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CNN LARRY KING LIVE

The Economy: Panic Time?; Interview With Elisabeth Hasselbeck

Aired January 17, 2008 - 21:00   ET

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


LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, is it time to hit the economic panic button?
The stock market takes another big drop. The mortgage mess grimmer than ever. And now the country's top money man warns Congress -- do something now.

Our money experts tell you how to make it through the financial freefall.

Plus, Elisabeth Hasselbeck with "The View".

Is she getting along with Whoopi and Sherri?

How would she counsel Brittany?

And could she vote for Hillary?

All next on LARRY KING LIVE.

Good evening from New York.

If you haven't done so already, fasten your financial safety belts. We're in the middle of a very scary ride. The Dow Jones Industrial Average tumbled more than 300 points today, extending its new year nosedive. And adding to the gloom, more weak numbers from the housing sector.

The president and lawmakers are talking stimulus proposals. Mr. Bush is scheduled to address the issue in a speech tomorrow. The Fed chairman tells Congress he's in favor of juicing the economy right away but won't endorse specifics.

Now, what the heck are ordinary folks supposed to do?

We have an outstanding panel.

Here in New York Jean Chatzky, contributing editor for "Money" magazine and a regular contributor to the "Oprah Winfrey Show". She's the best-selling author of -- her most recent book is "Make Money, Not Excuses".

In Nashville, Tennessee is Dave Ramsey, host of the nationally syndicated radio program that bears his name, best-selling author, as well, of "The Total Money Makeover".

In Phoenix, Arizona is Kim Kiyosaki, professional investor, best- selling author of "Rich Women: A Book On Investing for Women Because I Hate Being Told What To Do."

And, finally, our own Gerry Willis here in New York, CNN's personal finance editor, the host of CNN's "OPEN HOUSE," Saturday mornings at 9:30 Eastern. And her book is "Home Rich: Increasing the Value of the Investment of Your Life." That comes out in March.

We'll start with Gerri.

What are we going to do?

GERRI WILLIS, CNN PERSONAL FINANCE EDITOR: What are we going to do?

Well, we're very likely to go into a recession, if we aren't already there. And it looks like Ben Bernanke is saying that the federal government has to come in and spend some very big bucks -- as much as $100 million -- to get the economy going.

But the bad news here is you may get 600 bucks in the mail, but what's that going to do for your budget long-term?

You have to be thinking more broadly about how you're going to save yourself.

KING: What caused this, Kim?

KIM KIYOSAKI, AUTHOR, "RICH WOMEN: A BOOK ON INVESTING": Well, I think Gerri's right and there is going to be a recession coming. I don't think the government has any way to bail us out of this. I really think it's a perfect storm of oil prices -- energy prices going up, the whole subprime mess, the weakening dollar, unemployment going up, the retail sales are dropping. So it's a perfect storm that's really causing it all. And it's a global problem, not just a U.S. problem.

KING: Jean, are we in a recession or if you feel it, is it don't matter?

JEAN CHATZKY, AUTHOR, "MAKE MONEY, NOT EXCUSES": It really doesn't matter, as long as you feel it. And I personally do think that we happen to be in one right now. The question is, what can you do to shore up your personal balance sheet?

KING: Correct.

CHATZKY: And when we hit these times of low interest rates before -- and the Fed has indicated that it will be cutting interest rates again -- half of America took the opportunity to really shore up their finances. They refinanced their mortgages down to lower interest rates. They consolidated their credit card debt. They focused their student loans and they really put themselves in a better situation.

The other half of America sat there and spent money. And the question that you have to ask yourself right now -- again, as Gerri said, if you get that $600 tax rebate check in the mail, what are you going to do for you -- to make this ride a little built easier? KING: Dave Ramsey, the average person, when he gets something or -- he doesn't say I wonder what my neighbor is doing, does he?

He does what he thinks is best for him or her.

DAVE RAMSEY, AUTHOR, "THE TOTAL MONEY MAKEOVER": Well, absolutely. And Jean is exactly right. I think if you sit around and wait on Washington to come up with a program to solve your problems, you've got a long wait -- I'm from the government and I'm here to help -- that's a scary thought. And I think we do need to stop just a second, though.

When I was in economics class, the definition of a recession is six consecutive months -- two consecutive quarters of a shrinking gross domestic product. We have not had one month yet of a shrinking gross domestic product. We have a slowed growth rate. Bernanke was talking about that today. As a matter of fact, the quote from him is, is that the U.S. economy is not facing a recession, but will suffer from slower growth for at least a year.

We had a growth rate of running about 3 percent. We're running about 1.5 percent right now. By definition, that's not a recession.

KING: OK...

RAMSEY: Is it as good as it was?

No.

KING: Gerri, but if you're losing your house or your job, you're in a recession.

