tv Media Buzz FOX News August 27, 2018 12:00am-1:00am PDT
chris will see you next "fox news sunday." [♪] howie: tributes are pouring in for john mccain from george w. bush to barack obama. from liberal and conservative commentators after his death yesterday at 81. i knew him well but i'm not here to lionize him. from the keating five that inspired his campaign for campaign finance reform. it's a fact many republicans have been upset over his
acrimonious relationship with president trump and casting that no vote on repeal of obamacare. he had a wicked temper which i and other journalists felt when someone displeased him. he said i shouldn't have expected anything better from you. i spent days and days on his trait talk express. he was a presidential candidate with no money and he spent hours a day talking to reporters on his bus and drinking coffee with styrofoam cups. people said it was like having sex with a scorpion. you never knew when you would get stung. but we got to know the real man who denounced communists in the
back of the room. but the press liked him better as a maverick taking on the gop establishment. this navy pilot as everyone knows was tortured during his 5 1/2 year captivity in vietnam. he became a voice against american forces employing torture. joining me is bill bennett, host of the bill bennett podcast and top official under george w. bush. we know where the "new york times" is. symbol of courage. "washington post," always a fighter. but as everybody is talking about the late senator's achievements, let's talk about what you know about the man, the
character. >> good for you. all we heard this morning was john mccain was without fault. he had faults, as you know, he has no saint. shakespeare, saints and honors have equally them. i was with him as you were and i saw not always the soft fuzzy guy, but a guy with a lot of spikes. he was quick to anger. he had short temper, partly i think from convictions. two quick stories. my wife and i were in los angeles. he came in and when he met elaine he said i wore your bracelet when i was in high school. people wore those p.o.w. bracelets. he stopped and paused and almost teared up. the other thing with my son, he
was at princeton. and he was thinking about military service. john mccain tapped his finger on joe's knee. he said if you join the service you will make friends in iron and steel and they will be your friend the rest of your life. howie: he was a man of great fast passion. but he was also volatile. he wasn't the typically poll tested calibrated politician. >> no, which was part of his charm. he was asked his opinion of woodstock. he said i didn't know much about it, i was tied up at the time. he was literally tied up. we regard and respect his heroism. but he was not one to buy his own heroism.
he talked about orson wi on swi, he said they break me a few times. howie: talk about the way he interacted with people, perhaps you, perhaps others. youer in quite knew what you -- you never quite knew what you were going to get. he could be angry. but he didn't hold a grudge. >> that's right. howie, sometimes it was the same day and the same hour. he would slap you on the back and say we have to talk about the drug issue, i like this that you are doing, i love your book of virtues. and he would say what the hell are you doing this for? what's your problem. as i can say, captain mccain, a
grateful nation. thank you for your service. this is a great man, a man worth imitating. howie: thank you for quick notice coming on today, repping john mccain, warts and all. joining me now by phone is bret baier, fox's chief political anchor and he anchors "special report." john mccain could get testy with reporters and he loved reporters. bret: hi -- listening to bill bennett you got a good sense of the man. he was restless. he had 7 things going on at one time that he wanted to do. but he was impish with reporters. he would joke with you or needle you.
i was on capitol hill and some reporter was doing a live shot in the hallway. he went out of his way to go over and put devil horns over the guy doing the live shot. he will have made a mark more than many people in the united states senate. if you think about his long time friend and adversary, ted kennedy, died the same day 10 years ago of brain cancer. howie: he could blast people, he could get confrontational. the overused word, authenticity. i can particularly when politicians are carefully calibrated, it doesn't apply to president trump, john mccain was very real and some people liked him and some people didn't like it. some people got mad at him and
the next day they would be allies. bret: that's right. and column in "the washington post" said he has a capacity to be a cynic and in love with the world. he always said and i talked to him in the elevator not too long aloe when he was over at fox, that he had a wonderful life. he already accepted the diagnosis. and he said i have just had the most of amazing life and i'm going to run it to the finish line. and he did. howie: i couldn't help but admire how he fought his final battle. do you agree with my thesis that john mccain got far better press when he was challenging republicans than when he was
challenging president obama in office? bret: 100%. he's described as a maverick, as somebody who stood up to his party. he also stood up for his party on principle and ideology and was fighting for conservative causes. often that gets a little bit blurred. and that raises 2008. what gets remembered is his standing up to the woman in the q & a town hall. he also was fighting for a lot of conservative causes. howie: people said this was a pretty conservative republican from arizona who believed in tax cuts. john mccain's passing leaves a
