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CNN Larry King Live

The Palin Factor

Aired September 09, 2008 - 21:00   ET


LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, the Palin factor.

GOV. SARAH PALIN (R), VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We're going to Washington to shake things up.


KING: She's fired up some in the GOP base and ticked off others who just don't get her.

Is Sarah Palin a polarizing figure, a uniting force or something in between?

Can one woman influence the outcome of an election?

The pros, the cons, the controversy.

Joy Behar is here to light the fuse, next on a fiery hour of LARRY KING LIVE.

Joy Behar will be with us in the opening half hour. And then a major panel discussion.

The subject tonight is Sarah Palin.

Joy, of course, is could host of "The View."

She and Whoopi Goldberg will be appearing at Foxwoods Resort & Casino this Saturday and again on October 24th. And she's openly supporting the Obama-Biden ticket.

Before we ask her a question, let's show you a video toss of the women of "The View." Like women all over the country, they've been debating the pros and cons of Sarah Palin.

Here's a sample.




That a man of 72 years old who has a melanoma twice already...


BEHAR: ...who is really not a young 72...


BEHAR: ...could have an attack or die of cancer or whatever -- a heart attack. And then this woman, who has five children -- I'll grant you, she already -- but you cannot trade one vagina for another vagina.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She's just a woman. She has one. She has one. She walked into Alaska, looked corruption in the face...


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Which is a male state.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's such a male state.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: ...from Republicans and said you know what, I'm not going to have any of this. I'm going to clean it up and I'm going to do it because it's the right thing to do.


KING: I guess I don't have to ask you what you think of Sarah Palin.

What do you make of this phenomena?

BEHAR: She certainly is a phenomena and I'm happy that a woman, you know, has come this far. But, you know, the one thing that I don't think anybody has said yet is that she's very mean to animals, this woman.

Why does she have did in for these poor polar bear and the caribou and she aerial kills wolves?

That's a very mean thing to do. I think that that's an important point we should all be looking at. She sued the Bush administration because they said that polar bears should be on the endangered species list -- the one thing that I agree with the Bush administration about. And I mean it's just because they would interfere with all this drilling that they want to do.

KING: Why... BEHAR: I don't think that's very nice, do you?

KING: Why do you think she's become such a lightning rod?

Would any female nominee have evoked this passion?

Would Hillary have evoked it if she was on the ticket?

BEHAR: Well, Hillary has already evoked it and her -- you know, her -- that ship has sailed, as we say.

But this woman has really -- is driving a lot of people crazy because she doesn't really express herself to the press yet. We want to hear what she has to say.

I was watching Jeffrey Toobin previous to your show. And he was saying, you know, that we would like to question her -- the press. Not me, but people like you and people like Jeffrey and people like Tom Brokaw, etc. People would like to question her about her positions on creationism and abortion.

You know, don't go into -- don't become an MIA the way they did it with George Bush at the convention, where they had him practically in Siberia that day because they don't want to him to be out there, you know?

And I think that's...

KING: Charlie Gibson of ABC will be interviewing her, apparently, at the end of the week.

BEHAR: Yes, well, that's...

KING: And that will be the first, we hope, of many.

BEHAR: I believe target Geraldine Ferraro, when she was running, was interviewed immediately.

KING: Yes, she was.

BEHAR: And, you know, people come out and -- you know, I mean I think that she should be out there, frankly.

KING: Her religious faith has helped energize the GOP. It's also drawing scrutiny, as you know. A video of her speaking to students in her former church a few months back is now all over the Internet.

Let's take a look.

BEHAR: Right.


GOV. SARAH PALIN (R), VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Pray for our military men and women who are striving to do what is right, also, for this country, that our leaders -- our national leaders are sending them out on a task that is from God.

I think God's will has to be done and unifying people and companies to get that gas line built. So pray for that. But I can do my job. But, really, all of that stuff doesn't do any good if the people of Alaska's heart isn't right with God.


KING: All right, is she saying that God is involved in political decisions...

BEHAR: Right.

KING: ...and if your heart isn't right with God, you're in trouble?

BEHAR: So much...

KING: So that means if you're an agonistic or an atheist, you're out?

BEHAR: Forget about it. Forget about just agnostics, whatever those are -- and atheists. I mean if you're not Christian, according to her. But, you know, so much for the separation of church and state.

And, you know, this whole business that God has a plan about the Iraq War and he has a plan for drilling in Alaska and all of this other stuff.

I don't understand why -- how people can say things like that, that it's God's will, because is it God's will also to have caused Hurricane Katrina?

Was it God's will to cause tsunamis and earthquakes all over the world, the hurricane that's happening in Cuba right now?

I mean if you're going to give God the credit for the good stuff, you've got to give him the blame for the bad stuff, right?

And it's always God's will. And it's very self-centered, in my opinion. You know, people say well, thank God I was not killed that day.

