tv Charlie Rose Bloomberg August 1, 2016 10:00pm-11:01pm EDT
>> from our studios in new york city, this is "charlie rose." charlie: we begin with politics. the democratic national convention came to an end on thursday. hillary clinton became the first female candidate for president by major political party. she criticized her opponent, donald trump's, temperament, and called for unity pretty joining me is megan murphy, the washington bureau chief for bloomberg. also john heilemann, the managing editor of bloomberg politics and cohost of "with all due respect." i begin with john heilemann.
did hillary clinton advance her cause? how will it benefit her? john: the big answer is yes. people who are interested in the conventions, that is what the conventions are. they are a big television production. this was a well-staged, well-crafted convention. we often talk about how one big speech is the thing that people remember. usually the nominee speech out of the convention. this convention i think will be received more holistically. they put together four nights -- obviously, very strong speakers with michelle obama, joe biden, barack obama, of course, and hillary clinton. but the convention enhanced an argument and the argument was an
argument that was an argument about the democratic party and hillary clinton are the optimistic, patriotic party. in the republican party is the pessimistic party. i think that the sum total of this argument is the way that people saw it at home. i think that would do a lot of good for hillary clinton. whether that translates to a large bump in the polls or not, i don't know. i think in terms of advancing the kind of case that she wants to make against this particular republican nominee, i think it was laid out in a rigorous and powerful way. katy: i think what the convention did a relatively good job of doing was trying to humanize hillary clinton. we have seen her on the campaign trail as this more robotic politician. that has been the big knock against her, that she is not loosen off, that she is not herself, that she is not saying it like it is. what you had at that convention
was be chapter speech going out and showing who hillary clinton was behind the scenes, what she was like as a wife and mother, how she has played into this political world we live in now for the past 30-40 years. i think they did a good job of that. does that translate to voters? i was speaking with a republican operative who believes it is a question of her trustworthiness and they did not get to that point last night. of course, the democrats would disagree. megan: one of the issues for hillary clinton is the fact that we are talking about this so much, how much we have had to humanize her even though we have known her for three decades in the public eye. that is what journalists are talking about. in some ways, it brings back the point -- charlie: i thought they did humanize her and they embraced this question that she was caricatured as a cartoon figure. megan: that is the dynamic they set up by calling her the real one and calling him a cartoon-style character.
you had bill clinton saying that. chelsea's speech last night could have been a little bit stronger. she talked about what it was like growing up, but that momentum and enthusiasm in the crowd for that speech. still, when you look back at this, john is right. michelle obama's speech, talking about how important it was to her daughters to have a woman as president, i thought that was one of those artful and galvanizing moment. it was about presenting this progressive, optimistic image, in contrast to donald trump. but it was also, this is a choice for the ages in terms of where we are going on the pathway. i thought they did a good job. this is a serious moment. john: redefining hillary clinton, who has been a major figure in american politics for more than a generation, is a tall order. where they were successful is in this optimistic vision. teams that have been central to the republican party since
ronald reagan have now found their voice at the democratic convention. some republicans accuse them of stealing their message. charlie: that began with the barack obama speech. >> it did. consider that speech for a moment. we have never seen a speech like that from an outgoing american president. usually, it is a perfunctory passing of the baton. this was not simply a praising of hillary clinton, but a takedown of donald trump by the outgoing president. he did not have ronald reagan going after michael dukakis in 1988. bill clinton never mentioned george w. bush at his convention in 2000. charley: i think that speaks to who trump is. what they did is used his words against him. >> and what i thought was interesting, explicitly with the speech by hillary clinton, but also in obama's speech, this is
not a republican. you had hillary clinton invoking morning in america. you had obama invoking city on the hill. john: two republicans made comments that were to the point. one was janet goldberg, who said that the democratic convention was about democrats loving america and the republican convention was about republicans loving trump. it does get to the thing i mentioned before, which we will get to. second was the democratic chairman, who said it was the best convention he had ever been to. the left party, hillary clinton, there was nothing where hillary clinton challenged democratic orthodoxy. it is a much more progressive party.
