tv Charlie Rose Bloomberg November 17, 2014 7:00pm-8:01pm EST
city, this is "charlie rose." chuck todd is here. his new book is called "the stranger: barack obama in the white house." i am pleased to have chuck todd on the program. stranger?" why that title to describe barack obama in the white house? >> i would like to think it encapsulates the challenge she had with washington. that is what this book is about. it is about attempts to change and fails to change washington. his battles with the pentagon, the media, congressional democrats, congressional republicans. gotany ways, i think what
him elected is that he was a stranger to it all. some of the struggles that he had managing washington is because he is a stranger to it all. the point. if he had more experience, he would not have made the mistakes? >> it depends on your definition of experience. i thought the argument was -- i'm going to be nuanced about it. where he lacked the experience was being a politician. that is to me the experience. it is not executive leadership, experience on the issues. experience -- i had a senator described it to me, a senator who was a big supporter of him in 2008 and regrets it, who said i did not realize he did not have experience in climbing the greasy pole of politics. that is something in washington you need to have. >> he says, when asked, do you like politicians? do you like politics? >> this is the wrap he is getting. i think is a fair question. ,> the rap that he did not more
reaching out, because he did not really like it. >> it is because he does not need it. is he different type of -- he is like clinton. bill clinton goes into a room of tea partiers and he wants to come out of there getting everyone liking them. that is a big deal to him. >> if he knows there is one person that does not like him, he goes right for that person. he's euros on them. barack obama is in many ways rational about it. there is not a lot i can do about it. i am just going to move on. he does not need people telling him he is great. some of the stuff i say -- it sounds like praise, and you say, why are you criticizing him? it is a skill. it is skills he is lacking as a president in that washington is sometimes a town of glad handers. he admitted that it to me in the most revealing statement in the
interview is, i don't get the theatrics right. i don't do it well. it had to do with the foley beheading and suddenly going golfing and not realizing that sometimes, the ethics matters because it dies you time and space to really do what you want to do. he does not need the glad-handing or back-slapping or favors. he does not understand -- i think he thinks that politicians are weak because they needed. >> for me, that is not simply not getting the theatrics. that is having a tin ear to the obvious. you don't go and talk about a beheading and then be photographed afterwards laughing on a golf course. >> george w. bush had that moment and stopped talking -- playing golf forever. talking about 9/11 and he says, watch this drive. >> a says, if i did not like
politicians, i would not be where i am. >> he ran and lost. he challenged bobby rush -- >> he was pretty popular in his district in chicago. >> he went about and lost. he went about a senate campaign that a lot of us thought was quixotic. your name is what? you are doing what? three years after 9/11 and your name sounds like osama? what are you doing? every political strategist in washington thought, that is quixotic. i think he loves the campaign -- don't get me wrong. >> it is conventional wisdom. >> it is the art of politics, behind the scenes. one of the things that i think we all thought -- well, no, he must get politics. we would hear about the poker games. it is the little things that he does not use the power of the presidency in ways that it could be potentially productive at building coalitions. maybe not for today, tomorrow,
but in two years time. that he does not get that it is, in fact, productive. i've talked to harden people in washington. rich armitage is a top guy. deputy secretary of state. very tough guy. i said him once after he had been deputy of secretary of state, what is the most important thing you've learned? he said, it is about people. even in terms of the relationship with foreign leaders, it is about people. >> it is funny you say foreign leaders. this has been one of the frustrations of some of the team, that his relationships with -- the one person he has bonded with the most is merkel of germany. that relationship got frayed after nsa. >> you talked to him after he took over in the press. what is it you think we do not know about this man? >> i think we know everything
about him on that front, but i think it is -- he is more cautious than we thought. i think the country gravitated towards him in 2007 because they were frustrated with washington and they wanted a clean break from the past. they wanted a turn the page, someone to go in there and change something. >> that is what the most recent election was about. >> here we are again. he said to me, and it is in the book, he said, i don't know if the country was ready, but i know that the country was so frustrated -- and maybe there were people who said emma i am if i'msaid, i don't know ready to elect a black president, but i am ready to send a message. there were people in the administration in the first year that said, remember why you won. wanted because a country you to change the way things are
done in washington. a lot of people gravitated toward them because they thought he would be a change-agent and a risk-taker. arack obama is not risk-taker. he is cautious sometimes. he gets characterize as a radical, but when you look at him, he is a very, very cautious president. >> is he a centrist guy? >> i think he has a centrist temperament. i think he has a progressive idealism in him. >> he believes in progressive politics? >> right. i think the question is -- bill clinton. i think they get to the same place on policy, but they get there differently because i think bill clinton starts in the center. i think ultimately he is a centrist. he wants to straddle that fence. i think, ultimately, he is more of a center-left guy. i think barack obama would say he is center-left. he comes at a topic from a
