The show was hosted by Jesse Ventura and topics of discussion included the resignation of Supreme Court Justice Stevens, Sarah Palin’s future in the Republican party (with Ron Paul commenting on the possibility of a Paul/Palin ticket in 2012), the potential for an anti-war coalition of principled progressives, libertarians and constitutionalist conservatives, the degree of Barack Obama’s radicalism, Tiger Woods, and why the mainstream media didn’t review Jesse Ventura’s latest book “American Conspiracies“.
Show: Larry King Live
Host: Jesse Ventura
Jesse Ventura: Good evening, I’m Jesse Ventura sitting in for Larry tonight. Let’s get to it, joining us Rod Blagojevich, former Illinois governor until he was fired last week, a contestant on Celebrity Apprentice; Congressman Ron Paul, Republican of Texas and former Presidential candidate; Stephanie Miller, talk radio host, her website stephaniemiller.com; and Andrea Tantaros, Republican strategist and columnist New York Daily News. Big news today: Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens is retiring. Who should Obama pick to replace him? Stephanie?
Stephanie Miller: Well, I’m going to say the most liberal person in the world, I’m going to say Janeane Garofalo, Shakira, possibly—can Fidel Castro? Is that constitutionally possible?
Jesse Ventura: I don’t think so.
Stephanie Miller: Michael Moore.
Andrea Tantaros: You’d like that.
Stephanie Miller: Andrea, the thing is, honestly, I hope that the President doesn’t choose his centrist bipartisan path on this that he normally does, Governor, because this is a very liberal justice. And in my opinion the Supreme Court is already listing very far right with the Citizens United decision. I call them “SCOTUS”, the very far right justices on the Supreme Court and so, he needs to pick a liberal. there doesn’t need to be any reason to reach out to the other side on this one.
Jesse Ventura: OK. Andrea.
Andrea Tantaros: You can sleep soundly tonight, Stephanie, because I have absolute faith that the President will stick to his liberal values and pick a Liberal. Look, you’re saying that the court leans right, Sotomayor is pretty liberal. I mean—
Stephanie Miller: No, she’s not.
Andrea Tantaros: Yes, she is.
Stephanie Miller: She’s pretty moderate in her rulings.
Andrea Tantaros: Here’s what I want to say on this. That’s ok. Obama’s the President, he was elected, unfortunately. And he’s allowed to pick whoever he wants. I think it’s a wash basically, because Stevens was very liberal, he’s going to pick a Liberal. Do I think that there still needs to be a very rigorous interrogation of whoever he nominates? Absolutely. We have important issues, we need to find out how they stand. Will they repeal the healthcare bill? Do they think it’s constitutional or not? We should be asking them all those questions, and you know —
Stephanie Miller: Every legal scholar thinks the health care bill is constitutional.
Andrea Tantaros: And, Stephanie, I really hope that Republican senators don’t make the wife of the nominee cry like the Democratic senators did to Alito’s wife. We’ll be a little nicer —
Stephanie Miller: That’s the main thing, making wives cry, Governor.
Jesse Ventura: Thank you, ladies. Governor Blagojevich, your opinion on this.
Rod Blagojevich: Well, Jesse, before Donald Trump fired me I would have probably suggested Donald Trump as a way to stay on his show. But since I’m no longer on there I think President Obama should probably pick someone who philosophically would be along the lines of Justice Stevens. I think he needs to maintain that balance in the Supreme Court. Whatever woman or man he chooses, my guess is he’ll probably go in that kind of direction.
Jesse Ventura: Representative Paul, your opinion.
Ron Paul: Well, I think that he should recommend and we should nominate somebody who will bring the people together, and that’s not a moderate. What brings people together is the Constitution, the principles of liberty so therefore you need a libertarian. A libertarian brings the Conservatives together on economic liberals, and a good libertarian will bring the progressives over, and there’ll be personal liberties and anytime there’s secret prisons and assassinations and torture, they would be able to come down and rise out of that. So if you really want to bring somebody in, to look at Jonathan Turley and Judge Andrew Napolitano. I mean, they’d be very good Supreme Court Justices.
Andrea Tantaros: I like that. Someone who’s fair. I didn’t hear anyone say the word “fair”. Isn’t that the most important thing? That they will follow the letter of the law? I believe Napolitano will do that.
