tv State of the Union With Jake Tapper CNN December 2, 2018 9:00am-10:00am PST
and ask how you get xfinity mobile included with your internet. plus, get $200 back when you when you buy a new smartphone. xfinity mobile. it's simple. easy. awesome. click, call or visit a store today. remembering george herbert walker bush. a heroic navy pilott who survived a brush with death in world war ii, leading the nation through sweeping global change. >> america won the cold war. >> and inspiring americans to give back. >> and humble family man. a sionand pat reark of one of the most influential families raising a president and a governor and an example of
living life to its fullest. we'll reflect on his legacy with his confidantes. >> plus, on edge. president trump on the world stage at the g-20 summit. as robert mueller plays another card in his investigation. >> close trump allies plead guilty. >> is the special counsel closing in? the top democrat on the intelligence committee, senator mark warner, will be here. >> hello, i'm jake tapper in washington, with the state of our union is mourning a president. political leaders of every stripe, including president trump, will come together this week to honor the life and legacy of former president george herbert walker bush who passed away friday at the age of 94. the nation's 41st president will lie in state at the u.s. capitol before a memorial service at the national cathedral and then another back home in hoousb. he'll be laid to rest at the george h.w. bush presidential library in college station, texas.
the former president spent his final hours at home in houston surrounded by friends and family, refusing to go to the hospital, saying he was ready to be with his late wife, barbara bush, and their daughter robin, who died of leukemia at age 3. according to a source familiar with the president's final days, president george h.w. bush's final words were to his eldest son, the 41st president telling the 43rd, quote, i love you, too, over speaker phone. joining me now, someone who was there in the final hours. former secretary of state and white house chief of staff to george h.w. bush, james baker. secretary baker, i want to start, of course, by offering my deepest condolences on the loss of your close friend. more so than being one of his closest advisers, you were one of his closest friends and you spent his final day with him. tell us about that day. >> it was a sweet day, jake. he had been failing for a little while. he had been in and out of the
hospital many times over the course of the last five or six years because he had parkinson's, and it affected his ability to get rid of phlegm and stuff, and that would accumulate and give him pneumonia. he would go in the hospital, they would cure him, he would come out. there was a lot of that. but it never really affected his spirit. in fact, he said after barbara died that he wasn't ready to go. he used to kid about wanting to live to be 100. but that last day was really a very, very gentle and peaceful passing for him. he had not gotten out of bed for three or four days. i live close by his home here in houston, and i went over there at 7:15 on friday morning. expecting to see him sleeping. but he was alert, more alert than he had been in four or five days.
i sat there, had a wonderful two-hour visit, just the two of us. he ate a big breakfast, ate three eggs and yogurt and two fruit drinks and everything. he hadn't been eating much. and he was really -- we all began to think, well, here we are. he's going to surprise us again. it's another bounce back day. we went over there again later in the evening, my wife and i were going out to dinner around 6:00, and he was not in quite as good shape. we went out to dinner, and on our way home, they called us and said you better come on over. we went there, got there about 8:15, and he passed away at 10:10. when i showed up at 7:00 in the morning, one of the aides who assisted him physically, said mr. president, secretary baker is here. he opened both eyes, looked at me, said hey bake, where are we
going today? i said, well, we're going to heaven. he said good. that's where i want to go. little did i know or did he know, of course, that by 10:00 that night, he would be in heaven. >> wow. and you were there for his last words, which were to his oldest son, president george w. bush. tell us about that. >> yeah, well, later on, as it became obvious that he was probably going to pass that evening, they got all the kids on the phone. you know, when somebody is passing away, the last sense that goes is the hearing. and they can hear things. so they got the kids on the phone. and each one of them spoke to him. and he spoke back or mumbled back, anyway. and then they got 43 on the phone and 43 said i love you, dad. and i just -- i'll see you in heaven. and 41 said, i love you, too.
