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CNN LARRY KING LIVE
Interview with Ann Coulter; Vegas Legend Danny Gans Dies in His Sleep
Aired May 1, 2009 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JOY BEHAR, GUEST HOST: Tonight, Ann Coulter, the conservative pit bull is licking her chops over the breaking news -- the Supreme Court vacancy.
Plus, she takes up for Sarah Palin and takes on swine flu and me, Joy Behar.
Then, Miss California's view on gay marriage -- it cost her her crown, but caused an uproar that won't die down.
And the death of Las Vegas icon Danny Gans -- Larry King is live from the strip with Donny and Marie and reaction to a favorite star's sudden passing, next on LARRY KING LIVE.
I'm Joy Behar.
Larry will be joining us later in the show.
Our first guest is Ann Coulter.
Her latest book is "Guilty
Liberal Victims and Their Assault on America."
Let's get right to it.
Ann, how are you?
ANN COULTER: Fine, thanks.
How are you?
BEHAR: You know, it's May Day, Ann, and you're not wearing red.
What's up with that?
COULTER: Oh, sorry about that. It's not my color.
BEHAR: I know.
OK. Let's talk about the Supreme Court thing, with Judge Souter retiring. Don't you think it's time for an Hispanic or a Latin American or an African-American woman to be put in the place of Souter?
COULTER: Well, I'm not really into identity politics, as you might have guessed. But if we're going to figure out what we need more of on the Supreme Court...
COULTER: ...what we need is a Protestant.
BEHAR: A Protestant?
COULTER: We've got a lot of Catholics. We've got two Jews. We're now down, one of the Protestants.
BEHAR: Well, a lot of African-Americans are Protestants, so that could be a possibility right there.
BEHAR: Go ahead.
COULTER: Sorry, go ahead.
BEHAR: OK. When Obama said he wants someone who's in touch with ordinary people's lives, did you think that was too liberal?
What did you think of that statement?
COULTER: Oh, I'm glad you asked that.
What I thought was -- I mean it is exactly not what a justice is supposed to do. That is why the law is just. He said something to the effect, we don't want someone who hues to abstract principles, we want him looking at -- you know, with empathy at individual people's lives.
That is not what the law does. You don't want the law treating different people differently out of empathy...
BEHAR: Well, don't you want...
COULTER: The law is abstract. It should be applied abstractly. And I'll give you -- I mean I'll give you one small example of this. For example, that woman, I think her name was Karla Faye Tucker, who had committed a savage, brutal murder in Texas. She -- she got the death penalty. She converted and became a Christian.
BEHAR: Wasn't she the first...
COULTER: And there was a lot of uproar... BEHAR: Wasn't she the first woman ever to be executed in the State of Texas?
COULTER: I'm not sure about that.
COULTER: She may have been.
COULTER: There was a big hubbub about it. And a lot of Christian groups did not want her executed. And maybe it's just my famed lack of compassion, but I didn't think an exception should be made for her because, I mean, the way you're supposed to look at these things, wouldn't shouldn't she be treated the same way if she were a black man who had committed a savage, savage, horrible murder?
And, yes, you know, God bless her. I'm glad she converted to Christianity. She'll get eternal life. That doesn't mean you avoid the death penalty...
BEHAR: I know. But when he's...
COULTER: And that is what the law is supposed to do. You treat like cases alike irrespective of how empathetic you may feel about a particular individual.
BEHAR: But, but, but, but, but, but, but, but...
COULTER: The same with free speech. I mean this sort of thing comes up all the time.
BEHAR: He's just saying ordinary people's lives.
Should only the extraordinary be protected by the Constitution?
COULTER: No, but that's a...
BEHAR: What about you and me?
COULTER: No, no, no, no. But I'm just saying...
BEHAR: We're ordinary.
COULTER: I'm just saying that in -- in the practice of the law, you do hue to abstract principles. The abstract principle of freedom of speech -- something that is constantly being violated on -- on college campuses and at schools.
BEHAR: Not on this show. Not on this show.
COULTER: Not on this show.
BEHAR: You can say whatever you want.
BEHAR: Now, do you think -- he's been there for 100 days, Obama.
Do you think it's too early to say maybe he should be on Mount Rushmore?
What do you think?
A hundred days and it doesn't seem like a day over 85.
BEHAR: What's you're -- what's your mark -- A, B, C, D, E, F, what?
I -- I -- as -- as we've discussed the last time I was on, I do not think what he is putting into effect is going to be good for the country. And...
BEHAR: Which part?
COULTER: Well, only two areas, domestic policy and foreign policy. I pretty much disagree with him on -- on -- in both of those areas. I think he's increased, as do a lot of people, increased the odds of -- of terrorist attacks on America or American interests. And I think what he's done to the...
BEHAR: Well, you have no proof of that. Neither does Dick Cheney.
COULTER: No, I don't. But I'm making a prediction. You're saying well, we're 100 days in. What did he...
BEHAR: I didn't know you had a crystal ball.
COULTER: Well, that's what your question was. I'm just being a good guest.
