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Piers Morgan Live
Interview with David Axelrod; Interview with Dinesh D'Souza
Aired August 16, 2012 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
PIERS MORGAN, HOST: Tonight, on the attack.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I think the American people are also disturbed with a campaign that's been as divisive as this campaign has been.
REP. PAUL RYAN (R), VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: This campaign is based on frustration and anger. He's going to resort to fear and smear.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: President Obama's main man David Axelrod fires back tonight.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAVID AXELROD, FORMER WHITE HOUSE SENIOR ADVISER: He thinks he can play by a different set of rules.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Plus a controversial conservative says America won't survive four more years of President Obama. Dinesh D'Souza goes toe- to-toe with the always outspoken Penn Jillette.
And he made Paul Ryan the man he is today. Literally, in the gym.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's very lean. He's very disciplined.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: The secrets of Tony Hawken's extreme workout phenomenon.
Plus, what may be the most extraordinary car crash video I've ever seen. What's even more incredible, the guys who lived to tell the tale. They're here in a primetime exclusive.
This is PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT. Good evening. Our big story tonight, battleground Wisconsin. The latest CNN/ORC poll has 49 percent of Wisconsin's registered voters in the Obama column, 45 percent for Romney. With the president's four-point advantage is within the survey sampling error and two polls last week had him in a single digit advantage in a state he won by 14 points in 2008.
That puts Wisconsin on the list of eight crucial states that CNN now considers a toss-up. It joins Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, Ohio and Virginia.
So what does all this mean to Team Obama? Joining me now for more on our big story is David Axelrod, former White House senior adviser to the president.
David Axelrod, welcome back. How are you?
AXELROD: Hey. Good to be with you, Piers.
MORGAN: So what is your overview of where you are right now as team Obama? We are, what, 80 or so days away from the election. The general feeling seems to be it is game on and we know where the battleground is going to be now. Is that your analysis?
AXELROD: Like where we are. I think the president is message is getting out there. And people understand, you know, that he's fighting for an economy which the middle class can grow and get a fair shake. And the contrasts are getting out. So, you know, I like our position but I've always anticipated a close race. We're going to have a close race.
MORGAN: You're going to find yourselves in unusual territory and that it looks clear that Mitt Romney will have more money to spend. And we know from the Republican nominee race, when he's got lots of money, he tends to spend it very negatively. Are you prepared for that? Do you accept you're going to get outgunned financially? And what can you do about that?
AXELROD: Well, I don't think that I need to be prepared for it. It's already happening. I mean, they've been spending prodigiously for several months. This week, Piers, we're being outspent 3 to 1. They're spending $27 million, between Romney and his allies, on negative ads. And some of them are just patently false. One accusing the president of undermining the work provisions of welfare.
Everybody who's looked at it said it's false and yet they keep on running those ads. The current contretemps over Medicare. They're running ads that aren't true but they're running it with great force. So is it a concern? Yes, it's a concern. But I have faith in the American people. We're going to make our case. We're going to straighten out the record. And we're going to make honest comparisons with Romney. And I think we're going to prevail.
MORGAN: The sadness for me about President Obama and these super PACs is that you've had to plow in and you've had to compete. Your super PACs are also running, you know, some would say an absolute pack of lies on occasion. The ad that I really felt incensed by was the one basically accusing Mitt Romney of killing this woman. And you know I thought that one just crossed a line.
Do you regret that you've got into bed with the super PACs, even though you won't admit you have?
AXELROD: Well --
AXELROD: Well, let me answer -- you have a number of different questions in there. As to the ad you referenced, nobody should or -- should accuse Governor Romney of being responsible for that woman's death. And frankly, Piers, you and I have a difference. I don't think that was the -- that was the -- that was the explicit message of that spot. But what is indisputable is that the workers at that steel company got a -- got a bad deal from Governor Romney and his partners who walked away from millions of dollars after loading up the company with debt and bankrupting the company and leaving the workers and the creditors holding the bag.
So that's indisputable. But the thing about that ad is that it never ran. I think it ran once by mistake. So that's in contrast to the Romney ads that he produced, that he's paying for, and that he's running that are demonstrably false. And so, you know, I would - I would think that the media should concentrate on the ads that people are actually seeing and not on the ads that people aren't seeing.
Now as to our participation in super PACs, that was a tough decision for us. But we were looking at the possibility, and we still are, of $1 billion of outside money being spent against us and nothing in response. Right now, we're raising money at $50 a clip and we're responding to all these super PACs that are raising money in $1 and $5 and $10 million allotments from people like Sheldon Adelson, the gambling magnate in Las Vegas.
