Return to Transcripts main page
ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Interview With Michael Moore; Interview With Ron and Rand Paul; Interview With Piers Morgan
Aired January 3, 2011 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: So welcome to a special edition of "360."
Tonight, a man quite at home on the hot seat. Outspoken filmmaker, author and activist Michael Moore sounds off on the Republican vow to undo health care reform, his financial support of WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, and what's up with all those dead birds flying out of the sky in Arkansas?
Also ahead, politics family style. The father/son team on Capitol Hill who share more than a distaste for big government. They are even sharing the same condo. Doctors Ron and Rand Paul discuss their expectations for the new Republican-controlled Congress and what it's like for a 75-year-old dad and his 47-year-old son to suddenly be living together under the same roof again.
And later, what you don't know about Piers Morgan, who will take over this time slot in two weeks. So, yes, I'm basically filling his slot for two weeks until Piers Morgan gets his act together and gets his show on the air.
But first, joining us right now is Michael Moore, the director of four of the highest grossing documentaries of all time, among the of them "Bowling for Columbine", "Fahrenheit 9/11" and "Sicko".
Michael, I appreciate you being on this temporary show.
MICHAEL MOORE, DOCUMENTARY FILMMAKER: I'm the first guest on your new show that will last only two weeks. So I'm honored. Thank you for having me.
COOPER: Yes. We were saying right before the break, I want one of those gigs where you get the job and then you don't have to start for, like, several months.
MOORE: Yes. He must have -- Piers must have a great agent. Because it just -- I don't know what it is. It's like -- I remember, like, when you got a better job at Burger King, you said to Taco Bell, I got to go. You know? I'll work through the holidays, but starting after New Year's, I've got to go over here to -- you know, to Burger King.
COOPER: Watch what you say, because he's big on the twitter now, and he's picking fights with people left and right on twitter. So, you know, he might get you in his sights.
MOORE: Oh -- uh-oh. Well, like I said, Piers, you know, welcome to America.
COOPER: All right. So let's talk some serious stuff. A lot of buzz about the incoming Republican class. Obviously includes a lot of Tea Party members. Questions about how they're going to impact Washington.
Lindsey Graham had this to say on NBC's "Meet the Press" yesterday. I want to play you this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: I hope the Tea Party will come to Washington and change the whole dynamic that led to this fiscal mess we're in, starting with spending.
(END OF VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: It's interesting, because Graham said the Tea Party -- last summer, he said they were unsustainable and would die out. Clearly, seems to have changed his mind.
MOORE: Yes, something must -- something must have been put into his tea.
Hey, I got a news flash for the Tea Party, and for the Republicans in general. You're not going to get anywhere. Nothing's going to happen. You didn't get enough people --
COOPER: You don't think anything's going to get done?
MOORE: Absolutely not. They can't do anything. They -- first of all, they don't have a veto -- enough members in the House to override a veto. And they don't have the Senate. For them to get anything passed through the Senate, they would -- playing by their old rules where 60 is the 50 -- they need 17 Democrats to come over to their -- sorry, 13, 13 Democrats.
Right, they've got 47 now. So they'll need 13 Democrats to start acting and voting like Republicans which, you know, I understand I wouldn't put it past a certain number of Democrats to do that. But they won't get 13. So nothing's going to happen in the Senate.
They can do all they want in the House. They're not going to get anywhere with it. Anything that they've told their constituents back home about how they're going to get rid of the Obamacare health bill, that's not going to happen.
COOPER: You don't think that's going to happen --
COOPER: Because they're talking about taking it apart, piece by piece. MOORE: How are they going to do that? With what? There's 53 Democrats in the Senate. So clearly, they're just going to be there to cause whatever ruckus they want to cause. And frankly, they're going to provide a lot of entertainment for the planet earth.
Because, actually, there is -- you know, Anderson, there actually is nowhere else on earth where there is a thing like our Republican Party. In most countries, the conservative party is more like our Democrats. And in these other countries, our Republicans are like the people that are still living in their parents' basement.
So it's really kind of a weird group of people. And I don't think they're going to get anything done, because --
COOPER: Well, do you think Democrats are going to get anything done?
MOORE: -- they are against the course of history. Not going to get anything done, no. Because it's 2011. They think it's 1911, all right? They want to turn the clock back, get rid of Social Security, get rid of unemployment benefits, get rid of Medicare, get rid of social -- all these things. And actually, the wave of progress is against them.
COOPER: But do you think -- but you think Democrats will be able to get anything done?
MOORE: Oh, the Democrats. No, they won't get anything done either, but that's what they're -- that's kind of what they, you know -- listen, you know what, they'll get some things done, but they won't be able to get anything through the House. So the question really is, what are you going to do to fill an hour of your show every night for the next two years?
