tv Charlie Rose PBS March 27, 2017 4:00pm-5:01pm PDT
>> rose: welcome to the program. we begin this evening looking at the health care debate in washington. we begin with kelsey snell of "the washington post" and al hunt of "bloomberg view." >> the vote today in the house and friday, the decision to pull the health care bill i must admit was a shocker for me. i thought if you get this close you're going to pass it and the stakes are so big, this is a devastating defeat for prine, donald trump but also for the republican party. >> rose: we continue with mike allen of axios. >> that's the take away from today, charlie is now everything else will be harder. the tax reform and eventually infrastructure and whatever they want to do on immigration, just among republicans there is not trust, there is not appetite, there is not sea legs, there is
not confidence that ryan can deliver. >> rose: and we look into the question of truth with nancy gibbs, the editor of "time" magazine and david leonhardt of the "new york times." >> what we have here is a case in which the current president speaks so many untruths, just again and again and again and again, about the murder rate, his electoral marge, about the crowds during inauguration day, about j.f.k.'s assassination, about 9/11, about president obama's worth i about president obama's wiretapping, and i could go on with 20 more, he speaks so many untruths that i think with we have to conclude that he doesn't feel bound bid truth. >> rose: finally, actor richard gere talking about his new film, "norman: the moderate rise and tragic fall of a new york fixer." >> the interesting thing i found out about norman and playing him, which surprised me, is that there was no anger in him. he gets hurt, and he's humiliated time after time. this is kind of a charlie chaplain side of him.
there's no anger. >> rose: a look at health care in washington and a conversation with richard gere when we continue. >> rose: funding for "charlie rose" has been provided by the following: >> 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: president trump's vision to remake american healthcare was dealt a surprising and devastating blow today, the president and house republicans leaders decided to pull legislation to repeal the
affordable care act after facing stiff resistance from both conservative and moderate factions within the party. speaker of the house prine rushed to the white house to alert the president he lacked votes to move forward. he addressed reporters later this afternoon to explain why the vote did not take place. >> we came really close today, but we came up short. i spoke to the president just a little while ago. i told him that the best thing i think to do is pull this bill and he agreed with that decision. i will not sugar coat. this this is a disappointing day for us. >> rose: joining us from capitol hill is kelsey snell, she covers congress for "the washington post." welcome. >> thank you so much for having me. >> rose: what a week. it has been quite a whirlwind. we started out thinking we would be repealing the affordable care act and here we are having it all gone up in smoke. >> rose: what does that mean? that it's gone up in smoke? for the president, the speaker
of the house, the freedom caucus and democrats? >> we've already heard the in reality, the republican couldn't coalesce around a single message. they agreed repeal was the goal but the details got the best of them. i think there is a real question about what kind of governing coalition exists within the republican party and how republicans in the house will work together, with the president and if anybody's really in control here. >> rose: does it mean that the freedom caucus has some kind of veto in close votes? >> i mean, they do at this point have enough votes that if they stick together they can stop any legislation. this was a real test for them. if they had back down, met with the president and walked away saying he was charming, a good salesman and won us over and
walked away, they wouldn't have that power. but they reaffirmed something they've established for years is they can stick together better that be their factions as a republican party. >> rose: what does it mean for trump's ability to use the bully pulpit? >> actually, we don't know. we know he can pressure some people but not everybody, and we don't know exactly how voters and his core constituents will respond. it's entirely possible they don't blame trump and they blame house speaker prine. as trump said, he did not want this to be called trump care. he wanted to call it something else and the name ryancare stuck so this may fall to the speaker of the house rather than the president. >> rose: doesn't the president need ryan for every other aspect of his agenda? >> he certainly does, butths important to remember ryan shares some of these goals. ryan december play would like to get tax reform done, it's
something he was been talking about since i remember. they agree on that. there are some people who feel like repealing the affordable care act was kind of an adopted issue for president trump and that tax reform is more at the core of the principles that eran on and things he has believed in his business career. >> rose: tax reform and reform in regulations together. >> yes, and those are two things where they can find common ground. tax reform is hard. i was a tax reporter for many, many years and i think people discount exactly how complicated it can be. there's a reason it hasn't happened in a generation and there is a reason why this is something that takes time. so we'll watch closely for when they actually get started on the process of doing tax reform. >> rose: does it affect immigration? >> it affects immigration if they want to build coalition with democrats and consensus. but they feed to reset and figure out what their next step
is first. >> rose: at the end of the week, where is the confirmation of neil gorsuch? >> well, we were expecting that to happen not this next week, but the week after, and we haven't heard yet from majority leader mitch mcconnell about whether or not he wants to move up that process in any way. so where it stands now is democrats say they're willing to filibuster him and we are going to see a big blowout fight in the senate once that actually happens. the question now is just how long it takes. >> rose: what about infrastructure spending? >> infrastructure spending is one of those things that we have heard about for a long time, it was a goal of this current white house and the campaign, but we haven't seen any legislation or really any solid proposals beyond the idea that the presidens to make a large investment there. that's also an area where details matter. are we talking about roads and bridges? are we talking about highways or trains? that all still needs to be flushed out before they can move forward. >> rose: is the president's credibility damaged?
