Jan. 20, 1989: President George H.W. Bush Outlines Policy

Part 2: President Bush tells Barbara Walters his priorities on foreign policy and domestic issues.
3:00 | 12/26/12

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Transcript for Jan. 20, 1989: President George H.W. Bush Outlines Policy
What will be your -- priority. In the White House what will we read about you. One month and a. One month from now you'll read that I have sent a proposal on the budget up to the congress. And that they don't like every aspect -- -- I'm not naive about how the process works. One months from now you'll see. You'll see. No solution to the budget that I will have shown my hand you'll also see. The president that this sent to the hill strong proposals and ethics I used to get teased the -- virus kind of heading in nineties view. Kind of -- super optimistic view about public service. I still have that. About one way to enhance that. Is to hold high -- Highest possible ethical standards in terms of conflict of interest so you're gonna see different -- -- see more on initiatives on education. But some -- fall short of sums. Expectations because. We're dealing in a time of tight money. You have Pratt. Worked as an education president you've also been very strong gun on the prevention of -- drugs and yet. Type money would -- as a hit what are you gonna cut. You can't measure. One's commitment to literacy. On how much federal money you put into it. You can't measure. One's commitment to fighting drugs by. By being able to match the highest bidder on federal money. One of the problems with Washington DC news. You're judged. By how much money you can put after a problem. Now a lot of what -- president has to do in times of tight. Financial resources is to -- is to bring out -- the best in people private sector. Public public sector meaning state and local in this case to help solve the problems and I'm gonna try to do that because I won't be able. To match the highest bidder. On federal funds for education or federal funds for drug rehabilitation -- federal funds for the homeless whatever it is but does that mean I don't care. Contestants. One thing that a great many people don't understand it. We talk about the deficit and everybody's eyes -- -- but. People have been saying for something like the past six years that this country was going to be in terrible trouble financially. We -- thought to have a recession. High inflation higher interest rates and we're the largest debtor nation and and wouldn't. Doom and gloom and it hasn't happened economy is still stronger. You think it'll be sound for the next four years. If my project if my program is enacted it will be. And I say that without you know kind of be some big shot about this thing but the worst thing you -- do is kill off. The economy. By loading it down with more taxes and certainly sitting still for increasing debt that would hurt. And I don't want to be part of that. I want to get back a little bit defined policy to some of the issues that so important Middle East right now on the front pages today our time. I don't totally against an independent Palestinian -- I think it ended dependent -- Palestinian state. Knowing the realities -- that. Region as -- do is a nonstarter. What you have to do. Is have. Have. Israel and then I think the first step should still be Jordan and direct negotiations. And I know that to all factions and Israel. A Palestinian state is -- non starters so why be advocating something. That would keep the process from going forward. I think this best concept is still a confederation. With -- Jordan in some way. And if the US can be a catalyst to achieve those -- so much the better and we can't. Do you trust Yasser Arafat. No but I don't totally trust -- my obviously don't know the man that I. I am encouraged. By the recent steps that mr. Arafat took. To do those things that that -- in the -- fundamentals. In the US foreign policy recognition of Israel tried to exist string on station. Renunciation of terror. The Soviet Union. Certainly conditions have changed and I jest. And one could look forward to arms reduction on both sides but odd bad. In the still of the -- all the things that still worry you about. The United States and the Soviet Union are there warning signs -- -- even. Sure. And that's why -- have adopted a position of some caution. That's why I'm asking for a total review. Of our. Are arms control proposals. We'll be prepared to have. -- proposals that I think the west can put forward. As opposed to always responding to some bold new initiative of mr. Gorbachev but I don't seek think that is detrimental to the Soviet interest. I think they'd welcome -- -- that was realistic. And it's and it -- Mrs. bush we've been reading this week that QVC summoning lettuce and people of all over the country who say. Not let my head program acting gain a pound it is they're so happy about it. Let -- certainly gotten a lot of letters I've been reading some allowed to George at this time where I'm giving him all the information on world affairs in the morning that are really cute warm. Slightly insulting but very funny I never having adequate let me stay fat steak -- -- wrinkles we love you. And and they are all met with great warmth and. If they're saying something else -- not talking about. The durable imprint. I don't know if they're talking about -- -- -- -- genuine. Now they're talking about. Being genuine and a talk about. Whether anybody's. Is. The wager. How would -- look younger. And older -- they're talking about something different than manner they use that language what they're saying when they talk about barbarism. They sense in her internship at a certain. Genuineness. Kids matter to -- Family is important to our and that's what I think they're saying in some Omar funny