tv QA CSPAN September 20, 2015 8:00pm-9:01pm EDT
with washington post reporter robert costa. later, a discussion on pope francis and his views on capitalism and poverty. >> this week on q and a, "washington post" political national reporter robert costa. he talked about the 2016 presidential campaign any similarities between donald trump and 1992 candidate, businessman ross perot. brian: robert costa of the "washington post." you are quoted as saying my political hero is robert caro, not a politician. robert: exactly right. brian: why? robert: he studies power.
i love politics. i love history. i love seeing how people use power, and how people in congress and in presidential campaign. it is hard to define. as a reporter, you are seeking out who is in action, who is controlling situations, what is the cost they are paying, what are they trying to do to use power? brian: anyone coming to your mind when using power aside from lyndon johnson and robert carol? robert: mcconnell. he understands the machinations of power and how to use congress to get things done. in presidential campaigns, president obama. he understand movement politics, how to excite a new generation. the way he campaigned in 2008 was a fresh way of using the campaign as a tool to get power. brian: i want have you been at the "washington post/" robert: january 2014.
i may national political reporter. i cover political campaigns, congress, and work on the stories of the day. whatever is driving the national conversation, that is what i cover. i'd like to do some investigative on the side, the background of politicians and their aides. brian: why do you do this? robert: i love this. i did not really know what i wanted to do when i was in high school and college. i just loved politics. and i thought to myself, to me, it is like sitting in the dugout of a baseball game. big baseball fan. if you're in congress and in new hampshire, and you get to go up to these politicians and talk to them and see how they react to questions, situations, it gives me a bit of a drill. it never -- a thrill. it never gets old. to be a close, to see it, it gets me going every day. brian: you got a masters degree at cambridge. why were you at cambridge? robert: when i was in notre dame
, i did a semester in london and i worked in the house of common. tory. ansley was a cameron was down the hall in the portcullis house. i loved the experience working in the house of commons as a researcher. i would watch the debates and the yelling. it was fun. one person i met during that time was a professor named andrew gamble. a socialist, actually, but a historian of the british political system and conservative party. he runs politics at the university of cambridge. he and i had some tea at westminster and struck it off. i didn't think i was going to grad school. the only graduate school i applied to was cambridge and i ended up going there. i did my masters degree, my thesis, on churchill. churchill pasha archives and margaret thatcher's archives are
in the same building at churchill college at cambridge. to go over those papers and notes was great. i did it for about 10 months and that was that. brian: what did you learn about winston churchill and power? robert: one thing i learned was power takes a long time to develop and it is often based on relationship. one of the things that fascinated me was the anglo american relationship that developed around world war ii. it was cultivated for decades by churchill. an american mother, but he came over in the teens and 20's and 30's. he kept building relationships with people in business, the cultural scene, politics. you recognize that power is not something you call upon or exerted when you are in a leadership position, but based on relationships and that is why i call it the qualitative side of politics. quantitative, polling, all of
that matters. there is a qualitative, personal side to power, and churchill was a genius in not how he used people, but used relationships to put his country in a position at a time of crisis, and the relationships he built himself played a big heart. brian: there is a story about you that relates to the time you were reporting a lot on inside the republican party on capitol hill, where supposedly party leaking to that guy. leaking to bob kosice -- costa. robert: that is why i go by robert costa. it happened during 2013 during the government shutdown. that was a fun time to be a reporter. one thing i recognized early on is to report on congress, you can't go through eight.
there are so many great reporters on capitol hill. observation and became a way of reporting on congress. you need to know the personal e-mail addresses of members. you need to know their cell phones. you can have a text relationship with them and an e-mail relationship with them. the most important thing to cover in congress is to get things directly from the source in the room. i was going directly to members. you have to be careful because some members always want to talk on the record. sometimes they just want to give off the record guides. if you can have those contacts at your tips out of 435, you could have 20-30 people you trust and build a whole scene from 5-10 people. brian: do you remember the first time you texted someone inside a meeting and they fired back at you? robert: 2009. when i started covering
congress, 2010 especially, during the health care fight. i came to washington from new york to cover congress and i remember people were shocked that i was asking all these members for the numbers. they would give me their office numbers. i would say, i want your personal number. one thing i learned as a reporter is never be afraid to ask for information. a lot of times they would be happy to give it. a lot of members don't have friends in washington. trust,ome someone they who is not going to misuse information, it was reliable as a reporter. i have always asked people for their contact information. rolodex --shared my sharing my rolodex with reporters. not being afraid to ask, get the contacts. sometimes a member will say this happened in a meeting and they will say to another person, did that really happen? i will go to member a and say, are you sure?
