tv Charlie Rose Bloomberg September 29, 2014 10:00pm-11:01pm EDT
please welcome william jefferson clinton. [applause] let's begin with this. after october 1st or sometime close thereafter, a little boy or little girl is going to say, "grandpa, a lot of people seem to know you, what is it that you did?" what will you tell him or her? >> i will explain what i did it with my life. i will say i grew up and went to school, and talked for awhile, and went into public service, and i will explain what it was.
i will explain after i left being president, i got a chance to try something entirely new and different. i was not term-limited, so i got to do it a little longer, thanks to my health being saved by a lot of people. and i will tell my grandson or granddaughter what i did and it was worthwhile. >> where do you put cgi? >> it is way up there. i think it came along at the right time. at a time when information technology and kind of the more global-consciousness kind of partnerships are desirable, even necessary, and it really made the difference. >> you said in a profile that bill clinton has conducted of the most energetic post-presidency than at least theodore roosevelt.
besides supporting his wife as she worked as secretary of state and a future presidential candidate, he made his most unconventional contribution to the clinton global initiative. that is why i ask about this. has the idea of not just talking but doing worked out as well as you expected? >>, oh, yeah. even when it does not work. [laughter] [applause] you know, for a guy who has uttered as many words as i have loved speech and political speech. >> really? >> i still think what you do is more important and what you say is credible and direct relation to what you do and what you are going to do.
i think ideas matter greatly, but can only have impact if you put them into action. yeah, i love it. i try to run the other part of my foundation. we have done some other pretty big things. [indiscernible] they are eligible for drugs, high-quality drugs. and making an agreement with for a healthier generation, the caloric content of drinks. a pretty big deal. all of these kids struggling with their weight across the country. >> for you, what is the biggest misconception of the clinton presidency?
>> i don't know. they are about to get it right according to the surveys. i think most people underappreciate the level of extreme partisanship that took over in 1994. >> even greater than today? >> i would not say greater, nobody has accused them of murder yet. the way the institutions of american life including the way politics was covered. basically rigged -- designed, rigged sounds unfavored, to an extent not healthy to our country. >> has it gotten worse or better? >> the parties are probably more polarized. because the people had been polarized in part by being
balkanized. part of it is congressional reappointment and part goes way past that. you look at these pew studies and they say we want to be around physically and virtually, television viewing. people who agree with us and we do not much care to spend any time with people that we do not. i tell everybody america has made such great strides. we just do not want to be around anyone who disagrees with us. and that is the worst thing we can do. we could fill this room with social science research that proves that the groups make better decisions than acting alone. and diverse groups, who actually disagree and bring different perspectives and experiences and debate issues, but they debate with a purpose of coming to an
agreement, make a better decisions than small groups of like-minded people no matter how smart they are. diverse groups, who have in mind they must never make the decision until they get everything they want and that is worse. that is what is hurting us. it may be very good for people who are financing all of this polarization, who basically do not want anything to happen. if you believe the country needs
a government to get the show on the road, all of this political polarization involves majoring in the minors at a time when there are huge challenges facing america at home and abroad, we should get together -- >> looking at the challenge from isis today, is the president doing it right or do you think we need more different weapons to challenge? i mean by that, diplomatic. >> i understand. i think, you have seen a blizzard of diplomatic efforts in the past few weeks. the strategy involving the sunni tribal leaders and others in the western part of iraq, first in the government. our country pushed for it and i
am proud. in the fight against isis, had a chance to prevail. we should not be directly involved in iraq. we have to have some people on the ground to do intelligence work and other things. >> they are in harm's way. >> they are but they are not carrying the brunt. they are necessary to make the air war and the other things work. it has a chance to succeed. you always have a chance to win. i just saw general mcchrystal. that surge in iraq worked when i did not think it would. i did because the tribal leaders, the sunni tribal leaders, were willing to take a stand against al qaeda. and you cannot beat somebody
with nobody in the fight. you have to have somebody to back. it is their fight. if you try to make it your fight, it is like planning a game. >> you cannot do it alone because you have to have somebody there. >> that is correct. >> as important as anybody. >> i think it has a chance to succeed. i also believe that in the airstrikes are important there are being conducted. you would at least have people know they have to pay without getting what they want which is to get you on the ground in large numbers so they can kill more of you and cost you a lot of money. and make people think the fight is against the united states
against more moderate iraqis. >> what if it is not enough? if it requires american combat troops in the interest of national security, is that a decision the president has to make? >> i think it is highly unlikely that he will have to make that decision because he will have to discount against whatever good we could do, sending troops there. the problems would be interrupting and stunning the growth of what has a chance of being the first truly inclusive iraqi government. there are reasons he did not do that that i think are quite sound. and you would have no more of its direct to the united states
from isis then i know now since i am not in intelligence. >> you would argue that an islamic state is unacceptable? >> it would be a bad thing, yes, if they took over massive swaths of iraq. and basically became capable of robbing billions of dollars from banks and stealing money and if it became a terrorist syndicate, it would be a bad thing. but, i think that we have a task now. it has been defined. it may be achievable. and i think that as soon as someone -- rapidly involving the media.
