tv After Words with Governor John Kasich CSPAN May 7, 2017 11:00am-12:01pm EDT
>> you can watch this and other programs on-line at book tv.o tv.org. c-span, where history unfolds daily. in 1979, c-span was created as a public service by america's cable television companies. that's brought to you today by your cable or satellite provider. up next on after words, ohio governor and former republican presidential candidate john kasich discusses the 2016 presidential race and his outlook on america's future in his book "two paths, america divided or united", he's
interviewed by former new jersey governor, christine todd whitman. governor kasich, it's a pleasure. i think the last time i saw you was in our barn when we were doing a fundraiser during that presidential campaign. >> you know, governor, you're just an incredible person and really a role model. you're a role model for everybody and also a role model for women. having two 17-year-old twin daughters. >> host: you've got your hands full. >> guest: i want them to know what is possible. your whole world is your oyster and don't ever let anybody hold you back. you know, ayou're just one of the people i've watched for ma many, many years. i'm not trying to flatter, but, but i have begin to see people now i have respect for, because you were a leader as governor,
a leader at the epa, a leader all of your life. i ran into senator luger the other day, you know, who worked with-- >> a wonderful guy. >> guest: worked with sam nunn on the usual of trying to rid the world of some of these nuclear weapons. i was with bill bradley last night and i saw senator bob carey a couple months ago. i don't know about you, but when i see these folks bigger than life to acted for their country rather than their party. >> host: it's frustrating, we seem to have lost that. first of all, let me say i'm impressed by your book, because it's very personal, insightful, and very clear on the kinds of things that you think are at the bottom of our challenges as a country. and i wanted to ask you to start off. you talk about two paths. how did you come to that title? do you want to get into that a little bit? >> when i think back on my
career as a republican, it wasn't always comfortable because i'm basically a populi populist, but i'm a positive populist. i can understand the troubles, definitely of working people because that's where i grew up. where i grew up, the wind blew the wrong way and people found themselves out of work. and i've always felt those folks needed to be heard and to be respected, but there's negative populism, which is, you know, not issisomething tha appreciate at all. negative populism, sometimes a blame game on everybody else, a quick fix. there's not much of an element in there of hate. we've got to always pick ourselves up. there's an element of responsibility that we have to ourselves and to our family and so, as a positive populist, you know, i can understand the problems that we went two paths, one was, it's somebody else's fault and you got ripped
off and i'm here to fix everything, you know, and snap of a finger, versus me with the only time in my life i was ever a boring candidate because i didn't say-- make wild promises. you know, it's interesting, being governor was a disadvantage. you would never think so. >> host: really? >> you know why it was? i wasn't willing to do things to get the attention and this was a time where the crazier stuff you did, the more you got on television, the more people liked it. it's just-- >> it's always frustrating watching the debates. >> totally bizarre. >> host: and i was looking at the earned media of trump out to here and yours was like that and you wanted to say because he's not crazy, won't say crazy things. >> when i'm elected on day one, i'm going to tear up the iran nuclear deal, what do you think, john? . we have to see how it is, we can't predict the future. that's boring and it wasn't just out of donald trump, there
were a lot of candidates doing this. >> host: i know. you're right being a governor because you have to solve problems for everybody, as governor. >> yeah, i'm not sure that -- i think in some respects it's a disadvantage. i don't want to make false promises. all we have is our reputation, right. >> host: exactly. >> so, the negative path was sort of down and, you know, woe is me and i feel for these people, but there's no quick fix and so, this is something we're going to face, i think, for a while into the futurement particularly with the digital revolution coming, you know, the number one occupation, i don't know if you know this, probably do, the number one occupation in america are drivers. with the creation of autonomous vehicles, they're not going to be driving. so what are woo he -- we going to do? if we think we're torn apart today, wait until these folks are taken out of their jobs and
what are we going to do about their skills. that's on the education system. >> host: you talk in the book about trump won and we should learn something about that. i have posited for long time that the trump and sanders voters were two sides of the same coin. they were the frustrated and angry and scared people, they didn't care if the person they supported could do what they said they were going do do, that they said that they were going to do something. do you think that congress learned the lesson? >> i think that congress is so dysfunctional. you know this, having worked with the legislature. what we've done we're gerrymandered and then people have gone out and sought the information that reinforced their views and shut out the information that didn't do that. and now if you're a republican, in the safe district, we used to talk about safe districts, you could take all kind of
risks. now if you're in a safe district, you have to watch from the right and the left if you're a democrat and congress is going like this, and he think that people gave up bowling and took up watching cable television and now they're very impatient and demanding of their representatives and compromise is the worst thing you can do. cavorting with a democrat. saying something nice about donald trump if you're a democrat or something nice about barack obama, when you're a republican, that just was not stood for. and so, we have this polarization and i think it's a big problem. >> host: part of this gets to what you're saying about the media because with the digital revolution, what we're seeing, at least it seems from polls and studies, is that people are going to sites that reinforce their current opinion. >> correct. >> host: how do we get them out of that? how do we get people out of their comfort zone and willing