So the question was, can you play touch when the other side is playing tackle? And we just decided that it wasn't fair to the cause to tie our hands behind our back and allow them to do what they were doing without any response at all.
MORGAN: When you see the poll numbers closing in somewhere like Wisconsin which today CNN has moved from lean Obama to a toss-up -- when you see that happening and you see the kind of excitement Paul Ryan has generated in the last few days, and it's indisputable. He's got the Republican base certainly fired up. You must be getting a little bit concerned, aren't you? I mean this is going to be a brutal battle, we know that. And as you said, a very close one.
AXELROD: Well, you're right. He has fired up elements of the Republican base. The Tea Party, the social conservatives. He's a champion of those groups. He's a right-wing ideologue. And the right-wing ideologues are excited about his candidacy. I don't think that's where this election is going to be decided. I don't think most voters are going to decide this election. The swing voters in this election share the view that Congressman Ryan has. And Governor Romney, for that matter.
We ought to ban abortion, even in cases of rape and incest. I don't think they share their -- the same enthusiasm for trillions of dollars of new tax cuts skewed to the wealthy that are paid for by cuts in college scholarships and loans and student aid and Medicare and nursing home care for seniors, and the things we need to grow like research and development and new American energy.
I don't think most people share that view. It's a radical view. And it's one that excites their base. But it's not one that's going to win this election.
MORGAN: Mitt Romney has come out today pretty strongly and said that he has gone back and looked at his taxes and that for the past 10 years I've never paid less than 13 percent. This is a direct fire back from him at Senator Harry Reid. And the clear implication is that Harry Reid has deliberately and unfairly and inaccurately smeared him.
Do you believe Mitt Romney when he says that he's paid at least 13 percent for the last 10 years?
AXELROD: I'll say he's setting an entirely new precedent. Maybe we shouldn't have any disclosure laws at all or any disclosure traditions at all. Everyone can just certify for the public that everything's fine, everything's OK, so you don't need to see my tax returns or my financial information.
You know, Governor Romney's father, George Romney, set a standard back in the '60s when he was running for president and he released 12 years of tax returns because he said one year is not enough. You can manipulate one year to create a false impression. But this Governor Romney thinks he can operation under a different set of rules. He has a sense of entitlement that he doesn't have to operate under the same rules that presidential candidates have for decades.
Not just disclosure on his tax returns, by the way, but who is raising money for him, his so-called bundlers. He left office in Massachusetts with the hard drives from his computers with all his records because he said he didn't want opposition researchers looking at it. And he did the same thing when he left the Olympics. He has a penchant for secrecy and he thinks he can play by a different set of rules.
And -- no, I don't -- I don't accept his word on what his taxes say. Let the public see it. Let them understand what's in those tax returns. They say, well, we don't want to do it because the opposition may make issues about it. Well, that doesn't give me much confidence about what's in those tax returns. Let the public make their own judgment.
MORGAN: Let's turn to Vice President Biden. He obviously -- I don't know what your view of this will be. I'll ask you. But he appeared to have dropped you guys right in it, with this phrase about putting everyone back in chains. Let's listen to the offending quote and get your reaction. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, VICE PRESIDENT: He said in the first 100 days he's going to let the big banks once again write their own rules. Unchain Wall Street. They're going to put y'all back in chains.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Now I had Rudy Giuliani on last night. Very fired up about this, saying the double whammy of the southern accent that Joe Biden put on, plus this phrase, "put ya'll back in chains," to an audience that contained many African-Americans was a pretty despicable piece of rhetoric.
Do you regret that Joe Biden used that particular phrase?
AXELROD: Listen, I know what the vice president was saying. I think everybody in that room knew what he was saying. He was talking about financial reform and Wall Street reform. And the fact that Republicans and Governor Romney want to roll all that back. And that's going to be right on the backs of consumers. That was a mixed audience that he said that to.
But let me say this, Piers. You know, things are -- candidates are out. They say things. Over the course of the next 84 days, I suspect that every one of the principals who are running are going to say something that are going to create some sort of media furor for 24 hours and those furors are going to -- are going to pass. And I think this is one of -- one of those.
And I appreciate Mayor Giuliani's comments. He seems a lot less exorcised when people on his side, you know, challenge the president's Americanism or say he's guilty of treason, or go through this ridiculousness about his place of birth and so on. That's OK. That's all right with him. So he's a little selective in his judgments.