>> you know, i think it is for some people. it's yet to be seen how his core voters feel. his core voters have seemed to be flexible in how they view trump and they support him as a person. it's about personality first, many of his core voters. so this may or may not actually change their feelings about him. if he can successfully deflect the criticism of what h.p.d. this week over to the house speaker or someone else, it's possible he walks away unscathed. rose: we continue with althe. hunt of "bloomberg view." you've seen lots of weeks in washington both as a reporter on the hill and in other remarkably interesting stories that you have followed in different places. how does this match up? >> charlie, when i was with you on tuesday, i thought it was an exhausting week, and this is -- it's ten times more exhausting today than three days ago.
this is just -- i don't think i've ever quite seen a week quite like this. maybe watergate. i suppose you would have to go back 40-some years, but other than that, i don't think we've seen a week like this with all the legislative and executive and law enforcement thing. but the vote today in the house and friday, the decision to full healthcare bill i must admit was a shocker for me. i thought when you get this close you will pass it and the stakes were so big. this is a devastating defeat for prine forks trump, but also for the republican party which, for seven years, has promised something that they couldn't deliver on. >> rose: does this mean, according to what paul ryan said, that after pulling the bill, you know, that for the foreseeable future the affordable care act will remain in place? >> they have no choice. they'll probably -- you know, they'll try to nick it and do this and that, but trump wants them to move on to other things, taxes in particular, and they have to. but once there is blood in the water, it doesn't go away, and
sharks continue to cinch that blood. so, yes, i think they will be able to turn to other issues now, but this defeat will last for a long time, including on the campaign trail next year. as i say, go back to 2010. if there were any centerpiece to what hundreds of republicans promised, we're going to repeal and replace obamacare. it ended up as an empty promise, charlie, not just because they failed, but because the product they came up with was almost one no one liked. doctor didn't like it. hospitals didn't like it. consumers didn't like it. liberals, conservatives. it had 17% approval in a quinnipiac poll. the old saying you can market dog food as well as exquisitely if you want to but if it isn't any good, the dogs won't eat it. today you not only had right wing conservatives, members to have the freedom caucus, but the
chairman to have appropriations committee, barbara comstock, a savvy politician from suburban washington, said, no, i don't care what you say are the stakes, we can't do this. >> rose: so what does it mean in terms of the rest of the president's agenda? >> what it means is that they wasted a couple of months. you know, the first was pat ma linnehan who said they wasted the first two months. they will turn to taxes as soon as they can. that's not going to be easy. the one thing that's apparent now that was probably apparent before hand is trump is really not a political threat to these members unless it's a member from a conservative district who is voting against trump on liberal grounds or on more moderate grounds. none of these members were afraid that trump was going to come out against them in a
primary and hurt them, they really weren't. let me give the president his due. i do think he lobbied this and went member to member as effectively as any president in a long time. a lot of people didn't think he could do that. he did that very well, but he had a product that i don't think he knew much about and you couldn't sell. >> rose: we now talk about the health freedom caucus. how is it different from the tea party and the caucus it bred during the house and reign of john boehner? >> similar. people like jim jordan in ohio, i think they feel they have been emboldened, elected two or three times, safe now. they're uncomfortable with trump. there are things they like about trump a lot. immigration and some of the
social issues. they don't think he's a real true believing conservative because he's not. i think they will be with him on some things but they're not well, i think they would be with him on immigration. i think the problem you have there is to put together a coalition -- i don't think you can get any kind of major immigration through, charlie, without democrats. right now, the mood is not very receptive in the democratic side to work together on much of anything. at the may change by the summer or by may. right now, it's not very promising. >> rose: and what does it do to whatever factions there are within the white house? does one gain and the other lose? >> as i said earlier, there were hundreds of members. that was the prime commitment they made, we're going to repeal and replace it and, again, the repeal part was very easy. the replace part was impossible. they ended up with a bill that 24 million people lost their insurance. by the time they were making deals, it really wasn't going to cut the deficit any and was unpopular.
