tv Charlie Rose PBS June 8, 2012 12:00am-1:00am PDT
>> rose: welcome to the program. tonight a conversation with the former governor of florida, jeb bush. he's frequently mentioned as a future presidential candidate. he is part of the bush political dynasty. this conversation at the studio of cbs this morning. >> any time an elected official in the world we're in today that appears so dysfunctional challenges a core constituency, not of their opponent but their own political base, i think we should pause and give them credit. i don't have to play the game of being 100,000% against president obama. i got a long list of things i think he's done wrong with saw civility and respect i will point them out when i'm asked. there are things i think he's done a good job on. i'm not going to say no, no. >> rose: from cbs this morning, a conversation with jeb bush for the hour.
captioning sponsored by rose communications from our studios in new york city, this is charlie rose. >> rose: jeb bush is a former governor of florida. he's often mentioned for high national office including president. after all his father was president, george bush the 44th president, his brother was president, george bush the 43rd president. yesterday i spoke with governor bush on cbs this morning for a wide-ranging conversation about country, family, politics and much more. here is that conversation. >> good to be here. >> rose: you are basically saying what about this conversation about running, as a running mate of mitt romney. >> i'm not going to do it, i'm not going to be asked and it's not going to happen. that doesn't man i don't have a
voice. that doesn't mean i don't want to enthusiastically support mitt romney, i intend to do that, i'm doing it but i'm not going to be a candidate with him. >> rose: under no circumstances. >> under no circumstances. >> rose: if he comes and ask, you say sorry go somewhere else. >> yes. >> rose: and he says the country needs you. >> he's got a great list of candidates that i'm sure he's thinking about. he has a wealth of talent in the republican party. he'll pick somebody that will be very capable to be president and to help him in the election. >> rose: do you have a favorite. >> marco rubio is my favorite because we have a close relationship. i admire him greatly. he's probably the most articulate conservative elected official on the scene today. he speaks with great passion about american exceptionalism. i think it would lift spirits of the campaign and provide some energy. governor romney is running a very good campaign right now and he's closed the gap and leading in some polls but i think this would be an added benefit.
>> rose: he has enough preparation to be one heart beat away from the president. >> i believe so. look, he has more experience than barack obama had when he ran and more practical experience. and certainly got the intellectual acumen and the fortitude to be a good president. and i have a special place in my heart for him. it's hard to describe the pride i feel for his incredible success. and how well he has moved into the job of being united states senator with humility, not trying an arrogant guy. to learn the trade, if you will. and he's got great, people in washington really admire him. >> rose: he's taking time to give some well thought out speeches on foreign policy. >> that's his strength, that's where he's focused. and you know, look, there are other great candidates as well. portman, o'connell, christy, paul ryan i think would be extraordinary. i think there's a wealth of talent out there for sure. >> rose: why didn't you want to run. >> i've got, you know, personal
reasons, family reasons that that overwhelm many other conversations. maybe it's a bush trait, maybe it isn't but i made the decision and i made the decision and i moved on. i got the chance to be governor for eight years. it took kind of close to a year to transition out and a year to transition into it and so that's a decade of my life to pursue my own ambitions and i thought it was time to kind of rearrange my life to focus out things. >> rose: have you made a decision that you do not want to be president. >> i've not made that decision. although i think there's a window of opportunity in life for all sorts of reasons. this was probably my time. although i don't know, given kind of what i believe and how i believe it, i'm not sure i would have been successful as a candidate either. these are different times than
just six years ago when i last ran or even longer than that. >> rose: you know a lot of people in the party wanted you to run, they thought this was the time for you to run and you had the right experience and had the right style to make it successful. >> you never know. that's pure speculation. one thing i know for sure is, you don't worry about could have, would v you focus on the things you could control and that's what i'm doing. >> rose: i once talked to your brother and he suggested to me that in the family they thought that you would be the next son to run for president. >> i read about that. >> rose: it's your brother saying that. >> i know that. he probably read about it. this may sound impossible to believe. i'm reading the carroll book on johnson and the kennedy family seems to be organized around political ambitions. and we never, there was never even a conversation about i
could remember about george running and me running. i never heard it in my family any discussion of it. that's just not what we talk about. we talk about more important things like sports and fishing. >> rose: and power boats. >> power boats for dad, yes. >> rose: the thing that strikes me about the bush family is the sense of family. >> yes. >> rose: that's from the father? >> that's from -- >> rose: and the mother. >> father and mother and grandmother in a lot of ways. it's a strong family for sure and we're fiercely loyal to one another. i remember in 1987, my dad was going to run for president and we had a family meeting and he introduced us to, we all knew him but dad introduced us to lee atwater who was going to be the political director. i remember asking lee a question. i said if someone threw a hand grenade into this room would you beat me to that hand grenade. that's how i wanted the frame the conversation about loyalty.
