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Piers Morgan Live

The Government Is Expected To Open To Open Tomorrow; Interview with Rep. John Garamendi and Rep. Robert Pittenger; President Obama Has To Sign The Bill Tonight; Furloughed Employees Can Now Go Back To Work; Face To Face With Ann Coulter

Aired October 16, 2013 - 00:00   ET


PIERS MORGAN, CNN NEWS HOST: This is Piers Morgan Live. Welcome to our viewers in the United States and around the world. Breaking News tonight, finally, America is back and running again. The government is expected to open to open in the morning with no time left. The House and the Senate tonight voted to approve the deal to end the shutdown and raise the debt ceiling. It is an obvious victory for the White House and the Democrats. President Obama has to sign the Bill tonight. He branch to the Republicans.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: I said it before, I will say it again. I am willing to work with anybody. I am eager to work with anybody, Democrat or Republican House or Senate members on any idea that will grow our economy, create new jobs strengthen the middle class and get our fiscal House in order for the long term.


MORGAN: The good news for the president, but a stinging defeat for the GOP, divided as ever tonight. Listening to Senator Ted Cruz and House Speaker John Boehner.


JOHN BOEHNER, (R) OHIO REPRESENTATIVE: I believe we have been locked in a fight over here, trying to bring government down to size, trying to do our best to stop Obama Care. We fought the good fight. We just didn't win.

SEN. TED CRUZ, (R) TEXAS REPRESENTATIVE: This is a terrible deal. This deal embodies everything about the Washington establishment that frustrates the American people.


MORGAN: The deal to reopen the government and raise the debt ceiling, Joining me now is Chief Congressional Correspondent Dana Bash, Senior White House Correspondent Brianna Keilar, and Chief Legal Analyst, Gloria Borger.

I will start with Brianna at the White House. Brianna, it would seem to be a clear victory for the White House and the Democrats. A clear defeat for the GOP. When can we expect to see President Obama actually signing all this off?

BRIANA KEILAR, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: We are expecting for him to sign that tonight. Piers, it is unclear if we will actually get a glimpse of that if so it may just be a photograph of that.

But, the president is generally a night owl. He stays up some nights. We are told as late as 1 a.m., reading, kind of catching up on his day's work. So, we understand that the speaker was to sign the bill here in the last hour. The bill does physically need to be signed by a few folks. It is physically brought over here to the White House.

We haven't received notification that this is happening yet. But, we are expecting this to happen tonight and for the government to be re- open tomorrow. Employees be put on notice as well, Piers, late tonight that they are supposed to report to work tomorrow.

MORGAN: Now, you put a brilliant question, Brianna to the president. When you made a statement early this evening that just caught him off guard, and he gave a fascinating answer. Let's watch this.


KEILAR: Mr. President, do you believe this is going to happen all be over again in a few months?




MORGAN: Pretty definitive response there to a really cunning question, because of course the real question that everyone is asking is, well, this is all very well, but has not resolved anything. We are going to go to the whole shutdown and debt ceiling issue all over again in January and February. How optimistic for people will it be any different than what we have just been through.

KEILAR: They are certainly projecting a lot of optimism, Pierse, and they point to the last debt ceiling inquiries, which was actually last winter, where we didn't hear a lot about it. It was not about the debt ceiling inquiries that we saw in 2011 where we came close to default. This last time it was really something that kind of, in a way, I think flew under the radar for most Americans.

The white House's calculus on the situation is this, they feel like it just doesn't make any sense for Republicans especially as they get closer to a mid-term to risk so much political damage. They suffered a lot. Polls have showed and they really -- The White House thinks -- they doesn't want to do it again, of course as you know, Piers, it is not really up to the White House. It is really up to House Republicans, Tea Party Republicans and whether the House leadership follows them.

MORGAN: Brianna, thank you very much, indeed. Let's go to Dana Bash now. Dana, you have been working like a Trojan on this now for two weeks, time for some clarity for me on this. Is there any doubt really that there has been a big win for the White House tonight and a big defeat for the Republicans?

DANA BASH, CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: No. There is no doubt, and I can say that definitively; primarily here is because that is what Republicans in the building behind me have been saying all night. In fact, one Republican aide was kind of -- there is a lot of gallows humor going on, so I could just give you that.

But, moping around and saying, you know, they were upset that the president came out and talked before the House vote. They were a little worried about the effect that that might have on House Republicans, and they were trying to raise the vote as much as they could possibly could, get the number as high as it possibly could.

And, this Republican aide said look, we get it. He can dance on our grave. He can spit on our grave for all we care, because we -- meaning Republicans, deserve it. This was a strategy that was doomed to fail and should not have gone down this road to begin with. But, they understand that this is something that was just terrible. They understand that full --


BASH: -- Well, particularly inside the Republican leadership, not just in the Senate, but the House. The ones who agreed to go down this road and continued on it for two and a half weeks.

