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CNN Larry King Live
Michael Moore on The 2008 Election
Aired April 30, 2008 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, Michael Moore. He's got a lot on his mind and he's ready to unload.
Why is he endorsing Barack Obama? How did his forbidden love for Hillary Clinton turn to disgust? And what does he make of John McCain?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R-AZ), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: ...disingenuous filmmaker who would have us...
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Michael Moore for the hour, taking your calls and e-mails, next on LARRY KING LIVE.
Whether you agree or disagree, it is always, always interesting to listen to Michael Moore, the Oscar winning documentary filmmaker. His most recent film, "Sicko," is credited with helping o make health care a 2008 campaign issue.
And, just earlier this month, he endorsed Barack Obama.
Thanks for coming back, Michael.
When you were last -- when you were here in February, you said you had opinions on the race, but were not endorsing anybody. What changed?
MICHAEL MOORE, FILMMAKER: Well, I think that the whole movement behind Obama is very impressive. And I think it's a good thing for the country, first of all. I mean that's the first that really, I think, has grabbed my attention.
As far as Obama as a candidate, I think that this is a very decent individual. And I've been just impressed through the various debates as to how he's handle himself, how he has responded to the issues and responded to people. And...
KING: What about how he's handled the Reverend Wright thing?
MOORE: Well, you know, I don't know, Larry. I mean I think anybody who goes to church knows if -- I mean I just heard Hillary Clinton say there on the -- that other station, O'Reilly.
KING: Right. We're going to show a couple of clips from it, yes. MOORE: Talking about how had, you know, had she heard those things from her pastor, she would have got right up out of the church. (LAUGHTER) and I was thinking, jeez, you know, I mean I go to mass still. I'm a practicing Catholic. I've been that way all my life. But if I had -- if I had gotten up every time I heard a priest from the pulpit in my travels around the country say things like, as I've heard them say, that birth control is a sin, that women should not be priests, that women have a different role in the church...
KING: You'd be walking out all the time.
MOORE: Well, I would have been walking out so much -- that would have been so much aerobic activity for me I...
KING: Yes, but how do you think...
MOORE: ...I wouldn't look like this.
KING: The candidate you're endorsing, how do you think he's handled this?
MOORE: I think he's handled it the best way that he can. I think that, you know, that's my point, how are you going to get -- it's like suddenly I came in with a videotape saying Larry, I've got a video of your rabbi here from 1959...
MOORE: ...and we're going to show it now to everybody.
It's like how can you be responsible for that?
KING: How much do you think it will hurt him?
MOORE: Well, I don't know. I think most people are sick and tired of this -- all of these distractions with the campaign...
KING: You really think so?
MOORE: Yes. I think...
KING: So you think is cable news driven?
MOORE: I think a lot of it is. I think it's driven a lot by Mrs. Clinton's campaign. I think that...
KING: She hasn't mentioned (INAUDIBLE).
MOORE: Well, she does mention it. She has mentioned it. And she said that, you know, instead of just having some empathy, I guess, for what his situation is with a pastor who said the things that he said and, frankly, I mean I watched the Bill Moyers interview. And if you really listened to a lot of what Reverend Wright says and if you watch the entire sermons, it was presented as something very different on the news than what actually, I think, existed.
KING: But it was the appearance before the Press Club in Washington...
MOORE: Right. I think that...
KING: ...that really ticked everybody off.
MOORE: Well, because Reverend Wright saying that when Obama speaks, he doesn't really mean what he says, he's just a politician. That's -- that's the exact opposite of what Obama has been during this campaign. He's tried to be, essentially, the anti-politician, and to take politics into a better era in this country.
And so to have his pastor -- his former pastor say these things, that he's not being sincere, I would be as angry as Senator Obama was yesterday.
KING: OK. You announced your endorsement of Obama on April 21 in a letter on your Web site. You also slammed Hillary Clinton in these words -- I want to get them right.
Here's what you said: "Over the past few months, the actions and words of Hillary Clinton have gone from being merely disappointing to downright disgusting." You also wrote, directly addressing Senator Clinton: "You have devoted your life to good causes and good deeds. And now to throw it all away for an office you can't win unless you smear the black man so much that the superdelegates cry Uncle Tom and give it all to you."
Why so rough?
MOORE: Well, I guess I'm disappointed. I have been a supporter of Senator Clinton from a long time ago. I wrote a chapter about her in my first book, called "My Forbidden Love for Hillary," at a time when it was very popular to go after her. I was sick and tired of people attacking her for who she was. I thought she was a very good and...
KING: And she's certainly been a leader in health care...
KING: ...which is one of your big things.