>> rose: you wanted him that loyal to say yes that's how i feel about taking care of your father and this family i'll jump on that before you. >> i don't know if he could have beaten me to the grenade but at least trying would have been a nice start. and he did. i think that, in my mind describes the affection we have for our dad. >> rose: if you believe that, you also have to believe your dad's sense of service, your brother's sense of service, and in a sense that the bush family continues to have something to contribute. and that being president is the ultimate power place to make things happen. >> it's just not in the cards for me at this time. and as i said, i don't know, i don't fret about this. i have a blessed life in so many ways and i get to participate in politics and i get to participate where my passions are which is part of an army of reformers. one part only but a group of people around the country that are trying to transform
education. >> rose: so reforming education is your number one priority. >> yes. >> rose: define the difference between the president and governor romney and what this debate ought to be about. >> well the difference is the role of government in our lives and in creating an environment where we can get back on track economically. that's the driving issues, those two issues of size and scope of government, and then how, the role government plays in creating sustained economic growth. it's huge differences of opinion on that, and i think that's where the campaign plays out. president obama is making a case that economic security trumps everything else and is saying i think it's a false choice but he's saying if we redistribute wealth more people will benefit through government receiving the chance to be secure in their
economic livelihood. governor romney's approach is the one that's more traditional in our country which is to say we need to create a climate of opportunity where people succeed and fail with government playing a role in building capacity, playing a role in providing security from a national level, creating a role for infrastructure but not trying to pick winners and losers all the time. that's a big difference. and i hope the campaign is about that and not about peripheral issues because this could be one of those defining elections. this could be something that looks like, you know, 1980, where there was a clear choice and the country went in a different direction. >> rose: reagan versus carter. >> yes. >> rose: when you look at this race and the role of government, do you support what the president did in bailing out general motors. >> i don't. i don't, and i think it's been way overplayed, the difference between a more traditional approach and a control
bankruptcy with a government. >> rose: that would have been better controlled bankruptcy rather than bailing out general motors which is healthy today and jobs were saved. >> jobs would have been saved in the other format as well. that's the point. so you know, saying which dealership gets closed, which one doesn't. creating, forcing a foreign automobile manufacturer into the equity mix and ratcheting down. >> rose: having to do with chrysler. >> this would be fiat, and creating equity positions for the unions in both companies. those were both bankruptcies. one was driven by politics and one is driven by a more traditional role. >> rose: people like general motors saying it's a good idea to saift company. >> the ceo that's there now or the former ceo. >> rose: the one that's there now. >> i don't think the other guy did. >> rose: the other one was fired kind of a consequence. >> the cars that are being sold now are cars built prior to the
bankruptcy. gm was, it's still a work in progress by the way. it's not necessarily, i mean it's a success on the surface but it's always harder to say what would have happened had we gone a different path. i think it's very dangerous for the government to be in that kind of activist role. i'll tell you a story, charlie, i was watching the president of the united states castigate a secured death holder by name, the name of the company by saying you're holding out. >> rose: chrysler i would assume. >> it's chrysler. and holding out. at the pulpit of the whitehouse castigating whatever the name of the company was, and forcing them to vote yes because it required unanimous concept or something like that. it angered me so much, it troubled me so much that you have that much engagement by the federal government by the president of the united states that i sold my chrysler which i actually liked and bought a ford which didn't get a bail out,
pays taxes doesn't have security loss carry forwards, made a commitment to its union in a traditional way. didn't have the hyper activity and ford i think is deserving of more praise than general motors or chrysler. >> rose: because they went out and borrowed the money beforehand before the collapse became and they were in a good position when they did come. >> kudos for -- >> rose: -- pay back -- >> of course they do because in a bankruptcy the debt is totally reduced. not only that, we now learn that when, because of lower debt service and because of china and other places, gm is making money, great. i'm all for that. but they're not paying taxes. they have a tax loss carry forward because in bankruptcy world they are allowed to keep these tax loss carry forwards. not a single tax dollar being paid. that's what happens, the distortions when you have that much government involvement is
dangerous for our country. i think across the spectrum of policy making, regulation, a response to a crises, you know. look, the guy was dealt a difficult hand in the automobile industry, so they made their choice. but the default always to more government is now creating a cloud of uncertainty that makes this recovery the worst in modern times. >> rose: and so you believe that the president wants to use government rather than government as a last choice because the economic circumstance that he faced not unlike the economic circumstance your brother faced. >> right. >> rose: demanded government action at the time. your brother believed that even though he was reluctant to do it, the president believed it and now being accused of being in favor. >> i would say he defaults to that position. as a natural thing. i think he believes what he believes. i don't, unlike some that i hear that ascribe bad motives, i don't ascribe bad motives i just ascribe a bad philosophy. i do agree he was dealt a
