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tv   Politics and Public Policy Today  CSPAN  December 1, 2018 1:07am-2:14am EST

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american. >> one nation, indivisible, was are all together. that is somehow elemental to what it means to be an american. americans need to be able to improvise. by that i mean, when you look at , and the 1777ton at valley forge, to be almost like a guerrilla fighter, to live off the land, to do what we need to do to get the job done. >> from the very beginning, minority groups were not included. women were not included. that changes over time. time, more and more people are brought into the american family. >> sunday night at eight
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eastern. >> coming up this weekend on book tv, senator bernie sanders talks about his book. watch television from morning to night for years. that question will not come up. topt appropriate that the one tenths of 1% want more wealth than the bottom 90 is it appropriate that the wealthiest country in the history of the world has the highest rate of childhood poverty, of any other major country on earth. are we concerned that a handful of media conglomerates control what we see here and read. >> then, the national review
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executive editor talks about melting pot or civil war. he is interviewed by the former commissioner of the u.s. immigration and natural -- naturalization services. immigration really is a big driver. the composition of immigration is important, not just as a matter of policy, but because of human capital. it really is a very important issue. on c-spanhis weekend, two. >> mr. president, can you remember the first time you ever thought about being president of the united states?
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that's after i left the director of central intelligence. right after that, i began to be serious about it. i didn't make any permanent business connection. i know it was in there that i got thinking very serious about it. everyone elected to congress thinks, maybe someday i'll be president, but i don't remember it vividly. you wrote a memo on aging and memory. >> i put it in their because i want my kids to understand that if i look like i am disconnected, then i am.
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letter to kids talking about what it is like getting older. said,end sonny montgomery i can remember where i was a long time ago than when i had lunch two days ago. iewer: are you afraid someone might find out something that makes those front-page stories? bush: it'll make things interesting for the american people. but i don't think it'll be anything for the muckrackers to go crazy. i don't think there are any audiotapes. conversations,ix a standard deal.
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there are no audiotapes such as the ones done without knowing you are being taped. you can see your career unfold. go back to congress. you think about your two tombs -- two terms. pres. bush: i was elected in the through1966 and served 1970. i learned that even though you are in your 40's as i was, you can still make friends. maybe you make your fast friends in school or in college. i made a lot of friends. i remember being somewhat frustrated, being in the minority the whole time. me.rained
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i faced a democratic majority for all four years. i learned a lot in my four years of service. being a member of the united states congress. it is hard to get something done in government. brian lamb: what did you learn? pres. bush: people serve without getting credit for civil service. it is fine for democratic politics to berate those who serve, of any kind. i learned, my little office got serviced by the bureaucracy. there are a lot of people serving our country. brian lamb: do you remember the
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wall street journal front-page piece, the note on the front page that said watch for two men to become president of the united states when they? -- one day? george bush and don regal? pres. bush: i don't remember that at all. i am kind of an old-fashioned guy. remember an article in their ridiculing me on the editorial page back in those days. brian lamb: your senate race. two times. i lost in 1964 and in 1970. brian lamb: what do you remember? it is ash: character-builder. i think i am a better person
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because i have tasted defeat. work like the dickens to see itt i wouldn't be defeated, hurts a lot. you learn you have to be gracious. you learn the pain of losing, the pain of a lot of volunteers. so many lessons that you can get out of it. there is a lot of lessons you can learn in victory. brian lamb: why did you want to be in the senate?
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pres. bush: it would be a better for them to try and get something donna. i would have been able to accomplish more. it was that. in 1964, the party was desperate to get somebody to run. now we are a two-party state. it wasn't a great groundswell of public opinion. i was doing with the party leaders wanted me to do back in 1964. -- in 1970, i felt being a member of the senate would have
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been a better way to a compost things. brian lamb: how much money did you raise? pres. bush: it was miniscule. my whole campaign for congress in 1966, i want to say it was $200,000. it was considered huge in those days. i don't really remember on the senate. we had a good fundraising effort. cannot say i lost because i did not have proper funding. brian lamb: your father was a senator for 10 years? pres. bush: 10 years. he filled the unexpired part of senator mcmahon's term. he was reelected with ike eisenhower in 1956. he said i don't want to serve in the senate after i am 70. he did not run again. brian lamb: what was your relationship? pres. bush: love and respect.