COOPER: Well, what are you doing for the next two weeks?
MOORE: Hey, I'm only here -- I'm only here to celebrate the new year's with you and to help you recover from Kathy Griffin so I'm -- I'm not a pundit so I will not be occupying that chair --
COOPER: Yes, I'm still drenched in sweat from standing next to her in the freezing cold and being nervous next to her for an hour and a half of live television.
MOORE: And all of America admires you for that.
COOPER: Another issue Republicans are sort of taking aim at right now is birthright citizenship, the 14th Amendment. Leading the pack, you have Congressman Steve King, chairman of the House Subcommittee on Immigration. He's arguing basically it's created a loophole in the 14th Amendment and it's caused an epidemic of what they're calling anchor babies.
MOORE: Yes, babies that where the mothers come in and kind of squat and drop a baby here in the United States. It's a big problem. And -- but I think the legislation that they're proposing is actually quite unclear. You know, as the mother is coming across the bridge in Reynosa, from Reynosa into Texas, you know, exactly what constitutes birth?
If just the crown of the head is showing, if she's halfway across the bridge, will that baby be an American citizen? Does the baby actually have to come out once it gets across the bridge, or is it when the cord is cut? I mean, I'm confused by exactly the point they're trying to make, but I think the big -- I think the big birth thing that they're going to be concerned about is they want to find out what town in Kenya President Obama was born in. So I'm looking forward to that.
COOPER: Does it surprise you that there are still so many -- such a large part of the country -- I mean you look at polls, there's a large percentage. I mean it's not a majority by any means, but it's something in the area of above 20 percent, I think, I can't remember the last poll that I looked at, who don't believe that President Obama was born in the United States of America.
MOORE: Right. And I think -- what was the poll that said 24 percent of Republicans believe that President Obama may be the anti- Christ? So, yes -- so, yes, there are --
COOPER: What do you think is at the core of that?
MOORE: -- there's a lot of -- mental illness? I don't know? I mean this is -- it's so weird, it's like when they dig up tapes of this show 100 years from now, they'll be surprised that you and I were actually trying to have a serious discussion about it.
COOPER: Because I mean I've interviewed a lot of people who are -- you know, seem like good -- I interviewed recently a state representative who -- you know, a guy Leo Burrman. He seemed like a good guy, he served his country honorably for many years in the military.
COOPER: And he -- just on this issue, I mean what he's saying is factually incorrect, but you know he seems like a decent guy, but he's just sticking to things which are factually incorrect.
MOORE: Right. It's -- listen, you have to be sensitive and understanding of some of these people because it's difficult for them to accept that a black man is president of the United States.
COOPER: You really think it's about race?
MOORE: And -- oh, yes. I think a lot of this has been about race. You know when Darrell Issa goes on television and says this is the most corrupt president we've ever had, I mean, are you serious?
COOPER: Well, he's backtracked from that now. He's saying --
MOORE: I could say a lot of things --
COOPER: He's saying the administration and --
COOPER: And things that they have done and having the majority leads to corruption.
MOORE: But even that -- yes, even -- well, he said what he meant. And even calling -- even saying it was the administration, basically, their point is, is that they came unglued by this man winning the presidency. And while there are things you can say about President Obama, that you wish he was this, that, or whatever.
Boy, I'll tell you, that one of the things that would be -- I just can't imagine people thinking that -- or saying something to the effect that he or his administration is the most corrupt ever. I mean, that's just like --
COOPER: But how can you say they're obsessed on race? You know that seems like a cheap shot, you know?
MOORE: Yes, kind of just seems like I've lived in this country for over 50 years, OK? So I'm an American, I know where I live, and you know, it's not like I woke up yesterday. So I'm sorry they feel that way. I wish they -- because the reason why is that when you ask them, and you have asked them, for specific reasons, what comes out is not evidence or facts. What comes out is this spewing of insanity, that he wasn't born here.
COOPER: You're talking about birthers, yes?
MOORE: That he could be the anti-Christ. Yes. Right. Or that -- or, actually, you know a lot of Republicans talking about him being a socialist or a communist, or these crazy-making things that just -- just like, why go there unless you're really twisted about something that you're not really telling us about.
And why don't you just really tell us? I mean if one of them would just come on and say it, I, frankly, would be in too much of an uproar about it. I would say, wow, there's an honest -- there's an honest conservative.
COOPER: But isn't that --
MOORE: Who just can't stand what's going on.
COOPER: But isn't that -- I mean it's an easy thing to accuse somebody of racism. You know, unless you have actual, specific proof, it's one of those things, you can't defend yourself against it.
MOORE: Yes. Yes. I know. It's just kind of a gut feeling when I see a bunch of white people get together, getting that angry and upset about something, it just -- it -- you know, I don't know. I think that -- I just think that we still have a big problem with race in this country.
