tv Charlie Rose PBS June 27, 2017 12:00pm-1:01pm PDT
. >> welcome to the program, we begin tonight with a supreme court's decision today to temporarily reinstate part of president trump's travel ban. we talk to adam liptak of the "new york times". >> importantly, the court says that if you have some relationship with the united states, if you have a relative here, if you a job offer here, if you are a college student and you go to college here, then the travel ban doesn't apply to you, you can still come under the ordinary rules. but if you are a complete stranger to the united states, then president trump is entitled to keep you out while the administration decides what it wants to do about strengthening its screening and vetting procedures. ree former white house chiefs of staff and a card for george bush 43, jack watson for president carter and john podesta for president clinton
they join author the author of the gate keepers how the white house chiefs of staff define every presidency. >> first is the care and feeding of the president and that's a logistical challenge, it is also paying attention to the state of mind of the president and the emotional roller coaster that the president might be on. and that is a very large -- that often people don't pay attention to but it is all consume fog are achieve of staff and then you have the policy debate, the chief of staff manages the poicy debate, not necessarily the policy, but the process so that there are fewer unintended consequences to the policy. which means you have to have lots of views and people speak truth to power. >> rose: we conclude with leah dickerman, she the a curator of the new exhibit at the museum of modern art. robert rauschenberg among friends. >> we wanted to suggest that through rauschenberg's career that you could celebrate creativity and conversation, of course, he collaborates more
than almost anyone else, you know. he is always pulling people into his projects and finding an enter lock for in a way to create new works with someone else .. so we want people to feel tha that openness well. >> rose: the supreme court on the travel ban, white house chief office staff on the presidency, and leah dickerman on robert rauschenberg when we continue. funding for charlie rose is provided by the >> 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: we begin this evening with the supreme court. the justices agreed to uphold a limited version of president trump's travel ban from earlier this year. the order prevents travelers from six primarily muslim countries to enter the united states, the court issued leeway for foreign national whose have a credible bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the united states. the case will be heard when the justices reconvene in october, joining me now from washington, it is adam liptak. he is a supreme court reporter for "the new york times", and i am pleased to have him back on this program. welcome. >> hello, charlie. >> rose: tell me what the court said in specifics. >> so the court temporarily restliewd part of the travel ban while the court decides what to do with the case, which it won't do until it hears arguments in october and issues a decision four or five months later. this is a temporary measure and reinstates part of the travel ban but not all of it.
importantly the court says that if you some relationship with the united states, if you have a relative here, if you have a job offer here, if your a college student and you go to college here, then the travel ban doesn't apply to you. you can still come under the ordinary rules. but if you are a complete stranger to the united states, then president trump is entitled to keep you out while the administration decides what it wants to do about strengthening its screening and vetting procedures. >> rose: then you have the dissenting judges step forward and saying that is putting too much of a burden on the government. >> that's right. the three most conservative justices, justices clarence thomas, samuel alito and neil gorsuch all say, it is fine so far as it goes. we would -- we would exclude the people with no connection to the united states, but we also want to let the president in this area exercise maximum power and let him make the decision about whom to exclude and they would have allowed president trump to
exclude everybody during this period. >> this goes into effect immediately? >> the administration says that they need 72 hours to get up to speed but for all intents and purposes, this will be the new normal through the summer until the court hears arguments in october, so it will go into effect very fast. and it is not the clearest guidance you have ever heard in the world. i mean there will be a lot of dispute both in the administrative level, at consulates and embassies around the world whether someone has this bona fide connection to the united states. and then there may well be litigation over these issues even over the summer. >> rose: a victory for donald trump, the trump? >> the president. >> he said it is a 100 percent running away victory, i would say she a lot better off after this move than he was before. recall he has, has lost in the courts all across the board. he lost in two federal appeals courts. now he has got a fresh shot to convince the supreme court to take the case, and his travel ban had been blocked in its
entirety and now it is blocked in part so he is better off today than he was yesterday. >> rose: decisions by the appellate level were basically against the idea of, they read the fact that the president made speeches as a campaign. >> yes. >> rose: and talked about a muslim ban so they said a muslim ban is against the constitution in terms of discriminating against -- on the basis of religion, i assume, am i right? >> well exactly right. the said the travel ban violates the constitution because it drips with religious animus and that violates the constitution's protections of religious liberty. the ninth circuit in san francisco went on different grounds. it said the president exceeded his statutory authority, that he has done more than congress had authorized him to do. >> rose: they would consider back after when they reconvene
in october the entire travel ban as it exists or will they look at what happened inbetween this and have that influence how they rule? >> well, they can't help but take account of what happens in the real world, but here today it is important to note that these temporary measures give us some hints about where the court and where the particular justices may come out but they didn't say anything about the merits too much travel ban. that will be a fresh question for the supreme court come october about whether it violates the constitution, whether it exceeds the president's statutory authority. so these stays of lower court injunctions are provisional measures that give us a little at taste of where the court maye heading but it doesn't tell you the end game. >> rose: were you surprised the court heard this case and made the decision they did? >> no. i thought they would take the case. a big case on executive power, they almost have to take. i wouldn't have predicted the split the baby approach on
