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CNN LARRY KING LIVE
Clinton Hangs On But At What Cost?
Aired May 9, 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, what keeps Hillary Clinton running?
How much damage does she risk to her reputation and the Democratic Party by continuing her campaign?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hillary Clinton!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Why does she hang on to hope with her superdelegate edge slipping away?
Clinton fights on.
Should she be figuring a way out?
It's next on LARRY KING LIVE.
Our topic tonight is, literally, Hillary Clinton.
We will have panel discussions.
But we begin in Syracuse, New York with Terry McAuliffe, the Hillary Clinton campaign chairman, the former chairman of the Democratic National Committee, in Syracuse to celebrate Mother's Day with his mother.
West Virginia expected to give your candidate a big win Tuesday.
Isn't that, though, Terry, prolonging the inevitable?
TERRY MCAULIFFE, FORMER DNC CHAIRMAN: We don't see it that way. We've got some important contests coming up, Larry. We've got West Virginia. We've got Kentucky. A poll out today had us up 35 points in Kentucky. A tight race in Oregon. We're up 10 to 15 points in Puerto Rico. We still probably have seven million people yet to vote. We have over 500 delegates that have yet to be chosen.
We're raising money. She's going on. There are huge crowds. She had 2,000 people meet her in South Dakota yesterday. It's basically a tight race. We have gotten 16.6 million votes. Senator Obama has gotten 16.7 million votes. So it's very close and a long way to go.
KING: So why is everyone -- and, literally everyone, saying it's over? MCAULIFFE: That's a great question and luckily we do not -- I keep you excluded from this, Larry -- we don't have to pay attention to the TV pundit. It ultimately comes down to the voters. And I think the voters are sending a strong message. They are working their hearts out right now in West Virginia, Kentucky, Oregon, South Dakota, Montana and Puerto Rico. They want to have a say in this process and there's excitement.
Why are we ahead in all these big states upcoming if Hillary was done?
We're not done. We're forging on...
MCAULIFFE: She's got important things to say about the economy and the war and so forth.
KING: Former Senator Edwards, who has not endorsed, is now saying that he thinks Obama is the probable nominee and therefore best equipped to defeat McCain.
How do you answer that?
MCAULIFFE: Well, listen, clearly, I would say he has momentum. If you had to say today who would be the frontrunner, clearly Senator Obama is. But it's not over. Until you get the magic number -- and everybody should focus on this. Until someone hits the magic number to be the nominee of the Democratic Party, it's not over. And neither one of us are there yet.
He will need superdelegates, we will need superdelegates. It's ultimately up to the voters.
Is it impossible for us to win this?
Is it energizing Democrats all over the country?
You bet it is. There are literally millions of people yet to vote. They will be around for the general election. It's exciting a lot of people. Hillary has earned the right to do whatever she wants to. There are 16.6 million passionate Hillary Clinton supporters who don't want people to kick her to the curb. I can tell you that. Her supporters do not want people telling them what to do, Larry. She's got a message. She's done well and she's going to continue on.
KING: Terry, she's made some waves for a comment she made in a phone interview this week with "USA Today". A reporter brought up the race issue.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
SEN. HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, we taped an A.P. Article posted that found how Senator Obama's support among working, hard working Americans, white Americans, is weakening again. And how the, you know, whites in both states, who had not completed college were supporting me. And in Independents, I was running even with him and doing even better with Democratic leaning Independents. I have a much broader base to build a winning coalition on.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Was that a mistake, Terry, to discuss white voters?
MCAULIFFE: Well, as you know, Larry, she was quoting an Associated Press piece. That's what she was actually quoting. And she was taking it off the Associated Press document.
The point she's trying to make is Hillary has shown that she can win the states, Larry, that we need to win in the general election. Today, Hillary Clinton wins Florida, she wins Ohio, we win Missouri. Those three key swing states are states today that Hillary Clinton wins that Senator Obama doesn't today.
Now, the election is not today, but you add to the states Pennsylvania and all the other big states that Hillary Clinton has won, she has built a coalition. Senator Obama has put together a great coalition, also. She's put together a coalition that will come out and help us win on November 4th. Also, she has won -- of the 20 key Congressional races that we have this year...
MCAULIFFE: ...she has won 16 of those 20. Her message has been heard.
KING: So she was just quoting the A.P. On the white issue?
KING: It's not something she would have brought up?
MCAULIFFE: Right. She was quoting an article. Right.
KING: All right.
MCAULIFFE: That's what she was doing.
KING: "The New York Times," the newspaper that originally endorsed her...
KING: ...in an op-ed today said, "Mrs. Clinton will be making a terrible mistake for herself, her party and for the nation, if she continues to press her candidacy through negative campaigning with disturbing racial undertones." That's a pretty strong step from "The New York Times".
How do you respond?
MCAULIFFE: Well, "The New York Times," the last couple of months in their editorials -- you know, I don't think their editorial board has actually been out into the states campaigning. After Pennsylvania, where we had three to one negative ads run against us, the next day to talk about us with negative ads was actually ridiculous.
