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CNN LARRY KING LIVE

Reaction to Nomination of Samuel Alito to Supreme Court; Interview With Mike Wallace

Aired October 31, 2005 - 21:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


LARRY KING, CNN HOST: Tonight, the legendary Mike Wallace and this time he answers the questions on everything from the indictment in the CIA leak investigation to the president's new Supreme Court nominee and he'll take your phone calls too. Mike's next on LARRY KING LIVE.
Before we talk with Mike Wallace about his new book, let's check up on the Supreme Court appointment with Senator Sam Brownback, Republican of Kansas. He's a member of the Judiciary Committee. He'll be voting on the Senator. He voted for confirming John Roberts.

Senator Chuck Schumer is a Democrat of New York, member of the Judiciary, Senator Schumer voted against the Roberts' nomination.

And, in Boston in David Gergen, White House adviser to Presidents Nixon, Ford, Reagan and Clinton, professor of public service at Harvard's JFK School, and editor-at-large "US News and World Report."

We'll start with David. It's a safe bet that Sam Brownback is going to vote for him and Charles Schumer is going to vote against him and the question would be why don't they both wait until the hearing?

DAVID GERGEN, WHITE HOUSE ADVISER TO PRESIDENTS NIXON, FORD, REAGAN AND CLINTON: Because we've just come through such a contentious period on Harriet Miers and I think that the conservatives really wanted a hard right conservative and now they've got him and they've all come out in force to celebrate it.

Pat Robertson called it, you know, a grand slam homerun. And, just as predictably, the left is going to come out on the attack. I think we're heading toward a Donnybrook. It's going to be really interesting to hear what these two Senators have tonight to say about the prospects of a filibuster.

KING: Senator Brownback, don't the confirmation hearings count or is it over for you? He's got a yes vote.

SEN. SAM BROWNBACK (R-KS), JUDICIARY COMMITTEE: The confirmation hearings do count and it's not over for me. I want to see how this nominee performs. I want to see what he has to say. I just heard his name this morning, just started to look at his qualifications, his background. I think he looks pretty good but I can't give you an up or down yes or no now. That's part of the process of advise and consent to get more information.

KING: Senator Schumer same question for you is it a down automatic?

SEN. CHARLES SCHUMER (D-NY), JUDICIARY COMMITTEE: No not at all. Just as Sam said, on this we agree, we have to see who this nominee is. We have to study his record, find out what he thinks. We'll meet with him personally and then there will be the hearing.

So, you don't make up your mind. Obviously people have inclinations. My guess is Sam is a little happier with the nomination than I am but neither of us would state our position because we don't have one. You can't be sure until you really meet the nominee and see what they're like.

KING: David Gergen, if it got to a filibuster, how harmful would that be to government?

GERGEN: Well, if it gets to a filibuster and I think that's a very close call tonight whether it will eventually get there or not and the Republicans have made it very clear that they would likely invoke the nuclear option and that is to kill the filibuster and to kill filibusters in general. And then we're going to have tribal warfare in Washington.

We may not get there, Larry. A lot depends. The hearings do matter. People have to look more closely at the record. But I think that there is, you know, while I think both Senators are I think exactly right to say we're going to wait and hold our positions you can tell by the way both sides are lining up, the activists on both sides are lining up that this is going to be a Donnybrook.

KING: Senator Brownback, you said that Bush picked the best person he could find when he nominated Harriet Miers. Does that mean Alito is second best?

BROWNBACK: Well, I don't recall saying that. I'm not sure where your producers came up with that particular statement.

KING: They came up with it. I didn't.

BROWNBACK: Well, OK. I'm not sure that one is probably attributable to me. I had a lot of questions about Harriet Miers, a lot more because there was a lot less of a record on her than there is on Judge Alito.

So, this is one I think we're going to know a lot more about and I think this is good for the process. We should know a judicial philosophy. We should have outstanding candidates put forward. I think everybody agrees this is an outstanding legal mind and now let's look at the judicial philosophy.

I think he probably is a little more conservative. He's probably not as far to the right as Ruth Bader Ginsberg is to the left but let's take a look and it's going to take some time to see.

