tv The Bush Years Family Duty Power CNN March 3, 2019 6:00pm-7:01pm PST
one extra oordinary family fuelled by ambition. driven. they fought for fathpower. >> george w. felt a sense of competition with my brother. he felt i can do that if he can do it. >> they made friends as well as enemies. forged the history of america -- >> i can hear you. >> -- and the world. >> when the president asks how good is the intelligence on iraq
and weapons of mass destruction. the director of the cia said it's a slam dunk, mr. president. it's a slam dunk. >> they lived in the spotlight, yet remained intensely private. >> we told them he was going to lose. he was yoigoing to ruin our lif while both sobbing uncontrol blissablely. >> one senator, two governors, two first ladies. >> i'm my husband's biggest fan. >> and two presidents. >> i think it's hard to imagine any family that have been more significant to american politics. >> these are the the bushes.
>> the united states has been at war for six months after the japanese attacked pearl harbor on december 7th. it was a great sense that many americans were going to die. many americans were going to have their lives changed fundamentally forever. >> the speaker at the graduation's henry stenson. ask his message to these young men was we will need you. what we need most of all were leaders and to be good leaders were good education. so don't rush out and enlist right now. >> bush's parents would like for their son to go to yale and to do at least a year or two of university before going into the service. >> afterward prescott bush asked is he going to wait and enroll into college and george bush says, no, i'm going in. >> my father clearly had a sense of needing to defend our
homeland. i think it may have evolved out of his own family's commitment to service. >> george bush was born into the pinnacle of american society. he this connecticut. this was a family of privilege. this was a family of wealth. this was a family of status. >> this is greenwich, connecticut, the establishment. this is the era when white protestants really did run the whitunited states. and they they felt privilege but also the duty to serve. >> george bush's father is from columbus, ohio, where his father ran a very successful manufacturing company. but he decides he will make money on his own and becomes the head of brown brothers, a huge financial institution on wall street. >> he was an austere fellow.
we were afraid of him growing up. he was off on some mission. then 8:00 out the door he goes to another meeting. very busy guy. >> dorothy walker bush comes from privilege, a powerful walker family, highly competitive family. and she herself is extraordinarily competitive. >> we would call her a tiger mother. she really pushed the kids to do better, but also push george bush in particular who always had a spark of charisma and spark of achievement. >> he was a superstar. absolutely. all the kids in the neighborhood wanted to be with george. i just love it. he was the one that was the leader. >> george is the second of prescott and dorothy's five children. his eldest brother is prescott jr., two years is george sr.
>> ken bunk port is the home of the bush family compound. his brothers and sisters went there every summer and were constantly competing in sports. >> they always wanted to win, but the story in the family was not to brag about victory. >> george comes home from a soccer game and says i scored a goal. that's great, george, but how did the team do? >> this was special. you need to understand the tension between the need to be frunumber one and at the same t not to show off, not to be too proud, but to do both. >> just two months after graduating, george h.w. bush joins the navy train as a pilot.
