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CNN Larry King Live
Interview with Nancy Pelosi
Aired August 11, 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, did John Edwards cost Hillary Clinton the nomination?
Her ex-staffer says yes, as fallout from the sex scandal builds.
Is the former candidate telling the whole truth or just part of it?
Is he still in touch with the other woman?
A former Edwards campaign insider reveals what he knows.
Plus, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is here with tough talk on Edwards and to tell us why the house is on summer vacation and not addressing the energy crisis, right now on LARRY KING LIVE.
We begin with our friend, the speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi.
She's here in Los Angeles, author of the new book "Know Your Power: A Message To America's Daughters".
There you see its cover.
She's, to, the supporter of Barack Obama and she will chair the Democratic National Convention a couple of weeks hence in Denver.
Before we talk about some other things, let's get right to the major story of the day.
What's your read on Russia/Georgia?
REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: Well, everyone is speaking with one voice on the subject -- Democrats, Republicans, the Congress, the president -- that Russia must withdraw from Georgia. Russia's -- Georgia's borders must be protected -- respected and that we must have a conversation -- a diplomatic conversation in terms of NATO -- I mean more than a conversation -- to resolve the issues there.
KING: But if they keep up this activity, do we have to, frankly, do something in the nature of returning the violence?
PELOSI: Well, I think we have to start first to try to get them to honor -- sign and honor a cease-fire, a truce. That's absolutely essential, because what the Russians did is really outside the circle of civilized behavior. You just don't roll your tanks and your airplanes into another country and expect people to sit back and say that's OK.
KING: Do you fear the possibility of American boys and girls going there?
PELOSI: I think we can start with the Europeans. This is a neighborhood thing for NATO. I think the NATO forces, if there's a need for peacekeepers, can contribute to those. We're doing a lot as far as NATO is concerned in Afghanistan. We wish they'd do more there. They can do more in Georgia.
KING: So you don't see Americans being involved in this conflict?
PELOSI: Well, I would hope that it would be resolved, again, respecting the borders, honoring the truth and engaging in diplomatic -- a discussion on how to resolve the problems there.
KING: Your reaction to the Edwards scandal?
PELOSI: Well, that's, you know, as far as I'm concerned, the less said the better. It's a terrible, sad personal tragedy for their family and I pray for them. I think all this is being played out in the press only makes it harder for the family. So I hope that -- that that will go away and that they can heal.
KING: You know the senator well?
PELOSI: I know the senator and I know Elizabeth, yes. And they have a beautiful family. And I feel sad and pray for them. But you have to remember, to forgive is to be forgiven. That's in the song of St. Francis, the anthem of my city of San Francisco.
KING: Are you shocked at how forgiving she is?
PELOSI: You know, I really don't know any particulars about it, Larry. I come here as the speaker of the House. I'm happy to talk to you about issues of the day that affect our national security and our economy, talk about my book. But I am -- I just -- and, frankly, I don't know -- I haven't even followed everything on TV on it.
KING: OK. That's fair. But in a political area, just one other thing in that area. The former Clinton communications director, Howard Wolfson, says that Hillary Clinton would be the nominee if the Edwards affair had been exposed last fall.
Do you buy that?
PELOSI: No, I don't buy that. You don't know.
How does he know that?
I think that there -- what we have learned about what happened in Iowa was that it was a very strong anti-war vote. Barack Obama never supported the war. Edwards backed away from his vote on the war. And that was a differentiating issue in that campaign. I don't know who would have benefited. It probably would have been spread around. Some of the other candidates for president may think that they would have benefited as the alternative to Hillary Clinton and to Barack Obama. Maybe somebody else would have run if he were not in the race. Nobody can tell you what would have happened.
KING: You call your book already a best-seller, "Know Your Power."
KING: Is that interference that women have more power than they think they have?
PELOSI: I just want to make sure they realize that. And I want them to know how necessary the exercise of their power is to our country, to our politics, to our civic life, the professional life, to raising our families and the rest.
And so many people ask me -- the reason I wrote the book is so many people ask me, how did you go from being a housewife to House speaker, from a home -- from the kitchen to the Congress?
And that's the story. And the lessons I learned along the way from women who went before me and women -- younger women I learned -- and I have four daughters, married daughters. So I learned from them about how they balance family and work.
And so I wanted to pass on what I knew. It isn't anything revolutionary and that's really the power of it.
KING: Are more women going to get into politics?