progressive point of view. >> his experience gives him more of a centrist? >> i think that is right. politics made bill clinton a centrist because he had to get reelected in arkansas. that is and it is possible barack obama, because his experience was in an easier state, that is something that shifted -- >> the election? we all, in washington, have been on the issue of he did a poor job of reaching out to republicans. one of the handicaps he had is that democrats were too successful in 2008. imagine if he had 52 democrat senators in 2009 rather than 59, and eventually 60 with arlen specter. it is a different ballgame if you have to go find eight or nine senators, republican senators, and create this coalition that you always have to be thinking about, versus you reached out to them perfunctory and things went sour and you said, at the end of the day, i
don't need them because i have the votes without them. >> you suggest that he is not a risk-taper. people would point to what he do with osama bin laden. that was a huge risk. that was a hard and analysis in terms of, we can do this. >> he focused on this during his transition. i have an interesting nugget about how he gets the first briefing, his first briefing as president-elect, an intelligence briefing about what was going on and there was no update on the search for bin laden. he asked, what about bin laden? the director of the cia starts looking at each other. we really have not focused on that. thing, he demanded. they demanded a monthly update. that was a case for he went in with a clear objective. he focused the intelligence community and they got the results. >> the terms of when you put together the government, the chose rahm emanuel,
he wanted "an enforcer." he wanted someone who worked with the congress. >> true. i think that ultimately, potentially, was a mistake. i thought he would have been a more effective chief of staff when republicans were in charge of the house. i think rahm emanuel and john boehner would have gotten along. i have always thought that. it is easy to be a chief of staff when you have -- when your party controls everything. you can get some things done. you say heto rahm, was supposed to be an enforcer, but he never felt like he had the power that he wanted. i think all the chiefs of staff, in some way or another -- >> he wanted a tough guy. >> he wanted a tough guy and someone from washington -- >> because he did not want to do that. >> that is true. he did not necessarily give him
the authority that rahm wanted. >> when you look at his infidence, david brooks and have had an ongoing series of conversations about this president. david says he is probably the most confident men i have ever, in politics, dealt with. >> what presidents aren't confident? >> it is like, what senator does not get up wanting to be president? >> there is something different about guys that become president. >> you think he has the same confidence in george bush had? >> yes, definitely. he is, one of the things you hear from staff, he usually understands the issues better than the staff that wrote the memo. it is one of those things. >> bob gates will tell you that. he was in a meeting and he is not only asking him -- bush would probably stop at bob gates and his deputy. he said, president obama will go to the person in the third row,
for throw, and say, what do you think? maybe is the professorial experience. >> that maybe one of it. one of the page up to understand to understand barack obama is he was raised by an anthropologist. he is a keen observer in that standoffish way sometimes. is not, whenogists you are observing a society, you are not supposed to get involved sometimes. i think that -- people need to understand about that. i think it is what makes him understand political constituency so well, but sometimes look like he is being condescending when he talks to them. >> is very comfortable being alone, natural beauty which is the opposite of successful politicians in a modern era, think bill clinton, who seem to crave public affection. this is both an asset and liability in washington. being the son of an anthropologist give him and
distinctive observational skills that allow him to read folks better than most politicians, usually need polls to help understand people who grew up different than they do. bycifically being raised white grandparents who are a cost reminder that he was different from others infused in him the temperament and patience that have marked his presidency, both positively and negatively. >> i think the temperament issue is one that is an underrated characteristic for any president. the public, if you think about it, the public usually picks the most even-keeled guy. the moment you talk to obama folks, you talk to the cain folks, you say the moment obama won the white house come at the moment he did is when john mccain abruptly ended his campaign. --was sort of, and this was
it serves you well in a moment of crisis as a president. there are people who say the best presidents have had, quote, a second-class intellect and a first-class temperament. of aagan had in and threat temperament. you look down the line, gerald ford -- >> reagan had an incredible temperament. think obama is the most awkward politician since eisenhower in some ways, meaning he was not a natural politician of the washington sense. bush, george w, he sort of enjoyed the game. we know bill clinton did. h w bush had his own way of doing it and understood how to massage and ego. >> about five letters. he wrote a thank you note to everybody. >> it is different with obama. i think it is an admirable
in a politician in chief. >> the book review editor for the "new york times said, it is hard to imagine him wanting to return to the program anytime soon. if you reads the book. the book delivers a stinging indictment of his presidency." --funny, i don't think of it i think it is a sober account. i think it is not meant to be a liberal defense or a conservative attack. but a realistic portrait of what i saw. again, from the point of view of washington, because some of the critiques i've got with the book -- basically, i feel it is a sense of, you washington people don't understand it. c promise wasasi to change the way that washington work. at the end of the day, we will have 24 years.
