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Are There Still Children Remaining at YFZ Ranch?; Jesse Ventura Unfiltered & Opinionated; Elizabeth Edwards on Ted Kennedy & Her Husband's Endorsement of Obama; Foreign Policy and the Presidential Hopefuls

Aired May 21, 2008 - 21:00   ET


LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, unfiltered, unpredictable, unleashed -- when Jesse Ventura talks, look out. The wrestler turned governor confronts Clinton, challenges Obama, criticizes McCain. The political punches don't stop there. And wait until you hear what he says about the primaries.
Is he the answer to what ails America?

Plus, an exclusive interview with Elizabeth Edwards on Ted Kennedy's cancer, her own health and why she's so tough on the candidates.

It's all next on LARRY KING LIVE.

Jesse Ventura will be joining us in a couple of minutes.

We begin with breaking news.

Many weeks after they removed more than 460 children from the polygamous YFZ Ranch in Texas, state authorities were back today looking for more kids.

We'll go straight to Eldorado, Texas for all the latest information with KXAN-TV reporter Jenny Hoff.

Jenny, what happened?

JENNY HOFF, REPORTER, KXAN-TV, AUSTIN: Well, Larry, just a few hours ago, CPS returned for the second time today. Two CPS officials and sheriffs deputies came. They went to that gate right behind me and they were asking the guard at the gate if they could get in the ranch, because they got word that there are five more children inside that ranch.

Now, when I spoke with CPS, they did confirm that it was them who came by here. They did not have a search warrant. They did not have a court order. But said they got word. They wouldn't specify if it was another phone call. They did say they had some sort of a phone call and eyewitness reports that there were new kids on that ranch. But they don't say it -- they say it's not the kids from before -- that were out there before. They took all of those kids off the ranch. It's new kids who have come in from their families from Utah and Arizona, presumably relatives of the people who live out here on the YFZ Ranch.

So it was a pretty interesting spectacle. At first we heard it was possibly another raid, but it wasn't.

KING: Yes. All right...

HOFF: It was something pretty peaceful out here. But, again, they denied them access. They let us, though, in right afterwards.

KING: Jenny, YFZ spokesman Willie Jessop had this perspective on what took place.



WILLIE JESSOP, YFZ SPOKESMAN: The last time the sheriff was welcome to drive in and go in and look around. We asked the community to gather together so that we could clear up their misunderstanding. We let them talk to everybody. And at the end of the day, they loaded the children on in buses and took everybody out of the ranch.

They're asking me to repeat it.


KING: Jenny, is that pretty typical of the reaction of the other side?

HOFF: Oh, that certainly is the reaction from everybody that lives out here on the ranch. And especially Willie Jessop, who doesn't actually live here. He just comes down and visits. But he is a member of the FLDS Church.

He said he would let CPS in if they had a legitimate reason, but not another phone call where they won't give them the specifics and certainly not without a search warrant or a court order, because, as you just heard, he said last time he let authorities in, they ended up, in his words, getting betrayed, all the children were taken off the ranch and he doesn't want these families to be taken off again...

KING: Yes...

HOFF: ...especially because, he says, CPS just now, every day in court we hear more of these women who are put in the disputed minors category actually be proven that they're actually adults. So he is worried that they'll come on and find a 30-year-old woman, a 25-year- old woman, and take them off, claiming that they may be minors.

KING: Thanks a lot, Jenny.

We'll be calling on you a lot.

Jenny Hoff.

By the way -- there's more from this ranch. We'll have it for you tomorrow. We have rare access inside the compound and we'll talk to the families for their side of the story. And Willie Jessop will be aboard, as well. It's a provocative LARRY KING LIVE for tomorrow night.

And now we go to our friend, the one and only Jesse Ventura.

When you were with us in April, Jesse -- by the way, his latest book is "Don't Start the Revolution Without Me" -- you talked about living off the grid. You seem to be on the grid.

Are you -- are you working against your own book?

JESSE VENTURA, FORMER MINNESOTA GOVERNOR: No, not at all. I'm just back for the summer in Minneapolis. And when I -- and for the summers, I live back on the grid. There's not too many opportunities here in Minnesota to get off the grid like there is in Mexico, Larry.

KING: Where you now live.

Assessing the current U.S. political landscape, do you see anything that you like?

VENTURA: Well, you know I what I do like is that people seem to be getting more aware, you know. That's the one thing Barack Obama brings to the table is he's making people aware, he's getting record crowds when he's out there. And I like that. I like to see when people stop their apathy and they start getting involved and paying attention. Because that's the best thing you can have for a democracy, is to have citizens that pay attention and hold their feet to the fire.

KING: Are you surprised that the polls say that about 85 percent of America is in discontent?