PELOSI: I hope so. I mean I'm very proud of the race Hillary Clinton made for president. She almost won. And...
KING: You didn't endorse her, though, did you?
PELOSI: I didn't endorse anyone. I'm chair of the convention and so I was neutral in the race. And I'm speaker of the House, so some of my members are for Hillary, some are for Barack Obama, some are for other people or nobody. And I respected the wishes of my caucus. But, again, as chair of the convention, I was neutral.
But I was very proud of her race -- the great intellect she demonstrated, the stamina, the political astuteness, the personality, just the eloquence of it all. And I think it's important -- I'm speaker of the House. That's a start. And Hillary Clinton a bigger thing, to run for president. But what's important about it is what it unleashes. And many, many younger women -- or women maybe not younger, but with more to offer, to be involved.
KING: Do you think we might see a woman -- a woman vice presidential nominee?
PELOSI: This time? KING: Um-hmm.
PELOSI: On either side?
KING: On either side.
PELOSI: I really don't know. I have no idea.
Do you have any clue?
PELOSI: I don't. I don't. But it would be great -- it would be great if it were Hillary Clinton, Governor Sebelius of Kansas on our side, Governor Napolitano and the members of the Senate -- so many very exceptional leaders there. And in the House of Representatives, I might add.
But I have no clue.
KING: When we come back, we'll talk about some issues of the day, including the energy crisis and what might be done about it and why the House is on vacation.
Madam Speaker with Larry King, when we return.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. MIKE PENCE (R), INDIANA: If the speaker won't keep the House in session to allow this vote, I urge President Bush to call an immediate energy special session of Congress.
REP. MARSHA BLACKBURN (R), TENNESSEE: It is shameful. Congress needs to come back in. They need to address this issue.
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), PRESUMPTIVE NOMINEE: I call on Senator Obama to call on Congress to come back into town and come back to work, come off their recess, come off their vacation and address this energy challenge to America and don't leave until we do.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: OK, Madam Speaker, author of "Know Your Power," why don't you bring them back?
PELOSI: Well, it's interesting to hear Senator McCain talk about bringing Congress back. He wasn't even in Congress this last session when we really had two very important bills on energy -- one to give tax credit for wind, solar and other renewable resources, and another about hybrid cars and the rest. So he wasn't in to vote when were in session and now he's saying call it back in.
And then one of the others said to the president, call Congress back in. And the president said no. The president said no. But the point is this, the point is this. The American people are suffering. We have to do what is best for them.
How do we bring down the prices at the pump?
We have said to the president, the fastest way to do this is -- in 10 days the price can come down if you will free our oil. Over 700 million barrels of oil the president is sitting on of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.
Number one, free our oil.
Number two, they want to drill. If they want to drill, we have a (INAUDIBLE) -- 68 million acres in the lower 48 that they can drill in that are permitted and all the rest.
Three, stop the speculation.
Four, renew -- invest in renewable energy resources, which will bring a faster return than drilling offshore, which will take 10 years and produce two cents reduction in 10 years off the price at the pump.
And then use natural gas. Natural gas is so plentiful. It's better for the environment and it is cheaper.
So there are things that Congress can do and we have voted on this over and over again. But the Republicans and the president have resisted. Instead, they have this thing that says drill offshore in the protected areas. Well, we can do that. We can have a vote on that. But it has to be part of something that says we want to bring immediate relief to the public and not just a hoax on them.
KING: Would you vote yes on a package that includes drilling?
PELOSI: I would not. It depends how the drilling is put forth. But I don't -- that is not excluded, let me say it that way. It depends how that is proposed, if the safeguards are there. Now, mind you, 68 million acres -- 10 million more acres in Alaska where they can drill. But if there's -- if we can get some great things, in terms of renewable energy resources; a renewable electricity standard; wind, solar, biofuels and the rest in that context, because if you make a decision only to go with the offshore drilling, you are increasing our dependence on fossil fuels and you will never free yourself of that addiction unless you invest in the renewable energy resources that are good for the environment, cheaper for the consumer and will reverse global warming.
And the consumer is our first responsibility. The American taxpayer owns this oil offshore, by the way. Let me make this one final point. This oil is owned by the American taxpayers. The oil companies drill. We give them money to drill there. But we get very little in return.
So I think as we have this debate, which is a very healthy one to have and I welcome it, we have to review and realign the relationship between our oil, big oil's profits and what it means to the consumer and the taxpayer.