Stephanie Miller: You know, Congressman Paul, you were all good with me right up until you got to the Fox News personality, and then I lost you. But everything else you said I think was true.
Jesse Ventura: Now George W. Bush picked two conservatives, of course, Robert and Alito. So can we really expect Obama to go liberal or do you believe to beef up that side of the court after George Bush picked two definite conservatives? Representative Paul.
Ron Paul: Well, once again I think Obama will pick liberals for various reasons, and I do think that mushy middle doesn’t really help that much. That’s why I stick to my guns that somebody who believes in the Constitution and believes in personal liberty will be the kind of person we need. It used to be that way, you know. There used to, be the document is libertarian and we used to have libertarian presence a long time ago.
But I think he’ll pick some very liberal one and there’ll probably be a big fight over it and, you know, maybe the libertarians will lock out. Every once in a while a good liberal, you know, good progressive, they don’t do too bad on personal liberties and they’d be ok on torture, but they’re terrible on the really important issue of personal property and contracts and economic liberty.
I don’t understand why there’s a good defense of personal liberty like progressives do on lifestyle and all this. But all of a sudden the lifestyle of spending your own money the way you want — “Oh no, that’s off the books,” that’s why the libertarian is very appealing especially to the young people and the people who think about personal liberty, and I say that yes, liberty is one unit. It’s economic liberty. It’s personal liberty, and in a foreign policy it’s mind our own business. that brings people together.
Jesse Ventura: Rod, you know, you’re looking for a new gig. If the country needs you, are you willing to put the robes on?
Rod Blagojevich: I think first I need to be vindicated. I think that’s only fair to the American people before that happens. But I would like to say that Congressman Paul raises an interesting point. If you look at American politics today and maybe this appointment in the Supreme Court can be a microcosm of the sort of new politics, maybe the new thinking that we need in this country. And to be able to have a fusion of somebody who might be progressive in some issues, if you want to put labels on things, but then maybe conservative on others, but there’s a core belief in freedom and liberties and some of the principles that our country was founded on and shake it up a little bit in the Supreme Court.
My fear however is this is in so many ways a very political appointment in that the different interest groups that run and control the two different political parties, it’s a litmus test for presidents to stick to that wing of their party that is essentially the face of the party and my guess is President Obama will probably do that as opposed to doing something different along the lines of what Congressman Paul suggested.
Jesse Ventura: Well, you know I’m a libertarian, maybe you should nominate me.
Stephanie Miller: Well yes, and I like your idea, Governor Blagojevich. I think that since he’s been on Survivor, Judge Joe, or Judge Judy has to exonerate him before he can run. I’m not sure of the TV rules there, but you know I think Congressman Paul raises a good point that he says the president should be able to appoint, Governor, a liberal justice, but Representative Paul, I’m interested because you just won the straw poll, right, in terms of presidential candidates for conservatives. And yet, this party has already said they’re going to obstruct, they’re going to filibuster whoever the President nominates. How do you feel about that?
Ron Paul: Well, we don’t know exactly what they’ll do but if I were there and they were going to appoint somebody that was exactly the opposite of a libertarian, to me that would be the opposite of the Constitution. I would object and I would argue against it. I don’t particularly enjoy filibusters because I don’t think it changes the outcome, but no, I think that’s their obligation. I don’t think they should roll over, and the President nominates somebody and the Senate consents. I think that’s the rule, I don’t know why anybody should get upset about debating it, and voting for it and using the rules of the Senate. That just doesn’t disturb me too much but I know that’s the big issue – is there going to be a fight? Is there going to be a filibuster? Well of course there’s going to be objection unless you elect a libertarian and that would please everybody.
Jesse Ventura: Hold on, wait wait wait wait wait.
Andrea Tantaros: And I do know that Obama filibustered as well, so to talk about–Stephanie, were you ok with Barack Obama when he was—
Jesse Ventura: Excuse me, Bart Stupak’s sudden retirement. Did the Tea Party do him in? That’s next, we got to go to break. Stay with us.
Satah Palin: Yes, we can kowtow enemies, criticize allies, vacillate, bow, dither. Yes we can, but somebody needs to tell the president just because we can does not mean that we should.
Jesse Ventura: Welcome back to Larry King Live, I’m Jesse Ventura sitting in for Larry tonight. Sarah Palin, she’s everywhere this week. You can’t go anywhere without seeing her, and she was in New Orleans and they always say that’s a cattle call for the next presidential nominee. Is Sarah Palin going to be the Republican nomination for president?