so you can't blame this one on the white house. so, therefore, i'm not quite sure it changes the internal dynamics a lot although i'm sure steve bannon will say, see, i told you so. >> rose: al hunt in washington, thank you, my friend. >> thank you, charlie. >> rose: back in a moment. stay with us. >> rose: would they have the votes or not? that was the question in washington all week long. president trump insisted house of representatives vote at 3:30 this afternoon on the republican bill to repeal and replace obamacare but at the last minute speaker ryan told the president to pull the bill. mike allen, co-founder of axios and axios a.m. the newsletter. let me begin with what some may say san assessment, some say is an autopsy. what happened? >> epic miscalculations at both ends of p pennsylvania avenue fm
beginning to end. the president decided to plunge ahead with health care rather than taking up perhaps the easier win of tax reform almost on a lark, a very quick conversation where he didn't really delve into the pluses and minuses. at the other end of the pennsylvania avenue, at the beginning, speaker ryan, looking at this from a more of a matter of policy than politics. when you talk to house leadership about how rough this looked for the different parts of their conference, they would also retreat to policy answers when in the end charlie this came down to pure raw politics, person to person. miscalculation at the end. so, charlie, axios told until the very end people thought it would be nip and tuck, looked very close. they were hoping they would limp over the line, but, in fact, the
bottom fell out. the numbers were going to be terrible, and that's in the end why they reversed their curse and pulled the bill instead of having a vote. the thinking in the white house, charlie, the calculation was, say you tried, that you blamed democrats and, if you're the more mack vallian members of the white house team, you have a list of who's with you and who's agin you. you have a list of what republicans weren't being helpful. that was appealing to the white house. here's where they were wrong, charlie. they were looking at this as a vote unto itself. but life is not a series of one-offs. charlie, as you know, life is a story. life is a ta tapestry. whatever happened today is going to have huge consequences for the rest of the trump agenda.
that's the big takeaway from today, charlie, is that, now, everything else will be harder. tabs reform and eventually infrastructure and whatever they want to do on immigration, just among republicans there is not trust, there is not appetite, there is not sea legs, there is not confidence that ryan can deliver, and it makes anything that they want to do more complicated and is going to cause them to have to pull in their -- the sites of their ambition. >> rose: and does it mean members of congress, the republican party and certainly members of the freedom caucus are not afraid of the president? >> well, it's true and the fact that's been true for a while is part of this. so, charlie, you and i have talked about how president trump, because of the way he was elected, had a very powerful tool, and that is the digital bully pulpit if a way that no other president has.
he could use his twitter feed and his direct communication to lobby and punish and stroke individual members. but looks like the president focused on the member-to-member, individual part of this fairly late, and we were talking about how there must have been a lot of trips in the last invitations to mar-a-lago. but you would have thought that would have been happening sooner. so the president wasn't directly engaged with these members, and at the same time he was getting less popular. this is where he's paying the check for some of the distractions that you and i have been covering over these weeks and months. so not only were they not afraid of him, they weren't as aligned with him. here's the twist in what happened is that there is an argument that, for the politics of 2018, for the politics of
2020, republicans actually may be better off. the reason that they had so much trouble figuring out how to work this rubik's cube is the politics of it back home for these members were terrible. whichever way these members went, they were going to have a problem back home. after campaigning on this for seven years, after taking repeated votes to get rid of obamacare, they needed to try. but, charlie, and this is something that you don't very often hear talked about in the corridor between us and washington and you in new york, but the real-world effects of this bill were very worrisome to a lot of members of congress and should have been worrisome to the white house. charlie, you've covered how much of the trump coalition, some of the struggling, hard-working americans who are having a rough
time were dependent on obamacare. a lot of them either needed parts of the obamacare program, or people that they love were involved with that. and, so, the effect of it hadn't really kicked in and was going to take a while to all kick in. but republicans may be better off being able to blame obama, blame democrats and not own the health care system which, under the best circumstances, was not going to get better overnight and, under this bill, would have given them a lot of splaining to do. >> rose: what does it say about prine speaker of the house other than he had some of the same problems that john boehner had? >> yeah, so a great tweet said, somewhere john boehner is sipping a glass of merlot. ( laughter ) it's harder than a lux, isn't it, young man? there is no question about that. this marriage between the