Well, what about the poor -- the poor kid that wasn't killed?

God wasn't watching over that kid?

It's very illogical and irrational and hysterical and crazy, as far as I'm concerned...

KING: Her religious...

BEHAR: ...that type of talk.

KING: Her religious views and the implications of it were discussed today on your program, "The View." Let's watch a clip.

BEHAR: All right.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: God is actually that -- he is the great designer and that he created this earth and that there is a plan. I believe that they -- whether it's good or bad, God doesn't always say yes. Sometimes he says no.

BEHAR: Yes, but God's will for a pipeline at the same time is God's will for a tsunami?

It's not equal, sorry.


BEHAR: It doesn't make sense to me or to people like me.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It doesn't make sense to a lot of people. I hear you on that.

BEHAR: It doesn't make sense because it's not logical in any way.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did she say that?

I think we have to really pay attention to exactly what she is saying.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did she say the tsunami was God's will?

BEHAR: No, no.



BEHAR: But I'm assuming it is, because you just said that.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm saying there are people...

BEHAR: She's saying there's a (INAUDIBLE)...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There are people who do say that, look, if they believe comprehensively that God -- God rules the Earth, he created this, you know, he created us in his image.

BEHAR: Yes. Well, then in that case, he's not very nice.



KING: We'll be right...


KING: We'll be right back with Joy Behar.

Still to come, the first look later at "People" magazine's exclusive McCain family photos. They're all together on the cover.

Next sexism -- is Sarah Palin a victim?

Don't go away.



PALIN: I was just your average hockey mom in Alaska, right?


PALIN: I love those hockey moms. You know, they say the difference between a hockey mom and a pit bull -- lipstick.



(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D), PRESUMPTIVE NOMINEE: And I've been to 49 states now. The only one I haven't been to is Alaska. And I realize now that...


OBAMA: ...maybe I should have gone up there.


KING: Joy Behar, what basically troubles you about Sarah Palin?

BEHAR: Doesn't Obama have a great sense of humor?

He's so...

KING: Yes, he does.

BEHAR: He's so cute.

KING: That was funny. BEHAR: And he's so warm and lovely. And he's a real, real star.

What troubles me about Sarah?

KING: Yes.

BEHAR: I really think that she is setting women back many, many years. I mean it's like...

KING: How?

BEHAR: Come into the 21st century, Sarah, you know?

No choice when it comes to rape and incest?

I mean come on. You know that a woman is raped every six minutes in this country?

What -- you know, a lot of those girls are going to get pregnant. They're not allowed to get an abortion within a reasonable amount of time?

You know, your father has raped you and...

KING: Well, the view is...

BEHAR: ...attacked you, you can't get an abortion?

That's outrageous.

KING: Joy, I think the view is that if you believe that the fetus is a living person, how it got to be a fetus -- rape, incest, whatever -- it doesn't matter...


KING: ...that the fetus should be allowed to live.

BEHAR: Well, they have -- they all entitled to their opinion, these people. I happen to believe that the teenager is a living thing, also. And the girl who got pregnant is a living thing. But they're entitled to their opinion, just don't tell me. I always say stay out of my uterus, you know and -- you know. So that's one thing.

Then she has these kind of backwards ideas, as I said before about hunting, which I think is very, very anti-environment. She has a terrible record on the environment. We're coming into a world now where you have to have new ideas about the environment, about the world. You know, we're not -- we can't just talk -- and McCain, you know, when he was on "The View," I said to him -- I asked him the question -- he's coming on, by the way, again this Friday.

And I said what exactly makes you different from George Bush?

What are you -- how are you different? And he really, as they say over and over again, 90 percent he agrees with Bush. The one thing that he didn't agree with him was the environment. And now it's drill, drill, drill. You know, so he -- I think he's a hundred percent with Bush right now. And this...

KING: All right.

BEHAR: ...this woman is even more to the right than McCain. It's dangerous.

KING: We have an e-mail question...

BEHAR: Go ahead.

KING: e-mail question from Evelyn in Abilene, Texas.


KING: "Obama really got hammered for his church affiliation. Do you think what's been said in Sarah Palin's church will get the same treatment?"

BEHAR: Well, probably not. Probably not. I mean, you know, the thing with Obama's church was that he was speaking out against Americans, in a way. He was speaking -- he was saying things that Americans don't want to hear.

And a lot of Americans agree with Sarah Palin. They agree that it's God's will to drill in Alaska. A lot of people believe that and agree with her. So I don't think she's going to get -- she's going to -- and you we were going to ask me if there was sexism right now in the Sarah Palin case.

KING: Yes.

BEHAR: Well, they treat her like she's -- like she's Angelina Jolie. I've never seen so much attention paid to one individual politician in my entire life on the planet. And a lot of it is positive, you know, positive spin.

