tv The Eighties CNN May 28, 2016 10:00pm-11:01pm PDT
dollars that will be lost, but the spirit of the country that will be lost. the decision is ours. -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com in this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem. government is the problem. >> if ever a policy reflected a president's own character, it's reaganomics. >> we have faith in our program and we're sticking with it. the paid political complainers, put up or shut up. >> the president was hit. >> the story from middle east sources is that iran has helped the united states free a hostage from lebanon. >> they called it the reagan revolution. but for me it always seemed more like a rediscovery of our values. once you begin a great movement, there's no telling where it will end. ♪
inability to govern our nation. but i have faith in the greatness of the people of this country. this country has everything that it always had before, except the leadership in washington that this country requires. >> reagan put a lot of energy and effort into 1980. the economy had been through a recession, and in addition to that, the united states had been embarrassed by the iran hostage crisis. the country wanted to turn the corner and ronald reagan held the promise of all of that. >> america is turning to a new political direction for at least the next four years. to the right. >> republican ronald reagan rode an electoral vote landslide to the white house and republicans swept to control of the senate for the first time in a quarter century. >> reagan conveyed a sense of optimism and hope. the secret to his success was
that he made people feel good. >> even though reagan had been a fairly successful governor of the largest state in the union, he was still doubted for his odd background for a politician as having been a hollywood actor. and he was very controversial. he took a lot of outrageous positions. >> in this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem. government is the problem. >> for 50 years, americans had been looking to government to solve their problems. when reagan gave his speech, that marked a 180-degree turnaround in the american political conversation in the trend of american politics. >> can we solve the problems confronting us? well, the answer is an unequivocally emphatic yes. and after all, why shouldn't we believe that? we are americans. god bless you, and thank you.
>> we have a report. i'm just told that the associated press reports that the hostages are leaving tehran. they say that the hostages are leaving the airport. >> for 444 days, 52 americans were held halfway around the world. a sign of carter's weakness and reagan comes in and, poof, they're released. >> they're free. they're free, mr. president. they're free, mr. president. we've had press reports that they're free. we've had press reports. what do you have to say about that? what do you have to say? >> only one thing to say. thank god. >> you could not have had a more stunning beginning to a presidency. the whole last year of the carter administration is defined by the hostages and in the first hours of reagan's administration they're free. that's the case with the image absolutely defines the reality. >> i just won't call them
hostages. they were prisoners of war. >> if the hostages had not been released, reagan would have been forced to focus on the hostage crisis. with the hostages back, he was free to focus on the economy. >> inflation and unemployment are threatening the american way of life as never before. and without a change of policy, these intolerable conditions will get even worse. >> inflation flared again last month, almost doubling the rate of the month before. >> in 1967, inflation was 2.9%. last year it was 12.4%. >> people were afraid. people had begun to think that america was in a kind of relative decline. >> we had high unemployment and high inflation. which at the time was thought to be impossible under the existing economic orthodoxy. it required something new to change that problem. >> if we can lower the rate of increase in government spending,
up there ahead is daylight. >> today we have found 72% of the savings that we would have to achieve in order to meet that $53 billion reduction target. >> reaganomics was if you give what they call the visiting class the money, then it would trickle down to the bottom of the pile and cutting taxes would increase revenues. >> the president spent the day deal with brush fires on the right and left of his new plan for the economy. the cuts he wants to make in the budget and in income taxes brought out into the open some disagreements among his supporters and his opponents. >> reagan says cut back. we say fight back. >> the administration has gambled our future on a dubious plan that does not deal with the relentless spiral of rising prices, wages and interest rates. >> i've read an awful lot about how we're going to really hurt the poor and things of that
nature and this administration with our cuts. that is absolutely not what we're going to do. >> reagan came in with a very savvy staff that understood the challenges they faced to try to change things in a radical way. but they did come up against an entrenched washington culture and a democratic establishment that just wasn't going to roll over for ronald reagan and let him get his way. >> if we do nothing else in this administration we're going to convince this city the power, money and the responsibility in this country begins and ends with the people, not with some cinderblock building in washington, d.c. thank you very much. >> mr. president -- [ gunshots ] >> get down!