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i don't think there is a man i have ever had more respect for. he was a strong, principled man. he was the academy of what a senator ought to be in terms of ofility and honor -- epitome what a senator ought to be in terms of stability and honor. brian lamb: what did you learn about politics from him? pres. bush: i was living in west texas when he was in the senate. people forget that. i was not working his campaigns. my brothers were. i was in west texas working for a living. i could not go back there. while he was in
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the senate. i learned respect for the institution. my dad said, lyndon johnson is a great leader because his word is good. tells me his vote is going to be at 10:00, it will be at 10:00. there is a certain civility in the senate. i learned more about that than i did about any legislation. brian: there is a picture in your library downstairs. people talk about it a lot. it is when lyndon johnson for space. when lyndon johnson left the air force space. why did you go there to say goodbye to a democrat? pres. bush: i was a junior texas congressman. lyndon johnson was a senior
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political figure. he had been elected president of the united states. at the suggestion of a woman who youed for me, she said, want to go out there, and pay your respects. him on almosth every initiative. but i went out there and stood in line. by, could walked hardly believe it. he turned around and came back. i heard the johnson family appreciated it. it isiscovered in life not hard to do something that might appear to be kind or thoughtful or proper. going there was all of it, i
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hope. i know that president johnson mentioned to me after i got back from texas he appreciated it. what have you learned about how you wanted to live your time after the presidency? i've stayed off of all boards of directors. i have tried to avoid activities that might diminish the office i was so honored to hold. i don't think any particular president has been a role model. i have great respect for the way others have conducted themselves. is involved in some things i would not want to be involved in. i think his motivation is wonderful. he has made a great contribution
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to helping mankind. i don't want to be having an opinion on foreign affairs anymore, being out in a way that i look like i am trying to influence the government. i had my chance. i told president clinton the day i left the white house, you will not get a bottom of greek out of me. i think it is better for me to sit back. i have two sons that are the governor of florida and the governor of texas. that is all a dad can ask. we are trying to put something back into the system. handful ofeach a kids public service is noble,
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try it, we will be doing something good. brian: there is noise in the background, a little bell, that's your dog. what's your dog's name? pres. bush: sadie. she is about four and a half, five. she is a great rabbit chaser. barbara's joy of life and mine. she is a kind dog. she makes friends easily. when we come home, she rushes to the shutters and looks out. dogs and kids is what life is about for me now. how did you get the job
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after you were defeated for the senate? president clinton -- the president said, we would like you to do something. he wanted john connolly to going to the secretary of the treasury. i walked in i was told i would be "taken care of." i didn't expect it. but he said, come to the white house as an aide. i didn't want to. yost was leaving as an ambassador to the united nations and i said, what about going there? i think he saw, here is a guy
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that knows something about politics and can learn about the intricacies of foreign affairs. brian: were you thinking about the presidency then? pres. bush: i don't think so. years.t the u.n. two the united nations is like a parliamentarian body in a sense. i learned to treat other countries large and small with respect, even the small ones, burundi. i went to the embassy. it consisted of three people. word spread through the united nations that the united states ambassador was going to reach out. that helped. win votes that way. i met a lot of people my life would interact with later ron -- later on, with various foreign
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policy agendas. had you started your note writing habit by then? pres. bush: i am sure i did. i would write notes to different ambassadors. some types of meetings got pretty boring. cold warriorde from the soviet union. have a sense of humor -- he had a sense of humor. would send the messages with a beautiful woman. he would smile. that part was fun. you could relax. i gave a party for the 10 most overrated new yorkers. i was night on the list. -- ninth on the list.
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the guy who wrote the story felt i was worthy of the honor. saying that it was beneath the dignity of my office. it was fun. you put a little human face on diplomacy. brian: where did you get the note-writing from? pres. bush: i think i first got it from my mother. would go and spend a weekend in the adirondacks and she would say, have you written your thank you letter? that was the initial exposure. we do that with our own grandchildren now. it helped a little bit because of email. barbara would send them an email.
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have you written a thank you letter to your grandfather? we have always had this at our family. -- in our family. brian: have you kept copies of all your notes? pres. bush: i kept copies of everything i wrote when i was vice president, certainly president. records frome good the presidency and the vice presidency. the rest were sporadic. stories were dug out to find little pieces of paper that might fit into this book of letters. our record-keeping was excellent. the white house had a most efficient assistant.
