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Interview with Michael Moore

Aired March 19, 2013 - 21:00   ET


PIERS MORGAN, HOST: Tonight an hour with Michael Moore. My exclusive interview with the director of "Bowling for Columbine" and "Fahrenheit 9/11" talking about the 10th anniversary of shock and awe.

Are the Catholic Church would change under Pope Francis?

And of course guns in America.

MICHAEL MOORE, DOCUMENTARY FILMMAKER: Guns don't kill people. Americans kill people. We're -- we do this more than anybody else.

MORGAN: The right to bear arms.

MOORE: Now if the founding fathers could have looked into a crystal ball and seen AK-47s and Glock semi-automatic pistols I think they would say, you know, that's not really what we mean when we say bear arms.

MORGAN: Why in the wake of a tragedy at Newtown Michael Moore has changed his mind about this.

MOORE: I am not going to come on another damn TV show either after the next shooting, Piers.

MORGAN: This is PIERS MORGAN LIVE. And I'm here with my special guest, Michael Moore. We've got a lot to talk about tonight. He's a passionate advocate of gun control. I know he has strong feelings about Harry Reid's decision on the Senate today to drop a proposed ban on semi-automatic weapons in the wake of the appalling slaughter in Newtown. Are the senators' actions indefensible?

Meanwhile, breaking news in Syria. May have used chemical weapons in this massive civil war. It comes as President Obama is on his way to the region tonight on his first visit to Israel and the West Bank since he became president and as 55 people were killed and more than 200 wounded in battle scenes all over Iraq on the 10th anniversary of shock and awe.

I want to bring in at the start of this now from CNN's Arwa Damon who's live in Iraq.

Arwa, another terrible day. No other way to describe it in Baghdad. Ten years on the anniversary of George Bush's announcement that America was at war with Iraq. Fifty-five people killed. More than 200 wounded. Very hard to see that there is anything but chronic instability and continued hideous bloodshed there. What is your take?

ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It's such a tragedy really the way that things have unfolded in Iraq. Just looking at Iraqi's faces today following those attack that took place, seeing how pale they had become. We are just hearing after one attack after another. People's voices actually began trembling.

This is violence that, first of all, the Iraqis never even imagined would end up being the outcome of America's war in Iraq. So many of them had hoped and dreamed that they would have true freedom, democracy, that their horizons would be open. They've dealt with everything, all of the violence that has wrecked this country over the last 10 years. And to be reminded of that again on this 10th anniversary, it shocks people and it completely and totally devastated them -- Piers.

MORGAN: And it comes of course as this crisis in Syria reaches what could be a tipping point where there are reports that President Assad, although it is still unconfirmed and his people are saying, no, no, it was the rebels, but it looks -- more likely to have been Assad's forces have used chemical weapons, killing 16 people, wounding scores more.

How significant is this, do you think?

DAMON: Well, first of all, it needs to be substantiated if those chemical weapons were, in fact, used. There has been, as you mentioned, there are conflicting information over -- the regime is accusing the rebels of firing these weapons. The rebels are saying that's absolutely impossible, we do not even have that kind of weaponry at our disposal.

But military analysts do believe that Syria has one of the largest stockpiles of chemical weapons in the world and the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Mike Rogers, saying that there is a high probability that the Assad regime has in fact used chemical weapons, although they are awaiting final verification.

Bearing in mind, too, that there have been allegations in the past that chemical weapons were used in Syria and Homs, for example, late last year. Those allegations were never substantiated. The Bush -- sorry, the White House has been saying in the past that this would be something of a red line, a game changer when it comes to Syria.

And, Piers, when I was last there in December in the city of Aleppo, you know, doctors there -- that were working with the rebels were actually trying to design their own chemical suits and masks because they had absolutely nothing with which they could protect themselves. And so the opposition does believe that if pushed into a corner the Assad regime most certainly would resort to that kind of weaponry.

But again at this point in time it has not been completely verified that these chemical weapons were, in fact, used. MORGAN: It had to happen all the time. Thank you very much, indeed.

Michael, let's turn to this first off about what's happening in Syria. It is almost deja vu, isn't it? You have a bad guy, to many people's eyes a dictator who may have unleashed chemical weapons. If it is verified that he has, and clearly with Saddam Hussein although he had in the past when push came to shove after the invasion it turned out he hadn't got any chemical weapons.

And if turns out Assad has got them and has used them against the rebels, what is the proportionate reaction should come from America?

MOORE: Well, let's put this into context. The chemical weapons that Saddam Hussein used on the Kurds were given to him by us. The American people. He was our ally. We funded him. We armed him. We helped him with an eight-year war against Iran. These so-called weapons of mass destruction which of course the weapons inspectors knew were not there. Everybody knew that they weren't there.

