tv Washington Journal Open Phones CSPAN December 1, 2018 12:46pm-1:53pm EST
"the washington journal," we dedicate our first hour to remembering president george h.w. bush, who died at age 94 on friday. john we will hear from lawrence, former chief of staff who represented nancy pelosi, discussing the future of democratic leadership in the 100 60th congress. also, sebastian gorka, former deputy assistant president trump, talks about the mueller investigation and the trump administration alison -- national security policy. live, sundayurnal, at 7:00 a.m. eastern on c-span. received a statement from the office of former president george h.w. bush this morning, which i want to read to you.
we also received a tweet from president donald trump this morning a couple of hours >> president george h.w. bush let a long, simple, and beautiful life. whenever i was with him, i saw his joy for life and pride in his family. his compliments were great from beginning to end. end. he was a truly wonderful man and will be missed by all.
he organized operation desert storm and desert seal. he signed the most comprehensive clean air act into law and sign the americans with disabilities act into law. as a disabled american, my hat goes off to him. 1997,e him a letter in during the lewinsky scandal, and he wrote me back a very nice response. i love president bush very much and i'm going to miss him very much. host: we have a tweet that just came in from former governor jeb bush from florida which says -- i already miss the greatest human being that i ever will know. love you, dad. here is a story sent out this morning by "the associated
press." "he was the man who sought a kinder, gentler nation, and who sternly invited americans to read his lips, he would not raise taxes. he was the popular leader of a mighty coalition that dislodged iraq from kuwait and was turned out of the presidency after a single turn. wasblooded and genteel, he elected in one of the nastiest campaigns in recent history. george herbert walker bush was many things, including the only second american to see his son follow him into the nation's higher -- highest office, but more than anything else, he was a believer." "there is no higher honor than to serve free men and women come no greater privilege -- the american flag."
in 1989,enior staffers days after he told -- took office. josephine is calling from livingston, new jersey. caller: what can you say about the man? he had prestige. he was respected, loved, especially by the troops. you are going to hear that time and again. his wife and he were with the troops, not on the phone. he was there, physically for them, and they knew that. he had their back. , man like that with integrity and the other more important he, withmpassion, that the wall finally coming down it not go -- he did not go, we are the greatest. he thought it would be better to
quietly end the berlin wall, a wall that everybody hated. walls are hated by the people in the world but we seem to have one that thinks a wall now will be the creation of safety. it is not. it creates hate. here is a man who exemplifies what this nation when they are at our greatest. host: let's go to sean from spring, texas. good morning. caller: how are you doing? let me interrupt you. can you turn your television down and then start again? caller: i had my television muted. i turned it off. a few years back, i met jeb bush's son, george p. bush. i was impressed. most people thought they lived a very good life and were out of
touch, but when you make them, they are very down to earth. they talk to the average person the same way they talk to an important government leader. everybody i have talked to in the houston area has said the same thing, they really are a remarkable family to meet. the are very laid-back. they do not have a lot of pride or carry themselves with arrogance. it is really refreshing. i think every american should have had an opportunity to meet a member of the bush family. i walked out with a lot of respect for them. a lot of people say the bushes are very down to earth, and every american should have a chance to meet one of them. from dealio is calling albuquerque, new mexico. caller: thank you for c-span. god bless president bush. he was one of the best that we had.
