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tv   Charlie Rose  PBS  March 28, 2012 11:00pm-12:00am PDT

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>> rose: welcome to our program. we begin evening with an assessment of the third day of supreme court hearings on the health care reform law from jeffrey toobin of seep then and the "new yorker" magazine. >> it's really an incredible thought when you think of the importance of this law, when you think of the extent of this law and the scope of it and how much heart that i can the country went through to get it that the idea that the united states supreme court mighthrow the whole thing ou isretty amazing stuff. >> rose: we continue with part two of my conversation with former secretary of state james baker. >> rose: people often ask me
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what does it take to be a good secretary of state and i tell him one thing primarily and that is you must have a seamless relationship with your president. because your president has got to... you're going to make mistakes and your president's got to protect you and support you and defend you and if he doesn't you can't be successful and i made plenty of mistakes and my president supported me and protect med and dende me. >> rose: we conclude with gary ross, the director of the highly successful film "the hunger games." >> i think it's emotional, it's not just a disposable piece of entertainment. i don't think they're empty calories, you know what i mean? it's thought provoking, it's moving, i think it asks a question how you hold on to your humanity. and it asks that questions of kids, you know? >> rose: supreme court justices on health care reform, jim baker on george bush and gary ross on "the hunger games" when we continue. >>
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captioning sponsored by rose communications from our studios in new york city, this is charlie rose. >> rose: we begin this evening again with continued coverage of the supreme court hearings on president barack obama's health care law. it was the third d the fin day of argentsverhe legislation. the court considered whether the entire law should be struck down if the individual mandate requirement is invalidated. it also addressed the constitutionality of the provision expanding medicaid coverage. the ruling is expected to be announced in june. this could play a significant role in the upcoming presidential election some say. joining me from washington, jeffrey toobin of cnn and the "new yorker" magazine. i am pleased to have him here.
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especially because he was in the courtroom. so tell me about this third day and what we might read from the questioning of the justice >> wel charlie, tis was yet another astonishing day in the courtroom because the big issue of the day was so-called severability which means if the individual mandate is struck down, does the rest of the affordable care act go with it. and the takeaway i had from that argument is the individual mandate looks pretty doomed to me because anthony kennedy so often the swing vote clearly i think the swing vote herewas kinguestion aer question based on the assumption that the court would strike down the individual mandate and even more incredibly to me he and several other justices were raising the serious possibility that the rest of the law would go with it
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thousands of pages of law-- some of it clearly constitutional and not even that controversial-- that may go with it according to at least some of the justices and maybe a majority. >> rose: in oth words if i can paraphrase, they seem to indicate a reluctance to pick and choose among the provisions of the law whether one was constitutional or not? >> that's exactly right. the justices on the conservative side, the ones who had trouble with the individual mandate standing on its own which was what the main argument was on tuesday, they were struckling with the issue of how do you separate out the bad parts of thlaw from the good parts and frankly that not easy even if you were attempting to do that in good faith there was no clean separation and the three lawyers who argued today-- paul clement, who argued for the states
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collaging the law who said whole the whole thing out, ed needler from the solicitor general's office saying only take out the individual mandate and a couple of related positions, or the third lawyer who was arguing just take out the individual mandate-- it was very hard to draw a clear line and several justices, certainly jtice scalia a at tim justice alito, chief justice roberts and justice kennedy at times, not always said, look, this is not what we should be doing. we should not be picking and choosing among these provisions. we should simply throw the whole thing out and let congress start over. but that's a pretty extreme and incredible step but it's clearly under consideration. >> rose: would you subject that there was a consensus among many people watching this that they're likely to declare the individual mandate unconstitutional and not be willing to sever i so thefore he whole health care reform law is unconstitutional? >> no, i wouldn't go that far as
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to say that there is a consensus on that, that they are willing... that they are ready to do that. i don't think it's out of the question that they're going to do that by any means but if you want to talk about my colleagues who followed this closely, i would not say that's the consensus view. i'd say it's close to a consensus view that the individual mandate is in grave, grave trouble. how they do the entire opinion and what that means for the rest of the law don rllynow. but i mean it's really an incredible thought when you think of the importance of this law, when you think of the extent of this law and the scope of it and how much hard ache the country went through to get it that the idea that the united states supreme court might throw the whole thing out is pretty amazing stuff. >> rose: would you compare the significance of this to bush v. gore? >> oh, yeah. oh, definitely. >> rose: (laughs) talk about deciding who was president, that's pretty damn important. >> it's pretty damnmportant
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but, you kw, not to revit thawhole sga, if they had decided the other way in bush v. gore bush might have won president anyway if the recount had proceeded. this case, if this law goes down it goes down, period, end of story. the signature domestic achievement of president barack obama, the thing that democratic presidents have tried to do since lyndon johnson in 1965 goes out the window and no one will try again in congress for a generation. you can be sure of that. so just in terms of... we know, we talk about the politics, will it help or hurt. ow aut the substance? hoabo th 30 million people who won't get insurance? how about the... all these changes in the law? you know, you run for president but this is why you run for president so you can do stuff like this and it might all go away. >> rose: take us from this day to june. what will happen? >> early next week if the chief justice is in the majority he will assign the majority opinion
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i think most people think if he's in the majority he'll assign it to himself given the position of the decision. at that point some weeks will pass as he and his law clerks put togher a first dft. then all the justices will send memos commenting on the opinion but the dissenters will start to write their opinions and there will be lots of exchanges of drafts, lots of memos flying back and forth and almost certainly this will take until the end of the term which is usually the last week in june and then we'll find out what happens. >>. >> rose: in the conference among the justices who will be the powerful voices? >> well, you know, the chief is always very important and... for this context but, you know, they re ne very strong willed individuals and the idea that they influence each other a lot or even control each other a lot i think that's mostly mythology. they are nine people who have their own minds, they have no leverage over each other and i think they vote the way they want to vote.
