tv Bret Baier To Rescue the Republic CSPAN November 21, 2021 3:00am-4:01am EST
♪♪ meme is the movie you know in just a couple of months i will be leaving my position. i hope you'll forgive me if i take this opportunity to become a loaf list object -- nostalgic. i had the opportunity to talk to quite a few people on this stage and you can just imagine the quotient and when i had the job of interviewing with a professional interview, some do
it for a living the man who routinely watch bret baier conduct an interview each evening on "fox news" you know exactly what i mean. he is among the very best in the business. [applause] and you may not take my word for it. his newscast is consistently. as the top cable news program and that has been the case for many years. but bret has a second career going on as is a best-selling author and we are not talking about the autobiography and how
you too can be a -- rather this publication, his fifth nonfiction of work, it's official bret baier is a talented presidential historian and writer with a knack for shining a light on pivotal readers at pivotal moments in american history that always seem to be worth another look. his three-day series gave us a very important glimpse into the lives of three u.s. presidents, dwight eisenhower, ronald reagan and fdr all of whom changed the course of history and the fate
of the nation. his newest book, on our 18th president ulysses s. grant entitled "to rescue the republic" is as educational as it is timely and i say educational and that grant was far more important in u.s. history and some historians had given him credit for. and timely and that when it comes to the fragility of our national unity and the times we live in today their read of his book shows you that we have been here before. it is always a pleasure and an honor to have him with us us so ladies and gentlemen if you would, please join me in welcoming to the reagan library mr. bret baier. [applause]
>> thank you very much. i started with reagan sound bites. the issues that reagan deal with that were big issues when we are dealing with the debt so it kind of all works out pretty well to say hi to my friends and i know i have friends in the audience. we are here to talk about grant. years ago you wrote your first book in the challenges you had with your son paul, remarkable but please tell me he's okay. >> he's doing great. that book is called special hearted journey of hope and courage. oh my gosh courage and love.
i'm thinking grand and i'm thinking, anyway bottom line he is doing fantastic. he's had four open-heart surgeries and 10 angioplasties in this last one was in december and paul is now an inch taller than me. he's 6 feet tall. he is a golfer and a basketball player and he's doing fantastic so thank you very much. [applause] >> bret in your book you chose presidents to study that are oftentimes at an inflection point in their presidency.
a moment in time in that particular president uniquely change the course of history. is that how you go after your subjects? >> when we started this and in the three-day series of those books the first one was eisenhower and it took a long time to find that but i realized i didn't know about president eisenhower. a knew about general eisenhower so was the discovery for me and i talked about that process of having this team and a researcher who goes into the national archives that are literally treasure trove's of nuggets of historical nuggets in a look focusing on the three days in between eisenhower and kennedy's inauguration opened my eyes to moments in history that are either overlooked or not focused on enough so then the second book is about reagan and the final summits with gorbachev and the speech he gives at
moscow state university which in the big of history is an amazing speech if you think about it and it just wasn't focused on a lot of the time and then at the brink is fdr churchill and stalin planning d-day at their conference which gets over status by yalta so it's another spotlight that i wanted to give to something that i didn't think was focused on. once that three-day series was done and the beginning and the middle in the end of the cold war i wanted to find something that was also overlooked and i looked at grant and i thought, i know nothing about his presidency other than he was a drunk and it was scandal filled and he basically handed the baton off. i didn't really know and i'm a student of history and so we started digging in and grant,
people will focus on his time as general which is really spectacular and there's amazing stories in the book to go through his time. it's 800 pages which i'm a big fan of but then he spends a lot of time on his presidency which was really consequential. if you think about all that happened in his time he takes over for injured johnson which is by far i think one of our worst presidents and if not the worst. racist. i won't sugarcoat it. there's not a lot of balance in my description of johnson but lincoln is assassinated and johnson is racing lincoln's vision day's vision day by day in grant can see that happening before him. he eventually was drafted to run
for president in wins in a landslide and when he gets done as he pushes through the 14th and 15th amendments to the constitution he fights the kkk with federal troops. he tries to keep the country together and win the peace after the war and that really thrilled me to be able to dig in and to tell that story and the climax is as he's leaving the content tested the election of 1876. >> i get the sense from the outset you feel like grant was one of the most underappreciated presidents so his ranking in those historian rankings has one of 13 spots. that's before. so eisenhower went up five spots. we have looked back and why the historians choose to look at it
