tv Tucker Carlson Tonight FOX News November 30, 2018 9:00pm-10:00pm PST
by with us, brad, want to talk more about his life and legacy. thank you for joining us. if you will stand by. >> shannon: this is breaking news. i'm shannon bream at wagner's world headquarters in new york. president george h.w. bush has died. he was 94, the oldest president in history. bush 41 spent the summer at his home in maine, which he loved so much, he talked about how happy was to be there but returned in october to texas, where his spokesman said the president was looking forward to some "proper tex-mex," the day after his stomach the funeral of his wife, barbara bush, he checked into a hospital with and infection. he went home a couple of days later. he had a former parkinson's disease. doctors treated him for pneumonia and other infections in recent years. george herbert walker bush was born on june 12th, 1924.
in milton, massachusetts, south of boston. he was a decorated u.s. pilot who flew torpedo bombers, and survived being shot down during world war ii. he met barbara pierce at a christmas dance when they were just teenagers. they got married in 1945 when he was home on leave from the war. he later graduated from yale university and then with bar but they moved to texas to work in the oil business and that is where he got into politics. he became a congressman and ran for congress in 1980. he lost the republican nomination to ronald reagan but became its vice president and finally, eight years later, took the oath of office himself as commander in chief. on his watch, a lot of foreign policy got done. the berlin wall came down, the soviet union collapsed. when saddam hussein invaded kuwait, he defeated the iraqi forces. he also started a foundation to promote community service. after leaving the white house, barbara bush started a charity to help more people learn to
read. she was quite an advocate for literacy and was tireless about it. they were married 73 years, longer than any other first couple in u.s. history. they had six children, including a daughter who died of leukemia when she was just three. they've been open and talked about how difficult a time that was for them. their eldest son, of course, george w. bush became the 43rd president of the united states. they had 17 grandchildren and eight grandchildren, after barbara bush died, her husband said she would want life to go on. at the time, "so cross the bushes off your worry list." now they are together again. george w. bush, the 41st president of united states, did tonight at 94. bret baier looked back at the life of this american hero. >> for a new breeze is blowing, and a world refreshed by freedom seems reborn, for in man's heart, if not in fact, the day of the dictator is over. >> bret: george bush's hardest test as president was giving the
green light for operation desert storm. but he is credited with rescuing the tiny, oil-rich nation of kuwait from saddam hussein's million man army of iraq. before george herbert walker bush took his first step into the white house, he learned to walk in maine. born june 12th, 1924, and the town of milton, massachusetts, a family already deeply involved in public service. he was the second of five children to dorothy and senator prescott bush. with high school behind him, george was accepted at el university, but what is education on hold. the start of the second world war back at him to serve his country instead. in 1942, george bush celebrated his 18th birthday by enlisting in the u.s. naval reserve. within a year, he was ensign bush, the youngest fighter pilot in the navy. taking part in 58 combat missions in the pacific theater, bush was flying his plane on a
special bombing mission over china when he was shot down by the japanese and was forced to bail out at sea. he survived, though his crew did not. >> i'm floating around in his raft, paddling, and then all of a sudden, saw this tower come up and saw the submarine service. >> bret: with the end of the war inside, bush set his sights on barbara pierce. the two but in 1945, while bush was still in the navy. they would have six children, including our 43rd president, george w. bush. and popular florida governor, jeb. bush left the navy and graduated from yale before he and barbara moved to texas to find his dreams on an oil field. by the age of 30, he was cofounder and president of the pot off chores, which pioneered experimental drilling equipment. just like his father, he was attracted to public service and politics. after losing his first political race for a senate seat in 1964,
he was elected to the house of representatives two years later. serving two terms. encouraged by richard nixon to run again for the senate in 1970, he was defeated a second time. he moved onto high government positions. in 1971, richard nixon appointed him ambassador to the united nations. in 1973, he became chairman of the republican national committee, at the height of the watergate scandal. in that role, bush urged nixon to resign for the good of the party. >> i shall resign the presidency effective at noon tomorrow. >> bret: president gerald ford sent bush to china as a chief of the u.s. liaison office. a short time later, he called him home to be director of the cia and bush was credited with bringing morel back to the agency. bush last and left in 1977 on president carter entered the white house. by 1979, he was ready to get back into the political ring. >> ladies and gentlemen, i am a
candidate for president of the united states. [cheers and applause] >> bret: bush was seen as a moderate alternative to ronald reagan, but dropped out of the presidential campaign after a poor primary performances. a short time later, he accepted reagan's offer to be his running mate. reagan won in a landslide. during his eight years as vice president, bush was credited with softening reagan's view of the soviet union, and pressed hard on issues like deregulation and the war on drugs. in a natural progression, bush became the republican party's nominee in 1988, with senator dan quayle from indiana as his running mate. the republican team defeated massachusetts governor michael dukakis and texas senator lloyd benson. >> i, drove herbert walker bush. >> during his presidency, the soviet union dissolved, the berlin wall fell, and my wall nor you go was in restaurant , securing the panama canal. when everything came to a head,
