tv KPIX 5 Noon News CBS January 18, 2017 12:00pm-12:31pm PST
actions typically create reacti the cuff when it comes to an issue this volatile. chris johnson. i'm sorry, where's chris? >> right here in the back. the past eightñi yearsñiçó including -- don't ask don't tell, marriage equality, nationwide, and how do you think lgbt rights will rank in terms of your legacy andñi how confidt that it will endure or continue under the president-elect? >> i could not be prouder of the transformation that's taken place in our society, just in the last decade.
i've said before, i think we made some useful contributions to it, but the primaryñi heros n this stage of our growth that is a democracy and as a society are all the individual activists and and sons and daughters and couples who courageousxdly said, this is who i am and i'm proud of it. and that opened people's minds, and opened their hearts and eventually was caught up, but i don't think any that have would have happened without the activism in some cases loud and nowçó see, but izi some cases jt
quiet stand very personal. and i think that what we did as an administration was to help the societyñr to move in açó ber direction but to do soñi in a wy that didn't create enormous backlash and was systematic and respectful of the fact that in some cases these issues were controversial. i think the way we handled for example, don't ask don't tell being methodical about it, working with the joint chiefs, making sure we showed that this would not have an impact on thei effectiveness of the greatest military on earth. and then to have defense
secretary bob gates and a chairman in mike mullin the joint chiefs who were open to evidence and ultimately worked with me to do the right thing, i am proud of that. but again, none that have would have happened without this incredible transformation that was happen ink society. when i gave ellen the presidential medal of freedom, i meant what i said. i think somebody that kind and likable projecting into living rooms around the country, that changed attitudes. and that wasn't easy to do for her. and that's just one small example of what was happening in
countless communities all across the country. so i'm proud that in certain places we maybe provided a good block down field to help the movement advance. i don't think it is something that will be reversible because american society has changed, the attitudes of young people in particular have changed. that doesn't mean there aren't going to be some fights that are important, legal issues, issues surrounding transgender persons there are still going to be battle, is that need to take place. but if you talk to young people,
malia, sasha's generation, even if they're republicans, conservative, many will tell you, i don't understand how you would discriminate against somebody because of sexual orientation. that is just sort of burned into them in pretty powerful ways. april? >> thank you, mr. president. long before today you've been considered a -- under your watch people have said that you have expanded the rubberband of inclusion and with the election and the incoming administration saying that rubberband is -- it's even broken. i'm thinking back to a time when air force one went to selma, alabama, where you said your job was to -- with that what gaps still remain of issues on the
table and what part will you play in fixing those gaps in your new life. and lastly, you are the first black president. do you expect this country to -- [ inaudible ] >> i'll answer the last question first. i think we're going to see people of merit rise up from every race, faith corner of this country. that's america's strength. when we have everybody getting a chance, everybody is on the field, we end up being better. i think i've used this analogy before. we killed it in the olympics. in brazil. and michelle and i we always have the olympic team here and it's a lot of fun, first of all, just because any time you're meeting somebody who is the best at anything it's impressive.