bush to clinton to obama. the great promise was to change, and he didn't. >> he failed because the? >> some of the circumstances -- is he doing the presidency that he wanted? coming in with a economic crisis, i think he capitulated with democrats too often in the beginning. in this recent election, he is deferred to them time and again, on the name of protecting house majority. >> principally in terms of writing health care legislation. >> and stimulus. in italy moment -- an early mome that hasid any bill spending earmarks, that will be ground for a veto. there was a leftover bill that pelosi and reid were saving to let a democratic president signed. there was a debate in the white house, if the axelrod gives, the people on the campaign
said, you made a promise, you have to veto this bill. you had the old hand saying, you don't pick this fight. it is an unnecessary fight. i think in hindsight it was a moment for him to set the marker. a new sheriff in town, i will go after my own party, but he signed it and it lectured him. i think it's is a message of, maybe congressional democrats can -- >> the thing i have not understood about his rise was the thing that was really transformative was the convention speech. how did he get that? >> he got it -- when he won the primary, he was this rising star and everyone was wondering, you have to give him a role in the speech if that she was clearly going to be this next generation. there was this feeling that barack obama was different. he was about to win.
>> that was because his opponents -- >> they totally melted down. a total implosion at the time. i know that kerry says they went and found him, but i think there was a sense of who is the best rising star in the party? i think at the time, it was clearly him. he ended up writing a speech that cap into the frustration in america we had had for 10 years, which was enough of this polarization. that is why, i think when you say that the hardest part of judging his presidency is, do you save the promise of barack obama was what? thatuy i covered, i felt the promise that most of the public was rallying around was the idea that he was going to change this polarized, divisive politics. and it did not happen. >> how much of the responsibility is his? >> i think a lot of it belongs to republicans, but i think he owns more of it than he would like to admit. again, that is one of the hits i
get from the left and his supporters for saying, he has tried all of these things. no. there is more he could have done. leadership. with how about this? you don't have all of the bills that the house republicans that harry reid was holding up. imagine if the white house said, there are 10 that we like them they told harry reid, we want to pass these 10. there are 400 on top, i'm sure there are maybe, say maybe any bill it has 50 democrats supporting at that past, because there were some that the united states senate should consider. the president could have forced it. i think democrats have to look in the mirror and say, how did they become the party of gridlock for the 2014 elections? there is no doubt the republicans were definitely starting this fight, and grinding things to a halt. the democrats were fighting fire with fire, -- i kept using a
phrase in the book -- he did not get caught trying. they may continue to push her hand away, keep reaching out. >> this is one of those great what if questions. suppose he could have said to the democrats, i hear you and i think that is right and i thought the selection was an indictment of all politics, and if they don't want to see themselves suffering and politicians not being able to agree on vital efforts -- >> barack obama set himself up as the adult in the room. when he basically started letting democrats play this role, i think people were disappointed. >> they think government should work. the other thing that is interesting to me about him is one of his principles said to me, it said that he is really a writer. you can say per pfizer, but they said writer. >> that is what he is first. that is what he cares about. >> and he reads?
