tv Book TV After Words CSPAN August 26, 2012 4:00pm-5:00pm EDT
is made of recycled material. emily dickinson is a phenomenal poet but we didn't know about her or discover her until the mid 1950's when we finally were able to see her poems and in the way that she had written them. >> those professional editors like to take their pen and me to come form. fer mlb of all people. >> roberta shafer, assistant librarian at the library of congress' books that should america is the name of the exhibit in the library of congress is located at first and independence avenue in a washington, d.c. rediker loss from the nation's capital. >> that is the library of congress' books that shaped america exhibit peaden if it's available to see and you can also look at it online at
www.loc.gov. what the student should be included in such an exhibit and should not be included? if you would like to participate in an on-line discussion with rover - a4a commesso seat fiber in of the library of congress, one that we would then air on book tv we would like to hear from you. e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. ..
♪ i'm juan williams today an afterwords, romney. governor, thank you for joining us. romney's new book is called "no apology; the case for american greatness." romney, everybody assumes the book is a kickoff to the 2012 presidential campaign. are they right? >> it's too early to tell. i haven't made a decision in that regard. frankly, the book has come from my experience over the years working at the private sector. working in other countries and seeing some of the countries are making a lot of progress. we have assumes we're way ahead of the rest of the world and other nations are catching up. my concern is, if you don't recognize the concern of our great pes and take action to
shore up the -- this is a book saying america, let's wake up. do what we always do. rise to the occasion. let's rebuild our strength, and provide for our kids and their kids a bright future. >> part of this seems to be especially in the early part of the book a critique of president obama, in specific, it's caught the attention of people around washington that you said that his outreach to some nations in specific muslim nations has been here i quote, kinking for people who hate america and wish america the worse. >> guest: hurt our national interests by carrying out, if you will, in the first months of his presidency a form of app app gi a series of stations with we have dismissive, america is arrogant, we don't listen to the
concerns of others, that america has dick dated to other nations. i don't think that's historically accurate. i think we have freed ore nations from dictators. we have not been dictating. ting created the position that our principles is waiverring. it is not. i think it's the mistake on the president. a foreign policy consistent with the value and described by hare truman following the second world war is the more appropriate course of america's way forward. >> host: it's good for the u.s. to be strong. in talking about that some of the things that ron paul has done, especially in the foreign policy area, you seem to significant he is diminishing america as you just said. the democratic national committee issued a statement that said, americans in the last election rejected radical
foreign policy author by dick cheney adapted by romney. and that was policy alienate allies and em bolden em anies. what do you any? >> guest: i don't have a lot of to say about the dnc and what kind of screen they are going to put out. the president will disappoint a lot of folks including myself. one for instance the hon diewrn supreme court said had violated the constitution and their military removed him from office. our president said put him back. i think it surpriseds. i think it was an inappropriate action. when colombia seeks a special status on a trade basis. we deny the special status. that is a mistake. when he goes before the u.n. u.n. and speaks for the first time and chastised vale in front of u.n. [inaudible]
i think that is a missation. -- mistake lead those great friends to be very concerned about america's willingness stand with him at the same time perhaps design to reset relations with russia as the president indicated. we have nothing forward with ushersha. i'm afraid the steps he took has confused our friends made our foes, if you will, continue headlong in some of course in my opinion an indication that they felt the president was not going to be a strong defender of american values and principles, human rights, democrat, free
trade, free enterprise, those words of apology and those statements, i think have em bold end those who find us a a weak end enemy. >> host: in the book you make the argument it's important to keep america strong and keep america at the leading presence in terms of world affairs. in specific, in deal with iran, for example, and their rising nuclear ambitions, you say it's important to say right now to iran before anything happens, that if they were to take any action, that america would devastate them. there would be a response that would be nuclear and devastating. >> guest: i think so. and to some disagree we made that statement to the world. i think it's important the world understand that if nations are going to seek nuclear status as iran is quite obviously doing. if they seek that status and they obtain the material, that if that material finds its way into the hands of people who use
it somewhere, that our response will not just be to the terrorist organization that uses it, but potentially as well to the nation that provided it. and as a result, i think the people of iran already asked themselves, do we want to have phis sile material in the country? do we want to have the risk of being called into the circle suspects in the nuclear event in the world sometimes over the next couple of decades? i think people should recognize becoming nuclear has with it an enormous parrel, and that is that your material might get out, it might be used and the united states may respond against that nation as it would against whoever used that nuclear device. >> so you think the ayatollah would be fearful, then? >> >> guest: i think the people of iran would grow in recognition that that becoming a nuclear nation is not solely a matter of pride. but becoming a nuclear nation
