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tv   Face the Nation  CBS  December 2, 2018 8:30am-9:00am PST

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captioning sponsored by cbs >> brennan: it's sundae december 2nd i'm margaret brennan this is "face the nation." the passing of former president georgue h. w. bush, who died this friday at the age of 94, has prompted the nation to pause and reflect on the life of a man who served as our 41st president. even the current president put a pause on the news during a meeting of world leaders in argentina. >> we lost a president who truly was a wonderful person, a wonderful man, a great man, it really puts a damper on it. >> brennan: we'll look back at the life and legacy of man who was our 41st president and father of the 43rd his close
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friend and former secretary of state james baker will be with us as well as former vice president dick cheney who served as president georgue h. w. bus bush's sect of defense. how will developments against the personal attorney michael cowin and mr. trump's former campaign chairman affect the russia investigation. the top democrat on senate intelligence committee mark wa warner will join us. we'll hear what happened and what didn't at that meeting with world leaders, it's all ahead on "face the nation." good morning, welcome to "face the nation." tributes and condolences from around the country and around the world are pouring in following the death of georgue h. w. bush. late friday at his home in houston, texas. his body will be flown here to washington where he will lie in state at the u.s. capitol.
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a state funeral at washington national cathedral will take place on wednesday and then he will return to texas where he will be buried next to his wife, barbara, and hire daughter, robin. president trump declared wednesday a national day of mourning, that means the stock market and federal government will be closed down in honor of the 41st president. joining us now are former "face the nation" moderator now cbs contributor bob schieffer and korora o'donnell. good to have you here as we look back at the life and legacy of the man that we refer to as 41. bob, i know you have taken a look at his life. >> i think it's fair to say that george herbert walker bush did nearly everything you can do in life and in politics in his 94 years. as the navy pilot he was shot down in combat during world war ii. he founded a successful busine
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business, had six kids, was a congressman, ambassador to the u.n., head of the cia our first envoy to china. in 1980 he was ready to go for the big prize, the presidency. he got off to a great start, he won the iowa caucuses. i interviewed him the morning after and frankly i couldn't figure out what he was talking about. >> we will have forward, big mo on our side as they say in athletics. >> big m, no. >> yes. momentum. >> ronald reagan reorganized his campaign and bush's big mo became little mo. reagan rolled to the nomination. but in a move that surprised everyone he chose bush as his running mate. bush became the ideal vice president for eight years doing what vice presidents do. like a minor character in a play passing across the stage, but little to do with the plot.
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he ran for president when reagan left office but his campaign got off to a terrible start. george bush was the nice man, kind, a man who actually wrote thank you notes, trouble was some mistook niceness for wea weakness. the question, are you tough enough was asked of him repeat repeateddedly. >> i equate toughness with moral fiberw character, with princip principle, with demonstrated leadership in tough jobs where you emerge not bullying somebo somebody, but with the respect of the people you led. that's toughness. that's fiber. that's character. i've got it. and if i happen to be decent in the process, that should not be a liability. >> one time fighter pilot found himself depicted on the cover of "newsweek" magazine as a wimp. to change his imagine new hampshire he traded the colt and tie for a tractor hat and windbreaker and drove every piece of heavy machinery he could find.
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it worked. he won the republican nomination and made two promises, first -- >> read my lips. no new taxes. >> and the second an administration based on american value. >> i want a kind are and againer nation. >> so help me god. >> congratulations. >> bush beat michael dukakisi in a landslide. the world beyond our shores was changing. the berlin wall fell and soviet union was imploding. because of his temperament and long experience in foreign policy, bush kept belligerent and boasting down. in 1990 when saddam hussein invaded kuwait bush toga remarkable multi-nation coalition that drove him back to his own borders. bush's popularity went through
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the roof and his reelection was foregone conclusion, as the nation's deficit ballooned he bit the bullet and raised taxes. the move worked and the economy got better but many republicans never forgave him for breakin his no new taxes promise. and he lost the '92 election in three-way race with ross perot and bill clinton. in time, he saw sons george and jeb elected to governor ship and george at our 43rd president. georgue h. w. bush was perhaps the most modest man ever to hold the presidency. his proudest legacy he always said was that his kids still came home to see him and his greatest achievement was burying barbara who died earlier this year after 73 years of marriage. >> brennan: i love that look back. norah, i know that you spent time with h.w. son our 43rd
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president and some of that will be airing tonight on "60 minutes." let's take a look. >> he said that watching his president sees and criticism that he got as president helped you. >> it did. because first of all being the child of a president is u unpleasant. you are somebody you love gets lampooned, made fun of or hars harshly criticized, it hurts. so i became president i had fair amount of asbestos on my skin. it didn't hurt normally as much. >> like fire retardant? >> yeah. >> did it bother your father to see you criticized while you were in office? >> yeah. it did. >> in the end we both knew that's part of the job. which is actually good, for the country. you want your powerful people to be held up to scrutiny.