and those are the last words that he ever spoke. >> we should all have such last words. >> yes, indeed, and we should all have such a gentle and peaceful passing. >> you spent a lot of time with president bush, over the past weeks and months going out to dinner and visiting him. from what he told you, it seems as though he was ready to go. >> well, by the time -- yes, but he really wasn't ready to go after barbara died. in fact, he said so. but by the time he got back here to houston from his summer in kennebunkport, i think he was pretty much ready to go. quality of life had deteriorated a lot for him. >> your relationship with the president goes back decades. you got to know him as tennis partners back in houston in the '50s. you were by his side from his senate campaign in texas through the white house and beyond. here you are, here you are
helping him cast his vote in the midterm elections a few weeks ago. what are you going to miss about him the most? >> well, i'm going to miss him. what a beautiful, beautiful human being. a friend of 60 years. he was -- he was my daughter's godfather. he was my friend, as i say, of 60 years. i was his campaign manager in all of his campaigns for president. he gave me the privilege of serving as secretary of state in those four very consequential years he was president and in which he built an extraordinarily productive and successful foreign policy legacy. so i'm going to miss everything about him. and in fact, i do. i had a tough time yesterday. and i finally went out and did some fast walking in the park and got myself back together,
but he's special. he used to refer to our relationship as one of big brother/little brother. and i have told people that is a characterization that i take as quite an honor. i consider him to be my best friend. he has told people he considered me in the same way. so that, too, as far as i'm concerned, is a big honor. >> one of the ways that you bonded, it seems, was born in tragedy. you both lost family members cancer decades ago. you lost your first wife, mary stewart. president bush lost his daughter robin to leukemia. i know you helped each other through those terrible ordeals. was that part of the foundation of your friendship? >> it certainly was, but it's so typical of george and barbara bush. i mean, they spent a lifetime
helping others. george bush was perhaps the most kind and considerate person i have ever known in my life. if he invited you over for a drink or something, you would be sitting there, or anybody, a lot of people sitting there, well below his rank in life. and he would be passing the hors d'oeuvres. he would get up, pass, fix the drinks. very thoughtful person. and he and barbara, frankly, were the last people other than her family to see my first wife alive when she died of cancer at the early age of 38. they came to the hospital a day or two before she died. >> you have had -- >> they wanted to support me. and it was george bush who said after her death, he said bake, you have to take your mind off your grief. how about helping me run for the senate here in texas? i was apolitical at the time.
>> and you have had a remarkable career, served as secretary of the treasury, secretary of state, white house chief of staff. you ran presidential campaigns. looking back, there is this common theme with you and politics. starting with the race you just told me about, the senate race in texas. when george h.w. bush called you, you answered the call. why was that? >> well, look what he had done for me. he was my friend. he was my tennis doubled partner, but more than that, he was my friend. and i would never have gone -- you know, i didn't intend to do any politics or public service in my life. but after mary stewart died, george made a special point of coming to me and saying, you know, you need to do something to deal with your grief. he even had tried to recruit me to run for his seat that he was giving up to run for the senate. his congressional seat. but of course, mary stewart was critically ill and terminally ill, and i couldn't do that.
but he's just a caring and kind and thoughtful, selfless individual. in addition to having been such a consequential president of the united states. >> there are people out there saying that the death of your friend marks the end of an era, an era of civility in politics. an era of personal decency, the kind you have been talking about. certainly things do seem uglier and rougher in washington right now than we have seen in a long time. do you think that that era of civility in politics died on friday also? >> well, i hope it didn't die on friday. because we need -- we badly need to bring some civility back into our public discourse and into our politics and into our discourse generally. i mean, we need to stop yelling at each other and start listening to each other. at least be willing to listen. you don't have to agree, but you
know, george bush had a congress that was totally controlled by democrats. he had a -- the entire time of his presidency, he had a democratic house and a democratic senate. and look what he got done. so it can be done. and i'm just confident that with the system of checks and balances we have in this country, it's going to be done again, jake. i think we're going to get back to it. i really do. >> well, from your mouth, sir. thank you so much for giving us some of your time today. and again, our deepest condolences on the loss of your friend. a loss for all of us, i know, but especially a loss for those who knew him and loved him such as yourself. thank you, sir. >> thank you, jake. we have a lot of other news we're going to get to, including a possible breakthrough in the mueller investigation. and coming up, former governor arnold schwarzenegger who inspired an austrian body builder to enter politics.