>> we interrupt. there's been a late development. shots reported fired outside the hotel where president reagan spoke a short time ago. here's bernard shaw. >> details are very sketchy at this moment. we don't know precisely what happened. we don't know the sequence. first of all, the president is safe. >> i'm on the air trying to get more information. here, we have a report that the president's adviser for political -- for political affairs. lynn has told reporters at the hospital that the president was not wounded -- >> he was. he was wounded. he was -- the president was hit. he is in stable condition. all this information. we have one more bit of information. the bullet that struck the president has not yet been removed, and he is not undergoing surgery at this time. he was, however, struck in the left chest. the last word we had is that he
was conscious and that his condition was described as stable. dear god. don't let dust and allergies get between you and life's beautiful moments. with flonase allergy relief, they wont. when we breathe in allergens, our bodies react by over producing six key inflammatory substances that cause our symptoms. most allergy pills only control one substance. flonase controls six. and six is greater than one. flonase outperforms the #1 non-drowsy allergy pill. so you can seize those moments, wherever you find them. flonase. six is greater than one changes everything.
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we were told that a decision is now being made on whether to operate on the president to remove the bullet from his left side. >> when the word came, it sounded as if the president might not make it through the night. might die on the surgeon's table. >> ides emphasize the president's condition is stable and that we were informed by jim baker that he did walk into the hospital. >> i was at the white house. the information coming in was incomplete. they weren't fully up to date on what was happening with the president's condition. and then when they found out how serious it was, they wanted to reassure everybody. >> coming indirectly from one of
the surgeons is that the bullet as we have reported once before did miss the president's heart. missed by an inch. >> he told mrs. reagan, honey, i forgot to duck. >> what? >> i forgot to duck. and then when he got into the operating room, he looked at the doctors and he said, please tell me you're republicans. >> reagan relied on this group of advisers. jim baker as his chief of staff, a really skilled, shrewd political insider, ed meese, a counselor to the president, and michael deaver in charge of the media operations. they ran the white house. >> the assassination attempt and aftermath elevated ronald reagan's popularity to a new high. the latest nbc news/associated press poll shows his job rating jumped ten points. >> reagan understood that he was getting this sort of sympathy reaction.
everybody was rooting for him all of a sudden because they didn't want him to die. they didn't want to lose a president. so without missing a step, he goes right into what the message is. we've got to get this tax and spending bill passed and we've got to do it now. >> mr. speaker, the president of the united states. >> it was just like the movies. reagan was a true american hero. >> the president looking very jovial, very healthy. >> i was seated in the well of the house there when he was addressing congress. it was magic. everybody was so grateful that his life had been spared. it was a stirring moment. >> if he wants them to stop, they're not going to stop for a while. >> they handed president reagan and the republicans a major victory. for the second time in his drive to cut the federal budget, president reagan got what he wanted by a house controlled by the opposition party. >> reagan comes off with a victory in congress and the recovery from the assassination attempt looking very strong,
very bold. like a very determined leader. >> good evening. the strike began as scheduled at 7:00 local time this morning. its impact immediate. many flights delayed. many more cancelled. >> the air traffic controllers worked terrible hours. they were underpaid. they wanted a big raise. they didn't get what they wanted. they said we're going to go out on strike. >> they were the only union in the country that endorsed ronald reagan. but, by law, they were forbidden to strike. >> they were in violation of the law. if they do not report for work in 48 hours, they have forfeited their jobs and will be terminated. end of statement. >> what? he actually did that? and it's kind of like hitting the mule on the head with a 2x4. >> this afternoon, president reagan started firing the strikers and the government claimed it was ready to rebuild the whole system without them.
