tv Charlie Rose PBS June 9, 2015 12:00pm-1:01pm PDT
>> rose: welcome to the program. we begin this evening with a look at the surprising perhaps historic turkish elections. >> it was a referendum on ergd >> it was a referendum on ergd erdogan's tendencies to move it from a parliamentary to presidential system. when we look at the results yesterday akp took a hit but garnered 40% of the popular vote. >> rose: we continue with george mitchell, former senate majority leader, his book, "the negotiator: reflections on an american life." >> we've reached a stage in our society where what i call the middle class/working class jobs are disappearing so the middle class itself is dissolving, most of it falling backwards, some of it moving up.
the intellectual information technological revolution through which we're passing means the skills they had are now obsolete and we haven't come up with the peck nisms to catch up in providing knowledge skill opportunity and jobs for people to replace those that existed. in my small town in maine when i was a kid two textile mills, one paper mill and a repair shop. not one of those facilities existed anymore and that's a microcosm of america. >> rose: the turkish elections and a conversation with george mitchell when we continue. >> rose: additional funding provided by: >> and by bloomberg, a provider of multimedia news and
information services worldwide. captioning sponsored by rose communications from our studios in new york city, this is charlie rose. >> rose: we begin this evening with turkey. parliamentary elections failed to produce a single party government, the first time erdogan's party face as prospect of a coalition government and the first time a party of kurdish minority passes a 10% threshold. joining us elmira bayrasli, co-founder of foreign policy interrupted, and steven cook, council on foreign relations, soner cagaptay, washington institute for near east policy. i am pleased to have all of them on this program at this
momentous moment. stephen, is this historic? >> certainly important if not historic. the justice and development party dominated turkish politics since they came into power in 2002 it has run away in virtually every election in which it stood and i think people were expecting its vote totals to decrease but not by almost the 10% it has. clearly, the turkish people have internalized ideas related to democracy. the fierce the justice and development party party under recep tayyip erdogan had hollowed out ideas were misplaced and the turkish people clearly made a statement the excesses of president erdogan and the party were not going to be tolerated. >> rose: i assume you agree with that. tell me who are the winners in this election other than -- >> the winners?
>> rose: yes. are the kurds and the liberals who entered the election through an alliance which not only helped the smaller kurdish party cross the 10% threshold, but also brought the liberals as a force to be reckoned for into the turkish parliament. there are also a number of liberals in the ranks of the leftest people's democratic party. >> erdogan reached out to the kurds, to minority. he had very much this let's bring everyone in turkey together and a lot of people flocked to thel it's much of a nationalistic tone that caters to a certain constituency in the rural countryside. very narrow. warned has turned -- erdogan
turned his back on inclusiveness and focused in on this. i think one of the reasons the kurdish party, the hdp did so well is because of the message erdogan campaigned on in 2002 where he talked about not just kurdish issues but the fact that we need to focus on civil society matters for all turks including women, gays and lesbians, and let's talk about strengthening those elements of it. i think a lot of the liberal and secular voters were attracted to this message and voted for the akp. when you look at the other defectors from the akp, there was a nationalist and you say that they also were -- they did not like this tone that erdogan was taking where he -- you know, he's very focused in on this narrow message, but not really delivering anything. one of the things that akp has
been able to do over the 13 years it has been in power is really deliver on the economy. the economy has not been doing well. turkey has not been growing. i think people all over the world vote with their pockets and we saw that happen yesterday. >> rose: and the market is reacting even more so today. >> certainly. >> rose: let me talk about erdogan and where he goes from here. his ambition to be an all-powerful president i assume is over stephen? >> well, it certainly seems to be over, except i would never count president erdogan out. he has kind of unbounded ambition, and this has been his singular issue since at least 2011, and by hook or by crook he's going to try to, i think, let the political process play itself out and devise a new strategy to forge this presidential system. for him, it's now become a
personal issue and i think it certainly is a setback but i don't think it's over for erdogan. let's also keep in mind that he has empowered the turkish presidency in ways other turkish presidents haven't done so before. the media keeps calling powers of the turkish presidency ceremonial. i don't think that's right. they're supposed to be apolitical. erdogan certainly hasn't followed that but has empowered parts of the presidency in ways that made similar an essential factor in politics and like i said it's hard to imagine that he's going to fold his cards and walk away from the table. this is not someone who is magnanimous in victory so i can't imagine she's going to be mag nan -- -- i can't imagine he will be after the setback and will continue to try to get what he wants in a political system no matter how hard it seems to be. >> one can argue he created his own nemesis. his policies have been too successful for his own good and
