tv Charlie Rose Bloomberg May 20, 2015 6:00pm-7:01pm EDT
>> from our studios in new york city, this is charlie rose. charlie: the founder and president of the political risk consulting firm, eurasia group. his new book is called "superpower." i'm pleased to have him. a lot of people think about where america goes from here. i read from you, many countries including china, russia, india
brazil, have proven they can reject u.s. leadership where it isn't useful for them and extend their influence within their own regions. -- that is what the book is about. what comes next? ian bremmer: so are the americans and what do we stand for? it was clear in the soviet era. we come in the 2016 and that -- the presidential elections, and it is very clear people are unnerved by that world we live in and america's role in it. look at the headlines in the past weeks. the gulf summit, where we invite key allies and four of them don't show up to meet with
obama. charlie: that's not fair, they showed up. ian bremmer: they said they were coming. charlie: but the crown prince and deputy crown prince are perhaps as much involved in educational policy as anyone in the country. ian bremmer: i would argue if the king said he is coming and then the king says i'm not coming up one week beforehand, that is an extraordinary breach of protocol. charlie: but that was clearly on the part of that king with no other reason than to suggest a different with the administration? ian bremmer: without question. charlie: not because he had other things to do, not because -- ian bremmer: if the king doesn't show up to see me, i would feel pretty good about that. you would be ok with it. but still obama is not you and me. my netanyahu comes after the
president says don't or even more importantly when the brits say, we don't care if you don't like it, we are going to become leaders of the infrastructure bank. the fact is americans have not seen this kind of behavior from our allies in recent days and they've not seen the chinese and russians as they are doing military exercises together in the mediterranean. they have not seen the turks and allies say we are going to buy weapons from china. they have not seen the dutch, the nato allies says we will use internet security from a chinese firm. suddenly, there is a lot of people saying america looks pretty good in the economy, but foreign policy influence is clearly in decline. who are we and what do we stand for? charlie: and he said there are three ways we can go. ian bremmer: i do.
i don't believe we are in a corner or we only have one path. i get unnerved when you have political leaders saying this is the only thing we must do, we have to be strong or give up. i think the world's only superpower, no one else is even close to project the military economic diplomatic, technological and soft cultural power america has. i do think we have real options. i lay out the three i think are most critical. number one. indispensable america. that says, we know that our allies are not as outlined and maybe a little more weak than they used to be in the global environment is more challenging. we don't want to be the world please than likely used to. what if we don't play the role, no one else is going to. and it will lead to so much more conflict that we will end up bettering our shores to. charlie: does not nature of poor
a vacuum -- abhor a vacuum? or for the time being, no one is prepared to do it? ian bremmer: clearly for the foreseeable future, no one is going to do it globally. a lot of people will do it locally, but the problem is you know some of those people hate the other people who will do it locally. so it leads to conflict. look at him in. if the americans play no role we see what happens. charlie: let's assume it is not indispensable america. what else? ian bremmer: moneyball america. the oakland days. non-sentimental. beautifully written, not sentimental, that says you can talk as much as you want by -- about promoting democracy all over the world, but the fact is there are a lot of countries that don't want it and don't take it. tell the chinese you have to do
human rights, the chinese will not respond well. in the middle east, even if you have influence, it doesn't happen the way you want. moneyball really says stop with all of the values. instead, run the country more like a kind -- a company. look at return for investment. give it to asia -- if that is where they really want us. our asian allies really want us in asia. our european allies are pretty divided in what they want. you're giving me a hard time today. in that case, you give it -- pi vot. but that implies you take one foot and actually move it. that means we don't focus as much on iraq and syria, because they not are as -- they are not as requisite threatening. moneyball means many tough decisions. the third is independence
america. that says all of this sounds really nice, but if you're not prepared to actually follow through, if you're not going to write the checks, it is much better for our allies and adversaries and ourselves to come clean and be transparent about these things now. and say, we are going to play much smaller role globally. we are going to not demand respect i saying you've got to do ask why nz, -- z, y and z but you have to command respect. we have to actually go up to the american values we project. charlie: the third option seems closer to what the obama administration or the president has articulated. ian bremmer: i don't think so. i think the president has articulated all three of these over the past years in different
times, and i think he's confused a lot of people. i think obama has had very good tactical foreign policies and very bad tactical foreign policies. i don't think there has been a coherent strategy. and certainly if there has been one, it has not been articulated sufficiently well that any of our allies understand it. when you and i talked to foreign ministers, they all say, what are you guys doing? so -- for example on russia, i don't think russia has been an independent policy. i think that has been to the american saying, we will punish you and isolate you and get out of the ukraine or we will be very tough. we certainly haven't punished that chinese for doing business with russia. there is inconsistency there. we have been tougher than a lot of the europeans have them. charlie: who have we punished? ian bremmer: we have punished putin. charlie: is it working? ian bremmer: it's not working for us.
