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Bill Clinton Rips Reporter; Kennedy's Brain Surgery

Aired June 2, 2008 - 21:00   ET


SEN. HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: My political obituary has yet to be written and we're going forward.


LARRY KING, HOST: Eleventh hour plot twists in the political story of the year.

Plus, Ted Kennedy is out of brain surgery hours ago.

Why doctors had to operate while he was awake and aware.

All next on LARRY KING LIVE.

We'll talk about Ted Kennedy in the second segment.

We begin with some breaking news. Former President Bill Clinton, in a scathing attack today on Todd Purdum, former writer of "The New York Times," who wrote an article on the president in the current issue of "Vanity Fair." Bill Clinton called the article written by Purdum "sleazy, dishonest, slimy" and called him a scumbag.

By the way, Todd Purdum is married to Dee Dee Myers, the former press secretary to Bill Clinton.

This is soap operaish.

Anyway, we have with us in Washington, James Carville, the CNN political contributor and Democratic strategist.

In Boca Raton, Florida is Representative Robert Wexler, Democrat of Florida, who represented the Obama campaign during this weekend's contentious of the D.C. Rules and Bylaws Committee.

And in Los Angeles, our buddy Michael Reagan, the conservative talk show host, a supporter of John McCain. His Web site, by the way, is The Reagan exchange at

Now, you know the president as well as anyone.

What do you make of this, Jim?

JAMES CARVILLE, CNN CONTRIBUTOR, CLINTON SUPPORTER: Well, I think he subsequently said he shouldn't have used that language. But I wouldn't have advised him to use it, but I certainly understand it. We just did a count. There were over 9,700 words in that article, 58 of them about the good works that the Clinton Foundation does, the other 9,700 about these unnamed sources and this tawdry cocktail party gossip.

So I would have used different language, but I think his anger was eminently justified. I think that my colleague, Roland Martin, was exactly right -- no other publication would have done something like this. This is nothing but a compilation drunk cocktail party Washington dinner party talk and that's about it. And I don't -- I wouldn't have used the language he did, but I can understand his anger.

KING: Congressman Wexler, what do you make of it?

REP. ROBERT WEXLER (D), FLORIDA, SUPPORTS OBAMA: I have nothing but respect and admiration for President Clinton. And I have not read the article. But, you know, I think this is a man that has accomplished a great deal for the country, the economy and with respect to all of the achievements that he as an individual and his administration were responsible for. And I just have great admiration for him. So I don't like to see him in this situation in any respect.

KING: Michael?

MICHAEL REAGAN, TALK RADIO HOST, SUPPORTS MCCAIN: Well, I think you're finding out that the Clintons aren't the cause celebre anymore, that they have found someone else to get out there and support. And this isn't really new news about Bill Clinton. But what's interesting is that no longer do you see James or anybody referring to the right- wing conspiracy as doing this. This is all coming from the left, not coming from the right.

So we sit back and go, yes, we told you so.

KING: Is Todd Purdum from the left, do you know?

REAGAN: Well, I would say -- Dee Dee Myers from the left. She was in the Clinton administration, press secretary and what have you. But, again, this isn't coming from talk radio. This is coming from -- this is coming from...


REAGAN: You hear James Carville laughing in the background.


REAGAN: He's not blaming the right-wing conspiracy here.

CARVILLE: I'd like...

REAGAN: This is coming from people who he knows who he's friends with.

CARVILLE: Michael, I'm going to tell you guys, you all took your best shot and you had a 70 percent approval rating, the most successful president since World War II. The economy boomed. And that's fine.

I'm just merely saying that this was an article that wasn't Washington -- you're right. It wasn't the right-wing conspiracy. It was a Washington cocktail party kind of after dinner drinks bantering around. And I don't blame him for being angry about it. But such is the way that it goes. But it's true.

REAGAN: You know, I think -- I think if Hillary Clinton were going to win the nomination of the party, the Clintons would still be in favor and you wouldn't have seen the article. But because she's not going to within the nomination of the party and Barack Obama is, I think the press feels free now to go after the Clintons. And that's what's going on.

KING: Robert Wexler, you buy that?

WEXLER: Well, unfortunately, it's probably a sad reflection on the press. Either an article is worth writing or it's not, either it's true or it's not. And it shouldn't be determined by whether or not Senator Clinton will or won't be the nominee.

If that's what the press actually operates under, that's the guidelines, that's a sad reflection on the media.

KING: We have a statement from Jay Carson, who is a spokesman for the Clinton campaign: "President Clinton was understandably upset about an outrageously unfair article. But the language was inappropriate and he wishes he had not used it."

That's fair isn't it, James?

CARVILLE: That's fair. Yes. I said I would certainly not have counseled him to use that exact same language. But I understand where his anger is coming from. And, you know, I think that the press runs around unchecked. Some of the coverage during this primary thing has been unbelievable. You have Scott McClellan basically saying the press served as no buffer, as nothing, on the lead-up to the war.

