day in virginia.
>> the last two weeks have been a complete disaster as far as the romney campaign is concerned. >> we have had better weeks. >> you have to start feeling rather twitchy. if this carries on barack obama is not going to win in a close race. if this carries on. this campaign is going to refocus and do something pretty sharp doesn't it? >> i'm not nearly that pessimistic at all. barack obama won virginia by 7 and i won by 18 the next year. the independent voters make up their mind of ten times near the end. mitt romney has to continue to focus what he started this campaign about six months ago that we can do a lot better. the president has tried, his policies have failed.
you can't have gas prices doubling and all of this high level of people on food stamps and call that a success for the middle class. he has to make it clear why the presidency is going to make it for the middle class. and i think the debates are going to be more important. i think we are going to have financial parody down the road. we got crushed on spending and i think we have a descent chance to win. it is margin of error and things can change. >> i think the independent voter haven't made up your mind yet. >> it is a long way to go yet and mitt romney will have the fire power if he can stop committing gaffes. thank you very much. >> thank you.
>> and here to argue the other side is top democrat. the former governor of michigan and current host of "the where room." how are you? >> i am great. >> have you calmed down from your barn-storming performance? >> the crowd caused a wave and i rode it. >> i thought you might explode. >> it was a lot of funny can tell you that. >> i loved the enthusiasm. >> barack obama when america was losing 750,000 jobs per month who gave us a lift? barack obama? >> quite a fabulous performance there i got to say. >> i appreciate it. i do attribute it to the crowd. in the back when you are doing
this stuff they said you have to keep going. the crowd kept getting louder and louder. i had to stop. they were chanting. the message was right. the auto bail out, the rescue saved more than just jobs in michigan. it was getting them excited. >> let's talk about whether mitt romney's campaign has death charged itself through his own words. you heard the argument from one of its supporters. what is the view from the democrat's side? >> bob mcdonald bless his heart, but i don't know how he can dishalf of the population. it was a condes sending unbelievably insensitive way of insulting people by calling them
victims when nobody wants to be a victim. so if this isn't the final straw, obviously he has a couple of debates to be able to resurrect himself. but i don't know what is. >> one thing that may save him is that we are in this industry where everything is lost in two minutes and already there has been a type of your president talking about his love of redistribution of wealth and the republicans have rattled out a new attract add. let's look at this. >> and if you have been successful you didn't get there on your own. >> redistribution of wealth. >> if you got a business you didn't build that. somebody else made that happen. >> they say this is the socialist obama.
>> so what do you have to say to that jennifer? >> well, first of all, redistribution, barack obama saying that he wants to make sure that we have a fair society and we have mitt romney who is in favor of redistributing up. we wants to preserve the tax breaking for those who make the most. i'm telling you, if we want to have a fair society to provide the opportunities for people. we want to have a fair tax structure and that argument is bologna when you consider what romney's plans are in store for people in the middle class. >> tell me this, not withstanding mitt romney's gaffes. why should any president in america be re-elected when unemployment is over 8%? >> well, because the trajectory
is right. we have had over two years of every consecutive month of job creation and when you look at the party is that creating further jobs and their party has signed pledges not to comprommize the president, you have to look at who is causing the blockage, sitting in congress because the republicans refuse to create jobs because in a way that they have voted in favor of. why wouldn't you want to stop the off-shoring of jobs. why wouldn't you want to stop that? but they refuse to do it because they do not want to give the president a win. that is a story that the president continues to tell. he has created jobs in spite of the opposition in congress. i hope that when november 6th
comes around they will help him get the majority to get the jobs bill passed. >> you got to come on my show some time. "the war room." we want to have you as a guest. >> i might be tempted. >> that would be great. >> thank you. >> when we come back. breaking news in the middle east. new information on the deadly attack that killed ambassador to libya. chris stephens.
