tv Charlie Rose Bloomberg October 30, 2016 7:00am-8:01am EDT
♪ announcer: from our studios in new york city, this is "charlie rose." charlie: jeff bezos started amazon out of his garage as an online bookseller. today, it is among the world's most valuable companies and he is one of the world's richest people. gates.only to bill amazon's ambition is to sell everything to everyone. amazon web services is the leading company in the cloud. in january, amazon became the first digital streaming service to win a golden globe for best tv series. jeff bezos has many passions
including founding the company blue origin to lower the cost of travel and increase safety. he purchased the washington post. i met with him earlier today at the economic club in new york. here is that conversation. ♪ charlie: what is it that amazon wants to be? jeff: well, there are a couple of answers to that. probably the biggest one, perhaps the best way to answer that question is that the thing that connects everything that amazon does is our number one conviction and idea and philosophy and principle which is customer obsession as opposed to competitor obsession. and so, we are always focused on the customer working backwards from the customer's needs and developing new skills internally so we can satisfy what we perceive to be future customer needs. we have a whole working backwards process that starts with the customer needs and works backwards.
that is really -- it seems like we are in a bunch of different businesses. we have amazon web services just completely different from our amazon prime business or amazon marketplace or amazon studios and so on but really, the way that those businesses are run is very similar. and it all starts with -- it is not just customer obsession, that is the number one, one. but we have a very inventive culture. we like to pioneer a bunch. there are other very effective business strategies and pioneering is not the only effective business strategy. people would argue that it is not the most effective one. close following can be a very effective business strategy and it has worked many times but it is just not who we are. willingness to think long-term. that is another common thread that runs through every single
thing that we do. we are very happy to invest in new initiatives that are very risky for 5-7 years which in most companies, they will not do that. companies will invest for very long periods of time where the outcomes are more certain. it is the combination of the risk-taking and the long-term outlook that makes amazon not unique but special in a smaller crowd. and finally, taking real pride in operational excellence. so just doing things well. finding defects and working backwards. incrementalll the improvement that in business, most successful companies are very good at this one. if you are not good at finding defects and finding the root causes of those defects and fixing the root cause, you never want to let defects float
downstream. that is a key part of doing a good job in any business in my opinion. charlie: you still want to sell everything to everybody. jeff: for sure. we started 20 years ago, selling only books. i was putting together all of the packages and driving them to the post office myself. i thought maybe one day we could afford a forklift. [laughter] jeff: it is very different today. over time, we added music and videos. and then we sent a message out to the customer base, 1000 randomly selected customers, and said -- besides books, music, and video what did you want us to sell. an incredibly long list came back. one customer asked if we could sell windshield wipers. went on light sort of in my head.
people will want to use this newfangled e-commerce way of shopping for everything. because people are very convenience motivated. if we can do this -- so that really started the expansion into consumer electronics and then of apparel and so on. charlie: take apparel. you now have i think it out as the largest apparel seller in the world. jeff: i have not tried to track that. back to not being competitor obsessed. we are selling a lot of apparel. and that team is doing a fantastic job. i do think that if we are not the largest, we are amongst the largest apparel sellers in the world and there is a lot of room. we keep improving. if you were to talk to our apparel team, they would tell you they don't think we are very good at it yet and still the business is going very well.
so, i am never disappointed when we are not good at something because i think -- think how well it will work when we are good at it. and apparel is like that. there is so much opportunity. no one knows how to do a great job of offering apparel online yet. we have tons of inventions and ideas and we are working through our experimental list. charlie: you have said there are three pillars. amazon prime. amazon marketplace and amazon web services. amazon web services now is the largest contributor to revenue it is said. jeff: not to revenue. it is a big contributor to profit. our retail business by the way in our established countries is also very profitable. we keep investing so we are investing in video, original content with amazon studios but amazon web services is a
remarkable thing for a couple of reasons. it follows on those principles that i laid out at the beginning but one of the most unusual things that happened with amazon web services is the amount of runway that we got which was a gift before we faced like-minded competition. it appears to me empirical that if you invent a new way of doing something, typically, if you are lucky, you get about two years of runway before competitors copy your idea. and two years is actually a pretty long time in these fast-moving industries so that is a big deal. for whatever reason, and i have a hypothesis about the reason but for whatever reason, amazon web services got seven years of runway before we faced like-minded competition. there were other people doing similar kinds of things but not the same way and not with the same approach or mindset.
