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Interview With Gov. Brewer; Debate With Laura Ingraham, Marc Lamont Hill

Aired July 29, 2010 - 21:00   ET



LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, Laura Ingraham is on the war path. Hear her surprising stance on Sarah Palin. Her opinion on the Afghanistan war leaks. And her view of President Obama's latest charm offensive.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I've got to admit I don't know who Snooki is.


KING: Plus Arizona Governor Jan Brewer fighting back on immigration. If you thought she is giving up the fight against illegals, you're wrong. She took new court action just hours ago. Is she begging for an all-out brawl?



KING: We begin by welcoming Governor Jan Brewer, Republican of Arizona. Just hours ago she filed an appeal with the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals after a federal judge yesterday blocked a key part of her state's anti-immigration law.

Thank you for joining us, Governor. Is there any part of the judge's ruling that at all had any affect on you where you could have said well, maybe she's got a point?

GOV. JAN BREWER (R), ARIZONA: Well, of course, we listened very carefully to her statements. And after reading her brief, we realized that she made some points, of course.

When we signed the bill we felt it was in good order and that it was constitutional. And we have now consulted with our lawyers and with the members of the legislature to see if -- if there were some things that we might want to kind of tweak a little bit. But we haven't necessarily made up our minds yet.

KING: So your -- what did you file today if you haven't made up your mind yet? Are there certain parts you might change?

BREWER: Well -- well, not necessarily. What we did today, Larry, is simply that we -- we made an appeal to the 9th Circuit -- an expedited appeal to the 9th Circuit in order to get an appeal on the temporary -- on the injunction that she ruled on.

You know what everybody gets a little bit confused about is that she didn't rule against technically the legislation. She ruled to block the legislation until the legislation has time to go through the process.

So, you know, it's that judicial system, it takes -- the wheels of justice move a little slowly.

KING: You said that you'd consider suing the federal government if it doesn't enforce immigration laws. Would you elaborate on that?

BREWER: I -- well, I did. You know, it's the federal government's responsibility, of course, to secure our borders and to protect the people of Arizona. And they have laws that mandate that they do that. And they're not enforcing those laws.

And so we -- I have given it some consideration to sue the federal government. I haven't made up my mind on that yet either. You know, we're going to --

KING: How --

BREWER: We're taking this very, very cautiously and very, very carefully.

KING: How do you react -- there are some law enforcement officials -- we had a sheriff on last night -- didn't like the law, said it puts too much of a problem for their state troopers and others in law enforcement in the state of Arizona to enforce?


BREWER: Well, that's their job. It's their job. They took an oath to uphold the laws and enforce it and protect the people of Arizona. I don't know whom you had on last night, but that's a little silly, isn't it, when it's their job?

KING: Well, it was a sheriff from one of your counties and other police officers have spoken out that it can be difficult if you have to single out someone just by the way they look or act. That puts a lot of onus on a police officer, doesn't it? It doesn't?

BREWER: That's not what their -- that's not what they're doing. They're not looking at people and determining whether you're illegal or not. They are enforcing the laws and enforcing the federal laws that are on the statute.

You know, it's simply ridiculous to think that they're just going to look at someone and arrest them. They have to be in -- in a position of committing a crime and they have been enforcing federal legislation, federal laws in some of our counties all along.

So -- now with the bill and the -- that has been passed and the judge leaving in the portion about sanctuary cities, it will actually make it easier for law enforcement to enforce the statutes that the federal government has put forward, meaning that they have to enforce the federal laws and that their supervisors can't tell them to do anything less.

And so that was a big win for the people of Arizona.

You know, Larry, there has been so much misinformation put out in regards to Senate Bill 1070 and the rhetoric that has been spread across the country. You know, we just wish that we could get really the truth out there.

You know it's the federal government's responsibility to secure our borders. We passed Senate Bill 1070 as another tool in order to protect the citizens of Arizona. We have over 500,000 illegal immigrants living in Arizona. And we simply cannot sustain it.

It costs us a tremendous amount of money of course in health care, in education, and then, on top of it all, in incarceration. And the federal government doesn't reimburse us on any of these things. And they need to step up and do their job.

KING: How do you feel, Governor, about the people who employ illegal immigrants?

BREWER: Well, I think that they -- you know, we were the first state to make it a law that we had to have employer sanctions. And we implemented that. And that we're waiting to hear from the Supreme Court in return of that.

But we have all our employers use E-Verify which is not a perfect system but it's a step in the right direction.