MOORE: Well, we can get to that in a second. I want to talk both about her plan and Obama's plan.
KING: All right.
So what disappointed you?
MOORE: Well, I supported her run for Senate. My wife and I contributed to her campaign. But the huge disappointment was when -- when she had -- when she was presented with an opportunity for a moment -- a profile in courage moment in October of 2002, to not give Bush the authorization to go to war, she voted for war. And she continued to vote for war for the years after that. And it was -- it was, as I said... KING: That's the trigger?
MOORE: Well, that's -- yes. And I said on your show the last time, you know, I had not endorsed Senator Obama at that point. I just said that I morally, morally -- and I say that, you know, from a very deep place inside of me, can't vote for somebody who voted for this war. This is an immoral war and it never should have happened. We don't have a right to invade another country...
KING: So that's the reason?
MOORE: ...that's not attacking us. Yes. And that began it. But I still hoped that she would do that others have done -- Senator Kerry, Senator Edwards and others, who have since apologized for their vote and said they were wrong. She won't say that she was wrong or apologize for it...
MOORE: ...and I'm disappointed in that. But when I said disgusted, that came with the ABC debate. When she threw out Farrakhan, when she said the word Farrakhan and Hamas -- Hamas, to somehow attach that to Senator Obama, I just thought that was beneath everything that she used to stand for. And I think at some point, she's going to be disappointed in herself for having done that.
KING: OK. Whew.
When we come back, we'll hear a little of Hillary, who went one- on-one with Bill O'Reilly a little earlier tonight. And we'll have Michael Moore react to that interview.
Fasten your seat belts. This is going to be interesting.
KING: We're back with Michael Moore.
All right, Hillary went on the Bill O'Reilly show a little early. Here's one of what she -- a little bit of what she had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BILL O'REILLY, HOST, "THE O'REILLY FACTOR": Now, I'm paying 33 percent Fed tax now.
You're going to raise that to what?
SEN. HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON (D-NY), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'm going up to what we had in the 1990s for people...
O'REILLY: Thirty-nine, 39-and-a-half...
CLINTON: ...for people -- 36, 39 for people... O'REILLY: All right. So I'm getting a six-and-a-half percent bump...
O'REILLY: And so is Bill Clinton.
CLINTON: ...it's the only for the people making more than $250,000.
O'REILLY: No, that's me. That's me. You're talking to him.
CLINTON: I know.
CLINTON: And I...
O'REILLY: Sorry. All right...
CLINTON: ...I am very happy that you're going to...
O'REILLY: All right. To 6.5 percent...
CLINTON: ...pay more so that we can...
O'REILLY: I know you are.
CLINTON: ...cut middle class taxes...
CLINTON: ...on people who get up every day...
O'REILLY: I'm a generous guy.
CLINTON: ...and do hard work that keep our country going.
O'REILLY: But before I vote for you, I want to know exactly how much you're going the take out of my wallet, all right.
CLINTON: I'm going to take as much...
O'REILLY: So you've got 6.5...
CLINTON: ...as you were paying in the 90s. And as I recall, you did pretty well in the '90s.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Are we discussing the host's wallet or what?
MOORE: Yes, I...
KING: Or taxes?
MOORE: You know, he asked me the same question when I was on his show. He goes, how much would you -- how much would you have me pay in income tax, 50 percent?
I said no, more.
I said no. No, more.
I said, yes, sounds good.
You'd have me -- you'd have people -- we'd have to pay 70 percent in income tax?
I said, no, no, not, we, Bill, you.
KING: Do you know...
MOORE: I'd have a law that you would pay.
KING: You know in World War II, Frank Sinatra paid 90 cents on a dollar.
MOORE: Yes. And was a wealthy man.
MOORE: He lived quite well, didn't he?
KING: He managed to struggle through.
MOORE: Right. And Bill O'Reilly is worrying about having to pay 39 percent.
KING: That -- a lot more on Hillary, though. And we'll show another clip in a little while.
KING: Are you so disappointed that you would consider -- let's say she got the nomination.
You might vote for McCain?
MOORE: Well, oh, absolutely not. No, no, no. The -- I said in the...
KING: So you wouldn't go that far? MOORE: No. That's -- that's over the edge.
MOORE: I said in the same letter that most people I know are just going to stagger into the voting booth in November and look for the big D on the ballot. And it really isn't going to matter what the name is on there, whether it's...
KING: You think a Democrat's going to win?
MOORE: Oh -- well, yes. I mean people are just...
