tv CNN Newsroom With Poppy Harlow CNN November 8, 2015 3:00pm-4:01pm PST
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top of the hour. i'm poppy harlow in new york. thank you for being with me. this hour, george h.w. bush will take the stawill -- george bush will take the stage and make some comments made by his father. he slams two of the most notable figures from his son's, donald rumsfeld. watch. >> i accept your nom nag for president. >> this is george herber walker bush unleashed hp sharing thoughts from his time in office to his family. >> this admin is not going to rest. >> to his son's presidency.
>> he handed over four years of diaries in the white house with in strings attached. >> and he said to you, call them like you see them. you're gonna sort it out. >> among the many revelations bush 41 is bluntry critical of the men who served his son in the white house. he calls dick cheney iron ass and former secretary of defense donald rumsfeld an air gapt fellow. but perhaps the biggest surprise, bush is critical of his own son for his hot rhetoric. >> we've never heard him criticize his son before as president. why do you think he went public now? >> i think with the distance of history, he believes so strongly in the fact that force and diplomacy have to be complimentary, not competitive. that i think he wanted to put on the record that he doesn't think presidents accomplish very much
by swaggering. they should be strong, but they don't need to be needlessly provocative. >> is this a father worried about his son's policy being criticized, not being right? is there -- is there a father/son thing here? >> there is always a father/son thing here. of course. how could there not be. >> was george w. bush at all defensive about the criticism from his father? >> he was surprised by it. i think is safe to say. he said dad never said any of this to me either during the presidency or after. he said, he would never have said, hey, you got to reign in cheney. he is ruining your administration. and anyway, i disagree with him. these were my policies. he knew that his father's style was such that he would never say these things directly to him. which is in and of itself fascinating. >> in addition to the
president's diaries, chemeachams given access to laura bush's diary possess. >> there is a blunt assessment of bill clinton as a draft dodger and liar. and meacham rights the bushes were quote horrified by the monica lewinski scandal. but later, bush acknowledges that he couldn't help but like the guy. >> you think it is a genuine friendship? >> for george h.w. bush it is. >> and for bill clinton? >> you never do, do you? >> they don't have the same warm feelings toward hillary clinton. calling her militant and pro liberal. >> much more of the fascinating interview with john meacham on new day tomorrow morning and of course we will be discussing and bring you the discussion live
tonight between former president george w. bush and john haemeac. >> there are view relationships as icy as the one between obama and netanyahu. y netanyahu will meet with the president in an effort to repair the strained relationship. but as reported, there is a lot to overcome. >> just when you thought it couldn't get worse, another blow to the already strained relations between prime minister netanyahu and president obama. days before the two leaders meet in washington. revelations that netanyahu's new appointment of media adviser accused obama of semitism on face back in march and once said u.s. secretary of state john kerry add future in stand-up comedy. he apologized and netanyahu said
he would clarify the matter, but the damage was done. a seven-year relationship between netanyahu and obama has only grown worse in recent months. netanyahu made not unprecedented policy, speaking in front of the white house without an invitation. sparking a public and add times ak rid feud between leaders. >> without further skirmishes that are harmless to the relationship and both countries. >> both have tried to down play the frosty relationship saying the relationship between the countries is far more important. netanyahu is saying this meeting will be all about the all-important aid it israel. giving israel some $3 billion a year in military aid and that includes the latest fighter jet. highlighting in aid in september
in defense of the iran deal but that aid is set to expire in 2018 and netanyahu could use this chance to push for a bigger aej package. as for the conflict, top white house adviser said there probably won't be any peace administration's before the end of obama's time in office. >> peter with with me. a cnn political commentator and contributor for "atlantic media." you say president obama has thrown in the towel on the islamic state and netanyahu lost iran. where do we good from here? >> i don't think either man has a particular incentive for a fight here. although netanyahu lost on iran he will get a consolation prize, and a big one in terms of big u.s. arms package. and obama, i think, as part of winning that iran deal, promised
democrats in congress supported id him on iran that he would try to reconcile with netanyahu and he is. probably fwgiving israel this b aid package and not push something in the united nations on palestinian statehood. seems to me this is teed up for reconciliation. >> this is interesting. you're like 14, 15 months out before the end of the president's term. i want to play for viewers who white house secretary says on friday, acknowledging what happened on tuesday. let's roll it. >> leaders of the israeli people and the palestinian people are ultimately going to be responsible for making the difficult decisions that will finally resolve this conflict. and has been the u.s. policy for quite sometime now. a policy that democratic and republican administrations have supported. to try to bring about a two-state solution and based on the comments of the prime
minister of israel, that seems not likely to occur over the course of the next 15 months. >> do you see that as defeatist? a lot of people would say, it's not over until it's over. >> it is absolutely defeatist. but the reality is that for the obama administration, iran was a top priority. willing to fight benjamin netanyahu tooth and nail on iran. they are not willing to fight him on a palestinian state. he doesn't want a palestinian state any time soon. members of congress have supported obama on iran don't want him to fight netanyahu on a palestinian state so even though barack obama does genuinely support a palestinian state, he thinks it is too heavy a lift at this point. so frafrnkly, palestinians get e short end of the stick because for the americans iran is more important. >> many would look at the middle east and this is a subjectively people would look at it very differently. but you've at least got some who say it looks worse now than when president obama was inaugurated.