and in my experience, that is unheard of to get so much runway. and i think the reason that that happened was because the incumbents in technology and infrastructure for enterprises thought that what we were doing was just so damn weird that it could never work. so we just kept very quiet about it. and we knew it was working and we would read news stories that would say things like -- do you really think anyone is going to buy mission-critical, enterprise infrastructure from an online bookseller? [laughter] jeff: and we would look at that and certain people were opining on that and we would read those articles and look at our business statements and say -- we are. [laughter]
jeff: so we kind of knew. but it was -- so we got very lucky. that was a gift. what that allowed us to do was build a gigantic advantage in terms of the feature set and service offerings and the cost structure and everything else that you just cannot wave a magic wand and do that quickly. it takes years. and now, we are not stopping so that team -- every year, add 500-800 new features and services so they keep pushing on that. that team is just doing an amazing job. charlie: what is interesting to me is that you were doing it for yourself. the things you were doing for yourself and we thought -- if we are doing it for ourselves -- jeff: this is true. the founding idea behind amazon web services is that our applications engineers and our networking and data engineers were spending way too much time coordinating. and so, the applications engineers were the ones that
build the things that customers interact with, they drive the business forward and revenue. building data centers and putting servers in the data centers and building fleets of servers and getting right levels of capacity and making sure all of the operating versions are correct. and so on and so on -- putting databases on top of the service. all of the networking. this is unbelievably complicated and hard. every bit as hard as it is to build the application layer. but, it does not really add any value to the application layer. it is a kind of price of admission. it is one of those things that has to be done perfectly but it is not secret sauce. it will not change the way you run your business. and what we wanted to do was to reduce those fine-grained conversations that the applications engineers were having with the networking engineers. and we said -- we should just create a set of api's and the
teams can discuss the roadmap in the next years in a course grained way the roadmap we should expose and it will simplify those conversations and give them a lot of stability and they will not have to do all of these silly fine-grained coordination conversations. and so we started designing that. the second we started writing it down, we said -- what we are building here, amazon.com needs these things but pretty soon, everyone is going to need these things. with a little bit of extra work, we can turn what we were going to build for ourselves into a service for the world and that is what we did. and it is now, a very successful, large -- charlie: the largest factor in the cloud by far.
nci and a whole lot of other clients come to you. you also have a large shipping contingent within your own operation. jeff: billions of packages a year. it takes a lot of logistics. charlie: you are getting into the shipping business. jeff: we have an a plus team. charlie: is it the same model? you are doing something into her doing it well and you say, we can do this for other people so we are going to get into the shipping business. jeff: not quite. it is a little bit different. here, we are really being driven by capacity needs especially if you look at the holidays selling season. the fact of the matter is that we need all of the capacity that we can get from the established transportation providers like the u.s. postal service and ups and we will take all of the capacity they can give us. and this is true. i am just talking about the u.s. and the same story is playing out around the world. the royal mail and deutsche
post and so on. in addition to that, we need more capacity especially at peak if we are to grow our business. we have been forced into developing expertise in the last mile. and of course, we do use it for our third-party business. third-party sellers can now use -- if they are a marketplace business, we offer a service where third-party sellers can put their inventory in our fulfillment centers and we handle all of the fulfillment and returns and customer service and everything else for them. and so, that logistics chain will work for us and for third-party sellers. and it is really crucial that we continue to build that out. charlie: fedex and ups need not worry. jeff: no. no. it, those guys are going to be able to continue to grow and we will continue to
grow with them and still need additional capacity. charlie: the other thing is amazon prime. the second pillar, amazon prime. some 65 million members. jeff: we don't reveal that. so i do not want to nod. [laughter] charlie: amazon is reasonably secretive. jeff: we don't want to reveal things that will help competitors. order alert them. and it also is hard to figure out which things would help them. you know, like we certainly got a bigger window, i was talking about our aws business and the long runway that we had. if we had been out there bragging about our business, we would have attracted attention from incumbents sooner than what actually happened. and so, there is no reason in business usually to boast about your accomplishments. people will figure them out. so like boasting about the
number of prime members will not make anyone more likely to join prime in my opinion. you know, people already know that a lot of people are prime members, their friends are prime members. so, it is true that in consumer businesses and in enterprise businesses, that people to some degree like to be with the leader and in the crowd and so you do want people to know that you are a leader and you want people to know that the offerings are successful and a lot of people are using them so you do not have to quantify that for consumers or enterprises. charlie: let us assume it is a large number. [laughter] jeff: it it's a large number. charlie: why is it so crucial for your future, prime? jeff: prime -- what we want prime to be and what we have developed it into over time is that it is the best of amazon. so, you can get -- if you join prime, we want to have our core service be outstanding and
anyone who wants to use amazon and not be a prime member should have a great experience. and people who are not prime members for example can still get free shipping. they have to purchase a certain number of products or get above a certain order basket hurdle, i think it is $49, and if they get above that hurdle, then they can get free shipping. and so, what we did with prime is say -- look, you can get free shipping without joining prime but if you want fast, free shipping, our best service, then you need to join prime. charlie: it is $99 a year. jeff: $99 a year. and then we added services like prime video. which has been a very successful benefit for prime.