You know the bottom line is, is that -- and that's the key word. Illegal. You know, we're a nation of laws. You know -- the bottom line is, is that, I always try to relate it to that, country without borders is like a house without walls. It collapses.

And I know that there are several people out there that want to discuss other issues. But we want our borders secured. And as the governor of the state of Arizona, I took an oath to uphold the laws and to protect the people of Arizona.

And I'm going to be relentless in it. I'm going to do what is right. So you know.

KING: What would you do about the -- what would you do about the 500,000 already in your state?

BREWER: Well, and that is a problem. We certainly need to talk about that. But I am not prepared to talk about it until there is -- a surge by the federal government to secure our borders.

Our borders have got to be secured. You know, when President Reagan, who was one of my idols, granted amnesty to about three million illegal immigrants it was based on the fact that the borders would be secured. That didn't happen. It didn't happen during the Bush administration.

And now here we go again. We have 11, 12 million illegals in the country. And they want to talk about -- their quote, their words -- comprehensive immigration reform. Well, I don't want to talk about that. I don't want to deal with it until our borders are secured.

And then we need to come together and determine what is the best way to address that issue.

KING: Thank you, Governor. Thanks for joining us.

BREWER: Thank you, Larry. Have a great day.

KING: You too.

Governor Jan Brewer, the Republican governor of Arizona. Laura Ingraham is next. Don't go away.


KING: It's great to welcome Laura Ingraham to LARRY KING LIVE, the nationally syndicated talk radio host. "The Laura Ingraham Show is a major hit on radio. She's a FOX News contributor as well, and a number one "New York Times" best-selling author.

Her new book, "The Obama Diaries", by the way. Laura is at the Four Seasons in St. Louis at an event, which is why those people are all cheering. She's taking a break from it to be on our show. And we appreciate that.

Congratulations on the book, Laura.

LAURA INGRAHAM, TALK RADIO HOST: Larry, first of all, it's great to see you. It's great to be here in St. Louis. And all my friends here at 97.1 FM Talk.

They're excited because they know I'm talking to you, Larry. And let me tell you, we have started here in St. Louis a hunger strike to stop you from retiring, OK? I'm not eating from 9:00 to noon every day.

They don't want you to retire here. So, Larry, we're just -- it's a sacrifice.


INGRAHAM: In solidarity with Michelle's anti-obesity thing. I'm not eating between 9:00 and noon. Every day. Until you renounce your nonretirement.

KING: It's just this show. It's not -- I'm going to be on -- I'm going to be doing specials. I'm going to be around.

INGRAHAM: OK. The specials, I know.

KING: It's just this show. INGRAHAM: OK.

KING: All right, Laura, this book is -- before I ask you about a lot of current things, this book is fascinating. "The Obama Diaries." Now the idea is this is fiction, you found this in an underground garage, similar to the Watergate tapes. Give us a little history of the book.

INGRAHAM: Well, Larry, I didn't ask for these diaries. They came to me. All right? You're familiar with the Watergate complex, right?

KING: Very. Yes.

INGRAHAM: You've been there.


KING: Many times.

INGRAHAM: Pedicure and manicure in the salon, yes.

KING: Yes.

INGRAHAM: So I was actually just coming back from a pedicure, and this envelope of all these things that looked like diary entries to me popped up on the hood of my SUV. I was shaking, Larry. I was trembling. It's frightening.

I started looking through these things. It looks like Michelle Obama's diary, it looks like Barack Obama's diary, it looks like Joe Biden's diary. I said no, this can't be. Then I start looking at the historical narrative, Larry, of the last 18 months, you know, I'm talking about, look, minor things like health care reform, the stimulus bill, the auto bailout, you know, the trips to Europe and so forth.

And the diaries, lo and behold, seem to match up with the historical narrative. So I can't vouch for the authenticity, although I have, Larry, tried to verify these with Valerie Jarrett, who's the president's senior adviser.

I approached Valerie Jarrett. She claimed she had no knowledge of these diaries, Larry. After reading these diaries myself I understand why they don't want to talk about it.

That's all I can say. The people are going to have to decide for themselves.

KING: Why -- why, Laura, did you choose to do something Republicans are against, publishing it? Many Republicans are against the publishing of these Afghanistan reports. Yet you broke the code --

INGRAHAM: Yes, well, you know --

KING: -- and publish a private document?

INGRAHAM: Well, Larry, here's what I think. I think, you know, the Obamas are so historic and they're so up on a pedestal, and they're so different from everyone who came before that it was probably good to -- remember in the "Wizard of Oz," Larry, when the -- you pull the curtain back on the wizard and there's just this little guy was pulling a bunch of levers?