reinstating part but not all of the travel ban. no party suggested that. that wasn't on my radar it may turn out to be solomon nick and it may turn out to be one of those lines that are very hard to draw in practice. >> and justice for such who was part of the dissent. what can we say, if anything, about him in his first ruling that we know about? >> ooh, you know, i think we can say a lot about him by now. he is very active questioner, very fluid foarveg situates folk city reliable and a completely the reliable conservative vote, as conservative it is a most conservative justices and that block of alito, thomas and gorsuch looks like it is going to be a real solid part of the right wing of the court. >> rose: adam as always thank you so much for helping me understand the supreme court. >> as always, great to be here. >> rose: we will be right back. stay with us. >> rose: the position of white house chief of staff has been
called the toughest job in washington, the man current holding the job is former republican party chair reince priebus. is getting the lions share of most the criticism for the trump white house and the slow pace of the administration's legislative agenda and personnel. is that criticism fair? joining me now to put it into context are three men who have held the job, jack watson served from june 1980 to january 1981, as president carter's last chief of staff. john podesta with president clinton's chief of staff from 1998, 2001 and andy card was chief of staffs of george w. bush from 2001 to april, 2006. also joining me is chris whipple, the author of a new history of the chiefs of staff it is called the gatekeepers how the white house chief of staff define every presidency. i am pleased to have all of them here at this table. let me just begin with two questions. is it the toughest job second to the presidency? in washington? >> it is the toughest job
because you helping the president with his toughest job, which is the toughest job which means you have to have disnine and bring order to chaos, a and you also have to pay attention to what is happening outside the white house, inside the white house, and you actually have to make sure that the president is served with the challenge in time to meet the challenge so when a decision is made it is relevant and not irrelevant. >> it is also tough because one of the chief roles of the chief of staff is to make sure the president is hearing all of the voices that he needs to hear. that he is getting all of the -- >> rose: to be an honest broker? >> to be an honest broker, to be a very honest broker and also as part of that role, honestly to tell a president, no, when he needs to be told know no and that's not easy. >> rose: 0 that's not easy for anybody, is it. >> for anybody. >> particularly in this white house. when the president doesn't like
to be told no. >> rose: in the political give-and-take of the political word, who didn't grow up in that environment. >> also i think reince priebus also comes out of police, all of us had some experience in doing some policy, but it is -- it can be brutal, but it is also a tremendous honor to do it, and having, you know, done a lot of different jobs over the course of my life it is the one where you have the most impact, the most immediately, you see it the most, ands as andy note you had are really helping the president achieve his vision of what the direction of the country is. >> you serve at the pleasure of the president but your job is not to try to please him. >> i was going to say, what we learned from talking to these guys and interviewing all 17 living white house chiefs of staff for the gatekeepers, is that presidents cannot govern effectively without empowering a white house chief of staff, as
first among equals in the white house to execute their agenda and also, most importantly as andy says to tell them what they don't want to hear. it is almost impossible to overstate the importance of having achieve of staff who is a gatekeeper, meaning he controls access to the oval office and gives the real estate time and space to think. she the honest broker as jack just mentioned making sure that every decision is teed up with all of the information on every side. he prioritizes, helps the president prioritize the agenda and he is in charge of the administration's message. now, none of that may sound familiar at the moment, because in my opinion we don't have a white house chief of staff who is empowered. >> rose: right now? >> right now, yes. >> in 1986, before these gentlemen, i familiar oldest fellow here. >> rose: wait a second. >> they have wonderful symposium with john chancellor as the moderator of all of the chiefs
of staff at that time. and some people who had been key to the administration but not chiefs of staff like ted sorensen, for example, and at one point of the symposium there was a public event and we all got a question about, with, well, what athletic terms would you compare the chief of staff's job to. and the question came to me first and i said well it is like a blocking back, you could say, some would say quarterback, some would say goal he, just to keep the other side from scoring too much. and i said be 21 -- the one role that comes to my mind immediately is javelin catcher. >> rose: no one catches a javelin. >> i guess somewhere this came with maybe haldeman said give me a tough sob, you have to be an sob to be good? >> i think it depends on the president's personality. the one thing the chief of staff cannot do is be inconsistent with the way the president runs the white house, so no, i don't
think you have to be an sob. you have to be tough sometimes. you have to make the hard decisions and be able to either fire someone or reassign someone from one position to another position. that's not easy, because you know these people worry, working with these people, so toughness, yes. >> there are three functions that any chief of staff has to meet. first is the care and feeding of the president. and that is a logistical khan, it is also paying attention to the state of mind of the president and the roller coaster that the president might be on, the emotional roller coaster and that's a large job many people don't pay attention too to but it is all coconsume fog a chief of staff and then you have the policy debate, the chief of staff manages policy debate, not necessarily the policy but the process so that there are fewer unintended consequences to the policy, which means you have to have lots of views and people speak truth to power, that's the honest broker.
