tv Newt Gingrich Trump and the American Future CSPAN July 18, 2020 6:50pm-7:46pm EDT
write. thank you so much for joining us today. >> i am a huge fan of the reagan library and with those experiences for young people. so i can assure you as soon as i'm allowed to get back on the west coast i will be dropping in to see you. >> terrific. i have known you for years , you are an intellectual and historian, you are and imaginative guy. i wonder, mr. speaker if you could ever imagine a situation
the united states finds itself in for today cracks. >> when i first started to write trump and the american futur future, it was at the peak of great economics lowest unemployment lowest latino unemployment everything was going well we are negotiating with the chinese and then boom. he start with the chinese virus now they gave it a different name. then the first time i have ever seen countries literally creating a depression and then
then people being totally fed up and then the tragic death of george floyd now all of a sudden the country seems to come apart at the seams. if you asked me if i could have imagined putting all that together the answer is no. people would say it wasn't believable and then all sorts of things. and turmoil resembles a late sixties and to be more totalitarian than it was. very similar kind of turmoil. >> i'm trying to think back
what is the closest experience america has had in the last century and then people were comparing the economy to the 2008. and with the attack on pearl harbor and then to literally mobilize but that might be the closest experience. >> that's right. i have written things for publication saying this is the largest mobilization effort since world war ii. i wrote a piece over here in italy so i have seen this building six weeks before
washington and said whatever you plan to do, triple it because you don't understand how big this will get. that was telling. so that change the conversation. and then the efforts to stabilize the economy go we are probably as politically divided as we have been in a long time. a civil war historian at princeton says the language used to attack trump assembles the slave owning newspapers in carolina. that the level of vitriol and then nastiness and the degree of hatred is and that of
course all feeds into this. how do you mobilize a country that is split? a lot of people come as we have found, all of a sudden decided you can do social distancing as long as you are ideologically pure and doing the right thing. it is a very strange but then to find yourself in a cultural civil war. can you explain that to us? >> i recently wrote a newsletter entitled three
generations of brainwashing. the core of the newsletter is reagan's farewell address for he says the one thing he regrets is not to institutionalize is american history and he's really worried we are losing the ability to talk to ourselves about who we are in the country decides to disappear. so then to realize he gave us january 1989 because as governor of california he dealt with the radicals of berkeley so he had that instinct or how bad it would be. but julie we are in a cultural civil war with lenin and
stalin including those who despise america it's not because you're repudiating them but the united states. you have a lot of that. it's almost like the radical generation of the sixties now almost 50 years to grow and strengthen and gather more force we are in a very deep cultural war which in many ways over the next half-century. >> in fact it look pretty closely and you turn the book into a publisher early or mid
the addition of this whole issue over racism and george floyd >> i did a podcast every week and i do newsletters. i've done a series recently on exactly this but i would say for me, the really big moments was when the new york times reporters forced the firing of their editor because he had published an op-ed by conservative senator. i thought, if we got into a point of tyranny on the left
where one conservative opinion piece in a virtually totally left-wing newspaper was such an act of heresy that the man who admitted it had to be basically fired, get rid of him. then i watched a principal in vermont in a town that's 97 percent white who tweeted, shouldn't all lives matter? the following day she was fired. you are part of the woods it was a professor at ucla who actually read martin luther king's letter from the birmingham jail and was then suspended. how it could offend somebody on the left to read king's letter which of course is about nonviolence king was very much saying to america you have to live up to the great dream you have, not come i want to repudiate america. look at all that and you think,
this is truly a cultural civil war. black lives matter is popular right now because the slogan. if you look at the organization, which has as one of its explicit goals the destruction of the nuclear family. why the want to destroy the nuclear family i'm not sure. the guaranteed step toward weakness. but it's in there. people who founded black lives matter are inherently anti-ã they want a totally different america and want to replace the america that exists today. the other example is the congresswoman from sue minnesota whose somali. how you can leave mogadishu for minneapolis and have a grudge rather than gratitude? i think it's one of the great
