tv Washington Journal CSPAN May 13, 2016 12:37am-1:18am EDT
to go to beijing to advance president 40's trip to china in 1975. he knew he would have a tough election campaign and he said, no foreign travel, pack it all in in 75. kissinger went off to china and my boss at newsweek said i do not want to send a foreign-policy expert from washington to spend the money. eastre already in the far so i send you. representatives the day before thanksgiving, george h.w. that was long ago before we had official relations with the pnc. beijing was still known as peking. a little reception at his residence for the kissinger party and that is where i met him. i have been dealing with him for
42 years. president, ihe was at theited to some event white house and president bush introduced me to his son, george w. bush, a businessman and baseball owner at the white house. that is how long i go back with the bushes. host: you wrote this piece for the national journal, why george w. bush will not go to the gop convention. you write that the entire bush family has a strong dislike for donald trump. describe that. thet: this reminds me of relationship between the bush family and ross perot. he does not like them and they do not like him. ideological,l, temperamental, whatever you want to call it. relationshipe
between donald trump and the bushes, it is much the same way. ofy do not have a history good relations. in this context, the bush family feels very strongly about a few things. the senior bush and barbara bush, all of them feel trump belittled their son and brother, teb bush, calling him jeb ligh and energy impaired, low energy jeb. understandably -- the bush's are understandably not. feel donald trump is probably a little too far out of the republican mainstream. it is just a lot of things. good positive
history between all of them. i know in president george w. .ush's case, he is still angry in 2008, trump said he thought ifwould be a wonderful thing house speaker nancy pelosi and the democrats decided to impeach george w. bush. thingsre the sorts of presidents do not forget. thrilled that trump in the same interview said bush 43 was probably the worst president in the history of the united states. you cannot expect him to feel strongly about that. another aspect beyond the cultural business is they feel ,ike trump is singled out president george w. bush, for
the iraq war. there is a lot in the background. 43, he was not going to go to the convention. he did not go to the convention in 2012, the last time around. he was not going to go to the convention but what was interesting about this is he clearly will not endorse donald trump and neither will his father. they have re: put out a statement saying we will not have any comment on the campaign. that is a way to say to reporters and others, do not ask me what i think. many thought for jeb bush's campaign, would be the bush name. his brother, george w. bush, stayed away. he did go to south carolina where the president, the former president remains popular.
i want to show viewers what he had to say then. listen to what the president had to say then. >> facing challenges and prevailing. enduringsacrificing an and emerging a better and bigger person. set of coreing a principles, beliefs that are true on the campaign trail and will still be true in office. rhetoric.s not empty it is not bluster. it is not theatrics. real strength, strength of purpose, comes from integrity and character. in my experience, the strongest person usually is not the loudest one in the room. [applause] , what is therank story behind those comments? he never mentioned donald trump
by name. guest: he did not have to be read out is happy to be reminded of that because he was basically saying donald trump is a blowhard, a bully, a bluster. not have the judicial temperament to be president of the united states. there is strength and then there is strength. willlike a great intellect not necessarily mean you are a good president, you can be very smart and not be politically being strong, i think what president bush 43 was saying there, you can be strong that was basically, do not blame me if you vote for donald trump. i think that was telling. rift talking about the within the republican party,
establishment, traditional republicans not getting behind donald trump, the presumptive nominee, and mainly the bush dislike fora strong donald trump. guest: it is more than just emotion and those things. it is not just personal. the bushes would say to you they think donald trump would drive the party off the cliff. they will not say that. both presidents put out a statement saying, we are not talking about this, that tells you they will not say what they think because they are loyal republicans, and certainly the bushes -- the bush's do not want hillary clinton to be president. host: are they contributed to that if they do not come out and endorse the presumptive nominee, and is it unprecedented for a former president of the same party to not? guest: i do not think it is
unprecedented. my history is shaky. i think when howard taft was he and for president, theodore roosevelt were not exactly close to put it mildly. critics will allege and charge backing donald trump, the bushes might be creating a self fulfilling legacy. i do not know about that. if donald trump were the nominee, and he is not elected president, i do not think it will be because the bush family does not think much of him. a lot of people do not think a lot of him and there are a lot of people who admire him very much. we will just have to see. talking about this a few blocks away this morning, the protesters are there as well, because donald trump is behind closed doors and paul ryan is trying to bridge their
differences and unite the party, that is the goal in order to defeat hillary clinton. what are your questions and comments onwhat are your questid --ments are not question questions and comments on that? are you a supporter of the bush family? caller: i kind of knew george and all of them when he was governor here. you guys created trump when you took the fairness act out of the fcc. he is another guy from -- for corporate welfare. with human rights, do selection -- due selection, he loses. let the israelis build their own
wall. that's about it. host: millions of republicans have voted for donald trump that do like what they -- he is saying. why aren't republicans in washington getting behind him when he has the support of republican primary voters and independents? i think a lot of washington republicans will reluctantly get behind him. it will take shape -- it's the old cliché, but it's true -- nothing succeeds like success. he has defied all the odds and addictions -- predictions. i inc. the republican establishment is basically going to have to come around. i think you are going to the most republican officials either endorse trump, even if they have to hold their nose to do it, or they will just stay silent. i think most republicans have two choices since they are not going to bolt and form a third party, which would be political suicide. they have two choices.