>> his father saw him off at the train station. for the first time in my father's life, he saw his own father cry. which showed there was a deep father/son connection. he must have been deeply proud of my father. >> george h.w. bush became the youngest pilot in the navy. >> by the fall of 1944, george has flown over 50 combat missions. >> what courage, what determination, what patriotism, how could you ask more from any individual? >> george h.w. bush is about to embark on his most dangerous operation yet. >> the order is for him to fly towards the japanese-held island. >> there's a a radio tower that he and his two crewmen are charged with bombing. >> they close on the target and
there's antiaircraft fire. bush's plane is hit. the wings are enflamed. there's smoke in the cockpit. he was able to control the plane, dive and drop the bombs and then turn back over the pacific. but the plane was clearly going to crash. >> he told his comrades, you guys bail out and then i'll bail out. >> he cracks open the cockpit. the wind sucks him out he smashes his head on the tail injuring himself. >> he plummets under the water and gulps in gallons of sea water. and then bobs back up. ask he has a life raft, but no paddle. >> he's bleeding. he's this the open ocean and far
worse the tide and the wind are pushing him towards japanese-held territory and there's a japanese patrol boat coming out to get him. his life was in mortal danger. what does help for heart failure look like? it looks like george having a busy day. ♪ the beat goes on george has entresto, a heart failure medicine that helps his heart... so he can keep on doing what he loves. in the largest heart failure study ever, entresto was proven superior at helping people stay alive and out of the hospital. it helps improve your heart's ability to pump blood to the body. don't take entresto if pregnant; it can cause harm or death to an unborn baby. don't take entresto with an ace inhibitor or aliskiren,
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(vo) switch to sprint and get an unlimited plan with the samsung galaxy s9 lease and hulu included for just $25 a month. no trade-in required. for people with hearing loss, visit sprintrelay.com what is that? uh mine, why? it's just that it's... lavender. yes it is, it's for men but i like the smell of it laughs ♪ shot down, george bush is in the middle of the pacific. hes being blown toward jap needs-held territory where he's almost certain to be tortured andkilled by the japanese.
>> he's in the water for over three hours and this is where some of the bush family came to play. there was this the vicinity a u.s. submarine, which spotted bush on his raft and took him aboard. >> amazingly enough a crew member has a ko contact movie camera and takes a video of george bush being hauled out of the life raft on to the deck of the submarine. and walking back towards the camera. >> he is safe. he rises from the depths of the pacific. unfortunately, his crew mates never do. >> i wonder if i could have done something different. why me? why am i blessed. why am i still alive?
that has plagued me. >> he's never got over the fact that his two crew member were lost and could he have saved them. why was he saved? he felt this made it necessary for him to constantly serve to give back to others. >> he thought about the value of his family and how much they mean to him. he thisz about the woman from new york who he knows he's going to go back and marry. >> george had met barbara pierce at a dance in connecticut. he saw her across the room and thought, i need to meet her. >> and he mustarded up the courage, interrupted the person that she was dancing with. >> she had a green dress on. a green satin dress and laughing. and they laughed all the way
through. he was submit issmitten with he. >> they were blue bloods whose families had history in the united states and came from that part of new england that was filled with people just like them. >> four months after his miraculous escape, george h.w. bush marries barbara pierce. >> bush wants to move on. the war is behind him. he wants to live a good life. he believes he can live a good life. >> he rolls lg in determined to get through as soon as possible. he has this accelerated plan and graduates from yale in two years. >> he gets a's, he's on the baseball team, he goes to the college world series. if you want to talk about a big man on campus that's well liked,
george bush fits that criteria. >> while he's at yale, barbara gives birth to their first child who will become the 43rd president of the the united states. >> george h.w. bush is a young man in a hurry. enlisted at 18, a husband at 20 and now a father at 22. >> but george wants to be his own man. as long as he's hanging out in connecticut he's always prescott bush's son. >> he just couldn't bring himself to go to wall street. he wanted to go off and do something on the frontier. texas was the frontier. >> why do you go to texas? that's where the action was.
the oil fields were booming. it was a place where a person could come out and make their own way in the world and strike it rich. >> my dad definitely captured the wildcatter mentality. just doing something really risky, really wild ask crazy out of the norm. >> through a family friend, he gets a job with an oil equipment supply company in odessa, texas, which must have seemed like the end of the world. >> texas was a shock in every way for george and barbara bush. it was flat, dry, temperatures over 100 degrees. they didn't have any friends. they didn't have any family members there. and so it was a lonely life to begin with. and they are sharing this
one-bedroom duplex with a mother and daughter prostitute team. they had a questionable occupation, they didn't see much of them day or night. >> george bush is selling oil equipment. he's painting rigs, he's out there in 100 degree heat like any working joe trying to make a living. >> but they love theed a venn b adventure that it represents. barbara said for the first time in my life, i wasn't judged as my father's daughter. george wasn't judged as prescott bush's son. we were make iing it on our own. everyone's got to listen to mom. when it comes to reducing the sugar in your family's diet, coke, dr pepper and pepsi hear you. we're working together to do just that. bringing you more great tasting beverages with less sugar
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say it and see it with the x1voice remote. from netflix, prime video,youtube and even movie tickets. just say get "dragon tickets". in 1952 while george bush is in texas, his father is is on the campaign trail running for the senate from connecticut. why is he giving up his millions on wall street to orun for office? because he thinks it's the right thing to do. >> he had politics in his heart. they loved political history. but most importantly, it was there. that longing to be of service. >> hello, everybody. i'm prescott bush, republican candidate for the united states senate. >> press bush was something that no longer exists. he was a liberal republican.