KING: Do you expect -- do you suspect the oil companies of having a lot of clout here, influence over the Republicans?
Of course. Yes, they rule. And that's what we'll find out.
KING: They rule?
PELOSI: When we have this vote, when we really define it and where the choice is clear to the American people -- I mean, do you know what -- Exxon Mobil, their last quarter, their profits were historic. Last year, they were historic. They outdid themselves this year already in this second quarter. And they insist that we pay them to drill. They need an incentive to drill in order to make over $11 billion in one quarter. And it just doesn't make sense. We should be using that money to invest in renewable resources, tax credit for wind and solar, etc. and invest in the technologies that will develop the battery and the rest, instead of giving big oil more profits.
KING: Do you expect to get a big enough majority in the Senate and House for the Democrats to overcome anything and get through your proposals?
PELOSI: Well, I hope we can do some of it before we even leave this session. I think we can -- hopefully, we can do something before December. I will not subscribe to a hoax on the American people that if you drill offshore, you're going to bring down the price at the pump. Even the president says that's not true.
Ten years, two cents -- we're saying 10 days, bring down the price, if the president would free our oil from the strategic petroleum -- from our stockpile -- owned by the taxpayers, purchased by the taxpayers.
In the next election, I know that we will strengthen our majorities, increase their numbers and we will have a Democratic president in the White House and we will be able to address more fully really what I think is the challenge to our generation -- energy security and global warming.
KING: You're certain of an Obama election?
PELOSI: I'm never certain of anything. Today, I would be certain. I just think that it is the opportunity for our country to move away from Washington.
You know, I'm the Speaker of the House. I'm an outsider in Washington, D.C. .
Business as usual in Washington is not in the people's interests. It there's for the special interests.
KING: You would be the ultimate insider, wouldn't you?
PELOSI: Well, I -- you would think. But I...
KING: The speaker of the House isn't an insider?
PELOSI: Well, they didn't want me to be Speaker of the House.
KING: But you are.
PELOSI: I had to fight these special interests. And now to make the change, we have to have a Democratic president. And Barack Obama has done more than anyone in terms of passing the toughest ethical bill -- ethics bill in Congress, to shed the bright light on transparency on the link between special interests and legislation in Washington.
He will do more to take our country in a new direction because he will change the way business is done in Washington, D.C. .
KING: It's always great to see you.
PELOSI: It's wonderful to see you.
Thank you, Larry.
KING: Nancy Pelosi.
The book is "Know Your Power: A Message To America's Daughters."
A former John Edwards campaign insider is here.
Joe Trippi is next.
And what does he think about all of this?
We'll ask next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WOLF BLITZER, HOST, "THE SITUATION ROOM": The political rumor exploding into reality. The former Democratic presidential candidate, John Edwards...
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Former candidate John Edwards admitted today that he had an extra-marital fair while his wife was battling cancer, though he denied reports...
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, COURTESY NBC NEWS)
BRIAN WILLIAMS, NBC NIGHTLY NEWS ANCHOR: He is denying a tabloid charge that he fathered a child with the woman.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The political future of one of the Democratic Party's leading figures, former Senator John Edwards, is in doubt tonight after Edwards admitting having a...
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Joining us now from Ocean City, Maryland, Joe Trippi. He's one of the top political pros in the business, the former Edwards campaign manager. He's now a political analyst for CBS and has not taken a stand yet on the presidential election.
Have you spoken to John or Elizabeth since all of this broke, Joe?
JOE TRIPPI, FORMER MANAGER, EDWARDS CAMPAIGN: Yes. I spoke to him a few days ago, right after -- right after it broke. You know, John, obviously said that he was sorry that he let me down and other people down. And Elizabeth was just amazing. She had a lot of strength, you know, and we've been seeing that in her statements in the last few days.
KING: How shocked were you, frankly, at the story?
TRIPPI: You know, I was disappointed. And it kind of stunned me. I was a little numb for a few hours. And then, you know, I realized that the campaign really still did make a difference, I think, in this election year. And my concern went immediately to the family.
I know firsthand the love that both John and Elizabeth have for each other. It's obvious if you spend any time around them on the campaign bus or the campaign at all. And so, you know, that's where my thoughts went to immediately, that the healing process that they've been under for some time, obviously, continue and that they have some space from all this.
KING: When they first broke in the tabloids and he denied it, did you believe him?
TRIPPI: Yes. Absolutely. At the time, during the campaign, I completely believed it was a tabloid story that was untrue.
