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CNN LARRY KING LIVE

Miss California Dethroned/Cheney vs. Carville

Aired June 10, 2009 - 21:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, Donald Trump tells Miss California USA, you're fired.

So why did Carrie Prejean get the boot?

It wasn't the controversy over gay marriage.

What was it?

The man who broke the news to her just hours ago is here.

How did she react?

Plus, the new Miss California USA stops by. That's an exclusive.

And then, the GOP -- is it in jeopardy?

Is Sarah Palin the future of the party?

Dick Cheney daughter, Liz, and Democratic strategist, James Carville, will go head-to-head. And get ready for fireworks.

And then the "Survivor" winner who won America's hearts. Ethan Zohn lets us in on his own real life fight to outlive and outlast cancer. And Katie Couric is with us, too.

All next on LARRY KING LIVE.

Good evening.

Controversial beauty queen, Carrie Prejean, has been dethroned as Miss California USA. The pageant says the decision based solely on contract violations.

She grabbed headlines in April when she declared her opposition to same-sex marriage. And then a new fuss arose when semi-nude photos of her surfaced. She was allowed to keep her crown until today.

"Access Hollywood's" Billy Bush hosted the Miss USA pageant this year and today he broke the news to Carrie, just hours ago.

Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BILLY BUSH, CO-HOST, "ACCESS HOLLYWOOD," BROKE NEWS TO CARRIE TODAY: I mean we've just found out from Keith Lewis, you know, your executive director there, that -- I mean that it's official. They've put out a statement and that you have been fired.

CARRIE PREJEAN, FORMER MISS CALIFORNIA: Well, that's the first that I know about that, Billy.

BUSH: Really?

PREJEAN: Yes. I do not -- I was just talking to my lawyer. And -- and I just got a phone call from you and I've gotten some text messages saying hey, is this really true?

And I said, true about what?

And they said, that you're fired.

And I -- I almost started to laugh, because we've been -- everybody has been cooperating and everybody has been getting along so well. And this is the first I've heard of it. I mean this is funny to me. I -- I have no idea what's going on.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: Billy Bush, a good guy, joins us now. He's the co-host of "Access Hollywood," host of radio's "The Billy Bush Show." He hosted the pageant this year.

And in San Diego is Miles McPherson. He's Carrie Prejean's pastor. He's pastor of The Rock Church.

How did you find out about it, Billy?

BUSH: Well, I saw a -- a message that came out from -- our news department forwarded me a message on e-mail. And I immediately picked up the phone. I had Carrie's cell phone number. And I called her and she answered.

KING: Who sent the message?

BUSH: The original, the -- from our -- I think it was a TMZ report that came to -- to us. And I immediately acted upon it.

KING: Were you shocked that she didn't know?

BUSH: Yes. I was shocked that she didn't know. I mean you would think that, you know, some people would say maybe you should contact Carrie ahead of time and let her know this is coming. I don't know. She was -- she was shocked. I was not shocked.

KING: Why not?

BUSH: Well, I mean I remember saying -- I mean, you're having Tami Farrell on in a little bit. And I remember having Tami Farrell. I interviewed her several weeks ago, maybe a month ago.

And I said -- when this was all going down, I said, are you ready to take over, because, in my opinion, here's what's going to happen. This is definitely going to get to a point where it's just not going to work anymore and you're going to have to step in.

KING: Why didn't it work anymore?

She was so endorsed by Donald and he's the guy.

BUSH: Donald put out an interesting statement, too, today. He said -- I can't use the word, but he said, you know, apparently she's -- she's treated me wonderfully. I like her. We have a nice relationship. But everyone else not so well.

I think that's what you're going to hear from Keith Lewis, the executive director of Miss California, and, also from -- from Tami.

KING: That she didn't treat people in the pageant well?

BUSH: Well, they had communication problems. I mean she had lots of different -- she never followed the Miss California itinerary. I mean, you're Miss California, you have to make these certain appearances and events.

KING: And she wasn't doing it?

BUSH: And, ultimately, she wasn't doing it. That's what they're going to say.

She says, to me, in the radio interview today, she said, well, you know, I've got e-mails between us that -- that show that communications were going very well, that we had a nice relationship established.

KING: She defended herself to Billy Bush and his listeners.

Here's some of that.

Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP FROM "THE BILLY BUSH SHOW")

BUSH: It seems to me communication has always been the -- the issue here, that two parties, you and the organization, never talked well.

PREJEAN: Yes. Yes. I've tried to reach out to them. And I've -- I've done several appearances. And I'm going to be presenting at the Special Olympics this weekend as a -- as an honorary guest. I mean I've been cooperating with them. I don't see why -- you know, I don't see why this is happening. This is the first I've heard of it.

It's just because of my answer, I think. None of this would be happening right now if I had just said, yes, gays should be get married. You're right, Perez Hilton.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BUSH: Yes. You see... KING: OK. Let's check in with Miles McPherson. He's Carrie Prejean's pastor. He's with us. He's at The Rock Church. And he's with us from San Diego.

What do you make of all this, Miles?

