tv Charlie Rose Bloomberg June 26, 2017 10:00pm-11:01pm EDT
♪ announcer: from our studios in new york city, this is "charlie rose." jeff: good evening. charlie is away. i'm jeff glor of cbs news. we begin with health care. on thursday after a month of closed-door negotiations among a handful of republicans the , senate leadership release their version of repeal and replace. majority leader mitch mcconnell is pushing for a vote next week. the bill is running into trouble. four republican senators announced their opposition to the bill as it stands right now. yesterday, dean heller of nevada did the same today. joining me from washington is kelsey snell, she covers congress for "the washington
post." also, ezra klein, the editor in chief of vox media. welcome to both of you. the bill has had more than a day to soak in. how is it going? kelsey: the big question is can mitch mcconnell get the 50 votes? that's how many he needs to make sure this can pass. there are special budget rules that make it so they need a bare majority of 51 votes to pass this. they can call back at from -- backup from vice president mike pence. that means they have 52 republicans in the senate and they can only lose two. right now we are looking at for -- four conservatives who have said that they do not support the bill and its current form. they left open a lot of room to potentially get themselves to yes in a few concessions. the real question is what will happen with moderates, like senator susan collins of maine, and he's a murkowski of alaska, who have not committed one way or the other. there are a lot of questions at
this point. he doesn't have 50 yet, but there's confidence they can get there. jeff: it is not just the four you mentioned, but also heller, flake, and mitch mcconnell has to do this dance with everyone. ezra: he does. the question is, what are people policy bottom lines? is important to step back and look at this in context on the republican divide and health care. you have the moderates who have been saying they need to do more to protect medicaid. this has deeper medicaid cuts in -- then the house bill. the house bill put medicaid on a growth. now, it is just on inflation. inflation grows more slowly than medical costs. it is actually a much deeper cuts to medicaid, but the cuts don't begin for longer. plausibleore political deniability. why you would want to cut medicaid, i don't exactly know. you'll have to see how that comes up.
on the other hand, you have the conservatives who want the architecture of the affordable care act gone. it regulations, the guarantees, the way it interacts with the medical system, the centrality of the government. what is interesting is the bill retains most of the architecture of the affordable care act. it just retains money enough to achieve its goals. it ends up in a place where liberals do not like it because it does not get with the affordable care act gets done done. and conservatives are not there because the building of the affordable care act, the platform, is still around, and in the future democrats can come back and refill it with money. in theory there is still a lot , of policy disagreement here. if republicans want to pass something, this is something. jeff: can we talk about some of the specifics of the de -expansion? it would be pegged to medical alsodevice increases, but
medical cost increases? ezra: this is quite bad. getting in 2021, they begin phasing out obama's medicare expansion. that is phased out by 2024. put beginning in 2025, they the rest of the medicaid program onyo a slower rate of growth. health care rates the country go up really fast because we keep introducing new technology. health care keeps getting more expensive because we keep getting better at it, we get new drugs, we get new medical devices. in order to keep pace with what people actually spend on health care, you have to keep pace with the people spend on health care. republicans are putting medicare -- medicaid onto a growth rate that lags behind increases in health care costs. as my colleague sort of jokes, because it is general cost of living, you could have the price you get all, and medicaid cut. it is a huge long-term cuts to the program that will hurt the
most vulnerable people in america disproportionally. jeff: kelsey, let's talk about what you expect heading into monday and when the cbo score comes out. kelsey: we know there are heavy discussions going on. the lobbying has begun. trying to get the four conservatives i mentioned, which cruz, senatord mike lee, senator rand paul, and senator johnson to get on board. a separate lobbying effort that is being done for the moderates. we serve our paschi and susan collins -- lisa murkowski and susan collins. they do have very different needs here. their needs are sometimes at cross purposes. changes that the conservatives want to see -- they want to see that states have had more chances to opt out, giving people guaranteed benefits and insurance plans. they want to make it so it is a lot easier for states to say, here is a bare-bones plan, it
doesn't attempt for pre-existing conditions, doesn't protect for charging more, or covering maternity at all. they say there are young and healthy people who went cheap -- want cheap plans. they want to make those available. but that makes other people really worried because the more cheap plans that are out there, the more likely it is that the entire insurance market will have less protected plans. there are changes that could be made over the weekend. they are changes that could be made next week. there is a balancing act that has to be done by mcconnell's office to make sure they don't go too far to the right or too far to the left. the other thing to watch is what happens behind the scenes on planned parenthood. we are waiting to see if the senate parliamentarian who have the final say on what happened -- happens in the bill will say that it is ok for the republicans to defund planned parenthood for one year and have restrictions on abortion coverage.
