and honor to introduce a the co-founder of the book fair and president of miami-dade college, . [applause] >> good afternoon everyone. indeed it is a real pleasure to welcome all of you to miami-dade college of the 26th edition of the miami book fair international opening for the book fair that will go for eight consecutive days and the fair taking place friday saturday sunday next week. it is without question the finest and largest literary event in america up. we are very proud at the
college to host these every year now 26 years and the community has benz are responsive with visitors and residents of the community come together in a communion of books. the book there has been my two favorites are tom wolfe the american author who said miami book fair international is of literary maker of the western world and the other nascent label is what former first lady barbara bush said, it is the embarrassment of riches. i love that one. between now and next sunday over 350 authors, some of them coming from different parts of the world over the
delight of the miami public. during the weekend and during the street fair, we will have hundreds of thousands of people who will be visiting, selling hundreds of thousands of books for people to buy. as a point* of privilege i'd like to introduce three members of congress who are here today and good friends of miami-dade college. [applause] [applause] [applause] a proud alumni of miami did college [applause]
to introduce our very special guest today, as someone who needs no introduction, some newsday cultural icon in his community and so much to bring books alive and to bring people together and the best of the world of leadership to miami please tell me to look on niche kaplan [applause] >> thank you. it is an honor to be introduced by one of my mentors, eduardo padron marino what he has done for this community and this is a
gift that is the miami book fair let's give them a huge round of applause also as i stand up here i have to recognize as we enter a new book fair week, the incredible work of the entire book fair team led by a remarkable woman , the woman who has been hard and so many, many years the executive director read it in florida for the literary arts. [applause] and it is an amazing week each night to this week we have an author coming in who led by the entire weekend. around the clock of authors. please pick up your fare go or die and go online to find out what is happening at the miami book fair. it is an honor to do this
program to introduce the is my honor to bring of someone whose books who sold in our shop many, many years and a pleasure to meet him, michael barone graduate of harvard and yale law school and spent two years at yale while president bush was there although their tracks did not cross then. the senior political analyst -- analyst at "the washington examiner" and also a resident fellow at the merck fined enterprise institute and co-author of the almanac of american politics. he has written for many publications including the economist and "the new york times" and the sunday "times of london." previously a senior writer at u.s. news and will the poor and a member of "the washington post" editorial page.
thank you for his leadership of miami committee college i had the honor giving a graduation speech tonight was president and i am thankful you invited me back also for promoting literacy as a new author it is in my interest to promote literacy [laughter] and when you to know i did recognize the fact you have invited my mother, my wife, our daughter, did you finally got to me. [laughter] [applause] and finally thank you and for buying this book which i personally signed and i understand after this is over you can get your copy and i am grateful. >> mr. president your book is titled "decision points" not be exhaustive autobiography of your full life and but your powerful presidency but tell us what
you wanted to do too what i thought it would be strange to start off i was born in delaware log cabin. [laughter] i wanted people to understand what it was like to be president during the consequential time. i made a lot of controversial decisions. i wanted to give "the reader" a chance to understand the process by which i understand and make decisions and the people i listened to as i made decisions. this is not an attempt to rewrite history over fashion a legacy of but an attempt to be a part of the historical narrative. it was a joyous experience. there is an autobiographical portion and i put that in there to make the first decision to run for president in the first place as a logical decision for
"the reader"? i could not say i would run without describing the person and so can you tell me a day in which you did not have a drink? it is the beginning of me quitting drinking i tell you i would not be sitting here is former president if i did not stop drinking. >> host: who asked that question? >> guest: it was my dear wife laura who was tired of me drinking and i became tired of me drinking as well. the book is very anecdotal. and it was an interesting experience to recreate the anecdotes. the president it turns out have a lot of historical records at his disposal so there is diaries for every minute of my life, notes from national security meetings, memorandum of robocalls, it was interesting to recreate said
decision-making process from these records but no historical record of how i felt or the motions i felt and i did my best to give "the reader" a sense of emotions during those dramatic. >> you're father was elected president 1988. has a future president you may have had the opportunity for trading-- training but what observations did you make with your dad's campaign and his administration? >> first of all, a focal point* of the early part of the book is my relationship with my father. i recognize there is stifled babble taking place during a presidency about the relationship between father and son both of whom were president. the story is simple. i love george bush. i adore george bush and he was an incredible inspiration for me.
