tv Conversation with Sarah Huckabee Sanders CSPAN July 22, 2017 6:36am-7:01am EDT
weekly standard build hursley will join us to talk about that and his recent article looking at the history of the relationship between presidents in the washington press corps. and then the counsel for the brennan center's democracy program will discuss election integrity and their efforts to gather voted data from states. and dr. helen will discuss her recent piece on the challenges to adequate health care in rural america. be sure to watch c-span's washington journal live at 7:00 a.m. eastern on washington journal. deputy presse secretary sarah huckabee sanders has been with the trump administration since january. she sat down with us to discuss her role with the white house, her background, and what it was like growing up in a political family. this profile interview is just
under 25 minutes. sanders, whatbee was it like growing up in such a political family? >> most days it was incredible. i was a political junkie from an early age and got a front row seat to something i loved to do and something to be a part of. even better than that i had a chance to do something i love and do that with my dad. i can't think of any better experience growing up. to me it was a privilege and honor, and prepared me for the life i'm living right now. >> you were 11 or 12 when he was running for governor. -- ie first time i will was nine years old. when most kids were going to summer camp i was doing the arkansas festival circuit, passing out cards and shaking hands and tagging along with my training in the
state of arkansas. >> why did he pursue politics? sarah: he felt like he had something to offer. arkansas was an extremely democrats the when he was first elected. 1993 is when he won his first office. almost 90% of all elected officials in the state, anyone from county judges up to the governor were democrats. he didn't feel like they represented him. he had been the head of a large representation in the state, had a base of support through that, and felt like it was time for him to get off the bench and make a difference. >> as you know the political demographics have changed in arkansas. why do you think that is? sarah: a large part because the democratic party that my grandparents grew up in is not the democratic party of today. particularly in the south, you have southern democrats that were very different than the democrat party today.
certainly not nearly as far left. these are people that were pro-life, still cared about smaller localized government. that is certainly not the case at this point. >> you have two older brothers? sarah: i am the only girl. they may claim i am slightly spoiled. i would not be able to refute that too much. >> were you spoiled? sarah: a little bit. let's not tell everybody. my older brother is much more of a behind-the-scenes -- he knows every historical fact there is. she 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 a savvy business person. he certainly was more of the entrepreneur. i went more of the political route. it turned out ok so far. programarned from his
on the fox news channel that your dad is quite a musician. sarah: he was disappointed that the only instrument my brothers and i played was the radio. i'm not sure we did that well. he was an incredible musician. it was what gave him the ability to go on stage. she grew up pretty -- he grew up pretty shy. the first time he stepped on stage in front of a crowd was as a guitar player. he credits music with his success, particularly early on. >> are you more like her father or your mother? sarah: i would like to think i am a good mix of both. my dad is not of spontaneous nature. i get more of that form my mom. the ability to do what i am doing now, again a mix of both. i got to see a lot about on the farm road watching my dad grow up -- on the front row watching
my dad grow up on the campaign. >> walk us through going to campaigns with your dad up to his own presidential bid. sarah: as a young kid i traveled with him. when some kids were sitting around watching cartoons i was sitting around listening to pollsters like dick morris give cross tabs on the u.s. senate and governors race. i got hit by the bug early and wanted to soak up as much of it as i could. maybe a bit of a nerd in that sense. i went to a lot of events. i went to political conferences. i loved the campaign aspect of it a lot, in large part due to the pace of it. no two days were alike. i enjoyed that, once to college, started off as a political science/physics major and
probably learned that physics was in the path i would take. i dropped that and added communications. it continued that path. i moved to d.c. after college and worked for president bush in his administration and moved back to arkansas to start working for my dad and run his campaign for president around 2006. from there, after that campaign, i spent a good bit of time in iowa. then his iowa operation for 2008 campaign. senate race,man's i worked for tom cotton and tim plenty and eventually landed here. >> i read in time magazine that you don't like the cold. sarah: i think it is my southern blood. iowa, bute people of
maybe not quite the temperatures of iowa. >> having worked for candidates and having your own father run for president, what is the difference? it is a blessing or a curse to have your dad as a candidate? sarah: it is both. you have an instability to have -- an isntant ability to have conversations with the candidate. ands able to say yes and no push back more aggressively than you would with another candidate. also having a better understanding of what they would like, what they wouldn't like, what they want to do. i could look at a schedule and know instantly if this was a day he was going to like or things we needed to change around to fit his personality better. that was certainly an advantage. the disadvantage, sometimes you know a lot of those things.