as of right now, the tax credits are restricted so people cannot receive tax credits to buy plans that cover abortion care. it is not clear that is how the bill will end up by the time it gets to the floor next week. jeff: i want to talk about reconciliation. that is another tricky part of this to navigate. explain to me where they are at? bill is going through a budget reconciliation process. that was created in the 1970's to get budgets done more quickly. what that does is for certain pieces of legislation that directly affect the budget, you can get a fast track onto the floor and you only need 51 votes to pass it. the real key is certain bills that directly affect the budget. if the senate parliamentarian
gets a challenge from the minority party or anybody saying this provision of the bill is not about the budget, there are -- and the parliamentarian agrees, it can get stripped out. there are all kinds of things that they can do through reconciliation. they're all kinds of things in this proposal that we are not sure if they will pass with the senate parliamentarian because they are not directly about the budget. there are some republicans who say you could just overrule the senate parliamentarian and change the rules completely. you could filibuster tomorrow if you want 51 votes. this is a question of how much you will follow senate norms. by doing reconciliation, they are already breaking a big norm. that has not been done before. was finished in reconciliation, but not started in reconciliation. by doing it this way, they constrained kinds of policy they can put in the bill. they are opening themselves up to a lot of danger. jeff: from your perspective reporting lies, which senator will give mitch mcconnell the biggest albums next week? kelsey: i think it's pretty
clear that rand paul is gone. he will not be voting for this bill. i'm certain there will be another one, we are just not clear who it is. there's a lot of speculation that susan collins is not going to be willing to bend on this. there are a lot of problems with the bill. she's uncomfortable with the medicaid portions. she's uncomfortable with stripping part -- funding for planned parenthood. she's generally uncomfortable with the way the leaders went about this. i understand from talking to many people on the hill that it looks like the people they work closely with, that they're working to change the minds, cruz, senator ron johnson, and probably lisa murkowski. we'll see what happens with the others. jeff: and as rock, i was going to mention, that means he's going to need ted cruz and murkowski. ezra: it's easy to get deep in the weeds. we'll see how the numbers go. i want to back out a little bit.
listen to what mitch mcconnell is asking his members to support. we know what the bill will do. it's pretty clear. you will see large coverage losses of 10 million to $20 million. that's my guess. people left are going to get much higher deductible care, which is what people don't like about obamacare already. into the plansll of much higher deductibles and co-pays, and higher reveals because of lower subsidies. for any of the senators, it is very unclear if you have been , listening to republican rhetoric on obamacare for years what problems they are solving , here. i can tell you, putting my secret washington decoder ring, you go to think tanks and get a different story, fair enough. but if the bill is actually implemented, insurance markets would collapse. they have no ways of managing risk pools. a lot of people will not be a will to afford what they have.
they take obamacare's benchmark plan when you get subsidies, which covers 70% of most people's health care, bringing it down to 58%. plans like that have more than a $7,000 deductible. this will be on implementation of an unpopular plan. you are seeing people talk about it before they know what it will do. there has not been a congressional budget office score. we just got it yesterday. nobody saw it before yesterday. at some point they will have to look at this thing and think, do i want to be defending this in a couple years? i don't think it's 100% sure. jeff: the charges are collapsing already. ezra: this is actually interesting. they are not. in somee counties states like alaska that are having very serious problems, but that is not the median situation. you have places you do need to fix, and it would be fixed quite a bit if republicans were
n't putting the cost sharing structures at risk it would be fixed. there would be easy ways of wanting to get people covered, if you want to do it. you do not need to push people to lower deductible plans. this is not fixing obamacare with obamacare's goals in mind. this is something else where you want fewer people covered with higher deductible care. you are creating more problems than if you just left it alone. jeff: if we are not thinking of this, or shouldn't be thinking of this as a repeal, do we think of it as a retooling? ezra: this is interesting. it's one of these big semantic faith in the bill. the bill does not repeal the structure of obamacare. it does make it impossible for it to achieve its goals. the bill goes beyond obamacare appeal and begins to cut into the medicare program. -- medicaid bill.
