Skip to main content

Due to a planned power outage, our services will be reduced today (June 15) starting at 8:30am PDT until the work is complete. We apologize for the inconvenience.

tv   Andrea Mitchell Reports  MSNBC  November 9, 2010 1:00pm-2:00pm EST

1:00 pm
finally returns to his boyhood home of indonesia to strengthen ties with the muslim world. >> our efforts have been ernest, sustained. we don't expect that we are going to completely eliminate some of the misunderstandings and mistrust that developed over a long period of time but we do think that we are on the right path. >> the white house warns that a cloud of volcanic ash could force the president to cut short his visit to make sure that air force one can lift off. and two years after leaving the oval office, former president george w. bush speaks out about the most controversial decisions of his presidency. >> why is waterboarding legal in your opinion? >> because the lawyer said it was legal. said did not fall within the anti-torture act. i'm not a lawyer. you got to trust the judgment of
1:01 pm
people around you and i do. i will tell you this, using those techniques saved lives. my job was to protect america and i did. >> plus, musical chairs in the house. the behind-the-scenes struggle by democrats to try to avoid a showdown. and secretary of state hillary clinton down under, practicing her diplomacy on local radio hosts. >> we start with a gift it is potato chips or crisps. it is the gravy chip. >> i'm thrilled. i can't tell you how much you mean to me. >> a collector of chips -- >> i'm an eater of chips. >> we recommend not these. two years ago. technically that is an assassination attempt if you try them. >> we will have more of that interview later. good day, i'm andrea mitchell live in washington. and after two trips to indonesia were canceled because of emergencies elsewhere, president obama has finally arrived in jakarta today where he spent
1:02 pm
four years as a young boy. >> when you advice say the police that you spent time in as a child, as president it is a little disorienting. i feel great affection for the people here, for the sights and the sounds and the memories all feel very familiar. >> in an emotional moment at a state dinner, obama was given a gold medal honoring his late mother who lived in jakarta and married an indonesian. later, the president is hoping to keep his commitment to the speak to more than 8,000 university students, the centerpiece of advice visit, but a trip to indonesia's main mosque may not take place if volcanic ash forces air force one to take off sooner than scheduled. nbc white house correspondent savannah guthrie traveling with the president in jakarta filed this report. >> reporter: president is here in indonesia, yes spent several years as a young boy but it looks like this trip, which was already less than 24 hours, may be even shorter because of volcanic ash in the air due to
1:03 pm
an erupting volcano about 250 miles from here. apparently, the white house is concerned that volcanic ash may interfere with the president's travel. he may have to cut this trip short. still on the agenda though, a major speech to the university of indonesia. about 6,000 people expected to be there. this is part of the white house's outreach to the muslim world. they will also concentrate on increasing ties on a trade basis with indonesia saying this is one of the emergency economies the u.s. would like to do more business with. reflecting on his time here as a child, the president say it had looked a lot different when he lived here but he was very happy to be here and hinted woe like to come back for a longer period of time in the future, perhaps bringing his wife and children to show them around. this is savannah guthrie in jakarta, now back to you. president george w. bush writes about some of the most controversial decisions of his presidency in his new memoir "decision points." first, the former president sat down with an exclusive interview
1:04 pm
with "today's" matt lauer. >> let's talk about waterboarding. >> okay. >> we believe america is going to be attacked again. all kinds of intelligence coming in. and one of the high-valued al qaeda operatives was khalid shaikh mohammed, chief operating officer that order the attack on 9/11. they say he has got information. i said, find out what he knows. so i said to our team are the techniques legal? a legal team said yes, they are. i said use them. >> why is waterboarding legal in your opinion? >> because the legal team said it was legal. did not fall within the anti-torture act. i'm not a lawyer. you got to trust the judgment of people around you and i do. >> you stay is legal and the lawyers told me. >> yeah. >> critics say that you got the justice department to give you the legal guidance and the legal memos that you wanted. the former republican co-chair of the 9/11 commission said they
1:05 pm
got legal opinions they wanted from their own people. >> he obviously doesn't know. i hope mr. cane reads the book. that is why i have written the book, they can draw whatever conclusion they want. i will tell you this, using those tech northeast sneaks saved lives. my job was to protect america and i did. >> on the decision to go to war in iraq, he says he was the decider. in a conversation i think over lunch you had with dick cheney, in the period of buildup to the war in iraq, he said to you, are you gonna take care of this guy or not? first of all, i was surprised by the tone that the vice president would use with you. was it surprising to you? >> no. i mean, we have a very frank relationship. he would give me his unvarn nished advice. >> the comment leads to the question was dick cheney pushing to you go to war with iraq. it didn't matter whether he was or not. i'm guy that makes the decision when we move. i was trying to give diplomacy a
1:06 pm
chance to work. he might have been saying let's go but i said no. >> but he still is haunted by the fact that the intelligence turned out to be wrong and weapons of mass destruction were not found in iraq. your words new york one was more sickened or angry than i was when we didn't find weapons of mass destruction. you still have a sickening feeling? >> i do. >> when you think about it? >> i do. >> was there ever any consideration of apologizing to the american people? >> apologizing would basically say the decision was a wrong decision and i don't believe it was the wrong decision. >> if you knew then what you know now -- >> that's right. >> you would still go to war in iraq? >> i, first of all, didn't have that luxury, you don't have the luxury when you are president. i would say definitely the world is better off without saddam hussein in power as 25 million people a chance to live in freedom. >> you said history is not ready to judge you yet, it is going to take time. >> that's right.
