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Interview with Former President Bill Clinton; Rwanda's Growing Economy

Aired July 19, 2012 - 19:00   ET


ERIN BURNETT, HOST: OUTFRONT next I'm live in Rwanda with an exclusive conversation with former President Bill Clinton. We talk Mitt, Barack, Chelsea, Hillary, al Qaeda's newest threat and the president's passion.


BILL CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: My belief is that you got to prove this stuff is good economics. You got to change the economic model so -- and you got to keep score.


BURNETT: Plus baby gorillas facing extinction and an Olympic hero whose six brothers were slaughtered in the Rwandan genocide. President Bill Clinton OUTFRONT, let's go.

Good evening, everyone. I'm Erin Burnett live tonight from Kigali, Rwanda where I spent the day with former President Bill Clinton. We talked about a lot of things. He spent some time visiting some projects with the Clinton Global Initiative, some farms and some factories where he had spent a lot of time over the past few years, spending time with the likes, in fact, of NASCAR famous driver Jeff Gordon. Also I saw the president at a soy factory that he's building in the countryside near Kigali. He arrived with his daughter Chelsea. He was himself, not just politely, listening to farmers, but shaking everybody's hand and taking pictures with everybody who asked. And he asked a lot of questions himself.


B. CLINTON: Whenever I hear somebody say oh, these small farmers, they're just inherently inefficient, they can't generate income, I just decided to see if that was not necessarily true. And so we get them cheaper and better seed and fertilizer, get their crops to market so they don't lose half their income taking it to market.


BURNETT: The president told me that he blew it here. Nearly one million people died in a horrific genocide in just three months while Bill Clinton was president of the United States. The blame still haunts him and so he comes back again and again and again. Tonight, you're going to hear him talk about Mitt Romney, Barack Obama and the women in his life. But we begin with the threat of al Qaeda right now and the reason that the president loves Africa so much.


B. CLINTON: First of all, I like it here. And I think it's important that the rest of the world know, especially America that it's a continent, not a country. And that with all the troubles in various African countries, six of the 10 fastest growing economies in the world in the last decade were here. The Africa Growth and Opportunity Act which I believe is about to be extended by Congress, which we adopted created 300,000 jobs here.

BURNETT: I think a lot of people you know they still have this image of Africa -- horrible images of a child with a distended belly or a child with -- children with flies in their eyes. You know the horrible pictures that people are still used to seeing. The last thing that Americans expect to hear is that Africa is sort of the farm fertility capital of the planet --


BURNETT: -- which it's become, right --

B. CLINTON: Yes and if you look at -- if you look at Rwanda, first time I came here, four years after the genocide, the per capita income was less than a dollar a day. Today, it's five times what it was. In 12 years they increased their income five fold. They've averaged eight percent growth. And they have good roads. They have good farms.

BURNETT: President Kagame has created a lot of growth. The statistics that you've talked about, he wins though with 95 percent of the vote, supposedly this will be his last term. Do you think that this country will be weaker without a leader like he is, even if he is more authoritarian leader?

B. CLINTON: Depends on who succeeds him and it depends on whether they forgot what brought them this far. You know there are countries with incomes 10, 20 times Rwanda's, where the streets aren't as clean and --

BURNETT: Yes, the streets are incredibly clean here.

B. CLINTON: Roads aren't as good and where they're just so focused on future, so focused on developing the skills and abilities of both women and men. This is the first country in the world to have the majority of its parliament female. When I came here, first on my -- doing my AIDS work in 2002, already half the governors in Rwanda were women. And they had villages where they'd give you land if you agreed to live next door to someone of the other ethnic group. I saw two women holding hands. One of them had lost her husband and a brother. The other one had a husband in prison awaiting war crimes indictment, which means he was a major orderer of killing in the genocide, and they were holding hands, they were neighbors.

BURNETT: You've obviously referred to what happened here while you were president when nearly a million people were slaughtered in that few months time period as a personal failure of yours. Do you think with all the contributions that you've made things like this plant that you have on some level sort of cleansed yourself --

B. CLINTON: I don't know, but I remember the first time I came here and we and -- to start the AIDS project, a reporter was riding in a cab in Kigali and he asked this cab driver if he didn't resent my being here because the U.S. didn't come into the area until after the killing had been stopped to take care of the refugees and he said no, I don't. Because he didn't make us kill each other, it's that whole thing that Kagame said, take responsibility.

