tv Charlie Rose PBS February 3, 2016 12:00pm-1:01pm PST
>> rose: welcome to the program. we begin this evening with a look back at the iowañr results and a look forward to the race in new hampshire and the rest of campaign 2016. we talk to matthew dowd, frank bruni, susan glasser and david axelrod. >> part of the problem donald trump has is that he didn't manage expectations well. if you had told me or any of us he was going to get 45,000 votes in the iowa caucus, you would have said, that's unbelievable, and that he was ahead in new hampshire and every other state, you would say that's the dominant character. he did not manage that well where he basically set up a scenario that said i will win everywhere and when he didn't, even though he's ahead, problematic. >> rose: and medical advances and public health with michael milken. >> what can we bring to bear for
solutions for life-threatening diseases? it involves the building of specific disease research organizations, the strengthening and training of those groups. it involves a lot of education and to congress, government. it involves convening of our leaders to solve a problem and try to get -- if you're going to look at a problem, let's get academics there. let's get disease groups there. let's get pharmaceutical companies, bio. >> rose: we conclude with matthew heineman, director of a much-talked-about documentary called "cartel land." >> it's part of the unfortunate tale of what i experienced, at least, is what it originally was was t the goal was to get rid of the cartel and created a power vacuum and someone needed to fill it. unfortunately, we see by the end of the film the cycle just
repeat itself. >> rose: politics, medicine and drug cartels in mexico when we continue. >> rose: funding for "charlie rose" has been provided by: funding for charlie rose is provided by the following. >> rose: additional funding provided by: >> and by bloomberg, a provider of multimedia news and information services worldwide. captioning sponsored by rose communications from our studios in new york city, this is charlie rose. >> rose: we begin tonight with politics. last night's iowa caucus raised new questions about the presidential race for both republicans and the democrats. senator ted cruz took first place beating out donald trump. >> tonight is a victory for the grassroots.
(cheers and applause) tonight is a victory for courageous conservatives across iowa and all across this great nation. >> we will go on to get the republican nomination, and we will go on to easily beat hillary or bernie or whoever the hell they throw up there! (cheers and applause) iowa, we love you, we thank you! you're special! we will be back many, many times. in fact, i think i might come here and buy a farm. i love it. >> rose: finishing in third place, a surprising strong finish was senator marco rubio. many establishment republicans hope he can consolidate the party's support. on the democratic side senator sanders fared surprisingly well against hillary clinton. she won by a narrow margin of .3%. >> it is rare that we have the opportunity we do now to have a real contest of ideas, to really
think hard about what the democratic party stands for and what we want the future of our country to look like if we do our part to build it. i am a progressive who gets things done for people! >> rose: joining me in new york is matthew dowd, chief political analyst at abc news, frank bruni a columnist at the nierms. from chicago david axelrod a senior political commentator at cnn. and from washington the editor of politico susan glasser. i am pleased to have all of them back on this program. david let me start with the democrats because this was a surprisingly close race. what does it say about hillary clinton, sander bernie sanders, new hampshire and the rest of the season. >> nothing good ever happens to
hillary in iowa. they poured themselves into it in iowa and she ground out her vote through organization. bernie sanders inspired a lot of people to come out. it was sort of perspiration versus inspiration. he beat her 6 to 1 among young people. this is a cautionary note for her. this is exactly what happened to her with barack obama in 2008. he did well among working class votervoters in eastern iowa whih should be a sogsnary note for her as well as they move into other states. i don't think the wind changed fundamentally, the dynamic. one other thing i should mention is he did well among independent voters who can opt into the caucus. he did very, very well with them. it's one of the reasons why new hampshire is so promising for bernie sanders where independent voters can choose whichever primary they want to participate in and he is doing very well there. but ultimately h he still has to solve the question as to whether he can make inroads with minority voters, of which there
are very few in iowa and new hampshire, and that test will come in nevada. >> rose: and south carolina. and south carolina. >> rose: and what does he have to do to make inroads into minority voters? obviously -- >> it's not -- it's hard, charlie, because he doesn't have the history of relationships. he does have a story to tell. interestingly, he rarely tells it, about his early years. here at the university of chicago he led the first sit inn over the separation of black and white students and student housing and he was at the king march in washington but he rarely talks about himself. it's an interesting distinction between them, though, and i think it goes to another vulnerability potentially for senator clinton. bernie sanders talks about what he wants to do and challenging ini quality. hillary clinton talks a lot about her own experience. that's a big advantage for her.
