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tv   [untitled]  CSPAN  June 25, 2009 9:30am-10:00am EDT

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figure who some people still question whether or not he was actually the individual responsible for it. the fbi is absolutely convinced, and until it is proven they're wrong, they acted independently. caller: i have a lot of respect for you, but i disagree with what you say when i hear so much talk about how the republican party can be repaired. why don't we just have one party and, by lad kumbaya every? it is not going to work. what we're going to find out is that the democrats will put themselves out of being in charge very soon. they are a total disaster as far as the economy goes, and we will be right back in. i hear all the pundits on msnbc
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and other networks all questioning how the republican party is going to rebuild. we need to stick to our beliefs, and the democrats will put us back in power again. host: we will get a response. thank you, george. guest: i do not disagree with you, sir. on the occasions that we disagree, particularly on social issues, we have to be a little more tolerant of these opinions comedies difficult, controversial decisions. but at the end of the -- on these opinions, these difficult, controversial decisions. historically the republican party bed rock was of limited government, reminding people that the government has no money of its own. the dollar's government uses come out of your pocket and my and everybody else's. with limited government, ethical government, a competent government, we have a difference historically on the issue of military and support for the defense establishment. there are bedrock principles
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that we cannot amend it -- that we cannot abandon because they are republican principles. they do provide a contrast with the democratic party. what i am saying now, and in the past five or six months, with president obama's move toward -- his view of capitalism in the free enterprise system has been demonstrated by not only bailout's but taking over the domestic car industry, owning a significant portion of the banking industry. his discussions on health care reform, hopefully the government controls, no matter how he says it. they will set prices, and up limiting assets by what they say. the energy policy. these are opportunities crushed -- for us to compare and contrast our principles to the democrats. we need to use their policies to contrast hours in a thoughtful
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and articulate. we are going to have to be far more tolerant of each other's opinions if we are going to regain majority status. if we are not interested in winning the presidency, gaining control of the house and senate, which can be fairly rigid and of accepting of certain opinions within the party. if you are interested in winning, i think you have to show evidence of greater tolerance and differences of opinion. host: when former vice president dick cheney says that rush limbaugh is a republican and colin powell is not, what is your reaction? guest: i think colin powell -- i do not know how he was registered as a military man, working within the republican party, and certainly he was out there campaigning for republicans. colin powell was a republican, as far as i'm concerned. again, i have enormous regard
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for the vice president, but that mindset is what i think creating an environment not conducive to the openness and the candid and honest disagreement we can have within the party and still retain the unity. unity does not mean unanimity. there are certain core, bedrock principles around which we can unite. it does not mean that we are unanimously in lockstep on all of them. host: how do you think history will defeat the bush presidency? guest: president bush was handed a set of circumstances and like i think -- unlike i think any other part of it was dealt with. he was principal, it was decisive. i think much of it will depend on the outcome of our effort in afghanistan and iraq,
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particularly in iraq. and i think history will be dealing with him, as it did ronald reagan, much more fairly than current analysts. host: good morning. guest: the stupidity and insanity of this man that you are interviewing is off the wall. george bush, your talked-about republican ideals. george bush gave $800 billion worth of tax breaks to the top 1%. he gave oil companies, who made half a trillion dollars in profits, which is basically war profiteering, and now you're talking about the war on terror. the only war, legitimate war in this country, is not the war on drugs or the war on terror, it is the war on the middle class. guest: sir, i have been called a lot of things, and i am intrigued by your notion that we
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are -- that the republican party is at war with the middle-class. you have bought into the whole notion of class warfare that i think the democrats have so are fully executed over recent years. at the end of the day, i do believe it is government's responsibility to keep its spending under control and to keep -- to let you keep as much money in your pockets and help you make the kind of his that you and your family need to make to improve your own lives. at the end of the day, you need to encourage entrepreneurship, reward and incentivize work that creates opportunities. i suspect you are probably in that group of people that think that we can go it alone in a global economy, so you probably are one of those buy american -- that you do not appreciate the
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fact that you cannot really buy anything in the united states anymore. i am not going to be able to dissuade you from this, but it is good to know you have an enemy to point of view about your own country and your government. host: last tweet, it -- by the way, do tweet? guest: i do not. i argued early on that fema was properly placed within the department of homeland security. people forget that in a post- katrina environment, how well the department operated the year before when we had a series of four major hurricanes -- nothing like the biblical -- literally the biblical implosion of the levees breaking and the impact of the hurricane on new orleans. i think that was more of a failure of leadership at all levels rather than the failure of the department.
