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CNN LARRY KING LIVE

Laura Ingraham on "The Obama Diaries"

Aired August 12, 2010 - 21:00   ET

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


(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

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.

JOY BEHAR, CO-HOST, "THE VIEW": You don't?

KING: Next on LARRY KING LIVE.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

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 are -- 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.

KING: OK.

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

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.

(CROSSTALK)

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 my -- hood of my SUV. I was shaking, Larry. I was trembling. It was 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.

INGRAHAM: So --

(CROSSTALK)

KING: Let's give the public an example.

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

KING: Yes, I want you -- 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."

(LAUGHTER)

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 -- 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.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

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 like 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 down 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: -- ninety-six days of his first year and a half. Obama, 36 days.

INGRAHAM: Well, I think what --

KING: How do you --

INGRAHAM: 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, Larry. 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 also meet with King Juan Carlos and Queen Sophia, that's all fine.

But at a time where 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 --

INGRAHAM: Yes.

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.

(APPLAUSE)

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've 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 --

(APPLAUSE)

INGRAHAM: You don't have the consent of the governed. And I think -- and 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 --

KING: OK.

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.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

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 Loop21.com.

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 toward 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 -- do I think the president is fair game? Of course. Do I think that some of it is funny? Absolutely. But I think someone as talented and smart as Laura could be directing her energy toward 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: All right, Laura, you may respond.

INGRAHAM: You know, Larry, I love Marc Lamont Hill. I mean he's a great one to duke it out with. But look, the Obamas are people. We are all people. They're not deities. They're not monarchs.

And 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, you know, what sleeveless wants, sleeveless gets. I mean that's not how it works.

(LAUGHTER)

HILL: Well, Laura, I don't think -- I don't think that -- 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: She didn't.

HILL: No, no --

INGRAHAM: Totally different. Not -- that's an inept analogy. It's an inept analogy.

HILL: It's --

HILL: She was not on the campaign trail campaigning. She didn't have three cabinet secretaries trailing around with her.

HILL: That's not the point. That's not the point.

KING: One at -- hold on. 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 deficits (ph) in places like Detroit, Chicago, Philadelphia, and New York, where people have to go miles and miles for fresh fruit and vegetables.

INGRAHAM: Are you -- HILL: I mean there are real issues here. Let's deal with that instead of beating up on the president or -- or his wife.

INGRAHAM: No, no, no. No, no, 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.

HILL: I agree.

INGRAHAM: 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 --

HILL: Well, but --

KING: Let's get into some --

(CROSSTALK)

KING: Let's get into some specifics. Let's go. Marc, the --

(APPLAUSE)

KING: 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's 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 -- you know, vicious, ugly and vile pieces of public policy we've seen in the last 15 years.

INGRAHAM: Vicious?

HILL: Absolutely. It's vicious. It's based on xenophobia. And it's probably unconstitutional in that it abused --

INGRAHAM: I've got buy a vowel on that one, Marc. HILL: In that it --

INGRAHAM: I mean, vicious?

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

KING: Laura --

INGRAHAM: OK. Ugly. Vile. Vicious. I mean --

KING: Let Laura respond.

INGRAHAM: This is not an argument. OK. 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're an alien living in this country, if you're a permanent resident, you're an alien, you're 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're here illegally.

And you can sugarcoat it. You can say it's 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.

(APPLAUSE)

HILL: Well, a, some of what you're arguing, Laura, is just a straw argument. Remember I began from the premise that the federal government needs to enforce the law. But what I think we need are more --

INGRAHAM: Well, they're not going to enforce them.

HILL: What we need --

INGRAHAM: They're not enforcing them, Marc. That's why we're where we are.

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

INGRAHAM: So states are supposed to do nothing, just sit there and hope that it gets done? KING: Laura, don't interrupt. One at a time.

HILL: This is a different network. We won't interrupt each other. 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 laws like NAFTA, which creates 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 politics which is what the right has been doing.

INGRAHAM: OK.

HILL: And the left has been sitting on its hands while this has happened.

INGRAHAM: Can I?

KING: We're going to take a break and come right -- hold it, guys.

(CROSS TALK)

INGRAHAM: It's him. OK.

HILL: No, he's talking to me, Laura.

INGRAHAM: When I get back, can I -- one quick, Larry, what we have in effect basically --

KING: All right, go ahead, Laura. Quick response.

INGRAHAM: What we have in effect basically 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're 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 actually --

KING: OK. Let's move -- going to move to other things.

HILL: That's just not true.

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

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

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.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

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 that I have been guilty of corruption, wrongdoing, self dealing, or any of the things that some of the reporters have been saying.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

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.

But 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.

So, 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.

(CROSS TALK)

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.

INGRAHAM: Yeah.

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.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

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.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

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.

WALTERS: Yes.

(CROSS TALK)

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.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

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?

(CROSS TALK)

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.

INGRAHAM: Right.

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.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

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.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: Michael Moore is with us tonight. The Oscar winning documentary filmmaker, founder of the Traverse City Film Festival, an annual event which kicks off right now and runs through Sunday. Michael joins us from Traverse City.

What's your reaction to the Wiki Leaks of the Afghan war documents?

