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Interview With Michael Moore

Aired October 23, 2008 - 21:00   ET


LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, Michael Moore -- the king of controversy is here with his latest political cause -- plumbers. Fighting John McCain for the Joe vote.

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Whether it's "Joe the Plumber" in Ohio or Joe over here -- thank you, Joe -- we shouldn't be taxing our small businesses more, as Senator Obama wants to do.



SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D), PRESUMPTIVE NOMINEE: He's not fighting for "Joe the Plumber," he's fighting for Joe the hedge fund manager.


KING: Moore's got wardrobe advice for Sarah Palin. This you've got to hear.

He's been called a socialist.

Does he think Obama is one?

Michael Moore will tell us.


MICHAEL MOORE, FILMMAKER: This is not a fair fight.



He is many things, but dull isn't one of them. Michael Moore, the academy winning documentary filmmaker. The latest film is "Slacker Uprising: A Look at the Youth Vote." It's available for free online at His latest book is "Mike's Election Guide '08". He is a supporter, as you might imagine, of Barack Obama.

He comes to us from Traverse City, Michigan. And I understand you have some friends with you tonight calling themselves Plumbers for Obama.

You want to explain this?

Where are you?

MOORE: I'm in a senior citizens house here in Northern Michigan. These guys behind me, they don't just call themselves Plumbers for Obama, they actually are Plumbers for Obama. And they they're licensed plumbers and they're going around helping out people who are in need of plumbing help, who maybe are of modest income, modest means. And so they want to show that real plumbers are for Obama. The average, you know, plumber makes maybe $40,000 to $60,000 a year, if he's lucky. And they're all going to benefit greatly from the Obama tax break that they're going to get if Obama is elected.


KING: What do you make of...

MOORE: ...there's a lot of talk about plumbers and...

KING: What do you make of the "Joe the Plumber" thing with McCain?

MOORE: Well, I think it's just -- you know, it's part of the same illusion that the Republicans have been presenting for the last eight years. They say one thing, but the reality is, you know, something else, whether it's weapons of mass destruction in Iraq or whether it's now playing up "Joe the Plumber".

The Republicans, their whole tax plan is to punish the plumbers and everybody else who has a job like this in this country. And yet they somehow have taken this guy -- and I -- you know, I feel kind of sorry for this guy, too, I mean, you know. He probably didn't expect to be in the limelight like this. And but it's not really about him as an individual. And I don't think people should be getting down on him just because he isn't a licensed plumber or his name isn't Joe or anything else that's come out. I just think that that's kind of irrelevant.

What, really, the only relevant thing is, is that McCain is going to make sure that the wealthy get another incredible tax break while everybody else suffers. And Obama is going to make sure that the guys like this who are working behind me tonight here in Northern Michigan, they're going to get a tax break. They're going to get relief. They're going to get help.

KING: OK. By the way, both McCain and Palin are trying to paint Obama as a socialist.

Watch this.


GOV. SARAH PALIN (R), VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Now that spreading the wealth around really is just a scheme for income distribution. Joe didn't buy it. He said that he sure thought that sounded like socialism. (END VIDEO CLIP)


MCCAIN: He said it himself -- we need to spread the wealth around. Now, that's one of the...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is that socialism?

MCCAIN: That's one of the tenants of socialism.


KING: What do you make of this, Michael?

MOORE: It's one of the tenants of John McCainism and George Bushism. I mean that's exactly what they've done in the last month. I mean the complete irony of this, that they have spread the wealth around to more wealthy people. They have bailed out wealthy people who were playing a high stakes game of risk and failed. They were using money that didn't exist, that wasn't theirs, to try to make more money.

Actually, when -- you know, these guys behind me here, if they actually were -- if they were to ever write a check for money that they didn't have in the bank and actually use that check to buy something with it, they'd be arrested. It's called check kiting.

But that isn't what happens to Wall Street. That's not what happens to the CEOs and the hedge fund people.

KING: All right...

MOORE: They get to -- they get away with this. And that -- it's these people, McCain, his campaign, they stand for socialism for the rich. Obama and the Democrats stand for giving these guys...

KING: OK. Let's say...

MOORE: ...and other people like them a break.

KING: All right, Michael, let's say -- now, Obama promises tax cuts for 95 percent of the people.

How do you do that and solve health care and all the other problems that need to be paid for?