we want them to change, they are not changing. charlie: does that make us look not strong? ian bremmer: of course it does. when we set red lines and say we are committed to doing something or else, and when putin has consistently accepted else and not only that but when every emerging market in the world says we are going to do more business with russia, we have said we are going to isolate the russians. when i think about isolation, i don't see the conjugal visits with the chinese and the turks and everyone else that have been going on. they're doing much more business with them. our response will be where going to isolate you. that's not credible. meanwhile putin has not acted as if he's prepared to accept the minutes agreements -- minsk agreements. charlie: the last policy light was george h.w. bush? ian bremmer: in terms of global
strategy, yes. i would say that is true. in terms of the last time we thought president who really had a consistent and coherent global foreign policy view. i think when hillary clinton was secretary of state, she articulated strategy reasonably well. unfortunately -- charlie: was that her strategy or barack obama's strategy? ian bremmer: i think it was, but you might be forgiven for thinking it wasn't. as a terry estate, she was moneyball. she said, you don't criticize. charlie: she was a hot, too. -- a howk too. ian bremmer: i don't know. her role in libya was going there with the most limited force possible. charlie: there's a small copy
out. who recommended doing a lot more than hillary clinton? ian bremmer: the russian present. -- reset. charlie: but the russians got upset by libya. ian bremmer:who was saying do a lot more than the administration was prepared to do? charlie: at the time, hillary -- ian bremmer: at the time, hillary was caucus. -- hawkish. but if you compare her to george w. bush, you would not call her that. when you look at hillary, and you compare, you look at economic statecraft and saying i'm not going to preach human rights to these people because they're bankers, her effort to engage in russia reset. ian bremmer: the russia reset,
it went badly. i'm suggesting there was the beginning of a moneyball strategy. interestingly, now that she is a candidate tpp was hers and she is like i don't know if i'm in favor. charlie: if we don't do that, the transpacific partnership, what will happen around the world, what will they think? do they think we are setting -- we are not aware reality of trade? ian bremmer: they will think the incompetence and immobility of our political system in washington, and the weakness of our president, requires them to hedge. that he could not get the single biggest piece of foreign policy that he has been working on his administration arguably for the entire six years of the first two terms. that he can't do that. that the japanese, the world
largest economy that their singular foreign policy issue is to get tpp done. the americans cannot make good on that. charlie: that reminds me of two things in the last week. ian bremmer: i think it will happen. i think the chinese made a mistake. they placed on the infrastructure bank before tpp. as much as the republicans hate obama, they hate china more. strategically, i think the republicans all get on board. not as many democrats as you would like to see. because of concerns on labor. charlie: are they legitimate concerns? ian bremmer: of course they are. on the agricultural side, we will do fine. if you ask me why, it's because a lot of the jobs are not in the u.s. but they will be imported. charlie: is this an either/or proposition and the level of labor practices? ian bremmer: labor is broken for
lots of reasons. automation is a big part and globalization. but the tpp is not just economics. it is about the chinese having a global strategy. they are the only country with. we don't have one. they are spending over a trillion dollars to align countries. when i see elizabeth warren and others write about tpp really that's purely from an economic lens it's like they have never done political classes in their lives. you have to focus. ♪
charlie: do the majority of people believe that george austria's right in terms of the economic policy, the austerity that he brought to great britain? did the majority of people believe paul krugman is right? ian bremmer: i think there is immediately integral -- ideologically divide. this is where pitt county actually came out. they have a much bigger problem with the middle class. charlie: social inequality and economic inequality. here's what is interesting for me. give me your assessment of bill clinton's foreign policy. ian bremmer: i think it was in some ways, as nonstrategic and
reactive as we see from his successor. i think bill clinton inherited soviet union has collapsed. we have one. so we don't actually -- we have won so we don't actually need a global strategy. it is a question of taking advantage of eating the world's great power. charlie: what happened and what could we have done? many people see that as a crucial time between -- while the berlin wall fell in 89. between that time and you know . ian bremmer: who lost russia compares -- feels quaint compared to today. charlie: that was the time we could have done what? make them not feel like they had to get on their knees and bow?