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on the attack that killed ambassador christopher stephens and three other americans. it was a terrorist attack but it wasn't planned. was he on a hitlist? a last month fran went to libya. fran, what do we know about this? there are two strands to the story that are breaking today. one was that he feared he was on a hitlist and the other was that it was somebody that was released back to the americans. >> let's start with the guantanamo detainee. we have seen reports that kumu, the guy that is one of the leaders of the splinter group of al qaeda. we have seen reports that kumu, the guy that is one of the leaders of the splinter group of al qaeda. he had worked in afghanistan and he is sort of a known bad guy and it would be natural that authorities would be looking at him and other leaders of the
group if they believe thad there is this link. as you point out, piers. the director of the national counter terrorism center confirmed that it was a terrorist attack. he would be on the top of my list. >> where does this leave us? >> there is no question. when i had been in libya and met with ambassador stephens, he had acknowledgeed to me in a long conversation that in fact there was an increase in extremism and had encouraged me, myself to see the situation. it was getting more concerning. i had noticed the rise in militias even in the center of tripoli. the ambassador was familiar with
the rebels having been there before the fall of the government. he was in a position to express real concern bit. >> do you feel now hearing that he was properly protected or should there have been more done for him there? >> you know, it was hard to say. i was very surprised when he arrived. we had breakfast on august 29th at the hotel. he was surprised when he arrived. he had no security with him. he was again, very comfortable. he believed he needed to be talking to people. he would not have been his style to have a big security footprint. he is a national asset and this was true of chris. he was drive and capable and it
seems to me, we would have allowed him to get his job done. >> fran, thank you very much. mitt romney's campaign is in damage control. joining me now is larry kudlow, and chris, welcome to you both. what do you make of that? >> well, while there is a lot of uncertainty about who killed ambassador stephens, it is active in west africa, while al qaeda in pakistan is on the wayne, algeria, that affiliate is gaining strength. >> why are a lot of people guys fighting in iraq, didn't they wind up moving into libya?
>> that was more a west african organization. >> is al al qaeda still run by a central force? >> they get penetrated and who ever is playing that switchboard operator gets hit by a drone. it is a collection of affiliates that share a passion for violence and it is not as if they are sharing resources or anything. that is what they are getting right now. >> one last point on this. given what is happening in the mid east.
clearly, a fundamentalist sees in the past, how dangerous is this right now? across the middle east. you are seeing this if al qaeda is still operating with these cells? >> i don't -- i think that this goes in a sign. i think there are going to be rough moment as head. but i don't think our embassy in cairo will be taken in the way that our embassy was. the fall of indonesia was messy for years. you look at eastern europe. romania was messy after all of these years. the middle east is going to be messy for a long time to come. i think i worry more about egypt than about libya. but, i don't think it is going to go over a cliff.
larry, give me a good defense of mit romney's claim. if you take out the gaffe element and you cut to his principle point that he claims he has been making on the stop. that a lot of people in america, the ones under barack obama don't pay income tax and are living off government handouts? >> that isn't one that i would make. no, i don't think it is accurate. 49% of households that are getting government benefits is accurate. that is a good number. once you get beyond that, the issue that half the people hey income tax, that is true. but so many people pay the payroll tax.
i haven't taken positions yet and the idea that you can derive from government benefits voting patterns is a flawed idea. for example, retirees vote heavily for republicans but they don't pay income taxes. veterans groups the same way. regarding the whole issue of non income tax payment. middle class people might be earning $50,000, $60,000, $70,000 a year. they get a child tax credit which among other things might take their income tax liability right away. those people may or may not vote for romney. if i were he i might not write them off. a friend of mine said, all he was trying to say is that half of the people in the country are going to vote for him and half are going to vote for obama.
if that is all he was trying to say, he should have said that. >> but he led everyone to believe there are two mitt romney's. there is a guy in private and a guy in public saying a completely different kind of thing and you add that to the flip-flopping of stuff like abortion and you get a reputation he is building up of a guy with no real political principles. >> if at the end of the day he was complaining about people feeling like victims who use the tax code himself. here is a guy 60% of americans when all the taxes are paid. state, local and federal they pay a quarter more and meanwhile romney may pay less than that.
here we have a guy who are feeling sorry for themselves. it comes across as insulting. >> i just want to make a counterpoint on this. >> larry, hold your point. we'll take a break and come back to your point and talk about president obama's appearance on "letterman." we seem to forget what the national debt was.
what is also true is that we are going to need to ask folks like you and me to do more. and if you and i are in the same tax rates that we did under bill clinton, then that helps. if we do those two things we can manage very effectively and get our books in order. >> was it $10 trillion? >> i don't remember what the number was.