MOORE: People are -- 81 percent of the public says that we're on the wrong track. We've been through eight years of misery. And it's not just the war, although that should be enough right there. But it's everything from what people are paying for gas now to our health care mess and everything else in this country that has just -- we've lost so much time. And when you -- when you saw last week that they're limiting how many bags of rice you can take out of Costco, I mean...
MOORE: I mean that's -- that's the first sign that something here has gone seriously awry.
KING: Don't you think, Michael, that the Democrats, though, they're the one party that can figure out a way to lose this?
MOORE: Well, yes, I mean it's -- I understand that. And -- but it's not about the Democratic Party. This has gone beyond that. That's what's so great about Obama is that he's not a partisan person in that way. And that's why so many people -- I mean Julie Nixon, last week...
KING: Endorsed him, yes.
MOORE: ...endorsed him. Julie Nixon is for Obama. Michael Moore is for Obama. That, I think, explains the breath of the support that he has in this country.
KING: Do you think the Reverend Wright thing is over?
MOORE: It's over when cable news decide it's over. And, you know, I mean when -- you know, when these networks come up with something new. I mean I was kind of -- I was enjoying the flag lapel controversy.
By the way, Larry King, where is your flag lapel pin?
I don't -- I don't see it on you.
KING: Where's yours?
MOORE: Well, I'm wearing mine. That's right. It's right -- it's the world's smallest flag lapel pin.
KING: Oh, I see it.
MOORE: You just can't see it.
MOORE: That's why you don't wear a coat, so you don't have to wear the flag lapel pin.
KING: So you found me out.
MOORE: Yes, that's right.
MOORE: We'll put that in with your videotape of your rabbi -- your former rabbi, I mean.
KING: Do you expect or fear that Reverend Wright might start making other media appearances, like he says, tit for tat -- you said this about me, I'm coming back at you?
MOORE: Oh, yes, I guess it's possible.
KING: And then we run with it.
MOORE: Well, I hope you run the same -- the speeches from the minister that supports John McCain, who said that the Catholic Church was the whore of Babylon and the other things that he said.
I mean, there seems to be so much attention on the things that Reverend -- and mostly what did Reverend Wright say? He said that we were a nation founded on genocide and built on the backs of slaves.
Any disagreement there?
I mean, that was the essence of his speech. And he chose words and said things that I wouldn't say, Senator Obama wouldn't say and you wouldn't say. But it's a free country. He said it. But we're not voting for Reverend Wright. We're trying to -- we're trying to get ourselves off of eight years of a Bush/McCain era that has driven this country deep, deep down.
KING: So it may not have damaged him as much as we may have thought it did.
MOORE: You know, I don't think it has. And I would hope that Senator Clinton wouldn't hope that this somehow plays to the worst in people's fears, especially white people.
KING: OK. And... MOORE: I just -- again, I hope that she will maintain her...
KING: Well, we'll see.
In January, you posted a Web site letters that had good things about Obama's win in Iowa. But you also wrote this: "Barack, you can talk all you want about let's put the partisanship aside, let's all get along, but the other side has no intention of being anything but the bullies they are. Get your game face on now and if you can, tell me why you are now the second largest recipients of health industry payola after Hillary."
Are you saying he -- that's what he's getting, the industry...
MOORE: Yes. And I believe, actually, in that time since I wrote that in January, it's flipped and he's now number one, at least with -- she's...
KING: In funds from the health care...
MOORE: She has one -- she's number one, I think, with the pharmaceutical companies and he's number one with health insurance. Or vice versa, I can't remember what. But they're one and two in terms of...
KING: Do you think if you take, you must be beholden to them?
That's what Ralph Nader used to say.
MOORE: Well, you...
KING: If I take too much, then I'm beholden to you.
MOORE: Well, yes. I think that's -- I think that -- I think anybody understands that that's the way the game is played.
KING: So he's...
MOORE: Well, that's why neither Senator Obama or Senator Clinton's health care plans will bring real universal coverage to this country, because they both allow the insurance companies to still control what's going on. You have to remove the private profit-making health insurance companies, because as long as they have to make a profit, that means they can't take care of everybody in the same way or they won't make the money they need to make.
You have to remove profit as a motive, just as you -- it's one of those basic services. We wouldn't have a police department that had to show a profit every year -- or a fire department that had to show a profit every year. We should don't that with our health care system, either. And no other Western country does that.
KING: You mean health is a right?
MOORE: Well, absolutely. Yes, it's a human right. And it is everywhere else, except, unfortunately, here. KING: With Michael Moore, more reaction to the latest Hillary Clinton interview, when we come back.
KING: We're back.
Michael Moore obviously supports Barack Obama.
