tv Charlie Rose PBS June 26, 2017 12:00pm-1:01pm PDT
>> glor: welcome to the program. i'm jeff glor of cbs news filling in for charlie. we look at the senate's proposed healthcare bill. we talk to kelsey snell of "the washington post" and ezra klein of vox. >> what's interesting about this bill sit retains most to have the architecture of the affordable care act, it just takes away money for it to achieve its goals. liberals don't like the way it doesn't get what it needs to get done. conservatives like it because the platform is still around, and the democrats could come back and refill it with money. in theory there is a lot of policy disagreement. but if republicans want to pass something, well, this is something. >> glor: we continue with uber's ousting of c.e.o. travis
kalanick and we look at what's next for the ride sharing giants. mike isaac, derek thompson and max chafkin. >> uber is big but i don't think it's as big as it thinks it is. lyft is comin' on. uber has been pouring money from venture capitalists for years, subsidize effing riride we take while pushing its drivers to accept less and less money. the fact they're still not making money is telling and potentially troubling. >> glor: we conclude with the president of princeton university, chris eisgruber. he spoke to david lean hart of the "new york times." >> i find our students inspiring. i find they have an extraordinary commitment to service and a strong set of democratic values. do i think they're at a time when they're asking the question, what does it mean to act on those democratic values and how do we express them
through the electoral system right now. so they're brogue up at a time -- so they're growing up at a time when many believe, a as o i, that climate change is an extraordinarily serious problem of great urgency for our planet, but they're looking at legislators and finding them unable to react in a way that seems to address that problem. they're seeing deadlock in washington where we have regular arguments about whether or not we should authorize our own government to pay its debts as we go forward, they're seeing huge amounts of polarization. one of the reasons i spoke about institutions in the way i did at the commencement address is to try to urge this generation, a very engaged and civically minded students, to have respect for those institutions even at a time when the institutions are under tremendous vees. >> glor: healthcare, uber and the president of princeton when
we continue. >> 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. >> glor: good evening. charlie is away. i'm jeff glor of cbs news. we question again this evening with healthcare. on thursday after a month of closed door negotiations among a handful of republicans, the senate leadership released a draft of their version of repeal and replace. majority leader mitch mcconnell is pushing for a vote next week. but the bill is running into
trouble. four republican senators announced their opposition to the bill as it stands right now yesterday and a fifth dean heller of nevada did the same today. joining me now from washington is kelsey snell. she covers congress for "the washington post." also ezra klein, the editor-in-chief of vox. welcome to both of you. kelsey, the bill has had more than a day to soak in on the hill. how's it sitting? >> well, at this point, the big question is can mitch mcconnell get to 50 votes, that's how many he needs to make sure this pass. they're using budget rules to make sure they need a bare majority of 51 votes to pass this. they can call in backup from vice president mike pence to vote one vote. that means they have 52 republicans in the senate and they can only lose two. right now we're looking at four conservatives who have said they don't support the bill in its current form but left open wiggle room so they could get to yes with a few concessions.
the real question is what will happen with moderates like susan collins of maine and senator murkowski of alaska who haven't committed one way or the other. there is a lot of question at this point. he does haven't 50 but there is confidence within his circles that he will be able to get there. >> glor: it's mckowski, collins, heller, flake. mitch mcconnell has to do this dance with everyone. >> he does. the question is what are people's bottom lines. it's important to look at the bill in context of what has been the republican divide on healthcare. you've had the moderates saying they should do more to protect medicaid. this has deeper medicaid than the house bill over time because the house bill over time put medicaid on a growth rate connected to how fast medical costs grow. now it's just inflation, and inflation grows more slowly than medical costs. so it's a deeper cut to medicaid but the cuts don't begin for longer. you're getting more plausible
political denight club but less policy concession. le why if you said you wanted to protected medicaid that would be your bargain i don't know but we'll see how that comes out. the conservatives wharkst they wanted was the architecture of the affordable care act gone, the regulations, the underlying entitlement, the guarantees, the way the whole thing interacts with the medical system, the centrality of the government to healthcare in america post-obamacare. what is interesting about the way this bill works is it retains most of the architecture of the affordable care act. it just takes enough money to achieve its goals. it ends up in a place where liberals doesn't like it because it gets the affordable care act done. the conservatives don't like it because democrats could come back and refill it with money in the future. so there is a lot of policy disagreement. if republicans just want to pass something, well, this is something. >> glor: can i just talk about