>> i think there, their being honest about the importance of the chief of staff role as i learned from doing the book book if you go back to haldeman from the watergate scandal to the iraq war to the monica lewinsky scandal to the failed rollout of obamacare to the botched executive orders on immigration, the white house chief of staff often makes the difference between success and disaster. i mean it is really that critical, if you think about when. >jim baker who was everybody's choice as the. >> rose: gold standard. >> gold standard, when he switched jobs with don regan, the treasury secretary, regan came in and he was completely ill suited for the job and the next thing you know there was no coincidence that a harebrained scheme was cooked up in the white house basement and began the iran-contra scandal. never would have happened on james baker's watch, so i think, i think these guys are typically being a little bit modest. >> rose: here is the money
question. what would you change if you were now chief of staff for donald trump? >> i would try to enforce -- the president and ever else in the white house, taste your words before you spit them out. why tweet, or tweet them out, because the president's words make a big difference. they make a difference on the white house staff. the bureaucracy, the executive branch of the government, congress and the world and so i would want discipline around the words that are spoken by the president and subordinately by the white house staff, which actually gives more discipline over don't leak. >> >> yeah, look, i think this is a chaotic at this structure, it has been from the very beginning, i think that reince priebus went into the white
house knowing it would be somewhat chaotic because you had steve bannon coming off the campaign, you had jerod kushner, son-in-law in the white house playing an important role, he went through a succession of a security advisor within a month of the administration. so -- but i think in some level, i think that president trump's success has been in sewing kay's and i think he thought that would work for him as president. i think at this point, you know, it remains to be seen whether you could be effective as president, certainly he is having his challenges on capitol hill. >> rose: you think -- >> you know, just think about trying to, just trying, if you have the strategic job of setting an agenda to work with the hill, for example, on policy. and you are trying to message around that and create the backdrop and the backup so that
people feel that they can stick with you, and every day the story is changing. you know, he just -- you know, they make plans and they are blown up virtually every day. that in part i think is as a result of the investigation and the president's ability to stay away from it, but i think it is also just the nature of the way he is always, i think conducted himself in business and certainly the way he conducted himself on the campaign trail so it may be a tall order too have any staff to discipline the process, you know, i fundamentally agree with what andy is saying but i think it is a tremendous challenge in this context. >> i mean, you can't run the white house the way you run a family manhattan real estate firm with equally empowered advisors coming and going and. >> rose: and not a public firm but a private firm. >> and not a chain of command and not somebody who is empowered to execute the agenda and this is a white house that is broken. it may be broken beyond repair
because ultimately, it is not reince priebus's fault, necessarily, he has made a lot of rookie mistakes but at the end of the day, only donald trump can decide to empower his white house chief of staff to execute his agenda and also tell donald trump what he does not want to hear and does anybody imagine that happening any time soon? >> rose:. >> nor can anyone, nor can anyone point out to you somebody that says no to him. i mean i have asked that question all the time. who says no to the president? has stepped forward with a candidate. >> charlie, there is another really important point admission to all of this, discipline, this white house is lacking in discipline to message, a kiss plind, disciplined process, the tweeting constantly, daily, morning, noon and night, it is not helping, because it is putting out inconsistent and indeed contradictory messages, where the president is disagreeing not only with himself something he said earlier but with his secretary of state or someone else.