WILLIS: Two million Americans have faced foreclosure in the last year and more are expected to.

KING: They're in a recession.

WILLIS: They're in a recession and they're feeling the pain. And if you live near those people, your home value is going down, too. This is a -- you know, a domino effect that's going on across the country. People out there, they have to take advantage where they can. Right now, because of what's going on in the market, interest rates are down to 5.2 percent. That's the good news.

The bad news is you're going to have to be careful about your job, protect your job to the degree you can, to make sure the income is rolling in and make sure that you're doing the right thing with your house, that you have a great mortgage.

KING: By the way, anyone can jump in at any time. Just don't over talk.

Kim, what does President Bush say tomorrow?

KIYOSAKI: Well, I think President Bush is looking for kind of a quick fix, to be honest, and I don't think there is one. When you talk about a recession, the definition of a recession is when your neighbor loses their house. But a definition of depression is when you lose your house. And right now I think there's a lot of people that are very scared, are very worried. They're hearing recession, recession. We're hearing all the negative news. And so my advice to people if you are scared, if you are worried, is take a deep breath. Don't panic. And this is the time now more than ever to really truly get smarter about your money and get smarter about -- learn about it, pay attention, be actively involved and don't wait for somebody else to take care of you. Because the only one -- as you say -- the only one that's going to take care of your finances and be concerned about your money is you.

KING: Is you.

What's the president going to say tomorrow, do you think?

CHATZKY: I think the president is going to say you're getting a tax refund. You're getting money in the mail and...

KING: Everyone in America?

CHATZKY: ...and we want you to spend it. And Americans...

KING: How much?

CHATZKY: As Gerri said, it could be as high as $600. It could be more. But the point is people should look at their own individual situations and decide whether or not they should spend that money. This is not a time when it's up to you or to me or to Gerri to go out and prop up the economy. This is the time to look really hard at what our situation is and say do I have credit card debt that I need to pay back?

KING: Dave, where does that money that the president will give us come from?

RAMSEY: Well, it's simple. It's just going to be reduced revenues coming into the IRS. So the IRS just won't bring as much into the government if they simply send us some of our money back. It's our money we sent up there in the first place, so it's not like they're doing us some big favor.

(LAUGHTER)

RAMSEY: But -- and, really, $600 is not going to change our life. If it changes the perception in the marketplace, stops some of the whining -- I mean the stock market is throwing a hissy fit right now. And when it gets over it, it will be fine. And the Kiyosakis are in a wonderful industry to be in right now -- real estate. Man, what a great time to buy some real estate.

KIYOSAKI: I agree. I agree.

RAMSEY: What a great time to buy some mutual funds. You're at K- Mart and the blue light is on.

KING: (LAUGHTER)

I love going to Dave.

Our experts will be back right after the break with more on how to weather this financial storm.

Don't go away.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BEN BERNANKE, FEDERAL RESERVE CHAIRMAN: Recently incoming information has suggested that the baseline outlook for real activity in 2008 has worsened and that the downside risks to growth have become more pronounced.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: John Chu (ph), live viewer. He makes $50,000, $60,000 a year. What does he do?

WILLIS: Right now?

You want to make sure that you've got enough money in the bank in case you lose your job. You want emergency savings. You want to make sure you've got a safety net -- maybe even take out a home equity line of credit so that if you do lose your job, you can pay your mortgage for the next two or three months until you get a new one.

KING: In other words, take care.

WILLIS: Take care. Take care. And then take advantage of the opportunities out there, because there are many.

KING: Kim, what would you tell our friend?

KIYOSAKI: I would say if you've got -- if you're living on just 50,000 a year -- and, understandably, the number one thing is, again, this is waking people up to say hey, I've got to pay attention. So it is about taking charge of your personal finances.

And what I would do is I would sit down and I would take a good honest look -- and I mean honest, because it's very easy to lie to yourself about no, I really don't spend that much money.

But how much have I got coming in? How much have I got going out and what do I need?

Because so many people are worried or confused because they don't know where they are. So the first step is find out where you are and then take action to where you want to get to.

RAMSEY: The good news is that...

KING: Jean, what would you add? I'll come right to you, David, in a second Dave.

RAMSEY: OK.

KING: Jean, what would you add?

CHATZKY: I would add don't panic. Right now is not the time to stop investing in your 401K. It's not the time to stop putting money in your kid's 529 accounts, because, as Dave said, I'm not sure that we are in Kmart and the blue light is exactly on yet, but I can't tell you when it's going to go on. And so we want to be...

KING: Should you buy stocks?

KIYOSAKI: Absolutely. I buy them all the time -- every single month, dollar cost averaging in.

KING: Dave?

