tv CNN Newsroom With Carol Costello CNN November 15, 2016 6:00am-7:01am PST
and good morning. i'm carol costello. thank you so much for joining me. any moment now we're expecting president obama to hold a news conference in greece. the first stop of his final trip abroad as leader of the free world. ironically, much of president obama's mission is to serve as a liaison. he will likely address allies that president-elect trump will honor nato. we begin this hour in athens where cnn's michelle kosinski is traveling with the president. good morning, michelle. >> reporter: hi, carol. yeah, just think, over this past year as the president's been on
all of these foreign trips, one after the other, meeting with key allies, one thing he's been doing is reassuring them that he didn't think there was going to be a trump presidency. he described other leaders as rattled at that prospect. well, that's not how things turned out, and so now his goal is to reassure them but in much different ways. and one of those aspects that they've been worried about is, of course, nato. you can say given russia's activities and other things going on, touching on europe, there's never been a more important time for nato since world war ii, and some of the things that were said on the trail, for example, donald trump casting doubt on whether the u.s. would continue to defend its allies. now the president says that when he sat down with donald trump last week, trump did express a commitment to nato. so that's one of the things president obama will use as he's speaking to these world leaders throughout his trip. here's part of what he said earlier today.
listen. >> i want to reaffirm not only our appreciation for the greek people in that alliance but under score how important we consider the trans atlantic alliance which continues to be a corner stone of our security. that is unwavering and it is something that provides significant continuity even as we see a transition of governance in the united states across democratic and republican administrations. it's a recognition that the nato alliance is absolutely vital. >> now at a press conference yesterday before he left on this trip the president said a lot post election. it's really the first time we've heard him speak extensively. he said things like it's important to let donald trump make his decisions and then america will eventually decide whether that leads to progress
or not. that donald trump has exhibited a willingness to think about other things like allowing parts of obamacare to remain, and that's a source of optimism for president obama. so he's walking this line. he's wanting to convey some optimism and some reassurance but, of course, he can't really ignore the things that he himself said on the trail about donald trump, namely that he is unfit to serve as president and, of course, the press isn't going to let him forget those things. so he was asked directly about some of those statements and president obama conceded that, sure, he has concerns that sound bites are not policies, that there are parts of donald trump's temperament that might not serve him well but he needs to recognize and correct those, but what he wants to convey on this trip is u.s. policies will continue. the u.s. relationships with these other countries will remain strong, carol. >> all right. michelle kosinski reporting live from greece.
of course, when the president pops out of that mansion along with the greek president, we'll take you back to greece. >> president trump has talked to world leaders. he talked to vladimir putin. sunlen serfaty has more on trump's outreach and his possible pick for secretary of state. good morning. >> reporter: good morning to you, carol. no secretary of state pick yet, but we doknow according to sources when we look at the short list of potential contenders for secretary of state is rudy giuliani. he of course has been a fierce advocate of donald trump, a loyal aide by his side for many months throughout this campaign but he, of course, has no specific foreign policy experience. that said, it is almost like he is campaigning for this job. certainly pushing for it. he appeared at a wall street journal forum last night where he talked several points during his speech that he would be interested in this job. he talked about how his foreign policy vision alliance with donald trump's, but it was really this moment that really
stood out to us when he also was talking about john bolton, former u.n. ambassador under the george w. bush administration, how he is also in the running. here's rudy giuliani. >> john would be a very good choice. >> is there anybody better? >> maybe me. i don't know. >> so a funny moment there as rudy giuliani clearly very interested in this job. also when you're looking at another top position to be filled, secretary of defense. alabama senator, jeff sessions, who, too, has been a real trump loyalist from the start. one of the biggest aides who has advised him throughout the campaign. sources are telling them that he is also being considered in a top way for attorney general. a lot of movement. a lot of names. we know that trump and mike pens are meeting later to go over some of these top names. >> sunlen serfaty, thanks so
much. so president obama facing world leaders as anxiety over a trump presidency grows. does that make what he said this morning all the more important. with me is nancy sotorbrook. former u.s. ambassador to the united nations. errol lewis, welcome to all of you, dana bash. dana, before we delve into what president obama might say about mr. trump in greece, donald trump is tweeting this morning. just about a half hour. he tweeted this. all states for the campaign. here's another one a little bit longer ago. total popular vote i would have campaigned in new york, florida, and california.