KING: Right.

BEHAR: So we have to get to know her.



KING: This may shock you. A new "Washington Post"/ABC News poll shows a major shift of white women voters from Obama to McCain since the selection of Sarah Palin.

And, by the way, we need to note that CNN's polling doesn't find this to be true.

But the "Washington Post"/ABC News poll shows that white women backed Obama over McCain 50 to 42 percent in August. Now it shows McCain over Obama 53 to 41.

The CNN polling doesn't match that.

What do you make of that, though?

BEHAR: That the men like her better than the women, is that what you're saying?

KING: No, that women have shifted.


KING: According to this one poll...

BEHAR: Oh, yes. I've heard that. KING: Have drastically shifted.

What do you make of that?

BEHAR: Well, what I make of it is that it's a very iffy poll. All of a sudden these women are madly in love with John McCain?

It doesn't make sense.

All these women who were pro-choice are now not?

All these women who worried about girls being be taught abstinence classes?

By the way, this abstinence class -- these abstinence classes that they love to give, they have shown -- studies have shown that there are more pregnancies when they teach abstinence. I don't even know what to make of that. But I think that -- I was under the impression that men liked her better than women in general.

KING: That's CNN's poll. CNN's poll says more men like her than women.

BEHAR: I go along with that one, because, you know, she's very pretty. She's beautiful. And I think the men are attracted to her, if you want my opinion. I was saying the other day, she looks like one of these girls who's like a librarian with the glasses and the ponytail. And then at night she's va-va-va-voom, you know, take the glasses off, throw the hair back. And the men are turned on to the woman, dogs that they are.

KING: Do you think she's getting a break in the media?

BEHAR: She has up until today. And now I see it's turning. Now I hear Jeffrey Toobin and people like that saying come on, come out, come out wherever you are. We want to talk to you.

And, you know, she's getting hammered on the Internet. There's all sorts of stuff. I mean I was reading stuff I had to check out today, that she -- you know, that she shot 40 caribou in one day. That's not true. She is a hunter. And people are writing a lot of stuff about her.

So I think that she's starting to get hammered. And the Republican base is going to have to figure that one out now. They're going to have to drag her out...

KING: John...

BEHAR: ...and let's hear what she has to say.

KING: McCain's campaign manager, Rick Davis, said earlier this month that the election isn't issues, it's about personalities.

BEHAR: Um-hmm.

KING: How do you react to that?

BEHAR: Well, you know...

KING: Is that true, by the way?

BEHAR: Well, it's possible right now that it could be. But, you know, George Bush was basically elected based on the fact that people wanted to have a beer with him. Now, a lot of these people can't even afford to buy a beer, OK.

So what does that tell you about voting for someone because he has a great personality?

Talk about issues, see what they're saying about your life.

Is he going to make your life better?

Are you better off now than you were eight years ago?

Most people say no. The rich say yes, but most people in the country say no. The gas is up. Health care -- what happened to -- no one in the Republican Party discusses health care. It's in shambles. I was listening to some news report today saying that only 2 percent of kids who are graduating from medical school will become internists. The rest are all going to be specialists.


Because they don't make enough money as an internist. And we need those people.

KING: Yes.

BEHAR: We need those G.P. types. And the insurance forms are too complicated.

Can't they fix this, for God's sakes?

I mean they do it in Denmark, they do it all over -- all over Europe.

And we can't do this?

The greatest country in the world can't figure out health care?

There is not word one from the Republican Party about health care, Larry.

KING: We'll get a break and come back with more of Joy Behar.

Would Hillary Clinton have made a better running mate than Joe Biden?

Joy will tell us what she thinks -- what a surprise -- when LARRY KING LIVE returns.


KING: A quick note. Anyone who's been listening to this interview knows that Joy Behar minces no words in sharing her strong liberal opinions and that's why we have her on.

But throughout this election, we'll be talking with people whose political views are very different from Joy's. In fact, tomorrow night, actor Chuck Norris will be here, a strong conservative. Remember, he was for Mike Huckabee.

The LARRY KING LIVE guest list will always include Republicans, Democrats, other partisans, Independents. We also have standing invitations, of course, out to Barack Obama and John McCain, as well as the V.P. candidates, Sarah Palin and Joe Biden.

Your co-host, Joy, Elisabeth Hasselbeck, emceed a lunch for Cindy McCain during the Republican Convention. And here's what she said about Cindy's stint as a guest co-host.


ELISABETH HASSELBECK, CO-HOST: Cindy came into our hair and makeup room as fresh as can be. And unlike another wife of a political candidate who shall remain nameless, she didn't come with a list of topics that we weren't allowed touch. Nope. That's because she had nothing to hide.


KING: What was she talking about?

BEHAR: She is so cute.

Isn't she adorable?

KING: Yes.

What was she talking about?

