tv Charlie Rose PBS May 19, 2011 12:00pm-1:00pm PDT
>> charlie: welcome to our program. the president is scheduled to make an important speech on the middle east tomorrow. we talk about what he might say, or what he is likely to say, with michele dunne, robert danin and rami khouri. >> the perception of the president is that he is a decent, honest, serious man who raeld would like to try to do something but is unable to get beyond rhetoric, is constrained by domestic factors, by regional and global factors and continues to show both a hesitancy and a little bit of partiality when it comes to dealing with arabs and muslims and people in the middle east. people don't see obama as capturing, fully, the great principle of american life and governance and policy which is equality and justice.
he is better than bush but only a little bit better, and there is a bit of speech fatigue -- speeches are great, but speeches are no way to do foreign policy. >> charlie: we conclude this evening with indy 500 legend roger penske and three of his drivers. helio castroneves, ryan briscoe and will power. >> i wouldn't trade him for anything, and i think the one thing that people don't realize is that there is only one going to win the race coming up at indianapolis in a few weeks, but the transparency -- they sit in front of each other after every practice, they look at all the technology, all the tracings of what they've done on a particular lap, where i braked, what the car is doing, we have all this telemetry and they share it with each other almost like going to engineering school so they can see "what can i do to get my car as fast as helio or as fast as will's or ryan's" and i think this is the indy
racing team. >> charlie: the future of the middle east and the indy 500. when we continue. funding for "charlie rose" by the following. if you've had a coke in the last 20 years, ( screams ) you've had a hand in giving college scholarships... and support to thousands of our nation's... most promising students. ♪ ( coca-cola 5-note mnemonic ) every story needs a hero we can all root for. who beats the od and comes out on top. but this isn't just a hollywood storyline. it's happening every day, all across america. every time a storefront opens. or the midnight oil is burned. or when someone chases a dream, not just a dollar. they are small business owners. so if you wanna root for a real hero, support small business. shop small.
captioning sponsored by rose communications from our studios in new york city, this is charlie rose. >> charlie: we begin, tonight, looking ahead at president obama's mideast speech. tomorrow he's expected to outline his broad vision of u.s. policy in the region since the june 2009 cairo speech and this year's historic changes. he will address the arab revolt, israeli-palestinian peace process and the defth bin laden. he's also expected to increase the pressure on syrian president al-assad.
earlier today the s. imposed sanctions on assad in the regime's crackdown on protesters. joining us from washington, michele dunne of the carnegi endowment for middle east peace. robert danin of the council on foreign relations. he used to run the jerusalem office of the middle east quartet. and rami khouri. his column published twice weekly by "the star." give me ur sense of where we are. >> i think we're at a very critical juncture in the middle east. we had uprisings and regime change in tunnisia and egypt, early this year. we have now seen real conflict and violence in countries like libya, syria, yemen and then we had the death -- killing of bin laden and what the president wants to do -- although perhaps i'm getting ahead of ourselves -- what the president wants to
do is signal we're turning over a page and entering a new chter in the history of the region and in the history of the interaction between the united states and the middle east. >> charlie: my question was more posed to a quote of yours that i read which is the following. "i have never been more concerned about where this is headed than now. there seems to be increased momentum tards what could be a real explosion." >> yes. i was referring to the suation tween israel and the palestinians. i'm extremely concerned about the situation right now and where it's heading. right now we have the united states articulate last september that it was seeking a peace agreement by this september. here we are eight months into the process. we no longer have a middle east peace envoy. we have no real engagement between the united states and the parties to speak of. and we have, now, talk of serious unilateral actions that the palestinians are going to take and what concerns me is that -- is that the israelis will take unilateral actio and this could spark a fire on the ground and renewed violence like we've seen in the past.