speaker and theup, as you know, was always going to be an arranged and difficult marriage. then, at the end, when they were in such different places, the white house clearly was planning to take credit if this passed and blame prine if it didn't, and the president trying to bully the speaker at the end telling him to go ahead and take this vote, the president thinking of it in classic deal terms, and that is, on wall street, deals die again and again before they're finally done, and, so, the gamble was you go ahead and get this vote and eventually you're going to be better off. the speaker saw his support evaporating and knew that that wasn't going to be the case. so, charlie, the republicans now saying that they're going to move on, that they're not going to try and fix thisn monday morning. they're not going to retake this up, plunging into tax reform
this morning at an axios news shaper event, i had a conversation with the treasury secretary steve mnuchin. he was arguing in some way tax reform is simpler than healthcare, and i say you talk to anybody who was around here in 1986, i think you will get some skeptics on that because he's arguing that tax reform is goodies and, yes, tax reform has goodies in it, but there also are people who lose out on the other end. so now we're plunging into another completely politically-fraught argument, something, again, where, on policy, white house, house, senate, all in slightly different places, speaker ryan insistent on moving ahead with this border adjustment tax, which makes it more expensive to
bring goods into the country and could raise a trillion dollars that could be used for tax relief elsewhere, but that makes things cost more at wal-mart. if you're a senator from arkansas, like that's not a very tough decision. i asked steve mnuchin today about the border adjustment tax and i said to him, let's say i work at wal-mart, let's say i shop at wal-mart, which i do, explain to me why a border adjustment tax is good for me. and you saw in his answer that there was no particular embrace by the white house. so why that's important, charlie, and these packages always come and go, as you know, but the white house already is in a very different place than the house, and in the tax code where a break for one person is an egregious greiges outrage for another -- an egregious outrage
for another, trying to work that at the truss after the experience is very hard. >> rose: i think this will show president trump is facing collision of some of his campaign prom jess and some of the things he promised he can't deliver because it affects some other things he promised. >> a very brilliant point, and it's like why you couldn't make the math work on health care, that for every single change you made that made it more pal latable to conservatives, you made it not only less pal latable to people in swing districts, you made it less likely to pass the senate, more likely these members were inhe memorable words of senator tom cotton of arkansas, walking the plank, taking a tough vote for something that had no chance of becoming law and that's why there was so much pressure on the speaker in the last 12 hours. there was no way his members wanted him to have to take a
vote that clearly was going to go down or is going to go nowhere. so you're right about this collision, charlie, not only within the issues but among the issues. >> rose: michael, thank you so much. >> treat to be on. happy weekend, charlie. >> rose: we'll be right back. stay with us. >> rose: what is truth in politics specifically as it amice to president trump? "is truth dead?," that's the story of "time" magazine. the latest article of david leonhardt in the "new york times." nancy gibbs, tell me, where are we in this question of truth and how difficult is it for journalists? >> journalists have been debating for a long time about when you say someone is lying, and the challenge there is that it's much easier for us to check facts. we always do that and know this statement is true, this statement is not true, this statement is partially true.
when you talk about whether someone is lying, there is an added layer of intent, of what is it that they know and believe? are they mistaken? are they intentionally stating a falsehood? that's where this president has posed a particular challenge to the people covering him. a great many things he says are demonstrably false. but there is the second question of how many things he ss would qualify as lies, he knows what he's saying is false, and how many are things that are actually untrue but he believes are true. i think separating those things is very important because what presidents believe se normsly important in what they decide to do, what issues they care about, what wars they start, what wars they end, what challenges they face and how. so a president's knowledge and his understanding of facts is critically important. >> rose: and his credibility. and his credibility of what is it that we believe in what he says. he has made it very hard for
people listening to him to believe him because so many of the things that he has said are demonstrably untrue. >> rose: as you said in your letter before this piece, it is viet that we be able to believe our president. it is also viet that we know what he believes, and why. the president has made both a severe challenge. david leonhardt, when you wrote the column you wrote and raised the question about the president as a liar, tell me how you approached that and tell me what it is that you wanted your readers to understand. >> to be honest, i approached it uneasily. i agree with nancy, the word "lie" is not a synonym for "untruth. "it conveys intent, just as she said. i don't believe that george w. bush was lying when he said there were weapons of mass destruction in iraq and i don't