So I think that, to some extent, it's probably good that he brought some of this out. And I think that to provoke this kind of conversation in terms of the press, which has certainly had its share of problems in covering the current administration and covering this race, I think it can do some good. And I think he deserves some credit for that.

KING: James Carville, Congressman Wexler and Michael Reagan will all stand by. We'll skip a segment and we'll discuss the situation involving Ted Kennedy at Duke University and then come back with James and Bob and Michael to discuss the current political arena, which seems to be getting down to the exit sign.

We'll be right back.


KING: We will discuss the Ted Kennedy matter in the next segment. So James Carville, Congressman Wexler and Michael Reagan remain with us.

The former president's tirade today, by the way, continued. And we'll get the comments of our guests.

He said that the editor of "Esquire" sent us an e-mail yesterday and said it was the single sleaziest piece of journalism he'd seen in decades. He said it made him want to go, "take a shower and he was embarrassed to be a journalist when he read it. You know, it didn't use a single name, cite a single source in all these things it said. It's just slimy, part of the national media's attempt to nail Hillary for Obama -- the most biased press coverage in history."

All right, would you buy that, Jim?

Is this campaign against Hillary, as he puts it, the most biased in history?

CARVILLE: Well, I mean, I think that the press -- I mean, you know, I'm not too comfortable being a press basher, but I think the press itself admits that that the press has favored Senator Obama. Maybe that's something that's natural, I don't know. I leave it to people who cover the press to determine something like that.

But I know that this piece is indicative of a mentality. And it is -- you're right. There's not a named source. It's just everything. And what happens here in Washington, I mean the way that it operates is, is they go to these dinner parties and they talk to each other and get all gassed up. And they talk to a bunch of other people and you end up with something like this.

The truth of the matter is, is President Clinton's post- presidency has been probably the most humanitarian endeavor of any post-president. I'm told that his foundation is the fastest growing foundation in the world of any kind.

So, but I think there's a lot there. And I think we get on a thing there. And there will be plenty of time for people to examine the press coverage during this primary season.


CARVILLE: I don't know.

KING: Congressman Wexler, I know as a supporter of Obama, it might be a difficult position here, but what do you think?

WEXLER: Well, if I could maybe offer some context, Larry. I -- just before getting on your show, I conducted a town hall meeting here in Boca Raton with several hundred people. People are talking about gas prices. People were talking about global climate change. They're worried about hurricane insurance, how their kids are going to get their student loan for college coming up this fall.

My one respectful suggestion to the media would be to maybe focus less on these kinds of issues and focus more on the actual problems of the American people. They may not be as glamorous, but this is actually what an overwhelming number of Americans want the political discussion in their communities to be about.

KING: As -- Michael, as...

REAGAN: I'm not going to disagree with...

KING: Walt Kelly, who drew "Pogo" once, wrote: :We have met the enemy and it is us."

REAGAN: Oh, it is us. I'm not going to disagree with Congressman Wexler. But Congressman Wexler is trying to use McClellan's book, in fact, to impeach the president of the United States. I hope he told the people he was talking to at the water cooler that he's not going to go about impeaching the president of the United States anymore, he's actually going to do something in the Congress of the United States.

You have Barack Obama talking about all the things he's going to do as president. But he is a senator right now.

Why is he missing votes?

Why is he not...

KING: So is McCain.

REAGAN: OK. Right.

KING: McCain missed the veterans bill. You...

REAGAN: You're absolutely right. But McCain has also been part of legislation. You have Barack Obama saying what he's going to do as president. As a senator, why isn't Bob Wexlers and others writing legislation that mirrors what Barack Obama will do as president of the United States of America?

If the president vetoes it, so be it. But the fact is they control the House and the Senate.

KING: Do you think this campaign has been unfair to Hillary?

REAGAN: No, it hasn't been unfair to Hillary at all.

KING: But here's what Clinton said, a little more: "I'm telling you, it's all driving her supporters further and further away, because they know exactly what it is. This has been the most rigged coverage in modern history. And the guy ought to be ashamed of himself, but he has no shame. It isn't the first dishonest piece he's written about him. Any time you hear a story that slimes a public figure with anonymous quotes, it ought to make the bells go off in your head."

REAGAN: You've got frustration going on in the Clinton campaign. Understand that, in fact, she wanted to be president of the United States. This was her big hurrah. You have the president of the United States, Bill Clinton, the former president could not get his own vice president elected president of the United States, couldn't even win the State of Arkansas.

Now he's going to go down with his legacy. He couldn't even get his wife the nomination from the party. You can imagine the frustration going on within that campaign.

KING: Jim...

CARVILLE: Yes, I'd just make, for the record, that Al Gore got the most votes and got the most votes in Florida. But I don't want to reargue that now, but I just want to state it for the record. And not -- and by the way, by half a million votes.

REAGAN: It's over, James. That election is over. If you don't stop...

CARVILLE: Yes, I know. Gore won it.

REAGAN: ...running that -- running against that election, you will be seeing the same thing in 2008.