but it necessitates she talks about herself, and when you ask voters -- like yesterday among voters who believe they want a candidate who cares about people like them, bernie sanders beat her three to one because i think he projects a sense that he's intensely involved with people'z on the ground game, we knew he had a deep penetration within the evangelical movement, but marco rubio. >> well, i think the big development that came out of iowa is it was donald trump's opportunity. it's now wide open. >> rose: is he wounded? he's wounded but he has to recover very quickly. he has to win new hampshire
if he loses new hampshire, it will be a two-weekend movie that gets canceled because he doesn't get any draw. marco rubio is because of his rise in the last week consolidating the establishment in the course of this. but i think each one of those te has a path to the nomination but each one is a problematic struggle to the nomination. donald trump has to win new hampshire. he has to get a victory and get off the map quickly. marco rubio can't finish in seconds and thirds and become the dominant candidate. ted cruz has to figure out. he won, props to him in iowa, but he has to win in a lot of places without a lot of evangelicals and where the turnout is the masses and not the caucus. >> rose: where is the best state for marco rubio to win and where can ted cruz find a state that doesn't have a lot of
evangelicals. >> marco rubio has to finish second in new hampshire, hope donald trump doesn't run away and hope ted cruz is very competitive in south carolina with donald trump or beats donald trump in south carolina. one of the first states he can win in his march 1. any number of states but he has to hope it's broken up between donald trump and trrkz. >> rose: susan, should we expect kasich and christie and bush to gang up on marco rubio in new hampshire? >> i think that's already happening today. those guys read the results and saw rubio as the only guy who could interfere with them continuing in the race. we have a story that all three are already ganging up on him in new hampshire. i think this issue of how does rubio keep going all the way to march 1 without ever having successfully won a primary caucus is going to be a real question as we kick the tires on is this a rubio surge or a rubio
media surge. >> rose: what surprised you about last night? >> i think rubio's surprised me. >> rose: more than -- yeah, and i think there is no overstating what a strong night it was for him. you have to remember, for months, people have been saying marco rubio is the one to watch and going to merge and no numbers to back it up. >> rose: he went up and slid back. >> a new narrative of great doubt about rubio is developing. so i think he had a lot riding on last night. i think his people were good about not portraying it that way. he was only a point behind donald trump. compare the degree of media attention the two of them got. compare how assaulted rubio was for weeks by his ads from rivals. >> part of the problem donald trump has is he didn't manage connecttations well. if you told any of us he would get 45,000 votes in the iowa caucus, you would have said that's unbelievable, and that he was ahead in new hampshire and
y other state you would have said wow. that was the dominant character. when he said he was going to win everywhere and as soon as he didn't, it's problematic. >> rose: and people worried about the fact h he said he wasa winner, winner, and he didn't. >> he said the polls show i'm going to win. it wasn't even a runup. on the day itself. he didn't seem connected with what was actuallygñ happening on the ground. >> rose: he said if i don't win, this has been a big waste of my time and i spent a lot of money. >> well, that's probably accurate. >> probably true. just to cross over the line a second here, i think he got involved into a fight in ihe wasn't going to win. iowa is an organization intensive state. 63% of the voters yesterday described themselves as evangelicals and it was a mistake for him to invest himself and raise expectations in iowa. the real question for donald trump who just recites his poll
numbers reverentially wherever he goes, it's how he starts his speeches, if he starts to lose, how long does he have an appetite to stay in this race? i don't think he has a very viracious appetite for that. it's not just the image he's trying to project, his own self image is that he's a winner. well, he's not a winner today. >> rose: dave, you've run big campaigns, obviously. was cruz's campaign a very smart, very well executed, very thought-out political campaign? >> without question. i think he's the most strategic of all candidates. i have to give marco rubio credit because i think he's done a good job as well in sort of gaming the system and not being -- and being everyone's second choice, and that's beginning to work for him. but ted cruz has been very strategic from ther he knew he had to win iowa. he invested heavily in it.