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she put every piece of paper where it belonged. doubt in there any your mind those notes had a big impact on people? pres. bush: i don't know. if they have some substance to it, they might have. would writedo -- i notes to roll leaders. it built a personal trust. they might disagree on this issue. i believe in personal diplomacy. part of it is writing a little note, telling a guy how much he enjoyed the speech, or thanking him for the marvelous time. it, you would work in a bubble substance. substance.
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communication that added to my ability when the going got tough. brian: what was your system? how did you keepbrian: track ofl the people you wanted to write notes to? pres. bush: i didn't. i am sure i overlooked some. but if something would crop up, it might be a birthday or an election, for having seen them at a conference, or something -- or having seen them at a conference or something humorous, we would tap into that wherever we could. do you remember a time in your political career when you would devote enormous amount
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of time to writing notes? you can't always adequately think the people that help you, especially right after a campaign. brian: do you have people up there that have nice little folders of george bush letters? pres. bush: absolutely. word got out that we were putting this book of letters out.
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it was wonderful. brian: are you surprised this book is on the bestseller lists? pres. bush: we are up there with harry potter. i don't know who the latest movie star is. brian: how many have you sold? pres. bush: i don't know. i think it is kind of hanging in there. we had a lot of fun with this book. this is the closest you will get to a memoir. it is about heartbeat. it is about my pulse. us, whatut what hurts makes us cry and laugh. the republicanme
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national committee chairman in what year? of 1973.h: the winter the president asked me. he thought i would be the best guy to be president. -- chairman of the party. he said he wanted everyone's resignation on the desk before the close of business in 1972, after the election. then we were all summoned to go to camp david. he suggested to me to be the deputy secretary of the treasury. what i want you to do is be chairman of the national committee. the president asks you to do something, you want to try if
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you think you can. brian: you have a lot in your book. you basically say someone lied? pres. bush: i think he did on the smoking gun tape. the party, he was trying to keep separate. i was trying to be as loyal as i could be to the head of the party, richard nixon. it was the final blow. think i became president,
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the person i got the most advice president, theme person i got the most advice from was richard nixon. brian: you said he was amoral. here bush: you don't look cabinet in the eye and say one thing and have it be the complete opposite. there was some wonderful sides to richard nixon. but with the releasing of the tapes, there was kind of an ugly side. in a very personal and mean way. is august 5, 1974. about thelking prediction that the president would not survive. with you, we could look back
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this is one of the great presidents of our time at 80. you were almost 75. -- are almost 75. i think richard nixon will be recorded. but his presidency will always be sullied by the finality of the why of watergate. -- lie of watergate. you got the china job after watergate. in between that, there is talk about you being vice president. tom dooley suggested to nixon -- i had only been in
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congress for two years. some of my colleagues in congress thought this would be a good idea. there was a campaign to be vice president. it did not happen. richard nixon left office and gerald ford had to pick a vice president. poll.asked to take a embarrassment, there was some speculation in the columns that had my name involved. pick,y ford announced his he walked into the east room to announce who he wanted.
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my phone rang. watching. said, this is a hard call for me to make. he was one of the most considerate men i have ever met. he was calling me because he didn't want hurt feelings. i didn't expect that. brian: had you thought about running for president? my real thinking about it began after. i didn't want to waste any time on it. i thought that was the future.
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president ford was very generous. i wanted to do more in the foreign affairs. he said, what about china? david bruce, the senior diplomat, was coming home. he said, you might not like it. the u.n. might not accept. you better check with henry kissinger. the chinese sent someone else to president ford right away. chinese?d you learn pres. bush: every day for five days a week. brian: how did you do? pres. bush: i gave a going away speech in chinese. all of the people that worked around the embassy understood i was speaking in chinese.
