tv Charlie Rose Bloomberg July 24, 2017 10:00pm-11:00pm 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 tonight with politics. this week marks the six-month anniversary of president trump's inauguration. those six months have been marked by what seems like a n unprecedented and nonstop flow of news from the west wing. with more on the latest developments, we are joined by shannon pettypiece. she covers the white house for bloomberg news. and in washington, dan balz, chief correspondent for "the washington post." i'm pleased to welcome them both to the program. kanaan, let me start with you
here in the studio with the resignation of sean spicer as press secretary. scaramucci, anthony a financier, hedge fund manager new york italian and long backer , of trump, is in as communications director. there is not a sense he will be doing much messaging and strategy. the sense is he will mostly be doing tv appearances, possibly the podium, and be the public face for trump and the white house, but not necessarily anyone who understands washington, understands congress, understands messaging. the question still is, who is going to be dealing with those bigger picture issues if he is just going to be the public face and sean spicer is saying, "i am having none of this, i am out," and anthony is the one left? jeff: it's interesting. there are similarities between the president and anthony scaramucci. native new yorker, fighter. anthony is more finance. the president was real estate. there are similarities.
dan: there are similarities. they're both combative. they are both money people. they are both from new york. they speak a similar language in that respect. neither has washington experience, which the president believed is an asset, and i suspect he sees he will be a similar asset disruptor rather , a than someone who will play by washington rules. sean spicer was a creature of washington, and it made it difficult for him to operate for a president that has defied all the rules. he will be more comfortable with anthony scaramucci in that position. the issue that shannon raised, which is the role of the communications director is not necessarily to be the public face. that is usually the press secretary. but it is someone planning to medication strategy longer-term. what we know about this white house is there is no long-term planning or very little of it, particularly on the communications side. the president creates the strategy hour-by-hour.
maybe he can roll with it more easily than sean spicer was able to. jeff: i was going to say, the communications director is the president. shannon: right, he is his own communications director, his own policy advisor. that was a frustration. they have a message, they're going one direction. and then the president does an interview and blows it up. obviously, sean had been frustrated for a while in this position. anthony was going to be doing the job of communications director and press secretary without the title. people i talked to him said he said this is not what i wanted, i am leaving. jeff: more shocks for a white house where it does not seem to stop. dan: it is a shock a day, really. we are at the six-month mark.
week by week, month by month, it has become apparent this is what life with president trump is going to be like. there will not be a pivot to a more settled white house or more sedate pace or a president who is more predictable or more presidential in that sense. this is just one more day in a six-month roller coaster we have been witnessing and experiencing as a country under president trump. jeff: shannon, sean spicer and reince priebus were a bit of a package deal when they came on board the trump administration. i think a lot of people are asking if sean spicer is out, what happens to reince priebus? shannon: right. to your point, a package deal, they were both from the r.n.c., they were washington establishment. they were supposed to understand washington and know how to get things done, filling the void between trump, kushner, and other outsiders coming in.
with sean gone, you would think this might mean something for reince priebus. people close to him say he is very supportive of this decision about anthony. he has been told his job is secure, he is not going anywhere. famous last words from everyone in this white house -- "i am not going anywhere" -- but the story now is that he is getting on board with the strategy to bring on anthony and let sean leave if that is what he wants to do. jeff: as this drama plays out, primarily the president is trying to focus on getting something done on health care. dan: well that is what he says , he is focusing on. his attention span is very short. from day to day, it is not clear that is really where he is focusing his time or energy.
it seems to be more focused on frustrations with the probe on the russia investigation under special counsel bob mueller, his frustrations he aired this week with jeff sessions, the attorney general. yes, he did have all the republican senators into the white house after the built in the senate collapsed earlier this week. and he indicated he want something done. but getting to that goal line has proven so difficult, and the president has not necessarily played a constructive role in getting it to a success. he will say those kinds of things, but there has been little follow-through. i think we have to be skeptical there will be presidential follow-through. i think the senate will try to do what they can do. senator mcconnell, the majority leader, kind of reached the end of his limits earlier this week. while there will be a vote next week or effort to have a vote to
put a bill on the floor, it is not clear they will even be able to succeed getting the bill on the floor. jeff: as you have noted, there has been a little bit of a change in strategy for the president. he was very involved with the house and house members and cajoling them to get their version past. it was a standoff with the senate for a while. now he made the sales pitch this week. shannon: it was interesting seeing what happened in the house. he did really turn of the temperature on them in the end. in the end, the house members themselves came up with a couple of amendments to feel comfortable enough with this and be able to vote for the bill they were not crazy about. it was really not any leverage from the president. he was calling them over and over again, inviting them to the white house, bowling nights, but it was really the members coming together. i think that is what will happen in the senate. at 40% approval rating at best, more in the 30's, he does not have leverage.