>> this sent a powerful message to different parts of the electorate. many unions were terrified. it also sent a bigger message about the type of leader he'd be. he was not scared to do what was controversial. >> if ever a presidential policy reflected a president's own character, it is reaganomics. it's so personal it barely qualifies as an economic theory. but the trouble is reaganomics is not working. >> it's been the single overwhelming failure of the reagan administration. more than 12 million americans out of work. the highest rate of unemployment since the great depression of the 1930s. the tax cut did not give the economy the supply side kick that had been promised. business got steadily worse. factories closed. layoffs, bankruptcies. the federal deficit skyrocketed. >> inflation had been brought under control and quickly a remarkable accomplishment but at a terrible cost. >> reagan was trying hard to kill inflation as fast as he could. that was working. the problem was interest rates
were going up to 18%. it's like chemotherapy for the economy. it kills a lot of other things along the way. >> the government can live with high unemployment to curb inflation. that seems to be a very high price for us to have to pay. >> supposed to be the land of opportunity. it's not anymore. it's the land for the rich and the poor can go to hell. >> i think we're going to have some hard times for the next few months while we had predicted as you know a stagnant economy none of us had predicted the stepping over into recession. >> when david stockton came in and said the deficit is not going down. it's simply getting larger, reagan apparently was shocked. perhaps he had been too beguiled by his own supply side rhetoric. >> reaganomics, as it's called, was not generating enough revenue. the theory that if you detax the rich, everybody will be better off because they'll invest that money.
turned out not to be true. >> these are not especially happy days for budget director david stockman. the december issue of the atlantic monthly has a long article about stockman in which he's quoted as saying things he no doubtedly wished he had not said. >> i got the magazine. and it was an early copy. the president gave a news conference that day. i kept waving my hand. he didn't call on me. so i chased him out. >> your budget director more or less says with the economic program is wrong. it creates inflationary -- >> he had no idea what i was talking about, clearly. so i broke the story that night that the budget director blew the whistle on this plan. >> what he still contends were off the record conversations, stockman expressed disillusion. stockman refers to naive supply siders. the whole thing, meaning the reagan plan, is premised on
faith, said stockman. none of us understands what's going on with all these numbers. >> it was very, very damaging. a lot of people wanted him fired, but i thought we had to keep him because he knew more about the budget than anybody. so i prevailed upon the president to not fire him. >> we have faith in our program and we're sticking with it. the paid political complainers, let me say as politely as i can, put up or shut up. >> president reagan standing in the nbc/ap poll has gone from a high of 65% approval after he was shot to a low of 43% last fall. that's a bit lower than any previous president at that stage of his stay in the white house. >> we lost big in the 1982 midterms. and everybody was blaming the bad economy on our tax cuts and spending reduction. >> i remember thinking, okay, the bubble's burst. and when a president sinks like that, and i had just seen it with jimmy carter, you just don't come back. and i did believe that. he's not going to come back. [ male announcer ] love drama? don't be a yes man.
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>> i was sound asleep, and this bomb went off. you could feel it shake across beirut. it was so massive. it was devastating. >> a truck filled with explosives was driven into a compound, the midst of a marine battalion headquarters and the explosives were detonated. the four-story building collapsed on about 150 or 200 sleeping marines. >> wearing green fatigues and driving a yellow truck. the guy was smiling. >> israel had gone into lebanon to try to create a buffer zone against the palestinians, the plo. >> a battalion of american marines came out to separate the israelis from the palestinians and oversee the withdrawal of the plo from lebanon, but it got sucked in to the lebanese civil war. >> the civil war is between christians and muslims, and to the muslims it looked like we were supporting the christians. >> a big debate broke out afterwards.
