Peter Baker

  • Aired:  11/11/13
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"Days of Fire" author Peter Baker talks about the complex and contentious relationship between Dick Cheney and George W. Bush. (6:19)

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE).

>> Stephen: WELCOME BACK,EVERYBODY.

PLEASE WELCOME PETER BAKER.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)HEY, PETER, NICE TO HAVE YOU ON.

MR. BAKER, SIR, YOU ARE THECHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT

FOR THE "NEW YORK TIMES".

>> YEAH.

>> Stephen: DID YOU HAVE TOSHIFT GEARS BETWEEN THE BUSH

ADMINISTRATION AND THE OBAMAADMINISTRATION?

BECAUSE YOU GUYS WERE SO TOUGHON BUSH AND SO IN LOVE WITH

OBAMA.

(LAUGHTER)>> RIGHT.

THAT'S NOT WHAT PRESIDENT OBAMAWOULD SAY.

THEY DON'T SEEM TO THINK WE'REVERY EASY ON HIM.

BUT, LOOK, WE COVER ALLPRESIDENT IT IS SAME WAY.

WE TRY TO BE TOUGH BUT FAIR ANDTRY TO FIND OUT WHAT'S GOING ON.

>> LET'S FIND OUT HOW TOUGH ANDFAIR YOU ARE BECAUSE YOU HAVE A

NEW BOOK CALLED "DAYS OF FIRE:BUSH AND CHENEY IN THE WHITE

HOUSE."

OKAY, UM, I'M GOING TO DRAW -- ALINE RIGHT NOW, OKAY?

I LOVE THIS MAN.

I LOVE PRESIDENT BUSH.

IF I READ YOUR BOOK-- AND NOPROMISES-- IF I READ YOUR BOOK

WILL I LIKE HIM MORE OR LESS?

>> I THINK YOU'D LIKE PRESIDENTBUSH.

I THINK IF YOU DON'T LIKE HIMYOU'LL SEE THINGS IN THERE THAT

FEED THE ARGUMENT.

>> Stephen: SO IT'S A BOOKTRYING TO PLEASE EVERYONE?

>> TRYING TO FIND A --(LAUGHTER).

TRYING TO BE A NEUTRAL BOOKABOUT TWO GUYS NOBODY FEELS

NEUTRAL ABOUT SO IT'S ACHALLENGE.

>> BECAUSE PEOPLE DON'T FEELNEUTRAL ABOUT THESE TWO GUYS.

DO WE HAVE A PICTURE OF THESETWO GUYS ON THE COVER THERE?

THERE'S BUSH AND CHENEY.

DO THEY WALK AROUND WASHINGTONLIKE THIS?

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)IS THAT AN ACTUAL PHOTO?

>> THAT'S AN ACTUAL PHOTO.

THAT WAS A DAY THAT BUSH PUTCHENEY ON THE TICKET.

"TIME" MAGAZINE TOOK THATPICTURE BUT DIDN'T LOSE.

>> THIS WAS AN ACTUAL PHOTO?

>> YEAH!

>> Stephen: THIS IS LIKE BUSHSAYING "YOU'RE GOING TO WANT TO

DEAL WITH ME, OKAY?"THIS IS GOOD COP, ROBOCOP.

OKAY, SO WAS HE A GOODPRESIDENT, BOTTOM LINE?

WE'LL START WITH THE BOTTOM LINEAND WORK UP.

>> DEFINITELY TOP 50.

(LAUGHTER)HE DID A LOT OF THINGS THAT

PEOPLE TODAY APPRECIATE,INCLUDING DEMOCRATS.

HE HEAD THE PET FAR PROGRAM ONAIDS IN AFRICA.

MEDICARE PART "D" THAT PAYS FORPRESCRIPTION DRUG CARE.

OBVIOUSLY IRAQ SUCKS A LOT OFTHE OPTION OUT OF THE ROOM.

>> Stephen: I'M GLAD YOUFINISHED THAT SENTENCE.

(LAUGHTER)WAS HE IN CHARGE?

BECAUSE THE LINE ON THESE TWOWAS THAT CHENEY WAS CALLING THE

SHOTS AND THAT MY MAN BUSH WASJUST A PUPPET.

>> I THINK THAT'S THE SURPRISINGTHING YOU LEARN FROM THIS BOOK

IS IN FACT THE RELATIONSHIP ISMUCH MORE COMPLICATED THAN THAT.

CHENEY WAS VERY INFLUENTIAL INTHE BEGINNING BUT AS THE TERM

WENT ON THE TWO OF THEM DIVERGEDAND WENT IN DIFFERENT

DIRECTIONS.

BY THE END THEY WERE ON OPPOSITESIDES OF MOST OF THE ISSUES THEN

THEY HAD A BIG FIGHT AT THE END.

>> Stephen: THEY GREW APART?

>> THEY WERE ONS ON IT IS SIDESOF IRAN, NORTH KOREA, SYRIA,

RUSSIA, CLIMATE CHANGE, GUNRIGHTS, THE AUTO BAILOUT.

>> Stephen: WAIT, THEY WERE ONTHE OPPOSITE SIDES?