some of the specifics of this deexpansion now? it would be pegged to not medical device cost increases but the cost of living increases. >> yeah, to this is really, i think, quite bad. so the way the medicaid cuts work is beginning 2021 they began to phase out obamacare's medicaid expansion, completely phased out by 2024. beginning 2025 they put the rest of the medicaid program on to a slower rate of growth. healthcare costs in this country go up fast and for a couple of reasons but one of the big ones is we keep introducing new technologies. healthcare gets more expensive because we get bert at it. we get new drugs, surgeries, medical devices. to keep pace with what people spend in healthcare, you have to keep pace with what people spend
in medicare. as my colleague jokes, because this is general cost of living you cut out the price of corn fall and that means you get a medicaid cut. it's a huge long-term cut to the program that will hurt the most vulnerable people in america disproportionately. >> glor: kelsey, let's talk about what you're expecting as the weekend develops here heading into monday and this c.b.o. score, whenever it comes out. >> yeah, so we know there are pretty heavy discussions happening. the lobbying has done trying to get the four conservatives, ted cruz, mike lee, rand paul and ron johnson, trying to get those guys on board, and a separate lobbying effort for the moderates, the lisa murkowskis and susan collinses. so they do have very different needs here and their needs are sometimes at cross purposes. so the changes that the conservatives want to see, they want to see that states have
more chances to opt out of giving people guaranteed benefits in insurance plans. so they want to make it to that it's a lot easier for states to say here's a bare bones chopped down plan, doesn't protect against pre-existing conditions, charging more for pre-existing conditions. don't charge for covering maternity at all. they say there are young, particularly healthy people who want cheap plans and want to make those available, but that makes other people really worried because the more cheap plans that are out there the more likely it is that the entire insurance market will shift to having less protective plans. there are changes that could be made over the weekend. there are changes that could be made next week. but a balancing act has to be done by mcconnell's office to make sure they don't move too far to the right or left. the other thing that i'm watching very closely is what happens behind the scenes on planned parenthood. we're waiting to see if the senate parliamentarian who has
the final say over what is in this bill will say it's okay for the republicans to defund planned parenthood for one year and if it's okay to have restrictions on abortion coverage. as its written right now the tax credits are restricted so that people cannot receive tax credits to buy plans that cover abortion care. it's not clear to me that that is how the bill will end up by the time it gets to the floor next week. >> glor: ezra, i want to talk about reconciliation for a moment. that's another tricky part of this they have to navigate as they're working on it. explain to me where they're at. >> so the bill is going through the budget reconciliation process created in the seventies as a way to get budgets done more quickly. what budget reconciliation does is, for certain pieces of legislation that directly affect the budgets and there are a couple of rules called the bird rules that could go under this, you can get a fast track on to votes to pass it. only need 51
the key is certain bills that directorially affect the budget. the f the senate parliamentarian gets a challenge from anybody saying this provision of the bill is not about the budget and the parliamentarian agrees that budget gets stricken. there are a lot of things that are not directly about the budget. there are all kind of things in this proposal that we're not sure will pass muster because they're not directly about the budget. there are some republicans who say and you could just overrule the senate parliamentarian. you could change the rules and get rid of the filibuster tomorrow with 51 votes. this is a question about how you're going to follow senate norms. by doing budget reconciliation they're already break ago big norm. obama care was finished but not started in reconciliation, and by doing this they've constrained the policies they can include in the bill and
opened themselves up to a lotf danger. >> glor: from your perspective reportingwise, which senators will give mitch mcconnell the biggest problems next week? >> well, i think it is pretty clear that rand paul is gone. he will not be voting for this bill. i am certain there will be another one, we're just not clear who it is. there is speculation that susan collins is not going to be willing to bend on this. there are a lot of problems she has with this bill. she's uncomfortable with the medicaid portions, with stripping funding for planned parenthood, and she's generally uncomfortable about the way leaders went about this. i understand from talking to many people on the hill that it looks like the people they're working most closely with or working to change the minds of the people would be ted cruz, senator ron johnson and probably lisa murkowski. we'll see what happens with the others. >> to you on that point i was going to mention, so he's going