to move beyond this? >> see, what i think has to happen in our country and it's not just the divided congress. i read in the new york times, this one woman moved her wedding from america to italy because she couldn't get her relatives there, she was afraid there would be a riot, fighting one another about politics. look, i've got one of my boyhood friends told me he cannot talk to his father at all about politics. his father is 90 and dave was telling me the other day, he said all we do is shout at each other. i don't even go there anymore. we know you unfriend somebody on facebook, if they say something you don't like. see, i think that there are things that pull us together. i'll give you what i think a couple of them are. one is, this drug problem. the dea, drug enforcement agency told me that the only way to win this is education, starting very young, and all the way through. we ought to have groups in our
neighborhoods that work to spread this message to young people. i believe in mentoring programs, they're the most powerful thing to give kids confidence. that's not republican or democrat. the drug issue is not republican or democrat, that's human, it's a human issue. or somebody that lives in your neighborhood that's lost their spouse of 60 years, we all have to pitch in and help a person like that. as we begin to work together to solve some of these things in our neighborhood, we're going to learn to communicate with one another and then we can send a message up to the leaders that they've got to knock this stuff off. i was on the daily show with trevor noah and i thought this was fascinating, he said if you think about united airline, all of us have sent a message, all of us who fly on airplanes have sent a message to the company, we're not going to put up with this. so the movement is coming bottom up, rather than top down, and so if we've got to get the citizens together again
instead of fighting and then they'll tell the politicians to knock it off. this is a long, unwinding of a problem that's been happening for, i think, a couple of decades. you know, you've been watching. >> host: i agree with you on that. one. things i found was encouraging was the march for science which basically started from the march for women, people out there saying something positive in this is what we've got to support. yes, it was a hit on, particularly in this country for the cutbacks on science. >> guest: but i think the march on science, to are science. >> host: for. >> guest: for science, brought the republicans and democrats together. i don't think you had to be in one party. >> host: no shall it was not partisan. >> guest: there's concerns about cuts to nih that we're all concerned about and epa, all of these kinds of things, so, i think the activism is good, but we can't just show up to these things based on just what we think. >> host: right. >> guest: and go there with venom. i mean, i saw some of the interviews, the march on science.
i had a friend that actually came here, he's a very conservative republican and marched with his daughter and wore a great t-shirt he was bragging about and talking about, that kind of activism is positive activism. not a negative, we just hate somebody else. >> host: most of it was pitched that way, from the things that i saw. >> guest: yes. >> host: it was finally scientists getting a voice and speaking out. they don't usually. i love there was a sign, i thought it was new zealand or chant, that said what do we want, fact based science. when do we want it? after peer review. actually going to get a lot of people on the street, i'm afraid. a recent poll from harvard and the thing that i found surprising and troubling, 59% of the kids who answered, who sponsored, who responded to it
wanted to unite america and that's what we needed to do, but in saying that, only 21% wanted anything to do with politics as a way to do that, wanted to serve at all in public service. >> guest: that's okay. >> host: and yet, the good part-- >> they'll find a way there. >> host: they have to. at the end of the day. >> guest: they don't like politics. >> host: i don't blame them. i don't blame them. >> guest: i don't want to do anything with that stuff over there, but here is what i can be part of and in being part of that, they're going to be able to develop friendships and communication and we fight with one another, right? we argue and all that and we become buddies and then we laugh, then we laugh at all the stuff on the other side and then maybe we get serious and people will migrate from there over in public safety-- public service. >> host: the majority don't want to do community service. what about government programs to encourage this kind of thing?
get back to kennedy and-- >> i've been back and forth on that. i don't think a government-- to encourage we have it now. we have some programs like that. what if we required some public service, you know, for a year or whatever when you got out of school and i've been thinking about it because it brings people of diverse backgrounds-- you know, they say the military has done more to integrate and to desegregate society because you have people of different backgrounds and obviously races and income, you know, family income, and they come together and they learn to get along and maybe that's part of-- many' going to think about it. >> host: that's interesting. because i'm smiling just because i've been thinking about that for a while, too. if you required everyone to take a year nobody got ahead of be somebody else in the business world, that's what they're so afraid of, to do some form of public service, military or some other public service, i think it would be an enormously good thing. i think it works in countries
like israel, a lot smaller, obviously, easier to do, but i think it's a positive way because we do need to think about how do we get these young people to find the way to make the difference. >> guest: you know, i think they're thinking about this because they saw their parents chase the almighty buck and there's nothing wrong with wanting to be wealthy, but if it's that chase without value, i see these young people and i went across the country in the campaign, i saw them being, hey, i just don't want that, i want something more meaningful than that and that's a cause for real optimism and they're more open to ideas, i think. i mean, by and large, i think they're a lot more objective and they can listen better. >> host: that's something i wanted to ask you. and what would you say were your greatest take aways from the campaign? what did you learn? you did more town hall meetings than i think anybody has ever done.