big reader. he has a conversation with a holster in of things that are part of the fabric of who we are, culturally and politically. >> i'm convinced he wants to become a call must. >> he said he wants to become david brooks. brooks is analytical and cares but other things in the day-to-day political gain. >> maybe about how demographics are changing the way we raise our kids. i think that is why david brooks has been his favorite columnist for so long. there's a guy who was a center-right back. conservatives never like you to say david brooks is not a conservative, but he is a center-right guy. i think that is how barack obama spent half some of his best moments. i can picture him becoming a columnist. i would not be surprised if he is as prolific as nixon
post-presidency, writing books. nixon kept churning them out. it would not surprise me. i could picture him becoming at least a monthly columnist. >> where you think you will live? >> new york city. i've talked to people close to him about it, and i think you would like to go back to chicago. the few times he has gone back to his house, he realizes he has created such a disturbance, the entourage that comes with the presidency. he knows it is unfair to his neighbors. there is a feeling in new york that you can disappear better than most places. >> as a collection of people, their with like to know him. >> he watched bill clinton being able to -- no one is anonymous if your last name is clinton, but he has had some success at being able to fade. >> what happens in the next two years? >> i think we find out in the next six weeks if they are a productive two years.
at minimum, a productive six months. i think he has the fourth of july next year. if republicans -- their interests are lining. i had some close to the president remind me that there is one piece of good news about democrats losing control of the senate, not to say that they wanted it to happen. he does not feel as if he owes the congressional democrats anything. he has a sense of freedom about himself. it will be interesting. he may buck members of his own party and ways. i think he is maybe more willing to deal than republicans think. we will see. i am told that it's his mindset now. that -- michael lewis has talked about how well he thought he done as president, that he was a good president. paul krugman writes columns in "rolling stone" about being a good president. , harryhave the ability
truman, to run against congress -- not for office, running on behalf of a congress and not for congress. it is a difficult stretch because truman was running to get elected. in 2014, was there a case to be made that a brock obama could way,made or ask another was there a case to be made that some of bill clinton's talents could have made? >> i guess i would argue that i think that's a mistake democrats made is the ideas you can localize, somehow hide from the national conversation. politics -- we have flattened it all. >> that is why they made a mistake. you clearly made a statement doing that. with the alternative, making it all local, going full in in terms of being aggressive and offensive? >> i believe the lesson to be learned both parties of this
election, all politics is national now. you are running for congress in stockton, california. westchester, new york. national.cs is now frankie, even some of these gubernatorial races have these field. one party sits the national stage and the democrats in this case said, we will let the republicans have the national argument. we will try to have local arguments and when that way. it did not work. the media is flat. to borrow a phrase from tron friedman, the media's flat. >> some say that sunday programs don't have the impact they did. >> how my supposed answer that? of course they do. >> what's the evidence that is not true? >> i think it is important conversation that lawmakers are
having with washington. we need to expand our average for a little bit. this past week, i had a focus on -- you have a whole bunch of liberals wondering, the economic statistics are great. how did the democrats lose on the economy? let me explain. but go to rural america, where the economy is not doing well and wages are soft. had howard i schultz on, the ceo of starbucks. you sometimes need to bring other people into the washington conversation, so that washington people can understand what is going on in the rest of the world. >> that is what we try to do here. >> that is what you do a great job of. be like charlie rose, that is my mantra. [laughter] >> there is the trayvon martin experience. it was a turning point for
obama. >> he had avoided race discussions. >> after having dealt with it in his campaign? >> dealt with it a little bit. they almost ran from it sometimes. i think he found his voice on job was on theis race issue, during the trayvon martin thing because he was able to be -- he personalized it. i think he used his role on these race discussions as a calming voice to african-americans and as an interpreter to white america. having basically saying, he has one foot in both worlds. half black, half white. he is in a unique position to do that. i think he saw that that is -- i don't know if the country is mature enough to have race conversations right now. i don't know if we are, but i think on the specific context --
>> you don't know if the country is mature enough? are not.litics our political system, because we turn it so quickly -- look at the media coverage. oh my god -- >> ferguson. >> it become so easily -- >> we do so much to engage it. at is not the politics, but it is -- >> i think we need to do more. you can't say race has not had some impact on the president. i think that is part of the conversation we have had. >> what do you think she will do? --i think about this as a she sacrificed her career for his career. no. she had a successful career. i'm not going to try to get into that.