And he said he's the only one whoever said he was sorry. Nobody else has apologized to us. At the time, we were worried about getting into Bosnia. We had the reaction from Blackhawk down in Somalia. And it was over in 90 days. We just blew it. And I think had we sent 10,000 troops here and gotten a few more people to come, we might have been able to save a third of the people who died. You can see what a rural country it is.


B. CLINTON: And most of the people who died were killed with machetes, so I don't think we could have ended the violence. But I think we could have cut it down and I regret it. And all I can do is try to help them come back. But it's very interesting. The Rwandans aren't interested one way or the other about whether I'm atoning. They just want to know where we're going tomorrow, what are we going to do now.


B. CLINTON: And they have this future focus that we need in America. And we need everywhere. I mean, they have young girls -- their vaccination rate against cervical cancer, against the HPV virus, is 93 percent.

BURNETT: (INAUDIBLE) it's not that high in the United States.

B. CLINTON: It's 26 percent.


B. CLINTON: I mean, they just get the show on the road. That's what they're interested in and it's quite stunning.

BURNETT: You talk about the tough decision you regret on intervention and you know you look around Africa right now. You see what's happening up in Mali. Al Qaeda is rising in part because of the instability in Libya and U.S. involvement in Libya that allowed some of the weapons to come over the border and some people are saying it could be the next Afghanistan.

B. CLINTON: Could be. I hope not.

(CROSSTALK) B. CLINTON: I mean, you know, Mali has quite a hold on the imagination of people who understand Africa. And when I saw that destruction, religious political violence in Timbuktu, it was very sad to me. But there are always unintended consequences to events that upset the established order. And what happened in Libya I think will probably work out to be positive for the Libyans. And eventually in all probability, Mali is not a big enough base for permanent destruction. But a lot of people could get hurt in the meanwhile. And we just have to try to help the Africans to resolve this as quickly as possible.

BURNETT: I mean there's been reports of Afghan fighters, Pakistani camps and obviously it's very difficult to tell exactly what's happening in Mali, but you know some have said you know it could become (INAUDIBLE) or could be something that threatens the U.S. --

B. CLINTON: You have this whole group of people now associated roughly with al Qaeda who have never made a living any other way. So they -- they're basically itinerant fighters and they go where they can make a living and fight and pretend it's some sort of religious struggle, which it isn't. And so I think you know it's the level of instability. We have to be prepared for it. But it's almost like herding cats, you know, because it's such a decentralized operation.



BURNETT: A sales tip for Barack Obama from President Bill Clinton that coming up next. Plus, these baby gorillas. They love having fun. They're insanely amazing to watch. But their lives are in danger tonight. That's OUTFRONT.


BURNETT: Our second story OUTFRONT, I asked former President Bill Clinton about the election and yes, we talked a whole lot about Mitt Romney. That's coming up, but he got a little bit, well, you'll listen, it sounds a little bit like he's on the campaign trail himself here.


B. CLINTON: I think there's an enormous case for President Obama. I mean for example, this economic crisis which he inherited didn't bottom out until the middle of 2009. Then they passed the bills and they didn't take full effect until 2010. In 2010, '11 through the first six months of 2012, 30 months, we had 4.5 million jobs that averages about 150,000 a month.

Is that enough for a full recovery? No, but Governor Romney recommends that we go back to the Bush economic policies, more tax cuts for upper income people and less regulation, which is what got us in trouble in the first place. Now, in the seven years and eight months before the financial crash, under the previous administration, we had 2.6 million private sector jobs. So Obama's last 2.5 years have produced 40 percent more jobs than the seven years and eight months of the previous administration before the meltdown.

BURNETT: It's interesting though when you talk about it like this. And you give that example of how many jobs President Obama's created compared to President Bush. He doesn't talk about it like that. It's not nearly that clear. A lot of what he talks about is more about fairness and it has created the perception among some voters and independent voters that there's a class warfare sort of agenda. What could he do to shift it so that that's not what people hear coming out of his mouth?

B. CLINTON: Well first of all, I don't think -- when he talks about fairness, he means that there -- if we have prosperity it ought to be broadly shared. That is -- but he hasn't done anything to hurt upper income people. So I don't buy the class warfare thing. Of course --

BURNETT: So you're saying it's rhetoric?


