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CNN LARRY KING LIVE

Inside the World of Polygamy; Interview With Stephen Colbert

Aired April 14, 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, Stephen Colbert -- he's on the campaign trail in Philadelphia. TV's fake news man keeps it real.
But first, exclusive -- a rare glimpse inside the world of polygamy. The woman who helped put the leader of a secretive sect behind bars will tell her story.

Plus, within the compound walls -- a reporter has a firsthand look.

What will happen to the hundreds of children taken away by the state, as allegations of sexual abuse, even rape, swirl? It's all right now on LARRY KING LIVE.

In this first segment, David Mattingly, CNN national correspondent, will be joining us by phone. He, by the way, is inside the YFZ compound in El Dorado.

And in Salt Lake City is Brian West, the reporter for the "Deseret Morning News". He's been in that compound earlier, interviewed a number of mothers and other ranch residents.

David, who is with us by phone, what can you tell us right now is happening there -- David?

DAVID MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Larry, we've been granted some extraordinary access to this ranch. We are inside near one of the residential areas. We are talking to several of the women who were brought back after staying with their children for the last 10 days.

What they are telling us is that they were taken to the coliseum in -- excuse me, Larry. They were taken to the coliseum (AUDIO GAP)...

KING: OK, we'll cut out of David and get back to him as soon as we can straighten that out. Obviously, there's an echo concept.

But Brian West, when were you there?

BRIAN WEST, WENT INSIDE POLYGAMISTS' COMPOUND: We were there Saturday, Larry.

KING: And what did you observe?

WEST: Well, it was a really fascinating look. They don't let any media in until Saturday. We were the first ones to ever go in there. And I guess now that's changing, even as we speak. But I thought it was a community that seemed very orderly, very well run. I remember one of the first observations we had was looking at these homes -- these log cabin like homes and thinking how well crafted and constructed they were, a lot more modern than I think I would have expected them to be, with all sorts of, you know, appliances like you and I might have in our homes. I didn't notice any televisions, but maybe that was one of the only differences.

KING: How many people were still there?

WEST: Well, we spoke with a couple -- or saw a couple of dozen men. It's my understanding there's about 60 or 70 men and 10 or less women that were there, although I understand now some of the women have come back tonight that were in the shelter before.

KING: And no children, right?

WEST: No children. It was very quiet. And that's -- that's why they wanted us to come there, to tell their side of the story and see what it's like. I think the families are so important to them. And they were telling us that that's what they live for is their children. And they were telling us how difficult it's been to have the ranch with 416 children gone.

KING: Why do you think you were given access?

WEST: Well, one of my co-workers, Nancy Perkins, and some others, have spent years, you know, covering the FLDS Church and their members and developing relationships with them and contacts with them. And I think they felt like we were the ones that they could trust the most. They're very suspicious of the media. This is a very unusual move for them, to invite reporters onto their home, which they consider sacred and very private.

But I think their backs are against the wall and they need to do something. They want the world to hear their story.

KING: The female residents of the YFZ Ranch hardly ever speak, as you know, speak with outsiders.

WEST: Sure.

KING: Here's an sample of what they said when Brian and his colleagues visited the compound.

Watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I do not know why they have my children. No one has told me anything, except for maybe this and maybe that and it's because of this. But no one has confronted me and said this is why.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Our children have good mothers. We take very good care of them. We are not child abusers. The only abuse they've ever had is since the CPS has taken them. They are innocent and sweet children.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: All right, Brian. The women are involved in multiple marriages. But let's assume they're not sexual abusers, they're not rapists.

Don't they have a case?

WEST: Well, a lot of people sure believe so. And I think the message that they kept telling us, that we kept hearing from the women and some of the fathers, is how can this happen in America?

How can a government come in and just take your children away based on an allegation that hasn't been fully investigated?

And they believe it's religious persecution.

KING: And now let's look at what a male member of FLDS had to say about the raids on the ranch.

Watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I asked my family, are you continuing where you are, you know, our class and our sing-song, continuing to live our religion. And she said we really aren't able to because they have someone right here watching us. And I said well, you go ahead and do what the way we live -- live our religion. If they come and stop you, then we'll document it and deal with it.

In every way look at this, it's just more of the same. It's religious persecution because of an unpopular religion. We want to bring mothers and children back.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: Do we understand we have David Mattingly now on camera with us inside the YFZ compound in El Dorado.

I don't know if you've heard any of the preceding, David, but, obviously, they have some compelling cases, don't they?

