tv Charlie Rose PBS July 22, 2017 12:00am-1:01am PDT
occasion of president trump's first six months in office. we talk to do shannon pettypiece of bloomberg news and dan balz of "the washington post." >> it's a shock a day, jeff, be a pivot or more settledngo whitehouse or to a more date pace or to a president it is more predictable or presidential in that sense. this is just one more day in a six month rollercoaster that we've been witnessing and experiencing as a country under
president trouble. >> we conclude with pete buttigieg. >> we want to restrict the government from encroaching on our freedom. the reason to have a government is to restrict anything else encroaching on or freedom. there's a huge blind spot. i don't doubt conservatives are sincere when they care about free dumb but in my own experience freedom has been enhanced by being able to get access to medical care, being able to marry who you love. figuring out the gobbly gook on your credit card means. that's what they intended to enhance. democrats have grown i think out of practice in talking about freedom. >> jeff: politics and pete buttigieg when we continue.
captioning sponsored by rose communications from our studios in new york city, this is charlie rose. >> jeff: good evening, charlie is away, i'm jeff glor of cbs news. we begin tonight with politics. this weekend marks the six month anniversary of president trump's inauguration. those six months have been marked by what seems like an unprecedent and non-stop flow of news from the west wing. today we are joined by shannon pettypiece. she works for bloomberg news. and from washington dan balz and he's the chief correspondents for "the washington post." i'm pleased to welcome both of them to this program. shannon let me start with you hear in the studio with the
resignation today of sean spicer as press secretary. >> anthony scaramucci a hedge fund and long backer of trump is in as communications director. but there's not a sense that he's going to be doing much communication messaging strategy. the sense is that he will mostly be doing tv appearances, possibly the podium and be a public face for trump and the whitehouse. but not necessarily anyway who understands washington, understands congress, understands messaging. so the question still is, who is going to be dealing with those bigger picture issues if he's just going to be the public face. and sean spicer is saying all right i'm having none of this, i'm out. and anthony is the one left. >> jeff: dan it's interesting there are similarities here between the president and anthony scaramucci. the native the fighter, the president and
estate. there are similarities. >> there are similarities. they're both combative. they're both money people. they're both new york. they speak a similar language in that respect neither has washed experienced which the president believed was an asset and i suspect he sees in scaramucci that it would be a similar asset. that he will be a disrupter rather than somebody who will play by washington rules. sean spire was a creature of washington and it made it very difficult for him to operate as the spokesperson for a president who has defied all the rules. so he will be more comfortable with anthony scaramucci in that position. and you know, the issues shannon raised which is the roll of the communications director is not necessarily to be the public face. that's usually the press secretary. but it's somebody who is planning communication strategy for a longer term. what we know about this whitehouse is that there is no long term planning or very little of it, particularly on the communication side. the president creates the
communication strategy day by day, hour by hour. and so maybe scaramucci can roll with it more easily than sean spicer. >> jeff: the communication director is the president. >> right. he is his own communication director, his own foreign policy advisor and domestic policy advisor. that's frustration. the communications operation, they have a strategy there a message they go in one direction and the president does an interview and blows it all up. obviously sean had been frustrated for a while in this position. bringing in anthony, he was going to be doing the job of communication director and press secretary yet without the title. so people i talked to of course to him he just threw his hands up and said this isn't what i want, i'm leaving then. >> jeff: dan, it's more shock for a white house where it doesn't seem to stop. >> well, it's a shock a day, jeff, really. i mean we're, as you said, we're at the six month mark.
week by week, month by month it's become apparent that this is what life with president trump is going to be like. that there's not going to be a pivot to or a more settled whitehouse or more sedate pace that's more predictable-presidential. this is one more day in a six month rollercoaster we've been witnessing and experiencing as a country under president trump. >> jeff: shannon, sean spicer and reince preibus were a bit of a package deal when they came on board the trump administration. i think a lot of people at this point are asking now if sean spicer resigns what happens to reince preibus. >> you're right, a bag deal. they were parts of the establishment. they were supposed to understand washington and how to get things done. so that void among trouble kushner and other outsiders come in. here's how washington
communications messaging gets done. so with sean gone, you would think there might mean something for reince. but we've been talking to people close to him who say no he is very supportive of this decision about anthony. he's been told that his job is secure, he's not going anywhere. i mean famous last words for everyone in this whitehouse, i'm not going anywhere. but that's the story now is that he seems to be shifting and just getting on board with the strategy to bring on anthony and let sean leave if that's what he wants to do. >> jeff: as this drama plays out, dan, primarily the president here is now focused or is trying to still focus on getting something done on healthcare. >> well, that is what he says he's focusing on. but his attention span is very short, and so from day to day to day it's not clear that that is really where he is focusing his time or energy.