has associated with it an enormous downside. there's a risk to being nuclear. if somehow your regime, does not carefully manage the phis sile material and it becomes used somewhere in the world. your nation might be subject to retaliation. the people of iran need to understand very clearly that the downsides of becoming a nuclear nation. i also wish that this president and prior presidents have been successful in dissuading iran from the falling by exacting and enacting tough sanctions against iran. iranian citizens, business people, and political leaders ought to know when you violate the nuclear nonproliferation treaty, the consequences are going to be severe. they ought to know that military option on the table. while those are on on the table those actively employ will be crip ming sanction. we will have not been successful in putting in place the action. >> host: you say in the book that america remains the leading
military power in the world. >> guest: yes. >> host: at the same time you say there's a need for increased spending on defense. you worry in the book that the administration and others have not put enough money into defense money. you tell funny story about a guy with a sign that says more than half of the u.s. budget goes to defense. but when you break it down actually you conclude money spent by the chinese and the like, the chinese are out spending. ohs are trying diminish our lead in terms of military money. >> guest: of course. you can understand the settlement of other nations they like to get stronger, you're not going to try to dissuade the chinese from saying they are going build their military. we have to make an honest assessment of the threats that exist in the world and the missions that the military might be called upon to carry out. our military has a far boder array of responsibility and missions than a nation like china or russia or other nations in the world.
and to protect ourselves to protect our seedlings to respond to humid tear crisis and have a missile defense and list goes on and on in various challenges our military has. in my view, requires an annual budget of 4 percent of gdp. right now we're 3.8% of our gdp. total spending is about 20% of the gdp. we're saying the defense budget ought to be 20%. there are a lot of percentage. i apologize for taking that course. i think sometimes we say, gosh, we're spending so much more than any other nation in the world. why should we be sp spending any more on the military? they spend far less than we do. as you go behind the numbers and find they don't report all of their military spending and their cost, for instance, of standing up an army they have con sings, not a paid voluntary arm army.
their costs are lower. china is not spending at 10% the level at the united states but something close the level of half the united states. if we were paying with the same, cost, if you will for the various resources. and russia, like wise is spending more than they report. what that suggests we can can't continue to pair -- down our military. we must keep it in intact if we are going to be confident that our sphres will be intersected a-- >> host: the title of the no apology, the case for american greatness. you outline in the book four competing powers. russia, china, iran, and the terrorist jihadist. when it comes to russia, let's talk about it for a second. russia is building on the energy energy economy, becoming richer an more powerful. china becoming more of an
authoritarian state, and you have iran conquest and compulsion someone. . >> guest: yes, the following was collapse of the soviet soviet union and the success of the cold war strategy our nation pursued, we had a glorious period of time we figured they lost and the world would be safe. i remember, i think it was charles who said this was america's holiday from history we. we wished that history would stop the way it's been in the past. but the truth is that some of these powers have great ambitions becoming world -- power if not becoming the dominant player of the stage. we thought russia had lost and we won. we didn't need to worry about them. but their energy resources are so rich they're able to use that wealth to reestablish their military might. and they have more natural gas
than anyone in the world, they tie us for the coal reserve, they sold more energy last year than saab. so they're using that exorder their wealthy in the hundreds of billions of dollars a year of revenue to help rebuild a military that can be -- it's a long away from there today. that's what they're spending to do. >> host: i think you write they feel they are supportive of iran because it would give them more control over the world's energy supply. >> guest: i think as russia looks at the straiter gi, their attempt to reassert themselves as the leading or at least one of the leading players in the world stage, they recognize that energy is the key to their reassertion of that kind of status. and that means not only their own extraction, but pipelines going to europe and other places, if they can control all the pipelines they'll have more monopoly power if they have relations are iran and they were
to become the superpower of the middle east by the nuclear ambition. they might have more over the middle east and sense venezuela. they make efforts to get close to them. they are an energy rich nation. their statry contemplates the power to associate with energy. china on the other hand is building their might the old fashioned way. nay adopted in some respects free enterprise. not quite like ours with the rules and guidelines and strictures of a fair and balanced free enterprise system. they adopted free enterprise. they are winning in at love respects and the wealthy they are creating has allowed them to ramp up the military in a way unseen since the german build up during the world war ii. they build up the marines. the capacity to create their own fighter aircraft, they can go up against our f-16. they're going to be a serious
contender militarily. of course, the jihad i guess don't have any of the capacity, they don't have the wealth and the product of the resources and the military might. they don't intend to go head to head with us. they instead to terrorize us and call the decay of our system by i haveture of their selective or giew riel will type of approaches. >> host: when you stop and think about china or russia escalading forces, the terrorist you say, wait a second the united states must remember the goal is not to be popular but to be strong. that is the bottom line. yet you talk about an increase use what you call soft power. soft power in specific of terms of selling america to poor countries. to areas where i think you describe, for example, the russians, the chinese is interested in places like yemen,