but there is another -- there is another problem. >> rose: the secretary of state is trying to mediate the deal between the -- >> >> between qatar and the arab states and the president is taking sides. >> saudi arabia. and here i think if i were to, if you were to ask me wha what s the central problem, the most important sort of, an unalterable problem, it appears there is an insufficient respect for the truth, falsehoods are being stated, are being given almost every day in one or another. statements are being made that are on their face untrue, that can be shown to be, proved to be immediately untrue. that puts your staff, whether it is your chief of staff or your press secretary, god love him, in an impossible position. because you are sent out day after day after day to defend a statement which is not true.
and -- >> rose: and you assume, are you, by what you are saying that they know it is not true? >> well, that is -- i can't get into the minds of the people who are saying these things and certainly can't get into the mind of the president. but think about this. if there is not a respect for the truth, if this is not, if there is not a respect for the importance and the legitimacy of fact, how can you have a rational debate? how can you have rational debates about what policy should be if no one cares what the truth is, what the realities are? you can't. and that is why there has to be, there has to be a come to jesus meeting here somewhere, some time, which i have low expectations for it happening. >> rose: you agree with this, andy? >> well, i think there is -- therthere are some things that e so obviously true that the
president said were not, like day one, how many people attended the inauguration. i mean, that was a by star thig to ask your press secretary to go out and claim it was the biggest crowd ever on the mall when it was demon extra by not the biggest crowd ever. but he probably had more eyeballs and ears paying attention because of media and the fact that more media outlets were covering everything, so -- but, yes, i think he is sometimes challenged by the reality that they want to deny. >> rose: what is the perfect qualification for being achieve of staff? >> i don't cash i -- i don't -- i really don't think you can. >> rose: define it? >> define it that way because the person is in essence a partner with the president a. so different presidents are going to want different kind of people. in clinton's case, he loved a lot of input, the title of the
gatekeeper, if i really tried to be the gatekeeper with bill county, i think he would have just gone crazy. you have to work as -- the care and feeding in part is to work and be understanding of the way the president works. he is a tremendous thinker. you know, he brings lots of voices to the table. he invites people in. sometimes that can be maddening but often it is quite creative. and, you know, he is a policy guy, so i had to find ways to feed that, so that he didn't feel cut off from the people he wanted to talk to. >> rose: he wanted to see a lot of information so you had to make sure he saw a lot of information. >> and talked to a lot of people. cabinet secretaries used to call me up all the type and say i have to go see the president because i have -- i have to have a conversation face to face. and i would say, 202, 456, 1414,
stays up all night, call the operator, they will put you through to the president if you have something you have to say to him, call him up and -- >> did it work out that way? >> some people were intimidated by that, which usually meant they didn't really have to talk to the president, others took advantage of that. i had the advantage of knowing who he talked to every night because i saw the log of his phone calls. [laughter.] >> discipline is not to prevent the president from getting information. the discipline is to make sure that when the president gets information somebody else knows about it besides the two people that were in the oval office. so the discipline i had was i want to know before, during or after you have a visitor with the president, and the best complier to that rule was actually the real estate. at the end of the day he would say, you might want to talk to so and so, he came to see me. if he didn't tell you about it, go see him. >> having said that, i don't think any of the guys at this
table would have allowed donald trump to be alone in a room with his fbi director, given, given the circumstances of, at the time. >> rose: and it was donald trump who wanted to be alone? >> yes. but no competent chief of staff would have permitted that to happen. >> an empowered chief of staff. >> an empowered chief of staff and one of the things about the qualities for a great chief of staff and i think all of these guys share this, i think temperament, if you think about haldldeman was famously the perfect son of a pitch. >> rose:. >> right. >> but you don't have to be. jim baker and leon panetta, i think, shared something that these guys also have which is, you know, they were grounded, they were comfortable in their own skin, they had been around the block. they could walk into the oval office, close the door, and tell the real estate what he did not want to hear. dick cheney put it to me when he was with jerry ford, terrific chief of staff for jerry ford, he said you can't have a tough thing to tell the president and
have eight or nine guys sitting around and saying no it is your turn to tell him. >> rose: just one person goes in there. >> it has to be one person to do it and unfortunately we do not have achieve of staff as we speak in the white house who can tell the president no. >> >> is there anybody in the white house that can tell the president no? >> well, you know, i sometimesñi wonder if donald trump could find the civilian equivalent of jim mattis who evidently has the gravitas to change the 43's mind on torture, for example. >> rose: right. >> and tell him no. >> he needs to find somebody like that, because history is littered with the wreckage of presidencies that tried to govern this way, including jerry ford's .. >> back to your first question, what makes a good chief of staff, i completely agree with john. the role of the chief of staff is going to vary from president to president and vary dract, drastically it would be hard to
