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Interview with Judge Judy and Michael Moore

Aired November 22, 2008 - 21:00   ET


LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, Michael Moore. He saw the auto industry's financial problems coming almost 20 years ago. What's he saying today?
Plus, Judge Judy. She tackles all sorts of topics including politics and Sarah Palin.

"Order in the Court," next on "LARRY KING LIVE."

KING: It's a pleasure to welcome her back to "LARRY KING LIVE;" Judge Judy. By the way, Judge Judy has a new DVD out; I'm holding it up, "Judge Judy, Second to None." There you see its cover. She presides over the top rated Emmy-nominated reality TV court show that bears her name, "Judge Judy."

What's your reaction to the Obama election?

JUDGE JUDY SHEINDLIN, "JUDGE JUDY": It's exciting to be alive during that kind of political race, isn't it? I don't remember a race that was that exciting, I think, since probably the '60s.

KING: Were you surprised?

SHEINDLIN: No. I don't think anybody was surprised. You and I spoke about this election well over a year ago. I think you asked me the question what did you think. It was shortly after the time that president-elect had announced his candidacy.

I think I said to you that Jerry and I were on the treadmills together in Florida and we listened to it. It was the first time in a long time that I got goose bumps up my back, because he is eloquent and youthful and dynamic.

The whole process was a wonderful process. I don't see it, the vitriol that somehow we see a little more now than we did during the campaign. I didn't sense that anger and negative --

KING: From either party?

SHEINDLIN: -- no, anymore than previous campaigns. I didn't.

I think that, unfortunately, now I hear a lot of sour grapes coming from the Republican camp. And some of those leaks with regard to Sarah Palin I think are an abomination.

KING: There are those who said that a black couldn't be elected, that there would be the Bradley Effect. People would say they would vote for him but not. Did you at all accept that?

SHEINDLIN: You know, I thought about it. But the more you listened to him -- and I like John McCain. I think that he's a stand-up guy. I think that we probably would not have been in any worse shape had he been elected president.

But I think that there was a spirit even amongst those people who are my contemporaries and in my economic position, who know that it is going to cost them an extra couple of bucks because this president plans on tapping us a little bit more, felt that the good of the country and the good of the world at this particular juncture in history was important enough to say, listen, this time we're not voting with our pocket books.

I know a lot of people who said that. And those people weren't going to turn off once they got into the booth and closed that curtain.

KING: How long a honeymoon does he get?

SHEINDLIN: I think he gets a long honeymoon. I think that the media loves Barack Obama. I think that the print media, the electronic media love him, and are prepared to cut him an awful lot of slack.

I think you saw that with the first conference that he had with the press. He made a couple of comments that perhaps he might not have made had he thought about them; the one of course with Nancy Reagan -- involving Nancy Reagan.

KING: But he apologized to her.

SHEINDLIN: He apologized right away, but nobody repeated it and repeated it and repeated it, and made a big deal about it. They said, listen, the guy made a mistake. He's going to make mistakes. Cut him some slack. And that's what we have to do because he's got a big job.

KING: What do you make the First Lady to be?

SHEINDLIN: I think she's dynamite. I think she's smart, and I think that she's intellectually equipped for the job, which is a big job. I think she knows her man. She knows all of his strengths and she knows where he's got some clay in his feet. She's prepared to prop him up and to give him a poke, if he says something out of line. She says, quiet.

KING: She's his rock?

SHEINDLIN: I think she's a terrific lady. One thing that I -- I was listening to some of your previous guests and they said well, she's devoting her time -- this is the time she's devoting to mothering. I don't necessarily think that you have to do one or the other. That's something that I take issue with.

She has children now who are going to be school age. They're going to be away for five or six hours a day. I don't think she has to stay home and make cookies during that time. She is an intelligent woman and she's got a lot to contribute. KING: Of all the propositions in America -- there were hundreds -- Proposition Eight in California drew the most attention. And we're going to Judge Judy about that.


KING: By the way, if you have questions or opinions on Prop 8, you can blog us as well.

Judge Judy presided over the marriage of Michael Feinstein, the noted cabaret entertainer, who is starring now in a Christmas show in New York, when he married his long time love interest, and they're a gay couple.