They -- the weapons we'd given him in the past, we never talk about those. We never talk about how we are the ones who actually helped these dictators around the world. As far as Assad and Syria goes, you know, I just think as Americans now whenever we're told anything, somebody comes on and says there's reports that maybe this and maybe that. We have to have the most skeptical, critical eye and ear to what we are being told.


MORGAN: That's my problem with it is that here we go again. We were told Saddam had chemical weapons and was about to use them. Now we're told Assad has. And many will say this is just a pretext for going in and going into some kind of advanced war with Assad.


MORGAN: How do we know who to believe here?

MOORE: Well, you start by not believing the people who lied to you before. The American government lied to its own people. I mean, I -- honestly, I don't know of a worse lie one could tell other than a lie to take a country to war. To make up things to take people to war. That's just got to be the most obscene, immoral thing to do. So this government hasn't earned the right to be trusted. If it says Assad has chemical weapons or if it says Ahmadinejad has a nuclear weapon --

MORGAN: But it's not this government, is it, that went to war with Saddam?


You have to differentiate.

MOORE: Which government? You're talking about Obama versus Bush?


MOORE: I'm talking about the real government. Wall Street, the banks, the corporations, the people who made $2.2 trillion we spent on the Iraq war. Who made the money? Soldiers in the field? I don't think so. Now this is always about the people who have the purse strings and the politicians who are bought off by them. And so if they come on now and tell me anything about this, you know, Ahmadinejad is building a bomb.

Really? Well, I'll believe it, you know, when he walks in the room with it and then shows to me. Frankly, I mean, that's really -- that's just how much I would not trust anything being said by the military industrial complex of this great country.

MORGAN: When you see what happens just today in Baghdad, 55 people killed and I think 17 different bombings. Two other assassinations took place. Two hundred plus people wounded. That's a typical day in Baghdad.

MOORE: That's right.

MORGAN: Over the last few years.

MOORE: That's right.

MORGAN: I mean, this is not peace. This is not democracy. This is not freedom.

MOORE: Right. Right. Now --

MORGAN: What is it?

MOORE: What it is is -- first of all we set this thing up to where we supported the Shiites and the Sunnis are now -- there is going to be a version of a civil war. Right now, as we speak here live on CNN there is an alternate reality taking place on another network. And they're over there today saying how great it is. Iraq's free.

MORGAN: You mean FOX.

MOORE: Yes. I don't really want to, you know, disparage --


MORGAN: Well, Donald -- let me read this tweet from Donald Rumsfeld.


MORGAN: Ten years ago become a long difficult work liberating 25 million Iraqis, all who played a role in history deserve our respect and appreciation. MOORE: Well, he's a war criminal as far as I'm concerned. I don't understand why he, Bush, Cheney, Wolfowitz, are still walking the streets. You know, they can get -- the whole -- the way they are trying to revise history by saying well, it was a mistake or we were given bad information.

You know if -- let's say somebody sent me a tweet to us right now or sent me an e-mail that said, Goldman Sachs downtown right now in their basement they have kidnapped children and they're holding them there. And I tell the police this. What will happen to me when they go down to Goldman Sachs and find out that there's actually no kids kidnapped in the basement of Goldman Sachs?

And you -- of course, you would think I would want to go after Goldman Sachs as Bush wanted to go after Saddam. But I think I'd be arrested. I think I'd be arrested if I produced false information. And to just say it's a mistake, you know, if somebody ran over your 4- year-old, they go out of the car, and they go, I'm sorry. It's a mistake.

MORGAN: I mean, I heard today the former British Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott who's Tony Blair's deputy. And Britain have the same thing, you know, we were told Saddam has weapons of mass destruction, that is why we're talking British troops to war. It was a completely false pretext and I heard him today saying, well, I changed my mind now. It was a mistake. We shouldn't have done it.

It's a bit late, isn't it?

MOORE: Yes. Yes.

MORGAN: Back in the day, Tony Blair is standing by what he did. George Bush stands by what he did.

MOORE: What happens --

MORGAN: But to say simply, well, we got it wrong.

MOORE: Yes. Well, that's not good enough.


MORGAN: But -- how -- if you get a war wrong what are the repercussions?

MOORE: Yes. Unless there are repercussions. Unless we do take Blair and Bush and Cheney and these guys to task right now still. If this doesn't happen what's the message to future presidents and prime ministers. They're like, wow, those guys got away with that. And that was like a -- that was a bunch of, you know, malarkey. How did they ever get away with that? I think it's -- you know --

MORGAN: I mean, it's quite depressing in Iraq because you look at it now.

