tv Larry King Live CNN December 17, 2009 12:00am-1:00am EST
overnight and finish up? >> absolutely not. i'll leave, i'll leave. >> you're a great sport. we appreciate you doing that, jerry. that's it. larry king starts now. see you tomorrow night. >> larry: tonight do or die for health kay reform? could a crisis become a catastrophe? are the president's plans for change in danger of going down the drain? and then are blacks abandoning obama? an article out today says yes. we will talk about it. plus, tiger woods named athlete of the decade by the ap in spite of public scandal that rocks his personal life. we debate it next on "larry king live." good evening.
the health care fight in congress has stalled in the short run. is it going anywhere in the long run. joining us to debate the issue are two top members of the united states congress. barney frank, democrat from massachusetts. he chairs the house financial services committee. and ron paul, a republican of texas, a member of the house financial services committee as well. ron is also a medical doctor. congressman frank, we'll start with you. is this dead on arrival in the senate? or do we have a shot here? >> larry, one of the things that is the most troublesome to me is the lack of interaction between the house and the senate. there's just an institutional barrier there. i tell you that, i'm not really sure what's going on. i also have to say i've been pretty preoccupied up to last friday with the financial reform regulation. so i haven't looked at it. but i don't think it's dead. there is a great need to do something. we do have some people who are
always going to say if it can't be perfect, i'm against it. those are not the kind of people that should be in elected office because that's not the way a democracy works. i believe we are going see a pretty good bill. >> larry: what do you believe, ron paul? >> i'm afraid he's right. since i take the approach that we don't need more government in medicine and blame many of our problems that we've had too much government in medicine already. i'm not anxious for anything to come. the question is how do you pay for it? more and more americans at least now are getting worried about how you pay for it. even though i have an idealistic approach to medicine in everything that i do, we should do it with less government, i do think that everybody should be concerned about paying for it. that's the why reason you can't hardly talk about anything economic without talking about foreign policy. that's why i emphasize the waste overseas is so bad and it gets us into trouble. we're fighting these wars that are never declared and they're endless. i'd save hundreds of billions by
bringing our troops home. i would be willing to put a lot of that into medical care, but i still wouldn't endorse the idea that we need more government to manage our care. >> larry: do you both philosophically believe that no american should go without health care? >> i don't think we can guarantee that by the government. i have to say something that i'm afraid is going to be very disappointing to many of your viewers. i agree 100% with what ron paul just said. the hundreds of billions, the trillions we are on the verge of wasting in wars that do it more harm than good, that's really very important. and ron paul has spoken very accurately. and i agree with him on that. i do believe we ought to have a system that makes it -- that extends medical care. but you can't guarantee it. i think we can do a lot better in providing it. i also think as an example of my difference with ron is i think medicare is a good thing. for older people, they are better off with medicare than
what replaced pitp and i would say the most popular form of medicine is the holy government medicine that is dispensed by the department of veterans affairs. the veterans i talked to would get very angry if someone said we'll abolish the veterans affair which is a holy government. >> congressman paul, would you an agree that public at large does not want to you fail again to come up -- you as a body -- to come up with something that improves what we have? >> everybody does. i might believe very sincerely that you can improve it with less government. others believe you need more government. for instance, in the imperfect world that we have, i don't believe we should be cutting out funds from medicare. it's in big trouble already. they talk about taking $400 billion out of medicare. to so-called pay for these others. that doesn't make a lot of sense. i agree with the idea that everybody should have good health care. but i just don't believe that government delivers on their promises. when you think about houses.