we added 10,000-20,000 shows and they were all licensed and reruns like "gilligan's island." and it was a kind of "by the way offering." we said, look, you know you already are a prime member. here is a new benefit as a prime member. it is not the most important tv shows in the world but it is also not costing you anything extra. and it grew. and now, we are doing emmy award-winning and golden globe award-winning shows. you get access to that with no additional charge. just being a prime member. charlie: getting into the entertainment business, what was the motivation for that? jeff: we always start with the customer centric point of view. how can we -- if we are going to make original content which amazon studios is doing, how can it be better or different from so much content that is out there that you can license already and not have to make yourself?
the fact of the matter is that the over-the-top streaming services with the subscription model can in fact make different kinds of content. for example, a show like "transparent," is never going to be a show that is successfully done on broadcast tv because broadcast tv is a much bigger audience for that. "transparent" -- we want to make shows that are someone's favorite shows. and on broadcast tv, you can be very happy if you have a big show that is 20 million people's third favorite show. you can think about the creative process differently and you can attract different storytellers and you can go for stories that are more narrow but incredibly powerfully well told. "mozart in the jungle." it is the same way.
another one that has one golden globes and emmys, i don't see how that can be successful on broadcast tv either. and so, we can attract a different kind of story teller that wants to tell a certain kind of story. and then there are other things that are just tailwinds in this business that are happening because of netflix and others -- 10 years ago, you could not get an a-list talent to do tv. they perceived it as stigmatizing. today, that is completely inverted. today, a-list talent want to do serialized tv because the quality of the storytelling is so high. it has been flipped on its head. charlie: does it benefit your traditional e-commerce businesses? the fact that you have a presence in entertainment? you sell things because you win awards and hollywood. jeff: i am talking about the customer experience part of -- you want storytellers with guts and taste to do something with
someone's favorite show. then, let us talk about the business side of that. these shows are expensive. "man the high castle" which is our most watched it and one of our highest rated shows and you should see it if you have not -- hitler won world war ii and the alternative history -- it is 1962 and not seize seize control of the east coast. the nazis seized control of the east coast. it is creepy. [laughter] jeff: that show is super expensive to make. how do you pay for that content? that is the business side of that. the business side is unique to amazon. i don't think there is another model out there like that. when you become a prime member, you buy more from us. you say to yourself -- now that i have paid my 99 dollars here, how else can i use that membership? when people join prime, they buy more shoes, dishwashing
detergent, diapers, books, electronics, toys and so on. and so we really want people to join prime and we really want people to renew their prime membership and so, when we win a golden globe, it is for us what we are tying that too, and we can see that in the metrics, that people who use private video are more likely to convert from free trial to pay prime members and they are more likely to convert from paid prime members the next time -- not to convert but to renew for a subsequent year. that is what closes the loop on the business side. you don't do things for the business reasons. you need to do things for the reasons, butrience
you need to know how you're going to pay for that customer experience. you need to close the loop on the business side. charlie: i have listed three pillars. what might the fourth pillar be? jeff: we do not know yet -- is the answer. we do a lot of different things. the fourth pillar will rise and distinguish itself. we will put energy into many things. i am optimistic about things like amazon studios, the original content -- that could become a fourth pillar on its own. and i think what we are doing with national language -- natural language understanding and echo and alexa -- charlie: everyone talks about artificial intelligence. jeff: and rightly so. ♪
♪ jeff: this is the real thing. charlie: enlarge on that as well as the idea of what echo is and how it may well be the beginning of the wedge into artificial intelligence that benefits everyone. jeff: echo is a small, black cylinder that has seven microphones on the top and inside and a digital processor and some other compute inside. it is wi-fi connected to the cloud. and alexa, the artificial intelligent agent that lives in
the cloud can talk you through echo. and one of the interesting things about echo the device is that it uses the seven microphones to do something called -- beam forming. they can hear you very well even in a loud kitchen environment for example, you have the dishwasher running and the sink running water and someone may be playing the television set in the living room and alexa can still hear you because of that digital processing. and you can say -- alexa, what time is it? alexa, what is the weather? in natural language. certain song and etc., etc.. and people -- this has been a big hit. we launched it a few years ago. it has vastly exceeded our expectations in terms of volume. we have literally thousands of people dedicated to working on it. charlie: and google wants to be in that business.