RAMSEY: Jean, I think that's excellent advice. I totally agree. I made an investment in a growth stock mutual fund today. And the reason is I'm investing thinking with a five year, a 10 year, a 20 year mind set. The same as the Kiyosakis do in real estate. And I buy some real estate, too. Tampa, Florida, the real estate is pretty crummy right now.

Is it going to be crummy five years from now?

No. You buy it right now, five years from now you're going to be a genius. If you own a home there, hold onto it and do what Gerri said. Keep that good grandma's rainy day fund because, hey, we're in the middle of a rainstorm. That's the bad news.

The good news is it makes people get their umbrellas out and pay attention.

CHATZKY: This is actually very important. Your money that is out there for the long-term -- for the next five years, 10 years 20 years and into the future, that's the money that belongs in the market. But the money that you need in the short-term, in the next one to three years, never has belonged there.

KING: We sent our King Cam cameras out on the streets of Manhattan today.

Let's get a question.

Watch.

PAUL MERRILL: Hello. My name is Paul Merrill (ph). My question is about the subprime mortgage mess.

And I'm wondering, how did we get into it?

Did this become something that is sold as an investment that wasn't available before? Did a law change?

Was this a loophole that brokerage firms figured out they could sell?

KING: Gerri, what happened?

WILLIS: You know...

KING: Good question.

WILLIS: ...it's a good question and, you know, it's one of those words -- people think what does subprime mean?

But at the end of the day, here's what happened. Money became very cheap and Wall Street found out a way to build an investment that was attractive to everybody on the globe. And these were subprime mortgages that were rolled together. These...

KING: Meaning -- sub meaning?

WILLIS: Sub prime meaning that the people who took out the mortgages didn't qualify for prime mortgages. They had worse credit ratings. They weren't capable of handling a very big mortgage. And so these mortgages came in and a lot of people bought them and then they were packaged and sold to investors all over the globe. That demand for that investment -- which did so well -- created a demand for more of those mortgages and the loans were made willy-nilly all over the place.

KING: Let's include a phone call from Knoxville, Tennessee. KING: Let's include a phone call from Knoxville, Tennessee.

Hello.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, hi, Larry.

KING: Hi.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The question I have -- first of all, I wanted to thank you for having Dave Ramsey on your show because he's a very wise man. I listen to him every day.

The question that I have is why are so many people requesting that the government bail out all of these people from making extremely foolish mortgage decisions?

They couldn't afford these homes.

Why should the government have yet another welfare program and bail them out again?

KING: Let's ask that of your friend Dave.

RAMSEY: Well, the government doesn't have a program right now to bail out subprime mortgages. There has not been a government bailout. And the stimulus package that Bernanke has got all over the news today doesn't involve the subprime bailout at all.

The only subprime bailout that there was -- and it was misnamed a bailout -- was just the government actually talked the mortgage companies into doing something that was smart, which was not taking back houses that they didn't want right now and freezing interest rates so that they didn't force people into foreclosure.

And these are people that shouldn't have had a mortgage in the first place. They're high interest, rip-off mortgages with big time prepayment penalties. And these are folks that weren't ready -- they didn't have that emergency fund. They were still deeply in credit card debt. They had messed up lives. And they weren't ready to buy a house. And when they bought a house, they made themselves, the bankers and now, a segment of our economy, into a mess.

KIYOSAKI: If I can add, you know, I own a lot of apartment buildings. And it wasn't rocket science to figure out when I was turning down prospective renters because they didn't qualify to rent my place, but then they'd go across the street and they qualified for a home loan. At that point, you know something's wrong.

RAMSEY: Koo-koo. Exactly. Koo-koo.

KING: How much of this can be placed, if any, blame, Jean, on President Bush?

CHATZKY: I think you have to look at the economy as a whole. You know, we're throwing around a lot of blame here. Your caller wanted to put the blame...

KING: Well, Hoover got blamed for the Depression.

What part does the president play?

CHATZKY: I think that the president plays some part. But I think that Wall Street is culpable. I think that individuals were responsible, to some degree, for reading the paperwork that was put in their lap.

KING: A plague on all their houses?

CHATZKY: Well, not exactly. But I think this is an -- this is a time when everybody is going to come together and we're going to have to all work together individually and the government in order to right this ship.

WILLIS: You know, there were no regulations about this. You know, the cops were off the beat, clearly. So that it wasn't just people with poor credit histories that ended up getting subprime loans. They were sold to everybody. And I think there are big problems with that.

KING: We've got to get a break.

When we come back, we'll have another caller and another King Cam question.

Don't go away.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: Let's get another call for our panel.

Reno, Nevada, hello.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hello.

I'd like to know why it is with this subprime debacle and the savings and loan fiasco of years ago that the banks aren't punished for their misdeeds.

KING: Kim?

