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tv   Charlie Rose  Bloomberg  November 2, 2016 10:00pm-11:01pm EDT

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♪ announcer: from our studios in new york city, this is "charlie rose." charlie: we begin this evening with our continuing coverage of the controversy surrounding fbi director james comey. his decision to come forward about new emails pertinent to hillary clinton's private server has met fierce criticism. some have pointed out that he was in a difficult dammed if he did and dammed if did not position. in an effort to mitigate the bipartisan outrage, justice department officials said monday that no further information will be released until the investigation is completed. the fbi director has been accused of partisanship and trying to interfere with the presidential election. president obama, through his
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spokesman, josh earnest, has said he believed the fbi director had no intent to influence the election. joining me now from washington is devlin barrett of "the wall street journal" and anne gearan of "the washington post." here with me in the studio is molly ball. she covers u.s. politics for "the atlantic." i am pleased to have all of them here. devlin, tell me where the investigation is today and what are we expecting to happen between now and the election. devlin: well, so what they have -- what they started working on is they have thousands of what they call potential hits, meaning the original meta-data on the computer that they are looking at indicates messages to or from the hillary clinton e-mail server, so they are now in the process of scanning through those actual e-mails, looking at the actual content of those e-mails, and seeing if they are duplicates of e-mails they have already seen, how many are duplicates, and, most importantly, how many are not duplicates, how many would be essentially new e-mails, and is
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any of that information classified. and they have begun that process now. most of the folks i talked to expect it to take weeks, in part because if you have just one e-mail that mentions something sensitive about foreign relations, that is going to take a bunch of people to look at and have a bit of a discussion about to determine if it is relevant. charlie: does that mean that it is unlikely there will be anything disclosed that could have an impact on the selection? -- on this election? devlin: people keep saying there is an outside chance they could say something before the election. most of the people i talked to involved in the process are skeptical that it can take off. there is hope there. they finde, if all are duplicates, they might be able to say something for election day. charlie: donald trump is on the campaign trail saying if they don't do this, we could have an indictment of a president.
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devlin: well, you know, i think investigators generally will tell you they do not get to pick their schedule. charlie: right. devlin: and i think there is no way to make it go faster without possibly missing stuff, which, frankly, would only make the situation worse, so what a lot of people say is, look, it is very likely that the next president, if it is hillary clinton, could be sworn in while an investigation is ongoing and, frankly, while more than one investigation is ongoing. charlie: i am, anne, looking at "the washington post" today, the fbi chief, the lead story, draws storm of protest, all sides demand -- i underlined this -- all sides demand details in e-mail probe. do everybody, the hillary campaign, the trump campaign, do they want this released before? do they want the investigation not to extend into past election day?
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anne: well, from the clinton campaign's standpoint, they want something out there that gives some shape and direction to this. just said, the fbi could say that in an initial scan of this material, is that most of all or some are duplicates, and, you know, we are going to proceed with a smaller slice of the pie to see whether there is any relevance to classified material. that would at least narrow the scope and kind of gives some form to this. one of the biggest problems for the clinton campaign is they are dealing with a whole series of unknowns and hypothetical questions, which is, basically, the worst possible position for them to be in. they do not even know what they are fighting against, and you saw the campaign sort of flailing around yesterday, trying to draw equivalency between this investigation and reports that comey had not released information that might potentially tie other hacks to
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the russians in a timely fashion, and saying that he had been behaving with a double standard. that is just a hair away from accusing him of partisan bias, which other democrats are doing. that kind of back and forth does not really help. and the clinton campaign, from their perspective, the campaign just has to gut it out for a few days and hope that they have greater information. on the republican side, this is sort of manna from heaven, and i think the uncertainty benefits their side of the argument, because they can fill in the blanks with a lot of things that may be true, but no one knows whether they are or not. charlie: molly, will it have an impact, or has it already had an impact? you have to start with the fact that just by what has happened so far has had an impact.