VENTURA: No, that doesn't surprise me a bit. Because when you look at the situation in the country today, I mean we're $9 trillion in debt now, Larry. That's -- both parties are responsible for that. I mean I did a little bit of math. And you figure if there's 300 million people in America and we're $9 trillion in debt, that means a baby born tomorrow will be saddled with $30,000 worth of debt before they've even taken their first breath of life. Now, to me, that's unconscionable.

How can we do that? How can we look at the people who run our government and say they're doing a good job when you have a generation that may never get out of debt because of what we've put them into?

KING: What are your thoughts on this continuing Obama/Clinton fracas?

VENTURA: Well, you know, again we're a free country. And Hillary Clinton should be able to run until she deems that she can't compete anymore. And if -- and if she wants to go all the way to the Democratic convention, I see that as her prerogative to do so.

It's like when Ralph Nader runs. You get these people that say oh, he shouldn't do it. Well, no he should do it. This is the United States. We're free. You have every right not to vote for him. And so if Hillary wants to take it all the way to the convention, in my opinion, she has every right to do so. We're a free country.

KING: How do you account for the fact that while Republicans are low in the polls, they've lot the last three special Congressional races, it doesn't look good for them, some people think the Democrats might get 60 seats in the Senate -- that McCain, in his polls, seems to run strong?

VENTURA: Well, you know, there's weird things like that happen in politics, where the legislature will take a hammering and yet on the administrative side of the executive branch, someone will win who you don't expect to, maybe because of personality or maybe they want a check and a balance, you know?

Maybe the public looks at it if we're going to have a Democratic legislature or Congress, then maybe we need a Republican president to counterbalance them, rather than all of one or all of the other.

KING: Hmmm.

VENTURA: But my view is kind of this. I mean, with our current president's low ratings -- I mean he's got a 70 percent disapproval rating, which is worse than Richard Nixon at the height of Watergate -- I would think it should be a lock for the Democrats to win. But trust me, if there's anyone that can blow the election, it will be the Democrats.

KING: Jesse Ventura is staying right here.

Don't you go anywhere. We'll be right back.



CHELSEA CLINTON, DAUGHTER OF SEN. HILLARY CLINTON: My mom, our next president, Senator Hillary Clinton.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Our next president of this United States, Barack Obama.


KING: We're back with Jesse Ventura.

Why does it cost so much to run for office?

VENTURA: Well, because -- I don't know really, Larry, because you're talking to the wrong person there. I don't -- I don't spend to get in office more than I'll make while doing the office. In Minnesota, I raised $300,000. But over the course of four years as governor, I made $480,000. So I really am not the person to ask.

But on a serious note, maybe a little bit, I think, in some ways, usually it's because you have to get recognized. You don't have name recognition, so you have to purchase it or buy it. But in the case of the presidential election, they certainly all have that. So, I don't know. It's just a matter of, I guess they think if they spend money rather than ideas, they can win it with money as opposed to ideas. I don't know.

KING: You said, obviously, that anyone has the right to run.


KING: What's your thoughts on what keeps Hillary going?

VENTURA: Well, you know let's remember something.

I'm not -- Hillary is a strong -- the Clintons are very powerful within the Democratic Party. And probably there's a lot of favors owed there and they got what they call those superdelegates. Now, I'm not really privy to what they are, but a superdelegate, I would think, would be unconstitutional if it wasn't within a political party, because it kind of means that this delegate has more power than a regular delegate. And I don't quite get why it would be that way.

But, you know, if she can corral enough of these supposed superdelegates and call in enough favors, you know, maybe she gets the nomination. Or maybe by staying until the end, she could still accomplish a first. She could be the first female vice president, if by chance they team up in the end and become running mates.

So maybe they're looking at it from that aspect, also, of riding right into the convention together and then teaming up on the convention floor and making it a big dynamic spectacle for America to see.

Who knows what they have in mind?

I'm not in their party.

KING: I know you disagree with a lot of his politics, but aren't you -- don't you have a little emotional tilt toward John McCain in that of his war service record?

You were a Navy SEAL. Don't you feel a bond?

VENTURA: Well, I greatly respect Senator McCain. Certainly we have a bond. We're both Navy men. And I wish his well. But what troubles me more, Larry, is hypocrisy. And in the case of John McCain, we have a huge hypocrisy in this country.

And that is this -- how is it that a federal employee -- if you work for the federal government, you're required to retire by age 65. And yet you can run for president and be the head of the very federal government, have the most stressful job in America and you can do it at any age. I don't get that.

John McCain could not get hired by the federal government to work, but he can become the leader of the federal government, because -- he couldn't get hired because he's too old.

KING: But that's not his hypocrisy.