I kind of wanted to do that with the Obamas. And so that's what I did. And it's -- I don't know. They're fascinating, though. Do you know that Michelle has actually referred to her husband after listening to one of his speeches as a walking, talking Ambien CR?

I mean -- that's shocking to me. So it's -- we're having a lot of fun. But there -- this is serious. The country, Larry, I think, is on the brink, in all seriousness. I wrote this book because not only do we need to understand what's happened over the last 18 months, I come at it from a conservative perspective.

But you see the polls, whether you're a young person, a woman, even Latinos are beginning to take a second look at this man who a lot of people like personally, he has a beautiful family, you know, a wonderful father, but the policies are not working.

And we have to examine those. And we have to take it very seriously.

KING: All right.



KING: Let's give the public an example.

INGRAHAM: But these are -- yes. Am I doing a dramatic reading on LARRY KING? This is such pressure.

KING: Yes, I want you to read an excerpt from "The Obama Diaries." Go.

INGRAHAM: OK. This is like Vegas, Larry, the sands in Vegas. All right, do you know he actually has a little admiration for Hugo Chavez? Remember they had that moment when they -- you know, Hugo gave him the book?

KING: Yes.

INGRAHAM: Remember that moment? Well, he actually has a little admiration for him. Now this is, Larry -- again, this is shocking to read. April 21st, 2009. He's got his own TV show and since he controls the stations, he talks as long as he likes. When you're president there is nothing more important than connecting with your followers.

No one should obstruct that communication. And what we really need now is an Obama network. I'll show them who the most trusted name in news looks like. Move over, "AC 360," by the time the "Obama Factor" comes on the air you're going to be cut down to "AC 180."


INGRAHAM: I don't know what that is. Larry, it's shocking. I mean, it's very narcissistic. I mean, it's kind of narcissistic. I mean the president is on television all the time.

And Larry, you saw him on "The View," right, Joy Behar, you know, your pal, and my very close friend.

KING: Yes?

INGRAHAM: And the president needed to go on "The View." I mean he needs to be seen. That's the problem with his popularity. He clearly is just not seen enough or heard enough. So that's -- that's where we are.

KING: Do you fear that some people may actually believe this book?

INGRAHAM: Larry, I can see why you're asking that question. First of all. This is why you can't retire. OK? I can see why you're asking that question.

This administration, Larry, blurs fact and fiction all the time. OK? We've got three million jobs saved or created. You're going to be able to keep your doctor and your health insurance. You know we're going to enforce the borders.

All these things that are said by the administration little loosey-goosey with the facts. So, what I try to do in this book is peel the onion a little bit. And let people decide for themselves whether the Obama razzle-dazzle is as it seems or whether there is something else -- much more nefarious going on underneath the surface, or at least a lot more obviously radical. So that's why I did it.

KING: Our guest is Laura Ingraham. She's in St. Louis. The book is "The Obama Diaries" and we'll be right back.


KING: One of the most popular people in this country is Michelle Obama, yet Laura Ingraham, daring to be different, takes her on as well in the "The Obama Diaries."

You want to read a little excerpt, particularly dealing with Michelle from the book?

INGRAHAM: Well, yes. Larry, I'd look to share this. If I'd have known I was performing, I would have Maggie Smith would have been on air with me. My goodness. This is pressure.

The diary -- the diary of First Lady Michelle Obama. Rome, Italy, Larry. July 8th, last summer, 2009. And this is about, you know, the working vacations, the criticism that they're taking too many trips on the public dime. You know they're going to Rome. They're going to Africa. Now next, Indonesia. And now she's going to Spain, Larry, next week.

"I am so tired of the media criticizing our working trips. Yes, that's what it is, a working trip. Every member of this family works damn hard on these international voyages. And no one even considers the economic stimulus we provide when we visit one of these foreign countries.

"Just look at our girls' trip to London last month. Taking the children to see the 'Lion King' on the west end will probably keep that show running for another year," Larry. "The little people want to do whatever we do. When I think of all the actors and the singers, the waiters and the maids, that we alone have kept in business, it makes my head spin.

"Our just walking into an establishment can revive its fortunes for years to come," Larry.

KING: Did you -- some day they may find the Bush diaries because George Bush vacationed --

INGRAHAM: Actually, Larry --

KING: -- 96, 96 days of his first year and a half. Obama, 36 days.

