tv Charlie Rose PBS June 29, 2017 12:00pm-1:01pm PDT
. >> welcome to the program. we begin this evening with bill burns, the president of the carnegie endowment for international peace and former deputy secretary of state. >> i think we are lead leaving too much uncertainty in people's minds, there is too much unpredict ability and people have gotten accustomed, whether they liked or disliked particular american policies ohe united states trying make sense of all these changes and trying to mobilize coalitions of countries to deal with them. so that's why when the united states pulls out of the paris climate agreement, it leaves a hole there, which is difficult for other players to fill. >> we conclude with the great john mcenroe, his new memoir is called but seriously. >> i was very fortunate when young to fall into the lap of legendary tennis icons in their own way, harry hotman who was a
great davis cup captain, who taught the labors, the rosewalls all these great australians and having a fallout with that federation and moving to new york, hi no idea who this guy was but he had this aura about him and he made you want to do more for him, try harder. he helped me quite a bit. the other guy was this great mexican player, who taught me how to play and sort of had me look at the court like a gee metric equation. >> rose: burns and mcenroe when we continue. funding for charlie rose is provided by the following: bank of america. life better connected >> 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. william burns is here in 2015. he became the president of the carnegie endowment for international peace. he retired from the foreign service in 2014 after 33 years in the state department where he helped post in both russian and jordan, he was the oak second career diplomat to beak deputy secretary of state. john kerry described him as a diplomat's diplomat on the short list of american diplomatic legend, i'm pleased to have bill burns back at this table. legend? >> hardly, hardly, great to see you. >> rose: good to see you. let's just talk about the world. when you look from washington, tell me where the problem areas are, there is always the middle east. beyond that. >> there are, i mean i think the two sort of most imminent problems are first north korea, you know, where the north korean
regime is making steady progress toward having a miss thail you can put a nuclear warhead on and strike the konl u.s. there is an increasing danger with a collision with iran as you look the attentions in the gulf. but i think there are a lot of deeper problems too. this is one of those big periods of transformation on the international landscape, sort of like 1945 was, 1989 was at the end of the cold war. and a lot of things are in flux. and so american leadership becomes critically important and there's a lot of uncertainty, i think, about the nature of american leadership. >> and the interesting thing about it, from my perspective as a student, it is a time for opportunity. >> it is. >> or a loss. >> it is, it is an opportunity with the united states, still there is the preeminent player in the world to help adapt institutions and alliances and shape that landscape before it gets shaped for us. you know, 10, 20, 30 years down the road. so i think there's no substitute for that kind of american leadership.
>> do you worry that we today are shining that role. >> i think we are leading too much you know -- leavek too much uncertainty in people's minds, there is too much unpredict ability. people have gotten accustomed whether they liked or disliked particular american policies, they are accustomed to the united states trying to make sense of these changes and trying to mobilize coalitions of countries to deal with them. so that's why when the united states pulls out of the paris climate agreement, it leaves a hole there which is difficult for other players right now to fill. >> yeah, but doesn't nature abhor a vacuum. >> it does. and if we don't play that role, you can see already lots of other people, china and asia, russia, especially putin's russia and europe. iran and regional players, and the middle east and other parts of the world. so events and the landscape are going to get shaped it is just a question of whether we are playing an active role in trying to shape them. >> has the idea of america changed? you have written about the idea of america. >> yeah, i think the idea of america, and by that i mean the sense of respect for human dignity when we are at our best,
the political and economic openness that is attached to us, the sense of enlightened self-interest that has driven our foreign policy at its best. 70 years ago this month the marshal plan was launched which was, i think, the best example i know of enlightened self-interest. a sense that our own self-interest was best served by encouraging others to share in the same kind of enterprice. >> rose: rather than a zero sum game whereas they gain, we lose. >> i worry there is more emphasis on the self part than the enlightened part and that is a danger, i think, over time. >> rose: you have traveled a bits ahead of the carnegie endowment. is the world changing in the way they see us? did they think we are different? >> well, there is a pe-w poll. >> i saw it today, came out today. >> in the last days it shows a pretty significant drop in people's positive impression of the united states, in particular their impression of president trump, polls come and go. you know it's kind of built into the mix that there will be a
certain amount of resentment of american power and leadership in the world. but that's a source of concern, i think, when people's view of america's role, of the american idea is beginning to shift in a more negative direction. >> but the world is changing too as you know better than anyone. it's no longer as it was after world war ii. >> right. >> other nations, other countries, other regions have risen. >> right. no, i agree, charlie t is no longer the way it was in the almost two decades after the end of the cold war in 1989 when the united states was by anybody's account the dominant player in the international system. now just as you said you have more di fusion of power, the rise of china over the longer temple, the rise of india, the resurgence of russia. at the same time you also have, i think, increasing uncertainty especially in advanced economies about the future of globalization. lots of people frustrated by that. and then you have this, i think, increasingly unsettled question of america's role in the world too. so you put them all together, and you know, it's a period of a fair amount of flux and
uncertainty. >> interesting that at daffous, a place where leaders come to speak, the champion of globalization was xi jinping. >> and it's kind of richly ironic that a chinese leader in this day and age becomes the champion of openness. >> and everything else. >> everything else too. but it's just underscores the point you made before. people are going to fill a vacuum when they see an opportunity to do so. >> and it's interesting too, i just heard on the radio, new the other day that china is building some huge port somewhere. i don't know whether it was in the middle east or africa, but it gave them, they're building it with their money and their labor. >> and gives them a geo political advantage. >> sure, and there is this big new one belt one road strategy that the chinese launched with a lot of fan fare a few months ago. part of it is straight forward and economic. there is huge need for infrastructure, construction across eurasia.
