Return to Transcripts main page


Interview with Brad Pitt/Interview with Michael Moore

Aired December 3, 2008 - 21:00   ET


LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, Brad Pitt -- superstar tabloid target.

BRAD PITT: There's a bounty on our heads.


KING: Globetrotting dad to six.


PITT: No, man.

It wears you out, are you kidding?


KING: He admits to a past.


PITT: I got away with a lot, Larry.


KING: And he's looking forward to the future.


PITT: I couldn't be happier and more hopeful.


KING: He may hide his very handsome face for a lot of his latest movie...


PITT: Five hours of prosthetics every morning.


KING: But he doesn't hide his heart.


PITT: This film just makes me want to hug my kids and call my folks.


KING: Then, the always outspoken Michael Moore -- driving an American car when he can get it to start. He's here to slam the brakes on the big three's plea for a mega billion dollar bailout.

Plus, a very different pitch from three generations of G.M. autoworkers. Their families built a legacy with their hands. They want the government to help make it last.

All next on LARRY KING LIVE.

We now welcome to LARRY KING LIVE from New Orleans Brad Pitt, the Oscar nominated actor and producer. He stars in "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button." It opens wide on Christmas Day, already Oscar buzz and deservedly so. It is one heck of a movie. We'll talk about it later.

He's also the founder of Make It Right -- the Web site makeitrightnola -- that's New Orleans, Louisiana -- .org.

You were here a year ago.

It's good to have you back.

But, I must ask, Brad, what's the mustache for?

PITT: It's political, Larry. It's political. I'm making a stand for men with mustaches.


PITT: I don't think they -- they get treated fairly.

KING: You've got a point.

PITT: And I want to -- I want to change that.

KING: Are you doing a movie where you wear a mustache, is that it?

PITT: Yes, I am. I'm currently in Berlin now filming a Quentin Tarantino film. And I am a man with a mustache.

KING: How are the twins doing, by the way?

PITT: Everyone is healthy, so we're all happy. They're getting heavy.

KING: Do you ever feel outnumbered?

PITT: Oh, yes.

(LAUGHTER) PITT: Oh, yes, yes. But, you know, our plan is that we're going to give it all to them anyway. So whenever they want to take over, we're ready.

KING: All right, let's talk about a couple of things before we get to what you've done in New Orleans and in the movie.

What are you thoughts on President-Elect Obama?


I -- oh, man, I think overnight we have -- we've redefined what America is about. I'm -- I couldn't be any happier and more hopeful for the -- for America for the upcoming -- in the upcoming years.

KING: Were you...

PITT: And that team he just announced, I'm -- I'm so impressed with.

KING: Were you in Berlin when he won or were you stateside?

PITT: No, we were actually in Chicago in Grant Park.


PITT: And I'll tell you, it was an incredible experience.

KING: Wow!

PITT: Yes, yes. We ended up walking home from the night. And all the main boulevards were closed. And just the jubilation in the street was something extraordinary to see.

KING: What do you make of what happened in Mumbai?

PITT: Well, funny enough, we were actually -- we saw -- we stayed in The Taj and we saw -- the room we stayed in was on fire. You know, I -- I mean, I can't even begin to -- to make any sense of it. But I'm sure they're doing their best to uncover, you know, what was at the base of it.

KING: That's a very special place, isn't it?

PITT: It's an incredible building. It was incredible -- India itself is one of the most amazing countries that I've ever been to. Everyone should be so fortunate to get to explore it. It's also suffered from inefficiency in a strange way and a great dis -- a great gulf between the rich and the poor there that needs to be addressed there.

But it is -- it is certainly a fascinating place.

KING: All right. It's a year later. The goal is to build 150 homes.

PITT: It's a year later.

KING: How is Make It Right doing?

PITT: Look it, the goal is even bigger. The goal is to create a template for intelligent building. The goal is to rebuild all of New Orleans, all the people who want to come back.

But, yes, our initial goal is 150. And as you can see -- you see some homes behind me now that are -- that have begun to sprung up. And this holiday there will be -- there's families that have already moved in and will be celebrating their Christmases here.

So we're very excited. We're sitting in basically the same spot where you and I talked last year.

KING: Yes.