MATTINGLY: This is a common theme we're hearing over and over and over again as we are allowed to talk to the women who were brought back to the compound today. They feel their rights were violated. They feel like they were lied to when they were taken to the coliseum and separated from their children. They're a little angry. They're a little bitter. They're very upset about not being able to be with their children.

But when we asked them questions about the allegations that the state has about what's going on here, the women -- all of them will say that there is no one here who was ever forced into marriage. And if there ever is someone who is married under the age of 17, it is very rare, and usually just at the age of 16. At least that's what the women are telling us right now.

They're also telling us that they don't believe that that call that came in from a Sarah, who complained that she was being sexually and physically abused by her husband, was legitimate. They believe that that call was a hoax from someone outside the compound who disagreed with their lifestyle.

Of course, we've talked to state officials who say that they are still confident they have this Sarah in custody, but they just haven't been able to locate her yet. They also tell us that they had outside sources confirming who this girl was and where she lived. They are very confident with her information.

But, again, the women here arguing with that, arguing, saying it's not true that women are -- young women are forced into marriage on this compound.

KING: David Mattingly will remain with us.

So will Brian West.

We'll talk also with Dorothy Allred Solomon and Teressa Wall Blackmore when we come back.

Don't go away.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: David Mattingly remains with us.

So does Brian West.

Joining us in Salt Lake City is Dorothy Allred Solomon, born and raised in a polygamist family, the 28th of 48 children, and author of a remarkable memoir, "Daughter of the Saints: Growing Up in Polygamy."

In Boise, Idaho is Teressa Wall Blackmore, who left the FLDS community in Bountiful, British Columbia two years ago and testified at the trial of the leader, Warren Jeffs, who eventually was convicted of being an accomplice to the rape of a 14-year-old girl. The girl was Teressa's sister.

I want to spend some more moments, though, with David Mattingly.

Now that you're at the compound, what's your impression?

MATTINGLY: Larry, this is a huge place. It looks like it's very well organized. Just take a look at what we're having here. We have these large roads all the way around inside the compound -- large. They're not paved. They've got gravel and dirt. And look over here. This is actually, I'm told, a home for one family to live in. These are very large. They look like log cabin type buildings, all of them immaculate on the outside very big.

And what you see happening in the background here, Larry, this is something really extraordinary. For the first time in four years, the gates have been opened and our cameras have been allowed inside. And you see the women talking to members of the press, to the media, telling their story, giving their complaints about how they feel like they have been -- or how their rights have been violated by being separated them from their children and having their children taken away from this compound. Truly an extraordinary moment.

But, again, all of them have very familiar themes in what they're talking about. They believe their rights were violated. They believe they were lied to when they were separated from their children today. And they believe that the call that came in that started all of this was a hoax. And, of course, officials are arguing with that.

And one other important point today, Larry. We were looking at the number of women who got off the bus. Not all of the women who left this ranch have returned. State officials tell us that some of the women chose to stay behind and are now being kept at a safe place. They didn't say how many, but there were some of the women who chose not to come back to this compound, Larry.

KING: All right.

Thank you, David. Outstanding reporting.

David Mattingly.

All right, Dorothy Allred Solomon you wrote, "Daughter of the Saints: Growing Up in Polygamy."

DOROTHY ALLRED SOLOMON, BORN AND RAISED IN POLYGAMOUS FAMILY: Yes.

KING: Do these women, in a sense, have a case?

ALLRED SOLOMON: Well, they do. I remember what it's like to be terrified about being taken away from your parents. And I remember how my mother spoke of spending the night in jail because of her religious beliefs.

But at the same time, there's something different going on in the FLDS group. But there are so many reports of people being abused and exploited, especially women and children.

So somebody needed to do something here. I just wish that it hadn't meant that the children were pulled out of their homes. It seems to me that it would have been a better move to go after the perpetrators and then invite the women and children to come forward.

KING: Teressa, do you think these -- that these women are lying?

TERESSA WALL BLACKMORE, TESTIFIED AGAINST SECT LEADER WARREN JEFFS: I don't believe that they're lying because they are -- they're truly afraid of and that is their belief. They believe that, you know, that they aren't doing anything wrong, because that's how they grew up.

But there's definitely something that does need to happen different. You know, going about it in the right way, I think, is the most important part.

KING: Do you blame Warren Jeffs, who your sister, really -- her testimony got him -- pretty much got him to be found guilty?

Do you believe he's the key responsible person in all of this?

WALL BLACKMORE: Oh, definitely. Yes, he, even though he is in prison, he definitely has a lot of authority over what's going on still.