i learned a lot from him of serving. i learned structure in a white house. i remember and 1988, very few people dreamt i would be president. [laughter] including my mother, including new. >> host: i remember interviewing new with the texas delegation. >> i cannot say it was interviewing a future president may be governor cleamons. [laughter] >> guest: you just say that to stay out of trouble. [laughter] but i watched a gracious man the president. watching my dad the president was a lot harder than being president pro i love him to the point* if anybody says anything bad about him i would be angry and frankly i was a rude and
say so in the book because i was defending somebody that meant a lot so when i became president it was much easier to deal with the slings and arrows of the presidency than watch him go through it. it bothered me for my dad but not really for me. i make that point* in the book. >> host: tell us about the first time you pushed dick cheney for vice president the when he refers to the point* in the book that dick cheney was the right person to run with me. the vice-presidential selection process is really the first indication as to how a potential president will make a decision. i watched my dad make his decision and it was a very thoughtful process and i asked dick cheney to leave the process. the vice-presidential pick also ought to say clearly to the american people a
potential president understands the most important role of the vice president is to succeed the president if something bad happens. after going through the exhaustive list i decided he would be the right presidential pick i trusted his judgment, i knew he would not be second-guessing decisions. he could be president. and reassure the american people i understood the nature of the price presidency. i called my sr. team and karl rove strongly objected in. he did not think, he thought vice president cheney would not help with the lead tora college and it turns out those in miami were very valuable. [laughter] he felt like kicking someone from my father's administration would look too much like a continuation of president 41.
he was sorry about his health and worried about some of the policies that dick had voted on when he was in congress. my management style was to put it carl and dick in the same room in the governor's mansion and let karl rove air out why he did not think dick ought to be on the ticket and what is interesting is he agreed. it took me awhile to persuade vice president cheney to join us on the ticket. there was a lot of speculation about my relationship with him. i am glad i picked him in 2000 and as i sit here in 2010 i am glad that i picked him in 2000. in my judgment he was a superb vice president. >> host: a couple of people who were not eager for you to run for president were to people very closely related.
there is some connection with what you state was your biggest mistake in the 2000 campaign 51 it you are referring to my daughter's. you can understand. just graduating from boston high-school and the idea their father running and running and going to college with the secret service was not appealing. [laughter] michael was referring to the biggest political mistake of my life was not revealing to the people of texas i was arrested for drunk driving. i was up been named a and i went to a bar he taught me how to drink beer out of the mug with no hands. [laughter] that means you bite the edge of the mug. [laughter] and i had too much to drink and was pulled over by a policeman in kennebunk -- kennebunkport.
i was called for jury duty in austin now it was a drunken driving charge i was dismissed as i was walking and of the courtroom they said had you ever been arrested for drunk driving? i said i have done a lot of stupid things when i was young. my girls were fixing to drive and i felt strongly baby boomer parents should not put their sins upon their children and i was deeply concerned that if i would have said yes, that my message would have been undermined. it after all he became the governor i think we would drink and drive as well and it was a huge political mistake because five days before the election the sealed records were unsealed and dropped into the political arena. of course, there was arrested but i quit drinking but anything that changes the discourse five days into a campaign is monumental.