BEHAR: You're being a good guest. No, but, you know, really. I mean he's -- I don't see any better ideas coming from the other side, to tell you the truth, economic policy-wise. I don't see -- I don't hear anything.
BEHAR: Do you?
COULTER: Well... BEHAR: Just cut taxes, give the rich more money?
COULTER: It's better than...
BEHAR: What is coming from the other side?
COULTER: It's better than massively increasing the size of government and taking money away from people. I mean if we did absolutely nothing, we'd -- you know, the economy always goes up and down.
BEHAR: But, Ann, my...
COULTER: The bad companies would go out of business instead of bailing out the losers. You know, they -- you'd separate the wheat from the chaff.
BEHAR: But too many -- too many people suffer when -- would have suffered, I think, if he had just done that.
COULTER: Well, I think a...
BEHAR: If you just let everybody...
COULTER: ...lot more are going to suffer...
BEHAR: ...if you let people just die -- die away. It's not going work for most people.
COULTER: Nobody's going to die.
COULTER: Nobody is going to die. Some companies -- some badly run companies will die. And then what happens is you have, you know, the stock market roaring back, I mean as -- as happened in the '20s, by doing basically nothing. Just let the bad companies go out of business. Don't keep bailing out the losers. Bailing out the losers, the house flippers and -- and the car companies. Just get through all that. And then you'd have a roar back.
And what he's doing means there will be no roar back. Maybe the stock market will go up, you know, another 1,000, 2,000 points...
BEHAR: You know, but the thing about it is...
COULTER: But there will be no roaring.
BEHAR: The thing about it is the jury is out on everything you're saying right now. We don't really know what's going to happen. What we do know is that the Bush administration did torture a few people and Obama...
COULTER: They did not. BEHAR: Obama declared very clearly at his press conference the other night that waterboarding is -- is torture.
Now, who are you with, Obama or Dick Cheney, on this?
COULTER: I am with all normal people who have -- who have ever had an older sibling, who have been through a fraternity hazing, who have been on a sports team or who have misbehaved as small children. Nothing we did is in the same universe as torture.
And as I wrote about in my column this week -- I mean my favorite torture was putting a caterpillar in one of the terrorist's cells. I don't think -- I don't even know if that was ever actually done...
BEHAR: What now -- well, what...
COULTER: But they had to evaluate whether they could put a harmless caterpillar in one of the terrorist's cell, you know, out from the caves of Afghanistan, who's afraid of caterpillars.
BEHAR: Well, you're minimizing it. You're minimizing it. I mean they were...
COULTER: No, that actually was one -- one of the -- of the interrogation techniques. And what I'm doing isn't minimizing it, I'm describing it. What you see in the headlines is torture, torture, torture. I actually read the memos. And it's comical and a little bit disturbing that even Dick Cheney was such a wuss.
BEHAR: Oh, really?
BEHAR: Oh, that's really going to make news, Dick Cheney is a wuss.
BEHAR: Ann Coulter. I love that.
BEHAR: But they water tortured -- they waterboarded somebody 183 times. After 100 times and he didn't talk, don't you think you say to yourself, hey, this is not working, let's try something else?
BEHAR: And then sleep deprivation is a very serious thing. I have a friend who committed suicide, actually, because he was sleep- deprived for like three or four weeks.
COULTER: You know, I'm sleep-deprived right now.
BEHAR: It's really a scary thing.
COULTER: And it's awful. I totally agree with that.
BEHAR: And Sean Hannity...
COULTER: (INAUDIBLE) no, no, no. But wait a second. What you were saying about waterboarding, I mean those -- this is why I am totally for a truth commission right now. Those -- I mean there are two things you said that are highly contested.
One is whether or not they talked after being waterboarded. According to, gosh, an awful lot of people, including the interrogators themselves, yes, they did talk and, yes, they did get good -- good information.
And as for the number of times they were waterboarded -- and, by the way, to say 183 over the course of a month, but it's for 20 second each time. So I wouldn't be worried about it even if it's true.
But according to Khalid Sheikh Mohammed himself, he was only waterboarded five times. Suddenly, you know, it's always whatever the worst version of it is gets accepted as fact and repeated over and over again.
BEHAR: Well, one of the things...
COULTER: I think 183 is in con -- is in contention. And definitely whether or not we got any information is in contention.
COULTER: So, yes, let's have hearings.
BEHAR: Well, two things on that. John McCain says that, you know, waterboarding doesn't work. And he was waterboarded himself and he knows it doesn't work, right?
COULTER: And you know what a fan I am of John McCain's.
BEHAR: Well, you know, you would like to get rid of him, you would like to get rid of Meghan McCain. I mean Arlen Specter is leaving.
Who -- where is the talent...
COULTER: What is shocking about...
BEHAR: ...going to come from in the Republican Party?
COULTER: Well, not John McCain. As you know, I was a Hillary gal when -- when McCain became the Republican nominee. And -- and I mean this is a perfect example of why. To describe what was done to John McCain -- being hung by their arms, being starved...
