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Piers Morgan Live

Interview with Phil Donahue; Interview with Jim Talent; Interview with Roxanna and John Green

Aired January 05, 2012 - 21:00   ET


PIERS MORGAN, CNN HOST: Tonight he practically invented talk television. He was Oprah before Oprah.

And now he's back. The one and only Phil Donahue. He's never been afraid to speak his mind. Tonight I want to know what he thinks about the president.

PHIL DONAHUE, FORMER TALK SHOW HOST: He's a liberal. By the way, we're not liberals anymore.

MORGAN: The GOP field.

DONAHUE: This is not the country that my parents raised me to pledge my allegiance to.

MORGAN: And just for the hell of it, how I'm doing.

DONAHUE: You're pretty -- pretty focused. I enjoy watching you.

MORGAN: Plus, the youngest victim of the shooting that nearly killed Gabbie Giffords. Christine Taylor Green was born on 9/11 and died before her 10th birthday. Now her parents tell their heart- breaking story.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I was thinking that it was a nightmare and that I was going to wake up so I kept on pinching myself and hoping that it wasn't real. It was that horrendous. It was -- it's horrible.

MORGAN: With Sandra and John Green.


Good evening. I probably wouldn't be doing this job if it were not for my guest tonight. In fact television will be completely different had it not been for Phil Donahue. The man did an astounding 6,000 shows of more than a quarter of a century, he won nine Emmys and a Lifetime Achievement Award in the process.

Pretty much invented the daytime talk show. He's talked to everybody and tonight I'm delighted to say I have the great honor of being the latest person that Phil Donahue talks to.

When I said I was interviewing you, extraordinary reaction. I put it on Twitter this morning. You know, you've done one tweet. Is that right? How do you view it?


MORGAN: But what is -- the Phil Donahue Twitter site. It has one tweet.

DONAHUE: That's my secretary's creation. You know, I'm afraid I don't Twitter. I do text.


DONAHUE: I don't when I'm driving. I've already been stopped for being on the phone.

MORGAN: But I got this amazing reaction and the general themes were, Mr. America, icon. TV legend. The outpouring of affection for you and respect, real respect, was extraordinary. I mean probably even more than almost any other guest I've had.

How does that make you feel?

DONAHUE: Very good.

MORGAN: When you look back on this career you've had?

DONAHUE: I mean I've had people come up to me in airports. And you know, thank you, Mr. Donahue. I'm Mr. Donahue now. Because of you, I got out of an abusive marriage. Because of your show, I came out to my parents. Because of your show, I learned to speak English. I've heard a lot -- that's more often now. And it's wonderful. I mean, you know, I mean to have that kind of influence on people's lives.

MORGAN: Do you miss it? Do you miss the daily connection?

DONAHUE: I don't miss the daily of it. You know, new tie. You know, it's a -- you don't get to 6,000 shows unless you do it every day and we did, and we were very proud of the fact that we seldom repeated a guest. We always wanted them to wonder what was tomorrow.

MORGAN: Really, so you didn't repeat very often?

DONAHUE: Not at all. Not at all. Very few. Madeleine Marie O'Hare was a repeat guest. Ralph Nader. And we would do -- you know, we would do a lot of what you saw later on. We did -- you know, my husband doesn't kiss me anymore, and kaboom, the phones just smoked. Couldn't get to them fast enough.

Shows like that were -- OB-GYNs were great for us. I mean women could audit their own doctor. You know. Call. And this was when the pill was new and women were complaining about side effects and blurred vision and all.

MORGAN: What do you think of the way that television has evolved since your daily show stopped? DONAHUE: Well, you know, it's hard for me to -- I don't want to criticize them, because I took a lot of heat. You know. We did -- you know, we brought male strippers to daytime television.


MORGAN: Is (INAUDIBLE) your epitaph, Phil?