he made turkey middle class and they're demanding individual rights. >> rose: i should point out he was not on the ballot. >> he was not but he rallied for his party, the akp and it was oftentimes not clear the line between the erdogan's presidency and the akp's government stood. there was criticism of that. there was crackdown to have media and freedom of expression and the run to the polls. what's fascinating the day taf the election never rule erdogan out. i think he'll do everything he can to get to an executive style presidency, but you are seeing an incredible amount of liberation off the turkish media to put it likely in the sense people are voicing expressions and defend with the government that they did not do just a day ago. so the outcome of the election made a difference in the way the turks made politics. this is a sign democracy works
and is the best system because it's finally shaking up established practices of turkish society for the last ten years and people are coming up for clean air. >> rose: i guess we can argue this was a referendum on him even though he's not on the ballot. >> i free. i think erdogan basically ran a campaign which the idea was this was a parliament in holding suggesting that the elected parliament in which he hoped the akp would have a majority would then change the country's system from a parliamentary democracy to a presidential one with erdogan at the hem and it was veet r vetoed. his party lost the majority for the first time. it was a way of telling him, we may like some of your policies but won't vote for you to be president in an executive style presidency. >> i think it was a referendum on erdogan and we need to put
into perspective it was a referendum on his growing authoritarian tendencies and the push he was going for to change the ticial constitution to move it from a parliamentary to aptle system. when we look at yesterday, yes the akp took a hit but still garnered 40% of the popular vote. they still came to be the -- >> rose: he kept his base. he kept his base and they still are the most dominant political party in turkey. >> rose: what will happen to the new kurdish party, 13% what will happen to them? >> what's going to be interesting is what will happen over the next 45 days.ñrdcñ yesterday, all of the parties have said that they will not interrupt coalition with the akp. that's going to be very difficult moving forward if they're not able to form a coalition over the next 45 days, there is a chance that they'll have -- the turks will actually have to go back to the polls and
hold elections again. for the next 45 days, we're going to see a lot of horse trading and seeing if a coalition can be built out. in terms of what the kurds need to do, i think, you know the kurds -- the kurdish peace process is on the table. one of the possible coalition partners at the akp can align with is the hdp but it's going to be a question of whether the hdp leader is going to be able to sit down with erdogan after erdogan's quite anti-kurdish rhetoric during the campaign and be able to form a coalition with him. demertash said he will not form a coalition with the akp. right now the question of what happens to the kurds and the kurdish peace process is very much up in the air. >> rose: stephen, what does this do for turkey and erdogan's policy for turkey to be a primary prayer in the region and have influence -- primary player
in the region and have influence as it has had not only in terms of what happened in syria but also ireland and other factors that are in the mosaic of middle eastern and gulf politics? >> it's a terrific question, charlie. over the course of the last couple of years we've seen turkey's position in the middle east virtually collapse. ankara has had difficult relations with virtually every important middle eastern capital. the fact warned has been driven somewhat a blow, and i agree it's still the dominant party imarnerred about 41% of the vote it has been defeated only relative to its previous success. one would think a coalition government would reorient turkish foreign policy to some extent, but given the fact the akp will remain dominant and likely if there is a coalition government will likely maintain control over the most foreign
policy-making ministries in the country. it's hard to imagine there will be too much a difference in foreign policy. it's likely, if there is, for example, a coalition between the akp and the nationalists of the nationalists movement party, there may relations between for example turkey and the kurdistan regional government in northern iraq or may be some minor changes and alterations to turkey's approach to syria which the turks are now cooperating with the saudis and countries to coordinate a number of groups that made battlefield advances recently. but overall, the general tenets of turkish foreign policy are unlikely to change in major ways and the differences between ankara and cairo for example are likely to remain, which has effect on turkish relations which has an effect on saudi arabia and the united arab
