Return to Transcripts main page


Inside Raided Polygamist Home; Democratic Debate Wrap-Up

Aired April 16, 2008 - 21:00   ET


LARRY KING, HOST (voice-over): Tonight, mothers fighting for their children tell their side of the polygamy story.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I never thought I was doing anything wrong.

KING: Frightened, upset...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They're going to take me. Mother, they're going to take me. Don't let them take me. I don't want to go.

KING: But fiercely determined to claim their kids.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And I will do all it takes to get her back.

KING: Plus, an exclusive look inside the raided home of an anguished mom -- her daughter's bedroom empty.


KING: And powerful polygamy leader Winston Blackmore is back with a message for all the fathers.

What is it? Find out now on LARRY KING LIVE.

Good evening.

We begin tonight at the Eldorado Yearning For Zion Ranch in Texas with three women, all of whom have been separated from their children. They are Esther, Marilyn and Sally. And they're in front of a bunch of other women, much faced with the same plight.

Marilyn, we'll start with you. How many children do you have?


KING: Just one. How old?

MARILYN: She is 7-years-old.

KING: Esther, how many do you have?


KING: And what are their ages?

ESTHER: They range from six to 13.

KING: And, Sally, how many do you have?

SALLY, SPEAKING FROM INSIDE YFZ RANCH: I have nine that they have taken, ages 5 to 17.

KING: Were you -- Marilyn, were you surprised at the raid?

MARILYN: Yes, sir, I sure was.

KING: What were you doing at the time?

MARILYN: I was eating dinner.

KING: And was your child with you?

MARILYN: Yes, she was.

KING: And, Esther, tell us what happened.

ESTHER: At the time, I was doing what I call story and song with my son. We were singing and reading and I was helping him with his after-school homework. And...

KING: And did they just come bursting in?

ESTHER: They said they want -- there's a whole group of people out at the gate. That was the first we knew it. This was April 3. So we came up to the window to see what was going on. We could see no one out there.

And as the day progressed and through the night, they came in -- some of them came in -- and had some of the girls questioning them through the night. I was watching out the window to see what was going on. I had put my children to bed, the younger ones. The older ones could not sleep.

And the next day my oldest girl saw these other girls going down and so she came to me and says, they're going to take me. Mother, they're going to take me. Don't let them take me. I don't want to go.

And I just told the rest, let's be calm. You're not going anywhere. You're right here with me. Let's be calm.

Well, the next thing we know is -- to me it seemed like hundreds of trucks and cars came and surrounded the schoolhouse. And these armed policemen, they had taken the girls, strapped them on the bus, pulled them away from their mothers.

I just watched this from the window and I could hear screaming and crying and people forcing them into the bus and pulling them away, and the bus going away.

KING: Sally, can you say...

ESTHER: And the... KING: Hold it a second, Esther.

Sally, can you say that you never thought living the way you were living in the ranch and the like, that you were doing anything wrong?

SALLY: I never thought I was doing anything wrong.

KING: You never thought plural...

SALLY: It's a pure life here.

KING: You never thought plural marriage was wrong?

SALLY: No, sir. I do not believe that.

KING: You never thought that a relationship between, say, older men and teenage girls and younger were wrong?

SALLY: I would not -- I would -- for my own daughter, I would advise her to wait until she was of legal age. I would not want her to get married younger than that.

KING: But did you see others at the ranch getting married younger?

SALLY: Not that I'm aware of.

KING: So you have never, to your knowledge, seen a younger girl marry an older person?

SALLY: Not that I'm aware of.

KING: Marilyn, had you?

MARILYN: Not that I have ever seen.

KING: Esther, had you?

ESTHER: Not that I have ever seen.

KING: So all of these stories are false or just you haven't seen them?

ESTHER: I believe they are false.

MARILYN: I believe they are false.

SALLY: Me, also.

KING: So you're saying there were no young girls at that ranch ever, ever married to, say, men in their 20s or 30s?

ESTHER: Not to our knowledge.