DONAHUE: It wasn't my idea. I said, where we going to put the microphone? And these guys came out all pumped, you know, and they started throwing things and the women in the audience were screaming. I have never seen such unbridled elation and excitement and fun that you -- and all the women were there, your baby sister, your grandmother, I mean, were all there. And they just -- and this was in Boston. And they had the time of their lives and boy, oh, boy, isn't that -- you know that was a real --

MORGAN: I mean do you feel -- given that you were so cutting edge with what you were doing, do you feel that television, like life, it kind of evolves naturally and to be too critical of the next generation's way of doing things almost misses the point in the sense that, you know, it goes that way.

DONAHUE: It's supposed to be different.



MORGAN: It would be strange if you did approve of it all in a sense, wouldn't it?

DONAHUE: Yes, and we were always -- I mean we were always different. I mean we better be because we were visually dull. You know, we had no spinning wheels and there was a guy on the other station, Monty Hall was giving $5,000 to a woman dressed like a chicken salad sandwich.


DONAHUE: Come on down. And here I was with two talking heads, you know, and no one in New York or L.A. could understand this. You know, we had folding chairs. Two cameras. No desk, no couch. No band.

MORGAN: Amazing.

DONAHUE: And what got us here were issues. We knew because we were visually dull and against all those spinning wheels, it would be -- the only chance we had would be to book issues that were seldom seen on television.

Our first show was Madeleine Marie O'Hare. The atheist. We put a gay guy on in 1968 before Stonewall. MORGAN: Amazing. And what was the reaction to that?

DONAHUE: Oh, well, everybody thought that their kids would catch it if they watched it. It's really amazing where we've come with that particular revolution. I mean it's just been warp speed.

MORGAN: What was your single favorite show of them all? If I could --

DONAHUE: I think --

MORGAN: If I could let you do one again tomorrow, what would it be?

DONAHUE: We had a very good program with Mohamed Ali.


DONAHUE: I mean really. This guy was --

MORGAN: The greatest.

DONAHUE: He was -- oh, he was wonderful.

MORGAN: And for a talk show, nobody more charismatic.

DONAHUE: No, we fought and he fell down.

MORGAN: Really?

DONAHUE: Yes. I mean it was -- I got my hands in the air with the gloves, you know, with a vest, and a tie, but -- and he's on the ground. He's on the floor of the stage. And we were really, I wanted it to look real. The tapes out there, I think Oprah used it, and man, we're going at it. And I -- you know, I took my life in my hands, you know, doing one little pop and I'd still be asleep, but he played the game. He knew how to sell tickets.

MORGAN: What was extraordinary about Ali was he managed to combine this incredible talent. You know, he was one of the great boxers in history, but he also had this phenomenal brain and humor and self-marketing style which you just -- you don't get that package, do you, very often?

DONAHUE: Marlo did a book titled "The Right Words at the Right Time." It was -- it asked celebrities to share that moment when somebody said something to them that changed their lives. The right words at the right time. And you could write your piece for the book or you could have it written and then you would have final cut. Whatever somebody else wrote.

I did two. I did Ted Turner and I did Mohamed Ali. He would go to the armory in Louisville and he went one day and he saw Gorgeous George and he's sitting there and this guy walks out with the velvet thing and the mink trim, the big cape, and the hair. Yellow hair, going up -- and he would say -- Ali is sitting there. He would say, don't you make fun of this pretty face. I got the prettiest face out there.

I got -- you know, just like that. And people would boo, boo, and Ali is sitting there, and he's telling me about this, and he said, and I looked around and there were no empty seats, so he learned how to -- he got lucky and he found Howard Cosell as the perfect foil. And he also brought pride and boldness to young black males. You know?

MORGAN: Completely.

DONAHUE: Be proud, and you know, don't be quiet like the white people want you to be. Be yourself. He made his parents nervous. He was a loudmouth kid and that was so unusual for the time. You know, black people were supposed to behave. And you know.

MORGAN: He was. He was one of the great trailblazers, wasn't he? Fearless. A fearless trailblazer.

DONAHUE: Absolutely. I think he's the athlete of the 20th century and I also think he should have won the Peace Prize.


DONAHUE: I mean they stripped him of his because he wouldn't go to the -- I ain't got nothing against no calm.

MORGAN: Amazing line.