imagine two presidents more unlike in the delegation department than president reagan and president carter, president carter like president clinton was a man, was a president who what abouted the information, who could assimilate and absorb and organize in his own mind, in his own way vast amounts of information. i knew that about him. the essential a criterion for the chief and the president is mutual trust. they know each other. they sort of know the minds of each other, and they trust each other. the -- for the chief of staff, i would say it is important for him to admire and respect the president as not just a leader which he clearly is a leader, by role, and definition, but a moral leader, and conversely, the president needs to know that
his chief of staff is not their self-serving himself, that he is there to execute the role for the president in the best possible way he can, given the president's personality, given the president's priorities, given the president's goals. >> chris mentioned don regan as kind of the million dollars of failure, model of failure, who had been successful in business, arguably successful treasury secretary. i think you can't be imperial. if you are the chief of staff and that was, i think that was rebegan's downfall. you have to be -- you have to be like a sports manager. you have tremendous talent in the white house, and you have to be able to, you know, build a team that is going to be cohesive and work together as opposed to just, you know, operate by dictate from the chief of staff and that's what i think -- that's what i think regan tried to do, it broke down down the hall with the national
security advisor and that led to -- >> rose: dash. >> you know, she finally stepped in and solved the problem. >> you know,, he liked the chief part of the title a lot, the staff part he didn't like so much. >> a verb that has not been used by any of us in terms of the role of the chief of staff, i think all of us would agree on, is that a really effective chief is also going to be very good at enabling people to do their jobs. the chief doesn't try to do it all himself, and the same way a president can't, so cannot the chief. so the chief has to identify people that he or she, that time will come, when we have a woman chief of staff, form the team, form the team that you know and that you have confidence in, that you trust, and embolden them to do their
jobs. >> >> rose: back to the power thing, i mean, one of the things that seems to me gives the chief of staff a lot of power is often you have the last word with the president. you know, the last sound in his ear, before he makes a decision and i mean that came up i think -- it is sometimes said when you had dick cheney around and colonel co-- colonel colonel around. >> colin powell around who might have been -- >> first of all the chief of staff has to have peripheral vision and know where all of the people with great tunnel vision are. [laughter.] and that helps to make sure that any word to the president is not out of context, because you want the words to be within context. and a strong personality in the white house, it is a team, and it is a team of rivals in every white house, because they are very competent staffers who are
legitimately hired because they have great expertise, many of them have type a personalities and they think they are the only person with great expertise and you have to manage that process and make sure that the playing field is in fact level and not skewed one way because a dominant staffer is bullying the process. so -- but the last word i found the president would frequently seek me out it is a last word, but it wasn't so much about the decision, it was the process by the way the decision was being made by the president. and i would be able to say, sallie mae have been a little too aggressive in that meeting and jane was ready to speak up but she was intimidated by sally. you might want to call jane. >> rose: right. >> you know, mcdonough tells me the story in the book about the walk they would think. >> rose: i was thinking about that. >> at the end of every day at 5:00 o'clock or later they would
take a walk around the south lawn, on another day it may be later but when obama was confronted with the decision about whether to retaliate against syria when he had drawn his famous red line and then decided ultimately not to retaliate,. >> rose: and -- >> >> rose: what -- >> congressional approval -- >> decided to seek congressional approval. >> rose: and after decided not to. >> and he came back from the walk and shocked the security team what he decide and perhaps mcdonough really had the last word in his ear and really pushed him in in that direction and i asked dennis about that and he said,, no absolutely not he said i always felt that that was an unfair advantage. they would be as andy says talking about the process, talking about how they got to that point and being a sounding board for the president and the honest broker as he should be. >> you want the president to have the whole story. this is andy's point of a moment ago.
you want the president to have the whole story before he makes the decision, and to try to protect him against the voices that are the loudest but not necessarily the truest and best. >> rose: it is sometimes said that, for example, with donald trump, he is 71 years old and people will say he is not going to change. bill clinton was in his 40s, barack obama was in his 40s, jimmy carters was in his early fifties. did they change before your very eyes while they were president or did they essentially remain the same person? >> i think every president changes as they serve, because they see. >> rose: because they see -- >> and i mentioned at the beginning the president should never make an easy decision. the president only makes the toughest of the decisions. >> and sometimes there is no good answer. >> it is eight bad options, pick one. but -- and you own it.