And there was a proposition on the ballot in California that would cancel what was placed in by the Supreme Court that gays could get married. That proposition passed. That, in essence, threw out gay marriages. First, those who were married, are they OK?

SHEINDLIN: I believe they are. I don't see a scenario --

KING: All 18,000 of them.

SHEINDLIN: I don't see any scenario under which this proposition, which modified the Constitution of the state of California and said that a marriage is only between a man and a woman. I don't think that you can ex post facto void the marriages that took place when the law was good.

KING: The governor shares your opinion. Governor Schwarzenegger, who has changed on this, now thinks that the Supreme Court can overturn the vote, because it's a denial of civil rights, and put it back into the Constitution that anyone can marry.

SHEINDLIN: Let's see what happens. Will it take it all the way up to the Supreme Court of the United States?

KING: What did you think of the vote?

SHEINDLIN: I was saddened by the vote. I was as saddened by the vote here in California as I was in the state of Arkansas, which was equally an affront to both common sense and what I know, in my role as an old family court judge for 25 years, is not in the best interest of children. In the state of Arkansas, they said that no same-sex couple could adopt a child or foster parent a child.

KING: They didn't say that here?

SHEINDLIN: No, they didn't say that here, but they said that in the state of Arkansas. While they didn't specifically refer to gay couples, clearly it was directed toward gay couples. I know so many wonderful couples, same-sex couples who are wonderful parents and wonderful foster parents to children. And why would you allow a child to remain in a foster care situation when there are lovely people prepared to offer them a home? I don't get it. It's not to say I can't say that I don't respect those people whose religious beliefs suggest to them that this is not right. I think that we're entering an age in this country, through this president, where we should be engaged in tolerance. Just because -- 40 some odd percent of the popular vote voted for a more conservative approach to government. You have to say that those people have a perspective, as long as they are not dogmatic, on either side.

When I look at Prop 8 and I look at what happened in Arkansas, I say to myself, to me it's just plain wrong.

KING: The campaign was -- a lot of things were said that -- they said that ministers would be forced to marry gay couples. You can't force anyone.

SHEINDLIN: Of course not.

KING: We're going to take a break and come back with more with Judge Judy. What does she think of Sarah Palin? Judge Judy will tell us right after this.



KING: In retrospect, do you think you might have hurt the ticket?

GOV. SARAH PALIN, (R) ALASKA: If I hurt the ticket at all and cost John McCain even one vote, I am sorry about it because John McCain is a true American hero. He's got great solutions in terms of the challenges that are facing America right now with national security and we need to get our economy back on the right track.

John McCain has solutions and I look forward to seeing him as a leader in the senate and reaching out to Barack Obama and the new administration and being able to work together with the solutions he has. Sorry if I cost him any votes, if I did.

KING: You don't have an opinion as to whether you did or didn't?

PALIN: I personally don't think that I, as Sarah Palin from Alaska, the VP pick, I don't believe I caused the outcome to be what it was.


KING: What do you make of her?

SHEINDLIN: I think she's -- I think she's smart. I think she started from very humble beginnings. We heard her father speak. This was clearly -- she is probably an aberration in her family. She raised a family of her own. She became a mayor of a little town. Then she became the governor of a state in the United States. And anybody that thinks that this woman is stupid is just plain mean-spirited and wrong.

I think that if she had sought this job that was foisted upon her, and not prepared for it, that would be one thing. But I think she got a call one day and said, listen, we would like you to be vice presidential running mate in Alaska, where she was dealing with her kids, with a pregnancy. She was dealing with all kinds of things and not necessarily those things involving international politics, involving the national economy. And she walked into a situation, really pretty much cold. She took over a room and she took over -- that night she took over a country.

So you may have some issue whether she was ready to be vice president or ready to assume the office of president, were she called upon to do that. But to suggest that this is a stupid woman is just idiotic.

KING: Was the press unfair to her?

SHEINDLIN: Yes, I think that they were. I think that they looked for her to make mistakes. I think that there was a certain gloating when that unfortunate prank was pulled on her with the president of France. I think instead of being outraged that somebody did something like that, as they would have been for another candidate, they sort of were snickering that she was so dumb that she fell for it, or that somebody wasn't smart enough in her office to have put her on the phone.

I think that there was a mean-spiritedness that I sensed. And I didn't vote for her. But there was a mean-spiritedness that I find objectionable, I don't know if it was because she was a woman.

