tv CNN Newsroom with Poppy Harlow and Jim Sciutto CNN December 5, 2018 7:00am-8:00am PST
is a desire in the part of so many people to thank the former president, to kind of bear witness to his passing and to be part of history. >> and this is the pageantry of our national life. we are sitting here watching this and people who live around washington can go and see it in person. there are so many representatives of the whole country who are working and living in washington, people who work for the federal government who have been lining up to see the casket of the former president. they may have a memory of him when he was in government and they were in government, as well. i think about with airports around the country and tvs and schools that this is being broadcast. i think about the history of these moments whether it is inauguruations or other state events that we appreciate this public nature of our life, of our institutions and of our leaders and of an office that is really bigger than any
individual. i think that's really what we are celebrating today. >> the traditions of how we mourn a passing president, has it evolved a lot? >> when nixon died you had five presidents there. none of them dared say the word water gate. you make sure that -- it is really used to heal the country. right now the word is civility. the nation is hungering for civility. we are tell ing all these storis of a man who epitomizes that. there is the cia club and the intelligence club and the washington insiders club, bureaucrats that work for generations that look up to bush 41. >> you see members of the trump white house. there is jared kushner, ivanka
trump, sarah sanders. we saw the vice president pence speaking to former vice president gore as well as former vice president biden. it is always interesting to see in a town where there is not a lot of communication between democrats and republicans at times to see something like this bringing them together. >> it brings us back to an important evolution that happened during bush's presidency which that is the cnn moment when international news became globalized and simultaneous. there is a sense that people that are in airports and people in schools all across the country are seeing the same thing. it is a new evolution for the country. in 1950 this would not have been the case. in 1960 it would not have been the case. right now we can come together as a nation in a new way. >> what we are really watching here -- for a younger
generation, they are watching history as they have never seen it if you are really young. what they are watching is the two republican parties that now exist meeting together in the cathedral, paying their respects to a man that the new president -- nafta called it the worst deal in history. this nafta deal was bush 41's nafta deal. thanks to the graciousness of bush 41, this was orchestrated in a brilliant way without reach to donald trump and who now leads the republican party saying you are welcome here. and the respect that they gave to donald trump by inviting him, by treating melania so well at barbara bush's funeral. she went home and told her
husband how well she had been treated. we are sort of looking at the bush family in action saying even though this is no longer our party, you are our president and we respect the office of the presidency and we want you there. >> i think as we watch this -- >> just that as severe as our politics can be, people in all of the hi pu-- this is a matter people who are faithful with the idea that the government runs properly and with continuity and with respect. >> the bush family, this is the bush family arriving in order to arrive in the capitol. they are going to be receiving the body. let's just listen in to some of
the recessional has begun. the casket will be carried down the steps and there will be presidential color and a presentation of arms. >> there will be hail to the chief played. the casket will be placed in the hearse as we hear the hymns "my faith looks up to thee". >> tell us what you are seeing. what else can we expect? >> reporter: we expect the bush family to be arriving here momentarily. they will be positioned outside of the vehicles to observe the
casket being carried down the east front steps of the capitol. you do see here the military band waiting on the steps of the capitol. soon we will hear when the bush family arrives a 21-gun salute as the casket is carried down and placed into the hearse. that whole process, wolf, could take about 15 minutes as they make their way slowly down the steps of the capitol. they have been preparing for this all morning having the casket waiting outside the east front steps of the capitol. moments from now we expect the arrival of the family and the casket to eventually make its way to the steps which we will see here in a matter of moments. >> and there -- we just saw the motorcade leaving. that was the motorcade that had left on the way to the capitol
to receive the casket as it is carried down those steps. >> yeah. that's right. just in a few minutes we should be able to see them waiting outside the steps here and the casket is just outside of the steps of the capitol. >> jake, it's almost a brief ceremony that we will see on capitol hill in reverse of what we saw the other day when the casket was brought from joint base andrews to the u.s. capitol to lie in state at the rotunda. >> let's take a moment to think about what many people watching are thinking about, not just george h.w. bush who served this country as the nation's 41st president. he will be the last president to have fought in world war ii. he was a hero in world war ii.
