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tv   Tavis Smiley  PBS  September 28, 2017 6:30am-7:00am PDT

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. >> good evening from los angeles. first a conversation with senator jeff flake, the arizona republican who is a critic of president trump who said he split the party. his book is titled conscious of a conservative. tatiana tal about her role in the movie stronger. senator jeff flake and tatiana coming up in a moment.
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>> and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. >> arizona senator jeff flake has been one of president trump's most consistent republican critics. his latest textnscious of a con. constructively politics and a return to principle. he joins us from where else, washington. donald trump has a long enemies list. that's my phrase, not yours. how does it feel to be a republican senator on that hit list. enemy list.
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>> i don't know if i would call myself that, but i have been critical of the president. i have been critical of my own party. this book i have written really didn't start with this administration. i was critical of the party for giving into the forces of populism before donald trump came along. i have been critical and i do think that we have got to change direction if we are going to be a lasting majority in terms of republicans in congress. i was in the majority in congress as a republican 2001 to 2006. i don't think republicans behaved very well at that time. we lost that majority and i think we will again if we don't change course. >> change course. well, i think that the forces of populism are there and populism it's called for a reason. it's popular. you can win elections here or there, but it's not a governing
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philosophy. republican philosophy has been limited government andconomic freedomnd individual responsibility, free trade, pro immigration and we have really gone away from that. particularly on trade. unless we recognize that we are in a globalized society and that if we don't trade, we don't grow economically. we won't govern long as republicans. i can tell you that. >> i had this conversation of late with others on the program. you are a unique voice so i want to ask you this question. it seems as you talk about republicans changing direction, that might not have been so difficult in the past given that there were a significant number of moderates in this body of the u.s. senate. to your point, populism works, but so does being on the fringes. so long as i think it's me, not you, but gerrymandering is the
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enemy of the people. they save seats so they behave any way they want because they can get reelected. you can be on the left or right. it doesn't matter. how do you move the party in a different direction if everyone is on the margin. no one wants to come to the sds. >> i reference that in the book, the problems of gerrymandering. that's something across an entire country. you used to have in congress 15 or 20 democrats who are more conservative than 15 or 20 republicans and in the senate you have five or 10 at least and now just have a few. it's that vanishing middle that's a problem in terms of getting together and, wooing things out. it is a big problem. i don't see it getting any better now because politics rewards the extremism. the 24-hour cable news cycle and
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social media combined to drive us apart and it really doesn't look good for the future if we are going to go on this way. the big things we have to solve are looming debt and deficit. we hit $20 billion in terms of debt a couple of weeks ago. the only way to fix that is for both parties to concede to hold hands and share the political risk. i can't see that happening right now and i'm concerned. >> on sunday to be exact, we saw players and owners holding hands on the fields in london where one game was played across the pond. while it seems you have been unique in your critique of president trump, others have not raised your voices in that way. tell me how much damage, how much long-term damage the leader of your party is doing when he
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calls nfl players sobs and pushes back on dreamers, immigrants in your state and beyond. when he pushes back on muslims. we can run this list. he expanded the list of countries on the terror list. he is pushing an agenda that seems to me at least to be offending at best and completely turning off at worst fellow citizens. how much damage is he doing to the party that you care about and write about this in book long-term? >> that is a concern and i expressed that during the campaign when the president made one of the first statements when he launched hads campaign about mexican migrants being rapists and referring to the judge born in indiana as a mexican and suggesting he couldn't real fairly. that does tremendous damage to the party long-term. we have to be a growing party. when you look at demographics, we have to appeal to a broader
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electorate. it's difficult to do so with that kind of language. with regard to these protests and the flag, i point out in the book that during that period where republicans control the majority 2001 to 2006, the majority in both houses and the white house, we didn't comport ourselves in terms of being the party of limited government. we spent a lot of money in bad ways with earmarking and everything going on. then because we couldn't be the party of limited government, we delved into issues like flag burning and the wedge issues. that's usually a signal that we are not doing what we should do in terms of a governing philosophy or agenda in congress if we dabble in things like flag burning or wedge issues like that. i'm not happy that this has come