that was right. boehner said this or mcconnell said that. brian: republican conservative cynics, who would be very surprised that you came from the "national review" to the "washington post." george will did it. he was a columnist. you are not a columnist. why did the "washington post" hire someone from "the national review?" robert: i was coming out of cambridge and i wanted to cover politics. it was a great opportunity to be a william f bell we -- william at buckley fellow. they wanted to start something for journalists in the magazine. i was the inaugural buckley fellow. i read "washington post.." i was in my early 20's. i knew i did not really have the interest in writing a column or being in editorialist and it was
not my thing. you just have to know yourself. i never aspired to be some sort of big columnist. i said to rich lowry, editor of "national review," can i cover politics? at the time, it was more colorful, and i wanted to do straight reporting. i look at it as a tricky magazine. if you are working at "car and driver," it does not mean you are in the puppy car industry. you are -- are in love with the car industry. cars for car lovers. when i was at ation review," i republicang for inside baseball stuff. i think the washington post recognize i never wrote a column
or editorial. i was a reporter at a trade magazine. brian: how old were you in 1992? robert: six or seven. brian: i want to show you on the screen a poll that was taken in the middle of 1992. this is a poll when ross perot was running against george h.w. bush and bill clinton. middle of 1992. in november of that year, bill clinton was elected president. what you think of that poll? robert: we are seeing the perot movement comeback with donald trump. one person i got to know, ed rollins, veteran republican consultant, he was a great resource to me as a source. he was co-campaign manager for perot in 1992. inot brought these people
together to see if they could make this happen. there is the anger you saw in 1992 with perot, the appetite for a political outsider. it is there again. in a way, when you look at people close to trump, when did it happen? after three terms, a long republican period. even though it has been to terms of obama, we are in a post obama era. there is a lot of angst in both parties. in that heifferent was running an independent bid. there are so similarities on the trail and you see the move. i would blend 92 perot and buchanan together. you mix what was happening with perot and buchanan in 1992 against the republican establishment, against george h.w. bush, and i think decades later, there is another bush struggling. robert: i am 29 years oh. -- whenhen you turn 30
do you turn 30? robert: october 14. brian: we asked you lots of things, to look at perot versus trump just for the purpose of analyzing the content. we will go back to 1992 and pick up perot clips and just recently, some from mr. trump. trump first. mr. trump: this is a self-funded campaign. we have our heart in it. we have our soul and. we don't need money, we don't want money, and this will be a campaign like no others. i am not controlled by lobbyists. i'm not controlled by anybody. i'm controlled by the people of the country in order to make our country great again. brian: what do you hear? robert: this is trump's and all
politically for the last 15 years -- m o politically for the last 15 years. when i talked to him in february, my sense was trump was going to run. we put it on the front page of the "washington post." a lot of people said, what are you doing? if you look at it objectively and you don't assume anything about who he is or what that some people think he is a sideshow. if you look objectively at what he was saying, he was articulating a political message earlier this year about understanding the political class was extremely unpopular. he could run as someone who wasn't political class and did not need the money. brian: in the middle of the year 1992, perot came back. here is after he came back. october 11, 1992. mr. perot: what separates me is the 5.5 million people came together on their own and put me on the ballot.
i was not put on the ballot by either of the two parties. byas not put on the ballot any foreign lobbyist money, any special interest money. this is a movement that came from the people. as is the way the framers of the constitution intended our government to be. government comes from the people. we have developed a government that comes after people, from the top down, where the people are more or less treated as objects to be programmed during the campaign with commercials and media events and fear messages and personal attacks and things of that nature. the thing that separates my candidacy and makes it unique is that this came from millions of people in 50 states, all over this country, who wanted a candidate who worked and no one would pay him. brian: 19% of the vote. what is your reaction compared to what he said to trump? robert: the themes are overlapping.
