tv PBS News Hour PBS September 25, 2015 3:00pm-4:00pm PDT
captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc >> woodruff: good evening. i'm judy woodruff. on tonight's newshour: a major shakeup in the republican party in congress. the speaker of the house, john boehner, resigns. we explore what it means for politics and policy. also ahead: pope francis at the united nations calls for peace, justice and protecting the environment. then with climate change and cyber security at the forefront, china's president visits the white house. and it's friday. mark shields and david brooks are here, to analyze the week's news. all that and more on tonight's pbs newshour.
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>> and with the ongoing support of these institutions >> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. >> woodruff: on ts day when a pope and two presidents were already making headlines-- a surprise resignation came along to stun washington. we begin with the announcement that the speaker of the united states house of representatives is stepping down. newshour political director lisa desjardins reports. ♪ >> reporter: with his decision, house speaker john boehner, the happy warrior, projected a kind of personal relief and institutional sacrifice. >> it's become clear to me that
this prolonged leadership turmoil would do irreparable harm to the institution. so this morning i informed my colleagues that i would resign from the speaker-ship and resign from congress at the end of october. now as you've often heard me say, this isn't about me. >> reporter: in fact, it had become about him, at least in part. boehner was again under fire from tea party republicans pushing to de-fund planned parenthood even if it means closing the government. they'd threatened a floor vote to try to strip him of the speaker-ship. >> there was never any doubt i could survive the vote, but i didn't want my members to go through this. >> reporter: the ohio republican said he'd planned to resign at the end of this year anyway after five years as speaker and midway through his 13th term. but, his bombshell left house supporters lamenting their loss. >> i think he has always been the adult in the room and tried to do what he thinks is right. even if it is not in his best political interest.
>> reporter: boehner's counterpart in the senate, majority leader mitch mcconnell, praised the speaker's legacy. >> he is an ally; he's a friend. and he took over as republican leader at a very difficult time for his party. >> reporter: at the white house, the nation's top democrat offered his own, measured praise for a man who'd opposed most of his agenda. >> he is somebody who has been gracious and been somebody who understands in government and governance you don't always get 100% of what you want and you >> reporter: but the news had religious conservatives cheering at a "value voters" forum in washington, where senator marco rubio spoke this morning. >> just a few minutes ago, speaker boehner announced that he would be resigning. ( cheers and applause ) >> reporter: the crowd cheered. back at the capitol, house minority leader nancy pelosi
called the resignation "seismic" and symbolic of problems in boehner's party. >> that resignation is a stark indication of the disarray of the house republicans. a demonstration of their obsession with shutting down government at the expense of women's health. >> reporter: now, the focus turns to the new republican leadership races, with boehner's number two, kevin mccarthy of california, an early candidate to replace him as speaker. many, like georgia's lynn westmoreland, are contemplating whether to run for other leadership spots, but are unsure what the changes will mean. do you think a different speaker would produce a different outcome for house republicans? >> no, i think the outcome is going to be the same. >> reporter: the leadership elections are expected to take place november first. >> woodruff: we'll get more insight into what drove boehner's decision and how it's being received in just a moment. meanwhile, in other news, recriminations set in after the deadly stampede in saudi arabia that left at least 719 muslim pilgrims crushed to death. it happened yesterday at mina,
just outside mecca, where more than two million people are taking part in the annual islamic pilgrimage known as the hajj. lindsay hilsum of independent television news has our report. >> reporter: king salman of saudi arabia received pilgrims' representatives at his palace in mina today. he talked of arab and islamic unity and of preventing hidden hands from causing mischief in muslim lands. not all the faithful will accept that. amateur video shot yesterday shows emergency workers amongst piles of bodies. other footage shows people waiting to enter the jamarat yesterday. one gate is opened, the crowd presses in-- the danger is obvious. dissident voices say there's little chance of a transparent investigation that's just not the saudi government's priority.
in tehran, they were protesting about the 131 iranians who were killed in mina. "death to the saudi monarchy" she shouted, but this grief is orchestrated not spontaneous. shiite iran is sunni saudi arabia's sectarian and regional rival. the governments sponsor opposing forces in syria and yemen. yesterday's tragedy will fuel antagonism and political strife. today a calm scene are pilgrims carried out the ritual scolding of the devil. some 2 million muslims are staying in the air conditionenned tents. the saudis have talked of increasing the number next year. now the pilgrims move toward mecca, despite the danger,
acrimony and grief for those who lost their lives. >> woodruff: saudi officials say they expect the death toll to rise, as they continue counting bodies. the head of soccer's world body- - fifa president sepp blatter-- now faces a criminal investigation for alleged corruption. authorities in switzerland interrogated blatter today and searched his office. u.s. and swiss officials announced in may they're looking into corruption at the sport's highest levels. after that, blatter said he will step down early next year. in europe's migrant crisis, the prime minister of hungary promised today to consult with neighboring states before closing his border with croatia. but hungary also neared completion of a fence on that border, where thousands have crossed in recent days. thousands more are crossing serbia, to get to croatia. a top european official was there today to witness the influx firsthand. >> it's a global problem, and we can only give a european answer.