void in the senate and perhaps in the national political conversation? bret: it does. i think we'll see the pendulum shift. i do think that our politics will hunger for more john mccains, people who can reach across the aisle to get things done. even if they are oppose on ideology. maybe it russell senate office building would be the john mccain office building which would be the john mccain s.o.b., and he would really love that. much more on john mccain, the story, the legacy, the way he dealt with the press and politicians. here is a famous moment with john mccain jokingly talking about those who covered him. >> seriously it's always a
brian's back? he doesn't get my room. he's only going to be here for like a week. like a month, tops. oh boy. wi-fi fast enough for the whole family is simple, easy, awesome. in many cultures, young men would stay with their families until their 40's. howie: in the spring of 2000 i talked to john mccain. he just lost major primaries to george w. bush. i said could you do this again? he said no, you can't catch lightning in a bottle twice. but he did run again. in the summer of 2007 he was out of money and down in the polls. and the pundits were saying he's toast, there is no way he'll
ever come back from this. but he did. he also was pushing for victory in walk at a time when the war was very unpopular. he also got bad press for picking sara palin. a lot of republicans came to believe that she wasn't ready to step into the presidency. joining us now from connecticut is charlie gasparino. some thoughts on john mccain, i know you dealt with over the years and could be a great source and great interview, but also could be testy at times. charlie: i covered him a lot in 2008. i covered the financial crisis in 2008. but the other story was the
financial campaign. they were sort of tied together. john mccain, you could see this when you were doing the report being his campaign. he was frustrated because he thought he had a good chance of winning. but then the financial crisis started, and you could see it in the frustration in john mccain that this thing was slipping away. howie: he briefly us spended his campaign and people said that was a misstep. charlie: he looked unhinged. here was his opponent, barack obama, who spent very little time in the senate. he really believed he was the right guy for that job. and he had some massive blowups with people in the bush administration.
hank paulson, he believed those people screwed him and cost him the election. i would hate to be on the other side of that conversation with john mccain thinks you are screwing with him. howie: if he was mad at you, he let you know it been other people in the room. as we seat glowing tributes and newspaper stories, he got good press. but if the press thought he did something wrong or was taking a conservative point of view and not taking on the gop establishment. there were a lot of stories, was he a hot-headed psycho and had the wounds really healed. charlie: very unfair. on record he was a very qualified man. in a short period of time this
guy had the resume and he put in his time, not just in a prison camp. but putting his time in politics. i think he felt he got a bad shake out of the press. he was a man qualified for the job. you could make the case he made some massive blunders that shows he wasn't qualified. picking sarah palin at a time the financial pry is was starting, he could have picked a seasoned person, mitt romney, it would have been better going forward. howie: let's just touch on the problems president trump has been having this week. you know you have done some writing for his company, david pecker, ceo of american media. getting an immunity deal from prosecutors.
he has talked about the hush money payments. how big a deal in your view is this immunity? charlie: i think it sets an interesting precedent for journalism. usually when the feds investigate reporting they take a hands-off approach. they say this is a journalistic operation. and take a hands off. but they i ami stepped over the line as an addendum to the trump campaign. i wonder if that was a bridge too far if they believe you will go out of your way for a source. can they go further? can they subpoena you and force you to give up the sources based on this precedent? it's interesting. ami, they have a good case ami was an addendum of the trump
campaign. howie: they were buying and burying stories that were negative for donald trump. it's an interesting precedent. if it had been another news organization you would have had a hugh and cry about the first amendment. as we go to break. much more ahead on the life and legacy of john mccain. we have anthony scaramucci coming up to talk about the politics of the week and senator mccain's legacy. here is that famous moment in the twair --in the 2008 mccain e woman had to grab the microphone from a woman disparaging barack obama. >> i read about him. and he's an arab. >> no, ma'am, he's a decent family man citizen that i just happen to have disagreements on
howie: john mccain didn't view himself as a military hero. he felt he had been tarnished about his experiences as a prisoner. it was a painful period. the other pows turned by the on his behalf. he couldn't lift his arms and comb his hair, things many of us take for granted. he turned down early release. he was the son offed a admiral. the north vietnamese offered to send him home. he felt he should not go out of