A lot of us would rather not talk about it because we'd like to believe it's better. It is better. It's certainly better than when we were younger. But we've got a long ways to go. And I think that President Carter was right when he first brought this up, and he was one of the first to say it. I think it was a brave thing to say, and I don't mind repeating it.
COOPER: Michael Moore, we're going to talk to you right after this break. We're going to get Michael's take on a lot more. We'll be right back.
Also, later, father and son, Congressman Ron and Rand Paul join us. Senator-elect Rand Paul, they talk about keeping it all in the family.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Are there issues that you guys totally disagree on? I mean is there one issue that you fundamentally disagree on?
SEN. RAND PAUL (R), KENTUCKY: We agree not to talk about that. We say, it's the New Year's, and I'm staying at his house. How can -- how can I get into a war with my dad on TV if I have to come over for dinner tonight?
(END OF VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Hey, welcome back to this special edition of "360." Filmmaker Michael Moore is with us tonight from Traverse City, Michigan. In a moment, we'll also talk to Ron and Rand Paul. And later Piers Morgan who will be taking over this time slot in two week's time.
Mike, I just want -- do want to play for our viewers. We were talking about Congressman Darrell Issa. Just out of fairness, I want to play what he said specifically about the remarks where he clarified. Previously, he'd said that he'd called President Obama one of the most corrupt presidents in modern times. Here's how he now clarified it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. DARRELL ISSA (R), CALIFORNIA: In saying that this is one of the most corrupt administrations, which is what I meant to say there, when you hand out $1 trillion in TARP, just before this president came in, most of it unspent, $1 trillion nearly in stimulus that this president asked for, plus this huge expansion in health care and government, it has a corrupting effect.
When I look at waste, fraud, and abuse in the bureaucracy and in the government, this is like steroids to pump up the muscles of waste.
(END OF VIDEO CLIP) COOPER: So just to push back on what you said about race, I mean, how can you say that race underpins what he's saying? Because basically, I mean whether you disagree or agree with what he's saying, he's making an argument about the amount that the government is spending and that's what those comments he says were based on.
MOORE: No, he's not saying the government's spending. We know the government's spending. He's saying it's a corrupt administration, simply because it was spending money to help its citizens. That is the most outrageous, crazy statement to make, and he didn't make it any better, as far as I'm concerned, by what he said there.
I mean they -- I'll tell you, those Republicans, and Mr. Issa in particular, have got big cajones to go on any TV show and talk about corruption after what we went through with eight years of the George W. Bush administration. Talk about corrupt. Talk about leading us into a war based on a corrupt, false idea, that now is going to cost us at least, in the long run, at least what they're predicting, $3 trillion, that has helped to bankrupt this country.
And to let the rich off so that they don't have to pay for the war that they were supposedly going to benefit from --
COOPER: You think we should get out of Afghanistan now?
MOORE: I mean that is the -- absolutely. Yes. I mean, it's clear that it's not working. It's clear -- in fact, the Pentagon has admitted, there's only about 50 -- that's 5-0 -- al Qaeda left in Afghanistan. Why are we risking the lives of our sons and daughters for 50 al Qaeda in Afghanistan?
That's something you sent the New York City police in to take care of.
COOPER: And that's --
MOORE: Not have 100,000 of our troops in there, risking their lives every day. And they don't know what to do about this. The Taliban is still very much present. The Taliban's not some external force, remember. Those are Afghan citizens who are supported by Afghans in all those villages.
COOPER: Well, there's Taliban in Pakistan, there's Taliban in Afghanistan, there's different kinds and different factions in different --
MOORE: Yes, there's -- right, yes. Right. As I am want to point out now, we are involved in at least six wars in this country. Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, the Horn of Africa, and Colombia.
We are using our military forces in these countries to commit -- commit to military actions, and sometimes killing the people of these countries. And somehow we think they're not wars. We have got to get it together here, pull these troops home, and have the focus be on fixing this country. We're in deep, deep trouble.
COOPER: Is it -- I mean in Colombia, for instance where we're assisting the government against the FARC, which are, you know, narco- traffickers, guerillas, you think that's a war? I mean you define that as a war?
MOORE: Yes -- yes, of course it's -- yes, it's a literal war on drugs. Not the phony war that has locked up, you know, a million or so of our citizens in this country. Yes, when you use your military to go in and commit military actions, it's called a war.
That used to be called a war. But in the new lingo, we don't call it that anymore, but that's exactly what's going on. And I don't want this being done in my name. I don't want my money being spent on this. And I think majority of Americans feel this way, too.
And so I would -- I would hope that President Obama would start to pull these troops out of these areas and focus on real security issues in dealing with the terrorism that they claim is being committed by people in Afghanistan. They're not in Afghanistan anymore. This is absolutely crazy.