KING: From prison?

WALL BLACKMORE: Yes.

KING: All right.

Brian, what do you make of what they do with this?

There's going to be hearings and trials and children.

Are they going to be able to sort this out?

WEST: I don't know. I don't think anything like this has ever happened anywhere. And the judge indicated that she wants -- she's got to handle each one, each child on an individual basis. I think to do so otherwise wouldn't be fair. Texas officials would like to handle them as one big group.

But either way, it's unprecedented. And I think we just -- it has yet to be seen how it's all going to turn out. But it's a big deal and nothing on this scale has ever happened before.

KING: Teressa, your sister, Alyssa, was the key witness in the trial of Warren Jeffs.

Here's a brief reminder of that powerful testimony she gave about being forced into marriage at age 14 and being assaulted by her husband.

Watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP FROM AUGUST 14, 2007)

ALYSSA: I was crying and I was like please, I -- I don't want you doing it. It doesn't feel right. Please stop. Please quit. I can't do this -- just begging him to stop or at least explain to me what he was doing.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: How is your sister doing Teressa?

WALL BLACKMORE: Now she's doing -- she's doing really well, you know, just working on putting her life back together and, you know, moving on. But she's doing good. KING: How, Dorothy, do you separate the women who just really wanted to do this, who are volunteers in it, happy and good mothers, from those who are really, in a sense, criminal?

ALLRED SOLOMON: Well, I think the thing that needs to be noticed is that there's a pecking order in these systems of life. The pecking order is that the one with the most power, usually the legal wife, controls the other women and often runs the show entirely, manipulating her husband to do the things with the other women that she would like to see done. I think Teressa can speak to that because she grew up in such a household. And as a result of standing up for her sister, Alyssa, she now stands in danger of losing her children to a system that is very punitive in its orientation.

KING: Teressa is the legal wife the first wife?

WALL BLACKMORE: Usually, yes.

KING: OK.

We're going to take a break and come right back with more.

He is standing by in Philadelphia -- Stephen Colbert is getting ready to talk politics at the bottom of the hour.

Don't go away.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

STEPHEN COLBERT: It's time to take a Peabody Award-winning look at the presidential election in our ongoing coverage of the Democratic primaries, "Democlalypse Now."

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: Brian West, Dorothy Allred Solomon and Teressa Wall Blackmore remain with us. Joining us now from Dallas is Tom Vick. Attorney Tom Vick is helping recruit attorneys to represent the children removed from the YFZ Ranch.

Will that be one attorney per child, Tom?

(AUDIO GAP)

Tom, do you hear me?

OK. He just checked him out and everything checked out fine.

Do we know what's happening?

There's a hearing, Brian, Thursday, right?

WEST: That's right.

KING: What's supposed to happen?

WEST: Well, the judge is supposed to make some decisions on what's going to happen to the children. They -- and now -- Texas officials told us earlier that they weren't going to do anything with the children until after that Thursday hearing.

How long that hearing lasts, how they're going to handle it, who knows?

This is -- no one's tried to do it on this level before. So the judge has some very serious decisions to make on Thursday.

KING: Dorothy, what should happen with the children?

ALLRED SOLOMON: Well, I think it's really important that the children be restored to their mothers, even though people are afraid of the brainwashing. I think it's important that trust be established with the women, as well, because many of them do have stories to tell that will be very revealing.

I really want to recommend that people find out about Teressa Wall Blackmore's situation. She has had the courage to leave and to speak out in behalf of her children and she's being punished for it. You can read about it in...

KING: By who?

ALLRED SOLOMON: ..."Marie Claire" article this month, the May issue.

KING: That punishes her?

ALLRED SOLOMON: Yes, it's punitive. It's meant to send the message out to the women of polygamy , do not stand against us, do not tell the truth or we will take your children away.

KING: All right.

We've got Tom Vick checked in.

ALLRED SOLOMON: And...

KING: Hold on a second, Dorothy.

Tom, will each child be represented by a single attorney?

TOM VICK, DIRECTOR, TEXAS STATE BAR: Yes, sir. We have 350 attorneys on the way to San Angelo right now.

KING: All right.

And what is the case?

What is the argument for the child?

VICK: Well, what the attorneys for the children will do will, they'll talk to the children, they'll investigate the case. It's going to take some time. Obviously, it's not going to happen between now and Thursday. And then the ad litem for the children will be obligated to advocate for the children and for the children's best interests.

KING: And where should they be until all this is resolved?

VICK: The children?

KING: Yes.