to need crews, he's going to need herkowski, you think. >> it's easy to get deep in the weeds on this and we'll see how the numbers work out. i want to back out on this a bit. listen to what mitch mcconnell is asking his members to support at the moment. we know what this bill will do. it's clear. you can see very large coverage losses, 10 million to 10 million. we don't know the cpo score but that's my guess. you will see the people left will get much higher deductible care. this bill moves people into plans with much higher deductibles, much more co-pays and many cases higher premiums because they're getting lower subsidies. so for collins and murkowski, any of them, it is clear if you have been listening to republican rhetoric on obamacare care as i have what problems they're solving here. i can tell you with my secret washington decoder ring on, you go to think tanks and talk to people you get a different
story, fair enough, but if this bill was implemented you would see insurance companies collapse. they have no way to manage risk pools, a lot of people not being able to afford what they have. they take obamacare care's benchmark which is the plan when you get subsidies covering 70% of most people's costs, down to 58%, with a $700 deductible. you're seeing what people see before they have been told what it will do. just got it yesterday. nobody saw it before yesterday. at someponent, they offwill to look at this thick and think, do i want to be defending this in a couple of years. probably they will say yes but i don't think it's 100% sure. >> glor: the charges are cop lapsing and the premiums are already going up. >> this is really interesting. no, they're not. there are counties in the country and some states like
alaska that are having very serious problems but that is not the median situation. you have places where you do need to fix and it will be fixed quite a bit if republicans weren't putting the cost sharing structures in the bill at risk. this would not be a hard bill to fix and there would be easy ways if you wanted to keep people covered of doing it. you do not need in order to buttress some insurance markets to get 10 million to 20 million people without coverage. you do not need to push people into lower deductible plans. this is not fixing obamacare with obamacare's goals in mind. this is doing something elsewhere you want fewer people covered and in higher deductible care. you are creating more problems than people have with obamacare than if you left the law alone. >> glor: if we shouldn't be thinking of this as a rei peel, do we think of it as a retooling? >> yeah, it's interesting. it's a big semantic fight in the bill. the bill does not repeal the structure of obamacare but it
makes it impossible for it to achieve its goals. the bill also goes beyond just obamacare repeal and cuts deep into the medicaid program that pre-existed obamacare. so there's a fight among conservatives about whether or not this is truly repeal and replace. some conservatives say, no, a reformation of obamacare, some say it's a way to fix obamacare which is crazy legislation. i consider this as repeal of obamacare. obamacare is meant to cover people with a certain level of health insurance quality. this bill takes away its ability to cover people with insurance anywhere near that quality. it would be a new program with new darchtion and a new vision. the obamacare, the bulk of gains have been under medicaid and those would be completely wiped out. i don't mean to give mitch mcconnell too much backing but i think this is a destruction of the affordable care act and a construction of something new in its place. what they are constructing is
bounded by the reconciliation rules and they're working within the confines of having to keep giving people health insurance, so you're not going fully back to the worked of obamacare but this is not just some small week. >> glor: this is not a ll is they're giving a verysa large tax cut. they're repealing the capital gains tax increases in obamacare. the industry increases in obamacare, the top 400 households families in america would get a tax cut that is larger than the cost of keeping the medicaid expansion in four states that are covering 730,000 people. so 400 families, you're giving them a tax cut at the cost of taking the medicaid expansion out of nevada, virginia, a couple i'm forgetting, but 730,000 people. everything in the bill is driven by that. if you have to pay downthis multi-million-dollar tax cut, you have to take away healthcare
from people. fundamentally, they do not achieve very clear health insurance goals in this bill. republicans have been saying for years this bill does not fit their goals but they cut taxes. it really fits that goal and that goal is fully achieved within it. >> glor: what do congressional republicans say when someone tells them this is not a healthcare bill? >> they would argue, this is something you heard more in the house than the senate to be sure, but they often say conservative principles are not about ensuring healthcare is a right, they view it as a responsibility, and they are -- you know, they say their main goal is to make sure that the federal government has a smaller role in healthcare and that it is delegated more to the states and more to individual responsibility. so, to their mind, this is achieving those goals. the goals of obamacare do not fit within the realm of what republicans say they want to be doing with healthcare. >> glor: kelsey snell of "the
washington post" and ezra klein of vox media, we thank both of you for your time. >> thank you. >> glor: we don't with the big news out of silicon valley this week. the resignation of uber's c.e.o. travis kalanick. after months of internal turmoil, investors from the ride sharing company forced kennellic's departure in a contention meeting in a hotel tuesday. he had come under fire for creating a toxic culture many felt within the company and his own personal conduct. kalanick will remain on the board and retain voting rights though this remains to be seen. mike isaac of the "new york times." from washington derek thompson of "the atlantic" and here in new york max chafkin of bergs -- of bloomberg businessweek.