he will be greatly missed. compared to the abomination we have in the white house right now, the class act that we see in president bush, oh my goodness. , civility, ira hope they can continue this. listen, president trump. listen. we need some unity. god bless you all. thank you. to amwell calling from calabash, north carolina, active duty. good morning. can you speak up? we can hear you. them.m to have lost former president bush sat and talked with c-span back in 1999
a little bit about his life and career. here is a portion of what he had to say. [video clip] >> go back to when you started your presidency. you were vice president, had all these other jobs, and all of a sudden you raised your hand. do you feel different? >> yes. >> what happens? >> i vowed when i went to the white house that i would not complain about the loneliness of the job. if anybody understood the burdens on my shoulders, then they would understand, would be more understanding of why i did this or that. i am alone here. i cannot turn to anybody. that is a bunch of malarkey. i was blessed from day one with a first-class team, a team of experts in foreign policy that knew more about it than i did, arms control or defense strategy and all of this. i was blessed on the economics side with smart, knowledgeable
people. to have confidence in somebody else and you are willing to delegate, all of this burden stuff is not gone forever, but partially reduced so the day i walked in, i knew what my team was going to be for the most part. i had seen ronald reagan under pressure, so at least i was prepared for the magnitude of the job, not that you ever can think i am capable of solving every problem. it was not as if i had never been close. if i had not seen it operate, maybe it would have been more awesome. it was still awesome. i remember sitting there with my mother, the first pictures that were ever taken as president, and the first day in the oval office was with my mother. it was some kind of symbolism to that, because she had taught me a lot about values and taught me
a lot about trying to do it right in life. ,he fact that she was there kind of was setting the tone for how i want to treat other people. [end video clip] host: sean is calling from nashville, tennessee. good morning. caller: i just want to start off with saying, read my lips. that was his quote. whoou go back and look at his father was, prescott bush, they tried to do a coup on the government in the united states. i know people will not look at that and a kind of buried that. when you move forward, when he became president -- jimmy carter was president and they had 11 an issue with the plane, -- lebanon issue with the plane, they had hostages, that is how he became president. then he tried to assassinate
reagan and reagan became the , proppingug dealer crack and stuff to los angeles neighborhoods. i could go on. it is what it is. host: let's go to clay, calling from aurora, north carolina. caller: i just want to have my condolences out to the bush family, a great family, great patriots. , i got to meet him when he was campaigning for president, and then got to play in a parade for his inauguration. my heart goes out to him. this is a time we should all come together and just honor the life of a great american. god bless america and god bless north carolina. host: just in the last couple of months, president bush still
continued to participate in american democracy. jim mcgrath, one of president bush's friends posted this picture on twitter. the 41st president accompanied by his two best friends, jim baker and sully, discharging his civic duty and voting today. this is a president -- of picture of president bush voting in the midterm. he was one of the few presidents who continued to be good friends with both the men who replaced him as president and the men who came after him. former president barack obama was one of the last men to meet with president bush in houston before his death. we have a statement from the office of barack and michelle obama. "america has lost a patriot and humble servant in george herbert walker bush. while our hearts are heavy, they
are also filled gratitude, not merely for the years spent as our 41st president, but for the more than 70 years he spent as a devoted surgeon for the country he loved, as a decorated naval aviator who nearly gave his life, to commander in chief of our armed forces, with plenty of posts along the way. u.s. envoy to china, vice president of the united states. george h.w. bush's life is a testament to the notion that public service is a noble and joyous calling and he did tremendous good along the way, expanding america's promise to immigrants and people with disabilities, juicing the scourge of nuclear weapons and expelling a dictator from kuwait. when democratic revolutions loomed, it was a steady diplomatic hand who made possible ending the cold war
without firing a shot. it is a legacy of service that may never be matched, although he would want all of us to try. " a statement that came from the office it -- office of president and hillary clinton. we mourn the passing of george h w bush and give thanks to his long life of service. . will be forever grateful struck by the kindness he showed to chelsea, and by his devotion to barbara and their growing brood. few americans have been or will be able to match president bush's record of service to the united states and the joy he took every day from it. from his service in world war ii to his work in congress, the central intelligence agency, the
vice presidency, and the presidency, where he worked to --e the post-cold war world w r after hurricane katrina. his mark of a leadership and great heart were always on full display. i am profoundly grateful for every minute i spent with president bush and will always hold our friendship is one of my life's greatest gifts. with theirare families and the entire bush clan." james is calling from chapel hill, north carolina. good morning. caller: thank you for having me on. i just want to give my condolences to the bush family. served this have country very honorably. as a historian, and i am an academic historian, one of the debates about the h.w.