I don't know if she was a woman who came into the national attention after Hillary Clinton, who was a very popular woman. And there was a sense that maybe they were trying to change one woman out for another, which was really, I think, is sort of ridiculous. You can't do that with people.

But I think she is a smart lady. I think she was underrated. I think she probably needs a little more time if she wants to get into the natural picture. But I think that the criticism and the vitriol and the mean-spiritedness have to stop. It's disrespectful.

KING: Judge Judy is our guest. Her DVD is out, "Judge Judy, Second to None," how true. We'll be right back.



SHEINDLIN: I don't care if it was earlier in the night, or it was twilight and you were Peter Pan and you were on your way to Never- Never Land. You had been drinking. You had a concussion, right?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Actually, a fractured skull.

SHEINDLIN: Fractured skull. Maybe that's the reason why he's a little off.

Why don't you work?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I had an allergic reaction. SHEINDLIN: An allergic reaction to what? Working?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I love you. You're the best.

SHEINDLIN: You're right. Get in line. There's a long line.


KING: The man loves you. That's from the DVD, "Second To None." Our guest is Judge Judy.

Every time you're on, we get e-mails from people saying you should be on the Supreme Court. Did you ever aspire to that?

SHEINDLIN: No. If the truth be told, Larry, I really don't do well voting by committee.

KING: You wouldn't like to be one in nine?

SHEINDLIN: No. In family court, you're the matriarch. You are the final arbiter. I like to make the decision. If I'm listening to it, I like to make the decision.

KING: So, if you're blogging in, she isn't going to accept it, if asked.

Norma, this is her blog -- Norma writes, "I'm a staunch supporter of public education, but I wonder if the Obama children should be home- schooled because their safety should be paramount." Thoughts?

SHEINDLIN: I think any child, if they are treated optimally, is treated to an education outside of the home, because there's certain socialization that you don't get if you're home-schooled. I think that the Obama children -- I think that they should probably continue in private school. That's where they have been in Chicago.

It seems to me, there's no reason for the Obamas to say, listen, we're going to put our children in public school to make a statement. Your children have always been in private school. That's where they have been thriving, and that's where they should continue, if that's where you want to send them.

I don't think that they have to be sacrificed for what looks good and feels good. I don't think that this is a president who would do that. I think he thinks that his children deserve the best possible education, just like he got.

KING: Does Hillary stay in the Senate, take another job?

SHEINDLIN: I don't know. I think she's a real bright lady. What would she do?

KING: There's the Supreme Court.

SHEINDLIN: Again, Supreme Court is ruled by committee. Hillary likes to make her own decisions. In the Senate, that's hard enough. But on the Supreme Court, you have nine people and if you're a junior justice, I don't think that's a place for her.

KING: Are you going to go to the inaugural?

SHEINDLIN: If invited, I would love to go.

KING: You've got clout.

SHEINDLIN: I have no clout. Do you want to take me?

KING: We can work it out.

SHEINDLIN: I would love to go.

KING: It's going to be the most historic inaugural --

SHEINDLIN: I would love to go. I remember my college graduation; JFK spoke at my college graduation.

KING: He did?

SHEINDLIN: Yes. It was June, 1965.

KING: No, he died in '63.

SHEINDLIN: Oh, right, 1961, American University. And I remember he arrived by helicopter on the lawn of the university, and it was about 104 degrees in June so everybody was pretty sweaty. But it was the most exciting experience.

KING: Wasn't that the famous American University speech?


KING: That's a historic speech.

SHEINDLIN: Yes, and it was thrilling to see him.

And people may say that Obama is like Kennedy, but Kennedy was really just a wonderful spirit. He never really got a chance to do much in his short tenure as president. I think the country and the world has great hopes for this young man, who is brilliant and seems to have a good temperament.

KING: Amazing temperament.


KING: We only have 30 seconds left. How long are you going to keep on doing this?

SHEINDLIN: I don't know. Until they make me go into high definition, I guess.

KING: How long are you contracted for?

SHEINDLIN: Until 2013. KING: That's nice.

SHEINDLIN: It's nice, 2013 is a long time.

KING: You're an amazing lady.

SHEINDLIN: Thank you. You, too.

KING: We always love seeing you.