pleased to have them all here. max, this may have been the biggest news week of all. >> this is pretty stunning in sense that travis kalanick had full control of the company in almost every way. he was c.e.o., had voting control and board control so he had to be the one to decide to step away and it was something pretty much unthinkable some months ago. >> glor: he had board control till he didn't. >> that's right, they slowly started turning on him over time. i think the problem for a long time he stacked a number of the board seats in his favor. he has a few close friends that have been in his corner, and then suddenly the directors, many of which have billions of dollars riding on uber, started to figure out this company needs to be led by someone other than travis at least right now. >> glor: so, derek, it's going to be led by someone at least for now other than travis kalanick, but travis kalanick was and is uber. >> that's right, travis is
responsible for the company's bottom line, revenues, he's responsible for the culture, i think. in many ways the revenue came out to have the culture. this incredible releaptless focus on improving the product, making sure it was as good as possible and growing and allowing top performers in the country to get away with that with what we now know is pretty heinous behavior. it's a remarkable story because uber is an astonishing accomplishment. the largest private company in the world, $68 billion value. it made $20 billion in revenue last year. it is an enormous global way of how people get around in the u.s. and the world. but there was a culture brewing it was toxic. so it will be interesting to see what is uber like without travis both in terms of the country and the culture we don't know yet. >> glor: big revenue but the company is still losing money. >> yeah, the company is still losing money and that's one of
the things we should pay attention to. everyone sees uber and derek is right, uber is big and impressive, but i do not think it's as firm as people think it is. lyft, much smaller ride sharing company, coming on fast. big battles in many of their cities. the fact is uber has been pouring money from venture capitalists into these cities for years and years, subsidizing every ride while pushing drivers to accept less money and the fact they're still not making money is troubling. >> glor: we should mention most of the ride sharing companies are not making money at this point. but they recognize the tenuous position they're in. they sent out a lot of e-mails to folks offering big discounts on rides. i know here at least in new york city this week, they've already sent this email about the tipping policy which is changing. they're trying to turn the tied -- tide, right? >> there are a few different narratives here. if you talk to investors right
now, they keep emphasizing, look, the business is good or at least growing, even if we're not profitable, we're still trying to get -- uber executive emile michael used to talk about the flywheel they had to start in new cities which means burning a lot of venture capital dollars and subsidizing rides to get demand up. the question i think is, is that demand going to continue when riders are actually paying the real cost of a ride without v.c. dollars backing that. in the meantime, i think uber has $10 million in the bank, and they keep maintaining, look, our business is growing and we have money to keep going. in the mean time, hang in there, we're not darth vader, you should still use our service. >> glor: and not just hang in there but remove the toxicity, right, mike, that is associated,
and the question is how long it takes for that to go away. >> yeah, it's really interesting, too. you watch the uber versus lift sort of branding wars playing out right now. it's funny over the past four or five or six months, people, like normal non-tech people i talk to have a sense of latent guilt around using uber and they're not really sure why, but it's just sort of, oh, i hear the c.e.o. is a bad guy or they have a really gross culture in there, and one of their big things is to stem the tide of bad ju ju around their brand, and that's going to take a while. >> glor: the prices have to go up, max, and the price is not going up for the actual ride itself, but with uber adding in the tip option, which many will feel compelled to distribute, that increases the price as well. >> it's basically a 20% price increase, give or take.
i think that was smart. i think that one of the things that uber struggled with was this sense that, you know, lyft was a more responsible company and part of that was the fact that drivers who drive for lyft appreciate the tip thing and i think the tipping was a source of huge resentment among uber drivers, so i think this was a small thing they were able to go quickly that maybe builds trust with their driver community. the thing about the drivers is, as i said, they can move around and start driving more with lyft than uber. the thing that helped uber grow quickly is it doesn't have employees, but the flip side is at any point drivers can abandon and drive more for lyft than uber. >> glor: that did make it difficult and you had the awkward encounters about -- the
