tv Washington Journal Chris Edwards CSPAN April 17, 2018 8:13pm-8:42pm EDT
they cannot read, they cannot write, they do not understand. -- such an easy project to pick. i admit it took about half a year to pick because i'd always volunteered hospitals but there is no question in my mind. every thinking american is coming to that conclusion. we have got to educate our children and we have got to educate their parents. whim, it is a a necessity if we're going to compete in this world. was there ever a day in the white house when you wanted to say no more, i'm done, i quit? guest: never. how could you say that? you have got 90 people whose only aim in life is to keep you happy and your husband is doing good things. he's doing the right thing.
he knew when he raised the taxes he would lose the election although he had been 90% approved. he did the right thing. i am proud of my family who do the right thing and george bush always has done the right thing, like it or not. host: 20 years since you have been in the presidency, there is a lot of talk in washington about acrimony between democrats and republicans. is it different than it was 20 years ago? guest: a little bit. by george said we have lived in times when the democrats are very far liberal, very far to the left and it has swung back to very far to the right and then we get to where we should be which is talking to and other and disability jeb is right about that. republicans and democrats should be talking about what they are
for, not what they are against. i believe that and i believe they will again. host: the white house second floor, can it be a home? guest: yes. let me put it this way, if you had a home when you went into it you have a home when you come out. maybe you did not have a home when he went into it, but we had family.ig loving but we went back to a house with george w there was all the same fabulous staff and president this summere went to the points of light luncheon he gave, in between the luncheon and the giving of the points, he had all the former staff come. it was like family. we were loving seeing all the butler's and all the ushers in
the flower people. it was just like family. yes, they are family and we were just fortunate enough to have been there for us, for the reagans and then george's presidency and then for george w. sorority of a a type among the former first ladies? guest: sort of. some are closer than others. ladybird is gone, pat nixon is gone, i was especially close to those ladies and of course laura no question was the greatest first lady. we're friends. i am a great respect her of mrs. obama, michelle obama and why she is doing. obesity is a huge problem in our country and she is working on it
. she is getting criticized for it , government should not tell you what to eat. somebody has got to tell these people what to eat, these children cannot be obese at a young age. it is just not healthy. it costs the country, it is a horrible thing. make ourselves brighter, smarter, educated and along with that we have got to eat. she is crying that she will gardens so i have -- she is growing vegetable hardens so i have respect for her. host: what about your predecessor in your successor? is a:0 my predecessor wonderful lady who worked hard on it drugs. my successor was a great secretary of state. what did she work on? secretary of state. maybe she worked on my boy, bill.
your husband and bill clinton have become good friends. my husband, bill clinton and i have become good friends. he visits us every summer. we do not agree politically but we do not talk politics. i think you would have to someplace, i read before you are critical of someone you should remember that they did not have the advantages you have. as a child, a loving mother and father, bill's father was not around. i think that he thinks of george a little bit like the father he did not have. he is very loving to him. theyreciate that and when want on that long seen on that long tsunami trip, george told me bill insisted he stay in bed and bill insisted he was taken
care of and that was really nice. i love bill clinton. maybe not his politics but i love bill clinton. host: you brought up your daughter-in-law, laura bush, and when we interviewed her for this series we talked about a speech she had given where she compared you to don corleone. from the godfather. guest: that is nice. host: you have been referred to by family members as the enforcer of the bush family. what you think about the -- what do you think about that? guest: i'm not sure i'm thrilled with laura saying it. i deserve it. anything they do is all right. sure thene has to be standards are kept. he leads by example. denying some things.
i am the enforcer, there is no question about it. to elect federal -- do i like that role? no. college,0, wellesley what was the speech she gave? [video clip] >> wellesley is not just a place but an idea. guest: it was a difficult speech in that they objected to my speaking because i had never done anything in my life and had a free ride and they were right. thatentally, it happened gorbachev was coming to this country with her husband and i cannot leave her so i invited her to come speak with me. i got highly criticized saying she is not dare come by herself and she is bringing her to protect her.
it was a difficult speech. it turned out that there was one student at wellesley and south america who we were treating to this great education and a girl from maine. a day or two before the speech the girl from maine called and said i'm so embarrassed, this is , i wasnto a great thing getting calls from president nixon saying you tell those girls to go to the devil and whatever. i had a lot of people for me. i did not want to get into a spitting fight with the girls but there it was. on the plane going up, mrs. gorbachev did not speak any english, we had an interpreter, i said do you mind if i work on my speech is little bit -- on my speech a little bit?