SO BUSH WAS ON ONE SIDE ANDCHENEY WAS ON THE OTHER ABOUT

CLIMATE CHANGE AND GUN RIGHTSAND -- WHEN DID BUSH -- WAS BUSH

GAGGED?

WHY --(LAUGHTER).

WHY DID I NOT HEAR ANYTHING THATI DIDN'T LIKE FROM BUSH.

>> .

>> BUSH WON THOSE FIGHTS.

>> Stephen: HE DID?

WHERE WAS THE GUN CONTROL BUSHINSTITUTED?

>> HE DIDN'T DO GUN CONTROL BUTON THE SECOND AMENDMENT CASE

BEFORE THE SUPREME COURT THEADMINISTRATION PUT IN A MIDDLE

OF-THE-ROAD BRIEF THAT CHENEYDIDN'T LIKE.

HE SIGNED ON TO A DIFFERENTBRIEF SAYING THE SECOND

AMENDMENT PROTECTS THE RIGHTS TOGUNS AND THE CHIEF OF STAFF JOSH

BOLTON WENT TO CHENEY'S CHIEF OFSTAFF AND SAID "YOU CAN'T DO

THIS ANYMORE."

HE SAID, LOOK, KHAEUBNY IS THEPRESIDENT OF THE SENATE AND HE

SAID IF YOU DO THAT, TAKE YOURSTUFF AND GO UP TO THE HILL AND

WORK OUT OF THERE INSTEAD OF THEWHITE HOUSE.

>> Stephen: IS THAT WHATHAPPENED?

>> HE DID NOT.

IN THE END HE LET HIM STAY.

>> Stephen: THERE'S THE DOOR,DON'T LET IT HIT YOU WHERE THE

GOOD LORD SPLIT YOU."

(LAUGHTER)WERE THEY EVER FRIENDS?

>> THEY WERE NEVER FRIENDS.

I ASKED JIMMY ABOUT IT.

HE SAID THEY WERE NEVER BUDDIES.

>> Stephen: THAT'SHEARTBREAKING!

THAT'S LIKE FINDING OUT BATMANAND ROBIN WEREN'T GAY.

(LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE)DID THEY ACTUALLY FIGHT ABOUT

ANYTHING?

>> THEY DID BY THE END.

ESPECIALLY OVER SCOOTER LIBBY.

SCOOTER LIBBY WAS CHIEF OF STAFFTO THE VICE PRESIDENT.

HE GOT CONVICTED IN THE C.I.A.

LEAK CASE.

CHENEY THOUGHT IT WAS A BOGUSPROSECUTION.

BUSH SAID -- CHENEY SAID "ITHINK YOU SHOULD PARDON HIM."

BUSH SAID NO.

CHENEY SAID "YOU'RE LEAVING AGOOD MAN ON THE FIELD OF

BATTLE."

ON THE INAUGURATION DAY IT'SJUST BUSH AND OBAMA IN THE CAR

HE SAYS "WHATEVER YOU DO, SET APARDON POLICY EARLY AND STICK TO

IT.

LEARN HOW TO SAY NO TO YOUR VICEPRESIDENT."

>> THE VICE PRESIDENT WAS A HARDGUY TO SAY NO TO BECAUSE HE SHOT

PEOPLE IN THE FACE.

(LAUGHTER)>> YES, BUT BUSH DID IT.

>> Stephen: I UNDERSTAND THATCAUSED FRICTION BETWEEN TWO T OF

TWO OF THEM WHEN CHENEY SHOT AMAN IN THE FACE.

(LAUGHTER)IT WAS A MISTAKE.

WHY WAS THAT A PROBLEM FOR THEPRESIDENT?

>> THEY WERE UPSET THAT THE VICEPRESIDENT DIDN'T PUT THIS OUT AT

FIRST, DIDN'T DISCLOSE IT.

LAURA BUSH HEARD ABOUT IT -->> THE VICE PRESIDENT DIDN'T

HAVE A PRESS CONFERENCE AND GO"SURPRISE, I SHOT SOMEONE IN THE

FACE?">> EVEN LAURA BUSH WAS UPSET.

SHE HEARD ABOUT IT FROM HERSECRET SERVICE AGENTS.

CAUSED MORE FRICTIONS BETWEENTWO SIDES.

>> Stephen: DID CHENEY EVER --CHENEY NEVER APOLOGIZED FOR

SHOOTING EVERYONE IN THE FACE.

HE DID.

HE WENT ON BRIT HUME,EVENTUALLY.

THE PRESIDENT -->> Stephen: HE SHOT THE

PRESIDENT IN THE FACE.

>> HE DID NOT SHOOT THEPRESIDENT IN THE FACE.

>> Stephen: I THOUGHT THEOTHER GUY APOLOGIZED FOR GETTING

HIS FACE IN THE WAY OF CHENEY'SGUN.

>> HE DID.

HE WAS VERY GRACIOUS ABOUT IT.

>> Stephen: THAT WAS NICE.

I'M NOT SURE BUILD THAT GRACIOUSWITH MY FACE.

PETER BAKER "DAYS OF FIRE."

WE'LL BE RIGHT BACK.

>> THANK YOU SO MUCH.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

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