COOPER: A little bit later on I talk to Ron and Rand Paul, and Congressman Paul, one of the things I asked him about was the war in Afghanistan. He's for for pulling troops out. He says he doesn't buy president -- Vice President Biden who says, you know, we'll be out of Afghanistan three years from now come hell or high water.
Do you buy -- do you believe when Vice President Biden said that?
MOORE: No. I don't. I don't think that's -- no, I don't think their intention is to leave either Iraq or Afghanistan in any due course.
COOPER: You think they're lying?
MOORE: You know, until the people speak out -- pardon me?
COOPER: Do you think the Obama administration is lying? Do you think president is lying about it or just fooling himself?
MOORE: Well, maybe a little bit of that, maybe his heart's in the right place, and when it comes -- when push comes to shove, I'm not hopeful about how he's going to respond. But he's surprised me before and he's -- you know, he's done a lot of good things and taken to good positions on things, and so perhaps that will happen in this case.
COOPER: We're going to talk more with Michael Moore right after the break.
Later, Piers Morgan, his new show debuts two weeks here on CNN. We also have Ron and Rand Paul coming up shortly. We'll be right back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) PIERS MORGAN, TV HOST: So whenever I get people coming on now who are not perhaps your standard-looking pop star, I sit there resolutely, hmm, just in case.
(END OF VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: And we're back with Michael Moore, who's in Traverse City, Michigan.
Michael, why do you think President Obama's approval rating is now on the rise? It's about I think at 50 percent at the last Gallup Poll. I think it was the highest it's been since June.
MOORE: Because the last couple of weeks of this past congressional session, things started to click. And things started to get done. And people like to see the leader leading. And they like to see the Democrats have a spine and start fighting for some things.
And so a number of things that people thought were lost causes -- "Don't Ask, Don't Tell, the 9/11 workers, the responders' health care -- suddenly became the law of the land. And it was just like, wow, that's what can happen when these guys start to fight.
And I think coming into this new year and into this new session, people that voted for him -- that's the majority of the country -- and certainly Democrats and liberals, people on the left, really want him and the Democrats to come charging through those doors here in the next couple of days and fight for these things that we elected them to do. So I'm --
COOPER: But those things that you cite --
MOORE: I think people are optimistic right now.
COOPER: Those two things that you cite, "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" and the 9/11 bill, that only got done after making a deal on extending the Bush tax cuts for another two years across all levels.
Do you think that for the next two years then the message for President Obama is that compromise is key? That he's got to, you know, do what Bill Clinton did in '94 after getting, you know, hurt?
MOORE: I don't think, first of all, those two things were necessarily connected in terms of the so-called compromise. I'm disappointed that he allowed the Bush tax cuts for the rich to go through.
It was very interesting to see the CBS News poll report here in the last day or so showing that 61 percent, 61 percent of the American public is in favor of taxing the rich to help take care of the deficit, and 20 percent -- the next 20 percent, their top priority would be to cut the defense budget. So I think that -- I hope that they're paying attention to what the majority of Americans really want, and not listening just to who the -- who is loudest here, the squeaky wheel of the Tea Party. They do not represent the majority of opinion in this country.
COOPER: Would you possibly support a primary challenge to President Obama?
MOORE: No, not -- I wouldn't say that right now. But I would leave -- I'm a citizen of this country. And I'm going to -- I would leave any possible door open, if he -- let's say President Obama decides to increase the war in Afghanistan, as opposed to pulling the troops back.
Let's say that President Obama continues to allow Wall Street to go about their merry way and that causes another collapse. I mean any of a number of things could happen, where a lot of people are going to say, OK, listen, you didn't do the job we expected you to do, now we're going to -- something's going to have to happen.
So, yes, it's likely that there could be a primary challenge, it's likely that there could be a third party challenge, it's likely there could be a fourth party challenge. Because the Republicans are going to have their own fight and they may have two separate camps running someone for president. There could be four --
COOPER: Do you think Sarah Palin would run?
MOORE: -- candidates running for president like their -- pardon? Do I think she'll run?
COOPER: Do you think Sarah Palin will run?
MOORE: We haven't spoken since Hanukkah, so I don't know.
COOPER: If she asked you to direct one of her Alaska reality show episodes or her travel show episodes, would you?
MOORE: Oh, I -- I'd be there in an instant. I'd have a lot of fun with that. And so if the good people at the Discovery Channel are watching and need a director, I'm here.
COOPER: Obviously, you know, it's interesting, you look at what's going on on Wall Street and you look at the big numbers on Wall Street and it looks like there's recovery there. And then you look at the job numbers and, you know, there's no recovery there.
You're in Michigan, how do you bring back jobs in Michigan?