and she said that you're giving a speech, and i said oh you are, too. she went into the ladies room and i said to the interpreter does she not now she is giving a speech? he pulled the speech out of his pocket and said it she knows. i was very lucky with that speech. we worked hard on it but had given it at five other colleges that same spring, university of pennsylvania, university of st. louis, a community college, nobody gave a done but because of the controversy, same ending, same everything. but it made me, the speech. no question because of the controversy people paid attention. margaret thatcher wrote and said it was the greatest speech she ever heard. george heard it in the white house. highly, because of
controversy, is that not too bad? anyway i became a great speaker that day. [video clip] >> who knows? somewhere out in this audience may even be someone who will one day following my footsteps and enter the white house as the president's spouse and i wish him well. [applause] houseyou brought down the with your closing line about political spouse and you wish him luck. what would be your device for a first husband? guest: same thing i would give a first wife which is be yourself. and maybe watch your mouth, i had a trouble with that. i would say just be yourself. and take advantage of the opportunity.
lunches for deformed cancer,, arthritis, nobody paid me attention except in the hometown where the doctor came from or the sick child came from and then you got great city out in the country, that is where it counts. who cares what, sorry, the broadcasters say? what you care about is that the people know they are being helped. host: what should, in your view, people know about the first lady and her role that we do not know? guest: i don't know. what you don't know. it seems to me i know everything about the first lady. i think the first thing the first lady ought to know is she was not elected president.
president, nored was i elected cumbersome's -- congressman's wife. you're not an elected official but you have an opportunity to do good things and you ought to take that opportunity. host: in fact in your book you not too sure the american public likes a spouse to be to front and center. guest: that is probably true. they did not elect her. but i think they like her to do good things. i am not too sure they want her o front and center, she was not elected. host: what do you member about yourirst day in the lat --
first day in the white house and the last day? guest: walking in from the receiving, we reviewed the parade. familyber we had a huge and i remember the twins, they are not going to like this but going with the babysitter down to the bowling alley and ordering a meal. andere getting ready to go we had the whole family gathered meal.very large buffet i said where the twins, we're all eating. they said they are in the bowling alley and ordered hamburgers. i said get them appear, the enforcer. away.not order food they came up laughing but i remember being surrounded, seeing everybody off to the
balls, how pretty they looked and what fun they were having. they were tearing all of the white house, this children. host: what about your last day? guest: i would children left town. local. marvin and his. they did not want to be around for that. it was a very moving and saying goodbye to the white house staff was difficult. we never dropped we would be back. -- we never dreamt we would be back. it was hard but life goes on. we got on a plane with all our friends and family and flew back home. the welcome here was unbelievable. we passed a pickup truck on the highway where there were two
withe standing on the back a sign that said welcome home, george and barbara. that brought huge tears on my part. to have been great to us ever since. host: you have been here in this house for two years now. in houston. guest: when we moved in, we lived two doors down at a great friend's house that he was going to tear down. he built next door, the next property was his old house and removed in their and the neighbors planted the gordon -- the garden so we came home to a garden, it was very nice. -- the boxes all impacts, perfect. host: how important work camp david -- how important was camp david? guest: camp david made such a difference because it is there
the president can really meet with people without a lot of fanfare. a lot of people came up. , iinessmen, cabinet members remember a big education group coming up. talking to george, i just remember that every weekend we had meetings. in the afternoons he would taken up and we might watch a movie or go bowling. they played volleyball when we were up there which they played against the marines. it is a game sort of like squash and sort of like volleyball. a great competition. then of course horse shoes. presidentertained gorbachev and many other leaders. john major. he had just come into office and he and norma came up to camp
david and i remember him as saying to george, i am with you. that was very important. thereof times, we were up when noriega was caught. made our vacation because we had all the family for christmas up there. easter, george w did the same thing. too, i throw this in, remember remember hearing that one of the first ladies said it was so costly being the wife of the president. it is not cost the atoll, do not pay your telephone bills, -- it all, you do not pay your telephone bills, you do pay your food. we had guests all the time. you never could live as cheaply as you lived at the white house.