MOORE: Yes. MORGAN: You see that the Kurds in the north basically have their own seceded country in a way. They have their own passports, I'm told now.


MORGAN: So they're completely distinct from the rest of Iraq. You have Shia who were afforded power by America, by the allied forces. But of course when they did that they removed all infrastructure.

MOORE: Right.

MORGAN: Now I read a very interesting piece by Fareed Zakaria today, a CNN colleague, about the difference between what happened in Iraq and what saved Mandela did in South Africa. That when he took power, rather than getting rid of all the other people in power both militarily and politically, he kept most of them in place. He brought them inclusively into his new South Africa. As a result there was no insurgency.

MOORE: We did that.

MORGAN: America and Britain --

MOORE: With the Germans.

MORGAN: -- and other countries did the complete opposite.

MOORE: Right.

MORGAN: They dismantled all the infrastructure.

MOORE: Right. Right.

MORGAN: Everything, Baathist was removed.

MOORE: Right.

MORGAN: That is what created --


MORGAN: -- this vacuum that created the insurgency from Sunnis who went, you know what, OK, if that's the way you're going to treat us, we're going to be insurgents.

MOORE: Right. Well, we had some crazy people in charge. And they -- and they installed not very bright people to be in charge of Iraq, if you remember that at the beginning. People that had no training, had no military training. Didn't know anything about anything. And these were the people calling the shots.

Ten years ago tonight, 10 years ago tonight, in this hour, that we're sitting in right now.

MORGAN: It was, it was in this hour. Yes.

MOORE: At --


MOORE: 9:42 p.m. Eastern Time, the bombing started. And the fact that no one has paid for this criminal act that -- why would an American such as George W. Bush send thousands of Americans off to their deaths? For what -- for what reason? And why doesn't he have to answer for that? It's -- I just -- you know, I'm going to -- look, I said this back then. I took a lot of hit for it. Everybody told me there were going to be weapons of mass destruction.

A lot of people said things at work, they said things at school. People watching the show will remember. They were ostracized.


MOORE: There were -- that, you know, you weren't -- you couldn't say anything. The Dixie Chicks lost their career. They were finished. Other people lost jobs. It was --

MORGAN: Total mess.

MOORE: Not a good -- not a -- yes. Because we were told at that time in a democracy we are not allowed to dissent. We are not allowed to ask questions. And they learned from Vietnam and the previous wars don't put these images on the screen. Don't let them see the coffins coming back home. And let's get our media embedded.

MORGAN: Let's end this segment by reading -- these are the results of the CNN/ORC poll recently about Iraq. They were asked, would you say the initial decision to send U.S. troops to Iraq was a smart or dumb thing to do? Americans replied 59 percent dumb, 38 percent smart.

Was Iraq war a mistake? Yes, 56 percent, no, 43 percent. And so on and so on. I mean everyone one of these.


MORGAN: Did the Bush administration mislead the U.S. public about WMD, yes, 54 percent, no 44.

MOORE: That's why this is a great country. Actually the majority of Americans got it together.

MORGAN: Right.

MOORE: The majority of Americans, though, are never listened to. We're going to talk about guns, I guess, in a few minutes.

MORGAN: Well, I'm going to take --


I'm going to take a break.

MOORE: No one is being listened to.

MORGAN: I want to -- because this brings me neatly to guns because there's so much going on with that at the moment, not least of which Harry Reid basically saying forget about the assault weapons ban.


MORGAN: Let's talk about that after the break because I'm sure you're as angry about that as I am.

MOORE: Yes. Yes. What a weenie.



SEN. HARRY REID (D), MAJORITY LEADER: Dianne has worked so hard in this. She understands going back to the day she had found a mayor dead in his office killed how strongly she feels about that. I know that. But right now her amendment using the most optimistic numbers has less than 40 votes. That's not 60.


MORGAN: Senator Harry Reid today spreading his stunning decision to drop the assault weapons ban proposed by Senator Dianne Feinstein.

Back with Moore, I was just incensed when I heard this. You know, hearing Harry Reid say, well, I can't get enough votes so we're just going to put it on the back burner. This is about prohibiting the kind of weapons that murdered those poor children at Sandy Hook. That's what this is about. That's what's been put on the back burner. What was your reaction?

MOORE: Well, I have so many things to say we don't have time to cover them all. Harry Reid and these Democrats, I mean, this is not something that's unusual. Democrats have a history of backing away, backing down. They are the ones that accepted the new math that the majority meant 60 instead of 51.