MORGAN: David Axelrod, I appreciate you joining me tonight. It's getting exciting, isn't it, this election?
AXELROD: Well, I look forward -- I look forward to seeing you along the way, Piers.
MORGAN: I look forward to that, too. Thank you for joining me.
When we come back, a controversial best-selling author who says America can't survive four more years under President Obama.
MORGAN: To say that Dinesh D'Souza is no fan of President Obama is perhaps the understatement of the millennium. He's the author of two books about the president. The latest provocatively entitled "Obama's America: Unmaking the American Dream." And he joins us now with more on our big story.
Dinesh D'Souza, welcome. DINESH D'SOUZA, AUTHOR, "OBAMA'S AMERICA": Thank you.
MORGAN: So, look, I want to go through some of these claims you make in your book. And just challenge you to sort of back them up really. The first one is you say Obama is the architect of American decline. He wants America to be downsized. He wants Americans to be second class citizens in their own country.
Why would you think that President Obama would want his citizens in his own country to be second class?
D'SOUZA: Well, Obama is a global guy. He looks at America through global eyes. I think from Obama's point of view, America and the West have enriched themselves at the expense of the rest of the world. So Obama would like to see the American economy contract. He would like to see American influence in the world shrink. Now it's not because he's an evil guy or he hates America. It's just that he -- it's in the name of global fairness.
He wants Americans to have less so the rest of the world can have more. He wants America to have less power so that other countries can come up in the world. He'd like to see a multi-polar world in which America is not the sole super power.
MORGAN: You don't obviously believe that, do you?
D'SOUZA: Not only do I believe it but Obama says it. He talks, for example, about how America has 5 percent of the world's population when we use 25 percent of the world's energy, of the world's oil. What Obama is kind of saying is, listen, we ought to have -- use less so that countries like Brazil and Colombia and Mexico can have more. And this isn't just rhetoric. Obama uses taxpayer money to subsidize oil drilling in Brazil and Colombia and Mexico. So he's trying to enrich the previously colonized countries at the expense of the colonizer.
MORGAN: This second point is he detests allies like Israel and Britain and seeks to weaken them. He's not very worried about radical Muslims acquiring a nuclear bomb or coming to power in countries like Tunisia and Egypt.
What on earth do you base that on?
D'SOUZA: Well, first of all, the radical Muslims have come to power in Tunisia and Egypt. The Muslim Brotherhood has won an election in Egypt. The Obama administration has notified the Egyptian generals, listen, you better turn over power to the Muslim Brotherhood or we're going to cut off U.S. aid.
So I'm not saying that Obama caused the Arab Spring but I am saying he is acting quite having vigorously to reduce American influence, to weaken -- Mubarak was clearly an American ally, and who can deny that the Muslim Brotherhood is the largest organization of radical Islam in the world.
MORGAN: Right, but suggesting that he's not very worried about radical Muslims acquiring a nuclear bomb. I mean, that is an absolute load of filly, isn't it?
D'SOUZA: Well, first of all, we're talking about Obama's motives. And they can only be inferred by looking at his actions. If you look at Obama's actions, what has he done meaningfully to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear bomb? Every several months there are reports that Iran gets closer, closer, closer. The Israelis are in panic about it. But Obama seems unconcerned. In fact Obama's energy and efforts have been focused on slashing America's --
MORGAN: Look, out of interest -- out of interest, what would you be doing? Would you be sending in American troops in Tehran?
D'SOUZA: Well, of course -- well, no, no, for starters, look, Obama supported the protesters in Egypt very happily when they were demanding democracy in Egypt. A year later -- a year earlier there were massive demonstrations in Iran calling for an end to the regime of the mullahs. What did Obama do? Obama said we should not get involved. There's a debate going on in Iran. Let them settle it up. So I'm simply saying let's support pro-democracy elements in Iran just as we supported them in Egypt.
MORGAN: But you think that Barack Obama is so disinterested and unworried by fundamentalists that he's the guy that risked his entire presidency on sending helicopters full of Navy SEALs into Pakistan to take out Osama bin Laden? That's not really the actions of a guy who's not worried, is it?
D'SOUZA: No, I think we have to make an important distinction here. Obama does not support al Qaeda or bin Laden. He sees -- he sees those guys as international criminals. But he does have a measure of sympathy for Muslim jihadists in places like Iraq and Afghanistan. Why? Not because Obama's a secret Muslim. But he sees those guys as freedom fighters who are trying to free their country from colonial occupation.