BURNETT: It's rhetoric, not reality --

B. CLINTON: (INAUDIBLE) it's more perception than reality. Warren Buffett once said we had a class warfare and my class won. Americans don't resent success. We're a society about aspiration and reward for work. We don't care how many millionaires and billionaires there are. As long as the middle class person can support his or her family and believe that they'll be rewarded for work and as long as poor people who work have a chance to become middle class people.


BURNETT: Michael Waldman was a speechwriter for the former president, joins me tonight, along with John Avlon from "The Daily Beast" and Reihan Salam, columnist for "The Daily", great to have all of you as always. John Avlon, why is it that we haven't heard the current president of the United States come out with such clarity and precision in laying out the difference between himself and his competitor?

JOHN AVLON, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well look, I think in many respects, Bill Clinton is the great communicator especially on the Democratic side of the aisle. He's got this ability to make an economic argument that really resonates with Main Street middle class voters. And that's something that President Obama has struggled with, really distilling economic ideas in a way that resonates beyond the Democratic base to the key constituencies, middle class voters and swing voters, and that's what Bill Clinton is the master of. Even off the cuff he can do it better than most folks scripted.

BURNETT: I mean it was really amazing and Michael Waldman, then when he went on to say, look, what I want is more prosperity, distributed more fairly, so we hear that from President Barack Obama a lot. But then President Bill Clinton says but Americans like millionaires and they like billionaires and they don't have any problem with them. They just want to be able to become them. How come we don't hear that sort of rhetoric from Barack Obama?

MICHAEL WALDMAN, FORMER SPEECHWRITER DIRECTOR FOR BILL CLINTON: Well, this is geographic proof that it's not because he has speechwriters. President Clinton is very distinct in being able to make arguments about policy in values terms. And when he talks about economics, yes, he uses the statistics and he uses the facts, but he roots it in a kind of a core sense of opportunity for all and responsibility from all, as he said when he ran for president. And President Obama has been brilliant as a communicator in many ways about larger American themes, about the country's history, about his own history, but has often fallen flat when he comes to these policy things. So, you know, we all can learn from Bill Clinton on that.

BURNETT: Reihan, I'm just curious, because it's interesting, you know we're going to hear Bill Clinton later on in the hour talk about Mitt Romney. And there's some really good in there and there's also some really bad for Mitt Romney. But what can -- how effective is Bill Clinton now, campaigning for President Barack Obama? He says he's in his camp, but then he says good things about Mitt Romney. How effective is he?

REIHAN SALAM, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well you know he's his own man and I think that that can be a liability for the president. But you know for example, I just want to reinforce you know Michael's point. He's his own man so you know he gave the story about how Obama created more jobs than Bush, but here's the thing. Obama was dealing with a much bigger jobs hole than Bush was, so when you look at, for example, Reagan and the Reagan recovery after that massive recession the job growth was much, much faster.

But the thing is that Bill Clinton is such an artful communicator that he's able to take an idea that's frankly pretty silly when you take it outside of that real context of how big was that initial jobs hole and make it sound very clever and sensible. And I think another thing we need to remember is that in 2008 when Barack Obama was running against Hillary Clinton, he was very pointed in saying that, hey, Ronald Reagan was a very consequential president, whereas Bill Clinton was more small bore. That was the clear implication he was trying to separate and distance himself from Clinton Democrats. And that's a wedge that I think Republicans are trying to use and they're not always successfully in using it. But it's certainly something they're trying to use and they should try to use because there's a difference between Obama Democrats and Clinton Democrats.

BURNETT: Right. No, there sure is and I think you keep hearing it in this rhetoric. A final question to you, Michael, one thing the president said today, I never heard him say before, was that he thought that with a mere 10,000 American troops he could have saved 300,000 lives in this country where literally people were massacred and hacked to death with machetes. It was a horrific genocide. How much does that haunt him? You know him personally.

WALDMAN: You know I think that he thinks about it a lot. I think it is one of the things he's written about, about his own presidency and certainly in his post-presidency. He's focused so much effort on places like Africa, on bringing them forward in terms of economic development. But I think it's also the case that if you look at the evolution and the maturation of his military and foreign policy in his second term, something like Kosovo, where the United States intervened to stop a genocide before it happened, to stop ethnic cleansing, was the kind of thing that he became quite skilled at and it's something that America -- that our country has had an important role to play in doing throughout the years.