he is an individual who served his country at the united nations as a diplomat in china, as a cia director, obviously, as vice president. he represents a kind of republicanism that is really frankly i wouldn't say it stinked, but he was a moderate when he ran for president in 1980. his son is very different. his son was a much more conservative republican than he was when he ran in 1980. it's a different kind of -- he represents a different era of the united states. so it's not just the man and his successes and his failures that we are thinking about today. it's also what he represents, jimmy carter was in the navy academy during world war ii. this is the last u.s. president we will ever have to have been
in combat in world war ii. >> what we call the greatest generation. you can see the folks have gathered along the streets here in washington. they want to see this motorcade as it continues. there you see nancy pelosi, the democratic leader in the house of representatives, paul ryan. there is mitch mcconnell. and there is chuck schumer standing right next to nancy pelosi. what is so nice is that george h.w. bush has brought all these folks together and they will be all together with some 3,000 other guests in the national cathedral celebrating this late president and the current president will be there, as well. >> and one of the things about the george h.w. bush presidency that i think a lot of his former aides and advisers have talked about is that he worked across the aisle. he had to do it by necessity.
there was a democratic house and democratic senate when he was president. and he signed some major pieces of legislation, the americans with disabilities act, the reason why there are ramps all over the country so that individuals who are in wheel chairs such as the former president have access to the same world that the rest of us do. he signed the clean air act. he helped get rid of the toxic phenomenon of acid rain. you hear a lot of people on capitol hill talk about how george h.w. bush as president even though he waged tough campaigns -- >> there is former president jimmy carter and his wife sitting there. that's one of the four former living presidents. you see secretary of state mike pompeo. there is colin powell.
>> here has really -- if you listen in the past few days what general powell has said, he has been so powerful in his reminiscence. the notion of what a great, great man president george h.w. bush was not only as president but also as human being. everyone has said almost the same thing about him. he was kind, generous. he never wanted to speak so much about himself. he wanted to praise others. >> when yoer-- we see lane chou there is chuck schumer on the right, possibly incoming house speaker nancy pelosi with her husband. >> capitol hill waiting for the motorcade with the bush family to arrive and the ceremony will begin. this is not something we see every day here in washington,
this kind of unity. also, the folks lining the streets of washington wanting to get a glimpse of this majesty that has unfolded. >> we haven't seen a state funeral since 2006. this is an event that really captured the nation but also washington, d.c. itself, some people coming out early to try to capture a glimpse. you see the bush family heading towards the capitol just to give you a sense. they are running a little bit behind schedule, but the family vehicles and the hearse will pull into the east plaza via the south barricade. then the family will position themselves outside the vehicles to observe the casket being carried down the east center stairs led by the sergeant of arms. there will be a recessional, national color, presidential color, as well, presentation of arms. 21-gun salute with canons.
we will bring all of this to you live. we won't be talking over this. there will be -- the casket will be placed in the hearse. one hymn will be "my faith looks up to thee" and then the motorcade will depart the capitol towards the national cathedral. >> it is rare to see this kind of -- you see this sort of pomp and ceremony in other places in england, but not in the united states. >> this tends to pour a country together. come friday it is probably about manafort and cohen. today it is about civility. when abraham lincoln was shot his casket went to illinois at the time when the soldiers were ending the civil war. it was like a healing.
the funeral train that went to springfield. many times the deaths of presidents gives us a time to reflect. i will say there are few people that aren't invited that were part of bush's life, people like ross perot and pat buchanan because they were people that bush never healed with. there was a limit to this generosity of spirit of political foes that he had. donald trump being president, it's the right thing to have him there. >> president bush 41 had a say in the order of events today. >> very much did. there is great dysfunction. we don't need to dwell on it today -- between the bush family from top to bottom and the trump white house. 41 believes in the institution of the presidency, the institution of the former president's club and the idea of healing and civility, that this is a moment for the country to come together and not for the country to talk about its differences.