megan: the democrats are trying to urge a seachange in politics and trying to woo republicans who are not enthralled by trump and do not believe he represents their values or their party or that he is not a republican. while donald trump is trying to woo bernie sanders supporters on trade, hillary clinton is hitting security and american exceptionalism in order to get the republicans who do not feel they are being represented by donald trump. there is a significant portion of those republicans out there that could potentially be wooed. john: the thing that trump said, there was one moment and he said, "i know the system better than anyone so i am the only one qualified to fix it." you think about that convention, there was so much focus on lack of vetting a lot of the speeches.
particularly melania's speech, which contained a lot of plagiarism. the more devastating failure, a real political writer would have said, this line should not be in the speech. it does come across as self-involved and egomaniacal. charlie: and they made the suggestion of fascism. john: right, but to hear that in his own words and be able to avoid back and say, america is not about one person who can fix things. america is about we, not about i. it was true in obama's speech, hillary clinton's speech. charlie: she was also challenging trump. she looked right in the camera and said, no, no, no.
i thought she had more presence than i had seen before. i thought this was the best speech she had made. not necessarily as what mrs. obama did. she seemed to be having a conversation with the audience. everyone else was making a speech and she seemed to be making conversation. >> i think it was one of the great convention speeches that i have ever witnessed. it was also one of the shortest. it was beautifully structured and did not attack trump by name, but it was a devastating takedown of donald trump. it was not overtly partisan. she was able to do this without offending the people who had been attracted to trump. katy: the line that sticks out, "when they go low, we go high." singling him out and trying to remind americans out there that this is the path. we are an aspirational nation.
do not let fear drive your decision-making. and really seizing the hand of history and what it meant to her as a black woman who has two black daughters running around on the lawn of the white house. just powerful imagery. that was to with people. they will remember that speech. they may not remember much else. they will remember hillary clinton and what she looked like. i agree that she seemed to have more presence and got stronger and more confident as she went along. but that speech will stick in people's minds. about what america, in the best of times, is supposed to be about. john: it was not asked explicitly political, but it was explicitly political. one of the ads is children watching donald trump speaker to this argument is what michelle obama is talking about. they are reinforcing this argument in advertising around the country.
this is a president you might be ashamed of. you do not want to have as a role model. her speech dovetailed with what they are doing in much of the traditional political avenues out there. i think you will hear that through november. is this really what you want your kids to have as a role model for the next 4 to 8 years? charlie: it depends on a referendum of who or what. did the democrats come closer to making donald trump the issue? megan: i believe they did. we will see what kind of bomb she gets in the polls. this convention was a cohesive way to say donald trump is an -- is not the answer to all your problems. donald trump has said, i will give you everything.
you can make your historical comparisons to that, but they are trying to say the donald trump is not somebody who can alone going to washington and fix everything and make everything better and give the american public everything that they want. this is just an image that he is portraying. ultimately, that he is out there for himself. he is accusing the democrats of being. he only cares to talk about himself and how well he is doing. that is a message that has so far not gone over with donald trump supporters and those who want change in washington because they see him as, even with all of his faults, as someone who can go in and stir things up. throw a theoretical bomb into capitol hill and make things change. and they want that. they do not care who it is. donald trump is not a perfect messenger, but it is their messenger. the task for the democrats is to effectively poke holes in his armor. in his image. who is he as a businessman?
who is he as a humanitarian? does he give as much to charity as he says? does he help other people as much as he says? so far, they are starting to do that. charlie: a successful businessman came out there to make that point. katy: that was the thing when he laid it on the line. that was the key thing about that speech. appealing to independent people. he went out there with a message of saying this is not a terrible decision for this man in terms of being a businessman. i am a businessman and i know. jonathan: the bigger thing is convincing people with doubts about hillary clinton that she is the alternative. he already has skyhigh
negatives. she has skyhigh negatives, too. what this convention needed to do was not convince them that donald trump is unfit for office or someone who cannot be trusted, they need to make the case that hillary clinton can be trusted. right now w,ide swathes of the electorate have doubts about that. charlie: this election will be determined about how well you can reduce your negatives. jonathan: right now, we have the extraordinary circumstance where both parties nominees are seen negatively by the majority of the electorate. i think she did make some progress there. we got the sense before the speech -- clinton people were saying that she was going to expressly acknowledge the people who have doubts about her. she did not quite do that in her speech. john: the other thing she has to do, because of trump's positions on a lot issues, the left-right continuum has been scrambled.