distinct a personality different from trump. the celebrity factor is not there as it is with trump. there is a power with trump's personality that perot did not have. being outside of the republican party, the republican party's relationship with trump has been rocky. they called trump and asked them to tone it down on immigration. he said, we will see. he did not tone it down. we could see it this year, what happened with perot happen with trump. he keep stock about wanting to be treated fairly. trump is, if anything, unpredictable. you could run as an independent. brian: back in 1988, here he is with larry king. donald trump. king: you might be classified as an eastern republican? fair? mr. trump: you could say that.
i've never heard those terms. there are king: are you a bush republican? mr. trump: wealthy people don't like me. i'm competing against them all the time. they don't like me. i like to win. on the streets of new york and the people who like me are the taxi drivers and workers and etc. robert: he is a millionaire but he has a blue concert sensibility. when people look at the trump phenomena, it is the new york toughness, the streetsmarts. trump does not talk in depth about policy, but he is one of the most social animals i have ever seen covering politics. his ability to talk in that way is what attracts people to him on the trail. he has this sensibility, in the way he talks politically incorrectly about immigration. if he is on media everywhere accessible tocessfu
reporters. i asked other republican contenders if they are adjusting to trump. we had been in a culture porous to sources in presidential politics. it is very controlled. it is corporate. trump, or better or worse, i don't have a take on it. he changed it. brian: here is ross perot. perot, the think anyone would listen to you or applaud if you were poor? [laughter] no.perot: [laughter] [applause] my parents, my grandparents, and everyone in my family lived in this segment of society that i have been talking about today, when you worked hard and had just enough to get by.
one christmas, my dad had to sell his horse so that we would have a christmas. no complaint. just did it. i come from that background. i lived in that background for 38 years of my life before i got lucky. today, i am a lot more comfortable with those people who made the world go round then the beautiful people. can i relate to them? yes. thank you. robert: the first question is a lot like trump. perot, trump, sensitive about their wealth, believe their wealth, because they were able to accumulate them. he gives them entry to the people. when trump came out with his net worth, it was important for him to assert himself as someone who is really worth billions of dollars. the tension between the bush and trump family. trump is not like perot. fred trump was a well-to-do real estate developer. perot,in the same way
always speaks of himself as an outsider in the money class. he does not see himself part of it. not because of how he speaks. he does not feel except it by them. cepted by them. said trump did not come over on the mayflower. that is the divide. brian: back in the perot years, there was a supposition that he really hated george herbert walker bush, and that was the motive to run. you have alluded to this in some trump,interviews with that his motive is because he does not like jeb bush. what is this about? robert: i've spoken to trump about this and trump that's there is a sense that if you have done it and accumulated these billions of dollars, with trump, that he did it, that he
made it happen, in his view of the bushes, things are given to the bushes. they have inherited a lot. trump has inherited much as well. he got his start through his father. the way he thinks about his wealth and access to politics, he sees himself as looking in from the outside on this dynasty, the bush dynasty. it is up and down. trump had a fundraiser for jeb bush years ago. he had a fun riser or george h -- fundraiser for george h.w. bush when he owned the plaza. he likes the bushes somewhat and then revolts against them. the breaking point with trump and the bushes with the iraq war. ever since 2004 he probably broke on the iraq war and they had not been those cents. some: suppose you look at
of those folks born as elitists. explain why people react the way they do. real angerre is towards the washington, new york crowd. am ai am on the trail, i capitol hill for a truck rally. i'm just a reporter. media,ink that northeast whether it is washington post or the new york times, whether it is politicians like boehner or mcconnell, they feel angry about what has happened the obama era, very unhappy with president obama, and they think the press is complicit, which i don't think is fair, and they see the republicans in congress as complicit. the stars of the republican party are not elected officials. they are the voices on the outside. when you go to conservative events, phil robertson of the dynasty, sarah palin, donald
trump. they get the biggest crowds. brian: biggest claim conservatives have against the media, and is there enough conservative media out there for people to get the information they need? robert: i think, as someone who worked for "national review," there are sometimes reasons to say some things could be more straight at certain publications, but i am a fan of great journalism and i like it whether it is in "washington post," or "national review." i think the writer can have a point of view. i don't think anything needs to be clinical. in my world, i think it should be as straight as possible, especially when covering politics. i think that is the way it should be done. brian: i want to show you another slide about debt. when ross perot was running back two years before that,