we were going to give everybody a house. and look, the poor people lost their houses. it was good intention. but the programs didn't work. that's why i'm afraid when you promise people health care, some of them will come up short. >> the mistake that was made by, frankly, the bush administration more than anybody else, but some others joined in, was to give everybody a house to own. i continually argue that for some people, in some economic categories and some social category, rental housing is the appropriate form. >> larry: didn't you support fannie may and the like? >> for rental housing. yes. in 2004 george bush ordered fannie may and freddie mac to provide low income housing. i opposed it. i think pushing people into owning houses when they can't afford it and weren't organized enough to do it was a mistake. i was pushing for rental housing. and that's a big distinction. >> larry: ron? >> i don't think we should make those decisions. he may be right about what you
should have rental to buying. i like people to make their own choices. but i do think we push some of the programs with community reinvestment acts and easy credit. there were a lot of things that encourage this. where i'm convinced that if we had a little sounder monetary system and we didn't have this so easy credit, people wouldn't be making so many mistakes. >> i have to spons respond to that. because ron has it backwards. the community reinvestment act is not the problem. the community reinvestment act only covers banks. things that are technically called banks to take insured deposits. they made a small percentage of the bad loans. the bad loans were made overwhelmingly by the banks not in the program. too little government, not too much. you had private citizens and we tried to get rules adopted to prevent that because we saw the negative consequences. the community reinvestment act was not involved. >> barney, i wanted to bring it up because i didn't want them to think we agreed on everything.
>> larry: gentlemen. >> all right, go ahead. >> larry: all right, the republicans today had a freeze today for a few hours on the debate insisting that the amendment be read aloud. key question, barney and then ron, barney, are we going to get a bill? >> i believe we will. that's just an anachronistic rule. they used to read thins allowed in the parliament in england because they didn't have type writers or computers. but i think you are going to get a bill. >> larry: ron, are we going get a bill? >> no, i'm saying that we will not. we'll get something but not a real bill. there will be some incremental increase in government involved in medicine. but it won't solve our problems. in a sense, there will be a bill. it's going to be very, very minimal. just something where they can say, oh, we did something. we have been doing it for 35 years incrementalism. but we have corporatism, the corporations run the ship. the drug company, the insurance
companies, the management companies, they run it. the corporations are still being protected even with this administration. >> barney frank is ron paul remain with us. ben bernanke is "time's" person of the year. some other panelists join us. should he be? that's next. but only malibu has onstar. big deal. i'll just use my phone. let's say we crashed. whoops, you lost your phone and you're disoriented. i'm not disoriented. now you are. onstar automatic crash response can call to see if you're ok. onstar emergency. is everything ok howie? you don't answer, they can automatically send help to your exact location. i think i'll ride with you. the award-winning malibu. from chevy.
magazine. before we get back to the total economy, what are your thoughts, ben and tanya, about the role joe lieberman is playing in this health care question. tanya, you first. >> i have to say i'm so shocked and appalled. i shouldn't say shock. but i do find his behavior fairly appalling. particularly his new stance about a medicare buy-in. he said in an interview with dana bash that he had to take a principled stance against this bill. but it seems he's really taking a principled stance against himself. he used to support the provisions because he doesn't like them now because people he doesn't like are supporting them. he is really a big disappointment. >> larry: ben, what is your read on lieberman? >> the last time i looked he represents the state of connecticut which has a heavy presence of insurance companies. i'm sure he's obliged to them and i'm sure he want os to please them. bye-ins for people would be expensive to a government and a people who are already basically
broke on government overspending. he represents a state where the insurance companies are. not much more complicated than that. >> larry: the people are very liberal. >> but the people who have lots of money and who can give in a concentrated way are with the insurance companies. >> larry: let's get to business. barney frank what do you think of the federal reserve chairman being named man of the year. he doesn't just shape monetary policy he's led an effort to save the economy. what do you think? >> i don't subscribe to the concept of the man of a woman of the year. i think it's kind of anachronist anachronistic. i have more than one thing to do. so i never made the pick. and i do believe he is a major force. after all, he's the major piece of continuity. he starts under the bush administration. ben bernanke was a high ranking george bush appointee. first on the council of economic advisers, then the chairman of
the federal reserve. he's the one that initiated the whole intervention. it was his decision, not congress or the bush administration to give the money to aig. the whole question of the intervention or what was called bailouts began in september. so the description of his impact, yes. i think he made a mistake in the way he did the aig thing. on the whole, what he has done has been constructive. i guess i would say this. he gets partial blame for the fact that the crisis arose, although more went to alan greenspan. but he gets a lot of credit for the way he coped with it. >> larry: ron, what do you make of the selection? >> i think it's pretty neat. he is the most important guy in the world. and anybody who can create trillion of dollars behind the scenes and spend it with no oversight, i mean, that's pretty important. and he is a counterfeiter. he's the chief counterfeiter of all history. and i would say that's very good. and i like it because it draws attention to the fed. because the source of so many of our problems come to the fed. the business cycle comes from the fed. this to me is a real delight.