it's not something where we can leave only one country with itself to resolve the problem. this problem can only be managed if we are all working together. >> woodruff: meanwhile, there was trouble in finland, where dozens of protesters threw stones and set off fireworks at a bus carrying foreign asylum- seekers. the government condemned the violence. back in the u.s., the environmental protection agency announced auto emissions-testing is going to get more stringent. e.p.a.'s head of air quality said the agency wants to know if other automakers also cheated on the tests, as volkswagen has admitted doing. the head of v.w. has resigned, and today, matthias mueller, who now runs v.w.'s porsche unit, was named the company's new c.e.o.
california today re-imposed the united states' toughest carbon emission standard. it mandates cutting transportation fuel emissions by 10% within five years. and it counts the pollution generated by producing the fuel as well as by driving. the issue's been on hold since 2009 because of legal challenges. and on wall street, stocks had an up and down day. the dow jones industrial average gained 113 points to close near 16,315. the nasdaq fell 48 points and the s&p 500 slipped one point. for the week, the dow lost a fraction of a percent, the nasdaq fell nearly 3% and the s&p shed 1.5%. still to come on the newshour: what speaker boehner's resignation means for the future of congress, pope francis' call for peace and justice at the u.n., climate and cybersecurity top china's president's visit to the white house, shields and brooks analyze the week's news
and much more. we return now to the resignation of house speaker john boehner and how it's seen by the most conservative members of the house. a short time ago, i spoke with republican congressman reid ribble of wisconsin. representative ribble, welcome to the "newshour". you were part of a small group of conservative house members who met with speaker boehner yesterday. was his resignation a result of that meeting? >> oh, not at all. in fact, that whole idea didn't even come up in the meeting. all of us were quite surprised this morning, even kevin mccarthy mentioned he was told only moments before. so it caught us all offguard. the resignation or the speaker's position wasn't part of our
discussion with the speaker yesterday. >> reporter: do you think this is a good thing for the how wase of representatives? >> there is been a good bit of talk about maintaining the status quo. i think the speaker was doing a good job managing the diverse opinions. there is 247 republicans and they span the political breadth of republicanism in this country and it's difficult to get them to all agree on a particular tact or strategy. so i felt pretty good about how the speaker was trying to advance our principals but clearly there was some dissatisfaction. >> woodruff: there is been rejoicing among many conservatives. there was a standing ovation at the voters summit gathering. a number of the conservative house members said they think this is a good thing. my question is you're still dealing with the democratic president, the senate is a different place from the house.
how do conservatives in the republican caucus get what they want now? how is it going to be any different or any better? >> i think the one thing that conservatives will ask for is a more strict adherence to regular order. i think they often accept not getting our perfect solution when we feel we have been part of the process, that the process has been followed correctly, that members have a chance to offer amendments to bills that come to the floor, i think those were some of the things that were creating anxiety. but the reality is, as you mentioned, we do have a democratic president, we don't have a super majority in the senate, so we're going to try to advance a conservative agenda further through the house and we'll see what miss mcconnell can dor the senate. >> woodruff: is this a win right now for house conservatives? >> i suppose some would say it's a win. i'm not necessarily looking at it as a win. i do know every single time you change somebody in leadership --
i know this happened in my company before i came to congress -- when you have a chance to change people, you shake up the status quo, you force us to look at things through a different lens and prism, so we might end up with a different result. >> woodruff: it is our understanding, though, that right now the thing that conservatives wanted most and that is for planned parenthood not to be funded is not going to happen, that there apparently is going to be an agreement that it will be funded for the time being, so how is that a positive in the mind of conservatives? >> well, i think there is a couple of very fluid dynamics going on. first of all, a couple of the major national right to life organizations have asked members of congress like myself not to shut down the government over the funding of planned parenthood but to continue to try to make the case for the american people to win the hearts and minds of the american people. i think the pope spoke out forcibly and forcefully
yesterday on the issue of pro-life where h he said we should respect life at every stage of development. so i think there is still more to go on. we have another bite at the am in december when we do the full funding for the year. we have opportunity again to expose the practices of planned parenthood in the next 60 days and we'll see what happens from there. >> woodruff: representative reid ribble from wisconsin, we thank you. >> good to be with you. >> woodruff: for more let's turn to our political director lisa desjardins who is on capitol hill. is there anything more we need to understand about why boehner did this right now? >> well, i think one major factor was the meeting that representative ribble was in yesterday with some of the most conservative members of the house. my understanding is that they let the speak northat they were going to make their move against him, they were going to call a vote basically questioning his speakership on the floor of the house, and that that essentially sparked boehner's decision to