BEHAR: We've got a -- you know, people think we fight all the time, but we get along great. I don't know what she was talking about. I don't book the show. You know, that's -- you know...

KING: No, I mean what candidate goes with a list of topics you can't talk about?

BEHAR: I have no idea.

KING: What's she referring to?

BEHAR: I have no idea. I have no idea.

KING: We have an e-mail question from Judith in East Rockaway, New York: "Do you find it difficult to sit across from someone like Elisabeth, who is so defensive about the Republican Party and can find no wrong with the last eight years of George Bush?"

Do you find it hard?

BEHAR: Well, it's challenging, let's put it that way. You know, it's challenging.

You know I want to go back to your point before, you know, about being a liberal. You called me a liberal.

First of all, when I sit in for you, I am neutral.

You remember that?

KING: Correct.

BEHAR: I want...

KING: Of course.

BEHAR: I want you guys to remember that. I'm always neutral when I sit in for you.

But, you know, I am so proud of being a liberal. You know, I grew up in a neighborhood in Brooklyn -- an Italian neighborhood in Brooklyn. Because of Democrats and liberals, we have Medicare, we've got Social Security, we've got unemployment insurance without -- which I have been on many times. We have civil rights legislation. We have women's rights moving along because of the Democrats.

The Republicans stand in the way of all liberal policies. I would like to say to those women out there who are thinking of going over to McCain's side, even though they we were on Hillary's side for a while, think about that.

Do you want to live in a world without any kind of a safety net?

It's very, very difficult to live like that. And I don't think these people in rural America, as they call it want that.

KING: Joy...

BEHAR: I think that they should start to think about their own interests and vote for your own interests.


Go ahead.

KING: Do you think Hillary -- do you think Hillary Clinton would have been a better pick as vice president than Joe Biden?

BEHAR: Well, I don't -- I don't think that he would have chosen a woman if Hillary was on the ticket with Obama. I don't think that he would have done that. This is a very cynical choice, because he didn't even vet Sarah Palin. I understand that the McCain camp just Googled the woman. I mean -- and he says that this is -- he's patriotic about this.

I mean I don't want to -- I don't want to say anything against John McCain's patriotism. He's a great patriot and a great American.

But I think that that was a very cynical move, to do that, just to win the election.

She's good for campaigning, but is she good for the country?

Is that ticket good for the country, when we don't even know that much about the woman?


KING: By the way...

BEHAR: ...Obama chose Joe Biden. Joe Biden has been on "Meet The Press" 42 times, Larry. Forty-two times. Now that is a record to run on.

KING: John and...

BEHAR: I'm sorry, that's how I feel.

KING: John and Cindy McCain's older daughter, Meghan, was on "The View" today.

BEHAR: Adorable.

KING: She'll be on this program on Monday night.

Let's take a look.



BARBARA WALTERS, CO-HOST: Are there times when you disagree with your father?

MEGHAN MCCAIN: Oh, yes. Of course. I'm, you know, so much younger than he is. I went to Columbia. It's an extremely liberal college. I consider myself very socially liberal on many, many, many issues.

But, you know, what I like about my father and the people around him is I don't think that in my father's administration, if he we were to win, you will have to think one way. I know certainly my friends that travel with us are very, very liberal, but support my dad.


BEHAR: Well, she's an adorable girl and she makes her father seem like such an -- you know, such an open-minded, almost liberal kind of guy. I wish that he were. She was very charming. I liked her very much (INAUDIBLE).

KING: She sounded very liberal.

BEHAR: She's very liberal. And it's great to know that John McCain is not a fascist, you know, that he allows whatever people want to say in his home.

KING: Yes.

BEHAR: But, you know -- but I still can't vote for him, as much as I like him personally -- and I do. And I look forward to seeing him on Friday, as a matter of fact. And Cindy McCain, too. They'll be on "The View" together on Friday.

KING: Meghan will be here on Monday night.

An Internet company is now selling three Sarah Palin action figures.


KING: There are action figures, too, of Obama and McCain.

Who do you think would buy this?

BEHAR: Men. Men will buy the Sarah Palin doll, believe me. And God knows what they'll be doing with it. Look at her.

KING: There we see a little of it. There's the Sarah Palin doll.

BEHAR: You know, what happened to contact lenses, by the way?

You know, I mean those glasses are a prop.


BEHAR: Right?

She could wear contact lenses. She doesn't have to wear glasses. She's trying to look like that strict librarian that I discussed before.

KING: How do you think...

BEHAR: And it's kind of working.

KING: How do you think she's going to play out, Joy, in the long run?

You know, we've got 60 days -- a little less now.

BEHAR: Well, you know, I'm shocked to find out that -- somebody told me today that there are these young conservative leaning women in various jobs around the city that did not realize that she was not pro-choice. The word has got to trickle down to people in America to see what she really is about.