And this attitude of, well, we're not going to be able to, we're not going to get -- you know, this is why our side -- we have these weenies on our side. There's -- well, if we did -- we can't get the votes, you know. This is what I actually admire about Republicans. They've got the courage of their convictions. No matter how crazy their idea is. Transvaginal probes. They will not step back. They will not --

MORGAN: Well, look at the NRA.

MOORE: They would vote for it.


MOORE: They are the same way. The same way.

MORGAN: The NRA -- Wayne LaPierre has driven this campaign now since Aurora, when he came on the floor, and since Sandy Hook. He has continued to do this.

Here's the thing about LaPierre, though. He has flip-flopped on these key issues. Take background checks. Here's what he said in 1999 about background checks.


WAYNE LAPIERRE, CEO, NATIONAL RIFLE ASSOCIATION: We think it's reasonable to provide mandatory instant criminal background checks for every sale at every gun show. No loopholes anywhere for anyone.

We do not because the fact is the law right now is a failure the way it's working. The fact is you have 76,000-some people that have been denied under the present law. Only 44 were prosecuted. You're letting them go. They are walking the streets.


MORGAN: Utterly shameless. He's also, Wayne LaPierre, said previously that schools should be gun-free zones. Now he says everyone in the school should be armed. The man does any U-turn that suits him. And yet he is winning this war in Washington.

Why is he winning it? Why does the NRA continue to wield this power?

I've got a tweet here from Ted Nugent. "You should ask Michael Moore this. Will you ever admit that your 'Bowling for Columbine' big lie is a manipulative, dishonest, propaganda smear against the good families of the NRA and the honorable American legendary freedom warrior Charlton Heston?"

MOORE: OK. Listen, OK. Ted and I are both from Michigan. But there's a reason why in Detroit we call him the Motor City madman. You know, he's been off his rocker for a long time. I feel bad about that because he actually had some good music back in the day. But, listen, the thing here with Wayne LaPierre -- by the way, actually I thought he's aged pretty well.

MORGAN: And by the way, he's never come on the show.

MOORE: He won't come on here?

MORGAN: I have repeatedly asked him.

Mr. LaPierre, if you're watching.

MOORE: That's odd.

MORGAN: You've gone on every other show. Come on my show.

MOORE: Yes, because they're doing (INAUDIBLE).

MORGAN: Debate and explain to me why you said this about background checks before and now have done a complete U-turn. Why you think schools should be gun-free zones but now you think they should be full of guns. Just come and explain to me. Be a man and do it.

MOORE: And, Wayne, if you're still watching, I'll protect you because he's really mad about this.


MORGAN: I am mad about it. I don't --


MOORE: He is mad. No, and I'm so glad that you have led the parade here on this. Thank god you haven't been deported. You're still here. But you have been relentless about this.

MORGAN: But it makes me so -- makes me so angry.

MOORE: And you're the opposite of Harry Reid.

MORGAN: It makes me so angry, and it makes me so angry that Dianne Feinstein who's seen it first hand.


MORGAN: What these guns can do to people.


MORGAN: You know, she has literally picked up the pieces.


MOORE: What has happened to all the idea of just, this is what we believe in and we are going ahead with it. Even if we don't have the votes we're going to go ahead with it because we believe in this. That's what the other side does. We don't do that. What is it -- I mean, Harry Reid should get 10 million e-mails in his box tomorrow. Everybody watching the show and everybody should, you know, text or tweet 10 other people tonight and say, send a message to Harry Reid tomorrow.

MORGAN: Well, see --


MOORE: Let's put this assault weapons ban back on the agenda.

MORGAN: Right. Here's what Barbra Streisand tweeted to you via me. She said, "How can Americans organize to make their voices heard on gun control, and the economy and rising income inequality so they can demand change on these urgent issues?"

Take up the gun control thing. What can the American public, the majority of whom want an assault weapons ban, want a universal background check, et cetera. What can they do if their politicians are simply too cowardly to act on their behalf because of the power of the NRA?

MOORE: People are going to have to let these politicians know that they're going to be voted out in the next term. If they're not afraid of the electorate they're never going to do these things that they need to do. But we have lots of examples of when people do rise up. When people's voices are heard loudly. These politicians are just as frightened and back off.

And the politicians need to be reminded that there's nearly five million members of the NRA and there's 303 million Americans who are not members of the NRA. You know, Wayne says there's 100 million Americans that own a gun. Well, there's 200 million that don't.

MORGAN: But here's the thing --

MOORE: We are the majority.