DONAHUE: And you know, that took a lot of courage. And I just thought, and I went to see him in his -- to write the piece. He has a ranch in northern Indiana just like 25 minutes from my alma mater, Notre Dame, which is in South Bend, Indiana. And it's just a straight shot to the ranch. So I drove in. I was expected. I had my -- and I parked, the sign said "G-O-A-T." GOAT. "Greatest of All Time."


DONAHUE: And I walk in and they have a real ring in here. A real ring and it was beautiful. Big windows, you look out on the green, the forest like surroundings. It was lovely. And the door opened over here and out he comes. And he's coming for me. And he gets about this far and he goes -- I mean, I haven't been that flattered in a long time.


MORGAN: And he's an amazing guy.

Let's take a little break. When we come back, I want to talk to you politics. I know you're a very lively view on politics. I want to know what you think of the GOP race. About President Obama. Who's going to win in November? Let's talk after the break.


(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) RICK SANTORUM (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The bottom line is I don't want to make black people's lives better by giving them somebody else's money. I want to give them the opportunity to go out and earn the money, and provide for themselves and their families.


MORGAN: That's Rick Santorum's tongue-tied moment on New Year's Day. And back with me now, who might have some strong views on politics, Phil Donahue.

What do you make of the Rick Santorum surge?

DONAHUE: One of many. He's -- I saw him commenting on the Straits of Hormuz. He's got both guns out. He's already angry. You can see it. They better not -- and you can hear the drums in the background. And the heartbeat accelerates. He wants to -- he wants to go after Iran.

I mean, how many wars do you want to have in your lifetime? How many bombs are you going to drop? I just think it looks like we've become a warrior nation. We bombed Grenada. Grenada. We are dropping bombs on crowded cities at night where old people and children are sleeping and we're watching it on CNN.

And the only voice that's spoken up at all in this campaign about this is Ron Paul. Why are we so interventionist, he wants to know. What are we doing with all these wars? How are we safer? These are very common sense observations and no other candidate can possibly speak those words.

It would be, they believe, politically fatal. Now think about that. You can't -- you can't use an antiwar platform to get elected, so maybe that explains why it's so easy for us to go to war. Norma Solomon has written a book which is, "War Made Easy." And essentially he says if a president of the United States wants a war, he can have one. And I believe that totally.

It's very, very hard to dissent. Think about what's against the person who wants to say, wait a minute, wait a minute, are you sure? These are -- Newt Gingrich said Ron Paul's positions are dangerous. So it's fear. We have to be tough. And we're killing our young adult children because of this.

MORGAN: What I've noticed about Americans and America when it comes to this kind of thing, is that anybody that dare speak up against a war instantly gets labeled, bracketed, a pacifist, a coward, weak. And it's not really like that in many other countries. It's the kind of thing that mystifies me. Because you don't have to be a pacifist to disagree with, say, the Iraq war.


MORGAN: At all. I mean it's not pacifism. It's pacifism if you say no war is ever acceptable. If you say Winston Churchill had no right, Neville Chamberlain had no right to have a war with Adolf Hitler, then that is pacifism to me at its weakest. It is a weak position. Of course you have to --


MORGAN: -- stand up to a dictator like that. But when it comes to issues like Iraq, incredibly important that the world's number one military power, number one political power, number one economic power, has a proper debate about whether they should go into these things without people being labeled a pacifist if they don't think it's a good idea.

DONAHUE: You know, that's just one of the pushbacks and by the way, I'm not brave enough to be a pacifist. I am like millions of other Americans, very, very concerned about our foreign policy behavior over the past several years. And the way that our -- the bedrock of this nation has been chipped away by the people who democracy, democracy, and their turning their back on the Bill of Rights.

We have people in cages with no habeas, no phone calls, no Red Cross.

MORGAN: Guantanamo, you mean.

DONAHUE: Yes. You know this is not the country that my parents raised me to pledge my allegiance to. You know? You can't say you're a proud American and then waterboard somebody. You can't say you're a proud American and assassinate an American citizen in another country. Those are mutually exclusive ideas.

MORGAN: See, Ron Paul, I mean, I interviewed him yesterday. It's interesting that you say this because his big thing, and I think it's an impressive thing to say, is he supports the Constitution.