believe barack obama was lying if when he said if you like your healthcare plan you can keep it. i think they were both careless and proven false. in this case, we have a current president who speaks so many untruths, again and again about the murder rate, electoral margin, crowds during inauguration day, j.f.k.'s assassination, 9/11, president obama's birth, president obama's wiretapping and i could go on with 20 more, he speaks so many untruth that i think we have to conclude that he doesn't feel bounded by truth and, so, while it is hard, probably impossible, to know on any individual case whether he knows the truth and is lying or whether he believes something that is false and is stating it, i think we can comfortably say he isn't is happy to lie, and that's what i find so alarming about the situation. >> rose: push comes to shove here when there is a national crisis. and the president needs for his
allies, his citizens and his government to believe him. >> we've with already seen the implications of what these last few weeks have brought, and there was a poll in germany asking people whether they think the united states is a reliable, trustworthy ally, and that number propped precipitously from something like 59% to 22 in a short period of time. so there are real implications for not only what american citizens will believe from their president but what our allies will. you know, if you look back to other critical moments in american history, think about the cuban missile crisis, when president kennedy has to do on television and state to the country that this tremendous threat was now facing the country, and the people thought we might be looking at the possibility of a nuclear exchange, the stakes of presidential credibility in a case like that could not possibly be higher. similarly, when he went to our
allies and told them about what our intelligence was finding, it was critical our allies believed him and he had not in any way docketed or exaggerated the evidence. >> rose: you are an editor and reporter not a psychiatrist, but let me ask you this, why does he do it? >> well, all we can judge is what we see and what he says to us, and when we interviewed him this week on exactly this subject, i think, to go to what david was raising is he doesn't view truth, i think, in the way -- or treat it in the way we are accustomed to in our public or private figures. it's much more of a answer the action. in a number of cases where we pressed him on exactly these false statements, it was as though the truth itself was something negotiable or something where, okay, i haven't been proven right yet but will be, and he cited this statement about this terrible thing that happened last night in sweden. nothing happened the night before in sweden. he said, yes, but two days later, there were these peecial
riots. so truth doesn't matter so much if you're a prophet and you can see what's going to happen in the future. he talked about a number of times where he said things where he was ridiculed in the moment and turned out to be right. he cited brexit over and over again, he cited the fact he's the president of the united states over and over again where a great many people said it could never happen. he ended that interview where he said i can't be doing that badly because i'm the president and you're not is that does he understand the significance of credibility, is the question. >> it's not clear it has ever mattered. >> rose: he was in real estate. >> he talked about truthful hyperbole. he talked about playing to people's fantasies, that, in his life, and what has worked for him and it's human nature if something works for you you're more likely to keep doing it, if it has worked for him to invent, exaggerate or distort, then that has been validated over and over, in his experience, as
something that is an effective tactic. i think a greasm people who even knew this about his business career did not expect it was a behavior that would follow him into the oval office where the stakes are so much higher. >> rose: in a transactional analysis you can move the goal post-and say whatever i said is simply to begin the negotiations. david, so how does this change? if all of this is at stake, the credibility of the president of the united states, and there is a record, as you suggested, the current president has lied, he lied in ways no american politician ever has before, and then you cite the things he's lied about. does it have to stop? and if it doesn't stop, what then? >> it's a good question, and, obviously, it's alarming, right, because, for many reasons, americans, whether they are republican or democrat or
independent, should be rooting for a presidency that is functioning well because many things depend on it. the safety of our country depends on it, the health of our society depends on it, and, so, it really is quite alarming. i think there are a few possibilities here. nancy just basically said one of the reasons it's likely he does this is because it's worked for him. it worked for him in business. his company basically collapsed but it was too big to fail so his creditors decided it was better to keep the name going than to put him out of business. then it worked in the campaign. he h told a huge number of lies during the campaign, proveably false things, and he was elected president. so i think one of the issues is, if it starts to not work for him, if he can't get things through congress, if republicans abandon him, if his approval ratics remain low, does he say, wait a second, this is hurting me and change his course?