MOORE: Are you asking me if I were...

KING: Yes. No, you're the guest.

MOORE: If I were drawing up the next budget?

OK. Here's what you do. You end the war in Iraq. That's $10 billion a month that we're spending that could be spent on repairing our roads, building bridges, building schools, increasing our workforce of nurses -- all the things that we really need in this country. We could start by taking the money away from this war and the money away from crazy Pentagon ideas that haven't done us any good and have only hurt us. That's one really good place to begin to find the money that needs to happen.

But the thing about health care, you bring that up. You don't have to go and print money like they're doing to pay off the rich in this big, you know, theft that's going on right now in Wall Street. Health care actually will pay for itself, if the government ran it, if it was non-profit. Remember, so much of our health care problem is because the health insurance companies have to make a huge profit. And they build that profit in. And that's why we pay more for health care than any other country on this planet.

So if we actually did it the way that every other civilized country does it, it would not cost anywhere near what it costs right now. There actually would be a savings.

KING: All right. And, by the way, Sarah Palin -- McCain continues to say that she's the right person for the job.

We have a King Cam question for you. It's from Los Angeles.


JULIE: Hi, Michael. My name is Julie.

I'd like to know your thoughts on why McCain chose Sarah Palin for his running mate.

KING: Michael?

MOORE: Well, I think he pretty -- he probably thought it was something that would really inspire the more conservative, more right- wing part of his base. And it did do that. And I'm sure they'll be out in droves to vote. That's why I don't take any of this for granted. I think Obama is right to say that people shouldn't get cocky about this. Don't look at these polls and say, oh, look it -- oh, it looks like a landslide coming for Obama.

I don't believe that one single bit. If we'd believed the polls, we'd be walking to the voting booth in 11-days and seen Rudy Giuliani and Hillary Clinton's name on the ballot. That's what the polls told us a year ago would be the candidates.

I wouldn't believe these polls. It's very -- it's a dicey thing to do. And let me just say this. Let me give this to the Republicans. They're a lot smarter than we are. I mean, seriously. They've been in power for 20 of the last 28 years. They didn't do that by being stupid. They've done that because they know how to win elections. And they are not going to give up until the very last minute that the polls close...

KING: OK, let me...

MOORE: try to and take this election so -- yes? KING: Let me get a break, Michael and we'll come right back.

If you want to talk to Michael, you can do it by going to our blog right now,

And while you're there, see my interview with Josh Hamilton, the Texas Rangers superstar who almost blew it all. It's an amazing comeback story. Check out our Web site and check it out. You'll find it fascinating.

And download the Bill Maher pod cast.

More with Michael after the break.



PALIN: Straight-talking "Joe the Plumber."



MCCAIN: Joe the Plumber".



OBAMA: He's not fighting for "Joe the Plumber".



MCCAIN: Our guy Joe.



OBAMA: He's fighting for Joe the hedge fund manager.



MCCAIN: As he told "Joe the Plumber"...

As he told "Joe the Plumber"...

He wants to "spread the wealth around."



OBAMA: This notion that I've been attacking "Joe the Plumber"...



PALIN: I think we've really got to hand it to "Joe the Plumber".



MCCAIN: "Joe the Plumber".



OBAMA: I've got nothing but love for "Joe the Plumber." (END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: Michael Moore is in Traverse City, Michigan. He's at an old -- a home of an older person. And behind him are a bunch of plumbers. They're called Plumbers for Obama. And they do work gratis or very low cost for people in need around Traverse City. Only Michael Moore could come up with this.

What do you make of the $150,000 wardrobe for the governor?

MOORE: Well, I think that -- well, I mean she has to wear something, right?

KING: Yes, she does.

MOORE: Yes. Larry, I mean, I don't know. You know, we're guys. I don't know what a -- I know -- I think women's clothes cost more than our clothes, right?

KING: Yes.

MOORE: I -- you know, I know I got a hair cut for like $20 the other day. So I don't know any woman that can go into a salon and get a $20, you know, hair cut or something so...

KING: All right, let's say, for your...

MOORE: ...I -- you know...

KING: If you were buying clothes in Flint, how far would $150,000 take you?



MOORE: Well, you could buy Flint for $150,000.


MOORE: Actually, you know, I got this hat at a 7-Eleven on one of those, you know, racks that turn around, this Tiger hat.