KING: You never saw anyone having sex with an underage girl?

SALLY: No...

ESTHER: No, sir.

MARILYN: No, sir.

KING: So the only thing that you dealt with was pluralistic marriages -- marriages to more than one person?




KING: All right.

Did you ever think anything -- Sally, I'll ask you, did you ever think anything was wrong with that?

SALLY: No, sir. I do not believe so. But, sir, the reason that I am here is because our children need us. And they have been torn from us illegally with officers with guns. And some of our children we have not been able to have contact with for 10 days to almost two weeks. And they have taken my handicapped son, who is 5 years old and needs his mother. And they have refused to let me have him and bring him here, where he can be cared for.

They deceived us and forced us onto the bus and sent us back here. They gathered us together at Fort Concho. In the shelter I was in -- and I was only there with two of my children because they had already taken seven of my other children. And I had no contact with them except to maybe wave.

And they gathered us in this shelter and said we're going to take you to a better place where you can be united with your families, get your families back together. Gather up your stuff.

And they brought in boxes and things and so we could gather it up. And we marked it all. And they put us on a bus. They got on the -- we got on the bus and the first thing -- and one of the CPS ladies came up to us and said, OK, now here is what we're going to do. We're going to make two stops. All the mothers with children under five will be stopping at the first stop. And mothers with children school age and older will be taken to the second stop.

So at the first stop, they named who -- which of the mothers were that had to get off. On the second stop, they took us around to the side of the building and took out our luggage from under the bus and then let us come out one by one as they counted us as we came out. And they would push us back if we were coming a little too fast. They got us in this big room, in one central spot with our children, and they -- there were armed officers all gathered around. And one of the personnel came over and just said we want the mothers to gather over here. We're going to take you in this room to give you some information.

KING: Have you spoken with your...

SALLY: And they said leave the children here.

KING: Have you spoken with your children since all this?

SALLY: No, sir.


ESTHER: No. We have tried, in honest truth.

KING: Let me get a break in here.

We know polygamy is against U.S. law. Is it against God's law? We'll ask that after the break.


KING: We're back.

Esther, how old were you when you married?

SALLY: Sir, can I finish my story?

KING: Yes. But I just want to know from Esther, how old were you when you were married?

ESTHER: I was 20.

KING: Marilyn, how old were you?

MARILYN: I was 20 also.

KING: And Sally?

SALLY: Twenty-one.

KING: All right, you want to finish?

Sally, go ahead.

SALLY: Yes, I do. We were gathered together in the room and surrounded with five personnel with guns. And they said the mothers are going into this room and they were going to give them some information.

And I said, who will be with the children? And they said, we will. And I said, how can we believe that?

And they said, you're coming over here. Come over here with us. And I sat my little boy down on my bag and told his brother to watch him and then I started to walk towards where they wanted us to go. And I turned around and saw my little boy starting to fuss. So I went to help him and they said, you can't go over there. You get back over here.

And they started pushing me. And I -- so I called to one of the girls, get my little boy and keep him with you.

And they herded all into the room. And in that big room, they took us to the center of the room and it was surrounded with officers. I would expect there was probably 50 to 75 armed officers and CPS workers and whoever, security personnel.

And a woman came in and said -- opened up her manila folder and said that your children are not yours and you have two options. You can either go back to the ranch or you can go to a woman's shelter.

And I said, but what about my handicapped son? And she just said, oh, we'll take care of him. And she said you can't take care of them. You don't know how to take care of him. You haven't been his mother for five years.

And they started pushing at me. And I said, now, wait a minute. I want to know what's going on here. What is going on? What are you trying to do?

We need our children. And they said if you don't make your choice right now, then you're not going to have a choice.

And I said, now wait a minute, tell me what's going on. And they told me that if I didn't do what they said, that I'd be arrested. And I took longer than they wanted me to talk to them. And so they started and said, OK, you don't have a choice now. You're just going on this bus.

KING: Sally, what do you...