MOORE: Well, you know, I am here. And I'll tell you, we've really suffered a really bad depression right now. We're still, I think the unofficial unemployment rate is probably around 20 percent. Up here in northern Michigan, it's pretty bad. And so I'm doing what I can -- I've actually been pushing them up here to appoint some jobs ambassadors. I think I'm just going to -- maybe I'm just going ahead appoint myself because I really want to spend a good chunk of this year encouraging businesses to think about coming to Michigan.
People here are so in want of a job. They will work their butts off to have good employment here, good middle class jobs. And there's so much talent here. We live in this incredible state of Michigan, that gave the world all these inventions. I mean, Thomas Edison grew up in Port Huron, Michigan. Henry Ford from Dearborn. There's a guy from Battle Creek that got everybody to eat breakfast, Mr. Kellogg.
I mean this is the state. I mean, Berry Gordy and Motown. There's always been so much creativity here. And it's such a great place to come.
MOORE: And to live and to base your business. And so I hope that I can do my part.
COOPER: That's your new --
MOORE: Yes, that's -- I don't know if they were going to give me a portfolio, because we have a Republican governor now, but I just think I'm just going to -- I'm just going to kind of be a rogue sort of ambassador to bring some jobs here, because I can't stand, frankly, being here and watching so many people suffer.
MOORE: As a result of the high unemployment.
COOPER: And folks in Michigan know how to work hard and want to do it.
Very briefly, we've got to run, but what do you make of all these birds falling out of the sky in Arkansas?
MOORE: No, I shouldn't laugh at all the -- I'm sorry for all the animal lover -- I mean I'm one of them.
COOPER: Bizarre, though.
MOORE: My first thought was -- when it happened, I thought that the birds were Michigan and Michigan State Football fans, who after the bowl games this weekend, just decided to end it all. But frankly, it's probably -- they're from Arkansas, right, the birds?
COOPER: Right, yeah. MOORE: So Mr. Huckabee probably -- you know, they said Huckabee's support had gone to the birds. But now the birds have gone. So I don't know. Not good for Huckabee, I guess. Bad sign.
COOPER: They say maybe lightning. They say maybe fireworks related, because it all happened I guess right on New Year's. We'll look more into that in the next hour.
MOORE: Yes. I think we all need to tune into the premiere episode of "V" on ABC tomorrow night at 8:00 p.m. And I think those aliens will provide the answers for us.
COOPER: I was offended, because actually one of the actors on "V" said that he modeled himself after me. He played the cheesy reporter. I was like, really, thanks, I appreciate that. Anyway.
MOORE: Did he say "cheesy"? Listen, I oppose that. I'm sorry he said that, CNN. You know, get -- let Anderson do his job and get Piers Morgan out of Taco Bell and on this network.
COOPER: You're starting a Twitter war with Piers Morgan. I can see it tomorrow. Michael Moore, I appreciate your time. Thank you.
MOORE: Thanks, Anderson.
COOPER: Still ahead on this special edition of 360, the things you need to know about Piers Morgan. He starts his new CNN show in this time slot in two weeks. Did you know he calls himself the Pig Guy, his words. We'll explain coming up.
COOPER: Up next, my conversation with Congressman Ron Paul and his son, Senator-Elect Rand Paul.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Congressman Paul, the last time I read -- I think you were asked this question -- you said there was about a 50/50 chance you might be running for president again in 2012. Are those odds still about where you'd put it?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: We'll have his answer, just ahead.
COOPER: Well, the 12th Congress obviously convenes this week in Washington. Among the members is Dr. Rand Paul, a Republican, who is going to sworn in as the junior senator from Kentucky. During his campaign this past fall, he was a Tea Party favorite, probably the biggest Tea Party candidate, most well known, who got into office. And although he's certainly his own man, Rand Paul is following in his father's footsteps. Congressman Ron Paul, also a doctor, is a longtime Texas Republican. I recently had a chance to sit down with both men. I asked them about their top priorities in the new Congress, where Republicans will control the House and Democrats will have a smaller majority in the Senate.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Senator-Elect Paul, you're part of this new wave of Republicans taking power now, probably the best-known Tea Party candidate. What's the number one item on your agenda?
SEN-ELECT RAND PAUL (R), KENTUCKY: That we have to balance the budget and we need to do so by cutting spending. And I think that's the message -- the number one message from the Tea Party.
COOPER: There's been a lot of talk about cutting spending and reducing deficits. Not a lot of specifics. Dr. Paul, you're really one of the few Republicans I've heard say point-blank, there needs to be cut in Defense. Where do you see cutting in Defense, senator- elect?
RAND PAUL: Well, some people have pointed out that in the Defense budget, we have about 40 percent overhead. And we require our Defense contractors to only have 15 percent overhead. So some have said there's a lot of middle management that could be cut in the military department. There are weapons systems we need to look at and see if they are work projects or if we need them for the defense of our country.
