Conversation with Sarah Huckabee Sanders CSPAN July 21, 2017 3:13pm-3:38pm EDT
and a privilege to serve at pot @donaldtrump. i will continue my service through august. house medications -- communications director ci made the announcement. >> i would like to announce formally that sarah huckabee secretaryll be the -- -- press secretary so you can , youatulate her after still cannot hear me, no sound? better now? i will start over. you guys heard me in the front. what did i say, sarah will be the press secretary, right? congratulations. [applause]
>> you can see sean spicer's final on camera briefing one month ago in the video library. incoming white house secretary sarah huckabee sanders said down for profile interview with c-span in which she discussed her personal and professional life. he for decision to join the presidential campaign and described her approach to a current -- her current position. this is under half hour. -- a half hour. >> what was it like growing up with a political family? junkiei was a political at effort -- an early age, it is something i love to be part of and even better than that, i had the chance to do something i and and do that with my dad
i cannot think of any better experience growing up and to me it was a privilege and an honor and something that helped prepare me for life that i am living right now. >> you are 11 or 12 when he was running for governor, correct? sarah: the first time he ran for office i was nine years old. going to kids are summer camp i was doing the arkansas festival circuit, passing out push cards and shaking hands and taking on with note and cranny in the state of arkansas. >> why did he pursue a rare in politics? sarah: for him it was a calling, he felt like he had something to offer. arkansas was an extremely democratic state when he was first elected to statewide office in 1993 and that is what office, his first almost 90% of all elected officials in the state, from county judges up to the governor were democrats. he did not feel like they represented him, he had been the
head of the large organization in the state and had a base of support through that, it felt like it was time for him to get off the bench and get in the game and make a difference. >> the political demographics have changed in arkansas. why do you think that is? sarah: in large part because the democratic party that my grandparents grew up being part of is not the democratic party of today. he had southern democrats that were very different than the democratic party today, not nearly as far left. these are people who were pro-life, still cared about a small, localized government and that is not the case at this point. >> you have to older brothers. sarah: i have to older brothers, i am the youngest, the only girl. they may claim i am slightly spoiled. >> were you spoiled? sarah: a little bit.
>> were they interested in politics? sarah: they were but in different capacities. mike older brother is engaged, he knows every historical fact there is, he is incredibly smart , a complete historian when it comes to political history, particularly arkansas history. my other brother david loves politics but he is also very a savvy business person and he was more of the entrepreneur, i went more of the political route and it turns out ok so far. >> we learned that your dad is quite a musician as well. sarah: he is. i think he was a little disappointed that the only instrument my brothers and i played was the radio and i am not sure we did that quite well. musician, itedible was what gave him the ability to go on stage. he grew up pretty shy and the first time he stepped on stage at stepped out in front of a crowd was as a guitar player
area that is what gave him the confidence to carry on and he credits music with the majority of his success early on. >> are you more like your father or mother? sarah: i like to think i am a good mix of both. my dad is not quite as much of a spontaneous nature, i get that for my mom. the ability to do what i am ofng now, probably a mix both but i got to see a lot of that in the front row watching my dad growing up and being part of his campaign. your processrough from being nine or 10 years old, going to events with her father, to being a campaign staffer when he ran for governor for reelection to his own presidential bid. sarah: as a young kid, i traveled with him and when some kids are watching cartoons, i was sitting around with -- listening to pollsters like to did moore's giving cross tabs on
the situation of the u.s. senate and the governor's race for my dad. i got bit by the bug early. i wanted to soak up as much of -- madecould, it may be me a little bit of a nerd. i went to a lot of political events, i went to conferences and love the campaign aspect of it a lot. in large part due to the pace of it and no two days that,ike and so i enjoyed went to college, started off as a political science and physics major and learned quickly that physics probably was not going to be the path i took so i dropped that an added communications and i think it put me certainly again continued that path. i moved to d.c. after college and worked for president bush and his administration and moved back home to arkansas to start working for my dad and help run his campaign for president around 2006. after that campaign,
i spent a good bit of time in iowa, i lived there for several months and ran his iowa operations for the 2008 campaign and then ran john boozman's u.s. senate race in arkansas and tom cotton and temple anti-and a list of other people and landed here. not like the did cold, the iowa winters. sarah: it was the southern blood, i am far more's other than anything else and i love the people of iowa, maybe not quite the temperature. for candidatesd and having your own father ran for president, what is the difference, is it a blessing or a curse to have your dad as a candidate? sarah: it is a little bit of both. when you have an instant ability to probably have conversations from day one with the candidate that you are not going to be able to have with something --
somebody you do not have that type of relationship with and so i was able to say yes and now in pushback more aggressively than you might with another candidate. also having a better understanding of what they would like to my what they would not like, what they want to do, i could look at his schedule and know instantly if this was going to be something, a day he was going to like or if there were things we needed to change around to make it better and more productive and fit his personality better. that was an advantage. the disadvantage sometimes as things, a lot of those he knows that you know he is not going to like that and once in a while he did it anyway so sometimes that can be a blessing and a curse. the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. >> where did you go to college? sarah: i went to arkansas university. i looked everywhere but there. and swore i would never go there and a couple months before i was