PITT: And if we sit here again in a year from now, you're going to see another hundred homes behind me. And we're really happy. And I thank you and your audience, who supported Make It Right, because, you know, people -- families were having a very difficult time to come back. And through the contributions, we were able to help them meet that gap that they were falling short of.

And more than that we, you know, we've built some homes here that are doing something really special.

This home you see behind me now, the meter right now is currently running backwards. It's a sunny day, so it's making -- right now, it's off the grid. It's making its own energy. And the family there is going to save 75 percent off their energy bills throughout the year. They live in a place that's comfortable and with great light. And it's a real -- it's a real -- these homes are about dignity. And that's the thing I'm most proud of.

And as we look into the future, we ask ourselves, you know, how can we make that replicable?

How can we -- how can we standardize what we've learned here on the technological front?

So it's all very exciting. There's exciting things happening here.

The other thing I would like to add is that the homes here are all LEED platinum, which is the green certification. That's the highest standard you can get. And probably a year from now, this will be the greenest neighborhood in the United States. I think so.

So coming from a place that suffered such injustice, that's been marginalized and almost forgotten, in the sense of really helping people get back, it has now become a place that is in -- that can be in the forefront of American communities.

So we're excited on so many fronts.

KING: By the way, if you want to help, it's makeitrightnola -- that's all one word --

We'll be right back with Brad Pitt.

Don't go away.


KING: We're back with Brad Pitt. He's in New Orleans.

We are here in Los Angeles.

Hurricane Katrina, of course, slammed New Orleans in the late summer of August of 2005. You described the storm victims as being caught in limbo.

How are they doing now?

Is that hope still -- still there?

PITT: Well, the hope is definitely here. And it's more exciting to be here now, because you see things like what's happening in this neighborhood happening, you know, all over the city and even outside the city. So the money that was promised is starting to flow.

The multiple ground efforts -- many different programs, people are helping out, that are really starting to come to fruition. So there's a lot of great movement and a lot of great things happening down here. So it's really nice to see.

KING: These are, of course, Brad, tough economic times.

How is that affecting your ability to raise money?

PITT: Well, you know, we've met our goal -- or at least it's been promised to meet the 150 homes. You know, my hope is to take it much, much further than that because I believe there's a real template here to -- to build upon.

But I don't think we can keep asking American people to help with this gap or myself or other communities. I really think it's got to come from the government at all levels.

So we're trying to -- now that the case has been proven here, we are trying to see if we are -- if we qualify for any of the money that's been earmarked for this area to help with the rebuilding.

KING: Do you think Obama will help?

PITT: Man, I -- he's certainly not going to hurt. Yes, I think he'll -- I think he'll help in -- he'll be helping this country in many, many different ways.

KING: By the way, is New Orleans now your home?

PITT: Well, it's -- we call it a base camp. You know, as you know, we're... KING: Nomadic.

PITT: ...quite nomadic as a family. So it's certainly, yes, it's certainly one of our bases. It's our water well.

KING: Now, it's also the key aspect of your new film. By the way, as I told you before we went on, it's a terrific movie. I saw it a couple of days ago. This is one hell of a movie. It was filmed mainly in New Orleans.

Wasn't it originally set in Baltimore?

PITT: It was originally set in Baltimore. And we decided to come here before the -- before the storm, even. And I've got to tell you, it's -- it defined the movie in such a beautiful way, it was a perfect match. You can just feel the pulse of the city.

And being that it's a bit of a fantastic story of a man who's born old and grows backwards, New Orleans somehow makes it believable -- that it could almost happen here. And we're really happy to be -- to be here and to be able to come in right after the storm. And I think it won for all of us for so many reasons.

KING: Now, they bring this idea to you. I'm trying to picture this as funny, Brad.

They come to you with this idea -- Brad, how would you like to do a movie where you're born like 98 years old and you get younger until the end of the movie, when you're a couple months old?

What sold you on it?

PITT: All I heard was five hours of prosthetics every morning. That was...


PITT: I didn't think I was the guy to -- you know, who was up to the task. But, you know, ultimately, it was a -- the man spearheading it, he's been working on this for, you know, a good five years diligently and certainly -- I mean we filmed this two years ago. So every day since then, he's been on it. And that's David Finch, our director.

And we've done two films together before, "Se7en" and "Fight Club."

And then -- and Mr. Eric Roth, who is -- who is our writer and who's also godfather of my son Pax, who's also -- meaning he's a dear close friend.