no, but then you have to make the decision with such great optimism that the bureaucracy will say the president wants this done. i am with it. congress will say, we will follow. other world leaders like tony blair will say, i am standing with you. but the brutally tough decisions. so you want an optimist as president. you certainly don't want a pessimist. if someone watching the oval office and says i am going to make a bad decision today they shouldn't be president. they are going to make a tough decision that day but it will be the right decision because they have to make it. >> look, i think we where seen many examples where people mature in office, and i think that is the question, the question is out on that, and one of the things that i think is true of most of the modern presidents is they have been curious people. they with a wanted to learn. they wanted to consume a lot of information, as we hav have all talked about and through that process, through the weight of the decisions, through putting
people, you know, men and women in uniform and to to harm's way from understanding the collateral damage of decisions, they mature, that is why their hair turns gray, that's why all of our hair turned gray. but i think they make better decisions that, you know, if they have learned to assume that burden but also to, but also maintain that sense of both optimism and i think a sense of ambition. so they -- you need to keep that ambition throughout the presidency, i think. >> rose: thank you all. a pleasure. >> thank you, charlie. >> rose: thank you, jack. the book is called the gatekeepers how the white house chiefs of staff define every presidency. chris whipple back in a 0 moment. stay with us. >> robert rauschenberg once said that the artist's job is to be a witness to his time in history. for six decades he serves this local working across medians,
including painting, photography and footage, on new york museum of modern art brings together more than 250 of these works. robert rauschenberg among friends is the artist first 21st century retrospective and organized by leah dickerman, marlene hess painting and sculpture at the museum of modern art and joins me now to talk about robert rauschenberg, one of the artists i have had the great pleasure to have known, which is, when you think about him and you think about his art and you think about someone having this kind of retrospective on this kind of exhibit among friends, and bringing it within all of the other great artists, like jaspar johns. >> like jasper johns and twombly and mercs cunningham and patricia cage, brown, the people he collaborated with is so fundamental to what we think of in terms of culture today and that is how we approach the project. we wanted to show that he is an artist who made work and
dialogue with other people, and then together they really laid the foundation for art of our moment in time. >> >> rose: so what do you want us to come -- what do you hope to experience, feel, sense as we walk through this exhibition? >> well, there are a lot of things. one thing that i think is that, you know, i have always been a bit skeptical about the idea of individual genius, you know, that you go off and you sit in your garrett and you think by yourself and you have ideas alone, visit bid a muse, a female muse and that is not the way it works. you know, that is not the way it works in science, that's not the way it works with technological innovation, and it is not the way it works in art. and we wanted to suggest that through rauschenberg's career that you could celebrate creativity and conversation, of course he collaborates more than almost anyone else, you know. he is always pulling people into his projects and finding an interlocutory in a way to create
new works with someone else so we want people to feel that openness as well. >> rose: where did that come from? >> where does that come from? well he is certainly a sociable character and everybody speaks about his gregariousness, and i think too that he learned when he went to black mountain college outside of. >> rose: north carolina. >> exactly, it was an open experimental place and there was dancing an there was poetry and this was music all at the same time, but he liked that kind of collaborative approach to making art across disciplines and i don't think he ever left that, never left that behind. >> rose: some remarkable people came through. >> yes. >> rose: that great institution. >> he studied with joseph albers. >> rose: right. >> and joseph al beds teaching had an extraordinary impact on him. he had students gather material, all kinds of material, you know, cigarette butz and leaves and
scraps of card barred and put them together and new collage combinations and called them combinations too, and so rauschenberg learned that from albers and he met cage and cunningham a little bit before but he worked with them together to create some performance work, learned dancing. >> rose: he was close to jasper johns? >> he -- they were partners from the period from 1954 through 1961. they were together in a creative and row pan, romantic partnership and they pushed each other in incredible ways. i think it was one of those artistic duos whereby working to the they left the rest of the world behind, you know. they gave each other permission to do things and to try things, and rauschenberg once wrote that, you know, i would give him an idea and then he would have to give me one too. and so they played this game of thinking out loud and critiquing each other's work and in the
show you have jasper johns painted bronze untitled 2 ale cans and right next to it you have a work by rauschenberg that is made from cans together, and you see that they are contemplating cans and consuming them and, you know,. >> rose: why did they split? >> i can't tell you the answer to that. >> rose: -- wrote about it, no biography is wrote about it? >> no, i don't know the answer to that but i know they had an incredible formative impact, impact on each other, among the greatest artistic partnerships of our -- >> rose: certainly of our time. who else did he have a great collaborative relationship with? >> well his first collaboration was with an artist named stew wild who became his wife and they met in paris and went down to black mountain together and i think in many ways she taught him how to work with someone else and they made great blueprints together and i think