SHEINDLIN: Thank you.

KING: Judge Judy and don't forget the DVD called Judge Judy, second to none. Just from that clip, you want to get it.

Blog with us at; tell us will the way President Bush handles the transition to the Obama administration affect how you feel about him? Sound off, we're open all night. Don't forget about our quick vote question, our podcast, our photo galleries and other exclusive Web features.

Michael Moore right after the break. Stay with us.


KING: I spoke with Michael Moore as the auto industry bailout debate reached fever pitch. We begin by looking back at the film that Michael on the map; A documentary that predicted Detroit's big three money troubles. Remember "Roger and Me?"


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: General Motors doesn't seem to be doing anybody any service if it goes bankrupt. It has to do what it has to do in order to stay competitive in today's economic climate.

MICHAEL MOORE, FILMMAKER: Even if it that means eliminating 18,000 jobs?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Even if it means eliminating 20,000 jobs.

MOORE: Or 30,000?


MOORE: How about all the jobs here in Flint?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It could feasibly happen.


KING: Michael, were you -- was that prophetic?

MOORE: I thought he was really just joking at the time. It -- you know, when I made that film, there were still 50,000 people working at General Motors in Flint. I mean they had eliminated 30,000 jobs, but there were still some jobs there.

Today, I think there's less than 12,000 working in the area. So it has devastated Flint. It was -- Flint was one of the first towns to go. And when I made that movie almost 20 years ago, I hoped that the film would be a warning to other cities that this corporation was intent upon removing jobs from this country and taking them to Mexico and Brazil and other places.

When I made that movie, Larry, that year, General Motors made a profit of over $4 billion. And they were still laying off people then, simply so they can make more money. And the people who helped to build the company, the workers in their hometown of Flint, Michigan, they just forgot about them and...

KING: So...

MOORE: ...and took the money and ran.

KING: So since the principle was we'll have the cars built elsewhere -- and many of the cars are built elsewhere now -- what went wrong if they were paying less out of the country to build them?

MOORE: Well, what really went wrong is that General Motors has had this philosophy from the beginning that what's good for General Motors is good for the country. And so their attitude was we'll build it and you buy it. We'll tell you what to buy. You just buy it.

And eventually, the consumer got smart and said you know what, I'd like a car that gets a little better gas mileage. I'd like a car that's safer on the road.

And so they started to buy other cars. And General Motors still wouldn't change. They still kept building the wrong cars. And more and more people stopped buying them. And, at a certain point, you know, General Motors lost such a large part of the market share that there probably was -- there was a point of no return.

Now here we are, with this, you know, complete collapse -- on the verge of this collapse. And if General Motors collapses, then there goes hundreds of thousands of jobs, if not millions of jobs of the ripple effect of this.

KING: And the same is true of Ford and Chrysler?

MOORE: Absolutely. Absolutely. I'll tell you, it was hilarious just watching these CEOs there yesterday and today testifying in Congress, saying that, you know, that the problem wasn't their -- the cars they were building. It was the financial situation that we're in now.

The problem is the cars they've been building. They've never listened to the consumers. They've just gone about it their own wrong way. And I'll tell you, you know, I'm of mixed mind about this bailout, Larry, because I don't think these companies, with these management people, should be given a dime, because they're -- that's just going to be money going up in smoke or off to other countries. I mean, G.M. is currently building a $300 million factory in Russia right now to build SUVs, right outside of St. Petersburg.

So that's where your money's going to go no matter what they say.

KING: So why are...

MOORE: But, on the other hand...

KING: Why are you of a mixed...

MOORE: On the one hand...

KING: ...feelings?

MOORE: Well, because -- because we can't let all these people lose their jobs because of the bad decisions, the stupid decisions made by the management of these auto companies. So I think what has to happen here is that Congress needs to pass some legislation, and our president-elect needs to do what Roosevelt did.

When Roosevelt came in and when World War II faced the country, Roosevelt said to General Motors and Ford, you're not going to build cars anymore. You're going to build airplanes and tanks and guns and the things that we need for this war because we have a national crisis. And so General Motors had to do what Roosevelt told them they had to do.

KING: What do you want to tell them now?

MOORE: The same thing has to happen now.

KING: What do you want them to do now?