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of virginia, the top democrat on the signal intelligence committee. michael cohen says in this court filing on friday that he, quote, remained in close and regular contact with the white house staff when he was lying to congress about the development and attempting development of the trump tower in moscow. did president trump or the white house staff know that he was lying, instrublct him to lie? do we know anything about that? >> first of all, jake, in light of the earlier segment and the news of the last few days, i want to add my voice in terms of a great deal of respect and admiration for president bush, and boy, that kind of strong leadership he brought to the world stage. we could use that now. could you imagine a george bush at this last g-20 versus the performance of mr. trump? to the mueller investigation, and what happened last week with the cohen pleading, let's step back and look at what we know. we know that now that
then-candidate donald trump was still trying to do business with russia in the summer of 2016. we know as well that his son and son-in-law had been meeting with russians to get potential dirt on hillary clinton. we know that his campaign aides knew about the e-mails that had been stolen by the russians. and we knew that his campaign chairman, paul manafort, was trying to offer to brief the russians. >> when you say the campaign aides knew -- >> i'm talking about papadopoulos. these are all things thereat have been established by mueller. and what i find particularly interesting with the revelation of cohen's plea is that he is saying he lied to protect then-candidate trump's stories that he had nothing to do with russia. so now, the president seems to already be changing his story a little bit and saying, well, it was all legal. i'll leave lawyers to make those determinations, but i have to believe that most republicans who were about to nominate donald trump in the summer of '16 would probably have thought
it was a relevant fact they would have liked to have known that then-candidate trump was trying to do business with russia. >> we know michael cohen said he was in contact, close and regular contact with white house staff while he was lying to congress about this deal, the trump tower moscow. do we know anything about whether or not the white house was aware that he was lying? >> i'm not aware of that. obviously, this was just the plea arrangement with michael cohen. and clearly, most of these characters who were around donald trump, none of them have exactly a sterling record of telling the truth. >> right. >> but i have to believe that the special prosecutor has more details to come. >> you said on thursday it might not be a coincidence that mueller waited to announce michael cohen's new plea until after he received the written answers to his questions from president trump. are you suggesting that president trump was less than truthful in his answers to robert mueller? >> i'm not suggesting anything. and i'm purely speculating, but
i know there had been a four, five -- three or four month time-out where mueller hadn't taken actions before the election. it just appeared he was waiting to get the president's written responses before he took or at least announced this plea. but that's pure speculation. and obviously, with this white house that seems not to be able to go a day without a factual inaccuracy or failing to tell the truth, anything is up for grabs. >> jerry nadler, the congressman from new york who is likely going to be the chairman of the house judiciary committee said on friday, quote, it's become very clear that the trump campaign colluded with the russians. he meant that not necessarily about conspiracy to affect the election, but collusion in a broader sense. having to do with business deals, having to do with whatever. do you agree? is there evidence of that? >> again, i'm going to continue the same position i had from the beginning of this investigation. why we have attempted bipartisan, both chairman burr
and i are going to reserve that final judgment until we get all our facts. we still need to see people like michael cohen back before our committee. but we do know this. pretty clear. that the russians, not only did they hack into the e-mails, not only had their stolen other information, but they were very forward leaning in terms of offering this information to the trump campaign. and it appears that a number of the senior trump officials or trump campaign officials continued to lie about those kind of contacts. >> i wonder, though, if there is a narrative here that is different from the one that a lot of americans were thinking it was, which is, for instance, in march 2016, president trump suggested or then-candidate trump suggested easing sanctions against russia for the invasion of crimea. he was in the middle of also trying to curry favor with putin to have this very lucrative deal. trump tower in moscow. >> a trump tower deal that supposedly they were going to offer putin a $50 million
penthouse apartment. >> exactly. maybe there was a motivation of greed and avarice and business dealings and not we're doing this for russia so they help us win the election. maybe it's we're doing this for russia so after we lose the election, we can make a lot of money in russia. >> there were clearly from the outset, i think everyone wondered why was donald trump, who is willing to whack almost anyone, was never willing to say an ill word about vladimir putin. >> right. >> was it -- we still don't know the answer. was it because of his business dealings or potential business dealings with russia? or was it because at some point during the campaign, and i think special prosecutor mueller is zeroing in on roger stone as well, was there some communication about what the russians had and potential then release through wikileaks and the ties between wikileaks and roger stone. that's a whole chapter that i think mueller still has much to reveal. >> but i guess while on that