things worth studying. she left a society which is a disaster, dominated by warlords, people starving, no sense of individual opportunity, a very impressive behavior for women. come to the freest most open society in the world and she's angry. i look at all that and i say, i don't get it. you'd think, i'd be curious, i try to get a friend of mine who lives out there, does she really think mogadishu is better than minneapolis? she behaves like we've done her a terrible injustice by making her be an american.>> what you think, of course a conversation and debate of discussion about the issues of racism are of course important. i wonder what you think about
the evolution of the argument on the left now where this new phrase is coined "systemic racism" the concept of, your racist but you just don't know it. >> first of all, i think you have to acknowledge that african-americans more than any other group experience ãbvery famous african americans tell me, tim scott the senator of south carolina in introducing the bill on police reform said, i think he was stopped six times last year. he's a u.s. senator. in that sense we have to start by acknowledging that it's more challenging to be black and that there are inherent difficulties you have to overcome. the question then becomes, a simple test which i will write about, is it more important for blocks to succeed or for whites
to feel guilty? for some bizarre reason the left has decided white guilt, announcing that your guilty, feeling bad about being guilty, taking a need to prove your guilty, somehow achieves things. i said in an interview yesterday, i'd be a lot more sympathetic to all of the multimillionaire nfl players want to take any if they each went out and founded a charter school and actually help children succeed. but i'm totally unimpressed by people who america have made into millionaires who now want to impose on the rest of us there particular viewpoint. i think we need a conversation and the nice thing about the left is they can't contain themselves.because they own the news media, they have no feedback organism to say you are nuts.
for example, the california assembly just past by 56 ã5 creating a coalition on reparations which is the number one goal of the black caucus in the california legislature. reparations is both morally and mechanically the focus. it's a fight that the left will lose badly but they just have to do it.they can't stop themselves. pelosi's $3 trillion bill includes paying $1200 per person for every illegal immigrant in the united states as part of the stimulus. that's overreach on a scale which i suspect 75 to 80% of the country will disagree with. they go item after item like this. if they had some ability to be self disciplined, it would probably be dramatically more dangerous than they are. >> i got a galley copy of the book, mr. speaker, and i think
you are title was initially "trump and the american future: building a better american future", as the book hits the shelves i think you changed the title, updated it to "solving the great problems of our time ". tell me why the shift there? >> i felt as i looked at all the things that were emerging that we needed to shift toward a more open problem-solving ãb in the world before the pandemic and before the depression it was easier to imagine trump really continuing to solve things after ãbat a rate that was amazing. now were in a situation so complicated and so many unknown parts that i think we all have to pitch in to solve it.
in effect trump by himself could be the solution. i think he can lead the solution but it's gonna take millions of americans to get us out of the ditch we are in. >> i know you've commented on this before because your historian but now we see an acceleration of this phenomenon and that is that we the left believes we can improve the future by destroying the past. this rush to pull down not just civil war monuments but american presidents the revolution. to comment on that and what's happening in america today in the front. i think part of this one reason i wrote the recent article on three run the generations of brainwashing it hit me we have lots of people who are so badly educated they don't understand how much they're doing a street
dance. we had the french revolution we've had the russian revolution of 1970 we've had ã ãwe know how these things work. if they could read they could read not just 1984 but they could read ãbthey would understand what orwell, who had been actually in the brigade in the spanish civil war when stalin decided to wipe it out. he'd seen up close and then of course he had mussolini and hitler and it's very significant that he puts 1984 in britain. it's not describing moscow. he said, the tendency of the society will be to create a totally false story to then have a memory hold in which we put everything that doesn't fit in the story and we will reserve the right to the state
to change the story whenever it wants to. that's what these people are doing. where does it start? where does it stop. for example, should the suffrage ask, probably almost all of them believed in traditional marriage. therefore the statues pulled them because they were adequately sensitive to what hundred years later would emerge as the gay rights movement. the idea that washington more than any other single person created the framework with in which people could say their rights came from god or the jefferson who actually wrote the words. these people are anything less than historically astonishing figures who advance the cause of human freedom. it's an absurdity.