and karl rove and i believe that that revelation of the drunken driving probably cost 2 million votes as people said we don't need this. we thought he was one way they did not spend time discerning the issue. it was a reaction. it was a huge political mistake and obviously i would have revealed that the appropriate time i was drinking and driving and paid my dues i quit drinking and should have held a mothers against drunk driving some of hour. >> host: we're here speaking in florida. did you not think he might not get the electoral votes after the controversy? >> it seemed that we had to win the race five different times one thing about florida today that did irritate me and i put this in the book in a gentle way
but the networks called florida before the panhandle had closed most people are in the stern but the panhandle is central time zones when they call the election at 7:00 p.m. eastern a lot of people said why don't need to go so it was a very traumatic time. i was most grateful for my election day decision, people were urging me to declare victory and my brother said don't do it. his judgment was right. second, i woke up early in the morning and i asked jimmy baker, my dad's dear friend and a great public servant and it worked out fine but an interesting point*. >> host: as president janumet dinh dealt with foreign leaders say and
write about some of them in the book you write i have always been able to meet people. you first said you got a sense of his soul. >> looked into his eyes and saw his soul and later you told him he was cold-blooded did you read him wrong? [laughter] did he change? >> guest: net me tell you the story. ghandi and i were in a room in slovenia. thankfully they did not ask me to identify where it was when i was running in 2000. [laughter] now i know where it is and it is a fabulous country by the way. one of the most beautiful countries on earth. meeting with putin for the first time in 2001 and he is talking to me about said -- debt saddling the russian federation after about five minutes talking
about the dead i said is it true that your mother gave you a cross she had plus interest on? i have read about the cross and his mother in a cia briefing and the reason i asked him as a wanted to learn more about the person i needed to know the person i was dealing with and then he starts describing his mom and across intel's the interesting story how he hunger across but then it turndown and said the only thing i want you to find is the cross and then how his countenance changed in the atmosphere in the room change. he said it was as if it was meant to be. i said that is the story of the cross. but when i was asked a question do you trust
vladimir putin after my meeting, my answer was yes. roi could have been reagan with a great dancer like trust but verify that would send an -- summit plagiarism and reporter said why? i said because i looked into his eyes and i looked into his soul. with my memory at the time that is how the whole conversation changed talking about his mom and her gift. then michael talking about the last time i met him and i was mad end spoke to his successor making it clear how the united states was objecting strongly and then i said after a conversation
it was pretty tough because we were on international tv i finally said to him, i have been telling you for seven years they are hot blooded and putin said i am hot blooded. i said no vladimir, you are cold-blooded. there is a lot of stores in between like when i introduced him to barney at camp david a little scottish terrier and putin dissed -- diss tim. [laughter] and he was a gracious host and said would you like to meet my dog? i said sure. comes a big dog he said bigger faster stronger than
barney. [laughter] he changed. >> host: you had a day that changed in your presidency the morning of september 11, 2001, it take awhile to get back to washington. can you tell us what it was like to be president of united states said day? >> guest: marvell became clarified. the party of my administration changed from tax cuts toward dealing with the.com bust lawyer knows of left behind and when they said the second tower has been an american is under attack i was staring at young children. my first reaction my role became clear. the contrast between the evil and the innocence it was clear my job was to protect. i put in their everything after that, the decisions i
made many due to that attack that day. i tried to get home and urged not to come back. we flew around the country with two stops louisiana and the rest of 4:00 in the afternoon i said i am going home, we're very uncertain about other attacks by sure wasn't going to give a speech from a broker in nebraska i would not give the enemy the psychological vantage the only time in my presidency, one time i will not tell you but i overruled by the secret service. their job is to protect the president but i said i am going home. i gave this speech and we were in four stories below the white house at the heart of the bunker and they said
this is where you will stay and i said show me the bad. it looked like it was purchased by harry truman. [laughter] i said i am not sleeping down here. i knew i needed to sleeper could you are in a crisis it is essential you get rest to think clearly. so we went upstairs. lauro was sound asleep and i could not get to sleep and then somebody said the president -- mr. president white house is under attack. i grab the poor and the dog follows. [laughter] and then they said it was one of ours. it had the wrong transponder signal and was flying back
to anders and everybody thought it was the final play in coming for the white house. >> host: three days after that you spoke at the national cathedral in washington and went to visit the side of the attack in new york. >> guest: the national cathedral speech was very important given at a prayer service. christians, muslims, a jewish, religious leaders trying to heal the asian. my speech is god is good. we will find the enemy and bring justice. and it may have been the most in president -- important speech in my presidency it was like walking into hell with the senate still in the air there was palpable