1:07 pm
it is true. >> when it does come about, president bush, do you think you will be judged a success or a failure? >> i hope i'm judged a success. i'm going to be dead, matt, when they finally figure it out and i'm comfortable knowing i gave it my all, that i love america and that i know it is an honor to serve. >> former undersecretary of state james glassman is now the executive director of the george w. bush institute at southern methodist university and is here with us now. he is exactly the way we remember him, very much at ease with himself. in writing the book and in preparing for this rollout, major rollout of this book, what was -- what was his attitude toward speaking for the first time? >> well, i think that he was very happy to be able to talk about things that for a long time he couldn't talk about and i think he is very frank. you know, people who know the president who what have been one-on-one with him see somebody
1:08 pm
who is very comfortable with himself and listens when you talk and is really just a good human being, sometimes that didn't come across during his presidency, so i'm frankly just as a friend of his, i'm very happy to see what's happening now, wrest able to be very comfortable and very frank. >> in his book, he writes, decades from now, i hope people will view me as a president who recognized the central challenge of our time and kept my vow to keep the country say, who pursued my convictions without waiver bug changed course when necessary who trusted individuals to make choices in their lives and who used america's influence to advance freedom. now, of course this is his view of it and the book we have here is very interesting, it is very interesting on the personal issues, which we will get to later. but you were at the state department, you know exactly how contentious the decisions on iraq were. part of your job as the head of the broadcasting operation, the foreign policy outreach, was to
1:09 pm
try to reach out to opponent he is and critics. how big a challenge was that in connection with this decision that he feels absolutely comfortable with? >> it was a big challenge, but certainly, the decision in iraq was made based on a foundation of principle and strategy. i think the most important thing to understand about president bush and the few time that i did directly interact with him when i was in government, the most important thing is that he operates on the basis of principle. he once said decisions come at you fast and furious here in the white house, i'm paraphrasing, and unless you have a foundation of principle and values, you are not going to be able to make these decision, everything then becomes ad hoc. so, he -- than is the way he operate and i think it is important for people to understand that. >> it was very interesting to see in the in the other view with matt lauer, he has no regrets about iraq even though the wmd, the weapons of mass
1:10 pm
destructions we destructions, were not found. he justifies the war with 9/11 and not waivered a bit in his belief that the war was justified. >> first of all, i urge everyone to read the book, especially for the part about his decision to go into iraq. i think you can see, he takes his time. the notion that he shoots from the hip is ridiculous. there is a good chapter in there about stem cell he is and where he talks about, you know, how many people he talked to and so forth. same thing with iraq. i think this is a very deliberate decision. he said it is a good thing that saddam hussein is not running iraq and 25 million iraqis are free to select the leaders they want i agree with that. >> the relationship with richard
1:11 pm
chain nirk the vice president, the former vice president, we have talked the other day about how fruit it was over the scooter libby pardon decision. this is one of the most interesting segments with matt lauer about when he was considering cheney for vice president and the dick cheney confided to him about his family situation about mary. let's play it. >> what was your reaction to that? >> one, a guy that loves his daughter and secondly, he is testing whether or not i cared about it. >> you write he was gauging your tolerance. >> i think so yeah. >> there is nothing in your background that would have led him to believe you wouldn't be tolerant. >> correct. >> wasn't he gauging the tolerance of the business of the republican party? >> no. >> wasn't he saying would this be a issue? >> he was gauging my tolerance. >>,000 rate that decision, choosing dick cheney as your running mate, how would you rate it? >> a good one. >> i'm fascinated by that the
1:12 pm
relationship the two men, how dick cheney approached george w. bush about it and from my own experien experience, knowing friends of mine who were associates of former president bush's in the years when he was governor, friends of mine who were gay and had total acceptance in the inner circle of the bush family and friends, he was a tolerant guy. he was not on the right-wing side of the party on the social issues. >> no, absolutely. and i think the other part of this decision about dick cheney was his feeling about cheney being so devoted to his family. and that is very important to president bush and he says this in the book and i know this from firsthand that he does care about your family life and he does care people put family first. and that was -- he hall really had two reactions to the chain in question, wow, you really a family man, really care about your daughter and absolutely this is not an issue for me.