and these mostly very young people are all just so healthy looking and they just beam and exude fitness and health. so we have a great time talking to them. but they are of all shapes, sizes, colors, the genetic diversity that is on display is remarkable. and if you look at simon biles then look at michael phelps, they're completely different and it's precisely because of those differences that we've got people here who can excel at any sport. and, by the way, more than half of our medals came from women. and the reason is because we had the foresight several decades
ago with something called title 9 to make sure that women got opportunities in sports, which is why our women compete better because they have more opportunities than folks in other countries. so, i use that as a metaphor and if in fact we continue to keep opportunity open to everybody, we're going to have a woman president, latino president, we'll have a jewiçhz president,ó hindu president, who knows who we're going to have. i suspect we'll have whole bunch of mixed up presidents at some point, but nobody really knows what to call them. and that's fine. what do i worryñr about? i obviously spend a lot of time on this, april, at my address on tuesday so i won't go through the whole list. i worry about inequality because i think that if we are not
investing in making sure everybody plays a role in this economy, the economy will not move as fast and i think it will also lead to furth!jñ and furthr separation between us as americans. not just along racial lines, there are whole bunch of folks who voted for the president-elect because they feel forgotten stand disenfranchised. they feel as if they're being looked down on, they feel like their kids aren't going to have the same opportunities as they did. and you don't want to have an america in which a very small sliver of people are doing really well and everybody else is fighting for scraps, as i said last week. because that's oftentimes when racial divisions get magnified. people think, well, only way i get ahead if i make sure
somebody else gets less, somebody who doesn't look like me or doesn't worship in the same place i do. that's not a good recipe for our democracy. i worry about, as i said in response to a previous question, machinery of our democracy works better. we are the only country in the advanced world that makes it hard tore vote rather than easier. and that dates back, there's an ugly history to that that we should not be shy about talking about. yes, i'm talking about voting rights. the reason that we are the only country among advanced democracies that makes it harder to vote is, traces directly back to jim crow. and the legacy of slavery. and if he became acceptable to
restrict the franchise. and that's not who we are, that shouldn't be who we are, that is not when america works best. i hope that people pay a lot of attention to making sure that everybody has a chance to vote, make it easier, not harder. this whole notion of election -- of voting fraudñi, this is something that is constantly been -- this is fake news. the notion that there whole bunch of people out there who are going out there and are not eligible to vote and want to vote. we are have the opposite problem, people who are eligible to vote who don't vote. so the idea that we put in place a whole bunch of barriers to people voting doesn't make sense, i said before, political jury remaundering because politics decide that you live in a district where everybody votes the same way you do soçó
these aren't competitive races. and we get 90% democratic districts, 0% republican districts. that's bad for democracy, too, i worry about that. i think it is very important for us to make sure that our criminal justice system is fair and just, but i also think it's also very important to make sure that it is not politicized, that it maintains an integrity that is outside of partisan politics at every level. i think at some point we're going to have to spend -- this will require some action by the supreme court, we have to reexamine just the flood of endless money that goes into our politics, which i think is very unhealthy. whole bunch of things i worry
about there. and as i said in my speech on tuesday, we got more work to do on race. it is not -- it is simply not true that things have gotten worse, they haven't. thing are getting better. i have more confidence on racial issues in the next generation than i do in our generation or the previous generation. i think kids are smarter about it, they're more tolerant, they are more inclusive by instinct and we are. hopefully my presidency maybe helped that along a little bit. when we feel stress, when we feel pressure, when we're just fed information that encourages
some of our worst instincts we tend to fall back town some of the old racial fears and racial divisions and racial stereotypes and it's very hard for us to break out of those. and to think about people as people. and imagine being in that person's shoes. and, by the way, it's no longer black and white issue alone, you got hispanic folks and asian folks, this is not just the same old battles, we got this stew that's bubbling up with people from everywhere. we're going to have to make sure that we in our own lives and families and workplaces do a better job of treating everybody with basic respect.