KING: How do you explain how amazingly well she is -- for appears to be handling this?
TRIPPI: Well, I mean Elizabeth is an amazing and strong woman, very solidly -- like I say, I think the whole thing about this is that they really -- there really is a genuine love between the two of them. And you can't miss that if you spend any time with them.
And I think, you know, Elizabeth has been through so much. She's shown so much strength. She was one of the prime reasons I got involved in the campaign. She almost, you know, recruited me herself. And, so I -- you know, I was -- I'm not amazed at all. I mean I'm not stunned by her strength. She's just -- it's her strength that inspired me to get involved in the campaign in the first place. And I know what she's concerned right now is about her family and throwing it -- and growing and healing together.
KING: In his interview on Friday, John Edwards said there's no excuse in any way possible for what he did. But he offered an explanation.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP FROM "NIGHTLINE," COURTESY ABC NEWS)
SEN. JOHN EDWARDS (D), NORTH CAROLINA: Then I went from being a young Senator to being considered for vice president, running for president, being a vice presidential candidate and becoming a national public figure -- all of which fed a self-focus, an egotism, a narcissism that leads you to believe that you can do whatever you want, you're invincible, and there will be no consequences.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: What do you make of that, Joe?
TRIPPI: You know, he's said repeatedly -- or I've heard him say, also, that, you know, every -- all of us can get ready and beat him up as much as we want because no matter how hard we beat him up, no one's -- we can't do -- beat him up more than he's beating up himself.
I also think that that's an insight that doesn't surprise me at all. I mean there's really a feeling sometimes when you're on the campaign and you're with a candidate that they are invincible. And so that doesn't -- that insight, I think, is very real. And I also think he's beating himself up.
But the other thing I point out is the amazing good in his campaign and what he did during the campaign -- did for this country and for the party. And he led on poverty. I mean no one wanted to speak about poverty in this election.
He was out there, he was in New Orleans' Ninth Ward announcing his campaign. That's where he ended it.
You know, so there were -- there was a lot of good and a lot of things that I'm proud of. That, health care, that he and Elizabeth were fighting so hard for throughout this campaign and actually pushed to the fore, and, actually, I think, forced Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama to strengthen their health care plans.
So I think there's absolutely a lot of good that's come from the campaign and that can't be forgotten in all of this.
KING: Do you know Miss. Hunter?
TRIPPI: No. No, I've never met her. KING: So you were never on the plane when she was doing the filmography and the like?
TRIPPI: No, Larry. I came on in April of 2007 and she was -- already had moved on at that point or wasn't with the campaign at that point.
I, you know, I obviously was with the campaign when the first "National Enquirer" story broke and was involved at that time, you know, in finding out, you know -- in the questioning, is this true and that kind of thing and believed John Edwards when he told us that it wasn't true.
And, you know, and so on that point, yes, I'm a little disappointed in that. But, you know, at this point in this business, you know, you -- actually, I'm kind of happy I didn't know, because it let me go out and do my job and fight for what we were fighting for.
KING: Well, what are you going through, Joe?
Do you feel lied to betrayed?
Do you -- more than disappointed, are there other feelings?
TRIPPI: No. I think mostly just disappointment. And, again, just, you know, thoughts about this family. Again, I'm very close -- to close to the family. I feel close to the family. You know, just want them to have time to heal. I'm not -- you know, I've been doing this for thirtysomething years. You go out there and you fight the good fight every time and you try to make a difference.
I think this family has made a difference. And they deserve some space. I know how much they care about a lot of the issues, poverty and health care.
And, again, personally, you know, what you learn, Larry, is they're people. They make mistakes. They're just like the rest of us. They're flawed.
We hold these candidates up there -- Barack Obama, John McCain -- they're perfect. They can do no wrong. It's not true.
And so when you find out one of them made a mistake -- you know, I've been through -- I've been through a lot. You know, I've seen good and bad and I think a lot of these candidates helped change this country and helped move it forward even when they lose.
KING: Joe Trippi will remain with us and join a panel that will join us, as well.
The Edwards sex scandal -- is there more that we haven't heard?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) EDWARDS: Look at what we've been able to do in our lives. I mean, we've had four wonderful children. We've had great experiences in our life, both in our work before I came to the Senate and my work in the Senate, which both of us worked on together. This campaign, I mean I was able to run for president and then vice president of the United States, all of which we did together as a family.