it's remarkable watching this play out as you watch the congressional leadership with the bush family to await. it was a different era. it's a very different republican party. bush is a dirty word in today's republican party to a large degree. you can almost see leader mitch mcconnell wrestling with that m. they were both junior members back in the day. pelosi the junior member of the house. paul ryan came out of the jack kemp which is a very bush-like movement. let's have more civility in the party and more inclusiveness. let's reach out to immigrants and african-americans. they live in a very different republican party today. you can watch them wrestle with that over the last few days. it's also been very interesting as they remember where they came from and what they do today is very different as you reflect on the history and the roots, if you will, of george h.w. bush which people say it is a
forgotten age. if you look at what is going on in the country today, the roots of george h.w. bush are everywhere. robert mueller happened to be an assistant attorney general at the justice department during the bush presidency. it was george h.w. bush as rnc chairman who said i think you should resign. so george h.w. bush's roots if you will, his career on the issues and on some things front and center right now, it's not just -- many of them are still with us. >> one of the most important things we are dealing with was the central part of 1992 election which time and again was a discussion of how we are going to handle the de-industrialization of the midwest. >> you see governor bush in front of him. these are members of the bush family who will be lining up in order to receive and witness the casket as it is carried out of
the rotunda. >> in planning all of this, we are told that bush 41 who did plan all of this -- first he didn't want to and then he did said to a top aid what if nobody comes? what if nobody lines up? i think he understood the politics of today and that he is not a member of this republican party, but also with his own humility, he was saying why would anyone want to come to this? there is president bush 43. >> i think one of the most poignant moments we saw was bob dole yesterday struggling to get out of his wheelchair at the age of 95 to pay his respects. >> let's listen in.
ceremony at the u.s. capitol honoring the 41st president of the united states. the motorcade will begin leaving the u.s. capitol and head down pennsylvania avenue. it will drive past the white house. they left the white house just a little while ago for the national cathedral. they will be there together with 3,000 other invited guests and the motorcade will get to the national cathedral for this state funeral. >> what a sad but also odd moment this must be for president george w. bush, one of only two men in the history of this nation to have served as president after his father. not only is he going through what must be a heart wrenching experience helping to bury the man who he revered so much, he is also getting a glimpse of
what his funeral will be like. very few americans will have the opportunity to be honored in such a way with a state funeral such as this one. the send off that they will all experience. we see president -- >> you can see the former president, the former vice presidents bill clinton and al gore. >> we heard from a reporter inside the cathedral that president obama was talking at one point to one of his closest allies when he was president, angela merkel who credits
president george h.w. bush for helping to manage the reunification of germany. it was not long after that angela merkel got involved in politics. there is vice president pence talking with chelsea clinton. it's a rare moment. >> barack obama saying hi. michelle obama. it's really very rare to have this kind of attendance together. there is the presidential hearse leaving the grounds of the capitol that will drive past the white house and then arrive at thecathedral. let's listen in. 7
. >> this is president trump arriving at the cathedral. all the other former presidents have already arrived. he will join them and not speaking. he will be in attendance. this, the body of george h.w. bush heading towards the national cathedral. it will probably take about 10 or 15 minutes to get there. this is an opportunity for people who have wanted to come and pay their respects to line the route. it's interesting as we watch this, some of the people lining the route have a -- when he was the president -- others were too
young and still want to pay respects or bear witness to this moment in history. >> a rare moment in history. this is the capitol yesterday. parents are saying the same thing. of course, their children have no concept. they can't put into concept what is happening, just to let them see it now so maybe it touches them. you are watching as we are getting close to the procession. it is a reminder. he was in that complex as was his son and his family eight years as vice president. 1600 pennsylvania avenue was 12 years of george h.w. bush's life and career, not just for him, barbara bush, george w. bush would talk about what he learned including respect for the institution and respect for the buildings, respect for what he called the temple of democracy. as you watch this play out in the city -- cia director,