when iraq's saddam hussein invaded neighboring kuwait. >> we are not walking away until our mission is done, until the invader is out of kuwait. >> bret: president bush reacted quickly, committing over 400,000 u.s. troops, and building a strong coalition of allies. operation desert storm had begu begun. the majority of america supported the president's decision to throw saddam hussein back into iraq and bush's popularity rating hit an all-time high. most thought he was unbeatable for a second term. but a broken campaign promise. >> read my lips: no new taxes. >> bret: would come back to haunt the 41st president. in the fall of 1992 with the war a distant memory, george bush lost reelection to former arkansas governor bill clinton. bush traveled to kuwait to commemorate the gulf war in
1993. an assassination plot on his life was uncovered, but bush was unharmed. it was later discovered the poorly orchestrated plan was the work of the iraqi intelligence service. the kuwaiti court would convict all but one of the defendants. bush retired to texas with barbara, getting in a few rounds of horseshoes and celebrating countless birthdays by parachuting out of planes, spending time with the family in maine, and reliving memories of when he was a boy. >> i can honestly say that the three most rewarding titles bestowed upon me are the three that i have got left: husband, a father, and a granddad. >> bret: while retired, his wife was active, until the end. joining forces with former political foe bill clinton to raise money for the victims of the 2,004 indian ocean tsunami, and hurricane katrina in 2005. the former presidents formed a close friendship, continuing
their charity work and enjoying annual lunches at bush's home and using his experience and insights to serve as a quiet advisor to his eldest son, the 43rd president. here, attending george w. bush's presidential library dedication in 2013, and sharing a few words. >> glad to be here. god bless america, and thank you very much. [applause] >> bret: bush even kept up with public debate by joining twitter, where he often shared photos of his colorful socks, and became part of her signature look. age brought health challenges, of course. a form of parkinson's disease that left him in a welchair, and brief hospital stays in his 90s for pneumonia, bronchitis, and a fall in his home. but not enough to keep them out of the limelight, throwing out the first pitch before a 2016 baseball game, and pregame ceremonies months later at the
super bowl in his houston hometown. reuniting with his former running mate and vice president dan quayle in july, and then catching a glimpse of the rare eclipse that crossed the country alongside his family in maine in august. one of his last public appearances was that his beloved wife barbara's funeral, where he met with former presidents, first ladies, and the current first lady, melania trump. bush recently returned to his vacation home to home of maine, joining fellow veterans for a pancake breakfast before he was hospitalized for low blood pressure and fatigue. this was the first time in decades that neither he nor his wife attended the annual memorial day parade. he wrote in a tweet, "i am forever grateful not only to those patriots who made the ultimate sacrifice for our nation, but also the gold star families heritage is imbued with their honor and harold is in."
not for his maturity and straightforward approach, george h.w. bush called this country to be better, in hopes of inspiring the people to be great. >> i think historians are going to say that we did pretty well, and that's all right for me. i'm not in any rush, and haven't come a letdown and let them make that determination. >> shannon: we also have bread prayer with us, anchor of "special report" and the geopolitical anchor on the phone prior to bret, as i look at the piece, i am overwhelmed, when i think about, one of the first and foremost things i thought about was bush 41, his humility, especially given all he accomplished. >> bret: think about how many things president hw bush did. he was a navy pilot, world war ii vet, a congressman, a u.n. ambassador, and envoy, a cia director, vice president,
president, obviously, husband, father, a grandfather, great-grandfather. in the wake of all of those things, he was one of the most humble people you would ever meet, and most people would tell you in interacting with president bush, he would be asking about you. he would be asking about how you were. there was no more figure in american history that i think bridges the gap between someone like president reagan, who was largely credited for bringing down communism, but yet president george h.w. bush is the person where the wall actually falls down during his presidency. you think back on history at these moments, president hw bush is going to be someone who
history probably smiles on quite a bit. >> shannon: absolutely, bret. somebody who, what i think about the old-fashioned notion of someone really wanting to serve their country, we talk about his navy service and all the other posts that don't get as much attention because he ended up being the 41st president, he really was somebody who wanted to sort of keep his nose down. it wasn't about scoring bragging points are getting attention. he really did have that from the gut, your country is important, you do serve it, and you do it quietly and humbly but you work hard at it. >> bret: nt instill that in his family. i mean, this is one of the most prolific political families we've ever seen. in u.s. history. the statement from his son, president george w. bush, is quite something. he says, "job, neil, marvin, dora, and i are saddened to announce that after 94 remarkable years, our dear dad has died.