i don't have to agree for the reasons that they, you know, gave him man of the year. >> larry: a negative man of the year. >> yes, it's very important we understand why he is so important and powerful. >> larry: tanya, were you surprised at the selection? >> i was a little surprised, but i have to say, with all due respect to senator paul, there is -- i think that this was -- here's a man who had to come on board and run -- manage things when we were really on the pris pass of disaster. you can call it counterfeiting. and i understand the congressman has a different view of the role of government than i do. but i would say that he deserves some kudos for at least staving off a much bigger disaster. there's still a lot more work to be done. but i think it was a good choice. bravo. >> larry: ben, what do you think? >> he made terrible mistakes letting the monetary crisis get out of the way in the first place. way, way, way too much easy money
going to people making mortgage loans. way too little regulation of wall street. wall street was walking away with billions in their pockets and leaves us with trillions in liabilities. but once he helped to create the problem, he did help create the solution, which was to flood the economy with money. you can call it counterfeit money if you want, representative, but it is money. it is under the law money. and he did save the economy but he had a huge part in harming it. but for me, the man of the year is the american fighting man, woman, fighting in iraq and afghanistan. maybe they should be there. maybe they're not. but they are the real stars in this world. >> larry: we'll come back. palin and schwarzenegger are going at it. we will be back in 60 seconds.
question, when do these individuals here -- i know bernanke, he was awarded the prize. and that's all great and wonderful. when do we anticipate seeing the community banks being able to lose some money to get the lower middle class and the middle class back to being able to borrow money? >> larry: when can we get -- last night, the other night, rather, donald trump says the banks have the money but they're not loaning it, barney. >> i'm frustrated by that. i think here's the problem. there were certainly no governmental obstacles in policy. but have you this problem. the bank examiners, they're the people who work for the federal deposit insurance commission, corporation or control the currency. they go out and examine each bank. i'm afraid their culture has been to be too tough. no bank examiner has ever been rebuked because of a loan that should have been made and wasn't made. they're more often rebuked for loans that were made that shouldn't have been made. i have tried hard, we talked to
the chiefs of the agencies to urge them to get people to lend. the accounting rules can be a problem there. because as the value of the assets deteriorates and the amount they can lend deteriorates, we've tried to fix that. but i think it's fundamentally probably a problem with the bank examiners that we're try to change. >> larry: do you agree, ron? >> yes, to a large degree. after there is a bubble burst, even borrowers get very skittish. even if interest rates are low, they're very worried. bankers get skittish because they lost money. they get frightened. i think barney makes a very good point that the regulators get overzealous. that, of course, is the reason i don't like regulators. he mentioned and talked to the regulators. they're overzealous. they react because in a way they're a third factor. you have the consumer not wanting to borrow, the bankers not wanting to lend and then the overzealous regulators come in and say, you better be careful and they change the
rules right in the middle of the game. >> the small business people are ready, they did have a problem, they are ready. and we've got the regulators to tell us they agree. it's a very uphill battle. i tell you this is where i thing government can do more. the chair of the small business committee proposed that instead of guaranteeing loans made by the community bank, make the loans directly for a while. i think the community banks once they see that will decide they better get back in the business. a direct loan would be the way to go.