difficult hand and there could have been short term things. i do support for example the bank bailout. you don't know -- >> rose: you supported tarp. >> tarp or a version of tarp that had intervention to stabilize the financial markets because they had, they are so fully integrated into life and into the global economy that having some stock measure made sense. but my point is that beyond that, the president instinctively and his team more importantly instinctively believes that government involvement across the spectrum of the economy, across the spectrum of life is the place to start, not the place to end. >> rose: when you look at this election, president clinton says it all -- ought to be abot the future, it ought to be what will the next four years look like under president obama and what would they look like under president romney. governor romney says it ought to be a referendum on what the president has done and his
policies. should it be about the future or should it be about looking back. >> i think it should be about both. because past is prologue. up here in new york, you know where i didn't hang out much until i was closer to my governorship world. >> rose: you hang out here a lot now. >> more, more. and i'm always surprised that people, many people voted for president obama up in this world here and were surprised that he took a path that was pretty clear for a lot of us. he said what he was going to do. there shouldn't be any surprises. and it hasn't worked to the extent that he promised. so i think that's fair game politically because it's not only fair game because he did it and his economic policies i think generally people believe that failed but it's also an indicator of what to expect in the next four years. but the campaign also ought to be about the future and i think governor recall knee has an obligation -- romney has an obligation to lay out his vision
what the role of government should be as well and i think he will do that. >> rose: he pretty much agrees with what paul ryan believes in terms of paul ryan's budget, that's what he said. are you in the same place on that. >> absolutely. that's the starting point, unfortunately. i mean when you have a budget that has grown pretty dramatically or both for passive, because of the downturn of the economy, there's demands on government. but also because of this more activist agenda that the democrats in the first two years embraced the stimulus and other thing. we've had a growing government. $.40 is financed with shortening maturities at 0% interest so there's no paying attached tight. but $.40 of every dollar is financed rather than used, rather than having revenue attached tight. that's just not sustainable. it's a false hope to sustain
that. the federal reserve buys treasures, we lawyered the maturities and we're not as bad off as you're. >> rose: would you have the fed do anything different. >> i think we need to move away from this perpetual quantitative reason. in my home state of florida, we asked people to retire and to provide for themselves. it's kind of the american way. a whole lot of people have done that. they bought their home under duress, they didn't do all the fancy mortgages but their prices went down like everybody else's. their savings, there was an assumption that they could buy a cd or have a mature fund. an interest rate climate that was normal, they could save, they could live off the savings of their hard earned work. today, they get no return on it. and they have the asset of their home has been wiped out. now, we're rewarding the borrowers in this case the
federal government at the expense of the savers. i'm not sure that should be the proper policy of the united states. >> rose: you know that we're facing a fiscal cliff. >> yes. >> rose: for a combination of reasons having to do with the bush tax cuts, having to do with raising the debt ceiling. you in testimony before congress said that you were okay, as you well know, with $10 of spending cuts for $1 of tax revenue. >> yes. >> rose: but that's a different position than every republican candidate in the primary. >> i know. >> rose: jeb bush says it here, mitt romney and everybody else over here. >> look i can appreciate why they are reluctant to say that because commitments on spending are, you know, hard to implement. commitments on raising taxes immediately happen. it seems like historically you could have deep distrust that that's the case. so i can understand the caution in that regard but if you're asked a hypothetical question,
which i was. >> rose: and which they were. >> they were. >> rose: and only you had the courage to say i wouldn't go there. >> it was living proof i'm not running for anything. >> rose: if they hadn't been running they might have said something different. >> i hope so because we have unsustainable deficits. >> rose: i haven't heard governor romney say i take that position. i will be prepared to raise taxes. >> no. >> rose: if in fact i have $10 of spending -- >> this is where it gets dangerous. i didn't say raising taxes. >> rose: you said revenue. >> there's a way of eliminating deductions, three things you can could do. >> rose: they might be prepared to go there. nor tice who you refused to say said that's not a logical way to go. he says reducing reductions is raising taxes. >> here's what i know to be true. next year or the year after there's going to have to be a grand bargain. we are on an unsustainable course. it is not possible to continue to do what we are, what we're
doing today. it's just not possible. and i think most people that have looked at our structural deficit problems would admit that if they were put on a lie detector or under oath or something like that, they would admit it. and so i just, i'm a little, i find it, it's not amusing, it's kind of sad yet there isn't that recognition. at a minimum just at least recognize that we have the structural deficits because on the other side, there's no admission. i mean the ryan budget is the only budget. it's the only budget with any details. he's the only guy who started the conversation. the president's budget is dead on arrival doesn't have enough details. the senate doesn't even pass a budget. so here's paul ryan with a specific glide path to lower the deficit. i mean the deficit still goes up but it goes up at a slower rate. and he is demonized personally