MOORE: President-Elect Obama has to say to them, yes, we're going to use this money to save these jobs. But we're not going to build these gas-guzzling, unsafe vehicles any longer.

So, we're going to put the companies into some sort of receivership and we, the government, are going to hold the reins on these companies. And they are to build mass transit. They're to build hybrid cars. They're to build cars that use little or no gasoline.

And -- I mean because we're facing a national crisis -- not just an economic crisis, but a crisis of the polar ice caps are melting. There's only so much oil left under the Earth. We're going to run out of that, if not in our children's time, our grandchildren's time.

There's got to be a plan set up to find other ways to transport ourselves or other ways than using fossil fuels.

KING: So...

MOORE: So that's what I...

KING: Let me get a break.

Hold it. We'll get a break. MOORE: That's what I would do.

KING: I've got it. You'd give them the money, but a lot of conditions along with it.

We want to hear from you tonight...

MOORE: Oh, not just the conditions. And a whole new management team. The whole thing has got to be controlled, just like Roosevelt did in World War II.

KING: OK. I've got to get a break, Michael.


KING: We want to hear from folks tonight, as well. Go to our blog at and tell us if Michael Moore is on the right track, if he has the answer to the industry's problems.

We're back with Michael after this.


KING: Some -- our guest is Michael Moore.

Some are blaming the United Auto Workers. Your father worked for General Motors for a lot of years.

What was it like for him? Did he like working there?

MOORE: Oh, yes. I mean, we had a great life. That generation that got to work at General Motors were paid a great wage and, you know, full health benefits. We got to take three or four weeks paid vacation every summer. It was a real wonderful life. It provided the middle class life not only for our family, but for tens of millions of families in this country and...

KING: Do you blame the UAW now?

MOORE: And that's...

KING: Is the UAW to blame for this problem?

MOORE: Oh, not at all. In fact...


MOORE: Oh, no, no. The UAW has -- has given back so much to General Motors and the other companies. I'm stunned, actually, at how much they've given back. I think they've given too much back, frankly.

This is not the workers' fault. The workers don't design these cars. The workers don't have this arrogant attitude that the public will buy whatever we make for them.

You know, the workers also don't control the quality of these cars. And for years and years and years, General Motors and Ford and Chrysler -- their main innovation -- their main contribution to this country was to build things that would just fall apart -- planned obsolescence, so then you could buy more of those things that would fall apart.

And, eventually, people started -- you know, they're working hard for their money. And they're going, jeez, you know, I work hard for my money. I don't -- I don't think I want to make a contribution here to Mr. Goodwrench every two weeks, taking my car in the shop to get this little thing fixed or that thing that's wrong.

I mean, I've wondered for years, actually, why the chairmen of these companies don't just get in a Honda or a Toyota and drive it around the block. I think one drive around the block they'd figure out, jeez, this isn't bad. No wonder people buy these cars.

But their arrogance has prevented them from doing that. And to see them up there like beggars on Capitol Hill, asking for a handout, when I just think, Larry, of the -- literally, the hundreds of thousands of autoworkers in the last 20 years, since I made that movie, who have suffered as a result of this company -- towns devastated, families devastated. I just can't tell you what I've seen just people I know in Flint.

KING: All right...

MOORE: And people have lost their jobs.

Where is their handout? Where is their bailout, you know?

KING: OK. Harry...

MOORE: You know, the people of this country are sick and tired of this.

KING: Harry Reid, the majority leader, delayed the vote tomorrow. Apparently, he can't get the votes for a bailout. There's going to be some kind of compromise.

Does that disturb you? Do you think one of these companies could go under?

MOORE: Oh, absolutely. I can't imagine any of those three companies being around next year at this time, let alone maybe even six months from now.

KING: Then who will make cars in America?

MOORE: Well, right. No. We've got a huge problem. That's why government -- this is a crisis. There's a catastrophe about to happen and the government has to step in and say, just like Roosevelt did, this is what you're building. This is how it's going to be built. We're going to have a mass transit system in this country. We're going to bring back light rail. We're going to build more subways. We're going to build more buses. And we're going to employ not only the people that are currently employed, but a lot of the people who have lost their jobs.

We need a huge works program. We need the infrastructure of General Motors and Ford and Chrysler. That's why they can't just -- and they can't file for bankruptcy, either, because once a company says they're filing for bankruptcy, who's going to buy a car from that company?