And Kate was in very early.

So it really became about just, you know, the company I'm keeping. And, you know, as I get older, it's just become something that's more and more important to me, who I'm going to spend my time with -- much more important than anything else, really.

KING: We'll be right back with Brad Pitt.

Don't go away.


KING: We had our crew in New Orleans and they visited some of the residents in the Ninth Ward -- the neighborhood Brad is helping rebuild.

You'll like this, Brad.

Here now are some of their stories.


MELBA LEGGETT-BARNES, HOME REBUILT BY BRAD PITT: Robert Green told me about the program, Make It Right, with Brad Pitt. At first I was kind of standoffish. But once I spoke to the girl with the counseling and I ended up thinking maybe it's a good idea.

This room is the living room/dining room area. We also have the balcony right there behind you. This is the air machine that gives me fresh air in my house.

This house is a totally chemical-free. There are no chemicals in the paint, the wood, the steel, the carpets, the towels. There are no chemicals in this house at all. And this is the deck, which I can look all the way downtown and all over my whole neighborhood.

Of course, you know, I have the best house. Brad was a godsend and so was Make It Right, because I don't think we would have come back. We would have stayed there and we'd have been all right. But there's nothing like being at home.


KING: You can help by going to

We'll be back after this with Benjamin Button, Brad Pitt, right after this.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I figure, you were born in 1918 -- 49 years ago. I'm 43. We are almost the same age. We're meeting in the middle.

PITT: I'm glad I caught up with you (INAUDIBLE). Wait. I want remember this, just as we are now.

(END VIDEO CLIP) KING: When people see this movie, do you think, in addition to talking about the stars and the story, there will be a lot of talk about aging?

PITT: I think so. I mean, you know, it's certainly something we -- we tend to run from as a society.

KING: Right.

PITT: I mean with good reasons. And, you know, it scares me to death.

KING: Yes.

PITT: But I -- yes, why not?

Why not?

You know, it certainly makes me conscious of how much time do I have left.

Do I -- you know, is this my day?

Do I have 40 years left?

What do I want to do in that time?

How do I want to use it and how do -- who do I want to spend it with?

And I don't know, me, man, it makes me -- this film just makes me want to hug my kids and call my folks. And it's really special. And I'm not -- I'm not a salesman. I find this one quite authentic and something really special.

KING: Help me with a little thing -- a little technical secret.

When you're old/young, you're two years old.


KING: Now, that's your face in a shriveled up...

PITT: Right.

KING: ...old man who's also two years old.

PITT: Yes.

KING: How did they do that?

PITT: Well, this is -- again, this is part of the genius of David Fincher. He loves to take whatever the latest technology is out there. In this case, it was a technology we used to blow up the world and, you know, get eaten by monsters -- and subvert it and pervert it to do just that -- to put -- to put my face through a filter and then put it on another actor's body as he was walking through the scene. And that's the -- that's the simple version of it all.

It's quite complicated. And, again, you know, we started filming two years ago and he just is putting the final touches. He's just finishing all the -- the C.G. on it.

KING: Was the actor a child or a small little guy?

PITT: No. These were -- it was actually three different actors for the first, you know, 20, 30 minutes of the film to follow Benjamin at different stages of growth.

KING: Wow! I applaud you and everyone associated with it. It's a great, great movie.

Do you think -- do you think having kids, as you have so many, keeps you young?

PITT: Thank you, Larry.

KING: Do you think it keeps you young?

PITT: Because I have so many.


No, man. It wears you out.

Are you kidding me?

I'm aging fast.

KING: But there's nothing better in the world, right?

PITT: But it's worth every second of it, you know?

KING: There's nothing better in the world than being a father.

PITT: Not for me, there's not. No, not for me. I would agree with that. Of course, I -- you know, I got to spend a few decades being idiotic and hell bent and solipsistic and everything else.


PITT: So, you know, I got time to get all of that out of my system. So...

KING: Wait a minute.

PITT: I'm sorry, you were saying?

KING: You mean there was a wild Brad Pitt?


PITT: Yes, well, I mean wild in my book, yes. Yes. Sure.

KING: You've said that part of your...

PITT: Yes, I got away with a lot, Larry.


KING: I'll bet.

You've said part of the appeal of New Orleans is that you and your family can have a sense of normalcy, if there is such a thing.