the debt in america was $3.2 trillion in the gdp was $5.9 trillion. $18.13 is not accurate. they stopped it at the moment we're doing the issue. they stopped counting until the budget is worked out. you see the gdp. what is your reaction? robert: there was a moment in republican politics where the debt consumed the gop, but i think that moment is over. notlook at donald trump talking about getting rid of medicare or reforming them. mike huckabee is doing the same thing. the right wing of the party has been weekend by what happened 2012 with romney and ryan losing. we're entering a new phase, from what i can see in my working, -- in my reporting, where the debt is not front and center. different questions about
leadership in washington. it is the debt. the activists are not as angry about it. brian: let's listen to what donald trump said in june 2015. mr. trump: i will bring back our jobs from china, mexico, from so many places. i will bring back our jobs and double bring back our money. right now -- think of this. we owe china $1.3 trillion. we owe japan more than that. they come in, they take our jobs, they take our money, and they loan us back the money and we pay interest. the dollar goes up, so the deal is even better. how stupid are our leaders? how stupid are these politicians to allow this to happen? brian: throw in the fannie and freddie money that china has, is a lot more than one point 3
trillion robert: i have spoken to trump about this multiple times. there is an opening for trump on trade because, when you look at what happened in congress since republicans took over, very little has gotten done. they think the negotiator, someone from the outside, that is a powerful argument for trump to make. they think one thing that has been done is trade for more shall -- trade promotional authority. that has irritated grassroots voters. they see ships coming over. trump does not always use the best figures, but there is a feeling out there among the electorate that china, japan, different nations are getting better deals with the united states. i think that aspect of trump, the negotiator who will revamp u.s. trade policy. we have seen aspects of it with
buchanan in 1992, different people having a more nativist argument, but trump is doing it in a totally different way a someone who has made these deals. brian: we first noticed ross perot in 1988 when he spoke at the national press club. listen to what he said. mr. trump: let's look at how the japanese banks got all the money. go home tonight, look at your electronics, see how you can u.s. namesany him. i rest my case. go out to the parking lot and see what you drive. what you buy those products? you thought they were the best. i can ask you to buy made in the usa unless you think it is the best. i can't ask you to do that. they make the best products. we bought their products. we are the world's biggest customer. they make great products. we bought their products. they got our money. we have their products.
[laughter] our money is in their banks. guess what? their banks are now lending our government the money so that we can continue living in this fantasyland beyond our means. brian: the difference between then and now is $3 trillion in debt and now it is close to $19 trillion. robert: a bigger theme out of perot's talk about the debt is he is talking about trade and the economy that a different class in the republican party. this is where the divide is. i was in the capital, whether it's in iowa, new hampshire. case fora this what they see as a push by companies to push different , and they think there is an aspect of the outlook and party that is being driven by the corporations and the corporate interest.
it's why they love when someone like perot for trump steps in as someone from the corporate world and makes the counter argument. that is where the power lies with trump. he is not being per trade as an elitist. some of his rivals are saying he is not conservative. his power comes from being encamped in that world and go against it. that is what excites people who are upset about the debt. brian: we're going to look at donald trump again from earlier this yr. keep in mind that as he talks, there are 12 major automobile plants owned by foreign governments in this country right now. watch this. mr. trump: now ford announces a few weeks ago that ford is going a $2.5 billion car and truck and parts manufacturing plant in mexico.
2.5 billion dollars. it is going to be one of the largest in the world. congratulations. that is the good news. let me give you the bad news. every car and every truck and every part manufactured in this plant that comes across the border, we are going to charge you a 35% tax. paidtax is going to be simultaneously with the transaction. that is it. brian: when nikki haley was at the press club, she bragged that the largest bmw plant, i think, in the world, is in south carolina. robert: i have been to that plan. i traveled around the american south. you see car plants everywhere. did you see how the crowd chanted, yes? trump is not always using specific data. he is using fake points that he thinks helps his own case and he
is connecting with a feeling out there, not necessarily entirely factual, but it is a feeling among republican voters. people can shrug it out and look at a car plant here. they are right. that does not demean trump's case. rising.nk the debt is they don't think the future will be as good for their grandkids and kids. that is why connects with competitors. they say, it is not entirely true. they are right. doesn't matter politically? we will see. brian: this is from 1992 in october 5 team. this is a well-known thing. did you ever meet ross perot? robert: never. brian: did you watch much of what he had to say? robert: i remember the perot campaign. i was interested in a row at seven years old. i was collecting the stickers.