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men and women with the right direction and the right support consistently delivered i think rather admirable service in response to natural disasters. 9/11 was not an admirable -- it was noteworthy for the wrong reasons. a lot of lessons were learned by the administration. they made some corrections, and i suspect the same today because of the corrections made in the global aftermath of katrina makes it an even stronger department. it should remain growth in the department of homeland security. host: last question, what is more difficult, running a state, a department, or writing a book? guest: good question. i enjoyed all three. guest: the bug is called "the test of our times. it is coming out in december -- is coming out in september. host: in just a moment, sir
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david frost will join us on his perspective about the reporting of his interaction with richard nixon from 1977. it is thursday morning, june 25. "washington journal" continues. >> conservation and the beginning of the 20th century was the battle. there were two sides of it, just as there are in land issues. >> historian douglas brinkley on teddy roosevelt and his leading role in the early days of the conservation movement. >> he is not what we would call by modern terms a kind of a holistic -- you know, he believes in hunting, but he did not believe in hunting so you make a species extinct. so, yes, he cared about the
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snail darter, the butterfly. he cared about wild flowers. he wanted to make sure we had a place for that in our society. >> part 2 of douglas brinkley on the "wilderness warrior," sunday night at 8:00 on c-span, or listen on xm satellite radio. download the podcast. >> how is c-span funded? >> through donations? >> i think you get a little bit from the federal government. >> grants and stuff like that. >> maybe from sponsors? >> it might get some government funding. >> the worst? >> how is c-span funded by 30 years ago america's cable companies created c-span as a public service, a private initiative. no government mandate, no government money.
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>> "washington journal" continues. host: we want to welcome david frost, also from his program, " al jazeera english." thank you for being with us. let me begin by asking about the nixon takes from 1973. we will hear an excerpt in just a moment. any reaction from richard nixon and your own dealings with him from the late 1970's? guest: in fact, i do not think there has been any major revelation in the last 30 years contradicting what has been in the nixon interviews. but there is this interesting stuff coming out. i missed some of it on the plane yesterday, but it is amazing that it is still coming out, and it is an indication, and i guess the movie was even more of an indication in the abiding
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fascination with richard nixon because he was such an enigma, so difficult to read and understand. he was the most fascinating press that we have had, really, for all of reasons. host: let me share one of the excerpts of the covers is from january, 1973. >> they are not to have any advance information, is that clear? the message is not to be from me, is that clear? my name is not to be mentioned. there is no appreciation, there is to be no response to anything he says, saying that we grant that this thing is over. i want no response as to anybody, either individual or governmentally. is that clear? >> fully clear, mr. president. >> what were they talking about there? host: that was a conversation with him to kissinger on the situation in hanoi. my question is about the relationship between henry
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kissinger and president nixon. guest: fascinating. i did an in-depth interview with henry kissinger on his memoir, volume one. that was that richard nixon and henry kissinger both wanted the credit for the things that went right in foreign policy. they did not one criticism for when things went wrong. they wanted to grab all the credit that they could for themselves for the good things, but they could not knock -- in the judgment of history, they will have an umbilical cord. what happened was that nixon, making his bid for maximum credit, would say in the interviews, things like, "henry kissinger, he is just a brilliant mind, just a brilliant mind.
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he is unreliable self court -- and so on and so forth, and does not follow through sometimes,," and he would say these things when he was weak in changed his mind. new law, henry's line was "president nixon is one of the greatest presidents we ever had. above all, he was a great delegator, and he delegated all the important things to me. so they had this claiming the credit, but they could not knock each other directly because they were being judged by history. host: from the interviews you conducted in 1927, also from the movie "frost nixon," here is part of the exchange that gets a lot of interest. >> there are three things, to ask me.