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>> larry: okay, tanya and ben, you get in on this. two big names in the republican party are in a public spat. arnold schwarzenegger questions sarah palin's interest in climate change saying it has more to do with her career and winning the nomination. meanwhile, she shoots back says why is governor schwarzenegger pushing for the same policies in copenhagen that drove his state into record deficits? what do you make of that spat, tanya? >> i think that's absurd. that's another one of the absurdities that we have heard from former governor palin in recent weeks. as a citizen of the state, that is not -- trying to reduce emissions is not what's pushed california to the brink of disaster. that simply isn't it. and the fact that she's one of these global warming deniers for whom the jury is still out, i think really speaks to how she values science or rather how she refuses to value science. and i firmly stand behind my
republican governor. that's my bipartisan moment for the week. >> larry: ben, you put your face in your hands. >> well, because i am somewhat of a fan of sarah palin. i'm totally with her about climate change. i think the jury is still out. there are thousands and thousands of reputable scientists that say the jury is out. there is a lot of data that the earth is cooler than 1,000 years ago, 2,000 years ago and the jury is very much still out about whether or not if there is global warming it's caused by man. but the connection between that and california's budget problems is nil. there is no connection at all. there is one issue, climate change may be a fraud, california budget problems are incredibly real and painful and they are not a fraud. luz don't like personal man of the year, barney. but allowing that, having said that -- i love that -- who would you have selected? >> i wouldn't have selected anybody.
i do want to get in on the palin/schwarzenegger. i think palin is jealous of schwarzenegger because he doesn't have the guts to quit the way she did. >> larry: who would you have named, ron? i'll try to see if you will answer the question. >> i wouldn't have complained too much about bernanke. they don't always pick people for that role for positive things, it can be for negative things. the biggest counterfeiter in the world's a pretty good event and we should concentrate on it because it wipes out the middle class and hurts the poor. >> larry: barney, you wouldn't have selected -- ben who would you have picked? >> i would go with ben's pick. >> i would pick the american servicemen and servicewomen fighting in iraq and afghanistan, putting his or her life on the line day after day, absolutely without question. >> larry: tanya? >> i'm going to second that. i'm going to second that i am.
>> larry: obama writes a personal letter to the north korean leader kim jong-il. a united states enjoy delivers it. what happened to the axis of evil? obama wants denuclearization of the korean peninsula. you see anything wrong with him -- ron paul? >> no, i like that. i'd much rather he do that. i wish he'd write more letters. to the middle east to the people in afghanistan, pakistan and iran instead of putting on sanctions and stirring up trouble and sending in more troops. we need more letters and more talk. i mean, we left vietnam in a terrible situation. it's unified. they trade with us, there was no domino theory. the domino was toward capitalism in the west. korea, it's divided. we have troops there. we spend all this money. about time we wrote more letters. more letters, more trade. let the koreans get together and settle the problems. the best thing in the world we can do is come home from korea,
save another hundred billion. >> larry: ben, what do you think? >> kim jong-il is probably as evil a person as there is on the planet. he's made his entire country into a penal colony, a gulag. he starves people to death by the millions while he lives the life of an incredible international playboy. the idea that you can change him by writing him a letter is comical. and the idea that we should not be defending south korea against him is comical. i don't know where these ideas come from, but it's just comical. >> larry: i think the issue really is one of engagement. i think as ben well knows, his former boss, president nixon engaged with a really bad guy mao tse-tung who was running china. the issue is whether or not we are going to engage. is it whether writing a letter or picking up the phone? look, i'm not going to speak to what are the mechanics of how we engage with people we don't like. but we came up with a foreign policy where we treated our interests like a video game
where we said, you don't like us, we're not talking to you until you do exactly what we say when we say it. >> he had already said he wanted to have a rapprochement with the united states and sent many messages to nixon and kissinger with that. if that happened with kim jong-il i'd be with you entirely. it hasn't. >> i'm very close to ben stein's view. i would try sanctions. i thought my friend ron was being too cavalier about this. this is a terrible man who has done terrible things. south korea has become a democracy with our help. we should be very proud of that. the people's republic of china which wants to be a responsible nation is failing on its responsibility by not helping us put pressure on north korea. north korea with nuclear weapons is a scary thought. >> larry: we thank barney frank, ron paul, tanya acker and, as always, ben stein. african merps helped president obama get elected. how do they feel about him now? that's next. tightness in my chest came back-
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>> larry: an article in the "daily beast" asks are blacks abandoning obama? we will ask our guests. mark lamont hill is at columbia university. reverend al sharpton, the activist and former presidential candidate himself. and jeff johnson, b.e.t. news correspondent. okay, professor hill, is obama failing african-americans?
