tv The 11th Hour With Brian Williams MSNBC December 1, 2018 8:00pm-9:01pm PST
dolly pardon. so talented. >> so talented. both stephen colbert and dolly parton and anybody who might be bringing up pardons. tonight stephen colbert gets the last word. ♪ tonight the country remembers the life and remarkable legacy of president george herbert walker bush. the 41st president of the united states died last night at age 94 at his home down in houston, texas. his passing comes hardly eight months after the death of his wife barbara. they were married for three-quarters of a century. bush 41 spent his life in service to his country, from his
days as a navy pilot, shot down by the japanese in world war ii over the pacific, to his humanitarian work with president clinton and of course so much action in between. although his presidency lasted just one term, he oversaw some of the defining moments of u.s. foreign policy in the 20th century. he guided the brakeup of the soviet union, operation desert storm, known to most of us as the gulf war. his final words were to his son, president george w. bush, who told his son, i love you too. george w. bush remembered his father as a man of the highest character. president trump, who has fought with the bushes, said this in buenos aires today. >> he was a wonderful man, a
very fine man. he met him on numerous occasions. he was a high quality man who truly loved his family, one thing that came through loud and clear, was very proud of his family. he was a desk guy. he'll be missed and led a full life and a very exemplary life too, i will say. >> he ordered flags at half-staff for 30 days and a national day of mourning is coming wednesday. the white house said president trump and the first lady melania will attend funeral services at the national cathedral in washington. president bush will lie in state at the capitol before he's in r interred in texas. jon meacham joins us, and another great historian, jonathan alter, columnist for the daily beast.
he's interviewed george h.w. bush numerous times. jon, i read your book, it's wonderful. i once heard bush say that the best thing about the president was the honor of the office. i heard some clinton kid laughing at that. the older i get, jon, the more i respect that idea that it is the honor of the office which has been dishonored on occasion since, that really does matter a lot. >> it matters enormously. that was a part of the ambient atmosphere that poppy bush, as he was known, his grandfather g.h. walker, george herbert walker was called pop, so george herbert walker bush was called poppy, which when he got into politics in texas was not the type of name you wanted to sell in corpus christi or abilene. there are still members of the family who would slip and call him poppy.
he was someone, from his mother to his father, to senator bush who served as senator from connecticut for 12 years, they were people who had, and this is a phrase that we're not supposed to use, sort of like the honor of it all phrase you're alluding to, but he was driven by a sense of noble obligation, noblesse oblige her he was born to privilege, he wanted to give back. he was an easy person to caricature, lord knows. you and jon both know this as well as i do or better, one of the great things about biography and journalism is trying to explain the gap between the person you encounter when you're with them personally and the image that they project across a broad, complicated republic. and i think george h.w. bush is one of the figures, it's changed a little bit in recent years, but there was a huge gap between his quiet, persistent charisma in private and, you know, they
used to say when he was running in '88, george bush reminded every woman voter of their first husband. but he was a marvelous man, and not a perfect guy, let's not -- >> we'll get to that, later on, not tonight. jon, thank you. let's go to jonathan, you're a great historian as well. let's talk about this, how he's risen in the polls since he's been president. jimmy carter, who you're working on, my friend of course, i love jimmy carter, but he's not doing as well. for some reason bush 41 has been rising. >> first of all, i want to defer to my old colleague jon meacham who is truly the expert on george herbert walker bush. the reason why he's gone up in people's estimation is twofold. one is the contrast to the current incumbent. so compare bush's handwritten notes. he wrote thousands of them, very
gracious notes to friends and adversaries, that were at their core, they were decent and appreciated the humanity of the other person, and empathetic. compare that to tweets that we're seeing today. the other big reason i think he's going up in the estimation of historians is the way he managed the end of the cold war. so at the time it was happening, it was hard to see, we didn't have historical perspective yet. if you look at the rise and fall of great empires, usually when they fall there is war. and they come apart and it's very ugly. and we had every reason to believe, you know, after the russian revolution, that whenever it came apart, there could be world war iii or at least skirmishing. none of this took place as the soviet union collapsed. why? part of it was mikhail
gorbachev. but a lot of it was george bush and jim baker and their enormous skillfulness in the way they did not gloat. imagine if they had danced in the end zone. on the night the berlin wall came down, they are very modest. they let gorbachev save face and thereby turn over power. >> of course they also helped helmut kohl. people like me, anyone who studied the 20th century, was very nervous about germany coming back together in full strength. certainly they came back together with a lot of strength after world war i, to the country's detrimen adetriment a world's detriment. what inspired him to say, we're going to bring the two germanys together because it's a good thing to do? >> that's one of the great ironies about bush, he did have the vision thing, which was his dismissive phrase about it.