BEHAR: Yes. COULTER: ...being beaten repeatedly, to the extent, as we saw during the campaign -- and I do, of course, admire John McCain's war service and what he went through -- that he can't even lift his arms or use a keyboard. To compare that to putting a caterpillar in a terrorist's cell, I think, is the equivalent of, you know, some woman who has actually been -- been raped at knife point...
BEHAR: But why are you forgetting the other...
COULTER: ...that being compared to...
BEHAR: Why are you forgetting...
COULTER: ...a boss carrying -- calling his secretary honey and having people say, oh, it's constructive rape. It's constructive rape. I would think the woman who was actually raped would be indignant at that comparison.
COULTER: But in John McCain's case, he cares more about impressing "The New York Times" than common sense and rationality.
BEHAR: OK. All right. I want to know if you want to be waterboarded, because Sean Hannity has volunteered to be waterboarded, but I don't see him sticking his head under the faucet yet.
COULTER: Well, for one thing, about half of the male hosts on Fox News have been waterboarded on TV. I've seen worse on "Fear Factor." And, no, I don't want to be waterboarded.
Do you want to be...
BEHAR: Are you sure?
COULTER: Do you want to be aborted, because I think you support abortion?
In fact, could we abort the terrorists instead of waterboarding them?
BEHAR: Oh, that was quite a jump. But you know what, Ann's taking your calls tonight.
COULTER: No, it's not.
BEHAR: Start styling.
COULTER: I'm not a terrorist.
BEHAR: See you after the break.
We'll be right back.
BEHAR: We're back with Ann Coulter.
OK, Ann, other big news this week -- Republicans lost one of their own. Arlen Specter defected.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. ARLEN SPECTER (D), PENNSYLVANIA: As the Republican Party has moved farther and farther to the right, I have found myself increasingly at odds with the Republican philosophy and more in line with the philosophy of the Democratic Party.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BEHAR: So, Ann, they call him Snarling Arlen.
What do you think of him?
COULTER: Well, I was really depressed about the news, but that was when I thought it was Phil Spector becoming a Democrat.
When it was Arlen Specter, you know, not really breaking news. Next, you're going to tell me Liberace was gay. I mean the -- he did -- I will give him credit for one thing. He was totally honest in that press conference. You said they had run the polls and he was going to lose the Republican primary. He does votes -- and he's always voted with the Democrats. I mean he only became a Republican to run for D.A. I think, back in 1965.
I don't think it will change very much.
The only thing that will happen is what always happens when a Republican becomes a Democrat or an Independent or Republicans lose an election -- that is, the mainstream media starts haranguing us to throw out the Christians and the pro-lifers. This has happened for 40 years now.
BEHAR: Well, what about the fact that he's saying that the Republican Party has no room for moderates anymore?
I know that you don't care about that...
BEHAR: ...but just try to be objective for a second.
Isn't it true?
COULTER: No, we're... BEHAR: It's just the right-wing of the party is controlling the party now.
COULTER: We're a big tent.
BEHAR: And do you care?
COULTER: But as a general matter, both parties -- both the Democrats and the Republicans -- I mean there used to be conservative Democrats, too. You don't see too many of those. Conservatives have -- are now mostly in the Republican Party and liberals are now mostly in the Democrat Party.
BEHAR: Why do you people -- why do you Republicans say Democrat Party all the time?
What is that?
It's the Democratic Party, isn't it?
Do you know what I mean?
I hear this a lot...
COULTER: I must say, I have...
BEHAR: ...the Democrat Party.
What is it?
BEHAR: It's like there -- there's some kind of an underhanded nastiness to it and I can't figure it out -- the Democrat Party.
COULTER: If it is...
BEHAR: What is that?
COULTER: ...I've been doing it subliminally, because I never noticed it until you just mentioned it.
BEHAR: Yes. Well, it's there. But so now if Al Franken gets in, which he's probably going to get in -- and Norman Coleman is going to have a nervous breakdown pretty soon, whether he wins or loses. He'll be ready for the booby hatch, the guy.
So if he wins and Arlen Specter comes in, now you have 60.
Isn't that a problem for the Republican Party?
They can't even...
COULTER: I think it's a problem... BEHAR: They can't even blab their way out of a -- of a piece of legislation.
COULTER: I think it's a problem for the country to have all branches of government in one party's hands.
BEHAR: I agree with that.
COULTER: I think it will be bad.
BEHAR: I agree with that. I felt it with the Bush administration, that it was too Republican. And now it might be too Democratic.
COULTER: I think it would be better for...
BEHAR: So I agree with you there.
COULTER: I think it would be better for Obama if he had more Republicans in the Congress, because he will be pushed into doing more left-wing things than maybe even he wants to do, but he has his constituents. He will have to pass -- sign lots of liberal legislation.
And that's what ended up saving Bill Clinton, oddly enough. He tries to, you know, socialize health care, gays in the military, he loses in the biggest landslide for Republicans in a half century when the Republicans came in in 1994. That really saved his presidency, because then...
BEHAR: Well, maybe...
COULTER: ...the next six years, he just signed whatever Newt Gingrich sent up.
BEHAR: But maybe the 21st century is going to be really different and people really do want more of a liberal agenda. It's possible.
Got a message for Ann Coulter?