>> i think failing is kind of a bold word. he is definitely not doing enough. >> larry: disappointing. >> certainly. i think plenty of reason to be disappointed. when you look at the public policies that are developed and not developed, he's falling short of bill clinton and jimmy carter in that regard. >> larry: what do you think, al? >> i think the overwhelming majority of the people i talked to think that president obama's doing exactly what he promised. he was given a terrible economy. he was given a world that was at war. and he's really dealt in a way that most african-americans, even pollsters are proud of. he was elected the president of the united states, not the president of the civil rights organization. he's doing exactly what he said. this morning, the chairman of congressional black caucus, barbara lee, and you have two or three people who always criticized president obama who supported his opponents in primaries are saying things now
that they said then. most blacks don't listen to them then, they won't listen to them now. >> larry: jeff what do you think? break the tie here. >> let me first say that it's a misnomer to act that all the black community wants the same thing all the time anyway. what segment of the black community are we talking about? but beyond that, i think disappointment in my mind is based on expectation. and one of the biggest problems is when i hear what so many have said about the president not having enough of a black agenda, he never talked about having one. he never said he was going to run on that. he wasn't that when he was in the state of illinois. i think many black people's disappointment is connected to disillusionment of what he was supposed to be. we need to be serious if he's going to be held accountable, hold him accountable on what he said he was going to do, not what you wanted him to do. >> larry: it comes to perception. when it comes to the handling of
the economy, here is the president addressing criticism that he is not doing enough for african-americans. watch. >> but i will tell you that i think the most important thing i can do for the african-american community is the same thing i can do for the american community period. and that is get the economy going again and get people hiring again. and you know, i think it's a mistake to start thinking in terms of particular ethnic segments of the united states rather than to think that we are all in this together and we're all going to get it out together. >> larry: but, unemployment among black youth is very high. young black men in prison. does it require some concentration in that area? >> of course it does. there's one thing to say a rising tide lifts all boats. but black people have a hole in their boat. and that's because of negatively directed policies against black people. black people disproportionately
go to prison, they don't get jobs when they're qualified for them. we pay more for insurance. we're getting red lined, not getting accesses to mortgages. all these things are happening to black people. so there had to be a response. >> larry: do you agree with is that? >> absolutely and we fight for it. the question is whether president obama and his administration has not addressed that. and i think they have. when you look at the fact that he has appointed an african-american eric holder, who will deal with protecting civil rights in blacks in the working place and the arguments when we deal with affirmative action. when we look at the fact that he's addressed the structural inequality when he addressed the naacpp. so i think there is a difference between trying to make the president an activist leading and dealing with the policy. for anyone to say that bill clinton, who certainly a policy of welfare reform, that cost
job, had a better policy than barack obama, i don't understand how one can even possibly say that? when you look at the fact that this president has said we must deal with unemployment across the board, the worst thing that can happen to black americans is that they make the jobs bill a black bill to give those conservatives a way to willie horton us not getting a jobs bill or for that matter health care. i hope the president does not go for that bait. >> i'm not suggesting that bill clinton's poll sis were positive towards black people. welfare reform, those were all against black people. however, barack obama has instituted a set of policies negative to the black people. this year, $85 million were cut from the education budget which had a vicious impact on historical black colleges and universities. just as an example.