>> charlie: michele dunne, what has been the impact of the arab spring on the israeli-palestinian issue? >> the beginning really of a wave of chan thas going to affect virtually every issue in this region, and it's affecting the israeli-palestinian issue as much as anythi else. palestinians, at first, struggled with what did the arab spring mean to them. what the arab spring is about is about people rising up and using peaceful means to oppose conditions that they long accepted but really were dissatisfactory. first, the palestinians undertook palestinian reconciliation. these demonstrations, these peaceful demonstrations inside israel, the west bank and gaza but more importantly on the borders of israel uand i agree with robert this is bringing about a different situation. regarding egypt and the egyptian-israeli relationship,
look, the egyptian government, whether now, during the transitional period, or after elections, is going to be more responsive to public opinion, and that includes regarding foreign policy, than mubarak was, and so we're seeing egypt undertaking a rolehat i think is not radically different but is somewhat more independent. they're more willing to undertake initiatives without consulting the united states or israel first. >> charlie: you said that what the refugees have created is an exis tential threat to israel. >> the marches last sunday? >> charlie: yes. >> because after over 60 years of refugeehood, the palestinians are finally starting to use -- and the palestinians and their supporters are using nonviolent, peaceful, symbolic protests to make it clear that they're there. the 750,000 original refugees of 1947-1948 are 4.5 million, they have rights, they want to achieve rights and they want to do this through a peaceful
process, so it's very powerful -- it's much more powerful than any military means that the arabs could ever use and the israelis don't know how to deal with this except to shoot them, which is what they did. >> charlie: directly inspired by the arab spring? >> a little inspired by the arab spring. palestinians have been struggling for nationhood and statehood and dignity since 1948. there is nothing new about this. but the manner of doing this simultaneously on four sides of israel through peaceful, symboli marches is a new tactic and with the reconciliation of fatah and hamas with the arab countries starting with egypt and syria and lebanon allowing people to go to the border which they would never do before is a huge change and scares the daylights out of the israelis, which is it should. >> charlie: coming across their border. >> this is like people marching for their civil rights in birmingham, alabama. what scared bull connor wasn't guns and bombs, it was little
kids saying "free at last." it's the human will to be free with your rights and justice is what scared everybody, as it should scare everybody, because that is the most powerful force in the world and the arabs and the palestinians are using it against their own tormentors whether they're arab regimes or israeli occupiers. >> charlie: that is what egypt was about, what tunisia is about and what syria is about. >> the best way to understand the arab spring. the man who set himself on fire in tunisia is the rosa parks of the time. the man who set himself on fire stood up and refused to acquiesce in his own dehumanization like rosa parks did on that bus in montgomery in 1953 but echoed the sentiments of hundreds of millions of other people and people like this, steve biko, lech walesa echo the
sentiments of millions of patriots and they change history, and this is what's going on in the region, i believe. >> charlie: what's the perception of the president before he might say thursday night? >> the perception of the president is that he is a decent, honest, serious man who really would like to try to do something but is unable to get beyond rhetoric, is constrained by domestic factors, by regional and global factors and continues to show both a hesitancy and a little bit of partiality when it comes to dealing with arabs and muslims and people in the middle east -- that people don't see obama as capturing fully the great principle of american life and governance and policy which is equality and justice. he's better than bush but only a little bit better, and there is a bit ofpeech fatigue, actually, you know -- speeches are great, but speeches are no way to do foreign policy.
foreign policy needs foreign policy. >> charlie: speak to that, robert and michele, this notion of what the president should say and what you think he is likely to say. >> i think the president as rami suggested has his work cut out for him. this isn't 2009. the arab people, the people of the middle east have heard a lot of rhetoric from washington. now, they're looking for actual delivery. so the president has the challenge of having to explain why he's not just offering words but actually offering deeds. secondly, the challenge he has is to try , on the one hand, offer a unified field theory of u.s. foreign policy in the middle east and at the same time explain, as administration officials have been doing why each case is unique and different, so i think he's going to be moving through very treacherous waters with his speech and it's going to be hard to please the people of the middle east with this eechf theyo, indeed, pay attention and really take it seriously, which i question. >> what do you hear out of the white house in terms of what he
might say? do you hear any sense that he wants to advance the game? >> look, there's been a debate th's been going on within the white house for many, many months over the speech, what it should say, what it shouldo, whether or not it should articulate a final end point for the israel-palestinian conflict orot. i think where they're coming out now is identifying principles, trying to frame the debate. i think the death of -- the killing of bin laden was the decisive moment that pushed them over the edge that said, "ok, now we're going to give the speech, now is the time to try to put the united states view on what's happening in the region on the table." that's what they're trying to do. i'm not sure the people of the middle east are really all that keen to hear it. but nonetheless, there is an impulse that the white house feels that they need to get out and identify the american view of what's happening, but i don't think that there is going to be a clear or very rarefied definition of what the israel-palestinian conflict -- how it should be resolved and i