again. i think in this day and age when we are in such a partisan divide and everything that we talk about with race looking back at all that he did to hold the country together are really at a pivotal bull -- pivotal time. >> do you think to this day he's known as one of the most if not the most brilliant of american generals. his reputation just overshadowed his presidency? >> yes in part because he wrote his memoirs about his time in really eloquent terms. at the end of his life he leaves the presidency without going chronologically in a different spot that when he leaves the presidency he is trusting a lot of people in his time in office and they burned him a couple of times and that's where some of the corruption comes from. after he leaves the presidency he trust someone else who's part of his family to invest and make some money but then invest more
and loses everything. he is poor after the presidency and has to start writing articles for a magazine about his time in the civil war and mark twain is his friend. he says how much do you get paid for these articles and he says $500. twain is really upset so he says you are much better than that. you are the president of best general we have ever had. you need to start a memoir and i will publish it and it was so well-written a lot of people thought twain wrote it but he didn't. he said he only edited a few pages. he starts writing his memoir and this this is the civil war part and he gets throat cancer to the point where he can barely swallow and they are spraying cocaine mist into the back of his throat so he can swallow and lives. he's huddled in blankets and
writing in longhand because he wants to finish so that he can provide money for his wife, julia. he finishes his memoir and a few days later he dies. twain sells it and it's the best-selling book of the time and he makes roughly $3000 which equates to about $14 million in today's terms. thereby he takes care of his family. >> amazing. again when you think of grant as a general i always thought of him as this big imposing figure of a man but he was actually small in stature wasn't he? >> he was very small, 57, 5 feet 8 inches wet. adding in the wet part, 130 pounds wet. he was 5 feet 7 inches, 5 feet 8 inches, no offense.
but anyway he was really small and he is a soldier never really wanted to be a soldier. his dad forced them to go to west point and he was not that great at much. he went to west point kicking and screaming and when he went there he got the appointment and they said well you have the appointment ulysses s. grant and he said no my name is hiram ulysses grant and they said you can only get this appointment if you're name is ulysses s. grant so his name became ulysses s. grant and the s stands for nothing. his name was really hiram and then he changed his name. he kind of stunk in school. he was getting a lot of demerits but he was a really good horsemen and it turned out he
was an excellent soldier and he showed that in the mexican-american war. he had some tough times. he went to the northwest territory and he was really lonely and started drinking as some lonely soldiers might do and he was like. he could not hold his liquor that well and he got busted by a commander, drunk and he said either you resign your post or we will court-martial you so he resigned. he went back to illinois and went into this spiral where he was bad at farming in that it the leather building business and he's finally selling firewood out of the back of a cart to make money. three years after that he was the head of union forces as the biggest general america has ever seen in a few years after that he's president of the united states. >> amazing. now graduates from west point
and this is really interesting. he was in the mexican-american war and he fought alongside who? >> zachary taylor, robert e. lee a number of the confederate generals at the audience of fighting against. that's where the interesting intersections between all of these guys and battles because they have fought with each other before and so they have these established relationships. i will jump forward again. it grants funeral just to show you how well respected he was across the land a million people show up in new york city and lined the streets and they bring out their old uniforms the union and confederate uniforms and they lined the streets of new york city. his pallbearers are to union generals into confederate generals. at the end of his life and that's the relationships they have that went back all the way
to the mexican-american war. >> in the book you cover the fact that lincoln wasn't envious but he looked over his shoulder at some point and saw grant and said oh my gosh this guide may run for president against may, right? >> yeah you did but grant thought he was that popularity was that popular with the american people but grant never had that aspiration. he really didn't want to run for political office. he was asked all the time to run for president and he said they'll may office i thought about running for was mayor of galena so i could build a wall from my house to the depot. he finishes as the general and goes back to galena illinois. there's a big sign that says general the sidewalk is gone. [laughter] that was his only political aspiration but he does get