you're laying out margaret thatcher's view, françois mitterand's view, we don't want germany to be unified again. they said the purpose of nato is to keep the americans in, the germans down, and the russians out. bush always looked forward. my friend jeff engel at smu makes a marvelous point about how bush was the first figure in '89, '90, one of his first trips, i think his first trip overseas was to japan where he had almost died in 1944 in the pacific, to press forward. he wanted to move on, beyond the past. he was historically mind, but he really was all about the next thing. it's one of the reasons he was jumping out of airplanes when he was 90 years old.
he really was about forward motion. >> actually downward motion at one point. >> remember, the last time he jumped, he landed in st. ann's church, their parish there in maine, and mrs. bush said in her inimitable way, at least if he dies, we can bury him right here. so the marriage went on and on. one of the things that's so remarkable is, he always wanted to press on. he seems like a conservative, a buttoned-down wasp, all the cliches. when i asked him what are you proudest of as president, he said the reunification of germany, which as jon and you know, when you're a biographer, you don't want to hear that's the sexiest thing you have to deal with. >> it probably mattered a lot to
him. i saw you with jimmy baker, the other day, with barack obama. a perfect trio. jonathan, please stay with us. president bush had an endearing relationship with his wife. he wrote her this letter for her 49th anniversary in 1994. >> january 6th, 1994. for barbara pierce from g.h.w.b. will you marry me? whoops, i forgot, you did that, 49 years ago today. i was very happy on that day in 1945 but i'm even happier today. i have climbed the highest mountain in the world but even that cannot hold a candle to being barbara's husband. mum used to tell me, now, george, don't walk ahead. little did she know --
>> don't do that. didn't she know what? i was only trying to keep up. >> you can see who is dyeing their hair, by the way. susan page joins me, washington bureau chief for "usa today." test of time, that marriage, something else, huh? >> it lasted 73 years. 73 years. >> you're pretty much up there, aren't you? >> i'm up to 37 years in my marriage. >> that's pretty good. how about you? >> 42. what am i saying? 38. >> you're really supposed to know that number. >> it's 38. you did the last interview with president bush. >> it was last november, almost exactly a year ago. i had been working a biography of barbara bush that comes out this spring. he had agreed to an interview, i believe it was the last
interview he did with a journalist. he was suffering from a form of parkinson's disease. it robbed him of his mobility. he was using a wheelchair, that was extremely frustrating for him. he understood things and had thoughts but it was hard for him to speak. you needed to ask questions in a way that could be answered in a few words. but i asked him -- i said, you know, at this high school dance at the greenwich country club when you first saw barbara bush, do you remember what you thought? and he said, i thought she was so beautiful. >> she was. she had kind of a sassy look, too. they look like a lot of fun. >> sassy look, sassy personality. they were such a complement to one another in that she was -- had a little sharper edge than george bush did. there were times when he needed her sharper edge and there were times when she needed his softer touch. >> you always wonder about people, maybe it's a sentiment, but it's a good sentiment, when you lose your spouse, you start
to fade. >> everyone in the family, nearly everyone assumed that he would die first. that was not to be. she was ready to die before he was ready to die. he wanted another summer in kennebunkport, he told his family that. he told them he wanted to live to be 102, that didn't turn out to be the case. his health failing, his wife of 73 years gone. he lived a remarkable life. >> he was a man of belief, he believed he was going to heaven. >> yes. >> which i like. he was sort of challenging death with this death-defying stuff he did. the speedboat went 63 miles per hour. he wasn't some quiet, waspy sailor. he got in the fastest boat he could find. >> in world war ii, that was no small feat, at 18 to enlist, to become a combat pilot, to be shot down. >> fished out of the water. the japanese shoot him down, he
gets picked up in a sub. a lot of people think riding in a sub is scaring enough. >> it probably looked pretty good compared to floating out to sea. the remarkable picture of him being pulled out of the water. >> what do you make of this as a writer and author? ronald reagan, i believe, and this part i really looked up to, he had the best way of evoking world war ii, the somewhwagger,e taking on the bad guys, we're going to win. yet he didn't see action. bush saw the most amazing action but he was like most world war ii guys or women, he never bragged, he never talked about it. my dad said none of his pals never talked about it. >> my father served in world war ii and never spoke of it. >> he never wanted to talk about what was obviously bravery. >> this was the legacy of his mother, who told him don't brag. politically it was endearing but