think this is ultimately going to come as a disappointment to many people in the middle east. >> charlie: michele? >> well, let me add a couple of points to what robert said. first ofll, let's remember that there is an audience elsewhere, there is an audience in the united states for this speech as well as in the middle east, and i think it's impornt for the administration right now to try to establish some consistency. they're being accused of a l of inconsistency in how they're handling these various uprisings in the middle east. supportive of democratic change in ejiept and tunisia, maybe - in egypt and tunisia, in libya but maybe not in syria, and i think it's time for the president to lay out a few principles that are shaping his actions that -- that the united states does support democracy and human rights for people in the middle east. this doesn't necessarily mean that the united states can or should intervene militarily or with sanctions, et cetera, in
every single situation. some of these situations are going to be sier for him to explain than others. i think personally, the most difficult one is going to be bahrain, where there is a serious campaign of repression going on by the government against a peaceful uprising and where the united states has largely backed out of the picture and is not really even trying to apply any kind of diplomatic pressure as they are with syria. >> charlie: so there is a dilemma for the president. what's the perception? what can he say that would possibly fail to indicate what the differences in those two points -- whether it's having to do with libya or having to do with bahrain and syria? >> well, first of all, i think people in the middle east are not expecting very much from obama. they're interested, of course -- he's the president of the united states, the u.s. has armies fighting two wars there, it's a very powerful actor but it has very, very limited credibility
and very limited impact in the middle east. you know, just in the last two, three years all the major players in the middle east, the turks, pushed back against the united states. the united states asked each to do stuff and all said no and the u.s. could do nothing about it. people are not expecting very much but what they would like is to have the u.s. relegitimize its own credibility and role by laying out what robert said. what does the united states stand for? if the united states really stands for liberty and democracy and justice and the rule of law, come out and say that unequivocally. >> charlie: can you say that at the same time and people point out you may believe in that but you're not taking sides or you're not engaged by what's going on in bahrain where you have a battle between sunni and shia? >> the united states should make it clear that it is for the self determination and democracy and freedom of all people whether they're in burma or bosnia or -- if you look back over the years
people said if we change this, indonesia or philippines or the shah -- if you change anything, it's going to be a big problem. in fact, democracy has worked well for most people in the world where they achieve democracy, and a democratic bahrain, a democratic saudi arabia, a democratic syria is in the best interest of those people, of the nonarabs around them, the israelis, turks and those around them, there is absolutely no doubt about it, transitions are tough but the israelises -- -- but the transitions -- look at the soviet empire. the united states has to be a little more confident in the actual value and benefit of democracy and to put its policy where its rhetoric is. >> charlie: robert, does it help or hurt the united states within the region if it says it will not support palestinian statehood in a united nations vote? >> well, this would not be very popular right now petitioner
president to say and i don't think that he will say something so -- popular right now for the president to say and i don't think he will say something -- let me address something robert said. american policy has gotten more complicated as a result of the arab spring. traditionally, we dealt with arab leaders, and we conducted our policies with arab leaders. the arab spring has introduced a nedimension which is the arab peoples and now we have to nduct our policies both with an eye towards the arab peoples and the arab regimes, and when we, for example, did sidwith the people in egypt, we incurred the displeasure of many of our allies in the region and the white house phones started to ring from saudi arabia, from the u.a.e., from jordan, even from rael. there was a great deal of displeasure from the friends of the united states ani think what the president has to do is find the sweet spot that on the one hand addresses the people of the middle east which is now a
new dimension but at the same time ensure the arab leaders that america is still a credible friend. >> charlie: if the president called you up and said "how do i address the sweet spot?" what would you say? >> i thi as rami has suggested and michele has suggested we need to stand for our principles but the difference is going to be the hypocrisy that will be thrown at us, where we haven't applied those principles in certain cases, where we didn't stand for what we espoused, for example in bahrain where we basically have been quiet because the saudis have been so -- >> charlie: help me get my hands around this. you believe that the president should do -- the president should have a different position on bahrain? should the president have a different position with respect to the saus? >> this the dilemma. there is no one-size-fits-all policy, and that's where he's going to have to really face a real challenge in trying to espouse a policy that, on the one hand, represents what the
united states stands for inrnationally, and at the same time addresses our interests. the two aren't always in sync. we believe in universal values, and at the same time there have been regimes over the pa that we've supported at don't uphold those values, and they still exist today, so how do you concile those two? 's a real dilemma, a real challenge. >> charlie: that's what i'm asking you and michele. how do you reconcile that other than speaking to it? saying "these are our principles but we have these exceptions because of political reality"? is that all you can do? michele? >> yeah, i think there is an important distinction to be made here regarding the nature of the u.s. partnership with arab leaders. i don't think it's the role of the united states to protect arab leaders against the demands from their own people. that's not what our partnership with these leaders should be about. it should be about cooperating on -- it could be diplomatic initiatives, security initiatives, et cetera, our