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molly: it is hard to know, because we cannot predict the future, but there is already a trend of tightening before this dropped, and it is obviously to the trump campaign's benefit to paint this as something that adds to a cloud of suspicion that hangs over hillary clinton, wherever she goes, whatever she does, that she has this baggage. that is something his supporters already believe, but the clinton campaign is worried that she had softer supporters, particularly the republicans and conservative-leading independents who find trump unacceptable. after that last debate, a lot of people seem to be willing to consider acceptable, and this may have shut the door. they are still confident she will win based on her ground game in battleground states and based on the advantage she already built up, and the fact that so many millions of people have already voted, but i do not see any way that this is beneficial to her. i suppose it could galvanize her supporters.
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and as anne said, the strategy is trying to make this look like a partisan attack, rather than having doubts about her, but the amazing thing about this story is how little anybody knows. charlie: exactly. including the fbi. molly: the trump campaign does not know what is on that laptop. the clinton campaign does not know what is on that laptop. the fbi does not know what is on that laptop, the white house does not know what is on that laptop. even huma abedin does not know what is on that laptop. i have not had the privilege of asking anthony weiner. charlie: and nobody knows what's there. de>> that's right. and normally, it takes weeks to pull off. obviously, they will put a lot of resources and manpower into this, but anything they do quickly is going to be a real heavy lift for them, and i do not think anybody has a good
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grasp of what is going on. my latest information was, the term the people are using inside the fbi is "potential hit," and even that tells you the sort of unknowability. charlie: what does that mean? guest: the reason they figured this out at all is because the people handling the separate investigation were looking at the metadata, meaning the to's and froms. and what they saw was e-mail going from huma's account, huma abbott dean -- huma abedin's account, into and going from the clinton e-mail server. that is a big flag, but they do not know what those things are, because their original search did not let them look at the content, so what they have begun doing now, now that they have a precise warrant for that information, is they will scan the content.
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they will see which ones they think they need to take, have a human i go through them, and there were those of -- they are up with -- pair those what they have seen in other parts of the investigation. someone was telling me this can be as complicated as, well, we have already looked at five e-mails in a chain, but this e-mail has the sixth response to those five, and it is that level of down-in-the-weeds granularity that they have to sort through. charlie: how many e-mails are they looking at? devlin: the whole laptop, i am told, has 650,000 e-mails on it, but that is not the university need to worry about. they are worried about a smaller amount that have the metadata that seem to touch the clinton server. charlie: anne, do the political pros that you know, including yourself, see an electoral pathway for donald trump? anne: he has the same extraordinarily improbable one that he had last week before this happened. there are mathematical scenarios
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under which he can piece together an electoral college victory, but they have been unlikely for weeks now, and until this happened, all of the momentum was away from any of those implausible scenarios becoming more plausible. charlie: but now? anne: now? if he picks up florida and ohio and north carolina, he certainly has the beginnings, at least, of a plausible chance. i would call it a plausible chance. again, those are the three biggest prizes among the battleground states on the map as we see it now. it is unlikely that either candidate is going to pick up all three, but if he were to do so, yes, he could still piece together a win. charlie: from what i understand, ahead in ohio and florida but behind it north carolina, is that correct? and the florida
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number is very much in dispute. the clinton campaign disputes the washington post/abc poll, the tracking poll, that showed donald trump up by one, but certainly the direction that clinton's lead there has been eroding, and it is essentially a tie in florida. molly: it is still the case that in addition to those three big states, trump has to win all of the other swing states, including places he has fallen further behind, like colorado, and then he has to pull states that have not been swing states in the past, like arizona, and where hillary clinton is campaigning this week to play off it very aggressively, but it does mean that given the strength that she has in campaign organization, given the number of her surrogates that she is able to send out to the country that trump does not have, because there are so many republicans unwilling to campaign with or for him, she is able to sort of blitz all of these states at once, while he and mike pence, his running mate, can hit a smaller number of targets, so we have trump
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doing multiple events a day. both candidates are doing multiple events in florida in the next couple of days, signifying the importance of that state, but if hillary clinton wins florida, it is pretty much all over, and even if she does not, she still can probably piece together a win, but for trump, it is florida or bust. it is the necessary, but not sufficient, condition. he probably has to win pennsylvania, and he is down by a lot in pennsylvania. that was a state where his campaign really thought he could make a lot more headway, and it just has not been happening because the makeup of the population, there does seem to be a population of pennsylvania democrats who are willing to cross the line and vote for trump, but they seem to be outweighed by the number of pennsylvania republicans, or -- particularly republican women in the suburbs of philadelphia, who have been alienated by him and are going in the other direction. charlie: what about the impact of all the obamacare debate and