emirates. despite the changes directly in turkey the foreign policy is likely to remain among the band of policies we've seen so far. >> rose: president obama subpoena said to have had a good relationship with erdogan and they talked on the phone as two heads of state, but the president was upset about how many foreign fighters were going from turkey into syria and that put some distance between them. >> well, it's certainly the case that there has been a cooling of relations between president obama and now president erdogan. they had coordinated rather closely around 2011 and 2012, but i think there is been two factors that really have driven a deterioration in the relationship between the united states and turkey. first, it's been, as you point out, the turks willingness first to turn a blind eye to extremists who wanted to engage in jihad against the outside regime. and the suspicions and now there
seems to be real hard evidence that the turks were coordinating with groups, other groups, although the accusation that the turks coordinated directly with the united states don't seem to be the case. the second issue quite frankly is the way president erdogan approached turkish domestic politics a kind of thuggish way of intimidating his opponents trying to shut down social media, going after critical journalists. president obama talked at the beginning of his administration about a model between the two countries that shared values. this was not something that reflected well on president obama when his primary partner in the region, prime minister and then president erdogan engaged in the kinds of policies the dictators engaged in. >> rose: it was said erdogan put the military back in the
barracks after decades in which the military were prepared to overthrow the government. is there any likelihood now that the military will regain some of its strength and play a role in turkish politics? >> right. i don't see that. one of the silver linings on yesterday's elections is not only the way that -- >> rose: there was a democracy gain. >> there was a democracy gain. people were talking and comparing erdogan to putin. i don't know if putin would have accepted yesterday's results. and you didn't hear any language about the military. there was no talk about this. so i think turkey has really moved on past that stage. >> i also agree. i think the military is largely out of the picture and what is really interesting though, is that turkey is entering a period of potential political instability because for the first time in 13 years the akp
lost its majority in the parliament and turkey will probably have a coalition or minority government and the fact is coalition and minority governments in turkey never finish their terms and have political and economic instability. so what that means is while erdogan has lost its grip on power, we have a liberal force coming up, the country enters a period instability and the akp could actually benefit because the electorate might once again decide to wut their support behind single-party government thinking that's a way to political economic stability. alternatively, the liberal opposition could paint the akp as responsible for instability and gain from it. >> i need to underline a point made about military. the the fundamental change of military relations in turkey profound in. the past the military might be looking for ways to undermine a government, whereas now it's clear they have been just
wanting to wait out prime minister erdogan. i think that alone would suggest a democracy gain in turkey, even though as erdogan had sought to hollow ut turkey's democratic institutions. >> rose: i ask a questioner that may be apparent in the election what do the majority of turks want? >> i think the majority of turks want to continue the prosperity that they have seen, the gains that they have seen over the past decade-plus. i think soner is right. i think hundreds of thousands of turks moved in to the middle class, i think they make demands middle class people want. i think they want agreements, accountable government, i think they're troubled about accusations of corruption within the akp and against. erdogan himself. i think turkey also, because it's become -- it's become a member of the g20 and turks
themselves have been much more in touch with the world. globalization has affected profound change in turkey where turks are much more aware and connected to the rest of the world, and they want to very much be part of the world on the same standing. >> rose: they also want to be part of europe and the european union. will this election have any impact on that part of turkey? >> probably not, i think that party long time ago abandoned turkey's process. i think objections to turkey full membership quieted turkey's excitement. so the process has not come to a standstill but come to a very slow pace of movement. but i think we are seeing a very interesting development. support for turkey public dipped as erdogan took turkey no the middle east with the intent of
making it a middle east power. then that support came up as it became apartment turkey was not becoming a middle east player and exposing itself to threats in syria left without allies, pocksies and friends in the region. without any change on the accession front success has dipped to the 30s and compaq come back up to 50%. the turks say with neighbors like that, it will be hard. ultimately, i think it will be the forthcoming liberals ticket that turk's accession will be a reality. >> rose: at least rumor turkey was becoming less secular.