KING: Yes.

MOORE: And this is a -- I got this, I think, at Kmart. This is not a plug or anything. I mean don't go shopping at K-Mart or anything.

But, look, I don't -- you know, I think what I heard today, this is the first vice president that's had to have the clothes bought by the campaign instead of buying their own clothes.

Look, here's the thing about Governor Palin. Let's just say what it is. Let's cut the crap. All this Joe six-pack stuff. Governor Palin and her husband, the last tax return they turned in, made almost $250,000 together. 250,000.

How many people out there make $250,000 a year?

Yet they talk -- you know, she talks about Obama being an elite. She made $250,000 a year with her husband. So I would assume that she likes to shop at Saks and Neiman Marcus and these places. If you make $250,000, you can do that.

But this, again, this is the genius of the Republicans, because they always love for someone else to pay the bill, you know?

It's like she could afford to go to Neiman Marcus, but instead, why not have all the donors or somebody else, some schmoe, some Joe six-pack who sent in $100 to the Republican campaign, make him pay for my $150 -- $150,000 worth of clothes.

They're always -- they're always for welfare when it's for them. That's what this whole Wall Street thing has been about.


MOORE: If it's welfare for them, if it's a bailout for them, hey, they're first in line.

KING: All right.

Michael Moore is the guest.

Last Sunday, Colin Powell, on "Meet The Press," a very strong endorsement for Obama. Conservatives have blasted -- some of them have blasted Powell for it.

Let's watch Rush Limbaugh.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP FROM RUSHLIMBAUGH.COM) RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Well, let me say it louder. And let me say it even more plainly. It was totally about race. The Powell nomination or endorsement -- total -- totally about race.


KING: Do you know how he would know that?

MOORE: Yes, because, I think it is totally about race for Rush Limbaugh and for the people who follow him. This is the sort of sad underbelly of this election. And I guess that there are millions of Americans out there -- the majority of Americans, who are hoping against hope that this race won't be about race and that those who keep trying to inject race in a negative way, in a way that will bring out the worst in some people -- let's hope that these last 11 days will be the last 11 days that we'll have to listen to talk like that in this country.

General Powell, I don't think, really, has ever made any of his decisions based on race. He -- you know, I'm not a fan of his. That's for certain. He has a lot a lot -- a lot of repenting to do for leading this country into war.

But I'm a strong believer in redemption. And the words that he spoke were so powerful, on "Meet The Press," so powerful, what he said about what's wrong with being a Muslim in this country?

So what if Obama was?

I mean that's the...

KING: Yes.

MOORE: ...that was like the key thing. And no one has really said that, Larry. And it was so powerful that he said it and talked about that young Muslim soldier who died in the service of this country. I've never seen seven minutes uninterrupted like that on national television since I got seven minutes with Wolf Blitzer.


KING: We'll be back in 60 seconds with more of Michael Moore.


KING: And we're back with Michael Moore.

The talk of Obama and terrorism has spilled over at McCain rallies.

Let's watch this McCain exchange with a confused older voter.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I can't trust Obama.

MCCAIN: I got that.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I have read about him and he's not -- he's not -- he's a -- he's an Arab.

He is not?


MCCAIN: No, ma'am. No ma'am. He's a -- he's a decent family man, a citizen that I just happen to have disagreements with on fundamental issues. And that's what this campaign is all about.

He's not.

Thank you.


MCCAIN: Thank you.


KING: Did he not handle that well, Michael?

MOORE: I didn't like -- well, I know his conscience was trying to handle it well, because I think at John McCain's core, you know, he's not a racist. He doesn't believe this sort of thing. And he just chose the dark road to go down.

But to say that no ma'am, he's not an Arab, he's decent, that was what Powell was saying. It's like wait a minute, that's -- you've said the wrong thing again. It's not -- one isn't exclusive of the other.

It -- you know, when I saw that, I thought to myself you know what, Obama's main opponent in this election on November 4th is not John McCain, it's ignorance. It's Obama versus ignorance.

And will ignorance and hatred and racism win or will whoever should be the next president, who the majority of the people want to be the president?

Is that what's going to happen?

I mean I just -- I really think that he's -- everything that we have to deal with, it seems that we're dealing with in the last few weeks.