tipping thing is a huge discussion. >> the tipping thing is funny. for years, travis kalanick was the sort of weird stopping point on driver tepping. i talked to people inside the company who said they essentially built the mechanism already but for some philosophical reason, travis thought it added more friction into it. but it was kind of indicative of how uber really treated their drivers for years now. they saw them as a disposable labor force they can churn through quickly and always sort of find more supply of new people by just spending more marketing dollars to get more drivers. but i think at this point they realize there is a finite number of people who are willing to work for this wage and, so, we need to actually treat our drivers better and maybe we'll have better retention over the long run. so they're starting to figure that out. drivers are mad and they built up a lot of bad will over years so i think it will take a long
time for them to actually believe some of uber's overtures now. >> glor: talk about lyft and where it stands. >> lyft has been funny. if you talked to me a year or two ago, i would have been, like, okay, they will run out of v.c. money over time and die. but they've had a second wind the past year and drafting off a lot of uber's stumbles, so i think v.c.s and private equity firms who have for whatever reason missed an opportunity to get into uber and invest in uber started looking at lyft as a viable option, maybe it becomes an acquisition target for an automaker like g.m. or maybe google decides to buy them if they feel like their network of riders is valuable enough. so i think when people started seeing uber stumble, there was this opportunity for lyft to move in and season that vulnerability. they were able to raise a couple
million dollars and say their value share is going up. i don't know how bullish i am on lyft as a stand alone company as a ride sharing competitor to uber, but i think they have much more opportunity now than a year or two ago. >> glor: it's fascinating, max, just to talk about the complete reimagining of the corporate culture of a company. >> yeah. >> glor: that's what this is. yeah. and i mean -- >> glor: we attempt to do that. >> we alluded to this earlier. one to have the things that made travis kalanick an unusual chief executive is he was going around from city to city hiring these general managers often personally. he was very involved in very far reaches of the company and, so, these people were being hired in his image. this is not a company where you can just cut the head off the top and then it will be a new thing, and we saw that just a couple -- or just yesterday with this letter that was circulated
at 1400 or so uber employees signed a petition saying they want travis back. >> glor: how many were drivers? >> zero, i imagine. > >> glor: so, derek, to that point, i don't know that this has been discussed a lot, but steve jobs was forced out of apple, and then triumphantly returned. travis kalanick has a lot to deal with right now, but it's not like you're rapping all the travis kalanick roots out of uber right away. >> right, and it should be said travis has dealt with a lot of issues, probably the public issues we know and then the traffic death of his mother which may have led to the initial decision to step aside and then led to the ultimate chicago meeting that pushed him out of the company. of course, he could come back. he is still a part of the company, and he could come back as c.e.o., it's definitely possible. i think there is a philosophical issue that's raised which is what is the amount of oversight we want to have in america's
largest companies? for a long time, there was a relatively common critique which says the problem with these enormous companies in the u.s. is they're so focused on the short term-ism. meet the quarterly earning reports. and i was sapping the long-term innovation out of the company. you have an entire company made on one man's i think and on the one hand he was instrumental on growing out this revolution in getting around a $7 billion company the most valuable private company in the world but, at the same time, because the company seems to have been so clearly made if his im, it allowed some of the dark sides of travis kalanick to be sort of represented throughout the company in ways that were hard to take out and that was part of the calculus is in order to extract some of the toxicity of the workplace you have to cut the head off the snake. >> glor: i'm paraphrasing, but he said -- kalanick said i am
uber, uber is me. >> i think that was julius caesar. >> glor: t thankttushay. this is hard to believe this is the last we've heard from him. >> he never sold a single share of stock since he co-founded the company. he's buying up more stocks from those who want the to sell it, he's working on board of allegiances and he has investor friends in camp of loyalists in the company calling for him to return in an operational role so it's not out of the realm of possibility for a triumphant semi-return. in the short term, i think he has to step away because he's too tied up with uber's negative image. that's what investors were trying to do when they pushed him out.
essentially, he said he was taking a leave a week ago and he had no real intention of leaving the company. he was still interviewing executive candidates, still sort of texting and calling his top lieutenants in the company, so it's been hard for him to actually step away. we'll continue to see if he's making the power plays now, but for the mean time he'll at least stay a little quieter. >> glor: in the meantime, the folks running the company have to get up to speed, no pun intended. >> there are a dozen important vacancies, the management people has turned over in the past six months and obviously most importantly, a c.e.o. willing to step into this arguably toxic environment with this very aggressive, strong-minded former chief executive and co-founder kind of hovering over them.