the chinese have a lot of underutilized capacity for that. but another part of it is strategic. this is about extending chinese influence, you know, across eurasia. and that's not to suggest that that is a threat to american interests. but it is something that you got to recognize. it's a strategy and that's-- . >> glor: >> rose: but their strategy, help me you are the professor here, their strategy has not been hegomonic or imperialistic, in the past. >> no, there has always been the sense in china that historically, its region revolves around china, the middle kingdom. and it ought to be surrounded by defer recommendation players. bt that is different than i think aspiring to a global hegomonic role right now. i think china proflted enormously over the last 30 years from the kind of order that the united states, you know, lead the way in shaping. so that their economic opportunities for china, a sense of security across asia as well, so i don't-- there's nothing
inevitable about a collision between the united states and china but it will be a tricky relationship to manage. >> graham allison, people are writing books that are saying that it may be inevitable. >> well, and history is full of collisions between rising powers and established ones. >> rose: that's a real rather than exsception. >> right there are exceptions, however, and that's the challenge for state craft, and leadership is to manage the complicated relationships like that. >> what do they call the-- the trap, right and rising powers are inevitably going to be in conflict with established powers. >> there are going to be collisions but what kind of collisions they are, whether they are political or economic or military, whether they can be managed in a more or less peaceful way is a different issue. and that question, i think, is not forward. >> what about institutions, the president first says they are obsolete and he goes over there and says no, they are not obsolete, but he doesn't give a ringing defense and participation and support for
article five. >> he doesn't. which i think is a misjudgement. because for the united states, our alliances are what sets us apart from lonelier powers like russia and power that don't have that network of alliances and coalitions and partners. >> rose: there used to be the warsaw pact. >> right, but today they don't. so we need to invest in those over time. of course they have to change and a dament and of course our european partners need to do more for our common defense. but the united states needs to make clear the priority we attach to those alliances. >> rose: and then there are those issues that are not nation state but that are transnational. >> right. >> there are climate. >> rose: national security issues. >> they are. and increasingly food and security, water and security, global health issues. i mean the administration of george w. bush deserves enormous creddity for launching the-- initiative which has brought not just africa but most to the edge at least to the-- generation. those are really important things for the united states to lee.
cyberissues are going to be an increasing challenge. in the nuclear field 60 years ago there weren't any rules of the road to deal with this hugely important phenomenon. the united states took the lead in trying to develop those kind of rules of the road to manage this. we will try to have to do the same thing on cyberissues. >> rose: were you moscow's ambassador. >> 5 to 8. >> rose: and where was, who was in. putin was the second term, right. >> kind of the middle putin phase. >> rose: give me your a fes-- your assessment, and it is different today. >> you know, like any leader, any human being, he's evolved. i think he is a pretty imussable combination of grieveance and insecurity and ambition. like a lot of russians that was shaped in the 1990s and yell sin's russia when putin felt that the western united states were taking advantage of russia's moment of weakness. he put that attitude in a much more pugnacio us form and is he
willing to play rough, take calculated risks. so when he sees ownings whether in syria, ukraine or elsewhere, he will push hard. >> rose: should we have challenged him more in syria and ukraine? >> you know, i think there are things we could have done differently over the years. and syria, i think, and ukraine, the response of the obama administration and importantly the response alongside angela merkel and our european partners was a strong one. and i think helped prevent putin from overreaching even further beyond crimea. so i think that was a sensible response. but this is going to require long-term firmness and vij lens because i think our relationship with putin's russia is likely to be adversarial for some time to come. >> what if we had said when we went into crimea, either you leave or else whatever else. >> well, the else is a tough question then. because i think for putin, crimea and ukraine was a kind of
very fundamental interest for lots of russians. he wasn't going to back down. he was most likely to double down there. >> even the, that is two conversations i have had with him. some were lengthy. i mean he talks about those people who speak russian. >> right. >> rose: who are no longer within russia. >> right. and he has this sense, and it's true of a number of russians in the political elite that you ought to have a deferential ukraine, and if you can't have that, the next best thing from putin's point of view is a disfunctional ukraine. >> rose: should we recognize-- i mean clearly we ought to recognize that there has been a history, and you have to appreciate the culture and history of a place. >> right, you do. >> rose: but should we recognize a deferential relationship between ukraine and russia? >> no, i think ukraine, i think it's a fundamental point in international order that ukrainians like any other country ought to be able to make their own choices.