he's tweeting that as these protests come across this morning. >> well, that but also he's tweeting this as the day after, two days after mitt romney lost in 2012. he reamed. >> i'm not going to change my opinion just because i won. i don't think i'm going out on a very far limb. our president-elect is probably watching the news, reading, seeing that the protests are going on and more importantly the democrats are saying, what he had said. about the electoral college. having said that, the electoral college is something that is going to be very, very difficult to change and the democrats who are saying that they want to change it probably should remember that they had a huge
electoral college advantage going into tuesday night. and they blew it. they blew it. they blew it. they lost the blue states of michigan and wisconsin and pennsylvania, states that had been blue since the '80s. because they lost their voters to donald trump. >> can't argue that. that's still true. all of these protests are going on across the country. they don't seem to be stopping. there's another big one planned in new york city today. there's a change.org petition going around with 4 million signatures from people who want to change the electoral college system to the popular vote system. it's time to reunite the country. do the tweets help? >> of course not. donald trump, we should all start getting used to this, we saw it quite a bit during the campaign season, maybe the public hasn't really sort of figured this out yet, but donald trump's opinion about a lot of things depends on whether or not
it's donald trump. the electoral college is an abomonation, that's what it's behind the polls is all about. now the system unrigged itself since he won. they're going down that same path and taking the other side of that. but think more seriously about what they really want and what they really want to do. i mean, there's a lot of stuff being shouted out there on those protest lines and a lot of it has to do with his past statements, a lot of it has to do with some of the advisors he's got around it. a lot of it has to do with the policies, especially things like the immigration policies. you know, folks are going to have to try to figure out -- they can shout it on the streets every day from now until the end of his first term but you're going to have to at some point figure out which policies are most important, prioritize those and -- >> what exactly you want. so, nancy, do you envision trump's foreign policy being
partly worked out via tweets? >> absolutely. i think donald trump is who he is. . we're going to see lots of tweets and diplomats are going to figure out how to use it. the simple truth is we have no idea what his policies are going to be because he doesn't know it yet. whether it's idologues will prove where his thoughts are. if you look at george bush's first 9 months pre-9/11. he hadn't thought of this. he tried to push a very anti-u.n., anti-the world, isolationist. we're the lone super power, we can rule the world. it frankly blew up in his face.
i think donald trump will go through the education of donald trump hitting reality and you'll see a shift in the first year or two as they work that out unless they get it right from the start which is unlikely but -- >> well, in light of that let's talk about his possible picks. one is rudy giuliani and the other is john bolton. the former u.n. ambassador to the united nations. he has called for the bombing of iran and fiercely anti-russian. >> very much so. he is the ultimate neocon. he was the ambassador to the u.n. under george w. bush and he is very, very hawkish with regard to those countries that you just talked about and others. rudy giuliani is a very different kind of guy and just in terms of the likelihood, i was told by somebody who is familiar with this process that what rudy giuliani wants rudy
giuliani is going to get. he was that loyal even in donald trump's darkest days so it seems to me that he's more likely going to be the secretary of state if that is, in fact, what he wants in the end. >> let's focus on that then. is he going to be secretary of state? he was an attorney general. he was the mayor of new york city. >> he is part of a very controversial policy that you'll probably hear from protestors at some point about whether or not people who were fleeing the dictatorship in haiti, seems like ancient history. they have the policy of getting sent back, not treating them like refugees, treating them like economic refugees who had to be returned rather than political refugees. he was up to his eyeballs in international affairs in the '80s. >> i'm not sure if there is
going to be portrayed by the people who need to confirm him. since he's been out of office his work has taken him around the globe. not diplomacy. >> so, nancy, your thoughts on that? if he's the most likely choice for secretary of state, what type of secretary of state will he be? >> he'll be brash. i don't think he knows. he does have experience. he's traveled around the world. a president has to balance everything. who will be his secretary of state, u.s./u.n. ambassador. it's not clear how all of this is going to balance out. you've got to do it as a whole team. the world tends to be a sobering reality.
