Skip to main content

tv   The Contenders - 16 for 16  PBS  November 6, 2018 11:00pm-12:01am PST

11:00 pm
election 2016 on pbs - one. g - what's wronwith my running for president of this country? - i almost resenus vice president b your patronizing attitude that you have toigeach me about fopolicy. - ahh! - i'm doing this because i love you. - tomorrow night my name will go on nomation for presidency. - i will beat al gore like a drum. [cheers and applause] - i want my country back. [cheers and applause] - mr. ctesident, you wereed to lead. you chosto follow. and now it's time for you to get out of the way. female announcer: "the contenders: 16 for '16" is made possible in part by the ford foundaon, working with visionaries on the front lines
11:01 pm
of schange worldwide; the william and flora hewlett foundation, helping people build measurably better lives; the corporation for public broadcasting, and tributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. t have any experienctrin running up a $lion debt. i don't have any experience in gridlocked government. i don't have any experience in creating one of the most violent crime-ridden society in the industrialized world, but i do hav a lot ofe in getting things done. - and a vote for conscience, a vote for your hope, those are the votes that you need to register, not a lesser of two evils, where, at the end of the day, you're still left with evil. when they call someone a spoiler, they're saying, "shut up." - as a nation, we've bece used to the idea that running for president is a two-party affair,
11:02 pm
but that's not the way itas to be. and back in 1992, that meant ross perot, a short texas billionair t with a distincting. now, perot launched his campaign on a lark, but as he shot up in the polls, his opponents, george h. w. bush and bill clinton, were forced to take him very seriously. now, on the other hand, ralph nadespent decades in the public eye and affected the lives of millions of people around the world as a consumer advocate. he's now probably best remembered as an independent party contenderma whhave changed the course of history. now, you can call these third-party candidates ornery.a you ca 'em difficult, but whatever you do, cadon't you dare them spoilers. re - the ining thing about ross perot wasdi that he dn't really look and talk like a billionaire.
11:03 pm
- in plain texas talk, it'shs time to take out the t and clean out the barn or it's gonna be too late. - he was a little guy and talked kind of fast, and people naturally liked him. he was from texarkana originally. his father was a cotton trader, so he didn't go fr totally humble roots, but, you know, he definitely went to the top of the finance world. - people have asked me over the years, "how did it suddenly feel, after years and years "and years of having a very modest life, to realize you were rich?" and my reply is, "i was born rich because of the two parents i had." no child could havo had tter parents than my sister and i had. that's so much more important than any financial wealth. - he had gone to annapolis. he was a graduate of annapolis. - that changed my life, right. i got a go reat school, got a great engineering education, and was taught leadership. - after perot got out the naval, he went to work for ibm, and he told ibm, he says,
11:04 pm
"well, look, we're selling these computers, but nobody knows how to oper'em. why don't we provide services?" and ibm said, "no, we're-- we just manufacture hardware."e - so he foa company to provide that service called electronic data systems or eds. - and, of course, it took off and ultimately sold to generamotors for $5 billion - the story of my net worth, i never had a goalto ake a lot of money, never have cared about money. my idea was considered so ba when i started that nobody else would touch it, and i had to bootstrap it, and founately it worked. - ross perot has been in the headlines of the news for the last 40 years. [all chanting] - during the collapse of iran and ayatollah khomeini's rise with the end of the shah's regime, some of perot's company employees were captured and held in a prison in tehran. - so he hired a former green beret to put a team together to go in and rescue 'em. - it was a very patriotic thing to do but also risky,
11:05 pm
because there was an argument that he was taking foreign affairs into his own matters, but to him, these were his employees, and he felt that it was his duty to rescue them. e - scue is like the theft of a diamond. it's something that you plan very carefully. you wait for an opportunity and you do it. - ken follett wrote a best-selling book on it called "on wings of eagles," and that was turned into a movie. - hello, dr. kissinger. my name is ross perot. the iranian government has just arrested tw of our eds executives. - he was a folk hero in that sense, you know,wh eas people were kind of down on carter for being mired in the iran hostage crisis. you know, perot took action. he got it done. he got his guys out. narrator: in 1984, perot merged eds with the giant general motors, but almost from the beginning, perot and his people found it difficult to work in the gm environment. mei come from an envir where if, when you see a snake, you kill it. you guys see a snake, get a constant on snakes, form a committee on snakes, ink about it for a year,d by th,
11:06 pm
there's snakes all over the factory. - in 1986, general motors had really had enough of you and said, "let us buy back the stock for approxately $700 million." how did you feel about that? - i made it very clear i thought it was obscene, because i think they closed 11 factories, laid off 30,000 people, onnd on and on and on, and suddenly they were willing to pay me twicek what my sts worth just so that i wouldn't keep trying to teach the elephant to tap-dance. - well, what's he planning next? - he just started a new computer company. it's called perot systems. he says he's happiesteeown where the rubber the road. so i suspect that he'll continue with that,an d we haven't heard the last from this extraordinary 1992 presidential election is one year from today.rn so this g... - those days, both the democrat and re blican parties knew there was a huge deficit building, but they had it off-budgete and thd been very little discussion about it. it was not gonna be on the election agenda,ss
11:07 pm
and erot thought it ought to be on the election agenda. - there has been a rumor-- someone had meioned to me, "do you think ross perot would run for president?"li it wason and the incumbent, bush, and i asked him, and he said, "no chance." and then i asked him again, "is there anything that would get you to run?" and he said, "well..." - number one, i don't want to. - i know. is there a scenario-- - number two, you know, if you're that serious,gi you er me in 50 states, and if you're not willing to organize and do that, then this is all just talk. - wait a minute. are you telling me-- hold, hold, hold--wait, wait. - stay with me, larry. i'm saying to the ordinary folks, if you're dead serious... - start committees in florida and georgia? - then i want to see some sweat. - anhe called me the next da and he said, "you know something funny? i got back to the hotel and the bellman gave me $10." that was his first contribution to his campaign. - ross perot stepped onto thearry king show and transformed american politics.