they sit on the sidelines and don't vote and don't campaign with or for trump or they endorsed him -- endorse him. host: senator mike lee saying recently he is not ready to endorse trump. "he scares me to death," is the quote that is there. he says he has serious concerns about donald trump. mike lee, up for reelection this time around. james in south carolina, republican. james, what did you make of the primary fight in your state and how donald trump spoke about jeb bush there? caller: good morning. i have not been to hear what donald trump had to say. i don't even think donald trump is a conservative in any way. i think kindly of the bush family. bothreally been unfair,
the way george bush was treated by the democrats while he was president, all the things that have been said by the sitting president. what strikes me is the class that george bush shows. he has not said a word publicly about anything. and donald trump, the only thing i agree with him is we have to secure the border, but, the rest of it, i'm scared for my country of where the republican party goes from here, because i know the democrats don't have the answer. host: because both bushes, presidents, are refusing to endorse here, how do you plan to vote in the general election? caller: it's tough. over hillary clinton or bernie sanders? donald trump, that's a tough one. i don't know. we will see what happens.
i hate to not have a vote, but it may boil down to it. host: i want you to pick up on what he said, tom defrank, when he said the class that george w. bush had shown, not saying anything privately or publicly. what is he saying, do you know, privately, to his friends and others? or -- 3 r 41?: 43 o3 host: both. he does not like the idea of somebody running against the establishment. he is a card-carrying member of the political establishment. his father, probably the same thing. the bushes and the trumps are not close. that's the safest way i can say that.
i might have thought at some point that the bushes would have reluctantly endorsed him, but they are clearly not going to, and i think their attitude is, it's the old schoolhouse thing. if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say it. as opposed to reporters who, if you don't like -- don't have anything nice to say, let's hear it. the bushes' attitude is don't say it. i think they are trying to be principled about it, but they are not going to be hypocrites. they be hitting back at donald trump the way he was hitting back at jeb bush? guest: i would be surprised about that. that's not their style. host: a democrat. good morning to you. you are on the air. question or comment, please? --ler: i think that jeb bush
i'm a democrat. i still believe that jeb bush did bring some class to the fight. he did not go there with donald trump. at the republicans that are endorsing him are really being hypocrites, because they called him a con man, a liar, cancer. they called him everything in the book. then, all of a sudden, they turn around and say, oh, i'm going to endorse him, i think that he's great. i think that's very hypocritical. also, i believe that trump is a liar. he said he was going to do the -- was not going to do the mudslinging. voters thathe very wanted him to be their president. host: let me show our viewers, on that point, here is a headline from his interview yesterday with fox, "muslim ban
suggestion'." what do you make of what he -- she had to say? it would be a contradiction for the republicans to now turn around and say, ok, mr. trump, we will fall in line. guest: politicians being hypocrites, how many times have we seen this? lbj ran on thed same ticket even though they could not stand each other. jfk needed a nailed down texan. politicians are realists. that does not surprise me. i think there is another aspect here. trump is very popular in a lot of states and congressional districts where incumbent
republicans have difficult reelection races. i still think there is a slightly better than even chance that the democrats pick up -- retrieve the senate this time. it's not certain, of course. in lots of different states and congressional districts, you have incumbent republicans in districts where trump is very popular, so they are going to be walking a tightrope, trying to make sure that they don't offend those voters who they need to get out and vote for them. not shocking. it's kind of the cost of doing business among politicians, that you are going to endorse the winner if you think it's going to help you and, if you don't think it's going to help you get reelected, you probably will not endorse the winner. host: 24 of the senate seats are held by republicans. democrats would need to gain four or five to take control.