INGRAHAM: Well, I think what people are -- I think what people are seeing, Larry, maybe what's not sitting all that well with some folks, is that the country is really struggling. And of course the president should vacation and no one expects the president to be, you know, at the deli counter at Wal-Mart.

Although they do have a great baloney sandwich at Wal-Mart, I highly recommend it. They don't expect that. You know that's just ridiculous. But at a time where so many people are out of work, Larry, and so many people are truly struggling -- I mean, St. Louis, Missouri is struggling, OK.

It is a little bit tone-deaf, I think, to spend your time this week in New York City on the set of "The View" and then tonight at -- Anna Wintour's apartment in New York, the editor of "Vogue." I know you've been there. And it's no big deal for you.

But the president of the United States, and then -- it just seems a little -- it seems a little tone-deaf. And I think you might say, well, everybody vacations, but when the first lady is jetting off to Madrid next week for a girls' trip and then it's well, I'm also going to meet with King Juan Carlos and Queen Sophia, that's all fine.

But at a time when our country is where it is, I think, it's beginning to rub some people the wrong way. It's just a little too much.

KING: Honestly, Laura -- did you criticize President Bush -- (APPLAUSE)

KING: In all fairness, did you --


KING: Did you criticize President Bush when he stayed at the ranch during Katrina?

INGRAHAM: Well, I actually not sure my phone calls would be returned by President Bush because I criticized Bush -- President Bush a lot on a lot of things whether spending or immigration, and his handling on a whole bunch of issues.

I mean I was leading the charge against Harriet Myers. I think I was the first one on national media to do so. I think right now where the country is and how difficult a position we are as a nation, Larry, what people want is -- they want the president to exude a sense of confidence and optimism.

No one expects him to sit in the dark and, you know, not have state dinners. But it's everything is over the top, I mean, when the Gulf oil spill is crippling the economy of five states or damaging it severely, for the president to be in the White House swaying with Paul McCartney to "Hey Jude" -- let me just say if President Bush had done that, yes, Larry King, I would have -- I would have criticized him and I would have frankly asked him to apologize to the nation.

That was embarrassing.


KING: By the way, at the -- at the bottom of the hour, Marc Lamont Hill, professor from Columbia University, will join us and he will debate, Laura.

In your book, though, you accuse Obama and Democrats in Congress of advancing a radical agenda. And you write, "Our story should be one of patriotic people who beat back the onslaught of radicalism."

Are you saying that anyone who supports Obama is unpatriotic?

INGRAHAM: No, but what I am saying is that what we have seen with the president, his proclivity, Larry, to apologizing for this country. When you go overseas, you're the president of the United States, we don't say that we're perfect. Nobody is. I'm the most flawed person out there, I say that all the time.

But we don't want really the president to go overseas, well, we're not a nation of torturers, you know, we're not going to Abu Ghraib, you know, we've had our own, you know, checkered past. That doesn't sit well with people.

And you combine that, Larry, with one of the most radical transformations of the U.S. economy to have ever taken place in 18 short months. And frankly, Larry, against the will of the American people, I say this --


INGRAHAM: You don't have the consent of the governed. And I think -- you hear the crowd, you hear the crowd, Larry. Obviously it's a friendly crowd and it's -- not meant to convey anything more than there is frustration among the electorate. They feel like their elected representatives are not representing the interest of America and the interest of the American people.

And I'm talking about Republicans and Democrats. You know I -- there's a healthy dose of criticism to go forward to both parties. Really. And I was not very popular in Washington in the last few years --


INGRAHAM: -- of the Bush administration --

KING: Fair enough.

INGRAHAM: -- because of where I thought they went.

KING: Laura Ingraham is our guest. The book, a major best- seller, is "The Obama Diaries." And when we come back, Marc Lamont Hill, professor at Columbia University, will take her on. Next. Don't go away.


KING: Back with old friend Laura Ingraham. She is in St. Louis. Joining us now from Philadelphia, Marc Lamont Hill, professor of Columbia University, and contributor to the

All right, Marc, you've been listening to Laura's remarks. What's your overall response to "The Obama Diaries"?

MARC LAMONT HILL, PROFESSOR, COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY: I wish I could say I was disappointed. But I didn't expect anything different from Laura. I like Laura. But I think that the kind of energy and negativity that we see directed towards the Obama administration, and even the first lady, I think is ill-placed, it's misplaced.

We can focus our energy on other things rather than mocking the president.

Do I think it's fair -- do I think the president is fair game? Of course. Do I think that some of it is funny? Absolutely.