MORGAN: Now, the man who started it is Senator Ted Cruz. He was pretty unhappy today. Listen to what he had to say.


SEN. CRUZ: I am confident that in time the U.S. Senate will follow the lead of the House of Representatives and listen to the American people. That is our job. That is our responsibility. This is a terrible deal today. But, it is a terrible deal for the American people.


MORGAN: Let me turn now to Gloria Borger. Gloria, when you listen to Senator Ted Cruz there, he -- I suspect believes he may have had a win here for himself.


MORGAN: And, we may see another battle looming right away with him center stage.

BORGER: Yes. I think there is actually no doubt that this was a win personally for Ted Cruz. I bet if he goes back to Texas, he is still pretty popular. And, I think in terms of the Tea Party Republicans, he can -- he is their frontrunner now. One would have to say for a presidential contender. Look, I don't think he is going to get the nomination in the end, because I think the Tea Party Republicans are dividing off from the rest of the Republican Party. But, I do believe that you talk about his name recognition. He can raise more grass roots money. You know, he has done himself some good, and it was very clear talking to Senate Republicans that they understand this was not about them. This was about him.

MORGAN: Right. He is going to go nowhere. I had this fascinating interview with Alan Dershowitz last night, who actually talks to Ted Cruz at Harvard and described him as one of the most brilliant students he ever had.


MORGAN: Which I was quite surprised to him. Now, if you seem that to be the case since Alan Dershowitz is a smart guy, you could have a very, very smart blood -- he apparently was very good in debate, a great strategist, who clearly has a bigger picture here.

BORGER: Right.

MORGAN: Is he conceivable that he could emerge despite your misgivings just now as a potential nominee for Republicans, and could they win an election with somebody like him at the helm?

BORGER: Look, here is the thing. You got to take Ted Cruz seriously. Ted Cruz is a pied piper of a certain wing of the Republican Party. He is very important on the national stage. He is not going anywhere. And, you are right. He is very, very smart. I am not so sure he is a great strategist, but maybe he didn't want to win.

He always knew he couldn't win, but he wanted to raise this issue as a way to say, I haven't forgotten you folks. I am still on Obama Care. It is still a problem for us and I am still talking to the grass roots. So, you know, a lot of politicians come to Washington, and the first thing they do is run against Washington. I think he has done it in record time.

MORGAN: And, in terms of Obama Care itself, can we assume literally from tomorrow, once the government is back up and running, the debt ceiling issue is shelved for a few months, so we are not going to see the mother of all battles erupting over Obama Care itself. Something that many of the Republicans would love to see in the last two weeks because they believe that President Obama could be quite vulnerable on this.

BORGER: Well, look, I think Obama Care is the law. I think you are going to see a lot of folks now taking a very hard, long, deep look at the problems that has online with folks enrolling on line. I think the issue of taxing medical devices is going to come back up again.

And, that could be revised. So, I -- You know look, laws get passed, and they get changed, revised, may better, you know altered. I mean Dana knows this better than anyone. I mean look it is a living, breathing document, right? And, so it will get changed, but in congress, in terms of the building behind us, you know they are moving on to other things right now.

MORGAN: Let's go to Dana very quickly. We heard that the Bill is now at the White House, just in terms of procedure. How long could we expect it to sit there before President Obama signs it?

BASH: If it is at the White House, it probably wouldn't sit there very long before he signs it. I mean he wants to get this done, probably get to bed and more importantly make sure that the government is up and running when the sun comes up tomorrow, that people actually can go back to work. And, that the economy, which has taken a hit, not just locally here in Washington but around the country because of this -- begin to recover from it.

MORGAN: I hope he is also aware, Dana Bash that you need some sleep, because I think you have had about one hour in two weeks.

BASH: Something tells me I don't think that is really a big thing on his mind.


MORGAN: Well, it should be.

BASH: But, thank you for caring, Piers.

MORGAN: Mr. President, if you are watching, she needs sleep and I am going to get her tickets to the next Osmond revival to make her feels loved by everyone at CNN. Great to talk to both of you. Thank you both very much.


BASH: Sure.

MORGAN: Joining me now is North Carolina Republican Robert Pittenger and Democratic Congressman John Garamendi of California. Welcome to you, gentlemen, and are you guys all best buddies again now then? Is this all bipartisan joy tonight?

JOHN GARAMENDI, (D) CALIFORNIA CONGRESSMAN: We have got a lot of work we need to do together, and we have to work across the aisle to get it done. So, yes, let's work together.

ROBERT PITTENGER, (R) NORTH CAROLINA REPRESENTATIVE: It is important. It is important for the country.

MORGAN: Robert Pittenger, put it into context for me the politics of all of this going forward. Did the Republicans really, do you think feel that they have suffered a massive defeat here or is it a temporary setback?