he is very sensitive to her needs. he is well aware that she sacrificed a lot. i know people are going to say, it is no sacrifice being first lady. it is different. she is not going to be a political activist. i do think she is going to be a philanthropic activist. >> i agree with you. not going back to a law firm. i think the white house has brought them literally closer together. they are in the white house, living in the same place. >> he loves to talk about it. 9:00,s funny, 6:00 to that is the very sacred time to him. it is that time with his family. i say this as a -- i think all sons in particular, you want to correct the mistakes of your father. his father was not there for him. you'll make sure he is always there. i do things that we might so but
the way i raise my kids. that time period is actually another time period where he does not do the washington political thing. that has been a challenge. --that is when he becomes that a solitary time for him after that when the family goes to bed, -- >> that is when he stays up and reads. >> watches whatever he watches any goes online. >> he is our first internet president because he does read >> it. >> tell me about what you have learned about barack obama and war in the middle east and the gulf. >> i spent a lot of time in the book on afghanistan in the debate was had inside the in ministration on the afghan is an -- the afghanistan surge and how many troops they should be. he sent over a big chunk, nearly 140,000 if you add in the nato troops. >> a central debate in the early administration. will there be a search or -- one day to get him in
a private moment after the presidency is over and ask him, do you believe the surge was necessary? i hear so many people around him tell me how he looks at the s job,and yes, it did it and they were dealing with the elections and looking for stability, but did you need all of those troops? i tell you, it left some scar tissue with him, with the pentagon. he felt that every time he wantedan attorney to -- an alternative strategy, he felt they came back with a request for troops. they say we had three options -- 120,000 140,000, 106,000 troops. this is what created the tension between gates and biden. biden would say, what about a small-footprint counter-terrorist strategy? you talk about 25,000 troops. what i don't know the full
answer to is, was he doing that to help the president have another voice in the room, or was that his position? that is something i think we will never fully know. it left scar tissue. i think the president is now convinced that all of those troops were not necessary in afghanistan. i don't believe you would think -- i don't think he believes that afghanistan would be any better with all of those troops today. -- othersy everything have been pushing him to send more troops, and i think he absolutely believes that. >> much more to talk about, but here is the book you should read. "the stranger." chuck todd, moderator, "meet the press." ♪
the united states and china concluded an historic agreement this week, agreeing to cut back on greenhouse omissions. the chief negotiator for the united states and the counselor of the president was john podesta, who was once bill clinton's chief of staff. we are pleased to have you here today. tellis a little bit about how this deal finally emerged. >> it did not close until monday
night. the president saw president xi on friday night and they fueled the deal that time. tothen, both sides agreed and it was announced on wednesday. >> you met in boston with secretary kerry at that restaurant overlooking boston habor. did you get a sense they wanted to deal seriously? >> before that lunch in new york, in the previous month, the executive eyes from your of the chinese government -- the executive vice premier of the government represented the government at that summit. there was a private meeting between president obama and him. the chinese side indicated that they would like to take the united states up on its offer to do a joint announcement of our
post-2020 climate targets, it being important because that is what is being negotiated in the international negotiations which will culminate in paris next year, a bout a year from now. we thought, the united states thought that if the u.s. and china could come to an agreement, that we would both announce our national commitments in that process, but do it together on the same stage at the same time. both sites were ambitious, and it would really galvanize those talks and get other countries to step forward with ambitious agreements to really tackle the climate challenge. for has been in the works the better part of this year. i met with my chinese counterparts this summer at the sn ed.