>> it's certainly true warned use red ling and religious symbols and waists the qur'an at an election rally. i think there was significant backlash against that. i think the issue mostly with erdogan wasn't religion per se but old fashioned authoritarianism. i think elmira mentioned salad vladimir putin. secularism is an important part of turkey thoughle turks have been allowed to explore religious identities in new and different ways and i think that has contributed to their electoral success over many many years. and i don't think that's going to change. >> rose: whasht we expect? in the next 45 days, turkish
politics will be in gridlock. i think soner's right, i think while i don't foresee elections in 45 days, i think that they will come up with some sort of compromise. i think that we will see elections before a five-year term ends. >> rose: thank you for coming. we'll be back. stay with us. >> rose: george mitchell is here, former u.s. attorney judge and majority leader of the senate, also the u.s. special envoy who broke the good friday peace agreement in northern ireland. looks back at these and other moments of an illustrious career, a memoir, we were we "the negotiator: reflections on an american life." pleaset to have george at the table. it has been a remarkable life. >> i appreciate that. i have been very lucky. >> rose: it's stunning. i want to talk about family in
maine. lebanese background? >> my mother was born in lebanon, emigrated to the united states when she was a teenager, could not read or write english. my father was irish. he was born in boston, never knew his parents raised in an orphanage and adopted by a childless elderly couple in maine who ended up next door to the slum area to where the house where my mother lived with an older sister who preceded her from lebanon. >> rose: what influence did they have on you? >> powerful. both of them especially my mother. my father was a janitor my mother worked nights in a textile mill so they were by the standards poor. we never felt poor. my parents lived and died penniless, but they were successful because they achieved their dream.
the dream was here in america if their children could go to and get a degree from college, they would be successful. they had not only profound but an exaggerated belief in the value of education which many people who don't have education possess. and all of us went to college and graduated and all of us lived lives that would be completely unimaginable to my parents. >> rose: your dad was a janitor? >> yes cobe college in maine. >> rose: he lost his job. early worked as a laborer and lost his job when he was 50. he had been working since he was ten jobs. >> rose: same place? no different jobs, in the woods. he then was out of work for a year and it nearly destroyed him and our family. the loss of self-esteem, he tried so hard so desperately to get a job. i was a senior in high school, insensitive, myself insecure, didn't fully comprehend the
despair that was consuming him. so when after a year of very, very difficult time, he got a job as a janitor at a local school you would have thought he had been made president of the college. it revived him. he stood straight again. the mist disappeared from his eyes he smiled for the first time in a long time. it was a powerful lesson for nee there is self-worth in every human big and dignity in every work. >> rose: what did they live to see you become? >> my father died at age 72 in 1972. he was born in 1900. i by then had become a lawyer. i had been involved in politics. i had become an united states attorney for maine. so he saw some progress. my mother, later went into the
early stages of dementia so she saw about the same, though she lived beyond my father. he was in a nursing home for several years so they never got to see me be a senator but i know they're up there looking down and smiling even today. >> rose: was ed muskie kind of a father to you. >> very much. so he was a great man, the greatest environmental legislator in american history. >> rose: clean air, clean water. >> the fundamental environmental laws to this day he wrote with help from many others and he would have been a great president but didn't make it. he was a powerful influence on me. my political values, my understanding of the concept of public office and of course the office i held had been his. >> rose: when he became secretary of state the seat was open and you won. >> that's right. >> rose: you came from being district court judge?