sending gina mccarthy out there to talk about epa's policies. bullets will be fired or bonds -- bombs will be dropped and people will start asking what if this fails? what a terrible thing will have to be done? we have to get it a chance to succeed. if not, look at the facts on the ground. i think the president's strategy has a chance to succeed and we should give it a chance to do so. >> if it does not and ha >> if it does not and you have to jump over the bridge when we get to it? >> yeah, based on what the facts on the ground are in what the realistic appreciation of the threat to our people. >> let's assume you were advising a presidential candidate. [laughter]
>> that's a heavy assumption. my advice is sometimes right and sometimes wrong. >> what would you suggest seeking about america today is the narrative, the theme about what is essential for us to go forward as a nation? >> the recovery of our capacity to provide -- the society that offers equal opportunity and possibility of shared prosperity. expanding middle-class. poor people having a reasonable chance of moving their way up.
and much more vigorous orientation toward the future. making investments like a modern electrical grid. a national network of wireless networks where the download speeds are comparable to south korea. by now, that burden of creating a national network is being borne by google. we are going to get as globally competitive. as hillary learned, people sometimes profit most economically immediately from rapid access to rapid download. >> that connects them in a series of ways. >> she found this guy who was
making fishing poles, i think he quadrupled his business and 100% of the poles were sold in norway and he was in a small town in uptown new york. we focus on energy areas and biotechnology areas. i think america is very well positioned for the future. >> anything like the positioning and to grow the future in a broad-based. >> our elections a referendum on the past rather past of the obama administration or clinton administration? >> i think what happened in the
past is relevant insofar as it is an indication of what might happen in the future. i use the word might advisedly. by and large, elections is about the future. people forget in politics, the apparatus of covering that it elections are like a big job interview. the election for president is the grandest job interview on the planet. and when you show up for a job, the difference is, if we decided to retire and i wanted to interview for your job -- >> please don't. >> i am trying to make a point here. i have watched you for years. i have an idea of what the show is. but if if you were running for president -- >> yeah. >> you might have some ideas
from watching me or george bush or george h w bush or barack obama. one of the burdens of running for president is it you are trying to do find a job for the -- define a job for the people who will decide to hire you or not. the most interesting job interview. you know there are certain things you have to do no matter whether you are republican or democrat. every four years somebody stands up and says i want this job and this is what i will try to do with it. if you are the person making the hiring decision, you have to assess, you and your family and the condition of your community and neighbors around america and how we are doing with the rest of the world. then, you have to say, i wonder if he or she can do this? it sounds good. and then -- >> it is hard because they have never done anything like it.
>> you have some indication. it matters. it is a good indicator, but it is not definitive. and then, you know -- something else we learned in the last 20, 30 years with power goes information-technology and it is even more likely than it used to be there will be something you did not think about in the election that will happen. al gore and george w. bush had all of those debates and nobody asked if the one about what are you going do when the world trade center comes down? how would this person handle the incoming fire? >> thank you. >> thank you. ♪
>> let me first of all thank you guys for coming here to talk about one of the most important issues of our time. let me begin with all of you. what do you hope to achieve in this summit and what is taking place here in new york? >> the biggest issue we have from a public policy issue, the politicians keep hearing that less than 1% of americans care about climate change. it is way down in double digits on the list. as long as it is way down there, the politicians will not act in a way to solve the problem. from my perspective, i think raising awareness is the most important thing at this point. >> i agree with my utility colleague. you do not often hear from me. >> this is being taped. >> hopefully, limited audience. the most important thing for me is that people get comfortable understanding that the climate
change actions will actually be not just good for the world and our families, but they are going to be good for the economy. you cannot have a sustainable economy without making that possible with a low energy, low carbon energy strategy. the worst think we can see ever happening is nothing on climate change. the cost of that is immeasurable to all of us. climate measures that can do things that are good for the environment and it economy is at our fingertips and we have to grab it. >> charlie, i see a different -- tipping point. i see a tipping point here. i am encouraged by over 300,000 people on the streets of new york and around the world out
there for climate. i am encouraged by what you see in the papers on pension funds, insurance companies, big corporation divesting from fossil fuels and investing into renewables and moving towards a low carbon economy. and i am encouraged by 120 heads of state in new york as tomorrow. we had 90 in copenhagen and 120 here. what i see is this big giant, public/private partnership under which you have all three ingredients necessary to start the movement toward a low carbon economy. >> what ought to be the agenda to do that? >> linking economics and environment. climate change and mitigating its impact is the most important and impressive economic opportunity of our time. i believe we are leaving behind 200 years of industrial revolution. the steam out of the engine is