and his ideas are demonized and it's part of the attack campaign of the president who is the president, he's not the challenger, he's the president of the united states. he should be defending. >> rose: he calls it social darwinism orifice cull darwinism. >> in that kind of environment you can see why candidates are reluctant to speak their mind i guess. >> rose: at the same time though you were saying to house republicans, go for grand bargain. structural deficit, the amount of debt in the united states is too high and it's crucial to our future to reduce that deficit. and we're going to have to do something on the revenue side. what has happened in the republican party that they cannot look at the revenue side and that they are taking principle and letting it get in the way of philosophy or ideology and get in the way of a bargain that's essential for the economic welfare of the country. >> i would say that if you go back to the 1980's, the
president that people most adore, they literally, it's adoration, i would be in that camp as well is ronald reagan. recalled reagan was -- ronald reagan was a man of great principles but he paused about cutting deals. >> rose: he knew it was necessary to make the deal. >> big things happened because he was willing to find common ground. big things, not little things. big things happened and i think it's okay. it requires leadership and it sthawrtsz with -- starts with the president. this president could do it. >> rose: the president would say john boehner is the speaker of the house and he was trying to get the grand bargaining with the president. >> i would argue that there's a disproportionate responsibility for the president. he's president. he's one person in that job. in these collective bodies, they can be partners but they can't lead. and here we've had a president that's decided there is a higher
probability of winning in a divided country, higher probable fee of winning a close election dividing the country even more than trying to go for the grand bargain and lead and use his responsibility as president to be the organizing principle of his campaign. and you could see why he wouldn't do that because the risks of that of failure, his own base could abandon him, the republicans might not have gone along. but he didn't try. and i think we're at a point now where there should be an expectation that public leaders take a risk at the expense perhaps of their re-elections to do what's right. >> rose: you believe this dysfunction in washington can be overcome. >> it will be overcome either by volunteer activity amongst themselves. by the way, last friday paul ryan did invite me, and he was a gracious host but the lack of civility in these committee hearings was unbelievable. i mean rule staffers passing out pieces of papers for congressmen
to read. like they've outsourced their brains to be able to have a dialogue about a view even though we don't agree at least have some degree of civility. it's unbelievable. >> rose: are you saying the democrat members of the committee were not civil with you? >> no, i don't think they were. i mean it's laughable. i'm not offended. it was just a vivid reminder how we have armed camps now. it's a shame because we have bigger problems that need to be faced. and eventually they're going to be faced either when we lose our capability of solving them ourselves. now, you know, we have another pause in that possibility with europe's problems. so we're like, you know, people are rushing to treasuries but that doesn't mean we don't have problems and eventually they will be dealt with. >> rose: people believe if europe goes down and something bad happens to the euro zone something will happen to our
economy. >> it already has. it's had an impact on lower energy prices on one hand which is good but instead of impact already on job creation because there's less demand. >> rose: should we live in a country in which government encourages alternative sources of energies? >> not like a venture capitalist would. that's about as dumb an idea that's been proven out that it doesn't work. >> rose: you believe if you encourage it through government action it will lead to something like -- >> if you're picking winners and losers it's not the right thing to do. having said that there are ways government could play a role. we have incredible research capability that has come out of government funding. both in the nih, department of -- department of defense. >> rose: there's the internet revolution. >> i think that's the proper role is to use for basic and applied research, to have, find the next disruptive innovations across the spectrum of life. >> rose: and encourage them. >> encourage them in what way. >> rose: i mean tax policy
for example. >> i think we should move away from well intended tax policy. everybody's got a great idea how to use the code. i could give you a list. and shift, we should aspire to pax simplification, tax reform. you lower rates to be competitive globally and eliminate as many deductions and credits and grants and all the things that really effectively end up being spending. >> rose: one of the first things you'd like to see a president romney if that happens is a total reform of the tax code. >> yes. i completely believe that is the case for the reason it helps create a climate of sustained economic growth which is great for everybody but it also shifts power away from washington d.c. which is now the most prosperous part of the country in terms of house prices, median income levels, the surrounding counties around whington d.c. are now the most prosperous part than
fancy upper east side or upper west side new york. >> rose: why is that. >> it's because it's now become a trough where government provides a chance for people to sell their wares. and the tax code is the kissing cousin of spending. >> rose: are you in favor of some spending cuts in the defense budget. >> i am. absolutely. and again, i think, look, in the real world, you focus, you can improve the quality of what you're doing and do it at a lower cost. in fact, it's, that's exactly what's happened in the american business in the last five or six years. particularly after the financial crises, there's been a surge of innovation that has driven down costs and improved quality. american business today is the most competitive of any set of businesses in the world. why couldn't we apply that to the defense department. >> rose: you support simpson