CARVILLE: All right. I just, for the record. Let me state that Gore got a half a million more votes than Bush and got way more votes in Florida. But go ahead.

KING: Those statements by Bill Clinton appeared, by the way, in The Huffington Post.

And now Congressman Wexler, what is -- I know you had all those meetings on Saturday and everything appears to be ironed out.

Do you expect Hillary to drop out tomorrow night?

WEXLER: Well, on Saturday, I think we did achieve an extraordinary victory for Floridians in the context of we reinstated their delegates to the national convention and we counted the votes that were cast in the primary. And I think that provides a very healthy backdrop for the unity of the Democratic Party. And that's what we tried to help achieve on Saturday. And I think we're beginning to see that kind of momentum now. And obviously this is a decision for Senator Clinton.

KING: Well, the question was, do you think she will?

WEXLER: I believe that she will, because after Tuesday night, there are no lore more elected delegates to be chosen and mathematically, Senator Obama will likely have the number of delegates -- when you add in super-delegates -- that will give him the nomination.

And at that point, reality will set in. It needs to happen in a very graceful way. We ought to respect Senator Clinton and the position that she's in. She has the right to dictate the terms in which she wants to engage the party. But I'm very confident she will do so in an extremely constructive and unifying way and she will end her campaign as classy as she has conducted it.

KING: James, stories today that she might well seek the vice presidency on the Obama ticket.

CARVILLE: You know, Larry, you and I are both sports fans, and I'm sure Michael and Bob are, too. Every athlete is thinking that they're going to win the game. And I'll tell you exactly what's in her mind. There were two polls today. I have no idea how accurate they are. One shows her within the margin of error in Montana. One shows her way up in South Dakota. In her mind is that, you know what, she's out to pull this thing off in South Dakota, get a big win, pull this off in Montana. And I think if that were to happen -- I don't think it will -- it would shake the entire equation up.

I think the best thing to do is for everybody to let this process play itself out. On Wednesday morning, everybody will get up, take a look where things are and make a decision where to proceed from there. But I know this woman. And I know -- and I know -- and I know politicians in general and candidates in general, and they're just like athletes. They think they're going to pull it out. They don't quit until the game is over.

Let's let this thing go out and see if we can shake it up. We don't know what's going to happen.

REAGAN: That's true. Larry, we went through it in 1976...

KING: As...

REAGAN: ...with my dad in Kansas City.


REAGAN: We went all the way to the convention.

KING: I know. I was there. As a Republican...

CARVILLE: And your dad was a real competitor, I might add, too, Mike. And look, you've got to -- you know, when these guys have the ball, they don't want to come out of the game. They want to keep pitching.

KING: As a...

CARVILLE: I agree that it looks -- it doesn't look very good now.

REAGAN: Bleak.

CARVILLE: But we'll see. We'll see.

KING: As a Republican, would you like to see it...

WEXLER: If I could offer, Larry...

KING: Hold it one second.

Would you like to see an Obama/Clinton ticket?

REAGAN: Well, it doesn't matter to me...


REAGAN: ...because people really don't usually vote for the second person on the ticket, they vote for the first person.

KING: Yes, but this would be the world's (INAUDIBLE)...

REAGAN: I don't think he's going to choose Hillary Clinton to be the vice president of the United States on his ticket.


REAGAN: I just don't think.

KING: Yes, what were you going to say, Bob?

WEXLER: I was going to say I think James is correct, that we need to let this thing play out. But there also needs to be and understanding that if you let it play out beyond the election date and you bring it into the time of the convention, then there's only one beneficiary and that's John McCain. And we have to avoid that.

KING: We'll be back with more and then we'll deal with the Ted Kennedy matter at the bottom of the hour maybe.

Don't go away.


KING: We're back with Carville, Wexler and Reagan. It sounds like a law firm.

We have this report from CNN's Suzanne Malveaux and we'll get our guests to comment. She says Senator Hillary Clinton is poised to deliver a message Tuesday that she will "do whatever it takes" to put a Democrat in the White House -- a message that Barack Obama insiders say indicates she would accept an offer to be Obama's running mate if asked.

All right, you're an insider, Congressman Wexler.

Do you read it that way?

WEXLER: I wouldn't read that much into it. I would read exactly what it says. Senator Clinton is committed to electing a Democrat to the White House and she will do whatever she can to help effectuate that.

If I, Larry, could just respond to one of the earlier comments, which is questioning my call to ask Scott McClellan to come before the Judiciary Committee. Mr. McClellan has made some startling revelations and the White House has rebuked the House's efforts to talk information relative to the illegal wiretapping of Americans or the illegal use of torture or the potentially criminal firing of U.S. attorneys across this country.

I thought, and still believe, that it would be a very constructive engagement if Scott McClellan came before the House Judiciary Committee under oath and provided information.

KING: That's for another topic, another night. But thank you for presenting the other side.

All right, James Carville, what do you read, "she will do whatever it takes?"