ian bremmer: engaging the russians in a real way where you don't say one thing out of one side of your mouth and then another on the other side. whether it is on missile defense or the pipeline. i remember people in washington in the clinton administration had bumper stickers that say happiness is multiple pipelines. russians look at that and say this is our backyard. you want to take the energy out of there and you want the influence to go someplace else. in retrospect, they said americans were playing a zero-sum game while we are in collapse. the unfortunate thing is the ability to work with russians was a real opportunity after the collapse. today it is completely gone. charlie: because rather than those three choices let's go by and say what would be the best american foreign-policy. let's start with east asia.
china. ian bremmer: china. one thing i would say about china is i believe the chinese are not trying to particularly threatened the americans militarily. they recognize they do not have the ability to compete anywhere outside of their immediate backyard. in their backyard, they will occasionally shake the branches but if they get whacked back, unless it is taiwan or hong kong , they back off. americans actually responded well to china on japan. the chinese japan relationship is much better than a couple years ago. we came over and said, this is a key ally and we are going to treat contested territories consistent with the u.s. the americans have the ability -- i think we did. i think on the south china sea issue, americans are saying we
are going to send other ships over there and contest the chinese in building these artificial reefs. charlie: how do we build the relationship? how do we create confidence? ian bremmer: we don't have high-level set -- high-level summits. it's clear the u.s. china relationship is that most important in the world. you had true summitry with the soviets, and we do not like each other on all issues. that is the kind of effort that is required to actually get the americans and chinese to work on anything. on areas we don't agree, we have to coordinate much more effectively with allies. we can't do it ciber by ourselves. we need the japanese directly in all those conversations. we need multilateral support. charlie: isn't that one of the things barack obama has articulated in his foreign-policy?
we live in an age where we must find multilateral solutions, and we must work with other nations. it is not just america can't go it alone. he perceives that as the reality. ian bremmer: i perceive that as a reality. i think allies perceive that is something he talks about but has not followed through on. charlie: and doesn't listen? ian bremmer: he listens pretty well. they just think after he listens he does whatever he wants your it the tpp could be undermined by congress. allies in asia feel like he waited way too long to make this a big deal. he almost lost it. they don't feel he is as committed as he needs to be. i think obama's willingness to be multilateral, especially in a world where our tools for foreign-policy influence are becoming more unilateral. when you think about drone strikes or cyber surveillance, or sanctions are the use of the dollar as a stick. the weaponization of finance.
many of the tools we used to project our force are increasingly unilateral. that's not obama, that's just technology. that doesn't mitigate the desire to always engage multilateral with allies. charlie: sanctions have been multilateral. ian bremmer: some have and some haven't. against iran, success thus far of multilateral sanctions. if the deal gets done, that will absolutely be a major feather in obama's cap. but there haven't been many of those. many successes have been unilateral. charlie: where is john kerry and all of this? ian bremmer: he was in israel palestine for 18 months. reasons i cannot fathom. right now, he is. charlie: a fair amount of time in a rain -- ron. ian bremmer: that has been good
for him. he has worked those bilateral relationships extremely well. i think on russia, he has been pretty ineffective. charlie: even though he has had a really good -- reasonably good relationship with the prime minister. ian bremmer: it's ok, it's not bad. they handed him potatoes last week. charlie: as long as they come up with a creative solution for syria. if they are so good. ian bremmer: they're not that good. charlie: acai said he was the most creative foreign minister. ian bremmer: he has been strong he has done things putin wants them to do. i would not want to have that portfolio. charlie: so china, we gain more corroboration -- cooperation, we
need to be firm. the president would say, i hear you, but we are done on that. look at the record. ian bremmer: i mentioned high-level summitry. i think the aip was a big mistake. i think we either join ourselves along with the brits and japanese so we can say it is multilateral. we did not do that. that was a mistake. i think if tpp gets done, given the us-japan relationship is better and u.s. india relationship is better asia ends up the part of u.s. foreign policy that is probably the most successful for obama as a legacy for him. interestingly. even though they don't have anyone running anymore. charlie: except if they get the iranian deal. ian bremmer: for me that would be number two after tpp. 40% of the world's gdp.