and everybody else wants to be in that business. jeff: and here we have the standard 2.5 year head start. charlie: let us talk about the "washington post." you bought the washington post duty ofdoing any legends you are so impressed with it. -- without doing any due dilligence, you are so impressed with it. jeff: because i knew don graham for 15 years. if any of you know him, he is possibly the most honorable person in the world. he laid out all of the warts for me as well as the great things about the post and no amount of due diligence could have gotten me more clarity than just talking to don for several hours. charlie: why did you buy? jeff: because it is important to me. the washington post is important. i would never buy in upside down
salty snack company. [laughter] jeff: it makes sense to me to take something like that. and i am also optimistic. i thought there were some ways -- i want it to be a profitable enterprise that will be healthy. and i think it can be done. our approach is actually very, very simple. it is hard to execute on the end it will take time but the approach is simple -- we need to go from making a relatively large amount of money per reader , on a relatively small number of readers. that is the historic model. or make a small amount of money per reader on a large number of readers, that is the new model. charlie: that is also your business model, isn't it? jeff: it is a better business model for the internet era. the post is unusual-- and this is why i am so optimistic -- it
can go from how it has historically been a very good local paper but it happens to be a local paper situated in the capital city of the united states. and so, it has a geographic location that is superb for converting it from a local paper to a national and even a global publication. and that is a gift that the internet brings. to do national and global publication in the days of print is super expensive. have to figure out how to have printing presses everywhere and physical distribution everywhere. very challenging. today, that piece is easy. to get global distribution is extraordinarily simple. charlie: because it is an important newspaper, did you want it also because it would give you political influence? jeff: no. [laughter]
jeff: one of the reasons why donald graham liked me as an owner was because he did not think i would politicize it. and i think because it is in the capital city of the united states of america, it should not be -- take the british model of newspapers or a left-wing paper or right-wing paper. there are certain people that, had they purchased the washington post, would have converted it in one of those directions and i do not think that would be healthy for the post or the country. plus, in that respect, i am also a good owner because i am so damn busy. i have no desire to meddle or opine on everything. i have no time to be in the newsroom every day or even for the editorial pages. and, by the way, it is a very difficult business that needs to
be done by professionals. i sometimes get asked -- do you opine in the newsroom or get involved in newsroom activities? and i am like -- if you know as i do now a little bit about newsrooms, it would be exactly the equivalent of me walking into a surgical theater while my son was having brain surgery and meddling with the brain surgeon. it does not make sense. these are super complex -- being the executive director of the post, and we have the best in the world, he is and his team are killing it. doing an unbelievably good job. back to -- talking about the business model of the post and transitioning to a new model. a small amount of money per reader with lots of readers, the real reason this can work is because the post is creating riveting coverage and they are doing it. they are. you cannot turn around a restaurant with business techniques if the food is not
delicious. and we have -- the post is riveting. they are killing it. i am so proud of that team. charlie: people in my profession are great admirers of what the washington post is today under marty behrens' leadership. jeff: totally. charlie: especially in the foreign area. jeff: he would be the first to tell you that it is his team. he has put them in place and given them a lot of energy and they are proud of the product they are creating. the post also has a culture -- i have no desire to change the culture of the post. that would be counterproductive. they already have a great culture. and it comes all the way -- you know -- it is decades old. what you want to do with something like the post that has a very healthy decades-old culture is, instead of changing it, you want to uncover it, reveal it, and burnish it. and, the more i have gotten to know about the post, is that the
distinguishing feature is that compared to some other high-quality newspapers, the post has more swagger. they are swashbuckling. but they are professional swashbucklers which is very important because nonprofessional swashbuckling just gets you killed. you cannot do that. they are just incredible. charlie: you and i sat last night with a former astronaut. jeff: net was very fun. scott kelly. charlie: scott kelly who was there who was out at the international space station for many days. what is it you hope to accomplish in space? jeff: first of all, let's back up. this is a childhood dream. i fell in love with the idea of space and space exploration, and travel when i was five years old. i watched neil armstrong step onto the moon. you don't choose your passions, your passions choose you.