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conversation? can we somehow find a way to detect whether that is influencing voters, or is it simply confirming the feelings of people who have already committed one way or another? molly: it is very interesting. i know a lot of sad republicans this year, what might have been republicans, who look at the way this campaign might have been unfolding with a different candidate on top of the ticket, one that has been able to drive home a consistent and policy-based message on something like obamacare so that the latest bad news of obamacare would feed into a message they had already established. instead, we do have donald trump now talking about it somewhat, but also sort of betraying the fact that he doesn't really understand what obamacare is on occasion. speech aboutmajor obamacare, trying to put this before the electorate, and it just seems to be at this late date, with so many people having already voted, so much noise out there, so many scandals, so many developments, i think it is hard to break through, even with an
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issue as significant as that. charlie: so what should we expect -- all of you, what should we expect in the next week? we have one week to go. certainly, the candidates will barnstorm around the states, not a lot of dramatic things happening? molly: there are a lot of dramatic things happening. charlie: what beyond the e-mail controversy is dramatic? molly: there are a lot of things coming out, although seemingly board, a lot of stories coming out in the last day about potential links to russia, the whole "access hollywood" tape, and women being assaulted, it's hard to remember that was just in the last few weeks, but controversies that i think would have consumed months in the campaign end up being blips in the radar because we have seen so many rapidfire developments. but i think the most important and dramatic thing happening is
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that people are voting. so much of this election is already over. in a lot of states, almost half of the electorate by election day. charlie: whatever we know in terms of turnout and however well each candidate is doing. molly: they are very difficult tea leaves to read. what seems to be the trend is that the clinton campaign sees good prospects in a lot of states where they have a strong operation that is relatively unopposed, but they are not doing as well in states like iowa and ohio, where you have popular republican governors who have their own machines, who are able to drive out the vote independently of donald trump, because donald trump did not build much of a ground operation on his own, so with republicans in ohio and iowa. florida is very mixed. the democratic vote looks strong, and it now looks like more of a tie, so we political reporters sound like broken records every four years talking about florida, but, once again, it seems like florida is going to be very close. charlie: could the popular vote
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go one way and the electoral vote go another way? molly: i doubt that because of hillary clinton's strength in the electoral college. charlie: let me go back to the e-mail controversy one more time and ask this question. bret stephens, from your paper, had a column today in which i quote from it, he said basically that, "now he has flouted justice department protocols about using authority to interview or affect with the election, all to protect his position and reputation." that is rather harsh criticism. are you seeing a lot of that coming from sources you might have expected? does that have an impact? is the fbi being tainted? are there long-term consequences of this? devlin: i really think there politics -- year in you hear in politics all of the time that investigations heard -- hurt politicians, because it is just a cloud that hangs over them. i think you are seeing a very
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interesting dynamic now, which is that the investigation might also hang over the agency doing the investigating. this is causing some real toxicity and distrust within the fbi. i have written about that a few times now in terms of internal disagreements about how to handle clinton issues within the fbi and the doj. this only accentuates and aggravates that. and to your question, are other people in law enforcement concerned about the way james comey has handled this, and the answer is absolutely. in fact, so much so that some of the people who believe that the clinton investigations have been held back by the higher ups still think, even though they believe that, they still think the director was wrong to handle this the way he's handled it, because it is too far outside of the norms and the process, and sometimes what they say at the fbi and doj is that the process protects us because we are going to get criticized anyway. now we are deviating from the
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process, and that makes people nervous. charlie: eric holder. in the works of josh earnest, there is no doubt in his mind that the fbi director had any intent to affect the elections. devlin: one thing you hear is that everybody agrees that james comey is an honorable and a fair person. if nothing else, what this all shows is that he is not afraid to put a big bet on the table. this is a big bet that may or may not prove to be the right move. i don't think it is at all clear yet that the rest of the government will end up agreeing with him on that point. i think there is a lot of consternation within the justice department right now about what he has done, and i think there is a lot of consternation in the congress about what he has done, and those are two areas that he ultimately answers to, and that is going to be an interesting dynamic, to see how it plays out. imagine if this does not pan
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out, if we are told these are all duplicate e-mails, this does not change anyone's opinion of anything? then, all of these discussions get a little more intense in terms of why he did this. charlie: devlin, thank you. anne. molly. back in a moment. stay with us. ♪
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charlie: jon meacham is here, a pulitzer prize-winning historian and the executive editor at random house.