but we are dealing with is a mob the mom has no minded has emotion. it doesn't understand its beginning to set up evidence totally unacceptable. i think very dangerous. in seattle washington in the middle of all this new purity there is a seven foot tall statue of lenin put their years and years ago. some guy bought it when it was being thrown away. >> and joan object to ãbi don't object to lenin being there. it was an opportunity to teach people how a monster he was. as a conservative if they get to knock down jefferson, can i knock down lenin. it's an act of cultural warfare and an act of proving that they have the energy and the drive and the courage to rebel.
you have to see it as both things coming together and i think it's a very dangerous pattern it goes back to this idea that three generations we told people things that were lies. reagan once said, it isn't what they don't know that is so troubling, it's what they know that isn't true. i think that's what we are seeing today. >> i'd like to touch for just a second on russia muddling in the election. in the rest of it. i think president trump would make the point that he won fair and square whether russia set up a few facebook sites it's fairly irrelevant. i wonder if you think, newt, that at the present time with america in the cultural civil
war, without knowing it but at present with the russians of the world are intentionally stoking these fires in trying to set americans against themselves. >> i think they are if they can. it was a very long historic tradition the countries meddling in other countries. we been the dominant country now for a long enough period that there are people who naturally resent us and would like to knock us off. i feel the chinese, more than i fear the russians. both of them i suspect ãbwent back and red clark clifford 44 page memo, to harry truman in 1947 outlined it was amazing document. he routinely ãbthis is before
the so-called red scare he will say this union is communist dominated or that mayor is a communist. it's just that's where it was. he wasn't doing anything about it necessarily. it's easy to for us to forget that in the 30s there was enough not see participation that house was originally set up to go after the nazis, not the communists. after world war ii there was enough communist penetration that they were going after the communist and then we were told not allowed to do that. we then had to lie about whether there were any communists one of the reason reagan got into politics was his awareness that there were communists in the screen actors guild. i look at all of that and i think they can try to interfere. , one of the things you have to worry about is we centralize elections as it makes theft
easier.right now elections are run down the county level and it's chaotic and it has huge disadvantages. but it's really hard because it's too decentralized. on the other hand, messages on twitter or facebook or what have you or adds, the russian tv stations, i don't think there is a comparable chinese station with chinese newspapers i just think it's the nature of the modern world this is a huge fight as early as washington's administration when the french set some people over to try to get us to be anti-british and it blew up because people didn't want foreigners. interfering with the american
system. i think we have in bill bar and amazingly confident attorney general and very serious and dedicated patriot i suspect we will be okay on that front i worry much more about the democrats stealing the election as they do in california both harvesting than i do about the chinese and russians. >> is it fair to say that pre-pandemic you likely felt that this race in 2020 was president trump's to lose but now maybe not so much? has he got a real fight on his hands? >> when i first set out to write the book i thought trump had a very substantial advantage and i would have said at the time that my expectation was he would win by a big margin. i think now it's up in the air
but i think it depends on part of what happens. if the economy starts to come back enough, the people feel like we see hope then i think the president has a huge opportunity to win.if the economy stumbles and it feels like whatever trump magic is we he ain't got it anymore than i think there's a problem. i did a newsletter on the biden, schumer, pelosi and i said this is not election between president trump and president biden. it's election between president trump and machine. the weakest of the three.