subject of the roger stone part of it, is there evidence that roger stone, randy cred aco, jerome corsi, any of this gang actually coordinated with wikileaks for the release -- >> we have not had a chance to interview mr. stone yet. clearly, the special prosecutor has. and i like you and most of america want to hear the results of those kind of interviews. >> wait, the special prosecutor has interviewed roger stone? >> i believe. i'm not 100% sure on that. i know they have been back and forth. i know at least they have dealt with corsi. i'm not sure -- >> seems to me they have been circling around roger stone. senator mark warner, always a pleasure to have you here. >> i want to turn to major news president trump made on trade. the president is stepping back from his threat of a trade war with china after he and chinese president xi jinping hammered
out a deal over dinner. he agreed not to raise tariffs on chinese products next month in exchange for an agreement by china to purchase more american goods. joining me, sherrod brown of ohio. senator, congratulations on your re-election, by the way. the white house also said the u.s. and china have said a 90-day countdown clock for broader negotiations over intellectual property rules, cybersecurity issues. you sent a letter to president trump urging him to stay aggressive on trade with china and not just to agree to any deal for the sake of an agreement. do you think the deal as it's shaping up right now is good? >> i can't tell. i think it's important to step back and understand why all of this with china, and that is that half the world's steel capacity is in china, half of the world's aluminum smelting capacity is in china. they had a history of cheating. the whole point of tariffs is they're a temporary tool to reach a negotiation and to make
change with chinese/u.s. relationships and what we're doing with trade policy. i'm hopeful. it's not clear to me yet that the president's done this right. but i'm hopeful from the early stages of this. >> the u.s., mexico, and canada signed a replacement deal for canada called the usmca in argentina on friday. the plan still needs to pass the senate. i understand you want some tweaks, but president trump said he's ending nafta. it's this deal or nothing. if this agreement as it's currently written came to the floor of the senate, would you support it? >> the president's threats to pull out of nafta don't take away from the importance of getting this job done. i mean, i voted against one of the first votes i ever cast in congress was against nafta. i have seen the devastation it's brought to the industrial midwest. i have seen what it's done to workers. and you start off here by respecting the dignity of work and understanding the most important thing is to stop the outsourcing of jobs to mexico. gm just announced this summer
another plant in mexico. so we've got to do this right. the president's threats are not particularly helpful. not surprisingly. but we need stronger labor enforcement standards. these rules so far, the usmca, don't get us where we need to get to stop the outsourcing of jobs to respect the dignity of work, to protect american workers. whether it's the lordstown plant in ohio or the gm plant or other companies that find it's profitable for them to outsource jobs. and the president's new tax law, there
are provisions to encourage the outsourcing of jobs by giving companies that move overseas, shutting down in ohio, moving oefr seas, they get a 50% off coupon on their taxes. that makes no sense. >> i want to get to that in a second. just to bear down on this, the president made it clear that it's not going to change. it's been signed by mexico, by canada. i want to get you firmly here. you're going to vote no on the
usmca? >> the work is not done yet. i understand the president said it's final. the president needs to talk to congress on this, and we can go back to the table with the mexicans and the canadians and do stronger labor stuff. mexico hasn't even passed its promised strengthening of labor standards and labor law it said it would do in the negotiations. there's now a new mexican president who is more pro-worker than the outgoing president that signed the usmca. i'm hopeful with the house of representatives where it is, with the labor movement, with labor, with workers all over the country telling me they want stronger labor enforcement standards, you don't just sign this away, because this doesn't live up to the promise the president said that it would be a renegotiated nafta, helping workers and stopping outsourcing because it doesn't do that yet. i'm hopeful it will. i have been talking to the u.s. trade rep for months and months on strengthening the labor enforcement.
>> let's talk about general motors. you slammed the company for corporate greed at its worse after its announcement it's laying off 14,000 workers including almost 2,000 in ohio. this comes after the trump administration imposed sweeping tariffs, which you have supported, gm told the commerce department in june, quote, increased import tariffs could lead to a smaller gm, a reduced presence at home and abroad, for this iconic american company and risk less, not more, u.s. jobs. gm said in june that tariffs could cost jobs. was it a mistake to stand with president trump's tariffs? >> what gm executives never tell you in these statements is that the stock buybacks they did in large part because of the huge tax cut that the president gave them, including more incentives to move offshore, but the billions of dollars in tax cuts have ended up in gm executives' pockets. they have done lit ral over the last three years $10 billion of buybacks.