he planted his father who's a preacher in iowa going from town to town. he plugged into the evangelical network there and organized in a predigis way using techniques the obama campaign pioneered in 2008 and perfected in 2012, so he's combined a very shrewd strategy with the technology of modern politics. now the question is where does he take the show. i think he has an opportunity in new hampshire because you will have a pile up in the establishment lane, in the moderate lane, and he's going to be the only guy who's really fundamentally focused on conservative voters and although they're not a majority in that primary, the sort of voter he's accustomed to, he can do better than people anticipate in new hampshire and move on to south carolina where i think he's going to go for a win. >> rose: but is his campaign a movement? he really speaks to it every
turn -- you know, conservatives, and we don't want to be denied again. >> i think there is a real ceiling to ted cruz's support. remember, we started this whole season with jeb bush saying you have to be willing to lose the primary to win the general? ted cruz is doing the opposite. he moved as far right as he can go. >> rose: in his campaign or political career? >> in his campaign now for sure. i followed him in iowa a bit. it was like going to biblical revivals. god, god, god. >> this is the almost exactly same campaign he ran before. he appealed to the most conservative voters, the evangelicals, do it in a systematic way, surprise people, he's doing it almost the same way. i was surprised the most about ted cruz and i agree he's the most strategic of the candidates that he didn't give a speech last night that was a broader look, that was more expansive. he did the contact same message,
very religious, conservative, and it wasn't expansive at all. it was this is who i am and i'm going to fight it out on this turf no matter what. >> rose: david? the republican base is fund mentally aggravated that, you know, against people in washington who they believe compromised with the president, who are part of the process and ted cruz has stood in opposition to them, very self-consciously, i think obnoxiously at times, but that plays in the race. i wonder in the runup to iowa whether all this talk about how the establishment was worried about ted cruz and the establishment wanted to stop ted cruz in iowa wasn't working to his benefit in some way, and i think he's going to continue to cultivate that very aggrieved republican base for as long as he can. >> rose: are the positions that candidates have par tick lated on all national issues it from much set now? they can't change as hillary did, on, for example, the t.p.p.
or keystone? >> i don't know, hillary has shown as ability to change just when you think she can't. but i think we're ignoring her in terms of she's the other big story of the night. yes, iowa was in some ways friendly terrain for bernie sanders, but it's been said a million times and can't be said often enough, bernie sanders is a 74-year-old self-proclaimed socialist little known outside of new england until six months ago and the former first lady, secretary of state, senator from new york, one ofo the most iconic women in america. >> rose: the niesms said one of the most experienced persons to runoffs. >> this was a very bad night for her because she comes out looking weak. she's going to get the democratic nomination, but what does this say about the capt. the democrats are sending into the general election. >> rose: susan? her speech was going to be known as the breathing the sigh of relief speech, and that is not exactly a positive message
of sort of change and accomplishment. i am struck by the fact that both parties do seem to be in an anti-mode and that competes against our very cherished notion that the person who wins the general election isles the person who is for something and -- >> rose: and optimistic and aspirational. remember that, david? >> yes, i do. i think that's important. you listen to bernie sanders last night and whether you agree with him or not, he gave an inspirational speech. you wouldn't say the speech that hillary clinton gave last night was an inspirational speech and this is what her candidacy lacks and she has to find a way to translate this experience into something that means something to people in their own lives and isn't just rae flexion of her life and that's the thing she hasn't yet figured out. >> rose: the question for all of you is why not? at her right hand is everybody's judgment as one of the shrewdest politicians of the late 20t
20th century. >> people like david and matthew have taught me well that the greatest truism of politics is elections are about the future, and every time i listen to her, everything about her campaign still says to me the past. i'm going to be the continuation of obama's unfinished business. i was at a campaign event in iowa which was a highlights of her life. the symbiotics of her campaign do not say i'm creating a new future for you. it's saying i have a past that makes this office something i deserve. >> one of the key attributes in politics today that everybody is hungry for is a sense of authenticity and being genuine. bernie sanders conveys a great sense of authenticity and being genuine, barack obama did. >> rose: he has a message of creating a political revolution. >> there is this ruffled guy, it's who he is. there is a barrier voters don't feel like they can get through with hillary clinton. whatever reason that is, it exists. >> she has a filter through