every day, he becomes more toxic. for members trying to decide if trump is the most popular or most dangerous person in the gettingan party, we are close to having to make that decision for 2018. it is increasingly looking like they will shift away from him and try to run on their own rather than working with the president. jeff: is there any indication that the interest senate arguments in the republicans, that they are agreeing any more with each other at this point? shannon: today from yesterday, i don't there is any sign anybody is moving closer into one column over another, despite being called last night. my read on this is this is not something that gets decided in a couple of days. maybe a few months, maybe the follow, maybe the end of the year. where we are at right now, the
divide isn't going to be mended in a few days or a late-night on capitol hill. jeff: does the president have leverage? what does the threat to skip your august break mean? dan: it put some pressure on them. but i think they have put pressure on themselves. it is not as if they need external pressure. they recognize that they have made a promise for seven years to repeal the affordable care act. ,hey had in trying to do that and in a sense, trying to do a rubik's cube to get everybody on board. they have not been able to. the recent surgery and diagnosis for senator mccain leaves them with one less vote, even though his vote was not certain. they are in a deeper hole than they were before the president said, stay for your august recess. that is easy to say if you are president, but what is it that he's got to contribute that will
bring in both moderates and conservatives into a consensus that will get them to the 50 votes they need? it's clear senator collins and senator rand paul are hard nos against the bill. there was no margin of error. there is less now because of senator mccain. and the president has yet to offer anything substantive to say here is a way out of this box, or is a solution i can see or my people can see. they just have not been able to do it. they have made any number of efforts. i was up in rhode island last weekend for the national governors association. the vice president was there. secretary price was there. they were trying to win some governors. they were not able to do that. they did not get anybody to say they were for the bill who had not been for it before that. similarly in the senate. i think it is really tough. for him to say stay until you get this done is talk, but it is
not necessarily constructive action. jeff: it's also not a popular bill right now. shannon: now. -- no. and donald trump, the real estate businessman, would say you have to believe in what you are selling if you want to sell it. they do not have a good sales pitch. earlier this week, i heard the president trying to make a sales pitch in a lunch with senators , saying it is entitlement reform with medicaid, rolling back taxes, mandates that hurt companies, trying to have real republican conservative ideology selling points. as far as selling to the american people, they are so far from having a good, effective message. that's why i feel like the mood and popularity about this will not change overnight. maybe they could change it months from now with good messaging, getting people on the same page. but it is so unpopular right now that a vote next week is not going to be enough.
is that going to be a continuing focus? shannon: not if they cannot get tax reform done. that is what wall street is looking for. they want tax reform. they want a lower corporate tax rate. they want the tax holiday. that is what the markets have been banking on. each day the health care drama draws out, you get further away from being able to get tax reform done this year. tax reform is also what the republican establishment wants. they are foaming at the mouth to get to tax reform. they have the health care bill they need to do first because they need to savings from that to pass tax reform. i think there will be a day and time when president trump is going to regret tying his success to the markets, if for nothing else than the markets are just cyclical but also to the point markets are counting on tax reform. shannon: the markets seem immune to drama.