bolles. >> i like the construct, i like the whole thing. >> rose: why don't you simply say i like simpson bolles and that ought to be the play book they operate from. >> it ought to be the beginning point. it ought to be their job if they say we're going to take a brac commission, up or down vote. but the tax increase i'm not sure that's the proper thing to do. you have to really study that. have they lowered rates enough, have they eliminated enough exemptions. they thought they did. let me give you an example. this is heresy. deducting interest on mortgages. either one. canada had a higher homeowner participation rate. they don't allow deduction on interest, they have recourse debt, not non-recourse debt. they don't have a fannie that
buys this stuff. >> rose: they step in and say in f you want to do something positive eliminate the mortgage reduction. >> dollar for dollar deduction in rates and that would create more economic activity across the board. >> rose: here's what you said in an answer to this question in april 2012. what do you think are the best and worst things president obama has done in his first term in office. you. i think the best thing is to higher arnie duncan as secretary of education and to challenge some of the core political constituencies in his party to focus more on children instead of adults in the education system. i think they've done a pretty good job in that regard. so here you are saying this president on education has done the right thing. >> that was a pretty articulate quote. are you sure it was mine. >> rose: yes. >> i agree with that. i think arnie duncan has done a good job and he's clearly had the unmitigated support of the
president. >> rose: and the former governor of florida. >> our path, we have a different approach as it relates to school choice and we need to accelerate more provocative reforms. having said that any elected official in the world today that appears so dysfunctional challenges a court constituency not on their opponent but their own core political base we should pause and give them credit. this is the place where president obama has done this. rather than i don't have to play the game of being 100,000% against president obama i got a long list of things i think he's done wrong. with a civility and respect i will point them out when asked but the things i think he's done a good job on i'm not going to say just no, no. >> rose: the president of the united states says that his foreign policy in part is modeled after the foreign policy of your father.
president bush 41. >> i don't think he's been as good at it if it's modeled after it. i would argue in some ways by reality kind of seeping into his life as the commander in chief that a lot of it's modeleds after 43. a little tip of the hat might be a nice think. it will be helpful politically. >> rose: the president owes it to -- >> he doesn't owe. >> rose: should, just as a matter of courtesy ought to say i have built on and using drones and other things i have done for what president bush 43 did. >> i think it would help him politically. for example when he was gracious at the unveiling, there's no way not to be gracious i guess in that kind of setting but it helps, it helps to just a small acknowledgment the guy you replace the isn't the source of every problem and the excuse why you're not being successful i
think would help him politically. the question on the fight on terror they clearly awe jusd their policies to what they now see. recognition of that wouldn't hurt him at all. i think the president is deserve of praise on his fight on the war against terror. >> rose: getting bin laden. >> getting bin laden. >> rose: and al-qaeda was killed. >> january 2009 was not the first day the development of predators and drone technology started. it started under the previous administration and it has been a massive change for the betterment in terms of its innovation. the counter intelligence capabilities of the united states and intelligence capabilities man human intelligence capabilities were decimated and they were rebuilt by his predecessor. this didn't happen kind of okay january 2009 all of a sudden we did all this. it happened because successive
administrations starting with president clinton, then president bush 43 built a platform on which president obama has been successful. so if i can say as somewhat partisan person, kudos to the president, seems like he could say kudos to my predecessor for making it possible. why is that so hard. >> rose: what do you think the legacy of your brother will be, george bush, 43. >> history will look back on this in a different way than we look at it today. and i think my brother will be admired for his determination and fortitude. i noticed because when i was gone people said you're a stubborn sob, you know. and i probably was. >> rose: do you think it runs in the family. >> thank you for the case of my brother. there's a fine line between stubbornness and the positive side of that which is dogged determination. and i think what people will begin to see is that he wasn't
stubborn, he was totally determined and principaled about it. and the country was safer because of it. that's the positive legacy. >> rose: the negative possibility. >> the negative possibility relates to this whole conversation about the deficits and debt and spending. >> rose: wars cost a lot. >> they do and the inability to convince congress, basically there was very little prioritization, the legislature the congress spent a lot of money and it was under republicans and democrats that that happened. >> rose: how are you too different. >> george and myself? >> yes. he's older, much older. he's probably a lot more disciplined. >> rose: really. >> disciplined physically. he's much better shape, disciplined meantly. >> rose: really? >> i think he's incredibly disciplined. to take the beating he took and to stay a course i admire tremendously.