common interests, perhaps even helping to protect them from external threats, but if their people are rising up and vociferously demanding human rights, political lirties, economic opportunitiesthat's not the nature of -- that's not what u.s. support should be about,s shielding them from those demands. what the united states should be saying to those governments is we think you need to take seriously the demands th are coming from your people. now, in saudi arabia, this is not a really hard issue right now because there is no uprising in saudi arabia. there ght be, someday. so we don't face the hard moment in saudi arabia right now. but in other countries -- and i think the united states is saying right now to leaders in countries like jordan and morocco that have seen limited protests but not real uprisings -- that we think it's time for you to undertake the kind of political and economic and social reforms that, frankly, you have been promising for a
decade or more and you haven't done yet and it's time to really move now, to begin to move -- for example, monarchies toward constitutional monarchies, so in the countries where there are not active uprisings, that's what we need to be about. >> i think one of the things we failed to do in the past is we failed tarticulate the redlines for our friends. >> charlie: exactly. >> and then we never really sa, "our friendship can only go so far but once you cross a certain line it's over" and i think that's wt caught mubarak by surprise. and i think one of the opportunities the president has tonight -- or tomorrow is to say, "we will stand with you but only so far, and if you go beyond certain redlines we can't stand with you" and i think this is a new partnership that we will be developing or at least i hope that he will be developing. >> charlie: my impression is that you see the beginning of the development of that policy in terms of the administration's reaction to syria. you've gone too far. >> you're seeing a different reaction in different cases but the interesting thing in
bahrain, jordan, oman, morocco, these monarchies, the demands of the pew people who were demonstrating were not for regime change, they were for constitutional reforms and this is where the united states should state what it supports. it's not for the united states to push these countries to make reforms, it's for the u.s. to say this is what we support and then make symbolic efforts, invite the bahraini human rights people to conferences, do symbolic things. you know why this is important. if you look at tunisia, what is it that partly gave the tunisians the confidence to go out and brave death and change the regime? it's the support they got all over the arab world. jazeera, by giving coverage to this revolt made tunisians feel there was massive support. if the syrians and jordanians and others felt there was huge support around the world simple for those positions they're advocating for in those countries, it would enbolden
them. the change that comes from within. if it's seen as american-inspired people won't fight back against it. it won't last. it will be like iraqi change. the united states, i believe, right now cannot go much further than articulating what it stands for, what it supports and making symbolic gestures with its votes at the u.n. -- there are all kinds of things this can codo that have massive impact on public opinion in those countries. >> charlie: let me -- point of view. we've got the prime minister coming to town to speak to the congress to have meetings, i'm sure, with everybody that he wants to see. what's your sense of netanyahu's understanding of the moment that he may be facing? robert? >> on the one hand, prime minister netanyahu sees the region as unstable and there is a natural inclination in such a
situation to hunker down and brace and see how things are going to develop, and that very much was the initial israeli reaction to the developments in the region. at the same time, prime minister netanyahu has one other fundamentalal concern and i did meet with him about a month ago and heard him express it -- is that israel's position within the international community is deteriorating. there is a campaign to delegitimize israel. so the status quo does not serve israel's interest. so he's trying to balance two competing impulses. on the one hand an impulse to try to secure israel and to use the israeli security apparatus protect israel and that requires israel to do nothing bold, take nrisks and take no initiatives at this time. on the other hand, there is growing dissatisfaction with israel. israel is seen as the naysayer by the international communi. he fee a certain degree of pressure to try to get out in front of this. he's being pushed domestically
to get out, articulate a policy, the leader of the opposition saying he's coming to washington without a policy and that's not an electoral winner over the long run so he has to balance those. >> this is an f.w. declercq. the israelis are surrounded, there is massive support for the palestinians for peaceful change and there is an arab peace plan on the table. this is the moment when netanyahu -- i don't think he can do it but some israeli leader must see the light and say we've got to do a radical change that secures the right of the israelis as they see it for their jewish majority state and secures the palestinian rights. an f.w. declercq or what happened in northern ireland. there is a peace plan. it can be done. it needs courageous leadership and breaking away from all the failed policies of the past represented by, now, the resignation of george mitchell to recognize the palestinian rights and israeli rights can be
reconciled in two adjacent states that require from each the critical element that each wants. the israelis need to be recognized as a majority jewish state with arab citizens that can live in peace in the region and the palestinians must have their refugeehood recognized and resolved according to the law and u.n. resolutions and a negotiated resolution according to existing law. it can be done but it needs a massive leap forward. i don't think netanyahu can do it, but hopefully, palestinian and israeli leaders to come will understand this in the coming few years and move on them. >> charlie: michele, i want to give you an opportunity to close on this because you haven't spoken to the notion of -- i quote tom friedman. "future with israel facing the prospect of having the majority of jews ruling over the majority of arabs in israel and the west bank which could lead israel to being equated with apartheid south africa all over the world. israel needs to use every ounce