george h.w. bush was a man of the highest character, and the best dad a son or daughter could ask for. the entire bush family is deeply grateful for 41 life and love, for the compassion of those who have cared and prayed for dad, and for the condolences of our friends and fellow citizens." this is the statement from his son, president 43. i think what you really saw was in the funeral of barbara bush in april, something that he was saying goodbye and a lot of people who were close to president hw bush said they thought it was just a matter of time, because of their relationship was so close, that it was tough to see how he was going to, and his current state, last very long, but he did, and he was on twitter, he was
putting out statements, and i think tonight is something that this family was waiting for, but one that obviously they are saddened for. >> shannon: absolutely prior to bret, thank you so much. our coverage continues on fox news channel, on cable and satellite. we'll take you back to regular programming on the fox station. i'm shannon bream for fox news in new york. we now have with us on the phone as well chris wallace, the anchor of "fox news sunday" who has spent many hours, many months and years covering the bush family and president bush 41 in particular. chris, your reaction to the news tonight and your memories? >> chris: there is an old thing we used to say about baseball players, we used to say that ted williams was the greatest living baseball player, and i have felt for some time that george h.w. bush was the greatest living american, and we have lost him tonight, i was
just watching bret's wonderful obituary, and the thing that is so extraordinary about it, one is how many things he did. as bret pointed out, each chapter could have been a lifetime, but it was one trapper after another, and the thing that also really impressed me about george bush's life is that he could have let a much easier life. he was the son of a very wealthy, establishment family in greenwich, connecticut, and he attended yale university and he basically lies about his age so he can get into the navy, and as bret pointed out, he was the youngest navy pilot to volunteer for his country, fly in the pacific, god shot down, ends up going back to yale and then after he graduates -- and again, his wife barbara, looking at the pictures of the two of them
together -- also from a very wealthy family in connecticut. the pearson family. they could have had a very easy, confident life, living in new england, the united states senator, but no, he leaves, goes to the part of the country he really does not know at all, texas, and becomes an oil man. again, takes the hard road, not the easy road, and to make a name and a life for himself, and that was george h.w. bush. one of the other things i think we need to point out, yes, he was a great gentleman, yes, he was extremely polished and great fun to be around, he was fiercely competitive, whether it was politics, whether it was a horseshoe game in the back of the white house, this -- he was a fighter. when he lost to bill clinton in 1992, and of course, this was just a year after he presided over the enormous victory in the
gulf war, over saddam hussein, so it was a huge disappointment, he was very hurt by it, but he picked himself up and let another faux life after that. >> shannon: he did. chris, we talked about the family, the closeness that they have, along with the competitiveness, but really the marriage between him and barbara bush, 73 years, the longest of any first couple in our country's history. it was really unique. they were equals. she was not your traditional first lady in a lot of ways. they always seemed to be having a great time together, to not only be spouses, but really be close friends and partners, and really each other's biggest cheerleaders. >> chris: absolutely. she was known as the silver fox. she had a tart tongue to a certain degree. she was the leader of the family because he was off pursuing his various adventures, whether it was china, the cia, congressmen,
oil man, whatever, and she was really the one -- he admitted it -- who brought up the family. they suffered a terrible loss, their oldest child, robin, a little girl died of leukemia. and you see these pictures here of barbara bush, her hair turned white at a very young age because this was just a terrible shock to them, the loss of their daughter. but they pulled themselves together, and you are right, they were very good friends. she knew how to deliver a zinger, and sometimes it was at her husband's expense and nobody laughed at it more than he did and it kept him grounded. >> shannon: in defense of her family when it was necessary, we saw that side as well. he was very, very supportive of her literacy efforts, something that she spent decades doing and became so well known for, and he often praised her for what she had accomplished and what she was doing after they left office, just as much as anything
he had ever done. >> chris: yeah, and they both had this tremendous sense of people who have had the advantage is that they had in life, that you give back. the literacy program, he had his thousand points of life, and i remember it when it first came out, when he was running for president in 1988, nobody quite knew what it meant. what it meant was the idea that individuals could do acts of kindness, acts of generosity, give to other people, and really contribute to people's lives, and she was a literacy program, and interestingly, for a man who accomplished so much, there were two words that he hated. one was "legacy." if you asked him -- and i had to the fortune to interview him as the vice president, as a presidential candidate in 1980 when he lost to ronald reagan, as the president, and then as a
former president, if you ask him about legacy, he said he didn't want to play on that. it was the l word, and i don't want to sit there and psychoanalyze and talk about what my legacy is. the other work he did not like very much was "dynasty." when you think about it, there were a lot of great american families but they were two families that had two presidents and then, a father and a son, john adams and john quincy adams, and george h.w. bush, and george w. bush 43, and he did not like that idea of dynasty either. he said, yes, we taught our children the idea of public service but it wasn't necessarily to be and political service. there were all kinds of ways to serve. he did not particularly like the idea of the bush dynasty, although of course, there was a bush dynasty. >> shannon: as we talk about