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his latest book, "destiny and power: the american odyssey of george herbert walker bush," was published in paperback earlier this month. he has also commented extensively on this election, offering historical insights in the presidential campaign. his op-ed in "the new york times" traces the current situation with the right and george bush in the late 1980's. i am pleased to welcome you back to the table. win or lose, what happens to the republican party? having noted that it was people in opposition to this president that you wrote about. jon: there is a moment in october 1990, where cnn does a bush screen of george h.w. walking out to congressional leadership to announce the budget deal that broke the no new taxes pledge, and on the other side of the screen was newt gingrich walking out of the door, and that was the partisanship bronco chase.
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charlie: he knew the firestorm it would create. jon: yes. charlie: read my lips. he knew how powerful that had been for him, and he knew that the economy was in trouble. jon: yes. charlie: but he somehow -- he saw -- did he know he was signing -- jon: yes. he did. he knew that he would be dead meat. but he believed, and this is to my mind what redeems george bush -- like all great political -- charlie: explain to the audience what the decision was that he made. jon: in 1990, we used to care about the deficit back in the day. there was an enormous deficit. there was a great sense of imperial decline, the rise and fall of great powers. there was very much a moment that we believe that deficit spending was costing us our power. bush faced a strongly democratic congress, george mitchell
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running the senate, tom foley running the house, jim sasser running the budget committee in the senate, very tough guys, and he was facing enormous pressure from rostenkowski, from ways and to raise taxes and deal with the deficit. democrats have been out of power for 10 years. ronald reagan had fun eventually shifted american politics in the summer of 1981 by passing kemp-roth. it lowered marginal rates to the highest of 28%. the democrats had been chasing that to get that back up through the decade. bush had very little political capital. he had run on the "read my lips." he had been an uncomfortable convert to supply-side economics. charlie: and his thing was not domestic policy, it was foreign policy. jon: very much so, and in june of 1990, feeling the pressure,
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he agreed to a package of excise taxes on cigarettes, liquor, gas. charlie: consumption taxes. jon: exactly. here is what happens. the right wing, ultimately led by newt gingrich, bullets -- bolts on their president, which totally throws bush off. bush was and is the best of party soldiers, in many ways. charlie: and a former party chairman. jon: the democrats, after gingrich bolted, they sensed weakness, so they did something that had not been part of the original compromise, which was to raise marginal income tax rates, so the republican rebellion actually exacerbated the result, the policy result, and bush paid for it forever. i suspect in many ways the 1992 election was lost on that day, when he said that. charlie: he lost to bill clinton
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in 1992. jon: with a big assist from ross perot. in many ways, the 20th century ended early. the first baby boomer president, clinton understood the new world, the world we were living in. he understood cable tv. he understood the intersection of celebrity and politics. so there is a line between all of that and what is happening with trump now. what i find so moving about president bush, and it is not nostalgic. it is not sentiment. on a couple of occasions in his life, like all great politicians, he made significant compromises in the pursuit of power. he opposed the 1964 civil rights act when he ran for texas, but in 1968 he votes for fair housing, when he is actually in power. he runs a tough campaign against michael dukakis, but he gets in and tries to govern from the center. the americans disabilities act, the clean air act. and it was rooted totally in
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fair play, the bush sense that everyone deserves equal chance. it is almost impossible to imagine in the current climate a piece of far-reaching domestic legislation like that originating in the republican party, and yet, this was 25 years ago. charlie: you make a good point that in 1992, that victory by bill clinton was the end of the 20th century. jon: president bush sat alone in the dark that night in suite 271 at the hotel. mrs. bush was asleep. he got up. he could not sleep. he went into the living room, and he turns on his tape recorder, his diary, and says, "people say i am out of touch. i never thought i am, but, obviously, i am out of touch, because people just elected a draft dodger, and for him, it was the elemental question of service, military service. it was a defining one. thelie: back to the end of 20th century, because i have this quote in front of me from