they shouldn't be sub order nant to another power. of course you have to recognize the bonds of history and culture and you know, economics as well. but no, i don't think the russians are entitled to a sphere of influence which would include ukraine. >> do you worry about russia and iran? >> yeah, i mean, you know, there is a lot of mistrust between russians and the iranians historically. in energy terms they are competitors, not partners. when we used to do the secret talks, nubbing clear talks with iranians, the surest way to get a rise out of either the russians or iranians was to raise the other party. but tactically in the short term they have made a lot of common cause, because they've both seen opportunities to chip away at american leadership and the middle east. but it was possible to work with the russians on the iranian nubbing clear agreement. >> rose: they were supportive. >> they were. >> rose: an very helpful, the president has said that. >> they were pretty solid partners and we quite consciencely from the beginning
of those negotiations tried to make it very difficult for the iranians to drive a wedge between us and the russians because we knew if we held that part of the cooperative effort together, we could hold the whole coalition. >> rose: where do they stand in terms of iranian behavior, having to do with, you know, supporting hezbollah and. >> they are partners with the assad regime and syria which creates all sorts of challenges for us and our friends in the middle east. i think the russians have been pretty good in insisessing that the iranians hold to their obligations in the nubbing clear agreement. in general they have looked for ways to make common cause with iran in the middle east. >> what can we do about iran other than impose more sanctions, what the congress has done? >> you know, i think-- or not to do with the nubbing clear deal. >> i think inevitably managing iran you and developing a strategy loo be complicated no matter who got elected last november because the challenge would be how do you implemented
nubbing clear agreement which i continue to believe is the best of the available alternatives from preventing and getting a bsh bsh du how do you do that embedded in a wider strategy which recommends that the iranians threaten us and threaten our interest in important parts of the middle east. and so that's a tough balance to strike. but i mean i think that's the challenge. so there are sanctions that, you know, we can employ whether it's with regard to missile tests that the iranians do, and the development of that capability or human rights issues too. we shouldn't be high about doing that. but it's a tough balance. >> rose: history whether, i suggest, probably look at that secret mission that you and i guess jake sullivan, not sure who else was there. explain that to us. >> what happened? >> well, i mean you know, in the first term of the obama administration we worked hard to build up a fair amount of pressure and leverage against iran. so by the beginning of 2013, you know, the value with the oil exports had dropped by 50%. the value of their currency
dropped by 50%. so there was a moment when you could use this leverage and president obama decided, i think rightly, that the best way to test whether the iranians are serious, given the baggage on both sides of the iranian revolution, the hostage crisis and everything else was to do it quietly. the omani government had a track record of working with the iranians, they helped with the release of three. >> which government. >> the omani government, they had a track record so we, starting in early march of 2013 met on nine or ten different occasions with an iranian delegation. >> rose: what would you do, show up at a hotel and nobody knows who are you and up on the floor above you a bunch of iranians and go down to the conference room and chat. >> no, well, you know, unmarked u.s. government aircraft, so we did the best we could in this day and age to keep it quiet. and then we actually met in what was an old mani military officer's club on the beach
about 30 minutes outside of-- where there wasn't a lot to do other than engage with iranians. and especially after president rouhani was elected and-- ksh became iranian foreign minister. it became clear that the iranians we were dealing with, wanted to try to reach a negotiated resolution. they are very tough tbheshters. it was not an easy process at all. but you know, i think we were able to make pretty rapid progress. >> rose: they wanted a deal. >> they did. and it wasn't-- . >> rose: and you wanted a deal. >> right, and it wasn't a coincidence because they were feeling very heavy economic pressure. but i think we faced one of those situations where having built all this leverage with a coalition behind us, and an iran yn government after rouhani's election which was evidently ready to engage seriously, either use that leverage or you risk losing it because our partners would have gotten quite nervous. so that was the moment to try to take advantage of that. >> rose: in terms of negotiating, was that as good an
effort as you have seen? i mean you could have lost that at any moment although you had two people who wanted a deal but at the same time you had two people who had a lot of pressure back home. >> right. >> not to go too far. >> there were lots of pressures, certainly in washington. lots of people questioning the wisdom of engaging. >> and still do. >> and still do to this day and same in tehran, and a supreme leader who is always quite sceptical and always waiting to say i told you so. can't trust the americans and to this day is too. so we always understood this was a very traj il effort. >> rose: and he gets a lot of credited for that because he was able to. >> he's a smart, tough negotiator. you know, with iran's interest in mind and he pushed that as hard as he could. and john kerry deserves enormous effort. >> rose: but does he have the confidence of the supreme leader. do they have a relationship. >> i think-- . >> rose: i remember when he left here, as ambassador. >> right. >> rose: a lot of us who knew him, he has been here at this table 10, 15 times. >> right. >> rose: when he left people were saying he is going back to
oblivion. and then all of a sudden, you have rouhani as president. >> right. >> rose: and he's made foreign secretary. >> right. and i think his professional skill which is considerable. >> rose: speaks fluent english. >> right, was recognized by the supreme leader and the very tough minded people around him as unbalanced and an asset for iran. and he's demonstrated that over and over again. >> rose: i guess the supreme leader could say the republican guard just down. >> at least, but again i think the supreme leader was always quite sceptical that this was going to produce an agreement. >> rose: how old is he, do you remember, late '80s. >> late 70s i think, i'm not sure. >> rose: but rouhani just got re-elected. >> he did. >> rose: which says what, there used to be the old notion that there were a lot of countries in the world in which the leadership hated us but the people loved us in places where the people, the leadership loved us and the people hated us. >> right, right. we've gotten ourselves in a lot
of trouble in iran over the years trying to play moderates against hard-liners and all that. i have always been humility is a good start point for americans in understanding iran. the reality is when you have a population, 70% of whom are under the age of 30 with a connection to the rest of the world, unlike a place like north korea which is much more hermetically sealed, over time, you know, those kind of pressures and aspirations are going to have an impact on iran's evolution. but that is over time. in the short run, we're going to face an iranian leadership that will challenge us and challenge our friends and interests. >> what do you make of what happened in saudi arabia, in ree had-- ree ad in terms of the opposition to iran and the president supporting a group of arab states who want to isolated iran? >> i think reassuring our traditional parter ins in the gulf, the saudis in particular was a natural thing for a new president to do. because the truth is they were unsettled, to put it mildly after the iranian nuclear deal.