PASTOR MILES MCPHERSON, CARRIE PREJEAN'S PASTOR: Hey, Larry.

How you doling?

Well, we want to categorically deny she's been cooperating with them. It's been very difficult. Since she gave her answer, it hasn't let up. She walked off the stage. She got harassed in the lobby of hotel, was sent to New York to kind of make things right. And she didn't tow the line to take back her statement. And she's been bashed ever since.

And here's the thing, Larry. She's been on appearances. She was just in Las Vegas and I talked to the guy who actually ran that event. He -- I just talked to him an hour ago. He loved her, she was great, she didn't say anything bad about the pageant.

She's going to do the Special Olympics next week. She does not have a book deal. KING: All right, so...

MCPHERSON: So all these allegations have been absolutely false.

KING: So why fire her now?

Once Donald endorsed her and if she's doing what she's supposed to do, the story would have gone away, hadn't it?

Why fire her now?

MCPHERSON: You know, it's a mystery. Why do you have your Miss California and ever since she's been -- gave her answer, even her employers are bashing her on TV, telling her they can't talk to her, they can't communicate to her.

I was on the phone with Keith Lewis and Shanna Moakler and eight people before she went on her speaking back in April. And they have -- they said all we want to do is know where she's going. We approve where she goes. And we've been in constant communication with them. They know everything she does.

So why would your employer do that to you?

So it's a mystery why this whole thing has happened -- well, it's not a mystery to me. They didn't like her answer. And that's -- it's when it started.

KING: Then why did they keep -- why didn't Trump just keep her, just tell her that we didn't like the way you handled it and that you're not Miss California?

MCPHERSON: I can't speak for Mr. Trump. I can't speak for why he did and didn't do what he did. But this is a California pageant issue.

KING: That's your thought, though.

What do you think, Billy?

BUSH: Well, I mean I -- what I -- what I want to know is -- it's interesting, Larry, isn't it, that the -- this is -- it's like a microcosm now, that, you know, Miss California, Carrie Prejean, is the face of this issue -- same-sex marriage, this issue.

You know I always wanted -- when it was first heated up, you know, weeks ago, I wondered, is a reporter going to ask President Obama, in this situation, what he thinks?

Because right now, out front -- and because, remember, you know, Obama's position is the same as Carrie Prejean's and, I think, the majority of Americans' right now.

Why is she the -- at the forefront of this whole thing?

I don't know. I think it just happened in a moment and then people just poof. They just move right in, the media takes it and it's gone.

KING: Billy is going to remain with us.

But, Miles, quickly, what did she tell you?

MCPHERSON: Tell me about what?

KING: About being fired?

MCPHERSON: You know, Larry, I think I found out before she -- I talked to her. We got it all, you know, through phone calls and interview requests. And it was a shock to all of us.

We were at a banquet where she was on her way to a luncheon today for a fundraiser for some kids -- inner city kids here in San Diego. And that's how we found out. And we were all shocked.

So we were just trying to figure out what was going on and why.

You know, one of the reasons was that she had a book deal...

KING: But she didn't -- does she think it's...

MCPHERSON: ...and Donald Trump...

KING: Does she think it's because of her opinion?

MCPHERSON: Oh, of course. Well, that's when all of the heat started. You know, Larry, ever since she gave the answer, she's been under fire from that day. And it hasn't stopped.

KING: Yes.

MCPHERSON: And her -- her pageant people have never once defended her...

KING: OK.

MCPHERSON: ...and stood up for her. All they said...

KING: Well, we're going to meet them.

BUSH: Well, in fairness to them, they have said -- I mean, the pageant people have said this is not -- both of them, you know, over and over again, this is not about her position on same-sex marriage...

KING: Well, we're going to...

BUSH: ...at all. This is about her itinerary.

KING: Let's clear it up. We'll meet executive director of the pageant.

Thanks, Miles.

Billy stays.

The new Miss California USA is here.

What's she saying about all this?

Find out next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: Billy Bush remains.

We're joined by Keith Lewis, executive director of Miss California USA. This is exclusive.

As is Tami Farrell, the new Miss California USA, replacing Carrie Prejean.

How did you find out, Tami?

TAMI FARRELL, NEW MISS CALIFORNIA USA: You know, I was actually in Oregon visiting family yesterday. And I got a phone call from Keith just letting me know that should this happen, would I be ready to step in. And, of course, I would be honored to represent the State of California. So I heard that and came back.

KING: Was that a good inkling that it was going to happen?

FARRELL: It was -- it gave me kind of a -- a pretty good inkling.

KING: Look at that...

FARRELL: But it was totally out of the blue. I didn't expect it at all.

KING: All right, Keith, simply put, why?

KEITH LEWIS, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, MISS CALIFORNIA USA: Well, because she wasn't able to fulfill her duties.

KING: But the reverend just said she was fulfilling them all.

LEWIS: Well, I don't think Reverend -- in all respect, I don't think Reverend McPherson was doing her -- her evaluation...

KING: Her itinerary.

LEWIS: ...and being able to really intimately know what was going on. So...