SALLY: And they pushed me over into the bus.

KING: Sally, what do you think they wanted? Do you think they wanted to take your children away from you?

SALLY: Yes, they have them. They sure didn't have...

KING: But I mean what's...

SALLY: ...the children's interests at heart.

KING: What's their permanent goal, do you think? What's the state's permanent goal here?

SALLY: I do not know, sir. I just know that our children need us and they have taken them in a most brutal way and an evil way, telling us lies continually. It was a complete lie when they took the girls. They did not ...

KING: Marilyn, have you been able...

SALLY: ...let us...

KING: Marilyn -- hold on a second, Sally.

Marilyn, have you been able to talk to your child? MARILYN: No, not since they sent us away.

KING: Did you try to contact her?

MARILYN: Yes, I did. I tried yesterday.

KING: And what happened?

MARILYN: All we got was CPS with her saying they believe no children had been removed from the Wells Fargo Pavilion. That's the only answer I got.

KING: Esther, where's your husband?

ESTHER: My children are in that pavilion and my interest is to get them out of the pavilion. I would like...

KING: Where is your husband?

ESTHER: I would like for the children to be returned. I would like to have complete custody of my children. I am an active mother. We are active mothers with our children. They are happy with us. They are happy to be here. And they cried in the shelter. They cried and cried, when are we going to go home? When are we going to get back to normal?

We want them to go home.

KING: Well, they also have -- they have a father. Where is he?

ESTHER: The interest here is to get the children.

KING: You have no interest in your husband?

ESTHER: The interest is that my children are in that pavilion. And I was never served any papers. I was never contacted. I was suddenly -- at gunpoint -- forced out of my home, onto a bus, gone through the experience of the shelter, the crowded conditions, never served any papers. I have done nothing to -- I am not a law breaker. And I have not had any papers served. I have not seen anything. And then without anything...

KING: All right.


ESTHER: ...they take the children from you.

KING: Marilyn, where is your husband?

MARILYN: I am standing with these ladies, Larry. I want our children returned. And my brother...

KING: You have no interest in your husband?

MARILYN: My interest right now is these children. KING: And, Sally, where is your husband?

SALLY: I stand with them also. My total interest and devotion is to get the children with me and that is what they need.

KING: You realize, Sally, that polygamy is against the law. So technically, when you're in a polygamist relationship, that is breaking the law, isn't it?

SALLY: Depending on whose law you're looking at.

KING: Well, are you -- you're referring to God's law?

SALLY: You can take it as you'd like to.

KING: Well, the state has law, Marilyn, doesn't it?

MARILYN: Yes, it does.

KING: And do you think you might have broken the state's law?

MARILYN: I honestly don't know what all the laws are.

KING: All right.

Esther, do you think you might have broken the law?

ESTHER: I do not feel like I have broken the law. I know that there has been laws passed within the last three months. And they want to take those laws that were passed three months ago and charge people that -- that haven't -- I mean I was - my oldest child is 13.

Are you going to take laws that were passed three months ago and charge me for something that I had -- it's -- it doesn't match up.

KING: There's a court hearing tomorrow. We'll ask Esther, Marilyn and Sally what they think might happen at that hearing and if they think they're going to get the kids back.


WINSTON BLACKMORE, POLYGAMIST LEADER: I don't know, I just think that if -- if somebody called for distress in any other community that size that they wouldn't -- the authorities wouldn't go in and mop up all -- every last person that was there and go and jack hammer holes in their temple.



KING: Marilyn invited us into her home at the YFZ Ranch.

Here's a look inside.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) MARILYN: Thank you so much for coming.

This is our living room. We have pianos, we sing much of the time. We have piano lessons. We have a lady here that gives piano lessons to our children. We have a chorus here that knows how to read music. We know how to do all of those things.

You can see there's no children.

This is our kitchen, where we make the meals for the families. Right now, you can smell fresh bread. We grind our own wheat for our bread. It's the most wholesome and nutritious and the children just love it.