But LARRY KING LIVE has devoted a lot of time to the views of Hillary Clinton's backers, too. In fact, we had a one-on-one with the senator herself just last week. And Hillary Clinton also has a standing invitation to return as a guest on this show, along with Barack Obama, any night.
We're back with Michael Moore. Let's see another clip from Hillary with Bill O'Reilly earlier.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
O'REILLY: Can you believe this Reverend Wright guy?
Can you believe this guy?
CLINTON: Well, you know...
O'REILLY: What do you think?
CLINTON: Well, I'm going the leave it up to voters to decide, you know...
O'REILLY: No, but what do you think as a American?
O'REILLY: You're an American.
CLINTON: Well, what I said when I was asked directly is that I would not have stayed in that church.
O'REILLY: No, no, no, no. But you're an American citizen. I'm an American citizen. He's an American citizen, Reverend Wright.
What do you think when you hear a fellow American citizen say that stuff about America? What do you think?
CLINTON: Well, I take offense at it. I think it's offensive and outrageous. And, you know, I'm going to express my opinion. Others can express theirs.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Any comment?
MOORE: Yes, I'm a white guy. And I don't...
KING: I'm a white guy?
MOORE: Yes, I'm a white guy. And I think -- I think -- I've got to tell you something. If you were black in this country, especially if you are of his age, of his era or even -- or times before that or even kids today, when you look at the situation in our inner city schools, I mean, you have to ask yourself, Larry, what's it like to be black in America?
And what kind of rage would you feel?
And if you did feel that rage, what kind of things would you say that, at times, would be outrageous, crazy even, because you've had to live through this for so long.
And I do not believe, as a white guy, that I am in any position to judge a black man who has had to live through that. And I would never refer to him as -- in the way that Senator Clinton just did. You know, I can say that I would disagree or that I wouldn't use the language that he used or whatever. But to go after him like this, I just think it's a diversionary tactic, it distracts us from the real issues. And the issue is John McCain is four more years of George W. Bush. John McCain is four years of George W. Bush.
That's what we should be talking about and not what an elderly black man is saying because he's upset on how he's been treated.
And let me say this, too, because I've received a number of letters from older women, especially, who support Hillary Clinton. And they support her with great passion because they've had to suffer as a second class citizens in this country.
If you're a 50, a 60, a 70 -- I've had letters from women in their '80s and actually a 90-year-old woman who said to me, you know, I lived in a time where, as a woman, had my mother decided to go and vote, she'd be arrested -- arrested and thrown in jail because she wanted to vote in the United States of America.
So women feel this -- a similar sense of trying to undo what's been wrong for so long. And women, to this day, don't -- they're not paid the same, in terms of what men are paid. They don't have a lot of the same opportunities that men have.
And so I understand that anger, too, and that frustration and that outrage.
And I guess what I -- I guess the difference I see here is, is that I have not heard Senator Obama try to make people afraid to vote for Senator Clinton because she's a woman. I haven't heard anything out of his mouth.
But for her to try and make white, you know, working class, as they say, people vote for her and not him, to frighten them with words like Farrakhan and Hamas and things like that, I just -- I just think that that's not necessary. KING: What about what John McCain gave for his country?
MOORE: In terms of...
KING: His body.
MOORE: Well, and the torture that he went through?
MOORE: And now he votes.
KING: He can be a little angry, too, can't he?
KING: And the war that ended unpopular.
MOORE: Well, I guess that's -- and we've seen him angry. And as a senior citizen, maybe he's experiences things now, as an elderly American, where it's not the same as if you were a young person in this country. Certainly if he wanted to go and get a job other than U.S. senator at his age, he'd have a pretty hard time, wouldn't he?
KING: He probably couldn't get it.
MOORE: He probably couldn't get a job, even though he's able- bodied and can still work. So it's good that all these issues come up and we have...
KING: So they all can have gripes?
MOORE: Well, no, not me because...
KING: You have no gripes?
MOORE: Well, I'm not -- I can't -- no. I have no gripe about the fact that I'm a 50-year-old white guy because we've been running the show for a long time. And it's time to open it up, I think, and let some other people run this show.
KING: Do you think Barack has the tough temperament to run in November, I mean, when things really get back to the wall?
MOORE: Yes, I absolutely believe that. And I saw him playing basketball yesterday.
KING: He's pretty good.
MOORE: Yes. It was -- he was very good. And he did not allow -- he didn't give any ground to people. I like that. The more he applies that to politics, the better. That's what I said in my letter -- put your game face on, because these Republicans are not going to go down without a fight, believe me. They've enjoyed being in power and they like what they've attained through that power.
KING: Do you see any possibility, any chance of Barack running with Hillary?