CARVILLE: I read that Congressman Wexler is a very smart man. And I think that it should -- the statement should be read what it is. And I think that these "Obama insiders" are not being very helpful here. And I think that Congressman Wexler understands that.

And let's wait and count the votes tomorrow night. I think that she's entitled to that count. She'll make and say what she's going to say. But, you know, all of the "insiders" who are jabbering in the press are not doing anybody any good here.

REAGAN: You're right. This is, I think, coming from the Obama campaign...


REAGAN: ...which is not going to be helpful to Hillary to make a decision if asked. We were going to do the same thing in 1976. My father was never asked to be the vice president of the United States. I would imagine another part of that story -- you could put P.S. if we ask her to be the vice president nominee, leave Bill home.

KING: Why? He wouldn't be effective?

REAGAN: Oh, I don't think he'd be a great help at all. I think...

KING: You're not saying he's not a good campaigner?

REAGAN: I don't think Bill Clinton has been a great help to his wife through the whole campaign. I think he's been a detriment to his wife through the campaign. I don't think he would be a help to Obama, because I believe that he believes his wife should be there and he would not be the greatest person on the campaign trail to help elect Barack Obama to the presidency of the United States, if he gets there. Of course, they've got to get by McCain.

WEXLER: Larry, if I may...

KING: Yes, go ahead, Bob.

WEXLER: Well, Senator Obama has been nothing but respectful toward Senator Clinton in terms of timing or her right to stay in this race. I think it's important to recognize that. Nobody has been more defensive of Senator Clinton's ability to compete in these states as she has than Senator Obama. So I think any suggestion that there's even arrogance or presumptions -- you know, any kind of presumptive view -- does not reflect Barack Obama's view.

REAGAN: No, I'm not saying anything about Barack Obama. I'm talking about the Clintons. I don't think it would be smart to put Bill out there. If I were a Democrat strategist, I would leave Bill at home and that's where I would leave him.

As a Republican, I will tell you, put him on the campaign trail...

KING: James...

REAGAN: Let him campaign.

KING: James, do you think she might suspend the campaign -- a word she used -- and then go to Denver and challenge the committee and the seating?

CARVILLE: You know what, I don't know. Like I say, I think that her -- she's, right now, fighting for every vote in South Dakota and Montana. That's what really good competitive politicians do. I think that's what she's going to do.

Obviously, Tuesday night, Wednesday morning, she'll wake up and she'll assess her position where it is there.

I think that there's a good chance that she has certainly strengthened her position here in the last month or so. And we'll wait and see. And like I say, in her mind, I'm sure -- in her supporters' minds and in her campaign's mind, at least the real true professionals, think that they can pull this thing out in South Dakota, pull this thing out in Montana and maybe change the equation yet. I think that they have demonstrated that they're entitled to take that shot.

REAGAN: But there's a lot of people not happy with what the Rules Committee did over the weekend. They have to figure how the to get people like Harriet (ph) from Manhattan back on the Democrat ticket and supporting the Democrat nominee.

KING: She's going to New York tomorrow night.

CARVILLE: I might add, it is traditionally referred to as the Democratic Party. But, it's all right. I mean I just -- I would point that out to our viewers.

KING: She's going to New York tomorrow night.

REAGAN: That's OK, Mr. Matalin.

KING: Robert Wexler, do you see anything in that, going home?

WEXLER: Again, I don't want to read into these type of things. The only thing I would point out with respect to what James is saying, the reality in terms of the delegates for the two remaining contests are that no matter who wins them, one way or the other, the delegate situation will remain effectively where it is. Senator Obama will need roughly 30 super-delegates to clinch the nomination. That's the reality that will set in Tuesday night and Wednesday morning.

And Senator Obama is on the cusp of becoming the Democratic nominee. There are strong indications from the super-delegates in the House and the Senate that people will make be making commitments this week and he's likely to go over the top.

CARVILLE: If I might, just for a moment, is if she were to win South Dakota and Montana, I suspect a lot of super-delegates that have committed are going to re-evaluate their position. But I don't -- that's a pretty -- a pretty tall order to expect that she's going to do that. But I think that's in her back of her mind, what she's trying to achieve here. And that's what her campaign is trying to achieve. And that's (INAUDIBLE).

KING: Thank you, gentlemen.

You were all super.

James Carville, Representative Robert Wexler and our friend, Michael Reagan.

WEXLER: Thank you.

REAGAN: Thank you, Larry.

KING: Ted Kennedy is recovering from brain surgery tonight -- why doctors had to act right away.

Stay there.


KING: And that coverage tomorrow night will be a special two hour edition of LARRY KING LIVE at 12:00 a.m. Eastern, 9:00 p.m. Pacific.

To discuss the surgery performed on Ted Kennedy today, here in Los Angeles is Dr. Paul Song, radiation oncologist, who has worked with Senator Kennedy's neurosurgeon and referred patients to Duke University.

In Atlanta, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN chief medical correspondent and a practicing neurosurgeon and assistant professor of neurosurgery.