tonight, of course when you become president, everything on your resume pales in comparison but the fact he was a very important on bay to china, being the head of the cia, such an important background, and so many things -- he planted seeds that sprouted roots, and grew into things down the line, when we think about major foreign policy accomplishments, that was not something new to him as vice president or president, chris. >> chris: that's exactly right. it's interesting, bret talked about the fact that he was there when the wall fell in 1989. and it was very interesting, i had the chance to interview him at the bush library, which is in college station on the campus of texas a&m, and one of the things that he talked about there was -- this was november of 1989, the wall fell -- and there was a lot of push from some of his advisors, obviously a huge geopolitical victory, the end of the cold war, for him to kind of
say this was a great american victory and puff up. and he went against a lot of his advisors and he said, no, we are not going to do that i'm a because it's going to -- if we do that, it will come at the expense of mikhail gorbachev, the head of the soviet union still, and he said it will come at his expense and it will make them harder to do his job and what we want is not a victory de so much as we want stability, and how many politicians would sit there and not take the easy, obvious applause he was going to get, but instead to say, let's play that is under the radar event, so that we can make life easier for mikhail gorbachev, which will make it easier for him to withdraw, and to keep his country together. >> shannon: chris wallace, anchor a fox news sunday. if you will come back, as we continue coverage, we want to turn out to karl rove, who obviously, a lot of folks remember him for his work within the bush 43 white house, but may
be a lot of folks don't know that you are actually part of the george w. bush presidential campaigns, the first one which he ran unsuccessfully in 1980. it was hard fought, he came back, but quite a momentous occasion. >> yes, it was. actually i had gone to work for him when i was 22 years old and he was chairman of the republican national committee in 1973 and 1974, and he went off to china and then came back to the cia, and then begin thinking in 1977 about running for president, and i went to work for him. i was 26 years old. i spent most of 1977 and 1978 traveling with him, went around the country thing the foundation for his presidential campaign. it was about the 18 18 most extraordinary months of my life. >> shannon: we look at him and we talk about what a statesman, want a gentleman he was, even in
defeat, and certainly in victory, as well. he had been through campaigns that were not successful before. how tough was that one? >> in a way, it was tough, and in a way it wasn't. it was tough and that he lost the nomination but ronald reagan wisely asked him to be his running mate in order to unite the party, and so defeat turned into partial victory. he and reagan had a close relationship, and -- but you know, the thing about george w. bush that people need to remember, is this is a man of enormous courage, who was fearless. he entered the u.s. navy at the age of 18 as a combat pilot, the youngest navy combat pilot shot down. after the war, he went to yale, rushed through yale, started a family, but rather than join his father at brown brothers harriman in new york, their
prestigious financial firm, instead, he struck out for the oil flats, living first in bakersfield, california, and then odessa, and then midland, texas, learning the oil business from the ground up, selling tools, you know, learning the oil patch from the bottom up because he wanted to start his own enterprise. he started an oil company, independent oil company, named after a character he saw in a movie. he named it and made it, you think about that he left the comfort of the east in order to strike out, and we early '50s, he wanted to build something of his own. when he ran for office in texas, literally, they hunted republicans with dogs when he ran for the u.s. senate. he was elected to congress, i think he was 1 of 2 republican members of the congress from texas, and even then he was demonstrated in norma's courage.
in 1966 i think it was, the open housing act, very unpopular in the south, but the idea of every person, regardless of their race or color or background having a right to get a home and rent an apartment, regardless of where they came from and who they were, he voted for it, and went back home and face to the and explained why he was taking this very unpopular both because it was the right thing to do. that was one of the great experiences of working for him over the years, was seeing what enormous character he had prayed he was a decent, humble man, but he had character. he was strong, and it really was remarkable. he is a member of the greatest generation. the reason that we call him that, not just because they save the world -- and they did -- but also because they had the virtues and the values that really are timeless. this was an extraordinary individual who served our
country with such dignity and strength and conviction and effectiveness. >> shannon: in so many different ways, karl, you talk about his bravery and business, politics, and the military, and service. what do you think drove him? as somebody who spent all that time with him crisscrossing the country, talking to people about why they should vote for him to become president, what was the driving force in all those things that gave him such courage and made him such a risk-taker? >> first of all, he loved america. he had a deep patriotism. not the patriotism that sometimes you see where people are shouting at the top of their lungs, but a recognition that this was a great country that had done so much for its people and that so much more could be done. he believed in the american dream, he believed in the american experiment, he believed in america was a country that was capable of being even greater. he felt an obligation to serve. it sounds old-fashioned.