PITTENGER: Well, Piers, I do believe it was a worthy objective, Obama Care has significant issues and problems. But, it was an ill-fated strategy. I said that during the course of the summer. I don't think that we had a major opportunity to win this politically. It is the president's signature legislation. It will be his legacy for good or bad. He wants this. The Democrat leadership wanted it, not withstanding that the premiums of my state have gone up 200% to300%. The congressional budget office says that the cost is unsustainable. We are losing jobs. The companies are not hiring full time workers.

So, there were real issues there, a real concern to all of us. But, the president had his way, and for right now, that will be the law until such time that the problems get greater than the American people demand that it be changed.

MORGAN: And, congressman, which way did you vote tonight?

PITTENGER: I voted with it. I believe that it is important to give time for the negotiators to go out there and to try to do something about the real issue facing our country. You know we have a $17 trillion debt. We have $16 trillion of unfunded liabilities.

This is the elephant in the room. This is the problem. The president needs to speak to this. For five years, I have been waiting for the president to address this issue. I listened to him at the inauguration and the state of the union, the congress, he never brought it up.

Yet, when we spoke in March of 2006 on the Senate floor as a senator he made it very clear that lambasting President Bush for a $5 trillion debt and realizing that he did not want to vote to extend the debt ceiling.

MORGAN: OK. Let me do the job Garmendi. As we go forward here, clearly the big battle, it seems to me, before we get back to shutdown and debt ceiling issues in January and February will be over Obama Care. I mean there is going to be gloves off now a straight assault on this great plank of President Obama's presidency. What do you think will happen with that? Because at the moment, the system, itself, seems to be failing.

GARAMENDI: Well, where they are looking at is one piece of it. An important piece, but this is the exchange piece. The exchange is actually is actually working in many, many parts of the nation, in California. The exchanges are working on those states where the governors took control over the issues. The exchanges are working in the national exchange has its headaches. No doubt about it.

But, that is just one small part of the affordable care act. If you take a look at the other parts, the insurance reforms, exceedingly important. The end of things like having pre-existing conditions for children, for parents, and guaranteed coverages. All of those insurance reforms are now in place. The patient's bill of rights.

And, we're also seeing a reduction in the inflation rate in medical services both for the government, Medicare and Medicaid, as well as for the private sector. So, we are seeing the cost curve bend. Now, the exchanges, that is an issue that is going to be dealt with every major program, whether it is a military program or this program or a state program or even a private sector program, they often have their hiccups.


GARAMENDI: Just take a look at Google or Microsoft, and they will tell you about the hiccups that will occur with the new program going into a play. Yes, it is an issue, but I tell you, Piers, the real issue is how to get this economy going. How to get people back to work? And, these continued cliffs. These crises actually hold back a very powerful race horse called the American economy.

MORGAN: Well, I agree with you. But, let me ask you this, congressman.


MORGAN: I presume that you voted in favor of it, as well, right?

GARAMENDI: Of course.

MORGAN: So, you two have reached a point of bipartisan consensus. Why do we have a symbolic on air hand shake to round off this particular debate -- go on. Look at that. You see. It is possible. You can actually get along in Washington. What an extraordinary spectacle. Congressmen, thank you very much, indeed.

PITTENGER: Thank you.

GARAMENDI: Thank you.

MORGAN: Next, the way to the president's signature. The White House has the bill, any minute he will sign the bill and get the government open again. Whoopidoo!


OBAMA: I want to thank the leadership for coming together and getting this done. Hopefully, next time it wouldn't be in the 11th hour. One of the things that I said throughout this process is we have to get out of the habit of governing by crisis.


MORGAN: Breaking news on the deal to reopen the government and raise the debt ceiling. The White House has the bill. President Obama is expected to sign it at any moment, and we will bring you that news, of course, as soon as we have it.

Joining me now with all-star panel, Chief Correspondent Christine Romans, host of the CNN's "Your Money," Business Correspondent Richard Quest, host of CNN's "Quest Means Business," Josh Barro, Politics Editor for "Business Insider," Ryan Lizza, CNN Political Commentator and Washington Correspondent.

I feel like our panel has gotten better as the hours dragged on. Let's start with you, Christine Romans. Obviously, it is a good news. It is all over. Obviously, it is frustrating that we will probably going to go through exactly the same nonsense again in January and February. Put it into some kind of proper perspective for me. How painful has this all been to date for the American economy?

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF CORRESPONDENT: Our national nightmare is now over, Piers, right? It is over for a little bit. And, then we are going to have to get your little countdown clock again because we are going to be doing this again in January and February.

Look, this is -- this is how serious it has been. $24 billion is in the damage of the economy. That is according to the S&P. I mean to put that in perspective that is like two years of the freed reduce school lunch program, 29 million American kids are fed, two years of that.