MOORE: Well, I think -- I think that we have this war machine that was built on a lie a number of years ago, incredible lies that have cost thousands of lives, billions of dollars. And one brave soldier by the name of Bradley Manning decided that the truth had to be told. And he said he was willing to do it regardless of the consequences.

And he essentially followed the Nuremberg principles which is when you see something going on like this, when you see war crimes being committed, when you see lies being told in order to bring a country to war, you have to speak out against it. You can't just line up and be a good German and do what you're told to do.

So, this brave soldier put up on the Internet through Wikileaks footage that was just absolutely incredible and sad and pathetic to watch. And for that, now, he's been arrested, he's in jail. This is -- the opposite should be happening. He should be rewarded for saying, I witnessed a lie and I'm going to tell my fellow Americans the truth.

KING: Wikileaks will not confirm the source, though. He's been arrested, but the assumption is that he's the source. It is not yet a fact.

MOORE: Yes.

KING: All right. You see him as a hero. How do you see the leaks affecting the Obama administration which has condemned them?

MOORE: Well, that's -- that's a bit of an Orwellian moment because -- because you have the Obama administration essentially defending the cover-up and the lying that took place primarily during the Bush years. And, so, for the Obama administration to take this position as just, you know, he should be saying, look, this is exactly who we want in our armed force as we want men and women of conscience and people who will stand up and fight for the things they believe in.

And that's what this soldier, this young soldier, 22 years old, has done. And he deserves our support, our gratitude. His legal defense fund now deserves our help, whatever we can do. I'm just disappointed the Obama administration doesn't give him a profile in courage award as opposed to the way he's being treated right now.

KING: You backed Obama in 2008. More people on the left angry at him than appear on the right. How do you feel now? Do you think that possibly --

MOORE: That's impossible. That's impossible.

KING: Do you think a person left of Obama politically might challenge him in 2012?

MOORE: No, I think what needs to happen is those of us who voted for him need to get him to do the things we elected him to do and to not be afraid to do those things. It -- it -- I think that's probably been the disappointment, but to say that people on the left are more against him than people on the right, trust me, we know that isn't true because all the craziness that he's had to put up with, all the racist comments he's had to put up with, all the questioning whether or not he's even an American citizen, all this stuff is just so, you know, our criticisms on the left are because, you know, he is -- he is of good heart, and we believe that he'll do the right thing.

If he doesn't do the right thing, he will probably depress the vote on the Democratic side this November, and the Republicans could take back one or two Houses of Congress. I'd hate to see that happen. So, Mr. Obama, now is the chance to be all that you can be and do the things that we elected you to do. And if I can say, this incident last week with Shirley Sherrod and Fox News was a good example of how the White House seems to be so deathly afraid of the other side that they were willing to get rid of this woman before Fox even ran their attack.

I mean, that -- if that's really where we're at, where the majority of the country has said we want a Democrat in the White House, we want a Democratic House, we want a Democratic Senate, and we want them to do these things regarding jobs, the economy, the war, et cetera, and then they cower in the oval office worrying about what Fox News is going to do starting at 5:00 p.m. and then react in this crazy-making way, I mean, I hope they got a bit of comeuppance this week with this and will get back to doing the job we elected them to do.

KING: Concerning Sherrod, what does that say about race in America?

MOORE: Well, we still have -- we still have a big problem. That's what it says. We all know that. I mean, we know we've had a big problem for a long time. It's gotten better. Things usually do get better, and hopefully, this will continue to get better. Our best hope really are the younger generations who've grown up in a much better environment where their friends, their relationships, their culture does not have racism as any building block of their foundation. And so -- so the future for me, I think, it looks good. Right now, we still have obviously a problem.

KING: OK. Let's turn to the oil disaster. What are your thoughts on this whole mess?

MOORE: Well, I have a number of thoughts. All the obvious ones I don't need to say about British petroleum or, you know, the corporate -- the conglomerates, the oil companies that essentially call the shots. They buy our politicians. They buy the government. They buy the rules. They rig it in such a way where when the inspectors come to inspect these oil rigs the -- the corporation already fills it out for them and then they just -- you know, they pencil it in and then they ink over it, so they don't have to really do inspections. And that's just how pathetic it's gotten in terms of how the oil companies are running the show. But what I've wondered is, it took -- what was it, 85 days almost before they were able to plug the leak? I mean, Larry, this was a seven-inch hole at the ocean bed, 36 inches in the pipe where we saw the oil gushing out, 36 inches, 7 inches. We're Americans. I mean, for crying out loud, I mean, have we forgotten how to do anything? That it would take us 85 days to figure out how to plug a seven-inch hole? I mean, really, what has happened to us? And you could make a list of so many things of how our culture has just, you know -- I mean, it just nothing works anymore.

You can't get anybody on the phone, you know. If you do get anybody on the phone, you know, they're in the Philippines or some place. I just -- I just -- I just think that historians when they write about us are going to say that we allowed these corporations to become the government. And we, the people, thought we still had a say, but really don't. and that's --

KING: Michael Moore, congratulations on six years.

MOORE: Vote for the Democrat. All right. Thank you. Thank you so much, Larry. Come on to Travers City sometime.

KING: Now, "AC 360" with Anderson Cooper. Anderson?