out. we did not leave the stone age because we ran out of stones but because we found something better. is somethingenergy much better. linking to be economy and environment is the future. [applause] >> will you added to that? >> what i would say it is time for people to develop the strategies for moving forward. we have taught by the goals of that need to happen, the actions are in front of us. that is why president obama put out an action plan and not a goal of plan. >> where is it the resistance? >> the resistance has been we have been projecting the climate will be a problem in the future and whipping trying to convince people it is a global solution necessary -- and we have been trying to convince people it is a global solution that is necessary. the world is changing. they can see what is happening. we are documenting and not
projecting. we can see the solutions are here. and in the united states, they are here today. they are making announcements of what today been doing and is good for them. cities are saving money so they can hire teachers. these are the things you actually want to do. and they see the future as being in front of them and they see it as being important. >> are you seeing more collaboration because of the parity between government and business? >> to be frank, i think certainly nothing is coming out of washington. >> to take the bull by the horns?
>> the business needs to make a compact with the american people to do something. when you deal with the other ceo's as i do, there is no ceo of that denies climate change. we deal with fact. i have never heard a ceo. every business is dealing with it. what you hear is more and more ceo's coming into major corporations that not only know to do something about the climate change, but to the future of their business, but as parents and they are feeling and in their heart and you face the prospect right now and the united states that we can have the first business led a social movement.
so maybe i am too optimistic. i am very optimistic about the role the business has to play. >> take china. everybody understands the pollution problem they have. how are they responding? >> they installed 10 gigawatts of solar last year. they are responsible almost single-handedly for reducing the price of solar at about 80% since 2009 or 2010. if you look at what they are doing, their third five-year plan which goes into action as of january 2016, it is all about moving to a low carbon economy. i believe china is seeing the opportunity to catch up with the west by at least 25 years.
>> when you talk about china, the 800-pound gorilla in the room is china's coal plants. the average age of a coal plant in the united states is 40 years. almost virtually all of the coal plants will be retired in the united states and no one is building a new coal plant. for china, the average age is less than 10 years. there is one innovation we need and it is post-combustion capture. because we need to retrofit all of the coal plants in china because they are not going to turn them off. if you said, what is the one technology we have to deploy at scale and at a low cost? and that is it. we are doing a project in the united states and other people are doing it. i think that is the greatest contribution we can make in u.s. business.
develop that technology and to share it with china and india and the other people who are building a new coal plants. >> the important thing to remember about china is they are not only interested in what the united states is doing and climate change and the president sends a signal, but did they are worried about air quality in general. that is a big problem for them. when you go after carbon, all of the other pollutants that are causing them the problem began to get captured. if they think about this as a strategy for the people, not just how they build their economy and ways that will continue to be globally competitive, they have got to come off with a solution that grabs all of that. >> what gives you the most hope and what you worry about most? >> i get to go first.
>> what gives me hope, we were involved in the effort [indiscernible] when that failed so miserably, i thought it would go away for generation because it was seen as the next btu tax. what do gives me hope is that the united states as quickly as it had which is important. what makes me more concerned if the climate change science, it is clear though climate scientists know something is happening but they do not know how the earth will respond. what makes me more concerned is not known how much time we have. i mean, how are the oceans act julie as that of finding? oceans actually acidifying?
so, that is the thing. we are playing a game where we do know what is the end of the fourth quarter. >> if we reach the tipping point and have nothing to do about it. >> exactly. >> in my world, the dynamics are good for us. the epa knows the direction it should take. we have quite astounding engagement whether from utilities and business section or whether from a the general public who is responding to these issues. i cannot actually be more positive. i think the solution is before us and we can make an argument. we can make this work. the thing that concerns me most immediately and the one in you will hear from the states and our communities is how do we get resilient because we know the claimant has already changed? how do we invest in that infrastructure we need to keep people safe and a changing climate? we have a lot of efforts that try to work with local communities but people are getting hurt now.