and understanding that not everybody starts off in the same situation. and imagining what it would be like if you were born in an inner-city and had no job prospects anywhere within 20-mile radius. or how does it feel being born spin rural county where there's no job opportunities in 20 mile radius. seeing those two things connected as opposed to separate.ñr we got work to do. but overall i think on this front the trend lines ultimately i think will be good. christie. >> thank you. >> you are going to get the last question. i've been knowing her since springfield, illinois. when i was a state senator she
listened to what i had to say. the least i can do is give her the last question as president of the united states. there you go. >> well, thank you, mr. president. it has been an honor. and i have personal question for you, because i know how much you like that. the first lady put the stakes or the 2016 election in very personal terms in speech that resonated across the country. she really spoke to concerns of women, lgbt folks, people of color, manyñi others. so i wonder now how you and the first lady are talking to your daughters about the meaningñi of this election and how you interpret it for yourself and for them. >> you know, every parent brags
on their daughters or their sons. if mom and dad don't brag on you, you got problems.çó but, man, my daughters are something. and they just surprise and enchant and impress me more and more every single day as they grow up. and these days when we talk we talk as parent to child but also we learn from them. and i think it was really interesting to see how malia and sasha reacted. they were disappointed. they paid attention to that
their mom said during the campaign and believed it, because it's consistent with what we've tried to teach them in our household. what i've tried to model as a father with their mom and what we've asked them to expect from future boy friends or spouses. but what we've always tried to teach them resilience and hope. and that the only thing that is the end of the world is the end of the world. and so you get knocked down you get up, brush yourself off and you get back to work. and that tended to be their attitude. i think neither of them intend to pursue a future of politics and in that, too, i think their
mother's influence shows. but both of them have grown up in an environment where i this they could not helpñi but be patriot i can to love this country deeply to see that it's flawed, but see that they have responsibilities to fix it. and that they need to be active citizens. and they have to be in a position to talk to their friends and their teachers and their future co-workers in ways to shift this some light as opposed to just generate a lot of sound and fury. and i expect that's what they're going to do. they do not -- they don't mope.
and what i really am proud of them, but what makes me proudest about them is that they also don't get cynical about it. they have not assumed because their side didn't win or because some of the values that they care about don't seem as if they were vindicated that automatically america had somehow rejected them or rejected theirñr values, i don't think they feel that way. i think they have in part through osmosis and part through dinner time conversation, is that appreciated the fact that this is a big complicated country and democracy is messy and it doesn't always work exactly the way you might want. it doesn't guarantee certain outcomes. but if you are engaged and involved then there are lot more
good people than bad in this country. there's a core decency to this country. that they got to be a part of lifting that up. i expect they will be. in that sense they are representative of this generation that makes me really optimistic. i've been asked -- i've had some conversations with some journalists where they said, okay, you seem like you're okay but really, really, what are you thinking? and i've said, no, what i'm saying really is what i think. i believe in this country. i believe in the americanñi people. i believe that people are more good than bad. i believe tragic things happen. i think there is evil in the world but i think that at the
end of the day if we work hard and if we're true to those things that feel true and feel right that the world gets tattle better teach time. that's what this presidency has tried to be about. i think that in the young people i've worked with. i couldn't be prouder of them. and so this is not just a matter of no drama obama. this is what i really believe. it is true that behind closed doors i curse more than i do.ñi sometimes i get mad. and frustrated like everybody else does. but at my core, i think we're going to be okay. we just have to fight for it. we have to work for it and not take it for granted. i know that you will help us do that. thank you very much, press corps. good luck! >> pelley: leaving the white
house press room for the last time asñi president of the unitd states. his 39th white house press conference and of course the last. margaret brennan has been listening in on the news conference there in the briefing room, let's go to hear quickly. margaret? >> reporter: well, scott, president obama really left it on that note saying that he hopes that his presidency has really been about centering on what he sees as the promise of america, trying to reassure not only his daughters but the american public that the change that is about to happen in terms of transition of power won't erase the legacy that he has built over the past eight years. something he says he not only tells himself but he actually believes. it was interesting there to hear his explanation of why he made that surprise decision to reduce the sentence of chelsea manning the army intelligence analyst who leaked u.s. secrets that at the time the white house said endangered the lives of americans around the world.