>> prescott bush supported two controversial causes. the first was he was a donor to the united negro college fund and he spent time raising money for birth control organizations. these were essentially progressive policies. >> some of our friends in television audience have asked if we have pictures of the family. >> it was a true family run for the united states senate. so you had dotty bush, who was giving teas across the state with her daughter. they pitched in and gave out campaign literature. the bush immediate family were all involved. >> i hope all of you have as much fun and happiness in your family life as we do. there's nothing more important than a happy family.
>> dad got that nomination, boom, he's right in behind eisenhower. >> after 20 years of democratic presidents, war hero dwight eisenhoweren joys a landslide victory. alongside a new young senator, john f. kennedy, prescott bush is sworn into the senate. >> both prescott and dotty bush take to washington like fish to water. dorothy moves into the social scene. she loves to give tours of the capital for diplomatic figures. prescott bush said it's a great life. >> president eisenhower is is impressed by bush because he has a kind of rectitude, moderate politics that eisenhower likes and thinks is the future of the
party. >> it was prescott bush's belief in the importance of persuasion and politics that made him uncomfortable with mccarthy. >> are you a member as of this moment? >> he embodied the paranoia that gripped society. he was a person who lied. you had no difficulty whatsoever smearing another person's reputation without any fact or basis of evidence. and prescott found mccarthy despicable. >> press bush stands up to him. and says this guy is not playing fair. he's a demagogue and a liar. that took a a lot of courage. it sets an early example for his son, george, that you have to stand up to the bullies and you can't just go with the flow on politics. >> but george has yet to seriously consider a plolitical career. he's busy starting his own oil
company in mid-land, texas. and he has a growing family at home. >> by 1953 the bushes have three children. little george, a girl named robin and then a baby jeb bush. >> one morning in their home in midland, barbara bush realizes that something is wrong with robin, her daughter. >> barbara took her to the local doctor who had said is she had leukemia and there was nothing much they could do for her. she would die in a few weeks and to make comfortable at home. >> they decide to fight and begins to undergo experimental treatments at the cancer hospital in new york. >> george can't bare to watch his daughter suffer. he writes to a friend somebody has to be there to look in robin's eyes and comfort her and i don't have the guts.
>> barbara bush was pretty much the stoic who did not cry this front of her daughter, but tried to keep up her spirits even as her health became worse and worse. >> she took a photo and bapaste it on the head board and robin called her big brother superman. and i think there was always a hope that all this aggressive treatment would work. >> when robin was suffering, she used to tell my grandparents and my grandfather in father, i love you more than time can tell. >> after six brutal months, robin dies in her mother's arms. barbara bush says that she could feel the soul of her daughter leave her body. >> after robin died, george went
back and thanked every person that was involved in her care. >> robin's death was devastating for the family. it's something that haunted george and barbara bush i think for the rest of their lives. they always would say when they die, the first person they are going to meet in heaven is is robin. >> after robin dies, george and barbara bush fly back to texas and drive to georgy's school where he's in the second grade. >> he's carrying a record player to the principal's office and sees his parents pea green old mobile and he drops the record player. and he runs over ask he thinks he sees his sister's blond curls in the backseat. and he gets in that car to
realize from his parents that she's gone. and she's not going to come back. >> my dad felt a tremendous responsibility to care for my grandparents ask my grandmother overheard him talking to a friend that asked if he could come over and play and he said he couldn't because he needed to go home and take care of his mother. >> he needed to be the jokester in the family. that's a big burden on a little boy. it hurts him. i can't believe it. that we're playing "four on four" with a barbershop quartet? [quartet singing] bum bum bum bum... pass the ball... pass the rock.. ...we're open just pass the ball! no, i can't believe how easy it was to save hundreds of dollars on my car insurance with geico. yea. [quartet singing] shoot the j! shoot, shoot, shoot the jaaaaaay...