>> rose: an other things too, a sense about it, mubarak and syria. >> right, their sense that we through mubarak under the bus where the reality is was the bus was halfway over that leadership by that point. but i think the reality is that reassurance which is sensible, is not the same thing as uncritical or unconditional support. and i think a healthy relationship between the united states and saudi arabia has to be a two way street where we make clear, the united states makes clear that we will have their backs in the face of external threats from iran. that we support the very ambitious economic modernization efforts that the new crown prince has launched. but what we also expect is saudi a yaib-- arabia has to be careful of not overreaching as in yemen and huge human cause as i think it has done in its dispute in qatar. i and again that we also want a saudi a wraib-- arabia that will pay attention to the deeper drivers of unrest and discontent
in parts of the arab world. because what we saw in the arab spring six years ago, people's sense of indignity and lack of opportunity is going to bubble up again unless leadership recognize that and begin-- . >> rose: how do they survive that. >> in sawdzee a arabia. it is a challenge. i admire the vision that he has set out, this vision 2030, what he wants to do in moving saudi arabia away from its current heavy dependence on hydrocarbons. it makes perfect sense it is going to be very, very difficult to achieve but thases' something the united states, i think in large part should support. >> the president walked away and says look, we just got a hundred billion dollars from them, who can abide whatever it was, whether arsenals or military supplies or whatever it was, planes or whatever. that will create jobs for americans what is wrong with that deal? >> there is nothing wrong, i think, with the kind of historic
supply relationship with saudi a wraibia and it does happy create jobs for the united states in my view it can't define a relationship, you know. you can't look at things in susm narrow transactional terms. if you want to have a real healthy two-way street i think it ought to address those other issues i mentioned. >> president o bam as as i understood it was saying to the sought saudis we have your back, we're here for you. the president-- to riyadh and say it in person, coming back from some-- or another. and he always did that. but he would always say to him as i remember and would you know, part of it would say to them look, you've got to have a relationship. you have to talk with the iranians, you can't just consider this totally hostile relationship. you have to find some common ground. >> i mean i think it's important to recognize who your friends are and who your adversaries are. the iranians in large part are adversaries right now in the middle sees. >> adversaries of us or add verraries of others whether
lebanon and supports hezbollah, syria, ymen, iraq. but that is not the same thing as saying that while you recognize the short-term need to push back against the iranians and inn all of those areas, over the locker term what you are hoping to create is an opportunity at least for a different kind of iran with a different kind of outlook that is going to be a big ambitious regional power in the middle east but understand you have to play by certain rules of the road. and that's going to be important for the saudis and others. >> do you have some sympathy for the secretary of state when he wants to mediate differences between. >> i do. >> iran and qatar. >> and saudi arabia, yeah. >> i'm sorry. because they basically said to the qatar, to the people of qatar, you know, we're not going to-- we have to shut down al jazeera. >> right. >> we're not going to send out planes into your capitol, all these things. we're not going to trade with
you. we're going to destroy this relationship. >> that's a cappitylation. that is not a-- some kind of reconciliation. >> rose: why would they go that far, is it a bargaining tool or just to crush qatar. >> i think it is largely about crushing qatar. in the sense that, you know, qatar has been viewed for the last 20 years, whether by the saudis or emirateis as an upstart, as a very small player despite their wealth, that is doing lots of things that irritates the saudis and to be fair causes lots of problems for us too. i'm not suggesting the quatd aris don't need to remedy their behavior but i do think it is in our interest when we have so many bigger problems in the middle east to try to get the gulf cooperation council countries to work together as opposed to work at cross purposes. >> rose: i once said to the former amir's father, why are you plays all sides. he said survival. >> and i think because he
aspired, the former amir to play a larger-than-life role and punch above his weight. so you know, you can understand that t doesn't mean you have to agree with everything the qataris have done. having said that, i think what is happening now is an overreach and you know, is going to create-- . >> rose: what happened, secretary says he wants to med yait and the president says is he on one side. >> it is a tough job managing a light howses when are you only one tweet away, and people are going to question the creds ability of your statements, the president saying something to the contrary. so you know, this is a tough time for the secretary, and for american foreign policy. >> rose: is he not fully staffed. >> it is a challenging international landscape t is not exactly a lot of low hanging fruit and just as you said, the state department has so many vak-- vacancies right now there are 50 positions that have to be confirmed by the senate. i think there is only three or four of them filled right now. 40% of our embassies around the world don't have ambassadors. the administration is proposing a 31% cut in the budget of the
state department. >> rose: 31%. >> that is the proposal anyway. and so you know the net result of all that would be to newter the state department. and i think that, this is not just about an institution it is about what makes sense for american interests in the world. i have huge respect for the american military but you don't want it to become our tool of first resort. you want diplomacy of the tool of first resort because where you can make diplomatic progress, it is a lot less expensive in terms much treasurer and american life as well. so it is important, i think to have a well resourced diplomatic arm and development arm of government and that's really what is at risk right know. >> and also cutting the age budget which a lot of people come forward and say that is the essence of soft power which gifsz you. >> it is. you look at a lot of fragile states around the world it is not america's obligation to fix all those problems but we can make a difference in certain places. we made a difference in columbia over the last 20 years.