KIYOSAKI: Well, I think the banks are getting punished because they're in a heap of mess right now. I think the whole subprime debacle is a combination, truly, of greedy, aggressive lenders and ignorant borrowers. And it's almost like a microcosm of what needs to happen. What needs to happen, I think, is we need to go back to the fundamentals -- you don't lend money to people who can't pay it back. And for the borrowers, they just need to get smarter. They need to pay attention. They need to read those documents. They need to be actively involved in what they're getting into financially.

RAMSEY: I think Kim is exactly right.

KING: We'll take another King Cam...

RAMSEY: The market punishes the greed.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.

RAMSEY: It does come home to roost.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.

RAMSEY: And, you know, a case in point is Countrywide, the largest mortgage lender and servicing agent in the nation is now being bought at the very -- at the edge of bankruptcy. Bank of America buys them out to save them.

KING: Let's get another King Cam question out of the streets of Manhattan.

KIMBERLY: Hi, my name is Kimberly.

And, actually, I have a question about the financial state of the economy. I work in financial services. I work on Wall Street. I see the market going down every day. I'm wondering if Bernanke is going to actually come out and announce that the economy is in a recession, and if that would help and possibly, you know, going into the presidential election, if that's also going to help the state of the economy.

KING: Gerri?

WILLIS: Well, he came as close as he possibly could today to saying we're in a recession.

KING: But he didn't nearly...

WILLIS: That's -- I don't think he's going to say the "R" word. He's going to say here's what we should do. We should put some money into people's pockets so they'll go out and spend it.

KING: What's wrong with saying the "R" word?

WILLIS: It's like against the religion of Federal Reserve chairmans. They just don't say it.

You know why?

Because it gives the whole economy and everybody a lack of confidence.

KING: What's the effect on the campaigns, Jean?

CHATZKY: We've got to have a lot -- we will have more people talking about what we need to do to get ourselves out of this jam. And that's a good thing, because it will get the voters to focus on what we can all do to improve our own balance sheets at home.

KING: Kim, it will effect the Republicans, one would think, more as the incumbent party.

KIYOSAKI: Well, I'm not sure that either the Republicans or Democrats are going to be able to do anything to solve this problem anyway. I think they're going to be talking about it and it probably would be more beneficial to the Republicans. But I really -- either way, there's nobody out there that's going to solve this problem. I really think the markets have got to, you know, let the markets do what they do naturally. Let them take -- run their course. And then let things work out.

But this is a wake up call for the whole country and for the world. And it's an opportunity.

Do we learn from it or do we back away and try to put a Band-Aid on it?

CHATZKY: Absolutely right. We're living in this environment where people are spending more money than they make.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.

CHATZKY: And we've been in this environment for a very long time...

KING: That never works.

CHATZKY: ...and until that changes, we've got a real problem.

KING: Richmond, Virginia, we've got a call.

hello.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hello.

Yes, I have a variable annuity that I got into about -- back in late 2003. And originally it was making good money. And -- but for the past three years, or since late 2004, it has not made any money and -- or it will go up like a couple of thousand dollars and then, most recently, it's lost everything it gained. So now it's back down to what it was in late 2004. So I wanted to ask...

KING: What's the question?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, my question is what can I do -- what are my options as far as if I want to roll this money over so that there are no tax consequences, so that I can possibly -- other than a fixed annuity -- so that I can possibly make more money or put it in a vehicle where it will make money.

KING: OK.

Dave, a question right out of today's economy.

What does he do?

RAMSEY: Yes. It's exactly the wrong thing to do right now. The variable annuity is an annuity covering over good mutual funds or not so good mutual funds, maybe, in his case. I don't know. If you've got bad mutual funds with poor track records selected within that annuity, you may want to reselect.

But it's exactly the wrong time to bail out of the market. This is not a reason to panic because you look down today and your stocks dropped. If you're in a variable annuity, resituate your portfolio. And you may have needed to do that anyway.

But if I were to look at my personal 401K today or some of my investments, they're way off today.

And you know how much I care?

I don't, because I'm not doing it for today. I'm doing it for five to 10 years. What Jean said earlier in the show was brilliant on that.

KIYOSAKI: And, Dave, I think that's such a good point, too, because people forget -- markets go up and markets go down. And the people that are going to win are more the long time investors.

KING: All right, let's go around.

Gerri, are we optimistic or pessimistic short-term?

WILLIS: Short-term I think we're in recession and we're going to have to deal with it. And you're going to take care of your family and make sure you have enough savings and keep investing in the market. I looked at numbers today about what the stock market does during a recession.

If you're getting out of the market right now, you're doing exactly the wrong thing because it starts taking off. It looks ahead into what's going on in the future and it will start taking off as -- as we get into this recession big time.