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>> rose: thank you so much for coming on this program this evening. jeffrey toobin of cnn and the "new yorker" magazine. back in a moment. stay with us. >> rose: we continue with part two of my conversation with former secretary of state james baker. part one aired lastigh, it wa essentially about foreign policy and the great crisis of our time and tonight's conversation we talk about politics, the economy, and about baker's great friend former president george h.w. bush, also called bush 41, his son being called bush 43. size him up for me as a president. >> somebody said the other day that this is the most underrated president in our history, james fallow sitting here at your table said they was most underrated one-term president we've ever had, which was a interting commt but since he worked for jimmy carter. i think history will treat george h.w. bush very well.
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he successfully... he was successful in many, many ways in his foreign policy. >> rose: and you as his secretary of state. >> well, that's why i have to say it very cautiously but it worked. and one reason it works, you know, charlie is people often ask me what... what does it take to be a good secretary of ste and i tl them one thing primaly a that is you must have a seamless relationship with your president because you're going to make mistakes and your president has to protect you and support you and defend you and if he doesn't you can't be successful and i've made plenty of mistakes and my president supported me and protected me and defended me but we had been friends for so long, we thought alike, we understood each other there was rarely any daylight between us and i think at's one of the reaso we wee ab do some of the things we were able to do in foreign policy? that four year period.
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>> rose: do you differ in any significant way on foreign policy? >> very, very rarely in fact, i couldn't come up with a major difference that we had on foreign policy. i think that george h.w. bush was a realist and he understood that you... he understand a couple of things. he understand that no foreign policy is going to be successful unless you have to support... ultimately unless you can have and mnta the support of t amecan people for that foreign policy. that's certainly the way i felt. yes you base your foreign policy on principles and values because that's what's been so important to the united states and to our history but you also have to have a serious national interest particularly when you start talking about sending our young men and women into battle to die and i think that president bush felt the same way. some people said that i was reluctant with respect to the first gulf war.
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that's simply not the case. i d belve thate needed to take the steps that you would want to take preliminarily for military action and including diplomatic and political and economic sanctions and we did that. >> rose: an unprecedented number of people you got lined up for you before you took action. >> we had an unprecedented international coalition. we did that because he was so good... he understood foreign policy, he knew a lot of those leaders from his prior experience in foreign policy, he could pick up the phone and call lot of them and i was out there on the roa hustling them at the same time or hustling their foreign ministers and it's really the only time in history that the united nations security council has function it had way the founders intended it to in terms of using force against a member state of the u.n. >> rose: what do you think is the most important achievement of bush 41 in terms of foreign
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policy. was it a successful prosecution of the gulf war? >> that was a very important achievement in my vie thin thenifatio of germany in a very narrow window of opportunity and against, frankly, the wishes of... the initial wishes of the soviet union, the u.k. and france. i mean, u.k. and franz were worried history might repeat itself. they weren't sure they wanted a unified germany. they were worried about that so a union had its concerns because it would mean it would have to do something with all of the troops it had in eastern europe and in effect give up its empire without trying to keep it by force so i think german unifitionas a veryigne and then i think... >> rose: the dismantling of the soviet union. >> well, presiding over the end of the cold war in a way that assured that it ended with a whimper and not a bang. it ended peacefully. it didn't have to end
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peacefully. it could have ended in violence and we worried about that constantly. the madrid peace conference where for the first time ever you brought all israel's arab neighbors to the table to talk peace face to face. >> rose: did ithelp that i ame at the timeit dithe madrid peace conference? >> yes. >> rose: able to use the momentum going into madrid and get it going? >> we used the fact that we had defeated arab rejectionism in the gulf... in the first gulf war by defeating saddam. we had then great credibility not just with israelis but also with our moderate arab friends and we were able to get them to change 40 years of policy that said they wouldn't sit down and talk to israel because that was tonightment to recognizing israel's right to exist. they changed that and me to th table. > ro: wt a... do you look now at what happened in the gulf... the second iraqi war and say it makes our decision to end the war when we did even more