it's hard to imagine who will be willing to take on the challenge. i'm sure they will find somebody but i don't think it will be as easy as sop people imagine. >> glor: derek, how dark and wide is the shadow now as folks inside the company operate and, okay, kalanick resigned, but you have to imagine there is still a lot of thinking about him. >> it's complicated. you're talking about a company with about 12,000 employees not counting the contract drivers. so 12,000 people can have a lot of differentups among them. you can have 1,000 people signing a petition that says keep travis kalanick around, we love limb, he's our leader, we'll die for him, you will have that contention. then you can have hundreds, thousands of people who think the exact opposite who think travis might have been necessary in terms of getting uber into all to have the markets, bypassing the regulatory red tape, making them the global company they, are he might have been the right guy for the growth but the worst time for
managing the growth because he doesn't have the soft touch you need as you're transitioning to a public company. from what i've seen, i definitely feel the company is torn. you say attrition, people feeling this is not the place to be, our seen your management has been cut gutted, we don't know what the future of the company, versus some people who believe strongly in the cause and believe they're changing the world and want to stick around to see how the story ends. >> glor: mike, intenlly, what is the divide between sort of pro-and anti-kalanick forces? >> it's funny what derek was saying likely resonates, but i would say there is a few different examples. people who have been there sense the beginning or at least four or five years ago which, in valley terms, is, you know, millenia, basically, but people who have been there from the beginning are really supportive of travis and this idea that it's the cult of the founder, very hero worship-ee sort of
thing and only the founder can continue leading the troops into battle, or whoever you wasn't to put it, or, in this case, the company on to an initial public offering, eventually. then you have folks who are a little newer, probably within the past year or so, and thought they were just signing on to another sort of mission-oriented, we're trying to change transportation and bring different modes of getting around the world to everyone, and then kind of didn't know what they were getting into, and realized that this culture is probably a little bit different than their old job at facebook or something like that, so there's a group of folks saying, look we had an edgy c.e.o., he was probably good for that time in the beginning, and now it's probably time for our next phase. >> glor: derek thompson of "the atlantic," mike isaac of the "new york times," and max chafkin of bloomberg. thank you all for your time. appreciate et. >> thanks for having me. you.
chris eisgruber is here, 20th president of princeton university, held that job for four years after spending the previous 9 as second in command. he tried to engage princeton deeply and closely with american society, welcoming navy rotc back to campus and increasing economic diversity. welcome to charlie's table. >> great to be here. >> glor: .you said, we live in e when or institutions remembering, the confidence, it is tempting to complain about our institutions' failures but we need our institutions because they enable us to pursue largrgr purposes together. first, why is confidence in all of these institutions ebbing? >> it's a great question, david. i think the best that i can do is to speculate about why that's
so. it's a worldwide trend, so there may be different causes and different places. if i look specifically at the united states, i think about political polarization that leads us to disagree systemically with one another and at times, as an article last week in the "new york times" showed, even to dislike one another across political lines, but in some ways that just pushes the question back a little, why are we seeing distrust in institutions and one another. i think the growing inequality has something to do with that. i think perceptions of procedural unfairness have something to to with that. if you read stories about people who are not only fabulously wealthy but don't seem to deserve that, or if you see a lot of evidence of corruption in the public sphere, that makes you distrust these inequalities. feels like the game produced unfair outcomes and may be
rigged. another reason which i think has another more positive side to it, certainly we are becoming very plural as a society, and our institutions are becoming more plural, they're becoming more diverse in terms of the people who are represented there, and that means that some of the old fallbacks that some of us have in terms of who we trust and don't have to be reimagined and reinvented and we have to learn how to work in a society that is more diverse. >> how do you think about what higher education needs to do both to ensure faith in american society at large but also for higher education for its own sake? >> yeah. well, i think there are a number of answers to that and, again, it's an important challenge and a tough challenge. one of the things that we have to do is know what our values are, stand by those values, explain those values so that we can build the trust in what it is we're doing and so that we can help people understand institutions that sometimes may look very different than what
they're familiar with. i think we have to look critically at ourselves and ask where they may be falling down in that regard. you mentioned my bringing the navy navnavy rotc back to princi think some of the i the veracity missing from the ivy league institution is the diversity rotc programs bring to our universities. at princeton we've had the army rotc with us but we've tried to grow the musli-american of rotc students. diverse the on college campuses is important if we're perceived rightly or wrongly as blue dots where arguments don't get vigorously engaged, that is a problem in terms of building trust in what we do. i think it's very important at places like princeton that we increase the socioeconomic diversity of our student body which is something i worked
hadderred on as president. >> let's spend a minute on the free speech. >> yeah. there have been all kinds of incidents in which it seems like free speech is under attack. the one at middlebury, charles murray where there was violence, some incidents at berkeley and d elsewhere. how much is this something that's really a concern and how much is the campus free speech issue a creation of the fox newses of the world. >> is this vigorous argument and free speech are indispensable to a high-quality university so they are issues i think all of us on university campuses take seriously and we have to take seriously. incidents like the one at midd middlebury or when heather mcdonald was prevented from speaking at the clairmont colleges. >> heather mcdonald, a scholar, sort of center-right. >> right.
and the protest was not physically violent in the way the one at middlebury was but she was prevented from speaking and that's inconsistent with what we need to stand for as institutions. anytime you have an incident like that, understandably, it is reported. when charles murray came to speak at princeton, and there was a respectful protest but he was able to give the speech, no reporting on that. when ow students had a debate with rick santorum at the end, he complimented the students on their respective maifer and there was very little reporting on that debate. so i think there is exaggeration around the set of incidents that's taking place on college campuses. i find our students and our faculty as well as university leadership are strongly dedicated to the importance of free speech on campus but these are fundamental values and obviously we have to be attentive to making sure that people from all viewpoints are able to speak on our campus.