there is a fight amongst conservatives about whether this is truly repeal and replace. some conservatives feel like it's just every formation of obamacare. some think it's a way of fixing obamacare, which i think is a crazy way to look at this legislation. i consider this a repeal of obamacare. obamacare is meant to achieve goals, cover people with a certain level of health insurance quality. this bill takes away the ability to cover people with insurance anywhere near that quality. it would become a new program that has new dynamics and a new vision behind it. the bulk of oh, -- obamacare coverage gains have been under medicaid. those would be completely wiped out. i don't mean to give mitch mcconnell to much backing here, but under any reasonable definition, this is a destruction of the affordable care act and the construction of something new. but they are constructing is bounded by the reconciliation rules, and they are somewhat working within the confines of giving people health insurance, so you're not going fully back into the world before obamacare, but it's not a small change.
jeff: which is why president obama said yesterday that it's not a health care bill. ezra: right. it's fundamentally a tax bill. they are giving a very large tax cut, repealing the capital gain increases in obamacare, the industry taxes in the bill. one of the numbers is amazing. the top 400 household families in america would get a tax cut that is larger than the cost of keeping the medicaid expansion in four states covering 730,000 people. 400 families, you are giving them a tax cut, at the tech -- cost of taking medicaid out of 730,000 people. everything in the bill is driven by that. down thise to pay huge tax cut, then you have to take health care away from people. that's the only thing you can do. fundamentally day do not achieve clear health insurance goals in the bill. republicans have been saying for years that the bill does not fit
their goals, but they really do cut taxes. it fits that goal. dots goal is fully achieved within it. jeff: what do congressional republicans say when someone tells them this is not a health care bill? kelsey: this is something you heard more in the house and in the senate to be sure, but they often say that conservative principles are not about ensuring that health care is a right, the view it as a responsibility. they say that their main goal is to make sure that the federal government has less of a role in health care, and that it is delegated more to the states and individual responsibility. to their mind this is achieving , those goals. the gold of obamacare do not fit within the realm of what republicans say they want to do with health care. jeff: kelsey snell of the kleington post, and ezra of vox media, we thank both of you for your time. ezra: thank you. kelsey: thank you.
♪ jeff: we continue with the big news out of silicon valley this week. the resignation of the uber ceo. after months of internal turmoil departures forced his during a contentious meeting at a chicago hotel on tuesday. the hardcharging entrepreneur came under fire for creating a toxic culture many felt within the company and his own personal conduct.
travis kalanick will remain on the board and retain voting rights. uber's $70 billion valuation makes it the biggest privately held startup in the world. joining me from california's mike isaac of the new york times, from washington, derek thompson of the atlantic, and max chafkin of bloomberg businessweek. i'm pleased to have all of them. for a company that makes news every week, this may have been the biggest of all. max: yes. this was pretty stunning. travis kalanick, the ceo, had full control of the company in almost every way. he was ceo, had voting control, and or control. he had to be the one to decide to step away. it was something that was pretty much unthinkable a few months ago. jeff: he had board control and then he did not. mike: that's right. they slowly started turning on him overtime. the problem was he stacked the board seats in his favor. he has a few close friends that
have been in his corner. suddenly, the directors, which have building -- billions of uber,s writing on hoove believe they need to get someone other than travis. jeff: so it will he led by somebody other than travis kalanick. but travis kalanick was uber. derek: that's right. he was responsible for the company's bottom line, the revenue, and the culture. in many ways, the revenue came out of the culture. this incredible relentless focus on improving the culture -- product and making sure it was growing, growing, growing, allowing him to get away with this behavior, which we now know is pretty heinous. it's a remarkable story, because uber is an astonishing accomplishment. the largest private company in the world. $68 billion in value. it made $20 billion in revenue last year. globaln enormous
colossus of this new emerging culture, and how people got around, not just in the u.s., but around the world, but to get there there was a brewing culture that was toxic. it will be interesting to see what uber will be like without travis. jeff: big revenue, but the company is still losing money. max: yes, still losing money. that's one of the things we should all be paying attention to. and derek is uber, right, it is big and impressive. but i do not think it is not as firm as people think it is. lyft is coming on fast. they had big battles in many other cities. uber has been pouring money into these cities for years and years, subsidizing every ride that we take while pushing drivers to accept less money. the fact that they are still not making money is troubling. jeff: we should mention, none of these ridesharing companies, most of them don't make money at