Stephanie Miller: Andrea, please say yes.
Andrea Tantaros: I don’t have a crystal ball. I know you think I’m a genius, Stephanie, but I don’t know everything. You know what, I’m not so sure about that. I think the woman is on a track to building a media empire. I think she’s focused on other things. I’m not certain that the presidency is top of mind for her.
But look, she is out there, she is allowed to have free speech, we still have that in this country I think, thank God they haven’t taken that from us yet. And she’s organizing communities. What’s wrong with a little community-organizing, right? She’s rallying, and essentially the people that she’s rallying, this Tea Party movement is responsible for Bart Stupak resigning today. So I think the group that was called manufactured outrage is proving pretty effective.
Jesse Ventura: Congressman Paul, could she be the nomination for the next president for the Republican Party?
Ron Paul: Oh, she could be. I don’t think it’s likely. I’m much more interested myself in pushing the Republican Party into defending what they say they believe in. They claim they believe in individual liberty and personal liberties and personal freedoms, but when it comes down the wire and they have to have legislation, they’re not very good at it. They endorse the drug war and invasion of privacy and all these things and government gets bigger. They don’t even defend their budgets and spending. So it’s totally out of control, so I’m looking for somebody that will stand up and say, Republicans believe in personal liberty and limited government across the board, not just when you’re out of office or not just in certain areas, but across the board all the time. And that we haven’t seen, and Republicans have had a chance in 1980, in 1994, 2000 and every time they get in office they tend to drift from their beliefs, they tend to act too much like Democrats and they expand the role of government and the size of government which I think is unfortunate.
Jesse Ventura: Well, Congressman, you know they always say balance is the key to the ticket. Could it be a Palin-Paul ticket?
Ron Paul: (Laughing) I don’t think that will happen. I don’t think they’re looking for my kind of balance, because I think we’d have a disagreement on foreign policy. I’m looking to bring the troops home, the country’s totally bankrupt. I know a little bit about history. I know how empires end and I know how ours is going to end and it’s going to end badly, but it’s a bipartisan effort. I’m tired of hearing this bipartisanship, but that’s all we have in Washington. Bipartisan supports the war. Obama wants to expand the war and the Republicans love it. When there’s big spending, yeah, they agree. Well, you spend on this side and this side, and both sides agree to it.
So I think we need somebody to stand up and say we need a new idea. I like the idea of progressives and libertarians and conservative constitutionalists getting together and starting to talk about civil liberties and this war issue, because this is bankrupting our country. And I’ll tell you, politically, it’s much easier to sell spending a little bit less overseas. Why are we building an embassy in London? Now over a billion dollars in London? Why do we have a fortress there? We have a fortress in Baghdad, a fortress in Kabul. I mean, it makes no sense whatsoever. I think there can be a coalition. To me that would be a very good bipartisan coalition, but it would be principled people on the libertarian-conservative right, and principled people on the progressive left.
Stephanie Miller: Well, I’m a principled person on the progressive left, as Andrea can tell you, Governor. And I get accused a lot, as a woman, of being just jealous of Sarah Palin, and I do say I do want that Stevie Nicks outfit she was wearing the other day, but I don’t think she is intellectually or experientially qualified to be President. You were a Navy SEAL. What happens when you quit in the middle of the job?
Jesse Ventura: You don’t, or you’re not a Navy SEAL.
Stephanie Miller: Thank you.
Jesse Ventura: It’s simple. Are Democrats foolish to underestimate her, Rod?
Rod Blagojevich: Absolutely, I think they are. Now I don’t disagree with some of the other guests said, but I think it would be a mistake to underestimate Sarah Palin. I’d like to say something about what Congressman Paul said. I really believe America is ripe for a political realignment. I think both parties are basically controlled and owned by the big powerful special interests, the political-industrial-complex that does business in and around Washington. Congressman Paul knows exactly what I’m talking about. Both parties basically decide what the solutions are that confront the American people, based upon the different special interest groups that descend on Washington. Your success in Minnesota, Jesse, I think had a lot to do with the fact that even in the late 1990s there was a real hunger for some sort of new political way and I think America, particularly now with the economy being what it is, is ripe for that and I think Congressman Paul says it exactly right. Why are we in America in so many faraway places fighting wars in different places, when you really have to ask yourself whether or not that’s really a vital American interest. And so I think the right person who speaks on these issues there’s a place for them. Go ahead, Jesse.