a complication. what do politicians do? they brag about how great they are and why you should vote for him. the trick for writing for george bush, i think peggy noonan said this, was to drop the "i." you wouldn't say i served in world war ii. you would say, served in world war ii. >> were you down in new orleans? >> yes. >> remember when he gave that speech? i'm sitting up in the gallery, the superdome, whatever it is, and i'm sort of crying. that was the most tearful -- he talked about i'm a quiet man, i'm not really a good talker but i have a lot of feeling for my country. >> it was his best speech. you know where else i was, earlier than that, in 1980, at the republican convention in detroit, the first convention i ever covered, we heard that reagan was choosing ford as his running mate. i was junior -- >> that was a knuckle headed idea.
>> that didn't last an hour. i was headed to do the obituary on george bush's political career. and then reagan calls bush and offers him the vice presidency and he comes out in the hall with barbara to talked about it to the reporters who are there, very different kind of evening than we expected to have. they clearly had a few pops when they thought they had lost and he wasn't wearing any socks. >> he didn't have any socks on? very waspy. i love your stories. author of the upcoming "the matriarch: the making of an american dynasty," going to be released in april next year, she'll be back to join us about that book, i hope. our special coverage of the death of former president george h.w. bush continues with a look at one of the biggest decisions of his presidency, to go to war
with iraq and to stop when he did, the key thing, he didn't go into iraq. >> countries with forces in the gulf area have exhausted all reasonable efforts to reach a peaceful resolution. we have no choice but to drive saddam from kuwait by force. see, liberty mutual doesn't hold grudges. for drivers with accident forgiveness, liberty mutual won't raise their rates because of their first accident. ♪ liberty. liberty. liberty. liberty. ♪ i felt i couldn't be at my best for my family., in only 8 weeks with mavyret, i was cured and left those doubts behind. i faced reminders of my hep c every day. but in only 8 weeks with mavyret,
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director of the cia. tell us why he was so celebrated by the spooks, as we call them, the cia people. >> 1999, i think it was rob portman, i think he was then a representative. >> senator from ohio. >> senator now. he proposed to congress that the headquarters at cia be named after george bush. we applauded that because george bush is revered as a former cia director. he came to cia at a difficult time. some viewers may remember something of those years. >> the church committee. >> the church committee which had brought to light a number of things that were very controversial about the cia. morale was kind of in the tank at that point when george bush came. and he lifted things up. he was not political at all. he was very objective. he roamed the halls, he had coffee with brand-new officers like myself, asked us what we thought. to this day he's looked upon, in
fact 16 cia directors and former directors today issued a statement basically saying george bush is sort of the lodestar, the north star, if you will, for the cia. >> you have men and women who go out in the dark, deep cover, in frightening neighborhoods of the world, and they can never get credit for it because they're spies. they can be killed, tortured before they're killed, and nobody ever knowing about it. does the cia director have to be the guy who stands up for those people and gets behind them? >> absolutely. i recall from my time in the leadership, when we were having a rough time, sometimes justifiably, sometimes not, we would get a note from george bush saying, keep your head up, power through it, learn from whatever you're doing, carry on, people will support you. he was always very supportive. that was very characteristic of
him on a personal level, because many times i briefed him, including during his presidency and after, and you would always get a personal, handwritten note referring to you personally and what you talked about and signed by president bush. >> his belief in public service is something we're missing, we're not talking about president trump but obviously talking about the belief of someone like yourself who served their whole lives. they referred to the fbi as jack booted thugs and he quit. >> you know, thinking about everything people have said about george bush today, i think what's going on here is that in his passing, and in all of the things that we're remembering about him, it's his last act of public service, because it underlines for everyone that kindness, consideration, respect for others, can co-exist with