And in Durham, North Carolina, the site of Duke University, is Dan Lothian, CNN's Boston bureau chief.

How did it come out -- Dan?

DAN LOTHIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, his -- Senator Kennedy's doctor, Allan Friedman, said that the surgery was a success. He said that they were able to accomplish their goals. The surgery, by the way, started 9:00 local time, and, according to Dr. Friedman, lasted for about three-and-a-half hours.

What we don't know is how much of that malignant tumor they were able to go in and remove. But we do know they did remove some part of that tumor.

And the senator appears to be in good spirits, a family spokesperson telling us that he was joking with his wife Vicky and he said that he felt like a million bucks and that he could do this all over again tomorrow.

But, obviously, this is a very serious matter. He has a long road ahead of him. After spending what doctors are saying will be probably about a week here at the hospital, he'll return to Boston. And that's where he'll be treated, at Mass. General Hospital, with chemotherapy and radiation -- Larry.

KING: Thanks, Dan.

As always, on top of the scene, one of the best.

Dan is our CNN Boston bureau chief.

Now, let's discuss this medically with Dr. Song and Dr. Gupta. Dr Song, first tell us about the surgery?

DR. PAUL SONG, ONCOLOGIST: Allen Friedman is chairman of neurosurgery at Duke University. When I was in practice in the Washington, D.C. area, we had tremendous amounts of patients who would seek him out. One thing I was always impressed by with his surgical technique was the lack of permanent disability that these patients had. The Duke University brain tumor program has been something I have always been impressed with.

If you go on the website, there are actually patients who I was fortunate enough to treat with them, who are now around 12 years later, who in the past were told they would have six months to live. It's truly an exceptional place where they do a lot of basic science research, as well as the new cutting edge surgeries, which I'm sure Dr. Gupta can talk about.

KING: Dr. Gupta, why did they do the surgery when they were telling us they weren't going to do surgery?

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: We heard publicly only from the Massachusetts general doctors that chemo and radiation were going to be the options for Senator Kennedy. But we know he and his family sought out different doctors around the country, as Dr. Song mentioned, and found a doctor, Dr. Friedman, who would do the operation.

It is a difficult operation. Let me just point out, if you will indulge me for one second, Larry. Take the brain. Spin it around a little bit. This is the area flashing in red, the parietal lobe, that is important. Yellow is where the motor are is located. And here is where the speech areas are located.

The point is, Larry, that there are many important structures that were probably close to this tumor, which made it difficult to operate. It also made it interesting that he was awake during the operation, so they could test various things on the senator during the operation; squeeze your hand, raise your arm, identify objects on a flash card. They do that to make sure they're not injuring any of these critically important areas, Larry.

KING: How do they do that? How do they knock you out and keep you awake?

SONG: Well I think that's one of the things that they have been very revolutionary in doing back from the early 90s, this brain mapping. And the only way --

KING: What kind of anesthesia do you get?

SONG: The anesthesia they would do for that is I think just a general sedation, but something that takes away their pain, but allows them to very much still feel neuro-impulses.

KING: You can correct things, not do things that might have happened that would harm him?

SONG: The key for this type of brain tumor is that generally the prognosis has been so poor that to put someone through a big surgery that debilitated them and ruined their quality of life was counter- intuitive to making the rest of their life enjoyable. So, one of the things that Dr. Friedman has been able to do is not only go in and carefully take brain tissue, to debulk as much of the tumor as much as possible, but to restore as much of the function as possible.

KING: Is this, Dr. Gupta, a dangerous operation?

GUPTA: I think all operations have a risk to them certainly. I think this, in the scheme of things, is probably one of the bigger operations that neurosurgeons perform. As Dr. Song was just mentioning, being awake offers some advantages because you can talk to the patient, have conversation with the patients all along. But you still have the risks of bleeding. You have the risk of infection.

He is 76 years old. You worry about his heart. You worry about his lungs. All operations have those risks.

KING: Now, radiation and chemo to do what?

SONG: Well in the past, for these types of tumors, radiation was the standard treatment after a surgical debulking. The idea was to sterilize as many of the microscopic cells as possible and reduce the tumor as much as possible. Results with standard radiation have not been good back from when I was a medical student. We treated Lee Atwater and he was -- did very poorly just like most patients.

Since that time, the new chemotherapies that have come out and the ability to combine a combination of chemotherapy and radiation, but also to use much more focused radiation that allows us to spare as much normal brain tissue as possible, has really increased the survival rate.

KING: Would you agree on Dr. Song's discussion about Dr. Friedman, Dr. Gupta? GUPTA: Yes, it's funny, neurosurgery is a relatively small community. I'm a neurosurgeon. I've known Dr. Friedman for a long time. His reputation is outstanding. There are fewer than 3,000 of us in the country. When it comes to complicated brain tumors like the one that we are describing here, there are several good surgeons around the country. But as Dr. Song mentioned, you know, the brain tumor program at Duke, combined with their basic science research; Larry, this tumor still has a tough prognosis. What do you do if the chemo and radiation doesn't work? Are there clinical trials that some one like the senator could get involved with?

