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The Latest on the Race for the Presidency; Interview With Dr. Laura

Aired January 9, 2008 - 21:00   ET


LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, fallout from a couple of primary punches. Hillary Clinton's left jab.

SEN. HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Over the last week, I listened to you. And in the process. I found my own voice.


KING: John McCain's right to the gut.


SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We sure showed them what a comeback looks like.


KING: How did it happen?

What does it mean?

Who's down for the count?

And then, straight talk with Dr. Laura. She tells it like it is, to the candidates, Britney, Lindsey and to you. Dr. Laura will take calls and give advice.


KING: It's all next on LARRY KING LIVE.

We begin in the first segment with two of the best political pros in the business. James Carville, a CNN political contributor, although he's not been part of the primary coverage. He supports Hillary Clinton. We'll find out his role in that campaign.

And in Chicago -- he's in Washington.

In Chicago, David Axelrod, political strategist and adviser for Barack Obama.

What is your role, Jim?

Are you involved in this campaign?

JAMES CARVILLE, CNN POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR, SUPPORTS HILLARY CLINTON: I am friendly with the campaign. Every now and then, I'll give them advice, like today. I'll be glad to share the advice I gave. I said look, Senator Obama is coming after you all. He was bragging today about he's -- he comes from the rough and tumble Chicago politics. And I said be ready. He's put you on notice. This hope stuff is -- he's -- forget about that. He's going -- he's coming after and understand he's been hit. And he's like any politician that's been hit, they -- you know, it's a hit dog that barks and we're going to see a lot of barking from Senator Obama.

And the Clinton people had better batten down, because David and people like that, that grew up in Chicago politics, they know the rough and tumble politics...

KING: So...

CARVILLE: ...and they know how to do this. And this is -- and Senator Obama today put them on notice. And I hope they take that notice seriously.

KING: All right, are you there for a non-paid consultant?

CARVILLE: Yes. I don't make it -- I haven't -- I haven't taken a nickel in any domestic political consulting since 1994. But I'm friendly with them. But I'm friendly with David, too. But I'm...

KING: All right, David...

CARVILLE: ...but I'm for Senator Clinton.

KING: David Axelrod, is James Carville right?

Is your candidate now slugging?

DAVID AXELROD, POLITICAL STRATEGIST, ADVISES BARACK OBAMA: Of course not. If there was barking dogs in New Hampshire, Larry, it was -- they were barking over in the Clinton camp. I think President Clinton and others were out there pounding away. And, look, I understand that that's -- you know, that's a tactic. And James is the best in the business. I feel like we must be making progress if they dragged the Hall of Famers out to talk for them on the air.

But the truth of the matter is, this isn't about attacking each other, it's about lifting up this country. We've got a badly divided country. Everyone knows that. We've got a Washington that's dominated by special interests. And we've got a lot of people in public life who are more interested in scoring political points than solving problems. And we need to change that. And that's -- everybody understands that. We're not getting these things done. We've got big problems...

KING: All right...

AXELROD: And we need to solve them. And that's why Obama is running for president -- not to tear Hillary Clinton down or anybody else.

CARVILLE: Well, let me read to you what he said, because I want to be sure I'm reading from the A.P. He said: "We're going to take it to them. I come from Chicago politics. We're accustomed to the rough and tumble."

I mean I'm just -- I'm giving you the man at his word, David...

AXELROD: And, James, you know, we (INAUDIBLE)...

CARVILLE: ...that we -- and, you know, just understand, this guy came up in Chicago politics. It's a rough and tumble world.


CARVILLE: And this hope stuff is -- that's kind of yesterday...


CARVILLE: ...(INAUDIBLE) deny it. Now we're in a battle.

AXELROD: James...

CARVILLE: And I understand that.

KING: All right, let him respond, Jim.


AXELROD: James, wasn't it your candidate who started her campaign by saying if someone comes after you, you deck them?

I mean let's not -- let's not play games here. The fact is for the last 48 hours, before the New Hampshire primary, the Clinton campaign sent out several negative mailings. President Clinton called, you know, the -- Obama's history or his campaign a fairy tale and went after him very, very hard.

I understand that. That's politics. What Obama is saying here is we're going to defend ourselves and we're going to fight for the things that we believe in. I think people want that in their presidential candidate.

KING: What...

AXELROD: But don't -- don't play the wounded party.

CARVILLE: I'm not...

AXELROD: The fact is, you guys did a very good job...

CARVILLE: I'm not playing...

AXELROD: ...of going after us in New Hampshire.

CARVILLE: I'm not playing... AXELROD: And we're going to have a good -- we're going to have a good...

KING: All right...

AXELROD: ...positive discussion over the next month about where we're going to take this country.

CARVILLE: I'm not playing the wounded part at all, David. I'm just saying that I understand it's going to be just like (INAUDIBLE) sent to Clinton for representing India's interests and not the United States. They attacked President Clinton. I don't know what Senator Obama's problem with is President Clinton's term in office.