But I think some one as talented and smart as Laura could be directing her energy towards things like the Tea Party which has a viciously racist wing, or talking about unemployment, or talking about all sorts of things that I'm sure Laura is going to agree with me about right now?

KING: Laura, you can respond. INGRAHAM: Larry, I love Marc Lamont Hill. He's a great one to duke it out with. Look, the Obamas are people. We are all people. They're not deities. They're not monarchs. When Michelle Obama goes to Congress and basically demands billions for a child nutrition initiative, and acts as a health care and a fitness expert -- She is a beautiful woman. But I didn't elect her to anything.

So when you step into the role, you step into the arena. OK? It's not all what sleeveless wants, sleeveless gets. That's not how it works.

HILL: Laura, I don't think that Michelle Obama is a nutritionist. but I don't think Nancy Reagan was an expert on drugs or law enforcement when she became a critical ally in the Reagan administration's war on drugs.

INGRAHAM: Totally different. That's an inept analogy. She was not on the campaign trail campaigning. She didn't have three cabinet secretaries trailing around with her.

KING: One at a time. One at a time. Marc, go ahead.

HILL: The point here, Laura, is that every First Lady, every presidential administration has someone who advocates for public issues. Whether or not Michelle Obama is a public health expert isn't the point. The fact is we have nutrition problems. We have food -- in places like Detroit, Chicago, Philadelphia, and New York, where people have to go miles and miles for fresh fruit and vegetables. There are real issues here. Let's deal with that instead of beating up on the president or his wife.

INGRAHAM: It's not beating up on anybody. When you inject yourself into one of the most contentious debates of the last 15 years, which is frankly what this whole fitness/health initiative ends up doing for Michelle Obama, that's fine if that's what you want to do. But when you do that, you better be prepared, Marc, to have your ideas and your viewpoints tested in the public arena.

It's no Teflon. There's no Teflon in front of Michelle Obama. She has to answer the critics just like any other pundit or any other policy advocate. And she is a policy advocate. She is out there pushing policy.

KING: Let's get into specifics. Marc, the -- the governor -- Marc, the governor is trying to overturn the judge's decision about portions of the Arizona immigration law. What do you think of that move?

HILL: Well, I think it is a necessary move. And I think ultimately we'll find that many aspects of the law are unconstitutional. I think there are several things we have to think about. I think Laura is right and I think Many people on the right are correct in saying that this is a response to the federal government's failure to enforce immigration policy. What we need is comprehensive, common-sense immigration reform, so that we don't need grand gestures like the one that the governor of Arizona enforced. That said, I think the measure in Arizona is one of the most vicious, ugly and vile pieces of public policy we have seen in the last 15 years.

INGRAHAM: Vicious?

HILL: Absolutely. It's vicious. It's based on xenophobia.

INGRAHAM: You've got buy a vowel on that one, Marc. Vicious?

HILL: Absolutely. I think any time -- it is a fundamentally mean-spirited public policy that is also likely unconstitutional. Any time you imbue with state authority the power that invested in the federal government, that's another major problem. I think it is ugly. I think it's vile. And I think it's unconstitutional.

KING: Let Laura respond.

INGRAHAM: This is not an argument. Ugly, vile and vicious? You know what is really ugly, is when the federal government and our chief law enforcement officer, which is ultimately what the president is, refuses, really, Larry, to enforce federal laws that are on the books right now that have not been repealed, to -- that you have to carry your ID if you are an alien living in this country, if you are a permanent resident, an alien, on a student visa. Federal law requires you to carry your documents. OK?

You are not supposed to be here in the country illegally. If you are, you need to leave. If you are here illegally -- I understand some people are trying to work. I get that. But you are here illegally. You can sugarcoat it. You can say it is mean. You can say it's vile. But then that means you think the laws are vile. Repeal the laws or enforce the laws. Arizona is doing what the federal government will not do.

HILL: Again, some of what you are arguing, Laura, is just a straw argument. I began from the premise that the federal government needs to enforce the law. What we need --

INGRAHAM: they're not going to enforce them. They're not enforcing them. That's why we're where we are.

HILL: Laura, that means we agree on the point. We don't have to pretend to disagree on the point. My disagreement with you is on the response to that reality. The response to that reality --

INGRAHAM: States are supposed to do nothing, just sit there and hope.

KING: Laura, don't interrupt. One at a time.

HILL: The point here is that we need comprehensive immigration reform. That means a humane guest worker policy. That means we need a path to citizenship. That means we need to repeal NAFTA, which create the push into the United States. All we talk about is what happens when immigrants get here. We need to talk about what pushes them there, what kind of economic policies have drawn Mexican farmers by stripping away their economic vitality in Mexico.