But remember, it's John McCain that we're electing. We're not electing Sarah Palin. We're electing John McCain.

He is not pro-choice, either. But he is also -- I believe he's against embryonic stem cell research, the way she is.

Is that correct or not?

KING: No, I think he's for stem cell research.

BEHAR: Well, that's very good.

KING: I'm pretty sure he is.

BEHAR: Yes. I would hope that people would start to think about that -- people who in their families who have diseases and illnesses. You know, and this is block -- this research is blocked.

What are we, in the 1800s in this country?

Let's move it along here.

KING: Joy, it's always good to see you. Always good to have you to co-host...

BEHAR: Always good to see you, Larry.

KING: It's always good to have you hosting this program. You're a great guest.

BEHAR: Thank you.

KING: Joy Behar.

We are just getting started.

Sarah Palin -- uniter or divider?

It's next.

And still to come, the first look at "People" magazine's exclusive McCain family photos. They're all together on the cover.

Stay right there. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: The subject is Sarah Palin.

The panel is Karen Hughes. She's in Austin, Texas -- a long time associate of George W. Bush.

In Seattle is Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood and the daughter of the late Texas governor, Ann Richards.

In Washington is Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, Republican of Minnesota. Like Sarah Palin, she is the mother of five.

And does she look good, huh?

And Hilary Rosen, CNN contributor, political director and Washington editor-at-large of The Huffington Post.

All right, Cecile, what do you make of this whole Sarah Palin phenomena?

CECILE RICHARDS, PRESIDENT, PLANNED PARENTHOOD: I think she has created interest. Two weeks ago, no one knew who Sarah Palin was and I think people now are beginning to look at what she actually stands for, what she did as governor. This is a woman who I think is far out of the mainstream. She line item vetoed programs for teenage moms in Alaska. She is opposed to stem cell research. As we discussed, she believes that women, even in the cases of rape or incest, should be forced to bear the child. I think these are views that are not represented by most women in America.

KING: Congresswoman Bachmann, what is the other side?

REP. MICHELE BACHMANN (R), MINNESOTA: I think the other side is, Larry, from the moment Sarah Palin was introduced on the scene, everyone has loved her, men, women, young, old, political people, non- political people. They see someone who is authentic and genuine, who they can relate to, and who is very accomplished. I think John McCain hit a grand slam when he chose Sarah Palin.

KING: She has obviously energized the Republican base. Hillary Rosen, what has she done, if anything, to the Democratic base?

HILLARY ROSEN, "THE HUFFINGTON POST": Everybody is talking. I'm not sure everybody loves her. It's incendiary in so many ways. I think she has clearly energized the Democratic base in wanting to make sure that people understand her policies and that's really important. But, you know, to have somebody who is on the national stage like this, who is a young mother, who is not somebody's wife, who is not somebody's daughter, who is somebody who sort of got there on her own is really interesting. And it's a bigger challenge for us as Democrats, I think, to make sure that people really understand what she stands for, because the package itself doesn't really lend itself to that. The package betrays the underlying policy positions she has. And it's got Democrats kind of fumbling. KING: Karen, I wanted you to watch this clip and I want you to comment. IN pitching her credentials as a reformer and a maverick, Sarah Palin has repeatedly talking about opposing the bridge to nowhere. Here's an example and then we'll have our old friend Karen Hughes respond.


PALIN: We championed in Alaska reform of the old earmark process. I told Congress, thanks but no thanks for that bridge to nowhere up in Alaska. If our state wanted a bridge, we are going to build it ourselves.


KING: Now, Karen, good to see you again, by the way.

KAREN HUGHES, FMR. BUSH ADVISER: Hi, Larry. It's great to see you. Good to be back.

KING: Didn't she support a lot of earmarks for her state?

HUGHES: I think, Larry, when she was running for governor, she said yes. Obviously when you're running for governor of the state, you want money for your state. But then she began to question some of them and she did end up actually opposing and announced to her congressional district, much to some of their shocked surprise, some of the people who had proposed that special project, that she announced that she was opposing it. So I think that shows that she has a record in office. She cut almost 500 million dollars in wasteful spending. So I think she has a record of standing up to the special interests.

And what is so appealing to me about both her and Senator McCain is they have done it to their own party. They are willing -- and I think that's what the American people want. They want a Republican who is willing to say, maybe Republicans aren't right all the time, even though we are right most of the time, and stand up to their own party.

KING: Barack Obama is now challenging Palin's credentials and her claims. Let's take a look. Watch.


OBAMA: While she was mayor of her town, she hired a Washington lobbyist, got millions of dollars of pork projects for her town. When she was running for governor, initially, she was supportive of the bridge to nowhere, and then a bunch of heat generated because people are thinking, why are we building a bridge to nowhere, so a deal was cut where Alaska still got the money. They just didn't build a bridge with it. And now she's out there acting like she was fighting this thing the whole time.