>> yes, i was a united states district court judge for a year so i can brag i was never reverse bid an appeals court. (laughter) >> rose: he was a great admirer and a sponsor of your career. >> yes, we were very close. i worked for him. in my early years i traveled with him all around maine. i was sort of the chauffeur, the clerk, the gopher, the note taker, assistant all rolled in one. it was a small world. >> rose: it was a great education. >> one of the best i had and helped me when i went in the senate. i went to every town in maine and spoke at the graduation of every high school in maine while i was in the senate and i loved that part of the job. >> rose: you loved immigration ceremonies as a federal judge. >> yes, very moving for me considering my parents background to make people americans, people who came from every part of the world, people who understood that america
stands for freedom and opportunity. a young asian man who could barely speak english and been in america ten minutes when i asked him why he came summed up the meaning of our country. he said in broken english, i came judge because here in america, everybody has a chance. now, that's a great statement of what our country stands for. one of the reasons i wrote this book charlie is the real hard fact is that, today, a kid in the circumstances that i was in many years ago in maine probably has less chance than i did to go. >> rose: why is that? we've reached a stage in our society where the -- what i call the middle class working class jobs are disappearing, and, so the middle class itself is dissolving most of it falling backwards, some of it moving up. the intellectual information technological revolution through
which we're passing means the skills they had are now obsolete and we haven't come up with the mechanisms to catch up in providing knowledge skill opportunity and jobs for people to replace those that existed. in my small town in maine when i was a kid, two textile mills a paper mill and a large rotary repair shop. not one of those facilities exist anymore and that's a mike cosum of america. >> rose: same with my community in south carolina agriculture and textiles. >> i travel all over this country and there is a hidden hunger in small towns all across america, in two dimensions, physical hunger for food -- children thousands, tense tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands aren't properly fed and they can't learn if they don't have food -- and secondly, there is even a broader hunger for meaning in life, meaning in life that comes from a job from doing something making you feel like you are an active,
participating member of our society. that's what's missing in our country, and we haven't figured out a way to transform that technological revolution to which we're passing to provide benefits throughout the whole society. >> rose: and do you think if someone could develop that narrative as to how to fix that and a theory of the case, you know, that there is a hunger to hear that kind of message? >> absolutely. that's what's missing in this country today. >> rose: in the political debate and everything else. >> well, because it's much easier in this and other cases to describe the problem than it is to prescribe the solution people talk about it. but coming up with a way to meaningfully tackle it that is politically feasible in a deeply divided society now is the real task of leadership. >> rose: why is society so deeply divided? >> i think it's far beyond my knowledge or power and far
beyond the time you have on the show to describe it. i'll identify what i think are politically two critical factors. one is redistricting. because of advances in technology congressional redistricting every ten years is now so precise that only about a fifth of the seats in the house of representatives are truly contested as between the parties. >> rose: and if not contested the primary is everything and the person who has the most extreme positions generally winds in the primary? >> that's right because so few participate in the primary the most contention activist has more weight. our political process is drowning in money. >> rose: on both sides. absolutely. the supreme court did not create the problem. it's been there throughout human history. >> rose: it was a united decision. >> the decision will go down as one of the worst decisions ever made by any supreme court in
american history. it made the amount of money coming in much greater and one consequence, not intended, i believe, but nonetheless a consequence, is a reduction in transparency. so now we have more money coming in but less transparency of where it's coming from. the worth possible. >> rose: the idea behind the rationale, simply free expression to be able to give money is an expression of self? >> money equals speech and corporations are entitled to same rights as virksd both which are questionable propositions. for one thing if a corporation is the same as a person in this respect, why is a person not entitled to the same rights as corporations have which is, of course, limitation of liability that's not the case. >> rose: what's your prescription to ameliorate the problem with too much money in politics? >> there has to be some restraint on it. when i was in the senate, david bourne of oklahoma, a fine
senator, and i co-sponsored a bill which passed reasonable restraints on money and politics. not perfect. it was a compromise. we passed it in the house and senate. unfortunately the first president bush vetoed it and we could not override the veto. there can be restraints and reduce the amounts of money coming in. it's a myth to say it can't be done. it's can't be done perfectly. no laws are perfect. we have laws against murder. nobody expects murder to end completely, so you try to restrain the illegal activity and control it in a way that improves the system overall. it can be done in campaign finance reform but can't be enacted in law now. >> rose: you became the majority leader of the united states senate. a big job. >> a big job. >> rose: mitch mcconnell lived all his life to be that. >> i was surprised to get there
myself. >> rose: how did you get there? it's vote trading. it's being able to get your colleagues to vote for you. it's political -- >> but there was no vote trading, charlie. i had been there only a few years but had some good breaks and a couple of my colleagues encouraged me to run and i did. >> rose: what skills -- i'm asking you to be a bit self introspective -- but skills you had that made them who might have wanted to do that rather have you? >> i really think you would have to ask for them. i can't speak for them. it starts immodest to start talking about your qualities. >> rose: no, but i'm interested in how did george mitchell get to be the leader of the united states senate and bill bradley and max walker wanted you do. and my impression of you is you're a very smart man who
works very hard and you got that from growing up in maine and having the parents you had. >> i worked all my life. i worked my way through college and law school. everyone in my family worked from the time we were ids kids delivering paper, shoveling snow, washing cars, sweeping floors. i used to be the janitor at the hole boys club. i didn't mind sweeping. i didn't mind dusting or emptying the waste basket but i hated cleaning the latrines. >> rose: i would assume that. that threw me off. i went to school so i would no longer have to do latrines. >> rose: when did you set your sights on being majority leader? >> after senator byrd indicated he would not seek reelection. at the time, he said he would no longer seek the position privately, and two of my colleagues fine men announced they were going to run and the thought thought crossed my mind. but i did nothing about it till
baucus approached me and urged me to run. two days later bill bradley encouraged me to run. i talked to john glenn highly respected, and i thought, if he laughed at me, i would probably realize i shouldn't do it, but he did the opposite. he encouraged me, said he thought i could do the job so that kind of solidified my opinion so i ran for it. >> rose: and won. yes. >> rose: it put you in position to be the principal protagonist of president george bush. >> well, we were principal collaborators for the first two years in his term. i describe in my book the fight over the clean air amendments. there was a bill but needed improvement. we tried hard when president reagan was in office. he tried to abolish the clean water act. we overroad his veto by one vote.