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>> when you look back at your father's term in office as president, many people looks better and better. >> we all do. that's the way time works. >> norah, you spoke with otheree can even begin to relate to what it's like to be in the oval office, what did you learn? >> tonight on "60 minutes" you will hear from three former presidents, a rare occurrence in itself. and georgue h. w. bush his son there is not only a reference for his father but the point he tries to make is that we are mourning something greater than one man in some ways. we are mourning an ideal. because president georgue h. w. bush was the last of the greatest generation. a man who in everyone of his decisions was country above himself. john miami beach um said that, too, his biographer, all of the
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decision to raise taxes which ultimately cost him his own re re-election and arguably let to fracturing of the republican party that lasted until today. but in george w. bush he talks about the decision his father made. talking about reshaping a global world order as one of the most consequential presidents in american history. there's some fun stories that have never been told before that you'll hear as well tonight. >> brennan: you were telling me something similar, that for you, you saw h.w. a as a public material slant more than a politics. >> the fact is he was a much better public servant than he was a politician because it was part of his upbringing. his mother brought him up, we never brag, that's just something that the bushes don't do. it was hard for georgue h. w. bush to push his own, but it
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reflected poorly. >> and enormous loss in his li life. multiple occasions, from when he was the youngest pilot in the navy, he lost his two crew mat mates, that haunted him for his entire life. he lost his daughter at the age of 3, he lost his first two senate races, a lot presidency, so many losses, many people can relate to having one loss but how did he deal with that, that resilience shaped in some ways his humility. >> you new the bush family for decades, what was he like as a person? >> he was just a nice person. if he would be around him, how about a cup of coffee. he was just a regular guy. and his son was very much like him. i was listening to norah's interview there. presidents come under fire and
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when george bush would come under fire, it's too bad. you know what he always said, nobody asked. i decided. >> brennan: thanks to both of you. later in the show. be sure to tune in for tonight's "60 minutes" for more of norah's interview with george w. bush as she said from former presidents bill clinton and barack obama for georgue h. w. bush's legacy. we turn to georgue h. w. bush long time friend james baker who joins us from the baker institute in houston this morning. my condolences, you were dear friends with the former president. you were with him in those final moments. knowing him as you did for so many years, can you tell us what you took away in those last moments? what is left with you in terms of your memory of him? well, het
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faith in god. he was a religious person who didn't wear his religion on his sleeve but he was a man of great faith. he was a family man, he as one of your -- one of the things he said that he was proudest of was that his children came home and he was proud of that. he was a selfless patriotic servant of the united states of america for many years. and he was one who did not believe in taking credit. he was one who believed in letting other people get the credit. he was courageous. courageous enough to run for president when nobody knew who he was. jum into that race in 8 1980, he ended upbeating such
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more popular political figures as john connelly and howard baker and bob dole and others. to become the last mang with ronald reagan. therefore, ended up being his vice president. so, he was a man of great capacity, he was a man of great tenderness and sensitivity. he was someone said the last gentleman that we've had as president. >> brennan: why was it so important for you to be by his side. >> because we've been friend for 60 years, that's fairly long period of time. we were doubles partners together here in houston. we won tennis championships, i knew him well before he ever even got into politics when he was a businessman. he was my daughter's godfather.
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i ran everyone of his caaieside. ve clo he referred to me oftentimes as his best friend. he said our relationship was one of big brother, little brother, which was a great honor as far as i was concerned. >> which one were you? >> i was the little brother. i was very happy for georgue h. w. bush to refer to me as his little brother. we were extremely close, margaret. and from the very -- almost from the very time we met back in 1 1958 for almost 60 years. i was there when he passed. his passing was very, very pea peaceful, gentle, if you will there were a number of things i remembered. the caregivers, went to see him
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on friday morning, i hadn't seen him for a while. i went to check on him after a run. and one of the caregivers said, mr. president, secretary baker is here, he looked up at me, looked at me said, jim, where are we going? i said, well, spanish for chief. we're going to heaven. he said, that's where i want to go. as he began to go downhill they got all of his children on the telephone, only one of them was able to be with him at the time, his son, neil. they got the others on the telephone. they were all able to tell their father how much they loved him and to say goodbye. his very last words he spoke were spoken to george w. bush, president bush 43, who told him how much he loved him, that he would see him on the other side and 41 said, i love you, too.