people you should talk about but he came from a family of wealth and privilege and yet he was one of the most down to earth people, one of the most humble people, one of the things that i learned from him was that every person deserved respect. we would be someplace and i remember once we went to minneapolis, st. paul, and when he was a young navy aviator and he was training, one of his classmates had been a pills barry and the senior who was running this food and agriculture company heard that this young pilot was going to be landing at the airport, he went out and met him. i remember president bush talking to me about how movie was that this man took such time out of his schedule to come and meet this young pilot and say hello to him and tell him that
he appreciated his service to the country. there is the humility of the man. yet everybody he met -- and i saw this every day that we were on the road -- if he were the person who was serving him a cup of coffee at that cafe or you were the ceo of a major company who was talking about supporting him for president, he treated everybody with equal respect and dignity, and everybody in his eyes was a child of god. it's rare in politics that you see somebody who can be so well-rounded, doing all of the things that he did, and remain such a decent and honorable and go to person. nobody came to the presidency with more experience. u.s. congressman, chairman of his party, ambassador to the united nations, ambassador to china in the early days of our relationship there, director of
the central intelligence agency, vice president of the united states for eight years, and yet, he was the same person to his friends and associates, the people who had known him for a long time, that they had known when he was making a break, trying to make a break in the oil patch or moving to houston and helping form the republican party there. there is a consistency to his life that is remarkable because it represents the highest values which we all ought to aspire. >> shannon: and karl, i want to read some of the statements coming in from family and friends tonight by the statement by george w. bush on the death of his father. "he says jeb, neil, doral and i are saddened to announce that after 94 remarkable years, our dear dad has died. george h.w. bush was a man of the highest character and the best dad a son or daughter could ask for. the entire bush family is deeply grateful for 41's life and love
for the compassion of those who have cared and prayed for dad, and for the condolences of our friends and fellow citizens. also, from former secretary of state james baker the third, a former white house chief of staff under president george w. bush, he says, "the legacy of george h.w. bush will be forever 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, a texas congressman, u.n. ambassador, america's first envoy to china, cia director, vice president, and president. in each and every one of these positions, he led with strength, integrity, compassion, and humility, characteristics that define a truly great man and effectively deal with a singularly unique consistency. he always demonstrated these traits, whether on the global stage are interacting with people in his everyday life. has passion was a deep love of family and our country. it was my pleasure and great joy to have had him as my special friend for more than 60 years.
susan enjoys being engraving the passing of our dear friend and sending the entire bush family our love and condolences." karl rove stays on the line with us, bret baier is back with us. bret, i want to bring you back in. as we talk about this, this enormous resume, it really would be hard for anyone to match, diversity and commitment to this country. there is such a consistency in people talking about the personal side of how much he was loved and respected and how he treated everyone the same. when we think about the fun side of him, too, quite a jokester. he marked several of his recent birthday spy skydiving. bret, he was a thrillseeker to the end, it seems like. >> bret: [laughs] that's right. we were at the reagan library, getting ready for the reagan defense forum this weekend. it really is fitting that we are here because obviously, president bush was president reagan's vice president, but he was also
such an integral part of all of those years, that really changed the introduction -- the trajectory of the entire countr country. as we look behind me, the air force one air force one that president reagan took around the world, you think about all of the things that not only president reagan, but president bush did to change the dynamic of the u.s. presence in the world, and where that stands today, in large part because of the actions of those administrations. just moments ago, dan quayle, president bush's vice president, released a statement saying, "i had true affection for the man, george bush. he was a completely genuine, decent, and honorable person. what's more, he went into and out of the office as absolutely the same man. i think that example five his character. i've often told my children, if you want a role model in life,
look to president george herbert walker bush. the world mourns the loss of a great american, but it also celebrates a life well lived." i think, shannon, when barbara bush passed in april, there was a sense that everyone was getting ready for president h.w. bush to pass as well. and over this time, people have come to think about how they are going to mourn this man, who really did change our country. and i think there will be a lot of reflections about how he was, not only as a man, but as a president, of these united states. >> shannon: bret, if you'll stand by, i want to bring in karl rove for a final thought as we are summarizing the life and even though chris wallace says he did not love the word legacy, he undoubtedly leaves from behind, karl, and it is of the
highest caliber. >> it really is. think about it, ronald reagan, vice president, george w. bush, won the cold war, the soviet union ended on the watch of george h.w. bush, and it required diplomacy in order to make certain that that moment came, not as one of exaltation of the united states bragging about his victory over russia, but instead, a quiet diplomacy that allowed russia to begin to move in a democratic direction and for the world to be safe, and to reduce the nuclear armament, to end the missiles that were aimed at the u.s., because extent, and elsewhere, bring that nuclear material out. and then, on the watch, too, the invasion of kuwait, and the leadership was strong and effective, to bring the world
together, and to remove saddam hussein from kuwait. but the man -- bret was right. this is a man of enormous character. he made a long list of public accomplishments. we could keep going. remember, this was the captain of the ncaa national college baseball champions, one of the things that he had in the office at the republican national committee was a picture of him and babe ruth, one of his treasured possessions. he had a wonderful sense of humor. i think that is why he and mr. baker, jim baker, my boss back when i worked for him in 1977 end '78, the two of them told each other jokes, some of the worst jokes you've ever heard in your life. you laugh at the fact that you were laughing at them. i want to see goodbye to him a couple of weeks before the elecs feeling but the mind was there, and the sense of humor was thers