DONAHUE: Yes, I'm telling you --

MORGAN: And for that, people call him crazy. And I -- I'm watching this from the sidelines, I don't have a horse in the race. I'm British.

DONAHUE: Isn't that amazing?

MORGAN: And I'm like, here's a guy who basically repeatedly says I support the constitution. And he's the one everyone calls cranky.

DONAHUE: Yes. Everything is turned upside down here. So Ron Paul's concern about our adventurism is, in Newt Gingrich's words -- word, dangerous. You know peace is dangerous. That's -- and the people who call for it are marginalized. We don't get it. We don't understand. Liberals are always scolding.

They're -- I've had more than one person say if a liberal -- if a liberal complains about something, they will respond by saying that's the trouble with you liberals, you don't like anything about America. So if you criticize America, it means you don't like anything. That's how they just push back. MORGAN: Playing devil's advocate, though, Phil. I mean isn't it also true that the right wing, the Republicans who espouse traditional social conservativism, they also get the same kind of caricaturing, don't they, by the left? I mean it does work both ways.

DONAHUE: Yes, it does. I agree. And I think about myself, you know, about being messianic. Because that's what I see on the other side. There's a -- the other thing that's separating us from Canada is an imaginary line and our health care costs twice as much as theirs. And the only thing preventing us from a single-payer system is dogma and ism called socialism. You know, they're so intimidated and they're so hateful of socialism that they're willing to continue a health care system in this nation that is a security risk.

MORGAN: Well, I find it extraordinary. Coming from a country where you have the national health system. So it's free. You know, if you are young, poor, old, rich, it doesn't matter. It's the same. It's the same. And it's not perfect. But the ideology is pretty good. It's like we will look after you.


MORGAN: Whatever your means. And here, Barack Obama comes in, carries out an election pledge that got him elected, one of the things that got him elected, to basically expand free health care, cheap health care to people who can't afford it, and I couldn't believe it. You think it's absolutely hammered and this is now being seen as an abject failure by him and his administration.

I'm sitting going, so let me get this straight. A president says when I get into power, I'm going to make it more available for poor people to have better health care than they're getting already and this is an abject miserable failure that he should be lambasted for?

DONAHUE: He's calling for a nanny government. He's a liberal. By the way, we're not liberals anymore. I mean, our --


DONAHUE: Nobody runs around saying I'm a liberal, I'm a liberal. So we've been so marginalized that we're almost ashamed of the name. And we're not liberals anymore. We're progressives. Excuse you for breathing.

MORGAN: Hold that thought, Phil. Let's have another break. Come back and talk about the American way, the American dream, and how you think this can be repaired because there's no doubt it has been damaged in recent years.

DONAHUE: Well, it's been damaged.



DONAHUE: I'm sorry that we are out of time. You are really fascinating.

MARLO THOMAS, ACTRESS: No, but you are wonderful. I said it when we (INAUDIBLE). And I want to say you are loving and generous and you like women and it's a pleasure. And whoever the woman in your life is very lucky.

DONAHUE: Well, thank you very much.

Marlo Thomas stars in "Thieves" by Paramount. And we hope that you have a nice day.


MORGAN: That is a fantastic moment in television because as 1977 and that woman is your future wife. Marlo Thomas. And as you hold hands there, flirting for America, if I may say so, Phil Donahue, you're falling in love. I think you can tell. Written all over both your faces.

DONAHUE: Well, she was an impure thought. You know --


DONAHUE: I don't know if you have to be cast to understand what that means.

MORGAN: I am a Catholic and I do.

DONAHUE: And it's true. There I was. She was just obviously a very exciting person. She was not only gorgeous, she had great facility, language, and she had opinions. Ad she was a feminist. She was someone you could argue with. She really had something to say that she could push back or agree with or bounce off of, and so she was a combination of good things for guests. We all want celebrities.


DONAHUE: But the best are the celebrities who really have something to say and she did. And here I am, 30, 32 years later.

MORGAN: You've been very honest, I think, about the fact your first marriage probably failed because you worked too hard. You were married to the job if you like. Do you -- even though you've had an incredibly successful marriage since then, is that still a regret to you? And if you had your time again, it's the perennial debate, isn't it? How hard do you work, how much do you sacrifice? When you look back, what do you think?