BURNETT: All right. Well, thanks very much to Michael, John and Reihan, always appreciate your taking the time.

And the real hotel Rwanda was once a besieged safe haven for Rwandans who were fleeing the genocide in this country by machete. Plus, why Bill Clinton likes the Mormon Church.



BURNETT (voice-over): This is Rwanda's Genocide Memorial Center in Kigali and these are some of the mass graves for the million people who were slaughtered here in 1994. As of this June, there have been two million genocide cases tried in court with 37,000 convictions. We stayed last night at the hotel (INAUDIBLE) known to America as the real hotel Rwanda. In the movie depiction, the hotel manager, played by Don Cheadle, tried to save Tootsies who sought refuge from Hutu slaughter. They drank from this pool as things got desperate, a pool that's now serene and peaceful.

The hotel, which was looted, just finished a major renovation. And, frankly, the whole country feels clean and new. There are no plastic bags allowed. There's no trash in the villages and on the last Saturday of every month every citizen is required to clean up, a sort of national adopt a highway program. The country feels industrious --

(on camera): which brings me to tonight's number, 26 percent. That's how many businesses in Rwanda are run by women like Cecile who sells potatoes. Her hard work is one of the reasons why Rwanda is one of the fastest growing economies in the world.

(voice-over): Another reason is the regime of President Paul Kagame, but there have been costs to his leadership and he'll be my guest tomorrow on OUTFRONT.


BURNETT: Baby gorillas are a lot more human than you can even imagine but they are at risk tonight because of a war in the neighboring democratic Republic of the Congo. A special report and President Clinton on Mitt's taxes.


B. CLINTON: Whatever it is it couldn't be as bad as not doing it.



BURNETT: Welcome back to the second half of OUTFRONT. I'm live tonight in Kigali, Rwanda where I spent the day with former President Bill Clinton. He has been in Africa over the past few days visiting some key projects with his Clinton Foundation and Clinton Global Initiative. He spent a lot of time today with farmers talking about some soybean projects. You can see behind me tonight the lights of Kigali. Rwanda is a relatively small country in Africa, about 12 million people live here. It does give you some perspective. Only 20 years ago nearly a million people were slaughtered in genocide in this country while President Clinton was president of the United States. You can see just the incredible impact that that had on this country.

But as you can see the lights behind, sort of African lights. You don't have lots of skyscrapers or anything like that here. It was incredibly clean. Noticeably so. Lots of times when you drive around Africa, you'll see a lot of blue bags or plastic on the side of the road. You don't see any of that here.

And, in fact, by national edict by the ruler of the country, Paul Kagame, on the fourth Saturday of every month, everybody has to go out and pick up trash and you could see people picking things up and sweeping. It was a pretty incredible thing -- obviously, a positive side of an administration that has deeply criticized for being undemocratic.

We're going to be talking to the president of Rwanda tomorrow night. But, tonight, let's have more of our interview with President Bill Clinton. We talked a lot about what's going on here in Rwanda, his project about al Qaeda and Mali.

And up ahead, you're going to hear him talk about the women in his life. His number one vice right now, interesting for me to hear, and also all about Mitt Romney and his taxes.

But, first, let's send it back to John Avlon to get some other headlines that we're watching tonight.

Hi, John.


Syrian rebel forces have taken some control of some Iraqi border closings. A senior Iraqi army official tells CNN Syrian rebels have control of Albo Kamal and Al-Waleed, the two main border posts, along with seven other smaller security points.

Iraqi security forces have increased their military presence due to the instability in Syria along the border. According to the local coordination committees in Syria, an opposition group, 217 people were killed in Syrian violence today.

And we're learning new details about Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer's pay. We're reviewed the regulatory filings.

Her salary? A million dollars this year. That amounts to $83,333.33 a month, with a potential $2 million a year in bonuses. She also gets $14 million to compensate her for what she gave up when she left Google, plus $12 million in stocks and options. And then there's a retention reward, $30 million in stocks and options that will vest over five years.

It gives her a total five year pay package of $71 million, and could potentially be worth more than $100 million if she hits performance goals and stock targets.

The search continues for two missing Iowa girls. Cousins Lyric Cook and Elizabeth Collins were last seen Friday. Their bikes found by a nearby lake.

An FBI spokesperson tells CNN a dive team with the agency is headed to Evansdale, Iowa, today to search the lake local authorities have been slowly draining. The team will be using a side scanning and 360 degrees sonar to inspect what's left of the water.