money that could have been invested in lordstown and hamtramck and maryland to upgrade and retool and build their suvs there instead of in mexico. so they can blame the tariffs. but the tariffs are literally a dime on the dollar when it comes to the stock buybacks enriching corporate executives. that's why i talked about gm greed. they have made a choice to put money in their pockets rather than investing in lordstown and other places around the country. >> want to ask you a couple political questions. claire mccaskill who lost, she blamed her loss on a failure of the democratic party to gain enough trust with rural americans. now, you have touted your re-election as instructive to national democrats looking for a message in 2020, talking about the dignity of work. exit polls. loufrb, show you also lost rural voters by 14 points in ohio. why did they vote against you? >> well, rural voters are becoming more republican. metropolitan area voters are becoming more democratic.
for a voes of reasons, but it comes to me, i did reasonably well in rural areas. we always could do better. it comes down to me the dignity of work. if you love your country, you fight for the people who make it work, whether they punch a clock or swipe a badge or work for a salary or tips or whether they're raising children or whether they're caring for an aging parent. i don't think democrats speak to workers enough about the dignity of work and about the respect we should have for workers. you start with that. you have better health care policy, better retirement. if you work hard in this country, you ought to be able to get ahead. and so many americans, so many ohioans are seeing that's not the case. that's why i start with that, with the dignity of work and build from there. >> you have said you're seriously considering a run for the white house in 2020. do you think that message, do you think you are the best person to take on president trump? >> i don't know. connie and i -- i have said before, jake, and you have known me for a number of years. i didn't dream all my life to be
president. i wanted to play center field for the cleveland indians. that door is apparently closed. >> i think so. >> connie and i were pretty overwhelmed after the election, the number of people who said, not just my message of dignity of work, but my career of always fighting for workers, whether it's against nafta or a better tax and trade policy or health care for workers or consumer protections or all of the above. and i have heard from a lot of people about taking that on. and you know, it's not just a message that works in the industrial midwest and states that we need to beat president trump. it's also a message for the x-ray technician in oakland and the construction worker in augusta, maine. it really -- it's the respect and dignity of work matters for this country, and both parties, frankly, have not paid -- neither party has paid enough attention to that. >> democrat sherrod brown, thank you for your time. >> i want to turn back now to
the death of the 41st president. one friendship of president bush's that you might not know about, arnold schwarzenegger, watching bush inspired schwarzenegger to go into politics. and joining me now, the former chairman for president george h.w. bush's council on physical fitness and sports, the former governor of california, arnold schwarzenegger. to the outside observer, it might seem kind of like an odd couple, an austrian body builder movie star and navy pilot from connecticut. what was your friendship like? >> we had a great friendship. it started out in the '80s. early '80s, actually, when i was invited to the white house under the reagan administration. and he was vice president. he was always very nice, and came over to our table and talked to us for great length. and i really started to like him a lot. he was a very sincere man. and just a wonderful human being. and then, of course, i got a phone call literally a few days
before the election in 1988 to introduce him in columbus, ohio, in front of a nationwide building. out there in the square. and so i immediately said yes. and there i was introducing george bush, then vice president george bush, to the crowd. it was around 10,000 people there at the speech. he called me then conan the republican, in his speech, but he liked my introduction so much that he asked me to come on the plane, on air force two and to fly around to other stops and to introduce him. i went with him then to pennsylvania, went to chicago. and i had the greatest time with him. then, of course, after he won, he asked me to serve as chairman of the president's council on physical fitness and sports. i was very, very happy to take on this position and this challenge. and he would literally send me to all 50 states in the united
states to go and to create kind of fitness rallies and summits and bring together educational leaders and health leaders to create more physical education classes all over the united states and schools. because he wanted everyone to stay fit. and so i did that. and it was a really great learning experience because as i was traveling from state to state, he would never, ever differentiate by talking about the democratic governor or republican governor. to him, it was all the same. i remember one time i said to him, i'm going up to new york state, and governor cuomo, and he said say hi to him. he's a pal. say hi to him for me and all this. he was always kind of like very kind to everybody. and i learned from him the good sides of politics, that you can cross the aisle and that you can talk to the other side and respect the other side, even though you disagree and all that stuff. i learned a lot from him. >> i want to bring up this photo of you and the former president sledding at camp david in 1991.