She has run a positive campaign. She has run a substantive campaign. If you go to HillaryClinton.com, every one of her issues is laid out in detail. That's the type of campaign she's running.
"The New York Times" today wrote a story that -- talking to us about helping us with our debt.
Let me use your show right now, Larry. Unequivocal -- there will be no issue about it. We have not discussed anything at all with the Obama campaign. We have not entertained any idea of anyone helping us with the debt. Those stories are totally false. We are running to win this nomination. And anyone who says or writes anything to the contrary is not telling the truth.
KING: Well, said.
Terry, one other thing. Would she, in your opinion, accept the vice presidential nomination, if offered?
MCAULIFFE: Well, you know, Hill -- you've known Hillary a long time, too, Larry. And I have also. When she's got her mind on out there fighting for the working families in this country and she wants to win this nomination, that is all in her -- that's all she's thinking about. All of these discussions will go on, I believe, after June 3rd, when all of these voters have finally gone to the polls.
This party will be united. I have said this from day one. If we don't win the nomination, Hillary Clinton, Bill Clinton, Chelsea Clinton, Terry McAuliffe, we will all be over at Barack Obama's headquarters helping him. And Senator Obama would do the same for us.
We are all going to be unified. But I would implore Democrats right now, don't be telling Hillary what she ought to do. It's up to the voters.
KING: All right...
MCAULIFFE: Don't get her 16.5 million voters who have supported her angry. You want to help Senator Obama, go to one of these upcoming six states and go canvass or make phone calls. Everybody stay positive. We've been in this for 17 months. We have three weeks to go.
KING: Thanks, Terry.
Always good seeing you.
MCAULIFFE: Thank you, Larry. Great to see you.
KING: Terry McAuliffe, the Hillary Clinton campaign chairman and a former chairman of the DNC.
Can Hillary Clinton rebound?
Vote now on our Web site, CNN.com/larryking. You vote and we'll keep talking politics, when we come back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: People say to me all the time well, are you going to keep going?
Well, yes, of course, I'm going to keep going.
CLINTON: And why am I going to keep going?
I'm going to keep going because you keep going.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Our panel is now assembled.
Superdelegates will be with us later.
In Washington is Lanny Davis. He served as a special council to President Bill Clinton, is a supporter of Hillary.
In Fargo, North Dakota is Ed Schultz, the talk radio host who supports Barack Obama.
In Bear Stearns, Carole Simpson, our old friend, former ABC News anchor. She's a leader-in-residence at Emerson College and a supporter of Hillary.
And here in Los Angeles, another old friend, Stephanie Miller, talk radio host and a supporter of Barack Obama.
Ed Schultz, you heard Terry McAuliffe, who says strongly this is a close race.
Do you buy that or was it spin time?
ED SCHULTZ, TALK RADIO HOST, SUPPORTS OBAMA: It's spin time, Larry. And nobody does it better than Terry. I've got a lot of respect for him, but we've had 14 superdelegates since Tuesday come with Barack Obama. It's 99 to 17.5 since Super Tuesday. And I think they're losing their bullet points -- bullet points that don't shake the sense anymore aren't with Hillary Clinton. And I think that they're a dangerous territory starting to plant the seed, telling Democrats across the country that Barack Obama can't get enough white voters to win.
The fact is, is in 1996, Bill Clinton lost the white vote, he lost the white male vote and he lost the gun owner vote to Bob Dole, a former veteran, and Clinton won the election. So I don't know what the Clintons are trying to do right now other than damage the party.
KING: Carole Simpson, is it over?
CAROLE SIMPSON, FORMER ABC NEWS ANCHOR, SUPPORTS CLINTON: It is not over. And I am angry tonight on your show, Larry. I've been watching TV all afternoon and early evening. And all I've heard is white men telling Hillary Clinton that it's over, that she needs to get out of the race. And I'm tired of it. I have not heard one woman say that.
So the boys are still trying to push her off the stage. And I don't think she'll have any of it. There's three weeks to go.
What is the point?
She's not damaging, Ed Schultz, the party and the country by staying in the race.
KING: All right, Stephanie...
SCHULTZ: Well, that's your opinion, Carole.
KING: ...you raised your hand.
SCHULTZ: That's not my opinion.
KING: Hold it, Ed.
STEPHANIE MILLER, TALK RADIO HOST, SUPPORTS OBAMA: Carole, I have ovaries. And I have to agree with Ed here. I think this clearly was playing the race card. And I've got to tell you, I am someone that understands this, Carole. I'm friends with many Hillary supporters and I understand when her dream dies.
I had a late night show opposite Leno and Letterman in '95. I thought I was going to be the woman that succeeded in late night. That dream died. I thought I'd be married by now, Carole. That dream has died.
So I understand how painful it is when a dream dies. But I think that Ed is right -- this is damaging the party and the country, at this point, when you start playing the race card.
KING: Lanny, is it over...
SIMPSON: (INAUDIBLE) you're talking about marriage and having a show successful. We're talking about the president of the United States. MILLER: And I am. But I'm saying I understand honestly, Carole, how painful that is for when that dream dies. I'm a woman. I would love to see a woman president.
SIMPSON: It isn't dead, Stephanie.