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along again. you hopeful with the publication of this book that your continued raising of your book with the things you find reprehensible, others will be inspired to do the same thing. as you well know, those on the left, democrats or progressives can raise their voices all day long, but whoever is going to guilty checked is going to have to be their own party. if you are singing the solo voices in this choir of republicans, he doesn't hear so well. more people will stand up. some of the things i hear from the left, some of the things said about this president are reprehensible as well. i think there is noplace for that talk in politics. whether it's somebody standing up on the right years ago saying
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you lie when a president is giving a state of the union address or inviktives hurled at this president. we have to get away from those statements and that politics. that's part of what the book is about. the rejection of districtive politics and i experienced it. i was on that baseball field earlier this summer when somebody opened fire at a group of middle aged men playing baseball because he somehow saw the enemy and too often we are seeing the enemy on the other side of the aisle rather than someone who disagrees with us. it's very troubling. >> i want to give you a chance to respond. those whoappreciate what you have to say and what you have written to some even in this book, but they look at your voting record and see over 90% of the time you voted for trump's agenda. how do you juxtapose those two.
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>> i'm a limited government conservative and there are things i agreed with him on. his choice of supreme court justice and regulatory reform. the muslim ban as it was announced i had differences about. the immigration issues he talked about although i am pleased he looks to be reaching across the aisle on daca. i hope republicans take a lead on that. in the senate for the first six months of any senate with a new administration, you are basically voting on personnel. and the president i think he put together a good national security team and i was glad to support them. my position is i agree with the president when i believe he is right and oppose him when i think he is wrong. i have done that with the democratic and republican presidents. that's what a senator should do. >> with the most multicultural
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and ethethnic america ever, if they don't change course, what is the history of the gop? >> we won't have much of a future. i believe in the autopsy we did after the 2012 presidential race, we have to reach out to a broader electorate. speak in terms of people who appreciate and understand rather than try to drill down on the base and get people more excited and demean the other side. i don't think that's a recipe for long-term governing majority. that's why i wrote the book. it was difficult to write and it's not the smartest political move in the middle of a race to do so, but it was important. . >> the junior senator from arizona is conscious of a conservative. rejection of destructive
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politics and a return to principal. thanks for sharing your insight, sir. >> thanks for having me on. up next, tatiana. stay with us. pleased to welcome you back to the program. in the film stronger in the true story with a similar hope. the boston marathon bming. >> my stuff is all back. i don't know how to get there.
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>> do share. >> that image that i think we were all familiar with. this film is like the reconstruction wards. i played jeff bowman's girlfriend. >> unaware that he was even there at the time because they had an on and off relationship and he never showed up anything. he showed up for her and waiting and happened to be in the wrong place. >> when i heard about the story before the movie was made, it was fascinating.
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to your point, they have a relationship that is on and off. he's going to show up and it didn't work out. the one time he shows up to watch her run the marathon, he had a homemade sign and ready to celebrate the victory and the bomb goes off. >> we discussed that a lot in the preproduction. the moment that can change your life forever. you don't see them coming and everything changes and you have to reevaluate in that moment of change forever. how will the family survive it and how will the relationships survive it? it is based on true stories. some take away and life nugget
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that they play from the project. what was one of the takeaways? and they have been doing a press tour and hearing him talk about how he responded to the film and that will ripple through me every time i run now. i started running for this part. i think about aaron and jeff and also how lucky i am to have people in my life who support me. this film is so much about the love and support of a family of a community of a world that rallies around somebody. through their trauma and that you need to grab and hold on to people.