it's not a zero sum game like businesses. it's in our interests. the domestic policy. i'm actually less concerned which is contrary to it. because we are a super power but we don't run the world but we lead the world. we can't lead just ourselves. we will find we need to have people with us. we want to find out exactly which side of his goals president putin is on. >> mr. putin very quickly reached out to donald trump. they had a very cordial conversation. >> right.
>>. >> i'd be surprised on that now. the next president has to charge his own court. >> they know it. >> they're worried. we all travel around the world and talk to people and before the election they were begging us that this wouldn't come true. now that it has come true they're holding their breath. talking to the white house folks over the last week or so, the trump people have reached out and said don't do anything big and bold. i mean, obama had a fairly
aggressive agenda for his last three months in office. he can't really do much anymore because the trump people could undo it right away and he wants to have a smooth transition. so the world's on edge about donald trump, no question. they read the tweets. they've watched what he says. they're nervous about it, particularly mexico, our trading partners. europe is always afraid the u.s. is going to withdraw. nato partners. reality has a very healthy way of bringing any of those rhetorics down to earth, rhetorical comments. they'll be reassured by obama, but frankly they're going to wait and see what donald trump does during the transition. so far he's sending reassuring signals that he's thinking about things, but this is a president who is fundamentally unprepared to take on these issues and he's got a lot of homework over the transition. the people he puts in place are going to send very important signa signals. so those of us who care about the foreign policy relationships
hope he puts long standing professionals in there who he can trust who will reassure the world. he could go the other way. we just don't know. it's going to be a riveting transition for the next couple of months. >> i'm going to take a quick break. hopefully when i come back the president and the greek president will be out there speaking. i'll be right back. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ how else do you think he gets around so fast? take the reins this holiday and get the mercedes-benz you've always wanted during the winter event. now lease the 2017 gle350 for $579 a month at your local mercedes-benz dealer.
stops before concluding his eight-year term as the american president. the presidency during which the influence of the united states of america around the world has changed, even in this country where during the cold war era greek/american relations were -- have accumulated heavy historic burden -- a very heavy historical burden. i think that it was a historical moment when during the previous visit of an american president in greece in 1999 president clinton recognized the errors of the u.s. as regards to the dictatorship in greece because the americans -- the greek people not only relate to the
ancient traditions, they have fought, they have shed blood until recently to defend the values of democracy and freedom, which are our common values. therefore, greece is now welcoming an american president who throughout his term in office has strongly defended these values, who has fought for the rights of all people irrespective of color, religion, or sexual orientation, who has worked in order to deal with climate change, a president who has integrated millions of americans into health care, a president who has put his strength and his influence behind a humanitarian solution of the great refugee crisis, the
greatest after world war ii. and i would also like to point out because this is very important to greece. this is a president who when he had to deal with the 2008 economic crisis has led the american economy on a completely different path from the one that europe has chosen eight years later. the result is more than visible. quantitative easing, commitment to employment which was the choice of the united states have led to impressed growth rates and declining unemployment. while on the other side the insistence of european leaders through austerity policies keeps the european economy strapped stagnation and it, therefore,
brings about huge political and social problems and it is in this respect that i have the opportunity to discuss with president obama the huge challenges that our country but also the whole of europe is dealing with. these are challenges that need to be dealt with collectively, decisively, and effectively, otherwise, we will be led to -- backwards. we are hopeful that it's the only decline against the increasing trend in skepticism and inward looking which is a
threat. the international community when trying to avoid historic mistakes of the past in 1953 and with the assistance and support of the united states of america, they settled the german debt and to a growth clause. with the most -- the hashest. as an economy and as a society we have had to experience a
program of disastrous austerity which made the problems more acute instead of resolving them. within a few years we have lost 25% of our gdp while in 2004 unemployment went up to 27%. today and despite that we have suffered, we are still standing. we were able through great sacrifices to avoid the threats and threatened disaster and we are step by step restoring our economy. today for the first time in years we are back to growth, slowly but surely we are decreasing unemployment and we are restoring confidence to the future of the greek economy. about 18 months ago although we were a young government we were
asked to take very difficult decisions and with this opportunity i want to recognize publicly the role and the contribution of president obama during those difficult moments to recognize his moral and political support he gave to my government in the effort to find a political solution. difficult decisions were made, not only in order to keep our country in the eurozone but also in order to maintain the cohesion of the european union. and i believe that our decisions were right as shown by history. we have made difficult reforms in the social security, in taxation, in public administration, but i have -- we have always taken measures to