MILLER: And I know my friends, Stephanie (INAUDIBLE).
SIMPSON: It is not dead Stephanie.
MILLER: Carole, we are getting into Sunset Boulevard time. It is it's not the presidency, I'm still big. It's...
SIMPSON: One woman wants her to stop that I've heard.
KING: All right. Let me -- let me get Lanny Davis in.
Lanny, is it over?
LANNY DAVIS, FORMER SPECIAL COUNSEL, PRESIDENT CLINTON: I have an announcement to make that I do not have ovaries, first of all.
SIMPSON: I hope not.
KING: Oh, but you're a white man.
Is it over?
DAVIS: It is not over. So I deal with facts. I don't impute motives and I don't accuse people of saying things that do psychobabble. Let me talk facts. Right now, Hillary Clinton is defeating John McCain in the daily tracking poll for the first time since March by a statistically significant margin. Barack Obama is not.
Secondly, in every battleground state that we need to win as a party, versus vote of no confidence in the latest polls, Hillary Clinton is defeating John McCain, Barack Obama is not.
And, finally, in the next two primary states, West Virginia, which we have to win -- which Al Gore lost the presidency by not winning -- and the State of Kentucky, a border state that Bill Clinton won but which we should be able to win, Hillary Clinton is defeating John McCain in Kentucky, while Obama is not. And he's -- and she's up over Obama by 20 or 30 points.
And right now the contest in popular votes and in delegates is within two percent between Clinton...
KING: So what... DAVIS: ...and Obama.
KING: All right, Lanny, so why does everyone...
DAVIS: So who's winning what?
KING: So everyone today is wrong?
DAVIS: Everybody today who's a pundit who isn't trying to win votes is wrong. When people in Washington tell a candidate who's about to win two states by huge margins drop out, they're wrong.
KING: OK, Ed Schultz...
DAVIS: But if Hillary Clinton doesn't get a majority vote...
KING: ...he's saying it's...
DAVIS: She will have to...
KING: Lanny don't overdo it. You made the point.
DAVIS: I made the point.
KING: Ed Schultz...
KING: Ed Schultz...
SCHULTZ: Come on now.
KING: Lanny is saying you're wrong, Ed.
SCHULTZ: Well, I have a lot of respect for Lanny.
But, Lanny, how can the Clintons go around the country making the point that Barack Obama can't win enough white men when Bill Clinton didn't do it back in 1996 and he defeated Bob Dole?
The fact is we're seeing record turnouts because the issue has changed. Barack Obama can win Colorado. He can win Iowa. He doubled up your candidate in North Carolina and he won Virginia. And bullet pointing the American people...
SCHULTZ: ...with a negativity isn't going to do the Democratic Party...
DAVIS: Let me...
SCHULTZ: ...any good.
DAVIS: Let me respond directly to...
SCHULTZ: If you go by the numbers, your candidate is way behind.
DAVIS: Can I respond, Ed?
DAVIS: You misquoted her. She did not say that Barack Obama can't win white voters. She was describing a fact -- a demographic fact of how voters are voting in the major states. And...
SCHULTZ: Come on, Lanny...
DAVIS: ...that's what she said.
SCHULTZ: ...she's planting a seed of doubt and you know it.
DAVIS: You're planting your interpretation into...
MILLER: Lanny, her surrogates did it. Her surrogates did it, as well.
DAVIS: ...her statement of fact. And to deny facts and then to impute psychological evil motives...
MILLER: Lanny, Lanny...
DAVIS: ...is not what I do.
MILLER: ...this was...
KING: One at a time.
SCHULTZ: And the Clintons have never done that.
KING: One at a time.
MILLER: Lanny, Ed is right. This is deliberate. It wasn't just that Hillary said this. Her surrogates did it on the phone call with reporters. They are playing off the fact she can get the white vote.
And I've got to tell you, I think North Carolina and Indiana repudiated this, that people don't want to be divided anymore. It's like Barack Obama said, we do not want to be divided anymore by black and white and by gender and by...
SIMPSON: May I...
MILLER: ...skin color and (INAUDIBLE) color.
SIMPSON: May I get in here, please?
KING: Yes, Carole, we'll pick right up with you, Carole...
KING: We'll take a break and come back with Carole -- with Carole Simpson. And I'll get -- go get my referee clothes.
Don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Our special guest tonight is Senator Barack Obama.
SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I feel good going into the convention. There's so much at stake.
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I am who I am to start with, and that is a conservative.
CLINTON: His policies are wrong for America.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: OK, Carole Simpson, your turn.
SIMPSON: Thank you.
I was going to make a comment about the white voters statement that is attributed to Hillary, but I decided I have a better point to make and I want to make it right now. And that is facts are facts, as Lanny talked about with the tracking polls and Hillary's comparison to McCain's numbers, if they were running against each other in a general election.
Do you know what my big fear is, is that Barack Obama is going to win the nomination and during the general election all of those white people that came out to vote for him in the primaries are going to get in that booth and are not going to vote for him, just like Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley, when he was running for the governor of California. All the polls said that he was going to win and he lost by a large margin because people...