Well, how do you define normal?

PITT: Yes. Well, it's just a place where we can actually walk on the streets. And it's the community here. It's the people here. It's very kind, but they also, for some reason, do not feel like they have ownership in some way or something. They're really respectful. And there's nothing more than a wave and glad you're here or -- and let us go on our way.

It's a -- it's a -- you know, it's just a -- we've made some good friends here. It's just really nice -- nice -- I don't know how to describe it better than that. It's just a place for us to be.

KING: Yes, I've noticed that when I was there with you. People don't -- people don't mob after you there.

PITT: No, they've got their own thing going, man. They've got their own thing going here.

KING: Yes, they do.

PITT: I'm just a -- you know, a...

KING: Another guy.

PITT: Another color to it.

KING: Why do you think that -- with...

PITT: Yes.

KING: ...that the public is fascinated with the personal lives of people who are well-known?

You must have thought about that.

PITT: I try -- I've stopped thinking about it, really. I mean, I don't know. There's certainly people I'm interested in. It's quite complimentary. But, you know, and I think it's a -- it is an interesting family. It's not your usual family.

KING: Yes.

PITT: Yes. I'm quite interested in my family, actually. So...

(LAUGHTER) PITT: So I don't -- I certainly don't see it anything less than a compliment.

KING: Do you want more children?

PITT: I don't know. I can't find a reason why not just yet.

KING: All right. You're on the January issue of the cover of "Architectural Digest" talking about Making It Right. You shoot some amazing photos of Angelina for "W." Exclusive photos of you and the twins were sold to "People" for charity. You like privacy, but you like exposure.

How do you balance the two?

PITT: Well, the pictures for "W," you know, it's a really strange feeling. It's something Angie and I had to talk a lot about, especially with the birth of Shiloh. You know, these pictures were going to come out -- they're -- these pictures are -- I'm -- you know, I'm talking about the pictures of the kids.

KING: Right.

PITT: That there's a bounty on our heads. And these pictures are going to come out at some point. And they're going to be chasing us and they're going to -- they're going to go to the ends of the earth to get these photos.

And we just thought well, maybe we could -- since there's such a bounty and that bounty is so obnoxious, we could -- we could take that money and funnel it to something good. And that's what we decided to do. It's still -- it's still a bit uncomfortable to do such a thing, but I know it's right in the end. And that was the decision we made.

The "W" photos we just -- we just didn't want to leave the house, so we just figured we'd do it ourselves and had a good time doing it.

KING: Good idea.

A couple of other things. Christmas is coming. You said the last time you were with us that you wanted or hoped to build a multi- ceremonial family with regards to the holidays.

Is that working out?

PITT: Yes. Yes, well, we're a little -- we're working on it. We're still working on it. You know, we tried a little something last year. But the kids were so young, it just didn't mean much, really. But we're getting there. And, you know, as they get older, they'll start to understand more. Right now, it's still presents, you know?

KING: When do you go back to Berlin?

PITT: I go back next week for some more shooting -- me and my mustache.

KING: See you next year, Brad.

Thanks so much, baby.

PITT: Hey, Larry. Thanks a lot.

Thanks again. And thanks for the support. I really appreciate it.

KING: OK. If you want to help, it's And the movie, "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," opens in theaters Christmas Day.

The guest, Brad Pitt.

Thanks again, Brad.

PITT: Thank you, Larry.

KING: Up next, Michael Moore. The documentary filmmaker opposes the $34 billion bailout for the big three automakers. He says these idiots don't deserve a dime. He's here to tell us why next.


KING: Joining us now in Travis City, Michigan, Michael Moore, the Oscar winning documentary filmmaker, who opposes the $34 billion federal bailout loans the big three automakers are now desiring from Congress.

And nobody ever accused Moore of mincing words. But in a new letter on your Web site, which is, by the way,, you're really rather blunt in opposition to the bailout. You call it -- you say, "These idiots don't deserve a dime."

OK, but what all the people who work for them, Michael?

MICHAEL MOORE: Well, yes, absolutely.

First of all, Larry, let me just say it's some show here you've got tonight, where you've two winners of the sexiest man alive. So it's a...

KING: That's right. It was close, too.

MOORE: That's quite a -- a booking coup.