1:13 pm
>> it is just interesting that people who are often viewed two dimensionally are really multifaceted and that comes through in the book, in the interview and in your recollections. thank you so much. >> thank you. >> great to see you. >> great to see you. president george w. bush will be live with matt lauer tomorrow the "today" show. and if you would like to submit a question for the president, go to todayshow.com. you can also submit questions on twitter or facebook. still ahead right here, former bush white house communications director nicolle wallace on her former boss's memoir and her own book. next, can house democrats avoid a leadership showdown? send me your thoughts, you can find me on twitter at andrea mitchell reports. nk ♪ ♪ i hate-- didn't quite catch that last bit. i said i really love my bank. right... is there a problem ? it's not really raging, man. uh, we were hoping for more raging ? well, you said write from the heart. yeah... don't do that. at ally, you'll love our online savings account.
1:14 pm
named the best of 2010 by money magazine. ally. do you love your bank ? [ malhis day starts thwith his arthritis pain.. that's breakfast with two pills. the morning is over, it's time for two more pills. the day marches on, back to more pills. and when he's finally home... but hang on; just two aleve can keep arthritis pain away all day with fewer pills than tylenol. this is steven, who chose aleve and 2 pills for a day free of pain. and get the all day pain relief of aleve in liquid gels. to bring you a low-price medicare prescription drug plan that has the lowest national premium in the country of only $14.80 per month. so you can focus on the things that really matter. go to walmart.com for details.
1:15 pm
that really matter. if you live for performance, upgrade to castrol edge advanced synthetic oil. with eight times better wear protection than mobil 1. castrol edge. it's more than just oil. it's liquid engineering. to stay fit, you might also want to try lifting one of these. a unique sea salt added to over 40 campbell's condensed soups. helps us reduce sodium, but not flavor. so do a few lifts. campbell's.® it's amazing what soup can do.™
1:16 pm
a republican just conceded to jerry connolly in virginia's
1:17 pm
11th district, one race is decide. once this race is officially called, only 7 house races will be undecided. nbc's luke russert is live only on capitol hill. you have been tracking the house side, chief capitol hill correspondent kelly o'donnell as well. thanks to you both. first to you, how the house is shaping up now and talk to luke about some of the leadership struggles. >> andrea this is certainly a time when people are trying to get a sense of what the new congress will feel like, what we know on the gop side is they have become -- begun working with the transition team, much like when a new president is elected, a team, a committee of 22 who will work on all of the nuts and bolts as well as the political message going forward. they have started that work and includes a few of the freshmen and a few of those aligned with the tea party. so certainly, republicans are trying to say they are being inclusi inclusive.some of the old bulls who have been around, how it works, the new energy going forward. boehner, the presumptive speaker
1:18 pm
if we expect him to be elected as everyone does in the new congress, these saying he wants to have new energy of newly elected as well. he in a year when incumbents took it on the chin, all the older house members, experienced house members want to align themselves with the newly elected. >> what about some of the struggles on the house democratic side, sfluk you have been tracking what is going on with nancy pelosi and steny hoyer versus james clyburn for those -- that one leadership job now that he is staying on. >> a race no one expected to happen, a lot of democrats expected nancy pell lows toy is retire and step down after the shellacking as president obama said he took last tuesday. with this race coursing consternation to the democratic party, a lot of folks dividing the party between the african-american, the cbc and the moderate short of white blue dog democrats who represent hoyer.
