tv Fox News Reporting FOX News November 26, 2015 7:00pm-8:01pm PST
don't start humira if you have an infection. ask your dermatologist about humira. because with humira clearer skin is possible. they called him poppy. he owned perhaps the most impressive resume of any man to win the white house. he relished the rough and tumble of politics but steadfastly maintained a public identity of dignified restraint, even in defeat. tonight, for the first time, you will hear the private thoughts of the 41st president in his own voice, part of an audio diary he
kept throughout his presidency. it is a george h.w. bush who felt things more deeply than he ever let on. >> i'd like you to hear what he said on the night he began speaking into his little tape recorder. your mother asleep in the next room. these are his reflections. >> no, the job is not finished. and that kills me. our kids were absolutely magnificent. boys telling me, we're proud of you, dad. we're very proud of you. and i'm thinking, they go back to their communities. yes, their father was president and all that. but a failed president. >> your thoughts. >> well, i never really
understood how much the defeat stung him because he kept it hidden. he bottled up this sense of defeat. >> the loss his father felt, the younger bush says, was not just his defeat by bill clinton but something deeper. >> dad really didn't accept the baby boomer view of duty and honor and therefore to be beaten by the first baby boomer president was upsetting to him. ♪ >> george herbert walker bush was born on june 12, 1924, in milton, massachusetts to a patrician family with high expectations and firm sense of public duty. his father, press scocott was a serious and forceful figure. >> one of the famous stories in our family, you go in and say mom, i hit a home run.
she'd look and him and say well how did the team do? >> as he was preparing for yale in the family tradition, united states was attacked at pearl harbor. bush knew what he had to do. >> i volunteered on june 12th, 1942. that was my 18th birthday. i knew i wanted to be a pilot and that was the first day you could be enlisted. >> bush began flying dangerous missions over the pacific before the age of 20. >> i got shot down one time. september 2nd, 1944. we were making a final strike on some islands. i felt this jolt. i could see the fire all around, antiaircraft. then suddenly my plane was on fire. >> bush tried to save his crew but two men died. he ended up in the pacific ocean spending four hours on a life
raft before this footage was taken of his rescue by an american submarine. >> thank god. you really do. you know, in that life raft, you go right back to the fundamental values. i was 20 years old. you think of family and you think of faith. you pray. >> when he returned from the war, bush resumed his courtship of barbara pierce. he had met her when she was 16 and he proposed to her just before leaving for the pacific. they were married on january 6th, 1945. life was returning to normal. bush attended yale where he got into an accelerated program and in 1948 graduated as a member of phi beta kappa with a degree in economics. he had a job waiting for him in the family investment business but he didn't take the easy pay. >> he didn't rely on family connections or wealth. >> reporter: neal bush is the
third of fourth sons of george h.w. bush. >> he did something pretty remarkable when he was a young man after coming back from war and graduated from yale. he packed up a red studebaker and went to west texas which is about as far from civilization if you can get if you with a greenwich, connecticut, raise -- >> your dad is a yankee aristocrat to his core. >> you got to ask what caused him to leave his roots and a family he adored to move out to west texas? it was his sense of adventure. he is an adventuresome person. but dad can relate to people from all walks of life. he never wore a big cowboy hat and cowboy boots but nevertheless became a part of the midland scene. >> in 1953, tragedy.
his 3-year-old daughter robin was diagnosed with lieu keeukel. she died just seven months later. >> it was devastating. one of the defining tragedies of their lives. >> the pulitzer prize winning historian jon meacham was given unprecedented access to the bush family ar rivz. >> he wrote a letter in the late 1950s to his mother about robin. "there is about our house a need, the running, pulsating restlessness of the four boys as they struggle to learn and grow. we need some soft blonde hair to offset those crew cuts. we need a doll house to stand firm against our rackets and thousand baseball cards. we need someone to cry when i get mad, not argue. we need a little one who can kiss without leaving egg or jam or gum. we need a girl. we had one once. we need her and yet we have her.