I mean how could you ask for anything more?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
Joe Trippi remains with us.
We're joined here in Los Angeles by Michael Reagan, talk radio host of his own show, a supporter of Senator McCain.
Hilary Rosen is in Washington, political director and editor-at- large of HuffingtonPost.com, a supporter of Barack Obama. And here in Los Angeles is Dennis Prager, the syndicated talk radio host and best- selling author, a supporter of Senator McCain.
We brought this up earlier with Nancy Pelosi. The former Clinton communications director, Howard Wolfson, says that Hillary would be the nominee if the Edwards affair had been exposed last fall?
Michael, you believe that?
MICHAEL REAGAN, TALK RADIO HOST: No, I don't believe that at all. I really don't. Listen, after he dropped out, Hillary went on to win, what, California, New York and a lot of other states. I don't believe that at all. I think that's just wishful thinking by a whole lot of people. And I think America figured out John Edwards, back in 2004, he wanted to be vice president. I think they figured him out during the presidential campaign.
KING: Figured what out?
REAGAN: Figured out basically what we all know now, the sleaze that he truly is.
KING: You mean America figured out...
REAGAN: I think they...
KING: ...that he was...
REAGAN: I think they figured out...
KING: ...an adulterer?
REAGAN: ...that his thing of the two Americas and the way he just conducted himself -- the $400 haircuts -- that he was really a phony from the beginning. And I think everybody just found it out in the last couple of weeks. KING: You do believe there is poverty in America?
REAGAN: I believe there is poverty in America. There's always going to be poverty. I understand that. But John Edwards, I don't think, cared that much about poverty, as much as he cared about the issue.
KING: Hilary, what's your reaction to all of this?
HILARY ROSEN, HUFFINGTONPOST.COM: I think it's interesting that Michael is throwing sleaze ball at John Edwards, when there's an article in the "L.A. Times" today about John McCain and the tortured history that John McCain has with the Reagan family, that his -- the fact he took out a marriage license with his new wife before he even was divorced. I don't think -- I'm uncomfortable with this whole discussion about sexual politics. But Democrats don't run on moral values and moral judgments and try to appeal to social conservatives. Republicans do. I think that if we're going to throw accusations around at Democrats, Republicans and John McCain are going to need to be prepared to answer similar questions.
KING: Does that make it sound, Dennis, like this is going to get rougher now? Other things are -- John Edwards comes out. There's going to be others coming out about others.
DENNIS PRAGER, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: First, none of the stuff has come out from Republicans. So it hasn't been politically inspired. In fact, interestingly, Howard Kurtz from the "Washington Post" asks a fascinating question, where was the mainstream media? I would love to hear the panel's the thoughts on this. Where was the mainstream media?
KING: Tabloids are wrong a lot.
PRAGER: They are. I'm sure they are.
ROSEN: Well, "Huffington Post" had this story.
ROSEN: Huffington Post published it a while ago.
PRAGER: All right. It's a blog, though. It's a fine blog. I'm not attacking it. I'm just saying, it's not the "New York Times," "Washington Post." He's asking where they were, where the mainstream television media were? That's the question that I'd like to pose regarding what Hilary said.
PRAGER: When Republicans do these things, do the media jump on them more than when Democrats do these things?
KING: Do you think so?
PRAGER: I don't know, but I think it's a fair question to ask. KING: Many Republicans have had scandals.
PRAGER: And many Democrats have, too. Eliot Spitzer was the last one. You're right. That was certainly covered. You're right. That's what I say, it may be an open question. I think that a lot of people think that if a Republican does it, he's a hypocrite, but if a Democrat does it, he's not a hypocrite. I find that odd. It's wrong for anybody to do it.
KING: Joe, do you think imbalanced?
JOE TRIPPI, FORMER EDWARDS CAMPAIGN MANAGER: No, I don't think so. I think this was mostly the "National Enquirer," which has a record of blowing things up that aren't true, and has been right some times. I'm not saying that. Obviously this time, they were. I just thinks it was where the source of the news was coming from.
I also think, you know, Mike was talking about how, you know, Edwards wasn't really into the poverty thing. That's just totally false. You can't -- there's no votes in this country for somebody who talks about ending poverty. There are none. There weren't any in our polling. The campaign, for the most part, the staff were trying to talk him out of going down there.