KING: Yes. What are you saying that America will not elect...
SIMPSON: ...said what was politically correct.
KING: You're saying America will not elect a black man?
Is that what you're saying?
SIMPSON: I am fearful of that. I am fearful that "God damn America" is going to pop into their heads as soon as they get into the polling booth.
KING: Lanny, do you buy that?
KING: Do you buy that argument?
DAVIS: Excuse me.
KING: Hold it, Stephanie.
KING: Lanny, hold it.
DAVIS: Excuse me...
MILLER: Carole, that was a repudiation. This last primary was a repudiation, to me, of the media more than anything, is you know what, we don't care about the Reverend Wright thing. You know...
KING: Yes, you're next, Lanny.
MILLER: (INAUDIBLE) was a complete repudiation. And I just think that it's so wrong to say America will not vote...
KING: All right, Lanny?
MILLER: Sixty million people have voted for Barack Obama, most of them white.
SIMPSON: (INAUDIBLE) primaries.
SIMPSON: Now we're talking about the Gen.
KING: Carole, it's Lanny's turn.
DAVIS: I disagree with friend, Carole. I think America is ready to elect an African-American. I'm proud of what Barack Obama has accomplished and I'm proud of the way he's energized young people. I think he's benefited by being an African-American in many communities, including myself, who would love to have an African-American as president of the United States. I simply...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Uh-oh, close to the race card.
DAVIS: I simply say I think that it's -- I'm proud of the fact that we could elect an African-American, Carole. I just don't think that Barack Obama is connecting with working class people. It's not about race. Jimmy Carter lost Reagan Democrats not because he was black, but because he couldn't speak to working class people.
SIMPSON: Lanny, this country is about race.
DAVIS: He was white. So I am simply saying that what Barack Obama lacks is not because of his race. He is not able to connect with people who work for a living, with senior citizens, with Latinos...
SCHULTZ: Oh, come on, Lanny.
DAVIS: ...with the poor Democrat...
SCHULTZ: Come on.
DAVIS: So far that is what has been the case...
KING: All right, Ed?
DAVIS: ...and that's why the Gallup Poll shows Hillary running stronger, Ed. That's a fact.
SCHULTZ: You know, Lanny, you take a number from a poll and then you build a straw man argument against one of the most fabulous candidates this party has had in 50 years.
Why do the Clinton surrogates do that?
Why is it always a straw man argument?
Well, look how he's polling against John McCain. The election is not until November. The numbers are the numbers.
DAVIS: Thank you.
SCHULTZ: After the Reverend Wright story, Barack Obama went and beat your candidate in North Carolina by 14 points. That's a fact, Lanny. It's a fact that the superdelegates are turning now to Barack Obama. It's a fact that he went to Capitol Hill...
DAVIS: How much did he...
SCHULTZ: ...today and was overwhelmed by House members.
DAVIS: How much is he down in West Virginia?
How much is he down in West Virginia, Ed?
I didn't hear you say that.
About 20 points?
What about Kentucky?
Where is the big Barack Obama vote in Kentucky?
He's down about 30 points. He cannot connect with working class people and you cannot recognize that he's got to try to explain...
SCHULTZ: Well, what about Oregon?
What about Montana?
What about South Dakota?
And, you know, Lanny...
DAVIS: We'll see. We'll see.
SCHULTZ: ...I think it's pretty interesting and very ironic how your candidate now has to count on a miracle by the small states to win this thing.
How is she going to win by 69 percent of the vote?
SCHULTZ: That's in the hard number (ph).
DAVIS: My candidate is talking...
KING: Carole, Al Sharpton...
KING: Reverend Sharpton...
DAVIS: ...economic issues.
KING: Carole, Reverend Sharpton has likened Hillary to an entertainer who doesn't know when to exit the stage.
SIMPSON: I know.
KING: Is that a...
SIMPSON: I know. I saw that today.
KING: Is that a fair comment?
SIMPSON: No, it's not. It's not fair. We're talking about three weeks. I just cannot understand why everybody is trying to push her out with only three weeks left to go.
Congressman Rahm Emanuel says Barack is the presumptive nominee, Hillary can't win but something could happen that may lose Barack the nomination. That's like wishful thinking.
Doesn't it appear to you...
SIMPSON: Well, anything could happen.
KING: Doesn't it appear to you that if it looks like a duck and it acts like a duck and it walks like a duck, it's a duck?
Doesn't it appear to you that this campaign has now become a duck?
SIMPSON: No, because 40 years of reporting have shown me that anything can happen. Anything can happen.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, your hope...
SCHULTZ: Carole, have you ever seen anything like this?
SIMPSON: No. It's been the greatest election.
SIMPSON: I've been covering them since 1968. This is the best one.
SCHULTZ: And very well. And very professional. And I respect your opinion, but the numbers are overwhelming.
DAVIS: Larry, I have a very simple answer.
KING: All right, Lanny...
DAVIS: When Barack Obama reaches a majority of the delegates -- and that's the rule, a majority rules -- he'll be our nominee and then the party will unite. Hillary Clinton has made him a better candidate and he's made Hillary Clinton a better candidate. She is up. She is dedicated. She's resilient. She's more positively viewed by the American people as the true Hillary Clinton that I've known for 39 years than she was at the beginning of the campaign, when she was a cartoon character.