11:08 pm
- by three days later, it was a volcanic eruption that no one had ever seen the likes of before. the number of phone callsr, it was agoing intoeruption ross perot's business office made the phone line blow u the number of phone callsr, it- and ross perot, that night, said he might be willing to spend some money, maybe $65 miion, just to get people to talk about the right issues,w and th the beginning, as far as i know, of the ross perot campaign in 1992. - ross perot was an outlier. of the ross perot campaign he was a tech genius. so you had this combination of plainspoken harry truman meets tech businessman who's obviously very, very successful. - just hold onto your hats now. in just five weeks, good people like youes in all 50 st organized themselves, selected their leaders, and got down to the job. - so in 1992, bill clinton was up against george h. w. bush. - the country was unsettled. it had just gone through a deep recession. the deficit seemed to be out of control,
11:09 pm
and there was the beginning of a kind of alienation from both partie - it was very clear from the beginning that my job was to have a campaign that was designed to make points, not to send him to the white house. he told me he did not want to go to the white house, would not go to the white house, and i sai "good, 'cause i don't want to go either." - it's very hard to come up with the resources to get on the ballot in all 50 states, but if you're a billionaire and are willing to help pay for it, and if you are a big enough name that you can get support, it is possible. if you wanted me to run, i would run a world-class, properly fanced campaign. you know, just put it down this way. i'm buying it for the american people. that's it. [cheering] - good evening. perot petiti committee.
11:10 pm
- he gets you fired up, doesn't he? - 6 million people calle his 1-800 number to volunteer to sign up, which is a gigantic number. - people wercoming up to him and handing him $5, the maximum contribution he would take from everyone that could afford it, because he wanted them th to have skin in game. - it gave a way for people to say, "i'm d up with the choices that washington usually comes up with." - we've got $4 trillion in debt that we're about to pass on to our children. that's wrong, and if you can live with that, we're on the wrong team. - the voters tend to like people who don't-- they don't feel who were bought, - theand so i think to lithere's an attraction to these kind of characters like ross perot. - just, yoloknow, at all three of us, decide who you think will do the job, pick that person in november, because believe me, as i've said before, the party's ov, and it's time for the clean-up crew. - unlike republicans, democrats, who automatically are on the ballot, independents and third parties must attain ballot access,
11:11 pm
because you can't vote for someone if they're not on the llot, and every state differs, because these laws are actually designed to diminish competition. the major parties don't want a competitive third party. - he was using what we would call modern tools in the electoral ballots. he was talking directly to the citizens, trying to mobilize them in a way that had-- we hn n't really sfore. they we able to modernize campaigns overnight by simply using the base of both television and telephone. - we had no press plane. we had no press briefings. i mean, it had none of the trappings of a normal campaign. we had no press briefings. people in the press, mainly, took that as the eccentricities of some kind of kook. - everybody's accusing me of buying the election. [crowd chatters] and my reply to 'em is, "that's right." [cheers and applause] - ross perot's goal was to reform the two parties and to buid a thlitical party.
11:12 pm
our answer was to hire classic political republican spinner, eddie llins. we didn't tell him that we weren't trying to put ross perot in the white house. tried to turn this campaign into one that worked, that would elect the president. - i saw something new, something exciting, and i saw this tremendous movement out there with perot, and i would often spend eight weeks in the wilderness with perot. - if you want me, then i will go as your servant. if you find somebody else you like better, that's fine with me too. - so once perot zoomed to the lead-- i mean, there was at one point, perot was ead in 49 states. he was looking at an electoral landslide of untold proportions. i mean, there was at one point, pthat's how popular he was. - it was a very sensitive time for the country from a standpoint of racial politics. it was right after the l.a. riots.
11:13 pm
- you know, can we-- can we all get along? can we--can we get along? - i think the first time i met ross perot was on "the today sh." we had call-ins. he was really interesting. he was a tough, kind of ornery guy, op and i think, for many , he was a breath of fresh air. - what i have a question oth is ol.a. riots. - if i had been in elected office, and i've said it before, the minute it occurred, i'd be headed for the airport, because i woulwant to understan why one of our cities erupted to that degree. - clearly he knew a lot about the economy, about business, about trade. i don't know in termg of really understand policy in general how strong he was. - he had that speech before the naacp, and he said, "you people." - now, i don't have to tell you who gets hurt first when this sort of thing happens, do i? you--your people do. your people do. i know that.