should we have ever put our marines in that kind of vulnerable position when they didn't have a clear mission. they were just kind of sitting there. >> the united states in the middle east was faced with an array of small forces, little cells, underground, not knowing who they were, where they were and even what they wanted. >> there are no words to properly express our outrage, and i think the outrage of all americans. >> do you have any idea who did it? >> are we going to take reprisals, sir? >> reagan called the killing of the marines the saddest day of my presidency. the saddest day of my life. i think it was the low point of the reagan presidency. >> a question that must be asked is why 241 men were killed by terrorists, yet this country wasn't outraged. there were no demonstrations, no marches. little outcry. the reason? within 48 hours of the bombing, the united states invaded
grenada. >> about 1,900 u.s. army rangers and marines this morning assaulted the small island which measures only 12 miles by 21 miles. grenada's population is about 110,000, roughly the size of cedar rapids, iowa. >> there's a coup, allegedly a communist coup, and reagan seizes on this to stage an invasion. >> the united states received an urgent formal request to assist in a joint effort to restore order and democracy on the island of grenada. >> an american troop carrier was passing by on its way to lebanon. so all they did was turn that combat ready ship in to grenada. >> marines took control of grenada's airports and began broadcasting a soothing message. >> your cooperation will ensure that peace and democracy are restored in the near future. >> at least a psychological,
maybe moral level, reagan was doing something in grenada that he wanted to do in lebanon but couldn't. he could do it in grenada and show the world that the united states would take an shun to defend its interests. >> reagan was lucky. he had the good fortune to have an easy military victory just eliminating our memory of what happened in beirut and replacing it with this scene of the military rushing ashore in the caribbean. >> our world has changed. today our national security can be threaten inside far away places. it's up to all of us to be aware of the have teenagic importance of such places and to identify them. the events in lebanon and grenada, although oceans apart, are closely related. not only has moscow assisted encouraged violence in both countries but it provided direct support through a network of surrogates. >> what he really cared about
was this cancer on the world. so if there was a marxist regime anywhere and somebody was trying to take it down, he'd be for them. >> perhaps by coincidence, the u.s. greatly expanded its military presence in central america. a big battleship joined two aircraft carriers in the waters off nicaragua while denying all the while anything special was happening. >> in nicaragua where there was a leftist regime in place, the united states was supporting the nicaraguan contras to overturn the sandinista government. >> that was an evil bunch and he was going to overthrow them and the heroes were the contras that were going to do it like our fathers at lexington and concord. >> we are complying with the law. we're complying with that fully. >> the boland amendment passed unanimously in the house and says the united states cannot provide funds for the purpose of overthrowing the government of nicaragua. >> when congress tried to cut funding off, reagan believed it was his obligation, a moral
obligation and obligation to american security to make sure the contras continued to get funding. >> the last of the u.s. marines left beirut today for the relative safety of the sixth fleet warships offshore, ending a 17-month peacekeeping mission which brought lebanon no closer to resolving its strife. >> lebanese factions realized their impact was very short lived. so these groups in lebanon began nabbing americans. >> in beirut, the united states was again the target of lebanon's shadowy men. they kidnapped william buckley. he's the embassy's contact man for the rival christian and muslim factions. he is the third american to be kidnapped in beirut in six weeks. >> and it kept happening. it was not all at one go. they were taken many months apart but kept adding up and adding up. it consumed the reagan presidency.
>> every day, almost every day he'd ask his national security teams, intelligence briefers, any news on the hostages. is anything happening? is there something we can do? >> there's a chink in reagan's armor. he was soft-hearted and felt a sense of obligation that he had to do something to get them out. t-mobile is going big for small business. you'll never get charged data overages, ever. get your own 24 / 7 dedicated business account team. and with double the lte coverage in the last year you can get more done in more places. right now get 2 lines with 10 gigs each for just a $100 bucks. and for a limited time get a hot spot free, yeah free. switch your business to t-mobile@work today.
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government economists have taken another look at how fast the economy grew during the first quarter of this year, and today they said it was surging ahead even faster than they first thought. the jobless rate was down to 7.8%. that means 700,000 people found jobs during the month. >> when we took office the american economy was in the tank. so did it take a while to get out of that? you bet it did. we were correcting what had gone wrong before. >> the economy starts to bounce back in 1983. gas prices are falling. the stock market is rising. you start seeing inflation go down. employment go up. by 1984, they have an economic revival to pitch. >> it's morning again in america. and under the leadership of president reagan, our country is prouder and stronger and better. >> it was a brilliant ad, and it worked. there was no chance a democrat was going to beat that.