we got an indication they wanted to go forward. we had an important meeting with senator kerry in boston, and i went back to boston and we arm wrestled for a week. we did not reach agreement. we came back to the united states. we made some final offers about the language that would go into the agreement, and then monday night -- >> you mention a business agreement. >> i think on both sides, actually. the chinese side has said it would peak around 2030, but try to do it earlier. every senior chinese official we bet with -- met with through the president said they would try to earlier. we think they can go earlier than that. i think what with significant is the other number in that agreement, which is they have committed to build 20% of their electricity sector with clean, either renewable or nuclear
energy, zero-carbon energy. that is a huge amount. to give you some sense of the scale, it is about 900 gigawatts of new electricity from renewable sources. that is equivalent to what they burn today using coal-firepower. they are building a new china through renewable and nuclear power. that is a very significant commitment to clean power. i think every single person i met with, the president met with up and through every member and leader in the chinese government, has made that commitment. >> some skeptics worry about how permanent this may be. they say the chinese could aggregate it. moreover, they might have done what they agreed to do by 2030 anyway and the next u.s. president could undo what barack obama has done. skeptics all the
time, but let me say a couple of thegs about china and about u.s.. i think that china does not take these undertakings or commitments lightly. they don't make them or announce them easily. up sort ofto come like pulling teeth, to get them to come this far. once they make these commitments, the standing committee has made these targets of the chinese communist party. they will be put into law in china. they commitment they made at copenhagen to increase the so-called carbon -- to reduce the carbon intensity of their 2020,y by 40%-40 5% by they are on track to meet and probably exceed. it is hard to get them to make commitments. they are pretty good at keeping them. obviously, unlike our system,
once the leadership in china decides they're going to do something, they do it. u.s., i think it will need a president to follow president obama who is committed to tackling the climate challenge. and veryour number substantial reductions around authority. we are ready have and already exist. principally the clean air act, but they will help us increase the efficiency of of appliances and the building sector of the department of energy controls. we have done a massive amount of work on transportation efficiency, both by increasing fuel economy for cars and light-duty trucks, and now heavy-duty trucks. it is saving consumers money, it is increasing innovation in all of those sectors. we have tripled the amount of
wind power in the united states since obama came into office. solar power has gone up by more than a factor of 10. this is setting off a cycle of realization and investment in america. we can meet it as long as the next president does not throw the car into reverse. >> mitch mcconnell, the senate republican leader, says it is a bad deal. china does not have to do anything until 2030. >> obviously, they're not economists or can't make observations -- if you are going to produce that much new, clean power, zero-carbon power from renewables and nuclear, you can't start in 2030 and finish the job. that is a totally bogus charge. i think they know it. claim not tothey be scientists, but i think they can at least observe the basic
facts about an economy that if you're going to begin to make those kinds of very substantial investments, that is really the equivalent of producing a nuclear power plant a week or putting 200,000 rooftop solar installations on a week, then you know you cannot get started late. you have to do it right now. it will be in their five-year plan. we will be able to observe it. if they are not making the marks, we will know it early. it is just one more excuse to do nothing, which the republican leadership in both the house and senate have been noted for on the issue of climate change. it is a very substantial threat to the american economy, to american security, and we have to get on with doing the job. >> john boehner says this will be a job-killer. >> far from it. i think it will be a job creator, because we will be investing in the industries of the future, building out our own
clean tech sector. it is one of the sectors in the economy that did well, even during the recession. again, they talk down the economy. they talk down american innovation. i don't get it. they are supposed to be pro-business. businesses in this country are producing the new technology, levels of innovation. we have driven solar costs down by 70% since president obama has been in office. i already mention the transportation sector. americans know how technology, science, and enterprise can produce substantial benefits from the american people from the public health perspective and dealing with the extreme cost of climate change, and they will do it well building a great economy. >> to achieve the objectives, the targets, you have to continue with what you have been talking about. as you know, elections have consequences. the republicans won big just a week or so ago. they say one of their priorities
will be to defund the epa regulations to scale back on greenhouse emissions. >> we have the public on our side on that regard. even republicans think that climate change is real, and they want to invest in cleaner technologies. more probably, the american public stands with -- 2/3 of the majority stands with what we do. >> it does not seem to translate to voters. it became an effective issue only when republicans campaigned against excessive environmental regulations. seemed to cut that way despite polls. >> i think the new democratic senator from michigan ran explicitly with support for taking action -- sure, they did. if you look over all of the effectiveness at the election, 1/3 of the people voted. they elected republicans.
it was a very good night for republicans and for conservatives in this country. i don't think that was because they ran against clean air and public health. >> i just wonder if there is a disconnect from what you rightfully say -- >> al, i think we will see that play out in 2016. right now you have most of the people who are thinking about running for president on the that they side saying don't believe in the science, they are not scientists, they don't think that climate change is happening, they are not sure it is caused by human action through the burning of fossil fuels. you have that side of the line. on the democratic side, whoever runs is going to be a person who will champion cleaner air and better public health for our kids and dealing with climate change.