so i am infected with this idea. it's -- you know -- i could not ever stop thinking about space. and thinking about it, ever since then. and i did -- so again -- when i started blue origin which is the name of this space company, i did not make a list of all of the businesses in the world where i thought i might get the highest return on investment capital. [laughter] jeff: it was driven by passion and curiosity and the need to explore the things that i care about. and so, we have over time built a brilliant team of over 800 people at blue origin. we have a suborbital tourism vehicle called new shepherd that flies like a regular rocket when launched and then lands on its tail like a buck rogers rocket. we have used the same vehicle
-- it is reusable -- we have used the same vehicle five times. charlie: and that is key to the business in going to space. jeff: absolutely key. when you ask the question of why it is so expensive, it is one reason -- we throw away the hardware after each use. it is all expendable. even in the past, when we have done rings that were sort of semi-reusable. they were what i called in operable reusability. they were disassembled, inspected, and put back together. you can imagine how expensive air travel would be if after your hawaii vacation, they throw away the 747 but it also would be very expensive if once you are arrived, they disassemble the whole thing, inspect every part, and put it all back together before you can fly again. that was the problem with the space shuttle. and so it is really important that you design a vehicle from the beginning for highly
operable reusability. the propellants are incredibly low cost. people do not know this about rockets but a big rocket, let us say it has a million pounds of propellant on board. two thirds of that may be liquid oxygen. say 600,000 pounds or so of liquid oxygen. do you know how much liquid oxygen costs? $.10 a pound. so that is $60,000 worth of liquid oxygen and then add the fuel costs than. we are still talking about a few hundred thousand dollars in propellant cost. and the launch costs on the order of the $150 million. you are throwing the hardware away. the engineering challenge involved in building a highly operable, reusable vehicle is gigantic. but if you can do that, it would be a game changer. you change everything.
and now, to your original question, why -- i believe it is incredibly important that we humans go out into space. the primary reason if you think long-term about this is that we need to do that to preserve the earth. i am not one of the plan b guys. there are -- there is a kind of conventional wisdom that is quite common that one of the reasons we need to go into space and settle another lannett is as kind of a backup for humanity. you know, if it gets destroyed, at least we have this other place. and i don't like that approach. that is not motivating dormy. what weill tell you know for sure. we have now sent robotic probes to every planet in the solar system. we have taken close looks at them all and believe me, this is the best planet.
[laughter] jeff: it is not even close. [laughter] jeff: so, what you need to do, and if you want a thriving, growing, civilization, you want the population growth to continue. you want a whole bunch of things to continue. and i believe that in the next few hundred years, what will happen is that we will move all heavy industry into space for a bunch of practical reasons. easier access to resources of all kinds, material resources as well as energy. if you think about solar energy on earth, it is inherently problematic because it is only available half of the time. in space, solar energy is available 24/7. than there are practical reasons -- charlie: you also have to build an infrastructure up there. jeff: and that is why you need really low cost. you need to shrink the cost of lifting massive into space.
you need to reduce the kospi 100 times and then you can do things. and blue origin is not going to do this all by ourselves stop what i want to do with blue origin is to lower the costs of access to space so the next generation of entrepreneurs can have a dynamic explosion of entrepreneurialism in space. that is how we will move all heavy industry into space and then ultimately, earth can be effectively rezoned as residential and light industrial. [laughter] charlie: unlike the internet, there was infrastructure there. so when you jumped into the internet, there was already infrastructure there. jeff: amazon was a tiny, little company started with four people. and we built amazon because we did not have to do any of the heavy lifting. the transportation and the logistics infrastructure of the u.s. postal service already existed.
we did not have to build the internet. it was run on long-distance cables built into the ground for long-distance phone calls. we did not have to build a payment system because the credit card system already existed. all of these things would have been hundreds of billions in capex and we got to rest on those. that is why you don't see entrepreneurial dynamism in space like you do on the internet. on the internet, two kids in a dorm room can change an industry completely. you cannot do that in space. the price of admission is too high because just getting to space is so expensive. and self we can change -- if i am 80-years-old, looking back on my life, and the one thing i have done is make it so that there is a gigantic explosion of entrepreneurialism in space, i will be a happy man. charlie: last thing. you and bill gates got together and started a company. a company fighting cancer. the idea is -- jeff: the science of that is unbelievable.