MORGAN: Right. The majority, though, is being outshouted, outgunned, you might say, quite literally by the NRA. The minority are having the biggest voice in the debate and they are winning the argument.

MOORE: Right. OK.

MORGAN: You cannot look at what happened today with what Harry Reid has done and not say he's been cowed by the NRA.

MOORE: People watching the show right now can get out their iPhone or BlackBerry, their laptop, and send an e-mail right now to Harry Reid. Or do it after the show. But they won't do anything if people don't stand up and say something. Especially the Democrats. So this is going to require people -- or actually not sit back on the couch tonight, and go, oh, geez, that Harry Reid, you know, I guess, we didn't have the 60 votes.

Put the Republicans on the spot. Make them vote on this.

MORGAN: You know when I saw --

MOORE: Make them stand up and filibuster if that's what they're going to threaten to do.

MORGAN: When I saw Senator Portman doing a complete U-turn about gay rights and gay marriage because his own son had come out to him. And I totally respected him for doing it and that's fine. But it did cross my mind, how many of these senators who in my view probably do think there should be an assault weapons ban, probably do think there should be universal background checks, but they have decided to go against their principle to protect their political seats. How many would change if one of their kids had been in that Sandy Hook school? Had gone through a Portman-like experience? In other words, it was right home to them and their families?

MOORE: Well, I think we all know the answer to that question. If a man with an assault weapon goes into the school where Harry Reid's grandchildren go to school tomorrow and kills his grandchildren, what -- would he stand in front of that microphone at 5:00 and say, I know how Dianne, you know, had to witness the mayor getting murdered and I just -- my grandchildren just got killed today, but you know, we can't get it passed because we just don't have the votes.

Would he do that really? I don't think so. And --

MORGAN: Neither any of them would. Let's take a break, let's come back and talk specifically about the aftermath of Sandy Hook. You wrote a very, very powerful blog. Very contentious. And I want to talk to you about that.

MOORE: All right.



MOORE: Politicians would respond quickly if people would just rise up and say, damn it, this is not the America I'm going to live in. This is too great of a country to let this happen again. I am not going to let this happen again. And I am not going to come on another damn TV show, either, after the next one of these shootings, Piers, because I haven't done it for 10 years.

I -- to be nice to you -- and you're a good guy. And you made a good case to me to come on. But I'm sick of this. I refuse it. I refuse to live in a country like this.


MORGAN: Michael Moore on this show just after the movie theater massacre in Aurora, Colorado. He's back with me now. And sadly, we are talking about guns again. Michael, why the change of mind?

MOORE: Well, your people, your producers have called me since Aurora. That was back in July, throughout the fall when there were a number of what we call now the smaller massacres, the four, five, six that are killed. I said, I told you, I'm not coming back on after every gun shooting. Let's bring in that guy that made "Bowling for Columbine."

And after Newtown, of course, your people asked me to come on. I have not gone on a single show since Newtown to talk about this, because as I said to you that night, I'm not going to be a pundit about this. I'm going to be a big pain in the ass about this. I'm going to act. I'm going to be doing things. For instance, this Saturday night, I have joined with Move On and a whole bunch of progressive groups. And we are holding thousands of house gatherings in people's homes this Saturday night. We are all going to watch "Bowling for Columbine" together. Then I'm going to be live in their living rooms via the Internet to take questions, to discuss what are we going to do, grassroots all the way, all across America. Anybody can do this too, on Saturday night.

MORGAN: We had an amazing statistic just before we went to the break there. Nearly 3,000 Americans have been killed with guns since Sandy Hook. That nearly as many people died on 9/11.

MOORE: On 9/11.

MORGAN: Can you imagine if the response in America to 9/11 had been, we can't do anything? We can't get the votes? Because that's as many Americans that have been killed with guns. I also read today that in Newtown, they have a doubling of the rate of people in Newtown alone applying for gun permits. Because the NRA have got out there and said, you all need to be armed. Everybody in America must be armed, teachers, nurses, so on and so on.

Two big rock stars, Rob Thomas and Nikki Sixx, tweeted the same thing today. "Hear you have Michael Moore on the show. Would love to hear him talk about his blog on guns." The reason they said that is that you said in your blog about Sandy Hook -- this was last week -- it may take a moment as dramatic as one of the parents releasing the pictures of their child after they had been slaughtered by Adam Lanza in that school that day.

Why do you think that would make a difference? Some of those parents were offended by it. They felt it was an offensive suggestion.