you will have the issue joined. i think that if republican candidates run as a climate-to dire 2016, the public and -- the public will reject them. the people out there, not all of them, jeb bush for example recognizes climate change is happening. maybe that is because when he walks to the streets of miami on a sunny day, there is still water coming up on the streets. there will be a few individuals on the republican side who say we have to do something about this. senator mccain did in 2008. for the most part, they are trying to deny the science, ignore the science, hide the science. i think that is going to be a losing issue for the american public. >> the other issue is the keystone pipeline. you have a posted but you recused yourself when you wanted to the white house. congress is going to pass it to the senate next week. bipartisan support.
the president has said that he thinks the effects are exaggerated on both side. he does not think we'll create the jobs supporters say, nor will it do the environmental damage that critics worry about. that being the case, in this new climate with the election, wouldn't it be better to say, fine, i will toss to republicans this one? >> the president spoke to that while he was in asia. he said, we ought to complete the analysis, which seems sort of sensible to me. the court in nebraska has the case in front of it, which raises the questions of routing in environmental areas in nebraska. they will complete that decision, the state department will complete its environmental analysis and it can make a decision whether it does or does not have a substantial effect on the climate, which is the standard the present has put up. >> when it gets to his desk in a week or two, he will veto it. >> in the past, his senior
advisers have recommended vetoes until those studies are completed. until we know what the , toronmental impact will be bring canadian oil to gulf coast refineries to be exported to the world is doing. until then, the better part of wisdom would be, let the court concluded celebrations, make a decision, and the president will make a decision on the merits. >> you have been very immersed in the china toxic climate change. let me ask you about immigration. the president has indicated he plans to take executive action on immigration, which would enable 5 million undocumented immigrants who are here to escape the threat of deportation. some get work permits. republicans say that will poison the well for immigration or anything else. is that a concern? it is ank
irresponsible position on their part to say that anyone issue is going to block action on all other issues. i think the president was very clear with speaker boehner. speaker boehner said, give me time. don't attack me. we try to get this done in the republican house. comprehensive immigration reform already passed the senate. we gave them time. criticizeent did not him. he said if you cannot get anything done, i have authority to make the system better, to allocate our resources against the real problems for security, deporting criminals -- do i think it will hurt him? i think he has a responsibility to take action to improve the system. he told the speaker that earlier this year. if you can't act, i will act by the end of the. if he does act, i think the house and senate have recourse, which is if they think they have
a better idea for comprehensive immigration reform, they go to work, pass a bill. if it is agreeable to the president, the president will sign that bill and it will supersede whatever he does. >> you were chief of staff to bill clinton. a number of congressional democrats lately, particularly since the election, have complained about the way they were treated, their relations with the obama white house. harry reid's chief of staff went public, presumably reflecting vieweaders' point of saying how bad relations were but the white house. how different was it in the clinton years versus this as far as congress as concerned, it and what can be done with this? >> he did get impeached. >> that's true. [laughter] >> even after that, we found a way and republicans came back and we got some things done in the last couple of years.
i hope republicans, once they stop holding their breath and turning blue over executive immigration reform, will come back and work together on manufacturing, exports, trade, on a corporate tax reform bill that can be used to fund a massive investment in infrastructure. >> did they work better with congress and the obama white house does? >> we had our difficulties, particularly with the republicans. with democrats, i think they were licking their wounds from a bad election. we have good relationships with the leader and with the members. i talked to democratic members as well as for public, and i think we try to be respectful and keep the lines of communications open and hopefully we can get some stuff done in the lame-duck, from funding to a bowl or new amuf,
to passing a budget without a lot of threats to shut the government down, as i saw in the paper this morning. ineveryone that i talked to clinton landed says they are sure you will be joining the clinton campaign, such as it is, early next year to be chairman. ua play a top role as alert ainton plans -- you may play top role as hillary clinton plans whether or not to run. >> i said i would play top role and i will keep that timeline. i will return to my prior life. if she runs, and i hope she will, i will do whatever she asks me to do. right now she has not made decision to run. so i'm expecting to return to what i was doing before, which is teaching law at georgetown law school. you had any conversation with her about any role he might
>> with all due respect to kim kardashian, she might have broken the internet, but we fixed it. tonight, obama care's evolving shift. the white house tries to keep a nuclear deal in its grip. senator mary landrieu cracks the whip. first, our special time travel episode. there are a cluster of issues going into the future and we do not have the patience to see how they get there. we'll use our clairvoyance to answerhe