11:14 pm
you know that. - "your people"? - wh 's the--i didn' understand. - "your people"? - thank you. - [shouting indistinctly] - members of the audience found this to be patronizing ancondescending. he was put in front of a different demographicr e first time in a more overt way, and he faltered that moment. - he serves as his own speechwriter. so under--most candidates would have been saved from their--that mistake because someone uld have caught it. - ross perot declared that raciadivision is no longer acceptable in this country. - my message has been and is, to the hardcore haters. we're stuck with one another. think about it. nobo's going anywhere, - so he said to me o day, he said, "i never got bad press till i hired you and hamilton jordan," who'd also run a presidtial campaign. i said,
11:15 pm
"well, no one ever treated you as a serious candidate. you' re gonna get scrutinizedlike a " - reports of a nixon administration memo saying perot sought t and got special treatm from government agencies for his business and in a personal tax matter. is the outsider really an insider? - perot blames what he calls the "bush dirty tricks crowd" for those reports. - the bush people said, "look, he's an insider "he's made all of his money et with all these sart government contracts." well, it didn't hurt perot.he it actualled perot, because it convinced all of the perot supporters, "yep, he's gonna go . to washington, d he's gonna pick their pockets." so it actually was a boost to the perot campaign. - hamilton jordan said to me one day. "we've done some polling. bl he's at 39% in polls." i mean, it's not-- that's not republican, democrat. he's leading all three candidat at this point in time, in first place. and jordan comes in and he said, "you know, this guy could win." - when we looked at those numbers, we said, ta "we could win enoughs to throw this election into the house." that became very problematic for ross.
11:16 pm
he said, "i d not get in this to create a constitutional crisis." - an then he dropped out r some crazy reason. - i believe it would be disruptive for us to continue our program since this program would obviously put it in the house of representatives and be disruptive to the country. so therefore i will not become a candidate. is there anybody--a question right here, go ahead. - what would you say to the volunteers who are gonna be very disappointed about this and say, "you got us ins, and now you couldn't take the hint, "and you're a quit-- couldn'take the heat, and you're a quitter"? - well, people can s t anything they wasay. i am trying to do what's right for my country. - we believed he was gonna be a presidential candidate. do you think that we would have taken our money out and try to help him? no, they didn't want to do that. so now what are we supposed to do? - there are conflicting reasons ascribed to why
11:17 pm
he abruptly suspended his campaign. many do believe it had to do with the media scrutiny, that for someone who was as image-conscus as he was, he simply did not enjoy being held under a microscope. i have a feeling somebody on the republican de, the dirty tricksters, got to you. - no, they didn't get to n't it bother you that people are hurt? - oh, that breaks my heart, but i have to do the right thing. - i am well aware that all those millions of people who rallied to ross perot's cause wanted to be in an army of patriots for change. tonight i say to them, "join us and together we will revitalize america." [cheers and applause] - pe t fired everybody, did not acce, and said i could go homebu t that he wanted me to work
11:18 pm
in try to get the n campaign to take our issues and our budget proposals, because we were gonna run these infomercials. - in the 1950s,o even ie beginning of the 1960 campaign, we had half-hour speechesan occasionally half-hour documentaries as not simply the exception but often as the rule in politics. perot brings back the half-hour special. - good ev'ng. now, i can'compete with some of these other entertainment shows, but please stay with me on this program tonight, because we're going to go down in the trenches and talk about youjobs and talk about why our country is in decline. - i get a call from ross, and he has just left one of the networks in new york, and they have told himrc he cannot run his infols. they were gonna sell that time to clinton and bush. they weren't gonna let perot have it, and i basically had to say, "the only way you're gonna get this done "is to become active again, "and when you do that, they're gonna say, 'you're crazy. "why'd you get out?' it's gonna impact y.
11:19 pm
"you won't have near the impact that you had, but you can't ruom all those nice icials." - my decision in july hurt you. i apologize. i thought it was-- th i was doing the righg. i made a mistake. i take full responsibili it. the volunteers in all 50 states have asked me to run as a candidate for president of the unitestates.kd jim stoce, our vice presidential candidate, and i are honored to acceptheir request. - well, hi. i'm ross perot, and i paid for this television time to address you, the american people. this week, i received the highest honor i ever could imagine when the volunteers asked me to jump back in and run for - see, now, i'm not a quitter. a quitter wouldn't jump back in the race, and that's just what i did, you see? you see that? so your premise that i'm a quitter, t it's just bogbegin with, see? - when he came back in, he went on "60 minutes," and he gave 'em all e reasons that he wouldn't let me explain back in july when he quit.
11:20 pm
- the story that the bush campaign was planning to sabotage his daughter's wedding. - i received multiple reports la that there was a to embarrass her before her wedding and to actually have people in the church at the wedding to disrupt her wedding. - was it the bush-quail people? - this was the republican key people and their opposition research teams. you know, everybody up there panickedn may and june when i was leading everybody in the polls, and they went crazy, and they lost their good sense and they started doing things like this. - and then in late july, perot says he saw another red flare. - people alert me that they're trying to wiretap my office. - he said it on "60 minutes" and he came off looking kooky. - the fact that ross perot made the deficit part of his big issue was resonating with economic conservatives who were ctrcerned about out-of-c spending.