But they say that the middle management in the military now is as big as it was in World War II, when we had 15 million soldiers. And now we have three million soldiers. so we have a lot of things left over from 40 and 50 years ago that I think we could streamline in the military.
COOPER: Why do you think it is so few people are actually willing to say we need to cut Defense? Even those who say we need to cut across the board, when you try to pin them down on, well, do you also mean Defense, they get kind of cagey on it. Why is that?
RAND PAUL: Well, I think it's ultimately the compromise we have to have, you know. Because you've always had conservatives who say cut domestic spending and you have always had liberal who say, cut the military budget. But what we really need is the compromise, that conservatives and liberals need to get together and say, it's not that the emperor has no clothes; it's that the emperor has no money. We've got to do something. It's going to take dramatic, across the board look at everything in the budget.
COOPER: Congressman Paul, in terms of Defense cuts, I mean, you indicated, basically ending the wars in Afghanistan, getting troops out of Iraq. Is that required in order to really, truly cut defense spending?
REP. RON PAUL (R), TEXAS: Yes, I'd come home from Afghanistan, Iraq, the Middle East, Germany, Korea, Japan. I mean -- and you could have a transition period for some of these entitle problems that we have at home. Basically, I want to get rid of all of those too.
But I would start with all this overseas spending. And I think we could work our way out.
COOPER: Congressman Paul, Vice President Biden has said we'll be out of Afghanistan, pulling troops out of in three years, come hell or high water. Do you buy that, a? And B, certainly you think it should be happening right now?
RON PAUL: It should happen right now. It's not going to happen then. They're always telling us that. They're not going to leave Iraq. Why would they be building all these military bases and building billion dollar embassies in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Iraq?
I mean, they have no intention on leaving and the people know that. That's why they hate our guts. And that's why they're disgusted. And that's why we're bankrupt. Because, you know, war is the health of the state. Anybody who wants small government, conservatives and the constitutionalist, libertarians -- if they want small government, they have to understand that war is the health of the state. When you have war, you can justify just about anything.
COOPER: Senator-Elect Paul, what about you? On the campaign trail, you really didn't talk much about Afghanistan during the election. We're spending a lot of money there. Is it worth it? Do you agree with your dad?
RAND PAUL: Well, I think when you look at it -- one way of looking at it is, when you look at the troop presence that we had after World War II in Europe, and you say, how large was the presence compared to how big the enemy was -- now we look at how big the enemy is in Afghanistan. They're saying less than 100 al Qaeda fighters. Do we need 100,000 fighters to stop 100 people? Or would there be a way that a small base there for a year or two of 5,000 to 10,000 soldiers, no longer patrolling the streets, no longer patrolling the remote provinces, could be a way of keeping some stability without having a large scale land war there.
The other question is, is having too large scale land wars, like Iraq and Afghanistan -- do you detract from being nimble enough to really be looking for the threats of terrorism that are really global and not in just one or two places.
COOPER: Still ahead on this special edition of 360, I go one on one with Piers Morgan, whose new program, "PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT," debuts in two weeks, right here on CNN. So what's he all about? Is he really known as the Pig Guy?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PIERS MORGAN, FUTURE CNN ANCHOR: -- in "Britain's Got Talent" and "America's Got Talent." So when a pig comes out now, I'm like, OK, I'm your man. I'm the pig guy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Welcome back, as I continue my conversation with Congressman Ron Paul of Texas and his son, Senator-Elect Rand Paul from Kentucky. They report for work on Wednesday, when the 112th Congress gets under way. Dr. Paul is married with three kids -- Rand Paul is. But when he's working in Washington, he's actually going to be living with his dad. They're going to share Congressman Ron Paul's condominium in Virginia. I asked them about their relationship and if Congressman Paul may make another bid for the White House.
COOPER: Are there issues that you guys totally disagree on? Is there one issue that you fundamentally disagree on?
RAND PAUL: We agree not to talk about that. We say it's a new year's and I'm staying at his house. How can I get into a war with my dad on TV if I have to come over for dinner tonight?
RON PAUL: Have you ever -- Anderson, let me ask you a question. I know I'm not allowed to ask a question, but have you ever met two people that agreed on everything? You know, my wife doesn't agree with me on all my policies either.
COOPER: Well, Congressman Paul, I've heard you say that when your son -- that Rand, of all your kids, was the one who kind of gave you the most pushback when he was younger. Is that true?
RON PAUL: Oh, yeah, because he did a significant amount of reading. He read the economics books and many books he'd get off my book shelves. And he was very challenging, but I considered that healthy, not unhealthy.
COOPER: So how are you guys going to live together now? How is this going to work out?
RON PAUL: Well, just so you know, I told people at work, if I don't have to cook, that's all.