this point. i think they recognize the tenuous position they are in. they send out a lot of emails offering big discounts on rides. at least here in new york city this week, they have already sent this email about the tipping policy, which is changing. they are trying to turn the tide, right? mike: there are a few different narratives here. if you talk to investors right now, they keep emphasizing, the business is good and the business is growing, even if we aren't profitable. we are still trying to get -- mil michael used to talk about this flight will they had to start a new cities, which means burning venture dollars and subsidizing rides to get demand up. the question is, is that demand going to continue when riders
are actually paying the real cost without venture capitalist dollars backing that? has $10eantime, uber billion still in the bank, so they maintain the business is growing and we still have enough money to keep growing, and just hang in there. we are not darth vader, you should still use our service. jeff: not just hang in there, but remove the toxicity. the question is, how long it takes for that to go away? mike: it's really interesting. you watch the uber versus lyft branding wars playing out. 4, 5,unny over the past six months, normal, non-tech people i talked to have a sense of latent guilt about using uber. they're not sure why, they just heard the ceo was a bad guy. or they hear they have a really gross culture. one of the big things now is to stem the tide of bad
juju around their brand. jeff: the price is not just going up for the actual ride itself, but with uber now adding the tip option, which many people will feel compelled to distribute, that increases the price as well. yes. it's like a 20% price increase give or take. , i think that was smart. one of the things that uber has struggled with is that lyft was a more responsible company . part of that was the fact that drivers who drive for lyft appreciate the tips. that was of huge resentment among uber drivers. this was a small thing they were able to do pretty quickly that may be starts to rebuild a little trust with the driver community. the thing about the drivers is, as we said, they can move around. to thing that allowed uber
grow quickly is it doesn't have employees. the flipside to not having employees is that at any point the drivers can abandon and try more hours for lyft then they are driving for uber. jeff: they didn't make it difficult on the drivers in that sense. you also have these awkward encounters about -- the whole tipping thing has been a huge point of discussion. mike: yes. the tipping thing is funny, because for years, travis kalanick actually was the weird stopping point on driver tipping. i spoke to people in the company who said they had essentially built the mechanism already, but for some philosophical reason travis thought it added more friction into it. it was indicative of how uber treated their drivers for years. they saw them as a dispensable, disposable labor force that they can churn through quickly and always find more supply of new people by spending more marketing dollars to get more drivers. at this they realize there is a
point, finite number of people who are willing to work for this wage, so we need to treat our drivers better and maybe will have better retention in the long run. they are starting to figure that out now. drivers are really mad. they had built up a lot of bad will over the few years. i imagine it will take a while for them to actually believe 's overtures right now. jeff: talk about lyft a little bit if you could. mike: if you would have talked your or two ago, i would think they would have run out of money and die over time. they have had this second wind, and have been profiting off of uber's stumbles. private equity firms have missed a certain opportunity to invest money into uber, so they started looking at lyft as a viable option. maybe it becomes an acquisition
target for an automaker like gm, or maybe google decides to buy them if they feel like their network of riders is valuable enough. when people started seeing uber stumble, there was an opportunity for lyft to move in sees si --eze -- and seize on that vulnerability. now they are taking market share from uber in the united states. i don't know about how bullish i am on lyft as a ridesharing, direct competitor for uber. but they do have much more competitive ability now than it did a year ago. jeff: it's fascinating. to talk about the complete reimagining of the corporate culture of a company, that is what this is. max: yes. we alluded to this earlier. one of the things that made travis kalanick an unusual chief executive is that he was going
around from city to city hiring general managers, often personally. he was very, very involved in far reaches of the company. these people were being hired in his image. this is not a company where you can cut the head off the top and that it will be a new thing. we saw just yesterday with this letter that was circulated. 1400 or so uber employees signed a petition saying that they want travis back. jeff: steve jobs was forced out at apple and then triumphantly returned. travis kalanick has a lot to deal with right now, but it's not like you are ripping all the travis kalanick roots out of uber right away. derek: travis dealt with a lot of issues. both public issues, but the tragic death of his mother that might have contributed to the initial decision to step aside, which then led to the ultimate chicago meeting that pushed him out of the company. of course he could come back. he is still a part of the