order and the other pows should be released first it was john mccain in the 90s that gave bill clinton the cover to normalize relations with vietnam in the country where he had been shot down and mistreated so badly. joining us on the phone, jennifer griffin, you went back to vietnam many years later with senator mccain. >> that's right. i first met john mccain in the fall of 2000. i went to the hanoi hilton with him. as he returned, it was his second time back, i believe. what i remember was he clearly said when we asked him would he forgive his captors, he would not forgive his cap towards for how they treated his other friends. but i remember him pointing to a picture on the wall the
prisoners had some propaganda saying how well the pows had been treated. he said look at that one standing there. it was him. he had his finger up to his face and he was giving the bird to the captors. the vietnamese didn't realize how subversive he and the others had been. he felt badly that he had broke within the code, name, range, serial number and he did sign a confession. he felt that way all those years later that every man has a breaking point. but he did stick it out. he was there 5 and a half years in the prison. we went back to the lake where he was shot down. he was showing us where he had been part of this mission and
wet surface-to-air missile hit his skyhawk. he fell to the bottom of the lake. a dozen vietnamese pulled him out. there was a statue there in honor of him. but he clearly still had scars from all the incidents. howie: it must have been an emotional township not just for john mccain, but for all the reporters there. again we have much more ahead as we remember the life and legacy of john mccain. anthony scaramucci the former white house communications director is coming up next. we are going to play, since we are just talking about his military service, he remained have much of a hawk in terms of iraq and trying to win that war. here is what he said when he was running for president the second time in 2006. >> we are in one heck of a mess
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howie: john mccain's style has fallen out of favor. he was friends with ted kennedy who died 10 years ago yesterday also from brain cancer. he teamed up with russ feingold. he wants did vodka shots with hillary clinton on a trip to estonia. he would use his recesses to visit afghanistan and iraq again and again. it's no surprise the senate
minority leader chuck schumer is pushing to rename the russell senate building after john mccain. joining me from capitol hill is mike emanuel. what was it like to cover and deal with the senator john mccain and john mccain the person. reporter: really a fascinating character. he was serious about the issues, you heard him talk about the iraq war and afghanistan and policy matters. you see mccain when you are about to do a life shot with us or another network. he would wink with a twinkle in his eye. he would say what are you doing, boy? i would look over and realize i was being heckled by john mccain. my understanding is john mccain believed if we were telling the stories about what's going on and writing the stories in our
nation's politics, having a relationship would help us know what he was thinking with his votes over the years. howie: i think he enjoyed the give and take with the press. he was such a fixture on the sunday shows. he was the most of frequent guest on "meet the press" ever. sometimes he got testy or i am patients with journalists. but i think he viewed it as another form of combat. >> reporter: no question. i think he enjoyed being the senior statesman on cap hill. putting his arm around a new member and explaining the way it should operate. it shouldn't always be harry reid's way when the democrats were in control or mitch mcconnell's when the republicans are in control. he said perhaps you will win the
argument and get big legislation. it was shot shocking when he was the thumbs down vote on the republican effort to repeal and replace obamacare. mccain was of the opinion on these big issues you needed bipartisan support to get these things done and the support of the nation. howie: he gave a speech about the institution of the senate not rushing these things through. mike emanuel at the russell senate office building maybe soon to be tree named after john mccain. joining us is anthony scaramucci. president trump and john mccain had a contentious relationship. but let's put that aside on this day. mccain's style, working with democrats and taking on republicans like george w. bush, having shiferght alliances. is that a vestige of a buy- --
of a bygone era? anthony: i hope not. they are thinking about ways to bridge the gaps because it's the policy of the united states, a right or wrong decision as oh peetsed to left or right. last night i was looking at the details information of the hanoi hilton to really understand the 5 1/2 year struggle john mccain had. i encourage people to look at that. in addition to other things he's a role model of perseverance at a time and trial when he didn't know if he was going to get out alive. he came out with an unbelievable
sense of optimism and love of country. never disavowed the war or the mission. when i had my rough moments in life i think about him and what he struggled with. he's a force of optimism and his life which will be remembered forever in america. he's one of those types of senators. he'll be somebody we look to for years to come now. howie: i think that experience did set him apart in many ways. five years ago in battle of a filibuster he called ted cruz and rand paul whacko birds. he enjoyed the media microphone. let's talk about president trump who you work for and are in contact with. by any reasonable standard think was what drudge called a hell week for the president.