country was there. we talked about politics and what was going on. he would come out of nowhere, he would deliver a very funny line, because he just had a wonderful sense of humor. i'm going to miss him a lot. i know everyone who knew him, everybody who considered him a friend or a mentor or a boss is tonight grieving over the boss of a great, great man. >> shannon: karl rove, thank you so much. anybody who ever met him, you knew that he always had a real twinkle in his eye. dana perino is with us on the phone as well, i want to bring dana n. dana, i'm looking at a statement that we have from former president barack obama, former first lady michelle obama, talking about him, it is lengthy and glowing, talking about "america lost a patriot and humble servant and george herbert walker bush. while our hearts are heavy, they
are filled with gratitude. the legacy of service that can never be matched, although he'd want all of us to try." dana? >> dana: thank you for having become a shannon. we will now see a national bipartisan morning for president george h.w. bush, affectionately known as 41. i certainly agree with everything that karl said. it was such an honor and privilege to know him, to have worked for his son, certainly. he set an example for all of us. people have talked about tonight on your air, shannon, his character. i also wanted to mention a couple of other things. he taught us important might le lessons, how to live a life. this was a man who loved life. he went through so much, as karl mentioned, a college baseball player, a fighter pilot, then a husband and a father, a businessman, becomes a congressman, ambassador, the
cia -- people often forget he was head of the cia. vice president, president, but most important to him as being a father and a grandfather and then a great grandfather, of course. he truly was a thousand points of light, which was his legacy of giving that was so important to him. he taught us, i think, to live with gratitude, and with grace and dignity, but also, just this unbelievable modesty that sometimes frustrated his communications handlers because he would never, ever brag about himself, and then makes it sometimes hard when you are running for office, trying to convince people that you are the best one for the job. i also picked up a couple of weeks ago the book that 43, george w. bush, wrote about his father, it's called "41: a portrait of my father," and i think, upon learning this news
tonight, as sad as it is, of course, one of the things i remembered from that book, and i just looked it back up, is that remember that president bush and barbara bush lost their daughter robin to leukemia when she was only four years old and this was a heartbreak that nearly broke them, and barbara bush talked about it in the aftermath and leader years, and apparently, as 43 rights, as 41 contemplated his own mortality, he recently asked his minister whether he would meet robin and heaven,a child or look like an adult. they said that is one of the great mysteries, and the first thing i thought of, is, now he knows. >> shannon: so many references, the fact that they are back together, he and his wife, and the precious daughter that they lost, and they talked about the great anguish and the suffering that they went
through, and now together again tonight. dana, if you'll stick around, i want to bring bret back in with more of the statement we have from former president obama and first lady michelle obama. they wrap up their statement saying, "what has tapped into the qualities that make this country's great, service to others, commitment to leaving behind something better, sacrifice and the name of lifting this country closer to its founding ideals, our thoughts are with the entire bush family tonight in a who were inspired by george and barbara's example." we know that is a lot of people across the partisan aisle. >> bret: shannon, if there was a president who was my bipartisan -- more bipartisan, there really weren't many of th. eisenhower was one of them, clearly, reagan was one of them with his relationship with o'neill, by george h.w. bush was one of them, as well, really wanted to reach across the aisle in numerous ways, but
especially when he launched the invasion of iraq to take down saddam hussein and really to liberate the kuwaitis. did not end up taking down saddam hussein in that effort and was criticized at some point for not going further at that point, but the reason he did not is because he didn't have the coalition's backing at point. he actually, for launching the war to liberate kuwait, had the biggest international coalition of any president that has ever assembled a coalition. one of the things about george h.w. bush is that he always reached out across the aisle. he established a really strong relationship with bill clinton. in their afterlife, as you've talked about before, they had, after the presidency, a life of raising money for charity, one in which they established a very
close relationship. but president h.w. bush will go down as somebody who was one of these presidents who is not tremendously ideological. he was about getting stuff done, and i think history -- jon meacham wrote a large book about president bush's life, and i think you look at that, and the span of all the things that happened, there will be a lot of things remembered, from 1924- 1924-2018. >> shannon: enormous foreign policy achievements, when people look back at his acknowledgments as president on coming through the reagan years as vice president as well, those are notable. but so many things domestically, too, he had a hand in making sure happen, the americans with the disability act. a landmark piece of legislation that somebody who used to practice labor and employment law, i tried many -- handled many cases under the ada and how
important it was to make a way for people to have a place in the workplace and society, despite any physical challenge that they may have, so there is a law that happened domestically, as well, even though he had just one term as the head of the white house, bret, as commander-in-chief. >> bret: think how challenging that was, though, as i'm standing here and there reagan presidential library, for a vice president to follow one of the most popular presidents, and president reagan. obviously, and his second term president reagan approval ratings went down to bed, but here is a vice president who steps in a roll of someone who is taking over for that is than life figure. now president reagan fought communism more than any other president perhaps. the berlin wall goes down under george h.w. bush. it happens and i research this and wrote about it, and at the time, his press secretaries