Instead of talking about the greatest robbery of all time on Wall Street by the top 5 percent of this country, we're now -- we're still talking about the ignorance and stupidity of some people and how that's going to guide their vote.

KING: Right.

MOORE: And so...

KING: Well said.

MOORE: And so I'm going to believe -- yes, I'm going to believe that people are going to go into the polls -- and I believe that many people will vote for John McCain and it's because they're ignorant, it's because they really believe in what McCain believes in.

But if a certain number of millions of people are going to vote out of ignorance...

KING: Let me...

MOORE: ...I hope that they would educate themselves sometime in the next 11 days.

KING: Let me get a break.

We'll be right back with Michael Moore.

Don't go away.


KING: That's the house in Traverse City, Michigan. It's the house of an older American. Michael Moore is there and so are the Plumbers for Obama.

Kind of a reverse, well done kind of take one operative and make it the reverse.

Palin said in Ohio today, Michael, that the Democratic ticket will invite dangerous international crisis if elected. And she might have referred to Joe Biden's statement.

Isn't that risky?

MOORE: What's risky is electing a vice president that none of us know. I mean we've known Sarah Palin now for about seven weeks. I mean, I just have to ask anybody out there who is listening or watching right now, if you're thinking of voting for the Palin-McCain ticket -- and that's what it is, because John McCain -- and God bless him, you know, I have nothing against him because he's 72 years old. But, Larry, you know the statistics of once you reach a certain age, you know, the average American male, right now I think the life expectancy is 75 years old.

so you have to walk into that booth know that you're potentially voting for President Palin.

And what I would ask people is that if you -- you know, would you turn the keys to your house over to somebody you've known for only seven weeks?

Would you turn your kids over?

Like if you were going away on a trip, would you just like drop the kids off at somebody you've known for only seven weeks?

And if you love your country -- I mean if you love your country, why would you turn something that you love so much over to somebody you've known for seven weeks?

I mean forget about whatever disagreements I may have with her politics or whatever, you've known her for seven weeks. And this -- we're talking about a potential President Palin here.

So I just -- I've just got to believe that the majority of Americans -- and I think that's probably why McCain has been, you know, hurting somewhat in these polls, if you can believe them, because people, as we get closer to the election, are going, ah, I don't know. I mean she seems nice. She was funny on "Saturday Night Live." And maybe she should be on the cast of "Saturday Night Live." I'd vote for that.

KING: All right. We have a blog in that regard from Michael -- from Ronnie, rather, to you: "Michael, wouldn't you agree that the ages of the candidates is making a big difference on peoples' choices, especially young and Independent voters?"

Do you think they are voting age?

MOORE: No. I think young and Independent voters are voting because they're -- they can't take another eight years of this. We've been through a rough time, Larry. And this last month has been the roughest in terms of domestically here in this country.

They can't take it anymore. They don't want more of that. I know people that are going to vote for Obama who don't even really agree with half of the things that he stands for, but they just can't take another four or eight years of what they've been through.

And so I think the country is collectively shouting uncle. I can't take it anymore and so I'm going to try something else. This may not be the right thing, but, you know, it's better than what we've had. And, unfortunately, it's -- I think people realize it isn't going to get any better if John McCain and Sarah Palin are in the White House.

KING: Do you think you're controversial?

MOORE: Yes, I heard the promo to the show about, you know, the king of controversy is on tonight. And I'm thinking what is it about me that's -- I don't -- I've never understood this.

Why am I contro -- what have I done to make myself controversial?

I'm a filmmaker. So I made my first film almost 20 years ago. And I said that maybe we should look at General Motors and the auto industry. I think they're going belly-up. I said that 20 years ago.

There won't be a General Motors next year, the way we know it. There won't be a General Motors next year. And -- but when I said that at the time -- I remember, it was my first appearance on your show. And I remember there was a pro-G.M. person on the show with me. And, boy, it was like I was the devil incarnate for going after America's most blessed corporation, General Motors.

And all through my career, whether it's "Bowling for Columbine" because I thought school shootings were a bad idea, or "Sicko" because I think it should be a right to be able to see a doctor in this country if you get sick, or "Fahrenheit 9/11" where I -- I just had the crazy notion that there probably aren't going to be any weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and we were being led down the wrong road there.

These -- those -- I have just told you my resume.

What about what about that is controversial?

So why have I had to suffer through this...