resign wrath than force that vote. he mentioned that today and i think that's exactly why this is happening now. >> you gave us a sense in your report of what the reaction is. i mean, overall, shock, surprise, disappointment? a mixture? what? >> there is surprise from all corners, even those conservatives who were trying to push back at boehner. but i think there is a very stark difference in reaction between boehner supporters. some are outraged. you can hear about asking questions about other things on the phone to some of their supporters today, how mad and bitter they are. they're worried a minority of their conference is using these hard tactics to push out, they think, strong leadership. but then from conservatives, there is more of a sense of relief and hope. but what there is not i don't think from anyone, and it's notable, is a sense of exactly what the long-term plan is here. how this caulk caw cogs that res
divided governs with a democratic president and a senate that does not have enough votes to pass controversial legislation. >> woodruff: what's your understanding conservatives think is going to change is going to be better? you heard representative ribble said there will be more following regular order. i think most people don't understand what that means. >> what that means is they're hoping the conservatives will be able to put more amendments on the floor and at least get up or down votes on their ideas. they think perhaps there weren't enough votes on different versions of defunding obamacare. in past years there were in votes on defunding obamacare. the conservatives want to put more issues on the floor and have more amendments. they want at least a chance to vent. as to tend game, i asked speaker boehner today how he thought his stepping down would lead to a more stable house republican
party and his answer at the end is hope springs eternal. i think that speaks to the end that this is a place that is frustrated and either house republicans trying something different. >> woodruff: looks like kevin mccarthy the majority frontrunner for the speaker leadershipship but the rest is up in the air. >> i think kevin mccarthy is clearly the man to beat now. there was an announcement in the past few minutes from florida representative daniel webster, he's throwing his hat in the ring. i don't think he is now going to beat out kevin mccarthy. the other races will be rather close and especially to see this conservative versus more moderate wing, and i think, judy, it's interesting that in the past four years all three of the top three positions in the top republican party will have had new faces. that's a big deal. >> woodruff: a wild day at the capital. lisa desjardins, thanks. >> thank you.
>> woodruff: pope francis delivered a strong and sweeping call today for action to address climate change, making the case before a global summit in paris this november. it was part of a wide-ranging speech that took sharp aim at materialism and warned of further suffering for the poorest citizens. hari sreenivasan has the story from new york city. >> sreenivasan: fresh from two days in washington, the pope moved to a global audience: the 193 member states of the united nations general assembly. >> ( translated ): we cannot permit ourselves to postpone certain agendas for the future. the future demands of us critical and global decisions in the face of world-wide conflicts. >> sreenivasan: in his native spanish, francis called again for a unified response to crises, especially threats to the earth itself. >> ( translated ): a true "right
of the environment" does exist. any harm done to the environment, therefore, is harm done to humanity. >> sreenivasan: climate change has been a recurring theme in the pontiff's first u.s. visit and today, he tied it to another issue that's central to his papacy-- social and economic injustice. >> ( translated ): the misuse and destruction of the environment are also accompanied by a relentless process of exclusion. in effect, a selfish and boundless thirst for power and material prosperity leads both to the misuse of available natural resources and to the exclusion of the weak and disadvantaged. >> sreenivasan: instead he insisted, the less fortunate must become "dignified agents of their own destiny", with basic rights to lodging, labor and land and to education for all. the pope also appealed for a safer world for all humanity, free of nuclear weapons, and he praised the nuclear agreement with iran. but he lamented the failure to stop the wars of the middle east
and eastern europe, and the resulting floods of refugees. >> ( translated ): in wars and conflicts there are individual persons, our brothers and sisters, men and women, young and old, boys and girls who weep, suffer and die. human beings who are easily discarded when our only response is to draw up lists of problems, strategies and disagreements. >> sreenivasan: from the u.n., francis traveled to ground zero, where he led a moment of silence for those killed in the september 11th attacks. he left a white rose on the memorial's reflecting pool that's etched with the names of those lost. and in the site's underground museum, he shared the stage with clerics of various faiths. >> ( translated ): for all our differences and disagreements, we can live in a world of peace. in opposing every attempt to create a rigid uniformity, we can and must build unity on the basis of our diversity of languages, cultures and