DONAHUE: Well, it is certainly true that -- first of all, I was a single parent. I had four sons and you know, I was on the air every day. Had to be careful about what I said. At one time I was on air, and I said, Jimmy won't eat anything green, and a kid in his class the next day said, hey, Jim, how come you don't eat your peas, and he was angry.

And I can't say I blame him. I get it now. I mean that was an innovation of his privacy. And so I backed up and almost never really made any kind of personal detailed reference to my family. I felt I had a responsible to protect. It was -- you know, it's not that easy to have -- to have a celebrity parent can be a real pain in the neck and I realize that now more than I did when I was, you know, there.

MORGAN: Do you think -- there's another woman in your life who paid a great tribute to, Oprah, when she ended her long-running shows. It's been an amazing year, actually, with Larry King, obviously my great predecessor, and we've had Regis Philbin also ending his long- running shows. Oprah ending hers.

Let's watch a little clip from the Oprah finale, which had a touching moment with you.


OPRAH WINFREY, TALK SHOW HOST: That first day in 1984, all of my bosses, every single person in my life, said you are walking into a landmine. You're going to be in Chicago up against Phil Donahue and he is going to blow your socks off.


MORGAN: Well, she didn't do too badly.

DONAHUE: What can I say?


MORGAN: She didn't do too badly, but Oprah is a -- Oprah was incredibly generous to me. She gave me my first interview when I launched this show and gave me two hours, and went and sold it out there for me for a week after that. I mean it's an amazingly gracious thing for her to have done.


MORGAN: What do you think of Oprah?

DONAHUE: I think Oprah has risen to a level in the stratosphere unknown to all of us. It's a wonderful, wonderful story. She is a unparalleled success in our business.

MORGAN: Why, do you think?

DONAHUE: Well, I think she's -- she's a compelling personality. And I think, you know, she elicits a real feeling of -- a heart felt feeling from her viewers and from the guests as well.

MORGAN: You know what I found? I had never met her before she walked through door for my first interview. She's genuine. Oprah Winfrey, beneath the billions, the empire, the mythology, the tabloid headlines, is a genuine woman. That's what I experienced.

DONAHUE: I don't think she could get to where she has without being a genuine -- MORGAN: Is that the secret, do you think, of broadcasting, particularly when you're in people's lives, a country like America, every day, week in, month in? It finds you out, doesn't it? There's no point pretending to be something you're not.

DONAHUE: That's correct. I've said this before. I don't think -- I always said I -- it is not realistic to expect me to walk down the center of every issue and every -- like a mechanical man, never revealing how he feels. I just don't -- I think if you watch my show enough, you pretty much guess.

I never felt that I had to be in the closet about my political views. I do think it's possible to talk too much and become an Evangelical host. That's not a good thing. Then you become as messianic as the people you're criticizing.

But I didn't hesitate to say what I thought. And in many ways, I -- I'm penalized for that. Nobody liked a scold, a negative person. And that's I think the problem that will always confront the liberal.

MORGAN: I've got to end, Phil, by asking you what I was going ask at the start of this segment, which was the American dream -- in many ways, you personified the great American dream.

DONAHUE: I think so, too.

MORGAN: What's happened to that dream now? Is it the same? Should it be adapted for the modern era? What do you think?

DONAHUE: Look at my own early history. I worked in a steel mill when I was 18 years old in the summer. I was a student at Notre Dame and I worked at Republic Steel in Canton, summer job. I don't know, do steel mills have summer jobs anymore? I'm not sure.

But that's an experience for a 17, 18-year-old. I saw the fouled air and the soot and the grime and the heat from the open hearths, and those guys shoveling that coal in there, and their faces red and sweat, and what they were breathing.

That was really my first confrontation with what work was like for millions of people. It was a tremendously informing experience to have that kind of job that young. Then I moved on to other things. These opportunities are not available today for young people.

I think it's much tougher to be 17 or 18 today than it was when I was 17 or 18. And I think there is part of the reason for what you suggest is the decline of our noble experiment here, job availability.