somalia, where people are impoverished, young men looking for work open to radical ideas to become jihadist. how does soft power figure in to your calculation. >> guest: soft power is an effective tool in enhancing western balances around the world. it's good to have a strong fist, if you will that teddy roosevelt said. speak softly and carry a big stick. soft power meaning the ability to influence the thinking of others and encourage them to adopt principles that are peaceful and that promote human rights is critical for our country. i think we vastly underuse the resources we have. when an extraordinary wealthy nation. we trade with people around the world. they want access to the market, they want want our technology, our health care technology, our education skills. all these things question provide in a way that nations would think more kindly with us,
more likely to work with us. i kept on hearing about the miracle cure in latin america. said what is that? fidel castro he provides cataract surgery throughout latin america. he brings sight to people. i thought he does that for a tinny fraction for the investment we make in latin america. he is appreciated and known because he is branded effectively. we're great in branding. they can sell coke and pepsi to people for a half day's wage for a can of coke. and yet we're to the selling democracy as well as we could. we're not selling our values and the things that america has done to help lift the world. rather than if you will, apologize for who we are, and for what we have accomplished, i think we should be drawing on the very best of our skills from the private sector to make sure that we communicate who we are and exercise the soft power influence we could be exercise
to draw for people to the kinds of value that will enhance their lives and promote the stability and peace on the planet. >> host: in the book when it comes to writing about something like global warming, what you say is wait a second, look at developing country and look at china in specific. china you say, cannot be trucessed to put in place any regulation or limit on the emission of green house gases because they have such a strong belief in, of course, economic growth. that's what they're all about. you say for us it would be in some sense futile on the international change to unilaterality say we're going put in place some cap-and-trade standards if we're going to compete with the chinese. what does it say to the world about our commitment to limiting global warming? >> well, they don't call it america warming. they call it global warming. and if one's primary concern is global warming, then you have to look at what the emissions are going to be on a global basis and make sure that actions are are taken don't put america and
american workers at a disadvantage. they instead make an adjustment and changes for the entire planet. that's why the president's cap-and-trade plan, which would only end up effecting americans and american employers would end up with let's say the largest emitters, the largest user of energy would say why build a new factory in america? why keep a factory in america going when i'm going to have pay for more excessive prices for energy in this country. why not go to other nations like brazil, indonesia, china, india, that don't have the cap-and-trade costs, and therefore i can be more effective and more cost effective. >> host: what about american leadership. there were america acts as a role model? >> guest: well, if the role model causes the largest emitters in the world, which are china and other developing nations to simply smile and say, boy they made our life easier. america is cutting their growing their emissions like crazy.
we haven't helped the world. that's not kind ever leadership i think the world needs. what america can do is pursue, a course which in my view has perhaps even more compelling reason to pursue it, that is to pursue a course of energy independents and the course that would allow us to become energy independent has as a biproduct and important biproducts production of greenhouse georgias. to become energy dependent we need to use less gas. it's a we need more nuclear power plants. that's a nonemitter of co2. we have ways of making america a far more -- a far more leader role in the world without at the same time putting ourselves at the competitive disadvantage with nations that, you know, are competing for the very jobs that our workers want. >> host: getting back to the idea of soft power.
in the book, when you are talking about muslims, you make the case that these the eyed yolings is an evil one on many levels. that whole notion of moderate muslims doesn't conform with what you are read in the koran. you see instructions for people to dominate the world. to capture and take over. not to simply go out and profittize, but in fact and con corp. you say people don't recognize this as part of what muslims teach. >> guest: well, i would apply that principle to muslims as a a group. i think the nation -- excuse me, religion of islam is by the great majority of muslims a religion which is not seeked to dominate their neighbor or conquer their neighbors or carry jihad against the america or the west. this is a strain of islam which is referred to by various names. i use the radical violent
jihaddism. which trace the roots to a number of intellectual scholars who believe the role of the coran as they read is it an aggressive militaristic conquering approach which the great majority of muslims, in my view, do not accept but that narrow group is, of course, lead by names like osama bin laden, and they seek to draw support from muslim youth and other muslims. most people reject that. you look at the place like afghanistan, my guess is the great majority of people there would be delighted if they never saw al qaeda or for that matter the taliban again. but none the less, that threology does exist and it is theology which looks at us as somehow being evil. it is a theology that says everything is america is wrong and is a threat to them.