>> a u.s. political summit meeting takes place in louisville, kentucky, not to resolve differences but to exploit them. ronald reagan meets walter mondale. just about everybody is calling it a major opportunity for mondale. >> he doesn't need just to win by a nose. he needs to win to stay with it by four or five lengths. he needs to do well because he starts from so far back. >> the question of ronald reagan's age had always been in the back of minds of a lot of people. he was by this time the oldest american president, and he was well into his 70s. >> i -- as i say, i feel that we have a problem here to resolve. >> reagan in the first debate against walter mondale looks confused. speaks too long. gets lost. it's not just that walter mondale won that debate. it's that people fear, is ronald reagan lost?
and for the first time they start talking about the age issue. >> it showed without cue cards and teleprompters the great communicator doesn't always communicate all that well. >> we had six dress rehearsals last time. plus loading him with computer statistics. the man was absolutely smothered by extraneous material. and this time we're going to let ronald reagan be ronald reagan. >> the mantra let reagan be reagan was, let's take advantage of what we've got. the strongest thing, our best political asset is ronald reagan being himself, communicating with the american people. when he was showing his personality, his ideas and rhetoric, he generally succeeded. >> going into tonight, a new poll indicates the race continues to narrow. >> the audience out there will be looking at ronald reagan in a new way. i think in louisville, the myths or the mystique of the great communicator was dented, perhaps irreparably. >> president kennedy had to go
days on end with very little sleep during the cuban missile crisis. is there any doubt you'd be able to function in such circumstances? >> not at all. and also, i will not make age an issue of this campaign. i am not going to exploit for political purposes my opponent's youth and inexperience. [ applause ] >> it brought down the house, and it was his house by then. >> there were several times during his first term when i thought this man is not going to be re-elected president. i guess what i underestimated was how much the public really loved and liked this man. >> it now appears president reagan has won and has won big. his aides say they're seeing a victory of historic proportions. there's the national totals. >> so many people act as if this election means the end of something.
to each one of you i say, tonight is the end of nothing. it's the beginning of everything. >> it came as a surprise this morning when president reagan announced that two of the leading figures of his administration are going to change jobs. >> by the time the four years was over, i was pretty warn out. regan said, why don't you and i change jobs. we took it to the president. he thought it was a great idea and we switched jobs. >> it folded into one man. >> it turned out to be an unsuccessful experiment. >> don regan was not cut out for that job. he liked the sound of chief but not of staff. >> i am not the president. i am not taking charge of anything. ronald reagan is in charge of this country, and like a good caddie, i tee up the ball for him to take a good smack at. >> reagan needed good advisers. and in the second term, he doesn't have the same quality of people surrounding him.
it has huge political effects. >> from nbc news, this is "today." >> good morning. former hostage david jacobsen is a step closer to u.s. soil at this hour. jacobsen was freed sunday after 17 months of captivity in lebanon. >> because we're still negotiating for the other hostages, we're not going to say anything more about what process we went through to get mr. jacobsen out. >> the policy is that we don't negotiate with hostage-takers. we don't make deals. we don't pay ransom. reagan hammered on his staff to find a way to get those hostages out. >> today the story from middle east sources is that iran has helped the united states free a hostage from lebanon. >> in a bizarre tale worthy of a thriller, iran's news agency reports robert mcfarlane, president reagan's former national security adviser, recently made a secret visit to tehran. iran says mcfarlane came seeking help in freeing hostages led by pro-iranian groups in lebanon. >> i didn't believe the
administration could be that clumsy. it seemed so unlike all it stood for, all it claimed, all it promised. >> why not dispel the speculation by telling us exactly what happened, sir? >> in the name of god, would you please just be responsible and back off. thank you. >> how are we to know what is responsible and what is not? jay knows how to keep nice shorts, dad...g. this is what the pros wear. uhhh... that's why he starts his day with those two scoops in heart healthy kellogg's raisin bran. ready to eat my dust? too bad i already filled up on raisins. kellogg's raisin bran. deliciously heart healthy. introduces new, easy-to-swallow tablets. so now, there are more ways, for more people... to experience... complete protection from frequent heartburn. nexium 24hr. the easy-to-swallow tablet is here. don't let dust and allergies get and life's beautiful moments. with flonase allergy relief, they wont.