>> guest: i'll tell you what i learned. i started off with balanced budgets, we believe in that, tax cuts and deregulation and that's a given, but that's not what people were there for. people in my opinion at these town halls were there because they wanted to believe that somebody cared about them. it was more of the heart and the soul than it was of the head. i was -- to the listeners, i was telling the governor that i took up swimming after the olympics because i wanted to look like these guys and i failed, but in the course of swimming, christie, i dropped my cell phone in the swimming pool and i got the phone-- in fact, i had my wife get the phone and i wasn't good at swimming, she dove down and got it and i went to the verizon store and i had it changed. they made me wait a couple of hours and i said what do i owe you, they said this is for
free, we made you wait too long. i was flabbergasted. are you kidding me? the lady in charge said last week a woman came in here with her smartphone, we had done something to break her smartphone. we fixed it and we gave it back to you and she said what do i owe you and i looked at the woman and i said you don't owe us anything. she said the woman started to cry, get emotional and she said nobody ever treats anybody like that anymore. and so, to me, this is part of the face issue where we need to learn to put ourselves in other people's shoes and i learned that that's what people wanted. they wanted somebody to celebrate their victories and understand their pain, and slow down, john, slow down. and i move so darn fast, but i get reminded from time to time, you know, just slow down.
let me just tell you one other thing. this would be very unusual to be said on television. i was reading -- i happen to be a christian and i was reading about jesus. he always slowed down when somebody needed something. and i read the commentary about it and it was a matthew henry commentary and it said if we could slow down to take care of people, why can't you? i read that and i went, you know what? that's absolutely right. take one more minute with somebody and i'm not good at it, okay? but i try. and in by better days, i slow down. isn't that interesting? that's what people want, they want us to look them in the eye and pay attention to them and give them a smile and a hug and not let them think they're out there all alone. >> host: how do we get back to that now?
we've got the rhetoric. what bothered me from the get-go, the fears and factored encouraged. that creates a separation that's hard to bridge against. what can we do from the outside, to bridge the administration that we have in a moment. >> i started these things called the governor's courage awards. this year i gave out three of them. one guy worked in poverty and he's training people and getting them back to work and giving them a place to sleep and i gave him an award. i gave a judge an award who took women who had been human trafficked, instead of locking them up, got to the root cause and he gave them the opportunity to get their records clean to be in rehabilitation and have a new start. and my wife has been supportive of that program. i gave that judge an award. and judges are worried
sometimes are they going to be thought soft. and this guy connected with people more than the others. this guy was driving a bus and he was on a bridge and he saw a woman getting ready to jump off the bridge and he stopped the bus in the middle of traffic, got out of his bus, walked over, distracted her and said to her. i think maybe you need a hug. in the process having notified the police and saved her life. the film went viral. and i gave the by a courage award. an important person in the world. we have to honor the people that say i'm going to work at this it's ground up, who are we going to rely on, do you count
on the politicians in washington to fix this. >> host: not me. >> i don't, but over time, we can start to see, i think, the great leaders emerge again and i would like to be part of it, whether i'm in or out. >> i think you'll definitely be part of it. i don't think that's much of a question. let me ask you, you talk in the book and you use an example of building that holocaust memorial. and you're talking about how keeping at something is important when you think of the right thing to do. do you want to go into that in a little depth in case of that. >> a holocaust celebration and all the people that are at the capital square come in, and we spend an hour and they say some things and everybody leaves and it goes back to normal and i thought to myself sitting there. wait a minute, are we thinking about this all the time. when kids come to the capital, they ought to understand who the capital was and what
happens when people take over and participated, and some that did. i got up to speak and i announced we are going to have a holocaust memorial in the capital. and they said you can't do that. i said i can't? why don't i build it out on the ground? and it was a multi-year process to be able to push that through. and i got it through, it's incredible memorial, designed by daniel leapskin one of the world's greatest architects. last week a ymca group game, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th grade. would you go down and talk to them. i said sure, wanted to be in ohio, one more big thing before i left. in the course of my talking to them, a kid fainted and we had
to move. so we walked from the front of the state house over to the holocaust memorial, and i got up on one of the walls and i talked to those kids about what this memorial was all about. and i said, you need to go and read what happened here, you need to understand. i said you see that thing that's written, if you save one life, you've saved the world, all of those groups should be there. because what it is is inspiring. you believe in something, go for it. even if you've got to fight a lot to get it done. you've done it all of your lifetime, are you kidding? you got to the point you were willing to give up big things, big things because it violated your principles. why do you think i like you? >> i don't know, that's always the question. [laughter] >> and one of the lessons we've learned, when i was at the national governor's association, you didn't know whether the person sitting next to you was republican or democrat and didn't matter and now i gather that's gotten much more political. >> it is.
even inside of the organization. >> ask now? >> yeah, it's all gotten-- it's become inspected between governors and i'm not a member of the national governors association and i don't need to go to meetings where nothing gets done and all i see is no serious work together. i'm trying to do a little bit with some democrat governors right now on health care, and we'll see how far i can get on that because we do need health care reform, but we can't just cut people off, millions of people off and not give nem-- them the care they need. it's unfortunately, not political and not good. we need to swing it back. >> it's a shame because my staff wasn't always happy when i went, i'd come back with a list and here is what we've got to try. it makes sense and-- >> i need to tell you, i'm telling you stories, and i haven't said during this tour, but the stories, a governor of connecticut, not running again, dan malloy.