She's proud of the campaign she's run. She has passionate supporters. And when she's done, she'll either be the nominee or she'll support Barack Obama.
DAVIS: And we'll all come back together.
KING: All right, Stephanie?
MILLER: Lanny... KING: Stephanie?
MILLER: I have to tell you, I met Senator Clinton here in L.A. , you know, about a month ago. I found her charming and smart and capable and I think we all admire her. And I think that, you know, like Senator Claire McCaskill and others have said, we want to give Senator Clinton the respect that she deserves and let her make this decision on their own. I agree with you, nobody -- none of us should be telling her she should be get out.
But I do think that people are starting to feel like this is playing the race card and this is damaging the nominee at this point, so...
SIMPSON: Are you going back to the white voter comment?
MILLER: And that, I think, is all we're talking about...
DAVIS: Some people, but not all people, Stephanie...
MILLER: Well, we're...
DAVIS: And I think we have a disagreement on that, that's all.
MILLER: But when we're talking, when we're getting down to the point about her saying, oh, if I -- if this was a Republican, you know, thing, I'd already be the nominee...
KING: OK, I've got to take...
MILLER: Hillary, whatever happened to Baby Jane?
KING: (INAUDIBLE), guys.
KING: Hold it.
Lanny and Ed Schultz...
MILLER: But you are a Democrat, Hillary. You are.
KING: Hold it.
Lanny -- thank you for coming, Carole and thank you Stephanie.
Lanny and Ed Schultz will remain.
And Amy Holmes will give us the Republican point of view, joining us in a moment. Our Quick Vote is still up -- can Hillary Clinton rebound?
Vote now at cnn.com/larryking and we'll keep the conversation going.
You're watching LARRY KING LIVE.
KING: By the way, we're back.
If you missed our interview with Sidney Poitier, it will be repeated on Sunday night.
And Monday night live, when we're back, Barbara Walters.
Lanny Davis remains with us. He's in Washington. Ed Schultz is in Fargo, North Dakota.
And joining us here in Los Angeles, Amy Holmes, a Republican strategist and CNN contributor.
All right, let's ask Amy some questions then bring everybody in.
Amy, what do you -- should Hillary quit?
AMY HOLMES, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: You know what, I don't think she should. And I don't think Democrats should want her to. And it's for two reasons -- West Virginia and Kentucky. Most pollsters are saying...
KING: You think Lanny is right?
HOLMES: I think Lanny is right but for different reasons. Most pollsters are saying this is going to be a blowout. Hillary is going to clean up by double digits, 34 points, possibly, 40 points. When you look at it, do you want Barack Obama campaigning against a ghost who withdrew from the race and losing by huge numbers or by an active politician still campaigning. If you want to underscore how badly Barack Obama is doing with this particular demographic, have Hillary pull out and have him lose by 40 points.
KING: Is this helpful to McCain or forgotten?
HOLMES: Republicans are absolutely enjoying this and we're seeing it just keeps getting nastier and nastier. This is ammunition for September, so yeah, it's good for McCain right now.
KING: It's Mother's Day this weekend and the McCain campaign has a new ad featuring the candidate's 96 year old mother Roberta. Let's watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) ROBERTA MCCAIN, JOHN MCCAIN'S FATHER: He was the sweetest, nicest child I have ever known. I think he'll make a wonderful president. He's not perfect. Did I say that.
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: He doesn't pay enough attention to his mother.
R. MCCAIN: I have no complaints.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: This done to show good genes.
HOLMES: Maybe that in part. Good genes, good sense of humor. Who can't help but really enjoy that ad. It softens John McCain and helps him reach out to voters.
KING: This is going to be a rough November.
HOLMES: We have, if Barack Obama is the nominee, we have two real giants, I think and I think between them, this is going to be a campaign really about ideas and where they stand on the issues.
KING: Would you want to see Hillary as a vice presidential nominee or not?
HOLMES: As a Republican, no, I think that would be a fairly strong ticket. But if it look at it from Barack Obama's point of view, if he picks Hillary, he also picks Bill. All the baggage, a two term former president looking over his shoulder. Does Barack Obama want that as commander in chief?
KING: Lanny does that not play?
KING: Hillary Clinton as the vice president.
DAVIS: Gosh. I don't know. These are two great candidates and I only know Hillary Clinton has been a great candidate and she has been resilient and she has won admiration even from Barack Obama supporters. I appreciate Stephanie's kind words in the segment before. Where we are, Hillary Clinton I think brings out the best in Barack Obama and challenges him to figure out what he's not connecting with blue collar white voters. Jimmy Carter had that problem and something called Reagan Democrats was invented. Jimmy Carter was white. This is not about race. Hillary Clinton is talking about economic issues, about foreclosures, about people who are hurting ...
KING: The question was ...
DAVIS: And Barack Obama is not learning to do that. He has got to get better if he's the nominee.
DAVIS: And he has ....
KING: But you know ...
DAVIS: ... presumably learned from her ...