Jesse Ventura: I think I can tell you about the wars. People are making money off the wars, big money off the wars. That’s why we fight them now. Is Obama the most radical president in American history? Newt Gingrich thinks so. We’ll see what the panel thinks. Stay with us, we’ll be right back.
Newt Gingrich: The President of the United States, the most radical president in American history, has now thrown down the gauntlet to the American people. He has said, “I run a machine. I own Washington, and there’s nothing you can do about it.” (Crowd booing) But that’s where we are.
Jesse Ventura: Welcome back to Larry King Live. We’re talking politics and other news of the day with Rod Blagojevich, Ron Paul, Stephanie Miller, and Andrea Tantaros. Well, my problem with Sarah Palin. Well, first let’s get to Gingrich there. How can he make a statement, “This is the most radical president in the history of the United States”? Was he around 200 years ago to know what the presidents were like back 200 years ago? I think that’s the silliest statement I’ve ever heard.
Stephanie Miller: Governor, he’s one of the most centrist presidents we’ve ever had. The thing that’s hilarious, our friend Sean Hannity has a book out now. He has a chapter “How I’m a Reagan Conservative.” He doesn’t agree with Reagan on anything. Reagan is more of a socialist than Barack Obama will ever be. He was for zero nukes, he raised taxes more than any president in peacetime, he deficit-spent every year of his administration, he signed an amnesty bill on illegal immigration. I mean, Governor, where do we start here?
Jesse Ventura: Well…
Andrea Tantaros: I don’t think Barack Obama would be so upset by being characterized as a radical. I think if you asked Barack Obama, he would say that he is a radical. I mean, I don’t think he views that as a bad word, and if you look at where we’ve been and now where we’re going, what he’s doing is pretty radical.
Stephanie Miller: How?
Andrea Tantaros: A trillion-dollar entitlement program creating, when he said would come in and balance the budgets? I mean, this VAT tax we’re talking about too. Governor Blagojevich brought about politicizing everything out there. We’re supposed to – special interests are everywhere. A VAT tax would essentially politicize every single thing in the economy. Think about it, if it’s a tax on goods and services you’ve just created a lobbyist feeding frenzy. You’re going to have any kind of lobbyist out there funneling millions of dollars on special interest campaigns. That’s pretty radical, so you go through the list of all the things that he’s done and it is a far cry from where we’ve been. It’s definitely a different direction for the country, but I think that’s what liberals want and I think it’s the wrong answer. But I think Barack Obama would agree that he is a radical.
Jesse Ventura: I think that George Bush is more of a radical. The president we got finished with. I think he’s far more radical. He takes us to a war based upon lies in Iraq. I find that very radical.
Andrea Tantaros: I think he’s probably… Barack Obama took us to a war as well, but I think George Bush —
Jesse Ventura: Excuse me, what war did Barack Obama take us to?
Andrea Tantaros: The good war. Afghanistan.
Jesse Ventura: Wait a minute. Afghanistan and Iraq were both started under the Bush administration. How can you possibly say that Barack Obama took us to a war?
Andrea Tantaros: Well, he’s continued a war.
Jesse Ventura: Well, because it was fed to him. What’s he supposed to—
Andrea Tantaros: So you don’t think we should be there?
Jesse Ventura: Hey, I stand with Ron Paul, when you say we marched in, let’s march out. That was a great answer, am I right, Rep. Paul?
Ron Paul: Yep, that’s what I think it is, it’s not too much more complicated than that. But, no, I wouldn’t call Obama a radical. He may be and may turn out to be. He’s had a little over a year, and most of the talks have been on medical care. But what did the Republicans — they gave us a prescription drug program, and Eisenhower’s the one who gave us ATW, so the Republicans aren’t immune to the charge that they move us toward a socialized system.
But to say that he is a radical and Newt is an interesting guy but he says nobody can stop him and nobody can do anything. Well, he’s a strong believer in a strong executive, he pushed always to give more power, of course, at that time it was a Republican executive. I think that’s where the problem is. There’s no real separation, there’s no desire on a role for the Congress to retain their prerogatives over the war issues or anything else.