I mean, you can go through all the different ways we could have spent $24 million in the economy with much better use. But, instead it was basically congress not doing its job that cost the economy. Now, in normal times you can recover that kind of -- if it were a hurricane or flooding you could recover some of that lost economic activity. But, if we keep having budget battles, you wouldn't, Piers.

MORGAN: Why is it just incredibly embarrassing for the perception of the way America does business, politically and in deed economically? Because that is the impression many people outside of America have.

RYAN LIZZA, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: It is pretty embarrassing. There is not a whole lot that can be said for what just went on here for the last few weeks. Something that every Republican leader, every Republican strategist told the party not to do, predicted that if they did do, it would lead to exactly the outcome that we just saw.

And, what do they get -- what do we all get out of this at the end of the day? A conference committee, we get Republicans and Democrats. That is the end result of this agreement. They agreed to sit down and try and work out a budget. That is it. Which if you remember from your U.S. politics classes, Piers, this is sort of how the process is supposed to work.

MORGAN: Yes and I had those in a few weeks ago. So, I mean I'm well abreast of all of this. Now, you tell me something about Mitch McConnell rhyme. What was that? Something to do with a little sweetener for Mitch McConnell in this deal.

LIZZA: Now, look, I'm sort of a defender of these things. If we could get these -- Look, apparently, Mitch McConnell got some project in Kentucky inserted into the legislation, although, he says it was not him. It was one of the committees in the Senate. And, the committee in the Senate is sort of saying, they wanted this.

It has to be for McConnell. It is a Kentucky project. But, we will see what the final word on that is. But, having said that, the fact that a little bit of pork can help lubricate the gears of congress? That will be great.

MORGAN: Can you say that again? A little bit of pork can help to lubricate the wheels of congress. I love that. LIZZA: Absolutely. That is one of the problem in the House of Representatives that John Boehner is a weak leader is because they got rid of pork and earmarks who can't buy votes anymore.

MORGAN: Let me come to Richard's point.

LIZZA: If you can buy more votes, it would be a lot better.

MORGAN: Let me come to my pork expert, which Richard Quest. Now, it is all about pork according to Ryan Lizza.

RICHARD QUEST, BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: No. It is not. What it is really all about is this. Look at it. It is old. It is battered and it has been around the world a couple of times.

MORGAN: It actually has gotten more battered since he were last in a few couple of weeks ago.


QUEST: This is the can that gets kicked down the road, Piers, again and again and again. And, if you look back at the number of times this can has been kicked. It puts it into perspective. In fiscal year 11, it was kicked eight times. In 12, it was kicked six times. So, far in fiscal '13, it was kicked twice.

And, what are the implications of kicking this can down the road? Well, let's just look back at the last showdown, the debt ceiling crisis of 2011. Then, the U.S. lost its triple a credit rating. It led the agreement to the fiscal cliff, lots of cliffs and cans, and of course the board spending cuts of the Sequester. So, yes, battered, bruised, but this thing is living to fight another day.

MORGAN: So, you can -- do you just live off Red Bull or something? Where did all of this energy come from, seriously?


LIZZA: Richard, better --

MORGAN: After two weeks of this --

LIZZA: But, better to kick that can one more times than do it what Republicans would have us do, which was shred it into little pieces and eat it.


JOSH BARRO, POLITICS EDITOR OF BUSINESS INSIDER: I am just amused the can is all the way up here in New York.


BARRO: Yes. Well, I think -- and we can expect to kick the can again in January, and I think that, you know, if they can just manage to do this a couple of more times without shutting down the government, I think that is the best case we can hope for right now.

They are going to go into this conference committee where they are going to try to come up with this so called grand bargain where they agree to replace the sequestration cuts that we got from one of these previous can kicks in 2011, with a more sensible way of fixing the federal budget over the long term. They wouldn't reach an agreement on that for the same reason that over and over again. They haven't reach one. The president and Democrats say you have to have a tax increase as part of the deal and Republicans will not agree to that tax --

MORGAN: Benjamin Netanyahu told me a fascinating thing when I interviewed him a couple of weeks ago. Don't laugh. It was fascinating.

QUEST: It is just the gentle way of which -- may be he comes to the conversation.

MORGAN: I said to him, have you ever had a shut down in Israel. He said we did have one. He said, and everyone was so enraged by what happened. They brought a new system in Israel, which I think I remember, is that if they had delay on the budget and they have a situation that -- then they take a month off the following year's budget, comes off the top.

If it is two months delay, two months comes off. If it gets to six months delay, then they have a forced general election. And, he said "Guess what? We haven't had had a shutdown since." Now, is it -- I am serious for a moment. Is it time, Josh Barro, that we considered actually bringing in some kind of severely punitive measure like that which focused all the politicians' minds in Washington?