what can he do in the time he has left in office on that front most effectively do you think, peter? >> if there is one more play in the obama presidency on the middle east, it's towards moving towards a diplomatic deal on syria. syria has been the massive gaping humanitarian wound of his presidency. been an utter, utter catastrophe. and now that the u.s. has some kind of working relationship with iran, there is at left some sliver of possibility that the u.s., iran, russia and the saudis might be able to cobble together some deal. is it likely? absolutely not. my guess is that's where the administration will put its focus because that would be a really important achievement. >> we will see if it happens. peter, nice to have you on. thank you. >> thank you. >> coming up next, scrutiny over details of ben carson's life as he told them in his book. has ben carson in attack mode right now against the media.
>> this is just stupid. if the term media is no better than that, it's sick. >> and just moments from now we will hear from former president george w. bush. he is responding to a new biography about his father with quotes from the 41st president bashing key members of his son's cabinet. we will bring you that live. at ally bank no branches equals great rates. it's a fact. kind of like mute buttons equal danger. ...that sound good? not being on this phone call sounds good. it's not muted. was that you jason? it was geoffrey! it was jason. it could've been brenda. you tuck here... you tuck there. if you're a toe tucker... because of toenail fungus, ask your doctor now about prescription kerydin. used daily, kerydin drops may kill the fungus at the site of infection and get to the root of your toe tucking. kerydin may cause irritation at the treated site. most common side effects include skin peeling... ...ingrown toenail, redness, itching, and swelling. tell your doctor if you have any side effect that bothers you or does not go away.
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including he tried to stab someone. >> i simply cannot sit still and watch unfairness. i'm always going to call that out when i see it. so, you know, obviously a political dhing was a hit job, no question about it. the kind of investigations that were done, talking to the wrong people, not going to, like wilson junior high school and talking to other people and saying, see -- that's just stupid. if the media is no better at investigating than that, it's sick. they say, this is -- how come with all their tools they can't find it and we can. the burden of proof is not on me to corroboration everything i
have talked about in my life. because once i start that, every single day from now until the election you will spend time doing that, and we have much more important things to do. >> here is what carson said today when he spoke with "face the nation." >> there is no question i'm getting special scrutiny. there are a lot of people who are very threatened and they have seen the recent head to head polling against hillary and how well i do and they're worried. there is no question about it. and every single day, every other day, or every week, you know, they are going to come out with, well you said this when you were 13. and you did this. and the whole point is to distract the populous. distract me. >> carson thanked a focused media while helping his campaign raise $3.5 million last week. and the republican front
runted hosted "snl" and started off with a little help from his friends. >> they've done so much to help me over the years and this show has been a disaster for me. look at this guy. isn't he doing fantastic? i've got to say you're doing a great job. in fact, i think this show just got better by about 2 billion percent. in fact, they just told me, other donald, they just told me it is very interesting, that new that i'm here, this is actually the best monologue in "snl" history. can you believe that? pretty good. >> yeah, that's pretty good. that's pretty good. >> look at this. >> you think you're this terrific person, you think you're this, you think you're that. ba ba ba ba ba. you're being very naive and quite frankly, you're fired.
