tv Charlie Rose Bloomberg August 18, 2015 9:00pm-10:01pm EDT
>> from our studios in new york city, this is "charlie rose." charlie: the american flag flew over the american embassy in cuba. the flag-raising the latest step in the process by the obama administration. we have a senator who attended the ceremony and the director of the cuba documentation project at the national security archives in washington. i want to talk about cuba and it's importance, but there is much date as you know about what
will happen in congress and in the senate and the house with respect to the nuclear -- iranian nuclear deal. tell me the position you took and why the senate and house are likely to do. guest: as you know, i think this is the best available option for putting the brakes on the development of a nuclear weapon by iran, which has always been one of our top foreign policy priorities and top security priorities for our country and i do this with ice wide open about the nature of this iranian regime, the fact that they have engaged in terrorist activities and human rights abuses, but i think it would only be made worse if they possessed nuclear weapons. and as far as what will happen in the future, i don't have a crystal ball but people have noticed while there have been a few people on the other side, on the democratic side, a number of
people daily are coming out after much thought and talking to nuclear experts and military experts are coming out the same way in favor of this agreement. so i do find hard it to believe that there would be enough votes against it and somehow the president's veto would be overridden if we got to that point. charlie: you think you have the numbers but not sufficient numbers to override a presidential veto if it comes to that? guest: i think so. i know mostly about the senate and senator tester this week, a number of senators that have come out in favor of this agreement. charlie: you think it might not be necessary for the president to have a veto resolution? guest: we don't know that, but in any case, i think the numbers are adding up on a daily basis and i think if you look at the people who said they are leaning that way or came out in favor of the agreement, i think most
people would predict that the numbers are there, even if we get to the point of a veto or disapproval, that that would not be overridden. charlie: what has made the difference to those you have talked to in the senate? is the the testimony of nuclear experts or some sense that without this, we are in a worst place? guest: the nuclear experts and those 20-some nuclear doctors, have come out and said this is a valid way to check up and have intrusive inspections of the iranian capabilities, the fact that 98% of the -- done something with 98% of the uranium, all of these things add
up. but the thing that made a difference as people talked to experts in the last few weeks was the ambassadors from some of the other countries that a group of us sat down with, all of them actually, and they said this is going to splinter the coalition. one of the strengths is that we have hung together and what will happen most likely would be that iran would just go on. they are a few months away from developing a nuclear weapon and would just continue on their way and then at the same time, you would most likely see countries like russia and china start doing business with them. we have to look at the reality of the global situation. and everyone would have wanted to see something added to the agreement, but we have the agreement that we have. and the decision that each of us has to make. and you have the utmost respect for people who have come down the other way. it's a difficult decision. but the decision that we have to make is are we better off with this agreement in preventing iran from getting a nuclear weapon or not. and i came down on the side of the fact that this does puts the brakes on their program and
better off with them not having a weapon. charlie: any likelihood that anything will be attached to this agreement, something like a side letter? guest: i think there are discussions. i know i talked to senator cardin, the ranking on foreign relations about this. there are discussions about at some point and the timing is key, more aid to israel for their security. there are things, sanctions are going to keep in place on terrorist activities. american sanctions on terrorist activities. there could be a reauthorization of that bill. there are other things we could be doing and coordinating with our allies and taking better actions against isis and other terrorist groups, some supported by iran in that region.