>> larry: before we take a call, jeff johnson, you want to get in on this? >> sure. i think whether president obama is better than jimmy carter or clinton is inconsequential. what we are dealing with now is as we move out of 2009 and into 2010, is the fact that there are a lot of african-americans that are looking for president obama to be the political form of jesus that makes the streets flow with milk and honey. while i think that mark has a point where we need to begin pushing for not just the president but the congress and the senate to be sensitive to the needs of the
african-americans, there's a lot of work that the african-american community is not doing. leadership that's disconnected. us not looking to be able to create fundamental partnerships between the public and private sector. there are a lot of the solutions out there that are available that we are not approaching because we are looking for president obama to wave a magic wand and fix everything. >> larry: let's take a call. lynchburg, virginia, hello. >> caller: i was just wondering now that african-americans have elected their first black president, will that lose appeal in the 2012 election? will they show up? >> larry: al, you want the take that? >> that's what i do not want to see this decrease to. african-americans didn't elect their first black president. america elected a president who is african-american to be the president for everyone. we fought for the opportunity for our people to compete and show that we can operate at any level globally. i think the president has done
that and i think it would be a sad statement in history if before even the first year of his inauguration, 11 months later, we're going to say, oh, we didn't get the one or two things that we wanted in a speech and it's over. he cannot walk on water, but he's still the best swimmer in american politics. >> larry: the activist danny glover in that article in "the daily beast" said that i think the obama administration has followed the same playbook to a large extent almost verbatim as the bush administration. danny glover says, he doesn't see anything different. >> i wouldn't go that far. that's an extravagant overstatement. but there are patterns that we could say are similar to president bush. and afghanistan is mirroring -- there are some issues. but on domestic policy. to compare obama to bush is bordering on absurd. >> do you think danny glover is off base there? >> i think we have to be clear that president obama stated very clearly during the campaign ma
the next front is afghanistan. now, whether we agree with him or not, he clearly stated that we needed to withdraw from iraq and we needed to go after al qaeda and that al qaeda was in afghanistan. so i thing again as we deal with who he's aligned with, let's deal with what he said he was going to do during the campaign and hold him accountable to whether or not those strategies work. but whether or not he's aligned with bush i don't think is the issue. is he honoring what he said he was going to do during the campaign? yes. i think that the other issue, larry, is that even when it comes to this bipartisanship, when president obama said he was going to attempt to not do business as usual. and i think one of the complaints from the left has been that he's attempted to get too much consensus. well, that's what he said he was going to do. and so i don't think we're going to get the kind of health care bill that we need as a result of it. i think that there are other bills, other pieces of legislation that have been watered down as a result of it. but again, it's what he said he was going to attempt to do, and that's the change that we voted for. >> which is why, larry, i say we
ought to be dealing with our interests, which i think his policies -- and i'm not representing the obama administration, i'm not inside. i think he just happen to be right on the policy. we ought to be talking about joe lieberman, what he's doing to americans and black americans. but to sit up and beat up on a president whose policies are in line with helping us, i don't understand the point unless we're trying to bait him into something that will only help his opponents. >> no one's beating up on the president. i voted for the president and i supported the president. he's my president, he's our president. however, when i see a public option go under the bus, i have to speak to that. when i see education plans leaving you, i have to speak the that. all of us have responsibilities. >> absolutely. >> that's the issue for me. >> larry: we'll do a lot more on this in the weeks ahead. thank you all very much. is tiger woods shunning some famous friends who could help him? we decide to turn in early. we just know. announcer: finding the moment that's right for you both can take some time. that's why cialis gives men with erectile dysfunction options: 36-hour cialis or cialis for daily use.