The President, even in his medical debate, “Oh, we can’t settle this dispute on abortion. I’ll write an executive order. That has the same aspect as a law.” So they have executive orders and signing statements and regulations and the Congress just rolls over, and that’s why the President does these things. But I think that this is a continuation. I’ve been more annoyed because he hasn’t done a much better job on civil liberties and on the war.
In economic liberties, I didn’t expect him to do any better, but believe me, if you go back and look at history I think that Woodrow Wilson was bad in the war, he’s bad on civil liberties, put people in prison, and it was a disaster all the way around. It was totally unnecessary. So, yes, I don’t think there’s a difference between the two parties. You had a Bush policy and it’s been continued, and that’s why we have to have something new and put something together which will bring some people together that care about this country.
Stephanie Miller: I think there’s a right and a left and Ron Paul. (Laughing)
Jesse Ventura: Hold on, hold on, hold on. Boy, I like this guy. We’ll get Rod’s take on this when we come right back. I like Ron Paul, I’ll tell you.
Jesse Ventura: Rod Blagojevich, is President Obama the most radical President in history as Newt Gingrich says?
Rod Blagojevich: No, he’s not. No, he’s not. President Obama is governing, I think, is slightly to the left of center. Frankly, I kind of expected that he would, I’m disappointed that has not more radical. The public option, for example. Here I know Congressman Paul probably disagrees with me, but the Democrats promised the American people a public option, a place where consumers can go and test the marketplace when the private insurance companies aren’t offering you a fair rate. That was scuttled, and unfortunately the Democratic Congress didn’t give the President his public option and he accepted the compromise in his health care bill, which I think is a step forward but not nearly what could have been.
I’d like to see him be more radical in Afghanistan and Iraq. He didn’t start those wars. He has a perfect opportunity to heed the lessons of history and make the decision to start withdrawing American troops and bringing them home, especially in a place like Afghanistan where history tells us you’ll never ever achieve a mission there in such a far away place, in the mountainous regions, that’s going to benefit the country and instead it’s a place that’s just ripe for being stuck and ultimately leaving at a time when you didn’t want to leave it. And so, I’d like to see him make those bold changes as opposed to essentially governing from the center which I think he’s been doing.
Jesse Ventura: Well, Sarah Palin says it’s no shame to be the Party of No. And Newt Gingrich is urging Republicans to pivot and become the Party of Yes. Which one of them is right?
Stephanie Miller: (Laughing) Well, they have to make up their mind. That’s the problem, they keep talking about the Democrats, Governor, being in disarray. I think it’s the Republicans that are. The Tea Party is pulling them to the radical right. I think they’re in a lot of disarray, and all they’ve known how to do is obstruct, obstruct, obstruct. Even their own ideas, when the president is for it, Governor, they’re against it.
Andrea Tantaros: So Democrats never obstructed when Republicans held the majority?
Stephanie Miller: Not to this degree.
Andrea Tantaros: Oh please.
Stephanie Miller: You can prove it quantitatively, the filibuster was never used to this degree.
Andrea Tantaros: No, that’s absolutely false. And to say that Republicans are in disarray after we just watched the Democratic party basically conduct a civil war over health care. When you talk about Barack Obama being more radical with the public option, he would have if he could have.
Stephanie Miller: We won, we won.
Andrea Tantaros: But, Stephanie, it was the Democratic Party, your own party, that wouldn’t let you have the public option because the people didn’t want it. So—
Stephanie Miller: 70% of the American people wanted it. Governor Blagojevich is right, 70% in every poll wanted the public option. The Governor is right, this plan wasn’t liberal enough.
Andrea Tantaros: What is this, the Stephanie Miller Institute, is that where the poll came from?
Stephanie Miller: Every poll that was done over the last year said about 70% of the American people wanted the public option, right, Governor?
Andrea Tantaros: I’d love to see that poll. I’d love to see that poll.
Stephanie Miller: Governor Blagojevich.
Jesse Ventura: Rod, is Obama—
Rod Blagojevich: I agree.
Jesse Ventura: Rod, is Obama socialist, like Republicans like to brand him?
Rod Blagojevich: No, no. These are the talking points that the Newt Gingriches and some of the conservatives — I don’t want to put a label on it, but certain Republican political operatives try to label Democrats who are now the President. It’s out of their old playbook, we’ve seen it before. The same sort of thing they said about Bill Clinton, it’s the same sort of thing they said about previous Democratic presidents. I again believe that President Obama has a tremendous amount of skill, but I wish he’d be more of an activist president.