presidency and serving one turn -- term, and one thing that stuck to me, he was a well-liked president but i think so -- i think when he says read my lips, no new taxes, and when they shut down the government for a short time, that more than anything else probably hurt him during his reelection campaign, along with the candidacy of ross perot. possibly it is a lost opportunity. who really knows how that kind of thing works out? definitely, thank you all for giving the coverage to this. it is a really important story. host: carl is calling from the bronx in new york. good morning. caller: thank you for taking my call. first, i disagree with many of lovedsh's policies but i
the man. he was probably one of the most genuinely nice human, caring, friendly, empathetic person we have ever known. perhaps one of the rare great republican presidents of this country's history. bush leaves a complicated legacy. he gave us the end of the cold war, the fall of the berlin wall . the clean victory over iraq without the endless wasnglements that his son sent to. from to becoming president his service in world war ii to his ambassadorship to china, leaving the cia and as vice president -- leaving the cia and as vice president, he also gave us dan quayle and the invasion of panama.
to think he could get away with invading kuwait, the economy. after becoming reagan's running i think it was first mccain and it is now bush. it is as though god is trying to shame republicans into remembering what the party once represented. thank you so much. thank you, c-span. the: one of the things that george h.w. bush president will be remembered for is his famous "read my lips",. here is republican presidential nominee george h.w. bush at the 1988 republican national convention in new orleans delivering that line. [video clip] bush: my opponent will not rule out raising taxes but i ll. congress will push and i will say no.
they will push again and i will say to them -- "read my lips, no new taxes." [cheers and applause] [end video clip] host: marilla is calling from washington, d c -- washington, d.c. caller: there are so many wonderful things that people are saying and i will not repeat them, so i thought i would share a vignette of his life. i was a political appointee although i did not work directly in the white house. i was on two commercial sites reflectswhich to me the great humility of this man. on the one flight i had with him from honolulu, hawaii to houston, texas, i sat right next to him. the man could not have been
nicer, more engaged with me. we had an hour-long conversation about his administration, the people we knew. he was just as nice to me and as nice as he was to the flight attendants. i just left with the same feeling i had always had about him, that he is just a humble with the soul of great humanity that anyone can ask for. the other flight was from houston to washington, d.c. he went up and went to the galley and talked to the flight attendants and entertained autographs to the passengers in the back. it is a great testament to this wonderful man and what a great loss and is for our country -- great lost it is for our country. i have hope that yet another
loss of a great republican like john mccain will serve to highlight the horrible situation that we are in under the current president. thank you so much. host: mark is calling from novelty, ohio. caller: good morning. thank you for c-span. it is about time, after his wife kicked off a few months ago. a lot of people do not know. barbara, daughter of alastair crowley, one of the biggest satanists in the world, that is what these people followed. callingt's go to jim for more chester, massachusetts. -- worcester, massachusetts. caller: i am very proud of president bush, although i did not vote for him. for viceor him president twice and that is the
only time i ever did vote republican, and successfully. , reading with him political sites when he was the when stuff wasan changing from democrat to republican. he was one of the pioneers and that probably led to the presidency of the republican party or national chairman. when i was in washington, d.c., i worked across the street from the white house and then i moved to lincoln, massachusetts, where one day on a snowy day outside, i was at the post office and i went into a little side shop handicrafts,ad and and i was talking to this lady for a long time. she, i later learned, was his sister. she was so modest. she mentioned one thing.
my brother rides on air force one. it was at the air force base that time next to lincoln. they were wonderful family. and hisreat values example of public service is something we do not get very often. i am also very proud of our current president who came out of the business world. there is a lot of pluses and minuses. whoot to look at every man puts his foot up there to be president is going to take a lot of criticism, and a lot of accolades. george bush deserves the highest of them. the one hesitancy i have is a retired military member is that in the 100 day war, we did not go all the way to baghdad and
at that don -- sadam time. that is the only criticism i have. he did get us out of there weekly. -- quickly. that is what we need to see from future presidents, get us out of wars as soon as possible, but if possible win and win decisively, putting the enemy down. president bush, thank you, thank you so much for your life. host: tributes are still coming in from around the nation. we have a tweet from former texas governor rick perry -- our nation honors the life and legacy of president george h.w. bush. his unwavering service to our country and his family are unparalleled. we also have a tweet from greg abbott -- texas mourns the loss of one of our greatest residents, george -- presidents,
george h w bush. he was an american hero, an icon. he was a friend to all he met. he embodied class and dignity. on behalf of the lone star state, celia and i -- cecilia and i offer our thoughts and prayers to the entire bush family. president george h w bush loved was texas a&m for all . this was in a texas a&m game in college station. he will always be cherished for his love of texas tradition. let's go to andy from owensboro, kentucky. caller: good morning. alluld like to thank you for the good job you do every day. i take my hat off to you. i remember when mr. bush went to illinois, and my dad was a coal miner.