Was it the peace or the prosperity?

But I understand that this is what's going to happen in politics. I understand...

KING: All right, let me get to...


KING: Guys, we're only in the first segment, so let me get a couple of quick questions in.

David, why -- what happened to Senator Obama in New Hampshire?


KING: All the polls had him -- were the polls wrong or did he go wrong?

AXELROD: Well, look, first, of all, Larry the polls were -- you know, six weeks ago, in leading up to this, Senator Clinton had a 23 point lead -- a 20 point lead. And we closed that. We had a near tie in New Hampshire yesterday. There were some robust polls on Sunday and Monday that I think were overstated.

And I think part of what happened is because of the nature of the New Hampshire primary, I think that a lot of people thought that race was over. So a lot of Independents went over and voted for John McCain. I think there were some women who were choosing between Obama and Hillary, who thought that she -- that he was going to win the race and they gave her a vote, who might not have given her a vote. And we had a very close race. And now we move on.

We've won one, she's won one.

KING: Now, what...

AXELROD: We go on to Nevada. We go on to South Carolina. And then February 5th...

KING: James...

AXELROD: And we'll have, as I said, a good discussion about where we should lead this country.

KING: All right.

What did it for Hillary, James?

CARVILLE: Well, I think that, you know, if you look at it, she talked about action. And, you know, there's a -- there's probably a recession going on. And she's the person that brought this up. She had a dynamic plan to try to get some stimulus out there.

You look at health care costs, they're up 16 percent. And I think people looked at this race and they said, you know, let this thing go on, because Senator Clinton is talking about the things that matter to us as America.

And if you watched the coverage of this race, if you watched just the rhetoric of it, you would never know that this country is facing some serious and fundamental problems. And I think that Senator Clinton is a person who has thought long and hard about this, who has a -- who's put out -- who talked about these things and taking action from day one and being ready. And I thought in that debate, when she -- she was the only person that mentioned a looming or a possibly existing recession in this country. People's lives are being affected by the failures of this administration and she's bringing it up.

KING: Is...

CARVILLE: And I think that was one of the things that made people take a second look at her.

KING: David, Karl Rove -- who certainly knows his way around politics -- he called Obama's "smarmy, prissy comment" about Hillary's likeability during Saturday's debate one of the keys to her winning.

You want to comment on that?

AXELROD: Well, I mean I'm not -- I've been commenting on Karl Rove's comments for eight years. I mean he commented on war and all kinds of other things in ways that were misleading and wrong. So I think he's wrong about this.

I just want -- I agree with James, that I think we have serious economic problems in this country. Last fall, Senator Obama released an economic plan including an $80 billion tax cut for people making $75,000 or less, to try and put some money in the pockets of hardworking people in this country, who are really in trouble right now. And that's really what's driving -- driving this recession.

So these things are important. I would note that in the exit poll, people who are concerned about health care voted in larger numbers for Obama because I think they appreciated his health care plan.

So, you know, as I said, we're going to have a great debate here...

KING: Are these...

AXELROD: ...and it's not going to be about...

KING: Obviously, just based on these 10 minutes.

AXELROD: calling. It's going to be about the future of this country.

KING: James, is it these two down to the wire?

CARVILLE: Oh, I think -- oh, yes, man. I don't think there's any doubt -- there never was any doubt that the Democratic nomination comes between these. And let me say, Senator Obama is a very talented politician. You know, he's very, very -- he's got good political instincts. He's got a good political team around him. David Axelrod is one of the best in the business. And, you know, he's a tough politician.

I think that Senator Clinton -- I'm just so delighted for her. She's such a warm and gracious person. And I'm personally just so crazy about her. And I'm just delighted to see this. And I think this...

KING: Oh, OK...

CARVILLE: ...(INAUDIBLE) go on for the party has to really pretty good...

KING: And we'll be...

CARVILLE: ...people running.

KING: We'll be hearing lots from both of you.

James Carville and David Axelrod, thanks a lot.

AXELROD: Thanks, Larry.

See you, James.

CARVILLE: All right, David.

You bet. Good luck and (INAUDIBLE).



CARVILLE: See you, man. (INAUDIBLE).

KING: There's more politics coming up. Our panel of experts, including Arianna Huffington and Ari Fleischer, have a lot to say about the primaries. Come back and find out what it is.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) CLINTON: It was a great moment for me and I think it really demonstrated what the people of New Hampshire have time and time again. They take a hard look at everybody. They ask a lot of tough questions and they render their judgment.

JOHN EDWARDS, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We have to make certain that every primary voter in South Carolina knows that I was born here. I know what your lives are like. I did have to read this in a book.

SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: My spirit is strong and I am ready to bring about change in America.

How about you?



KING: Let's meet an outstanding panel.

In Manchester, New Hampshire, Ed Schultz, the nationally syndicated radio host.

Here in Los Angeles, Arianna Huffington, the founder and editor of, the best-selling author of "On Becoming Fearless."