i think for the moment it's truly ironic biden is the candidate who is so weak that the longer he can hide in plain and ãbit will be so painful to watch his inability to function that i think he could melt pretty quickly. >> he made a point in the book that president trump made a bet and that is that his use of social media could beat the news media. he's been at it now, in that war, using those tactics for several years. do you think that technology is such today that with his grasp on social media still gives him
an advantage over a unified media on the left or are we seeing as a result of all this cultural war a balancing of that power? >> think without social media trump would have been driven off the field. as early as i think the summer of 16 people were writing columns that say "we might have to impeach him". on the day he was sworn in the washington post had an article about whether or not trump would be impeached. he has had 92 or 93 percent hostility every single day for winning the election today. if he had not had a huge social
media face he would've been broken. as it is, he actually has a slight advantage. he's gotten them, he's gotten a lot more people thinking about fake news than i would've thought likely two or three years ago. with the second largest egyptian collection outside of egypt. for strange reasons. we got a guy to take us through one of these museums, we are going through a hole he points to a statute and he says, people will tell you that that's fake news i found myself thinking, i have an italian guy in egyptian museum using donald trump's language. that's cultural impact. i wish he was a little more disciplined. i wish he probably at least 10%
of his tweets before he sensed them. having said that, his ability to keep pounding away i think has saved his presidency and he would been crushed in a pre-information environment because the media hates them at a level i've never seen any candidate face with the level of hostility that trump has to live with every day. >> it's an interesting point that you make note about trump's style of pounding away, just relentlessly always always counter punching, whether counter punching up or down, that's how he plays it. do you think the left has learned something from that? i get the sense that they have become as relentless in the attack as well.
>> i think they already were, that's who they are. that's what they did to jerry ford. remember ford slips and hits his head getting off air force one it becomes a relentless series of jokes. i think there are two different stories to trump you touched on and then blended together. one is that he believes in counter punching, he learned that with coach ãbcoexisting with page 6. he learned on every time they hit him, he hit them, as honest as he did that he got a lot of publicity. he wants to rise he wants to get known manhattan is probably his toughest environment there is for doing that. so one part is this deeply held belief that you always counter punch. but the other part is that he's
a genius at ramping. go back to his first book the art of the deal which was a best seller for years and years and years you look at how many trump towers trump hotels, trump golf courses one time i went to see him before he was a candidate he gave me several trump ties and said the reason they were successful is there about two inches longer than most ties so you might remember he once did this to entire shtick i think it was late in the campaign romney said something about trump is not really a business guy. he brings in trump stakes, trump water, trump this. 25 minutes bringing products out and the number one tv show
which was stayed on the air for i think 13 years. i would say, he understands relentlessly positive optimistic branding and that's the premise and the trump ties and so forth. he understands counter punching but they are actually different patterns they happen to fit together but their different patterns. >> instincts, let's talk about trump's instincts for a minute. you have worked with a number of american presidents. , trump seems to me to be in a class all his own from the standpoint of governing, actually running operating the federal bureaucracy and environment purely through instincts. i know they're out papers written and briefings and the
rest of it but he seems to govern, learn, educate decide purely by instinct and that's often saved him. he is often done quite well by that. i wonder if it's sustainable. >> were to find out about five months. i would say the president he is the most like is andrew jackson and that jackson was both disrupter, jackson had an extraordinary ãbjackson was i think very hard to manage he followed his own inner instincts. in many ways i see trump as a jacksonian figure but the other thing to remember which i'm
very deeply impressed with trump as a person. reagan had eight years as governor of california. clinton had something like 12 years as governor or 10 years as governor of arkansas. george herbert walker bush had been vice president for eight years. george w. bush had been governor for eight years. obama grew up in service and state legislature understood the game. trump is a business guy. he has opinions but he doesn't have policies he runs a very small shop with lots of people around the world but the actual core trump enterprises is very
small. he really doesn't have the kind of depth the background to learn how you run big systems. i think he's getting better and better at it but the first couple years were pretty chaotic he didn't understand the legislature and, frankly, his instinct was right and he was told by republican leaders in congress that they could repeal obama care and that's the first thing they should do and of course they lost by one vote when it came to vote no. what he should have done was started with the tax bill. i would've argued the tax bill first, then infrastructure, then you can consider obamacare. but they take him down this fantasy line, i think he learned from that. his instincts were better than theirs. that's the other thing to remember, that's why people like john bolton go nuts and
other people who are never-trumper's. trump is a genuinely destructive figure who came in from the outside determined to change this. while everybody who has a big investment in the old order is literally terrified and defended and say, how can you do this? that's what he was elected to do that's why he won. so many ways when he's living out what is his commitment that got him elected, more traditional members of establishment are deeply offended both by his language of other risk-taking in fact is pretty clever. >> i often get asked the question, compared ronald reagan with donald trump and i often can i go back to thinking at the times that reagan was in the white house and i visualize
reagan as a box. reagan as a prizefighter when boxing was popular in america. trump on the other hand seems to be mma. gloves off. this is really really tough stuff. what you think of that? do you buy that comparison? >> i hadn't thought of it quite that way. i think reagan had a remarkable sense of playing a role. he had an instinctive belief really grown out of an eisenhower type of what the president should be like. he never took his coat off in the oval office.