but yesterday the president chopped that sentence down to just six years. he said that time served has been enough.ñr he doesn't want to have too harsh of a sentence on that front. but he quickly then tried to pivot to others who have endangered national security saying on those fronts he does see stiffer sentences as needed. when we talked about russia something that i asked him about in terms of president-elect offering to lift the sanction, is that mr. obama just recently put in place against russia in exchange for nuclear disarmament efforts, president obama said, look, i wish donald trump luck on that but frankly vladimir putin has not gone as far as we have been willing to go in reducing his arms and warned president trump in a very careful turn not to confuse leverage sanctions as way to get
something on the nuclear front that would largely endanger global stability as he characterized it. big nations don't go around pushing around smaller ones. saying that when it comes to international norms america, no naturaller who is the president is the biggest player in the world and needs to uphold that global order. so it was theme he came back to there to reporters who haveñr packed town this white house briefing room. >> pelley: çó hang in there with us just a moment as we bring in bob schieffer. bob, the president said that if you do the right thing the world gets a little bit better every time. that's what this administration is all about. >> this was his farewell news conference. he ended on a good note saying he thinks there's a core decency in this country, that's what we're all about. i think to call this a news conference you might question that. there wasn't a great deal of
news here. the needle didn't move very much. but again this was his farewell news conference. farewell news conference. early on, i thought it was interesting, he took a little dig at the trump transition people talking about moving the press corps out of that room and there is some talk of moving reporters completely out of the white house. he said, you have made this administration stronger by being here in this building. obviously, he was talking about what the trump people had been talking about. not many headlines here today, but a very nice kind of a goodbye. he paid tribute to the press. he said, look, i enjoyed working with you but don't take that to mean i liked all the stores you wrote. that was certainly fair and i think that was a today ning for him to say. >> pelley: margaret, the
president went down a list of things he said will continue to trouble him as he moves into the private world, being just another american citizen. he talked about the restrictions on voting in this country, gerrymandering that separates democrats and republicans into various congressional districts around the country, reform in the criminal justice system and what he called the endless money in politics. >> that's right, and when it comes to gerrymandering or those political districts as they are structured, we know that it is something president obama will continue to work on as a private citizen along with his former attorney general eric holder, but i thought it was an interesting if diplomatic way to say to president-elect trump, i am respectfully ceding power mere and will stay quiet, but here's what i won't be quiet about. i won't be quiet about institutional efforts, he said, at rolling out discrimination,
perhaps the calls for religious-based registries or bans on certain religious groups when it comes to entering this country, restrictions on the press as bob just pointed out, other fronts will. so i think you saw once again the community activist side of president obama not going away, as he leaves office, but, when it comes to using that bully pulp ehind me, he won't have that anymore, but he did say there are certain things that i won't stay quiet about, and today he tried to button up. >> pelley: margaret, as you're standing there, you are about 25 steps away from the oval office. the white house briefing room is right there in the west wing. what are some of our brothers and sisters in the media saying there in the briefing room about this idea that they might be moved into another building? >> well, scott, i wish you could see just how packed wall-to-wall this briefing room was, but i will say we all fit, and that's something that the
president-elect's team has raised concerns about that not being possible just given the volume of interest in the president-elect. it worked today. when it comes to the seats selected here, i don't know who will be able to sit front row or even if these seats will be where i'm standing right now, given the press team for the president-elect and what they've said they wanted to do in terms of shaking it up. but, frankly, scott, i just don't know what this room will look like on monday. >> pelley: margaret, thank you. bob schieffer, the president said many congressional democrats are boycotting the inauguration, but he's going to be there. >> yes, he wouldn't comment on that, and i think that is an interesting development. i, for one, think that what is important is the ceremony to celebrate the transition. but people have a right to do as they choose about that. >> pelley: well, there will be more about the president's final news conference on your local news on this cbs station and of course always on our 24-hour
streaming news service, cbsn, and we will be right back here on the "cbs evening news" later this evening. until then, i'm scott pelley, cbs news in washington. [ cellphone rings ] >> quinn: [ sighs ] hi, sweetheart. >> eric: hi, honey. hey, i'm missing my beautiful wife. where are you? >> quinn: i just landed. >> eric: you and ridge. well, i took the private jet. ridge flew back commercial. >> eric: oh? >> quinn: i-i think he had a meeting or something. we were gonna meet up here at