VENTURA: It's the hypocrisy of the system that we work under. And I view it this way. If he -- if the government, by law, wouldn't let him work for the government at 65, well, then, to me, age is an issue.

How could he possibly run it, if he's older than 65, when any of the workers are?

KING: What do you make of the Libertarian Party?

Bob Barr is going to try to be their nominee.

VENTURA: Well, I think the Libertarians work hard. I'm a libertarian. I like to say I am -- small L. I believe in less government. I believe government is far too intrusive in our lives. I think I'm more of a libertarian than Bob Barr is, actually. Libertarians are pro- choice. I don't think Senator Barr is that.

But he obviously wants to stir the pot up a little bit, which is good. He's obviously disenfranchised with the Republican Party, which I say is good. And, you know, maybe he can be successful for them.

KING: That's Congressman Barr, not Senator.

VENTURA: Oh I'm sorry, Congressman Barr.

KING: Unless we have (INAUDIBLE).

VENTURA: I lose track of what the federal guys are -- what offices they hold.

KING: What about that...

VENTURA: Congressman Barr.

KING: How about that race in your old state, Norm Coleman, the incumbent U.S. senator. The frontrunner in the Democratic field is Al Franken.

What's that going to be like, assuming it's Franken -- Franken versus Coleman?

VENTURA: Well, I think the better question to ask is what will it be like if Ventura comes in in July, because that's when the filing date is.

KING: Are you saying you might still?

VENTURA: Oh, yes. Absolutely. I'm weighing it right now.

KING: Wait a minute...

VENTURA: And I'll tell you... KING: No, wait. Hold it, hold it, hold it.

You're weighing entering the -- which -- as an Independent?

VENTURA: Absolutely.

You think I'd join one of these two parties? Are you kidding, Larry?

KING: So you mean you...

VENTURA: You know me better than that.

KING: might make it a three-way race for Senate -- Ventura, Coleman and Franken?


KING: And what will be the...

VENTURA: Very likely.

KING: What will be the deciding factor?

VENTURA: Well, the deciding factor, I think, will be how people feel about their situation today with the deficit and how helpless they feel with the two parties. And I think Minnesota is already shown that they're willing to take a gamble. And if I were to enter the race -- here's the other reason I want to do it, Larry. I want to see on all the ballots now "none of the above." And I could be that "none of the above." All I've got to do is go down and file and put my name on the ballot and then Jesse Ventura becomes "none of the above."

KING: Wait a minute, though...

VENTURA: If you have the...

KING: What if you're elected?

VENTURA: If I'm elected, I'll do the job. Absolutely. And I'll tell you this, if I go out to Washington, rest assured, no one will own me. There won't be any strings attached to me. And you'll truly get a citizen's senator out there, who -- I would tell them to be very afraid, to be very -- how does it go?

Be afraid. Be very afraid.

KING: When will you decide?

VENTURA: I'll decide in July when filing happens. Because to me, you shouldn't be campaigning before you can file for the job.

KING: Will you campaign heavily if you do go in?

VENTURA: Probably not. I won't spend more money than what I'll make, because that's a firm believe I hold to my father. KING: Jesse Ventura announcing tonight that he's considering entering the Senate race against Coleman and the presumed Democratic nominee, Al Franken. He'll decide in January. We'll continue with...

He's got more to say. He'll continue to sound...

VENTURA: No, July, Larry.

KING: He'll decide in July. OK.

He'll continue to sound off, with other guests joining him, right after this.


KING: Jesse Ventura, the author of "Don't Start the Revolution Without Me," remains with us. He's in Minneapolis.

Joining us in Orlando, Florida is Congressman Robert Wexler, Democrat of Florida and supporter of Barack Obama -- in fact, traveling with Obama today in Florida.

And in Washington, Congressman Charles Rangel, Democrat of New York, a supporter of Hillary Clinton.

They are all in this conversation.

Now, Congressman Wexler, what is Barack Obama doing in Florida?

REP. ROBERT WEXLER (D), FLORIDA, SUPPORTS OBAMA: Well, he came first to Tampa Bay today and then to Kissimmee and then Orlando. He was greeted with the largest crowd ever assembled for a political event in Florida. He's rallying the troops. He's unifying the Democratic Party around a message of helping seniors, helping working class people in Florida, addressing the environment, talking about addressing hurricane insurance needs in Florida.

But he's coming off, of course, a tremendous milestone last night. And that is the winning of a majority of the elected delegates. And, of course, the Democratic Party has always nominated the candidate who won the most elected delegates.

KING: Congressman Rangel, Hillary was there, too, was she not?

REP. CHARLES RANGEL (D-NY), SUPPORTS CLINTON: I have no idea the way she's campaigning. But I know one thing, this has to be one of the most exciting political periods of time in our nation's history. I'm just so excited that the whole world is watching. Millions of people are coming out. And it's just going to be terrific.