>> president obama on david letterman. how big a mistake was that? >> kelsie grammer was due to be on by now, but he appears to have left the building. he has exited stage left, so we have half an hour left. he may or may not come back. >> we have two standins to continue. >> someone tweeted earlier, what an unlikely pairing. i can't think of a better pairing than you two. >> it is a pleasure to meet him. we have differences of opinion. >> what was the counter point? >> i want to say a couple of things on the romney stuff. >> the number of households that our government dependant has sprouted in the last 25 years. i think that is an unhealthy sign of the economy.
i think people hearing that won't like it either. people hearing we are becoming more government dependant not like that which opens the door for mitt romney if he walked throw it. i, on the other hand are for a free enterprise opportunity society that i think that romney's argument is more popular in this country than mr. obama's dependency argument. the question is why he doesn't stay on that message? he did. and then it went away. >> it is like one of your old am
radios where you are listening as a kid and you tie the copper wire to your radiator. the sound comes in and out. his message comes in add out. if you want to sell it, it is about repetition. >> you did this little thing on twitter you started a thing call ed hash tag romney encore. there is an interesting point there. this should be a very, very easy gig for a republican nominee to take on an incumbent democrat president. you have unemployment, gas prices have doubled, people out of work, you have people dissatisfied with all sorts of things in this country and obama is acting as if everything is honkey dorey. >> why is he proving to be right now anyway so haphazard? >> i think part of it is that he
>> why is he proving to be right now anyway so haphazard? >> i think part of it is that he spent six years now effectively in a republican primary bubble talking to people where everybody sort of thinks that the 47% is this group in america and there are names that go around that say he wasn't ready. and on foreign affairs he stepped in and he doesn't seem to have thought about foreign affairs. >> obama said that $11 trillion and change and it has gone up to $60 trillion and change. he should have said that.
perhaps he doesn't like those numbers. he is being blamed fairly or unfairly for $5.5 trillion increase in debt. bill clinton at the convention gave a great speech in my opinion tried to bail obama out on the debt. i want to slow you down a bit. i know you cited polls showing movement for obama. but if you look at other polls, these guys are running neck and neck and they are running neck and neck in the swing states. >> are you surprised romney is not ahead? i'm surprised that on all of this information available, only one president in history has been re-elected and that was fdr? >> as an old reagan guy, i worked for him in his first
term. in that race, he was losing to carter up through october. >> that is right. >> yeah, eight points behind in october. >> and then things switched in the debate. i have a sense that because neither of these guys have run really good campaigns. obama really negative and now they have this redistribution tape and romney makes the mistakes that we have talked about tonight and i think that the debates could be very important. >> i think they could be crucial. on the redistribution thing, what is it and why is it a dirty word? >> in the eisenhower years, we had a income tax rate of 91 and 92% for redistribution. social security system is in part about redistribution if you
have a debt and that quote from obama's speech has been somewhat unfair. he goes onto say that he uses it to create opportunity. that is a key phrase. he talks about public schools and this kind of thick. and this kind of thing. i think creating more starting lines, early childhood education and i think there is more sympathy with that approach. look, i think right now, given this lousy time and this economy is growing at 2% roughly. it is the worst recovery in post war history. oddly enough if you go back ten or 12 years, we have been growing at 2%. i'm an old reagan guy. i say put some more freedom in this economy.
get them more interested in starting up a business and carrying forward the energy sector coming alive and keep your regulateters at bay and don't talk about raising tax rates for a while. we can solve the issues for a while. the thing that solves the debt, the unemployment is not there and that is economic growth and that is the biggest problem that this country has. we should be growing now after a deep recession closer to five percent. >> i have got to leave it there. >> let me push back to the notion that taxes make all the difference in growth. you had slow growth. you had clinton raise taxes and you had extra ordinary growth. >> bush did well in the 2000s. but i would add to that.
regulations impact economic decisions and frankly, federal spending affects decisions because people a businessman looks at a deficit a businesswoman and they see down the road more government and more taxes to finance it. that is one of the big problems here. that is why i think the obama program with the spending and deficits has gone bad. people say we're going bank upt. >> i rather like this little pairing. i thank you both very much. >> see you. >> thank you. >> kelsie grammer still hasn't come back but we still have 20 minutes. coming up a tv star finds herself in the middle of a custody battle.