the first time i met him i was in the white house with president obama and he and i sat together and it wasn't very pleasant and then i saw him and we chatted. we went to the inauguration and we sat next to one another, dan malloy and i and it started to rain and he gave me his rain coat. he said i don't want you to get wet, governor, here, you take this, i want you to be dry. and i-- i have to tell you, i mean, i'm telling the story here, right, dan, i know you're not listening, but somebody is else and they'll tell you, thanks for that rain coat. >> host: it made a difference. >> that's sort of like the humanness. and that's what we need to have. there are people there that want to do this. it's not like everybody wants to fight. we just have to honor those who step up. >> host: that's where i think no labels and problem solvers caucus in congress comes in. that's growing. we, the people, have to support those who are willing to take
on leadership you know, i love my party, but love my country more and i'm not going to vote on the party line on this because it's wrong. >> and i as a public official, i'm not supporting any more candidates, including in my party if they're not going to be positive. if they're going to be-- if they're going to be, you know, divisive and negative and down in the ditch, i'm not supporting them. >> host: and you've never run a negative campaign, neither did i. did you have a -- any kind of a pledge, a clean campaign pledge or any kind of standard? >> you know, i think it's okay -- i think it's okay if you run a comparison, here is the record. >> host: exactly, that's different. >> but to start sliming people, i think it's from the pale. and there were ads by the super pac, i didn't like, i thought it was a negative message and i couldn't call them and talk to them and i'd do an interview and i'd say i really don't like that ad.
it's a little different now, we're at the tail end of our careers, right? it's easy to pontificate, but i think-- >> for you-- >> and i think we've conducted ourselves-- well, self-congratulatory, that's the last thing these people want to hear. >> host: no, they'd like to know more about you. you talk about your feeling you were ready to serve came from how you were brought up and wrp you were brought up. you want to discuss that a little more. >> my mother had a lot of the traits that i have and frankly, a lot of the traits that you have. she was one of those, let's just tell it like it is. now, you're a refined lady. i come from a very, you know, sort of ethnic blue collar and we were more loud about it and my mother though, she was something else. god bless her, she saw something she didn't like, she didn't care where it was, she'd speak out on it and i learned that from my mother, that she use today say johnnie, tell it like it is. and you know, i mean, there's
an element of that. i think that's why i would call myself a populist republican and sticking up for people who don't always get stuck up for, but my-- there was a book i read when i was in courage, said if you really want to understand presidents go back and look at their mothers and fathers and impact on them. who impacted you? who gave you your drive and-- was it your father, your mother, or both? >> it was both and you found that, too. >> well, my father was a postman and he knew everybody's business, every neighborhood and he had a nice smile on his face, so i like to think i'm a little bit of a combination of both of them, but i think early in my career, i was more strident and now in my career i'm a little more settled down, i'm not sure my wife would agree with na. >> host: well, yeah, you know, wives do know a little bit more about their spouses than the spouses might like. a question for you, very early on you started to get interested in policy and what
was happening, not so much politics, but policy. but you were willing to get outside of your comfort zone and i'm thinking particularly of your pressing to meet with president nixon. >> yeah. >> host: that was a fun story, i like that. >> well, i was a college student, first quarter freshman and there were some things that upset me at ohio state and some things i wanted to find out so i asked for a meeting with the president. university. it was a struggle, but i got in and went to see him and told him what i was concerned about. sir, i've been in school a couple of weeks and i don't know what i want to be, but when i look at this office you have and your desk and chairs and all, maybe this is a job for me, what do you do and he said, well, i have academic responsibilities and fund raising responsibilities, but tomorrow i'm going to see president nixon. i said do you think i could go with you. he said no. i said if i write a letter would you give it to the president? he said i guess i could do that. so, i wrote a letter, went back to my dorm, wrote a letter
telling him how i thought, most of it was positive. gave it to the president of the university. he carried the letter to washington and at the end of my letter i wrote, ps, if you want to discuss this further, let me know. a couple of weeks later i get a letter back from the white house and it's from the president, and he invited me to the oval office to have chat with him and i called home and my mother answered the phone, i said mom, i'm going to need an airline ticket. the president of the united states would like a talk with me in. and she said honey, pick up the phone there's something wrong with our son. >> and i had 20 minutes there, unbelievable thing to happen in my life. i don't think most things happen by accident, i think that things tend to happen on purpose and when good things happen, you know, i'm a work in progress governor, when good things happen, you've got to discuss be appreciative of it
and don't, you know, a lot of good things have happened to me in my lifetime and i appreciate the fact that i've had a podium, an opportunity to speak. this is my fourth book and i mean, it's really cool. people say, what are you proud of? my daughters, my marriage and all that, but i mean, this is like, i've written four books, i can't believe it, you know? >> that's a lot of work. >> hopefully this will do well and why do i feel strongly? because i think that people can pick something up from the book. they can learn from it. and i think it's a good one. i'm really happy about it. >> i think it's a good one, too. you want to get into more-- faith is important to you and your religion. how awkward or how comfortable with you in talking with it and about it on the campaign trail and what about people's reaction? was there something-- >> here is the thing in 1987, when i was a little boy i was worried when my father went to
pick my mother up in his job in downtown pittsburgh that they would not come back because they would go on a very dangerous road. and then i got to be 35 years old, i guess it was, i was 35, and i got a call at 11:45 at night and the doctor said i have terrible news for you, your father's-- a terrible accident, your father is dead and your mother's going to die. and i got to pittsburgh that night and the girl i was going with drove me there. and i went into the hospital and my mother never regained consciousness. and there was a young minister in there and he started telling me about faith and i said look, man-- he said i'm so sorry. and i said you don't have a clue. started yelling at this guy and over the next couple of weeks, he started asking me my position vis-a-vis the big guy and he said to me, john, you don't understand, going to male, but you have a window of opportunity. why don't you go and figure out what you really think.