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right. >> well, i think it was right and i think it validates it. and we were worried about just what happened. we got a lot of heat for a couple years about not going to baghdad. not taking down saddam. why didn't you take down saddam when you hadhe chance and so forth and we were worried about what happened. the shi'a sunni rivalry the ethnic divisions and so forth. >> rose: was he a better politician than you are? >> george h.w.? >> rose: yeah. >> yeah because he was able to put his name on the ballot and run for office. >> rose: what manner of man is he that you are not? did he have some gene that you don't have? >> he was willing to... i've got a picture from my pal of 50 years now. it's a pictur of h when h was vice president and he's sprawled across a bowling alley
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and he fell flat on his face and he says "jim baker, look and learn. 90% of life is just showing up." it's a great picture. >> rose: and it's true. and he had the guts and the-- pardon me, if you will-- the balls to get out there and he was nobody when he started. he was an asterisk in the polls but he... that didn't look... he didn't let that the stop him. >> you mean running for president? >> when he decided to run for president, yeah. >> rose: and he failed in previous political contests. >> he failed in three or four previous ones, absolutely. and when we started going around in late 1979 to tell people he was going to run for president, i was going to run his campaign and people said are you kidding? >> rose: they didn't take you seriously? >> john connolly was central casting's idea of a president and ronald reagan was going to run again and did and won the
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mination but there were others out there, howard baker and bob dole. all of these names were bigger names >> it also would happen... says something about the relationship. you are the one who said to him it's time to get out. >> well, that's true and he will acknowledge that. >> rose: he does. >> rose: and without that he would not have been chosen vice president and... >> we don't know whether he would but i'm not sure he would have been. the reagan people romanced jerry rd. ros thawas serious thing. why didn't it happen in the end? >> well, i wasn't party to that. i was a bush person. >> i understand that but you know the people who are participanted >> i think it didn't happen because ronald reagan said, hey, wait a minute, this doesn't make sense. i remember visiting with president ford about it actually and saying you know mr. president we never understood that and i said i
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personally never understood what would we call you? we would call you hello mr. president vice president or mr. vice presidentresint? h would we addre you he chuckled. >> rose: did ford come to the conclusion it was a bad idea. >> he did. >> rose: you can't be halfway there. >> no, you can't. here is john meacham writing a biography of george h.w. bush, bush 41, talking about the former president. >> he was also driven by the rawest kind of competitiveness which was to be the capital of the team. to be number one, to be president of the united states and if he simply wanted to serve he could have run a soup kitchen. one of the reasons he has had moments of articulation that
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have not been all they could be to put it in its own stilted way is i think he hears these two voices in his head. i think that he... >> rose: tough and competitive versus civil and gracious? >> they used to call him half whoever was with him he gave half his food and he was always, always... there was thousands of people who think they're george bush's best friend and they're probably all right. >> rose: and all those people have received at least ten notes from him? >> absolutely. let me say about what john said about competitiveness. i was his tennis doubles partner i know how competitive he is. i was his political campaign managern... ctainly his presidential campaign. people used to say... after the '92 race he didn't seem to really want it. he really... did he really want it?
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i said boy let me disabuse you of that idea. >> rose: i know how to disabuse them of the idea is how bad he felt and he went through a long bad year or so before they came to grips with it, he and barbara. >> yes, that's right. that's right >> when you look at the united states there have been at least 100ooks written about american declne. what says the former snakt >> i say it's exaggerated. it's too much talk about i think today. i happen to be bullish on america's prospects in the future and i tell people all the time never, never, never, ever bet against uncle whitakers because if you do you're going to lose and they said the same thing when i was treasury secretary, they said japan is going to take over the world. well, gus what? it didn' >> rose: and it never recovered from the problems it's having.