i mean it seems to be more focused on frustrations with the probe on the russian investigation under species been counsel bob mueller. his frustrations he aired this week with jeff sessions, the attorney general. differences in all kinds of ways. so yes he did have all the republican senators into the whitehouse after the bill and the senate collapse the earlier this week. and he indicated he wants something done. but getting to that goal line has proven so difficult. and the president has not necessarily played a constructive role in getting it to success. so he will say those kinds of things but there has been very little follow through and i think we have to be subsequent cull there is presidential follow through. the senate will try to do what they can do. senator mcconnel the minority leader reached his limits and while there will be a vote next week or an effort to have a vote
to put a bill on the floor and see what if anything can happen to it. it's not clear they'll be able to succeed with getting the bill on the floor. >> jeff: you noted there has been a change at least for the strategy by the president. he was very involved with the house and house members in cajoling them to get their version passed. it was a stand off with the senate for a while but now he made the sales pitch this week. >> it was interesting to see what happened in the house because he really did turn the temperature up on them in the end. but in the end it was the house members themselves who came up with a couple amendments they could tack on to feel comfortable enough about this with and be able to hold their nose and vote for this bill that they weren't that crazy about. but it really wasn't any leverage from the president. he was calling them over and over again, inviting them to the whitehouse and bolding nights. it was the members themselves coming together. i think that will happen in the senate too because at 40% approval rating at best more in the 30's, he doesn't have leverage. by every day he becomes
increasingly more toxic and for the members trying to decide in 2018, trump's most popular person in the republican party or the most dangerous person in the republican party, wire getting close to having to make that decision in 2018 as they start running for re-election and it's increasingly looking like they're going to shift away from him and run on their own. >> jeff: is there any sun tra republican argument over held care that they are agreeing with each other anymore at this point. >> today and yesterday, i don't think there's any sign that anybody's moving closer into one column over another despite being called last night and sticking around. i mean my read on this and the people i talk to is this is not going to be something that gets decided in a couple days. maybe a few months maybe the fall maybe the end of the year they can come up with something but we're at right now the divide isn't going to be mended in a few days or late night on
capitol hill. >> jeff: dan, does the president have any leverage. what does this threat to say skip your august break mean? >> well i mean it puts some pressure on them but i think they've put pressure on themselves. it's not as though they need external pressure. they recognize that they made a promise and have made a promise for seven years to repeal the affordable care act. and they have been trying to do that and they've been trying to in a sense do a rubik's cube to try to get everybody on board and they've not been able to. and the recent surgery and diagnosis for senator mccain leaves them with one less vote even though his vote was not certain. so they're in a deeper hole than they were before the president said we'll stay for your august recess. that's an easy thing to say if you're president of the united states but what is it that these got to contribute that will bring him both moderates and
conservatives into a consensus that will get them to the 50 votes they need. because it's pretty clear that senator collins and senator rand paul are just hard nose against there was no margin of error. there's less margin of error now because of senator mccain. and the president has yet to offer anything substantive to say here's a way out of this box. here's a solution that i can see or that my people can see. they just haven't been able to do it. they've made any number of, you know, of efforts. i was up in rhode island last weekend for the national governor's association and the vice president was there and second price was there or they were trying to woo and win some governors. they weren't able to do that. similarly in the senate. i think it's really tough so for him to say stay in until you get
this done is talk but it's not necessarily constructive action. >> jeff: also shannon not a popular bill right now. >> no. donald trump, the real estate businessman would say you have to believe in what you're selling if you want to sell it. they don't have a good sales pitch. i heard the president trying to make a sales pitch in this lunch he had with senators saying look it's entitlement reform with medicaid. it's rolling back taxes, mandates that hurt companies trying to have real republican conservative ideology selling points. as far as selling to the american people, they're so far from having a good effective message and that's why i feel the mood and popularity isn't going to change over night. maybe they could change it months from now with some good messaging really hammering away, engaging trump getting people on the same page. but it's so unpopular right now that a vote next week is not
going to be enough. things aren't going to change enough for a yes vote to happen next week. >> jeff: when the president and whitehouse talk about wins here they do talk about neal gorsuch. they also talk and the president talks a lot right now about the market. they are still riding high. doing very well. is that going to be a continuing focus? >> not if they can't get tax reform done. that's what wall street is looking for. they want tax reform. they want a lower corporate tax rate. they want this tax holiday so people can bring money back from overseas. that's what the markets have been banking on. each day this healthcare drama draws out, you get further away from being able to get tax reform done this year. tax reform also really what the republican establishment wants. they are foaming at the mouth to get the tax reform. they've got this health bill blocking their way that they want to do first because they need the tax saving from that to pass tax reform. so i think there's going to be a day and a time where president
trump is going to regret tying his success to the markets for nothing else than the markets are just cyclical but also to the point that the markets are counting on tax reform. >> jeff: the markets right now just seem immune to drama. >> the markets love, they love to be doing, every investor loves to be doing well. nobody on wall street wants the market to go down but it's sort of how long can the party last. everyone's having a grand time right now but when does reality set in. when can they not, when does it have to face the music. >> jeff: dan, the whitehouse, it's not just to focus on the markets but focuser other thing as well, made in america and there have been others. have those in your susta
-- estimation happen. >> there are a number of events designed to highlight made in america but every day or every other day there's been something far more dramatic that has happened generally caused by the president himself. and so this notion of stepping on the big message has been a constant theme in the administration. i do think that that made in america message has resonance. it certainly has resonance with the trump base but i think it has resonance broader than that but i think in general americans would like to see more manufacturing in this country. they would like to buy more goods that are made in this country and the extent to which the president has and uses the bully pulpit to deliver that message can be effective. i've talked to some people in some of the states who said they've seen evidence in their states that what the president has said just what he said on this has had an impact on the thinking of businesses about where they invest their money and how they invest their money. so there is some value to that.