KING: So she was supposed to do something and didn't show up or?

LEWIS: Well, not one thing; not two things; many, many, many things and -- including the fact that she had come to us and really said, I'm not interested in your input. I'm going to make my own decision on what I'm going to do.

And, you know, Larry, that when you'll have a contract, when you're working for someone, you have a responsibility to follow through on what that requirement is. And...

KING: Did you give hear a warning?

LEWIS: We gave her many warnings. And I think that the ultimate warning came when we had the press conference with Mr. Trump and Mr. Trump said, hey, we're going to move forward and we're going to try and make this better.

And I think from that point on, it was a matter of just trying to put it back on track and not being able to do it.

KING: Let's watch Donald Trump when he backed her last month.

Watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP: Carrie will remain Miss California. It was a controversial question. It was a tough question. It was probably a fair question, because it's asked of many people. And I've often said it, if her beauty wasn't so great, nobody really would have cared.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: Earlier today, Donald Trump said this: "I told Carrie she needed to get back to work and honor her contract with the Miss California USA organization. I gave her the opportunity to do so. Unfortunately, it just doesn't look like it's going to happen. Carrie is a beautiful young woman. I wish her well as she pursues her other interests."

Billy, what's your read here? BUSH: You know, I spoke to her today on the phone. And she said, you know, that I have had great, really, you know, great contact with Keith and the organization and we have exchanged e-mails and...

KING: Was that a lie?

BUSH: And she's got them. She wants -- she will produce them if she needs them.

LEWIS: I think it was a misrepresentative -- a misrepresentation of the truth. I think that what occurred between our office and between Carrie was a clear understanding that she was not interested in upholding the title or the responsibilities. And it was best for us to allow her the freedom to go and pursue the interests that she had.

This was never personal or political. This was a business decision.

KING: It had nothing to do with same-sex?

LEWIS: Absolutely not.

KING: What did she say when you told her?

LEWIS: Well, we didn't tell her. We had attorneys that worked for us and attorneys that worked for her. And they go through those channels.

KING: So you never spoke to her?

LEWIS: No, I did not.

BUSH: But you were also concerned, a little bit, that the -- the issue was very polarizing, because in California, you've got people who, you know, walk on both sides of that issue.

LEWIS: I absolutely believe that the question that was given to her on stage was a question that had the impact to be polarizing. And I think that she spoke eloquently. I think she spoke from her heart. And I don't think that has any relevancy with today.

I think anyone that would take her and use her in that way is exploiting that young woman. And I think if that's a reverend or that's the National Organization of Marriage, they've taken that cause and taken it to a level where it doesn't belong.

KING: We obviously have not heard the last of this.

But we have a few minutes left and I will ask Tami the key question

BUSH: Ah, yes.

KING: Ah.

By the way, we're going to...

(LAUGHTER)

BUSH: I remember that well.

KING: I remember it well.

We've got a great show in the works for next week. The Jonas Brothers World Tour exclusive -- we're with them in Europe and here in the States, next Thursday, a week from tomorrow.

And don't forget, a week from Friday, on June 19th, I'll be at The Encore Hotel in Las Vegas doing my -- my comedy act. It's funny and I hope you can make it. It's my debut in a nightclub, but not in doing comedies. I've done that at many conventions. And my wife, Shawn, will open the bill.

And if you want to make reservations, go on the Web site, to EncoreLasVegas.com. No doubt, "Access Hollywood" will be there.

BUSH: Do I get free tickets?

KING: Yes.

BUSH: Good.

KING: It's always that way with you people.

BUSH: I want free tickets, Larry.

KING: Yes.

(LAUGHTER)

KING: Liz Cheney and James Carville are standing by. They'll have fireworks, guaranteed, in a little while.

But back with more of this after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: OK, in our remaining moments, we'll ask Billy Bush, because he knows exactly what was asked at the pageant of the now former Miss California. We'll ask it of Tami Farrell, the new Miss California.

What was the question?

BUSH: All right. I'll give it to you.

KING: Exactly. Give it to her.

BUSH: All right, here we go.

FARRELL: Don't mess it up. BUSH: Vermont just became the fourth state -- of course, now, Maine is the fifth state. But Vermont just became the fourth state to legalize same-sex marriage.

Do you think all states should follow suit and why?

FARRELL: Well, I think -- honestly, I think that it's a personal decision and I think it's a civil rights issue. And I think it's something that we should let each state decide. I think it's silly, too, with all of this controversy right now, that the world is looking to beauty queens for the answer more than anything. That's my honest opinion.

But I -- you know, that's where I stand.

(CROSSTALK)

KING: You're a California voter, though.

FARRELL: Yes.

KING: How would you vote on this issue?

FARRELL: How would you vote on this issue?

(LAUGHTER)

(CROSSTALK)

KING: You're the guest.

FARRELL: Yes.

KING: That was the question.

How would you vote?

You don't have to answer, but how would you vote?

FARRELL: You know, well, I guess (INAUDIBLE)...

KING: How do you feel about it?