>> that's a nuanced message that can get lost in today's polarized debate. sounds like you're saying you are a strong believer in free speech, you are quite bothered by some of these attacks on free speech which tend to come from the political left, but at the same time you think it is not the existential problem that the political right has sometimes made the issues out to be, is that fair? >> i think on our campus and the vast majority of campuses, free speech is in good shape and we're having robust, sometimes noisy arguments about things. you ought to have robust arguments and there are times when people will point to a protest or people speaking rudely to one another and say that's a sign of the free speech problem on college campus, well that's a lot of speech taking place. free speech really does protect the right of protesters to stand up as long as they're not keeping somebody else from speaking. >> do you have any concerns that some basic values, speech, democracy, the rule of law, are
under more question today, including from younger citizens than they were in the past? >> look, i'm very optimistic about our students and about young people in general, so i find them inspiring. i find they have an extraordinary commitment to service and a strong set of democratic values. i do think they're at a time when they're asking the question, what does it mean to act on those democratic values, and how do we express them through the electoral system right now. so they're growing up at a time when many of them believe, as do i, that climate change is an extraordinarily serious problem of great urgency for our planet, but they're looking at legislatures and find them unable to reak to that problem. we have dead lox in washington about whether or not we should authorize our own government to
pay its debts as we go forward. they're seeing huge amounts of polarizations. the reason why i spoke about institutions the way i did at the commencement address i gave was to try to urge this generation, i think a very engaged and interested and civically minded students, to have respect for those institutions even at a time when those institutions are under tremendous stress. but on free speech, in particular, you know, i do have confidence that our students understand that free speech is important to what it is that a democracy does. i think they are struggling with the question of how it is that you operationalize that commitment in a very diverse set of surroundings where, on the one hand, they want students to feel included and respected and where they also understand the importance of vigorous argument. they invited, a year ago, as their class day speaker, the novelist jody piquot and had her
come. in her remarks to them, because we had quite a bit of tumult on campus including an occupation of my office, jody said, look, i understand you have been through some uncomfortable discussions here on this campus, and then she added, but whoever said that discussion had to be comfortable? and the students who had invited her applauded that statement, and, again, there may be some who feel that they want to be protected from uncomfortable argument. i think most do not. >> what was the occupation of your office about? >> the occupation of my office was about the way princeton treated woodrow wilson and the memory of woodrow wilson who is kind of a second founder to our universities, not only princeton alumnist who went on to become the president of the united states, but he was the president of the university and transformed it into a great research university. we honor him by putting his name on a couple of buildings and talk a lot about him. protest ask that we take the
time woodrow wilson off the school of public and international affairs and also off a residential college. we convened a trustee committee to consider the issue. we had whatnot only was a campus-wide discussion but community discussion that involved a lot of alumni input that came out of it and said we'll keep the name on the college and the school of public international affairs but we'll change the way we talk about woodrow wilson in general to recognize his serious flaws on the issue of race and more generally aspects of our history we need to own up to but haven't talked about. >> glor: would it be fair to say woodrow wilson, whatever his strength, was a racist? >> i would say that. others may characterize it differently, but one of the things i learned in the course of those discussions was that woodrow wilson resegregated the
federal civil service after taking office as president. it wasn't just that he failed as someone might do in the time to desegregate, he resegregated it. certainly he was man operating in different times than we live in today, and some historians, we asked a number to write letters and, in the course of this, pointed out that he was a moderate on their view on the issue of re at the time that he lived, but there are acts like the one i just described that i don't think can be characterized in another way. >> glor: woodrow wilson is also an excellent segue to this subject of economic diversity. he is one of your predecessors. >> yes. >> glor: he went on a campaign to make princeton in some ways a less elite university. >> yes. >> glor: he wasn't in favor of diversity in terms of race or back in that day in terms of sex but pushed to make it feel less like a country club. >> yes. >> glor: he failed but helped
launch his political career. >> glor:. and he put the university on a trajectory that changed it. >> and making it a much more academically rigorous institution. >> absolutely. you have made a cousin of this subject economic diversity central to your presidency and it's an interesting kind of diversity because it's not often talked about. for decades we've talked about racial, ethnic, religious diversity. more recently political can i veracity, also vital, but this is different. this is saying that, on many of our campuses, while we have achieved some kinds of diversity, the student body remained remarkably affluent. >> exactly. you know, we looked at our own numbers and we have in place a financial aid program that we think of is best in class that make the university extraordinarily affordable for students who are admittedo the university. we have what we think is a great undergraduate education.