clean air when president george h.w. bush took office he reveersed the reagan position and announced afirst amendmentively he was for clean air legislation which to his great credit made the enactmen of the law possible. before that the debate was will there be a clean air bill and after was what will be in the bill. we negotiated a long time. we got a good, strong bill which wouldn't happen without president bush's support. >> rose: what is it about negotiation you think all of us should understand, appreciate and use. >> patience and learning to listen to others. why are you a good interviewer? you listen. you actually listen, and that doesn't happen much. doesn't happen much in the news business or life. most people concentrate on what they're saying. it's especially difficult for human beings to listen intently, patiently and seriously to
people they don't like, or especially people they don't like who they disagree with. our minds are built in such a way we have wide-open receptors for information con sent with our prior beliefs. we understand it digest it, we recall it. but information inconsistent with our prior beliefs, we have a teeny opening, we don't take it well and we don't remember it. >> hunt:it. >> rose: what damage do division cause in the country? >> congress don't create the divisions. this is a country with many diverse interests, but i think it severed the bond of trust between the public and their elected officials. it's the dysfunction, the polarization and the money. every time i speak cheacialtion including last night when i give the speech, i ask the awed audience, who here believes that their elected washington
are more responsive to their constituents than their donors? two or three hands were raise in the hundreds of times i asked the question of tens of thousands of people. and the first time a woman raised her hand in four years, i i said to you tell me why that's so, you're the only person in america who raised their hand. she said it's simple, my husband's a member of congress. that's the bond of trust between people and elected officials so essential to effective democracy has been severed. >> rose: how do you rebuild it orthothan taking money out of politics. >> money out of politics restrain redistricting. iowa and california and two other states are trying to come up with you can't have completely non-partisan but a reduction of partisanship in the redistricting process. get it done as impartiality as possible not to advantage one party or the other i challenge you some night to get pictures of some congressional districts
and put them on the screen. it looks like a psychiatric test. i'm sure there are many other things others can recommend. >> rose: one quick question about being in the senate and bill clinton asking you to sit on the supreme court. >> yes. >> rose: i've known about that before. i asked you about that before. you didn't even consider it. >> well, for about 48 hours did is that you gave it serious conversation for about 48 hours. >> did, for about two days. >> rose: you said you didn't do it because you felt a responsibility to legislation that you thought was crucial. >> it was the healthcare legislation. i had introduced the previous november the clinton administration's healthcare reform bill. joint chief republican senator, a terrific guy and close friend of mine introduced the
republican response. we had 24 co-sponsors, 24 republican including senator dole, who was the republican leader, and chafee and i thought we could put these two together. when obama passed his bill, the republicans said it's terrible why? because it has an individual mandate. that's big government telling a person they have to buy insurance. when clinton introduced his bill, it had an employer mandate, so the republicans scrambled to come up with a response and came up with what? the individual mandate. it was in fact a republican idea first put into legislation by 20 republican senators including the republican leader. and chafee and i thought if with we could accept -- we democrats could accept the individual mandate which the republicans wanted, they might be able to make other concessions. i didn't work out no tot any fault of chafee's. he was a great guy and a very good friend. the politics was such that we
actually drifted further and further apart. at the time when clinton offered the appointment to the supreme court, i thought i could pass the bill, it didn't work out but that's life. i made a decision based ton facts that existed at the time. >> rose: you regret it? when i read the citizens united case, i regretted it. but i wouldn't have gone to ireland, the middle east, who knows what else i wouldn't have done. >> rose: are you more judicial than political in mindset, in frame of reference? >> i think legal training has been good for me. i think serving as a united states attorney and as a federal judge was good for me. it allowed me to open up my mind to hear contrary arguments. it allowed me to establish the ability to have a fair procedure for debating issues where everybody gets their say and there has to be some qualification of evidence. so i think it's been enormously