KING: Jesse, would you agree with that statement?

VENTURA: Well, I would agree with it if we had more choices than what the two party dictatorship in this country will allow us to have. You know, people like me, who are fiscally conservative and socially liberal, we're made to choose the lesser of the two evils all the time. And, you know, if you're -- and it puts you in a precarious position, because there's no real candidate that I could say represents my viewpoint and my lifestyle...

KING: But is it...

VENTURA: ...because we don't have more choices than the two that are offered, either liberal liberal or conservative conservative.

KING: Congressman Wexler, does he have a point?

WEXLER: No, he does not.

VENTURA: Oh, I don't?

I don't?

WEXLER: No, Senator -- (LAUGHTER)

WEXLER: Senator Obama...

KING: Let him finish, Jesse.

Go ahead.

WEXLER: Senator Obama has offered a very fiscally responsible economic plan to both bolster the economic conditions of ordinary Americans. He's talking about an ambitious energy plan to relieve our dependence on foreign oil. He's talking about shoring up social security. He's also talking about giving tax relief to working Americans. I believe that this actually is a very practical, important economic proposal for the country.

At the same time, he's offering a different kind of foreign policy, which will make America safer, begin to extricate ourselves from the war in Iraq and engage, with a position of leverage and strength, with some of the most difficult parties in the world.

KING: I want Charlie Rangel to respond to what Jesse's thoughts were.

Do you think that there's a need for a third activist party here, Charlie?

RANGEL: Of course not. But he's entitled to his opinion.


RANGEL: And I assume when he reaches the point that he can bring out the crowds that Obama and Clinton are coming, then it would mean that he's been able to attract a lot of people to his point of view.

But right now, the country has done pretty well in electing outstanding leaders. And in this particular election, it is clear that Hillary Clinton and Senator Obama have captured the imagination of millions of people throughout the country.

So you can't deny one who says he doesn't want any of the options and he has the best view. And that's what makes America so great.

KING: But after...

RANGEL: You don't have to have a lot of followers to have a voice.

KING: You'd have to agree with that, wouldn't you, Jesse, there's been no election like this?

VENTURA: No, I wouldn't. I would beg to differ. The Democratic and Republican Party have put us $9 trillion in debt, Congressman -- $9 trillion. You guys are responsible for that. Don't be telling me how hunky-dory it is all throughout the United Nations of America. A baby born today will be saddled with $30,000 of debt before it even takes its first breath.

RANGEL: Well, you're going to have your hands filled running for the Congress. We're actually talking about who's going to lead the nation. And I think that's where Larry was going. And I really think this is an exciting contest...

VENTURA: Well, put it to you this way. There's a lot of talk.

Let's see what kind of action happens. You know, in '06, the country voted for the Democrats to get us out of Iraq. They failed to do so. I don't see that they're going to have any major changes if they get this power that they claim that they're going to get.

KING: Let me get a break...

WEXLER: But the important part...

KING: Hold it.

We'll be right back. We'll be right back with the triumvirate of Ventura, Wexler and Rangel. Our dynamic trio continue debating in a minute. We'll maybe even get a phone call in.

Stay right there.


KING: Let's take a call with Jesse Ventura, Robert Wexler and Charles Rangel.

Virginia Beach, hello.

CALLER: Hello, Larry.

Hello, Mr. Ventura.

I'll make this very quick. In the unfortunate and, hopefully, unlikely event of another terrorist attack in our country, how does Mr. Ventura see any of the present presidential candidates reacting and how would he react to such a situation? VENTURA: Well, first of all, I think that they'll all react as they should. Naturally, if we get attacked, you defer to the military and the people who are the professionals in defending our country and hope that they'll do a better job than what they did on 9/11. I find it very interesting, on 9/11, that nobody lost their job and nobody got fired when that catastrophic event took place.

And having come from the UDT SEAL community of the United States Navy, I know that there are certain jobs that we have no room for failure. You cannot fail if you do this particular job. And there was a catastrophic failure that day and nobody lost their jobs. But I'm sure all three candidates will react in the appropriate manner.

KING: Congressman Wexler, what's going to happen with Florida and Michigan?

WEXLER: Well, Senator Barack Obama today, in Florida, said that Florida will be fully represented at the convention in Denver.

KING: How?

WEXLER: And on March 31, just shortly from now, the Democratic National Committee will meet to determine how we're going to seat Florida and Michigan's delegation. And both Senator Barack Obama and Senator Clinton are going to ensure that we are fully represented. So I'm both hopeful and confident that this will work out with a positive result.