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advice for tiger woods. he'd like to talk to him, but he can't, as he explained on "with all due respect" which will air this sunday on hln. watch. >> what was your initial reaction to hearing about tiger? i was kind of shocked. and the stories are coming in. and i was just wondering, i hope that charles, that michael jordan, these guys get to him. because we just talked about this in the back room. i mean, hearing charles, he's insulated. and no one -- if charles -- if charl barkley and michael jordan can't get to him. >> right. that's insulation. you have his number, right? >> he changed his number. >> he changed it. if charles and michael can't get
to him, other people are making bad moves. >> i think when you have these fires in your life, as i call them, you need to talk to somebody else who is famous who has been through things in their life. you can't talk about it with your family and friends. because your family and friends, they are not famous. >> larry: tiger was named ap's athlete of the decade. we'll talk about that with doug ferguson. analyst with the golf channel and amy alcott. golfing great and hall of famer.
hour. >> why do americans pay more than canadians for the exact same drugs? president obama vowed to change that, remember? it's not played out that way. tonight we are keeping drug companies and lawmakers and the president honest. also, a custody battle caught on tape. a boy taken off a school bus by authorities begs police not to make him go to his father. authorities did nothing. now the boy and the father cannot be located and a warrant has been issued for the dad. and tiger woods is also m.i.a. even some of his closest friends can't get in touch with him. charles barkley, filmmaker spike lee. tonight they're speaking out about their concerns. that's just ahead at the top of the hour. >> larry: that is 10:00 eastern, 7:00 pacific. doug, you wrote the article for the associated press. was this a vote of your writers? >> no, it was a vote of newspaper editors who are members of the associated press. a project we started back in
october. and the voting took place over the last three weeks or so. >> larry: part of it was prescandal and part of it post the scandal. >> that was probably one of the more fascinating parts of the vote. more than half the ballots were returned after the accident on november 22nd. and the voting trend stayed the same. tiger built a pretty good lead early. then you had the accident, then the scandal unfolds, and he picks up even more votes as he goes along. >> larry: more votes. who finished second? >> lance armstrong. tiger had 56 votes and lance armstrong had 33. >> larry: as a former golfer and analyst with the golf channel, it wasn't husband of the decade. so you got an argument with it? >> no. you're right. absolutely. it's not person of the decade or husband of the decade. it's athlete of the decade. and i do think that you can make a strong argument for lance armstrong or even a stronger one still for roger federer because both of these athletes had
respective accomplishments, but when you consider not only what tiger woods did but how he did it, the wide margin of victories and the animated style is almost unprecedented in the history of our game. and its impact was definitely unprecede unprecede unprecedented. >> larry: amy alcott, do you think that character should matter at all when voting for an athlete? >> i think character definitely counts. that's what golf is all about. it's a game of honor, it's a game of character. but this athlete, tiger woods, has taken golf to another level of athleticism, of style. there's nobody really that can compete with him as far as being a golfer. i would beg to say being a horse racing fan, that this has been a great year for the women, too. as far as zenetta and rachel alexandra, too. >> larry: would you have voted for tiger? >> it's really hard not to vote for tiger as far as being the
most dominant golfer of the decade. he's stepped up to the plate and he's made an impact on golf that is pretty hard to match. >> larry: doug, what do you make of this whole story? there's never been anything like it. >> it's surprising that to just about everybody. everybody i've spoken to, everybody who has been around him. i think the reason the fall has been so spectacular is that the rise really has been even more spectacular. to see what he's done through this decade. the number of tournaments he's done, the number of majors he's won, the way he's dwarfed his competition and done it with a fairly impeccable image. there's always been a few glitches here and there, whether it was foul language, whether it was throwing the club or so. but for the most part, he was the gold standard. and if it took ten years of this decade, you can go back 13 years to when it started, to see it
crumble in three weeks is astonishing. >> larry: what do you make of it? >> i'm shocked. because the strongest single attribute in my mind to being bulletproof in athletic endeavors is having a clear mind. evidently this has been going on for some time now. you're talking about having tens of things that he needed to hide. he had to have enablers helping him do this. he had to on some level be worried about this getting out. how he was able to put those thoughts out of his mind and concentrate at the task at hand is beyond me. it even makes his accomplishment on the golf course that much more miraculous. because there's just no way he was able to not think about the consequences of his actions off the golf course. >> larry: would you agree, amy, in any sense this makes him more amazing. >> well, it's hard to really believe how amazing -- where did he have the time, working out the way he does and where did he have the time to have all of
these liaisons? it's even more amazing to imagine. but you know, the difficult thing, larry, is, you know, it's like the old adage. to whom much is given much is expected. will he get past this and move on to, you know, to going after nicklaus's record and dominating the sport again? i know that there are a lot of people rooting for him to do that, but it's just hard to imagine that he had the time to do this. this was kind of a career in itself. >> larry: when we come back, we'll ask them about public reaction to all this. about all the discounts we're offering. i've got some catchphrases that'll make these savings even more memorable. gecko: all right... gecko: good driver discounts. now that's the stuff...? boss: how 'bout this? gecko: ...they're the bee's knees? boss: or this? gecko: sir, how 'bout just "fifteen minutes could save you fifteen percent or more on car insurance." boss: ha, yeah, good luck with that catching on!