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the language teacher was in the back. i loved it. brian: you have some old chicken scratch chinese downstairs in your library. pres. bush: i didn't write it. brian: you are trying to do the characters. pres. bush: all i did was speaking. brian: what did you learn from your experience as a chinese liaison? pres. bush: the importance of china. i saw the disadvantages of a totally closed society. i appreciated that there are far more human liberties and human rights in china today. it is not perfect by a long shot. the family was still a strong
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entity in china. 1970, out there in thinking the family is falling apart in china. the minute i got there, i saw how wrong that was. society was closed. people were scared to talk to you. you were followed. i learned a lot. you fly into the houston international airport and your name is on the airport. you drive out to dolly madison highway, and there it is. the george bush cia, named after you. there is a major conference going on. how long read their?
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-- were you there? pres. bush: one year. mark,t know that i left a but they left a mark on me. the mark of dedicated, selfless, honorable public service. the fundamental importance to the president of the best intelligence in the world. i was proud and privileged to defend the cia and correct the abuses of the past. i tried to point out the importance in congress and everywhere else. brian: why did you leave the job? pres. bush: thrown out.
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president carter wanted to put his own director in. i went home. brian: are you studying as you go through all these jobs? i think about the individual assignment. china had an interaction with the state department on how decisions made would affect china. we wanted to make sure the decisions of the past would never take place again. we wanted to make sure the cia was properly supervised. i don't think i ever put it in
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the context of each step being toward an inevitable presidency. let me ask you about vietnam and watergate. what do you think the legacy of both of those -- i was watching a tape the other day in which a president said that vietnam created watergate. what do you think the legacy of those two things are? pres. bush: the legacy of vietnam is, if you are going to be in a war, fight it and when it. -0-- win it. and don't the service those who serve -- disservice those who serve honorably. military had its hands tied.
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my lessons from watergate are different than some others. once you are in it, fight it and win it. the great thing about desert storm, because we fought it that way, let the military fight and win and give them resources to do it. a lot of the wounds of vietnam are healed because of that experience. i am old fashioned because of vietnam. i am not a revisionist. i am not one who thinks we have
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to honor those whyho ran away. brian: what about watergate? pres. bush: an aberration. if someone had said, what a huge mistake, here is how it happened -- what a stupid operation. covered up and get the f.b.i. corrupt the process of government, that was the seriousness of watergate. i learned from watergate, be sure the laws are enforced, and don't violate it for political reasons. i saw a good man, richard nixon, brought down because of an ugly cover up.
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brian: then the vice presidency came along. how did that happen? pres. bush: i came in second to ronald reagan running for p resident. we won a couple of big primaries. i went out and paid off a huge debt. i went across the country. mississippi was the last stop. said, i want to go to michigan, to the republican convention. money, orke to owe cheat people out of what they're entitled to buy only money. -- by owing money.
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a successful fundraiser, we paid off every dime. i went to michigan not expecting anything. there were rumors that president reagan was going to ask gerald ford to be his running mate. that blew up. i was sitting in the hotel. the phone rang. it was ronald reagan, asking me to be his running mate. brian: did you ever think about not doing it? pres. bush: no. people who say they don't want to, they do. brian: when did you make the decision, thing i'm going to go for the presidency? foraying i'm going to go the presidency? probably 1977. i have a network of friends.
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i was able to raise enough money to get my message out. next thing i knew, bigger names had fallen by the wayside. i was left standing. ronald reagan wasn't standing very long because he dusted me off somewhere after michigan and before california. brian: what did you learn? pres. bush: about loyalty and government and foreign affairs. everybody ridicules the vice presidency. there is a lot of substance to it. a man delegates certain responsibilities to you. return, i owed him my loyalty. i was lucky. ronald reagan, when i ran for
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iesident after eight years, would not have jumped sideways and say, i have known all along he should have done this differently. i didn't feel that way. iran-contra scandal that was not resolved to the satisfaction of the american people. if i'd have been there, i wouldn't have done this. you can't do that and live with yourself in terms of loyalty and character. who taught you loyalty? pres. bush: my mom and dad. brian: who taught them loyalty? pres. bush: in those days, people were not afraid to teach values in school.
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nobody likes a braggadocio. like, be kindues to people. help someone when he is hurt. it served me well when i was president. where you're surprised in yourecent book -- were surprised that your comment about never inviting you upstairs got such attention? pres. bush: i never made that comment. at every state dinner, we were upstairs with the head of state coming in. he did not have to invite us. we were upstairs many times.