that was a young and very formative relationship and odeñ of the things that trained him in the idea of dialogue, and partnership, and then he had a multiyear collaborative relationship with cunningham where he worked on making sets and costumes but it was more than that as well. i think that they, you know -- he learned -- he learned from both cunningham and john cage how to think about making art and that relationship was fundamental as well. >> rose: let me take a look at some of the images we have. the first one speaking of susan wile this is unentitled from 1950. >> this is a work they made right after coming back from this time that they had together at black mountain college. they made it in a new york walkup apartment with ordinary blueprint paper, the kind i don'youwould use in an architecl firm and they would pose themselves on the paper and then expose the light. they would have to wash out the
developer in the sink, and he is asking a kind of question about how can you make a mark on paper that is not a stroke of paint with a brush? how can you figure out other ways of creating images? >> and this was one? >> and this was one. >> the next is erased, decoking drawing. >> well this is a collaboration, but a different kind, maybe a little bit reluctant. >> rose: coon any and jasper johns. >> with decoon any and jasper johns rauschenberg asked the question how could you make a drawing out of erasing. >> rose: right. >> and he started with his own works and he would erase them and decide that department work and really count if it wasn't art, so he went to the most character ma, charismatic artist, most erratic artist at that title, bill decoon any and bought a bottle of jack daniels and knocked on his door. i love that about rauschenberg, others have relationships at a distance but he goes and knocks on his door and he opens it and he agreed to give him a drawing
that rauschenberg could erase, and he sorted through the portfolio files and gave him one that he would find very difficult to erase, full of oily pastels and crowns and according to rauschenberg he spent weeks erasing it, and erasers, many, many erasers and then he did nothing with it, he just put it in a drawer, until two years later when jasper vons was in his life it was johns that persuaded him to frame it up and show it in exhibition and it was johns who made the label you sunny the bottom that says erased dekuehn drawing by rauschenberg. >> rose: this is called automobile tire print. again, 1953, rauschenberg and john cage, there it is. >> so in this case, they are living in fulton street, and he calls his friend, john cage, the composer and he asks him to bring his model a ford, he lays out 20 sheets of typewriter
paper on the ground, they are fluid together, and he has cage drive the ford through a pool of itching and then very straight along the typewriter papers to create this image and he laughed later that cage was both printer and press. >> rose: the next one is called charlene. this is 1954. >> this is an extraordinary image, and i think it i was you a sense of what rauschenberg's revolution really was. as he is working, he wants to create a kind of art that lets the world in, and first he puts scraps of paper and comics but soon enough as you can see, he puts a light bulb in and umbrella cover and reflectors, in and a mirror all of the stuff of the word and i think he is saying that, you know, if you want to make art about the real world it has to include the real world. >> rose: all right. next is bed, mean 54, 55. >> well, this is taking the idea just a step farther, so as all
of this stuff is coming into his work pretty soon he is making a work out of a quilt and a pillow and he, as you can see there are strokes of pencil on the pillow that were likely made by twombly, another partner and friend who is working in his studio at that moment in time, and suddenly these things that are ordinary objects have been turned into a painting, and that makes you ask questions about what is a painting and what are its terms? and it suggests a kind of intimacy, a place in which you live and it really reconfigure it is idea of painting as it had been known before, which kept the world out. >> the next one, mean 55 and 1959, monogram. >> well now he is almost saying, okay, if i can put a piece of paper in a painting or i can put a reflector in a painting well why not put a goat? and that's not just a question of size, it is really a conondrum because once you put something as big and as physically awkward into a painting as a goat, you have
changed the terms and you breaking down the boundary between the space of art and the space of the world. >> rose: the next one, gift for apollo, 1959. >> this one is made on wheels, and it is referencing the god apollo who makes a daily or pit around the sun. >> rose: right. >> so this is a painting where he is taking a canvas and saying well i can just put it on wheels and drag it around. it is not special. it is not a special space, it can be just like my other object and pulled into the middle of the room. >> rose: next is oracle, 62 to 65, rauschenberg with toby fitch harold hodges, billy krueger and robert kay moore. >> so here he is cab rating with a whole slew of engineers led by billy cluuver from bell labs, the it is an extraordinary collaboration with technicians, and most artists are afraid of technology but not rauschenberg he embraces it as part of the adventure of contemporary hive and each of those pieces is