a country that was, you know, as close to a failed state as there was which actually is now a contributor to people's security in latin america that is in part at least in large part because of strong colume ban leadership but in part because the united states in administrations of both parties, republicans and democrats provided assistance, provided focus, attached a priority to that. that is a good example of how you insure that a fragile state doesn't collapse all together and then ends up drawing in the military and kreelt a far bigger problem forb the united states. >> rose: we can wake up one morning and find out that the north koreans not only have the nuclear weapon but they also can deliver it. >> uh-huh. >> rose: to the united states. are we going to wake up one morning and find out. >> i think on the current tra jectory and i think it is a mistake to underestimate the capacity of this north korean leadership which is quite single minded about this, within the next three, four years the north north cor yarchs will have developed that capacity that is a huge challenge and a huge
threat to the united states. so the question is how did you prevent that from happening. i admire the effort the president made in his mar-a-lago meeting with xi jinping because the chinese hold most of the cards on this issue. 80, 90% of north korea's trade is with china. the problem i think is today china sees a confrontation with north korea over its nuclear program as a bigger threat than to its strategic interest in trying to sustain the status quo. so i don't think the chinese have yet changed their kal you can lus to the point where they are really willing to lean hard or north korea to produce the kind of leverage that might lead you into a serious negotiation. >> and with the chinese not being able to do that there are no easy options. >> there aren't. and then the question is can you affect china's kal you can lus, there are security ways in which you can do that in the sense of the missile defense system, we have provided to south korea. the ways in which we stepped up
security of northeast asia which the chinese don't like and contain their enthusiasm for. and then their thr are economic steps. some of the kinds of things we employed with regard to iran, affecting iran's aibility to deal, connect to the international financial system, north koreans feel mosesly through chinese banks. secondary sanctions aimed at chinese banks, you know, could have a huge impact. but that is a big roll of the dice in a relationship that that important. >> to believe the president, he seems to suggest that what he expectedded and what he hoped for is not happening, with respect to china pressuring north korea. >> right, i think it was the right thing to test but i think it was almost inevitable that the chinese weren't going to deliver in the way that president trump may have assumed. and so now the choices are a lot more complicated. >> rose: thank you for coming. great to have you. >> great to see you. >> rose: bill burns, back in a moment, stay with us. the great john mcenroe is here. he is a tennis icon.
he rose to prom nensz in the 1980s winning tournaments with a style and a swagger the game had not seen. he won 104 times on tour, including seven grand slam titles. his rivalry with bjohn boring, jimmy connors, and linldel elevated the sports' popularity around the worm. he rights about 4eus career on the court and life afterwards in, but seriously, the sequel to his 2002 memoir you cannot be serious. i'm pleased to have john mcenroe back at this table, welcome. >> charlie, i always like being at this table. >> rose: so i have nothing else to say about serena. we talked about that exhaustively this morning. >> you remember the honeymooners when ralph goes me and my big mouth! >> rose: let's talk about this first. >> all right. >> rose: how many years. >> 15. >> rose: so what is in here? >> you know, i don't tweelt, i don't get involved in any of the social media stuff so i think it's maybe a good way for me to
sort of give some whahat of an update of where i am at, in case anyone's interested. i don't know if they are or not but a good way to get a few things off my chest and sort of assess where i think the sport is, but more importantly where i think i am, and hopefully my relationship with patti and growing as a person and looking, you got to work at looking at the glass half full, i think. too often in life you sort of regret or lament the things you didn't do than appreciate the things you did do. so in this book i startedded with this nightmare i have at the french every year where it reminded me of the match i lost to i von lendel where i was up two sets to lover and never ended up winning the french open. while it is a recurring nightmare at the french, and it is one of the most beautiful cities in the world and a great place to take your wife, per spectdive and time has allowed me to appreciate hey, like, fans love me in a way there.