This is where we eat our meals. Most of the time, it's full of children's noises -- happy children eating their food. But it's quiet. There is no one here -- no children. They've taken them. And they've taken them away from us. And they need us.

My little girl begged them to let me come with her and they would not let me. My little girl's name is Marla (ph).

When they came last Friday, they asked us to bring all the girls from age seven to 17 to be questioned. I took her there personally and stayed with her. And part way through the day, one of the CPS ladies said I want to talk to all the moms. And I was standing as close to her as I am to you. And we knew something was up, we didn't know what. There were men all around with guns. They've never seen, never seen a firearm in their life.

This is Marla's bed. You can see it's empty. And that's the hardest thing in the world for me, to come and sleep in this room with no little girls, knowing they're in the hands in people that can't love them like a mother, that don't know how to love them like their mother can.

This is Marla's baby book. She absolutely loves to look at this book. These were people that came to see her when she was born. And here's a picture of her more recent.

Several older girls live in this bedroom and they have taken them, as well. Several of these girls came to my room the night of the raid and said, please, can we stay with you, we are so scared.

This is my mother's room. She has three of her daughters that sleep in here with her and they have every one of them. She's got a 15-year-old girl, a 10-year-old girl and an 8-year-old girl. And she comes home and sleeps in the room and every child is gone.


MARILYN: I can't think about it. Those children need their mothers. All right, this is our front door. Thank you so very much for coming. We need our children to come home. And they need us.

(END VIDEO CLIP) KING: We'll be back with more with the women of Eldorado, Texas after these words.


KING: Esther, there are hearings taking place in Texas. There are attorneys representing all of your children. Do you think that you're going to get your children back?

ESTHER: I have great hopes. You have to understand, Larry, through all of this, I have been so lied to and I would just hope that somewhere out there, in that courtroom, there's an honest person that can see that the children need to be with their mother. And the children need to be home.

KING: One would think that's obviously the goal. Marilyn, do you think that you're going to get your child back?

MARILYN: I am praying that I will. And I will do all it takes to get her back.

KING: Sally -- I'm sorry, go ahead.

MARILYN: I thought about the question that you asked, where's my little girl's father? He's here. He wants her back too, of course.

KING: That's good. I was wondering why you couldn't answer that. Anyway, Sally, do you expect to get the children back?

SALLY: I'm praying with all of my heart also to get every child back. And I'll do everything I need to for that to happen.

KING: Have the attorneys spoken to you, Sally?

SALLY: Yes, somewhat.

KING: Are they optimistic?

SALLY: I couldn't answer that for them. I don't know.

KING: Do they give you great hope?

SALLY: I haven't spoken to them enough yet.

KING: Esther, do believe that these outsiders want to really hurt you?

ESTHER: No, I believe they just don't understand. I don't understand them. They don't understand me. And why -- why do they want to do this? I have a big question, why do they want to do this? I'm an active mother. I'm busy in raising my children. I haven't harmed anyone. Why do they want to come in and take that privilege, and that god-given privilege and responsibility away from me?

Why do they want to do that? My children love me. I love them. They are raised in a very safe environment. This, what is happening to them, is the worst abuse that they have ever had. I just don't understand why you would want to just come right into our community and do this. I'm sure none of you would want anyone to just go and do it to you.

KING: Did you ask them, Sally, while they were doing it, why are you doing it?

SALLY: I should say so many times, and they wouldn't give me an answer. They would always say, I don't know. I'm just doing my job. Just doing what I'm told. I saw no papers of anything. I only saw children being torn from their mothers.

KING: Well, we shall keep in close touch.

Thank you all, Esther, Marilyn and Sally. We haven't obviously heard the last of this.



KING: We now welcome to LARRY KING LIVE a return visit with Winston Blackmore. He's the leader of the polygamist community in Bountiful (ph), British Columbia.

What's your reaction to what we have seen so far?