I want to fight poverty, too. But you don't make votes by doing it. This man, he even -- his fault -- he's got flaws. He said he made a mistake. He has owned up to it, taken responsibility. But to say he doesn't care about the issues that he was fighting for, he and Elizabeth --
TRIPPI: This was the kind of politics we need in this country right now.
REAGAN: I think John Edwards uses people. I think he used poverty. He doesn't even know the people that live across the street from him in the Carolinas.
REAGAN: Based on the people that live across the street from him, don't even know the man. The other thing is, the poverty he was using was using the Vietnam Veterans out there, using over 200,000 veterans that are in fact today impoverished, out on the streets of America's homeless. There isn't 200,000 veterans homeless out there. He uses people to try and get votes. I think America figured it out. That's why he didn't get the nomination of the party. That's why he was way back. People understood he was not being honest.
TRIPPI: This is exactly the kind of politics -- it's kind of like polarizing garbage talk, creating what's wrong with our politics right now.
KING: Let him finish and then you go. PRAGER: About polarizing garbage talk, to say, for example, that Republicans don't care about people going to bed hungry at night, which is what Howard Dean said --
TRIPPI: I didn't say that.
PRAGER: No, Republicans. I didn't say you. I'm saying, talking about garbage talk, the head of the Democratic party said -- I play it on my show all the time -- Unlike the Republicans, our values are that we care if people go to bed hungry at night.
KING: But a gay Republican congressman said that gays are bad.
PRAGER: Fine, so it goes all over. That's my point. I just want to say this: I said on my show -- this may surprise you -- I give a man slack. If a man -- this annoys some of my own listeners. If a man was faithful for 31 years and sinned once with a woman, I would give him slack. I pray that they don't divorce. This is not what I am annoyed with him about. There are many other things, including the fact it's very hard to find OBGYNs in a lot of cities in America today, because this man, this man, John Edwards --
KING: Sued people.
PRAGER: Sued so many OBGYNs that it is price prohibitive to be a doctor delivering babies today.
KING: So you're saying he shouldn't represent people who have been medically damaged?
PRAGER: No, of course you know I'm not saying that.
KING: What are you saying?
PRAGER: I'm saying that he opened the flood banks to bankrupt gynecologists.
TRIPPI: That's not what he did.
KING: Go ahead, Hilary.
PRAGER: That's sure what he did. He's an ambulance chaser.
ROSEN: I think two things are clear. One is that John Edwards policy issues were sincerely raised and sincerely felt. He brought things to the table, as Joe said, that other people weren't talking about in this campaign, and issues that we do need to talk about. What are our priorities for spending? It's a not about who cares about poverty, it's about a conversation this country has been having over the last two years about things like, is the war in Iraq diverting from very necessary spending at home unnecessarily?
The second thing we're talking about is do we all have this right to get involved in people's private lives? And when does their private lives enter into what matters in a political campaign? John Edwards is no longer running for president. So what he does and -- his betrayal was to his wife. You know, his lying clearly affected -- affects the party now, only in that if he was the nominee, we would be struggling with the political fall-out. But he's not the nominee.
KING: I have to get a break. We'll come right back with our panel and discussing whether John Edwards has any political future. Don't go away.
KING: In the Friday interview on ABC, John Edwards was asked about his political future or lack of it, during that interview with Bob Woodruff. Let's take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
EDWARDS: I don't think anything's ended.
WOODRUFF: Your political career?
EDWARDS: I see no end. I don't think anything's ended. My lord and my wife have forgiven me. I'm going to move on.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: I guess you're in the religious business, Dennis. Do you forgive him?
PRAGER: In my religion, specifically Judaism, only the victim of a sin or crime can forgive him.
KING: His wife has.
PRAGER: That's their business. It's not for me to forgive him.
KING: Is his political future over?
PRAGER: I think it is.
KING: Joe, is it over?
TRIPPI: I hope not. I think -- look, I know how much he cares about poverty and health care. I think, you know -- I expect that he'll, over time, work on those issues. I don't necessarily think he will ever run for elective office. I think he was well beyond that anyway, in his own mind, before -- when he was running for president. He was either going to win and move on or find some other way to fight on these issues. I suspect he'll find those other ways.
KING: Michael, you think it's over?
REAGAN: Oh, yes, it's absolutely over. It's not our position whether we forgive him or not, as Dennis said. It's up to his wife to forgive him or not. it's not up to me to forgive him, because he didn't wrong me at all. As far as politically, his career is absolutely over. He's like a person you don't want in this building.
KING: Missoula, Montana, hello.