as a young man i'd gone through the religious motions and maybe felt inspired at times and it was legitimate, but i drifted away. so i read everything i could. i disrupted more religious studies groups than you can even imagine and 30 years later and on the way, i concluded there's a god, that he cares about me and he's transcendent and here is the thing where i think religion has gone wrong. first of all, you've got religious leaders that play politics, they shouldn't be endorsing candidates, this is nonsense. secondly a lot of preach who is sleeping with who and all of this other stuff. i don't care about that. what i care about, love god which brings about humility and love your neighbor as you love yourself. to me religion is about hope, a second chase, it's about grace, a chance to brush yourself off and start anew. so, i talk about it and i think, you know, have i know there's somebody that really cares me about me who is transcendent and i know a little what's expected about me
i have a better chance of hitting the mark than if i'm wandering the woods without a compass. i'm not going to shove this down by anybody's throat. it's my gift to people, check it out. if you don't like it, fine. it's not, not the sweat off me, but i just want you to know what i found and it's not always right for me. it doesn't take away all the pain or make life easy, but it does give you perspective. i am convinced that in a mature society what happens, there's a tendency for man to put himself on the throne and to take god off the throne and in that process, we become self-absorbed and we lose our objectivity and now, all of a sudden, it's a subjective judgment about proper behavior and i don't buy that. if you're a humanist, you want to heal the world and that's consistent with those who practice faith. so, the people don't-- look, i don't have any problem with people. i wrote a book about this, it
was a best seller, it's fine, but i'm not into all of this, you know, you're going to hell and all of that. that's not where i live. >> that's good, i'm glad because otherwise i'd be troubled. >> you like to play golf. if i said to you, i'm going to tell you about golf. so you know, there's sand traps and there's water hazards and if you move the ball, it's a penalty. you know, and so let's go play, isn't this great? or if i say to you, hey, golf is about the outdoors, it's the ball against the horizon, it's the sun, it's the comradeship, all of a sudden, you go i might want to try that. >> yeah, that's absolutely right. >> we should not sell the rules of the religion, we should sell the hope of it and that's kind of what i try to do a little bit. >> you certainly do it in the book and i think it's a powerful message. as you say, you can take it or leave it. it's up to you. >> it's up to you. >> as to how you think about it, but it's troubling to me to see how many, i'm with you, religious leaders kind of impose themselves into the political process and that just
taints is all, it seems. >> i mean, what are they doing? their job is it to feed the hungry and clothe the poor. i think that martin luther said it's up to those people in religion to give values and it's up to the people to decide who their leaders ought to be. it's not up to the-- what are these people in the cloth picking our leaders? that's not their job. a lot of them won't like what i am saying, but you know what? think about what i said. so-- >> pretty clear. what do you think, now that there's been some time to reflect on the campaign, how do you think your daughters -- what have they taken away from it. >> host: you end with a letter to them. >> the letter from my daughter reese to me right before that was pretty incredible and i was telling them a lot of the republicans were mad at me and
all that and she quoted dr. suess and said, you know, for those that care-- for those that matter, they don't care about my position and those who care, don't matter. i mean, it was like, it's an astounding and stunning e-mail that my daughter sent to me. my daughters, one of my daughters is more interested in politics than the other one. she's a little liberal and i say, now, reese, look, if you ever run for office you've got to good name, okay? but you can't be way out here because you're going to have to be a republican. my daughter emma, she's just-- it's not-- politics is not her thing, but she told her mother, she said, you know, mom, it's not so bad that reese is a feminist, but what i really don't like is that she's a liberal, too. so they are starting to understand politics and we don't talk about it really at home. we don't-- this is not what we talk about. i don't talk to my wife, really, about this unless i have a, you know, something
that's really bothering me. i leave that at the door and she's very insistent that i don't go in the house with my phone and keep being distracted. they're great and i love them and they support me and all is good. >> what have you done-- i found when i was governor one. things i insisted on john and i would go away with the kids for a week, and do something we haven't, hire a van, go to the national parks, whitewater kayaking or mountain biking, j us to have the time all four of us were doing something together to be a family. how did you set aside time the responsibilities of a governor and being a family. >> i haven't found a job that are complicatedly hard, sometimes it's tough, when you're playing politics, it's demand. >> it's 24/7 as a governor. sometimes i take them with me on things and it's cool.