feeling these people did not know me as president they were desperately trying to pull out their friends when i got on top of the fire engine, i reviewed the film the other day we love you, we care for you, the message they haul wanted to hear we hear you and as a knockdown the buildings will hear from us. then we drove down the road it was lined with new yorkers in american flags and as guiliani pointed out, none of them voted for you. [laughter] the truth does not hurt. [laughter] i think the rescue workers then went to the families whose still thought the loved ones would come out of the rubble. i just had come from the
rubble and it was actually hard to believe anybody could come out. i did the best i could to be hopeful and reassuring. it was a 30 minute meeting but two 1/2 hours later i left the last person was arlenqkñ howard who gave me the badge of her son george which i held up at the speech. >> host: months and a couple years that followed you authorized the cia in dat use enhanced interrogation techniques are those proposed on subjects include -- including khalid sheikh muhammed authorizing torture by many critics of this country and in other countries. what is your view of this? >> guest: my view is we fight the battle to protect ourselves against an enemy that is different from anyone we have ever fought. that does not believe in a
geneva convention in and hides itself in the belly and mercifully kill the innocent. the only way to protect us is to get good information. so we captured khalid sheikh muhammed. he was the chief operating officer of al qaeda. he was the man who slit danny pearls throat he was jewish. one of a great statements of religious principle ever when he said my grandfather is jewish, my father is jewish and i am jewish then his throat was slit. recapture him and i am told he has information that could prevent another attack. i was also told the interrogation techniques that we reusing at the time
as a matter of fact khalid sheikh muhammed said i will talk to you when i get my lawyer in new york. the cia said they would like to take over the interrogation. talked-about techniques available to them that they thought would be effective to get information from this killer to save lives. i then went through the exhaustive legal review of their recommendations understanding there are laws against torture. i was not going to break the law to protect you legal opinions came back and i approve the techniques including waterboarding on three people. in my book i just make the two points clear. bond. of the information we received on those on whom we used interrogation techniques saved american lives.
second. i could not have lived with myself had i not under the law used the techniques to get the information so that our folks could react to prevent attacks and i am fully aware from the time made the decision there would be a lot of controversy and a lot of blow back of my job was to protect you within the law and the constitution later in my presidency recaptured somebody who had information i would have done the same thing again and finally, i walk you through getting through this capability, this tool passed by the united states congress it is now available to any president to use should he or she she she choose
to do so. [applause] >> host: 20032003 you contemplated military action against iraq and the regime of sadam hussain and many intelligence agencies said they had weapons of mass destruction. some of that turned out to be wrong. how does that happen? in retrospect that have changed your point* of view with your decision? >> that is one of those questions that i just don't
have the luxury if answering. right could try but this is how history unfolded. i laid out a doctrine that in order to protect their country we had to beyond the awp offense and had to deal with threats before they fully materialized, one of the lessons of the attack of september 11 + also the alternative to the ideology of those that rendered the innocent. the world saw sadam hussain as a threat and i felt it was important to deal with him because the biggest danger facing america was weapons of mass destruction and in this case, one chosen to do harm. one thing that is clear i
tried to make diplomacy work. there was an exhaustive attempt to convince saddam hussein we meant what we said by the way there was a debate and i administration of i should have gone to united nations security council that all. some said no. and just give him 20 or 40 days. >> host: by your position in the book was legally he was in violation of previous >> guest: but on the other hand, what i think will interest people is i wanted there to be a coalition of freedom loving nations who were willing and to confront saddam hussein's he would understand not just united states demand he disclose are allowing the inspectors but those nations cannot act
without the u.n. security council resolution in. not the case for america but the leader said let's go to the security council. i agreed with a unanimous resolution hong then we had a diplomatic track but also a military track trying to send signals that if you defied the free world there will be consequences. in terms of the weapons of mass destruction, let people forget prior to my arrival the congress overwhelmingly passed a resolution calling for regime change in iraq. congress overwhelmingly passed a resolution authorizing to use force to protect the american people. when did difficulties began that people began to change their mind which sometimes
happens in politics. [laughter] but it can happen if you are the commander in chief you cannot play politics with those who wear armor uniform [applause] anyway, it is a painful experience i am certainly not equating the pain is somebody is hurt or lose their life but it was a difficult decision and no president should commit the troops without serious thought of the consequences. >> host: mr. president, president obama in a post-election end press conference, the strength he has from speaking with military members that have fallen you write about this in the book. >> guest: i write about it a lot.