but with the constant disruption, it certainly dilutes the power of that message and in many ways smutters it committeely. >> trump really lost that message. remember back to december or november or january he was going after those companies. he was going after forward. he did that deal in indiana with carrier, you know. he was going after boeing, and he's lost that message. but that was an effective message for him but he gets distracted on talking about fake news and tweeting out a company like forward is now sending jobs to china, where is that. >> the fake news tweets also resonate with -- >> with the base. >> with a lot of folks. >> right, with the base. but i think jobs and america and going after the big companies, those resonate with independents and democrats and the people who really swung him into the whitehouse. >> jeff: dan, how does the attorney general stay on a job
when the president openly says he shouldn't be there? >> it's very difficult. if you're the attorney general, you have to swallow your pride. you have to say to yourself i've got important work that i am doing and i'm not going to let this be a distraction. i suppose you can say that you say to yourself the justice department actually is and should be independent from the president on a number of things. and so if the president is unhappy, well i can live with that. but i mean, this was a terrible thing that happened to him this week, to have the president so publicly rebuke him. we have known for some time how unhappy the president was about the decision by jeff sessions to recuse himself from all things relate to the russia investigation. that's been out there for a while. but we've never heard it from the president's voice and we've never heard it in such a kind of a dismissive way and in an angry way about what sessions had
done. it's as if that decision has led to this cascading of an investigation. it's obviously more complicated than that. there's a different time line that the president is overlooking as to how we got to this point with the mueller investigation. but it has to be humiliating to the attorney general to be operating like this. and as i say, i think the only thing he can do is he seemed to do on thursday is swallow his pride and try to carry on as long as he can. >> jeff: the time line part of this is important from the presidential perspective and maybe hasn't been examined as much. but there's also the question shannon of finding someone if sessions did resign or was fired to find someone willing to take that job then. >> yes, almost as hard as finding someone to take the communications director job at the whitehouse which was one of the most fraught, trying to find someone in washington. i know they talk the to so many people. no one want to take that job
because they knew what they were stepping into. but unlike communications director this one actually has to get confirmed by congress. that would be one giant fight to go through. >> jeff: dan, if you're bob mueller right now and you've obviously hired a decent number of lawyers already, how are you paying attention to this and how are you reading this? >> i think you're trying not to pay attention to it. i mean bob mueller is an experienced lawyer prosecutor, former f.b.i. director, grands great respect. i think he's knows who he is and the responsibilities that goes with this particular assignment he's taken o i would guess that he and those around him are just pushing forward. i mean there's no evidence that they are being cowed by any of
the outside noise and outside pressure this that's being applied. if anything, they're expanding this investigation into various other areas which may be one of don't know the specifics ofent that but he certainly is upset and seems more upset with the investigation today than he was a few months ago and he was quite upset with it then. but if you're bob mueller, you know what this job comes with. he's been through very tough situations before, and so he'll do it professionally and he'll bring it to a conclusion. whatever that conclusion is, whether it's damaging to the president or exculpatory to the president. i think he would deliver that report with a lot of confidence. >> jeff: i've heard a number of people say this week in the end everything is going to come out. everything will come out. right now the counterstrategy is to push back on these potential conflicts, shannon. >> people in the administration, i talked to john dowd who is now
the president's lead lawyer on this. it was marc kazowits. their strategy is not to pick a fight with mueller's team. he has great respect with mueller. they're not focusing on those. at the same time i was talking to dowd about that kellyanne conway was on fox talking about the conflicts, talking about the witch hunt and about how this is all a hoax and the president talking to the "new york times" specifically bringing this issue up. so while the legal team might not be trying to poke the bear in mueller and say you have all of these conflicts and poke holes in any investigations he comes up with, there's certainly a group with inside the whitehouse that includes at least as of a few days ago, the president trying to put a little cloud around mueller's investigation. >> jeff: dan, your paper had this explosive information over night about the potential of pardons. i mean, that's a big word when