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protect your family. visit tobaccofreeca.com. prescott bush serves two terms and he's a remarkably influential senator behind the scenes who knew how to make deals, who knew how to compromise. >> dwight eisenhower writes a list of folks who are worthy of succeeding him. prescott bush is on that list. >> however, by the early 1960s, he begins to feel run down. he begins to feel sick.
he begins to lose weight. >> his doctor says you're suffering from arthritis. i think your health is poor. if it i were you, i would not run again. >> it was really tough to see. they said i spent ten years here. it's been a great experience, but maybe i should retire. >> he often thought of how great the senate was. i think he agonized over the fact he stepped down too soon. >> just as prescott bush leaves the senate, his son george decides he wants to enter the world of politics. >> clear example from press bush is it's great to make money, but it's much better to go into public life. to take on responsibility. to be a senator or president or whatever, but to serve. that's your duty. >> by the early 1960s, the bush
family has grown following george w. and jeb are neil, marvin and dorothy. >> the family has moved to the booming city of houston. where george makes his jump into politics. >> in the early 1960s, very much like his father, george bush is a pragmatic conservative. he supports free market enterprise, deregulation. but at the same time, he supports birth control and civil rights. >> he started at the bottom filed to become the harris county republican chairman and won that office. he was bucking the tide because texas was a solidly democratic state. in fact, in those days, it was the hangi ining offense to be a
republican. >> in the autumn of 1963 george bush decides that he is going to run for the senate. so he was going to be a hard slog for him. >> george bush, born a republican. george bush, success from scholar to business executive. recognized for service to his country, industry and community. service to his party and to the individual. >> george bush was an energy jellic young oil man and was appealing. >> the bushes really believe that the the family which prays together and plays together stays together. this is the bush family. an american family. a good, healthy family. >> a key part of the cam paint w pain was the blue bonnet bells. these were female volunteer who
is helped get the voet out. >> these are southern debutantes wearing bonnets and perfectly dressed. their slogan was the sun is going to shine b in the senate some day, george bush is going to chase all the liberals away. >> george bush has the liberals firmly in his sights. >> in 1964 the republican party is is pulled to the right by goldwater who are is a presidential candidate. he's pretty far right. >> moderation and the pursuit of justice is no virtue. >> as bush steps into that race, he makes the decision he will run not as a moderate republican, but as a conservative republican. because that's where most of the votes in the republican party in texas are. >> goldwater was sensational. i'm sure everybody felt the great enthuse yamp for that.
i think it's been a tremendous success. >> racial awareness breathes deep into the subconscious. >> reporter: sgl goldwater opposes the civil rights bill. it will be the most comprehensive civil rights legislation in american history. >> it's vital because african-americans have been fighting for their civil rights and for their freedom for generations. now there's a bill in front of congress that proposes that enshrine those rights in law. but barry goldwater very publicly opposes the bill. >> i don't believe law can solve the problems of the morals of men. >> there was an overriding fear among some conservatives and goldwater. that the federal government getting involved in civil is rights was overreach. that it was big government and this was a blemish on george h.w bush's record because he supported that move. >> when george bush decided to
reject the civil rights act, it show he was willing to reject the principles he had grown up with the sake of political gain. >> it's clear that george bush's more of a political animal than people make out. everybody talks about yale and blue blood and a war hero, but he was a raw, political monster in his own way. bush is drinking the goldwater kool-aid. >> you know, it's a conservative's dream to run for the united states senate. his extreme liberal views make him an open target and he's cynical tactics leave his position indefensible. >> but a majority of americans support lyndon johnson's liberal platform of welfare and civil rights. >> goldwater is trounced by lyndon johnson in 1964.