i sort of shot myself in the foot as apparentl i did yesterday with serena. and try to learn a harsh lesson that ended up costing me big time. >> rose: you mean the french open, not winning the french open, will you live with that the rest of your life. >> yeah, because in the beginning of my career the french wasn't considered as important to win or the australian, which i didn't even go to, which were two of the four majors. and as my career went on and especially now, people always talk, they don't talk about how many davis cups i won representing my country, they don't talk about the masters which used to be played at madison square garden, they talk about the four grand slams. so my ranking in the all time ranking list seems to be dropping every year. >> rose: but who never won the u.s. open. >> bjorn boring, i never won the french, pete sam practices never won the french. >> rose: lindel never won wimbledon. >> that's correct. so that is sort of allows these nobodies like fed err, nadal and
joke vich to bypass us in the all time rankings. >> rose: i want to read this to you because i said something like this this morning. this is in "the financial times," june 23rd. this was the mcenroe i knew from his days of tennis dominance when he humbled boring at wimbledon in 1-9d 81 en route to sefn grand slam single tile ets in six years never the biggest, or stronge but relentless and resourceful. his gift was concept all. he could see all the angles on the court and knew when to go in for the kill. charging the net to deliver a winning volley with the flick of his incomparable left hand. there was always something mysterious about how he got to where he was going and now he was running over me as if i were a european neo fiet unaccustomed to the hard courts at flushing meadows. >> a bit dramatic. >> rose: but i liked it and the reading was probably overdone. >> no, it was good, very good. >> rose: you did have a sense of the courted. >> i was very fortunate when i was young to fall into the lap
of a couple sort of legendary tennis icons in their own way, harry hotman who was a great davis cup captain who taught the rosewallsk all these great australians. and had a falling out with that federation and moved to new york where i had no idea who this guy was but he had this aura about him and he made you want to do more for him, try harder. and he helped me quite a bit. the other guy was this great mexican player, who taught me how to play and sort of had me look at the court like a gee metric equation. and so constantly in my mind like a mini computer, when i hit a ball in a certain place i would quickly try to assess what that would do in terms of odds and try to always look at it from that standpoint, and to keep sort of relentless pressure on especially as i got my big old 5, 11 and threer quarters, 170ish pounds, then i could start to attack and move well enough to cut the ball off and use the angles to my advantage. in those days also, charlie, like wimbledon, the courts are
in far worse shape, a lot of bad bounces, so you were taught to take a little bit shorter back swings. were you tawtd to take the ball in the air when you could. the game is totally different now. the courteds are much truer, that is a good thing, but at that time you needed to be resourceful in a different way, that is why you see us play that way and guys serving volley a great deal it ended up working to my advantage for quite awhile. >> rose: i assume the french open is your greatest regret in tennis. >> no question. it wasn't until about six years into my career that i wanted to prove that i could win on any surface. ironically as a kid growing up the only titles won in the juniors were on clay, the french open juniors, i traveled down to brazil, and won, the banana bowl you will be happy to know, all these clay court events. and i felt like it was, a way that i could play but i preferred being sort of the aggressor and attacking. that was more my natural personality, natural style of play. so i wanted to proch i could do it on the clay courts and i was
five points away with i von and that was obviously my by far biggest, i really blew it there, in a number of ways that i explain in this book and have to live with that. but it humbled me. i don't know if my head would have fit in this door had i won that tournament. >> rose: you are just fine. what is the greatest victory. >> ironically, the greatest moment of my career was the match that i actually lost to b jorg. >> rose: one of the greatszest of all time, period. >> i'm proud to be part of that. >> rose: don't you think so. >> i think so. because when 100,000 people told me that they were at the match when it is a 15,000 feet stadium, that leads me to believe that something good was happening. >> rose: indeed. have i seen it 15 times. >> i, so that elevated me in more ways even though i lost that match, in terms of my respect with my fellow players, respect even god dare i say the media, fans, everything, more than any wins i have.
but i would say the most satisfying win was getting the monkey off my back the following year when i beat bjorn in the finals in wimbledon the following year. >> rose: when was it that he left tennis. >> 1981 which was very unfortunate for tennis and extremely unfortunate for me because i thought our rivally was growing. if you look at for example chris everett and martinna they played 80 times. if you look at nadal an federer, they played almost i think 40 times now, nadal djokovic, like 45, we played 14 times. so i thought things were just really starting to cook. we were 7 and 7 career. yes, hi won the last three, i believe, and it elevated me to number one. and bjorn felt if he wasn't one that did t didn't mean anything t didn't matter if you were a two or a hundred. i thought two, hey there is only one guy better than two. but he seemed to think, forget it, so he walked away. did he something extremely unusual. when i beat him in the finals in the 1981 u.s. open, he shook my
hand, picked my bag up, his bag up and he walked off the court. >> rose: and went to the plane. >> went straight to a plane. didn't stay for the ceremony. i would have been arrested had i done that, at that time. >> rose: and didn't pick it up again for a long time. >> never played another mairnlg. did he try to pick it up years later and play with a wood racket which i was like, what are you doing. this is, if is a little late for the wood racket. but i would ask him con sises ently, charlie, when are you coming back. i would have preferred being number two another year or two and had him back, i swear to you, because i think it would have been that much more fun for me and the for the sport. >> rose: you liked him too. >> i did like him. he was probably the only person that i never had a fight with. because in a one-on-one game you're trying to get an edge under the guy's skin, whatever it is, you trash talk, certainly me and conners disp a lot of trash talking. becker and i did some, ivon, no question. but with bjorn, he never said anything or changed his expression. so anything that i did would be
that much worse. i would look like a total ass. so i realized that this was so great, what was happening, that i didn't need to do anything. which actually made life in a way little bit easier. the third time we played, we were in new orleans. and it was 5-0 in the third set and i was acting up. this was one of the times where i did act up against him. he went like, this he said comes to the net, i thought oh my god, he's going to tell me i'm the biggest jerk that ever lived and he put his arm around me. he said look, this is good. what are you doing, this is great, there is great for us, and great for tins. enji this. and i thought, at first i was like he's just trying to get reverse psychology on me, you know what is he doing. and then i real eye this is the ultimate compliment. is he accepting me, taking me under his wing so that meant so much to me. >> rose: he had a tough life and then he got his self straight. >> he is doing much better. he had initial problems with some investments and now he's got another one that is doing unbelievable. and you know, he's like michael
jordan in scandinavia, and most of europe. >> when i was 14, he was at wimbledon and there was 250, i countedded them, girls owls the locker room screaming like it was beatle mania, and that was the first, i said i want to be a tennis player. if i can get even no one ever, no player, before or since has had anything close to that the bay byorn did. >> rose: you said something interesting to me. you said you still want to play the game, you know, you still like to go out on the court and play. >> i did, i love it. >> rose: but then you said, they still pay me, i don't know whether i would still go out if they didn't pay me. >> the truest way of knowing whether or not you lover what are you doing, i suppose. >> rose: would you do it if they don't pay you. >> exactly. i'm hoping that never happens but i'm getting the feeling it might. i have this tennis academy at randalls island. i love to get out there with the kids and hopefully show them a thing or two. the body doesn't react quite as consistently as it does.