good or bad. shannon: the markets love -- every investor loves to be doing well. nobody on wall street wants the markets to go down. but it is sort of like, how long can the party last? everyone is having a grand time now. when does reality set in? when do they have to face the music? jeff: the white house is focused on the markets and theme weeks, "made in america," there have been others. have those, in your estimation, gotten any traction? dan: i think very little actually, because so much else happens that is more dramatic when they are trying to do that. just look at this week, "made in america" week. there were a number of events designed to highlight "made in america." every day or every other day, there has been something far more dramatic that has happened, generally caused by the president himself. this notion of stepping on the
big message has been a constant theme in the administration. i do think that "made in america" message has resonance. it certainly has with the trump base. but i think it has resonance broader than that. in general, americans would like to see more manufacturing in this country. they would like to buy more goods made in this country. the extent to which the president has and uses the bully pulpit to deliver that message can be effective. i have talked to people in some states who have said they have seen evidence in their states that what the president has said, just what he said on this, has had an impact on the thinking of businesses about where they invest and how they invest their money. there is some value to that. with the constant disruption, it dilutes the power of the message , and in many ways smothers it , completely. shannon: and aside from this lost thatp really
message. remember in january and december, he was going after those companies. he was going after for it. the deal in indiana with carrier. he was going after boeing. he lost that message. that was an effective message for him, but he gets distracted tweeting about fake news instead of tweeting about a company, like ford sending jobs to china. jeff: the fake news tweets also resonate with a lot of folks. shannon: with the base. but i think jobs and america and going after the big companies, those resonate with independents and democrats and people that swung him into the white house. jeff: how does the attorney general stay in the job when he president openly says he should not be there? dan: it is very difficult. if you are the attorney general, you have to swallow your pride. you have to say to yourself, i've got important work that i'm doing, and i'm not going to let this be a distraction.
i suppose you can say that you say to yourself the justice department actually is and should be independent from the president on a number of things. and so, if the president is unhappy, i can live with that. this was a terrible thing that happened to him this week, to have the president so publicly rebuke him. we have known for some time how unhappy the president was about the decision by jeff sessions to recuse himself from all things related to the russia investigation. that has been out there for a while. but we have never heard it from the president's voice and we have never heard it in such a dismissive way and angry way about what sessions had done. it is as if that decision has led to this cascading of an investigation. it is obviously more complicated than that. there is a different timeline the president is overlooking as to how we got to this point with the mueller investigation. it has to be humiliating to the attorney general to be operating
like this. as i say, i think the only thing he can do is what he seemed to do on thursday, swallow his pride and try to carry on as long as he can. jeff: the timeline part of this is important from the presidential perspective, and maybe has not been examined as much. there's also the question of finding someone if sessions did resign or is fired, of finding someone willing to take the job. shannon: almost as hard as finding someone to take the communications director job at the white house, which was one of the most fraught positions. i know they talked to so many people and no one wanted to take the job because they knew what they were stepping into. unlike the communications director, this one has to be confirmed by congress. that would be one giant fight to go through. jeff: if you are bob mueller now and you have obviously hired a decent number of lawyers
already, how are you paying attention to this and reading this? dan: i think you are trying not to pay attention to it. bob mueller is an experienced lawyer, prosecutor, former f.b.i. director, commands great respect. i think he is quite secure in who he is and the responsibilities that go with this particular assignment he has taken on. i would guess he and those around him are just pushing forward. there is no evidence they are being cowed by any of the outside noise and pressure being applied. if anything, they are expanding this investigation into various other areas which may be one of the reasons the president is alarmed. i don't know the specifics of that. but he is certainly upset and seems more upset with the investigation today than he was a few months ago, and he was quite upset with it then. if you are bob mueller, you know what this job comes with.
he has been through very tough situations before. he will do it professionally. and he will bring it to a conclusion. whatever that conclusion is, whether it is damaging to the president or exculpatory to the president, i think he will deliver that report with a lot of confidence. jeff: i have heard a number of people say this week, in the end , everything is going to come out. he will find everything. right now, the counter strategy is to push back on any potential conflicts, shannon? shannon: from people in the administration, i talked to the this,ent's lead lawyer on who has been moved aside. dowd says their strategy is not to try to pick a fight with mueller's team. he has great respect for mueller. they are not focusing on those.