KING: Speaking of that, Senator Schumer, did you prefer or did you want a woman? SCHUMER: Well, all things being equal, yes. I would have preferred a woman. I believe in diversity. But the president made his choice and Sam and I do agree on one thing, Larry, and this is sort of interesting. We both agree that the nominee should state their judicial philosophy, give us some idea of how he or if it were to be a she thinks on these issues.

I think the days of the stealth nominee, which Harriet Miers clearly was is over. You know, Supreme Court justices have tremendous, tremendous power over every one of our lives and the only time you can really get to question them, see what they think is when the Senate has its confirmation process. We agree that that ought to happen. It ought to happen in a dignified way. It ought to happen in a thoughtful way but it certainly ought to happen.

KING: He won't make the court, if approved, until January right?

SCHUMER: Well, I think that's true and, you know, that's one thing that does worry me. Because of the importance of this nomination there shouldn't be a rush through the procedure. Some were saying let's get this done very quickly. That does a disservice.

Judge Alito is 55 years old. He's likely to be on the court for several decades, having huge effect not only on us but on our children, maybe our grandchildren and we ought to be careful and thoughtful above all, no rush here, shouldn't be.

KING: David Gergen, on this program Bill Clinton said that often judges disappoint the presidents who appoint them because it's the first time in their life they have a job where they're not appealed and they also see things differently, true?

GERGEN: That's true. I do not think that's the case in this instance because Judge Alito does have a long record. He's got 15 years on the Court of Appeals and the one thing we do know about him is that he's had some 41 dissents on that court, almost always to the right of a court that has been fairly liberal. So, I think he's got -- I think he has a consistent philosophy.

Larry, in my judgment the president deserves to be congratulated for now putting forward someone again who has experience and who is talented. There's no question about that. He appears to be quite genial. I'm sure he'll do pretty well in the hearings.

My sense is that this is ultimately going to come down to the question is the Congress or is the Senate going to confirm someone who is going to be a reliable conservative and probably be voting consistently with Scalia and Thomas or will the Democrats be able to block that. And that's going to be, that's going to be the -- and that's a very big, important battle over the judicial philosophy that ought to guide the court.

KING: Senator Brownback, can he be a reliable conservative and still vote to uphold Roe v. Wade?

BROWNBACK: I think one could probably look at that but I think that's an unlikely way to consider it. Roe v. Wade, the right to an abortion that's read into the Constitution, is not in the Constitution and there's a number of commentators from the left and right that agree that this is not in the Constitution.

It should be debated. It should be dealt with by legislatures across the country. So, I think he could read it that way but it seems to me unlikely on somebody that would be more of a strict constructionist of the Constitution.

KING: But he could uphold just on precedent could he not because he has said in the past that he favors precedent?

BROWNBACK: I think almost every judge and justice favors precedent, the role of stare decisis that once a law is settled it's settled. But, you know, you look in our history we've had a number of cases in the Supreme Court that have been overturned by later courts and thank goodness they did.

Brown v. Board of Education is in my home state of Kansas. It overruled earlier laws that said segregation was OK. Thankfully, thankfully the court overturned those prior decisions.

KING: Chuck Schumer, do you expect a battle?

SCHUMER: Well, you know, I would hope...

KING: Honestly expect it?

SCHUMER: Yes, honestly, let me just say I would have hoped that we could have avoided a battle. I would have hoped that the president would choose a real consensus nominee who would have much broader support.

But I think what happened here is not a single Senator, for instance, said that Harriet Miers' nomination should be withdrawn. Sam may have been on the edge but I don't think he ever said it.

It was only these very extreme groups that said it and the president went along with them and, you know, I got to tell you this Larry. I can't tell you what will happen with Judge Alito. I think it's very close, as David Gergen said.

But any president who seeks to govern, whether it's court appointments or anything else from the extremes, Democrats from the far left extreme, Republicans from the far right extreme, doesn't serve the country well and ends up not serving themselves well.

KING: David Gergen, do you have a prediction or too early to tell?

GERGEN: Too early to tell. Watch what some of the more moderate Democrats do. Watch what Olympia Snowe, Susan Collins and Lincoln Chafee do on the Republican side. Those are going to be the swing votes and it's just, it's way too early to tell. I think he's reliably conservative. I think the issue becomes as the country gets to know what some of the individual decisions are whether the country is going to welcome this or not. I think it's just too early to tell. I think it's going to be a fight for both sides.