MOORE: The -- no, actually, I don't oppose the so-called bailout. I just oppose giving the $34 billion to the current people in charge. We have to put up whatever money is necessary to protect the industrial infrastructure of this country. And all the factories and the workers that work at these factories, the factories can't close and the workers can't be thrown out of work. There's been way too much of that in the last couple of decades, where literally hundreds of thousands of autoworkers have lost their jobs.

KING: So what...

MOORE: So what I oppose is...

KING: What do you...

MOORE: this money to this crowd.


Who would you give it to?

MOORE: Well, I think -- I would give it to the company. But I wouldn't give it. I would say, look, General Motors, right now, the total amount of your stock is worth about $3 billion. But you want us to give you $18 billion. I mean, the total amount -- the $34 billion -- I think all G.M.'s assets, with their factories, the equipment, everything they own, is about $35 billion.

So it's like what are you going to put up for this?

They're going to have to put up some kind of collateral.

So let's say we give them the loan. Let's say, then, they don't pay the loan back.

So let's say we give them the loan. Let's say then they don't pay the loan back. What's going to happen? The government is going to have to take over the factories? Take over the car business? On some level, none of really us want the government building cars. I mean, you don't want Steny Hoyer deciding where the glove compartment goes. Move it over an inch or two. That's not what you want -- you don't want Dennis Kucinich doing the wiper blades.

KING: But Michael, you don't want to see America out of the car- making business?

MOORE: No. We need to be able to transport ourselves to work, to school, to church, to go on vacation, whatever. We have to be able to get around.

The problem is that the cars that Detroit has been building are not really vehicles that are appropriate for the 21st century. We have a finite amount of oil under the earth, and we have a huge global warming problem that's caused in part by these automobiles. So we have to be rethinking this. We have to be building different kinds of cars for the 21st century and we have to go to mass transportation.

These factories should be building trains, subways, light rail, buses. And you need a vision put forth by the new president that's going to say, look, it's a new day here in America. And I'm going to do essentially what Franklin Roosevelt did when he told General Motors and Ford, you're not going to build cars anymore because we have a big crisis here. You're going to build tanks and planes. And our new president needs to say you're going to build light rail, trains, subways, buses, hybrid cars, electric cars, and we're going to bring in the best minds that are going to come in here and run these companies the correct way.

We're not going to give taxpayer dollars to the people who have been making the decisions so far. And I've got to tell you. When you talk about the autoworkers, part of GM's plan that they gave Congress yesterday was, it said give us $18 billion and we're going to fire another 20,000 workers.

I don't want a dime of my taxpayer dollars going to this company so they can eliminate more jobs. That's all they have done for the last couple of decades, is eliminate jobs. And the more people that you remove from the middle class, the fewer people you have able to buy cars. That's why we're in the predicament we're in. So this needs a completely different vision and a rethinking.

KING: Let me get a break. Head to our blog at and answer our question of the night, do you support a taxpayer-funded bailout of the big three automakers? We'll be reading your comments on the air. You'll even get Michael's reaction. Go to We'll be right back with Michael Moore.


KING: Michael Moore, what happens if Congress turns it down?

MOORE: Well, they can't just turn it down. There has to be another plan to make sure that no one loses their job. And in fact, we create more jobs because we're going to create a whole new infrastructure here with mass transit and a different kind of automobile to move people around in..

KING: You're saying they can't. The Senate can't say no?

MOORE: Well, listen, I mean, if the worst case scenario, if all the car companies were to go under and completely shut down, you're talking about a catastrophe of 3 million or more people losing their jobs in this country. And I think the head of Chrysler was right when he said we were going to be in a real depression at that point. So we can't let that happen.

Look, Larry, I've got to tell you, the whole thing, not just the auto bailout, but Wall Street, the banks, the insurance companies, everyone who is lined up for the free cash, the "L.A. Times" last week said the bill for this eventually is going to be about $8.3 trillion.

When you put the Fed in there, the FDIC, everything else that's going on, the loans, all the stuff, $8.3 trillion. And I've got to tell you, I think what happened here is the wealthy in the country saw the Democrats and Obama coming, talking about there was going to be a tax increase for the rich, and they thought, you know what? The party is going to end soon. We better collect as much silverware as possible before the party ends.