this is more about inside and outside. there is a lot of energy for change and outside right now. charlie: to suggest that she is a change agent. john: they understand they have a vulnerability in that area. it is a real problem. again, there is a lot of energy on the populist outside. being the insider candidate who is the candidate of continuity in this cycle is a disadvantage that hillary clinton has to overcome. i am not sure she made much progress. charlie: if the idea becomes this is a third term for barack obama, that is not change. that is continuity.
john: that is the downside. there is an upside. one of the most powerful thing that people remember is the image of barack obama and hillary clinton on the stage together. given the way the electoral college works in the way the elections have been for the last five elections, hillary clinton holds on to all of barack obama's voters, she is going to win the election. there is a downside as being seen as the candidate of continuity and a third term. on the other hand, if she can get those obama voters to come out for her, she will win handily. charlie: explain this to me. i have asked everybody about this. how is it that the right track, wrong track poll is so high in terms of america is on the wrong track and at the same time, barack obama is experiencing very good numbers. john: i think we really over-focused on right track, wrong track.
barack obama's number four years ago was almost as high as he is now. he still won the reelection handily. part of the reason people say the country is on the wrong track, you do not know anything about clear blaming. a fair number of people are saying it is on the wrong track because of republican obstructionism in congress. it is a really blunt instrument. it is a course reading of people being concerned, but not who they blame or why they are concerned. jonathan: regardless, it makes it harder to run a state of course campaign if people think we're going in the wrong direction. charlie: a number of people on the inside say this election will turn on turnout and that is what the democrats are most concerned about. they know they have the constituency and have come out of a good convention with no mistakes and some very good speeches, including by the
candidate, but they worry about turnout. katy: they have to inspire voters to come out and vote for them. donald trump has done a good job inspiring voters to come out for him. the older white man or older white women who feel like they are disenfranchised or left behind in the progressive economy and with the last eight years of a progressive president. they wanted to go back to the way things were before, when coal mining jobs existed and manufacturing jobs were still very beneficial, when there was not globalism. hillary clinton needs to find a way to inspire her voters, but also minority voters. the latino vote is going to be huge in this election if they come out and vote in the numbers the democrats hope they do. so far, with the latino vote in the past, it has not been as strong a turnout as the democrats have hoped. it has been ok in the past eight years because they were able to beat mitt romney's speech on mccain. but the latino vote could swing this election entirely if they
go to the polls. that is what the democrats have to work on. the republicans are going to do their best to get the turnout on the older white side to be as high as it possibly can to mitigate that. when i have asked about outreach for african-americans and latinos, the answer i get from the campaign is don't worry about it. we are going to do it. it is going to be fine. or donald trump saying, as of yesterday, that he believes the women vote is going to be a sleeper vote for him. there is no outreach coming from the donald trump camp right now. charlie: part of the democrat answer to that is barack obama. i think that is what he is there to do. john: undoubtedly did this will appeal to you, being the lover of narrative. one of the great stories is the role that barack obama played in this regard. think about four years ago, when you had barack obama, an
incumbent president, facing stiff headwinds. he turns to bill clinton, the husband of the woman he defeated in 2008, to be the ultimate validator. he goes out in charlotte and gives one of the great speeches of his life, one of the few speeches that moves the needle. people in the obama camp will say that was one of the most important moments of the entire campaign. four years later, hillary clinton facing headwinds. who does she turned to? she turned to barack obama, who is able to return the favor to the clinton family by going out and giving the speech, which was about him staying to his coalition, you have got to be with her the way you were with me. that is one of the big questions. will the obama coalition turn out? that speech was designed to say to those groups, the stakes are very high. you must be with this woman if you are going to protect my legacy. megan: the other thing that
donald trump's advisers believe is that brexit is paralleled with this race. if you look at the old milestone, even if you look at the state in pennsylvania and ohio where he cannot get the votes, they believe that is not true. we are looking at a scenario where even the most predictive democratic models do not seem to work for them. such horribly low ratings among latinos and african-americans. they still believe it is a movement. they are looking at that as a close parallel. katy: the minority vote in the u.k. does not compare to the minority vote in the u.s. they do not have that in their favor right now. charlie: quick question about hillary clinton. there were a lot of questions about donald trump because he was never specific in terms of what she would do. she seemed to layout goals, but
not steps to get there. jonathan: they did give her website. i mean, that is exactly right. she laid out the big goals. many of them perfectly in tune with the goals of the bernie sanders movement. she mentioned the platform. charlie: bernie sanders was criticized for not being specific. jonathan: how are you going to get there? how are you going to pay for all of this? there were not a lot of specifics. whatever happened to the national debt and the budget issue here? charlie: we have not touched on tim kaine and his speech and how he helps her. john: i thought that senator kaine -- i have thought about it a lot. the most important thing about that pic is they are super comfortable together. they seem comfortable together. i think he makes her better and she makes him a little better. i did not think his speech was particularly fantastic. it went on too long.