company. he could come back as ceo. that is possible. there is a philosophical issue that is raised here, what is the amount of oversight we want to have in america's largest companies? for a long time, there was a relatively common critique that said the problem with enormous public companies in the u.s. is that they were so focused on the short term. meet the quarterly earnings reports. it was sapping long-term innovation out of the economy. but here's the flipside. you have an entire company made in one man's image. on the one hand, he was instrumental in rolling out this revolution in getting around. $70 billion company, most valuable private company in the world. at the same time, because the company seems to have so clearly been made in his image, it allowed some of the dark side of travis kalanick to be represented throughout the company in ways that were hard to take out. that was part of the calculus here. in order to extract that from
the workplace, you have to cut that out. -- you have to cut the head off the snake. jeff: i don't know what the exact quote was, but travis ralanick said, i am uber, o uber >> touché. it seems hard for me to believe this is the last we have heard from him. has never sold a single share of stocks since he cofounded the company. he is buying up more stock from employees who want to sell it. he is trying to work on the se board allegiances. and he has investor friends still calling for him to return in an operational role. it is not out of the realm of possibility for a triumphant semi-return. , he just hasterm
to step away. he is too tied up with uber's negative image. that was the point of what investors were trying to do when they pushed him out. i wrote about this last week or this week or whatever i did. essentially, he said he was taking a leave a week ago. he had no real intention of leaving the company. he was still interviewing executive candidates, texting, calling his top lieutenants in the company. so it has been hard for him to actually step away. we will see if he continues making these power plays now. for the meantime, he will stay a little bit quieter. , the folkseantime who are now running the company have to get up to speed, no pun intended. >> and there are like a dozen vacancies. the entire senior management team has turned over over the past six months or so. obviously, most importantly, hiring a ceo, ceo who will be willing to step into this
arguably toxic environment with this very aggressive strong-minded former chief executive and cofounder kind of hovering over them. it is hard to imagine who is going to be willing to take on that challenge. i'm sure they will find somebody, but i don't think it is going to be as easy as some people imagine. >> how dark and wide is this and so far asow the folks inside the company operate? he resigned, but how much -- you have to imagine there is a lot of thinking about him. derek: it's complicated. you're talking about a company that has 12,000 employees not counting the contractors. 12,000 people can have a lot of different opinions among them. you can have a thousand people signing a petition that says keep travis kalanick around. we love him. we will die for him. then you can have hundreds of thousands of people who think the exact opposite, who think that even though travis might have been necessary in terms of getting uber into these markets,
bypassing all this regulatory red tape, making them the global company that they are, that he might have been the right guy for the growth, but he is the worst for managing the growth because he does not have the soft touch you need. from what i have read, from what i have seen, i feel like the company is torn. you see that there is attrition. people who are feeling like this is not the place to be. our senior management has been gutted. we don't know what the future of this company is going to be. are we going to leave? some people believe very strongly in the cause, believes that they are changing the world. they want to stick around to see how the story ends. >> internally, what is the divide between pro-and anti-travis kalanick forces? mike: it is really funny, what derek was saying really resonates. i would say there is a few different camps. people who have been there since the beginning or four or five years ago, which in valley terms is a millennia basically.
people who have been there from the beginning are really supportive of travis, this idea is, look, there is a cult of the founder. very hero worshiping kind of thing. only the founder can continue leading the troops into battle or however you want to put it, or in this case, the company onto an initial public offering eventually. then you have folks who are a little bit newer within the last year or so. thought they were signing on to another mission oriented trying to bring different modes of getting around the world to everyone, and then kind of did not know what they were getting into and realized the culture is a little bit different than their old job at facebook. so there is a groups of folks saying, look, we had an edgy ceo who was probably good at the and nowthe beginning, it is probably time for our next phase. >> their thompson of the
[ laughing ] it's driving me crazy come on. [ spitting from tongue ] time for my secret weapon. sports, movies, tv, ah, show me music to distract a minion. [ voice remote click ] oh! [ pharrell starts to play ] [ minion so happy to see screen ] ahh! i'm pretty smart. ahhh! [ lots of minions ] [ mooing sound ] show me unicorns. [ click noise for tv ] ahhh! that works too.