we can't touch her, and yet we can feel her. we hope she'll stay in our house for a long, long time. love, pop." when i asked the president to read that letter outloud in the interview, he broke down long before he finished, sobbing very hard. and his chief of staff came in the room and said, well, why did you want him to do that? and i said, well, if you want to know someone's heart, and before i could finish the sentence -- the president said, you have to know what breaks it. >> such deeply personal insights are what moved meacham to write "destiny in power," a new biography of george h.w. bush. among the material he drew from was a trove of the former president's private audio diaries which we'll hear much more of later. >> i first met president bush in 1998. i remember thinking even then, 17 years ago, that george bush was a much more complicated and
interesting figure than most people might think. i was looking at this as his story and his times about this remarkable life, decade after decade of service. and i really believe that he was the last of the kind. >> the same year bush lost his daughter he co-founded the oil companies. >> in texas he finds the most adventurous possible element of that business and becomes an offshore oil man. >> bush now the father of four boys and the young girl he had longed for since robin's tragic death wanted to serve his country in the political arena. his father prescott can become a powerful u.s. senator from connecticut. >> zborngeorge bush, the happy y man, is now george bush republican candidate for the united states senate. >> he lost his senate race but not one to give up ran for the house of representatives in 1966 and won. >> one of the extraordinary
things about bush is he was almost immediately thought of in national terms the moment he got to washington as a member of the house. >> among those who saw big things for bush was president richard nixon. >> nixon was a vittal patron. made him chairman of the republican committee. >> reporter: but it was not a time to be chairman. nixon resigned in '74 and ford took his place. bush flamed bush envoy to china, then director to the cia. >> when he was offered the cia public confidence in the agency was at a low, but he had this intense belief that and citizen's duty was to do what the president of the united states asked you to do. >> cia was a significant problem for us. we had just been through a situation where there were questions about the way the agency had been handled, about some of the programs that had been carried on, so it was an important time and there was a
lot going on. as we put all those pieces together, george bush ended up at cia. >> so help mean god. >> after democrat jimmy carter was elected president in 1976, bush retreated to texas to figure out what to do next. his decision -- swing for ot fences. he would run for president. >> they break out laughing after you tell them you're running for president of the united states. >> he went into iowa and he met everyone he could possibly meet and you upsets reagan. he announces that he has the big mo, the momentum, and this is going to knock reagan out. he didn't count on one thing, which is ronald reagan. and reagan comes back strong and knocks bush out. >> it looked like it could be the end of george bush's political career. he had not exactly been tough on reagan but he did say this -- >> he's promising to cut taxes by 30% and balance the budget and increase defense spending and stop inflation all at the
same time. it just isn't going to work. what i call a voodoo economic policy. >> but at the convention, reagan chose him as his running mate. >> reagan made the decision himself ultimately to turn to bush. >> bush had wanted to lead, but he knew haw to be a good team player. >> bush was the quintessential perfect vice president for ronald reagan. he never once articulated a view or feeling or policy that was at odds with the president and they became extraordinarily close. very, very good friends. and extremely good team. >> as ronald reagan's second term was drawing to a close, bush was ready for the biggest moment of his life. but while you'd expect a second in command of a popular president to have an easy path to the nomination, his quest turned out to be anything but that. [toy car horn beeping]
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with ronald reagan and we promised together to break with the past and return america to her greatness. >> early on in his campaign bush sometimes seemed unfocused and voters weren't sure what he stood for. >> when he would be asked why he wanted to be president, there weren't always crisp answers. with ronald reagan it was cut taxes, and defeat communism. bush had a broader view. he was not a campaigner whose style lent itself to sound bites. and that hurt him. >> conservatives weren't sure he was one of them. >> he was a conservative in the sense that he wanted to conserve what was best about the country and reform what wasn't. and that reform would take the shape of sensible, often centrist solutions. president bush really believed that if he was trying to do the right thing, if his heart was in the right place, and if he
produced results, then the voters would be with him. >> on top of all this, there was the so-called wimp factor, an appalachian view of him by an october 1987 "newsweek" cover. >> drove bush bananas with be called it an ugly, nasty political shot and was asked about it again and again and again. some people seemed to doubt whether he had the strength and the guts to make the hard call. bush's argument was, well, you know what? the men i flew in war with didn't think that. the men i built a business with didn't think that. the cia agents i served with didn't think that. ronald reagan doesn't think that. >> one incident that helped dispel that notion was when he stood up for himself during a testy exchange with dan rather. >> it's not fair to judge my whole career by a rehash on iran. how would you like it if you judged your career by those seven minutes when you walked off the set in new york?