i think the bottom line here is that, again, we have to come back to the fact that running mates do not matter very much. they clear the bar for being qualified to be president and we move on. there will be a debate between tim kaine and mike pence and it will be a debate between vanilla ice cream and marshmallow fluff. especially when you have two candidates who are hugely polarizing and famous people at the top of the ticket. the bottom of the ticket is never going to matter very much. megan: i do think pence does normalize him a little bit. he has been quite strong in recent days in terms of presence. i think he may be someone who is looked at as making him seem more on message. i think he helps not so much with voters, but with donald and keeping him disciplined. katy: we saw mike pence same there would be serious
consequences if any foreign intelligence agency, russia, hacks into an american system. saying that repeatedly, donald trump dismissing that and tweeting that he is open to russia handing over those e-mails if they have them and same so in a press conference. the governor pence statement on russian hacking came during donald trump's press conference the other day, in which he was saying that he welcomed russia to give those e-mails. governor pence was a there were serious consequences. the issue is that the two of them are diametrically opposed to each other sometimes when it comes to messaging. pence saying he does not believe anyone in politics should call anyone else names. it is blind to the fact that his running mate is the chief name caller right now. jonathan: it is the greatest couple pairing since mccain and palin.
even though you are not going to see -- i do not think he will be very influential in terms of trump. there may be some impact. he will be out there as much as kaine is with clinton. i think that pic is important because it reassured republicans, what are we doing? pence is a well-known commodity. john: trump apparently gave him a plane. he was talking about how much he enjoyed the plane. you are not going to see those two in the same room very often. charlie: national security issues, including the issue of suggesting that russia go in after the e-mails that are missing, that she deleted. is that continuing to be an issue? will there be an investigation of that?
john: there is no doubt there will be an investigation. i think the bigger issue is the issue that we just talked about. charlie: no hacking. john: the bigger question is the relationship between trump and putin, which is an issue that is interesting. you have a republican nominee who has praised vladimir putin as being a better leader than the united states president. a russian president who would clearly prefer to see donald trump win. and the possibility that everyone believes is true, that russia is actively trying to interfere in a u.s. election. what are trump's financial ties to russia? charlie: why is it almost certain that they are trying to interfere in the american election? it is one thing to hack the dnc. the other thing is to have a
favorite, so that by hacking and releasing e-mails, you get your guy elected. john: trump and putin publicly praised each other. we almost have evidence that it was the russians behind the dnc e-mail hack to create disruption. again, it is circumstantial. charlie: the former ukraine leader who fled to russia was one of his clients, i think. megan: this is an issue that journalists are delving deeply into. i think there will be more that come out. and the timing of this -- was this held back intentionally? it is all circumstantial. jonathan: putin thinks that the united states is constantly interfering in russian politics.