KING: Cecile, does this tell you, Barack hitting it like this, that the Democrats are worried?

RICHARDS: Well, I think it's important to point out her record. And I think it's also important to take Karen's point here. Look, at the end of the day, this election is about John McCain and Barack Obama. John McCain is not an agent for change, and I think this illustration that Barack is using is a good one. People want to say he bucked his party. He voted with George Bush 90 percent of the time. This is a man who has absolutely been in lock step with George Bush on all of his major initiatives and policies. So I think the point of the matter is, if you liked George Bush and you like the George Bush administration, you're going to love the McCain-Palin ticket.

KING: Congresswoman Bachmann, we have dueling polls. A new "Washington Post"/ABC News polls says a major shift of white women voters from Obama to McCain has occurred, while CNN's polling shows the opposite. What is your read on all of this, on where women are going?

BACHMANN: I think I found that myself back in Minnesota. I had a number of people that I spoke with over the weekend. A lot of them were non-political. Some were older women in their late 70s. Some were very young women in their teens. And universally, Larry, what I heard from women, especially non-political women, was, I like her. She's really fun. She's someone I can relate to. She really seems like a strong person. I think one thing Minnesota people really appreciated about her is how authentic and how real she became.

And she's really comfortable in her own skin. You can see that when I was at the Republican convention. I was there in the front row of the Minnesota delegation. You can see it not only with herself, but with her husband, with her kids. These are really real people, normal people, if you will. And I think it was refreshing to see someone who's really made it on her own, and who's been extraordinarily successful. She's an ordinary person, but she's done some very extraordinary accomplishments.

KING: Joe Biden made strong and controversial comments about Palin today. We'll hear what he said next.



SEN. JOE BIDEN (D), VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I am ready. Barack Obama is ready. We will change this nation.

PALIN: There is only one man in this election who has ever really fought for you.

MCCAIN: We can win this election. We can change America.

BIDEN: Barack Obama was right.

OBAMA: You can't just reinvest yourself. The American people aren't stupid. BIDEN: John McCain was wrong.

MCCAIN: I work for you and that's my record, service to this country.


KING: Joe Biden fielding flack today from the McCain campaign for comments he made about stem cell research. Earlier today in Columbia, Missouri, here is what he said.


BIDEN: I hear all of this talk about how the Republicans are going to work in dealing with parents who have both the joy, because there's joy to it as well -- the joy and the difficulty of raising a child who has a developmental disability, who was born with a birth defect. Guess what, folks, if you care about it, why don't you support stem cell research?


KING: Hillary, apparently they are complaining about that. What was wrong with that statement?

ROSEN: Well, you know, nothing, really. People's families should be off limits, as long as they themselves make them off limits. And I think it's pretty fair to say that Sarah Palin is campaigning as a wife and a mom. And you're not attacking a child by saying -- making a life related point. Here's the issue. When she was governor, she cut special needs funding for families by 62 percent. She's against stem cell research. She wants to -- she's against health care reform for everybody else, even though John McCain and Sarah Palin have health care paid for by the government.

This is really about the issues. And so people have to focus on the issues. John McCain has been in the Senate for years and years and years and has voted against every single thing that he is now saying he's going to get done, whether it's energy, whether it's health care, whether it's education, whether it's job support. He's saying now he's going to do it? Sorry, it just doesn't work. You can't do it all over again.

KING: Karen Hughes, how do you respond to that.

HUGHES: Well, I think Senator Biden is treading on dangerous territory when he deliberately takes the word joy, which he used to talk about the special joy of rearing a special needs child. And I think it's dangerous territory for him to take on that. She has a very principled pro life position. I actually had an email today from friend of mine who is pro-choice, who disagrees with her on this. But she said, I really admire her. This is a woman who is consistent about her principles. She is an advocate for health care and for education. We have a difference of approach to those issues than a government take over or a government bureaucracy trying to chose our doctors for us. But she absolutely cares about those issues. She has a record of taking on wasteful government spending and she has a --

KING: She disagrees with McCain about stem cell research. They split on that.

HUGHES: Yes, she does.

ROSEN: Karen, she does more than care about the issues. She wants to make the decision for you and me, too. It's not only a decision she wants to make for her own family; it's a decision she wants to make for our family. And that's where the line should be drawn.

HUGHES: Well, maybe many women -- a small number of women for whom abortion is the deciding factor, and the only reason on which they cast their vote, and I doubt she'll get that vote. But most women, I think, are concerned about issues that are even broader, the security of their families, for example. It was Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton who did the infamous commercial about the phone call in the middle of the night, where she basically said Barack Obama is not ready to answer that phone call and to protect Americans and our families when the unexpected happens, as it almost certainly will in this dangerous world we live in.