recruited. he has this admiration for lincoln and a relationship that lincoln truly believes that even he's an internal soft-spoken guy and he sees his leadership in grant. another is that lincoln mrs. lincoln and abraham lincoln and the president and fight the grant to ford's theater the night of the assassination and the grant almost went that mary todd lincoln -- julia grant was not a big fan of mary todd lincoln and mrs. grant says they have got to go see their children in new jersey, which they did and president lincoln was assassinated that night. grant is bereft with guilt and he thinks if i had been there married would have been able to save president lincoln. he was also a target, grant was
of john wilkes-booth. >> after he was assassinated grant stands at the time of the most popular figure. >> by far. johnson despise that. he despised the grant had that power and grew to really hate him. johnson did to the point where he was just trying to figure out how to get them out of the way want to send them to mexico and do all these things in grant stood up to him and said no. he said if it's a military worker i will go but i'm not going if this is just you sending me. >> grant us known as the northern union general but you write in your book that because the approach that he took to southern soldiers to the
confederates i don't want to see the people in the south admired him as much as those in the north but there really was a respect for grant, wasn't there? >> very much so. he was seen as if it are in the north, victorious but in the south he was seen as magnanimous because in victory he gave dignity to those soldiers. he let them leave with their gun in their horse. he offered personal support for the generals who he knew from fighting with before and offered to help them out as far as getting them back on their feet so he was considered even in the south is somebody who was well respected to the point of his presidential library at mississippi state at the university which is near pittsburgh. near vicksburg.
>> he's like the anti-politician and this was really interesting but reveal who grant voted for four president when grant ran for president. >> he's did not vote for himself. he wrote in names and he was not a self promoter at all. in the least. he was this guy that was so self-deprecating and so self-effacing that before he's running for president and by the way it comes from his mom who despised pomp and circumstance and formality to the point where she was seen sweeping her front porch when he was being inauguration. she did not go to the inauguration. she hated all of the pomp and all of that and she actually,
crossing books here, he reminds me a lot of the eisenhower's mom who is the exact same way and didn't really care that he was the winning general of world war ii. so maybe there's something in the mom that is just not that into it. lincoln called him up to washington and he brings his son fred and grant does not dress well. he's got a rumpled uniformity is muddied boots and he walks into the willard hotel. that's a really fancy hotel in washington and he walks in and the clerk looks at him and says we do not have a room for you. we don't have any rooms. and he said okay and he said well we might have this little closet on the top floor and grant says that would be fine,
that will be fine. he signs the register, u.s. grant galena illinois and the clerk looks at it in turns white and printing gets the manager and they are quickly escorted to the bridal suite at this hotel. so he's just kind of a self-effacing guy and he's not that into the moment but in the moment he is someone who exudes this quiet leadership and i think that was the case as president. >> i think you describe a very complex personality and hard to get to know and didn't didn't have. >> a couple of. sherman was a close friend and a man named child's who is a philadelphia businessman who he gets to know and shares time at a vacation home and a quick anecdote of his self-effacing
self come he's going to this vacation home in long branch new jersey and he gets on a, a boat andes by himself. a woman comes with her two children and she's trying to take them to the other side and put them on the boat but she can't stay. she's looking around frantically for someone to stay with the children and somebody would pick them up. he walks up to them and he says man might be happy to escort your children to the other side. she looks at him and she's like again this straggly man and she looks at him and says maam, i'm general grant and she looked at him and he says well, indeed you are. [laughter] what i took away the most was he was very complex. he had this amazing relationship with his wife, julia.
for all the people who said he was this big drunk throughout his life he didn't drink at all when julia was with him and julia was with him a lot. so the evidence of him being a drunkard in the white house is not there. and there are so many consequential moments during his presidency not the least of which is the 1876 election that is then dealt. the country is divided. rutherford b. hayes is there -- and three states put up two sets of electors for florida louisiana and south carolina. those states are saying we are not deciding. we will say both of them won silver couple of weeks of violence starts to bubble up and in the country and they are threatening violence on capitol hill.