would you loo iclike that? i have respect for you but i don't have respect for what you're doing here tonight. >> the line was fed to him by his advisor, roger ales, now president rf fox news. >> interesting thing about george bush that he expressed doubt. you know, you think it went okay? and, yeah, it went okay. better than okay. >> bush won the nomination by getting tough are his republican competitors. >> bush went negative. bush won the primary in new hampshire and then won in south carolina and pressed on to victory ultimately. >> his first big decision as nominee was to pick a running mate. bush chose a relative unknown, the 41-year-old senator from indiana, dan quayle. >> george bush made the official offer. i said, oh, thank you very much. we'll be a great team. he says we want to keep it a surprise so don't tell anybody. i said well, surprise.
i'm sort of watching television and they just said it is not dole and it's not kemp. i think they might figure it out fairly soon that it might be me. and he said, look. this is your first assignment. now don't screw it up. >> i am proud to have dan quayle at my side. >> bush wanted a surprise. he wanted to be, as he put it, bold and generational. the quayle decision was the first decision that bush had really been able to make in a totally independent way since he went on the ticket with reagan eight years before. >> the big moment at the convention was bush's acceptance speech. here at last was a chance to define himself in front of the whole nation. >> i want a kinder and gentler nation. >> the speech in new orleans i think made him in many ways. what was so remarkable about new orleans was he delivered this
speech with power and conviction. >> this is my mission and i will complete it. >> and he used something he didn't like using, which was the first person pronoun. he said, "i am that man." >> there was one line in the speech that would be remembered above all the others. >> read my lips. no new taxes. >> he decided to say it. he paid a price for it. forever. >> bush had redefined himself and now he sought to define michael dukakis. >> i remember that we were 18 points behind. >> he attacked his opponent over many issues but most memorably over a prison furlough release program in massachusetts. >> his revolving door prison policy gave weekend furloughs to first degree murderers not eligible for parole. while out many committed other crimes like kidnapping and rape
and many are still at large. >> governor dukakis had kept the furlough program alive. >> he really became the symbol of first dukakis' p permissiveness. >> bush was gaining on dukakis. went went on to a solid victory winning with 54.8% of the popular vote, and only a few days before taking office he took stock of himself and his plans. >> the deficit looms horrendous. there's no easy answer. to be kind and gentle we can't double the money. i've got to do the personal things to keep the congress from
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been no more momentous period in the last century than the years george h.w. bush was in office. >> so far it's only show business. i feel comfortable in the job. not quite used to being called mr. president. we went to the oval office and everything was changed overnight, quick. reagan was gone, bush was in. >> george bush was his own man and he did things particularly i think in the foreign policy sphere that were somewhat different perhaps than might have happened under president reagan. >> one thing he knew he'd have to deal with from the start -- the cold war which had been the simple fact of american foreign policy for decades. but as bush took office something was happening overseas. there appeared to be tears in the iron curtain.
in eastern europe, borders long closed by communism were opening up. then in november, the unthinkable happened. the symbol of the cold war, the berlin, fall. it was a great moment but a dangerous one, too. how would gorbachev reaction to the dissolution of his empire. >> bush insists is he'll handle it with grace and dignity, he won't stick it in gorbachev's eye. >> gorbachev later his bush's controlled reaction to the fall of the wall helped him avoid a hardliner counter reaction in europe. he's able to put himself in the shoes of the hardliners and think, how would i feel if i felt my system, my world crumbling? well, i would not want the other side to dance on the walls. so he refuses to do it.