VICK: The judge will make that determination on Thursday. The court's going to examine the evidence that CPS has. And if the court finds that the evidence that exists out there now warrants continuing removal of the children, then the children will be put in temporary foster care. But Judge Walter will examine all of the evidence, including what the parents have to say in each of these cases beginning on Thursday. And if the CPS can't make the case, then the children have to be returned under the law.

KING: A lot of people have said why were these children uprooted?

Is that fair?

VICK: Well, it certainly is a fair question. And, as you know, there was an allegation made by this child. CPS has these affidavits and whatever else, other evidence. I haven't seen all the evidence. And that evidence was presented to the judge.

The judge felt that the evidence that was presented to her constituted sufficient evidence to warrant an emergency removal of the children from that situation. And now we're going to find out, starting in these 14-day hearings on Thursday, whether there is enough evidence to keep these children out.

KING: What do you expect to happen Thursday.

VICK: Well, it is a logistic nightmare, as you might imagine. There are 416 children. There are about 123 cases. I anticipate there will be lawyers there representing the children. There will be lawyers there representing parents. It's going to take some time. I would expect that the cases will all be commenced, as the law requires them to do. And then Judge Walter will hear these cases and will rule on them in the most expeditious way possible.

She will be a very careful jurist. She'll listen to all the evidence. And as any lawyer, I would expect there will be the fair administration of justice. And I think she'll do a great job.

KING: Brian West, at best, this is a mess, right?

WEST: Yes. I don't think Texas officials realized just what they were getting into. And it's just blossomed into a huge mess. Absolutely.

KING: What do you think should happen to the children, Teressa? WALL BLACKMORE: Well, you know, it's a hard call. I agree with Dorothy that the children should be returned to their families. You know, they're taught their whole lives to be afraid of law enforcement and people from the from the outside world. And this is only going to intensify their worry and their fear, so that if they do want to come out and do want to do something else with their lives, they're going to be really afraid of it now.

And so, yes, it is a hard call, but I do feel like they do need to return to their families.

KING: Tom Vick, is that what you think?

VICK: Well, the ultimate objective in any CPS case, if it's possible, would be a rehabilitation of the family and a return of the children to the family. Whether that's possible in this case, I don't know. It will be a matter of what the evidence shows. And as the judge has indicated, she's going to take these children child by child, case by case.

The lawyers that we're sending out there will advocate for the children. And I would imagine that justice will ultimately be served. And I'm not certain it will be the same result in every case for every child.

KING: Thank you all very much -- Brian West, Dorothy Allred Solomon, Teressa Wall Blackmore and Tom Vick.

Joining us now, immediately following the break will be Stephen Colbert.

Mr. Colbert, are you happy with your lead-in?

COLBERT: Larry, there's nothing like following a child abuse polygamy case to set up laughter.

KING: We thought you'd like that.

COLBERT: Thank you, sir.

KING: Hang tough. We're coming to you. Stephen Colbert is next.

Don't go away.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

COLBERT: Vote for me as the most influential person in the world.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: Tonight, the excitement builds.

Stephen Colbert joins us from Philadelphia. He's the host of the Comedy Central Peabody Award-winning "The Colbert Report". And his book "I Am America and So Can You" has been on "The New York Times" best-seller list for 25 weeks.

Why are you in Philadelphia?

COLBERT: Larry, my understanding from what the media is telling me is that the road to the White House now goes through Pennsylvania. And I intend to make my show the decisive pothole in that road.

KING: How so will you -- will you interview all of the people involved? Do you hop to Pittsburgh and then Scranton? What do you do?

COLBERT: No, Larry. I am in Philly. They're going to come to me.

KING: They're coming to you.

COLBERT: I've put the invitation out there. The Colbert nation is ready to throw their weight behind whoever is willing to come get the Colbert bump on "The Colbert Report." And that's what I'm providing everybody this week.

KING: Last time you were here, you announced that you were running.

COLBERT: Ah. I did not announce that I was coming, Larry. Don't try to claim a scoop that you didn't get. I hinted broadly that I was going to run for president.

KING: I took it -- well, you disappointed me when you copped out.

COLBERT: Cop out, Larry? If Larry King doesn't get the scoop, it's a cop out?

KING: You were going to run, and then you're not running.

COLBERT: I got knocked off the ballot by the Democrats in South Carolina, Larry. I was pulling in 13 percent in national polls, Larry. All did I was prove that I'm a king maker, and intend to use my political capital in Pennsylvania to help decide this thing.

KING: I'm going to give you a hypothetical.

COLBERT: OK.