You said it's a personal.

(CROSSTALK)

LEWIS: That's the great thing. You know, it's -- the ballot box is confidential.

BUSH: Here we go.

LEWIS: And that's the great thing.

KING: So you don't choose to answer?

You don't have to.

FARRELL: Well, yes. My thing is I just think with all of the controversy that's been go on, I want to start clean and I want to move forward. There are so many other amazing organizations and so many great things we can champion here. And I feel like -- just like everybody else in the world, they think this has dragged on for so long.

Like, let's move forward and start clean.

KING: If Carrie would have said that, what would have happened?

BUSH: I think she would have had massive round of applause and it would have been -- and she did have applause in the room. I'll remember, it was -- there was applause. But there was also some hmmm.

KING: But if the answer was exactly as Tami said it?

BUSH: I think she would have been -- I think her answer -- I think she would have sailed through. She wasn't winning at the time.

LEWIS: Right.

BUSH: The key -- the key to remember is she was not in the lead at the time. So she would have had to have blown them out of the water with it...

LEWIS: And I think...

BUSH: And that answer is not a blow you out of the water answer.

LEWIS: I think, in a lot of ways, this shows just how relevant that these type of pageants right are at the moment. And I think the questions that came forward may have been controversial, but I think that what we saw was this movement. And I think since Mr. Trump came in, we've seen it grow. We just got a three year extension with NBC that we couldn't be more proud about.

And I think that, you know, it's a -- it's a very relevant issue and we should have relevant issues.

KING: Congratulations...

BUSH: Well, I think the questions at the future pageants -- I mean it's going to -- they're going to be...

KING: Oh, yes.

BUSH: ...but people are going to watch, because they're going to say, oh, now what?

KING: Should we have bombed Hiroshima?

(LAUGHTER)

BUSH: Exactly. KING: OK.

Thank you, Billy.

Keith, as always, good seeing you.

LEWIS: It's good to see you.

KING: And congratulations.

FARRELL: Thank you so much.

KING: You are now Miss California. I officially deem it.

FARRELL: Oh, perfect.

KING: Once it's on this show, right?

Tell her.

BUSH: Absolutely.

KING: OK.

BUSH: It's official now.

Where the (INAUDIBLE)?

KING: Liz Cheney and James Carville are next.

Don't go away.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: We welcome to LARRY KING LIVE in Washington, Liz Cheney, the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, who served as deputy assistant secretary of State under President George W. Bush.

And in New Orleans, James Carville, Democratic strategist and CNN political contributor.

Our original topic -- and we will get into it -- was the future of the Republican Party. But one cannot go into any discussion tonight without asking about their reaction to today's fatal shooting at the U.S. Holocaust Museum, of all places, in Washington. An African-American guard is killed. The suspect, an 88-year-old white supremacist.

Liz, what do you say?

LIZ CHENEY, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT DICK CHENEY'S DAUGHTER: Well, I think it was obviously a horrific event, Larry. And I think that, as I understand it, they have apprehended the man who was guilty. We know who he was.

I do think people need to be a little bit careful about using words like terrorism before we know exactly -- you know, clearly, he was psychotic. But we don't really know much yet about whether or not he was representing any sort of an organization. I think we need to be a little bit careful.

But, obviously, it was -- it was a horrific event.

KING: All right, James, is it larger than this or is it just down to the point of a white supremacist kills a black American, in a Jewish museum?

JAMES CARVILLE, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST, CNN POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR: Right. Well, the first thing is, is he's a criminal. It's a criminal act. We don't -- there's no -- it is not a political act. What he did was a criminal act. So let -- let's call it what it is. If he's 88 or eight or 18, it doesn't matter. He's a criminal.

Of course it has huge significance. I mean 27 million people have visited the Holocaust Museum. It's, you know, probably the most dastardly deed in -- or one of them -- in the history of the world, in that you would have a hate -- somebody -- a criminal come in there with some hate motivation is -- certainly, it's newsworthy and it's significant. And, you know, this kinds of stuff has gone on in the world, it is going on and, in all likelihood, will continue to go on.

KING: Yes.

CARVILLE: But hopefully we'll use this as some kind of a teaching moment.

KING: Liz, is -- does -- is it parallel to some of the political discourse going on in America -- not to murder, of course -- but to what's happened to our politics with screaming talk shows and wild people on the other side and everybody's angry?

CHENEY: No. I mean, I think that we really -- it's very important to be careful here. I mean, I think, you know, in every society -- certainly in our society at every moment in history, we have had people -- criminals, as James puts it -- people who are, you know, crazy, psychotic.

Clearly, this man was a white supremacist, if you look at his writings; an anti-Semite; you know, a really vile human being. Every society has those.

But I really think it's a stretch too far to sort of say that somehow...

KING: All right...

CHENEY: ...can be connected to our political discourse.

KING: OK. Well said.

James, let's get to the topic at hand.

CARVILLE: OK. KING: The new "USA Today"/Gallup Poll, they asked people to specify the main person who speaks for the Republican Party. Fifty- two percent can not come up with a name.