>> trump's big night came with controversy and a group offering $5,000 from anyone no the audience to yell out trump was a racist. he was heckled, but not in the way you would respect. >> you're a racist -- >> who the hell -- i knew this was going to happen? who is that? >> trump's a racist. >> it's larry david. what yare you doing, larry? >> i heard if i yelled, they would give me $5,000. >> meantime, just outside, of 30 rock, the group that set up that $5,000 payment, held their rally against trump's appearance. >> coming up next, actresses in hollywood, fed up as they should be with getting, well not the same pay as their male co-stars.
second-rate salaries. next, i will speak live with the director who depicts women's right to the vote. we will talk about why things are still so bad in 2015. 40% of the streetlights in detroit, at one point, did not work. you had some blocks and you had major thoroughfares and corridors that were just totally pitch black. those things had to change. we wanted to restore our lighting system in the city. you can have the greatest dreams in the world, but unless you can finance those dreams, it doesn't happen. at the time that the bankruptcy filing was done, the public lighting authority had a hard time of finding a bank. citi did not run away from the table like some other bankers did. citi had the strength to help us go to the credit markets and raise the money. it's a brighter day in detroit. people can see better when they're out doing their tasks, young people are moving back in town, the kids are feeling safer while they walk to school.
vividly depicts the fierce and often violent battle for women's right to vote in britain at the turn of the 20th century. >> women should not exercise judgment in political affairs. >> if we allow women to vote, it'll be the loss of social structure. >> so have we come a long way since then? yes. but not far enough. gender and equality still very much alive and well today. particularly in silicon valley and in hollywood. women in the film industry push for diversity in roles in front of and behind the camera. actor sharon stone said this in an event in miami. after "basic instinct", no one wanted to pay me. i remember sitting in my kitchen with my manager and crying and saying, i'm not going to work until i get paid. i still got paid so much less
than any man. annie morgan joins us. thank you so much for being here. >> thanks for having me, poppy. i'm so glad that famous stars, these women in hollywood, are talking about this now. from jennifer lawrence to reese witherspoon, to what you just heard from sharon stone. how much of the current debate is in your mind as you wrote "suffragette" and how you wrote this film. >> it took a long time. it is written and directed by women and i think sometimes those things take time to get on the screen. subsequently there was this changing wave. i think the digital age and social media made us all start to connect with the pay gap, really. and of the fight for equality. pay across the board. >> i think that's a very polite way to say it, right? so much of the staff on this film as women that it was tough to get on the screen.
translate that for us. wait that they kari mull began put it, a woman threw herself in front after king's horse in 1913 and changed the course in history. no one in 100 years felt this story is worthy of the big screen. are you talking about a difficulty in financing to get this done? >> i'm talking about keeping it -- keeping the size, bredth of the film. it was about the movement and keeping its epic quality. i think the film focuses on five key moments in history and it was very key to us that we were able to be expansive and be ambitious with this film. so it was retaining the budget and ensuring we could have no boundaries really and i think the way men often approach film making. >> absolutely. just four years ago, i read, abi, that someone approached you and asked if you were a feminist. i'm curious how you responded then and how you would respond
now. >> i remember -- i'm embarrassed now. i remember shrugging my shoulders and saying, i don't think like to think of myself as a feminist, just a writer. but now, absolutely. reflecting on my work, projects about sex trafficking, arrange marriages, so suffragette. if my feminism is at the heart of my work. i'm easily and comfortably sitting in my feminism now and i'm embarrassed i ever said i wasn't. with ages growing, desire to reengage with the phrase, feminism survived from decade it decade. and it brings out your inner suffragette in the movement. >> jennifer lawrence made head lanes when she revealed she is a paid less than her co-stars. bradley cooper responded publicly saying i'm going to reveal my salary so that all my
female co-stars know if they are getting paid fairly or not. i'm interested in how incumbent you think it is on men and male stars to do the same in order to force change. that it can't just be the women speaking out. >> yeah. i had a great phrase, about equality in the industry. hey, guys, when you get to the top, send the escalator down. it was great to hear bradley say that. this is a two-gender conversation. i've been fortunate with brilliant women, financiers, and i've worked with brilliant men. they have sisters, daughters, mothers, they want to be ambitious for their family and the next generation of women. i think when somebody like bradley coopers comes out and supports the beautiful jennifer lawrence, then we have the opportunity to be as transparent as we can. a hundred years on and we still don't have equality. it is shocking. >> it is. we say we want better for our
children, then we have to be a part of that. men and women alike. abi morgan, thank you, and congratulations on the film. >> thanks so much. thanks for having me. >> of course. for all of you watching, "suffragette" is in some theaters nationwide and will release nationwide on thanksgiving. george bush speaking to the author of his father's new biography book that really slammed two key bush administration officials, accusing them of failing the president. his own son. how will the former president respond? we'll find out. the future belongs to the fast.