helpful to me and i still think in that context. >> rose: why did you leave the senate? >> i decided after my first election in 1982 that i did not want to make this a lifetime job. many men and women do, and i don't mean anything negative about them but i've seen too many instance where is too many people stayed too long. >> rose: some people there are in their '80s. >> i don't knock that anymore because i'm in my '80s now. i used to say it just like you did. (laughter) but i felt like i wanted to do other things with my life. i was inspired by muskie who left early. >> rose: to become secretary of state. >> i left to become -- muskie said good to go when they want you to stay rather than wait
until they want you to leave. >> rose: two presidents i want to ask you about then a conversation about the iran nuclear negotiations. ronald reagan. he's held in pretty high esteem in this country. >> democrats sort of made fun of them, well, all he can do is read a speech on television, but the reality is, charlie the ability to communicate through television is an attribute of leadership, just as $1,000 riding a horse and wield ago sword is an attribute leadership. we would laugh if a man said i'm a good sword fighter or i can ride on a horse now but that's the way leaders were chosen then. not being able to communicate on electronic media means a disqualification for one of the things that's important in a large, diverse society which gets its information in that means. >> rose: therefore -- it's part of doing the job. >> rose: so that was propose. he also conveyed conviction,
in part because he wasn't very nuanced. it was all black and white. there weren't many greys in his view of things, and that helped him convey strong conviction and he did have strong convictions, and that conveyed itself even to people who disagreed with, more importantly, the large group. >>group. >> rose: made you want to accomplish those things. >> i think he'll have a rang where he is now above the average. >> rose: right below the greatest. >> yeah. >> rose: the greatest is roosevelt and lincoln and washington and -- >> yeah, you can -- half a dozen or so. jefferson, roosevelt. >> rose: obama? i think obama will recover politically in much the same way that reagan did. remember reagan was way down after the iran contra affair.
>> rose: bush 41. bush 41. harry truman was under 30% favorability when he left office now he's at the top of the list. >> rose: the top of the second list. >> that's right. but obama ran for office saying he was going to end the wars in afghanistan and iraq. he tried very hard to do it. >> rose: they're not over. they're not over but coming to an end and would have gone on much longer but for him. now you have his critics saying let's get into the war in syria let's bomb here, let's attack there. if we didn't have obama eng we would be in several wars now so that's the first point. it's hard to get credit for a negative that you didn't do something that someone else might have done. >> rose: when his opponents say that the problem in iraq is that he did not negotiate hard enough to keep american troops there, you know, even after the decision to pull out had been made you say what? >> the iraqi government wouldn't do it. >> rose: but they argued that
he didn't negotiate, he didn't try hard enough. >> of course that's what they say. they say that about everything. you can say that of any human effort, you failed because you didn't try hard enough. >> rose: you think he wanted it bad enough? >> i think he did but not bad enough to make the kind of concessions that would have been necessary, that's would have been subjected american soldiers to iraqi law. he was not prepared to do that and he was right not to do that. >> rose: should we do more in terms of an american presence to stop i.s.i.s.? >> certainly not ground troops. >> rose: special forces? people on the ground? >> there already have been special forces that will be -- let me cite one figure to answer the question. there are now 7.5 billion people in the world. one in five is muslim. a billion and a half. in 2060, there will be nearly 10 billion people in the world one in three will be muslim. 3.5 billion. the conflicts now tearing islam
have been there 1400 years between sunni and shia and some arose after the collapse of the ottoman empire in the 20th 20th century. this will go on for a very long time and the notion that the united states can bomb its way to success in the middle east. >> rose: mccain, obama i don't know whether they're lining up to say send american boys and girls to fight against i.s.i.s. >> fink you checked you will -- i think if you check you will find more than one have said that. >> rose: the iran nuclear negotiations -- >> iran must not get nuclear weapons. it would undermine the nuclear nonproliferation regime. >> rose: which they agreed to. it would be a direct threat to israel. there are two ways to accomplish