One of the reasons Obama is so hostile to Israel is he sees Israel as a little colonial power sitting on Muslim land.
MORGAN: That's complete nonsense. Of course he doesn't.
D'SOUZA: Well, you're just asserting things, Piers. Look, you come from Great Britain which was a colonizing country --
MORGAN: No, no. Wait a minute, wait -- with respect, you are the one asserting things. You've also said he detests Britain which is also complete nonsense.
D'SOUZA: Well --
MORGAN: Absolutely nothing about Barack Obama's behavior since he came to power has been anything other than totally respectful of Britain, often going out of his way to be respectful to Britain.
D'SOUZA: Well, let's start with why -- MORGAN: Where do you get the fact that he detests my country?
D'SOUZA: Well, let's start with something simple. Obama moves the Winston Churchill bust out of the White House, one of his first acts as president. Now that's not something Bill Clinton would do or Kerry or Gore --
MORGAN: Come off it.
D'SOUZA: Well --
MORGAN: Come off it. You're basing -- you're basing the fact that he moved a bust out of an office, which he's perfectly entitled to do.
D'SOUZA: Of course he is.
MORGAN: Busts come and go in those offices, right? You're basing that as a reason why he detests Great Britain.
D'SOUZA: Piers, I didn't -- look, all I'm saying is it's symbolic of the fact that Winston Churchill is perceived as a colonizer. He was head of the colonial office. He was re-elected in the '50s. And he led a suppression of an anti-colonial uprising in Kenya. Two of the people who are arrested in that anti-colonial uprising were one on Onyango Obama, the president's grandfather, and one Barack Obama, Sr., the president's dad, so Obama actually has very good reasons to loathe Winston Churchill. You just don't know what they are.
MORGAN: Right. So he hates Britain. He hates Winston Churchill. He hates the Israelis. He wants the Americans to be second class citizens.
I've got another guest coming in after the break who I suspect may be as equally incensed by these remarks, as I am, Penn Jillette.
We'll be back after the break.
MORGAN: Back with more on our big story. Conservative author Dinesh D'Souza and joining us a man who's never shy about saying what he thinks, comedian and author, Penn Jillette.
So, Penn, you've been listening out at the back there.
PENN JILLETTE, COMEDIAN, BEST-SELLING AUTHOR: Yes.
MORGAN: Any initial thoughts?
JILLETTE: I -- it's rather troubling to me to agree with you on everything.
JILLETTE: I didn't really know what to do. I see you back there going, Piers is right on everything.
I think the basic thing that troubles me so much is that everyone who's running for president and vice president, they are good people that don't have hidden agendas. They have differences of opinion. And to my taste, not enough differences of opinion. They're too similar to me. But the idea that Obama, who I don't agree with on all sorts of things, would ruin the country or that he has an agenda to bring America down in the eyes of the world, does seem -- I think the term is bug nutty.
MORGAN: Yes, I mean, look, let's come to another point of yours, Dinesh, because you say here, Obama wants to put Americans more in debt. Americans love to endure the unfamiliar sight of Chinese, Brazilian and Indian visitors occupying the best tables in the best American restaurants.
I mean apart from the fact that why shouldn't they --
JILLETTE: Well, yes.
MORGAN: This concept, Dinesh, that Obama wants, he wants to put Americans more into debt. Why on earth would any American president actively want to put his citizens into more debt?
D'SOUZA: Because if American citizens and if our children and grandchildren are saddled with more debt, at some point they're going to have to pay that money back. A good deal of our debt is held by Kuwaitis and by Saudis and by Chinese. So debt becomes a way of settling America's global colonial debts in Obama's mind.
Now let me say a word here. Obama has added $5 trillion to the national debt. The highest deficit by Bush, who was a big spender, by the way, was $500 billion. The lowest Obama deficit is $1 trillion. There's no doubt that if there wasn't a Republican Congress, Obama would have spent even more. Now imagine if he gets a second term. Adds $5 more trillion to the national debt. America will be $20 trillion in debt, $10 trillion of that added by one man. So from George Washington --
MORGAN: OK. Penn, you're champing at the bit here. Get in.
JILLETTE: You sound like you have a conspiracy to bring America down. And of all the things you could say about Obama, that's just not true. And I'm not an Obama supporter, but what you're saying is insane and wrong.