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in spite of the wildly speculative and false stories of our arms for hostages and alleged ransom payments, we did not, repeat, did not trade weapons or anything else for hostages. >> mr. president, the record shows that every time an american hostage was released, there had been a major shipment of arms just before that. are we all to believe that was just a coincidence? >> chris, the only thing i know about major shipments of arms, as i've said, everything that's we sold them could be put in one cargo plane and there would be plenty of room left over. there was no deception intended by us. >> for the first time, reagan seemed to be at sea, not knowing
exactly how to deal with this particular problem. it was a debilitating experience, and the president showed it. >> it became clear even in the government that things were going on at the nsc that not everybody knew about, and so the president asked his attorney general ed meese to investigate. >> now i'm going to ask attorney general meese to brief you. >> do you still maintain that you didn't make a mistake? did you make a mistake in sending arms to tehran? >> no, and i'm not taking any more questions. >> in the course of the arms transfers, which involved the united states providing the arms to israel, and israel in effect selling the arms to representatives of iran, certain monies, which were received in the transaction between representatives of israel and representatives of iran were taken and made available to the forces in central america which are opposing the sandinista
government there. >> there was an audible gasp in the room. cynical, jaded reporters who have seen and heard everything gasped out loud. >> there it was, smoking gun proof of the connection between these two programs and the fact that part of this administration was using the money from the sales of arms to iran to fund the contras. >> the shadowy figure we've been hearing about at the center of today's extraordinary revelations is oliver north. his facts, his public testimony is what the country is now waiting for. >> oliver north who worked in the west wing had this idea, well, since we're selling weapons to iran and there's certain profits that are coming from these weapons, and since we're not supposed to be selling these weapons so we can't announce the profits, these are basically off the books, let's take those profits and let's use them to support the contras. we can kill two birds with one stone.
>> the problem was both of those schemes violated american policy and violated the law. so when they were exposed, it all came crashing down, and ronald reagan was left trying to explain why his administration had actually violated his own policies. >> vice admiral poindexter has asked to be relieved of his duty for national security affairs. lieutenant colonel oliver north has been relieved on the national security council staff. >> at the time i thought, this is another watergate. felt that way. >> when the iran/contra story broke it seemed to play into various strains of the narrative about reagan. here's this hollywood actor who really doesn't know what's being done in his name. or that he was clearly lying to the american people about this. >> one of the more poignant things is the president's letter from february 20th of this year. he says i have no personal notes or records to help my recollection on this matter.