which she seems to speak and words come out that sound very political and very calculated and i think there is no doubt that those young people have gravitated to bernie not just because of what he's saying and what he is advocating but because they believe that he believes it and that he's real and she seems to be looking for the political language all the time. but do i think in the final weeks of iowa she began to do what she hasn't done in the past which is fully embrace who she is and who she is an institutionalist. who she is a tenacious sort of three yards and a ground of dust, cloud of dust person, and she has to take that and stick with it, but explain how that pays off for people and megan franks talked about i did this and that. when we were running the obama campaign, the slogan was yes we can, not yes i can. people want to believe they're
part of a project larger than themselves that has to do with the future. she needs to project some of that. >> rose: do you think she can? it's striking how we're having this circular conversation. david, we were having this conversation back in 2008. although i am struck by the fact that remember when hillary announced in 20 is a that this time around -- 2015 that this time around she was trying to be herself more and she gave a long, bore, policy wonky speech she had written herself and we didn't like it and said if that's her true self we weren't interested in it. david's point is an important one in that hillary clinton is authentic in that she's a steward of a process, a good student who want to show up and get it right and get it done and that's not as exciting as it is to have even a 74-year-old guy stand up to a bunch of college students and say "the revolution has begun."
i don't think there is a lot of americans who really want a revolution, but... >> rose: i think she may become president of the united states. she's a weak general election candidate and she will go into the general election disliked and distrusted by a majority of the country but i think the problem is the republicans may be in the exact same place where the nominee of their party is disliked and distrusted by a majority of the country. >> if it's donald trump or ted cruz or all the republican no, ma'am kneels? >> i have to give marco rubio a little credit. david knows this. the presidents that have gone on to win and win two terms are the ones that ran -- had a general election message targeted to their party's vote. barack obama had a general election message he started in the primaries and targeted it to the democratic base and basically ran the exact same message start to finish. >> rose: which is yes we can?
hope, optimism, i'm going to do it. george w. bush had it. >> rose: bill clinton? bill clinton and ronald reagan had it. marco rubio has begun to sense that if he has a hopeful, outmystic general election message it may help him win. >> the problem is to win the nomination, a hopeful, optimistic message isn't necessarily a winner and he has at times turned very dark and taken very ideological positions on abortion and other issues. i'll rip up the iran treaty on the first day. we'll roll back various rights and, you know, basically anti-obama positions that play well in the party but don't play well in a general election, and all of that stuff is on tape. all of that stuff will come back. that's the problem for the republican party. ake you a very tough -- makesu
it very tough for you to win a national race. >> the republicans may be faced with the idea right now that basically the top three candidates are basically tea party candidates. donald trump, ted cruz and marco rubio were all if many ways beloved by the tea party and we thought the republicans learned their lessons to not nominate tea party candidates but they're i can p being between three of hem them. >> i think republicans are hoping the tone marco rubio strikes will eclipse his actual positions on social issues that will be a problem with him in the election. >> rose: and the generational. yes. >> rose: every night is a learning experience for me. thank you david, susan, matthew, frank. >> thanks, charlie. you. >> rose: we'll be right back. stay with us. >> rose: michael milken is here. he is one of the biggest medical philanthropists in our country. he is also chairman of the milken institute, a nonprofit think tank that focuses on some
of society's most urgent causes such as medical research and public health. this month the senate is scheduled to evaluate the 21s 21st century cures bill. the legislation would accelerate regulators' review of new medical treatments and boost funding for the national institutes of health by nearly $9 billion over five years. i am pleased to have michael milken back at this table. welcome. >> charlie, it's great to be back with you. >> rose: tell me this -- where are we? i want to talk about public health and where we are in terms of, for the lack of a better phrase, combating major illness in 2016. well, you've had a front row seat in the last 20-some-odd years as to these amazing developments and promise that's occurred, and if you remember, we had the march in '98 with the help of thousands and clinton