KING: But you know Hillary forever, do you think she'd accept a vice presidential offer? Do you think that?
DAVIS: I honestly don't know that, Larry. I think she's a great United States senator from Robert Kennedy's seat. When I knew her in law school, if I said to her forty years from now, if you were the United States senator in Robert Kennedy's seat, would you be happy, I think she would have said it will never happen. So I don't really know, Larry, exactly what she would do.
KING: Ed Schultz. If you were Obama, would you offer it to her?
SCHULTZ: No, I would not, Larry. The Democrats need to turn the page to the next generation. I think that Barack Obama is probably going to put somebody on the ticket who can definitely bring a state, some new ideas, and a new direction for the Democratic Party to change the culture of Washington. I think he may pick somebody who hasn't worked in Washington for a while.
I'd like an answer to what Amy said about the percentages she's talking in Kentucky and West Virginia. Hillary Clinton is going to have to get 70 percent of the vote in those two states to keep this going. She has never done that throughout any of this. That's a number that's a projected number. There's no facts with her anymore other than, well, she's not mathematically eliminated. She's going to have to get 69 percent of the vote in the last six contests, she is going to have to do a major turn around with superdelegates. It doesn't look like it's going to happen.
I'm not telling Hillary to get out of the race. Now I think the longer she stays in, Barack Obama is going to have to mathematically eliminate her to erase all this speculation about whether the Democrats have the right candidate or not because of what all the things the Clintons are saying on the campaign trail. It's a tough, tough scenario.
HOLMES: I'm not saying Hillary Clinton has a mathematical path to the nomination. If you look at West Virginia, Real Clear Politics Jay Cost over there had an incredible analysis. If you look at West Virginia, this is exactly the demographic where she has been doing 70- 74 in counties in Ohio, Pennsylvania. That's exactly where her strength is. My point to the Democratic Party and to Barack Obama is do you want to be beaten by someone not campaigning anymore?
KING: We're going to obviously be devoting lots of time to this in the weeks and maybe months ahead. Thank you, Lanny Davis, Ed Schultz and Amy Holmes. Always good seeing you.
They have got the power. The superdelegates are here when LARRY KING LIVE returns.
KING: We're back. We asked you can Hillary Clinton rebound? Fifty seven percent have said no, but the polling continues.
And now the superdelegate time. In New York, Congressman Donald Payne, Democrat of New Jersey, a superdelegate who has switched from Clinton to Obama. In Detroit, our old friend, Debbie Dingell, an undecided superdelegate, the wife of Representative John Dingell, one of the more powerful members of the House of Representatives, Democrat of Michigan. And in New York, Congressman Anthony Weiner, Democrat of New York who is a superdelegate supporting Hillary Clinton. We'll talk with Congressman Payne, why did you switch?
REP. DONALD PAYNE, (D) NJ: Well, I think it's time for our party to come together. I think we've been very fortunate. We've had two outstanding candidates. As a matter of fact, the field had many outstanding - Joe Biden, Senator Chris Dodd and others. Mr. Kucinich gave a different position on many issues.
So we've been blessed. I think now is the time, though, that we need to come together. Because there's a stark difference between the Democratic nominee, which I believe will be Mr. Obama and the Republican candidate, who is the nominee of the Republican Party.
KING: Debbie, people say how could you be undecided at this point?
DEBBIE DINGELL, UNDECIDED SUPERDELEGATE: I have two reasons. I'm not saying anything until we get Michigan and Florida seated. As I listen to all of this dialogue tonight I come at this from a very different perspective which is that we have been fighting in Michigan and the reason that Michigan moved up its rules was to change the presidential nominee system permanently.
So we have only got a couple of weeks left. West Virginia is so excited they are going to have the presidential candidates come there and talk about their issues.
And this presidential cycle has been exciting. Because everybody has had their opportunity to talk about all the issues. And it hasn't been two small states dominating the presidential nominating cycle. These cant candidates are stronger because its been this cycle.
KING: So you really do not know?
DINGELL: I may be beginning to go in a direction, but I don't know. I think it's an exciting time and we're going to get Michigan seated first.
KING: Congressman Weiner, why do you stay with Hillary despite all the things that she's done?
REP. ANTHONY WEINER, (D) NY: Because of Debbie Dingell. I think that she deserves to have a candidate that shows that they can win states that are important to winning the general election.
If I told you a year ago that our nominee would be the candidate that didn't win New York, didn't win New Jersey, didn't win California, didn't win Pennsylvania, didn't win Michigan, didn't win Florida, you'd say that's crazy. Well Hillary Clinton has won those states and shown that she has the coalition together to beat John McCain. There's a lot of people in the same place as Debbie Dingell. They say you don't count Michigan and you don't count Florida and the six other states that haven't been counted yet, this process is not done. I welcome Debbie Dingell and I welcome Don Payne back to the fold. We are all going to come together. We're a nation of 50 states, not 48. Not 40. We're 50 states. Every state has a right. Just because we in New York had our say, Iowa had its say, it doesn't mean the states to come don't deserve to have their say.