run into the oval office and say, do you want to make a statement? and george h.w. bush says, no, i don't. and they say, why? you have to make a statement, it's happening, it's happening live. he said, i really don't want to dance on the top of the berlin wall coming down. i want to establish my own relationship with mikhail gorbachev. i want to establish it in a way that respects him and doesn't tap dance on this moment. i think that moment, more than any other, when the berlin wall comes down, and george h.w. bush does not take that moment to say, "see, we won," says more about the man and how he dealt with things than many other things. >> shannon: i know that you -- have had a chance, but if you have a chance to go the presidential library, they are always interesting places, no
matter whom the president was. when you walk through there and read about his navy service on the story about him being shot down, you talk to her and walk through each chapter of his life, it is so varied, and we think about lighthearted moments with him, too. we know he didn't like broccoli. he loved his crazy socks. he was quite a character aside from being a very serious policy wonk and getting things done. he was awarded numerous metals during his navy service, medal of freedom by president obama. as we go back to the theme of family, we think about one of his granddaughters, barbara bush, got married, took that wedding, she had lost her grandmother earlier in the year, and the family really wanted to be together and celebrate that together, and they are rejoicing that they had those moments together to celebrate another happy time before he headed back to texas, where as we talked about earlier, his spokesman said it was important to get
back to texas because he wanted some tex-mex. he was a character. >> bret: [laughs] he was a total character. family was so important, shannon, to president bush. i had the privilege of being invited to a golf tournament out in maine, and played alongside with a bunch of different people come up with president w. bush, and at one point, president george h.w. bush arrived, and he was in a golf cart with barbara bush at that time, and you just saw the love between the two of them, even at that advanced age, where they were caring for each other. it was actually the same day in that obit piece where the eclipse happened, and they had that picture with the sunglasses that you see. i think what was most striking to me was to read back about the
love letters and the exchanges between president bush and barbara bush and that a stark image at bush's funeral in april where he is sitting there in a wheelchair with doro bush behind him, and the casket in front of them in that church. there it is. that moment where he is saying goodbye to the love of his life, and i think barbara bush's funeral actually was a cathartic moment for the country and when she saw people of both sides reacting to this family that had really changed the country's life. i think you are going to see that over the next couple of days, and perhaps the next week, as the country says goodbye to the 41st president of the united states. there will be a lot of people from both sides who have a lot of things to say about this
president. >> shannon: absolutely. dana perino is with us on the phone as well. dana, we talk about the tender relationship he had with his wife and his family but he really was somebody that, it did not matter if you are a head of state or somebody who happened to be on a garden tour through the white house, he really did make people feel like he genuinely cared about who they were, where they were from. and really just had that way about him that he valued people at every level, regardless of who they were. >> dana: that's another one of the great lessons that he taught us. in june of this year, 2018, peter and i had a chance to go to maine and visit with him. he was quite sleepy that day, or doesy, he had his head back, and he wanted to hold onto my hand as i talk to him, and told him some stories, and i kept wanting to leave him be and give him some time to rest, and so i would make to leave and maybe i would stand up a bit and he went to squeeze my hand so hard and
say, no, stay. of course, you are right, he had a way of making me feel special, i'm sure he did that with everyone that came through. just be five-point a moment ago about how he was perceived in the presidency in the post-presidency, i remember speaking to the press secretary of ronald reagan and for george w. bush, and he said that when he left the white house in january of 1993, we really had however, copperheads we really had our heads hung low because no one knew how great a man he is. now he is one of the most revered people in modern history, for sure. there is a special relationship in history, john adams and john quincy adams were the first father and son to serve as president, and when 43 was asked to write a book about 41, one of
the things he asked his dad was, how did you find the strength to conduct yourself with such grace and dignity and 41 said, i had no choice. that is because he chose to live, not readily, which is again, why i think you see this tremendous outpouring, and a very sad day, you are showing the pictures of him on his parachute jump. he just loved life and wanted to experience all of it. >> shannon: he absolutely did. bret, we are looking back at some of his quotes over the years. he was pithy at time and pointed, not afraid to make fun, but something very pointed he said, speaking to a joint section of congress in 1991, he said, "if anyone tells you that america's best days are behind her, they are looking the wrong way." he was always so hopeful and optimistic and always betting on this country. >> bret: always prayed i love
the picture of president bush and barbara bush doing the coin toss at the super bowl. that was a moment to pray the country rallies around those kinds of moments. this is a family, frankly, that has been with a lot of generations of america, and we just identify with them because they have been the leaders of this country. barbara bush famously once said, that's enough bushes, even as jeb bush was running for president, and she later amended that. but she and george h.w. bush were seminal figures in this country, and i think that you are going to see over the next few days a lot outpouring from around the world. one thing to say about, as i'm standing here at the reagan library, is that president reagan really valued george h.w. bush and his consult, his advice, and
especially, as it became clear that he was heir apparent, if you will, to win the presidency, i think there was a real mutual admiration. it developed over time, clearly, they were adversaries politically prior to reagan's winning the white house. but once in the white house, they were partners. it became very clear at the end of the reagan administration how much that became to be true. >> shannon: bret, another one of the funnier nuggets we dug up, he said, "i'm conservative but i'm not a nut about it." we remember back on the fact that he wanted very much to encourage this idea of compassionate conservatism, of having a heart for people who were poor and disadvantaged. i talked earlier about how he was instrumental in planting the americans with disability act.