KING: Thank you, Senators Brownback and Schumer and David Gergen.

Tomorrow night Ambassador Joseph Wilson, former President Jimmy Carter on Wednesday and Senator John McCain on Thursday.

And Mike Wallace is next. Don't go away.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: He understands that judges are to interpret the laws not to impose their preferences or priorities on the people.

In the performance of his duties, Judge Alito has gained the respect of his colleagues and attorneys for his brilliance and decency. He's won admirers across the political spectrum.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'll tell you what God -- what's your last name?

MIKE WALLACE, "60 MINUTES" CORRESPONDENT: Wallace, Mike Wallace.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mike Wallace.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How dare you put yourself in that position as a moral judge.

WALLACE: Now you're being unpleasant, Wallace, is what you're saying?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, this is what I was a little afraid of.

NANCY REAGAN, FORMER FIRST LADY OF THE UNITED STATES: Now you really didn't need that question.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm ready anytime you want to repeat your stupid question.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I didn't mean to be so (INAUDIBLE).

WALLACE: No, that's good, that's good.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do I have to put shoes on?

WALLACE: Oh, leave the shoes off Paul and start the interview please.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: It's always a great pleasure to welcome him. He was with us on our -- on my birthday. He's shared a lot of my life and I love him and he's my favorite personality of all time. He's Mike Wallace, correspondent...

WALLACE: Oh, Larry, Larry, Larry.

KING: Yes, you are, for CBS News "60 Minutes" since its premier in 1968. He was there from the get-go. He's earned numerous awards, including three duPonts and three Peabodys. He's got a terrific new memoir out including a DVD of clips from some of his most famous interviews. The book is "Between you and me." There you see its cover, a terrific read.

And, before we get to the book, a couple of comments on matters of note, Mike what's your read on Samuel Alito?

WALLACE: You had two very articulate guests on just ahead of me. I don't know much about the man do you?

KING: No.

WALLACE: He looks like amiable fellow but really I just don't know and I gather that he does not like to be called Scalito, as in Scalia, for whatever reason I don't know. You do know, by the way, that his mother apparently said on the subject of Roe and Wade and so forth that his mother said, "Oh no, he's definitely against abortion." He's a nice Catholic boy and he doesn't believe in abortions.

KING: Now what's your read on the Libby indictment?

WALLACE: Well, that's sad. It's sad and what it does is it brings the vice president into play. You know something there's been very little talk lately about -- about Dick Cheney. He's kept his own counsel. He's been very quiet about it. Who knows what he told Scooter Libby?

And, I believe I saw it today on CNN that there is a great group of anti-Dick Cheney people now that has grown in this country and that -- they don't like the fact that he's so unaccountable. You don't see him on the air. He doesn't answer questions. Who knows?

KING: Anyway what do you make of news people being involved? Tim Russert may testify. Judy Miller goes to jail.

WALLACE: Well, look, you know something we are -- we get more and more deeply involved in the things that we cover.

KING: Yes.

WALLACE: We have a tendency to do it. You do it. People talk to you off the record.

KING: Yes.

WALLACE: You have confidential sources all the time, all kinds of people who talk to you. So, have you been subpoenaed to...

KING: No, have you ever been subpoenaed in a case like -- a similar case where someone said something to you that you may have reported or not reported?

WALLACE: Yes and we tried like the dickens to stay away from it, pardon me, on the Westmoreland case when we were on trial for libel in the amount of $120 million and we had done -- we had done an hour and a half show about -- called, what the dickens? You know something...

KING: I know.

WALLACE: This head is getting a little bit older. Do you have trouble with your memory, Larry?

KING: Yes.

WALLACE: You do?

KING: The older we get the harder it is.

WALLACE: It is. It's a fact. How about your hearing?

KING: Harder. Not as hard as the memory though.

WALLACE: Memory is tough and your glasses, your eyes?

KING: They're not terribly worse but I've worn glasses. See, Mike, you're the guest, OK? So you went to court over Westmoreland. In fact, you told us in the past that added to your depression that whole trial.

WALLACE: Yes. That's true. That's what started the depression for the first time. I didn't realize what was happening but to sit in a cold and drafty federal courtroom being called thief, liar, cheat, et cetera by the -- because of the plaintiff had first crack at me and to sit there and listen to that kind of thing believe me all of a sudden I couldn't sleep. I began to believe that maybe I was guilty. It really was funny.