In New York, Margaret Hoover, the Republican political and media strategist, just back from New Hampshire. She was deputy finance director for Rudy Giuliani's exploratory committee. She's also worked for the Bush administration.

And in New York, old friend Ari Fleischer, former White House press secretary. He also served as senior communications adviser and spokesman for the Bush-Cheney campaign.

All right, Ed Schultz, where are we in this -- in this mishmash?

ED SCHULTZ, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Well, it's a very exciting time, Larry. I think the polls in New Hampshire were correct. I just think it was a very compelling human moment by Hillary Clinton that hit a demographic that really identified with her emotion and that shifted everything. It just goes to show how volatile this race is going to be and how fluid it is and how every word and every emotion played out on the campaign trail is going to be under the microscope. I think it's pretty exciting and...

KING: Margaret...

SCHULTZ: ...I...

KING: Margaret Hoover, would you call it wide open on both sides?

MARGARET HOOVER, GOP STRATEGIST: I think it absolutely is. I think we've always, in the past, seen these races that are about momentum, where every candidate has three weeks to six weeks between each new primary state. With five days between primary states -- or two weeks at the most, this is not about momentum. This is about math. This is about adding up delegates. It's much more like a boxing match where some people win, some people lose another. But you're on to the next one. You add up the points at the end, as opposed to this marathon, where it's a stretch and you gain momentum and you -- somebody pulls ahead, somebody pulls behind. This is -- this much more a flash in the pan. And it's very different than we've ever seen it before.

KING: All right, Arianna, give me an assessment of how we got to this.

ARIANNA HUFFINGTON, FOUNDER, THE HUFFINGTON POST: Well, my first assessment is that this is really the Katrina of the polling industry. There really should be a very serious investigation of what happened to the polls. Because if you really analyze how much time we spend looking at these polls in print and...

KING: But they don't mean anything.

HUFFINGTON: No, but, you know, the amount of...

KING: They're just (INAUDIBLE). People have still got to vote.

HUFFINGTON: The amount of oxygen that is consumed by these polls, the amount of political conversation that is dominated by the polls -- we need investigate how inaccurate, in fact, they are. And today we have an enormous amount of explanations from the pollsters, saying, well, the period was compressed, well, the response rates were different, there were too many undecideds.

Well, why didn't they make all these qualifications -- all these providers -- when all of these results were discussed, you know?

KING: But that's us. The people don't care. The people go and vote.

HUFFINGTON: I know, but, you know, it's not only that. It's also the polling industry is putting all those polls out without all the small print.

KING: All right, Ari, what's your assessment of where we are and how we got to this point?

ARI FLEISCHER, FORMER WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY FOR GEORGE W. BUSH ADMINISTRATION: Larry, after Iowa, my advice to everybody was to take a deep breath. And my advice after New Hampshire is to continue to hold it.


FLEISCHER: This thing remains wide open. And looking at the numbers today, Larry, the most important number within a number that I saw, on the Republican side, was John McCain actually beat Mitt Romney in New Hampshire among Republicans by the same margin he won among Independents. That's vital, because in 2000, when John McCain ran against my old boss, George Bush, people forget, en route to losing, John McCain actually won seven primaries. They were all primaries where Independents reign supreme, plus his home state of Arizona.

Now, if John McCain can win where Republicans reign supreme -- and by that I mean closed primaries where only Republicans vote, as opposed to 2000, where he won where Independents could vote, John McCain has put himself in a very strong position.

It's still wide open. But McCain you've got to view as the frontrunner for the Republicans now, I have to say.


KING: Ed, why did Clinton win?

SCHULTZ: Well, I think Senator Clinton won because she appealed to a very specific demographic with her emotion that she didn't even know she was doing. It was a very human moment. And, Larry, I've been all over this country. I don't think women in Iowa are different from the women in New Hampshire. But she caught the attention and she identified with a group of people that have had a struggle when it comes to equal pay and management opportunities and really getting up every day and fighting.

That's what she's talking about when she's talking about 35 years of in the struggle. And I think there wasn't time to poll anybody on it. I think the polls were correct. The next poll that came out was the actual vote. So I think it's a real demonstration of how every word you say and every day counts.

KING: Margaret, did your old friend Rudy -- is he playing it right waiting for Florida?

HOOVER: Sure. You know, everybody says this is an unprecedented strategy. But the truth is this, Larry, this is an unprecedented calendar. So we'll see what happens. But, honestly, you've got very different results between Iowa and New Hampshire. You'll likely see very different results between Michigan and South Carolina. But, when you get to Florida, it's the first state that has winner takes all -- 57 delegates. Whoever wins Florida has the five days of momentum that will take them into February 5th.

So, again, the calendar is so different, they're playing -- they're banking on the math. They're banking on the delegate counts and they're hoping that the momentum doesn't hurt them three -- the three weeks prior.

KING: We'll take a break.