that's an amoral way to start telling the truth, but it might be the best we can hope for. >> rose: another tenet of his believe is there are winners and losers and he wants to be a winner. >> yes. >> rose: so you raised the question of what is he prepared to recognize and do in the interest of being a winner? >> well, there are some things that i'm not sure we have ever seen in his entire public life. i don't think we've seen him admit error, i don't think we've seen him apologize, i don't think we've seen him express shame or remorse or regret, all of which are perfectly human functions that most people do quite normally in the course of their lives. so whether or not -- i think it's quite true that if he feels like he is paying a significant cost, that it would be logical for him to change course, unless it is just -- it isn't in him. we don't know if the truth is in him. >> rose: you worry that somehow in the world that we live in falsehood has taken a new power. >> well, that is a really important part of this
conversation because one of the things we studied, he has tweeted 298 times since taking office, and over this period of time, and if you look at which of his tweets have been most re-tweeted and most covered, it is the most outrageous ones. what social scientists find is that, even when a false statement is repeated often enough, the number of people who believe it tends to grow. some of this is confirmation bias and some is what people are increasingly concerned about part of the intrusion into the electoral process where the hacking of social media in order to promote false stories, and the more they were promoted, the more people saw them, the more the number of people believe them. we even saw this with the original sin in terms of trump's falsehoods which was the birther controversy. >> rose: sure. that the more that controversy was covered, including reporters disputing and debunking it, the more the
number of people who believed it grew. i always wondered why was it that president obama ultimately felt like he had to produce that long form? which donald trump took credit for. >> why would he give trump what he wanted? well, partly because the polling showed the longer this went on, the more people were believing it, even though the stories they were reading overwhelmingly were stories that knocked the conspiracy theory down. >> rose: social media is with us and is not going to change, is it? >> no. >> rose: david? some of this, charlie, is a reflection of the partisan polarization we have in our society. so it's not just that, when people hear a lie, they tend to believe it, it's that, when people hear something coming from the other side of the political spectrum, they tend to disbelieve it. and, so, having the so-called mainstream media which obviously all of us are members of debunk falsehoods from donald trump may actually cause a segment of the population to believe those
falsehoods even more. >> rose: because we tried to debunk them? >> yes, because we are the ones doing the debunking. one of the costs of partisan polarization is people stop list upping to each other and just say, wait a second, is the person saying my ally or not, and if they're not my ally, i not only am going to be skeptical, i'm actively not going to believe them? >> rose: this may be naive, but where is patriotism here? >> i mean, you would hope that we -- and not only would you hope, i know there are people who have gone into the trump administration, who are horrified by watching their boss, the president of the united states, say patently untrue things. so what you would hope is one of the roles that patriotism plays is members of congress who are supposed to be members of a co-equal branch of government and, so far, many house republicans have not been, they've acted like trump
staffers on things like russia, you would hope that republican senators, republicans in the house more so than they have, and even members of the trump administration would say that patriotism and national interest outweighs party loyalty and even their loyalty to any one individual and that they would be willing, first behind closed doors, to try to push the president back toward reality and, secondly, when he won't do that, to speak up against him. >> rose: we've seen an interesting week. we've seen an f.b.i. director say i've seen no evidence that president obama's administration bugged trump tower. we've seen a confirmation hearing of a supreme court justice and we've seen a debate about healthcare. will we look back and see this as a defining week in the trump presidency? >> in any other age, anyone in our positions would say, yes, of course, and, yet, we have been living through the last year and a half in which day after day
and week after week takes us into territory for which there are no maps. >> rose: how many times have we all said, that's it, he can't go further than that? >> i long ago got out to have the prediction business about just where this is going to be taking us. >> rose: david? this is probably a mistake. nancy's answer is the right answer, but i'll make the mistake, which is, if, for the, the health care bill fails, i think there is a significant chance we'll look at this as a significant week in the life to have the trump presidency. to have your first priority fail when your party controls congress is a very, very damaging thing to have happen. it happened to bill clinton in 1993, and it really damaged his presidency. both george w. bush and barack obama got their first priority through. if donald trump and the republicans cannot pass healthcare despite having spent years promising to do so, despite controlling the house, to me, it will be a sign that
some of these issues with the president is his lack of connection to the truth, his inexperience in politics, his lack of interest in policy and in detail may, in fact, cause him substantial problems as president. >> rose: it also is a reflection of the danger of promising things that most people believe are contradictory and cannot be achieved. >> that's exactly right. the republicans don't have a coherent policy on healthcare. they can say we don't think government should be in the business of healthcare and it's fine if many, many people are uninsured. but what essentially they did is paint obamacare as a socialist bill when it's quite moderate and left themselves no place to go. the only place they had to go is where they were uninsuring large numbers of people and that's the problem. they promised vastly more than they can deliver. >> rose: and many of the large number of people voted for them either at the state level or voted for the president.
>> precisely. well, we're going to be watching the natural political calculations of, you know, who do i answer to if i'm a member of congress, is it the people in my district or is it it the leadership of my caucus or the president of the united states if he's a me of my own party and how much power does he have to do me damage down the road, and i think that's what we'll be watching play out. to go back to your question that all these things are happening within the same sort of news cycle and ecosystem of, you know, how strong the president is and how strong he's perceived as being, perhaps more important, is he the guy who can get the deal done or not, you know, i think this is a critically important moment yet here we are 60 days into a presidency, and we have to keep reminding ourselves of that, it's 60 days. >> rose: with many careers on the line. "time" magazine, "is truth dead?." nancy, thank you so much. david leonhardt in washington.