one of his partners that they was down working, the guy told my dad, i have never seen a president. my dad said, we will go through a couple of these tunnels and be there when they bring him down. they made their way through and sure enough, when mr. bush landed they was able to meet mr. bush and shake his hand. another thing i remember is when the war did break out, before that i remember when mr. bush called billy graham and billy graham came to the white house and they prayed before mr. bush did anything. praying ateed more the white house and all over. i just think the lord for mr. bush -- thank the lord for mr. bush, for the service he did. my prayer goes out to his family, because i lost my dad and i know how it is.
i know what they are going through right now. we just need to be praying also for our president right now, mr. trump. he is facing a lot on his plate, and we need to be praying, america. we need to turn back to the bible. host: justin is calling from petaluma, california. i just wanted to respond to the last person who was speaking. when georgeager bush was the president. i have always been raised but we have had so many republicans before that, that when clinton won the we were, something
hoping was going to happen. this last man is talking about wasbilly graham, i think it come went and saw the president. -- i think it was, went and saw the president. they prayed together and something. i just wanted to know if that gentleman knew that really graham was caught with a -- billy graham was caught with a prostitute. i feel sorry for the younger bush family. i would not want anybody in my family to die. i am really not going to say much anything bad about bush, except that there were people who thought he was coming from the cia, that he was very dangerous.
times, and nowe i am us wish we had somebody like him. he actually disagreed with our current president on many issues. thank you, and i watch your show every night. host: let's go to tammy from new york. good morning. caller: yale skull and bones. host: let's go to william calling from northampton, massachusetts. caller: how are you doing? i just wanted to say that president bush back in the 1990's, i was a younger person. votes my first time to during the third-party candidate when ross perot came on the ticket. first time a
third-party candidate took enough votes from either party to swing the vote totally in the other direction, and that is why clinton had his administration for eight years after that. that was pretty significant. while ross perot had every right to vote, he used his money and power in a different way and really disrupted the chain of things, the natural progression, with his third-party entry. host: tweets are in tribute to president bush coming in from all sides of the aisle. here is a tweet from senator amy klobuchar -- george h.w. bush was the last world war ii veteran to serve as president, but also remember him as a statesman. he treated friends and rivals with great dignity, and viewed the world through the lens of
history. americans have lost a true leader. justin is calling from montgomery, texas. good morning. caller: good morning. thank you so much for taking my call. he was the sort of man who forged documents in order to dodge the draft. that says it all about this person. however, people often ask me where i stand politically. i believe he was a child of satan sent to destroy the planet. george h.w. bush was a criminal. going to be joined by presidential historian douglas brinkley on the phone right now to talk about george h.w. bush. good morning. guest: good morning. host: how will president george h.w. bush be remembered? how should he be remembered? guest: he will be remembered as a man of great dignity and
character, somebody who represented the best of the great world war ii generation, and as president, we are always going to remember what an amazing job he did in u.s. foreign policy. he got sworn in, in 1989, and that his inaugural we call it the new breeze inaugural. philosophy --f one did not believe a democracy was going to spread that quickly as inferred in his speech, but sure enough, by 1989, a series of events happened, mainly the berlin wall coming down. that had been the symbol of soviet to tell a tear in his him and divide -- totalitarianism, and dividing. young people in blue jeans listening to rock 'n roll music,
nobody responded, nothing happened. bush suddenly got to be the president to oversee the berlin wall coming down, then germany reunification, making sure there were no loose nuclear weapons around that part of the world and eastern europe or in the former soviet republic because the former soviet union collapsed in 1991. the point being, there was a great help of this presidency of a democratic world order that was triumphing over communism, and he was the perfect agent to that change because he was up upbeat,er rubbed -- never rubbed winning in other spaces. he was self-motivated and self-deprecating, and the public loved him. 1992 and that led to bill clinton coming into power.