of its creativity to secure ways to cede the westank to a palestinian state." >> that debate about the demography of the conflict and the increasing international isolation of israel, that was going on before the uprisings began in the arab world and they've touched off a debate in israel about what does this mean. there is a wave of cnge under way. can is we cut the best deal we can now understanding that conditions may get worse for us later or is this such a period of uncertainty that we should clg on and not make any decisions, not me any concessions now? unfortunately it seems that netanyahu who is very much of the latter philosophy, i would be very surprised if he comes forward with anythinnew in washington, anything other than perhaps a minor, minor concession, and then hs trying to persuade major international actors not to extend international recognition to a
palestinian state whose creation has not been negotiated with israel. the big problem there is going to be britain and france who really are seriously considering recognizing a state of palestine and we might see that happen in the fall and then the israelis will be in a situation where, all right, the palestinian state so to speak exists on paper. but not in reality. and that will be a new phase of the cop flikt. >> charlie: thank you very much, mi-- new phase of the conflict. >> charlie: thank you very much. >> charlie: you grew up in north carolina, racing cars was something you dreamed about. in 1951, roger penske, who didn't grow up in north carolina first attended the indianapolis 500 as a wide-eyed 14-year-old fan. seven years later he returned as an owner to compete with his newly established peb penske
racing team. since then has drivers have won a record flags. helio castroneves has won three. this year he will attempt to tie the record for most wins by a single driver. ryan briscoe joined penske racing in 2008. he has captured the pole position 11 times. will power came to penske raceing in 2009 initially as a substitute driver. the following year he established an indycar series record by winning the pole eight times. i am pleased to have roger penske and his three drivers with me t. welcome. >> my pleasure. >> charlie: what is it about indy 500 for you? >> i think it's the greatest race in the world. there is something about the history, when you think i go back 60 years when i attended with my dad, we didn't have good seats, we could hardly see the cars go by but it was in my blood and the race has helped me from a business perspective build our brand, and once we
started back in the early days with mark donahue and to see what's gone on with the sport and the number of things we have been able to accomplish because we have tied in the competitive spirit from racing, the integrity, obviously, the teamwork has been a core -- i would say trait in our company so indy is key for us. it's helped build our brand. >> charlie: the brand has benefited all of your businesses. >> i would say that we cannot afford to buy advertising on tv that we get when you're racing and leading the indy 500, so it's been terrific. >> charlie: you want to be there in the pits every time? >> absolutely. i say it's my fishing trip -- it's my golf game on saturday or sunday but i have been at every race and i typically run one of the cars and we have a contest amongst two or three of our key guys. we're racing each other. i'll be with ryan briscoe this year. we have tim sendrick los angeles drick has always worked with helio and clive howell will be
on the radio with will. we have an intercom, talking about strategy. it doesn't mean if i'm going to pit, somebody else might not so that's the benefit where complete transparency amongst the three cars and drivers and i think that's given us an advantage rather than having three one-car teams and that's been a key factor of our success. >> charlie: the biggest change since you first began, to today, is speed? >> there is no question if you think about back in 1981, we had these stop watches, and we went over 180 miles an hour -- >> charlie: mark donahue. >> they didn't know how to calculate how fast we went, so when you think about that, that came with the wings -- the downforce we have on the cars -- and today, helio has a record lap of over 234 miles an hour and that's because of the wide tires and the downforce on the cars and i think that one of the things is the speed and the speed through the corners has gotten so high it's almost impossible to catch a vehicle if it gets sideways and the soft walls have helped from a safety
standpoint, so wve seen increased safety, we've seen higher corner speeds but the straightaway speeds are the same they were back probably 50 years ago. >> charlie: are we going to see more female drivers? >> i hope so. i think that's one of the great things about indycar racing is the diversity, and with the three women drivers we'll have here at indy this year it's been terrific and they have been doing very well on the circuit, so to me when danica patrick does well -- she's got a nation, they talk about earnhardt's nation, danica has her nation when she comes to indy. it's exciting. >> charlie: let me talk to you about the driver and the car. what makes the winner? the driver or the car? >> it's a combination of everything. i always say 50% is the driver, 50% is the car, because in our sport we have the same cars as everybody else -- same engines, same chassi, same tire, what makes a huge difference when they give us great equipment and
details, it makes such a huge difference in that aspect, it makes us to go out there and do our best. so for me, especially in the oval, you've got to have a great car. otherwise, not much you can take out of it. >> charlie: what does the driver add to it, ryan? >> at the end of the day, when we're in the race and you have to execute you need to be mistake-free and you need to tune the car during the race, you need to give good feedback to your engineer and to roger during the race and we can make setup changes at the pit stops. it's the longest race we have on the calendar, 500 miles, a lot of rubber goes down, the conditions change and you need to keep up with the conditions with the setup of your car. that's where the driver input makes a difference and obviously, concentration. it's a grueling race. it's high speed. very narrow groove, and no room for error. it's definitely one of the hardest races where the driver does make the difference.