you hear it. >> well, it is a big word and you know i think we should take it for what it is at this point. perhaps it is simply an inquiry. which might be a logical inquiry from a president who is not fully familiar with the ways and means of all of these legal investigations or the powers that he has as president of the united states. it may be nothing more than that. it could be nefarious. we don't know. we don't know whether he's asking it in a sense out of innocence or whether there's a strategy in mind to in one way or another try to blow this whole thing up. or short circuit it. we just don't know. i mean it's unnerving. i mean that story was unnerving to lots of people for what it could portend though it doesn't necessarily portend the worst. so i think as with all of these things with the russian investigation on the one hand we have to lean in and try to find
out everything we can and at the same time we have to step back a little bit and recognize how much we don't know. bob mueller obviously knows a lot more than we do. we don't know what he knows, we don't know that he knows everything he needs to know. so it's kind of a push pull situation. so whenever there is information like this, it is both alarming but i think it's incumbent on us not to try to leap to a conclusion as to exactly what that means or what will happen as a result of that. >> jeff: let's talk a little bit shannon if we could about the president's six months. we could talk all day about what has happened. he's in france this week. that's one relationship that seems both sides would like to see work. >> yeah. and it has worked for i don't know however many decades and decades and decades now. one of the most interesting things about these foreign trips and the trip to paris but look
at his first trip. saudi arabia and the middle east. that is a trip that should have been full of land mines and he just breezed right through and everything went easy breezy. he gets over to europe with our allies, german, canada, france and it was pull of potholes. stepping in one after another. and came out as a very tense relations even more tense there. so i think though he is surprised how comfortable he is over seas. we had talked to people in the whitehouse before this trip he really didn't want to take the first trip. he was worried about how long it was. i think he does fine a bit more comfort there than in washington. one he gets to escape the headlines and the drum beats of things about the russian investigation but two he does get to establish a one-on-one personal relationship with some of these leaders which is something he's comfortable with and he is very transactional and relationship with a foreign leader can be transactional. okay we'll do this for you and i'll do that for you and that's
an area where he's more comfortable with as opposed to dealing with congress and hundreds of people on the same page. >> jeff: there are a lot of bilateral discussions with him, right. >> yes. shannon's right. foreign policy is often where presidents who are embattled turn to because they have greater latitude. as she said, you don't have to worry about every member of congress and their views on it. you are the president of the united states dealing with another head of government or head of state. and that creates a different dynamic. and we know one thing about president trump is that he likes to deal one-on-one with people. he likes to get to know them. he likes to take a measure of them. he feels he knows how to get the upper hand on adversaries and any relationship like that. he certainly likes the pomp and circumstance becoming the president of the united states overseas and so all of that that
sense is reinforcing to the idea that this is where he should concentrate his time. now, as to the specific policies, there's still questions about what exactly those are, whether he is in, you know, he is in concert with others in his administration, whether it's the secretary of defense or the secretary of state. so there are a lot of questions about it. but he is enjoying, it appears, being overseas more than he might have thought. >> jeff: sharron we haven't talked about immigration. there is an enormous amount to cover in these first six months and one can only wonder what the next six months will be like, right? >> right. and actually i was talking to someone who was with the trump campaign from near the beginning and i said well how long can it go on like this. the daily, you know, news and the attacks and at this pace, is this really sustainable.