he is seen as a patriarchal .igure in the republican party he is the father of george w. bush and jeb bush. a political story of the family looms large in the same way that john adams and john quincy adams did. host: in his one term, his popularity did a jump after desert storm, but then went down with the economy. how do we judge the one term that he served as president, considering those two high and low points? caller: on foreign affairs, it was excellent. guest: -- on foreign affairs, it was excellent. his handling of the gulf war was masterfully done. bush organized the coalition of the willing, nato countries, united nations countries, basically got the world to agree that that was an act that could
not be tolerated, invading the sanctity and takeover of kuwait. he did a masterful job of not rushing to action, but to organizing world working together. that is exactly what we need to do in the modern world. he will be remembered, i think, for that. the wartime president who won his war. economy, remember in 1992 when james garfield said the economy is stupid, he started the year, bush 41, he threw up in a british prime minister's lap and it was kind of a strange visual moment. the economy cap getting worse and worse, and then ross perot entered the campaign is an independent. seldom does a third-party candidate garner as much is 19% of the vote, but that is what perot did in 1992. it allowed the clinton to become
president. he is never going to be seen as one of the mount rushmore presidents because when you are one term, it is hard to be that. he is going to be seen perhaps is our best one term foreign-policy president and has a dynasty in politics with his children, who became a symbol of the old america-i of patriotism and can dosm which was part of the world war ii generation. host: you had the generational shift between president george h.w. bush, a member of the greatest generation, and his successor, bill clinton, a baby boomer. was president bush's term the end of an era for the u.s. presidency? guest: i think it was. you do see the republican party continuing to go to war heroes and veteran politics. nomination.l get a
he loses. hero,ccain, vietnam war got to run against obama, loses. there used to be an american history. having military service was very important because you were able to see through the military, your leadership abilities. by the time you became president , your military background mattered. bill clinton never see your dish served in vietnam. -- served in vietnam. he avoided the draft and was protesting it. he took a rhodes scholarship to england and did anything he could to have deferments from the war. 1992s an odd spectacle in where you have this extraordinary navy pilot from world war ii running against somebody who avoided military service. once bill clinton won, we
recognized he was the face of the new way of american being. no longer are people putting their military background front and center to run for office like they used to do. , andwas a man of many hats the fact that he had run for congress in won, that he had been a leader of harris county , bytics in houston, texas age 40 he had become a millionaire working in the oil and gas world. the fact that he was a andomatic envoy to china our ambassador to the united nations and director of the cia. in eight years, ronald reagan's vice president, they start piling up, and you recognize this is a man devoted to public service in the best sense of those words. we now miss him. it seems like the song, "where have you gone, joe dimaggio, our nation turns its lonely heart to
you?" what happened to the diplomat and states person in american international affairs? host: wrap up for us, tell us the one thing that president george h.w. bush will be remembered for. caller: i think the one thing -- guest: i think the one thing is interacting with mikhail gorbachev and overseeing the end of the soviet union, the fact that the u.s. s r -- ussr collapsed during his watch on president and help astutely he handled that collapse by not gloating and realizing things could go amiss, but doing everything he could to help russia transit from its breakup in a way that did not create mass instability in the balkans, into central europe. he was able to stay optimistic but not gloating when the fact
of the matter was, he was the president in charge when the united states did indeed win the cold war after all those long decades. host: we would like to thank presidential historian douglas brinkley for being with us this morning and sharing his memories of president george h.w. bush. guest: thank you. host: let's go to sandy, calling for more stint, tennessee. --orriston,en m tennessee. caller: it is sad that i can see why now our country is in the state it is in. when people call in with vile and repulsive remarks, they cannot show compassion for family that just lost a father and grandfather. they want to blame it on our current president, but listening to their comments, our current president does not have anything to do with the hatred in their heart.