>> i was a little more forward leaning than the president was on that in terms of my desire to make certain that the process continued and to as quickly as possible. the president clearly led the effort. >> i remember very distinctly he says we will not be bragging. we will not be out there flexing our muscle. we've got to be quiet. i've talked to that mucher. i've talked to kole. we're going to down play this and let it just play out. we're going to do this in a quiet, diplomatic way. he was very firm about that from the very beginning. >> i remember the criticism that george bush got when he refused to "dance" on the ruins of the berlin walls. they said you've won this 40-year conflict and you're not showing any emotion. what's wrong with you? and he understood that we still had a lot of business to do with gorbachev and we weren't going
to stick it in their eye. >> he pays a political price at home. he has democrats in congress, he has others saying, you know, that he didn't understand the historical moment. that's just crazy. nobody understood the historical moment of the berlin wall falling more than george herbert walker bush. >> i thought he did a good job of managing america's role in the aftermath of berlin wall. he ended the communist system, giving us a chance to have a positive relationship with both a united germany and a united europe on one hand, and hopefully a democratic and more peaceful russia. he maximized the chances of a good outcome with the decisions he made. >> the potential for chaos and the potential for the united states mismanaging that, the potential for us to see this as
a moment of extraordinary weakness on an arch enemy and to push as hard as we could. all those temptations were there, and i think that the bush administration understood that for us to be able to re-imagine europe and re-imagine the world was going to require restraint and care and the way the president managed that was really important and his national security team helped usher in relatively peacefully a transition to what we now know is a unified europe and purchased at least 25 years of relative stability and peace in relations between the united states and russia. the soviet union fell without anyone firing a shot.
but before the 41st president's time in office was over, he would go to war and be tested as he never had been before. when the flu hits, it's a the aches. the chills. the fever. an even bigger deal? everything you miss out on... family pizza night. the big game. or date night. why lose out to the flu any longer than you have to? prescription tamiflu can help you get better 1.3 days faster. that's 30% sooner. call your doctor right away. and attack the flu virus at its source with prescription tamiflu.
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>> i'm heading back to washington. it's been probably the most hectic 48 hours since i have been president in terms of serious national security interests. i've been on the phone incessantly and have written down a long collection of names. bottom line is that the west is together. >> it was the most hectic 48 hours for president bush because just days earlier, the forces of iraqi dictator saddam hussein invaded and occupied their tiny neighbor, kuwait. it was a defining moment for the post-cold war era. bush led the world's only super power, but instead of intervening alone he reached out to the rest of the world. >> he knew foreign policy. he understood it. he had practiced it. he knew a lot of these people from prior iterations. >> some of his friends in the region were reluctant allies. >> i've been afraid some of them would peel off and support a
public regime. one of the worst offenders has been my friend king hussein who is simply out there apologizing for saddam hussein and being almost a spokesman for him. he told me he wanted an arab solution. so did mubarak. both of them are in the hand-wringing stage. bottom line is a lot of these arab countries are scared to death of saddam hussein. >> we had a number of the arab countries which we thought was very important to be part of the coalition. the arab countries' demand was that we not invade iraq and that we not target saddam specifically. and we basically said, we're not going to invade iraq. that's not our objective. our objective is to get him out of kuwait. >> most serious problem that i have faced as president, because the downside is so enormous, something that could have the magnitude of a new world war.