KING: Are you pessimistic or optimistic, Kim?

KIYOSAKI: Well, it depends on your definition. I think there is going to be a recession. I think the markets are going to be down for several years. But I also think there's huge opportunities, as Dave was saying earlier. There's a lot of opportunities in down markets but you've got to know how to spot the opportunities. That's why I keep saying it's about financial education. It's about learning how to find those opportunities because this actually could be a time, if you know what you're doing, to start building your financial security.

So I'm optimistic at the opportunities. I'm pessimistic that the economy will be coming down for several years.

KING: Jean?

CHATZKY: By the time we know we are actually in a recession, we're going to be halfway out of that recession. That's what the data shows. And...

KING: Meaning, so?

CHATZKY: Meaning you keep buying. Nobody is going to be able to call these numbers. Nobody is going to be able to call the exact bottom. And your best strategy as an individual who wants a future long-term is just to keep buying every single month. Build a diversified portfolio and know that at the end of the day, the stock market is a great thing long-term.

KING: Dave?

RAMSEY: On the short-term, I am optimistic and on the long-term I'm very, very optimistic. My friend Zig Ziegler (ph) says that economists have predicted 36 of the last two recessions.

(LAUGHTER)

KING: Will the president boost things up tomorrow?

Is that going to be a high for us?

WILLIS: Well, I think it's going to be the news that everybody expected. If he doesn't do it, then there's going to be a problem. We're all expecting that the president is going to come out and say, you know, let's put some money in people's pockets.

Now the expectation is there. If he doesn't do it, you're going to see the stock market tank, I think.

KING: So he will do something tomorrow? WILLIS: He will do something tomorrow.

KING: And, Kim, does that something need approval?

KIYOSAKI: I think he's going to do something -- I think the problem with putting money in people's pockets right now is if they're worried and they're nervous and I'm given extra money, I'm not going to go out there and acquire more debt. I'm either going to put it aside, save it in case things get worse...

KING: Yes.

KIYOSAKI: ...or I'm going to pay off debt. But I'm not going to go out there and spend a lot of money if I'm scared and nerves.

KING: Thank you all very much for a stimulating half hour.

We'll be having you on frequently -- hopefully with better news.

Jean Chatzky, Dave Ramsey, Kim Kiyosaki and Gerri Willis all participating in this discussion.

Next, Elisabeth Hasselbeck with her view on things. She has a secret passion. We'll reveal that.

All of that ahead when LARRY KING LIVE returns.

Don't go away.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ELISABETH HASSELBECK: I love that term, staunch Republican, as I'm -- I'm just only -- I'm never going to think about anything. I'm just -- I'm a Republican and that's all.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: Welcome back. And it's always a great pleasure to welcome Elisabeth Hasselbeck to LARRY KING LIVE. She's co-host, of course, of "The View," recently returned to the show after maternity leave for the birth of her second child, Taylor Thomas. Nice name.

HASSELBECK: Thanks.

KING: So you now have a girl and a boy?

HASSELBECK: I have a girl and a boy.

KING: What is it like so far? How old is Taylor now?

HASSELBECK: Taylor is two months, not sleeping.

KING: The daughter is?

HASSELBECK: Two and a half, not sleeping.

KING: So, you're not sleeping.

HASSELBECK: Nobody is sleeping in my house. But I think we'll get there. It took her awhile to sleep. I think it was eight or nine months before she went through the night. So my expectations are not that high, in terms of sleep now.

KING: What does she think of he?

HASSELBECK: She loves him. But they say, you know, my pediatrician told me that what we have to watch out for is that the toddlers love their little siblings to death. So you never leave them alone with one another.

KING: They smother them.

HASSELBECK: They do. Lots of cases of car seats coming off. You just have to really keep an eye on them. Larry, first thing she wants to do in the morning is run to him. She will wake him up. I just got him to sleep. What are you doing here? You're messing up the system. But she loves him. It's a blessing.

KING: How is the quarterback dealing with it?

HASSELBECK: He's used to handling tricky situations. This is nothing to him. He actually -- he's an incredible dad.

KING: He is?

HASSELBECK: He is. He actually loves being there and playing games, and, you know, holding Taylor, and I think he loves having a little girl, because she's right in the palm of his hands. But he loves having a little by.

KING: So he's not a jock, in that regard?

HASSELBECK: No. No.

KING: You took the little one to work.

HASSELBECK: I did.

KING: Is that going to be a regular thing, or not?

HASSELBECK: Probably not a regular thing. I'd like it to be more of a special thing. It was great to have him there the first day for me personally, because I would have had a little separation anxiety. So, it was a nice segue back into work.

KING: We have a clip of your first day back. Watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WHOOPI GOLDBERG, "THE VIEW": Please welcome back our own Elisabeth Hasselbeck. HASSELBECK: Hi. Hi. I missed you ladies.