BARRO: I think a lot of that stuff ends up being kind of gimmicky. This last law they passed, they called, "No budget. No Pay" where the idea was that members of congress wouldn't get pay if they haven't pass the budge.

I think the better thing to do would be to have a law that simply says if they don't pass a new funding bill to keep the government open, they just keep funding it at the levels that it was funded in the previous year before or perhaps with some increment for inflation. That way you wouldn't have the stupid pressure where they don't get the thing done in time then we end up with hundreds of thousands --

MORGAN: It seems like every six months there has been a new crisis in Washington.

ROMANS: It is your fault, Piers. It is your fault.

MORGAN: At what point does it actually come to a sense of --

BARRO: When Republicans lose their majority in the House.

MORGAN: I'm going to come back after the break. It is mounting excitement, because the president has a bit at the White House. If you are watching, Mr. President, we are all very tired. It has been two long weeks. Please sign that piece of paper, thank you.


MORGAN: We have breaking news for you. It is official, President Obama has signed the bill ending the shutdown and the debt ceiling crisis. I can actually read you what he signed into law. HR 2775. The continuing appropriation at 2014, which provides fiscal year 2014 appropriations for projects and activities of the federal government through Wednesday, January 15, 2014.

The effective time for the continuing resolution begins October 1, 2013, also extends the nation's debt limit through February 7, 2014. So, it is now official and the furloughed employees can now go back to work. And, we have a new rule, everybody watching, ladies and gentleman, come in, we are open for business. What a relief. Richard Quest.

QUEST: They got there. They got there and not a moment too soon, or perhaps a little too late, but they have got there. And, we are already seeing some reaction in the markets in the last couple of hours. The Nikkei in Tokyo not surprisingly has rallied strongly. It is up about 1%.

We saw the Dow very strongly. But, we will -- I feel like I am sort of being repetitious here just of saying we will be back again in January and February. So, before we say come in, we're open, I think we ought to keep the other one just close at hand.

MORGAN: I think you're right. Christine Romans, I mean I can actually hear you groaning whenever we say we are kicking the can down the road, because we have all been through this. It is like Groundhog Day? Isn't it? What is your take on -- I mean let me ask you a question. Is it possible to avoid all of this when you have a $17 trillion national debt?

ROMANS: If you have grown-ups who will sit down and take a look at blue ribbon panel after blue ribbon panel of debt commission recommendations and everybody has to give something up and make hard choices and may be from that get re-elected, then you could solve the problem with the $17 trillion debt and deficits, and you can move forward.

But, no one will give anything up. I mean this is a town. This is a town, right? This is a town, where people don't want to lose. No one wants to lose anything. And, there is this sort of crazy political grid lock that takes over. And, it is not in the best interest of the country. So, someone is going to have to give something up, both sides are going to have to give up more than they are right now. But, they can't do it. They can't force austerity at a time when the country is just so barely coming out of its slumber. I mean timing is everything here and timing is not something that these guys have proved to be very good at.

MORGAN: Ryan Lizza, I mean are you thrilled that it is over? What are you feeling? LIZZA: Well, this is a giant waste of time and makes you want to, you know, leave Washington and not cover politics anymore. I'm only half kidding.

MORGAN: Are you quitting on national television -- is this more breaking news? Lizza, I have had enough.

LIZZA: Long day. Can I just make the case for optimism? I agree with Josh that the fundamental divide on the budget is not really going away. But, one case for optimism is that a faction of the Republican Party. Their strategy and their way of doing things really has been basically humiliated here.

And, John Boehner -- if -- he should be strengthened by this fight, right? These guys led him down a blind alley, and he got, you know, what kicked out of him. And, going into this next budget battle, perhaps, he has some credibility to cut a deal that he frankly wanted to cut with Barack Obama in 2011 but was not allowed to because of his right flank. So, I think that is the one thing you could say, that may be Obama has broken the back of this faction in the House and may be Boehner has a little bit more running room --

MORGAN: OK. I mean, Josh Barrow, it seems to me that optimistic in the sense of looking of what Senator Cruz is up to. Because he I feel will feel massively emboldened by what has happened. He caused the government of the United States to be shut down. He is now massively more famous than he was two weeks ago. He is raising a lot of money and he is seeing a clear opportunity to become the leader of the Tea Party factions of the Republicans.

BARRO: That is absolutely right. He already is the leader of the Tea Party faction of the Republicans and I think if you look at what he was saying today, he still talks about this as though America is with him. He talks about Washington and Washington is what stops them from defunding Obama Care. But, America wants that. And, if only Washington would listen to America, it would get its way. I don't think he is chastened at all. I think a substantial faction. Supporters are not chastened at all. So, I think Ryan's optimism here is excessive. I do think that --


MORGAN: Give the guy a break -- he is going to talk himself into staying there.

LIZZA: It is nice to be optimistic.

BARRO: I don't even agree with it.