i probably would have lost my temper. i think a lot of people would have lost their temper. >> rose: who is more like your mother, you or him. >> he's more like my mother, i think. >> rose: what does that mean he's more like my mother. >> well although i have some mother like qualities that have come out the last week about some of these issues i guess being able to speak your mind without worrying about things in public life. >> rose: what about your father. >> i hope i'm half as good as my father in every way. he's my hero so i don't even aspire to reaching, coming close to him. so i don't know how close -- >> rose: he's your hero. >> he's my total hero. i never met a man as near perfect as george h.w. bush. >> rose: what makes him that way. >> he's strong but he's gentle. he's kind in a way you don't see often. it's not about public life which is not a real kind business, he treats everybody with incredibility sun --
incredible decency and respect. and he's a guy of great courage and great humor and great love. he's the full package. >> rose: and very competitive. >> very competitive, sure. but in a way that's not like no victory dances after w. >> rose: and didn't do that after. no mission accomplished from bush 41. >> no. in fact, he tells the story of people, commentators castigatos for literally doing a dance on the wall. >> rose: bush 41. >> my dad. had he done that, the course of history may have been altered. the field compelled to put
yourself which is now kind of more commonplace in our culture today where it's all personalized would have been a big mistake and i think he showed incredible judgment and humility because he had a huge role in this as did a lot of other people. instead of saying i am the greatest he pulled back and made it possible for gorbachev, the transition of the soviet union -- >> rose: yeltsin and -- >> that wouldn't necessarily have happened if there was like you're humiliating people to change and i don't think it was appropriate for helmet khol. there's very few people in public life that can be strong and humble.
>> rose: how is his health today. >> it's good mentally. he's slower. he can't walk. he has to he's held up by a stroller. that's hard for a guy that's been so vital and vigorous in life. he still sends occasional e-mail which i get and love. >> rose: did he take the role of advice at all to president bush 43 when he was going through the worst of the iraq invasion and all that that debate became? >> they have an incredible relationship. it's like a father to a son. it's not like a policy advisor to a president. but they're in continual contact. it wasn't like once in a while. my guess is my brother would call his mom and his dad pretty
regularly. more than i probably did. i apologize. >> rose: even though at one point in an interview he appealed to a higher father. >> yes. well you know look it's a complex relationship when your dad happened to be president and you're president. and then you have all of the amateur psychology that goes on when people try to speculate about motivation. >> rose: what did you think of all that. >> it was stupid. i mean, stupid. it's dumb to make speculations on something you know nothing about. >> rose: let me turn to something you do know something about to in addition to all this you know a lot about. but big issues having to do with the, what this country phases. on -- that this country faces. on the one hand it's divisive is immigration. it was divisive in the republican primary. >> it was. >> rose: tell me what you think and what you think the policy ought to be and whether it differences dramatically from governor romney. >> well, i agree with governor romney that we need to control
the border and there needs to be acknowledgment there's pretty good progress in that regard. a number how far border patrols, the number of money being spent. it's not an indicator of anything it's the results that matter. that investment has created a more secure border. there's still work to be done. 20% of illegals that come in come in with expired visas. they come legally and then they stay. so there's lots of work that could be done and no one that believes in immigration reform suggests that we don't have the right or it's more than proper to control the border. but this last year according to a few research center, there was a net migration of zero across the southern border into the united states. not just because of better border security but also because our economy's not doing that hot and mexico's economy has started to take off again. so for whatever reason, the pressures that existed five or six, seven years ago with