11:21 pm
- since we're dealing with voodoo economics, a great young lady from louisiana sent me this voodoo stick, and i will use it as my pointer tonight, and certainly it's appropriate because, as you and i know, we are in deep voodoo. - the only goal of ross perot was to build a third political party rthat would hold the ot parties' feet to the fire and constantly urge them away from character assassination elections, from huge amounts of spending. - the governor talks about all these dramatic improvements in employment and jobs anhewhat-have-you that 's created in arkansas. let's take a quick look at it. one out of five jobs in the last 12 years created in arkansas has been created in the poultry business. now this is not an industry of tomorrow. this is honest work. it is hard work. the ped-le that do it are woass people, but if we decide to take this level of business-creating capability nationwide,
11:22 pm
we'll all be plucking chickens for a living.ct - he att the audiences, increased the likelihood that the deficit would be put on the national agenda. it also increased the likelihood that he would hold enough of his constituency to get into the debates. w - only about a month before the election. he was at 7% in the polls, and a key factor when perot reentered the race was to be in the presidentiadebates. if a third-party candidate is not in the presidential debates, you have a significant problem in credibility and the wasted vote syndrome. - the bush campaign foolishly let him back into the debates, and they thought as a tactic ul that they much rather have a three-way debate, thinking bush couldn't handle the head-to-head with clinton. - now, all these fellows with thousand-dollar suits and alligator shoes running up and down the halls of congress that make policy now-- the lobbyist
11:23 pm
the pac guys, the foreign lobbies,wh -have-you--they'll be over there in the smithsonian, you know, 'cause we're gonna get rid of them, and the congress will be listening to the people, and the american people... - what he picked up in the electoratea waustration about losing jobs, and, at the time, there was this big trade agreement called nafta that was being pushed by the clinton administration. - to those of you in the audience who are businesspeople, pretty simple-- if you're paying $12, $13, $14 an hour for factory workers and you can move your factory south ofhe border, pay $1 an hour for your labor, have no health care-- that's the most expensive single element in making a car--haveno enviro, no pollution controls, and no retirement, ca and you don' about anything but making money,e there willgiant sucking sound going south. - those two national debates were really what put him back in the game.
11:24 pm
- to the american people, i am doing this because i love you. that's it. - don't waste your vote on politics as usual. vote for ross perot. - rot campaign officials say s is way up, 90% to 95% positive. it s the renewed enthusiasm ' following p's performance in the debate. ghe's drawbig crowds. ec- here's the realret. that stray dog you sent up there spoke from the heart. i talked about what i believed in. - he was in all three debates and a week before the election, he was about 12 or 13, d pundits were saying, "he'll go"--the night before-- "he'll go back down to eight or nine, maximum." and he achieved 19%, a historic accomplishment by a third-party candidate. - and ross perot is holding at 19%. - perot cost bush the election. i'm sure that 80% of perot's e vote would've g bush.
11:25 pm
- you know, at the end of the day, by the time we got to november, pe t was hurting clinton and bush pretty much equally. so i don't think that it actually-- you know, i know conventional wisdom is perot le tipped the sfor clinton. i think, at the end, he didn't. i think the result would've been the same. st i think clinton woull have been victorious. - in my view, it was a very, very productive investment, because it brought the issues that he wanted addressed to the fore in the political debate. - he really brought the budget into the debate in a way that it would not have otherwise been talked about, and, if you refomber, owing that election, both parties went to work on a budget, and for the first time in a long time, they actually did achieve a balanced budget. arguably, that would not have happened, had it not been for ross perot. - he was the best atdependent candidate ver ran. i think, to this day, he may regret having dropped out. i think--i can't tell how that race would've come out.
11:26 pm
- was he too thin-skinned, though, to be a serious contender? - yeah. a lot of politicians are thin-skinned. sometimes politics is rough to take. - i think that americans are attracted to somebody who's different, somebody who's going shake up the status quo and kind of rattle cages, and i think that's why he did so well. - well, ross per came close, and he created a party of his own, the reform party, with its own infrastructure, and, you know, later on other people ran under that banner, and therr have been otird parties, but they've been very minor. none of them have really been able to capture the kind of support or build the kind of infrastructure in that you neerder to really compete with the two major parties. he probably came the closest. we can be a purposeful and thriving country, building bridges instead of building debt. we can be a country where, once again, e diversity of our people
11:27 pm
is our greatest strength instead of division r being eatest weakness. we can be all of these things tomorrow ugif we will make the choices today. together, we can do anything. - ♪ oh, i want to be in that number ♪ ♪ when ross perot goes marching in ♪ s [cheerd applause] - acof anyone in american history with as much impact er time. - why do we have a two-party system? i mean, that just seems like-- you have more choices of toothbrushes to buy than you do of presidential candidates in this country. - it's time to roll up our sleeve and mobilize a movement that tells 'em what to do! - if you combine someone o has an over-the-top iq
11:28 pm
with a 20-hour-a-day work ethic with a vision of what he wants to do,me you p with ralph nader, which is why he's one-of-a-kind. - well, i was a citizen advocate, consumer advocate, environmental, labor, in washington, and we got a lot of bills through. - are you hopeful that the little person can ultimaysly fight and beat them? - american history has shown, again and again, if 1% of the people in this country want something changed and that something is suy orted by a major the people, nothing can stop them. - ralph nader was a force of reform and courage. he was original in his approach to violations of human dignity and safety on the part of corporations. - he's all about helping regular people. he is insulted by injustices in the world. - his parents are lebanese immigrants.