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>> is the rise of china and india and brazil because america is declining or moving up? it's because they're moving up. why are they moving up? because they have embraced our paradigm of free markets. that's why they're moving up and this should be something that we're happy about, not unhappy about. >> rose: as kneel ferguson says they looked at all the alps that made america powerful and includd most ohem in thir wn desns for the future. >> that's exactly right. so, yeah, now will we decline if we don't gate handle around our debt bomb? you bet we will. we have a... you know, people ask me what's the most serious problem facing us today and i say it's the economy, the economy, and the economy in that order. we cannot continue down this path that we're now on where we are building up greater and greater and greater levels of debt. our debt to g.d.p. for the next
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five years going to be 100%. simply ununsustainable. we have to get a handle on that or we will be in decline. >> rose: you have said without the dollar being the reserve currency we would be greece. >> that is correct. if we didn't have the dollar today with our debt to g.d.p. we would be greece. >> rose: so why can't we understand the emergency and the urgency of doing something? why is our political system today doesn't respond. >> we are not only right now econocally dysfunctional in termofbuilding u all tis debwe are politically dysfunctional and i think politically dysfunctional maybe for the first time in my lifetime since i can remember and i think there are a couple of reasons. number one, redistricting and that's constitutional. you can't change that without changing the constitution. redistricting means that the legislatures that are dominated by republicans draw ever more
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safe republican districts and by democrats ever more safe democratic district so there's noidd anymore. the eleions that count today are the primaries, not the general election. i don't know how many congressional seat it is experts would say are truly competitive house of representatives in washington. >> rose: but people also make this point that today the life in washington is different. when you were there with ronald reagan he had a reasonably good relationship with tip o'neill. >> that's right. that's true. those are two other reasons. number one, the country is evenly... pretty evenly divided betwn red states and blue states and that means that... it becomes a zero-sum game and then the emergence of communications outlets, i won't say media outlet bus communication because the internet is a big part of it
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has led to a situation where divisiveness is the only thing that introduced people. consensus and cooperation doesn't sell. it's really sad. stabity doesn't sell. it's sad. u're quite right wewou fhterrble battles. when i was up there with ford and reagan and bush one, but each one of those presidents knew the value of reaching across the aisle and bringing the other side in doing whatever's required to bring them in so that the policy had some sustainability and so that you can get the policy in the first place. >> rose: didn't ronald reagan once tell you "i'd rather get 80%..." >> absolutely. told me that more than once. everybody thinks ronald reagan is a hard line... >> rose: idlogical. >> ideological consvative. well, wa a realist. he understood that we judge our presidents on the basis of what they can get through the congress. >> rose: then do you think the tea party is a... for the most
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part a realist or not? >> well there are a lot of them that are not realists. of course tea party is not just republicans, you know. many of them ae not realists, no. >> rose: john boehner couldn't even control his own house, as you know. >> no, that's correct. >> rose: and it was because of the rigidity of... they would say unprincipled, too. hey would say it was beuse principle. we don't believe you can achieve... >> but ultimately they for the most part came along. >> rose: well, no they didn't. we never got any kind of essential agreement. the debt ceiling... you know. >> well, the debt ceiling was raised. keeps being raised we'll always raise the debt ceiling. >> rose: but it's a fundamental problem that we are dysfunctional in washington and unless we do something we cannot remain competitive. >> the only way this is going to get... we cannot remain competitive if this debt bomb continues to build or if we keep a debt to g.p. 00% for five years. we won't be competitive and you
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cannot be strong politically, diplomatically or militarily if you're not strong economically. ultimately if you're going to diminish the standard of living of the american people so ultimately i hope and believe we will get a handle on it. how you get a handle on it, the only way you can do it is to get the two parties together and reach some sort of accord or accommodation on spending restraint revenue cree. rond ragan did this. ronald reagan did this in 1983 for social security. it's the only solution. it's going to have to happen again and it will happen again the fight is going to come on how much for spending restraint and how much for revenue increases. and one other thing president reagan was right about when he said the american people are not undertaxed, we overspend and that's true.
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and i think there's been some recognitn, hope there's bee inthis current administration that the spending cuts are going to have to exceed the revenue increases. >> rose: most people believe, that i think. they would even do 3-1, perhaps. >> i think so, too. >> rose: but on the platform of all the republican candidates they offered 10-1 and nobody was opposed to it. >> but charlie you know why they did that? because there's no spending restraint. revenue increases without spending restraint don't get you there. renue increases with snding restraint willeduour deficit and debt. if you don't reduce spending at the same time you go for revenue increases something like rudman-hollings like we used to have, if you don't do that congress will take the additional money you raised and spend more. >> rose: but there was a proposal laid out by alan simpson and erskine bowles. >> that was a good proposal i
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thought it should have been adopted but the failure to adopt that, i think was on the part of the administration who refused o ba their own commison. >> b they say they've come around now. that's the argument they made. >> well, after the election. after the election let's hope... >> rose: but not where they're prepared to cut entitlements and you are prepared to say to america we have to cut entitlements... >> absolutely. >> at the same time we raise revenue. are you prepared to say we have to raise revenue? >> if i were king i'd say we've got to get this entitlement spending under control and we've got to raise revenues but when we raise revenues, congress that's it. we're going to raise the revenues but you're not going to spend more in addition to that unless there's some provision made for that amount of spending. >> you have to have deficit reduction but at the same time you have to have things that will encourage growth as well. you have to have an investment in the future. you look at those places doing well that you know about.