he signed, arnold, turn, damnit, turn. all the best, george bush. when you see that photo, what goes through your mind? >> well, i have to laugh every time i see the photograph or someone mentions it, because you know, he invited me up to the camp david more often than anyone else, i think. and i was up there literally every month. we had a great time. but it was exhausting. because we were doing sports from morning until night. we were doing skeet and trap shooting and horseshoe throwing and working out with the weights. and doing wallyball, which is volleyball against a wall, and bowling. the time i went to bed at night, i was exhausted. that's all i can tell you, but it was one day it was snowing, and we had this toboggan, and he was trying to teach me how to sled it because i was only used to sledding with austrian sleds which you direct with your feet.
so we went down totally out of control. and of course, we crashed into barbara bush, who broke her leg after that. so that's why he sent me this picture. so we had a really great time up there at camp david. and like i said, it was a great learning experience, hanging out around him. he was kind of like a mentor. and kind of like a father figure at the same time. >> that's wonderful. you saw a side of him that a lot of people didn't see. that athletic side. you said earlier this week that you love to hear president bush surprise people with his wild side, mentioning his skydiving just a few years ago. what might surprise people about george h.w. bush the man? >> i think, first of all, what would surprise people is that not many people talk about is that he was a great environmentalist. i mean, if you think about it, i'm going right now, i'm in europe because i'm going up to cop-24, which is in poland, and it was created under bush.
he negotiated with the u.n., with the fcc in 1992 that happened. so since then, cop-21, cop-22, cop-23, cop-24, and they have been able to accomplish really great things to make people make a commitment to reducing the greenhouse gases all over the world, and he's also one that inspired me when i was governor of california. i was very adamant and very strong with trying to make a commitment reducing our greenhouse gases by 25% by the year 2020 in california. it all came from him. people don't know that he was so into the environment. he also negotiated, as you remember, the acid rain. as a matter of fact, the first kind of cap and trade system that really worked well, and we got rid of the acid rain. this was, again, in the late '80s, early '90s. so he was really a great leader in this area and always talked about that. that's one side i think that people don't know about him.
but the other thing, i think everyone knows he was a very kind man. and that he did not see any other side. and i think this is very appropriate to talk about today, that he did not see the other side as the enemy. he always praised anyone. when people tried to trick him and ask him questions about john connally, as you remember, a slippery kind of guy. he said no, absolutely not. they ask him, is reagan too old? no, he's not. all this kind of stuff. he never fell for those things. he never really tried to attack anyone or be mean. he just was a strong guy. a very strong leader. but at the same time, a kind leader. >> tell us about the last time you talked with him. >> i talked to him many times. as you know, he endorsed me right away when i ran for governor in 2003. and i kept up my relationship with him. then he invited me to come and to be the keynote speaker at the
2004 republican convention in new york. and he was so proud, as far away as he was sitting from where i was speaking, i saw him smiling when i was talking because he was so proud of me. he was just really great. you know, he came out to california during my governorship and visited me with his pals. i remember he came through with the trains, through sacramento. and they had lunch there. we always stayed in touch. even in the last few years, i went to visit him in texas all the time and had lunch with him and barbara. barbara, of course, i tell you, i mean, what an extraordinary woman she was. and what a great couple. how great they were together. they were funny to hang out with together. great sense of humor. and as you know, she always spoke her mind. >> she did. >> so i had really great times always with them. >> president trump and president h.w. bush certainly have very different or had very different approaches to public life. president bush didn't end up in
endorsing his party's nominee in 2016. what do you see as the biggest difference between president trump and president george h.w. bush in the oval office? >> well, i think it's a different era now. number one. and number two, i think that president bush never said anything really bad. never attacked anybody. on a personal level or for their political beliefs. he really believed it was great we had a two-party system. he felt very, very strongly that the only way we can solve problems is by both of the parties working together. because he felt that if one party does a law or creates a law, then the other party is empowered and they get rid of the law, and that's how it goes back and forth and nothing gets done for the united states and for the people. he felt if you really want to get things done in america, you have to work with both of the parties. both of the parties have to come together and really solve the
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no regrets then? >> no regrets about anything. no regrets about one single thing in my life that i can think of. i mean, i made mistakes, but they don't measure up to regrets now. >> president george herbert walker bush reflecting on his life as a warrior, a statesman, devoted father and grandfather in a 1999 interview with cnn. let's discuss. let me start by bringing people into the conversation we were having during the commercial. you were just telling the
esteemed bernard shaw how worried george h.w. bush was about him as desert storm kicked off. >> so we watched desert storm live on television, and that man was right there. bernie reporting on it, the bombs coming down. george h.w. bush was so worried about his safety and where he was and they were making calls to make sure that he was okay. he was not happy that you were in harm's way. >> when i came back to the washington bureau about a week later, the bushes invited me over to the residence. went upstairs, there's brent scowcroft, the president, and mrs. bush had broken her foot. she came in with a cane. and the president came in. he's wearing a yellow sport jacket. he said bernie, we were really worried about you. i said, i was worried about me.