I think this is a looting of our Treasury going on right now. And here is another thing, too. Can I just say this, Larry? I would like to see -- when they come to Congress tomorrow and the next day, these auto heads, I would like them to stand up, raise their hand, and say I just want to tell you that, you know what? Capitalism doesn't work. The free enterprise system we have been telling you about all these years, it doesn't work. We don't really believe in it. We believe that if we build cars people don't buy, you, the taxpayer, should give us money anyways.

KING: Let me get a call, Michael. Morro Bay, California, Hello.

CALLER: Hi, my question is for Michael. How about going ahead and having the federal government give the money to the car manufacturers but requiring them, putting some strings attached and say OK, we're going to bail you out but you have got to start doing what we have asked you to do over the decades and that is make more fuel efficient cars and we're going to set the guidelines for the mileage that we expect you to produce or the cars should be able to get. And we're also going to demand that you seriously explore alternative fuel vehicles. How would that work?

MOORE: Well great, as long as we also get rid of the current management and put the right people in there who are going to follow through on these great ideas.

Right now, the car companies have got about a half dozen lawsuits against the EPA and states that are trying to stem global warming. In other words, the car companies right now are suing us. They're suing us, the American government, and yet they want us to give them $34 billion while they're suing us.

These companies have fought every decent thing this society has need, from safety requirements in cars to fuel efficiency, pollution control devices. General Motors at one point fought the government on the turn signal. They didn't want to be required to have turn signals in the cars decades and decades ago.

Every step of the way, they have had the -- you have to force them to do the right thing. They're just not inclined to do the right thing. And every time they do this, they just get rid of more jobs. The suffering I have seen here in Michigan of people who have lost their jobs as a result of the decisions they have made. You can't let them keep making these decisions because the workers are going to suffer in the long run.

KING: Got to get a break. We'll be back with more in 60 seconds with your blog comments. Stay with us.


KING: Michael Moore is still with us as we check in on our blogs. David Theall does that for us right now. David, what can you tell Michael and me?

DAVID THEALL, LARRY KING LIVE PRODUCER: Larry, we have been talking about this proposed auto industry rescue plan. And let me tell you, bar none, without exception, I'm telling you the truth. If you want to get people commenting on your blog, Larry, mention this topic. Bar none, we have had the most response and our stories that we have posted on this and anything related to this rescue plan, including one from Rey.

Now of course, we've heard from people who think that it has to happen. This rescue plan has to happen because there's too many people depending on the auto industry for their livelihood.

Rey was one of them. She says, they don't deserve a cent from our tax money, but giving the current conditions of our economy, a bailout should be given with strict oversight of every cent they use.

The vast majority of people are absolutely 100 percent against this rescue plan.

Adrian, who took a point to remind us that his father and his mother retired from General Motors. His father, he says, with 43 years. His mother with 30. He says one of the big three needs to go bankrupt as a lesson to the others.

Ladonna came in with harsher comments still. I oppose a bail out of the American auto industry. She says let the American model of bloated top heavy union shackled auto business die the death it's meant to.

KING: David, let me ask Michael how he reacts to this, which seems to be unanimous thinking.

MOORE: Well yes, people are upset, but I think they're upset at the auto bailout right now because they witnessed this looting that took place with the Wall Street thieves and these banks and the ponzi schemes that they have been operating under for all these years, and they're getting hundreds of billions of dollars in bailout money.

People don't understand that, but they understand the car thing and we have to stop it somewhere. Well, we've got to be careful because we're talking about millions of peoples' jobs. But at the same time, we need a new plan.

KING: Michael, I understand that David has a blog aimed at you. David?

THEALL: We do. Larry, you've had that politics makes strange bed fellows. Well apparently so does a proposed auto industry bail out. We announced that Michael was coming on the show. Matt chimed in with this. "I typically can't stand Michael Moore, but I have to say I agree with him on this one."

KING: Michael, you're now a star.

MOORE: Well, I think my guess is if he can't stand my politics, what he likes about what I'm saying is that he would just as soon see millions of people lose their jobs and let them suffer. I don't ascribe to that, and I don't want support from people like that. I'm saying that we need a different kind of plan in this country, the right kind of vehicles, mass transit.

KING: I got it. We're getting repetitive. Michael, will you remain a couple moments? David Theall, thanks very much as always. Michael returns after the break. We'll be joined by autoworkers later who are for the bailout. Don't go away.


KING: Another call for Michael Moore from Norwalk, Connecticut.