really a. it will matter long-term. iran is not a big deal. charlie: not a big deal for the u.s.? ian bremmer: it's a much better deal for a run. -- iran. i think it is hard to implement. the u.n. inspectors will not be as strong as we'd like. the iranians will teach. when they keep the arbitration -- when they cheat the arbitration measure. we will have unnerved and weeeakened relationships. but i would still senate because it is a win, because oil prices go down. charlie: hurts the russians. ian bremmer: hurts a lot of people. because we are the big reducers. it also -- big producers. it also means it opens up iran
over the long term that makes the more aligned with the west. and finally because i think long-term the united states wants to have a more balanced relationship between iran and saudi arabia. charlie: and the saudi's realize it. ian bremmer: they absolutely know that. that's why the king did not show up. charlie: you can express peeking a lot of different ways. my argument is a message. in a lot of ways you can send a message. ian bremmer: but if you are putin, you show that by making you wait for eight hours. he had a phone call with obama. they spoke directly. i'm sure he told him.
i think the symbolism is important because as you mentioned, the saudi's understand u.s. relations or the interest between the countries are living apart. charlie: the 70's. we are -- the saudi's and sunni countries worry about iran more than anyone else. ian bremmer: not just things like yemen and iraq, but even bahrain and eastern europe. charlie: that we are naive and can't be counted on and we somehow believe that iran and become a better nation. ian bremmer: look at today. word of the day today is ramadi. absolutely. that she emily says are going to be helping on the ground americans in the air and the saudi's going oh my god. charlie: they went from tikrit,
and now they have taken ramadi. let's assume they will kill people and blowup things, and begin to think about where else they can solidify. we are doing quite well, we have mostsul, not far from baghdad. at some point, this is got to worry you if in fact you were a caliphate. you worry about islamic state and being there with all the oil and economic revenue. you've got to say,, like the nazis in world war ii, we have to pull out all the partners and friends and everyone else we can to stop them. if they get power, maybe they'll have access to whatever weapon of mass destruction are possible. that is the argument. ian bremmer: i think it is a
plausible argument for isis. but it's not the only argument. charlie: who believes that? ian bremmer: if you listen to marco rubio. charlie:i have a hard time with that. charlie: you are saying let isis do whatever they are going to do? will go there and drop a few bonds, and good luck? ian bremmer: oh no. i'm saying if we are not prepared -- what i have heard in washington all day long is number one, we must destroy isis. number two, we will have no boots on the ground. i've heard them from the same people. i don't think that works. i don't believe we can destroy ices without troops. charlie: the playing field today can figure out how to make this work? ian bremmer: you can make it work but are we willing?
key issue is not can american leadership creatively employed make a difference here. charlie: we have a president worried about being -- he spent his presidency getting out of iraq and out of the stand -- afghanistan, and does not want to be sucked back in. ian bremmer: let me through the exact opposite side of the argument in here. we have people out there today saying, why do we care about ramadi? we spent trillions of dollars lots of americans dead, if the saudi's and others are not prepared to really put their young boys and even girls in harms way, but they're more than willing to tell americans to do that --gates will tell you that too. if that is the case, you've got a hard argument to make. charlie: whose argument within
the administration is that? ian bremmer: i think it is barack obama's. charlie: they're not prepared to do it for themselves, we can do it for them. ian bremmer: and iraq is producing more oil than the last 35 years today. the refugees cannot swim to the u.s., so that doesn't affect us. we do have a terrorist problem. it's not the euro, but it is not what we are seeing in europe or turkey or lebanon. there's an argument to be made when all of these people said we are not going to stand for this, someone has to say what are you going to do? charlie: if isis is on the mark and we provide all the air support they want and they are moving and isis is winning, iran is going to throw everything they can in terms of supporting shia militia and iranians, they would do everything they can to stop them. and suppose they do stop them.