guest: depending on who is elected president, that's right. host: we will go to kevin. you are on the air. caller: how is everybody doing this morning? host: doing fine. your question or comment. caller: i do support the bushes in their position against donald trump. i think donald trump has a very unique and nasty skill at attacking people instead of attacking the issues, and i think that is something a lot of the politicians and runners are not prepared for. they were not prepared for his unique skill of attacking people. and he doesn't even get to the issues sometimes while he is attacking people. he willrump, i guess make a good candidate in some cases, but he is going to have a hard, very high hurdle to clear, because all the people that he attacked, criticized, and made arsenal remarks -- personal
remarks about, he is going to have to deal with them in the house, senate, and everywhere else, if he does get elected. if he doesn't get elected, he can disappear, not have to deal with anybody, and go back to building his golf courses in peace. host: he will have to get along with washington if he wins. guest: that's right. president obama had to go along with washington, and that has not worked out particularly well, at least from a legislative standpoint. iis is what i think -- and have thought this for previous elections -- the debates in the fall are going to be critical. you can be sure -- there will be three in september. you can be sure that hillary clinton will be hammering donald trump constantly on, "what are your specifics?" "you haveg to say, not told us what you are going to do about medicare or social
security." trump has been able to skate by ands of his opponents' dem that he be more specific on policy. as the caller said and as we both discussed here, he has gone to platitudes and changed the subject and said "we've got to make america great again" and all these sorts of things. i think the debates will not only be a real challenge for donald trump, he will have the largest audience in the history of presidential debates watching. that, i think, is going to be decisive. host: next, brenda on our line for democrats. caller: hello there. i just wanted to say about the bush presidency, he is the reason we are in the mess we are in today. he started that whole iraq war. that's why isis has taken over our world. he is, bottom line, to blame.
i do agree with trump on those issues. but other than that, this man, trump, is a despicable man. it's just a matter of time. he is never going to become the president. everybody knows that. we are going to put up with this for seven months. hillary will definitely be our president. and the republicans are so theyus of the clintons, just cannot take this. they cannot stomach that hillary is a brilliant woman and will be a brilliant president. host: ok. i want to pick up on what you said about the iraq war, because that is something donald trump used. many people were upset with the way the iraq war was handled. i want to show one part from this primary where donald trump, at one of the debates -- donald trump and jeb bush get in a back and forth about the iraq war. [video clip] mr. trump: obviously, the more in iraq -- the war in iraq is a
big, fat mistake. you can take it anyway you want -- any way you want. before hisb five days t people told him what to say, and he ultimately said, "it was a mistake." trillion,2 thousands of lives. we don't even have it. iran is taking over. george bush made a mistake. we can make mistakes, but that one was a beauty. we should have never been in iraq. we have destabilized the middle east. you do whatever you want. you call it whatever you want. they live. they said there were weapons of math and -- of mass destruction, and there were none. when a member on the stage's
brother gets attacked, i have to get a response. >> here is the deal. i'm sick and tired of barack obama blaming my brother for all of the problems he has had. and, frankly, i could care less about the insults donald trump gives to me. it's bloodsport for him. he enjoys it. i'm sick and tired of him going after my family. my dad is the greatest man alive, in my mind. donald trump was building a reality tv show, my brother was building a security apparatus to keep us safe, and i'm proud of what he did. he has had the gall -- mr. trump: the world trade center came down during your brother's reign. mr. bush: he's had the gall to go after my mother. i won the lottery when i was
born. my mom is the strongest woman i know. this is not about my family or his family. this is about the south carolina families that need someone who can be a strong commander-in-chief. [end video clip] what do youfrank, think was happening behind the scenes? what led up to that moment? guest: i think that the bushes have been very angry again -- angry about all the shots that trump has taken against them. it is political and ideological and cultural as well. bushes are offended by trump's style, but trump's style is a large part of his success. i would just say to the lady caller, the democratic lady defied trump has