The Bulgarian bus bombing that killed five Israeli tourists was likely carried out by a suicide attacker according to Bulgaria's interior minister. The minister also said the suspect had a fake Michigan's drive driver's license.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meanwhile blamed the attack on Iran and Hezbollah. Iran denies the allegations.

Bulgarian authorities believe the suspect carried the bomb in a backpack and he might have placed it in a luggage compartment beneath the carriage of the bus.

It's been 350 days since the U.S. lost its top credit rating. What are we doing to get I back? Jobless claims by 34,000 last week to 386,000. Economists tell us they expect these numbers to be volatile over the next few weeks.

Now, let's send it back to Erin with more of her exclusive interview with former President Bill Clinton.

BURNETT: All right. Well, of course, as John knows and you all know, there are many Democrats and Republicans who say Mitt Romney release your taxes. Well, here's what President Clinton had to say about the whole fiasco.


BURNETT: Why do you think Mitt Romney won't release his tax returns?

BILL CLINTON, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: I have no idea. But whatever it is, it couldn't be as bad as not doing it. I mean, you know, in his first tax return, the one year he did release, all of his income was taxed at 15 percent capital gain. But he can honestly say he didn't draw a salary, he was running for president. BURNETT: Yes.

CLINTON: So, all of his income was investment income. That was the law. Whether people like it or not, it was the law. He fully complied with the law.

He also gave away 16 percent of his income. And presumably most of it to the Mormon Church. But it didn't hurt -- I mean, I think, you know, with everyone else being so much more forthcoming, it raises the question of whether he thinks it should be a different set of rules for him than everybody else and that's a problem for him.

But I don't know -- I don't know enough about it. He's obviously concluded that the damage he's taking from not doing it is greater than the damage he'd take it from doing it. And it's hard to imagine that that's true.

BURNETT: There's something that bad in there.


BURNETT: I mean, because giving money to the Mormon Church, I mean, it was about 51 percent. And then for the estimated numbers, 2011, about 80 percent for the Mormon Church. So, presumably, people already know that and are all right with that. I mean, if there was some sort of, I don't know, prestige issue, P.R. with Mormonism.

CLINTON: I think that's commendable. They do -- they do a lot of good work around the world. You know, Hawaii, for example, is the only state in America that has totally equal public school funding. But they only have about two-thirds to 70 percent of their kids in public schools. Because before Hawaii was a state, the Mormons and others, but primarily Mormons came there and set up these schools.

So, I remember when I was president, I helped secure the release of some Mormon missionaries who were in Peru and had been apprehended and imprisoned by a radical group (INAUDIBLE) before it was illuminated.

So I just can't figure out why he doesn't do it. I think it's a mistake. I think he ought to do it. He ought to release a decade's worth of tax returns.

BURNETT: Just deluge the press with all 50,000 pages or whatever it might be.

CLINTON: Yes, that's what I think.

BURNETT: Should anything be off the table when you run for president? I guess that's the question. He seems that's what is issue, that he said, well, this is -- I'm going to draw the privacy line here. I mean, do you think there's anything to that? Or in this day and age, everything, your personal life, your tax, whatever it might be, that you just have to accept that and put it in the public eye? CLINTON: Well, I do -- I think that the press now, much more than in the '80s and '90s, is somewhat more sensitive to the purely personal aspects of a person's life. But things that relate to your business activities or your public activities, in Governor Romney's case, his governorship of Massachusetts, the Olympics and Bain Capital and the taxes that are heavily related to all that, I don't think you could say you think they should be off the table. If the law doesn't require you to disclose something, you can gut it out.

I mean, he's defended the work that he's done it he' done. He's talked a lot about his pride in the Olympics. He's had to explain why he's now against the law that he signed, as the solution for the country.

It's hard to -- again, may change a little bit from election to election. When it's things that are right at the core of what your public philosophy is, think that's always going to be relevant.

BURNETT: When you look at him running, I mean, I know you talked about him being qualified. And certainly he is when you look at his background. Obviously, you're not going to vote for him obviously, right?

CLINTON: No, I'm not going to vote for him.

BURNETT: OK, just making sure. I mean --

CLINTON: I think --


BURNETT: Some people had indicated he might think that way at certain moments so it was important to ask.

OUTFRONT next, the woman who was with Bill Clinton today, and she asked just as many questions as he did.