he is also a supreme court scholar. he has tried to engage princeton more deeply and closely with american society, welcoming navy rotc back to campus and increasing economic diversity. chris, welcome to charlie's table. >> it is a pleasure to be here. >> i want to read something you said at the princeton graduation couple of weeks ago. "we live in a time when confidence in our shared in tuitions is ebbing. not only government, but business and nonprofit organization. it is too tempting to complain about our institutions failures. but we need our institutions because they enable us to pursue larger purposes together." first, why is confidence in these institutions ebbing? chris: it is a good question. the best i can do is to speculate about why that is no. it is a worldwide trend. there may be different causes in different places. if i look specifically at the united states, i think about political polarization that leads us to disagree systemically with one another and at times, as an article last
week in the new york times showed, even to dislike one another across political lines, but in some way that just pushes the question back a level. why are we seeing distrust and institutions and one another? i think the growing inequality has something to do with that. i think the perceptions of procedural unfairness have something to do with that. you read about stories who are not only fabulously wealthy or don't seem to deserve that, or if you see evidence of corruption in the public sphere, that makes you distrust these inequalities. it feels like the game produces unfair outcomes and that the game may be rigged. i also think there is another reason which has a more positive side to it. certainly we are becoming very a society, ouris the institutions are becoming more diverse in terms of the people
represented, and that means some of the old fallbacks that some of us have in terms of whom we trust and whom we don't has to be reimagined or reinvented. we have to learn how to work in a society that is more diverse. david: how do you think about what higher education needs to do, both to ensure face in faith in american society at large, but also for education for its own sake? chris: i think there are a number of answers to that. it is an important and tough challenge. one of the things we have to do is know what our values are, stand by those values, explain those values so that we can build trust and what we are doing and help people to understand institutions that sometimes may look very different from what they are familiar with. i think we have to look very critically at ourselves. that may be where we are falling down in that regard. you mentioned my bringing the navy rotc back to princeton. i think one of the kinds of diversity that has been missing from some of our ivy league institutions has been the
programs androtc what they bring to our university programs. we are fortunate that at princeton that we have the army rotc with us through a period. we have tried to grow the number of rotc students. looking at political diversity more generally is going to be important, if we are perceived rightly or wrongly as blue dots, where arguments don't get vigorously engaged. that is a problem in terms of building trust in what we do. it is important in places like princeton that we increase the socioeconomic diversity of our student body, which is something i worked very hard on as president. david: i wanted to get to the economic diversity. let's spend a minute on free speech. there have been all kinds of incidents recently in which it seems like free speech is under attack, right? the one at middlebury, berkeley,
and elsewhere. how much is this something that is really a concern? how much is the campus free speech issue a creation of the fox news' of the world. chris: vigorous argument and free speech are indispensable to a high-quality university, so they are issues i think all of us on university campuses take seriously, and we have to take seriously. incidents like the one in middle berry or when heather mcdonald was prevented from speaking at the claremont colleges, is appalling. you know, the protest was not physically violent in the one at middlebury was. again, she was prevented from speaking and that is inconsistent with what it is that we need to stand for this as institutions. on the other hand, i think it is the case that anytime you have
an incident like that, it is reported. when charles murray came to speak at princeton, he was able to give the speech. there is no reporting on that. when our students had a debate with rick santorum, at the wind event she complimented the students on their respectful behavior. there was very little reporting on that kind of debate. so i do think there is exaggeration around the set of incidents that are taking place on college campuses. i find that our students and faculty as well as university leadership are strongly dedicated to the importance of free speech on campus, but these are fundamental values, and obviously we have to be attentive to making sure that people from all viewpoints are able to speak on our campus. david: that is obviously a nuanced message that can get polarizedday's choru debate. you are saying that you are a strong believer in free speech and you're bothered by these attacks on free speech which come from the political left, but at the same time, you think it is not the existential problem that the political right
has sometimes made the issues out to be. is that a fair summary? chris: on the vast majority of campuses, free speech is in good shape. we ought to have robust sometimes noisy arguments about things that we should have noisy robust arguments about. and there are times when people will point to a protest or two people speaking rudely to one another and say that is a sign of the free speech problem on college campuses. that is a lot of free speech taking place. free speech really does protect the right of protesters to stand up as long as they are not keeping someone else from speaking. david: do you have any concerns that basic values, speech, democracy, the rule of law, are under more question today, including from younger citizens than they were in the past? chris: i'm very optimistic about our students and young people in general, so i find them inspiring. i find they have an extraordinary commitment to
