Return to Transcripts main page
CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL
Stock Markets Plunge; Awaiting the Start of George H.W. Bush's Funeral; Stories About George H.W. Bush. Aired 9:30-10a ET
Aired December 6, 2018 - 09:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[09:30:00] ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: What we have been watching in the markets?
KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, they haven't responded so far to the latest news about this arrest. But we know that this chief financial officer was arrested in Canada at the request of the United States. So that's not helping things. But that's only contributing, Anderson, to an already existing problem that is happening back here at the White House with the man who is in that residence behind me tweeting and he is -- and those tweets are largely what has been responsible for what we've seen and how we've seen these stocks take such a dive as they did on Tuesday after the president initially started out this week on a good note, sounding optimistic about his dinner with the Chinese president, President Xi, while he was in Argentina for the G-20 Summit and he and the press secretary came out of that saying essentially they had struck this incredible deal at this dinner. And they were going to hold a truce on their trade war and work on the next 90 days to work out an issue to deescalate the trade war that we have seen playing out for the last several months.
But then, Anderson, President Trump got on Twitter Tuesday, declared himself to be a tariff man and that is what sent stocks sliding because it reignited that fear that there is going to continue to be this U.S.-China trade war. We've only seen that continue and though even though the stock market was closed yesterday in honor of the late President George H.W. Bush, we saw President Trump doing what he could to try to shore up confidence by tweeting that he was confident President Xi was going to stick by his deal that they had agreed to on Saturday night.
Anderson, that's not exactly what's happening behind closed doors here at the White House because officials will not voice the same amount of confidence that the president is because they're still having a hard time in listing exactly what it is they agree to and they're not sure that the Chinese are going to follow through on what they say President Trump said they agreed to during that dinner on Saturday night. So expect to see this certainty continue. That is the only thing that essentially White House officials are prepared to guarantee at this point.
COOPER: Yes, uncertainty is the only certain thing.
I want to go back to Alison Kosik right now. Alison, it looks like it's down, what, 454 points at the start of
ALISON KOSIK, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Exactly. I mean you're seeing -- you're seeing the losses escalate at this point. A lot of what we saw happened on Tuesday was this escalation of selling. And, interestingly enough, as the president tweeted and tried to explain what happened in Argentina between President Xi and his meeting, we did see the losses even accelerate.
So what's happening here on the floor is there's a lot of anxiety, there's a lot of uncertainty as to whether or not a resolution can even happen at this point to get this trade deal in place. Even the discussions, even the timing of the discussions, there's a lot of confusions about when that -- when that timing even begins and ends.
And then you've got this arrest of the chief financial officer of one of the biggest tech companies in China. It feels political, and it's making everybody on the floor very nervous.
COOPER: Yes, it's going to be a long day, no doubt, on the floor.
I also want to bring in David Gregory, Gloria Borger.
You know, for -- the president has prided himself on what the stock market has been doing the entire time he's been in office. He seems to be taking a lot of credit for it. I'm not sure he'll be taking credit for this.
GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: He's made it his yardstick. The markets are doing well. Therefore, we're doing well. And I think what we're seeing today, seeing what occurs, it's this sort of perfect storm that's not so -- that's not so good for the country. You have this -- you know, you have this arrest. You have oil prices that are going down. And you have really a panic about what's going to be the relationship between China and the United States on trade because you are getting such mixed signals, even about the timetable of any kind of a deal. Was it 90 days? Was it 60 days? What's the deal?
And then you have the president out there tweeting about his own Fed chairman trying to blame somebody else for all of this and then calling himself a tariff man. And so all of this put together does not settle the markets at all.
DAVID GREGORY, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: The president talks about winning. That the country's going to get tired of winning. And he does point to the stock market and he's been critical of rising interest rates because the economy is so strong that the Fed chief has decided -- the Fed has decided to increase interest rates to curb inflation fears. The president's been sharply critical of that, another area where he breaks with norms and traditions. But, globally, the economy is slowing down. There's some real fears as
we go into 2019 of more of a global downturn, which has, you know, political implications, of course, as we get closer to an election year in 2020. But this volatility right now is so much about what our brinkmanship is like with China. And a lot of corporations in America that have a lot of capital to spend and have done really well are really concerned.