There's no -- I mean you feel like, jeez, I may not be able to get this car fixed next year if the company hasn't come back. So bankruptcy isn't the answer.

What I think is ironic and, again, hypocritical on the part of Congress, is that they're not -- they're holding back. He can't get the votes to bail out the auto companies because that's going to help a lot of blue collar people -- people that don't have a voice, who don't have lobbyists fighting for them on Capitol Hill.

But, boy, as soon as the banks or the financial institutions or the people that just gambled the money away -- as soon as they were wanting some dough, boy, the trough just was laid out for them; line right up, take whatever you want, sure, no problem. You know, everybody was there to vote for that.

But when it came time, now, to help the people, the working class of this country, it's like, ah, I don't know about that.

So, on one hand, there needs to be a program with money behind it to make sure that these people don't lose their jobs. But we need to restructure these auto companies so they become mass transit companies and companies that build cars that are hybrid or much more fuel- efficient and better for the environment. That's what the country needs. That's what the world needs.

KING: Let me...

MOORE: We don't need...

KING: Let me get a break.

MOORE: ...more crap built by Detroit.

KING: Should the government even think about bailing out the auto industry?

It's your money.

Tell us at

And we'll be back with more of Michael in 60 seconds.


KING: As we've said, the heads of the big three auto companies made their case for a bailout on Capitol Hill this week.



ROBERT NARDELLI, CHRYSLER CEO: This isn't about just a single company and making the decision to let it go down. This is about an entire industry whose tentacles reach broadly, from east to west, north to south.

ALAN MULALLY, FORD CEO: This is a really important industry. This is a pillar of our economy.

RICHARD WAGONER, GM CEO: And it's going to prevent the United States from entering into an economic depression, in my view.

MULALLY: We hope to emerge leaner, stronger and more formidable on the other side.

WAGONER: What exposes us to failure now is not our product lineup nor our business plan nor our long-term strategy. What exposes us to failure now is the global financial crisis, which has severely restricted credit availability and reduced industry sales to the lowest per capita level since World War II.


KING: Good point, Michael?

MOORE: No. No. That's -- that's just simply not true. They're in the spot they're in -- and they've been in this spot for some time -- because they haven't listened to the consumer. They haven't been building the right cars.

They haven't -- they've created -- in fact, they've not only hurt themselves, they've helped to provide some of the fodder for this economic collapse that we're facing because of the arrogant and wrong decisions that they've made over the years.

They should be removed. They shouldn't give those people, the management, in charge. New management has to come in. The government has to hold the reins on these companies. They just can't give it to these guys, because, I'm telling you, they don't know what to do. And they've proven it.

Just go in their showroom and see what they're still trying to sell, what they've been shoving down people's throats all these years...

KING: All right...

MOORE: ...these big SUVs.

KING: Let me...

MOORE: It's just...

KING: Let me get a break and we'll continue with more.

MOORE: It's just -- yes.

KING: Michael Moore, a tough critic.

We'll be right back.



MOORE: Mr. Smith, we just came down from Flint, where we filmed a family being evicted from their home the day before Christmas Eve -- a family that used to work in the factory.

Would you be willing to come up with us to see what the situation is like in Flint so that people...

ROGER SMITH: No. I've been in Flint and I'm sorry for those people. I don't know anything about it. But you have the...

MOORE: Families are being evicted from their homes on Christmas Eve.

SMITH: Well, I -- listen, I'm sure General Motors didn't evict them. So, you'd have to go talk to the landlord...

MOORE: They used to work for General Motors...

SMITH: Well, they...

MOORE: ...and now they don't work there anymore.

SMITH: Well, I'm sorry, but...

MOORE: Could you come up to Flint with us?

SMITH: I cannot come to Flint.

I'm sorry.


KING: That was Roger Smith and that great movie.

Let's take a call.

Romeo, Michigan for Michael Moore.


LAURIE GREENLEY, CALLER FROM MICHIGAN: Hi. My name is Laurie Greenley (ph) and I'm from Romeo, Michigan.

I have a question for Michael Moore.

I'm a registered nurse working in a hospital. And I wanted to know what did he think about people in other industries, such as health care now losing their jobs because of the loss of jobs in the auto industry?

KING: Yes.