i went to atlanta on martin luther king day and took my daughter reese. and a took my daughter emma privately just the two of us. and reese the same way. my wife and i separated our and university and left the kids at home with somebody to watch over them. by christmas we have a place to stay down know florida, we're excited about that. and we eat dinner a lot together. i mean, we do. dinner doesn't last long, but we're all there. and i have a little bit of something i've got to take care of when i get home, but all in all, it's good. and kids are well-adjusted. my wife is fine. i think what she's concerned about is in 18 months, i won't have this job. and then i'm going to be around a lot more. and i think she's concerned about that. so-- >> i don't think she'll have to worry much somehow. >> probably right. >> i think you'll be on the-- >> probably right. but the family thing is really important. you don't want to be successful
and ignore your kids. this is not good, or your spouse, right? >> no, that's one-- >> and by the way, we stayed at our home. we never moved to the governor's mansion or residence a big fence around it. now that they're 17 and beautiful girls, maybe i should be where theres' a fence. we have a state trooper that sits out of our house and i said to my wife, why aren't more kids coming over here. she said john, how many boys do you know who want to come with are there's a state trooper in our driveway. >> with a gun. >> and that's normal, right? >> and cover for my kids on occasion. >> i live a very normal life. i mean, i go to the grocery-- people see me in the grocery store. oh, you go to the grocery store. >> how else am i going to get my groceries? >> do i that, i play golf pat a club where people are swimming.
i go to the swimming pool. i'm around town, so, i'm not really kind of isolated. i live a normal, pretty normal life and i think that's been healthy for our family. >> sure. did you do a lot of trade missions as governor? >> no, i did -- i just went to the conference in munich with john mccain and i meet some leaders and in london. i'm probably going to do more, i don't want to do something if it's not going to make sense and can't have success. i think in the next year and a half i'll probably do more. >> in the course of the presidential campaign, how much time did you spend in bringing yourself up-to-date on what's happening. >> oh, every day. like even on this book tour, i'm on the phone yesterday, for a long time with and on the phone, i stay in constant
communication and they're very good at reaching out and telling me, and i did a lot of work before i left for this trip. for the year or so that i was gone, i would sneak back as often as i could and get back as often as i could, but the phone is an amazing inning and i tell people, actually phones can connect from wherever you are to wherever they are and so, though you have to stay on top of it because i had to run the government and being governor is a number one priority. >> absolutely. >> without question. >> but it's an interesting jeks at that position trying to do that balance as you're running for president, there are broader issues you don't have to worry about so much as a governor, ie, the international scene. but tell me a little bit and dive a little bit in to your experience as a congressman. you know, you were responsible for some pretty major pieces of legislation. how-- >> i also was on the defense
committee for years and most people don't know that. >> tell me more how that helped inform you before you ran for governor, but particularly in the presidential race, because it would seem to me that a lot of -- you brought a lot from that to that race. >> i was very comfortable. comfortable on the international scene. i served on the armed services committee for the 18 years i was there and for the first, i think it was like six years, it was the only committee i served on and in that role, you know, i went to the soviet union before the wall came down, i went to saudi arabia before the war to visit troops, obviously, i went to many places. i went to africa. and that was a little different purpose, but i was there. i also, as a part of national security, you know, i became friends with bono and we start today try to figure out how to help in africa, to use foreign aid effectively that would help leverage who we are and show people who we are. but you know, i went places, i went to panama, i went to el
salvador, in nicaragua, places where it made a difference for me to go. being on the armed services committee allowed me to kind of look at the world and the threat and develop the way i think about how we intervene, where we don't intervene. the interesting thing, i was 30 years old, i guess it was, i was elected in 1982, and in 1983, i cast my first foreign policy vote and i voted against u.s. troops in lebanon. >> really? >> and reagan was the president and i opposed him and there were only a handful and it was about a month or two after that where our barracks were blown up and i learned a lesson about being in the middle of civil wars, i don't like it. so that was a great, great opportunity to learn about the side of the country that, i mean, i didn't want to go on any other committees. i want today focus on that and i learned an enormous amount and i got to work with some. greatest people. barry goldwater, john sennas,
people that younger people won't know, gary hart and in the house, people who served in world war ii, amazing people, conservatives democrats who i loved and les aspen, a brilliant defense thinker and it was a time when republicans and democrats, there was no difference, we were all out to unseat the communists and we did. >> and the right thing. and the other side, with the budget. >> and i did the budget and i understood pentagon reform, i mean, the whole thing, again, it was-- i was kinds of an aciconclast, i said we should reform the pentagon like the welfare system. you weren't supposed to say that as a republican, you were supposed to look past that and i worked with ron, who we