what is the consequences of the run stopping them and getting the majority credit for doing that? ian bremmer: for america the consequences are not so great. for the region, consequences are the iranians are going to control the iraqi government. that will not be tolerated by the kurds or sunni. i think iraq already doesn't work as a government. it also means iran influences the ability to impact the area that matters to the 70's. not just iraq. -- to the saudi's. not just iraq. they change the government and they are focused on security. i think that's a challenge. charlie: and he's got all the people of in arms. ian bremmer: you put all that together, it's not clear how
much the americans really want to bet on this part of the world. charlie: are you pessimistic? about america? ian bremmer: no, i'm pessimistic about the middle east. i look at the middle east, at saudi arabia who is not diversifying and say where did they go? charlie: we will deal with china and where we think the new world is? ian bremmer: i think the biggest challenge that the people who support america will have, is you can do this year -- this year, but if you look at the trends, the call on america to make the middle east stable -- charlie: but i'm asking for a hard judgment. give up on the middle east. do what the pivot to asia was originally supposed to be. ian bremmer: i absolutely believe focusing much more
american resources on those hearts of the world -- parts of the world doesn't matter. charlie: if you think terrorism is not a post threat now, how much stronger will it be then? ian bremmer: it is becoming a much more potent threat. the question will be, will the countries that it is a bigger threat for, if the americans are showing they are not going to be the sheriff, are they going to be a lot more? charlie: "superpower: three choices for america's role in the world." he is passionate and accessed by foreign policy. back in a moment. stay with us. ♪
al: barbara comstock, a virginia republican and another are new members but they are hardly neophytes. congresswoman dingell has been a huge power in democratic -- michigan politics for decades. she succeeded her husband, the longest serving in american history. barbara comstock has a high level capitol hill stauffer -- stafford, and a member of the virginia state legislature. they are both politicians who like to get things done. we want to ask them, does gender make a difference in the polarized environment?
and in general, is being common ground more natural for women legislators? we are pleased to welcome the gentlelady from the 12th district of michigan and the 10th district of virginia. thank you for being here. does gender make a difference in politics in legislative politics? guest: i would say yes, because i think women come from a different perspective. i think he believes to balancing many different things and trying to find solutions, as you see more women come into the legislative process, you see people finding solutions. guest: i would agree. it is not about having different experiences women have different experiences to the table. also concerns about how to work. went to get work done. i worked on telework legislation as a staffer and as a state
legislature, and now with my daughter having her own baby i'm looking at that with a legislated evye. how do we make it easier for people to do with what they are doing? all issues are women's issues. al: let me ask this will seem like a non sequitur. i'm very fond of both of you. you are smart, generous, and tough. i say that as a compliment. but there is a perception among some that women are good at soft power, education and childcare. but not as good at hard power like military and law enforcement. guest: i would say that is men trying to be -- i would hesitate to use the word chauvinistic but it's been decades since i've been in the workforce. why does everyone try to pigeonhole us into one issue?
for me, health care, economic development, -- every issue. somebody cares about all those issues and it is a women's issue. people tried to pigeonhole but it is not the case. you start seeing them talk about all the different problems. guest: i agree. i hear a national security issues, where i worked at the justice department post 9/11. we had women leaders working with us every day. we had the fbi or the cia, people engaged in these issues. i had women identified that as an issue. when you are talking, not prompting that and saying what concerns you, i heard last year we saw the rise of vices. women have been the first ones -- with the rise of isis.