he knows that you know that he is not going to like that and wants to know why you did it anyway. sometimes i can be a blessing or a curse. the advantage has outweighed the disadvantages. >> order to go to college? sarah: wichita baptist university in arkansas. >> why there? sarah: i looked everywhere but there, and swore i would never go there. a couple months before i was set to leave for college and enrolled in a large university, i changed my mind last minute and decided to go to want to talk. it should have to be a good decision. >> having worked for the 10 plenty campaign, he worked for the bush campaign in 2004? sarah: i was with the bush administration. waves,to ohio, did sign street corners, getting people
to honk, tons of door-to-door. ohio turned out to be a pretty important state for him during the election. it was an exciting time to be there. >> in all of your experiences, how do you define politics? sarah: the basis of it is frankly communicating a candidate's agenda with the people. i know there is a better political science definition, but when it comes down to it, i think it is about taking the candidate or an elected official and figuring out how best to communicate and work with the people in the community, find out what they want, and work to achieve it. it is kind of that back and forth. >> when did you say to yourself, i am going to work for donald trump? sarah: pretty quickly after my dad got out of the race. during the campaign i noticed there was a lot of similarities between the rhetoric of my dad and donald trump. my dad is an economic populist.
i saw a lot of similarity in that. frankly one of the things i loved about my dad, even though he had been in politics, he was an outsider particularly to washington. i felt that was something we desperately needed. i saw that in donald trump, even when my dad still in the race. 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 shake up washington, but i also thought he could win. i wanted to be part of that. >> what did you see that a lot of people did not see? a lot of the media, hundreds, and within -- pundits, and within the gop establishment? sarah: i saw everything american. i spent a better year and a half on the campaign trail with my dad talking to people in iowa, arkansas, and everywhere in between. they were hungry for change. they were hungry for someone to
come in and shake up washington. they wanted someone to come in and burn the place down. they were not as focused -- they did not want someone to change it and burn it down, they were less interested in the buildup. they just wanted a massive disruption. i saw the every single day on the campaign trail, whether you are at a fundraiser, a state or the taxi driver taking you from point a to point b. this is something that donald trump had tapped into. >> did you talk to your dad before signing up? sarah: absolutely. >> what did he tell you? >> go for it. he has been supportive. mom, my dad, but also my husband, who would need to be fully on board. i did that. i talked to some people in the trump campaign. it was a pretty easy decision for me.
>> let's talk about your husband. how did you meet? sarah: we met in iowa on the campaign trail in 2007. he was unfortunately working for another candidate. he was from kansas city and was working for sam brownback, senator at the time. he and my dad were running against each other. we met in iowa after brownback got out of the race. he came to iowa to run for my dad after the christmas break. he ended up joining the campaign among later. near the end of the campaign we started dating. here we are 3 kids later. >> so he understands life in politics. sarah: he does. i couldn't ask for someone more supportive and a better partner in this process. one, he understands the nature of the business, but also views a great -- but also he is a
great person in terms of personal development, and he is a pollster. he helps me in the day-to-day process, whether it was for my dad, or even now figuring out the best ways to communicate. >> three young children. do they understand what mom does? sarah: i don't think so. they know that i work for the president, and they know who the president is. they have been to the white house, and they know that it's exciting, mostly because there are m&m's here. they know that what i do is pretty neat. i don't think they fully understand. they are 5, 3, and 2. i don't think they fully comprehend the nature of the presidency and the historic nature of getting to be a part of that. i think they are excited to the ndc. -- to be in d.c. they love the city and all that it has to offer. >> you were quoted as praising
president obama because of the values he put as a father and husband in a time magazine interview. what were you referring to? with: i don't disagree president obama on all of his policies. there are a few we can agree on. i think he showed that his family were a priority to him. i think that is important not just as a president, but as a man in this day in age to have someone who makes his children and wife a focal point of his life. that is something we should recognize and commend him for doing. >> as a mom that his travel around the country, have you seen a lot of broken homes, divorce and single parents? sarah: absolutely. it will be hard for anyone in this country not to have seen it frankly. i have friends and family that have experienced it. i know how much harder it is for kids to be successful. they certainly can. they are -- some of the most
amazing people i know are children raised by single parents, my mom being one of them. there are a lot more hardships that go with that. a two parent home is always a lot better and certainly makes life easier for the kids. >> your mom was raised by a single parent? sarah: yes sir. >> what did she see? sarah: my grandmother was one of the bravest people i have ever known. she raised six kids by herself. they were a wild bunch, which i can attest to after spending time around. it shows you the determination and hard work and a love of family can conquer most anything. she certainly had that. i also know that life was harder because of it. i don't think that makes her any less of a person. it probably made her a better person and a better mom. i wish she had a better greater level of support so she didn't
have to do that on her own. >> you have a visible position being deputy press secretary. any desire to seek elected office? sarah: right now i am just trying to hang on to the job i've got and do the best i can to help the president, held his agenda, and be part of history. i'm focused on where you right now and not looking to change that anytime soon. >> is it any different being on the inside versus the campaign? sarah: it is certainly a difference. you are putting into place all of the things that you spent the last several months talking about. now it is focused more on the action and less on the rhetoric. that is why i think president trump will be so successful, he is an executive that is focused on results. we have seen that over these first 100 days. we will continue to see someone who is a strong leader, a decisive leader, and someone who takes strong and bold action.