looked at procurement of the b-2 bomber and job is it to fly into soviet union and drop bombs in the middle of a nuclear war. i said we don't need many planes to do that and that was a fight, and that limited production. and that carried over to work on the budget committee. there was an incident where i want today control the growth of pentagon spending and i was in a meeting with the leadership and somebody accused me of being a traitor to the country. >> really? >> i don't know whatever possessed me, but i looked at them and i said you don't have to call. he looked at me what you don't have to call. >> i said you're already forgiven, you're going to wake up in the middle of night and apologize, but please, please don't call me, i want sleep and you're already forgiven. and the room just went dead
still, which was really cool. >> that's terrific. that's one of those few times when you think of the right thing to say at the right time. >> let me ask you a question. when you were the governor and decided to go to the epa, was it a hard decision for you to leave new jersey and-- >> it was and it wasn't. it was my last year, i was termed out. in new jersey, it's got a lot of power, constitutionally, they're not looking alt what you're doing, what you're doing is locking in your legacy and i should have stayed around and done more of. it's awful hard when a president-elect calls and he didn't call the vice-president elect called and would you serve the country. epa was not my first choice. >> what would you have liked to have done? >> either gone to the united states or commerce, i figured i'd do more. i'd done a lot on commerce, a not of international work as governor and i thought i could be helpful there. i'm pro choice and the united
nations makes some decisions and gives money to programs that help women make decisions on how to use their bodies. and so, that wasn't going to work. but epa is an important position and i learned a lot there and came to respect the men and women who worked there and work so hard and of course, was there for 9/11 which was really, really challenging, but and then the challenger and the anthrax. nobody remembers that anthrax and cleaning up that senate office building. so, it was good, but it was-- it was tough to leave new jersey. >> when you think today, i'm back in my old role as a tv host. when you hear about the issue of climate change and the environment and what goes through your mind? it seems as though it's a controversial subject. maybe less so now, but how do you-- >> i think it's more so now. >> i think it's more controversial now? >> right, i'm--
it boggles my mind that republicans are responding the way they are because it's such a republican issue. first of all, conservation, conservative, it starts with conservative, if you look at the first president to set aside public land was abraham lincoln and we know about teddy roosevelts and the national parks. and we know that it was richard nixon who established the environmental protection agency. working with a democratic congress. back to your point, and people working together. the interesting thing is, if we remember back, none of the audience will remember back to the 1970. but in 1970, 69, 70, we had anti-vietnam riots on our college campuses and kids killed and cities burning with a race riot and it wasn't because congress thought, gee, we have nothing better to do let's go after the environments. and they said, enough, we don't like rivers spontaneously combusting.
>> and that's to your point, bottom up. >> people have got to engage. one thing i want to ask before we finish, you've been flat-out, running and it's tough, and writing a book. have you had time to read much? and what kind of books attract your attention? what have you been-- >> yeah, well, i just finished a great book called "the boys in the boat". >> host: isn't that wonderful? it's fabulous. >> it's an incredible book and now i'm reading "the guns of august", with barbara tuckman world war i, you would have thought i read that book, but i haven't. i read a fiction book i thought was terrific, it was referred to me by joel klein in new york. all the lights in the city. >> that's another great book. i do read and i read a lot of philosophy, too. i mean, a lot of really, frankly, spiritual philosophy, but my wife reads almost one book a week. >> host: really?
>> and she just finished the book "roosevelt's last battle". >> host: that's on my list, i haven't. >> and i'm so proud of her, she's a voracious reader and give me her-- the things that she thinks i would really enjoy. and so what i do, i absorb a lot of information every day with my ipad and i read magazines, too, you know, i am ooh, i wish the new yorker stories could be longer, what, are you kidding? don: exactly, are you sure? >> are you kidding me? >> take your whole ipad up? >> i absorb a lot of information and, but i probably will do a lot more reading. i do love-- what's better than a great book. >> host: one is called "three days in january" transition between eisenhower and kennedy. the thing that makes it so power for me is eisenhower's concern, nuclear weapons was an issue, cuban missile crisis
happened during, rights after that transition, and his concern about ensuring that you had civilian control over the military. from a three star-- a five-star general, i mean. >> right. >> host: a lot that translates and the other about eisenhower, "ike's gamble", the suez crisis, the first time that we really got involved in the middle east and the mistakes that we made and big mistakes, they're very informational books. let me ask you. >> one more that i read, i think one of the best books i've read in a long, long time. david mccollough's book on the wright brothers. and he's just-- >> wonderful. >> a genius, just a genius. >> host: at the world war ii museum. >> all the people from north carolina, kittyhawk, all you had was a bunch of stands in the winds and we created the airplane in ohio so just remember that.