he said well you know it was a wild knuckle ride for 18 months on that campaign and it will be a wild knuckle ride for the next four years. the next six months is going to be like it is. the president is who he is. he's not changing and he runs things the way he runs it and that's not changing either. so buckle up. >> jeff: dan, you talked about this earlier. it's a constant form. >> it is a constant storm but as shannon said it was a constant storm during the campaign. time and again he was under estimated or counted out and there were predictions he couldn't survive this or that and he proved everybody wrong so i think that's, i think that gives him confidence that even as there's turmoil around the president, there are the investigations, there's the disruption that he creates. i think he gets up every morning and he says, you know, i'm the president of the united states and nobody thought i was going to be here. that gives a person a lot of
confidence to be able to survive and to continue to operate the way they are used to operating. and everything we've seen so far is that he intends to keep doing that. >> jeff: dan balz from "the washington post" and shannon pettypiece from bloomberg news. thank you for your time. >> jeff: pete buttigieg is here. he's been mayor of south bend, indiana since 2012. he is one of america's youngest mayors and is seen as a rising star in the democratic party. "the washington post" has called him the most interesting mayor you have never heard of. i am pleased to have mayor pete con to this table for the first time. welcome. >> thank you. >> there are people that call you mayor pete. >> yes. >> born in south bend. >> yes. my father came over to the u.s. from malta met my mother and got jobs at notre dame before i got on the scene and grew up in a neighborhood in south bend. >> what kind of job.
>> they were in teaching. my father's in english, my mother's in linguistics. and we got started in her nice working class neighborhood on the northwest side of town that i later came to understand was unusual. i didn't realize having a lot of fake and abandoned factories around you was something that didn't happen in every city. it was only when i left for college that i realized that. but even though our city had a lot of struggles as a town that lost its company. it was a company for studebaker when it closed in the 1960's. it's a great place to grow up and a good community. >> how big. >> over a hundred thousand. it doesn't include the university of notre dame just outside of the city limits. we're just big enough to matter. just big enough that you taste complexity and have all the issues but small, small enough you can innovate and be creative and you can try different solutions. if you find one, we're also typical enough that a lot of other cities might be able to use them.
>> i want to come back to this but after you were married you found something to do with all those buildings. >> very much. on the housing front we had a lot of vacant and abandoned houses that had to come down but a lot could be saved. on the industrial front we've got almost a thousand square foot studebaker factory that's finding new life as a new technology center harnessing the fact that a lot of fiber optic cable passes through our community and taking advantage to the access of electrical power that really is a legacy of the factory days. >> went to harvard. >> i did. >> then went to oxford as a roads scholar. >> that's right. >> you went directly to oxford. >> i worked on the kerry campaign so that was half a year 2004. first thing i did right after i graduated. sent me to arizona and realized that wasment going to happen and redeployed me to new mexico. i went to washington looking for my old boss and the following summer the rhodes kick the in
and gave me a chance in the uk. >> did you enjoy that. >> i was in the pp program, philosophy, politics and economics. and learned a whole different style of learning that they practice at oxford. >> how is that? what do they do that's different. >> it was the tutorial system. harvard had tutorials too so i thought i knew what that meant. but over there it's more like a weeky oral examine and i was getting grilled especially on economics and things i was racing to catch up on. but that economics background has served me very welcoming back to a place like south bend especially with the unemployment rate and the double digits when i took office as mayor. >> when did you get the political bug some might say. >> i was always politically aware, my parents talked about politics a lot. we weren't politically connected or even politically involved necessarily locally but i was always aware. i went to a catholic high school. i'm episcopalian but i went to catholic high school and talked a lot about social surgist too, things around the world.
i had an old testament teacher passed around pictures of golf courses in arizona and told us that whole rivers had been diverted and there were villages in mexico unable to get water so there were these golf courses and to him this is the proof that hell must exist because where else would you put the person who built those golf courses. so there's always that sense of social justice that i grew up with and i think over time that developed into a political sense too. >> when you look at south bend, is it buttated by the winds of change what technology does to jobs and all that. >> this is a company, a city that really grew around a handful of companies and you'd have a single employer that might account for so, 20 or more thousand jobs. and that simply doesn't work anyone. it doesn't even done with manufacturing but what we've had to do with a city is adapt to the fact that jobs are going to come fewer at a time. we're going to have 10,000
people working in manufacturing, it will be a hundred people at a hundred companies each rather than having them all in one. we're dealing with all of those different things from trade to ought make that have changed the nature of work, the nature of the economy but we've also adapted with the times and i think that's one of the reasons just a few years after we were listed as a dying city and one national publication and now the city's growing. we're seeing our fastest population growth. the city realized that no stal jaw wasn't going to work and turn back the clock. we engaged universities in new ways. we have these great colleges and universities. you've got st. mary's and hall -- all in south bend. we have a chance to redefine what it means to be a college town. part of an effort called the met free lab network which is a network of university city pairs across the country and pick the substance what the students are