1:19 pm
african-americans with jim clyburn that being said, folks we have talked to, especially close to hoyer are pretty much guaranteeing they now have the votes to beat clyburn. sources close to him say they would not have announced officially yesterday if they did not have those votes. so going forward, going to be extremely interesting to see how this plays now the terms of what nancy pelosi's role will be, will she interject in anyway? in 2006 she backed jack murtha over steny hoyer because of discontent over the years. she is stay out of it so far. sources indicate if it were to go to a vote tomorrow it would most likely go to steny hoyer. not over by any means. jim clyburn could be whipping, he's good whip what his job is, as of right now, most likely go to hire but something really that speaks volume about the party, andrea, they don't want this up front and center, they really want to centralize on a message, the gop to be unified who will deal with that message? a lot of democrats are saying they don't necessarily know, told me if nancy pole lessee to the best time to do it.
1:20 pm
a "new york times" editorial yesterday, pelosi great at legislative maneuver bug great at having succinct clear message of the gop? democrats told me don't know that will be something to look at going forward in the next few weeks. andrea. >> only a couple of seconds left, i want to put something out there for both of to you comment on quickly, what a top top white house official told me last night was that the way they found out, the way the white house, the president of the united states earthquake the leader of the party found out that nancy pelosi was staying, much to their surprise, was from her tweet. she didn't even think it important to let the president know she was staying. >> and he was in the air on his way to his overseas trip and you can see some of the tension between house democrats and the white house. many blamed the president for not getting out in front early enough to defend them on the tough vote wes chronicled them taking to the months leading up to -- >> cape in trade.
1:21 pm
>> exactly. >> there is some tension that exist there is and the tweet has become a passive aggressive way to get news out. >> nancy pelosi abused herself as the person who passed health care reform gave the president his biggest legislative victory. she almost operates autonomously to some degree, she praise the president, understand, she is the most powerful speaker in recent memory, certainly carries those credentials when she walks around on capitol hill which we safely say is her version of the white house she owns this place, at least until january. >> until january, but then it all changes and real estate is the first sign of it, have to give up those fancy offices. >> the office lottery, my goodness. >> thanks, luke, thanks, kelly, thank you both very much. coming up here, he is the republican inspiring the most fear at the white house, what does darrell issa have in store for them? this is "andrea mitchell reports" only on msnbc. [ female announcer ] kids who don't eat breakfast
1:22 pm
may not be getting the nutrition they need to keep their bodies strong. carnation instant breakfast essentials supplies the nutrients of a balanced breakfast to help build strong muscles and healthy bones. carnation instant breakfast essentials. good nutrition from the start. my kids say i speak a different language. but i love math and math and science develop new ideas. we've used hydrogen in our plants for decades. the old hydrogen units were very large. recently, we've been able to reduce that. then our scientists said "what if we could make it small enough to produce and use hydrogen right on board a car, as part of a hydrogen system." this could significantly reduce emissions and increase fuel economy by as much as 80%.
1:23 pm
the doctor leaned over and said to me, "you just beat the widow-maker." i was put on an aspirin, and it's part of my regimen now. [ male announcer ] be sure to talk to your doctor before you begin an aspirin regimen. go see your doctor now. ♪ [ upbeat instrumental ] an aspirin regimen. [ rattling ] [ gasps ] [ rattling ] [ laughing ] [ announcer ] close enough just isn't good enough.
1:24 pm
- if your car is in an accident, - [ laughing continues ] make sure it's repaired with the right replacement parts. take the scary out of life with travelers. call or click now for an agent or quote. at diapers.com we like to say we deliver everything but the baby. my name is marc lore and in 2005 we launched a business out of our garage. back then nobody was selling diapers or formula online with overnight delivery. for us that was a real opportunity. we've been using the american express open plum card. basically anything we can put on that card, we do to take advantage of the early pay discount. so far we've saved over a million dollars with the plum card. booming is saving every time you spend.