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he was totally wrong. brian: did you ever talk to him for that book? pres. bush: i probably did. i am sure i talked to barbara. brian: did you feel that way about president reagan? pres. bush: no. and i never would have said that if i had. you can't be loyal on some things and try to gain a notch on the other guide by pushing him down. guy by pushing him down. there was this in the book about this disdain he had for me and barbara.
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ronald reagan's marvelous secretary called me and she said, i am so hurt reading this. i was there. i heard him talk. does george know this? we had a close relationship. diminished, quite hurtful. brian: what did you talk about when you met with president reagan at lunch? pres. bush: it was more, relaxing, for him i hope. it was totally relaxed.
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i think he knew i wasn't going to blindside him. we had a lot of people say, please tell him we have to do this on the airline strike. i would not do that. he knew i would not do it. brian: did you make notes after every meeting you had with the president? pres. bush: no. i wish i had. maybe -- you won't have access to it for a while. i don't want stuff that hurt people's feelings. if there is one or two things, i don't want it there. did you ever notice in
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your meetings with president reagan he was beginning to lose contact? if that book alleges that after he was shot he lost it, i don't think he did. if it did, that would be wrong. he sent to me the year before he left the presidency, do you have trouble remembering stuff? i said, of course. i would see him every day. i was only one who could walk into the oval office every time i wanted to. his secretary would confirm that. the idea that he "lost it" is fallacious. did you ever think you
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were going to be made a temporary president because of him being shot? i did not know. i remember flying from texas to washington. i wrote some notes about it. it was more like a friend was hurt. i felt the burden of the presidency might descend on me. it became clear early on he was going to make it. brian: eight years as vice president. martinas one other man, had gone from the
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vice presidency to the presidency in that long of a time. pres. bush: i didn't think about that. the press speculated a lot. a lot of that is, you are not .our own man you sublimate your own views. this is provided at the vice presidency is going to mean anything to you or to can. -- to him.
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if i didn't, what kind of use would he have for a vice president? brian: had you been studying what you would do differently? pres. bush: i don't remember. i am sure i had some ideas. down some written major objectives. me, it was not running as a departure from the ronald reagan record. i didn't say, this was a failure and i will do it this way. i would not have done it anyway. ronald reagan was a beloved president. watergate, the iran-contra
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matter, quieted down. i had told the truth. i don't remember when i began to make a specific agenda. brian: go back to when you started your presidency. you had all the other jobs. you watched this office. did you feel any different? pres. bush: yeah. i knew i would not complain about the loneliness of the job. if they knew the burden on my shoulders, they would be more i am aloneng -- here, i can't turn to anybody. malarkey.bunch of
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one withssed from day a team of experts that knew more than i did. i was blessed on the economic side with a very smart group of people. if you have confidence in someone else and you are going all of this board stuff is not gone forever, but it is partially produced. there, i walked in knew what my team was going to be. at least i was prepared for the magnitude of the job. if i had never been close, maybe it would have been even more awesome. i remember taking a picture with
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my mother in the office. me, there was some kind of symbolism to that. she had taught me a lot about values. brian: one of the issues you were talking about during your presidential run, you didn't sleep very well. i remember the night before panama. the question wasn't of sleeping. it was your shoulders and your muscles aching. you have to consider someone else's kid losing their life.
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maybe there was some great confrontation with the democratic congress. this could be something to keep you awake. most of the time, i slept pretty well. brian: most of the stuff in the book you wrote yourself. except for some lead-in paragraphs. brian: you had all those speechwriters when he were president.- you were this is fun to read. why did the president's become so formalized, and speechwriters have to go above andwhy beyond? pres. bush: i know what you mean. i would go at the end of a speech and say, i can't do this, high-falutin, something like
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this. had not kept cropping out intellectual quotes. i felt that this was being something i am not and people would see through that. the bestone some of speeches were written i other people -- by others. >> you talk a lot about the press. in the context of your own presidency, i want you to look at your son. president,un for they start to change, as the press takes an intense look. have you avoid that? i do you see your son changing? >> let me answer about george first.
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makingas been some muck and some on accountable journalism and got check pop i think i know something about foreign affairs and i couldn't answer those questions, my friends couldn't. so you have this kind of thing. you can stay connected with people i was a pretty good campaigner, brian. i like that, it was fun. i could interact well, but not as well as my son. so i don't think any positive or negative press is going to keep him from communicating with a guy out there on the street or in the school, whatever. , i think the kind of journalism here is worrisome.