a good friend of mine had been with him right before he was sworn in. he had a great idea that would've shaken the system radically. reagan turned and said that's really a very interesting idea but i wear the white hat. you have to have the guy who wears the black cat to do something like that. he had a really sensitive limitations and knew how to build his strengths while minimizing limitations. he also had acquired, i think, a discipline pleasantness. it reminds me a little bit of fdr at a huge level of discipline. reagan was almost always positive. but people made a real mistake if they thought that it was
softness under the pleasantness because he was actually very tough and very willing to do what he believed in. . the other thing i would say is that reagan really began moving to the right after his drinks with the screen actors guild in 47 and all through the 50s both as an icon he missed in the guy who hired him general electorate. he did 375 speeches and he'd always go by train. he'd always get conservative economic books, he didn't drink much, he didn't play cards. reagan was very thoughtful.
trump is a, not just a real estate guy not a finance guy his construction guy. trump is very comfortable hanging out, there's a great series on youtube it must made it in the 90s trump at one of his own hotels doing every job. one point he is dressed up as the guy agreed to at the door he walks the dog for the lady he comes back and she says, that's really great, my dog is so happy. he says, do i get a tip? his cleaning rooms with the maid. his checking people in. he was having the time of his life. there was a non-intellectual relaxed happiness about trump commit he is a very existential weather reagan was not. reagan was long-term and had a good sense of history.
trump is in the moment. he's really smart and he's getting better pretty fast. it's not that he's simplistic but that he tries to find core principles and then who operates off of those principles over and over and over again. sometimes you can't figure out one. i always figured out with every president, it's my job to understand them. so if they do something tomatoes dart with that was done, i start with, what was it they thought they were doing? with a rag and you have a very long term move the system defeat the soviet empire, with trump you got a lot more daily opportunists. >> whether trump is in office for four more months or four more years. as you say you are really
student of the presidency and i wonder if there's one or two things that you feel that trump has perhaps forever changed about the presidency, given his style and how he scared himself? >> i doubt it. the reason i doubt it is, to go back to andrew jackson, there are certain people who just fill the room. the next person ain't going to fill the room the same way. almost certainly whoever succeeds trump weather next january or four years later will be more managerial will be more organized will have better staff. all of which are things that crippled trump. it's not what he needs is not what he wants. my first instinct is to say i
don't think he will have significantly changed the presidency i think he will have significantly change the country if he has four more years i think it will be bigger. in some ways he's trying to, for example, the national security council has been shrunk back to pre-obama size and that's probably good. but in a lot of ways the machinery just runs. >> last question, you cover this extensively in your new book. it has nothing to do with trump, everything to do in china. this is overstating it but do you see us literally at war someday with china because of the direction everything is
going? i don't necessarily mean some terrible thermonuclear war but it just seems to me conflict seems almost inevitable. >> we just saw the chinese killed 20 indian soldiers. for no particularly good reason i assume they were sending a signal to the new daily about something. we saw the north koreans blow up the mission set with south korea which i think was pretty alarming. the challenge we have committed as part of why last year i wrote "trump versus china" because i found i had made some significant mistakes in analyzing china and i began to understand the mistakes my whole interpretation changed. i've been looking at china since 1960. one of the reasons i worry
about things like the new york times rebellion. the chinese communist party is a wind induced stalinist party. when the secret speech attack stone and 56 the chinese were horrified because stone was their great leader and they believed in him. he couldn't understand why christoph would do it heresy. xi jinping is the general secretary of the chinese communist party. that's the base of his power. he is the chairman of the military commission of the people's diversion army which the military wing of the party not the government. it's not a government army. eddie's president of china. this is the least important job. when you understand that you understand that in their mind