11:29 pm
the mother was extremely value-driven. the fatherun was coy-driven, always wanted to clean up his hometown of winsted, connecticut. - before they left for school, the parents would give an assignment, like, "what do you think of parking on main street?" and, when they came homfrom school, at the dinner table they would talk about the of the parking on main ralph's family was very civic-minded. - and even though he goes to kind of very traditional schools, princeton and harvard law school, he stands out there, both for his brains and his earnest wonkiness. econtrary to itgeist of the 1950s, of he came ouhat itching not to do well but to do good in the form of public service. ralph was unknown in 1965. his now-famous book, ," "unsafe at any spe was a very detailed, earnest book about an auto industry ," "unsafe at any spe that didn't put safety first. - this is the sizzling corvair monza spyder, with a whopping big 150-horsepower
11:30 pm
turbo air engine. - ralph's accu tions were about safety of the corvair. mthe car anies weren't gonna make as much money if they had to pay attention to safety. so they didn't want ralph around. it wasn't very glamorous to talabout safety in cars. - general motors famously and stupidly sent women d to entrap anbarrass and ruin him. ralph did't bite. he reported what had happened, and the united states senate held a hearg where general motors chairman james roche, ad the f a company that was larger othan anyry except for three at the time, apologized to ralph nader.- want to apologize here and now to members of this subcommittee and mr. nader. i sincerely hope that these apologies will be accepted. - he went from being unknown to being catapulting to 90% recognition in a day
11:31 pm
because of the notoriety of those hearings. "unsafe at any speed" was doing okay til general motors was exposed, and then the book beme one of the hundred most influential books in american history. et - if youhings out in the open, you'll get some action. there's no place for secrecy anywhere in traffic safety. an it really changed our society, because that made it very clear why we need federal regulation of auto safety. 3 1/2 million people are not dead today because of the auto safy act of - whenph won more than $400,000 in a settlement from g, he put that all into starting public interest groups-- public citizen, the litigation group, health research group. - and in the '60s and '70s, you'd get something done. congress had hearings. the regulatory agenclis beed a little in enforcing the law. lyndon johnson signed
11:32 pm
a lot of bills-- freedom of information act. even nixon signed the epa bill, the osom bill, product safetyssion bill. - i actually don't know of anyone in american history, other than presidents, who has as large a body of work on as many issues with as much impact over time as ralph, but his impact is not only law-by-law or book-by-book. it's the ethic that you can fight city hall or you can fight corporate het and he won. - he inspired thousands of public intetest lawyers, advo organizers. - they weren't really in that hippie-dippie-doodle, crazy, civil rights, vietnam movement. they were the radical ne ws the sitting there, doing stuff in front of congress. - nader's raiders published fiercely and smartly. they really created a new form of political activity, which was consumer activism with smart, professional help, er and the was a reform mood, even though nixon, by now, was president.
11:33 pm
so all in all, he attracted a great deal of energy and inspired people. - he's been called "the man who makes waves." here's ralph nader. - when ralph was on "the mike douglas show," he said he didn't want to run for president because he was fighting for the people, and john lennon, of course, and yoko were on that "mike douglas show" with him. - would you ever consider runninfor president? - no. everybody says, "vote," and they think of presidential candidate. what you have to do is sgap back and help ze people and trying to get themto ee citizenship as a profession. - did you think about doing it? - no. in fact, i rebuked it. ho yeah, because, days, if you had any political ambitions, it weakened your advocacy. ve increasingly, big ment is becoming a handmaiden of big business, and it's hard to tell the difference between the two. but then, starting when the democrats were persuaded they could raise money from corporate interests, about 80, you could see the decline of congressional hearings,
11:34 pm
the decline of regulatory eorcement. - nader has taken a consistent line throughout his career that both partiese too behon to corporate interests. his own views are so outside the establishment, so hostile to corporate influence in american politics, he doesn't really see huge differences bl between the rean and democratic party. as far as he is concerned' they're both basically tsor big business. - he w once asked, "i thought you said that you'd never run for office unless there was an invasiofrom mars." he said, "well, there was an invasion from wall street." - what drew you to politics? - it was 1992, and i went to new hampshire as a write-in candidate for the "none of the above" line. so i would address large audiences in new hampshire, yi , "i'm ralph nader and i'm not running for president. "i wanto give you a choice. "if you don't like the candidates on the ballot,
11:35 pm
"you can vote for 'ne of the above,' like a protest vote." and lo and behold, si got almostny democratic votes as republican votes. - what was the ambition when you ented the '96 race? - so in 1996, i decidet to try ae more ambitious one and signed up with the green party. republicans and debocrats, parties, would not talk about full medicare for all-- not even discuss it. they wouldn't talk about a living wage, cracking down on corporate crime they wouldn't talk about or corporate tax reform. the military budget was draining moneyaw ay from rebuilding america's public works, and that's what we thought we could do. - it becomes very clear that what's coming out of his mouth is gibberish. y why would anybtionally believe that the green party, which has no base outside a few states awhere there a lot of college-educated, green-ish sort of people, m which tends ton whitish kind of people, could succeed in breaking up the democratic party and creating a new alignment in which the greens would face the republicans?