they see, for instance, that democracy itself is crazy. their view is that the law should come from god and that the idea that individuals will create their own law from democratic process is in their view, a form of blasphemy. almost everything we do from their perspective is contrary to their view of how a god wants things to be, and as a result, they take a very violent means to try and overthrow the modern movement within the muslim world. i think our way gourd in the muslim world is support modern voice voices and moderate voices among -- muslim and help them reject the violent, extreme ideology. >> host: why don't you think those governments are doing themselves? >> guest: many are. and some others can use some help. the philippine government, for instance, was dealing with a al qaeda-like movement. they were finding it difficult.
there was several thousand members that were terrorizing the people of the philippines and our military was invited to work in partnership with the philippine military training exercise, carrying out humanitarian efforts among the people in the communities or the islands where the group was most active and with this kind of soft power, application by our military and special forces and intelligence forces we were able to turn the tide against the terrorist group and their numbers are reported in the hundreds. >> host: let's look at , by the way, you give a toast to the special forces. we need to do more with the special forces with a smaller footprint in terms of going in and taking action. let's take a look the middle east at a place like saudi arabia. why do you think that the saudi arabia seem tolerant of the kind of radical violent thing? >> guest: well, i don't know
that the monarchy in saudi arabia is enthusiastic about the violence. i think they realize by having funded over the years which preaches this extreme form of islam, that maybe in some respects they put themselves in great danger. i think it was governor sunny purdue, but i had someone mention to me an old churchill line. they're paying the cannibal to eat them last. [laughter] this support of radical islam on the part of the saudi monoorbing i can other the years may have ended up in being a significant threat to the monoorbing i can itself. i think in the world of islam, there is so many obviously different strains and sunni and she hide by national interest interests that jihaddism takes
different shapes in different places, but none the less, the strain presents a threat to local governments, to local muslim governments, which these jihadist don't believe are sufficiently fundamentalist and presents a threat to the entire world. >> host: now, on the book tour that you are on, as i understand it you're going 19 or 20 states including the district of columbia. and these states include new hampshire, obviously iowa, missouri, people are going to say it looks like you're on a campaign tour and the one line in the book that is so critical of president obama is that given all the foreign policy issues we have touched on the president seeks to present himself as somehow transcending of america and american values and american interests as a opposed to being an advocate for american values and american interests. that would seem to be almost
like a campaign slogan when you have to -- [laughter] >> guest: ties it out. >> host: the idea is you believe we need an american president who stands for america. and you do not see that in this president obama who seeks to transcend to be great or or larger than america. >> guest: i think any time the president of the united states travels the world is and is critical of the united states, that it's going lead to the kind of story that came out of the british press saying the president has been more critical of the home country on foreign soil than any american president in history nap creates a very real impression he somehow thinks i had is above america and the history. this is something he needs to distance himself from. i think that is a mistake. harry truman said america would adopt a new strategy having tried isolationism and being drawn into two world wars. they need to be active in the world. we need to promote our values,
human rights within disple, free trade, freedom, and finally we need to be strong. standing with our allies and fighting foes whoever they might exist. those principles of foreign policy the president has questioned in the first year. i think he would be wise to return to them when iranians take to the streets, for instance, and protest an election they thought was unfair. i think our president should have spoken out clearly and sharply saying we support voices of freedom whenever they are. you can imagine that ronald reagan would have had something to say so would bill clinton in that setting. at least in my view. grois your thinking is this president is failing to properly promote america to the world? >> guest: well, i think when you try to distance yourself from american history, when you suggest that somehow america needs to apologize to the world, that elevates perhaps the