expectations from the start, especially from people like me. wayrters said there is no this guy is going to be the nominee, much less president. it can't happen. it did happen, in terms of being the nominee. this is my 13th national election. i've seen a lot of them. 20% of all of the presidents of the united states. when i say things like that, i finally feel a little old. so, i've seen a lot of stuff, and i've never seen a campaign like this. or less, had, more it wrong about trump. so i would not just say he is not going to be president, he has no chance to be president. that's the conventional wisdom. but if we have learned anything this year, it is that conventional wisdom has proved, at least on the republican side, remarkably wrong. host: donald trump says he has a mandate to keep acting and
talking the way he has all along, because 11 million people have voted for him. "the new york times" argues that he cannot afford to change his stripes too much. , in a telephone interview, compared his hit broadway shows and championship baseball teams. caller: good morning. mr. defrank, i have a question. can you explain to everybody why -- means tow identity everybody. knower thing, i want to why mr. john kerry was in a
college giving a speech. "you," the- he said, class he was speaking to, are not going to vote for trump. host: i'm sorry. we are not following. let me move on. a kansas city republican. caller: one is the hypocrisy of the bush family, and that they have befriended the clintons -- in that they have befriended the clintons since even before they got out of the office. it seems odd that they would be so friendly with that particular opposition, but yet cannot step down long enough to make a comment about trump. the second point is that the republican party is still a fairly new party in the sense that they have always been the party on the defensive against the progressive push that has become more forceful and deliberate in its agenda.
and number three, in general, politics have degraded to the point where it is no longer a vote for the lesser of two evils, but a pick your poison when it comes to these politicians. host: ok. guest: on the last point there, one of the things that i find -- and this is my personal comment. whoever the next president is, he or she will have the highest negative ratings in the history of public opinion polling. usually, politicians with numbers like this, in the 50% and 60% disapproval and negative ratings cannot get elected, but one of them is going to get elected. that is a challenge. host: what about befriending the clintons? guest: i think that's a little overdone. the old guys former presidents club is the most exclusive men's club in america. it's true that bush 41 and bill clinton and bush 43 have done some public interest things
together, but they are not political allies. i think that is a little overstated. i saw the bushes in houston in february, bush 41 and barbara bush. they were very gracious. irbara bush, at one point -- don't think this is violating any confidences -- she said, we like bill clinton. he is a likable guy. but that does not mean we support his politics. the bushes are gracious people. so, the notion that they are giving the clintons a pass, i would respectfully disagree with that. host: in d.c., a democrat. your question or comment? caller: i would like to start off by saying the bushes have no credibility. gop -- theyr, the deserve him, they got him.
george bush, the kid, was the worst president we've had in the history of the country. the only one that would be worse was donald trump. host: we would hear from a democrat in maryland. good morning to you. caller: good morning. how you doing? thank you for c-span. i believe that the republicans -- they deserve exactly what they are getting, simply because they should have -- they should have stood up. even though their politics are different than obama, they should not have cheapened the office. they allowed the tea party to say whatever, do whatever. i blame them. they never stood up. "you lie." they never challenged the extreme part of their party. they never stood up and were adults to obama. host: we hear your point.
tom defrank, do you want to take that? guest: i don't know exactly what to say about that. i don't have a rational comment on that one. host: we will see what republicans have the say about coming together and how donald trump will strategize going forward as he is the presumptive rep. kline: -- presumptive republican nominee. the media is still gathered outside of the national committee headquarters here in washington. after this, he will be meeting with the rest of the house republican leadership and senate republican leadership. we will hear from the speaker about how this morning's meeting eastern on30 a.m. c-span, c-span.org. we have a little less than 10 minutes left. the house will gavel in. let's get in more calls. gary in west virginia, a republican. hi, gary. caller: i've got a few comments.