it is not even to say that not even on one day when we are trying to show respect for former president that passed away, they still have to skew their hatred for the president we have now. host: let's go to samuel calling from new york. good morning. caller: good morning. george w. bush was it -- george h.w. bush was a genuinely decent person. he was the best president ever. why are people saying he is satan? he is satanerves -- incarnate, he was a traitor to this country. host: there were several phrases that president george h.w. bush entered into the american lexicon.
during his campaign for the republican nomination against soon-to-be president ronald reagan, we got the term voodoo economics. during his presidency, the points of light phrase entered the american lexicon. here is a clip of george h.w. bush at the 1989 inauguration, discussing points of light and his philosophy for governing. [video clip] >> i have spoken of a thousand of theof light, of all community organizations spread like stars throughout the nation doing good. we will work hand in hand, encouraging, sometimes leading, sometimes being led, rewarding, we will work on this in the white house, in the cabinet agency. i will go to the people in the programs that are the brighter points of light and i will ask every member of my government to become involved.
the old ideas are new again because they are not old. they are timeless. duty, sacrifice, commitment, and a patriotism that finds its expression in taking part in pitching in. [end video clip] host: tributes are coming in from around the nation and both sides of the political spectrum for president george h.w. bush. here is a tweet from senator pat roberts. here is another tweet from texas senator john cornyn.
cassandra calling from fort washington, maryland. caller: thank you, sir. how are you? host: just fine. go ahead. caller: i want to give my deepest condolence to the bush family and i also want to say that those coming in and making main comments, do not bother calling in. host: calling from falls church, virginia, good morning. caller: good morning, and thank you for taking my call. i am calling to express the gratitude of the tibetan american community to george h.w. bush for being the first american president to meet. that meeting has changed the american political course. successive -- presidents have met, including
his son george w. bush, who they consider a close friend, and president obama and president clinton. despite president bush having some interest in engagement with china, he did not feel that the dilemma was an impediment to u.s.-china relations. host: peggy is calling from surely, new york. caller: good morning. i am calling because everything is not daisies and butterflies. president bush was involved with the iran contra scandal, which brought a lot of crack into them nine states -- into the united states. there was money used for weapons . the collusion with saudi arabia after 9/11 to get the bin ladens out of the country. they invaded kuwait for oil. he was an oilman. that is all i have to say. host: here is former president
bush's answer when asked about the role former presidents should serve, at an event in houston. [video clip] >> i think each one has to make up his own mind, and there should not be one formula fits all. harry truman wrote this book about after you get out of the presidency, and it had one chapter, what to do about former presidents . he suggested making former president numbers of congress for life, no right to vote, the worst idea i ever heard of. [laughter] sitting around and doing nothing, not voting. i respect the others for what they do, but what we have decided to do is try with barbara's literacy and my help on some of these relief efforts, and possibly be what i used to call 1000 points of light,
helping the community, going to our library, and helping others. one definition of successful life does not include service. the reason for less visibility is if i started getting low -- high profile and giving press conferences, they would rush down and say, look what the nutty father said. me tois no reason for still be elbowing my way onto the stage. largely, because i do not want to complicate the life of the 43rd president. it has been a little bit of adjustment, but it is a pretty easy way to do it, and we are very happy. we have a great life. [end video clip] host: andrew is calling from white plains, new york. .aller: thank you for c-span i am a democrat and i do not have an affinity for mr. bush, but there was an anecdotal story
that during the first gulf war, the united states air force was essentially having a shooting match, wiping out retreating iraqi armies moving north toward baghdad. when bush saw what was happening, he called and end to it. i thought that showed a certain amount of compassion and i admire him for doing that. i hope that people who call respect the fact that we should not speak ill of the dead. host: there is a tweet from peter baker. one of the things he pointed out -- here's the tweet -- one of the last people to visit george h.w. bush, barack obama, who saw my buddy 41 in houston. in that visit, obama said bush and james baker deserve a norma's credit for managing the end of the cold war in a way that could have been sideways. we have a statement here from james baker, who was a longtime of presidentworker