religions. >> sreenivasan: the pope also visited a catholic school in east harlem this afternoon, then motorcaded through central park, where up to 80,000 people looked on. the day's final stop will be just a few blocks away from here at madison square garden, where pope francis is celebrating mass this evening before some 18,000 people. he departs for philadelphia tomorrow where he will lead a summit of thousands of families and wind up his u.s. tour. for the pbs newshour, i'm hari sreenivasan in new york. judy? >> woodruff: thanks, hari. you can explore all our coverage of pope francis' visit online at pbs.org/newshour. you can also download our new app for iphone or android. stay with us. coming up on the newshour: a unique mentorship to make beautiful music, plus the
analysis of mark shields and david brooks. but first, climate change was also a top priority at the white house today when president obama and chinese president xi jinping found common ground. but important issues still divide them. ♪ >> woodruff: it was president xi's first state visit to washington, and it began with all the pageantry the white house can muster. >> on behalf of the american people, welcome to the united states. >> woodruff: the leaders of the world's two largest economies headlined cooperation on climate change. >> today, i want to commend china for announcing that it will begin a national market- based cap and trade system to limit emissions from some of its largest sectors. >> woodruff: there was also formal agreement to clamp down on cyber-attacks. president xi said confrontation on the issue is "not the right choice". >> ( translated ): china and the
united states should strengthen dialogue and cooperation. and both governments will not engage in or knowingly support online theft of intellectual properties. >> woodruff: but mr. obama said china must make good on its promises or the u.s. could consider new sanctions. >> what i've said to president xi and what i say to the american people is, the question now is, are words followed by actions? >> woodruff: beijing's aggressive territorial claims in the south china sea also loomed large in today's discussions. president xi called again for cooperation, even as he defended his nation's actions. >> ( translated ): china is committed to the path of peaceful development and a foreign policy characterized by good neighborliness and partnership with our neighbors. islands in the south china sea since ancient times are china's territory. we have the right to uphold our own territorial sovereignty and lawful and legitimate maritime rights and interest.
>> woodruff: the chinese leader likewise gave no ground on his nation's human rights policies, saying, "countries have different historical processes and realities." president xi's visit to washington culminates tonight with a formal state dinner at the white house. for more on what they might and might not be discussing at that dinner, i'm joined by john mearsheimer, a professor at the university of chicago and former air force officer, susan shirk, she was a deputy assistant secretary of state for china in the clinton administration. she now chairs the 21st century china program at the university of california, san diego and christopher johnson, a senior adviser who closely watches china at the center for strategic and international studies. welcome all three to the program. let's talk first about what was accomplished, china signing on to this climate change agreement, so-called cap and
trade system. susan shirk, where they limit how much an industry can pollute. how significant is this? >> very significant because air pollution has become a domestic political problem in china and the chinese leadership has, therefore, gotten very serious about its commitments on climate change because these two issues are very much related, and to see china and the united states both making strong commitments on climate change going into the u.n. climate summit in december is -- sends a message that the two countries can cooperate when their interests are as aligned as this one. >> woodruff: chris christie, yocrist --christopher johnson, t as important? >> yes, and the message it sends for the paris conference is important here. >> woodruff: john mearsheimer, what would you add to that. >> i agree, but there are a number of different issues that
matter, some more than this and on those issues not much progress was expected or made. >> woodruff: and we want to get to those. i want to ask you about cyber spying, john mearsheimer, the agreement they said they made to clamp down on cyber spying and the agreement on the theft of intellectual property, how important is all that? >> well, it's very important to emphasize that there is no agreement on what one might call traditional spying via cyber, so we can continue to spy on them in the national security realm, and they can continue to spy on us. but where there was an agreement was on the economic front, and they were obviously stealing a lot of our economic secrets and we were not stealing hardly any of theirs, and the end result is the agreement they kale up with, if they can enforce it, will be a good agreement for the united states. >> woodruff: christopher johnson, how do you see that? >> i agree. the main value in the agreement is it puts parameters and the
discussion. from the u.s. point of view, when we have evidence and we will of this economic espionage, we'll go to the chinese and say under the commitments of this new agreement we expect to see prosecutions on your side and if those don't happen we will move to sanction those firms or individuals that have been involved. >> woodruff: susan what about the areas where they didn't make much headway, china's territorial ambitions, human rights. was much expected was going to happen in those areas anyway? >> no, i don't think we expected much to happen and not much did. on the china's maritime claims in the south china sea, xi jinping has become so strongly invested in those issues as a focal point of domestic nationalism, and it's a great way for him to get people to rally around the flag and rally around him at a time when the economy is growing more slowly, there are potential domestic discontents.