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john sununu to you. bush nurtures the collapse of the soviet union. he kicks them out of kuwait, and he loses. mitterand loses. moroni loses in canada. the japanese prime minister loses. the australian prime minister loses. there is a next sailing of sorts on the part of the electorate when a dramatic shift occurs in international affairs, and they look to another party. jon: the governor is right. charlie: it was a sense of an order changing. jon: exactly. charlie: and how it shaped the world. jon: and how fast that happens. look at the summer of 1945. winston churchill was given the order of the boot, as he put it in his memoirs. after six years of harrowing experience and a standoff against hitler, i was dismissed by the british people from any conduct of their affairs.
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charlie: and his wife said it was a blessing in disguise. jon: exactly. this is important, this question, because i actually believe that george herbert walker bush has more in common, culturally and temperamentally, with the founding fathers than he does with current politicians, born into a certain place of society were public service was expected of you. this is not to make him st. george or put him in a powdered wig or anything like that, but one of the things i think we have to do in our business is if you see virtues worth commemorating and emulating in the public square, you are not serving any end by cynically overlooking them. you should commemorate them and try to emulate them. you hear him
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announcing he is going to vote for hillary clinton, or has he told somebody who told us? jon: he has privately said that. i think he is going to do it. charlie: he will vote for hillary clinton? jon: yes. charlie: you have written a biography of thomas jefferson and andrew jackson, and now this. the interesting thing, too, in all of them, i think had this quality -- bush, often in politics, believed that the ends justify the means. he played politics, and he chose people who were the roughest of the rough. roger ailes, his media advisor. jon: lee atwater.
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charlie: and there is a thing in your book lee atwater proposed , donald trump as a possible running mate. jon: atwater and trump have been having conversations. atwater goes to bush and says that trump is willing to be considered, and he says in his vice presidential diary "strange, unbelievable," and , moves on from it. again, no st. george here. he knew how to fight. he knew how to win. charlie: or he had someone else's do it for him. jon: but it is all on him. charlie: in his name. jon: it is his name on the ballot. it is his name in the history books, and it is one of the tensions of his life, that makes him a fascinating. his mother said do not use the first person pronoun. do not talk about how well you did in the baseball game, talk about how well the team did. he had a nickname of "have
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half," because he would have half a candy bar and give the other kid. but he wanted everything in public life, and was running -- as early, the first reported -- recorded moment is in mrs. bush's diary, which she very generously let me read. charlie: meant to be published after his death, but he gave you permission. jon: yes, and i said, you are not going anywhere. the only condition on the project, and this says a lot, the condition was he would talk to me as much as he wanted, and he would give me his presidential diary and vice presidential diary, and he had no right of review. and i realized that mrs. bush, a woman who had been an observer and participant of the highest levels of politics for 60 years -- charlie: and had no reservation of expressing her opinion.
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jon: exactly. it would've been biographical malpractice not to have gone. charlie: did she say, let me think about it? jon: there was some thinking. charlie: [laughs] jon: when bush said that that she gave the diary -- he said, what? charlie: what is he now know, with some distance between us and the time of the iraqi war. son's conduct of thereof? jon: he supported the invasion. charlie: but he supported it because he thought, my son has facts that i no longer see. jon: i believe it is more than that. charlie: or that he looked at it and said he should not allow the
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factions to continue? jon: he had been to this movie before. charlie: one of his achievements. jon: one of the myths is that george herbert walker bush was dean acheson, who happened to be president -- and george w. bush was douglas macarthur, who happened to be president. when you actually go inside, the events from august 2 from 1990 until 1991, what you find -- in fact, i was so struck about this so there is a whole chapter of this -- george herbert walker bush was willing to be impeached and to unilaterally exert american military force to remove saddam from kuwait even in the face of an active negative from the congress.