>> charlie: physical talent -- the sheer physical endurance is more and more important, you look at athletes like today who drive race cars, jimmie johnson from nascar works out with the same trainer -- he's an extraordinarily good physical specimen. michael schumacher used to have an 18-wheeler can just exercise equipment. >> correct. charlie, i would say when you look at our three drivers, they spend three to four hours a day working out. there isn't a day -- they run iron man contests, they'll run half a marathon, and you ask the question about the driver and the car and i would say that today, qualifying is probably 65-70% car but when you get in the race it's 70% driver and 30% car. >> charlie: what changes? where is the change manifest? >> i think the change is the perception of understanding what's going on in the race. do you take a chance? when to sit back and understand your car. if your car in a 500-mile race
isn't handling just the way you want it, we have an opportunity at the pit stop to make changes. you've got to be a thinker and you've got to be there at the end and i say the race will look much different, i say this to all three guys at the end of the year the race will be different the last 100 miles. we want to be sable to see the front of the pack with 100 miles -- we want to be able to see the front of the pack with 100 miles to go. if we're there, we have a chance to win. >> charlie: the risk of a fraction of a second. >> it's not a risk. they have to understand their limits. they have been around this racetrack so many times, so fast, and i think it's calculating that that driver ahead of you, it's understanding how the track has changed, to me these are changing over a 500-mile race you will have a lot of dynamics that they have to deal with and it's a thinking-man's race and i would say that richard petty won a lot of races not because he was the fastest, because he was always thinking and calculating. i'm not hiring the guy with the biggest left foot, i want to
hire the one with the biggest brain. i wouldn't trade them for anyone, and i think the one thing that people don't realize is that there is only one going to win the race coming up at indianapolis in a few weeks but the transparency -- they sit in front of each other after every practice. they look at all the technology, all the tracings of what they've done on a particular lap and where i brake, what's the car doing and we have all this telemetry and they share it with each other almost like going to engineering school. what can i do better to get my car as fast as helio or will's or ryan's. we've had that so many years, al unser, donna hushgs if the team wins, you win, and i think that's been our success. >> charlie: was mark's death the biggest blow you have ever had? >> it was a huge blow for me because he and i started together. we drove the truck together. he was the young man from brown
university -- you know, the college degree and the crew haircut and i remember they laughed at us when we came to indy because we cleaned the floor up in the shop, we had chrome wheels or polished wheelsz and they said they're the -- polished wheels, and they said he's the college boys. he was the bedrock of our penske racing team. >> charlie: do drivers have one common quality, that's what you have seen? >> the ones we hire are ones that know how to win. we have not hired a driver in, i think, in our career as penske racing that haven't won in some series. i think first they have to understand how to win. they've got to have the technical expertise to communicate with the engineering team because today it's very technical and i would say third they've got to communicate commercially because -- with the sponsors today, it's important, so this is a well rounded individual and i would say the business-to-business relationships that we have with our major sponsors is so important, and to me we ask them
to do a lot off the track and on the track, but to me, they want to win and they're committed. this is not a place where you show up with your helmet on a saturday and they're thinking racing seven days a week, and when they stop it's probably the time they should get out. i remember the time when rick mears came to me after winning indy four times and he said "i don't have it in my belly anymore, these young guys are much better, it's time for me to retire," that's what i want to see from our drivers. when it's time, they know it. >> charlie: what happens in the pit in the 500? >> a lot of races are run in the pit, it's a team sport and last year we all had problems in the pit and that pretty much cost us a championship -- >> charlie: what? >> little mistake like leaving the fuel rig in -- leaving a wheel -- >> charlie: when you saw that, what did you think, roger? >> of course, i said how can our team pull out with a fuel rig in it? >> charlie: what did you say to
the team? >> quite honestly, charlie, when you really think about the time when i had the worst time was in -- and we had won the race in 1994 with the mercedes engine, we led every lap, i think, but one and on the pole, we come to 1995 and we didn't make the race and we had fittipaldi and we had unser, so a wheel loose or a bad pit stop, sometimes we had that -- in fact, with hornish in 2006 and we ended up winning the race, but i think my biggest disappointment was in 1995 after we had just actually had a fantastic year in 1994, to come back and not make the race. that's when i had a talk with myself, i think. i said, "what did we do wrong here? was it our preparation?" in some cases, i say to the guys, "don't read the press clippings. we're here to win this race." because we've won it 15 times makes no difference at all. i think we were overconfident
going swo1995 after the 1994 success and it knocked us -- going into 1995, after the 1994 success and it knocked us down many pegs and that made us better. >> charlie: winning four. >> got there first. >> charlie: does it add pressure to you, knowing that you could tie for the -- >> no, because i want to win as much as roger wants to win and as much as these guys want to win as well, certainly in a very unique position, i'm honored to be in this position and i dream about it because i think you should dream big, and but i've got to work four times as hard to get the four wins and i certainly have a fantastic team, and today, i think i can speak for all of us but we feel so great and honored to wear the team penske shirt. when you're talking about 15 wins, you know when you're going to the indianapolis 500 you have a great chance to be
competitive. like ryan and we were saying, it's about the circumstances during the race that you are going to put us in a situation. we've got to put ourselves. unfortunately, when mistakes were -- or situations outside of our control happens, it's just racing, but certainly i'm really looking forward to this one and hopefully one of us here will have a chance to win the race. >> charlie: when you look at the winners that you have seen over the years, has one of them stood out as different from the pack? >> i really, charlie, can't think of one that was different that wasn't committed. i think danny sullivan was a little different. >> charlie: flashy? >> he was flashy, he was very active in hollywood and places, but i'll tell you one thing. when he got in the race car and put his helmet on, he was excellent. he won that race in 1985, he spun in one, so i think that these drivers -- probably will could say that as he's joined