but at the same time, i was talking to doubt about that, and kellyanne conway was on fox talking about the conflicts, the witch hunt, how this is all a hoax. and of course, the president talking to "the new york times" specifically bringing this issue up. while the legal team may be trying not to poke the bear in mueller, and say, you have all these conflicts and poke holes there is certainly a group , inside the white house that includes the president trying to put a cloud around mueller's investigation. jeff: dan, your paper had this explosive information overnight about the potential of pardons. that is a big word when you hear it. dan: it is a big word. i think we should take it for what it is at this point. perhaps it is simply an inquiry , which might be a logical inquiry from a president who is not fully familiar with the ways and means of all of these legal
investigations or the powers he has as president of the united states. it may be nothing more than that. it could be nefarious. we don't know. we don't know whether he is asking it out of innocence or if there is a strategy in mind to try to blow this whole thing up or short-circuit it. we just don't know. it is unnerving. that story was unnerving to lots of people for what it could portend, though it does not necessarily portend the worst. as with all of these things with the russia investigation, on one hand we have to lean in and try to find out everything we can, at the same time we have to step back a little bit and recognize how much we don't know. bob mueller obviously knows a lot more than we do. we don't know what he knows. we don't know he knows
everything he needs to know. it is kind of a push/pull situation. whenever there is information like this, it is alarming but i think it is incumbent on us not to try to leap to a conclusion as to what that means or what will happen as a result of that. jeff: let's talk about the president's foreign trips in the first six months. we could talk for days about all that has happened. he was in france this past week. that is one relationship that it seems both sides would like to see work. shannon: yeah. it has worked over decades and decades now. one of the most interesting -- theabout the first foreign trips and his trip to paris. you look at his first trip, saudi arabia and the middle east, that should have been full of landmines and he breezed
through and everything went easy breezy. then he gets over to europe with our allies, and it was full of potholes, stepping in one after another. it made relations even more tense there. i think he is surprised how comfortable he is overseas. we had talked to people in the white house before the trip that he did not want to take the first trip, he did not like how long it was. but i think he does find more comfort there than in washington. he gets to escape the headlines and the drumbeats of the russia investigation. but also he does get to , establish a personal relationship with some of these leaders, which is something he is comfortable with. he is very transactional. a relationship with a foreign leader can be transactional. we can do this for you and you can do that for us. that might be an area where he is more comfortable, as opposed to dealing with congress where you have hundreds of people you are trying to get on the same page. jeff: it is really all about these bilateral discussions with him, right? dan: shannon is right. foreign policy is often where presidents who are embattled
turn to because they have greater latitude. as she said, you do have to worry but every member of congress and their views on it. you are the president of the united states dealing with another head of state. that creates a different dynamic. we know one thing about president trump. he likes to deal one-on-one with people. he likes to get to know them. he likes to take a measure of them. he feels he knows how to get the upper hand on adversaries or any kind of relationship like that. he certainly likes the pomp and circumstance that comes with the new the president of the united states overseas. all of that is reinforcing to the idea this is where he should concentrate his time. as to the specific policies, there are still questions about exactly what those are, whether he is in concert with others in his administration, whether the secretary of defense or the
secretary of state. there are a lot of questions about it. but he is enjoying, it appears, the overseas more than he might have thought. jeff: we haven't even talked about immigration. there is an enormous amount to cover in these first six months. one can only wonder what the next six months will be like, right? shannon: [laughter] right. i was talking with someone who was with the trump campaign from near the beginning. i was asking how long it could go on like this, the daily news and the attacks at this pace, is this really sustainable? they said it was a white-knuckle ride for 18 months on the campaign, and it will be a white-knuckle ride for four years. it was his prediction the next six months will be like it is. the president is who he is. he is not changing. he runs things the way he runs
it, and that is not changing either. so, buckle up. jeff: dan, you talked about this earlier. it is a constant storm. dan: it is a constant storm. but as shannon said it was a , constant storm during the campaign. time and again, he was underestimated or there were predictions he could not survive this or that. and he proved everybody wrong. i think that gives him confidence even as there is turmoil, i think he gets up every morning and he says, "i'm the president of the united states and nobody got i would be here." that gives a person a lot of confidence to be able to survive and continue to operate the way they are used to operating. everything we have seen so far is that he intends to keep doing that. jeff: dan balz from "the washington post," and shannon pettypiece from bloomberg news,