george h.w. bush. the legacy of george h.w. bush will forever be etched in the history of america and the world. it is a lifelong record of selfless patriotic service to our nation. he was the youngest navy pilot in world war ii, texas congressman, u.n. ambassador, america's first envoy to china, cia director, vice president, and president. in each position he led with strength, integrity, compassion, and humility, characteristics that to find a truly great man and effective leader. with a singularly unique consistency, he always demonstrated these traits, whether on the global stage or interacting with people in his everyday life. his passion was a deep love of family and our country. it was my pleasure and great joy to of had him as my special friend from our than 60 years. susan joins me in grieving the
passing of our dear friend and sending the entire bush family our deepest love and condolences. gary is calling from east brunswick, new jersey. caller: good morning. thank you. i am 80 years old. was onegeorge h.w. bush of the great presidents of the united states. i am a student of history, and the beautiful message of secretary baker is unbelievable. george h.w. bush did not wear his wealth on his sleeve. he was a great man, a great humanitarian, a great politician, and he was the common man come opposite of today. it is unfortunate we do not have leaders like this today. he was not only director of the cia, he was also besides being the president, the vice president. daughtermy young late
and i and my wife came to the eggroll on the lawn. george h.w. bush handed her and easter egg. we are not of the christian faith, but we came to participate in the american tradition. i mourn this morning the passing of george h.w. bush. host: let's go to michael calling from watkins glen, new york. caller: good morning. my vision of george h.w. bush was one, he was a great politician, and he did a lot for our country in the service he gave. he was the representation of a good institution of family across the united states. i leave with that note. the last thing i would like to say is, it is a shame we cannot say that about the current president. let that sink in. have a good day. host: here is george h.w. bush's
1989 inaugural address where he talks about freedoms vital role in our democracy. [video clip] peaceful, in a prosperous time, and we can make it better. for a new breeze is blowing in a world refreshed by freedom seems heart ifor in man's not in fact, the day of the dictator is over. [applause] passing.itarian era is it's old ideas, blown away like leaves from an ancient, lifeless tree. a new breeze is blowing and a nation refreshed by freedom stands ready to push on. there is new ground to be broken and new action to be taken. there are times when the future seems thick as a fog. you sit and wait, hoping the lift and reveal a
clear path. it seems this is a door you can walk right through, in a room called tomorrow. great nations across the world are moving toward democracy through the world of freedom. men and women move through free markets through the door prosperity. people of the world agitate first -- first free expression door of thought to the satisfaction that only liberty allows. we know what works. freedom works. we know what is right. freedom is right. we know how to secure a more just and prosperous life for man on earth, through free markets, free speech, free elections, and the exercise of free will unhampered by the state. [end video clip]
host: domingo is calling from midland, texas. caller: good morning. i would like to talk about the bush,on of president number 41, and also barbara bush of the the other members bush family who were politicians , who put their hands on their hearts when it comes to the u.s. constitution and the flag of the united states being raised, because the u.s. constitution says government must justly compensate when private properly is used. they are promised to defend the united states constitution. bushhen president bush, gw was asked by a reporter,
$300, wasbush, that that your idea? president bush, 43 was caught unaware, and he just simply got got that thinghe from me, you know. maybe four days before, i told bushto c-span, that gw just got this idea for me. that is why he gave everybody $300 weekly, which was my $300 that i put to everybody as an example of what government should do, and give $300 to these people. react?d this bush family did they ever compensate me for
this? printed billions of dollars to give these people, to give them $300. phone,oining us on the we have usa today's washington bureau chief susan page to talk to us about george h.w. bush. good morning. guest: it is great to be with you. host: what will president george h.w. bush be remembered for? guest: he will be remembered for being a president, for being the father of another president, and for being the leader who negotiated the perlis end of the perilou -- para less -- s end of the cold war. he had the perfect background to deal with those days.