KING: Congressman Rangel, if Hillary asked your advice whether she should run for vice president, if asked, would you tell her to?

RANGEL: I would think we have to really wait until the three contests are complete to see who will be asking whom to be vice president. You know, you can't ask the people -- incidentally, Bob, he meant to say May 31 this decision would be made.


RANGEL: But, you know, we have people in Rico and South Dakota and Montana. And they're not voting for people to be vice president. They're voting who's going to be their nominee. So I think it's a little unfair when the last pitch hasn't been pitched. The last ball hasn't been thrown, and until that happens, then I think that's when you go and see what's going to be good for the party.

KING: Do you agree with that, Jesse?

VENTURA: Well, I don't know. But when he put it's in the context of baseball, i guess they need to check and see who's on steroids. That was a joke, guys. You can laugh. You know?

RANGEL: This is a very, very serious thing, and I know ...

VENTURA: I understand it's ...

RANGEL: The governor hasn't got much on his mind, as it relates to who's running and he's got his own ideas of how the government should be and I respect that. But to me, the whole world is watching what we do now, and we've got two outstanding candidates. We are breaking history. We have a woman who's running and she's no longer considered to be just the wife of a president. We have a fellow running that's not running as an African American, but running as a candidate to lead this great nation.

I am so proud to be an American that sometimes I don't see the joke. But it doesn't mean that the governor's not entitled to it. But this is it. We're involved in a war, we're involved in debt. We have no health system. The Social Security system is broken down. America is hoping that we can get out of it.

We've had enough with Bush and we don't see much in McCain. Hey, this is the race to be involved in so you can tell your kids and your grandkids, not that you were out there talking about what you wish, but this is the hand that's dealt us and we all should be playing in the game.

KING: Congressman Wexler, do you think it's still a race?

WEXLER: Well, I think Senator Obama has now won a majority of the elected degrees, and he is on the cusp of becoming the Democratic nominee for president. I do believe that Governor Ventura makes one very valid point, and that is the Democratic Party needs to be more aggressive to end the war in Iraq. And I know that Mr. Rangel has been out front in trying to end that war, and I agree with him, and we need to even step up that effort.

And that's why one of the very important reasons why I support Senator Barack Obama for president. Because he in fact will begin to end the war in Iraq starting in 2009 and will get out more responsibly than we did in the manner in which we got in.

KING: All right.

I thank you both. We'll be calling on you a lot. Congressman Robert Wexler of Florida, Charlie Rangel of New York and Jesse Ventura. And some new guests will wrestle with our issues when we come back.


KING: Jesse Ventura remains. He's going to announce in July whether he's going to be in the Senate race in Minnesota.

Joining us in New York is Katrina Vanden Heuvel, editor of "The Nation."

Here in Los Angeles, our friend Michael Reagan, conservative talk radio host supporting John McCain. His Web site, by the way, the Reagan Exchange is at Before we get into the defendant guests, Hillary Clinton may be fighting on, but John McCain clearly thinks Barack Obama has the nomination locked up.

Here's a sample of John today. Watch. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R-AZ), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: He also wants to sit down unconditionally for a presidential meeting with Raul Castro. An unconditional meeting with Raul Castro. These steps would send the worst possible signal to Cuba's dictators.


KING: Why, Michael, is that a bad idea to talk, rather than not talk?

MICHAEL REAGAN, TALK RADIO HOST: Well, you know, you talk through other people who work for your administrations. My father's people were talking to Mikhail Gorbachev's people behind the scene.

KING: He talked to Gorbachev's people behind the scenes.

REAGAN: But certainly Mikhail Gorbachev a different level than Castro ask Cuba.

KING: But why as a general thing, why not just talk, period, to anybody? How does it hurt to talk?

REAGAN: Because you don't put people like that as the same level of the president of the United States of America. Much like the president doesn't like debating people running against him because it puts you at the same level.

KING: So the head of another country is not your equal?

REAGAN: Heads of some countries are, heads of other countries are certainly not.

KING: That's a little pompous, right. I am better than you.

REAGAN: You are. I'm not going to argue with that.

KING: Katrina, do you agree he should talk to any leader?

KATRINA VAN DEN HEUVEL, EDITOR, "THE NATION": Larry, we're living with seven years of bad policy of not engaging, not talking to leaders, to others, even adversaries. There is a rollback of a bipartisan tradition, Michael spoke of his father. Reagan with Gorbachev, Nixon in China. Every president has engaged adversaries. Diplomacy is not appeasement. Which is what Bush said the other week.

And when McCain said that was right, it showed his failure to understand that not only do we need to engage as everyone except neocon dead-enders think at this point, James Baker, Robert Gates, Bush's defense secretary, but we need a new foreign policy. We've lived with a hypermilitarized foreign policy that has made us less secure and more isolated in a world which is ...