i would favor doing something either at the same time or immediately after the vote on the agreement. charlie: how intense is the pressure? guest: you are seeing people talking to you on all sides, including our constituents here in minnesota, but i think in the end, we had that time and i was proud of senator corker, republican, senator cardin, a democrat in negotiating this review process. the way it went down, we have 60 days and given congress, and i was a strong supporter of these sanctions and bringing iran to the table, given that we had that very important role, i think having a way that we review this agreement is really important and that is how people have come to their decisions. i can't tell you how many senators have been at these briefings, at these meetings. we had numerous meetings outside of the public hearings and briefings from experts all during the last few weeks and people are still on the phone talking to them. i think these decisions are coming down with a lot of input on whether people come down for or against the agreement, i think they are trying in good
faith to learn the facts. charlie: is it more controversial than the opening of cuba? guest: the public would be there to judge that. if you just look at the american public, it's more divided on the iranian agreement where they are more in favor of opening the embassy in cuba and moving forward with cuba. they are very different situations. one more focused on a squret issue and the other, in my mind, more focused on economics and human rights. charlie: tell me about the opening of the embassy. >> that was a joyful moment and to see those three marines, jim, mike and larry come back after 50 years after at least one of them vowed to one day bring that flag and put a flag up again
after having walked through an angry flag and have taken that flag down and see them hand the flag over to the marines was something i will never forget with the sea in the background and some of the cuban officials there and secretary kerry. and later in the afternoon to be at the ambassador's residence, which was full of life and both cubans and americans and cuban-americans, and started to play "god bless america" and everyone started to sing along. anyone who could have seen that seen would have gotten a few goose bumps and thought to yourself this hasn't happened a lot over the past decades. charlie: the cuban reaction, what do you think their inat the present time is with respect to this and what is it driven by? guest: i think first of all, they are in an economic mess in cuba. a lot of americans want to visit there and i hope they can to see
the beautiful buildings and the spirit of the people and the old cars, but there is nothing romantic about poverty. they have two currencies and 600,000 people that are entrepreneurs that are just wanting to participate in a more of an economic system that works for their country. you've got 90 miles off our shore, 11 million people that want to do business with us. and my view is that the people of cuba like the people of america are in front of our government and it's time to left the embargo. i now have 22 co-sponsors. i have republicans on the bill. senator flake and senator ensy
have been leaders, senator leahy and we are working together to move forward to first lift the travel ban and that's a separate bill and then to left the embargo, those things are really important for the economies of both countries. charlie: tell me where you think lifting the embargo stands today? guest: the first move will be to lift the travel ban because tens of thousands of millions want it. once that happens, if we wait too long, there is going to be investment from all over the world. that investment is waiting to see if america moves. once the tourists come in, there will be such a demand and we want our tourists to be eating american food and eating american today. and i think our country, i saw the beautiful newport that has gone up in cuba, we want to bring american goods to their shores. i would like to see both things happened at the same time. charlie: tell me about it. you worked hard for this.
you believe in this. tell me how you think cubans are viewing this. and not the people of cuba, but the leadership. guest: the leadership has a historical foundation of suspicion and distrust of the united states of america. fidel castro and the only comment he has made about this whole effort has said, you know, we should have had civil relations under the guise of international law but i distrust the americans even though historically, the book i did with william, historically fidel reached out to every new president since contendy to say we are interested in better relations. but there's a distrust and perhaps this is a trojan horse, this kind of new embrace from the united states and through the bridges of culture and economics and politics that are
going to be built in this new relationship, the united states may still seek regime change and that is the tension between the cubans and america. fear that the united states will use these bridges of engagement to try and pursue the same goals. charlie: that's the belief that they felt the need to change. guest: absolutely, for economic reasons and validation of the revolution. the cubans and castros have seen the validation of the revolution. charlie: what are they saying will not change? guest: the secret meeting that took place between kennedy aide, he said we are willing to talk to you about anything but our
system of governance is not on the table. even today, all the cuban leadership is saying the same thing. not going to negotiate away the socialist revolution they undertook. the u.s. position is essentially, we are going to normalize economic and diplomatic relations and that may have an impact. the cubans say it won't and that's where we are today. i should say even though there is some distrust among the older cuban leadership, i give the administration credit for regime change is something of the past for this administration and they seek a normal relationship with cuba in which the united states continues to assert the superpower. charlie: what did you hear when you talked to cuban leaders, people of the government? guest: you hear different things, but for the most part, they want to lift this embargo and want to start doing business, that's their major
focus. when you talk to regular people on the streets, they want to buy american goods and want things like internet. the fact that they have just a few dozen wifi spots where you could get cell phone service or internet is outrageous. there are countries that have a lot more problems with poverty that have access to the internet. so the issue is that the people and the government want to lift the embargo. on our side, we want to see some changes and while, i think it was pointed out the name of the game here people aren't exactly pushing on regime change, we know there could be some changes to the government eventually and that that could be a good thing and we know this could result in human rights changes. the pope is coming there in the fall. they are looking forward to that. they are talking a lot about that and he is going to bring a message of human rights change.