>> but you say that doesn't surprise you. >> no, not at all because he always worried about the other guy. and tim could tell you tons of stories about that. we have been a some of the most important moments in his life. he worried about other people all the time. we all felt that. >> you have been at bush's side since 1985, when you started working for him. >> i was his aide for five years. to anita's point and bernie's point, worrying about the other guy. the story that stands out the most was the day of his inauguration as president. he decided it was a temperate day. he wasn't going to wear his overcoat. we left it in the limo down on the capitol plaza. and as we're getting ready, as he's getting ready to be escorted on the platform, he sees nancy reagan is bundling up president reagan from the cold. he's got his overcoat and a scarf. and the president elect turns to me and says i need my coat. i said there may not be time to get your coat before you're escorted out because everything was choreographed.
he said i need my coat. i can't go out looking more robust than president reagan. i quickly handed him my coat. he put it on, took it off when it was time to be sworn in. he was worried about president reagan. >> and there's a little thing, a coat. as you were just talking about condi rise, he wouldn't go to germany when the wall came down. so little things, large things. he wasn't going, as his mother said to him, george, don't be a braggadocio. and that really was with him throughout life, whether it was a baseball game or running for office. and he said that it may have hurt him, actually, politically. that he wasn't more willing to boast about himself. >> you know, bush was very concerned about appearances, not being braggadocio or what have you. the bushes invited me and my wife linda to go to their favorite chinese restaurant.
>> we were just there a couple weeks ago. >> route 50 westbound. and it was -- >> where is this? >> arlington, northern virginia. >> don't miss it. >> we're in the limousine. it's raining. going down this rain-soaked highway. and this is the transition. this man is about to become the 41st president. in three or four weeks. and he looks out the window and says, you know, i've been getting some flack. he said, do you think i'm looking too anxious? am i coming off as being pushy? and i said hell no. i said you've got a matter of weeks to get the right people before you're president of the united states. at that point, i turn over and look at barbara. she cut her eyes at me and -- he was concerned about appearances. >> he had this great relationship after both he and bill clinton had left office,
with the man who defeated him. >> right. >> bill clinton. he wrote in "the washington post." given what politics looks like in america and around the world today, it's easy to sigh and say george h.w. bush belonged to an era that was gone and never coming back. i know what he would say. nonsense. it's your duty to get that america back. >> you know, actually, when you tell me that story, i think immediately of this wonderful photo that i have of sitting with george h.w. bush on air force one on our way to pope john paul ii's funeral in april 2005. president bush his son had invited the former presidents to come. we're sitting on air force one. i asked him about his relationship with bill clinton and how it had really been blossoming at that point. for those of us who lived through the 1992 campaign, which was so difficult, and the rhetoric against george bush was hard for us to take, i said what is this relationship? explain it to us. explain it to me. he said, you know, look, i'm an old guy.
he likes to talk. i like to listen. but he said, you know what. i think i'm the father he never had. and that tells you everything about george h.w. bush. >> wow. >> how he embraced, you know, his probably most ardent political foe other than ross perot, and how he really just built this personal connection with him. politics aside. >> what a thing to say, a father he never had. >> wasn't a counterpoint to that, his wife's attitude about william jefferson clinton. >> barbara was not a fan. >> despised clinton. >> barbara wasn't having it. >> the only asterisk i would add is she valued very highly the role and the relationship that -- and the respect that president clinton showed her husband. so in that sense, she did -- >> years later. >> -- value bill clinton and the role he played. >> i do want to bring up the elephant in the room, which is
that president trump spent a lot of time bad mouthing practically every male member of the bush family, george h.w. bush, george w. bush, jeb bush, and there was no love lost between the bush family and the current president. take a listen to this from president trump yesterday in argentina. >> do you regret any of your comments about bush and his family in the past? >> thank you very much, everybody. thank you. >> do you regret any of your comment about george h.w. bush or his family in the past? thank you very much, everybody. thank you very much. it seems like that could have been a moment. it was not a moment. >> i think in some ways it was, actually. i think it's an acknowledgment that he has. but he's not a guy that says i'm sorry. but i think even in that tacit response of saying nothing, it's an acknowledgment.