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bush not reigning in clheney. and that rumsfeld served the president badly. former adviser to four presidents, including bush 41, david gergen. it is fascinating on cnn.com. you write, my experience has been that george h.w. does not hold grudges in politics. he is one at the best at forgiving and forgetting. what this suggests to me is that wounds from the cheney/rumsfeld axis and what then befell his son run much, much deeper than we have known but i suspect there is an even deeper mote ef at work here, that r.w.'s desire to answer the demands of history. >> h.w. rarely goes after anyone in politics. he is one of the most forgiving you will ever meet. he rarely holds grudges but will
talk about them. for him to come forward now, there must have been something boiling inside him. i think he wanted it even the scores while he was still on the scene. but presidents also have, as a fraternity, want to leave their story in history. roosevelt died quickly, suddenly, never left a memoir. records, one thing or another to leave and tell history what it was like. george h.w. has never really done that. he spent a lot of time with john meacham, respected writer, pouring out his soul. that's why there is a lot of interest in this book. it is his version of his place in history. obviously there will be one side on many ways. but as we've seen from excerpts, it'll be heart-felt. >> all right. david, let me just jump in here for a second. stay with me as we listen to the former president, george w. bush, speaking.
>> i think people might be interested in your background. where were you raised. college. >> yes, sir. i grew up in chattanooga, tp on a civil war battlefield, missionary ridge. so for me history was a real thing, a tack tile thing. i can still find menet balls from missionary ridge in our yard. i went to an episcopal montessori, which is redundant when you think about it. i went to the macaulay school, which produced both pat robertson and ted turner. so we have a foot in every camp. then i went to the university of the south, best understood as a combination of "downton abbey" and deliverance, all put together. but growing up, i read a lot of just loved biographies of great men. william manchester's "the last
lion" was a hugely important book to me. i loved politics. my grandfather was a judge in tennessee. he used to have coffee with the local political guys every morning downtown. and so i would go down there at a very young age which may explain why i'm quite as strange as i am. and the district attorney would be there, senators would come by. kind of the courthouse group in chattanooga. and so for me, politicians were always real people. and what always -- as i went into journalism after solani, as my grandfather pointed out, i went into print, which my grandfather said was like a rat boarding a sinking ship. which was unkind but accurate, ultimately. i wanted to write about great event but great event shaped by people. what impresses me most about politician answers one of my many character flaws is i like politicians, is that we all know
that the folks in your line of work are fallible. you make mistakes. but you do great things. and you bend history. and what i always try to find when i write a book about someone is what is that moment of transcendence, when all of the human frailties are still there. but you manage to rise above them to put the country and the world on a better course. and that fundamental human drama is why i do what i do. >> so you've written books about jefferson, jackson, roosevelt. all dead. >> that's true. >> then you decide to write one about somebody who is still alive. >> yeah, very much so. >> what's the difference? >> you can't call the others to check things out. the other three also didn't have sons who happens to also have nuclear authority. so we can talk about that in a second, if you want.
you know what the difference was, i always feared that because your dad was so generous with his access, because your mom was so generous because you were so generous, i worry that i would have a hard time throwing a punch if i had to. but because of the ethos that your family created around this project, which was, you call them like you see them. we're not looking for you know, this is a portrait, this is history, not journalism. and because of that, and it emanated, i think, from your father, the problem became, i never met jackson. which is a good thing. he might have shot me. and i never met jefferson. never met fdr. never met churchill. so when you're writing, and you know this, you've done two great books, if you're writing about someone you don't know, you don't know what you're missing. if i tried to describe what it's like to have dinner with your
dad or sitting around with your father, and i wrote that section and i would think, you know, i didn't quite -- did i quite get it exactly right? because as you know, your father has what i call a quiet persistent charisma. but he is no jfk. no ronald reagan. and yet he became president of the united states because person after person at every stage in his life almost anyone who met him with some exceptions we can damn near count on one hand, believed he was someone whose hands the affairs of the nation and the world would be safe. and that's a particular kind of gift, a particular kind of charisma, that didn't fit into the usual categories. so your dad created a much more difficult literary task in writing about them. which you know, because you did it. >> yeah, but mine was different perspective.