KING: We go to Denver.

COLBERT: OK, you and me? We go to Denver?

KING: Not -- well, you and I could go to Denver, but it's different.

COLBERT: We'll have a good time. It's a beautiful town.

KING: OK, Barack and Hillary are deadlocked and no one's going to get it. And the Democratic party in its wisdom turns to you. COLBERT: Are you saying that I'm a super delegate or a candidate?

KING: No. You will be the sort of resultant candidate. They can't get together, they pick you. Would you take it?

COLBERT: I am not entirely sure I would want it at that point, because if it's not Hillary Clinton who gets the nomination, I'm sure whoever gets up there and gives the acceptance speech, Hillary Clinton will burst out of their chest like the Alien and seize the microphone.

KING: A comment on how she's run, right?

COLBERT: She's tenacious. That is what she brings to the fight, an unlikeableness.

KING: Why does she stay with it, do you think?

COLBERT: Well, I think there's actually something very admirable. She knows that this person, the president, whoever it is, is going to face tough challenges, and she's shown that you could actually lop off her head, arms, and legs and she'll crawl toward you using the muscles in her belly button.

KING: That's something to be said in her favor for a candidate, isn't it?

COLBERT: Absolutely. You need somebody in this -- the president's going to face a lot of challenges.

KING: Well, certainly, the Republican candidate has faced some tough challenges in his life.

COLBERT: John McCain, absolutely. He was there for Noah's flood, had to cling on. That's how he got started in the Navy, was clinging on to the side of the Ark. He's old. He's old, Larry. That's what I'm trying to tell you. Not as old as you are but very, very old.

KING: Keep that up. Keep it up. Hey, Mrs. Obama's on your show tomorrow night.

COLBERT: Absolutely. This is the first time that Mrs. Obama's going to appear on a late-night show, and I hope to make her perfectly comfortable and happy.

KING: Wow. What tack do you intend to take? Will you hit her on her husband's statements about small town America and religion and guns, use of guns? Will you hit her on that?

COLBERT: I will not be pulling any punches, Larry. I will -- I have a crack research team that'll find out all the dirt on Michelle Obama. We're going to get -- she seems like a nice person, and I can't accept that.

KING: You can't accept that she's a nice person? COLBERT: I can't allow anyone to be a nice person in politics. We have to find the dirt on these people, don't we, Larry? It's our job.

KING: That's correct.

COLBERT: Speaking of dirt, Larry, since we followed a child abuse polygamy case, I just want to come out and show some political courage of my own right now, and say that I'm against polygamy and child abuse. I don't care how many votes that costs me if I ever run for office.

KING: Wait a minute. I want to get this straight now because this is on the record.

COLBERT: I am against polygamy. I have one wife, and I can barely handle that. Now, Larry, you've had a few wives. Wouldn't it have saved you some time if you just had them all at the same time?

KING: Probably true. Probably -- you've got a point, Stephen.

COLBERT: A stupid one, but a point.

KING: Give me your assessment of Barack Obama, where he's come from, what he's done, what he's accomplished. He's a political phenomenon.

COLBERT: Yes, absolutely. He's an inspiring candidate. And he's got the young people out there just eating out of the palm of his hand. He's passing his hope bong around the drum circle of young America.

KING: His what?

COLBERT: His hope bong, Larry. He's inviting people to take deep tokes off of his bong packed with hope.

KING: I got you. OK.

COLBERT: Change. Change.

KING: We'll be right back. Stephen Colbert all week in Philadelphia.

COLBERT: All week here on Larry King.

KING: Where the action is. And we'll be right back with Stephen, and we'll have some questions for him, some e-mail questions, maybe even a video toss or two, possibly a caller. Don't go away.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

COLBERT: To welcome me, the Pennsylvania school kids down there have been sending me their drawings of the candidates. Obama is saying change. Super banana flying Hillary saving Earth.

Change.

It's Hillary Clinton saying, I will make your life better by giving each of us a brand new Mercedes.

Change!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: Stephen Colbert is in Pennsylvania. He'll be there all week, putting his special mark on the campaign. What do you make of Bill Clinton's involvement in this whole thing?

COLBERT: I think he's a rogue operative that they're having trouble shutting down. He can't be held responsible for the things that he says, and certainly you can't say that anything he says reflects on Hillary Clinton's beliefs. If he supports the Colombian trade treaty, it in no way reflects Hillary Clinton's beliefs. He's a totally separate entity. Unless, of course -- unless, of course, we're talking about the time when he was president and Hillary Clinton was getting experience by being his wife.