COOPER: Yes, we're going to --
GREGORY: And one other thing. The tech companies are meeting at the White House today with the president. And a lot of these tech companies are getting hammered over a number of issues, including earnings, which is a real fear.
We're going to take a short break.
[09:34:49] Coming back, our special coverage of the final farewell of President Bush in Texas. Famous friends will play a role in today's ceremony, next.
COOPER: You're looking at St. Martin's Church. A beautiful church in Houston. It is 8:39 a.m. in Houston right now.
I want to go to Jessica Dean, who is live outside St. Martin's Episcopal Church.
Jessica, explain the order of events, what's going to be taking place over the next hour or two.
JESSICA DEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Sure. So good morning to all of you.
We have been seeing the busses coming in with funeral guests unloading off those busses. And just a little bit of color from here. You can see on there it says ceiling and visibility unlimited 41. So that's what's flashing across the sign on the bus right now.
Close friends and family gathering here for the funeral, which is set to begin at 10:00 local time. We are expecting to hear from George P. Bush, the grandson, and also from George Bush's, one of his best friends, Secretary of State James Baker.
Now, I want to talk a minute about Saint Martin's Episcopal Church specifically. The Bushs worships here for some 50 years and had very close ties. The church has some great photos. One of them, Margaret Thatcher coming here as President Bush's guest in 1990 during the G-7.
[09:40:12] And also it's important to remember that when they were here, they were active congregants. They were just, you know, one of many. There are over 9,000 members here. They said it wasn't uncommon to see them passing out coffee or greeting marathon runners when they ran through here, teaching Sunday school, working with student ministries. So very strong ties to this community and this church community here in Houston.
Also important to note that the Bush home, just not far away, right down the street. And when you pass by, it's a gated community. Right now there are flags, flowers, people stopping by there if they couldn't get in to pay their respects here.
COOPER: Yes, it's going to be a really emotional morning at that church.
Jessica, we'll check in with you in a little bit.
I want to bring in Jaime Gangel.
I mean you can't talk about President Bush, about 41, without talking about Barbara Bush. I mean the love story, how they met is extraordinary to me, and that he was the first and only man that she ever kissed. I mean --
JAMIE GANGEL, CNN SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT: We'll have more on that in a minute -- in a minute.
But just think, 73 years marriage.
GANGEL: Meeting as teenagers at a Christmas dance. It's -- it is an extraordinary relationship.
I love telling the story about being with Mrs. Bush and President Bush arriving. She was in her 70s. And she heard his car pull up. And she went to the front hall mirror and went like that to her cheeks to make them, you know, rosie in her 70s.
But I think yesterday we should just replay from Jon Meacham's eulogy about what he said about their relationship.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JON MEACHAM, PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN: He was the only boy she ever kissed. Her children, Mrs. Bush liked to say, always wanted to throw up when they heard that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GANGEL: And that's true. The kids tease them to no end.
So I was lucky enough over the years to interview these two people together a number of times. And the dynamic between the two of them sometimes they were the bickersons and they would elbow each other. But we did ask about that first kiss. And President Bush 41 has a little bit different take on whether he really was the first person.
COOPER: Oh, really? Uh-oh.
GANGEL: There is a mystery man. So I think we have to take up that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEORGE H.W. BUSH, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: I kissed Barbara, and I'm glad of it. I don't believe she will ever regret it or resent it. I certainly am not ashamed of it. I've never kissed another girl.