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but real life can be a nightmare. her children were born in america and now they are in france due to a judge's decision. kelly, joining me now. kelly, let me start with you. in simple terms what happened here with you and your ex-husband? >> um, he got kicked out of the country and. >> his visa was revoked? >> yes exactly. and yet there is no justification for it we don't know why. we keep trying to figure it out. and i keep coming up with no answers from the judge. he is not required to show anything. he asked that the kids come live with him in france even though we have no connection to france. >> he is german? >> yes. >> i went to visit them. >> and then you discover that
they are not coming back. >> a court order is come out that they are not coming back. he can't come back to america and therefore he can't come back to america. therefore the french judge decided this? >> the california judge said this. the concern is that france will now have jurisdiction. >> how do you feel about this? >> i'm beside myself. i didn't think anything like this would be possible. >> alan dershowitz how is this possible? >> i have been involved in the rights of children. they are the ones that are not represented and the interests of the children are neglected as parents fight among themselves in the 1960s and 1907s i litigated when children's
parents were lesbians. and then a russian boy whose parents were american. and in this case, unfortunately these are american children who were born in america and they have been deported without any determination that really it is in their best interest not to be americans and not to go to the schools in which they were enrolled and not to remain with their friends and their mother in order to satisfy their father who has been deported. the obvious solution would be to keep the children with their mother and arrange once a month to bring the children to their father. that would be less disruptive to their lives and put them in a country where the father has no
connection and to be brought up as french kids rather than as americans. >> the judge's decision though was in america. this is not a french decision this is an american judge? >> a woman, an american judge who decided that it would be best for everybody if the children moved out of this country. it makes no sense from any logical point of view from the best interests of the children and i think the children have the right to be represented and have their interests to be defended. kids have the right to be brought up in the country in which they were born and not to be thrown around like political footballs. >> how are your children? can you call them? are you skyping them? >> i do. this morning i set my alarm for
1:00 am so i could call them when they were leaving for school and i skype with them every afternoon. >> do they know what is going on? >> i think they do. i say mommy is going to be there as much as possible and mama will figure this out with your father and know that i love you and i will be there add much as i can. >> how old are they? >> three and five. >> your ex-husband what kind of relationship did you have? were you talking to each other? >> not so much. it was um, i feel like once we separated it was then about you know, really about the children being arguing who gets the most time with the children and a lot of that happens in divorce. but this one was kind of odd because basically he was seeing the kids a lot.
until his visa got revoked and then it was about getting them out of the country. >> have you tried to appeal to him? >> of course. >> what does he say? >> he says no, we are going through the court system. he doesn't want to talk about it. he wants to go through the courts. >> what can you do about this? you are one of the best in the world. what is the next legal step? >> i think we have to find a very good, established lawyer who emphasizes the rights of children to find the right vehicle, whether it be a federal court lawsuit, protecting the interests of the children as american citizens, whether it be an appeal in the california courts, all of these options have to be considered, but from my point of view at least, the focus has to shift from the rights of the parents to the rights of the children, and they
have to be represented fully by somebody whose only job is to protect their interests and their rights as american citizens, are fully protected and vindicated. >> kelly, i'm so sorry. i am a father of four. we got a statement from your ex-husband, daniel giersch. he says my client continues not to comment in order to protect the children. i just wish you all the very best with this. it seems like an absolutely ridiculous case to put it mildly and incredibly wounding and hurtful to you. >> yeah, it has been. it's been very challenging. thank you so much for having me on and having alan on. it really helped. >> thank you, alan, for joining me. best of luck with the legal campaign. >> thank you so much. when we come back, "only in america." an extraordinary love story made in the usa and told in just 22 pictures.
tell 1,000 words. well this story is told in 22 pictures alone. this is the story of taylor morris and daniel kelly. he is a naval specialist who was severely wounded when he stepped on an ied back in may. president obama honored him with a purple heart. but taylor's heart belongs to danielle, his girlfriend who has been by his side. let's look at the pictures, taken by their friend, tim dodd. a perfect tribute to a wounded warrior and the woman who loves him. ♪