KING: All right. Tell me about this unusual book, a collection of memories and interviews, a great memoir that also has a DVD.

WALLACE: Yes.

KING: Give me the history of the book.

WALLACE: Well, first of all have you read it because I mean level with me?

KING: I told you. I told you off the air I've read it. I didn't hear the DVD yet though.

WALLACE: You didn't hear the DVD?

KING: No.

WALLACE: That's -- you know something first of all did you like the book? Did you find it interesting?

KING: I said I loved the book. It's more than interesting.

WALLACE: Really, good?

KING: Well, look at your career and look at the people you've talked to. How could it not be interesting?

WALLACE: Well, the wonderful -- the wonderful thing really is, the wonderful thing is that over the years can you imagine back in 1957 being able to talk to Eleanor Roosevelt? And do you remember a man by the name of -- here we go -- Westbook Pegler (ph)?

KING: Oh, used to read him and hate him all the time, read him and hated him.

WALLACE: That's correct. Well, I quoted to her in this interview back in 1957, I was on ABC at the time and what he had said about her and what a vicious, unpleasant, lying, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera and she enjoyed it so much. Talk about a soft answer turning away wrath. I wish you -- I hope you have that maybe available there. You haven't seen it.

KING: No, I haven't seen it. I read it, of course.

WALLACE: Yes, I know but if -- I don't know whether you're going to be able to play any of these things or not. Then there was -- there was -- what I used to do, Larry, was occasionally make speeches as you know because you're making them all the time and you show up and you want to do a new speech, something new, give the audience something to chew on but that gets to be a pain in the neck after a while so -- and it's a very lucrative way to get from here to there. In any case, what I used to do was set up a big screen in the hall and then I would lead into something from, you know, the people that I had had before.

KING: Great idea.

WALLACE: And maybe do five different people in the course of an hour, questions and so forth. Well, the people at -- it really was good. The people at the publisher heard about it, saw it and said, "Hey, this would make a hell of a book."

KING: Boy were they right.

WALLACE: And that's exactly how it started.

KING: Let me get a break. We'll come right back.

As we go to break, the book is "Between you and me" and here are some clips from the DVD. Watch. WALLACE: Ah!

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WALLACE: There is an increasingly vocal minority who disagree totally with your tactics, Dr. King.

DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR.: There's no doubt about that. I'll agree that there is a group in the Negro community advocating violence now. But the vast majority of Negroes still feel that the best way to deal with the dilemma that we face in this country is through non- violent resistance.

And I contend that the cry of black power is at bottom a reaction to the reluctance of white power to make the kind of changes necessary to make justice a reality for the Negro.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WALLACE: You're going to be in Japan and I'm told it's a $2 million two weeks.

REAGAN: They're getting two of us. They're working us like crazy. We're taking the wives of servicemen over there with us so that they can see their husbands.

WALLACE: But it's going to be a well recompensed two weeks.

REAGAN: It is for everybody who goes there, which you probably know. Now you really didn't need that question.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WALLACE: Oh, I tell you.

KING: She has become a -- she's a great mutual friend and she's a terrific lady.

WALLACE: That's correct.

KING: That was tough though, wasn't it?

WALLACE: That was tough and you were the guy who straightened it out for me. You don't (INAUDIBLE).

KING: And, in fact, we'll show the audience how we did that. Watch.

WALLACE: Oh, folks.

KING: Watch how we straightened it out.

WALLACE: Perfect.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REAGAN: We really should sit and talk. I mean we've been close for too long. I've been through a lot of personal things with Mike, his problems and he's been through a lot with me and you just don't let that go by.

KING: Friendships should never end.

REAGAN: No, no.

KING: Maybe he (INAUDIBLE). You don't think so. I mean maybe this could be, you know, one of those unusual things of missed connections.

REAGAN: Well, maybe, maybe. Maybe.

KING: Well, he'll hear about this now.

REAGAN: I hope so. Mike, if you're watching the show call me.

KING: Yea.

REAGAN: Call me, Mike.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WALLACE: And you know something, I called her the next morning and we patched the whole thing up. It is...

KING: I know.

WALLACE: Well, we both adore her and we both know her very well and admire her immensely.

