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tv   Face the Nation  CBS  March 27, 2017 2:00am-2:31am PDT

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welcome back to face nation. i am john dickerson. we sat down with ronald reagan's secretary of state, george shultz last week, he told us that the trump presidency so far has been up and down. among the ups, he praised several of mr. trump's cabinet picks, including secretary of defense james mattis, his colleague at the hoover institution at stanford university, and as for not so up, the early defeat of the president's travel ban. >> what would you say are the down parts of the administration so far? >> well, obviously, when you roll out a big initiative and it blows up, that is a downer. i think it is important for a president to get off to a start where people see, says what he means, means what he says and carry out what he starts to carry out. >> dickerson: you said that your advice to president trump
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was that he not let the white house dominate anything. what does that mean? >> that has become a tendency to put decision making and even operation malthings in the white house. the white house staff has grown a lot, the nse staff has grown a lot with a result that is a dominant place. so i would hope the president might say something like this. i consider my cabinet and sub cabinet people to be my staff. those are the people i am going to work with to develop policy, and they are the ones who are going to execute it under my supervision. but they are going to execute it. when they do that, you get good people, you get all people who have been confirmed by the senate, and you get better policy and you get better execution. >> dickerson: what are the upsides of having been in business and coming to washington and what are the ways in which washington doesn't work the same way, since we have got
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a businessman as president now? >> mr. tillerson called me up. i don't know him. and i said i hear you are being knocked for being a businessman. i said i was a businessman, let me tell you, you have two big advantages, number one, you have known how to run a big organization, so you realize it is not about me, it is about the organization. getting the organization rolling so that it does things. so as head of exxon you didn't want to run a refinery but you wanted to be damned sure you had people in the company who did know how to do it. by the same token in the state department you have people stationed all over the world, so a big part of your job is to see to it that that organization works. and it is not that difficult but you can do it. you know how to do that. and the second thing that happened here as a businessman is you have built places and you have to hire people and fire people and buy things and sell
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things and get your money out and all kinds of things like that. that is kind of the way the country really works. >> dickerson: but what advice did you give secretary of state tillerson? >> well, i think the secretary of state has to establish two things. one, that he is close to the president and that he speaks for the president, and being close to the president listens to him. so together they formulate the policy. the second thing, of course, is to be clear that he has really got his department working in the way he wants. and he can do that. >> dickerson: let me ask you about honesty in public office. president trump made a claim that his predecessor, president obama wiretapped his trump tower and now the director of the fbi says he has no evidence of that. what cost is that for a president? to say something that doesn't turn out to have evidence behind
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it? >> well, he those figure out a way -- to get out of it. to say, okay, i made a mistake, and go on from there. because you have got to establish an atmosphere of trust. trust is the coin of the realm. and you need to do that with other leaders, or people you are going to deal with, including your adversaries. when i go back to my days in the marine corps boot camp at the start of world war ii, sergeant handed me my rifle, he says take good care of your rifle, this is your best friend, and i remember one thing, never point this rifle at anybody unless you are willing to pull the trigger. no empty threats. and you extrapolate that and say, mean what you say, and carry out what you say you are going to carry out. then people will trust you. and they can deal with you.
