tv Public Affairs Events CSPAN December 1, 2018 5:56am-7:00am EST
of course, you are reporting on cq.comsite powern the congress takes in january it will have the youngest, most diverse congress in history. >> mr. president, can you think of the first time you thought of being president of the united states? pres. bush: i can't. i can remember when i first being serious.
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. whether i had it crossed my mind earlier on, i don't know. probably. everyone elected to congress thinks, maybe someday i'll be president, but i don't remember it vividly. >> i should put a qualifier because in your book you wrote a memo on aging and memory. what was the point of that? therebush: i put it in because i want my kids to understand that if i look like i am disconnected, then i am. i did not want them to think i was neglecting them. it is a letter to kids talking about what it is like getting older. it is different. your legs hurt and all of this, but i feel, as my friend sonny montgomery said, like a spring
colt, but i can remember where i was a long time ago than when i had lunch two days ago. interviewer: are you afraid someone might find out something that makes those front-page stories? pres. bush: no. there are plenty of stuff in here that will make interesting reading for the american people. but i don't think it'll be anything that will cause the muckrackers to go crazy. interviewer: are there any audiotapes? pres. bush: i don't think there are any audiotapes. we taped over six conversations, a standard deal. there are no audiotapes such as the ones done without knowing you are being taped. nothing like that. when you come to
your library and walk-through you can see your career unfold. , go back to congress. when you think of your two terms. pres. bush: i was elected in the fall of 1966 and served through 1970. interviewer: what did you learn about being a congressman? pres. bush: i learned that even though you are in your 40's as i was, you can still make friends. i thought maybe you make your fast friends in school or in college. in my case, in the service. i made a lot of friends. i remember being somewhat frustrated, being in the minority the whole time. it trained me, i think, for being president when i faced a democratic majority for all four years. i learned a little about that from my service, four years of service, in the congress. i loved being a member of the united states congress.
it is hard to get something done , 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
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 one day? george bush and don regal? pres. bush: i don't remember that at all. i am kind of an old-fashioned guy. i remember an article in their ridiculing me on the editorial page back in those days. i don't remember this nice little squib. brian lamb: your senate race. two times. pres. bush: i lost in 1964 and in 1970. brian lamb: what do you remember? the whole experience. pres. bush: it is a character-builder. i think i am a better person because i have tasted defeat. i work like the dickens to see that i wouldn't be defeated, it hurts a lot.
you learn there is a life beyond your own personal defeat. you learn you have to be gracious in the three and defeat. victory and defeat. 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 a senator. pres. bush: it would be a better to try to get something done. you are not one of 435 people but one of 100. and one of two senators. i would have been able to accomplish more.
it was that. i remember in 1964, the party was desperate to get somebody to run. back in the phone booth days. now we are a two-party state. a lot of it thinks i might add to our governor. it wasn't a great groundswell of public opinion. i was doing what a lot of the party leaders wanted me to do back in 1964. in 1970, i felt being a member of the senate would have been a better way to a compost things. -- a much better way to accomplish things. brian lamb: how much money did you raise? pres. bush: it was miniscule. -- i think my whole campaign for congress in 1966, i want to say it was $200,000. which was considered huge in
those days. 1966. i don't really remember on the senate. we had a good fundraising effort. i 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. and filledin 1952 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. i don't think there is a man i have ever had more respect for. he was a strong, principled man. people wrote in those days that
theas the academy -- he was epitome of what a senator ought to be in terms of stability and honor. in terms of influence on my life, it was all encompassing. 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. they worked their hearts out for him as did my sister. i was in west texas working for a living. i could not go back there. once in a while, i would be a guest in the senate as his guest. i learned respect for the institution. my dad said, lyndon johnson is a great leader because his word is good. scheduling legislation. he 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. that dad respected and contributed to. 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. in 1969 probably when lyndon johnson left from andrews air force base. why did you go there to say goodbye to a democrat? pres. bush: i was a junior texas congressman. lyndon johnson was a senior political figure. a texan who had been elected president of the united states. at the suggestion of a woman who me.work -- who worked for
i wish i had thought of it. she said, you want to go out there, and pay your respects. i differed with him on almost every legislative initiative. but i went out there and stood in a long line of his cabinet and friends. he saw me, walked by, could hardly believe it. he turned around and came back. and spoke to me. subsequently, i heard over and over again, that the johnson family took note of this and i think appreciated it. i've discovered in life it is not hard to do something that might appear to be kind or thoughtful or proper. i think going there was all of it, i hope. i know that president johnson mentioned to me after i got back from texas he appreciated it. brian: what have you learned about how you wanted to live