11:36 pm
- back in 2000, the republican nominee was george w. bush, and the democratic nominee was the sittinvice president, albe gore. - like, there wasn't anybody stanng up and saying, "let's fight for the people. "let's fight congress. let's fight wall street. let's--you know, let's go for it." - 2000 campaign was my first official campaign, which means that i was willing to spend more than $5,000 to register with the federal selection comn, and so we went all-out. i welcome and am honored to accept your nomination for president of the united states. - remember, we're not dealing with a calculating politicia he's an authentic radical who wants to shift society and politics in a more progressive direction, and he thought that his candidacy
11:37 pm
as an independent was the way to do it. - it's time to go beyond rhetoric, which the two parties are very good at, especiallyime the democratic party., the phony phrases of compassionate conservatism,h thy phrases of al gore when he says, "i'll fight for you." - the parties are, th they're reallengine of our presidential system, but every once in a while, you've got to allow the people to kick that engine a little bit to say, "actually, you can't control us. we have a right to express ouideas outside of it." - when ralph called to ask if i would igrun his presidential cam i thought, "well, how hard can this be, right?" igrun his presidential cam the day i started in 2000, there were approximately 0 phone calls on a voicemail box. we had no ofce. we had a handful of people, and we had under $40,000. we started, really, from scrch and with the imminent pressure that all third-party candidates have of getting on the ballot. - a third-party candidate is starting om a huge,
11:38 pm
huge disadvantage. the two major parties . are set the kind of infrastructure that they both have is the 50 state parties in each of thestates. they raise money. they are able to amplify the message of whoever the candidate is. tyif you're a third-p candidate, that kind of infrastructure does not exist. - ball access laws in a lot of states are a high bar. you've got to get a lot of signatures. requirements vary from state to state. o- don't understand how very difficult that system is, because what it requires is attention to the election codes of every single state, filled with minutia and curlicues about where the staple has to go. - let us not, in this campaign, prejudge a voters, for green values are majoritarian values. the irony wareour agenda in the party
11:39 pm
polled very high in terms of, "do you support full medicare for all, "raising the minimum wage, law enforcement against corporate crooks and wall street?" our issues polled much higher than a lot of the democrat d republican party issue but i was not under any illusion that the people who polled 70%, 80% on these issues are gonna go to the green party. there weren't enough african americans and hispics,80% which is something i can never understand, because they're the ones who really need to hear this. - it's always so interesting to me when candidates who don't understand communities of color, who have neverone anything to reach out to communities of color, are then surprised that they don'have any support from communities of color. as a latina democrat, it's kind of amusing, actually. you can't just come in and say, "you people are interested in these issues, so you shoul dvote for me." itsn't work that way. ralph nader, i incle in that bunch.
11:40 pm
a lot of republican candidates i include in that bunch, as well. - as a generalization, black and latino voter have tended to be very practical.e they hnded to see the democratic party as the protector of their interts and seen the republican party as on the other side. and so the pressure to go with the democrat and keep the republicans out of power and not waste their votes on a futile gesture is something that i think has be particularly powerful among african american and latino voters. - a vote for conscience, a vote for a higher expectation, not a lesser of two evils, where at the end of the day, you're still left with evil. - as we started to get on the ballot 0 in more and more states, then more attention arted to be paid to our campaign. i saw that the enthusiasm ir for the thparty run was growing.
11:41 pm
we hosted rallies around the country. we called them super rallies. when it came time to think about new york and renting madison square garden, for the campaignmone to put out for one event, and thinking, "if we don't fill madison square garden, we are going to be broke." [cheers and applause] - ralph nader has sold out madison square garden! [cheers and applause] - patti smith sang "power to the people," kiand all s of celebrities were there to show their enthusiasm for ralph, including susan sarandon, tim robbins, bill murray, michael moore. - who desiywed this economy, ? i think it's time to have it designed as if people matter, ,not as if general moto exxon, dupont, or the other corporations matter. ry - it's a memo nobody who was there will ever forget.
11:42 pm
- and what happened after that? - i worknt every day. i went ievery state. i took stands on local issues, mmunity issues, neighborho, which the big candidates never do, because it's too romplicated, too corsial. i didn't take any pac money. most of the money was in small contributions. - nader was trying to point out is you can't weiv both hats effecty. one, to govern on behalf of the people, while at the same time, you have to do fundraising from very large corporatrs interests with an unnding that they are going to have to be some sort of exchange in its place. - when our candidacy was creating a lot of momentum a and buer labor day, the people started to mobilize around the fact that ralph was being excluded from the presidential debates. - campaign ads filled with half-truths. $10 million. promises to special interest groups. over $10 billion. finding out the truth.