90 people taking care of you, you did pay for dry cleaning and we did have someone we took who lived with us, 91 now, still doing our ironing and washing. she lived there. we did take care of those things but it was great to entertain at the white house. and at camp david. it gave a chance for family. purport -- kenny bunkport is just the best. trouble is it keeps getting blown down by bad weather. i hope it will stay with us. host: if you ever wanted to give advice or talk about policy with your husband, how would you do
that, how would you approach them? guest: if i wanted to i would just tell him. the truth is i did not want to. he had great advice. . never called his office if i had something to say, i said it to george bush but i did not call jim baker or anyone at his office to say this is what i think it should be. i do not do that. i have never had an office except in the house. here, at the white house, i had an office but i never went to it. i worked in the white house and i worked at the vice president's house. i do not yet into office affairs. i do not think anybody would tell you i did because i really did not. if i had something i wanted him to know i would tell him. think of the advisors he had.
, more good, wonderful people. nick brady, i should not do this . they were in the cabinet, they knew what they were doing, they were friends of ours. them and so did i. talk in your memoir, you about faith, family, and friend us. we have talked about friends and family, what about faith? and i it is very private believer of a loving god, i pray, george and i pray every night out loud. sometimes we fight over whose turn it is but we do. death, whichr of is a huge comfort because we are
getting darn close and i do not have a fear of death for my precious george or myself because i know that there is a great god and i'm not worried about that. i do not like it for young people, i know we will see robin again, one way or another. and our families, so have no fear of death. i have a great faith. that sounds so arrogant. -- why?fe? have a faith in god in a do not question it. i am not as good as my children but from your children you learn. certainly, she has a prayer
group that gets on the phone for 30 minutes a night and praise for all of the country. i have learned a lot from her , and from neil and marvin, too, all of them. death and iar of think that is very comforting. about marvinte that he does not like politics. guest: at all. comfort theeorge's whole time he was in the white house. to this day, marvin is one of the three people who raised funds for the library. my oldest and youngest boys are the closest to each other but yet jeb certainly is the biggest defender of george and george is the biggest defender of jeb. that keeps usark
all going and kenny book part -- bunkport when it neil leaves, something leaves. says, taking the boat over for ice cream, who will come? everybody goes. not george and i but the others. he gets ballgames going and gets , he is the one who goes down and has coffee met,own with people he has he and maria have met. everybody has got their thing and the one thing they have is loyalty to each other and that is hugely important. that the one request i loving that they stay siblings. so far, so good. i will be looking down, so
behave yourselves. host: what has been your involvement with the george bush library at texas and him -- texas a&m? host: not much -- guest: not much. hugely involved. i do not do much except the apartment. i just did not. it just was not on my plate. their,racy does a lot of they have a wonderful literacy component to the library. that part i'm interested and active in but as far as building or planning or plotting, i have a wonderful rose garden up there that someone else put in in my name. gift. for that wonderful i love the library and i love taking the dogs up there and
letting them chase around the pond. i love meeting the people. i really enjoy the library a lot. speaking of dogs, there are two in the living room with us. who are these two? bb, george and i used to call each other bb when we were first married. if i yell bb what do you think about so and so, george says who are you talking to? this is mini me and she is jealous of bb and she is my shadow. i cannot move without her and she is known to knit -- nip at people. bb protects george. she is. active at protecting george and they are a huge comfort to me. host: you have always had dogs. these are not springer spaniel's.
guest: this is a leash city and you cannot walk your dog's without a leash. -- with a springer spaniel a squirrel will go by and i'm flat on the ground. these i can hold. they are good. i am not sure they are dogs though. they may be people. they are very spoiled. we go to the public ground, which we are not a member of the club but nobody cares say you cannot, so i walked him at the polo ground. [barking] and they bark occasionally. your you have written memoir, you kept a journal all your life. guest: still. host: will the papers go to the library? guest: they're all there and they are not to be open for 50 years so i can say what i want. i'm getting very forgetful, and it really helps to have the
memoirs to remember things. it makes it easier to write a book, doesn't it? host: when you think about your legacy as first lady, what would you like it to be in what do you think it will be? guest: never thought about it. -- ie it will be that she hope it will be that her children are her legacy and her threehildren and now great-grandchildren and a forthcoming. i hope family. andainly family is crucial i would like to see the american .amily come back strong we had a great family and my dad said to me once, only three things you can give your children, the best education,
that does not mean stanford or yale or princeton, it means the best education that you could find and you can help. you are their first teacher. the best education you can find and set a good example, that is very important. and all the love in the world and i hope we have given it to our children. i know george w, i have heard him say several times that his dad has given him unconditional love. that is true. this baloney about george competing with his father is just ridiculous. they are devoted to each other and there was never any competition. my george is potty in their hands, i must confess. in their hand is, i must confess.