he definitely wanted to bring a softer side to politics, and to the game that a lot of people th is very ugly. he very much wanted to be a statesman and to find common ground. you talk about that, how bipartisan he could be in reaching across the aisle and truly trying to find solutions, and not being a flamethrower and scoring political points. he seemed genuinely about finding solutions, whether they were domestic or international. >> bret: that is the advice he gave his son, president george w. bush, 43. he said, figure out a way to find people who can find common ground and get things done. i just want to read a brief leave from, as you look at that picture of george h.w. bush looking at barbara bush's casket, historian jon meacham in that eulogy to barbara pierce bush, calling her the greatest first lady of the greatest generation. "from the white house to camp david, to walker's point,
and hours of war and of peace, of tomball to end of calm, the bushes governed with congeniality, with disability, and with grace. instinctively generous, barbara and george bush put country above party come with common common but good above political gain, and service to others above the settling of scores." there is a hunger, i think, shannon, for that. for civility, for decorum, for that which george h.w. bush exuded. it is not to speak ill of either party or how things are operating or an easy specific leader, this is just how president george h.w. bush dealt with governing this country. >> shannon: we are not having an official statement coming in from president trump and first lady melania trump, saying "we joined with the grieving
nation to mourn the loss of former president george w. bush, who passed away last night, and now a new day here on the east coast. through his essential authenticity, disarming wit, and unwavering commitment to faith, family, and country, president bush inspired generations of his fellow americans to public service, to be, in his words, 1,000 points of light illuminating the greatness, hope, and opportunity of america to the world. president bush always found a way to set the bar higher. as a young man, he capped into the yale baseball team and went on to serve as the youngest aba during the united states navy during the second world war. later in life, he rose to the pinnacle of american politics as a congressman from texas, a envoy to china, director of central intelligence, vice president of eight years to president ronald reagan and finally present president of united states. with sound judgment, common sense, and on unflappable leadership, president bush got in our nation on the world to a peaceful and victorious conclusion of the cold war. as president, he set the stage were decades of prosperity that
have followed, and through all that he accomplished, he remained humble, following the quiet call to service that gave him a clear sense of direction. along with his full life of service to the country, we will remember president bush for his devotion to family, especially the love of his life, barbara. his example lives on and will continue to stir future americans to pursue a greater cause. our hearts ache with his loss and we, with the american people, send our prayers to the entire bush family as we honor the life and legacy of 41." bret? >> bret: that is a touching statement by president trump and mrs. trump, prayed one of the things that was overlooked in te funeral of barbara bush back ins that the first lady, melania trump, showed up, and she showed up with members of the white house staff who had served under president george h.w. bush and barbara bush.
if there is any one story that you hear about the bushes in their time in the white house, it is that they really loved the staff and went out of their way to have relationships with all of them. melania trump went to the extent of bringing them with her to the funeral of barbara bush. i think that was one of the elements of that funeral that was largely under covered. >> shannon: it was. it is such a unique, small club of people that will ever be in that place of having been a president or first lady. and we talk tonight about the fact that president george h.w. bush, our 41st president, was very close and made it a goal of his to reach out across the aisle too many people after his time as president. he was instrumental in the relief efforts for hurricane katrina in the wake of that, raising money. working with former president clinton and just working together across those lines when it was for the good of the country.
we are going to continue in our coverage tonight of the life and death of president george h.w. bush. our 41st president who served eight years as vice president and director of central intelligence, among many other things. tonight he is gone. ♪ >> shannon: if you are joining us, breaking news coverage of the death of president george h.w. bush. i'm shannon bream at fox news world headquarters in new york. president bush 41 has died. he was 94, the oldest president in u.s. history. bush 41 spent the summer at his home in kennebunkport, maine. condolences and fond memories are pouring in from presidents, former advisors, and well wishes from around the world. he's being remembered as a statesman, an icon of the greatest generation, and one-of-a-kind. bret baier looks back at the life of this american hero. >> for a new breeze is blowing, and a world