Plus, teenage silverback gorillas. They're playful. Hey, they're teenagers. But they are on the verge of extinction and now they are fighting an even bigger battle. They're in the middle of a civil war.


BURNETT: Just a few hours away from where I'm standing tonight in Rwanda, on the border, there is a fierce battle going on tonight -- a battle for the future of gorillas.


DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Getting a very special greeting from 5-year-old (INAUDIBLE). Her cousin wants to be part of the action. The orphaned gorillas escort us into their sanctuary, with the chief warden Emmanuel de Merode and the rangers have raised them by hand. EMMANUEL DE MERODE, CHIEF WARDEN, VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK: They had a very difficult start to life. They were recovered from poachers. From the bodies their mothers after their families had been attacked.

MCKENZIE: Illegal loggers brutally killed (INAUDIBLE) families. They were found when they were just 2 months old.

The poachers snare severed (INAUDIBLE) right hand. And a ranger rescued (INAUDIBLE) from traffickers.

De Merode says they need constant care to make it.

DE MERODE: Well, it is pretty miraculous. Baby gorillas at that age very rarely survive.

MCKENZIE: There are fewer than 800 gorillas left in the wild. Many killed by poachers or victims of Congo's vicious war.

DE MERODE: There are a number of main threats. Obviously, now we're very worried about the state of war that we're living through. The gorillas could end up in the crossfire. It's happened before. It could happen again.

MCKENZIE: Eastern Congo is trapped in almost perpetual conflict. Now, the orphanage and park headquarters are surrounded by a rebel group, cutting the park in two.

(on camera): So, we're getting in this plane because we're heading from one part of the park to another section. And you can't drive through right now because there's a build-up of tension and there's a front line between the rebel group and the Congolese armed forces.

(voice-over): In this chaotic country, rangers are often the only ones enforcing the law. More than 100 have been killed in the line of duty in the last two decades.

DE MERODE: It's absolutely exceptional if we lose this park and we've lost something that can never be recovered, and so that does require a huge commitment and a huge sacrifice to protect it.

MCKENZIE: But De Merode the rangers say the gorillas are worth fighting for.

DE MERODE: They're absolutely wonderful animals. I mean, they have all the qualities of us as humans. But very few of the -- very few of our failings.


BURNETT: Our David McKenzie went cross the border to the Democratic Republic of the Congo to file that report on these endangered species. And, David, thanks for taking the time to be with us. It really looks like those rangers are willing to put their own lives on the line for those gorillas. MCKENZIE: They're almost like a band of brothers, Erin. There's some 250 of them scattered across a huge area of this park which is really just split in two between the government forces and rebels. In fact, the park headquarters is right in the rebel stronghold. So they have to negotiate access outside to protect these animals.

BURNETT: David, when you look at 2 million people have been displaced because of the ongoing and horrific fighting along the border between Rwanda and the DRC, are people paying enough attention to the gorillas? I know it's an awkward question because people's lives are at stake too.

MCKENZIE: I think the two things can be put in one basket as it were. De Merode, the chief warden, has been working for some 20 years protecting these gorillas. He says if you protect the gorillas, you protect the people. There's many people living on the outskirts of the park. And the rangers are helping those people to secure their livelihood.

BURNETT: And, David, what was it like -- some of those pictures, it's unbelievable. It's like you're watching children. Certainly they seem to have some sort of soul. What was it like spending time with them?

MCKENZIE: It's a great way to put it. They definitely have some kind of soul. In fact, they have a very deep soul.

Our cameraman was spending time with one of the older ones at the end. He said, look how deep its eyes are. How the connection is so real. Mountain gorillas share more than 98 pr percent of our DNA.

And going into that enclosure, the orphans coming up to us and clamoring all over us. It was really a unique experience. These gorillas are just really special. I think you should take an extra day in Rwanda and go see them in the west of the country.

BURNETT: I would love to do that and I can't wait to see them. Thanks so much to David McKenzie.

Our fifth story OUTFRONT: Bill Clinton talks about his vices. Yes, he still has some. His next act, his wife and his daughter, Chelsea, who was actually with him today.


BURNETT: Everyone else asks you about your health and your regiment. I know it's rather draconian.

CLINTON: Not to bad.

BURNETT: I mean, no Big Macs.

CLINTON: No Big Macs.


BURNETT: I'd say it's a good thing.