signing into the law a doubling of the n.i.h. budget, tripping of the national cancer institute budget, and this enormous investment we've made is paying off and we're seeing the benefits today. there's been many heros along the way. one of them was elizabeth glazer who founded elizabeth glazer pediatric aids foundation. an unbelievably brave woman. she got hiv/aids from a transfusion. her daughter, her son. she passed away. her daughter's passed away. her son lives together. but the legacy today, a woman has a 2% chance of passing aids on to her child due to modern science versus over 90, and it's changed the world. two-thirds of everyone living with aids in the world live in
sub-saharan africa, and we're going to see life expectancy in sub-saharan africa potentially double in one generation. so it's an amazing thing to see. >> rose: because of the development of -- >> treating aids, not passing on to your children, dealing with many of the other diseases which the gates foundation has taken the lead on. you know, median age in uganda is 15, for all sub-saharan africa is 19. so many of these diseases by applying treatments, public health, diseases we now have solutions for, they will be able to deal with many other challenges of life but not for what has been killing them for the last century, particularly, and hopefully they will have good governments. >> rose: i just realized this week because of things we're doing because of what's happening today is that the
mosquito is the most heinous disease-causing species on the planet. >> well, it's passing on disease. >> rose: right. but modern science and technology, and it's an issue of what we're going to do, you can develop ways that a mosquito cannot breed, cannot reproduce. so the question is, if you eliminate the mosquitoes, what else have you done. >> rose: what's the damage? yeah, what other roles have they played in life. so we need to make sure we've figured out, when you eliminate what they're doing negatively, is there anything they have been doing positively. but, obviously, the questions surrounding a virus in south america, central america and what's going tolp occur here surrounds with mosquitoes todayó
but there is two forms. there is do we know how to stop a disease, known solutions today, and much of what has occurred in africa and south asia has been applying things we know, polio vaccine, et cetera. the other e element is there are thousands of diseases we don't know the solution for today, but we are on the doorstep, on the doorstep today of bringing those under control. so, if you remember, the first sequencing of the human genome took 13 years, dr. collins, and cost over $3 billion. some young -- >> rose: dr. collins, president of the national institutes of health. >> correct. some young ph.d. sequenced the genome in 7.3 seconds in the fourth quarter of last year down in georgia tech. >> rose: so, therefore, the sequencing of the human genome is all of a sudden becoming
affordable and fast? >> my guess, within a year or two, you won't be treated for many life-threatening diseases until you're sequenced. and i believe in the next 12 months we will discover, which we already know from our scientists, that you don't have breast cancer, you have a mutation. you don't have prostate cancer, you have one of 28 types of mutations. we now know that, for maybe as many as 70% of ovarian cancers, that they have similar mutations to a form of prostate cancer, and there's been an effective drug for that form of prostate cancer that women who have ovarian cancer some time this year will be taking. and we also know now that those with the brca 1 or 2 gene, the highest for risk of breast cancer, those mutations also
match against a form of prostate cancer, so we will be treating you for your disease, not the location of the disease. i think many of our doctor scientists will relearn treatment because we will be able to sequence you and tell you what is your disease, not where your disease is located. >> rose: and you will know your genetic makeup. >> and your disease's genetic makeup. so it's going to change the way we treat people. one of the greatest advances we've had has been the reopening of phase 2 failed clinical trials where only 4% or 3% or as many as little as 1% of people had a positive outcome. well, those drugs were never approved or those treatments because we didn't know who they would work on. now when you reopen them and sequence them and you found, in the case of cystic fibrosis,
with kolydaco, that if you had this mutation, this pill works for you. it won't work for anyone else. so you now know with a high degree of accuracy that you can approve things that maybe only 1% of the population has a positive response for because you know it will work, and that is why, today, we are so optimistic about death rates dropping from melanoma or prostate cancer or other forms of cancer or life-threatening diseases. >> tell us in terms of combating cancer, immunotherapy. >> it's hard not to be unbelievably excited about it today. there is a theory i first engaged with in '95, '96, with a man named jim allison at berkeley. >> rose: a wonderful man. he was at berkeley and his funding was running out.