KING: Hold it, Katrina. Jesse, what do you think of this position? Should we talk with anybody? VENTURA: Absolutely. I'm a veteran and war should be the last option. It seems our country is now putting it as the first option. War happens because of failed diplomacy and failed politics. We have to talk to people. I think absolutely you talk to Raul Castro.

I went down and visited Cuba over the Bush administration's objections. What, am I supposed to believe only what my government tells me? Or should I go down there and see what I can see with my own eyes and take a visual on what it's really like?

REAGAN: Ronald Reagan didn't meet with Fidel Castro. You don't meet with enemies of the United States of America. You don't go and immediate with Ahmadinejad and put him at the same level you are. That emboldens him. Puts him ...

KING: But it's not appeasement. Appeasement is giving something away. Meeting is not appeasement.

REAGAN: But how they read and how we read it are certainly two different things. Always has been accident always will be, you don't go and embolden the Ahmadinejads of the world and think they're the same level. You keep them out of those meetings. Talk to them, yes. Do not embolden them.

KING: Let's talk about how Obama is battling back against that McCain charge. Watch him.


SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D-IL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We can restore a sense of diplomacy to our foreign policy. I will meet not just with our friends, but also with our enemies. John McCain, John McCain doesn't like this. John McCain says this is naive. Let me tell you something. John McCain is supporting a George Bush foreign policy that has led us to be bogged down in Iraq. Afghanistan is slipping into chaos ...


KING: Do you agree with that, Michael, that we certainly have a failed foreign policy?

REAGAN: Oh, I think our foreign policy absolutely in many ways has been a failure. But I think it would have been a much bigger failure had John Kerry been there. I think George Bush did the right thing in going into war. We're mired in war but in fact we've been mired in wars during our lifetimes. You go out and win this war. Jesse Ventura, you need to win this war, not walk away from the war.

VANDEN HEUVEL: This war is unwinnable.

REAGAN: Why do people say it's unwinnable?

VANDEN HEUVEL: I'd like to remind Michael Reagan of his father's own history. There were neocons in the Republican Party who said to President Reagan, don't engage Mikhail Gorbachev. That is the evil empire. Reagan, to his credit, did engage Gorbachev and we had a safer world. Those opportunities have been squandered in these last years, and we're in danger of a new neocon foreign policy under McCain who wants to start a new Cold War with Russia.

We need to engage adversaries. Every president has done so. And we need to end the war in Iraq, as Congressman Wexler said, because it is destabilizing the Middle East. Why do we have $4.00 gas prices?

We have destabilized a region that we must engage with, Michael. That is diplomacy, not appeasement.

REAGAN: We have $4.00 gas prices because ...

VANDEN HEUVEL: We're in hock to petro dictators. It is a folly and a failure.

REAGAN: ... we're refining our oil and our fuel, $4.00 gas prices because we refuse to be competitive to the OPEC nations.

KING: Did you watch the oil executives today, making billions of dollars?

REAGAN: So what?


REAGAN: I work three hours a day. You work an hour a day, but you make more money than me, should you pay more now?

KING: I'm not going out and charging people $5.00 a gallon.

REAGAN: They're making eight percent profit. That's what they're making. More people are buying cars, using cars in developing nations.

KING: Let me get a break and we'll pick up with more. We'll invite this whole group back. Don't go away.


KING: You want the word to see you asking my guests a question?

CROWD: You can do it with I-Ask.

KING: Head to our Web site, There you'll find a list of upcoming guests. Then click on the link in our I-Ask section and upload video of your question from your cell phone or Web cam. Go ahead. Send us your question now at

By the way, Friday and Monday, we've got the top 10 finalists from American idol. Head to and send them an I- Ask or e-mail question.

More with Jesse, Michael and Katrina, but first Anderson Cooper with a preview of "A.C. 360" -- Anderson? ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Coming up at the top of the hour, tonight on 360, fighting words. Hillary Clinton today taking her effort to secure the nomination to the next level telling the Associated Press it could go all the way to the convention. We'll give you the raw politics and what could be her new plan, as well as why it's likely to give the Democratic Party fits.

On the other side of the aisle, we've learned of a weekend meeting with John McCain and some possible vice presidential picks. We're digging deeper, we'll tell you who the potential candidates are. Look at whether they'll help him to get the critical swing states he's likely to need in November.

All that plus the state of Texas thinking there may be more kids on the FLDS compound in Texas. We wanted to find out for ourselves. The state wasn't allowed on the property today. We sent David Mattingly inside. We're keeping them honest. That's 360 at the top of the hour, Larry.

KING: Thanks very much -- Anderson Cooper, 10:00 p.m. Eastern.