congressmen, vice president, president, george h.w. bush in that motorcade right now passing through a town that he -- a one-term president. you see the smiles on the family. i think they are so grateful that their father is be remembered and appreciated and put into a better context now, whether it is his international world management -- bill clinton never gets his balanced budget. george h.w. bush doesn't break his signature promise i think that is one of the reasons why you see the smiles on the family faces because the town where the bush name his party rebukes it now is appreciating a great man. >> you see supreme court justices there all seated together. the former presidents all seated together, something you rarely see except in events like this. you see michelle obama, vice president dick cheney as well as
vice president joe biden. it's an extraordinary image to see them all in one spot. >> we are looking at george h.w. bush's legacy. he never used to talk about it. he used to call it the l word. he didn't like to talk about the vision or anything else. when you look at the history of his presidency and you look at the people who are here to honor it, you look at somebody i would argue who had the most robust resume of anyone ever to serve in that office of the presidency who was more prepared going in than anybody i can remember. and i think that is part of what is being honored today, not only the way he conducted himself, but his tremendous years of public service because he was about service and his family was all about service. >> it's interesting about him
serving as ambassador to china. i didn't realize he was actually offered the best ambassadorships to london or paris. >> after water gate he had been head of the national republican committee. gerald ford wanted him out of town. bush wanted to get out of town. ford offered him the jobs to being ambassador to paris and london. george bush really surprised him by saying i want to go to china. he had two reasons. he thought china would be interesting. the second was the adambassador had to fund -- china is much -- >> he marvels at how inexpensive it is. the best part of the story is that he did not tell barbara bush that they were going to china until after he had accepted the job. >> it was the best moments of
her life, the happiest years because she had him all to herself except for the dog. she loved being in china. it was a good gamble on his part. >> i'm looking at the images of the former presidents. there is the vice president dan quayle and the higher part of your screen. and then vice president pence. to look at bill clinton, if you reflect on what then president bush said at the time that he was far more qualified than bill clinton to become president and then the hurt that he felt after losing in that economy -- yet it was george w. bush who takes credit to work in response to hurricane relief. i look at the picture of the presidents. w. would tell guys like john and i you guys can't talk about my legacy because you were there. you are starting to see the legacy of george h.w. bush for some time taking shape. even the legacy of his son as
the bush political dynasty is being reflected on today. now you look at these presidents. here comes president trump who i wonder if he will have a moment of reflection today as he kind of rips and tumbles his way through the presidency that i am now part of this and i will be part of this in death, as well. it has to be kind of a powerful moment for anybody who steps into that space as he'll do today in a way that i don't think he has before. >> that is what the bushes have done. that is what 41 has done. they have invited him into that space whereas he has not been invited in before nor did he want to be, by the way, because he is the disrupter. >> we call him the reagan bush years. everything was about ronald reagan. he kept a bit of a lower profile in many ways. since the biographies come out and 43 wrote a book on his
father there is a new appreciation that's come up just in a couple of years for bush 41. his legacy is growing. you have texas a&m where people go. you have the airport in houston named after bush 41. the legacy is growing. >> the presidential hearse is passing by the white house, that house that for so many years was a residence and place of work for george h.w. bush. >> the pictures inside the cathedral remind you of the president's club. we will watch how president trump works his way into that. >> he has spoken of those people. >> very well put. >> as this hearse passes the white house. you see al gore, dan quayle, dick cheney. not since martin van buren, it
is not an easy thing to do in history. george h.w. bush did it. you see it in the second row behind the presidents, men who wanted to be president and one who wants to be president in the case of mike pence. they should read the history of george h.w. bush because it's not an easy thing to pull off. >> and the history itself. it reflects how the people in the administration actually remember their time. they thought of it as a very successful administration. there is really no modern presidential administration at all that -- >> let's just listen in. >> there is no modern presidential administration that has been so open with its history and eager to tell its