working on and apply it in the life of the city. we've got environmental engineering students from the city of north dame working with the students in the local community college and high school students in one of the most economically challenged neighborhoods in the city to reme ate a polluted underground river. in the process they're learning a lot about the human narc and we're getting the benefit of some free labor. >> bill gates used to say you need to put a lot of iq on that problem. with a great university there you've got a lot of iq you could use. >> absolutely. talent is not enough and we want a place where tarnt meets purpose. that's the stuff of the partnership. i think a mission-driven university which is certainly true over the ones in our mitted, making low income neighborhoods better off or making sure the community like ours has a future. they established a physical presence in underprivileged neighborhoods like center for arts and culture on the
traditionally industrial west side of town. these are exactly the kinds of connections that universities and cities need to continue to develop in order to create jobs and create a more secure quality of life for the future. people at notre dame might not realize we're a city that 40% minority, 28% below the federal poverty line and get all the help we can get. >> minority meaning primariy -- >> we have a fast growing latino population as well. it's not unlike some neighborhoods you might see like in chicago which was originally largely a polish is now latina. so you have large immigrant working families but two generations later they're likely to be speaking spanish than polish. >> america's economic future will be shaped in part by technology, a lot by technology, and it raises the question of
automation and robots. what is that for work, if they have a good job, if they have a job they found both satisfaction and compensation gives them something that they're proud of. it gives them a place. it gives them a sense of being. it gives them the capacity to do things for those that they love. >> you're absolutely right. i think that's also why jobs with similar may and similar benefits still aren't necessarily interchangeable. sometimes i think we may be well meaning progressives talk about retraining as though it were simple to take a worker who spent maybe 20 years building his identity in one kind of job. and suddenly tell them if you go through this training program you can swap out for this other one that's in a different field. and he does not is he himself that way. so we've got to understand when we're looking at the unemployment rate as though it's the only thing that matters,
that we've got to worry not only about the income that goes along with that job but the identity that comes with it and the security, how it relates to the future. and the more that automation changes the nature of work the more we're going to find that people will be looking for work with meaning that is also secure and has the right kind of income. because there's a lot more to work than a paycheck. >> is there going to be a lot of jobs of meaning for people. >> there can be. the happy ending of the automation story would be if more which more of our economic and productive activity shifts to work that we absolutely need more people signing up to do, whether it's in public service. i've got a shortage of people applying to be police officers in our city. teaching. we can't expand prekindergarten education the way we want to without getting more qualified teachers. a lot of deep here meaningful jobs but of course they have to be compensated for and invested in and built up in the right way. but if machines become more and
more productive, then the value of labor working with machines will continue to change. and while in theory it could be a beautiful thing if very few of us have to work in order to make stuff. that only makes sense over the long run. and in the long run we're all dead. we've got to figure out what to do in the next 10 and 20 and 50 years. >> in terms of national politics did you support bernie sanders or did you support hillary clinton. >> so i supported hillary clinton in, it was very hard to do what i could, to get her elected in the general selection against donald trump. when i was a high school student i noticed bernie sanders actually at the time i was looking for a subject to write an essay through the profiles and courage essay contest. i won with this essay i wrote about then congressman sanders so i always admired him as well. >> because he was a socialist. >> because he said what he meant, he said what he meant. while being very clear in his
political values, he was actually pretty successful in working with people across the aisle and i think that's a message that certainly has played out in my lifetime whether you look at paul wellstone who votes against the iraq war on the eve of his re-election in a state where the war is you popular. somehow his approval goes up and frankly i think was true with joarntle w. bush as well. he used to say with devastating effect, you always know where i stand. and he said it in a way that suggested you couldn't say the same of his opponent. and even people who might not have agreed with him are inkleined to support somebody they thought was guided by conviction. >> does trouble have that do you think or not. >> no. it's very difficult to know what his convictions are. he doesn't have an ideology he has a style. >> those argue that support him i don't have to agree with him but i believe he's a strong guy and does what he thinks. >> that's part of why they get
support. they get the sense -- >> he's presented to disrupt. >> that's certainly true. unfortunately a lot of people are being disruntd in ways that aren't so welcome. if he had gotten his way in taking healthcare away from millions of americans, many of them working class people in communities like mine. they would have realized the disruption was happening on their backs. >> medicaid expansion was a principal issue of the obama plan. >> yes. >> in ohio and in indiana, what did they do in indiana. >> indiana got a waiver and created the healthy indiana 20.2 which was under obamacare. it's actually one of the signature achievements of governor mike pence. >> he was governor when this happened. >> the idea that now he's doing everything he can to destroy what would have been one of his legitimate achievements is very representative of some of changes that i guess people are willing to make when they get into power but it's terribly