BARBARA BUSH, FORMER FIRST LADY: When we tell our children -- well, I tell them I never knew I was the first girl you ever kissed, but when I told them that you were the first person I ever kissed --
G. BUSH: No, I was the second, darling. Haden Abbott (ph).
B. BUSH: Oh, he was not!
G. BUSH: He was in there.
GEORGE W. BUSH, GEORGE H.W. BUSH'S SON: Mother's made it pretty clear, I think, to the kids that her first love was dad. And she loved us, of course. But she adored dad.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GANGEL: So I've been trying to track down Haden Abbott for years.
COOPER: Yes. Who is this mysterious --
GANGEL: There was something in kindergarten that we've never quite cleared up.
But what I also love there is their sense of humor because they not only would poke fun at other people, they'd poke fun at themselves. And I hope I'm not about to get in trouble with the staff, but President Bush's e-mail domain, you know, it's -- sometimes it's Clinton Bush (ph). It was four very weird letters. I always thought f- l-f-w. Not what you normally see for a president's e-mail address.
What did it stand for? Former leader of the free world. So he was taking the stuff out of himself at the same time.
Can I tell a story about Tim McBride (ph)?
TIMOTHY MCBRIDE, FORMER PERSONAL AIDE TO PRESIDENT GEORGE H.W. BUSH: If you must.
BORGER: I'd love to hear it.
GANGEL: So, the original bodyman from Bush 41, the elder statesman, the personal aide for so long. Barbara Bush and President Bush, I spoke to three of their more recent aides today, and they would always say, you're good to the new young guys, but you're not as good as Tim McBride.
MCBRIDE: It was good to be on Mrs. Bush's good side.
COOPER: How did you get involved with them?
MCBRIDE: By a series of lucky breaks, really. I was an advanced man. I was involved with Michigan Republican politics. And it led to an opportunity to join the staff as an advanced man. And they -- suddenly there was an opening for personal aide. He asked if I would be willing to see how I like him, and he likes me for three months, and to see if it worked out. And it lasted about five --
[09:45:12] UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And you knew you liked him.
MCBRIDE: I knew I liked him. But it was really --
COOPER: Well, up close, what was seeing their relationship like?
MCBRIDE: It was marvelous. And I think the reason that I had a good relationship with Mrs. Bush was because she was so concerned that those around the president and the vice president take care of him and look out for his interests above their own. And that was my interest. And --
BORGER: You know what's interesting to me about this family and the closeness is that you have the closeness of the parents, but unlike the Reagans where the children always complained that they were so close they didn't have any time for their kids and it was -- you know, there was a little bit of resentment there, which has been spoken about publically, you don't hear that from the Bush children because the relationship was about the Bushs together, but about bringing in the kids and the rest of the -- the whole family in it.
COOPER: Coming up, the Bush family arriving soon at St. Martins Episcopal, as well as some celebrities who were very close to President Bush.
A lot more ahead. Stay tuned.
[09:50:40] WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back.
You're looking at live pictures right now, St. Martin's Episcopal Church in Houston, Texas. The service getting ready to begin. People coming off of buses, special guests invited to attend this memorial service.
You're looking now at live pictures from inside this beautiful, beautiful cathedral. The St. Martin's Episcopal Church. The Bush family has attended services there for many, many years.
Two of President Bush's granddaughters shared some great stories about their childhood with their beloved Gampy (ph), as he was called. Here's one of them. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARBARA BUSH, GRANDDAUGHTER OF PRESIDENT GEORGE H.W. BUSH: When we were little, when my grandfather was president, we, Barbara, I, maybe this is just speaking to my naiveness as a child, I thought everyone's grandfather was president.
JENNA BUSH HAGER, GRANDDAUGHTER OF PRESIDENT GEORGE H.W. BUSH: And I think that speaks to how normal our grandparents were.
HAGER: They baby-sat us the night before one of his huge debates when he was vice president, and Barbara lost her stuffed animal and my grandpa, but instead of prepping for the debate, went on a search with flashlights because she wouldn't fall asleep. And I think that that kind of speaks to the fact that they always put -- gosh, they always put family first. So of course Barbara thought everybody's -- he seemed -- he is a normal, wonderful man.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: Truly was.