guest: and saying that the embargo is not blessed by the vatican and lifting the embargo would be blessed. he is going to be in cuba and talk about the issue of morality and embargo and economic rights. and going to come to the united states and bring that message as well. and to the united nations. he is going to increase the pressure and support for lifting the embargo and let me say something else, pave the way in some respects for president obama himself to go to cuba and visit the island as the first sitting president since the revolution to go to cuba and that will consolidate these changes in policy. charlie: i assume that would have some appeal to president obama. guest: they have said very clearly, they are waiting for the right moment.
and i don't think that that moment has quite aprifed. charlie: what has to happen to get sufficient support to end first the travel ban and then the embargo, which is the larger more complicated issue? guest: you had senator rubio who is opposed as well as senator menendez and a number of those in the house. that's an issue. both those senators sit on the foreign relations committee. rlt and there's a number of others that may be opposed. but i will say just talking to nearly all of the senators about this as i work on imagining support for my bill. i have 22 people and dozens more that would vote for it. we had a test vote in appropriations on the travel ban that passed in the senate. i think it's a little different story in the house. you have more republicans in the senate who are willing to be favorable.
you have a lot of midwestern republicans and those that see the potential for agriculture that are interested in opening up cuba. it's a different story. i don't think it's going to happen overnight, but it is imagining and imagining and imagining. i have added a senator every week. charlie: if it is imagining, when will it happen? guest: we don't though if it's one year or two years. it will be a major discussion in the presidential debate once it gets to the stages of two primary candidates. but i think that will be helpful because you look at where the peopler the american people want to visit cuba and open up relations with cuba. cube -- cuban-americans are split. i wish i could give you the exact date. i wish it was september.
but it's going to take a little longer. charlie: cuban-americans have changed. guest: when president obama first became president he was under pressure to change the policy. allowed cuban-americans to travel freely. the rest of us can't travel freely but cuban-americans can. and tens of thousands of people went and visited their family and started giving money to their family and helping their family. and they became vested in a change in the policy and you see the polls in florida have changed significantly and florida is no longer a swing
state on the whole issue of policy towards cuba hillary clinton has decided she can get money from florida on a position of lifting the embargo and went out of her way a week or so ago to give a speech in florida about the need to lifting the embargo, presenting some of the arguments you just heard. charlie: let's assume the embargo and travel ban is lifted and everybody can go and do business, what is the future of this relationship between a country that's 90 miles off our shore. senator? guest: i think as we all know it's not going to be easy stuff. they still have two currency and very archaic economic system. i think one of the reasons you see caution on our side in terms of wanting to open the embassy so we have a functional embassy so businesses can talk to them and people who lose their
passport have a place to go. the economic system is such a mess. i think once those things happen and i want to stress, i don't think they will happen right away, you start having countries that do business with each other. one effect that i have learned talking to business people and american businesses which mean to me american workers is that this is always put up to them as a barrier of doing business the all of south america because of our relationship with cuba. you can see positive repercussions there. things made in america to be shipped and sold to other countries in south america as a result of this relationship. charlie: almost all of south america wanted united states to do this. guest: all of south america. their leadership, canada and spain as well have been pressing the administration for all the time that president obama has been in office. and they are absolutely elated. this helps their domestic politics and helps the international and regional situation.
but picking up on this point. cuba and the united states have a lot of differences and disagreements and some of those were reflected in the exchange between secretary kerry and the foreign minister rodriguez last friday. but we have a new framework in which we can have a dialogue without the hostility and pressure from the united states overshadowing cuba. the united states has set up a commission to discuss what kerry calls the easy issues that include counternarcotics collaboration. we can't send a simple letter to cuba. migration issues and disaster management to the real hard issues like compensating for properties, the regime change programs and the basic guantanamo which is sovereign cuban property and cuba wants it back. there are no kind of deadlines for terminating that discussion and hopefully there will be a
trust and a collaboration and a positive relationship that is built up now that takes us a long way towards resolution. charlie: senator, where is the president on guantanamo? guest: i know he still wants to close it down and has been working on that. as you know through the years, working on getting some of the prisoners that he felt could be transferred to other countries transferred. and right now, there are still some issues with congress with that. as far as i know, it's still a priority for him. charlie: you and senator have similarities on cuba, but dramatic differences on the iran nuclear issue. and he wanted to be part of this conversation and we had a scheduling conflict as we tried to work this out and i hope he will come later and express his views both on cuba and iran nuclear deal. i thank you so much time for taking time out of a busy
schedule. good to see you from minnesota as well. guest: thank you very much. charlie: you are optimistic that it will take natural course? guest: there is a bumpy road but both countries are committed to moving forward and in the national interest to put this dark past and move forward. charlie: why were the negotiations different this time? guest: there is a leadership change in cuba. citizenry in united states, the polling is different. cuba wants this. the united states wants this. you have second-term democrat in obama and you have his courage to appoint two top aides to secretly negotiate this deal. and i don't think we have seen the last of his work on cuba.