MOORE: I don't see it now. But, you know, it's hard to say. You know, it's only...
KING: Things get funny.
MOORE: This weekend will be, what, four months since Iowa.
That's all it's been is four months, right?
KING: That's all, yes.
MOORE: The election is six months away. So it's all that time we just went through plus 50 percent -- or, actually, one third, I guess it would be, right?
Six months, yes. I wasn't (INAUDIBLE) a math (INAUDIBLE). But you get my point. I mean and we've got a long ways to go.
And so I think -- I hope a lot of the animosity that exists now will subside and everyone will join together, because we don't want a third term for the Bush administration. I think that is going to bind everyone together.
KING: And you have no doubt that McCain means that, that he -- he'll be a continuation?
MOORE: Oh, absolutely. I think what -- you just have to look at his policies. I mean look at his health care proposal yesterday -- a market-based health care system.
MOORE: A market -- I mean that's just absolutely insane when you're talking about people's health, that it -- that we're talking about market forces and profit. And he actually -- he wants to get rid of the health insurance you would get from your employer and have you pay for it. Oh, and he'll give you a little tax...
KING: The government will give you money, though.
MOORE: Yes, he'll give you a $5,000 tax credit, even though the average health insurance policy right now for a family that doesn't have employee health insurance is about $12,000 a year.
So he'll give you $5,000. So you'll be out an extra $7,000, which is a tax, by the way. So, in other words, John McCain wants to increase taxes.
KING: You have a way of figuring that out.
MOORE: Well, it's...
MOORE: We don't call it a tax, but that's exactly what it is. KING: Coming up, an exclusive first look at -- you're going to see something -- Michael Moore's new movie.
Don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Our special guest tonight is Senator Barack Obama.
SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D-IL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You feel good going into the convention with so much at stake.
MCCAIN: I am who I am to start with, and that is a conservative.
CLINTON: His policies are wrong for America.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: We're back with Michael Moore.
You'll be putting out a new documentary about the 2004 election. The working title is "We Were This Close Around the Time of the National Political Conventions."
You're letting us have a sneak peek.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MOORE: Twenty-one hours until the polls close. Only eight hours now until they open. These next 21 hours, my friends, are the most important hours of our lifetime.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Where were you speaking?
MOORE: This is the night before the 2004 election in Tallahassee. I went on a 62-city tour, 62 cities in 45 days. The goal was to get as many young people out to vote as possible. We succeeded in being the only age group, 18 to 29-years-olds, that Kerry won. He lost every other age group.
Myself -- and I did a tour, a bunch of hip-hop artists; Russell Simmons did a tour, Bruce Springstein, REM, Pearl Jam. They did -- all of a these different people were out there trying to get the youth vote out. We were actually quite successful. As it turned out, Kerry only lost by one state, 100,000 votes in that state.
People need to remember that. A lot of people are nervous now. Could McCain win? Look at what's happening to Democrats? We're only one state shy. That's all we've got --
KING: One red state shy?
MOORE: One red state shy. It's Ohio or Florida.
KING: That will come out during the convention?
MOORE: I'm going to get it out in a very mass produced way through --
KING: What are you calling it?
MOORE: "We were This Close." I want people to remember that we had these arenas every night; 15,000 people would show up. It was incredible. You actually could see the early beginnings of this massive movement now that's behind Obama. It's only going to continue to get bigger. I think that's a very positive thing for the country.
KING: Going to do some calls and some e-mails. Let's start with a call first.
Somerset, Kentucky, hello.
CALLER: Hi, I was just wondering what Michael thought about Hillary and Barack not mentioning anything about bin Laden anymore? I mean, that's still a big issue for me.
KING: I don't think anybody's mentioning him.
MOORE: I don't know why they don't, because it's certainly one of the great failings of the Bush years.
KING: Do you think had they just stayed in Afghanistan, they would have gotten him? Had they not gone to Iraq?
MOORE: Had done the job initially, starting with had Bush read the intelligence reports before 9/11. Let's start there, and all of the way through what happened in the months after that. You've had Richard Clark on your show. I think he's explained very intelligently how they blew it. So, it's a good question. They shouldn't be afraid to bring it up.
Certainly this has gone on longer than World War II. We defeated Hitler and Mussolini and the Japanese in less time than this war has gone on, trying to find one guy. I got to say, actually, personally -- and I have nothing to back this up. I don't think bin Laden is hiding in some cave in Pakistan or Afghanistan. This guy's a multi- millionaire.
KING: Where he is?
MOORE: I don't know where he is.
KING: If he's not hiding in a cave --
MOORE: Have you ever known a multi-millionaire to hide in a cave. Would you live in a cave for six years?