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you have to be willing to receive help that is a lot of the journey through this. >> i was glad to see that not that the others don't deserve respect, but about the terrorist attack and about the man's personnel journey. how you put it back and make it work. >> i think a lot of the focus can be around that and around the shootout that happened. chasing the terrorist. david who directed this was so much more interested in the minutia that happens between people and the stories of the people who are affected by these things. how do they struggle through their life afterwards and jake always refers to it as a movie about a man who took a few steps.
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really the most interesting part is these people and how they duke it out and how they find each other in it and love each other in spite of the massive changes that happened. >> this is the first time you played a real character. >> it's the first time i had interaction. >> what's it like playing a real character who is alive and wants to get the interaction? >> there is a tremendous responsibility in that. the story is real and the people are real and they are interacting in preproduction and i got to hang out with erin and she was so generous giving her story and perspective and her emotional response to things. alsoust talking to me about life and being like, you know, two young women discussing things. that was really helpful to me. something about being able to sit with a person that you are playing and not -- i was never intending to do an impression,
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but always intending to take on an energy or annessen essence. it's massive responsibility and a gift to do it. >> not that you want that anyway, but you started running because that's what erin did in the fame. she runs. did you get hook oerd were you glad to be done with running? >> i hate running. it's the worst. i was not natural at it at all. it was the thing i avoided doing at all cost, but as soon as i got the part, i knew it was an important part of her essence and she has incredible athleticism and has always run. she decided on the friday to run the marathon on the monday three years after the bombing. with no prep. there is something in her that
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is so strong and a spirit in her that is a mental endurance and stamina that i got to explore through the running. >> she completed it. >> under time. by all means, she should have been sore the next day and she wasn't. something about thatxpience. >> starred training two days ahead of a marathon. >> i guess i should carb load or something. it was amazing. i got nowhere near. >> how many miles did you get up to? >> i want to say 10, but it was 9. it was okay. don't give me that. these people run like 26 miles and do ultra marathons. i couldn't do it. >> nine miles for a person who did not run.
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>> i couldn't run down the block without blood in my mouth. >> that's impressive. you like it now? >> yeah. >> another great take away. >> exactly. >> i'll just tell you i was so relieved with the fans of yours when you finally won that emmy. 222 characters. >> you now know it's officially wrapped. tell me about the experience and do you miss it? you finally got the emmy. >> i definitely miss it. the family that we created was so tight and we loved each other. that idea is going to be sad to say goodbye. but we did say 40 different goodbyes when we wrapped on set.
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we said goodbye to the clone every day. then we had the wrap party and the first episode and the last one. there is all these ways of shedding it. that's again. you played one characr for the entire project. >> this required a lot of my every facet of me. and couldn't really pop out of it. when they have been doing it right away. what they do want to do and they played for so long.
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what you are open to doing because they played the characters. i feel like it's outward and showy in a way. aaron's character has a restraint of the expression. there is a lot going on, but it's so deeply held and protected and such a contdiction and she is feeling this guilt and love and wanting to leave and go because they were on an off again. it's always there. there is something about that quieter work that is something i would love to score more of. it was never about acting.
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just about being. that's the work i want to do. >> the movie is called stronger in theaters everywhere. with tatiana and some guy named jake gyllenhaal. >> you will love him. he's very good. >> that's our show tonight. as always, keep the faith. >> this young lady is running the marathon to bring awareness. give them a round and donate to a good cause. >> i will be there at the finish line and i will make a big sign for you. >> he doesn't show up for anything. then he shows up. >> those explosions.
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>> it's good to be back. >> what are you doing? >> talking to you. >> you are trying to make a hero out of me. >> i can't do this. >> this is the first time you necessary this week and you had three appointments. you just have to show up. >> i showed up for you! >> you remind me of my son. he died. helping you made me feel like i can help my son. for that i am grateful. so grateful. >> for more information on today's show, visit tavis smiley
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at pbs.org. >> join us next time with howard dean about the future of the democratic party. that's next time. see you then.
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