fight corruption, to attract investment, to create a better context for investment in greece. we will continue to decisively promote reforms that will promote growth and at the same time we will continue to negotiate hard in order to avoid any reforms that would undermine growth, but what is more important to all of us is that society should understand -- should feel the results of all of that and to make the burden to the weak members of society lighter and also for the younger and productive generation because after seven years people cannot take anymore austerity. the important reduction of the
greek debt, the reduction of the surpluses which are expected of us in the future and the participation of the bank of greece in the quantitative easing program are rightfully -- should be rightfully given to greece and the time to do that is now. and from this point of view, i think that it is not only symbolic but it is also very important that barack obama is now in athens and the day after tomorrow will be in berlin at this very critical point in time when decisions are expected. decisions that not only concern greece, they concern europe and, therefore, the global economy. cooperation and solidarity are necessary requirements in order
to bring about the solutions that will once again bring stability to the european integration and bring it back to the track of growth. and in relation to that, president obama and i discussed a number of important things, such as the importance of the important potential for investments in greece, in a series of sectors such as energy, tourism, research and technology. we also discussed the future where greece with its important shipping power can become an important transit center for trade, transport and energy linking europe to asia and to north africa.
we also discussed important projects underway which upgrade the role of our country in the -- on the energy map, such as the t.a.p., the i.g.p., the upgrading of the l&g terminal and the fsru plant in luxembourg which is being designed. also we discussed the possibility of opening new natural gas corridors in the eastern mediterranean which would play an important role to peace and stability in our region. we have also discussed the excellent greek human potential, human capital, and especially young scientists. we have stressed the huge potential opening from -- for
the cooperation between the american and the greek business communities in the fields of innovation and startup companies in greece. and we have also discussed the current regional developments, the great challenges in security, migration, the need to strengthen our cooperation on these issues. we have discussed the critical role that greece plays as a pillar of peace and security in a region where stabilization is on the growth. the country, europe, the eastern mediterranean of the balkans, of the wider black sea neighborhood which promotes -- steadily promotes bilateral and alongside cypress the cooperation with all the countries of the region on
the basis of international law. a country which is using its role as an active member of the e.u. and nato to promote peace, stability and security in the region and which is gradually strengthening its role in order to promote border security and cooperation against terrorism. a country which despite its financial difficulties has offered support to hundreds of thousands of refugees who arrived on the shores. a country when -- which when the balkan corridor was unilaterally closed and despite the pressure exercised to violate our common values still feels the only way to deal with the refugee issue is respect for international law, cooperation with transit countries and countries of
origin, and dealing with the origins of migration. with this framework we have discussed the importance of implementing the e.u. turkey agreement and continuation of nato cooperation. we have stressed the needs to do whatever possible to promote peace and stability in syria, iraq, and libya. the hardship, the fighting against violence should stop and terrorism should be fought decisively. we have also stressed the need to restart the credible talks on the middle east issue. and in this framework i have underscored my commitment to
cooperation with our neighboring turkey, a country that plays an important role for the future of our region. but i still stress that the promotion of this important relations can only take place on the basis of mutual respect without threats of war and questioning of rights. and of course we have discussed the cypress issue. the need to find a fair and viable solution on the basis of u.n. resolutions and the incompatible with the fact that cypress is an e.u. member's fate. we have, therefore, expressed our support to the very important critical by communal talks which are underway. tomorrow i will be meeting
president from athens. we need to be very careful at this very critical point in relation to these talks because important issues are still pending. our objective is to achieve a solution that will benefit all of the cyprants and that will promote -- will have confidence building on the island. this, in our view, cannot happen without the departure of the occupation army and without doing away with the obsolete system. so before i conclude, i should like to once more thank president obama for opting to visit our country. i would like now to remember the words of another important american president who during the previous century had to fight in order to deal with
challenges similar to the current ones, security, economic crisis or migration of movements of populations, and he had said that real freedom for people can only exist whenever there is security and independence, and he had also said that famine and unemployment are the raw material for dictatorships. these words are very topical now days, and i am certain that our peoples who are committed to common values will fight in any -- in every way to deter any possibility of us going back into history. it is our duty to make a leap into the future, and i believe that we will make it. thank you.