set to leave for college and enrolled in a different school, a large university, i changed my mind last minute and decided to ouchita.hington -- for theorked in ohio bush campaign in 2004? sarah: i was part of the administration and they deployed quite a few people from the administration. and went to ohio as a field rep and stood on street corners waving and getting people to honk, tons of door-to-door, hundreds and thousands of phone calls ring that time and ohio turned out to be an important state for him during that election so it was a pretty exciting time to be there. >> for you and all the experiences, how do you define politics? sarah: the basis is communicating a candidate's agenda with the people. betterthere is a political science definition but
when it comes down to it, i think it is about taking the candidate or an elected official even and figuring out how best to committee kate and work with the people that community, find out what they want and how to achieve it. >> when did you say to yourself, i am going to work for donald trump? dad gotuickly after my out of the race, during the campaign i noticed there were a lot of similar reason the rhetoric between my dad and donald trump. my dad is an economic populist so i saw a lot of similarity in that and one of the things i loved about my dad was that even though he had it in politics, he was an outsider particularly to washington and i felt like that was something we desperately needed. i saw that same thing and donald trump even when my dad was still in the race and after he got out, i moved pretty quickly to get on board with now-president trump, i felt like he not only
was the right person to come in and shake up washington but also thought he could win and i wanted to be part of that. >> what did you see that a lot of people did not see, a lot of media, the pundits, within the gop establishment thinking this guy is not going to win, what did you say? sarah: i saw everyday americans create i spent the better part of a year and a half with my dad on the come -- campaign trail and everywhere and they were hungry for change, they were hungry for people -- someone to come in and shake up washington. they wanted someone to come in and burn the place down. they were not as focused as we learned through my dad's campaign, the did not want to summary to change it and burn it down, they were less interested in the buildup, they wanted a massive disruption. i saw that every single day on the campaign trail whether you were at a fundraiser, a state driver takingaxi
you from point a to point b, this was something the country was hungry for and donald trump had tapped into it. >> did you talk to your dad before signing up? sarah: absolutely. his eyes been very supportive and i talked to my dad and my mom but my husband who plays a very big role and certainly would need to be fully on board. i did that and i talked to some people in the trunk campaign and it was it easy decision. >> let's talk about your husband, how did you meet? in iowa on the campaign trail in 2007. he was working for another candidate, he is from kansas, from kansas city and was working for sam brownback, senator of the time and he and my dad were running against each other but we met in iowa when brian came back after brownback got out of
the race, came back to iowa to via -- volunteer for my dad over his christmas break and we met, he ended up joining the campaign. maybe a month later and near the end of the campaign we started eating and kerry are married and three kids later. -- we started dating and here we are married and three kids later. he understands the nature of the business but also he is a great person in terms of message development and he is a pollster so he is good at helping me in , whethero-day process it was for my dad or even now figuring out the best ways to committee kate. >> three young children. do they understand what mom does? sarah: i do not think so. they understand i work for the president and they have been to the white house and they know
that is exciting muslim because -- exciting, mostly because there are eminem's there. i do not think they fully understand, they are 5, 3, and two. the do not comprehend the magnitude of the presidency -- they do not comprehend the magnitude of the presidency. they are excited to be in d.c., we moved here a most three-month ago and they love the city and all that it has to offer. >> you are quoted as praising president obama because of the values of his -- that he put forward as a husband and father. sarah: i do not disagree with resident obama on most or all of his policies. i think that he showed that his children, his family, they were a priority to him and that is important not just as a president but as a man this day
and age to have somebody who makes his children and his wife a focal point them a priority of his life. that is something we should recognize and commend him for doing. , have you seen broken homes, have you seen what happens to divorce and separation and single parents? sarah: absolutely. it would be hard to anyone in this country not to have seen it. i have had friends who experience it and how hard it is andkids to be successful they can and some of the most amazing people i know are single parents or children raised by single parents, my mom being one of them but there are a lot more hardships that go with that and home isa two-parent always a lot better and makes life easier for the kids. >> your mom was raised by a single parent? sarah: yes. >> what did you see from that? sarah: my grandmother was one of the strongest, bravest people i
have known and she raised six kids by herself and that is a lot and they were a wild lunch wildi can attest to -- bunch that i can attest to. andhows the i determination hard work and family can conquer most anything and she had that. i also know that life is harder because of it. i do not think that makes or any less of a person, it made her a better person and a better mom but i wish she had had a greater level of support so that she did not have to do that on her own. >> you have a visible position being deputy press secretary, you have been behind the scenes. any desire to seek elected office? sarah: i am trying to hang on to the job and got an do the best they can to help the president, help his agenda and be part of history. i am pretty focused on where i am right now and not looking to change that anytime soon. >> is a different now that you are in the inside versus working on a campaign? sarah: it is
different, i campaign versus elected office are different, you're putting into place all the things that you spent the last several months talking about and now it is focused more on the action and less on the rhetoric and that is why i think president trump is going to be so successful if he is very much an executive who is focused on results and i think we have seen that over these first almost 100 days, we are going to continue to see somebody who is it us -- who is a strong leader, a decisive leader and take strong and bold action. >> you have seen the private and public donald trump. is there a difference? sarah: no. that is why people love him. he is as real as you can get, he is the same on stage or behind closed doors and people find that appealing, they do not always like what he says or how he says it, but they like that he is who he is and he is very real and very transparent.