D'SOUZA: Well, you're attacking -- you're attacking a complete straw man. We actually know that Obama has a hidden agenda. Obama leans over to the Russian President Medvedev, taps him on the thigh, and says, listen, Mr. Medvedev, I want to give you certain things about missile defense, but I need flexibility. You got to wait until after the election because Obama is admitting that if I told the American people now what I wanted to do, they may not vote for me.
So wait until after the election, then we can do business. So we know he has the hidden agenda. We just don't know what that is.
JILLETTE: There's no doubt -- there's no doubt that that was a moment, for those of us who don't like to be cynical, that we have a lot of dancing to do on that. That was a horrible moment. And that was an agenda that he's telling the American people. You're just right on that.
D'SOUZA: But that's further -- beyond that.
MORGAN: Dinesh, here's the point, Dinesh. You know, you obviously, you're a smart guy. And you've got a lot of opinions. It's the way that you are trying -- this is the point that Penn made, which I agree with it. It's not so much that we don't think you can criticize President Obama. Of course you can. On many areas. It's the fact that you believe there is underpinning all these things -- Israel, Britain, debt, et cetera. America's decline.
There is a sort of craven lust by President Obama to want to do all these terrible things when of course that can't be the case.
D'SOUZA: Well, all I'm saying is this. I'm offering a theory to explain Obama's behavior. I'm saying Obama at his heart is an anti- colonialist who believes that American superiority is bad for the world. He believes that America is a dominant -- a power that projects its power badly in the world. What Obama would like to do is shrink, pull back America's footprint in the world, because he thinks we've been stepping on the world. So I'm not saying that he's an evil guy. I'm simply saying --
MORGAN: Hang on. Hang on. Dinesh, let me jump in there. There is another way of looking at this, which is that actually a lot of the damage to America's reputation as a super power had been done in the previous eight years, in the way that America responded to 9/11 by going into what many viewed as an illegal war in Iraq, with all the fallout that occurred there.
Then going to Afghanistan, committing hundreds of thousands of troops, American troops at vast expense, which also drained the economy, when there were many other ways you can go after bad guys in this world, as we saw with Gadhafi, when no American troops were committed and he got taken out. And there was a totally different game plan.
Obama perhaps should be credited with actually not wanting to just stamp around the world, you know, behaving like some sort of imperialistic bully. Because that's how some people outside America have viewed what happened in places like Iraq.
D'SOUZA: Well, the problem is this. That is, in Libya, Obama used force, claiming that he was preventing genocide. Now, how many people had Gadhafi killed at that point? About 250. Meanwhile in Syria, over many, many months, tens of thousands of people are killed by --
MORGAN: Wait a minute. Wait a minute. I'm not going to let you get away with that. You think Colonel Gadhafi has only killed -- before he was killed himself, he only killed 250 Libyans?
D'SOUZA: He only killed 250 Libyans before Obama initiated the use of force, yes.
MORGAN: Hang on. What do you mean in totality? He operated 40- year despotic regime. He killed tens of thousands of Libyans.
D'SOUZA: There was a revolt that began out of Benghazi. Obama said -- look, Gadhafi's been in power for decades. In fact, the United States was doing business with Gadhafi. Remember, he was outing terrorists. He was paying reparations for the Lockerbie bomber. He was actually doing business with America.
He had been somewhat behaving himself since 9/11.
MORGAN: If you remember, if you remember, he was about to commit a massacre --
D'SOUZA: About to commit --
MORGAN: Yes, well, isn't the time to -- wait a minute.
D'SOUZA: -- a much greater massacre and Obama has absolutely refused to use military force.
MORGAN: I agree with you --
D'SOUZA: How do you explain the double standard?
MORGAN: I'm just about to come to Syria. Let me explain about Libya first. He prevented, many people believe, a terrible massacre occurring. Surely the job of responsible presidents of the United States is to prevent, not to wait for them to happen and then react. Isn't it better to get in first.
In Syria, I agree with you.
D'SOUZA: I have a larger concern. That is that there are three important countries in the Middle East. There's Iran, there's Egypt, and there's Saudi Arabia. Iran has been in the hands of the radical Muslims since 1979. Now, we are seeing Egypt move into the radical Islamic orbit.