the trailer. >> i need some help. i need $630. >> for what? >> i'm pregnant. >> who is he? >> no. he is kind my of of my boyfriend. why didn't you use a condom? i cut my credit cards into little pieces and made a wind chime. >> why would you do that? >> i need some cash, i need $500. now you need me and i'm broke. >> you want a tattoo. >> you better watch yourself. >> get out of my home. >> i liked your boyfriend. he is special.
>> you need to be able to say screw you sometimes. you didn't say it to that little creep back there. >> i'm going to have to ask you to leave. you are disturbing the customers. >> oh, them, ozzie and harriet. you don't have to drip coffee, oh, look. it dripped. >> i'm scared. >> i'm scared, too. >> any idiot knows. >> are you saying i'm any idiot? >> i guess i'm an idiot. >> yes, you are. >> screw you, grandma. >> i'm your mother. what are you doing here? i'm going to be there because this is my granddaughter.
she's already pregnant. >> grandma. charlie: joining me now is the film's writer and director. welcome. this came together because you worked together before. guest: lily played in a previous film and i was really struck both onscreen and off how funny lily is and how much she defies this concept of youth. and youth obsessions. when i started running this script, i heard her voice in my head and i didn't tell her i was writing something for her. guest: i wouldn't have. charlie: many people have written that this is an opportunity to pour in all the
things you have done. guest: she is a lesbian poet. charlie: we have three for three. guest: i don't feel like i'm a p omp et. charlie: well, you are. guest: up against surviving, aging, her relationship with her daughter, which has not gone well. charlie: this is about a relationship with her granddaughter. guest: and her daughter, too. the three againer rations, -- a generation that they are going to be a family for sure and you see what kinds of friends she had. elizabeth pena. charlie: and former lover, sam elliott. guest: laverne cox. marsha is her daughter.
charlie: it's about relationships and some ways a political discussion about abortion. but it's really seems to me your character. grandma is a character. guest: this granddaughter who is 18 has powerful grandmother and mother and air is sucked out of the room and oblivious and is taught by her grandmother to stand up for herself and grandmother is helping her granddaughter and deal in a positive way with all the things she has gone through over the last 50 years. charlie: where are you -- i watched you last year at the kennedy honors. watch you look up and there was a wonderful film tribute to you. it seems to me that things are going quite well. guest: this year has been a rich year. charlie: you and jane together in netflix. is this something that comes in waves?
guest: i think some of it is the aging of the population. people are turning their attention more to older characters, older culture types. that's the effect of grace and frankie with jane fonda on netflix. somehow just paul and i getting together to do admission, me having a secondary supporting role. and i would liked the film and his mother is susan, which knocked me out. charlie: he wants to spend as much time with you as he can. that's what he said. guest: that's what he said. charlie: in writing this, you created her with lily in mind. guest: i did. no point until i actually went in as a film maker, you could be
a control freak, but when your film comes out, you have no control. when it came out, i went to the cafe where i like to write and i started writing this in a notebook long hand and i heard her voice and it was lighting a fuse to it. it wouldn't exist without lily and i completely catered it to her. and what struck me on the set of "admission," there was a scene she had to fix a bicycle. and she is incredibly dedicated and something else going on there, some sort of thing that i
felt like i had seen in her work. dedicated to the character and when i worked "nashville" for the first time, it stuck in my head. charlie: what influence did he have, the director of "nashville"? guest: bob altman gave me my first movie role and produced "late show." charlie: amazing in terms of the independence and he was here at this table many times. but the fierce independence he had but the movie that it was, a guy coming along can have a real impact.