thank you. >> thank you, charlie. >> rose: we'll be right back. stay with us. >> rose: richard gere is here, actor and activist. stars in joseph cedar's new film, "norman: the moderate rise and tragic fall of a new york fixer." he plays an aspiring power player in the new york jewer community who sees his fortunes rise after befriend ago man who later becomes the president of israel. film comment calls gear's performance superb. here's a look at the trailer. >> this is good. i've thought it through. i know. i've just got to find someone who can actually do this. a lot of money. >> bill, he's a friend. we decline to do business with him. i don't want the look like i'm asking him for a favor. >> can we say we're related? can i say i'm your uncle? >> no. good morning, bill. norman oppenheimer. >> i have to leave. this is unacceptable. >> so i'll tell my partners that we had a good conversation! >> may i ask what you do for a
living? >> what do yowhat do you need? i'll help you get it. it will be my privilege to help you buy these shoes. >> you don't have to. is i've h -- is everything okay? >> yeah, enjoy. explain how your business works, i'm curious. >> if you ever need anything, feel free to call. >> we need to raise approximately $14 million to save us from the wrecking ball and this is where our friend norman open b heimer comes in. >> do you know norman oppenheimer? >> no. how nice to meet you. would you mind joining me? you were in arthur's house. es, this is my private home. ou can't just walk in and sit at my table. >> could i introduce you to him? you know who he is, right? >> don't waste my time! this is time sensitive. you spoke to him? >> i'm not following you, norman, did you speak to him or
not? >> why don't you return my call. i get the feeling nothing you tell me is real. >> rose: get rid -- get ready for a surprise. >> you're like a drowning man wading in an ocean liner. >> i'm a good swimmer. don't forget that. something good will happen. trust me. >> rose: pleased to have rich richard back at this table. wwelcome. >> welcome to you, man. good to have you back. we were just talking about what you've gone through. >> rose: why do you say this is the best film you've done in a long time, maybe ever. >> certainly one over the best. >> rose: good director. first rate. joseph cedar is an israeli director who's made several wonderful films, one of think was foot notice, which he won the can prize for best screenplay, and the first one i saw was bofort, about a young
israeli soldier. but people will see, you will see this movie, firstov al, it's something i've never done before. >> rose: in what way? it's as far away from my instincts as it could possibly be. >> rose: your in60s are you could do a certain kind of thing? because you've done every kind of thing. >> no, my instincts as richard gere were not at all of this character so i had to get out of myself to embrace this guy and let him do the walking and talking for me. >> rose: who is norman oppenheimer? >> norman oppenheimer is a macca (phonetic). we use the word "fixer." he's trying to put something together all the time. he's got a keel here working a deal there -- >> rose: he wants to be on the inside.
>> he wants to belong. he wants to be part of what's happening. he wants to be one of the cool kids. he wants to -- and you can see this was his whole life of inventing himself, changing the story, name dropping, pushing, pulling, anything to get in, scratching, and a lifetime of doors being closed in his face. >> and then he meets somebody that he befriends. >> well, he never quite knows what's going to happen. he's kind of open to all the possibilities around him, and he goes to a meeting of israeli ministers in new york, and he sees a younger one. it's part of commerce and oil, younger, not very powerful. no one's paying any attention to him. it's all about the prime minister. but him, maybe he's got a possibility, and he kind of follows him out of there and
creates a meeting with him. >> rose: this is apropos so where we are. >> to exactly where we are. norman oppenheimer from new york. >> norman! norman, my friend! where have you been? >> i have been trying to -- each you! norman! ( laughter ) hannah, do you know norman? >> nice to meet you. this is my wife. norman is going to be my special honorary ambassador to new york jew. my personal advisor. there are over 500 organizations
represented in this room. it is a tremendous force of nature. unprecedented in our history. we feed towns how this incredible force united on the issues that are important to the jewish people and to the world. stay with us. >> congressman. hello, how are you? you know norman oppenheimer? >> no, i don't. nice to meet you. this is my wife joyce. >> very nice meeting you, too. this is my nephew, philip upcohen, i think he's the youngest partner in the firm. >> we represented toby. he married solomon's daughter! >> rose: so what's happening? well, this is in the middle of the film. >> rose: right. he realizes he has power. >> he's in. >> rose: he's in, on the inside. >> the rest of the scene, i'm
glad, because it's an incredible scene, of being embraced in reality but also an impressionistic way of the heavens open up, and it's the first time in amman's life that the whole world is going, yes! >> rose: and he's desperately wanted it to happen? >> oh, we all do. we all want to walk in a room and people turn and smile. they're happy we're here. >> rose: it's a nice feeling. yes. >> rose: but you say it's the best thing you've done in a long time, ever, let's say. >> it's one of the best things. >> rose: is it because of the director? is it because of -- >> a combination of a lot of things. he wrote a great script, he's a great director, the cast is extraordinary. >> rose: and what about you? it's harder for me to see myself. i'm happy with the work -- >> rose: so it's possible a director got a performance out of you other directors had not? >> or i got a great direction out of a director. how do you know? >> rose: but it feels good.