your time after the presidency? pres. bush: 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. jimmy carter 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 to helping mankind. i don't want to be having an opinion on foreign affairs anymore, being out in a way that might make it 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 lot of grief out of me. for the most part, i have avoided the criticism. i think it is better for me to sit back. the torch of politics has been passed to two sons that are the governor of florida and the governor of texas. that is all a dad can ask. barbara and i are trying to be what i call a thousand points of light. we are trying to put something back into the system. whether it is at this marvelous library or at the george bush school of government. if we can teach a handful of kids public service is noble, better than you think it is 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 was trained to be a great huntress in england. we have not hunted her yet but she is a great rabbit chaser. just a minute, sadie. she is the joy of barbara's life and mine. she is fast as lightning. she is a kind dog. she makes friends easily. brian: how often does she go with you? pres. bush: always, when we are in texas. when we come home, she rushes to the shutters and looks out. dogs and kids is what life is about for me now. pres. bush: go back to the chronology. what about the job after you were defeated for the senate? pres. bush: president clinton said, -- the president said, we would like you to do something.
he wanted john connolly to going to the secretary of the treasury. and i was sitting out there having run for the senate and lost. 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. i knew yost was leaving as an ambassador to the united nations and i said, what about going there? even though i had no experience i knew how nixon felt about the new york establishment and mayor lindsay criticizing him. i think he saw, here is a guy that knows something about politics and can learn about the intricacies of foreign affairs. and so he sent me up there and i loved it. brian: were you thinking about the presidency then? pres. bush: i don't think so. i don't think i could have been. pres. bush: how long were you
there? brian: -- pres. bush: i was at the u.n. two years. 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. which consisted of the secretary, the ambassador, and one other guy and the word spread through the united nations that the united states ambassador was going to reach out. that helped. when you get down to a close quote. we could win votes that way. i met a lot of people my life would interact with later ron -- later on, with various foreign policy agendas. i loved it. brian: had you started your note writing habit by then? pres. bush: i am sure i did. i started it as a teenager. i would write notes to different ambassadors. some types of meetings got
pretty boring. there was the cold warrior from the soviet union. have a sense of humor -- he had a sense of humor. i 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. the guy who wrote the story felt i was worthy of the honor. i got a letter 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. i 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. 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. i know we have good records from 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. we called her ms. perfect. she put every piece of paper where it belonged. brian: is there any doubt in 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. what it did do -- i would write 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. in it, you would work in a bubble substance. -- a little substance. there was communication that added to my ability when the going got tough. brian: what was your system? how did you keep track of all 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. brian: do you remember a time in your political career when you would devote enormous amount of time to writing notes? pres. bush: 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. 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. it is about what hurts us, what
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. he said, 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 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. when i think i became president, the person i got the most advice from -- i became president, the person i got the most advice
from was richard nixon. brian: you said he was amoral. pres. bush: you don't look here 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. it was in a very personal and mean way. brian: this is august 5, 1974. you are talking about the prediction that the president would not survive. but with you, we could look back and say, this is one of the great presidents of our time at 80. you were almost 75. -- are almost 75. pres. bush: 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. brian: you got the china job after watergate. in between that, there is talk about you being vice president. pres. bush: tom dooley suggested to nixon -- i had only been in 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. i was asked to take a poll. with some embarrassment, there was some speculation in the columns that had my name involved.
the day ford announced his pick, he walked into the east room to announce who he wanted. my phone rang. we were watching. ford 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? pres. bush: my real thinking about it began after. i didn't want to waste any time on it. i thought that was the future. 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. brian: did you learn chinese? pres. bush: every day for five days a week. brian: how did you do?