who is this perot coming out of nowhere? i understood even at seven, talking with my dad and brothers, white perot had a -- why perot had a field. because he was fresh. you can't discount to its. brian: we will talk about your family in a moment. there is ross perot. mr. perot: we have got to stop sending jobs overseas. for those of you in the audience who are business people, pretty simple. you are paying $14 an hour for factory workers. you can move your factory south of the border, pay one dollar labor, nor your health care, that is the most expensive single element making the cost, have no pollution controls, and no retirement, and you don't care about anything but making money. it will be a sucking sound going south. washington,nt me to
the first thing i will do is study that 2000 page agreement to make sure it is a two-way street. robert: giant sucking sound. just hearing perot talk about jobs in that way, it reminds me of how i see trump all the time. if big rally at a football field. i was in a parking lot and people were talking about immigration not because of hispanics, and is not the usual way they interpret it is against a person, but they feel like jobs are slipping away. to them, immigration is an economic issue. they don't have the labor force anymore. there are union members and the trump rally. there are teachers. they see trump as someone not they are rallying to perhaps someone who is rallying against hispanic people, but someone who
will provide them with a better economic climate. the cause for trump is as much as he excites the voters, he sees himself someone like perot, who will bring jobs back. he is alienating a lot of people by the way he speaks about these issues. brian: here is a perot add back in 1992. listen to what folks were saying back then. >> when i hear perot speak, it is if though i am saying the words. he is speaking for me. what he says is coming out and you know it. >> because we need someone with this is management to run this country. our country is going down the tubes. watching the debate has turned me completely around. mr. perot is the man for the country. >> if everyone thought like me, i wasn't going to vote for him because i didn't think he could win. that is silly. >> i think america needs a
change in the system. the system we have now isn't working and i want my daughter to have a future. brian: that was 23 years ago. robert: only 23 years ago. i could be walking into a trump event and get those exact same votes. that feeling is still out there among the voters. the question is, when i talked to a lot of voters like that, the first thing i asked them is when they last spoke, and many of them say i don't remember. these are politically interested people, but not politically active. this is not the ted cruz voter. this is not the hard-core concerted -- hard-core conservative. this is the voter who has been disconnected from both parties. it is the same person. the working class. they feel like the party has answers for them. this is grappling with right now.
how you get these people who are excited in the summer? are they going to really come out in the primaries and caucuses? is it really just 19%-5%? you?: how open is trump to robert: very open. use the most accessible -- he is the most accessible. brian: how do you get a hold of him? robert: easy. it is different. every other campaign, you have to call the press secretary, outline the story. it is a whole rigmarole. you have 15 minutes here, five minutes there, a walk and talk there. it is a pain. trump, i called his assistant in new york city at trump tower, and usually gets on the phone within two minutes. it is just different. he does not operate like an old politician. -- like a normal politician. sometimes i end up being the one
putting the phone down on him. thank you, mr. trump. the other thing i like about trump -- almost everything on the record. as a reporter, it is refreshing because i can't stand going to background. i want to hear what these people want to say and what it out in public. brian: your is a humorous attempt at explaining this from 1999 "saturday night live." >> i think we all know why we are here. the reform party needs a new, crazy later. buchanan,ill be pat or maybe donald trump, but it sure as hell won't be me. i wasn't insane enough for the american people. what we need is a real dirt bag. let me finish. would you let me finish, pat?