BLACKMORE: I have very mixed emotions. Looking at how a whole community can just be interrupted like that and yet looking at some of those ladies, they were -- they were also a part of another raid on the community of Short Creek, wives of some very good friends of mine, who had their families ransacked and taken away to Texas.

KING: Why do you think they did it?

BLACKMORE: I don't know. I don't know why the mothers left with their children. I know that there were some very fine, good people that -- over a hundred families, looking at that number, 400-plus children, it was 4,000 people who had their lives interrupted in a raid that they made upon themselves.

KING: Did you know about that community in Eldorado?

BLACKMORE: I heard about it.

KING: You hadn't visited there?

BLACKMORE: At the very beginning, I thought maybe my daughter was down there. I went and flew over the place. But I haven't been since.

KING: How big is your community?

BLACKMORE: The community is about the same as it's always been, 800 to 1,000 people who live in our area.

KING: Do you have a fear of that happening to you?

BLACKMORE: It could. If it could happen here, it could happen anywhere.

KING: Do Canadians take a different viewpoint than the States.

BLACKMORE: I don't know what they're thinking or what they're doing.

KING: Have they ever contact contacted -- are you technically illegal in Canada?

BLACKMORE: There are anti-polygamy laws.

KING: That's what I mean, so you're breaking that law?

BLACKMORE: Not according to some of the finest legal minds. We're living our religion. It's something that I was born into. I have never known anything else than that all my life.

KING: How many wives do you have, Winston?

BLACKMORE: Larry, I've been there before. I have plenty and I have lots of children, both kinds, boys and girls. That's as far as we're going. I have a big job and a big struggle. To me, that's not the issue here.

KING: You're the leader of the community, though.

BLACKMORE: Actually, I'm one of many people who have decided that they're going to continue on with the fundamentals of our faith.

KING: We can ask this, though, how are you able to keep up with so many children? I mean, really, how do you do that?

BLACKMORE: All of my children aren't just little babies. I have grown up children, lots well on the way. I have very good support group with the mothers. But I don't know how any of us could ever be prepared for anything like that. It's heart breaking.

KING: What do you think will happen with the children?

BLACKMORE: I hope they give them back to their mothers. I certainly would hope that the fathers that are sitting there alone, lonely, wherever they are, would stand up and go and find their children.

KING: Authorities say they removed because they were in danger of emotional, physical and sexual abuse. How do you react to that?

BLACKMORE: I think anybody in the world is in danger of that. I don't think that applies solely to that community.

KING: We'll take a break and we'll be right back on this edition of LARRY KING LIVE. Don't go away.


KING: We're back with Winston Blackmore. He's the leader of a polygamist community in British Columbia.

When I asked the ladies about their husbands and how they felt their husbands would react, they tended not to answer. Why would you guess they wouldn't discuss their husbands?

BLACKMORE: I don't know. I'm still torn between two raids here. The lady that was answering that question, I only know her as the husband -- as a wife of a very fine good man who had his family taken away. And, you know, I don't know which husband she has right now. But I don't know who they're protecting or why.

KING: Are you a friend of Warren Jeffs?

BLACKMORE: I knew Warren very well.

KING: Was he bad rapped?

BLACKMORE: I think if he had followed the instructions and advice of his father, he would have made a very fine leader.

KING: What didn't he follow?

BLACKMORE: His father told us in 1998, before his stroke, he plainly told us all, in Utah that there was -- it was the age difference between marriages, plural marriages. He said we're going to follow this law. We're going to let these people grow up. It was also the advice of our legal counsel at the time. They told us, you guys need to distance yourself from underage marriage.

Warren heard it. I heard it. The rest of the people heard it. After his father had a stroke, he chose to do something different.

KING: Did you talk to him since all of that?

BLACKMORE: I talked to him about that. We talked about a lot of different things.

KING: What was his -- for want of a better word, defense?

BLACKMORE: He never did make any defenses when he didn't want to. But he had this concept that god and the prophet always do right. So --

KING: Give me a little history here. You believe that you're the true Mormon faith, right?