individual that makes the apology and encourage favor that are the blame america first crowd. it does not stand as a kind of strong indication that america has values that we recognize are enduring and that are right for us and right for others who are willing to obtain them. that doesn't mean, by the way, we force our will on other nations. but it does mean we stand besides those in other nations who are seeking freedom. >> host: when you hear the criticism came from the bush administration, in terms of the failure to find weapons of mass destruction or cowboy diplomacy being too aggressive, too high handed, you know, come and get them all that kind of them, don't you think there are those who might be weary of an aggressive foreign policy? >> guest: well, there is a middle posture [laughter] where one does not have to be seen as being timid in the
defensive american value as i think the president is seeing. or moving to excess, and if you will, you don't want to speak loudly and carry a small stick. there's a posture of showing american strength, commitment to american values and ideals following through on the commitment we make standing firm with our allies and friends. i think president bush did so. we made it clay clear we were going to stand with the allies and people who opposed us are going to receive the strong response ever america. we were hit on 9/11. he took out the taliban in afghanistan. we believe we were receiving threat from saddam hussein, who, by the way, would have removed the threat instantly by saying come on all. all of my facilities are open. the international inspectors can look in the palace and the military. they can go anywhere they would like to go, and if you take a look here, we don't want to have
the american come after us. he could have done that. he would not have suffered the fate he did had he been willing to open up the nation to that kind of inspection, but those things being said, i respect president bush's strength in defending the country. and i think president obama has to move in that course or he will be seen as being a weak president on the international stage. >> host: we'll take a break right now romney called "no apology; the case for american greatness." >> on the go? after words is available via pod cast through itunes. visit booktv.org and click pod cast. select which pod cass yowmed like to download and listen to it while you travel. >> we're back with governor romney the author of a new book, no ab apology, the case for
american greatness. you describe the book as a display. your positions on key issues, it's really an intellectual journey on your part. so many books you have read, so many ideas. but not a very personal book in some ways. for a second, let's talk about the person. one of the things that caught my eye in the book. your dad was born in mexico. >> guest: yeah. his parents had ease candidated persecution of folks of their mormon faith, and i guess it was his grandfather and parents who moved to mexico, and while there they were enjoying a bread good life accountable life, and there was revolution and disruption in mexico. my dad was five or six years, they packed up, god on a thrain and cam wack to texas and ultimately moved to idaho. they were in california, idaho, salt lake city, from then on, the dad was not terribly prosperous. he went bankrupt more than once
in the construction business. my dad worked as a laborer putting up plaster. i think it was the precursor of wall board. my dad never put enough time and money together to complete college. he went on to have a successful career and politics. >> he did run for president? >> guest: yes. how can someone born in mexico? they studied it for some length in 1986 and the constitution says, if my memory hold that a president must be a natural born citizens. now he was not naturalized by i haveture of the fact that the parents were u.s. citizens. he was a natural-born citizens and therefore can become the united states president. in the same way let's say a service man and woman are living abroad and they had the child abroad. the child could not be prevented from becoming a president. the schield would become a u.s.
citizens by birth. >> host: he went on to be governor but hud secretary for president an ex son. you detailed how he was such a scathing horse in horse in -- you were not too proud to have a gremlin. your dad had a gremlin. it made him rich. he was successful. >> guest: he was successful. when he came in to american motors. the company had select the him some years before as the vice president, but the chief executive officer was well known and respected. in american motors were formed with the merger of gnash the george maison shortly thereafter passed away and the board elect my father to become the new president of the company. and the stock went down dramatically when it happened. and i think it dropped to $5.50 a share. and a couple of years later it
was trading at over $90. i'm proud of the fact he was able to turn the company around, shore up the financial base, get the products out people wanted. that allowed him to obviously save a lot of jobs, create a successful enterprise but i'm afraid the rambler that he championed is now gone. jeep is still around. but new and different than what he was running the enterprise. >> one of the interesting things about this is right in the start of the book when you say when you dad ran for president he characterized the as being a miniskirt. you say your campaign..