MORGAN: All right, on that note, that is a perfect way to end. Ryan Lizza doesn't even agree with what he is currently saying. It is enough of this madness. I am raising the debt ceiling on this debate to an huge amount that none of you can reach. I am shutting it down. It is over. Thank you.

And, the trusty Richard Quest's can is here, ready to be kicked down the road. Thank you all very much, indeed. Coming up next, the shutdown, when does it loses, and what the deal says about the people -- Ben Ferguson and Marc Lamont Hill. If that doesn't wake you up on this ungodly hour, nothing will.



SEN. JOHN MCCAIN, (R) ARIZONA REPRESENTATIVE: It was the wrong ground. It was the wrong premise. It was the wrong fight to have. I fought against Obama Care and continues to, because I don't believe it is good for America.


MORGAN: Senator John McCain making clear how he feels about the GOP's handling of this debacle and the Republican Party whiling. So, where does it goes from here? Joining us at Marc Lamont Hill, Professor of Columbia University and host of "Huffpost Live" and Ben Ferguson, CNN Political Commentator and host of "The Ben Ferguson Show" and a bruiser in every sense of the word. And, we got the breaking news, of course, gentlemen, which has just come in the President Obama has now signed off. So, there is no more debt ceiling crisis for now, and the government is back up and running. Come on Ben Ferguson, what do you make of this?

BEN FERGUSON, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Hold on. Hold on. I got to ask one question, though, is the Panda cam up, yet? Can we get confirmation on that?

MORGAN: I am assuming.

FERGUSON: The Panda Cam, I want to see it by the end of this question.

MORGAN: A darn good question, and I'm going to find that out while I am talking to you and I am going to reveal it to the nation. We are going to -- let's find out on the panda cam, please. And, Ben Ferguson, is Senator Cruz hero or villain in all this?

FERGUSON: I think he is a brilliant guy that is going to end up being a hero absolutely coming out of this, because he has had all the attention, be focused now on two issues. One, Obama Care and the disaster that even the White House -- former White House Press Secretary this week said someone should be fired over the rollout of it.

Now, everyone is going to be focusing on that. And, the second thing is, he knows exactly who his allies and his enemies are within the Republican Party. And, there is going to be a lot of phone calls tomorrow to prospective candidates to run against a bunch of these rhinos that laid down. It didn't fight very well and I think that is exactly what he wanted to have --

MORGAN: OK. Marc Lamont Hill.

MARC LAMONT HILL, HOST OF HUFFPOST LIVE: An opposite on. He may be sleepy. First of all --

MORGAN: Wait a minute. Breaking news, Panda Cam will be reopened tomorrow morning.

FERGUSON: See? See the word is -- it's all right with the world, my friends.

MORGAN: There it is. It is sleeping. The panda will be asleep now, anyway. So, in the morning, that will come alive, and panda will be back and the world could breathe again. Marc Lamont Hill, Ted Cruz, a hero, says Ben Ferguson.

HILL: It is absurd. He is an absolute villain; even his own party is saying this was a silly strategy. It could never work from the beginning. We gained no ground and we have dropped in the polls. That does not make you a hero, except to the extreme wing of your party who you already had the attention and admiration of. And, I think they realize that now that the next time you go into battle, you should have a tactic strategy --

MORGAN: Here is the thought I would throw you, Marc Lamont Hill, which is that may all be true, and many people feel that but Ted Cruz is no fool. Obviously, he is a smart guy. He obviously will go back to a fan base much larger than it was with more money than they have before.

A lot of people saying, "Hey, he took it to President Obama. He got the government shutdown. That guy got action and he did what he said what he would do when he elected him. He got into Obama Care."

HILL: But, he did not get into Obama Care. The only thing he got was an income verifications provision that didn't --

MORGAN: But, he got the government shut down and we now know --

HILL: When is getting the government shutdown a virtue?

MORGAN: Well, if you have a bigger gain plan is what happens next -- Ben Ferguson unless I'm misreading this, I would imagine come tomorrow and certainly all of next week what we'll see from Senator Ted Cruz is a rampaging of sort on Obama Care, right?

FERGUSON: Sure. And, the proof of that is look how vulnerable the White House is today. They promised today they were going to come out with the numbers of how many people that actually signed up under their brilliant website that has been a disaster. And, now they are refusing to give the numbers out saying, "We are not going to give them, may be late this year or early next year.

They have already moved the date twice. And, they are not telling the American people this. There are big issues here that Ted Cruz is smart enough to understand. The majority of Americans between now and this next fight in January and in February, people are going to get their letters. The majority of Americans are going to get their letters with their new premiums. And, people who have already gotten their letters have seen their numbers go up drastically all over the country --

MORGAN: Let's not throw here in New York, of course --

FERGUSON: And in lots of places.