KING: I'd go to Vegas.
MOORE: Maybe he's back in Saudi Arabia. Maybe someone's protecting him. He's got the money to take care of himself, if, in fact, he's alive.
KING: We have an e-mail from Jamie In Louisville: "What do you make of these rising gas prices? Do you think the U.S. will ever break free of its addiction to oil?"
MOORE: We better do something about. We have lost eight years now. Lot of the experts say that we don't have that many years of oil left under the earth. We better make plans to do something. That's why I brought up the rice at Costco. We're having to limit the amount of rice. This is rice. This is the first gas line, back in 1973, the rice thing and Costco, that's what we'll remember was a turning point, because it cost so much just to get food to the stores, not to mention how we use petro-chemicals to grow our foods.
Front page of "The New York Times" today that farmers are having a hard time getting fertilizer, which of course is petro-chemical based. Our problem -- let me just say this. Our problem with oil is not how to run our cars. Detroit knows how to run cars and other ways than gasoline. They've known that for a long time. We'll figure that out. We'll make that happen.
We can generate electricity through wind and solar, hydro- electric, other means. That's not going to be our problem getting electricity in our homes. But a wind mill can not produce fertilizer. A wind mill cannot get the rice to Costco. A wind mill -- our glasses that you and I are wearing, this is petro-chemical. How does a solar panel create this? That's going to be the real problem, not how to run our cars or our electricity.
KING: You think gas prices are going to keep going up?
MOORE: I would assume so, because we're already at a peak here, where the actual -- the ability to manufacturer and produce oil -- we're at the limit now. And now we're going to be producing less and less each year for the next 10, 15, 20 years. And if there's only, some say, 40, 60 years of oil left that we can get out of the Earth, there's a calamity waiting to happen somewhere down the road. There's no discussion about it. We just lost eight years to try and do something about it.
KING: You're pessimistic.
MOORE: I am pessimistic about this. I just think because it's not part of the national conversation -- the only thing we seem to talk about is it's costing more to get to work. That's a horrible thing. Look, everybody's getting a check this week from Bush. So, they can give it back to Bush's oil buddies at the gas stations.
KING: Go spend it. Bill Clinton, helpful or harmful for Hillary Clinton. I'll ask Michael when we get back.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CLINTON: Right now, I would immediately lower gas prices by temporarily suspending the gas tax for consumers and businesses.
MCCAIN: I reiterate my commitment to doing everything I can to see that Americans have a little bit of a holiday between Memorial Day and Labor Day from having to pay 18 cents a gallon additional.
OBAMA: We're arguing over a gimmick to save you half tank of gas over the course of the entire summer, so that everybody in Washington can pat themselves on the back, and say that they did something.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Hillary Clinton and McCain support that. Obama opposes it. Do you agree with Obama?
MOORE: Absolutely, it's a gimmick. It doesn't take care of the problem. It doesn't make us go after what we really need to deal with, in terms of this oil problem. Again, I'm sad to see Senator Clinton pandering in that way.
KING: We mentioned Bill Clinton; has he been helpful or harmful?
MOORE: That's a good question. It's so weird. I would have thought a year ago --
KING: Slam dunk.
MOORE: Slam dunk, because all you have to do is remind people of what the cost of a barrel of oil was eight years ago when he lost office, or any of a number of things, in terms of the way it was. I don't know why it is. I think he's missed by a lot of people. I think, if he was running, he would probably do fairly well.
On the other hand, too, people forget that we're in a lot of the predicament that we're in too because of things that he pushed, in terms of NAFTA, the Telecommunications Act of 1996 that really changed who controls the media and how media is bought and sold in this country, and the flow of information, which is now -- I don't want to dignify it too much by calling it information over these air waves.
KING: Baltimore, Maryland, we take another call. Hello.
CALLER: Hi. I want to say that I'm a long-time fan and a huge supporter of Mr. Moore's issue. But I'm disappointed and want to know why you're not endorsing the one candidate that's pushing for single payer health care, which is Ralph Nader, when it's such a crucial issue that we get this right for this country.
MOORE: As I said, neither Senator Clinton nor Senator Obama have the correct health care program that's going to solve.
KING: She's saying why not endorse Nader? MOORE: I think Ralph Nader at this point is just a sad reflection of what he used to be and what he was, and the importance that he had to this country. Now it's just about Ralph Nader. I don't think anybody's really interested in that.
KING: We have an e-mail question from Debra from Grand Canyon, Arizona; "if Obama's the nominee, who should he pick as his vice president?" Would you take the job? That's a sure way to ensure defeat.