The tentacles spread out, don't they, Michael?

MOORE: That's right. It's a horrible ripple effect. That's why they, as an infrastructure and as a company, can't be allowed to go under.

My point is, is that we shouldn't be giving the money to the current management team and the current people that are running this thing into the ground.

I mean, Larry, if you -- $25 billion -- if we're going to give them $25 billion, we should be able to own the company.

If you gave me $25 billion to make my next movie, I think you own that movie, Larry.

You know, I just don't understand why we just give away this...


MOORE: ...this free money. It just...

KING: By the way...

MOORE: makes absolutely no sense.

KING: For the record, we have invitations out to all three of the big automakers -- all their CEOs, all there -- all of them, out to all of them.

Your father worked at the...

MOORE: Well, after 20 years...

KING: ...A.C. Spark Plug factory...

MOORE: I'd like to talk to one of them.

What's that, Larry?

KING: Your father worked at the A.C. Spark Plug factory in Flint for three decades. You gave us a couple photos of you shot there recently. And tell us why -- I think we'll put them up -- why they're so meaningful to you.

MOORE: Well, these were taken, actually, by "The New York Times" about a month or so ago. They're tearing down the factory, finally, where he worked, where tens of thousands of people worked over the years. And it was kind of an emotional moment just being there and thinking about all that we've lost in this country, how we've allowed a few people at the top to get filthy rich.

And I mean those guys that were testifying today, one of -- the Ford chairman is making something like $22 million a year and his company lost $2 billion last year. The G.M. chairman is making $15 million a year. His company lost $39 billion last year. And he's rewarded with a $15 million payout.

I mean this is -- this is just absolutely insane.

But I'll tell you what it really has proven to me, Larry, is that these guys, after all of that stuff they've been telling us all these years about go capitalism, free market, free enterprise, they don't believe in any of that.

They don't believe in free enterprise or a free market. They want -- they want socialism for themselves. They want a handout...

KING: Yes.

MOORE: ...and a net for themselves. To hell with everybody else, but give it to them.

KING: As...

MOORE: And I think, really, what we're seeing here right now with them, with the banks, we're seeing the end of capitalism -- the end of capitalism as we know it.

KING: Has...

MOORE: And I say good riddance.

KING: As Mel Brooks...

MOORE: It hasn't helped the people or the planet.

KING: As Mel Brooks once classically said, where did we go right?



WOLF BLITZER, ANCHOR, "SITUATION ROOM": CNN can now project that Barack Obama, 47 years old, will become the president-elect of the United States.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Barack Obama will be the 44th president --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Barack Obama is projected to be the next president of the United States of America.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The election for Barack Obama. He becomes the first African-American president of the United States.


KING: Joining us now from Traverse City, Michigan, a return visit with Michael Moore, the Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker. He offered his documentary, "A Slacker Uprising" about the 2004 election tour of college campuses free on the Internet; he campaigned for Obama. Were you surprised at the size of this? MOORE: No. It was pretty much what I was hoping for, what I thought it would be. I'm so elated, Larry. It's just been flying high all day.

KING: Does it boggle your mind a little that it's not a middle-aged white man, but a black American that's going to be president?

MOORE: Does it bother me?

KING: Boggle you.

MOORE: Are you kidding?

KING: Boggle the mind?

MOORE: I don't know who could be bothered by this.

KING: I didn't say bothered, Michael, let's get it straight. I said boggle the mind --

MOORE: Oh, boggle the mind. That's because my mind is already boggled, Larry.

KING: or bothered. Something's the matter with it. Okay.

MOORE: I come pre-boggled. Well, of course it does. Like magic said, to think that this would happen in our lifetime, I don't think any of us thought that that would ever happen.

And the fact that it did, I was -- I went to vote yesterday morning, it was -- personally, actually it was just very emotional to have the opportunity to mark my ballot for Barack Obama. It was really just a moment I'll never forget.

KING: What were your thoughts about his speech last night?

MOORE: I think it was wonderful. You know, he's such a gracious individual. And I think we could all take a cue from him in terms of how we want to move the country forward now. Because, you know, he's just the perfect person to be there at this point, to really advocate for the things that we need.

And as your other guest said, just to have a smart, a smart president, where, you know, he's going to expect other people to be smart. And science is going to return to the United States.