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he made up his mind that this was the thing to do, and that sounds -- if i described it to you but did not say which one, you would say, oh, that was w. it was the father. the father was more hawkish than the son. ultimately, they had at least one conversation at camp david in late 2001. president bush 41 made a note and said, "you made the right decision," and i do not think -- it is impossible to say what would president george h. w. bush have done on the day after the attacks of september 11, but i will say this. the reflexive mythology that he opposed the iraq war is not true. i do not believe it. charlie: what we learned in the interim time, because everyone, especially maureen dowd, was fixated on it.
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jon: she is the poet laureate of the shakespearean dynamic and is brilliant at it. charlie: the father and son. jon: it is wonderful to read. all i can say is my search of the documents, my interviews suggest that no one -- this is an important point on this. no one knew how to protect them from friends of ours who used to hold great power in foreign policy. let you think about that. noall the way to people who have explicitly criticized the second iraq war and used 41 as kind of a battering ram against 43. none of those people, none were able to say to me, george herbert walker bush told me this. not one person, not one document. not one. charlie: to say that his son made a mistake? jon: there is not one witness.
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not one. and i went to them all. he criticizes him. charlie: he never said it to colin powell or anybody like that. and his secretary of defense, dick cheney became vice , president of the united states, influential. not friend, donald rumsfeld, became secretary of defense in his son's administration. jon: you know the line, the wing of the butterfly that creates the hurricane. if john tower had been confirmed in march of 1989 as secretary of defense, dick cheney would have stayed in the house leadership. newt gingrich would not have gone into the house leadership. that rebellion might have been quelled. charlie: and such is history made by the president of the united states. barack obama, he is leaving office in january.
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one of the people he has expressed admiration for with policy and temperament, george herbert walker bush. jon: and of the domestic and the ada. and i interviewed him for it. of course, president obama speaks in camera-ready paragraphs. and i think -- one final note that tells you about the two. 2012, 2013, when obama was particularly unpopular in texas, he is flying to houston for something. bush hears from the secret service, his agents, that the president is coming. he asks the agents to drive him out to the airport to greet air force one. the obamas come down the steps to say hello. bush makes sure that "the houston chronicle" is told that the reason he wanted to do it is that when the president of the united states comes to your town, you pay your respects.
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♪ ♪
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charlie: tommy hilfiger is here. he opened his first clothing store, people's place, as a teenager in 1969. years later, he launched his brand with a single men's collection that now encompasses a range of collections, including men's and women's sportswear, kidswear, footwear, and fragrance. what was it like growing up? tommy: my father had a high bar for all of us.
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charlie: there were nine? tommy: yes, and i was the first boy, so my father had dreams of me going to harvard or being a or lawyer, exceeding educationally and in whatever i did. i felt i would never be able to live up to his expectations. so i did what i could to prove to him that i could be successful. but i did not realize i was dyslexic until later on in life. charlie: how late? tommy: i was in my 20's. charlie: so you did not know why you could not read like everyone else. tommy: exactly. i had trouble in school, and my brothers and sisters who were not far from me age wise were doing very well. their grades were really at the top of the class, and i was at the bottom, so my father thought
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that i was not really focusing, paying attention, or caring, when, in reality, it was an -- because i could not read. and i decided i had to do something, so my friends and i cobbled together some money, $150 each, and we opened a small shop in elmira, new york. something, so my friends and i when we were teenagers. charlie: and you later went into bankruptcy. yes, that was in our early 20's, and that was my mba. i learned how to focus on the business part of the business. being creative is a lot of fun, and it uses a different part of your mind, but to really balance the creative with the business acumen -- charlie: and without the business, you have no time for the creativity.