MOORE: Actually, it was funny, O'Reilly, before he went on the air there -- I was watching before the interview with Mrs. Clinton tonight. Apparently, he had written on his Web site that she couldn't even defeat Michael Moore. That was the epitome of --
KING: Who would you have Obama pick?
MOORE: I haven't thought of that. I don't know. I certainly thought John Edwards had a lot of great things to say. You know, I don't know if he would want the job. Again, these are valuable minutes here over the public air waves. I'm just -- I'm a person. I'm not a pundit. I don't play the game of who's going the win and how they're going to do this. I don't know --
I'm concerned about the 50 million that don't have health insurance tonight and why we're still in this crazy war. Those are the issues and that's what we should be talking about.
KING: We're talking about it.
KING: We have an e-mail from Martin in Istanbul, Turkey: "I thought 'Fahrenheit 9/11' would affect the 2004 election, but it didn't. Did you think it would? What impact do you think it had?"
MOORE: I think a lot of people had that hope that a movie could actually affect an election. I think it had a definite impact in terms of it got out the youth vote and helped in that way. A movie can't turn an election around. But I think, you know, "Fahrenheit 9"/11 fired that first shot. It told people a lot of things about President Bush that they didn't know about before. It hasn't been good for him ever since. Sometimes it takes a while. It doesn't happen the first time around.
KING: Will the death of Charlton Heston, does that make you feel bad personally, because you gave him such a kind of rough time?
MOORE: Actually, if you watch the movie, I didn't give a rough time. He was very gracious. He let me into his home. We did the interview. Then he started saying things -- I was being very gentle in terms of my questioning. He was talking about the wise old white men that founded this country, and the reason Canada doesn't have as many murders is because they don't have the sort ethnic thing that we've got. He started going down sort of the --
KING: Racial --
MOORE: The Al Campanas (ph) road of saying things that he heard himself saying and then he ended the interview. Listen, Charlton Heston was a great actor. I have nothing but respect as a human being. I feel bad for his family and their loss.
KING: Well said. We'll be right back. Does Michael Moore own a gun? We'll hear his answer coming up on LARRY KING LIVE.
KING: Michael Moore's our guest. Do you own a gun?
MOORE: Well, when I made the film "Bowling for Columbine," I went to local bank. They had a giveaway; if you opened up a certain bank account, a CD, you got a gun. You used to get a toaster.
KING: A gun?
MOORE: They were handing out guns.
KING: You've got one.
MOORE: So I've got a gun, yes.
KING: Where is it?
MOORE: I'm thinking about raffling it off to raise money for a good cause or something. Because I really --
KING: You feel funny with it around?
MOORE: I don't think that -- you know, I have enough security where I don't need to worry that. So --
MOORE: You know, that's kind -- it's not good, actually. Why would I need security. I'm just making movies.
KING: You're an innocent movie maker. Let's take another call from Huntington Beach, California for Michael Moore, hello.
CALLER: I had a question for Michael Moore, who I have long admired for him going at the issues. I'm confuse because he mentioned that October 2002 was the breaking point for him thinking Hillary Clinton was, I don't know, well in tune with what --
KING: She voted for Iraq.
CALLER: Right. But he knows well that behind that vote it wasn't just to tell Bush go to war. It was, if all else fails, then you have the permission to go to war. And also, she probably didn't apologize because she went based on the information that she had, which was much more limited that what Bush and his cohorts --
KING: Isn't that a good point?
MOORE: No. No, because, you know, I and at that time 30 percent of the country was against the world. That means 100 million went with the information they had and they knew what Bush was up to. We knew what he was up to and that he wasn't to be trusted --
KING: You knew there were no weapons of mass destruction.
MOORE: I think I had a good gut instinct. I wasn't a weapons inspector. But I and 100 million other Americans knew that we were played here and that they really wanted to go to war. This was about oil. It was going to be a horrible catastrophe. If 100 million people could figure that out, why couldn't Senator Clinton figure that out? It's like, you don't want a president who's not as smart as 100 million other Americans. You want a president who is smarter than you, who can discern, gee, someone like George W. Bush wants the authorization. What would happen if I gave that to him?
It was handing a stick of dynamite to somebody who had every intention of throwing it.
KING: Durham, North Carolina, take another call for Michael Moore. Hello.
CALLER: Hi, Larry. Hi, Michael.
First, Michael, thanks for coming Durham last year. We really enjoyed you. My question is pertaining to race relations. Based on this election -- of course, we talked about it a lot --are you considering in the near future doing a documentary of race relations. We would really love to see something like that.
KING: Race in America?