because i want the american people read the book to understand the incredible string of character of our military families bright tell this story of a woman named valerie and i see her and her two children. five and three year-old daughter and i talk about going i level with the children telling them how courageous their dad was then i bought back 50 years i did not want them to see a week commander in chief i wanted them to hear your father was a heroic person and then handed me a pamphlet that if anybody questions this show them this and said john did his job now you do yours. there was a lot of meetings like that where the strength of character people come now
we are a blessed nation brave, courageous people who volunteer in the face of danger and those families to support. [applause] >> host: mr. president thomas some of my friends and london getting along with prime minister tony blair. >> guest: i am not a sophistic it? [laughter] >> guest: i am just saying what some of my friends from london. [laughter] >> guest: tony blair and i became fast friends. i admire him a lot. i admire him because he is a courageous person in when he gives you his word he keeps it, his sense of humor, laura -- laura and i spend a lot of time with him and his wife. i meant a lot of friends and
the international arena like an all-star act, i better not start because then i will leave somebody out but we had a fast friendship. it is unusual to find politicians are people in elected office to look beyond the horizon it but tony blair could do that in a way with that was very strategic and i believe the head of state needs to be strategic and their thoughts and have a long-term view of the issues. and tony has that you. >> host: you did have a few debates with his wife. [laughter] >> guest: y and that i probably lost but i made it clear, she was objecting to my position when i was governor of texas and president of supporting the death penalty i made it that affair and swift it saves lives and she did not agree. >> host: you were reelected with the majority of the vote win the
presidential nominee got the majority popular vote and political capital, you went on the social security issue first and then only later pushed for changes in the immigration. but those were not successful. what did you learn? >> if i could do over i would do emigration first. but i didn't. i pushed so security hard and congress did not want to reform and there is an issue with all due respect where congress was more reactive than proactive on the issue. think it nevertheless i pushed hard because i think it is essential we reform social security is unfair for young americans to pay money into broke system. on the other hand, i made it
clear i did not go to washington to play small ball but deal with problems and not shy away because they may have bad political consequences. and sells a security fail then iran the comprehensive immigration reform that was widely praised after i gave the speech in the oval office but the issue got away with the rhetoric got away, it was very difficult and if somebody was nervous about the border, i can understand, but in a comprehensive plan made it very difficult to get people to pay attention. i have no regrets trying both issues you tried to solve problems. >> host: decision point*
there is a chapter 2003 through 2004 than also on the surge where you talk about in the spring of 2006, may come to believe our strategy and iraq was failing you needed to make changes in that. that resulted in the surge strategy which i think was successful. how did, why did you change your mind and how did you turn around the government? >> guest: i changed my mind because i felt we were beginning to lose and a loss would be the major blow to the security of the united states and the sacrifices would be in vain in dimpled and enemies and send shock waves throughout the middle east and i have always believed that freedom exist in everybody's seoul and if we could get the right
strategy to bring security in place, people would be given a chance to express their concerns, but the problem is the politics first and reverberate a successful but it deteriorates to the point* where democracy cannot take hold. i decided it would be catastrophic. my just past nine national security adviser for options and it took awhile to implement. i walked the leaders through >> host: you talk about changing your mind on this strategy. >> guest: in the spring but i needed to see options. >> host: then january 2017 when i need to see options before i can make a move that took a while to develop the options but then i
needed to convince people in my own administration and then as donald rumsfeld told me, we need new-line is and the truth of the matter, in order to make the plan work, i had to have a new secretary of defense we would need somebody else to say it was a new plan so then introduced to bob gates has an option. then that her levying -- fled to meeting you generals but with good 2006 campaign, i feel very strongly the commander-in-chief should not we making key military decisions in the midst of a political campaign to send signals to the troops you're being used for a political purpose in that would be a major mistake. analysis for future presidents and fortune of the few were commander in chief don't play politics