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tom friedman famously often said that his favorite country taiwan because they have no oil, just a rock there but they have a higher investment in education in any country. >> that's one of the things we have to get serious about. m's new book talks about that. i could'tagr more. >> rose: but that's an investment is it not? you have to spend money to do that. >> well, i don't know that spending money is the way you cure our educational deficiency in this country. you may want to go to charter schools or merit pay for teachers or other things that don't necessarily involve spending money. but you're quite right. >> rose: you've got to fix education and be competitive. >> you have to be competitive. >> you have to have a growth strategy for the economy don't you? >> you do. let me give you a comparison. 81 naldeaga comes into office, the economy is absolutely in the tank. you remember the misery index? interest rates of 18.5%,
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inflation of 21 or vice versa. >> rose: paul volcker was the chairman of the fed. >> paul was chairman of the fed and he was squeezing it down and doing the right thing absolutely. so reagan comes in and he puts in pro-growth economic policy. cuts taxes, cut the top marginal tax rate from 70% ultimately to 28%. first to 50%, en to 28%. and cut back on some regulations. guess what happened? after two years, in june of the third year of the reagan president, 7.5% or whatever it was growth. and it kicked off a boom, an economic growth boom that created hundreds of millions of new jobs. >> rose: but when he made those decisions it was a tough political call because there was a lot of pain inflect and people were saying this is bad politics. >> yes. >> rose: and theyere the throat of pulolckerecau of who what he was doing to squeeze out the inflation >> yes, they were.
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and volcker took a lot of heat and president reagan took a lot of heat and guess what? the policies worked. >> rose: it's smart politics because you do it at the beginning of your term because if it turns things around by the time the election comes around again you'll be in a better place. >> that's correct. but president obama came in under somewhat similar circumstances. why do we have such an people in i can recovery today? why hasn't it taken off the same way in the fourth year of his esidency. becae h pocies areot pro-growth policies. raising taxes doesn't generate growth. cutting taxes generates growth. it's been proven. >> rose: do you buy the economic arguments often made that in time of a recession you need to spend money? you need to build up demand. it's keynesian economics. >> it's keynesian economics but i'm not a keynesian. i'm a guy with... we were talking about george h.w. bush who ran the campaign in which we
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said that reagan's economi policy was voodoo economics. >> rose: you probably came up with that idea. >> no, no, i didn't. >> rose: (laughs) >> i won't lay claims to that. it was a damn good phrase. >> rose: voodoo economics. it was supply-side economics. he was talking about supply-side economics. >> rose: >> it worked, charlie. look at the difference in what happened after reagan came in and inherited a terrible economic situation and what's happened today. >> rose: at the same time, reagan left a huge deficit. >> no he didn't, either. i mean... >>ose: when reaganeft, laer tn it was wn he took office. >> yes >> he created a deficit. >> rose: yes. >> but he generated economic growth that ultimately eliminated a deficit, it was eliminated during the clinton years but it was being eaten down all the way through reagan years. >> rose: speaking about that. at that time was it a mistake to
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raise taxes? did bush make a huge political missnake do you accept the judgment that in terms of reelection to that when he did it mightaveeen go economics but it was bad politics? >> well, he didn't get the bargain that he... he didn't get the benefits of the bargain he made with the democrat leadership. he did what he said he would do and they didn't give him the spending cuts. has they done so, that might have been a very... that might have made it less difficult politically. >> rose: after he said read my lips. >> from a policy standpoint it was the right thing to do. >> rose: of course but was it bad politics? >> well, as... >> rose: because of read my lips. people will say he had a the video saying "rd my lip no new taxes." >> that's right, that's right. probably was. >> rose: probably was. he would probably be the first to say that it was. >> rose: do you think we need tax reform today? >> absolutely. >> rose: what would you do about the corporate tax rate? >> i'd cut it way back and the
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administration is trying to do that now but they're... >> rose: and also doing it by reducing deductions as well. >> yeah, they are. >> rose: but that was bowles-simpson, too. >> that was bowles-simpson, also. but let m say at we didn theecond term of rgan/sh wa to do tax reform. fundamental tax reform in '86. never had been done. >> rose: bill bradley and jack kemp. >> why did it get done is because of ronald reagan! he had to roll his republican troops in the house. they didn't want to vote for it. if you go back and look at the history of this i remember dick cheney and trent lott and these other guys coming down to my office at the treasury and saying you can't eliminate these deductions you're getting into our constituency, real estate nd other y're barking up the wrong tree, guys, you need go across the street to the white house and tell that to the gipper because we're going to do it. i think he wants it done.