largely because americans thought goldwater was too extreme. >> at the end of the trail why you become slightly philosophical, it's fair to say this has been one of the most challenging experiences of my life. >> bush doesn't lose badly, but he loses and it's very painful for him. the bushes don't like to lose. >> but he also realizes that defeat is not defeat. you can take the lessons of that loss to heart and use them the next time to win. thanksmrs. murphy. unitedhealthcare, hi, i need help getting an appointment with my podiatrist. how's wednesday at 2? i can't. dog agility. tuesday at 11? nope. robot cage match. how about the 28th at 3?
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george looks towards the next challenge and will will be the next possible victory for him. >> george bush sells his stake in his oil company and runs for office again. this time for a texas congressional seat. >> george bush realized he made a mistake of tilting so far to the right, he becomes more like his father which means to be a fiscal conservative be a little more liberal and tolerant on social issues. >> his campaign slogan was elect george bush to congress and watch the action. and the main labor force for teens like myself, people who
could spend their saturdays dressing envelopes back in the headquarters. >> bar bra bush turned out to be the best wife imaginable because is she was such a networker. she was the ultimate soccer mom and leader of the neighborhood. those are the skills she brought. >> mrs. bush with needle point, bush for congress slogans. this is where the spirlt of how fun it is to campaign infelkted the bush family. >> we were part of it. we went to state fairs and rallies. there's one picture where there's four kids all scrunched on this little elephant. they used us. they used us, like you would. >> george h.w. bush wins his congressional seat with nearly 60% of the vote. >> the family moved to washington, d.c. on january 22nd, 1966, my birthday.
for the next two or three years the adjustment from a little texas family trying to integrate into the washington lifestyle was kind of a culture shock. >> george bush was a very impressive man. part of it was his style, the way he operated, part of it was the developed friendships very easily. there were people that began to think about him as a potential president. >> influential young congressman turns his attention to the pressing issue of vietnam. a war he supports. >> americans were wondering what the future was of our presence in vietnam. bush wanted to see for himself. >> he interacts with black servicemen, black troops in combat. it really does impress upon him
that african-americans are willing to die in the service of their country, but then don't have the same rights as the rest of their fellow citizens when they return home. >> the fist time i came back i was thrown out of a hamburger joint even though i came back wounded and served a year this the army. >> my father believed and said that african-american men and women who served their country in vietnam or any other war deserve to come home and be treated fairly. simple as that. >> their cause must be our cause too. >> lyndon johnson is determined to pass the fair housing act to give everybody an opportunity to purchase the homes and rent the homes that they wish. >> george bush thinks about it and that weighs heavily on him ask knows this is not a subject that is of interest to his
constituents. he knows that he pushes it that they will turn against him. >> one of the things i found is a member of congress that it's not all the time that clear. you got to think and wrestle with your conscience and listen to people. it doesn't come so easy to me that this is right or that's wrong. the tough votes are the the ones that you agonize over ask do what you think is right. >> he starts with goldwater. thankfully he understands when it comes to fair housing he needs to put the federal government on the side of racial justice. >> it cost him a lot with his hard line supporters here in houston at the time. i saw he received some 510 letters or tel grams from constituents of 500 of them said don't do this. 10 of them said it's okay.