but once every couple of days i feel pretty decent and feel like can i do damage for an hour, hour and a half. and that makes me happy. we're lucky in tennis. these poor football players, they are crippled at 35, 30, 35, the average life stand span of football is 59 years old. >> rose: but the average career is four. >> we can go out and can i play someone-- the likes of roddick to boring, the last 25 years have i had, and sam pass, agassi, jim courior, all different types of players that have had a chance to go out with. and it is obviously not the same as wimbledon or the u.s. open but it is a heck a lot of fun. we appreciate the moment a little bit more. >> rose: you love rock 'n' roll. >> i do. >> rose: an still do. >> i still do. >> rose: did patti say to you, listen, god does not allow you to be the great john mcenroe and to be one of the world's great tennis players and at the same time to be keith richards. >> she has told me that more than once.
it is true though. but the truth is, the more that i played guitar, and this is true, the more i appreciated my tennis. i have to say. because i as she put it, i wrestled the guitar into sub mission was her phrase. and it became true. e is like john, just do me as at favor. don't sing. >> rose: don't sing. >> i will let you play the guitar but please don't sing. >> rose: you guys have beening to how long? >> 23 years. >> rose: some magic there, huh. >> yeah, i was lucky because at the end of my career, i was-- my e-wife decided that she wanted to have a separation and we had three kids in five years, little kids. >> rose: she did he sided. >> yes, she decided. >> rose: she come to you and say john, i want out. >> yes, which was shocking. maybe in retrospect i shouldn't have been totally shocked but at the time i was. and she said something to me i will never forget, a few weeks later, she said some day you will thank me for this. and i thought-- . >> rose: did you find that day? >> i did find that day.
i actually, with patti, this opportunity, i just didn't think was going to happen nor did i want it to happen after sort of this, you know, if you have a terrible marriage, or it ends in a really difficult way, you want to hope to be able to get along on a certain level, we had three kids. and when you can and then you just so engulfed, i'm sure a lot of people can relate to. this i was fortunate that i had this second chance and i didn't want to blow that. i don't think i have, hopefully. >> rose: what i believe fleuns has she had on you. >> one of the big things is she a whrawed me to be myself, to pur sigh the things that i like to do she has allowed-- allowed me to get hopefully some people realize that maybe this isn't such a bad guy after all and the commentating work is pretty good. she was home with a total of six kids between us. we had two together. she allowed me to do my thing and sort of grow up. she would certainly give me some great advice. but the biggest thing is just allowing me to sort of become the person hopefully that i can
feel proud of and i have been able to improve consistently as a person and she has been a big part of that and she also did i don't know what happened. i might have gotten-- gotten more serious about music had she been around. so it was better that i did a full circle as it ended up and now i have sort of kept my feet into tennis. i think that is ultimately, even though i love art and i love music, and i love to sort of fiddle around and do some stuff and camio roles or tv, i try to bunch of different things, ultimately i think god put me on this earth to try to make a difference on the tennis court. >> are you frustrated you couldn't do more for tennis. >> i'm very frustrated. because i feel like we are the one percent, very much so. i think it has gotten worse and it is more difficult for kids to afford the opportunity. so that is one of the big things i'm trying to do is to raise enough money that we can sort of make a difference and trying to bring a cool factor. i was lucky as it turned out. i didn't realize that the sport was exploding. i mean i got wind of it when i
started playing on the professional tour. and i was proud to be part of that. but that was, i mean, i'm biased i admit, but that felt like the heyday of tennis and a lot of pernt, a lot of talk, even though federer and nadal are the greatest player that ever lived, you don't hear about it so much. we haven't had a tbie win a maijer in 14 years. >> rose: 14 years an american. >> 2003,. >> rose: 14 years no american has won. >> that's correct. >> i mean if it wasn't for serena, bringing it back to her, i don't know where it would be. because at least she's gone on and become the greatest female player ever and venus has done a great job too but we haven't, look at their story, two sisters from compton, california. and we haven't been able to sort of take advantage of that in the way i think we should have. >> rose: how responsible is their father for what has happened thoam within i think that fair tear seemed to have backed off in the last couple of years. he seemed to be about himself, but he was crazy like a fox.