KING: All right. We'll bring others in. Let's get a break and come right back. If families are off limits, why are the candidates putting them out in front of the public? That's next.


KING: He just referred to a quote today by Barack Obama that may or may not have been sexist. We're going to play it and get the panel's opinion. Watch.


OBAMA: You can put lipstick on a pig. It's still a pig. You know, you can -- you know -- you can -- you can wrap an old fish and a piece of paper and call it change. It's still going to stink. After eight years, we've had enough of the same old thing. It's time to bring about real change to Washington.


KING: Congresswoman, was that out of line?

BACHMANN: Well, I think the audience took this phrase as being about Governor Palin. I don't know that that's necessarily what --

KING: And her statement about lipstick?

BACHMANN: Right. I think that the audience took it that Barack Obama was speaking about Sarah Palin. It's kind of interesting, when you're running for president, you have to be very careful with your word choices, and Senator Obama has been fairly thin skinned when it comes to things said about him. So I'm kind of surprised that he didn't think a little more carefully before he made this phrase. Whether he meant it form Governor Palin or not, I think running for president, I'm surprised he didn't think this through a bit more.

KING: Cecile, what do you think?

RICHARDS: It's sort of a Texas phrase, Larry. It's something my mother would have said. It's about you can say policies are about change, but you have to really look at them. You can try to dress them up. I think that's where a lot of the things now, all of this conversation about change -- John McCain has a 26-year voting record. And from Planned Parenthood, our concern is that he's voted against women's health care for 26 years. So that's not change. Women in this country are hurting and that's what they want to know.

KING: One of the clips from the panel, Hillary Clinton has been out campaigning for Obama so far, avoided direct slams at Governor Palin, but she has added to her convention catch phrase. Watch.


SEN. HILLARY CLINTON (D), NEW YORK: We need to be sure in this election that we are making a choice that is going to work. And I have to tell you, to slightly amend what I said in Denver. No way, no how, no McCain, no Palin.


KING: Karen, is she going to be important in this campaign, do you think?

HUGHES: Well, I think she's been important, Larry. She's out there making the call. I think she's being a good soldier, supporting her party. But, again, I think what I remember when I think about that is the devastating commercial that she ran questioning Barack Obama's experience and asking about his ability to take that phone call in the middle of the night when the unexpected happens.

But I want to address the lipstick issue. I noticed that both Senator Obama and Senator Biden deliberately used the word -- excuse me, they used the word lipstick today. I don't know if it was deliberate or not. But clearly Senator Obama -- I think Governor Palin has gotten under his skin a little bit. In politics, you don't usually have the presidential candidate responding to the vice presidential candidate. And that's what's happened here. He's spent a lot of time talking about her and it sure sounds a little like that old-style politics and name-calling. It doesn't sound like the United States of America that he talked about back in the old days.

KING: Hillary, what do you make of that?

ROSEN: I think it's a good point. I think Obama, you know, shouldn't be shooting down that way. On the other hand, I think that the -- John McCain has essentially disappeared from the platform. And he is trying to say, I was running as the experienced candidate, but now, wait, because of Sarah Palin, now I'm the change candidate. And so I think, in essence, Senator Obama is trying to wrap them together and say, the two of them together don't represent change.

This whole lipstick argument is the dumbest thing I ever heard. She's the one who started the lipstick thing in the first place.

HUGHES: I think Senator McCain's choice of a vice president really reinforced his stature as the original maverick. Unlike Joe Biden, who ran counter to Barack Obama's message, 30 years in Washington --

ROSEN: You can't have that argument both ways, Karen.


HUGHES: I'm not trying to have it both ways.

ROSEN: Yes, you are.


KING: One at a time, ladies.

ROSEN: You cannot say that this ticket doesn't have enough experience, and then at the same time, say that Sarah Palin is qualified to be president. You yourself were in the situation room, as I recall, when it was Dick Cheney, the vice president, seeking authority from George Bush who was flying around on an airplane on 9/11, looking for authority to shoot down aircraft in U.S. airspace, because of his understanding and experience in foreign policy. He was comfortable having that conversation with the president seeking that authority.

When you want to talk about experience, you tell me who you want in that seat, having a conversation with the president. Do you want it to be Joe Biden, or do you want it to be Sarah Palin? You can't have it be both ways. John McCain's the question. You cannot have it both ways.

KING: OK, guys.

HUGHES: Let me make one more point about Sarah Palin's experience, Larry, if I could.

KING: Quickly.

HUGHES: She's been a small-town mayor and there's been some mocking of that. I think there's almost no job in politics harder than being a small-town mayor, because you go to grocery shop and you go to church --

KING: But it doesn't include foreign policy.

HUGHES: Neither did being the governor of Arkansas, which as I recall, Bill Clinton was, and he didn't have foreign policy experience there either.