at the table for the first time. welcome. there are people that call you mayor pete? born in south bend? guest: i was. my father came to the u.s. from malta and they got jobs in notre dame before i came onto the scene. i grew up in a neighborhood in south bend. charlie: what kind of jobs? guest: they were teaching. my father in english and my mother in linguistics, and we got started in a nice working-class neighborhood that i later came to understand was unusual. i did not realize having a lot of vacant and abandoned factories around you was something that did not happen in every city. it was only when i left for college that i realized that. even though our city had a lot of struggles as a town that lost its company -- studebaker closed in the 1960's -- it was a great place to grow up. it is a great community today. we were just over 100,000 people, which does not include the university of notre dame
. it is just outside city limits. we are just big enough to matter, just big enough that you taste complexity in the issues, but small enough to can innovate, be creative, try different solutions. if you find one, we are also typical enough that other cities might be able to use them. charlie: i want to come back to this, but after you were mayor, you found something you could do with all this empty buildings, did you not? pete: very much so. on the housing front, we had a lot of houses that could be saved. on the industrial front, we had a studebaker factory that is finding new life as a mixed-use technology center, harnessing the fact that a lot of fiber-optic cable is around and power that is a legacy
to the factory days. charlie: you went to harvard and oxford? pete: that's right. charlie: out of college, you went directly to oxford? pete: i had one year on the kerry campaign, first thing i did after i graduated. they sent me to arizona and we realized that would not happen and they redeployed me to new mexico. went to washington and worked for my old boss. the following summer, the rhodes scholarship kicked in and gave me the chance to spend two years in the u.k. it was a very intense program. i was in the philosophy, politics, and economics program. i learned a whole different style of learning that they practiced at oxford. charlie: what did they do that is different? pete: they had a tutorial system. harvard had tutorials, too. i thought i knew what that meant. it is more like a weekly oral exams, and i was getting grilled , especially on economics and things i was racing to catch up on. that economics background has served me well coming back to a place like south bend, with the unemployment rate in the double digits when i took office as mayor. charlie: when did you get the political bug? pete: i was always politically
aware. my parents talked about politics a lot. we were not politically connected or involved necessarily locally, but i was always aware. i went to a catholic high school . episcopalian, but i went to a catholic high school that talks a lot about social justice, too. i learned what was happening around the world. i had an old testament teacher who passed around pictures of golf courses in arizona. to him, this was proof hell must exist, because where would you put the person who built the golf courses? there is the sense of social justice that developed into a political sense. charlie: when you look at south bend, is it buffeted by the winds of change that are in the world today? pete: absolutely. charlie: whether it is populism, facing up to what technology does to jobs, and all of that? pete: yeah, this is a city that
really grew around a handful of companies, and you would have a single employer that might account for 10,000 jobs, 20,000 jobs, or more. that does not work anymore. it does not mean we are done manufacturing, but what we have had to do as a city is adapt to the fact that jobs are going to come fewer at a time. if i'm going to have 10,000 people working in manufacturing, it will be 100 people at 100 companies each, rather than having them all in one. we are doing all of those different things, from trade to has changed the nature of work, the nature of the economy, but we have adapted with the times, and that is one of the reasons, just a few years after we were listed as a dying city in one national publication, that now the city is growing. first of all, the city realized that nostalgia was not going to work. we could not turn back the clock. we engaged our universities in new ways. we have great colleges and universities. we have st. mary's and holy cross college. charlie: all in south bend?
pete: all in or near south bend. we have a chance to redefine what it means to be a college university or community town or university or community. part of the effort that is a network of city university pairs across the country to take the substance, the intellect of what the students are working on, and apply it to the life of the city. we have engineering students from the university of notre dame working with high school students in one of the most economically challenged neighborhoods in the city to remediate a polluted underground river, and in the process, they are learning about the human factor, and we are getting the benefit of free labor. charlie: bill gates used to say you need to put a lot of iq on that problem. that seems like you have a great university there. you have a lot of iq you can use. pete: absolutely, but talent is not enough. we are trying to be a place where talent meets purpose. that is the stuff of the partnerships we have. charlie: give me an example of purpose. pete: a mission-driven university, which is true of the
ones in our midst. understand that it really needs s that it really needs to apply the intellect to things that matter, whether it is making low income neighborhoods better off for making sure that a community like ours has a future. they have even established a physical presence in underprivileged neighborhoods on the traditionally industrial west side of town. these are exactly the kinds of connections that universities and cities need to continue to develop in order to create jobs and create a more secure quality of life for the future. a lot of people knowing of notre dame might not realize we are a city that is 40% minority, 28% below the federal poverty line, and really needs all the help we can get. charlie: minority meaning primarily african-american, mexican-american? pete: we have a fast-growing latino population as well. it is not unlike some neighborhoods you might see in a place like chicago, in what was originally a polish neighborhood is now latino. you have large catholic, immigrant working families. two generations later, they are more likely to be speaking spanish than polish.