KING: By practicing the concepts of polygamy, which was practiced by all of Mormons until Utah changed the law?

BLACKMORE: Plural marriage is definitely one of the fundamentals of the Mormon faith. I think that is without a dispute. Throughout the years, our group, our faith group started because they did not want to give up that principal.

In 1890 the LDS church, the main church, for whatever their reasons were, and they're well documented, they abandoned the practice of plural marriage. On through, into the next century, they took great pains to distance themselves from it.

Well, our -- the people who followed what they considered the fundamentals of our faith maintained that as a very important tenet of our faith. And so, that's very I came from. My father did so.

KING: They changed it because their prophet at that time said he got a revelation to change it. Also, Utah would never have been a made state unless they changed it. There was practical reason as well.

BLACKMORE: Well, their prophet at the time, it certainly wasn't sent in revelation form -- I don't want to have a debate with those people. They have a good organization. They do a good job of what they do. I wished that we would have taken our faith and used -- used the very best good advice that we got from good people and had gone down the road that we were directed to do by our leader, who was Warren's father, for that's what he told us to do. He made it very plain to all of us. He was a decent, accountable, good man. He made that plain.

KING: Thank you, Winston. Winston Blackmore, leader of the polygamist community of Bountafil, British Columbia.

We'll be right back.


KING: We thank Winston Blackmore for joining us.

Right now, we're going to go to breaking news tonight. A debate was held tonight in Philadelphia, a major political debate. It just concluded between Senator Obama and Senator Clinton, just days before the primary next week. Let's check in with Candy Crowley, our CNN senior political correspondent, who is on the scene.

How did it go tonight?

CANDY CROWLEY, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think it went pretty well. They covered a lot of things. They covered, in fact, the various things that have cropped over the past couple of weeks. They had their last debate in late February. It's been some time. They talked about Jeremiah Wright, Barack Obama's pastor. They talked about Bosnia, where Hillary Clinton said as first lady she went in under sniper fire, proved not to be true.

They talked about the latest Obama statement, seeming to equate economic misery in small towns to god and guns. They talked about a number of things. If I had to boil this debate down to something, Larry, I would tell you it was three words, yes, yes, yes. That's what Hillary Clinton said when she was asked whether she thought Barack Obama could get elected president this fall? As you may know, she has been campaigning largely trying to convince super delegates that he's not electable. I think tonight for her to say I think he is, takes that off the table, Larry.

KING: Another instance came up tonight that's been a hot topic. Let's watch this clip and then get Lisa Caputo and Stephanie Miller to comment.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You say they get bitter and they cling to guns or cling to their religion.

SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D-IL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Not the first time that I have made, you know, a statement that was mangled up. It's not going to be the last.

SEN. HILLARY CLINTON (D-NY), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I don't believe that my grandfather or my father or the many people whom I have the privilege of knowing and meeting across Pennsylvania over many years cling to religion when Washington's not listening to them. I think that's a fundamental, sort of, misunderstanding of the role of religion and faith in times that are good and times that are bad.


KING: Lisa, what do you make of that exchange?

LISA CAPUTO, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: It was an exchange that started off with a discussion around the bitter comment from Senator Obama. And you saw in the debate, Senator Clinton went on the offensive very quickly, saying this is really about what I stand for, which is empowering people, and making sure that they're respected. So, she came out -- right out of the gate, swinging.

I think on the faith issue, it was a discussion around Reverend Wright. And Senator Clinton making the point that whomever you choose as your pastor is indeed an issue. She has been on the record saying that she would have not stayed in the church with Reverend Wright as Senator Obama had chosen to do so.

KING: Stephanie, what did you make of what you saw tonight?

STEPHANIE MILLER, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: I was invited as someone who can't even get one spouse. You know, I think we're in what, Larry, day six of "bitter" gate. The polls are showing that Barack Obama's only going up. I think tonight's debate showed essentially the same thing. Did he use the wrong words? Yes. Are people ticked -- can I say pissed on CNN? Yes, they are.