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and we did it. >> rose: tell me what you believe about leadership. >> well, i think leadership not a complicated issue or principle what i think is really simple is knowing what to do and doing it. james macgregor burns used to say leadersh... >> rose:residential storian. >> pridenal historian said "leadership a commitment to principle... a commitment to values." no, it's a commitment to values and the perseverance to fight for those values. a commitment to values and the perseverance to fight for those values and i just change the words a little and say it's knowing what to do and then doing it. if you go back and look at all of our leaders, all of our national leaders, they knew what you to do and they did it. look at the leaderip that reagan pvideed on the issue that we were just talking about,
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that george h.w. bush provided particularly in foreign policy that winston churchill provided. go back lincoln, roosevelt, franklin park zoo. >> rose: great to have you here. >> thank you, charlie. >> rose: "the hunger games" is a book that landed on the "new york times" best-seller list in 2008. it spent more than 100 consecutive weeks there. now the widely successful novel has been made into much-anticipated film. here is therair for "the hunr gas." >> want to see what i got you snowed a mockingjay pin. as long as you have it nothing bad will happen to you. promise? >> welcome and happy hunger games! >> i just love that! ladies first. primrose everdeen. >> no! >> i volunteer! i volunteer as tribute! >> you're stronger than they are. >> there's 24 of us, gale, only one comes out. >> take care of them, gale,
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whtever you do, don' let them starve! >> katniss everdeen, the girl on fire! what did you say to your sister when you volunteered at the reaping? >> i told her that i was going to try and win for her. >> and try you will l. >> i just keep wishing i wish i could show a way they don't own me. if i'm going to die, i want to still be me. >> i just can't afford to think like that. >> rose: joining me now director gary ross. he adapted the story for the movie with the author suzanne collins. he knows a little bit about making hit films. he wro andireed moes like "pleasantville" and "sea biscuit." i'm pleased to have him back at this table. welcome. >> nice to be back. >> rose: this is a surprise. when i realized you were doing this i said "really. " how did this happen? >> well, you know, i don't think it's that farfetched in a lot of ways. "pleasantville" begins utopian and becomes distopian pretty quickly. so... and there's a lot on its
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mind. it's a fable in a lot of ways but it's... what suzanne wrote was really aautonar tale that interested me and captivated me the way it captivated everybody else. it's not too hard to imagine where we might be headed and that there's... there's... you know, there's seeing entertainment devolve into spectacle which becomes the instrument of political control fascinated me. and then underneath this there was this girl struggling to be human and preserve her humanity and how human can you be in the ace of a dehumanizi process and they were a ias which ineresd men is novel that my kids and everybody else's kids were just loving and so... i actually got it from my kids. they handed me a copy of this book. "said you have to read this." my daughter was like this for three days, just completely immersed as a lot of people's kids were. >> rose: and you read it
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yourself and said "i want to make a movie?" >> i heard they were making a movie and i remember both jack and claudia reading it about six months before and being immersed in this and i picked it up at 10:00 one night, closed the cover at 1:00 in the moing and said "i'm in." i mean, i knew immediately i wanted to make the shoe vie. >> rose: did you have to fight for it? >> yeah, i did, absolutely. i always wrote everything i'd done myself so this was an odd situation that there was this large hollywood tent pole that so many directors wanted to do, you know? so i threw my hat in the ring. i made a short film that was a presentation and i presented kind of my vision of the movie and the way i wanted to do it not just to get the job which was sort of this... i don't know this plum in hollywood at the time butlso i waned erybo know i s gngo mke th in an unconventional way, it wasn't going to look a lot of other franchises, we were going to depart from what that was and i wanted the studio and everybody to be clear. >> rose: did you have to
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convince the author as well? >> i don't know because i wasn't privy to those conversation bus we hit it off very, very well. pretty immediately and i told her what i thought the essence of her book was was a cautionary tale in anor well yan "fahrenheit 1" sense. but underneh it was such a beautiful character who had a beautiful growth and discovered her human any the process and i said... and she learns to trust and open up and i said this feels like the heart of it and we had a great conversation early on and had a great collaboration after that. >> rose: what was it about it that appealed to you? >> it's an extrapolation of reality television. this is their entertainment this spectacle they put on, this exercise in which they're watching these kids kill each other which seems ke aides premise but ithin the story uses it to such kind of... to