charlie: america's economic future will be shaped in part by technology, a lot by technology. it raises the question of automation and robots. robots are showing a capacity to do a lot of things, both on the assembly line, and in homes. what does that mean for work and the dignity of work? work for most people i think if they have a good job, a job they find both satisfaction and compensation, it gives them something they are proud of. it gives them a place, a sense of being, the capacity to do things for those that they love. pete: that is absolutely right. i think that is also why jobs with similar pay and similar benefits still are not necessarily interchangeable. sometimes, we may be well-meaning progressives, talk about retraining as though it were simple to take a worker who has spent maybe 20 years
building his identity in one kind of job, and suddenly tell him that if you go through this training program, you can swap out for this other program in a different field. he may not see himself that way. and so, we have got to understand that when we are looking at the unemployment rate as though it is the only thing that matters, that we have got to worry not only about the income that goes along with the job, but the identity and security that comes with it, how it relates to the future. the more automation changes the nature of work, the more we will find that people will be looking for work with meaning that is also secure and has the right kind of income, because there is a lot more to work than a paycheck. charlie: either going to be a lot of jobs with meaning for people? pete: i think there can be. the happy ending of the automation story would be if more and more of our economic and productive activity shifts to work that we need more people signing up to do. whether it is in public service,
i have a shortage of people wanting to be police officers in our city, teaching. we cannot expand prekindergarten education the way we want to without getting more qualified teachers. a lot of deeply meaningful jobs. of course, they have to be compensated for, invested in, and built up in the right way. if machines become more productive, the value will continue to change. while in theory, it can be a beautiful thing if very few of us have to work in order to make stuff, that only makes sense in over the long run. in the long run, we are all dead. we have to figure out what to do in the next 10 to 20 to 50 years. charlie: in terms of national politics, did you support bernie sanders or hillary clinton? pete: i supported hillary clinton. i worked very hard to do what i could to get her elected in the general election against donald trump. i also win i was a high school student, i noticed bernie sanders. at the time, i was looking for a
subject to write an essay for the profiles in courage essay contest. he was one of the -- i won with this essay. i always admired him as well. charlie: because he was a socialist or because? pete: he said what he meant. he meant what he said. while being very clear in his political values, he was actually pretty successful in working with people across the aisle. i think that is a message that certainly has played out in my lifetime, whether you look at paul wellstone, who votes against the iraq war on the eve reelection in a state where it is popular. somehow, his approval goes up. i think the same thing was true of george w. bush as well, who had a line he used to say. i remember this pure george w. bush used to say with devastating effect "you always know where i stand." he always said it in a way that you could not say the same of his opponent. even people who might not have
agreed with him were inclined to support someone who they thought was guided by conviction. charlie: does trump have that? charlie: no, no, because it's hard to know what his convictions are. it is hard to know his ideology. he has a style. charlie: at the same time, "i don't have too agree with him, but i believe he is a strong guy." pete: that is part of why he gets support. they look at him and get the sense that he is somebody -- charlie: he is prepared to disrupt, for example. pete: that is certainly true. unfortunately a lot of people are being disrupted in ways that are also welcome. if he had gotten his way in taking health care with from millions of americans, many of them working class people in communities like mine, they would have realized the disruption was happening on their backs. charlie: medicaid expansion was a principal issue of the obama plan. in ohio, and in indiana -- what did they do in indiana? pete: indiana got a waiver. they created the healthy indiana plan 2.0, which is basically a
medicaid expansion under obama, under obamacare. it is actually one of the signature achievements of governor mike pence. charlie: governor when this happened. charlie: the the idea that he is not doing everything he can to destroy one of his legitimate achievements, it is very representative of some of the changes people are willing to make when they get into power. it is unfortunate when it comes to indiana. charlie: what has influenced you most? is it your education, the community, is it what? pete: two things. one is a sense of history and studying all the changes that the u.s. has gone through and how we have come out stronger through them. the civil war, half this country broke off, and we still got through that. if you think about the tumult now, you can think about how we came through the 1960's. the other thing is, yes, community is where i grew up, home. being from a place that reminds me constantly that all the things that are being talked
about in politics in washington, they do not matter because of what is happening among the politicians. they matter because of what will eventually happen to us and communities like south bend as a consequence of what the politicians do. i think that in particular from my party, the democratic party, to be more politically effective, they need to really into the vocabulary to putting people going through their lives back at the center of gravity, back at the center of all the stories we tell, and recognize that politics matters because of people, not the other way around. charlie: therefore, has the democratic party missed an opportunity, or have they failed so far to really define a narrative for the times that we live in? from 2014me, i mean to the present time. we don't know where the democrats stand.