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i would like to hear you say, and i think the american people would like to hear you say. one is that there is probably more than mistakes. there was wrongdoing. secondly, i did -- and i am saying this without -- i did abuse the power that i had as president. and thirdly, i put the american people through two years of the this agony, and i apologize for that. and i know how difficult it is for anyone in most of all you, but i think that people need to hear it, and i think unless you say it, you are going to be hunted for the rest of your life. host: david frost? guest: that was one of the most dramatic moments of my life. i had said to him wench you go
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for the mistakes -- that once you go further than mistakes, he was more vulnerable at that point than in any time he would ever be again. when he said, "what word would you express',?" i was trying to get three points clearly on the table. before i did that, in order to indicate to him that this was not a sort of prepared thing, this was absolutely a candid moment, i checked the clipboard on the floor to indicate that this is a special between us. the amazing thing was coming the next 20 minutes, he responded to all of those three questions, ending up by saying, when i let down the american people, i let down the whole system of government, i have to live with this for the rest of my life, this burden, etc..
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the three points there, he answered them all over the next 20 minutes. host: did you ever talk to him after the interviews were concluded? guest: apart from our paths cross and at a restaurant, after the interviews were done, we added to them the -- we edited them. i went to take my leave of him, and as we were leaving california, that was an extraordinary experience. you never hear of the thought that richard nixon was carefree. that was never the word. but that day, for 20 minutes, all those screens that he had around him to block out the rest of the world and intimacy with people were up for 20 minutes, and that was an extraordinary experience. he called me david, and he had not said david in a whole month. he said to my girlfriend, come on, i will show you around the
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house. "that was where brezhnev's slept." for 20 minutes, when did see a difference. just at the end, but still very affable, the walls closed in around him again. for 20 minutes of carefreeness, it was extraordinary. but other than that, no further contact. host: debbie is on the phone from west palm beach. good morning. caller: mr. frost, obviously you are renowned for your interview with nixon, and that was absolutely fantastic and thank you for that. but my questions today are on a two. . the first being, what are your thoughts about the wiretapping under the bush administration and the cell phone companies having immunity? the second point is, you're famous interview with benazir bhutto.
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for those listening, she was the former pakistan prime minister, and she was working to return to pakistan. you interviewed her in november of 2007. and in that famous interview, she mentioned that osama bin laden had been killed. in retrospect are hindsight, do you regret not picking that point up? host: thank you, debbie. guest: well, my view of that particular moment was that it was just a slip of the time. in the context of what she was saying at that point, it really made no sense at all, and so i took that to be a slip of the tongue, and she did not mean osama bin laden. but she meant somebody else's name. i knew that that day, and today it is slightly faded. that is why i did not. you are quite right, i did that interview in november with benazir bhutto after the
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attended assassination on october 18. she announced on the program, on al jazeera english, across the world. then we get an interview tragically, and sadly, on december 27, which was the last interview she ever gave, when she was just planning to return. december 27, i should say, was the day of the assassination. the interview was early in december. but it was one of the last thing she ever did. she was talking in dubai about her family wanting to go back to fight for democracy and freedom in the country. her children were urging her on, wanting her to go on, even though they all knew the risk to is taking. there were times in her life of a controversial -- she was a very brave, idealistic young woman, and she knew the risks she was taking when she went back. unfortunately, that came to pass on december 27, 2007.
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host: where in england are you from? guest: all over because my father was a methodist minister. he used to get posters outside the church trying to get people into his room on sunday. he put up one sign that said come to church on sunday and avoid the christmas rush. we lived about 50 miles from london in all sorts of directions, north, east, south. so my accent is 50 miles out of london in all directions. that is my accent. host: betty, on the phone from waukegan, illinois. caller: i heard from another tv station that nixon said he would agree to abortion if the child was conceived by an interracial couple. do you know anything about that?