guest: how lucky for me being in that movie. i was congresswoman coming off of "laugh-in." charlie: what did he think of you as? guest: i'm not her. when he needed a sympathetic character like the woman in "shortcuts," he wanted someone that the audience would be sympathetic to while grieving the boy. i don't know what he saw. because when i did "nashville" i thought i could have done seven or a eight of these roles. charlie: you were going to study medicine. guest: i thought i had a job. charlie: you fell in love with comedy. guest: i put shows on since i was a small child but something
we did for play, even though i did sell tickets. charlie: when you look back on your remarkable career, what are the big regrets and big satisfactions for you? guest: this movie has been a satisfying experience. the director to begin with. and then the people he was able to draw to the film. they're just wonderful. charlie: how do you do that? lily is a magnet. guest: laverne cox, i think the opportunity to work with her and on something like this, which is a little different, completely in her wheelhouse. what i felt was that it was so important for this one to be done properly. i was maybe joking about you. take a moment. i really have thought about how important it was to get this one
right and months to work with lily. we sat down with the script. charlie: she helped you with the script? guest: yeah. minimally. guest: other people i just had their phone number. this is the 10th film i have directed. charlie: big budget? guest: not a big budget. people actually have a better time doing lower budget stuff because it is what drove them to acting, whether it be sam or marsha. they are excited to do something that is truly for the love it. charlie: talk about grace and frankie. whose idea was that? guest: she came to jane and me
both together and they presented the idea to us and jane and i wanted to do something about older women any way that would be sort of meaningful. charlie: going back to the movie? guest: going back to the fanth that we are of a certain age. charlie: and aging magnificently. guest: i'm so delighted. charlie: you are handling it and so is jane and speaks about it with great candor. guest: we want it to be how dismissed women of our age are. we are not sexual creatures anymore. we're not viable in the workforce. charlie: except the two of you have such talent that you are viable. guest: but we aren't supposed to be ourselves. jane and i, prior to this project "grace and frankie," jane loves "grandma" too.
charlie: are you great friends? guest: if nothing else, in terms of the years, the years have bound us as really good close friends. and by the nature of our natures. charlie: what are the nature of your natures? guest: we like to work. just like to work? guest: we were talking about, she had a small part in a movie and if i get a part, it's a supporting role. and we were saying how it costs money to do these roles because -- well, we have to provide our own housing many times, we have to travel. charlie: never used to be that way. guest: and paul talking about
doing small independent movies, it's true. i haven't done that many. i have done sort of independent movies but not really low budget. this movie was done under 600 and done in 19 days. charlie: under 600? guest: not $600 million. it's about two broke people, so it's appropriate to do it that way. and you do see that acting and it gets in the way. it doesn't matter what kind of budget you have.
let's get it over with. charlie: the chemistry, the passion. guest: sam will be say if it's not on the page it's on the stage. charlie: often it can be on the page, but doesn't make it to the stage. and actors can add, too. you hire actors because they will take it and make it better. i'm asking was there something special beyond the text or not? guest: i like sam so much. charlie: is there some guest: the complexity of the subject and that's what i think the movie addresses so well as a
sort of subscene weaving through. the scene evolved. tell it. guest: sam is so good and doing slightly different. he has it. and that's a great thing to work with if you are going to another place with it. and really to me, what that scene is about, people think of time as a straight line and two people who were very close when
they were 21 years old and had resentments but they have this loop that brings them back to what happened when they were in their early 20's. charlie: clip number two, this is lily talking to her granddaughter about her career, writer in resident. >> she is calling me a sellout. you go to someplace, a private college. you do a few readings and teach a few seminars and leave because you don't have tenure. i wasn't suffering. but i had a kid. take your mom along with me when is little. a lot of time in cars your mother and i spent. >> my friends call me bitch, and slut. >> that is just ignorant \[bleep]. who are these friends of yours. >> do you think i'm a slut? >> no. no. and i don't want you using that word again. >> what's that sound? >> that's how the car sounds. charlie: it's your car.