And when we come back, Mike Bloomberg might well be in the news. We'll get the thoughts of the panel, starting with Arianna, right after this.


MCCAIN: And in all due respect to the -- my friends who are fine people who are running for the nomination of my party, they have no record of this kind of involvement in national security issues, as I have been. And Americans care a great deal about it.

CLINTON: And I'm going to do everything I can to make sure that it does fulfill the promises. We need to deliver on all of the change that everybody talks about. You know, when the cameras turn off and the speeches are done, what have we actually accomplished for people, to give them a better life?

That's what I care about.



KING: Group, CNN is confirming that Mike Bloomberg, the mayor of New York, has started a research effort to assess his potential candidacy. This has been confirmed to John King by a single source that King says is right up there.

What do you make of it, Arianna?

HUFFINGTON: Well, it confirms our own reporting at The Huffington Post. We had reported that he had brought on a foreign policy coach. There had been that meeting in Oklahoma. And that, in fact, he had said to a lot of people close to him that if Obama was the nominee, he would probably not enter the race. If Hillary Clinton was the Democratic nominee, he would be much more likely to enter the race.

And now we've had a comeback in New Hampshire yesterday. The timing fits perfectly with what he had said before.

KING: Will he be a major player if he comes in?

HUFFINGTON: He would be a major player. First of all, because he's going to bring in at least $2 billion, I hear. That's a lot of money to put into the race. And he is also somebody who has a great record as a mayor. He's socially moderate. He has to work out where he is on Iraq and foreign policy. But he will obviously be a major player.

KING: Ari, what do you make of this?

FLEISCHER: I have a hard time buying it, Larry. I think that, frankly, if he did get in, it would be a dream come true for Republicans. You have to remember, Mike Bloomberg is a Democrat. He was always a Democrat. He changed parties to run for mayor as a Republican and then he changed parties again to become an Independent.

So if he does get in, it would be great for -- for my side. But I still think, in the end, it's not something Mike Bloomberg will do.

KING: He would do to Democrats what Perot did to Republicans?

FLEISCHER: I think that's about the size of it, Larry. That's a good way to put it, yes. KING: Ed Schultz, what do you think?

SCHULTZ: I don't think Bloomberg has got national appeal, Larry. I think he's big in the Northeastern portion of the United States. But in the Republican Party, it is going to be a fight over the social conservatives. I don't think John McCain can beat Mike Huckabee down in South Carolina. I still say that Huckabee is the horse that's going to win this race. Mike Huckabee will eventually get James Dobson and Tony Perkins and that Family Research crowd, just like he got them down in Iowa. It's just a matter of time. I don't think McCain's going to get that vote and I don't think Bloomberg's going to get that vote.

KING: Margaret, what do you think of what Ed just said?

HOOVER: I don't think this is about Mike Bloomberg going after social conservatives on the Republican side. I think Ari is onto something. Ari -- Ari is absolutely right. Mike Bloomberg is a liberal. He was a Democrat before he was a Republican, before he was an Independent.

Look, he's looking to capitalize on an Independent wave that's going on out there in the country. He was just in Oklahoma at a conference for -- with folks determining whether there is momentum for an Independent run for president.

Does he have a couple of billion dollars he can throw at this?

Absolutely. But Americans are smarter than that. Look what happened to Mitt Romney in Iowa. He outspent Huckabee by 17 to one, according to some reports, and it didn't do him much good. So Americans are savvy voters when they come to the polls. It doesn't take billions of dollars to win the vote. It takes knowing who you are. And, look, the system is set up for a two party system.


HOOVER: It's very, very unlikely.

SCHULTZ: Larry, if I could just jump in and say that my -- let me clarify. I don't think that any Republican is going to get the nomination without the social conservatives behind them. And that's why Bloomberg is going to be a flash in the pan no matter how much money he's got.


SCHULTZ: Look how much money Mitt Romney spent down in Iowa.

KING: He won't run as a Republican.


SCHULTZ: It didn't do anything for him.

HUFFINGTON: But he's not...

KING: He's going to run as an Independent.

HUFFINGTON: He's not running as a Republican, he is running as an Independent.



KING: Arianna...

SCHULTZ: Look, it...

KING: Arianna, who is Bill Richardson going to endorse?

HUFFINGTON: Well, of course, that's really what's going on behind-the-scenes now, I'm sure. You know, he was very disappointing to the Clinton camp when he threw some of his second choice support to Obama on Iowa night. Terry McAuliffe was going around threatening -- which is, of course, his main modus operandi. So now it's going to be hard to see. I think we won't -- I'm not predicting anything anymore.


KING: We don't know, right?

HUFFINGTON: We don't know.

KING: Ari, as a Republican, who do you fear more, Hillary or Obama?

FLEISCHER: Well, there's an interesting development now underway. And when Bill Clinton, the other day, came out and attacked Barack Obama for flip-flopping on Iraq, I loved it. To the degree now that Barack Obama will not be going through a coronation -- which Republicans did fear -- if it's a real big fight that goes down to the wire between Hillary and Barack Obama, Republicans gain nicely from that in what presently is a very difficult environment for Republicans.