11:43 pm
priceless. s there are some thi money can't buy. without ralph nader in the presidential debates, the truth will come in last. - if you can't get on the stage for the debates, you're gonna have a harder time n. increasing your name recognit e media doesn't spend a lot of time covering people who are below 5%, ifd so it's very, verycult for those candidates in a two-party system, when the twotharties control alrules of the system, to make any sort of headways. - most of the people in this country never knew i was running. they have a corporation called the commission on presidential debates nere they decide who gets and who doesn't, and here it is, a private corporation funded by the lik of at&t, anheuser-busch, ford motor company. - why do we have a two-party system? i mean, it just seems like-- you know, you have more choices of toothbrushes to buy than you do of presidential candidates in this country. i me , why can't we choos who we? - i welcome you to the first debate between governor bush and vice president gore.
11:44 pm
- ralph wente debate to sit in the audience to watch, and they were gonna be interviewed by fox news. the state troopers are standing there telling 'em they can't get into the debate, and ralph's like, "what?" - you were warned once before that if you returned you, were gonna be placed under arrest for trespassing. is it your intent to be arrested? - in my entire career of advocacy, i prefer being a plaintiff to a defendant. i prefer suing. i have no understanding of why you are being inructed to do this. we have an official invitation from one of the major television networks. - well, they're not allowing you access to the grounds. who's not allowing, the debate commission? - debate committee. - so of course they sued, whatever. si anyway, the comm wrote an apology letter. big deal, and they did win a bunch of money. ca- until late in the mpaign, i couldn't believe that al gore, vice president, could not defeat
11:45 pm
a bumbling governor from texas who couldn't put six sentences together. - i said i would make sure that, uh--th, uh-- that women would be safe who used the--used the drug. - everybody in washington predicted, "oh, he'd roll over george w. bush in the debates, 'cause he really knows how to debate." well, you know, george bush came on, folksy, shrugged his shoulde was easy in the saddle and al gore was tense. - it's not only, "what's your philosophyd at's your position on issues?" but, "can you get things done?" and i believe i can. ai and hea price for that. - what about the dingell-norwood bill? - democrats basically wanted to, first, keep us off the ballot, and they harassed ut and thed our petition gatherers. it was a pretty bad scene. - did the vice preside ever call you himself to try and say, "hey, ralph, back off a little bit"? - no. i was willing to have a joint press conference with him,
11:46 pm
contrasting our agenda that we agreed on, with the republicans, ' and they wouldn' even consider it. - 12 days before the presidential election, the race between vice president al gore and texas governor george w. bush is so tight that ralph nader has become a real cause for in at least three states, polls show nader with enough support to potentially cost gore critical electoral votes and tip the race to sh. - but like any candidate, he wanted votes and he wted 5% so he would qualify for matching funds in any future election. - it's suggested that it might be a very close race, and he said, "oh, gary." y. said, "don't you wo "pat buchanan's gonna take as much r from tht as i take from the left." - some nader raiders banded together and released a petion denouncing him. - i formed a website, www.nadersraidersforgore, and much to my surprise, i've had over 11,000 hits as of this morng. - i would rather stab myself in the eye than stab him in the back
11:47 pm
after the years i spent with him. i wouldn't sign, i di't sign, but i explained to him, at the least, he should avoid popular states that could go either way. w- he pledged hd not campaign in states where he would make a difference. he has broken that pledge, and it's with a really heavy heart that all of us have decided now that we can no longer support him. - it was pretty clear onna belorida was one of the knife edge states, that it could very well be decisive. nader had no business being on that ballot-- absolutely no business. - this is decision 2000 election coverage. - the election night, we had been watching the polls, and we knew that in some states ralph was getting double-dig returns, and in other states we saw our polls go down. we thought that the democratic party had been very effective we at telling people,own. "we're glad you got excited about the nader mpaign, "but now it's a crucial time. "the race is going to be close. please vote for gore," and i think a lot of people did that.
11:48 pm
- we call florida in the al gore coln. - stand by. stand by. cnn is moving back to "too close to call." - 565 votes separating the two men in florida with this muchtill to go. - uh-oh. something's happened. - george bush is the president-elect of the united states. he hth won e state of florida. - it was just too much variance in the way that the ballots were counted. - officials decided to count all of the ballots by hand. - with particular attention, of course, to those ballots that the machine had counted as "no vote." the punch ho is called a chad there are categories that were not counted as votes, the dimpled chad and the pregnant chad. - you had ballots that were designed poorly, and so people thought they were casting their vote f al gore, but they cast their vote for pat buchanan instead because of the way the lines matched up on the ballots,to the ous butterfly ballot.