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host: that from the recording released by the national archives. guest: i was staggered by that. there were two nixon's of course, the good nixon and the bad nixon. the bad nixon won out. he did use controversial words for italians and other people in the tapes come off the record, things we had. the only thing that surprises me, and obviously i am sure it is true, and that was a side of nixon. but in fact, his record, oddly enough, on race, was actually better than several presidents after him, which is rarely realized. if you go back on the progress he made, i think he had a fairly primitive, primitive view of races. the main view of nixon that really brought him down with his paranoia. it had nothing to do with race, but his paranoia. host: more from the interview,
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february, 1973. a conversation with the then chairman of the republican party, george herbert walker bush. >> george. >> mr. president and the >>. >> i noticed a very -- a couple of very attractive women and republicans in the legislature. i spoke to harry dent about it when he came in to see me the other day. i said, you know, i was rather surprised that they were there. i do not want to go through -- i want you to be sure to emphasize to our people, let's look for some because i think a woman might win in some places that a
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man might not. >> i will keep it in mind, sir. >> these are to the bureau in the state legislature. they are good-looking and bright, and they are said to be two of the best members in the house. >> that is terrific. host: that is george herbert walker bush. guest: what was the date on that? host: february of 1973. guest: it is there a plan to release that to the nixon library? host: there are another 1400 hours to be released over the next couple of years. guest: there is an abiding fascination because this enigma of richard nixon went from one extreme to the other. there will always be fascination until another in the wreck comes along. other presidents are straightforward compared to the complexity of nixon.
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nixon was a man who never had any small talk. he was a great pro politician. five minutes of small talk before the meeting actually began. i went down to a session to negotiate the terms. you would not see the editorial programs. there was five minutes of small talk, in which we would admit that the president does not have any. there was a picture of brezhnev in the paper, so i mention this. his response, "i would not want to be a russian leader. they never know when they are being taped." he had no sense of dramatic irony. host: a twitter, "was the movie actor about your life and your interviews? guest: i agree.
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i think that is one of the reasons the reviews are so terrific because people know it was an independent film. those 10 minutes of fiction, there are one or two bits of the throughout. but basically i thought they did a fantastic job. i basically thought it was a really good film, and i am honored to have been featured. host: if we have time we were short excerpt, but let's go to maggie on the phone. caller: thank you for c-span to the reason i am falling mr. frost is basically i've been trying to call this morning regarding governor sanford in his relation, the situation he is in and how he is being disgraced, and how nixon was disgraced. i am very concerned for governor sanford. it seems that he has lost everything, and he obviously loves that woman. i wish the papers and the people would leave him alone for a
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little while. guest: interesting, yes. there is a perpetual debate, and we come on it from time to time about what is the public's business and what is not. for instance, the doings of governance and so on, those obviously valid. but then, i mean, obviously with the stories of children about 15 or something, they are not running for office. a politician has not cashed in on them. there is no reason why that intrusion should take place, i think. i think it is a question of where you draw the line. there is a case of an mp in england, he had not cashed in on his marriage when it was already over. he had never done that. you look back to the three years in the marriage ended had not been in existence properly, and
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he had never used a photograph of his wife or his children. he had never falsely done that. in the press therefore treated him very leniently because he had not tried to cash in on his private life. whereas when someone has run for office very much with "darling" and stuff, and later it turned out that was a fraud, then in that case the person is brought their private life into the public eye. but there will always be those cases where it is tricky. host: 1 excerpt from the movie "frost nixon," and one of the moment you describe a few minutes ago. >> the ones that are not readable in all the papers -- the u.s. actually enjoy those? >> of course. >> you have got no idea how
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fortunate that makes you -- liking people, being liked, having that facility -- that likeness, that charm. it kind of makes you wonder why i chose a life that hinged on being liked. i am better suited to a life of intellectual discipline. maybe we got it wrong. maybe you should have been a politician and die a rigorous interviewer. >> maybe. guest: that is predominantly written by -- it is fiction but very accurate fiction. i am sure that is exactly what he would have said, though he did not quite say that. but he went quite a bit of the way toward it and so one. but an accurate portrait. host: your new project


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