you see agriculture hasn't -- having billions of dollars in disaster. california projecting billions of dollars and losses for the drought. we need to not just talk about this globally but look at our on communities and keep our families safe. that will take a concerted effort. >> what gives me hope is that this giant global coalition i talked about and in the beginning. businesses have been interesting into this area today. political leaders meeting at the united nations tomorrow. i believe we are at the beginning of a new dawn when we talk about climate change solutions and made the link between the economy and the environment. the report just came out and it talks about billions of different ways in which we could make that linkage create jobs which is what the world needs today. what worries me is how do we
>> juan manuel santos is here, he is the president of colombia. he has led controversial peace talks. opponents contend the government is being too soft on the rebels. santos is here for the u.n. meeting. a couple of things. you were here and i asked what the measure of success would be one year later and you said i hope i can come back next year and bring peace and change in the future of colombia for the better. that would be a great success. how do we stand?
>> we have advanced substantially since the last time we saw each other a year ago. we reached agreement on three of the five points on the agenda. first point is rule development and the second point is political participation. the third point, which is very important is drug trafficking. we have reached an agreement on those three points. two point left. victims and 15 that has to do with social justice and the fifth point is ddr. disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration. >> what is the toughest nut to
crack? >> the toughest is where to draw the line between peace and justice. how do you respect the rights of the victims of justice but at the same time [indiscernible] that is been the nut shell of the conference. >> have you gotten any guidance from what they did in south africa? from the reconciliation? >> yes. i had the chance to speak to mandela several times. one of the person that helped mandela and the peace process, i know him quite well and he taught me how mandela used these commissions -- >> truth and reconciliation? >> to bring out to the fears and hatred. that's why, in colombia, we started repairing the victims even before. 400,000 victims without of the conflict.
the sooner you start killing the -- start healing the wounds, the easier it is to reconcile. >> what have you done for them? >> first, recognize it down. second, give them a collective reparations. if it's a town, give them hospitals, schools. and money. individually to the families or scholarships for the kids and things like that. >> what is their mindset? are they reluctant negotiations? >> the farq? i would say they are afraid. at that moment, when you are going to parachute for the first
time and you think what if it does not open? they are seeking guarantees and it meant to give them confidence. of course, they always want to include certain points in discussions that is red light. we are going to negotiate how you can lay down your arms and participate in a democratic free country and pursue your political objectives but without arms. >> laying down your arms is always a sticking point for negotiations like this. >> there is no way it will succeed if they continue to have their arms. the whole point of the process, and they know this, is to give
their arms up and maybe not in colombia government a bunch to a third-party. but with i want from colombia is to eliminate forever politics and arms. those two things do not go together. >> why else do you come to new york to meet active the u.n. and meet to other heads of state and what is your mission and what do you want to tell them about colombia today? >> colombia today and in this world full of problems as you are seeing in wars in the middle east and afghanistan, central europe, ukraine, the ebola outbreak, colombia is a country that is about to reach a peace after 50 years of war. we are the country of latin america that is growing the fastest. the third in the world, which is decreasing poverty and increasing employment and lowest inflation and a booming economy. and so we are a success story.
if we reach peace, the international community helps us reach peace, the takeoff would be much faster. >> what is your gdp growth today? how do you achieve that? what is the reason for the economic success? >> first of all, we set out to reforms and basic principles. fiscal responsibility. the respect for the rules of the game to attract investment. we identified certain sectors such as construction and infrastructure. you have a combination of different factors.
today, i think -- we are proud to say the most solid economy and the whole history. the challenge is to maintain as you know, economic cycles are as guaranteed as death or taxes. that is the challenge for us. if we reach peace, like every economist says, the growth rate in colombia which is 5.2% will go up 2 points forever. that is one of the dividends of peace in colombia. >> how do we stand in terms of this hemisphere doing something that would give it a kind of united economic power? there's a lot of talk about
united states and canada. >> we created a very successful alliance with 4 countries. mexico, peru, chile, and colombia. these are the 4 top performers in the whole of latin america. we have integrated much more than the simple free trade. we have attracted a lot of attention from other areas. we have attracted a lot of attention from other areas including the united states who wants to see how they can help. and that is something which is changing very much with how
latin america reforms. even though we do not want to do because consider as an exclusive club. on the contrary, we want to open up to wherever wants to play with us. >> what about drugs? >> drugs, i am trying to promote and thank god people are listening and normally, many people are -- my framework -- to have a new look on the war on drugs. colombia has been the country that suffered the most, has made the highest sacrifice in the war on drugs. the problem continues. consumers in the u.s. continue and even though we have been relatively successful in winning or beating the drug cartels, the business continues. it has been the problem of mexico and our neighbors. not only a problem here in the americas but increasingly in the
middle east and europe. >> are you getting more support? >> we are getting more support. last week, there was a resolution of the united states and canada, they were present. let's take a more pragmatic and more effective approach because -- consumers and send them to jail does not work. >> are there other challenges as essential to the long-term growth? >> continue to improve our social indicators. we still have too much poverty. 30% of our population. we brought it down from 39% to 29%. or almost 10% in extreme poverty. >> how do you define poverty and extreme poverty? >> there are different measures. how much do you make a week or a
month? extreme poverty is you make less -- and i quote former president kennedy often when he said, "you cannot be rich if you are surrounded by extreme poverty." >> there's the question of those single four-year term. most people want to expand the number of terms they can serve. you want to set a four-year term limit. why? is it after you leave? >> colombia has had a tradition of 4 years and a renovation of leaders and there's chances for new people and i believe much more and institutions than the importance of people. and democracy would be better off --
>> can you get things done in four years? >> yes. i think we can get things done in 4 years. >> what happened to you and former president uribe? >> nothing happened to me but something happened to him. [laughter] i am willing to sit with him like you and have coffee and discuss whatever difference we have. he doesn't -- he hates the peace process. >> giving up too much. >> first of all, you were saying that some people are giving too much. i will tell you something. today, i decided to make public the agreements. everybody can read what with agreed to.