Jesse Ventura, John McCain on this program and other places said this campaign will be a clean campaign. Do you believe that?

VENTURA: I don't know. That's up to them. I doubt that it will be, but we'll wait and see. I would like to address what Mr. Reagan said about winning this war. My president already stated that we won. He stood on the deck of an aircraft carrier and told me so. Then, of course, they said we'd be greeted like liberators, which we weren't. They said that Iraqi oil would pay for the war, which it hasn't. Why should I then believe these people who have not been right once since this war started?

KING: Has he got a point, Michael?

REAGAN: Jesse, I've got something here for you, maybe you'll recognize. You know, you've always been a predator, and nothing's changed. But let me just say this. You know.

KING: If you didn't see it, Jesse, it's a little statue of you.

REAGAN: Statue of you in "The Predator."

KING: You're not laughing, Jesse, it's cute.

VENTURA: I'm sure it is, but ...

REAGAN: You could use that argument with every war we have ever fought. Can you go back to ...

VENTURA: Did our president not say we won?

REAGAN: The Battle of the Bulge, you go through all those things.

KING: When they bombed Pearl Harbor we didn't announce we won. REAGAN: You're right. Did George Bush make an absolute faux pas on the deck of the Abraham Lincoln? Absolutely right. He certainly did. You know, we're there, you just don't walk away. Battle of the bulge, you name a war that we haven't in fact been in trouble ...

KING: Wait a minute. Let Katrina get in.

VANDEN HEUVEL: I think it's an obscenity to hold up a doll, whether it's Jesse Ventura or anyone. You know why?

REAGAN: They don't laugh.

VANDEN HEUVEL: One out of five returning veterans, if that doll represents a veteran, have post-traumatic stress disorder or brain injury and we have a candidate of McCain who is unwilling to support the men and women who have served this country with the G.I. bill.

REAGAN: Have you been to the Walter Reed Army Hospital?

VANDEN HEUVEL: "The Nation" magazine's reporter has spent a year working with veterans who have been denied disability benefits.

REAGAN: Have you been there?

VANDEN HEUVEL: I have not.

REAGAN: Have you been there? I've been there four times. So don't come at me.

VENTURA: Oh, that's great, Mike, you've been to the hospital. Well try -- why don't you chicken hawks go fight the war for a change.

VANDEN HEUVEL: Thank you, Jesse. Thank you.

VENTURA: You know? Going to the hospital is one thing. But I don't see these hard-core Republicans; they were draft dodgers during Vietnam. Senator Norm Coleman is your classic chicken hawk from Minnesota, protested the war in Vietnam. Hell no he wouldn't go. Well today his slogan should be hell yes clean up my mess.

VANDEN HEUVEL: And they are shafting veterans today that we have a humanitarian crisis in Iraq. We need to bring home our men and women and devote the funds to redeploy the men and women home safely and then help those in Iraq and rebuild a Middle East that is stable so this country is more secured. It's a different kind of foreign policy than we have seen in this country for the last seven years of failed policies, and we need to find a way out.

It is costing, Mr. Reagan, $4 million a second. We need to rebuild this country and reengage the world.

REAGAN: Yes. And by the way, Jesse, FDR did a great job in the Second World War. By the way, I don't believe he served. And Ronald Reagan.

VENTURA: Well, he couldn't walk. REAGAN: But he didn't serve but I think he won that war. Ronald Reagan won the Cold War without firing a shot.

KING: Thank you, Jesse Ventura, Katrina Vanden Heuvel and Michael Reagan and Elizabeth Edwards is next.

You're watching LARRY KING LIVE, don't go away.



CARMEN SALVA, DEFENDING THE PLANET (through translator): In northern Argentina, you'll fine the town of Tilcara. There's no real environmental consciousness here in Tilcara. We have a lot of issues to work on. Water contamination. There's so much trash.

Someone had to do something. And I saw the opportunity. My name is Carmen Salva. I began an environmental group to clean up my town and its surroundings, together with children, young people and parents.

When we go out to clean on Saturdays, there's about 60 to 100 people. We separate the recyclables. And when we return, we load the llamas with the bags of trash. It's really fulfilling when we come back to town and they feel like, well, they feel like heroes.


KING: Welcome back to LARRY KING LIVE. Joining us from Houston, Elizabeth Edwards, the wife of the former presidential candidate Senator John Edwards.

First, Elizabeth, your reaction to the news about Senator Kennedy.

ELIZABETH EDWARDS, WIFE OF FMR. DEMOCRATIC PRES. CANDIDATE JOHN EDWARDS: Well, of course, like everyone across the country, I'm extraordinarily sad to hear that Teddy's having to face this diagnosis. But I'm also incredibly confident that if anybody has the capability to fight for health care, he's fought for our health care across the country.