(CROSS TALK)

GOLDBERG: He's looking in the camera. It's a little overwhelming for an infant.

HASSELBECK: It is. I thought I would bring a little testosterone to the table today.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: Wow, he is cute.

HASSELBECK: Thanks, Larry. Moms always think their kids are cute. I think he's little enough now where I can say, yes, he's cute. He's fun. I come home, and he just started making noises back, and cooing a bit. And he gives me big smiles.

KING: Congratulations.

HASSELBECK: Thank you.

KING: You are definitely not the new kid on "The View" anymore. What is it like? You are an old hand.

HASSELBECK: I am. I'm a vet now, I guess. It's great. Coming back, after being away for nearly two months, I wondered how it would feel, would it feel different, would it feel thrilling? And it felt as though I had been there the Thursday prior to that Monday when I came back. And I think that's the best sign that it kind of felt like coming back home, and, you know, I'm much more comfortable there now.

A lot of that has to do with being a mom. I feel as though I put less pressure on myself in some areas. And as I like to say, the big things got bigger and the small things got smaller to me. I feel like I have a little bit more even keel perspective on things.

KING: Is the group happier now?

HASSELBECK: Well, I can't speak for anyone but myself but --

KING: Does it feel better?

HASSELBECK: It feels great. It feels great. I think, like any friendship or relationship, there are things that click and things that don't. And I feel as though, right now, with Whoopi and Sherri and Joy and Barbara and myself, I feel as though we're a group of friends who sit around and are able to tackle any subject with so much respect and real love for one another.

KING: Even with disagreements?

HASSELBECK: Of course.

KING: You are the conservative of the group, right? HASSELBECK: I guess that's the case.

KING: How is Whoopi doing?

HASSELBECK: Whoopi's great. She is, you know, incredibly thoughtful, and funny, and I think she has a great way -- and I knew this when she would come and sit with us and visit and guest moderate. She has a great way of kind of sensing what needs to be done, when we need to move to another topic, and, kind of, you know, allowing the table to develop a conversation. And I think that's something that she's almost meant to do. I love her in that seat.

KING: Not going to dwell on Rosie. Have you heard from her?

HASSELBECK: I have heard from her since the baby. She actually sent some really nice gifts to Grace and Taylor and she sent an e- mail, and I sent one back. We had limited conversation. But I think we're at a good place. I do.

KING: That's over now then, huh?

HASSELBECK: It's over. And, you know, it's unfortunate, Larry, because I think people characterized the show and our friendship by that one day that everyone saw. And that was one snippet in time, and we are -- I think we're all -- you know, we're compositions. We're kind of made up of so many things. To judge us on just that one day is unfortunate. Thankfully, we've moved on. There's forgiveness and time. Those two things are a recipe for just a civil period right now.

KING: And the fact that, let's say you and Whoopi don't see eye to eye on issues doesn't affect your friendship?

HASSELBECK: Of course not. Honestly, it never affected my friendship with Rosie, either. I think I'm the type of person that if you have a difference of opinion, I respect that. I love it. I love the conversation. I think that's what "The View" is about. You know, Bill Getty and Barbara Walters created something there that is so special, indeed, people have tried to replicate it. It was never about the controversy. I think other people tried to focus on that.

KING: The male talk version didn't work. Somebody tried that, it didn't work.

We'll be right back with Elisabeth Hasselbeck. She's back. Don't go away.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HASSELBECK: It should be exhausting to become our president. It should be the most difficult thing you have to do. That question is so 2007, Joy.

JOY BEHAR, "THE VIEW": I know, but they asked it yesterday.

HASSELBECK: I don't think there's one spontaneous bit of politics going on. Don't get excited that the Republican has gone so soon lately.

BEHAR: I'm sure we'll find another one.

HASSELBECK: I will be back to torture you all.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: We're back with Elisabeth Hasselbeck, co-host of "The View." Her husband and brother-in-law are both quarterbacks in the National Football League, not bad. You discuss often on "The View" intimate subjects, sometimes racy subjects. Is that ever difficult for you?

HASSELBECK: Those are probably the most difficult subjects for me in that area. I do like to keep private things private. But, you know, I also know it's a safe place to discuss those issues with the women. And you almost forget that everybody is hearing those conversations, including your mother in law, your dad. They happen to hear them sometimes. So, it's fun to discuss it at times, but you'll see me get a little uncomfortable.

KING: Why does "The View" work?

HASSELBECK: It's a special show, Larry. It works because there's trust. It works because, obviously, as I've said before, it was created so that you could have a safe place, and you come and talk about these issues. I was a viewer before I was a panelist. I would watch the show and yell back at the TV and I would definitely run on the treadmill and want to run into the screen and jump into the conversation. You feel as though you know the women. That's how -- I would watch it, and feel as though I knew Meredith, that I could sit down and talk with her.