>> thank you, prime minister tsipras for your kind words and for welcoming me to athens today. i've always wanted to come to greece, and i'm delighted to be able to make this part of my last trip overseas as president of the united states. i think we all know that the world owes an enormous debt to greece and the greek people. so many of our ideas of democracy, so much of our literature and philosophy and science can be traced back to roots right here in athens. i'm told there's a saying from those ancient times collou collous ge adotos. when someone or something is good and beautiful on the outside, but it also is good and noble on the inside in terms of character and in terms of purpose. and i think that's a fine description of the friendship that exists between the greek
people and the american people. and the ideas of ancient greece helped inspire america's founding fathers as they reached for democracy. our revolutionary ideas helped inspire greeks as they sought their own freedom and americans came here to help fight for greek independence. at the dawn of the cold war when president truman committed the united states to the defense of greece he said, i believe that we must assist free peoples to work out their own destinies in their own way. to this day the united states is profoundly grateful for our friendship and alliance with greece, and i'm personally very grateful to my friends in the greek american community. sons and daughters who have found success in every walk of american life and, alexis, i want to thank you for your commitment to our alliance and
for the good work that we did today. as the prime minister already noted, we spend much of our time discussing the economic situation and moving forward. i know this has been a painful and difficult time, especially for greek workers and families, pensioners and young people. this crisis is not an abstraction but has had a very concrete and devastating impact on the lives and livelihoods of millions of people across this country. in our meeting alexis outlined next steps, including reforms to make greece more attractive to investment and to prevent the kind of imbalances that led to the debt crisis in the first place. in other words, greece under his leadership continues to do the hard work necessary to recover. at the same time, i've been clear from the beginning of this crisis that in order to make reforms sustainable, the greek
economy needs the space to return to growth and start creating jobs again. we cannot simply look to austerity as a strategy and it is incredibly important that the greek people see improvements in their daily lives so that they can carry with them the hope that their lives will get better. and in this context as greece continues reform, the imf has said that debt relief is crucial. i will continue to urge creditors to take the steps needed to put greece on a path towards a durable economic recovery because it's in all of our interests that greece succeeds. we all want the greek people to prosper, to be able to provide a good life for their families and their children. that would be good for greece. it would be good for the european union. good for the united states. and ultimately good for the world. beyond economic issues, we discussed the pressing security challenges that we face as nato
allies. i want to take this opportunity to comment greece for being one of the five nato allies that spends 2% of gdp on defense, a goal that we have consistently set but not everybody has met. greece has done this even during difficult economic times. if greece can meet this nato commitment, all our allies should be able to do so. we also discussed the need to continue sharing intelligence, to help prevent terrorist attacks, the importance of keeping sanctions, including e.u. sanctions in place until russia's fully implemented the minsk agreement along with ukraine. as i did privately with alexis, i want to thank the greek people publicly for their humanitarian response to the crisis of so many migrants and refugees seeking safety in europe. greeks especially on the islands have shown extraordinary compassion and they've rightly earned the admiration of the
world. again, greeks have done so even as they faced their own great economic hardships, and that's a testament, i think, to their solidarity and commitment to treating people with kindness and fairness. prime minister tsipras has made commitments to increase housing for unaccompanied children and to include access to education for children who are migrants and refugees. in these goals it's an obligation of the united states to help because this cannot be viewed just as a greek problem, it's an international problem and i reaffirmed my support to help in any ways that we can, including reaffirming america's support for the deal between the e.u. and turkey that can manage rivals in europe in a way that is orderly and humane. finally, as alexis mentioned, we discussed cypress where the prospects for a just, comprehensive and lasting settlement are the best that
they've been for some type. it doesn't mean that success is guaranteed. the possibility of absolving a decade's long conflict is there and we urge the parties to continue their work. the interests of all sip press would be good for a federation. we are hopeful that a solution that is durable which would create new economic opportunities for all the people across cypress is within reach and it would be a powerful example to the world of what's possible with diplomacy and compromise. so, again, mr. prime minister, thank you for welcoming me. thank you for your partnership. the greek people have gone through some very difficult times, and there's still a hard road ahead, but despite those hardships greece has continued to be a reliable ally, has shown true compassion to fellow human beings in need.