massive immigration, illegal immigration into our country has subsided. i think if we can stay the course on that, we ought to focus on immigration as an economic issue. how do we create a sustained growth rate of 3.5, 4%. the energy issue we talked about, regulatory reform, tax reform. proper role of the government. limiting government's role in the economy i think would help sustain growth. building capacity through education and training. but immigration's got to be part of that and it's the one thing that separates us from the rest of the world. the ability to absorb people into our country and to say embrace our values, learn our language and work hard. and dream big and create what you want to create because it helps all of us. and it makes, are the only way we're going to create a younger population is to have immigration as well. >> rose: a lot of people
argue two things. number one is that a hard-nosed immigration policy will send another signal, number one. number two, they argue that some sense of people who are here and leading productive lives should not be forced back. >> you have to deal with this issue. you can't ignore it. and so either a path to citizenship, which i would support and that does put me probably out of the mainstream of most conservatives. or a path to legalization, a path to residency of some kind, which now hopefully will become i would accept that in a heart beat as well if that's the path to get us where we need to be which is on a positive basis using immigration to create sustained growth. we're the only country that can have a fertility rate above break even and a young energetic aspirational population that can create prosperity, wealth and
opportunity but we can't do it with one hand tied behind our back and say we're going to look like another country expem brairs our heritage and take advantage of this. this is something unique to america. dealing with the visas -- >> rose: why hasn't congress done something about that though. >> we have a little bit of a problem of lack of leadership, i think i talked about this a little bit. the president promised this. he had two years with a democrat 60 vote majority. and enough republicans that could have helped him get over the top. president bush tried it and got close and it fell apart. president obama promised to hispanic voters in particular that he would do this. and nothing's happened because i think the chicago political arm of team obama has said this is a political went issue, let's keep it alive as long as we can. if we solve the problem through
leadership, that issue goes away. and they want, they want this as a wedge political issue. and on the other hand, republicans legitimately concern about the lack of rule of law have not allowed for the debate to get beyond that so we're stuck. >> rose: the republicans have not allowed the debate to get beyond that. you have significant differences with governor romney or governor romney will change his position. >> i don't think i have a disagreement on the need for the h1b1 idea >> rose: that's only part of it. the larger parts of it. >> dealing with the people who are here illegally i respect his views i may have a different point of view on that. i think i probably do. >> rose: do you have a different point of view as we ticked off these issues than what seems to be the majority of the republican party. >> no. >> rose: a less big tent, is this party only interested in sort of less taxes, less
regulation and rather than policies that promote growth ad went. >> i think less policy and less taxewill promote growth and immigration through our heritage will do the same. >> rose: are you worried about the direction of your party? having -- >> i think on a couple issues, i worry that it's short sided because tonally in terms of the tone of the debate it sends a signal we want your support but you really can't join our team. i mean that's the short term implications of this. and demonstrate graphically latino voters, hispanic voters are going to be important this election but going forward even more so. so politically i think it's shortsighted. i think there needs to be a lot more intense efforts to recognize the demographics of the country are changing and our messaging, not our views, not our principles but our how we message our views needs to change as well. >> rose: speaking of all this, is your son interested in politics. >> he is. i've got two boys that are
interested. they're involved actively, very proud of them. there's two republican that share my views generally. generally. if they don't, it's okay. i don't think we need to have this orthodoxy by the way. that would be one thing i think. >> rose: are you worried it's becoming that way, a kind of orthodoxy. >> if you look back historically, there seems to be more of these groups that are there to keep you on the straight and narrow and not allow for a little bit of divergence of thought. i think that's a healthy thing as you try to sort out policy to have competing views. >> rose: that's diversity rather than if you outway or no way. >> i like the give and take intellectually of diversity. >> rose: it's happening in the republican party today. >> it's not happening to the same extent today it did say in the 80's and the 90's when there was flourishing policy.