great power. he had great power. when i first briefed him in the oval office, the first time i entered that place, rather nervous as a young man, a friend and i were there to brief him before a summit with gorbachev in 1989. he asked us, would you like coffee? i said, yeah. he poured it. and we were sort of stunned. we expected a butler to come in and do that. but he was that kind of person. there was no pretence there. he put you at ease and related to you on a human level, even though he possessed this great power. that's a very rare quality in a leader, i think. >> let's listen to president bush reflecting on that first gulf war. >> we defined the mission. and the mission was not to kill saddam hussein and certainly not to occupy iraq. the mission was to end the aggression. and we went to the united
nations, we tried diplomacy, and when all else failed, we used force. we did what we said we would do, what the resolutions called for are the liberation of kuwait, and we came home. so it's a different time, but i don't have any regrets. i'll tell you where i miscalculated, i thought saddam hussein would fall of his own weight when the war ended. i thought they would throw him the hell out of there, and they didn't. >> what did you make of that decision at the time? >> the most noteworthy thing to me about his leadership there, reflecting on it, was that -- consider this. he put together a coalition of over 30 countries to go do that. >> the arab league. >> he had the egyptians, the syrians even, for god's sake. >> the chinese, the russians, the japanese to write the checks. >> between him and jim baker, they managed to construct this coalition, which not to get too political on this day, stands rather sharply in contrast with the whole idea of america first,
and our turning away, these days, from so many multilateral organizations. >> that wasn't a dance learned for the occasion either. he had spent years developing those relationships. >> he had been the u.n. ambassador. he had been ambassador to china. when you look back at his time, it wasn't just the gulf war. that's one of the two things we remember. earlier some of your guests talked about the uniting the germany, which i went through with him also. you think about that period, there was the collapse of the soviet union, as one of your guests pointed out, really the collapse of an empire. there was the german problem. there was tiananmen square in 1989. >> what a year that was. >> the transition from one leader to another in china,. there was start i, reduction of nuclear weapons by about 30% with the soviet union. and the gulf war. and i'll go back for a minute to
collapse of the soviet union. i think it was jon alter who pointed out that when empires collapse, it takes decades for the dust to settle, and there's always a war. the fact that he and baker in particular brought that off, i was in germany a month about the wall came down, and to a person, senior leaders in germany, the head of the intelligence service, foreign minister, they said, in our lifetime germany cannot be united. they had that sense of permanence about their situation. >> i was hearing that from the ambassador. they were all saying, it's not going to happen. i wish we could do this all night. john mclaughlin, thank you very much, please write up all this now. thank you. coming up, the faith of a president. franklin graham talks to me about his father billy graham's relationship with george herbert walker bush. this is going to be great. >> we were privileged, we were
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tammy, thank you very much. that's from texas a&m. tell us about the feeling down there. >> reporter: that's right, chris, there's been a steady stream of people, a thousand people, which is more than they've ever had. this library-museum really gives you a sense of who former president bush was, not only as a president but as a man. him and barbara loved to entertain. if you take a look at this picture, you can see president bush sitting off in the corner to the right, and barbara sitting off to the left. we're told at state dinners they did not sit at the same table, possibly to mingle with guests more. that's a dress barbara wore to one of these dinners. this is about 90 acres, the museum and library. i'm told this is the most popular room. you can see somebody sitting behind the desk here. this is what people do, they come and sit behind the desk to see what it feels like to have been former president bush. if you take a look, these are pictures, replicas of the exact photos he had on his desk before
he was president, during his presidency, and after. i'm just going to show you something down here i bet you didn't know about, if you take a look in this drawer, this is where he kept his baseball glove that he actually used at yale when he played. now, this is what's called a partner desk so that somebody can sit on the other side and they could have a dialogue. on this side is a phone with a direct line to the pentagon. so anybody that was sitting over here could use that. we've been speaking with people, chris, all day, and ana, you came in from houston today, as soon as you heard the news. why was it so important for you to be here today? >> not only to pay our final respects, but to kind of feel the legacy that president bush and his family has left in the houston area. >> reporter: and living in the same town, you said that it was an incredible feeling, just him and his family being there. >> oh, he was always at the astros games.