KING: She's such a special lady. Why didn't we read her well years ago?

WALLACE: How do you mean?

KING: I mean in the office she had that, you know, fire lady kind of image in Washington.

WALLACE: Oh, well she was -- she was -- he listened to her. Her husband listened to her and she got involved in politics more than we know. And, when she wanted to get rid of Donald Regan, remember when they used to live in that little ranch house. I got to tell you -- have you talked to her lately?

KING: About a month ago is the last time. I hope -- I'll call her tomorrow and we'll have dinner.

WALLACE: Give her my love. The fact of the matter is that she's -- she had -- she's been having some trouble with her back.

KING: Yes, I know and she fell.

WALLACE: Yes, she fell and well she's an adorable woman. In any case -- oh, are we going to hear this now?

KING: No, you're not scaring me tonight, something you don't know right? I mean something you know we don't know Mike?

WALLACE: What are you talking about?

KING: I mean about Nancy like you seem troubled.

WALLACE: Well, no not troubled. Look, she's not a child anymore and I -- you and I feel the same way about her and she feels...

KING: One of my favorite people on the planet.

WALLACE: I know it. I know it.

KING: Yes. Let's get a break and come back with more. We'll take calls too for Mike Wallace. The book is "Between you and me" with the DVD and that rhymes.

And we'll be right back.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WALLACE: I lived in the Middle West for a good many years while your husband was president and there was a real core of more than just disagreements then.

ELEANOR ROOSEVELT: No, there was a real core of hatred. The people who would call him "that man" and the people who would gladly -- I remember one man who rejoiced actually when he died. But I suppose that that is just a feeling that certain people had that he was destroying the thing that they held dear and felt touched them.

WALLACE: Yes.

ROOSEVELT: And naturally you react to that with hatred and I suppose that's what brought it about.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WALLACE: Was there any way, was there anything that the Secret Service or that Clint Hill could have done to keep that from happening?

CLINT HILL, SECRET SERVICE: Clint Hill, yes.

WALLACE: Clint Hill yes. What do you mean?

HILL: If he had reacted about the five tenths of a second faster or maybe a second faster. I wouldn't be here today.

WALLACE: You mean, you would have gotten there and you would have taken the shot?

HILL: The third shot, yes, sir.

WALLACE: And that would have been all right with you?

HILL: That would have been fine with me.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: What a moment. A great moment in the book. That's Clint Hill with Secret Serviceman when the Kennedy assassination. What was it like for you?

WALLACE: Oh, look, the anguish in that man's heart. He believed, if we could see a little bit more of that, I'd be grateful. He believed that he was responsible for JFK dying. And I forget exactly how we got to talk to him. I believe it was '75.

KING: Yes, it was.

WALLACE: And he -- all of a sudden, he began to -- I mean, listen to some of this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WALLACE: She climbed out of the back and she was on the way back right?

HILL: And because of the fact that her husband's.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: We don't have more of it. And how much of it is on the DVD?

WALLACE: The whole -- it's about three minutes long, Larry. He really believed that he was responsible. And just -- he had a nervous breakdown and so forth.

KING: Looked like he had it on the air.

WALLACE: What?

KING: Looked like he had it on the air.

WALLACE: That's correct. He was.

KING: The book, by the way, is "Between You and Me." The DVD comes with it. Incredible with this incredible career that you have never interviewed George W. Bush.

WALLACE: That's correct. I've never met him.

KING: How come? Never met him.

WALLACE: Karl Rove told me when he was governor of Texas, I went down there to do a piece on tort reform. And Rove made up his mind that we were on the wrong side of that issue. And he said, Mr. Wallace -- I didn't know him then. He said, Mr. Wallace, you are not going to talk to the governor. I said, what do you mean? He said, we know that your mind is made up, so we won't let you talk to him.

OK. So we did the piece anyway. And what happened then was when he came to the White House, I figured well, come on. The time has come. I mean, I've talked to every president since Abe Lincoln, so -- and every first lady since Martha Washington, Safer reminds me from time to time. But seriously, he just said forget it. You're not going to talk to him.

And I have never met -- forget talked to -- I've never met George W. Bush.

KING: Did Rove give a reason after -- forget the tort reform an governor, did he give you a reason after he was president that you couldn't interview him?