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the business will not succeed. tommy: you need both. charlie: i think of someone like yves saint laurent, who had the business will not succeed. a business partner who took care of the business, and others have had a parallel person. you had to do both. tommy: i had to do both, and then i found a backer, mohan murjani, who owned vanderbilt jeans at the time, very popular in the 1980's. then they started having difficulties. so i had to then fund myself. and i met a couple of guys silas , chou and laurence droll, and i had a partner. we four created the tommy hilfiger corporation. charlie: what did you have? tommy: we had a product, a name, i had a dream. manufacturing, lawrence had
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experience in europe with ralph lauren, joel had experience running businesses, and started them. charlie: how established was the brand at that time? tommy: it was known after the george lois ad campaign. charlie: that great campaign. tommy: it was not globally known or nationally known. charlie: what made it brilliant? tommy: i really believe that surrounding myself with the right partners was the right idea, because each one of the partners contributed something major. charlie: what made the branding by george lois brilliant? tommy: he showed the colors, but he compared my name to other big names in the industry, and i was not yet known, so ralph lauren, calvin klein. i was not yet known. charlie: by a wide margin, and that took a certain audacity.
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you know people are saying, where did he come from? these guys have brilliant, very lucrative businesses, and he is just starting. tommy: exactly. it was george lois' genius. charlie: so you had a brand before you had a reputation and before you had a product of significance. tommy: yes. charlie: so then you had to go and say, how do i make the product as good as the brand? tommy: that is exactly right. charlie: you had a combination of talents to do it. tommy: i had a great team. it is like having a band. we worked together for many, many years building it. we took it public, made licensing deals, expanded globally. we did all of the things that were necessary in building a global lifestyle brand. charlie: so in building it, what were the most important things that helped you? tommy: products, market and image and advertising. charlie: what was the market you intended? tommy: we wanted to sell
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everyone. but a premium product. we began in men's and then went to women's and children's, but we wanted to be a lifestyle brand. charlie: were you copying ralph lauren at all? tommy: at times, we could be accused of copying ralph lauren, but i did not want to copy ralph lauren, because i wanted to be younger, cooler, more irreverent. charlie: more hip. tommy: yes. ralph was more british, aristocratic. i wanted to be looser, more laid back, hipper, more relaxed. charlie: and then there was a photograph that made you the hippest with snoop dogg. tommy: he was on snl wearing one of my jerseys with the name, red, white, and blue, and so all of these street kids picked up on it. charlie: it was a cool thing to do, the same way it is with sneakers.
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they had to have your clothes, and it was like lighting a fire under the brand, and then came the controversy. this nasty, little rumors started, that you said i do not want black people to wear my clothing, which is a nasty rumor and untrue. and that you said it on "oprah" or that somehow she was tied to the idea, that you told her. tommy: yes, they said i said it on "oprah" and that she kicked me off the show, but i had never been on "oprah" up to that point. charlie: were you scheduled for the show? went by, and or by she said look, tommy, i know , you, what kind of person you are. come on the show, and we will dispel the rumor, and she told the audience this is a big, fat lie. it was. ridiculous.
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i think it subsided a little bit, but then i heard from jewish friends that in the synagogue, they are saying he is anti-semitic, and then i found out from my latino friends that we hear you do not like hispanics, and then i heard from filipino people that i did not like filipinos, and i heard from my gay friends that i did not like gays, and all of a sudden, this rumor got out of control, but in reality, it was all created from someone who might have been jealous, someone who wanted to ignite it. charlie: you think it was a competitor, don't you? tommy: a lot of people think so. i do not know. charlie: what is the business today? tommy: it is a global lifestyle, owned by pvh.