that, by gorings negotiation or war. it makes plain common sense to try to negotiate an outcome before you resort to war. >> rose: everybody knows that but -- >> charlie, you say everybody knows that but a substantial portion of the president's critics in the congress and prime minister netanyahu are negotiations. >> rose: there are people who agree to negotiations, it's the terms of the deal. they're not against the process of negotiations they're against the terms of the deal. >> they were against negotiation before an interim agreement outlining the terms they're opposed to the negotiations now because they say the terms will be unacceptable. that's the reality. that's on the record, with many, many saying that of the president's critics. >> rose: many, many of the president's critics are saying it's the term -- they're analyzing the deal -- i'm
talking about henry kissinger and secretary schultz and secretary of baker three people you admire. >> i admire them all. >> rose: exactly. they're not saying don't negotiate. they're saying if the deal is this it's unacceptable. if it's this around contains these protection, good. >> first off, there isn't a deal yet. so you have to withhold judgment till until you see the final agreement. >> rose: right. in my view, the final agreement will be acceptable or not based upon the verification procedures included. >> rose: that's what they say too. verification. my point is it is the nature of how intrusive the inspection can be that will be determineddive. >> the determinative issue will be can the united states and
the five countries on our side of the table, china russia britain, france and germany, rely on iran to 'do what it says. the answer is we can't trust them. the ayatollah says they don't want nuclear weapons but his words are contradicted. what provisions will there be in the agreement that provide us and those on our side ofth table with reasonable insurances iran will do what it says. >> rose: as far as you know, as to what's on the table now in terms of the inspections and verification, in terms of how many centrifuges they can have and what advance they may make in those centrifuges, as far as you understand it, and we've done a loft programs about it, would you accept the deal? >> the ininspection and verification regimes have not been set out in detail so you can't make a judgment until you see what the final agreement is there. on the rest of it, i think it's clearly acceptable. the interim agreement which was
denounced by the president's critics is far better than what anybody anticipated going in. the question is, can we trust can we verify what they do. >> rose: and not argue that during the negotiations that have taken place, there have been no changes in their nuclear posture, a positive thing. >> when the interim agreement was reached over a year ago, the critics said it is a sell-out to iran iran will never comply with the provisions of the interim agreement the international agency on atomic energy has verified that they have complied. that does not mean by itself that they will comply with the provisions of a permanent agreement, and the fact that the critics were wrong once doesn't mean they will be wrong twice. you have to assess what are the verification provisions in the final agreement. if they are satisfactory, i believe we should go forward. >> rose: as you and the president and others have said
what's the alternative? >> one of two things -- a nuclear armed iran or a war to prevent a nuclear armed iran, and those are unpalatable alternatives that the president's critics have refused to confront and face. >> rose: this book is called "the negotiator: reflections on an americancalledthe negotiate. the negotiate, george j mitchell. >>your dad's name? no, my older brother. >> rose: the older brother you looked up to. >> the greatest basketball player ever to come out of the state of maine. a legend not only in his own mind butout snores truly good.
>> all american, a truly great guy. because of him i became known around our hometown as johnny mimple's kid brother, the one who isn't any good. >> rose: but then there was the famous photograph after you were eelectricked to the senate. >> that's right. >> rose: and this kid was behind you -- >> he draped over me in my election speech therks great swisher, his name, and i the newly elected senator and the caption in the paper next day says senator george mitchell cheered on in h his election history by an unidentified my life. >> rose: thank you for joining us the book, "the negotiator." for more about this and other episodes visit us online at pbs.org and charlierose.com. captioning sponsored by rose communications