his concept was when he spoke to me for the first time, you know, our immune system is smarter than any disease and smarter than any drugs we've created. it's been doing a fantastic job almost our whole life and, somehow, it's messed this -- missed this mutation or this disease. if we could energize our immune system or train it to kill that disease or make that disease look like the measles or some other disease, wouldn't it be great some day if we substantially had a reduction in surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, and we just energized our immune system or trained -- >> rose: used our own body. ight. >> rose: so in that whole context, that's all having to do with what's going on with genes and what we know about genes and how we're understanding how to use our own genes. >> well, i would say one other thing. understanding our genes, understanding our disease, understanding our biome, is more
the second area, let's call it precision medicine. so we're going to define who you are in a molecular level and what your issue is, and then we're going to precisely deliver something. immunology is we're going to energize your immune system to deal with your disease. the third area is what's happening in stem cells. >> rose: right. those three will revolutionize the way we're treated -- >> rose: what's your role in all this? you launched something called faster cues. what's that? >> many years ago we launched something called cap cure, the ca stood for all forms of cancer, p prostate, cure all life-threatening diseases. after the government increased in funding between '98 and 2004, we separated into three groups, faster cures which is the center
for accelerating medical solutions, essentially what can we bring to bear to accelerate solutions for life-threatening diseases. it involves the building of disease-specific research organizations, the strengthening of those groups, the training of those groups. it involves a lot of education and congress and government. it involves convening of our leaders to solve a problem and try to get -- if you're going to look at a problem, let's get academics there, let's get disease groups there, let's get pharmaceutical companies, bio, find investors. >> rose: industry, government. everybody. >> rose: philanthropists, foundations -- >> we have a foundation in new york called partnering for cures where everybody comes together to see what role we can play to accelerate. one of our major efforts was to educate and show the importance
of getting the government to approve the national center for advancing translational science. that was approved. it got through the senate with the leadership of harry reid, and through the house, at the time, with the leadership of eric cantor, and signed by the president. no one took credit for it, and it has a chance to greatly accelerate science. so i think there is a promise that this enormous investment by americans and others around the world is paying off as it meets technology. computers are millions times faster. data storage costing one billionth of what it cost. then laying in, eventually, focused on public health. so 50% of all economic growth in the world has come from public health advances and medical research.
>> rose: let me close this by talking about this point. we talked about collaboration, talked about the academy and philanthropy and the government and private sector in terms of collaborating in terms of both cures and preventions. what's this conference about on march 1 in which you're bringing all these people together for what purpose? >> the purpose is the same coordination that occurred in medical research, we want to see in public health. the 60, 80 of the world's leading schools of public health, their deans, the people training the next public health officials here, their curriculum, instead of competing with each other, how can we work and create best practices. consumer products companies, yiewn leaver, nestly, kraft, general mills, kellogg, coke, pepsi, today thetic products
they're making we can sequence your gene no, ma'am, they're all fully aware of it and we can see what the changes are in your body. most to have the changes in your body are not human, they're bacteria. so if i'm a consumer products company and someone said, well, taking this product was doing damage or it was doing good, they say, well, prove it, tell me what's happening. because we can sequence your biome, we can start to see the changes in your body in a short period of time just a couple of months from what you're eating and drinking so thatxd the consumer products companies, the retailers, the products they're selling, the insurance companies who are insuring your life and your health, the parent companies, the companies you work for, what are they serving in the cafeteria? not everyone, such as bloomberg, has healthy vegetables and fruit and everything in the cafeteria. >> rose: let me make this point because i'm out of time.