the super pac group that can change the way we vote and put in their own people should not even exist. no business should be conducted in congress unless at least 95% of them are present and in their seats. midwest 100,000 acres purchased by people who are controlled by china for a particular crop they want. it's wrong that they have that type of properties. they could build a missile silo right inside our country and we would not even know it was there. host: mary in florida, a democrat. caller: yes, i'm a democrat from florida. i'm very uncomfortable with the bush-clinton friendship. clinton plays golf with george w. to this day. he hangs out with the family. barbara calls him her other son. this is a little too cozy for me
for people who are supposed to be on different sides of politics. here's my comment. sold outjeb bush florida to the highest corporate bidders when he privatized everything he could in the government, and george w. sold out our country to the highest corporate bidders. they have a lot in common with trump. i'm for bernie, 100%. host: tom defrank? guest: i think that's a little overstated, especially on the coziness between the bushes and the clintons. all i can say is, yes, they're former presidents together, so there is a bond there. i can remember gerald ford telling me 20 years ago that when bill clinton went to see the pope in denver in 1994, ford called him and said, "come up to vail, and we will play a little golf."
had an came, and they grand time, but that did not change ford's view of clinton's politics. they were friendly. i would not say they are friends. i think the bushes and clintons are friendly, but it doesn't make them friends and it certainly doesn't make them political bedfellows. good morning. thank you for c-span. i have a short comment. i know your time is short. the bush legacy goes way back. it seems like the memories of the american public is very short. the bush legacy goes back to things like silverado savings and loans, which i watched go on, and it goes back even further than that, skull and bones, things of that nature. what education level to these people have to want to support donald trump?
does no one read the paper? does no one study history? does no one paid attention anymore in this country? thank you for your time. guest: it's a thoughtful question. public opinion polls show that a large segment of donald trump's popularity is from older white guys who never went to college. i don't mean to denigrate people who didn't go to college. that is one of his core constituent groups. going back --y, this reminds me. i think we all have the tendency to try to figure out who was a good president, who was a great president, who was a terrible president within a year of them leaving office. one thing i do agree with president bush 43 on is, he once said, before he left office, "it's going to take 50 years to figure out whether or not i was a good or bad president, and we will all be dead by then, so i'm
not going to worry about it." it takes time. we are too close even to bush 43, figuring out his legacy, much less president obama. host: one of those defining moments for george w. bush's presidency was, of course, september 11, 2001. the george w. bush library has recently released 60 new images of president bush on the day of the attacks. so, if you are interested in that, you can go to the website. there it is on your screen. you can see these images that were released by the library. george h.w. bush -- you were with their family back in february. how is his health? guest: it is difficult. i should have brought a picture. nothing wrong with his mind, that's for certain. is sharp -- he is sharp mentally and intellectually, as he has ever been, but everybody knows the family has said many times
he has parkinson's, which affects his legs. he really cannot walk without assistance. he is in a wheelchair most of the time. he has a little bit of trouble speaking in long, drawnout sentences, but he is hanging in there. i think he will be 92 in another month or so. and he was cheerful. he was gracious. he was incredibly generous in spirit. but his health is not what he would like it to be. i remember, as i said, meeting him on the day before thanksgiving in 1974. he was at the top of his game physically. this is a very active president, active person his entire life, and i know it is frustrating for him, but he is stoic.
an in his stoicism, he is inspiring person. host: i want to try to get in larry in georgia, a democrat. the house is gaveling in. can you make it really quick? caller: good morning. i just wanted to say that i agree with donald trump and a lot of things that he has done. and he has exposed a lot of stuff with the republican party, about the tea party, and how they shut down the government at one time. and the stuff that is coming back on them is the same thing they put on the president. now, i agree with donald and i am going to support him all the way up until the end. for hanging upze on you abruptly. as i said, the house is about to come in. i want to thank tom defrank for being here, contribute and editor w
announcer: c-span's washington journal is live every day with news and policy issues that affect you. coming up friday morning, iowa republican congressman steve king joins us to talk about being cochairman for ted cruz 's campaign. and ohio democratic congressman tim ryan will talk about the projected defense spending bill, his recent trip to the middle east, and the desire to send training forces to iraq to train iraqi forces. eastern, join the discussion. announcer: president bill clinton spoke to supporters about his wife, democratic presidential candidate hillary clinton, at a rally in kentucky. the commonwealth holds its rally on may 17. he was introduced by the
democratic secretary of state in kentucky. >> please welcome the secretary of state. [applause] >> thank you. thank you. [applause] thank you, kentucky. thank you, guys. ready to goe you vote on tuesday the 17th? it is exciting to be year in the capital city with my -- to be here in the capital city with my fellow employees. i am here as were secretary of state for two reasons. the first of which, i know that kentucky is that we are the 31st state in the union they got voter registration. we had