KING: Anthony, I apologize. I called you Weiner, it's Weiner, of course, Anthony Weiner of New York. Congressman Payne, does this hurt you in the fall? This tough campaign among the Democrats?
PAYNE: I think it really had made us much stronger. We have so many new people that have come into the democratic process. I mean people in my district, Newark, New Jersey, and others young people couldn't get to the polls quick enough. This nonsense about Senator Obama cannot win the states, Senator Kerry won nine states (ph) and lost by 20 or 30 electoral votes. There is no way Senator Obama will not win the same nine states Senator Kerry won. As a matter of fact, will win three or four more. It's ridiculous to talk about he can't win states like Pennsylvania. He will be running against Senator McCain, not Hillary Clinton. It's going to be a totally different story.
KING: Debbie, do you agree?
WINER: I want to make something clear. I was -- We're going to try to make sure he wins all the states. That's not the issue. The issue is the one thing we know is we had primaries in those states. One candidate came out first and one candidate come out second. She showed she was the stronger candidate right now. The point I'm trying to make -- I'm not saying Barack Obama can't win, I'm convinced when we pull together, the nominee is going to win. The only issue is who is the strongest nominee. That should be the sole issue we consider and we'll find out after all these states have voted.
KING: Debbie, do you think you'll come together in November?
DINGELL: We absolutely will. I actually think Senator Obama in North Carolina said it very well. We have a common vision. We are facing in two wars. We have an economy in turmoil and a planet that's in danger. And all of us care about it. We are going to come together. Because in November we're going to remember what the Republicans have done to us and share that common vision and fight for change.
KING: When do the superdelegates, Debbie, when do you all vote?
DINGELL: The superdelegates can decide what they are going to do up until the August convention. I think you're going to see the Rules Committee meet on the 31st, the primary season is over on June 3 then you're going to see Democrats come together and Republicans are trying to divide us and they are not going to be successful, Larry. We all care. We're going to come together because we do need change in this country.
KING: Thank you all very much. Superdelegates. Very quickly.
WEINER: I want to add that I think one of the reasons you're seeing so many people on the sidelines is we want to get it right. I also want to add a happy Mother's Day to my mom.
KING: I'm sure you all feel the same.
Behind the closed doors, Lisa Ling joins us with rare access to the polygamist lifestyle when LARRY KING LIVE RETURNS.
KING: Before we meet our guest, let's check in with Wolf Blitzer, who will tonight host AC 360 sitting in for Anderson Cooper. Wolf, what's up tonight?
WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: Thanks very much, Larry. A lot more on politics. Coming up at the top of the hour on AC 360, soldiering on. That's what Hillary Clinton says she's doing despite the math looking worse by the day. More superdelegates committing to Barack Obama today. And by CNN's count he's about ready to overtake her on that front.
Questions also swirling around her comments about Obama not being able to win the white vote. It's got a lot of Democrats up in arms now as you know. But an equal number of Democrats say it might be true, we're digging deeper into that. We'll also bring you an exclusive tour inside an FLDS home. Our camera's shoot what really happens behind closed doors. It's a fascinating look at a secret lifestyle. All that, Larry plus the latest on the tragedy on Myanmar including my interview with our own with Dan Rivers who was essentially run out of the country, running for his life, many believe. That's on AC 360, Larry, coming up at the top of the hour.
KING: Thank you, Wolf. 10:00 Eastern, 7:00 Pacific. Wolf Blitzer hosts tonight's AC 360. Lisa Ling is our special guest. Last month, more than 460 children were removed from a polygamist ranch in Texas. Lisa went inside the compound to meet the women. She had tour through a home and a school once used by Warren Jeff's sect. She is going to appear on "Oprah" with two former members of the FLDS sect. What did you see?
LISA LING, "OPRAH" CORRESPONDENT: It was a surreal environment in El Dorado. It astounds me this community has been existing in such isolation for all of this time.
KING: Nobody knew about it?
LING: People knew about it but very few people had been inside. It's community that literally is stuck in the 1800s and has been cut off from the rest of the world.
KING: We're going to take a look now at Lisa talking to the FLDS women about the young girls. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LING: I think that the issue of concern is when girls who are underage, who are younger than 18 years old are asked to be married to much older men. I mean, I think that's an issue of concern. Do you understand what that would be?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's not a concern. Because they've seen they are actually well taken care of. They are not abused. Especially, the young ones.
LING: If the girl chose not to get married, if she just didn't want to ...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That would be her right. Oh, surely.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Are they not looking at reality? In your viewpoint?
LING: It's just their reality. I talked to a lawyer for the FLDS today and he said that proximately 40 percent of the mothers have been allowed to see their kids, but under strict supervision. And he said that Child Protective Services has actually told them not to be emotional for the kids' sake because they don't want to make the kids particularly emotional.
KING: Is the segment for "Oprah" taped already?
LING: It is taped already. It will be airing on the 14th. On Wednesday.
KING: You got the two women to go with you there?
LING: No, we have an exclusive with one of the two women who were actually used by Texas authorities. And what they were doing is they were actually acting as a bridge. They were former FLDS members and they were essentially teaching Texas authorities how to communicate with these people who have been living in isolation. So for example the word sex and abuse aren't words that FLDS uses. So in order to talk to the kids, they would say things like marital relations as opposed to sex.