so it's just too attractive. at least attention for your neighbors and yourself but it works at home. >> woodruff: john mearsheimer, how much of a problem is it for the united states, for the u.s. allies like japan, vietnam, that they didn't get much done in that area? >> well, the south china sea is a huge problem for the united states because our credibility in the region really matters andeth at stake in this particular case. the japanese are watching us very carefully because the japanese depend on us for security, and it's our nuclear emblah that's our their heads, so they want to know how tough we're going to be with the chinese if the chinese begin to push, and the chinese are pushing in the south china sea. they have very ambitious goals, and the united states has really not drawn any lines in the sand up to this point. and i think at some point we're going to have to do that, and i
think it's going to get very messy at that time. >> woodruff: christopher johnson, is the u.s. any closer to drawing a line? >> i think we're getting there. it's important that when we think what china is doing in the south china sea as john was suggesting we have to think of it i inner context of china's maritime strategy. our forms will operate at times of our choosing, perhaps even with impunity, in this area to the so-called second island change of came and the rest of you have to accept it, is the message, and if you don't want to support, we care about this page more than you and the chinese are trying to get maritime strategic depth around their country. >> woodruff: the relationship between the two men, overall, china-u.s. relations, are they any better coming out of these two days of meetings? do you believe? >> they're not any worse. i wouldn't say this was a whom run kind of summit.
last november we had a summit in beijing where the two leaders made three sets of very substantive agreements with xi jinping because he was the host then. he really bent over backwards to make that a successful summit. here, he was coming, he was getting the state visit. he already had it, and he didn't have -- he didn't want to give as much. and these issues are tough for him. so i don't say this was great. and the relationship has become a lot more competitive since i served in government at the end of the clinton administration. so -- and i think this is not going to turn that around. >> woodruff: john mearsheimer, a lot of reporting about the efforts by president xi to consolidate his power in china. what do you see in the months to come in the overall u.s.-china relationship?
>> well, i think that he has a significant domestic problem at home for two reasons. one is that he does not have a lot of legitimacy in the sense communism which is the ruling ideology doesn't have much power these days. furthermore -- >> woodruff: even with the chinese people. >> even with the chinese people. as a result, he's been playing the nationalism card, and that causes all sorts of problems because it forces him to be more aggressive in foreign policy. at the same time, he's having significant economic problems at home, and it's very hard to predict where this train is headed, but these economic problems could get worse and that may force him to be more aggressive on the foreign policy front for the purposes of trying to keep the centrifugal forces at home at bay. so this could get messy. >> woodruff: christopher johnson, the point about reminding the chinese about the economy and the difficulty they've had on the markets of the wocialtiond there wasn't
much mention of that. >> that was surprising. i think this was a missed opportunity. if both presidents had taken the opportunity they had to reassure global equity markets, that the two countries are working together to stabilize the markets, that would have been very, very useful and i think that was a missed opportunity. >> woodruff: how much is known about how well the two men, the two leaders get along and does that make a difference? >> not much is known. i think it certainly makes a difference. i think what we can say is they worked hard on their relationship and that goes back to their first meeting in california where they had the shirt sleeve summit. i think you can characterize the relationship as not closeful and candid. my sense is especially when they have the more informal settings, like last night, there was a small dinner. today was the formal mechanics, last night they discussed the issues and i think they had in-depth conversations about the political systems, the architectural regions john referenced, but the relationship
is not close. >> woodruff: one we'll all continue to focus on. christopher johnson, susan shirk and john mearsheimer, thank you all three. >> thank you. >> woodruff: capitol hill was a historic place to be this week with a papal visit and the surprise resignation of house speaker boehner. of course, those are the main topics for our turn to shields and brooks. that's syndicated columnist mark shields and "new york times" columnist david brooks. welcome, gentlemen. so, mark, surprised about boehner? >> yes. but as lisa reported, too, from the hill, the speaker faced a vote of no confidence. he could have survived but it would have shown him weakened in his own caucus among the
republican members. so i think he brought the decision on his own terms. >> woodruff: david, a complete shock for you? >> no, saw it coming months and months and months ago... (laughter) no, obviously since the day he walked in the door, he's had this challenge andeth grown evening more, but i don't think anybody saw it coming in this way. there is a beautiful piece from robert costa in "the washington post" talking about the night before costa was with him on the balcony and boehner said the pope stood right here and he asked me to pray for him and he was so moved so there was a mood of uplift and might as well do the right thing. paul ryan called it a selfless act and i think it is. it spares us from a potential government shutdown, helps the institution, helps the party from the fall south of a government shutdown, so i think it's a beautiful act. over the long term, the down side of boehner was he wasn't that imaginative and the
republicans weren't that aggressive in putting together a lot of policies, an alternative to obamacare, a healthcare, a tax plan, whatever. but he did know reality. he could see reality around him. he knew the craft of politics and how you craft a keel, especially these budget deals. some of the critics don't seem to see that reality, but they don't control the white house and the majority in the senate and they don't seem to respect the craft of politics and if they get into power they will be introduced it to rudely. >> woodruff: david was saying it avoids turmoil but there is going to be turmoil when we figure out where the leadership is. conservatives want the same things even with a bunch of new leaders. >> you're right, judy. it postpones turmoil instead of having it immediately. john boehner never was a good fit with this particular caucus of fire eaters. john boehner was a legislator. he liked politicians. he feels good at his craft.