11:49 pm
- in 2000, a lot of people that were, you know, in their 50s, 60s, whatever, they had grown up thinking ralph was this american hero, an american icon for safety they had grown up thinking raand health and everything,, and they were disappointed in him. - gore would have won decisively they had grown up thinking raand health and everything,, if nader hadn't entered the race. - really? - of course. pl what nader p would have voted for bush? - did you think to yourself, "did i cause something to happen that i didn't want to have happen - no, because the republicans stole the election in florida. the democrats did a lousy job in tennessee, the home state of al gore. you know, all these electoracrimes and all these sine qua non causes for al gore losing should not be blamed on the green party. we didn't tell 250,000 democrats in florida to vote for george w. bush. we didn't tell secretate of s katherine harris not to violate election laws in 20 different ways
11:50 pm
and help steal the election. that's the scapegoat prob of the democratic party. they didn't want to look at themselves in the mirror and say, "we should've land-slided s. this man from texa they had every advantage, and instead of admitting their blunders, mistakes, stupidities, blame the green party, blame ralph nader. - it's not just ralph naderld as a self-deluded an. it's ralph nader as an expression of the worst element of left-wing politics, moralistic self-approval, moralistic rigidity, moralistic "my way or the highway - the nader campaign didn't really get either the democratic or the republican parties to take up his issues. what he became was a symbol for a lot of liberals of self-defeating purity, because a lot of liberals concluded
11:51 pm
that the country could have been spared george w. bush and his conservatism if only nader hadn't played the role of the spoiler. - you did have a tough reaction to someone deeming you a spoiler. - i always thought the word "spoiler" is a politically bigoted termus bethey apply it to someone in a third party who is exercising his or her first-amendment rights-- the right to speak the right to petition, the right of aembly. so when they call someone who's exercising their constitutional rights a spoiler, they're basically saying, "shut up." the whole political system is siled, right? and they accuse someone who wants to change it, open it up, clean it out, give people more truth, opportunity, participation, a spoiler. that is an example of the decay of the two-party tyranny. - i was so angrylph nader for giving us george bush. you enabled this buffoon, this incompetent,
11:52 pm
this corporate suck hack to be in power. - well, ralph said he didn't care what his legacy is. he says, "what are they gonna do, tear seat belts out of cars?" he jwants to keep making america a better place. - if you're looking at the ledger of a life, yo to look at both sides, and whatever people think about ralph's role in that year 20, the number of injuries avoided and lives saved because of regulatory laws inspired by and enacted because of ralph nader is in the tens of millions. that has to weigh on the scale of history and justice, as well. - we shoul a government of the people, by the people, for the people. vo you don't want t for the least worst. you want to have high expectation levels. you want to vote for the candidacy that, year after year, has fought for your health, safety, and economic well-
11:53 pm
leelp you, ms. ferraro. iran--we were held by a foreign government. - you can see her face tightens up. - let me just say, first of all, that i almost resent, vice president bush, your patronizing attitude that yab have to teach me t foreign policy. - the next vice president of the united states. - we didn't know if the rocket was gonna blow up on the pad or get all the way to jupiter, bu none of us could resist the ide. - sarah palin. - who? female announcer: "the contenders: 16 for '16" is made possibpart by the ford foundation, working with visionaries on the front lines of social change worldwide; the william and flora hewlett foundation helping people build measurably better lives; the corporatiofor publ, and by contributions to your s station from viewers like you. thank you. reliable. balanced. real. pbs
11:54 pm
jerram swartz: reready awe're rolling.please. action. nthis season we're going to get right into the nitty gritty, right away. annasophia robb: it's action packed. lisa q. wolfinger: in season 2, we definitely up the romance factor. we heighten olrelationships. we spark some new loves. hannah james: there are love triangles. there are romances that fade. there are ones that spark and grow. mary elizabeth winstead: mary and jed are feeling very warm toward mary elizabeth winstead: each other.d are feeling they've been through a lot, so they're really bonded at this point. josh radnor: everything th a viewer might have loved in season 1 is present in season 2 and morek alahee: the second season is wild. annasophia robb: there is a lot of deception. i love playing spy. jack falahee: it's in this gigantic overwhelming backdrop of violence and all these interesting characters coming in and out. david zabel: the nucleus of the show in season 1 was very much the hospital. ak season 2, it'sg us that much closer to the battle. norbert leo butz: this season they're going to push that envelope a little bit, in terms of really depicting the atrocities of the civil war.
11:55 pm
david zabel: the coraband story, it's an element that we touched on last season, but we really dive in more deeply this season. and the way that we've been able to do that is by introducing this character charlotte jenkins. a former slave who comes wn here to help take care of the contrabands and help teach them how to be free. patina miller: my character, charlotte jenkins, is a northern abolitionist. she's heard about what's going on and she takes it upon herself to see to these people ne because no os really caring about them right now. mckinley belcher iii: everyday samuel's revealing more of his medical abilitya and he getnse that this may not just be a dream anymore. it may be able to become a reality. david zabel: they're all engaged deeply in this cataclysmic moment in american history and in the middle of a le are dying or surviving based on the choices that doctors and nurses are making. so there's a lot to loed and a lot to be gain.
11:56 pm
the faces you know the news you rely on, anytime you want man: i really value pbs's news coverage because i think it's very rigorous journalism woman: clear and concise reporting man: both thoughtful and thought provoking woman: mind blowingly honest and open woman: information that will help me make a good decision with so much at stake, this elecon year one place news you need to decide pbs your favorite pbs shows ready to watch, when you are anytime, any place find more ways to explore than ever before at slash anywhere
11:57 pm
11:58 pm
11:59 pm
12:00 am
hello, everyone, and welcome to "amanpour and company." with here's what's coming up. election day in america. as results pour in, we take a bird's-eye view of politics in this country, looking forward with lessonsfrom the likes o the unlikely bipartisan duo,bl repuican and democrat governors, kasich and , important journalism has ace major renaiss in the trump era. "new york times" editor dean beckey tells us how he navigates the newnormal. and economic disruption defines our times but the author of "sapiens" tells me that i artifintelligence will bring plenty more of that.


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on