Duke offers many of those things. That may have been something the senator and his family found attractive.

KING: From far away, what would you bet, Dr. Song?

SONG: Well the standard median survival for this has been 12 to 15 months. With the new chemotherapies, we have been able to see patients live longer than that, also with better qualities of life. One of the things that always impressed me about Duke is they will take the pathology specimen, look for certain genes to see if there are targeted therapies they can do.

They have been very cutting edge with vaccine therapies, immuno- therapies, and radio-labeled antibodies. If the therapy that Senator Kennedy does doesn't ultimately work, I think they will have several things to do.

KING: Alternatives. What would bet, Dr. Gupta?

GUPTA: One thing I think is important to point out is that there is a critical piece of information that Senator Kennedy and his family or doctors have not given us. They have called this a malignant glioma. There are different types of malignant gliomas. There are the very bad types, which, as Dr. Song mentioned, those are the one that have 12 to 15 month survivals. And there are ones that aren't as bad, if you will. Those can have much longer survival.

We don't know yet. I think because of his age, because of sort of the way that these tumors fall in terms of age, he more likely has something that is on the -- on the worse end of the scale. We don't know. I think it is very hard to prognosticate.

KING: Thank you both very much. Dr. Paul Song and Dr. Sanjay Gupta. The campaign will wind up tomorrow. We'll be right back.


KING: Let's meet our political panel. In New York is Hill Harper, Barack Obama supporter and member of the Obama Campaign National Finance Committee. He's an actor, a co-star of "CSI New York" and a best-selling author. His Latest book is "Letters to a Young Sister." It includes advice from Michelle Obama. In New York is Congressman Anthony Weiner, Democrat of New York, and a supporter of Hillary Clinton. In Fargo, North Dakota, our friend Ed Schultz, progressive talk radio host, supporter of Barack Obama. In Washington, Kiki McLean, Democratic strategist, senior adviser to the Clinton campaign.

We want to just, for a brief moment or so, discuss the controversy between Bill Clinton and "Vanity Fair" today over that story by Todd Purdum. Here are some of Clinton's comments slamming the article and Mr. Purdum; "he is sleazy. He is a really dishonest reporter. One of the guys talked to him. I haven't even read the article. There are just five or six blatant lies in there, but he is a real slimy guy. He didn't use a single name or cite a single source in all those things he said. It's just slimy. It's part of the national media's attempt to nail Hillary for Obama."

This, by the way, is all according to "The Huffington Post." This statement from Jay Carson, the spokesman for Clinton: "President Clinton was understandably upset about an outrageously unfair article, but the language was inappropriate and he wishes he had not used it." What do you make of awful this, Hill?

HILL HARPER, ACTOR: Well, wow, all of us have a tremendous amount of respect for former President Clinton and certainly Hillary Clinton. And it is an emotional time. And as we saw on Saturday with the conference, folks are full of passion. And it's a very serious time. I think that sometimes emotions run heavy and you say things that you come to regret some times.

KING: Congressman, do you think there is a concentrated attack by the press against your candidate?

REP. ANTHONY WEINER (D), NEW YORK: I'll leave someone else to assess the press. I will assess the article. It was really a sad one. Frankly, it was like a gossip column without any sources, and it ignored all the good work that President Clinton has done. I think there really is a great deal to be written about President Clinton, his legacy and the work he is doing now with the Clinton Global Initiative. This article didn't do it.

It was pretty, frankly, pathetic the story that was written. I think it did a disservice to journalism and to President Clinton.

KING: Here's A quote from the actual "Vanity Fair" article; "much of Clinton's behavior on the campaign trail this year has been so maladroit as to constitute malpractice. His blowups at television reporters, his derisive dismissal of Obama's unwavering anti-war stance as a fairy tale, and most of all his denigrating comparison of Obama's performance in South Carolina primary to Jesse Jackson's victory there two decades ago. In the end, this is Clinton's most grievous sin, his steady refusal to take grown up responsibility for the consequences of his own actions."

Ed Schultz, what's your read?

ED SCHULTZ, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Well, Larry, I don't know the writer. I don't know the reporter. But I can tell you this; this is something that Democrats have had a hard time talking about. They don't want a microscope into the Clinton marriage, because then it wouldn't focus on the issues. And this is one of the reasons why some Democrats have gone away from Senator Clinton because of Bill Clinton. Now you can say what you want about this article. You can say what you want about this writer. but I personally had in dinner with the United States senator over a year ago who told me that Bill Clinton's aides can't leave him alone in the hotel lobby and they're concerned about it. But Democrats are afraid to talk about the truth on this because of the Clinton legacy.

What this guy wrote is spot on. And there is going to be other people coming out if the Clintons continue to push on this. Their marriage is not as good as everybody says it is. And a lot of Democrats don't want this to be the focal point. They want the issues.

KING: Kiki?