And, you know, the best minds are going to come together and help us with so many of these problems that we have. All of this is extremely hopeful. And I think that's why a lot of people are feeling good today.

KING: Were you ever worried, say, during the last few days, that McCain might pull it out?

MOORE: Well, sure. Nobody took it for granted this time. Everybody worked all day. I worked yesterday. I went to two different Obama headquarters here in Michigan, and worked the phone banks. We also wanted to remove a couple of Republican Congressmen from the state, which we did. So that was great.

He won by a huge margin here, a land slide in Michigan; and so we're all very, very proud of that.

KING: Bill Maher did not like the McCain campaign, the way it was run. What did you think of it?

MOORE: Well, disappointing.

Just as a fellow American, I can't believe John McCain, after he has a few days to rest, is probably going to, you know, look back and say, I wish I would have done a few things differently.

But I have to honestly say, I don't think McCain lost this election. And I don't think George Bush really lost it for him either. I think this was won by Barack Obama. I think that because of all the positive things that Obama said and did, because he stayed on the high road, no matter what name was thrown at him, he wouldn't throw a name back at McCain, or Governor Palin.

It was an amazing act, a Christian act to see him respond to his opponent in a way that did not go down into the mud that the other side was on. So I thought that was really good.

KING: Do you think he'll stick with his promise of getting out of Iraq pretty quickly?

MOORE: Oh, absolutely. I think, Larry, this was the first time that an avowed anti-war candidate for the presidency won the office during a time of war. This is an amazing first. And I think that he will definitely follow through.

The American people are going to be very happy to not only have their sons and daughters back, to support and defend this country, but also to have that $10 billion a month to go to the things that we need here in this country; the sooner, the better. I'm sure he'll have a good plan and the troops will be home.

KING: You told our producer that you hope the Democrat majority doesn't treat the Republican minority the way the Republicans did and vice versa. What did you mean?

MOORE: Well, not just -- I don't mean in Congress. I just think in general, that -- I mean, I'm a good example of -- I've been through eight years of this, because I've been a vocal opponent of the Bush administration. And the sort of, what they heap on you when you do that. It was fairly vicious, these eight years. And I'm not the only one that has gone through that.

But I was thinking last night, when Obama won, you know, what we need to do is not treat Republicans the way we were treated when they won. That they're our fellow Americans and they're going to benefit from all the things we're going to do. We're not going to have universal health care just for the blue states. We're going to have that for everyone, all the Republicans included. So I think we operate with that attitude, we'll be better as a country.

KING: What do you make of the apparent announcement that Rahm Emanuel, former Congressman from Illinois, is going to be the chief of staff?

MOORE: I think it's great. Actually, he's already offered me a position in the administration.

KING: I'm so excited for you.

MOORE: Thank you. I have my choice between interior or to be President Obama's personal trainer. So I'm deciding between the two right now, I guess.

KING: How do you think he's going to govern?

MOORE: He's going to do what he said he's going to do. And I think especially people on the left, which, of course, I'm part of that, need to remember that he presented himself as a person of consensus. And he's going to try and achieve that.

But my personal advice to him -- if he's listening tonight, hopefully he's getting some sleep -- but I would encourage him to hit the ground running in terms of what needs to be enacted because we're not going to have much time here. We're going to have a couple of years. The Republicans aren't going to go away. The Republican Party is going to come back.

And so he needs to come in like FDR, and really move forward on some very important programs: universal health care, a Manhattan Project for energy, removing the troops from Iraq, and making sure that the rich pay for the mess that they created on Wall Street, and do not put that on the backs of middle-class people. So I think if he just goes -- and he's got to revisit the $840 billion mistake that was made, the bailout, so-called bailout, the robbery, actually.

He needs to revisit that, and make sure that they pay for what the mistakes that they made. Just like we all do. And they have to do that for themselves.

That's my hope. And that people will support him. I think he's got a huge mandate, a big land slide here -- what's great for the country and great for the world.

KING: We'll be calling on you a lot.

Thanks, Michael Moore.

By the way, if I said Rahm Emanuel was former Congressman, of course, he's currently a Congressman.

Thanks to Judge Judy and Michael Moore. And thanks to you for all those comments on our blog,; we love hearing from you.

See you next time on "LARRY KING LIVE."