1:25 pm
about twice as many as democratic chairman henry waxman held when he was calling the shots on oversight. topics would include the bank bail jourkt the sometime lurks the mortgage crisis and maybe even health care. with us now is jean cummings, assistant managing editor for politico. what should the democrats worry about most? >> the party out of power takes the opportunity to bring scrutiny to the administration. some is expected but i do think that issa is going to be aggressive, as republicans have been in the past in trying to ferret out any kind of embarrassing details in the stimulus program where money might have gone wasted with or been unaccounted for, the headlines that the white house needs to worry about. >> they have been proud at the white house in how the stimulus
1:26 pm
money was spent, they think they have had a minimum of any fraud in this program. are they now going back and looking over things i and find out what they may have to be vulnerable about before he even gets in power? >> i'm sure that they are scrutinizing everything that they can. made it clear that if he found anybody wasting that money that he was going to warn others not to waste the stimulus dollars. so, i don't really know how much issa will find and he is going to meet -- he is meeting with the vice president to discuss some of this in advance and we will see if that changes the tone or the direction of some of these investigations. >> thank you very much, jean cummings at politico. up here next, senator bob menendez, plus mistakes were made, george w. bush on his
1:27 pm
response to katrina. and secretary of state hillary clinton down under. this is "andrea mitchell reports" only on msnbc. you could be picking up this tab yourself. so get allstate. [ dennis ] dollar for dollar, nobody protects you from mayhem like allstate. ♪ ♪ [ growls ] ♪ ♪ [ polar bear grunting ] [ growls ] [ male announcer ] introducing the 100% electric nissan leaf. innovation for the planet. innovation for all.
1:28 pm
1:29 pm
[ male announcer ] introducing the 100% electric nissan leaf. when it comes to investing, no one person has all the answers. so td ameritrade doesn't give me just one person. questions about retirement? i talk to their retirement account specialists. bonds? grab the phone. fixed-income specialist. td ameritrade knows investors sometimes need real, live help. not just one broker... a whole team there to help... to help me decide what's right for me. people with answers at td ameritrade. get up to $500 when you open an account.
1:30 pm
topping headlines right now on "andrea mitchell reports" the fbi says it has broken up a scam in which people falsely claim to be victims of nazi persecution so they could get money from a compensation fund operated by the german government for holocaust victims. officials say five employees of a group called the conference on jewish material claims recruited people to submit phony claims, allegedly managed to steal about $45 million that should have gone legitimately to holocaust victims. the pentagon says a mystery missile launched off the california coast was not set up by the department of defense. the missile as to have come from somewhere nearcality lena island just after sunset yesterday. senior military officials say at this point they are not alarmed but investigating. one wonders why are they not alarmed? coast guard boats now coming
1:31 pm
to the rescue of a carnival cruise ship stranded off the coast of san diego. the ship, which left the port of long beach on sunday, was headed for a 7-day tour when and engin room caught fire yesterday. no passengers were hurt. democrats are regroup after losing six senate seats last week. senator bob menendez joins us. let's talk about the lame duck session. what about extending unemployment compensation, the debt ceiling and the bush tax cuts. what are your top priorities? >> i certainly would like to see the middle class tax cuts extended permanently. and i know that as part of that, there is a desire in working with republicans to figure out a temporary extension of the upper-tier tax cuts. so far what we are hearing from
1:32 pm
republicans is that they want all the tax can cuts extended either one or two years. we would like to see the middle class tax cuts made permanent. i think that would be a huge infusion to middle class families in this country and at the same time, have a more temporary extensioning of of the top tiers because the permanent extension of that is a $4 trillion total package and that clearly is something we cannot handle financially. >> hope seems to be fading according to most advocates for repealing don't ask, don't tell to do anything about that and certainly not going to fly in the republican congress that's coming in. senator gillibrand and others put out the word they want something to be done s there any prospect of that coming up in the lame duck? >> i certainly hope so i think even secretary gates made it clear he would like to see the congress act on it and to repeal don't ask, don't tell. i would hope what we saw in the
1:33 pm
last time, in essence, a filibuster over the question of moving to a vote on it doesn't take place. that was done as part of the defense bill, the next question is whether you can have it as a free-standing opportunity, we are going to have to see, andrea what this lame duck session looks like t is going to depend upon, you know, what republican party shows up on -- next monday. is it the one that we have had for the last two years, basically said no to absolutely everything and wants the president to fail, in which case, i don't have a lot of expectations for it or is it an opportunity to get some of the nation's business, particularly on the economy, certain critical issues taken care of before we start the new session? i hope that's the one that shows up. nch >>. >> what prospects are there for democratic senators going forward? you've got -- you were in charge of the campaign committee this time. next time there are 23 democrats up and only ten republicans and those 23 democrats include a number of democrats like john testers and jim webb who might
1:34 pm
really face a very tough challenge because they come from the middle of the party. so what are the prospects for you not even taking a worse beating two years from now? >> i think two years an eternity. even some of those members who you refer to that came from states that were red at one time, they have done a fantastic job and have a good case to make back at home and have presidential elections playing part of all of the dynamics of that race in 2012, i'm very familiar with it myself because i will be running for re-election in 2012. >> i know you will. >> i look at this cycle and say between midterm election history in which the president's party loses seats, between the reality of $65 million in independent expenditures spent against our senate democratic candidates, 80 years of history where since 1930, whenever the house of representatives has flipped from one party another, the senate has, this time it didn't happen.