KIKI MCLEAN, CLINTON CAMPAIGN STRATEGIST: Ed, you and I have been on the show together a lot of times. There are a lot of things you and I care about together. I think you crossed the line tonight. I don't think that there is anything that speaks to what goes on in their marriage but the two of them. I do know Todd Purdum, the author of the article. I'm disappointed, because he has a history as a very fine journalist.

What we saw in this article today was a lot of innuendo, a lot of personal opinion and not real analysis. Let me tell you what the Clinton legacy is. The Clinton legacy from the 1990s is an economy that worked for everybody. It is a legacy that brought more people into the middle-class, gave them a chance at real home ownership, a job that moved them forward and education, and better health care.

But Ed, what you just did was engage in a personal attack.

SCHULTZ: Nobody is disputing that.

MCLEAN: You did exactly what other attackers do, which is you don't want to say a name because you don't want to back up. You want to talk about rumor and innuendo and not the facts. I'm really disappointed with that.

SCHULTZ: You can be disappointed with it. If I were to say the name of the senator and the wife it would only open up a worse wound to hurt the Democrats. What I'm surprised at is why did Bill Clinton dignify the article?

KING: Ed, hold it. Hill Harper, do you think your candidate has been treated more favorably by the press than Senator Clinton?

HARPER: Larry, you know --

KING: Do you think?

HARPER: I think they both have been treated equally in different ways and certain things have been unfair spoken about each candidate. At the end of the day, all four of us on the show are democrats. I think in about 48 hours, all of us are going to have to come together in a real special way. And I do agree with Kiki in saying that, listen, there is no reason for name calling. There is no reason for saying, this or that or, or fighting. Because all four of us are going to be working together, because in five months and a day we will have to win the election, November 4th. We're all going to be working together. This is a distraction.

KING: We'll more of the hot political news of the day. Back in a minute.


KING: Congressman Weiner, you are in New York. Are you going to be with her tomorrow night?

WEINER: I hope to, yes.

KING: Do you think she might chuck it in tomorrow?

WEINER: I don't think so. I think tomorrow will be a valedictory. We'll see how she does in the last two contests. Then probably she's going to talk about just what a great campaign this has been and how this is a time for us to come together. I wouldn't look for her to be dropping out anytime soon.

Look, over 17 million voters have voted for her tonight -- tomorrow night rather in two additional states. It will be the first time we ever had a campaign go this deep into the process. I think she has honored us with a great campaign. So has Barack Obama. Maybe I'm the last, I'm not looking for this to end in a hurry. I think every American voice should be heard.

Then we will go to one final primary, one final caucus. It's when the super delegates, when we all have to decide. I have already socked it in on Hillary big time. But there are many super delegates that have to decide one fundamental question, who is the strongest candidate? Who is most electable in November? I think if people take a step back and look at all the evidence, I think there is still a good chance, still a chance they will sock it in on Hillary too.

KING: Ed Schultz, do you see the chance of an Obama-Clinton ticket?

SCHULTZ: Well it depends on what's said and when it is said, Larry. I think that Barack Obama, if he wins this thing, and I think he will, he deserves the respect. I think that Senator Clinton has to put him in a position where she goes to him and says, Barack, don't feel obligated to put me on the ticket. You have to choose who you think is going to be best for the ticket and best for the party.

I think that if he feels strong armed and it comes off as not being genuine, his selection, it could hurt. It's part of the healing process. Ironically, Senator Clinton right now is in a position to do more to unify the Democrats than probably Barack Obama is.

KING: Kiki, as you know Hillary, do you think she would take the second spot? MCLEAN: I think right now she is focused on two big elections in big two states, in a place I call big sky country, South Dakota and Montana. I know everybody want to prognosticate and predict, but, Larry, it seems like this is the one year we have learned not to make predictions and to let the voters have their say first, and then move forward.

Ed makes a good point, which is that she has a lot to offer as the nominee. She has a lot to offer as a leader in our party. I think those decisions will come down the pike. As Congressman Weiner said, this isn't over yet. We have lots of people going out to vote. You have shown footage of her out campaigning today.

She had a series of major wins; Texas, Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Kentucky, Puerto Rico. We'll see what happens in Montana and South Dakota tomorrow.

KING: Hill Harper, do you think the statements of Bill Clinton today will hurt her?

HARPER: You know what, I don't think they will hurt her. I think that people have seen that she has run an outstanding campaign. And people respect Hillary Clinton. It's just an amazing -- I know Barack respects her to the utmost degree.

And it's been an amazing campaign. I'm so proud of the Democratic party, first of all. We have two of the strongest candidates we have been able to field in years. And we're going to win in November. And I believe it is going to be over very soon. And the voters, in South Dakota, Montana, are going to weigh in have their voice heard and then the super delegates are going to come in and unify the party and move forward.

KING: Another legendary senator has just been hospitalized. We'll have the breaking news when we return.