People are angry. We had an administration -- you know, it seemed to me that with all this -- habeas is gone now. This is a nation of law unless we're scared. It's amazing how fear just powerfully influences human behavior. It's unbelievable.

George Bush exercised the strategy of fear in bleeding the entire nation into the sword in the Vietnam War. Saddam is coming. He's under your bed. He's outside your window. I mean, the talking points from the White House. A smoking gun will become -- you could feel the heart beat of the nation. And it was -- the vote was taken in the Congress a week before an election.

Now who's going to stand up nine, ten, months after the Towers were knocked down and say no to a war when we had the administration convincing some very bright people that it was Saddam who took the towers down. False.

But we went to Iraq. We -- over 4,000 American uniformed personal were killed; four million refugees, a massive blunder. And it looks like now we've got the guns out because Iranian are blocking the Straits of Hormuz. And I want to know why president, Obama -- you know, why doesn't he pick up the phone, call the other people whose oil will be diminished if this blockade is successful, and say to the president or the chief of any other country, what are we going to do? What do you want to do? I don't know. What do you want to do?

Let's talk anyway. Instead, the guns are out. Rick Santorum can't wait to go in there and show how tough he is. That's how you get elected. That's how we keep getting into war after war. This is maddening and tragic.

MORGAN: Phil, it's been a real pleasure. Thank you so much. Great to meet you.

DONAHUE: Had fun.

MORGAN: When we come back, Mitt Romney won Iowa and leads in New Hampshire. We'll talk to a top Romney supporter about whether he can keep the lead and lock up the nomination.



MITT ROMEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: -- particularly with regards to businesses that sell products around the world. And the beautiful and powerful -- more powerful than a steaming John McCain, Cindy McCain, the wife of the senator, is here today. And I appreciate her being on the trail. Thank you. Thank you, Cindy.


MORGAN: Mitt Romney won Iowa and holds a big lead in New Hampshire. So the campaign action has moved to South Carolina. Can Santorum surge or Gingrich's counter-attack stop Romney's to the nomination?

Joining me now is former U.S. Senator Tim Talent from Missouri, a top surrogate for Mitt Romney. Mr. Talent, it should be I guess a time of great celebration. And yet I would imagine, at the same time, trepidation for the Romney camp.

JIM TALENT, FORMER SENATOR: Yes, look, we don't take anything for granted. Iowa was a good victory. The governor over-performed there really from what we thought. He had -- his message is working, that he has the experience in the private sector, the experience with the economy, the turn around and the guy who can beat Obama.

But we've got to take that message to each state, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and work hard in every state.

MORGAN: Who are you most worried about? Because the "Boston" Globe," for example, has just come out and endorsed Jon Huntsman, who has stayed away from Iowa and put all his eggs in the -- in the New Hampshire basket. That's a pretty good endorsement, isn't it?

TALENT: Yes. Piers, I've got to tell you, I don't know. I mean, because we've had one person after another after another surge. And I'm not so sure. This is the most unpredictable process that I've ever been a part of. But we have a strong candidate with a strong message. And so he's just going to go out and do his thing in each of these states . and I am confident that we will get to the 1,150 delegates, at some point, that we need.

MORGAN: And is that the focus? I saw Mitt Romney saying, either today or yesterday, that the focus for him is the number of delegate delegates. That's all he cares about. The slings and arrows of fortune, as we go through these states, isn't as important to him as delegates.

TALENT: Yes, because that' -- the end goal is to get nominated. It's going to be, we thought from the beginning, a long process. That's why Governor Romney, alone among all the candidates, is organized in so many states, working in so many states.

You know, it's why he's tried to have a very consistent message that he's very credible carrying. He's the one with the private sector experience. He can turn the economy around, get the budget under control, beat Obama. That's the message that works all across the country.

Certainly, Mitt Romney has run the best campaign. He's been the most consistent. He has the most money. And as we've seen with the way that he's dealt with Newt Gingrich, if he has to take the gloves off, then he'll do it pretty effectively.

I suppose the one big unanswered question is why can he not break through this kind of -- what is becoming almost mythical 25 percent barrier of support in his own party?