>> it was. >> starting with, you were never president. >> and the world is a lot better off because of it. i can assure you. >> margaret mentioned this, that is that something i didn't really realize, that he had kept a lot of diaries. he spoke into his tape recorder for years. >> years. >> yeah. and he gave you full access. >> unconditional. >> so how did that happen? and that his sons had no idea he had diaries. >> mr. president, you and i both come from a common gene pool, which is the wasp gene pool. >> speak for yourself. >> i don't know about you, but direct conversations are never a big thing in my family. except like, where did the olives go for the martinis. when i was growing up, that's
about as honest as we got sometimes. i will use a technical term, mr. president, i hope you will forgive me. i begged. he kept diaries as u.n. ambassador, as rnc chairman. and then a little of a diary in 1980 sporadically as vice president. he was good in odd-numbered years. because in even-numbered years, he was out campaigning. so he was on the road for congressional and senate candidates. starting on november 4, 1986, he said, i'm beginning a diary about the biggest challenge of my life, the biggest mission of my life, i'm going to run for president. and it was the day they lost the senate. and so it starts kind of dark. but he did this throughout the '88 campaign. then as president, he missed a week or two maybe, but not many. he would do it early in the morning. sometimes up in the tree room,
you used the same room as an office up in the residence. he would carry it around in his brief case. he would do it on marine 1. could you hear the blades of the helicopters. i would do it on air force 1. you could hear the engines. he would sometimes do it late at night, sounding just steps from the grave, beaten down by the day. but what is so revealing about them, is reading them alone is fascinate pg. it is a unique misser historica document. believe it unto this hour, they are as important as john quincy adams diaries were, which quincy adams kept throughout his whole life. it is. >> >> a close as anyone, except for the gentleman to my right, is ever going to get to being president. because he is talking. he is not writing. the act of writing, you step back from it. this is a man who turned on the tape recorder and told the
truth. as he is incapable of not doing that. even when he had the worst possible day, even if newt gingrich did something or he read the newspaper -- >> "newsweek." >> "newsweek." >> that's an inside joke. >> yeah, yeah, yeah. it's gracious of you sir. thank you. >> welcome to dallas. >> yeah. where are those olives? even when he was having the worst possible day, he would talk himself back into the game. so he -- the night he lost, which i believe is the night that the 20th century ended, november 3rd and 4th, 1992, he is sitting in suite 271 of the hughs tonian. your mother's asleep. he can't sleep. a quarter after midnight. he gets up out of the bed. gez into the living room. turns on the tape recorder. and he basically says, they
always said i didn't get it. i didn't believe the pundits. what i don't understand is how this generation doesn't understand doughbt duty, honor, country the way my generation did. those are tough word. but he says, be strong, be gracious, finish strong. dent show them that it hurt. don't show them that it hurts. and what stunned me the most in listening to these diaries was this is one of the most emotional men who could ever have held that office. he won my heart in those diaries in 1986. very early on when there's a scene in crack out, in poland, on a mission from president
reagan. and he is shown into a children's leukemia ward. and of course, your sister, died of leukemia in 1953. and he is standing there, and the press is behind him. all of the cameras, all of the microphones are behind him. and he realizes where he is. and he starts it cry. and he won't turn around because if he turns around with tears in hi his eyes, the story becomes about him, not about them. now, i know a lot of politicians and there are not a lot of them who would not have turned around. and tried to create some kind of moment. and he says, this poor little kid has this old man crying over him. but i just hope he knows that i love him. that's george herbert walker boush, and that's the george herbert walker bush, as a
biographer, i believe was a sweet man, far sweeter, far nobler, than people knew that time. i hope that changes. i hope that book helps change that. >> thank you. >> maybe far sweeter than mother. and you had access -- >> if word gets to houston, he said it. >> the reason i mention that is that you read her diaries. >> i did. >> i knew she was a diary keeper. of course she didn't let any of us read her diaries. >> that was wise. >> you may have been the first to read her diaries. what did you learn in that? >> this is an amazing historical document. starts in 1948 when they go to odessa. when they went to odessa, mrs. pierce, back in rye, thought they were going to russia.