MOORE: ...this onslaught from the right?

KING: Good point.

MOORE: I've never understood it.

KING: We'll be back with the timid down the road, down the middle, Michael Moore, in a moment.

Our blog is on fire tonight. Keep the comments coming at

Bill and Hillary Clinton -- how much have they helped Obama or not?

We'll ask Michael next.


KING: We're back with Michael Moore.

Breaking financial news tonight.

Japan's Nikkei exchange dove more than 4.5 percent in early trading Friday, sinking on news that Sony had cut its profit forecast in half.

South Korea's Seoul Composite and the Taiwan Weighted Stocks opened nearly 3 percent down.

Michael, what's going on?

MOORE: Well, a lot of things are going on. I can't really speak to Japan as much as I can to what I think is going on here. My feeling is that the wealthy that have, you know, been calling the shots here for so long, their party has been in power for 20 of the last 28 years, the Republican party. and I think they know they're probably on their way out. And on their way out, they're like thieves -- actually, they're like guests at a dinner trying to steal the silverware on the way out the door.

They're trying to pack as much money away as they can. I mean, everything that's going on right now, all the hiring that the Treasury Department is doing, all the consultants they're bringing in, all the million dollar contracts, these people are just going to get rich over and over and over again as they try to pull themselves out of a mess that they created, because it was one big check-kiting scheme, using money they didn't have to buy other money to make more money.

I mean, again, if an average person did that, they'd be in jail. But not these guys. And I think, in the end, as Americans, maybe we have to look at ourselves and think about this whole -- this so-called ownership society. You know, the wealthy, you know, they convinced a lot of middle class people to put their savings and what little money they had into the stock market. And you know, that's the rich man's game. You know, if you're sitting at the poker table and there's two guys at the table with stacks of chips, and you're sitting there with just a few, it is very hard to play in that game. It's very hard to actually ever win that game. You can't win it, in fact.

I think we as -- you know, I'm talking about not the Wall Street people, but the rest of the country, needs to look at a different way to invest money and to do it with the regulations that they have in other countries who are now really suffering because of what I think began in this country. And to put this off on people who tried to buy a home, buy their first home, the way that, again, John McCain and the Republicans have done this, to beat people up, you know, the very Joe the plumber he talks about, that he wants to be on the side on. And yet -- and yet when Joe the plumber wanted to buy a first house, he needed some help and so the government's supposed to be there to offer helping hand.

That is the way our grand parents, our parents, from FDR on, that's what made this country strong. That's why we have a great middle class. That's why everything grew, because when you -- when people have a good job and they're paid a good wage, they spend that money, which then creates more jobs. We used to make money from our labor, from our ideas, from our inventiveness.

Then it switched under a Reagan. Let's start making money off money. Let's just keep moving money around. That's how we'll get rich. Well --

KING: Let me get a call in. Clovis, California, hello.

CALLER: Hello. Michael, CNN released a poll stating that globally people four to one were in favor of an Obama presidency. Can you give me your perspective on what's happening globally?

MOORE: Well, I think we all know that the -- you know, the rest of the world really loves this country. They actually do. They look up to us. They admire a lot of things about us. We have given the world a lot of great things. And I think that they wish that the old America would come back. And so, I think a good chunk of the rest of this planet, according to your statistic 75 percent of them, believe that they'll live in a better, a more peaceful world when we remove these people who have been in power for eight years and elect Barack Obama.

I think that's a good thing. It's a good thing for us. It's a good thing for them. It's a good thing for the planet. And I think that's the world we all want to live in.

KING: We'll be back in a minute with another blog question for Michael Moore, our special guest tonight, right after this.


KING: We're back with Michael Moore and his plumbers for Obama. We have a blog question from another Michael. "What is your take on the likelihood of having a Democrat majority in the House and the Senate, as well as an Obama presidency? Wouldn't that be too much of a good thing?"

MOORE: Yes, it would.

KING: Well, isn't there -- isn't there some danger in unanimity?

MOORE: Yes. Yes, there is. But we're going to need unanimity now to undo all the damage that's been done. We are going to need an FDR-style era, where we have a president and a Congress that will work together to enact legislation and things that we need to pull the country out of the mess that it's in. If we had a Republican Congress and a Democratic president, and Obama comes in there and says we have to start withdrawing from Iraq and stop spending 10 billion dollars a month, and we have Republicans stopping that, we would be in the same stalemate that we have been in.