Here probably again Congressman Paul disagrees with me, but he was elected by the people. I believe the Executive Branch. I believe in a strong executive, and I believe President Obama frankly on the healthcare bill could have been stronger in pushing the public option, I think he has the ability with his skill to lead our country out of wars like Iraq and Afghanistan, and then use that money to benefit people here back home in America and hold the line on taxes. I don’t disagree with those or advocating we shouldn’t raise taxes on people, especially now at a time where people don’t have any money.
Jesse Ventura: OK, thank you, Rod. Did you know that issue of slavery played a part in the Civil War? The governor of Virginia apparently didn’t think so. That’s ahead, stay with us.
Jesse Ventura: There’s my two guests holding up my new bestselling book “American Conspiracies.” And I’ve got a question now. That book has been on the New York Times Top Ten bestseller list now for four weeks. Wait. And yet there hasn’t been one mainstream review of that book. Why do you think the mainstream media will not do a proper review of my book?
Stephanie Miller: Let me do one right now. Let me just read it real quick. I did Evelyn Wood. Hang on.
Jesse Ventura: Well, you don’t have to —
Stephanie Miller: You know, because —
Jesse Ventura: Why wouldn’t they do a review of this book that is obviously popular, it’s selling like crazy? They review every other book and yet not one mainstream media outlet has reviewed that book yet.
Stephanie Miller: That’s the problem, Jesse. We’re so polarized these days. You’ve come on my show. You talked about 9/11. A lot of people have questions about 9/11. That doesn’t mean everybody is a kook about it. They have questions and they feel the 9/11 Commission was a whitewash.
Andrea Tantaros: I think maybe the media is too busy following Sarah Palin around the country and trying to figure out her next move. And that’s why they’re just too busy.
Jesse Ventura: Oh, I doubt that.
Andrea Tantaros: I’m kidding.
Congressman Paul, why do you think they won’t review my book?
Ron Paul: I am not sure. But if you figure it out, I want to know and then maybe I can get a review of “The Revolution: A Manifesto,” and then we can all be happy.
Jesse Ventura: They wouldn’t review your book either?
Ron Paul: Maybe I missed it or something, but I don’t remember seeing any significant reviews of it. No, I think everybody’s biased. If you have a website or you have a radio talk show, you’re biased because you have opinions. There is nothing wrong with that. So when people are in the business of reviewing books, they’re very biased and they reveal that. They feel no obligation to give the people that they disagree with anytime. That to me is sort of accepted. I think they’re just biased but I don’t strongly criticize them for it because I’m very biased with my views. I’m very strong on my views and I try to do it in a more diplomatic method than exclusion, but they just exclude people that they think will stir up too much controversy.
Jesse Ventura: Rod, any opinion why they won’t review my book?
Rod Blagojevich: Well, I think, again I think you raise questions that are not considered by the elites as mainstream. This has been, frankly, among the reasons why you’ve been so successful, that you have an ability to go directly to the people. You obviously are successful at that. And by the way, congratulations on being in the top ten bestseller list. But no, I think there are elites who sort of make these decisions in some of the usual places. And they’ve made a decision somewhere along the way that what you have to say is not something that they want to spend any time talking about or, frankly, give you a forum, and it’s great to see that you can go over their heads directly to the people and people trust you and believe you and they’re buying your book, and so congratulations.
Jesse Ventura: Well thank you, Rod.
Stephanie Miller: Let me take one second to say that I’ve read the book because you’re coming on my radio show. It’s a great book. You were a much better governor than Sarah Palin and a much better wrestler than Rowdy Roddy Piper. I just want to go on record.
Andrea Tantaros: Or Jake the Snake.
Stephanie Miller: Yes!
Jesse Ventura: I don’t know about that.
Rod Blagojevich: Were you as good as Goldberg, Jesse?
Jesse Ventura: What’s that?
Rod Blagojevich: Were you as good a wrestler as Goldberg?