women have been the first ones how are we connecting the dots? in my district, we had a 17-year-old young man on the internet recruiting somebody for isis who got over to syria. there was an arrest. women identify the problem and say, what is going on there that i may not know about something in my community, and how can i take action? national security and safety are something that women are very instinctual for. protect the home front. al: how much has it changed from 20 years ago? are we in a less sexist political society? is it different? guest: i would observe we are less instilled but not as much as i would like to see. when i was running for senate, i
felt it more then. by the way, women supporting women isn't always. it is not instinctive -- i think it has gotten a lot better. one of the challenges for women candidates is raising money. it is the whole networking and networking with those who have the dollars. that's another issue. but we have more than 100 women in the congress. i'm very committed to women helping women so we get networking along and try to continue to grow. i'm where i am because the women who came before me helped open the doors. we have a responsibility to keep opening the stores. al: do you feel the same? guest: i started a young women's leadership program because i realize i was inspired by sheryl sandberg's book -- she talks about how women hold themselves back. in my case, even though i had always worked in politics i had
never myself thought about running. it actually was a man who said why don't you run for the state house? and pushed me. and the speaker of the house of virginia was a great advocate for me. he supported me when the seat open up for congress. i realized that i often hadn't been saying to other women, you should do this. al: debbie, you are the cochair of something called lead, to get more women elected. it is over 101 members now. a pretty big increase. still only 20% of the congress. what are the hurdles? guest: i mentioned the biggestguest: watch -- which is probably money. when i looked at the senate, the men really wanted me to run. but in the end i made the
decision not to run because my husband is older than i am. i was concerned he might have health issues at some point in the campaign. people came up and said why didn't you call me? because i didn't get to make a personal decision. i think women still are the caregivers in the family. and family doesn't matter. i think that becomes an issue for many. and now more women are in that workforce out of sheer economic necessity, and sometimes they don't have the luxury of taking off of work. al: you are both very active. just trying to get you together was a challenge. what do the women members of the house spend time together across party lines? guest: the freshman women got together. when i was running, kathy rogers, this in your -- the senior one and the house, she
was very good about bringing women candidates together and getting all the support of the women members. i was fortunate in my primary to have all of the current republican women members to come on board early and were very supportive. al: but are you making any difference across party lines, because it has been a poisonous environment for some time. i don't think just electing anyone woman will change overnight. is it beginning to make any difference can you see that you are reaching more for common ground? guest: i think we are trying to create friendships. i don't think we'd get together as much as senators do. i have spoken to barbara mikulski about the house-senate members should get to know each other. the women. we need to do that more. i'm somebody that develops
relationships. i organized the bipartisan retreats despite -- did my masters thesis on this subject. when we get together, it is harder to demonize. i think women understand the importance of those relationships better and we have to consciously worked to develop relationships so people can trust each other. al: the both of you, why do you think that women sometimes are more natural or find it easier to find common ground? guest: i think we are problem solvers. we are used to having a lot of balls in the air. we have to find answers. i think we are thrust into situations, where you can't dig strong lines in the sand. we have to solve problem's. that is what we tend to do. guest: i think there is a sense of this in congress in wanting to get things done. when we worked on human trafficking issues together those were driven by women. al: are there other examples?