1:35 pm
the reality is we can beat history and do that again in 2012. >> you have got fellow elected official, governor chris christie in new jersey said he is not interested in run bug people already talking about him as presidential material. what do you think about that? >> i think he has a lot of work do here in new jersey. you know, unfortunately, the governor's actions, whether it's eliminating the new transhudson tunnel, largest project in federal history, 6,000 jobs, 40,000 permanent jobs now lost, taking away property tax rebates from senior citizens, cuts in education all consequential to property tax rising, you think a lot of work to do here before he goes on the road. >> in a new quinnipiac poll, he has a 51% approval rating much bigger than the president who is 46%, bigger than your own
1:36 pm
approval rating. >> i have been around long enough, andrea to know that approval ratings at any given moment is just that, a snapshot in time, when the property tax bills come out later this year, people see the reality of what they lost and ultimately see those property tax bills rise, i think there will be a different view. >> all right. taking the long view, bob menendez, thank you very much. >> good to be with you. up next, former bush white house staffer nicolle wallace. plus, hillary clinton as you have never seen her before, talking potato chips, takeout and this -- >> have such high-level meetings. have you ever said the phrase, you have just made a very powerful enemy? >> no but i've thought it. [ laughter ] me coffe sure, decaf or regular? - regular. - cake or pie? - pie. - apple or cherry? cherry. oil or cream? oil or cream? cream... please. when other toppings are made with hydrogenated oil,
1:37 pm
the real dairy cream in reddi-wip's sure an easy choice. nothing's more real than reddi-wip. fork or... spoon? whoa! that achy cold needs alka-seltzer plus! it rushes multiple cold fighters, plus a powerful pain reliever, wherever you need it! [ both ] ♪ oh what a relief it is!
1:38 pm
i worry about my son playing football. which is why i'm really excited. because toyota developed this software that can simulate head injuries and helps make people safer. then they shared this technology with researchers at wake forest to help reduce head injuries on the football field. so, you know, i can feel a bit better about my son playing football. [ male announcer ] how would you use toyota technology
1:39 pm
to make a better world? learn how to share your ideas at toyota.com/ideasforgood. looking back at his presidency, george w. bush says the aftermath of hurricane katrina brought him to one of the lowest point of his time in office. here is the former president with matt lauer. >> let's get to the picture that we may have seen more of you in
1:40 pm
the last couple of years of your presidency than any other picture. you are sitting in air force one, you are flying back toward washington, you fly right over new orleans and you look out the window. >> yes. huge mistake. >> and it made you look so out of touch. >> detached and uncaring, no question about it. >> whose fault was it? >> it is always my fault. i should have touched down in baton rouge, met with the governor, you know, walked out and said i hear ya. i mean, we know, we understand and we are going to help state and help the local governments with as much resources as needed. and got back up and flown up to washington. i did not do that and paid a price for t. >> about a week after the storm hit, nbc had a telethon. >> yes. >> asking for help for the victims of katrina, we had celebrities coming in to ask for money and i remember it vividly because i hosted it one part of the evening, i introduced kanye west. were you watching?