And then, before I knew it, there I was. And I think it just is so real, and I think women have these conversations with one another. They are at the coffee shop. They are at their homes. They are on the telephone. And they are having these kinds of talks. It's just a comfortable environment.

KING: After a long string of temporary co-hosts, we have come up with Sherry Shepherd. How is she doing? She's a little controversial. How is she doing in your opinion?

HASSELBECK: Sherry's doing great. Sherry has a great way of taking a situation, which maybe has a little bit of tension, and throwing something funny into it. She has so many stories. We could be talking about anything, but she just pulls out something from her past, and has a great way of segueing into something hysterical. I think that she has really, speaking from someone who had to jump in as the new girl, I think that she's done a tremendous job.

KING: But she's taken a lot of flak. Have you given her flak advice? Because you have taken flak.

HASSELBECK: I think you just have to flick the flak.

KING: Flick the flak.

HASSELBECK: Flick the flak.

KING: Does she let it roll off her?

HASSELBECK: I think she does. I think she does. And I think you have to -- you are going to have reaction to things that you say. And I think if you are trying to please everybody, you end up, A, not doing your job properly, and really, you end up pleasing no one, and you certainly don't please yourself. I think you just have to let those things roll, understand that half the people are going to love what you say, half the people are going to hate what you say. Just say what you mean and mean what you say. And that's the best you can do.

KING: Speaking a negative press, and people getting negative; what is your read on Britney Spears?

HASSELBECK: You know what's interesting, people have asked me, and they have kind of formatted it as though, hey, you are a mom of young kids. You are a new mom. What do you think she should do? And I don't think at all that the fact that I'm a young mom qualifies me to give advice to Britney or understand where she is.

I think that -- you know, I think as a country, we took a lot from Britney, and we loved her videos. We bought her music. We wanted to know what she was wearing, what she was doing, who she was dating. And now I think the best thing we can do is -- unless you are in her inner circle and can actually do something for her, I think the best thing people can do is just give her space to get better and to heal up.

KING: Do you think we wish her well or not?

HASSELBECK: Do I think we should?

KING: We should wish her well. Do you think we do wish her well?

HASSELBECK: I would hope so. I would hope so, but I also think we're in a world that sort of enjoys seeing the demise of another, unfortunately. It's sad. And I think that we should really just take the time and give her that space that she needs so that the people can really help her.

KING: How do you like working with Barbara Walters?

HASSELBECK: I love working with Barbara.

KING: You grew up watching Barbara Walters.

HASSELBECK: I have been watching Barbara for a long time, and I have had such respect for her for such a long time. And I don't know that I've met another woman that works as hard as she does or does as much research as she does. She's constantly -- you know, someone's coming on with a book, she has read every word. She wants to know so much about people that it's incredible. The example she sets is outstanding.

KING: Elisabeth Hasselbeck is with us. Great to see her, the wonderful co-host of "The View." I've been on "The View" a few times. Never dull.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARBARA WALTERS, "THE VIEW": I was on "The Today Show." You could no more be seen pregnant. They would have to shoot you like this. And now --

HASSELBECK: Now, you can do this, right here on "The View." I mean, times have changed. Times have really changed.

You use the pump and you are like this, after you have it on, see?

(CROSS TALK)

HASSELBECK: Here's your Latte.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: We're back with Elisabeth Hasselbeck. You gave an impassioned prime time look, view, rather, speech at the 2004 Republican convention about breast cancer. Let's take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HASSELBECK: Quite possibly, breast cancer has knocked on the door or will break down the door of the woman sitting beside you tonight. Our weapons are awareness, research, and funding. Their medals of honor are pink ribbons. And our leader is President George W. Bush.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: Do you like politics?

HASSELBECK: I do. I didn't always.

KING: You want to run some day? That looked like it there. Come on, it had that flavor.

HASSELBECK: You know, I think that was -- I had a lot of passion about that topic. Obviously, you know --

KING: Your mother, your aunt.

HASSELBECK: Yes. Breast cancer is all over our family, and, you know, I have a feeling that it could be headed my way. I've prepared myself for that. And I do believe that we need to take care of the women in this country, and make sure that they are able to get the mammograms that they need.

Politics, I'm not sure. I like being on the sidelines, in terms of --

KING: You like commenting about it, rather than --

HASSELBECK: Yes, and I think everyone should, not just because of my job. I think we are citizens of the United States of America. We have the privilege of voting. There are people in other countries that don't. And I think to not take advantage of that, it's wrong.

KING: Supporting any Republican so far?