so many countries involved. fortunately, the soviets have been on the right side of all of this. >> had the soviets not come on board in -- right after the invasion, we never would have been able to build the coalition that we ultimately -- and we would never have gotten the resolution out of the security council because they would have vetoed it. people talk a lot about building coalitions. we're talking about a coalition in syria today. well, it's not -- well, it isn't there. others have talked about coalition, but the only one that really was a strong, substantial, functioning, overwhelming coalition was this one that president bush built to eject iraq from kuwait. >> this is a guy who had been through world war ii. that whole generation had all been veterans of world war ii
and remember very much what it was like but also were strong believers in using american force when necessary. so when we reached a particular point the president was there and i think we all agreed with him that it was time to go clean out the house. >> the decision to go to war was not taken lightly. >> i want you to hear recordings your dad made from christmas eve, 1990. right before the start of the gulf war. >> it's christmas eve. you think of the families. loved ones apart. i wroread 10 or 15 letters, all saying please take care of my kid. some playing please don't shoot. some say something it's not worth dying for gasoline. and on and on it goes. the cries, save my boy. then i sit here knowing that if there is no movement on is a
dam's pada saddam's part, we have to go to war. >> first, i'm not surprised he carried a burden about the decision. after all, he'd seen war. he'd lost a lot of his friends. he still talks about the two men that died when his plane got shot down. secondly, he had already committed troops one in the panama and there had been loss of life and i can remember him dealing with the anguish he felt. so i'm not surprised that he deliberated over the decision. on the other hand, george bush is the kind of person when he says something means it. and he meant it. >> january 15, about to go to work. and i'm troubled about how this ends. i hope ya is so different stating that it will bring saddam to his knees. but then what? how do you equate it?
how do we get his million man army to leave their weapons and go back to their villages? >> when you listen to those tapes you're really listening to a man grappling with the most important problems of the modern age. >> i've never felt a day like this in my life. i'm very tired. i didn't sleep well and this troubles me because i must go to the nation at 9:00. my lower gut hurts. nothing like when i had the bleeding ulcer but i'm aware of it and i take a couple of mylantas. my mind is a thousand miles away. i simply can't sleep. i think of what other presidents went through. agony of war. i think of our able pilots. their training. their gung-ho spirit, and also
what it is they are being asked to do. just two hours ago, allied air forces began an attack on military targets in iraq and kuwait. these attacks continue as i speak. tonight as our forces fight, they and their families are in our prayers. may god bless each and every one of them, and the coalition forces at our side in the gulf, and may he continue to bless our nation, the united states of america. >> well, it's now 10:45 at night and i'm about to go to bed. i finished my speech to the nation at 9:00. i didn't feel nervous about it at all. i knew what i wanted to say and i said it and i hope it resonates. >> "operation desert storm" with a coalition of 34 nations lasted
six weeks. iraq was driven from kuwait. it was a decisive victory. >> bwhat we and our coalition partners did to stand up against zp zb saddam hussein's aggress was just, moral and right and we did the right thing. >> it was over as quickly as it started. it was necessary. it marked a whole new phase in international terrorism because clearly the united states was the sole power left. >> the only question remaining was whether u.s. forces should remove saddam hussein. >> it was the right thing to do. they didn't know what would happen if saddam were gone. but they were pretty sure it wouldn't be a walk in the park. he said he wouldn't do it. he kept his word. >> people used to ask us all the time, why didn't you guys go to baghdad and take care of saddam when you had the chance? well, guess what? nobody asks us that anymore because they all see why we
didn't. because the ethnic conflicts and tensions that would have resulted -- and it has resulted. it was a very wise decision. we would have lost our coalition and it was the right decision to make as history has now shown us. >> baker's assessment is a subtle dig at the conduct of the second gulf war as waged by the second bush administration. the elder bush was not so subtle when talking to biographer me dh meacham. he said rumsfeld particularly chafed the elder bush who said of rumsfeld, "i don't like what he did and i think it hurt the president having his iron-ass view of everything." after the gulf war president bush had a nearly 90% approval rating but he would discover that in politics, as in physics, what goes up must come down. cool. the magic of the season is here