Send it to her, not me, on our blog at CNN.com/larryking.
Back in 60 seconds.
BEHAR: Sarah Palin met with the guys from the show "American Chopper."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. SARAH PALIN (R), VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Holy moly.
How are you?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Good.
How are you?
PALIN: Nice to see you.
Are you staying warm?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. I've got the old Eskimo suit on now.
PALIN: Yes, you do. Very good. We heard that the OCC guys were to be up here building a bike. And it would assist us in celebrating statehood.
You've got that patriotism in you that people just so respect.
Come up in the summertime and let's go fishing.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And ride.
PALIN: That's another good thing. And ride. OK. We'll ride the bike to the fishing hole.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BEHAR: First of all, what is she sitting on?
Is that a bear that she shot or what?
COULTER: I hope so.
BEHAR: Is she going after the biker vote here or what?
What do you think?
BEHAR: I mean, you know, you said, in "Time Magazine's" "100 Most Influential People," which is out this week, which, by the way, "The View" women are in that -- listed in that group, can you believe it?
BEHAR: Thank you.
You're not in it. I hate to break this to you.
BEHAR: But I was wondering what happened, you know? But anyway, we're in it this year.
COULTER: I can't be in it every year, Joy.
BEHAR: No, that's true.
Anyway, Sarah Palin, you said, was, arguably, the most influential person in 2008. But no one ever notices because she wasn't able to overcome the deficits of her running mate -- ouch -- John McCain.
With friends like you, who needs enemies?
I mean this is your party.
COULTER: I never claimed to be a friend of John McCain's. A friend of Sarah Palin's. But, yes, I think -- I think she prevented what could have been an absolute rout.
BEHAR: Is she the best the Republicans have to offer, really?
COULTER: No. I think -- well, I'm not saying no. But we have a lot of great Republicans. We'll see what happens. But -- but I mean I wrote the, also, the human advanced conservative of the year piece on Sarah Palin at the end of last year. And I think she could make -- be a great presidential candidate. If I were advising her as opposed to advising the Republicans -- the Republicans may jump too soon. I'd tell Sarah Palin to stay up in Alaska for a few more presidential elections, be a good governor and run again in eight or 12 years. I wouldn't come right back if I were she.
BEHAR: Yes. All right, Ann.
I have to take another break.
We'll be right back.
BEHAR: OK. We're here still with Ann Coulter.
Ann, let me ask you a question. A few -- I guess a couple of weeks ago, Levi Johnston was on with Larry King. And his mother and sister were here, too. And he's very upset and disappointed that he can't see the baby.
Are you upset?
What do you think about that whole thing?
You know, they -- should they get married?
Are you upset that they're not getting married?
COULTER: I'm upset...
BEHAR: And that Sarah -- Sarah doesn't want him to see the baby.
COULTER: I'm upset that the media is allowing Levi Johnston to go on and turn this into a national soap opera, especially when the whole world was trying to focus on Heidi and Spencer. I really do not think we need another soap opera going on.
But, you know, I mean I wrote about it in -- in my last book, in the chapter on single motherhood. I'm in favor of women who get pregnant out of wedlock giving the children up for adoption or having shotgun marriages.
BEHAR: You are. So in this...
COULTER: So those would be my two options.
BEHAR: OK. But neither one of those options was -- was utilized in the Bristol/Levi thing at all. She had the baby. She's a single parent. They didn't give the baby up for adoption. She didn't have an abortion. They didn't get married. Nothing...
COULTER: I'm glad she didn't have an abortion.
BEHAR: Nothing was accomplished.
COULTER: It's certainly better than having an abortion to -- to raise a child without a father. But I think Levi Johnston ought to shut up and go home.
Wouldn't it be better if they just got married and went into the sunset...
COULTER: I think...
BEHAR: ...together with the little baby?
COULTER: I think it would be better. I mean she -- she -- Sarah Palin isn't the vice president. And, by the way, after Joe Biden's little performance this week, everybody told me Sarah Palin wasn't up to the job. Oh, yes, Biden is doing a bang-up job.
BEHAR: What bothered you...
COULTER: She isn't the vice president.
BEHAR: What bothered you about Biden?
COULTER: That we have -- we have one flu death in this nation from an unusual flu, as compared to 35,000 from the normal flu we have every year. And he's telling people not to go on trains or ride on airplanes. BEHAR: You know, Ann, the -- comedians are having trouble, because we can't find jokes about Obama because he's so perfect.
BEHAR: But we have Joe Biden. Don't take that away from us, I beg of you.
BEHAR: Every time he gaffes, the comedians all have material. I mean it's been a while -- since Bush is gone, it's been difficult to come up with some jokes.
COULTER: I think maybe if you put your noggins to it, you could come up with something on Obama.
BEHAR: All right. Let's take a phone call.
We have a call. Doug from Granite Falls, North Carolina.
Go ahead, Doug.
DOUG: I do have a ques -- how are you doing, Joy?
BEHAR: I'm good.
DOUG: I do have a question for Ann.
Hey, how are you all?
BEHAR: Go ahead.
DOUG: Thanks for taking my call.