What do you make of that?

CARVILLE: Well, I'm not into -- to making apologies for Republicans. But that very often will happen if you have a party that -- that's out of power. And I don't know what the answer would have been in, say, 2003 for the Democrats, or even in 2005.

But the problem for Republicans is, is they've been in the wilderness since 2005, which is the worst year I think any political party ever had in history. And they've been in negative territory since then. And they have not been able to break out of their sort of white Southern talk radio base.

And if you look at the people that think they're leaders, they pretty much fit hard core, white Southern talk radio base. And that's their problem. They can't expand beyond that. And until they figure out how to do that, they're going to continue to have problems.

KING: We're going to ask for Liz Cheney's comments in a moment.

CHENEY: Well...

KING: As soon as we come back, we'll get Liz's thoughts.

Don't go away.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: OK, Liz Cheney, 52 percent in this poll couldn't come up with a name, who speaks for the GOP. Of those who did cite a name, Rush Limbaugh had 13 percent; Dick Cheney, your dad, had 10 percent; John McCain and Newt Gingrich, 6 percent; George W. Bush, 3 percent; and Sarah Palin, below 3 percent.

What do you make of that?

CHENEY: Well, I think, you know, James was right. Actually, there was a very similar poll done back in August of 2001 by "USA Today" which showed, at that point, the Democrats didn't know who their leader was.

So it's a healthy thing for a party to go through. It's not surprising that we are the party out of power. We've got a lot of great young talent; people like Adam Putnam in Florida; people like Rob Portman in Ohio; folks like Eric Cantor in the Congress. We have a lot of talent.

We've also got a lot of terrific ideas. And I think that that's where the next election will be decided.

And as people, those sort of -- the vast -- those Independents in the middle, who, really, actually identify more as conservatives than as liberals, when they actually take a look at some of the things this administration is doing, whether it is now, we learned today, reading Miranda rights to terrorists on the battlefield; whether it's massively expanding the size of the government; whether it's insisting that -- that the bureaucracy ought to choose your doctor and prescribe your medicine.

I think that sort of that, those middle class, fundamentally conservative voters, will very likely find that their home in 2010 and in 2012 is with the GOP and not in the Democratic Party.

KING: What's your read into it, James...

CARVILLE: Well, that the Republican Party is...

KING: ...the fact that Sarah Palin was billed 3 percent...

CARVILLE: Right...

KING: ...and that Rush Limbaugh had the highest percentage, at a low 13?

CARVILLE: Well, look, Sarah Palin couldn't even -- she doesn't even have a scheduler. So the idea that she -- she was going to be, you know, the leader of the Republican Party is ludicrous.

And Michael Steele can't even -- makes a fool of himself every other time he goes out there.

But that's their problem.

But their larger problem is, is that they are held in as -- in as low esteem as any political party in modern American polling. And the fact is that they -- when they had government, they completely botched it up.

If you look at 2005, which I keep referring to as a disastrous year, remember, it was the Republican Party who wanted to have people their money -- their Social Security money in the stock market. Now, that would have been a brilliant idea, wouldn't it?

And it was the Republican Party that, at 1:30 in the morning, came to the Terry Schiavo case, which people found repulsive.

And it was the Republican Party that completely botched the response to Hurricane Katrina.

And now we find out that they're largely responsible for the catastrophic fiscal mess that we're in.

So they've got a...

CHENEY: James...

CARVILLE: ...they've got a little digging to do...

CHENEY: James... CARVILLE: ...digging out to do here and...

CHENEY: Yes, but, James, you and I know...

CARVILLE: ...and they would be...

CHENEY: ...you and I know that -- that those are not the issues that people are going to be focused on in 2010.

CARVILLE: They're not?

CHENEY: You and I have a big difference about your interpretation of the last several years.

CARVILLE: Right.

CHENEY: But people are looking and saying, wait a second. President Obama didn't tell us he's raising everybody's taxes. President Obama didn't tell us that he was going to stop treating the war on terror like a war.

In fact, during the campaign he mocked the idea we were going to read Miranda rights like a terrorist. But we learned today that Bagram Air Force base in Afghanistan, we're picking these guys up. Instead of interrogating them to find out what they know, this administration has decided we should say to them, you have the right to remain silent.

KING: James -- Liz, let him respond.

CARVILLE: I'm a little flummoxed here that people are not concerned about the debt that the Republicans created by three tax credit and wars. I'm also a little flummoxed --

(CROSS TALK)

KING: Liz, let him speak. Liz -- Liz, don't interrupt.

CARVILLE: This is a one-person show. Thank you. I'm also -- That general Powell and General Petraeus and Admiral Mullen and people like that agree with this administration's policy when it comes to fighting the war on terror. I think it's always interesting that we shift the thinking.

The American people have caught held on this. That's why the Republican party is held in the lowest esteem of any political party in modern polling.

CHENEY: You and I will come back and do the same debate in 2010.

CARVILLE: We're not debating. You're talking and I'm listening.