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charlie: phillips-van heusen. tommy: we took the company public in the 1990's and took it private in 2006 and sold it again in 2013. 2012. charlie: and what did your father live to know? tommy: he saw us take the company public. in the beginning. charlie: so he knew his son was a success. tommy: he was very proud. charlie: he said you did it your way. i wanted you to be a doctor or lawyer, but you did something that was a huge success. all was good. tommy: all was good. charlie: and you now give him credit because he infused in you the will to be something, to be motivated. tommy: i think the motivation is really important, because lots of people can have dreams and ideas, but if they are not motivated to really, really push
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the ball forward, they may turn around at the first obstacle. charlie: so you think part of the success and part of the lesson of "american dreamer" is you can have dreams but you have to pursue them 24/7. tommy: execution. charlie: are you a good businessman? tommy: i think i am a good businessman. silas is a good businessman, and i have learned a lot. charlie: and there are some who went on to invest in michael kors. tommy: and laurence droll. he is also a great businessman, and so is joel horowitz. i am fortunate enough to surround myself with incredible business geniuses. charlie: do you and have you been able to get a sense of where the street is? and i mean not the sort of urban
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street but where social media is? where millennials are? be, to look at you, not someone who would be as savvy as your business success would suggest. we know what that means. tommy: it's a very good point, because a lot of businesses get stale. i never wanted the business to slow stall or to get stale, so i , continually think of what is next, and i love technology. i love taking that next step. i love taking risks, and i love really, really pushing the business forward. so i think we are at the forefront of changing the paradigm in the fashion business. i think tommy hilfiger, the company, my incredible team, and
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i are looking at really changing the rules in the entire industry. and we recently proved that changing the rules could happen in a very positive way. charlie: what rules are you changing? tommy: years ago, charlie, they had fashion shows, shows in february, showing the fall collections. and they would ship the clothing into the stores the following september. people would wait and go into the stores and buy the clothes they would have seen on the runway in february. we decided to put the clothes on the runway on not only beautiful models, but social media stars and create what we called , instant fashion, buy now, wear now. charlie: gigi hadid. tommy: so her fans and our fans can watch the show, open to the public, click and buy, easily, so they can wear it at night. immediate gratification is what
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these millennials want. they also want experiences. they do not want to do it the traditional way. i wanted to be a disruptor. i wanted to change the paradigm. charlie: i read something, and i have it here. this notion -- challenges abound, many premium brands, including calvin klein, ralph lauren and tommy hilfiger among them, who have experienced stalled growth. they go to t.j. maxx or marshals, and you will find ralph lauren and tommy hilfiger shirts piled up in untidy close-out bins. he goes on and on. what you're saying is yes, that is true, and i had to change my business model and my means of reaching my consumers. tommy: you hit it on the nose. i saw that happening, and i said, ok, we have to change.
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we cannot be in this sea of mediocrity, so to speak, and we said, how do we do it? we needed to invest, and the chairman of pvh, who has done an amazing job, who also works with calvin klein and other businesses, said, ok, guys, go for it. do what you need to do, and our global ceo at avery baker, our chief branding officer said ok, we do have to do something , out of the box. why don't we do what we have been talking about? why don't we do this open to the public, buy now, wear now fashion extravaganza? it takes a lot of investment, the calendarging of manufacturing, getting everyone in the company to change their ways. so we really turned it around very quickly. it took us about a year. charlie: how long do you want to do this? you have got how many kids?
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tommy: 7, 5 of my own and two step kids. i love my life. i love waking up in the morning and doing what i do, because every day is different. every day is exciting. we are always thinking of something new. we are taking the show on the road. we are opening stores all over the world. charlie: there is still a need for brick and mortar. tommy: yes, we are opening a store in london this spring. charlie: how will that be different? tommy: it will not be racks and shelving full of clothing. i will give you a hint. you walk in and see enormous screens, and you can click and purchase with your device or you , can walk up to the screen, touch the screen -- charlie: why would i come to the store when i can do it at home? tommy: it is an experience. charlie: "american dreamer: my life in fashion and business" written with peter knobler.
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thank you for joining us. see you next time. ♪ mark: i'm mark crumpton.
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you are watching "bloomberg technology." with less than a week to go before election day, hillary clinton's focuses on arizona, a reliably republican stronghold that could be in play. donald trump, who has been reinvigorated by the fbi review is in florida, a battleground state whose electoral votes could determine whether he wins the white house. the latest tracking poll has clinton and trump tied at 46%. for the first time, the survey indicates trumpet is it seen as more honest. among independent voters, the poll shows hillary clinton with a narrow edge. in a race involving third-party candidates clinton leads 30% to


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