service and a strong set of democratic values. i think they are at a time when they are asking the question, what does it mean to act on those democratic values? and how do we express them through the electoral system right now? they are growing up at a time when many of them believe, as do i, that climate change is an extraordinarily serious problem of great urgency for our planet, but they are looking at legislatures and finding them unable to react in a way that seems to address that problem. they are seeing deadlock in washington where we have regular arguments about whether or not should authorize our own government to pay its debts. they are seeing polarization. one of the reasons i spoke about institutions at the way i did at the commencement address was to try to urge his generation of engaged and interested and civic clean minded students to
have respect for those institutions at a time when the institutions are under tremendous stress. on free speech in particular, i do have confidence that our students understand that free speech is important to what it is that a democracy does. i think they are struggling with the question of how it is that you operationalize that commitment in a very diverse set of surroundings, where on the one hand, they want students to feel included and respected. and where they also understand the importance of vigorous invited a year ago as class they speak or a novelist, and in her remarks to them, we had an occupation of my office, she said, "look, i am standing have been through some uncomfortable discussions on this campus."
she added, "whoever said discussion had to be comfortable?" the students who invited her applauded that statement. again, there may be some who feel they want to be protected from uncomfortable argument. i think most of them do not. david: what was the occupation of your office about? chris: the way princeton treated woodrow wilson and the memory of woodrow wilson, who was a second founder to our university. a princetonly alumnus who went on to be president of the united states, but also the president of the university and transformed it into a great research university. we honor him by putting his name on a couple of buildings. we talk a lot about him. the protests ask that we take the name of woodrow wilson off the school of public and international affairs and off a residential college. we convened a trustee committee that considered that issue. we had what was not only a campuswide discussion, but communitywide discussion that involved a lot of alumni input.
and came out of it saying we are going to keep that name on both the college and the school of public international affairs, but we are going to change the way we talk about woodrow wilson in particular and our history more generally to recognize both his very serious flaws on the issue of race, and more generally, aspects of our history we need to own up to but have not talked enough about. david: is it fair to say that woodrow wilson was a racist? chris: i would say that about him, david. others might characterize it differently, but of the things that i learned in the course of those discussions was that woodrow wilson resegregated the federal civil service. it wasn't that he just failed as someone might do to desegregate, it had been desegregated. he resegregated it. certainly he was a man operating in different times then we live
in today and some historians, we asked a number to write letters. they pointed out that he was a moderate in their view on the issue of race at the time he lived, but there are acts like the one i described that i do not think can be characterized in another way. david: he was an excellent segue to the subject of economic diversity. he is one of your predecessors. he led a campaign to try to make princeton a less elite university. he was not in favor of diversity in terms of race or sex. but he pushed to make it feel less like a country club, right? and he failed, but it helped launch his political career. chris: he put the university on a trajectory that changed it, including our first catholic and jewish faculty. david: and i believe making it a much more academically rigorous institution. you talked about economic diversity's central to your presidency.
it is an interesting diversity because it is not often talked about. for decades we have been talking about racial, ethnic, religious diversity, which i think is vital, more recently, we have had conservatives talk about political diversity, which is vital, but this is different. this is saying that on many of our campuses, while we have achieved some kind of diversity, the student body has remained remarkably affluent, hasn't it? chris: we look at our numbers, and we have in place of a financial aid program that we think of as best in class that makes the university extraordinarily affordable for students who are admitted to the university. we have what we think is a great undergraduate education. we had thought we put those two in place, and we would get socioeconomic diversity in the undergraduate student body. about a dozen years ago, we looked at how we were doing, and found we had 7% of students who were eligible for federal pell
grants that go to the least well-off families. david: it is not just the very poor. pell grant's go to the bottom 40% or 50% of the entire income distribution? chris: that is correct. you are looking at an underrepresentation at a factor of six to seven. from our standpoint, that was something we needed to change for a number of reasons. we needed to change it because we wanted to be extraordinary at what we're doing. we need to change it because if we are going to bridge the divide that exists in society that we were told about earlier, we need to bring people together from different grounds and we need to change it because the effect of a college education at a place like princeton for a student coming out of a backgrounde with talent and determination can be utterly transformative in the student life.