i'm going to ask you gentlemen if you question. >> go ahead. shoot. >> pat, i'm going to start with you. where do you stand on illegal aliens? >> we have a serious illegal alien problem in this country. foreigners in general are repulsive to me. >> whoa, whoa. hold the bow. the donald employs an army of illegal aliens in his many fine atlantic city casinos. sure they steal, but if they are fresh off the boat they will work for $.50 a week. [laughter] brian: 1999. robert: people forget about this chapter in trump's political history. he was thinking about running on the reform ticket and at the time, pat buchanan is running his anti-illegal immigration campaign. trump was the antagonist buchanan in 99 even though in
-- evenl think he is though in 2015 people think he is the anti-immigration campaign, in 1999 he was saying buchanan was too far to the right. trump used to be really opposed to you. he said pat buchanan would never be a serious contender . pat buchanan said, look what i'm wearing. he flipped his tie and he was wearing a trump tie. brian: you can't find those ties at macy's. robert: trump has taken a hit. he has never articulated with it, but he's in touch daily with what is happening in his business. you is still running his business for the most part as he runs for president. i don't think expected this wave of opposition to him. the comment, they are rapists, it hurt him.
told memped associates that it rattled him. he persevered and he is still in it. brian: we are going to switch a little bit to you. robert: gosh. great. [laughter] brian:? what town did you grow up in? robert: i was born in richmond, virginia, but i grew up in bucks county pennsylvania, north of philadelphia. i went to pennsbury high school. about 4000 students. it is in lower bucks county. steel mill town. not a lot of steel mills there anymore. a lot more walmarts and small businesses and that kind of thing. i love growing up there. i still have a huge affection for bucks county. i love pennsbury high school. public school for me was great, because you interact with thousands of different students, different backgrounds. brian: why did your twin brother
go to a catholic school? robert: my dad is a longtime attorney for a pharmaceutical company. mostly working for bristol-myers squibb. 1998-2000 we were living in england. in 2000 we come back to go to high school and we had these choices of where we were going to go. we came from the same town we had been living in. i did not want to go to an all boys school. i thought the public school seemed fun, different, so i did that. it was good because i love my brother, james, but we were constant twins when we were growing up and when we went to separate schools, we were different people. he lives there wrigley field as a consultant for price water. brian: i have a book of yours that i sat down. one of the main characters in here is you. robert: it is a nonfiction book.
it is 2002. i met pans very high school -- i am at pennsbury high school. michael bamberg said he is going to write about my high school's prom. it is well known and held in the gym. it is a special event. he thought he could capture small-town america, the suburbs in the time of 2002-2003. the iraq war is going on. it is post-9/11. as a writer at the time, i was 15 or 16 years old. i was riding with a local paper, covering concerts. i would get two tickets, take a girl on a date, get paid $50. brian: you did not have a car. robert: i didn't have a car for a long time because i couldn't pass the test. i had people drive me to school. i did eventually get a car around 17. brian: here is what he writes in the early part of the book cost up -- costa was well-connected and unusually sharp.
determine you were the second-best debater? robert: we had a great debate team at pennsbury and i'm still involved with it, coaching and at judging events. there were people accumulating more points who were older. eventually i got the point record. brian: you talked a lot to this guy. robert: i did. he and i connected as reporters, i guess. when i was 17, i realize this "sports illustrated" guy, i was interested in him. he thought of me as his narrator. we had great conversations. we would go get a slice of pizza. my parents thought it was strange. bamberg and i are still very close friends. he is a big golf writer for "sports illustrated." my parents, who with this writer
you are hanging out with from "sports illustrated?" he is probably one of the biggest inspirations in my own life. bamberg did not need to get to know me, and he ended up writing a book but he also taught me as a writer to think about what you are seeing, not just cover the quote. he rarely quotes anyone. tell the story. tell what you are seeing, what is really happening. i thought about him the other day when i saw congressman coming over to watch trump. they are taking selfies. sitting members of congress. that is compelling. members of congress trying to grapple with the trump phenomenon. that comes back to him. don't cover the speech, cover what is around. he is a teacher, a friend, a mentor. brian: here is one other one i want you to read. robert into aed
14 euro pop a list -- 14-year-old populace. robert: i did not get into an elite school in new jersey. i was stunned at the time. i think i messed up the interview. sometimes i think i'm a little too lively. i did not do well on the interview. i thought to myself, who cares? this elite prep school, who cares? i'm going to go depends very and do well there and love it. it was the best thing that ever happened to me, going to pennsbury high school rather than stuffy lawrenceville. brian: what about the populist? it says, before long he had renounced his parents' republican politics. robert: in high school, i thought edward dale, his love of sports, is gregarious personality, going to depend very -- going to pennsbury high school, a much more blue-collar school. i was definitely left of center. i registered as a democrat in high school. my parents are moderate
republicans. i wasn't political. i wasn't into it. i loved politics. one of my favorite things growing up was the war room documentary with clinton. "first in class." keeping note cards out of georgetown. who are these great leaders? how do they become great? how do they work with people? how do they improve themselves? brian: what was the impact of "wonderland," this book on you? robert: it was interesting to have a snapshot of your life. i did not know what he was doing with the book. i thought it would become a fiction thing. it is nonfiction. book ispart of the toged to get john mayer play at prompted i did not have any connections. -- at my prom.