1:41 pm
>> nope. >> to you remember what he said? >> george bush doesn't care about black people. >> he called me a racist. >> said george bush didn't care about black people. >> i didn't appreciate it then. didn't appreciate it now one thing to say i didn't appreciate the way he handled his business, another thing to say this man is a racist. i resent it. it is not true and it is one of the most disgusting moments of my presidency. >> nicolle wallace was white house communications director under president george w. bush and senior campaign adviser for the mccain/palin campaign. her novel "18 acres" an account of the first woman to become america's president and a great read. good to see you, nicolle. thank you that look in his eye, that sure lives an angry look. i don't know if you ever experience it had as a staff member, i have seen it as a reporter asking questions. he was really offended by that. >> he was. and you know, this maybe the most thick-skinned president we have ever seen in modern times,
1:42 pm
certainly has thicker skin than former president bill clinton. i think most people would agree who cover president obama that george w. bush had thicker skin, but this is something that i think he felt cut to something that was central to his character and he took great offense. and i worked at the white house when katrina hit and i was there in the aftermath. there was almost a fervor with which we all sought to make up for what with were inadequacies in the federal government's response to this terrible tragedy and that was -- it was interesting to hear him talk about this very difficult chapter in his presidency with such honesty and humility. >> one of the things that he writes about when he is talking about katrina, he wrote my biggest substantive mistake was waiting too long to deploy a tick duty troops. by day three, it was clear federal troops were needed to restore order f i had it to do all over again, i would have sent the 82nd airborne
1:43 pm
immediately, without law enforcement authority. this gets personal with you, you were in greece at your wedding, am i correct? >> that's right. >> so, a lot of the key decisionmakers from the white house staff where there celebrating with you and your new husband and so people were out of pocket and that is the kind of thing that happens, just a total accident but the president was at his ranch and just nobody on hand watching day to day and saying, hey, you got to get back. >> right. and you know, you have been in washington long enough to know that there is always somebody manning the mother ship, but certainly, august is a period where this white house often spreads out between chicago and martha's vineyard and washington and our white house. i was getting married. the presidents was i think returning from giving a speech in san diego, so he was very much on the job but not in washington. the best thing about what he did last night with matt lawer is he offered no excuses.
1:44 pm
there are no excuses for an inadequate response to a disaster like hurricane katrina. and i think what people who love george bush will love about this book and maybe who hate george bush begin to understand about george bush is what you see is what you get. and i think that his sang lar he talks about being at peace with history's lookback on his presidency, i think that is very much about making sure we were never attacked again after 9/11, because as you remember, it wasn't about whether we would get attacked, it was about when where and when we would get attacked. i think if you look at the single thing he would remake completely it would be that initial early response to hurricane katrina. >> one of the things in the book i don't think has been told before and i thought i knew a lot about the bush family is this amazingly poignant exchange with matt lauer about his mother suffering a miscarriage. let's watch. >> one of them is a poignant
1:45 pm
story you tell about your mom, about your mom having a miscarriage when you were just a teenager. >> yeah. >> and you were the one who drove her to the hospital and you write, "i never expected to see the remains of the fetus which she had saved in a jar to bring to the hospital. there was a huge life, a little brother or sister." >> no question that affected me, my philosophy we should respect life. and i was a pro-life president, but the purpose of the story really wasn't to try to show the evolution of a pro-life poetic view, it was really to show how my mom and i developed a relationship. >> very interesting because there was always speculation about why laura bush was -- people thought that she was not -- not -- in favor of choice, let's put it that way and even barbara bush was reported during her husband's presidency to have a different point of view. very interesting he discussed
1:46 pm
the evolution of that as well as the connection to his mom. >> yeah. and look, i think he was really eager last night to take it away from, you know, look, i didn't put this story in there to explain why i was a pro-life president, proud to stand on his record and speak for himself, i think what people will enjoy in this book is a description of the intimate details of the love that holds this family together. i worked for two of -- i worked for governor jeb bush and president george w. bush and the glue that holds this family together is the love for their parents. president bush 41 and they all call her mother and barbara bush. you can't work for either one of these men without coming to understand, you know, the kind of really the profound way that their love for each other held all of them up at the most difficult points in their personal and professional lives. i think the fact he was following share some of these
1:47 pm
things is what makes the book such a treat. >> speaking of books that are a treat "18 acres" one excerpt that comes to mind is you have got a female republican president making a surprise pick of tara meyers, a feisty new york attorney general and a democrat to form a unity ticket and you write, melanie, that it's chief of staff, disliked everything about tara, she was loud, tacky and rude. she seemed to calculate the least presidential approach over to situation and pursue it with vigor. any roots in the role you played for the mccain palin campaign? >> i had so much fun drawing on the entire he can spain of my professional experience for these characters and i will plead the fifth on what was based on reality and what came out of my imagination. i love writing about this violent collision between washington establishment
1:48 pm
politics and outsiders and i think we are just beginning to enjoy what's going to be a pretty fascinating some point violent collision between some of these newly elected members of congress and the washington establishment. i hope what i wrote about is something that very much reflects this moment in washington because i really -- i set out to pay tribute to i think what is really happening in this moment, in this hour in washington and in our political debates. >> and you did so successfully as well. thank you very much, nicolle wallace. "18 acres is" is the book. up next, chris cillizza with the next 24. this is "andrea mitchell reports" only on msnbc. you're tl of hoping to buy. nobody sells more real estate than re/max. visit remax.com today.