all the data suggest that if they have got the ability to do the work, this will be transformative to their prospects for the future. david: we have also seen stories. in the past, there may not have been many low income students, but one was michelle robinson, who is now named michelle obama. one was name soda sotomayor named justice sotomayor your. chris: they are great examples of this because they talk about what a struggle it was to come from their backgrounds to place like princeton, and enter this environment that particularly in the 1970's and early 1980's, was a very foreign environment for them. they also talk about the extraordinary impact that had on their lives, and the way it's set them up for the leadership careers they have pursued. schools like prince and are known for having very engaged alumni. i guess that you have heard from some alumni who have said "wait a second. what is wrong with the kids we already had? and are you lowering your standards to admit more low income kids?" chris: i have heard it occasionally. we have alumni that are very
engaged, who love the institution, and understand that in order to be faithful to its ideals, it also has to change. when i talk about what we have done, to finish the story i told earlier, we have tripled the number of pell grant eligible students. when i talk about that to our alumni, i get some of the biggest applause lines i get as president of the university. they understand that if we are going to be a country -- and i think this is an ideal that appeals to all of us -- if we are going to be a country that if you are talented and hard-working you can succeed regardless of who your parents were, then places like princeton have to be taking more students from disadvantaged background. i will sometimes get the question you mentioned. i am happy to tell folks we are not lowering our standards one iota in able to take these
extraordinarily talented students. they are making a huge difference on our campus, and beyond our campus, after they graduate. i do tell them that i love all the different kinds of students we bring to our campus, and one of the things i'm happy about is our trustees have authorized me to fund raise to expand the undergraduate student body because i do not think we want to focus just on one thing. david: by expanding you are able to give opportunities to all kinds of kids. it is not just a percentage game? chris: people talk about in terms of percentages, and i get that color but the real question is about how many kids we can educate well in a way that allows them to flourish. david: let's spend one minute on your personal history. you grapple with issues of adversity and identity. you grew up thinking you were another protestant american and then you discovered that the story was different. chris: i was raised by my parents -- actually, my parents sent me to catechism classes.
catholic father. my mother told me she had been born into a german protestant family, and only after she died as i was working on a family history project with my son that i discovered, by looking at online records, that she was jewish. i now identify as jewish. it was something that once i started putting the pieces together, i wondered how it was possible that this had never occurred to me to explain some questions about the family history that were bit mysterious or cloudy, but once i discovered it, it felt like a missing puzzle piece coming into place. david: how have you explored it since discovering it? chris: a lot of it has been by reconnecting to a set of cousins i never knew i had. my mother had cut us off from contact any relatives who might tell the story of the background, so i grew up thinking i actually had relatively few cousins in this country and found out i am surrounded by them.
i have another set of cousins to whom i close to now in israel , who i never knew about. part of what this has done for me, in addition to connecting me to an extraordinary group of people, is to give me another set of resources to draw upon as i try to understand my own ideals and values. as it happens, what i wrote about in constitutional law, more than anything else, was religious freedom. the question of religion and religious identity was always an important one for me despite the effort to raise me as catholic. i grew up thinking of myself as non-christian in a christian country. and all of a sudden, identifying as jewish, i had a body of cultural materials through so so rich to draw upon. chris, thank you for joining us. chris: it has been a pleasure. ♪
president trump salutes india as a true friend. the chinese premier addresses the world economic forum in china. we take you there live. >> we are waiting for lines out of dalian. we will get the news as they make their way on the terminal. let's see what we get. markets mixed. 43% up, 43% down, the rest unchanged. cross assets, looking like this. most on the way out. we are basically flat. no pickup in volume except for taiwan and china. have a look at these stocks leading gains.