our team here in the last couple years, we had the opportunity to bring him on and maybe he can tell you the difference of getting competitive on the oval, because there is no better road racer, but -- well, you might tell charlie what you're trying to accomplish and on the ovals what have you had to do differently? >> i grew up racing road courses and i tried to get in the formula one, and i had an offer to come over here because it's so tough to get in formula one, you've got to be in the right position at the right time and i 95 signed up to do ovals, i had never raced them, so -- -- and i had never signed up to do ovals, i had never raced them, it was with a team that had never done ovals because the two series merged back together. it's a totally different style of driving. >> charlie: what did you have to change about the way you drove? >> in a way, when you're running by yourself, it's quite a bit easier than a road course, but
when you run in traffic -- these cars rely so much on aerodynamical downforce, you get the wake from the air -- the air wake off the car in front and your car gets stable and probably loses 20% of its group, so just getting around, where to position your car, where to run on the track, the details, and it was really tough for me, the first year, but then when i joined roger's team, you're given a very good car so it made it much easier, and like helio said, on ovals, i would say, you know, you cannot drive around a problem on an oval. if you're car isn't handling right, if it goes loose and it's nervous, you literally can't drive the thing, where on a road course you can manipulate the car yourself. you can drive around a problem because it's not such an unbelievable speed if you have a moment, you spin -- >> charlie: have any of you guys
had a perfect race? >> i don't think i ever -- >> i think will led a race this year from start to finish. >> charlie: everything went right? >> i finished that weekend and said that was an absolute perfect weekend -- executed in the pits, on the track -- >> charlie: not one single mistake? >> he sat on the pole, led every lap and didn't make a mistake, and i tell you, what franchitti and dixon within a second behind him the whole race, that's a perfect execution. >> there to happen. it's like baseball, when the guy do the perfect strike, it's like that. >> charlie: perfect game. >> sometimes the driver is perfect but we're not perfect in the pits. sometimes we're perfect in the pits. this is a combination of probably -- we'll take the indianapolis this year, we'll have over 100 people but we have 600 years of experience, so when you take the experience of those 100 people.
that's pulling it together, setting the shop up, our parts availability, if we need it in a hurry, and i think our tire people -- we go through 30 sets of tires, charlie, during the week. we have to be sure that every one has the same circumference and we test every single tire and we go back and rebalance them, so these are things that people don't realize. when helio talks about 230 miles an hour, you're running with almost no downforce, this car at that speed is right on the edge -- >> charlie: on the edge of? >> of spinning. snoot difference between wing and losing is a split-second timing of whether i have taken this as close as i can without spinning out. >> maybe he holds his breath, but every corner is different. indianapolis looks like it's four corners but if you talk to the drivers, they have tools in the car that they can change corner to corner, and i think
they have to be able to do that but then to set the car up and scrubbing off the speed, when you run 230 miles an hour you can't have any drag -- the car has got to be just as free as a ball rolling on a table. you cannot have any drag. >> charlie: that's the aerodynamics of it? >> aerodynamics and also the scrub. if the car -- >> charlie: what is scrub? >> scrub -- i always say -- >> a good analogy. >> if you're in your car in the wintertime and you turn your wheel and the car goes straight instead of turning, that's understeer. we call that understeer and that slows the car down. you want the car to be so free that when you turn it, it's just to theeng edge of spinning, the back end coming around, that's a free race car. that's what we try to get to that -- that's the optimum point. >> the more zero the steering angle the closer you are to the car being dance >> charlie: how difficult is it to hold the steering wheel?
>> it's not too bad around indy. some of these courses where we have maximum downforce it's really difficult but at indy it's about being very precise because the wind can catch you -- just a gust of wind. >> you almost have to drive with your fingertips. snoots that sort of -- >> yeah, yeah. >> you sort of feel -- >> it's that sort of -- >> yeah, yeah. >> charlie: the cars turns it in a way -- >> you're part of the car. that's what's fascinating about racing because you and the machine become one. then you've got to translate that -- >> you're taught to feel every single little bit of movement, and the first year i was locking my arm in in the corner because it was such a high speed and i admit i was like you're a little bit scared -- i mean, it's an unbelievable speed because you don't want to overcorrect or put too much in, till you lock it in the side and hold it tights as
it rotates around the corner. that's basically what you look for is to hold one lock when you get the car perfect and the rear rotates nicely. right on the edge. >> charlie: fear? any fear? >> i think we definitely have respect for the dangers involved but it sort of drives you to be so focused on not making mistakes. there is no doubt that racing around indy, doing 225-230 miles an hour with concrete walls is dangerous, and -- but i think that's what drives us to be very precise. work so hard with the engineer and be perfectionist in the race car, because if we're perfect out there, then danger shouldn't be a problem. >> charlie: i want to change the subject before we come back to my last question for you. the automobile industry in the world today is in what shape? >> i would say, charlie, on a worldwide basis there is a lost promise. i think the new models, i think the technology from the standpoint of electric vehicles, the hybrids, i think there is a
change in the u.s. from heavier vehicles and trucks to smaller cars but the technology is just amazing, and i think that all the manufacturers are moving up in price class and also moving down and i think that i see the next two or three years quite positive for the industry. >> charlie: how many times have you thought about trying to put together a syndicate to buy a car company? >> well, as you know, i tried to put together the purchase of saturn as it was being sold or shut down by general motors, and i got, i think, to third base and i couldn't quite get our friends at renault to -- that would have been terrific, the saturn brand, we had millions of owners of that particular brand but again maybe i'm better at the downstream end on the retail side and let's let the manufacturers -- >> charlie: i think you are a leader and you know how to fix things, right? >> yeah. >> charlie: that's what you do. you love cars.