i did not have any connections. why not just ask? my parents are phenomenal and great people, but we never had connection to any power or great people. why not just try it? i push for him to come. i failed at first. i was a music critic and i learned about the music industry, and who has power. brian: didn't you irritate him? robert: i irritated a lot of people. he succumbed to our invitation. he was great. why not have some fun and play some songs? it was. brian: how big was he? robert: big. it was 2004. he had won grammy awards. he played at the rock 'n roll hall of fame with paul simon the night before. he drove in and went to a burger king across the street and met him there. it is a moment i will never forget. pennsbury high school is old brick and 1970's.
i say it lovingly, people compare it to a jail. i think it was designed by someone who may have done a prison. to have mayer with his guitar on his back and to play songs about high school to my class, it was a wonderful moment. brian: here is a very bad video we are going to run. is hard to hear, so you have to listen closely. let's run this about the night of the senior prom. years, haspast two been doing some special things in pennsbury. [cheering] leading some special people depends very -- to pennsbury. i just heard about it, but let's bring out your president, bob costa. applause]ring and robert: ladies and gentlemen,
class of 2004, i want everyone to remember the year. ladies and gentlemen, when you put your hands together for mr. john mayer? [wild cheering] brian: how much did you have to pay him? robert: nothing. brian: nothing? robert: i did not pay him a sense. brian: why did he come for nothing? robert: i think you can connect with people and say let's have a human moment. let's have some fun. not everything needs to be about agenda or marketing. there was no corporate tie-in. it was a musician playing songs for his audience at a high school gym. it was great. people still talk about it in my class. it also raised expectation for future promise. if he comes, what else can i
accomplish? i like to think that if my whole class thought if mayer comes, anything is possible. we were normal suburban kids with no connections. mayer came to our party. brian: how many songs did he sing? robert: he sang three. thing," "your body is a wonderland," and a little prince at the end. brian: he said you knew the alerts before he recorded them. robert: he was one of my favorite artists. i covered hundreds of concerts in high school. i would go down 95 and have a girl with me or friend and i would get them to be the photographer for the "times." we would have our passes. going into the city, when i finally had a car, it was a big part of growing up. it hurt my grades. my parents were concerned i was covering too many concerts.
i interviewed the grateful dead, the counting crows, dave matthews band. all my heroes, i got to interview them and i wrote straight reporting about them. mayer, i interviewed him. i was fascinated by people who they sat next to, girlfriends, wives, and i interviewed them. that is the fascinating thing about reporting on the music industry, which i may go back to, which is what is the story behind these people? the maroon five played a free concert. iny brought the bus and i went into the home at room -- home ec room and they in all the cookies. a month later, they broke big. just do it. try. don't worry about anything else. just go for it. i can walk away from all of this tomorrow. have fun, try, and don't be tense about it. brian: you wrote for the "national review" for a while.
since 2014, you write for the "washington post." some people think the post has become more conservative, hiring people more like you that are not little democrats to be reporters. i'm talking about people who think they see bias. you have several columnists on the op-ed page that are conservative. you have any consents that that is being done on purpose? robert: no, i don't think so. steve ginsburg, marty baron, they want in-depth coverage and when you look at my hire, we are just people who love covering the republican party. i think they are adding depth to the ranks, which was a strong team. this is an organization that prizes its objectivity, the way it goes at things straight, and it wants to get more information. i don't consider it an ideological paper in any way.