Jesse Ventura: I never wrestled Goldberg. We were kind of a different time, or a different generation because by the time Goldberg came along I had already retired. So I guess it’s kind of like looking at Babe Ruth and Hank Aaron and trying to compare who would be better. I don’t know. Anyway, Tiger Woods had another great day on the golf course. […]
Andrea Tantaros: Governor, you said that what he does best is on the golf course. That’s where he plays the best. I’m not sure that that is so true anymore. It seems like he plays other things much better. And look —
Jesse Ventura: But isn’t this his private business?
Andrea Tantaros: But, Jesse, honestly, he just participated in a commercial with Nike about his private business. If he wants to keep it private, then keep it private. Don’t get in bed with —
Jesse Ventura: Well, that’s because the media is telling him what he has to do.
Andrea Tantaros: No, Nike is. And he doesn’t have to do it if he doesn’t want to. Look, coming out and saying this is my private life, and then filming a commercial that is supposed to remind us all about your private life, just to make more money? I mean, come on, really. I feel no pity for the guy.
Stephanie Miller: But this was not smart. You know, you leave phone messages on people’s machines, just like, “Hi, beep, it’s Tiger, the world-famous golfer.”
Jesse Ventura: I understand all that.
Stephanie Miller: He did it in a parking lot at Perkins? Come on.
Jesse Ventura: I understand all of that, but still to me, journalism today is so pathetic out there. You know, all they care about is trying to take people down, no matter what it is, and again these are private life issues. Private life issues. Rod, how do you feel about it?
Rod Blagojevich: Well, I tend to agree mostly with you, Jesse. Like you, I don’t condone it. And obviously he’s done wrong, but the wrong he’s done is to his wife and to his children and to his family. And you’re right. The media sees that, and they like it. They think this is great news. Now we’ve got a major scandal with a major superstar, and we can ride this for weeks and for months. And that’s exactly what has happened here. It is I think more of a commentary on today’s modern media and the business of modern media and the trivialization of issues when you have so many serious issues across the world and across our country. Tiger Woods and his personal relationships with his wife and others I don’t believe is that critical or important. It is between the two of them and he’s wrong to do what he did but it is a private situation and so I mostly agree with what you say, Jesse.
Jesse Ventura: Congressman Paul, your opinion.
Ron Paul: Well, I think his nightmare probably is over, especially with the public. As long as he can sell shoes, I think that will be OK. But, you know, his personal private nightmares on how he feels about himself, I don’t think he’ll know whether that’s over yet or not. And I don’t think that’s any of our business, but that’s probably the only nightmare that really counts. The other is just sort of the gossipy stuff that media people like to dwell on. But, you know, it’s the kind of stories that when I hear about them and see people dwelling on them, I just turn it off because I have no control over it, and I don’t want to deal with it. But I think his public nightmare is over.
Jesse Ventura: You know what I find interesting real quick? Look at the media. We spend a year or two ago one month on the death of Anna Nicole Smith. Give me a break. A Civil War history lesson, when we come back.
Jesse Ventura: Thank you, Anderson. Congressman Bart Stupak resigns now. Was it pressure from the Tea Party that made the man resign?
Andrea Tantaros: Yeah, no question, the Tea Party took out over $200,000 worth of ads and spending and put it up against Bart Stupak and he was facing —
Jesse Ventura: Is that a good idea?
Andrea Tantaros: — tremendous pressure. Yeah, I think it is. Look, the Tea Party movement is grassroots, they’re anti-establishment —
Jesse Ventura: They’re not grassroots.
Andrea Tantaros: They’re absolutely grassroots.
Jesse Ventura: They’re getting financed with Dick Armey and all them people. Follow it. There’s no grassroots.
Andrea Tantaros: You have to pick one or the other. Are they an unorganized grassroots operation, or are they this highly sophisticated, functioning, well-oiled machine? Which one is it? At the end of the day —
Stephanie Miller: They’re with Dick Armey. Like you said, they’re with Dick Armey.
Andrea Tantaros: At the end of the day, they’re going to cause trouble for Democrats and Republicans. Right now, the Tea Party is so fragmented, you have seven different kinds of Tea Parties in one congressional district that are going after some Republican candidate. This isn’t some Republican movement that’s just being funded by Dick Armey. It’s not. And I’m telling you, though, it’s going to take out some Republicans, too.
Jesse Ventura: Why didn’t it happen with George Bush, then, when they were violating the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution, suspending habeas corpus? Where was their big constitutional protest at that time?
Andrea Tantaros: Because we’ve never been in more dire straits than we are now.