also, marshaling an international coalition to expel iraqi invaders from kuwait. he was a consequential president. host: during his one term as president, he had the highest approval rating directly after operation desert storm, but by the end of his term his writings have gone down because of the domestic economy. what caused that huge swing in popularity for him? guest: he did have that record popularity after the war that lasted just six weeks. was in that way, a very commanding victory. it was a time when people were feeling uncertain about their own lives, their economy, the future of jobs and education for bush had trouble pivoting to a domestic agenda. then he was facing this charismatic younger politician,
as young as his son, bill clinton. he was focused entirely on people's lives in america and the anxiety they were feeling. he was defeated for reelection. that was a painful defeat for him. it took him some time to get over it. in one of those remarkable turns, t.n. bill clinton became such good friends. he and bill clinton became such good friends. host: you have a book coming up about former first lady barbara bush. what role did she play during the george h.w. bush presidency? how is a relationship inside the white house with president george h.w. bush? guest: i think barbara bush took pains to not make it clear how much influence she had. she had a traditional approach that he was the president and she was not.
that was a great contrast to what was up publicly with the clintons. behind-the-scenes she was enormously influential. she was influential in some ways we knew. her focus on adult literacy, a cause she pursued for most of her adult life. she was influential on things like pushing the president to do more to address the hiv-eight crisis. --aids crisis. she was an important sounding board for him during those difficult days before the iraq war. only with the benefit of history and some reporting, we know he relied on her common sense in her judgment about what was happening. he had her in some important secret meetings that were very closely held because he wanted the sense of what should be done. host: how much influence and how much advice did there son,
george w. bush get from his father and his mother during his presidency? guest: that is such a great question because his father, george h.w. bush declared he was not going to give advice that was not asked for. george w. bush did not ask his father for a lot of advice. he made a point that he was the one at the intelligence and briefings, and not his father. his mother did not take such a vow. she gave her some quite a bit of advice in his two terms. host: president george h.w. bush for his more foreign-policy achievements during his domestic policy achievements. how was he as a former president? how involved with the in affairs around the nation and around the world when he left the white house?
guest: president bush made a decision he should try to step back from public affairs, from speaking out because it was a new president. a president who had defeated him. i think he quite consciously thought it was not his time in the spotlight. he continued to give speeches. he co-authored a book about foreign-policy challenges he had faced. he chose not to play a public role in the nation's politics. even in more recent times with another sun running for 2016, the jeb bush in campaign for him and supported him but he did not get involved in the political back and forth in the way that politicians who are on the scene running for office were doing. he thought that was not the right role for a former president. host: one of the more
interesting things seems to have been his friendship with the man who defeated him for the presidency, bill clinton. they seem to have become really good friends. can you talk about the relationship they had after the time of the white house? guest: it is such a remarkable story and reflects the openness that both men had to turning a new page. they had quite a bitter election intle, which clinton won which wounded george h.w. bush for some time. yet for the benefit of some time passing they worked on projects together, and especially after clinton himself had left the white house. they formed a remarkable bond. some people think it was almost the bond between a father and son. they used bush family to jokingly call bill clinton the brother from another mother with the idea that george h.w.
bush was in some ways the father of both george w. bush and bill clinton. i interviewed the clinton about his relationship with the bushes a few months ago for the book i have done. he talked about how much it meant to him, how much he enjoyed going up there to kennebunkport to see the former president. host: we will like to thank susan page for coming on the phone with us this morning and talking about her memories and work with president george h.w. bush. >> tomorrow on "washington journal, we dedicate our first hour to a membrane the late former president george h w bush. he died at age 94 on friday. later, we will hear from john lawrence, former chief of staff and nancy pelosi discussing the
future of democratic leadership in the 1/16 congress. also sebastian gorka talks about the molar -- robert mueller investigation and national security policy. we will take your calls and you can join the conversation on facebook and twitter as well. journal" live on c-span. >> former president barack obama and mrs. obama released a statement on the passing of president george h w bush which w bush'spart, george h life is a testament to the notion that public service is a noble, joys calling and he did tremendous good along the journey. capital, look at the where the flight is being flown at half staff today in honor of the late president george h w bush.
president trump has ordered american flags to fly at half staff for 30 days in bush's memory and has a designated wednesday as a national day of mourning. white house announced that the president and first lady will attend general at the national cathedral. >> president trump wraps up his trip to the g20 summit today. earlier, he met with german chancellor angela merkel. here is a look. pres. trump: you and i especially. [laughter] chancellor merkel: they think it is important. pr