it's at that moment that grant starts to look a hind the scenes for this grand bargain which really keeps the country together. in the meantime when he enters office you describe there's a piece about grant that you'd say i related my ear and he was the anti-politician and he just meant business but at the same time you write because he had zero political experience and he was not interesting -- not interested in getting an a. that's what led to monde so many of the scandals that the place during his presidency. >> he's trusted a lot of people and he did not have the political insider savvy about the possibility of corruption so he put some of those friends of in positions of power and some of whom take advantage of him. there were some decent sized scandals in his administration did nothing tied to him other
than his inability to choose the right person or rather choose the wrong person to trust. >> talked about the 14th of amendment and the dilemma and essentially that grant needed to and wanted to enforce it but this was not something easy to do. the citizenship for and eventually voting. it's being fought in the southern states and there's a palpable sense that if you can't enforce it what good is it so that's the argument as he's pushing this. the supreme court is a force that is kind of undercutting the 14th and 15th amendments as well and he's really battling to carry the torch from lincoln's
vision to bring the country together on race and to get past the civil war. >> in the south these two opposing equal forces and one is the south wanting to return to its ways and grant wanted to push it along and there was the south wanting to return with respect to slavery and the of respect for blacks. that had to be the most difficult issue to deal with. >> 100% at johnson because of some the things he did to empower the vestiges of the confederacy, he kind of gave them a signal like a hat tip this is it guys. this is the time. when grant takes over he has to unwind what what johnson has done and reminded people of the vision of lincoln before him and it's a fascinating time.
you think of presidents in tough positions and that's a big tough one. when he's making his grand bargain with the election in doubt and really were country on the brink of falling back into the civil war they say it's the kkk but in reality it's the white militia that were former confederate soldiers that believed this was the time to rise up again so it's an insurgency that's happening and he's trying to make this deal in a way that they will buy land because of all parties are not taught in the deal is going to fall apart. >> and you get a sense for just how difficult this must have been. i must have missed this day in history class because i didn't realize this until i read the book but talk about the
dominican republic and the role that grant and others thought he would play in this whole mess. >> they were throwing everything against the wall about possibilities to soothe the south or make it so that this wasn't an issue so one of the things they think about which is just out there in the big picture is taking the dominican republic and having all former slaves just move in just everybody and suddenly people are thinking well maybe this could work. maybe this would solve the south's problems and it's unfeasible from the beginning and it goes down in flames. it just goes to show you they were trying to think of everything to throw up against the wall. >> meanwhile there's a great westward expansion in the united states which creates a whole other set of intractable issues
for grant to have to deal with. >> the native americans the native americans and the battles of the native americans had. he is the first president to do outreach to native americans. he installs a native american as interior secretary and he is really trying to make this effort but because of the constant battle and violence in the west he loses to circumstances but it's not without trying and he continues to try to make peace with native americans. if you look at the moments and the efforts to make an outreach and the reality that he has to face it's kind of stark. >> he's sympathetic to the plight but meanwhile you have
one general after another completely ignoring federal instructions. >> slaughtering and all -- is gone. >> the hayes versus tilden race. again i wasn't in history class that day or maybe i wasn't paying that much attention. i remember when president george w. bush was elected and they had that issue with the vote count in florida. that looks like baby food compared to the scandals and the cheating and all the rest about that one into that election that grant had to resolve and this was not easy to unwind and put back together. >> they are allegations on both sides that blacks were prevented
from going to the polls and there was an effort to squash the vote and republicans had stacked the deck. there were all kinds of stuff in three different states. it was a conundrum and there was that lamanna house floor. in fact there were times when people were yelling till then standing on a desk on the house floor. now rewind it and starting to finish this book and we are starting to get it all together and january 6 happens and i'm covering january 6 the capitol riot and that's how the book starts. i do a tick tock of the coverage that day thinking in my mind of the historical moment that i'm writing abound in 1876 and how it gives you a perspective about where we have been before as a