charlie: putin is convinced the cia was behind the dismissal in kiev that led to the flight of yanukovich. jonathan: it is really national security group one remarkable moment was general allen coming out and giving that speech and seeing very loud bernie sanders supporters out there, basically booing and heckling almost any mention of the u.s. military. charlie: at the same time, on that issue, i think mr. khan, a muslim american whose son was killed, i thought that was the emotional moment. katy: at the same time, donald trump was at a rally and saying he should bring back waterboarding. once again, going against what
so many generals say is the best tactic. also, the other day, he said he would renegotiate the geneva convention. it donald trump is taking a position that almost nobody in the country has taken when it comes to fighting terror, using torture. it was such a marked contrast between what was going on stage at the democratic convention with khan talking about his son and bringing out the u.s. institution. donald trump seemingly unaware of what is going on, talking once again about waterboarding, even though he has been criticized by nearly everybody on that. charlie: if trump is elected president, you get the impression that the first 100 days are going to be spent renegotiating. john: the reality is that both of these nominees are going to receive their last five intelligence briefings. people in the intelligence community are afraid of doing this for trump. charlie: finish that point. that he will inadvertently
disclose -- john: or just out of an incapacity to control his impulses, that he will blurt out things he will be told. harry reid has suggested a fake intelligence briefing. jonathan: we have paul ryan saying hillary clinton should not get classified briefings because she mishandled classified information on her e-mail. when have we ever had a campaign where we have serious people, congressional leaders in each party, calling on the other party nominee not to get briefings? john: both have had serious problems with the truth. trump often stretches, bends, breaks, totally disregards what is fact. hillary clinton clinton has a history and reputation with voters for being someone who is not exhibiting the truth.
megan: the irony is the american public wants washington to start working again. we have two politicians and political spectrum that is more divided than it has ever been. the idea that donald trump is going to be able to go in and find a way to reach across the aisle is becoming harder to understand what a minute. given the amount of vitriol against hillary clinton, when you talk about paul ryan saying she should not be getting classified information and the ongoing saga for e-mails, you wonder how anything will get done if these other two politicians that we have to put up with at the moment. charlie: thank you, katy for joining us, from miami. thank you, megan john, jonathan. a very long week. we will be right back. stay with us. ♪
charlie: over the past two weeks, we have witnessed a lyrical oratory by political candidates, family members. here are some of the things that were said that caught our eye and ear. >> one day, i was driving her to the airport to fly back to chicago when we passed little brick house that had a for sale
sign on and she said, boy, that is a pretty house. it had 1100 square feet, an attic, and no air conditioner in hot arkansas, and a screened-in porch. hillary commented on what a uniquely-designed and beautiful house it was. so i took a big chance and bought the house. my mortgage was $175 a month. when she came back, i picked her up and said, you remember that house you like? she said, yeah. i say, while you were gone, i bought it. you have to marry me now. the third time was the charm. we were married in that little house on october 11, 1975.
i married my best friend. i was still in awe after more than four years of being around her at how smart and strong and loving and caring she was. and i really hoped that her choosing me and rejecting my advice to pursue her own career was a decision she would never regret. >> hillary clinton understands that if someone in this country works 40 hours a week, that person should not be living in poverty. she understands that we must raise the minimum wage to a living wage. and she is determined to create millions of new jobs by
rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure, our roads, bridges, water systems, and wastewater plants. >> hillary understands that the president is about one thing and one thing only. it is about leaving something better for our kids. that is how we have always moved this country forward, by all of us coming together on behalf of our children. to volunteer to coach that team, to teach that sunday school class. because they know it takes a village. heroes of every color and creed who wear the uniform and risk their lives to keep passing down those blessings of liberty. police officers and the protesters in dallas, who all desperately want to keep our children safe. people who lined up in orlando to donate blood because it could have been their son or daughter in that club.
leaders like tim kaine. [applause] who show our kids what decency and devotion look like. leaders like hillary clinton, who have the guts and the grace to keep coming back and putting the cracks in the highest glass ceiling until she finally breaks through, lifting all of us along with her. that is the story of this country. the story that has brought me to this stage tonight. the story of generations of people who felt the lash of bondage, the shame of servitude, the sting of segregation, but who kept hoping and striving and doing what needed to be done so
that today, i wake up every morning in a house that was built by slaves. [applause] and i watch my daughters, two beautiful, intelligent, black, young women, playing with their dog on the white house lawn. >> we understand what it would mean for our daughters and granddaughters when hillary clinton walks into the oval office as president of the united states of america. it will change their lives. my daughters and granddaughters can do anything any son or grandson can do. think about that. think about everything you learned as a child.