TALENT: He's going to breakthrough that barrier, I hope and believe, in a couple of days in New Hampshire. I think he's going to break very substantially through it. I look at it a little bit differently. He's the one, in a very fractionalized field, that has a solid core of support across all segments and all regions of the country.

I think it is -- he's going to do very well in New Hampshire. And I think as the field narrows, his support is going to grow. That's certainly what we hope. He has a message that appeals across the board. I think it worked in Iowa and we'll see if it works in New Hampshire.

MORGAN: He's been doing lots of safe interviews with his mates at Fox. Is it time that he came back on my show? Try a bit of -- a bit of not dealing with just the friendly fire all the time?

TALENT: He would be a better guest I guess than I would. Well, he's going to get a lot of fire that's not so friendly over -- in the two debates over the weekend. These debates have been I think very revealing. Governor Romney is a good debater.

We expect and hope that if he gets the nomination, he'll do a good job against Barack Obama.

MORGAN: Tell him we'd love to have him back on. He's slightly hiding at the moment. So come on. Out you come.

TALENT: Well, one thing you can't do in this process is hide. We can do a lot of things. I'll pass that along. I'm sure he'd love to be on.

TALENT: Send him my very best. Thank you very much, Mr. Talent. I appreciate it.

TALENT: Will do. Thank you, Piers.

MORGAN: When we come back, the youngest victim of the shooting that nearly killed Gabbi Giffords. Now her parents, Roxanna and John Green, tell me their very moving and emotional story.


MORGAN: Christina Taylor Green's young life was book-ended by tragedy. She was born on September the 11th, 2001. And she was the youngest victim of the shooting last year that wounded Gabrielle Giffords and killed five other people. There's much more to her story.

Joining me now is her parents, Roxanna and John Green. They've written, "As Good as She Imagined, the Redeeming Story of the Angel of Tucson, Christina Taylor Green."

Welcome to you both. It's -- I've just become the father of a young baby daughter, my first girl. When I read this, it was just heartbreaking to read this. It's the ultimate nightmare, I think, for any parent. I can't imagine a worse scenario for you. Do you ever get over this kind of thing? Can you ever imagine a time when you will get over it? Do you just cope with it, day to day? How's it been for you?

ROXANNA GREEN, MOTHER OF CHRISTINA TAYLOR GREEN: I don't think we'll ever get over it. The pain will always be there. Time does heal some wounds, but this is one that -- it will always stay with us forever. We're always going to miss her and we're always going to be sad about it.

MORGAN: The picture you paint of her, she's a bright, funny, you know, very cheery girl. Tell me about your daughter.

JOHN GREEN, FATHER OF CHRISTINA TAYLOR GREEN: Yes, she had a lot of qualities. She -- she was very outgoing. She loved to get people together and play and things like that. And she would direct traffic. One day I went over to her school to visit her during lunch hour before going to recess. And I peeked around. And she was -- she had about eight kids around her, and she was -- I saw her, she was going, you know, you go this way. All the other girls go this way. The kids meet in the middle.

That's what she liked to do. She liked to -- very social, very -- you know, she had a competitive fire to her, too.

MORGAN: On the day, you were just going about your normal lives. And you get this awful call. You hear first, Roxanna. Then John, you get a call. There must be a sense of disbelief. And then you realize she's been caught up in this horrific incident. Gabrielle Giffords has been shot, presumed dead. Other people have been gunned down. What are you thinking when this is all unfurling?

R. GREEN: I was thinking that it was a nightmare and that I was going to wake up. So I kept on pinching myself and hoping that it wasn't real. It was that horrendous. It was horrible.

Then days after that, I would go to her room and hope to find her in her room. But, you know, obviously, you know that it is real and you just, day by day, you know, you just try to cope. And we have a deep faith in God. So we prayed a lot. And that helped us.

MORGAN: I interviewed Mark Kelly recently, Gabrielle Giffords' husband, a remarkable man in many ways. He was saying how desperate they feel for those who lost their lives, I think particularly probably Christina. She was so young. You know, she would have been 10 in November -- in September. Ten in September.