unfortunate for people in indiana. >> what has influenced you most, is it your education, the community, what? >> i guess two things. one is the sense of history and studying the changes and how we come out stronger. somebody spys we've never been polarized you think about the civil war the fact half this country broke off and we still got through that. you can think how we came through the 1960's. and the other thing is yes, communities where i grew up is home. being from a place that reminds me constantly that all the things that are being talked about in politics in washington, they don't matter because of what's happening among the politicians. they matter because of what will eventually happen to us in communities like south bend. the consequence of what those politicians do and i think that in particular for my party, the democratic party to be more politically effective, we're going to need to reorient our
vocabulary to putting people going through their lives back at the senator of gravity and recognize politics matters because what it does to people, not the other way around. >> therefore, has the democratic party missed an opportunity or have they failed so far to really define a narrative the time we live in. let's assume from 1914, i mean 2014 to the present time. >> i think we've struggled -- >> there's division and fighting within the democratic party. >> yes, which is really unfortunate because the democratic message has never been more timely. the democratic message in my view is that we exist to defend and support ordinary people going through their lives. and that's never been more important because right now there are a lot of people in my view in power especially in congress who are doing a lot of
things that will hurt ordinary americans going through their lives not just taking away healthcare but taking away restrictions on financial institutions. y you know while i mightem tong believe -- is it economic, is it ideology, is it an ideological fix on the way things should work. >> among the republicans you mean? >> yes. >> in my view it's a very narrow conception of freedom, freedom from government is the only kind of freedom they can imagine. freedom from overbearing government is very important that's why we have a constitution, to restrict the government from encroaching on our freedom. the reason we have a government is to restrict anything else from encroaching on our freedom and they're blind to thought. there's this huge blindspot. i don't doubt conservative friends of mine are sincere when they care about free dim but my inexperience is freedom is enhanced by being able to get
access to medical care. buying able to marry who you love. being able to find out what the gobbly gook comes through from your credit card company means. that's the freedom that democratic policies have tended to enhance. yet democrats have grown out of practice in talking about freedom. >> in politics and you know this from your oxford education as well i assume. how you use language is crucial. >> absolutely. it's narrative. it's the story that you tell. the story has to be true. >> and the words that you own. >> sure. and yet we've allowed words like free done to be taken away from us. >> or security. >> or security or fairness. it's particularly strange knowing the history and tradition of the democratic party that fairness has kind of been stolen from us as a piece of vocabulary. and yet if you look atthe seams, that really about making some people feel they were being treated unfairly. and then it might be taking van of that in ways that are ironically going to make them even worse off. >> i have lots of friends who
went from undergraduate school to rhodes scholarships and came back and went to law school. how did you escape that. >> i think by then i was beginning to realize i want to be closer to home. i got a job in business with mackenzie consulting. they didn't have a south bend office but they had a chicago office. i got me a little closer to home. >> you been want to be a home. >> yes. i knew i wanted to come back to the mid west. >> so you could run for political office which is exactly what barack obama did. >> if you asked me when i was a student thinking i would ever run for office i never guessed -- >> you didn't seem like the type or what. >> i didn't understand that state and local office was so important. the thing that actually triggered my first run for office which is a very unsuccessful race for administrate treasury in 2010, i got clobbered. the state treasury of indiana used his standing to try to stop the obama administration from saving the auto industry. this is in indiana.
if you go there cocoamo indiana you see a factory on the right and left and they would have been absolutely devastated beyond a chance of ever coming back. >> is that the same with -- >> it was more steal and we're more auto but the say kind of dependency. in south bend growing up a lot of older factories come down now but it's literally as if a war or a natural disaster had struck at's what it physically looked like. and so i knew what it meant. if you destroy the biggest employer in the community, here i saw one of our own elected officials trying to do that because he was mapped -- mad ae present. i ran against him and got clobbered. i went to 89 counties in the state of indiana. i found myself interrupting people enjoying their tenderloin sandwiches at the county fair and taking out my hand and introducing myself and telling them why i thought they ought to vote for me. i was on hand for the world
record for the most fried chicken ever assembled in a single serving. we put it in the canoe to make it more interesting. i learned that side of politics. >> did you enjoy it. >> yes. to my surprise i enjoyed many of the most grueling parts. >> i know people going into politic too and i think mayor bloomberg may have who at a conference of mayors sponsored by the mayor's philanthropy. people get into it and they are relatively shy. they have never been somebody who want to be at the center of attention but throughs something about it that once you get past something, you know, you find outer you enjoy the human contact. you enjoy the opportunity to talk. you enjoy the community. >> yes. it's just that it's the way you have to extend yourself in order to understand other people. and you learn to listen to other people and see perspectives other than your own.