So, no, we need a strong, Democratic Congress. We need Democrats elected to Congress throughout the country. And I think people need to send a message to the people who did this for the last eight years, to the people who ran our economy into the ground, to the people who took us to this war; they need to be spanked. And the nation needs to show up and elect Democrats to the Congress, to Senate and to the White House. And I'll tell you, that will send a clear message to Democrats and Republicans to never try that again.

KING: What do you make of McCain today in the "Washington Times" interview, blasted George Bush and the Bush years, saying they let things get completely out of hand? Don't you think he would be a rather different president?

MOORE: Yes. Too late to make statements like that. Why wasn't he saying that back in 2000 about Bush after what Bush did to him in the primary?

KING: In 2000, he said it.

MOORE: Well, no. And then he backed George Bush and he has backed him ever since, and he's voted with him 90 percent of the time. He supported the Bush agenda in the hopes that that would lead him on the path to the White House. It's -- look, all the Republicans are -- even -- I know what you are saying. The Republican candidate for president is attacking the Republican president.

But you have all these Republicans now who have endorsed Barack Obama. I mean, there's like one a day. First there's a Buckley. You know, then there's -- of course, there was General Powell. There were a couple more today.

KING: Scott McClellan today.

MOORE: Scott McClellan, that horrible Andrew Sullivan who, you know, supported this whole regime for so long. They're all doing the switch right now, because they see which way the wind is blowing and they want to get on board, which I say welcome aboard. You know, the Democratic ship is a nice big ship and redemption is the course of the day.

KING: Our guest is Michael Moore. We'll take a break. Be back with another shorter segment with mike and then meet some other guests at the end. Back in 60 seconds.


KING: Cover a lot of other things, Michael. Your latest film, "Slacker Uprising," a look at the youth vote. It's available for free, by the way, as we mentioned, online at It deals with the youth vote. Do you think young voters will vote in large numbers this time?

MOORE: Oh, yes. They're the ones that started this whole Obama movement, and they're going to carry this all the way to election day. I think we are going to see a record turnout amongst young people.

KING: We have another King Cam for you about a possible film project for you. Let's watch this King Cam question for Michael Moore.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hi, Michael. My name's John and I was just wondering if you're planning a film about Sarah Palin.


MOORE: You know, you can't -- you can't do comedy or satire about something that's already satirical and funny in real life. So I can't see anything better than actually just, you know, what already exists. A film couldn't do anything more than that. The next film that needs to be made should be about the greatest theft of all time here from our U.S. Treasury, and how much worse it probably is going to get before it's over.

KING: Are you surprised that neither Bush --

MOORE: There's an idea.

KING: Are you surprised that neither Bush or Cheney have made any appearances?

MOORE: It's shocking, isn't it? Where are they? Of course not. I mean, they know they're the least popular president and vice president ever. They'll go out that way. History will not treat them well. And so it should be. And frankly, I hope when they're gone, there's a commission that looks into the lies that were told, the crimes that were committed. These are serious, serious crimes. I can't think of a worse crime than to lie to a country in order to take it to war, so that the friends in your industries that you're from get their pockets lined with our American tax dollars. That is -- that is -- yes.

KING: Thank you, Michael. Say hello to the plumbers.

MOORE: Thank you. I will. Thank you for having us all on. The plumbers are grateful for the time that you've given them. Thank you.

KING: Michael Moore, the Academy Award winning documentary film maker. The Republicans are here. They've got something to say. That's next.


KING: Let's meet our panel. In San Antonio, Joe Pagliarulo, radio talk show host. He's known as Joe Pags, supporter of John McCain. He supported McCain after McCain picked Sarah Palin. In Seattle, Michael Medved, the talk radio host, film critic, best selling author. His new book is "The Ten Big Lies About America." He's a supporter of McCain. Indeed, he'll be traveling with the McCain campaign next week. And in Washington is Kate Obenshain, the former chairman of the Republican party of Virginia, as well a supporter of John McCain.

All right. Joe, is there any specific fact that Michael Moore stated that you disagree with?

JOE PAGLIARULO, TALK RADIO HOST: Well, it's going to be a warm night in Michigan, thanks to Michael Moore. A lot of hot air there, Larry. He talked about Sarah Palin and poor husband making 250,000 this year. A quarter of a million dollars for a family of seven is hardly rich. And he never mentioned that Barack Obama and his wife made more over four million dollars last year.