KING: I see. When you call him a rogue, are you saying he's working for someone else?

COLBERT: No, he's uncontrollable. He's a loose cannon. Everything he's saying is unofficial. Nothing can be tagged back to Hillary Clinton. That's what I'm saying.

KING: So nothing blamed to her?

COLBERT: No, nothing can be blamed on her.

KING: We have an e-mail question from Peter in Chicago; "which of the following would you define as torture, going to church with Barack Obama, dodging sniper fire with Hillary Clinton, or living 100 years in Iraq with John McCain?"

COLBERT: Well --

KING: Pretty good question.

COLBERT: Only one of them has actually happened, and that's going to church with Barack Obama. So I would say Barack Obama would be the torture, going to church with him.

KING: So you would not go to church with Barack Obama?

COLBERT: Well, that would be the closest to torture because he has actually gone to church. Hillary Clinton has not been under sniper fire, and John McCain will not live another 100 years.

KING: Well put, Stephen.

COLBERT: Thank you, Larry. KING: What do you expect to accomplish this week? What are your goals?

COLBERT: As I said before, I'm a king maker. I just want to help the people of Pennsylvania decide who they think I should vote for.

KING: Will you make a recommendation?

COLBERT: I think the Colbert nation makes a recommendation. When a candidate comes on the show, they automatically get the Colbert bump. And this is a statistically codified event. Scientists have proven it. This week's "U.S. News & World Report," a scientist has proven that if you come on my show candidates become more popular and they get more campaign funds. I'm not making this stuff up. I'm imagining it.

KING: But will you endorse a candidate?

COLBERT: I almost endorsed Chris Matthews for the Senate tonight, because I had him on the show. And I nailed him on the fact that he's probably running for Senate in 2010 in Arlen Specter's seat. You know about that, right?

KING: He very well could.

COLBERT: I'd call what he did tonight on my show -- check it out, America. I'd call that an announcement. And if he did announce on my show, I would endorse him.

KING: What did he say?

COLBERT: He said his childhood dream was to be a senator.

KING: That's as good as running.

COLBERT: I would say it's as good as running too. My childhood dream was to fly on a unicorn.

KING: My childhood dream was to do just what I'm doing.

COLBERT: Really? Congratulations.

KING: Thank you.

COLBERT: That's nice.

KING: We have a King Cam question for you. That means someone on camera --

COLBERT: You don't have to explain to me what the King Cam is. Everybody in America knows what the King Cam is.

KING: OK. Let's watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My friend wants to know, how do we end fascism in America?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: Ah, a German friend.

COLBERT: Was he a German asking me?

KING: I think he was.

COLBERT: You think he was? How do you end fascism?

KING: I think he was --

COLBERT: I would say physician heal thyself. I think fascism gets a bad rap.

KING: You do?

COLBERT: All fascism does is say that we should subsume our own identity to the will --

KING: Of the state.

COLBERT: -- of the state, Exactly. And you know, certainly in a time of war, there should be no questioning of our leaders and no questioning about whether a surge is or is not successful. You know, we should start thinking more about how the war is feeling and less about how we feel about the war. Isn't it more important than the individual at this point?

KING: But that's a fascist concept.

COLBERT: I know. I am endorsing that idea. I'm anti-polygamy. I'm pro-fascism. Is that so hard to understand? You've got two scoops tonight. Pro-fascism.

KING: You get a lot of votes.

COLBERT: Yes.

KING: With the pro-fascism you lose them right back.

COLBERT: I don't know. Maybe not in Utah.

KING: You've got a point.

COLBERT: Thank you.

KING: We'll take a break. And we'll come back with more of Stephen Colbert in Philadelphia all week with "The Colbert Report," wherein he will be the king maker this week. Whoever wins Pennsylvania, you can toss it up to Colbert. We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

COLBERT: It's official, the troops will be in Iraq until Bush leaves office. And that is not passing the buck to the next president. That is ridiculous. With the current state of the dollar, it's more like passing 85 cents, tops.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: Well said. Stephen Colbert, I've been calling it "The Colbert Report." It's "The Colbert Report," right?

COLBERT: It's Report. "The Colbert Report."

KING: I have been a guest on that show.

COLBERT: And you also used to date Claudette Colbert, so you know not to pronounce the t. You went to high school together.

KING: Why tick me off?

COLBERT: Why tick you off? I didn't realize I was ticking you off. I can't see you, Larry. I can't only hear you. And you certainly sound happy.

KING: I knew Claudette Colbert, and she was 40 years older than me, 40 years older.