it it's an example of the greek character and i'm looking forward to the opportunity to say more to the greek people in a speech that i'll deliver for tomorrow. for now on behalf of the american people, just let me say that we are proud to count greece as one of our closest allies and one of our greatest friends. [ applause ] >> translator: we will now proceed to questions. there will be two questions from greek media and two questions from american media. first question, mr. haritos from the state tv. >> to take you seven, eight years back when you enter the white house, the unemployment, the rates of unemployment were 6%, now to 11.6 and 5% is the
lowest ever. 4.9. you want us to grow it almost 3, 2.6 trillion so on the contrary, of course, there is nothing to compare between greek and united states economy, but on the contrary, greece, the last seven years has been under institutions and we're still in the eye of the storm of the recession. so at the same time we're discussing debt relief. my question is how far this economy can go with this reform programs without any discussion of debt relief. how far this relationship between greece and the institutions can last. >> you're right, that you can't
entirely compare between the united states and greece for a range of reasons, not just because of the size of the economy. we went through a very severe contraction. we were losing 800,000 jobs a month when i came into office. in fact, the economy was contracting faster than it did during the great depression, but we were able to intervene, apply lessons learned and stabilize and then begin growth again. but i do believe that one of the lessons we tried to apply is that it is important to combine structural reforms and good fiscal stewardship with a growth strategy because when your economy is growing and more revenue's coming in, that helps
leave debt. and sometimes if your only approach is cutting spending at a time when the economy's contracting, then the economy will contract further and that can add debt. now the advantage we had is that the dollar is the reserve currency of the world. even in the midst of crisis people were still buying u.s. treasury bills. we were not part of a broader arrangement like the eurozone so it gave us some additional flexibility, but the key lesson that we've drawn from our experience, and it's true that we recovered faster and better, frankly, than most of europe is that particularly when the economy is still struggling,
putting people back to work, finding ways to spur economic activity ultimately can help to reduce the structural deficits and debts that countries experience. i think the path that greece is on is the right one. i think the greek people, although it is difficult, challenging and the politics of it i know are not good. should appreciate the fact that in this global economy, the greek economy was going to have to go through some structural reforms. the united states and the structural reforms in terms of our education system. or revamping our infrastructure.