MOORE: No. There was something on Fox News. Nobody was offended, actually, because everybody knows and people that I knew in Newtown know that you would want this to happen only if the parents approved of it. In my blog last week I talked about a young man by the name of named Emmett Till in 1955, a young black kid who was murdered down south simply because he was black. And his mother insisted that there be an open coffin, because she wanted photographers, the news people to see what happened to this 14-year- old boy, to see what racism and bigotry does.

That galvanized the country back then. It was just three months later that Rosa Parks refused to get up out of her seat on that bus. The images of Vietnam, Mi Lai, the little girl running down the street with napalm burning the skin off of her, these were powerful images that turned the country against this immoral war. But that's why the person in charge have wised up. Like I said earlier, they don't want to show these images anymore, because they know what it does to people.

I just said in this blog that we live in a different age now with the Internet and everything. Don't be surprised if a parent -- and there already was one parent. The parent of Noah Posner Veronique, who did not want the casket closed until the governor of Connecticut came there. She wanted the governor to see essentially half of Noah's face blown off.

The gun makers and NRA don't want you to see this. Adam Lanza -- and I don't even like to even say his name, because I don't like any of these people to be getting, you know, the thing that they are looking for, the fame or whatever. But he fired up to 11 bullets into each child.

MORGAN: Each child.

MOORE: What that means is -- remember, he's very close. He's got an assault rifle. He's very close to a six-year-old.

MORGAN: He's blowing these kids to pieces.

MOORE: That's right. The first bullet kills the little child. What kind of mind says, you know, I have killed, now I'm going to put 10 more bullets. And if people could see at close range what those kind of bullets out of a Bushmaster would do to a little child's body, I -- that would be the end of Harry Reid and the so-called gun debate. We would have laws that we need in this country within a month.

So perhaps there will be a parent, perhaps there will be somebody in law enforcement. Perhaps somebody will just say, you know, with the parents' permission, I think that America must not look away. That's what we have been doing. We like to look away.

MORGAN: Here's what's going to happen.

MOORE: You know, our child isn't over in Iraq or Afghanistan, so we don't have to think about it.

MORGAN: When you came on after Aurora, you were very passionate. You said, I'm sick of this. Yet within four months, we had an arguably even worse atrocity happen. Only yesterday --

MOORE: Yeah.

MORGAN: We had this young student who was armed to the teeth in his room. He had an assault rifle, a handgun. He bought a thousand rounds of ammunition. He'd ordered a load of stuff on the Internet. It arrived that day, two 20-bullet magazines. Let's take a look at what the police chief -- sheriff said down there after this discovery.


RICHARD BEARY, UCF POLICE CHIEF: I don't think that you acquire two 110-round magazines and numerous .22 capacity magazines and that you purchase a thousand rounds of ammunition and that purchase the .45 ammunition. I don't think you just do that as a joke.


MORGAN: Right. And in Columbine, those 16-year-old kids went to K-Mart and they sold them hundreds -- thousands of rounds of ammo. A teenager was able to walk in and nobody says anything.


MORGAN: The guy Holmes in Aurora.

MOORE: There will be an Aurora next month. And there will be a Sandy Hook the month after that. And this is just going to keep going on and on and on until people rise up, until people take Harry Reid by the collar and say, who the hell do you think you are? This is our country, Harry Reid.

MORGAN: He should be ashamed of himself.

MOORE: He should absolutely be ashamed of himself.

MORGAN: Every senator in that U.S. Senate who is voting against their principles.

MOORE: Is it Harry dot Reid? Harry_Reid -- and that's R-E-I-D --

MORGAN: That's his official Senate address.

MOORE: Ten million e-mails tomorrow morning. I'm serious. And listen, if you're watching this and you don't take the time now to send him an e-mail, don't complain about it after the next shooting.


MORGAN: Let's take a quick break. I want to stay on guns for a little bit. Then we're going to talk about the pope. I feel angry about this today. I think this is a day that is shaming America. It's shaming the Senate.

MOORE: Shameful Democrats. Absolutely, absolutely shameful.


MORGAN: Breaking news has come in. CNN can now project that former Governor Mark Sanford will finish first in the South Carolina GOP Congressional primary, but he's short of the 50 percent needed to avoid a runoff. CNN cannot yet project his opponent.

Also, CNN can now project that Elizabeth Colbert-Bushe, the sister of Stephen, is the winner in the Democratic primary in the state's first special congressional primary. Congratulations to her.

I'm back with Michael Moore, who hasn't won any primaries tonight, as far as I'm aware, apart from angriest man in America.

MOORE: I'm all for Stephen's sister winning in South Carolina.

MORGAN: Absolutely. Two more Tweets have come in the break there. One from Yoko Ono, "Over 1,057,000 people have been killed by guns in America since John Lennon was shot and killed on the 8th of December, 1980," Tweeted to you and I. MOORE: Over a million.