CALLER: Larry, I was wondering if any campaign money was used to help continue this affair or have the affair?
KING: Hilary, do we know that or not know it?
ROSEN: What we do know is that his campaign paid Miss Hunter a significant amount of money to create these videos, you know, some would say an excessive amount of money, but it doesn't appear that we may get to the bottom of that any time soon.
KING: Joe, what do you know?
TRIPPI: Everything I know says, no, at least from the point I was there in the campaign. There were no campaign funds used in any way to anybody involved in this. Hilary does point out that Rielle Hunter was paid to produce these documentaries earlier in, I think, 2007, it would have been. And, you know, we're talking about -- there were documentaries delivered and there was, you know, a production company and editing and stuff like that involved. A lot of that could be money that went to editing and stuff, not necessarily just to her.
KING: Do you feel sorry for him, Dennis?
PRAGER: If everything he said is true, that's all he did, he had told his wife this, I feel, first and foremost, sorry for his wife and his children. We all do, Republican or Democrat. Yes, the truth is, unless a person is a callous human being, I feel bad for anybody in an affair, a 30 year marriage. I do believe he loved her. I think it's a lousy situation.
But I'll tell you this, I -- I feel funny saying this, but I don't believe that he's told the whole truth.
KING: Michael, you feel sorry?
REAGAN: I don't really feel sorry for him because I don't think we know everything. The woman got paid 114,000 dollars a year to be a video editor. The fact is we don't know where the money went. And that's going to be the next shoe to drop.
KING: Thank you very much. Lots more to come. Don't go away.
KING: In New York is Dr. Robi Ludwig, psychotherapist, best selling author of "Til Death Do Us Part." Here in Los Angeles is Dr. Charles Sophy, psychiatrist, medical director of the L.A. County Department of Children & Family Services. In West Palm Beach, Florida is David Perel, the editor in chief of the "National Enquirer." And in Atlanta is Drew Griffin, correspondent for the CNN special investigations unit.
We'll start with David Perel. David, you've been so right on this. Is more coming?
DAVID PEREL, EDITOR IN CHIEF, "NATIONAL ENQUIRER": Yes, Larry, there's a lot more coming. Absolutely.
KING: How did -- by digging into all of this, and the fact that it keeps coming, does that surprise you? You've done a lot of stories. Does this one surprise you?
PEREL: This story did surprise me, Larry. It surprised me that John Edwards, who had a reputation as being a very honest and moral man, could stand there before the American public while running for president and just lie so brazenly. I have to admit it shocked me and it shocked the team at the Enquirer.
The truth is there will be more revelations. He was not totally honest during that "Nightline" interview. There is more to the story that's going to come out in the Enquirer.
KING: Can you give us a hint what's coming this week?
PEREL: Yes, I can. As a matter of fact, we can tell you that he met three times with Rielle Hunter at the Beverly Hilton this year. that he has been in contact with her since, that she has now been flown out of California by private plane to an undisclosed location. And significantly, on the money trail, that he absolutely knew she was being paid, and she told him that she was being paid, and how much and where it was coming from.
KING: Drew Griffin, what do you make of that?
DREW GRIFFIN, CNN SPECIAL INVESTIGATIONS CORRESPONDENT: Very, very interesting. You know, kudos to the Enquirer. They have been on this story from this story from the beginning, Larry. Really, their source has been very deep and knowledgeable of this.
The money angle is what we're chasing now at CNN. When did she get the money? Is she actually getting cash or is she just getting flown around and being able to stay in houses rent-free? That's a big question we have. Also, what, if any, of that 114,000 she did get legitimately from the campaign could have been part of something else?
KING: Dr. Ludwig, as a psychotherapist, does this whole thing interest you?
DR. ROBI LUDWIG, PSYCHOTHERAPIST: Sure. It's interesting to see a politician almost really create his own demise, so to speak. But, you know, I think that we need to understand what the trigger was for him. Was he a repeated offender? Did he cheat on an ongoing basis or was there something about his wife's illness that contributed to this behavior? I think we get so caught up in the moralistic issues, we don't understand the complexities of why politicians might engage in this behavior. It's ego-boosting. They feel entitled. And they have a lot of people targeting them as well.
KING: Dr. Sophy, what's the effect on children? DR. CHARLES SOPHY, PSYCHIATRIST: I think the effect is pretty significant. In a world where we really need to have integrity role models and we need to have especially people in the limelight, like our professional politicians, we need to have integrity. I think the affect is devastating on children and the family unit.