most discussions taking place in modern times have come from elected officials and conservative thinkers. it's been on the right where most of the innovations have taken place, on education, on welfare reform, on a wide variety of subjects, and if we become so orthodox we're not allowed to diverge, that's a problem. and there's more of that going on today than there was ten years ago and 20 years ago. >> rose: suppose -- so how will that change. >> it will change when you allow governors to take more responsibility in leadership roles because they have to do these things. you have a balanced budget. scott walker showed up, he had a huge deficit he had to deal with the issue and there are a couple ways to do it. >> rose: collective bargaining for public unions. >> he gave the local districts in his own state government, local governments the chance to have the power to be able to change the course of where they were going which would have been raise taxes and lay off people. and by doing that, it would not
have created, that would have been a losing proposition. he had the courage to change things. state governments across the board are doing that. bobby jendle just passed incredible education reform. it is so far ahead, he and mitch daniels have done this. there's no way it could or should be done in washington and yet it's being done. cracks are doing the same thing by the way at the state levels. there's a lot more of what i think creates a more robust democracy in our state capitals. >> rose: interesting you say that. the governor in your own home state is looking at very low numbers is he not, governor scott. >> he is but he's doing what he said he would do. and he's acting on his core believes. he's trying different things. he's going through an interesting process of reviewing every rule and regulation. of which are obsolete. of which could be eliminated or adjusted to the new realities. that kind of thinking and that kind of execution on a thought
is what seems to be lacking in washington d.c. the good thing about rick scott he doesn't seem to care, he didn't wake up like oh my god my approval rating went down 2 percentage points. i like that. >> rose: what do you say to those people who look at the world and think we live in a very different world, a different world order to use the expression your father used to use, and that we have to face new realities. >> part of what i define american exceptionalism is that we have the ability to shed skin and constantly be evolving and not be mired in the past that sticks us in place. that's kind of what separates us i think from most countries. that dynamic nature is under threat right now. upward mobility. i would define as part of american exceptionalism. it's now, we're not as mobile as we once were up and down the
income levels. we now have -- >> rose: that's very important. >> hugely important. and it's related to a lot of things. i would say education is one of the factors when only a third of our kids are college and/or career ready after spending more per student than any country in the world through 12th grade. and knowledge becomes a driver of success economically more and more and more as we move into this incredibly globalized technological world. you're creating lids on people's aspirations. family make up, 40% of the babies brought into the world don't have the father in the home. we have an out of wedlock birth rate of 40% in our country and it's been growing. that's a problem. we can play like it isn't and not be judgmental that's fine but it's a problem of building capacity for people to be successful in life. so we've got these challenges
that really challenging the notion of american exceptionalism. and they have to be addressed. >> rose: and the body politic is changing as you said. hispanics are increasing number of the american experience and having increasing political impact. same sex marriage. are you in favor of it? do you approve of what the president has said. >> you know, i don't, i like the idea of allowing states to decide this which the president said. i don't think that in the political situation we're in today, that this should be a driving issue. i really think that elected officials ought to really focus on how you create sustained economic growth, how do you create jobs. all of these issues that made people, segments of our society believe are really important are diverge it's politically and that's what they are being used for. by the president. by his campaign more than him.
he's got a day job too that he has to focus on. >> rose: but he said he thought long and hard and he come to that conclusion. what does that mean. >> i don't know. >> rose: do you personally support same sex marriage. >> no, i don't. >> rose: what's your objection? >> i think traditional marriage is what should be sanctioned. not at the expense of discriminating in other forms of family structure. but so i don't support it but i would say that wholesome loving family life ought to be kind of the organizing principle in a free society. if we don't want to have government overwhelm us then we have to be self governing and the principle source -- >> rose: same sex marriages can be loving. >> they can. i'm not saying i'm not passing judgment on this. you asked me a question. i don't think people need to be discriminated against because they don't share my belief on this. if people love their children with all their heart and soul and that's what they do and
that's how they organized their life, that should be held up as examples for others to follow because we need it. we desperately need it and that can take all sorts of forms. it doesn't have to take the one that i think should be sanctioned under the law. >> rose: when you look at all these things at the end of the day, are you optimistic for us. >> i'm frustratedly optimistic because it's very frustrating to see these opportunities be wasted. the opportunities to move the country forward on, in a different place. but i do i think that i'm not that optimistic about government in general. >> rose: how about the country. >> the country itself, i am optimistic. yes, incredible things happen every day. we have a cloud over us makes it hard for us to see positive things but owe norms progress is being made in the life science
sector technology making things unimaginable just a decadable. things are changing it greats angst but it creates huge opportunities. the best way to summarize is i'm 59. i would rather be 21. >> rose: so would i. thank you. good to have you here. >> thank you. >> rose: governor jeb bush principle player in america even though he doesn't have elective office thinks about the issue that concern him. thank you for joining us. see you next time. captioning sponsored by rose communications captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org