perhaps they became suspicious when john boehner, in 2001, cooperated. he actually practiced what the pope preached to the congress -- he cooperated and compromised with ted kennedy and george miller, two ranking democrats, on president george w. bush's significant proposal of leave no child behind. he was willing to pass a highway bill, an immigration bill, he was against closing down the government, willing to raise the debt ceiling. this raised suspicions within the true believing caucus, two dozen, maybe four dozen. it's not enough to pass anything. quite frankly, all they did, i think john boehner was right, yesterday was the day of his life. 21 years, he made the effort. he became with john paul ii the
pope and we would have never heard this pastor yesterday with the national audience but for john boehner. >> woodruff: david do, things change now? does more get done, less get done, is it the same? what's going to be different about the wait works. >> i think a lot will be the same. as soon as kevin mccarthy takes over. he's not that totally different from boehner. he's a happy, charming guy. now a little more in favor with the conservatives, but he's still a reality-based politician and he will understand how to try to do deals. so i think he'll get a little bit of a breather. but the people who believe they're in office not to pass legislation but merely to express their id are still there. that construct will be there. elaine brooking said the office of the speaker is weaker because there is less earmarks so they
can't give away projects, the party is weaker because of campaign finance and there is fewer spirited individualism in the house now and people can freelance on their own. so the institutional power is a little weaker. so even when a democrat comes in, i think we're going to see a lot more factiousness. >> woodruff: even when a democrat comes in? >> yes, i think most of the democratic party believes in politics, they believe in government. so in some sense the republican party can get a little more extreme over tactics, but i think it will be hard for speakers in the future to control people because if you have a super pac, independent expenditures, it's hard to impose discipline anymore on the the body. >> woodruff: does more or less get done? >> less gets done, judy. there are probably four dozen members of the house republican caucus who do not believe in government and they've never
accepted the responsibility of their governing party. john boehner accepted the fact that republicans, the majority party of the house in the senate, therefore we have the responsibility to keep government operating, not to close it down, to fund it, to compromise, to get the votes necessary to pass the legislation required, and therefore those who say, no, if it does close down, great, that's what we're here about, and i don't know how you govern with that. david's absolutely right. kevin mccarthy is one of the most gregarious members of the house. he knows his colleagues in the house on the republican side. he knows their kids and wives' names and loves their company. it won't be long before the talk shows start in and right wing network starts up and the four dozen or three dozen or whatever they are absolutely
nonnegotiable. >> woodruff: some call them the heck no, stronger word, caucus. >> yes. >> woodruff: it's interesting, david, this comes the day after pope francis comes to speak to a joint session and talks about we need to end polarization and work together. what about the pope's message at the white house? what did you take away? >> we have ideological fights, he's a personalist. someone once said soldiers are not saved in bundles. each individual human being. i love when the little girl on the street came up to his caravan and he embraced her. that was a pope and the individual. he represents community and uplift which is different than our horizontal politics. it's a vertical axis he's on. so whether republican or democrat, i think everybody felt uplifted, both by his example and humility, but also humbled
by he believes that the church is a hospital for the souls and, so, he offered that as well. and i would say in general we can have score cards of how political he was. i felt the political speeches were fine, the u.n. was fine, if one agrees with that, but some of the statements he made at the homily at the catholic basilica in town were beautiful and the religious statements were profoundly beautiful and i hate to see them get drowned out on whether he was anti-gay marriage or political stuff. >> woodruff: what did you mainly take away from this pope? >> i agree with david, there are a couple of things. i was with somebody who had been at john kennedy's funeral and said it was the closest thing they had seen to a washington event since john kennedy's funeral. in this sense, most events in washington other than inaugurals which are a celebration, most of them people come in great
numbers to protest, to address grievous. this was a joyful crowd. they waited for literally hours to see him for four or five or six seconds away and walked away satisfied. and it was a joyful and very considerate crowd. it lacked the usual washington elbows "do you know who i am? i should be up front." that was missing. i thought the speech to congress was magic in the sense of watching the feeling in that room. there was a sense of awe about the man. and i agree with the -- he walks where he chooses to walk. he says the same whatever audience he's speaking to. the thing about the man that just strikes me, history is written by winners, and it's written about winners.