That's a silver lining here.

At the end of the day, I would still rather run against Hillary Clinton particularly in the ticket splitting Midwestern states, because she is -- her negatives are so high, she's so polarizing.

But Barack Obama, if he does win it, is going to emerge a much weaker Barack Obama. And Bill Clinton is one of the people trying to take him down.

KING: Ed Schultz, what Republican do you fear?

SCHULTZ: Michael Huckabee, because I think that he'll end up getting those social conservatives and they will play a big role. They can deep six candidates and they can prop candidates up. I think that it's still going to be an ideological divide in this country. Everybody is talking about Independents right now. Everybody is talking about independent thinkers. Eventually, as the fight goes on, there's going to be division then there's going to have to be healing. And this is what could injure the Democratic Party down the road, depending on how hot and heavy it gets between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.

HOOVER: People might...

KING: Margaret, does Romney -- does Romney have a shot?

HOOVER: You know, I think Romney suffered some pretty big setbacks.

Just on Ed's last point, though, I'd like to say, keep in mind, Ed, though, that the social conservatives are split between candidates. You had Pat Robertson endorse Rudy Giuliani, which seems very unlikely based on his social...

SCHULTZ: Pat Robertson is out of credibility.

HOOVER: Well, listen, he may be out of credibility...

SCHULTZ: Pat Robertson has also said that Chavez was going to be assassinated (INAUDIBLE)...

HOOVER: But the social conservatives have split their votes.

SCHULTZ: I mean come on.

KING: All right, let her finish.

All right, Arianna?

HUFFINGTON: You know, Ari made an interesting point when he referred to Bill Clinton's attacks on Obama. And I agree with Ed, that there was definitely a major factor in Hillary Clinton's authenticity and showing emotion.

But, also, let's not forget the negative campaigning that went on against Obama, both in direct mail, when he was portrayed as being against choice, which is, of course, completely untrue, and also in the fear mongering that went on. You know, Bill Clinton and Hillary talking about this being rolling the dice; Hillary Clinton saying that remember what happened when Gordon Brown left (INAUDIBLE) came to power and suddenly there was a terrorist attack.

KING: This is a...

HUFFINGTON: So these are also factors...

KING: Guys...

HUFFINGTON: ...that definitely had an influence.

KING: We're going to have you back, all of you, lots of you, because you're a terrific panel. And this tells us this is going to be a hell of a year.

When we return, Dr. Laura will be here. She has her own unique take on the candidates. She'll tell us what she thinks, too, about Britney and Lindsey and others. She won't pull any punches, either.

Don't go away.


Dr. LAURA SCHLESSINGER: I'm Dr. Laura Schlessinger and I do welcome you to this hour of the program.

You're in so much denial that I cannot help you. You can't argue with somebody who's not arguing back. So, your job is to not argue.

New adventure. New adventure, Sandy (ph). New people to love.

I'm Dr. Laura Schlessinger.



KING: It's always great to welcome Dr. Laura Schlessinger to LARRY KING LIVE, the nationally syndicated radio talk show host, "New York Times" best selling author, nine "New York Times" best sellers. Her newest now in trade paper is "The Proper Care and Feeding of Marriage." There you see its cover.

We'll cover lots of bases. We'll get to the book, of course.


KING: What's your view of the elections so far?

SCHLESSINGER: Oh, my gosh, nasty spatting. The thing that worries me the most, I read in the "Wall Street Journal" this morning, they were analyzing how Hillary came in front at the last minute and they were analyzing who did what from the exit polls. They said the women came to vote. OK?

Then I watch a news piece where they show a black reporter in a hair shop, barber shop, run by a black proprietor, and they're talking about blacks voting for Obama. The thing I worry about the most is people not voting for somebody because they're black, not voting for somebody because they're a woman, not voting for somebody because they're a Mormon or a Jew. I'm equally worried about somebody voting for all of those simply because they're that.

KING: Or vote for someone because they're white.

SCHLESSINGER: It doesn't matter whether you will or won't, it has to be the person. This is the leader of the free world. This is the person who is going to protect this country from international jihadism, and we need somebody who can do the job. We can't say, like Hillary said evidently in one news report I heard, that are you an agent of change -- because Obama's doing the change thing -- and she said well, I would be a woman in office. That is a change.

That can't be the reason anybody's in office. I wouldn't vote for somebody because they have a uterus.

KING: -- said gender probably is the most restricting force in American life.

SCHLESSINGER: Yes, that's why more women hold the money in America.

KING: You can't say women have been treated equally in this country?

SCHLESSINGER: Equally? You know what, on what basis?

KING: Equal pay.