and do you know when it's happening? did you feel how good this film was when you were -- >> no, there is no way of knowing ho if a film is going to work. you can bet on a script. i'm smart enough to know a terrific script at this point, but you don't know in the end if those bizarre elements that make up a two-hour form of storytelling are going to come together or not. you never know that. you can bet based on instinct and empirical things like good director, good script, terrific cast, d.p., the whole thing. >> rose: how much of it is you simply got this character? >> well, that's a lot of it, of course, but that won't tell you that the movie's going to work. it will tell you that you're going to have a good time every day you show up to work because the thing is going to flow, some magic can happen because you're
able to let go. we worked -- joseph and i worked eight or nine months on this before we started shooting. >> what did you do for eight or nine months? >> well, the process is kind of funny. we were talking about it today. as soon as that script is delivered, and he says i'm going to send you the script, from that moment, you're rehearsing. you read the script, you go, oh, okay. and immediately something starts happening. you meet the next time, already, you're working on the movie. no matter what's going on. you go for a walk, you make some the tea, you read the newspaper, you're talking to each other, you're not. you have an idea, you go see a movie. whatever you're doing from that point on is on some level rehearsing what you're going to do in this movie and what it's going to be. so -- and i like this process. it's a eslow dream-like process where things get keep deeper and
deeper all the time. >> rose: what's interesting is here's a guy who was struggling to be in as a fixer, as whatever he wanted to be. >> yeah, i mean, he's pretty low level. >> rose: i see. this is not a power broker. >> rose: but you said you could identify with this guy. i mean, you were a major movie star when you were, what -- how old? >> i don't know. i don't know. movies started coming out in my late 20s. >> rose: i would say late 20s. and you also had the critical success to go with it. >> i was fortunate. there are no classes for this, no books. no one, no matter what you think it's going to be like, you will never know till it happens. >> rose: until it happens. and you are either smart enough to take a deep breath and step back a little bit or not. >> rose: what is it that the prime minister sees in norman? is it just friendship? just somebody who was there for him? >> i think he sees a good heart, to tell you the truth.
it's bizarre because everything the guy says is a lie. norman has only a very faint acquaintance with the truth. but there is something -- he's a true-hearted person and he's a loyal person and i think that may be part of that initial falling in love of just -- he's kind of a sad sack. he's actually kind of a charley chaplain -- charlie chaplain character, and i think he sees a sweetness. >> rose: take look. abbi! it's norman. >> i know, i have been calling you all morning, why don't you answer your phone. >> answering now. do you want to hear what i have to say? >> you spoke to him? what did he say? >> let's say, get ready for a big surprise. >> how many zeros are at the end of the surprise, can you tell me that, at least? >> come on! considerable surprise.
that's it. i've got to go rabbi. >> norman, you realize how important this is, right? we're going to be kicked you need to give us a firm answer. no games. >> i can't hear a word you're saying. >> norman! norman! goddam it! >> how with the rabbi connected to this. >> what am i doing this? you want the rabbi to marry you or not? pick up the phone, call one of your buddies at harvard on behalf to have the prime minister of israel. is that so difficult? >> don't belittle what i'm doing. in the world overharvard admissions it's like incest. >> rabbi blumenthal will feel like the same thing when he find out i'm asking him to marry a convert who isn't officially converted! >> rose: what is the tragic fall -- you won't tell me this -- but the tragic fall. ( laughter ) >> the interesting thing i found out about norman and playing
him, which surprised me, is there was no anger in him. he gets hurt, and he's humiliated time after time. this is a kind of charlie chaplain side of him. there's no ager. >> rose: "norman: the moderate rise and tragic fall of a new york fixer" opens in theaters on friday. friday april 14th. richard gere. >> thanks, charlie. >> rose: thank you for joining us. >> see you around. >> rose: for more about this program and earlier episodes, visit us online at pbs.org and charlierose.com. captioning sponsored by rose communications captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org
this is "nightly business report" with tyler matheson and sue herera. >> losing streak. the dow dipped for eight straight days, as wall street weighs the potential for tax reform. and investors wonder if there's more selling ahead a town divided. why seal city, nebraska, is split on the construction of the keystone pipeline. protecting the power grid. how vulnerable is the key infrastructure from hackers? those stories and more tonight on "nightly business report" for monday, march 27th. good evening, everyone, i'm sue herera. tyler matheson is off tonight. it is the longest losing streak for the dow since 2011 when the fight over the debt ceiling prompted fears of a default by