BEHAR: It is so pleasant down there, you know?
BEHAR: Yes, go ahead, Doug.
DOUG: Oh, it is.
DOUG: Yes, Ann, I do have a question for you.
Basically, you know, it's obvious you don't really like Obama and, you know, the decisions that he's made or is going to make. Give me one example of a decision that he has made or is going to make and give me your solution to that issue.
COULTER: His decision to release the Department of Justice memos instructing with, you know, 200 years of -- of war history, legal history on what constitutes torture. Apparently putting a caterpillar in a terrorist's cell does not constitute torture. Going through all of that and then sending it to the CIA interrogators and the decision of -- of Obama to release those, as many people have said, is going to increase the odds of another terrorist attack.
I mean this was -- this is an advantage to the terrorists, to be giving them this sort of information. Besides the fact that we're being laughed at in capitals around the world when they find out that this is what Americans do to the mastermind of the 9/11 attack.
So, yes, my decision would have been don't release the memos.
BEHAR: You know, before we go -- I'm running out of time now. But you said -- I saw a quote of yours. I have got a bone to pick with you. You said: "I loved going on 'The View'" -- tell me if this is true: "because being around all those gals always makes me feel so young and pretty."
Care to elaborate, Ann?
COULTER: Oh, come on, that was funny, Miss. Comedienne.
BEHAR: It is funny.
COULTER: I bet I can come up with a joke on Obama.
BEHAR: It is funny.
BEHAR: All right.
COULTER: Thank you.
BEHAR: Let's see, are we ready for a break or can I ask one more question?
OK. I have another question.
What about these closing of the borders now?
You know, what do you think about that?
COULTER: Well, I'm for it.
BEHAR: Because of the flu.
COULTER: I'm not worried about the -- the swine flu. I think there's been a lot of hysteria over that. Of course, the swine flu could transmute into a more dangerous virus, the same way a warm summer's breeze could turn into a category four hurricane. But we're not there yet.
BEHAR: Yes, but why close the borders...
COULTER: And so the panic is crazy and -- but I'm in...
BEHAR: But why close the borders when the flu is here already?
It seems like the horse is out of the barn.
COULTER: Well, what I was -- the point I was driving to, even though I think it's silly in response to this, I'm in favor of closing the borders anyway.
BEHAR: Yes. All right.
COULTER: We're not a department store, we're a country.
BEHAR: All right, Ann.
The gay marriage debate has got new life since Miss California spoke out against it. Get ready for more fireworks with Shanna Moakler, Stephen Baldwin and others next.
Thank you, Ann.
COULTER: Thank you.
BEHAR: The gay marriage debate has been front and center this week.
Joining us for a debate of our own are Shanna Moakler, director of Miss California USA. She's a former Miss USA who's in a new ad slamming Proposition 8. It bans gay marriage in California.
Reverend Nicole la March. Nicole was Miss California in 2003. She supports gay marriage.
In Los Angeles, actor Stephen Baldwin, starring in "I'm A Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here," joins us. He is opposed to gay marriage.
And Maggie Gallagher, president of the National Organization for Marriage, is here.
A new anti-gay marriage ad featuring Miss California, Carrie Prejean, I believe is the way you say it, was launched this week.
Listen to Carrie's remarks that reignited the issue.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, COURTESY NBC)
PEREZ HILTON: Vermont recently became the fourth state to legalize same-sex marriage.
Do you think every state should follow suit?
Why or why not?
CARRIE PREJEAN: Well, I think it's great that Americans are able to choose one or the other. We live in a land that you can choose same-sex marriage or opposite marriage. And you know what, in my country and in -- in my family, I think that I believe that a marriage should be between a man and a woman -- no offense to anybody out there.
CARRIE PREJEAN, MISS CALIFORNIA: Well, I think it's great that Americans are able to choose one or the other. We live in a land that you can choose same-sex marriage or opposite marriage. And, you know what, in my country, and in my family, I think that I believe that a marriage should be between a man and a woman. No offense to anybody out there. But that's how I was raised, and that's how I think that it should be, between a man and a woman. Thank you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BEHAR: Shanna, what's your reaction to Carrie Prejean. How do you say her name?
MOAKLER: Carrie Prejean. Prejean, Prejean. I say Prejean.
BEHAR: What's your reaction to those remarks?
MOAKLER: I'm very proud of Carrie that she stood up for what she believes in and she followed her heart. And I told her that that night. I'm not going to lie and say that it hurt my feelings a little bit. Everyone is right. Everyone has the freedom to their speech, the freedom of speech. I applaud her for that.
BEHAR: Right, OK. Maggie, you had a press conference for the National Organization of Marriage, where you released that new ad called "No Offense With Carrie Prejean." Let's take a look at that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She's asked her opinion about marriage.
PREJEAN: I believe that a marriage should be between a man and a woman, no offense to anybody out there.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Then is attacked.
PEREZ HILTON, CELEBRITY GOSSIP: She's a dumb (EXPLETIVE DELETED), OK?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A pro-marriage group talks about how gay marriage will impact religious groups.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's no longer palatable in this country or OK to be an outright bigot. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They attack if you oppose gay marriage because they don't want to debate the consequences.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BEHAR: OK. That was -- that's a harsh ad.