bring your own costumes and your own car. guest: paul, i'm going to look for this car today and i said what for? and i said i have an old car. \[laughter] charlie: nobody can drive that. guest: i bought the car in 1975 and drove it for a long time after that and then i drove a new car with anti-lock brakes and thought i should put the other car out to pasture. charlie: the kennedy honors, what did that mean to you? charlie: about time? guest: the letter lay on my desk for a week. charlie: you get letters that you don't answer right away. guest: jane called me and i was in the makeup room and she said
did you see that letter from george stevens, i said he is inviting us to come to the honors. i said we'll have to decide as we get closer. he said, no, he wants to honor you. i said, no, he doesn't. they give certain people the mark twain and give other people the kennedy honors. and i never want to win those big tickets. charlie: why not? guest: i'm not that old. charlie: they're not that old. charlie: do you feel better? guest: i feel better. charlie: no question that you deserved it. you didn't say, well, look at
what i have done that i don't deserve to be here on stage with these people? guest: i did want to trade seats with tom hanks because i wanted to sit next to obama. charlie: would you have given him a piece of your mind? guest: no. he has enough of people's minds. charlie: is feminism part of this? guest: no question. i think if you happen to be male, you better -- you are going to run across a few women in your lifetime. i went to all-boys' schools which is not a hotbed of feminism and have come a long way. and it was exciting. and this is how the story panned out and sam elliott is a forceful presence. but it is a female-driven movie. and the idea that lily's
character wow, and vibrant has lived through 50 years of feminist history. charlie: a good year? guest: for me. charlie: same sex marriage. guest: i never thought i would see it. charlie: how is feminism. at the academy awards. and you saw people in the audience, in all the cutaways saying, yes. guest: that's a special audience. but still, i mean, there are some resurgence behind the e.r.a. and jane fonda and i is involved in advancing that. passing the e.r.a. once and all. charlie: and there is abortion
and all the things it brings up. guest: purely human stories. films are talking about things happening in society but from the perspective of characters that you care about. that happened to me when the script occurred to me and that was the situation she was in, 10 weeks pregnant and trying to figure out and navigate a decision. charlie: thank god she had a grandmother. guest: to help her. one of the first things lily's character said, have you thought about this. i'm not going to say what happens in the move key, but it's a thread running through
the movie. charlie: what's the relationship between you and your daughter? guest: contentious. and plays it so well. amusingly funny. thank god for -- my partner was much softer, much more available to marsha when she was a child. her name is judy. oddly enough my granddaughter's is named sage and i named my daughter judy. charlie: one more clip. this is marsha playing the role of elle's daughter. >> who is it? >> the little creep. >> we're not a couple anymore. if we ever really were one. >> i told you he was a loser.
did i not tell you he was a flatout loser? >> you were right. >> i was right. >> you don't have any money, because you spent all your money on shoes and other garbage. >> you confiscated my credit card. >> it cost me $2,000 to have the door fix. i'm assuming you went to her for money and doesn't have any money either. so came to me, am i right? >> you missed a few steps in between, but you're right. >> what about all the condoms i gave you? >> used them up. >> you and the rodent. i didn't hand make that or knit them. >> you don't have to yell at me. guest: marsha, while she's a forceful actress, has wonderful comic timing.
charlie: this is more drama than comedy. guest: yeah. i like things when you can't tell the difference. charlie: do you collaborate with your brother? guest: we did a number of films together. and we watched each other's cuts and done a number, happily we are capable of doing stuff on our own. charlie: bill has you looking at this japanese film "like father like son." >> yeah. charlie: it's about --? guest: about a situation where two families learn that their children have been switched at
birth. it sounds like a soap opera. and won't be. charlie: have you done all you wanted to do and do all the films you wanted to make? you have done drama, comedy, one-woman performances, television. you're still doing television and still making movies. guest: standup. charlie: sketch comedian. guest: what i would like, i like to have been given credit for jane wagner's work. charlie: you would have liked her to get as much credit? guest: right. charlie: you can do something about that. guest: they want to believe that
the words come out of my mouth and my brain. they think i make it up as i do it sometimes. \[laughter] charlie: "grandma" opens on friday, august 21. his father was on this program. guest: do you have the tape? charlie: very handsome guy. >> that was meaningful to be here today. it's a thrill. charlie: thank you, lily. ♪
a failing to support a fragile recovery. storiesk about those and we will get a paul's of what is going on. pulse of what is going on. >> i want to get some currency news. s the dollar exchange rate. e to have devalued the rat 21,683. you can see at holding against the u.s. dollar and it is down by 3.2% year to date against the dollar.