story. not nixon obviously, not ford, not reagan. nobody has been so good, if you will, about saying we want to tell our tale because we are very proud of what we did. it really reflects how they provided access to people who want to learn -- >> isn't it just pretty to watch the pageantry of the events. he was president at a time when the public could drive along pennsylvania avenue until the oklahoma city bombing made that clos closed. you watch inauguruation of presidents. and then this finale. >> then they return home to be a citizen again and no longer a president. >> seeing this picture of the presidents and hearing george w. bush talk earlier about his father reach over and grabbing
his hand, there is a phrase that is commonly used about the president which is master of the small gesture. i think we will see a lot of small gestures. the ones i have noticed just last night or the night before at the capitol having the band play the navy hymn which is president bush's favorite song, having captains of the aircraft carrier in the front row, hav. g i think it was on purpose. president bush's finger prints are all over this. i think we will see more and more of those touches, nods to the secret service agents. the secret service agents, he was already beloved. remember when he shaved his head in honor of patrick. that cemented him. >> if you look at vice president cheney, it is the multi-layers
of history and policy and war and peace that dick cheney who served as his second choice to be president 41's secretary of defense only to in president 41's eyes serve his son less ably. >> now we have george p. bush who is doing one of the eulogies. he lives across the street from me in austin. he is the family historian. he has been working to save the alamo. he pays big cost for that in texas for trying to redefine what the alamo is. he is the historian of the bush family. he knows everything that occurred. i'm looking forward to his remarks. >> and the new generation of politicians. he is the future. one thing that is so remarkable to me in john meacham's book is the president being so forthcoming about how much it
hurt when he lost and how he felt he disappointed people in being a one-term president and just talking about what he did wrong, how he could not talk about himself or his achievements very well, and how he made a mistake with the tax hike. remarkable honesty coming from somebody willing to look inside, have somebody else tell his story, not himself, look inside and say i did a lot of stuff wrong, but i also got a lot done in four short years. >> he won a profile and courage award for the read my lips, no new taxes. >> president 41 had to sweat out two election nights with his son there in austin in the governor's mansion which goes to recount. and even in 2004 it wasn't
declared that night. >> we are going to see a lot about the relationship between w. and his father which had its tensions when bush 43 was president, but when the two of them are no longer president, the portrait that w. painted of his father, the book he wrote about his father of the bond that they formed when they didn't have all the stress of being president and how to behave with each other. that relationship in the later years was really wonderful to watch. >> it's also interesting to see so many foreign leaders attend this. there was such an international focus for the presidency in bush 41. you think about obviously the relations this administration is having currently with leaders around the world. angela merkel is here.
♪ >> what a remarkable moment as we see the current president of the united states and the former presidents of the united states all sitting in the same row honoring the 41st president of the united states. it's pretty amazing to see the seating arrangement here at the washington national cathedral. >> it's a time, a funeral when everybody comes together and puts aside their idpartisan differences. you can't help but think about the tensions in the room, the discomfort that president trump may be feeling, i don't know. he came in and president obama greeted the first lady, melania trump and then president trump himself as did former first lady
michelle obama. there has been a lot of bad blood not just between president trump and the democratic presidents and first ladies in that pew. obama, clinton and carter, but also between president trump and the bush family. obviously, george h.w. bush felt it was important to have the president there. he was invited. he wanted to make this as was representative of the george h.w. bush's life about something bigger than just tensions and grudges, but about the nation coming together. >> you see the current president and former presidents in the front row. you see the current vice president and the former vice presidents in the second row. what do you see? >> striking to me. we'll see what happens after. it's obviously the ceremony is about to begin. the obamas greeted the trumps. the clintons looked straight ahead. president trump did not make a point to try to reach across to the clintons.