>> you're generous. >> i learned from george h.w. bush. >> we have seen the public statements, the written statements that the white house has put out. and those are very, very different. and i'm guessing that chief of staff general kelly had a lot to do with the tone of that. i was also told this morning that the white house has cooperated completely. that the bush family is so appreciative that they have done everything. but donald trump is still donald trump. when it's not scripted, that's what you get. >> jamie, this white house has no alternative but to cooperate. >> that's true. >> but let me speak to the bush reaction to the white house. even in spite of reasons, i suppose, to be annoyed and upset, it is the bush family that wanted president and mrs. trump there. >> correct. >> at the funeral, consistent with all that we learned from president bush. >> what did president bush think of donald trump? >> we know he didn't vote for him in 2016.
>> i'm afraid i don't know. >> well, the word blowhard is on the record. there was a book written, the last republicans, and president bush did say that on the record, that he thought trump was a blowhard. look, donald trump is 180 from who george h.w. bush is. but inviting him to the funeral is not a surprise because this is about respect for the office. >> absolutely. >> bernie, you heard colin powell talk about george h.w. bush as a president, as an international leader, as somebody who believed in treaties and believed in international order. and he was -- he didn't say the word trump, but he was clearly contrasting president george h.w. bush with trump. there are a lot of differences beyond the foreign policy realm. >> bush was democracy's president for the world. on his tour. given what happened, the implosion of the soviet union,
collapse of berlin wall, and other things, the world looked to george bush because he was a leader respected. he had proven himself. this president has yet to do that. i just pray that on his watch, whether he has one term or there's a second term for donald trump, i pray that our great nation does not undergo the potential threatening developments that could tear us asunder. >> and there's a great clip from 1980 when george h.w. bush is challenged on his how tough he is, and he talks about toughness is about having values and standing for them, being principles. toughness is not attacking people. then they go through a list. is john connally too slippery, is ronald reagan too old, is bob dole too mean? no, no, no. it's up to the voters to decide. he was a tough politician, but he believed in a certain sort of fundamental decency. >> that was across the aisle, whether it was talking about
other republicans or talking about democrats. i mean, i think one of the things too that i remember being a young staffer in the white house, and tim would know that because he shepherded a lot of people in, a lot of democratic friends from the white house who were frequent guests. >> thank you one and all for being here. we want to take one second to acknowledge before he was president, george h.w. bush was a flyboy, a world war ii pilot flying missions in the pacific. in 2002, cnn returned with him to the spot where in 1944, he had a close brush with death. >> i have a clear picture of my parachute blowing up onto the island. >> 58 years after his bomber was shot down by the japanese during world war ii, former president george h.w. bush returned to the pacific to the site of a combat experience that forever changed his life.
>> i'm not haunted by anything other than the fact i feel a responsibility still for the lives of the two people that were killed. >> there he revisited some tough questions from that day. >> i wonder if i could have done something different. i wonder who got out of the plane. i wonder why the chute didn't open for the other guy. why me? why am i blessed? why am i still alive? that has plagued me. >> bush formerly enlisted in the navy the day he turned 18, becoming one of the youngest naval aviators. >> i knew fact certain that i wanted to serve. duty, honorer, country. >> he flew a total of 58 strikes during world war ii, but that day would live with him forever. >> my life was spared. a lot of other people's lives weren't spared in that war. but i now am getting older, and much, much, much older.
and i'm at this stage, i look at all this as a blessing. i look at all of this as having made me a better man. little kid made into a man by a series of circumstances over which he had no control. >> thanks for watching. fareed zakaria gps starts right now. >> this is "gps," the global public square. welcome to all of you in the united states and around the world. i'm fareed zakaria coming to you live from new york. >> today on the show, the death of a president. george herbert walker bush succeeded in helping to end had cold war and wage a limited war in the middle east. and yet failed to win re-election. bush's best friend and secretary of state shares memories. also