John King, Dana Bash, Mary Kate Cary is with us as well.
You know, by all accounts, a wonderful father, grandfather, and great grandfather as well.
MARY KATE CARY, FORMER GEORGE H.W. BUSH SPEECHWRITER: That's right. And I think you're going to see that today.
President Bush had a big hand in preparing this funeral. And the choices he made. He's got George P. giving the eulogy, oldest of the grandsons. The rest of the grandsons are honorary pallbearers. The only real grown-up who's speaking is his best friend James Baker, outside of the clergy. And then the granddaughters, all of the granddaughters who did not speak yesterday, are speaking today, doing readings.
And as I look at the readings, I think our listeners should listen, how much the readings are about love. And President Bush chose those. And he knew exactly who was going to be doing the readings. And I think it's a great message to them from him today.
And one of the readings, the second reading, will be by Ellie Sosa and her sister Gigi, and Ellie just wrote a book about President and Mrs. Bush's tremendous love affair. And so the children are very aware and the grandchildren are very aware of the love between them and the love he has for the next generation.
BLITZER: He was pretty much involved in helping to set the stage for what's happening today.
DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: I mean I think more than involved.
CARY: Yes. Yes.
BASH: He, right down to the periods and crossing of the t's and dotting of the i's.
CARY: That's exactly right.
BASH: Seventeen grandchildren, eight great grandchildren. I mean that's a tremendous legacy even if he wasn't president of the United States.
BASH: And I think the fact that that is so much of a focus of today --
BASH: That he's putting the spotlight -- that the family is putting the spotlight on those grandchildren is really interesting. And one of the speakers is somebody we just saw in that clip. Barbara Bush is the love of his life, her namesake, his granddaughter, the twin of Jenna Bush who -- Hager Bush -- Jenna Bush Hager, who spoke yesterday. And one of the events of the summer, one of the final big events of the 41st president's life was her wedding. Very small. I know this because I get my "People" magazine. Very small, in their home, in Kennebunkport, like 20-something people.
CARY: Yes. Yes.
BASH: They cleared the furniture. They danced in the living room with her grandfather, because that's how she wanted it.
BLITZER: And so nice that he was able to attend her wedding.
JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's great because it was a family first. Again, he was president, he was vice president, he was former CIA director, he was ambassador. If you talk to 43, he calls him dad. It's dad and mother. And he sometimes used to correct himself, he'd say Mr. President in formal settings, but his first instinct was always dad.
Remember when we said farewell to Senator Kennedy, you're talking a family that is a dynasty. The Bush family doesn't like that name. the Kennedy family, for that matter, some members don't like that name. and you always ask, well, what next? And you have some members, George P., as we mentioned, who will speak today, is the land commissioner here in Texas. He's the only elected Bush right now in office.
Some of the younger ones say, I don't want any part of it. I'll do my public service in a different way. I'll volunteer. I'll be active. I don't want anything to do. I saw what it did to Gampy (ph). I saw what it did to W. It's rough and tumble. I don't want any part of it. Others say, you know, I'll think about it maybe when I get a little bit older, like the president we say farewell to today, maybe I'll go out and do my business first and then come back into it.
[09:55:09] So that, to me, is a question, as we watch, George P. is a man of ambition. He's here today to talk about his grandfather, don't get me wrong, but he is a young Bush of political ambition. What about the rest? What about these other grandchildren, the great grandchildren? What conversations will we be having about them. We see Joseph P. Kennedy III, for example, in Congress now. The younger Kennedys are coming up a bit. So that's one of my questions, to look at the family and then think back to -- let's see where they are in five or six years.
BLITZER: And his grandson, George P. Bush, is a very impressive young man.
We're only moments away from a very, very personal service we're about to see in Houston where former Secretary of State James Baker will eulogize the 41st president. We have details on that, what we're about to see.
Much more right after this.