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but it should not keep good people from wanting to serve. brian: when you were president did it get you -- didn't get me down?et me dam right. -- damn right. it probably got me angrier than i should there. i felt a certain sense of trail by the nice woman who wrote the article which, because of my intervention, she got to interview my ailing mother will be try to protect her from this kind of thing, welcomed into my family by my fifth sister -- sister. the cover was totally offensive
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and i thought the story was. we did something i seldom do. i was vice president, we had a meeting with katharine graham, the editor. the guys from washington all came out. they wanted me to give special treatment to newsweek, which i was not going to do even though the reporter is a valued friend of mine. i said why give him special treatment? i'll answer questions, but not going to give him inside access after you do a dutch job on me like that -- gut job. brian.t angry, i wrote one letter when i thought i was smeared about an ugly story about a scanner. what we had done was seen brand new technology.
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brian: in a grocery store. pres. bush: at a convention. i said this was amazing. but some lazy reporter from the new york times who was not even there and wrote he's out of touch, he does not know you can scam -- scan groceries. even though other people said this was unfair, most everybody else jumped on the guy who wrote the story. up it's still there caught in a big computer somewhere. i saw a favorable story about me this year. it said it was too bad he was not connected and this scanner sharing that -- thing showed that. so i did write a letter there. , i the rest of my presidency directly,k i ever
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personally appealed to a publisher or picked up a phone and said this was a lousy story. maybe i should have done more. back on yourg career, what are two or three things that really maybe what you are as president. during the presidency, what made the biggest impact? pres. bush: my values, my respect for the office. brian: which job? which job before that? cia, china? pres. bush: it all caps together. -- came together. a navy pilot, 20 years old. that experience probably shaped my life. -- lost twods friends, i fend a responsibility. there is something profound for a scared little navy pilot. i learned something about the
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pride of the military, duty, honor, country. that served me well when i became president. brian: let's say 100 years from now people come in, they see your career, what down there on those laws is the most important? pres. bush: they will see desert storm. they will see that i try to and this peacefully. brian: what is the legacy today? legacy is that a brutal neighbor will not, with impunity, take over the neighborhood. that there are certain moral lines you cannot cross, and this was one of them. we could not left that aggression stand. ,hat is the moral underpinning this aggression will not stand, and it is against a backdrop of brutalizing a community and setting a fire the environment. incident, to put one
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it would be desert storm with its trials, its tribulations, it's politics, if diplomacy, and eventually, with its culmination and victory by the best all volunteer force in the world. watch, that happen on my hitting plenty of credit for others, it was wonderful. brian: last two minutes. your son is in front and you got two minutes to tell him some broad, basic approaches to running for president based on what you already experienced. what do you tell him? pres. bush: i give them the same advice. be yourself, be honest. respect others. and do your best.
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and if you win or lose, your life will be fantastic. i will tell him that. because that is what happened in my life, and i can speak from considerable experience. give it your best shot and i will be there to help you if you get hurt. brian: we will have to end it. thank you, mr. president. pres. bush: not at all. >> sunday, on q&a, we visit the washington library for the 2018 featuringogram, historians discussing what it means to be american. indivisible was a sense of, we are all together,
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right? so that is somehow elemental to what it means to be an american. character, what it means is to be able to improvise. that when youn look at george washington and the dark face of september at valley forge, the ability of general washington to improvise, to be almost like a guerrilla fighter, to live off the land, to do what we need to get the job done. >> of the very beginning, not all groups were concluded -- included. certainly, minority groups were not. women were not considered citizens. , and overes over time time, more and more people are brought into the american family . eight youngght at eastern, on c-span's q&a. next, a form on turkey's
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relations with other countries in the middle east. on thursday, israel announced they would not be appointing a new ambassador to turkey after turkey deported the serving israeli investor and recalled its chief diplomat in protest over the recent killing of palestinian protesters. the middle east policy council host this discussion. >> good morning, everyone. i ask everyone to take your seats, grab your last cup of coffee, and then we will get started. have just two hours and three fantastic analysts so we do want to take advantage of the time that we have.


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