KING: Mike Huckabee, the former Republican presidential candidate, warns the GOP about moving to the mushy middle. Do you agree with that, Liz? CHENEY: I think it's really important that the Republican party stay true to those core values we were just talking about. The nation itself is fundamentally conservative. People want a strong national defense. They want low taxes. They want individual freedoms.

KING: Then how did Obama win?

CHENEY: We got flummoxed and we got trounced in 2008. And I think a lot of things happened, including the economy went completely south. We had a total economic meltdown. President Obama ran a brilliant campaign. There's no doubt that the Republican party has got to rebuild. We've got to restructure. We've got to let new leaders come to the fore.

But at the end of the day, those fundamental core principles are the ones that have made the nation great, not just the party affecting them.

KING: I'll have Jim pick up right after this break. Don't go away.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: It's time for our remarkable questions. Our first one is a voice mail from Margaret. Listen.

CALLER: My question is, why do you have that microphone on your desk, and does it work? That's the old style microphone. Thank you.

KING: It is, Margaret. It's typical of the microphones I started with back in 1957. This was the widest microphone in use, this RCA-Victor. And it does not work. But I'm proud to have it. It's sort of my blanket.

Our next is an e-mail from Shirley in St. Paul park in Minnesota. "Who do you think had the most positive influence -- has the most -- had in history the most positive influence in our country."

That is a tough one to pick out. Pick out one positive influence. In the turn of events, I would say Martin Luther King Jr. If you have a question for me, ask it at CNN.com/LarryKing. If I read it on the air, you get an autographed copy of "My Remarkable Life." You'll have a chance to win a trip to Los Angeles to see our show live. I hope you find it an enjoyable read.

Back with Liz Cheney and James Carville. Are the Republicans going to be -- how do they handle the choice of Sonia Sotomayor to come to the Supreme Court, James?

CARVILLE: I think they'll still go through the process. There will be 25 Republicans will vote against it. She'll Pass 75 to 25.

KING: But is there a danger if they take on a Latin -- a Latin person in a strong manner?

CARVILLE: Yes, there is a danger of that. But I don't think that they're going to do that. I think they will question here. I think about 25 of them will find a reason not to vote for her. And she'll pass. I don't think it's going to be some kind of Armageddon or anything like that. I think they're pretty cognizant of that. I don't think there's much appetite on their side to have some kind of big confrontation here.

KING: Liz, what does your dad say about that appointment?

CHENEY: Larry, I can tell you what I think. I haven't asked him what he thinks about it. I think she deserves a fair hearing. She deserves a hearing, just like any other judicial appointment has had. I suspect she'll get that. I think the notion we should somehow treat her differently because of her gender or ethnicity is wrong. I don't think that's how this country should operate.

I think there's some questions that I think she will have to answer. She should be asked -- I think she will be asked to identify for us what cases it is on which her gender or her ethnicity had an impact, made a difference in how she decided those cases. I think that people need to be able to spend the time looking at her record and understanding better what her judicial philosophy is, and how the empathy that she's talked about played a role in deciding specific cases.

KING: Why, James, despite many downs and a lot of ups, does the president remain popular?

CARVILLE: Well, I mean, first of all, he's a very, very skilled person. It's been a very active presidency. You couldn't help but see him over in Egypt, and whenever he goes, the kind of reaction he gets. He's doing a lot of things.

People want it to work, obviously. I think that, you know, he's doing a good job so far. And people got a lot vested in it. And they would like to see this continued. But, you know, look, this is politics. If popularity got everything, I remember that President Bush at one time was at like 90 percent and ended up with the lowest poll ratings -- consistent poll ratings of any president ever.

So I wouldn't place too much into where we are 4.5 months in this. But I would say people are certainly encouraged about the early signs. People are feeling better about the country. Consumer confidence is up.

KING: Is it troubling to Republicans, Liz?

CHENEY: No, I think it's not unusual for a new president to have high approval ratings. But I would say one of the things that is troubling to Americans, I think, is extent to which this administration is focused on the president's popularity overseas. We've now seen several different occasions when he's been on the international trips, where he's not willing to say, flat out, I believe in American exceptionalism. I believe unequivocally, unapologetically, America is the best nation that ever existed in history, and clearly that exists today. Instead we've seen him do what we saw him do in the speech in Cairo, which is sort of, on one hand this, on the other hand that, and then attempt to put himself sort of above it all. I think that troubles people. Americans, whether Democrats or Republicans, want to know their president is the staunchest, strongest defender of the nation.

KING: Guys, sadly, we have run out of time. We'll have both of you back as quick as we can, because you're terrific guests. Liz Cheney and James Carville. Katie Couric is here in 60 seconds. Don't go away.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: Joining us now, two people who are out to make the world a lot better for all of us. Katie Couric, anchor and managing editor of "CBS Evening News." With Katie -- while she's here, she's also reminding us that she's the co-founder of Stand Up to Cancer. And Ethan Zohn, former "Survivor" winner, is here with us, undergoing treatment for a rare treatment of Hodgkin's Disease. He's one of the many ambassadors for Stand Up To Cancer. And he's a fighter.