Jesse Ventura: Come on, George Bush, it was way worse.
Andrea Tantaros: We’ve quadrupled the deficit. We are on an unsustainable course.
Jesse Ventura: And Bush didn’t? Bush puts us in two wars and puts it on the credit card.
Andrea Tantaros: And Obama tripled that.
Jesse Ventura: Congressman Paul, your opinion on the Tea Party.
Ron Paul: Well, I think it’s totally disorganized but they’re unified by one issue. They’re sick and tired of what’s happening, and I think it’s very diverse. But what I think what the problem is, why we’re at a stalemate, is the country’s broke and nobody wants to admit it. They don’t act like they understand anything about arithmetic or financing in Washington because they don’t stop the spending. If they knew how serious this spending problem is, they would quit spending. They wouldn’t continue to spend both domestically and internationally because it won’t work, but everybody still wants stuff.
Everybody has a special interest, they’re not cutting anything. So therefore the people are unhappy. Some people are unhappy because they’re not getting what they want, these same people I hear screaming and hollering about Congress. They’re all for getting their programs done. They’re not saying, “oh well, cut my program”. So I think we’re at an impasse because it’s more an economic issue because we’re facing a bankruptcy, and the people don’t know what to do, and the problem is not all that complicated. You just quit spending. You quit spending, you balance the budget and get the government out of our way and trust freedom to work, because free people do know how to take care of themselves. Believe it or not, they’re capable of doing it. But as long as we assume the government is give us everything, you can’t work with a bankrupt Social Security and Medicaid and Medicare system. And then you wonder what’s wrong. That’s what’s wrong. We’re bankrupt and we won’t admit it.
Stephanie Miller: Well, I’m sorry, Governor.
Jesse Ventura: I got to go to break.
Stephanie Miller: I think the reason he resigned is someone yelled “baby killer” at him and that was a Republican on the House floor —
Andrea Tantaros: That’s not why he resigned. (?)
Stephanie Miller: Not a Tea Partier, an elected Representative.
Jesse Ventura: Thank you. To clarify Representative Stupak announced today he is not running for reelection but he will serve out the rest of his term. When we come back Rod’s already lost his day job and now he just got fired by Donald Trump. What happened, Rod? We’ll ask when we come back.
Rod Blagojevich: —might have been the political thing to do. I just felt it was wrong so I kind of saw it coming. We lost that project and when you lose and you’re the project manager, Donald Trump is likely to fire you.
Jesse Ventura: OK. Thanks, Rod.
Rod Blagojevich: But can I say this, Jesse?
Jesse Ventura: Real fast.
Rod Blagojevich: Go ahead, sorry.
Jesse Ventura: The Republican governor of Virginia apologized this week after leaving out a reference on slavery on his proclamation. How could he possibly do that with dealing with the Civil War?
Stephanie Miller: He said it wasn’t that significant a part of the Civil War. It was the only part of the Civil War.
Andrea Tantaros: It was a huge mistake, and I heard he said, “I did it to help tourism in the state of Virginia.” Doesn’t Virginia have wineries or something else you can do to promote it? He should know that.
Jesse Ventura: Congressman Paul, any comments on the governor of Virginia?
Ron Paul: Of course I think he made a serious mistake, and I think he realized this. But there’s a little bit more to Civil War than slavery. Because if you analyze that, you’ll find out that the New England liberals back then, like Lysander Spooner and Thoreau, these people didn’t want the war, they opposed the war. But they were abolitionists, they hated the slavery. And they were for secession. they wanted the New England states to secede and get away from those kinds of people and have a pure constitution. The principle of secession, just the threat of secession, would have prevented that Civil War, saved 600,000 people, and the slaves could have still been released.
Jesse Ventura: There you go. Rod, any comments real quick?
Rod Blagojevich: Real quick, the governor of Virginia gets an F in American history. He absolutely got it wrong. And if he was a history teacher, he should get fired.
Jesse Ventura: (Laughing) There you go. Well, I want to take out time to thank all my guests tonight. I appreciate it very much, allowing me to sit in for Larry King tonight. You made the job pretty easy. Thank you, ladies. Thank you, Rod, and thank you, Congressman Paul. I appreciate it very much. Larry is back Monday. Thanks for letting me sit in tonight. Now it’s time for Anderson Cooper and AC360.