KING: Lisa had a tour of one of the houses. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This was some sort of meeting room. As you can see, a little secret hiding place. Go back into a room back in there.
LING: What is this thing? UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Looks like they used it to hide women and children or document that is were valuable and they didn't want to be discovered.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: That will air on "Oprah" on the 14th.
What surprised you the most?
LING: Well, that vide was actually at the Alta Academy. That was the school where Warren Jeffs was the principal. It was interesting because it was a self contained school with that had a baptismal room, birthing places and these kind of hiding spaces. According to our escort who was also a former FLDS member, that's where the members might hide children because they live in such paranoid that they are afraid a raid could happen at anytime. And there is a strong likelihood that the El Dorado compound also had those kind of hiding places.
So one of our sources said that's probably why Texas authorities had to go in on multiple occasions.
KING: Custody battles start in court Monday, I think?
LING: On May 19 will be the second round of hearing.
KING: Do you feel sorry for the mothers not being with their children?
LING: I do feel sorry for the mothers. I really do.
Because irrespective of what the fathers may have done, these are the children's mothers. And some of them are having to travel to cities all across the state in order to see their kids because they have so many children and they have all been separated. So I do feel sorry for them. I can only imagine it's such a challenging time.
KING: Great stuff. We'll be right back with more of Lisa Ling. Don't go away.
KING: We're back. By the way, Lisa Ling is with us and one of her good friends from here days at "The View" is our guest Monday. Barbara Walters. If you'd like to ask her a question you can. Just go to cnn.com/larryking and click on send us a video e-mail.
Submit a question for Barbara via cell phone or Web cam. Barbara Walters and I might see you Monday night on LARRY KING LIVE.
And by the way Joy Behar does this week's podcast. "The View" is well-represented tonight. Let's take another quick look at Lisa's reporting from inside the compound. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) LING: A lot of these kids are very young and have lived on this ranch most of their lives. What kind of exposure have they had to the outside world?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We teach them to be virtuous and clean and pure and to not intermingle where they shouldn't be. Keep their minds free of filth and entertainment that goes on.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: You came away from this with what?
LING: Well, I can only imagine what the kids, the kind of culture-shock they are going through. They go from this community they are cut off and have never watched television, and boom, they are in modern society with packaged food and video games and so on. So my heart really goes out the children. I'm sure they are going through an extreme confusion.
KING: Good reporting, Lisa. All right, "The View." What's going on? Barbara Walters, Rosie O'Donnell, now Starr Jones.
LING: You got me.
KING: What do you make? Did you ever think it would go this route and get this big?
LING: I truly never thought it would get this chaotic and bad. When we were on the show, we all really did get along and everything was quite copacetic. But, in watching the show, you did see things evolving into what its become. It was ignited by Star, unfortunately. It's sad. I know Star is going through a lot in her personal life and her professional life. I hope it all resolves itself. I really do.
KING: Are you surprised at one calling the other a liar? Barbara and Star?
LING: Am I surprised? You want the real answer? No, I'm not surprised. I'm not surprised. A lot has been bubbling under the surface. Even though I think a lot of feelings are going to be hurt inevitably and already are. On the one hand it's good to have it all out in the open. Unfortunately, everyone shares in the emotions that have been exchanged.
KING: How does your deal with Oprah work? What are you doing now?
LING: I'm a special correspondent for "The Oprah Show." I am really her special correspondent who travels all over the place and tries to raise awareness about issues.
KING: They assign you like a network would assign a reporter?
LING: That's right. I'm the reporter for the show. It's really been an honor to work for a show that really has such an incredible objective. And she's just awesome. KING: She's terrific. Where do you go next?
LING: There are a couple stories I can't exactly disclose at the moment, but i will have a very, very busy summer and will have bags packed constantly.
KING: Are you going to get involved, you can answer this, politically?
LING: I've been a little involved. It's, again, unfortunate it's come to this. I'm honestly so fatigued by hearing about it. So hopefully, there will be a decisive nominee very soon.
KING: Polygamy, we only have a few seconds left. What's your read on it?
What's its attraction?
LING: Well, there are polygamist communities that actually they live fairly normal lives and they interact with modern society and live very modern lives. The FLDS is an entirely separate sect all together and what they do is not reflective of what all polygamist communities do.
KING: So don't judge all by that.
KING: Thanks, Lisa.
LING: Thanks, Larry.
KING: Lisa ling, great seeing her. By the way, you know there's a humanitarian crisis in Myanmar, it's unbelievable. The cyclone that swept through is believed to have killed at least 100,000 people and left many more homeless and they have no access to food or fresh water. The exact scope of this catastrophe is hard to gauge. The government refuses to allow aid workers into the country.
There is something you can do. Go to our Web site, cnn.com/larryking, scroll down to Myanmar disaster, how you can help. Myanmar disaster, how you can help. It will link you to various relief organizations and you can contribute to the group of your choice.
It's time now for AC 360 and my man, Wolf Blitzer sitting in for Anderson. Wolf?