He was saying really that it's hard to reconcile what happened. Have you been able to get to that point? I mean, you I know, John, when you first discovered your daughter was dead, was told did they get the person that did this?

J. GREEN: Yes.

MORGAN: And did it give you any kind of comfort that they had?

J. GREEN: It definitely did. I don't know how people, say like Natalie Hallway's parents, cope with not knowing. We knew exactly what happened to our daughter. It was tragic. And you know, we're still dealing with that today. But, again, our faith and our family and our friends kind of got us through, you know, coping with the issues of losing a child.

MORGAN: Roxanna, it's an incredibly powerful book. I commend people to read it. What was it like for you to be involved in the writing of it? Was it cathartic in any sense?

R. GREEN: It was very difficult. There was a lot of dark days and hard moments and a lot of times I was just -- I can't do this anymore. It's too painful.

MORGAN: Is it hard to reconcile your faith when something like this happens?

R. GREEN: No, not for me. We're very religious. And we just believe she went to a better place and that she's in heaven, and that some day we'll meet again. As much as we miss her, we know that she's in a better place. And God had a plan for her.

MORGAN: Let's take a little break. I want to come back and talk about the person that did this, Jared Loughner, what you feel about him, what you feel should happen to him, what you feel about these kind of incidents, generally, gun laws and that kind of thing, and lessons to be learned from this.



BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: And then there is nine year old Christina Taylor Green. Christina was an A student. She was a dancer. She was a gymnast. She was a swimmer. She decided that she wanted to be the first woman to play in the Major Leagues. And as the only girl on her little league team, no one put it past her.


MORGAN: That was President Obama speaking at the memorial of Christina Taylor Green and the other victims. Her parents are back with me now. Incredible moment for the president of the United States paying such a fulsome tribute to your daughter. But it obviously couldn't bring her back, which is all you really want.

I want to talk about the person that did this, Jared Loughner. What are your -- what are your views of him?

J. GREEN: Well, we do feel, you know, he was mentally disturbed. So we decide not to -- as a family, he would wouldn't talk much about him, because we didn't want to glorify his -- you know, his position. These -- there have been other feudings around the country. It seems to me, that sometimes people get -- they feel like they're going to go out in a blaze of glory and see their name, you know, in the media.

And we just choose not to talk much about him. We know he's going to be -- justice will be served and that will be taken care of.

MORGAN: One of the small crumbs of comfort that you could derive from what happened was you donated Christina's organs. You were able to save several other children's lives by doing so, a remarkable thing to have done. Tell me about that.

J. GREEN: That came about with Roxanna and her mother. They had had conversations in the past. Unfortunately, two years ago, Roxanna's mother passed away from a brain aneurysm. And we -- as a family, we talked about being an organ donor. Actually, we involved our kids a little bit in that discussion.

And you know, just a little bit, because they were young. But wanted them to hear about it. And Christina was well aware of that and thought it was a good idea. We donated -- when your mother passed, we donated her organs.

MORGAN: You set up Christina Taylor Green Memorial Foundation. Tell me about that.

J. GREEN: The foundation -- we set up a mission statement for the foundation. We thought it was a good way to -- a lot of people across the country, we were a little bit surprised, to be honest with you, about all the attention that Christina got. We were just trying to get over our -- the pain ourselves. But moneys came in. People, well wishers, you know, sent us a lot of donations.

We thought well, we're going to start this foundation in Christina's name. We have helped out her elementary school with smart boards in every room, so that all the kids would have a equal access to that technology. You donated some to Cross Middle School, which is also in town, a sizable sum to upgrade their computer technology.

And that's the kind of things that Christina was involved in.

MORGAN: And if people want to help, what do they do?

R. GREEN: Go to, and we have a website. And everything's on there, all the information that they need. We sell various items on the website as well. And information is stated on the website.

MORGAN: Well, it's a great cause. It's a fantastic book, in many ways, incredibly inspiring, as well as obviously desperately sad. But inspiring I think is probably the way you would like Christina to be remembered. And I think that's how she comes over in the book. So thank you both very much for sharing your story with me.

R. GREEN: Thank you for having us.

MORGAN: Roxanna and John Green. And that's all for us tonight.