This is the type of stuff we need to be talking about, instead of engaging in reactionary policies, which is what the right has been doing. And the left has been sitting on its hands while this has happened.

KING: We are going to take a break.


INGRAHAM: When I get back, can I -- one quick, Larry, what --

KING: Go ahead, Laura, quick response.

INGRAHAM: What we have, in effect, basically in -- in land Obama with immigration, is a don't ask/don't tell policy. Don't ask about your immigration status. And frankly, if you are here illegally, you don't have to tell. They don't want it for the military, but they want it for immigration policy.

HILL: That's not true.

KING: We're going to move to other things, talk about the Charlie Rangel situation when we come back. Don't go away.


KING: We're back with Laura Ingraham, author of "The Obama Diaries," and Marc Lamont Hill, professor at Columbia. Charlie Rangel was charged with 13 counts of ethical wrongdoing by a House investigative panel today, among them that he improperly used his staff and office and accepted favors. Here's what he said about it. Watch.


REP. CHARLIE RANGEL (D), NEW YORK: If I struggle hard to find some good news in the statement of alleged violation, I do get small comfort in knowing that there is no allegation, that this is until a bit of evidence, and I have been guilty of corruption, wrongdoing, self dealing, any of the things that some of the reporters have been saying.


KING: Any political ramifications in this, Laura, beyond a story about a New York congressman that is kind of sad?

INGRAHAM: Well, Larry, it's -- I think what's sad is that he sat as chairman of the Tax Writing Committee in the House of Representatives for years while anyone who follows politics with any -- any modicum of seriousness knew that Charlie Rangel was in deep, deep ethical trouble, perhaps legal trouble. I do say, Larry, that all I want is one rent controlled apartment in New York. I don't need four. All I need is one.

Charlie, please, just one. Small room, that's all I need. I have a dog. She can sleep in the bathroom.

KING: Marc, what do you make of this story?

HILL: With regard to Charlie Rangel in particular, I think we just have to left the investigation continue. I don't want any rush to judgment. After this Shirley Sherrod fiasco, the last thing we need to do is rush to judgment on anything. That said, I don't think that this will be a bigger story. Unless there is a broad pattern of corruption among the Democratic Party, I don't think this will be a referendum on Democrats. I don't think this will have an extraordinary impact on the election in November.

Democrats have a lot to worry about. I don't think that the Charlie Rangel circumstances is the biggest thing on the list.

INGRAHAM: Larry, one thing is that remember Nancy Pelosi when she came into office? She, as the speaker, got the big gavel. It was a really exciting day of ceremonies and so forth. She was very proud to declare that she was there in Washington to quote, drain the swamp, the swamp of corruption in Washington, D.C. Everybody is a hypocrite. Politicians are hypocrites. You can say that.

But that's a pretty big declaration to make. And then to have Charlie Rangel. We had Chris Dodd and the sweetheart deals. We had the Countrywide issue. And look, Republicans have had their scandals as well.

KING: No kidding.

INGRAHAM: But now the Democrats happen to be in power, right? You have to -- you focus on the Republican scandals, Larry, but when Charlie Rangel was a really important figure in the U.S. House of Representatives, and he's very likely guilty of a number of fraudulent actions. Oh, Marc, come on. This is not even passing the straight- face test. Nobody is convicting him of anything. This is an ethics investigation, been going on for years. Everybody in Washington knows about Charlie Rangel.

OK, it is going to continue to never have any resolution. OK.

HILL: I don't want to trade in hearsay here. What I'm saying here is that no one on the left or the right has the market cornered on corruption. I agree there are corrupt Democrats; there are corrupt Republicans. Anyone who declares that by putting Democrats --

INGRAHAM: We're talking about him now. We're talking about the Democrats. Republicans are not in charge.


HILL: Laura, if you stop talking over me, I am conceding the point. I'm agreeing with you. I'm saying it's a mistake for Democrats to say that by coming -- I know you hate agreement -- but for Democrats to come into power to say they're somehow going to get rid of corruption is a lie. It's a flat out lie. I don't say that. What I'm saying here is let's not pretend there is this huge wave of corruption that's bigger than Charlie Rangel, even if he did do something wrong. Let's let the investigation continue. But let's focus on the real issues, which is not Charlie Rangel. That's all I'm saying.

INGRAHAM: Unemployment is a real issue. Absolutely. I want to talk about that all show. Larry, let's do unemployment for the next ten minutes. I'm ready. Let's do it.