country and how close we have been before as a country to tipping back the civil war and what's needed to get out of that mess. >> that election and this whole mess you are talking about i don't know for was the genesis of the term smoke-filled room but it really was a smoke-filled room. >> they are was. the shadowy figure edward burke who is a louisiana guy who is working for nichols who is a challenger to the current louisiana governor. he is a democrat this guy and he gets in touch with grant and says i think we can make a deal. it's always those louisianians that figure out a way. new orleans style but he starts talking about you give the
governorships in the states that they are contested currently to the democrats and you promised to pull the fellow troops out of the south. the south promises to honor black rights and suffrage and equality and they'd get their autonomy back and they stay in the union. grant makes this deal and this bargain thinking and i think he thinks it's going to come together. if ronald reagan was there in 1876 he would probably say my friend ulysses trust but verify. and it turns out over the years much like bringing in another book doll and did with fdr promising he was going to not
invade poland, the promise falls apart and that leads to years of strife that i've received brings in jim crow laws and all of the civil rights strife that we saw in the years after that. grant i think hoped that one, they would keep the process and the presence that followed would then take the torch from hemp, the lincoln legacy and move it down the presidential road. >> so meanwhile we fast-forward and there's a moment in the book where you talk about maybe a town that west but big beautiful statue of grant. >> san francisco. at the end of the book is just a perspective because after george floyd, the killing and the
protests resulting from matt around the country i was writing and i saw the coverage in san francisco and there's a grant statue being pulled down. the reporter is live and she turns around and she says why are you pulling the statue down and people say because he's was part of the civil war and he had a and we have to move on from matt and that really struck me in that moment because here's a guy who did have a. his father-in-law colonel dent gives him a and he frees that man soon thereafter and spends the rest of his life fighting and fighting for blacks and for the right to vote and doing everything he can in his power to help the african-american communities get on their feet. and grant's time there black congressmen and black senators
and black owned farms making money in those early years of grant presidency and it just struck me in that moment is that statue is toppling down how little we remember about history and how sad that is and how much we could do to make sure younger people remember history so they can affect the future in a different way. >> he's should pay attention in history class. [applause] so we are left with is oblique definition of the average person about grant that he's a drunken all those. at the end of the day you would define grant is an american hero. >> they are think history will look a lot writer on grant in
the years to come and i hope i'm part of that because everything that we found in the treasure trove so the national archives suggests that not only was he a military strategist and almost to serve on 20 came to strategy in the civil war but he was just a leader, leader of men who is humble, patient but had this cold resolve to get things done. i think the hamilton song who writes your history, i think for years because of the vestiges of reconstruction and all that happened after that all of the negativity was dumped onto grant and maybe the drunk thing stuck in the corruption was what led
his presidency and i'd believe it deserves a full view. >> there a number of questions. these questions are not nearly as good as mine but -- it's a lightning round. who does your research for the book's? >> the first researcher i hired for history books was a woman named sidney soderberg who was the former mayor of salina kansas which is the town next to abilene and she worked at the eisenhower library. i first met her when i was exploring eisenhower and trying to figure out if i was going to write about eisenhower and the library said this is your best person. we met and we talked and she said to me listen i just want you to know something, i watch your show and they said that's great. >> she set i like your show and i said that's better but she
said but i am a true blue kansas democrat and i said well that's great. i'm a news anchor who likes a straight so we are getting to get along and we did. with sydney and catherine whitney the co-author we formed this team where we kind of just bounced these nuggets around until we got a blueprint and then we are stitching pieces of the quilt together until we get the book that we get. it takes a while. i write at night usually with a glass of wine. i'm a night owl and my wife amy holds down the fort and allows me to do that. >> talk about grants relationship with robert e. lee and how well they knew each other and their mutual respect. >> they are up as they fought together in the mexican-american
war. they communicated during the war by telegram and he had -- appomattox was a moment and by the way all the picturesque thoughts of the general general. he was dressed to the nines and the sword and perfectly immaculate and well shaven and he just looked the part and grant did not at all to the point where when he's winning battles some of the early photographers cut off his head up the picture and put it on at different general who's sitting upright. it was the first photoshop. but they did have a relationship and a continued after the war and he invited lead to the white house which was quite a moment.