with military strategy. [applause] >> host: three more questions they are getting ready to put the haqqani. >> host: handling hurricanes in florida and 2004 and 2005 you said they had a call bank governor at that time. [laughter] [applause] >> guest: what do expect me to say? [laughter] >> host: then comes katrina you were accused by a black singer about not caring about people to when it was not just one person it was the opportunity for
people to use the response to katrina as a way to label me as a racist. i did not like it one bit and express significant displeasure but you can call me names, they did. but being labeled a racist i could not stomach that. it was unbelievably unfair as a case of i pride myself to make decisions it was just a delayed decision i did something not very smart to fly over new orleans and have mahan report teach pitcher take 10 so that it looks like i did not care looking at 20,000 feet per agreed to remind people the federal response started after the storm hit and
30,000 people's lives were saved by the united states coast guard. as i said, not one helicopter pilot or rescue coast guard had said i will not take you because you are black they were picking up all colors and ages and race to save lives. the question, i have put federal troops without the capacity to protect themselves in new orleans? without having enough time but read the book. i walked you through that says the president cannot put troops for law enforcement in the united states without either declaring this situation the insurrection are being asked to do so by the governor of a particular state. i was weighed to see a
broadcast of the area with shootings and steppers many of which turned out not to be true. but if i had to do it over again, i would put the 82nd airborne without the capacity to defend themselves and it would change the situation quickly. >> host: i don't recall you speaking a lot about africa or aids issues in your 2000 campaign by your administration did a lot on that i think a lot of people are not aware of that. >> early on, a condi when i was scorching heard to become a national security adviser, and i talk a lot about africa and if you think about africa at that time you had to think of the pandemic debate. any policymaker could say i want to do something and not immediately go to the aids
issue. i did. i walked their readers through some poignant scenes of what we saw when more and i went to africa but also the strategy to spend your money that ultimately saved millions of lives. why did you do that? two reasons. we could only recur to hopeless people but there has to be something no more hopeless then paris dying of aids and nobody to help them and we have the capacity to help. it is also an important to believe -- live by a principal and as a nation we are better for it. i do devote one chapter called lazarists because many people after the program that was implemented called pepfar, i tell a
funny story, joshua bolton money dear friend in the second chief of staff and in the card, says, you are going to be bought no. you do know who he is, do you? >> guest: and irish rock star. and just as he was leaving the room i said and used to be married to share. [laughter] i kept my poker face tesla as possible there is a lot of moments of humor in the book because believe it or not my administration in the admit -- in the midst of trauma was pretty light hearted. there's a lot of joy in the midst the grief of. >> there is too older women
who appear at various points of the book and wonder if you could tell me which was more formidable? [laughter] queen elisabeth? >> i tell my mother, i put in there that, i tell a lot of stories about my mom and i adore my dad and i would tell people when i ran for governor i have my daddy's eyes and may general's -- mother's mouth that will generally get a laugh. my mother is formidable ally said i was going to run against richards she said you can't win. [laughter] thanks mom. [laughter] she is unbelievable. >> host: what did she tell you at the marathon? >> guest: after my dad lost in 92 decided i am
going to run down my frustrations by train for and running the houston marathon at my own 19 is st. martin's church and it just so happens i go running by this church when the service is empty now and my dad says there is my boy and my mother says there is three fabs people ahead of you. [laughter] [applause] >> that is that what you heard from the queen? >> glor and i went to buckingham palace to have a majestic stay and i asked look clean if i could see the dogs and they came in, beautiful and very well behavior and i am used by
south thankfully barney is not here he would be parking for scottish independence. [laughter] but i make it clear, and thank you very much for being here and your interest. [applause] there is a lot of stories in the book. i was giving a speech and bucharest. just before i got up to the podium, a couple hundred thousand people and they were there to hear the american president which is a big deal for those who just came out from under communism to know an attack on one is art called -- an attack on all witches article i in the treaty and amidst the drizzle of the day, i said what is