SCHLESSINGER: If you listen to Larry Elder on KNBC in Los Angeles, what you hear is the statistics are always skewed when they talk about that, because they're comparing apples to oranges, as opposed to women who have made the same sacrifices and have the same amount of years of experience and are doing the same level of jobs, that it comes out to being close to equal.

KING: He's an anti-feminist, so why he is your regard?

SCHLESSINGER: Because he gives the facts. I don't care. You know what, fair is important. I get nasty e-mails because I defended Hillary with a tear. And I got nasty emails, we hate her, therefore you can't say anything nice. I'm trying to bring forth through my radio show and my books the concept of being fair. You don't have to agree with somebody, but to you say you hate them because you disagree, and to use each and every thing that you can find to undermine them simply because you have a disagreement? I mean it just wasn't fair what happened to her. I think it won her the election.

KING: It might have. We have an e-mail that fits right in from Miranda from Oakland, California. "Without necessarily endorsing anybody, what type of individual do you hope to see elected as our next president?"

SCHLESSINGER: Joe Lieberman. You can make Thompson his vice president. That's good for bringing different parties together. I want somebody who has the courage to not do what's politically correct, but will have America surviving. It's as simple as that. We're in a national --


SCHLESSINGER: Joe Lieberman, but he's not running.

KING: I know. Of those running do you have a favorite?



KING: Your mind's not made up? Are you a registered for either party?

SCHLESSINGER: Yes, independent.

KING: None of my business.

SCHLESSINGER: I don't mind answering it.

KING: What do we mean, "The Proper Care and Feeding of Marriage?"

SCHLESSINGER: Well, I wrote "The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands," because it was really clear -- since I did the show with you and we talked about that. We talked about the growing diminishment of respect for men, for husbands, for fathers, children of children, and that didn't make marriages very happy. And I wanted women to be happy. I am a woman. I want women to be happy.

And so I used that book to show them how adoring their man and respecting their man and being sensitive about his feelings and his needs made you happier and got more out of him. The obvious second part was to bring the entire thing together to show both men and women, regardless of the gender, how to bring pleasure into a marriage and make a marriage last. Because I get so many calls with people saying, I'm jealous, maybe my wife, my husband is looking at somebody else.

You know what? If you are the most loving, wonderful person to them, if you were adoring and sweet and kind and thoughtful and considerate and sexy, and all of that with them, nobody can drag them away from you.

KING: Is this for women?

SCHLESSINGER: No, this is for men and women.

KING: OK, why is marriage so difficult?

SCHLESSINGER: Because people are not living to make the other person appreciate that they're being alive and that they're with you. When you wake up in the morning and turn over and look at that person and give the thought to, what can I do to make that person happy they're alive, and married to me? If we're thinking about what we can give and two people are doing that, like the lift of the Maji (ph), the O'Henry story, then you have two happy people, even though there might be financial issues, kids are sick, relatives are crazy.

KING: That's obviously the perfect ideal. But why doesn't it occur?

SCHLESSINGER: I think because we don't support that enough. We support mostly in our society how you feel about your day, and are your needs being met. If I could think of one reason that people give me, time and time and time again on the show when I ask them why they had the affair or why they hurt their feelings, it's because, I wasn't getting my needs met. It's all about what I'm not getting. And people have forgotten that getting married is a pledge to make somebody else's life worth living.

KING: The book is "The Proper Care and Feeding of Marriage," a major best seller in hard cover, now out in trade paperback. What does Dr. Laura make of all the drama surrounding Britney Spears? Still ahead on LARRY KING LIVE.


KING: We're back with Dr. Schlessinger, the book "The Proper Care and Feeding of Marriage." OK, the Britney Spears story, as the world knows it, the family called Dr. Phil. Dr. Phil went there, but apparently nothing came of it. Give me your take.

SCHLESSINGER: Well, my take is that between Federline and her, we have at least four children who are going to have terrible problems. And my heart aches for the lack of the intact family, for the lack of the mommy and daddy who are going to be involved with them, for the media attention that's going to be in their lives. It's just all very, very sad.

And Britney's sister now making a baby as a teenager herself out of wedlock. Just the chaos that these four people have brought into the lives of children is -- I wish it were criminal.

KING: How does it happen?

SCHLESSINGER: Well, I think you said something very important in how you introduced the subject, this is a worldwide story. Why? OK? Why? There are people dying all over the world. We almost had a problem in between Iran and our boats. And this is such a big story. And these people --

KING: It is a story.

SCHLESSINGER: It gets made bigger, it gets emphasized. It almost gets cloned again and again and again. It's like there's something new to say about Britney? The new thing is to say that this is a horrendous impact on children, that their parents have them as toys, and games in between them, and have babies as frivolously as I change my hairdo.

KING: Is this poor parenting?

SCHLESSINGER: On their part, certainly. On their respective parents? You know, when you have two young women in a family who are so out of control, and so without, sort of, as they say, a moral compass and making decisions that are in the best interests of the innocent child, then you have to wonder what kind of support and direction they've been getting.