RAND PAUL: My response to that was, I think I'm pretty lucky that I don't have to rely on his cooking. So, no, I think we'll get along well. In fact, I lived with my father in the summers when he was in Congress and I was in high school. So it won't be the first time we've actually shared the condo.
But I think he scratched his head a little bit when he found out that his 47-year-old son was coming back to live with him. Most people are ready for their college kids to get out of the house, and now he's got a 47-year-old coming back. So we'll see how it goes.
COOPER: Congressman Paul, I mean, obviously you're incredibly proud of your son for his win. Are you concerned about what happens now? I mean, are you concerned about, you know, kind of the Washington brawls that occur, and watching him get, you know, battered about, as will inevitably happen? As a dad, is that going to be a hard thing for you to watch?
RON PAUL: I think it will get easier as time goes on. I think how he was treated right after the primary race wasn't much fun for him, or me, because it was pure demagoguery, you know, in a political sense. That wasn't very good. But I think on true issues, you know, discussions and all -- I think it would be less so than in these campaigns.
Campaigning is a rough and tumble business. And I think that would -- I think that's sort of in the past now.
COOPER: Congressman Paul, did you ever expect that your son -- that Rand Paul would follow in your footsteps?
RON PAUL: Yeah, I suspected that for the last six months at least. No, not two years -- two years ago, you know, he was going out and giving a few speeches during the presidential campaign.
COOPER: Well, he was helping to run your campaign.
RON PAUL: -- the other day I said,, you know -- yeah, he was helping with my campaign. And then I thought back, you know, who would have ever thought, two years ago, with him being up in New Hampshire and doing a little MCing for us, that in two years he'd be in the Senate. No, I don't think very many people thought so. I'm not even sure whether he thought, you know, in two years, I'm going to be in the Senate.
Politics is a lot of luck and timing and things come together. His timing was right. The events were right. The Tea Party people were there. And sometimes if you don't take advantage of that, you don't have a political career.
COOPER: Congressman Paul, the last time, I read, I think you were asked this question, you said there was about a 50/50 chance you might be running for president again in 2012. Are those odds still about where you'd put it?
RON PAUL: Yeah, those are very good odds. If you want me to be wishy-washy on that answer, it is 50/50. And it is true. People ask me if I think about it a lot, and I say, all the time, because I get asked it all the time.
But, yes, I give it very serious consideration. And I know all the pros and cons. But I do listen to many supporters that seem to be so sincere and interested in what I've been doing over the many years. And they've responded to the monetary issues and the foreign policy issues and the personal liberty issues.
And because the young people are responding and giving the encouragement, I am really thinking very seriously about it. But at this time, I cannot give an answer. It's still 50/50. COOPER: Do you know who you think would be the biggest challenger you would have in the race? Do you think Sarah Palin -- for instance, do you think she's going to run?
RON PAUL: Well, probably not. It looks like she's enjoying herself a whole lot right now. So I don't know whether she'd run. But I would think I'd consider every one of them a pretty big challenge, because, you know, I'm involved in a revolution. I want revolutionary ideas. I want to return our country to the original roots of individual liberty.
So everyone that I know of, Republican, Democrats, in many ways, they represent the status quo. You know, they don't get excited about the Federal Reserve. They don't get excited about bringing troops home from Japan. They don't get excited about reducing the government by 50 or 60 or 70 percent, and letting college kids get out of Social Security.
Now, they would all fit the position of the status quo. And the supporters I have know that we're talking about something quite different.
COOPER: Representative Ron Paul, appreciate your time, sir, and Senator-elect Rand Paul, as well. Thank you very much.
COOPER: Up next, on a lighter note, what you don't know about Piers Morgan. He's going to take over the time slot in just two weeks. We'll meet him tonight.
COOPER: Two weeks from tonight, on January 17th, at 9:00 p.m. Eastern, CNN is going to premiere a brand new, nightly program called "PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT." We're all really excited here, because Piers brings a new voice and new approach to television.
A lot of you know him as a judge on the hit shows "America's Got Talent" and "Britain's Got Talent." But Piers is a journalist as well, known for his sharp interviews. Over the next two weeks, leading up to his debut on CNN, we're going to meet Piers, find out what kind of guy he is, what makes him tick, and what he's planning for his new program.
Here's part one of my interview with him.
COOPER: I don't know if you saw Jon Stewart when he was recently on CNN. I want to play something he said.
JON STEWART, "THE DAILY SHOW": By the way, I think they made a brilliant choice by bringing in a British guy no one's heard of. I think that is -- when I'm thinking about floating a sinking ship, what do I want to bring on it? The guy that people are going to tune in and go -- who's that? And why is he speaking so funny?
COOPER: What did you think when you heard that.