no matter where you are raised. how can there be pleasure in saying you are fired? he is trying to tell us he cares about the middle class. give me a break. that is a bunch of malarkey. >> there are times when i disagree with hillary clinton. but let me tell you, whatever our disagreements may be, i have come here to say we must put them aside for the good of our country. and we must unite around the candidate to defeat a dangerous demagogue. i believe it is the duty of all american citizens to make our voices heard by voting in this election. if you are not yet registered to vote, go online and do it now. this is just too important to
sit out. >> standing here as my mother's daughter and my daughter's mother, i am so happy this day has come. i am happy for grandmothers and little girls. i am happy for boys and men because, when any barrier falls in america, it clears the way for everyone. after all, when there are no ceilings, the sky is the limit. ♪
charlie: andrew solomon is here. he is an author of books about psychology, politics and culture. his personal account of depression in the noon day demon won the pulitzer prize. his latest book is called "far and away," reporting from the brink of change. i am pleased to welcome andrew solomon back to this table. welcome. andrew: what a pleasure to be here. charlie: basically, we would all be better off if we traveled far more from adolescence on.
andrew: i believe travel is a moral imperative and we live in a globalized world. when we close our ourself off from other places, we do not understand the world we're living in and we have unnecessary fear and serious dysfunction as a result. charlie: that has almost been a central truth about relationships, whether they are racial or cultural or political. not to clearly understand or to say in an expression once. andrew: jung said that if you do not know someone, you are likely to regard him as a fool. if you do not know a place, you are likely to regard it as ridiculous. when you start encountering places, suddenly, the world opens up for you. charlie: what has it done for you? andrew: it has many more aware of what is american and what is
universal. it has given me a sense that a lot of the places we see as sinister and threatening our places where people are full of hope and making things better. when we talk about our enemies and the chaos in the world and building walls to keep immigrants out of our country, it is based on a real misunderstanding of what the gentleness is and the kindness that can be found as you encounter other places. charlie: how do you travel today? what is a journey for you about? andrew: i make a distinction between tourism and travel. i grew up as a tourist with my family and tried to become a traveler. tourism involves looking at something and leaving. traveling involves going and engaging with it. the most overrated virtue of our time is journalistic neutrality. when you visit someplace, you change it in some way. part of our job is to engage with it. to meet people, look at what is
working in their system, look at what is not working, to stand shoulder to shoulder. i stood in a line in moscow during the soviet union. i hope to bring artists together in afghanistan. it is bringing together the people who might not otherwise be together and helped amplify their voices. aung san soo chi once said -- charlie: she is an interesting story in terms of what she has done and where she has been. andrew: the muslim problem in myanmar is enormous. i was very struck by the incredible stoicism of the people i met. i remember talking to a writer who had taken a job as her personal assistant during the time when she knew that, as a
result of doing that, she would be sent to jail. she decided she was ready to go to jail. and she spent some years in prison. i said, what was that it spins like for you? she said, i had the most marvelous time. i said, you had a marvelous time in the burmese prison? she said, the objective of our captors was to make us as miserable as possible. i knew that i could manage to have a good time in prison and their punishment had failed and i was the one who had won. i met a bunch of people that i got to be friends with. some of them were prostitutes and thieves and we still get together and have lunch once a month. they are my favorite people in the world. charlie: what is your favorite place? andrew: the most beautiful physically are namibia and mongolia. the one i have the deepest connection to his england and russia. the place that i did not expect
to like and loved it was afghanistan. i thought going to afghanistan would be a hardship and i would come back with an interesting story after an awful week. i have never gone anywhere where i felt more welcomed, celebrated, embraced. people were thinking more deeply about what freedom is. charlie: do you find people who have read your books? andrew: i do, which is gratifying. people have watched me on your show, each is also gratifying. charlie: you were kidnapped once. andrew: it was. i was quite young. we wanted to go see ruins and the guide said, there has been some unrest in the area, but i guess we can go anyway. we were coming back and we suddenly arrived at a mountainous roads where there was an enormous boulder. we stopped and suddenly, a group of people jumped out from behind the bushes and began smashing the windshield and slashing the tires. we were put in a hut and were told that the people in the area
were in revolt against the central government of ecuador because they did not like paying taxes. i said i was not so crazy about paying cap either. there were four or five hours that we were held there before we were let go. charlie: you were brought into question in libya. andrew: i went to libya. i had wanted to go and i applied as myself. i was told i would meet the libyan representation at the u.n. and they would help me get in. i could not get in. i also have a british passport. i have a friend leading an archaeological survey. instead, i went as a british christian archaeologist. when i did that, i got my visa, i arrived in tripoli, and i was assigned the head of the international press office, an organization to keeping the international press at bay. it was the most dreary of the
police states that i visited. i have not visited north korea. more grim than the soviet union, post-tiananmen china. i was called in everyday to meet with the people of the international press office. they would question me. they knew everything i have been doing. they would come back to me with conversations i had with people the day before. i kept trying to get an appointment to go to the gaddafi compound. then i went to a meeting. it was a meeting of basic people's congresses. halfway through, somebody said, now we have with us an american who will stand up and address us on the future of the u.s.-libyan relationship.