it's so rewarding. when i won and became the mayor then he the rewards are more extraordinary especially in your home town. having a chance to shape the community you grew up in and watch it grow and watch it begin to believe in itself again was so rewarding. i mean i enjoyed consulting, i worked with great people in the business world. i learned a lot. it paid well. but there were moments with where i would think to myself i don't care. >> you don't care. >> i mean i cared about doing a good job but i did not fundamentally care about, you know, the pricing issue that i might have been working on. the way i know the work i do as mayor whether it's fire and police or economic development or even marks and recreation. it is an important because the client's paying me to care about it, it's important because it just matters because people's lives will be worse if we don't get it right. >> it's value to your own life. >> absolutely. it gives you meaning. that could be hazardous for people in politics. if you have a meaningful job
there's always the risk that meaning in your life will come from your job. and any elected job has to be one you're willing to give up in order to do the right thing. >> suppose one, what are you 35 now. >> yes. >> suppose someone comes to you and says look you're a smart guy. and you know politics at the local level. and you know what people think. you're not looking at it from 30,000 feet. tell me what it is that a candidate for president in 2017 needs to know in order to have a real chance at resonating. what is it they have to do. what do they have to put together. >> i think you need to help people understand where they belong in the future in ways they can relate to. if you get it right, it will be reunion fix because the desire for belonging is the same and desire for sense of the future is the same whether you're talking about a colorado worker in south bend who wants to know there will be a job in ten
years, or transgender kid in high school just has to go to the bathroom like everybody else. it shouldn't be something that brings us together. you got to talk about it in those terms. most people, i encounter people who i'm convinced their lives literally depend on things like the healthcare reform that's being talked about. especially in rural counties but also in place like south bend where there's a lot of folks who rely on medicaid. and yet they may not know the name of any congress member in particular. so they may not care. some of the things that those of us who closely watch the game have to say. they will because it's so immediate. even people with very modest education i find are very sophisticated when it comes to knowing what i'm up to because it's going to affect them. you can't miss the impact that a city has on your life. if you ever throw out trash, walk on a sidewalk or visit a park. >> do people in south bend care about foreign policy. >> of course we care.
people know it's important. but i think more than anything we care about it through the lens of how it's going to affect us, whether it's a question how it's going to affect people we care about who are in the military. or in terms over our ability to continue growing. if there's a trade war, what would that mean for the many companies in my community that are part of a global supply chain and create a lot of jobs. i think people care for one of two reasons or both. one morally, right. our moral leadership. and two, when does it mean to me, to may job, my family, my loved one. >> if you abandon this treaty -- whether my company does good or bad. >> which could be a lot in the mid west. >> the issue of being a gay man has it ever been a factor in your political conversation. >> not really. occasionally maybe on fringes but what i found and i should say i was already in office.
i keep out during a re-election campaign. you didn't know what affect it was going to have but in the end it became clear that most people didn't care. >> they already knew you didn't they. >> yes. and maybe that made a difference. i'd like to think that i live to see the day when this doesn't even matter. the straight people don't have to come out, why should gay people. you show up at some charity function and your date is the same gender and everybody's like oh, okay i didn't know that. but i knew at least in indiana that that wasn't an option. >> you said you would like to see it refunnel that bill. >> some parts of the u.s. we may already be there. not in indiana. i'm just a little aways from the pizza making head lines announcing they couldn't cater a gay wedding. that played out in our county. we had some of mike pence's activism when i was governor on this issue. we've got a long way to go
before we can get to where it's just another feature of who people are. not something that's a distraction from how good a job you can do. >> you've gotten a lot of attention. there are articles that say the best young mayor you don't know or the most interesting young mayor you don't know. so there's a lot of that. they have built into you in terms of the profile they have of you we expect great things from him. true. >> there's an old joke the definition of a rhodes scholar is somebody with a very bright future behind him. what i've learned i've got a job to do and i enjoy engaging in broader conversations because i care about the country and i care about the party. i care about growing and meeting peers which is why i came to new york to participate in a program with other mayors. but at the ends of the day my job is at home. what matters is whether things are going well. if i'm filling in the holes in the road and helping to grow the economy then i think nothing
else matters. if i fail at that, nothing else matters. >> it's great to see you, great to have you here. >> thank you. >> thank you for joining us, see you next time. for more of our episodes visit us on-line captioning sponsored by rose communications captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org
♪ hello, and welcome to kqed newsroom i'm thuy vu. coming up on tonight's program, silicon valley is steering a revolution to make cars smart enough to drive themselves. and meet a san jose native who stars in the tony award winning hit, hamilton. first, more signs of chaos in the trump administration. today white house press secretary sean spicer resigned saying he strongly disagreed with president trump's pick for a communications director. meanwhile the senate debate over health care continues. on tuesday the gop bill looked all but dead when several republican lawmakers refused to repeal obamacare without a plan to replace it. but after president trump met with wavering republicans on wednesday the senate gop leader said he would t