we had thought that we put those two in place, we would get socioeconomic diversity in the undergraduate student body. about a dozen years ago, we looked at how we were doing and found that we had about 7% of students who were eligible for federal pel grants that go to the least well off families. >> to interrupt tore a second, it's not just the very poor, pel grants go to the bottom 40 to 50% of the income. >> that's correct, you're looking at an underrepresentation of a factor of 6 to 7 and, from our standpoint, that's something we needed to change for a number of different reasons. we needed to change it because if we want to be extraordinary at what we do, we need to seek tallfront every sector of society. we need to change it because if we're going to bridget the divides that exist in society that we talked about earlier, we need to be brig people together from different backgrounds, and we need to change it because the
effect of a college education at a place like princeton, for a student coming out of a disadvantaged background with talent and determination, can be utterly transformative in a student's life. the data suggests if you can get them on a campus like princeton if they have the ability to do the work it will be transformative process for their future. >> in the past, a low-income student was named michelle robinson, now michelle obama, and one sotomayor. >> yes. and they both talk about what it was like to come to princeton from their backgrounds and enter this environment in 1970s and early '80s when they came to princeton which was a very foreign environment and talk about this extraordinary impact that had on their lives and set them up for the leadership careers they pursued.
>> schoolsreich princeton are known for engaged alumni and you've heard from some who said wait a second, what's wrong with the kids we already had and are you lowering your standards to admit more low-income kids? have you heard that and what is your response? >> i've heard it occasionally. we have alumni who are very engaged who love the institution and understand, in order to be faithful to eds ideals, it also has to change. so when i talk about what we've done, and to finish a story i told earlier, we tripled the number of pel-eligible students on the campus, more in absolute terms. but when i talk about that to our alumni i get some of the biggest applause lines that i get at the university. they understand if we're going to be a country, and i think this is an ideal that appeals to all of us, if we're going to be a country where if you are talented hand hard working you can succeed regardless of who your parents were, places like
princeton have to be taking more students from a disadvantaged background. but i are get the question you mentioned. i'm happy to tell folks we are not lowering our standards one iota in order to take these extraordinarily talented students and they're making a huge difference on our campus ad beyond our campus after they graduate. i do tell them i love all the different kinds of students we bring to our campus, and one of the things that i'm happy about is our trustees have authorized me to fund raise to expand the undergraduate student body because i don't think we can be focused on just one thing. >> by expanding, you will give opportunities to all kinds of kids. >> yes. not just a percentage. game. people often talk about it in terms of percentage and i get that but the real question is about how many kids can we educate and yell we to allow them to flourish. >> your personal history is so interesting as you grapple with
diversity and identity. you grew up thinking you were a protestant-american and you discovered through one of your son's history projects that the story was different. >> yeah, my parents sent me to catholic catechism classes. i had a catholic father. my mother told me she was born into a german protestant family. after she died, i was working on a family history project with my son, that i discover by looking at online records that she was jewish. i now identify as jewish. it was something that, once i started putting the pieces together, i wondered how it was possible that this had never occurred to me to explain some questions about the family history that were a bit mysterious or cloudy. but once i discovered it, it felt like a missing puzzle piece. >> how have you explored it since discovering it?
>> by reconnecting to cousins. my mother cut us off from contact of any relative who might have told a story about her background. so i grew up thinking i had relatively few cousins in this country and found out i'm surrounded by them. i have another set of cousins to whom i'm close in israel whom i never knew about and part of what this has done for me, in addition to connecting me to an extraordinary group of people, is also to give me another set of resources to draw upon as i try to understand my own ideals and values. as it happens, what i wrote about in constitutional law more than anything else was religious freedom, and the question of religion and religious identity was always an important one for me despite the effort to raise me as catholic, i grew up thinking of myself as non-christian in a christian country and, all of a sudden,
identifying as jewish, i had a body of cultural materials so risch to draw upon. >> i'm sure. chris eisgruber, thank you for joining us. >> it's been a pleasure. >> 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
man: it's like holy mother of comfort food.ion. woman: throw it down. it's noodle crack. patel: you have to be ready for the heart attack on a platter. crowell: okay, i'm the bacon guy. man: oh, i just did a jig every time i dipped into it. man #2: it just completely blew my mind. woman: it felt like i had a mouthful of raw vegetables and dry dough. sbrocco: oh, please. i want the dessert first! [ laughs ] i told him he had to wait.