I think this is the thing that Republicans have been running on for years; fear mongering, dividing people, gods, guns and gays, voting against their economic self-interest.

KING: It isn't working with Obama?

MILLER: I think this is working in his favor, if you're looking at the polls.

KING: Candy, he does keep going up, doesn't he?

CROWLEY: Well, he does. So far, with the polls that we have seen, and there are more polls to come obviously, when they cover that period, after, right after the first three days after those remarks became public, in Pennsylvania, it stayed about five or six points. She's up about six points. That's where she was last week.

You look at the national polls, the Gallup tracking poll, he's up somewhere between seven and 11 points. There's been no change, either at the national or the Pennsylvania level. There are other days to come. I have to say that when you're talking about Reverend Wright or when you're talking about the small town comment that Barack Obama made, this is what they have been talking about and that's what they have been saying, what we heard tonight, on the campaign trail. So far, we haven't seen that it has much resonant. I'm not sure, because they did it state-wide, it will have resonance tonight.

MILLER: I don't know how they found those people so quickly in the Hillary ad that were so disgruntled. I am a Pennsylvania voter and I'm very outraged by these statements, and they seem to be the only one.

KING: Lisa Caputo mentioned earlier Reverend Wright. Let's watch a clip from aspect of the debate.


CLINTON: For Pastor Wright to have given his first sermon after 9/11 and to have blamed the United States for the attack which happened in my city of New York would have been just intolerable for me. And therefore, I would have not been able to stay in the church.

OBAMA: There are two important points. Number one, I wasn't aware of all of these statements. I can understand how people would take offense. But number two, the church is a community that extends beyond the pastor. That church has done outstanding work for many, many years.


KING: Lisa, can we say we're getting a bit much of this?

CAPUTO: Well, Larry, that's an excellent point. In fact, Senator Obama kept pointing to that tonight in the debate. In fact, at every opportunity when the offensive shots were coming in, either from the journalists or from Senator Clinton, he really kept trying to pivot off of it and say this is the kind of politics people aren't interested in talking about. People aren't interested in hearing about it.

Senator Clinton continued to press with the counter-attack to keep the issue alive. I think what you saw Senator Clinton try to do tonight was underscore her experience to remind voters that these are the kind of attacks that the Republicans are going to throw at Senator Obama and she's had the kitchen sink thrown at her, certainly, in her tenure, and she knows to withstand the attacks.

I think one other point is important to make. Candy mentioned that Senator Obama's rising in the polls. I think it's interesting to note, Larry, that he's outspending senator Clinton about two to one. He's spending 2.2 million dollars in Pennsylvania. It's the most ever a candidate has spent in Pennsylvania, which means, he's clearly not taking anything for granted by any stretch of the imagination.

KING: Stephanie, can he win Pennsylvania?

MILLER: Boy, it's pretty close, Larry. We're down to five points now. She was up 30, how long ago was that? I don't know.

KING: Candy, we've only got about 15 seconds. The latest poll says what?

CROWLEY: The latest poll in Pennsylvania, about five points. Look, Pennsylvania favors Hillary Clinton. I think this race is about the margins, Larry. If he can keep her down in the low single digits, that's generally going to be seen as a pretty good night for him, but she should win here.

KING: Thank you all very much, Candy Crowley, Lisa Caputo, Stephanie Miller, put together very late.

That debate was aired earlier. We managed to get a discussion about it.

We'll be back again, of course, tomorrow night. We've got some great shows upcoming, including an evening with Sidney Poitier.

You can check out our Web site, We've got quick votes, video clips, transcripts too. You can e-mail upcoming guests or download our podcast. This week, it's Stephen Colbert.

And our web extra takes you inside the polygamist compound, all on

Tomorrow that courtroom tug of war in Texas that could determine the fate of hundreds of children. That's LARRY KING LIVE on Thursday.

Right now, we're live as Anderson Cooper and -- "AC 360" -- Anderson