>> guest: this is a book about american and my concerns about our economy, the foundation of our economic strength and my concern that we are weakening that foundation and that we are imperiling our future. i don't get into a lot of political issues that i find of interest. social issues that don't even get into homeland security in much depth because they don't relate to those economic foundations to the extent that i felt was appropriate. but as to my views on my faith, yes. i am proud of my religion. i don't try and distance myself from it in any way, shape, or form. i am sure for some people it is a problem because they don't know the fate very well. for others, they just tell you the fact that i am a person of religious belief. i think for the great majority of the american people they don't care what religion someone belongs to. they are pleased to select
somebody based upon their skills and their experience and their views on the most important issues that may exist. >> host: you don't think you might be being pollyannas? en el in the last campaign one of your opponents was mocking of mormon is and and, you know, the devil is jesus' brother and that kind of thing. a certain percentage of americans in the polls, especially evangelicals, seemed to of the mormon is and has not a christian faith. >> well, i think there will be some people from that is an issue. and i'm not going to be able to do very much about that. that is just the reality of political life. there are other people for whom it is an advantage. i take the bitter with this week. i am who i am. that is the way i felt as i ran my campaign, and that is why i gave the speech that i did. related to religious diversity in americans. that is, after all, the nature
of the founding of this country. people who were receiving an opportunity to also seeking to -- seeking religious freedom. we will comprise the religious freedom that exists, and it will be a whole concept of we only allow certain people to us serve in public office or in other positions of responsibility based upon some religious test. that was particularly and specifically prohibited by the founders. i don't think that is an issue for the country. i hope it will be for anybody who runs. whether or not i do, time will tell. but that was not at the heart of my campaign. i have other things to do wrong. i think senator mccain did an effective job in touching the american people as that prairie process was proceeding. >> host: where you stand on abortion? >> guest: i am pro-life. >> host: is a tear, you think, to the base of the party the you are strongly progress left? >> guest: i believe so. i think this is the time was
serving as governor i've faced an issue that related to life. i came down on the side of life. i wrote an op-ed about my position. and it has not changed since that time. i think people understand where i stand to. >> host: on the economy so many people see you as a very capable business and i might add this is your second book. a first one was about your experience running the salt lake olympic committee. and your success. and the question then becomes how you view the fact that so many americans at this point in our history are anxious about the economy and see the economy as a big problem? and the question would be, did president bush and has president obama pursue policies that you feel would help to revive the american economy? you see that as one of the pillars of america's global strength. >> guest: we are facing short-term economic distress,
and long-term economic weakness. and the combination of those is particularly troubling right now. this short-term crisis that we face was the result of many people and many failures. it is popular to say it was on the wall street. well, wall street is certainly and to a large degree to blame for what happened, but so is main street, so are the mortgage bankers that gave mortgages to people who had no capacity to actually pay them. so are the individuals to sign up for laws that were far in excess of what they ever could repay. so the regulators who did not see what was happening and blow the whistle, so other rating agencies who said that these instruments that washington was selling -- excuse me, that wall street was selling were somehow highly secure. there were so many -- even the president. i'm sure he would say the buck stops here. he shares responsibility as well, president bush, that is, for the economic stress which has occurred. i think this president, president obama has not been as
effective as he could have been in helping us get out of distress. he has, frankly, scared the heck of the private sector. when you say you're going to raise taxes next year, the stairs new investors. you say we're going to have campaign trade, and tens of energy, that is going to cause you to pull back. when you say we're going to have carjacking and take away from the american worker the right to vote, that scares away workers, but employers. and trillion dollar deficits, obviously frightening the financial sector and anyone who needs money to grow and thrive. so it has been a policy which has not been as effective as it could have been. but longer term the foundations of our economic vitality relate to the entrepreneurialism of america, the educational base of our country, the family formation and the investment that parents making children, our energy independence, all these things come together to form the basis of our economic vitality. and those foundations are very much in distress right now.
so not only do we have near-term problems, and he will come out of the near term slump. it is worse than a slump, a severe recession. it will come out, but long term we're not going to be as strong as the address some of these more fundamental problems. >> host: you think we are on the way out of the recession? >> guest: i think we are on the way out. it may double dip. it is hard to predict whether there will be another downturn, but we will come out. there is nothing permanent about recessions. we can come out of all the others we have endured. i think the president could have helped us get out faster and could have kept us from having 10 percent unemployment. i think that number will hang like an albatross around his neck. spend $787 billion saying he could hold unemployment at 8%. if we did not spend that money will go to 10%. well, it went to 10% after we spent the money, so it was not as effective as is needed to be, but we will come out of the recession. will america continued to lead