WALLACE: Karl Rove doesn't like me.

KING: Because?

WALLACE: Who the dickens knows. Who knows? I have no idea why. Well, you know that this is the tightest White House going as far as really talking candidly is concerned. And the most secretive, if you will. Both the president and the vice president, they don't like the press. And they particularly don't like people who might ask interesting questions or abrasive questions, or whatever.

KING: People don't know this, but we did this interview a long time ago in Miami. You were offered the job of press secretary by Richard Nixon.

WALLACE: Indeed, I was. And you know something, Richard Nixon -- I was offered the job as press secretary to Richard Nixon, and we got along like a house afire. And I'll tell you who I really got along with was Patricia Nixon. She was...

KING: Really?

WALLACE: Oh, she was a lovely woman. And I traveled with him, because he was thought to be a loser. So he was happy to, you know, to have me come along with him and the kids: Julie and Tricia -- and Pat Nixon.

And she was, obviously, a bruised woman because of the way that whole Watergate thing was coming down. And that's one person I really, really wanted to do an interview with, but she was scared. She wouldn't do it.

KING: Probably the least known first lady?

WALLACE: That's correct. And a lovely, lovely woman.

You know, they called her -- that Gloria Steinem I believe who called her Plastic Pat. The least plastic individual I ever met.

KING: We got to go to calls for Mike Wallace and take a break. And when we come back, the book is "Between You and Me." And here is Mr. Wallace with Mr. Nixon.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RICHARD NIXON, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: If I do win this election, I think I will conduct the presidency in a way that I will command the respect of the American people. That may not be the same style as some of my predecessors, but it will enable me to lead.

Let me make this one point, some public men are destined to be loved and other public men are destined to be disliked. But the most important thing about a public man is not whether he's loved or disliked but whether he's respected. And I hope to restore respect to the presidency at all levels.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WALLACE: Jimmy, who was the first person you killed?

JIMMY FRATIANNO, 1981: Frankie McCally (ph).

WALLACE: Where did you kill him?

FRATIANNO: In my house.

WALLACE: How did you kill him?

FRATIANNO: We strangled him.

WALLACE: In your own living room?

FRATIANNO: Right.

WALLACE: And then he dirtied your living room?

FRATIANNO: A little blood.

WALLACE: A little blood and a little discharge?

FRATIANNO: Right. How did you know that?

WALLACE: Urine.

FRATIANNO: A little urine, yes.

WALLACE: You smile when you think back about it? FRATIANNO: Well, what are you going to do?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: What a life. Wallace, Wallace, Wallace.

Mike Wallace, the book is "Between You and Me," with a DVD accompanying it. Terrific read.

Toronto, Canada, we go to some calls. Hello.

CALLER: Hi there, Mike?

WALLACE: Yes.

CALLER: First of all, I just want to say that I pretty much -- when I first came to Canada here, I got my political education watching those CBS broadcasts with Walter Cronkite...

WALLACE: Of course.

CALLER: ...and Charles Kuralt and Eric Sevareid. So, it was a great broadcast.

WALLACE: I got to tell you, when I joined that group, Cronkite, Sevareid, Kuralt and so forth, that was like being admitted to the mother church.

KING: What's the question, sir?

CALLER: OK. Actually, I had this question before you started talking about Karl Rove. You had mentioned that you find it rather odd, I guess, the silence of Dick Cheney or maybe not so odd, but he has been silent.

But I find it not only bizarre, but just unfathomable how George Bush has been silent about Karl Rove.

KING: He doesn't talk about it much, does he, Mike?

WALLACE: He doesn't talk about it at all.

KING: Does he get asked about him?

WALLACE: He simply, you know--we know that it was Rove who helped to make him governor and who helped to make him president. And wouldn't it be wonderful to find out more about what Rove had to do with all of the stuff that we've been reading about?

KING: Well, we know he had something to do. He's named in the indictment, but he's not indicted.

WALLACE: That's correct.

KING: Bakersfield, California. Hello. CALLER: Hello. Between you and me, you gentlemen continue to make a major contribution to the citizens of this country. So, I'd like the two brains that I see in front of me to answer this question to which I've been unable to find an answer.

If we truly, even for a moment, believe that there were weapons of mass of destruction, why did we send in ground forces? Thank you.

KING: You mean, rather than what?