MOORE: I have thought about it. I have thought about not so much race relations, but I think the whole Reverend Wright thing has re-energized my thinking about, you know, how we got to where we're at and to take a look back at that. And so, yes, I have thought about doing that. And I may do that in the near future.
KING: We have another segment to go. What's the first thing he would do if he were president? We'll ask when LARRY KING LIVE continues.
KING: All right, President Moore, what's first thing you would do?
MOORE: Well, first thing I would do is not run, because my job is to keep an eye on whoever's in office. And I think that's a good enough job to have in this country. But, certainly, if I were elected president of the United States --
KING: First thing. MOORE: First thing is the war has to end. Second thing is we have to get our country back into our hands and out of the hands of corporate America. They've been calling the shots for far too long for the past 20 years. The third thing I would do is free HBO for everyone.
Really, I think if more people watched HBO --
KING: Great channel.
MOORE: It's the best thing on television, really. Why not give it to everybody?
KING: Tell Time Warner. They own us.
MOORE: I have made my plea. Who's the head of Time Warner.
KING: Jeff Buchs is chairman of the whole --
MOORE: Is he your boss?
KING: Up the ladder, he's the boss.
MOORE: You have some pull. You could get free HBO for every American if you wanted to. Larry.
KING: Free HBO.
MOORE: You were asking me a serious question. I'm sorry. Actually, you know what I would do is I would get -- I would try to lower Americans' taxes to the rate that the French pay. The French pay less taxes than we do, less.
KING: Socialist country?
MOORE: That' right, most of Europe pays less than we do. That's not the way we're told in this country. We're told, oh, they pay all these horrible taxes; 40 percent of their income goes to income taxes. Actually, the French federal income tax is around 10 percent. That 10 percent covers everything, the road, the cops, the military.
What they do is they have these other taxes. Here's your tax for your health care. Here's your tax for education. Here's your tax -- it's listed on your payroll stub, where it pays for these things.
KING: What's the total?
MOORE: Hear this out. In France, you have free health care, free college, and free or near free day care. The average America, if they don't have their health care covered, it's 12,000 dollars a year out of their pocket. That's a tax. If they're paying day care, 200 bucks a week, a month, whatever. That's a few thousands a year. College loans, people are paying their college loans at 40 years old, thousands of dollars in college that you don't pay in France.
If you added up tonight what every American, what you're paying right now out of your pocket for your college education, for day care, for health care, add that on to the taxes you pay, you're paying a lot more than what you're paying in France.
We don't call it a tax in this country. We have other words for it. That's what we're doing. We're being taxed to death. The French, for all that they riot and get out in the street and protest and whatever, you never see them out in the street saying, we pay too many taxes. They never complain about that because they get something for it. They get to go to a doctor when they're sick. Their kids get to go to school and college, not have to worry about it. They have help with their kids if they have kids and have to work.
That's all taken care of. They don't complain about their taxes. We complain about our taxes because we can't get a pothole fixed.
KING: We have about a minute left. Do you think you'll ever see a country you want?
MOORE: Absolutely. I think, if you taken the long view of it, it has gotten better. It gets better as we go down that road. It only gets better if we participate. This is a participatory democracy. It only works if everybody gets involved. If you sit back on the sidelines and say, I'm going to be a spectator and watch this, it doesn't happen.
KING: How are they going to turnout and vote, what percentage?
MOORE: I think we're going to have a huge turnout this year. I think people -- I swear to go, they're crying uncle right now with what they've had to go through, and they're not going to want four more years of this. In spite of whatever concerns they have may have about Senator Obama or if it turns out to be Senator Clinton, whatever concerns they have, they'll put those aside when they think about four more years of what we have had for the last eight years. That's not going to go down with the American people. I have a lot of faith and optimism in their desire to turn this country around.
KING: Are your security guards ready to escort you out?
MOORE: I actually have no security here. What I meant by that is that the power of prayer protects me.
KING: As a good Catholic, I understand.
MOORE: I do believe that. Thank you very much.
KING: Michael Moore. Just a reminder, we had a one on one interview with Senator Clinton just last week, but also has a standing invitation to return as a guest any time.
MOORE: Any a standing invitation with me for lunch.
KING: That's going to crack.
MOORE: Absolutely. KING: Don't forget to dial our Web site, CNN.com/larryking. You can download our current podcast, Laura and Jenna Bush. We also have a special Michael Moore politically charged quick vote. You can always e-mail upcoming guests.
MOORE: Remember, free HBO. Free HBO.
KING: Tomorrow night, Dr. Phil.
MOORE: That will be good.
KING: Friday, the legendary Sidney Poitier. It's all at CNN.com/larryking.
Now, Campbell Brown and "AC 360."