try as i might, i cannot recall anything whatsoever about whether i approved and the simple truth is, i don't remember, period. >> very early in the iran/contra story, a rift off a famous line, what did the president know and when did he forget it? >> it was very serious. his political opponents and the american people saw something they didn't approve of. and we could see his numbers were dropping. and the whole presidency was at risk. >> tomorrow morning the iran/contra congressional hearings move into their most dramatic stage. lieutenant colonel oliver north will testify in public for the first time. >> colonel north, please rise. >> oliver north's appearance before that joint committee is one of the historic moments in '80s television because there was a guy, almost more than reagan, who understood what the images were. >> one question the american
people would like to know the answer to is what did the president know? >> throughout the conduct of my entire tenure, i assumed the president was aware of what i was doing and had, through my superiors, approved it. >> ollie north said everything he did was in the service of what he understood ronald reagan wanted, and everything he did was really just done out of love of country and it was very tough for those politicians in suits to knock that testimony down. >> i did do it. i was given a mission, and i tried to carry it out. >> but part of that mission was to shield the others who were giving you the orders. >> that is the part of any subordinate. >> president reagan still wasn't talking about lieutenant colonel oliver north's testimony. but he did suggest that he could hardly wait to do so. >> i'm not going to comment until the hearings are over. >> the white house states flatly
the president did not know about the diversion. officials here are still bracing for the testimony next week of john poindexter. a man who unlike north met with the president every day. sometimes with no one else in the room. >> did you at any time tell the president that proceeds from the iranian arms sale were being used to support the contras? >> i don't -- i did not. the important point is if there -- the buck stops here with me. >> if there had been evidence that reagan knew about the diversion of money from iran to the contras in nicaragua, there would have been serious calls for his resignation. but he walked away not unscathed because his reputation took a hit but he did get another
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the buck does not stop with admiral poindexter. as he stated in his testimony. it stops with me. i am ultimately accountable to the american people. >> even if what reagan did was a horrible blunder, it wasn't for political gain. it wasn't a dirty trick against the opposition party. it wasn't a watergate. a lot of people didn't want to go through that, they wanted to give the president the benefit of the doubt. >> ronald reagan was thought of as the teflon president because reporter couldn't touch him. the voters cared about reagan's grand vision of a better country. >> the president appeared relaxed and happy as he visited friendly nebraska country today. right after his speech last night, the white house received 1,145 positive phone calls. >> it's time to get down to the real business at hand, to move forward with america. >> reagan didn't recover quickly, but he did recover so
he could go on and govern. he brought in a new team, howard baker as his chief of staff and brought in colin powell. that third team was the third chapter. >> ladies and gentlemen, the president of the united states. >> george bush played a major role in everything that we have accomplished in these eight years. america needs george bush and barbara bush as first lady. >> george bush will be the 41st president of the united states. >> the election of bush with the american people was we want more reagan, we want more of what we had. bush was the closest thing to a third term for ronald reagan.
>> ronald wilson reagan, the 40th president of the united states, in two days he leaves office as our oldest president and as one of the most popular ever. >> ronald reagan was the chief architect of the 1980s. you don't always identify a president with years, but reagan should be identified with the 80s. >> for me it always seemed like the great rediscovery of our values and common sense. as long as we remember our first principles and believe in ourselves, the future should and will always be ours. once you begin a great movement, there's no telling where it will end. >> the very firmness of his rhetoric enabled him to be a pragmatist. so with that faith in ronald reagan, he's our conservative warrior. the fact at that he raised taxes and appointed two pro-choice supreme court justices, that he
signed and advocated a bill for amnesty for illegal immigrants, they forgave all that because ronald reagan had been their champion. >> president reagan understood that we judge presidents on the basis of what they get accomplished. that with the fact that he was a beautiful human being. those were the secrets to his success. >> the last day, he just sort of lingered. finally they said, "mr. president, it's time." and the photographer came in, stage was set. he turned away from the desk, went to the door and through. the actor leaving the stage. it's that reagan magic that he had. and it was real.
it was magic but it was real. >> on the big issues, the revival of the american spirit, the reignition of the american economy, ronald reagan exceeded beyond anyone's expectations. as for his critics, many still frustrated, even angry but they do concede that ronald reagan leaves washington an enormously popular figure and in this day and age, that alone is an historic achievement. on the next "eighties" -- >> there's one sign the soviets could make that would be unmistakable. mr. gorbachev, open this gate. mr. gorbachev, tear down this wall.
>> announcer: "the eighties," next on cnn. -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com the only morality they'll recognize is what will further their cause. they reserve under themselves the right to commit any crime, to lie, to cheat. >> the russians are gearing up for war. >> the senate approved $136.5 billion defense budget. >> the largest anti-nuclear protest in u.s. history. >> president reagan is more eager to meet with new leader of the soviet union. >> mr. gorbachev, tear down this wall. ♪