i personally didn't see him around town but he was always in the media. >> reporter: thank you so much, ana. and chris, one other thing, former president bush will be laid to rest a hundred yards out back next to barbara bush and people will be able to pay their respects there after he's laid to rest. >> the presidential library of george herbert walker bush. thank you, tammy leitner of nbc. let's turn now to an important part of george bush's life, his faith. i'm joined by franklin graham, the son of billy graham who had a close personal relationship with the president. let me ask you about your father, who was unbelievable, as you know, and this president. >> they were close friends, chris. this friendship goes back to george h. bush's mother, who was in florida. and my father was playing golf
at a golf course where she had a cottage. she heard he was there and invited him to come over. he came over. she had some questions about the bible and they had a long discussion about spiritual things. she introduced my father to her son george h. bush and that's how the relationship began. but he was a man of great faith, chris. he was episcopalian. he was very quiet about his faith. he didn't talk about it or wear it on his sleeve. but he was very, very religious. he believed in god, he believed in god's son jesus christ, that he died for our sins, that god raised him to life. he believed that. i believe my father and george h. bush are together today in the presence of their heavenly father in heaven. >> did you see the conversation right before he died, it was in "the new york times," about the conversation between james baker, his old pal who had been through everything with, and he says, where you going? he says, i'm going to heaven.
>> he believed that, no question about it. and that's the hope of our faith. that's the salvation of our souls. and the bible says we have all sinned, chris, we have all separated from god because of our sin but god sent his son to take our place, to die in our place, and raised him to life. if we're willing to believe that by faith, god will forgive all of our sins, my sin, your sin, every one of us if we put our trust in him. >> president bush was once asked what was the best thing about being president. he said without hesitation it was the honor of it. and i think over the years, progressives have not had that sentiment held high enough on the list of what we expect from our national leaders. in fact time and the behavior of presidents subsequent to george herbert walker bush has taught us differently, i think, feeling the honor of the office and
responding to it, it's something that makes the presidency under its brightest moments historically special. the office of the presidency is. franklin, thank you. we've had problems with our presidencies in both parties about their personal behavior, their personal manner. i think george herbert walker bush never embarrassed us. that's what i liked about him. he understood honor. >> well, he understood honor, you're exactly right, chris. but where did this come from? i believe it came from his faith, his deep faith in god, because these are godly traits, honesty, humility. he had compassion. he cared about others. it wasn't just while he was in office and after he left office. he didn't hold a grudge against bill clinton who took the last four years of the presidency away from him. the two of them got along and they used their power as former presidents to help others. i think of haiti after the
tremendous earthquake that killed several hundred thousand people. both of them served to help raise money and help the people of haiti. also when the hurricanes hit southern texas along the gulf coast, the two of them came together to help people rebuild. he was a man of integrity and a man of compassion. these are godly traits and it's something that all of us should admire and try to obtain. >> our father includes the lines forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. i don't think politicians like that transaction but why do you think he accepted those words so well? >> because he believed it. it wasn't just words, chris. this was part of his life, it was part of his being. and he just believed god, just trusted god. he had grade training from a godly mother. family is very important. when you look at george h. bush's family, he's got an