He made a lot of missteps when it came to what caused this big financial crack down. We talked about this when I was on your show two or three weeks ago, Larry. In 1999, it was the Clinton administration who put pressure on Fannie Mae to get some home loans to people who couldn't afford them, couldn't pay them back. Fannie Mae put pressure on other lenders, and that's why we are where we are today.

KING: That caused the whole thing -- Hold on, Joe. The whole thing of Fannie Mae is this whole crisis?

PAGLIARULO: The crisis is certainly based on people who got mortgages who could pay them back. They couldn't qualify and they couldn't pay them back.

KING: That brought down Lehman Brothers?

PAGLIARULO: I believe so. You were dealing with paper that wasn't worth what it was written on. You had mortgages for homes and property that wasn't worth what they were writing mortgages for.

KING: Michael Medved, how do things look?

MICHAEL MEDVED, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Well, things look very competitive. This is a very, very important election. And one of the things that was very striking about Michael Moore is he talked about the president of the United States having low approval ratings. That's true. The president does. But not nearly --

KING: Lowest ever.

MEDVED: But not nearly as low as Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid.

KING: They're not running for president.

MEDVED: They're running for Congress. Do people seriously, like Michael Moore, believe that this low rated Congress, with the lowest ratings for Congress in history --

KING: I have to ask. What percentage -- Michael? What percentage of Congress will be re-elected?

MEDVED: One hundred percent of the House, I mean, is up for re- election. Most of the people in Congress will be re-elected.

KING: If they're so unpopular, why are they re-elected?

MEDVED: One of the things that I think is really true here is that the Democrats have dodged the responsibility for the fact that they have the majority. In other words, if you talk about the downturn of the last two years, the Democrats happen to be in charge.

There's something else, too, Larry and it's very important. Michael Moore skated right by it several times. He kept talking about this big rip off for Wall Street. Guess who supported it, right? Barack Obama and Joe Biden. Both voted for it. It was not a Republican --

KING: And John McCain?

MEDVED: Absolutely. I supported it, too.

KING: Why did you leave him out?

MEDVED: Because I supported it, too. Michael Moore accused John McCain and George Bush, but didn't acknowledge that his guy supported the same rescue plan that you and I and even Michael Moore knows was necessary from preventing a horrible collapse.

KING: Well stated. Kate, before I ask you about your thoughts on Mr. Moore and get to other areas, what's happening in Virginia.

KATE OBENSHAIN, FMR. VIRGINIA REPUBLICAN PARTY CHAIRMAN: You know, Virginia for years now has been tilting towards blue, unfortunately. But we have one Democratic senator and it looks like we are going to have a very tough race for Senate. But this is not some new phenomenon. When I was chairman four years ago, there was a big hubbub that Bush might be in trouble. We were able to pull it out. But there is a shift in northern Virginia and down in the Newport News, Tide Water region. And it's important that Republicans in Virginia and all across the country focus on our ground game, focus on what we're good at. That is getting our people to the polls and not losing our confidence. Stay steady right now and stick together.

KING: Do you think Mark Warner can lose?

OBENSHAIN: Well, I think anything is possible. I think if folks realize what can happen, if there's a chance there's going to be a Reid-Pelosi-Obama administration, the triumvirate, then I think some folks are starting to sit back and getting a little nervous about the prospect of that. I know that Michael Moore was laughing gleefully at that prospect, but that should make Americans a little nervous that it excites Michael Moore to such an extent that he can't contain himself.

KING: We'll ask our guests how McCain can pull this off right after this.


KING: All right. Joe, how does McCain pull it off?

PAGLIARULO: Larry, I think John McCain has to keep bringing home the point that in an economic downturn you can never raise taxes on anybody. If you raise taxes on corporate America, they're going to cut jobs and raise the price on goods and services. You cut taxes on them, they can expand, buy more business, hire more people. He's got to keep on bringing that home. John McCain actually can win on the economy.

KING: All right. Then you're saying Obama is lying when he says he doesn't want to raise taxes on 95 percent of the people?

PAGLIARULO: No. I say Obama is going to raise taxes on 250,000 plus. That means all businesses will have taxes raised and pass it on to us.