But so what are the vices that you have left? I mean, you're a guy, let's be honest, people loved you because of your vices. Do you fear your vices? But then you love you because of your vices.

CLINTON: Well, once in a while, I break my diet and eat French fries. That's about it.

BURNETT: French fries?

CLINTON: I'm trying to live to be a grandfather. That's my goal. And I've already lived longer than all the men in my family on both sides, until you get to my maternal great grandfather. He lived to be 76. He never got out of overalls. He lived in an old wooden house up -- he basically built up off the ground with a storm cellar that was a hole in the ground to guard against the tornadoes.

So I just decided that I would be healthier doing this.

BURNETT: You allowed to have a glass of wine?

CLINTON: Yes, I do. That's -- once in a while, I have a glass of wine, but only one, especially on these trips where I'll keel over just to fall asleep.

BURNETT: You know, it's funny, you talk about your age. My dad's 12 years older than you. And -- well, you know how it is when you get older. Mother's not doing as well but my father, he is going strong. And so you could have so much longer.

CLINTON: I hope I do.

BURNETT: You've already had this entire life after being a president. You're doing all these things.

Is there -- you know, you look at President Taft, right? Then he became a Supreme Court justice. Or is there a whole another stage to your life or your ambition that you think sometimes, oh, maybe I'll do this?

CLINTON: Maybe, but I like what I'm doing now. Because I can drill down in a way I couldn't when I was president. You know, by figuring out, you got all these small farmers all over the world. And right now they're not producing enough food or enough income to take them or us where we want to go. So I decided I'd come to Africa and figure out whether we can raise farm income enough or farm production enough to prove they can make it.


BURNETT: After talking with the former president about what's next for him, I also asked him about the two women in his life.


BURNETT: You're here with Chelsea. I don't know she's going to be here. It's so nice when you get out of the car together. Obviously, she was asking for questions than you were asking.

CLINTON: Yes, she loves this stuff. She's on -- Chelsea's on my board. She's on the foundation board, on the CGI board for the global initiative, and on my health care board. She teaches in public health at Columbia.


CLINTON: So, she's interested in all this stuff.

BURNETT: So, it's like amazing father/daughter time? A lot of people look at this and they're jealous. Not everybody gets to travel the world with your daughter when she's --

CLINTON: I can't tell you how much fun it is. She knows a lot more about some of this stuff than I do. So I'm always learning from her. I'm getting back the investment in her education. She's just filling my brain with things.

BURNETT: And one final question, your wife is -- well, she's gone all the time, you're gone all the time. Soon she's going to be home a lot. You're both going to be home a lot. That's a big transition in any marriage. But let me ask you this question.

CLINTON: Yes, she'll be bored -- she'll be bored with me.

BURNETT: You have a big vacation or surprise planned for her when she's done this fall?

CLINTON: Well, actually, I haven't made it a surprise. We do get -- we're taking two weeks in August and our family's going out to Long Island and we're going to bring our relatives in, our friends, and just vege out.

When she gets out, I want her to go climb Mount Kilimanjaro with me. I'm working on that.


BURNETT: And, John, you know, John Avlon's with me. John, he had a whole list of places. I actually -- it sort of made laugh because I'm thinking to myself, OK, you want to take Hillary Clinton here, here and here and she probably just wants to sit on a beach after traveling to 100 countries over the past few years.

But of all the things we talked about tonight, I really wanted to get you to weigh in on what he said about Mitt Romney and his taxes, that he thinks he should release a dozen years.

AVLON: Yes, you know --

BURNETT: What do you think?

AVLON: Well, first of all, it's the way he talks about Mitt Romney and his taxes, right? When Bill Clinton talks about policy, he always roots it in values. He does it in a very commonsense, almost offhand way, saying, you know, I can't imagine whatever's in there could be worse than the heat he's taking for not releasing it. Then saying, it's almost like he thinks there should be one rule for himself and one rule for everyone else.

Those are value statements, and that release resonates. It's not intellectual. It's not, you know, analytical. It's just about fairness without using the word "fairness."

And all throughout this interview, you see the touches he has. The interview's been fascinating to watch, Erin -- to see just the intellectual curiosity of a former president, his knowledge about agriculture and Africa, sincere humanitarian streak. And the way when he does talk about domestic politics, he's always careful to make a rationale point but not take it too far to polarize.