HASSELBECK: You know, I look at all of them and I wish I could say I am right behind one in particular. At this point, I'm still compiling my research, still compiling my thoughts on them. And I believe that I have faith that one will step up and really take the lead. I wish I could just push them all together.

KING: As a woman, are you proud of having Hillary in the mix?

HASSELBECK: As a woman I definitely am. I sat on a Title Nine committee throughout my college years, and I believe that making sure that women are represented equally in all fields in politics, in terms of pay scale -- I believe that's incredibly important, especially now. I'm raising a daughter. I want her to know that is possible.

Would I vote for Hillary just because she's a woman? No. I would love to have a woman in the White House.

KING: Speaking of that, we have an e-mail question from Diana in Lancaster, Ontario. Elisabeth, I know you are a staunch Republican, but is there anything about the Democratic party you agree with? Any Democratic candidate you could support?

HASSELBECK: I love that term staunch Republican, as if I'm never going to think about anything. I'm just a Republican, and that's all. I -- you know, I -- I'm looking at the candidates on the Democratic ticket.

KING: Wide open race.

HASSELBECK: It is. It is, of course. And I'm never going to go in blind to the fact that there may be someone over there who has more of a centrist view, and who can maybe execute some thing that I think need to happen. Of course I evaluate. We could be looking at our next president on the left side.

So, I definitely consider them and look at them the same way I do with those on the right.

KING: When we come back, we're going to show a clip about you and the "Survivor." That's how you got famous, right? That's how we got to know you. Who knew you before "Survivor?" HASSELBECK: Nobody. My family.

KING: We'll be back with our remaining moments with Elisabeth Hasselbeck right after this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HASSELBECK: I don't think you can be a good parent and be an adulterer at the same time.

BEHAR: That's very judgmental of you.

(CROSS TALK)

HASSELBECK: Why not just make the decision and make it clear in your life and not live a double life?

The only way not to get pregnant is not to have sex. You want 100 percent --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Let me tell you. I'm trying to do it now. But for a child whose hormones are going crazy, to say, you know -- to put that on them, that's a little hard.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: Elisabeth Hasselbeck is back. A child is born. And she's back on "The View." As everybody knows, she first came to attention as a competitor in the second season of CBS's "Survivor." Let's take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hang on. Get your balance. Take your time. Do your thing. Great job.

Good job. Yes, girl.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: Was that experience worth it?

HASSELBECK: Oh, without a doubt. I learned more about myself during that time than I probably ever will. Still the most difficult thing I've ever done. I would never do it again.

KING: Why did you do it?

HASSELBECK: I loved the sense of adventure. I had never watched the first show. And then once I applied I watched the tail end of it, and for me, it was such a chance to test myself. My family was always so emotionally supportive of me and my friends were really supportive of me. And I always felt that I couldn't fail. Someone would always catch me. I needed to, before I moved on in my life, put myself in a situation where I could really see what I was made of, without any comfort, without any friends, without anybody to help me out. I wanted to know what I relied on most.

KING: We have an e-mail in that regard from Marlo in Fayattville, North Carolina. You are about the only reality show participant to establish a real and credible TV career. Why do you think that is?

HASSELBECK: I have no idea. This was not where I thought I would be. I mean, I -- you know, studied art and industrial design and was designing shoes. And I love design. That's still what I think I'm meant to do, long-term. I think that this is -- I definitely feel a calling to be doing what I'm doing now. I like the conversation. I think that it's important for different opinions of different women to be out there. It's an honor to be able to sit at the table with the women that I sit with every day. And I don't have an answer.

KING: How long do you want to do "The View?"

HASSELBECK: I want to do it for a long time.

KING: You do?

HASSELBECK: I do. It feels right. You probably feel the same way doing what you do. I feel as though it's a way to communicate with more people than you ever would be able to normally, and really share not just who you are, but what you think about things and just ignite conversation beyond --

KING: You could do "The View" and design shoes.

HASSELBECK: I could. I hope to.

KING: You got fame. We could buy the Hasselbeck.

HASSELBECK: Maybe one day, Larry. Would you buy it? What size shoe are you?

KING: I'll buy it for the wife. You do men's shoes?

HASSELBECK: I do men's shoes, sure. What do you think about that?

KING: I'll buy the first pair.

HASSELBECK: It's a deal.

KING: Thanks, Elisabeth. Elisabeth Hasselbeck, back at "The View." Don't forget to check us out at CNN.com/LarryKing. You can email upcoming guests or download our new podcast. We even have a special quick vote that involves Elisabeth and "The View." Vote now at CNN.com/LarryKing. Tomorrow night, a couple in Texas claims they saw a UFO. We'll talk to them, as well as astronomers and skeptics. Speaking of skeptics, live from New York, it's Anderson Cooper and "AC 360."

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