MORGAN: One million since John Lennon, her partner, her husband, was killed.


MORGAN: Absolutely shocking. And Suze Orman has Tweeted this, just saying, "I agree. This is a shameful day."

You know something, this will go away if people let it go away.

MOORE: That's right.

MORGAN: The more and more people who now get animated and exercised and bloody angry about this, the more chance there is that people like Harry Reid will not be able to just park this away. Because there will be more outrages this year.

MOORE: Right. So, again, let me say -- and by the way, we are getting bounce back on that e-mail that I gave. So just go to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's website. There is a email form.


MOORE: Or if you want to Tweet him, he's on Twitter.

MORGAN: Tweet him tonight.

MOORE: @SenatorReid.

MORGAN: Tweet Senator Reid tonight. Ask what he's doing in your name. Because if you don't agree with this, this is a guy you need to talk to. He's the one calling literally the shots.

MOORE: Knowing full well that a vast majority of Americans want the assault weapons ban. He knows this.

MORGAN: And background checks.

MOORE: What kind of balls does that take really, to stand in front of a microphone knowing 55, 60, 65 percent and higher percentages on the other parts of the bill want this. Vast majority of Americans want this. You stand up there and say, well, you know --

MORGAN: Here's the problem. Here's what Sarah Palin said at CPAC this weekend about background checks, which seems to me to just be a bleedingly obvious thing to do. Watch this.


SARAH PALIN, FORMER GOVERNOR OF ALASKA: Background checks? Yeah, I guess to learn more about a person's thinking and associations and intentions. More background checks. Dandy idea, Mr. President. Should have started with yours.


MORGAN: I just find it completely offensive. The idea that you would want to have a continued loophole where 40 percent, minimum, of all guns sold in America are sold at gun shows where nobody can check anything. You can buy an AR-15 tomorrow at a gun show. Nobody knows. This is the stuff of madness.

MOORE: Yeah. And -- well, Sarah Palin and the Republicans, they are so far on the wrong side of this issue, it's actually, in a way, pleasant to hear them continue to dig their own graves.

MORGAN: But it's dangerous because they are winning. They're winning.

MOORE: They're only winning because our side are a bunch of wimps.

MORGAN: Right.

MOORE: That's the reason.

MORGAN: What's wrong with the Democrats?

MOORE: What's wrong with them? Where do we start?

MORGAN: Why are they being so cowardly? Where are the people who -- as Robert Kennedy brilliantly said, where is this -- the moral leadership?

MOORE: Yeah.

MORGAN: Sometimes you do things not for political expediency, but because you believe in it.

MOORE: I am of an age where Democrats -- I think back, when I was a kid, Lyndon Johnson, the president of the United States -- I don't know if you saw this on Rachel last night. Do you watch it?

MORGAN: Which show is that?

MOORE: Rachel Maddow..

MORGAN: Move on.

MOORE: It's --


MORGAN: To be fair to her, Rachel Maddow did a brilliant thing on guns last week about Adam Lanza.

MOORE: So you do DVR the show?

MORGAN: Of course..

MOORE: Watch both shows. They're great. But Lyndon Johnson knew that Nixon -- the BBC ran these tape this is week -- that Nixon communicated with the Vietnamese to try and stall the peace process so that he could get elected. He actually consorted. They have Johnson on tape saying, Nixon has committed treason. What are we going to do?

Then he decided to do nothing and not tell the American people. The Republicans wouldn't play that way. They don't play that way. We play that way.

MORGAN: What do you do about the gun manufacturers? It seems to me, this all comes down, in the end, to the gun manufacturers. They are the ones making tons of money.

MOORE: Right.

MORGAN: The fastest selling, biggest selling weapon since Sandy Hook, the AR-15 that was used by Adam Lanza. This is a sick reaction from a supposed civilized society, from a super power. The only reaction to the slaughter of children with this weapon is that everybody goes and buys the same weapon. What is wrong with people?

MOORE: There is a ton of money being made right now. The gun shop near where I live in Michigan, five months ago, was selling .45 bullets for 19 dollars a box. It's 59 dollars a box now. They are making money --

MORGAN: They're running out of ammunition. They can't make enough of it.

MOORE: Right.

MORGAN: They can't make enough of them. And they are financing the NRA. That means there is more money now for Wayne LaPierre.

MOORE: They're financing the republicans. And they're financing a few of these weasely Democrats.

MORGAN: What's the answer, Michael?

MOORE: There is only one answer.