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such effective purposes because they understand that this is fundamentally an instrument of political control and that... and there was a revolution and there was a rebellion amongst these districts, there's a colonial relationship between the central authority, the capital, and these outlying districts and they're controlled by the capital. but one of the instruments of control is that they select or compel to be selected two kids each year fromhis districto enge i this cbat which is their form of entertainment. it's a reality television show in which the entire country is riveted for the two weeks of the spectacle and one emerges at the end. but it's also... it's also a way of keeping an iron grip on these rebellious districts and the idea that entertainment would be used for those purposes is fascinating to me. >> rose: me, too. katniss, this is a character every young actress wanted. >> oh, yeah, yeah. it was a huge... (laughs)
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it s quite a lot of... >> roe:how did you gabo that process? >> i've seen jennifer in "winter bone." >> rose: and she was brilliant. >> i think it's like once a generation. i mean, i see a lot of actors, it's what i do. if you're a basketball coach and michael jordan walks into your gym, you know what i mean? you don't see this talent very often. so i was floored by that in her and we met and she had so many... she embody sod many of the qualities, the confidence, the lack of self-censorship, the spontaneity, just the... the lack of b.s.hat j had. the se-prence and so i said to people i work with i'd be stunned if it didn't work out this way. then she auditioned for me. it was like no audition i'd ever seen. >> rose: no audition i'd ever seen? >> i'd ever seen in any movie i'd ever done. it was... we all were choked up. it was the moment where she says good-bye to her sister. i think i made some lame excuse like a dog was barking outside i didn't want her to see that i
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was that moved and it was beyond... like you glimpse it had whole movie in a way you neer glimpsed bere. th's what it is when an actress steps into a role where she inhabits it and i knew instantly. >> rose: when you see that you know you can make the movie you want to make. >> exactly. and you don't know till then. this girl is in 100% of the movie. it's an interior journey for her and it will be completely subjective and, yeah, i could glimpse the whole movie instantly. it was a huge relief and very exciting. >> rose: okay. here she is, jennifer lawrence, katniss, is training for the hunger games and trying to get the attention of people who could become critical sponsors. here it is.
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>> hey, hey, who ordered this pig? who ordered this pig? (laughter) ilence) >> rose: got my attention. (laughs) >> thank you. >> don: so once you set out to make it, what was the most challenging part? >> well, you know, there were a lot of physical challenges because this is what we do. we're in the woods for... there's no trailers and we hiked into work everyday, torrential rainstorms, bears. it was wild to make a movie that way and it's a broad canvass. there's a lot of action and all that. but honestly the most difficult part was tone. >> rose: tone? >> tone. because i's... 's aery pro youlready a book, it's a very popular... hopefully a very popular movie but it has a lot of its mind and a very serious premise and so it's a very fine
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kind of tonal target that you are completely invested in jennifer's point of view and katniss' point of view that you stay in her subjective experience and that led me into an investigation of what does it mean to shoot completely in a character's point of view? and it necessitated me shooting the movie in a different than i'd ever shot before and ju... making re i w on that course. >> rose: and where was suzanne collins when you were making the movie in >> suzanne and i worked together intimately during the prep. she came down to los angeles. i wrote a draft of the script and she read it and liked it and she came down to l.a. and we started kicking around ideas and it was one of those things where it was such a spontaneous conversation and we enjoyed each other so much that we thought this is ridiculous, we're already working together, let's make it official. so she and i did the fnal polish of the script tethe a locd ourselves up i a room. since i wrote "big" i hadn't had
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a writing part snore i was in a room with another writing partner which was fantastic and through the prep, auditions, things like that she was around and when i went off to make the movie it was... that was pretty much being in the woods. >> rose: "the hunger games," how hollywood brought a fierce and beloved best seller to the screen and what will surprise you about the movie. what will surprise these people who read this magazine about the movie? >> that's a good question. think it's emoonal. it's not a disposable piece of entertainment. i don't think they're empty calories. it's thought provoking and moving. i think it asks a question how do you hold on to your humanity. and it asks that question of kids. they're forced to fight for their own survival. they face a bleak world. how human can you afford to be? how much can you... how much of your own compassion and empathy and sort of humanity can you
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alie yourself in a bleak d competitive worl itemotnal. >> rose: roll tape. here's another one in which you see stanley tucci ask her about her sister. that's an important relationship. roll tape. >> i have one more question for you. it's about your sister. we were all very moved, i think, when you volunteered for her at the reaping. did she come and say good-bye to you? >>yes. s did. >> rose: and what did you say to her in the end? >> i told her that i would try to win. that i would try to win for her. (audience reacts) >> of course you did. and try you will. ladies and gentlemen, from