KING: We're back. Senator Robert Byrd of West Virginia was hospitalized tonight. A spokesman told CNN, the 90-year-old Democrat from West Virginia appeared lethargic and sluggish when he arrived at the Senate office Monday afternoon in preparation for a vote on global warming. After the vote, he returned home where his care giver noticed the same symptoms, took his temperature, discovered he had a fever. Upon recommendation of his doctor, who was reached by phone, Byrd was taken to a hospital, expected to remain overnight for observation.

The senator does not make many media appearances but he has made two on -- on this program. We wish him nothing -- he has been the longest sitting senator, I think, ever.

Back to our panel, we have an e-mail from Robert in Miami. Democrats are always crying about how Bush stole the election from Gore when Gore won the popular vote. What will they say when they nominate Obama over Hillary Clinton when she leads in the popular vote? Ed?

SCHULTZ: Popular vote doesn't matter, Larry. It's not part of the criteria. It's a great talking point. The bottom line is it is the delegate count. I don't hear anybody from the DNC saying, hey we got to change this process because the Clintons aren't happy about the outcome. The fact is, it's the delegates.

Now I talked to the Obama camp tonight, they're playing it close to the vest. They're not willing to say that they'll have enough delegates tomorrow. It's going to go to the super delegates obviously. Whether that is tomorrow, they're not willing to say that tonight. But it will be in the coming days. I think the fact that Hillary is going to New York tomorrow, bringing in all of her supporters, it's just like her to go in the room and say, I want to keep going. Are you with me?

She may say, hey, I'm going to the convention tomorrow night. We don't know. It's pretty exciting.

WEINER: If I might add something here. Look, it's 100 percent certain, I think, that neither Barack Obama nor Hillary Clinton are going to win, win the delegation, win sufficient number of delegates on Tuesday night. So both of them need to go super delegates. Super delegates should take a look at the broad base of support that Hillary Clinton has in the big states that we talked about tonight and in the popular vote. It's fair for them to consider that. I hope they do.

MCLEAN: I would suggest that the popular vote is not just a talking point. It's 17 million Americans, Ed.

SCHULTZ: It's not the criteria, and you know it.

WEINER: It's true.


KING: E-mail question from Susan in Santa Rosa, California; "which do you think is more important to Senator Clinton, the good of the Democratic party or advancement of her own personal goals?"

MCLEAN: It's definitely the good of our country. She has said on more than one occasion that she is committed to making sure that a Democrat elected in the fall. She happens to think it ought to be her. She has something to offer our country. It's what our campaign has been about. But it's the good of her country.

Her entire life, Larry, has been about public service. You know that. You have met her and talked to her about the work she has done for children and families as a young lawyer, the kind of work she did around the globe as first lady, the work she has done as a senator from New York State. That's really what her commitment is about.

I think you can interview any candidate, Senator Obama as well. They'll tell you, being a candidate isn't fun every day. You don't go out and do this for the pure pleasure of it. There is a real purpose to why people run to president. There is a real purpose to what they are doing. I'll leave it to her words. She is the one who said that she is committed to making sure there is a Democrat in the White House next year.

KING: Hill Harper, what will happen tomorrow?

HARPER: I want to make one point back to the popular vote point.

KING: Less than a minute. Less than a minute.

HARPER: They don't want to ignore the state. It's very arrogant to just talk about popular vote. That means you are ignoring the states where caucuses were held. Those are going to be key states for us. If we keep going back to the popular vote, you are ostensibly saying that those states where caucuses were held don't matter as much, states like Iowa, states that are going to be critical for us.

So we have to recognize and remember that caucus states really are a good barometer for our party and what we are doing.

KING: Thank you all very much. Hill Harper of the Barack campaign, member of the Obama National Finance Committee, Representative Anthony Weiner, Democrat of New York, Ed Schultz, talk radio host, and Kiki McLean, Democratic strategist and senior adviser to the Clinton campaign.

Our thoughts are with Senator Ted Kennedy tonight as he recovers from brain surgery. He says he is looking forward to returning to Capitol Hill once he completes his treatment. That is no surprise. Here's what he told me about being a senator during an interview in 2006.


KING: How long do you want to stay?

SEN. TED KENNEDY (D), MASSACHUSETTS: I'll say until I get the hang of it. I usually hear that questions from my nieces and nephews, wondering how long are you going to stay?

KING: You've been called one of the great senators of all-time. "Time Magazine" dubbed you the deal maker. That must be a great honor to you. You like the Senate?

KENNEDY: I enjoy it. "Time" didn't always have that; 40 years ago they had another reference to me. I'm not going to tell you about it if you don't know it. But I have enjoyed the Senate. It's a great honor. I love representing Massachusetts. It's a terrific state.


KING: A reminder, we've got the last primaries covered with a special two-hour results edition of LARRY KING LIVE. That's two hours tomorrow night, Midnight eastern, 9:00 Pacific. It will be some night.

And you can still take part in our quick vote; do you agree with the DNC's decision concerning Florida and Michigan's delegates? Go to CNN/ and download our latest podcast and our new ring tones. It's time now for my man Anderson Cooper and "AC 360."