guest: what we were just talking about, the 21st century carries -- cures we were talking about. the chairman of energy and congress both working together on that. all of us know somebody with a chronic disease or cancer or a brain tumor. this bill is designed to start the process. it's just the beginning. we have consensus and we want to change how we are getting cures off the market. we want to start the discussion. fda reforms, things that make health care modernized. smartphones can help with health care as well to diagnose earlier, to manage disease. i think that is an area i'm
passionate about working on. we are all being that in our lives. whether it is our parents or friends, when you get one of those devastating diagnoses and it's personal and up close, it is the women who are dealing with it. we all want to solve the problem. al: it's one of your passions. guest: i realized how broken the system was andy affordable care act did nothing to help that. i have the theory that republicans don't want to see it repealed because 90% of what is in there, they don't want to take away like someone being denied insurance because of people visiting conditions etc. . but i have spoken to collies on both sides of the aisle. most people i know, until i've talked to them, that medicare does not cover hearing aids. 50% of the population that needs
-- has hearing loss and needs a hearing aid are not getting one because they can't afford it. think about what that does to someone that is growing older. how that isolates them and causes earlier dementia. we are still young and we have a lot of stuff in us that the problem is not going away. we have to deal with it. guest: another one of the bills we did not pass this year, and i know we were both on board, is the able act. it had advocated for it. -- the disability community had advocated or children and adults to be able to use accounts for purchasing assistive technology for health care, transportation, i'll be extra needs families with children with special needs have. even though we do disagree on obamacare, but there are lots of different pieces there that we
can agree on. we move forward on the able act. the medical device packs, i think we are pretty bipartisan. we want to have medical device innovation and to be able to make sure the 21st century cur es and medical innovation, we can all benefit from technology. al: she still call that obamacare. [laughter] guest: the goal is the same. we want to cure things. al: let me bring up another issue that i think you both probably hear about a great deal, which is transportation. being from the virginia suburbs and michigan, it is an issue that really matters. yet congress seems totally paralyzed right now. highly trust funds going to expire at the end of may, everyone says we have to do something but nothing is being done. can you all find common ground here? guest: there has now little bit
more discussion about, while we might have a temporary patch now, it is geared towards a longer term plan. we have both signed a letter for a six-year long-term plan. we know physically that is more responsible. whether it is your defense budget or transportation budget you get better deals. continuity of projects and it is not the start and start -- stop and start that makes it more expensive. if it means looking for ways to find more money, we are having meetings coming up. guest: we have to look at the whole way we are funding the roads. most people don't focus on the fact that it may be a flawed system, because the reality is people are -- cars are more fuel-efficient. the amount of money going into the highway trust fund is far less than it used to be. i do think it doesn't matter
what party you are, when you are home, you have the conditions of the roads. it is competitive issues for us as a country. i think there is recognition and both parties that we have to do something. the question is, how will we get there. al: we are one of the few major countries in the world has not had a woman leader. angela merkel of germany being one now. argentina leads a little bit to be desired. do you think -- my guess is debbie dingell already envisions a woman president, maybe not what barbara comstock envisions. do you see a woman president soon? guest: i think so. i think it will be in 2016, but i will also say there are women
candidates in both parties and they are credible. al: well your party seriously consider? guest: we sought carly fiorina jumped in and we see women governors. that is a place where in general republicans have looked to for leaders. i think he will continue to see women leaders. that is why i started that young women's leadership program to start back -- start the discussion. so young women can see themselves in all of those roles as they go through a lifetime of careers and family choices and figuring out what they want to do. al: barbara, is pay equity and major issue? guest: it is the law as it should be. al: but we don't have it. guest: we constantly need to be aggressive on that. i know in my office, my chief of
staff is a woman. in my district office, i have a woman as a leader. you always have to find opportunities for that. i was saying the other day, and the media you see fewer and fewer women in the media. the sunday shows opened up and i was surprised to see another guy got in that role. i thought there was in pretty good opportunities for women. i was surprised how quickly they moved to a man. i think we see that in all areas. i think that is what sheryl sandberg talked about for women to get out there, highlight that. sometimes it is the law and you have to ask the lot to be enforced. we in the role of the authority should make that an issue ourselves. al: there are good women television anchors. when you disagree, are you less disagreeable than a lot of men
have been? that poisonous environment in washington? not just the two of you. guest: we come from different parts of the country. al: i'm talking about the poisonous environment. 40 years ago, people disagreed. your husband disagreed with very conservative republicans but they had a very civil relationship. our women helping to recent allies the institution -- read civilize the institution? guest: i think we can do that and we want to do that, but there are men who also want to do that. i think if you see more women you may see that approach. i don't want to demonize men out there either. i think a lot of people on both sides and both genders, people are tired of the fighting. our class really was united. guest: i found in our
conference, the men will say, if we don't stand up and talk, somebody will say, can we hear from the women? it is not necessarily the soft issues you are talking about. they will want to know we want to hear the voices. we have to make sure we are stepping up. al: well we certainly enjoy hearing your voices. thank you for being with us. ♪