MORGAN: Where is the alternative to the NRA to stand up, well funded, powerful and to do to the pro-gun rights lobby what they do to the Democrats now and make them cow in fear.

MOORE: All I can say is what I'm doing. Myself and a few hundred thousand Americans this Saturday night are going to get together in our living rooms. We're going to invite friends and family over. And we're going to have this virtual discussion on the Internet. We are going to watch "Bowling for Columbine." And we are going to organize this grassroots.

That's all I can say. I'm tired of sitting around. I'm not going to sit around. I haven't sat around. I have dealt with this issue since Columbine.

MORGAN: What are all we waiting for? The next mass shooting? The next movie theater? The next school?

MOORE: I wonder -- I would ask that to Harry Reid. If you could get him on this show, I would say, how many more Sandy Hooks before you would not stand in front of a microphone.

MORGAN: Come on the show, Harry Reid. I have invited Senator Reid for two years.

MOORE: Let's kill another 150 children? How about 1,050 children?

MORGAN: I want him to explain himself. Let's leave the guns issue just by repeating what Yoko Ono Tweeted Michael and myself tonight. "Over 1,057,000 people have been killed by guns in the United States since John Lennon," her husband, "was shot and killed here in New York on the 8th of December, 1980."

If that single fact alone doesn't make Americans say enough is enough is enough, then nothing will. Let's take a break and come back.

MOORE: We should be ashamed of ourselves if we allow this to continue.

MORGAN: Just do something. Let's come back and talk about the Pope. You're a Catholic. I'm a Catholic. Let's discuss.

MOORE: Recovering.

MORGAN: Seems a good man to me.




POPE FRANCIS, BISHOP OF ROME (through translator): We are all protectors of creation, of the plan of God written in nature, protectors of one another, of the environment. Let us not allow that science of destruction and death accompany our journey of this world.


MORGAN: Pope Francis' homily at his installation today. I'm back now with Michael Moore, a fellow Catholic, I may add, and also a man whose middle name is Francis, named after Francis of Assisi, just like the new Pope. What a moment for you and every man called Francis in America.

MOORE: My father was Francis Moore.

MORGAN: Really?


MORGAN: And you were named after Francis of Assisi, as the new Pope is. How do you feel about that?

MOORE: Well, growing up in our house, Francis of Assisi was like -- you know, he was right up there with the Virgin Mary because of what he stood for, his concern for the poor, environment. I mean, this guy was way ahead of his time.

MORGAN: The Pope Tweeted today "true power is service. The Pope must serve all people, especially the poor." That is his reputation, looking after the poor. What do you want to say about the new Pope?

MOORE: He has -- well, let me -- I want to be optimistic right now. Some things that he said, like all the other bishops, about gay marriage and abortion, you know, they're just not in this century yet. But this man's approach is very different. And I was thinking the other day that I remember back when Gorbachav was named the new premier of the Soviet Union. And everybody said oh, you know, he's from the Politburo. He's from the same apparatus as all the other guys.

MORGAN: And he wasn't.

MOORE: Oh my God. He saved the world. He changed everything around.

MORGAN: Francis is doing stuff that It think gives you hope and gives me hope.

MOORE: I would hope that this is the Catholic Church's Gorbachav, that he will take this opportunity to turn things around and to sue -- you know, if you've read some of the things this week about, you know, he's called capitalism a sin. He's very much against the rich exploiting the poor. He spoke out very early against the Iraq War.

MORGAN: Despite his views on gay marriage, he also memorably in I think 200 kissed the feet of 12 AIDS patients, which, at the time, was deemed a very sensational thing to do.

MOORE: So what you and I need to do is say our prayers tonight that this Pope is going to be a different Pope, and is going to lead a Catholic church that is -- that treats women equally, that -- and that will be a force against the corporatocracy that is running this planet right now.

MORGAN: It would be great to see. I'm optimistic about him. I like his style. Michael Moore, it's been another terrific hour. Thank you very much.

MOORE: Thanks for having me. And thanks for all the good you're doing. Remember everybody, @SenatorReid on Twitter, or go to his website, send him an e-mail. I'm serious.

MORGAN: That's what democracy is about. You can have your say.

MOORE: You and I don't want to sit here talking like this. MORGAN: Fed up with talking post-these outrages. We've got to leave it there, Michael. Thank you so much for coming in. We'll be right back with my special guest to say a final farewell.


MORGAN: Back with Michael Moore. Michael, thank you again for joining me tonight for a very lively hour, as always.

MOORE: Thank you.

MORGAN: You can take action. You do have a voice. Do something. Make your voice known. That's all for us tonight. Anderson Cooper starts now.