>> total transparency. >> people were saying i was doing -- negotiating the army and police under the control and -- of the farc, and that i was going to exploit the landowners that were cultivating crops. none of that is true. i am not negotiating anything on our economic model or democratic principles. the decisions i make today and we agreed with farc to make those public, will close the mouth of many of the critics of because they will then see web not given up the country. >> you were his defense secretary. he had something to do with you becoming president? >> yes. i continued with his policy -- a security policy.
there's not been any president that has given more blows than i have. we started when i was the defense minister. there is a time when you have to make peace and he tried to make peace. he tried to do exactly what i am doing but failed. >> what is the difference? why did you succeed? >> the circumstances. the farc did not want to talk to him, and you need, for example, the international community backing to you. it is difficult to reach a peace agreement and he did not have that. i have that. the u.s. is backing us, and cuba and venezuela. the whole international community and that is extremely important. once you take certain decisions,
we are the first country that is negotiating an armed conflict under the umbrella of the treaty of rome. we are setting precedents for the world. what ever happens in colombia will be an example for other armed conflicts that will be resolved. it is very important to have it back. >> you argue the relationship between the united states and latin america is more important than the relationship of the united states and afghanistan. >> the united states should look more south of the rio grande. >> has that changed? that has been the cry of latin america. they said that america only cares about domination. how would they reflected that interest?
>> they would reflect that interest by mentioning that area in speeches. [laughter] >> that would be helpful, wouldn't it? hello, we're here. there is an initiative called plan colombia. what is it? >> it was created by the 2 parties and president clinton in the year 2000 to help colombia when we were on the verge of being declared a failed state. started as an initiative to fight drugs. it involved supporting colombia in democracy and strengthening our democracy. i say with no hesitation, that has been the most successful bipartisan foreign-policy initiative the united states has made in the recent past.
if we reach a peace agreement, that is a cherry on the cake. the whole circle would be completed. >> you had an opportunity to be educated beyond colombia. not that you cannot get a good education in colombia. but harvard -- >> and yes. >> did that add being able to move beyond your own boundaries and absorb cultures and education a meeting different people who come from a different place?
>> that helps a lot. it opens a new world. new ideas. much more open to respect of different views, different people. i also studied in europe. and it opens your mind much more. >> did you always plan to go into politics? >> no. at the beginning i thought i was going to do journalism. but, politics -- i do not know why it is always interested me. i became a fanatic of really biographies of great politicians and i started having a feel for it. here i am. >> when we come back a year from now, would you have completed the negotiations and signed off? >> and that is what i hope for. they have a dynamic. people start getting bored. >> lose your initiative and
urgency. >> i decided, one of the risky decisions to talk and fight at the same time. i have not accepted any cease-fires. people do not understand that. they asked, why are you talking peace? the sooner we finish the process, the more lives we have saved and the more suffering -- and the less suffering we will have. hopefully, next year, it will be over. >> see you next time in colombia. >> thank you. >> thank you. thank you for joining us. see you next time. ♪
>> live from pier three in san francisco, welcome to "bloomberg west." i am cory johnson in for emily chang. a check of your bloomberg top headlines. pimco software is going private. they will be acquired by vista equity partners for $4.3 billion. that is the biggest u.s. tech buyout of the year. dreamworks animation may be acquired by softbank. the japanese company just bought sprint. the two sides are said to be in talk aug