What's left? Saudi Arabia. Now, can you imagine if, in the second Obama term, Saudi Arabia were to fall? The radical Muslims would come so much closer to their dream, which they've now had for 100 years, to bring --
MORGAN: On that point, let me go to Penn. Let me bring you in there. Actually in between some of these crazy statements --
D'SOUZA: What's crazy about them? JILLETTE: -- No, no --
MORGAN: Some of your statements, Dinesh, do sound completely barking mad. But others have credence to them. A lot of what you just said about Egypt and about Saudi has some merit to it.
JILLETTE: From my point of view, he's accusing Obama as being anti-colonialist, which I think is a good idea. I don't think we should be doing as much overseas as we are. I know you can talk about how many lives were saved, but having America guess at who the winners and losers are overseas, getting all these entangling alliances -- I would like to see us doing much less.
D'SOUZA: Here's a point you might agree with me.
JILLETTE: I think we can wait -- I think we can wait until damage is done and not have to predict everything. And surely not be overseas nation building when our own country needs that.
MORGAN: I've got to say, Dinesh, even though I don't agree with half of what you say, I rather enjoy the way you say it. Please come back soon.
D'SOUZA: I would love to.
JILLETTE: Nice to see you.
MORGAN: Penn, always a pleasure. Come back soon.
Next, the man who taught Paul Ryan everything he knows about fitness. Extreme workout guru Tony Horton. You were one of his, right?
JILLETTE: Yes, absolutely.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RYAN: This is a workout I've done for about a year and a half now. It's called muscle confusion and cross training. I'm just kind of a workout guy. I have always been into his. I was actually a fitness trainer. I had three jobs when I came out of college. One of them was a fitness trainer. I keep my body fat between six and eight percent.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Some of Paul Ryan's interview with "Politico." He might not have become Mitt Romney's running mate without the help of my next guest. Tony Horton is the creator of the P-90 X fitness routine, which turned Paul Ryan into a political hunk and has sold nearly four million DVDs since 2005.
He joins me now. Tony, welcome.
TONY HORTON, CREATOR, P-90 X FITNESS ROUTINE: Great to be here.
MORGAN: I want to start with some crushingly bad news for you.
HORTON: Oh, my.
MORGAN: You won't be aware of this but your client, your number one client, the man who's now telling the world about the merits of your magnificent routine, was caught doing this today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Now, that is one of the biggest hot dogs I've ever seen. Massive amount fries around him. Looks like a load of Cokes as well. This is a bad move, isn't it?
HORTON: That can happen. You have your cheat days. That's all right. He's having one today. That's perfectly okay. We're not robots here. We're just talking about the importance of being consistent with your diet and exercise. He's been pretty good for quite a long time.
MORGAN: He's obviously incredibly disciplined, because this six to eight percent body fat is ridiculous. I mean, it's the stuff of super models. How do you -- do you recommend that people of a certain age go that far? Should he have that tiny amount of body fat?
HORTON: It's a measurement like body weight or BMX or BMI. So just a way of kind of keeping track of things. But he's very lean. He's very disciplined. I've been in the Congressional gym now six to eight times with members on either side of the aisle, both Democrats and Republicans working together in the gym to focus on their health and fitness, understanding that it's not just about weight loss or body fat percentages.
It's truly about being able to function better as a politician.
MORGAN: Tell me, what makes this a very special thing? Because I've tried all sorts of routines. I normally ruin them myself with good old-fashioned British beer and fish and chips and so on. So what makes your one so effective? What is different about it?
HORTON: You know, we call it muscle confusion. It's no different than what Jack Lalane (ph) was doing back in the '30s, '40s --
MORGAN: My muscles are confused.
HORTON: Yes. You've got to keep them completely baffled. That is the trick. You know, one day it's pilates. The next day it's yoga. Then it's resistance. Then it's cardio. Then it's karate, then something called Aberbarex (ph). You're trying to prevent boredom, injuries and plateaus. Those are usually the three things that stop most people in their tracks.
They're focused too much on the scale. They're focused too much on losing weight, so they can look good in a dress at a wedding in the future, when the next day, nobody cares.
MORGAN: If you do this six days a week as hard as you recommend people do, can you just go completely crazy, as Paul Ryan appears to have done today? Just scoff hot dogs all day?
HORTON: There's no one size fits all here. He's on the campaign trail. He's put in situations where he can't look at the hot dog and say no, I'm on the P-90 X. You have to be flexible. He's being flexible. He's being smart. He's a smart politician.
MORGAN: When he came to you for the first time, what shape was he in then?