which is unfortunate because the democratic message has never been more timely. the message in my view is that we exist to defend and support ordinary people going to their lives. that has never been more important because right now, there are a lot of people, in my view, in power, especially in congress, who are doing things that will hurt ordinary americans going through their lives. not just taking away health care, but taking away restrictions on financial institutions. charlie: to what are they attributing that to? what is it that compels them to say -- is it economic, is it ideology, is it an ideological fix on the way things should work, is it -- pete: among the republicans? charlie: yeah. pete: in my view it is a very narrow conception of freedom. freedom from government is the only freedom they can imagine. freedom from an overbearing government is very important. that's why we have the constitution.
that is the reason we have a constitution is to restrict the government from encroaching on our freedom. the reason we have a government is to restrict anything else from a coaching on our freedom. they are blind to that. it is a huge blind spot. i don't doubt that conservative friends of mine are sincere when they say they are concerned about freedom. but in my own experience, freedom has been enhanced by being able to get access to medical care, marry who you love, being able to find out what the gobbledygook that comes in through your credit card company actually means. that is a freedom that democratic policies have enhanced. yet democrats have grown out of practice in talking about freedom. charlie: in politics, and you would know this from your oxford education, i assume, how you use language is crucial. pete: absolutely. it is narrative. it is the story you tell. the story has to be true. and yet we have have allowed words like freedom to be taken away from us. charlie: for security. for security or
fairness. fairness is particularly strange knowing the history and tradition of the democratic party. fairness has been stolen from us as a piece of vocabulary, yet if you look -- certainly the themes of the trump campaign, that was about making some people feel they were being treated unfairly. and in my view, taking advantage of that in ways that are ironically going to make them worse off. charlie: i had a lot of friends were rhodes scholars and then came back and went to law school. how did you escape that? pete: by then, i was beginning to realize i wanted to be closer to home. i got a job in business with mckinsey consulting. they did not have a south bend office, but they had a chicago office. charlie: you wanted to be at home? pete: i knew that i wanted to come back to the midwest. charlie: so you could run for political office, which is exactly what barack obama did? pete: if you asked me if i was a student if i wanted to run for office, i never would have said i would've run for local office. i might have run for office, but the thing that triggered my
first run for office, which was a very unsuccessful race for state treasury in 2010 -- charlie: unsuccessful, you lost? pete: i got clobbered. richard murdoch, the state treasurer of indiana, used his standing to try to stop the obama administration from saving the auto industry. this is in indiana. if you go through kokomo, indiana, you see a factory on the right and a factory on the left. you know they would have been absolutely devastating beyond the chance of ever coming back. charlie: gary, indiana as well? is more steel. kokomo is more auto. having grown up in a town -- in south bend, growing up, it literally is as if a war or a natural disaster had struck our city. that is what it physically looked like. i knew what it meant if you destroy the biggest employer in a community. and here i saw one of our own elected officials trying to do that because he was mad at the president and did not like that the auto workers got too good of a deal.