incredible family. that may be the legacy of this man, it's not just his presidency, but an incredible family that he leaves behind. >> i agree so much, we'll talk about that later, a gesture to tip o'neill, they were a great family. thank you for coming on this solemn night, not a sad night. thank you so much. in the spring of 1989, newly inaugurated president george bush invited my wife kathleen and i to dinner in the family quarters and a movie in the president shl lial library. my parents were scheduled to be visiting us on the way back from their annual trip to florida. mom was experiencing early signs of alzheimer's. fortunately a close friend of ours, lois romano, a reporter with contacts with the first lady's office, barbara's office,
passed word to president bush who welcomed all four of us, kathleen, me, and my surprised and thrilled parents. the magic began when we arrived at the upstairs of the white house. at the very top of the stairs by the bushes, president and first lady bush, the president had changed for social time with a blazer on and gray trousers, very clubby, that guy. he grabbed my two parents and disappeared for the longest time into the upstairs of the white house where the family lives. mrs. bush took us on a tour of the family rooms, the lincoln bedroom and the others. i was standing on the truman balcony overlooking the south lawn of the white house when i looked through the french doors to see three people chatting away like old pals, dad, mom, and the president of the united states. i remember over dinner later that evening when my dad signaled to me in language that required no words that this was the greatest night of his life. i remembered a little other note from that night, during that
evening, before we all headed down for the movie, president bush commented about the matthews family being democrats. i said the family was overwhelmingly and historically republican, that i was the exception. well, it must have been months later, several months in fact, that i was sitting in the roosevelt room of the west wing for a press briefing for my newspaper, "the san francisco examiner." a few minutes after the briefing was over, i noticed president bush heading down the length of the table to me. he paused and said, quote, so has your father changed your mind about things yet?" what a mind, what a heart, what a nice gentleman. i had a hard time being tough on him after that for a while especially when dad asked me to be nice for what he had done. i tried. we'll be right back. .that's whyr of 1-2-3 medicines with trelegy. the only fda-approved 3-in-1 copd treatment. ♪ trelegy. the power of 1-2-3 ♪ trelegy 1-2-3 trelegy
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president trump's associates and the russians. nbc's keir simmons is in buenos aires at the g20 now. he spoke exclusively with putin's press secretary dmitri peskov. keir, the news. >> reporter: this is pretty stunning, dmitri peskov, president trump's right-hand man, with him all the time, showed me his cellphone and on it the e-mails his office received from michael cohen, president trump's former lawyer. those e-mails stood out for me in one particular way. at the bottom of the e-mail, in capitals, it says, executive vice president and special counsel, and again in capitals, trump. so no one could have miss income the kremlin where these e-mails -- where this e-mail was coming from. and yet dmitri peskov in this interview tries to say it was just another american businessman trying to do business with russia. take a listen. >> you obviously realize that
this was coming from the office of the candidate, of a candidate -- >> every week, every week dozens and dozens of foreign businessman are approaching us, mentioning possible investments, searching for contacts. >> this is different, this is from the lawyer. >> for us it's not different. >> this is from the lawyer of the future president trump. >> for you he's future president trump. for us he's one of the applicants. you have to understand that. you have to understand that. we have an open e-mail address that is public, and dozens and dozens of applications are coming every week from businessmen, from -- well, whatever. lots of people from all over the world. >> reporter: and chris, i tried to ask him about potential contact with other people close
to then mr. trump, and he seemed to suggest that he didn't know. but chris, you've got to remember that there was a time when we were hearing from the russians that this was all just fake news, and there you have a man so close to president trump talking about contact with a man so close to president trump. >> on the nail, sir, thank you. what a scoop. thank you, keir simmons down in buenos aires tonight. coming up, we return to our special coverage on the passing of george herbert walker bush. flags at the white house are at half mast. a look at the legacy of the 41st president of the united states, coming up. introducing e*trade personalized investments professionally managed portfolios customized to help meet your financial goals. you'll know what you're invested in and how it's performing. so you can spend more time floating about