[laughter] >> national title or not. we claim aviation, not you, okay? >> you're going to get some pushback on that. >> that's okay. >> host: i'm sure. anyway, i was going to ask you, what newspapers do you read? >> well, i read the new york times, i read usa today, i read wall street journal, i look at times at the atlantic magazine. sometimes i will look at daily beast, and read a panoply and then fox news website, the bbc, a lot of stuff going over. bbc, but i also really like to look at the information on the golf channel. [laughter] >> did you watch condi rice's interview? >> i haven't seen it.
i was happy about the victory of sergio garcia at the masters with the remarkable, remarkable victory and condi, of course, is a member down there. i notice she's never invited me to play golf down there. >> host: she might get the hint there. >> i walked in here with a guy from spain and i congratulated him on sergio's victory and he was really happy and i said there was a great golfer named selfy and he four-putted on the green, sevy. and how did he managed to four putt. he said, i miss, i miss, i miss, i make. [laughter] >> on something like that. do you think-- and put it another way, don't do you think the pga, and w pga have to do something for-- four strokes, two strokes, maybe, but she didn't get the
ball back exactly right. >> but this girl, lexi thompson has more-- as bad as it was she didn't win that tournament. she's now almost a household word. >> host: oh, i know. >> guest: this is unbelievable that somebody is looking at the thing that, it was like, like that, you know-- >> what camera did they have? >> you know what people are saying now there's almost a revolution in the golf world. they're beginning to say who was it that called? we want full transparency. they will ruin the game if they don't-- the rules are really critical, but let's not do that. >> host: you can't do second guess the next day and penalize her those two extra strokes the next day for signing the wrong card that was the day before and nobody knew. >> i tweeted that i saw a foul in the north carolina game as i reviewed my tape and they need to play the game over. [laughter]
>> anyway, we'll lose them all if we keep talking. >> we better be careful. it's frustrating and so much good with the internet and yet, the potential for abuse is so great. we don't want to regulate, but how do we-- how do we-- >> it's hard. somebody told me today, there was fake news put out about me. an article from over in europe, i saw it and laughed and it was so outrageous and i found out somebody added it to wikipedia, i heard it a couple of hours ago. we need to go and take it down and correct it, yeah, it's just-- people can do hit jobs on you on the thing and that's why i hope that people will be discerning when they read. they say, believe none of what you read and only half of what you see. i think that's not a bad philosophy. >> host: a good way to get through, but it's a challenge now, and people get so much information and as we said before, it's getting people out of the comfort zone. i'm with you and if you read the new york times, read the wall street journal. >> yes.
>> host: if you watch fox news, watch msnbc or the, i like, i'm with you, i like the bbc is most in the middle, but the truth is somewhere in the middle of those things. >> that's right. >> and that's what people have to get to, but that requires thinking. >> and it says that now we're beginning to see people who are fighting back on-line against stories that are not true. so now there's an activist group dwelling to try to set the record straight. i haven't seen too much about it, but i did see a couple of articles. >> good to know. and one thing talking with professors at universities, one of the hardest things they have to do is teach kids about plagiarism because they take it off the internet and they say i don't have to cite this because it's on the internet and also believing everything they get from wick peed -- wikipedia or one of those sites. >> one thing i want to talk about our education systems
k-through 12 and higher ed. if they don't get their act together and start educating people with the skills of the jocks in the -- for the jobs in the future and fit the skills that they have passion for. right now our education system is operating based on 100-year ago philosophy and our universities cost too much. not being enough done to rein in the cost, to get them back to what their core mission is. i'm very concerned about this. this revolution is coming. as i mentioned earlier about the driving, about the use of sensors, artificial intelligence. there are going to be people who would be, who would be in the insurance industry or even the financial services industry, who will lose their jobs because of artificial intelligence. we see these commercials with edison, you know, edison with at&t, and you know, where they give an answer. i mean.
>> edison is from new jersey. >> and this is the-- well. >> thomas edison. >> yes, but you know, born in ohio, as you know. >> we have, we're joined. >> yes, we're joined at the hip. >> host: well, we have to wrap up and i want to thank you, it's been fun. >> thank you. >> host: it's been good to see you. >> great to see you and hope the viewers found it interesting. >> host: the book is excellent. read it. >> thank you. c-span, where history unfolds daily. in 1979, c-span was created as a public service by america's cable television companies and it's brought to you today by your cable or satellite provider. here is a look at some books published this week.
former secretary of state condoleeza rice looks at struggles for independence in democracy. and david garro, the pre-presidential life of barack obama in rising star. pat buchanan former speech writer to richard nixon offered an inside look at the nixon administration in nixon's white house wars. journalist oliphant and wilkey recall president kennedy's campaign on the road to camelot. a look at war crimes committed by the british and continental armies during the revolutionary war in scars of independence. eva dylan writes on her father's career as an american intelligence officer and cia's top soviet agency in "spies in the family", and two navalmen's efforts to find their younger
brother, missing in the philippines in world war ii. and thoughts on the health care system through her own experiences in "no apparent distress", look for these in the coming weeks and many of the authors in the future. on book tv. c-span 2. and welcome to the uniform, astro physics for people in a hur hurry.