about generals and princes and what was said about him, this man's an outsider, he looks at the world from the bottom-up and outside-in. and after the speech, instead of accepting the lunch where all the power brokers of washington come to lionize you on capitol hill and get all the toasts, he went down with 300 homeless people and he sat with them and ate with them and it was marvelous. but jesus was born homeless. it's just marvelous. it's the eloquence of the symbols as far as his language. >> woodruff: does it linger, david? does something last? is something now embedded in this city and anywhere else as a result of this? or is this a spleetin fleeting ? >> yeah, well, the lion won't lie down with the lamb, but i
think he leaves a profound memory with people and it's a moment of uplift with people. i think a lot of non-believers were moved, a lot of lapsed catholics were moved, a lot of jews and protestants were moved, everyone was sort of moved, and that emotion leaves a re residu. but for a lot of people, lives will be changed. some tens of thousands will go to a mass and their lives will be changed. and we emphasize the man so much, but what he's saying is the product of 2,000 years of teaching and prayer. we sort of overemphasize the individual and underemphasize the institution throughout the have it, but for a large number of people, this will be a turning point in their lives, and that's sort of what's celebrating in philadelphia, in madison square garden tonight, some people this will be the moment something very fundamental shifts in their lives and politics rarely
achieves that. >> woodruff: certainly something we don't see often. david brooks, mark shields, we thank you both. we take a look now at a very different chinese-american collaboration, this time in the world of the arts. ever since a ban on western music was lifted in china almost 40 years ago, the country has produced a number of artists for elite music conservatories in the west. jeffrey brown has the story of one such pianist who's taken the leap from prodigy to international superstar with the help of an american mentor and a former prodigy himself. this story was produced in collaboration with public tv station kqed. ♪ >> brown: he is 70, the grandson of yiddish theatre stars, music director of the san francisco symphony and a major figure on
the classical music scene for five decades. she is 28, a virtuoso from china and a spectacular new presence on the international circuit. michael tilson thomas and yuja wang have been collaborators-- as conductor and pianist-- for 11 years now. >> this is a little part of a schubert rondo, which is subtitled, "our friendship is is unchanging. it's forever. >> brown: and, up close, it's clearly a relationship based on musicianship-- and a sense of humor. >> there is an element of excitement and danger to it because it reminds me sometimes as if you were watching the circus and you're watching a trapeze act, somebody is jumping and doing flips in the air, but also somebody is catching the person who is doing that. >> brown: who's who in this case? >> in this case, i'm the catcher. >> brown: and you're the? >> i jump around.
>> brown: yuja wang took her first piano lesson at age six. soon after, she was accepted at the central conservatory of music in beijing. at 14, she left china-- without her parents-- to study classical music, first in calgary and then at the prestigious curtis school of music in philadelphia, from which she graduated at age 21. these days, when not on the road, wang lives in new york-- as addicted as the next 20- something to her digital devices. when you put on the headphones, you're listening to? >> it really depends on my mood. today i feel like brahms or today i feel like eminem. >> brown: brahms and eminem right? they go together. yeah. her fiery youthful style and sheer talent quickly attracted attention in traditional classic music circles and beyond. youtube videos, like this one of rimsky-korsakov's "flight of the bumble-bee" on the medici tv
site have gained millions of views. for his part, michael tilson thomas was himself a classical music prodigy. in los angeles, he played piano alongside legends like igor stravinsky and aaron copeland. when he first heard then 17- year-old yuja wang play, he recognized some familiar traits. >> look, there's that expression, it takes one to know one, and there is that certain thing i spotted in her from the beginning of-- ahh... right. and it was remarkable because here was this very young woman playing and she was listening. she was listening to the harmonies and she was playing in a way that was following and sympathetic as well as asserting herself. >> brown: we watched the two rehearse beethoven's piano concerto no. 4 with the san francisco symphony. >> then resolve it.