>> rose: he was crazy like a fox and ended up with two really wonderful young women who won lots of tennis. >> absolutely. i notice over the course of the last particularly five to eight years that the mom is really been around. so as much of an influence hopefully that richard was in a positive way, i think it turned out, she was the one really running things and is really stabilized their lives. because they had some horrific things happen, one of serena and venus' sister was murdered. serena was extremely illinois h a life threatening sickness. and venus as well. and they have become these incredible sort of legends in our sport. so that has been pretty good. and richard, you don't see him. which i think is, that has turned-- he has let them do their thing. >> rose: but he insisted that they, he gave them, seems to me what he gave, he gave them a chance to develop early and young. he kept all the things that could have interfered with becoming really good tennis players. >> i met them when they were eight and nine. i believe that was the years, i was practicing with some nobody
who was 17, pete sam practices. >> rose: whatever happened to him. >> he did okay. an richard williams came. and paul couldhen, was my coach at this particular time and he said these girls are going to be the number one and two players in the world. >> rose: richard williams did the father. >> yeah. call me in ten years. but i mean, i will tell you. and then when venus started winning everything, winning the opens and wimbledon, the younger one is better than the olderment i went talk about putting some pressure on this poor little girl. and wow. >> rose: he turned out to be right. >> yeah. >> rose: you can't resist, i mean i hear new this book, and i read this book, there is no, there is no monitor on you. there is no-- i wouldn't totally agree with that. >> rose: in other words, you do have a sense of, i'm going too far if i say what i. >> i would like to think at 58 i
have a sense of that at this point. i didn't think-- i didn't think i was going too far the other-- . ings, you talk about inlaws. >> it's not-- it has been a bit of a roller coaster but it has been a hell of a ride, hell of a ride. 40 years ago in heir couple of weeks i went over and got to the semis in women-- women bell don. >> rose: 40 years ago. >> i was 18, that completely changed my iv. i came back, you are the brat kid, super bratness. what are you talking about. but then i didn't realize. >> rose: that is what they put on the magazine cover, superbrat. >> yeah, apparently there is a new word in oxford diction aeroas of someone just called me, earlier today, superbrat, in addition there is a picture of me. >> rose: there is something to be proud of. >> i guess. >> rose: could you have been much better, is anything, did you make choices because you didn't win a singles title after you were 26. >> 25. >> rose: 25. >> the truth is, is that first
of all there was a challenge system when i played. i believe i would have been a 20% better player, 40% more boring but a heck of a lot better. the choices i made-- . >> rose: mean ug count have complained as much. >> i would have had to focus more on what i was doing and maybe trained a little bit harder. i mean i trained hard. >> rose: because they had that system, it generated a more focused, made you more competitive, had your juices churning. >> it cost me the match against lendel. i overdid it there, i blew it a few other times. but the truth was in 27 i had my son who is now 316789i took some time off, about six months off, which by the way roger federer did, and it worked out pretty well for him. he took six months after, the guy was coaching milos, beat him in the semis at wimbledon. he won the australian open at 35. unbelievable achievement. i was 27, the plan was to take six months off, in receipt prospect i wish hi taken the full year off to really regroup
but i felted some pressure with sponsors and you know my ranking dropping an all the other boring things that people don't want to hear about. and i got, i felt like the plan was to come back, charlie and be better. you know, i did a lot of things that i didn't do before. lift weights, train off the court. what a dumb mistake. >> rose: yeah. but your game itself, when you look at your game at 25 and you look at it now, are was-- -- was there weakness there. >> my biggest regret i think was thinking i had to change something because i don't believe i had to, had i been able to keep the body, if you lose a little bit in tennis, and i lost an edge a little bit but when i took time off, i wasn't quite as sure of myself, i had made some obviously my hands were full with my wife at the time. and trying to figure out how to do that as a parent. there were all types of distrarkses that i wasn't used to. i wasn't handling them too well.
i got caught up a little bit in maybe the hollywood thing which didn't help. but i, there were many times where i was like look, i good to refocus, do this, look at these guys coming up, the beckers, the sam practiceses, perhaps maybe i could have changed sort of the way i hit my fore hand, everyone has got these crazy western grips now. i was taught to play with one grip that became a little outdated when-- almost all players play at that time in the 70st. >> rose: not much spin. >> not much spin, short back swing. i needed to be able to adapt. some people did that better than others. unfortunately, i didn't do a very good job of it. >> when you look at life today you said where i am where are you. >> i think i'm in a place that i'm trying to wean myself off, i have been lucky that there is 12eu8 some attention and still, i guess people care about what i say a little bet 6789 that the next ten-- seems they care a lot about what you say because whenever you say it. >> i guess that is a good thing
in a way. but as you mentioned earlier, if i go out and play tennis, i don't get paid. if people don't really care what i say, then i'm still going to have a hopefully magazine fif sent-- did life and obviously my kids. >> rose: the interesting thing but, are you not like-- bjorn boring as i understand it, i met him and knew him but didn't really know him. he didn't have a life out of tins. he had nothing but tennis. did he pretty well with that. maybe you know better within i think it's difficult. >> he was so focused on tennis. >> you got to be all in, these guys were living and breathing it. >> rose: great to you have here, always a pleasure. the book, but seriously, john mcenroe takes off from what has happened 20 him since he wrote the previous book. you cannot be serious. john mcenroe is a friend of mine and i cherish that, thank you for coming. >> thank you, same to you, charlie, much appreciated. >> rose: john mcenroement thank you for joining us. see you next time. >> for more about this program and earlier episodes visessity
>> the following kqed production was produced in high definition. [ ♪music ] >> yes, check, please! people. >> no! >> it's all about licking your plate. >> the food is just fabulous. >> i should be in psychoanalysis for the amount of money i spend in restaurants. >> i had a horrible experience. >> i don't even think we were at the same restaurant. >> and everybody, i'm sure, saved room for those desserts.