the clintons did not make a point to try to reach across from the trumps. there is separation. they are seated by protocol. there is an opportunity there, if you wished, to reach across t. mr. trump decided not to do that. hillary clinton looked straight ahead. her head was locked straight ahead at that moment. i don't want to make too much of it. we are in a very solemn moment right now. in this unique club in a moment where we know the current president has made no effort, unlike barack obama did reach out to george w. bush at moments. bill clinton did reach out to george h.w. bush at key moments of national crisis or international decisions. donald trump has not done so. >> john, stand by. jim acosta is there at the national cathedral. you watching all these amazing pictures as we all are. what are you hearing? >> reporter: i just wanted to add to what you were just
talking about with john king. that is i talked to a source close to the president. president trump earlier this morning who said the bush family was very gracious in inviting president trump, first lady melania trump to the services this morning. there was another outreach in the truce between the bush and trump families. that is when president trump selected brett kavanaugh for the supreme court. one of the first people that he called to notify the world of this decision that he had made was the former president george w. bush, bush 43. bush 43, the bush family took that as something as an olive branch according to the source close to president trump. it was very well received. i think that also helped foster this truce that we are seeing today, although it may be uncomfortable to watch at times. i think the other thing we should point out, wolf, is that for all the talk of trump world, we are seeing president trump in the middle of bush world right now, sort of the greatest
generation meets make america great again as a reminder of the greatness of this country before donald trump came along. >> for president trump it must be, i have to say, uncomfortable. this is obviously not just a bunch of democrats on that pew who have been very critical of him and vice versa. but the bush family, we know that george h.w. bush, the late president, did not vote for president trump. we know that george w. bush did not vote for president trump. so this is a room and part of his appeal, i suppose, the idea that he was very anti-establishment even though he is now the embodiment of the establishment. president trump is in a room full of people who did not vote for him in many ways. >> good to see jimmy carter there, as well. these are truly, truly remarkable pictures all being shown in honor of the 41st
president of the united states. >> it's a glorious cathedral, the national cathedral and quite an assemblage. traditionally, the sitting president would be one of the people asked to give a eulogy. that is not the case here. you can say bush 43, it's a unique situation because bush 43 would be giving the eulogy. you can say that the bush family clearly chose not to have the current president actually speak. he was invited. i don't know if it is a slight smile on the face of barack obama, the awkwardness of the situation. >> first of all, i think it was a situation in terms of the speeches where you can say that his son, a former president, will give the eulogy and i don't
think anybody could argue about that. maybe trump was relieved by that i would presume. michelle obama shook hands. she just wrote a book in which she said -- there is a lot of tension there. trump must feel like a transtra in a strange land in this assemblage of people who served bush 41 and bush 43, neither of whom he has professed much admiration for. he met with the bushes for 23 minutes which is a long time. so they have been giving this outreach. i think it has been appreciated.
>> let's go to the cathedral. >> reporter: we are watching the hearse arrive here at the national cathedral, very solemn moment even with all the media here. it is a very hushed scene. you see the color guard and the honor guard. they are going to have their procession now of bringing in the casket. the family arrived just moments before. we have been seeing the pictures inside. all the presidents, the historic image of the four presidents there with their wives. you see all the vice presidents behind them. this is the moment of the beginning of the service. so let's just listen and watch this part of the process.
we haven't had the passing of a president in many years, since 2006. and the time that we are living also helps shape the significance of this moment and what president george h.w. bush stood for, the congregation of thousands inside the national cathedral. and to see the people there and the faces from the past and to remember what political culture was about then. again, not to put emphasis on things being wrong or tension, but a time when things were different and some would argue better. you are seeing our 43rd president george w. bush. he has a very heavy task today to eulogize his father. he will be the last speaker during this ceremony. and there is a little bit of a delay here. everything has been thought out. i have been really impressed by the precision of the events
today. >> obviously, along with the president himself which is as protocol expects. that's exactly the way that he went along with what other presidents before him have done in modern times to make his wishes known. that certainly is happening here. what we are looking at is the national cathedral where so many moments, as you said, national moments have happened. and just looking at this, chris. we are looking at a moment in history. >> the priest has moved into position inside now to receive the casket as they bring it up. the pallbearers will come forward. you see them standing at the ready. the family is going to be seated. that's what we are waiting for right now is to make sure