was speaking in chinese. 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 entity in china. i went out there in 1970, 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. brian: 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 were you there? pres. bush: one year. i don't know that i left a mark, 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. president carter wanted to put his own director in. i went home. brian: are you studying as you go through all these jobs? pres. bush: 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 the context of each step being toward an inevitable presidency. brian: 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. -- win it. and don't the service those who serve -- disservice those who serve honorably. the military had its hands tied. 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 to honor those who 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. to have it 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. brian: then the vice presidency came along. how did that happen? pres. bush: i came in second to ronald reagan running for president. 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. i said, i want to go to michigan, to the republican convention. i don't like to owe money, or cheat people out of what they're entitled to buy only money. -- by owing money. with 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? -- saying i'm going to go for the presidency? pres. bush: probably 1977. i have a network of friends. i was able to raise enough money to get my message out. the 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. in return, i owed him my loyalty. i was lucky. ronald reagan, when i ran for president after eight years, i would not have jumped sideways and say, i have known all along he should have done this differently. i didn't feel that way. he had the 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. brian: 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. nobody likes a braggadocio. there were values like, be kind to people. help someone when he is hurt. it served me well when i was
president. brian: where you're surprised in the recent book -- were you 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. 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. 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. to have it 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. 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. brian: did you ever notice in your meetings with president reagan he was beginning to lose contact? pres. bush: 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. brian: did you ever think you were going to be made a temporary president because of him being shot? pres. bush: 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. there was one other man, martin van buren, who had gone from the 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 your 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. 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. i may have written down some major objectives.
for 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. the economy was doing reasonably well. ronald reagan was a beloved president. watergate, the iran-contra matter, quieted down. in spite of the press fascination in trying to tar me with it. 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 understanding -- i am alone here, i can't turn to anybody. that is a bunch of malarkey. i was blessed from day one with 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
to delegate, all of this board -- all of this burden stuff is not gone forever, but it is partially produced. the day i walked in there, i knew what my team was going to be. i had seen ronald reagan under pressure. 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 my mother in the office. for me, there was some kind of symbolism to that. she had taught me a lot about values.
the fact that she was there perhaps helped set a tone on how i won it to treat other people. brian: one of the issues you were talking about during your presidential run, you didn't sleep very well. pres. bush: 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. 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. pres. bush: yes, except for some lead-in paragraphs. brian: you had all those speechwriters when he were president -- you were president. this is fun to read. why did the president's become so formalized, and speechwriters have to go above and 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 this. maybe in retrospect, i could have done better if the words had soared a little bit more. had not kept cropping out intellectual quotes. i felt that this was being something i am not and people
would see through that. and yet gone some of the best 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. as people run for president, 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. there has been some muck making and some on accountable journalism and got check pop quizzes 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 don't know, i think the kind of journalism here is worrisome. but it should not keep good people from wanting to serve. brian: when you were president did it get you -- pres. bush: didn't get me down?
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 and she was welcomed into my family by my sister. the cover was totally offensive 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 met with me and jim baker
about it. 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. so i got angry, brian. 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. most of the rest of the media people reported it that way. brian: in a grocery store. pres. bush: at a convention. i said this was amazing.
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. so i got angry, brian. 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. 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. but it's still there caught up 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. but the rest of my presidency, i don't think i ever directly, personally appealed to a publisher or picked up a phone and said this was a lousy story. maybe i should have done more. brian: looking back on your 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? i learned something about the 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? pres. bush: 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. that 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. if you had to put one incident, 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. to have that happen on my watch,
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. 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, revisit the washington library at mount vernon for the 2018 founding debates program featuring his story and medford, douglas brinkley, and brussel discussing what it means to be american. >> one nation individual was a sense of that we are all together. that is somehow elemental what it means to be an american. >> the american character your and what it means is to be able to improvise. i mean when you look at washington in the dark days of december, 1777 at valley forge.
his ability to improvise. to be almost like a guerrilla fighter and live off the land. to do what we need to do to get the job done. >> from the very beginning, not all groups were included in what an american was. certainly, minority groups were not. and women were not. they were not considered citizens. that changes over time. over time, more and more people are brought into the american family. >> sunday night at 8:00 eastern on c-span's you in a. -- q and a. >> former president george h.w. bush has died in houston at age 94. along with being the 41st president, he was a world war ii combat pilot, republican congressman from texas, a party chairman, ambassador to the u