Take a look at this preemptive strike against this disease. Watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ETHAN ZOHN, "SURVIVOR" WINNER: Today is a very big day for me, because I am cutting off all of the curly locks. A little while ago, I got diagnosed with CD-20 positive Hodgkin's Lymphoma. Because of all of the chemotherapy, my hair is going to fall out. So I'm going to chop it off today and do something crazy.

I really don't care what I do. It's going to fall out anyway. so I might as well shave it off, do something crazy like a Mohawk, dye it, whatever.

They said my hair is going to fall out in two weeks. I don't want to just watch it fall out. So I just wanted to cut it before it happens.

There you have it, mission accomplished. What do you think? I think it looks good. I feel really good about it.

It's been a crazy week, with the diagnosis, telling the family, the public announcement, and now cutting off all the hair.

Phase one was the curly mop. Phase two was the Mohawk. Phase three was this little buzz cut. And phase four is going to be completely bald.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And phase five is the grow back.

ZOHN: Phase five was a sprout, the Chia head grow back.

(END VIDEO CLIP) KING: Ethan, was that hard to do?

ZOHN: It was pretty hard to do. I'm kind of known for my hair. But it is what it represented. It really represented, I'm cutting my hair because I have cancer. That was a difficult thing to deal with.

KING: We're going to find out about Ethan's condition and Katie's fight against this terrible disease when we come back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(NEWS BREAK)

KING: Back. Katie Couric, I assume that you started this because of your late husband?

KATIE COURIC, "CBS EVENING NEWS": Yes, Larry, I got together with some other women who have been directly affected by cancer. And we thought we need more of a national movement to really inspire people to donate. You know, the federal government, the money just isn't there in the amount that it needs to be. So we decided to put together a show, under the auspices of the Entertainment Industry Foundation, called Stand Up To Cancer, which we did last September.

The entertainment community came together in a really unprecedented way. All three networks ran a special. And we raised more than 100 million dollars, Larry, which we've now given to five different dream teams at least 73 million of it, to hopefully accelerate science and move us much, much closer to a cure in all different kinds of cancers.

KING: What a great concept. What kind of treatment are you under-going, Ethan?

ZOHN: I'm undergoing chemotherapy. It's called R-Chop, is what I've got going on. It's a pretty intensive form of chemotherapy, once every two weeks, and then followed with radiation.

KING: How rare is the disease that you have?

ZOHN: Five percent of people who have Hodgkins get this rare form. It's called CD Positive Hodgkins Lymphoma. Lymphoma is a disease of the blood. It's the third leading cancer in young adults. Young adults being 18 to 39 years old.

KING: Anybody know the cause?

ZOHN: I think it's just bad luck is one of the causes. You really can't prepare for it, nor can you prevent it that much.

KING: Katie, how do you explain Ethan's apparent upbeat composure?

COURIC: I think Ethan is a phenomenal guy. I spent a little time with him just preparing for this show, Larry. I think he's also very courageous to make his battle so public. I think he is the personification of cancer in young adults in this country. He has some pretty staggering statistics I know he wants to share with you, but even the statistics for all people -- 1,500 Americans, Larry, die every day of cancer; 560,000 Americans die every year; eight million people die worldwide.

So it is such a scourge. And that's why I think the people of this country -- one in two men is affected. One in every three women will be diagnosed with cancer in her lifetime. That's why I think we have to unite. And people like Ethan really help the cause, because he's so willing to tell his story and he -- Ethan is every man and woman, for that matter.

KING: Well put. What is it like, Ethan, to hear those words, you have cancer?

ZOHN: I mean, it's pretty shocking. And going to, you know, my chemotherapy sessions, often times I see older people and I see younger people. And you don't really see people like myself. I felt really alone. But cancer touches everyone. That's why I have made my battle so public. I want to do everything in my power to raise awareness for cancer, and, you know, for cancer amongst young adults. You know, because there's so much great research going on out there, that, if funded, can really make a difference. It can save lives.

KING: By the way, Ethan was a "Survivor" winner. He won "Survivor Africa." That's cycle three of that series, for which we congratulate you. Amazing you can win "Survivor" and get cancers. What is the outlook for you, frankly?

ZOHN: The outlook is fantastic. I have a good support crew. I have people like Katie cheering for me. I got -- being involved with Stand Up To Cancer has just been absolutely a great opportunity for me to use this platform to raise awareness about cancer. That's a blessing.

KING: Katie, if an enemy came to this country and killed 1,500 people a day, the money spent to fight that would be enormous. Nixon once declared war on cancer. Why not more?

COURIC: Well, I think there are a lot of competing groups that need this money. Look at the federal deficit, the war in Iraq, the war in Afghanistan. There are a lot of demands on federal dollars in this country. That's why the private sector and individuals who can donate to Stand Up To Cancer by just going to the website -- I hate to hawk it, but it's such a good cause. It's StandUp2Cancer.org, Larry.

You can buy a constellation honoring someone who is a survivor, like Ethan I know is going to be, or someone who has lost their battle, like my husband Jay and my sister Emily, and so many other people who have lost their loved ones. So we really want people to contribute to the cause.