they have left a century of humiliation and once again becoming the central kingdom or middle kingdom, it's very permeable. you have a million people who work hard and are smart they don't follow any rules so they can cheat and steal very well. if we can steal from you we will and it's it's your fault for not stopping us from stealing. shame on you. i think that's what were up against. i can imagine both flashpoint particularly over taiwan the south china sea where you would have a real exchange of conrad. i would worry about it escalating on both sides because whichever side was losing would be tempted to go
up the escalation ladder just because it would be so shocked but i think it's the most difficult challenge for us to try to think about how to get to a world 40 or 50 years from now where we have contains china with minimum conflict but they've not been allowed to dominate. it's one of the most important questions we have to ask over the next few years. >> perhaps the question of our time. mr. speaker, it's been a delight to have you with us. thank you so much. thank you for writing yet another. >> i want to thank you for your leadership and i want to thank your team for their collective leadership. the reagan library is a national treasure is an extraordinary institution.
i'm so grateful you have dedicated to conveying the spirit of ronald reagan and i think in that sense you will create a real building block of our future that gives us hope that we will continue to ãb >> thank you so much mr. speaker. take you again for being with us. our best and stay safe there. >> thank you. >> binge watch booktv the summer every saturday evening at 8:00 p.m. eastern settle in and watch several hours of your favorite authors tonight we are featuring new york times best-selling author and journalist malcolm gladwell, author of several books including "talking to strangers " the tipping point, outliers and david and goliath. be sure to watch next saturday, july 25 with future books by presidents donald trump, barack obama, george w. bush, bill
clinton and george hw bush. binge watch booktv all summer on c-span two. recently msnbc legal and just ã ãincluding her time is one of the special prosecutors on the watergate case. here's a portion of her talk. >> in the first hearing where we were trying to figure out who had handled the tics, who might have been able to explain why they are missing. the white house was presenting witnesses and one of them was rosemary woods because she had handled the tapes. i felt by that time there was three of us, jim neal had returned to nashville to attend his private practice with the promise he would come back if we succeeded in getting an indictment he would come back in time for the trial. that left rick and myself, 230-year-olds come in charge of this whole thing a against the
white house. we were known as the children's march against the wicked king. [laughter] rick is a very gregarious, assertive, powerful persuasive, totally unlike me. i'm organized and thoughtful. we were a great team but i felt he was taking too many witnesses. he only had a couple years more experience than me and i was equal player so i pulled him out of the courtroom and said, i'm taking the next witness that we are sharing equally every other witness. it was rosemary woods. the question her and by amazing foresight, by accident really, i asked her questions like what
precautions she had taken not to erase any of the tapes? she said, use my head it's the only thing i had to use which was really hostile. nasty to me. then when the white house announced there was this 18 and a half minute gap and no innocent explanation and that only rosemary woods could explain it, i assumed she would stay my witness because she'd been my witness the first time you don't change witnesses in the middle. leon claims in his book he was actually behind my questioning her the second time. if he was i have no knowledge of it. i just prepared from the moment i heard she was the guilty one. i skipped all of thanksgiving and spent the weekend reading everything i could possibly read about her past testimony and being prepared.there was no computer so i had to get transcripts and underline them and look at them. when she was called as a criminal suspect for the first
time in my life i gave the miranda warnings because she was a suspect in a criminal case. >> ãthe program visit our website freelibrary.org. >> hi everyone, i'm sarah ãi like to welcome you to today's authors and conversation series. special thanks to the arizona daily star, university of arizona and tucson medical center. the festivals three presenting sponsors. today's conversation is presented by western national parks association on sponsor of the national