GALLAGHER: Is it a harsh ad? I think it's an honest ad. I think the reason Carrie's story is resonating with so many people, besides how young and nice that she is and beautiful, is that a lot of Americans who think marriage means a man and a woman are feeling like it doesn't matter how nicely you say it, how civilly you say it, you get slammed. You get treated as if you are -- you get name-called. After Prop 8, people's names were put up on the Internet, and we had people saying, go after these people.
We had a waitress who gave 100 dollars to support marriage and people were calling for her job. They wanted her to lose her job, because she supported marriage as a man and a woman. So the reality is I don't blame gay people for this. I know many gay people. No way this is the way they want this movement to be acting.
But we do have a gay marriage movement right now that if you disagree with them, they tend to treat you like you were the Ku Klux Klan or something. And that's what happened to Carrie. I think most of us think that's wrong.
BEHAR: Nicole, you've been in Carrie's position. You were a beautiful Miss California.
LAMARCHE: Thank you, thank you.
BEHAR: Then you became a reverend. I'm fascinated by that. Was she correct to speak her mind like that, do you think?
LAMARCHE: Oh, absolutely.
BEHAR: Free speech?
LAMARCHE: Absolutely. I think the place where I enter the conversation is when she went on "The Today Show" and then said that the Bible condones what she said. And that's a little tricky. The Bible -- any reading of the Bible is a selective reading. And so I always want to make sure to offer an alternative position, which is that god is the god of love, and that marriage should be something that's available for each and every loving adult committed couple.
BEHAR: Do you agree with that, Steven?
BALDWIN: Absolutely not. The Bible clearly indicates that when two of the same sex lie down together, that is sin. Now, God wrote the Bible. So, therefore, that is what God has to say and God is the judge.
The thing that's very interesting to me, Joy, is just because I believe in the Bible means that I'm now being persecuted if I believe in traditional marriage. So I'm here to --
BEHAR: How are you being persecuted?
BALDWIN: Joy, let me finish. I'm here to represent all of those people who are being persecuted for believing in traditional marriage.
BEHAR: Tell me how you're being persecuted exactly, Stephen. What's happening to you?
BALDWIN: Exactly like Miss California. Just simply because who she is and what she believes is that traditional marriage is what is right, according to who she is and what she believes. Look what's happening. She's being persecuted.
MOAKLER: I need to interject in here.
BALDWIN: She's being persecuted.
BEHAR: Go ahead, Shanna.
MOAKLER: First and foremost, Carrie didn't lose the pageant because her answer. She was behind in numbers, behind in scores. Carrie is being persecuted because she has a title, and that title is Miss California USA. She has responsibilities as Miss California USA that she has now basically kind of forgone, and has aligned herself with an organization that has -- it's already a heated and polarizing issue. So to align yourself with this right after all the heat, you can't complain of getting all this heat and then go do something so drastic.
BEHAR: OK, Maggie.
GALLAGHER: It's not drastic to say marriage means a man and a woman, nor to stand with other people who are doing that. I was going to compliment you, Shanna, on the change in your tone in respecting Carrie's rights here. But I have to say you're now sounding exactly like you did when she appeared on "The Today Show," accusing her of pursuing an opportunistic agenda. Then you released private medical information about her to the press to try to smear her.
MOAKLER: I think you're pursuing an opportunist agenda when you hire a 21-year-old that has --
MOAKLER: -- who has never even had a long-term relationship, and you put her in a press junket that she's unprepared for. You were not only damaging her. This is a bright, young, talented young woman that has -- is going to be left with a legacy of being an Anita Bryant. She should be back home in California, and she should be doing her responsibilities.
BEHAR: I'm going to let you talk as soon as we come back, OK?
What do you think of gay marriage. That's tonight's quick vote question. Go to CNN.com/LarryKing and tell us what you think. We'll be back after this with more.
BEHAR: OK. We're back. Maggie, what did you want to say to Shanna?
GALLAGHER: I wanted to say, first of all, that Carrie does not work for the National Organization for Marriage. She's a spokesman for her own views, as anyone watching her is perfectly clear. It's the Miss USA California officials who, instead of backing her up and dealing with this judge, who went on the Internet and videotaped himself cursing her out, saying he wanted to rip the tiara off -- for you to go around Shanna and say that her legacy is divisive and polarizing, you will not meet a better human being than Carrie.
I'm honored that she chose to stand with us at the National Organization for Marriage, as we released this ad calling for people to account.
BEHAR: I want to ask you about the National Organization for Marriage. It's set up to protect marriage, right?
GALLAGHER: Our mission is protecting marriage and the faith communities that sustain it.
BEHAR: Then why don't you focus on Mel Gibson's divorce, Bristol Palin's single parenthood, and she should be married -- maybe she should be getting married? Why are you focusing on gay marriage?
GALLAGHER: I spent 20 years on the problem of family fragmentation, divorce and married child -- there really isn't anyone who has gone around the country more.