COLBERT: Well, she robbed the cradle then.

KING: OK, let's take a call. OK, Stephen?

COLBERT: Let's do that, Larry.

KING: McKinney (ph), Texas, hello.

CALLER: I love you, Stephen.

COLBERT: Oh, I love you, too.

CALLER: I was planning if you're planning to see the Pope when he comes to the U.S.

KING: Good question. The Pope arrives tomorrow.

COLBERT: I'm thrilled. I'm absolutely thrilled. I actually have a ticket to go see the Pope go to mass at Yankee Stadium. And that's really I think -- so it's a week from Sunday, I think, is when he's in New York.

KING: No, I think he's only here three, four days.

COLBERT: Well, then it's this Sunday in New York at Yankee Stadium, and I cannot wait because, you know, mass in Yankee Stadium is a natural. I mean, you have not had communion till you've had it with pump-on nacho cheese. It's going to be bat day, too. KING: Bat day. Everyone gets a bat?

COLBERT: Absolutely. Or a --

KING: How are they going to work the game in?

COLBERT: I don't know. Steinbrenner might recruit the guy. He's infallible. Can you imagine him on the mound? Every one's a pitch.

KING: Are they going to give communion to everyone at Yankee Stadium?

COLBERT: Yes, they're going to use a t-shirt cannon to fire the communion into the stands.

KING: Blow out those t-shirts.

COLBERT: Exactly. No, actually, I'm really thrilled. I've asked him if he wants to stop by the studio. Because I'm in New York. We'll be doing shows right after that.

KING: That would be a coup.

COLBERT: We have an unbaptized baby for him to baptize on the show if he wants to stop by. And all I have said is that if he does not stop by and baptize the baby, I will make sure that child is a Protestant. OK? I will do it. Do not push me.

KING: So you're dealing with threats now?

COLBERT: That's all the Vatican understands is the rough stuff. Do you remember the crusades, Larry? I think you do.

KING: What do you plan on doing during the day, during the week in Philadelphia? Are you going to go around town?

COLBERT: Obviously, we've got to see the highlights. I've got to see Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell. We've got to down a couple of cheese steaks. I'm going to have myself weighed tonight, and then I'm going to eat cheese steaks all week and have me weighed in on the last show, to see -- and maybe my cholesterol count just to see how much my arteries are clogged by the cheese whiz.

KING: Good idea.

COLBERT: Do you know Philly?

KING: I've been to Philly quite a few times.

COLBERT: Do you have any recommendations on where I should eat?

KING: There's a lot of good restaurants in Philadelphia. The Palm is always safe.

COLBERT: Done. KING: You'll like it. It's a nice Palm. We have another King Cam question. Ha, ha.

COLBERT: OK.

KING: Watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Steve, I've been watching your show for a long time, and you seem pretty well read. What books do you like to read on your own time?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COLBERT: Right now I'm reading the live -- "My Life With the Saints" by Father James Martin, which is a fantastic book. I'm a huge "Lord of the Rings Fan." I can read -- I can read Tolkien's "Lord of the Rings" over and over again. I must have read it 40 times at this point. I love my book, "I am America and So Can You," 26.99, still on the stands. Six months on the best-seller list. I'm just saying, it must be a pretty damn good book.

KING: It is a pretty damn good book. Why do you like "Lord of the Rings" so much?

COLBERT: I love it because -- as a child I loved it because of the swords and sorcery. Now I love it because I think it's actually full of really good moral tales. Aragorn, who eventually becomes king of Gondor, isn't just a warrior. He's a healer. He's a scholar. He's a poet. He's a woodsman. He's basically the Apollonian ideal of manhood. And so actually is Viggo Mortensen, in my opinion, the man who played him in the movie.

Viggo gave me a sword on my show right before I ran for president. He came on as Aragorn, gave me a sword, and told me to run for president. And that's kind of the tipping point for me when I said you know what, I'm going to try to do it. And that's the truth right there.

KING: We'll be back with our remaining moments with Stephen Colbert in Philadelphia. Stay with us. Don't go away.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: We're back with Stephen Colbert. You're a finalist for this year's "Time's" 100 Most Influential People, "Time Magazine." Last year you were edged out by the Korean pop star Rain.

COLBERT: Yes.

KING: Now you're taking the battle to Rain in a musical video. Let's take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

(SINGING)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: Stephen?

COLBERT: I never thought having a late-night talk show would mean I would have to learn Korean.

KING: Stephen?

COLBERT: Yes.

KING: Who in the family tipped the crib over when you were an infant?