anyway, i ran against him. i got clobbered. charlie: but you learn something? pete: i learned all kinds of things. i learned retail politics. i went to 89 counties around the state of indiana. as a bit of an introvert, i found myself interrupting people enjoying their tenderloin sandwiches at the county fair, sticking out my hand and introducing myself, and telling them why they ought to vote for me. charlie: while they were eating? ate: yeah, i was on hand for world record for the most fried chicken ever assembled in a single serving. they put it in a canoe to make the canoefest more interesting. to my surprise, i enjoyed many of the most grueling parts. charlie: i know people that have gone into politics, too. i think mayor bloomberg may have been one of them, who -- you are here at a conference of mayors sponsored by the mayor's philanthropy. people get into it and they are relatively shy. they have never been somebody who wanted to be the center of attention, but there is something about it that once you
get past something, you find you enjoy the human contact. pete: there is. charlie: you enjoy the opportunity to talk. you enjoy the community. pete: yeah, it is just that. the way you have to extend yourself in order to understand other people, and the way you learn to listen to other people and see perspectives other than your own. it is so rewarding. and then, when you win, -- i won and became the mayor -- the rewards are even more extraordinary, especially in your hometown. having the chance to shape a community you grew up in and watch it grow and begin to believe in itself again was so rewarding. i enjoyed consulting. i worked with great people in the business world. i learned a lot. it paid well. but there were moments where i would think to myself, "you know, i don't care." charlie: something missing. pete: i mean, i cared about doing a good job, but i did not fundamentally care about a pricing issue that i may have been working on. the work i do as mayor, whether it is fire and police, economic development, or even parks and
recreation, it is not important because a client is paying me to care about it. it is important because it just matters, because people's lives will be worse if we don't get it right. charlie: and so it gives value to your own life. pete: absolutely. it gives you meaning. that can be hazardous for people in politics. if you have a meaningful job, there is always the risk that meaning for your life will come from your job. any elected job has to be one you are willing to give up in order to do the right thing. charlie: suppose someone -- you are what now? , 35 suppose someone comes to you and says, "look, you are a smart guy, and you know politics at the local level, and you know what people think. tell me what it is that a candidate for president in 2017 needs to know in order to have a real chance at resonating? what is it they have to do? what do they have to put together?"
pete: i think you need to help people understand where they belong in the future in ways they can relate to. if you get it right, it will be very unifying, because the desire for belonging is the same. the desire for sense of the future is the same whether you are talking about a blue-collar autoworker in south bend who wants to know that there will be a job in 10 years, or a transgender kid in high school who just wants to go to the bathroom like everyone else. it should be something that brings us together. we have to talk about it in those terms. most people -- i encounter people who i am convinced their lives literally depend on things like the health care reform that's being talked about , especially rural counties, but also in places like south bend where there are a lot of folks who rely on medicaid. and yet, they may not know the name of any congress member in particular, so they may not care. some of the things that those of us who closely watch the game -- they often will. it is so immediate. even people with very modest
education, i find, are very sophisticated when it comes to knowing what i am up to, because it is going to affect them. you cannot miss the impact that a city has on your life. if you ever throw out trash, walk on a sidewalk, or visit a park. charlie: do people in south then, indiana care about foreign bend, indiana care about foreign policy? pete: of course we care. people know it is important. more than anything, we care about it through the lens of how it will affect us. whether it is a question of how it will affect people we care about who are in the military or in terms of our ability to continue growing. you know, if there is a trade war, what would that mean for the companies that create a are part of a global supply chain and create a lot of jobs? leadership., our and two, what does this mean to me? what does this mean to my job,
alisa: i am alisa parenti in washington and you are watching "bloomberg technology." let's start with a check of your first word news. president trump says senate republicans working on a bill to replace the affordable care act are making progress but could use help from their colleagues across the aisle. president trump: the senate is very close to votes it needs to pass a replacement. the problem is we have zero help from the democrats. they are obstructionists. that is all they are. that is all they are good at, obstruction. alisa: meantime, senate majority leader mitch mcconnell is pressing dissenting senators to back the health care bill in a threshold vote tomorrow. that is when t t