the world in productivity per person and gdp per capita or, if you will, and come per-capita? only if we have the foundation and fundamental strength of a leading highly productive economy, and that is something which our energy, education, health care, tax, and tennant problems call into question. >> host: well, interesting just to go into specifics for a moment. in the bulky prey secretary paulson in the bush administration for helping to bail out the banks, that money and the like, but then you are highly critical of secretary tim geithner for continuing what looks to me like the same policies. >> at the time secretary paulson and president bush said to look, we are in real distress, and we can have a financial calamity. it was essential to do something to provide confidence to the
people around the world that america was not going to have all of its banks to wonder. and i think there was a very real risk that we would have a cascade of bank failures, first the big ones and then throughout the country, and we could ultimately have virtually every bank in the nation go out of business and peoples savings gone, the dollar worthless. i mean, we could have had a true financial system calamity. and they kept that from happening, but it was not implemented terribly well, and i don't mean to say that secretary paulson did it perfectly and secretary geithner did it entirely terribly. am sure they both made some mistakes and boasted things well. but undersecretary geithner who has been the champion or, if you will, the master of this for a long time, well over a year, the process has been relatively opaque as to which banks that money and why they get money and who guided and what the provisions would be in providing those funds. for instance, if you're going to
put money in a bank that saves it, the shareholders should have been virtually wiped out. the government has to step in to bail them out widish shareholders get to keep the majority ownership? they should have had to pay very dearly for the government having to come in and rescue and enterprise. when the government came in the taxpayers should have been a pretty healthy state, is not a majority stake. so i have a number of criticisms of how the plan was implemented, but was it need to keep our financial system from collapsing? yes. in those people who today go back and say, oh, it's terrible you bailout wall street. i did not hear a lot of those voices at the time we tell we were going over the cliff. the benefit of hindsight now that we have come back from the cliff, they're saying, well, we did not needed, but there were a lot of people who have white knuckles and were very concerned about where we were headed and did what was politically unattractive to make sure that we did not have the kind of calamity that would have
devastated not just wall street, but every street in america. >> host: the son of a car guy, do you think it was much to bailout the big car companies. >> guest: well, i think that when the wall street -- the cs me, when the detroit ceos showed up in washington saying, give us money, the right answer was to say no, you need to pursue emanates bankruptcy process, setting yourself of exceptional costs and debts so that you can re-emerge as a stronger entity. that was the right course ultimately. that was a course that was taken. and detroit is now in a much stronger footing that it was prior to those managed bankruptcy's being carried out, but washington has been a lot of money, tens of billions of dollars that was unnecessary and wasted. instead of the company's management teams and the boards guiding the bankruptcy process ultimately the government data the bankruptcy process. we got to the right solution to
manage bankruptcy, but only after we waste a lot of money. >> host: i am wondering if you think that somehow the tea party movement and people of the right in this country who look at the bailout of not only the car companies, but the banks and say, washington is too big, too intrusive, the whole notion of too big to fail is really just lining the pockets of big executives to take these huge bonuses at the end of the year without any concern for the little man, main street in america. >> guest: there is no question, but this idea of too big to fail, that should not be a part of our lexicon. if a major institution has -- is on the brink of disaster, you need to let them go bankrupt as we ultimately did with gm, having them go to the bankruptcy process. bankruptcy does not mean close the doors everybody gets fired. means the shareholders get wiped out or nearly wiped out. that is what ought to happen is under their shareholders the
enterprise has failed, then the shareholders should not be bailed out. and the executives should not be bailed out. ford has done it right. >> host: but with the exception of for the other companies might have gone toes up. >> guest: i don't think it would have gone toes up. they went through managed bankruptcy, shed excess of cost. that is the right course. >> host: with tremendous of the u.s. government. >> guest: post bankruptcy the guarantees to help an enterprise keep going and thrive. the money that went in, the tens of billions of dollars that went in prior to bankruptcy could have been better spent. >> host: what about the reaction that really is at the base of some much of the tea party movement which is this money, the government should not be helping out a card companies, should not be helping out failing financial institutions on wall street. >> guest: there is no question, but the perspective of those in this country that think that government is too intrusive and too big, that is absolutely right. there is no question but that government has drawn to be a
massive player, much larger than the founders would have ever imagined, and that think that people like myself make sense. right now a portion of the gdp made up by the government is roughly 33%, that is federal, state, and local government. that is excessive, and is to be less than that. we can go through item by item and say there are certain things that the government needs to do, defend the country. everyone agrees with that. manage the judicial system. there are certain safety net features that the government can provide that we can agree on. and we can go piece by piece and say, was the government right in doing what action or another? and via not going to all agree, but i can tell you that with regard to the car companies there were wrong to bail them out. the right course was to move to a managed bankruptcy. they ultimately got there. and with regard to tar, that should be ended. there is no reason for the government to continue to be using that money. we backed away from the cliff,
the financial institutions did not collapse, but at the time it was put in place it was essentially to keep our entire system from collapsing. >> host: letk about unemployment numbers at the moment seem to be rather stable, but stable at a very high percentage, near 10%. you are anti protectionism. strongly. you believe in free trade and opening trade, but isn't that something, again, that people who would say we need to protect the american family, look after those who are employed in the country might find objectionable ? >> guest: they may find it objectionable, but if they think about what has happened around the globe and in the history they will realize that protectionism has always been associated with economic peril. the nations that tried to put barriers around themselves find themselves falling into deeper and deeper financial well. there are a number of people feel, for instance, the protectionism that was put in