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because they know if you say i will do something, i will do something, you will do what you said you are going to do. if i can't trust you, i can't deal. but if i trust you then i can deal, and so trust is the coin of the realm, very important point. >> dickerson: some people heard president trump's inaugural address and some of the things he said and they feel like his version of nationalism is pulling america back a little from its foreign commitments, he argues, the president does, america has been extended too far overseas and has lost focus on what is happening at home. do you share that view? >> well, you are going to extend yourself too far and we have made some mistakes, but i think that we have a major role in the world. if we are not there, there is no leadership. think about it. at the end of world war ii, some gifted people with names like marshal and truman looked back, what did they see? >> they saw two world wars, they
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saw the holocaust and saw the great depression. they said to themselves, what a crummy world. and we are part of it whether we like it or not. >> that was the cold war, the doctrine of containment comes forward, nato comes forward. this is all u.s. leadership, but no, ma'am domination. and by the time the cold war was over, i think you could say there was in the world a secure and economic common which everybody benefited. unfortunately, that has fallen apart. in part because we have withdrawn. russia can't take our place. china can't take our place. only the united states can do it, and it doesn't mean you go around telling people what to do. i think to some extent our afghanistan and iraqi experience teaches us something about that. but you go around the world trying to make hive better, because a healthy world is to
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our advantage. >> dickerson: what do americans allies need to hear right now? >> well, they need to hear that we are in the alliance full bore. and they have been hearing that, i think. >> dickerson: last question. you wrote a book, i believe it was called things on my mind. >> learning from experience. >> dickerson: what else is on your mind these days? >> well, i have five great grandchildren, and i watch them. they don't walk anywhere. they run. they are curious about everything. and they are so much fun, so much life in them. and i look at them and i say to myself, what kind of a world are they going to inherit? is there anything i can do that will make it a little better? so that's my main motivating spirit. >> dickerson: that's great, mr. secretary. thanks so -- thanks for being with us p and we will be right back with our political panel. >>
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which is something southern girls are taught you're not supposed to do. you seal it and send it back and then you wait for your results. it's that simple. and we are back with our political panel, juliet eilperin is the senior national correspondent for the "washington post", ron brownstein is the editorial director for the atlantic media, where, we are also joined by analyst and slate's chief political correspond dent jamelle bouie and the ben domenech, the publisher of the federalist. jewel jet, i will start with you, what happened with healthcare? >> welshes what you really saw was an extraordinary moment of gamesmanship where president
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trump delivered an ultimatum to house republicans, dared them to take a vote and pass the bill that they have been working on for a couple of weeks and at the end of the day, paul ryan, the speaker had to come down and admit that he could not force his members to walk the blank for this proposal, plank with this proposal and acknowledged the affordable care act is the law of the land for the foreseeable future. >> dickerson: what is the 11 for this for republicans. >> a number of lessons. prior to my work with the federalist i worked for 12 years in health policy and in the bush administration during the medicare part d fight and in the senate and saw that play out. there is a major difference between the politics then and the politics now. part d was a popular measure. this measure had 17 percent approval in the most recent poll taken about it. during the part d fight leadership had earmarked they could use to offer different members carrot in order to support the member, keeping the vote open in open the vote for three hours.
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now they don't have that. gop needs to learn the lesson they can take away from this moment which is the freedom caucus and what it represents fiscal conservatives who have support in their districts support that far out pace it is president of the united states are here to stay, and they are a large enough faction to be able to get what they want done. the fact is that today adam sister jerry a representative from illinois said that he thought leadership should take the 11 they should abandon dealing with these conservatives and instead out to centrist democrats which i say it is fun to play pretend, the reality is this fact hundred is not going away and in order to include them in the process, to bring them, not to draft legislation behind closed doors you have to have a more open, a more collaborative process that includes them and other stakeholder groups from the get-go, the real hard problem that leadership has to face that it wasn't just conservatives who killed this bill, it wasn't just the heritage foundation that opposed it but the aarp, every major group. >> hospitals. >> everyone. if you had seven years to put that together, how could you even make that happen? >> it was a pan ramik collapse because you are talking about first of all it is difficult to
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think of a another new president who has lost a legislative fight this big this fast in their presidency, it is really hard to -- >> dickerson: people would say clinton, and explain why. >> clinton ultimately passed his budget, he lost healthcare in the second year, ultimately, the end of 1993, 1994 but to me 60 days into your presidency, presidency and have something of this magnitude, the first thing clinton did was difficult but passed it and obama passed the stimulus and george w. bush passed no child left behind tax cut. but to ben's point it was not just the conservatives in the end who bolted in fact as tom cotton noted to you in most of the whip counts there were more people outside of the freedom caucus that opposed the bill than there were inside and to me there is one of the big lessons, all of the tactical problems and i think we should go back to the question if it is possible to work with democrats because the decision not to effect, in effect gave a veto to each fact shun of the republican party but bigger than any of that, facts on the ground matter. >> right. >> obamacare provided coverage