basically you can sequence -- tumors shed little bits of dna into your bloodstream and you can use sequencing technology to amplify those things and detect cancers very early. for a lot of cancers, early detection is a big deal. so, this is -- the science of this is very promising and very real and it might not work. but it might and i am optimistic. and if it does work, it is a big deal. charlie: the market cap of amazon has you as the second wealthiest person in the world, second to bill gates. can you imagine at some point in your life pursuing the kind of philanthropy that bill -- jeff: if there is something left after i finish building lou origin. [laughter] -- blue origin.
[laughter] jeff: again, i did not choose blue origin -- what i am doing right now is taking my amazon winnings and every time you see me sell stock in amazon, i have more money. sending more money to the blue origin team. charlie: i asked jeff last night at the natural history museum -- he slapped me and said it was a rude question. jeff: i do believe that blue origin can be a sustainable, profitable enterprise one day but that is an investment horizon that would make most reasonable investors sick to their stomach. charlie: about 2018, somebody will be up -- jeff: but we are on track on our new shepherd. i keep telling the team that it is not a race and we will do it when it is safe but we are on track for 2018. charlie: on behalf of everyone into the economic club of new york, thank you. jeff: thank you, charlie.
♪ charlie: the presidential nominees are entering the last week of campaigning before america goes to the polls. for a sense of where things stand, bob costa joins me now from washington. bob, thank you for doing this. let me begin with the question --does donald trump and his people see a pathway to victory on election day? bob: it is difficult and
increasingly people with trump, they acknowledge that privately. it is a narrow path. even donald trump acknowledges it sometimes publicly that it is difficult. when you look at pennsylvania, secretary clinton is well ahead. a state like north carolina, she remains ahead. iowa is now very tight. what is really hurting donald his strategists, when they look at arizona where he is heading this weekend, georgia, and utah, where there is a large mormon population, those are states that republicans traditionally win and they are falling behind. the states they feel best about are florida and ohio. swing states where they feel the working class voters in those states will come out in record numbers. white voters. charlie: do they have any optimism because the polls may be in some cases tightening a little bit in his favor? bob: the thing they feel the most comfortable with is the clock. if the election was held this
week, he would likely lose. but because there is a sense that he is in some way stabilizing his campaign after all of the cascading allegations of sexual assault, talking about sexual assault, sexual misconduct, he has been able to move away from those kinds of conversations in most of his interviews. he has gone back to mainstream news organizations this week. he has been focused on the economy and trade. he went to his hotel in washington to talk about his business experience in a low-key way. kellyanne conway feels he has turned the corner from the chaos. all those reports and allegations. charlie: and stephen bannon thinks he can stroke the populace and make them come out in record numbers? bob: it is not based on evidence but a gut instinct. stephen bannon has been
following the breitbart wing of the party for so many years. he has fixated on donald trump as a brexit figure. coming outside of the partisan discussion in this country. he is not a right-left figure but is a true populist nationalist. what you are seeing in the republican party is conversations about what the gop looks like -- will it be more populist nationalist looking forward. regardless of whether trump wins, that bannon wing will move forward. trying to assert itself as the real center. charlie: what about this new television company that will reflect the views of the people that have been his most intense supporters? bob: it is certainly possible and donald trump himself in a recent conversation denied it to butnd his people denied it, there are conversations happening behind the scenes.
the problem for people like donald trump and stephen bannon is that to think through what it should look like if they should lose is that the media environment has become so fragmented that the idea that donald trump could compete with fox or abc, cbs, nbc -- it does not make sense. if it is anything, it will look like what he has been doing this week which is facebook live, social media, having 40,000-100,000 people tuning into a video stream to see him talk. it is done on the cheap. a wayne's world operation. charlie: it is done at the same time as the evening networks. bob: interestingly, it had the blessing of the republican national committee. the chief strategist sean spicer appeared on the donald trump broadcast. this is the bannon model. having seen an four nine years. he thinks targeted, aggressive media can have a wide influence in this kind of fragmented
environment. we are all participating in it. charlie: is obama care going to be an issue for donald trump in the remaining days of the campaign and can he make a strong case so that it will win him some voters? bob: when donald trump talks about the affordable care act, it is like he is checking off a box on a to do list. he mentions it in his speeches but there is not a lot of verve. he is not consumed with the health care issue as he is with other issues. the people who have seized on the rise in premiums has been the down ballot republican candidates, those running for the house and the senate. trying to get traditional republican voters to come out in droves. even if they are wary of donald trump.