KING: Laura --

INGRAHAM: Larry, I have a question. Can I ask you one question, Larry, just one question. What was it like to kiss -- what was it look to kiss Marlon Brando? I have been dying to ask that?

KING: He kissed me.

INGRAHAM: I have been dying. There was a moment there.

KING: All right. All right, Let's get it straight.

INGRAHAM: There was a moment.

KING: At the end of the first interview -- I have interviewed him subsequent to that -- he for some reason kissed me on the lips.


KING: You want to know the truth, Laura. I can't stop thinking about him.

INGRAHAM: I sensed it. I sensed there was a glow, Larry. When he took the Kleenex and he blotted your face, I remember that.

HILL: You seem pretty excited about it too, Laura. Is this some thing you have here?

INGRAHAM: It was magic. It was television magic.

KING: Laura goes around underground garages looking for diaries. We'll be back with more and we'll talk about "The View" right after this.


KING: We're back with Laura Ingraham and Marc Lamont Hill. President Obama covered a wide range of topics with the ladies of "The View," including race. Here is a short excerpt from what he said.


BARBARA WALTERS, "THE VIEW": Your mother was white.

OBAMA: Uh-huh.

WALTERS: Would it be helpful or why don't you say I am not a black president, I am biracial?

OBAMA: You know, when I was young and going through the identity crises that any teenager goes through, I wrote a whole book about this.



OBAMA: Part of what I realized was that if the -- if the world saw me as African-American then that wasn't something that I needed to run away from. That's something that I could go ahead and embrace.


KING: Laura, I know is must puzzle -- why is racism still a question in this country?

INGRAHAM: Well, Larry, I think what happened -- remember a year ago -- remember the Cambridge Police incident with Professor Gates. The president kind of weighed in on that and said that was a dumb thing the police officer did. That set off this conversation. I think, sadly, a lot of people are disappointed that -- they thought they had a post-racial president in President Obama, and because of that, and maybe some of the things that have happened with the immigration debate, they think he might be the most racial president, whether or not he wanted to be.

And so on "The View," that was very interesting. And Barbara Walters was on her game in asking that question. Why don't you call yourself biracial. Obviously, you are half white. It's just a fact. You're half white, half black. So it's biracial. He didn't -- he really stumbled on that question, I thought. I'm not a body language expert. I'll leave that to O'Reilly. But it really seemed to me that he was struggling. He was struggling with that.

He didn't really answer the question. That is a fact. He is black and he is white. And celebrate it. He didn't answer it.

HILL: He actually did answer the question. He made a point to say that the world sees me as African-American. He understands the unique racial legacy of the United States, which at one point had a one drop rule. I mean, literally, if you had one drop of African blood, you were considered black. The reality is President Obama is considered black because he is considered black to the police.

If he were in Cambridge with that police officer, he wouldn't be seen as biracial. If I'm in New York and a cab passes me by, they don't care what percentage of me is white. They see a black person. So the legacy of white supremacy is so permanent and lingering in the United --

INGRAHAM: White supremacy?

HILL: Yes, there is white supremacy in the United States. I know you don't want to acknowledge that. INGRAHAM: We have a biracial or black, whatever we want to call him -- we happen to have a man who is the first black president of the United States. And we had -- we had millions of people who came to Washington, celebrating that. I mean that was amazing for our country. That was -- was that not amazing? Was that not a hurdle we cleared?

HILL: That is a hurdle. That's also a nonsequitur. The point here is that if Joe Lieberman had become president --

INGRAHAM: It's not a nonsequitur. It is a fact.

HILL: If Joe Lieberman were to become president, we wouldn't say that there is no longer anti-Semitism. If Hillary Clinton were president, we would not say that the world is no longer sexist.

INGRAHAM: I don't think anyone is saying that, that there is no racism. Who is saying that?


KING: One at a time. Marc? One at a time.

HILL: Laura, you pointed -- Laura pointed to the election of a black president as evidence that white supremacy no longer lingers.

INGRAHAM: I never said that.

HILL: Even if you want to focus just on public policy, any measure of social prosperity, black people are at the bottom of it. Any measure of social misery, black people are at the top of it.


HILL: Including the unemployment numbers that you just registered. So there are racial numbers.

INGRAHAM: Exactly.

HILL: President Obama is not the first president to link race to public policy. When President Bush ushered in that awful No Child Left Behind policy, part of what he talked about was the achievement gap between blacks and whites. Talking about race isn't the issue here. Nobody wants to be post-racial. They want to be post-racist. That's what we're fighting for.