KING: Thank you all very much. We'll have you back. We appreciate you being with us. And we thank you for watching "The View" tonight. A little joke. Anyway, John McCain's family is on the cover of this week's "People." The managing editor is here to tell us what's inside the article on the McCains. That's next.


KING: We welcome from New York, Larry Hackett, managing editor of "People Magazine." John McCain, his wife and all seven of his children, from his first and second marriages, are on the cover of the September 22nd edition, out this week. How did you get this together, Larry?

LARRY HACKETT, "PEOPLE MAGAZINE": Well, it's something we've been trying to do for several months now. This campaign obviously has generated an enormous amount of interest. We have had the Obama family on earlier on in the summertime. And we wanted to get the McCain family on. The convention afforded the opportunity to get all of these family members together, all of John McCain's children. So we decided to do it.

It was complicated. There are, as you point out, a lot of folks on that cover. But it's something we wanted to do. The McCain camp was a little reluctant earlier in the summer. But I think they see they have a compelling story, just like the Obama family does. And they elected to do it. Were very happy to have it.

KING: Where did they pose?

HACKETT: They posed in a hotel room in Minneapolis. It was during the convention. It was just the day before John's speech. And all of his family members were there. And it was logistical trick, but it worked out, and we're really, really happy with it. It's the first time I know of that all the children have been together in the photograph.

KING: That's what I was going to ask. To your knowledge, is this a first?

HACKETT: It is. I mean, I presume there are family portraits elsewhere from years ago, but his son Jimmy, of course, had been stationed in Iraq. His son Jack is in the Naval Academy. He's been reluctant to have the kids on the campaign trail, for his own reasons and for reasons that they're prohibited from being involved in politics. So yes, it's a first.

KING: How well do these family cover stories do?

HACKETT: In this case, this election is like no other. The Obama cover sold very well. Our Palin cover did as well last week. There is an enormous amount of interest. We've covered politics for 35 years. I dare say there's never been interest like it like there is this year. It's done very well for us.

KING: That Palin cover, did anyone there hook into the pregnancy of the daughter?

HACKETT: Well, we had a brief conversation with Sarah Palin the morning that she was announced. At that point, the pregnancy was not known. Subsequent to that, we learned about it, and it was in the story that we did with Sarah Palin. But we didn't have a chance to discuss it with her, no.

KING: Is it more women that buy these issues than men?

HACKETT: It's more women. We have four million customers ever week. We have 40 million readers every week. So it obviously spreads across the entire gamut of the American public. Yes, the majority of our readers are women. And they are very much engaged in this campaign.


HACKETT: I was going to say these kinds of stories about the families, about how they raise their children, how they live their lives are an ingredient people are looking for to help make a decision. I think the campaigns all know that. There's discussions obviously about policy and things like that. But in a race as tight as this, they're all looking for an edge. I think both campaigns see an edge in having their families presented in ways that the American public can relate to.

KING: Somebody said you're a celebrity when "People Magazine" says you're a celebrity. Are the presidential candidates the new celebrities?

HACKETT: Well, our fifth cover in 1974, believe it or not, was a photograph of a topless Gerald Ford in his swimming pool, and I guess in Palm Springs. So we have always treated politicians as personalities that the American public want to know, dating back from the very beginning of the magazine. It has never been more so than it is now. These are two candidates with very compelling messages. Obviously, the entrance of Sarah Palin has added perhaps the most compelling figure thus far in terms of what people are interested in.

So yes, they are celebrities. They are personalities that are engaged in the public. And people want to know about them.

KING: And, obviously, "People" will stay on this all through till November.

HACKETT: As long as the public wants to read about it, we will be doing it. And I dare say they will be certainly interested for the next eight weeks or so, yes.

KING: And this cover is out this week, right? It comes in some places -- I think, if you subscribe, you might get it tomorrow.

HACKETT: That's right. It will be on sale tomorrow in some parts of the country. But by Friday it will be everywhere.

KING: Thanks, Larry.

HACKETT: Thank you, Larry.

KING: Larry Hackett, managing editor of "People Magazine."

Before we go tonight, I want to high-five a few colleagues for a great show. Last week, Katie Couric, Charlie Gibson and Brian Williams joined forces on Stand Up to Cancer. It was simulcast on all three broadcast networks and they raised a ton of money, more than 100 million dollars. Like the March of Dimes, every bit of change counts. So send what you can. A little or a lot, it all makes a big difference. We're going to Stand Up to Cancer so your loved ones and mine can fight this killer. And by the way, way to go, Katie, for making your idea television reality.

If you'd like to pledge, call 888-90-STAND. Or you can go to the website, and donate right now. Tomorrow night, Chuck Norris is here with what he calls black belt patriotism. That's LARRY KING LIVE for Wednesday. Time now for Anderson Cooper and "AC 360."