they're talking about obama care because i think it is something that will get the suburban republicans out to vote. charlie: on the other side is hillary clinton. how do you see what she will do and try to do in the remaining days of the campaign? bob: it is about turn out for her. when they look at the map, clinton surrogates feel great. they feel the map is favorable to her and demographics are moving in her direction but she has to get close or near the level that president obama had in 2012. 2012 to as easy, but get minority votes up to those kinds of levels. that is the one vulnerability that she has.
in a place like pennsylvania -- philadelphia -- millions of voters, heavily democratic and many are african-american. that could be something that turns the election. it is about getting the first lady out there like she was on thursday talking to voters and trying to get millennials excited and minority voters excited. charlie: do they expect more to come out with the wikileaks exposures? bob: it seems like every day, when you wake up you check wikileaks and you wonder what will be there because it is not a week story but an every day story. there is a buzz about --is there something really big, a smoking gun? but at this point, based on my reporting, there is no real sense that there will be something that changes the whole election at this point but you never know. it is unpredictable. charlie: looking at the senate, where do you think the vote would be if it was today? bob: senate majority leader charles schumer from new york. if you look at pat toomer, he has done well against katie mcginty.
he won in 2010 but that was a year that was favorable to republicans. kelly ayotte is struggling in new hampshire. richard burr in north carolina. republican senators that are the establishment. they are struggling. portman in ohio looks safe to win and he has run the model campaign. he started early. he recognized that he needed to get on top of the populism. charlie: and the house? they need a turnover of 30 house members in order for there to be a change in the speaker. bob: i think the house is the most fascinating, underreported part of this election. charlie: i do also. bob: it is not just about who wins the majority. you have a freedom caucus, 30-50 members who do not want to vote for anything. ryan does not just need the majority, he needs a solid majority to stay in power. if ryan loses 20-30 seats and
his majority is narrow, he does not have much power. he will have to get democratic votes on everything. the big buzz in washington is if the house --if ryan only has a narrow majority, does he run for speaker? does he stay on? does he want to be speaker and the kind of situation? charlie: it drove john boehner out of the speakership. bob: it is an extraordinarily difficult job. this chaos on the right in terms of activists and the institutional party collapsing, that continues, win or lose for donald trump. charlie: are we looking for the two candidates to simply make their way to the election day? that nothing dramatic will happen. surrogates will be out there as michelle obama was with hillary clinton in north carolina.
we are looking at a sense, unless something dramatic happens, will simply stay on the course it is on. bob: yes, i think that is right. it has been a quiet week. one of the quietest weeks of the campaign. we did have the affordable care act news and we had these different battles every day. candidates are spending most days going to a couple of rallies each day talking to voters. they have stopped fund-raising for the most part. it is all about turnout. the one thing everyone is paying attention to in this newsroom and elsewhere is donald trump's questions about the legitimacy of the election. there is a lot of talk on the right about vote monitoring and poll watching. the donald trump campaign tells me they have an operation in place to make sure it is legal in each state to make sure they are not being interfered with. this has each campaign on edge. how will the trump campaign handle election day and will he
recognize a loss if he loses? charlie: let's take the second part. any change in his position on the? you will decide later whether he will recognize the results of the american public on election day? bob: he is taking it in a lighthearted way. if you look at his comments on thursday on the campaign trail -- he said that maybe they should just give the election to him. he is joking. this is typical for donald trump. i am not saying it is some kind of 5-10 or five-page headline. but he seems to be entertaining the idea that this is going to be a rigged election. he does it day by day and it is riling up his base. that there may be some kind of manipulation in philadelphia and cleveland and elsewhere.
david: welcome to "bloomberg businessweek." i am david gura. coming to you from inside the magazine's headquarters in new york. we will take you inside the donald trump presidential campaign. also, twitter has one revenue stream, the company's firehose. we will tell you about that. professional mermaids, yes, mermaids, taking to their business seriously. all of that on "bloomberg businessweek." ♪ david: we are here to talk about the cover story on donald trump with ellen pollock.