you love it. it's in your blood. >> that's for sure. >> charlie: therefore -- i thought about this at the time when the private equity firm bought chrysler, i said "where the hell is penske?" getting capital is not a problem for you. >> after my opportunity at detroit diesel, to see the capital it was going to take to move othe r&d, when you think toyota spends $30 million a day in research and development and you see some of the problems they have had, and i think it's very, very tough for a small entrepreneur to be able to take a car company and move it. i think you've got to have -- you've got fiat working with chrysler. even -- >> charlie: making it better. >> and making it better. mulally came in and said i'm going to get out of aston-martin and it took the u.s. government, too, quite honestly, to fix detroit. >> charlie: and you approve of
that and you thank god they did it? >> i think it would have been -- for living in michigan, as i do, and the number of people that are committed to that industry to see those two companies go down and i'm glad to see they were able to pay back the government -- i can't thank them enough. i think the obama administration, obviously, the people there that made that risk to give general motors the capital they needed and also the same thing at chrysler, i think, was a terrific opportunity to see these businesses -- >> charlie: because it meant jobs for people in detroit. >> i'm talking about hundreds of thousands of jobs, not just in the motorcar companies but all the suppliers and to me what we've seen -- you know, as the byproduct today, these -- these three manufacturers gaining market share and in different ways and i think it's going to be great for the country, and when i saw in the detroit paper this morning, you know, 15,000 more jobs for the industry, charlie, that helmet is for you. >> charlie: is it really? >> that's for you. we want you to have -- that's the helmet just like ryan will be wearing in the indy 500.
>> charlie: is that right? >> yes. >> charlie: thank you. >> you're welcome. >> charlie: i have a motorcycle. three cars. here is one, here is one, here is one. do you sit back and smile? or do you say, you know, helio's won three, let's let him go"? [laughing] >> my comment would be "boys have at it" because we have been in that situation in 2002 and 2003 with helio and gil de ferran, we don't have team orders because the circumstances always seem to kind of drive one car to the front and to me, i hope that's my biggest problem that we've got three of them coming down the straightaway. >> charlie: do circumstances drive one car? can you define what those circumstances that end up with one car being better that day than others? >> it could be a slower pit stop. it's track position. one of the things that you will find at indy that's going to be very difficult to pass the lead car in the last 10 laps, so you
want to get track position. >> charlie: why is that? >> because the aerodynamics. i think that will talked about the turbulence. in order to get enough speed to get by the lead car, because if he's as good to lead that race he's not going to give you any room to get by inside or outside. you will be taking a big chance. >> charlie: if you're out front in the last 10 laps. >> if you're leading this race in the last 10 -- if you're leading this race in the last -- if you're leading this race in the last 10 laps, i think -- and there is no yellow, i think you've got a real chance to win, but i think to me, i think it's a level playing field for our three drivers and i have said this many times. i say if you're concerned that one team has something you don't have, you come to me and i will take your engineer to the garage at night and you can look at the other man's car and look at any kind of setup you want. i want it to be fully transparent so it's going to be up to the driver and the team that day to win this race, it's not because of some nuance that one -- >> charlie: ryan shouldn't worry that helio's car is better. you will take him and show him
the car. >> we have no -- everything is transparent. >> i think that's right, and to the point is that we have all this electronic data we get as the cars run around the track every day for two weeks and all that data is available to the drivers to look at on what's the other driver is doing on braking, what's the right height to the car, what springs they're running -- so to me -- >> it helps us. sometimes one of those guys already brake a little bit deeper and you can see, even proving yourself so it kind of updates you. sometimes you're doing that corner so many times, you look at them, you're like, "oh, i'm going to try this." >> charlie: there is a better way to do this. yeah. do you guys know vince lombardi, the late vince lombardi, who he was? probably not? he does. >> yeah. great coach. >> charlie: the packers. >> there we go, the packers. >> there is a bit of vince lombardi in roger penske. >> that's an honor for you to say that -- just a terrific
leader. we've got some great young talent on the race team, and i think they present themselves as professionals. they represent our sponsors, which is very important. and inside our company, you don't win every race, but i think it's the integrity and it's that teamwork which we call every single day so important for the leadership in the company. >> charlie: good luck, guys. >> thank you. >> charlie: may the best man win, we might say. thank you, roger. may 29, the penske team will be there, others will be there, the indy 500. an american classic. captioning sponsored by rose communications captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org