you had the commentary on the michael cohen plea and the manafort verdict. do you think the reporting has been largely unfair to the president? anthony: most of of the coverage unfortunately is a little unfair to this president. when i look at the coverage. the president has never been told by anybody that he's the target of any investigation. number two, alan dershowitz would share this. there is nothing on the table right now if you are unpeeling that onon of facts that looks like -- onion of facts if you are looking for something illegal. i think it has to be emotionally upsetting for the president to see guys he was close to go through their trials or
tribulations or seek immunity. i think that's something he's probably emotional about. at least i know i would be. but i don't think we are at the line here of illegality at this point. how require wasn't suggesting that. i was talking about the political impact. tone require, my objective observation. howie: . how are you wrote trump should come clean. admit he hasn't been entirely truthful about affairs people think he had. apologize and get out of the daily drip drip drip about when did you find out about the payments. needless to say, that is not the president's style. but you are known for giving him tough love. could that work? anthony: i think that would work. i would ask the president to go
back to some of the passages in his book. i think what happens in a situation like this, your first inclination is to hold back. what that does is it causes a bee swarm around you. i think you are always bert off letting everything loose. the american people know the president has had a veryied a va very adventuresome life. i know it's a sunday morning and i'm not trying to sound without a church-going experience. at the end of the day the american people knew where the president lived on these issues. and i don't think it matters that shall for him. but i think it's hard for the president to do that frankly. howie: a lot of commentary about
the president talking about flipping and how he didn't like the fact michael cohen flipped. he thought paul manafort was brave for not flipping. some people are saying this is like mob talk. unfair assessment or should he steer away from comments like that. anthony: he should steer away. that would never happen. but that's president trump. that's the person people love. he wears that on his sleeve. when i saw that interview i saw the emotion and the hurt that people were turning against him. he's fearful people will tell lies about him to get a reduced sentence for himself. i don't think he wants to go in the direction of making flipping illegal. i would encourage the president, he controls the news cycle and bully pulpit. howie: anthony scaramucci,
thanks very much. joining us from the southampton bureau. anthony: happy sunday. howie: we have much more here. we are getting a fuller picture' of john mccain and not just the guy you saw on the screen. as we go to break, we have another mccain sound bite. this is from this year when he knew he was dying and had a new book out. this is we had to say. >> maybe i'll be gone but hear this. my predicament is rather unpredictable. but i'm prepared for either contingency or getting
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and he apologized to voters. >> it's rare to see a politician at the highest levels level with you and tell you he was wrong and apologize. he called it a lie, but what i most of remember and you do too was the campaign in new hampshire in 2000 when mccain came out of nowhere, having not even played in iowa which george w. bush won easily. and all at once toward the end as he rode the straight talk express and had the great relationship with the press and talked about reform and he won by 18 percentage points. for a brief moment it looked like he was going to be the presidential nominee and i bet you anything he would have won that election. howie: i often thought about that if he had been the nominee
in 2000 when he was also younger. spending 8, 9, 10 hours a day talking to reporters. he did town halls in new hampshire. and it was real. it was not scripted like so many candidates have used. >> there was no screening whatsoever. and that was true in his public appearances on sunday shows. i heard he had the all-time record on "face the nation," i'm sure it was a record on other stations as well. howie: on "meet the press," yes. >> he didn't have the usual screens public people do. he also didn't listen to his staff.
he did we wanted to do when he wanted to do it, even if it got him into trouble. howie: what does it say today, joe biden, barack obama, hillary clinton praising john mccain. but at the same time he alienated people in his own party because he followed his principles and sometimes it ticked off the left and sometimes ticked off the right. . . ese devices. the left is still upset with him because of his support for the iraq war. some are still upset about his behavior in the hanoi hilton. the points you just raised is critical. john mccain represented an age
of bipartisanship. not complete. the parties have always and will always stand for different things. but he was willing to work for either side. that's why people on both sides, who are in the middle. some people call it establishment, i call it mainstream. a lot of us wonder if we'll ever see it again. howie: thanks very much for joining us on short notice. stay with us as we look at the life and legacy dealing with the death of john mccain.
howie: yankee * died yesterday at the age -- john mccain died yesterday at the age of 81. steve, we watched him in the primaries when he came out of nowhere was through the town halls. what do you remember of candidate mccain? >> he had a unique time of campaigning. john elevated it to an art form. and he outworked the bush campaign. he said he welcomes republicans, democrats, independents, vegetarians and reforming socialist. he would take any question from any heckler. people respected that. they didn't always like the but
they respected it. when he asked me to serve on his campaign team in 2007 and 2008 i was honored to do so. we didn't anticipate our campaign would collapse and run out of money. but it worked out fine. howie: everybody knows he had a temper, he had rough edges. he wasn't your typical politician. >> he was authentic. that authenticity came through and people appreciated it. he had a temper but he always felt badly afterward. he could string a curse together like a good navy sailor. but he had a remarkable sense of humor. he liked to laugh every day. he understood the absurdity and the ridiculousness of campaigns. i think you heard from some folk
in the press who loved to be on the bus and the give and take. it was a lot of fun. his humanity and decency came through. people identified. he did so many of those town hall meetings and met so many people, that became what was known about him. howie: it wasn't just that it was fun being a reporter on the bus. you felt you were getting a glimpse of a real person. when everyone was writing him off in 2007, when he was running out of money. was he telling you, i can still do it? >> he absolutely believed he was going to win. we had an event and the national press corps thought he would announce was suspending his campaign. the press gaggle kept asking when are you giving up. susan page said senator under what circumstances would you be
prepared to suspend your campaign. he turned and had a smile and he looked her straight in the eye. he said only if i succumb to a fatal disease before the new hampshire primary. i knew then that we would win or have a good chance trying. wev had more protesters outside the town hall than people listening inside. howie: when the press thinks you are dead in the water, it's when are you dropping off and he's able to challenge that with susan page. thanks for joining us. that's it for this edition of "mediabuzz." i'm howard kurtz. this was a time to remember a guy whether you liked him or didn't like him. he was a larger than life figure. he was a lion of the senate but we are not going to lionize him,