>> after he voted, he felt moved to tell me he was going to be fitted for rough treatment when he had to explain that vote. >> bush goes houn and has a town meeting with the local school in houston. and they are booing him and hissing him. >> he gets up and addresses the crowd and explains his vote and says i voted with conviction. >> i only can vote what i think to be right in my heart. if something is morally wrong, i will not vote for it. >> you're being prejudice. you're fuelled by anger and hate and i am embracing the ideals of america ask what makes us a great country. >> and he ultimately ends up getting an ovation from that formerly angry kroud.
they respect what he has to say. to a large extent, that leads to the political education of george bush. >> he realized he could be his authentic self. he didn't have to see which way the winds were blowing all the time. he could speak up on issues like civil rights and feel that his conscience was clear with his chois. >> i think it was an act of courage on his part. but more than an act of courage, it was an act of character. prestige creams not living up to the hype? one jar shatters the competition. olay regenerist hydrates skin better than creams costing over $100, $200, and even $400. fact check this ad in good housekeeping. olay. but prevagen helps your brain with an ingredient
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when it comes to reducing the evsugar in your family's diet,m. coke, dr pepper and pepsi hear you. we're working together to do just that. bringing you more great tasting beverages with less sugar or no sugar at all. smaller portion sizes, clear calorie labels and reminders to think balance. because we know mom wants what's best. more beverage choices, smaller portions, less sugar. balanceus.org >> when the president of the united states asks him to do something he feels duty bound to do it. >> it is a president offering
george w. bush is at yale university. he is a good time charlie on campus, partying, drinking, flirting around. he wants to be seen as a people person not a book person. >> imagine being young george bush trying to live up to his fat. young george is the middle of his class. she a regular guy but feels the
weight of not being his father. >> he is at a very different time at yale. they turn against the war and the draft. >> demonstrators protest u.s. involvement in the vietnam war. in mass marches, rallies and demonstrations. >> it is ultimately for his career that he serve in some capacity. >> so he joins the international guard in texas. it is something called the champagne unit because he has so many kids of rich famous people in texas. they are flying planes defending texas from oklahoma. it's not the war.
>> it is wrong to say he is doing nothing but it's not the same as his father. he is not flying off of carriers against the enemy. >> bush is sitting on the west side of houston, texas. he could have that seat for 30 years. george h.w. bush seeks advice from lbj. should he run for the senate? he slap his thigh and says. >> george, the difference between the senate and the house is the different between chicken salad and chicken. >> he will run against the same man that beat him six years earlier. >> he sees an opening for a
conservative republican, one that can be more liberal and tolerant on issues. >> today i'm announcing my candidacy. i feel confident that the record i'm trying to build up will be accepted by the voters of texas. >> he was beat by a ree eye grand rancher who not liberal. >> he is hand some and tall, a lot like bush. >> it is hard for me to try to assess his candidacy. >> the two almost indistinguishable. they are pretty much about the same policy wise but texas still a highly democratic state.
people said my parents voted m democratic. >> it is a very hard for bush and he ends up loosing that race as well for the senate. >>. >> it appears we have lost this race. i have kind of grown up in an athletic competitive world. nobody likes to lose. as i said earlier, i have a horrible problem figuring this out because i can't think of anybody else to blame. thank you very much. >> bushes are not supposed to cry but they are sentimental and
they do. george w. bush feels terrible about it. the family is devastated. we are hurting. we lost. we wanted to win. >> it was very heavy blow. he was so depressed by the results of the election that when an aid said congressman, wra do we do with all of your files he said throw them all away. >> he must be thinking is this the end of my political career? >> i'm not clear whether or not i will be in public service or private business. i really don't know what i'm going to do. next on the bush years. >> when he says i had no knowledge of watergate i believed him. >> he had no idea nixon was lying to him. >> george w. is leading this
life of beers and barbecues. he doesn't flow what know what o do. >> barbara bush becomes clinically depressed. she told no one except george bush. george h.w. bush believes he has a new ally, the most powerful man in america. he is ever loyal to his president and his party. but those he trusts behtray him. >> when he says i had no knowledge of watergate i believe him. >> george will need to keep his family close. >> i get nervous. i'm not a politician. >> as he strives to achieve the power he desires. >> i'm absolutely convinced i will be your next president