CALLER: If we believed there were weapons of mass destruction, why would we send in ground forces?

KING: Oh, I see. Why would we put them at peril?

WALLACE: Listen, that's a good question.

KING: Very good.

WALLACE: And what they did was, as you remember, and I was astonished when I saw that they--you remember, shock and awe?

KING: Yes.

WALLACE: The United States attacking Iraq, and telling the world that we were going to shock and awe the world with the attack that we were going to make on -- I mean, it's -- and it was George Tenet, was it not, who said it was a slam dunk...

KING: Yes.

WALLACE: ...that there were weapons of mass destruction there.

KING: That's a good question. Did we put our boys, and male and girls and women at peril?

WALLACE: Uh-huh.

KING: Hello, Georgia. Hello.

CALLER: Thank you, Larry.

Mike, I loved your book, it was great. And toward the end of the book you said Secretary Putin of Russia asked you to come over and interview him. Have you done that? And I'd like to know about it. Thank you very much.

KING: President Putin, yes.

WALLACE: On the 60th anniversary of the end of World war II, he asked me to come on over and interview him. And it was carried in a lot of places.

But I tell you something Putin, to my way of thinking, who calls himself a Democrat, is not our kind of Democrat. But I have admiration for him. I think he's an honorable man. I think he's done a very good job for Russia.

And he's said he is not -- he'll be 55 at the end of his second term. And he said he's not going to run for another term because it would be destabilizing, not going to ask to change the constitution.

I asked him almost as a joke why don't you, I tell you what, why don't you go into journalism? The money's good, the age doesn't make a heck of a lot of difference. He looked at me as though I was crazy, but who knows?

KING: Didn't you find him, as I found him, easy to be around?

WALLACE: Putin?

KING: Yes.

WALLACE: Oh, absolutely. Very good idiomatic English. He spoke on camera in Russian, but I admire the man.

KING: Me, too. We'll take a break and be back with more of Mike Wallace. This is a great book, "Between You and Me." It's hard to forecast things in life. This is going to be a major best seller. Don't go away.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WALLACE: Imam, President Sadat of Egypt, a devoutly religious man, a Muslim, says that what you are doing now is, quote, "a disgrace to Islam," and he calls you, Imam, forgive me, his words, not mine, a lunatic. I know that you have heard that comment.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Madman or...

WALLACE: Yes, that's what I heard President Sadat say on American television. That the Imam is a disgrace to Islam and that he used the word a lunatic.

TRANSLATOR: Sadat states he is a Muslim and we are not. He is not, for he compromises with the enemies of Islam. Sadat has united with our enemies.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MALCOLM X: He made six sisters pregnant. They all had children. Two of those six had two children. One of those two is having a child right now. I am told that there is a seventh sister, who is supposedly in Mexico right now, and she is supposed to be having a child by him.

WALLACE: Do you feel, perhaps, that you should now take over the leadership of the black Muslims? MALCOLM X: No, I have no desire to take over the leadership of the black Muslims and I have never had that desire. But, I do have this desire. I have a desire to see the Afro-American in this country get the human rights, that are his due, to make a complete human being.

WALLACE: Are you the least bit afraid of what might happen to you as a result of making these revelations?

MALCOLM X: Oh, yes, I probably am a dead man already.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: The prophetic Malcolm X. Topeka, Kansas, with Mike Wallace, the book "Between you and me." Hello.

CALLER: Good evening. I'd like to ask Mr. Wallace if he's ever turned down an interview.

WALLACE: Turned down a what?

KING: Interview.

WALLACE: Turned down an interview?

KING: Were you ever asked by CBS to say go do this guy and you said no?

WALLACE: If so, I don't remember. I don't remember. No, I don't think so.

KING: Orlando, Florida, hello.

CALLER: Mike? I wanted to know --

KING: Go ahead.

CALLER: The first time I was in New York, I saw a nice looking young man on TV in a show, Mike and Buff. Was that you?

WALLACE: That was me. That was me and Buff Cobb who -- that's not Buff talking, is it?

CALLER: No. No.

WALLACE: Because Buff is up in New Hampshire. She lives in a home up there. She's not well. Yes, she and I used to do a show on CBS when I first came to New York. And it was a fascinating -- it was like, a little bit like Regis and Kathy or Regis and Kelly.