ll. >> larry: doug ferguson, you think the public wants to see him come back and win? >> i think they probably do, larry. that is one of the great mysteries, how they are going to respond to him when he gets back and what they want to see from him. i think it has been interesting to see this methodical march toward nicklaus. he's at 14 rand jack has 18. you figure it's a matter of time. i still think there is going to be a part of the population that is disgusted with what's happened and is not going to want to see him catch nicklaus or his record. >> larry: do you think women will protest his appearance at golf matches? >> yes, larry, i do. i think that it is going to be a rough road for tiger for some time. i mean, by and large, he has controlled not only the people who are asking questions but the questions he has been asked. he will no longer have that type of control and he will no longer have the awe surrounding him as he walks these fairways. he will be heckled. he will be asked tough questions. and he always hated the intrusions that came before this. he is not going to be happy when he shows at a golf tournament going forward for some time.
>> larry: amy, you are in the hall of fame of golf. can he win again? >> i think there's no question that tiger can win again. he can -- he is going to have to dig deep. i agree with brandel. you know, there's going to be heckling and there's going to be people that just do not like what he's done. and they will probably want him to come forth and really come clean about it and, you know, the wonderful thing about golf is once you get inside those ropes, it's a respite from a lot of problems and a lot of issues. any professional golfer will tell you when you have problems in your life, you get out there and you let the clubs do the speaking. and who knows how great tiger will be? if he steps in there, in that arena and showcases his talent the way we all know he can, then he can get past a
lot of this and on to bigger and better things. he will have a difficult road. >> larry: doug, there are some who think he's the kind of athlete that can use this, play in anger and be better. >> that's another side of it. i mean, he has blocked out a lot. this arena he's in with so many people and so many photographers and so much attention around him, that's one reason he has got such an edge when he plays in the majors, larry, is because he is used to that type of chaos. this is a different type of chaos. but i still think he can block a lot of it out, make it me against the world and carry on. >> larry: all right. will this ap athlete of the year, brandel, do you think he will come back for the masters? he will have to play a tune-up before, right? >> boy, i certainly do think he will come back and if i was counseling him, i would tell him to come back at the masters and certainly not before, because the masters is the best chance for him to have as much control over the people that will be asking the questions as any arena that he will be in. it will be limited media
credentials passed out. it will be a relatively well-known audience to him. and i think as benign as they will ever get, in terms of asking him questions, that will be his best shot. of course, it's a venue for him that has been very kind to him in the past. >> larry: amy, wouldn't he need some sort of warmup before a masters tournament? >> well, you know, larry, some golfers are really great not playing at all going into a major. it's almost like they need some time off. but i think it would be way too difficult for tiger not to have a warmup and then come in and play the masters. the masters is tiger's middle name. >> larry: thank you all very much. fascinating. doug ferguson, brandel chamblee and amy alcott. again, tiger woods selected by the associated press, pretty good margin, over lance armstrong as the athlete of the decade. it's that time of the night. it means only one
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