You know, going out of his way to make the point about the great work of the Mormon Church in Hawaii. Those gestures really make it easy to take a partisan point when he kind of slips it in there.

BURNETT: Yes, I thought that was a very interesting point. He did go out of his way to give several examples as we were talking about how he liked the Mormon Church.

Last but not least, interesting, what he said, so different than Barack Obama. And I mentioned this before but I wanted to bring it up to you again. That he says Americans don't resent millionaires and billionaires. They just want to be able to become them.

Why is it Barack Obama doesn't feel comfortable speaking in those direct terms?

AVLON: You know, it's funny because Barack Obama does say occasionally, he says, look, I went to a country where everyone can do well. But when Bill Clinton articulates the same point, he does it in this sort of folksy way that is able to make a point. And, look, we celebrate the most successful among us. And he makes a point for President Obama, the point that President Obama is making is we want to make sure it's broad. We want to make sure the focus is mobility and opportunity.

And it goes back to that initial sort of compact he made when he ran for president in 1992, about an opportunity and responsibility society, about both sides. That has a way of really resonating. So, it's not about fairness. It's about responsibility and opportunity. And that goes down particularly well I think.

BURNETT: Certainly does. Especially with that 40 percent of the electorate who are independents that John talks so much about. Thanks to John Avlon.

And next, a boy whose six brothers were slaughtered in the Rwandan genocide. Eighteen years later, that boy is going for gold at the London Olympics. His story is next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) BURNETT: Today, we heard a lot about Rwanda's Olympic dreams. There are four Rwandans who are going to be competing for Olympic medals in London, which is pretty exciting for this country of 12 million.

And let's show you a picture of one of them. His name is Adrien Niyonshuti. And what I'm told it means is, his last name means "my friend." He's 25 years old.

And he's competing in cross country mountain biking. Now, stereotypically you might say, oh, Rwandan, well, they're going to be great runners. Sure, there are great runners here.

But we went to Adrien's home village and saw bike taxis. This was pretty cool. My take about this is if you can do a bike taxi and get through the hills which are everywhere in this country and the potholes which frankly are deep enough to eat a car on some of these roads and you do that on a bike, you should be Olympic bound.

I mean, these guys were amazing. They have a little pad on the back of the bike, you jump on.

Adrien's story though is very hard to hear and his family still lives in this house. We drove out to see the house. Many people should be alive in that house today who are not alive. Adrien was 7 years old during the Rwandan genocide and he remembers it. He had six brothers who were massacred. All 60 members of his extended family lost their lives.

And now Adrien's entire village is rooting for him. We were out sort of in the front of the village where the roads were all paved and asked people. Everybody knew him or knew of him. Izibyose Abdul Kareem, his big smile said it all.


IZIBYOSE ABDUL KAREEM (through translator): I am proud. When he wins, it makes me proud to be Rwandan.


BURNETT: Now, Adrien only got his first bike when he was 16 so that was only nine years ago and he's going to the Olympics which is a pretty incredible statistic. We're rooting for him. I mean, who can't root for that incredible story? His victory will be even more incredible because he's a devout Muslim. It's Ramadan right now. And from what I understand, he is going to be observing it, which means fasting during the day, not even drinking water, which is incredible feat for someone competing in the Olympics.

You know, today, we went though to see something in Rwanda, to try to understand the horror of the genocide. We went to the Genocide Memorial Center here in Kigali. And in Adrien's home, you know, you see people walking down the dirt streets. The town was called Rambiana (ph) and you can't even imagine what it was like, people running with machetes and killing people. It is impossible to comprehend.

And at the Genocide Center in those mass graves we saw, there were 250,000 people who were buried right there. It really is something that was very difficult to -- it is impossible to understand but truly touching to have been there.

Tomorrow, we're going to bring you an interview with Rwanda's president, the man who got Rwanda back on top. He has been credited with the great economic success here. He has been also, though, been criticized for something we saw evidence of. His picture up, sort of like a Middle Eastern leader, not a democratically elected one, would be in the front lobby of hotels.

He's going to be our guest tomorrow to talk about his rule of the country, where it's going, and, of course, the border -- the border wars so many are talking about with the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Our next stop in Africa is a place where al Qaeda is rising, a place that's being called one of the worst human rights crises in 50 years. We're also going to be heading to Mali.

We'll see you shortly. Have a great night.

"A.C. 360" starts right now.