Only One in every 10 promising research proposals is funded by the federal government. So think about that, Larry. That's nine potentially promises proposals that are being left on the table, and so we are giving this money to 200 scientists at 20 different institutions around the country, so they can collaborate and not compete, so they can poll their resources and their collective brain power, and move science forward to come up with better treatments that may enable people to live with cancer as a chronic disease, as many people do, or to come up with, God willing, cures altogether.

Really, they're working together. And it's a very unique paradigm in the world of cancer research. I think there's a ton of excitement, and really palpable buzz about what we're doing with this money.

KING: A lot of cancer is cured, right?

COURIC: Well, they've had some success, of course. Childhood Leukemia, there's been a great deal of success. But Ethan, tell Larry about the numbers you told me about young people between 18 and 39, and how little progress has been made in that particular demographic.

ZOHN: Exactly. In the past 30 years, you know, survivorship has remained the same for people between the ages of 18 and 39, unlike kids and adults, where you see an increase in survivorship. Mortality has actually increased. So that basically means I have the same chance of getting cancer and dying of cancer than they did in the 1970s, which is just shocking to me.

That's why we need to all come together, rally together, raise as much money as possible, and use that money for research.

COURIC: Larry -- I'm sorry, Ethan. I was just going to say, you know, there has been progress, because I think cancer researchers and scientists in this country are the unsung heroines. They work so tirelessly. They're not compensated that much for their incredible brain power. And there have been new drugs and new sort of approaches that are less toxic. There have been new screening techniques that have been devised.

But we're still such a long way to go when you hear about the mortality rates. Again, 1,500 people every single day in this country. And it's really a travesty, especially, as Ethan said, all these young people.

KING: Don't forget to check out Ethan's video journal on People.com.

What impact have Patrick Swayze, Farrah Fawcett had on cancer? We'll talk about that next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: We're back with Katie Couric and Ethan Zohn. If you want to go to help, go to StandUp2Cancer.org. Katie, in your opinion, what effect have the Swayzes and Fawcetts had on this fight?

COURIC: Well, I think any time a public figure, Larry, comes forward and shares his or her story, it's incredibly moving. I think, as a result of watching what happened to Farrah Fawcett and her struggle, I hope that many people have learned more about anal cancer, her particular cancer, which is caused by the Human Papillomavirus, as cervical cancer is, and how it can be detected, what you can do.

And the same with Patrick Swayze. You know, pancreatic cancer took the life of my sister Emily, as you know, Larry. And pancreatic cancer, because oftentimes many of the people who get it die -- it doesn't have a great rate of survival. There's been great advocacy work done, by the way, by many organizations, but it doesn't necessarily have a built-in base of survivors who are then fighting for other victims.

So anytime these people come forward -- and these are well-loved American figures. And I think it just underscores the fact that cancer can happen to anyone, and no one is immune.

KING: Ethan, what does an ambassador do?

ZOHN: Well, an ambassador -- you know, I'm showing up here. I'm writing everything down for a book. I'm making video diaries. I'm doing everything in my power to raise awareness for cancer. And, you know, that's why I've been so public about my battle, because for me it's a great opportunity. It's a great platform to educate, inspire, motivate others out there, and hopefully learn about Hodgkin's Disease.

KING: What keeps you from depression?

ZOHN: Well, you know, focusing my energy in stuff like this, knowing that I can use this as a platform to educate others, because I don't want people to have to go through what I went through. If you're sitting at home with itchy skin, night sweats and losing weight, go to the doctor. Get checked out. Oftentimes people my age, the doctor says, oh, you're too young for doctor. They don't test for that. They don't screen for things like that.

Know your body; accept your body; realize what's going on with you; take it in your own power to go out there and find out what might be going on with you.

COURIC: And Larry, I was going to interject one thing quickly. You know me, Larry, I talk all the time. But I'm so passionate about this. I particularly admire people like Ethan, because he's not only sharing his personal story, but he's using this as a platform to advocate for more funding, greater awareness, educate the public. And that to me is the real power of celebrity, in terms of coming forward with your story.

It's more than just a story of heartache and struggle for one person. I really appreciate when people use it as a springboard to get people to donate, and to be more aware of how devastating this disease -- all forms of cancer can be, and what all people can do about it.

KING: I salute you both. Katie, great idea. And it keeps on keeping on. And Ethan, we do nothing but wish you the best in this fight. It's a tough one, but I couldn't think of a better person to be an ambassador than you.

COURIC: Ethan, show Larry your head without your hair. He looks really cute.

ZOHN: There you go. It's falling out, as you can see, everyone, little spots.

COURIC: See, he did it before Stephen Colbert, Larry.

KING: Thanks to both of you.

ZOHN: Thank you so much.

COURIC: Thank you, Larry.

KING: Don't forget, StandUp2Cancer.org.

Our big country music special is tomorrow night. Billy Ray Cyrus is here on Friday. It's time for Anderson Cooper and "AC 360."

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