>> walk us through a typical day for sarah huckabee sanders. sarah: i do not know if there is a typical day but it starts at 5 a.m., i get up, i try to, i only have one early riser so my three euro, i spent some time visiting with him in the morning before i leave and get to the office early enough to read through and catch up on any news that took place before i went to bed and then we start with a series of staff meetings around 7:15 a.m., talking about the news of the day, prepping for what we want the message of the day to look like and responding to any stories that may be coming up. from there, every day is a little different than the one before which is one of the reasons i love what we do. no two days are alike and every day presents new challenges and gives us a new way to be part of the administration. >> you get home when? sarah: it varies but anywhere
between 7 p.m. to 10 clock p.m. at night. sean you take on this job, spicer made some changes, how do you approach the job of deputy press secretary, how do you approach relations with the media in general? sarah: the way i approach it is the way ido that would any other relationship. i grew up in the south so being hospitable is something that i think was ingrained in me on -- at an early age, something i try to take into my workplace and every thing i do there so i -- even when i disagree i try to be of a medic and gracious about it. sometimes we have to be pretty aggressive and push back and i try to do that in a way that is polite and hospitable but also strong, not week. >> if sean takes a vacation, will you be behind a podium? sarah: that is a better question
for sean. we will see. gagglesone a couple of and off-camera gaggles already. it, the would approach way i try to approach every question, to be honest and truthful and to do the best they can to indicate the president's message and his agenda not just to the press and -- but to the american people. that is our job to promote the president, promote his message, promote his agenda and that is what we try to do every day whether we are doing one-on-one or a large group or behind closed doors. that is part of our job and that is what we are trained to do. >> let's talk about the people in your lives, the best advice or debt has given you? sarah: i would say to be yourself, not to be someone you're not. and to go into everything as full as you can, who you are and try not to do anything or be anything different.
>> yard -- your mom. sarah: she always tells me to take chances, not to hold that, not to be afraid. my mom is a little bit on the daredevil side. i think she has push me out of my comfort zone. >> your husband. forget that inever have a family at home, a family that loves me and supports me no matter what. >> your children. sarah: since they are young they come up with some pretty good whoppers, some of which i will not share. , hopefullyt they are i can approach things the way they do and that is with happiness and innocence. my oldest is five. they take everything in in a spectacular way to watch things -- and a spectacular way. to watch things through the eyes
of kids is amazing. >> president trump. sarah: that would be to be strong, he is a leader of rate strength, i think he has shown days inough his first office and he has shown that in the conversations we have had one-on-one and in any direction he has given on how to respond whether it is to the press or anything else is to be strong. >> do you remember your first visit to the white house? sarah: i do. i was pretty young but i do not remember everything about it, my first visit to the white house would have been outside the gates looking in verses from the inside the first time i got to come inside it was not until when my dad was governor, i was quite a bit older. >> you have a seat, front row seat to history in the west wing so what is it like for you every day? sarah: it is incredible and i hope every day we walk into that building and we are honored to
be there, if we ever get to a place where we are not, we forget how special it is to be there and to be part of it, that we know it is time to go home and let someone else take her the biggestght now, thing i could say is it is a honor of a lifetime to be here, to be part of history and be part of president trump's administration. >> have your parents been here, have a senior office? sarah: they have. they have in here -- they came here to visit, at my dad had a couple meetings at the white house and the got the chance to show the my office and have lunch with them. like any parents they were very proud. you?at did they tell sarah: keep up the good work and hang in there. >> sarah huckabee sanders, thank you for your time. sarah: thank you. house coming white medications director anthony scaramucci announced that sarah
sanders will be white house press secretary. mr. scaramucci: i will make my remarks in formal and take questions. i would like to announce formally that sarah huckabee sanders is going to be -- you cannot hear me, better question mark huckabee sanders will be the press secretary so you can congratulate her after -- still can hear me, no sound? ok. better? better now? i will start over. you guys heard me in the front. sarah is going to be the press secretary. so congratulations. >> there is an interview with sarah sanders tonight. she sat -- pledged to do her best as press secretary. we will show you that briefing now.