MORGAN: -- and also you are going to have 11 million people who were not previously able to have insurance to get insurance, and people with pre-disposed issues will get insurance. It is not all as evil that you are making out. Marc Lamont Hill, final word --

HILL: No, I --

MORGAN: -- you can shut down and focus --

HILL: The fact is, there are a lot of things to criticize the Obama administration for including the rollout. You can particularly bother the administration for Syria last month. But, instead of criticizing them for all the things that they did wrong or made missteps on, all we have is extreme Tea Party Wing that is like Ted Cruz, a pre- destructions for the party. This is a complete mis-identity--

FERGUSON: You got to be terrified by him.

MORGAN: Wait a minute.

HILL: I am not terrified of Ted Cruz, I hope Ted Cruz stays in the front.

FERGUSON: You are.

HILL: No. No. Here is why I am not because every time Ted Cruz talks, all of the Democratic Party's mistakes get hidden.

MORGAN: OK. Let me end this. I just want to hear that cackle one more time of Ben Ferguson.


MORGAN: Anyway, let's bring an end to this. It is late in the day. Thank you both very much, indeed. Coming up, face to face with Ann Coulter. The chaos in the Capitol Hill may be over but she is certainly as angry as ever. And, you might be surprised who she blames.





MORGAN: America is back in business tonight, but not everybody is celebrating. The House vote brought the shutdown showdown to a conclusion. Let's talk to Ann Coulter, author of the new book "Never Trust A Liberal Over Three - Especially A Republican."

MORGAN: So, let's talk about a bit more about Ted Cruz, and the way forward here, because you got the midterms coming up. What do you think his strategy will be? I mean is he going to be as simple as come Monday morning, right? Obama Care off we go for real, because now we have the other stuff out of the way.

COULTER: I think the important part of the strategy is to teach Republicans we need to win elections. I go through some of them at the beginning of my book, I mention one just now, was that a great idea to run Christine O'Donnell, against Mike Castle?

OK, fine. These are moderate Republicans. It is Delaware. Delaware has not voted for a Democrat for president in 18 years. Gosh, I wish we had a moderate Republican there now. There was a stolen election in Minnesota. We had the three guys mulling about abortion and rape. We had campaign consultants running candidates, who could never win in Connecticut and West Virginia, because they wanted to line their pockets.

MORGAN: But, shouldn't the party be moving, you know, more Tea Party conservative or is that just very hazardous in a general election? Because the country, if you look at polls on sort of things like gay marriage and so on, they're just not with the Republicans on that kind of thing, whether you love them to be or not.

COULTER: Well, first of all, I dispute that, about 36 states have voted -- the people voting on gay marriage, and they rejected it. 36 states including Oregon, including California --

MORGAN: And, yet a significant majority of all the polls of gay marriage say Americans are now in favor of it.

COULTER: That is probably a poll of all adults again.

MORGAN: You can't criticize all polls.

COULTER: No. But, I can when there have been 36 state votes. I think we know what Americans think on that one. There may be some issues where you can tell me a majority --

MORGAN: But, my point, though -- my sense is that younger people in particular, who President Obama has been very good at galvanizing elections. He runs very good elections with young people.

COULTER: I think that the Obama magic goes away with any of the other Democratic candidates --

MORGAN: You think?

COULTER: I think the only --

MORGAN: Even Hillary Clinton?

COULTER: Only people fainting at her at her rallies are going to be chubby gals from now. MORGAN: Do you think she will be the Democrat nominee?

COULTER: I kind of hope so. I don't think she is that formidable. I think it will be a re-run of -- sorry, this is a New York reference, but another Christine Quinn. We were told inevitable -- inevitable that she is the next mayor, next mayor. People came in vote her and "No, I don't think so." --

MORGAN: Who would you next fear on the Democrat side?

COULTER: Obama. Once you take him out, I think as long as we don't run Todd Aiken, we are doing just fine.

MORGAN: Who do you like to see running as a Republican nominee? Who is the most electable right now?

COULTER: Well, that remains to be seen. But, please, Republicans no more inspirational leaders. No more congressmen. No more --

MORGAN: What about Chris Christie? He is inspirational, very popular.

COULTER: Yes. I wouldn't forget him for amnesty, but yes of course --

MORGAN: Could he win in an election?

COULTER: If he were the Republican candidate?

MORGAN: Your vote makes it very clear. Look, we can have all the rhetoric and passion we like, but I want to find somebody who could win an election --

COULTER: Right, but you are thinking that means running more of a liberal. That is absolutely --

MORGAN: No. No. I'm not putting words in your mouth. I'm saying who do you think can exercise your desire to have a winner?

COULTER: I'm not sure, I want to see them in debates. I mean we have a bunch of governors and a bunch of senators including Mike Lee and Ted Cruz, loved them. Let's see them in debates. Let's see how it shakes out.