KING: What do you make of calling Dr. Phil in?

SCHLESSINGER: I don't really understand what that was about. But I was particularly horrified when this pathetic situation and this poor, sad, sick girl is now going to be used as a television show for ratings. That made me very sad. But I understand that's been yanked. At least somebody had some good sense and some taste.

KING: Can she -- you're a psychologist --

SCHLESSINGER: Family and marriage therapist.

KING: Can she be helped?

SCHLESSINGER: I don't know what her diagnosis is. If she availed herself of the support, and had a good therapist, yes.

KING: It's not hopeless, she's young enough, right?

SCHLESSINGER: Age doesn't have much to do it with it. It really depends on her motivation and the support system around her. She needs a better one. The ones she has seems more promoting exploitation of her than rescuing.

KING: Our guest is Dr. Laura Schlessinger. We check in with Anderson Cooper, the host of "AC 360," which comes up at the top of the hour. What's up tonight, Anderson?

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Larry, a lot of politics. If there was only one adage proven true last night in New Hampshire, it's this, anyone who says they know how a presidential race will turn out is either lying, stupid of both. The race has again turned on its head and nearly all the candidates put New Hampshire behind them today and sprinted out the door to try to keep up their momentum or make up lost ground.

We'll go live to where some of the front runners are tonight, as well as spend some time looking at how Hillary Clinton got her mojo back, her voice back as she said and why the polls had it so wrong.

We're also following breaking news about another name that could be making a late entry into this wild, wild race, and another who is dropping out. We'll have all those details at the top of the hour.

KING: That's Anderson Cooper, "AC 360" 10:00 Eastern, 7:00 Pacific. We'll be back with Dr. Laura right after this.


KING: "The Proper Care and Feeding of Marriage," the author, Dr. Laura Schlessinger. We have a King Cam question. Watch.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How long is too long to be a girlfriend? Specifically, is three years too long when you're over 40?


SCHLESSINGER: Three years is too long no matter what age you are, except 15. You know what? I've always told women on the air, if I were dating now, on the first date I would say, the reason I am dating is to find a husband. If you're not dating to find a wife, we don't have to have a second.

KING: Unless you don't want to be married.

SCHLESSINGER: Yes, but she does. And women make themselves very foolish. These days women are doing this all the time. I get these calls, letters, and I've even met people in personal situations who go, gosh, we've been going together three years, six years, we're shacking up; we're having sex, and he won't get married. Duh!

KING: An email from Alicia in California. "I've been married 20 years. My husband and I get along fine. The sex is OK, but I've never been in love with him. He knows this. He accepts it and wants to stay together. We have a 17-year-old. I'm willing to stay until he's 18. Would I be stupid to throw away 20 years in search of true love or should I stay put and appreciate what I have?"

SCHLESSINGER: You know what, she doesn't understand what love is. The 20 years and 17-year-old, and all they've had together and the warmth and the acceptance he's had for her, she's not going to leave and find that somewhere else. And, you know, I think people look for warmth, it's that panic attack feeling, as opposed to the admiration, and the adoration, and the respect and all of that. She would be making a horrendous mistake. Over 70 percent of the people who divorce regret it. They're willing to admit their lives are not better off.

KING: E-mail from Marilyn in California. "I've been married for five years. My husband recently revealed that he had invested 20,000 dollars on a piece of property in Alaska without telling me. I'm struggling with feelings of anger and betrayal. What can I do?"

SCHLESSINGER: OK, don't overdo the anger and the betrayal and the angst. I mean, I'm sure she's bought stuff without telling him she got the dress.

KING: You're saying, forgive him?

SCHLESSINGER: This is very big. Well, I don't know if she -- how she treats him when he comes up with ideas. You see, a lot of times you just read these things -- I don't mean you -- but one reads these things and one doesn't expand it out to the bigger picture. Perhaps she has been very diminishing towards him with any ideas he has. Perhaps she is pecuniary with money. And so he's trying to do things to better the family without getting her all crazy like she gets.

So it's hard to say what the rest of the picture is.

KING: An e-mail from Todd in Los Angeles, "what's the latest on your son and his military service? I read last year he was under investigation for allegedly posting offensive material on the Internet. What's going on?"

SCHLESSINGER: Oh, gosh, I can't believe you brought up something that was in the "National Enquirer" and in one tiny newspaper that had a grudge against me. My New Year's resolution is not to deal with stupid trash. I'm very proud of my son.

KING: It's not true then?

SCHLESSINGER: He's serving in Afghanistan in combat. As we speak, he has a gun in his hand. And I'm very proud of what he's been doing.

KING: Doesn't it make you a little nervous?

SCHLESSINGER: You know what? No. It is odd. It is odd. Because I talk to so many military type wives. I'm mostly proud. Before he left, I nervously said to him, you know, this is not like a video game. I mean, you're going to be shooting, which is cute, but they're going to be shooting back. And you could get hurt or get killed. I actually said the word. It almost choked in my throat.