MORGAN: Last night, David Letterman did the same thing, basically said this is some guy we've never heard of. OK, guys, you're clearly at the cutting edge of popular culture. "America's Got Talent"" has been number one for five years. You've never heard of me. Get with it.
COOPER: I saw on an commercial you said you want your interviews to be a little dangerous? What does that mean?
MORGAN: I suppose what I mean is a bit edgy, unpredictable, not in a brutal way. I don't want to terrorize guests, because you want get anybody. I want people to feel like they've had a warm and entertaining and amusing and revealing experience, both as a guest and also as a viewer watching it.
But I also want to have a sense of unpredictability. I want to feel like there's energy in the room. There's a bit of dynamism there. It could go anyway. Not in a nasty way, but in an entertaining and surprising way.
COOPER: do you have to -- You're very well known in England for your interview shows and your journalism. Not so much here. Here you're known as --
MORGAN: Judging card playing pigs.
The best criteria for a CNN front man. I guess that.
MORGAN: I've judged 11 pigs now in "Britain's Got Talent" and "America's Got Talent." When I pig comes out now, I'm like, OK, I'm your man. I'm the pig guy. I've seen 11 of you guys.
COOPER: First of all, how did you become a judge on talent shows? Because I'm not saying you don't have any talent, but I take it you don't sing.
MORGAN: I don't sing.
COOPER: Do you dance?
MORGAN: I don't dance.
COOPER: At least not publicly.
MORGAN: Hang on. I do sing and I do dance.
COOPER: But not publicly.
MORGAN: But not to a level I'd be comfortable judging myself.
COOPER: OK. So how did you get to be a judge? MORGAN: Simon Cowell. I mean, he recognized actually quite an interesting thing. If you're a newspaper editor, particularly of a big British tabloid daily newspaper, where it's all pressure, a big cauldron every day, and a ferocious cat fight with the other papers, you basically have got to be pretty quick witted, because you are making hundreds of decisions all day. You have to have a sense of humor, because it gets pretty dark in there. And you've got to have levity.
You've got to be able, I think, to spot talent and nurture it, because you're always looking to promote the hot new thing in your newspaper, and be right about it. So you don't back a turkey. And I think you've got to be very judgmental and opinionated. Now, you put all those things together, then you actually have a talent show judge. At least that's my excuse.
COOPER: It's worked so far, it seems.
MORGAN: It hasn't been totally unsuccessful.
COOPER: And you're going to continue judging for "America's Got Talent" and for "Britain's Got Talent?"
MORGAN: I have given up "Britain's Got Talent," which I was sad about, because it was the show that discovered Susan Boyle.
MORGAN: You have these amazing moments on these shows, when you see somebody like Susan, who was a 47-year-old spinster from a tiny little village, who dreamed all her life, and now she's second number one.
COOPER: How set up was that? When Susan Boyle --
MORGAN: Not at all. Absolutely, hand on heart, we didn't know what was coming at all. Simon is quite right about that. If you know, the surprise won't look genuine. And it was a fact that we were all mocking her. The fact that when Susan Boyle said to us, I'm going to sing "I Dreamed a Dream" by Elaine Page, we were all like, oh, my God, this is going to be a total train wreck. And we were laughing and mocking. And the audience joins in. And there's like a horrible kind of bear pit, where this poor woman from this Scottish village, who actually has an incredible voice and talent, is getting laughed at by 3,000 people and three smart-aleck judges.
MORGAN: Without a doubt, that was the biggest surprise I have had in three years on this show.
And then the moment she sang, you see our faces frozen in -- it's two kinds of horror. One that we didn't recognize her talent, and two, that we now know there is going to be a Youtube clip for the rest of our lives of us mocking this amazing woman. And it's that realization that concentrates your mind. So whenever I get people coming on now who are not perhaps your standard-looking pop star, I sit there resolutely, just in case.
COOPER: Do you watch reality shows in America?
MORGAN: Yes, of course. I'm on one. I'm on one of the biggest ones. I do. But I love American Drama. I love "Madmen." Absolutely love that show. I loved "West Wing, "the Sopranos." I love -- I like proper, weighty, brilliantly-made drama, which has with a dash of style and comity to it.
MORGAN: I do like great reality. I like doing some of "the Apprentice" with Donald Trump.
COOPER: Right, which you won.
MORGAN: Yes. Right.
COOPER: I'm trying to -- what was the word he called -- he called you --
MORGAN: He called me evil, arrogant and obnoxious. That was the first half of the sentence. And the second half was, and you're my Celebrity Apprentice. I think he recognized a kindred spirit.
COOPER: Tomorrow night, Piers reveals how he made Simon Cowell, of all people cry. And a reminder that "PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT" premieres in two weeks, Monday, January 17th at 9:00 p.m. Eastern, right here on CNN.