outfitted with am radios, he thought fm was too cultured, and it is connected by a wireless transition sorry circuitry so that is the cutting edge of technology in that moment of time, the building blocks of our own digital age. >> rose: next is nabisco shredded wheat, something i used to eat at breakfast all the time. >> it is our -- this is a moment after he leaves new york and he pose to captiva and using just ordinary boxes, the boxes that were sent to him, the kinds of things you could find easily, materials of what he said were softness and waste and he would make very simple interventions to create a work like this, and it is also something that is looking at a younger generation of artists, people make donald jug, using very poor and simple materials. >> rose: next one is -- 1987. >> these gluts were made, and when he goes down to houston in the 1980s, he was made the state artist, he gets down there and there is a huge oil glut, and he
sees the signs of a distressed economy. he sees cars abandoned by the side of the street and he decides he wants to make works that are out of this, this thrown off stuff of our american car economy. he wants to show people their waste, souvenirs without nostalgia as he talked about it. >> rose: rauschenberg once said painting relates to both art and life, neither can be made [i tried to act in that gap between the two. >> and i think it is to the idea that he didn't like the idea that a painting would keep the world out. so when he came of age in the mid fifties, abstract expressionism was the preempt innocent way of making a work of art but it was a kind of painting where you put it on the wall and there was an idea of maturity and of psychic imprint in the work and rauschenberg wanted? something else. he was very skeptical about
emotionalism, he always said, you know, there is all of this talk about torture and suffering and i never saw that in a stroke of paint. he wanted something that was about the world as he encountered it, as he walked around the block or as he looked in a magazine, and he tried to bring those things into his art. >> rose: so wher where do you se him in the pantheon of american artists? >> i think he is one of the most influential artists that we have seen in years since world war ii. and. >> rose: pretty high praise, isn't it? >> it is high praise and it is something i think every time you walk into a gallery today and you see art that is made out of the stuff of the real world, that is coming off the walls, that is interdisciplinary that embraces technology, that is informative in its implication you are seeing the kind of possibilities that rauschenberg and his collaborators and -- made possible. >> rose: in is an interview i did in 1997 with rauschenberg in which he talks about how he found his greatest joy in life
in his work. here it is. >> you see, here is what so many people say about your work and your life, there is a childlike enthusiasm. there is a joy. and that you approach things without a sense of risk. you are just on a journey. >> i think that is an awful lot of time is -- consumed in apprehension and fear and worry that could be used in action. i am not fearless, you know. you can scare me. you actually do scare me. >> rose: i do? [laughter.] >> how about fun loving? is that a description of you? >> one who who has enjoyed --
>> i don't separate that from everything else. i mean, i don't d'oeuvre indications, you know. i mean, my greatest joy is in working, that's when i feel a wholeness and the celebration of a unity with everything around me. and i peel the least self conscious and i feel the least self conscious. >> rose: when you are working? >> yes. >> wow. >> that is lovely. i do think that is true. you know, there is an openness to his work .. a willingness to invite world in and experimental embrace of things. he doesn't worry about being perfect. >> that is not what he is interested in. >> but i, what i am struck with, the artists i have known, they were happiest when they were
workings, they were happiest when they were, you know, engaged in creating. and i don't take vacations because i am happy. i found that with especially artists. >> it is a way of being in the world. it is a way of coming back and it is a practice. >> rose: and it is what they do. >> and a way of finding your way in the world, being curious about the world, engaging with new materials and people. >> and in doing this program for 25 years one of the people i always wanted to interview but did not have such luck or success was jasper johns. here is an interview in 1997 in which i talked to robert rauschenberg about jasper johns, remember this was 20 year 20 ye. >> when did you meet jasper johns? >> what influence did you think you had on each other? >> i think the main influence was we were the only two people
that were not trying to do abstract expressionism, we were the only two people doing something else, and so, you know, i mean, we were both an audience of one to his work. >> rose: a great friendship. >> oh, very. and i think it is a thing that made us get along was the fact that we were so different ourselves. i would go out on the streets and get everything and he would shut the windows. >> rose: right. i got you. >> but we had different studios so that was all right because i spent my time trying to mimic what i saw outdoors and he tried to create what he felt in his
head. i mean, i was very tempted to work like da kuehn. >> rose: how is that. >> i would have loved to have done rothkos. >> and -- but my respect for their view, i mean, that was them, and i think that, you know, if there is a legacy, i am very happy that i can have this enviable point of view as these people that i loved so much. >> he says it well enough, doesn't he? >> he does, right, he never wanted to be wishy-washy second generation -- painter and he changed the world, in doing that. he wanted to create something
else, and -- and to let art be something else. >> the exhibition at the museum of modern art here in new york is called a among friends. it is on view at the museum of modern art until september 17th, 2017. all right i thanks to leah dickerman. thank you. >> thank you. >> rose: thank you for joining us. see you next time. >> for more about this program and early 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