what you're looking for in this conference and collaboration is to focus on public health and better approaches to issues like obesity, global health security, ebola, zika, other threats and diseases to address those issues issues, the wide compass of public health. >> 70% of all healthcare expenditures, the largest part of our united states economy, are lifestyle related. how you live your life. >> rose: and this ought not be a partisan issue. >> it isn't and, not only that, we should get collaboration. this isn't one group against another. as a group, we have enough knowledge now and can prove it
due to molecular science and technology that we can help people help themselves. what's so amazing is the number one cost of obesity to our country is depression. it's not diabetes and it's not cancer, two that have a major effect, but absenteeism, presenteism, there are some challenges. we have solutions to obesity and we feed an approach where everyone is involved in that process. >> rose: thank you for coming. thank you, charlie. great to see you. >> rose: march 1. march 1 and 2, washington, d.c. >> rose: okay. back in a moment. stay with us. >> rose: the drug war in mexico continues to claim lives and shows no signs of abating a recent study shows male life expectancy rates dropped by an
average of seven months throughout the country. more than 100,000 died in the drug war in the past decade. a to you documentary shows a struggle to end the violence. the industrialer for "cartel land." >> there is an imaginary line out there between right and wrong, good and evil. i believe what i am doing is good and what i am standing up against is evil. (speaking spanish) >> it's the cartels, they're the ones terrorizing their own country and now they're starting to do it over here
>> we're the lucky ones. (speaking spanish) >> rose: the film is nominated for an academy award for best documentary feature. matthew heineman is the director. the "new york times" said he has guts and nerves of steel. i am please to have had him at this table for the first time. how did this come about? >> i was actually riding the subway in new york and read a rolling stone article that featured these vigilantes on the u.s. side of the mexico border,
and it talked about a world i knew nothing about. i knew nothing about the drug war, i knew nothing about the border and i felt like there had been so much coverage of the drug wars and media in many ways glorified in tv shows and movies and what i wanted the do is to put a human face to the subject and not talk about it from the outside or through talking heads but talk about it through the eyes of the very people who are affected by this violence. >> rose: and, so, what did you do? >> so, i first reached out to the journalist who wrote this article. he introduced me to tim nailer fully who operates a grope called arizona border recon on the arizona border. i filmed there four months and my father sent me an article about the utter defenseless, a group of citizens rising up against a cartel.
you know, right when i read this article, i knew i wanted to create this parallel portrait of vigilantism on both sides of the border. the next day i was on the phone with a small-tone physician leading the group and two weeks later i was in mexico filming. i thought i would be there about one or two weeks and that turned into nine months. >> rose: and during that nine months you found yourself in the middle of gunfire you never imagined and so all you did was keep shooting? >> yeah, i'm not a war reporter. i've never been in any situation like this before. so it was an absolutely terrifying journey. i was in shootouts between the vigilantes and the cartel. i was in meth labs in the dark desert night, places of torture, places i never could have ever imagined ever being in. >> rose: places of torture means what? >> you know, part of what happens in the story is, at first, it seems like the story of good versus evil, of every day citizens rising up against this evil cartel in the face of
ineffective government and, over time -- >> rose: that's the romantic story. >> yes, what i thought the story was first. then over time the lines between good and evil became quite blurry. i think that's part of the unfortunate tale of what i experienced, at least, was what it originally was this goal to get rid of the cartel created a power vacuum and somebody needed to fill the vacuum. unfortunately, by the end of the film, we see the sibling repeat itself. >> rose: how close could you get? not in terms of seeing the action but knowing and having them trust you so they are unrestrained, uncensored in what you hear and see? >> you know, i probably shot between 100 and 120 days. i was down there for nine
months. so much of what i was able to get was through the rapport i was able to create with my characters and also the team --e i spent to let them become comfortable with me being there. >> rose: including joseé morales. >> yes, the main character, the leader of the group, and people on all sides of this, you know, the cartel and everything in between. one of the things i tried to do when i first stepped foot down there was i tell them, i have no agenda, i have no goal in mind, i have no preconceived notions of what i want the story to be. >> rose: i'm here to find the story. >> i'm here to find the story, and i think that's what allowed me to get in with all different sides. >> rose: but is it simply a story of everybody's corruptible? >> i don't know if everyone's corruptible. i think what we see in the film is that power does corrupt some. i don't think everyone was
corruptible. i think there are still many, many good forces. i think part of what drove me also to keep going down there and make this film is i really fell in love with the people i was filming with and i was deeply saddened by what i saw. >> rose: the people who have defenseless. >> the government was failing to protect them. >> rose: not protecting them because they were taking money from the cartel or -- >> for many reasons. i mean, you really felt -- i mean, the title of the film is not an accident. you really felt like you were in cartel land. you really felt like you were in a place that was controlled by the cartels. they acted with impunity. they controlled every aspect of civic society from the local judicial system to local police. they extorted everyone from local tortillamakers to multi-national corporations.