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that was about 40 minutes before he passed away. he kept his sense of humor, margaret, right up until the very end. is my wife said, we love you very much hefe he cocked one eye open you said, you better hurry. his sense of humor was intact. his passing was really very peaceful, no struggling, no pain at all. >> brennan: secretary baker, thank you very much for sharing so much of the personal side. i know were key part of helping to shape his foreign policy legacy and so much of the time in office. thank you for sharing all of those intimate details. >> thank you, margaret. >> brennan: we'll be back with another key official in the bush administration his former
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>> brennan: joining us now is former vice president dick cheney who served as defense secretary to georgue h. w. bush. thank you for being here with us. we heard so much of who 41 was as a person. in terms of his legacy for the country, he was in office at such a tremendous time of change in the world, of upheaval. you were at the pentagon at that time. how do you think the fact that he was part of that greatest generation, a world war ii vet. how did all of that come together to inform his py >> well, i think, the nation was lucky to have him. at that particular time, the last world war ii veteran.
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and we also just remarkable events that took place during those four years, think about the end of the cold war, soviet union going out of business. the unification of germany, the liberation, if you will, of the former soviet states in eastern europe. big, big changes that the situation room existed. and all of a sudden it ends and he was in exactly the right spot when that happened. especially because he understood that partedly what was needed was to manage the u.s. reaction, that there was a way, if you over did it, say people were dancing on the berlin wall, you could get into a situation where you'd make it tougher for gorbachev to do what we wanted, was to end the cold war. the president was masterful at shaping that relationship
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know asecre my interest from secretarial standpoint i wanted to get military attaches, in all thosei states. president made sure we didn't want to be in position where we were embarrassing, if you will, gorbachev that we could wait a few months in some of those cases to get that done. but he was superb in his leadership in the gulf war was really remarkable. >> brennan: secretary baker has talked about as president he was able to balance america's national interest along with our shared values. >> right. >> brennan: sometimes those things are described as being in competition with each other. how do you think he was able to balance those and is that something that we've lost? >> he had ton58 combatis in warm ii shot down over the pacific,
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rescued by an american submarine that came very close to death. and at the same time his tremendous background in diplomacy, united nations, ambassador to china he had a relationships, i could remember first week of the gulf crisis he sent me out to get permission this h from saudi arabia and egypt, deployment of u.s. forc forces, i turned around, i fin ared that he said, we got to stop in morocco he ahold of king of morocco and sign them up. the best desk officer, he knew all these folks. >> brennan: very involved in the details. >> involved in the details both with the military as well as in the diplomacy. on military side of it, he was great boss because he basically give you your h mpeop i those d.
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>> brennan: how different was it, such an unusual of worked for 41 and 43 how of the different were father and son? >> there were differences, no question about it. especially there were differences in the time, eight years apart from the end of the first bush administration to the beginning of the second. but there had been some remarkable changes during that period of time. one of the things that happened was 9/11. we'd been hit and lost 3,000 americans on 9/11. that was a big event between that made things different in 43's day. >> brennan: did that change your relationship with 41? >> no, not really. at one point i was accused of becoming -- use the phrase, iron ass he used that language that i had changed from when i was secretary of defense working for
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him when i was vice president working for his son. >> brennan: you're smiling at that? >> i can laugh about it. after he'd done it i got a note from it saying, dick, i did it, he went on to say nice thing. that year when the alpha dinner was held here in washington, arranged for me to sit right next to him at the head table, make sure there was no per petalage gentleman vision between 41 and myself. >> brennan: that's quite the personal anecdote there. thank you very much. mr. vice president for joining us and sharing your memories. >> thank you, margaret. >> brennan: we'll talk about that bombshell development in the russia investigation that president trump personal attorney michael cowin lied to congress, top democrat, mark warner is here to tell us what that means. wrap
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we'll have continuing coverage own all cbs platforms throughout the week as the country mourns the former president. we'll be back here on "face the nation" with much more of the week that was. this is a tomato you can track from farm, to pot, to jar, to table. and serve with confidence that it's safe. this is a diamond you can follow from mine to finger,
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trying to force seniors to pay more so they can boost profits. but a deal is a deal. and we need our senators to stand up for lower drug prices. so tell your senators to do their job, and look out for the seniors they represent. protect seniors, not drug company profits. >> brennan: we'll be right back with a lot more "face the nation" including virginia senator mark warner. our political panel will also be ahead with more on the life and legacy of president georgue h. w. bush. stay with us.
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announcer: cbs sports, your 2018 home of march madness, the masters, the pga championship, pga tour, s.e.c. football, the nfl, and february 3rd, super bowl liii. [captioning funded by cbs sports division] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] >> ready one, take one. >> bring it right. take four. >> three, two, one -- john: hello, everyone. i am james brown. welcome to the "the nfl today." powered by ram trucks.
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we begin our show with news off the field. the kansas city chiefs on friday nig


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