HORTON: He was in great shape when he started. When I met him, he had already started P-90 X with Heath Shuler, who is a Democrat. They started the program together in the Congressional gym. They just drew in more congressmen and senators because they were the two who were going to the gym and getting the best results. They were getting off the --
MORGAN: So are you actually the answer then to all this terrible tension and stress and warring in Washington? Is the answer to get them all in the gym? Is that where they come together?
HORTON: Well, when I'm there, it's a very bipartisan affair. We talk about what to do on the road or what are modifications if I can't do an exercise. So we'll get in a big circle. Dems and Republicans hanging out together, just talking about what we can do to make it easier for us to do our job. It's really -- it's kind of fun to see.
You know, all that other stuff that we see in the press, I've never experienced that.
MORGAN: Is he a good payer?
HORTON: A good payer?
MORGAN: Payer. Does he always pay up on time and give you a good tip?
HORTON: There's no payment. I do it for free.
MORGAN: How come he gets a freebie?
HORTON: They all do. They invited me come to the congressional gym to work them out. So that's a freebie for me.
MORGAN: So he's even like reducing the budget on his own gym bills. He hasn't got any.
HORTON: I'm not aware of that. I don't know what the -- the Congressional gym is very modest. People would think it is this elaborate thing. It's a basketball court with a locker room and a little side gym. It's very modest.
MORGAN: What are the things that people like me waste most of our time doing in terms of keeping fit? What are the things I should just forget about doing?
HORTON: Stop being attached to the outcome. We have these expectations of we expect to look in the future.
MORGAN: You can't do that. That's the whole point. We all want to look like Brad Pitt. So there's no point in saying stop thinking about that.
HORTON: You can fret about what you want to look like in the future. If you exercise right now, when that routine is over, you've improved your health, your fitness, your quality of life, your range of motion and your immune system. It's not just the physical things so that your ego can be satisfied, because other people have nice things to say about you.
It's really about doing things that help you function better as a human being, so you become less of a burden and more of a solution.
MORGAN: Will you be voting Republican after all this?
HORTON: I -- oh gosh, we're going there, are we? I'm a big fan of Paul Ryan. I really like him.
MORGAN: That wasn't the question.
HORTON: I have not decided yet.
MORGAN: Yes, you have.
HORTON: I have not -- no, honesty. When I was young and broke --
MORGAN: Does he know you're wavering? Does he know after all the commitment he's given you, the 100 percent dedication, that you still haven't given him his vote?
HORTON: We never discuss it.
MORGAN: It's been a pleasure to meet you.
HORTON: Thanks. Thanks for having me.
MORGAN: Next, crashing down the side of a mountain and living to tell the tale. My primetime exclusive with the two drivers who made it out alive.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) MORGAN: Caught on camera, a horrifying crash in one of the oldest car races in America, Pike's Peak International Hill Climb. The car was obliterated as it flipped down the mountain, turning over and over again. But incredibly, the driver survived.
Yuri Kouznetsov and Jeremy Foley join me now for a primetime exclusive. Gentlemen, welcome. I really mean that, because you shouldn't be here, either of you. What an incredible escape. Yuri, tell me what happened.
YURI KOUZNETSOV, SURVIVED CAR CRASH: We came in the corner. It's a well-known corner that's very tricky. I think we had one competitor last year go off in the same exact corner. What we weren't aware of is it had been raining on and off up in this elevation, because it's quite a long ways that we go up.
So as soon as Jeremy turned in, he knew that something was wrong. I was still reading the notes, looked up. Then the moment I knew it was all over for us is kind of when we started to get towards the gravel and flying off the edge. So I had a slight delayed reaction.
But pretty much after that, it was just tumble, tumble, try to hang on, and just hope for it stop as soon as possible.
MORGAN: Jeremy, that moment when you realize you're going off the cliff, that's got to be one of life's more sobering moments, right. Describe exactly how you felt. You're the driver. You've lost control. I've rolled a car once before. It's terrifying. But to do it here down a cliff, you must be thinking this is it, we're going to die.
JEREMY FOLEY, SURVIVED CAR CRASH: That's exactly what I was thinking, Piers. The entire race has treacherous offs like this where if you do go off the course, then death or severe injury is basically imminent. You always think about that in the back of your mind, but you never think it's really going to happen to you. You always leave a little margin of error just in case.
So to know split second before you go flying off a cliff that it's your turn, it's one of the most frightening things I've experienced in my life.