He said, mother, mother, mother, the way I drive, it's a little fast. Now that he's driving Humvees, actually he's driving slower. But I could get killed on the freeway purposelessly. I don't want to die. But if I do, it will be doing something meaningful.

KING: How much more does he have to serve there?

SCHLESSINGER: Well, that touched me and it made me not sit and worry. He's there through the spring. And then he comes back and goes for special ops training.

KING: Is he Army?


KING: How is your husband dealing with it?

SCHLESSINGER: He's more the girl about it. He's more worried about it. You know, I'm just more stoic about it.

KING: You're more proud than fearful?

SCHLESSINGER: Yes, he's proud and fearful, my husband.

KING: The latter first. We'll be right back with more moments with Dr. Laura. Don't go away.


KING: We're back with Dr. Laura. What do you think of the Lindsay Lohan story? Here's a very talented girl, actress, singer, young, in and out, problems, alcohol.

SCHLESSINGER: I think over the years you've heard talk from so many young people who get into the industry very young and have money and accolades and drugs and drinking and sex and all of this, and I think their lives get out of control, and that they don't come from families with a strong marriage behind them from their parents, and a religious background, and, you know, a family structure around them.

I think it's just really too easy for young people to fall off the good track and then throw away the qualities they had that they could have used to do great things. It's sad.

KING: San Diego, hello.

CALLER: Hello.

KING: Hi, go ahead.

CALLER: I have a question for Dr. Laura.

KING: Sure.

CALLER: I wanted to know what her thought was on marriage and how often does she think a couple should make love? I've been married for seven years.

KING: Is there a specified time for sex?

SCHLESSINGER: You know, some people think of sex and they think, we go through this routine, and then we have intercourse, and we have to do that that way every day. My theory is, 15 minutes, minimum, every day, just fool around with each other, hug, kiss, caress, whatever comes from that, 15 minutes every day.

KING: Not bad. We have another King Cam question for Dr. Laura.


KING: Watch.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My question, Dr. Laura, is this; my girlfriend wants me to take money from her parents and I am not comfortable doing that. Am I being unreasonable?


SCHLESSINGER: Yes, a real man, OK. That girl will not make him into a pet.

KING: Don't take it.

SCHLESSINGER: Don't take it. And, you know what, get rid of a girl who's going to be a daddy's girl.

KING: An e-mail from Terry in Omaha. "I'm a long-time listener and it's paid off. I've been happily married for 12 years and I'm a stay at home mom with three kids. I just want to know if your one- woman stage show is going to be available on DVD?" SCHLESSINGER: No, because I'm taking it around the country. Someday maybe.

KING: How does it work?

SCHLESSINGER: Next week I'm going to be in Portland, Oregon to do my one woman show Friday and Saturday.

KING: How does it work? You go into a theater?

SCHLESSINGER: Yes, it's a regulation theater. And there's no script. There's me and the audience for two hours.

KING: Do you speak or just take questions?

SCHLESSINGER: They fill out four by six cards and I weave them in and out of stories, and things about my life, and things that have been in the news, and make commentary. It's very funny. It's very dramatic. It's very moving.

KING: Very good idea. Toronto, hello.

CALLER: Good evening. Dr. Laura, I know you're very blunt. How do you deal with a woman -- I've heard you in the past, actually, in Toronto on a show years ago, and I know that you're not for abortion and you believe that's murder. How do you deal with a woman -- do you think it's positive to deal with a woman so bluntly and tell them that? Aren't they going to be walking away feeling worse?

SCHLESSINGER: I'm a marriage and family therapist. If somebody calls me in advance of wiping out their kid, I try tell them there's another A-word, which is adoption, and to know that you gave life and gave life to a family so a family unit could enjoy what families have together has got to be a very good feeling. It's got to be a better feeling than knowing that there's a death because of a decision you made. Life has got to be a better feeling.

KING: Working on another book?

SCHLESSINGER: Yes, as a matter of fact, March, I'm coming out with "Stop Whining, Start Living."

KING: "Stop Whining, Start Living." Why do you point to me? I take that personally now.

SCHLESSINGER: I don't think you whine. I reserve --

KING: Are you don with it?

SCHLESSINGER: Yes, it's going to be out in March?

SCHLESSINGER: I reserve a certain amount of time for whining. It's not that I'm anti-whining. I'm pro-whining in its time and place.

KING: Still love radio? SCHLESSINGER: I'm going to be doing it posthumously.

KING: If anyone will, you will. Thanks, Dr. Laura.

SCHLESSINGER: Always a pleasure.

KING: My pleasure. Dr. Laura Schlessinger, nine best sellers in the "New York Times," and this paperback could be the tenth, "The Proper Care and Feeding of Marriage." Check us out at You can email upcoming guests, download our podcasts or check out our King of Politics section. We've got quick votes, video clips and transcripts, too, all at

Now it's time for my man Anderson Cooper and "AC 360." Anderson?