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district 12, katniss everdeen, the girl on fire! (laughs) >> rose: stanley..., >> oh, my god. every movie i want to find something with him. >> rose: just the way he was asking the question. >> he said "this is my barbara walters moment, i'm trying to make her cry." he was so aware of that delicate line of the show biz in the whole thing >> now that you've seen it, would you do anything different? >> i think closer to the movie i ad in my hd. you know, very, very early this's a very raw naturalistic quality that i thought was necessary to be in this really subjective experience with katniss which is like i said different than a lot of other and in that respect it realized a lot more of what was in my
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head. there's always stuff. listen, the day after the premier i went back on the mixing stage so there's always stuff and you don't really have distance on it for a good five ars but where i am rig now this islose tohat wanted to do than anything i've ever done honestly. >> rose: speaking of all that you've ever done, here's a montage. (playing chopsticks) >> you're spending $47 million on an ad campaign to boost consuer cfidence inhe amicanuto industry. >> yes, sir. um... well, you see, it's designed to bolster individual confidence in previous domestic
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automotive purchase. >> so you're spending $47 million so that somebody can feel better about a car that they've already bought. >> yes, sir, but i couldn't characterize that... >> i'm sure that's important. but i don't want to tell some eight-year-old kid that he's got to sleep in the street because we want people to feel better about their car. >> what the hell is going on? >> can'talk like that hee. you're in... well, yo know. >> mary sue, breakfast is on the table! >> we're mr. n pleasantville! >> a dream come true, new >> listen, this really isn't funny. i have a very important date in, like, five minutes. >> well, i just think this horse has a lot of heart. he may have been down but he wasn't out. he may have lost a few but he didn't let it get to him. we could learn a lick or two from this little guy. by the way, he doesn't know he's little he thinks he's the biggest horse out there. (laughter) >> you've got big plans for this littlhors >> , yeah. sometes when the little g doesn't know he's a little guy he can do great big things.
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>> rose: don't you love working with jeff? >> oh, my god. oh, my god. yeah, the greatest. unbelievable. i miss him. >> rose: for all the young people who are going to watch this, does it need a cautionary note of any kind? >> i wouldn't take a seven-year-old or eight-year-old. >> rose: what are the dividing lines? >> i think the right ten or 11-year-old could see it. i think that's fine. >> rose: this is kids killing kids. >> yeah, in the way "lord of the ies" is. i think it' lssiole than call of duty or video games and yet... there's a social context for that's tremendously different that's not only appropriate but has a lot to say that is tremendously positive. but i take the ratings seriously. i think it's a p.g.-13 movie. >> rose: with a serious comment on reality television and celebrity worship. >> for sure. absolutely. and also the future and this kind of athoritarian system and
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what it meanso find yr own inner ethical line and sense of self. >> rose: it's one of those things that asks you to say what would i do if i was there. >> exactly. the arab spring happened because of one tunisian flower vendor so it comes down to an individual saying no, i'm not going to play at that game. i'm not going to parts patriot in a system where it violate misown sense of ethics the moral line that i... once you know that you can't unring the bell d that'she experiencehe es through and it's about the assertion of the individual and finding who you are as an individual as opposed to... >> rose: i had this conversation with claude lanceman and he's fascinated with the idea of torture and death and he talked about the notion of... if you knew you were undergoing torture you could not withstand. some people with great courage elect to kill themselves because
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they know they will give up the names of people that they love. >> sure. >> rose: and he was talking about that idea of that kind of courage to be willing to do that. >>ros and how do y...and how do you find who you are. >> exactly. and ask whether you could do it. he said i could don't that. >> well, i don't think any of us knows until we're at that moment but it takes individuals... it takes an individual finding that in themselves and that's the only way social change ultimately happens is when you know what you think. >> rose: and what makes a person make a certain decision make a good movie? >> at the end of the day we're all about aprotagonist and a journey and what's wonderful in this case is that there's... she creates ultimately a revolution over the course of three books to an act of individual morality and courage so it's about finding out who you are and about who the individual is not a collective morality but a
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personal one which is the only kind of morality there is anyway. >> rose: you could ask the question how many great novels and great films are about that decision by someone that this this cannot pass. this is who i am and i'll take my stand he >>es, tat'sxact rig. it's that i know this now. i can't unknow this now and i have to listen to that and from that is the ripple effect that has the ability to be transformative. >> and you have to get there. you can't just know you'll be there. >> no, i don't think it's an intellectual process. >> rose: you can't read a book and... >> no, no. you can't try to find it. it finds you. >> rose: gary ross, our friend the director and wrer. thank you. >> rose: greato see yo, thank you for joining us. see you next time. captioning sponsored by rose communications captioned by
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