>> you have seen the private donald trump as well as the public. is there a difference? sarah: i don't think so. that is why people love him. that is why he is president today. he is as real as you can get. he is the same behind the stage or closed doors. they don't like what he says or how he says it, but that he is real and very transparent. >> walk us through a typical day for sarah huckabee sanders. sarah: i don't know if there is a typical day. it starts early 5:00 a.m. i tried to see -- i only have one early riser. my three year old, i usually spend time visiting with him in the morning before i leave, and get to the office early enough to catch up on any news that took place before i went to bed. we start with a series of staff meetings around 7:15 talking
about the news of the day, prepping for what we want the message of the date to look like, and responding to any stories that might be coming up. from there, every day is a little different than the one before, which is why i love what we do. every day presents new challenges and gives us a new way to be part of the administration. >> you get home when? sarah: it varies -- it can be 7:00 to 10:00 at night. --if you take on this job sean spicer has made a couple changes. how do you approach the job of deputy press secretary, and approach relations with the media in general? sarah: the same way i approach it is the same way i would any other relationship. i grew up in the south. being hospitable is something that i think was ingrained to me at an early age, something i try
to take into my work place in everything that i do. even when i disagree, i tried to be diplomatic and gracious about it. sometimes we have to be pretty aggressive and push back. i tried to do that in a way that is polite and hospitable, but also strong and not weak. vacation, takes a will you be behind the podium? sarah: that is a better question for sean. we will see. i have done a couple gaggles and off-camera gaggles already. again, i think i would approach it the way i tried to approach every question, to be honest and truthful and to do the best i can to communicate the president's message and agenda, not just to the press but to the american people. that is our job, to promote the president's agenda. that is what we do every day,
whether we're doing one-on-one or a large group or behind closed doors. that is what we are trying to do. >> let's talk about some of the people in your life. the best advice your diet has given you? sarah: to be yourself. never try to be someone you are not. go into everything as full as not trywho you are, and to be anyone different. >> your mom? sarah: she always tells me to take chances, not to hold back, not to be afraid. my mom is a little bit on the daredevil site. i think she helps push me out of my comfort zone. >> your husband brian? sarah: i think it would be to never forget that i have a family at home, that no matter what happens in the office, i have a family that loves me and said it's me no matter what. -- 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 won't share. hopefully i can approach things the way that they do, and that is with happiness and innocence. my oldest is 5. aey take everything in spectacular way. to watch things through the eyes of kids is amazing. to do that with them is pretty special. >> and president trump? sarah: i think that would be to be strong. i think he is a leader of great strength. i think he has shown that through his first days in office, and i think he has shown that through the conversations we have had one-on-one. in any direction he has given on how to respond, whether it is to the press or anyone else, is to be strong. >> do you remember your first visit to the white house? sarah: i do. i was pretty young.
i don't 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 wasn't until my dad was governor. i was quite a bit older. >> right now you have a front row seat to history in the west wing. what is it like for you every day? sarah: it has been incredible. i hope every day we walked into the building and are honored to be there. if we ever forget how special it weto be part of this, that know it is time to go home and let someone else take our seat. right now the biggest thing is it is an honor of a lifetime to be part of history and be part of president trump's administration. >> finally, your parents, have they seen your office? sarah: they were here just a few days ago. they came in to visit me. my dad had a couple meetings at
the white house. i had the chance to show them my office. like any parent, they were pretty proud. >> what did he tell you? sarah: keep up the good work and hang in there. >> >> here on c-span, washington journal is next. live at 10:00, we take you to norfolk, virginia where president trump is attending the commissioning ceremony for the newest aircraft carrier named after former president gerald ford. coming up on today's washington journal, the weekly standards about his recent article examining the historical relationship between the white house and press corps. then jonathan brader with the brennan center for justice talks about the commission for election integrity. and its effort to obtain voter data from states.
later, a look at the challenges of providing adequate health care in rural america. the host: it is saturday, july 22, 2017 and we begin with the major shakeup in the west wing. sean spicer is out as press secretary after six months, he submitted his resignation minutes after anthony scaramucci , a former wall street financier, accepted the communication director job and replacing sean spicer is former sarah press secretary huckabee sanders. showing amp frustration over the russian scandal and anthony scaramucci will highlight what he sees as the advances the white house is