or, you know, looking at some regulations that weren't properly controlling excesses on wall street. so we initiated health care reform. a whole range of structural reforms. they're not the same as the ones greece has had to do, but these were necessary reforms. the prime minister and his government being willing to move forward with those will i think lead to greece being more competitive and more attractive place for investment in the future. look, and the greek people are entrepreneurial. my hope is more and more investors around the world see an opportunity to do business here if greece. but even as you have those structural reforms, our argument has always been that when the economy contracted this fast,
when unemployment is this high, that there also has to be a growth agenda to go with it. and it is very difficult to imagine the kind of growth strategy that's needed without some debt relief mechanism. now, the politics of this are difficult in europe. and i think in fairness to some governments up north that i know are not always popular here in greece, it's important to recognize that they have their own politicses and their populations and institutions often are resistant to some of these debt relief formulas. but i think that having seen greece begin many of these difficult steps towards structural reform, having shown
a commitment to change, with the greek people having endured some significant hardships for many years now, there should be an opportunity i think for both sides to recognize if we can come up with a durable solution as opposed to each year or every six months having a new negotiation, that could potentially be good for everyone. now that the greek economy is growing again, the timing may be right. >> thank you, mr. president. a lot of people in europe are still struggling to understand what happened on november 18 in the united states. do you believe it's the exact same dynamic as brexit which happened six months before?
and does it have to do with leaders struggling to read the mood of their country? do you have the feeling that while in power you underestimated anger or resentment or fear in america? and do you, prime minister tsipras, president obama has repeatedly said including today greece should get substantial debt relief. are you hopeful he might convince chancellor merkel to make a move in that regard later this week? >> no two countries are identical, and obviously there's a difference between a referendum on a very complex relationship between great britain and the rest of europe, and a presidential election in the united states. you know, presidential elections always turn on personalities.
they turn on how campaigns are run. they turn on natural desires for change. if you've had an incumbent who's been there for eight years, there's a temptation to think, well, let's maybe make a change. i think there's a whole range of factors involved. but i do think that there is a common theme that we've seen in a lot of advanced economies and that we've seen around the world. although they manifest themselves in different ways. globalization combined with technology, combined with social media and constant information,
have disrupted people's lives sometimes in very concrete ways. manufacturing plant closes and suddenly an entire town no longer has what was the primary source of employment. but also psychologically. people are less certain of their national identities. or their place in the world. it starts looking different. and disorienting. and there is no doubt that that has produce d populist movement both from the left and the right in many countries in europe. whether you see a donald trump and a bernie sanders very unconventional candidates, have considerable success, then
obviously there's something there that's being tapped into. a suspicion of globalization. a desire to rein in its excesses. a suspicion of elites and governing tingss that people feel may not be responsive to their immediate needs. and that sometimes gets wrapped up in issues of ethnic identity or religious identity or cultural identity. and that can be a volatile mix. it's important to recognize, though, that those strends have always been there, and it's the job, i think, of leaders to try to address people's real legitimate concerns and channel them in the most constructive
ways possible. did i recognize there was anger or frustration in the american population? of course i did. first of all, we had to fight back from the worst recession since the great depression and i can guarantee if your housing values have crashed and you've lost most of your pension and your job, you're going to be pretty angry. and so we fought back and recovered, but that left i think fear and anxiety in a lot of people. a sense that the economy wasn't as certain as it could be and maybe the game was rigged on wall street or by special interests in washington or what have you. and that's been there. i was also aware of it because
of the fact you've seen some of the rhetoric among republican elected officials and activists and media. some of it pretty troubling and not necessarily connected to facts, but being used effectively to mobilize people. and obviously president-elect trump tapped into that particular strain within the republican party and then was able to broaden that enough and get enough votes to win the election. the lesson i draw, and i think people can draw a lot of lessons, but maybe one that cuts across countries, is we have to deal with issues like inequality. we have to deal with issues of
economic dislocation. we have to deal with people's fears that their children won't do as well as they have. the more aggression imly and effectively we deal with those issues, the less those fears may channel themselves into counterproductive approaches that pit people against each other. and frankly that was -- that's been my agenda for the last eight years. i think raising wages, investing in infrastructure. making sure that people have access to good education that equip them for jobs in the future. those are all agenda items that
would help alleviate some of those economic pressures and dislocations that people are experiencing. the problem was, i couldn't convince the republican congress to pass a lot of them. having said that, people seem to think i did a pretty good job. so there is this mismatch between this frustration and anger, perhaps the view of the american people was that we just need to shake things up. time will now tell whether the prescriptions being offered, whether brexit or with respect to the u.s. election, ends up actually satisfying those people who have been fearful or angry or concerned.