GALLAGHER: The reason I cared about that is I used to go around the country and say marriage really matters because children need a mom and dad. After after Massachusetts, I think I'm not going to be able to say that anymore. The law -- you change the definition of marriage, you change it for everyone. And this ancient and honorable idea, marriage is about bringing together the two halves of humanity, male and female, so that children have a mother and father. That's going to be treated as bigotry.
MOAKLER: What's wrong with a mother and a mother and what is wrong with a father and a father? I don't think anyone can define marriage, except two people who are in a union together who love each other. -- as an organization that can do that.
BEHAR: Nicole, get in here.
LAMARCHE: Those of us who are celebrating marriage equality believe in marriage. I mean, marriage is an institution that creates healthy children, healthy families, which is why I would say that it should be an option for any adult, loving, committed couple. And it is because we're all -- we're all celebrating marriage and we believe it is so important that it should be an option for each and every couple.
BEHAR: I understand that, but you're sort of saying the words mother and father as a nouns. It's also a verb, to mother, to father, so you could have two women mothering a child or fathering a child. It's a role really.
GALLAGHER: No, I don't think so. I think that, in fact, there's something special about unions of husbands and wives. There's a reason marriage has been this way. Not only our own, but in almost every known human society. And that this vision of marriage -- it's your point. It's a fine point.
BEHAR: I've got to go, Maggie. You guys have been great. Thank you very much. Larry will be here on this sad day for him and many -- for him and many other people. We'll discuss the sudden death of Las Vegas legend Danny Gans. See you in 60 seconds.
BEHAR: Danny Gans died today. He was a Las Vegas institution, who was just 52 years old. Here's a look at the man millions of people around the world came to see.
OK. We're having technical problems. His death was shocking news, especially to Larry King, who was in Las Vegas for Danny's show tonight. Larry is at the Encore Theater at Steve Wynn's Encore Hotel, where Danny packed them in every night. Larry, what do we know about his death and tell us why you are in Las Vegas.
LARRY KING, CNN ANCHOR: We don't know anything about the death. I guess there will be an autopsy. He died in his sleep at about 1:30 in the morning, Joy.
I'm in Las Vegas, one, because I love this place. I love seeing Danny Gans work. But my wife, Shawn, was scheduled to sing with him both tonight and tomorrow. He didn't do that rarely, if at all, have some other entertainer as part of his show. But he loved her work.
So this is an ironic, doubly sad evening. So sad for the loss of an incredible entertainer. Of course, Shawn didn't get the chance to sing tonight and tomorrow.
BEHAR: I'm sorry to hear that. I don't think people realize what a big star he was. In parts of the country, people who haven't been to Las Vegas may not be that familiar with his work. He was a huge Las Vegas star, brought in a lot of money to the hotels.
KING: I'll tell you how big he was, in my opinion. He was, Joy, the best entertainer I ever saw.
KING: The best. I rate Sammy Davis second. He was hysterically funny. He was a great singer and the best impersonator. Then you combine all that into an incredible act. And doubly more so, he was a great guy. You put it all together, this is a tragic loss for Las Vegas and for show business.
BEHAR: Indeed. So many of you have been sending messages of support to Danny's family. Check the bottom of the screen where we're sharing some of your thoughts. Keep the Tweets coming at King's Things. More with Larry and Donny and Marie after this.
BEHAR: It's really unbelievable that we're in there, I think. I love that. We're on the air now with Larry King, Steve Wynn and Donny and Marie are also on the phone. How -- I want to ask any of you, since you're all in Las Vegas, how is Las Vegas reacting to all of this? Because that must have been a shock to the whole town. He's a fixture there. He was. Marie, are you there?
MARIE OSMOND, ACTRESS: I am. I'll answer. No, it's amazing. You're absolutely correct. When you talk about Danny, I mean, he was, you know, the man. He knew everyone. One of the nicest guys. I was listening to what Larry said. Truly, honestly, I don't know a better impersonator. Not only that, and professional -- I've known him for years through Children's Miracle Network. Donating his time to charities and causes and families and kids. You go everywhere and everybody knows him. There's no place you go where somebody doesn't know him here.
DONNIE OSMOND, ACTOR: As a matter of fact, Joy, what's interesting -- this is Donny. Something happened to me just a little while ago. I was coming down to the stage in the service elevator. It's one thing to get statements from Larry King, Steve Wynn, us and other entertainers in the business. But here was a janitor in the elevator with a mop in his hand. And he was just saying, I'm going to miss that man so much. That says a lot about the entertainer Danny Gans, because he touched every single person with his charity, with his music, with his impersonations.
KING: Joy, you should --
BEHAR: Go ahead, Larry.
KING: Joy, you should point out, since you have Steve Wynn on the phone, Danny Gans and Steve Wynn, their careers intertwined. Steve Wynn literally discovered Danny Gans, put him into the Mirage, brought him from the Mirage to his new hotel here, gave him a long- term contract. I know they were great friends, in addition to being employer/employee. The loss, Steve, I don't know how you are taking it.
BEHAR: Steve, what made him so successful, do you think.