1:49 pm
to bring you a low-price medicare prescription drug plan that has the lowest national premium in the country of only $14.80 per month. so you can focus on the things that really matter. go to walmart.com for details.
1:50 pm
1:51 pm
friends and certainly those of us who travel with her can tell you a lot about her sense of humor. it isn't always apparent when she has to juggles affairs of state until she sat down and let
1:52 pm
her hair down. >> we start with a gift. it's potato chips. or crisps. >> the people in australia invented it. it's the gravy chip. >> i am thrilled. >> are you a collector of chips? >> i'm an eater of chips. >> we recommend not. if you try to eat them, technically that's an assassination attempt by us. >> should i wait until i'm out of australian air space? >> these trips, do you feel there's an imbalance perhaps between the way america is perceived and what american message is? >> if you look at american tv as much of the rest of america does, you would think we went all around wrestling and wearing bikinis. we practice different models of negotiation around important issues like that. if i were to say to him what shall we have for dinner, if he says i don't care, you choose. i know that's a really bad
1:53 pm
answer. because then i'm stuck with the responsibility. >> yes. >> so i'll come back and say, all right, so how do you feel about chinese or mexican or italian? and if he says a second time, you know, i really, really don't care, then i will go choose. >> you want to make sure people don't overhear half of a conversation. you have a former president talking to the current secretary of the state. how do you feel about chinese? i don't really like chinese. it could be catastrophic. >> that's why we have our rooms swept every day. >> so what political story will be making headlines in the next 24 hours? msnbc contributor chris cillizza, managing editor of postpolitics.com and author of the fix blog. and speaking of fun videos, the "washington post" has just got a new app and not only a new app but a new video to sell it.
1:54 pm
>> hey, bob. you seen the new "washington post" out for the ipad. just got to get with the program. >> everyone is using these. >> it's the future. get with it. >> these kids think tweets twit themselves. >> it's junior and bob redford. it's the real deal. >> who was that guy with ben bradley and bob woodward? that's the more important question. >> i don't know. exactly. >> thank you, andrea. look, i have it right here as we speak. i was working on it. >> that's great. >> so now the people at "the post" have to be very happy with me. but the next 24 hours i think we're going to be talking about
1:55 pm
president obama in jakarta. going to give a speech later tonight eastern time. major foreign policy address. the third time he tried to go to -- this is the country where he spent several years as a child. a major foreign policy address, but then headed to seoul, south korea. this trip as you know, andrea, it's been a little star crossed. he tried to go twice earlier in the year. once postponed due to the health care debate. once postponed due to the bp oil spill. now he's having to leave indonesia early do to a mountain eruption. barack obama in indonesia talking about america's role in foreign policy. so, you know, this is one that i think deserves a lot of attention. some of the other events will get glossed over a little bit on this trip, but this may be the highlight. >> and a major speech that he's still trying to give, as you point out, to the university there, but probably will not be able to get to the mosque, but still an important message to the muslim world.
1:56 pm
>> i think being there matters, right. >> well, thanks for the app. thanks for you. and we'll see you tomorrow. that does it for us for this edition of "andrea mitchell reports." and tomorrow on the show actor kevin spacey here to talk about his new movie where he stars as jack abramoff. tamron hall has a big show next on "news nation." at ge capital, we've been financing taylor guitars for over eight years, helping them build a strong dealer network. bringing music to people... i like that. ♪ ♪ [ bob ] i didn't know you could play. i didn't either. ♪
1:57 pm
i didn't either. so you think your kids are getting enough vegetables? yeah, maybe not. v8 v-fusion juice gives them a full serving of vegetables plus a full serving of fruit. but it just tastes like fruit. v8. what's your number?
1:58 pm
sadly, no. oh. but i did pick up your dry cleaning and had your shoes shined. well, i made you a reservation at the sushi place around the corner. well, in that case, i better get back to these invoices...
1:59 pm
which i'll do right after making your favorite pancakes. you know what? i'm going to tidy up your side of the office. i can't hear you because i'm also making you a smoothie. [ male announcer ] marriott hotels & resorts knows it's better for xerox to automate their global invoice process so they can focus on serving their customers. with xerox, you're ready for real business. right now on "news nation," thousands of cruise ship passengers stranded in the caribbean. no air-conditioning, no hot meals, and it may take another day to rescue them. a grieving mother wants answers after her son is beaten to death at a party while police say dozens of people did nothing to help. >> let's talk about waterboarding. >> waterboarding. the war in iraq, katrina, the latest reaction to president bush's exc