CALLER: Yes, hi, Michael.

KING: Go ahead.

CALLER: Hi, Michael. I got a quick question for you. The bottom line is that companies that don't make money can't create jobs, nor can they maintain them. So can you please tell me in detail with facts how the big three are going to start making a profit because it seems to me, everything that I've understood, they're at a tremendous cost disadvantage because of their infrastructure, that being most importantly the united autoworker.

KING: Michael?

MOORE: If it wasn't for the United Autoworkers, my uncle was in the sit down strike that helped to found this union. If it wasn't for the autoworkers, we wouldn't have a middle class. Because of what the autoworkers did from the 1930s on, this country was able to grow into having the strongest economy on the planet.

And I'm sick and tired of hearing autoworkers blamed for this. The autoworkers union has given back and given back and given back for the last two decades. I just, I hate to see them give back another dime of what they need in order to be part of the middle class.

If you're saying that the way to solve this problem is to eliminate the middle class, what kind of country do we have? What kind of country do you all want to live in if we keep this up where we allow the rich to keep getting richer and everybody else scrambling for crumbs?

KING: Thank you very much for joining us again, Michael. Always good having you with us. Mike, we love the way you respond when we call on you.

And following you, we're going to meet three members of the Autoworkers Union. The president, the retired auto worker and a man who currently works for them, all in the same family.

First, let's check in with Anderson Cooper. He'll host "A.C. 360" at the top of the hour. What's up, Anderson?

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Larry, we're following breaking news tonight. More bad news for the big three automakers. The night before they plead their case to Congress, we've learned their may not be enough support from lawmakers for the lifeline that they want. Can the automakers survive without a taxpayer bailout? We'll have the latest on that.

And an exclusive interview with Bill Clinton. He reveals how he plans to support his wife in her new role as secretary of state. But how involved will he really be? And what happens to his foundation if he has to pull back from being so involved?

Also tonight, that American cruise ship attacked by pirates. For the first time, we have firsthand accounts from the Americans onboard when it was attacked. Terror on the high seas. All that and more, Larry, tonight on "360."

KING: The never dull "A.C. 360" with Anderson Cooper, 10 Eastern, 7 Pacific.

And by the way, we invited the CEOs of the big three automakers to be guests on this program tonight, and they declined.

Next, the president of UAW local 652 and a father and son who have both worked for GM. Stay there.


KING: Now an extraordinary family story. They are all in Lansing, Michigan. Members of the Green family, they have been helping build cars since World War II. All together, they've put in nearly 300 years, almost three centuries of service to General Motors.

There's Richard Green, he's the daddy of all them all. He is Mike's dad and a retired auto worker. Mike is the president of UAW local 652. And Rollin Green is Mike's son and Richard's grandson and he currently works for GM.

Richard, you are the granddaddy here. What did you make of what Michael Moore had to say?

RICHARD GREEN, RETIRED GM AUTOWORKER: I agreed with a lot of what he had to say but it sounded a little too simple, really. I mean, the do what Michael suggested is going to take more than what we are going to be able to accomplish with the Congress in the next week or two. Kind of made me think of Mr. Kennedy, President Kennedy when he said we were going to go to the moon. You know, it took 10 years. I think this is going take a little more thought than that many than the next couple of weeks to get this settled.

KING: Mike Green? Go ahead. I'm sorry, Richard.

RICHARD GREEN: One thing, a common thread I hear people commenting on this, they are talking about a bailout. I think General Motors is really asking for a loan. Something compared to the loan that Chrysler received a few years ago. And Chrysler paid that loan back with interest. I'm hoping that General Motors and Ford and Chrysler if this does comes through, will do the same.

KING: Mike, do you agree with Michael Moore about his opinions of management?

MIKE GREEN, PRESIDENT, UAW LOCAL 652: Well, when it comes to that, you take a look at -- everyone is taking a look at what is going on there. Can we change some things? Yeah. We might be able to change some things. You have to look at, you have a lot of experience there, too. I guess we need to step up and look at what the plan is to be put together for Congress, what they've done, what Congress asked them to do. And like I said, people are calling it a bailout. We are asking for a loan. We're asking for a hand up, not a hand out.

And I guess we are asking for them to reinvest in America. Not just the auto industry but all the jobs attached to the auto industry for America, I guess.