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for 20 million people, and the fundamental debate of the division of republican party was conservatives who wanted to take it away from more faster who would not have created anything like an entitlement and those both moderates, centrists and even conservatives who said i have hundreds of thousands of people in my state or district who gained coverage and we cannot simply pull the rug out from under them. >> i think you can't underestimate what the effects of democratic mobilization around had on more moderate republicans, more vulnerable members who are seeing angry people at their town hauls, who are seeing mass protests and decided, you know, i, i risk losing my seat, i risk incurring some sort of political damage by voting for a bill whose headline number, the headline number on this bill was 24 million people would lose their insurance and added to, added to that i think it is important to recognize on top of the strategy mistakes the bill was just a shoddy bill, a bad bill. >> and you can't underestimate the fact there was no negotiation and what that means
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that yes, you have mobilization on the ground, i was talking to a healthcare lobbyist the other day that says not that they shut their doors and didn't take our calls but didn't solicit our input and more importantly there wasn't a negotiation and so you had no buy in from all of these other agencies. >> right. >> >> dickerson: to an extent there was an negotiation when things were taken out of it to buy off the freedom caucus, you lost -- >> and in the same sense, even those things that were taken out, a lot of it, the real question i had as a health policy person, when i looked at this was not an ideological question i have my own positions when it drops health possibility but workability is it even going to work? in this sense you are asking this past week for all of these members of congress to come out and vote for something they didn't have a final cbo score, they really didn't know how it would apply to their districts and look at the senate schedule going forward, they are going to do montenegro next and gorsuch and going to be a recess and the do a cr and all of those things mean house members will be flailing for five weeks
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defending a bill they didn't fully understand. >> we talked about this before what i wrote, the trump -- in january, the core problem here is the basic solution on the private markets, leave aside half 0 the people getting coverage under obamacare were under the expansion of medicaid, but on the private market side the core solution that republicans had was to deregulate insurance in a variety of different ways and the individual mandate ultimately and the essential health benefits and what that does over and over again is advantage younger, healthier and raise costs and diminish access for people, older people with larger health needs and that is their coalition, at this point, the reality is six at this percent of house republicans are in districts that are older than the national average and a majority of donald trump's votes came from white sox over 45, cbo says 25 percent premium increase and suffer much of the coverage loss, they were colliding with their new coalition. you remember in healthcare in the nineties they twice passed a grant for medicaid under clinton without fuss or muss from republicans now it is a lot of their voters that get hit by
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that. >> dickerson: the president said he wouldn't support a bill that hurts his own voters but in the horse trading, the tax credit on older people but not get to the problems that you identified, juliet let me ask you about the president as a marketer. we know what the president looks like when he has got something on his mind. >> right. >> dickerson: he is in constant conversation, measure donald trump at 100 percent to the donald trump, president donald trump who worked on this bill. >> right. i mean, this was really, a different person in some ways, partially because he had deep -- this legislation he kept asking his own advisors whether this was a good bill and part of this was, this was not his comfort zone and not an area which he prioritized in his own campaign. aside from saying he wanted to reverse it, and so he did, you know, they can trot out he talked on the phone or in person to 120 members, but he basically was just making these incredibly broad arguments of you need to vote for this and telling you to vote for it, and as a result, you didn't have the public
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communication or even kind of the detailed private communication that is what you need to bring it across. >> to be an effective advocate the president needs to know something about the policy in question and donald trump hasn't shown he has that knowledge, so it made it difficult for him to advocate in public, to advocate to members, and it means that in these negotiations and horse trading, and we have seen reporting to say exactly this, he doesn't really have anything to say or asking. >> the fact is that paul ryan has been working on this for seven years, he was working on it when dolt was still a reality star and should have expected -- >> >> dickerson: i am going to take a quick break there and get back to this dynamic between the president and paul ryan. we will take a short break and be right back. stay with us. >> ,,,,,,,,,,,,
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>> dickerson: and we are back with our panel. ben, pick up where you were. >> so the issue i think that you really have to look at right now is the relationship that donald trump and the white house has with paul ryan. this really was a situation where they outsourced their policy to him, and other republican leaders who had been working on this process for seven years. they could have expected much better, a much better outcome from that leadership, i think, it is not irrational to expect that. my sources who are close to the white house tell me reince
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priebus who is obviously very close to paul ryan, white house chief of staff is now on extremely shaky ground, that president really doubts him, it was assured by him multiple times through the process things were going well and come out of this with a bill, obviously that didn't work out. and it is really a question of where he stands. >> this whole episodes revealed what a shotgun marriage it is between donald trump's economic nationalism and the small government conservativism or even liberalism that -- ryan, a collision between this bill -- a few weeks earlier in the budget president trump made a big, i will depart from republican thinking and exempt social security and medicare. >> which is paul ryan's piggest crusade on medicare, because those are my voters, because the majority of my votes came from white sox over 45 and we have a lot of, whites. >> over 45 and now i am going to deviate or redirect republican ideology. then you come back a few days later with a bill that hammers those very same voters that is