KING: But you were married, right?

WALLACE: Yes.

KING: What was it like to do a show with the wife? WALLACE: Not easy. I'm serious. You know, I love to see that picture. We used to bicker on the air, and what happened was that after a while, the bickering continued after we got off the air. You know what I mean?

KING: I know. Detroit, hello.

CALLER: Hi.

KING: Hi.

CALLER: How are you?

KING: Fine.

CALLER: Mr. Wallace, this is a big pleasure for me to talk to you. But I had -- what is your most difficult interview that you had in 60 Minutes, the most difficult person that you could have ever interviewed?

WALLACE: I think probably the Ayatollah Khomeini, really. Because he was not anxious to do it. It was just after the hostages, the U.S. hostages had been taken in Iran. And I was surprised that he was willing to talk to us. And it was a very, very difficult business.

We did it in the holy city of Qum. And the circumstances were difficult. They took good care to see that we didn't get into trouble.

KING: We'll take a break and be back with more of Mike Wallace. The book is, "Between you and me," the DVD is included. It is -- what can one say? it's a terrific work. We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JEFFREY WIGAND, SUBJECT OF THE INSIDER: Part of the reason I'm here is, I felt that their representation clearly, at least within Brown and Williamson's representation, clearly misstated what they commonly knew as language within the company. That we were a nicotine delivery business.

WALLACE: And that's what cigarettes are for.

WIGAND: Most certainly a delivery device for nicotine.

WALLACE: A delivery device for nicotine.

Put it in your mouth, light it up and you're going to get your fix.

WIGAND: You'll get your fix.

(END VIDEO CLIP) KING: That was the subject of "The Insider."

WALLACE: That man is, remains my hero.

KING: Jeff Wigand.

WALLACE: Who tripped on the tobacco cartel, if you will. You remember when all those guys who ran the companies raised their hands and said, oh, it's not addictive. They knew it was addictive. And he has succeeded -- I mean, really, he has succeeded. He runs a foundation called Smoke-Free Kids. And he's gotten all kinds of success in all kinds of ways. Foreign countries and so forth. The man is my hero.

KING: And you are mine. We have a minute and a half left. How long are you going to keep -- I know you're asked this all the time. How long are you going to keep on keeping on?

WALLACE: You know? What the dickens would I do? What would I do? How long are you going to keep doing what you do?

KING: But how old are you, Mike?

WALLACE: Eighty-seven, can you imagine?

KING: I'm going to be 72, so you're 15 years older than me. So I'm like a kid compared to you.

WALLACE: You're an adolescent.

KING: I would pray to be 87.

WALLACE: You're taking care of yourself?

KING: Yes, you?

WALLACE: Yes.

KING: Is everything OK?

WALLACE: Everything is fine. You're a good man, Larry.

KING: Well, they don't come like Mike Wallace.

WALLACE: I just love you. Bless you.

KING: One other quick thing. Did you want people to squirm?

WALLACE: Of course.

KING: So that was your role, to get them?

WALLACE: Of course, of course, of course. That was the role I played, sure.

KING: And I love Johnny Carson's line to you, I didn't steal any tires --

WALLACE: That's correct. You know, the sad thing about that -- oh, look at that, look at Safer, and that whole crowd.

KING: Yes. We're out of time. What was the sad thing, quickly, about Carson?

WALLACE: That he smoked. He killed himself.

KING: Right to the end, too.

WALLACE: He killed himself smoking.

KING: He smoked after the heart surgery.

WALLACE: That's exactly right.

KING: Thank you, Mike.

WALLACE: As usual, Larry. Thanks so much.

KING: Mike Wallace, the book, "Between you and me," and it contains an extraordinary DVD. I read the book, haven't seen the DVD yet. It should be something.

Aaron Brown is off this week. Paula Zahn, who played cello last night, at a big event for the Yitzhak Rabin Medical Center, I was the emcee. They played "Take the A train," with the Harlem Jazz Band. She was fantastic. Happy Halloween, Paula.

PAULA ZAHN, CNN ANCHOR: Happy Halloween to you. The most important question is, did we raise a lot of money last night?

KING: I guess they did, I didn't -- they did good and you were great.

ZAHN: Well, that's why we were all there. Thank you, it really was so much fun.

TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com

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