place of the advent of the great depression was one of the reasons we went into a depression. one of the reasons for that is america sells a lot of stuff to the people, and if we put was up around us in not only keeps foreign goods out, but it keeps american goods from being able to go other places. there are a lot of it jobs in this country and a lot of good paying jobs and a lot of growth in this country in the jobs, things that are going elsewhere. so you have to realize. >> host: in the book you introduced this idea of the worst generation. you talk brought the idea that we don't manage debt. we, in fact, the chinese also much of our debt. other countries that to have protectionist practices, competitors. so how does that, how do you put those ideas together? >> guest: my view on america's worst generation, and the public? after that because i want to, if you will, along the reader when they get to that chapter. i want to point out that if we don't change course here we will
very seriously imperil the future of this nation and its ability to defend freedom and to protect our prosperity. and the overspending we are carrying out and the over borrowing from china and people like that is very much one of those elements. our inability and our willingness to deal with entitlement, make that sustainable leaves us with tens of trillions of dollars of obligations for the next generation. our failure to deal with our failing schools, our energy dependence, these, likewise, are elements that are frightening and disconcerting to those who want to make sure that our future is bright. now, i don't think for a minute that the way to deal with these challenges is somehow to point and say it is someone else's fault. china, brazil, immigrants. trade. let's be honest about our own problems and deal with them directly. it is not easy. it is hard work, but
scapegoating has never created a great nation or a strong economy and there are nations, by the way, that try and protect themselves and cheat. and there is no question, if there are somehow adds to the keeping other people's good send but allow artists to go out everyone but before that. some nations try and pull that off. we have to make sure they can get away with it. one thing is were sure. people watch america too closely for us to think we can keep foreign goods out and at the same time sell our goods to the world. >> host: do you think it is fair when you hear from some in the two-party that the president is a socialist? do you think that is a fair description? >> guest: you know, i don't choose at this point to use that term to apply to the president or to people i disagree with. it is obviously an incendiary terms in a lot of respects. i do think that there are those in this party -- in the can't speak for the president himself, who would like to see a health
care system like this socialized medicine systems that exist in europe. the president may as well for all i know. that, in my view, would be very detrimental way for a health care system to move. so, you know, not going to step away from the fact that i think their is a great effort to try and socialize the medical system in this country. i think with a very serious implication for our economic future and for our well-being, from a health standpoint. >> host: at the end of the book you wrap up by talking about a new commitment to citizenship among americans, and you suggest that we find common cause and do less of the special-interest politics. you talk about an optimism that you believe is part of the american character, hard work, deep religious faith and the like. you must be aware that when people are asked by political pollsters if you think the country is on the right or wrong track, it is up 60, 70, 80 percent who say we are set headed in the wrong direction. >> guest: i think they're absolutely right.
at think we ought to give it to 100 percent. that is what this book is saying. washington politicians have put us on our road to decline. they're taking america in the wrong direction. this massive growth of government, this inability to deal with energy, the failure of our schools, the failure of our immigration system to welcome the best and brightest and in a better start country and, instead, open borders to those who are helping, all of these elements together are imperiling our future to my but optimism flows from the fact that the american people when confronted with the truth to the right thing. i think you're seeing that happen. the reason that tea party ears are gathering in expressing their views because they say, we have been the silent majority too long. that is a movement which gives me some encouragement. people are paying attention and recognize that the consequences of continuing down this washington driven past are not good for the country.
>> host: to you fear that tea party movement, that passion, in fact, might lead them away who -- lead in the way from someone who is the son of a businessman, all of that, that you are and put them more in the direction of sir palin or some other populous? >> guest: i cannot tell you where it will lead. i can tell you that i welcome the energy and passion as seems to be part of the american political scene right now. i think that is a good thing. whether i am part of the scene or not, time will only tell, but we have some great leaders and a republican party who, i think, will be able to capture the imagination of the majority of the american people. i think the president's course, unless it is dramatically changed in the next few years here, that his course will be ended short with only one term and that we will elect a president who will bring us back to a center-right coalition of the democrats who are willing to take the action that is
necessary to preserve america's greatness. >> host: the mitt romney new book, his second book, no apology, the case for american greatness. thank you so much for joining us. >> good to be with you. >> that was after words, book tv signature program in which authors and the latest on fiction books are interviewed by journalists, public policy makers, legislators, and others familiar with their material. bearing every weekend on book tv at 10:00 p.m. on saturday, 12 and 9:00 p.m. on sunday, and 12:00 a.m. on monday. you can also watch online. go to a booktv.org and click on after words and that book tv series and topics list of the upper right side of the page. >> up next on book tv, washington deputy bureau chief for the boston globe p