KING: Have you had any contact with the senator or members of the family?

EDWARDS: John has -- my husband, John, has had a number of conversations. First, we were just leaving messages, because we really didn't want to interfere. But John has had conversations, and -- with people to -- with Vicki, I know, to indicate our support and love for them. And, of course, we want to be able to be a sounding board for them for anything that we know.

He certainly has faced cancer before with his own son, so he knows what he's up against. But it's -- I think it's good to have. I found it good to have. Role models of other people who are living with cancer around you, as inspiration to you.

KING: Earlier this month, you and Lance Armstrong testified before the senator's committee about the challenges and opportunities of fighting cancer. Was he supportive?

EDWARDS: Well, honestly, Senator Kennedy and Senator Hutchison from Texas, where I am now, are introducing a bill sort of a renewed war on cancer. President Nixon had this war, now Senator Kennedy and Senator Hutchison want to renew it with a real concerted and substantial effort. They've gotten a number of co-sponsors for it.

But Senator Kennedy was doing this before he knew that this was going to be his disease as well. He's doing it because it was the right thing to do. And I think that -- I hope that the coalition he's built will grow even stronger as people see around them someone who -- among them who is facing precisely this disease.

But he didn't do it for selfish reasons. His cancer bill was based on what the rest of us, my brothers and sisters, have been suffering with.

KING: And with Senator Hutchison, that makes it bipartisan.


KING: Yes. How, Elizabeth, is your own health?

EDWARDS: My health is good. You know, I want to caution people. As they listen in these days to sort of grim diagnoses about what Senator Kennedy is facing. In the first place -- we're not hearing -- we're hearing the general description from his doctors, but we're not hearing this same sort of grim statistics that we're hearing from other people who are talking about it.

And you heard exactly the same things from me. I am in no worse shape, if I had five years to live, and I hope I have lots more than that, a year ago, I still have five years to live, because I'm not in any different shape than I was then. Medicine has come a long way, and I don't think that we ought to be writing anybody's obituary. We ought to be thinking about how we're -- how it is he's going to live with cancer as opposed to how someone dies with cancer.

It's not very cheerful -- cheering when everyone is talking, however nicely about you, as if you're on the edge of death. Until we hear otherwise, he is still the same strong vibrant man that he was. One of the people you had earlier on today on CNN suggested that he had a sister who had lived 13 years with this condition.

KING: Yes. I know we have some limited time, so quickly, your husband has endorsed Obama. Have you?

EDWARDS: No. I've always said that I am staying out. I don't have very much political capital. I have a small change purse here and i want to use it about the issues that I care. I always have said I was unlikely to endorse. KING: We know you favor Hillary Clinton's health plan over Obama's and that's the most significant thing to you, isn't it? So one would think you might be in her corner.

EDWARDS: Well, I mean, I want to be able to fight for a health care plan that I think makes sense for America. And sort of associating with a particular candidate maybe doesn't give me as much leverage to do that as I would have if I -- if people understood that I really cared more about the issue than about the -- the message than about the messenger.

KING: Would you want to be involved somehow in the next administration?

EDWARDS: Oh, golly, no.


EDWARDS: No. No. I I'm really hopeful that I can keep the pressure on health care. I hope we get that behind us, and then I suspect I'll turn my attention to yet another thing about which I care. Just like a lot of Americans around the country, there's a lot of things that we need to fix. So a lot of places we can put our attention and energy.

KING: Would you want your husband, if asked, to serve?

EDWARDS: That's, you know, that's his call about what he wants to do. You know, I've supported him in the choices he's made. He's supported me in the choices I've made. We're sounding boards for one another, but we don't make each other's decisions.

KING: Did he discuss the Obama endorsement with you before he made it.

EDWARDS: He did. I was a sounding board, but just to talk to him about it. I wanted him to do what he felt was right. I didn't have a dog in that hunt, is that the cliche?

KING: That's the cliche, but you didn't dissuade him, obviously?

EDWARDS: No, I made no effort to dissuade him or persuade him.

KING: Elizabeth, it's always good seeing you. Sorry we didn't have more time. Keep staying as healthy as you look.

EDWARDS: Thank you, and the same for Senator Kennedy. It was nice to see him smiling and waving today.

KING: Sure was. Elizabeth Edwards, the wife of former Democratic presidential candidate Senator John Edwards.

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Tomorrow's LARRY KING LIVE we'll take you inside polygamy. We have exclusive access to the YFZ ranch in Texas. There is another side to this story and the families will tell us.

That's LARRY KING LIVE on Thursday.

And for other show information, check out our Web site,

And now, my man, Anderson Cooper and "A.C. 360."