>> rose: and do it for money and fear. >> money and fear. and that's why this movement rose up. in some ways it's an incredibly timely story and in some case a timeless story. we've seen the story play out through history. >> rose: is the cartel always going to win? >> it's hard to say. i'm an eternal optimist. i believe in the goodness of humanity. i wanted to believe in the story, i think. unfortunately, my optimism buzz beaten out of me over the nine months i spent there. >> rose: your optimism was beaten out of you? >> i hate to say it. i think it's a deeply complex problem and we're all complicit in some way in this problem. you know, i think one of the things that i tried to do with this film is, you know, we've become obsessed with i.s.i.s. and all these conflicts around the world, p but there's a war that's happening in the country just south of us. a war in which 100,000-plus people have been killed, 25,000-plus people disappeared, gone, never heard from again. >> rose: including
journalists. >> dozens of journalists who have been working there a long time and trying to tell different stories. so you know we're connected to this war and funding this war through our consumption of drugs. so i really wanted to shine a light on what's happening there and provide a window into this world and see how it's affecting every day people. >> rose: tell us about the woman who watched her husband suffer the most extraordinary torture and death and what she said it did to her. >> that was one of the hardest things for me, you know, the shootout, the torture, those are all terrifying, exhilarating moments, but that moment you just described is something that stuck with me to this day. i have nightmares about it. sitting in the room with this woman, looking at her and seeing the body that was there, it was almost like the cartel had
sucked the soul out of her. she was kidnapped alongside her husband and witnessed him being mutilated and burned to death and they molested her. and her punishment in an utterly sadistic way was to live with her madness, that they let her free for the rest of her life. >> rose: they said that to her. >> yes. >> rose: the worst thing we've done to you is what we've done the your mind. >> yes, and to sit in the room and hear her describe the hoer roars and think we're human beings that would do that to other people, that mentally stuck with me. >> rose: who was this? the body guard of our main character and halfway through the film the doctor gets into a plane crash and he almost dies and he's forced to go into hiding in mexico city and
recover. in an almost shakespearean way, he tells papa smurf to take over his role. in many ways, papa did the best he could but he was a somewhat weak leader and many of the utter defenseless started to fight for power. the doc was the glue that held. >> rose: factions fought. yes, andd infiltrating the group and the old roman concept of divide and conquer. the group became fractured and ultimately that led to their downfall. >> rose: this is clip number two, dr. mireles calling on citizens to arm themselves. here it is. (speaking spanish)
town in the state of michoacan. and like many other after years of living under the cartel, he decided to rise up. at first when they rose up, everyone was wearing masks. he's a tall man, i think probably six-two or six-three, much taller than the people in the town. everyone started saying, hey, doctor, thank you for joining the movement. so he took off the mask and he sort of became the de facto leader. >> rose: is part of the story that you don't know -- you don't know in the end, necessarily, because of corruption and fear and all kinds of cross currents of power who you're talking to? >> as a filmmaker and journalist, that was the scariest part about shooting down there is that by the end i really didn't know who i was
filming with. i didn't know if i was with the cartel or utter defenseless or the government or some version of all three. >> rose: because you don't know who owns whom? >> no, i don't know who's paying who. the defenseless put on the government uniform in the end, many of the people say the mexican government essentially organized and legalize it did formation of a new cartel. >> rose: so where is it today? i think that's one of the sad stories is that, unfortunately, what everyone feared, which is anarchy and revenge, has, in fact, taken place. killings continue, kidnappings continue, criminal enterprises continue to fight for power in this region. it's incredibly resource-rich area. if you go out tonight and have a taco, the avocado's probably come from michoacan.
if you have a mojito, the lime comes from there. if you do meth, the meth comes from michoacan. it's a rich resource area the cartels for many years fought over. >> rose: thank you for coming. thank you for having me. >> rose: matthew heineman, thank you for joining us. for more abou -- for more abouts program and earlier episodes,, visit us online at pbs.org and charlierose.com. captioning sponsored by rose communications captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org
>> the following kqed production was produced in high definition. [ ♪ music ] it's all about licking your plate. >> the food was just fabulous. >> i should be in psychoanalysis for the amount of money i spend in restaurants. >> i had a horrible experience. >> i don't even think we were at the same restaurant. >> and everybody