it was the wrong odessa. but it wasn't that far off. and literally mrs. pierce sent boxes of soap and detergent to her son-in-law and daughter, figuring they didn't have that in texas. the first time your dad drove through texas in the studebaker, he stops at a local diner in abilene. he orders chicken fried steak, not knowing if it was chicken fried like a steak or steak fried like a chicken. so he ordered a lone star so it didn't matter. so there's one moment in the diary in 1948, you were 2. maybe 1949. where you were listening to mother goose records. she had just gotten -- >> that's where it all started.
>> take that, putin. >> yeah! >>. [ cheers and applause ] >> and you jabbed her in the leg with a knitting needle. >> take that, mother. >> what these diaries give you is an -- if you put an incredibly intelligent -- if you put an incredibly intelligent observant woman at the highest levels of american politics for half century, this is what you get. first impressions of texas politics. she said in 1963 of the john birch society down, which very, in dallas and houston, big forces, the nut will never love him. she saw that about her husband in 1963. we have her account of the day of president kennedy's assassination. incredibly moving. we have the first time she met
the regans. and she point out how immensely attractive they both were, and saw that. she wasn't always quite as complimentary to everybody. i don't know if you've had experience with that, mr. president. but what it is, is an honest account of the events that shaped wait we live now. if you want to understand the 1968 convention, where your dad as a two-year congressman was in the running for vice president, you read this. if you want it understand what it was like to be married to the chairman of the national republican committee during water gate, by the way, what's second prize, you read this. and what i learned is that she was the one who really kept the family going while george h.w. bush, an immensely wonderfulfully father, but as always, in that generation, he
was out there. he was building an international business. you and i talked about this. what's your first memory of your dad, do you remember? >> baseball. >> baseball. >> but otherwise, he was out there in kuwait. he was in trinidad. he was in london raising money. he was in new york raising money to get that oil business going. so one of the several times that he cried in interviews with me, several, several times, sometimes our interviews were like the world's wasp on wasp theory. he'd cry. he'd cry. the kleenex would come out. gene beck of the chief of staff came in and said, i can't believe you two alone. is when i said, did you have any idea on january 6th, 1945, on that cold saturday in the first presbyterian church you were marrying a woman who could move 37 times and endure what she
endured in public life, in raising a loving, stable family? and he burst into tears. and he said, no, i didn't know that, but i couldn't have done anything i did without her. >> yeah, interesting. [ applause ] so one of the things that amazed me is the book, i'm trying to help you sell it -- >> i appreciate that, sir. it's an economic stimulus -- >> yes, it is. personal. tell them the story about losing the senate race and going up to see nixon and the job nixon initially offered him. it really surprised me. >> is that right. so he runs in 1970 for the second time for the senate. it was supposed to be george h.w. bush against ralph yarborough which was going to be a parallel race of what happened
over in tennessee with a young guy, handsome young republican like your father, against an aging liberal senior. that was what was going on in my home state. over here, it was going to be george h.w. bush against yarborough again. >> that was bill brock. >> bill brock. sorry. and so got -- remember i said on one hand we could talk about folks he didn't like. i think we could safely say governor conley was not high on the bush christmas card list. only one people you hadn't forgiven. a lot of them live in dallas come to think of it. there's one in particular we don't have to talk about. ears. so, but what happened was john conley realized what was going on. conley was smart as hell politician. he realizes what's going on, so
he puts lloyd benson in the race. so suddenly if you read "the dallas morning news" all the clips from that era, two things jump out at you. one is george h.w. bush was just one sexy guy. i mean, every story talks about how he had kennedy's glamour, the country club matrons would swoon over him. you know, again and again it had this thing about his appeal. well, the papers all started writing, all right, now we have two tall war veterans who are pretty good looking who served in the house and in texas in 1970, i don't have to tell the former governor, the advantage was for the democrats. so he loses the race. brock beats gore sr. that worked. benson, bush did not work because benson was more conservative than yarborough. conley's move got benson the nomination. there we go. so president bush goes up to meet with nixon.