may have initially they -- -- ten years ago that are failing and they just said. -- that you don't want that dissertation -- -- -- they'll have to eat it church for mine my clients. Wasn't quite what everybody was giving advice to both -- and she did she -- -- -- there a point where you thought maybe I. Should dye my hair -- Now that. I have. Never -- Mostly because George never said it. Truthfully easily spend that -- Reuters of -- on this and others it's time when you when you say. Need the advice. I welcome you guys. -- knows I can do things better. But. I've got to be myself. And maybe that happened to Barbara I know what happened to me somewhere along the line. Family and everybody was giving you advice or give any extra -- demonstrate that the -- It came in he said. I got some advice from a friend. And that advice after analyzing my performance was. Be yourself. That proved to be the worst advice. But that in -- case. I know and Barbara had needed this much -- needed so that needed help on whatever it is the final analysis. It all gets right back could be what you are saying what you think do with the best way you can. And feel comfortable with what should do not try to do with the way someone else thinks -- have to -- Do you can't tell me it was sad that you did what somebody else thought to -- to get you -- us. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- So what. You know I'm sure there are times that I did things that. -- rig up something that sounded out of didn't do it well and therefore there was plenty of room for the ridicule factor did go off the charts but. But that's history and can mean anything anymore prominent -- Coach my job is -- approaching her. Call -- you see in the set on fire said. The best you can. Some of the people's view of you has changed its it's as -- clock -- became Superman I mean -- -- -- -- change until the alleged. Do you think you change do you think that maybe the campaign of the election or something gave you a different feeling about just -- -- don't think. Now that they won't well I do you think I do think in fairness to the critics. That when you. Are not. The number two on a team that are really hitting a team as a president. Must do. It's different. I hope that I demonstrated. During eight years as vice president to certain sensitivity to the White House staff the president's staff and certainly to the president for -- -- Have a lasting respect as he heads out to the west -- -- I've learned so much from this man. And it would never it never occurred to me. To go out then and say something even though I might have a nuance of difference -- what he had decided so we're here. As a team player you were. And semi your own passions are. Properly supplement -- so there is that difference Barbara that's realistic I think. Are you going to have a specific. The role that Dan Quayle other than the traditional role that the vice president management is going to be if you wanted to know how to ask gonna -- look at the Reagan bush. Relationship there will be some specifics. Here's a video that you be giving him something as the social you're not -- -- part of growing already got. One the space council. Which I didn't do and what he will collect. The vice president. Will do that's one to start with but you shouldn't measure. The effectiveness of -- vice president by how many specific assignments he gets that makes it that's. That was what went wrong in the past Nelson Rockefeller was given -- The energy portfolio. Any lasted about three weeks in that portfolio until the White House staff cut -- myself at a Lionel because Nelson Rockefeller -- They got it it's got that happening yet yet we don't want to have. Mrs. bush it. I guess it can't be helped but one keeps hitting comparisons between you and this -- -- how do you feel about. I hate it because first of all I lose on that particular comparison. But I am her. Greatest song that she's done a wonderful job the White House has never been more beautiful. The flowers for the year the food better the she's done a wonderful job. But -- she and I are not alike and you can't compare. Apples and oranges over what ever. And that doesn't take from my enormous respect for her in the job she's done so I think that. The comparisons read. Mr. Bush you -- -- it's. You've got all these inaugural balls come and we have everything dad -- -- everything -- that -- -- not a -- that's it he says it's identical to get up. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- That's show business you have -- sweetie. There for a few minutes on the -- and that's -- that's a that's all I'm good for George. From a family where many of them were very good dancers and also sings summer they made him feel he wasn't there. Either a good dancer or a good singer. And -- isn't. After nobody likes that -- they played it back I don't like normal life that is something that I know I'm really saying don't unless it's. Place. Would you describe Barbara push for me. -- Insider how would you. It's a kind and a strong. And -- loving person. Who. Whose priorities. Are family. Her garden. Her face. And in that -- who will be totally unspoiled by being first lady of the land. And -- emerge matter what we do after this. I like the picture. Which it described George Bush -- -- like to shake -- up everything he just -- I thank them. Very funny. Georgia's. Larry warm. -- -- I'm Karen. Very. And I would put faith. As a very important part of Georgia slides and family. And friends. I think those -- the idea. Loyal. And good. That's a tempestuous. -- I have both feeling pretty good acting. Pretty relaxed. I thought only scarier. Now. Well I'm a little premature. -- I thank you missed it. -- -- --

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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