STEVE WYNN, HOTEL OWNER: I was in New York this morning and I got woken up by my colleague who told me the incredible fact that Danny had died in his sleep. After recovering, at least from this kind of a thing, but a man with his three children, a total family man -- I realized, Larry, you and I talk about the great performing artists, the people that can hypnotize and mesmerize an audience. It is unlikely in our time we will see another fellow, a man or woman, come our way, who can sing unforgettable and do Natalie Cole and Nat King Cole's part, and Natalie Cole tell me she couldn't tell it wasn't her, who could write everything himself, who had wit and this incredible, one of a kind gift, a three octave range, and an ear that could make any sound, and a sense of humor and creative writing skill that matched that.
BEHAR: Danny was on --
WYNN: This fellow, he won't be back again.
BEHAR: I hear you. Danny was on Larry's show in March. Let's take a look at that clip.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DANNY GANS, ENTERTAINER: Beautiful. I'm Tony Bennett, I'm Larry King. Fly me to the moon, let me play among the stars. Let me see what spring is like on Jupiter and Mars. In other words please be true. In other words, Larry, I love you.
KING: You're my man, Danny.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: What do you say?
BEHAR: It is a sad day for a lot of people. I feel, Larry, you are very upset. I can see it.
KING: Well, I couldn't believe it this morning. I know Steve and Donny and Marie must feel the same. Steve, especially Steve. The shock of it. I had to tell Shawn. It was beyond unbelievable. John F. Kennedy once said life isn't fair. Today proved it.
BEHAR: We're going to talk some more about this when we come back. We have to take a break.
BEHAR: Let's take a look at another clip of Danny on Larry's show recently.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GANS: I did Broadway. I did a one-man show on Broadway right before I moved to Vegas. I was there and my daughter drew me a picture and she called the picture the Gans family. In this picture, you saw standing on a hill my wife and our three kids and our dog Saddy. I said, honey, where is daddy. She pointed to the top of the picture in an airplane with a face looking from the window. That is how she saw me, a guy in an airplane with a face flying all over the place. We left Broadway, not knowing what the next job was, but knowing I needed to be with my family.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Now that -- that was Danny Gans. Here is what Celine Dion had to say: "I'm very, very sad, completely shocked to hear the news about Danny. Rene and I loved him very much since the first time we saw him and met him at the Rio in 1997. Not only was he the best in his field, he was a kind and loving person. About a month before my last show, Danny, his wife Julie and their daughters came to see us. We talked and laughed for over an hour. I can't believe he's not with us anymore. Our heart goes out to his family. I wish them God's strength."
A couple of quick questions, if I may, Joy. Marie, one entertainer to another, where would you rate him?
M. OSMOND: You know what, it's is really interesting, because there are entertainers in the world and then there are celebrities. I would put Danny in there as one of the top entertainers in the world. We grow up as children wanting to become our favorite celebrity or be like him or be a singer or a dancer.
Danny is truly one of those people who grew up and became all of them. He was one of the most -- and not just the best entertainer. Like I said, I don't know a more well rounded, you know, functioning human being. And my heart -- I just saw them last week. My heart aches for his wife and his kids.
KING: And Donny, he was also an incredible singer, correct?
D. OSMOND: The guy had a range like crazy. I'm holding in my hands right now his CD that he gave me a couple of weeks ago. I was listening to it, ironically, just the other day. If you can get a copy this, there is a song at the end called "What a Wonderful World," where he pays tribute to Nat King Cole, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, all these different voices that he had.
The running joke with Steve is that Steve Wynn signed one person with Danny, but got 200 celebrities. You have to listen to this song. His voice is incredible. His vision was great. As a matter of fact, Marie and I are in Vegas because of he and Chip Lightman's (ph) vision.
So I'm going to miss him because we texted each other all the time before our show. We would try to one up each other with jokes. And, of course, he would always win.
KING: Joy, that interview with him will be played on our website. It's up right now. You go into the website, CNN.com/LarryKing, see the complete interview. Steve, an employer is not supposed -- you can hear Danny singing that. An employer is not supposed to marry an employee. You are not supposed to be emotionally involved. How did you deal with that?
WYNN: I just -- look, this guy was one (INAUDIBLE) Very few people have been able to satisfy the Las Vegas audiences for 40, 50 weeks a year. They're Siegfried and Roy, Frank Sinatra, Danny Gans and Elvis Presley. Even Elvis and Frank didn't work that many works. This guy is all by himself.
The only thing I can say is that we've -- we're going to miss this one. We won't see the likes of this guy in our time again.
KING: And Joy, back to you. He out-drew Presley and the Rat Pack.
BEHAR: I know. That's really an incredible achievement, I think, because you'd never believe that. And Elvis, too, I can't get over that.
KING: Yes, he did.
BEHAR: Thank you, Larry, for letting me sit in for you tonight. Sorry that it is such a sad night for you and so many people in Las Vegas. I'd like to thank all my guests. I want to plug Ann Coulter's book again, "Guilty Liberal Victims and Their Assault on America," so she doesn't think that I'm biassed or anything. I thought we got along nicely, don't you think? What do you think? I'm talking to myself over here.