if i were in the press corps that would be a good thing to cover. >> they are only >> something like 15 minutes together. >> they are did. they kept in touch and that was mutual respect. there was a lot of debate about who was the better of general strategically and lincoln would say grand prix describe your writing process. you aim for a certain number of words or pages per day? >> i usually put in two hours and i put myself in a room for two hours and then we bounce back and forth. catherine is amazing at stitching things together and we ping-pong and it's a great team. sydney is the bigger of the nuggets and we go from there. >> what was your most
interesting nugget that you found in writing this book? >> i do think grant being invited to ford theater is a really interesting nugget. i think grant's time as he is at the end of his life trying to write that memoir and getting through that moment is also a really interesting nugget that his relationships i think come forward in this book a lot more than other places where i've read about grant that i think we get a little bit more context and a little bit more personality to his character and that's in part from other writings by other people who describe him. >> they are's a paragraph in your book were you talk about -- and by chance help animals came
together. it's either a rumor or a fact that john wilkes-booth appears in front of grant's carriage. tell us about that. >> with that night as they are going to get to new jersey john wilkes-booth is seen riding core >> and grant remembers and writes about this strange man staring at him through the carriage and an ominous way that night and it is believed that is john wilkes-booth chasing down the carriage is as he's going out of town to new jersey but he turns around and goes to ford theater. >> they are there was a conspiracy i recall around booth and other players in actors and maybe that was just part of the whole evening.
>> who knows what could have been somebody else but it was an ominous figure staring at his carriage as he's leaving washington. >> they are you planning another book? >> it is three books so i think and by the way makes it great christmas set. it's fantastic for under the tree. i'm going to do another rescue book and we will see what we are rescuing next. that's in the business of a deep tease. it's in the process, it's in the works. sydney has been deployed and the nuggets are being mined. >> i'm going to press to questions into one. what can we learn from 1876 that
would help with conflict today and how do you restore civic discourse to the present day? >> i agree with you. whoever said oh boy. i'll tell you what that's one of the big challenges and we are a divided nation clearly. but i think history can help give us perspective of where we have been before and we are a long way from where we were. discourse is leadership. social media doesn't help. drives everybody apart and i don't know if you've visited my twitter feed lately. he can be a very dark place occasionally but i think it just takes leaders and we could use a grant or an eisenhower or a reagan frankly, optimistic
leaders. [applause] >> now we are right in the thick of current events. what is your opinion of your competition at the other cable networks? >> wow. and this is being recorded? >> it's off the record. >> i have a lot of respect for my competition at other networks however i will say that i do think that some people who are regular newspeople thought they were somehow affected by donald trump and his administration to the point where a motion factored in more than it should have in some of the reporting to where they lost some people in
the trust factor had heard all of us as journalists to do that. so when i took over for. hume in january of 2009 he said two things to me. one, the show is not about you and to let the news drive the show. so i look at it with blinders on how i can make that our beas newsy is beas newsy as possible and somebody gets to the end of the hour and they feel like they know what's happening in the u.s. and around the world and they have some sense of analysis of the big moments from people who cover washington for decades but trying to take the emotion out of it for me. of course i have thoughts about things, not a robot but i want to present it to you so you can make a decision. it's not just a slogan. i'm really trying to do that every night from 6:00 to
7:00 and 3:00 to 4:00 your time. [applause] >> any predictions for the 2022 elections? >> again if you talk to people on the hill they are excited about the prospects. they feel like you're in a good position in subject wise and topic wise they have a number of things that they can talk about that they feel good about so it should be for the house site according to kevin mccarthy paint by numbers. they only need a few seats and he's looking to at 20, 30 or 40 big pickups of seats in the house and the senate is much more difficult and the battlegrounds article tougher for republicans and i think that will come down to the candidates chosen.