someone mentioned the u.n. to him. car charlie bartlett. old washington guy. bush started thinking about this. nixon decided he wants to make him an assistant to the president working for bob halderman. so president bush makes the case, says i think i could do more good for you at the u.n. nobody's up there making the case for you. nobody's supporting you. and it was a brilliant, brilliant tactical argument because nixon's looking at the son of prescott bush with whom he has served in the senate when he was vice president. the polished son, the ivy league son of a senator and thinking, you know what, what bush is saying is right. if he goes up there, he can make the case for me. i'm the grocer's son from yorba
linda and having this figure is going to work for me in new york. but all that thought process happens after he sent bush out to find bush a white house office. right as water gate's breaking up. right, beginning to -- the story's beginning at that point. and there was another element. so he calls him back and he says, you know what, i thought about this, i think you're right, we'll send you to the u.n. george herbert walker bush had the shortest white house staff career of anyone. it was about 40 minutes by my count. but that helped him. but there was another wrinkle in there which is nixon said here's another thing. don't live on the 42nd floor apartment of the waldorf astoria was the ambassador lived. go to greenwich. commute in, establish residency, then vote, then run against abe
ribikof, an ancient opponent out in connecticut for the senate. nixon thought that bush couldn't make it in the senate down here but if he turned him into a connecticut republican, he might be able to beat ribikof. what i think speaks so much about george h.w. bush's devotion to texas and fact he raised his family here and built his business here is at that point he thoroughly thought of himself as a texan and he never bit on that and you know better than i do, if a president of the united states suggests a pathway to the senate, you tend to listen. you tend to think about that. there's very little evidence and this is all from your mother's diary, very little evidence that he really took that seriously. >> you know, you made a very interesting point in the book about comparing his position on the u.n. in the '64 race and then actually taking the position. >> there are three examples where your dad and the reason i call the book "destiny in
power," plug alert. is that okay? where i believe that -- you and i have talked about this. from very early on, george h.w. bush was the star of the family. that's your aunt nancy's line. when he was shot down on september 2nd, 1944, rescued after four hours in that life raft. remember, if the wind and the tide had been going toward as opposed to away from it, it was a scene of terrible japanese war crimes including cannibalism which led your dad to sometimes say to your mother, you know, i was almost an h'orderve. if the wind had been going another way, he might have -- hell, he might have been an entree. he was a taller guy. you know. he's 6'2". so, at that point your aunt nancy said, he was meant to be
saved. your father introduced him to the french ambassador in washington in the 1950s saying this is my son, george, he's going to be president of the united states one day. >> grandfather. >> grandfather. sorry. senator bush. and in 1965, when he's lost the '64 race, but the seventh district of houston is coming into being, he has a fellow named ross baker who is thinking about challenging him in the primary. >> no relation to jim. >> no relation to jim. or ross perot -- right. yeah. none of that. he goes to him and baker says to him, well, i want to be a congressman, i think you're just using this as a steppingstone to the senate. and george h.w. bush says, no, no, i'm not using this as a steppingstone to the senate, i want to be president. this is 1965. he is 41 years old.
he is yet to win a race except to be the harris county chairman. but he had a sense of destiny, a word he doesn't particularly like, but it was a sense that he was meant to do great things. and what's so striking to me as a biographer, he's finding all these examples. your other grandfather, marvin pierce, wrote a letter when he was at yale to a friend who said, wouldn't surprise me at all if this son-in-law becomes president. so people were talking about his -- the possibility of a pathway to the presidency as a possibility long before it became probable. which was a real revelation to me and which led me to see, sort of begin to see his career in a slightly different light. if you believe you're the best man for the job and your dad unquestionably always believed that, then what you say and what you do on the campaign trail, and he told me once sitting on the porch at a house in maine, politics is not a pure
overtaking. you have to say and do certain things that you might ingest badly to get to where you want to be. the test becomes, that's just business of politics. that's been true since the athenians. what is important is what do you do once you have that power? and wuf of the examples is as the president says, in 196 4, george h.w. bush was not exactly the biggest fan as a goldwater republican of the united nations. but he gets that job, he gets that power and he works like a dog to make the u.n. matter as much as it can for foreign policy. and to help him president which was his duty. at that time. and there is example after example of where he would win power and always at that point put the country ahead of his own political interest. and that is a rare political story. >> when