KING: He said individuals, not businesses.

PAGLIARULO: He also said small businesses. He told Joe the plumber, if you buy that small business, I'm going to raise your taxes.

KING: As the head of it, if you make over 250,000.

PAGLIARULO: No, if your business revenue is 250,000 or more is what he said. KING: Not what he said on this show. OK. Michael Medved, I know you'll be shocked by this, but the "New York Times" has just endorsed Obama and the question is -- don't quake -- the question, Michael, is how does McCain pull it off?

MEDVED: I'll tell you how he pulls it off. I think there is a backlash building and I can feel it. I can feel it with my listeners every single day. The backlash is based upon the fact that Obama is over-saturating everywhere with ads. He's outspending John McCain eight to one in North Carolina, six to one in Virginia. That goes along with so many endorsements from the establishment media and so much, it seems, to many of us very, very obvious bias in Obama's favor.

I think that does present some kind of a backlash. And, frankly, I think all the obsession with Sarah Palin's wardrobe and then Michael Moore talking about his shirt from K-Mart, well, you know what? Michael Moore is so many more times rich than Sarah Palin and her husband with their five kids. Michael Moore is a multi-millionaire. And this whole stupid pose that Democrats represent the ordinary people -- Joe Biden lives in a 6,800 square foot house on 6.5 acres of land that's valued at three million dollars. Sorry, he's not lunch bucket Joe.

KING: Well, doesn't have more than the McCain family.

MEDVED: No. They're all rich. But you'd expect people who are going to be at the level you are to run --

KING: If spending more hurts you because you saturate, didn't Bush saturate in 2004?

MEDVED: He did, but he is going to end up having spent half of what Obama spent. And part of the reason that Bush spent so much money is, look -- a lot of us believe -- you can argue about this. We can argue back and forth -- that there is a slant in main stream media, not on talk radio. Talk radio is conservative. Guess what, mainstream media do slant liberal. Bush spent money to try to overcome that. Obama has spent this huge amount of money to reinforce it.

KING: Kate, how do you think McCain wins?

OBENSHAIN: I think as gas prices are going down -- I know they're 2.50 in my neighborhood. I think that McCain has to continue to focus on the risk factor of Obama as the economic crisis, to some degree, settles a little bit. Folks are stepping back and saying, do I want someone who has no executive, no managerial experience, and no military experience, becoming president at a time of war and a time of economic uncertainty? I think that if we continue to hammer that message -- I thought it was hysterical that Michael Moore said Sarah Palin -- folks should be worried about Sarah Palin and the risks, since we've only known her for seven weeks.

Think about the risk of Barack Obama, who has the thinnest resume of any senator, the most liberal resume, as well, with the third most liberal senator as his running mate. That suggests a serious risk at a time where we need steadiness and stability. And the McCain campaign has to hold it together. John McCain, as the candidate, has to show that steadiness and continue to be aggressive, but really focus on the risks the country faces if they elect Obama.

KING: Joe, we're tough on time here. Is there any blue state that McCain wins?

PAGLIARULO: Is there any blue state that McCain wins? I think he probably had a pretty good chance at Michigan, but then he ran out of there. I was surprised by that because Michigan is in a recession. Honestly, if he holds what George W. Bush held, he doesn't need a blue state.

KING: All Obama needs is a red state.

PAGLIARULO: It's true. Hopefully he won't get one.

MEDVED: Look. What McCain needs is to hold what Bush had, giving the Democrats New Mexico and Iowa. But McCain also has an excellent chance, he still does, in Minnesota and in Pennsylvania. And they're going to be campaigning there. And I don't think they really have written off Michigan. You can talk to the people on the ground in Michigan, we're going there, and they'll be campaigning there.

KING: Thank you very much.

OBENSHAIN: In Pennsylvania, the clinging to guns and religion is going to play out here in the end.

KING: OK, looks like McCain might do it. Joe, Michael, and Kate. Blog with me at We got a terrific web extra there, too, Josh Hamilton, beyond belief, a superstar with the Texas Rangers. Drugs almost destroyed him and his baseball career. Comes back in a big way. Great guy, incredible story. Check out our interview with Josh Hamilton at

While you're there, download our newest podcast, Bill Maher. It's time now for Anderson Cooper and "AC 360." The news keeps coming. Anderson?