the biggest political thing the elephant in the room literally the open in the room is the decision of the former president whether he runs for president or not and that will decide a lot about how different parties deal with that. if he does run he will of course get a ton of attention and every other candidate will be asked whatever the former president is saying or doing. i'm assume he'll be back on twitter which then we will pick up our knowledge of what's happening inside of president trump said and there will be a reaction to that. it's very cyclical and i think it's biggest political thing that we will see in the next probably six to 10 months. >> i haven't totally decided yet. >> they are and balanced. [applause]
i know you're going to ask john. i don't get to do that on the show that much. >> what processes are in place to make real the slogan of fair and balanced and do you have control or influence over the content of the balance? >> yes i'm the executive editor of the show so yeah the buck stops with me. but i have a great team and i have an executive producer. i have some writers and i've a couple of producers and we have a great team that has formed a really good system about trying to be an ice hockey goalie of news to prevent the bad talks from getting through and there are many bad pucks out there so it is me and i make the
decisions. there's a morning meeting. it's collaborative and we'll talk about things but i'm the executive editor. >> a serious question here how do you like gutfeld? >> a stake in the lions den. it was fun but i didn't know what was happening and what's he started telling me about hunter biden and he had some skit about pelosi and i said i should probably exit stage left. i think i have an interview requests for speaker pelosi. i hope she's not watching. she's not up this late he said. that would help with interview requests as well. >> they are last two questions and we are going to run out of time. i think you played ball did you love sports and your kids play
sports. what's your favorite golf course? >> favorite golf course, just because of the memories would be augusta national but i love playing out here at pebble beach and at&t. there is nothing like that and i'd talk to three or 400 people at night it became a bid when i'm standing before toder people i have to make have to make it turn into different all game and i played in college. it's still a different ballgame. >> last question and this one is for me the because i know early in your career you were at the pentagon. you are really well informed on the national security front. what is your opinion on what happened in afghanistan and was that a presidential decision or a military follow-up and how do
you see it? >> the thing i've heard is everyone was recommending the troops remained and tell the americans were out and the president was very determined to have it the other way around. i think the recommendations from everything we can tell are pretty much down the road. even the state department was weighing in on that front so i don't know if we know 100% that this was a presidential decision but i think it's sad having been there just a few weeks after 9/11. i landed at bob graham air phase -- airbase with a mr. rumsfeld and to see all that time that it along the afghan pakistan border with special ops. i was in the small afghan
villages were 20-year-old captains were essentially mayors of these little villages trying to get girls to go to school and set up a water system and they did. amazing things were happening. i think we have written off a lot more then new original mission at how we got out and not would we get out that how we got out his sad anything former defense secretary gates on "60 minutes," i'd be remiss if i didn't say our condolences to the powell family and the loss of powell this week. he was a great, great man and he was larger than life when it came to washington but the stories that i have from researching reagan as his initial security adviser and i will just tell one very quickly and that is touring moschetto
the final summit and family coming to the end where they are going to make the final deal and gorbachev keeps on saying there'll be a peaceful coexistence and we are going to add this paragraph that no interrupting internal affairs peaceful coexistence and reagan says it like four times and he's suspicious of it. he turns to powell and powell scruples on the corner of the paper and put it down and he slides it to reagan and reagan looks at it and then gets up and says, the answer is no adding that paragraph and gorbachev explodes and gets in reagan's face is a little shorter. he's like in this space and they are really yelling at each other and the whole deal is about ready to fall apart and then gorbachev backs down and says okay and he's kind of defeated and they don't add the paragraph.
everybody files out of the room and marlon fitzwater goes back to the table and sees the little piece of paper and picks it up and it says if you agree you can never criticize them again meaning you can never criticize the soviet union began if you put that paragraph in a deal. reagan saw that and trusted powell so much that he risked the whole nuclear deal on that graph. so colin powell's influence not only with reagan but the bushes and a lot of people in washington were exponential. >> i know president reagan stated publicly at one point that he had hoped that powell would run for presidency and he would vote for him. bret it's been a very quick hour to spend with you and just wonderful. thank you for coming and thank you for such a terrific, terrific look.