♪ make sense for you? >> yeah, but it's hard to control the sound. >> i know. playing slow and quiet is the hardest thing for a thoroughbred like you anyway. >> brown: hours later, issues resolved, they performed for a packed house in davies hall. >> we played it three years ago and now we're playing it again and i feel like it's more relaxed and more free and he caught up on that in the rehearsal after five pages. it was just so sensitive and it just had this really subtle adjustments right away and he'll tell the orchestra and they change the sounds, the tone, the phrasing, everything just kind of takes care of itself because the overall mood and atmosphere is a little different. >> brown: mentoring, in this
case, takes many forms. including, over the years, teaching wang-- a young woman constantly traveling the world-- how to prepare healthy meals. >> we're going to make croutons. no, no, no! not yet. don't put them in yet. you're not done with them. >> brown: beyond the salad- making, tilson thomas says there's a deeper satisfaction to his mentoring role. >> it's essential for me, the sense of contact with a new brilliant spirit with another generation with whom i feel so much in common. >> brown: why is it essential? >> because it reminds me too, of the relationship i had with mentors of mine who were 50 years older than i. my major piano teacher was a pupil of a guy called moriz rosenthal, who had been a pupil of liszt who was a pupil of czerny, who was a pupil of beethoven. >> brown: with yuja wang, along with her musical prowess, her style, very much including clothing, has also gotten plenty
of attention and sometimes raised eyebrows in the tradition-bound world of classical music. of an orange mini-dress she wore for a performance at the hollywood bowl, "the los angeles times" wrote: "had there been any less of the dress, the bowl might have been forced to restrict admission to any music lover under 18." you like to make a statement with your clothes, as well as with your music? >> the clothes goes with the music. tonight it's beethoven. it's something elegant. tomorrow i have something very jarring and blatant for bartok. >> i have certain ideas of where that borderline is of just how daring her fashion sense can be relative to the piece that she's playing. >> brown: but tilson thomas also recognizes an added benefit. >> she's very appealing to young people of course, because she is so young, she's so attractive. her playing is so brilliant. all the controversy concerning the way she appears fashion- wise, this is all part of it and
yet there is no one who remotely suggested that anything about her music making was less than totally serious. >> brown: soon after our visit, michael tilson thomas, yuja wang, and the san francisco symphony took their show on the road for an extended european tour. after that, tilson thomas returns to san francisco to launch a new season. and wang continues her peripatetic musical ways with a new album of music by maurice ravel, out in october. from san francisco, i'm jeffrey brown for the pbs newshour >> woodruff: on the newshour online: a young man's impassioned facebook post went viral last week after he described being called a racial slur on his college campus. payton head said he could remain silent, or he could speak up. he chose the latter, and he
challenged his classmates at the university of missouri to do the same. the political science major and student body president wrote about what inspired his plea. plus chief foreign affairs correspondent margaret warner reports after meeting with iranian president hassan rouhani. you can read her blog on our home page. you can find that and more on our website, pbs.org/newshour. and a reminder about some upcoming programs from our pbs colleagues. gwen ifill is preparing for "washington week," which airs later this evening. here's a preview: >> ifill: the pope takes the world by storm. the u.s. and chinese presidents talk cyber crime and military maneuvering and house speaker john boehner's resignation bombshell. all that plus an update on the slippery world of 2016 politics tonight on "washington week." judy? >> woodruff: on pbs newshour weekend saturday: faith,
service, sacrifice-- meet the new generation of those entering the priesthood. >> reporter: 18-year-old phil tran began his studies this fall. the oldest of six children in a vietnamese-american family, tran was immersed in catholic teachings from a young age. >> i've always had people-- going up to me, telling me i'd make a good priest. >> reporter: still, when he finished high school, tran planned on studying mechanical engineering at philadelphia's drexel university, where he was offered a partial scholarship. >> i love math, i love science, i love engineering, but i couldn't see myself enjoying that for the rest of my life, when i know that i could be touching people's lives in a more direct way, in a way that god might be calling me to do. >> woodruff: that's tomorrow night on pbs newshour weekend. that's the newshour for tonight. i'm judy woodruff. have a great weekend. thank you and good night. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by:
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