i stood up and the audience of 5000 people, tried to make through some discourse. the next day, i was on the cover of the biggest newspaper and i got the invitation from gaddafi. charlie: what was the headline? journalist hopeful for u.s. and libya? andrew: i said that the call immediately after 9/11 meant something to americans. the headline was that journalists response shows that he is hopeful. charlie: he was one of the early people to respond. andrew: early people to respond and give out his nuclear arsenal. there was not much of one, but he gave up the program. charlie: he really gave it up after the u.s. attacked iraq. andrew: he was frightened by al qaeda and islamic extremism altogether. his son, who was seen as a great savior and is now wanted for crimes against humanity --
charlie: and in captivity. andrew: he actually got out about a month ago. charlie: they let him go? andrew: yes. charlie: he will never stand trial in the hague or anywhere else? andrew: it does not appear so. charlie: did they find money? andrew: there was an enormous amount found in prison and it is still very shady. i have heard a variety of figures, between $10 billion and $15 billion. charlie: why didn't they kill him at the meeting? was it people who got to him first and there was no central government to speak of? andrew: they thought he would be a good bargaining chip and if they held onto him, they could exchange him for various favors that they wanted with people who are in power. as the country descended into chaos, it became clear that
morning him was not doing any particular good. libya was, for me, the most humbling situation. it was so awful under gaddafi that i believed in it would be better. i've wrote that it would be great if we got rid of it off it. charlie: do you still believe that? andrew: i believe that gadhafi was terrible, but what came after was worse. charlie: you feel the same way about iraq? andrew: i feel exactly the same way about iraq. had we have rebuilt afghanistan instead of invading iraq, we could have spent the money differently and had a real ally in an area where we desperately need one. i think the marshall plan is the most successful piece of diplomacy that there has ever been. charlie: afghanistan is interesting because, at the time, assuming they have stayed, and everybody seems to argue at this table that the war in afghanistan suffered because of the focus on iraq.
now you look at the taliban roaring back and there is hope for negotiation. andrew: there is endless hope for negotiation, but the situation has degenerated terribly. most people in afghanistan had to flee because it became untenable and they have children. they have gone to other countries. if we had rebuilt it, not only would we have established a real alliance, we would have established a base for people not to be running away from their own country and place. that would have affected all of the immigration that we are currently facing. andrew: "far and away," a collection of essays about his life on the road, dedicated to olivia, lucy, blaine, and george, who have given me a reason to stay humble. andrew: i have written a bit in the book about traveling with children.
people said, they are much too young and will never remember the places you are taking them. i said, in the first place, i will remember it, so there is some validity to that. but they will grow up with the knowledge that there are different ways to live in different races to be an different attitudes to take. recently, my son george -- i said, george, if you could go anywhere in the world, and he is seven, i say, where would you like to go? he thought for a second and said syria. i said, why would you want to go to syria? and he said, somebody has to tell those people about unacceptable behavior. charlie: good for georgia. this is what you said in the dedication. "think of a long trip home. where should we be today? continent, city, country, society. it is never wide or free or here or there. should we have stayed at home?
>> you are watching bloomberg west. let's begin with a check of the news. obama addresses a convention of veterans. he addresses donald trump, who is facing bipartisan condemnation. the president saluted other families. >> it is a true reminder of the strength of america. we have to do everything we can for the families. honor them and be humbled by them. >> mr. trump said the focus should be on "radical islamic terrorism."