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lease the gla 250 for $359 a month at your local mercedes-benz dealer. mercedes-benz. the best or nothing. and i did work hard. i gave it my all, gave it my best and got whipped and went home. and boy, have we been happy. >> looks like he's telling the truth. that was former president george herbert walker bush reflecting on his time in office and leaving office. joining me now former senator of wyoming, allen simpson. he's a good friend with the bush family altogether and spent a lot of time with the president and barbara. thank you for coming on tonight. >> chris, it's always good to do that. we used to do a little of that in the old days. sure did. >> what do you make of this guy? because he had the courage and the patriotism to do something
he thought nobody should, cutting the deal in 1990 to have an economic bill that increased spending and raise taxes in order to create the economy that bill clinton evidently later enjoyed fully, your thoughts? >> you're wise, when you watched that, i tell you, that broke my heart. they went out to andrew air base, put together a deal with two year budgeting, had every bell and whistle in it, they came to bush said we have to have revenue. he said that'll be the end of me, they said no. we promise to get it done on a bipartisan basis. they said we'll take it to the senate, we got a good vote. it went to the house, and the house, many thinking of running for president, they said we agree with it but now we see it's more taxes. we're going to have to band
together and crush it. take up the roll call vote on that vote and it'll make you gag. >> on his part i think it wasn't -- he knew there was no win in raising taxes. you have to be pretty far left to think there's a win in taxes going up. he wasn't left. >> no. he knew that. but he always knew -- his view was always the country came first, not democrats, not republicans, but the country. he saw that package and dole and gingrich saw the package but it didn't work when they got back to the house. it was a shabby way to treat him. >> let's skip the president right now because he's going to cause trouble on a night we should all unite. let's talk about bush the guy. went to yale, the old family yankee connections because down in texas becomes a wildcater, a cowboy american made it on his
own, went out and said i'm going to make money on my own in the american way, digging for oil and drilling for oil. he did seem to have something of the cowboy in him even those he came from that prestigious background. >> he wore the cowboy boots with the lone star on them. he was in the oil business. he was a wonderful man. he had the greatest sense of humor. i started off a little shrill there, but let me tell you he never held any hatred or regret from anyone. he never said i'll get them. you know, revenge, retribution, those things were never in his vocabulary. that was the amazing thing about him. he had a tremendous passion for life, where hatred carried in, he wasn't about to buy it.
i never saw him get huddled and snarled up and talk about it. he didn't. but we had a lot of fun together. >> how did he handle losing 92? >> he felt badly. i called him that night and said, george, it's a tough one. he said, i let you down. i let all of you people down. i said, you didn't let us all down. i mean, 20% of the people voted for ross perot, and he was telling the right things, talking about the debt and the deficit. but nobody on the big course was playing with that one. now he -- i said, quit beating yourself up. you're not that kind. you don't do that, but, you know, he had a mother that, kind of like mine, they knew each other -- our mothers knew each
other, we called them the velvet hammers. she said, you know, in a vote, you always vote a vote for your opponent in a grade school election. i did that once and lost by a vote, i said that's the worst thing i ever got into it. george said he did that, too. so sportsmanship, loyalty, don't toot your own horn. get off your soap box. don't be arrogant. you know, all those things were ingrained in him and impregnated in him. >> we lost him, we still got you, senator. what a family, you and your beautiful wife. great to have you on on this so let me occasion. you it is not a sad occasion, it's a solemn occasion. >> we've been talking all day about the things we did together, the hunting, fishing, throwing snowballs off the top of the white house, we did notify the secret service first because they said who are those