COLBERT: I think they all did. I'm one of 11 children, Larry. They used me --

KING: It had to be somebody.

COLBERT: They used me in touch football games as the football.

KING: Did you have fun doing that?

COLBERT: Man, I can't believe that I have a job so great that I get to dance around as if I were sexy and have to learn songs in Korean. I want to see somebody else on late-night learn a song in Korean. That's my challenge. I challenge you, Jimmy Kimmel.

KING: Talk about a couple political things. What do you make of the Obama-Hillary -- it's almost fisticuffs now.

COLBERT: Yes, it's like we're going down to celebrate what we call the 'Democralypse' in Pennsylvania, the delightful dismemberment of the Democratic party. It's like the Democratic party has been trapped by its own primaries. The fight between Hillary and Obama, it's an iron bear cage that has caught the Democratic party by the ankle, and now the Democrats have to gnaw off their own leg to get away from these two people. It's like a snake devouring itself.

KING: It could be you.

COLBERT: It could be me. It could be Al Gore. How about Colbert-Gore? You know the young people would turn out for me, Larry.

KING: I'm saying it. I'm endorsing it.

COLBERT: You are endorsing me for president of the United States?

KING: Absolutely. If there's a thing where they can't get together in the convention, you.

COLBERT: I think I should give a speech at the convention, don't you, Larry? Did anyone else poll 13 percent in a national poll against Hillary and Giuliani? I beat Dodd. I beat Biden. I beat Richardson. I was beating Kucinich and Gravel in South Carolina. Why aren't I a prime time speaker at Democratic National Convention, I ask you, sir.

KING: Let us now go on record and request it.

COLBERT: It is done.

KING: Who decides it? Howard Dean, I guess.

COLBERT: Dean's on board. He told me he wants it.

KING: So you're on.

COLBERT: There it is.

KING: He's the chairman.

COLBERT: And clearly, he has firm control of his party.

KING: What do you make of Hillary drinking beer?

COLBERT: I thought she was doing shots of whiskey. I thought she was hitting the hard stuff.

KING: Was it whiskey? It looked like beer.

COLBERT: I think maybe it was a Boiler Maker, a little depth charge right there in a glass of Leinkugel (ph). I think it's great.

KING: What's going to happen this week on your show? You've got Mrs. Obama tomorrow.

COLBERT: We've got Mrs. Obama. Mrs. Clinton is going to stop by at some point. We're not entirely sure. But we have great hopes that she'll be stopping by. Ed Rendell's going to be there. Tonight, the national anthem with me and superstar R&B singer John Legend. Chris Matthews tonight.

KING: You're doing the national anthem on your own show?

COLBERT: Are you surprised, Larry? Have you heard these pipes? Have you heard me do with the "Somewhere Over the Rainbow," Larry?

KING: No.

COLBERT: I was on "Star Search." That's how I started.

KING: Didn't know that.

COLBERT: Yes.

KING: But why do you need the National Anthem on a late-night talk show?

COLBERT: Because this is all about patriotism, Larry. We're kicking off what could be the most important primary in our lifetimes until Indiana or North Carolina.

KING: Yes, you've got to -- why don't you go there, by the way?

COLBERT: Excuse me?

KING: Why don't you go there?

COLBERT: Because we're basic cable and we can get to Philadelphia on a train.

KING: Where are you broadcasting in Philly? Did they give you nice studios? Are you outside? Where are you?

COLBERT: We're at the Annenberg Center at the University of Pennsylvania, 900 seats, screaming their heads off. I could put a turbine in front of that audience and power a small village.

KING: That's a really nice place, the Annenberg Center. You should feel very good about yourself.

COLBERT: That's all "TV Guide" --

KING: One other thing, you're writing another book?

COLBERT: Once I stop bleeding out of various orifices for having written a book last year while doing a show four nights a week. I think I have to wait until the blood stanches before I do that again.

I do have one thing I would like to mention, Larry, if I have a moment here.

KING: Go, quick.

COLBERT: I am a big fan of the site DonorsChoose.org. It's a website where teachers put up the needs of their class rooms and you as a donor can go directly to that class room and fund that teacher's project --

KING: We're out of time.

COLBERT: Think of the children, Larry. Think of the children.

KING: OK, thanks. Stephen Colbert. Don't forget to visit CNN.com/LarryKing. We have quick votes, video clips and transcripts, too. You can email upcoming guests and download our podcast or send us a video email. Tomorrow night, Ben Stein. Right now Anderson Cooper and "AC 360." Anderson?

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