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driven by ryan and it is a a remind never a variety of ways, you are going to see, i think, a consistent collision between the economic nationalism that trump is he embracing which in many countries around the world includes a pretty big government component and the traicial republican drive to shrink government over all other goals. >> about this process, it is true that paul ryan and the house leadership should have had a better sense of how to go forward because they have been working on this for seven years and working in an age where the presidency is pretty involved in policy matters, and a white house has to have politics, which it has to have some sort of knowledge and know how about how to get these things done, the fact of the matter is not only does the white house not have these things, it has a lot of people new, not just to national politics or government but new to just policy-making period, but donald trump imheavily, if you look at his career as a businessman, what he is skilled at is branding. putting his name on a bill that the house produced is 100 percent what you would expect donald trump to do, and i am not sure -- i think this may
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demonstrate that trump himself does not actually have the kind of skills necessary to sheppard these kind of big legislative programs through. >> to give it the special sauce he gave everybody a name during the campaign, he was quite expert at that, make america great again had a pump it to, this never got a name. >> right. >> he didn't want that. and juliet take this from where we are in healthcare and where this goes forward with this idea, couldn't paul ryan say hey if question had the freedom caucus, we knew they would be a challenge, they always have, donald trump could have done rallies in their districts, he could have, instead of giving them an ultimatum at the end could he have started earlier and what does this mean for going forward either with healthcare or tax reform or anything else? >> absolutely, and also interestably the leverage that he wanted -- that he was kind of exercising at the end, this idea that look i am going to put you on the spot, you will take the blame for this going down and i am popular, as ben points out that is not as effective with freedom caucus members in, and those conservatives but also again he is not following through on that threat. that was his leverage, and
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instead he wants to blame the democrats and say it is going to explode. >> well, just so there is no question that he could have invested more in his ambivalence hampered it, his unwillingness to license it in the way he has done other things and i think going forward, particularly when you have the ideological cross currents he has to decide what he is going to fully invest in, do that kind of politics, both outside of the beltway where he has enormous scale and figure out how to have enough involvement and enough buy in that he can effectively sell it here. >> ben said earlier it was a fantasy to believe you could bring in some democrats but 111 clearly if you are starting from ththe get-go, assuming you haveo democratic support you are giving a veto to each faction in the republican coalition so it raises the yes, it was never discussed here, not really an option to reach out to democrats, but going forward on tax reform, in particular, where you have this enormous divide again over this idea of the import adjustment fee and tom
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cotton you had earlier, a senator from arkansas with wal-mart being against -- that is an idea that is a nonstart never the senate, they are going to be in the same position structurally where each side of the party can veto this unless they can find a way to bring it to democrats. >> which is why i think you have to have a more open process that brings people in beforehand that doesn't just try to legislate on high. the fact is that when you -- we have heard leadership in both houses of congress chain about this new brand of conservativism over the past several years, that these people are not going away. this is the way things are now and you have to recognize that and it is clear now after this experience, donald trump is not going to solve that for you. the people who would be challenging these freedom caucus members in their districts would be challenging them from the right, not from the center, and that is a reality that you have to come to grips with. uh can't just keep playing pretend. >> a more open process just with republicans? >> i think it has to include other pep as well, democrats in districts where donald trump performed well, which includes several democrats that are in the house and senate. >> and that is the kind of
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people who i think you need to be looking at, going forward who are going to have to run again in a year. whawhat one of the issues, whate the issues the voters care about in their districts. >> dickerson: given where the democratic base is anything you do to work with donald trump is normalizing him. you know the rhetoric from the left. >> i don't think they will want to risk working with the trump administration republicans to advance trump's political interests. my sense is that any democratic that takes a step will immediately face the wrath of much of the democratic base. so in this case, i do think an open process is going to have to be among republicans, and again, i am not sure that the trump white house is really ready to make these kinds of adjustments, they may want to go from an issue that involves six of the, sixth open of an economy that involves the entire economy, and they want to do so like quickly and i am really skeptical that they will be able to make the kinds
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of on the ground changes they need to make to make it successful. >> dickerson: we will have to leave it there. thanks to all of you for being here. thanks to all of you out there watching us and we will be right back. >> why put up with just part of a day? aleve, live whole not part. tell you what, i'll give it to you for half off. find fast relief behind the counter allergies with nasal congestion? with claritin-d. [ upbeat music ] strut past that aisle for the allergy relief
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>> dickerson: that's it for us today. our full interview with the former secretary of state, george shultz, is available on our website, facethenation.com. until next week for "face the nation", i am john dickerson. captioning sponsored by cbs captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org
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