i'm surrounded by colleagues who are driven to break news and go deep. whether it is the white house team, or the campaign team or congress, we want to own it. we don't want to have right, we don't want to have left, we want to own our story. we want to get as much as possible on the front page. my heroes, beyond caro, is bob word word -- bob woodward. get the documents, report on what you know. he has been a friend to me and others on the staff to say, remember at the end of the day, all this talk about our we left, are we right, is noise. get the documents, get the interviews, get the stories. brian: do people review online or do they redo in the hardcopy? robert: mostly online. twitter has been a real tool for me because it is my notebook. i know something is accurate, i put it on twitter. when things are hot on a campaign trail, i was breaking news all the time. i embrace social media.
i will only try to do more in 2016. print still matters. if something is on a one of the "washington post," people sit up. brian: who has been maddest at you? robert: a lot of people. whothing i tell anyone wants to go into journalism is if you have been skin, don't do it. at the top level, it is cutthroat, people are constantly angry at you, you will be bullied. people can be bullies one day, friends the next great i have had congressman screen any. i have had aides roughly up and -- rough me up and say they will never talk again. you can't go in think he will be fun all the time. it is a rough business. it is about power. it is rough and tumble. brian: one last question. when have you felt power the most, whether it be in high
school, the national review, washington post, or any other time? robert: i think -- i don't think power, butrms of in terms of moving something, i broke the story the shutdown was ending and i saw the market just take my tweet and cnbc wrote an article about it. one tweet sent the market. i love breaking news -- sent the market. i love breaking news. if i can make a political insider say i know that, that is power in a political sense. brian: robert costa, thank you very much for joining us. robert: my pleasure. thank you. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2015] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] transcripts were to give us your comments about this q&a.org.visit us at programs are also available as
he span podcasts -- as c-span podcasts. if you enjoyed this week's interview with robert costa, here are some other programs you might like. washington post she corresponded dan balls -- washington post lz, andorresponded dan ba syndicated call this pat buchanan on his -- columnist pat theanan on his book about comeback of. -- richard nixon. on the next washington journal, mary rice hansen from the ethics and public policy center previewing the hope's visit this week and the ongoing controversy over funding for planned parenthood. karen mills with the results of
a recent survey finding american and global business leaders believing that inequality is a serious threat to the country and their businesses. janet lauren talks about federal student loan programs that offer repayment based on income and why that could cost taxpayers billions of dollars. we will take your phone calls and you can join the conversation on facebook and twitter. "washington journal," light at 7:00 a.m. eastern on c-span. >> all persons having business before the honorable supreme court are drawn here to give their attention. versuser 759, petitioner parizeau. >> row against wade. mostdison was probably the
famous case this court ever decided. asdredd and harriet existed enslaved people on land where slavery was not the recognized. >> putting the decision into effect would take presidential orders in the presence of federal troops and marshals, and the courage of children. >> we wanted to pick cases that change the direction and imported the court in society and also changed society. >> so, she told them that they would have to have a search, and she demanded to see the paper and to read it, see what it was, which they refused to do, so she grabbed it out of his hands and looked at it, and thereafter the police officer handcuffed her. >> i can't imagine a better way
to bring the constitution to life than bringing the true stories behind great supreme court cases. >> boldly opposed the forced internment of japanese americans during world war ii. after being convicted for failing to report for relocation, mr. karamatzu took his case all the way before the drinker. >> are most famous decisions are the ones the court took that were quite unpopular. >> if you had to pick one freedom that was the most essential to the functioning of the functioning of the democracy, it has to be freedom of speech. >> let's go through a few cases that demonstrate visually what it means to live in a society of 310 million different people who help stick together because they believe in a rule of law.
anlandmark cases, exploration of 12 historic supreme court cases and the human stories behind them. a new series on c-span produced in cooperation with the national constitution center. p.m.y, october 5, at 9:00 as a new companion to our series, landmark cases, the book. it features the 12 cases we featured for the series with a brief introduction to the background and impact. written by 20 moral -- tony mauro, published by c-span, " landmark cases" is available for $8.95 plus shipping and handling. get your copy. >> british prime minister david cameron taking questions at the house of commons. then a discussion on pope francis' views on capitalism.
at 11:00 p.m., another chance to see q&a with robert costa. newly elected labor party leader report corbin faced off with prime minister cameron for the first time this week. elected with 60% of the votes, end eople he wanted to the theatrical atmosphere of question time. this is about 35 minutes. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national able satellite corp. 2015] stephen crabb: -- mr. speaker: questions for the prime minister. mr. gordon henderson. >> thank you. in addition to my