So I guess the heads are there along with I believe we have a good strong union leadership to take a look at what are the things we need to do to be able to compete.

I mean, you bring it to us, we can build it. Like Lansing, Michigan, the last three new plants that have been built in North America have been here in Lansing, Michigan. And that's due to the membership that's here, the people who put things together. They can build whatever you need them to build.

KING: Hasn't the current management, Mike, failed?

MIKE GREEN: Well, I think through collective bargaining and the old agreement if you look at what was put together there, I think they put a good agreement together. And those things were coming into place at the same time that the economy hit and then it kind of struck everybody. It didn't have time to put some of those plans to work. But I feel we were going in the right direction along with the current management was there trying to do the right thing.

KING: All right Rollin, you work there every day.


KING: Were you building cars that were too big?

ROLLIN GREEN: Currently we are building the Cadillac CTS, SRX and STS here in Grand River.

KING: Are they big cars?

ROLLIN GREEN: They are not the big luxury old Cadillac style cars, no. They are more of a mid size car.

KING: What do you make of this whole thing?

ROLLIN GREEN: I definitely do not want to see any of the big three collapse. I think it would be a devastating blow to an already soft economy.

KING: Would you keep the same management in place? Would you put restrictions on the loan?

ROLLIN GREEN: I think it definitely needs to be closely watched, for sure. As far as management, it needs to be watched real close and things need to be cut back.

KING: Are you proud to work for GM?

ROLLIN GREEN: I am very proud to work for GM.

KING: Richard, as you look back to the old days, was it better then?

RICHARD GREEN: Well, it was better and it was worse. A lot of things have evolved in the last 50 years. My father was a General Motors employee. He started during the second World War. I came on in 1953.

Things were different then. Some of the things I'm hearing really bother me. We were listening to some of the comments earlier after Mike Moore, people think that maybe General Motors, Ford and Chrysler could go away and the country could survive. But I kind of look at the history of this nation like a wheel.

I remember, I was born in 1935, my first things I remembered were the second World War, the start of the second World War. General Motors, Ford and Chrysler were some of the main spokes that kept this wheel going where we won the second World War.

We won the Korean War, the Cold War and kind of kept the economy of the whole country going. If we lose these three corporations, the last of our heavy industry will be gone. Who is going to make the tanks, the guns and so on that we ever need to go into that again?

When I hired in, I worked in a jet plant. We built jet engines. We built guns and shells here at this plant. I don't know who is going to take care of all this if these three corporations go away. I just don't think we can lose these corporations.

KING: Mike, by the way were you at all bugged about the fact that the three heads came in on private planes to see Congress?

MIKE GREEN: Yeah. I'm sure if they had that to do over, they'd do it different. That kind of made news, but you didn't hear anything like myself, I went to Washington, me and some of the other presidents and the chairmans from around the nation all went to Washington. We borrowed a motor home and drove down and went to the House and went to the Senate and talked to the people we thought we needed to talk to to plead our case so they knew coming from the working people where we stood.

Unfortunately, that doesn't make news. I'm sure if they had to do over, they would do it over again. They would have drove down.

KING: Has your local given a lot of concessions?

RICHARD GREEN: As far as concessions, that brings us back to the agreement. I wouldn't say we have concessions. My local has pretty much met every demand that's ever put before them. Like we built the '88, '98 big cars, the Toronados and those things. And as things evolved, the GMS, global manufacturing systems that they've adopted because that's the place to be and get your quality where it needs to be. The people all took that under their wing, they took it. And as far as team build, all the new plants that they have to make your quality better and make a good product. I believe we have to do a better job of getting our product out there so people know what it is and the perception is that we built a good product.

KING: We are running close on time. Rollin, has this at all affected the way the product is turned out?

ROLLIN GREEN: No, no, not at all. I mean, I still show up to work every day and I watch the news every day too. And I know exactly what's going on. But we all show up to work. And the only way for us to get back to where were is to build a quality product.

KING: Thank you all very much. Mike Green, Richard Green, Rollin Green, we'll be calling on you again. Amazing story, what a family.

Don't forget to check out our Web site, Join in on our blog, take our quick vote, sign up for our newsletter. We've got video highlights and photo galleries, too. It's all at one hot Web address,

Monday night, Jim Carrey will be our special guest. Now here's Anderson Cooper with "A.C. 360." Anderson?