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in foreign affairs, bush was flying high. it was on the domestic side where his presidency came crashing down. >> and now i signed legislation which takes a sledgehammer to another wall, one which has for too many generations separated americans with disabilities from the freedom they could glimpse but not grasp. >> he passes sweeping civil rights legislation with the americans with disabilities act. he passes the clean air act which is still basically our environmental policy. he does things trying to make the bills as conservative as possible, but which were in fact bills that involved a big role for the public sector. how did he justify it? he justified it because he thought that's what was right for the country. and the politics of it, the politics of explaining what he
was doing was never his strong suit. >> that domestic agenda got him in trouble with the conservative wing of his party. >> this bill will be retitled the relief act of 1989 because there are going to be a lot of people in law offices and a lot of people in the federal courts. >> but the biggest domestic issue and one that ended up hurting bush the most was the economy. bush had promised no new taxes but he into you from the start of his presidency with the growing deficit they might be necessary. president bush did not like revoking his pledge. >> he believed it was a breach of his word and he took that very seriously. >> but he felt congress had him over a barrel. ultimately he gave in. the budget passed in 1990 included tax hikes. >> he got the budget through. he did very much what was politically a negative to him in
agreeing with the democrat congress to raise revenues to get the spending cuts. >> in my view it was a mistake to raise them, having made it such a high-profile promise or commitment. i understand full well why he did it. we were running huge deficits. there was -- he negotiated a deal with congressional democrats under which he would agree to some tax increases in exchange for spending cuts. >> it's lard to remember now but the deficit at that time was really seen existential issue. it was our capacity to interject power around the world and getting our deficit under control was a central political priority. >> raising taxes angered his base. >> his sense of duty, his sense of putting the country first was that he would take the political hit that was required but he was not going to shut the government down in october and november of
1990 as troops were streaming in to the middle east. >> he says, dan, i'm going to be judged by the results. i want to be judged by the decisions i make and if i make the correct decisions the american people are going to reward me. >> he had been the most popular president of the modern era. yet, was he destined to be a one-termer? i earn unlimited 2% cash back on everything i buy for my studio. ♪ and that unlimited 2% cash back from spark means thousands of dollars each year going back into my business... that's huge for my bottom line. what's in your wallet? come happy birthday.
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>>. an enter counter with a supermarket scanner made him seem out of touch and on a trip abroad he threw up. >> he threw up on the prime minister of japan. >> it was a symbol that things weren't going well. >> in the republican primaries bush would stave off a challenge from the right and win his party's nomination. but there was doubt in the air. bill clinton was his polar opposite. bush served his country, clinton avoided the draft. and bush's political style of another era. >> he was not comfortable with confessional politics. the idea he would say i feel your pain, impossible.
>> i feel your pain. i feel your pain. >> clinton was confessional. not one of you. bush was i can lead you. and that is a fundamental worse for bush, rossxd perot was polling well and won't go away. >> without perot, we would have significant margin. >> george bush was now officially a one-term president. >> he did run a strong campaign. >> he maintained a stoic facade, on election night he was aching. >> it is 10:15 on the night he lost the presidency of the
tough decisions. he was a results-oriented president. >> when he took the oath of office, friday january 20th, 1989, nuclear armageddon was a possibility. when he left office it was not. not a bad record. >> he went out of his way to show respect to other humans whether americans or diplomatic. he was extraordinary in showing humility. >> he had principles and also common sense. when you look at how he managed foreign policy and think about how he handled domestic policy, in each case, he made good decisions. i think he is one of the more-under rated presidents that we've ever had serve in the united states. >> he's a gentleman.
he's a patriot. >> i genuinely love the guy because of the feelings he has for his family and he's an innately kind person in interpersonal relations. and i think he wants the best for the country. >> he's my best friend, and he says i'm his, and that is a big deal for me. >> we have an honest administration with no scandals. and we put the country first. i'm like magellan, i'm so gellin'. quit yellin' we're gellin'. riigghhttt. dr. scholl's massaging gel insoles are so soft they make any shoe feel outrageously comfortable. are you gellin'? dr. scholl's. ♪ nothing artificial. just real roasted turkey.
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from the hit show survivor to turbulent time on "the view." elisabeth hasselbeck gives us low down on background. amazing stories behind much of our fox news talent. >> your grandfather started an italian restaurant, right? you were the hat check girl. >> i was. >> who was the biggest star you interviewed? >> probably robert plant. >> zeppelin. it's did you know that and it starts right now. caution, you are about to