KING: Let's look at some of the web video work Miss Hunter did for John Edwards. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RIELLE HUNTER, FMR. MISTRESS OF JOHN EDWARDS: So glad you like it.
EDWARDS: I like it. Wait until you hear me give it live.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: David, when this first came to you, when you got the source -- and obviously you trust the source and you checked it out -- were you shocked based on the credibility of Senator Edwards?
PEREL: Yes, we really were. He's definitely not the man he appears to be or the man that we thought he was. It was more than one source. It was a deep investigation, making multiple sources over a period of months. After it checked out, we were shocked. We thought he would admit it, because we confronted him with overwhelming evidence. But he decided to just go out there and deny it, deny, deny. I think those sound bites are really coming back to hurt him now.
KING: Why do you think he would deny, knowing you had all the facts in front of him?
PEREL: I think that goes to his self-confessed egotism and narcissism. The man -- that was probably the most honest thing he said. He just thought he was untouchable. If he could smear us and just say, well, it's tabloid trash and lies, he thought nobody would dig any deeper. But time proved him wrong.
KING: Boy, did they. We'll be right back with more on this edition of LARRY KING LIVE. Don't go away.
KING: John Edwards was asked why Elizabeth wasn't with him for his TV confession last Friday. Here's what he said.
I'm sorry. We didn't have that. We'll save it for another time. Drew Griffin, did you tend to not buy this story initially because it was the "National Enquirer" story?
GRIFFIN: No. We couldn't nail it down, Larry. The Enquirer, I think, will readily admit they do pay for some of their information. They had a great, great source on this. We couldn't nail it down. Everybody we called was pretty much silent on this. Joe Trippi says he didn't know anything about it. I think a very tight group of people were the only ones who did know about it. And they simply weren't talking. We did go after it pretty aggressively. We just couldn't get it.
KING: Dr. Ludwig, what's the long range effect on Elizabeth Edwards suffering from cancer?
LUDWIG: Listen, stress doesn't help with any underlying illness, obviously. But if she has made the decision to forgive her husband and they have decided to work on healing the relationship, that has to have a good impact.
KING: Dr. Sophy, long range on the children?
SOPHY: I think the long range on the children is integrity. They have to trust their father again, and that is going to be a long, hard road. Even though he says he's trying to do it, I there is more to come, and we're going to learn more next week.
KING: I'm told that we now have that tape of Edwards explaining why Elizabeth wasn't with him. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
EDWARDS: I have seen these public figures who bring their wives along when they are saying they did something wrong, confessing some wrong. They bring their wife to stand beside them, I guess, to show support. Elizabeth didn't do anything wrong. She should not be involved in protecting me from whatever the consequences of this are. This I need to do alone, without her, because she is in no way responsible for this.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: David, you've had to deal a lot with public figures under fire. What's your read on John Edwards?
PEREL: I think John Edwards is still holding back information. Based on what we know, he's still trying to lessen the damage of this. He's only owning up to the bare minimum. He just has not come clean. When you examine the statements, he didn't tell his wife that he was going to meet Rielle Hunter at the Beverly Hilton on July 21st. He says, well, I told her the next day. Of course he told her the next day. He was confronted by Enquirer reporters. It was up on our website within two hours.
So, I just think that he still has not told the whole truth.
KING: Drew Griffin, if you accept that, do you think there's a lot more coming?
GRIFFIN: Yes, I do. I do. There's a lot of questions here about the money that was used, or the facilities that were used to transport Rielle Hunter and Andrew Young, the supposed father of this child, out of North Carolina. Where did that money come from. Fred Barren, the former head of the campaign finance committee for John Edwards, says he takes responsibility for that and didn't talk to Edwards about it. We just don't know the truth. We don't know if money changed hands there, and where that money came from.
KING: What we now have is a snowball in August. We thank Dr. Robi Ludwig, Dr. Charles Sophy, David Perel, the editor in chief of the "National Enquirer" and Drew Griffin, our correspondent with CNN Special Investigations Unit, for joining us. Thank you all.
Go to CNN.com/LarryKing for our great interactive features. You can download our ring tones on this week's podcast, T. Boone Pickens, and check out our latest. It's all happening at LARRY KING LIVE. You can get great interactive features as well.
Right now, we're going to turn things over to our man, Anderson Cooper, the host of "AC 360," coming right now from New York. Anderson?