INGRAHAM: OK, well, one, you said a lot of things there. The number one thing, I think, as Americans is we really want to get beyond the hyphenated America. I do. I'm half Polish, and then Irish, English. We want to get beyond that. I think the country is yearning, Larry and Marc, for authenticity. And they want someone to come forward and offer real solutions for the black community, the Latino community, the white community, the American community. Forget the color of your skin. We need prosperity and jobs in this country.

KING: We'll be back with more of Laura Ingraham and Marc Lamont Hill.


KING: Each year, an estimated 200 to 300 Cambodians are injured or killed by thousands of land mines that are still buried and still active since being planted 30 years ago by the Khmer Rouge. Cambodia has one of the highest numbers of active land mines worldwide. This week's CNN hero put many of those land mines in place when he was an 11-year-old soldier. Today, he revisits former battlefields for an entirely different crusade. Watch.


AKI RA, CNN HERO(through translator): My name is Aki Ra. When I was 10 years old, the Khmer Rouge chose me to be a soldier. Sometimes in a week we were ordered to plant 4,000 to 5,000 mines. I saw a lot of people dying. I put people in danger and damaged the country.

After the war was over, I decided to clear mines by myself. Now, people have joined me. Now it's safe. The villages are requesting us to demine because the people are afraid of mines. I have done a lot of good things different from during the war. I have cleared thousands of mines. I want Cambodia to be safe.


KING: Extraordinary. Our hero has even adopted child victims of land mine blasts. To see more of Aki Ra's story, or nominate someone you think is changing the world, go to Nominations close this Sunday, August 1st. Laura and Marc come back after this.


KING: Back with our remaining moments with Laura Ingraham and Marc Lamont Hill. Laura, what do you -- couple of political things. What do you think of Governor Palin, Sarah Palin, as a possible nominee of the Republican party in 2012?

INGRAHAM: Well, Larry, I'm still surveying the field. I'm going to ask these people in St. Louis behind me. What do you think of Sarah Palin? That's what they think of her.

KING: What do you think of her?

INGRAHAM: So -- well, Larry, here is what I think. I think that Sarah Palin could get a really bad charley horse and, like, CNN would go 24/7 on her. You guys are obsessed with Sarah Palin. She's out there. She's a figure in conservative politics. She sparkles on stage. People love her. She's magnetic.

We don't know whether she wants to run for president, whether she will. I think she is a force to be reckoned with. And I think she's fascinating. I think a lot of people in the race are fascinating. I like her. I like her as a person and I think she's going to do a lot for the party.

KING: Marc, what do you think?

HILL: I think she's fascinating, too, for a whole lot of reasons. I think that she's interesting and I think that she has the ability to be a king maker, particularly in local elections and state- wide elections.

Do I think she has the talent, the credentials to be president? No, I do not. Do I think that she has the political muscle to be president? No, I do not. I think Mitt Romney is a much safer choice. I think Mike Huckabee is a dark horse in this. I think he's been gearing for the last few years. Mike might deny it, but I think he would.

I don't think Sarah Palin would be a wise choice for Republicans. As someone on the left, I would love Sarah Palin to be the nominee. If she becomes the nominee, the Obamas can start sizing up the drapes right now for the next four years.

INGRAHAM: One thing is interesting, Larry, is that she does have more chief experience than Barack Obama had when he ran for president.

HILL: She was mayor of Mayberry.

INGRAHAM: Maybe Alaska doesn't count for Marc, but it's a pretty cool place. You can see Russia from there as well.

KING: One quick thing before we leave. We only have 35 seconds. Laura, how is your health?

INGRAHAM: My health is great, Larry. Five years out. I don't call myself a survivor. I call myself, by the good graces of God and great family and friends, a thriver. You've always been supportive of that. I really appreciate you asking. I have two kids at home, Marie and Dimitri, five and two, and they're my life now. I appreciate your asking. Thank you.

KING: Does five years mean it's over? Does five years mean the cancer is done?

INGRAHAM: Well, Larry, you know what they say. No one gets off this planet alive. So, it's a snapshot. We have a snap of a finger. So I hope for the best. I don't really worry about it.

KING: Laura, congratulations on the book. Marc, thanks for joining us.

HILL: Pleasure. Congrats, Laura.

INGRAHAM: Thank you, Larry. Thanks, Marc.

KING: Laura Ingraham, the book is "The Obama Diaries," Marc Lamont Hill, professor of Columbia University. Tomorrow night, Tony Robbins.

Now "AC 360" with Anderson Cooper. Anderson?