MORGAN: Yuri, what was going through your mind? As you flipped down, do you have time to think about anything? People talk in these moments of their lives flashing through their minds. What happened? What did you think? Did you think anything?
KOUZNETSOV: No. It's surprising you do have a lot of time to think. And it's surprising how much you can get done. In my case, actually, there was that moment when we got airborne. That seemed like an eternity itself. After the first two hits, my arm was just flailing out the window. I think that's pretty much when I dislocated it. I felt it go and I was able to pull it back in and grab on to the seat belts and try to contain myself within the seat as much as I can.
After that, it's just -- you're just praying for it to stop rolling, stop rolling. You don't know how far you're going to go because everything is just -- you just see light flashing all over the place. You don't know which way is up.
MORGAN: Jeremy, I was quite amused that you described it as one of the most terrible moments of your life. Have you had more like this? Are you just one of life's naturally unlucky guys?
FOLEY: Unfortunately I have been in a few accidents in my life. I have rolled a car. And I've been hit by a truck in a very similar car on the street, actually. And it was a very severe accident. Had that truck hit me a split second later, I would actually possibly not be talking with you guys today.
So this impact was different because it was repetitive and that each -- each roll and tumble that everyone is seeing is like whole other car wreck over and over again. Everybody talks about experiencing car wrecks in either very fast or very slow speed. And I have to say, and I think Yuri would agree with me, that this was just a drawn-out ordeal that we both were praying for ourselves and for the event to just come to a stop.
But we've taken --
MORGAN: Yuri, the blissful moment came when you did stop and you realize you're both still alive. Although I think one of you was unconscious, right?
KOUZNETSOV: That would be me, yes. I -- the biggest impact I think, or at least on my end, other than the initial one, was when we landed backwards in that rut that actually slowed the car down from -- to stop the roll. That's I think when I hit my head the hardest and lost consciousness probably for five seconds or so. But for me coming to was just -- I just had I white haze everywhere and I was just trying to figure out what was going on.
And all I felt was just pain in the shoulder and the knee.
MORGAN: And Jeremy, you were fully conscious and realizing you're alive, you've survived in a miraculous way this horrific crash. What were you thinking as you lay there.
FOLEY: My very first thought as the car came to a halt and I gathered my senses, realizing that I was, indeed, alive -- my first thought was Yuri's well-being. I was deeply and extremely worried about him. His life and responsibility was in my hands. And of course I felt guilty for putting that at risk and putting him in harm.
MORGAN: Yuri, will you guys be doing anything like this again? Is it one of those things where -- like riding a horse and falling off, you just have to get back in the car and go around more mountains.
KOUZNETSOV: This was definitely kind of a step outside of our realm of what we're used to doing. We're both auto crossers and rally crossers. So The things that we typically do are much lower speed and less kind of room for error, I guess, so to speak. Or if you hit something, it's a cone or something.
This was definitely our attempt -- our stab at something a little more difficult. To answer your question, probably not tomorrow. We won't get in the car and do the same thing tomorrow. But time will tell if we want to come back and tackle it over again.
MORGAN: Well, it's an amazing story. I congratulate you both on surviving this crash and being able to tell the story today. It's one of the most extraordinary bits of video I've ever seen, where both people lived to tell the tale. So congratulations to both of you.
FOLEY: Thank you.
MORGAN: Jeremy, Yuri, thank you for joining me.
When we come back, Only in America, the state of the states.
MORGAN: Tonight's Only in America, the state of the union state by state. Indiana is boring, sorry Indiana. Georgia is obviously hot. And apparently Pennsylvania and Connecticut are haunted. At least this is according to Google.
Those are just some of the results you get when you use the search engine's auto correct function. One blogger/venture capitalist has put those results together for a fascinating look at all 50 states on an interactive map.
Rene Derista (ph) started by typing the phrase "why is California" for example, "so blank" into Google's search bar, and let auto correct finish the phrase. Here's the results. California is liberal, broke, anti-gun and expensive. New York is great, populated, expensive and big.
Texas is awesome, cheap, hot and conservative. And Florida is weird, humid, trashy and, again, hot. These are not my personal assessments. I think they're all wonderful, obviously. This is all according to the wisdom of the crowd via Google.
So I did a little experiment just to balance things out and tried searching the name of my hometown, London. The results came in predictably: rainy, expensive, cloudy and gloomy, which is about the harshest assessment of everywhere, but also has the benefit of being entirely accurate.
Sorry London. That's all for us tonight. "AC 360" Starts now.