But, on your point on more Tea Party or less Tea Party, it varies from state to state. The Democrats have -- you know, these incredibly conservative Democrats that you never hear about -- you know, you just had him on from Arkansas. Mary Landriu in Louisiana. Where is Emily -- harassing the used conservative Democrats. No. They know Bob Casey in Pennsylvania. They know. This is the best we are going to get from these states. Why are Tea Partiers -- I is not Tea Partiers, it is dilitons is what it is. Why are they going and demanding purity from Republicans in a state that is a liberal state? It is madness. It is not thinking about winning elections.

MORGAN: You can quibble over state by state. But, in the end, the Republicans have to show unity when they fight a general election. And, you know, the last time, basically, had again a division with the Tea Party, and the motors and so. You can see exactly the same bubble beginning to boil up again. You got a male Sarah Palin. I mean I think a much more formidable version of Sarah Palin --

COULTER: Ted Cruz --

MORGAN: Yes. He is even a male Sarah Palin. He is even a new female of the Tea Party where she was once queen.

COULTER: I -- I don't see the analogy, but I love them.

MORGAN: Yes. But, my point is that do you think that he could be more electable to a wider cross section just to win the nomination and mind you, a Republicans?

COULTER: We'll see, it is very possible. Look, there will be arguments in a party of ideas. That is one thing as I point out in this book. Democrats have advantage. All they want is power. They spent their lives figuring out how to get elected so they can run other people's lives. Conservatives and Republicans --

MORGAN: And Republicans don't do that?

COULTER: No. Look at how we have been doing in elections. We lose all possible elections --

MORGAN: Republicans don't want power and don't want to tell us how to run our lives.

COULTER: They want to be pure.

MORGAN: On that bombshell, let's take another break while I calm down and have a cup of coffee. We will back with more from Ann Coulter and my rival book is going to be taking on hers. You the jury, America.


MORGAN: Back with Ann Coulter. Author of a new book, "Never Trust A Liberal Over Three - Especially Republicans. So, we got book wars this week, because I can reveal to my viewers. This is the first time, I have a book out. "They are Shooting Straight, Guns, Gays, God And George Clooney." It is a journal, diaries of my time in CNN where the focus on the gun campaign. And, you have a book out here. It seems there are similarities here because there is a very fetching picture of you on the cover, an equally fetching picture of me on the cover of mine, obviously. Some people could make an aesthetic choice. It terms of the content, mine is 324 pages, yours is 377, so a little bit more --

COULTER: Shockingly long for one of mine, and you know why?

MORE: Why?

COULTER: Because that is all -- because there is no chapter more than ten pages, a lot of it is greatest hits of mine from the last ten years.

MORGAN: Greatest hits.

COULTER: Yes, it is a column --

MORGAN: Do you realize you also talk about guns, gays, God and George Clooney.


MORGAN: So, we have that in common.

COULTER: Yes. How about that? Because mine covers everything under the sun. I have a chapter on crime, Christianity, and Amanda Knox -

MORGAN: Do you know - Let me tell you why I like it --

COULTER: It is fun, right?

MORGAN: It is fun. I do agree with some of it, which surprises me.

COULTER: You do?

MORGAN: Disagree with most of it, but I agree to some of it.

COULTER: Can we get to what you agree with?

MORGAN: No -- Do you actually write them yourself?

COULTER: I not only write them, I research it myself, which is why I don't have a T.V. or radio show. I like doing the research when I was a lawyer and I love doing research. And, you find stuff when you are doing your own research. Most of my books are more historical or popularizing history

And, you find things that if you hired someone to do the research for you, they wouldn't notice the pattern, they wouldn't see it. So, yes, I am one of the few authors that likes to research.

MORGAN: Do you like being so polarizing?

COULTER: No. I think everyone should agree with me; thus, I would like to get to what you agree with me on.

MORGAN: But on the basis that we don't all agree with you, do you like being polarizing? Do you enjoy being so divisive a character? When people turn on the T.V., and they see Ann Coulter there, half of them are cheering and half of them are seething with fury.

COULTER: No. I really think I just gave you my best answer. I really think they should agree with me. And, if they read this book, I think like you, they would say, "Oh, my gosh. I do agree with her."


COULTER: Liberals have been bad mouthing her. MORGAN: You have to listen to what I said. I said I agreed with some of it but disagreed with most of it. Immediately your sinister brain computed that and say I agreed with anything you have written --

COULTER: Much of it, I say.

MORGAN: You had nine best selling books on the "New York Times" list.

COULTER: And, I am hoping after tonight, we got number ten here.

MORGAN: Yes. What do you hope to achieve with the book?

COULTER: Well, my big goal was getting on this show.

MORGAN: Of course. Goal achieved.


MORGAN: Thanks to Ann Coulter and all my guests tonight. Later on today, we will be back with my guests, Newt Gingrich, Anthony Weiner and Star Jones. Good night.